2022 SHARKATHON TOURNAMENT RULES
All rules posted may be subject to revision up to one week prior to the event. It is the resposibility of the participant to review all rules and requirements prior to fishing the event. There will be banners with the rules and requirements printed on them at check in, and there will be a copy of the rules and requirements in the tournament packet that all participants receive. All potential winners must be present at the awards ceremony to qualify as a winner. All winners will be required to stay after the awards ceremony is done to receive checks, fill out tax forms, and find out if a polygraph is going to be submitted to them.
Padre Island National Seashore and all beaches except Mustang Island State Park up to Port Aransas South Jetty. The term “PINS” is used within these rules referring to Padre Island National Seashore. The actual boundaries of the fishing area are listed in detail within the numbered Sharkathon tournament rules. Check In & Awards ceremony location is Padre Balli Park at the Briscoe King pavilion.
Primary dates and alternate dates are are posted on the Sharkathon home page. The term “tournament weekend” is used within the rules referring to the weekend the tournament is actually held. The tournament will happen on the primary dates if PINS is open and there are no hazardous conditions present from "Red Tide". Alternate dates will be used if PINS is closed or the hazardous conditions exist on the primary dates. In the event that Sharkathon cannot be held on the primary & alternate dates the tournament will commence on a date announced by Sharkathon being the earliest date that the event can be arranged with PINS and subsequent suppliers and contractors.
PAYMENTS - ONLINE REGISTRATION:
Credit card payments only will be accepted during online registration via Sharkathon.com. Online registration will begin as posted on the Sharkathon home page and end on the Wednesday before the event begins or when each division’s capacity has been reached. Participants are advised to print out a receipt of payment, email receipts and registration forms to present at check in.
All entry fees are non-refundable and it is the responsibility of the purchaser to read and understand the rules of the event prior to purchase.
Entries are non-transferable from year to year. An entry may be sold and transferred only if the transfer form has been completed on the Sharkathon website. We will not recognize any transfers that do not follow correct procedures. It is the sole responsibility of the entrant to sell their spot and collect the agreed upon amount between the two parties. There is a deadline for transfers of one week prior to the tournament weekend. Anyone purchasing an entry with the intent to sell for profit will have the entry disqualified. Shirt sizes cannot be changed when a transfer occurs.
Sharkathon Base Camp will be established at the Padre Balli Pavilion near Bob Hall Pier.
Contestants will adhere to parking rules set forth by Sharkathon for check in and awards ceremony. Contestants will obey instructions from board members & volunteers in regards to parking. Failure to follow these rules or instructions can result in disqualification. Sharkathon can and will be delayed from starting due to parking violations. Passenger vehicles without fishing gear will not be allowed to park in the primary parking lot at the awards ceremony and will be diverted to alternate parking. The primary parking lot at the awards ceremony is reserved for contestant’s vehicles with fishing gear.
VALID ID REQUIREMENTS:
Contestants must present to Sharkathon a legal photo ID proving identification. ID types include driver’s license, state issued ID, Military ID etc. Only minors that are not required to have a state issued ID are exempt.
FISHING LICENSE REQUIREMENTS:
Contestants must present to Sharkathon a current TPWD fishing license with proper saltwater stamps. Only minors that are not required by TPWD to have a license are exempt.
CHECK-IN TIMES & RULES:
Tournament Check-In will begin at Sharkathon Base Camp at 6:30 am on Friday, of tournament weekend and end at midnight on Friday, of tournament weekend. A secondary check in on Saturday of tournament weekend will run from sunrise to 12 noon. Each participant must check in at Sharkathon base camp, nobody can check someone else in and deliver their tournament materials.
Thursday afternoon (we try to start the process between 2-3 or earlier if we can) of tournament weekend, at Sharkathon base camp, a Pre-Check-In will occur. The line begins to form on Wednesday night and very early Thursday morning so please try to get in line as soon as you can. When we start the process there is typically over 100 people in line already. Bring a chair so you can relax while in line. The pre check-In allows the following to happen in advance.
1) Participants are screened for applicable valid ID & fishing licenses.
2) Participants are checked into Sharkathon system and entry validated.
3) Participants are issued a PINS camping permit to fill out.
4) Participants receive a reserved numbered spot in line for the 6:30 am Friday check-in.
At 11:59 PM Thursday, the numbering system will be discontinued and contestants without a number must form a line behind the numbered contestants. Each contestant can only obtain their own number, and cannot transfer their number to another contestant. Each number is only good for one contestant and will not hold a place in line for anyone other than the contestant holding said number. The purpose of this process is to prevent a line forming for an excessive amount of time prior to the event and allowing the actual check-in to flow much faster since all participants with a reserved numbered spot in line have already completed several time consuming steps involved in the process of check-in. Contestants will be arranged in numerical order for quick processing approximately 15 minutes prior to check-in beginning. This pre-check is not mandatory and you can show up on Friday morning after 8am or so and there will be little to no line. We do this because there will be a line no matter what and with the pre-check we can at least get you released after going thru it and you can go do shopping or whatever else. Please remember this event is run with 100% volunteer effort and we have a lot of work and packing we have to do Thursday before we go and start this process which lasts till Friday night at midnight for us.
All contestants are required to sign and return a liability release & rules acceptance form prior to participating in the event. Each release must include name, phone, address, and email (if applicable). Minors must have a parent or approved adult guardian sign a release allowing them to participate in the event.
BEACH PARKING & CAMPING PERMITS:
PINS rules: Each vehicle will be required to fill out a camping permit as per park rules. Camping permits will be available at Sharkathon base camp, and the camping kiosk located at the entrance to the beach. All other beach rules: Each vehicle will be required to establish what permits for parking and camping are required and obtain them.
Catch-Entry deadline is at 1:00 pm on Sunday, of tournament weekend, at the Briscoe King Pavilion located in Padre Balli Park. Any participant in line when deadline is reached will be processed. LATE ENTRIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Sharkathon organizers will begin accepting catch logs at 11:00 AM on Sunday, of tournament weekend. Each participant must submit his or her own catch log to qualify for entry.
Any winner is subject to a polygraph at the discretion of tournament directors. Any winner refusing to take the exam will result in disqualification. Any participants who are administered an exam must pass the exam. Failure to pass the exam will result in disqualification. All participants being administered an exam will be required to sign a release of liability prior to the exam being administered. This release will indemnify Sharkathon and any of its contractors from any recourse due to a failure of the polygraph exam. Polygraph exams will be administered at an undisclosed location after the awards ceremony. It is the responsibility of any potential winner to remain at the awards ceremony until the polygraph exam can be given. The estimated time to administer the exam is 1-2 hours. If any potential contestant does not agree with Sharkathon's polygraph policy, please do not enter this tournament.
SHARKATHON TOURNAMENT RULES:
1) READ THE RULES, it is your responsibility to read and understand the rules & requirements of this event, failure to do so can result in disqualification.
2) Sharkathon is operated with 100% volunteer effort, this is not a business, it is a surf fishing tournament conceived for awareness of catch, photo, and release fishing and raising money for various causes. If you do not agree with our methods, rules, or requirements, please do not enter.
3) Sharkathon is an individual entry event. Use of non-participants to gain any advantage or help with bait deployment from someone not qualified as per divisional requirements, will result in disqualification. This is not a team event and multiple people helping one person is not allowed.
4) All tournament catch entries have to be caught using only hook, line, gear, baits and/or lures deployed after said participant has checked in at start of Tournament Weekend and received their packet. All pre-fishing and bait fishing prior to tournament ends at Thursday Midnight. No hooks, lines or gear can be in the tournament water from 12:01 AM Friday till participant is checked in. Live bait containers can be maintained in the water at all times.
5) A participant can only accept help with bait deployment from no more than one qualified participant, as per divisional requirements, for the duration of the event. If a participant accepts help with bait deployment they have to designate as to whom help was received from on their catch-log sheet. All participants must be checked in prior to helping any other participant. Multiple participants deploying baits for one participant is not allowed. Any person on the beach may maintain the line on a reel while a bait is deployed. The act of maintaining the line on a reel during a bait deployment does not fall under the one designated person rule.
6) All baits & gear must be deployed by “human power" defined as casting, swimming, kayak, hammer throw or surf board. No wind or motor powered boats, jet skis, PWC, kite boarding, or remote control devices will be allowed. All baits & gear must be deployed from within tournament boundaries and not from any jetties or piers.
7) All anglers, without assistance, must perform the entire act of hook set until the process of landing the fish begins. The participating angler can receive help from anyone in landing, tagging, photographing, measuring and releasing all eligible species. When fishing from a tower or elevated position, a rod is allowed to be temporarily held by anyone while the angler descends to the ground and then resumes the battle.
8) All tournament fish must be caught by human powered rod and reel. No gigging, seine nets, spearing, cast nets, gill nets, or gaffs may be used to capture tournament fish or to aid in landing tournament fish. A rope can be used to aid in the landing of a catch only when looped around the tail of the catch. A dip net may be used to land a non-shark catch. Bait acquisition must obey all rules and regulations. Seine nets are not allowed within PINS.
9) Participants must have a current TPWD fishing license with all applicable saltwater stamps, abide by State of Texas Rules and Regulations, and if driving have a current Driver’s License. All TP&W regulations apply, including size and length limitations. Game fish may not be used for bait.
10) Tournament boundaries are from where the beach begins south of the southern Port Aransas jetty to the beach ending at the north Port Mansfield Jetty with the exception of Mustang Island State Park. All fish must be hooked, fought and landed from the surf defined as beach facing the Gulf of Mexico. Wade fishing is allowed on beach front areas. No fish caught or hooked from the jetties, piers, channels, or while in a kayak or other floating device will be accepted as a valid entry.
11) This tournament is a Catch-Photo-Release tournament. Any angler caught wasting game will be disqualified from the event. Any fish that is caught and harvested or that is not released successfully will NOT count for entry into this tournament. To increase the chances for survival of all fish, the use of circle hooks is recommended.
12) No dead fish or parts thereof may be left on any shore, beach, dock, or cleaning table. Fish waste, and bait remains must be deposited in gulf waters in a manner that will not wash up on the beach. All trash originating from participants and their campsite must be cleaned up prior to departure. We highly encourage additional cleaning of your surrounding camp area of as much trash as you can carry, Sharkathon is a “Leave No Trace” event.
13) All photos must meet the Photo Rules and Requirements or the entry will be disqualified and removed from consideration for prizes. Please refer to the Photo Rules & Requirements for detailed information and example diagrams.
14) Do not delete any pictures on your camera taken during the event.
15) Each contestant is issued a data sheet referred to as the catch-log sheet. This catch-log sheet is the required way to turn in catches at the awards ceremony. To be eligible, all applicable data fields must be completed, all catches entered on the catch-log must match sizes that the participant submits at the awards ceremony. Incomplete or inaccurate catch-logs can result in disqualification of the contestant. The catch log must be filled out in advance, anyone seen filling in catches on a catch-log at the awards ceremony will be questioned and possibly disqualified. In addition, this catch-log is required to be turned in to obtain door prize tickets for the door prize drawings. It is important that you log all eligible catches. The catch-log sheets will be used to determine winners in the event of a tie.
16) Shark division participants will be issued a tag/fin clip packet. Sharkathon strongly encourages participants to make every attempt to tag sharks over 36", and collect fin clips on all sharks landed and released. The information from tags and fin clips will be used for scientific and conservation purposes.
17) Tie breaking rules: In the event of a tie, the 2nd longest caught, logged, photographed & released catch of the divisional species will determine winner. If a tie still exists it will continue down the catch list until a winner can be determined. In the event of an absolute tie, the combined places will split cash prizes equally and merchandise will be split with a coin toss. A tie for most inches caught will be determined by the angler that caught, photographed & released the longest shark from their total. In the case of an absolute tie in the most inches’ category, a coin toss will determine winner.
18) In the event that no eligible fish are caught for a particular division, the tournament pot for that particular division will roll over to the following year. If only one fish is caught in a division with three possible winners, all prize money will go to the first place winner. If only 1st and 2nd place fish are caught, then the 3rd place money will be divided equally amongst 1st and 2nd place winners.
19) Any protests must be submitted to tournament officials in writing within 20 minutes after announcement of winners.
20) All photos submitted become property of Sharkathon, and may be used in future promotional materials.
21) Participant Eligibility: The only persons who are not eligible to compete in this tournament are active board members or anyone with access to the Sharkathon rulers prior to the event. Sponsors and anyone associated with them are eligible as participants. Sharkathon board members and Sharkathon volunteers can help participants tag, land, photograph, and release all eligible species. Sharkathon volunteers may participate in the tournament but once they make a catch log entry they must cease being a volunteer.
22) Any contestant cited by officials or other law enforcement personnel for breaking the law, beach, or park rules during the tournament could be disqualified from the event and deemed ineligible for awards to include raffle, door prizes and division prizes.
23) At any time during the event, a Sharkathon board member can approach a participant and their camp and request that any P.I.N.S., State of Texas, or TPWD violations observed be corrected. Non-compliance with Sharkathon board members regarding any violation correction can result in all participants present within the camp being disqualified.
24) Unsportsmanlike conduct before, during and after the event can result in disqualification and being banned from future events. Disputes or grievances will be handled with Sharkathon in private. Publicly acting in an unsportsmanlike manner will not be tolerated.
Tournament Divisions and Rules:
A participant may only win one prize per division, except most inches in shark division. Anglers must be entered in a division to win that division. Only catches complying with all Sharkathon rules and requirements will count in each division.
Shark Division Requirements & Entry Fee: $140 per person
Awards will be given for the top three longest sharks caught and released. A prize will be awarded for the most inches of shark caught during the event. “Most inches of shark” is defined as the aggregate total inches of all shark species caught and successfully released by a shark division contestant. This award has no restrictions, if the 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place winner of largest shark are also the winner of "Most Inches of Shark" they will receive both awards. Participants in the Shark Division may only be assisted with bait deployment by one designated participant also entered in the shark division for the duration of the event (Rule 5). No outside help by a non-shark division participant is allowed except in the aid of rigging bait, landing, photographing and releasing a shark. It is understood that a person standing on the beach tending a reel while a participant is deploying bait is exempt from this rule, but said person cannot set the hook on a fish or touch the rod if a fish is on the line.
Redfish Division Requirements & Entry Fee: $95 per person
Awards will be given for the top three longest redfish (longest redfish as measured from the point of nose to tip of tail). Participants in the Redfish Division may only be assisted with bait deployment by one designated participant also entered in the Redfish Division for the duration of the event (Rule 5).
Speckled Trout Division Requirements & Entry Fee: $95 per person
Awards will be given for the top three longest trout (as measured from the point of the closed mouth to tip of tail). Participants in the Trout Division may only be assisted with bait deployment by one designated participant also entered in the Trout Division for the duration of the event (Rule 5).
Tarpon Pot Division Requirements & Entry Fee: $55 per person
An award will be given for the longest tarpon (as measured from the point of the closed mouth to tip of tail). One winner takes all. Participants in the Tarpon Division may only be assisted with bait deployment by one designated participant also entered in Sharkathon for the duration of the event (Rule 5). If no tarpon catches are submitted for the tarpon division, the pot will roll over to the next year.
Kids Division Requirements & Entry Fee: $60 per person
Awards will be given for the top three longest fish (longest catch of any species as measured from the point of nose to tip of tail with one exception, rays will be measured from wingtip to wingtip). The maximum age for participation in this division is 15. Kids of all ages may enter the adult divisions, but may not enter both adult and kid’s divisions. Each child must have an adult sign a release allowing them to participate in the event. Participants in the Kids Division may only be assisted with bait deployment by one designated participant also entered in Sharkathon for the duration of the event (Rule 5). Kids must fight their own fish.
Women’s Division Requirements & Entry Fee: $90 per person
Awards will be given for the top three longest fish (longest catch of any species as measured from the point of nose to tip of tail with one exception, rays will be measured from wingtip to wingtip). Participants entered in the Women’s Division, may not be entered in any other division. Participants in the Women’s Division may only be assisted with bait deployment by one designated participant also entered in Sharkathon for the duration of the event (Rule 5). Women must fight their own fish.
DOOR PRIZES AND SURVEY DRAWING:
Each person who submits a catch log will receive one individual door prize ticket per division they entered. Participants must be present to win door prizes. Each participant who fills out and returns a current Sharkathon Survey will be eligible for a Grand Slam entry drawing into the following year’s tournament. Participants must be present to win this prize. Each shark angler will receive a ticket for a special drawing for each shark tagged, shark fin clip/DNA sample collected. Participants must be present to win this prize.
RAFFLE TICKET RULES: $5 EACH
Raffle tickets will be available for sale for $5 each, with no limit on the number of tickets purchased. The drawing will be held during the awards ceremony. You DO NOT need to be present to win raffle prizes. Raffle ticket numbers are created electronically and each ticket will have a name associated with it. There will be a copy of the list of number assignments available for browsing at check-in and the awards ceremony. Winners who are not present will be notified by phone and/or e-mail within 7 days of tournament end, and will be required to schedule pickup or shipment of prize. Winners will be responsible for all shipping costs. Proceeds from raffle tickets are used for donations for multiple causes.
FINALITY OF JUDGES:
The Tournament Committee will resolve all disputes and their decision is final. Tournament committee or its organizers cannot be held liable for decisions made during judging. This includes but is not limited to prizes, prize money and entry fees.