May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament Results
Saturday was a blast! I want to thank everyone who came out and participated this weekend in the annual May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament. Thank you to the parks for having such a top notch staff, and to the DSF beach clean up crew for helping judge the tournament and clean up the next day. We think it is important and responsible to clean the areas used the day after the tournament. I think parks should require this of organizers of these events. We held a tourney last year and some people gave us some grief online about people leaving trash behind so this year I made sure we checked the beaches.
On to tourney day, it was crappy weather at 3:30 am when I woke up and headed to the beach. There was thunder and lightening in the distance and a light rain, then the sky cleared on the way to the beach. A light wind and mild surf greeted me at southside. I took a quick video of conditions to give everyone a heads up and posted on the Facebook page.
We setup to check in anglers that hadn’t registered yet and ate a lot of donuts, washed down with gallons of coffee. The judges arrived and we had a quick meeting. Bluefish would be measured to the fork of the tail. Next time we will give all anglers a heads up on that detail. Lost tails reduce the length, the fork is never damaged, and it speed sup the measuring process so the fish can be safely and quickly released.
Anglers were already on the beach setting up for a day of surf fishing and fun with their friends. Some were out as early as 2 AM, and if I were fishing, I probably would have as well. If you want your spot you get there early. One tourney angler picked a spot, and had no clue how well that would turn out for him. But isn’t that how that always goes?
No, I do not fish my own tournaments, I was asked that a lot. That is the lamest thing you can do, fish and win your own tourney. I know people who do that and then brag about it. Might as well just take the prize money up front, skip the fishing, give your participants the bird, and go home.
7 AM lines were in and we were underway. Judges were on the beaches, boards in hand, or roaming in their vehicles and ready to measure fish. I had extra help due to the bluefish being heavy catches the week prior. All I could imagine was a huge blitz and people scrambling for fish, boards, buckets, and total chaos. It wasn’t like that at all, but you are always prepared. I was floating on all the beaches collecting updates and overseeing the judge crews, helping where needed. I was also taking pictures up until my camera died, note to self stop forgetting that charged battery. There is always something, but not that ever again. The bridge fog shots were epic. Let’s hear it for the killer camera on the Samsung 9!
The first bluefish was caught around 7:30 AM, and a few others were as well. These were on the northern beaches near Conquest. Then 3rs would light up a little bit. The action did this all day. Every hour or so a school would move into an area and people would catch fish. It was very random. People were trying for big drum, striped bass, bluefish, and even the smaller fish like puffers. There was a buffet of bait on rigs out there. We only had 105 anglers and that made for a lot of space to spread out and have room to fish. I like these smaller numbers for that fact and judging is easier. Everyone had a lot of room to fish and they were loving the space. It looked like what the beach should look like in the summer, lot of anglers enjoying surf fishing.
The skating rink and dog pound calcuttas were in this tourney. The most skate and the most dogfish for $5 each to take that calcutta which was $215 each. The bluefish calcutta was $10 and sitting at $660. In case you are wondering, not everyone signs up for all the calcuttas or just do a combination. 43 people in the dog pound and skating rink and 66 people in the bluefish. This is another reason to have plenty of judges, so they can count skates and dogfish. They have to be scored on the anglers sheets. We also use a lot of judges to put less stress on a fish waiting to be scored. We do not cut part of a fish’s fin to mark it as caught, that is barbaric, and can be harmful to the fish. That has always bothered me that some tournaments do that to the fish, bad enough to stress it out, then you are cutting a portion of the fin.
I spent most of my day on 3Rs near the inlet area, I had to meet Chuck Regner from Outdoors Delmarva and give him a tour of sorts. We had to keep updates organized, count calcutta monies, and I was hoping to go fish the wall at southside for a little bit, that never happened. I did get to watch probably the most entertaining fishing I have ever seen in a tourney. You can’t make this stuff up!
If he hasn’t told you yet, because we have heard this all year, the two time DSF tournament winner, Stefan Talabisco, aka Frankie “the freak” Paul was fishing with friends on 3Rs. He had all the DS Custom Tackle you could ever want, and peanut butter bunker. His words, you cannot make this stuff up. He needed more peanut butter bunker at one point and Dave told him we could get some in a Jiff. The hilarity at that point continued throughout the day.
Fast forward to his first fish, a nice bluefish, and Stefan is on the board. Every angler around him is a seasoned surf angler that has serious knowledge. They aren’t catching a thing. It turns out, and in the dark at 2 AM, Stefan managed to park in front of a sweet rip current. His boys are giving him hell for catching fish and he is eating up the trash talk. He gives as good as he can get. I mean he IS the two time DSF tournament winner, just ask him. These are some of my favorite people, all fishing together, so the trash talk was crazy all day and hilarious. Corby Fulton “Dude could step barefoot in dog poop and come out cleaner than when he went in.”
This went on all day, Stefan would catch a fish, and the crew would groan not again! He was in the lead at one point with 58 points of bluefish and it tied up before noon. Conquest was keeping up with 3Rs on fish points. Conquest was also seeing more catches than 3Rs. Suzanne managed a puffer fish that scored and Corby busted his skunk with a bluefish, Stefan Talabisco was on fire. Right about this time he starts chanting THREE time tournament winner. Boots was judging and he drives up and says “You know we are never going to hear the end of this if he wins” …
“I know I know I know.”
Not only are we watching a possible three time tourney winner in the making, and he is telling us this every ten minutes. To top that off he crosses a line and cuts his own line. He has to hand line in the rig, and of course he catches a 20 inch bluefish in the process. “Just watch I’m gonna cut my hand off if a fish hits this, WHAM! A fish hits the rig and he runs up the beach pulling in the bluefish before the braid slices his hand up. Now he is in the lead for a hot minute. Then another fish scores on the north beaches. “I’m just gonna stop fishing I’m good”, says Stefan. I said no you better keep fishing you could easily lose if you do that. Then I figure there is no way to top off the hand lined fish we keep hearing about … every ten minutes.
The next fish Stefan catches is a beast compared to the last few, this one will probably take the calcutta, which was reset by an angler on the northern beaches. Stefan reels in the fish, grabs it by the head and proceeds to measure the fish. The fish flips and the hook buries into his finger and he is now attached to the fish. Out come the wire cutters, the fish is separated and released. He wanted to do the release for the points we let that slide since he was impaled.
He looks at me and says, “Now what do I do?” …
Me …“Well … most people would go to the hospital and have the hook removed” (Stefan is not most people)
Stefan … “F that, I’m the two time tourney winner about to be three, I hand lined in a fish etc etc, I need to keep fishing.” …
Me … “The hospital will push it through, cut the barb and pull it out, or there is another way with fishing line and pressure but it will hurt like hell.”
Stefan … “DO IT!”
Chuck Wallace … “Give me some some wire cutters”
Out come the phones and the video is rolling, without going into serious detail it was hilarious to watch this surgery on the beach live. Yes there is video, not for kid’s ears, but maybe we will post it later.
“Doc” Wallace was on point pushing the hook through, cutting the barb, and pulling the hook back out.
When it was out, Stefan is standing there blood running down his hand, which he is holding up for all to see, and take pictures. Then he yells “I am a F&%^@(#^ Bad ASS!” Then he rigs his rod back up and goes back to fishing. He caught three more fish and it put him in first place. We will never hear the end of this day as long as we live. Now I have seen it all. Well until War On The Shore which I am sure our now three time tourney winner is going to enter.
Twenty minutes after the surgery a 33 inch bluefish took the calcutta at conquest, thankfully I would not have to hear about winning the calcutta and largest fish too, and neither would the rest of the crew.
Not long after noon the fog rolled back and we were in a cloud for the rest of the day. The wind shift was nice from the north because it killed the west wind which made the DFM a solid 10. That is Damn Fly Meter for those that don’t know. Once we cooled off, then the fog rolled in and we really cooled off. At one point you couldn’t see a hundred feet in any direction and it got cold. Everyone finished out the day, some left early the kids had enough of the cold and wet cloud.
Lines were out at 3 PM, everyone packed up, aired up, and headed to Iron Hill Brewery for the awards ceremony. Just about everyone came and we packed the front porch. There were Star Wars themed beers for Iron Hill’s May the Fourth Be with You specials and for the May The Fish Be With You surf fishing tournament.
Darth Hater Black IPA
Chumbacca Fruited New England IPA
Mango Calrissian Belgian Wit
Luke Surfwalker Philly IPA
We had one young man dress up to the nines in his Anakin Skywalker costume. Ben Bayless, he was awarded a DSF hoodie and a $50 DS Custom Tackle gift certificate. Nice job Ben looking forward to the footage on Outdoors Delmarva! My man is into Star Wars.
Also a shout out to Liam Moffa he was the only kid who caught a fish and placed. We gave him a DSF hoodie for that, as well as a choice of prizes from the table and a $25 DS Custom Tackle gift certificate. We gave all the kids May The Fish Be With You posters.
We raised $440 for Frets 4 Vets through a donation of $5 per paid registration. That is 88 anglers for anyone who can’t do math, we had 17 kids registered. Next year we are adding a kid’s division we have been seeing more and more kids signed up. We think that is very important to help them to get outside and fish.
The results of the now annual May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing tournament are as follows …
Skating Rink and Dog Pound Calcutta … Dennis Utz took both for $430 total.
Bluefish Calcutta … Stephen Storch … 33 inch bluefish … $660
Biggest fish … Stepehen Storch .. 33 inch bluefish … Helly Hansen jacket
First Place … Stefan Talabisco … 137 points … $800
Second Place … Mike Tolbert … 79 points … $500
Third Place … Aidan Simms … 66 points … $250
Fourth Place … Stacey Adkins … 41 points … $100
Fifth Place … D Morelli … 36 points … $50
The following all won prizes of their choice donated by Nautical Paschens, and DSF. Also they will receive a $25 gift certificate from DS Custom Tackle.
Anthony Yarnall … 34 points
stephen Storch … 33 points
Monica Bayless … 27 points
Matt Mills … 27 points
Dave Parsons … 24 points
Bryan Rillstone … 18 points
Billy Adkins … 18 points
Corby Fulton … 18 points
Mike Wiktorowicz … 18 points
Stephen Storch … 17 points
Liam Moffa … 17 points
Tom Perregrino … 16 points
Nate Kieff … 15 points
Suzanne Martin … 9 points
Thank you everyone for coming out and participating.
Thanks to Iron hill Brewery for the hospitality and killer food and beer specials.
DS Custom Tackle for sponsoring our prizes and tourney.
Helly Hansen for the biggest fish prize
ASAP Screen printing for the killer shirt design
Nautical Paschens for the amazing shirt prizes. Nikki is offering discounts on her gear via a code for DSF. There was a card in your packets and we will have that on the website soon.
See you next year … and …
May The Fish Be With You!