Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association July 2018 Newsletter)
HOFNOD Team Leader Training

On July 28-29, 2018, the NJDEP Division of Fish and Wildlife will host a 2-day Hooked on Fishing - Not on Drugs (HOFNOD) training for adult staff and volunteers of youth-centered community and/or faith-based organizations looking to offer an ongoing or year-round youth fishing, conservation, and aquatic education program. The training location is at Pequest Trout Hatchery & Natural Resource Education Center 605 Pequest Rd. Oxford, NJ.

HOFNOD is a great way to introduce youth to fishing, learning about their local waters and other natural resources while supporting positive outdoor recreation activities and life skills. The program is flexible enough to be tailored to fit most organizations.

Participants in the training will be responsible for delivering the program to youth from beginning to end over the course of 22 or more sessions. Organizations that participate in the program are eligible to receive additional professional development in conservation education and angling skills and in-kind support for program materials and supplies including subsidized educational field trips. Supplemental training can be requested for content like fly tying and kayaking.

For more information about the training, contact Liz Jackson for details. 908-637-4125 x122 or visit the NJ Division of Fish & Wildlife web page

2018 HRFA Catfish Chaos Derby

The Hudson River Fishermen’s Association is sponsoring this fun catfish event for youngsters and adults. Only catfish caught in the Hudson River will qualify for a prize. Catfish Chaos Derby to be held on August 18, 2018 from 12:01am until 3:00pm. The weigh stations listed on the registration page are where fish will be checked in according to length. There will be prizes awarded at each weigh station for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for adult and youth division. Overall tournament winners for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place for adult and youth division. You can fish from a boat, pier and shore. The event is scheduled for August 18th and you can register online at this link.

Toms River South High School Fishing Indian

Everyone had a great time at the 27th Annual Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament and there was plenty of action on the beach for the Toms River South High School Fishing Indians that took first place for the high school division. The school team was sponsored by NJBBA. Paul Harris and other NJBBA members along with their teachers taught students about fishing and conservation over the course of the school year. The winning fish was 35 1/2 inch Bluefish caught by Dan Damato. Dan also caught 2 other keepers. Eli Mc Ewan put a 20 1/4” blue on the books. A short bass was also caught by Mason Augustino. The Governor’s Surf Fishing tournament is a fun family and it keeps getting better every year.

Visit the NJBBA website to see more photos of students fishing at the tournament.

2018 Governor's Cup Winners

Photo by Maureen Bailey

Family Fun Day and Fishing Tournament

The Sunshine Foundation will hold its Fluke and Bluefish Family Fun Day and Fishing Tournament on July 7th, 2018 at American Legion Post 493 from 3pm to 7pm. Captain’s Meeting is July 6th at 6:00 pm. American Legion Post 493 is located at 420 Radio Road, Little Egg Harbor, NJ. For more information call Tom at 732-267-6451 email:

Educational Programs

Summer programs for adults and children at Sedge Island are offered by the Conserve Wildlife Foundation of NJ, and a partner with the NJ DEP in many management, research and educational programs. Programs range from fishing to kayaking to professional development workshops for teachers.

To learn more, visit the CWF's Sedge Island page.

IGFA Student Fishing Clinic

Gene Nigro is the International Game Fish Association, State Representatives for New Jersey and promotes youth fishing and education clinics. The clinics were started to encourage kids to fish and keep our sport alive for the future. It's more than just fishing.

This year, Gene is working with Jeff Johnson, Keansburg schools and Father Time organizer. The education clinic is run over two (2) days in August. Saturday, August 4th - a classroom based Fishing Clinic hosted by local environmentalists and charter captains. The clinic will focus on Marine Science topics such as tag and release, ethical angling; estuaries, keeping the ocean clean, and advanced fishing skills. The presenters are all local environmental and angling experts. The program is limited to 25 students fifth through grade twelve.

Wednesday, August 8th those students who completed the clinic on August 4th are invited to go on a free Charter boat trip aboard the Bingo out of Atlantic Highlands and use skills and knowledge acquired at the clinic. The trip will be supervised by the crew of the Bingo, IGFA volunteers, and Father Time members. All associated costs are picked up by the IGFA as well as sponsors such as Dicks Sporting Goods and Ande Line.

Free Crabbing Contest

The Bunker Challenge Crabbing Contest is scheduled for Saturday, July 21st, 9:00 am until 1:00 pm. Bunker bait ONLY. (No Chicken) Bunker will be provided courtesy of Jenkinson’s Aquarium.

There are two categories children 12 years old and under and 13 up to adult. No entry fee. The contest will be held at the Mantoloking Bridge County Park in Brick, New Jersey. For more information call 732-506-5122.

Veteran and Family Fishing Programs

Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing Jersey Shore Chapter offers all Veterans with disabilities an opportunity to participate in and learn all facets of fly fishing. On Sunday, July 1, 2018 10:00 am until noon program leaders will meet at Turkey Swamp Park, Freehold Township, NJ. They will teach fly casting methods to catch Largemouth Bass, Panfish, and Crappie.

For information about the Jersey Shore Project Healing Waters Fly Fishing contact: Raoul Cordeaux at

If you would like to donate your time the New Jersey Beach Buggy Association will assist veterans fishing on July 14th at a pier located at 81st Street (bay side), Stone Harbor, NJ. Veterans attending will travel from the New Jersey Veterans Memorial Home. NJBBA provides all the food and goodies for the veterans.

Throughout the summer free fishing programs are offered to our veterans and their families. To learn more about Play HOOK-e Take a Veteran Fishing, we started something new called MailChimp. MailChimp is an automation email platform to manage our Play HOOK-e Take a Veteran Fishing Program. It allows us to provide a bi-monthly email newsletter that lets us alert veterans about FREE programs they can read about and register to attend. We also list programs from other veteran organizations that can help veterans and their families get outside and enjoy the outdoors by utilizing Eco-therapy and other activities to limit PTSD symptoms.

If you would like to subscribe to the Play HOOK-e Newsletter, please click on this link to register. You can unsubscribe anytime or update your information.

2018 Kids Wish’n to Go Fish’n

The 2nd Annual “Kids Wish’n to go Fish’n” For Special Needs Children will be held at Ponderosa Estates Farms Lake Julianna, Millstone Township, NJ. We already have our “Play HOOK-e” veterans and member clubs of JCAA registered to come out again and help the special needs youngster’s fish.

The event is scheduled for Saturday, September 29, 2018 from 10:00 am till 2:00 pm special needs children ages 6 to 16 years old are invited to catch and release fish at Lake Julianna. Mr. Cardinale is providing plenty of fun surprises for all special needs children and the event will include a hot dog and hamburger barbeque lunch for children and their guests, complements of Cardinale Enterprises, LLC.

Local merchants and contributors are providing prizes, goodie bags and tee shirts for girls and boys fishing Lake Julianna’s “Kids Wish’n to go Fish’n.” All children go home winners and the fish win too. If you would like to volunteer at this worthwhile event for special needs children, please contact Don Marantz, JCAA Youth Education Committee at 908-347-1434.

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