Largest King Mackerel Tournament in United States

October 22, 2009 Southport, North Carolina (NC) - The 31st Annual U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament is over and by all accounts it was a tremendous success. You can contribute some of its success to the beautiful Southport weather or the ample kings within reach of all the anglers but we believe it's more. We know it's the broad base of support we receive for the tournament from many groups.

Tournament support from the fishing community far and near has been phenomenal and we appreciate every one of those anglers that choose to fish the U.S. Open. The Tournament Board & Committee strive to provide an event that is organized, fun and fair. They make every effort to balance the Tournament's financial needs with the equitable payout of the prizes. Since its inception, the U.S. Open has guaranteed its prize structure. When the tournament has a profit, The Chamber and U.S. Open Board recognize its obligation to give back to the fishing community and happily donate money to the Long Bay Artificial Reef Association and South Brunswick High School Aquaculture Program. The Tournament has funded a scholarship endowment at Brunswick Community College for an Aquaculture Student and a Brunswick Community Foundation endowment making grants available annually to non-profits in the County.

U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament LogoThe support of the business community is unparalleled beginning with the Southport Marina. The owners, management and staff of the Southport Marina are very gracious. They take pride in the tournament and go out of their way to make sure we have everything we need and then some. They welcome the tournament, anglers and spectators with open hospitable arms. The Southport Marina is a positive asset for our community. We encourage you to go by the Southport Marina to see all the improvements. We are proud to hold our event there and we encourage you consider holding an event in their Live Oak Park.

The Southport Marina is not the only business that supports this event. Below is a list of those that sponsored this year's event. But the list only tells half the story. There are businesses that have provided more than money to make this event successful. Take SeaTow for example. For years, the number of boats weighing in the last two hours of competition has provided us a challenge. This is not new; the anglers have come to expect it. As we are always striving to improve and innovate, we decided to experiment by using a boat to direct traffic at the mouth of the Marina. We were fortunate and grateful that SeaTow, the Brunswick County Sheriff Department and My Way Charters offered their resources for the experiment. We had some success and will take what did work and build upon it for the 2010 tournament. One change that worked well was at the Lockwood Folly checkout. Historically the volunteers for this checkout were located at Brown's Landing but shoaling made this problematic. That is when Parrot Head Charters stepped in and provided a boat and captain for tournament volunteers to base the checkout. Since then, we have eliminated any issues and now provide a safe checkout at Lockwood Folly. These are just a couple of examples of how our business community has stepped up to make the U.S. Open a success.

Last but not least, is the support of the volunteers and our community. We have over 100 volunteers associated with the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament. There are volunteers of all ages doing all sorts of jobs with a wide range of experience. We have several volunteers who have been around the tournament for 30 years. We also have the newbie that say"I'm here to help. What can I do?" It takes every one of them to make the tournament run smoothly. Then there is the incomparable support from our community who cheer on the anglers as they watch the weigh-ins, purchase a t-shirt, listen to the music or eat a fish plate.

The U.S. Open has not thrived for 31 years and become the largest king mackerel tournament in the United States of America because of the efforts of an individual. It takes the work of and support of the anglers, businesses, community, volunteers, committee member, board members and Chamber staff all working together. Thank you for 31 years. Thank you for your support.

Primary Sponsor:
Southport Marina

Grand Patron Sponsor:
BEMC
Gregory Poole Marine

Patron Sponsor:
BB&T
Fish House Restaurant
Libba Motsinger- REMAX at the Beach
Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc., REALTORS
Peacock Newnam White Funeral Services
R.A. Jeffrey's distributing of Wilmington
SeaTow
Security Savings Bank
Smithfield's Chicken & Bar-B-Q

Junior Angler Sponsor:
H&M Marine -Orpine Boat Soap

Special Weight Sponsor:
American Fish Company
Atlantic Realty Professionals
Bald Head Island Limited
Buff Builders
Coldwell Banker Sea Coast Realty
First Federal Bank
Hampton Inn Southport
Jewell Plumbing
M&M Storage
Oak Island Accommodations

Manufacture Sponsor:
Bob King Pontiac, GMC, Mercedes-Benz

Equipment Sponsor:
Allen Kinney Electrical
BB&T
BEMC
Boat House Marine
Brunswick County Parks & Recreation Department
Brunswick County Sheriff's Department
Brunswick County Shrine Club-Sudan Thunderbolts
Carolina Beach East Coast Got-EM-On Classic King Mackerel Tournament
City of Southport
Dock Holidays @ Little River, SC
N.C. Baptist Assembly @ Fort Caswell
N.C. Marine Fisheries
My Way Charters
Parrott Head Charters
SeaTow
South Brunswick High School Aquaculture Program
South Harbour Marina
Southport Marine Mart
Stage II Productions
Tatum Seafood
U.S. Coast Guard Station Oak Island
U.S. Coast Guard Auxiliary
Ward Mini Storage
Wrightsville Beach Lions Club

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