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September 1, 1999

For more information contact:
David Chanda at 908-637-4125

Anglers are urged to participate in the Governor's 8th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday, Oct. 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," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "Also by registering, participants will be contributing valuable funds toward developing shore restoration projects and providing access for disabled and elderly anglers."

Funds from the tournaments have been used to construct an access ramp for disabled saltwater anglers at Island Beach State Park and to purchase specialized wheelchairs to provide the disabled and elderly with beach access. To date, nearly $50,000 has been raised for these efforts.

The tournament is sponsored by the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection's Division of Fish, Game 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 and $5 for teens aged 13-17. Children 12 and under are free, but must be accompanied by an adult. Participants may register at the park on the day of the tournament beginning at 5:30 a.m. Entry into the park is free to individuals who register for the Surf Fishing Tournament, although a $25 beach buggy weekend permit is required to drive on the beach and is available at the park entrance.

Storm/hurricane date is Sunday, Oct. 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 win 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 fly fishing clinic sponsored by the Atlantic Saltwater Fly Rodders, a special raffle for registrants and a manufacturer's exhibit area in the main pavilion.

A brochure containing rules, registration form and other important information may be obtained from sporting goods stores, license agents and bait and tackle shops throughout the state, or by calling the Division of Fish, Game and Wildlife at 908-637-4125.