Posted on May 30 2016
The Cheeky Schoolie Tournament is a catch-and-release-style event designed to encourage the interest and growth of saltwater fly fishing. The recently held fifth annual event was attended by 230 anglers from 19 different states.
Read more in the press release below.
230 Anglers Compete in 5th Annual Cheeky Schoolie Tournament
May 27th, 2016
Cape Cod, MA – Two-hundred and thirty anglers representing 19 different states gathered on Cape Cod, Massachusetts to participate in the 2016 Cheeky Schoolie Tournament on May, 21st. Now in its 5th year, the annual Cheeky Schoolie Tournament has grown into the largest saltwater fly fishing tournament in the country (we think?) and perhaps the largest in the world. The unique, grassroots style event provides the opportunity for anglers of all skill levels to cast flies at early season striped bass and vie for thousands of dollars in fly fishing prizes.
The Cheeky Schoolie Tournament, hosted by Massachusetts fishing reel manufacturer Cheeky Fishing, is a low barrier to entry, catch and release style event designed to encourage the interest and growth of saltwater fly fishing. The format is simple: the team that catches and releases the 4 largest striped bass wins. In addition to podium prizes for 1st, 2nd and 3rd, this year’s tournament included other grand prize categories such as smallest striped bass, most miles driven, and a team skunk award – a pair of spinning reels awarded to a team that turned in a zero fish scorecard. Participants included the likes of some of the nation’s top guides, as well as anglers hoping to catch their first striped bass on the fly.
When the dust settled, Team Deceiver – comprised of John and Ben Bianco, stood alone at the top. Their four largest striped bass totaled 107.5” inches, good for 1st place and the second highest total in Schoolie Tournament history. To cap off their epic day, the father/son duo took home $500 cash, two Cheeky Mojo 425 Fly Reels, two pairs of Costa Sunglasses, two Cortland Fly Lines, two Under Armor Performance Shirts and two Wingo Striped Bass Belts. Not far behind were Matt Reinemo and Bob Ruley of Team Compass, and Matt Zimmermann and Ryan Nee of Team Why Knot Fishing, who rounded off the podium in 2nd and 3rd respectfully.
In total, anglers caught and released over 3,500 inches of striped bass during the course of the single-day event. At the awards ceremony, talk of 30 to 50 fish days proved commonplace, and several teams landed stripers measuring out over 30”. While the prizes and scores were impressive, for many participants, the tournament continues to be about more than winning and losing. Above all, the Cheeky Schoolie Tournament is an opportunity for anglers of all skill levels to come together, share a few laughs, and celebrate the wonderful people, scenery and fishery that the Northeast has to offer.
Cheeky would like to thank all of the tournament’s participants, sponsors and supporters who helped make the 2016 event such a success. We look forward to seeing you in 2017!