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Catch and release is the wave of the future

Submitted photo

Here’s why catch-and-release fishing tournaments are trending on Grand Strand

By Gregg Holshouser

December 21, 2018 05:11 PM,

The trend with fishing tournaments in Murrells Inlet is moving toward all-release formats, a much-needed development for a pretty little salt-water estuary that undergoes big-time fishing pressure.

The 3rd annual Speckled Studs Trout Tournament was held Dec. 8 in the inlet, and there were indeed some stud spotted seatrout weighed in.

But these fish were brought to the weigh-in in live wells, not coolers, and carefully released after being weighed. The tournament, coordinated by Capt. Dan Connolly of O-Fish-Al Expeditions, joins the Let ‘Em Go, Win The Dough Flounder Tournament as events in the inlet that feature an all-release format.

“The reason we are trending towards release tournaments is simply the fact of promoting the conservation of our terrific fisheries, and to remove the chance that every boat fishing in the tournament is killing multiple fish, on the same day, in the same body of water,” said Connolly. “When you have 100 boats all fishing Murrells Inlet on the same day for flounder in a tournament and they are all bringing dead fish to the scale, not counting the ones in the cooler, it doesn’t bode well for a fish population.

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