Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament
New Jersey Saltwater Fishing
By Karen Byrne, Senior Biologist
The 25th annual tournament was a fun day of family fishing. A west wind kept the day chilly, but bluefish blitzes made for a great day a fishing with 245 fish entered into the bluefish category. In addition to the bluefish entered, three striped bass were entered into the tournament as well. At tournament headquarters NJ 101.5 radio station had music and games for participants who were visiting partnering organization tables or grabbing a bite to eat.
New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno couldn’t participate in the tournament as in previous years, but made sure to stop by to wish participants good luck. Once fishing had ended DEP Commissioner Bob Martin along with DEP Natural and Historic Resources Assistant Commissioner Rich Boornazian assisted with the awards ceremony. Dakota Hahn of Toms River took the grand prize and NJ Governor’s Cup by catching a 43.5″ striped bass. Mr. Hahn received two-rod and reel combination, one of which was a 2016 TICA rod; a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses; a plaque; and will have his name engraved on the Governor’s Cup, which is permanently on display at Island Beach State Park.
Also during the awards ceremony two additional plaques were awarded to two men who have been a great support to IBSP and the Tournament. First Paul Smith, former Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament treasurer, was presented with a plaque by the Tournament Committee to recognize his dedicated service to the Tournament and to the sport of surf fishing. Paul had been involved with the Tournament since its inceptions, and only this past year has stepped down. Also NJ Beach Buggy Association (NJBBA) took the time to recognize NJ DEP Compliance and Enforcement Assistant Commissioner Ray Bukowski, who had previously been the manager at IBSP. NJBBA recognized his support and hard work in restoring IBSP after Sandy. Ray was awarded with a plaque and Honorary NJBBA Lifetime Member.
In addition to the grand prize, 19 anglers received rod and reel combinations for their prize-winning fish in the striped bass and bluefish categories. There were categories for children, teen and adult anglers, including sub-categories for male and female anglers. Early tournament registrants were also entered into an early entry raffle for a Coastline Surf System.
New Jersey Division of Fish and Wildlife, along with our co-sponsors—the NJ State Park Service, NJ State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Jersey Coast Anglers Association and NJ Beach Buggy Association—would like to thank the following organizations for contributing to the success of the 25th Annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament in 2016:
- Bass Pro Shops
- Costa Del Mar Inc.
- Chestnut Neck
- Coastline Surf Systems
- Legal Limits Company
- Mann’s Bait & Tackle
- NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife’s Hooked on Fishing – Not on Drugs Program
- Silver Horde
- Stanley Jigs