Membership & Tournament Trails

OVERVIEW OF THE SKA  The Southern Kingfish Association was founded in 1990 as a sanctioning body for King Mackerel tournaments. It is now the largest sanctioning organization of saltwater fishing tournaments in the world. The SKA sanctions tournaments in eleven geographic divisions, throughout the Southeast and west from North Carolina through both coasts of Florida and into the Gulf Coast states all the way to Louisiana. Members fish in divisional competition on the Mercury Tournament Trail in hopes of qualifying for the SKA’s year end National Championship in November. The National Championship qualifies more than four hundred boats and they compete for cash and prizes. The top places in the Nationals are boat/motor/trailer packages. Prizes are donated by our primary sponsors for the Championship. The honor of being named the SKA’s National Champion is one of the most coveted awards in saltwater sport fishing today. For those with above average skills, there is also the Professional Kingfish Tour. This is a five tournament series throughout the Southeast, with the winner being crowned the SKA’s Top Angler of the Year. Cash prizes are also significant, as is the media attention placed upon the Pro Tour.

MEMBERSHIP IN THE SKA - The SKA reserves the right to refuse Association entry to any person or persons.

Professional Kingfish Tour Captain $140
Competition Member $70
Family Competition Membership $90
Associate Member $40
Competition Renewal $65
Family Competition Renewal $85
Each Additional Family Member $30


You must be a Competition Member of the SKA to win any SKA sponsored prizes. Competition membership runs from January 1 to December 31. Once SKA accepts your membership, no refunds will be issued.

A Competition Family may consist of a husband, wife, or child under the age of 22 still residing at home. The membership includes any two (2) members, i.e. father and son, husband and wife, etc. Additional memberships can be purchased for $30 for other family members.

Competition Members are entitled to the following: The right to compete in any of the Divisions, Lady Angler, Junior Angler or Senior Angler Divisions. All memberships include eleven issues of Angler magazine, the official publication of the SKA. Two SKA decals. One SKA embroidered full color patch. SKA membership certificate suitable for framing. Personalized membership card with your name and membership number. Free Classified Ads published on the SKA's web site and in Angler magazine. Access number for the SKA website forum. Discount marine insurance available through Charter Lakes Marine Insurance.

ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP: ASSOCIATE MEMBERS are NOT entitled to compete in divisional competition or entry into the National Championship. They will also receive SKA decals and a membership card identifying them as Associate members plus patches.

PROFESSIONAL MEMBERSHIP: Professional Memberships are available by invitation thru qualifiying only (see FISHING THE PRO TOUR).

RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS: By registering as a member of the Southern Kingfish Association, LLC., the member consents to the use, without payment or restrictions, of any photographs, and his or her name, in which the member, their crew and / or boat appears for any purpose whatsoever. The member further releases the Southern Kingfish Association, LLC., its officers, directors, committee members and sponsors from any liability for libel, slander, loss, damage, negligence, injury and / or death suffered by any member, family, crew, boat and / or other person which may occur during the term of membership. Any member or members who threaten or pursue any form of litigation against the Southern Kingfish Association, LLC. will be permanently expelled from the organization. It is the responsibility of every member to read the membership rules, angling rules, and the code of conduct, and practice same in SKA sanctioned events they fish unless there are specific rules for an individual event that differ from SKA rules. They would take precedence. In SKA produced events, SKA rules and code of conduct apply at all times. By joining the SKA every person agrees to abide by the rules set forth in the membership rules, code of conduct, and angling rules whether they have read them or not. Furthermore, member agrees that all decisions on disputes and/or protests are final and cannot be judged by any court or other authority.

CODE OF CONDUCT: Each person joining the SKA is expected to conduct her-/himself in a manner that reflects the wholesomeness and image of the organization. While the tournaments are highly competitive in nature, good sportsmanship is and will be paramount at all times. Members are expected to be role models, as this is a family organization. At no time shall any boat captain or crew make verbal or written contracts that effect the splitting or receiving a percentage of a tournament prize or purse and / or TWT monies with another team or boat entered into the same event or tournament trail itself. Failure to conform will result in the immediate forfeiture of all points for the season for all boats involved. Captains are responsible for the safety and conduct of their crew and / or team members during all aspects of an event. Demeaning the SKA, SKA sponsors, or another member's character or heritage will not be tolerated and can result in expulsion from the organization. Any member putting the welfare of the general membership at risk with sponsors or potential sponsors will be expelled from the SKA immediately by SKA managers.

UNDERSTANDING THE RULES: It is the responsibility of all SKA members to familiarize themselves with all the rules and regulations of this association and to abide by said rules and regulations. Members also agree by joining the association that all decisions of the Board of Directors and / or SKA management are final.

DISQUALIFICATION: Any angler or captain being disqualified from a sanctioned or SKA produced tournament because of a rule violation, regardless of the severity of the violation, will not receive points for that day of the disqualification. If a member is disqualified from the entire tournament, the member will not receive any points gained during that event. Members are also subject to expulsion depending upon the severity of the violation, subject to the discretion of the management of the SKA. Anyone expelled from the SKA will also forfeit any points already awarded prior to the infraction which caused the expulsion. Members also agree to abide by any and all tournament rules and the decisions of the sanctioned tournament rules committees and directors when joining the SKA.

TOURNAMENT PARTICIPATION:All SKA members participating in a sanctioned event understand that the SKA does not get involved in tournament disputes. The SKA are guests of the event and will act accordingly. All decisions made by sanctioned tournaments, their rules committees, and directors are final. If a member believes he/she has been slighted by an event, the member(s) should contact the SKA in writing, explaining the problem to SKA management. The matter will be taken under advisement. Our recourse for flagrant violations is cancellation of the SKA sanction for the following season(s). Any member issuing a worthless check, stopping payment on a check, or credit card that does not clear, made out to a sanctioned tournament, the SKA, or cash, will have points frozen until the matter is resolved. If the practice persists, the SKA will automatically suspend membership privileges. Captains are responsible for their crews and/or teammates at all times. Any protests will be addressed through the team captain only.

INDIVIDUAL TOURNAMENT RULES: In an SKA sanctioned tournament, any tournament rule that is in conflict with an existing SKA rule, replaces the SKA rule for that event only. The King Mackerel size limit rule is the exception. SKA still will not accept any fish under 10 pounds for points even though the tournament may accept it. Otherwise all other SKA rules, Angling rules, Code of Conduct, and the Conservation rule apply to all SKA members at all times. All local, state, and federal boating and fishing laws must be strictly adhered to at all times.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND / OR ILLEGAL DRUGS:The consumption of alcoholic beverages during tournaments is strongly discouraged by the management of the SKA. Anglers and members are expected to practice good sportsmanship and because of the families fishing with us, are expected to set good examples. Abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs will result in disqualification and/or expulsion from the organization at the discretion of SKA management. Members smoking or drinking during picture taking will not have their photos used in Angler magazine.

VHF RADIO USE: Members are asked to practice common sense when using the VHF radio. Bad language with children possibly listening, poor sportsmanship, and the demeaning of other anglers on the air can result in points not counting for that event. Frequent abuse can also result in expulsion from the organization, at the discretion of SKA management and/or the Board of Directors.

CONSERVATION: Each and every member is encouraged to practice and set examples of good conservation. Take only fish that you intend to weigh and release the rest unharmed to grow and reproduce. No SKA angler shall unnecessarily kill a King Mackerel during a tournament or while pre-fishing unless said fish is to be weighed or used as table fare. Abuse can result in disqualification from a sanctioned tournament and/or expulsion from the organization, at the discretion of the SKA management.

TOURNAMENT CANCELLATION: In the event that a sanctioned tournament is canceled due to bad weather or any other reason, and is rescheduled at a later date during the same year on the date of another sanctioned tournament within the same division, the rescheduled event will NOT count as a sanctioned event. If two tournaments decide to hold their events jointly, only the tournament that was originally scheduled for that date will be sanctioned.

MERCURY TOURNAMENT TRAIL DIVISIONS: This is a team competition in which the team's captain receives one (1) point per pound for their largest King Mackerel weighed in per tournament. SKA must have the make, model, power and boat name of the team. This is a boat/team effort. The boat you register at the start of the season is the boat you must fish throughout the year in that division. If you sell your boat, you will be allowed to transfer points to the new boat, providing that you remain within the same class, i.e. if you begin the year in the Class of 23, garner points, then purchase a 31 foot boat, you will NOT be allowed to transfer points between the Class of 23 and the Open Classes. Putting your current boat up for sale and fishing on another vessel does NOT qualify as a reason to carry over points to another boat. You may not substitute a boat for one that is already in competition in the same division unless that boat forfeits their points gained at that point in the division. There are two exceptions: one is a licensed boat dealer fishing a company owned demonstrator boat. The MSO of the boat must be in the dealer's name and the name given the boat at the start of the season must remain the same. The other pertains to breakdowns.

BREAKDOWNS: If you start a tournament in your registered boat and you have a breakdown, you will be allowed to switch boats for the remainder of that event, providing you notify the SKA representative in attendance of your intention to switch boats, and providing that the sanctioning tournament allows such a substitution, limit two breakdowns per season once you have entered an event. If your boat breaks down before an event, you will be allowed only one boat substitution per division. Remember that this is a team and machine contest. The ability to keep your boat in running order is equally important to your success. Exception: In the event your boat cannot be repaired because of circumstances beyond your control, you must get special approval from the SKA management to change boats for the remainder of the season or till the problem is resolved. For example, you blow a power head and parts are unavailable for an extended period of time. You will be required to provide proof of the problem for verification.

WHO CAN BE CAPTAIN: Members who register as captain or co-captain must be at least 16 years of age and must have had their sixteenth birthday prior to fishing their first sanctioned event of that season. It is highly recommended that if you register as captain with the SKA that you also register as captain with the sanctioned tournament's officials in order to eliminate any confusion in score keeping.

CLASS OF 23: This is a division for boats whose manufacturer classify, advertise, and publish the manufacturer's length as a 23'11" foot vessel or less (Cannot exceed 23'11" waterline). The SKA will not physically measure any boat to determine its length. If the manufacturer classifies its product as something greater than 23' to 23'11" then the vessel will not be eligible to compete in the Class of 23 regardless of the boat's overall length. Horsepower will not exceed the manufacturer's recommendation for that boat for it to be allowed to compete in the Class of 23. The boat cannot exceed 23' 11" waterline length regardless of the manufacturer's size claim. You will be automatically be placed in this class upon registration of your boat with the SKA at the first tournament you fish. You may choose to fish the Open Division in a Class of 23 boat, however, we must have your written authorization on file to change classification in the SKA Corporate Office and this must be done before you fish your first tournament of the season.

DIVISIONS AND POINTS: There are 11 Divisions in the SKA. A team's best three fish, one per event, out of the 3 to 5 events in the division, counts toward the team's score.

EACH TEAM MUST REGISTER WITH THE SKA AND COMPLETE THE SKA $10.00 REGISTRATION FORM DURING TOURNAMENT REGISTRATION HOURS. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL RESULT IN THE TEAM'S POINTS NOT COUNTING FOR THAT TOURNAMENT - THERE WILL BE NO EXCEPTIONS!! The SKA staff will man a booth, trailer, table or other setup during the hours of tournament registration, and will be located in an area near the registration. It is the responsibility of the captain to ensure that one team member completes the SKA ($10) Registration Form and turns it in to the SKA representative, along with the $10 fee, prior to fishing and during the registration hours. You will be given a copy for your records. Teams may fish in as many divisions as desired, but their points are not transferred between divisions. Points garnered must remain with that team and within that division. Captain or alternate captain must be an SKA Competition member and one or both must be on board in order to receive points in the divisions. Individual team members are not required to be on board for every tournament during the season. The captain and the boat receive points, and points remain with the boat throughout the season. A captain switching teams may NOT carry his points from one boat to another. The points remain with the boat.

QUALIFYING FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP: The top 25 boats in the Open Class (24 foot and above) and the top 20 boats in the Class of 23 at the end of that division's season will be invited to compete in the SKA's National Championship and will receive invitational letters to that effect. Only SKA current year competition members will be allowed to compete. Captain's can either fish with their original team or may pick their crews from the general competition member rank and file of the SKA. All crew/team members must have fished a minimum of two SKA sanctioned tournaments during the current year season. All members of a National Championship crew must be SKA Competition members and have fished in at least two tournaments as such during the season in which they qualified for the Championship. SKA Corporate Partners and members of the press are the only exceptions, and must be approved prior to fishing by the SKA management. All team members should be SKA Competition members for this reason. Any boat that qualifies in the Pro Division is automatically pulled out from any Divisional qualifying position. Any boat qualifying in more than one division will go to the Nationals based on their highest Divisional finish and will be pulled from any lower Divisional finishes, allowing other boats to move up. The boat, however, still gets credit for where they finish for the record books. Any ties in Divisional competition will be broken by the size of the largest fish of the three that count toward the boat's points. The boat with the larger fish will break the tie. In the event of identical big fish weights, the size of the second largest fish will break the tie, and if needed, the third largest fish. Any and all ties in divisional competition will be broken. There will be no co-winners or equal placing in the divisions. SKA will guarantee that two boats 20 feet or less in length, as determined by the manufacturer (see Class of 23 rules), will also be invited to the Nationals as part of the Class of 23. If no 20 foot or under boats finish in the top 20, we will go down the standings to find the highest two finishing 20 foot or under boats. Anyone qualifying in a 20 foot or under boat may fish in a 23 foot boat in the Nationals in the Class of 23. Class of 23 boats are competing for their own set of prizes in the Nationals, and are unable to win any prizes in the Open class (and vice versa). Past National Champions and Top Anglers of the Year (captains and co-captains only, one or the other or both, but must be on same boat, only one qualifies with preference going to the Captain) and are automatically qualified for the Championship and will be purged from any Divisional qualifying finishes, allowing other boats to move up. (Must use the name of boat used for Championship wins or Angler of the Year title). If boats that have qualified for the Nationals do not attend, SKA does not go down the qualifying list. Past Champions and Anglers of the Year must renew their Competition memberships prior to April 1 of the current year and must fish a minimum of two events during the calendar year on their own boat to be eligible for participation in the Championship. A Qualifying Captain may choose to bring another boat (other than the one he or she qualified in) to the Championship however it must conform to the class they qualified in. If the Captain elects not to attend the Championship, so not to penalize the co-captain and/or team members, they can elect to use the qualifying position. SKA must be notified of this change.

LADY ANGLER DIVISION: Best three (3) fish out of the three to five events in each division. The Top Lady Angler in each Division will receive a plaque engraved with their name, boat name, division and year. Lady Angler must be aboard the boat to receive points, but does not have to be the angler on the fish. SKA rewards them for participating with the team only. Lady Anglers must remain with one single team in a division in order to garner points throughout the division. Boat switching in a division is not allowed with the exception of approved breakdown substitution. Lady Anglers must be clearly and properly marked on the SKA ($10) Registration Form to be eligible for points (must be done at each event they fish.) In the event a Lady Angler is indicated but does not fish, it is the responsibility of the team captain to notify the SKA representative so the SKA ($10) Registration Form can be corrected. Anyone violating the honor system will not be awarded points for that event. There will be one Top Lady Angler per division. There will be one Lady Angler of the Year award. The Top Lady Angler of the Year will receive a custom gold and diamond pendant. Lady Anglers must be at least 16 years of age. Ties are broken by the weight of the largest of the three fish counted for scoring. In the event that the largest fish also tie, the winner will be determined by the second largest fish weighed in. Lady anglers fishing in Division 7 (upper Gulf) have a 39 point handicap. (Their highest three fish aggregate will be reduced by 39 points). The Pro Tour is not eligible for Top Lady Angler of the Year honors. This is for Divisional participants only.

JUNIOR ANGLER DIVISION: Best three (3) fish out of the three to five events in each division. The top (3) Junior Anglers in each division will receive a plaque engraved with their name, boat name, division and year. A Junior Angler's sixteenth (16th) birthday must not fall prior to May 1 of that calendar year in order to be eligible for competition in the Junior Angler division. There will be one Top Junior Angler of the Year. Junior anglers must be aboard the boat to receive points, but do not have to be the angler on the fish. SKA rewards them for participation as part of the fishing team. Junior Anglers must remain with one single team in a division in order to garner points throughout the division. Boat switching in a division is not allowed with the exception of approved breakdown substitution. Junior Anglers must be clearly and properly marked on the SKA ($10) Registration Form to be eligible for points (must be done at each event they fish.) . In the event a Junior Angler is indicated but does not fish, it is the responsibility of the team captain to notify the SKA representative so the SKA ($10) Registration Form can be corrected. Anyone violating the honor system will not be awarded points for that event. Ties are broken by the weight of the largest of the three fish counted for scoring. In the event that the largest fish also tie, the winner will be determined by the second largest fish weighed in. Junior Anglers fishing in Division 7 (upper Gulf) have a 39 point handicap. (Their highest three fish aggregate will be reduced by 39 points). The Pro Tour juniors are not eligible for Top Junior Angler of the Year. This is for Divisional participants only.

The top Junior Angler in all SKA Sanctioned Tournaments fishing a Mercury powered boat will win a $500 scholarship certificate redeemable when the junior enters college. The boat the junior is fishing on must be registered to the captain fishing the tournament.

LONNIE BROADWELL SENIOR ANGLER DIVISION: Best three (3) fish out of the three to five events in each division. The top Senior Angler in each division will receive a plaque engraved with their name, boat name, division and year. The Lonnie Broadwell Senior Angler of the Year award will be awarded to the divisional winner in the Senior Angler category with the highest three fish point total. Upper Gulf Seniors must deduct 39 points from their three-fish total for parity among the rest of the divisions. The winner of the Broadwell Award will receive a trophy with their name, boat name, division, and year engraved upon it. The Senior Angler's 55th birthday must fall prior to May 1 in the calendar year of competition. The Senior Angler must be aboard the boat in order to receive points but does not have to be the angler on the fish. We reward them for participation as part of the fishing team. The Pro Tour is NOT eligible for the Broadwell Senior Angler of the Year award, this is offered to Divisional winners only. Senior Anglers must remain with one single team in a division in order to garner points throughout the division. Boat switching in a division is not allowed with the exception of approved breakdown substitution. Ties are broken by the weight of the largest of the three fish counted for scoring. In the event that the largest fish also tie, the winner will be determined by the second largest fish weighed in. It is the responsibility of the person registering the team on the $10 form to properly identify all senior anglers on the team that are fishing.

PRO TOUR: Entry fees for Pro events are $1,000 per event; this is a commitment of five tournaments in the Tour. All members of Pro teams must be SKA Competition members during the year. The boat entered into the Pro Tour must remain with the team for the entire year and keep the same name. If a boat is sold during the year it can be replaced, however it must carry the same name. Two boat substitutions may be made in the five-event series and must be done for mechanical reasons or sale of the boat. Designated Captain must be on board for at least three of the five events. A Co-Captain must be designated at the beginning of the year. To qualify as co-captain, he or she must fish with the Captain in a minimum three of the five events. Top Angler of the Year honors go to the captain of the boat with the highest point total of their best seven fish at the end of the five tournament series. The tournaments are aggregate in nature, with the teams weighing in the biggest single fish during each of the two days of competition. The team’s top seven, of a possible ten fish (five tournaments, two fish per event) will count toward their final score. SKA Membership Rules, Angling Rules and Code of Conduct to apply at all times. Top Angler of the Year (Captain) will receive a ceremonial gold ring. The Top Angler of the Year (Captain) will also receive a large gold cup trophy engraved with his/her name, boat name, and year. The Top Angler of the Year Captain is also automatically qualified to fish in any National Championship event, providing that they renew their Competition membership by April 1st annually, and fish at least two divisional tournaments in their own boat during the calendar year. This applies to the Captain only, not the crew, however a crew member who fishes a year with a Pro team can elect to start a team of his or her own for the following year providing the angler has been a competition member of the SKA for a minimum of one year prior to fishing the Pro circuit. The top five (5) teams at the end of the year will be awarded trophies, from first through fifth place. The Top Angler of the Year (Captain) will receive a Yamaha outboard motor as a special bonus. Also, the Top Junior, Lady, and Senior Angler will be awarded trophies. Any captain, co-captain, or team member, who qualifies for the SKA National Championship in the year prior, may elect to fish the Pro Tour. Teams who qualify for the National Championship in the Class of 23 are also eligible to compete in the Pro Tour the following year, and may do so in a larger boat of their choice. There is no Class of 23 in the Pro Tour. Pro teams must pay the entry fee and fish all five events in order to maintain their Pro eligibility for the following year and to qualify for the Nationals. Any team or teams who drop out of the Pro Tour without paying for all five events will not be allowed to rejoin the Pro Tour the following year. They must sit out one year and re-qualify for the National Championship to be eligible for the following year’s Pro Tour. Team members must have fished in all five Pro events on an existing Pro team in order to captain their own boat for the following year on the Pro Tour. You must receive approval by the SKA management prior to fishing the Pro Tour in order to verify that the requirements have been met previously. Teams will be sent qualifying announcements by Jan. 1st for the current year’s Pro Tour. Captains will be required to pay the $140 Pro Captain fee as well as $2,000 for the first and last Pro Tour events of that year, non-refundable. Pro qualifiers may join the Pro Tour ranks at the first tournament of the year. Any Pro team electing to sit out a year can be re-instated any year for the processing fee of $250. No team fishing the Pro Tour may recruit or pay a guide to assist them in a tournament during the tournament fishing days. Pre-fishing with a guide is allowed. Likewise, teams may not add members to their team who possess local knowledge or who would create an unfair advantage against the other teams competing. Please see Angling Rules for additional rules.


POLYGRAPH POLICY: It is the official policy of the SKA to polygraph tournament winners as well as random tournament participants in the following tournaments: all Pro events, all SKA produced events, and Nationals when deemed necessary or possibly as the result of any and all protests. Any participant in any SKA event, sanctioned or produced, who refuses to take the test will automatically lose his or her SKA membership. All members agree that the results of the test will be final and accepted by the participant(s).

rev. 01/05/09

Yamaha Pro Tour & Mercury Tournament Trail Tournament & Angling Rules

OVERVIEW: The Southern Kingfish Association and its Sanctioned Tournaments are considerably lenient in regards to the Angling Rules, especially when compared to the standards set by the International Game Fish Association. Anglers are not out to set world records in tournament competition, and by allowing certain types of tackle and equipment, we allows them to increase their chances of boating a tournament winning King Mackerel. All anglers should keep in mind that if they are interested in setting a world record, they need to modify their tackle and equipment to conform to IGFA rules. Otherwise, during any SKA sanctioned tournament, the following set of Angling RuIes shall apply to all SKA members or non-members fishing an event.

A. LINE: Monofilament, multifilament, braided and lead core multifilament lines may be used. Fluorocarbon line may also be used. Wire lines are prohibited.

B. LEADER: The use of a leader is not required, but if one is used it must meet the following specifications: Single strand, multistrand and braided wire leaders are acceptable. Fluorocarbon leaders may also be used. There is no length restriction on the leader or shock leader. There are no requirements on the strength of the leader or shock leader.

C. ROD: Rods must comply with sporting ethics and customs. Considerable latitude is allowed in the choice of a rod, but rods giving the angler an unfair advantage will be disqualified. The rule is intended to eliminate the use of unconventional rods. There are no restrictions on the length of the rod or type of material in its manufacture.

D. REELS: Reels must comply with sporting ethics and customs. Power driven reels of any kind are prohibited. This includes motor, hydraulic or electrically driven reels and any device, which gives the angler an unfair advantage. Special consideration for physically impaired members will be given upon request. This rule does NOT apply to power driven kite reels providing the fishing line is attached via a release clip so the fish is not fought on the power driven reel. It also does NOT apply to power driven downriggers, providing the fishing line is attached via a release clip so the fish is not fought using the power driven downrigger. Ratchet handle reels are prohibited. Reels designed to be cranked with both hands at the same time are prohibited.

E. BAIT, HOOKS, AND LURES: Considerable latitude shall be granted concerning bait fishing and the selection of hooks and lures. It is, however, the overall intent of the SKA to prevent any angler from attempting to / or obtaining an unfair advantage over any type of fish, or other anglers. Any angler, who uses illegal methods in capturing fish, including baitfish, may be subject to disqualification and/or expulsion by the tournament committee and/or the SKA. Bait may be taken by any legal means, including the use of a cast net of legal size. Artificial lures, skirts and trailing materials may be used in the capture of bait or Kingfish providing such skirt, lure or trailer is attached to a qualified rod, reel and line. Teasers such as jig heads or skirts may be used in front of live bait rigs or attached to the front of any ribbonfish or eel. There will be a maximum of five (5) hooks allowed per rig. Each hook may be of a single, double or treble design, but will be limited to five hooks. This is primarily in the case of ribbonfish or silver eels. Anglers are encouraged to use as few a number of hooks as possible in order to increase the chances of survival for any kings released. This is especially important when pre fishing, where most fish will be released anyway. For all tournaments, pre-caught or bought bait must be on the participating boat prior to check out. Bait pens may be kept at locations other than with a vessel at a marina or a home dock, however, no bait from these pens can be removed after check out nor can a team stop on their way to the weigh in dock and put bait in a pen. The only exception to this rule is on Florida’s west coast. If red tide becomes significant to the point that bait cannot be kept alive in a given area, other arrangements would be announced at the Captain’s Meeting or if possible within three days of the event.

F. OTHER EQUIPMENT: Gaffs and nets used to boat or land a fish must not exceed an overall length of 12 feet. Flying or detachable head gaffs are not allowed. All gaffs must be equipped with a single hook. Harpoon or lance attachments are prohibited. Floats are prohibited with the exception of any flotation device attached to the line or leader for the sole purpose of regulating the depth of the bait. The flotation device must not in any way hamper the fighting ability of the fish. Entangling devices, either with or without a hook, are prohibited and may not be used for any purpose including baiting, hooking, fighting or landing the fish. Outriggers, downriggers, and kites are permitted, providing that the actual fishing line is attached to the device by a snap, clip, rubber band or other release device so the line is released upon the strike and the fish is fought unencumbered on an allowed rod, reel and line.

G. ANGLING REGULATIONS: A harness may be attached to the rod and reel, but not to a fighting chair. The harness may be replaced or adjusted by a person other than the angler. The angler may pass the rod to another angler during anytime in the fight and for any reason. This is primarily in the case of junior anglers who may tire easily. The use of a rod belt or gimbal is allowed. The angling and equipment regulations will apply throughout a sanctioned tournament.

H. ANY OF THE FOLLOWING MAY DISQUALIFY A CATCH: Failure to comply with any local, state, federal, tournament or Tournament / SKA angling regulations. Hand lining or using a hand line or rope attached in any manner to the angler’s line or leader for the purpose of holding or lifting a fish. Shooting, harpooning, or lancing any fish during any stage of the catch is prohibited. Using a boat or other device to beach or drive a fish into shallow water in order to deprive the fish of its normal ability to swim. Intentionally foul hooking a fish. Using a size or type of bait that is illegal to possess. Attaching the angler’s line or leader to any part of the boat or other object for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish. Mutilation of the fish prior to landing or boating the catch, caused by sharks, barracuda, any other fish, mammals, or propellers that hampers the fish’s natural fighting and swimming ability. Injuries caused by line or leader, gaff marks, old healed scars or regeneration deformities are not disqualifying injuries. SOUTHERN KINGFISH ASSOCIATION
SANCTIONED TOURNAMENT & SKA PRODUCED TOURNAMENT RULES


I. GENERAL TOURNAMENT RULES: Any King Mackerel caught and presented at a tournament scale for tournament participation must be fit for human consumption. Please ice your catch. The weigh master, Tournament Director, or SKA management may disqualify any fish kept improperly after capture. If a tournament does not collect your catch, you are responsible for disposing of the fish in an appropriate manner. All King Mackerel must be off loaded at the end of each fishing day. Any boat found possessing King Mackerel in weighable condition prior to any check out would be subject to disqualification.

In the event of identical weights, the first fish weighed in shall break the tie. In a two day, two fish aggregate event, the tie will be broken on the basis of the team’s largest fish of the two weighed in. In the event that the largest fish tie in weight, the winner will be determined by the first of the largest fish weighed in. No altering of a fish’s weight in any way is allowed, i.e. stuffing the fish, chemical treatment or injection of any substance, etc.

No boat shall make landfall, congregate with another boat, and/or pass anything between boats or land after checkout or before weigh in each day. Any boat receiving assistance is disqualified for that day only. Any boat rendering assistance will not be disqualified but notifying the tournament committee, committee boat, or another tournament participant, is recommended. The boat rendering assistance must still make any time schedules and/ or weigh in hours. In the event of a no checkout tournament, the above shall apply at the tournament’s designated time for lines in the water. After checkout (or once fishing hours have started in the case of a no-checkout tournament), no boats are to pass, throw, float, airlift or otherwise transfer ANY object to any other boat, whether it be a gallon of oil, bait, cigarette lighter, engine parts, tools, etc. during tournament competition hours. This form of congregation is reserved for dire emergencies at sea, such as onboard fire, sinking or danger of sinking, medical emergencies, etc. and required by Maritime Law. If any team knowingly weighs or attempts to weigh a fish after receiving assistance from any other vessel, they will be disqualified from the SKA and / or disqualified by Tournament Officials upon protest from any other team or member.

Law enforcement officials may board tournament vessels without penalty to the team at any time during a tournament. However, receipt of a citation from any law enforcement official during tournament hours will cause that team to be disqualified from that day’s fishing only. All Captain’s should, at all time, keep boat registration, proof of insurance, and any other boat ownership information in a zip lock plastic bag in a safe dry place on the vessel.

SKA officials and/or tournament representatives reserve the right to inspect all boats entered in competition at any time.

SKA tournament participants agree that by entering a tournament, all rule protests and management decisions are final within the time frame allowed by the SKA / Tournament rules and not subject to any further interpretation and/or litigation.

Any tournament official, tournament sponsor, SKA executive and/or employee entering a tournament, in compliance with the tournament rules and SKA rules, is eligible for any and all prizes.

Winners, or any anglers may be requested to submit to and pass a polygraph test and/or sign an affidavit prior to being presented any prize. This must be done in a timely fashion. Failure to submit to a polygraph test automatically revokes all claims to any prizes won. All members of any SKA team or tournament participants entering and participating in an SKA sanctioned or produced event agrees that all polygraph results are final and agree that the subject of the polygraph will not be challenged beyond the posting of the results.

Hooks must be removed from all fish prior to bringing fish to the scales. It is for the safety of the weigh master and fish handlers. It is the weigh master’s discretion whether you need to remove embedded hooks or not before weighing. No fish less than 10 (ten) pounds will count toward a team’s score, regardless of fork length. Such fish may be entered into Divisional tournament competition, provided that they meet the tournament’s minimum size length requirements, but no fish less than 10.00 pounds will be count toward a team’s overall SKA divisional score.

All boats are responsible for getting their fish to the weigh station under their own power and on the boat that caught the fish. Transferring fish to another boat for any reason will cause immediate disqualification and/or expulsion from the SKA. Fish must be turned in on the same day they are caught. Fish to be weighed in must be accompanied by a member of the boat’s crew, who will stay with the fish to verify the weight and sign any weigh ticket.

Captains and crews are responsible for following any local, state, and federal fishing and boating laws. No tournament fishing is allowed in foreign waters at any time. Tournaments have the right to set boundaries.

SKA sanctioned Tournaments or SKA produced events, plus the SKA reserve the right to refuse entry to any person or persons.

Participants in tournaments should have a working VHF radio and scan VHF channel 16 along with the tournament channel to keep abreast of any marine warnings or dangerous weather conditions. We encourage tournament participants to heed any weather warnings, as safety is paramount. It is also suggested that all vessels carry the prescribed Coast Guard approved flotation devices for all people on board (it’s the law) plus an approved epirb, and an approved fire extinguisher.

Payment of the entry fee into a tournament constitutes a representation by each entrant that they have read and understood the tournament rules and will abide by such rules and the decisions of tournament committees and their directors plus SKA management.

ALL TOURNAMENTS ARE CAPTAIN’S CHOICE EVENTS!

It is up to the discretion of the participating captain to determine whether their craft is seaworthy for the existing conditions. The captain is responsible for the safety and conduct of their crew both on and off the ocean from the time the tournament begins (Registration) till it ends (Awards Ceremony). The Tournament Director has the right to enforce any and all rules and their penalties without a formal written protest from other contestants. ALL SKA SANCTIONED TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS EXCERISE THEIR RIGHT TO REFUSE ENTRY TO ANY CAPTAIN OR TEAM!

J. PROTESTS: ANY AND ALL PROTESTS WILL BE ADDRESSED THRU THE TEAM CAPTAIN ONLY! In SKA sanctioned or SKA produced tournaments; all participants must follow the tournament rules, concerning protests. The decisions of the tournament director(s) and tournament rules committee are final. Should the tournament director or rules committee elect to disqualify a team or fish, the SKA will uphold their ruling without question or hesitation. Based upon the circumstances and severity of the disqualification, SKA management may, at their discretion, choose to disqualify that team for that season, or may even choose to revoke that team’s membership in the organization for a time period of their choice. In tournaments managed and produced by the SKA, the SKA Angling, Membership, and Code of Conduct Rules shall apply at all times. Tournament protests must be made within one hour after the last fish is weighed in, and must be accompanied by a $200 cash deposit. If the protest is upheld, the deposit will be returned. Otherwise, the deposit becomes property of the tournament or SKA. The decision to uphold or deny the protest will be made within one hour after the protest, and any and all decisions will be final.

ANY TEAM VIOLATING TOURNAMENT RULES, EXPELLED OR DISQUALIFIED FROM AN EVENT, OR ATTEMPTS TO INAGURATE LITIGATION WILL NOT BE ALLOWED TO FISH ANY SKA SANCTIONED EVENT! TOURNAMENT PARTICIPANTS AGREE THAT BY ENTERING A TOURNAMENT SANCTIONED OR MANAGED BY THE SKA, THAT ALL RULE PROTESTS AND MANAGEMENT DECISIONS ARE FINAL, WITHIN THE TIME FRAME ALLOWED BY SKA AND / OR THE TOURNAMENT, AND TOURNAMENT RULES ARE NOT SUBJECT TO ANY FURTHER INTERPRETATION AND / OR LITIGATION.

It is the responsibility of SKA to notify any and all tournaments of who these fishermen are each year.

ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND / OR ILLEGAL DRUGS: The consumption of alcoholic beverages during tournaments is strongly discouraged by the SKA and Tournament Officials. Anglers and members are expected to practice good sportsmanship and because of the families fishing with us, are expected to set good examples. Abuse of alcohol or illegal drugs will result in disqualification and/or expulsion from the tournament at the discretion of Tournament Management. Members smoking or drinking during picture taking will not have their photos used in Angler magazine.

VHF RADIO USE: Members are asked to practice common sense when using the VHF radio. Bad language with children possibly listening, poor sportsmanship, and the demeaning of other anglers on the air can result in points not counting for that event. Frequent abuse can also result in expulsion from the organization or tournament, at the discretion of SKA management and/or Tournament Directors.

CONSERVATION: Each and every member is encouraged to practice and set examples of good conservation. Take only fish that you intend to weigh and release the rest unharmed to grow and reproduce. No angler shall unnecessarily kill a King Mackerel during a tournament or while pre-fishing unless said fish is to be weighed or used as table fare. Abuse can result in disqualification from a sanctioned tournament and/or expulsion from the organization.

BREAKDOWNS: If you start a tournament in your registered boat and you have a breakdown, you will be allowed to switch boats for the remainder of that event, providing you notify the Tournament Director and the SKA representative in attendance of your intention to switch boats, and providing that the sanctioning tournament allows such a substitution, limit two breakdowns per season once you have entered an event. If your boat breaks down before an event, you will be allowed only one boat substitution per Division. Remember that this is a team and machine contest. The ability to keep your boat in running order is equally important to your success. Exception: In the event your boat cannot be repaired because of circumstances beyond your control, you must get special approval from the SKA management to change boats for the remainder of the season or till the problem is resolved. For example, you blow a power head and parts are unavailable for an extended period of time. You will be required to provide proof of the problem for verification.

WHO CAN BE CAPTAIN: Members who register as captain or co-captain must be at least 16 years of age and must have had their sixteenth birthday prior to fishing their first sanctioned event of that season. It is highly recommended that if you register as captain with the SKA that you also register as captain with the sanctioned tournament’s officials in order to eliminate any confusion in score keeping.

CLASS OF 23: This is a division for boats whose manufacturer classify, advertise, and publish the manufacturer’s length as a 23'11" foot vessel or less (Cannot exceed 23'11" waterline). The SKA will not physically measure any boat to determine its length. If the manufacturer classifies its product as something greater than 23' to 23'11" then the vessel will not be eligible to compete in the Class of 23 regardless of the boat’s overall length. Horsepower will not exceed the manufacturer’s recommendation for that boat for it to be allowed to compete in the Class of 23. The boat cannot exceed 23’ 11” waterline length regardless of the manufacturer’s size claim. You will be automatically be placed in this class upon registration of your boat with the SKA at the first tournament you fish. You must declare your boat category on the registration form for each tournament you enter. (SKA ONLY) You may choose to fish the Open Division in a Class of 23 boat, however, SKA must have your written authorization on file to change classification in the SKA Corporate Office and this must be done before you fish your first tournament of the season.

JUNIOR ANGLER: Junior Anglers sixteenth (16th) birthday must not fall prior to May 1st of that calendar year in order to be eligible for competition in the Junior Angler Division.

RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS: By registering as a member of the Southern Kingfish Association, LLC., or fishing an SKA Sanctioned Tournament, the member consents to the use, without payment or restrictions, of any photographs, and his or her name, in which the member, their crew and / or boat appears for any purpose whatsoever. The member further releases the Southern Kingfish Association, LLC., its officers, directors, committee members, sponsors, sanctioned tournament personnel, from any liability for libel, slander, loss, damage, negligence, injury and / or death suffered by any member, family, crew, boat and / or other person which may occur during the term of membership. Any member or member’s who threaten or pursue any form of litigation against the Southern Kingfish Association, LLC, or any of the SKA Sanctioned Tournaments, will be permanently expelled from the organization and its Sanctioned Tournaments. It is the responsibility of every member to read the membership rules, angling rules, and the code of conduct, and practice same in SKA sanctioned events they fish. By joining the SKA every person agrees to abide by the rules set forth in the membership rules, code of conduct, and angling rules whether they have read them or not. Furthermore, member agrees that all decisions on disputes and/or protests are final and cannot be judged by any court or other authority.
PRO TOUR: Entry fees for Pro events are $1,000 per event. All members of Pro teams must be SKA Competition members during the year. The boat entered into the Pro Tour must remain with the team for the entire year and keep the same name. If a boat is sold during the year it can be replaced, however it must carry the same name. Two boat substitutions may be made in the five-event series and must be done for mechanical reasons or sale of the boat. Designated Captain must be on board for at least three of the five events. A Co-Captain must be designated at the beginning of the year. To qualify as co-captain, he or she must fish with the Captain in a minimum three of the five events. Top Angler of the Year honors go to the captain of the boat with the highest point total of their best seven fish at the end of the five tournament series. The tournaments are aggregate in nature, with the teams weighing in the biggest single fish during each of the two days of competition. The team’s top seven, of a possible ten fish (five tournaments, two fish per event) will count toward their final score. Top Angler of the Year (Captain) will receive a ceremonial gold ring. The Top Angler of the Year (Captain) will also receive a large gold cup trophy engraved with his/her name, boat name, and year. The Top Angler of the Year Captain is also automatically qualified to fish in any National Championship event, providing that they renew their Competition membership by April 1st annually, and fish at least two divisional tournaments in their own boat during the calendar year. This applies to the Captain only, not the crew, however a crew member who fishes a year with a Pro team can elect to start a team of his or her own for the following year providing the angler has been a competition member of the SKA for a minimum of one year prior to fishing the Pro circuit. The top five (5) teams at the end of the year will be awarded trophies, from first through fifth place. The Top Angler of the Year will receive a Yamaha outboard motor as a special bonus. Also, the Top Junior, Lady, and Senior Angler will be awarded trophies. SKA Membership Rules, Angling Rules and Code of Conduct to apply at all times. Any captain, co-captain, or team member, who qualifies for the SKA National Championship in the year prior, may elect to fish the Pro Tour. Teams who qualify for the National Championship in the Class of 23 are also eligible to compete in the Pro Tour the following year, and may do so in a larger boat of their choice. There is no Class of 23 in the Pro Tour. Pro teams must pay the entry fee and fish all five events in order to maintain their Pro eligibility for the following year and to qualify for the Nationals. Any team or teams who drop out of the Pro Tour without paying for all five events will not be allowed to rejoin the Pro Tour the following year. They must sit out one year and re-qualify for the National Championship to be eligible for the following year’s Pro Tour. Team members must have fished in all five Pro events on an existing Pro team in order to captain their own boat for the following year on the Pro Tour. You must receive approval by the SKA management prior to fishing the Pro Tour in order to verify that the requirements have been met previously. Teams will be sent qualifying announcements by Jan. 1st for the current year’s Pro Tour. Captains will be required to pay the $140 Pro Captain fee as well as $2,000 for the first and last Pro Tour events of that year, non-refundable. Pro qualifiers may join the Pro Tour ranks at the first tournament of the year. Any Pro team electing to sit out a year can be re-instated any year for the processing fee of $250. No team fishing the Pro Tour may recruit or pay a guide to assist them in a tournament during the tournament fishing days. Pre-fishing with a guide is allowed. Likewise, teams may not add members to their team who possess local knowledge or who would create an unfair advantage against the other teams competing. Please see Angling Rules for additional rules.