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August 29, 2002


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

Anglers are invited to participate in the Governor's 11th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday, October 6. 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 of Fish and Wildlife Director Bob McDowell. "Also by registering, participants will be contributing toward marine education and restoration efforts, and the construction of access ramps for disabled saltwater anglers. Funds also 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, more than $80,000 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. 9 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 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 $25 beach buggy weekend permit is required to drive on the beach and is available at the park entrance.

Storm/hurricane date is Sunday, October 13. Please note that it will take extreme conditions to force cancellation.

Seven species are eligible for entry in the tournament: albacore tuna, striped bass, blackfish, bluefish, 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 special raffle for pre-registrants and an exhibit area at Pavilion #1 featuring sportsmen's clubs, conservation organizations and tackle manufacturers.

A brochure containing rules, registration form and other important information can be obtained from the Division by calling 609-984-0521 or by visiting the Division's website at