EastWest Challenge 2013



Bragging rights to fishing the White Oak River were established Thursday, 24 October, when residents of the east side of the river bested the west side fishermen in a fishing contest held to answer the question, “On which side of the river do the best fishermen live?” Generated as a result of several vociferous discussions held at Onslow Bay Saltwater Fishing Club meetings, club members decided to have a contest that would settle the question, at least for this year. And the winner was ..... the East Side team led by Capt. Henry Rudnicki! Both sides were well represented with eight fishermen from each side participating in the first Onslow Bay Saltwater Fishing Club East West Challenge. The day broke to a chilly 42 degree as the fishing began at 0700 with both teams having boats on the water and fishing at the appointed time. Several folks headed down to the Hwy.24 Bridge in Swansboro to fish the overpass near the Nancy Lee Fishing Center for blues on the incoming tide. While there were blues to be had they were not as plentiful as in the previous few days and then the tide changed bringing with it a slack tide and no fish. Other boats went up-river towards the Stella Bridge hoping to find some fresh bait (shrimp was the bait of choice, also plentiful in previous days) but that also proved to be difficult and few boats ended up with live bait. The winds blew pretty constantly all day and the team members fished just about every place between the Hwy. 24 Bridge and just short of the tidal line above Stella. It was hard work for the first several hours and few fish were boated. It was fun to see other members of the OBSFC moving from spot to spot as the day progressed. All boats saw each other at least once during the fishing hours as each tried to find the best places to fish. There was lots of banter between the team members and the opposing teams every time they crossed paths. At the end of the day, the East Side team had a total of 58 fish and the West side team had 13. There was no need to go the largest fish tiebreaker -- but in fact that also would have gone to the East Side. The club held its award pizza party at Terry Steven’s property on Holland Point where discussions mostly focused on what baits worked where and at what time. Several wives and the participating fishermen attended. Henry is seen above with both team participants, holding the winner’s trophy, the coveted OBSFC Fishing Prowess Paddle.