The 14th annual Mid-Atlantic Rockfish Shootout concluded Saturday night, with Team Matador and its three-fish catch of 138.3 combined pounds declared the winner.

With Capt. Jake Hiles of Virginia Beach, the team caught its fish on the first day of the three-day tournament and held on for the win and are all set for a very Merry Christmas - taking $48,000 out of the $94,500 total purse.

Second went to LeGrande Slam with 134.0, followed by Paper Doll at 124.5, Sho-Nuff at 122.55 and Oceans East 3 with 104.3.

The tournament is the largest striper tournament on the East Coast and has donated thousands of dollars to the Children’s Hospital of the King’s Daughters and other charities. Fish weighed in become the property of the tournament and are donated to local food banks.


Jim Hutchinson

“Six years of low recruitment,” is what I'm hearing from the environmentalists, and what I keep getting told by those who WANT drastic fluke reductions (after all, the NOAA fluke cuts in 2017 will decimate the industry, drive more party boats out of the picture, and reduce the number of anglers on the water – it’s what the white collar, elite anglers have always wished for.) But six years poor sampling rates on younger, smaller fish, that’s a little scary, right?

But did you know that NOAA Fisheries got themselves a brand new survey ship in 2009? Yup, the 200-plus-foot R/V Bigelow started doing fisheries assessments roughly 6 years ago – you don’t think, perhaps, that fancy new government ship might be using the wrong equipment to do trawl surveys on small flounder, do you? I mean, it's just a coincidence, right? Bureaucrats and environmentalists wouldn't try to deceive the angling public, would they?