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Hundreds of casters share in the camaraderie generated by these popular surf fishing events.
By Fred Golofaro  |  August 21, 2017
Winners from last year's Montauk Classic gathered at the awards ceremony.

Hosted by The Fisherman and Long Island State Parks, these popular events always attract a crowd. First on tap is the Montauk Classic, slated for Friday, September 22 through Sunday, September 24. The Classic kicks off at noon Friday, and continues through Sunday at noon. The awards ceremony will take place at the Point at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday. The first 100 attendees at Sunday’s awards ceremony will receive a goody bag of tackle and all attendees will receive a free ticket for the awards ceremony raffle.

Weigh-in for this year’s contest will again be Paulie’s Tackle Shop where the doors will remain open 24/7 throughout the weekend. The in-person entry deadline is 9 a.m. on Saturday morning at Paulie’s and it goes without saying that you must be pre-registered before entering a fish. The entry fee remains just $15 per angler.

Boundary lines for this contest are all shore areas east of the westernmost boundary of Napeague State Park. All areas must be accessible by foot or wading. Swimming, using a boat, kayak or any flotation device to access an area is prohibited. The minimum size for striped bass entries is set at 36 inches, while the bluefish minimum is set at 5 pounds.

Since being introduced back in 2014, the Striped Bass Release Division has actually seen more fish entered into it than the open category. The category was created in an effort to reduce the number of bass brought to the scales. Winners of the release division will be determined by overall length measured to the nearest half inch to expedite the release. It was felt that hanging fish on a scale puts undue stress on the fish. Another registered participant in the Classic must witness the measuring and release, and sign off on the angler’s entry card. It is up to the angler to check their entry in at Paulie’s, just as if they were weighing a fish in. There are three places in the Striped Bass Release Division, and the Striped Bass and Bluefish divisions. Winners of the striped bass (weighed) and bluefish categories will receive $750. Second and third place winners, and first through third place in the striped bass release category will receive quality tackle prizes. In the case of a tie, the earliest fish checked in will take priority.

The South Shore Surf Fishing Classic is set for October 13 through 15. The contest is hosted by The Fisherman and Long Island State Parks, and is sponsored by Captree Bait & Tackle. It kicks off at noon on Friday, October 13, and continues through noon on Sunday, October 15. The entry fee for this popular event is also $15.

The same prize categories featured in the Montauk Classic, Striped Bass Release, Striped Bass and Bluefish will be in play here. There will be cash and quality tackle prizes awarded to those catching the three largest stripers (36-inch minimum), the three largest blues (5-pound minimum), and the three largest striped bass released (36-inch minimum). The awards ceremony takes place at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday at Captree State Park. The first 100 attendees at Sunday’s awards ceremony will receive free tackle, and all attendees will receive a free ticket for the awards ceremony raffle. Boundary lines are the Jones Beach West End Two Jetty to the east jetty of Moriches Inlet.

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