Local surfers, anglers hit Wrightsville Beach this weekend

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One of the biggest surfing competitions on the east coast, which typically attracts participants from around the world, returns to Wrightsville Beach July 15-17 as part of the 11th annual O’Neill/Sweetwater Pro-Am Surf Fest.

Some 70 surfers are expected to compete this weekend. Photo courtesy- Sweetwater Surf Shop.
Some 70 surfers are expected to compete this weekend. Photo courtesy- Sweetwater Surf Shop.

Sweetwater Surf Shop on Wrightsville Beach serves as the host sponsor. The local business was established in 1976 and is still run today by a family of long-time locals. Wrightsville Beach is recognized as one of the top 10 surf towns in the U.S., according to Surfer Magazine.

The three-day tournament, with some 70 high-level surfers expected to compete, will be held at the Oceanic Street beach access beginning at 8 a.m. each day. Professionals who have won in the past include Rob Machado, Fisher Heverly and Avon Cormican.

The cost is $15 for guppies, $50 for amateurs and $150 for professionals. This year’s professional prize purse is set at $15,000. There will also be a local music and art festival associated with the competition from 4 to 10 p.m. at Wrightsville Beach Park on Saturday, July 16.

Anglers ready to compete at Wrightsville Beach Inshore Challenge

Anglers of all ages will hit the water this weekend during the 12th annual Wrightsville Beach Inshore Challenge on July 15-16 hosted each year by Fisherman’s Post Newspaper.

The event attracts some 70 boats from around the area as anglers head out into the inshore and near shore waters in search of red drum and flounder. Boats will compete to earn spots on the eight-place Red Drum and Flounder leader board. Lady, Junior and Senior Angler cash prizes are offered to encourage the whole family to fish.

In keeping with Fisherman’s Post’s commitment to conserving our local fisheries, bonus payouts are offered to teams weighing in fish alive and in good condition as the live red drum will be released following the weigh-in.

Fishing starts at 6 a.m. on Saturday, July 16 and boats must be at the scales at Wrightsville Beach Marina by 4 p.m. that day. Winners will be based on a boat’s single heaviest flounder and single heaviest red drum.