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Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament Moving to May - Register NOW!

January 14, 2014

The NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife has announced that this year's Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament will be moving from October to May. In 2014 the tournament will be held on Sunday, May 18, at Island Beach State Park. The new date for the tournament was proposed in an effort to increase participation in the event. Moving the date to the spring will hopefully allow for better fishing, less competition from competing interests in October such as Fall festivals, sports and bow hunting season, and provide a great way to kick off New Jersey's summer shore season.

This year marks the 23rd year of this popular family event. And while the tournament date has changed, it still offers participants an excellent opportunity to enjoy a fun day of fishing with family and friends. Anglers can also feel great about the use of their registration fees, as all funds raised are used for very worthwhile purposes. These include the purchase of specialized wheelchairs that provide the disabled and elderly beach access, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment, marine education and restoration efforts, and surf fishing access.

The individual who catches the overall largest fish wins the "Governor's Award" and has 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.

Anglers planning to participate in the tournament should register early! Early registrants will save $5 on adult registration, and will be eligible to enter the early entry raffle for a surf rocket, The early entry incentive ends April 21, 2014. After this date, anglers will be required to register at the tournament.

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.

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.

Brochure and Registration Form (pdf, 145kb)

* 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: January 17, 2014