OFFICIAL 2019 TOURNAMENT RULES
Frequently Asked Questions
Any boat not operating in a safe and sportsmanlike manner will receive an official warning from the tournament judge. A second warning may result in immediate disqualification from the tournament and all previous releases shall be forfeited.
Foul or abusive language on the radio or on the water by any participant will not be tolerated. Any other action by a participant which is considered offensive by tournament officials or reflects negatively on the event may be grounds for disqualification.
The team captain/observer must alert officials by calling in the boat name and team number immediately after a tarpon is hooked on radio channel #71 or by text.
- An official release will occur when the observer verifies a fish as a tarpon and the angler retrieves the line to the point where the swivel/knot clearly touches the tip of the rod, or the captain/mate clearly touches the leader. At that time, an official release will have occurred and the observer will immediately note on the scorecard the release time. The observer or captain will then contact the tournament judge on radio channel #71, or by text, giving the boat name, Team number, anglers name and time of release.
- Every effort should be made to release the tarpon as quickly and efficiently as possible boat side. Lines may not be cut or broken intentionally away from the boat after an official release if a tarpon extends the fight.
- Last tarpon released prize – to be awarded to the team that releases the last tarpon and is not in first or second place.
Leaders/winners will be decided by earliest time of tarpon released.
The first and last tarpon released prize will be decided by the observers official hook up time and release time. Official event time shall be the head judges cell phone time. Each observer will have a cell phone and their cell phone time will be official for the boat they are on. The observer scorecard must be signed by both captain and observer, then submitted to the head judge at the conclusion of the event to be official.
- 1st Tiebreaker: In the event of a first tarpon caught tie on release time, the tiebreaker will be awarded to the team which hooked up first by observers official scorecard hook up time.
- 2nd Tiebreaker: If hook up times and release times match up, (Example: two first fish hooked within the 5:01 p.m. minute and both released within the 5:04 p.m. minute), the head judge will administer a coin flip to determine the leader/winner.
Should weather conditions not allow safe competition during scheduled tournament hours, the tournament shall be rescheduled to 9 a.m. the following morning. Should unsafe conditions remain the following day, the tournament shall be cancelled, and all prizes awarded by drawing. Charitable entry fee donations will not be refunded. In case of unsafe weather conditions developing after the tournament starts, the tournament may be delayed or stopped at the discretion of the tournament judge. If delayed, the tournament will resume when the judge determines safe conditions exist. If stopped, the leader board will be frozen at the time the tournament was stopped and winners/winner will be declared. All prizes will be awarded.
- Teams will consist of (1) captain and a maximum of four (4) anglers.
- An observer will be placed on competing boats to insure adherence to all rules and to verify releases. An observer’s release/non-release decision is final. Any attempt at intimidation of an observer may be grounds for disqualification.
- Absolutely no alcohol/drugs may be consumed by anyone participating during tournament hours.
- Boats are requested to be a minimum of 24 foot in length. Any boat smaller must be approved prior to the event by tournament officials.
- Live bait only.
- There will be a maximum of two rods in use at any time.
- Maximum leader length of 15 feet. All rods must have a clearly visible swivel or knot connecting the main line to the leader.
- Any tarpon that jumps into another boat is disqualified for consideration as a release.
- Any violation of state or federal laws may be grounds for disqualification.
- Kids may not receive assistance with fighting a tarpon other than from their angler team-mates. Captains/mate may not help advance a tarpon to the boat. Violation of this rule may result in the catch being disqualified. Captains/mate may secure tackle, make rod/reel adjustments, and hold rods to untangle lines, and may cast the bait out and immediately hand the rod to the kids.
- Anglers must be 15 years old or under. (May not be 16 on tournament day).
- No more than seven (7) occupants can be on any participating boat without prior approval by tournament officials.
- All kids 10 years of age and under MUST wear a U.S.C.G. Approved life jacket at all times on the water.
- Any participant failing to fill out a fully completed and signed entry form before the start of the event will not be allowed to participate.
- Teams may not substitute anglers without official approval.
- All contestants and captains agree that any ruling/decision by the tournament judge is final.