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Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament

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Get Outside & Enjoy a Day of Fishing with Family and Friends

By Karen Byrne, Senior Biologist

The Annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament date has changed from the fall to the spring! This year the 23rd Annual Tournament will be held Sunday, May 18, 2014. The new date for the tournament was proposed in an effort to increase participation in the event. Moving the date to the spring will hopefully allow for better fishing, less competition from competing interests in October such as Fall festivals, sports and bow hunting season, and provide a great way to kick off New Jersey’s summer shore season. Once again anglers from New Jersey and neighboring states will descend upon the beaches of Island Beach State Park in hopes of catching the longest fish of the day. The tournament aims to encourage youngsters and adults to learn more about surf fishing while taking advantage of a great family activity. Funds raised by the tournament go toward marine resource conservation and education.

It was a foggy start to the day of fishing for 560 anglers who were hoping to catch the overall largest fish in the 22nd Annual Tournament. Eventually the sun burned through the fog and twenty-one fish were entered in the bluefish, kingfish and blackfish categories. NJ DEP Assistant Commissioner of Natural and Historic Resources Richard Boornazian was on site to greet tournament participants and to take part in the awards ceremony. A total of thirteen prizes were awarded in categories for children, teen and adults. However, the grand prize went to Barry South of Morrisville, Pennsylvania, for catching an 18½” bluefish. Mr. South received two rod-and-reel combinations, a plaque, and will have his name engraved on the Governor’s Cup, which is permanently on display at Island Beach State Park.

Since its inception in 1991, the tournament has generated more than $130,000 for various marine education and restoration efforts, construction of access ramps for disabled saltwater anglers, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment, specialized wheel chairs that provide beach access for the disabled and elderly, plus the purchase of the first mobile automatic heart defibrillator for use at Island Beach State Park.

For more information about the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament or to receive a registration form, visit or call (609)748-4347.

New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife (along with our co-sponsors: New Jersey Division of Parks and Forestry, New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Jersey Coast Anglers Association and New Jersey Beach Buggy Association) would like to thank the following organizations for contributing to the success of the 22nd Annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament in 2013:

  • Canyon Gear
  • Grumpy’s Bait & Tackle
  • Legal Limits Company
  • Manns Bait Company
  • O Mustad & Son, Inc.
  • Sportsman’s Center
  • Surf Rocket
  • Tru-Turn, Inc.
  • TTI-Blakemore Fishing Group
  • Wright & McGill Company

Regulations in red are new this year.

Purple text indicates an important note.

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