I would like to start out by thanking our host Capt. Jon Weiss of Offshore Bait and Tackle located in Atlantic City. Capt. Jon contacted me with not only the idea, but put forth a tremendous amount of effort and resources to making this event happen.
What a day to hold what we now can say will be an annual event. The weather could not have been any more perfect. The only down side to the great weather was missing some of our hard core Offshore guys to the tuna grounds. Weeks of the wind blowing and only a couple of days of calm seas makes us understand the need to go fishing! Even without some of our very entertaining members, this event turned out to be a blast. A large tent with tables and chairs for sure had given us a Boat show/Flea Market feel. Throw in the food table and we had event so great that many Bend The Rod members asked if we are planning on doing this again. The great Weiss family filled the chafing dishes with fresh local seafood and corn. Also, pulled pork that was smoked overnight…so good. Side dishes and large tray of fresh cookies finished the menu.
To compliment the great food was the venue being bayside with a laid back atmosphere. As our Sponsors and members arrived to set up their tables you could feel the excitement of the day as almost everyone was eager to meet each other. As people strolled through I believe every vendor sold something. That really showed the support for Bend The Rod. New Jersey Coastal Angler arrived with a secret weapon that I think everyone there became addicted to. The Fishing Simulator. 5 levels of brute strength from Sea Bass to the all mighty Tuna. With a shop full tuna heads you can imagine by the end it was game on! Who can boat a level 5 tuna. Fun to watch the competitiveness of everyone. At one point there was so many Bend The Rod shirts all in one place that would have made a great pic if it was not for me being so intrenched in the tuna battle. Missed opportunity for the picture, but not for the great time we all had on Sunday. It was a great pleasure to meet our members face to face and I am extremely pleased with the feedback. We are more than an online forum and Sunday proved that!
A Special Thanks
I would like to give special thanks to the following sponsors who participated in this years Flea Market. FishOn Tackle, David Dunleavy, Capt. Butch Kross, Jersey Shore Beach N Boat Tournament, Island Girl Charters and NJ Coastal Angler Magazine. Supporting Sponsors not able to attend but supplied product: Sterling Tackle, Eye-Catcher Lures and Big Game Fishing Journal. Our friends at Jersey Tackle had to cancel last minute due to a medical reason.
Final thanks to the people that make this all happen and that is you the members. A big thanks to Jimmyd who gave days of his time to make sure this event turned out as perfect as it did. All your effort during the event is greatly appreciated. Special thanks to Double G with a tremendous offering of tackle and gear. Slammer3 putting up a display any inshore guy would have fell in love with. These two guys together took 6x tables and their presentations were well worth it. Thank you to all our members that came out to enjoy and support our community.
As I stated in the beginning we are making this an annual event. This may also be a venue for an awards ceremony for our tournament….just an idea.