Made SurfMasters History

Mary Ellen Kane won the women’s division of the Montauk SurfMasters Fall Classic. Paulie’s Tackle

The Montauk SurfMasters Fall Classic ended on Dec. 1, with fewer contenders than usual, due largely to a season that Paul Apostolides of Paulie’s Tackle described as “tough, tough, tough.” 

“It was probably the toughest season we’ve had in the history of the tournament,” said Mike Coppola, an organizer. 

The winning fish were all caught back in October “during a three-day span where we had a northeast storm which pushed the fish up onto the beaches,” he said. 

In the men’s wader division, Klever Oleas captured first and second places with bass weighing in at 42.46 and 31.02 pounds. Mike Larson’s 23.86-pounder won him third place.

In the men’s wetsuit division, top honors went to Nick Bocchino for his 35.2-pound striper. 

Mary Ellen Kane’s 26.42-pounder won her first place in the women’s division. “It was the first time in the tournament history that the first-place women’s fish would have been on the board in the men’s wader division,” Coppola said. 

There were no other weigh-ins in the women’s division and none in the youth or kids divisions. 

The Fall Classic ends with an awards dinner at Gurney’s Inn in Montauk on Saturday at 5 p.m. Winners will be celebrated and money will be raised for a SurfMasters youth scholarship fund, awarded to East Hampton High School seniors who have been involved in the tournament. There may still be a few tickets available by emailing Coppola at They cost $60, plus a $10 gratuity for adults; $25 for those under 18. 

Tickets for the 50-50 raffle and a chance to win a Van Staal reel donated by the company are available online at The cost is $20 per ticket or $50 for three.