Jolly Mon King Classic this weekend

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By Brant McMullan, Fishing Correspondent

 The time is once again here to welcome the annual Jolly Mon King Classic King Mackerel tournament to the area. The Jolly Mon will be hosted this weekend, June 18-20, from the Ocean Isle Fishing Center at Ocean Isle Beach. 

As has become tradition, the Jolly Mon offers fishermen from all over the southeast an opportunity to win cash and prizes, including the first-place prize typically more than $25,000. 

In addition, the tournament is based on family involvement. Family divisions offer cash and prizes to the top 20 junior anglers, top 10 lady anglers and top three senior anglers. The Family Fishing Award offers $100 to every team that has a junior, lady and senior angler on board the boat and weighs any size King Mackerel in the tournament. 

The winner last year was Tommy Rees of Southport. He and crew caught a 38.15-pound king mackerel and won more than $25,000 in prize money. 

Past winners of the Jolly Mon have fished from boats as small as 18 feet to as large as 36 feet, and winning fish are typically caught within 15 miles of land. Many have come within less than a mile of shore, so the event is open to boats of all sizes and fishermen of all experience levels. As is often said in tournament fishing, it’s about being in the right place at the right time and then getting lucky enough to get the bite.  


1994: Skipper Brummet, 40.10 pounds, Carolina Beach inlet

1995: Rusty and Toby Russ, 32.62 pounds, 390/390

1996: Gary and Elizabeth Unger, 44.26 pounds, Beaufort ship channel

1997: Ronnie Reaves, 30.40 pounds, 30/30

1998: David Rourk, 37.65 pounds, Jungle

1999: Shawn Beistel, 42.7 pounds, 30/30

2000: Tom Borland, 36.6 pounds, Carolina Beach inlet

2001: Bob and Landy Blackwell, 37.7 pounds, 410/510

2002: Scott Harris, 43.55 pounds, Lighthouse Rocks

2003: Dennis Stark, 35.60 pounds, Myrtle Beach Rocks

2004: Mike Edwards, 46.65 pounds, 30/30

2005: Ricky and Laura Hobbs, 38.65 pounds, Carolina Beach inlet

2006: Patrick Bryant, 38.4 pounds, Horseshoe

2007: Michael Kennedy, 38.8 pounds, Fairway Ledges

2008: Keith Logan and Tracy Holmes, 36.65 pounds, General Sherman

2009: Tommy Rees, 38.15 pounds, McGlammery Reef


This year the fishing is stacking up much as it has in past years. In the past week, pogies have begun roaming the beachfront, providing one of the main forage fish for near shore kings. Farther offshore, schools of cigar minnows are holding in 55-65 feet of water, also making for a main source of food for schools of kings. 

This year there has been a consistent bite of kings near the Cape Fear area. Ocean Crest pier has been catching kings for more than a month, some upward of 35 pounds. Close by, Yaupon Reef is seeing similar action. The biggest fish of the season I have yet heard of was a whopping 47-pounder caught in the Cape Fear Ship Channel, near the sea buoy. 

A bit farther offshore in 55-65 feet, kings have been biting at Lighthouse Rocks, Shark Hole, 390/390, Jungle, Christina’s Ledge and more. These are all known hotspots for summer kings, and although they have not been producing many kings more than 20 pounds thus far, any day, any time could produce the tournament winner. 

Beyond these fish, there are also offshore kings holding in 100 feet of water. These kings are mostly in the range of 15-20 pounds, but there are certainly a few tournament winners among them as well.  

The Jolly Mon King Classic and its host site at the Ocean Isle Fishing Center welcome fishermen and spectators to come join the festivities. The event takes place with family value in mind and good family entertainment prevails Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Come join the fun, fish or cheer on your favorite team. 

Visit www.OIFC.com for information and updates on the Jolly Mon King Classic, or read next week’s Beacon for the results.


•5-7 p.m.—Registration for the Junior Jolly Mon at OIFC 

•11:59 p.m.— Online Jr. Jolly Mon registration closes 


•Noon to 9 p.m.—Tournament registration 

•2-3 p.m.—Weigh-in for Junior Jolly Mon 

•6 p.m.—Complimentary dinner for fishermen and all guests 

•7 p.m.—Junior Jolly Mon awards ceremony 

•7:15 p.m.—Captains meeting 

•7:30 p.m.—Pogie-bobbing contest   


Optional fish day

•7 a.m.—Lines in the water 

•2 p.m.—Weigh-in opens 

•5 p.m.—All boats with fish must be in weigh-in line 


Optional fish day

•7 a.m.—Lines in the water 

•2 p.m.—Weigh-in opens 

•5 p.m.—All boats with fish must be in weigh-in line

•7 p.m.—Complimentary dinner 

•8 p.m.—Awards ceremony


BRANT McMULLAN is a charter captain and fishing columnist for the Beacon. Reach him at captbrant@oifishingcenter.com.