The Nantucket Inshore Classic is nearing completion which means locals are close to getting a full night sleep again. The tourney, run from the Nantucket Angler's Club, symbolizes the fishing culture which is deeply embedded in the local people. From mid September though mid October, registrants compete to catch the largest Bluefish, Bonito, False Albacore and Striped Bass from the shore or from a boat, with spinning or fly gear. More importantly, there is now a very robust catch and release division utilizing some super cool fish rulers and digital photos. Anyone that registers for the tournament becomes a member of the Anlger's Club for the month, enjoying perhaps the best kept secret of down town Nantucket; great food, cheap beers and views of the boat basin and harbor from the club's second story deck.
The tournament brings about a camaraderie and congeniality amongst locals who are usually too busy to even stop to say hello from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Better still, it gets tons of local kids out on the water with parents and friends providing a necessary break from homework, television and video games.
Of course, Nantucket provides an incredible backdrop and fishery for a tournament like the Inshore Classic, and it is not taken for granted. All fish that are weighed in are consumed and the catch and release division grows more prestigious each year. It is not uncommon to watch wade fishermen working the south shore for bass at sunset, gathering liter as they stroll the beach. Fishermen are true protectors of the oceans and water ways and I am sure each and every fishermen on Nantucket would tell you they feel obliged to do their part to preserve the incredible fisheries that surround their island.
If you ever find yourself spending time on Nantucket in the fall, you will learn it is the best time of year: surf can be epic, the fishing IS epic, golf courses are empty, restaurants are easier to get into, shops are starting their end of season sales and the weather is heavenly. Next time you are around in September make sure you stop by the Angler's Club to register for the tourney, pick up your pin, and enjoy the membership to undoubtedly one of the coolest clubs in the world.