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.