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“It was all about the competition — the fishermen wanted to show off their skills and their catches so everything had to be recorded,” Taylor says with a grin. As a member for more than 30 years, Taylor had his share of winning. “I had the club record for the largest chan-nel bass — 54 pounds, 8 ounces,” he says. “Rudy Wallace caught a 150-pound tarpon in the surf. And a 705-pound blue marlin was caught in 1972.” There’s a story that goes with Taylor’s club record for channel bass that illustrates the fellowship and the fun members often had with each other. “A couple of days after Kit caught his big fish, which was displayed at Atlantic Marine, I caught one that I thought was even big-ger,” Martin says. “It looked about 5 pounds bigger than Kit’s. So I had it weighed, but it wasn’t nearly as big as it looked — Kit still had the record. But I brought the fish up to Mike’s Atlantic Marine owner Mike Merritt and we decided to have a little fun with Kit. Mike put my fish up and said it was bigger. We let the joke go on for about a week. Kit was crushed, thinking his record had been beat. When we told him about the ruse, he went nuts! We used to play pranks on each other all the time — it was part of the fun.” Martin tells about another adventure that ended with a laugh. “Kit, Rudy Wallace and his brother, Sandy, J. W. Johnson and I used to go on all kinds of fishing trips,” he says. “We’d camp out overnight and fish as long as we wanted. Once, we went to Elmore’s Inlet. It was late, midnight or after. Rudy and I were standing in knee-deep water with our lines cast. Rudy felt something rub against his leg. He reached down and it was another fishing line. We couldn’t figure out where that line was coming from so we followed it. Somehow, the line had caught a 40-pound channel bass. We kept following the line and it led to Sandy, who was sound asleep on the beach, his line right beside him. We just took that bass on up to the camp and pre-tended we’d caught it. Finally, after a couple of days, we told Sandy the bass had been on his line. We had a good laugh about that.” 51 The fishing was good for these club members, pictured here in the 1950 annual. www.wrightsvillebeachmagazine.com WBM


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