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news releases

February 12, 2014

Contact:Larry Ragonese (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Bob Considine (609) 984-1795


(14/P11) TRENTON – The annual Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament, which has long been an October staple at the Jersey Shore, will move to May starting this year, with the event now planned for Sunday, May 18, at Island Beach State Park.

The date for this year’s 23rd Annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament was changed by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) to get a jumpstart on the summer tourism season and allow for increased participation in the event, which faced competition each October from a host of autumn outdoor festivals and weekend school sporting events.

“We invite everyone to come out to our beautiful state park for a great day of fishing, whether to casually cast your line in our clean ocean waters or battle it out for the biggest fish to win Governor’s Cup Award,’’ said DEP Commissioner Bob Martin. “There’s no better way to kick-off the summer Shore season, especially with an event that also raises money for some very worthwhile causes.’’

“We’re anticipating some improved surf fishing opportunities in the spring and a bigger crowd of anglers, including many families and youths who will be able to participate in this fun event,’’ said the DEP’s Director of Fish and Wildlife Dave Chanda. “I encourage anglers of all ages and experience to come out to Island Beach and enjoy a great day of fishing, with a shot at some nice striped bass and bluefish, right here at the Jersey Shore.”

The pre-registration fee for the tournament is $15 for ages 18 and up and the registration fee on tournament day is $20. The registration fee for ages 13-17 is $5 and registration is free for ages 12 and under.

Anglers planning on participating in the tournament should register early to save $5 on adult registration, and will be eligible for special prizes the day of the tournament. The early entry incentive ends April 21, 2014. After this date, anglers will be required to register at the tournament.

All funds raised by the tournament go toward a variety of good causes, including the purchase of specialized wheelchairs that provide the disabled and elderly beach access, construction of access ramps for disabled saltwater anglers, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment, plus marine education and restoration projects.

The individual who catches the overall largest fish wins the "Governor's Award" and will have his/her name engraved on the Governor's Cup which is permanently displayed at the park. Fishing equipment is awarded to winners who catch the largest fish in a variety of species and age group categories.

For more information or to download a registration form visit

The Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament is sponsored by the NJ DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife and Division of Parks and Forestry, the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen's Clubs, Jersey Coast Anglers Association, and the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association.

Tournament anglers may be asked to verify their compliance with the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. If not already registered for 2014 please do so before hitting the beach the day of the tournament. Registration is quick, easy and free. Anglers simply need to log on to and follow the instructions on the page.




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Last Updated: February 6, 2014