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April 09, 2008

Phil Kozak fought for school tuna anglers

Phil Kozak fought for school tuna anglers

Phil Kozak of Pompton Lakes, New Jersey, founder and president of the National Fishing Association, lost his battle with cancer at the age of 69 on March 24. Kozak spent much of his time fighting to preserve his favorite sport, school bluefin tuna fishing, for fellow anglers. Every year he consulted skippers from Virginia to New England before working with the National Marine Fisheries Service to come up with seasons and bag limits that would permit a shot at school bluefins in every area. Though Kozak earned his captain's license, he was primarily a private angler running offshore of Manasquan Inlet before switching to Cape May with his Pocket Rocket in recent years to access the early summer tuna fishery just south of there.