Battling muggy heat and a ripping tide, 52 boats spread out across the waters of southeastern North Carolina fishing for red drum and flounder in the Southport Inshore Challenge held on August 22, 2020, the fourth event of the Fisherman’s Post Inshore Trail Series. Due to extensive damage at the Southport Marina from Hurricane Isaias earlier in August, registration was moved to Dutchman Creek Bait & Tackle and the weigh-in was moved to the Carolina Beach Marina and Yacht Club (formerly Joyner Marina) located at the north end of the island.
With the recreational flounder season finally open, this tournament boasted a great opportunity for flounder fishermen to join the red drum anglers to get on the water and win some cash.
The heaviest slot red drum was weighed in by Parks and Tawnya Jones, of the Chasing Tails Fishing Team. Their 7.25 lb. red that earned the first place title fell for a spinner bait in the trough of some docks.
“It’s all about the tide with us,” says P. Jones. “It’s a timing deal. It’s got to be spot on. We had an extra hour with it, so it worked out just right.”
Their first place drum also won the Single Big Red Drum TWT, Lady Angler, and the SeaTow payout. The pair usually sticks to tournament bass fishing, but they have always wanted to try for redfish. The move certainly paid off, as they left with $1,285+ in prize money.
Taking second place with a 6.75 lb. red drum was Tim Fowler and Team Fowler. The third largest red drum was pulled up by Team Dirty Bubble, weighing in at 6.53 lbs. Fourth place went to Team Parker for a 6.22 pounder, and landing in fifth place was Team SeaSquirrel with a 5.97 lb. redfish.
Topping the flounder leaderboard with a 7.22 pounder was Bryan Milliken and his teammate Kyle, of Team Killin’ Time. The pair found their success after having trouble catching bait in the early morning. Using an 8” mullet minnow under a Carolina rig, Milliken hooked his trophy fish in the Snow’s Cut area.
Please with the big finish, Milliken says, “The minnow was huge for a flounder, so I knew if one hit it, it would be big. We didn’t think it was the winner but figured it would be in the top three.” Throughout the morning, the team also caught four other flounder in Snow’s Cut. Around 10:00 a.m. they headed south in search of redfish, but they didn’t pull up any in the 18-27” slot. Their big flatfish also won them the Single Big Flounder and High Roller TWTs, totaling their winnings to over $2,500.
Nathan Pierce and Pierce Fishing Team took home second in the flounder division for a 6.75 pounder. Team SeaSquirrel snagged third place with a 6.62 lb. flounder, fourth went to Team Woof Pack for their 6.22 pounder, and coming in fifth was Team Gettin’ Jiggy Wit It and their 6.13 lb. flounder.
For more information on the Southport Inshore Challenge and the Inshore Tournament Trail Series, visit www.FishermansPost.com or follow Fisherman’s Post on Facebook. The next and final event in the 2020 series is the Carolina Beach Inshore Challenge, a one red drum and one flounder leaderboard event scheduled for September 11-12.