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Don’t Miss the Governor’s 13th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament – Oct. 3

July 21, 2004

Anglers are invited to participate in the Governor’s 13th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday, October 3. The competition is open to individuals of all ages and will be held from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Island Beach State Park in Ocean County.

Surf fishing is a great family activity and the Governor’s annual tournament offers the perfect opportunity for youngsters and adults to learn more about this relaxing and enjoyable sport. In addition, funds taken in through registration fees help provide surf fishing access, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment, and the purchase of specialized wheelchairs that provide beach access to the disabled and elderly. To date, nearly $100,000 has been raised at this annual event.

The tournament is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection’s Division of Fish and Wildlife and Division of Parks and Forestry, the New Jersey Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, Jersey Coast Anglers Association and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.

Registration is $10 for adults aged 18 and older (if postmarked by Sept. 10 deadline) or $15 to register on the day of the tournament, and $5 for teens aged 13-17. Children 12 and under are free, but must still register and be accompanied by an adult. Participants may register at the park in Pavilion #1 on the day of the tournament beginning at 5 a.m. Entry into the park is free to individuals who register for the Surf Fishing Tournament, although a $50 beach buggy weekend permit is required to drive on the beach and is available at the park entrance.

Storm/hurricane date is Sunday, October 10. Please note that it will take extreme conditions to force cancellation.

Eight species are eligible for entry in the tournament: albacore tuna, striped bass, blackfish, bluefish, fluke, kingfish, red drum and weakfish. Overall length will determine the winner. All fish must meet minimum length requirements.

The individual who catches the overall largest fish will be honored with the “Governor’s Award” and have his/her name engraved on the Governor’s Cup, which will be permanently displayed at Island Beach State Park. Fishing tackle and other equipment will be awarded to winners who catch the largest fish in each species category. Also featured is a special raffle for pre-registrants and an exhibit area at Pavilion #1 featuring sportsmen’s clubs, conservation organizations and tackle manufacturers.

The Governor’s tournament is an excellent opportunity for youngsters and adults, as well as the experienced and not-so-experienced, to try out the sport of surf fishing. Each year, a variety of impressively sized fish are caught.

In 2003, 38 fish were caught. The largest of each species included an 18 3/8” blackfish; 33 ¼” bluefish; 18 7/8” fluke; 16 1/8” kingfish; and a 35 ½” striped bass that was the Governor’s Cup winning entry. The most common catch that day was bluefish with 17 entries.

Adults do not dominate tournament participation either. In fact, the grand prize winning striped bass was caught by 11-year-old Travis Laureigh of Bayville, Ocean County!

A total of 255 youngsters (157 aged 12 and under and 98 teens aged 13-17) took part in the event. Some of the first place winning entries in various youth categories included a 17” blackfish; 21 3/8” bluefish; 16 ½” fluke; 13 ½” kingfish; and a 32 7/8” striped bass.

A brochure containing rules, registration form and other important information can be obtained from the Division by calling 609-748-4347 or by printing the PDF version.

2004 Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament Brochure/Application (pdf, 85kb)

For more information, see the following:

Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament Offers Great Fun for Families, Friends - feature article
Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament - main page
DEP Commissioner and Governor McGreevey Celebrate Surf Fishing at Annual Tournament - Oct. 2003 DEP news release

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Department of Environmental Protection
P. O. Box 402
Trenton, NJ 08625-0402

Last Updated: September 21, 2004