Southport Gets Ready for the King…Mackerel!

Photo of boats leaving marina for U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament

U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament – Photo from Southport-Oak Island Chamber of Commerce

SOUTHPORT NC – In less than a month, thousands of people will flood Southport-Oak Island once again for the 2015 Annual U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament, often considered the Grandfather of King Mackerel tournies. And whether you are into fishing or not, this is a guaranteed to be a good time for the entire family!

First, there is the excitement of 400 boats and their adrenaline packed crews heading out to sea in hopes of catching a record-breaking king mackerel. Then, there is fun, live entertainment and people of all ages dancing in the street and enjoying good food and drink. And finally, there is the weigh-in…when boat after boat lines up to show-off their catch and see if it will win them the $25,000 grand prize or a piece of the over $100,000 in guaranteed cash prizes.

What is the largest king mackerel ever caught?

A new tournament record was set in 2014 by Kevin Norris and his crew on the Reel Blessed – their record breaking mackerel weighed in at 53.25 pounds! It will be fun to see if any of these records will be broken in this year’s tournament. The tournament pays cash prizes for the top 55 largest kings and then there are numerous prizes for various tournaments within a tournament

U.S. Open tournament record holder Kevin Norris Sneads Ferry, NC 53.25 lbs. Set in 2014
North Carolina state record holder James Winch Ocracoke, NC 82 lbs. 4 oz. Set in 1999
World record holder Steve Graulau San Juan, Puerto Rico 93 lbs. Set in 1999

What is this year’s tournament schedule?

Thursday, October 1st

  • 10am- Registration begins
  • 7pm – Captain’s Meeting

Friday, October 2nd

  • 7am – Competition begins
  • 11am – Scales open
  • 5pm – Competition ends (for Day 1)

Saturday, October 3rd

  • 7am – Competition begins
  • 11am – Scales open
  • 4pm – Competition ends
  • 3pm-7pm – Shriner’s Fish Fry, $8/plate
  • 4:30pm-7pm – Entertainment, Chris Wright
  • 7pm – Award’s Ceremony

We certainly hope to see you down at the festivities this year! If you are fishing in the tournament, we’d love to know so we can pull for you. If you would like to try your hand at catching a king mackerel or any other type of fish, we have compiled a list of local charter fishing operations that can help you “get on the fish”. Don’t forget to post your photos on our Facebook page!!

Margaret Rudd & Associates, Inc. is proud to be a Patron Sponsor of the 2015 U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament. If you need a rental for your crew, we have you covered…from convenient condos to large houses! Simply visit our website at or call 800-486-5441. 

For more information on the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament, go to their website at

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