Rules For The 2018 Chillaware Island Spring Surf Fishing Tournament


Chillaware Island Spring Surf Fishing Tournament sponsor banner.

I would like to thank everyone for joining us this year for the first annual Chillaware Island Spring Surf Fishing Tournament.  First off we increased the fishing area to all of Delaware Seashore State parks drive on beaches.  You will be able to fish from Keybox to Faithful Steward.  Parks has allowed us again to extend the fishing area on 3Rs to the southside walk on entrance on the north end of the beach.  That is about a hundred yards beyond the no vehicles sign.   You can sign up still here until May 2nd (Tuesday/tomorrow)then we are cutting it off, we have increased this three times.  This is the last one.

Registration packets are at Liquid Board shop from 11 AM to 6 PM Monday to Thursday and 11 AM to 7 PM on Friday.  I will also be at Big Chill Surf Cantina until 8 PM “ish” friday night.  After that I will be at the southside parking lot in front of Big Chill Beach Club at 5 AM Saturday morning.

We also increased the number of anglers since we have such a huge response.  We are unlimited on the number of anglers as far as the fishing areas but have limited this to 400 anglers.  As of the first of May we have 280 signed up.   We have decided to increase the kids division prizes and that will be announced at the awards ceremony.

We have seven judges,  scoring will not be an issue.  If you need bait hit up Dan’s Tackle Box, Icehouse Bait and Tackle, Lighthouse View bait and Tackle, and Fenwick Bait and tackle.  DSF members get a 10% discount at icehouse and Fenwick.  There was an issue with the fall tourney finding bait, due to some shops saying they did not know there was a tournament, which is highly unlikely.  So we fixed that issue this year through our sponsors.

Calcuttas will be collected on the beach by myself and another representative.  The bluefish if all get in will be worth over $2,500 … The skating rink and dogpound could be worth over $1,000.

The rules for this tournament are standard to all surf fishing tournaments.  I decided to put these online and not in print so we do not waste paper and you have less to recycle.  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.

Parents you cannot fish for your kids they must cast themselves and land their own fish.  Once the fish is in the wash parents can help them with the fish.  We don’t want to damage any fish nor do we want a child to get bitten by a gator bluefish.  If there are special circumstances that require you to help your child we will determine how to handle that.  If a parent needs to help their child fish, we suggest you enter as an adult and fish with your child.  It will make for some great memories.

           2018 Chillaware Island Spring Surf Fishing Tournament  Rules and regulations 

Tournament time …  

Surf fishing will start at 7 am and lines out of the water by 3 PM.  Anglers must turn in score sheets to the judges in their area.  We will have a few 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 license.


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 the beach, including in front of Big Chill Beach club.  No one may fish within 75 yards of the southside inlet.   Drive on anglers will be limited to the first walk over access at the southside parking lot for fishing 3Rs.  There will be a sign and a judge parked there.  We have been given permission by parks to drive further north on 3Rs for this tournament.   No one can fish from the Southside Jetty that is off-limits

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 30 inch bluefish doesn’t fit in a 5 gallon bucket.

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.  Fish can only be caught on hook and line.  Angler who catches the fish must land the fish.  Assistance by netting or gaffing a fish is allowed, but only if the fish is visible to a judge on the beach.  We will have several judges.  We prefer you do not gaff any large bass or redfish  (drum) incase it is out of the allowable slot limit.

No cast nets are to be used before or during tournament.

Calcuttas … 

There will be a bluefish Calcutta for $10 all monies go to the largest bluefish.  In the event of a tie the money will be split. There will be a skating rink and dog pound Calcutta … each is $5 …  the most skate  caught and the most dogfish caught will win the Calcutta.  Judges will mark your catches.

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Scoring fish …  

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 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.

In the largest fish category if there is a tie, winner will be the fish caught first.  Times will  be recorded by judges.

In the event of storms or no fish.

If the beaches are closed due to a storm, we will have a rain date of Sunday the 6th.  If that gets washed out we will draw numbers for winners in all divisions.  If no one enters a legal fish in the tournament we will have a drawing for prize categories.  Anglers will be given a raffle ticket with their packets.  That ticket will be used in the event of these drawings.

Fish you can score and size requirements…   

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 inches to 40 inches and 44 inches or over can only be scored.  The release extra point will be allowed to get you to 41 points for a 40 inch fish.  Make sure you know the size of the fish before you flag down a judge.  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.  Even though we round down the inches for partials, a 40.56 inch fish must be released. 


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. *****


Fish On and Good Luck!!

Rich King

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