Looking Back at the Striped Bass Derby

The nine-7 days-very long 68th Lengthy Seaside Island Surf Fishing Basic will operate from Oct. 8 to Dec. 11. In this article are some Vintage reflections from veteran columnist Jim Hutchinson Sr.
While considering about the Vintage, this 78-yr-aged veteran fisherman started off imagining about the early times of the fall fishing contest.
I was 12 yrs previous in 1955, the initially 12 months of the Long Seashore Island Striped Bass Derby, sponsored by the Extensive Beach Island Board of Trade. My father and I were largely boat fishermen but did fish the seaside for kingfish and occasional bluefish. The allure of thousands of pounds in prizes was too much to go up, and we immediately compensated the $3 entrance charge for our odds at riches.
We fished the seaside pretty a little bit with absolutely nothing to demonstrate for our efforts. I did, even so, expend a lot of hours in class daydreaming about carrying my large bass into the weigh-in store for my huge prize.
Then one particular chilly working day in early November it transpired. We had been in Holgate throwing metallic Hopkins. As I reeled in, about 40 feet from the beach it transpired. A fish strike. It felt powerful and for a even though ran parallel to the seaside. As I reeled, I noticed a huge tail split out of the drinking water.
A wave broke, pushing my fish totally into sight. It was not the large striped bass I hoped for, but a 25-inch fluke I had foul-hooked. There would be no proud weigh-in for me that November working day, but people fillets did supply a few of superior foods.
We finished that season with no stripers. It would be several yrs prior to I would catch my to start with drop striper, as soccer and a comprehensive social calendar mixed to retain me from the beach.
Trusting my very own memory and area record from the internet, I dug up a several information on individuals early yrs of the Derby, as it was called then. The calendar year 1955 was the initial calendar year of its existence. Entry charge was just $3, and it ran for 57 times. In 1958, $13,000 in prizes was awarded, with a Ford Skyliner with a retractable roof the first prize. Second prize was a four-wheel-drive Willys jeep.
In 1959, the grand prize was a Jeep station wagon, with second prize a 17-foot skiff and trailer. The prize for the best female angler was a established of Samsonite luggage.
Ok, again to the current. As soon as we get into spring, the local Prolonged Beach Island bait and tackle stores will be sponsoring the 20th annual LBI Spring Derby. The function operates from April to June and features prizes for the three prime striped bass and the three best bluefish. The contest is also supported by the LBI Classic and the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce.
Information and facts can be obtained at Surf Metropolis Bait and Deal with, Fisherman’s Headquarters in Ship Bottom, and Jingles Bait and Tackle in North Seashore Haven.
—Jim Hutchinson Sr.

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