The Department of Environmental Protection is encouraging anglers of all ages to register now to come out and enjoy a day of fishing at the 22nd annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament, scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 6 at Island Beach State Park.
Anglers from New Jersey and neighboring states are expected to descend upon the beaches of the state park in hopes of catching the longest fish of the day, while enjoying a day of surf fishing with family and friends.
“This is a great annual event that shows off our state park and offers some terrific fishing,” said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “But it has even more meaning this year, showing once again the resiliency of our state and residents, and the recovery of the Jersey Shore after Superstorm Sandy.”
In addition to great fishing, the tournament also is a fundraiser for worthwhile causes, including the purchase of specialized wheelchairs to provide beach access to disabled and elderly persons, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment, and marine education and restoration efforts.
Since its inception in 1991, the tournament has generated more than $130,000 for these and other causes.
The individual who catches the overall largest fish during the event wins the “Governor’s Award,” and has his/her name engraved on the Governor’s Cup, which is permanently displayed at the park. The grand prize winner last year was Bill Sheppard of Seaside Park. Fishing equipment also is awarded to winners who catch the largest fish in a variety of species and age group categories.
The Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament is sponsored by the DEP’s Divisions of Fish and Wildlife and Division of Parks and Forestry, as well as the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsman’s Clubs, the Jersey Coast Anglers Association and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.
The registration fee the day of the tournament is $20 for persons 18 and older. Registration for ages 13-17 is $5 and registration is free for kids 12 and under.
Tournament anglers may be asked to verify their compliance with the New Jersey Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. If you have not already registered please make sure you do before hitting the beach the day of the tournament. Registration is quick, easy and free. Anglers simply need to log on to http://www.nj.gov/dep/saltwaterregistry/ and follow the instructions on the page.
For more information on the tournament or to receive a registration form please visit: NJFishandWildlife.com/gsft.htm or call (609) 748-4347.
Island Beach State Park is located in Berkeley Township in Ocean County. For more information on the park, visit: http://www.state.nj.us/dep/parksandforests/parks/island.html
Logo courtesy New Jersey Divisions of Fish and Wildlife