RFA Members Ramp Up for Tournament Season

Saltwater Fishing - Helping you catch that fish of a lifetime

RFA Members Ramp Up for Tournament Season

2011 Mid-Atlantic Tourney Trail To Support RFA Member Efforts....

The Mid Atlantic summer season has really begun to heat up - in more ways than one - as hardcore recreational anglers are gearing up for another tournament season in support of the Recreational Fishing Alliance (RFA).

This Friday, July 15th, the 24th Annual Ocean City Tuna Tournament will kick off along the docks of the Ocean City Fishing Center in Maryland.  Bluefin, yellowfin and bigeye are the prime targets as offshore fishermen hope take a portion of a purse which pays out on average a half-million dollars annual.  Tournament fishermen are reminded that final registration will be held on Thursday, July 13th under the tent from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. with captain's meeting starting promptly at 8 p.m. at the Ocean City Fishing Center.  Look for the RFA and Maryland Saltwater Sportfishermen's Association (MSSA) under the tournament tent and ask how you can score a $500 offshore fishing package for joining!  Find contest information at www.oceancitytunatournament.com or call 800-322-3065.

If you like trolling or chunking (or both!) for tuna, the 10th Annual Mid-Atlantic Tuna Tournament from July 20-23 is one exciting event you won't want to pass-up. Captains and crews can fish for two of three days, captain's choice, for yellowfin, bigeye and/or bluefin. What's great about this tourney is that boats of all sizes can compete and have a great competitive experience.  You can also enter this tournament at various financial levels so you can compete where you feel comfortable - and as always, the more you're in, the more you win. According to South Jersey Marina, the early bird entry discount has been extended until July 15th, so call 609-884-2400 or visit www.southjerseytournaments.com.

The 15th Annual Jersey Shore Classic Inshore & Offshore Tournament hosted by Avalon Marine Center in Avalon, New Jersey, will also be held from July 22-23 as a direct fund raiser for the Breast Cancer Coalition and the Recreational Fishing Alliance.  Fishermen from around the Mid-Atlantic region will be competing to take first prize. The inshore boats will be battling to find the biggest weakfish and flounder, while the offshore captains will be in search of tuna and dolphin.  Captains' Meeting takes place at 7 p.m. on the 21st at Avalon Marine Center at 701 Old Avalon Blvd. in Avalon.  Call 609-967-4100 or visit the tournament online at www.jerseyshoreclassic.net.

From August 8-12, the quarry out of Ocean City, MD changes a bit as the "world's largest billfish tournament" gets underway at Harbour Island Marina with the 38th Annual White Marlin Open.  Last year, an $856,507 paycheck for the winning 97-1/2-pound white marlin turned a few heads - of course, so did James Contos $423k grander that hit the scales at Ocean City!  Boats participating in the 2011 White Marlin Open may leave from any inlet between Rudee Inlet in Virginia and Barnegat Inlet in New Jersey, but all fish must be weighed at the official scale at Harbour Island Marina in Ocean City.  A share of tournament proceeds will go directly towards helping support the RFA.  Visit www.whitemarlinopen.com or call 410-289-9229.

One of New Jersey's most popular new summer contests will kick off the very next weekend, as the inshore fleet is on the hunt again along the Central and North Jersey Coast with the 4th Annual Shillelagh Club Fluke Tournament out of Belmar.  This one-day fluke tournament is sponsored by the Friendly Sons of the Shillelagh of the Jersey Shore and now boasts $10,000 in prize awards. Entry fee until August 12 is just $125 per boat for four anglers, and $25 each additional fisherman. Winners will be announced at the awards picnic at the club located at 16th Avenue in Belmar. The Captain's Meeting will be held on Friday, August 19 at 6:30 p.m. at the Shillelagh Club at 815 16th Avenue in Belmar.  Look for contest applications at local tackle shops or at the club in Belmar. Tournament is limited to 175 boats and all proceeds will be donated to the RFA and the FSOS Foundation. Call Gary Friedhoff with any questions at 732-496-8848 or visit www.fsosbelmar.com.

At 4:30 p.m. on August 21st, the captains meeting will commence for the 2011 Mid-Atlantic $500,000 - that's out of the Canyon Club Resort Marina in Cape May, NJ and Sunset Marina in Ocean City, MD. Started back in 1992 as the "Mother of All Marlin Tournaments," a total of 134 boats competed in last year's event, with tournament proceeds totally more than $1.79 million dollars during this weeklong event.  Celebrating its 20th year in 2011, the Mid-Atlantic $500K has a track record of attracting a stellar field of participants, each wanting a crack at a tournament purse that consistently approaches that $2 million mark! The prize structure is designed to spread significant cash awards to the top three winners in the major categories while dolphin and wahoo winners share in the wealth as well.  The tournament runs through August 26th, with the evening's festivities along the dock being nearly as exciting as the action out at the Mid-Atlantic canyons each morning and afternoon!  Log on at www.midatlantic500000.com.

If your club or organization is coordinating a fishing tournament this season and would be interested in donating a portion of the proceeds to a worthy cause, contact RFA's Managing Director, Jim Hutchinson at 888-564-6732.  After all, what better charitable cause for a fishing tournament than to support the non-profit organization which is fighting hard to protect your right to fish!

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