Staff photo by Allison Potter
Wen Murphy weighs a 41-pound mahi caught by Cully Cameron, left, on board Inspiration on Friday, May 10, day two of the Second Annual Boy Scout Gulf Stream Open.
The Second Annual Boy Scout Gulf Stream Open consisted of three consecutive days of fishing to benefit the Boy Scouts of America. Headquartered from Wrightsville Beach Marina, the tournament began with a captain’s party and silent auction on Wednesday. Competitors rose bright and early to make the 60-mile haul to the Gulf Stream before dropping lines in the water at 9 a.m. and pulling them out at 3 p.m. to comply with tournament rules.
“Seven boats signed up, one of them had problems so they couldn’t fish. Out of six boats, one released a blue, two other boats had marlins hooked up but pulled hooks,” said Robert McNeill, tournament president and Eagle Scout from Whiteville. “So, three marlin were seen; that’s a lot of blue marlin action for six boats.”
Money raised by the tournament is to go toward the Cape Fear Council of the Boy Scouts of America. Fish were scored and winners were determined using a points scale, wherein all billfish, with the exclusion of blue marlin weighing more than 400 pounds or measuring longer than 110 inches, must be released to obtain points. Blue marlin earned 400 points; white marlin earned 150 points and sailfish and hatched marlin earned 125 points. Meat fish — king mackerel, tuna, mahi and wahoo — winners were determined by weight at one point per pound.
First place was awarded to Chickenship with a blue marlin release on the first day and a total of 438 points. The Great Escape and Safari came in second and third places with meat fish like tuna and wahoo and point totals of 104.65 and 89.6, respectively.
“I don’t know what the total is going to be for the donations yet, but I think it’s going to be around $30,000,” said McNeill, who fished on Safari, a 68-foot Hatteras. “The biggest thing is we did catch a blue marlin, and last year we didn’t, so the fishing was good.”
The Boy Scouts have seen a 2 percent growth in youth membership and 41 new scout groups have been started during the past 18 months in southeastern North Carolina. During the past year, the Cape Fear Council received national recognition for achievement in the Journey to Excellence program. Annual popcorn sales earned more than $130,000 for individual Scout units to use in support of their year-round program of activities.