The Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament, a longstanding Jersey Shore tradition, is slated for Sunday at Island Beach State Park.
Now in its 26th year, the family-friendly tournament for all ages, which had long been an October staple but made a successful move to the spring in 2014, offers participants an excellent opportunity to engage in or learn more about the sport of surf fishing, according to a state Department of Environmental Protection release.
“The Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament is a great way to enjoy New Jersey’s beautiful beaches while appreciating the abundant surf fishing available along the coast,” NJDEP Commissioner Bob Martin said. “The tournament has become a recent rite of spring and a tremendous family tradition for years. I encourage anglers of all ages to come out and experience one of New Jersey’s great recreational pastimes.”
The individual who catches the overall largest — or longest — fish will win the “Governor’s Award” and will have his or her name engraved on the Governor’s Cup, which is permanently displayed at Island Beach State Park, according to the release.
In 2015, Dakota Hahn of Toms River won the award for catching a 43.5-inch striped bass.
Winners in a variety of species and age group categories will receive fishing equipment.
The tournament is sponsored by the state Division of Fish and Wildlife and Division of Parks and Forestry, the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Jersey Coast Anglers Association, and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.
All funds raised by the tournament go toward a variety of good causes, including the purchase of specialized wheelchairs that provide the disabled and elderly beach access, construction of access ramps for disabled saltwater anglers, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment, plus marine education and restoration projects.
For more information or to download a registration form, visit here.
IF YOU GO:
Fishing will occur between 6:30 a.m. and 1 p.m. Registration begins at 5 a.m.
The registration fee is $20 for ages 18 and up. The registration fee for ages 13-17 is $5 and free for ages 12 and under.
Tournament anglers may be asked to verify their compliance with the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. If not already registered for 2017, please do so before hitting the beach the day of the tournament. Registration is quick, easy and, free. Anglers simply need to log on to nj.gov/dep/saltwaterregistry and follow the instructions on the page.