Tournament Season in Support of RFA
The summer season is just beginning to heat up - in more ways than one - as hardcore recreational anglers are gearing up for another tournament season in support of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA).
This Friday, July 9th, the 23rd Annual Ocean City Tuna Tournament will kick off along the docks of the Ocean City Fishing Center in Maryland. Bluefin, yellowfin and bigeye are the prime targets as offshore fishermen head out this weekend in hopes of taking home a part of a purse that amounted to $570,000 in 2009. Tournament fishermen are reminded that final registration will be held on Thursday under the tent from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Ocean City Fishing Center; be sure drop to $200 in the Level G Calcutta, as 50% of the pot will go towards supporting the RFA. Get more information at www.oceancitytunatournament.com or call 800-322-3065.
If you like trolling or chunking (or both!) for tuna, the 9th Annual Mid-Atlantic Tuna Tournament from July 14-17 is one exciting event you won't want to pass-up. Captains and crews can fish for two of three days, captain's choice, for yellowfin, bigeye and/or bluefin. What's great about this tourney is that boats of all sizes can compete and have a great competitive experience. You can also enter this tournament at various financial levels so you can compete where you feel comfortable - and as always, the more you're in, the more you win. The offshore bite has just kicked into gear along the Mid Atlantic coast with lots of yellowfin and a good number of big eyeballs - catch 'em up and win big at the Mid-Atlantic. Call South Jersey Marina at 609-884-2400 or visit www.southjerseytournaments.com.
From August 2-6, the quarry out of Ocean City, MD changes a bit as the "world's largest billfish tournament" gets underway at Harbour Island Marina with the 37th Annual White Marlin Open. Last year, a $903,442 paycheck for the winning 93-1/2-pound white marlin turned a few heads, but the 1,062-pound state record blue marlin stole the show by shattering the previous 20-year mark by over 100 pounds. Boats participating in the 2010 White Marlin Open may leave from any inlet between Rudee Inlet in Virginia and Barnegat Inlet in New Jersey, but all fish must be weighed at the official scale at Harbour Island Marina in Ocean City. A share of tournament proceeds will go directly towards helping support the RFA. Visit www.whitemarlinopen.com or call 410-289-9229.
The following week, the inshore fleet will be on the hunt along the Central and North Jersey Coast as the 2nd Annual Shillelagh Club Fluke Tournament will be held out of Belmar. This one-day fluke tournament is sponsored by the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of the Jersey Shore and boasts $5,000 in prize awards. Entry fee is just $100 per boat for four anglers, and $25 each additional fisherman. Winners will be announced at the awards picnic at the club located at 16th Avenue in Belmar. The Captain's Meeting will be held on Friday, August 14 and applications are available at local tackle shops or at the club in Belmar. Tournament is limited to 175 boats and all proceeds will be donated to the RFA, the Save the Summer Flounder Fishery Fund and the FSOS Foundation. Call Gary Friedhoff with any questions at 732-496-8848.
At 4:30 p.m. on August 15th, the captains meeting will commence for the 2010 Mid-Atlantic $500,000 - that's out of the Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, NJ and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, MD. Now in its 19th year, the Mid-Atlantic $500K has a track record of attracting a stellar field of participants, each wanting a crack at a tournament purse that consistently approaches the $2 million mark! The prize structure is designed to spread significant cash awards to the top three winners in the major categories while dolphin and wahoo winners share in the wealth as well. The tournament runs through August 20th, with the evening's festivities along the dock being nearly as exciting as the action out at the Mid-Atlantic canyons each morning and afternoon! Log on at www.midatlantic500000.com.
Tuna once again become the focus from August 21-29 as the 3rd Annual Tuna Stakes Invitational takes place along the Jersey Shore. A flexible format for trollers and chunkers alike, Tuna Stakes is set up so that boats can leave any inlet from Shark River to Cape May, with a captains choice of fishing from one of five nights after the commencement of the Captain's Meeting. There will be one captains meeting at Hoffman's Marina in Brielle on August 21, and another at Trump Marina Hotel in Atlantic City on August 22. A grand awards banquet will be held following the weeklong tourney on August 29th at Trump Marina. As with 2009, every boat entry in the 2010 Tuna Stakes Invitational is good for another one-year membership with the Recreational Fishing Alliance. Get more details on this event at www.tunastakes.com.
If your club or organization is coordinating a fishing tournament this season and you're interested in donating a portion of the proceeds to a worthy cause, contact RFA's Managing Director, Jim Hutchinson, at 888-564-6732. What could be a more worthy cause for a fishing tournament benefit than to support the only national fishing group in America today fighting for your right to fish!