This past weekend, my husband, son, and I participated in the Barta Billfish Tournament based out of Beaufort NC. This fun tournament is a fundraiser for the Boys and Girls Club and is focused on kids and letting them experience fishing. There are categories from inshore pinfish to offshore billfish and lots more in between. It is a 3 day tournament but you only fish 2 of the 3 days. The majority of boats fished on Thursday (the weather was beautiful) but my husband and I had to work so we chose to fish Friday and Saturday. Saturday was definitely a fishing experience for my son with steady 8-10 foot seas all day with some 12 footers crashing over the stern. Of course my son thought it was fun though! He clearly has saltwater in veins.
The majority of the boats participating chose to dock on the Beaufort waterfront where all the festivities were happening: silent auction, food, music, and of course the weigh station. There were kids everywhere on the docks from toddler to teenager and all were so excited about the fish they were catching and bringing in. It was such a fun, family friendly atmosphere that we decided to sleep on the boat so that we wouldn’t miss a thing! And of course we had to grab supper at one of our favorite local places, Beaufort Grocery!
My son caught a few dolphin (mahi mahi not Flipper), some tuna, and the highlight of the weekend was the two sailfish he caught and released. All billfish in this tournament are released so boats fly flags of their catch to denote the species (blue marlin, white marlin, or sailfish). My son was super excited riding back to the docks with those two sailfish flags flying!
On Saturday night, there was an awards banquet and my son received a trophy for the dolphin he caught (his tuna wasn’t quite big enough for a prize) and he finished in 3rd place for the billfish category for his two sailfish. Needless to say, he was on cloud nine. When I walked into the house after unloading the car, I noticed that he had already neatly arranged his two trophies in their new home on our mantle. The best part about that? There is already a painting of two sailfish hanging there. Some things are just meant to be!