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Contact: Al Ivany
(609) 984-1795


(02/100) TRENTON- More than 1,200 participants took part in the Governor’s 11th Annual Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday, October 6 at Island Beach State Park in Ocean County. Despite the high winds, participants took full advantage of a beautiful 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 more than ten years,"said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "Their cumulative efforts have helped raise over $90,000 for a variety of conservation projects such as the construction of a beach access ramp, two mobile fishing education carts and specialized wheelchairs for the disabled and elderly."

The event was sponsored by the DEP’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.

During the past ten years, the following have been either partially or fully funded by proceeds from this tournament: specialized balloon tire beach wheel chairs that provide beach access for the disabled and elderly at Island Beach State Park (IBSP); educational displays used in the Interpretive Center at IBSP; a beach access ramp connecting parking area A7 to the beach at IBSP; an automatic heart defibrillator unit for IBSP; two mobile fishing equipment trailers with rods and reels for use in fishing education programs throughout the State; and educational materials/field study equipment for various environmental education projects such as the Barnegat Bay Kayak Tour and Environmental Education Enhancement Program, Hooked on Fishing- Not on Drugs (HOFNOD) program, Pathways to Fishing program, DEP’s Becoming an Outdoors-Woman program, and the Sedge Island Natural Resource Education Center.

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, 6 striped bass, 5 blackfish, 102 bluefish, 1 red drum, 1 weakfish and 61 kingfish were the species submitted. A total of 176 fish were caught with 30 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 was a category for fly fishing. The inclusion of first, second and third place winners was dependent upon the number of entries submitted in each species category.

Grand prize went to Pete Clavero of Hazlet for a 44” striped bass. Mr. Clavero 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.

Thirty surf rod and reel outfits were awarded as prizes. DEP Commissioner Bradley Campbell was present to make the awards to the successful anglers.

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

A complete list of winners follows:

Weakfish Category

Adult (Female)
First Place - Audrey Bock ; Florence; 21 4/8" weakfish

Kingfish Category

Child (Female)
First Place - Ashley Gruning; Jackson; 14 6/8" kingfish

Child (Male)
Second Place - Matthew Klish; Burlington; 14 6/8" kingfish

First Place - Eddie Fisher; Somerdale; 15 4/8" kingfish
Also caught 151/8" kingfish

Teen (Female)
First Place - Giacinta Talarico; Westmont; 11 2/8" kingfish

Teen (Male)
Second Place - Dakota Goldinger; Toms River; 14" kingfish

First Place - Joe Meny; Bowie, MD; 14 2/8"" kingfish
Also caught 13 6/8" kingfish

Adult (Female)
Second Place - Patty Talarico; Blue Anchor; 14 6/8" kingfish

First Place - Mary Howard; Browns Mills; 15 2/8" kingfish

Adult (Male)
Second Place - Gary Ingram; Trenton; 16" kingfish

First Place - Frank Oliveira; Newark; 16 4/8" kingfish

Blackfish Category

Adult (Male)
Second Place - Brian Berrien; Mercerville; 17" blackfish

First Place - Zoltan Egyed; Trenton; 18 1/2" blackfish

Red drum Category

Adult (Male)
First Place - Terry Dauson; Trenton; 18 7/8" red drum

Bluefish Category

Child (Female)
Second Place - Taylor Arkert; Riverside; 15 1/2" bluefish

First Place - Helene Rynczak; Whiting; 16 5/8" bluefish
Also caught 16 1/8" and 15 4/8" blue fish

Child (Male)
Second Place - Ethan Orr; Branchville; 17 2/8" bluefish

First Place - Russell Hubschman; Vincentown; 23 1/2" bluefish

Teen (Female)
First Place - Gina Longstreet; Toms River; 16 4/8" bluefish

Teen (Male)
Second Place - Chris Giambrone; Florence; 30" bluefish

First Place - Jesse Gargani; Beachwood; 30 4/8" bluefish

Adult (Female)
Second Place - Renee Runyan; Toms River; 17 1/8" bluefish

First Place - Sue Finch; Ironia; 17 5/8" bluefish

Adult (Male)
Second Place - Lee Dippold; Toms River; 31 7/8" bluefish

First Place - George Rogers; Bricktown; 32 1/2" bluefish

Striped Bass Category

Child (Female)
First Place - Megan Sharkey; Forked River; 29" Striped bass

Adult (Male)
Second Place - William Fest III; Southampton; 30 6/8" striped bass

First Place - Norb Rosso; Lambertville; 34 7/8" Striped bass

The 2002 Governor's Cup Winner

Pete Clavero; Hazlet; 44" striped bass

Tournament Fly Fishing Category Winner

Mike Busch; Ocean Gate; 16 2/8" Bluefish



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