Knotts Island: As Covid concerns lessen, annual Catfish Rodeo returns to Pearl’s

Brian Liverman landed a 22.6 pound catfish during the 17th Annual Catfish Rodeo at Pearl’s Bay-Villa in Knotts Island, N.C., on Saturday, May 15. He fished during the rodeo with Jeff Parker. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]
Ed. — From the Sunday, May 23, print edition.


KNOTTS ISLAND, N.C. — The Catfish Rodeo was back at Pearl’s Bay-Villa this year, a welcome return after the pandemic led to the cancellation of the 2020 fishing tournament and community gathering.

Anglers caught what catfish they could from Back Bay and Currituck sound waters, then headed to Pearl’s to have their fish weighed in. Then the catch was filleted and cooked for a meal.

As much as anything, the rodeo is a chance for people to spend time with friends and family.

“It was an awesome day,” said Joey Staten, who lives in the Pungo area, and fished with friends Tanner Scoggin and Kent Wydner. “I really like hanging out with my guys.”

Among the competitors this year was Logan Stanton of the Red Mill area in Virginia Beach, who fished in Back Bay waters with his dad, Ben Stanton.

Logan Stanton’s favorite part of the day?

“Just spending time out on the water,” he said.

“Not spending time with your old man?” Ben Stanton asked.

“And that,” Logan Stanton agreed.

In this year’s contest, Brian Liverman landed the biggest catfish, Ricky and Amanda Harrell caught the heaviest five catfish, and the Solo Lane Fishing Group took home the honors for the biggest grinnel.

MacKenzie Davis, 8, comes face to face with a grinnel, also known as a bowfin, during the weigh-in at Pearl’s during the 2021 rodeo. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]
Joey Staten holds a catfish during the Catfish Rodeo on Saturday, May 15, 2021, at Pearl’s Bay-Villa in Knotts Island, N.C. [John-Henry Doucette/The Princess Anne Independent News]

© 2021 Pungo Publishing Co., LLC

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