This year marks the 15th anniversary of the McClellanville Creek Tournament, an event formed to help a local private-school recover from the effects of a hurricane.
"The tournament was started in 1992," said Dr. Joe Thomas, a McClellanville resident who along with residents Oliver Thames and John Devereaux founded the tournament. "The village of McClellanville and the school, Archibald Rutledge Academy, were still recovering following the destruction from Hurricane Hugo. We were brainstorming a fund-raising event that would help the school without raping the resource."
The trio settled upon an inshore tournament that features a rather unique scoring system. The top three teams/boats are awarded points for spot-tail bass, spotted seatrout and flounder, the only eligible species in the tournament. Seven, five and three points are awarded for the three heaviest fish, respectively, for each species. A boat that catches all three species of legal size is awarded 2 bonus points. This is known as a "Creekslam," and is a registered trademark by Thomas.
This year's tournament will be held rain or shine Oct. 14, 2006, at the McClellanville Town Landing. The tournament begins at 6:30 a.m., and legal waters are waters east of U.S. 17, north of the Isle of Palms Connector, and south of the South Santee River. This includes the beach and surf but excludes any private impoundments and other areas where public fishing is not permitted.
For additional information, contact Archibald Rutledge Academy at (843) 887-3323 or Dr. Joe Thomas at (843) 887-3902. The tournament is limited to 100 boats and rules and entry forms are available at www.archibaldrutledgeacademy.com/events.htm.