The 31st Annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament was held May 15, 2022 at Island Beach State Park. The day stared with fog, but ended with sunshine, and while it was a slow day of fishing, everyone seemed to enjoy spending their day on the beach trying their best to get a fish to bite.
This was the fifth year the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament was open to high school teams with their own team category. Sixty-five high schoolers from six school fishing teams fished this year’s tournament. One team leader said, “The kids didn’t catch anything, but they had a great day!”
Assistant Commissioner of NJ DEP Fish and Wildlife, Dave Golden, was there to congratulate tournament winners, while assisting with the awards ceremony. Sponsoring organization presidents Gary Conk, Sr, NJ Beach Buggy Association; Wade Stein, NJ State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs; and Mark Taylor, Jersey Coast Angler Association, also assisted with handing out tournament prizes. While six striped bass were entered into the tournament, Pam McGee of Newton was the Governor’s Cup winner with a 37 ½” striped bass.
Ms. McGee received two rod and reel combinations, a plaque and will have her name engraved on the Governor’s Cup, which is permanently on display at Island Beach State Park. Unfortunately, no one in the high school team category entered any fish.
In addition to the grand prize, four anglers received rod and reel combinations for their prize-winning fish in the striped bass category. There are overall categories for children, teen, and adult anglers, including sub-categories for male and female anglers.
The event was sponsored by the NJDEP’s Fish and Wildlife and State Park Service, the New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Clubs, the Jersey Coast Anglers Association, and the NJ Beach Buggy Association.
More than $150,000 has been raised since the inception of the tournament for conservation and education projects and improved beach access.
Winners of the 2022 Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament are:
Striped Bass Category Teen (Male):
- First Place: Logan Appello, Cliffside Park, NJ – 29 5/8”
- First Place: Tim Moran, West Milford, NJ – 31 4/8”
- Second Place: Vincent Percella, Lavallette, NJ – 31 1/8”
- Third Place: Ron Butkiewicz, Warren Twp., NJ – 28 6/8”
- First Place and Governor’s Cup Winner: Pam McGee, Newton, NJ – 37 4/8″