August 30, 2006

Tournament Fever

This time of year always marks the arrival of those much-awaited fishing tournaments. You might recall that I wrote about one in detail last week — the annual Hamptons Offshore Invitational Tournament, which ended on Saturday. What helps to give this event such a great reputation is that proceeds go to Big Brothers/ Big Sisters of Long Island.

Unfortunately, the weather often worked against the competitors of this great tourney, with small craft advisories affecting both the day trippers and the overnighters on numerous occasions. Those that sponsored the proceedings wish to thank everyone who helped in any capacity, from buying raffle tickets to competing in the contest. Grateful appreciation has been extended to those that assisted with donations, sponsors and weigh-ins.

As for some of the final standings in the day category, a big eye hooked by Doug Wells weighed in at 135 pounds. First for a yellowfin was Mike Dixon with a 60-pounder, and one can't overlook Joe Larucci's 40 pound albacore or Bill Durbic's 15.38- pound mahi. Best in the bluefish division was Carl Schwenker's 9.38-pounder.

As for those that braved a tough weather week fishing at night, Bill Convan's 230-pound big eye was most impressive while Bill Demcheck's 103.50-pound yellowfin was a memorable catch. Rich Fayer had a 62.50-pound albacore and Bob Valenti's mahi weighed in at a hefty 16.84 pounds.

Fishermen should mark their calendars for the upcoming 9th Annual Riverhead Snapper Tournament on Saturday, Sept. 9 (10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Town Dock behind West Marine). Entry fees for adults is $13 and a rod/reel combo will go home with the first place winner, along with trophies for first, second and third.

In the junior division, the same prizes are in place but this group has become a qualifying event for the IGFA Junior Angler World Championship. As a result, perks for the adventure include an invitation to the snapper tourney winner to participate in the angling world's junior event, to be held in Key West, Florida. It includes two days of fishing with a private captain. Entry fee is $8, but you must be under the age of sixteen and be accompanied by an adult.

Proceeds for this tournament will go to the Riverhead Recreation Department's Summer Scholarship Program. For further details or questions, contact Capt. Ray Kelly at 625-525- 7987 or the Town Recreation Department 727- 5744. This event will be filmed as an episode of the television show "Adventures in Fishing," so you might just get an opportunity to see yourself on the small screen!

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