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2001 Skillful Angler Awards Winners


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. At the end of each year, special recognition is given to the anglers who caught the largest fish in each of the freshwater and marine species categories.

In 2001, 129 applications representing 21 different species were officially processed.

The 2001 Skillful Angler Awards Winners are as follows:

Freshwater Species:

Largemouth Bass - 7 lbs, 7 ozs caught by 63 year-old Dave Hughes of Turnersville on September 6. Dave was fishing from his boat on a private lake called "Bells Lake" when he reeled this one in at 6:15 a.m. Ten-pound test was used on a LR-27-6 Berkeley rod and a Shimano reel. Mann's Renegade Teq. Sunrise served as the lure. The fish measured 25 inches in length. Girth size was 17 inches.

Smallmouth Bass - 5 lbs, 3 ozs caught by 29 year-old Paul Joyce of Jackson on August 18. Paul was fishing from his boat in the Manasquan Reservoir when he reeled this one in at 6:05 p.m. Twenty-pound test was used with a Daiwa rod and reel. He used a Lizard lure. The fish measured 20 inches in length. Girth size was 15-7/8 inches.

Striped Bass Hybrid - 11 lbs, 6 ozs caught by 13 year-old Mallory Smith of Millville on April 16. Mallory was fishing from a boat on the Maurice River when he landed this one at 2:00 p.m. Twelve-pound test was used with a Shakespeare Graphite rod and a Garcia Mitchell reel with herring. The fish measured 30 inches in length. Girth size was 16 inches.

Carp - 50 lbs caught by 38 year-old Steve Babilino of Turnersville on May 31. Steve was fishing from the shore of Garrison Lake when he caught his fish at 5:00 a.m. Six-pound spider wire monofilament was used with a Quantum XR reel and a Quantum Snapshot rod with corn serving as bait. The fish measured 46 inches in length. Girth size was 36 inches.

Channel Catfish - 12 lbs, 13 ozs caught by 35 year-old Stephen Miklandric of Belle Mead on September 8. Stephen was fishing from his boat on Lake Assunpink when he caught the fish at 4:54 p.m. Seventeen-pound test was used with a Shakespeare Ugly Stick and a Shimano 4000 reel with a shiner as bait. The fish measured 30 inches in length. Girth size was 18 inches.

Black Crappie - 3 lbs, 8 ozs caught by 44 year-old Forrest Black of Bound Brook on March 24. Forrest was fishing from his boat in the Spruce Run Reservoir when he landed the fish at 10:45 a.m. Six-pound test was used with a 5-foot Shakespeare Ugly Stick rod and spinning reel with live bait. The fish measured 16 inches in length with a 17 inch girth.

Muskellunge - 28 lbs, 4 ozs caught by 34 year-old Steve Nemeth of Phillipsburg on July 31. Steve was fishing from the shore of the Delaware River when he reeled in the fish at 11:57 p.m. Twenty-five pound test was used with a Penn rod and Shimano reel with trout serving as bait. The fish measured 48 inches in length with a girth of 21 inches.

Chain Pickerel - 7 lbs caught by 41 year-old Ed Witkowski of Middletown on September 19. Ed was fishing from his boat on Deal Lake when he landed this one at 7:00 p.m. Four-pound test was used with a Shakespeare Ugly Stick rod and Shimano reel with a Black Spinner. The fish measured 32 inches in length. Girth size was 11 inches.

Brook Trout - 8 lbs, 6 ozs caught by 12 year-old Mike Denniston of Brielle on April 7. Mike was fishing from the shore of Spring Lake when he landed the fish at 3:30 p.m. Six-pound test on a Shakespeare rod and reel was used with a Rooster Tail. The fish measured 20 inches in length. Girth size was unavailable.

Brown Trout - 8 lbs, 5 ozs caught by 54 year-old Cletus Polk, Jr. of Mahwah on August 16. Cletus was fishing from the shore of the Manasquan Reservoir when he landed the fish at 11:30 a.m. Twelve-pound test was used with a 10-foot surf cast rod and an Arrow reel. A Rapala Husky Jerk #14 served as the lure. The fish measured 25 inches in length. The girth size was 14 inches.

Lake Trout - 26 lbs caught by 67 year-old Walter Neumann of Cliffwood Beach on July 16. Walter was fishing Round Valley Reservoir from his boat when he landed this one at 7:30 a.m. Fifteen-pound test was used with a Shakespeare Ugly Stick rod and a Penn reel with an Alphia Diamond. The fish measured 37 inches in length with a 23-inch girth.

Rainbow Trout - 8 lbs caught by 54 year-old Cletus Polk, Jr. of Mahwah on July 12. Cletus was fishing the shore of the Monksville Reservoir when he landed this one at 7:45 a.m. Twelve-pound test was used with an Arrow Surf Rod. A Rapala-Floating Floltant served as the lure. The fish measured 24 inches. Girth size was 16 inches.

Walleye - 6 lbs, 15 ozs caught by 54 year-old William Pugsley of Randolph on May 20. William was fishing from his boat on Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish at 10:00 a.m. A spinning rod and reel was used with a worm rig. The fish measured 25 inches in length. Girth size was unavailable.

Saltwater Species:

Black Sea Bass - 6 lbs, 4 ozs caught by 71 year-old David DiGiuseppe of Sea Isle City on August 12. David was fishing from the boat Fisherman Joe-Kel on the wreck "Cleopatra" when he reeled in the fish at 1:00 p.m. Twenty-pound test was used with a Penn rod and reel with clams as bait. The fish measured 24 inches in length. Girth size was unavailable.

Striped Bass - 56 lbs, 15 ozs caught by 38 year-old Ron Faust of Lansdale, PA on October 31. Ron was surf fishing in Barnaget Light when he hooked the fish at 6:45 a.m. Twenty-pound test line was used with a 10' Shimano Spinner rod and Penn 7000 reel. Ron didn't share with us what he used for bait. The fish measured 48 inches in length with a girth of 29 inches.

Black Drum - 78 lbs caught by 54 year-old Phil Fors of Brigantine on June 8. Phil was surf fishing the Brigantine North End when he reeled in the fish at 5:30 p.m. Thirty-pound test line was used with a 12' Break-A-Way Rod with clams as bait. The fish measured 52 inches in length. Girth size was unavailable.

Winter Flounder - 4 lbs caught by 27 year-old John Chan of Edison on December 8. John was fishing the Belmar Jetty when he caught the fish at 11:30 a.m. Ten-pound test was used with a Daiwa rod and reel with clam strip as bait. The fish measured 20 inches in length. Girth size was 16.5 inches.

Fluke - 10 lbs, 12 ozs caught by 39 year-old Patrick Donnelly of Brick on August 25. Patrick was fishing from his boat in Seaside when he caught his fish at 10:40 a.m. Twenty-pound test was used with a Shimano rod and a Garcia 5500 reel with bait. The fish measured 29 inches in length. Girth size was unavailable.

Kingfish - 2 lbs, 4 ozs caught by 59 year-old Barry White of Little Egg Harbor on October 16. Barry was surf fishing at Barnegat Light when he landed the fish at 8:00 a.m. Fifteen-pound test was used with a custom fiberglass rod and Newell reel. Clams served for bait. The fish measured 16 inches in length. Girth size was 9 inches.

Tautog - 13 lbs, 4.8 ozs caught by 24 year-old Greg Eastburn, Jr. of Tuckerton on April 11. Greg was fishing on the boat, Miss LBI, when he reeled the fish in at 12:00 p.m. Thirty-pound test was used with a Gold Cup rod and a Penn 965 reel. A green crab served as bait. The fish measured 25 inches in length with a 20-inch girth.

Weakfish - 10 lbs, 12 ozs was caught by 46 year-old Stanley Klimek of Sayreville on May 3. Stanley was fishing from his boat in the Delaware Bay when he caught his fish at 7:00 p.m. Twenty-pound test was used with a custom rod and Penn reel. A Bucktail Jig served as the lure. The fish measured 29" in length. Girth size was unavailable.

Congratulations to all of our winners!

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