The Surfcaster’s Classic Tournament

By Dave Anderson

I’m a conflicted surfman. On the one hand I love to fish tournaments, I find that they make me fish a hell of a lot harder than usual—but on the other hand I always feel like I’m not respecting the fish when I hang it’s stiff, washed out carcass on the big hook at the weigh-in. I have not joined any of the more famous year-long tournaments because I feel bad enough about extinguishing one big fish never mind five! Some of you might think I’m being a drama mama and in a way I probably am and please don’t mistake this as me trying to get all preachy. I’m not a catch-and-release Nazi, I’m just against the unnecessary killing of big breeder fish. The will to win sometimes overrides our morals as anglers and I do know the feeling of having your personal best in your grasp and not wanting to let her swim away—but it’s better when you do, trust me!
I’ve been working on this tournament concept for over five years, I wanted to add a team aspect to the sport of surf fishing and I wanted to make it possible for striper fishermen to be able to compete and to remove the need for dragging a dead fish to the scales. After a lot of tweaking, re-tweaking, a five day test run and some more tweaking I was finally able to unveil the fruits of my labor earlier this month.
The tournament works on a catch/photo/release concept similar to the Striperthon run here at last year. The big differences are that you will be fishing in teams of two and that there are 15 “mini tournaments” or qualifiers of which your team will need to compete in a minimum of six to qualify for the playoffs in the fall. Each week is named for one of our amazing sponsors and the team with the highest five fish score wins a prize package that, for the most part, is either comprised of their products or includes at least something from the sponsor of the week.
So far we have amassed almost $8000 in prizes including a pile of Century Rods, a Van Staal 250, bags from MAK Surfcasting and tops from Stormr. In addition we have plugs from Guppy, Afterhours, Super Strike, J. Stirpe Woodworking, Linesider69 and Couch’s Cedar Works. We also have a myriad of gear, lures and gift certificates from The Saltwater Edge, M&D’s Cape Cod Tackle and Rivers End Tackle. And last but certainly not least we have great support from The Fisherman Magazine, Surfcaster’s Journal and who are helping us get the word out.
Some other things that will make The Surfcaster’s Classic unlike any tournament you’ve ever fished are the regular updates and the angler stats. The updates will be made several times per day throughout the duration of each qualifier tournament so you’ll be able to follow the progress of your team and of the teams that are challenging your spot at the top! The stats will allow you to track your effectiveness in seven categories and these stats may help you win the coveted MVP award. It’s going to be a whole new tournament experience and it’s going to be a blast I can promise you that.
For those of you who prefer to fish alone or if you just don’t have a fishing partner that can keep up with you. We have a secondary tournament that runs right alongside the Surfcaster’s Classic. The Coast-Wide Cow Hunt is for individual anglers and there are categories for boat and surf. The rules are very much the same as the Classic but it’s just your three biggest fish of the season added up to create your score. There are monthly big fish prizes in this event and the top four anglers in each category win great prizes, the top prize for the Surf Category is a Van Staal 250, second place nets a Century surf rod, third bags a Stormr Typhoon Top and fourth, well, fourth gets a box of Twinkies! Yep, you read that right.
To read up on exactly how the whole thing works visit Entry into The Classic is $60 per two-man team and includes free entry into the Cow Hunt for each angler, the Cow Hunt cost $25 per angler—everyone who enters gets a free tournament t-shirt. I hope you’ll all join up and maybe we can change the face of amateur competitive fishing—catch and release is the only way to go.


10 comments on “The Surfcaster’s Classic Tournament

  1. mikebfishn

    DENNIS.. the new wave of C&RR tourneys will do great things for our sport. In time i think they will be more excepted. Selective harvest is something not many anglers seem to understand. I am in the same position as you .not a c&r nazi but like to keep the oocasinal table fare. i saw a report for estimated lbs of harvested striped bass and it was mind boggling. Us recreational fisherman at the top of list…made me upset looking at it.

  2. Chuckg

    On tournaments it seems a shame that folks catch and kill so many fish justt to win some stuff thru the StriperCup thing. Only reason to enter is the shot at that boat… Let the fish go, life’s to short and it’s a good lesson to teach your kids…

  3. chuckr

    I Totally agree with the catch and release aspect of the sport. It irks me to see someone with a bucket of fish that most likely only end up in the garbage after they finish showing them off. I’m glad to see your Tournament is the new stepping stone in a way of thinking and hope other tournaments will take notice and follow your example.

  4. Rob B

    This is the ONLY kind of tourny I would be part of and I would be doing it just for fun. Don’t get me wrong, I’ll be competitive! I hope more people see the writing on the wall that stripers are in danger and kill tournament are part of the problem.

  5. mikebfishn

    Sorry…shoulda checked spelling. Stupid auto fill typing on tablet . It makes me write all kinds of weird stuff. Should have started with Dave….

  6. DirtyLunka

    Amen! Way too many heroes killing bigger fish at there expense! Im allover this, not for competion but just to help promote this cause. I believe this will be a new needed trend.


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