Anglers can win cash, prizes at the annual Pleasure Island Fishing Challenge this weekend

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Michael Sing stands watch (hoping for a redfish bite) on Saturday night at the South End during the Pleasure Island Surf Fishing Challenge.
Michael Sing stands watch, hoping for a redfish bite, at the surf fishing challenge last year. (Photos courtesy of Fisherman’s Post.)

Calling all anglers: this weekend could be your chance to win during the 10th Annual Pleasure Island Surf Fishing Challenge.

Touted by Fisherman’s Post as North Carolina’s largest surf fishing tournaments, the three-day tournament will take place on the shores of Pleasure Island, Oct. 21-23.

Whether anglers are seasoned pros, tournament newbies, or somewhere in between, the Pleasure Island Surf Fishing Challenge guarantees participants a good time and more than 35 ways to win cash and prizes.

According to Fisherman’s Post, the host of this year’s event, the surf fishing competition attracts roughly 500 anglers annually. The event offers participants the opportunity to compete along the Pleasure Island beachfront with anglers from around the state and country.

“Many of our anglers come for a long getaway weekend,” Tournament Director Gary Hurley said. “They pack up their trucks with gear and supplies, head out on the beach on Friday, some fish hard all weekend and some take a more casual approach, and then they drive off the beach on Sunday to eat and drink with us and hopefully collect some prize money.”

Fishing starts at midnight on Friday, Oct. 21. Participants fish around the clock until noon on Sunday, Oct. 23. All of the fishing is from the surf of Pleasure Island (with no sound, boat, or pier fishing) covering Carolina Beach, Kure Beach, and Fort Fisher.

The entry fee for the event is $70 per person. Participants can pay in person at Island Tackle & Hardware located at 801 N. Lake Park Blvd. in Carolina Beach, or register in person on Friday before fishing starts.

The competition offers six target species on the leaderboard as well as a separate Red Drum Calcutta. The heaviest bluefish, flounder, sea mullet, pompano, trout, and black drum will earn bounties for the lucky surf anglers weighing in the heaviest five fish for each species.

Three, 24-hour weighing stations will be set up for anglers to weigh in their catches during the course of the fishing tournament, including Island Tackle & Hardware, the north end of Freeman Park near Zone 15, and near the entrance to the Fort Fisher State Recreation four-by-four access.

Unie Pendergrass, from Wilmington, with the 5.4 lb. flatfish caught near Fort Fisher that won the Flounder Division and the Lady Angler award in the 2016 Pleasure Island Surf Fishing Challenge held October 16-18.
Unie Pendergrass, from Wilmington, with the 5.4 pound flatfish caught near Fort Fisher that won the Flounder Division and the Lady Angler.

Last year, more than $20,000 in cash and prizes were given away to tournament winners. All participants receive a complimentary ticket to the big prize raffle on Sunday as well as enjoy free food and drink at the Awards Dinner (catered by A&G BBQ) immediately preceding the presentation of checks and prizes.

The entry fee for the event is $70 per person. Participants can pay in person at Island Tackle & Hardware located at 801 N. Lake Park Blvd. in Carolina Beach, or register in person on Friday before fishing starts by stopping by Tournament Headquarters (under the big tent in the public parking lot near Sea Witch Cafe in Carolina Beach).

To register online and learn more about the event visit the Fisherman’s Post website, contact Fisherman’s Post at 910-452-6378 or, send an email to surf@fishermanspost.com.