Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association May 2018 Newsletter)
National Fishing & Boating Week

NF&BW Free Fishing Day in New Jersey is Saturday June 9, 2018. Residents and non-residents may fish the public waters of New Jersey without a license or trout Stamp. All other regulations apply. For those anglers just starting out, the Division of Fish and Wildlife offers many programs and classes to advance from beginner to expert. The Pequest State Trout Hatchery in Oxford, Warren County offers free fishing programs. Pequest offers a Natural Resource Education Center with a variety of exhibits and displays on wildlife, a butterfly garden, picnic areas and hiking trails. There is also a handicapped-accessible fishing site along the Pequest River.

Sign up for one of the Youth Fishing Challenge. It’s a statewide event to promote fishing among youths and their families. It will be held on the first of the state's two Free Fishing Days, Saturday, June 9, when no license is required to fish regardless of age.

Registered youth participants will be eligible to receive prizes for the fish they catch during the event. Youths must be present at the conclusion of the event to be awarded prizes. Those who are lucky enough to catch a trout tagged as part of the "Hook-A-Winner" Program will receive a special prize following the event. Organizations interested in hosting an event, and individuals interested in volunteering at an event, should complete and submit an application form: Organization/Volunteer Application Form are available online.

Questions can be directed to this email address:

27th Annual Governor's Cup

Get ready to enter the largest surf-fishing tournament along the Jersey Shore. This year it will be bigger and better than ever. The 27th Anniversary of the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament will be on Sunday, May 20, 2018. Don’t miss a day of family fun! Pick up a brochure about the tournament at Island Beach State Park or at your favorite tackle dealer.

Remember, admission to the park is FREE for the tournament. 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. World Jeep – Chrysler – Dodge - Ram, 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 beach maintenance and fluids.

Members of the Vietnam Veterans of America (Chapter 12) and volunteer anglers from various fishing clubs will also assist physically challenged 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

Ken Gurbisz reels in to check his bait during last year's tournament
High School Surf Fishing Team Competition

Don’t forget to register early for the High School Team Competition for the Governor’s Surf Fishing Tournament on Sunday, May 20, 2018. How does the High School Fishing Team Competition work? Five school age students that are part of a formal fishing club or members of a NJ “Hooked on Fishing Not on Drugs” group or a non-formal angling group can register for the Governor’s Annual Surf Fishing Tournament. Each High School will participate as a team with no limit to the number of anglers per each school. There must be one chaperone, 21 years or older, for every 5 high school students. Chaperones are not eligible to fish and must remain with their high school students during the entire Tournament. All angling team members will receive a t-shirt for registering.

GSFT committee members feel the expanded opportunity for youth angling groups to fish the GSFT will create more excitement and recognition for young anglers on tournament day. For more information about New Jersey High School Team Surf Fishing, please visit this link.

NJ DEP Photo: Tournament winner Kyle Brendel NJ DEP Photo: Tournament winner Kyle Brendel
Gloucester NJ HOFNOD Catfish Tournament

Gloucester NJ HOFNOD will hold its first annual Ray Curry Catfish tournament / flea market for kids on June 11, 2016 at River Winds in West Deptford, NJ. Robert Johnston is the HOFNOD Gloucester Township director, if you would like to enter or support this program, please contact Robert @ 856-491-5366, or visit this link.

Play Hook-e Take a Veteran Fishing

Mike and Debbie Bennett of Boating Education and Rescue will host a “Play HOOK-e Take a Veteran Fishing” at Turkey Swamp Park at 200 Georgia Road, Freehold, NJ 07728 on Thursday, May 24, 2018 10:00 am till 12:00 pm. The program will begin with what you need to know about freshwater fishing and how to fish freshwater areas in New Jersey.

The free program is for veteran’s struggling with PTSD but all veterans are welcome to register. Veterans will learn about largemouth bass lures, catch and release methods, rigs and baits, and receive guidance about water safety. By working in small groups each month (10-15 Veterans) and sometimes one on one, veterans are able to gain the confidence needed to communicate about improving their quality of life.

The goal is to connect veterans to VA Service Offices/Outreach Centers, NJ Coastal Parks, Fishing Clubs, Veteran Organizations, and help Veteran men and women take time to heal by utilizing healthy outdoor activities, such as fishing. To register, contact Mike & Debbie Bennett at 732-492-4009 or

Hudson River Fishing Associations May Youth Programs

On May 2nd members will take the Englewood special needs children fishing. May 3rd is fishing with Hackensack middle school children. During May 5th, members will assist with the Ridgefield park earth day.

May 10th will be the Liberty State Marina gathering. May 12th, at Newburge with the wounded worrier project and May 19th-20th Waterford, NY kids fishing program.

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 web page here.

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