27th Onancock Bay Challenge Takes Place Sept. 16
Over $6,500 in Prizes Available
ONLEY – Sponsored by the Eastern Shore of Virginia Anglers Club, the 2017 Onancock Bay Challenge will take place this year on Saturday, September 16. Now in its twenty-seventh year, the popular event emphasizes families and youths angling for the diverse fish species available on the Eastern Shore. It is broadly supported by Eastern Shore businesses, with proceeds going to fund scholarships for Accomac and Northampton County youths to attend environmental education/adventure/discovery camps at the Chincoteague Bay Field Station.
Over $6,500 worth of prizes will be presented to registered participants in awards and drawings at the Onancock Wharf weigh-in, where there will also be entertainment by The Musical Chef Johnny Mo, plus light food from Janet’s General Store in Onancock.
Youths 15 and under are eligible to fish for free in the Onancock Bay Challenge, while there is only a $25 entry fee for others. Adult plaques, youth trophies, and gift certificates, which are sponsored by SeaHawk Sports Center, The Blarney Stone Pub, and Seaworthy Marine, will be awarded for the largest and second-largest entries in eight categories: croaker, spot, bluefish, flounder, gray trout, speckled trout, sand mullet, and red drum (18 to 26 inches long). If you happen to bring in the largest oyster toad, you’ll win something for that, too.
Sponsored merchandise awards, each valued at $600, include:
Best adult-caught fish – a fishing charter trip with SeaHawk Sports fishing team, sponsored by K&E Marine, plus a $150 cash award sponsored by PNC Bank.
Best Angler’s Club member fish – a charter fishing trip with Capt. Kenny Eshleman of Cape Charles, sponsored by Weichert Realty, plus a $150 cash award sponsored by PNC Bank.
Best junior angler-caught fish – a fishing charter trip with SeaHawk Sports fishing team, plus a $150 cash award, sponsored by Sam & Jean Sellard and Seaworthy Marine.
All participants will be entered into drawings for dozens of valuable fishing-related prizes, leading up to the Grand Prize drawing worth more than $300.
Anglers must register prior to the event, and all people fishing from the same boat must be registered for the event. Fishing is with rod and reel or hand line only, and begins at 6:00 A.M. Anglers have to present their fish to be weighed in at the Onancock Wharf by 5:30 P.M., and are encouraged to release anything that they will not eat or enter in the event. Sept. 17 is the bad weather day.
New this year are performance fishing shirts featuring Thelma Peterson’s painting of a spotted seatrout. Known as “Speckle Fever,” this artwork has been donated by Peterson to countless conservation and organizational fundraising efforts since its creation in 1991. These shirts, as well as Bay Challenge rules and registration forms, are available at SeaHawk Sports Center, the Onancock Harbormaster’s Office, and on the Angler’s Club website. For more information, call 757-709-8697, or visit the Events page at www.esanglersclub.org.