Sport Fishing Tournament Updates
The Delaware Sport Fishing Tournament has implemented a youth division for young anglers age 15 and under. The youth division features lowered minimum qualifying sizes for each species. With the decreased minimum size requirements in the youth division, young anglers have a greater chance to be rewarded for that trophy catch. All 15 freshwater species and all 30 saltwater species recognized in the tournament’s adult division will be eligible for youth division recognition and awards.
The youth division applies to the Live Release Award program for conservation minded young anglers that choose to return their trophy catch unharmed, immediately after landing and measuring their catch.
Youth division qualifying lengths and weights are provided on Sport Fishing Tournament. Other than the reduced qualifying lengths and weights the same tournament rules will apply to the youth division. Youth division entries are not eligible for the elite angler program.
Elite Angler Award
In 2017 the Division of Fish & Wildlife created a new “Elite Angler Award”. Anglers that received Tournament citations for five different species within one calendar year, no more than two of which can be Live Release Awards, are recognized as “Delaware Elite Anglers”. Five individuals achieved Elite Angler status in 2021 (at the time of printing). Michael Gardner of Townsend, DE, Alan Rosenberger of Laurel, DE, David Thomas of Newark, DE, Chester Townsend IV of Dagsboro, DE, and David Wyatt, Camden, DE. Congratulations on your outstanding achievement!
Largemouth Bass Tournament Permits
A Division of Fish & Wildlife Fishing Event Permit is required to hold a Largemouth Bass tournament in Delaware’s public ponds or rivers, regardless of the number of boats or anglers participating in the tournament. Applications may be submitted online at: http://de.gov/fisheventrpt or by calling the Division’s Enforcement Section at (302) 739-9913. Tournaments held on State Park properties must be approved by the Division of Parks and Recreation prior to submitting a permit application. Contact the appropriate park office for approval: Lums Pond (302) 368-6989, Killens Pond (302) 284-4526, and Trap Pond (302)875-5153.
The Tournament Director/Organizer must submit a Largemouth Bass Tournament Report (http://de.gov/basstournrpt) within 30 days of tournament completion. Tournament anglers are encouraged to practice catch and release and to implement other measures that minimize stress to bass caught during tournaments. These conservation measures, links to the permit application and reporting form, and a newsletter for bass anglers, can be found on the Division’s Largemouth Bass Tournament page at: http://de.gov/lmbtourney. Contact the Fisheries Section at (302)739-9914 for additional information.