Contest Update: This past Thursday Feb 25, we held our 1st Get Together of 2021, at Fat Jacks' Sports Bar. With businesses opening at 50 % restrictions, I was not sure what to expect. I was hoping to draw a dozen or so people out. To my surprise over 30 people came and went. Some people are still not ready for indoor dining just yet, and I can definitely relate to their decision, as I myself followed that decision for the past year. With many of the local bars, clubs, and restaurants, that sponsor the contest each year, being shut down for so long, our support is much needed. One thing that you will notice is that we no longer call them meetings. They are now called Get Together's. There are a few reasons why. Some of the places that we attend, are noisier than others, and the people in the back have a hard time hearing me. On top of that I lost about half of my voice through throat surgery. 2nd, As the contest was growing, most of the info was about just that, contest growth. I think by now after 10 years, and going from 48 contestants, to 1,069 in 2019, everyone knows where we were, and where we are now. So 90 % of the info will be on Facebook, and on our website, either under the News and Notes, or Meetings tab. This will also get the info to those who do not attend the Get Together's. Besides supporting our sponsor, we also have many contestants sign up at these Get Together's. It is also a good opportunity for buying and selling shad supplies. Especially, now with all of the shows canceled for 2021. But as anyone who attends can tell you, the best part is getting a bunch of shad anglers together, swapping stories, tips, and tactics, while enjoying a meal, and a few adult beverages. Of course the big question I keep getting asked is, do I think the contest will happen this year? With the current restrictions that are in place, I am very confident that the show will go on as planned. We have the approved PFBC permit, the town of Phillipsburg permit has been submitted, and I was told it should go right through. The contract with Yamaha, G3 has been sent in. The 18 foot G3 with the 90/65 jet drive package giveaway boat was kept for this year. So the excitement level is through the roof, after being shut down last year. Covid positive numbers, deaths, and hospitalizations are all trending down. In other news, I have received 4 applications from contestants who were already paid up from last year. I also received confirmation from one of our sponsors that they want to double up and they were also paid up from last year. This is exciting news, as we expect a drop in sponsorship money, due to covid. We surely are not gonna ask any business that was not paid up last year, and shut down, for anything this year. One last bit of news is the top 3 payouts for the 2 kids age groups, will increase to top 5 in each age group. The kids divisions were a big hit with our sponsors. We are always looking for help securing new sponsors, if you know anyone that would be interested, let me know. Mention the women and kids when asking. More updates to follow, Eric.
Great Night at Fat Jacks'
Over thirty shad fisherman and women showed up to shake off winter's chill. Of course the discussion was of shad and the many stories of shad fishing past and the hopes for a great season ahead. Stories of the past included many of Bob Wambold who has recently left us. He is certainly going to be missed by many up and down the river. If there were a Shad Fishing Hall of Fame, Bob would certainly make it on the first ballot on dedication alone, never mind his ability to catch shad.
As usual the food and drink at Fat Jacks', as well as the staff and service, was beyond excellent. They have been a great supporter and sponsor of the contest over the years. Our next get together will be at another great friend and sponsor establishment. IL Gaetano/Guy's Bar will be the place to be on March, 11 at 6:30 pm.
photos: Eric Fistler
2021 Update: With no get together in the month of January, I thought I would put up an update. I have received the approved permit from the Pa. Fish & Boat Comm. The Special Event Permit for the town of Phillipsburg has been submitted. I was told it will be an easy approval. The Insurance policy has been purchased. With restrictions being lifted, and vaccinations taking place, I feel confident that the 2021 Bi -State Shad Fishing Contest will go on as scheduled. I am looking to start up our get together in February. We will post up the time and place in the next day or 2. I will also be reaching out to the Delaware Water Gap folks, to let them know contest dates, and get info on river road status. Contest dates are April 22, 23, 24, 25. That's it for now. Get your shad gear ready, it won't be long now
Great Banquet Despite it All
Despite all that is happening in this world a good crowd showed up at our annual Banquet at the Alpha Volunteer Fire Company hall in Alpha. There was great fun, food and some very nice prizes at this very successful event.
Rob Orchulli performed his magic in the kitchen with the help of the many volunteers who give their time for this gathering. Hats off to Eric Fistler, his dedicated help and to the Delaware River Shad Fishermens Association and their gesture of good will sharing in the duties and effort to put the banquet together.
Things are running right on time as we head into the contest. Hopefully, there will be no roadblocks with the worldwide pandemic looming over it all. Our next event is a Tackle Swap Show, Tell, and Sell on Friday, March 20 @ 6:30 at The Concordia Maennerchor on Pearl Street in Easton. The club is a great sponsor who stepped in support of the contest in a big way. Hope to see you there to show our appreciation.
photos by Dave Perruso
Fat Jacks' Comes Through Again
A great night at Fat Jacks' would be an understatement. An incredible turnout to one of our long time sponsors who has always stepped up for the contest. A good menu with some good drink and a lot of good conversation of all things fishing. The countdown continues as it gets closer an closer to fishing time. There's a lot going on between now and then. This weekend March 6 and 7 will be an Open House at Mayberry's Sales, Service and Marine in Port Murray co-sponsored by the Bi State Shad Fishing Contest. There will be some great door prizes, 50/50, and lots of giveaways so be sure to join the fun.
This year's banquet will be a dual effort of the Bi State Shad Fishing Contest and the Delaware River Shad Fishermens Association to be held March 14 at the Alpha Volunteer Fire Company Hall. It promises to be a great night out with great food along with prizes and fun.
Then, looking ahead there will be a a Saturday night tackle swap buy and sell at the Maennerchor Club in Easton and our Buy, Sell, Show and Tell at the Huntington Station 75 in Phillipsburg. Certainly a lot going on and we are looking forward to seeing you all there. Our next Get Together will be at Dubs on Wednesday April 1st.
Here are some photos of the Get Together at Fat Jacks taken by Dave Perruso
Pizza, Pizza Pizza at Steve's
It was pizza, pizza, pizza along with clam night and a lot of other great fare at Steve's Pizzeria and Italian Family Restaurant in Palmer Township. It was also another good turnout of shad fishermen young, old and new who filled the room to talk fishing and rekindle old friendships. On display was the quilt donated to the auction with the shirts of all of the contest's except for two in the forming year's of the event. Another wonderful work by Mrs. Greg Homa to be up for auction at this year's banquet to be held on March 14th at the Alpha Volunteer firehouse. Tickets are available by calling Eric at 910-762-0440. Here are some photos taken by Dave Perruso that pretty much tell the story of the evening. Smiles all around.
Great Night with Great Friends
Jack Bock proprietor of Guy's Bar and Bi State Manager Eric Fistler
A great turnout at Il Gaetano/Guy's Bar where the food is always great, as well as the camaraderie of a dedicated bunch of shad fishermen. The talk was of the mild weather and the hope for a great season of shad fishing ahead. As usual the predictions of an early run brought back memories to those who have fished "early" on the warm days of March. Always great to hear the stories of those and other adventures on the water.
Ron Zastocki of Yamaha was in attendance and gave a rundown on the G3 boat and Yamaha outboard to be given to one lucky entrant to the contest. The meeting also gave Eric a chance to update all that is going on heading toward the Contest. He announced a bunch of new sponsors along with upcoming events including the banquet on March 14th, Customer and Bi State Appreciation Day at Mayberry's Sales and Service along with Tackle Swaps at both the Huntington Station 75 Firehouse and at the Mannechor club in Easton. Dates are in the announcement on the homepage of the website. The date and time of the next Get Together will be announced on these pages, FB and to those on the email list. To get on the email list contact firstname.lastname@example.org
photos by Dave Perruso
The Bi State Shad Fishing Contest is always looking for volunteers to help in many ways. If you are interested in joining a great team of forward thinking shad fisherman contact Eric at the email address above.
An Evening at Dubs on 4th
A good turnout at Dubs on 4th for our 2nd Get Together ahead of the Contest. A conservative number of 35 shad fishermen and women stopped in to join the conversations on everything SHAD while enjoying the fine food and drink served up by the gracious staff of the establishment. We'd like to thank Dubs for their generous support of the contest since its inception. We'd also like to thank those who came out on a cold January night to support Dubs in return.
Applications and Banquet tickets are available at all of our Get Together s. Come join us at Il Gaetano's in Phillipsburg on Tuesday, February 4th for our next gathering and sit in on the conversation.
photos by Dave Perruso
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
9th Annual Bi State Shad Fishing Contest Awards Ceremony in Pictures
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
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 email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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