Click here for Greater Long Island newsletters. Click here to download our iPhone app.
Fishing is now a competitive sport for Long Island high schoolers. And it’s all thanks to Brenden Rutigliano of Long Island Rod Company at Captree State Park in Babylon.
“Since I started my first fishing business at 21 years old, I noticed most anglers were much older than me and I needed to change that,” he said. “This league is a great way for teenage anglers to be competitive and get introduced to the Long Island saltwater fishing culture.”
Plans for the league started three years ago, but trying to navigate the districts — while also playing with a proverbial slide puzzle as he worked out the logistics — proved quite the challenge.
“t took years of research to come up with a way that a small school club of 3 students could compete with a larger club of 50-plus students, he said.
Well, now it’s all figured out, and things are getting started.
Students compete by fishing normally throughout the year and photographing their catch with a free, certified Long Island Rod Company measuring tape. They then send pictures and information of the top five fish caught in multiple local species to receive points. The club with the most points wins.
Students from public and private schools can compete.
The company is hosting a free informational seminar at 2:15 p.m. on Saturday, March 4, at the 10th Annual Ward Melville Fishing Expo at Ward Melville High School in East Setauket.
Students and parents can also click here to signup and for more details.
“You’d be surprised how many people don’t understand they can fish in any direction on the Island,” Rutigliano said. “We’re surrounded by saltwater, and there’s plenty of fish in the sea.”
Photo Credit:@newyorkfishingadventures at Jones Beach. (Repost from LIRC on Facebook)