serving fisherman from 1976- 2016
Long Beach Island Fishing Surf Fishing Classic www.lbift.com/
For current weigh- ins for tournament go to
Ray Sullivan with his 56-7 bass
Report Shep on Fishing: Brant Beach man catches 56-pound, 7-ounce striper
Robbie Vallone had a notable catch of striped bass at Holgate on Thursday. The Little Egg Harbor Township resident caught bass that weighed 28.75 pounds and 19.56 pounds that he entered into the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic.
But if you added his two fish together they would not come close to the 56-pound, 7-ounce bass caught that day by Raymond Sullivan of Brant Beach.
"It's been a long time coming," Sullivan said.
Sullivan fishes beaches, ocean and bays around Long Beach Island, most often with fishng partner and wife Joanne.
Sullivan said his previous heaviest fish was 31 and change. That was during the LBI Classic in the past, and he said it was only the fifth biggest weighed in that day.
"I've been right next to five (Classic) winners," Sullivan said. "Right place, wrong pew.
On Wednesday, Sullivan had seen bunker chased up on to the sand by bluefish, and he picked up the pieces. Then he spotted bunker in the surf and spent the day netting while bluefish blitzed the beach. He caught so many bunker, he gave a lot away.
And he saved some for bait. That's what he was using on Haven Beach at low water Thursday afternoon when he picked up the bad bass.
He took it to Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven to weigh it. Margaret O'Brien at Jingle's said while the fish was on the scales, a crowd of 20 people gathered. She said another angler hauled up a much smaller bass while all that was going on but did not even bother to weigh his.
The LBI tournament runs to Dec. 5, and this heavyweight will be tough to beat. Sullivan said it might be the second-heaviest bass in the 56-year history of the Classic. Ron Faust of Lansdale, Pa., caught a 56-15 bass in 2001.
And to add to Sullivan's big day, he reclaimed the family lead for big bass. He said it topped a 46-pounder caught by Joanne.
Other bass and big blues were caught Wednesday and Thursday on the southern end of LBI, but O'Brien had not heard of anything happening there by mid-morning Friday. It seems that most of the best action was at low water, which was later in the day.
Nov 4th we had another 50 pounder hit the scale in the store. This one was weighed in the store because of the rain. We don't like to get the scale wet.
Joe Kovak 51-3
Nov 6th from A.C Press Mike Shephard
There seems to be a bunch of 50-pound striped bass around this fall.
Another heavyweight was caught Thursday during a blitz of bass in the surf of Long Beach Island. There have been a half-dozen at least reported in the past few weeks from LBI to Delaware Bay.
The latest weighed 51.19 pounds and took over second place in the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic. Joe Kovacs of Lumberton got it at Beach Haven.
Margaret O'Brien was away at a trade show in Atlantic City, leaving Gene Slaughter to weigh a load of fish at Jingle's Bait and Tackle in North Beach Haven becauseThursday was a heck of a day on LBI. A couple of dozen bass were entered into the Classic and more caught.
Larry Weidner, of the Manahawkin section of Stafford Township, caught two that weighed an identical 25.5 pounds. One was an inch longer, according to O'Brien. And defying the odds a little further, another 25.5 bass was caught the same day by Paul Haertel of Clifton, according to the Classic website.
Weidner was fishing at Beach Haven and Haertel on the north beach, which indicates the fish came in to the surf all along LBI.
The Classic striped bass leader is Raymond Sullivan Jr. of Brant Beach with his 56.7-pounder.
Lost in the excitement about bass hitting the beaches in stormy conditions was that the LBI Classic got a new bluefish leader.
Richard Crosta of Beach Haven caught a 16.06-pound bluefish Wednesday at Beach Haven. He also got five bass, keeping a 29-incher, O'Brien said.
The storm washed out the entrance to the Holgate beach, so it will be temporarily closed for repairs, O'Brien reported
LBI's 56th annual surf fishing classic
By SUSAN BLOOM • Correspondent • October 22, 2010
If you're a fishing enthusiast, the 56th annual LBI Surf Fishing Classic is under way and promises yet another year of memorable surf action, camaraderie and competition.
First started in 1954, and now one of the East Coast's longest-running fishing contests according to a news release from the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce, the 2010 LBI Surf Fishing Classic began on Oct. 9 and runs until Dec. 5, during which time more than 800 registrants will compete to catch the largest striped bass or bluefish to win a variety of daily, biweekly or grand prizes.
Throughout the eight-week contest, participants can fish 24/7 and are limited to fishing only from the surf and to catching no more than two bass and two bluefish per day.
The main prizes pay $1,000 each for the heaviest bluefish and the heaviest bass caught, but prizes also are offered for the heaviest fish caught daily ($35) and the heaviest fish caught during each of four two-week segments in the derby ($400); additional prizes are offered for ladies, students and seniors entering the heaviest of each species.
"Fall is a migratory time for these fish, so people would be fishing anyway," explains Michele Cuff, office manager for the Southern Ocean County Chamber of Commerce and administrator of the LBI Surf Fishing Classic for the past 30 years. "The added competitive element just adds some spice to the mix."
The original objective of the fishing derby was to help extend the season on LBI and boost tourism, which it has certainly accomplished, as anglers come from as far as North Jersey, Pennsylvania and Delaware to participate, often staying in area hotels or renting houses on LBI for the 8-week period.
But the competition has done more than just help support local businesses, says Margaret O'Brien, owner of Beach Haven-based Jingles Bait & Tackle, one of five official locations where participants can register and weigh in their fish daily.
"There are so many great memories associated with the fishing classic," she explains.
O'Brien, a native of LBI and a participant in the competition since 1966 (currently one of 22 women registered in 2010), she has seen several generations fish in the derby through the years and recalls with pride the image of a 3 year-old boy in 2009 who entered a 10-pound fish that was practically bigger than he was.
"You make a lot of good friends in the fishing classic," she says. "Though some of the rules of the competition and some of the fishing methods have changed over time, one thing that hasn't changed is the bond between surf fishermen, and the way they all care about and help one another."
Sponsored by American Fishing Wire, The Fisherman Magazine and Hi-Seas, LBI's 2010 Surf Fishing Classic is in full swing. Supported by many businesses throughout town and donating some of the registration fees collected toward scholarships for area high school students, there is so much more to this exciting derby than just the rod and reel.
"Many people love to fish at this time of year, and they enjoy the competition and the camaraderie. And in turn, LBI appreciates the activity and truly wants to give back to these fishermen," O'Brien said.
Registration for the fishing classic is $30. For more information, visit www.lbift.com or call the Chamber of Commerce at 609-494-7211
Week 6 of the Classic
End of 3rd Segment
2010 Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Tournament - Week 6
As of 7:15 PM 11/20/10 there are 793 anglers,283 bass and 141 bluefish
This week saw the most action so far this tournament. Over 100 stripers entered this week but that is no where the amount that were
caught, lost and released.
Early week had bunker being snagged in Holgate and the bass taking live bunker. It was a very crowed area with the snagging going on so some just took their bunker and chunked it catching fish.
Words to describe the fishing on Friday and Saturday were epic, awesome, unbelivable, magnificent and the best fishing I ever had. Of course you had to be in the right spot at the right time.
It started on Tueday with Larry Weidner entering a 47-14 bass caught in Beach Haven and made people belive there were still big fish here. Friday Surf City south was all out fish in the am. Harvey cedars was the place to be on Saturday with snagging bunker and catching fish and being bit off by bluefish. Two more 40 pound fish from that area Saturday. Jen Solewski took over top female bass honors with her 42-14 and Robert Brack has a 40 pounder.
2010 Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Tournament - Week 5
As of 5:00 PM 11/13/10 there are 789 anglers, 177 bass and 103 bluefish
The 5th week of the derby will have to be written up as a week where you needed heavy sinkers to hold bottom. The only really good day for fish was Wednesday ---the beginning of the northeast. Several fish were entered with the largest bass being Tom Laws 41 pounder. Lot of high hopes with the NE but it didn't happen
Week 4 of the Classic
As of 6 pm we are half way thru the classic with a count of as of
7:30 PM 11/06/10 there are 766 anglers, 152 bass and 82 bluefish.
Bluefish have been rare and Stanley Steinberg had one early in the week and I thought here we go. Well it didn't go anywhere other than a slow pick of bass until Wednesday night when Dick Crosta took over the lead in the bluefish divsion with a 16-1 fish. Come Thursday morning it was a day that the striper fisherman pray for. Rain,blowing northeast and fish. Lots of bass that were caught and released the same with bluefish.Some anglers had 10 fish but released them all to swim for another day. Only 23 bass and 4 bluefish made the scale that day but one of the ones that made the scale was a fish weighing 51-3 caught by Joe Kovacks from Lumberton, N.J. That fish was caught right in Beach Haven on bunker. What a year to have two 50 pound fish entered and two fish over 40 pounds.
Week 3 of the Classic
Monday started off with a bang. Lots of bluefsh wth a few bass mixed in. It was probably the biggest wegh-in so far this fall. Monday brought the largest bluefish entered into the tournament so far at not quite 15 pounds. Tues was another quiet day and then Wednesday it was a bass day ----- alll bass. Several bass over 40 pounds including Kurt Horensky with hs 45 pounder that has the 2nd segment lead. Next couple days was a slow pick of bass. Saturday was a slow day and then Sunday there were a few bass again but no bluefish.
We have now finished the 2nd week of the classic or the first segment. Another slow start to the week. So far there are 41 bass and 45 bluefish entered.
The week started off with Barry Baxter having a nice basss on an eel and then a few days of nothing. A little shot of weather and some fish on Wednesday which continued into Thursday and Friday with the low tide domainating. On Thursday we saw a new lead in the derby with Ray Sullivans 56-7 pound bass hitting the scale. Never did I expect to see that but it is not over till it is over. The weekend continued but once again very few fish.
The first week of the 56th Classic is history. It was a slow start with 19 bass and 3 bluefish. Top fish being the 47-10 taken of Friday by Courtland Foos. Last years tournament started about the same with 15 bass and 4 bluefish and the winning fish was taken in the first week. That first week ended in a NE storm when no fish were entered.