Tournament Reports – Hatteras Island Surf Fishing Challenge
The OBX beaches from Rodanthe down through Hatteras Village played host to the Fisherman’s Post 2019 Hatteras Island Surf Fishing Challenge from midnight on Friday, September 27, to noon on Sunday, September 29. Anglers spent their 36-hours of fishing time targeting four leaderboard categories (bluefish, pompano, sea mullet, and spanish mackerel) and one TWT division (slot red drum).
For this year’s event, the top five largest fish brought to the scales in each leaderboard category were awarded prize money, as well as a top junior, lady, and senior angler.
Larry Tuttle took home Senior Angler and the first place prize for the largest pompano, a hefty 3.3 lb. fish. He caught the fish just across the street from the Captain’s Meeting venue at Camp Hatteras on an eight-foot Sea Striker rod with 20 lb. line and using Fishbites for bait.
Tuttle had been fishing around the clock since the opening of the tournament on Friday night, and he finally caught his winning pompano close to 7:30 pm on Saturday.
“I’ve never seen a pompano that big in my life,” stated an astonished Tuttle. “I put lights on my poles at night so I can see them. I turned around to look and that light was almost touching the sand, so I knew I had something big on the line.”
The pompano that won second place was caught by R. Osborne. It tipped the scales at 1.4 lbs., and was followed in third place by a 0.7 lb. pompano landed by P. Woody. The fourth place fish of 0.5 lbs. was caught by R. Tarman, and the fifth place pompano, also weighing in at 0.5 lbs. but weighed in later than the fourth place fish, was caught by L. Mauck.
The first place bluefish prize went to Anthony Notarfonzo with a 3.2 pounder. Winning second place was a 2.9 lb. bluefish caught by P. Woody, and the third place fish weighed 2.2 lbs. and was caught by Z. Brewer. Following in fourth place was a 2.0 lb. bluefish weighed in by D. Alvarado, and the fifth place 1.9 lb. bluefish was caught by R. Heinrich.
Also caught by Richard Heinrich was the only spanish mackerel brought to the scales, a solid spanish weighing in at 3.1 lbs. After a long night of trying for pompano and reeling in a handful of under-sized fish and lots of small blues, Heinrich caught the winning spanish just after sunrise and barely north of ramp 43.
“My bait was small, so it came as a surprise,” said Heinrich, referring to the little Stingsilver at the end of his line. “We caught a lot of fish, but nothing big enough to keep and nothing in the right category really, except that [spanish].”
In the sea mullet category, two fish tied for the heaviest fish at 1.8 lbs. The top spot went to Dennis Newton who made it to the scales first. Second place went to J. Espino. Winning third place for his 1.3 lb. fish was J. Tarman. The fourth place prize went to J. Sigers for his 1.2 lb. sea mullet, and coming up in fifth was C. Durrer with his 1.1 lb. fish.
Not a single slot red drum was brought to the scales this year.
The Junior Angler prize was won by Thomas Notarfonzo, and Joelle Tooman was awarded the Lady Angler title.
All the fish weighed in during the course of the event were sold to Harbor House Seafood, with 100% of the proceeds being donated to Hatteras Island Meals. In addition, unclaimed spots on the leaderboard were either raffled or donated to Hatteras Island Meals.
A complete leaderboard and more information on the event, which will be returning the same weekend in late September 2020, can be found at www.FishermansPost.com.