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MFC Annual Fishing Contest

Part of the tradition of the Manasquan Fishing Club is running the Annual Members Fishing Contest. This tradition is to promote comradery among members, friendly competition, and recognition of accomplishment. It runs the entire calendar year and tracks largest fish caught by weight (and/or length as noted below) across a variety of categories.

The rules are simple:

  • You must be a life, senior, student, or junior member “in good standing.”
  • You must be fishing in New Jersey waters, either from the shore, or from a boat leaving from a New Jersey port.
    • Shore-based includes fishing in any NJ salt or brackish waters (ocean, rivers, canals, and bays).
    • Shore and boat catches constitute separate award categories where indicated.
  • All award-winning fish must meet in-season criteria per the NJDEP regulations at the time of catch.
  • The MFC has a one memorial award per fish rule. This is to enable recognition across a broader group of club members.
  • Any single member may, however, receive multiple memorial awards for separate qualifying fish caught.
  • A memorial award fish may also be eligible for other “certificate” awards.
  • All fish caught and kept must be of legal size.
  • Note: There are fish species for which no awards will be presented at this time. In the future, the MFC awards may be modified based on migration and catch patterns, member interest, etc.
  • To enter, fill out an official Manasquan Fishing Club Affidavit or obtain a tackle shop weigh-slip signed by the angler and person weighing. Then submit the affidavit or weigh-slip to the Award Coordinator. In keeping with the electronic age, emails, texts, or entries on the club Group-Me page are accepted as long as they include the date and time that fish was caught, angler’s name, length, and weight of entry.
  • Personal hand scale weights are acceptable but must also include length.
    • Length submission photographs must show the tip of the snout to the end of the tail of the fish.
    • Weights taken on certified scales will take precedence over hand-held scales on boats or shore.

Certificate Awards

  • First Fish - These awards are for the first fish of the species caught in-season regardless of size.

    • Fish may be caught either from shore or boat. Separate awards will be presented to junior/student members.

    • Entries should include date and time that fish was caught to avoid potential conflicts if first fish are caught on same day. Certificates will be presented to the recipients.

    • The species are:

      • Striped Bass

      • Fluke
      • Blackfish
      • Yellowfin Tuna
      • Bluefin Tuna
      • Bluefish
      • Black Sea Bass
  • Largest Fish - These awards are for the largest fish where there is no Memorial Award category.
    • Certificates will be presented to the recipients. The species are:
      • Striped Bass (Boat-Caught)
      • Yellowfin Tuna (Ocean)
      • Bluefin Tuna (Ocean)
      • Blackfish (Non-Ocean)
      • Black Sea Bass (Non-Ocean)
    • Note: Striped Bass are in a unique category since Striped Bass over 31 inches may not be kept at this time.
      • Thus, length will be the primary determinant, although a girth measurement is also desired so long as it does not impact the survival prospects of the fish. 
      • Length and girth will enable a fair representation of  a Striped Bass' weight.
      • In situations where there are two stripers of equal length, a fish with a girth measurement will take precedent over a fish with no girth measurement. 
  • Junior Members:
    • There is a separate category for largest fish caught by a registered junior member (16-18).
    • The species include Striped Bass, Bluefish, Fluke, Blackfish, and Black Sea Bass.
    • Junior members are not eligible to receive Special Memorial Awards should they catch a qualifying fish. 
    • Certificates will be presented to junior recipients.

Memorial Awards

Clem Danish Memorial Award

(Largest Surf-Caught Striped Bass)

Clem was the owner of Fisherman's Cove bait shop, now a Manasquan historic site. He was a founding member of the MFC and a dedicated surf fisherman who passed on his knowledge to anyone entering his shop.






clem 2

Ed Walsh Memorial Award

(Largest River-Caught Fluke)

The Ed Walsh Memorial Award for largest Fluke caught in the Manasquan River. Ed was a past president and well-respected Club member. His home and boat were located right on the Manasquan River.




ed walsh mfc

Frank Donnelly Memorial Award (Largest Ocean-Caught Sea Bass)

Frank was a dedicated Sea Bass fisherman was a fixture on local recks and hard bottom. He along with his brother Pete and son Patrick were long-term active members. 







Fred Waltzinger Memorial Award

(Largest Fluke Overall)

Fred was a truly dedicated fluke fisherman who tagged and released nearly 200 fluke each season. His dedication to perfecting his craft, sharing his knowledge, along with furthering the scientific study of fluke growth and movement, earned him respect among his peers.


fred w mfc










Al Lake Memorial Award

(Largest Ocean-Caught Bluefish)

The Al Lake Memorial Award for largest Bluefish, may be caught in any state waters. Al was our longest serving board member and was Recording Secretary for nearly 20 years. He ran his boat, Else IV, every weekend and always invited new members and potential new
members to come along.

He recruited more new members on his boat than anyone else.















Tom Siciliano Memorial Award

(Largest Ocean Caught Blackfish)

Tom was a long-time member of Manasquan Fishing Club. He also belonged to the Bergen County Saltwater Anglers as well as the Point Pleasant Fishing Club.

Beyond that, he actively fought for anglers’ rights, the environment, and common-sense regulations through his involvement with Jersey Coast Anglers Association.

He also cooperated with Dr. Ken Able of Rutgers / Sea Grant fame to provide tagging and catch data. Tom was a good all-around fisherman pursuing everything from fluke to tuna and anything in-between. But on our Annual MFC Blackfish trips, Tom was always a contender for the largest fish of the day.

That is why we honor his memory and dedication to our sport.

Tom Siciliano










Carl Fletcher Memorial Award (Largest Ocean-Caught Fluke)

The Fletcher Memorial Award is the most prestigious award for the Manasquan Fishing Club. It can only be won once in a lifetime and is awarded to the angler who caught the largest Fluke in the Ocean who has not previously won the award.  


Carl Fletcher's wife donated his oat to the club after his death. The boat was sold and proceeds and interest have supported this ward since 1973. 

















The MFC Slam Awards are to recognize an angler’s breadth of knowledge, skill, and dedicated effort required to catch quality fish across species and seasons.

  • Slam Awards may be presented to all members who catch any three (Triple Slam Award) or four (Grand Slam Award) of the following fish:
    • Striper: 40”+
    • Fluke: 24”+
    • Bluefish: 30”
    • Black Sea Bass: 17”+
    • Blackfish: 18”+
  • While fish of these sizes may not be considered to be exceptional as a stand-alone catch, only a committed angler would be able to “stack” such quality catches across species.
  • The MFC Slam Awards are based on length only and the fish may be kept or released.
  • The recipient of a MFC Grand Slam Award is not eligible to concurrently receive a Triple Slam Award.
  • A certificate will be presented for the Triple Slam Award.
  • A plaque will be presented for the Grand Slam Award.
  • Note: Qualifying fish may also be eligible for other awards including Memorial Awards.



MFC “Outstanding Service Award” is in recognition of a member who has contributed Outstanding Service to the Club in a given year(s) and where Member Appreciation is deserved.

  • This is a subjective award and may not be granted each year.
  • A plaque will be presented to the recipient.

Special Catch Award is for an unusual or highly notable catch. 

  • The fish may be kept or released.
  • This award is subjective and might be presented for fish such as wahoo, cow-nosed ray, thresher shark, black drum, etc. 
  • A certificate will be presented to the recipient(s).


Conservation Award is a special award in recognition of members' significant commitment to preserving fish resources, habitat, and/or the environment. 

  • These activities are many and varied and may include supporting research, tagging and releasing fish, marine habitat restoration, coastal conservation, marine mammal preservation, etc. 
  • A certificate will be presented to the recipient(s).




Measuring Your Fish:

It is important that fish be measured consistently and in conformity to NJDEP standards. The
following information is provided for your reference:

  • Fluke: Total length is measured from the tip of the closed mouth to the end of the tail.
  • Striped Bass: Total length is measured from the tip of the closed mouth to the end of the
    pinched tail.
  • Black Sea Bass: Total length is measured from the tip of the closed mouth to the end of the tail (excluding any tail filaments.)
  • Blackfish: Total length is measured from the tip of the closed mouth to the end of the tail.
  • Bluefish: Total length is measured from the tip of the closed mouth to the end of the tail (no
  • Tuna: Curved fork length is measured from the tip of the closed mouth along the curve of the fish to the “V – fork” between the dorsal and ventral caudal fins.