A Record Setter
The 43rd Annual U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament draws the most participants ever and awards more than $400,000 in prizes.
The 43rd Annual U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament, held October 1 and 2 at Dutchman Creek Park, attracted the highest number of participants in the tournament’s history. Five hundred and sixty-one boats from more than nine states participated, and more than $400,000 in cash prizes was awarded.
With their single-engine vessel, Bare Necessities, Captain Cameron Yow and his crew, Mitchell Pigg and Bradley Flowe, of Kannapolis, N.C. took first place in the tournament with a 45 lb. king mackerel. They won a total of $158,830 for their efforts.
“It’s anybody’s game out there,” Yow said when he accepted the prize. “You can tell by the small boat we were on.”
The second-place team, Lil Crazy, led by Captain Seth Williams of Murrells Inlet, S.C., brought in a king mackerel weighing 44.10 lbs., which won them a combined total of $133,913. Their prize was the largest cash prize ever awarded to a single team in the tournament’s history.
In third place was Team Fountain, led by Captain Everett Cameron of Atlantic Beach, N.C. Their winning fish weighed in at 40.35 lbs., which won them $80,157.
The winners are determined by the weight of the fish; however, the total prize money is determined by the number of additional categories the anglers chose to enter in the tournament.
“Overall, the tournament was a great success and will go down in the record books as the biggest one we’ve had to date in terms of participants and prizes,” said Karen Sphar, executive vice president of the Southport Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce. “We appreciate everyone who participated in the tournament, from the anglers who fished it, to the sponsors, vendors and volunteers who helped make it happen, and of course our tournament planning committee and board of directors, led by Tim Tippett.”
This was the second time the tournament was held at Dutchman Creek Park. Tournament officials worked with Brunswick County Parks & Recreation officials to secure permits to allow temporary dockage at the park. American Marine Construction provided the barge for offloading, Rusty Hooks Dockside Grill provided a location for anglers to re-board their boats after weighing in, and the Brunswick County Sheriff’s Office provided traffic control on the water.
The U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament is one of the largest king mackerel tournaments on the East Coast and has a $2 million economic impact on the region. It is held annually the first week of October and is an event of the Southport Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce.
Full tournament results are available at usopenkmt.com, a video of the weigh-ins can be found at usopenkmtlive.com and photos from the weekend are available at the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament Facebook page.
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