October 26, 2014
By Chris Franks, President Southport NC Chapter, Military Appreciation Day
After a delay from September to October because of bad weather, MAD Southport/Oak Island is in the books.
The Captain’s Meeting on Friday October 17 went well for all of those attending. For the approximately 75 people that were there the food was great and the fellowship even better. The evening was made even better when it was found that Scott Ks’ grandson was able to come home.
The evening ended with a raffle for 2 custom gaffs made especially for MAD South. A big surprise for MAD was when Sam Edwards brought in 2 copper fish, 1 grouper and 1 king mackerel, that had been made by a local artist. He offered them for, as he said, “Since I am not going fishing, I had the money to do it”.
Saturday morning brought the troops to our door and captains ready to put them on the fish. It also brought a fairly stiff wind.
Our final tally for the morning was 40 boats and 76 troops. Far less that our records, but every one counts.
There were some last minute cancellations and some shuffling of troops onto other boats, but all of the troops that made it down were able to get out.
Those first few boats that made their way to fish off of Oak Island were met by some sporting conditions. Listening to the radio, and reports from later on, made it clear that any who ventured that way were in for a rough time. Many of the boats then made the trip up the Cape Fear River to Carolina Beach where the sea conditions were more favorable.
Once everyone was able to make it to their fishing locations, there were some mixed results. Some landed on a few fish while some had to work at it. All of the captains were giving it their all to put their troops onto the fish.
The fish that made it back to the docks were varied and there were many undersized fish released. All of those that I spoke to had plenty of opportunity to land fish and had a great time on the water.
Once the troops were back at Southport Marina, a meal of hamburgers and hotdogs was waiting. There was plenty for them to eat and the volunteers made sure that not a single troop went home less that stuffed.
While the postponement and weather made for a challenging event, all went very well. As usual we wish to give the troops One. Simple. Thanks. For all that they do and invite them back again for next years event.
Also none of this would not be possible without the support of ALL of our volunteers. Finally our great appreciation goes out to all of our supporting businesses.