TROY, NY (NEWS10) – Anglers rode their lines for charity in the Hudson River in Collar City all day Saturday. Local fishing group Set ‘Em N Get ‘Em held their first annual striper tournament, with proceeds benefiting local amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) patients.
ALS is commonly known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. ALS is a degenerative neuromuscular disease of motor nerve cells in the brain and spinal cord.
Event organizer and Fishing Club President Jonathan Resto created the event to combine his love of fishing with the personal experience of losing his father to ALS.
“We’re trying to raise as much money as we can to give something back to them, it’s a very sad situation,” he said.
Money raised from the contest, plus 50/50 prize draws, will benefit the ALS Regional Center at St. Peter’s Hospital in Albany.
Anglers held their lines in the Hudson from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. in hopes of catching striped bass.
“We’re here a few months, then we hunt them to other places: Cape Cod, we go to the dam with bait, I go to South Carolina and Maine, I go to Virginia Beach to hunt them,” said fisherman Brian Fuller, who said he became addicted to striper fishing after catching his first.
While the early hours were proving to be slow, one lucky fisherman was able to reel in an impressive 27 inch striper before releasing it on the Hudson in what has been a successful season so far.
“I mean, sometimes 20 fish are pulled out here a day. You go down to Troy Dam, over there and stuff, they nailed them down there too, more than 20 pounders, 30 pounders and stuff, they’re here,” Resto said.
But even when the fish aren’t biting, the members enjoy getting out on the water and spending time with their fishing family.
“We all look out for each other and we like to fish and have fun. Just enjoy the time out here and fishing together,” Fuller said.
The fishing group hopes this event can continue to grow over the years to raise as much money as possible to help local ALS patients. Trophies were awarded to anglers who hooked the three largest stripers lengthwise. The striped bass season on the Hudson River began April 1st and will last through November 30th.