Fishing for a Good Cause

By Taylor Ingraham

I want to send a sincere thank you to everyone who fished in, attended, sponsored and supported the inaugural Tightlined Slam. With a lot of help from the weather, and an assist from the albies, the weekend was a success. We had 20 boats participating, with about 60 anglers departing from Greenwich to Fairfield, and nearly 150 people at the party on Sunday.

Together, the inaugural Tightlined Slam was able to raise close to $17,000 towards the protection and conservation of our marine resources. I would also like to extend a special thank you to team Road Work Ahead, Team Lighten Up and Team Tightlined for donating some or all of their winnings back to the Marine Fish Conservation Network.

While the albie fishing was good throughout the region, just about every boat ended up landing at least one, the striped bass and blues were VERY hard to come by, with the largest bass coming in at 24” and the largest blue at 30” (which was more than 10” larger than the runner up).

The fact that twenty boats filled with skilled anglers fishing for 1.5 full days during what should be the fall run struggled to catch stripers up to 24” and one bluefish over 20” is clear testament to the critical importance of organizations like the Marine Fish Conservation Network. The fish and marine life that we all love are just not around in the numbers they should be, especially at this time of year. Bluefish of any size have been largely M.I.A. in the Western Sound for the last several summers and falls, and the numbers of medium-sized stripers have been increasingly scarce as well.

As I have said to all of you who I have spoken with about the Tightlined Slam, this tournament was not a one-and-done event, but the start of something that will continue to raise awareness and funds for the conservation of our fish and our oceans. You may know that I have twin boys who turned nine months old on the Saturday of the tournament, and they are a big reason why 2018 was the tournament’s first year. Coming from a household where I was taught to fish by my dad growing up, I want to be able to show my two boys what makes me wake up even earlier than they do in the mornings and watch them (hopefully) grow to love the water, fishing and the environment as much as I do.

While I think the tournament went very well for a first time event, I learned a lot of important lessons that will lead to improvements moving forward, not only for those fishing in it, but for those attending and supporting the fundraising party as well (and also myself in managing it).

Along those lines, if you fished, sponsored or attended the event and have any suggestions, critiques, feedback, etc., PLEASE let me know, I would love to hear from you. Additionally, if you have any interest in being part of planning or management committees for future tournaments, please reach out, any insight or help is welcome.

To help everyone get ahead of scheduling, the SECOND annual Tightlined Slam will take place next October 5th and 6th, with a Captain’s meeting on October 4 and another great fundraising party on Sunday the 6th that will be open to anglers and non-anglers alike. Save the date and come out to support the conservation of our marine resources.

Thank you again to our anglers, sponsors and partiers. Your support is greatly appreciated and together we can really make a difference in preserving our oceans.

Stay tuned for more exciting updates and I hope to hear from you soon. Until then, stay Tighlined.