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Hundreds Enjoy 24th Annual Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament


The 24th Annual Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament was held Sunday May 17, 2015 at Island Beach State Park. A cloudy morning gave way to sun and an easterly breeze for more than 600 registered participants, and their families and friends. Although fishing was slow with only 13 fish caught for the day, everyone still enjoyed a beautiful day at the shore.

New Jersey Lieutenant Governor Kim Guadagno also joined tournament participants fishing in the morning, and once fishing had ended headed over to tournament headquarters to take part in the awards ceremony. She was joined by DEP Commissioner Bob Martin where they presented prizes to tournament winners in a variety of categories.

Rich Bergman of Atco, NJ took the grand prize and NJ Governor's Cup by catching a 32" striped bass. Mr. Bergman received one-rod and reel combination, a Coastline Surf System, a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses of his choosing, a plaque, and will have his name engraved on the Governor's Cup, which is permanently on display at Island Beach State Park.

Mr. Bergman generously donated his rod and reel combination to Island Beach State Park's surf fishing cart, which is used through the summer and fall for surf fishing clinics. His donation will allow others to experience the sport of surf fishing.

In addition to the grand prize, five anglers received rod and reel combinations and a pair of Costa Del Mar sunglasses for their prize-winning fish in the striped bass and bluefish categories.

Everyone who registered for the tournament was also entered into a raffle drawing with prizes. The Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament Committee would like to thank the following organizations for their generous raffle prize donations:

Costa Del Mar Inc., Chestnut Neck Boat Yard, Coastline Surf Systems, NJ Division of Fish and Wildlife's Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs program, J.T. Brooks Automatic Tire Deflators, Jenkinson's Aquarium, Legal Limits, Manns Bait Company, O Mustad & Sons Inc., On the Water Magazine, Silver Horde, Sportmen's Center, and Stanley Jigs.

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, including the purchase of 15 brand new surf wheelchairs, which were on display at this year's tournament.

Winners of the 2015 Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament are:

Bluefish Category

Adult (Female)
First Place - Dawn Howachen, Forked River, 16 5/8"

Adult (Male)
First Place - Chris Healy, Little Silver, 28 7/8"
Second Place - Jeremy Omrod, Langhorn, PA, 25 3/8"
Third Place - Thomas P. Marshall, Philadelphia, PA, 23½"

Striped Bass Category

Adult (Male)
Second Place - Paulinho Romanichen, Elizabeth, 30"

First Place & Governor's Cup Winner
Rich Bergman, Atco, 32"