New Jersey's 2011 Skillful Angler Awards Winners

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The Skillful Angler Awards Program honors the many anglers who catch both freshwater and marine fish which aren't of record size but are impressive and worthy of recognition. Special recognition is given to the anglers who caught the largest fish in each of the freshwater and marine species categories.

The Skillful Angler Awards Program honors the many anglers who catch both freshwater and marine fish which aren't of record size but are impressive and worthy of recognition. Special recognition is given to the anglers who caught the largest fish in each of the freshwater and marine species categories.

In 2011, 188 applications representing 24 different species were officially processed. Since the program's modest beginning (31 applicants in 1983), the Division has granted Skillful Angler status to 3,256 anglers.

INTERESTING FACTS:

The most frequently entered species by skillful anglers in 2011 (adult, junior, and catch and release categories combined) were hybrid striped bass with 23 entries, followed by rainbow trout (19), chain pickerel (18) and sunfish (17).

 

The following is a breakdown of applications received per species (all categories combined): largemouth bass (15), smallmouth bass (9), striped bass hybrid (23), bullhead (14), carp (3), channel catfish (5), crappie (8), muskellunge (2), yellow perch (9), chain pickerel (18), brook trout (1), brown trout (6), rainbow trout (19), sunfish (17), walleye (15), black sea bass (2), striped bass caught in saltwater (11), black drum (1), bluefish (2), fluke (2), kingfish (3), tautog (1), pollock (1) and winter flounder (1).

 

In 2011, no entries were received for the striped bass freshwater, northern pike, American shad, lake trout, cod, dolphin, blue marlin, white marlin, mako shark, albacore tuna, big eye tuna, bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna, tuna (other) categories and weakfish.

The 2011 Skillful Angler Winners are as follows:

ADULT CATEGORY FRESHWATER SPECIES:

Smallmouth Bass - 4 lbs,4 oz. caught by Tony Farina of West Orange on October 23. Tony was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. Eight pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A herring served for bait. The fish measured 19 inches in length and had an 13.25-inch girth.

Striped Bass Hybrid - 9 lbs, 14 oz. caught by Roman Pera of Wallington on December 10. Roman was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. Ten pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A Rapala jig served for the lure. The fish measured 27 inches in length and had an 18.75-inch girth.

Channel Catfish - 32 lbs, 0 oz. caught by Robert Venable of Franklin on April 17. Robert was fishing from the shore of Pleasant Valley Lake when he landed the fish at 8:00 am. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A nightcrawlers served as bait. The fish measured 38.5 inches in length and had a 25-inch girth.

Crappie - 2 lbs, 0 oz. caught by Tom Facciola of Hopatcong on May 3. Tom was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A phoebe served for a lure. The fish measured 16 inches in length and had a 12.5-inch girth.

Muskellunge - 31 lbs, 8 oz. caught by Jack Dziduch of Woodside, NY on May 26. Jack was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. Ten-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A lure was used. The fish measured 49 inches in length and had a 21-inch girth.

Yellow Perch - 1 lbs, 15 oz caught by Dan McCarthy of Hopatcong on March 5. Dan was ice fishing on Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. A tip up was used. A shiner served as bait. The fish measured 14.5 inches in length with a 10.5-inch girth.

Chain Pickerel - 6 lbs, 0 oz. caught by Mary Ellen Scott of Ocean Township on February 6. Mary was ice fishing through the ice on Little Swartswood when she landed the fish at 7:30 am. The fish was caught on a tip up. A minnow served as bait. The fish measured 26.375 inches in length and had a 13.75-inch girth.

Brown Trout - 8 lbs, 4 oz. caught by Donald Golabek of Clifton on April 9. Donald was fishing from a boat on Round Valley Reservoir when he landed the fish at 3:00 pm. Six-pound test was used with a Shimano rod and reel. A Rapala served as the lure. The fish measured 27 inches in length with a 16-inch girth.
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Brown Trout - 8 lbs, 4 oz. caught by Michael Golabek of East Rutherford on April 26. Michael was fishing from a boat on Round Valley Reservoir when he landed the fish at 2:00 pm. Six-pound test was used with an Uglystik rod and a Shimano reel. A phoebe served as the lure. The fish measured 28 inches in length with a 16-inch girth.

Rainbow Trout - 8 lbs, 8 oz. caught by Donald Golabek of Clifton on April 7. Donald was fishing a boat on Round Valley Reservoir when he landed the fish at 2:00 pm. Six-pound test was used with an Abu Garcia rod and a Shimano reel. A phoebe served as the lure. The fish measured 28 inches in length and had a 17-inch girth.

Sunfish - 1 lbs, .76 oz. caught by Joseph Shafer of Atco on April 29. Joseph was fishing from the shore of a private pond in Marlton when he landed the fish at 4:30 pm. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A plastic grub served as the lure. The fish measured 13 inches in length. Girth was unknown.

Walleye - 9 lbs, 0 oz. caught by Eddie Mackin of Lake Hopatccong on May 4. Eddie was fishing the shore at Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A herring served as bait. The fish measured 29 inches in length and had a 15-inch girth.

ADULT CATEGORY SALTWATER SPECIES:

Black Sea Bass - 5 lbs, 4 oz. caught by Christopher Johnson of Hammonton on August 20. Christopher was fishing off a boat in the Atlantic Ocean when he landed the fish at 5:30. Twenty-pound test was used with a Penn rod and reel. Clams served for bait. The fish measured 24 inches in length and had a 17-inch girth.

Striped Bass - 54 lbs, 0 oz. caught by William Pilone of Bordentown on November 7. William was in a boat in Delaware Bay when he hooked the fish at 9:30 am. Thirty-pound test line was used with spinning rod and reel. A bunker served for bait. The fish measured 53 inches in length and had a 28-inch girth.

Fluke - 9 lbs, 11 oz. caught by Robert Whiteside of Linwood on June 12. Robert was fishing from a boat at Somers Point when he landed the fish at 8:30 am. Fifteen-pound test was used with a Shimano rod and a Shakespeare reel. A live spot served as the bait. The fish measured 29 inches in length. Girth was unknown.

Kingfish - 1 lb, 5 oz. caught by Doug Perkins of Palmyra on October 23. Doug was fishing from the surf at Sea Isle City when he reeled the fish in at 3:15 pm. Thirty-pound test was used with a surf rod and a spinning reel. Bait was used. The fish measured 15 inches in length and had an 7.5-inch girth.

Pollock - 31 lbs, 14 oz. caught by Paul Haertel of Clifton on August 31. Paul was fishing from a boat at a wreck of Barnegat Inlet when he landed the fish. Forty-pound test was used with a custom rod and a Shimano Torium reel. A clam served as the bait. The fish measured 42 inches in length. Girth was unknown.

Tautog - 18 lbs, 3 oz. caught by Bruce DeRites of Pittstown on December 18. Bruce was fishing from off a boat in the ocean when he landed the fish at 12:30 pm. Thirty-pound test was used with a custom rod and a Penn reel. A green crab served as bait. The fish measured 30.125 inches in length with a 22-inch girth.

JUNIOR CATEGORY FRESHWATER SPECIES:

Largemouth Bass - 5 lbs, 13 oz. caught by 11-year-old Jacky Zhang of Jersey City on September 11. Jacky was fishing from the shore on a mill pond when he caught the fish at 5:00 pm. Ten-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A Senko was used as the lure. The fish measured 21.75 inches in length and had a 20-inch girth.

Smallmouth Bass - 3 lbs, 0 oz. caught by 9-year-old Matt Campagna of Lake Hopatcong on June 20. Matt was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he caught the fish. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A herring served as bait. The fish measured 18.5 inches in length. Girth was unknown.

Striped Bass Hybrid - 8 lbs, 5 oz. caught by 10-year-old Matt Campagna of Lake Hopatcong on May 9. Matt was fishing from the shore on Lake Hopatcong when he caught the fish at 8:00 pm. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A herring was used as bait. The fish measured 25.5 inches in length and had a 17-inch girth.

Bullhead - 1 lbs, 15 oz. caught by 14-year-old Jason Farkas of Bordentown on July 2. Jason was fishing from a boat on Lake Assunpink when he landed the fish at 8:00 am. Ten-pound test was used with a standard rod and a spinning reel. A shiner served for bait. The fish measured 15.5 inches and length and had a 9-inch girth.

Crappie - 2 lbs, 4 oz caught by 10-year-old Justin Dornblaser of Easton, PA on June 4. Justin was fishing from a boat on Spruce Run Reservoir when he hooked the fish at 7:00 pm. Six-pound test was used with an Ugly Stik rod and Shimano reel. A lure was used. The fish measured 15.75 inches in length and had a 13-inch girth.

Chain Pickerel - 3 lbs, 0 oz. caught by 11-year-old Daniel Tepper of Egg Harbor Township on May 30. Daniel was fishing from the shore on Lake Tuckahoe when he landed the fish at 4:45 pm. Six-pound test was used with a 55 Zebco Conventional rod and an enclosed spinning reel. A minnow served for bait. The fish measured 22.75 inches in length and had a 10-inch girth.

Brown Trout - 5 lbs, 4 oz. caught by 10-year-old Thomas Dormida of Phillipsburg on May 24. Thomas was fishing from the shore of the Musconetcong River at the Finesville Dam when he landed the fish at 4:30 pm. Fifteen-pound test was used with a Shimano rod and a Shimano 4000 reel. A trout worm served as the bait. The fish measured 22.5 inches in length with a 12-inch girth.

Walleye - 5 lbs, 13 oz. caught by 9-year-old Matt Campagna of Lake Hopatcong on May 2. Matt was fishing from the shore of Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A herring served for bait. The fish measured 26 inches in length and had a 13-inch girth.

JUNIOR CATEGORY SALTWATER SPECIES:

Striped Bass - 38 lbs, 10 oz. caught by 13-year-old Robbie McMurray of Mullica Hill on November 6. Robbie was fishing from a boat in Delaware Bay near Del Haven when he landed the fish at 11:00 am. Thirty-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A bunker served as the bait. The fish measured 47 inches in length and had a 26-inch girth.

Black Drum - 66 lbs, 8.5 oz. caught by 11-year-old Dalton Tozer of Tuckerton on May 30. Dalton was fishing from a boat in the ocean when he landed the fish at 7:15 pm. Fifty-pound test was used with an Ugly Stik rod and a Penn reel. A clam served as bait. The fish measured 50 inches in length and had a 36-inch girth.

Bluefish - 18 lbs, 8 oz. caught by 9-year-old Danny Burns of Point Pleasant on October 1. Danny was fishing from a boat in the ocean at Bay Head when he landed the fish 1:00 pm. Thirty-pound test was used with a conventional rod and Shimano reel. A diamond jig served for a lure. Length and girth were unknown.

CATCH AND RELEASE CATEGORY FRESHWATER SPECIES:

Largemouth Bass - 25 inches caught by Steven Lytwyn of Chatham on November 26. Steven was fishing from the shore of Echo Lake in Mountainside when he reeled the fish in at 12:15 pm. Six-pound test was used with a Shakespeare Ugly Stik rod and a Shakespeare ultralight reel. The lure was a Yozuri. The girth was 26 inches.

Smallmouth Bass - 23 inches caught by Evan Miles of West Orange on September 28. Evan was fishing from the shore of a reservoir when he reeled the fish in at 8:42 pm. A spinning rod and reel were used. A nightcrawler served as bait. Girth was unknown.

Striped Bass Hybrid - 25 inches caught by Christopher Pereira of Hopatcong on September 1. Christopher was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he reeled in the fish at 7:30 am. Thirty-pound test was used with a Shimano rod and a Penn reel. A live herring served for bait. Girth was unknown.
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Striped Bass Hybrid - 25 inches caught by Robert Buzik of Wharton on November 11. Robert was fishing at Lake Hopatcong when he reeled in the fish. Ten-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A live herring served for bait. Girth was unknown.

Bullhead - 19 inches caught by Carmine Ricciardi of Pittstown on July 19. Carmine was fishing from the shore of the South Branch when he reeled in the fish at 8:30 pm. Ten-pound test was used with a Shakespeare Ugly Stik rod and Shakespeare reel. Dead herring served as the bait. Girth was unavailable.

Carp - 38.75 inches caught by Anthony Swierczewski of Fair Lawn on June 19. Anthony was fishing from the shore of the Passaic River in Hawthorne when he reeled in the fish at 5:20 pm. Ten-pound test line was used with a homemade rod and a Mitchell 300 reel. Mulberry on a #12 hook served as the bait. The girth was 31.5 inches.

Channel Catfish - 30 inches caught by Francis J. Baginsky of Pedricktown on April 7. Francis was fishing from a boat on the Delaware River in Logan Township when he reeled in the fish at 11:00 am. Fifteen-pound test line was used with a Penn rod and a Penn 109 reel. Bait was used to attract the fish. Girth was unavailable.

Crappie - 17 inches caught by Jake Ruczynski of Monroeville on March 12. Jake was fishing from the shore at a pond in Glassboro when he reeled in the fish at 1:00 pm. Six-pound test was used with a G Loomis spinning rod and Shimano reel. A minnow was used to attract the fish. Girth was unknown.

Muskellunge - 41 inches caught by Raymond Podlesny of East Windsor on June 11. Raymond was fishing from a boat on Mercer County Lake when he reeled in the fish at 7:00 am. Fifty-pound test was used with a Shimano rod and a Daiwa reel. Girth was 20 inches.

Yellow Perch - 15 inches caught by Adam Liccardo of Pompton Plains on January 16. Adam was fishing from the ice on Woodland Lake in Pequannock when he reeled in the fish at 3:33 pm. Eight-pound test line was used with a 24" light rod and a spinning reel. A crippled herring served as the lure. The girth was 12 inches.

Chain Pickerel - 27 inches caught by Veronica Kulek of Blairstown on January 23. Veronica was fishing from the ice on White Lake when she reeled in the fish. Eight-pound test was used with a tip-up. A minnow served as bait. Girth was unknown.
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Chain Pickerel - 27 inches caught by John Cara of Edison on June 29. John was fishing from a boat on Clinton Reservoir when he reeled in the fish at 7:00 am. Eight-pound test was used with a St. Croix rod and a spinning reel. An artificial worm served as the lure. Girth was unknown.

Brook Trout - 19.5 inches caught by Robert Robertson of Carneys Point on October 19. Robert was fishing from the shore when he reeled in the fish at 1:30 pm. Six-pound test was used with a spinning rod and 110 quick reel. A spinner served as the lure. Girth was 11.5 inches.

Brown Trout - 27 inches caught by Keith Christian Hall of Flemington on October 27. Keith was fishing from the shore near the Pequest Trout Hatchery when he landed the fish at 12:12 pm. Five-pound line was used with a 5 weight fly rod and reel. A pink sucker spawn fly served as the lure. Girth was unavailable.

Rainbow Trout - 23.5 inches caught by Keith Christian Hall of Flemington on October 15. Keith was fishing from the shore when he landed the fish at 9:30 am. Five-pound line was used with a 5 weight fly rod and reel. An olive wooly bugger served as the lure. Girth was unknown.

Sunfish - 10 inches caught by Josh Datcuk of Quakertown, PA on September 17. Josh was fishing from the shore of a farm pond in Pittsgrove when he reeled in the fish at 4:00 pm. Eight-pound test was used with a Spiderman rod and reel. Bread served as bait. Girth was unknown.
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Sunfish - 10 inches caught by Jeff Gabriele of Thorofare on June 4. Jeff was fishing from the shore of a pond in Sewell when he reeled in the fish at 2:00 pm. Ten-pound test was used with a medium rod and spinning reel. Nightcrawlers served as bait. Girth was unknown.
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Sunfish - 10 inches caught by Andrew Frumento of Cherry Hill on August 10. Andrew was fishing from the shore of the JCC camps at Medford when he reeled in the fish at 1:00 pm. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. Bread served as bait. Girth was unknown.
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Sunfish - 10 inches caught by Hunter Jankowski of Stanhope on May 28. Hunter was fishing from the shore of a farm pond in Boonton when he reeled in the fish. Four-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A Rapala served as the lure. Girth was unknown.

Walleye - 28 inches caught by Joseph Mancini of Hewitt on May 11. Joseph was fishing from a boat on Monksville Reservoir when he reeled in the fish at 12:15 am. Six-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. Herring served as bait. Girth was 14 inches.
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Walleye - 28 inches caught by Christopher Pereira of Hopatcong on September 2. Christopher was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he reeled in the fish at 6:45 pm. Ten-pound test was used with a Field and Stream rod and a Shimano reel. Herring served as bait. Girth was 16 inches.
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Walleye - 28 inches caught by Mary Van Olden of Fair Lawn on September 10. Mary was fishing from a boat on Greenwood Lake when she reeled in the fish at 7:30 pm. Eight-pound test was used with a Shimano rod and reel. Herring served as bait. Girth was 16 inches.

CATCH AND RELEASE CATEGORY SALTWATER SPECIES:

Striped Bass - 45 inches caught by Michael Thomas of Haddon Heights on April 22. Michael was fishing from a boat when he landed the fish at 5:05 pm. Forty-pound test was used with a 11' St. Croix rod and a Penn 525 reel. A clam served as the bait. Girth was unavailable.

Bluefish - 35 inches caught by Eugene DeSantis of Bloomfield on May 14. Eugene was fishing from a boat in Raritan Bay when he landed the fish at 11:40 am. Thirty-pound test was used with a custom Bogan rod and a Penn Jigmaster reel. A live bunker served as the bait. The girth was unavailable.

Winter Flounder - 21 inches caught by Arthur Huttemeyer, Sr. of Budd Lake on August 2. Arthur was fishing from a boat, The Paramount, out of Raritan Bay when he landed the fish at 10:00 am. Twenty-pound test was used with an Ugly Stik rod and a Penn reel.

Congratulations to all of our winners!