Cape Lookout Shootout Tournament Rules

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Fish days will be Saturday only with Sunday being an alternate fish day due to weather.

1.    7/11-7/13      (Alternate Date:    7/18-7/20)

2.   8/29-8/31      (Alternate Date:  9/5-9/7

3.    10/10-10/12    (Alternate Date: 10/24-10/26)

4. Championship: 10/24-10/26     (Alternate Date: 11/15-11/17)

Captain’s Meeting

The organizational meeting for Captains will be held on Fridays, prior to scheduled fish day at 7:00 pm at The Boathouse at Front Street Village. Meal will also be served starting at 6:00 pm. Though not mandatory please make arrangements to attend or have representation for your team.

Tournament Committee will base decisions on NOAA weather alerts. No Tournament fish day will be conducted with an active Small Craft Advisory prior to check out.


1. On tournament day, competition hours are 6:30 am until 5:00 pm.
2. Boundaries: All boats must remain within boundaries during fishing hours.  All boats also must remain within the boundaries while catching bait.  Boundaries are bordered on the north by a straight line through Diamond Shoals.  These waters will be bordered on the south by a straight line through the Frying Pan Shoals. 
3. Check-Out.  We plan to have a check-out boat with flag opposite side of channel from Morehead City port wall on the eastern side of no wake zone, just inside no wake zone.   Once check-out is completed, the entrant can proceed off-shore.  Entrants must check-out in order to be eligible for competition that particular day.  Check-out will be manned from 6:30am until 8:30am; boats checking out after 8:30 am must do so with designated officials at weigh-in location at The Boathouse at Front Street Village. It is the responsibility of the entrant to see that visual check-out in order to be eligible for competition that particular day.
4. Two or more boats congregating during competition hours shall be disqualified from competition that particular day.  Emergency exceptions to this rule must be approved by radio or phone contact with the tournament committee in advance.
5. All boats must observe no-wake zones or be disqualified from competition that particular day.


1. Each boat in tournament competition will receive a check out number at Captains Meeting. Boat numbers will be awarded through boat name lottery. Boats will check out in numerical order 1-50
2. Tournament officials will monitor VHF 68 during competition hours. VHF 16 is to be kept open for emergency calls and Coast Guard assistance.
3. The eligible species for competition purposes is king mackerel (Scomberomorus cavalla).
4. Tournament competition limited to motorized boats only.
5. There shall be no more than six lines fished from any boat.
6. This is a sporting event.  All fish must be taken on a rod and reel.  No boat lines or electric reels will be allowed.  Downriggers will be permitted as fishing line carriers only.  If a downrigger is used in the manner of a fishing rod/reel combination, it must be counted as one of the six allowable lines.
7. There is no restriction as to the number of people allowed aboard each boat during competition hours.
8. The tournament committee reserves the right to inspect any boat entered in competition, including an on board inspection.
9. The tournament committee reserves the right to refuse an entry into the tournament.
10. The tournament committee reserves the right to place a tournament representative on any entrant’s boat during competition for the purpose of observation.
11. A captain and co-captain will be required for the boat being registered by the June 2 deadline. No alterations will be allowed after this deadline. The declared captain OR co-captain must be on boat registered during the tournament day. All winnings will be made payable to registered captain.
12. A captain or fishing team may register only one boat in the Cape Lookout Shootout.  The boat entered in the series may be Replaced up to 6:30 am of the fishing day with verified mechanical failure. A substitute boat may be allowed to register no later than 7:00 pm on Friday prior to fish day.  Any changes must be approved by the tournament committee.  
13. Information entered on the registration form is official and any changes must be initialed by participant.

Check-in and Verification

1. The weigh-in station will be located under a tent at The Boathouse at Front Street Village.  Entrants wishing to weigh fish for competition must proceed to the weigh-in station immediately after off-loading at the designated off-loading docks. Scales will be open at 3:00 pm.   Those wishing to weigh-in fish between 3-4pm should proceed directly to The Boathouse at Front Street Village.  To be eligible to weigh fish after 4:00 pm you must first check-in at designated check-in.  Entrants with fish to weigh must be checked in by 5pm.
All times based on GPS time.
2. It is the sole responsibility of the crew aboard each boat to off-load and present its catch for weighing.  Crews should have their fish ready for off-loading. A crew member must accompany fish to the weigh station.
3. All fish must be brought to the tournament headquarters by boats catching same under its own power.  Fish must be unloaded at designated docks only. Fish cannot be transported over land.
4. A signed, sworn affidavit will be required of each individual who places a fish in competition for tournament prizes.
5. A marine biologist will be present during the tournament for the purpose of advising the Weight and conditions of fish.  Each fish presented for prize competition will undergo scrutiny by the marine biologist.
6. All king mackerel submitted for weigh-in must be in fresh, edible condition and caught that tournament day.  No mutilated fish will be accepted for weigh-in.  Mutilation is defined as any damage which may impair the fish’s fighting ability.  The Weight Master shall immediately notify an angler of any questionable fish submitted for weigh-in. Eligibility of fish shall be immediately determined.  No frozen fish will be accepted for weigh-in under any circumstances.  No fish with stomach contents other than its natural food will be accepted for weigh-in.
7. All protests concerning the determination of tournament prize winners shall be made to the tournament committee and shall be accompanied by $500 cash. All protests shall be made no later than one hour after the last fish has been weighed.  In the event that a protest is upheld by the tournament committee, the $500 cash deposit will be returned.  In the event that the protest is not upheld, the $500 cash deposit will become the property of the Cape Lookout Shootout. All decisions made by the tournament committee shall be final.
8. A boat entry can only win one prize per tournament
9. In the event that two or more king mackerel are the same weight, the winner shall be determined by the earliest weigh-in time.
10. The winning fish and all fish entered and or donated become the exclusive property of the tournament committee.
11. Any disqualifications will result in forfeit of winnings for that particular tournament and result in disqualification in remaining tournaments in series therefore the  forfeit of all entry fees paid for remaining tournaments.    


Competition days will be Saturday with an alternate weather day on Sunday.  Tournament committee will decide on the execution of scheduled tournament dates on the Thursday at 10:00 am prior to that scheduled date. Notifications will be made immediately after 10:00 am to all entrants of cancellations.  The tournament committee will make decisions based off of NOAA active weather alerts, an active small craft advisory for Saturday will result in cancellation of those scheduled dates.  In this case alternate dates are scheduled.  In the event there is no active small craft advisory for the Saturday of scheduled fish date the tournament will carry on as scheduled with Sunday being the alternate weather day if needed.  (No tournament will be fished with an active small craft advisory from NOAA prior to check-out).
If an alternate date is attempted and or the alternate weather day is used with no prevail, the winnings will be carried over to the next tournament.  In the event no tournament can be carried out through the entire Cape Lookout Shootout King Mackerel Tournament Series Monies will be refunded less $150.00 per entrant.

In the event Cape Lookout Shootout King Mackerel Tournament Series cannot fill the 50 boat Max field with a minimum of 40 boats with the one half entry fee deposit deadline by April 1 at 11:00 pm.  All monies will be refunded except for $50 per entrant.

Tournament Conservation Policy

It is the policy of the Cape Lookout Shootout King Mackerel Tournament Series to promote conservation of the species in every way possible.  To that end, contestants in Cape Lookout Shootout Tournament are required to abide by the three-fish-per-angler bag limit imposed by the South Atlantic Fisheries Management Council.  At the request of the N.C. Division of Marine Fisheries, the Cape Lookout Shootout King Mackerel Tournament will accept no king mackerel less than 30 inches in length. 

Tournament Safety and Regulatory Policy

The responsibility of adhering to all US Coast Guard, NC Wildlife and NC Marine Fisheries regulations and requirements are the responsibility of the Captain and crew. 


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