Highlight Reels: Jennette’s drum tourney a go

Published 8:21 am Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Dozens of anglers are expected to turn out for the 9th Annual Jim Mulford Memorial Red Drum Tournament at Jennette’s Pier in Nags Head this Saturday, Sept. 28.

Last Sunday at sundown, Jack Piddington of Kill Devil Hills caught and released a nice, big, 44 inch red drum while fishing off the end of the pier, so the drum are here.

Before that, fishing for red drum was decent on Friday and Saturday with more than a handful caught each day. The timing of the tournament was originally based on catch photos of drum fishermen on smartphones several years ago.

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It was determined by pier regulars that the final Saturday of September would be good time to have the event each year.

According to Jennette’s staff, this year’s tournament has the potential to be the best ever. For the first time, there are two categories: Red Drum and Open, which includes slot-sized puppy drum.


Adric Nolt of Denver, Pa. was thrilled with his first-ever puppy drum he caught and released while fishing at Jennette’s Pier. Each season, staffer Lynn Fox sends all youth anglers a certificate when they catch their first fish. Courtesy T.W.’s Bait & Tackle

In addition, a couple of tackle industry superstars have donated their time or profits to the cause. Nick Walke of Nick’s Custom Rods donated his time making a beautiful 13’ long heaver drum rod.

“Whalebone Willie” gave the pier a Saltist 20H at cost before he closed down the old Whalebone Tackle.

The reel was not given away last year because no one caught a red drum. This year, if no one catches a red drum, there will be a drawing to determine who wins it.

All of the red wristbands from the anglers who paid $25 for the Red Drum category will go into a bucket and Barbara Mulford will pull the winner. She has also agreed to purchase an annual pass for the longest fish caught in the Open category, including slot drum.

The pier has brought on more staff members to help that day and they plan to use an air horn to signal the start. Pier staffer Lynn Fox and veteran angler Carl Hogan have helped with some of the improvements, said tournament director Daryl Law.

Registration is open now at jennettespier.net. Just click on tournament icon on homepage. On that Saturday, the pier opens at 6 a.m. and a lottery will be used to determine the casting order for the red drum anglers.

Lines will be in the water from 8 a.m. to noon with an awards ceremony at 12:30 on the oceanside pier deck. For more information, call Law at 252-255-1501, ext. 202.

All proceeds from the event benefit the education department at the pier.


This little guy was all fished out by the end of a recent tournament and he fell asleep on the pier deck during the awards ceremony. Courtesy Jennette’s Pier

Editor’s Note: We are always looking for great fishing stories, so send yours with any photos to obxfishnews@gmail.com.



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