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General Rules

General Rules*

(*last updated June 12, 2012)

Tournament Registration

 All fees paid at the time of registration are non-refundable.

The Tournament Committee shall have the exclusive right to cancel or postpone the tournament at any time prior to 6:00 AM on the first day of scheduled fishing. Should sea, weather or other conditions out of the control of the Tournament Committee affect the minimum required participation of fifty (50) boats, then the Committee shall be permitted to reduce the advertised payout proportionate to the actual participation. For example, 30 boats participating in the tournament would dictate a payout of 60% of the advertised purse money.

All registrations and processing must be completed by 10:00 PM on Wednesday evening. All registrations submitted after 10:00 PM Wednesday shall be assessed a late registration fee of $25.00.

All entries into the added entry (calcutta) or incidental catch categories must be completed prior to 10:00 PM on Wednesday evening…. No exceptions!

All boats entering the tournament late shall only be eligible for the purse money paid out for 1st, 2nd and 3rd places in the applicable catch categories only!

Anglers are only required to fish one day to be eligible for awards.

Communications, Disputes, Special Circumstances

VHF radio channel #72 will be the official tournament communications channel and will be monitored by the Tournament Committee and the authorized committee boats. Please reserve use of this channel for tournament business only!

In the event that a boat becomes disabled, encumbered, or burdened and is in possession of a potentially qualifying fish, they should immediately attempt to contact a tournament official. If they are unable to do so, they should next attempt to contact another boat competing in the tournament to relay a message to the tournament officials. Upon making either direct or indirect radio contact with a tournament official they will be advised as how to proceed. Should this situation occur the Tournament Committee shall have the right to extend the weigh-in time until 12:00 midnight and allow transference of the fish to an alternate boat.

It shall be solely the responsibility of each team to somehow establish communications with the tournament committee (via VHF, cell-phone, satellite-phone, radio-relay, etc.) if they will be coming in late, or if any other special circumstances occur. However, just making such contact will not guarantee that a team’s fish will be weighed after the 7:00 PM deadline.

The decision to qualify a fish (or not) will always be determined by the tournament committee after review of the all the details involved in the catch.

In the event of a dispute, only written protests accompanied by a minimum protest fee of $100.00 (or the cost of a polygraph examination, if required) will be considered. All tournament participants agree to submit to a polygraph examination.

A panel of three (3) judges and one (1) alternate will be appointed by the Tournament Committee to settle disputes about weight and eligibility of any fish. In all cases their decision shall be final.

The Tournament Committee assumes that all sharks that are taken will either be eaten or mounted by the team that caught it. It is illegal for any team member to sell its catch and unacceptable to abandon or dump them. Either action shall immediately disqualify a team from the competition with no refund of any fees paid or award of prize money.

In the event of a tie the first fish weighed will determine the winner.

All prizes will be awarded based on the final decision of the Tournament Committee. All decisions are considered final.

If asked, all winning team members, captains, and mates must agree to take a polygraph test after their last fishing day. Prize money will not be distributed to winning teams until after polygraph testing is complete.

Prize money checks will be issued no less than three days after the awards presentation on June 19.

The judges have the right to disqualify any fish and/or team from the tournament for any un-sportsmanlike conduct or rule infraction without prior warning. Should this be necessary, there will be no refund of any fees paid.

Participants are assumed to have all necessary permits, licenses and/or registrations required by law. However, it is not the responsibility of the tournament officials or directors to verify that all required permits, licenses and/or registrations are acquired by anglers participating in the tournament. Failure of a winning angler to have obtained any or all required permits, licenses and or registrations shall not be the basis for a protest to be filed under the General Tournament Rules, or for a fish to be disqualified.

Fishing Days and Times

Fishing days are Thursday, Friday, and Saturday June 14, 15, &16.

“General registrations” allow team to fish only two of the three fishing days.

“One-day charter boat registrations” allow teams to fish only one of the three fishing days.

No team member may fish or crew more than two days during the tournament.

It is the responsibility of each team to inform the Tournament Committee of the days they are not fishing.

All teams will be considered “as fishing” each day unless the Tournament Committee has been contacted by telephone prior to 9:00 AM at (410) 213-2442 and advised otherwise.

Boats may not leave the sea buoy of the Ocean City, Chincoteague or Indian River Inlet prior to 6:00 AM.

Fishing hours are from 6:00 AM until 3:30 PM. No lines or chum in the water prior to 6:00 AM and no lines or chum in the water after 3:30 PM.

All fishing lines (not hooked-up to a shark or other fish) must be removed from the water at 3:30 PM.

Fishing for bait or non-tournament fish after 3:30 PM is not permitted.

Should a fish be hooked and the Tournament Committee informed of such prior to 3:30 PM, the reporting team will be permitted to play the fish until it’s either caught or released.

No boats shall fish greater than 75 nautical miles from the Ocean City, Maryland sea-buoy.

Tackle and Equipment

Only non-offset circle hooks may be used for sharks.

Shark rigs may not have more than one hook.

No shooting, harpooning (dart-gaff) or use of bang sticks will be permitted. Any fish exhibiting apparent use of such shall be disqualified at the discretion of the Tournament Committee or its judges.

All I.G.F.A. rules shall apply and will be interpreted by the Tournament Committee or its appointed judges. The only exception from these rules is that after a strike, someone other than the angler may be the first to pick up the rod and set the hook, providing the rod is then immediately handed over to the angler who must then fight the fish without assistance.

Weighing Fish and Registering Releases

All boats weighing fish are required to return via the Ocean City, Maryland inlet.

All fish must be weighed by the designated weigh-master at the official scale located at the Ocean City Fishing Center.

All fish caught prior to 3:30 PM must be weighed prior to 7:00 PM the same day. The Tournament Committee reserves the right to extend this time for any fish properly reported as being “hooked up” as of 3:30 PM. If by 7:00 PM there is still a line of boats waiting to get to the tournament scales, those boats will be allowed to weigh their catch after the 7:00 PM deadline providing that by 7:00 PM they’ve crossed the “line of demarcation” and entered Ocean City’s inlet.

CALENDAR OF EVENTS - All Activities at Ocean City Fishing Center


Location: Under the tent – participants and families only
Registration: 5:00 PM
AppleBee’s celebration party – 6:00 to 7:00 PM
Captain’s Meeting: 7:00 PM

Dockside activities: weigh-ins and release announcements – public invited!
Time: 3:30 to 7:00 PM
(See official rules for fishing times)

Outdoor Delmarva Event - public invited!
Location: Under the tent
Activities: 1:00 t0 7:00 PM

Location: Under the tent (tickets required)
Awards Banquet: 1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Awards Presentation: 3:00 PM


More Information at http://www.ocsharktournament.com

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