402-lb mako wins season-opening mako rodeo
The seventh annual Brett Bailey Memorial Mako Rodeo at Brielle kicked off the northern New Jersey mako season in spectacular form as a 402-pound mako took the $14,300 winner-take-all event run in memory of a shark angler killed in the World Trade Center attacks. The largest tournament mako in years was fought by Chris Arner from Matador, a 33-foot Contender skippered by Capt. Joe Vessozi. About $18,000 was raised by the contest to aid New Jersey National Guard and Reserve members in need of financial assistance.
Threshers take South Jersey contest
The South Jersey Marina Shark Tournament begins the season in that end of the state. It drew 180 boats fishing for $336,005 in prize money. A huge 582-pound thresher shark made Steve Fanelli the big winner on Post Game with $113,536. Len Andalis was second on One More Cast with a 347-pound thresher for $78,727, and the third heaviest shark was an unusual (for the beginning of June) hammerhead weighing 308 pounds. That earned Rick Popovitch’s Tashtego a total of $26,443. While there were lots of small makos around, none made the minimum weight.
Frank Rose wins Mako Mania
**Surprisingly good mako fishing continued in June along the northern New Jersey coast. Veteran Capt. Frank Rose won the Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association’s annual Mako Mania Tournament with a 272-pounder worth $31,333 to his Miss Diane. That edged a 260-pound mako taken on Capt. Butch Kross’ Pop’s Toy for $15,666. Rick Clary’s Knight Fishing was third at 253 pounds for $7,833, and Sweetie took fourth at 247 pounds. A total of 29 makos were weighed in during the two-day contest, and many others released. Profits from this contest go to building reefs and to Reef Rescue which is leading the fight to protect them from potting.
**414-lb thresher wins Hudson Anglers Shark Tournament
Thomas Cook boated a 414-pound thresher shark on My Three Suds to win the 36th annual Freeport Hudson Anglers Shark Tournament as 31 sharks were weighed during the mid-June contest at the Town of Hempstead Guy Lombardo Marina that drew 180 boats. My Three Suds took $16,830 for their winner, but there were larger payouts below them due to Calcuttas. Mike Rigletti’s Current Sea had a second place 303-pound mako that was worth $39,940, and third went to Chris Barthew’s My Cherie II for a 288-pound thresher that won $29,508. The biggest winner was in fourth place, where Peter Rao’s 270-pound mako was worth $54,597.