Cameron and his wife Michelle didn't think their fish would hold on to win the August 19 Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series North Carolina Division event in Southport, but they knew they had a good fish and would finish near the top of the 98 boat field.
For their outstanding catch they were awarded the top prize of $21,000. This included $12,000 from the tournament and a $9,000 bonus for fishing a Hydra-Sports boat.
"It started out pretty slow," Eddie Cameron said. "We hooked into a fish at 8:15 this morning on a double-pogy rig."
Cameron said he battled the hard-fighting kingfish through several long runs and boat traffic before he was able to get it to the boat.
"We knew we had a good fish, but we didn't know how good," Cameron said. "Fortunately it held up, because it was the only fish we caught today.
The Camerons hope to qualify for the Kingfish Series Championship and possibly the Kingfish Tour for next year.
Even though this tournament was held in Southport, four of the top five places were claimed by teams from the Morehead City to Swansboro area.
Second place went to The Right One Baby Fishing Team, captained by Todd Matthews of Swansboro, N.C. This is the second generation of the team that won the first SKA National Championship in 1993. Their king weighed 37 pounds, 3 ounces and allowed them to collect $6,000 in tournament prize money, plus a $4,500 bonus for using Yamaha Outboards.
Team Open Wide, captained by Benson Ybanez of Emerald Isle, N.C., claimed third place with a king weighing 32 pounds, 14 ounces and received a check for $4,000.
The standings in the NC Division jostled some after this tournament, with Team Excitation, led by Capt. Karl Mrozek of Durham, putting together a pair of seventh place finishes to lead the division by a single point with one tournament remaining. The team trailing by that single point is The Right One Baby Fishing Team of Swansboro. The final NC Division tournament in Atlantic Beach on September 16 promises to be a barn burner.
FLW Kingfish Series qualifying tournaments are one-day events. The field competes Saturday, and the winning team is determined based on the heaviest kingfish. The FLW Kingfish Series consists of five divisions – East Florida, West Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina-Georgia and Gulf Coast. Each division is comprised of three events with a $100,000 purse for each event.
The top 100 teams – 20 from each division after three qualifying events – will qualify for the three-day, no-entry-fee $300,000 Wal-Mart FLW Kingfish Series Championship to be held in Orange Beach, Ala., Oct. 26-28. The championship winner could take home as much as $75,000.
For more information about FLW Outdoors and its tournament programs, visit www.flwoutdoors.com or call (270) 252-1000.