- ENTRY FEE: $1,200.00 per boat (Early Entry until July 8th receives $200 gift card to Micky Fins)
- Added Entries: can be added to an existing Entry until 8:00PM July 13th.
- CAPTAINS MEETING / RULES ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: At least one representative from each boat must attend the Captain's Meeting. It is the participant's responsibility to review the rules. Rules are subject to change until the completion of the Captain's Meeting.
- TOURNAMENT DATES: July 14, 15& 16. Boats may fish only 2 of the 3 days of this tournament. Boats must declare a Lay Day by filling out an Official Lay Day Report in person at the Ocean City Fishing Center NO LATER THAN 10:00AM OF THE LAY DAY. Tournament directors reserve the right to accept a late Lay Day at their discretion.
- Registered boats can “fun fish” or run a charter on their lay day.
- FISHING HOURS: Lines in at 7:00AM (no lines in the water before). The use of Omnidirectional Sonar will NOT be permitted prior to lines in each fishing day. Lines out at 3:00PM (all lines out of the water). Boats can leave either the Ocean City, MD Inlet or Indian River, DE Inlet. Boats cannot leave their ports Sea Buoy before 2:30AM, and no lines in the water until 7:00AM.
- Once a Tournament boat wets a fishing line, they have declared themselves fishing one of the eligible two days.
- If a Tournament boat is hooked-up at lines out, the Team may fight the fish until boated or lost. The vessel must arrive at the scales before they close with their catch for that day to be eligible for scoring. Any Team hooked-up after lines out should notify another Tournament boat or Tournament officials.
- ARRIVING AT THE SCALES:
- Scales Open Daily at 4:00pm. Tournament boats must arrive at the OC Junction Buoy, the green/red marker at the fork of the OC Inlet, by 8:00PM Friday, Saturday and 7:00PM on Sunday. A committee boat will be patrolling the area to witness your arrival and provide direction for the scales. You have 30 minutes from passing the OC Junction Buoy to make your fish available for weigh-in at the scales. *Note: Resident OC Fishing Center boats going to their slips may be directed to go ahead of boats going to the scales to improve traffic flow.
- Tournament participants may truck their catch to the scales. Notify lot attendant that you have a fish to weigh and you will be directed to the designated offload area. Teams also have the option of transferring their catch to a smaller boat to present the day's catch to the scales. At least one team member must accompany the fish to the scales.
- Providing the number of entrants reaches a suitable level, Tournament Directors may elect to open a remote scale at Sunset Marina. In the event the scale is opened at Sunset Marina, ONLY STRINGER FISH should be presented for weigh-in. No fish weighed at Sunset Marina will be eligible for Trophy Prizes (Single Largest, Dolphin, Wahoo, Largest Bluefin, Lady or Junior categories must be weighed at the Ocean City Fishing Center). Only Tuna Stringer weighed will be recorded at Sunset Marina. The decision on the opening of Sunset Marina scale will be made immediately following registration. This decision will be posted on the Tournament website as well as on social media.
- WEIGHING IN: All fish entered into competition must be present to WEIGH-IN BY 8:00PM FRIDAY & SATURDAY AND 7:00PM ON SUNDAY, JULY 16th. Fish presented at weigh-in must be accompanied by an Official Catch Report. All fish must be weighed in by an Official Weighmaster at the designated scales to be eligible. In the event of weight ties in either category, this prize money will be divided equally between the tied participants regardless of the time of day caught. The Weighmaster is the official timekeeper of the tournament. Weight of the fish will be rounded to the nearest full pound, with any amount reaching ½ pound and up being rounded upward to the next full pound amount. All boats are allowed only one weigh-in opportunity per day. To be eligible for tournament scoring, all fish must be weighed on the day they were caught.
- ELIGIBLE FISH AND AWARDS: Eligible species are BIG EYE (Thunnus Obesus), YELLOW FIN (Thunnus Albacores), BLUE FIN (Thunnus Thynnus) and LONG FIN (Thunnus Alalunga). Participants are eligible in two categories(Single Heaviest and Heaviest Stringer), but a competing boat can win in only one category for the entry prize and levels I, J and K. 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place prizes will be awarded in each of the two categories. Added levels C, D, E and F are winner take all categories with 50% awarded to single heaviest and 50% awarded to heaviest stringer, an entrant may only win one side of these levels. At least 50% of all entry fees collected will be divided into the six prize amounts. Each Tuna must weigh a minimum of 30 pounds. Minimum weight for Wahoo and Dolphin is 20 pounds.
- Single Largest Tuna: Each Team is permitted to weigh one Trophy fish per day. The Team selects its single fish to be weighed. In the event that a Lady or Junior angler fish is to be weighed the Team representative selects their singles largest fish (before being weighed). The fish selected by the Team shall be scored as the boat’s single largest for the day regardless of the weight of the Lady or Junior fish.
- Heaviest Stringer (Tuna): Each boat can weigh a stringer of up to 5 Tuna each day. Each tuna in the stringer must qualify as a Tournament eligible fish by weighing a minimum of 30 pounds. If a fish does not meet the minimum weight another fish may be presented for consideration. A team's single largest fish will be included in their stringer weight. (Example: A Team weighs their single largest tuna and may add up to four more tuna to arrive at their daily stringer total). Multiple Big Eye Tunas can be added to the stringer weight. Dolphin and Wahoo may NOT be included in a Team's daily stringer.
- All catches must be iced and maintained properly. No mutilated fish will be scored. (This includes but is not limited to prop strikes and shark bites) Weighmaster’s decision on this matter shall be final.
- 90% of all added entry levels, with qualifying fish, will be paid out in prize money.
- WEATHER: CAPTAIN’S CHOICE. Participants enter and participate in the Ocean City Tuna Tournament at their own risk and discretion. The responsibility for safety of boat, crew and anglers lies with the Captain of the vessel.
- FISHING BOUNDARY: The boundary limit for the Ocean City Tuna Tournament is 100 nautical miles from the Ocean City Sea Buoy.
- Boats are not permitted to cross the 100 nautical mile boundary for any reason.
- TROLLING TOURNAMENT: Boats must remain in motion.
- TACKLE AND BAIT: All tackle IGFA rules apply unless stated otherwise. NO CHUMMING, NO CHUNKING OR WIRE LINE ALLOWED. No line/rod limit. Spreader bar allowed; fire and spider lines permitted. NO greensticks or danglers allowed. Leader length at Captain’s discretion. No limit to the number of lines or teasers. Down riggers / Planners / Z wings are allowed. All qualifying fish must be caught aboard a registered boat using conventional techniques limited to manual rod and reel. Electric reels are acceptable for hookless lines, including planers, dredges, and teasers.
- THE NO’S: The following items are strictly prohibited and the use of any of the following items or techniques will be grounds for disqualification.
- NO DART GAFFS/HARPOONS/LANCE GAFFS
- NO LIVE BAIT
- NO CHUMMING / CHUNKING
- NO GREEN STICKS TO BE USED IN ANY WAY
- NO DANGLERS
- NO WIRELINE / LEADERS
- NO KITES
- NO GANG HOOKS
- NO DRONES / SPOTTER PLANES
- NO OMINIDIRECTIONAL SONAR PRIOR TO LINES IN
- Anglers can pass the rod (EXCEPT Lady and Junior anglers). They CANNOT pass the rod if they are competing in the Top Lady or Junior category). Captain and Mate can be anglers. Captains and Mates can still hook and hand off. Angler may fight fish from a rod holder.
- Up to 6 anglers per boat.
*Special Note: boats entered in separate season long tournament should consult angler rules for that event if they would like the fish to be eligible for prizes other than the Ocean City Tuna Tournament.
- In the event of a Boat disability, contestants may transfer to a second boat with no fee. Tournament Officials must be notified. The original Boat number will stay with the contestants on the new boat, scoring will remain under the original boat name. If the contestant is entered in a size specific added entry level the new vessel cannot be larger than the class, the contestant is competing in. The Team would have the option of forfeiting the size specific added entry if the appropriate size boat is not available.
- A contestant’s fish may be transferred to another boat in the event of a disabled vessel. If a fish transfer should occur, a representative from the original Team should accompany the fish to the scales. Tournament Officials, or another tournament boat, should be notified of such a transfer.
- Tournament channel 19.
- BLUEFIN TUNA: All boats are fishing Recreational regulations NOT Charter Boat/Head Boat. You may keep 2 School Class fish 27’ - 47’ and 1 Large School Class fish 47” - under 73”. NO GIANT BLUEFIN TUNA 73” or greater. *These are current regulations and are subject to change at the Captain's Meeting.
- No culling Bluefin, fish may be measured by any technique suitable to the crew without causing harm to the fish. If the fish is gaffed or injured while attempting to measure, that fish shall be declared as a boated fish.
- A boat may enter as many Additional skill levels, “Added Entries” as they feel appropriate.
- Skill level Notes: Daily prizes your day 1 against others' day 1. This is your first day of fishing against other Teams first day of fishing. In some cases it will not be the same day. The same concept applies to day 2. There are only two days for dailies.
- Added Levels D, E and F (Boat Size) are all based on manufacturer's length. Boats may choose to compete in a class larger than their boat but may only compete in one class. At no time can a boat compete in a class smaller than their boat.
- All Combo (Trophy and Stringer) added entries: You can only win on one side of the Calcutta. Levels G and H are the exception to this rule. Levels G and H are considered stand alone added entries and all entrants participating in these levels are eligible to win one or both categories.
- OTHER OFFICIAL RULES:
Decisions of the Tournament Committee as to winners shall be final. Any protest must be made in writing and must be presented at Tournament headquarters (Ocean City Fishing Center) by 7PM on the day of allegation. Protests must be accompanied by a $1,500.00 deposit which will be refunded if the protest is upheld. Otherwise, the deposit will be forfeited. Any litigation involving the Ocean City Tuna Tournament or members of the organization shall be entitled to reasonable legal fees and cost to be paid out of the prize money in dispute. If the disputed prize money is not sufficient to pay the Ocean City Tuna Tournament or organization attorney's fees and reasonable costs, each team in the litigation shall be jointly and severally liable to pay the aforementioned legal fees and reasonable costs. Additionally, the Ocean City Tuna Tournament or members of the organization shall not be liable to pay any team or participants' attorney's fees or related costs regardless of the outcome.
Fish entered in the competition are subject to a Tory Meter test.
Selected Captains, Mates, and or anglers are subject to polygraph tests as deemed necessary by tournament staff. Selected team members must be available 24 hours after notification of required polygraph. Refusal to take a polygraph test at the tournament’s direction or failure to answer test questions with satisfactory results may, at tournament officials’ discretion, lead to disqualification. By entering the event teams, captain, crew and anglers consent to the admissibility of polygraphs results in any dispute or proceeding related to the tournament.
Fishing by any one boat either day or partial day constitutes a tournament. If totally canceled by an ACT OF GOD or Natural Disaster, available purse monies will be added to the 2024 Ocean City Tuna Tournament. There will be NO REFUNDS.
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.
The Tournament and its sponsors are not responsible for the conduct, personal injury, damages, or negligence on the part of any participant.
The Tournament reserves the right to inspect any boats entered in competition without notice.
The Tournament is held in compliance with any applicable laws governing the State of Maryland or the United States of America.
The Tournament Committee shall have the right to rule and decide on any dispute. Participants entering this Tournament agree that the decision of the Tournament Committee shall be final and binding in any matter requiring their action.
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