September already! It kind of snuck up with hurricanes and earthquakes hogging the news. One of the features of September and fishing throughout the fall is an extensive surf-fishing tournament schedule.
The North Wildwood Recreation Department's 42nd Surf Fishing Tournament is Sept. 9 to 11. Registration costs $10 at George Schmidt Gazebo, Third Avenue and JFK Boulevard. beginning 7 a.m. Friday, Sept. 9, and 6 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 10 and Sunday, Sept. 11. Fishing boundaries are Third Avenue to Hereford Inlet. The awards ceremony is noon Sept. 11. Call 609-522-2955.
One of the area's top fall beach classics is the Atlantic County/Atlantic City Surf Fishing Derby that starts Sept. 19 and continues to Oct. 31.
Badges are available for $20 beginning Sept. 3 at participating bait and tackle shops and marinas in Atlantic County. It has a $500 prize for overall heaviest striped bass and $300 for bluefish, weakfish, tautog and kingfish. Weekly prizes in each category are $50. In addition, $300 goes to heaviest fish caught by a youth age 14 and under and to the winner of the Mabel "Doc" Johnston award for heaviest fish caught by a woman.
The weighstations where badges can be purchased: Captain Andy's Marina and Ray Scott's Dock in Margate; Ship Shop in Ventnor; One-Stop Bait and Tackle and Offshore Marine in Atlantic City; Dolphin Dock and Brennan Marine in Somers Point; Bayside Marine, Fish Finder Marina and Riptide Bait and Tackle in Brigantine; Absecon Bay Sportsman Center in Absecon.
Another big surf test goes from Oct. 8 to Dec. 4 with the Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic. It has $1,000 heaviest-fish awards for striped bass and bluefish, plus all kinds of two-week segment, weekly, weekend and daily awards. Details to come later.
Riptide runs the longest surf-fishing contest in South Jersey. It opens Sept. 9 and continues to Dec. 23 on the beaches of Brigantine. Call 609-264-0440.
Birch Grove Park's Family Fun Fest is Oct. 1 in Northfield. It is a Hooked on Fishing Not Drugs event with signups starting at
8 a.m. for boys and girls age 15 and under. All kinds of things are going on with this one, including pony rides, hay rides, vendors and numerous displays. Anyone interested in volunteering can call Bill Coulter at 609-513-3911.
Hurricane Irene cancelled the first tournament on the Association of Surf Angling Clubs' "fall" calendar. It was last Saturday's Men's Open scheduled for Brigantine.
The next event on the ASAC tour is South Jersey Surfcasters on Sept. 10 in Avalon. It is open to teams and individuals and offers a youth award. Signups are $50 for teams and $10 for individuals from 6 to 7 a.m. at Avalon Recreation Center, 3000 Avalon Ave. The 44th Ocean City Fishing Club is Sept. 17 and the 65th Long Beach Island F.C. is
Sept. 24 in Harvey Cedars.
Other ASAC tournaments: 57th Pennsauken F.C. Oct. 1 in North Wildwood, 33rd New Jersey Beach Buggy Oct. 8 in North Wildwood, Hudson River Fishing Association Oct. 15 in Seaside Park, Women's Surf F.C. Oct. 22 in Brigantine, 49th H.W. Shaner Oct. 29 in Seaside Park.