by Christopher Knauss
Anglers and wannabe anglers can fish in a saltwater tournament virtually every week during the summer on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. For example, the 55th Annual Hatteras Marlin Club Blue Release Tournament is June 15-21 and features a week of activities for families and tournament anglers. The event gets underway on the 15th with a kickoff cookout and the start of the Sea Quest Kids team boatbuilding activity. Tournament fishing runs Monday through Friday with anglers allowed to fish any three of the five days. The Hatteras location puts anglers within 18 miles of the Gulf Stream where it collides with the Labrador Current, which makes for some excellent big-game fishing. Tournament awards are presented for the top male, female and youth anglers, as well as for the heaviest tuna, dolphin and wahoo.
North Carolina’s Division of Marine Fisheries manages the Governor’s Cup Billfishing Conservation Series each summer, an annual sportfishing series operating cooperatively with eight billfish tournaments held along the Tar Heel coast. Participating boats or teams are awarded series points for billfish caught and released, and for billfish taken that meet tournament minimum-size requirements. Trophies are awarded for most points in both private and charter boat categories. Individual awards are also given to the outstanding junior boy, junior girl and lady anglers.