Just over 2 pounds seperates top three stripers in LBI Surf Classic

Just over 2 pounds seperates top three stripers in LBI Surf Classic

The 2008 Long Beach Island, N.J. Surf Fishing Classic was contested by 894 registered anglers who weighed 218 stripers and 457 bluefish during the six-week contest in September and October.  The $1,000 Grand Prize winners were David Smith of Beach Haven Park with a 47-pound, 7-ounce striper that won by just five ounces, and Nick Sabatino from Little Egg Harbor with one of the two 16-pound, 3-ounce bluefish landed. Sabatino's chopper was 36 inches long to break a tie with Tom White of Ship Bottom, whose 34 ½-incher was a $400 Segment 1 winner and also earned a plaque.

The Ladies' Division $150 winners were Darcy Kolodziej of Ship Bottom with a 22 3/4-pound striper, and Jennifer Awad from Bernardsville for a 12 5/8-pound blue. The $150 awards for seniors went to Peter Bartolomeo of North Beach Haven for his 37 ¼-pound bass, and to Jack Schleben from Laurel Springs with a 13-pound bluefish.

Striper segment winners of $400 were Gregory M. O'Connell, Mays Landing (who also took the club plaque for Merchantville Fishing Club) with a 47 1/8-pounder; John Mark Jordan, Beach Haven at 37 ¾ pounds; and Brian Anderson, Spray Beach for a 33 3/8-pounder. Matt Onofrio of Westhampton had to settle for a weekly $125 prize as his third largest striper of the contest, 46 ¼ pounds, was landed during the first segment and fell short of O'Connell's by 14 ounces. Bluefish segment winners for $400 included John Tarzych from Trumbauersville, Pa. at 13 5/8 pounds -- and Joe Carmelengo, Long Beach Township with a 15 3/16-pounder.

Weekly juvenile bluefish winners were Kyle Krzyzanowski (13) from South Amboy with a 10 13/16-pounder; Ian Walker of Beach Haven Park (13) at 10 9/16 pounds); Connor McGlynn (13) from Beach Haven with a 9 9/16-pound chopper; and Mike Wahl (12) of Furlong. Pa. at 8 ¼ pounds.  The only juvenile entering a striper was 6-year-old Ryan O'Connell of Mays Landing with a 12-pound, 13-ounce weekly winner.