Tournament Reports – Bojangles Offshore Challenge
Despite the heavy wind and high seas forecast for Saturday, May 18, the 2019 Bojangles NC Offshore Challenge—put on by the Hillsborough Sport Fishing Club—attracted 24 boats to hit the offshore waters off North Carolina in search of the largest mahi, tuna, wahoo, and king mackerel. Fish were weighed in and prizes awarded, but the even more successful part of the event was that 100 wounded warriors got out on the water for an enjoyable day of fishing.
Pelagic, a charter boat out of Morehead City, took both 1st and 2nd places in the event, selecting to fish on Saturday, the first of two potential days of fishing. Capt. Mike Webb and mate Robbie Hall targeted the southeast corner of the Big Rock with ballyhoo behind hand-tied sea witches, pulling baits through heavily scattered grass in 77.4 degree water.
The crew put a total of 18 mahi in the box on Saturday, trolling up and down the break and picking at them throughout the day, but it was angler Daniel Axom in the morning that reeled in what would be the tournament’s second heaviest mahi, a 20.3 lb. fish. Then in the afternoon with the seas laying out, it was angler Thomas Wilson that pulled in the tournament’s best, a 20.8 lb. mahi.
Third place went to Post Call, an Atlantic Beach charter boat, for weighing in a 19.8 lb. mahi. Jason Hartford was the angler, and also on board was Jessica Dickerson, who earned the Lady Angler title by reeling in a 13.54 lb. mahi.
The Junior Angler winner came from Fish Witch, out of Carolina Beach. Nathaniel Roberts landed an 11 lb. king mackerel for his win.
Meanwhile, the club was also hosting the wounded warrior fishing day on that Saturday, Armed Forces Day. There were 65 past and present soldiers fishing out of Atlantic Beach, and then another 35 fishing out of Carolina Beach. Most were hosted by private boats that volunteered or two head boats, one out of Atlantic Beach and another out of Swansboro.
The Inshore Division of the tournament was cancelled due to inclement weather limiting participation, but the club intends to bring the division back next year.
Tournament Director and Club president Terry Rose, at the conclusion of both events, wished to thank the club, the volunteers, Bojangles, as well as the numerous other sponsors and participants in this year’s event.
For more information on the Hillsborough Sport Fishing Club and the Bojangles NC Offshore Challenge, please visit www.hillsboroughsfc.com.