Linda Davoli has been active outdoors just about all her life. The well-known Brigantine fisherwoman traps and nets bait, and supplies friends and others with live minnows, mullet and spot.
She entered Saturday, June 25's Brigantine American Legion Post 396 Flounder Tournament and fished in her boat "Gully Wench," a 17-foot Caravel center console, with 15-year-old Alex Strassler, the grandson of one of her fishing buds, Gary Born.
Davoli caught a 5.10-pound flounder that helped push their three-fish total to 10.35 pounds, which won the overall weight division. The 54-year-old Brigantine resident said they had 25 flounder total and four nice keepers. She said Monday, June 27, they also had lots of 17 1/4-inch flounder just under the allowable 18-inch minimum.
They were using the biggest "monster" minnows - some
2 1/2-3 ounces - she recently captured.
Davoli has been fishing since she was 4 years old. She was taught correctly, right from the beginning by her dad Ben, one of the best-known local fishermen of the past.
She spends a lot of time on the beach surfcasting out of her four-wheel drive vehicle, most often at Brigantine, and out on the water in a boat. She said she tries to go fishing just about every day.
Davoli said one of her most memorable days of fishing was two years ago when she caught and released eight striped bass that weighed more than 28 pounds. She has won other fishing tournaments, including the women's division of the Atlantic County Surf Fishing Derby and the Brigantine Elks contest.
Back in the day, Davoli was a well-known surfer, ran track in high school and played softball.
The Legion tournament had 69 boats entered, and they raised approximately $3,800 for the Fisher House to benefit wounded military personnel and their families, according to tournament official Mike Muncer.
John Reese, of Cologne, was the heaviest-fish champ with a 5.2-pound flounder.
Great Bay Marina is running its 14th Sunshine Foundation Fishing Tournament on July 9. The entry fee is $55 before July 4 and $65 after. Great Bay Marina is located at the end of Radio Road in Little Egg Harbor Township. It has divisions for flounder and bluefish. The fishing boundary is Barnegat to Absecon inlets. The captain's meeting is 6 p.m. July 8 at Great Bay Marina. This tournament also is highlighted by an after party that includes a live band, according to Tom Paxton.