“Well, Albie Damned!”
The 30th Annual One Tide Challenge will now be one for the record books. The tournament appropriately named, The One Tide Challenge allows the boats to leave the marina at or about 8:00AM and must be back at the scales by 4:00PM. The objective, weigh in one bluefish and one striped bass that would propel that captain to the top of the leaderboard with hopefully enough points to be named, King of the Dock. 58 boats, 53 ladies, and 20 junior division anglers departed the dock this year in search of the coveted “Red Carpet.”
Mother Nature, Richard Gray and Peter Jones were all watching over us as they knew the 30th Annual One Tide Challenge was all business as we had a reigning King to dethrone along with we knew some big striped bass and bluefish were close. The State of Connecticut received a good soaking however, the rain stayed away from Niantic and the festivities went off without a hitch and at about 6:15PM Saturday night, we crowned our new King of the Dock, David Warwick fishing on his Grady-White 336, Albie Damned! Dave’s (39.37 LB) Striped Bass coupled with his wife’s Mary Beth’s (9.92 LB) Blue gave him just enough points to nip runner up Tom Clapsadle and Crew. Tom weighed in a (26.38 LB) Striper and his wife Bobbette weighed in the largest bluefish of the tournament at (14.41 LBS).
David won this year’s tournament by the slightest of margins even with his monster striped bass as his total points (126.285) were only 1.688 points ahead of Tom Clapsadle (124.597) and crew. As a requirement of the new King, Dave now has to share where he caught and what he used in a separate one on one interview to follow this week. In chatting with Tom and his crew, the great news is all of his fish were caught “Inside” meaning in the Sound. Both captains are excellent anglers however both operate under different theories. Our new King (David) is of the belief “Big Water – Big Fish” and who can doubt that thinking after the week he had bringing in 335-pound Thresher 3 days prior to the One Tide. Tom on the other hand likes to have lines in the water as long as possible as it is hard to catch going 50MPH heading offshore. As you can see, the fishing is so good in Niantic, both theories have merit. So, what was Dave’s strategy? Where did he hook the big one and what did he use for bait? More details to follow with the interview of the newest King of the Dock, David Warwick.
Rounding out our “Top Five” point totals for the 2018 “King of the Dock,” Tommy Clapsadle was our runner-up with 124.597 points, 3rd Place finisher was David Sheridan with 114.854 points, our 4th place finisher Eric Carlson (101.898) and rounding out our Top 5 was Al Chesky 93.082. Al was our King of the Dock in 2010.
Moving on to our Ladies Championships, for the 4th time in 6 years, Bobbette Clapsadle weighed in the largest Striped Bass (22.22 LBS) followed by another champion Alex Miko (20.61 LBS) and rounding out our Top 3 was Laura Paulekas (shown in picture) tipping the scales at 19.88 LBS. In the Ladies Bluefish battle, Bobbette Clapsadle again weighed in the Top Blue at 14.41 LBS which was the largest Bluefish weighed in all day. Newcomer Ashley McNamara came in 2nd Place (11.99 LBS) and Courtney Seifel took home 3rd place honors weighing in at 11.59 LBS.
In the Men’s individual categories, as earlier mentioned Dave Warwick brought in the largest fish of the tournament with his striper tipping the scales at 39.37 LBS with Dave Sheridan (37.43 LBS) right on his heels and Eric Carlson made it to the podium for the 2nd straight year weighing in a 27.33 LB bass. Sliding over to the Men’s Bluefish Championship, Tom Clapsadle was our “Top Hook” with a 13.24 LB blue beating out Al Chesky (12.50 LBS), and in 3rd place, Kenny Mike weighing in at 11.33 LBS.
The most excited winner of the night was 7-year old Nathan Carlson who captured our Junior Division (13 and Under). Even though they ran into some rain and bumpy seas, this young man hung in there with his Dad and Grandfather and when his named was called our new champion bolted to the podium like no other. Nathan’s reaction when summoned to the stage was our reward for all the hard work we have done over the past month preparing for this one day. When he returns to school in a few weeks, his “What Did You Do This Summer” essay will get an A+!
Great competition, great memories, great fun, food, and music and we raised $10,921 for the Miracle League of Southeastern Connecticut. The theme for our 30th Annual One Tide Challenge was “Headin’ Home for the Miracle League.” The “Tie In” with our tournament is that home is a “Waypoint” on every GPS and is also a baseball connotation meaning rounding 3rd and heading for home and we are doing our best to help the Miracle League do just that, head for home. The Miracle League is in the process of raising funds to build a baseball field that will provide opportunities for children with physical, cognitive, and developmental challenges to participate in recreational activities in an accessible, nurturing, and noncompetitive environment where families can come together, and cultivate new friendships. In simpler terms, a place where these kids can experience the joy of play. Another part of this that excites us is this project is going to be built without tax dollars but with private funding and our little town has embraced that concept and doing all we can to raise $500,000 to get this done. We are proud to announce the 30th Annual One Tide Challenge donated $10,921 to chip away at that deficit to get this field built.
Back to the tournament. In our other categories, Dr. Robert Herreria is our new “Duke of Fluke as he took home top honors in our 3-month long fluke tournament. Not only did he take top honors, but tied the Connecticut State Record with a 31” fluke and has applied for recognition with the state for his fluke to be designated as a “Trophy Fish” since he was only 3 oz off the state record as his fish weighed in at 14 LBs 8 oz.
On the night before, the big tournament we host our annual casting competition and Karaoke night. The casting competition this year and going forward will now be named after our good friend and customer Peter Jones. We lost Peter this past winter, but his memory will live on forever as being one of those guys who would give you the shirt off of his back. Peter won the casting championship a few years ago and we were pleasantly surprised that Judy (Peter’s wife) joined us for the competition. Tom Clapsadle was our champion, followed by David Dodge in 2nd place and John Santos took home 3rd place honors. Pictured left to right: John Santos, David Dodge, Judy Jones and Tom Clapsadle.
In our other “Fun Category” were the Phantom Diner Awards. Part of the entry fee to the tournament and dock party, everyone is required to bring a dish from a favorite family recipe to be judged by 3 unbiased “Secret Judges” and the Top 3 in presentation, creativity, and taste would win some incredible prizes for their efforts and talent. For example, our top chef this year received a Charcoal Smoker, Battery Jumper Pack, Jewelry, Dinner at Flanders’ Fish, A Beautiful Garden Bench made by our own Joe Salafia, and (2) Tickets to see Keith Urban at Mohegan Sun! Shelly Corning took home this year’s top honors with her amazing Seafood Chowder. In 2nd place Laura Rudd made the judges happy with her Summer Delight and one of our captains (Joel Toohey) landed 3rd Place with his very special shrimp dip. Thank you all who competed and took the time to make something special for everyone in attendance.
The entire day in pictures can be seen here along with our newest King of the Dock interview where we all know everyone will be waiting for the How, Where, and When he landed his champion fish. Congratulations to all of our winners and thank you from all of us for making it an amazing day!