Team Ocean Isle Wins SKA Championship, Nets $13,000 for RFA
The Southern Kingfish Association Mercury Tournament Trail Championship was held this past weekend at Point Cadet Marina in Biloxi, MS, with Team OIFC led by Brant and Barrett McMullan leading the way aboard their Yamaha-powered 32 Yellowfin with 105.1 pounds total weigh-in.
The team from the Ocean Isle Fishing Center of North Carolina had king mackerel of 56.28 pounds and 48.82 pounds to secure their national ‘open class’ championship in Mississippi.
In the ‘small boat class’ it was the team of Oceanview aboard a Mercury-powered 23 Fountain taking top prize with Ron Roberson and Sean McCarter bagging kingfish of 54.15 and 45.71 pounds for a prize-winning 99.86-pound total. Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) organizers said fish caught during the Mississippi Mercury Tournament Trail Championship were donated to Homes of Grace in Vancleave, MS.
While weather conditions made fishing tough, SKA organizers had a busy weekend back at the main venues of the Golden Nugget Casino Biloxi and Palace Casino in Biloxi. National tackle manufacturers and tournament trail supporters donated close to $20,000 worth of merchandise for a charity auction to support the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA), with close to $13,000 raised to support the RFA mission to safeguard the rights of saltwater anglers, protect boat, tackle and marine industry jobs and ensure the long-term sustainability of our nation’s saltwater resources.
“I don’t know if being an active RFA member gives an angler an edge in big time tournaments, but the McMullans have been big-time RFA supporters over the years,” said RFA executive director Jim Donofrio. “The fact that they’ve won the SKA national championship an unprecedented three out of the last four years is quite an accomplishment.”
Founded in 1996 as a non-profit organization representing the collective voice of saltwater anglers and the recreational fishing industry, RFA is supported in its mission by the gracious donations of its members and supporters, collecting valuable operating revenue through the fishing tournaments nationwide. Donofrio said SKA business partners and tournament anglers have stepped up in recent years, fishing hard on the kingfish trail while also helping to sustain the RFA.
“A big thank you to RFA board member Jack Holmes of the SKA, as well as his dedicated staff, especially Bob Flocken, for their ongoing support,” Donofrio said. “The SKA has developed a rich history over the past two decades, with the trail events going on to support various charities and angler enhancement initiatives to the tune of over one million dollars, so a big hand to Jack, Bob and crew from SKA.”