History Made with Success of Shark's Eye Tournament

Shark’s Eye Tournament News Release, August 5, 2013

Satellite tag-and-release tournament was the first of its kind in Montauk Thanks to the efforts of the Concerned Citizens of Montauk, Montauk Chamber of Commerce, Mountauk Boatmen, the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation, the Shark Brothers, Mote Marine Laboratory and the Center for Shark Research, OCEARCH Global Shark Trekker and Carl Darenberg of Montauk Marine Basin and Capt. Michael Potts, the first-ever Shark’s Eye no-kill tournament was a rousing success.

Shark's Eye Tournament and Festival Sponsors, Partners and Supporters.

In the two-day tournament, with ten boats participating, 64 sharks were tagged and released, among which were 33 Mako sharks, all with Mustad-provided circle hooks, designed to do less harm to released sharks.

As Joe Gaviola, one of the lucky anglers to hook one of the satellite tagged sharks, wrote: “As a 40+ year fisherman in Montauk, a very important factual result in your Tournament, is that ALL 33 MAKO SHARKS WERE CAUGHT USING CIRCLE HOOKS. This is a very significant occurrence and one to be referenced in the future. I don't believe that this many Makos were ever caught using this type hook in any Tournament in the world. Our boat was lucky enough to catch 4 up to 250 pounds, all low impact jaw hooked.”

Chase boats, donated by Bofill Marine and Uhlein’s Marina, brought scientists to the boats to tag the caught sharks. The excitement was palpable back on deck and on the dock at the end of the day. One of two Wounded Warriors participating, Lonnie Peterson, recipient of a Purple Heart, said “This weekend was amazing”. Jimmy Buffett, aboard the Last Mango, said, “these tournaments are the wave of the future”. And as Guy Harvey of the Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation put it, “We were extremely excited to bring this catch-tag-and-release format to Montauk, NY; the home of recreational shark fishing and shark kill tournaments.”

The satellite-tagged sharks are already showing up on OCEARCH’S website and pinging back their locations. Beamer, for instance, a 200 pound Blue Shark named by Montauk schoolchildren, will provide information for years to come. Anyone interested in following Beamer, April, Rizzilient, or Princess, the four satellite tagged sharks, can go to www.ocearch.org and check in on their wide-ranging progress.

The Chester Wolf IGFA Sportsman Award went to Richie Nessel, on board the Nasty Ness. His crew brought in the most points altogether. Other boats that satellite-tagged sharks were Free Nicky, Fin Seeker, and Blue Fin. Asked about the tournament, Nessel stated “I have fished many Tournaments on the Eastern Seaboard but none had the excitement and buzz as this one. I am very proud to be part of this historic breakthrough event, one that will be around for many years to come.”

The Shark Brothers - Sean Paxton (left) and Brooks Paxton discuss event with CBS Evening News Correspondent, Chip Reid. View segment by clicking on image.The CBS Evening News aired a segment nationally on the tournament in which Jason Behan, a longtime Montauk fisherman, said “This kind of tournament is going to change a lot of people’s minds”. Asked if he missed seeing a dead shark hung up on the docks at the end of the day, he added, “You know, I don’t need to see them. It was nice to watch them swim away.” View Segment.

And as Brooks Paxton of the Shark Brothers remarked, “Since this is Montauk, where it all started, this event proves that shark-release fishing is definitely catching on in an even bigger way.”





His brother, Sean, adds, “Along with Zach Miller from our crew, we’re proud to be involved with this historically significant tournament. It will forever mark a significant turning point in the evolution of recreational shark fishing.”

Carl Darenberg, the host and chief organizer of the event, even proclaimed that “With the success of this tournament, I am going to mandate circle hooks for all future shark tournaments. Its success was beyond my expectations, and means that my kids and grandkids will be able to enjoy the ocean the way I have.”

Click to View Additional Details About the Shark Brothers' and Zach Miller's Impactful Role in This Tournament Event

Total Sharks Caught Over 2 Days:
33 Mako
31 Blue

4th place: Red Head with 22 points.
3rd Place: Reel Intensity with 27 points. Winnings: 1K from Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.
2nd Place: Rocky's Retreat with 30 points. Winnings: 3K from Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation.
1st Place: Nasty Ness with 37 points. Winnings: 6K from Guy Harvey Ocean Foundation + 5K Calcutta. Total: 11K.

1st Sat Tag: Team: Nasty Ness, a mako named "Princess".
2nd Sat Tag: Team: Free Nicky, a mako named "April"
3rd Sat Tag: Team: "Fin Seeker", a mako named "Rizzilient"
4th Sat Tag: Committee Boat: Bluefin 4, a blue named "Beamer" by the 6th Grade Science Class at the Montauk Public School. Principal: Jack Purner.