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October 11, 2001


For more information contact:
Jim Sciascia at 609-984-6295

More than 1,200 participants took part in the Governor's 10th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday, October 7 at Island Beach State Park in Ocean County. Despite the cold weather and wind, participants took full advantage of a day outdoors with family and friends.

"I would like to thank the many prize sponsors, volunteers and participants who have helped make the surf tournament a success for the past ten years," said Division Director Bob McDowell. "Their cumulative efforts have helped raise nearly $50,000 for a variety of conservation projects such as the construction of a beach access ramp, two mobile fishing education carts, marine education programs and specialized wheelchairs for the disabled and elderly."

The event was 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. Staff and volunteers from this public/private partnership work together all year long and on the weekend of the event to produce a quality tournament for the surf-angling public.

Approximately 700 participants pre-registered through the mail and over 500 registered on the morning of the tournament. Many of the entrants invited guests to observe the fun, bringing the total number of spectators and participants to over 1,400.

Albacore, striped bass, blackfish, bluefish, red drum, kingfish and weakfish were eligible for entry in the tournament. Of these, striped bass, blackfish, bluefish and kingfish were the species submitted. A total of 41 fish were measured and entered with 26 of these receiving awards.

Overall length determined the grand prize winner as well as place winners for each of the species categories. There were children, teen and adult angler categories, including sub-categories for male and female anglers. In addition, there were categories for fly fishing and Becoming an Outdoors-Woman students (female and male novice anglers who attended the surf fishing workshop held Saturday, October 6th). The inclusion of first, second and third place winners was dependent upon the number of entries submitted in each species category.

The Grand Prize and Governor's Cup award went to David Hilgar of Fallsington, Pennsylvania for a 35 1/8" striped bass.

Mr. Hilgar received a plaque along with a Penn rod and reel combo. Additionally, his name will be engraved on the Governor's Cup, which will be permanently displayed at Island Beach State Park.

Twenty-six surf rod and reel outfits were awarded as prizes. DEP Commissioner Bob Shinn was present along with Division Director Bob McDowell to make the awards to the successful anglers.

Included in the prizes were six rod and reel combinations donated by Penn Reels. In addition to tournament prizes, the registration forms of pre-registrants and same-day entrants were placed into special drawings for 50 additional prizes.

A complete list of winners follows:


        Child (Male)

                First Place - Asa Cameron - age 11
                        Glenside, PA
                        14 1/2"

        Teen (Male)

                Third Place - Josiah Cameron
                        Glenside, PA

                Second Place - Joe Rosetti
                        Bloomfield, NJ

                First Place - Jonathan Berrien
                        Mercerville, NJ
                        17 1/4"

        Adult (Female)

                First Place - Arlene Parrino
                        Middletown, NJ 
                        17 7/8"

        Adult (Male)

Second and third tie for length - place winners decided by time caught
                Third Place - John Yaccarino
                        New Egypt, NJ
                        18 1/4" 10:15 am 

                Second Place - Richard Chamberlain, Sr.
                        New Egypt, NJ 
                        18 1/4@ 10:00 am
                First Place - Alex Kotenko
                        Bridgewater, NJ
                        18 5/8" 

        Child (Female)
                First Place - Jaime Jonach - age 12
                        Toms River, NJ
                        15 1/2"

        Child (Male)

                Second Place - Vincent Altimari - age 5
                        Tabernacle, NJ
                        15 3/4"

                First Place - Joshua Sniadach - age 12
                        Trenton, NJ
                        20 3/4"
           Teen (Male)

                Third Place - Fred Piell III
                        Morrisville, PA 
                Second Place - John J. Heintz
                        Mercerville, NJ
                First Place - Ben Bajkowski
                        South Amboy, NJ
                        16 6/8" 

        Adult (Female)

                Third Place - Peggy Peterson
                        Toms River, NJ

                Second Place - Michelle Freas
                        Dorothy, NJ
                        12 1/4"
                First Place - Sue Finch
                        Ironia, NJ

        Adult (Male)

Second and third place tie in length place winners decided by time caught
                Third Place - Mike Nightingale
                        Medford, NJ
                        19"   9:40 am

                Second Place - Bill Marcus
                        Berkeley Heights, NJ
                        19"    6:50 am
                First Place - Ralph Pacella
                        Stony Point, NY


        Adult (Male)

                Third Place - Maynard Stratton
                        Hamilton, NJ 
                        11 3/8"

                Second Place - Charles Smith
                        Bayonne, NJ
                        16 1/4"
                First Place - Ed Fisher
                        Somerdale, NJ
                        17 1/8"


        Adult (Male)

                Third Place - Zoltan Egyed
                        Trenton, NJ

                Second Place - Martin Mosen
                        W.Collingswood, NJ
                        31 1/4"
First Place and Winner of the 2001 Governor's Cup is:
David Hilgar
Fallsington, PA
35 1/8" Striped Bass