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 2016 Onancock Bay Challenge will take place this year on Saturday, September 16.

Now in its twenty-sixth year, the popular event emphasizes families and angling for the diverse fish species available on the Eastern Shore, and is broadly supported by Eastern Shore businesses. Over $6,500 worth of prizes will be presented to registered participants in awards and drawings. New this year during the weigh-in will be musical entertainment by The Reasoners, 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 adults. Adult plaques, youth trophies, and gift certificates, which are sponsored by Don’s Tackle Shop, SeaHawk Sports Center, 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 include:

Best adult-caught fish – a 65-quart Yeti cooler sponsored by Mason-Davis Realty plus a $150 cash award from PNC Bank.

Best Angler’s Club member fish – a striped bass fishing charter with Capt. Matt Abell, sponsored by Sam and Jean Sellard plus a $150 cash award from PNC Bank.

Best junior angler-caught fish – a charter with Capt. Meriwether Payne, sponsored by the Bill Green Memorial Fund plus a $150 cash award from Seaworthy Marine.

All participants will be entered into random grand prize drawings for two rod and reel combos, each valued at $300, sponsored by The Blarney Stone Pub and Midway Chevrolet, as well as drawings for a large array of other merchandise prizes.

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. 18 is the bad weather day.

Official rules and entry forms are available at Don’s Tackle Shop, SeaHawk Sports Center, Seaworthy Marine, the Onancock Harbormaster’s Office, and on the Angler’s Club website. Custom-designed hi-tech Bay Challenge fishing shirts are available at the Harbormaster’s office. For more information, call 757-709-8697, or visit the Events page at

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