We have had an awesome summer of fishing here on the North Shore, New England and the Northeast, but there is always that excitement getting ready for the Fall Run. There was also the excitement for us in running our 2nd Annual Fall Run Striper Classic! In 2015, in the tournament’s first year, we had over 40 anglers, and were excited to try and surpass that this year. We were very pumped to have over 75 anglers participate in this year’s tournament!
This tournament is a Catch-Photo-Release format for an angler’s longest combined total of their two best Striped Bass. Anglers can fish from Boston Harbor to the Merrimack River and can fish in one of four divisions: Spin – Shore, Spin – Boat, Fly – Shore, and Fly – Boat. The tournament kicked off with a “virtual” launch on Friday night, September 23 at 6:00pm and the tournament ended at 6pm on Saturday, September 24 at The Onion Restaurant in Beverly, MA.
We are glad to be able to put on this tournament and see everyone haave a great time catching and RELEASING Striped Bass in a competitive, but friendly tournament atmosphere! These tournaments and meet-ups that we run are a great opportunity to get like-minded anglers together to share tips, tactics, and stories, and connect with other passionate and positive anglers just like themselves.
And as always, here at Why Knot Fishing we are strong supporters of Catch and Release and conservation of our waters and fisheries, and will never run any tournament or event that promotes killing of a species.
This tournament was sponsored by some GREAT companies, with prizes for winners and raffle prizes for all participants. We are thankful and honored by the great companies who supported the 2016 Fall Run Striper Classic! The Tournament Level sponsors who sponsored all Four Divisions were two year sponsors Costa Sunglasses, Buff USA, XtraTuf Boots, and for the first year, Cortland Line.
We were excited to have Specialty Prize Sponsorship for the second year in a row from Cheeky Fishing and Little Harbor Boathouse in Marblehead, MA. Cheeky sponsored the Lunker Division with a Cheeky Spinning Reel for the Largest Spin-Caught Striper, and a Cheeky Fly Reel for the Largest Fly-Caught Striper. Little Harbor Boathouse sponsored with a Hobie Livewell for the best Striper caught from a kayak.
The Spin Division sponsors were Tomo’s Tackle, Daddy Mac Lures, and Al Gag’s Lures.
The Fly Division sponosrs were Capefish Clothing Co, The Fly Pack, East Coast Flies, and the American Museum of Fly Fishing.
And again, all the awesome Striped Bass trophies for all 12 winners were cut out by hand by TeamWhyKnot Captain Taylor Feuti.
And now on to the WINNERS!
For the second year in a row the largest Striper of the tournament was caught in the Spin – Boat Division. Mike Murphy caught the tournament best 42-inch Striped Bass, and this helped him claim First Place in the Spin-Boat Division with a grand total of 83 total inches for his two longest Striped Bass.
In Second Place, was Joe Marciano, who took a break from Tuna Fishing to compete in his first Striped Bass tournament ever. Not only was he able to get Second Place with a total of 78-inches, but he also helped Mike Murphy get First Place, as they both fished on Joe’s boat. (They may be the boat to watch for a repeat next year, unless someone else comes to knock them off…!)
And in Third Place in the Spin – Boat Division was local angler Jack Loveday from Marblehead, who wasn’t even going to enter the tournament! I’m sure he was glad that he did!
The Spin-Shore Division was won by Will Dimento (3rd place winner from last year) with a total of 70 inches for his two longest Striped Bass. In Second Place was Danny Savage with a total of 52 inches. And in Third Place was James Jewkes with 49 inches. (Last year’s First and Second Place winners Magoo and Viseth, as well as their friend Benny all had some impressive days on the water in the Spin –Shore Division, but unfortunately didn’t make it to check-in in time. I’m sure they will be back next year to aim at reclaiming their title!)
In the Fly – Boat Division, Remick Smothers came all the way back up from Baltimore to reclaim his First Place prize. Remick had an impressive day on the water with a grand total of 65.5 inches with his two best Striped Bass. Remick caught a 28-inch, a 29.5-inch and, tournament best on the fly, 36-inch Striped Bass all in the same morning!
The Fly – Boat Division after that was pretty close between Sean Callinan (3rd place winner from last year, and fishing from his SUP!) Griffin Dunn (4th place finisher in the Spin-Boat Division by a half-inch) and new tournament angler this year, James Mcjunkin. On the board it has Sean Callinan in Second Place with 44-inches, Griffin Dunn in Third Place with 43-inches, and unfortunately we missed James Mcjunkin’s scorecard which would have placed HIM second behind Remick. So it looks like Sean repeated his 3rd place performance for a second year in a row, and Griff again got 4th place, but this time by an inch. Either way all three guys, especially James, were good sports, and we made sure James got some good prizes, and we hope he will back next year gunning for the Number 1 spot!
And we are happy to report that anglers were able to land some fish this year in the Fly – Shore Division! In First Place we had local angler Michael Sachs – with a grand total of 44 inches of his two best Striped Bass. In Second Place, driving (or having his mom drive him) all the way up from NEW YORK, we had Peyton Hurst with a grand total of 41 total inches. (more to come on him later!) And rounding out the Fly – Shore Division was Rich Malloy with 30.5 inches.
There were a lot of Kayak Anglers competing for the Hobie Livewell that was donated by Little Harbor Boathouse! Adam Siegel was able to take the spot this year with his Personal Best 40-inch Striped Bass. Congrats to Adam who has put in a TON of work since last year, and really learned a lot about fishing for Striped Bass here in the Boston area. He put that knowledge to work, and got it done at the right time!
Even though this tournament is for the two Longest Striped Bass, it is also is a battle at the other end of the spectrum for the smallest Striped Bass. This year Ryan Larkum was able to catch the smallest Striped Bass at 12 inches. Ryan drove all the way up from Connecticut with only a few hours to fish on Saturday, and caught this single small fish! Way better than nothing!
And this year we have had a lot more Bluefish around than last year so we had a prize for largest Bluefish. Myke Fortier was able to land a hefty 33-inch Blue to take the top spot, and there was also a 31-inch Blue caught in the tournament as well.
Some other fun prizes were for the Most Bizzare Catch and Top Lady Angler. Both these prizes went to Husband and Wife Team, Anthony and Shawna Lombardo. Anthony got the Most Bizzare Catch with a Lizard Fish on the fly from shore, and Shawna was the only Lady Angler who entered a fish. Congrats to them! I am sure their son will be joining them fishing in the tournament next year!
We at Why Knot Fishing are huge fans of social media, and we always make sure to have a Social Media Prize for tournament anglers. We look for the most unique picture(s) that capture the essence of the fun and competitive atmosphere of the tournament. Anglers had to use the hashtags #fallrunstriperclassic and #whyknotfishing to be eligible, and feel free to check out some of the pictures on Facebook and Instagram to get a taste of the tournament action. For the second year in a row, Josh Farr was able to claim the Social Media Prize!
And last, but not least, we had a Dedication Award for this tournament, and that went to Peyton Hurst. As I mentioned Peyton came all the way up from New York just to fish in this tournament! He was up here on vacation this summer and had a blast catching some stripers on the fly from the rocks up in Rockport, and from the second he heard about our tournament, he was convinced that he was coming. Then he just had to convince his mom! Peyton put in a lot of hours going spot to spot, and was able to get on the podium, and get his Personal Best Striper. He said he will be back next year to get the best Striper on the fly overall!
We hope everyone that participated had a great time, and we look forward to making the tournament even bigger and better next year, and continuing to add different specialty prizes and tournament additions to make it fun for all anglers. But we will always stick to the core Four Divisions and emphasis on safely Catching and Releasing Striped Bass!
See you all next year!