Event season set to blossom this weekend
Memorial Day weekend kicks off the major-event season for Long Island’s outdoorsmen. From big-money shark tournaments to free freshwater fishing, there is no shortage of fun to sample. Here’s the scoop on some prominent upcoming programs. Check your local tackle or outdoors shop for details on additional activities that may be just as rewarding.
The Noreast.com Striped Bass Memorial Classic is scheduled for Saturday through Monday. In this unique tournament, the combined weight of two stripers measuring between 30 and 34 inches nets the top award. Entry is $100 per boat and prizes range from $10,000 to $100 for the top 15 places. Visit www.noreast.com.
Senator Chuck Schumer last winter worked hard to extend the summer flounder rebuilding period in the Magnuson-Stevens Fishery and Conservation Act to 13 years from 10. This increased the fluke harvest limit for New York anglers to 17.11 million pounds from the original 5.2 million that would have devastated our fishery. For his efforts, Schumer will receive “The Man of the Year Award” from the United Boatmen of NY, New York Fishing Tackle Trade Association, Recreational Fishing Alliance, and New York Sportfishing Federation. The luncheon begins at 1 p.m. Thursday, May 31, at the Bob Sweeney Sportfishing Education Center, Cedar Beach Marina. Call 516-909-5699.
Save June 1-3 for the South Shore Spring Rodeo. Sponsored by Long Island State Parks and The Fisherman Magazine, this family-oriented fishing contest allows anglers to target fluke, stripers or weakfish from shore, private, open or charter boats. Boundaries are Jones and Moriches inlets, and the entry fee is just $15. Register at Captree Bait and Tackle. Call 631-321-3510.
The Babylon Tuna Club’s Striped Bass Tourney is set for June 2. In this contest, the biggest striper weighed by 3 p.m. at the Babylon Municipal Town Dock takes the top prize, which is based on the number of contestants. Enter at Augie’s Bait and Tackle in Babylon, Babylon Fishing Station, or Bob’s Bait and Tackle, Copiague.
The Salty Flyrodders of New York 40th annual Conclave, June 8-10, will be based out of Soundview Hotel in Greenport. This year’s event features Boston fly-tier and photographer, Dave Skok. Enjoy casting clinics and a fun, relaxed tournament format. Visit http://www.saltyflyrodders.org.
A pair of major shark tournaments are set for June 15 and 16. The Star Island Yacht Club Shark Tournament kicks off its 21st year with a two-day, big-water event that last year paid out more than $700,000 in prizes. Entry is $800. Call 631-668-5052. The Freeport Hudson Anglers Shark Tournament marks its 35th year out of Jones Inlet on June 16. Entry is $300 per boat, with a top prize that can approach $75,000. Visit http://www.fhanglers.com, or call 516-378-5181.
Curious about freshwater fishing? Then sample the DEC’s Free Fishing Weekend, June 23 and 24. Freshwater license requirements are waived for the weekend and the DEC will have loaner fishing rods and free bait from Ronkonkoma Outfitters available on Saturday at Lake Ronkonkoma County Park, from 10 a.m. until 4 p.m. Go to http://www.dec.ny.gov.
Another DEC free event worth exploring is the National Trails Day Celebration. Exhibitors, hiking and mountain-biking opportunities will be featured at the 700-acre Oak Brush Plains and State Preserve, in Deer Park and Dix Hills, on June 2 from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.