BELMAR — It was ladies’ night at the Belmar Fishing Club last Thursday as one of the few remaining private fishing piers on the Jersey Shore held its largest event of the year, the annual Ladies Fishing Tournament.
A tradition that has lasted 14 years, the event has grown so popular that the fishing club has had to limit the number of participants in this year’s contest, which was held on Thursday, Aug. 1.
“This is a way that we could get the ladies involved in fishing,” Vernon Bryan, the president of the Belmar Fishing Club, said.
“The best thing is getting women that you would never see with a fishing pole coming out fishing for themselves. They’re fishing women for the day.”
Nearly 100 women took part in this year’s competition, with participants split into three groups. Each group had one honor to try to catch the largest fish they could.
The winner of the tournament was Maureen Kress, who caught a 13-inch fluke just six minutes into the competition at 4:06 p.m. The minimum allowable catch size for fluke is 18 inches.
“I love this event. I came to fish and hang out with my friends and have gentlemen serve us cocktails,” Jen Puetzer, of Belmar, said, “The fishing club always does a great job with their events.”
Last year’s winner Pat Melango, of Belmar, who caught a 22 ½ inch striped bass, tried to replicate her luck this year.
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