In 2020, we began a new tradition of dedicating The Striper Cup to an organization or individual that best represents the spirit of the Striper Cup.
This year, the Striper Cup committee selected a beloved writer and waterman who grew up on the shores of the Taunton River in Fall River, Massachusetts.
It was there that he learned to make a living off the sea through fishing, shellfishing, and guiding—and then by sharing his experiences in newspapers and magazines, including On The Water.
His writing has documented the history of the Northeast fishing community and its evolution over the past 50-plus years. He has shared a lifetime of fishing knowledge, but more than that, his writing has told the stories and honored the people who have enriched his life, from the old-timers who helped raise him as a young boy learning the values of hard work and faith in God, to his many deckmates who fished alongside him, to his beloved children and grandchildren, and of course, his dear bride Lola.
For decades, Charley has used his platform to promote the proper management of our natural resources and conservation of our fisheries, through his seat on Massachusetts Marine Fisheries Advisory Commission, his newspaper columns, and the many relationships with politicians and fishery managers he has made along the way.
Many of you probably know Charley through his back page column “In The Wake” in our magazine. You may not know that Charley was the bridge to the past who helped us adapt the old Schaffer Cup tournament and launch the Striper Cup 18 years ago. He was also on the team, Linesiders Bass and Brew, that won the first Striper Cup, and in the years since, has supported the tournament through its transition to a catch-and-release format.
We could go on and on about what Charley Soares has contributed to the fishing community, but we’ll sum it up by saying this: Charley, you are a treasure, and we are honored to recognize you today with The Striper Cup.
On behalf of the entire crew here at OTW, past and present, we want to thank you from the bottom of our deckboots for being a part of our OTW family since the very beginning.