The Ladies Invitational Bluefish Tournament went down to the last minutes Saturday, June 19. It was nearing the 2 p.m. cut-off when Linda Szablewski of Langhorne, Pa., took a fishing rod after a knockdown on the Bonnie Lee. The rod had an umbrella rig and when she reeled it in, it had two bluefish on it.
One weighed around 10 pounds, but the other went 15.99 pounds and that wound up winning the LIBT title.
Szablewski and her team fished Bonnie Lee with captain Bob Cummings of Somers Point.
Virginia K. Mitchell, a tournament volunteer from Cape May Court House, was also on the boat and supplied the report. The other members of the team were Arlene Polcarik of Point Pleasant, Terry Doebley of Somers Point, Roberta Santrock of Philadelphia and Linda Rose of Philadelphia.
Santrock had a 14.54 bluefish, and they were fishing south of Barnegat Ridge.
The crew of Bonnie Lee had some real clout with local fishing heavyweights, in addition to the captain. Corky Campbell sponsored the team through Campbell New Generation Marine in Somers Point, and Gene Doebley of Somers Point and Jon Cummings, the captain's son, were on board as mates.
The Bonnie Lee crew also had other blues that weighed 14.54 and 11.34 pounds for a three-fish total of 41.84.
According to tournament director Kim Kirk, $42,000 was announced at the Sunday night banquet June 20 at Trump Marina Grand Cayman Ballroom as the money donated this year to AtlantiCare Mobile Mammography Unit. And, there is more expected.
Kirk said 68 boats and 309 female anglers competed. C-Jam was second with a 13.99-pound bluefish, and Jo-Jaam was third at 13.75. In the past 12 years, tournament contestants have raised a remarkable $484,000, Kirk said. The fund enables uninsured women to get mammograms and follow-up diagnostic tests. So far this year, it has helped 172 women to be tested.
The Maynard's Cafe Flounder Tournament did not have quite the scale of the LIBT, but it was just as competitive and proceeds go to the Gold Foundation to help support people and families struggling with cancer.
George King of Margate was the winner with a 4-pound, 3-ounce flounder caught on an undisclosed reef inshore. Mike LaTorre of Northfield was second at 3-13, beating out Greg Pedano of Egg Harbor Township by one ounce. Don Brown at Captain Andy's Marina in Margate reported there were 82 entries and they weighed 10 fish more than three pounds in weight.
The captain's meeting is 7 p.m. Friday, June 25 for Saturday, June 26's flounder tournament sponsored by American Legion Post 396 in Brigantine. The contest has several divisions: heaviest single fish with a $500 prize, plus total weight for heaviest three fish, ladies and children 12 and under single heaviest. The entry fee is $60 for a crew of four. The post is at 3218 W. Brigantine Ave. in Brigantine. Call 609-266-9477.