Fishing Champion reclaims Pool title

Outlasts over 80 anglers with doormat fluke


About 25 years after claiming his first title as Party Boat Fishing pool winner, Ron Dooley Sr. outdid approx. 85 others aboard the Doris Mae IV to take his second championship by catching the largest fish of the day.   Along with the glory and the admiration of countless other fisherman, winning the pool is good for a large cash prize and discount tickets for future trips.

The champion with the winning fluke.  Photo taken right after he was notified of the victory. 

The winning fish, a 6 lb. fluke, was hauled in at around 10am during one of the stops a few miles off the coast of Long Beach Island.  "The fish hit just as my line hit the bottom," Mr. Dooley described,  "but as I reeled it in it seemed too heavy.  I was hoping I didn't catch another line or the bottom of the boat.  As I it came closer to the surface I knew I had something special."  Doris Mae first mate 'Joe' quietly netted the fish.  Chatter filled the deck as onlookers admired the "door mat" fluke.

Although this was his second title, it was the first for fluke.  His previous win was aboard a Bluefishing boat.  Both vessels departed from the marina in Barnegat Bay.

Despite a smooth ride on a very calm day in the Atlantic, a few of those aboard the Doris Mae failed to even get a line in the water.  A poor fella next to us just never got his sea legs and ended up losing his breakfast over the side and spent the trip sprawled out in the cutty, eyes glazed holding his gut.  Afterwards on the dock the sorry dude was admiring our fish.  His friend, who had caught a nice one as well, pointed to the prize fish and declared, "Ours was nice, but there's the pool winner."  Greg opined, "But we're all winners today", then the friend gestured to his green buddy and countered, "Not everyone." 


Greg caught 3 fluke, but only one over the 16" size limit (17.5"), making for a team total of 2 keepers for the day.  Ron had less luck, limiting his catch to a sea robin, not unlike the pesky pan fish he battled years back in Canada.  Here is a shot of all the boys with the prize fish.


Afterwards the whole family celebrated at the beach, highlighted by the victorious Grandpa showing little Jack Dooley how to catch something more his size: sand crabs.


Thanks to a recipe provided by crab-savvy Maryland resident Rick Buccheri (and a few dozen crabs we caught out in Barnegat Bay), we prepared stuffed flounder Imperial that night.  Because as Ron says, "We only eat what we kill." Right, right, right.


 Other items of interest:

- Crabbing stories from LBI


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