Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament chums up a monster crowd

Men, women, kids and dogs all craned for a view at the Monster Shark Tournament weigh in Saturday. — Photo by Steve Myrick

The 25th Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament created a circus-like atmosphere at Oak Bluffs Harbor Friday and Saturday. Large crowds sat along the sea wall and floated in the harbor under sunny skies to see the large sharks brought to the weigh-in dock.

Steven James, president of the Boston Big Game Club, sponsor of the tournament, said a total of 104 boats registered for the event. Over the two-day contest 13 sharks were weighed-in.

The largest shark was a 630-pound thresher that set a new state record. A 495-pound porbeagle also set a new state record, according to Mr. James.

Local honors went to Steve Jordan of Edgartown on board See Saw, winner of the release award for 65 releases.

The low number of fish brought to the dock has much to do with rules that penalize fishermen for bringing in small sharks, or sharks not likely to earn a winning place.

In past years, Mr. James battled with organizations and individuals opposed to the tournament who called on Oak Bluffs officials to boot the tournament out of the harbor and town.

“Consider the economic impact of those 13 fish on the economy of Oak Bluffs,” Mr. James said in an email to The Times. “If there was $2 million brought into Oak Bluffs over the duration of the event, that makes each fish worth about $154K making them some of the most valuable fish in any of the world’s oceans.”

He called that figure conservative.

The results of the tournament follow:

First place: Paul Stern, Tuna Tangler Too of Monroe, NY (538 lb thresher, 278 lb mako).

Second place: Shawn DeLude, Bushwhacker of Orleans (630 lb thresher).

Third Place: Ryan Siegel, The Program of Palmer (495 lb porbeagle).

Fourth place: Jared Burhoe, Keep’in it Cool of Marshfield (457 lb thresher).

Fifth place: Tom Howd, Fish Tails of Sudbury (448 lb Thresher).

Top Jr. angler award: Patrick Boyle, Irish Buoys of Plymouth (18 sharks released).

Top female angler: Debbie Richardson, Tuna Tangler Too of Marshfield (278 lb mako).

Ed Popso and Mike Pierdinock on board Perseverance got the tag award.