The 21st Annual Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament was held on Sunday October 7 at Island Beach State Park. At the event over 500 anglers caught more than 130 fish.
New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno and Department of Environmental Protection Commissioner Bob Martin were on site to greet tournament participants and to take part in the awards ceremony.
Bill Sheppard of Seaside Park, NJ, took the grand prize and NJ Governor's Cup by catching a 20 3/8" bluefish. Mr. Sheppard received two rod-and-reel combinations, a $100 gift card to Orvis (courtesy of World Fishing Network), a plaque, and will have his name engraved on the Governor's Cup, which is permanently on display at Island Beach State Park.
In addition to the grand prize, eighteen anglers received rod and reel combinations for their prize-winning fish in the various species categories. The anglers who caught the largest blackfish and bluefish also received a $50 gift certificate to Orvis, also courtesy of the World Fishing Network.
Everyone who registered for the tournament was entered into a raffle drawing, which was held prior to the awards ceremony, and pre-registrant entrants were entered into a raffle to win a Surf Rocket, which is a specially designed compressed air casting cannon.
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.
source: NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife