The following rules will remain in effect throughout the entire tournament. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be exclusively left to the Tournament Officials. All decisions of Tournament Officials are final.
1. All anglers must have a valid Texas fishing license and saltwater stamp and must observe Texas Parks and Wildlife rules and regulations. All participating boats are expected to comply with all state and federal registration, applicable fishing permit requirements and all safety rules or regulations.
2. All fish must be caught by rod and reel. Minimum line test is 30 lb. test.
3. There will be the following tournament divisions: Amateur Division Natural Bait - Amateur Division Artificial Lure - Open Fly Fishing Division (Guides and Amateurs combined) - Guide/Pro Division.
4. All teams are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, safety, courtesy and conservation.
5. The tournament reserves the right to refuse any entry with or without cause in its sole discretion. Any applicant refused entry prior to the tournament will be entitled to a full refund of paid entry fees.
6. All Tournament team entries must be made on-line, via the website.
7. In the event of an injury or accident, the following list offers telephone numbers and VHF channels monitored by local emergency personnel: VHF Channel 16; Local EMS: 911.
8. All participants are responsible for the operation, maintenance and safety of their vessels, themselves and their fellow team members. All participants are expected to use their own best judgment. No action by the Tournament should be construed as an endorsement or representation concerning whether it is safe to leave port or continue fishing at any given time. The Tournament will not give advice or recommendations to teams concerning weather conditions.
9. All participants must sign the on-line entry and/or registration forms, which includes a waiver, release and indemnity agreement concerning liability. If any team fails to have each member of its team sign this form, it may lead to disqualification and a refusal to award prizes to that team and/or the angler.
10. All participants are expected to operate their boats in a sportsmanlike manner and in conformity with general tarpon fishing techniques, so as to minimize the disruption to fish. Outboard motorboats are requested to have a form of propulsion (i.e. electric motor etc.) that will allow for quiet operation and use of such alternative propulsion system is STRONGLY requested. An infraction of this rule and the spooking of fish will be handled on a case by case basis. If it is determined that such conduct was intentional or reckless, it may result in disqualification during the tournament.
SPECIFIC TOURNAMENT RULES 2019
1. All anglers General Tournament Rules apply unless they specifically conflict with these rules.
2. There are four specific tarpon trophy divisions: Amateur Division Natural Bait, Amateur Division Artificial Lure, Open Fly Fishing Division (Pros/Guides and Amateurs combined) and Guide/Pro Division. An "Artificial Lure" or "Fly" must NOT be tipped with any part of any fish or animal - not including feather skirts, feathers or animal yarns or scenting sprays. (i.e. you may use a scent spray on any lure or the lure may have a skirt made of some form of yarn or feather etc. and it will still be an Artificial Lure or Fly - the intent is to eliminate the use of shrimp, mullet, or other animal part as bait on the artificial lure - tournament officials reserve the right to freely interpret this rule based on the circumstances, so it would benefit you to ask in advance if you have any questions. Infused plastic baits like Gulps are considered artificial lures.)
3. A boat is ineligible to compete as an amateur team if any of its team members is a professional fishing guide or a person who has accepted wages, compensation or pay for hire for the purposes of taking other individual(s) fishing at any time during the past five years. Whether a team is permitted to participate in an amateur division is left to the sole discretion of the Tarpon Tomorrow Texas Tournament Series.
4. An amateur boat may participate for any trophy at any given time based on the bait being used; however, if a Fly Division boat has a professional captain on board, it may not qualify for entry in any Amateur Boat Division.
5. TEAM MEMBER ENTRY FORM: EACH TEAM MEMBER MUST ELECTRONICALLY SIGN AN ON-LINE ENTRY FORM PRIOR TO FISHING – NO EXCEPTIONS. GO TO www.entertarpon.com
6. Participants Rule: The individual participants on any given day of the tournament on a particular team may change; however, the team leader must be on the boat at all times during the tournament and must remain the same.
7. A boat participating in both Fly and Amateur Boat Divisions may only qualify a fish based on the tackle used to catch that fish (i.e. if you catch a fish on a fly rod, it only counts for the Fly Division).
8. Fishing Time: 6:00 a.m. (leave dock) on each Saturday morning and fishing is non-stop until 8:00 p.m. (lines-out) on each Sunday of every tournament weekend. The only exception is Labor Day Weekend, when fishing will be allowed on Monday until until 8:00 p.m. (lines-out). The proof of catch deadline for Labor Day Weekend shall be 8:00 p.m. on Labor Day Monday.
9. Geographical Restrictions: All fish must be wild and hooked and landed in Texas State Coastal Waters, Bays, Rivers and Estuaries which are linked to the Gulf of Mexico, without being cut-off from the Gulf by man-made barriers (i.e. dams, spillways, etc.) Fish may NOT BE CAUGHT OUT OF THE STATE OF TEXAS WATERS!!! NO EXCEPTIONS.
10. Launching Restrictions: Boats MUST launch within the State of Texas.
11. Proof of Catch Deadline: Proof of Catch must be turned in no later than between 8:00 p.m. on Sunday via text message to 713-819-1840. (See 8., above for Labor Day exception).
(A) First Place Trophy to the team that catches and releases the most tarpon each Tournament in each trophy division (i.e. amateur conventional bait, amateur conventional artificial, guide/pro and fly divisions).
(B) Individual Team Member trophies for the first-place teams will also be given in each division.
(C) Second Place Trophies (4 total) will be individual team member trophies for the team who catches and releases the second most tarpon in Amateur Artificial Division on each tournament weekend.
(D) First Tarpon Caught in each Tournament in any division. The First Tarpon Caught trophy will be based on the time that the first proof of catch is submitted via text message across all divisions.
(E) Most Tarpon Tagged Captain's Trophy - to captain in any division streamer tags the most tarpon during the second tournament period running starting September 14th. Tag reports will qualify that coordinate with proof of catch. If you need tags, email me at email@example.com
(F) There will also be one overall trophy for the Most Outstanding Tournament Team throughout the entire tournament series (all division combined) that exhibits the best of the following criteria: (1) sportsmanship; (2) dedication/initiative/effort; (3) number and size of tarpon caught; (4) stewardship of the resource; and (5) overall participation in the tournament experience. This trophy will be a perpetual trophy to be loaned to the captain of the winning team for one year. It must be returned after that year and that captain's team entry fee for next year is waived. The winner will be determined by vote of the Awards Committee; which consists of five members - three permanent members and two annually rotating members elected to serve by the permanent members. The individual members of the committee may not vote on themselves. The goal of the new Most Outstanding Tournament Team perpetual trophy is to foster the objectives of the tournament which are conservation, awareness, education and sport. It will be awarded at the dinner which will be held each winter (January or February) in the Houston, Texas area.
13. PROOF OF CATCH REQUIREMENTS- These Rules MUST be STRICTLY FOLLOWED:
(A) Each tournament weekend, an identifying marker/image will be emailed on the Friday morning before the tournament;
(B) This identifying marker MUST appear in the photo with the fish. It can be printed and placed in the plastic sleeve that will be mailed to you after you register for the tournament. Alternatively, it can be displayed on a phone or iPad, so long as it is clearly visible in the photo with the fish you landed. If the image is not clearly discernable, the photo and proof of catch WILL NOT COUNT.
(C) You must text message your photo between 6:00 a.m. on Saturday and 8:00 p.m. on Sunday, during each tournament weekend to 713-819-1840. Text messages sent after 8:00 p.m. on Sunday will not count. (See exception for Labor Day Weekend in 8, above)
14. CIRCLE HOOK REQUIREMENT: Anyone participating in the Natural Bait Division is required to use a circle hook (see 16 below). Any fishing technique intended or implemented in such a way as to snag or floss a tarpon is strictly forbidden. It is left to the discretion of the Tournament Committee whether a particular technique is a snagging or flossing technique.
15. ENTRY FEES: $175.00 per team boat (Fly or Amateur) Divisions. There is an ENTRY DEADLINE - August 1, 2019. If you have not entered by midnight c.s.t. on August 1, 2019 via the on-line portal, a spot in the tournament cannot be guaranteed. Any open slots will be filled on a first come-first serve basis.
16. TACKLE REQUIREMENTS: (a) Minimum line breaking strength – 30 lbs. (b) All fish must be wild and caught in Texas territorial waters. (c) All fish must be caught by rod and reel. (d) All fish caught using live or dead bait must be caught using circle hooks. J-hooks and treble hooks may be used with lures (which are not tipped with live or dead bait). (e) No leader may exceed 300 lbs. and no leader may exceed 10 feet in length.
17. These rules may be subject to change at the sole discretion of the Tournament Officials at any time prior to fishing beginning on the first day of the tournament.
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Texas Tarpon Tournament Series