2019 general event rules & regulations


The Tito's Top Shelf Event is for those of YOU that want higher payouts with a limited field of “Top Shelf” competition. Our 2 day event fee is as follows:  $2,000.00/boat (cash/check) or $2,000/boat (plus credit card fees) per event based on double event entry.  Tito’s Top Shelf will be limited to the first 50 teams that register and pay their $2,000 non-refundable deposit by January 31, 2019. The remaining $2,000 is due in full by 11:59:59 PM on February 21, 2019, or your deposit will be forfeited. If any spots remain after the January 31 deadline then any additional team can enter by paying in full for a single tournament with entry fee at $3,000 plus processing fees, for both tournaments at $4,000 plus processing fees or amount listed after the payment in full deadline as defined in paragraph 3 (three).



General – Decisions of the tournament director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. By participating in America’s Redfish Cup hereinafter referred to as “THE SERIES”, each contestant agrees to be bound by the rules stated herein. Each contestant agrees by his/her signature on the official entry form, to submit to a polygraph examination and abide by its conclusion. THE SERIES reserves the right to select polygraphists to administer polygraph examinations. Failure to submit to or pass a polygraph examination shall result in disqualification from the tournament. THE SERIES reserves the right to refund fees for any reason. THE SERIES reserves the right to prohibit continued participation in THE SERIES by any contestant for any reason. Any rule changes declared by the tournament director will immediately supersede all previously published copies of rules. All sales final. Once a team has paid their entry, there will be NO refunds given except for a cancellation of the event.


1.     Participation – A team may consist of up to two (2) anglers so long as one angler is at least 21 years of age. All adult team members must have a valid Louisiana fishing license and all anglers are required to follow all applicable federal, state and local regulations and laws. Any written violation of said regulations and laws during tournament fishing hours (blastoff to weigh in) and before said team weighs in will result in disqualification from the tournament. Any written legal violations occurring after said team has weighed in will have no bearing on that days outcome or results but is not limited to only those violations, Tournament Director can disqualify a team for any reason he deems necessary to protect the integrity of the tournament.  It is imperative that each angler and each team be fully aware and comprehend that per Louisiana law only one redfish per angler over 27 inches is allowed in their possession at any time. NO EXCEPTIONS shall be made to any laws.


2.    Fish, Fishing Methods and Locations – During THE SERIES, ALL fish must be wild and caught by rod and reel utilizing conventional methods during tournament fishing hours. AT NO TIME SHALL ANY FISH CAUGHT PRIOR TO TOURNAMENT HOURS BE RE-RELEASED IN SPECIFIC AREAS.  ALL FISH CAUGHT AND RELEASED DURING PREFISHING OR DURING TOURNAMENT FISHING HOURS MUST BE RELEASED WHERE THEY WERE CAUGHT WITH NOTHING LEFT ON OR IN THE FISH.  AT NO TIME SHALL ANY ANGLERS FISH IN AREAS KNOWN TO BE “BAITED” OR FREQUENTLY OR INFREQUENTLY FISHED WITH LIVE OR DEAD BAIT OR ANY OTHER UNNATURAL FOOD SOURCES. NO FISHING CHUMMED AREAS OR CHUMMING WHILE FISHING OR PRIOR TO FISHING OR DURING PREFISHING. AT NO POINT WITHIN 21 DAYS PRIOR TO EACH EVENT SHALL ANY CONTESTANT USE OR HIRE A GUIDE OR FAMILY MEMBER OR FRIEND OR ACQUAINTANCE OR UNKNOWN PERSON TO HELP THEM LOCATE REDFISH FOR THE SOLE PURPOSE OR INDIRECT PURPOSE OF ACHIEVING BETTER RESULTS DURING THE SERIES. Only artificial lures may be used for and during competition. Anglers may not tender fish for competition that have been pre‐caught, caged, confined or re-released in certain or specific areas in any way. Foul hooked fish or fish not caught in the mouth using artificial lures shall not be eligible for competition. Contestants may fish on tournament waters accessible to the public by boat. Any fish taken from private impoundments or other waters not legally open to recreational fishing or accessible to the general public will not be eligible for entry (areas designated as "off limits" or "no fishing" by private ownership or local, state and federal officials). All angling must be conducted from the boat/vessel. At no time may a contestant leave the boat/vessel to land a fish or to make the boat/vessel more accessible to fishing water. No tournament boat/vessel may be loaded on the trailer before the weigh‐in except with the permission of the Tournament Director. Any team that has done such shall be immediately disqualified. In the event of equipment failure, anglers must call THE Tournament Director or his designated contact at 678-662-5989 to report their need for assistance before calling for towing assistance. There will be only two permitted methods of returning to the official check‐in: (1) by all partners remaining in their own boat/vessel and being towed by water (only a commercially licensed tow company may be utilized), or (2) another team may tow a fellow team but only after the Director approves the call before it is placed). AT NO TIME WHATSOEVER DURING FISHING HOURS SHALL any members of any team be in another team’s boat or within 5 yards of another team’s boat before, during or after towing or for any other reason. Teams that elect to return to the official check‐in by any other means than cited above will forfeit their day's catch of the tournament day. Any team returning to the check‐in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the tournament director. It is the sole responsibility of teams to locate the tournament director to request a restart.


3.     Entry Fees, Registration & Pre-tournament Meeting –   Entry fees will be $3,000.00 (Three Thousand U.S. Dollars) plus processing fees per event per team for registering and paying after the series season payment cutoff of February 21, 2019 11:59:59 PM CST through the 1st day of the month of which the tournament is held. So for the March tournament, $3,000.00 payment may be made February 22, 2019 12:00:00AM CST until March 1, 2019 11:59:59PM CST. For the June Tournament that event’s payment if made after February 21, 2019 at 11:59:59PM CST and before June 1, 2019 at 11:59:59PM CST will be $3,000.00 plus processing fees. Further Clarification: Any team not paid in full that wishes to fish a single event or just chooses to pay for each event as they go will pay the $3,000.00 plus processing entry fee.  ALL OTHER TEAMS THAT PREPAY FOR THE SERIES IN ITS ENTIRETY ON OR BEFORE FEBRUARY 21, 2019 11:59:59PM CST WILL BE CHARGED $4,000.00 (Four Thousand U.S. Dollars) plus processing fees. All teams will be assigned team numbers according to the order of a random drawing at the SeaTow Captain’s meetings at 7:00PM the Thursday evenings before the events. Attendance IS MANDATORY for at least one team member (competitor) of each team.  Representative competitor must check in with tournament staff to wet sign event waivers and release forms and to receive team numbers prior to blast off.


4.     Safety – Safe boating shall be practiced at all times. With this being said we HIGHLY ENCOURAGE EACH CONTESTANT TO WEAR HIS OR HER LIFE JACKET AND LIFEGUARD LANYARD KILL SWITCH.  Tournament day will typically consist of 9‐10 hours of fishing, however, at the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened or canceled due to unsafe conditions. The tournament will not commence under a NOAA “Small Craft Advisory”. All participants are responsible for the operation, maintenance and safety of their vessels, themselves and their fellow team members. No action by THE SERIES should be construed as an endorsement or representation concerning safety pertaining to leaving safe harbor or to continue fishing at any given time. THE SERIES will not give advice or recommendations to teams concerning weather conditions.


5.     Sportsmanship – All participants are expected to follow and practice high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, and conservation. THE SERIES reserves the right to place an official observer on a participant's boat at any time during competition. We also reserve the right to disqualify any team at our discretion for conduct unbecoming a professional angler and a gentlemen.


6.     Communication – For the integrity of The Series and to protect teams from competing against multiple “super teams”, THERE WILL BE A NO COMMUNICATION OR INFORMATION RULE IN EFFECT beginning the Monday immediately preceding the event until Saturday afternoon at 4:30PM CST. No team angler, contestant, representative or competitor shall voluntarily or involuntarily give or receive information or hints or help to or from any other persons, source, or means to aid in the process of benefitting any team, angler or representative competing in the event. Any teams found in violation will be immediately disqualified from that tournament and THE SERIES.  The Top Shelf Series isn’t interested in hosting teams that work together to locate/find fish, eliminate waters or obtain advantages over other teams by working in groups outside of the two man team you are on. May the best TEAM win.


7.     Boat & Vessel Regulation – Any insured legal boat, inboard, outboard, mud boat, twin prop, canoe or kayak is welcome to participate in THE SERIES. All boats must follow U.S. Coastguard and LDWF rules and regulations.


8.     Official Checkpoints – There will be only one official checkpoint the morning of and one official checkpoint the afternoon of as designated by the tournament director.  Failure to check‐in the morning of or check‐in in the afternoon will result in disqualification. All teams will be assigned team flight numbers according to the order of a random drawing at the Captain’s meeting. Once a flight number is drawn, it may not be changed, traded or sold to another team. It is the team Captain’s responsibility to know his or her flight number, official tournament time and check‐in time. Failure to go through the checkpoint will result in disqualification for that day’s tournament. Every boat must go through the checkpoint at the conclusion of the day’s fishing regardless of if the team has fish to weigh in. This is for safety reasons. Once a boat has checked in, that team will not be allowed to return to fish during the day’s competition and that team’s day of fishing shall cease. Check‐in times will depend on the team’s flight order. Contestants who are not at the official checkpoint area at the appointed time will be penalized at the rate of 1 (one) pound, per minute, which will be deducted from the team’s total day’s weight. Any contestant more than 4 (four) minutes late will be disqualified from that day’s weight entry. Teams who are not able to check in due to equipment failure or other unforeseen circumstances are responsible for contacting the Tournament Director before the official check‐in is over, to determine the safety of contestants.


9.  Scoring & Live Fish –   Tournament standings and winners shall be determined by the total weight, less any penalties, measured in pounds and 100th of a pound of each team’s catch during the tournament. Only Red Drum hereinafter referred to as “Redfish” (2 {two} over 16 inches and less than 27 inches, and 1 (ONE) up to and including 28 inches, side note if it touches the 28” black line it is legal, if two or more of your three weigh fish touch the 27” black measurement line it/or they are disqualified for the purposes of THE SERIES) measured on the “hands free board system” will be accepted for competition. Fish tendered for competition will be measured from the tip of the snout to the extreme tip of the tail fin. Fish tendered for competition shall be individually measured and weighed ONLY three times. Fish with abnormal, damaged or deformed snout, lips or tail fins that affect the overall length of the fish will not be accepted for competition under any circumstances regardless of the length. Any fish measuring outside of the slot three times will be disqualified from competition. Any fish that appears to have been penned, mangled, caged, distressed, mashed, mauled, cut or otherwise altered will not be accepted for competition. Every effort must be made to keep redfish alive. A 1.0 (one) pound penalty will be deducted from the total weight for one dead fish, a 2.0 (two) pound penalty will be deducted from the overall weight of two dead fish, and a 3.0 (three) pound penalty will be deducted from the overall weight of three dead fish presented for weigh‐in. Live fish may be culled; teams must keep (retain) dead fish to be weighed‐in. If the fish being released goes ‘belly up’, then the team must pick up the fish and keep it until it can be released swimming under its own power or use it as one of their weigh‐in fish. It is mandatory that all fish remain in contestants’ live well until it is time to measure and weigh the catch. The independent final decision of the Tournament Director is final, not subject to appeal, and shall not be overruled. Payout will be determined by the number of entries utilizing the one spot paid out for every 7 (seven) boats entered matrix. In the event of a tie, the team that weighed‐in their fish first on the second day of the event will be declared the winner for that event. In the event there is only one day of tournament fishing, then the team who weighed in first on the single day will be declared the winner for that event.


10.  Liability – Participation of Contestants in THE SERIES is voluntary and at their own risk. By virtue of participating, Contestants agree to protect, defend, indemnify, save and hold harmless, THE SERIES, Tito’s Handmade Vodka, Fifth Generation, Tito’s Fishing team, it’s Commission, and all sponsors, officers, agents, servants, employees, and volunteers thereof, from and against any and all claims, damages, expenses, and liability arising out of injury or death to any person or the damage, loss or destruction of any property which may occur, or in any way grow out of, any act or omission of Contestant in connection with participation in THE SERIES, or any and all costs, expenses and/or attorney fees incurred by Contestant as a result of any claims, demands, suits, or causes of action arising out of participation in THE SERIES. Contestant agrees to investigate, handle, respond to, provide defense for and defend any such claims, demands, suits, or causes of action at its sole expense and agrees to bear all other costs and expenses related thereto, even if the claims, demands, suits, or causes of action are groundless, false or fraudulent.


11.   Polygraph – By signature on the official tournament entry form, each contestant agrees to submit to a polygraph test and be bound by its interpreted results and conclusions. The SERIES reserves the right to select polygraphists to administer polygraph examinations. The first‐place team in each event and any other team as chosen by the Series’ director shall be subject to a polygraph examination and will not receive any award until the test has been administered and determined to be non‐deceptive. Polygraph tests may be issued at the discretion of the Tournament Director/committee for any reason, and each contestant hereby acknowledges and consents to the examination. The results and interpretations of the polygraph are final and each contestant hereby knowingly, intelligently and voluntarily waives any review of said test result, including any judicial process seeking to overturn, amend or otherwise negate the finding of the test administrator.

Protest Procedure: All protests must be submitted, in writing, along with a $500 cash deposit. Protests must be submitted to the Tournament Director no later than 5 (five) minutes following the weigh‐in of the last fish. All decisions will be made by the Tournament Director, and are final. If the protest is upheld, the cash deposit will be returned to the person submitting the protest. The protester agrees that by filing a protest, he or she may be subject to a polygraph test. The series reserves the right to prohibit continued participation in the series by any contestant for any reason. Rules and Regulations are subject to change without notice. However, the series will make every effort to adequately notify all participants of the change. Any rule changes declared by the Tournament Director will immediately supersede all previously published copies of rules.


12.   Heaviest One Day Bag Prize for each event – The team with the heaviest one day bag for each event will receive a $2,500 cash prize.  All three slot fish must be alive. We will be fishing for three (3) fish each day for two days. Two fish less than 27” and one kicker fish up to and including 28” each day. 


13. Burning- No “Burning” for pre-fishing shall be permitted beginning the Monday immediately preceding the start of the tournament.  If “burning” is your style of fishing it is only allowed on the days of competition and not for “defensive” purposes. Please be respectful of our Louisiana resources.  No “Burning” to play “Defense” shall be permitted before or during the tournament.  No matter what style of fishermen you are, May the best FISHERMEN win!


14.  REMINDER TO ALL ANGLERS, NO MORE THAN THREE FISH are permitted in the boat while fishing or moving. If you have three fish in the live well and you and or your partner both or individually hook up with another fish then as soon as that fish gets brought to the boat and either netted, controlled or brought into/onto the net and or boat then both anglers must stop/cease fishing immediately and the boat must be in the anchored position to not move any further. Only when you have culled your fish and released a live healthy Redfish and have only three remaining in your possession can you resume fishing or moving.


15.    TITO'S TOP SHELF 2019 PAYOUTS- No more than 50 (fifty) paid teams will be permitted to participate in the Tito’s Top Shelf Series and said spots are on a first come first served basis. The following payouts are based on the full 50 team field. *1st-$40,000; 2nd-$15,000; 3rd-$11,000; 4th-$10,000; 5th-$7,000; 6th-$6,000; 7th-$4,000.  *First place is guaranteed.


16.    Locations-  March 15-16, 2019 Hopedale Marina, Hopedale, Louisiana. 

June 7-8, 2019 Venice Marina, Venice, LA


17.   REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT DEADLINE:  No Refunds or Exchanges will be given once a team has paid either their deposit or entry fee unless the tournament is cancelled without rescheduling. If a team must release their spot due to an emergency or change of mind or for any other reason then said spot can only be sold to a different team as approved by the Tournament Director.  The Tito’s Top Shelf SeaTow captains' meeting is mandatory and all teams must have a contestant from their team present, or forfeit their right to fish. Off limits begins at 12PM on the Thursday prior to the event to all participants in any Louisiana waters. 

NOTE:  We will NOT accept credit cards or checks at the event. Credit card purchases must be PAID IN FULL at time of registration. NO EXCEPTIONS! Credit card purchases must be made online at www.americasredfishcup.com


18.  The Tito’s “Special Reserve” at Coco Marina on August 2,3,4 2019 Entry Fee shall be $5,000.00 plus processing fees limited to only 35 teams – The Special Reserve will be limited to the first 35 teams to register and pay that come from the Top Shelf field of 50. Example: In order to register and pay for The Tito’s Special Reserve you must first be paid in the 2019 Tito’s Top Shelf Series. This is also limited to the first 35 teams that come from this group of 50. If for some unexpected reason we do not obtain a field of 35 teams from the Tito’s 50, we will open to the general public on a first come first served basis and as approved by the Director.

Payout is 1 in 6 and $100,000 guaranteed to first place. Example: If 25 boats are paid to enter, first place gets $100K and 2‐5 split the remainder. If 35 boats enter then payout is $100k 1st; 2nd- $30,000; 3rd- 15,000; 4th- 10,000; 5th- $7,000; 6th-5,000; Please remember it costs a lot of money to host the successful events we do.  In addition to expenses, we are a nonprofit organization and we are doing our best to raise money for Wish To Fish and any other great causes we can.  Please do not complain about the payout not being 100%. If you don’t like it, don’t fish it.  We will be fishing for three (3) fish each day for 3 days. Two fish less than 27” and one kicker fish up to and including 28” each day.