August 23, 2006

Fishing Tournament for All Ages

The East Hampton Kiwanis Club and the Montauk Friends of Erin are presenting the fifth annual Montauk Mercury Grand Slam Fishing Tournament, which takes place this weekend.

This inshore fishing tournament begins on Friday at Uihlein's Marina, on West Lake Drive in the heart of the Montauk fishing docks with a captain's meeting and registration. The fishing begins the following morning at 5 a.m. and, for some, doesn't end until 5 p.m. Sunday afternoon.

Henry Uihlein, past president of the East Hampton Kiwanis and co-founder of the tournament, calls this a "great tournament for everybody. Families, professionals."

First place for the Recreational/Private Boat division is a 225 Mercury Optimax outboard motor. First prize for the Charter Boat Division is 50% of the entry fees and the Acme Marine Hoist Anglers Cup and the winner of the Party Boat Division receives $500 and the Anglers Plaque. There are also cash prizes ranging from $100 to $500 for the largest fish caught in each species: stripped bass, bluefish, fluke and sea bass.

Kids 13 and under receive the Cablevision Youth Anglers plaque and automatically get entered in a drawing to win a seven-foot inflatable boat with a Mercury Outboard Motor if they catch a fish.

This year the East Hampton Kiwanis Club and the Montauk Friends of Erin have also decided to give an award to a Montauk fishing captain who has earned his life-long living on the water. This year's recipient of the Montauk Fishing Legend of the Year Award is Captain Bob Tuma, of the DAWN charter boat. Captain Bob has been fishing inshore and offshore in Montauk for nearly 60 years.

The tournament ends with New Life, a rock and roll band, playing live at a party from 4 to 7 p.m. and an awards ceremony for all the fishers.

Organizers hope that 80 boats will attend the tournament this year. Previous winners, such as the Sea Otter VI and the Viking, are hoped to attend as well.

Proceeds from this event will benefit the charitable efforts of both East Hampton Kiwanis and Friends of Erin. East Hampton Kiwanis is an organization dedicated to children's issues and community needs throughout the Town of East Hampton. Efforts supported by this organization include: Toys for Tots, college scholarships and senior citizen programs, Meals on Wheels and local youth projects such as the Town RECenter. The Montauk Friends of Erin is responsible for the second largest St. Patrick's Day Parade in New York State each year and also offers various sports and scholastic sponsorships.

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