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MONTAUK AND SOUTH SHORE SURF CLASSICS WRAPUP

Entry fees go into a dedicated parks fund that is used for improving fishing opportunities within Long Island State Parks, making these events a win-win for all involved.

By Fred Golofaro  |  October 28, 2019
MONTAUK AND SOUTH SHORE SURF CLASSICS WRAPUP
Winners of the South Shore Classic: Standing are Dan Turdo, Jennifer Junk, Nelson Felix, and Lee Scott. Kneeling is John Mlodynia.

This year’s Montauk Surf Classic, held from September 20-22, ran into a brick wall as huge waves drew surfers from far and wide to the north and south sides of the Point and put an end to what had been a very good week of action around the Point and along the sand beaches. For the first time, there were no eligible bass or blues entered in the event but the three released bass slots were filled. Not so surprising, blitzes began developing below the concession stand as if on cue around the noon deadline for entries. Taking the release awards were Dan Turdo with a 33-1/2 incher, Mike Larson with a 31 incher and Rich Janitschek with a 30 incher. Kudos to Paul and Nick from Paulie’s who survived 24/7 stints in the shop despite the lack of activity. Montauk State Park manager Tom Dess and his crew did a great job setting up for the awards ceremony, registering attendees and distributing goody bags.

Next up was the South Shore Classic held on October 25-27, which seemed especially well timed as it fell in the midst of some very good surf fishing taking place along much of the South Shore, especially within the boundaries of the contest which ran from Jones to Moriches inlets. While the fishing to the east, especially along Southampton beaches was red hot over the course of the weekend, it was not the case for the Fire Island area where many of the participants in the South Shore Classic targeted their effort. Many reported slow fishing through the weekend and only one keeper qualified for the striped bass division. That was a 15.74 pounder beached by John Mlodynia worth $750. There were no bluefish entries which continues to be a disturbing trend that needs to be addressed by ASMFC sooner rather than later.

The highlight of the contest came in the striped bass release division where Lee Scott returned a 52-inch striper of 50-plus pounds on Friday night. Dan Turdo’s 34 incher took second place and Nelson Felix nailed down third with a 32 incher. Jennifer Junk took the final spot with a 31-1/4 inch bass. The awards ceremony and the tent survived through winds gusting to 40 or more mph and heavy wind-blown rain. Despite the conditions, a large number of anglers turned out for the awards ceremony.

Kudos to Brenden Rutigliano and his crew at Captree B&T who manned the shop for the duration of the contest, and for his contributions to the awards ceremony. Captree/Robert Moses superintendent Tim Byrnes and his crew did their usual great job setting up the awards ceremony and making sure the tent survived the event under very difficult conditions.

Jessica Anderson-Ruiz and Jonathan Cruz from State Parks headquarters were most instrumental in putting both contests together and making sure they went off without a hitch. Without their work there would have been no contests. A very special thanks to the sponsors, especially Lamiglas, who came up big providing prizes for both events. Thanks also to Ocean Born Lures, Al Gags Lures, Spro, Eagle Claw, Big Rock Sports and Tactical Anglers for their generous goody bag donations. And thanks to all who participated in the event. Entry fees left after the prize money is distributed go into a dedicated parks fund that is used for improving fishing opportunities within Long Island State Parks, making these events a win-win for all involved.

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