Howl At The Moon Official Rules

Howl at the Moon
Invitational Tarpon Tournaments
Rules  (Updated:  5/10/16)

1. Teams will consist of the Captain and a maximum of four(4)Anglers.
2. An observer will be placed on competing boats to insure adherence to all rules and to verify releases. Teams “may” be required to provide a qualified observer for placement on a competitor boat. An observer’s release/non-release decision is final. Any attempt at intimidation from Captain or Anglers of an observer may be grounds for disqualification.
3. Absolutely no Alcohol/Drugs may be consumed by captains or observers during tournament hours.
4. Live bait only.
5. There will be a maximum of two rods in use at any time.
6. Maximum leader length of 15 feet. Wire or monofilament leader is allowed. All rods must have a visible swivel connecting the main line to the leader.
7. Any Tarpon that jumps into another boat is disqualified for consideration as a release.
8. Any violation of state or federal laws may be grounds for disqualification.
9. Navigation lights must be on at all times after sunset.
10. All contestants and captains agree that any ruling/decision by the tournament judge is final.
11. No bad attitudes-have fun!

Boat operation: Any boat not operating in a safe and sportsmanlike manner will receive an official warning from the tournament judge. A second warning may result in immediate disqualification from the tournament and all previous releases shall be forfeited.

Sportsmanship: Foul or abusive language on the radio will not be tolerated and may be grounds for disqualification.

Releases: *An official release will occur when the observer verifies a fish as a tarpon and the angler retrieves the line to the point where the swivel/knot clearly touches the tip of the rod, or the Captain/Mate clearly touches the leader.  At that time, an official release will have occurred and the observer will immediately note on the scorecard the release time. The observer or captain will then contact the tournament judge on radio channel #71, giving the boat name, Team number, anglers name and time of  release.

*Every effort should be made to release the tarpon as quickly and efficiently as possible boat side. Lines may not be cut or broken intentionally away from the boat after an official release if a tarpon extends the fight.

Ties: Tiebreakers will be decided by times of Tarpon released as recorded by the official observers scorecard. 3rd place will be decided by hook up time and last tarpon released and will be awarded to a team “NOT” in 1st or 2nd place.  Official Time shall be Verizon phone time. Any observers without Verizon service will set their official time accordingly before the event at the observer meeting. The observer scorecard must be signed by both captain and observer, then submitted to the head judge at the conclusion of the event to be official.

*In the event of a first or last tarpon caught tie on release time, (Example: two first fish released within the 8:09 pm minute), the tiebreaker shall be which team hooked up first according to the official observer scorecard. If multiple teams hook up within the same minute, and release their fish within the same minute, (Example: Two teams hook up in the 8:04pm minute and release their tarpon in the 8:09pm minute), a tie will be declared and prize money will be split equally.

Weather: Should weather conditions not allow safe competition during scheduled tournament hours, 75% of all entry fees will be returned to competitors and the tournament shall be cancelled.
In case of unsafe weather conditions developing after the tournament starts, the tournament may be delayed or stopped at the discretion of the tournament judge. If delayed, the tournament will resume when the judge determines safe conditions exist. If stopped, the leader board will be frozen at the time the tournament was stopped and winners/winner will be declared. If necessary, there will be a maximum one hour overtime period. If only one tarpon is released, all prize money will still be awarded.


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