May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament 2021

The second annual May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament will be held on May 1st in Delaware Seashore State Park.

May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament 2021 is sponsored by Fishbites and DS Custom Tackle.

Surf anglers can sign up on Stub Central starting April 8, 2021, or at Dans Tackle Box and Icehouse Bait and Tackle starting April 9th.
Entry fees are $100 for all anglers, $10 of each entry will go to Frets 4 Vets.   
 You can purchase multiple tickets. Anglers must be 18 years or older, or 16 and older must be accompanied by an adult.

This year we are going to have all of the DSF surf fishing tournaments. Surf anglers will follow all of the Delaware State parks’ covid rules and restrictions.

Fishbites

The rules for this tournament are standard to all surf fishing tournaments. 
The rules are online and not in print, so we do not waste paper and you have less to recycle.  Also much less contact this way with covid restrictions.
Please recycle your packets, that is why we use paper envelopes and not plastic bags.  We all have smart phones and can access the internet at a whim, paper is needed less these days. MAKE SURE YOU CHECK THE FISH SIZES!!!
Packets will NOT be picked up this year.
These will be distributed to surf anglers on the beaches. Judges will have score sheets at the ready at all times for surf anglers who need to track catches. Judges will have a master list to keep track of all surf anglers. Please keep your masks on in the presence of any and all judges. Give them the space to do their work. Surf anglers are responsible for fish releases no judges, who will confirm the release.

May The Fish Be With You is 18 years old and older to enter. We are working on a kid’s division for this tournament. We will announce that if we work out the logistics, with covid restrictions as they are I would no hold my breath. However, parents are welcome to bring the kids with them and the whole family. There is plenty of room on the beaches with parks’ covid distancing rule.
Judges will be monitoring anyone trying to get between surf anglers competing. The amount of vehicles we will have should all but close these beaches, based on park’s covid restrictions. Even in your “groups” please follow the twenty foot covid spacing. Besides you’re in a surf fishing tournament, you want space anyway.

DS Custom Tackle
DS Custom Tackle

Tournament time …  
Surf fishing will start at 7 am and lines out of the water by 3 PM.  Anglers who score, must turn in signed and dated score sheets to the judges in their area.  We will have several judges on the beach.  
All anglers must have a Delaware fishing license.  No license will result in disqualification.  Surf anglers have one license with their surf tag, only good for the registered owner of the vehicle, all other anglers with them must have a DE fishing license.  
Special event surf tags are available from parks, and are 45 in state and 90 out-of-state for the one day. These will be available he morning of he tournament. I will be stationed at the southside Inlet parking lot near the bathhouse gazebo by 5 AM.  

May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament 2021 is sponsored by Fishbites and DS Custom Tackle.

FISHING AREA ….
Walk on anglers may fish where ever they like in Delaware Seashore State Park from Keybox Beach access to Faithful Steward (to the sign we will post), and on 3Rs. Walk on anglers may fish anywhere on any of the beaches, including in front of Big Chill Beach club. No one may fish within 75 yards of the southside inlet. You can not fish north beach at the inlet that is the surfers beach.
3Rs … Drive on anglers will be limited to the no vehicles sign unless we get permission otherwise.

There will be a sign and a judge parked there. We are asking parks if we can drive further north on 3Rs for this tournament. That is pending on any changes to beach conditions and is parks final call up to the day of the tourney. No one can fish from the Southside Jetty that is off-limits

Chillaware Island Fall Surf Fishing Tournament
Chillaware Island Fall Surf Fishing Tournament

Only two rods in use at any time per angler.
Rigs may have no more than two hooks.  

Anglers may have more than two rods with them, but may only fish with two rods at one time.  You can bait fish one line (rod) and cast lures with the other rod, however you would like to fish.  You can cast lures with two rods, but we want video of that.   
Fish can only be caught on hook and line.  No noodling bluefish in the wash, we want video of that too, and you’ll get a free ride to the hospital.
  Angler who catches the fish must land the fish.  Assistance by netting of a fish is allowed, but only if the fish is visible to a judge on the beach.  We will have several judges.  You can not gaff any fish. It is hard to release a dead fish.

Fishbites
Fishbites

Anglers are advised to bring a bucket or container to keep their catch alive.  There is an extra point added for a released fish.  Judges will determine if the fish was released alive and well.  I recommend this time of year you use a large cooler or storage container.  A big striped bass (we hope) or those giant gator blues don’t fit in a 5 gallon bucket. That is an easy way to kill a fish you intend to release. We should have plenty of judges to get to a catch as it is occurring is the plan

Only two rods in use at any time per angler.
Two hooks per rig on tackle (bait fishing), lures are fine with multiple hooks. Modified mullet rigs are also fine. That hook is for holding the bait not catching fish. Mullet hooks are considered a single hook.

May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament 2021 is sponsored by Fishbites and DS Custom Tackle.

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Calcuttas … 
There will be a bluefish Calcutta for $20 all monies go to the largest bluefish.  In the event of a tie the money will be given to the first fish caught. There will not be a skating rink and dog pound Calcutta.

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Measuring bluefish all day, we measured to the fork for better accuracy since tails can get damaged.

Scoring fish …  

We measure all fish to the center of the tail or the fork. This keeps any issues from discrepancies from missing tail sections.

Striped bass must be in the legal slot limit, 28 to 35 inches.  Striped bass out of the slot limit will not be score-able, retaining an out of slot fish is illegal in the state of Delaware. Confirmed by DNREC, yes we asked. Measure it and if it is out of he slot range, put it back, don’t wait for a judge. Honestly, I would rather not even allow striped bass, but I am tired of arguing that point with people, you win.

Points …
One point per inch, all measurements will be rounded down to nearest full inch.  All fish must meet minimum length requirements of Delaware creel limits.
 One extra point for released fish.
If surf anglers tie on total points, the total fish caught will determine the winner. If this is still tied, then the points of the largest of each species of fish caught will determine the winner. If tie is still not broken, prize money will be divided.  (Or a fight to the death, whichever pleases the crowd.)  

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Surf anglers fishing rough conditions on Herring Point to Gordons pond in Cape Henlopen State Park

In the event of storms or no fish caught.
If the beaches are closed due to a storm, we will have a rain date on May the 2nd.  If that gets washed out we will draw numbers for winners in all divisions. There isn’t an after tournament awards party due to all he covid restrictions. We will do the tournament winners online live at he beach. We will arrange collection for the prize winners to “space” out everyone. I would much rather go to Iron Hill and have a party. But it is what it is. we will soon enough maybe in he fall for War On The Shore, Fall Fish Bowl, or the Summer Slam Grand Finale.
 
 If no one enters a legal fish in the tournament we will have a drawing for prize categories.  We have your names on entry lists for the “hat” pull as it were.
It takes a lot to cancel a surf fishing tournament, we do not stop or cancel for rain. It has to be really bad weather …  lightning and a full out gale before we will cancel.  So even if it is raining sideways, dress for the weather.  Tournament weather is always better the next day.  

may the fish be with you, surf fishing tournament, delaware seashore state park, sussex county
May The Fish Be With Your surf fishing tournament 2021

May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament 2021 is sponsored by Fishbites and DS Custom Tackle.

*******  PRIZE DISCLAIMER …  This tournament’s prize money is based on 300 anglers signing up, if we get less than 300 anglers signed up, the  prizes will be adjusted accordingly.  For example if 150 anglers register then first prize will be $5,000.  Second Prize $1,500, Third Prize $1,000 and so on.  

First Prize … $10,000 …  Bait Board Trophy
Second Prize … $3,000 … Bait Board Trophy
Third Prize … $2,000 … Bait Board Trophy
Fourth prize … $1,000 …
Fifth prize … $500 …
Sixth the twentieth place prizes … Prize packs TBA

There will be drawings for additional giveaways with winners announced later online

Biggest fish …  $500 and TBA

Calcutta …   $20 bluefish entry …. based on number of people that sign up for the calcutta, we pay out all monies taken in for any calcutta.
Calcutta monies will be collected on the beaches the morning of the tournament.
We are not doing the skating rink and dog pound for this tournament, that is too much work for the judges for this type of tournament.  

I will have judges in teams of two, if we can with restrictions, busy watching all of the anglers and dealing with fish.  We will have others helping the judges and watching everything.  Any discrepancies will be decided by the tournament organizer(s), namely me and my judges.  If you are caught cheating you will be disqualified immediately, no exceptions, no second chances, and asked to leave the tournament area. Unsportsmanlike conduct will get you disqualified as well. An example would be cutting a neighbors’ line.

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Measuring bluefish all day, we measured to the fork for better accuracy since tails can get damaged.

Fish and size requirements for May The Fish Be With You

May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament 2021 is sponsored by Fishbites and DS Custom Tackle.

Anglers must follow all creel limits and Delaware fishery laws.
Fish species and size requirements …
Always check the score sheet on the back before the tournament to make sure you know the fish sizes that can score!  


Bluefish … 14 inches
Croaker … 8 inches
Weakfish … 13 inches
Black Drum … 16 inches

Red Drum 20 to 27 inches can be scored. You cannot keep or score a fish out of the slot. Doing so would be illegal possession of a fish in the state of Delaware and you could be fined by DNREC. 27 inch red drum will score 28 inches for the release

Flounder … 16.5 inches

Striped bass … 28 to 35 inches. No fish out of the slot can be scored. It is illegal to retain a fish out of the slot limit in the State of Delaware. Per DNREC’s division of Fish and Wildlife.

Speckled Trout … 12 inches
Northern Pufferfish … 8 inches
Kingfish … 11 inches

****** Red drum and striped bass out of the slot range must be released. Retaining these fish is considered possession and is illegal in the state of Delaware. Allowing this to happen would be promoting you to break the law. *****

Everyone have a good time, and ..
May The Fish Be With You

Rich King

May The Fish Be With You Surf Fishing Tournament 2021 is sponsored by Fishbites and DS Custom Tackle.

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