The U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament began over thirty-five years ago, when a small group of community leaders met and decided that they needed an event to showcase the great fall fishing in the Southport-Oak Island area. Today, the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament attracts close to 500 boats annually and is one of the largest kingfish tournaments on the east coast. The tournament has a guaranteed prize structure and in 2017, paid out over $271,000 in cash with 470 boats fishing the tournament. The U.S. Open is part of the Southern Kingfish Association Mercury Tournament Trail. The public is welcomed and can enjoy music, food and beverages.