Nice Get Together at Fat Jacks' to Start the 10th Year of the Contest

It was a good turnout for the first get together of the year of the Bi State Shad Fishing Contest. A lot of talk of the memories of past years and a lot of excitement in store for this year's contest. The biggest news was from Bob Mayberry who announced that this year's boat package that every entrant has a chance to win will be:

What a great package offered by Yamaha Outboards, G3 Boats and Bear Trailers  JUST FOR ENTERING

Along with other updates and ideas for sponsorships along with at least three special events it was a great night with great news for The 10 Anniversary Edition of this great contest with more to come We encourage everyone to spread the word and make it the best contest the Delaware has ever seen.

photos by Dave Perusso




We proudly support






 The Phillipsburg Volunteer Fire Department

9th Annual Bi State Shad Fishing Contest Awards Ceremony in Pictures

The Awards Ceremony in pictures. A truly great turnout and a lot of happy people. Not just the winners but those happy for them, as well. Enthusiasm filled the air and the joy in the faces young and old told the story of what a geat event the the Bi State Shad Fiching Contest truly is! .....Camera work by Joy Scott-Gilligan and Mike Hinkel

Great Kickoff to the Contest at the Riverton

A toast and a cheer from the great crowd at the Riverton Hotel and Restaurant finished the last event leading to the contest. The night was filled with great appreciation as thanks to all was served up along with the fine shad delicacies prepared just for the occasion. Ron Zastocki of Yamaha was there, as was Bob Mayberry of Mayberry Marine, both offered their praise to the efforts of  putting the contest together and what impact it has for everyone from the local businesses sponsoring the event, those promoting and protecting the resource, to the participants of the event. The benefits are long lasting and go beyond the great prizes offered. It brings attention to what a gem the Delaware River is and to the towns along its length. not just for this week, but for all time the Phillipsburg, Easton area truly is the "Shad Capital of the World".

With that being said there is nothing to do now but look forward to a safe and enjoyable experience both on the water and off.  Be mindful and respectful to all and make this year's event the best yet.. Good Fishing!


photos: Dave Perruso, Mike Hinkel

Nice Get Together at the Maennerchor Club

It was great to see those who met up at the Concordia Maennerchor to show appreciation for their support. Not a big crowd, but those in attendance enjoyed the generous specials and selection of spirits and ale. There were a number of young fishermen showing up to enter the contest. A good sign for the future of shad fishing. A few hung around to talk shad with the veterans who were eager to answer their questions about the fishing and the methods. With its great atmosphere there is no doubt that we will be holding more events here at this friendly established social club. Once again, we thank them for their generosity and great contribution to the contest. Our next event will be April 23 at the Riverton Hotel to kick off the contest.

Big night at guy's/Il Gaetano

write up and photos by Dave Perusso

It was a big meeting and turnout tonight at El Gatano over in Phillipsburg NJ. Strategy was flying left and right as anglers we’re planning there high water attack for next weeks big contest!!! I picked up a super secret weapon from one of my good shad buddies. I was sworn to secrecy so I can’t post any pictures of it...for now. Eric Fistler talked briefly and said we are ahead still on the number of contestants and slightly ahead of sponsors compared to last year. Be sure to drink your Ovaltine...oops wrong movie. Be sure to watch for Eric’s final listing of prize money coming up soon! Ok, going to solder up a couple of my new secret weapons now. 😁🎣🐟 I sold enough spoons to pay for my dinner and also found out I hit a raffle I bought a ticket for at our banquet for $50. It was a great night

2018 Out in the Open TV Interview

The Bite might be Cold, but Dubs was Hot

The run to Dubs was certainly on this night as well over 50 shad fishermen and women showed their support of the contest and to our long time sponsor. More of a get together than a meeting this gang was all aboard to share the common interest and the excitement for the contest ahead. While talk of the finicky weather and the "run" being questioned to where it was, the veterans in the crowd assured that everything is right on time. As usual the discussions turned into the old times and the new tricks to get to the finish line and the awards. "Hot" spoons and terminal gear were sold and traded up as new applicants and new sponsors were added to the already long list that will only get longer as the event approaches.

All said and done it was another great night at Dubs. No doubt, their great wait and kitchen staff were catching their breath and rubbing their feet after this mob left. We are all left to wonder how they keep track of it all. Maybe, we'll figure it out the next time we are there. Thanks Dubs!

Our next meeting and kick off to the contest will be at Guy's Bar (Il Gaetano) on Thursday April 18 at 6:30PM

photos by Dave Perruso


Incredible Crowd at the Station 75 Swap Meet

We'd like to thank everyone for one great night of deals and storytelling at the Huntington Volunteer Station 75 Firehouse. The one night that had people coming from parts unknown to spin yarns, fill their supply of spoons, darts and other shad fishing needs, but most of all, to get pumped for the contest which is less than a month out. Old friends and fishing rivals filled the room with the chatter of  all things shad. Everyone discussing the "secrets"  of  their success while trying to keep as straight a face as possible. Many showed up just to get their entry in which by all measures is much farther ahead than last year. The contest is only 28 days out and it is on course to break all records. Hard to estimate the crowd this night with all of those coming and and going, but it is by far the most anticipated night of the year. Looking forward to doing it for years to come.

The winner of the raffle for the Honda Generator was Kevin Roth with winning ticket #8. Congratulations Kevin! Thank you all for taking a chance for this great prize

photos by mike Hinkel and Dave Perruso

Numbers Adding Up at Fat Jacks

A good night at Fat Jacks with a good crowd fired up for shad. Numbers are way up compared to last year for both entries and sponsorships. New faces from new places came in to sign up and join the discussion. All of the remaining generator raffle tickets were sold this night and the drawing will be held next week at our big night at the Station 75 Buy, Sell, and Tackle Swap at the Huntington Station 75 Firehouse. Last year's event was a great night. This year has all the makings to be even better with a lot of goods to be offered. The shad are on the way and its best to be prepared. The firehouse also offers food and drink so bring your appetite.


  Photos by Dave Perruso

Nice Crowd Came Out To Steve's

A good night for Steve's Pizza as a large group of Shad Fisherman and women showed up to talk shad and enjoy some of Steve's fine Italian food. Looking forward to seeing everyone at the banquet, as that too, looks to be a great night ahead. There will be tickets at the door and you can still call Eric to reserve your tickets for faster entry to the event. Remember, kids 15 and under  are admitted free.

The quilts pictured below were donated by Mr. Greg Homa and his wife Jill whose extrodinary efforts make them a must have one of a kind item. They will be auctioned as well as some more exciting items. There will also be some nice door prizes and 50/50's to go along with the tricky trays and silent auctions.

  photos by Dave Perruso


Announcing the Bi State Shad Fishing Contest's Take a Kid Fishing Program

The Bi State Shad Fishing Contest, in its ongoing promotion of fishing for the American Shad, will be offering a program to take kids fishing. Those youth, who never caught an American Shad, will be added to a list along with a parent or guardian who must accompany the participant during the fishing time. The list will be on a first come basis, depending on the weather and number of sign ups. Due to the unpredictable and finicky weather of spring no dates will be set. Parents or guardians will be notified a few days ahead and if they cannot make the day we will move to the next name on the list. The person, who could not make it, will stay at the top of the list for the next available trip, unless they opt to cancel the outing altogether. Our goal is to introduce our youth and their families to the sport of shad fishing in hopes that they too, can enjoy and hopefully, experience this wonderful resource for a lifetime. Anyone wishing to get their kids fishing can sign up by emailing or calling 610-762-0440.

Fantastic Night at the Riverside

Shad fishermen and women of all shapes and sizes, age groups, and experience showed up at the Riverside for what was one of our best turnouts for the The BiState Shad Fishing Contest meetings. The plus 50 crowd had the camaraderie of old friends mixing in with new faces putting the place abuzz with nothing but shad talk. With some secrets being exchanged, old methods and times rehashed, it was evident that this year's event is on the way to being super. As usual, the Riverside Barr and Grille played a great host with their fine food, drink, and friendly atmosphere. This year the Riverside Tournament  will be held Wednesday, May 1 to Sunday, May 5.

A lot of activity at the sign up table for applications pushed the entrant count so far to 119. Way ahead of past years at this time.  Raffle and banquet tickets were also had. The banquet scheduled for March 9 also looks to be as great if not better than the last. There are already a bunch of prizes to be live auctioned along with the tricky trays and silent auctions. Many thanks to last year's Day 4 fifth place winner Dave Sieminski who gifted back his great Abu Garcia/Berkley prize to the banquets list of prizes. The banquet is one of the biggest fundraisers for the contest. Anyone wishing to donate prize goods to the list contact Eric at 610-762-0440. Rob Orchulli will once again be doing his #1 banquet chef magic. Volunteers for varied duties at the banquet should also contact Eric. We hope to see another great turnout at the Alpha Firehouse for a fun Saturday night!

One of the items to be auctioned off is this beautiful wood carving of the incredible American Shad


Sponsorships are beginning to roll in right along with the entries. St Croix fishing rods is looking to come aboard while many long time sponsors have upped their contribution.  The G3 boat and Bear trailer was delivered to Mayberry Sales, Service and  Marine waiting on the Yamaha Jet Outboard to be fitted and readied for that one entrant lucky enough to win it.

Something new this year will be an effort to get kids and those who never fished for shad on the water before or after the contest to get a taste of what the excitement of shad fishing is all about. It will be discussed further at our next meeting which will be at: Steve's Pizzeria, 1005 Greenwood Avenue in Easton. PA at 6:30PM.

To stay informed of all of what's happening frequent this website and our Facebook page. Request to be added to our mailing list to for notifications to all of the upcoming meeting and event information.

photos by Dave Perruso


Winter Freeze and a Good Turnout at Il Gaetano/Guy's

Despite the single digit temps and the biting wind a bunch of hearty souls turned out for our meeting at Il Gaetano/Guy's. A few new faces made the trek from a fair distance to see just what the Bi-State Shad Fishing Contest and the meetings are all about. As usual the talk was of fishing and the contest ahead between bites of the fine fare served up by our good sponsor and friend Jack Bock and his staff.

Major announcements were made by Bob Mayberry of Mayberry Sales, Service and Marine. It was Bob's pleasure to announce, once again, that G3 Boats and Bear Trailers will be supplying the contest with the boat and trailer to go along with the already approved Yamaha outboard to complete the $12,000 package. He also announced the G3 has stepped it up by offering a $500 bonus for the largest shad entered by the owner of a registered G3 boat. A photograph of the fish with the owner and the boat is necessary to claim the prize for social media and G3 advertising purposes. There is also an effort to try and get Scott Turnage and the G3 Sportsman internet TV fishing show on the river. It would be a great boost for exposure to both the contest and to shad fishing. Here is a sample of the show: G3 Sportsman

Bob, also announced that Honda donated the 2000iu generator for the raffle and added to the ongoing Shad Contest promotion at Mayberry Sales, Service and Marine. For every $100 spent in his establishment for anything in the shop will receive a $5 voucher toward the entrance fee to the Bi-State Shad Fishing Contest. The $100 amount is accumulative with the patron's name on file with all purchases. Once reached the entry credit will be given. In other words you don't have to spend $100 at one time. Spending $750 at one time will automatically give you free entry to the event.

More sponsors are coming aboard and the pages will be updated shortly. There was also a call for door prizes for the banquet to go along with items for the tricky trays, silent and live auctions. One silent auction to bid on will be a 6 hour Smallmouth Bass fishing trip with new sponsor Mike Kiermaier and Bronzeback Outfitters.

Anyone wishing to donate prizes should contact Eric at 610-762-0440. The banquet is looking to be the best ever. It is a great night out for great food and the camaraderie of your fellow shad fishermen. Hope to see you there. Call Eric for tickets.

Check out the Bulletin Board on this website for any announcements and information related to our sponsors and the contest. 

The next meeting will be at the Riverside Bar and Grille with the date to be announced.


Great Kick Off to the New Year at Dub's

With the contest a few month's away it was evident by the size of the crowd that it can't get here soon enough. A great turnout indeed with faces old and new showing up to talk most things shad and enter input to the plans going forward. The group was joined by Darryl Mosher, the District Marketing Manager of Outboard and MRP Sales in the Marine Group Company of the Yamaha Motor Corporation. Darryl's presence after finding time out of his super busy schedule, was testament to the commitment of Yamaha, our title sponsor, to the contest.

Darryl Mosher (center) with Joy Gilligan and Bob Mayberry of Mayberry Sales and Service

It was announced that there would be a kids fishing contest with two age groups competing for prizes in each group. There will also be a women's bonus added along with the teen and senior bonus categories. This year those bonus prizes will be for the heaviest fish entered outside of the top ten. Top ten winners are not eligible for a bonus prize with the exception of the heaviest top ten fish caught by a veteran. 

Sponsorship got a good start from the end of last year's event with contestants Bob Wambold, Sam Osmun and taxidermist Butch Spriggs, of Jugtown Mountain Taxidermy sponsoring once again. This night they were joined by fishermen, George "Pappy" Magaro, Matt Hyman, and his father John Hyman. Sponsors contribute greatly to the overall payouts. Anyone who wishes to sponsor the event individually, or as a group or business, should check out the Sponsorship info under the Contact  tab on the homepage of the website.

The tickets for the banquet are now available and can be reserved by calling Eric at 610-762-0440. The Honda Generator Raffle tickets are also available on a first come first serve basis. 50 tickets will be sold at $20 a ticket with the drawing at the banquet which will be held on March 9th. Along with the tricky trays there will also be an auction for the popular hand made shad contest quilts donated by Greg Homa and his wife. There will also be a beautiful, painted wood carving of an American Shad crafted and donated by the father of Mark Nixon. Bob Mayberry will auction off a Stihl chainsaw as well as an Interstate battery. Anyone wishing to donate prizes for tricky trays or auction should contact Eric.

Rob Orchulli will be doing his #1 rated cooking magic once again. A lot of work goes into this event. Anyone interested in volunteering to help make it the best night yet should contact Eric at the number above.



It was also noted that the Phillipsburg police department was thankful to the contest for their donation. It helped in funding the department's participation in the National Night Out which is held on the 1st Tuesday in August. A letter from Police Chief Robert Stettner appreciated the contribution to the underfunded community effort and looked forward to working with the contest this year.

Our next meeting will be at Il Gaetano's in Phillipsburg on January 30 at 6:30PM. Notifications will be sent by email and posted on this website and our Facebook page, as usual.

photos by Dave Perruso



October Meeting at Fat Jacks'

A nice turnout for our first meeting of the new year held at Fat Jacks'. Those in attendance shared in the discussion of whats new for 2019 so far. A few new sponsors getting on board and plans for holding a Kids Contest along with adding Women's bonus prizes were in the talks. All of this in an effort to get more women and kids to participate and experience the joy of shad fishing. Berkley/Abu Garcia is sponsoring the Kid's Contest with the hope that other sponsors get on board. More details to come.

It is anticipated that the 2019 contest will exceed the numbers of last year. It can be done with everyone getting on board and helping with/and for its success. Those wishing to get involved to carry it forward can contact Eric Fistler to offer your help. Volunteers experienced in fundraising and grant writing would be of great assistance.

Plans for the banquet to be held on March 9, 2019 were also discussed. There will be some very nice prizes for those lucky enough to win along with more auction items to bid for. Rob Orchulli will be the chef once again this year presenting his "rated best"  banquet menu.

Bob Mayberry of Mayberry Sales and Service announced that anyone who spends $1000 worth of goods at his shop will receive free entry to the contest. Mayberry's is the Official Marine Dealer for the contest.

photos: Mike Hinkel

Eric  holding the session to an attentive audience       Once again, Fat Jacks' did not disappoint with their awesome servings

To say the 8th Annual Bi State Shad Fishing Contest was a success would be a monumental understatement. Despite the fickle weather and high flows there were plenty of fish brought to the scale. 170 shad were weighed in over 4 days looking for part of the record $38,350 in prize money. There were 889 contestants vying for the prizes and a chance to win a 16 foot 2018 G3 boat, fitted with a 30hp Yamaha Jet Motor sitting on a Bear Manufacturing Trailer.

The contest paid 10 places with a top prize of $20,000 which was won by Jake Kocsis of Carpentersville, NJ with a shad weighing 5.942 lbs. Here is the list of top 10 winners:


Daily Prizes paid $350 for the heaviest fish, $300 for 2nd $250 for 3rd  and $200 for 4th . The 5th place fish took home a wonderful bucket of fishing gear worth $200 plus sponsored by Abu Garcia, Fenwick, Spider Wire and Berkley. There were also $100 bonus prizes in 5 categories.

The winner of the Boat Package sponsored by Mayberry Marine of Port Murray,  NJ was Philip Dale of Dallas, PA.

Mayberry Marine is the Official Marine Dealership of the Bi State Shad Fishing Contest

Daily and Bonus Prize Winners

Congratulations to all of the winners!

Perhaps the biggest success was the number of youth and young adults who participated in the event right alongside those older persons giving it a try and those who have been shad fishing for years

Age groups were: 19 and under 59 contestants, 20 to 29 =123 contestants, 30 to 39 = 140 contestants, 40 to 49 = 143 contestants, 50 to 59 = 208 contestants, 60 to 69 = 134 contestants, 70 to 79 = 64 contestants, 80 + = 9 contestants.


Fantastic turnout at Fat Jack's to send us off to the contest. Quite the night with a drawing for the generator donated by Mayberry Marine and great news of more fishing related sponsors such as St Croix rods and others. There was also word from Abu Garcia, Berkley, Fenwick, Spiderwire, and their sales group that there will be a cash sponsorship and a kids competition next year. All of the details will follow, but for now the excitement for the fishing getting underway was in the air. Between bites of the fine fare and sips of the good drinks, it was all shad talk.

People were coming and going putting in their applications and buying some last minutes tackle and anchors. In attendance was Tom Sutter, the 87 year old father of contestant and friend to the contest, Tim Sutter. Tom was quite the shad fisherman himself taking a second and a third along with many daily prizes in the Forks of the Delaware Tournament. He truly had a good time smiling all the while sharing in the buzz.

We wish all a safe and enjoyable experience on the river. Please be courteous to your fellow fisherman both on and off the water.

Good Luck!

The winner of the Honda Generator is Tim Hoadley who held the lucky ticket #36. Congratulations to Tim and thanks to all for trying their luck in the raffle

photos by Dave Perruso




Great turnout at the Riverside with great news for the contest. Thanks to everyone who showed up at the meeting last night, for those who couldn't make it, the $15,000 grand prize has been reached. Remember our new sponsors Abu Garcia, Fenwick, Berkley, Pfluegler, and Spider Wire when purchasing your fishing gear. We will hold one last meeting at Fat Jacks' the beginning of next week. We will post date as soon as we get it. Good Luck to everyone this season, and remember safety first.

The group surrounding the boat to be given to one lucky entrant.  Contest Manager, Eric Fistler and Boat Sponsor, Bob Mayberry addressing those in attendance


Photos by Dave Perruso...Boat photo by Joy

Two weeks and a day away from the start of the contest and the good crowd at IL Gaetano's were both chomping on the fine fare, as well as the bit to get to the contest. Shad stories never get old. If anyone wants to learn a thing or two about catching these fish one of these meetings is the place to learn. While shad fishing is not rocket science it comes in a close second, or so it seems at times. Anyway, it is getting close and everything is ahead of and on par with last year's record number of entries. Our next and last meeting before the contest will be held at the Riverside Barr and Grill on Monday, April 16 at 6:30pm. This meeting is like the pep rally before the big game. A great gathering of shad fisherman, a lot of stories and a toast to this year's event.  We certainly hope to see you all there.

photos, by Dave Perruso

A very informative meeting at Fat Jack's revealed that the $15,000 first prize is within reach and that a major fishing manufacturer sales group will be sponsoring and adding packages to the daily prize list. Things are right on schedule for this year's contest and if the weather cooperates here in the next couple of weeks it should be the best yet. The number of applications and sponsorship are ahead of last year. If past events are any indication, these weeks leading up to the contest will see a big jump in applicants. We encourage getting the applications in as early as possible. The next meeting will be held at IL Gaetano's in Phillipsburg on Tuesday, April 10 @ 6:30pm.


photos by Dave Perruso


A big thanks to all who turned out for our annual Buy, Sell, Show, and Tell at the Huntington Volunteer Fire Station 75. A great night with a gang of sign ups for the contest and a lot of goods being bought and sold. Our apologies for those who came looking for the Po' Boy Shrimp Sandwiches and Gumbo Soup....Don't know what happened there...Thanks again for coming out.