Right before the end of spring and just in time for the summer season, the 26th Annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament is set to take place on Sunday, May 21 at Island Beach State Park. Announced by the Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner, Bob Martin, this year’s competition welcomes a new participation category for high-school-aged students.
“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,” Commissioner 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 main prize, the “Governor’s Award” is handed out to the person who catches the largest or longest fish. Outside of the top prize, participants have the chance to win fishing equipment. Participating high school teams can participate in group competitions.
“The Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament is a terrific event, and we anticipate excellent surf fishing opportunities and hundreds of anglers,” said Division of Fish and Wildlife Acting Director Larry Herrighty. “The addition of the High School Team Category this year will make for an even better tournament, and add to the fishing excitement on the beach as we welcome anglers of all ages and experience to enjoy the day with family and friends.”
Funds from the event will go toward raising funds for worthy causes that include improving beach access, constructing access ramps for disabled saltwater anglers, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment, and marine education and restoration projects.
Registration on the day of the tournament begins at 5 a.m., with fishing from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Registration that day is $20 for ages 18 and older, and $5 for anglers ages 13-17. There is no fee for children 12 and younger.
The Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament is sponsored by the DEP’s Division of Fish and Wildlife, 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.
For more information about the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament, visit: www.njfishandwildlife.com/gsft.htm
Tournament anglers may be asked to verify their compliance with the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. If not already registered for 2017, anglers should do so before the day of the tournament. Registration is free and can be done at www.nj.gov/dep/saltwaterregistry/
To learn more about fishing in New Jersey, visit: www.nj.gov/dep/fgw/fishing.htm