Southport Inshore Challenge Welcome
August 21 – 22, 2020, at Southport Marina
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Welcome to the 2019 Southport Inshore Challenge, a premiere flounder fishing event that takes place in the heart of North Carolina flounder country. This year the event will also serve as a last hoorah for flounder anglers, as it is being hosted on potentially the last day of 2019 that recreational flounder fishing will be open.
The big meeting where the flounder measures will be voted on is August 21-23, with the vote on August 23. If passed, even though the Marine Fisheries Commission’s announcements say “effective immediately,” there is a 48-hour grace period to get the word out before the flounder closure would truly take effect–that means our Saturday (August 24) is potentially the last day of flounder fishing for 2019.
In spite of the looming flounder closure, Fisherman’s Post is thrilled to be returning to the beautiful setting of Southport Marina where all tournament activities will be located—our Registration and Captains’ Party on Friday, August 23, and our Weigh-In and Awards Dinner & Ceremony on Saturday, August 24—and once again this year will be the Zimmerman Marine-sponsored Awards Dinner, a great spread for our tournament anglers to enjoy after a fun day of fishing.
Flounder fishing has deep roots in the Southport scene, and in recognition, we’re once again featuring a two-flounder aggregate format. An eight-place leaderboard awaits the teams weighing in the heaviest pair of up to two flounder at the close of Saturday’s weigh-in, and an all-flounder leaderboard means bigger checks, since flounder fishermen won’t have to share any prize money with the red drum anglers.
We didn’t want to leave the area’s red drum anglers out, though, so in addition to the bounty available to the crews bringing the heaviest pairs of flatfish to the scales, there will be a voluntary TWT for the single heaviest red drum, along with voluntary Single Big Flounder and Two-Flounder TWTs, to add some impressive payouts to the hefty ones already available on the main leaderboard.
We’re continuing to encourage teams to bring the whole family out by offering $50 for the heaviest single flounder weighed in by crews with junior, lady, and/or senior anglers on board. More special prizes include closest-in-weight prizes offered by Intracoastal Angler, SeaTow’s prize for heaviest flounder weighed in by a SeaTow member, and the Havana’s Restaurant Raffle Prize–every boat that weighs in a flounder is automatically entered into this new “raffle-type” prize where one lucky boat wins $300 cash, and a second boat wins a $100 gift card to Havana’s Restaurant.
Fisherman’s Post Newspaper is committed to conserving the resources that make events like this a possibility, so we’ll be awarding bonus cash payouts to all flounder making the leaderboard that are alive and in releasable condition. We feel this encourages live weigh-in without penalizing those anglers who don’t have the ability to keep a large flounder alive over the course of a full day of fishing.
And we’ll be donating proceeds from the event to the Wilmington Elks to aid their mission of helping children, enhancing communities, and honoring the service and sacrifices of our military veterans.
If you’ve never fished a flounder tournament before, this event is a great way to join in the tournament experience. Come celebrate flounder fishing with others on the eve of the flounder closure, and we hope to see you for a weekend of big fish and good times.
Gary Hurley / Tournament Director