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College Fishing Match celebrates 30th year

October 23, 2003

The oldest college fishing match in the United States celebrates its 30th renewal Oct. 31. Student anglers from four South Carolina universities will fish competitively out of Captain Dick's Marina in Murrells Inlet.

Begun in 1974, the Coastal Carolina Invitational Intercollegiate Fishing Match and seminar allows men and women to compete on equal terms. Clemson University, Francis Marion University and the University of South Carolina will fish against Coastal Carolina, the host school.

Drift fishing for king mackerel and bottom fishing for black seabass are the usual targets, but grouper, amberjack and dolphin often end up at the awards banquet table.

This year's competition will honor the late Don Kelley, former associate provost and professor of business administration at Francis Marion University. Professor Kelley was one of the coaches of the first CCI held out of Little River. He brought teams to the tournament until just before his death in November 2002. Kelley was noted not only as an outstanding professor of business, but as an avid hunter and angler.

Student anglers and their faculty "coaches" will fish on the New Capt. Bill skippered by Capt. Jack Orr. The invitational takes advantage of good inshore fishing for kings at this time of year. Coaches and student anglers steak or fillet the fish which will be prepared for dinner at the Hot Fish Club in Murrells Inlet.