On May 19th over 430 fly anglers made the annual pilgrimage to Cape Cod for the Cheeky Schoolie Tournament – a small handful of hearty souls having made the trip for each of the last 7 years the tournament has existed to welcome the push of hard-working striped bass back to the northeast coastline.
Known as the world’s largest fly fishing-only tournament, and organized by Ted Upton and his team at Cheeky Fishing (with some serious sponsor and volunteer support), the event opened the entire Cape to over 200 2-angler teams for one day in search of the bite from shore, with hopes that their best 4 caught, recorded, and released fish would put them in contention for a Dale’s Pale Ale podium spot and thousands of dollars in gear.
But while bragging rights are fantastic, there was a renewed motivation this year to make sure that anglers understood that it’s really a healthy striper fishery that is the most valuable prize of this, or any, season.
So, as part of our sponsorship of this year’s event, we partnered with Cheeky and donated $1 each for every 5-inches of striped bass caught, recorded, and released – up to $1,500 from each group – to Stripers Forever. Fortunately, the weather, stripers, and anglers all did their part and we were proud to be able to make a combined donation of $3,000 to the organization and the work they do to conserve the fish that we all love to chase with fly rods.
Congratulations to Cheeky for 7 years of running this tremendous event, to the teams that stood tall on all that Pale Ale, and to the continued work and success of Stripers Forever. We’re already looking forward to being a part of the festivities again next year. Check out the official event write-up from Cheeky here. And another great re-cap from Mike Rice of Mud Dog Flies here.