The Fluke Tournament Guy Says "Thanks"

by Phil Celmer

(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association July 1999 Newsletter)

The flatfish are settling in along the beaches and in the single digit fathom depths. Perhaps they are breathing a collective sigh of relief now that the fifth annual JCAA fluke tournament is over because, by all accounts, it was our best ever. Everyone should pat themselves on their backs for a job well done. The sponsors again came through in a big way. Resorts Casino Hotel’s great first place prize, super facilities and food, United Fishing Association’s worthy second prize and a bonus prize for the UFA members, Raytheon Electronics for a value packed third place Fishfinder and Penn Reels for a great combo fourth place rod and reel.

I would like to thank Penn Reels again. Their fine products exemplify what we are all about, Recreational Angling. Special thanks to all the volunteers, especially, Rich Pasko and port personnel for their hard work. The real reason the tournament was a success is that the money raised will be spent to protest your right to fish. This may not sound important to someone who is not affected by the sound and smell of the sea and the excitement of a good hit on one’s line, but for the recreational fisherman it is a life-extending joy. Still not convinced our cause is noble? Rread The Old Man and the Sea or watch Captains Courageous on the American Classic Movie channel when the wind is blowing. Fishing is mystical, magical, an experience gleaned in youth, savored and appreciated in latter years. But back to our sponsors, The Fisherman magazine for not only the fifth place video collection, but also for spreading the word on our tournament with ads in their informative digest and Starbrite for the sixth place boat care in a bucket prize.

Thought I forgot the boat didn’t you? Wow! What a complete fishing package worth $26,000 from Yamaha outboard, Cobia boat and Shoreland’r trailer. A 19-foot center console fishing magnet. Hobby Lobby Marine here in Toms River set up this dreamboat for Mr. Erich Neise, the grand prizewinner. Who, I’m sure is out on the bay contemplating his extraordinary luck.

The biggest winner and sponsor of the fifth annual Jersey Coast Association tournament may come as a surprise because it is of course you, the recreational angler. You made it happen. You made up a fleet of 713 boats strong. You and your fellow anglers showed up in record numbers of over 1,700 at the awards ceremony. This support of the JCAA will permit us to help in a small, but hopefully effective way to protect the environment, educate our youth and others to ensure recreational fishing is a pursuit that all can enjoy in the future.


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