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Champion Team StriperSurf
The (Drum) Beating On The Beach, Redux '05

New Jersey Angler Magazine
Classic Surf Fishing Tournament
The 2005 Champion Team StriperSurf Roster
Captain Bob DeLeonard
Honorary Captains Ning Byl, Mike Coppa, Marty Buzas

04281 - alangler - Bayyaker - BennyB - BennyRaw - BilleH! - Blitzboy - Blues (Sonny, Yong, Joe, Michael, Megan, Tori & Alex) - Bolt - Bunker1028 - CarpenterSteve & Matt - Chuckles & Charlie - Crawdad_Flipper - DanS - Leigh - Darrel - Denise - Donnie - Enby & Ning - Ferret - Fetch (Jim & Kate) - Fish Nutz - Fish When I can - Frank N - Gary Grodecki - GlennSr - Hammerhead - Icast & Luke - Jaysh33 & Peter - Jess - Jim P - Joe Laniewski - Joe T - KHE C-F Team (Ken, Ken, Kathy, Kenny, Kevin & Kyle) - lakeside1 (Kenn, Val, Camille & Harrison) - LBIFISHER - Linesider - Livetofish - Magiversm1 (Sean, Patrick & Mary Kate) - Mr Marine 24 - Triple_svn - Mr. Woodwork - muskyjm - neverrude - njberserker - Pony Killer (TJ, Dan & April) - Ragman - Riverfisher (Steve, Laurie, Joey & Chris) - GregA - row4fun - Rusty Loop (Collin & Ken) - SAOSIN - Scooby - Shipwreck - Silverfox (Jim, Adrienne, James, Jr., Maria, Colby, Sal, Sal Jr & Nadine) - Simple - StriperNut - surf_fisher - tleary77 - Walter M - Wheresdabirds - wheresmy50 - Yakster

n Saturday May 21, 2005 Team StriperSurf successfully defended its title with a repeat win of "The Beating on the Beach" Tournament against Team BassBarn. This is actually a "tournament within a tournament" since it is a friendly challenge in support of the New Jersey Angler Magazine classic Surf Fishing Tournament to benefit the Recreational Fishing Alliance. We here at are proud to be associated with this outstanding tournament run by the folks at NJ Angler Magazine. The organization, efficiency and great job they do each year to make this the best family oriented tournament around is simply amazing. The tournament was flawless and our hats are off to Bill Donovan, Darren Dorris and the whole NJ Angler Magazine crew and the many sponsors which provide their support with many, many great prizes. Each kid under 16, took home a prize in recognition of their participation.

I was overwhelmed by the amount of support, enthusiasm and participation that went into our resounding victory. As one of our men said to me after it was all over "We whopped 'em better than last year." It took a lot of people to make this happen and I am thrilled that once again our preparation helped all members of Team StriperSurf get a good chance to land a fish that counted. The proof is in the results, seven of the 10 fish on the weigh in list were caught by newcomers to Island Beach State Park and four of the 10 fish were caught by kids 16 and under! In fact we had 20 kids ranging in age all the way down to 3 year old Colby and 2 year old Sal (more about Sal later).

Glenn Palmer, Sr. Photo courtesy of NJ Angler MagazineOur Team champion this year was Glenn Palmer Sr, who landed our number 1 and number 4 heaviest fish, two Black Drum at 21.46 and 13.06 pounds. Glenn's normal fishing grounds are Sandy Hook and I believe this was his first fishing expedition to IBSP! Gary Grodecki, fishing with the nine member "SilverFox" family brought in number two and Jay "Mr. Marine" Laughlin, also a newcomer to IBSP, made the trip from Staten Island to catch number three. In fact we had a bunch of people from not only NJ and Pennsylvania but also Long Island, New York City, Maryland plus Chuck and Charlie from Washington, DC. Click on the chart on the right to see an enlarged screen shot of the original NJ Angler Tournament results.Click to Enlarge

Last year the Lee family fished the tournament but didn't bring any fish to the scales. I was so pleased they decided to try again that this year I made them up their own set of TEAM LEE branded StriperSurf Tournament High Low Bait Rigs with 7/0 Gamakatsu Octopus Circle hooks which apparently did the trick. They weighed in four fish and held back two more. Fourteen year old Alex Lee weighed in our number five fish, a 11.49 pound Black Drum and his cousin, 11 year old Mike Lee had number six, also a Black Drum at 10.54 pounds. Of course Sonny "Blues" Lee had a big part in their success since he led TEAM LEE to walk on to a very "hot spot" on the beach.

Enhanced and Inverted Aerial Infrared

First thank you to Scott M who took Dan S and Ragman up in his airplane to allow them to make both color and infrared aerial photographs of the whole park. Also my thanks to my old friend Major General JW __ of the USAF for providing the latest satellite images overlaid with latitude and longitudinal data which allowed us to not only see just about everything we needed but establish precise GPS coordinates. Using that information Ken W spent a long day walking and marking GPS waypoints for the Northern Natural Zone and public bathing beaches of IBSP for the Team members who would fish these 4x4 free areas of the park.

Our 'Yakkers told me to be sure to thank "Fish Tank" Hewitt for the in depth information he provided for Barnegat Bay, Sedge Island and the Sod Banks. It was a tough day for them with Scooby bringing in a couple of Taylor Blues. I think we were all expecting a few Weakies from the back side but no joy. Don't worry guys, Fish Tank's masterpiece is going to remain confidential in the private Team SS subdirectory. The photo of a few members of "the fleet" above was shot by "Chuckles."

During the day everyone called my cellphone to report their catches so I could inform them if the fish should be kept or released. It was our intention to limit the number of fish killed. When the phone wasn't ringing I was sweating and I got very upset when I was advised that a 31" or 32" or 33" inch bass had been released. I hope the NJ regulations for striped bass are "fixed" by next season because we released a mess of of chunky bass.

My scariest moment was when I got a call that there were Barners at the North Jetty taking bass in "the Pocket" on clams. We had ceded "the Pocket" knowing that it would be fully staked out before 6:00 AM but we asked our most prolific "plug only" surfcaster and "rockhopper," Ferret, Jess Pierce, cover the jetty and bring in the biggest Bluefish possible. Last year Ferret tossed back bluefish that would have actually won that division! I made a run down to "the Pocket," observed what was happening and talked to a few people to determine the "threat level" versus the fish we had already caught. Next year we're going to give Ferret a bait rod, some rigs, a few dozen pre-shucked clams and a bucket before he heads out on that jetty! I promise we won't take pictures! Later in the day Jess called, reported that Jess Jr had caught a 7 pound bluefish and asked me if they should release it. Remembering the 2004 tournament I told him no. Good for Jess Jr and good for Team SS because that was our number 8 fish and won the Bluefish Division!

While I won't embarass the person by publicly printing his name I was "visiting" with a member of Team SS who was baitfishing and plugging at the same time. As I followed him down the beach aways while he was casting we both turned to see his spiked rod take a severe slam and start jumping. He passed his plugging rod to me and took off like a "bat outta hell" for the bait rod. By the time I finally caught up to him he was in a major fight and moving sideways down the beach away from me. I kept yelling, "Take your time, take your time, keep your tip up, pump easy." As I caught up with him he had the fish under control and in the rough breakers. I moved closer to attempt to get in the wash and help land the fish. It was a big long bass, I've seen enough to know it was big enough to be in the running for top striper. Then fate stepped in, she rolled and twisted in the surf and the circle hook dropped from her mouth. She was swept up by another breaker, rolled away, slapped her tail and was gone. When I turned around he was on his knees in disbelief. All I could do was hobble over and offer my apology and commiserations, "I'm sorry I wasn't quicker, next time, next time." He looked up and said "You were there, I just tried to horse it onto the beach, @#$% &^%$#!!"

The most hilarious event was courtesy of the "SilverFox" family. I stopped by to meet them all and check if they needed bait. As I was standing there all of a sudden Jim yelled out "Fish On! Sal, Fish On!" The next thing we heard was two year old Sal's mother yelling from the truck "Sal's getting his diaper changed." In a flash she came running with Sal, stood him up in front of his spiked rod, he grabbed it and reeled in a beautiful chunky bass that was just short of 24 inches. That was a moment I will never forget and I know the Silverfox family will be talking about that for many, many years! By the way, after Sal beached his bass and photos were taken, his Mom yanked down his britches and finished fastening his diaper! Priceless!

I know we weighed in a lot of bass, far more than Black Drum, but it was a Drum day in certain areas of the park and we hit those spots hard. At one point I recieved a call that someone had caught a 12 pound Red Drum. I advised the caller that they did not count for the tournament but questioned him about the fish, "Are you sure it's a red drum? We don't get reds up here" He couldn't tell but as luck would have it a Park Ranger came by and told him it was a Black Drum. Whew!

When I first arrived back at the Weigh In at 2:15 PM I was pleasantly surprised to see that the entire "lakeside1" family of four had fish up on the board and knowing that we had a few more Black Drum still to be weighed in made me realize that we would overcome the Barners 10 pound lead. I was getting very "antsy" as the time came closer to 3:00 PM, where was the KHE C-F Team, I was sure that Ken just had to bring in a keeper. Then I saw Ken Junior bring in a slot fish and other team members were also in line. At 2:45 PM I received a garbled call on my cellphone but all I could hear was, "big black drum." I don't know who it was, I kept repeating into my cellphone, "Run or you'll be too late, Run, Run!" He was too late and so were at least two more people but we were 22 pounds ahead at precisely 3:00 PM. Victory!

A lot of people worked very hard to help Team SS repeat in 2005. First and foremost our Captain, Bob DeLeonard. Earlier in the year I thought I might be hospitalized during the tournament and wisely asked Bob DeLeonard to take command. He did a great job for the team in 2004 and with his in-depth knowledge of IBSP and ability to communicate with and help newcomers Team SS would be in good hands. I was right, he led us to a real Drum beat on the Beach! We would all like to also thank Bob for rushing home from work to lead the strategy meeting again this year. I believe we had over 45 people come to the meeting, it was wet, cold and a little windy but we persevered so Bob could lay out the winning strategy.

Thanks to Ragman for that 6 foot submarine sandwich, Joe Laniewski for the soda pop and "dinnerware" and Ning and Neal Byl for funding a large portion of the 17 pizza's and two cases of beer! There were some leftovers but not much! BTW, why is pizza so damn expensive in Seaside Park? I think next year we'll go to a nice warm and dry restaurant. That will also make it a lot easier to see the projections of photos, satellite images and diagrams.

Again our sincere thanks to Captain Marty "Fishpicker" for delivering over 150 pounds of fresh Cape May bunker to us on Friday night. Clams were the hot bait on Saturday but once again Marty's bunker got us a couple of fish that made up our top ten!

My thanks to the people at the meeting who agreed to "field test" the new StriperSurf High Low Bait Rigs on Saturday. I guess they worked quite well. Sorry I didn't have enough for everyone but I'll be sure to send them to all team members once I go into full "production." I may call them "Tournament Trophy High Low Rigs."

Any contest is only as good as the contestants and we are rightly proud to go up against many of the finest surf fishermen and women in the state, the people who make the BassBarn their "home." Their Captain, Steve George again did a great job of getting the Barners organized and informed and gave us a real run for the trophy. I was pleased to finally meet Ron Redington, the publisher of the BassBarn. We discuss mutual web site issues and share technical information on a adhoc basis in order to help each other. In this day of cut-throat and often ruthless competition Ron and I have become friends and only wish the best for StriperSurf and "The Barn."

Below is a picture I'm pretty proud to show you. I'm sure that some day in the future that will be Ron Redington accepting the trophy but I hope it won't be until I'm long gone and someone else has taken over! Please note that I'm wearing my lucky FV/Eileen B hat. I kept that firmly on all day and it worked!

I didn't have the opportunity to meet more than a dozen "Barners" and give them the new 2005 StriperSurf decal. Of course we would appreciate all photos of Barner vehicles with the StriperSurf decal attached. Send photos of Fords, Chevys, Dodges, Toyotas, Nissans and especially Red Cherokee's.

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