Outdoors column: Weather causes delay of Jolly Mon Classic

Faced with a dicey marine forecast for the weekend, Capt. Brant McMullan had a tough decision to make with the Jolly Mon King Classic set to be held out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center (OIFC).

While the Jolly Mon Classic is a competitive king mackerel tournament, sanctioned by the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA), McMullan and his extended family who own and operate the OIFC consider the tournament to be just that – a family-oriented event.

So at mid-week, with the forecast for the fishing days of Saturday and Sunday calling for a stiff southwesterly wind and rough seas, McMullan made the decision to postpone the tournament for a week.

The tournament and related events will now be held next week, June 26-29. As McMullan says, the tournament “is exactly as originally scheduled, just add seven days.”

“It would not have been comfortable, not conducive to family fishing,” said McMullan. “It could get a whole lot better and not a whole lot worse weather-wise. We’re crossing our fingers, hoping we can get the conditions for it to be the family event it usually is.”

McMullan is hopeful another benefit of holding the tournament a week later is that the target species – king mackerel – will move closer to shore within the next week.

“The fish are little behind schedule,” said McMullan. “They’re usually in closer but they’re further out than they might normally be. They’re in 100 feet of water at this moment but I anticipate by the tournament they will be in the 50-65 foot depth range, within 20 miles.”

McMullan notes on Wednesday an OIFC charter boat produced a 34.8-pound king that was landed in 50-55 feet of water.

“They’re doing what they’re supposed to do, migrate from offshore to in,” said McMullan. “That fish really gives me hope that by the tournament they will be much more accessible to all size boats.”

The Jolly Mon is the first SKA tournament to be held in the Carolinas in 2014 and thus the first under the new SKA ownership – the National Boat Owners Association.

For more information, call 910-575-3474 or visit www.OIFC.com or www.fishska.com.

Catch Two Flounder Tournament

The tournament will be held Saturday, June 28 out of Harbourgate Marina in Little River and features a guaranteed $1,000 first-place prize.

The format is a two-flounder aggregate and if 50 boats enter the event, first place prize money goes up to $1,400.

Registration will be held Friday, June 27 at the marina from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Twenty percent of the tournament’s proceeds will be donated to the Ron McManus Reef Foundation.

For more information, call 843-516-5583 or e-mail rumblekmt@gmail.com.