One of the state's largest and most notable fishing tournaments is moving away from its usual fall date and will now be held in May.
The state Department of Environmental Protection, which hosts the annual tournament at Island Beach State Park, announced the move Tuesday and said this year's event would be held May 18.
Officials did not give a reason as to why the change was made.
"This year marks the 23rd year of this popular family event," the DEP said in a statement. "While the tournament date has changed, it still offers an excellent opportunity to enjoy a fun day of fishing with family and friends."
The tournament is high profile in the state's fishing community. The individual who catches the overall largest fish each year wins the "Governor's Award" and has his or her name engraved on the Governor's Cup which is permanently displayed at the park. Fishing equipment is awarded to winners who catch the largest fish in a variety of species and age group categories.
Registration fees for the event – for those who pre-register, $15 for ages 18 and up and $5 for those 13 to 17 – go toward the purchase of specialized wheelchairs that provide the disabled and elderly beach access, surf fishing instruction programs and equipment, marine education and restoration efforts, and surf fishing access.
Anglers 12 and under can enter for free.
For more information or to download a registration form visitwww.njfishandwildlife.com/gsft.htm.