By Jack Holmes
The 2008 Angler of the Year, Mark Henderson, and his family members, Joshua and Crockett, fished their sponsored Yamaha powered Intrepid into the top slot in Division 1's Open Class.
The team's first king, a 24.18 was caught at Onslow Bay. Next came a 36.92 in Atlantic Beach, and they ended with a super 41.32 in Swansboro. That's a three-fish aggregate of 102.42.
Crockett will be the Division's Top Junior Angler for the final time. The super-star junior who has won many, many awards will age out. A lot of other juniors will be happy, but certainly can use Crockett as a role model for our sport.
Mark received a sponsorship with Intrepid this year and introduced his new ride in Sarasota for the factory, then went out and also won the event.
Don't be surprised if they earn more honors at this year's Championship!
Another very highly respected Pro team, Team Zebra earned second place with a 96.04 three-fish aggregate. Captain David Tedder, Jeff Smith, Carl Cliver, Ashley Tedder, and John Sledge, fishing a Yamaha powered Yellowfin, picked up a 38.72 in the season opener, Raleigh Sportfishing Club's KMT. Next came a 19.10 at Sneads Ferry, and ended with a 38.22 in Swansboro. Ashley was the Division's Top Lady Angler.
I've always had the highest regards for this top fishing team. They never quit and always represent our sport with dignity and respect. I salute you on another great season!
Third place fell to Mike Edwards, Gordon Dunn, and Quinn Morris on another Yamaha powered Yellowfin, this one named Release. They had three fish weighing 92.87 pounds. They weighed a 38.00 in Raleigh, added a 25.65 in Sneads Ferry, and ended with a 29.22 at Atlantic Beach. They also fish the Pro Tour and a team you must watch in the Championship.
Fourth place went to Al Morris, Jr's Sea Drag'n team. Al who fished this year with Brent Bunn, Andrew Hinton III, Lauren Morris, and John Gann, is certainly one of the top fishermen ever to fish North Carolina waters. This year the Mercury powered Privateer team weighed a super 52.69 to win Sneads Ferry, collected a 12.71 in Atlantic Beach, and ended with a 22.02.
Al and the team have fished Biloxi many, many times. This could be their year!
Rounding out the top five was Patrick Overstreet's Yamaha powered Yellowfin team, Service Call. They started the season with a super 42.54 at Raleigh, added a 23.86 in Sneads Ferry, and ended with a 17.44 in Atlantic Beach. On the team were Overstreet IV, Ray Whitehurst and Beth Overstreet, plus Howard Patton.
Brett Barnes fishing Hot Rod had a winning 46.88 in the final event of the season in Swansboro to earn him sixth place. His first two fish were caught in the first two events, a 20.90 and a 12.80.
Henry Tillett caught three fish totaling 75.92 pounds. His Windy Conditions team had a 20.46 to start the Division 1 season. Next came a 19.24 at Onslow Bay, and ended with a nice 36.22. The team finished seventh.
Henry Moore III was eighth. His Bobcat team earned a 22.26 in the opener, added a 21.56 at Sneads Ferry, and ended with a 29.97 for a total of 73.79.
John Parks was ninth. Team Animal House had three fish in the 20s, a 25.60 in Raleigh, then a 23.72 at Atlantic Beach, and finally a 24.06 at Swansboro.
Richard Hill of R/C Homes fame picked up tenth on the strength of just two fish, a 43.00 at Raleigh, and a 24.23 in Atlantic Beach.
This is a good division with a lot of talent. The ones that come to the big event will represent North Carolina very well.