I want to thank everyone for coming out this Saturday and fishing the first annual Chillaware Island Surf Fishing tournament. I had a blast putting this together. We could not have done this without our sponsors and venue. Big Chill Beach Club, Big Chill Surf Cantina, Liquid Board shop, Crooked Hammock, WBOC Outdoors Delmarva, Diamond State Custom Tackle, Helly Hansen, Nage Fork & Flask, El Dorado, Fenwick Bait and Tackle, Taco Reho, and Karen Sergeson, Realtor from Keller WIlliams. Thank you all for the support and we are already planning next year and the coming spring. I also want to thank Suzanne Martin, Scott Jost, Corby Fulton, and Captain Brian Wazlavek for judging you guys did a great job, rest up for next year we might take the bluefish down to ten inches to keep you working all day. Big thanks to Shauna McVey for helping me keep organized all day,and to Ed Borys for taking photographs. Shout out to Delaware State Parks for allowing us to drive further north on 3Rs that helped make this tournament a big success. The final total of anglers was one hundred and forty-one. That beach was packed!
Despite the heavy surf conditions, there were a lot of fish caught just not a lot scored. Literally tons of small bluefish in the six to ten inch range. We might make bluefish count at ten inches net year. Lots of small flounder were hitting mullet, a few pompano, even one that placed. A nine-inch false albacore hit a mullet rig. There was a lot of small puppy drum or black drum, but none that qualified. We might lower that size limit next year as well. If we lower some of these size limits, the points scored will be astronomical. The weather was rather wet in the morning but the rain and blowing mist subsided late in the morning, we saw a small patch of blue sky for about ten seconds and the sun tried to make an appearance twice. Despite all of that everyone had a great time. “We were surprised the water was so warm this time of year, we could stand in it and cast.” I heard that a lot at the awards ceremony and after party. Those conditions are different every year, back in the day October was known as Rocktober since the striped bass would run by this time. That has changed and we are still trying to come up with a cool moniker for November. Wouldn’t you know it but Sunday was a beautiful calm clear water day in the surf. Which was great for the weekly beach clean up in Cape Henlopen State Park. That always happens after a tourney with rough conditions, and we even caught some nice blues yesterday that would have taken the calcutta and first place.
The event tent and promenade at Big Chill Beach Club was packed after the tournament. Everyone was trading stories (lies), playing corn hole, and having a good time. There was a line at the air pump at 3Rs about fifty vehicles deep so we waited a while to start the awards. Big Chill Beach Club served up some killer tacos and chowder. The can and crush bar were also pretty busy. Nothing like a cold orange crush or beer after a long day fishing a tournament. The DJ cranked it up not long after people started arriving. Marissa Cordell and Shauna McVey took to the crowds and started selling fifty-fifty raffle tickets and tickets for the donated painting. The fifty-fifty money and raffle money was donated to Frets 4 Vets. Tom Baker was there to tell people about his organization. After it was all said and done we raised over four hundred and fifty dollars for Frets 4 Vets, also Nick Albanese donated fifty dollars of his winnings and we still have a portion of the food and bar proceeds to donate as well.
The event tent was packed when we called everyone on for the awards. Since we had twenty places for prizes but only five that were filled with qualifying fish we pulled tickets to pick the sixth to twentieth place winners. We pulled those tickets until everything on the table was gone. It took an hour to give away all the merchandise donated by our sponsors. That was a lot of fun, Mike and Morgan Ridings’ girls were a big help and hit announcing numbers. Those kids had a blast and I appreciated the help.
Caluttas are always a hit as usual, but I like to do things a little different and add some fun to the mix. Aside from the usual bluefish calcutta at ten dollars to enter, we had the skating rink and the dog pound. These were five dollar winner take all calcuttas. The most skates would get the skating rink and the most dogfish would win the dog pound. I asked a friend how he was doing while he was fishing … “This rod is for skates, and this rod is for everything else.” Great strategy. So without further ado let’s get to the winners …
2017 Chillaware Island Surf Fishing Tournament Results …
Stacey Adkins … 2 kingfish that added up to 27 inches for first place
Stefan Talabisco … a 13 inch bluefish for second place
Nick Albanese …. a 13 inch bluefish for third place
Matt Mills … 12 inch kingfish for fourth place
Mark Nardontonia .. 9 inch pompano for fifth pace
six through 20th places we pulled raffle tickets for these places and prizes. Than we pulled tickets for the rest of the merchandise donated by sponsors.
Largest fish went to Stacey Adkins for a 14 inch kingfish. She won the Helly Hansen Jacket and the Tica Dolphin surf rod.
The Calcutta winners …
Bluefish … Stefan Talabisco … $790
Skating rink … Don Deraska … $290
Dog Pound … Bill Shook … $270
I had a great time doing the Chillaware Island Surf Fishing Tournament. I really appreciate everyone coming out and the support from our sponsors. The feed back has been overwhelming. We are currently working on next year already and will announce those soon. When Outdoors Delmarva publishes the Chillaware Island Surf Fishing Tournament event segment online I will make sure to share it with all of you. thanks again!