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Catching The Big One

The waves are there. The surfers are there. The fish are there. The fishermen are there. And, they are all there hoping to catch "The Big One".

There is no better time for fishing on LBI than fall. Each year upwards of 1,000 anglers register in the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic, covering virtually every square yard of the Island's beachfront. The Classic was launched back in 1955 in an effort to extend the tourist season and hype the awesome autumnal angling. The best way to lure the anglers was to offer details of exactly what's being caught where, and how to become part of the "catching crew".

To this day, each Classic angler weighing in a worthy catch must fill out the entry form. The info includes name (not the fish's name, the entrant's name), size of the fish in inches (girth and length) pounds and ounces, where the fish was caught, when it was caught, and the bait used.

In the early days it was nearly impossible to keep track of the 2,500 stripers entered. Then we entered the Computer Age. At the speed of home computers, those insight-seeking casters could regularly go to http://lbift.com/ and view "Fish weighed in for 2008" and click on the week at hand. And there they found the tale of every single weighed-in fish: where it was caught, the bait used, and time of day caught. That information, coupled with a cell phone to report in -the- moment blue blitzes, placed the determined angler in the exact spot for nabbing a potential winner.

Whether you're a fisherman hoping to snag a record breaker, or a surfer seeking a thrilling ride, the waters of LBI will lure them into trying to catch The Big One.