Youth Education Report

by Greg Kucharewski
(from Jersey Coast Anglers Association February 2021 Newsletter)

Use the icy cold days of winter to work on your fishing equipment. I do this every year and it gives me a chance to inventory my fishing arsenal and get everything in top notch condition before I wet a line. I start by inspecting my tackle boxes, surf bags, boots, foul weather gear and rods and reels. Look for worn straps on surf bags, gear in tackle packs, fishing belts, clothing, and boots/waders. Saltwater corrodes zippers, metal parts and makes plastic clips brittle. Replace anything that looks like it will not survive another season. Inspect waders with a flashlight in a dark area to locate small pinholes where water can seep in. Donít wait till your first day on the beach to discover you need a repair or new boots.

Examine each lure and hook. Is it time to refurbish these prize fish catchers before you buy a new lure? You will be surprised what a little touchup paint, hook sharping or replacement will do to get that favorite lure back in the crosshairs of hungry fish.

Over the years Iíve witnessed anglers walking into tackle shops with reel parts in a bag. It is (another failed attempt at reel repair by the owner.) By the way, there is always something missing, either a screw or a spring that flew into orbit. When it comes to servicing fishing reels you must know how to service them correctly or you will pay dearly to fix or replace a reel. Visit your local tackle dealer before the fishing season starts. Tackle dealers can evaluate your reel and determine if it needs parts, cleaning, or lubrication. My advice: It is less expensive to have a professional look at your reel and decide what is needed. They will also check the line for wear and change it for you.

Check rod guides for grooves, cracks, and if they are loose. I use a cotton ball on metal guides and an Exacto knife on ceramic guides. If you are unsure how to examine your rod guides visit your local tackle dealer, they will show you how to check guides in a matter of minutes. Once you learn this simple procedure you can check the guides after a few fishing outings. There is nothing worse than hooking a fish and having your line cut by a cracked guide or tip top.

If you drive on the beach itís a good idea to have your mechanic inspect your 4 x 4 vehicle for uneven tire wear, wheel bearings, axle, suspension, drivetrain, drive shaft and steering. Do this before your check engine light goes on and you will have an enjoyable time fishing and catching.

30th Annual Governorís Surf Fishing Tournament

High school fishing clubs, along with other school-based fishing teams, are gearing up for the 30th Annual Governorís Cup School team competition. Due to COVID, last year the event was cancelled twice. This year, the event will be held on Sunday, May 23 and participants will follow NJ COVID guidelines. Please visit the JCAA Website for updates and donít forget to register for the free at this link.

NJ HOFNOD - NJ Scientific Collection Permit

We will assist Brick Memorial High School to apply for a 2021 New Jersey Scientific Collection Permit to continue their school-based research project that will record the growth rate of blackfish.

Tim Brennan and his team at the school did a great job of preparing a 90-gallon saltwater tank for this project. Students will learn about the process of applying for a NJ DEP collection sampling permit, required reporting correspondence to maintain a valid permit, recording data benchmarks, saltwater tank maintenance, fish feeding, controlled temperature growth effects, measurement tools and NJ DEP conservation rules and regulations.

Disabled Veteran - Free Mobile Sportfishing Permit

George Browne, JCAA Access Chairman, reminds all eligible disabled veterans to apply for an IBSP 2021 Mobile Sportfishing Permit to drive on the beach. Veterans must provide the following: Form DD 214 Honorable Discharge, Valid NJ Driver License and Registration, Veterans ID Card proof of service-connected disability. If you plan to fish on the beach you must register for a Free NJ Saltwater Recreational Registration Card. It is suggested new beach drivers take a beach safety driving course - info at this link. NJBBA offers a beach driving course. For more information about permits and hours contact: Island Beach State Park, 732-793-0506. Visit VVA Chapter 12 for Play HOOK-e veteran news and discounts.

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