The Asbury Park Fishing Club is the oldest Saltwater Fishing Club in the United States. In 1888, James A. Bradley, founder of the City of Asbury Park, and nine of his friends formed an informal surf fishing club. By 1890 it took the official name Monmouth County Protective Association and adopted its purpose “to prevent the useless waste of fish and to assist in breeding game fish.” The name was changed to the Asbury Park Fishing Club in 1902. Membership included Zane Gray, author and outdoorsman; Ezra Fitch, cofounder of Abercrombie and Fitch; J. Lyle Kinmouth, organizer of the Asbury Park Press; and A. F. Meisselbach, manufacturer of Meisselbach fishing reels.

Today our members are equally committed to the preservation of the striped bass, as well as, the alwives that spawn in Deal Lake. Proceeds from the Club’s Fishing Flea Market held annually in Convention Hall are donated to fishery conservation and to the City of Asbury Park to help promote its rebirth.

Below is a photograph of our members taken during a barbecue at the 8th Avenue Beach. The Club hosts a barbecue each year, an annual clean-up of Deal Lake and neighboring beaches, and Spring and Fall fishing tournaments. We are proud to have some of the best striped bass fisherman on the East Coast as members; and a growing number of members who are being judged as the best plug makers in the United States.

If you are interested in becoming a member of the Asbury Park Fishing Club, please come to a meeting and complete an application form. Annual membership is $25.00 with a reduced fee of $5.00 for anyone over 62 or under 18 years of age. The Asbury Park Fishing Club meets 7:30 PM on the first Monday of most months at the VFW Building, Lake Ave, Asbury Park, NJ. Please check our on-line calendar for meeting dates.

October 2005 Barbecue