SHAD TOURNAMENT 2013
(SATURDAY - 12:01AM)
APRIL 27, 2013
(FRIDAY - 8PM)
MAY 3, 2013
NEW WEIGH STATION HOURS
SATURDAY - FRIDAY
10AM - 8PM
LAST DAY TO REGISTER
THURSDAY APRIL 25, 2013
SCOTT PARK, EASTON, PA
12 NOON - 6PM
WE NEED YOUR EMAIL ADDRESS!!
We are urging all of you with internet access to please send your email addresses to us.
By using email access we can save many dollars on mailings. Within our website you will find all updates for registrations, dates and contact information needed to sign-up and plan your vacations around Tournament time.
Please contact me through the website to keep our lists up to date.
Scott Park - Easton, PA
It was said that the first year the Bethlehem Moravians arrived to build a settlement, shad saved the lives of many people who had nothing else to fall back on because planting was upon them and nothing was being produced in the fields at that time.
During the shad run, the shad were so tightly stacked in the two rivers, a person could walk across either river (the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers no dam at that time) on the backs of shad. Certainly can't understand how it could be true, but that's was widely believed, later thought of as folk lore. Not only did the Indians get enough shad to feed them until the next year shad run, Easton and Bethlehem settlers did too.
SHAD TOURNAMENT HISTORY
Thirty-one years ago, I received a phone call from my good friend Gretchen Wrenshall, then City Coordinator. Two men were in her office requesting free parking on Larry Holmes Drive during the shad run. Getting tickets for parking trucks and boats became frustrating, because the only access to the river was the Easton boat ramp in Scott Park. She suggested I hear their story since I was working on downtown events, parking, etc.They came to my office in the Two Rivers Area Chamber of Commerce (TRACC) building on North 4th Street. We talked about parking problems and the huge number of area anglers fishing for shad. The guys, Fred and Jeff Gensheimer, offered to organize a clean-up-the-banks program each spring in return for free parking during shad fishing season.
I took their request to the board of directors. Jack Bennett, former retailer, agreed a contest of some was kind was in order- -especially since he saw approximately 500 plus anglers lined-up each year to fish on the banks of the Delaware and from boats in the water. Jack asked Rotary Club members to help coordinate a fishing event. A good many Rotarians worked to complete the task. Sorry, I can't remember the names of everyone who worked on the event. However, I do remember that Howard Hill, Bill Bray, Dr. Terry Pundiak, a past Chairman, Dr. John Updegrove and Dr. Gary Poole gave a great many hours. Local anglers happily cleaned the river banks gave input for the event. Also, Dr. Pundiak computerized the event to the joy of past and current tourney directors.
While Rotarians worked on the event, the City of Easton offered Scott Park as the location of the weigh station, and contacted Harrisburg to ask for free parking on the drive during tournament dates. Rotarians wrote the rules. I started my education about fishing and the specie of shad, and became coordinator for the first event in 1983.
Largest shad ever caught during tournament hours was 9 lbs. 7 oz. It was caught by angler Anthony (Tony) Fortebuono in the Delaware River. He's was an Eastonian at that time. To my knowledge, the world record is still 11 lbs. 4 oz., caught up in New England.
Prize money kept the tournament running. The first year, registrants paid $1 for every fish weighed. Generous sponsors donated fishing gear for prizes. The founders quickly learned that an exciting, alluring fishing tournament must have monetary prizes to be a success. The next year the registration fee was $2.50, then $5.00, then $7.50 and so on- -and now the fee is $25 for early registration October thru January 31 -$30 February to last day of registration.
For 13 years Rotarians Robert Conroy and Barry Miles were chairmen who worked on the quality and appeal of the tournament. Later Mark Mulrine, a Rotarian, joined them and then the tourney had tri-chairmen. Mark still serves as chairman. Thanks to strong early leadership the tournament grew. Jeff Gensheimer had the winning fish the first year. He's still active in the event and serves on the tournament committee.
The City of Easton is fortunate the Shad Tournament takes place each spring. Take time next year to stand in Scott Park at the Forks of the Delaware and Lehigh Rivers and see and feel the strength of the converging waters as the Lehigh River flows into the Delaware River. Such a magnificent resourceA big thank you to anglers and all folks who understand the unique shad run- -a rite of spring- -and the part it played in the early settlement of Easton.
Former Tournament Director (1983-1999)
Find more events happening in the
City of Easton at: www.eastonow.com