"The weather was great, and approximately 150 anglers showed up to fish in a 30 mile radius around Salem. The tournament drew folks from all of the New England and a few other states in the northeast, and with a couple of Canadians in the mix it turned into an international event!
Proceeds from the tourney and its fundraisers collected money for the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Salem, the Tufts New England Medical Center’s Children’s Cancer Center and Casting for Recovery.
Kokatat was one of the many great sponsors at the event, and provided Tempest Pants and a Destination Paddling Shirt for the post-fishing raffle. The tournament raffle was quite entertaining with NEKF member Rick Buss acting as MC and coordinating the raffles as well as introducing the tournament winners.
Fishing reports in the week leading up to the tournament were fantastic, but they peaked a couple days before the start and fishing was good, but not great on the tournament weekend. Fortunately there were some large fish around, and a shot at catching a really big one kept people on the water long hours. Many anglers focused on the overnights, and most of the largest fish were caught some time in the middle of the night.
There were three divisions this year: fly (fly fishing only), artificial (no bait allowed), and open (anything but dynamite!). First place in the fly division went to Frank Healy with a 40" striper, which is a huge fly caught bas,s and the largest fly caught bass to win the Striper Shootout! First place in the open division went to John Pitta, who caught a personal best 45" striper on a live eel! First place in the artificial division went to yours truly - Kokatat Kayak Fishing Ambassador Eric Harrison with a 46" striper that ate a 13" hogy. This was the first year that the big fish for the tournament did not come from the open division.
For more reports and pictures visit the Striper Shootout Forum at www.nekf.com. NEKF forum members (there is no charge to join) can also view fishing reports in the "let's hear 'em" forum." Eric Harrison