The rules: catch and release; rulers are provided; you begin at 6 a.m. and fish until 2 p.m.; anywhere in Jamaica Bay is legal; you must photograph all entry catches coming into your boat; in the event of a tie, the "visibly biggest" fish wins.
Following the event, there is a celebratory meal, "Italian food."
People come from all over the country for this. The website lists hotels in the area.
And it's right in my backyard.
I'm sure there are some champs out there that have been doing this since the 70s, but I've only seen it in the past three years or so. In fact, I've watched my neighbor and fishing cohort, Duke, kayak fish all the time in recent summers. He swears you can get right to the swells of jumping bait fish and birds, cast right in, and hook one of the bigger fish that caused the commotion to begin with.
Of course, these bait swells are always out of reach for lowly surfcasters like myself, so it's seemed appealing.
Also, my brother's kayak hasn't seen the water in about two years, owing to a missing boat plug.
The best: prizes go to the biggest fish caught in any method, the biggest caught with fly-fishing only, or - drumroll - by winning in the "Grand Slam," what I'd like to call the Jamaica Bay hat-trick category: landing the largest combined catch of a striper, a weakfish, and a bluefish.
Maybe this is the next step.