Starting on May 3, and running through May 16, boats were departing from the Elco Boat Basin at 7:30 each morning, with participants competing for up to $5,000 in prize money and fishing equipment through the Peace King Cup Fishing Tournament, run out of Bayonne on the Hudson River.
“This is a good activity for families to share time with each other in the ocean,” said tournament organizer Kensaku Takahashi, a boat operator. “It’s challenging. It’s good for young people to build maturity and character.”
The tournament sponsor is the Family Federation for World Peace and Unification (FFWPU), founded by the late Rev. Sun Myung Moon, a fishing enthusiast his entire life, and those involved with the event say the goal is more altruistic than competitive.
Boat navigator Minoru Kageyama of Kodiak, Alaska, explained that Rev. Moon believed that the water is a much more appropriate venue than mountains to communicate with a higher power.
“In Rev. Moon’s case, he’d go out to the ocean to meet God,” said Kageyama, a former Ft. Lee resident. “When you go on the ocean, you think good things. It’s very pure. When you go out on the ocean, you can’t think negative things.”
Rev. Moon urged his followers and others to go out on the ocean, according to Kageyama, “because it’s a good training ground for people.”
The fishing ground for this tournament stretches from Half Moon Bay, Croton-on-Hudson, to Lower New York and Raritan bays.
Most of those attending early on were families, and they seemed to be having fun.
Each day the boat or boats would return to the dock about 4 p.m., with stories of catches, near catches, or just growing closer to each other.
Manoj Jacob, 40, of Nutley, participated with daughter, Maria, 10, on May 8. This was his third time, and he decided to bring his little one because he’d had so much fun other times.
“I came from India in 2004, just for this fishing tournament,” he said. “I came for the family experience.”
The entry fee is $40, and charter boats with bait and tackle are available for booking at the tournament registration site: http://peacekingcup.com.
Participants may fish as many days as they like during the competition, either by using the charter boats available through FFWPU or by using the boats operated by authorized captains. The daily boat rental fee is $80 per person.
“The 2014 Peace King Cup Fishing Tournament is one of myriad ocean-based programs that Father Moon initiated to give people the opportunity to interact with the marine environment,” said Clint Woods, an FFWPU minister. “In so doing, they experience the wonder, power, and harmony of the ocean. Through the Peace King Cup, the very youngest to the very oldest can bond and share in fishing, fun, and fellowship.”
Capt. Akira Hayashi, general manager of True World Tackle, Tackle & Fishing Charter, 805 Broadway, is also involved with the tournament. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (201) 339-2628.
Joseph Passantino may be reached at: JoePass@hudsonreporter.com.