Feb 03

Print this Post

ERS Team Format – Rules

1. Tournament Rules and Procedures.

  • The following is the rules and procedures for the 2020 Elite Redfish Series tournaments and may be modified up and until the completion of the captain’s dinner/meeting taking place the day prior to the first day of competition or specific information such as laws and possible restrictions not known to the tour prior to the tournament(s).

2. Health and Compliance with Applicable Law.

  • All anglers participating in a Elite Redfish Series event must be in good physical health and not be on or have prescribed for them any medication for black outs, seizures, fainting or other serious medical conditions that could place them, their team mates, fellow competitors and/or the tour in any danger. All anglers must follow applicable federal, state and local regulations, laws and tournament rules. Any violation of such regulations and laws and/or other tournament rules may result in a penalty including but not limited to and any combination of the following. Daily weight penalty, dead fish(s) penalty, fishing time penalty, disqualification from a tournament day, disqualification from the entire tournament, points deductions, disqualification from all future series events, or any combination thereof as decided by Elite Redfish Series officials.

3. Eligibility Requirements.

  • Elite Redfish Series ownership and officials reserve the right to deny entry to or remove from this series or any event any angler, person, participant and or competitor for any reason the tour and/or it’s officials deem necessary. Anglers refusing to take or failing to take a requested truth detection test from any tournament or tournament trail or being banned from competition by another tournament or trail for cheating, unsportsmanlike conduct, public demeaning displays or similar reasons and at the tour’s discretion may be refused entry in to or be disqualified from any Elite Redfish Series event at anytime prior to or during the event at the time knowledge of same was discovered.

4. Insurance, Registration and Fishing License.

  • State required insurance, titling, registration and all other state required coverages and documents must be enforce and current prior to use in all Elite Redfish Series events. A liability insurance policy of at least $100,000.00 must be enforce for any vessel/operator prior to it’s use in a Elite Redfish Series competition. It is the angler’s responsibility to maintain insurance coverage and ensure all registrations and fishing licenses required by state, federal and local law are up to date for each competitor(s) in all Elite Redfish Series events. A vessel not complying with state, federal and local laws governing equipment, registration, decals and their proper display, cannot be used in competition. If such a boat is placed in competition either intentionally or unknowingly, the angler’s catch for the day(s) such vessel was used will be d.q.’d..
  • Competitor(s) must have a current, legal fishing license for the state in which they are fishing.

5. Teams, Alternates, Administrative and Entry fees.

  • Teams are made up of 2 anglers but can use a alternate to fish in the place of either team member. Alternates must be named prior to Monday, the week of the tournament and can only practice or contribute to the team if they are fishing the event. No 3 angler teams, if a alternate is inserted by Monday the week of the event, the angler for which the alternate is fishing cannot take part in scouting, practice or contributing to the team in any way including but not limited to discussing information with team members fishing the event about fishing locations, navigation, lures or techniques.
  • Administration fee of $600.00 per team (includes alternate fee) 100.00 discount for paying prior to February 1, 2020. ($500.00)
  • Divisional entry fee is $1000.00 per team, per event (2). $2000.00 division total entry fees.
  • Teams may fish 1 event by paying the administration fee and single event entry fee of $1000.00 and/or can fish extra a extra event(s) outside of a entered division by doing the same.
  • Optional Big Bag and Angler Advantage side entries $250.00 each will be offered at each event’s captain’s meeting.
  • All administrative, event entry, and electronic payment service fees made toward any event or service are non refundable purchases and non movable to future events. The only exception will be for a event(s) where purchase of entry fees were made and the event is postponed or cancelled.
  • All entry fees (optional side entries can be paid at captain’s meeting prior to day 1’s launch) must be received by tour prior to the start of official practice which is 6:00 AM local time on Monday, the week of any and all Elite Redfish Series produced event(s) and are non refundable for any reason except the postponing or cancelling of a scheduled event.

6. Tournament Formats, Points and Awards. 

  • Two angler per boat 2 day total weight team tournament series.
  • Teams must consist of the same 2 anglers during both days of competition. If a team member has to withdraw from the tournament, for any reason, the team cannot continue with a backup, alternate or as a 1 angler team.
  • All points, paybacks and awards follow the officially listed captain of the team as listed by team registration.
  • A team may have a alternate fish in either team member’s place but must be named prior to the start of off limits (6:00 AM local time, Monday the week of the tournament).
  • At least 1 team member must fish in 2 events within the same division to garner Team of the Year divisional and and qualify for the National Team of the Year title.
  • Teams fishing 2 events qualify for the Tidewater Boats Championship but all teams competing at the championship must have fished as a team during the regular season.
  • Teams receive 200 divisional Team of the Year points for first and 1 point less per place every spot after 1st. I.E. 200 first, 199 second, 198 third, 197 fourth, 196 5th, 195 6th, 194 7th, 193 8th, 192 9th, 191 10th, etc..

7. Tidewater Boats Tour Championship.

  • Any team in good standing with the tour and having fished a total of 2 events minimum during the regular season regardless of division or place of finish qualify for the tour championship.
  • Two angler per boat 2 day total weight team event. No new or first time team can be formed to compete at the championship and must consist of the same 2 anglers on the boat during both days of competition. If a angler has to withdraw during any portion of the tournament, for any reason, the team cannot continue with a backup, alternate or as a 1 angler team.
  • The Tour Championship winning team will win a Tidewater Boats-Yamaha Outboards-McClain Trailers $60,000.00 grand prize package.
  • Big bag and angler advantage side entries will be offered.
  • Teams receive 200 championship points for first and 1 point less per place every spot after 1st. I.E. 200 first, 199 second, 198 third, 197 fourth, 196 5th, 195 6th, 194 7th, 193 8th, 192 9th, 191 10th, etc..

    C. Tidewater Boats Team of the Year.

  • Teams that fish two events in one division without alternate are eligible for the divisional Team of the Year.
  • Teams use the points accrued from 2 events in the same division added to their championship finish points to determine the divisional Team of the Year.
  • The 3 divisional Teams of the Year will use their head to head finish at the Tour Championship to determine the National Team of the Year.
  • The National Team of the Year will win a Tidewater Boats-Yamaha Outboards-McClain Trailers $60,000.00 grand prize package.

8. Off limits, Practice, Equipment and Information.

  • There is no restriction to the number of days a competitor(s) can practice for a Elite Redfish Series tournament.
  • All anglers competing in a Elite Redfish Series event must be off the water by 5:00 PM the day of the captain’s meeting. No additional on water practice or scouting time can take place after 5:00 PM (local time).
  • All teams must have at least 1 member present at the captain’s meeting.

Monday the week of a Elite Redfish Series tournament and continuing through it’s conclusion, competitors and all affiliated person(s) of the competitor(s) may not:

  • Seek to gain information pertaining to fishing, navigation, techniques, equipment and/or other information from anyone who is not a paid participant in the tournament taking place for which the off limits has been initiated, including personal or 3rd party exchanges of information made in person, by phone, email, texting, private messages.
  • Loan a boat with navigational equipment that is not removable or that does not have the ability to be disabled to anyone not fishing same Elite Redfish Series event and then use the same boat and/or navigational equipment during practice or tournament days.
  • Practice or compete in a boat and motor rig not considered normal in appearance compared to all other boat and motor rigs used in normal tournament fishing competitions. Example of acceptable boats: bay boats, tower boats, skiffs and other steering wheel controlled vessels that are powered by a single outboard engine manufactured by companies like Yamaha, Mercury, Evinrude, Honda, Suzuki and other industry standard outboard motors. No airboats, inboard, tiller steered, surface drive, air cooled, pump driven or any multiple outboard motor rigs may be used for practice or competition.
  • Take part in arial scouting personally or receive information from anyone flying in manned or unmanned vehicles including but not limited to airplanes, helicopters and/or any drone type devices over waters within 100 miles of in all directions of official launch point.
  • Hire a professional guide paid by cash or barter in an attempt to gain local knowledge pertaining to redfish movement, locations, lures, techniques and or navigation.
  • Lift, open, remove or otherwise tamper with any structures, I.E. booms, chains, gates, etc. placed across any canal or access area in a attempt to restrict public access to any body of water.
  • Research and/or attempt to find alternative entrance points to access the same “closed” body of water through other canals, creeks or means avoiding gates, notices, chains, booms, etc..
  • Jump berms, dykes, land masses or any other object blocking entrance to any waterway, either man made or natural.
  • Enter into any private agreement, written or verbal or with a “understanding” that would allow any angler(s) to scout or fish waters not open and available to all anglers equally.
  • Return to any body of water once asked to leave (other than obviously public waterways such as oceans, ICW, main river channels, etc.) during practice and any days of competition for current and future Elite Redfish Series events and must notify his team member of the request to leave the body of water it affects.

9. Tackle and Techniques.

  • Angler(s) must cast, flip or pitch their lure to the fish they catch.
  • Only artificial lures may be used and only artificially produced bait attractants.
  • No live or dead bait allowed or paste made from actual fish or bait products may be used.
  • Only one rod at a time may be used per angler.
  • A cast must be fully retrieved before another cast can be made by the same angler.
  • All redfish must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner.
  • No snagging of fish, netting of fish or scooping of distressed surface fish is allowed.
  • No multi lure rigs allowed.
  • Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited.
  • Angler(s) must obey all local, state and federal laws in regards to boating, equipment and fishing.

10. Live Fish, Limits and Penalties.

  • Angler(s) may not intentionally attempt to manipulate the weight or length of any redfish.
  • A .75 pound penalty will be assessed for each dead fish presented for measuring.
  • No culling of dead fish permitted.
  • Dead fish may be kept separate from live fish but only with water and/or an ice substitute, frozen water bottles, Arctic Ice, etc.
  • It is the angler(s) responsibility to keep control of their fish from their live well till it reaches the stage for weighing, any loss of control or intermixing of any fish with other angler(s) fish while catching a ride with another competitor(s) during a mechanical issue, getting fish ready for weigh in at boat or at tour staging tanks, etc. may result in all fish affected not being counted.
  • The length of all redfish must measure within minimum and maximum slot sizes as set forth by the state in which the fish were caught and/or transported to. Normally 16-27 inches for Louisiana, 20-28 inches for Texas, Mississippi 18-30 inches and 18-27 inches in Florida.
  • The creel limit will be 3 fish per team in all events except in Florida where stage law requires a maximum 2 fish limit.
  • The Check it Stik Official Elite Measuring System will be used only with fish’s head facing left and the tail to the right only, no flipping or measuring 2nd side of fish.
  • Tour representatives reserve the right to refuse any red fish for measuring and/or weighing deemed by representatives to have a damaged tail or nose/head area sufficiently to make determining the exact length of the fish’s overall length non conclusive using official tour Check It Stik Elite measuring system. Redfish with abnormal, severely damaged and/or deformed tails or noses and in the opinion of the tour not normal in it’s appearance to a healthy, non damaged redfish will not be accepted, regardless of fish’s length and whether or not the damaged area happened naturally and has healed over. The protocol used in determining a fish’s condition to be within the rules specified will ultimately be determined by the fish’s head and tail being considered by the tour to be normal in appearance and undamaged.
  • Angler(s) are encouraged to take a picture and submit via text to tournament director for ruling during tournament day on a fish’s overall condition and whether or not that fish would be approved or denied if presented in the current pictured condition.
  • Failure to notify official and having a fish weighed with a hook, lure, jig or other object in it’s mouth may incur dead fish penalty.
  • Re weighs of a angler/team’s catch are only executed by the weigh master (not at the request of any angler) and based solely on his judgment of conditions when the weigh scales automatically lock in and render the final, computer activated and locked weight.

11. Acceptable Fishing Locations.

  • Angler(s) may only navigate and fish those waters open for navigation, boating and fishing to the general public equally.
  • Angler(s) nor anyone working on their behalf may lift, unlock or pass through gates, chains, booms or other canal, river and/or waterway objects meant to divide public from non public waters during a practice period or any day(s) of competition.
  • Angler(s) must know that even water without obvious vessel restricting objects waters can still be considered non public.
  • If a angler(s) is or has ever been been asked to leave a particular body of water due to it being claimed to be non public even if those waters are located within the official “playing field” map or description they must not return during any practice period or day(s) of competition and should notify the tour immediately so a notice of non public waters can be sent to all angler(s).
  • If at anytime during recreational boating, scouting, practice and/or during any tournament day(s) a angler(s) is asked to leave they cannot ever return to that same water even by alternate routes again during the remaining days of practice or tournament days or any other time during any Elite Redfish Series event, present or future.
  • Angler(s) failing to observe the public water rule in any manner including but not limited to intentionally returning to the same waters after being asked to leave or fleeing to avoid capture will be disqualified from the competition and may face expulsion from the tour.

12. Alcoholic Beverages and Drugs.

  • Angler(s) cannot consume or possess alcohol or drugs (other than their own current prescriptions except any medication for conditions listed in point 2 above) during tournament hours.
  • Competitor(s) cannot consume alcoholic beverage prior to taking a polygraph or other truth verification test in a Elite Redfish Series tournament.

13. Communication.

  • The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular telephones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, pagers or any electronic device able to communicate any information pertaining to fishing or navigation with anyone outside the field of current Elite Redfish Series anglers during tournament days is strictly prohibited. Lock information, family emergencies and work related calls may take place as long as no discussions pertaining to fishing information relevant to the tournament or tournament waters at which event is being held on or near is discussed. Anglers can contact anyone at anytime by any means when a emergency issue arises. Texting while operating your boat above idle is prohibited.

14. Extreme Weather.

Small craft advisories (A Small Craft Advisory means that wind speeds of 21-33 knots are expected to produce hazardous conditions to small craft vessels) at time of launch and or forecasted by NOAA or similar reputable organizations to include official tournament waters during a day(s) of competition will immediately execute a no go for that day. Launch may be delayed if small craft advisory forecasted to be lifted. “The National Weather Service does not specifically identify what constitutes a “small craft”, although the United States Coast Guard informally assigns the designation to boats with a total length of less than 33 feet”.

Should any day(s) of a Elite Redfish Series event be cancelled due to extreme weather or the eminent threat of extreme weather the tournament results will be deemed official by the standings after any day of completed competition or in the manner described.

  • Day 1 canceled, all anglers fish day 2 in a one day shootout to determine place of finish for all teams.
  • Day 2 canceled, results from day 1 are final and will determine place of finish for all teams.
  • Days 1 and 2 canceled, the day immediately following day 2 will be used to determine place of finish.
  • If no days of a Elite Redfish Series event can take place, the event will be rescheduled.

15. Mechanical and Navigational.

  • For mechanical reasons only a series approved mechanic may temporarily ride along for the purpose of determining and remedying a mechanical issue, however no tournament related information outside of the problem being diagnosed can be discussed.
  • It is the angler’s responsibility to notify a tour official by phone of a mechanical issue, mechanic’s name and duration of time he/she is expected to be on board prior to boarding of a Elite Redfish Series angler’s boat during practice or competition.
  • If a angler has GPS/graph issues any day of the event, they must borrow, rent or purchase any electronic navigational device from someone still in the field, from a retail dealer with a store front business or a onsite tournament support representative.

16. Remedies for Break Downs and Returning to Launch.

  • Angler(s) boats experiencing mechanical failure may be towed in by any one from any where at any time.
  • Angler(s) can only board the boat of another competitor fishing the same event.
  • Angler(s) must tag and/or mark and keep separated their fish from any competitor’s fish who’s boat they board.
  • Angler(s) boarding another competitor(s) boat for any reason will result in the end to both competitor(s) day of fishing.

17. Anglers Must Remain in Boat.

  • All angling must be conducted from inside the boat. No wading.
  • Angler(s) cannot leave the boat to cast to, catch or land a fish.
  • Angler(s) may and should leave the boat and seek safe shelter in bad weather where danger may be imminent but must continue to follow all tournament rules and procedures during this period.
  • Angler(s) may leave their boat to pull it out of an area where tides have gone out but cannot leave their boat to gain access to any area and must wait on water levels to rise enough to allow entry without dragging bottom or jumping berm.

18. Safety, Boats, Motors and Accessories.

  • Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times by all angler(s).
  • During all days of practice, each competitor(s) and any of their guest on board are encouraged to wear a Coast Guard-approved chest type life preserver at any time the combustion engine is in operation.
  • During each day of competition all competitor(s) must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest type life preserver any time the combustion engine is on and in gear. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is out of gear or shut off.
  • Boats and single outboard motor rigs normal to the fishing industry and inshore tournament fishing may be used. I.E. bay boats, tower boats, skiffs powered by a single outboard engine manufactured by companies like Yamaha, Mercury, Evinrude, Honda, Suzuki, etc may be used. All boats used in official practice days (Monday the week of the tournament) and continuing through the tournament’s conclusion must be powered by a single outboard engine as described above and cannot use a inboard, tiller steered, surface drive, air cooled, pump driven or similar engine. No airboats or similar.
  • All acceptable boats used in practice and/or competition beginning Monday the week of any Elite Redfish Series event must have engine kill switch installed and attached to the driver anytime the combustion engines on and in gear.
  • Additional fuel may be purchased from a public marina during normal business hours and open to the general public equally.
  • Additional fuel may be carried only in factory installed (built-in) fuel tanks. No portable fuel containers allowed.
  • When boating in low visibility situations i.e. fog, heavy rain, during both practice and competition, anglers must operate their boats at a safe speed and in a safe manner. Failing to do so and being reported will result in penalty.

19. Sportsmanship and Penalties.

  • It is prohibited and against the law to enter any fish in a saltwater fishing tournament that have had the length or weight altered, that were taken unlawfully and/or are fraudulently represented. Angler(s) doing such will be d.q.’d and could be prosecuted.
  • Angler(s) are required to display the highest level of sportsmanship to each other, recreational anglers or boaters sharing the waters, the tour and it’s staff, Elite Redfish Series ownership, sponsors and fans.
  • Angler(s) proved to be displaying poor sportsmanship or violating fishing, game and/or boating regulations will be penalized.
  • Act(s) or action(s) deemed to be a intentional and unsportsmanlike toward another angler(s) is prohibited.
  • Angler(s) receiving a non moving ticket for any reason will result in disqualification of the day’s catch for the day that the ticket was issued. Angler’s receiving a moving violation will be disqualified from the event.
  • Failing to disclose receiving any citation or ticket to tour officials will result in immediate disqualification from the event and may include expulsion from the tour.
  • Angler(s) can not cast pitch or flip within 100 yards of a competitor’s boat (not separated by land or jetties but in same body of water) which is anchored by a traditional anchor and/or anchoring system such as Power Pole or Talon or obviously stationary through use of spot lock electronic system.
  • Angler(s) may not use their vessel to limit passage or access to waters that are outside of the 100 yard stationary rule.
  • Angler(s) knowingly attempting to circumvent state, federal or local law enforcement or similar in an attempt to avoid capture or issuance of a ticket or citation will be disqualified immediately for the remainder of the season.

20. Protest and Truth Detection.

  • HeadTurners3, LLC. polygraph test both competitors on a team, in most cases. If only one competitor on a team is going to be polygraphed, due to time or other circumstances, the tour will pick which competitor to test.
  • Angler(s) that feel they cannot take or pass a truth detection test, for any reason can not fish with Elite Redfish Series.
  • A reported violation may be brought to the attention of tour officials at anytime during or after the conclusion of the event and penalty(s) for any violation can be levied at anytime during the season the violation is brought to the attention of tour officials.
  • Should a polygraph or other truth detection test be needed to settle a protest, the angler protesting and the angler being protested may both be required to render to the tour the fee for the polygraph test, with the winning angler being reimbursed the test fee.
  • Should no polygraph test be available the day of the protest, the event will continue as normal, under protest with the results, tournament placement, prizes, points and awards being retained by the tour until a test can be administered to settle dispute.
  • The Elite Redfish Series acts as a broker when hiring the truth detection administrator and has no influence on procedures, type of test, the amount of time or the results of the testing and as such all rulings of cause are determined by the testing agent and not by anyone affiliated with Headturners3, LLC and the Elite Redfish Series.
  • All truth detection results are final and not contestable by any Elite Redfish Series competitor(s).
  • HeadTurners3, LLC. and/or the Elite Redfish Series their parent, affiliated and subsidiary companies, the hosts, sponsors and tour officials are not involved in or in any way responsible for the results of or methods used in any truth detection test given.

Angler Code of Conduct.

Any angler(s) participating in any Elite Redfish Series sanctioned event shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules for the specific event in which they are participating. Anglers shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates integrity, honor and respect toward fellow competitors, tournament staff and the general public and does not reflect unfavorably on Elite Redfish Series, its members, officers and/or representatives and/or community and product sponsors of Elite Redfish Series.

Anglers are frequently in the public eye and are considered role models by young people; therefore, it is imperative that tournament competitors demonstrate good sportsmanship in fishing. Sportsmanship is defined as fair play, respect for opponents and polite behavior while competing in the event and sport. Following are examples of unacceptable behavior by competitors in Elite Redfish Series events that will be cause for penalties as outlined in this document.

  • Heated and loud public disagreements with Elite Redfish Series officials, other competitors and fans and volunteers during an event that can be seen as a public display of unsportsmanlike and unprofessional conduct.
  • Public attacks through media, including social media, upon the integrity of Elite Redfish Series rules and/or officials.
  • Public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of Elite Redfish Series officials, ownership and/or tour sponsors.
  • Displays of anger and displeasure for reasons related to fishing competition where members of the public, including other anglers, spectators and the media, are present.
  • Publicly questioning or criticizing a tournament official or official decision, ruling or penalty except through the proper channels.
  • Abuse (physical, verbal, threatening or slanderous) of tournament officials, volunteers, fellow competitors or others connected with a Elite Redfish Series event.
  • Offensive or slanderous comments with racial, cultural or sexual overtones regarding event officials, event personnel or fellow anglers.
  • Intentionally interfering with a fellow angler’s ability to compete.
  • Any disqualification, suspension or other disciplinary action imposed by any tournament and/or fishing organization may result in disqualification from competition and rejection of an application for participation in a Elite Redfish Series tournament. (ii.) Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or crimes involving moral turpitude, may be grounds for disqualification from competition and for rejecting any application for participation.
  • Any angler(s) who violates any of the provisions of the Sportsmanship Rules or the Angler Code of Conduct may be subject to fines, reduction of points, forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competing in individual Elite Redfish Series events, permanent ban from competition or any combination thereof deemed by Elite Redfish Series ownership and officials.

Permanent link to this article: https://theredfishseries.com/format-rules/