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October 6, 2004

Contact: Karen Hershey
(609) 984-1795


Bluefish Were Plentiful This Year

(04/115) Trenton -- More than 890 anglers participated in the 13th Annual Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday, October 3 at Island Beach State Park (IBSP) in Ocean County. Bluefish were abundant at this year's tournament. Contestants caught more than 190 bluefish, with eighteen anglers receiving awards for this fast and hard-fighting fish.

"I would like to thank the many prize sponsors, volunteers and participants who help us celebrate the importance of fishing in New Jersey's culture and economy," said New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell. "Their cumulative efforts have helped raise more than $95,000 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."

Proceeds from this tournament contribute to specialized balloon tire beach wheel chairs that provide beach access for the disabled and elderly at 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 programs.

Overall 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 first-, second- and third- place winners were determined by the number of entries submitted in each species category.

Albacore, striped bass, blackfish, bluefish, red drum, kingfish, fluke and weakfish were eligible for entry in the tournament. Of these, 20 striped bass, three blackfish, 192 bluefish, two fluke and two kingfish were submitted. A total of 219 fish were entered and 29 anglers received awards.

Grand prize went to Sal Amato of Pompton Plains for a 37-inch striped bass. Mr. Amato received a plaque along with a Penn rod and reel combo and a gear bag. Additionally, his name will be engraved on the Governor's Cup, which will be permanently displayed at Island Beach State Park.

Sal Amato's winning striped bass catch came just days after the New Jersey Legislature approved new striped bass size limits to prevent a ban on striped bass fishing by the Atlantic States Marine Fisheries Commission. The new requirements signed into law on Monday, September 27 by Governor James E. McGreevey allow anglers to take two fish each day-one measuring 24 inches or greater to less than 28 inches and the other measuring 34 inches or greater.

Twenty eight surf rod and reel outfits were awarded as prizes. Along with the tournament prizes offered, the registration forms of pre-registrants and same-day entrants were placed into special drawings for additional prizes.

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.

A complete list of winners follows:

Bluefish Category
Child (Female)
Third Place - Ashley Gruning ; Jackson; 21 5/8"
Second Place - Summer Krol; Toms River; 22 1/8"
First Place - Gabrielle Grasso; Nutley; 23 ½"

Child (Male)
Third Place - Vincent Altimari; Tabernacle; 18 7/8"
Second Place - Troy Beyruty; Dayton; 21"
First Place - Evan Kirder; Pennsville; 22"

Teen (Female)
Third Place - Nicole Amordatis; Voorhees; 22"
Second Place - Mary Ruth Hart; Manassas, VA; 23 ½"
First Place - Rachel Wohl; Voorhees; 23 5/8"

Teen (Male)
Third Place - Paul Dippold; Toms River; 21 ½"
Second Place - Salvatore Briganti; Wayne; 22 ½"
First Place - Chris Paiva; Bowie, MD; 25 ¾"

Adult (Female)
Third Place - Freida Miller; Mercerville; 22 ¼"
Second Place - Beverly Dwyer; Stillwater; 28 ¼"
First Place - Michelle Krol; Toms River; 31 ½"

Adult (Male)
Third Place - Peter Clavero; Hazlet; 28 ¼"
Second Place - Ralph Pacella; Stony Point, NY; 28 ½"
First Place - Andrew Ciok; Bayonee; 29 ¾"

Blackfish Category
Teen (Male)
First Place - Salvatore Briganti; Wayne; 21 1/8"

Adult (Male)
First Place -Alex Vegh; Trenton; 16 7/8"

Fluke Category
Adult (Male)
Second Place - Bruce Larison; Bensalem, PA; 17 ½"
First Place - Michael Korsak; Bordentown; 18 ¼"

Kingfish Category
Child (Male)
First Place - Troy Laureigh; Bayville; 14 ¼"

Adult (Male)
First Place - Ed Suchy; Hatboro, PA; 14 5/8"

Striped Bass Category
Child (Female)
First Place - Rebecca Hulse; Toms River; 27 7/8"

Child (Male)
First Place - Garrett Hulse; Toms River; 26"

Adult (Male)
Third Place - Gary Gromack; Lake wood; 34 ¼"
Second Place - Scott Fahey; Toms River; 35"
First Place - Sal Amato; Pompton Plains; 37"

The 2004 Governor's Cup Winner
Sal Amato; Pompton Plains; 37" striped bass



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