Dogfish Tournament today at Johnnie Mercer’s Pier


Tthe 2019 Johnnie Mercer’s Pier Dogfish tournament will
be held on Saturday, January 26th from 1pm to 8pm on the pier at
Wrightsville Beach. The event is now 14 years old and is the
first of its kind. The idea spawn out of local fisherman at the
pier Rick Britt and Arlen Ash who started the event back in
2005 with the idea of getting the local fisherman together to
shake off the doldrums of winter.
Word of the even soon spread and now fisherman gather
from all over the east coast every year to get back together
and celebrate fishing and the outdoors. Eric Kielmeyer, who
makes the trip from Columbus, Ohio for last 12 years says
planning is the key, “You never know what the weather conditions
are going to be so you need to plan to fish in ice and
snow or 70 degrees. That is part of the fun.” As Brent Baker
from Washington, NC says, “The Dogfish Tournament is our
southern equivalent to ice fishing”.
Dogfish are small sand sharks and they come to varieties
this time of year off of the North Carolina coast. The Spiny
and the Smooth Dogfish both frequent NC waters this time of
year. The world record for the Spiny Dogfish is 15 pounds, 12
ounces caught in Ireland. The Smooth Dogfish record stands
at 19 pounds and 8 ounces caught off of New Jersey. Dogfish
are often harvested and imported to England where they are
used in the classic English meal of fish and chips.
Since 2010 the tournament has been attended by over 100
anglers each year with the 2012 event being the most with
166 entrants. The 2010 event had the most fish weighed with
66 for a total weight of 415 pounds. The tournament is catch
and release alive event so no Dogfish will be harvested.
Last year’s winners were 1st place Jacob Thomspon 7.2
pound Smooth, Josh Hatley got a 6.6 pound Spiny and
Carmelo and Austin Rotando decked the third place fish at
6.1 pound Spiny.
The North Carolina Fishing Pier Society once again will be
hosting the event. The cost of entry in the tournament is $5.00
with all monies being paid out to the winners. There is also
an $8.00 pier pass per rod that can be purchased at the pier
house. For more information you can get updates on the North
Carolina Fishing Pier Society’s page on facebook, email

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