Editor’s Log: 2023 Interclub Recap - The Fisherman

Editor’s Log: 2023 Interclub Recap

Another interclub surfcasting tournament has concluded, and we’re on the verge of kicking off another one. Every year, The Fisherman Magazine sponsors its season-long competition that consists of the island’s fishing clubs and their hundreds of club members submitting striped bass, bluefish, and weakfish caught while surf fishing in New York waters. While there isn’t a prize of any monetary value awarded to the winners, the competition does bring out some awesome competition among the clubs and individual anglers. In the end, the top anglers earn well-deserved bragging rights and full acknowledgment as some of the hardest-working casters on the island. They’re also awarded pins and plaques for their accomplishments.

Let’s start off by taking a look at the statistics for the 2023 contest. Keep in mind that overall standings comprise the heaviest 10 fish for each eligible fish category the clubs put up each month. Eleven clubs once again participated in the 2023 contest, the same as the previous two years. All clubs tallied 19,701 points in 2023, while 2022 saw a total of 17,881 points, and 2021 only had 14,842 points submitted. This is a tremendous three-year increase due to more striped bass weighing in. Maybe skills are getting sharper, or it was just a better season from the surf overall. I have heard mixed opinions from those who fished.

We did see a decrease in participation in the contest by nine individuals from ’22 to ’23, but even with this decrease in actively participating anglers, the total points were up nearly 2,000 from the prior year, which is absolutely a sign of overall better fishing, in my opinion.

As far as individual species go, every category was up since the last contest, following the trend. Stripers saw 13,023 compared to 10,088; bluefish was 6,492 verses 6,015; weakfish points slipped with 80 in 2023 against 370 in 2022. Striped bass carried the weight of the majority of the points increase between the two years, and the proof is pretty clear. Fewer anglers participated, but almost 3,000 more striper points between the two years! Bluefish, as expected, saw a small bump by a little over 400 points, and weakfish, which typically don’t see a lot of entries, did see a good slide from one season to the next. I still don’t believe the weakfishing was worse between the two years. I received massive amounts of boat reports throughout the ’23 season and got in on the action myself.

Of all of the stripers submitted, their average weight was 16.64 pounds, while the average in the previous contest was 16.45 pounds. The bluefish average for ’23 was 11.66 pounds, while in ’22, it was 11.6. Both of these statistics were nearly identical and led to more proof that it just came down to more fish being caught during the ’23 contest as opposed to the ’22 contest.

The 2024 contest is set to start during the month of April and will run until December. For more information on how to get involved, email me at mbroderick@thefisherman.com.

See the final leaderboard of the 2023 contest in the briefs section of the magazine.

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