By Michael Reina
Leon Checinski loves to fish, and he wants others to love it too.
In 2017, he founded the Atlantic City Saltwater Angler’s Club, which has since grown to about 100 members. The club encourages recreational fishing, but also looks for ways to give back to the community. They organize fishing competitions, trips, barbecues, food drives and beach clean-ups.
“Pretty much up and down the coast, everyone knows who we are, which is great,” said Checinski.
Checinski started fishing when he was three years old, and it has been a constant in his life ever since. He lived in both North and South Jersey, worked as a contractor, and spent 16 years with the Department of Homeland Security.
Now that he is 56, retired, and living in Somers Point, Checinski can devote more time to building the fishing community in Atlantic City and surrounding area.
But he is also worried about the future of recreational fishing in New Jersey….
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This story is a result of collaboration between Rowan University journalism students and Route 40. It is also part of our participation in a statewide climate reporting collaboration with members of the NJ College News Commons, a network of campus media outlets working together to cover the climate crisis in New Jersey.