Capt. Jerry Dilsaver of Oak Island has been selected for the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) Hall of Fame. Nominations for the Hall of Fame are made by SKA members and then voted upon by the full membership of the organization. The SKA sanctions king mackerel tournaments from North Carolina to Texas.
Dilsaver, who competed in his first king mackerel tournament in the late 1970's, became a sponsored tournament king mackerel fisherman in the late 1980's and joined the SKA as a charter member at its inception in 1991. He has served the organization in multiple ways, including writing feature articles and providing tournament coverage for its Angler Magazine and serving on the committee that compiled the SKA Angling Rules.
After a pair of near-misses in 1992 and 1996, Dilsaver and crew won the 2001 SKA National Championship. They competed in a class for smaller boats, 23 Foot and Under Class, and were the first smaller boat team to top the anglers in the larger or Open Boat Class. Dilsaver was also named the 1998 US Anglers Association (USAA) Angler of the Year and his crew named Team of the Year.
In addition to being a successful tournament angler, Dilsaver is a noted outdoors writer and photographer. He is a Staff Writer and Special Events Coordinator with North Carolina Sportsman Magazine and South Carolina Sportsman Magazine, weekly columnist for the Carteret County News-Times Newspaper, featured contributor to FLW Outdoors Magazine and frequent contributor to many saltwater tournament publications. He began his writing career in 1986 as a Staff Writer and Field Representative with Carolina Adventure Magazine and worked through the ranks to become the Saltwater Editor for several years before accepting his current position with Sportsman Magazines.
Dilsaver also serves in a volunteer capacity on the Southeast Regional Advisory Committee for the North Carolina Marine Fisheries Commission, on the Advisory Board for the North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament for the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries, on the Board of Directors for the Long Bay Artificial Reef Association and served five years as the Tournament Director of the King of the Cape Classic King Mackerel Tournament. Furthermore, he maintains an information web site, www.captjerry.com, which offers fishing tips, current fishing reports, and more.
SKA Managing Partner Jack Holmes said the vote on Dilsaver's nomination wasn't even close. He added that while Dilsaver's fishing ability was excellent it was his dedication to fishing and tireless work to promote the sport across the country that made him such an obvious choice for the Hall of Fame.
"I am very happy about being elected/selected for the SKA Hall of Fame," Dilsaver said. "I have been fortunate to have some good teammates and sponsors, and numerous times, as with this, I have received recognitions that should be shared with all of them. This certainly is a highlight of my fishing career, as it was voted upon by the members of SKA who I consider peers and many are friends. As a highlight, it compares to our winning the SKA championship in 2001. That was for the 23 Foot and Under Class, but we topped all the boats, not just the other 23 footers."
Dilsaver was born in Southport and grew up on the waterfront author Robert Ruark so finely detailed in his book, The Old Man and the Boy. His father, who was a shrimper and later a boat captain for the local river pilots association, helped foster a love of fishing in the coastal rivers and ocean, which is still going strong. He attended the University of North Carolina and East Carolina University and received a degree in Recreation and Leisure Services, with a concentration in Community and Commercial Recreation.
Dilsaver is married to donna Mooneyham, formerly of Garner, who is an accomplished angler in her own rights. While fishing with Dilsaver, she has collected a pair of SKA Top Lady Angler Awards. Dilsaver and Mooneyham reside in Oak Island.
While Dilsaver's tournament success is impressive, it is his dedication to the sport of fishing and helping beginning anglers develop successful skills and techniques that really set him apart from the crowd. He developed the North and South Carolina Sportsman Fishing Schools and Monthly Seminar Series (www.northcarolinasportsman.com or www.southcarolinasportsman.com) and spends approximately 70 days each year conducting seminars, manning booths at fishing and outdoor shows, giving in-store product demonstrations, and otherwise promoting saltwater fishing.
Dilsaver is supported in his promotional and teaching efforts by North Carolina Sportsman Magazine, South Carolina Sportsman Magazine, Sea Striker, Penn Reels, Star Rods, Furuno Marine Electronics, Ensley's Radio Company, Betts Tackle Ltd., Road King Trailers, Fish-Ng Accessories, Eagle Claw Hooks, Maps Unique and Capps Promotions.
If you attend a seminar given by Capt. Dilsaver, expect to learn a lot of When's, Where's, What's, Why's, and How's. His knowledge is based on over 30 years of recreational fishing, 20 years of tournament fishing, several years as a commercial fisherman, and is tempered by more than 20 years of instructing fishing in various formats. Drawing from his many years of fishing the southeast coast, he will often refer to your favorite waters with knowledge that can only have come from personal experience. Don't be afraid to ask questions--he welcomes them.