Chapter Success in MSSA Spring
2016 Rockfish Tournament by Jerry Gaff
The Southern Maryland Chapter (SMC) did very well in the annual Spring Tournament that attracted over 450 boats and nearly 3,000 participants across the Chesapeake Bay. John Weber, Jr. landed the largest fish, a 47.2 pound whopper that won him the top prize of $75,193. He and some of his crew spoke at the May Chapter meeting to tell their story.
The “MSSA Chapter Cup” presented for the five members of a chapter with the five heaviest fish was retained by our SMC, the third time in the four years it was awarded. In addition to Weber, the members included George Hall 41.2 pounds, Roger Grissom 40.25 pounds, Dave Rankin 36.95 pounds, and Jim Pilkerton 38.25 pounds.
Abel Fabian won the Kayak Division with a 41 pound rockfish, and he will attend the June 16 Chapter Meeting to describe how he managed such a monster on his kayak. Spoiler alert: there will be some towing of his kayak involved.
The SMC Chapter was responsible for staffing the three check-in stations at Point Lookout, Solomons, and Breezy Point. During the first day, 84 fish were checked in at Solomons, all of them over the 35 inch minimum. Captain Bruno Vasta and President Jerry Gaff, operating the Solomons weigh-in station with MSSA Executive Director Dave Smith, reported that probably over 90 percent of the big fish had already spawned. This is excellent news for the future recovery of the fishery.