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VA Lindenkohl Canyon - Fishing

fishing icon
Lat: 36.516289
Lng: -73.269844

Marker owner: dnorris

Average user rating for this marker: 5

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VA Lindenkohl Canyon
Marker Description: N 36 48.800/ W 73 02.100

There it was, a baby squid. The hungry, 276-pound big-eye tuna went for it and bit it hard.

That was a bad move for that tuna. The squid was plastic bait, on the end of a fishing line off Sam Leeper’s boat, which had embarked from Little Egg Inlet the morning of July 31 and was fishing Lindenkohl Canyon, about 70 miles offshore.

Mr. Leeper, of Woosamonsa Road in Hopewell Township, was participating in the Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club’s 41st annual White Marlin Invitational. With him were three good fishing buddies, Bruce Sinclair of Manahawkin, Matt Lucas of Robbinsville and Ken Juillet of Barnegat.

After a three-hour fight that left him as exhausted as he’s ever been, Mr. Leeper landed the 276-pound red eye. It was the biggest fish landed in the history of the tournament and brought Mr. Leeper’s team an $89,000 prize.

”I was going to get something to drink when the clicker on one of the rods started screaming like crazy, so I knew we had something,” Mr. Leeper said last week in the office of his business, Valley Contractors, on North Main Street in Pennington. “I had to squat down and reel up for three hours.”
Under the rules of the tournament, Mr. Leeper had to handle the pole all by himself. Then, when he had finally brought the fish alongside the boat, his mates on board were able to stabilize the fish and bring it on board with a gaff pole, which has a big hook on the end.

”Our guys did a great job there, because 90 percent of fish are lost when they’re right at the boat,” Mr. Leeper said. “The leader (the section of fish line that holds the bait) can pop out when the fish hits the boat. Matt gaffed it right in the head.”

Eighty-two boats fished in the tournament this year. “This was the second year I’ve entered with my own boat, and my fourth year in the tournament altogether,” Mr. Leeper said. “I fish the canyons out there all the time, using satellite imagery on currents and water temperature to get the best shot at a good one.”

Needless to say, the prize money was great, but the best thing, Mr. Leeper said, was knowing his team has set the tournament’s all-time record for biggest tuna.

And speaking of that fish, what happened to it?

”We were offered $2,500 for it, but we decided to share it with friends,” Mr. Leeper said. “We passed a lot of fresh tuna around.”

Mr. Leeper said “the chance to learn how to read the water” is one of the things he loves best about deep-sea fishing. “It’s a whole different world out there. You see whales, porpoises. You’ll see the big eye tunas schooling after your boat. They hunt in packs, like wolves. They live about 2,000 feet down at night and surface at daylight to warm their bodies.”

All in all, this year’s tournament was a big one for Valley fishermen.

”Randy Jones and Michael Young of Hopewell Township took first place in the marlin division and won $72,000,” Mr. Leeper said. “It was great.”

Visitor Comments

Re: Lindenkohl Canyon Posted by dnorris Thu. September 02, 2010 06:13 pm
Attached photos.
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