Locals compete in KWLA tournament

Published 5:30 pm Tuesday, June 11, 2024

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Washington Daily News

The Keli Wagner Lady Angler tournament (KWLA) in Morehead City is one of the largest women-only events in the world. The tournament honors Keli Wagner who was an avid angler who died to breast cancer in 2008.

Saturday, locals drove out to participate in the tournament which marks the start of the Big Rock fishing tournament. Lines hit the water at 8 a.m. and all lines were out at 2 p.m.

Some Pungo Christian Academy alumnae hit the water for the tournament on their boat “RELEASE” with captain Rom Whitaker. The girls participated in the level II division and have been participants for the past nine years. “We enjoy doing this, even when we don’t catch anything,” angler Abbey Cutler said. “We can’t wait to do it again next year!”

The other anglers on the boat consisted of her sister Riley Cutler, Emma Allen, and Ginny Grace Pugh.

Lizzie Montague was another local angler in the tournament who fished on the “BANKWALKER” boat with captain Bryant Montague. Using a mixture of plugs and dink baits, the boat hooked a white marlin.

Lizzie was joined by her 84-year-old grandma Tex who calls the shots on the boat. “We have been fishing this tournament since I was ten and it is always one of my favorite days of the year regardless of if we catch anything,” Montague said. “While we didn’t win, I am so thankful for the experience and hope to be able to fish this tournament every year.”