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Surf fishermen are gearing up for a trio of annual surfcasting tournaments slated for September and October.

By Fred Golofaro  |  August 27, 2018
Each of the events is followed by an awards ceremony featuring raffles and a heavy dose of camaraderie.

As surfcasters look forward with anticipation to the fall run, they should also be marking their calendars for three surf fishing tournaments that are as much about camaraderie as they are about catching fish. First on tap is the Montauk Classic. Hosted by The Fisherman and Long Island State Parks, the Montauk Surf Fishing Classic is slated for September 21 through the 23rd. Fishing 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 the contest is at 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 for those who can’t get to Montauk before the weekend. 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. The Striped Bass Release Division was created four years ago in an effort to reduce the number of bass brought to the scales. Winners of the release division are determined by overall length measured to the nearest half inch to expedite the release. 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 follows and is set for October 12 through 14. It is also hosted by The Fisherman and Long Island State Parks, and is sponsored by Captree Bait & Tackle. It kicks off at noon on Friday, October 12, and continues through noon on Sunday, October 14. The entry fee is $15, and it goes without saying that you must be entered prior to checking in any fish. The same prize categories featured in the Montauk Classic will be in play here, and the awards ceremony takes place at 12:30 p.m. on Sunday at Captree State Park. The first 100 attendees at the 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.

For info on either of the Classics, call 631-321-3510.

The third tournament, the Babylon Autumn Surf Fishing Cup, sponsored by Town of Babylon and hosted by Paumonak Surfcasters and the Long Island Beach Buggy Association (LIBBA) will take place from 5 p.m. Friday, October 26 to noon on Sunday, October 28. Boundaries are the western border of Gilgo State Park to the Sore Thumb in Fire Island Inlet. Only striped bass and bluefish are eligible for prizes. Early registration by mail before October 19th is $15. In-person registration from 5 to 6 p.m. at the official weigh station in the Overlook Beach parking lot is $20. The awards ceremony will take place Sunday, October 28th following final weigh-in in Overlook Beach parking lot. This tournament is open to Babylon Town residents and non-residents with 4x4 and parking access provided to participants. There is a special pool for LIBBA members. For more information or to obtain an official entry form, contact the Town Clerk’s office at 631-957-4286.