Catfish rodeo brings anglers, appetites, community to Pearl’s in Knotts Island

The winners of this year’s Catfish Rodeo were, from left to right in this combined photo, Ace Lassiter of South Mills, N.C., with the biggest catfish (11 pounds), Bill Seemueller of Knotts Island with the biggest grinnel (4.15 ounces), and Darrell Williams and Brian Delfenthal, both of Knotts Island, with the heaviest five catfish (24.7 pounds). [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

KNOTTS ISLAND, N.C. – People came to Pearl’s Bay-Villa, many with catfish in hand, for the Catfish Rodeo on Saturday, May 13.

“Ths was the 14th year,” Paul McCoy of Pearl’s said. “It brings everybody together. I couldn’t do it without the volunteer help.”

A few folks volunteered to clean fish for the big meal. Some hadn’t even fished.

“I’m just helping out,” said Cliff Carter of Back Bay. “I can’t fish.” He pointed over the table toward Bucky Buchan of Gibbs Woods, N.C. “He never taught me to fish.”

“You can’t clean fish, either,” Buchan said.

“He said if I clean fish this year, maybe next year he’ll teach me to fish,” Carter said.

John Harley of Knotts Island, also working at the table, had fished. His fellow volunteers gave conflicting reports about how that went.

“He didn’t do so well,” Carter offered.

“He caught all of these,” Buchan said.

Harley set the record straight.

“We caught about half a cooler full,” he said. “Nothing too big, but we had a good time. The biggest one was about 2 1/2 pounds.”

“Seven and a half,” Carter said, correcting Harley. “You have to add five.”

Fishing math aside, the men were glad to give a hand to an event that starts with a contest and ends with a community meal.

“I’ve known Paul since Moby Dick was a minnow, just about,” Buchan said.

John Harley and Bucky Buchan prepared fish caught during the rodeo for the big meal that follows the fishing contest each year at Pearl’s Bay-Villa. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]
A heaping plate following the competition at Pearl’s. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

© 2017 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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