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Monthly prizes consisted of a patch that you could sew onto a jacket, but the annual prizewinners received money. Each year, the club held a meeting to give out cash and other awards to those who caught the biggest fish, and to elect officers for the next year. “It was about bragging rights,” Brice says. “Almost all good fisher-men are competitors. There was a little monetary award to it, but you wanted the trophy. You’d be there in front of all your colleagues. It was the ego thing. You wanted to get your name in the yearbook. That was the big thing.” Many of the awards were donated by local businesses. “I don’t think the club would have been as successful if we hadn’t had great support from our local businesses,” says Butch Martin, who served as club secretary for 17 years. “They were so responsive to the club’s annual publication — they placed lots of ads. They also donated prizes — stuff like rods and reels, tackle boxes, coolers — anything a fisherman might want or need.” By mid-century, the club also selected a Miss New Hanover Fishing Club and she gave out the trophies during the annual meeting. She also posed for that year’s magazine. In order to be considered for a prize, a fishermen’s catch had to be witnessed. There were 25 official weigh stations in the area, so the exact weight and time of the catch could be recorded. This was very important because the competition was fierce. Butch Martin, from the 1971 annual, top left; Mike Merritt, from the 1972 annual, top right; and Sandy Wallace, Tate Faircloth and Rudy Wallace above, from left to right, from the 1971 annual. Right, the 1959 Miss New Hanover Fishing Club. 50 WBM june 2016


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To see the actual publication please follow the link above