Southport Fishing Tournament

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The championship Southport Fishing tournament proved to be one of the most exiting times of my life when I was only ten years old. I had been in four fishing tournaments before this one but never had the honor of catching the big one. After the other four tournaments were over people would ask, “Did you catch the big one.” Laughing I would say, “The big one got away!” But not this time .I had a different answer for them
The Southport Tournament was a three day tournament.
Me my dad and a friend, Mr. John only fished two of the three days. We were on Mr. John’s 30 foot, red fountain boat. Even Though it was a large boat the ocean was choppy and we were swaying back and fourth. I was sea sick for a couple of hours. After I felt better it started raining. I thought to myself “What else could go wrong?” But the rain didn’t stop my dad form landing a 25 pound king mackerel, which put us in second place for a couple of hours on the first day of the tournament. The feeling was good while it lasted.

The second day of the tournament was awesome. The weather was sunny and clear. We swiftly traveled to a fishing hole called the Cabbage Patch which was about 15 miles offshore. The ride on this day was as smooth as silk. After trolling for a while it seemed that everyone around us on other boats were catching fish. I began to worry and wonder what they were doing right and we were doing wrong. I thought about several different things like what speed were they going and the kind of bait they were using. All of a sudden I heard a buzzing sound and then another buzz. Two lines had fish on them at the same time this was music to my ears. Mr. John grabbed one pole. I grabbed the other while my dad drove the boat it wasn’t long before Mr. John had his fish in the boat approximately 15 minutes before I did. I was dealing with a feisty on my line he’d swim to the boat then swim back out. He did this several times. I didn’t feel like I had ever been so challenged before. Finally he gave up the fight. He must have become exhausted. He wasn’t the only one that was tried. Determination kept me working. I yelled to the guys, “Get the gaff.” We gaffed the fish and brought him aboard. I was so happy and proud. I had caught my first king mackerel. He was a whopper. The feeling was great!

We started back to the weigh in when we hit a wake from a huge yacht. We started taking on water. After looking to see why we discovered a hole in the hull of the boat on the side that hit the wake. My dad spontaneously ran the boat up on a sandbar that was nearby Sea tow soon came to pull us in. We all stood on the side of the boat to tilt it. Thank goodness we were near a marina.

Often I think about the day I caught that fish and all the valuable things I learned from the tournament, especially the fact that patience was the key to successful day





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