It’s back! The Greatest Bluefish Tournament on Earth along with its $25,000 grand prize. Saltwater anglers across New York and southern New England know to expect it, on the weekend before Labor Day, the unofficial end of the angling summer is marked by this longstanding event that gets anglers of all ages and tackle shops all over Long Island and Connecticut involved in the hysteria.
This is not a ‘winner take all’ tournament either, there are many ways to take home some prize money. In addition to the $25,000 grand prize, the second-largest bluefish landed will net $7,500 and third place will deposit a check for $2,500. But that’s still not all, fourth and fifth will take home $500 each, places 6 through 10 get $200 each, 11 through 15 will grab $150 each and places 16 through 20 will each take home a cool C-note. That’s still not all, the heaviest blue hung on the scale at each weigh station will also nab a $100 port prize, there are 16 port prizes and no contestant may take home more than one prize. Weigh in your fish at one our participating advertisers (AW Marina in New London, J&B Tackle in Niantic or Fisherman’s World in Norwalk) and your catch may be featured in our reports section!
The tournament begins at 12:01 a.m. on Saturday August 27th and runs through 5 p.m. on Sunday, August 28th. Each weigh station is given a calibrated scale (which is retrieved afterward). There are 16 weigh stations this year, eight in Connecticut and eight on Long Island and they are pretty evenly spaced along the shorelines of each state. The tournament is confined to the waters of Long Island Sound with the westernmost boundary being the Whitestone Bridge and the easternmost edge being the Colregs Demarcation Line (a line running from Orient Point, New York across Great, Little & Gull Islands, to Race Point on Fishers Island and from the East Point on Fishers Island to Watch Hill Point, Rhode Island which includes Fishers Island Sound). Anywhere inside these boundaries is fair game while you duke it out for bluefish fame!
The total cost of entry is $41 per angler ($36 for entry plus a $5 fee). The top three anglers will have to pass a polygraph test before accepting their prizes. Be advised that your entry fee only qualifies one person to win, so if you’ll have multiple anglers on your boat hunting for the big winner, each of them – including children – will have to have to be entered separately. And you may remember that a 12-year old girl won the grand prize a few years back so make sure all your anglers are registered before lines in. You can register online at www.bluefishtournament.com, by calling 203-866-BLUE or in person by visiting any of the participating tackle shops. Your entry fee includes a free tournament t-shirt and a weekend of guaranteed fishing fun.