Locals second in Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament

Published 4:11 pm Monday, August 22, 2022

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By Brianna Barrett

For the Enterprise

A team of competitive anglers including Matt Foster and Matt McCracken of Mocksville won second place in the 39th Annual Pirate’s Cove Billfish Tournament in Manteo.

The fishing team of Jason Thompson, John Cain, Matt Foster and Matt McCracken chartered Captain Stephen Draughton and First Mate Sam Stainback of the Bill Collector – a 52-foot Jarrett Bay – out of Morehead City; 86 boats competed for $1.04 million in prize money at the tournament.

The team started strong on Day 1, getting on the leaderboard early by catching 4 sailfish within the first few hours, ending the day in second place. Sailfish were caught by Matt Foster, Matt McCracken, John Cain, and Jason Thompson.

The lines were dead in the water for a few days.

On the last day, Matt McCracken caught and released a white marlin, followed by Matt Foster catching and releasing a blue marlin. Those two billfish landed the team in first place for several hours, and it looked like they had the tournament in the bag.

With one minute remaining, the second place contender, Country Girl – a 57-foot Buddy Cannady –  hooked a fish. That literal last minute fish was enough to push Country Girl into first place.

The Bill Collector won second place in Overall Billfish with 750 points, six fish for total winnings of $118,312.50. The Bill Collector team placed on two days of the Billfish Daily category, with first place on the Day 1 and second place on Day 4.