2022 marked the fifth annual Tightlined Slam tournament in 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 fisheries and marine resource conservation, and this year supported the American Saltwater Guides Association, Save a Million Bass and Captains for Clean Water Hurricane Ian Relief Fund.
Anglers fish individually and in teams of up to four, targeting bass, bluefish, false albacore, bonito and mackerel on fly and artificial lures.
Fifth Annual Western Sound Tournament
With incredible weather and heavy fishing, the Western Sound Slam, which took place October 14-16, featured 26 boats, over 90 anglers, and saw eight anglers land individual slams of striped bass, bluefish and false albacore.
Team Porgy Picatta’s Steve Gannon landed a 42-inch striped bass Sunday morning to take home the best individual striped bass (73 inches for the first two fish) and first place in the slam category conventional single with three fish totaling 102.5″. Joe Cipolla of Team Row Jimmy took second place in the slam category with three fish totaling 85″. Ben Burdine of Team Apex Angling, took third place in the slam category with an albie, bass and bluefish totaling 82”, and also tied for first place with Chase Freiman in the individual hardtail category with three false albacore each. Mike Migliorino of Team ASMW took first place in bluefish with two fish totaling 68.75″.
Porgy Picatta showing off the team’s title defense in the Western tournament.
On the fly side of the tournament, Max Kantor of Light Bite Charters had an incredible Saturday, landing two slams and winning first place in striped bass on fly (67”), hard landing (2 fish) and slam single with a striped bass, bluefish and false albacore for a total of 92″. Lucas Gillespie of Team Oh my FOD finished second in the individual slam with striped bass and bluefish with a total of 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 fly bluefish category with two fish landed for a total of 64.5”.
Danny Westfield with the title Fly Bluefish.
For the first time in the tournament’s five-year history, the team champion title was successfully defended, with Team Porgy Picatta again taking first place, this year with a total of two albies, two bluefish and two sea bass for a total of 190”.
Inaugural So Oriental Tournament
The inaugural Eastern Sound Tournament was held from September 30 to October 2 and featured eight boats and 24 anglers. Despite dealing with the remnants of Hurricane Ian for much of the weekend, all boats weathered it and found incredible bass and bluefish activity, mostly centered around the mouth of the Connecticut River. Matt Quinlan of Team Far Right Twix took first place in the conventional 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 best individual slam, with 76” across for his biggest 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”.
Although albies didn’t show on the CT side of the river, Arek Zenel Walasek, who fished from Long Island with Team Chousen One, headed to the beach when weather prevented his boat from leaving the port and landed two albies to catch them. house the hard tail category.
Team Far Right Twix, with two bass and two bluefish for a total of 152”, took 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 through Long Island) taking place from September 29 to October 1 and the Sixth Annual Tournament of Western Sound (Throgsneck Bridge in New Haven) will be October 13-15.
Porgy Picatta taking advantage of the Cup.
For more information on the Tightlined Slam tournaments, rules, results, sponsors and the organizations the tournaments support, visit www.tightlinedslam.com and follow @tightlinedconservation on Instagram.