New Jersey Shark Tournament Overview 2019
As summer inches closer by the week, it is time for a roundup of this year’s shark fishing tournaments being held all across the Garden State from Sandy Hook to Cape May. Below is the recap from last year’s tournaments as well as a breakdown of the festivities and details for this year’s tournaments in 2019.
Results From 2018 Tournaments
South Jersey Shark Tournament – In 2018, the South Jersey Shark Tournament was held in Cape May at the beginning of June with a total of 68 boats registered for the competition. A total of 161 sharks were caught over the course of the three-day tournament with the heaviest being a 278 lbs. thresher shark and the largest Mako caught in that weekend weighed in at 269 lbs. The top purse prize was valued at $325,000 for the largest shark in each category of the tournament.
Warriors For Warriors – This shark fishing tournament benefits military veterans across the state. The tournament focuses on catching thresher and Mako sharks as well as having a tuna Calcutta aspect to the festivities. This smaller tournament featured fewer fishermen then others and ended with the anglers who won first place in their respective categories also able to take home 2nd and 3rd prize as well.
It would also, sadly, appear that the Warriors For Warriors tournament will not be taking place in 2019 as per the tournament’s website (warriorstournament.com).
Brett T. Bailey Mako Rodeo – This shark tournament also takes place in June, and is headquartered in Brielle, New Jersey. The largest Mako caught in the 2018 tournament was 729 lbs. This smashes the state record previously held at 401 lbs. The largest thresher shark caught during the tournament was 206 lbs. The prize money split up and awarded to the winning anglers came from a donation and entrance fee pot of $22,000.
Mako Mania – This tournament is one of two that follows Mako sharks over the course of the tournament weekend. This was a HUGE Mako tournament in 2018 and looks to be shaping up well for 2019. In 2018, over 1,200 fishermen from New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Delaware, New York & Maryland flooded in to take part. The 2018 placing stats are not updated on the tournament’s website but the tournament is more than set to take place again in 2019 and is currently open for enrollment.
2019 Shark Tournaments
The shark tournament fishing season will begin in early June taking place in multiple venues and shore towns across the Garden State. Many of these tournaments will focus their catch on several shark species as well as larger ocean-going fish; including both blue and yellowfin tuna and marlin.
The preview below covers the tournaments going on in 2019 and gives details on what prizes await victorious anglers as well as how to sign up for each one. For any specific inquires or questions it is best to contact each tournament directly as sign ups could be filled or have changed since this posting.
The 39th annual South Jersey Shark Tournament will be taking place in Cape May at the South Jersey Marina. This year the tournament will run an extra day longer than previous contests and kicks off on, Thursday, June 5th. The winners of the tournament will be announced at the conclusion of fishing on June 9th.
One of the longer running and large shark tournaments in the state, the South Jersey Shark tournament for 2019 is expected to outdo the previous year’s participants in both the thresher and Mako shark categories. There are different options to competing in the tournament with prizes ranging from $6,500 ‘All-In’ Calcutta entries to the main purse that annually exceeds $325,000 in total prize money for winning crews. Signing up can be done on the South Jersey Tournament website (southjerseytournaments.com) and goes on until the tournament begins.
General entrance fees for the tournament are $600 per boat with an additional $300 docking fee for vessels that require dockage at the South Jersey Marina. There are several Calcutta options available over the course of the weekend as well and are highlighted by the Daily Double Calcutta, costing $600 but including Thursday, Friday and Saturday fishing. There are also jackpots exclusively for catching Mako sharks such as the ‘Mako Mania Jackpot’ ($1,000 separate entry) and the ‘Big Money Mako’ contest for the heaviest Mako caught throughout the weekend ($2,500 separate entry).
For those staying on shore, this large-scale tournament offers entertainment and dockside hospitality for all involved in the weekend’s festivities throughout the South Jersey Marina complex.
The 18th annual Brett T. Bailey Mako Rodeo will be held on June 14th and 15th of 2019 in Brielle, New Jersey which is in Monmouth County. This tournament has been held every year in honor of the passing of Brett Bailey, who was a first responder to and left this world on September 11th, 2001. The tournament works hand in hand with the BTB Foundation that was created in Brett’s memory and allows support for military personnel and first responders who are in need of help.
The Mako Rodeo is a straight forward shark fishing tournament where the boat with the largest Mako wins this winner take all contest. The entrance fee is $600 for each boat. The rodeo tournament also offers five smaller Calcutta’s ranging from $100 to $500:
$100 First Mako Caught
$200 Mako (Largest)
$300 Thresher (Largest)
$200 Bluefin Tuna (Largest)
$500 Mako Magic Jackpot
Early registration is encouraged for this tournament and all boats who register by June 6th, 2019 receive a complimentary bottle of Kraken Rum with the name of their boat engraved on the bottle.
Mako Mania is a shark fishing tournament that spans over two weekends in June on the 15th and 16th and then again on the 22nd and 23rd of June for 2019. Each day is billed separately at $500 per boat and turns into literal Mako mania out on the water for both weekends of the tournament. This is the 34th Mako Mania Tournament, but has since branched out to include thresher sharks as well.
Launch points can be found in three outlets: Shark River, Manasquan, or Barnegat. The purse includes upwards of $250,000 in prize money for both weekends. A brand new 2019 Chevy Silverado is also listed as a prize for the thresher shark portion of the tournament. More information and a signup sheet can be accessed on the tournament’s website (makomania.com).