Pabst Blue Ribbon Striped Bass Tournament winners
The winners of the First Annual Pabst Blue Ribbon Block Island Striped Bass Tournament were announced during a ceremony at the Poor People’s Pub on Sunday.
The tournament, which ran from June 1 to July 7, was put on by Pabst Blue Ribbon and the Block Island Tourism Council to promote the excellent fishing, dining, entertainment and vacation opportunities that can be found in the Block Island area.
Just over 400 anglers took part in the tournament. Each angler that registered for the tournament received a registration package that included a PBR Tournament T-shirt and hat, a waterproof phone case and Mustad circle hooks to fish with. Registration also included invitations to the many events put on by Pabst and the Tourism Council around the area.
The tournament began with a registration drive held at The Mews Tavern on May 30th in Wakefield. The registration drive was followed by a Kick Off and Tournament Promotion Party at the Harborside Inn on June 1, another Kick Off Party at Ballards Restaurant and an After Party at the Poor People’s Pub on June 2. There was also a registration booth for the tournament at the House and Garden Show held on June 7.
Tournament festivities continued with parties at Captain Nick’s on June 9 and 10 with live music provided by the Booze Beggars. And midway through the tournament, on June 23, the anglers were treated to a Pig Roast at the Poor Peoples Pub. This was followed by a party at Traders on the Dock at Champlins Marina on June 30 and a promotional event at Finn’s on July 1. The festivities concluded on July 15 with the Awards Ceremony at the Poor People’s Pub.
Tournament sponsors included a number of local businesses including Block Island Cigar; the Narragansett Inn; and Lemire’s Plug Works, a company that specializes in creating handmade wooden fishing lures.
In addition to local sponsorship there were a number of prominent regional and national sponsors that included Bristol Marine, H-Bomb Tackle of Somerset, MA, the Fisherman Magazine, Pop Chips, Oakley Sunglasses, Yeti Coolers and Mustad Hooks. Stripers On Line and noreast.com, two web based sites dedicated to helping anglers find fish, rounded out the list of sponsors.
Anglers registered and competed in one of two divisions in the tournament: one for boat fishermen and the other for shore anglers. Each division had both an adult and junior category.
Top prize in the boat division, awarded to the angler with the largest striped bass, was $20,000, while the shore angler with the largest striper walked away with $10,000.
Master of ceremony for the awards presentation was Capt. Bill Brown of Billfish Charters.
The tournament winners in the boat division were as follows:
Roger Kroha, from Wakefield, R.I., took first place spot and a check for $20,000.00 with a 55lb. 1.6oz. bass;
Donald Smith, from North Kingstown, R.I., won the second place prize of a Polaris Sportsman 4 wheel ATV with a 52lb. 6.4oz. bass;
Jay Wessels, from Portsmouth, R.I., who won third place and a $5,000.00 gift certificate to Bristol Marine with his 52lb. 4oz. catch.
The first place prize in the junior category of the boat division went to 10 year old Dakota Yeaw of Coventry, R.I. for reeling in a 50lb. striped bass. Landing a 50 lb. striper on a rod and reel is quite an achievement for any angler. For Dakota, who only weighs in at 63 lbs., it’s an outstanding feat. Dakota won an I-Pad and assorted fishing gear for his great catch.
The tournament winners in the shore division were as follows:
John Hanecak, from Rocky Hill, Conn., who won first place, and a check for $10,000.00, for his 50lb. 0oz. bass;
Gary Soldati, from West Stockbridge, Mass., won second place with a 28lb. 9.6oz. striper, earning him a Cannondale Mountain Bike, a Yeti 65 cooler and a pair of Oakley sunglasses;
George Moss, from Red Bank, N.J., won third place with his 26lb. 12.8oz. striped bass. George took home a humidor from Block Island Cigar, a Yeti 45 cooler and a pair of Oakley sunglasses.
There was no junior entry in the shore division.
At the conclusion of the awards ceremony Capt. Brown announced that Pabst Blue Ribbon will back next year with plans to expand the tournament.