Fish Anytime Between July 12th and July 20th!
There is nothing worse than being excited to fish a tournament only to have the weather not cooperate. The hours spent organizing gear, preparing bait, and pre-fishing your plan, can end up a fruitless effort thanks to Mother Nature. This is one of the reasons that the Montauk Canyon Challenge has become such a popular tournament in the Northeast. When you fish the MCC, you literally get to choose to fish anytime between July 12th and July 20th!
“We’ve really grown in popularity from where the tournament started and a lot it has to do with the flexibility in when you’re allowed to fish,” said Rich Lucas, one of the MCC’s tournament directors. “We also had 44 boats last year compete and we gave away over $250,000 in cash and prizes. Everyone loved the Awards Dinner and Party.”
Last year’s tournament also netted a record number of fish thanks to a hot bite. More than 150 BigEyes, 150 Yellowfin, and several white and blue Marlin were caught during the event. The heaviest tuna caught was 210.1lbs.!
Anglers are allowed to choose to fish either two 19-hour day trips or can do one 38-hour overnight trip. All boats will return to Gurney’s Yacht Club in Montauk for an official weighing.
The cost of entering a boat into the Montauk Canyon Challenge is $1,600, but anyone who registers online before May 15, 2019 will receive a $300 discount.
Below are the 2019 prizes for the MCC:
$25,000 1st Place Top Tuna
$5,000 1st Place Yellowfin Tuna
$1,000 2nd Place Yellowfin Tuna
$2,500 1st Place Albacore Tuna
$1,000 2nd Place Albacore Tuna
$2,500 1st Place Top Three Yellowfin
$1,000 2nd Place Top Three Yellowfin
$1,000 1st Place Mahi Mahi
$1,000 1st Place Mako Shark
$1,000 1st Place Swordfish
$1,000 1st Place Wahoo
$500 Top Female Angler
$500 Top Junior Angler (14)
Visit the Montauk Canyon Challenge website to view the Calcutta’s and the full list of rules and regulations with the tournament.
Proceeds from the MCC also go to help Maggie’s Mission, a non-profit charitable organization that is focused on raising awareness of pediatric cancers, funding ground-breaking research, and helps families affected by these awful diseases. Maggie’s Mission was created in honor of Maggie Schmidt who was a beautiful and vibrant young lady who was suddenly diagnosed at the age of 16 with a very rare and aggressive cancer. The MCC is proud to help contribute to such an effective and compassionate organization.
On July 20th, the last day of the tournament, an Awards dinner and after-party will be hosted for everyone at Gurney’s Yacht Club from 6:30pm – 10:30pm. Last year’s party had everyone dancing until the late hours and we only expect it to continue this year!
MCC main sponsor Staten Island Yacht Sales will have several boats on display at the tournament including some of the newest Viking Yachts available. “Both the Viking 58 Convertible and the 38 Billfish will be available to tour for everyone in the Montauk Canyon Challenge,” said Jay Hendrix, Vice President of SI Yachts. “Both Vikings arrive in early Summer so they will be ready for the season up here in New York assuming they last that long.” The Viking 58C made its debut at the Ft. Lauderdale Boat Show last November and boasts a 165-square foot fighting cockpit. The new 38 Billfish just made its premier at the recent Viking VIP event in February and has improved the already popular design of the 37 Billfish.
“We are shooting for more than 50 boats this year to fish the MCC,” continued Rich Lucas. “Everyone I’ve talked to that participated in previous years is fishing it again because they had so much fun. It’s a friendly tournament that has a flexible schedule, and you can win a heck of a lot of money. We hope to see a lot of new faces this year and don’t forget to take advantage of the early bird registration discount!”
By Elliott Stark
Although you have to be pretty dedicated to fishing to buy and run a bluewater charter boat, there are some people whose desire to make a sportfishing career happen goes the extra mile. Captain Chris Kubik is one of those people. Having grown up in Atlanta, Kubik travelled to the Outer Banks in the summers as a child. When he was 16, he saved up enough to charter a boat. After catching a white marlin, he was hooked.
Growing up Kubik would read anything about fishing he could get his hands on – magazines, fishing reports, you name it. “I read a story about a guy who wanted to fish and headed to the dock to start handing out ice until he got a job fishing…So that’s what I did,” Kubik recalls.
“I loaded up my Honda Accord and headed to Oregon Inlet. I drove overnight from Atlanta, it took about nine hours. I got there early and slept in my car for an hour and I started handing out ice. I got a job on an inshore boat about three weeks later and started picking up freelance offshore trips from there,” he says.
Kubik rented a place to sleep while waiting for his fishing dreams to materialize. Does this sound like an awesome thing to do? “It definitely was not awesome. It was terrible. I rented a piece of crap trailer – it was the most God-awful place you could imagine. It was rented by the week, if that tells you anything. There was a house on some land with a bunch of trailers on the property. It was a bunch of crackheads and me. I was afraid to unload my stuff out of my car because they might have stolen it,” Kubik says.
Kubik worked on the inshore boat over the summer and soon made friends with a mate who had an extra room where he stayed. His living conditions improved and Kubik has never looked back. “Fin Gaddy had an opening,” Chris recalls. An owner/operator, Gaddy runs the Qualifier, a 54-foot Mann, out of Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. “I knew the mate who was leaving and Fin let me freelance for a couple of days. I’m not sure why he hired me because to be honest at the time I was not very good… I guess he thought he could teach me and he did.”
Kubik would fish with Gaddy for ten years. Fin provides a bit of perspective on what makes Kubik such a force on the water. “He just has a competitive spirit about him. When I first met him, he’d only fished a little bit offshore. He was such a genuinely nice and sincere person that it almost made me uncomfortable,” Gaddy says with a bit of a laugh. Soon after hiring Kubik, Gaddy and the Qualifier headed to Isla Mujeres, Mexico. “He’d never caught a sailfish. After two days he’d caught 58. It was sort of a trial by fire. Chris got to learn in the right places. It was his dream to come here and fish and he made it happen.”
“Fin taught me everything I know about marlin fishing – teasers, dredges, maneuvering on fish. Attention to detail was the biggest thing – the importance of keeping everything perfect… knots, connections, everything. He is very meticulous in that regard,” Kubik recalls. “If he wanted to teach me to rig something on our day off, he would pull out five or six mackerel and show me how to do it. A lot of guys won’t do that because they don’t want to waste the bait.”
“When I left the Qualifier, I started mating on the Point Runner. I would run it when Capt. Danny Wadsworth (owner/operator) needed a day off. I worked there for three years and bought it last year,” says Kubik. The Point Runner is a 60-foot Guthrie powered by c12.9 Cats. Kubik’s operation is based out of the Oregon Inlet Fishing Center. Kubik follows in one of sportfishing’s greatest traditions – the North Carolina owner/operator charterman.
When asked about the lessons he has learned along the way, Kubik provides some wise perspective. “Spend time learning before you think about moving up,” he says. Advice to young guys breaking into the industry? “Don’t feel like you deserve anything… because you don’t. These days it seems like there is a lot of entitlement. All the young kids want to be paid to ride out. Don’t be afraid to start on the bottom and work your way up. If you work hard and are motivated, you’ll succeed in fishing. If you look around at tournaments, most guys pull the same thing. But if you pay attention to detail, you can stand out.”
You can find Captain Chris Kubik and the Point Runner available for charter out of Oregon Inlet most of the year. In the winter time, Kubik runs a private boat – the Sea Hag, a 61-foot Blackwell – in Florida and Isla Mujeres. If you’d like to book a trip with Captain Chris Kubik, send him a note at Chris@pointrunner.com
or visit www.pointrunner.com.
by Capt. Jen Copeland
When the owner of Canyon Runner Charters, Captain Adam LaRosa, sends a message nominating one of his captains be featured in a future Young Guns expose’, it’s quite an endorsement. Rarely does an owner have the time to read such features, but to have him take the time to describe his captain is inspiring. Originally from Westport, Connecticut, Captain Deane Lambros, one of our younger guns, runs and oversees much of the Canyon Runner operations – from maintenance to charter trips. Deane has worked for the company since he was 19.
Six years ago, Lambros was in the middle of an oil change when Mr. LaRosa approached him with an opportunity that changed his life. One of the Runner’s captains was unable to make a scheduled trip and LaRosa asked if 22-year-old Deane was comfortable running the boat. Without hesitation, his answer was an unequivocal, “Yes.”
With three years of training fresh in his mind, Captain Deane took the helm of his first Canyon Runner charter. Banking on the confidence LaRosa had in him, and remembering the old adage “safety first,” Lambros managed to keep it together enough to produce a successful trip. “Being totally in charge for the first time was a real challenge,” says Lambros. The young captain recalls being a bit out of his comfort zone on his first trip. “I was dealing with fog and trying to keep the anxiety at bay, all the while smiling and producing bites,” he recalls. Lambros’ pep talk to himself that day was a familiar one to anyone who makes a living in this line of work – one that we all have to occasionally remind ourselves of. “We’re just going fishing.”
Today with 300+ giant tunas to his credit, some 15,000 hours of wheel time, and over ten top three tournament finishes under his belt, Captain Deane has put the work in by fishing hard, fishing fast and having fun while doing it. All traits of a great captain… traits he learned at Canyon Runner. At 28, Captain Deane Lambros names nearly all past and present Canyon Runner captains as his professional influences – each bringing certain philosophies and skills to Deane’s attention. From the knowledge he’s gained at Canyon Runner, he is able to understand the needs of his charters and is confident in the critical decisions that must be made day after day. As importantly, Lambros reads between the boss’ lines in order to compliment his personality and smoothly run a business in the aggressive northeast charter industry.
No matter how grateful he may be to the “A” list of qualified professional influences, Deane gives the first and foremost credit to his parents for the example they’ve set. According to Lambros, it was his parents who “rigorously reinforced” a strong and honest work ethic during his childhood. His father, who still works full-time at age 86, continues to lead by example to this day.
Lambros takes his job very seriously – something all prospective captains should aspire to do. He believes young men need to prove themselves to others by demonstrating they are polished, conscientious and driven. “It’s refreshing to see a young person wanting to be part of a team and asking questions with a willingness to learn, and if you put in the effort, you will succeed.”
Mates who put safety first and represent themselves in a manner which is non-threatening to the charter guests are an important part of the customer experience. For a charter operation, those who can’t relate with people put themselves out of the running for advancement. Whether charter or private, a young mate’s attitude toward his job is a direct reflection of himself. According to Deane, “There isn’t a single boat owner who wants a reckless, unprofessional captain running their boat.”
Captain Deane Lambros’ professional philosophy is one that sets him well for decades to come. His outlook is characterized by a high level of organizational skill, situational awareness, and an ability to “play well with others.” He executes a meticulous maintenance schedule that ensures tools and spare parts for repairs on the fly are readily available, keeping the program seamless and uninterrupted.
Mature and well-spoken, Lambros’ level-headed personality has allowed him to rise up quickly in LaRosa’s army of Canyon Runners. “I have been able to accomplish in ten years at Canyon Runner what may have taken me 30 years in the private sector,” he says. “Joining a charter program will plain and simply give you a fast learning curve.”
For a young man not yet 30, Lambros’ candid understanding of what it takes to succeed in his line of work is impressive. “Charter fishing is an industry of customer service,” Deane insists. “We are expectation managers. You must know what is expected of you by the owner, the guests, and the crew. You then draw from past experiences when the weather gets dicey, the fish get finicky or the boat breaks down.” Captain Deane fully understands the many facets that go along with charter fishing. There is little doubt that owner Adam LaRosa is thankful for this—perhaps that encouraged Deane’s nomination.