By now you've probably heard the news - The Fisherman Magazine is celebrating our 50th year, a full five decades of providing the latest fishing news and information, weekly reports, and the most comprehensive 'how to' and 'where to' advice in the region. This publication has been a part of a great deal of sportfishing history, witnessing countless record catches and working with some of the most highly accomplished anglers of all time. So, to celebrate our golden anniversary, we're not just looking for a few good men and women for the 2016 Dream Boat Fishing Challenge leaderboard, we're essentially looking for only the best!
This year, subscribers to The Fisherman Magazine will be battling one another across multiple categories, earning points in each of the species listed in a take all format; in other words, the next winner of a new 'dream boat' will be crowned as a true gold medal winner, the very best of the best in 2016.
If you plan on winning that new Cobia, you better start plotting your season ahead - you're really going to have to fish for it this year!
Beginning at 12:01 a.m. on April 15, Fisherman subscribers will begin accumulating 'points' until the end of November. Points will be awarded to each of the top 10 entries with the heaviest fish in each species: 10 points goes to the heaviest fish in each of eight categories, 9 points for second, all the way to a single point for the 10th heaviest fish in that division. Whoever accumulates the most points during the 2016 contest will win the Cobia 201CC boat with Furuno GP1670F Plotter/Sounder, a JS12 Weego Heavy Duty Jump Starter battery + and a fish mount from Global Fish Mounts of one the fish entered (total retail value of $49,798.)
Same as in 2015, the eight fish species eligible for weigh-in are Blackfish, Bluefish, Fluke, Mahi, Porgy/Scup, Black Sea Bass, Weakfish, and Yellowfin Tuna. However, in 2016 there are only 10 slots in each category and not 15. If, for example, your buddy were to collect 10 points from having the largest weakfish for the contest, you could still win The Fisherman's 2016 Dream Boat Fishing Challenge outright with a fourth place fluke (7 points) and a seventh place porgy (4 points) for a total tally of 11 points. The key to winning the grand prize this year and celebrating as our golden anniversary grand champion is not to just get on the board - it's to get on the board with as many different fish as possible!
It's possible of course that there are only eight 10-point winners; or perhaps a couple of instances where multiple entrants are tied for total points. In that case, The Fisherman subscriber whose entry was weighed-in, signed and dated (by the tackle shop authorized personnel) first will be declared the winner. Because you're competing against subscribers across all three editions (New England, Long Island, NY Metro and New Jersey & Delaware Bay), this may be the season you decide to travel in order to take advantage of the hottest bite (don't forget as a subscriber you get digital access at TheFisherman.com to all the editions so you can follow the action throughout the region.)
Subscribers are competing not only for that new Cobia 201 center console boat with Yamaha 150 hp Outboard, with Furuno GPS/Plotter/Sounder Model GP1670F, a JS12 Weego Heavy Duty Jump Starter+, and a fish mount from Global Fish Mounts, but a total of four top prizes for total points accumulated during the 2016 contest. The subscriber with the second most points will receive a three-night stay for them self and one guest at the Zancudo Lodge in Costa Rica valued at $6,400 which includes meals and fishing. Our Third prize winner will receive an Okuma Azores Z-55S reel paired with a St. Croix TIS70MHM Rod and a JS12 Weego Heavy Duty Jump Starter+, while fourth prize is a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses and a JS12 Weego Heavy Duty Jump Starter+.
The eight 'largest of species' winners in 2016 will win an Okuma Azores Z-55S, a St. Croix TIS70MHM, a Global Fish Mount of their fish, lures from Atom and Acme, and a 1-year membership to Fishtrack.com and Bouyweather.com. All 80 finalists on the leaderboard will also get a prize package care of Tsunami, Maxima Fishing Line and Owner America Hooks. Plus, our fish of the month winners also win a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses. For freshwater big game hunters, we also have the grand prize available again for king salmon. At the conclusion of this year's contest, the subscriber who enters the heaviest king salmon will win a Sea Eagle Explorer 300x kayak valued at close to $1,000. Remember that king salmon entries yield no points toward the Dream Boat - the minimum weight requirement for entry is 20 pounds and caught on Lake Ontario or in its tributaries. And weighed at an official weigh station (weigh station locations around Lake Ontario are limited.)
Because of the new parameters for points gathering as of 2016, The Fisherman Magazine is making subtle yet significant changes to the eligibility requirements for participating subscribers out of fairness to everyone. This year, the contest is only open to subscribers who are not currently employed in the fishing industry; for the purpose of our contest and per the official rules that govern it, "fishing industry" is defined as any commercial fishing professional such as a charter/party/commercial boat captain or employee, tackle shop owners and employees, fishing guides, marina owners and employees, outdoor writers, and retail boat sales employees. As always, it is only open to legal residents of the United States who at the time of entry are paid subscribers to The Fisherman Magazine who are 18 years or older, and who physically reside in Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Vermont, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania or Rhode Island.
To qualify, any and all entered fish must be caught on rod and reel only within one of the eligible U.S. states listed above. Each contestant must follow all local, state and federal recreational fishing regulations and the fish must be caught within the official season time for the species per each eligible state's regulations. The minimum weight for entry into The Fisherman's 2016 Dream Boat Fishing Challenge is 7 pounds for blackfish, 15 pounds for bluefish, 7 pounds for fluke, 10 pounds for mahi, 2 pounds for porgy/scup, 4 pounds for black sea bass, 5 pounds for weakfish and 50 pounds for yellowfin.
While there are Dream Boat weigh stations just about everywhere you look throughout the region, remember that the entry responsibilities are yours! To qualify for any prize, you must submit a completed and signed official entry from the certified weigh station - within 10 days of weigh-in - along with a copy of The Fisherman Magazine subscription mailing label (if available), and a photo of the contestant with the caught fish. Entries may be submitted via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or mail to: Dream Boat Fishing Challenge, 14 Ramsey Rd, Shirley, NY 11967. For complete official rules, go to Official Rules page for more details on the contest.
As a subscriber you're already in it! But now comes the tough part - this year, you really gotta fish it to win it.
Fish hard and go for the gold!