By about a couple ounces, the crew of Wahooligans of Durham, N.C., won the Jolly Mon King Classic Saturday out of Ocean Isle Fishing Center in Ocean Isle Beach, N.C., narrowly topping their fishing buddies aboard Shock Wave.
A 36.65-pound king mackerel weighed in by Wahooligans nipped the 36.50-pound king landed by Shock Wave, out of Madison, N.C., by a mere .15 pounds.
The crews got a kick out of the close finish in the Southern Kingfish Association-sanctioned tournament as Wahooligans moved atop the leaderboard at about 3 p.m. on Saturday.
The scene was tense at 5 p.m. when the Shock Wave crew pulled a similar-size king out of their fish bag at the weigh-in.
It was the Wahooligan crew that celebrated when the scales revealed the Shock Wave king came up just short.
“I was excited we won but I was really happy they were right there with us,” said Billy Goss, the angler on the Wahooligans' fish. “It was pretty cool, actually.”
Goss was fishing with Aaron Wilkinson, owner of the 24-foot Cape Horn, along with Doug Farlow and Daniel Blanks. The win was the first SKA victory for the Wahooligans' crew, which earned over $34,000 in the first 2015 event in SKA's Division 9 (Carolinas).
“We've placed in a few before but this is the first one we've ever won,” said Goss.
It will go down as a close runner-up finish for the Shock Wave crew, including MIlton Via, Jr., Zack Shackleton and Shane Britt.
To start the day, the Wahooligans crew took advantage of the abundance of menhaden (pogeys) that have been available along the beach in recent weeks.
“We threw the net one time off Oak Island and pretty much loaded up,” said Goss.
From there they headed out to fish the 390-390 area in 4-6 foot seas.
About 2:30 p.m., the eventual winning fish hit a naked pogey 30-feet down on a downrigger. Goss served as the angler and Blanks gaffed the fish.
“We knew we had a good fish, especially for how rough it was,” said Goss. “It was pretty sporty.”
Rounding out the top five were Mackerel Mafia out of Ocean Isle Beach, N.C. (35.85), Chum On out of Hampstead, N.C. (33.35), and Miller Time out of Wilmington, N.C. (32.05). For more info, visit www.OIFC.com.
Charleston entry Reel Passion won its second straight South Carolina Governor's Cup Billfishing Series tournament Saturday, releasing three blue marlin for 1,800 points to win the Carolina Billfish Classic out of Toler's Cove Marina in Mt. Pleasant.
Reel Passion also won the Bohicket Marina Invitational Billfish Tournament on June 6 and holds a commanding lead in the overall standings with one event to go - the MEGADOCK Billfishing Tournament July 8-11 out of Charleston City Marina.
Reel Passion has reeled up 4,575 release points in the three series tournaments to date, ahead of Georgetown Landing Marina entry Miss Wy with 3,075 points. Miss Wy won the series opener, the Georgetown Blue Marlin Tournament in May, but did not record any points in the Carolina Billfish Classic.
Miss Wy had a shot at a white marlin but no other billfish encounters.
“We found some of the best water we had seen all year but it just wasn't our turn,” said Lee Prickett, a member of the Miss Wy crew. “We're still in second but we've got a lot of work to do at Megadock.”
Three J's finished second in the Carolina Billfish Classic with two blue marlin and one sailfish released for 1,400 points followed by Caramba with three sailfish and one blue marlin released for 1,200 points.
Sea Tiger weighed in the top dolphin, a 46.2-pounder and My Three Sons landed the largest wahoo, a 38.2-pounder. No tuna were weighed in.
For more information, visit www.govcup.dnr.sc.gov.
Contact GREGG HOLSHOUSER at 651-9028 or email@example.com.