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Billy Ray Lucas, who heads the organization, hailed the 10th year of the Carolina “Fishers of Men” Inshore Trail as “a banner year — the best year.”
Tyler Hinnant would be inclined to agree.
During Saturday night’s annual banquet in the American Legion Hut, Hinnant, as the champion of the Kids (ages 15-under) Division, was honored with a huge trophy, top-line fishing gear and a fishing trip for his father and himself.
Recognizing top finishers in the Kids, Durm, Flounder, Rockfish and Trout divisions highlighted the occasion.
Hinnant prevailed with a total catch of 35.12 pounds. Second was Connor Davenport (25.49), followed by his younger brother Austin Davenport (21.42).
In the Drum competition, the duo of Rob Congleton-Donnie Brown brought in the largest fish (7.14 pounds).
Winners in the Flounder, Rockfish and Trout categories earned cash prizes for not only their respective titles but landing the largest fish.
Johnny Fields, Ryan Hinnant and Tyler Hinnant teamed for Flounder supremacy with a haul of 34.56 pounds and caught the largest one of 6.20 pounds.
The trio of Dale Goff, Thad Farmer and Mann Farmer finished second at 32.32, while the pair of Wayne Robbins-Michael Letchworth salvaged third at 28.39.
Lucas teamed with Chris Olsen and Josh Richardson to capture first place in the Trout division with a catch of 35.73 pounds and added largest fish to their accomplishments on the basis of two wins.
Jeremy Braddy-Eric Braddy emerged the runner-up at 27.04, with Alan Cobb-Brandon Deal claiming third at 26.55.
The team of Lee-Vandiford-Charlie Tugwell dominated the Trout division with a haul of 59.86 pounds, two wins and the largest fish (7.24 pounds).
Mac Avery-Ricky Avery wound up second at 50.35, followed by Mike Tyson-Scott Tyson-Erick Beaman in third place at 44.43.
Contestants were required to fish in five of the seven scheduled tournaments from February through October to become award-eligible..
Lucas reported the Inshore Trail now numbers 300 members and 900 individuals competed in the seven tournaments. The average was 45 boats per tournament and Lucas also cited the impact of “great sponsors.”
In special presentations, the Fishers of Men donated $1,000 to 13-year-old Cole Beamon to help defray medical expenses. The son of Erick and Crystal Beaman is battling cystic fibrosis.
The amount of $500 was also donated to the Salvation Army Angel Tree for kids.