The 8th annual Reelin’ for Research offshore fishing tournament took place Saturday, April 30, and raised more than $457,000 for the UNC Children’s Hospital and childhood cancer. The tournament was founded in 2009 in honor of Tony Montana, who passed away from cancer in 2005, with a focus on raising money for children with cancer.
Out of 60 boats competing, the crew of the “Coverage” took home the 1st place prize, with Capt. Hunter Blount and Mate JD Payne at the helm. Anglers on the boat included Dr. Stuart Gold, Beau McIntosh, Craig McIntosh, Alex Weden, Allen Lee, and Dr. Phillip Roehrs. Roehrs, along with being on the winning boat, took home the award for largest fish, landing a 76.6 lb. wahoo while trolling with ballyhoo.
Although having been an avid angler all of his life, this was Roehrs’ first offshore trip ever. “Our goal for the day was to have as much fun as possible and raise money to help our patients,” said Roehrs. When the wahoo took the bait, Roehrs spent roughly 15 minutes reeling the fish in, and the others on the boat expressed gratitude that he was the man at the end of the rod after seeing the size of the fish. “I’ve been training with someone that was in the Special Forces, so I was really glad I was in good shape to fight the fish,” he explained. Along with the winning fish, the crew of the “Coverage” landed five mahi, securing their overall win in the tournament.
“This tournament is near and dear to our hearts, and it’s an experience that I will cherish for lifetimes. The captain and crew of the Coverage were amazing, and we had a fabulous time,” Roehrs said of the experience, even though he was also awarded the “Chummer Award” for promptly getting seasick for an additional four hours after catching his big fish.
For more information about Reelin’ for Research, visit their website at www.reelinforresearch.org.