Saturday, June 18, 2011

Poagie Bobbing at The Jolly Mon Tournament

This weekend is the annual Jolly Mon King Mackerel Fishing Tournament, put on by the Ocean Isle Fishing Center.  Since older son Brant took over this tournament from Jamie Milliken years ago, it has always had a family flair.  We've all taken our turns working under the tents - the younger women registering the hopeful fishermen at the Captain's Meeting , Grandma Mac (Vera) selling T-Shirts, friends and family feeding the crowd, and ALWAYS urging Families to Fish Together. 

A view of the crowd from the upper deck.
One of the most treasured contests at the Captain's Meeting is the annual Poagie Bobbing Contest for the kids.  For those of you that don't know, a Poagie is a baitfish - Menhaden is another name for it.  They produce a smelly fish oil that is actually used in a lot of products...but that is a post for another time.  They are small fish, they're pretty smelly on the inside, and they have the usual slime and fins associated with any fish.  And the kids have to catch them IN THEIR MOUTH.  The kid's mouth.

Here are some of the entrants, lined up in front of the stage prior to the start.  Notice the tense, competitive postures of the little ones on the grass??  They are dead serious about this.
There are different age groups, so that the 4 year-olds (yes, 4) aren't left in the dust by their fellow 17 year-old competitors.  The rule is, you cannot use your hands, only your mouth.  Like this:

This young man has elegant style, and kept his hands gracefully away from the edges of the tank.
There are ALWAYS prim little girls who join the fray:

This little girl tucked her dress under her knees to make sure it didn't fly up and embarrass her.  And then, SHE WENT FOR IT!  She was so determined, and stayed under so long that we thought she might drown.  She did catch that Poagie she was chasing in the corner of the tank.
And then there are the 3 year-olds, who have figured out that you can go up on stage, have hundreds of people focused intently on you, and still get roars of delight from everyone by simply reaching down in the tank and plucking a Poagie out with your hand...

Check out my Granddaughter's face on the right - she's realizing the coup this little girl just made - cheers and bravos from the crowd - without having to stick her head down under the water with all that fish-slime!  Rats!
There were winners in all three age divisions, and while all the kids went home with a medal worn proudly around their necks, the winners went home $50.00 richer.  I'm sure there were Poagie dreams on the pillows last night, and plans of how they would tackle it next year...

And another Jolly Mon Captain's Meeting, complete with Poagie Bobbing, is over.
 If you are in the Ocean Isle Beach area, final fishing day is tomorrow, with weigh-in starting at 2:00 and continuing until 5:00.  The awards ceremony begins at 8:00, with thousands of dollars in prizes being disbursed to the lucky winners.  Come on by and join in the fun!

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