Bethany-Fenwick Fall Surf-Fishing Tournament
Annual chamber tournament offering more than $5,000 in prize money
Anglers of all ages will be participating in this weekend's 26th Annual Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce Surf Fishing Tournament. As many as 400 fishermen are expected to compete for more than $5,000 in prizes.
The Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce is up to something fishy this weekend and they have the full support of many anglers. This weekend the chamber will host its 26th Annual Fall Surf-fishing Tournament on Saturday, Oct. 8 and Sunday, Oct. 9.
All participants should check in at the Chamber headquarters on Friday, Oct. 7, from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. or early Saturday morning between 6 a.m. and 7 a.m.
At check in, participants receive a score sheet for each member in their group along with a list of rules for the beach and the tournament.
Once anglers have their information, they can scout a position on the beach and get ready for the two-day event, said Amy Tingle of the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce.
The tournament will take place along the beaches from the Maryland-Delaware line to just north of the Indian River Inlet, excluding Bethany Beach, South Bethany and some areas in Fenwick Island. Parts of Fenwick Island beaches are being replenished, making access to the beach difficult.
"It will be interesting to see what species are being stirred," Tingle said.
Tingle said chamber officials will announce the eight acceptable species for the tournament Saturday morning. She explained they need to see what fish are active during that time before making the announcement.
Capt. Jack Rogers, charter boat captain and Wave fishing columnist, said most often surf fishing is aimed at catching blue fish. Additionally, stripers, kingfish, spike trout, croakers and blowfish are usually prevalent this time of year.
However, anglers will have to wait until the announcement to know exactly which fish are acceptable catches.
The competition begins from there.
Each year nearly 400 anglers turn out for the event. Tingle said they hope more join in the event since another popular tournament was canceled earlier this year.
Seasoned anglers know what to take with them and which bait works best. For those who'd like to participate in the tournament but are novices, Rogers offers some bait advice.
"Standard bait for the snappers, small bluefish, or choppers. For bigger fellas, include cut bait," Rogers said. "Strips of meat cut from fish, bluefish belly is a favorite along with spot, or mullet fillets or chunks."
He added whole, live mullet are used also and are plentiful this time of year.
For smaller fish, he suggests bloodworms, small strips of squid or clam pieces.
At the end of the tournament prizes totaling more than $5,000 are awarded to the individual catching the largest fish and the top four individuals scoring the most points.
To enter the Fall Surf-Fishing Tournament, contact the Bethany-Fenwick Area Chamber of Commerce at 1-800-962-7873 or locally at (302) 539-2100.