2018 general event rules & regulations
1. 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.
2. Participation – A team may consist of up to two (2) anglers so long as one angler is at least 18 years of age. Teams may have up to two (2) adults [16 years of age and older] and up to two (2) youth angler [under 16 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 violation of said regulations and laws during tournament hours will result in disqualification from the tournament and THE SERIES. 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.
3. Fish, Fishing Methods and Locations – During THE SERIES, ALL fish must be wild and caught by rod and reel utilizing conventional methods during tournament hours. Only artificial lures may be used for and during competition. Anglers may not tender fish for competition that have been pre‐caught, caged or confined in any way. Foul hooked fish 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 a designated number to report their need for assistance while 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 boat/vessel and being towed by water (a commercial licensed tow company may be utilized, or another team may tow a fellow competitor). (2) by one or all competitors entering the boat of another tournament contestant (fishing by all competitors involved in the rescue must cease at this time). Teams that elect to return to the official check‐in by any other means than cited above will forfeit their day's catch to that point in time 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.
4. Entry Fees, Registration & Pre-tournament Meeting – Entry fees will be $300 (Three Hundred U.S. Dollars) per team for preregistering by 11:59 PM CST of the Monday immediately preceding the Saturday tournament. Late registration as defined by 12:00 AM CST of the Tuesday immediately preceding the Saturday tournament and On‐site registration will be $350 per team. Late Registration may be completed in person the morning of the tournament until 6:00am paid in cash only, no exceptions. All teams will be assigned team numbers according to the order of a random drawing at the SeaTow Captain’s meetings the evenings before the events. BOTH representatives (for onsite registrants) must check in with tournament staff to sign waivers and release forms and to receive team numbers prior to blast off.
5. Safety – Safe boating shall be practiced at all times. Tournament day will typically consist of 8‐9 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.
6. 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.
7. Communication – During competition tournament hours, communication between teams IS prohibited. Any teams found in violation will be immediately disqualified from that tournament.
8. Boat & Vessel Regulation – Any legal boat inboard, outboard, mud boat, twin prop, canoe or kayak is welcome to participate in THE SERIES.
9. Official Checkpoints – There will be only one official checkpoint in the morning of and one official checkpoint in the afternoon 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 and accountability 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 5 (five) 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.
10. 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” (One over 16 inches and less than 27 inches, and two up to and including 28 inches, side note if it touches the 28” black line it is legal, if your third weigh fish touches the 27” black measurement line it is 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 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 iced, 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 0.75 (3/4) 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 being weighed‐in must be held in one of the tournament holding tanks for a minimum period of 1 (one) minute immediately prior to weigh‐in. 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 will be declared the winner for that day.
11. 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 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.
12. Youth Division (less than 16 years of age) – Youths will be allowed to weigh in 1 (one) fish (up to and including 28 inches, side note if it touches the 28” black line it is legal) per event caught by and only by youth angler, and must follow all previously stated rules. Youth anglers’ fish are not eligible for the team competition. Youth anglers will not be allowed to help the “Team” anglers in any way shape or form, including but not limited to spotting fish, netting fish, resuscitating fish, handling fish or discussing state of said fish. The highest finishing youth in each tournament will receive the top prize. Children’s categories are single heaviest live redfish receiving $100 to 1st place, $75 to 2nd place and $50 to 3rd place.
13. 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.
14. Championship is a $600 Entry Fee – Payout is 1 in 10 and $20,000 guaranteed to first place. Example: If 50 boats first place gets $20K and 2‐5 split the remainder. If 70 boats then payout is $20k 1st and 2‐7 split the remainder.
15. Team of the Year – hereinafter referred to as “TOY” will be recognized and eligible as follows:
1. No more than one team alternate for only one event for the season.
2. All tournaments EXCEPT the Top Shelf event count toward standings.
3. Aggregate bag weight of all four tournaments is how we will calculate the standings and determine the overall winners and remainder of the Top 10.
4. Awesome trophies and $1500 cash to the winning team and plaques for the rest of the teams that finish in the Top 10.
16. In the event one or more teams fish escapes the weigh bag and gets loose in the tank while waiting to be measured and weighed, All other teams must immediately remove their bags from the tank and be immediately inspected by the Director or any other designated personnel to ensure each team has the correct number of fish and live fish to be measured and weighed. If it is determined that no other fish are loose in the tank then said team can retain loose fish and measure and weigh with no penalty or deduction. If more than one teams fish is in the tank then both or all said teams shall weigh in only the fish in their immediate possession with one or multiple loose fish being disqualified and not eligible for weigh and measurement for that days event.
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 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.