*edit: don’t forget about the pre-derby fishing trip this weekend. If you miss out, then you are a fool.
The derby is upon us and we at BKUAA HQ are busting our collective asses to get this thing in gear in a way deserving of the third annual. I have a couple new rules and adjustments to highlight (to see the complete derby rules list see here), and then some awesome prize announcements to announce. Yes, prize announcements to announce. That’s how awesome they are. These announcements need their own announcements.
#1. The opening party is going to be Friday, September 30 at Dream Tackle, 673 Manhattan Avenue, from 6.30 to 9 in the PM. Here you can pick up your membership card, derby T-shirt, measuring tape, register, and receive your derby package. Afterward we will be retiring to a local pub to get drunk. The derby officially opens at 12AM October 1.
#2. Derby registration has been moved to the drop-down menu in the top right-hand corner of the site. Or you can click here. The menu also has all the other derby information.
#3. Everyone knows we promote catch and release of all derby fish. Not everyone abides by this and that’s their prerogative (assuming they are keeping legal fish [see #5]), but that’s why we require photo evidence of each entry. This year we’re sticking to the same theme, but all photos will be required to be texted or emailed to our Twitter account. You can do this by typing the address BKDerby.firstname.lastname@example.org
PLEASE PUNCH THIS INTO YOUR PHONE AND EMAIL ADDRESS BOOKS AND SAVE IT. It looks weird (at least to me) to text to this address from your phone but I assure you it works. If I can do it, then we all can probably do it. I will repeat this O.P. throughout the derby so you will all get many reminders.
Tom Pfeiffer shows good form
Mike Louie does not.
#4. Since I failed to mention this before I wrote #3, we now have a BKUAA Twitter account. Check it out at twitter.com/bkderby. I tried to get “BKUAA” but some Japanese site beat us to it. If anyone knows what that page is all about, let me know.
#5. More importantly, and this is related to our C&R theme, I noticed some people keeping small fish last year on the piers. Actually, I see this more than once in a while among the people who fish around NYC. This year, any derby member who is found to be keeping short fish WILL BE KICKED FROM THE DERBY. No refunds will be given. You will be unceremoniously given the boot.
I don’t want to sound harsh, and I don’t think this is a huge problem among BKUAA members, but there’s little tolerance for this sort of thing here at BKUAA HQ. We do our best to promote C&R and awareness for striped bass conservation while enjoying this shared resource. So, in case you didn’t know, the legal limit for striped bass is 28″ minimum, and the keep limit is one fish at 28″ or longer, or one fish at 40″ or more. Bluefish have no size limit, but they should be handled with respect as well. Maybe more since they’ll bite your fucking finger off.
With that said, don’t put your finger in a bluefish’s mouth.
#6. We are working on helping out newcomers to fishing on the East River. I think we didn’t do such a great job of this last year. The derby is supposed to be fun for everyone, but I know personally that I just kind of ran out to fish my own spots while leaving new fisher-people lost at The Woods at the derby opening party last year. It’s no fun for people to have no idea where to start fishing, to be apprehensive to approach other people with what they feel are stupid questions or whatever. I myself had to go through that—fishing the East River isn’t the same as fishing a beach or a jetty—and I hadn’t done much recon myself prior to joining the first derby, so we all should have known better.
This year, Dave and I are working on a derby map for newcomers. This is a work in progress and I’d like to include members’ contributions (if they feel like sharing them), as well as tips on knots, currents and tides, moon phases, fishing with bait and fishing with plugs. This will be an ongoing project.
#7. We’re going to have weekly and daily prizes this year. The daily prize will be a pin we are currently designing, and the weekly prize will be something awesome from one of our sponsors. So don’t feel shy about submitting pics of those fish.
Ok, enough with the bureaucratic shit. On to the fun stuff.
I met with Barbara over at Dream today to drop off some posters. If you don’t know Barbara, then you need to go to Dream and introduce thyself because she is really stepping up the game this year. A huge thanks in advance to Barbara, Robert, and Dream Tackle.
First off, if you bought the “Big Hooker” package you will get the same series rod and reel from last year (I’ll update this with the exact models, sorry), plus:
* Bucktails, a downed U.S. jetfighter’s best friend.
* One pack of Tsunami/Storm worm trailers
* One pack of bluefish rigs and one pack of striper rigs (7/0 hooks and pre-tied leaders).
* Sinkers, a fishfinder, one bell and one glowstick for fishing those dark and stormy nights.
* One small plastic tackle box.
* One stool for sitting. This was Barbara’s idea and I think it’s pretty great when you’re hanging out on the piers or beach. It’s small and portable and you can bust it out pretty much wherever. I wouldn’t mind making my own seat on the subway.
Even better than this year’s derby package are the prizes. Dream has started carrying the Van Staal line of reels, so of course most of those are going to me, but for the rest of you, check this out:
* Shimano Baitrunner D 8000 and 300 yards of 50# Rapala braided line
* 10′ St. Croix Triumph surf rod. I personally have this rod and it’s served me well, except for that time I broke it when I caught a fence. I fish Montauk with this one and it’s held up well, except when I’m catching fences.
* A full-size, 3-tray tackle box
* A full-size, 2-tray tackle box
I don’t know about you, but I think this is pretty badass. This is all surf-ready gear and more than capable of handling anything in the East River and beyond. I’m really impressed with what they’ve come up with this year. Dream is putting the finishing touches on their own site (www.idreamfishing.com) and it should be up soon. They’re having a cool “Daily Catch” column that will feature photos and stories of the fisher-people’s catches in Brooklyn. Sounds pretty cool to me.
I will be updating with more prizes as we get them, and this is a great start for our big-fish winners. Don’t forget, this is a striped bass AND bluefish derby, and we will have prizes for more than just biggest fish. Get out there and start doing some recon. The prizes for this year’s derby will eclipse last year’s and the coveted cup is up for grabs again. Come get yours.
One last thing, I’m reposting this great link from BKUAA buddy Jason Puris’s site The Fin. It’s the online version of The Surfcaster’s Journal, which I will probably spend the next hour or so reading. It’s edited by Zeno Hromin, author of such great striper-fishing books as The Art of Surfcasting With Lures and The Hunt for Big Stripers. He’s a regular contributor to fishing sites and, by all accounts, a good guy. I’ve never met him, but I can say his forum posts are fair and generous with sharing fishing info. Check it (and Jason’s site) here!
/end long post.