Despite the threat of bad weather, fishermen showed up ready for a competition at Blewett Falls Lake on Friday evening.
Scotty’s Bait and Tackle hosted the first all-nighter catfishing tournament of the year, and possible storms did nothing to deter enthusiastic sportsmen.
“I was worried that the weather might stop a lot of people from coming out,” said Scotty Huneycutt, owner of the bait and tackle store. “We were expecting maybe 40 boats and were really surprised when we had 55 boats register.”
A brief storm drove many boaters off the water from about 8:30 until 9:15 p.m.
“After that, the weather was fine and they just went right on fishing,” said Huneycutt. “We’ve got some dedicated fishermen around here!”
Maybe it was the weather, or maybe it was luck - but the fish reeled in were some of the biggest Huneycutt can recall seeing in any of his contests.
“I think we just had a good location, and some good luck,” said winner Robbie Burr, owner of Pee Dee Fishing Adventures. “I don’t have any fishing secrets to share - but I’ll tell you we were catching them with live shad.”
Robbie Burr won $1,375 for first place, with a total weigh in of 102.4 pounds for three fish.
“Team Hayden” won $550 for second place, with a total weigh in of 86.6 pounds for three fish.
Wesley King won $275 for third place, with a total weigh in of 80.3 pounds for three fish.
“Team Mike and James” won $50 for fourth place, with a total weigh in of 77 pounds for three fish.
Wesley King also walked away with the “big fish pot,” totaling $520, for his single largest catfish weighing in at 47.6 pounds.
Fish were released after the weigh in.
“We couldn’t believe how many big fish got caught that night,” said Huneycutt. “And the ones that were caught were males. The fish are spawning right now, so if they would have caught females there’s no telling how big those would have been.”
The next catfishing tournament is set for July 20, and will benefit Backpack Pals of Richmond County.
“The catfish should be just done spawning then, and getting very hungry,” said Huneycutt. “It’ll be the perfect time to get out there and fish.”
— Staff Writer Kelli Easterling can be reached at 910-997-3111, ext. 18, or by email at email@example.com.