The first of two fall surf fishing tournaments that The Fisherman Magazine sponsors is now in the books. The end of September, going into October, saw the three-day Fred Golofaro Memorial Montauk Classic. This event has been a tradition for years and was once hosted by the late Fred Golofaro.
The format of the tournament this year saw some changes to the striper category. The decision was made to go with a length catch and release division instead of the slot category. We also got rid of the striper weigh and release division. The reason is that with the further shrinking of the striper slot down to 28 to 31 inches, it just didn’t seem feasible to host a tournament where casters were fishing in a 3-inch slot to weigh fish in. On the plus side, it open the door to bring trophy-sized fish back into the event. The format utilized a tag and a measurement device with a photo for proof. Tournament tags and rulers were provided by the state at the signup. The bluefish category was left unchanged, with anglers weighing them in. Photo evidence of the fish caught was also submitted to Paulie’s Tackle in Montauk the same way they would normally submit a bass in the past. No texted or emailed submissions were accepted.
The fishing was decent at this event, with a good amount of smaller fish along the north side of the point. The majority of the good action came from the sand beach after dark and in the early mornings.
The board itself was mostly filled out, with the exception of the last bluefish spot. Mike Addeo took the top striper spot this year with a 38-inch, followed by John Bruno with his 37-inch fish and Gary Krist with a 34-inch. For the bluefish, Frank Mercurio took first with a 6-pounder, then followed by Gary Krist again with his 5.88-pounder. The state upped the cash prizes from $750 to $1000 this year for both first-place finishers, while rods and reels were donated by Tsunami and Shimano for other prizes. Additionally, this year, the Golofaro family was present for the awards ceremony and presented the striper category winner, Mike Addeo, with a plaque for his catch and release conservation practices and the win.
I wanted to give an extra shout-out to the state for helping put this together and Paulie’s Tackle for being the official tournament entry station and staying open for 24-hour days to help make this event possible. The next event, the Fred Golofaro Memorial South Shore Classic, will be taking place at the end of this month from October 27 through 29 and will be hosted by Captree Bait and Tackle.