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Sport Fishing Tournament

Fishing Regulations Delaware Freshwater Fishing

Tournament Rules

  1. The Sport Fishing Tournament is open to the public. There is no entry fee. Charter boat captains are eligible. Weighmasters are eligible to enter, provided their fish are weighed in at a weighing station other than their own.
  2. All fish except those caught beyond the three-mile limit in the Atlantic Ocean entered in the Tournament must be caught within the boundaries of the State of Delaware. Any fish caught outside the three-mile territorial sea must be landed in a vessel leaving from a Delaware port and returning to a Delaware port.
  3. All fish entered in the tournament must be weighed at an official Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament Weigh Station.
  4. All fish entered in the tournament must be caught in a sporting manner with hook and line. No other person may touch the rod or line until the fish is brought within the grasp of the mate.
  5. All scales used to weigh in fish must be certified yearly by the Delaware Division of Weights and Measures (Department of Agriculture 739-4811).
  6. All fish entered in the tournament must meet the minimum weight requirement as set up for this year’s tournament.
  7. No smallmouth bass will be recognized from Kent or Sussex Counties unless Division of Fish and Wildlife qualified personnel examine and approve the catch.
  8. A fish will not be recognized as a state record unless qualified personnel from the Division of Fish and Wildlife approve the catch. In case no Division personnel are available at the time of the weigh-in, the angler must save the entire fish for examination and approval at the earliest convenient time for the Division.
  9. In the case of a tie for the largest fish of the year or a new state record, both fish will be recognized.
  10. To replace a record for a fish weighing less than 25 pounds, the replacement must weigh at least 2 ounces more than the existing record. To replace a record for a fish weighing 25 pounds or more, the replacement must weigh at least one-half of 1 percent more than the existing record. Example: at 100 pounds the additional weight required would be 8 ounces. Any catch that exceeds the existing record by less than the amount required to defeat the record will be considered a tie.
  11. The Tournament Director reserves the right to disqualify any entry.
  12. All entry forms must be filled out completely and in a legible manner by the weighmaster. The signed forms should be mailed in by the angler.
  13. The tournament runs from January 1 – December 31. No entry forms for the previous tournament year will be accepted after 4:30 p.m. January 31.
  14. Only one citation per species of fish will be issued to any individual during the tournament year. In the event an individual catches a larger fish than the one for which he originally was issued a citation, a new citation will be issued for the larger fish if the individual returns the older citation.
  15. Only one saltwater award and one freshwater award will be issued to any one individual during the tournament year.
  16. Special citations will be issued upon approval of the Tournament Director in the case of unusual catches or extenuating circumstances. If the weigh station feels the catch is rare or unusual, an entry form should be submitted for approval. All decisions by the Director on unusual species will be final.
  17. Citations will be awarded for released white or blue marlin. Fill out the standard entry form except for length, weight, and girth and include a signature and telephone number of a witness to the catch other than the angler and captain. Any marlin kept for taxidermy also will be eligible for Tournament entry provided a taxidermist receipt is enclosed with the entry form. Marlin retained for any purpose other than mounting will not be eligible for entry in the Tournament.
  18. The Tournament Director reserves the right to disqualify any weigh station if the Tournament rules are not observed.
  19. Hybrid striped bass will only be recognized for entry when caught in non-tidal water.
  20. The State of Delaware assumes no responsibility in the certification of a catch for consideration by the International Game Fish Association or any record keeping body other than the Delaware Sportfishing Tournament. If the angler wishes to qualify his/her catch for consideration in some other tournament, it is the responsibility of the angler to insure that his catch and weigh-in meets the appropriate criteria. The Delaware Sportfishing Tournament makes no distinction based on line classes or sex of the angler or fly versus conventional fishing gear.
  21. Call (302) 735-2960 for tournament information.

Minimum Weights and Lengths

Species

Weight (lbs.)

Length* (inches)

Largemouth bass

5

20

Smallmouth bass

21

17

Striped bass

30

40

Striped bass hybrid2

5

22

Bluegill

1

10

Carp

15

29

Catfish

6

25

Crappie

1

12

Musky

10

30

White perch

1

12

Yellow perch

1

12

Chain pickerel

4

24

American shad

5

23

Trout

2

16

Redear sunfish

1

10

False albacore

12

26

True albacore

30

32

Black sea bass

3

17

Striped bass

30

40

Bluefish

14

33

Atlantic croaker

3

19

Dolphinfish

15

41

Black drum

50

45

Red drum

do not qualify

45

Flounder

7

25

Kingfish

1

13

Atlantic mackerel

2

17

King mackerel

10

36

Spanish mackerel

5

22

Blue marlin

Any

Any

White marlin

Any

Any

Scup (porgy)

2

14

Shark (excl. Mako)

100

66

Mako shark

100

66

Sheepshead

8

22

Swordfish

Any

Any

Tautog

7

25

Blueline tilefish

10

28

Golden tilefish

35

40

Gray triggerfish

5

20

Yellowfin or bigeye tuna

70

48

Bluefin tuna

100

60

Wahoo

20

50

Weakfish (Sea trout)

3

20