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2006 Skillful Angler Awards Winners

The Skillful Angler Awards Program honors the many anglers who catch both freshwater and marine fish which aren't of record size but are impressive and worthy of recognition. At the end of each year, special recognition is given to the anglers who caught the largest fish in each of the freshwater and marine species categories.

In 2006, 154 applications representing 27 different species were officially processed.

INTERESTING FACTS:

The most frequently entered species by skillful anglers in 2006 (adult, junior, and catch and release categories combined) were striped bass hybrid and largemouth bass with 17 entries received for each species.

The following is a breakdown of applications received per species (all categories combined): largemouth bass (17), smallmouth bass (6), striped bass hybrid (17), striped bass caught in freshwater (2), bullhead (4), carp (4), channel catfish (10), crappie (8), muskellunge (2), yellow perch (4), chain pickerel (13), northern pike (1), american shad (1), brook trout (2), brown trout (5), lake trout (1), rainbow trout (1), sunfish (5), walleye (13), black sea bass (5), striped bass caught in saltwater (8), black drum (5), dolphin (1), fluke (5), kingfish (1), tautog (3), and weakfish (7).

In 2006, no entries were received for the bluefish, cod, winter flounder, mako shark, blue marlin, white marlin, pollock, albacore tuna, big eye tuna, bluefin tuna, yellowfin tuna and tuna (other) categories.

This year, the adult category for striped bass hybrid is tied. The winning entries measured 9 pounds, 10 ounces each - and they were both caught on May 13 in Lake Hopatcong!

George Horvath, winner of the adult carp category, submitted both carp entries for 2006 in the adult category.

Dan Lehr is the dual winner of both the junior smallmouth bass and channel catfish categories. He also won the junior smallmouth bass category last year. His smallmouth bass that was entered this year weighed 5 oz more than his smallmouth last year. Dan is quite a fisherman and in 2006, he submitted three entries that qualified for the program.

A.J. Lambert, winner of the 2006 junior bullhead category, submitted three qualified skillful angler applications for 2006.

Jeffrey Jodeksnis is the dual winner of both the catch and release smallmouth bass and northern pike categories.

Joseph Scott of Hamilton is the dual winner for both the catch and release striped bass caught in freshwater and the American shad categories for 2006.

This year, 38 adults and 16 youths were honored for the largest catches in each of the skillful angler species categories.

Overall, more freshwater catches (119) were entered than saltwater (35).

The 2006 Skillful Angler Winners are as follows:

ADULT CATEGORY FRESHWATER SPECIES:

Largemouth Bass - 7 lbs, 8 oz. caught by Barbara Freund of Browns Mills on June 4. Barbara was fishing from the shore on Mirror Lake when she reeled the fish in at 3:38 p.m. Twelve-pound test was used with an Ugly Stik and a spinning reel. Shiners were the bait used. The fish measured 22.5 inches in length with a 22-inch girth. (Photo)

Smallmouth Bass - 5 lbs, 1 oz. caught by Otto Gsell of Dover on August 15. Otto was fishing in the Raritan River in Bridgewater when he landed the fish at 7 a.m. Six-pound test was used with an Ugly Stik and a Shimano reel. A crayfish served for bait. The fish measured 22 inches in length. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Striped Bass Hybrid - 9 lbs, 10 oz. caught by Bill Haase of Sparta on May 13. Bill was fishing from a boat in Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A stick bait served for bait. The fish measured 26 inches in length and had an 18-inch girth. (Photo)

Striped Bass Hybrid - Carl Platvoet of Franklin caught another 9 lbs, 10 oz. fish on May 13. Carl was also fishing in a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. Stick bait served for bait. The fish measured 25 inches in length and had an 18-inch girth. (Photo)

Striped Bass - 40 lbs, 3.5 oz. caught by Tom Martin of Bloomsbury on October 16. Tom was fishing form the shore along the Delaware River when he landed the fish. Twelve-pound test was used with a Diawa rod and a spinning reel. A lure served for bait. The fish was 43 inches in length and had a 27-inch girth. (Photo)

Carp - 42 lbs, 8 oz. caught by George Horvath of Trenton on May 27. George was fishing from a jetty on the Delaware River when he landed the fish at 3:23 p.m. Twelve-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. Corn meal served for bait. The fish measured 38 inches in length and had a 30-inch girth. (Photo)

Channel Catfish - 15 lbs, 1 oz. caught by Jason Cummins of Wharton on June 25. Jason was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. Herring served for bait. The fish measured 29 inches in length and had an 18-inch girth. (Photo)

Crappie - 2 lbs, 2 oz. caught by George Horvath of Trenton on May 18. George was fishing from shore at Carnegie Lake when he hooked the fish at 6 p.m. Two-pound test was used with an ultralight spinning rod and reel. A 1/32 oz. jig served for bait. The fish measured 16 inches in length and a 12-inch girth. (Photo)

Crappie - 2 lbs, 2 oz. caught by Forrest Black of North Plainfield on March 30. Forrest was fishing from a boat on Spruce run Reservoir when he landed the fish at 4:00 p.m. Eight-pound test was used with a 6 6 Ugly Stik and a spinning reel. A live shiner served for bait. The fish measured 14 inches in length. The girth was unknown. (Photo)

Chain Pickerel - 5 lbs, 6 oz. caught by Gregory Sawyers of Vineland on April 23. Gregory was fishing from the shore at Giampietro Park when he landed the fish at 4 p.m. Six-pound test was used with a Shimano Scimitar rod and a Shimano reel. A minnow served as bait. The fish measured 27 inches in length with a 12-inch girth. (Photo)

Brook Trout - 3 lbs caught by Joshua Butz of West Milford on April 27. Joshua was fishing from the banks of Hibernia Brook in Rockaway when he hooked the fish at 6:30 p.m. Four-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A trout magnet served as the lure. The fish measured 19 inches in length with an 11-inch girth. (Photo)

Rainbow Trout - 5 lbs, 2 oz. caught by Robert Robertson of Carney's Point on March 12. Robert was fishing from the shore in Shadlers Sand Wash in Salem County when he landed the fish at 7:00 a.m. Four-pound test was used with a Masters rod and a South Bend reel. Bait was used to attract the fish. The fish measured 23 inches in length with an 13-inch girth. (Photo)

Walleye - 12 lbs, 5 oz. caught by Louis Ratti of Newton on June 16. Louis was fishing from the shore in Big Swartswood Lake when he landed the fish at 3:30 p.m. Eight-pound test was used. A lure served as the bait. The fish measured 30 inches in length and had a 19-inch girth. (Photo)

ADULT CATEGORY SALTWATER SPECIES:

Black Sea Bass - 6 lbs, 7 oz. caught by Jeff Mahood of Mechanicsburg, PA on July 30. Jeff was fishing off a boat when he landed the fish at 8:00 a.m. Fourteen-pound test was used with a Quantum Blue Runner rod and reel. A pink and white flounder rig served for bait. The fish measured 24 inches in length and had an 18-inch girth. (Photo)

Striped Bass - 66 lbs caught by Mike McCall of Middletown, DE on November 24. Mike was in a boat in Cape May over a 60-foot slough when he hooked the fish at 11:45 a.m. Twenty-pound test line was used with a fiberglass rod and a spinning reel. Bunker served for bait. The fish measured 54 inches in length. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Black Drum - 107 lbs caught by William Kinzy of Southampton on May 13. William was fishing from a boat in Delaware Bay when he reeled the fish in at 10:00 p.m. Forty-pound test line was used with a Penn rod and reel. Surf clams were used for bait. Length and girth were unavailable. (Photo)

Dolphin - 44 lbs caught by Frank Mayer of Williamstown on August 22. Frank was fishing from a boat in the Hudson Canyon during the Mid-Atlantic Tournament when he caught the fish at 7:47 a.m. A Penn rod and Penn International reel was used. A ballyhoo rig served for bait. The length and girth were not available. (Photo)

Fluke - 12 lbs, 8 oz. caught by Marita Riesz of Matawan on May 13. Marita was fishing from a boat near Buoy #1 when she landed the fish at 10:00 a.m. Twelve-pound test was used with a BG15 rod and a Penn Power Graph reel. A combination of squid, spearing and a bucktail skirt served for bait. The fish measured 31 inches in length. (Photo)

Kingfish - 1 lbs, 6 oz. caught by Dan Fuzer of Mount Laurel on July 9. Dan was fishing the surf in Harvey Cedars when he reeled the fish in at 8:35 a.m. Ten-pound test was used with a Silstar rod and Penn reel. Clams served for bait. The fish measured 15 inches in length and had a 7-inch girth. (No photo available)

Tautog - 14 lbs caught by Cedric Vohden of Beach Haven on April 20. Cedric was fishing from a boat when he reeled the fish in at 12:15 p.m. Forrty-pound test was used with a custom rod and a Shimano reel. Green crabs served for bait. The fish measured 27 inches in length and had a 20-inch girth. (Photo)

Weakfish - 18 lbs, 1 oz. caught by Monica Oswald of Neptune on August 25. Monica was fishing from a boat around Asbury Park when she landed the fish. Twelve-pound test was used with a conventional Daiwa rod and a Shimano reel. Mullet served for bait. The fish measured 33 inches in length. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

JUNIOR CATEGORY FRESHWATER SPECIES:

Largemouth Bass - 4 lbs caught by 10-year-old Christopher Laky of Clifton on June 17. Christopher was fishing from the shore on Canistear Reservoir when he reeled the fish in. Eight-pound test was used with an Ugly Stik rod and Shimano reel. A shiner served as the bait. The fish measured 19 inches in length. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Smallmouth Bass - 3 lbs, 11 oz. caught by 15-year-old Dan Lehr of Hopatcong on June 20. Dan was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he reeled the fish in. Six-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A herring served for bait. The fish measured 20 inches in length and had a 12 1/8-inch girth. (Photo)

Striped Bass Hybrid - 13 lbs, 12 oz. caught by 10-year-old Michael Mackey of Sparta on July 5. Michael was fishing from a boat on Lake Mohawk when he caught the fish at 3:30 p.m. Twenty-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A yellow Rapala served for a lure. The fish measured 31 inches in length with a 24-inch girth. (Photo)

Bullhead - 1 lb, 12 oz. caught by 15-year-old A.J. Lambert of Lake Hopatcong on April 16. A.J. was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he caught the fish. Six-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. Herring served for bait. The fish measured 15 inches in length and had a 9-inch girth. (Photo)

Carp - 29 lbs, 1 oz. caught by 15-year-old Thomas Krenick, Jr. of Somerset on June 8. Thomas was fishing along the banks of the Delware-Raritan Canal in South Bound Brook when he caught the fish at 5:30 p.m. Six-pound test was used with a Shakespear rod and Garcia reel. A worm was used for bait. The fish measured 37 inches in length with a 28-inch girth. (Photo)

Channel Catfish - 9 lbs, 9 oz. caught by 15-year-old Dan Lehr of Hopatcong on September 8. Dan was fishing Lake Hopatcong in a boat when he landed the fish. Eight-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A herring served for bait. The fish measured 28 inches in length and had a 15-inch girth. (Photo)

Crappie - 2 lbs, 6 oz. caught by 14-year-old John Saladziak, Jr. of Trenton on April 10. Tyler was fishing at Rosedale Lake when he landed the fish at 7:30 p.m. Four-pound test was used with a 4'6" St. Croix Premier rod and a Quantum Catalyst reel. The lure was a Trout Magnet. The fish measured 14 inches in length with a 13-inch girth. (Photo)

Yellow Perch - 1 lbs, 1 oz. caught by 12-year-old Tyler Ortiz of Hopatcong on May 7. Tyler was fishing from the shore on Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish at 5:35 p.m. Six-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A herring served for bait. The fish measured 12 inches in length with a 9-inch girth. (Photo)

Chain Pickerel - 4 lbs, 4 oz. caught by 5-year-old Justin Dornblaser of Phillpsburg on July 15. Justin was fishing from a boat on Merrill Creek Reservoir when he landed the fish at 4 p.m. Six-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A shiner served for bait. The fish measured 23 inches in length with a 12-inch girth. (Photo)

Brook Trout - 3 lbs caught by 15-year-old Chris McKee of Stewartsville on April 8. Chris was fishing from the shore of the Pequest River when he hooked the fish at 8:00 a.m. Six-pound test was used with an Ugly Stik rod and a Shimano reel. The fish measured 17 inches in length and had a 10-inch girth. (Photo)

Brown Trout - 6 lbs, 4 oz. caught by 12-year-old Garrett Kazar of Andover on May 5. Garrett was fishing from the banks of the Pequest River when he landed the fish at 6:00 p.m. Six-pound test was used. A St. Croix rod and Sahari reel were used. A fathead served for bait. The fish measured 23 inches in length with a 13-inch girth. (Photo)

Lake Trout - 22 lbs, 2 oz. caught by 9-year-old Andrew Bielecki, Jr. of Flemington on May 12. Andrew was fishing out of a boat on Round Valley Reservoir when he landed the fish at 6:40 p.m. Ten-pound test was used. An ultralite rod and spinning reel were used to land the fish. A size 44 spoon, silver/copper in color, served for a lure. The fish measured 39 inches in length. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Walleye - 7 lbs caught by 12-year-old Marc Pasternak of Spotswood on May 4. Marc was fishing from a boat on Lake Hopatcong when he landed the fish. Six-pound test was used with a spinning rod and reel. A herring served for bait. The fish measured 27 inches in length and had a 14-inch girth. (Photo)

JUNIOR CATEGORY SALTWATER SPECIES:

Black Drum - 63 lbs caught by 10-year-old Danielle Aydelotte of Wildwood on May 28. Danielle was fishing from a boat in Delaware Bay when she landed the fish. Line test, rod and reel type were unavailable. A surf clam served as bait. The fish measured 48 inches in length with a 35-inch girth. (Photo)

Weakfish - 12 lbs, 3 oz. caught by 14-year-old Frank Elbertson of Egg Harbor Township on May 15. Frank was fishing from a boat in Great Bay when he hooked the fish at 10:30 a.m. Fourteen-pound test was used with a Shimano rod and a Penn reel. A clam was the bait. The fish measured 34 inches in length with a 17-inch girth. (Photo)

CATCH AND RELEASE CATEGORY FRESHWATER SPECIES:

Largemouth Bass - 24 inches caught by Walter J. Ford of Bridgeton on August 2. Walter was fishing from a boat on Rainbow Lake when he reeled the fish in at 11:24 a.m. Twelve-pound test was used with a St. Croix rod and a Penn reel. The lure was a Rattletrap. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Smallmouth Bass - 22 inches caught by Jeffrey Jodeksnis of Rochelle Park on November 6. Jeffrey was fishing along the banks of the Passaic River when he reeled the fish in at 4:00 p.m. Eight-pound test was used with a Fenwick HMX rod and an Abu Garcia reel. An extra large shiner served for bait. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Striped Bass Caught in Freshwater - 42 inches caught by Joseph Scott of Hamilton on April 8. Joseph was fishing in a boat on the Delaware River in Trenton when he reeled in the fish at 8:30. Seventeen-pound test was used with an Ugly Stik rod and a Calcutta reel. A live herring served for bait. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Bullhead - 14 inches caught by Jordan Conte of Landing on July 27. Jordan was fishing at a pond in Mendham when he reeled in the fish at 11:30 a.m. Eight-pound test was used with a medium-heavy rod and a spin casting reel. A live worm served as the bait. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Carp - 30 inches caught by George M. Mika of Jackson on June 4. George was fishing on the banks of the Millstone River in Griggstown when he reeled in the fish at 9:30 a.m. Four-pound Stren line was used with a Fenwick HMG - GS4GUL rod and a Mitchell 308 reel. Corn served as the bait. The girth was 30 inches. (Photo)

Channel Catfish - 32 inches caught by Robert Rini of Garfield on September 4. Robert was fishing along the shores of Lake Nepaulin when he reeled in the fish at 11:00 a.m. Six-pound test was used with a St. Croix rod and a Shimano reel. A nightcrawler served as the bait. The girth was 23 inches. (Photo)

Crappie - 17 inches caught by Lynden Litus of Wrightstown on May 20. Lynden was fishing from a boat on Mercer Lake when he reeled in the fish at 9:45 a.m. Eight-pound Stren line was used with a Shimano rod and reel. A chartreuse spinner bait was the lure. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Muskellunge - 49 inches caught by Shane Haugh of Ringwood on December 30. Shane was fishing from a boat on Lower Skyline Lake in Ringwood when he reeled in the fish at 5:00 p.m. 2/10 Spiderwire Stealth line was used with a medium-lite rod and a spinning reel. A 3-inch grub served for bait. Girth was 23 inches. Shane had the fish out of the water for two hours, but revived it in his backyard pool and, with the help of members from Muskies, Inc., released it back into the lake 4 days later! (Photo)

Yellow Perch - 14 inches caught by Eric Schaub of Mickleton on March 29. Eric was fishing on a bulkhead in the Great Egg Harbor River when he reeled in the fish at 6:00 p.m. Fifteen-pound PowerPro Line was used with a Van Staal rod and a Diawa reel. A nightcrawler served as bait. The girth was 11 inches. (Photo)

Chain Pickerel - 27 inches caught by Dennis Barnes of Browns Mills on June 26. Dennis was fishing from the shore at Lebanon Lakes in Burlington County when he reeled in the fish at 6:00 p.m. Ten-pound test was used with a graphite rod and a spinning reel. A two-bladed spinner with a chartreuse rubber worm served as the lure. The girth was 18 inches. (Photo)

Northern Pike - 40 inches caught by Jeffrey Jodeksnis of Rochelle Park on July 10. Jeffrey was fishing from the shore along the Passaic River when he landed the fish at 11:30 a.m. Eight-pound test was used with a Fenwick HMX rod and an Abu Garcia spinning reel. An extra large shiner served as bait. Girth was 16 inches. (Photo)

American Shad - 24 inches caught by Joseph Scott of Hamilton on April 8. Joseph was fishing from a boat on the Delaware River in Trenton when he reeled in the fish at 2:30 p.m. Twelve-pound test was used with a Pro Angler rod and a Shimano Symetre reel. A Sabiki rig served as the lure. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Brown Trout - 27 inches caught by Ronald M. Leonardo of Hampton on May 17. Ronald was fishing from a boat on Merrill Creek Reservoir when he landed the fish at 11:30 a.m. Six-pound test was used with a Garcia Light spinning rod and a Shimano 2000 spinning reel. A 3-inch herring served as the bait. Girth is unavailable.

Sunfish - 12 inches caught by 6-year old Alivia Siedlecki of Shamong on April 29. Alivia was fishing off of a private dock on Lake Pine in Medford when she reeled in the fish at 9:30 a.m. Four-pound test was used with a Shakespeare rod and a Synergy ultralight reel. A nightcrawler served as bait. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Walleye - 29 inches caught by Michael Bellush of Sparta on March 25. Michael was fishing from a boat on Swartswood Lake when he landed the fish at 9:25 a.m. Sixty-pound test was used with a St. Croix rod and a Shimano reel. A Lucky Craft Staysee served as the lure. (Photo)

CATCH AND RELEASE CATEGORY SALTWATER SPECIES:

Black Sea Bass - 22 inches caught by Jim Mulvey of Gillette on March 28. Jim was fishing off a boat in approximately 220 feet of water in the Hudson Canyon area when he landed the fish at 1:00 p.m. Thirty-pound test was used with a custom rod and a Newell reel. A hi-low rig with a clam served as the bait. Girth was unavailable. (Photo)

Black Drum - 47 inches caught by Jack Derfler of Bridgeport, PA on May 15. Jack was fishing from a boat in Delaware Bay when he landed the fish at 7:30 p.m. Twenty-five-pound test was used with a Shimano spinning rod and a Mitchell reel. A clam served as the bait. The girth was 39 inches.

Weakfish - 36 inches caught by Frank Ruczynski of Monroeville on May 8. Frank was fishing from the shore in Avalon when he landed the fish at 12:15 a.m. Ten-pound test was used with a G. Loomis spinning rod and a Shimano spinning reel. Zoom served as the bait. The girth was 20 inches. (Photo)

Congratulations to all of our winners!

Skillful Angler Program
Record Fish Program

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