October 26, 2005
The Second Annual Rocktober Fishing Tournament and Festival, held October 21-23rd, combined fishing and fun all in the name of charity. From a boat show by Short’s Marine to pumpkin decorating for the kids, Rocktober was a weekend of activities for everyone. Despite the rainy weather to start, hundreds came out for the food, music, vendors, and of course the fishing.
This year anglers reeled in fish from all three tournament categories. In the Rockfish division, John Hazzard of the boat Blue Prints took home first place with his 37 lb catch. His boat won a total of $13,880, with Kyle Hamilton’s 22.9 pound striper weighing in at third place. Bryant Danner, last year’s winner on the Phoebe Anna, captured 2nd with a 27.4 pound striper. The Tuna fisherman faired well also, their boat Four Play swept the division bringing home $7,520. Mike Florax reeled in a 32.3lb taking first, Bill Vernon’s 28.9lb weighed in at second and Tracy Norris’ 27 lb tuna took third.
In the flounder division, Ron Werner of the Jamin’ Brac won $3,275 for his 5.6lb fish. Mike Fleming off the Grand Sam II took home 2nd and $2,010 for his 5lb fish and Roy Krause off of Master Baiters took 3rd place and $1,255 for his 2.7lb catch. At this year’s Rocktober, even the younger fisherman reeled in big prizes! Junior angler Chuck Sherberger, Jr. won a $2,000 scholarship for his 9.1lb Rockfish catch! The scholarship money will be dispersed by the Delaware Community Foundation directly to the post-high school educational institution of his choice.
It wasn’t just the fisherman catching all the fun, Rocktober was teeming with on-land activities too. The weekend kicked off with the Thursday night Captain’s meeting at the Rusty Rudder in Dewey Beach where the crowd enjoyed delicious food and beverages. The action moved to the Indian River Marina on Friday at where visitors enjoyed drinks, food and music under a tent while chatting about the day’s catches. Saturday and Sunday guests enjoyed local art vendors while listening to tunes from the DJ. They also snacked on food from Big Fish Grill while children enjoyed activities such as touch tanks, face painting, and magic shows. Music from Hyjinx got the crowd on their feet Saturday night, while the world famous Starboard Bloody Mary Bar quenched the thirst of the Rocktober-goers.
Thanks to the title sponsors Big Fish Grill and Schell Brothers, and with the support of the Cape Gazette, the Beach Paper, The Lighthouse, Miller Light, Ocean Atlantic Agency, The Peninsula, PNC Bank, Short’s Marine, Villages of Five Points, The Horsey Family and Wilmington Trust, the weekend was a great success.
All together, the 2nd Annual Rocktober Fishing Tournament and Festival raised over $45,000 for the Sussex County Land Trust and the Horsey Family Youth Foundation. Wendy 0. Baker, President/CEO of the Sussex County Land Trust, commented on the weekend. “We are so pleased with the success of Rocktober,” said Wendy, “To be able to have so much fun and raise money at the same time is the mark of a great event. We are already looking forward to next year’s Rocktober!”
For more information on the two foundations visit www.sclandtrust.org or www.horseyfamilyyouthfoundation.org. To view Rocktober’s picture gallery of the weekend, visit www.rocktoberfishing.org.
For more information please contact Casey Lynn at 302.645.5949.