One of the regions most popular surf fishing tournaments, the South Shore Surf Fishing Classic, kicks off this Friday, October 16th at noon and continues through noon on Sunday, October 18th. Hosted by The Fisherman and Long Island State Parks, and sponsored by Captree Bait & Tackle, this popular event always attracts a crowd, and should be well timed for the migratory run of stripers and blues down Long Island’s South Shore beaches. Boundary lines are the Jones Beach West End Two Jetty to the east jetty of Moriches Inlet. All areas must be accessible by foot or wading. Swimming, using a boat, kayak or any flotation device to access an area is prohibited.

There was good fishing for bass and blues along this stretch during the past week and there is every reason to believe the good fishing will continue, given the vast amount of bait in the area. Bunker, white bait and sand eels fueled the latest action. The awards ceremony will take place at Captree at 12:30 p.m. The first 100 attendees at Sunday’s awards ceremony will receive a free tackle gift from Tsunami and Sea Striker, and all attendees will receive a free ticket for the awards ceremony raffle.

Weigh-in and registration for this year’s contest will be at Captree Bait & Tackle which will remain open throughout the tournament. The in-person entry deadline is 9 a.m. Saturday at Captree Bait & Tackle. The entry fee remains just $15 per angler and you must be registered prior to any fishing. The minimum size for striped bass entries is set at 36 inches, while the bluefish minimum is set at 5 pounds.

Last year we introduced a Striped Bass Release Division in an effort to reduce the number of bass brought to the scales. Last year saw more fish entered in the release division than in the open division. Winners of the release division will be determined by overall length measured to the nearest half inch to expedite the release. It was felt that hanging fish on a scale puts undue stress on the fish. Another registered participant in the Classic must witness the measuring and release, and sign off on the angler’s entry card. It is up to the angler to check their entry in at Captree Bait & Tackle, just as you would if you were weighing in a fish. There are three places each in the Striped Bass Release Division, and the Striped Bass and Bluefish divisions. Winners of the striped bass (weighed) and bluefish categories will receive $750. Second and third place winners in all three categories and the first place winner in the release category will receive quality tackle prizes from St. Croix, Penn and Star Rods. In the case of a tie, the earliest fish checked in will take priority.