Rules For Online Fishing Tournaments
- PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY. Participation is open to anyone 18 years of age or older in the United States. A completed online registration including online waiver and acceptance of terms by the angler is required. The angler must enter a tournament prior to fishing for or entering any catch for a tournament. If an angler under the age of 18 wishes to participate an exemption waiver must be completed by a legal guardian. All events officially begin at 12:01am Eastern on the start day and end at 11:59pm Eastern on the finish day unless otherwise noted.
- SAFETY. Safe boating must be observed at all times. During competition each contestant is required to comply with all U.S. Coast Guard regulations, Wildlife Management regulations, federal, and state laws.
- COMMUNICATIONS. The use of mobile communications is allowed.
- SPORTSMANSHIP. All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and conservation. Any use of drugs, participation in criminal activities, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon our efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition, and/or compliance with tournament rules are grounds for immediate disqualification and return of any prizes awarded.
- PERMITTED FISHING METHODS. All fish must be caught via hook and line. The selection of baits is up to the discretion of the participant.
- OPEN VESSEL. The use of any boat or vessel is permitted. Shore fishing and wade fishing are also permitted.
- FISHING LOCATIONS. For tournaments targeting inshore species such as Redfish, Black Drum, Spotted Seatrout, Flounder, Sheepshead, Bass, Crappie, etc any inland waters location as defined by the U.S.C.G. is permitted out to the state waters boundary 3 miles off the coast of the U.S.
For tournaments targeting offshore species such as King Mackeral, Sailfish, Snapper, Grouper, Tarpon, etc any fishing location is permitted.
All fishing locations must be in waters accessible according to the law, U.S.C.G., and Wildlife Management regulations.
- MEASURING DEVICES. All fish measurements must use a measuring device approved by 321fish.com. Approved devices include the 321Fish.Com measuring sticker or stick, a Florida Sportsman/Shallow Water Angler law sticker, Florida Pro Guide sticker, Heywood's Big Fish Outfitters sticker and board, Rapala 60" Magnum Folding Ruler, Old Faithful Float-n-Stick, Hawg Trough Measuring Board, or standard aluminum measuring device such as a Check-It-Stik or Gator Grip Golden Rule. Standard aluminum measuring tapes as found in hardware stores can also be used if the entire tape is in view (not obscured by the fish) and is on a flat surface. 321fish.com may request a digital image of the measuring device and reserves the right to verify measuring devices. Click here for more information on fish measuring pictures.
- UNIQUE TOKENS. 321fish.com publishes unique tokens for tournament entrants which must appear in all fish scoring pictures. Tokens may not be digitally added to pictures and must be in the original picture. Tokens are available via the online system after 6pm the day prior to tournament start.
- ONLINE CHECK IN. Each angler will use the online system to enter their fish catches. Anglers may update and upgrade their fish as they catch better fish throughout the tournament by entering their catches online. The scoring system will search all "tourney" catches for the best eligible catches. There is no need to edit a catch to upgrade it -- simply enter the new catch. Anglers may not intentionally hold back catches until the end of a tournament - fish should be checked in within 48 hours of the catch or as soon as the angler has access to a computer for online check-in. The time of check-in is used to break ties, and is updated whenever a catch is entered or edited. Fish checked in within 6 hours of tournament entry or after the end of an event are not scored.
- CATCH-PHOTO-RELEASE SCORING. Online events use catch-photo-release scoring methods in a variety of formats as described below. Participants may only use digital cameras for recording scoring fish. A scoring photo must show the entire fish on the measuring device with the unique token present. The measuring device must be in clear view so as to leave no doubt of the fish's position across all the markings, and that the markings of the device are true. Photographs should be taken from above the center of the fish at maximum resolution. Photos should not be resized, edited, or cropped prior to upload. Any digital modification or manipulation of a fish picture is grounds for disqualification. The judging committee will review the photos to verify reported results and modify them if necessary. The judges may request a digital image of the complete measuring device without the fish. The tournament director is responsible for the final call in all matters.
- SINGLE FISH LENGTH FORMAT. The event uses catch-photo-release scoring determined by the fish length. Anglers receive 1 point per inch of fish to an accuracy of 1/10 inch. Length is determined from the forward-most point of the fish to the rear in a natural lay position and rounded down to the nearest 1/10 inch. A "natural lay position" is one in which the fish is centrally located on the ruler without any bending or manipulation of the fish to artificially extend or enhance its length measurement. The tail of the fish may be pinched unless the species specifically calls for a fork length measurement in the rules. Fish must be whole, non-mutilated (includes rigor mortis and clouded eyes), live, free from any stringer (as of 1/1/2011), and above Florida FWC minimums to count.
- MULTIPLE FISH LENGTH FORMAT.
The event uses catch-photo-release scoring determined by the aggregate length of your best fish of each species.
For example in a Trout-Flounder format the score is the sum of the longest Trout and the longest Flounder. Anglers must catch all the required fish to achieve maximum scoring rank. An angler catching all required species is ranked ahead of an angler that has not caught all required species even if the aggregate score is lower.
All individual fish scoring criteria are the same as in a single fish length format.
- MULTIPLE FISH SAME SPECIES INCH SLOT RULE.
If an event includes multiple fish of the same species, for example three Trout, the inch slot rule is used to ensure each of the fish of the common species is truly unique and that the angler did not take multiple pictures of the same fish to be scored multiple times.
The inch slot rule allows only a single fish of the common species within each inch. The system will automatically select the biggest eligible fish for the inch-slot.
For example if an angler has five Trout checked in of lengths 16.2, 16.7, 17.3, 17.8, and 18.5 in a three Trout event, only the 16.7, 17.8, and 18.5 fish are scored automatically by the system.
Thus within a given common species there is only one fish eligible to be scored within each inch slot.
All individual fish scoring criteria are the same as in a single fish length format.
- REDFISH. Measurements of Redfish are with tail pinched in a natural lay position, that is no artificial bending of the fish body to extend length. This is in line with Florida and Texas regulations which call for pinched tail measurements. Any Redfish in any format that is judged to be over 27" (Florida slot limit) may not be on a stringer or dead or the catch will be disallowed.
In a multiple fish format event Redfish over 27" (the Florida upper slot limit) in a natural lay with pinched tail count for 27". In a single longest fish format Redfish will count to their full length in a natural lay position with pinched tail.
- REDFISH SPOT FORMAT. The event uses catch-photo-release scoring determined by the number of spots on a single side of the fish. Anglers receive 1 point per spot. In a spot tournament Redfish must be within the Florida FWC slot of 18"-27" in a natural lay and pinching the tail is optional. All natural black spots 11/64" or greater are counted and a clear and distinct line must be visible between spots. Scoring fish pictures must have the fish oriented with the nose at the zero mark on an upright measuring device.
- REDFISH SPOT+LENGTH FORMAT. The event uses catch-photo-release scoring determined by the by the length of the redfish plus the number of spots on a single side of the fish. Anglers receive 2 points per spot. In a spot tournament Redfish must be within the Florida FWC slot of 18"-27" in a natural lay and pinching the tail is optional. All natural black spots 11/64" or greater are counted and a clear and distinct line must be visible between spots. Scoring fish pictures must have the fish oriented with the nose at the zero mark on an upright measuring device.
- AMBERJACK. Amberjack measurement is fork length with mouth closed to fork of the tail. Specimens may be dead or gaffed.
- BONEFISH. Bonefish measurement is fork length with mouth closed to fork of the tail.
- KING MACKEREL. Kingfish measurement is fork length with mouth closed to fork of the tail. Specimens may be dead or gaffed.
- TUNA. Tuna (Black or Yellowfin) measurement is fork length with mouth closed to fork of the tail. Specimens may be dead or gaffed.
- BASS. Bass events target Black Bass species including Large Mouth, Suwanee, Spotted, Redeye, and Shoal Bass. Stripers are in a separate category.
Measurement is total length with mouth closed and tail pinched in a natural lay position as found in Florida Freshwater Fishing Regulations.
- PRIZES. Prizes in Calcutta format tournaments are sent within 48 hours of tournament end. Prizes in Prize format tournaments are shipped out within one week of tournament end.
- PROTEST. All protests must be made in email or PM to a tournament official during the tournament for which the fish in question is caught. Entrants may only protest their own fish. Entrants may also be subject to a truth verification examination to verify questionable results.
- RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE. A waiver, release of liability, and covenant not to sue are part of the online registration. It is required that all contestants take responsibility for themselves while participating in event activities.
- PHOTO RELEASE. Scoring photos remain the sole ownership of 321fish.com to be used at their discretion. Contestants grant 321fish.com and the sponsors the unconditional right to use their name, voice, photographic likeness and biographical information in connection with 321fish.com tournaments, production, promotion, and/or articles and press releases, and shall not be entitled to receive any royalties or other compensation in connection with such use.
- CHARTERS. Fish caught on a paid charter fishing trip are not eligible for participation in events for inshore species.
- RULE CHANGES. Rules interpretation is exclusively left to the Tournament Director. The decisions of the Tournament Director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal.