Frank and Fran's 9th Annual Red Drum Tournament
October 23 - 25, 2008
Avon, NC (Cape Hatteras National Seashore Recreational Area)
October 23rd (Thursday) - Day 1
We had lines in the water at Midnight and a year of waiting was finally over. We were set up near ramp 38 in a nice North wind. I have always wanted to catch a Drum during our first session but have always failed to do so. About 1:15AM I was standing there thinking about that when my rod took a dive toward the water. I felt what was a very large Drum going the other direction. I could not believe it finally happened. I fought the fish for a few minutes as it headed down the beach. I held my ground and then it happened. Line broke. That is as bad a feeling as I have had fishing. The potential winner one second.....nothing the next. Oh well. Fish on and fish hard. The sun came up and I caught 5 drum between then and 11:00AM. Three were just shy of the 18" but two did measure. FIRST DRUM (7:14AM), SECOND DRUM (7:51AM). We called it a day after that and went home to set the alarm for 6:00PM. Back on the beach and back in the action. Well.....so we thought.....we could not hold and decided to go back home and sleep til 5:00AM. Hated to give up the night....but it seemed like the best move. Mom did report catching three undersized Drum in the morning hours.
October 24rd (Friday) - Day 2
Back on the beach bright and early. We decided to change spots and move down to my favorite area, ramp 30. Good move. I caught five more Drum with four being legal. THIRD DRUM (8:00AM), FOURTH DRUM (10:10AM), FIFTH DRUM (1:02PM), SIXTH DRUM (1:14PM). David got in on the action with 2 Drum, one was short and one did measure. We called it a session at about 2:00PM and set the alarm for 8:00PM. After a very good sleep, we stopped by Frank and Fran's and got bait. We then headed out into the dark windy night that had a very Drummy feel to it. We set up at 9:30PM and right away David get's number two! A little time goes by and down goes my rod....it's a nice one at 45 1/2"'s! I was up at the truck making a pot of coffee when the fish hit and I ran like a Gazelle....until I hit the ruts.....then I was a yard dart. After I got up and spit out the sand....I had my SEVENTH DRUM (10:44PM) on the beach. Pretty uneventful after that until midnight. What a way to end the second day.
October 25th (Saturday) - Day 3
Day three started at 12:01AM and it had been a few hours since a fish was caught. That all changed a little while later when I was again at the truck when my rod took off. In an unbelievable move, I cleared the truck, jumped a chair and then....you guessed it....hit a rut. Yard dart part 2 and this one hurt. After I got up, I fought and landed my EIGHTH DRUM (3:15AM) and a good one it was at 49"! At about 4:20AM I was watching the rods closely and down one goes again. Big DRUM!!! Felt like mid 40's to me. Fought it for a few minutes then slack......I could not believe it. The rig failed at the swivel. That would have been winner day 3 for sure. Oh well....I had 4 citation Drum hooked up and landed 2. Have to do better next time!!! Dawn broke and the swell was large and the fish did not want to bite. We caught a lot of Bluefish but Drum were scarce. It looked perfect, but they didn't think so. With a few hours left in the tournament, the wind and rain started but good. We were worn completely out but continued. David started walking baits and WHAM!!!! He got his third Drum! The tournament ended and as sad as I was to see it end....my body was ready for a rest. We went home, drank some coffee and headed to the banquet. It was a good time as it always is and the food was just great. I was fortunate to win a few categories and David got the biggest Drum for day 3 with that last minute fish. It was a great tournament with a really good outcome for us. We won some great trophies and a lot of prizes. I am very fortunate. Here are the breakdowns of the results and banquet pictures.
Random thoughts on the tournament:
- This tournament remains the pinnacle of my fishing year.
- The Folbs and crew are as nice a folk as you will meet.
- Every man has a place he belongs and where total peace is found. I find mine on the Hatteras beaches on the blackest nights, rain, wind and waves in weather most people would not step outside in much less stand in with a smile all night.
- You have fished this wonderful tournament correctly when your hands look like this.
- We have had success in the tournaments in 2000, 2002, 2005, 2006 and 2008. I only put that there so I can remember it when I get too old.
- I just got feeling back in my back and legs a few minutes ago!!!! WOOHOO!!!!!!!