Archive for Tournaments
It was GREAT to have the Riverview Striped Bass contest back this year following the washout last year due to Hurricane Sandy where the restaurant was severely damaged following that storm. The rebuilt the place and it looks AMAZING and the contest went off on 11/5/13 smooth as a bell.
The event kicks off the night before Election day with a Captains Meeting where all the guys get the chance to talk about our favorite pursuit and engage in some smack talking with fellow anglers. Always a GREAT part of the event. I had a great time at the meeting Monday night spending it with some very good friends and discussing the various plans we all had that would ultimately land OUR fish in the one of the 15 spots awarded prizes.
My crew, Dennis and Scott met me at the boat Tuesday morning and it was FREEZING, we loaded and rigged up and were off on our search for a winner. With just about every boat entered running down to the east of Fire Island Inlet I decided to fish to the west as I had only had smaller bass to 20lbs the day before fishing to the east. Usually 20lbs isn’t going to do anything on the leader board and as it turned out that indeed was the case this year.
We soon were marking bait and fish and the diamond jigs were put into action. Did not take long for the first of MANY MANY HUGE bluefish to come alongside the boat. Big angry bluefish were mixing in with stripers into the teens. Moving around and dropping on any substantial bait balls I marked produced more of the same until my buddy Dennis stuck the jig into a bass that my BogaGrip had weighing 24-25lbs. We decided to ice that one and finished out the jigging session with more teen sized bass and blues before heading into the bay for the start of the ebb.
We worked over a bunch of pieces on the inside with live baits but sadly could only find one additional fish that was 19lbs which while not enough for the leader board was MORE than enough for Scott’s dinner. We packed it at 2:45pm and headed to the weigh-in ceremony.
There were a two VERY big fish weighed when we came to the scale but a lot of smaller 20lb class fish as well so I thought Dennis’ fish had a good chance at holding up. We watched the last 45 minutes of the entries being weighed and saw our 24 move from 5th down the board to 12th where it held on as some smaller fish came to the scale that didn’t bump it.
We had a GREAT dinner and again had the chance to review the day with wonderful company and discuss what went wrong that each of us did not find THE FISH that would have captured the top prize. Another great event put on by The View restaurant and my crew are already looking forward to next year’s edition
On Saturday 10/19 my fishing buddy Bob Highland and I fished the Peter Dahill Memorial Striped Bass contest hosted by the Viking Inn in Islip NY. The Viking does a WONDEFUL job with this contest every year and we have a blast every time we fish it.
This year the week leading up to this contest featured RED hot action with big striped bass feeding on large schools of sand eels in the ocean off Long Island’s south shore. As late as Thursday we had MANY striped bass into the mid 30lb class on diamond jigs.
We broke Fire Island Inlet at first light and were first boat on the grounds far as we could see. The fishing started off slower than previous trips this week but before long birds were wheeling and diving over the baitfish driven to the surface by feeding gamefish. However, as we were to find out the large stripers had been replaced for the most part by HUGE, ANGRY bluefish running into the high teens. These fish are a LOT of fun to catch on any other day but not during a STRIPED BASS contest.
We ended up with a boatload of fish, probably combined for 30+ blues and stripers but alas the best striper for us on this day was to be a fish that hit the scale just under 22lbs. This fish was not good enough to place in the top three prizes as it fell into the 6th spot which was good enough for the “atta boy” award
On the positive side there was also a Calcutta for the largest bluefish which my partner Bobby nailed down with his 17lb slammer bluefish pictured below.
The after party back at the Viking was awesome as usual, lots of laughs and good natured smack talking going on among the contestents. The final result had a 34lb bass take first, two fish at 24lbs and some change nailed down the second and third spots. Great time and already looking forward to next year’s version. See you there
This weekend will be host to the Peter Dahill Striped Bass Contest hosted by the Viking Inn over in Islip. This is a great contest and I fully expect the turnout this year to be stronger than recent years as the striper contest fishermen missed the first one of the Fall due to the Islip Fire House Bass contest not going off this year. I figure guys will be chomping at the bit for a little friendly competition.
Captains meeting is Friday night (10/26) between 5pm and 7pm with the fishing going on Saturday (10/27) till 4pm. The BBQ afterwards is well worth the cost of entry into the contest. The Viking Inn does a wonderful job on this contest and I look forward to this one every year.
Hope to see you guys out there. Good luck and tight lines……… Capt Paul
Every year I look forward to Election Day. Not for the chance to vote in the new politicians but for the Annual Riverview (The View) Striped Bass contest. This year marked the 22nd edition and the weather could not have been any better. The fishing however was another story.
My buddies and I fish this contest every year but we were a man down this time around as one of the crew had work obligations and could not make it. There is a reason why WORK is a four letter word.
The 2011 Riverview Striped Bass contest saw 146 boats carrying 468 anglers out into the beautiful Great South Bay on one of the nicest days ever seen for this contest. Several past renewals have seen some pretty nasty conditions but not this year. Leaving the dock at the 7:30am as stated by the Contest rules had the contestants cruising across the bay in flat calm with the sun shining brightly.
We arrived on the grounds and with the announced LINES IN at 8am the 2011 Contest was underway. Live baits around the local tackle shops were rarer than hens teeth this year and I had taken a trip the day before hoping to round up some legal live baits. It just did not work out. Bait was so scarce that a local commercial netter who supplies live bunker to many contestants just could not round up any of these prime baitfish and so we fished with live eels the entire day. I LOVE the eels and night but not so much during the day.
We fished the end of the incoming current around the Fire Island Inlet with no luck. No signs of life on any of the other boats either. As the current turned to outgoing a move was made back into the bay. We were treated to the US Coast Guard practicing some rescue maneuvers with the helicopter and local cutter involved. What precision these guys show.
Made a bunch of moves around the bay. Morning moved into afternoon before we had our first and only take of the day. John hooked up a healthy little 31 inch striper that was not large enough for the minimum requirements of the contest. It was, however, just PERFECT size for the grill.
As the current slacked we headed back to the marina to clean-up and get to the restaurant for the Awards/Dinner party. This is one awesome party they throw here. The dinner is awesome with open bar provided courtesy of the sponsoring The View (formerly The Riverview) restaurant. It is a lot of fun gathering on the patio overlooking the Connetquot River and shooting the breeze with fellow fisherman. Trust me when I tell you that it is even MORE fun when you are bringing a contending size fish to the scales. We were hoping to improve upon our 2nd place finish in last years contest but that was just not to be this year.
The final verdict had a 36lb fish cop first prize. A pair of 27lb fish were 2nd and 3rd. From there the fish dropped in weight to the low 20s with a 19lb fish rounding out the top 10. The contest pays out to 15th place and it only took a TINY 14lb striper to grab the last spot this year. Can you say SLOW fishing, 468 anglers only managed to catch 15 qualifying stripers for the entire day.
Despite the VERY slow fishing, I already find myself thinking about next years edition and hoping to be finally dragging the WINNER to the scales.
Anyone in the Great South Bay area who has NOT fished this contest before should definately consider giving it a try. It is a LOT of fun for the cost of the entry fee and I think you have great time as well.
We fished the 2011 version of the Pete Dahill Memorial Striped Bass Contest this past Saturday (10/22/11). My buddy Bob Highland and I pulled out of the slip just before dawn and headed across the Great South Bay in some sloppy conditions. We broke the Fire Island Inlet at first light and found even more sporty conditions as the big west wind had the ocean very lumpy.
Our hope was to find some of the bunker pods that have been running along the south shore and it we quickly found it was going to be difficult at best. The wind had blown up the chop on top of the swells making it tough to find the bait. We cruised miles to the east first up tight to the beach and then moving off to 40-50ft of water without finding any signs of the bait schools.
Along the way we would mark areas of bait along the bottom where we dropped diamond jigs to work the marks over but had no results. Seems the browned up water may have put the fish off their feeding routine. After spending 3 fruitless hours outside we decided to move back inside and fish the live baits we had aboard on some of our favorite pieces.
The water inside the bay was more a mess than the ocean. The very clouded water combined with the current running against the wind made for less than ideal fishing as it would turn out. We were not able to find any fish at any of our combined favorite honey holes as the ebb current slacked.
As the flood started we repeated the process of working our way from the inlet back into the bay again hitting all our spots while adding in some other lesser known locations with no results for our efforts. Our day ended with the incoming current peaking and combined with the wind blowing the same direction we were moving along at a lightening fast drift of almost 3mph. Not GOOD!!!
We headed back to the contest host location at the Viking Inn in Islip with our tails between our legs. Taking advantage of the wonderful barbeque spread the Viking Inn provided gave us both the opportunity to forget the tough fishing day we had just endured. Hats off to the Viking Inn and it’s volunteers for another excellent event. Not many qualifying fish were entered but it seemed as though noone was really minding at the awards/BBQ ceremony.
The winners were a 33lb Striper taking first place that was reported as being taken to the west of Fire Island. The same boat also had the second place fish of 27lbs. Great day for those guys. They also took the Bluefish category with a 12lb brute. An 18lb striper rounded out the prize list.
The night was rounded out with a bunch of tackle door prizes being raffled off and we were both lucky enough to cash in on one of these. HUGE thanks to Greg over at Burnetts Bait and Tackle in Bay Shore and Frank from Chasing Tails Tackle in Oakdale for their very generous donations to the raffle.
Despite a less than stellar day of striper fishing, I did have a good time as this was the first time Bob and I got to fish together on the same boat. Hopefully it won’t take as long for us to get together again next time.
We fished the Islip Fire Department Annual Striped Bass contest this past weekend (10/8/11). I had the usual crew aboard and we had some BEAUTIFUL weather for the entire day. The striper fishing was far from hot but there were enough fish around to settle the top 10 spots. One of which I was fortunate enough to grab with a small 16.60 lb striper. That fish was good enough for 10th place. They say even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while right ??
We took advantage of the large amount of bunker that has invaded the Fire Island Inlet and Great South Bay by loading up the livewell with plenty of live baits. As it turned out, that was to be the easy part as we fished them over plenty of my favorite pieces but were only able to find two fish the entire day. My buddy Dennis had a fish right on the line but figuring it would not place the fish was released. It would not have made the board so good move by Dennis on that one.
Speaking with some of my fellow anglers at the awards dinner I found that we had a lot better luck than a lot of folks. Turns out there were only 14 fish that met the qualifying size limit weighed in out of 50+ boats. It was some slow striper fishing despite the massive amounts of bait present the whole day. The bluefish on the other hand made their presence felt at many of the locations we fished. They beat up the baits pretty good.
The winning fish was a sweet 37lb bass followed by a 2nd place 29lb’er. My fishing buddy Bob Highland managed at 22lb fish that took 6th place. His fish also ate a live bunker.
The Islip Fire Department does a wonderful job with this contest every year. From the weigh-in to the Dinner/Awards ceremony back at the firehouse, everything is top notch. Plenty of door prizes donated by local tackle shops only adds to the fun. All the proceeds go to a family in need that is selected each year and it always brings you back to earth to hear the reality of life that these families stories bring.
If any of my fellow South Shore fisherman have not tried this contest I’d strongly suggest you add it to your calendar for Columbus Day 2012. You WILL have a great time.