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North Carolina Department of Environment Quality

NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources
Marine Fisheries - N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament

Marine Fisheries

North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament
Managed by North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries

8-point rule

The Tournament begins January 1, 2020 and ends Midnight, December 31, 2020.

Read and print the Tournament Requirements

Fish shall be caught in accordance with North Carolina State and Federal laws and regulations as well as the N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament rules. Everyone is eligible except a charter boat captain or a crewman of a for-hire boat or anyone who offers fish for sale. Weighmasters or their employees are eligible for awards, provided a witness signs verification. Eligible waters include all North Carolina sounds, estuaries, surf and the Atlantic Ocean. No registration fee is required.

Certificate Qualifications: All fish must be caught on hook and line and landed or brought to gaff or net by the angler. No electric or hydraulic equipment is allowed. Fish must be weighed by an authorized weighmaster (or his/her representative) at an official weigh station. Each fish must be recorded on an official application form, signed by the angler and by a weighmaster. Snagged, mutilated, scaled, speared, frozen, or shot fish are not eligible. The weighmaster reserves the right to cut, open, or mark the fish after it has been weighed.

Release Rules: Angler or mate must touch the fish or the leader. Application must be completed with exception of length and weight (false albacore, amberjack, atlantic bonito, barracuda, cobia, black drum, jack crevalle, king mackerel, shark, striped bass, gray trout, speckled trout and red drum must have the length recorded). A witness must sign the application.

The Official North Carolina
Saltwater Fishing Tournament Minimum Weights and Release Lengths 

SPECIES

MINIMUM WEIGHT

SPECIES

MINIMUM WEIGHT

Albacore, False

Release Only E

Porgy (Silver Snapper)

4 lbs

Amberjack

50 lbs H

Sailfish

Release Only A

Atlantic Bonito

8 lbs B

Shark

150 lbs J

Barracuda

Release Only G

Sheepshead

8 lbs

Bass, Black Sea

4 lbs.

Spearfish

Release Only A

Bluefish

15 lbs E

Spot

1 lb

Cobia

40 lbs D

Striped Bass

35 lbs G

Croaker

3 lbs

Swordfish 50 lbs A

Dolphin

35 lbs

Tarpon

Release Only A

Drum, Black

35 lbs F

Tilefish, Gray

10 lbs

Drum, Red

Release Only F

Triggerfish

5 lbs

Grouper 20 lbs

Trout, Gray

5 lbs B

Jack, Crevalle

Release Only C

Trout, Speckled

5 lbs B

Mackerel, King

30 lbs G

Tuna, Bigeye

100 lbs

Mackerel, Spanish

6 lbs

Tuna, Blackfin

20 lbs

Marlin, Blue

400 lbs A

Tuna, Bluefin

200 lbs I

Marlin, White

Release Only A

Tuna, Yellowfin

70 lbs.

Mullet, Sea

1 1/2 lbs

Wahoo

40 lbs.

Pompano, Florida

2 lbs

   

A = Award for live release of fish, regardless of size
B = Award for live release of fish, 24 inches or longer
C = Award for live release of fish, 32 inches or longer
D = Award for live release of fish, 36 inches or longer
E = Award for live release of fish, 34 inches or longer

F = Award for live release of fish, 40 inches or longer
G = Award for live release of fish, 45 inches or longer
H = Award for live release of fish, 50 inches or longer
I =Award for live release of fish, 70 inches or longer
J = Award for live release of fish, 80 inches or longer

For more information on the N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament contact Carole Willis
with the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries at 800-682-2632 or 252-726-7021.
Contact her via email: Carole.Y.Willis@ncdenr.gov

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N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries • 3441 Arendell Street • Morehead City, NC 28557 • 252-726-7021 or 800-682-2632

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