Fishin’ Fun: Youth tournament still going strong
Published 8:15 am Sunday, June 23, 2019
Hundreds of happy children got hooked on ocean pier fishing during the 49th annual Fritz Boyden Memorial Youth Fishing Tournament held Wednesday morning. The free event is sponsored by the Nags Head Surf Fishing Club (NHSFC) and hosted by Avalon, Nags Head, Jennette’s and Outer Banks piers.
Despite a few rain showers, weather conditions were favorable but the ocean temperatures were a little bit on the chilly side, hovering right around 60 degrees. But dozens of excited children with parents in tow headed out to these traditional fishing platforms where memories are made and fish tales are hatched.
A wide variety of species came over the rails including blues, croaker, keeper flounders, sea mullet, spadefish, spotted sea trout, triggerfish and more. Plenty of bottlenose dolphins played in the waves, too, and brown pelicans flew by overhead, adding to the enjoyment of the outside experience.
Tournament director Tony Garrett was the first to arrive at Jennette’s around 6 a.m. and he was the last to leave the awards ceremony at Pamlico Jack’s eight hours later. He said it a super day to get youngsters out fishing.
“Thanks to all the kids that attended and their parents and friends for being there with them,” Garrett said, and a “special thank you to all the pier owners for the use of their piers and their support of the youth tournament.”
Garrett said the surf fishing club would also like to thank Avalon Pier captain Carol Mowers of the North Carolina Beach Buggy Association (NCBBA), Nags Head Pier captain Rose Lay of the NHSFC who is also the chief score keeper, Jennette’s Pier captain Jon Worthington of the Outer Banks Anglers Club and Outer Banks Pier captain Kutchie Scott of the surf fishing club and the daughter of Fritz Boyden who was the founder of the youth tournament.
“A very special thank you to David Thompson of Sysco Foods for providing the 400 hotdogs with buns, cookies and chips,” Garrett said. “Another thank you goes out to Mary Ann Newman of Pamlico Jack’s for the use of their restaurant and also for setting up the awards banquet.
Pat Cahill, president of the surf fishing club, again served as master of ceremonies for the jam-packed awards presentations. Every child entered into the tournament gets free T-shirt and a name tag sticker, which is used at the awards banquet for the door prizes drawling.
As he looked out over the deck full of happy anglers with their parents, Cahill summed up things with ease.
”This is always a popular event,” he said. “Next June 17th will be our 50th year and we’re still going strong.”
Garrett and Cahill also offered thanks to Terry Stewart of TW’s Bait & Tackle for the “huge” discount on the rod and reel combos that were awarded to category winners. They also thanked club members Allison Rucker for getting the trophies and Maryann Maryott for getting the T-shirts.
The pair also sent a big thank you to Rose Lay of the club for organizing and putting together the pier captain books and Tom Gilliam for helping put out the youth tournament posters and to sponsors NHSFC, NCBBA, NC Sea Hags, Outer Banks Anglers Club and Sysco Foods.
Cahill also recognized Garrett for all of his work as well as the club members who helped.
“And most of all, a huge thank you to all our volunteers who help make this the greatest kid fishing tournament!” Cahill said. “Without you this could not be possible, so once again thank you very much!
“Be sure to be here next year on Wednesday June 17 for our 50th anniversary of the Fritz Boyden Youth Tournament!” he said.
Cahill and Garrett promise there will be plenty of “Fishin’ Fun.”