If you have never been a part of one of the East Coast’s longest running fishing contests, join the ranks of thousands of anglers who have competed for top prizes in the past half century. The 58th Annual Long Beach Island Fishing Classic commences at 5AM on Saturday October 6th and lasts through 6PM on Sunday December 2nd.
This well respected and beloved eight-week tournament ushers in the fall season ,as striped bass and bluefish are snapping up the bait fish that pop the surface. Fishermen and women from school age to octogenarians get caught up in the excitement of the tournament, with the possibility of earning daily prizes adding to the lure. The coveted Grand prize for the largest striped bass and largest bluefish entered in the tournament is $1,000 cash each. There are special categories for ladies, senior citizens and there are eight juvenile prizes–each a weekly $100 cash award for the largest striped bass. The 2011 tournament tallied 177 bluefish weigh-ins and 381 striped bass. Randy Matlack of Beach Haven, NJ took the top prize in the bluefish category with a 16.19 pound blue. Gary Nalor of Mt. Holly NJ weighed in the top striper, at 41.19 pounds.
The Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Tournament has generous sponsorship from AFW (American Fishing Wire), Hi-Seas line and The Fisherman magazine. Visit www.lbift.com for more information. Registrations are on sale at the four weigh-in stations: 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 2012 Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic hat and decal, 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.