Qualifying for this year’s Marlin Madness by winning the Beach Haven Invitational White Marlin Tournament in New Jersey, Frank Criscola’s Crisdel team marched steadily through the online voting rounds to win the East Coast division. Crisdel faced stiff competition in each of the remaining winners from the Gulf Coast, International and Florida regions, but eventually defeated Reel Cast in the championship round to emerge victorious. Marlin Madness is sponsored by Blue Water Desalination.
Shortly after starting his infrastructure construction company in 1969 at age 25, Frank Criscola Sr. purchased a 30-foot Luhrs and decided to name it after his company, Crisdel. Fifty-five years and nine boats later, the family-owned and -operated business and its namesake Crisdel boats—including the current 62-foot Titan—have shared similar paths to success throughout the years.
According to Criscola, good days aboard Crisdel are not measured by the number of fish caught; it’s more about camaraderie and creating great memories on the water. “From the moment you step on board, you understand what’s made this team so successful over the years,” he says. “The captain and crew are experienced and talented professionals who make every guest feel welcome, comfortable, and ready to fish. Fishing is taken seriously, of course, but it’s all about spending quality time on the water with family, friends, and clients.”
Through the years, Criscola’s passion for fishing has never wavered. His love of the sport was passed down by his father and carries on through his children, grandchildren, and anyone who’s spent time aboard Crisdel. For the past 20 years, Capt. George Steller has been alongside Criscola, both in the cockpit and now on the bridge. Steller has earned the respect of everyone he’s worked with and fished against.
The Crisdel team has enjoyed much success over the decades. Just a few highlights include wins at the Ernest Hemingway International Billfish Tournament, Donald Trump’s Fish for Life (a predecessor to the MidAtlantic), major money wins in the MidAtlantic and White Marlin Open, and most recently, at the 2022 Beach Haven White Marlin Invitational.
This team is most proud of the lifelong friendships that have formed with the many people who have fished on the Crisdel boats over the past 55 years. Frank Sr. set the tone, and the tradition continues today.