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The Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic celebrates 64 years of competitive surfcasting on the beaches of LBI from October 6 through December 9, with daily, weekly, segment and grand prizes.
By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.  |  September 30, 2018
John Matt with the 48-pound striper caught on bunker chunk and weighed in at Surf City Bait and Tackle last November 1 for top bass in last year’s Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic.

On Saturday October 6, the 64th Annual Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Tournament (long referred to as “The Derby”) will officially kick off with the annual Super Surf Casting Seminar at 9 a.m. at the Ship Bottom Volunteer Fire Company No. 1 Station on 21st Street and Central Avenue in Ship Bottom.

Refreshments and door prizes will be available as members of Team Mullet Fishing Club and the tournament committee will share their knowledge of equipment, casting, bait, driving a 4x4 vehicle on the beach, and much more.Weather permitting, hands-on instruction will follow on the Beach at 20th Street or at the Bay Beach at 14th Street in Ship Bottom. Reserve your spot for this Saturday’s clinic by emailing Pat Hoagland at patatnj@aol.com.

Remember too to sign up for the 64th Annual Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic running from October 6 through December 9 on the beaches of LBI. The traditional eight-week, four-segment format was changed to nine weeks and three segments starting in 2017, with the grand prize for the largest striped bass doubled to $2,000 (and a PENN reel), and $500 goes to each segment winner. The grand prize for bluefish remains $1,000 (and a PENN reel), but each segment winner gets the $500. There are also top prizes for ladies, junior anglers and seniors.

Daily prizes have also been modified as the first and second place daily prizes have been combined to award a single $100 daily for striped bass and $50 for bluefish, with participants eligible to win once every week. To accommodate a few good weigh-ins of red drum over the past few years, $100 awards for top redfish (18 to 27 inches slot) in each segment will also be given.

Registrations can be picked up Fisherman’s Headquarters, Surf City Bait and Tackle, Captain’s Quarters Bait and Tackle and Jingles Bait and Tackle. Gold sponsors of this year's event include AFW/HISeas, Barlow Buick/GMC, Bonanni Realtors, DiFeo's Manahawkin Chrysler/Jeep/Ram, Mancini Realty, PENN Reels, Tsunami Tackle and The Fisherman Magazine.

Learn more about “The Derby” while following along with up-to-date tournament weigh-ins from LBI at www.lbift.com.