I definitely slack on putting up the pictures from the year before since the disappointment of not winning our own tournament typically forces me to turn the page once we fail at the weigh in – again. That said, last year was epic. The previous biggest fish in tournament history was a 39 lber (caught on the bayside) with a second place in history as a 33 lber. Last year, we had 3 fish between 39 lbs and 41 lbs – all caught on the home turf of the rips of Monomoy.
For those who remember, there were a lot of questions leading up to the tourney day last year. The fish were scarce. East of Chatham was hit or miss, Monomoy was spotty with smaller fish and all sorts of longer runs were in play. We pre-fished the Friday before, did ok with some decent fish, but nothing tournament worthy.
Friday night at the Hot Stove had a lot of people giving false hints, with a lot of real skepticism. The morning of, we still didn’t have a plan on Team Jackal.
For context, our fishing has always been Monomoy, we’ve been fishing the rips for years – that is our backyard coming out of Saquatucket. Occasionally we run east of Chatham, but typically stick to Monomoy and the rips south. The morning of the tourney we went against the grain of our normal process, and it cost us. And it was my fault.
Just after 4 am, still no word on big fish at Monomoy and hit or miss on Chatham, we are heading to Monomoy, while discussing as a crew where to start. At the last second, I say “Let’s hit Chatham”. We make the turn, go through the cut, and drop our lines. Nada. Except our phones and radios are lighting up. Mother f.
Needless to say, we hit Monomoy on the second tide, and Bearses was white hot. Big fish, and all over the surface. It was awesome. Big Ethan was our MVP and probably had close to 10 mid 20 lb fish himself, all on poppers. Being tourney organizers, we always have to head in a bit early to get there by the 2 pm weigh in, which was another point of conflict – but we had to leave. Leave big fish, on the surface, sunny day – about as good as it gets.
Once we got to the dock, with a respectable high 20s lb fish, we started to hear the chirps of the 40 lbers all over Monomoy on the first tide. Crap. Literally within 2 miles of the point there were big fish everywhere. Our home turf. Even our city friends (on a charter to be clear) had 3 fish right around the 40 lb mark within the first half hour they put their lines in. Any other year, they win hands down. This year they finished 2nd. Either way, I screwed us.
So, we’re back to try it again. We’ve gotten the tourney to the point where we should be able to get around 20 boats every year, which is plenty. If we can get even half of our core group of Team Powe, Dangler, Burnies (not Jason so much), Corduroy, O’Brien, Ernie, Doug, Seamus (get your ass back), Zeto, Rob (on the Charlotte Ethan), Younger, and everyone else who I forget – it will be another great tourney. Would love to grow it a bit this year, so spread the word.
And as always, people know running this is a grind, and ask what they can do to help. It’s tough, but best things you can do are
1) Help find prizes to donate or sponsors. We don’t have a ton of cash to give away based on low entry fee, so any and all prizes are a big help
2) Anyone with any design skills who has any help for website or t-shirt design this year.
3) Keep this blog up and running with chatter
4) Get more people to join
No worries either way, we want to keep this baby pretty low key, community focused and fun – so will always keep the registration fee low and the party legit.
Other than that, should be another good build up and hopefully Team Jackal gets back to the podium (yes we’ve had two seconds and a third place finish).
Last note – hit the boat show this weekend – sporting a new Headhunt shirt, and ran into a longtime Headhunter - Dennis from the Wizard - after the show at a hotel bar. Love the fire from the veterans, and we need to keep this dream alive, and maybe get the boys from Wicked Tuna to step it up.