‘Fishin’ Sisters’ Rule in 45th Annual O.C. Surf Tournament
The Ocean City Fishing Club sponsors the annual September event.
Ocean City resident Joyce McNeely and her sibling, Karen Csenteri, of Columbus, N.J., landed two of the top awards Saturday (Sept. 15) after wading into the surf to compete in the 45th annual Ocean City Invitational Surf Fishing Tournament.
“We’re the fishin’ sisters,” Joyce declared when she won a plaque for catching the largest fish in the women’s division — a 15 3/4-inch bluefish — and Karen collected hers for the most fish points for a woman. Both are part of a family team, the McNeely Manglers, which includes husbands Joe Csenteri and Ray McNeely. Overall, their team came in third in the final tally for surf fishing teams, with a total of 149 points.
They were up against some formidable competition. The Surf N Land “A” team came in second with 150.50 points, and the South Jersey Surfcasters’ “B” team was high hook with 154.50 points, which are based on the inches of eligible fish caught.
In all, 25 six-member teams and 35 individuals, including youngsters, were on the Ocean City beaches before daybreak to begin the tournament. It is co-sponsored each year by the Ocean City Fishing Club (OCFC) and the city’s Department of Recreation, under the umbrella of the Association of Surf Angling Clubs (ASAC).
Among men anglers, Ship Bottom’s John Sweet, a member of the Long Beach Island Fishing Club, won a plaque for the largest fish, a 17 1/4-inch blue. That achievement also earned him the third annual Tom Hayes Memorial Trophy for the largest fish. The award is named for a former president of the Ocean City Fishing Club. John Stanton, of the South Jersey Surfcasters, went home with a plaque for the most fish points, and Sean Pleis, fishing as an individual, also won for the most fish points.
In the youth division, Josh Biondi, 15, of Springfield, PA, had the most fish points, with 42.5, and 13-year-old Jimmy Jones, of Cape May Court House, received a plaque for his 13¼-inch bluefish.
During the 6:30 am to 12:30 pm tournament, anglers caught a total of 190 fish, including 93 blues, 59 kings, and 40 other species such as sharks, spot, blowfish, and one pompano. Mullet was the preferred bait. Fishing took place from 34th Street to the south end of Ocean City.
The 2012 tournament chair was OCFC trustee Mike Hayes. In October 2013, as part of OCFC’s ambitious, year-long Centennial Celebration of its founding in 1913, Hayes and fellow trustee Augie Conti will coordinate a special, three-day surf fishing tournament. The Ocean City Fishing Club is the oldest, continuously operating fishing club in the United States.