Just what does the JOSFC do?
If you don’t know just what we do or how we work, then I can see why you haven’t joined YET. Well I hope to change that with this article.
First how we work:
We are a fun, family oriented fishing club. We meet every First and Third Thursday of each month at our Club House located at the rear of the Mayport Boat ramp, at the end of A1A just past the Ferry crossing. At these meetings we start off with a dinner of some type, and then the meeting. When you visit the Club house, you will see numerous “Fishing Boards” on the walls. We have Junior Angler boards for 11 years old and under, and for 12 years old to 17 years old. WE have both inshore and offshore boards for them. WE also have a Men’s Board, Ladies Board, Adult Inshore Board, a Blue Water Board ( Striking Fish ) and an Un-limited Board ( For fish caught beyond our Chart limit of about 34 miles from shore.) We also have a Light Tackle Board for fish caught with 8 Pound test line or lighter.
When I say fishermen, I am of course referring to the FisherLadies also.
Each of these boards list all the species of fish that we fish for in the local waters. The idea is to catch a fish and turn in a fish slip to get it posted on the board. I will use me as an example here. Lets say I catch a 49 pound Wahoo ( My very first Wahoo which I finally caught after 11 years of trying. ) I turn in a Fish Slip and get my fish posted on the board. ( I did NOT get to post my fish as Tim Altman caught a 76 pound Wahoo that same week and mine just didn’t measure up. :-( ) I get a club $5.00 Fish Slip that I can spend for Club Merchandise, the Raffle we end every meeting with, or at C & H Lures, or B & M Bait and Tackle or several other places around town that take our fish slips. Now next meeting some one else catches a 49.25 pound Wahoo and knocks mine off the board and they get that spot on the board and a $5.00 fish Slip. ( Their fish must weigh a quarter pound more that mine to knock me off. )
The idea is to have the most fish on a board at the end of September when we close our fishing year and the Boards. Now the twist. . . . . To actually win that board, you must have participated in 3 of the club’s 10 Tournaments as either Captain, Crew, ( Just another fisherman on a captain’s boat is “Crew” ) or Weigh Master for one of the tournaments.
The Tournaments. We hold 10 tournaments throughout the year in the Captain of the Year race. Each tournament is worth 10 points to the winner, 9 points to second place and on down. For most of the tournaments you weigh your 3 biggest fish that meet the species listed for that tournament. Each tournament targets different types of fishing and usually different species ( There is some overlap on the species from one tournament to another. )
First #1 in November we hold the Triple Challenge Tournament, where you MUST catch one each of 3 of the 4 fish listed, Trout, Redfish, Flounder and Sheepshead. Then #2 we have the River Tournament in March. Here there are several fish listed but you may only weigh ( Sort of, for conservation purposes we use a formula for the big Black drum ONLY, they are a catch and release only for this tournament. ) The other fish you bring to the scale. Tournament number #3 is the Non-Live Tournament. This is fished in the ocean and the only requirement is no live bait. Artificials or frozen bait only. Number #4 is the Unlimited Trolling Tournament. This is for the true OFF shore guys where we let you go beyond the 34 mile limit to go after Wahoo, Tuna, Marlin, Sailfish and Dolphin. You can stay in close if you want. Tournament #5 is the May Trolling Tournament. This one is inside the 34 mile limit, and you MUST be under power when you hook your fish. Number #6 is in June and is the Junior Angler Tournament. Here you must take a Junior Angler fishing, in the river or ocean, and in order to keep the Captains from tortureing the kids in rough water just for Captain of the Year points, EVERY Captain that fishes it with a Kid, gets 10 points. #7 is the Kingfish Tune-up Tournament, and is the Club’s Kingfish tournament, and a tune-up for the Greater Jax Kingfish tournament that is a week long event in July. August sees us with the #8 Ladies Tournament wher the ladies 18 and over are the Fisherladies on your boat. #9 is the Light Tackle Tournament 8 pound test line or lighter ONLY. Finally #10 is the September Bottom Fishing Tournament.
At the End of this the Captain with the highest total number of points wins the title of Captain Of The Year! We hold a nice Banquet for the Awards for the boards and Captain of the year every October.
Having seen all this, the big thing that you need to know is you are competing against the guy sitting next to you at the club, NOT some mystical super fisherman! I have seen the Bottom Tournament won with two ( 2 ) half pound Whiting! A trolling tournament with a single 15 pound Barracuda, and the Kingfish tune-up with an 8 pound Kingfish! This is you and I fishing, not some mystical expert tournament fisherman! All you have to do is sign up and go fishing! They do not have an “Entry fee” other than your signature! They are fun and we help each other out with advice and numbers!
Now usually before every different type of tournament we have a Guest Speaker at the Club Meeting giving a Seminar on that type of fishing. These are local Charter Captains, and experts at their jobs! Lots of good info if you are new or even so new info for long time fishermen.
What have we done for you already?
The Jacksonville Offshore Sport Fishing Club was started over 55 years ago to promote offshore fishing in Northeast Florida. We pioneered the artificial reef program on the Atlantic coast and have managed the artificial reef program in this area by arranging the donation of materials, assisting in placement and obtaining the permitting. Over the past 55 years we have been responsible for over 270 artificial reef drops and replenishments. Through the efforts of this club we have some of the best offshore fishing in Florida. !
We are a 501(c) (7) non-profit charitable organization. We hold two monthly meetings and also host club fishing tournaments. At these meetings we have seminars and speakers to educate both members and the general public about both natural and artificial reef’s and fishing issues. This year, we have supported the Hook the Future Foundation, as well as the Recreational Fishing Alliance, The City of Jacksonville Reef Program, Tisiri Reef Building program, Mayport Magnet Elementary Coastal Sciences Academy, Mayport High School’s Marine Science Program. We also support the Greater Jacksonville Marine Charities’s “Greater Jax Kingfish Tournament”. !
What have we done for you?
The Jacksonville Offshore Sport Fishing Club fights hard to keep the fishing rights of the sport and commercial fishing community. We have speakers at every South Atlantic Marine Fisheries public meeting, and our members write hundreds of letters opposing their phony “Science” with facts and fighting their attempts to close all fishing off the Atlantic coast. We would like you to know that … Even with the recession, our efforts to keep and enhance Saltwater Fishing are responsible for over $600 Million Dollars in revenues to the greater Jacksonville area businesses each and every year! ( That is more than the Super Bowl brought in!)
Our Club has over 300 members ( Over 1000 if you count their famiy members. ) all over Jacksonville, that spend their money and shop at your businesses. ! The Jacksonville Offshore Sport Fishing Club holds two major fund raisers for the year that allow us to continue our support of Saltwater fishing in the Jacksonville area. The first is the El Cheapo Sheepshead Tournament, held at the end of February, and the second is for the Raffle at our Annual Awards Banquet in October.