Hundreds of fishermen will be plying the waters off Long Island’s South Shore this Father’s Day weekend in hopes of snaring one of the sea’s most ferocious beasts — a shark — in the village’s 44th annual Hudson Anglers Tournament.
The event kicks off at 6 p.m. Friday with a “Captain’s Dinner” at the Town of Hempstead’s marina at the south end of Guy Lombardo Avenue. Those who have not signed up for the event can do so and receive instructions. Last year, almost 200 boats were signed up, manned by about 1,000 fishermen.
At 6 a.m. Saturday, an opening gun will sound, sending the boats out to sea for 12 hours of fishing. The boats are required to return to the marina by 6 p.m. The cost to register a boat is $350.
Two years ago, a fisherman hooked a 540-pound thresher shark, and won a $170,000 prize, said David Gross, president of the Freeport Hudson Anglers Inc., which runs the tournament.
“There can be no harpoons, no Tasers, no stun guns, in catching the sharks,” Gross said. “It’s got to be rod and reel. This is sport fishing.”
Mayor Robert T. Kennedy said the event has always been an economic boon to the village.
“It’s a lot of fun for our residents and the people who participate. This is one of the reasons why the village is celebrated as the boating and fishing capital of the East Coast,” he said.
The contest is limited to the following species of shark: blue, brown, tiger, mako, thresher, hammerhead and porbeagle. All sharks must weigh 150 pounds or more and only one shark per boat will be eligible for prizes. Any shark mutilated in any way will be disqualified, Gross said.