Tournament Reports – Southport Inshore Challenge
Gloomy skies and a promise of rain proved to be no problem for anglers at this year’s Southport Inshore Challenge. Based out of Southport Marina, the event took place August 23-24, and due presumably to the unfavorable forecast (as well as confusion over whether or not flounder would be closed over the weekend), only 53 boats (compared to Southport’s typical turnout of 70-80 boats) fished area waters for the two largest flounder they could find.
The weather conditions, however, turned out to be nicer than predicted, and anglers enjoyed a decent bite throughout the day. The red drum seemed to be more cooperative in general than flounder on tournament day, and anglers targeting ocean waters for trophy flounder found more success than those searching inshore.
Sam Daughtry and teammates Mark Daughtry and Jamie Obermeyer, representing Team Parker, took home first place and a prize of over $2,600 with their two-fish aggregate of 11.83 lbs. Using live mullet captured early that morning, the team encountered a slow bite in the morning and moved around to several different nearshore ledges and wrecks.
Eventually they planted themselves on top of a ledge and an adjacent wreck that Daughtry had only fished once so far this year. In waters 25-28’ deep, the team caught roughly 40 fish (35 keepers), mostly in the 3-4 lb. range and within a span of three hours, including their two biggest weighing in at 5.46 and 6.37 lbs. The spot also produced numerous over-slot red drum.
Daughtry says, “It was my third best fishing day of the year. We were shakin’ off four pounders by the end.”
In addition to first place on the leaderboard, Team Parker took first place in the Single Big Flounder TWT and the Two Flounder TWT.
Team Floundering Around—Jeff Taylor and crew members Ken Barnell and Isaac Taylor—came in second place with a two-fish aggregate of 8.69 lbs. As first place winners in the 2017 Southport Inshore Challenge and frequent Ocean Isle Inshore Challenge participants, they are no strangers to Southport-area flounder fishing. The team started their day by heading offshore and then followed the southwest wind back in while dodging patches of rough weather. They, too, endured a slow morning bite but later found themselves in a viable area near Little River in about 15’ of water. “The water was kinda murky; it was an incoming tide,” Taylor describes. Their lines went off continuously, though, one after another, and they were pulling up enough flounder to “feed an army,” but no titans were apparent amongst the bunch.
“You never know what’s going to happen,” states Taylor, on their anxious wait at the scales. Luckily, the two largest flounder they had brought in weighed 4.36 and 4.33 lbs., scoring them the second place title and over $1500 in prize money.
Third place in the event went to Reelin’ Pelican with a two-flounder aggregate of 8.57 lbs., fourth place went to Team Southport Yamaha with an aggregate weight of 7.69 lbs., and Pork Chop, with a two-flounder weight total of 7.37 lbs., came in fifth.
For a more complete leaderboard, visit the Fisherman’s Post website at www.FishermansPost.com. The next Fisherman’s Post event is the Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge, which will take place September 13-14 at Inlet Watch Marina. This event, typically a split leaderboard of flounder and red drum, has been modified to be a two-red drum leaderboard.