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No fooling, April 1 kicks off with tautog action along the Jersey Shore, with trout season to kickoff in NJ and DE on Saturday, the SRSA kids contest at Spring Lake, and Wildwood Fishing and Boating Expo in South Jersey.
By Jim Hutchinson, Jr.  |  April 1, 2019
Last year’s grand prize winner in the annual 2018 Shark River Surf Anglers Kids Trout Contest was then 13-year-old Zach Pritsch, shown here holding his tourney winning 7-pound, 6-ounce brown trout, while Shark River club president Greg Hueth and VP Ken Morse present the trophy and St. Croix rod and Presidential reel. Zach will be defending his crown this Saturday, April 6 at Spring Lake. Photo by JohnDeBona.

This Saturday and Sunday, April 6-7, join The Fisherman Magazine and friends at the 3rd Annual Wildwood Fishing and Boating Expo at the Wildwoods Convention Center. Sponsored in part by Mud Hen Brewing Company of Wildwood and The Fisherman, the Wildwood Fishing & Boating Expo is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, April 6, and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Sunday, April 7.

Admission price is just $5, with children under age of 12 admitted free. Door prizes will be awarded every hour through the event. Be sure stop by The Fisherman booth for a chance to win a pair of Unsinkable Polarized sunglasses, and get a set of Sea Striker pliers or Star Rod dry bag with your new or renewing subscription. Also stop by the seminar area to attend one of these “how to” workshops (included with your admission price to the show).

Saturday, April 6
10 a.m. Captain Fred (Float Rig, Back Bay Fishing)
11 a.m. USCG Flotilla 083 Wildwood (Boater Safety, Safety Inspections)
1 p.m. Captain Dan Schafer, Bottom Sweeper Jigs (Shallow Water Sheepshead)
2 p.m. Guide Don Goff (Trophy Snake Heads on the Susquehanna River)
3 p.m. NonPariel Tackle (Wind-on Leaders for Trolling, Tandem Wind-ons for Mojos)
4 p.m. Captain Tom Daffin (Summer Flounder over Structure)

Sunday, April 7
10 a.m. Captain Fred (Float Rig, Back Bay Fishing)
11 a.m. USCG USCG Flotilla 083 Wildwood (Boater Safety, Safety Inspections)
12 p.m. Captain Dan Schafer, Bottom Sweeper Jigs (Shallow Water Sheepshead)
1 p.m. Captain Tom Daffin (Summer Flounder over Structure) weather permitting

Located along the famous Wildwoods Boardwalk directly overlooking the beach, the convention center is located at 4501 Boardwalk in Wildwood. For show information call 609-377-1617 or visit the Expo website at www.fishingexpowildwood.com.

In New Jersey, most trout-stocked waters are closed this week for the final stocking of Pequest-raised trout; the 2019 New Jersey trout season is officially open as of 8 a.m. on Saturday, April 6. Don't forget that a fishing license and trout stamp are required to fish for trout if you are 16 years or older. Children under 16 and New Jersey residents 70 years and older can fish without a license. Licenses and stamps may be obtained through one of the many license agents statewide, or online via the state’s Fishing and Hunting License Sales, Hunter Ed Registration and Harvest Reporting portal.

For kids 15 and under, don’t forget about the annual Shark River Surf Anglers Club Kids Fishing Contest at Spring Lake on April 6 from 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Over 500 trout were stocked this past weekend in preparation of the event. Prizes will be awarded on Saturday for first, second and third place in four divisions: age 5 and under; ages 6 to 9 years old; ages 10 to 12-years old and ages 13 to 15. Grand Prize will be a rod and reel and a free taxidermy mount for the heaviest trout. The awards ceremony will be at the weigh in tent on Mercer Avenue at 2 p.m. All trout for the contest must be caught out of Spring Lake and kids must be at the weigh in ceremony to get their prize. All kids will get a goody bag and there will be free food, baits and fishing instructions will be available to all participants.

Across the river in Delaware, trout fishing is officially open as of 7:30 a.m. throughout the state. The daily limit for trout is six in possession. Once an angler takes and possesses six trout in any day, he or she is prohibited from fishing in a designated trout stream during the remainder of that day. Learn more about Delaware’s freshwater trout program with a complete 2019 Delaware Trout Stocking Schedule.

Meanwhile out in Pennsylvania, the Statewide Opening Day for all Pennsylvania waters will be Saturday, April 13, 2019. A minimum size limit for Pennsylvania trout is 7 inches, with the regular season bag limit of five trout through Labor Day, and three trout from September 3 through the end of the year. To learn which trout waters are open now and which ones will reopen as of the Statewide Opening Day visit the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission website for information and details on fishing licenses.