Striper Surge Excites Surf Fishing Tournament Anglers

Nov 14, 2018
Photo by: Jack Reynolds

And all of a sudden, there were the fish.

The striped bass had been slow to appear during the first few weeks of the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic, the annual nine-week bass and bluefish derby that runs from early October through the beginning of December, and offers thousands of dollars in prizes.

But then: “It all started (last) Thursday in the boats, and then Friday they really came in strong on the beach,” said Greg Cudnik of Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom. “All day positive reports from customers flowed into the shop. As the day progressed the weather turned but the bite continued.

“In the evening anglers battled strong winds and pouring rain, but it put big fish on the beach.”

A number of fish were weighed in on Friday, including the current derby-leading 43.06-pound striper landed by local angler Chris Masino on the Island’s south end.

As Cudnik noted that day on, “Chris stopped in for fresh bunker this afternoon and while here shared this report: ‘I hit the surf early this morning. Lost one fish at day break. About a half hour later released a short. Then another one. Things slowed down but I fished out my bait. I was about to leave and the rod went down. Turns out it was a really good fish!’”

Masino is followed on the leader board by Courtland Foos, with a 36.82-pound fish, and John McHenry’s 34.04 bass.

And as Cudnik noted, “We anticipate good fishing from now through Thanksgiving and into December. Now’s the time to get in the game!”

Check out the live tournament results at —J.K.H.

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