2018 NCBBA 10th Annual 
Red Drum Tournament 
October 25th - 27th
Arrived on the Island Sunday the 21st to get checked in to the house and ready for a fun week of fishing.  Decided to head to the Hatteras Inlet area to fish a little but the water was a dirty and we didn't stay long.  Up early on Monday morning and hit it hard for a few hours.  Managed a nice cooler of Sea Mullet and a few Bluefish.  Just enough for a nice dinner that afternoon.  

After we ate our fill we headed out for some REAL Sea Mullet fishing in the dark.  You only need two things for that to be very successful.
We found a great spot and commenced to whacking them.  Box full of 15-17 inch fish and some ice cold chilly's.  Made for an outstanding night!  Stayed until about 10PM so we could get some sleep for our adventures tomorrow. The Drum in the picture actually came from the next day's fishing....I just cleaned everything Tuesday.

We got up early and headed toward Hatteras stopping in for some Orange Blossom gut busting breakfast sandwiches.  Our goal this morning was to go out with my good friend Capt. Joey Vandyke mainly just to hang out but catch a fish or two along the way if conditions looked right.  We managed a few Trout with a keeper in the mix and then we got lazy and made Joey throw the anchor to see if we could find a Drum.  I managed a keeper and we had another short.  Perfect!  After we were done fishing, we rounded up some tournament bait!!!  Very important to have good bait! 
Made our way back to the house and cleaned fish for awhile.  We decided to hit the beach again near dark for some more Mullet Mania.  Joey and Mom decided to join us in this session.  We worked at it hard and filled the cooler right up again.  Several over 17 inches and the smallest was probably 14".  Beautiful night by the ocean and a GOOD time was had.  
Hit the sack after midnight dreaming of rod tips heading toward the ocean.  Spent Wednesday getting ready for the next three days and the grind that is this tournament.  Had a great dinner of Sea Mullet, Speckled Trout, Red Drum and a few fixings.  DELICIOUS!  Headed out to the beach after that to begin the wait til midnight.  Once the tournament began, the only thing we could do was change baits due to the full moon Bluefish blitz that was currently underway.  Ripped through a ton of bait til dawn with no Drum to show.  Moved around 5AM to concentrate on the morning Puppy Drum bite and that did pay off with one for me and one for David.  Mom got one in the same spot after we left and Jaime got one a few hours after that a few miles South of us.  
In the bed around 10:30AM and up at 4:00PM.  A little Oceana Bistro Tuna Griller action later, we are on the beach.  Caught an absolute ton of Sea Mullet while waiting on a Drum that never came.  Never could get one over 17 1/4" though.  We fished hard and made our way to another Puppy Drum spot before daybreak.  Got to witness an AWESOME sunrise and catch a bunch of Bluefish and one lonely keeper Flounder.  Fished until around 9:30AM and back to the house for our last sleep before the gale that was going to be here when we get up.
Back up and on the beach at around 5PM.  Wind was honking and getting ready to get REAL!  I have been waiting for this since they forecast it and man were we excited!  A few hours into the unnamed Cat 3 storm.....I turned around toward the truck and as soon as my eyelids dropped back in place, I swear I saw Jim Cantore and Sig Hanson under my truck crying.....could have just been lack of sleep though.  Damnit did it blow!  I have been fishing this tournament for 21 years in a row and this was the new most ass kicking moment yet.  However........DRUM LIKE IT!  Jaime hooked up in the pain filled rain and while the judge was cussing us for being out there and measuring his Drum, I hooked up on a 25 incher (no picture).  I did not have to reel him in as the cyclone had pretty much washed him up near the truck.  About midnight, Fema showed up and assessed the situation, the wind turned hard SSW and all was well with the world again.  WHEW!  

Shortly after Day 3 began, I hooked up with a nice 39 5/8" wannabe Citation!

Sun came up and the ocean was LARGE and muddy.  No fish for us but we did see one landed in the morning right in front of us.  Citation at that and I knew right then mine from last night was probably going to fall out.  The dude that caught it though was so excited and happy that I was really glad for him and I know from experience he will remember that for a long time.  If I could offer him or anyone else a helpful tip though, I would say you should never move horizontal on the beach while fighting a big fish.  Just vertically.  All you wind up doing is "walking the dog" and increase your chances of the fish getting off or giving yourself a heart attack or drowning. 

We made our way off the beach and got everything cleaned up and packed.  Headed to the banquet and had an outstanding time as usual.  We managed to win a few categories including Most Overall, big fish Day 2, second big fish day 2 and Lady angler big fish.  Food was great, NCBBA folks were great (always are) and it was nice to talk to a few familiar folks that I always look forward to seeing.  Congrats to all the winners....hard earned this year for sure!!!  Well, time to start getting ready for next year, you think 364 days is enough time?

        October 25th (Day 1)

12:56AM       Richard Kosa        40.750"       Ramp 32N
1:45AM         Stephen Hicks      47.125"         Ramp 23S
1:53AM         Alex Sterling        26.50"         Ramp 34S
2:30AM        Richard Kosa        47.625"        Ramp 32N                Session 1
2:36AM        Bob Carson            48.00"         Ramp 30S                
4:10AM        John Bello             42.625"       Ramp 27N
4:12AM         Travis Kemp         48.00"         Ramp 25N

7:10AM         John McKee            45.50"       Ramp 25
7:38AM         Jo E White              24.250"      Ramp27N
7:48AM        Greg Griffin            23.625"      Ramp 27S
9:12AM         David Griffin          18.00"        Ramp 27S                Session 2
9:40AM        Greg Squires           25.00"       Ramp 27N
9:40AM        Joe Matthews        18.00"        Ramp 23
10:30AM       Jeanne Griffin       25.00"       Ramp 27S

1:54PM           Jaime Fajardo        25.125"      Ramp 30N
5:25PM           Mike Frick               25.125"      Ramp 32N              Session 3

6:13PM            George Baker        26.00"      Ramp 27N
7:54PM            Louis Guzman        47.50"       Ramp 23               Session 4
8:39PM            Logan Futch          44.50"       Ramp 27S

October 26th (Day 2)

2:30AM            Alex Sterling          23.250"   Ramp 34S
2:32AM            Greg Griffin             18.250"    Ramp 30N           Session 1

                                                        NO DRUM CAUGHT IN SESSION 2​

2:58PM            Mike Metzger           24.375"    Ramp 30N            Session 3

8:58PM            Jaime Fajardo            46.50"    Ramp 38N   
9:01PM            Greg Griffin                25,50"    Ramp 38N             Session 4

October 27th (Day 3)

12:55AM            Greg Griffin                39.625"    Ramp 38N    
1:17AM                John McKee               40.50"      Ramp 23           Session 1

7:40AM              Jason Tarman             44.00"      Ramp 38N
7:58AM              Terry Oakes                25.750"    Ramp 32N        Session 2

Winning fish
in red