9.9-pound trout leads Speckled Trout Challenge

Speckled Trout Challenge
Richard Gilligan's 9.9-pound speckled trout leads the Chasin' Tails Speckled Trout Challenge.

It’s not too late to sing up

Anglers in the Atlantic Beach area are catching some BIG speckled trout lately. And at Chasin’ Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle, anglers who registered for their 12th Annual Speckled Trout Challenge are about to receive some big rewards for their catches. But you still have time to participate and maybe even shake up the leaderboard.

With a 1st place prize of $1000 cash guaranteed, along with other prizes valued at $5000, this is a contest worth signing up for. The 2nd place angler wins $1000, plus a Star VPR Rod/Shimano Stradic combo. Third place also receives $1000 cash and a Star Sequence Rod/Shimano Stradic combo.

The fourth place angler wins $750 cash, 5th place wins $500, and 6th through 10th all win fishing reels, tackle bags, and tackle packages.

The challenge also has a live release category for anglers who bring their specks in alive, then release them after weighing. First place in live release category wins $1000, 2nd place wins a Calcutta cooler, and 3rd place wins a Star VPR rod/Shimano Stradic combo.

Entry fee for the contest is $50, and you can sign up all the way through Jan. 31, the last day of the tournament.

The shop is also holding a monthly Wild Card as part of the contest. Every month, a weight is selected. The angler who catches a speck closest to that weight wins the Wild Card. The selected weight for January is 3.20 pounds. So even if you don’t catch a huge trout, you can still win. The prize package for each Wild Card is a rod and reel combo.

Leaderboard changes often

The leaderboard for the Speckled Trout Challenge changes almost too often to keep track of. The fishing has just been that good for big trout lately. One angler, Michael Mattice of Jacksonville, took over 2nd place yesterday with an 8.68-pound gator. And he released three other fish that weighed more than 6 pounds each.

Currently, Richard Gilligan leads the Challenge with a 9.9-pound speck. He is also in first place in the Live Release category with the same fish.

Mattice is in 2nd with his 8.68-pound fish. Ricky Baker’s 7.60-pound trout is 3rd. Carson Bear’s 7.27 pounder is 4th. Christopher Walton is 5th with a 7.01-pound speck, and is 2nd in the Live Release category with the same fish. Edwin Briel is in 6th place with a 6.91-pound trout. He sits in 3rd place in the Live Release category with the same fish.

Keith Ashton won the September Wild Card. The selected weight was 2.97 pounds, and Ashton weighed a 3.22 pounder. Worth Bennett won the October Wild Card with a 3.23-pound trout. The selected weight was 3.19 pounds.

November’s Wild Card went to Jason Fippin. He caught a 2.57 pounder, and the selected weight was 2.58 pounds. Worth Bennett came back to win the December Wild Card, exactly matching the selected weight of 2.98 pounds. January’s selected weight is 3.2 pounds.

It’s not too late to sign up! The weather forecast is looking just right for speck fishing between now and the 31st. Another angler is bound to crack into the top ten before the end of the month. And the January Wild Card is anybody’s to win.

Check out the complete standings, rules, and prizes at chasintailsoutdoors.com.

Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1520 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of CarolinaSportsman.com. He has won numerous awards for his writing, photography, and videography. He is a retired Air Force combat communications technician, and has a B.A. in English Literature from the University of South Carolina.

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