Sunny Skies and Lots of Action at 23rd Annual Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament
May 21, 2014
The 23rd Annual Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament, moving to May from its traditional October date, was held on Sunday, May 18, at Island Beach State Park. The sunny spring day brought nearly 1,000 people, including 600 registered participants, to the beach. A nice bluefish blitz had the tournament judges on the move up and down the beach as they measured nearly 200 fish.
Chris Follmer of Hasbrouck Heights, NJ, took the grand prize and NJ Governor's Cup with a 36" bluefish. Mr. Follmer received two rod-and-reel combinations and a plaque, and will have his name engraved on the Governor's Cup, which is on permanent display at the park. Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno, who joined the tournament participants fishing with her family and friends, greeted tournament participants at tournament headquarters and took part in the awards ceremony.
Everyone who registered for the tournament was entered into a raffle with prizes donated from the following organizations: Chestnut Neck Boat Yard, Eagle Claw Fishing Tackle, L & H Woods and Water, Legal Limits, Manns Bait Company, Silver Horde, Skunkbunker and Stanley Jigs.
Prior to the raffle drawings Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Chanda took a moment to thank and remember Ken Jelnicki, Jr., who passed away in January. Mr. Jelnicki was the co-owner of Surf Rocket and for the five years had donated one his custom designed surf casters as the early registration prize. Mr. Jelnicki was passionate about surf fishing and always willing to help other anglers, often times spending time at the tournament demonstrating his Surf Rocket.
In addition to the grand prize, twenty anglers received rod and reel combinations for their prize-winning fish in the striped bass and bluefish categories. Overall fish length determined the grand prize winner, as well as place winners for each of the species categories. There were categories for children, teen and adult anglers, including sub-categories for male and female anglers.
The event was sponsored by the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife and Division of Parks and Forestry, the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.
More than $130,000 has been raised since the inception of the tournament for conservation and education projects and improved beach access.
A complete list of winners follows:
2014 Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament Results
First Place - Evan Alexoudis, Morganville, 33¼"
First Place - Anthony LaRocca, Sr., Staten Island, NY 35¼"
Second Place - Scott Velit, Ewing, 30½"
Third Place - Craig Morris, Laurel Springs, 29"
First Place - Morgan Vicidomini, Forked River, 33½"
Second Place - Melanie Lynch, Maple Shade, 23"
First Place - Brain McCaffery, Millstone, 33¼"
Second Place - Jason Norris, Oceanport, 26"
Third Place - Chase Polovina, Hazlet, 24½"
First Place - Erin Pawlowski, Forked River, 22"
Second Place - Alyssa Kuryluk, Bensalem, PA, 21"
Third Place - Kimberly Mazar, Brick, 20"
First Place - Zacharey ElShaer, Short Hills, 35¾"
Second Place - Briar Scull, Browns Mills, 31"
Third Place - Anthony LaRocca, Jr., Staten Island, 29 3/8"
First Place - Terry Demiduke, Pitman, 33"
Second Place - Marie Weaver, Keyport, 30½"
Third Place - Pat Polovina, Hazlet, 26¼"
First Place - Chris Follmer, Hasbrouck Heights, Bluefish 36"
Second Place - Michael Smith, Langhorne, PA, 34" (caught 11:57am)
Third Place - Al DiMartrino, Clifton, 34" (caught 12:38pm)
2013 Governor's Cup Winner: Chris Follmer, of Hasbrouck Heights, for his 36" Bluefish