Tournament Rules

Official Tournament Fishing Rules

Compliance with North Carolina and Federal Fishing Laws Required.

Teams shall be limited to six (6) members and no other member of the club shall assist in any way.  If a team is found accepting assistance from any individual not registered as a member of the team, the team will be disqualified for the session in which the infraction of the rules occurred.

SUBSTITUTION IN TEAM MEMBERS PERMITTED ONLY in case of extreme emergency, and only with prior approval of Tournament Director.

Team Captain shall be responsible for scoring all team members’ fish.


Fishing Equipment

ROD – Surf or spinning tackle only. SINKER – No weight limit.  HOOKS – Two (2) hooks.  Double hook doodle bugs are one (1) hook. Artificial lures are permitted. FISH BUCKET – 1 per team member labeled with individual angler’s name.  BAIT – No live bait except worms and sand fleas (which may be raked during a session).  CHUMMING or CHUM POTS, FLOAT RIGS, PROPELLANTS prohibited.  Only one line per team member.  Casting nets are not allowed during sessions. Aerators are not allowed at any time.  See Resolution Section.

Time Schedule – Team Competition

Thursday, October 7

1st Session 7:30am to 10:30am

2nd Session 1:00pm to 4:00pm


Friday, October 8

1st Session 7:30am to 10:30am
2nd Session 1:00pm to 4:00pm

Rules On The Beach

  • No lines to be wet 30 minutes before starting time. No fishing other than at
    designated times and stations.
  • Every fish must be beached individually to be scored. No stringers, gaffs or fish bags allowed.
  • If angler has a fish hooked at the time to stop, the fish, when landed, will be scored.
  • Tangled lines will be cleared and fish scored.
  • Stockpiling or co-mingling of fish by any team will disqualify all team members, for an award based on number of fish, points or size.
  • Fish landed on loose rigging will not be scored.
  • A hooked fish which turns into adjoining station will be scored when landed.
  • Sportsmanlike conduct is expected. No encroachment on adjoining team’s station; any fish so caught will be disqualified.
  • The three (3) Nags Head Beach permits issued at registration are to be
    displayed anytime a team uses the beach in Nags Head.
  • Please – no unleashed dogs on the beach.

Scoring Rules

  • Total points determine winner(s). All points will be computed on length of fish measured from tip of snout (mouth closed) to tip of tail.
  • Ties on total points shall be broken first by most fish and if ties continue then by total points of the larger fish (4 points and over) caught by each team.

Resolution of official tournament Rules Violations

  • Any disputes must be submitted in writing to the Tournament Director and will be resolved by the Tournament Committee consisting of the Tournament Director, Head Judge, Chief Scorer, Club Vice President, one team captain. Official
    complaints, when determined to be valid by the Tournament Committee, will result in team disqualification for that session.
  • The Officers and Board of Directors of the NHSFC will review all actions taken by the Tournament Committee and may impose a more serious penalty than the Tournament Committee did. The Team Captain will be notified in writing of the Officers and Board of Directors final decision.

Scoring Table  

Species, Size and Points



Black Drum – 14″
Bluefish – 11″
Cobia – 36″ FL
Croaker – 11″
False Albacore – 11″
Flounder – 15″
Gray Trout – 12″
King Mackerel – 24″ FL
Pompano – 11″
Red Drum – 18″
Sea Mullet – 11″
Spanish Mackerel – 12″ FL
Speckled Trout – 14″
Spot – 11″
Striped Bass – 28”


All fish must be legal to be scored. All legal fish are measured from snout to tip of tail for scoring purposes. Any fish not on the list above will not be scored.

The tournament judges will score all fish on the basis of a required minimum length and in one point increments for each inch above minimum length up to and including a length of 20 inches.  Above 20 inches, 3 points for each additional inch in length will be awarded.

A fish larger than the maximum length for that species, as shown on the State of NC Division of Marine Fisheries publication, must be released alive to be scored.
We would like to see ANY fish, if alive, released after it is scored.  Fish not released will have pectoral fin notched by Judge and returned to team. It is the team captain’s responsibility to ensure conformance with length and creel requirements.