Tournament Rules

1. 30 lb. Test line is the maximum line you may use. You may use either conventional or spinning tackle. Tackle will be provided by each of the Charter Boats or you can use your own.

2. Max 12 feet of double line & leader combined. Max of 8-foot leader may be used.

3. Live bait, dead bait or lures may be used. Single hook with live bait only. No trailer hooks.

4. Only (2) lines in the water per boat at any time.

5. Lines in the water at:

  • Day 1 – 4:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Day 2 – 4:30 PM – 8:30 PM
  • Day 3 – 4:30 PM – 8:30 PM

6. Captain or Mate may throw or cast bait; Angler must thereafter hook and fight fish. Special rule: It is Permissible to pass a hooked fish from one team member to another on the same boat just one time during the fight. The angler must reel the swivel to touch the top roller or eye on the rod to qualify as a released fish (Another angler or team mate touching leader Does Not Count as a released fish). If the boat Captain or Mate touches the leader this will count as a released fish. We sincerely request even though you have obtained a release, you please remove the hook or cut it off as short as possible. Others may remove seaweed or other debris from the line, provided they do not assist the fight in any other way. No other angler can touch the rod, reel or line. Or help in any way with the hooking of a fish, the only time they can touch the rod or reel of another team member is when they are handing a hooked fish to another team member one time during the fight or the fish will be disqualified.

7. Any fish that is hooked by more than one angler is disqualified.

8. The official VHF Channel for the tournament will be channel #74. A release of any species must be Called into the committee boat as soon as possible as all scoring is based on time of release. All boats involved are requested to relay transmission that are having trouble getting through. Please note the time of a release and the angler’s name that is having trouble getting confirmed. Another option is to call in your release by cell phone. It is important to confirm a release because a release not confirmed by committee boat within 20 minutes will be disqualified. Committee boat cell phone numbers are (609) 617-0026 or (305) 393-0699

9. Releases of all tarpon will count 125 points per fish. Any killed fish for mounting will be immediately is disqualified! You do not need to kill the fish to have it mounted. Measurements can be taken by the Captain and the fish released and you still can get a mount.

10. Fishing Boundaries are 2 miles either North or South of M.M. 66 West to M.M. 35 along US #1. (From East end of Long Key Bridge to West end of Bahia Honda Bridge) At no time will fishing be allowed inside of or within 300 yards of the mouth of any basin or man made channel. If a certain area or location is in question, it must be addressed at the Captain’s meeting prior to the start of the tournament with the tournament committee as well as the other anglers & captains.

11. All fish hooked up in the last 15 minutes must be called in to committee boat. And the fish may be fought and will count in the point total even if boated or released after the official ending time of that day’s tournament. Maximum extra time past official ending time (30 minutes). Results of late hook up must be called into committee boat regardless of the outcome. Please keep channel 74 clear of all transmissions except to report hookups or releases from 15 minutes before official daily ending times.

12. If the tournament is called because of weather you only have to fish one night to have the tournament considered official.

13. All boats in the tournament must be equipped with two fighting chairs for the use of the anglers onboard. If the team member agree not to have fighting chairs on the boat it is their call not the Captains.

14. All tarpon must exceed 36 inches in length from tip of mouth to “fork” of tail. Please use you best judgment as this is an honor tournament. This rule, I’m sure, will become known as, “The Nursery Rule”. Fishing in basins is prohibited!

15. While fighting a hooked fish the angler or teammate cannot do the following

  1. Leave the boat in order to pass the hooked fish around or under bridge pilings.
  2. Throw the rod overboard with a floatation device attached.

16. All rulings by the tournament committee are final. The members of the tournament committee are Captain Donna VanKirk and Bob Traa.


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