Tournament entry fee will be $80.00 per boat/team for each of the ECRC events and for the ECRC Championship Tournament. Payment can be made during check-in the morning of each tournament. An optional Big Redfish/Most Spots/Largest Speckled Trout Calcutta will be offered at each event for an additional $20 per category.
There is a $25.00 annual ECRC membership fee required per angler (not team). Membership rules also apply to each substitute partner used during the season.
A minimum of $100,000 liability insurance is required of all competitors utilizing their boats in any ECRC tournament.
80% of the tournament entry fees collected will be paid back at each tournament (this percentage will be evaluated periodically to see if it needs to be increased or decreased depending on the status of the ECRC budget). For each tournament, there will be a paid position for each 5 teams entered (i.e., if 21 teams are entered, 4 places will be paid; if 25 teams are entered, 5 places will be paid). A minimum of 3 places will be paid for all events. Example payouts are as follows:
20% of tournament entry fees will be placed into the ECRC General Operating Budget (to be used for Team of the Year plaques, prizes, and Club equipment. Prizes will be given for 1st thru 5th place teams in the ECRC Team-of-the-Year race.
All participants must have in their possession a valid fishing license and are required to follow all applicable federal, state, and local regulations. Any violation of such regulations may result in disqualification from tournament. Any person age 16 or under must have a legal parent sign an ECRC official “Release of Liability” form to participate. Contact ECRC staff for details.
Each team’s weight will be determined by the combination of two legal redfish (see “Fish Limits & Penalty”) and will be measured in pounds to the nearest hundredth of a pound (i.e., 6.72 lbs.). The largest team weight will be tournament winner and will receive 100 points for the event. Each descending team weight will receive one point less. All teams that participate but do not weigh fish will receive participation points of 10 points less than the points earned by the last place team to weigh fish. If a team is disqualified for any reason, they will receive zero points for that event. In the event of a tie, the team with the largest single fish will be awarded the higher level of points. If teams remain tied, both teams will be awarded the higher level of points.
TOY points will be determined by adding all regular season tournament points and then subtracting the lowest individual event score. The same 100-point structure will be awarded to the ECRC Championship Tournament, but that score cannot be dropped. The highest overall scoring team will be crowned ECRC Team-of-the-Year at the conclusion of the Championship Tournament.
To qualify for the Championship Tournament, one member of each team must have fished 2 or more regular season tournaments.
Only Redfish/Red Drum are accepted species. Size limits will comply with State of Florida regulations (total length with pinched tail between 18 inches and 27 inches). Total length means the length of a fish as measured from the most forward point of the head to the hind-most point of a pinched tail using a large-size Check-it tail pincher taken to the 26” mark on a Check-it Stik measuring slant board (or similar device). Fish under 26″ may be pinched by hand at the discretion of the Weigh Master. The Tournament Director will appoint a Weigh Master who will determine if a fish is legal. The fish will be measured with its belly towards the Weigh-Master’s belly. If the fish is deemed not legal, the fish will be lifted from the board and reset. If still not legal, the anglers may request a third and final measurement repeating the same procedure. If contested, the Tournament Director will make the final determination on the legality of the fish. It is advisable that each team check their measuring device against the official ECRC device (Check-It Stik). The legal limit is one Redfish per angler, two per team. Fish presented for weigh-in that fail to measure within the legal slot will not be counted in the team’s weight. If a Redfish dies prior to weighing, one half pound will be subtracted from that fish’s total weight (declaration of dead fish will be the sole discretion of the Tournament Director or the designated Weigh Master). No person shall harvest in or from the waters of the State of Florida at any time, or unnecessarily destroy any Redfish of total length less than 18 inches or greater than 27 inches. Any fish that appears to have been penned, mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered will not be weighed at the discretion of the weigh master. This may include fish that have natural tail injuries that inhibit an accurate measurement.
Teams are encouraged to bring their own weigh-in bags; however, a limited number of Club bags will be available for use. Use at your own risk.
A team may have as many partners as needed during the season. All TOY points shall stay with the declared Team Captain regardless of which team member is substituted in any single event. Membership fees will still apply to the replacement angler.
Safe boating must be always observed. Each participant is required to wear a fastened, U.S. Coast Guard approved, personal floatation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation above idle speed. At the discretion of the ECRC Committee, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. The tournament will not start under U.S. Coast Guard “Gale Storm” or tropical storm/hurricane warnings. If a tournament is postponed due to unsafe conditions, that tournament will be re-scheduled by the ECRC Committee (preference will be given to the next Saturday).
All fish must be caught in the mouth with a rod and reel using artificial baits only. All snagged fish will be released immediately. Only one fishing rod per contestant may be used at a time. No wading or trolling is permitted.
The use of drones or searching for fish on plane (“burning”) is prohibited 72 hrs prior to the tournament as well as during the event.
Teams may fish anywhere in tournament waters available to the general public and accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off-limits”, “no boats” or “no fishing” by local, state or federal officials. All angling must be conducted from the boat. The only time a contestant is permitted to leave the vessel is to shelter from hazardous weather conditions or to negotiate an obstacle (i.e., sandbar) to continue safe operations. Other exceptions may be granted by the Tournament Director as needed for special circumstances. Teams must leave and return to the official checkpoint by the same boat. The boat must remain in tournament waters during the tournament day. No tournament boat (that is weighing in fish) may be loaded on the trailer before the weigh-in unless permission is granted by the Tournament Director. During tournament hours, contestants may not obtain or receive assistance from non-competitors, follow a non-competitor’s boat, participate in the practice of “hole sitting” or the placing of markers by anyone.
Tournament hours will be from safe light until 3:00 pm, or as modified by the Tournament Director. Safe light /safe weather wait time can be added to the end of the day up to two hours. Teams must be at the official check-in site (as determined by the Tournament Director) by 3:00 PM (as determined by the Tournament Director’s official time displayed during check-in). Tardiness will result in a deduction of one pound per minute.
Teams incurring a late penalty exceeding the total weight of their bag will receive participation points ONLY (see “Scoring System”).
In the event of an equipment failure, there will be only two permitted methods of returning to the official check-in: (1) by both partners remaining in their boat 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 both anglers entering the boat of another tournament participant (fishing by all competitors involved in the rescue must cease at this time). Anglers are responsible for colored tie wrap or suitable material for marking and distinguishing their catch. Under these two conditions, the participant’s catches may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, dead fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules).
The Tournament Director has the option to make an exception to any late penalties incurred by the rescuing team ONLY.
All boats must be a minimum of 15 feet in length. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. The outboard motor will not exceed the horsepower rating set forth on the Maximum Capacity placard installed by the manufacturer. The boat must have a functional bilge system and live well space, properly aerated to adequately maintain a live limit catch of Redfish by both participants. For the safety of all participants, ALL BOATS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH SOME TYPE OF OPERABLE IGNITION SHUT-OFF DEVICE. This ignition SHUT-OFF device must be attached to the driver’s body anytime the combustion engine is operating. Anytime the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat. A small electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering.
Each team is expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, safety, courtesy, and conservation. The use, possession or consumption of any illegal drugs (other than prescription) during tournament fishing hours will not be tolerated and will be cause for disqualification from current and future ECRC events.
Following are examples of unacceptable behavior by competitors in Emerald Coast Redfish Circuit events that will be cause for disqualification:
– Public attacks through media, including social media, upon the integrity of Emerald Coast Redfish Circuit, rules, staff or officials.
– Public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of Emerald Coast Redfish Circuit, Emerald Coast Redfish Circuit directors or its sponsors.
– Intentionally interfering with a fellow angler’s ability to compete.
All protests must be submitted to Tournament Director before leaving the site of the tournament.
Emerald Coast Redfish Circuit retains the right to amend or add/delete to these published rules at any time during the tournament season in order to maintain the quality and competitiveness of the Emerald Coast Redfish Circuit.