With the false albacores coming to Nantucket and the bluefish, striped bass and bonitos hooking up, the local and non-locals know what time of year it is on Nantucket.
Summer was the time to get all your supplies ready and prepare yourself for fall. Because fall means the most competitive fishing tournament on the island: none other than the Nantucket Inshore Classic. You have probably seen a lot of kids wearing salmon colored long-sleeve shirts around. Every fall for five weeks, anglers around the community (and from off-island) participate in the competitive fishing tournament hosted by the Nantucket Anglers Club.
Fishing! Fun! For everyone! With Nantucket Island being one of the most respected places in the country to fish, there is nothing better than to participate in this tournament. Many of the participants are kids who attend Nantucket High School and have been successful in this tournament by winning new rods, gift certificates, and lures. The Inshore Classic has been around for 26 years and is undoubtedly the most well known competition on the island. There are a wide variety of categories that include boat, beach, catch and release, and fly fishing. The categories of fish include striped bass, bonito, false albacore and bluefish. With the island’s fishery being very hot right now, a lot of people are dedicating most of their free time to being out on the water, which will inevitably pay off in a reward of multiple fish and prizes.
Well respected young angler and past 2 year champion of the junior division, Grace Shannon commented; “It is about the people that you bond with…. because the people you fish with, you are going to be closest with forever.”
Grace is right, I have met some of my best friends from being out on the water and maybe even just going over to a complete stranger to ask them if they have had any luck so far. This could lead to a very long conversation. More people weighed in on their opinion of the inshore including fishing legend Carter Snell. He stated that he “loves the atmosphere and the competition” and says “it is a great way to get everyone involved who loves fishing.” And rightfully so.
Although the tournament is competitive, there is that side of friendly atmosphere that keeps on drawing more competitors each year. People love to take part in the Inshore because it also is a great way to make memories.
For fisherman Ramon Partida, this is the time to be outdoors and on the water as often as possible.
“My best catch so far was when I caught a false albacore off Great Point,” said Partida. “What make these catches more memorable is when I am with people who I share love for this sport and encourage me to catch the next fish to get on the leaderboard. Even though it is competitive, people don’t get upset over losing their spot on the board but most likely they want to congratulate the fisherman instead.”
It is great to see local fishermen including our own students be able to have so many memories while participating in this tournament. So before the weather starts to get crummy, go out and hook up on some fish. You never know; maybe you will catch that one fish that wins you one of the many prizes they have to offer.