Inshore Trail Welcome


Welcome once again to the Fisherman’s Post Inshore Trail. While we’ve kept the basic payout and qualifying structure from the last two years, we’ve made a couple of changes that we think will make 2020 the most competitive Inshore Trail to date.

Again this year, boats will need to enter the Inshore Trail via an entry fee. To be clear, you don’t have to pay the Inshore Trail entry fee to fish any of the five tournaments. Any boat—whether in the Trail or not—can still fish any of the individual events, as the five Inshore Challenge events continue to be great stand-alone events, but you will need to enter the Inshore Trail for the opportunity at an additional $18,000 in Inshore Trail prize money (based on 50 boats in the Trail). That’s $18,000 in addition to all the prize money boats can win from the leaderboards of the five Inshore Challenge events.

The big change from last year, though, is the elimination of the Flounder Division and sole focus now on the Red Drum Division. Fisherman’s Post mourns the flounder closure and eagerly awaits the fishery’s reinstatement, but we predict that with only one division in 2020 (Red Drum), more boats will enter that one division. And more boats mean more money and bigger payouts.

Many of our previous Trail anglers entered both divisions for $600 ($300/division), so we are using the single division in 2020 as an opportunity to bump up the entry fee to $400. With a higher entry fee (and Fisherman’s Post still paying out 90% of entry fees back to the competitors), that means much bigger payouts.

The five Inshore Challenge events—Ocean Isle Inshore Challenge, Topsail Inshore Challenge, Wrightsville Beach Inshore Challenge, Southport Inshore Challenge, and Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge—serve as both qualifying events for the Inshore Trail Championship and opportunities for Inshore Trail participants to win additional prize money throughout the season.

Each of the five events will offer Trail anglers payouts of 1st-$1000, 2nd-$500, and 3rd-$300, so finishing as the third place Trail boat in just one of the five qualifying events means you’ve earned most of your entry fee back.

The Trail offers a separate Championship event (free to boats that qualify), with only the top 10 teams invited to participate. This Championship event has predicted payouts of 1st-$5000, 2nd-$2500, and 3rd-$1500.

Qualifying for the Championship will be based on the total weight of a team’s three heaviest red drum over the five-event season. There’s no minimum entry, as boats can fish as many or as few of the events as they wish, but those boats that fish more of the five qualifying events, of course, will have a better chance of weighing in more fish to cull their heaviest three-fish aggregate.

There is no deadline for signing up for the Inshore Trail, but none of a boat’s fish in an event can count towards Inshore Trail points unless they have paid the Inshore Trail entry fee prior to that qualifying event. Also remember that the Inshore Trail is limited to the first 50 boats that sign up, so make sure you get entered for this exiting third year of the Fisherman’s Post Inshore Trail.

There are more details on the Inshore Trail  online at (click on “Tournaments” then “Inshore Trail”). You’re also welcome to call Fisherman’s Post at (910) 452-6378, or send an email to

Gary Hurley / Inshore Trail Director
(910) 452-6378