The stakes were high during the 47th annual Shark Tournament on June 15 on the Guy Lombardo Marina in Freeport. This year approximately 50 boaters competed to catch the largest Blue, Brown, Tiger, Mako, Thresher, hammerhead and Porbeagle sharks were eligible for catching, at 150 pounds or more with the exception for 200 pounds or more for Blue sharks.
Halcyon captained by Ryan Bockelman won the competitors with a 298.2-pound thresher shark. Ryan Garofalo was the angler that reeled in the winning fish and Halcyon’s crew took home $4,400 in total prize money.
The second place winner was Lunchbox captained by Ryan Lach with a 280.8-pound thresher. Lunchbox was the first boat back at the dock finishing their day in about 4 hours. Ed Laemmel was the angler who manned the reel. Lunchbox’s crew won $18,970 in total prize money.
The Shark Bait II captained by Nicholas Kudricle came in third place with a 268.2 thresher shark. Kudricle also was the angler and the crew earned $19,126 in total prize money.
Coming in fourth, was Toomey’s Fishing Team, captained by Richart Zimment, which won $3,896 in total prizes and Calcutta’s with a 244-pound mako. The fifth place winner was Lady Jane, captained by Henry Klushin that brought a 229.8-pound blue shark to the scales.
The FHA partnered with marine biologists of NOAA, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, in order to ensure that fishermen are following proper angling guidelines. Unfortunately, according to the president of FHA, Dave Gross, the bad weather hurt the number of participants in comparison to last year’s 100 plus boats.
Running in tandem to the Shark Tournament was the Fluke Frenzy tournament with approximately 40 participants. But the lousy weather, Gross said, “put a damper on the fishing and one fish wound up winning the whole tournament.”
Marcus Spocinski of Oceanside netted a 1.926-pound fluke measuring 22.75 inches which were enough to earn in $1,940 in cash and a custom rod donated by Knot Your Rods & Plastics LLC.