On Sunday June 8th the Suffolk Marine Anglers hosted the 2014 version of their annual Striped Bass contest. This is one contest I have not been able to fish in years past for one reason or another but this year the schedule was clear and I took advantage of the chance to enter this year.

The event kicked off with a Captain’s meeting on Thursday evening hosted by Miller’s Ale House who had food for all attendees as well as donations to the fund raising raffle. There was thousands of dollars worth of other beautiful prizes auctioned and raffled for the benefit of Hospice Network as well.

Striped Bass Captain Meeting Millers Ale House

Some of the crowd at the Captains Meeting

I fished with lifelong buddy Dennis and his son Matt. Matt is off to college in the fall and will be missing our usual Fall striper contests so thisĀ  Spring event worked out even better. I only wish the fishing might have been a bit stronger for his “going away” party.

As the 6am start neared all of the 40 boats entered motored to the mouth of the river for the anticipated shotgun start. At 6am on the dot, the gun sounded and boats blasted off in search of the cow striper that would win the day.

Suffolk Anglers Striped bass contest

Check In time for the 2014 Contest as Babylon Town dock

On the fishing front, we had a livewell full of bunker and as it appears this year’s striper migration is a bit off the “usual” schedule, we ran way to the western edge of the Contest boundaries at Debs Inlet hoping to intercept a winner. We fished the entire day jumping from one bunker school to the next, and there were TONS of them, but in the end only managed to find two fish on a day that did appear to be VERY slow for most of the contestants. Many folks I spoke with who did have fish on the leader board mentioned the big fish was the only bite of the day.

25llb striper was the best but not even close for the leader board

25llb striper was the best but not even close for the leader board

When all was said and done, our best was 25lbs, the contest winner was just under 50 coming in at 49.9 lbs and it took a fish of 34 lbs just to get in the top eight spots that paid out. Very nice work and congratulations to those who managed to place.

This being my first exposure to this contest I was VERY impressed with out it was run, from the Captains meeting, to the crew on the dock in the morning checking on boats to the final weigh-in and awards it was an amazing event. My hats off to all involved for making this such a great event for a wonderful cause.

I sure hope to be back again next year for another shot at this one