Summary of the cheeky school tour 2022


For the past 11 years, the Cheeky Schoolie Tournament has been an adjoining event on our calendars. For many fishermen, it marks the start of their striptease season in New England, and for others, it is an opportunity to gather with fellow Cape strippers before the high summer season begins on the Day weekend of Remembrance, when the beaches are filled with sunbathing and crowds.

1st Annual Striper Symposium

The Friday before the day of the tournament, dozens of industry representatives, lawyers and conservation partners gathered at the Cape Cod Conference for the Inaugural Bass Strip Science Symposium. The American Saltwater Guides Association, along with Costa Sunglasses and the support of Cheeky Fishing, hosted the all-day event. The main purpose was to teach them to a large audience how to be effective conservation advocates, especially the striped bass, and to highlight recent and future research efforts.

The day began with a mortality experiment for capture and release by Keep Fish Wet. Post-release mortality for striped sea bass is an essential component of total fishery removals and fisherman education is one of the main methods for reducing this number. Keep Fish Wet recommends limiting fish exposure to the air to 10 seconds or less – or you know, leave the fish in the water, unless absolutely necessary!

From there, participants went to the conference center to hear from the ASGA team, biologists from the Massachusetts Department of Marine Fisheries, Sacha Danylchuck from Keep Fish Wet, Backcountry Hunters & Anglers, and Costa Sunglasses. ASGA opened the Symposium by discussing how and why ASGA was formed – the first source, the preliminary voice was not an influential perspective within the recreational fishing community before ASGA hit the block. ASGA’s John McMurray along with Mike Woods and Chris Borgatti from Backcountry Hunters & Anglers gave a summary of Amendment 7, which was a tremendous victory for the preservation of the striped bass. The highlight of the day was the Massachusetts DMF presentation on their search for labeled bass labels. Without going into too much detail / technical jargon, they found that the striped bass has a strong tendency to return to the same areas every summer. This also has management implications, for which DMF Biologists are still working. A video of the presentation and the whole symposium will be shown soon!

American Saltwater Association Executive Director Willy Goldsmith (left) and Deputy Policy Director Tony Friedrich (right)

Next was a presentation on using social media to adopt changes. While social media is often criticized as overcrowded fishing spots and threatening the delicate balance of our livelihoods, they can also be used to educate young fishermen and defend important causes. It’s an important difference because we love it or hate it, social media is not going anywhere, so let’s use it as best we can.

The final item on the agenda was that of ASGA, where they announced a research project of fake Albacore labeling, with the support of Orsted, an offshore wind developer. The scientific and fisheries communities know very little about this species – migrations, stock complexes, capture and release of mortality, you mention. However, albies are an almost exclusively recreational species of capture and release, so the hope is that this research could inform the sustainable management of this economically important species. Overall, it was an attractive, interesting day for preserving the striped bass, and it was wonderful to hear from those directing these efforts.

Costa Captain Party

Last year, the biggest thing we missed were the legendary events personally for which the Cheeky tournament is famous. This year’s tour was the first with personal events since 2019, due to the COVID-19 Pandemic. This year, Cheeky adopted a hybrid model, organizing parties in person and organizing virtual events to make sure every competitor feels safe and healthy over the weekend.

The Costa Captains Party felt like a return to form for the tournament. All around, the fishing community in New England and the Mid-Atlantic gathered to talk about all the more striptease things and to share their expectations for the 2022 striped bass season. Thankfully for our heads and health, the feast of this year was much smoother than previous years, which made for a slight awakening over the next fishing day.

Tournament Day

Costa Caley Smith releases a cast in a canal on the Bass River.

If you were hoping for a big fish tale and a podium finish for Team Flylords, you should probably skip to the next session. Even though we posted points on the table this year, we were defeated again by teams with a lot more experience and more competitive effort than us. However, we had a great day at Cape, managing to score a total of 69 inches (well) and secure our place as # 71 in the leaderboard from 108 teams on the field.

Late night draw sessions are a tradition the night before tournament day.

The day of the tournament started as usual, with a turbulent awakening at 4am, after throwing a lot of “All Hands” at the “Costa Captains’ Party” the night before. Fortunately for all those competing, the weather and conditions were ideal with high sunshine, low winds and warm temperatures.

Our team headed to our tried and true place where we had landed lots of marked fish while checking out the points earlier in the week. Unfortunately for us, the high tides overnight combined with about an inch of rain killed the bite that was hot all last week. We managed to land the three fish that scored, filled two sets of swampy waters and successfully reached the closing party that was continuing in Hyannis.

The Cheeky After Party

The Cheeky Schoolie tour raised over $ 27,000 by supporting the preservation of the striped bass!

During a typical year, the post-holiday tour is traditionally the event where competitors loudly share the stories they collected during their day on the beaches, rivers and capes of the Cape. This year was no different, throughout the evening, Cheeky held their long-awaited Virtual Tournament Lottery with proceeds that will further support the preservation of the striped bass on the Atlantic Coast.

Management table

1 – Playing Hookie – 116 inches
2 – Team Jones – 112.5 inches
3 – Harpoon Willies – 112.5 inches
4 – Lansing Brothers – 110.75 inches
5 – My Fishing Cape Cod – 110 inches

See the full chart of the 2022 Tournament Leaders, here!

You can learn more about the Cheeky Schoolie Tournament, here!



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