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Division: 1 Sneads Ferry, NC 23rd ANNUAL ROTARY CLUB OF SNEADS FERRY August 15-16, 2014

Second Chanze is First SKA Boat at Sneads Ferry

By Christine Rodenbaugh

Sneads Ferry, North Carolina — The number two was a charm at this year’s 23rd Annual Rotary Club of Sneads Ferry King Mackerel Tournament. The two-man team of John Lewis and Chad Barnes took second place on Second Chanze, a 23’ Contender powered by Yamaha. The duo caught the fish at a spot known as Middletown. They had fished several spots that day, only boating small fish, when they got a call from a friend who had found some bigger kings. Second Chanze left Fat Belly Reef about 1:00 and headed to Middletown. “It was hot and slick calm,” reported John, “and there were about 50 boats around us.” The team had two (yes, two again) lines out—one short and one long—pulling bluefish in 80 feet of water. “When we came on top of the rock, the fish hit the long line. We chased it down in front of everybody, packed up, and headed to the scales at 1:35,” John explained. The king weighed in at 45.25 pounds. John says he has had an exceptional year winning several tournaments that are not on the Mercury Tournament Trail. He’ll be at the Little River event, so keep your eye on him. John also fishes on the White Lightning with Tim Hudson.

The East Coast Sports team of Randall, Cole, and Riggs Edens with Chris Gaddy pointed the bow of the Yamaha powered 23’ Onslow Bay to the 1700 Rock and fished with the pack. “We've had success there at this time of year, so we didn’t even pre-fish,” Randall told me. The ocean was flat on the gorgeous morning as the team pulled naked menhaden in 80 feet of water. Randall took his sons, 12-year-old Cole and 6-year old Riggs, out for the day. Riggs was the event’s Top Junior and he shared the SKA Top Junior title with brother, Cole. 

East Coast Sports had a cobia and one nice Spanish in the boat and continued to fish their way through sharks. About mid morning, a king hit a pogy on the flat line about halfway back and made a good run. “Then it made a second run. When they do that, you know it’s a better fish,” Randall remarked. “He made six or eight circles and, fortunately, we were able to get him in through the sharks,” he concluded. The 42.60-pounder put them in third place overall. The team appreciates the support of sponsors East Coast Sports, Onslow Bay, Yamaha, and Garmin electronics.

Reel Thrill/Team Bone Suckin’ Sauce is no stranger to the winner’s circle with two Small Boat Class National Championship titles under their belt. Vaughn Ford, Jason Spratley, Jay and Dylan Peters, and Jay Bucklen settled for fourth at Sneads Ferry, but with a nice 41.06-pounder. They fished the 23’ Onslow Bay powered by Mercury in 85 feet of water east of Cape Lookout Shoals. Vaughn and crew caught bait the day before and that paid off. They couldn’t find bait on tournament morning, so they just headed to the spot with what they had. 

At 8:30, the line pulling a naked pogy in the prop wash went off. Jason picked up the rod as the king ran off a lot of line in a hurry. “It wasn’t a very long fight,” Vaughn described, “but it was exceptionally fast so we thought it was a good fish.” Everyone worked to clear the lines and get the fish close enough for Jay to gaff. “We stayed for a little while and then went to fish closer to Sneads for the rest of the day,” Vaughn concluded. 

Reel Thrill/Team Bone Suckin’ Sauce had an amberjack and several sharks. Their only kingfish of the day put them in the money. Dylan Peters banked the Mercury Junior Angler Scholarship Award (his first) and earned second place SKA Junior Angler. The team thanks Mercury marine for sponsoring the junior angler scholarship, promoting the sport, and encouraging juniors. The team acknowledges the support of sponsors Bone Suckin’ Sauce, Mercury, Optima Batteries, Kaenon Sunglasses, and Calusa Cast Nets.

In case you didn’t notice, the three SKA teams in the top five overall qualify for SKA’s Small Boat Class. The same thing happened at Two-Way this year. Once again, the fish don’t know what size boat you’re in.

Brian Allen, with children Stacy and Braxton, plus Tim Airington fish a 36’ Yellowfin powered by triple Yamahas named Wall Hanger. The team started off fishing with the pack around the 1700 Rock and caught a 25-pounder early. They were catching lots of fish, they just weren’t kingfish. The bait wells were getting low, so they decided to fish the tideline in the shipping channel. Braxton, 9, and Lydia, 7, were disappointed when they saw a nice fish dive out of the water and hit in the prop wash only to get cut off. It was a family day that even included the dog, Driver. Braxton stayed busy fishing for cobia and Spanish off the bow. “We only had eight or ten menhaden to fish with; that’s all we needed,” Brian told me. 

The clock was ticking, but Brian convinced the crew to fish just a little longer. “At 3:47, I was feeding the bait back and he hit,” Brian said. Throughout the fight the team was worried about making the scales in time. They had 42 miles to run and just 51 minutes to do it. “We were making really good time and it looked like we would have nine minutes to spare,” explained Brian. Then they lost a lower unit, the kids had to go to the bathroom, and the dog, well, Driver was okay with it. Captain Allen was able to get the boat on plane running 42mph on two engines. They made the check-in with four minutes left. 

Brian recalled, “The kids didn’t complain too much. When those reels went off it was really exciting. Sometimes they only want to fish when the weather is good; this made the kids want to go back regardless of the weather. There’s nothing like catching a fish at the last minute,” he said, “It teaches the kids to be patient.” We’ll see you at nationals!

First place in the Small Boat Class fell to Stan Hollingsworth and Stuart Flynn fishing a Yamaha powered Sea Hunt. 2013 was the Bug N A Rug Exterminating team’s first full year fishing the trail finishing seventh in Division 1’s Small Boats. Season two on the trail is looking pretty good. Stan and Stuart started out fishing to the south and caught a 17-pounder as they continued to work their way back toward Sneads. 

At 11:30, they were in 90’ of water with four lines out pulling pogies when a 28.41-pound king hit the line farthest back. “We were just super excited to get a bigger kingfish!” Stan exclaimed. “It was a normal fight—we put him in the box and it was all high fives.” They had only two king bites that day, but made up for it with two dolphin to take home for the table. Like other teams, Stan and Stuart had to weed through amberjacks and sharks. Still, Stan told me, “It was fun; it was a great day. We’ve been real lucky with calm seas for tournaments up this way which gives small boats a better chance to go where they want to.”

Stan and Stuart would like to thank the following sponsors: Mullet Pond Rods, Sea Tow, Sea Coast Marine, Crossfit Wilmington, and Bug N A Rug Exterminating. Look for them at Nationals, but they might jump on board with another team.

A total of 104 boats fished Sneads Ferry this year and reported better crowds than last year because of the great weather. The Rotary Club and all volunteers work hard and do a great job promoting and executing this Division 1 tournament to raise funds that benefit the community in so many ways. Tournament Director Ricky Maready said, “I hope the teams had a good time and won some money and that they will come back next year.” I think he can count on it.

23rd Annual Rotary Club of Sneads Ferry

Open Class

45.801. Precision Marine
Contender / Yamaha
John Lewis
Chad Barnes
Onslow Bay / Yamaha
Randall Edens
Cole Edens
Riggs Edens
Chris Gaddy
Onslow Bay / Mercury
Vaughn Ford
Jason Spratley
Jay Peters
Jay Bucklen
Dylan Peters
40.975. Lost Cause
Yellowfin / Yamaha
Brian Allen
Stacy Allen
Braxton Allen
Tim Airington
36.407. ALL IN
Cape Horn / Yamaha
Ken Strickland
Corey Bellamy
Brian Schoenwiesner
Privateer / Mercury
Skip Conklin
Sandy Conklin
35.089. LIL JOHN
Pursuit / Yamaha
Glenn Krofchick
34.7210. HOOK UM UP
Island Runner / Isuzu
Russell Wayne Howard
Chris Howard
Kayla Howard

Small Boat Class

Sea Hunt / Yamaha
Stan Hollingsworth
Stuart Flynn
27.482. Gunny's
Onslow Bay / Yamaha
Kevin Norris
Jordan Norris
Curtis Trexel
Savannah Norris

Top Lady Anglers
36.671. Stacy Allen

Top Senior Angler
45.80George Adams
Precision Marine

Top Junior Angler
42.60Riggs Edens

SKA Top Junior Anglers
42.601. Cole and Riggs Edens
41.062. Dylan Peters
36.673. Braxton Allen

Mercury Marine Junior Angler Scholarship Winner
Dylan Peters

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