Angler wins $8300 for 10.25-pound speckled trout


10.25-pound speckled trout was released alive

Chasin’ Tails Outdoors Bait & Tackle recently wrapped up their 13th Annual Speckled Trout Challenge. Richard Gilligan of Wilmington, N.C. came out on top with a 33-inch, 10.25-pound speckled trout he caught on Dec. 1, 2020.

Gilligan weighed that fish alive at the shop, then released it once it had recovered in the store’s huge livewell. This gave him the “live release” top prize as well as the overall win. He took home $7500 cash and another $800 worth of prizes for his win.

The tournament ran from September through January.

The official results: (LR designates fish was released alive)

  1. Richard Gilligan – 10.25lbs (LR)       $8300
  2. Christopher Ritchie – 8.36lbs (LR)   $3300
  3. Daniel Stephens – 7.93lbs               $1850
  4. Raymond Lozeau – 6.95lbs               $850
  5. Patrick Willis – 6.26lbs (LR)               $600
  6. Steven Grantham – 5.98lbs 
  7. Lee Marsh – 5.97lbs 
  8. Pate Howell – 5.70lbs 
  9. David Dees – 5.57lbs (LR) 
  10. Rick Best – 5.50lbs 

Live Release Fish:

  1. Richard Gilligan 10.25lbs
  2. Christopher Ritchie 8.36lbs
  3. Patrick Willis 6.26lbs

Gilligan’s 10.25-pound trout marks the largest ever weighed in during the Chasin’ Tails Speckled Trout Challenge, and everyone was happy to see that the fish swam away nice and healthy. They paid out a total of more than $1600.

10.25-pound speckled trout
Richard Gilligan’s 10.25-pound speckled trout won the tournament and was released alive. (photo courtesy of Chasin’ Tails Outdoors)

The annual event has a $50 entry fee along with an optional $100 tournament within a tournament for the live release category. The next Trout Challenge will begin in September.

Chasin’ Tails gives all participants a round of applause, and thanks the following sponsors:

Star Rods, Calcutta Outdoors, Sea Striker, Z-Man Fishing Products, Shimano North America Fishing, Blue Water Candy Lures, Dog Island Artworks, Crystal Coast Graphics, Betts Tackle, High Water Fishing Lures LLC.



Brian Cope
About Brian Cope 1838 Articles
Brian Cope is the editor of 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. You can reach him at

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