2014-01-10 / Around Town

Shark Tournament Update

By Tom Shevlin

The organizer of a monster shark tournament who had planned to bring the popular event to Newport this summer died during a morning fishing accident this week on the Westport River.

Steven James, 53, of Marshfield, Mass. was one of two men who died Tuesday after their skiff capsized in the icy waters not far from Horseneck Beach.

James had been the driving force of the annual Oak Bluffs Monster Shark Tournament.

Speaking to Newport This Week in November, James said that he had high hopes for the future of the tournament, which for past 20 years had drawn some of the world’s top anglers to Oak Bluffs for what some had dubbed the “Super Bowl” of shark fishing.

Last spring, reports began to surface on Martha’s Vineyard that James was considering moving the event to Rhode Island. Those rumors were further fueled in October when the Martha’s Vineyard Times reported that hotel owners had been notified that the tournament would not return to the island for the 2014 season.

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