HOLY MACKEREL!

Yep. It’s that time again. Time for the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament in Southport, NC. Time for 400 boats in the ocean waters. Time for prizes. Time for food. Time for entertainment. Time for drinks. Time for fun. Time for a whole lotta fishin’ goin’ on. Speaking of fishing. It’s time, too, for the Captain Charlie’s Kids Fishing Tournament – on Saturday. From 10 AM until noon you will see the Southport City Pier lined with kids on one end of fishing rods, hoping to find fish on the other ends. There will be pizza and drinks for everyone as well as loads of prizes.

Need Tackle? Check out these Brunswick County, NC fishing and tackle shops:

Leland, NC 28451
(910) 599-4054
Dutchman Creek Bait & Tackle

4019 Long Beach Rd. SE
Southport, NC 28461

(910) 457-1221

Oak Island Pier

705 Ocean Dr.
Oak Island, NC 28465

(910) 278-6464

Ocean Crest Pier

1411 E. Beach Dr.
Oak Island, NC 28465
(910) 278-6674

A WHOLE LOTTA FISHIN’ GOIN’ ON

There is a whole lot of activities coming up in Brunswick County, NC, and more than one of them involves fishing. That’s not a surprise to those of us who live here. With the Atlantic Ocean as one of our boundaries and the number of rivers, streams, lakes and salt marsh locations – not to mention the Intracoastal Waterway –  there are so many opportunities to fish here. Even the events that do not include fishing – include water. Saturday offers the Southport NatureFest where the whole family can enjoy fun events designed to inform and educate as well.

Another Saturday event will be the US Coast Guard Safety Expo on Oak Island, NC, featuring Coastie, the Safe Boat, and Sammy, The Sea Otter.

Photo Image Small Boat on water with Light House and Station in background

On Saturday, also, Boiling Spring Lakes, NC, offers its annual fishing event for kids – the Small Fry Fishing Tournament. What a great way for kids to learn how to fish – with the help of officers from the police department.


(Image courtesy Southport Magazine)

While the kids are learning to fish in Boiling spring Lakes, the moms can be learning all about fishing on Oak Island, NC, at the Women Anglers in Training Weekend (WAIT). This event runs Saturday and Sunday.

It’s not too soon to start preparing for The Far Out Shoot Out Fishing Tournament which begins on Saturday, May 7, in Ocean Isle Beach, NC.

FALL FESTIVITIES

Another weekend of fun festivities is ahead of us in Brunswick County, NC; and the Carolina blue skies and warm temperatures promise to continue throughout the weekend. With all the water in Brunswick County, NC, as well as offshore, one of the favorite fall activities involves bait, rods and reels and some of the best fishing happens in the fall. Because of this, fishing tournaments abound in the fall and this weekend is no exception. This weekend’s fishing tournament is a tournament with a twist, however. The fishing will not be done from piers or from boats in the ocean. The Bluefish Bonanza on Bald Head island, NC is a surfcasting tournament. Check it out.

Last weekend you may have participated in the NC Oyster Festival – an annual event in Ocean Isle Beach, NC. Get ready to enjoy again this Saturday and Sunday, this time in Holden Beach, NC at the annual NC Festival by the Sea.

You will have another second chance in Calabash, NC. Last week was Pumpkin Day at Indigo Farms – this Saturday from 10 – AM until 2 PM, you can enjoy Pick Your Own Pumpkin Day. The event will include Stock Pig Racing as well as hayrides – so bring the whole family.

FISHIN’ AND FARMIN’ REDUX

Fishing and farming have been the two main ways of making a living in Brunswick County, NC for generations. As you can see by the above map from the NC Department of Agriculture, that’s pretty much true of the whole state. Though times have changed, and technology and tourism have become prevalent, we who live in Brunswick County, NC are still blessed with the sight of shrimp boats in the surrounding waters. I remember an old song:

Shrimp boats are a comin’ their sails are in sight
Shrimp boats are a comin there’s dancin’ tonight…

The menhaden industry and fish factories are gone and fishing is now more of a recreation – especially the tournaments. The waters will be teaming with boats this weekend and celebrations will abound on shore for the Annual U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament – October 1st thru 3rd in Southport, NC.

Kids can get involved, too. On the Saturday of the King Mackerel Tournament (October 3), the Southport Recreation Department holds Captain Charlie’s Kids Fishing Tournament where kids who bring their own rods, reels and bait can fish from the Southport City Pier and win some prizes for their catches.

At the south end of Brunswick County, NC, you can spend the day learning about farming with hands on activities, demonstrations and – of all things – pig races. Sound interesting? Just head on down to Calabash, NC to Farm Heritage Day at Indigo Farms beginning at 10 AM where you can even go on an old fashioned hay ride.

Fishing Tournaments

Fishing is a way of life for some in the NC Brunswick Islands. We often see the wooden shrimp boats plying the waters off the coast with their entourage of seagulls floating behind like so many kites. For those of us on shore the sight is picturesque and beautiful. For those on the boats it is their work. However, there are a number of recreational fishermen in the area as well. You see them fishing from the piers, surf fishing, casting for bait, fishing from boats and going to sea on charter fishing boats. Then there are the fishing tournaments. These usually begin in the spring and are held nearly every weekend through the fall. Fisherman enter these tournaments for the camaraderie of fishing with others and the hope of winning a prize. Her are a few upcoming tournaments:

The Far Out Shoot Out Fishing Tournament at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center in Ocean Isle Beach, NC (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/fishing/salt-water-tournament/may/the-far-out-shoot-out-fishing-tournament/profile/)

This tournament is actually in process as it began on May 9, however, it runs through May 17. You only fish one out of the eight days and the awards ceremony and dinner will be held on Sunday at 1 PM at OIFC Wing & Fish Company – 4764 Main Street, Shallotte, NC . The next tournament to be held at the fishing center will be the Jolly Mon King Classic on June 20 – 22. (http://oceanislebeach.insiderinfo.us/fishing/salt-water-tournament/june/jolly-mon-king-classic/profile/) The Long Bay Artificial Reef Association and the Teaching Youth to Fish Association are both supported by this event.

The Rebel King Mackerel Tournament held at the Ocean Crest Pier in Oak Island, NC (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/fishing/salt-water-tournament/may/rebel-king-mackerel-tournament/profile/)

 

This tournament will be held on May 17 – 18 and prizes will be awarded after 2 PM on the 18th.

The Oak Island Open Pier Fishing Tournament held on the Oak Island Pier and the Ocean Crest Pier in Oak Island, NC (http://southport.insiderinfo.us/fishing/salt-water-tournament/may/oak-island-open-pier-fishing-tournament/profile/)

To be held on May 31 and June 1 on both piers on Oak Island, this tournament is coordinated by the Oak Island Recreation Department.