The tournament begins at 12 a.m. on Thursday and ends at 4 p.m, on Saturday. Many anglers fish the whole 64 hours of the event and many more only take short naps during low tide or daylight hours. Red drum favor night time and, of the winning fish, every one was taken in the dark except one puppy drum taken in twilight at 7:11 p.m. on Saturday.
Not only were most of the fish taken at night, this year, the northern end of the tournaments range produced the winners. Every winning fish came from north of Ramp 27, much farther north than normal. The beaches at Hatteras are constantly changing and the structure of the Northern Beaches provided better holes this year.
This year’s winner was Steve Merrick of Millsboro Delaware. Steve caught his 47 ½” drum at 4:50 a.m. on Friday. Steve is a long time drum fisherman and placed second overall in a tournament about ten years ago. Steve’s fish was the first of two 47 1/2” drum on Friday. Since Steve’s fish was first, it was the winning fish.