The 2017 Cape Lookout Albacore and Redfish Festival was held from October 19 – 21, 2017 in Atlantic Beach, North Carolina. This great annual event and fundraiser is held in support of our cause and the disabled veterans we serve. Chris Thompson, part of the Festival’s organizing team and a long-time member of the PHWFF family, recounts this past year and the tremendous community support that makes it happen:
The 2017 Cape Lookout Albacore and Redfish Festival was a tremendous success. Our Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. Day on the Water benefited 40 program participants, including 2 participants on a National level trip for the full three days. That was largely possible due to the 30 Captains that volunteered their boats, gas, and time to make this special day happen. Our VIPs started the day with a casting and fish fighting class, and then we left the Anchorage Marina dock after breakfast. The conditions were pleasant, and everyone had a great time with plenty of fish landed. The outing concluded with a catered meal for the participants at our tournament headquarters. A New Bern news affiliate sent a journalist to cover the event, resulting in on-air stories for two consecutive weeks.
The official tournament and festival began with a Captains’ party held at Anchorage Marina. There was great food, conversation, music, a silent action, and optimism about the prospects of good fishing the next day. We also heard from the Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing, Inc. CEO who shared his story about combat injuries, involvement with the program, how the program has touched his life, and how he now leads the organization. It was a night filled with fun and fellowship, and provided insight into the impact this program is having for our disabled Veterans.
On Saturday we were fortunate enough to experience good weather and fishing. This year the festival added Redfish categories, and we had tournament entries for both categories. Youth involvement was up, our lady anglers division increased significantly, and we enjoyed another great tournament with numerous returning anglers. Our event concluded with an awards reception, where we handed out the coveted “Bronze Albacore” trophies to our first place winners of each division, the first ever “Bronze Redfish” trophies, along with some great TFO rods, reels, and other gear as prizes.
We are thankful for our sponsors, the local community, and for our entrants. Without such generosity, we would be unable to host such an outstanding event. The Cape Lookout Albacore and Redfish Festival promotes the sport of fly fishing, our sustainable fishery, good stewardship of our marine resources, and raises money and awareness for the exceptional efforts of Project Healing Water Fly Fishing, Inc. The festival is on track to donate over $20,000 cash, and more in In-Kind donations to support their worthwhile assistance to disabled Veterans.
You can learn more about this great event by visiting www.capelookoutalbacorefestival.com