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news releases

May 9, 2016

Contact: Bob Considine (609) 292-2994
Lawrence Hajna (609) 984-1795
Al Ivany (908) 319-2456



(16/36) TRENTON – The 25th annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament, a popular competition for anglers young and old, will be held at Island Beach State Park on Sunday, May 15, Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner Bob Martin announced today.

Formerly an early autumn tradition, this will be the third consecutive year the family-friendly tournament is held in the spring, bringing a renewed enthusiasm for fishing aficionados.

“The Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament is becoming a favorite springtime event at the Jersey Shore,” said Commissioner Martin. “We look forward to a great day for anglers and families from New Jersey and neighboring states, as we kick off the summer tourism season on our beautiful beaches, and celebrate the 25th anniversary of this great family event.”

The Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament offers participants an excellent opportunity to engage in or learn more about the sport of surf fishing. Registration on the day of the tournament begins at 5:00 a.m. with fishing from 6:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The individual who catches the overall largest – or longest - fish wins the "Governor's Award" and will have his or her name engraved on the Governor's Cup, which is permanently displayed at Island Beach State Park. Fishing equipment is also awarded to winners in a variety of species and age group categories.

“Spring-time fishing at Island Beach State Park allows for the possibility of large catches at any given moment,” said DEP Division of Fish and Wildlife Director Dave Chanda. “We anticipate continued excellent surf fishing opportunities and hundreds of anglers, which should make for an excellent tournament.”

“The Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament is an incredible event, and I am privileged to have been involved with it since its inception,” said Paul Smith, past President of the Jersey Coast Anglers Association and one of the original members of the Surf Tournament Planning Committee.” “The tournament has always been geared for people to enjoy a day at the beach fishing with family and friends while raising funds for very worthy causes, and I look forward to seeing it continue and thrive for another 25 years.

The registration fee on the day of the tournament is $20 for ages 18 and older and $5 for ages 13-17. There is no fee for children 12 and under.

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, and marine education and restoration projects.

The Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament is sponsored by the DEP’s 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.

For more information about the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament visit

Tournament anglers may be asked to verify their compliance with the NJ Saltwater Recreational Registry Program. If not already registered for 2016, 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: April 28, 2016