Good Luck to all participating and we are looking foward to a Banner Event!
Hats off everyone for another great showing by all involved with the 16th Annual Hamptons Offshore Invitational.
From the fishing crews to the busboys to the fantastic sponsors who once again drove nearly $240,000 in charity support to the great work they do at Big Brothers Big Sisters of Long Island, a big round of applause.
To the fishermen, another week of good sportsmanship under your belts. Well done.
Hearty congratulations to the rotten kids on ROTTEN KID for their overall heaviest tuna, and to the crews of PERSUASION and REEL E BUGGIN for their big tunas and to all those in the top slots of each category. Condolences, but also a tip of the cap, to the ZIGGY crew for taking a shot to the gut without raising a stink. First class.
Our apologies to the crew of Modern Yachts, whose 2nd place Day Mahi was overlooked in Saturday night’s write up and leaderboard. Again, not the 30+ fatty you hung to win last year, but good enough for 2nd place this year! Nice work.
More than 100 fish were brought to the scales, including 22 bigeyes, more than 40 yellowfin and dozens of Mahi, as well as a handful of wahoo and a few swordfish. While the big tunas were not quite as abundant as they’ve been the last few years, the randomness of the bite kept things very interesting right down to the last day. Mother Nature gave us all a scare but ended up being quite friendly to the Shinnecock fleet this week.
Many thanks to the Oakland family; Tosh and all the guys on the docks; the Shinnecock Marlin & Tuna Club; tournament director Scott Horowitz; Bill Kearney, Joe Lombardo and Sean Spicer at the weigh-in table, and of course all the captains and crews who participated this year and made it one of the most fun and friendly tournaments in the Northeast.
Thanks to Anthony & John at White Water Marine for their platinum sponsorship and donation of the Sportsman raffle boat package. Scott Rucky, of East Islip, couldn’t believe it when Scott Horowitz called, letting him know his ticket was pulled to win that beautiful Sportsman center console.
Thanks once again to all 2016 HOI sponsors…
· George Vickers, Jr. Enterprises
· Harry Bachrach
· Shore Line Insurance
· Wahl Rich Group
· White Water Outfitters
· Owen & Laurie Schwartz
· Sportsman Boats
· Hampton Watercraft
· Haskell's Bait & Tackle
· Oakland’s Restaurant and Marina
· Riverhead Building & Supply
· South Shore Docks
· Spellman's Marine
· Staten Island Yachts
· Unity Electric
· East Hampton Dental Group
Captain’s Meeting Sponsor
· Absolute Detailing & Overtemp Marine
· Village Auto Body
· Framingham Foundation
· Fish & Wildlife Unlimited Taxidermy, Inc.
· Shinnecock Marlin & Tuna Club
· Dave Bofill Marine
· Bridgehampton National Bank
· Montauk Brewing Co.
· Robert Kandell
· Dave Baroncelli
· Trident Funding
· Sea Tow Shinnecock/Moriches
· Shore Line Bulkheading
· Kandell Farnworth and Pubins
· US Merchant Marine Academy
Last, but certainly not least, congratulations to Pamela & Scott Horowitz, who are being honored as “Couple of the Year” at BBBSLI’s Presidential Gala (October 6th) for their many years of service to this tournament and all the children who’ve benefitted from BBBSLI’s east end mentoring programs over the years. For event & sponsorship information, or to buy tickets, please visit - http://bbbsli.org/event/gala/.
See you next August!
~ Mike Wright & Jamison Skala
August 21st 2016
Good Morning anglers, sponsors, and friends.
We’ll just get right to it. All everyone’s been talking about for the past 36 hours was Ziggy’s potential leaderboard-changing mutilated bigeye, so here’s the update you’ve all been waiting for. The tournament committee examined Ziggy’s fish (and had a subsequent conversation with Captain Mike Andersen) and while it was a nice fish and an incredible story that won’t soon be forgotten, IGFA rules prevail, per HOI Rules, stating, ”The following situations will disqualify a catch: 1. When a rod breaks (while the fish is being played) in a manner that reduces the length of the tip below minimum dimensions or severely impairs its angling characteristics. 2. Mutilation to the fish, prior to landing or boating the catch, caused by sharks, other fish, mammals, or propellers that remove or penetrate the flesh. (Injuries caused by leader or line, scratches, old healed scars or regeneration deformities are not considered to be disqualifying injuries.)” Sorry Mike & crew.
Yet while all the talk was over a possible first place bigeye, Rotten Kid put an end to the chatter when not one, but two, dock hands had to hoist their bigeye up to the scale. The tale of the tape – 220.00 pounds! That’s the money fish! Persuasion’s 202.5 slips to 2nd, and Reel E. Buggin’s 198 – that they caught in 20 knot winds and eight footers on their Sunday-Monday trip – hangs on to 3rd place.
Reel E. Buggin’ headed out Saturday to try to take advantage of the full moon. Maybe there’s a method to their madness. They weighed the first Night fish, that 198 bigeye I mentioned, perhaps they’ll weigh the last Night fish of the tournament, but will it be that monster bigeye everyone’s looking for?
Five other bigeyes weighed Saturday – Love of the Game (156.5), Positive Attitude brought three back (78.0, 137.5, and 138.00), and Offshore Obsession’s 172.5 that looked a lot bigger than it weighed.
More 60+ pound Yellowfins came in from FISH (70.0, 67.0, and 61.5), but none were big enough to unseat Bolshevik (76.00), Dorado (71.5), and Rotten Kid (71.00).
Il Sogno brought back the only albie of the day, a 34 pounder that missed third place by half-pound, well a pound really because it would have needed to be 35 to take the third spot because a tying fish would have been “second in”.
We have a new 3rd place Mahi. Baby G’s 24.76 edged out Reel Lucky’s 22.86 to take the third spot (sorry John).
Only two Day bought brought fish back and one other declared a lay day.
Contender 25, on lay day, landed a beautiful 42.62 striper to take top spot for striped bass. They also lead lay day fluke, with a 5.60.
Modern Yachts hung an 18.9 Mahi, a far cry from that monster 33.7 bull they hauled in last year.
Grand Bahama Mama also weighed a cute 87.00 mako and a bluefish (4.54) that missed the 5 lb. weight limit to place.
One last note, if you’re a Day Boat and you’re considering a Day trip or declaring lay day today (Sunday), remember this…. If you hand in a Day dock card, you can only weigh Day category fish (i.e., you can’t weigh fluke or striped bass). If you declare lay day, you can only weigh fluke or striped bass, and not any Day category fish.
We’ll be weighing fish from 10/10:30am – 12pm Noon. Any boats that head out today have to be back (to the red buoy) by 12pm Noon.
See you on the docks!
Jamison Skala (channeling Mike Wright)
August 20th 2016
The full moon did not work much of the magic it has the last few years this time around for the HOI crews in the canyons. There are new 1st and 2nd place Mahi’s in the Overnight division and a new 1st place albacore but those are the only changes to the leaderboard.
A good lineup of boats came back through the jetties on Friday evening and the scales were busy but the big tunas that have bloodied decks in recent years are scarce.
If you missed the intrigue in person, one jumbo bigeye was brought back to the scales, but it's status as the official leading fish is in doubt. ZIGGY hung the fatty, which tipped to 204 pounds, but the fish had been attacked by a shark and lost its tail. HOI Rules read, “(a) All fish captured must comply with ALL Federal and State regulations. Any mutilated, harpooned or shot fish will be disqualified. The tournament committee will examine any mutilated fish and their decision as to eligibility to qualify is final. (b) The Tournament Committee will examine any mutilated fish and their decision as to eligibility to qualify is final.” IGFA Rules say that a "mutilated" is disqualified, even if it’s the victim of a shark attack not human error. So the tournament committee will be reviewing the entry and determining whether the fish will be counted. Until that decision is made, results for the Night bigeye category are listed as Pending Committee Decision. (The previous leaders for Night bigeye were - Persuasion (202.50), Reel E Bugging (198.00), and Bonnie Lynn (175.00).)
A handful of bigeyes were brought in. ZIGGY had two others in addition to their big one, 132 and 136, and one of those had been sharked up as well. TRIPLE PLAY had a 114 and CHASIN TAIL had a 137.
The yellowfin category saw plenty of hopefuls on Friday but nobody was able to break onto the leaderboard. WHITE WATER hung a pair of 68s, BARBARIC had a 58 and a 55.5 and CHASIN TAIL hung a 55. ZIGGY, who had a really good trip except for the shark problems, hung a 62, 58 and 54. JOSEY weighed in their first fish, a 57 and a 59, FISH THIS had a 61 and 63 and SURF DOG had a 66.5.
WHITE WATER upset the mix in the albacore category, with their 38.5 taking over 1st place.
In the Mahi category, BARRACUDA reclaimed 1st and 2nd place with greenies of 27.62 and 25.18.
More than a dozen Overnight boats left for trips on Friday and with another day of calm seas on Saturday a good slug of Day boats are sure to make the run as well for what will be the last full day of fishing.
Good luck everyone. See you at the scales.
Mike Wright & Jamison Skala
August 19th 2016
Good morning folks.
There were a couple minor changes to the Day leaderboard after two handfuls of Day trippers made the run yesterday. Expect a lot of movement this evening and a lineup at the scales - 19 Overnighters and at least 8 Day trippers are due back by the 7 p.m. weigh-in deadline.
Ten boats made Day trips yesterday. Four came back with fish for the scales.
COMPLICATED LADY is now in third place in the Mahi category for the Day division with her 16 pounder. BAHAMA MAMA and MANGO also brought Mahi to the scales that missed the leaderboard.
MODERN YACHTS weighed a money fish, the first Day longfin/albacore, a 31 pounder.
The moon was huge last night so the crews coming back today will be tired and cranky, unless they have bigeyes and yellows to hang, so let's keep it friendly.
If you come down to the scales tonight, or are heading offshore tomorrow, please don't forget to park off to the side of Oaklands for the sake of their "normal" customers.
Boat raffle tickets, dinner tickets, and t-shirts will be available for purchase at the dock tonight (through Jamison). Get yours before they’re sold out.
See you at the scales.
Mike Wright & Jamison Skala
August 18th 2016
Good afternoon HOI participants.
No boats left the dock Wednesday because of the wind and small craft warnings, but Oakland’s was bustling last night with crews getting ready to head for the horizon at first light this morning.
The morning patrol reported in that 19 Overnight boats and 11 Day trippers broke the inlet this morning. That leaves about 20 more Overnight boats that remain to take a shot at their second trip, and with weather looking fantastic tomorrow and Saturday (and pretty decent straight through to Sunday morning) just about everybody should get their full allotment of time in on the edge.
No yellowfins over 80 pounds have come in and at 202 pounds the bigeye board is definitely vulnerable. A lot of boats were going exploring today since the Square disappointed a lot of report chasers on Monday and Tuesday.
A fresh load of Shutes came into White Water yesterday so if you're fiddling around the docks today chomping at the bit to get going tomorrow, do some fresh rigging.
Thanks to Les & Sea Tow (one of our trophy sponsors) for getting the Spellman’s gang back to shore safely on Tuesday, and thanks, too, to Tony & Hampton Watercraft (Gold sponsor) for taking in the disabled Triple Play. It’s a trying time when mechanical issues rear their ugly head offshore, but we’re sure glad we can count on our sponsors when things do go wrong. Thank you, gents!
Bigeye moon is tonight. Let's hope the fish waited for the calm this time.
Good luck, see you at the scales tonight.
~ Jamison Skala and Mike Wright
August 17th 2016
Now we're talking. A bigeye triple-header, a pair of billfish Grand Slams, bull Mahi on the sabiki rod, wahoo, Sea Tow to the rescue and a queue outside the weigh station. The HOI is in full swing now boys and the bigeye moon is just over the horizon. And everyone gets a nice day to rest tomorrow, courtesy of Mother Nature's bluster, and then a nice calm home stretch, well lit by a full moon.
First, a couple quick points of order. Stephanie Oakland kindly asks crews to please park in the beach lot below the restaurant and not in the main parking lot. With all the crews offshore the last two days there were zero spots left for the restaurant customers this week. Yes, this means you.
Boat raffle tickets are dwindling down to just a few handfuls, so get yours before you leave the dock on Thursday or they may be gone when you get back. Call or text Jamison Skala at 516-527-3239; he's got 'em. There will also be new tournament shirts available at the docks on Friday.
And a big thanks to the weigh-in crew of Jamison Skala, Bill Kearney, Sean Spicer and Joe Lombardo and of course Tosh and his crew of busy beavers at the scale and on the docks from before dawn to well after dusk.
Okay, now down to business. As ordered, it was a busy evening at the scales on Tuesday with 51 boats due back from overnighters and day trips at the edge. The fish rewarded some, disappointed others. They're fish, they do that.
In all, 29 boats brought more than 60 fish to the hook at Oakland’s, including 10 bigeyes, a dozen yellowfin over 60 pounds, two swordfish, two wahoo and a pair of 20-pound plus Mahi.
he overall top fish for the tourney now belongs to the crew of defending champs PERSUASION who hung a 202-pound bigeye on Tuesday. They plucked it out of the middle of the Square scrum at sunset on Monday.
BONNIE LYNN was high hook for the week thus far with three bigeyes brought to the scales, including the current third-place fish, at 175 pounds even, to go with a 164 and 129. CHASIN TAIL briefly held third place with their 173 pounder before those meddling Montauk guys came in with their fish. Other boats that brought bigeyes to the scale were SURF DOG, with a 148, IL SOGNO, 132.5, MISS WHITE WATER's 168, POSITIVE ATTITUDE, 158, and LADY JANE, with a cute little 97 pounder that they wished was a yellowfin!
The fast-movers aboard BOLESHEVIK took over the top spot in the yellowfin category, with a 76 pounder they nonchalantly walked over to the scale after the crowds had cleared and the docks had been swabbed. DORADO is in second place with their 71.5 (one of three yellows over 60 pounds that they weighed-in) and ROTTEN KID V was just a half-pound behind with their 71. Other honorable mentions: a 70 and 67 for the crew of KAHUNA.
Most fish weighed in for the day goes to REEL LUCKY and their five fish, two of which are currently on the leaderboard. The new first place Mahi fell to The Dentiste who grabbed the new sabiki bait rod, still with the plastic from Kmart around the fore grip, and tossed a chunk to a trailing Mahi who, lo and behold, turned out to be an angry bull that towed him around the cockpit for 25 minutes. One of the crew's other Mahi’s, at 18.75, is in third place, with CURTAIN CALL'S 20.7 sandwiched into second place.
The longfin line on the leaderboard is a bit of a double-taker, or triple-taker in this case. All three spots are held by fish that weighed in at exactly 34.50 pounds. Two were caught by ALEXA CORINNE and the third by JOSEY with ALEXA CORINNE holding onto the first two spots officially by virtue of having weighed their fish first (note to those of you who wash the boat first then bring the little fish to the scales: timing can make a difference).
Other catches of note, though not necessarily of record: KANALOA is leading the swordfish Calcutta with their 159.5 pounder, part of a billfish slam slam, and OFFSHORE OBSESSION also recorded a slam and hung a 85 pound swordy for the Calcutta board.
ZIGGY and SHEARWATER both weighed in wahoo of 60 pounds and 53 pounds respectively.
In the Day trippers category, just three boats brought fish to the scales on Tuesday. COMPLICATED LADY posted the first place yellowfin, a 67.5 and BOOKED weighed 15.26 Mahi to grab third place. GRAND BAHAMA MAMA brought a pair of nice Mahi to the scales but didn't make the leaderboard.
Check out the updated leaderboards (attached) or at the dock in the morning.
A good day’s rest and a full moon rising on Thursday night over what is expected to be calm seas and this tournament is still a jump ball. Get your rest, call your bosses, kiss your wives, play with your kids, 'cuz there's more fishing to be done.
Mike Wright & Jamison Skala
August 16th 2016
Good morning everyone.
Today will be a busy day at Oakland’s with 38 overnight boats due to come back to the scales and word that fishing at the edge has been very good.
Monday saw a small group of Day and Overnight category boats come in and the first entries on the big board. REEL E BUGGING has the first bigeye weighed in, a 198-pounder. The other Overnight boat to return on Monday, BEERACUDA, had a 53-pound yellowfin, as well as three nice Mahi, between 10 pounds and 15.26 pounds. Both of these boats are newcomers to the tournament leaderboard and took a beating to get their first trip in, so a warm welcome to the HOI boys.
Three Day trip boats also brought fish to the scales. SPELLMAN'S MARINE dropped two twin yellowfin, both exactly 55.50 pounds, and MANGO hung a 54.50 pounder to plant their flag in third place. MANGO also put up two big Mahi, a 23.60 and a 17.58, for the first two spots on the leaderboard in that category, and BABA LOOEY put up a 10.94.
The word from the edge is that the fishing has been pretty good, with lots of yellowfin and a fair number of bigeyes caught, so the scales and leaderboard are sure to be chock-a-block on Tuesday afternoon. The fan is supposed to crank up in the afternoon so we may see some early action at the scales.
After an iffy start, the weather forecast for the rest of the week is looking superb. After a good blow on Tuesday night and Wednesday to give everyone a little rest, everything is supposed to drop out by late in the week. So everyone should have ample opportunity to get as many trips in as they can.
See you at the scales,
Jamison Skala and Mike Wright
August 15th 2016
Okay, the 2016 HOI will be getting its real start today.
Ma Nature has backed off her bluster and has handed the crews of the big guns a primo weather window for Monday and Tuesday.
Most of the 42 Overnight boats and a good number of the 17 Day-trippers will finally be breaking the inlet with the dawn this morning, so tonight’s and Tuesday’s weigh-in will start to tell the tale of the tournament.
Just one Day category boat, C-JOY, checked back in after a trip on Sunday but had no fish to weigh.
SEA-U-2 and Capt. John's crew of "experienced" fishermen (average age, 62, we’re told) declared a lay-day on Sunday to do some fluking and brought a 5.18 pounder back to the dock as the first official fish of the tournament. First fish is first fish; hats off to 'em.
But now it's off to the races. With no reports for several days and only scattered shots of the water temps from the satellites, it's going to be guessing game for everyone headed to the edge. There's water topping 80 degrees blanketing much of the edge from Hudson to Atlantis so most guys seemed to be keying in on the scattered cool dips into the mid-70s. We'll see what the cold sides bring.
A depressing long-term forecast has taken a decidedly uplifting turn also. After another stiff blow on Wednesday the forecast right now is looking promising for later in the week so hopefully we will see most of the Overnight boats get their two trips in. Fingers crossed for the Day boats to get their time on the tuna grounds as well.
For those of you on the dock Monday and Tuesday, don't forget to get your raffle tickets for the 2016 Sportsman center console being raffled off (courtesy of White Water Marine). There's just 40 tix left for sale ($100 each) so they WILL BE SOLD OUT BEFORE THE AWARDS DINNER.
Thanks much to all our sponsors for the support they've shown for this great event, especially Spellman's Marine (Gold Sponsor) who donated the Zodiac Inflatable “Green Raffle” grand prize and the captain’s gear that a lot of guys will be sporting this week. And welcome to new 2016 sponsors East Hampton Dental Group (Gold) and Bridgehampton National Bank (Silver).
Be safe everyone and good luck. Hope to see you all at the scales.
~Mike Wright & Jamison Skala
August 14th 2016
Ladies and Gentlemen, start your weather apps!
Welcome to the 2016 Hamptons Offshore Invitational! Theme song for this opening weekend of the tournament: "Should I Stay or Should I Go" by The Clash. Tosh, cue that up for Sunday morning at the docks please.
We've got 59 boats registered this year with a good collection of first-timers added to the regulars for the lineup and heated competition in store. The Overnight category is 42 boats, 17 in the Day.
A warm welcome to the crew of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy Sport Fishing Team aboard the 42-Tiara EUPHORIA captained by Rob Asma. These are some brave mariners in training (and with classes to get to) so they are not going to wait too long for the weather to be just perfect before they get some lines in the water.
Mother Nature may be throwing us for a bit of a loop to start the week off but by next Sunday evening it all will just have been another well-managed calculation that led the winners to the trophy stand. The fish are there. There's bigeye and yellowfin tails in the dumpster at Oakland’s that haven't even started to curl up yet! This ain't gonna be 2013 with 60-plus bigeyes weighed in from flat calm seas. This will be one of those years where the guys who figure it out, find the windows and get on the fish when the gettin' is good and separate themselves from the pack.
First hurdle will be getting out of the inlet, of course. Nobody gonna go on Saturday except for those looking to fill their consolation bluefish or fluke slots. Sunday, I hear, there's a couple boats looking to venture out in hopes those 3-4’s are long period. The forecast, if you believe NOAA at all, has been dialing back a wee bit with each update so maybe we'll see a window open up for some hearty souls. If everyone is safe and smart and Mother Nature gives us a break or two, we'll all have a great tournament.
Big thanks, first and foremost, to Parker Pete and his crew of early risers who will be on the docks every morning to grab everyone's go card. Also to Jamison Skala from BBBSLI who will be the official weigh-master and to Bill Kearney, Sean Spicer and Joe Lombardo who stepped up to help out just this evening. Thanks guys.
And of course endless thanks to all the huge support from out sponsors this year. Platinum Sponsors -- George Vickers, Harry Bachrach, Shore Line Insurance, Wahl Rich Group, White Water Marine and White Water Outfitters. Gold Sponsors -- Spellmans Marine, Owen and Laurie Schwartz, Hampton Watercraft & Marine, Sportsman Boats, Haskell's Bait & Tackle, Oakland’s Restaurant and Marina, Riverhead Building Supply, South Shore Docks, Staten Island Yachts, Unity Electric, East Hampton Dental Group, and Montauk Brewing Company. Absolute Detailing and Overtemp Marine sponsored tonight’s Captain’s Meeting, and the valet service was provided by Village Auto Body. Guys, put these companies in your phones or on your note pad. Use their businesses because they have the same priorities you do and deserve the same applause for the more than $2 million this tournament has raised for Big Brothers and Big Sisters over the past 16 years!
Hope you all take advantage of the day off Saturday to have a little extra fun tonight. See you bright and early Sunday!
Catch 'em up,
Mike Wright & Jamison Skala