Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association February 2017 Newsletter)
Boating Education and Rescue B.E.A.R.

Since 2014 the JCAA Youth Education Committee has worked with and supported “Boating Education and Rescue,” coordinated by Mike and Debbie Bennett who are environmental and boating safety educators. Mike and Debbie are NJ State Certified Instructors, Certified Master Naturalist and NJ HOFNOD Certified Instructors and are a 501 (c) 3 organization. Over the years we partnered together on youth fishing and veteran “Play HOOK-e” workshops. The Bennetts are very generous towards our JCAA NJ HOFNOD youth programs and also help our veteran men and women reconnect to the outdoors.

Each month Mike and Debbie host youth fishing, water safety, environmental conservation, and junior boater’s workshops at Ocean County Park, Lakewood, NJ. They are dedicated instructors who teach school-age children and their families about protecting our environment and how to be safe on the water. Mike and Debbie also visit local schools and fishing clubs to present programs such as, “Reel Fun Fishing” that is linked to NJ HOFNOD, “Pollution/Solutions”, “Outdoor Adventures” that includes crabbing, archery, nature walks, and “Inky the Whale” a story about a baby pygmy sperm whale.

If your club or school is interested in learning more about B.E.A.R., “Reel Fishing”, environmental conservation, outdoor family fun, and boater safety “Suddenly In Command” we recommend you contact Mike and Debbie Bennett at: 732-492-4009 Website – Email –

Newark Bait & Fly Casting Club Youth Fishing Seminar

Children and their families are welcome to come and enjoy a night of fun fishing activities and refreshments. Each year on the first Tuesday in March the Newark Bait and Fly Casting Club hosts a Kid's Fishing Seminar at the Kenilworth VFW in Kenilworth, NJ. The seminar is free for participants and their chaperones. Carl Bruger, Hudson River Fisherman’s Association is the guest speaker and will provide a fun learning activity for attendees. Carl was the recipient of the 2016 Youth Education Award. As a former educator I am sure Carl will capture the audience attention with his experience and knowledge about fishing. Children can learn to cast and try to catch one of the special backyard bass fish and learn about different types of fishing, baits, fly tying, etc. The seminar is scheduled for 7:30 p.m., Tuesday, March 7, 2017 and it’s always a lot of fun for the youngsters.

NJ HOFNOD Instructor Training

The next NJ HOFNOD Leader Training will be held April 28-30, 2017 at the Lighthouse Center in Waretown, NJ.

NJ HOFNOD is coordinated by Liz Jackson, HOFNOD Coordinator DEP Division of Fish & Wildlife. Please contact Liz to learn more about the benefits of becoming a NJ HOFNOD instructor. 908-637-4125 x122 or e-mail at

Paul Smith JCAA Youth Education Committee Member

JCAA Youth Education Committee member Paul Smith is working with local high school student educators in Point Pleasant Beach and assisting them with the specialized craft of building a sailing duck boat. After students complete the design model and build the sailing duck boat, they will use it to compete during August 2017 at the Mantoloking Yacht Club Sailing Duck Boat competition.

Since 1963, Paul Smith has been a Master Craftsman Boat Builder at David Beaton & Sons in West Mantoloking, Brick, NJ. The high school advisors are lucky to have Paul as a mentor because when Paul started his career he learned how to build Duck boats, Sneakboxes, Comets, Penguins, Lightnings, and Bluejays. This is a great learning experience in boat building for Point Pleasant Beach high school students. I’m sure they will use their new skills to build a wining vessel for the 2017 Mantoloking Yacht Club Sailing Duck Boat competition.

Last year, Paul Smith was recognized at the Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame. The Barnegat Bay Sailing Hall of Fame promotes and preserves the area’s maritime heritage by recognizing individuals whose accomplishments on the water and/or on shore have significantly enhanced Barnegat Bay’s maritime character and strengthened its status as a maritime center. They could not have chosen a better person to receive recognition for his tireless efforts of contributing to the sport and the protection of our aquatic resources.

Paul is also a member of the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament Committee and recently attended a GSFT meeting with Jim Freda and Eric Wasnesky - Manasquan High School Fishing Club, Jeremy Muermann and Terry Stuart – Lacey Township HS Fishing Club, Bob MacMaster – Toms River Southern Regional Fishing Club and other GSFT Committee members to discuss a high school fishing competition on Sunday, May 21, 2017 at Island Beach State Park during the GSFT. This is still in the development stage and we are fortunate to have dedicated educators to help create a fun surf fishing program for students. More high school fishing information will follow in the March JCAA Youth Education report.

Island Beach State Park Beach Wheelchairs

We are gearing up for the 26th Annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament and we would like to remind our physically challenged anglers that there is an area at OBA 1 with beach wheelchairs available. The JCAA Youth Education Committee is helping novice and physically challenged anglers at the Governor's Surf Fishing Tournament. This year the World Jeep Chrysler, Shrewsbury, NJ will assist physically challenged anglers with a NEW 4x4 VIP vehicle to transport anglers that will be fishing the reserved area in front of OBA 1. Team World Jeep Chrysler will also be available to answer questions about 4x4 maintenance and fluids.

Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America (Chapter 12) and volunteer anglers from various fishing clubs will also assist. Island Beach wheelchairs are provided by: Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament Committee, New Jersey Beach Buggy Association, New Jersey State Federation of Sportsmen’s Club, Jersey Coast Anglers Association, Jersey Shore Surfcasters, Greater Point Pleasant Charter Boat Association, John Mangiante Foundation, Manasquan River Marlin and Tuna Club, and Jersey Coast Shark Anglers. If you know a disabled veteran or angler that would like to fish the tournament, please phone Greg K at 732-785-9278 or email

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