Revised 07/12/2017

 

RULES FOR 2017

The organizational meeting for Captains will be held on Thursday, October 5, 2017 at 7:00 p.m. at Southport Marina, tournament headquarters. It is strongly advised that all captains attend this meeting, as any rule changes or necessary clarifications will be announced at the meeting.  A Goody Bag will be given to the captain of the first 400 boats entering the tournament. 

 

ELIGIBILITY

1. Each boat in tournament competition will receive an entry number and shall display that number in a manner which will make it easily identifiable during competition hours.

 

2. Tournament officials will monitor VHF 68 during competition hours. VHF 16 is to be kept open for emergency calls and Coast Guard assistance. Tournament boats wishing to contact other boats will call on VHF 68 then switch to an open working ship to ship channel (6-69-70-71-72).

 

3. The eligible species for competition purposes is king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla).

 

4. Tournament competition limited to motorized boats only.

 

5. This is a sporting event.  There shall be no more than six lines fished from any boat. All fish must be taken on a rod and reel. No boat lines or electric reels will be allowed. Downriggers, outriggers and kites will be permitted as fishing line carriers only.

 

6. There is no restriction as to the number of people allowed aboard each boat during competition hours.

 

7. The tournament committee reserves the right to inspect any boat entered in competition, including an on board inspection.

 

8. The tournament committee reserves the right to refuse an entry into the tournament.

 

9. The tournament committee reserves the right to place a tournament representative on any entrant's boat during competition for the purpose of observation.

 

10. A captain may enter one boat only in the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament. The boat entered must be the boat fished throughout the tournament. Replacement boats may not be entered for any reason after 7:00 am on the first day of the tournament competition.

 

11. A registered captain must be on the boat each day of the Tournament. If/when a change in captain occurs, the replacement captain must be cleared in writing at the Tournament Headquarters in advance of Check-Out the day of the change. 

 

12. Information entered on the registration form is official and any changes must be initialed by participant.

 

COMPETITION

1. This is a Captain’s Choice Tournament.  It is up to the Captain of each boat to determine if he/she and crew will compete one or two of the tournament days – October 6th & 7th.   On tournament days, competition hours are 7am until 5pm on Friday, October 6th and 7am until 4pm on Saturday, October 7th.

 

2. Boundaries. All boats must remain within boundaries during fishing hours. All boats also must remain within the boundaries while catching bait. Boundaries are bordered on the north by a straight line through the New River sea buoy and extending through the intersection of 34o00'00" N and 76o00'00" W (Magnetic 125o ). These waters will be bordered on the south by a straight line through the Murrell's inlet sea buoy and extending through 32o30'00" N and 78o00'00" W (Magnetic 148o ). Note: Boats will be allowed to use any navigable inlet from New River Inlet south to and including Murrell's inlet.

 

3. Check-Out. We plan to have check-out points listed pending any openings or closures. Actual check-out locations will be announced during the Captain's meeting. Once check-out is completed, the entrant can proceed off-shore. Entrants must check-out to be eligible for competition that day.

All competing boats must check out at one of the following locations: Cape Fear River at Southport, Masonboro Inlet, Snows Cut, Holden Beach Marina (be aware of the No Wake Zone) or Little River Inlet.

Directions for using one of two Check-Out locations in the Cape Fear River:

  • Those who plan to use the Western Bar Channel will file past the check-out volunteer located on the NC Baptist Assembly Fishing Pier.   
  • Those who plan to use the Cape Fear River Channel will file past the check-out volunteer located in a boat stationed North of the Bald Head Island Marina Entrance (DO NOT BLOCK THE MARINA ENTRANCE). 

IN BOUND boat traffic on the Western Bar Channel during peak Check-Out - Refrain from coming into the Cape Fear River using the Western Bar Channel between 6:45am-7:30am on Friday and Saturday. It will be the policy of the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament that boats that do not adhere to this suggestion will be sent to the end of the check-out line to await check-out.

 

Check-out points will be manned from 7am until 9am each day; boats checking out after 9am must do so with designated officials at Southport Marina. It is the responsibility of the entrant to see that visual check-out is made to be eligible for competition that day.

 

4. Two or more boats congregating during competition hours shall be disqualified from competition that day. Emergency exceptions to this rule must be approved by radio contact with the tournament committee in advance. No prior approval required for catastrophic emergencies such as sinking or where death may occur.  Congregation is defined as two or more boats touching and/or passing objects to another boat.

 

5. All boats must observe no-wake zones or be disqualified from competition that day.

 

6. Use of spotting aircraft and/or drones is prohibited.

CHECK-IN AND VERIFICATION

1. The weigh-in station will be located under a tent at the Southport Marina. Entrants wishing to weigh fish for competition must proceed to the weigh-in station immediately after off-loading at the designated off-loading docks.  Those wishing to weigh-in fish between 11am-4pm on Friday, October 6th and 11am-3pm on Saturday, October 7th should proceed directly to the Southport Marina.  To be eligible to weigh fish after 4pm on Friday and 3pm on Saturday you must first check-in at one of the designated check-in points - NC Baptist Assembly @ Fort Caswell Fishing Pier or South Harbour Marina Gas dock, ICW then immediately proceed to the off-loading docks at Southport Marina.  Entrants with fish to weigh must be in the check-in line by 5pm on Friday and 4pm on Saturday. The check-in points will close once all the boats have passed that were in the line by 5pm on Friday and 4pm on Saturday. Only those boats wishing to weigh-in fish need to check-in.

 

2. It is the sole responsibility of the crew aboard each boat to off-load and present its catch for weighing. Crews should have their fish ready for off-loading; there is a 60 second limit on the time a boat can spend at the off-loading dock. A crew member must accompany fish to the weigh station.

 

3. All fish must be brought to the tournament headquarters by boats catching same under its own power. Fish cannot be transported over land.

4. A signed, sworn affidavit will be required of each individual who places a fish in competition for tournament prizes.

5. A marine biologist will be present during the tournament for the purpose of advising the Weight and Fish Certification Committee. Each fish presented for prize competition will undergo scrutiny by the marine biologist.

6. All king mackerel submitted for weigh-in must be in fresh, edible condition and caught during the fishing hours that tournament day. No mutilated fish will be accepted for weigh-in. Mutilation is defined as any damage which may impair the fish's fighting ability.  No frozen fish will be accepted for weigh-in under any circumstances. Attempted weight alteration of any fish automatically disqualifies the boat from the tournament (alterations such as inserted weights, ice, water, bait fish, etc.).

 

7. The Weight and Fish Certification Committee shall immediately notify an angler of any questionable fish submitted for weigh-in. This Committee shall immediately determine eligibility. The angler may then petition the Protest Committee for a final ruling (see #8 Protest Procedures).  If a fish is determined ineligible after being weighed, all fish weighed by that entrant will be disqualified and the entrant will not be eligible to continue competing in that year's tournament. 

 

8. All protests concerning the Weight and Fish Certification Committee rulings and/or determination of tournament prize winners shall be made to the tournament Protest Committee and shall be accompanied by $500 cash.  All protests shall be made no later than one hour after the last fish has been weighed. In the event that a protest is upheld by the Protest Committee, the $500 cash will be returned. In the event that the protest is not upheld, the $500 cash will become the property of the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament. All decisions made by the Protest Committee shall be final.

 

9. A boat entry can only win one Primary Prize. The entrant does remain eligible to win Secondary Prizes with the same fish or additional fish. Fish weights will be entered in an on-site computer. Each fish will be entered in the appropriate category of competition so as to assure the angler of the greatest prize earnings.

10.  In the event that two or more king mackerel are the same weight, the winner shall be determined by the earliest weigh-in time.


11. The boat captains from the projected 1st place overall and the 1st Place Super High Roller TWT shall be subject to a polygraph screening. It is the responsibility of the Captain and crew of these boats to make themselves available at the Tournament Headquarters located at Southport Marina by 6pm on the final day of competition.

All other prize winners may be subject to a polygraph screening. These other prize winners will be contacted by 6pm on the final day of competition. If called upon for the polygraph screening it would be the responsibility of the Captain and crew to make themselves available at the Tournament Headquarters located at the Southport Marina no later than 6:30pm.

 Any failed polygraph screening shall result in disqualification. 

 

12. The winning fish and all fish entered become the exclusive property of the tournament committee.

 

13.  Any breach of the rules shall result in disqualification of the Captain and Crew at the discretion of the Tournament Protest Committee. 

 

CANCELLATION AND REFUNDS

Competition days will be October 6th and October 7th, with captain’s choice both days. There will be NO REFUNDS except for the following two situations: 1) if a pre-registered captain, due to unavoidable circumstances, finds it impossible to participate in the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament and notifies the tournament committee at least 24 hours prior to the beginning of competition, the captain may be issued a rain check good for the amount of the tournament entry fee that year. The angler will then have a choice to transfer 100% of their TWT fees to the next year’s tournament or have them refunded minus a 15% non-refundable administration fee.  2) in the event the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament is canceled by its governing board prior to the beginning of competition the angler will have a choice to apply 100% of the entry & TWT fees to the next year’s tournament or receive a refund of 90% of the entry & TWT fees paid. In the event that questions or situations arise the directors shall determine all solutions, and their decisions shall be final. No participant aggrieved by any ruling of the Rules Committee or any tournament official shall recover from U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament, its officers, directors, sponsors, owners and employees in any forum a sum exceeding his registration fee.

 

TOURNAMENT CONSERVATION POLICY

It is the policy of the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament to promote conservation of the species in every way possible. To that end, contestants in the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament are required to abide by the three-fish-per-angler bag limit imposed by the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council. The U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament strongly encourages the release of those fish that are not to be entered in competition. The release of fish should be in keeping with the best conservation methods to insure continued life.

 

At the request of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, the U.S. Open King Mackerel Tournament will accept no king mackerel less than 30 inches in length. Tournament will accept no more than THREE fish from any boat on any tournament day.

 

TOURNAMENT SAFETY & REGULATORY POLICY

The responsibility of adhering to all US Coast Guard, NC Wildlife and NC Marine Fisheries regulations and requirements is the obligation of the Captain and crew. The Captain and crews are also responsible for carrying appropriate general liability insurance.   www.ncfisheries.net  www.ncwildlife.org www.uscgboating.org 

An all CASH GUARANTEED

prize structure adds to the enjoyment of the event.

 

Learn More

The organizational meeting for Captains will be held on Thursday, October 4, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. at Southport Marina.

 

Learn More

2018 Tournament Dates:

October 4th - October 6th

 

For more information follow the above links or contact:

 

Southport-Oak Island Area Chamber of Commerce,  

4433 Long Beach Road, SE, Southport, NC 28461

 

PHONE:

800-457-6964 or

(910) 457-5787

 

EMAIL US:

Fish@usopenkmt.com

 

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