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56th Annual Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic, The Jersey Shore's Fishin Tradition
One of the East Coast's longest running fishing contests lured 800 anglers in 2009 competing for thousands of dollars in prizes for striped bass and bluefish caught from the shores of LBI begins 5 a.m. Sat, Oct. 9 and ends 6 p.m. Sun, Dec. 5, 2010.
Last year, the tourney tallied 228 bluefish weigh-ins and 256 striped bass Randall Matlack of Beach Haven, NJ took the top prize in the bluefish category with a 16 pound 5 ounce blue. Michael Kane of Doylestown, Pa weighed in the top striper, at 42 pounds,11 ounces. The right time can often be at daybreak and at dusk. A few tourney regulars frequently fish all night long. Then there are others who simply get lucky “Frequently the big winners are the people you really don’t see that much,” observed Jay Mann, local newspaper fishing columnist and a member of the tournament organizing committee. “We even had winners who decided the last weekend of the tournament that they wanted to be in it and they ended up winning prize money.” Mann continued, “There are a handful of regulars who join the tourney annually and fish every day. But more often it’s the guy who can only make it down for a Sunday or a Wednesday. He’s in the tourney and he has to put his whole ball of fishing wax into the few days that he gets there. The locals don’t always run into these guys, but they’re fishing just as intently.” It’s no surprise that the tournament boosts the barrier island’s off-season economy.
“A lot of anglers use their vacation time to come to the island,” said Michele Cuff, tournament administrator. “They’ll rent a house for a week or two. I know some families that will rent for the entire tournament.”
The Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Tournament has generous sponsorship from AFW (American Fishing Wire), Hi-Seas line and The Fisherman magazine. For more information visit http://www.lbift.com.
Registrations will be on sale at the five weigh-in stations: Barnegat Light Bait & Tackle, 1501 Bayview Ave., Barnegat Light; Fisherman’s Headquarters, 280 W. 9th St., Ship Bottom; Jingles’ Bait & Tackle Shop, 1214 Long Beach Blvd., Beach Haven; Surf City Bait and Tackle, 317 Long Beach Blvd., Surf City; Oceanside Bait & Tackle, 8201 Long Beach Blvd., Brighton Beach. Registration is $30 per entrant. The earliest registrants receive a 2010 Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic hat, a coupon for a free exterior car wash presented by Manahawkin Magic Wash, and a coupon for a free slice of Panzone’s cheese pizza presented by Panzone’s Pizza, Surf City.
New to Surf Fishing or just looking for some tips? Take part in the Free Surf Casting Seminar - Saturday, October 9:
Meet at 9:00 a.m. at the Chamber of Commerce on 9th Street in Ship Bottom for door prizes, coffee, and bagels, then join us at the Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Co. No. 1 Station on 21st Street and Central Avenue in Ship Bottom where members of Team Mullet, a local fishing club, will generously share their knowledge of surf fishing equipment, surf casting, bait, driving a 4x4 vehicle on the beach, and much more. Weather permitting; we will then proceed to the 9th Street Ship Bottom ocean beach for hands-on instruction. You may want to bring a folding chair for your comfort on the beach. There’s a special prize drawing at the conclusion of the seminar (you must be present to win).
Pre-registration is required for this free seminar. Call the Chamber of Commerce, (609) 494-7211 x100 or (800) 292-6372 x 100, to register.
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