Even without king mackerel, Rotary fishing tournament a success
Friday, June 8, 2012
By Kimberly Duncan
For The Times
Approximately 100 fishermen from across the Southeast competed to become "king" last weekend in the Murrells Inlet Rotary Club's third annual King of Murrells Inlet Fishing Challenge.
The challenge was founded as a flounder tournament 13 years ago, but expanded to include a king mackerel division in 2010.
"A plaque with the winner's name goes on the Marshwalk, and that person is king of the Inlet for the next year," said Kari Collins of the Murrells Inlet Rotary, as a crowd bustled around her at Crazy Sister Marina on Friday afternoon. "Bragging rights are as important as the cash prize."
This year's competition began Friday at 6 a.m. Anglers on individual boats competed as teams in hopes of hauling in the biggest king mackerel; individual fishermen vied for the biggest flounder.
Unfortunately, when the challenge ended on Saturday, no contenders proved lucky enough to hook a king mackerel.
"This is a great event that raises funds for the benefit of local Rotary Club charitable projects," Collins said.
The money will be help Rotary International's worldwide effort to eradicate polio, and be used to to buy holiday gifts for underprivileged children.
n Largest fish: Andy Justice, 27.7-pound cobia.
n Flounder: first, Bill Blakely 4.25 lbs.; second, Blakely 4.20 lbs.; third, Shaun Bess 3.65 lbs.; fourth, Wesley Williamson 3.10 lbs.; fifth, Ed Lawson 3.05 lbs.; sixth, Davis Montgomery 2.95 lbs.; seventh, Holly Stanley 2.80 lbs.
n Lady angler: Holly Stanley, 2.8-pound flounder.
n Youth angler: first, Austin Hicks, 5.65-pound Spanish mackerel; second, Autumn Lowery, 1.95-pound; Addison Wiseman, 1.80-pound.