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SKA Pro Tour & Mercury Tournament Trail 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 (IGFA). Anglers are not out to set world records in tournament competition, and by allowing certain types of tackle and equipment, we allow 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 would need to modify their tackle and equipment to conform to IGFA rules. Otherwise, during any SKA sanctioned tournament, the following set of Angling Rules shall apply to all SKA members or non-members fishing an SKA produced 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, multi-strand 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 is 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.

Rev. 01/15

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