Dixie Chicken tournament raises funds for artificial reef

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Area anglers were among the winners in the 11th Annual Dixie Chicken Funament, a multiple-species fishing tournament created in memory of Jim Caudle to raise funds for his namesake Artificial Reef Foundation.

The tourney took place Memorial Day weekend at the Harbourgate Marina in North Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The tournament this year, sponsored by Damon’s Grill, North Myrtle Beach Chamber of  Commerce, Marine Service Center of Little River Inc. and Sparks Toyota, had more than $50,000 in cash and prizes and raised nearly $10,000 for the PA01, Jim Caudle Artificial Reef Foundation. The winner for this year’s Flounder Frenzie was Shonda Tucker, of Badin. 

Winners from this year’s Dixie Chicken Funament Inshore Division:

First place, aggregate: Kyle Hughes, Nakina. Second place, aggregate: Brian Aycock, Ocean Isle Beach. Third place, aggregate: Jeff Wallen, Myrtle Beach, S.C. Largest flounder: Shanda Tucker, Badin. Largest seatrout: Robert Hughes, Ocean Isle Beach. Largest Spanish mackerel: Cameron Fonvielle, Hillsboro. Lady Angler flounder: Shonda Tucker, Badin. Junior Angler flounder: Skyler Hribar, Myrtle Beach, S.C.

The winners from the Dixie Chicken Funament Offshore Division: First place, aggregate: Walter Neal, Rock Hill, S.C. Second place, aggregate: Rick Edwards, Whiteville. Third place, aggregate: Wayne Huggins, North Myrtle Beach, S.C. Largest king mackerel: Rick Edwards, Whiteville. Largest wahoo: Walter Neal, Rock Hill, S.C. Largest dolphin: Mark Poff, Calabash. Largest tuna: Walter Neal, Rock Hill, S.C. Lady Angler dolphin: Debbie Williams, North Myrtle Beach, S.C. Junior Angler dolphin: Chase Carnes, Monroe.

According to Ron McManus, the tournament’s director, more than 80 percent of the Dixie Chicken Funament’s participants come from outside the North Myrtle Beach area and on average bring three people with them and stay five days and four nights. This year the funament saw an increase in the number of participants with more than 25 new participants. 

Proceeds from the Dixie Chicken Funament benefit the PA01, Jim Caudle Artificial Reef  Foundation. The Jim Caudle Artificial Reef is 2.7 nautical miles from the south jetty of Little River and is about 30 feet down. This area was a favorite fishing spot of Jim Caudle, who died in 2000. The reef had 40,000 cubic feet of structure before the first funament but has grown to more than 260,000 cubic feet in 11 years and is now the most visited artificial reef in South Carolina thanks to the funds raised by the Dixie Chicken Funament.

For more information on the Dixie Chicken Funament or Jim Caudle Artificial Reef Foundation, visit www.DixieChickenFunament.com or call (843) 249-1637.