A 38-inch striped bass took top honors in the Ocean City Fishing Club’s 50th Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament on Saturday.
The catch brought the lucky ﬁsherman, Steve Kingsdorf, a member of Delaware Valley Surf Anglers, trophies for biggest ﬁsh caught and most points earned in the event. Kingsdorf, who used clam for bait to catch the prize ﬁsh midway through an incoming tide, released the striper after judges took measurements.
The ﬁsh also measured 20.5 inches in girth. Kingsdorf’s catch propelled the DVSA club into ﬁrst place for the tournament with 38 points.
Mike Collins and Bob Dever, tournament co-chairmen, thought the good weather this past weekend helped ensure a good turnout. About 200 anglers from throughout the tri-state area participated in the event, which was rescheduled from its original Oct. 27 date due to a nor’easter that struck the Jersey coast.
“Plenty of sunshine and reasonable (50-degree) temperatures, too, for mid-November. A ﬁshing day like this is a gift,” said Dever, the head judge.
Twenty-eight ﬁshing teams of up to six anglers each, plus a number of individuals, drove with their gear onto beach, stretching along the ocean’s edge from about 22nd Street to 36th Street. The Ocean City Police Department provided complimentary one-day beach driving passes to give access to 40 designated ﬁshing areas. Ocean City Intermediate School gave access to the building, which served as headquarters for the OCFC event.
“The city and school ofﬁcials were instrumental in helping us reschedule our tournament,” Collins said. “Without their cooperation, we’d have a hard time holding this event, let alone rescheduling it. We’re thankful for everyone involved.”
Other than Kingsdorf’s striped bass, Sam Catalano, an RH Custom Rods Team B member, landed the only other ofﬁcially measurable ﬁsh, an 11-inch ling. RH Custom Rods Team B members took home second place club honors with 14 points, while its Team A anglers placed third with 13 points.
Lynda Greaves, also a member of RH Custom Rods, Team A, beached two sharks to take home a trophy for most ﬁsh points for women. Owen Ostrander landed a shark to take home trophies in the Youth Self-casting, and Individual Most Fish Points, both in the Youth Under 13 categories. Valarie Vishoric, of the Jersey Devils Fishing Club, also caught a shark to win a trophy for Most Fish Points in the Youth Over 13 category.
Although Justin Lowery, 11, who came from Woodstown to ﬁsh in the tournament with his father, didn’t catch anything, he’s ready to participate in other OCFC tournaments. He won a boys’ bike in the club’s Boys and Girls Surf Fishing Tournament with a 15.5-inch ﬂounder this past August.
“The most I caught today was seaweed, and I got the bottom of my pants wet,” Justin said, after ﬁshing in the surf with his father, Jason. “Maybe next year, I can catch a bigger ﬁsh.”
Founded in 1913, the Ocean City Fishing Club is the oldest, continuously operating ﬁshing club in the United States.