(Above) Action shot from this year’s tournament. Thanks to all who participated!
2022 marked the Fifth Annual Tightlined Slam tournament in the Western Long Island Sound, and also saw the launch of the inaugural Eastern Sound event.
The catch-and-release, fly and light tackle tournaments raise money and awareness for conservation of fisheries and marine resources, and this year supported the American Saltwater Guides Association, Save a Million Bass and the Captains for Clean Water Hurricane Ian Relief Fund.
Anglers fish individually and on teams of up to four, targeting striped bass, bluefish, false albacore, bonito and Spanish mackerel on fly and artificial lures.
Fifth Annual Western Sound Tournament
With incredible weather and strong fishing, the Western Sound Slam, which took place on October 14-16, had 26 boats, more than 90 anglers, and saw eight anglers land individual slams of striped bass, bluefish and false albacore.
Steve Gannon of team Porgy Picatta landed a 42” striped bass on Sunday morning to take home top individual striped bass (73” for top two fish) and first place in the conventional individual slam category with three fish totaling 102.5”. Joe Cipolla from team Row Jimmy took home second place in the slam category with three fish totaling 85”. Ben Burdine from Team Apex Angling took third In the slam category, with an albie, striped bass and bluefish totaling 82”, and also tied for first place with Chase Freiman in the individual hard tail category, landing three false albacore each. Mike Migliorino of team ASMW took home first place in bluefish, with two fish totaling 68.75″.
On the fly side of the tournament, Max Kantor on team Light Bite Charters had an incredible Saturday, landing two slams and winning first place in striped bass on fly (67”), hard tails landed (2 fish) and the individual slam with a striped bass, bluefish and false albacore totaling 92”. Lucas Gillespie from team Oh my FOD finished second in the individual slam with a striped bass and bluefish totaling 64”, and Taylor Ingraham of team Far Right Twix finished third in the slam with 56.5”. Danny Westfield, also of team Oh my FOD, took home first place in the bluefish on fly category, with two fish landed totaling 64.5”.
For the first time in the five year history of the tournament, the team champion title was successfully defended, with team Porgy Picatta taking home first place again, this year with a total of two albies, two bluefish and two striped bass totaling 190”.
Inaugural Eastern Sound Tournament
The inaugural Eastern Sound Tournament was held September 30-October 2, and had eight boats and 24 anglers participating. Despite dealing with the remnants of Hurricane Ian for much of the weekend, every boat toughed it out and found incredible striped bass and bluefish activity, mostly centered around the mouth of the Connecticut River. Matt Quinlan of Team Far Right Twix took home first place in the conventional striped bass division, with two stripers totaling 85”, and Ryan Joyce, also of team Far Right Twix, won the bluefish category with two fish totaling 67”. Ryan also took home the top individual slam, with 76” across his largest striped bass and bluefish.
On the fly side, Rowan Lytle took home the striped bass, with two fish totaling 73”, bluefish (31.5”) and individual slam, with a striped bass and bluefish totaling 68.5”.
While the albies did not show themselves on the CT side of the river, Arek Zenel Walasek, who fished from Long Island with team Chousen One, headed down to the beach when the weather prevented their boat from leaving the harbor and landed two albies to take home the hard tail category.
Team Far Right Twix, with two striped bass and two bluefish totaling 152”, took home the inaugural Team Title.
The 2023 dates for the Tightlined Slam Tournaments have been set, with the Second Annual Eastern Sound Tournament (Branford to Stonington and across to Long Island) will take place Sept. 29 – Oct.1 and the Sixth Annual Western Sound Tournament (Throgsneck Bridge to New Haven) will be October 13-15.
For more information on the Tightlined Slam Tournaments, the rules, results, sponsors and organizations the tournaments support, visit www.tightlinedslam.com and follow @tightlinedconservation on Instagram.