By Bob Preston

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association - July 1996 Newspaper)

The Jersey Coast Fluke Tournament for 1996 proved to be another great success. Compared to last year's tournament, one port was added for the Hudson River area anglers. This brought us to a total of 10 ports with thirteen weigh-in stations ...the Barnegat Inlet, Beach Haven and Delaware Bay ports having two weigh stations each.

It is estimated that between 2,600 and 3,900 anglers fished from the 650 registered boats. The tournament grossed in excess of $33,000, which after expenses, will be used to pursue and support the Jersey Coast Anglers Association's goals and objectives including access, preservation of species, clean water, youth education and enhancement of recreational fishing opportunities.

Several ingredients go into the success of a tournament such as this ... cooperating weigh stations, volunteer weigh masters and contributing sponsors.

The thirteen weigh stations, listed below, who supported this year's tournament couldn't do enough to make sure that every thing succeeded. These weigh stations are appreciated and deserve special mention for many reasons. Each station offered their facilities and services at no charge to JCAA. Each station offered a prize for the largest fish weigh at their facility, regardless of whether it was the largest for the port. In some cases weigh station owners offered second and third place prizes. Prizes ranged from $50 gift certificates, to over night accommodations, to rod and reels, etc. At those ports where there were two weigh stations, the interest in having weighed in the largest fish between each station was almost as intense as that of the anglers involved. Several weigh stations, by their own volition, were accepting payments and registrations. One weigh station went so far as to accept payment by phone on an American Express card and then hand over cash to JCAA. We can't say enough about the tremendous enthusiastic support we received from this year's weigh stations.

The Weigh Stations

Atlantic City - Farley State Marina 600 Huron Avenue, Atlantic City
Barnegat Inlet - Cape Island Marina Marine Road, Waretown
Barnegat Inlet - Bruce & Pat's Bait & Tackle 317 N. Longbeach Blvd., Surf City
Beach Haven - Scott's Bait & Tackle 28-4 Radio Road, Mystic Island
Beach Haven - Fishermen's Headquarters Route 72, Ship Bottom
Cape May - Jim's Bait & Tackle 3rd Avenue & Rt. 109, Cape May
Delaware - Bay Higbee's Marina Main Street, Fortescue
Delaware Bay - Longreach marina Shell Road, Port Norris
Hudson River - The Outdoorsman Ltd. 12 Columbia Avenue, Palisades Park
Manasquan River - Clark's Landing 847 Arnold Avenue, Point Pleasant
Sandy Hook - Julian's Bait & Tackle 990 Route 36, Atlantic Highlands
Shark River - Capt. Bill's Bait & Tackle Route 35, Belmar Basin Belmar
Townsends Inlet - Avalon Pointe Marina 701 Old Avalon Blvd., Avalon

The Weigh Masters

Our weigh masters were members of JCAA Clubs. Again volunteers! They gave up the better part of their Memorial Day Weekend to support the tournament. More likely than not they would have probably preferred to be fishing instead. As JCAA designated weigh masters, they lend a high degree of credibility to the weigh-in process. Their job was not just one of weighing fish, but rather, it included signing up late entries and collecting registration fees on the Friday night before the tournament, updating port rosters, coordination with the weigh station owners/operators and reporting in to the Tournament Director; and then, returning back on Saturday for the actual weigh-ins. When, at 5 PM on Saturday evening, it was al said and done for the participating anglers, the weigh masters still had a hand full of chores to finish up ... call in the weigh station results to the Tournament Director, close out the weigh stations, finish any open issues with the weigh station operators and then package up the rosters, registration forms, scales, and fees and send them back to JCAA headquarters.

Here are the guys who did it:

Atlantic City
Barnegat Inlet (Forked River)
Barnegat Inlet (LBI)
Beach Haven (LBI)
Beach Haven (Mystic Isles)
Cape May
Delaware Bay (Fortescue)
Delaware Bay (Port Norris)
Hudson River
Manasquan River

Sandy Hook
Shark River
Townsends Inlet

Lou Schott
George McNamara
Henry DeGrigorio
Ed Cherry
Al Dahooluk
Bruce Peterson
Doug Rainier
Scott Rodman
Dan Reiman
Lou Vale
Bill Williams
Paul Smith
Bob Hale
Al Marantz
Rick Firrera

Absecon Bay Anglers
ClubForked River Tuna Club
Long Beach Is. Fishing Club
Village Harbor fishing Club
Central Jersey Anglers
South Jersey Surfcasters
Fortescue Chrtr & Party Boat
Fortescue Anglers Club
Hudson Rvr Fishrmen's Assn
Shore Surf Club

Sandy Hook Bay Anglers Club
Newark Bait & Flycasting Club
South Jersey Saltwater Anglers Club

The Sponsors

The prize list this year was in excess of $45,000. While the ten $1,000 port prizes and the $5,000 grand prize weremade available by JCAA, several thousand dollars worth of items were donated as door prizes, or as in the case of the Penn reels, as second place port prizes. The door prizes, which were drawn by lottery on May 28, were made available from manufactures of fishing and boating products, marinas and boating and fishing retail stores.

What a list! A Yamaha 2 HP outboard motor made available through Yamaha and Hobby Lobby Marine in Toms River, over $600 of marine equipment including a Micrologic GPS unit, Tasco binoculars, an Olympia tool set, a Pompanette gaff, a I million candle power spot light, 2 sets of life preservers with stowage bag and a Flambeau tackle box from M&E Marine of Camden and Bordentown. A Lowrance X45 Fish finder provided by Lowrance Electronics. A hand held VHF Marine Radio courtesy of Shakespeare Electronics, Costa Del mare Sport Sun Glasses from Costa Del Mar, and thirteen Electronic Digital scales and twenty four spools of big game line donated by Berkley.


Several other persons made important contributions to the overall success of the tournament

Rita Lynch, JCAA clerical secretary, handled all the registration forms ... completed ones and incompleted ones that needed follow-up work to obtain correct info. V.P Dave Clark, who designed and implemented the data base program used to run the administrative requirements of the tournament and who put in countless hours of effort making sure that things were right. And president Bill Degnan and the rest of the JCAA Executive Staff who provided encouragement and assistance and stayed out of the way.

Last , but not least, thanks to the 650 registered participants, without whom there would not have been a tournament in 1996.

Members of the JCAA clubs are encouraged to patronize the weigh stations, manufacturers and businesses that supported this tournament and all other JCAA programs.

Bob Preston is a member of the South Jersey Saltwater Anglers Club and served as Director of the 1996 Jersey Coast Fluke Tournament.

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