VHFC Contest Rules

There are several contests that the club runs during the calendar year. The general rules applicable to all contests are listed below. Rules specific for each contest appear after the contest description.

  • Only a paid-up VHFC member’s fish will count.
  • All lapsed dues must be paid up a minimum of 24 hours prior to any fish being weighed-in.
  • The fish must be weighed in at one of our official weigh-in stations. There are currently 6 stations listed under the Sponsors / Weigh In Button on the Blue Banner across the top of each page .
  • The fish must be caught in Ocean County, NJ waters, or from a boat, which left from Ocean County and returned to Ocean County. Head boats leaving from Pt Pleasant are legal; boats leaving from Brielle are not!
  • All Fish must be weighed-in within 24 hours of being caught (the weigh-in is for the day the fish was caught).
  • The fish must be legally caught and a legal size fish (NJ rules). Bluefish must be 5 lbs minimum for weigh in.
  • The member, not someone else in their place, must weigh the fish in, and that member must sign the weigh-in sheet.
  • Co-members and Junior members (as defined in our By-laws) are also eligible (and must weigh-in and sign for their own fish).

We have three year-long contests:

Angler of the Year aka Melanie Boytos Award 

At our May 9th, 2008 meeting, Jim Hutchinson Sr. unveiled an annual tribute to our dearly departed friend Captain Melanie Boytos. Captain Melanie, also known as the Fisherqueen, was a close friend of this club and its members. Many of our members enjoyed the pleasure of fishing with her in and around the Barnegat Inlet area. This tribute will be in the form of an annual award for the VHFC angler of the year. Since Captain Melanie primarily fished for Fluke, Weakfish, Striped Bass and Bluefish, the award will be based on catching one of each of these coveted species. In our area, catching all four of these species is known as a Grand Slam (or Inshore Slam). Points will be awarded based on the size of the fish, and the club angler who has the most points at the end of the year, will win the award for that year.  To honor Captain Mel’s fishing prowess, you must complete the Grand Slam by weighing in at least one of each species over the course of the year to be eligible to win. Multiple fish of each species can be weighed in but only the largest fish ( highest point total) will count towards the award.

Due to the Weakfish population decline, we have amended the rules to include a fifth fish into the mix – Black Sea Bass – for which Captain Melanie also had a fondness. Therefore, the award will be based on point totals of 4 of the 5 qualifying fish with the original four getting preferential consideration in keeping with the original Inshore Grand Slam.  The table below has been updated to show the point totals for Black Sea Bass:

  • Any 4 of the 5 eligible species weighed in will qualify a member for this award.
  • To give preference to the original “Inshore Grand Slam” intent, any members’ catch of the original 4 species, regardless of point total, will supersede that of any other members’ catch which includes 3 of the original species and Black Sea Bass. (Note that if more than one member catches the original 4 species, the highest point total will determine the winner).

Captain Melanie Boytos Inshore Slam Award (VHFC Angler of the Year details).

The annual winners name will be engraved onto a plaque that will be displayed at the VHFC clubhouse.

1 Up to 2 lb Up to 2 lb Up to 10 lb Up to 2 lb Up to 1 lb
2 2 to <3 lb 2 to <3 lb 10 to <15 lb 2 to <3 lb 1 to <1.5 lb
3 3 to <4 lb 3 to <4 lb 15 to <20 lb 3 to <4 lb 1.5 to <2 lb
4 4 to <5 lb 4 to <6 lb 20 to <25 lb 4 to <6 lb 2 to <2.5 lb
5 5 to <6 lb 6 to <8 lb 25 to <30 lb 6 to <8 lb 2.5 to <3 lb
6 6 to <7 lb 8 to <10 lb 30 to <35 lb 8 to <11 lb 3 to <3.5 lb
7 7 to <8 lb 10 to <12 lb 35 to <40 lb 11 to <14 lb 3.5 to <4 lb
8 8 to <10 lb 12 to <14 lb 40 to <45 lb 14 to <17 lb 4 to <4.5 lb
9 10 to <12 lb 14 to <16 lb 45 to <50 lb 17 to <20 lb 4.5 to <5 lb
10 Over 12 lb Over 16 lb Over 50 lb Over 20 lb Over 5 lb

Fish of the Year Awards Trophies will be awarded to the anglers catching the largest fish in each of the following species: Blackfish, Weakfish, Bluefish, Fluke, Seabass & Striped Bass

Fish-of-the-Month Awards for various species are shown below. Final dates for awards awaiting issuance of 2019 NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife Saltwater Regulations

The largest fish caught during the specified period will be awarded a $50 gift certificate to Fisherman’s Headquarters (no expiration). There are 21 FOM awards for 2019 as shown below:

Time Period


1 March – 30 April (3 Awards) Winter Flounder, Striped Bass & Bluefish
1 April – 30 June (1 Award) White Perch
1 – 31 May (2 Awards) Striped Bass & Bluefish
24 May – 30 June (1 Award)
15 May – 22 June (1 Award)
Sea Bass
1 – 31 July (2 Awards) Fluke & Sea Bass
1 – 31 August (2 Awards) Fluke & Sea Bass
1 – 21 September (1 Award)
1 – 30 September (1 Award)
1 – 31 October (3 Awards)  Blackfish & Bluefish & Striped Bass
8 October – 30 November (1 Award)  Sea Bass
1 – 30 November (3 Awards) Blackfish & Bluefish & Striped Bass

All awards will be $50 gift certificates to Fisherman’s Headquarters.

Fish must be caught off land / surf in Ocean County NJ or from a boat launched and returned to Ocean County NJ.

Bluefish minimum size is 5 lbs.

If no entry is made for a species for a specific month, the award will move and be added to the next period that species is offered. This will repeat until the end of that year. If still no entry has been made, the award will remain with VHFC. Example: No bluefish is entered for 1 March – 30 April. The bluefish award for May now becomes $100. If no entry for May is received, the award for October bluefish will be $150. If no October entry is received then November bluefish will be $200!

There are no Fish of the Month awards for December, January & February. Legal fish caught during those months still qualify for Fish of the Year.

The Weight-in stations are:

Fisherman’s Headquarters, West Creek Bait & Tackle, Creekside Outfitters, BHW Marine Center, Surf City Bait & Tackle and Sheltered Cove Marina.

Fishing Facts

Of the fifty United States, thirty-eight have a striped-bass record. New Jersey has the largest striped-bass record—a 78-pound 8·ounce whopper that was caught in 1982. The state with the smallest striped-bass record is Iowa. That landlocked striper weighed only 9 pounds 4 ounces and was caught in 1983.
There’s something fishy about beer these days. Fish Tail Ale is popular as ever, and New Jersey’s Flying Fish Brewery is one of the state’s largest specialty breweries. There’s also Washington’s Wild Salmon Organic Pale Ale, Florida’s Land Shark beer, Delaware’s Dogfish Head beer, and two versions of Stingray beer—a lighter version from the Cayman Islands and a dark beer from Canada.
The triangle fly is probably the most unusual of saltwater flies. It’s one of the few, if not only, flies tied to a treble hook. It’s also barely a fly at all, because hardly any material is used. It is complete after tying the two straw pearl twinkle flashes and the tiny tuft of natural squirrel, leaving an entire hook fully exposed. Incredibly this barebacked treble fly is a knockout when it comes to sea trout.

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