The Montauk SurfMasters fall tournament will come to an end at noon on Sunday. What promised to be an exciting finale, with plenty of big striped bass for the final weeks of the hard-fought contest, was curtailed by Hurricane Sandy. The big storm with her fierce easterly winds looks to have speeded migrating bass in the direction of their winter haunts and away form Montauk’s casters.
There are still striped bass around. Gary Aprea reportedly took an 11-pounder over the weekend, which may win him $100 for being November’s biggest bass, but otherwise only small “rat” bass are said to be in the wash.
So, as of Monday the final standings are as follows: Gary Krist has the first-place fish in the tournament’s wader division, a 29.15-pounder caught on Oct. 3. Klever Oleas and Aprea stand in second and third places with a 26-pound and 22.7-pound bass respectively.
John Bruno is alone in the wetsuit division with the 40.3-pound striper he caught on Sept. 29. Christine Schnell’s 18.8-pound striped bass caught on Oct. 2 puts her in the lead of the women’s divison. Mary Ellen Kane and Cheryl Lackner hold second and third places with 14 and 11.8-pound fish.
Dylan Lackner and James Kim Jr. caught twin 13.5-pound bass to tie in the youth division with Phillip Schnell’s 13-pounder putting him in third. Brian Damm caught a 14.6-pound striper on Oct. 8 to put him in first place in the 7 to 11-year old Kids division, and Witt Holmes stands in second place with a 13.8 pounder caught on Sept. 26.
These will be the winners if no larger fish are caught by Sunday at noon.
Goose and puddle duck hunting seasons will open tomorrow.
Oh, and to add insult to injury, Atilla Ozturk, master surfcaster, hungry for fish, took to a boat on Sunday with his trusty rod. What happened next was blamed on a “rogue wave,” but Fred Kalkstein suggested it was googinism pure and simple responsible for Ozturk’s departure from Gary Stephens’s boat. Soaked and freezing after being helped back on board, Ozturk was forced to disrobe and return home in his underwear — without a fish.