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Fishing Report: 2022 Beach Clean-up and Surf Fishing Tournament in Ninilchik

For this edition of the Fishing Report we head down to Ninilchik to check out the 2022 beach cleanup and shore fishing tournament.
Published: May. 26, 2022 at 7:26 PM AKDT
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - The 2022 Beach Clean-up and Surf Fishing Tournament was hosted by the Sons of the American Legion Post 18 in Ninilchik and the guide service Compassion Thru Fishing. While it is a fishing tournament that isn’t the only goal.

“It’s a beach clean-up first, surf fishing tournament second,” said Randy Sisco, the owner and operator of Compassion Thru Fishing.

Before your fish can even be considered in the tournament you need to first present the trash that you cleaned up from the beach. The tournament is also one of the few “measure only” tournaments in the state.

“We didn’t want a truckload of dead fish like sharks and skate and sculpin and things of that nature coming to a weigh-in that may go to waste,” Sisco said. “So it’s a measure-in tournament. We give you a measuring tape that you will measure then you take a clear photo of that and then you bring that into the awards ceremony at check out.”

They take the total length of four different fish, add that up and that is how they decide the standings.

According to Sisco, they raised $260 for feeding Ninilchik’s hungry from a halibut filet raffle. The tournament also raised $1,900 for the nonprofit organization Connect Vets and took three truckloads of trash from the beach.

Twenty-five teams participated in this year’s tournament and 22 of them caught a fish to be considered in the tournament. There were different prizes and cash given out at the award ceremony including $1,000 to the winning team in the surf fishing tournament: Ben and Eli Pancoast. The winning team totaled 171.75 inches in total length from the four fish that they beached and measured.

It doesn’t take much to get into surf fishing and you don’t need a boat, but if you really want to get in the game a good surf fishing pole helps. Depending on the tide you will need a pretty heavy weight to get your bait and rig to the bottom where you will find halibut, skate, sharks and sculpin, mainly, but you really never know what you will pull onto the shore.

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