Feb 18

Print this Post

Team Rules

Team Open Tournament Rules and Procedures (2023)

This preliminary posting of rules and procedures for the 2023 Hytorc Team Open tournaments are in the review period in order for teams to submit questions, comments and clarification request. Review, adjustments or changing to any of the posted rules and procedures can take place up to Monday the week of the first event at which point they will become locked and enforce for the remainder of 2023.

  1. The following is the rules, procedures, formats and notes for the 2023 Elite Fishing Series tournament competitions and productions but specific to the Hytorc Team Open Tour for the remainder of this document referred to as HTOT. Additional event location, information, rules and procedures may be added or modified due to geographic, environmental, sponsor and or other tour considerations and delivered by updating to this page, email, verbally and or text message to the field of competitors.

  2. Headturners3, LLC. and the Elite Fishing Series ownership and HTOT officials reserve the right to deny entry to and or remove from any HTOT event or the entire series of events any participant(s) for any reason tour officials deem necessary in order to produce a safe, honest, fair and professional event with a focus on creating a level playing field for all.

  3. Headturners3, LLC ownership and HTOT officials have the exclusive right to interpret the following rules, procedures and directives as well as execute penalties as HTOT tour officials see fit based solely on their determination of the seriousness of the violation and/or rule infraction in question. Any breach of the letter and or spirit of the rules and procedures designed by HTOT officials and delivered to the field of participants will be grounds for penalty and could result in removal from an event and possible expulsion from the tour. Any participant(s) being removed from any HTOT competition will not be refunded any fees previously paid and will forfeit their right to winnings, awards or prizes previously won or anticipated. Participant(s) in a HTOT who for any reason cannot take and pass a polygraph test or have previously refused or failed a polygraph test with any other organization will not be eligible to compete and will be removed immediately at the time of discovery by tour and its official(s).

  4. A participant(s) in the HTOT tour and any HTOT event must be in good physical health and can not have been prescribed or recommended by a physician to take any medication related to blackouts, seizures, fainting or other serious medical conditions that could place themselves or their fellow competitors as well as the tour in danger. A participant(s) having previously suffered from fainting, seizures or other serious medical conditions must be free from symptoms of same for a period of 365 days prior to signing up for a HTOT event in order to be considered for approval to compete.

  5. All participants must follow applicable federal, state and local regulations, laws and all tournament rules. Any violation of such regulations and laws and or other tournament rules may result in a penalty including but not limited to and any combination of the following. Dead fish(s) penalty, fishing time penalty, weight penalty against daily limit, disqualification from a tournament day, disqualification from the entire tournament, points deductions, disqualification from all future HTOT events, or any combination thereof as decided by HTOT officials.

  6. All federal, state and local required vessel insurance, titling, registration as well as a current fishing license must be enforce and current prior to participating in a HTOT event. 

  7. Participant(s) cannot consume or possess alcohol or drugs, other than their own current prescriptions (with exception of any medication for conditions listed in point 4 above which disqualifies the participant from participation) on a HTOT tournament day(s). Participant(s) cannot consume alcoholic beverages prior to a tournament day’s conclusion and prior to taking a requested polygraph or other truth verification test. Participant(s) being polygraphed will be notified immediately following the weigh in and should be close to the stage as conclusion of weigh in approaches. The HTOT tour officials will decide which participant(s) will be polygraphed without regard participant’s input or request as to who will be tested.

  8. The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular telephones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, pagers or any electronic device able to and for the purpose of disseminating and or receiving information pertaining to fishing or navigation with anyone other than the team mate paid and competing in the same HTOT event is prohibited. 

Section 1 Boats  – Waters – Weather

  1. Click here to see a complete list and images of approved boats and equipment for this tour.

  2. All angling in a HTOT must be conducted from inside the boat. No wading. Participant(s) cannot leave the boat to cast to, catch or land a fish. Participant(s) may and should leave the boat and seek safe shelter in bad weather where danger may be imminent but must continue to follow all tournament rules and procedures during this period. Participant(s) may leave their boat to pull it out of an area where tides have gone out but cannot leave their boat to gain access to any area and must wait on water levels to rise sufficiently to allow entry without dragging bottom or powering through berm resulting in damage to the bottom.

  3. Participant(s) experiencing mechanical failure may be towed in by any one from any where at any time but can only board the boat of another participant fishing the same event, except in case of an emergency where threat to life or limb exist. Participant(s) must place a tie wrap, tag or other clearly identifiable mark and keep their fish separate from another participant’s fish whose boat they have boarded. Participant(s) having to board another participant’s boat for any reason will institute the end to both participants day of fishing and they must return to the launch location or nearest safe point of relief.

  4. In case of mechanical failure(s) a certified mechanic may temporarily ride along for the purpose of determining and remedying a mechanical issue, no navigational, tournament or any other information beyond the mechanical problem being diagnosed can be discussed. It is the participant’s responsibility to notify a tour official by phone of a mechanical issue, mechanic’s name and duration of time he/she is expected to be on board prior to boarding of a participant’s boat during competition.

  5. If a Participant(s) has GPS/graph issues any day of the event, they should borrow, rent or purchase any navigational device from a retail dealer with a store front business or a onsite tournament support representative. Borrowed and/or newly purchased units must be free of existing weigh points and marks prior to use. Participant(s) may be allowed to borrow a GPS from another participant in the series as long as that participant’s chip with all waypoints, marks, tracks, etc. is removed or marks, trails, etc. are deleted and confirmed by a tour official.

  6. HTOT participants can not be on any waterways, ponds, lakes, canals, etc. where they have previously (ever) been asked to leave, know or should reasonably be expected to know those waters are not open to all participants equally for public boating and fishing. This includes any waters that may be owned or leased by a participant(s) in any Elite Fishing tournaments. If a participant is fishing any water during official practice and/or days of competition it must be water open to public boating and fishing equally to all participants in the field even if placed within the event’s official boundaries. It is the responsibility of the HTOT participant(s) to research, call, contact and otherwise discover closed waters within an area that are not open to public boating and fishing. In addition, if a participant(s) discovers he or she is in closed waters for boating and fishing whether asked to leave or not they must leave immediately and not return. 

  7. Small craft advisories (A Small Craft Advisory means that wind speeds of 21-33 knots are expected to produce hazardous conditions to small craft vessels) at time of launch and or forecasted by NOAA or similar reputable organizations to include official tournament waters during a day(s) of competition will immediately execute a no go for that day. Launch may be delayed if a small craft advisory forecasted to be lifted. “The National Weather Service does not specifically identify what constitutes a “small craft”, although the United States Coast Guard informally assigns the designation to boats with a total length of less than 33 feet”.

  8. Should any day(s) of a HTOT event(s) be cancelled due to extreme weather or the eminent threat of extreme weather if possible the tournament will take place the following day where Team Open and Kayak Open participants will weigh in together with staggered weigh in times.

  9. If no days of a HTOT event can take place, the event will be rescheduled.

Section 2 Tournaments – Fish

  1. HTOT events are open to the first approved 25 two angler teams (current Solo Tour participants may fish as a 1 angler team (except in Florida event(s) due to the 1 fish per person creel limit) paying a full entry fee. Teams registering and paying for all 3 HTOT events will have priority and automatically qualify for the championship. See championship – team of the year below for details*.

  2. Submitting your registration does not secure/guarantee your spot in an HTOT event, payment of entry fee does. A non refundable (for any reason) $465.00 entry fee per team, per event and must be paid to secure spot. No spots are held without full payment of entry fee, no exceptions. No membership fees will be charged. Paybacks will be 100% + paid back 1 in 5.

  3. An optional $300.00 Brecknell Big Red Bounty side entry will be offered at each event and will pay 100% of the total collected to the heaviest qualifying redfish of the tournament. 

  4. HTOT tournaments are 1 day events with a 2 fish limit per team measuring within the state size slot limit. All fish are officially measured when placed on the Elite measuring system with perfect pincher used for tail compression. Measurements only take place with the fish’s head to the left and its tail to the right on the Check-it-Stik measuring board. See short Video Here of the process. Teams can only possess redfish and no more than 2 total, per team can be held at any time, upon landing a 3rd fish 1 must be released immediately. 

  5. All events will have boundaries, once posted, emailed or made known to the field, usually Monday the week of the event, participant(s) cannot seek or receive information pertaining to fish movements, locations, lure techniques, etc. from anyone not registered and paid to participate in the same event.

  6. Monday 14 days prior to the Monday of tournament week and continuing through the tournament’s conclusion, all fishing, practice, scouting, etc. must be done only from approved tournament boats/motors (rigs). No tower boats and no casting platforms taller than 5′ are allowed during this period. Please visit this website page for a complete list of approved equipment for all HTOT tournaments.

  7. Participants can practice as much as they like, during daylight hours the week of the event and may practice, scout and/or ride with any other angler registered and paid for the same event.

  8. If a captain’s meeting is scheduled prior to the day of an event(s) all teams must have at least 1 team member in attendance. 

  9. Participant(s) in a HTOT event can only use 1 rod with 1 line in the water at a time and must cast, flip or pitch their lure to the fish they catch. Only artificial lures and artificial scents may be used. A scent product using real fish, shrimp, or other actual creature parts or byproducts or oil is prohibited. Lures having been dipped and/or soaked in same or similar cannot be used in HTOT events. 

  10. All fish must be caught in a sporting manner. No snagging of fish, netting of fish or scooping of distressed surface fish is allowed. Multi lure rigs, like the Alabama rig are prohibited. Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. 

  11. No attempt can be made to alter the length or weight of any fish and could possibly carry 1 count of felony fraud, per competitor in the field if an competitor or associate is found to have added weight in any way to a fish or altered the length of a fish by even slightly trimming or pinching off “hairs” at the end of the tail to help it measure or dropped the fish intentionally on its nose to flatten. Icing a fish and or shocking it with too much oxygen anytime prior to having the fish measured is also prohibited. ANY attempt to manipulate the weight or length of a fish will result immediately in expulsion from the tour and possible criminal prosecution. CLICK PIC OF FISH TAIL TO SEE MORE.

  12. Participant(s) are encouraged to take a picture and submit via text to HTOT officials for ruling during tournament day on a fish’s tail and overall condition prior to weigh in.

  13. A .50 pound penalty will be assessed for each dead fish. No culling of dead fish permitted. Icing fish even dead fish is prohibited. It is the participant(s) responsibility to keep control of their fish until it reaches the stage for weighing, any loss of control or intermixing of any fish with other participant(s) fish at tour staging tanks, etc. may result in all fish affected without control of the angler being deemed un-weighable.

  14. Only the participant(s) having a fish measured can be inside the 10′ x 10′ measuring tent or designated area with same space when their fish is being measured.

  15. Failure to notify official and having a fish weighed with a hook, lure, jig or other object in its mouth, gullet or belly during the weighing process may incur dead fish penalty. Re weighs of a fish’s weight are only executed by the weigh master (not at the request of any angler) and based solely on his judgment of conditions when the weigh scales automatically lock in and render the final locked weighed.

Section 3 Championship – Angler of the Year

  1. If participation (full 25 team field at each event) warrants the formation of a championship it will take place October 19-20, 2023. Championship will include an invited field of the top 10 teams from each of the 3 regular season team open events plus wild cards. Wildcard: Any team registering and paying in advance for all 3 team open events receive automatic bye into the Championship.

  2. Team of the Year, same field requirements as championship, with a full field team of the year will have following season entry fees paid in full.

  3. Points are 100 for 1st and 1 point less per place for each subsequent place. A team weighing in no fish will be awarded -2 points less than the last place points for teams having weighed in at least 1 scorable fish.

  4. All prizes, awards, points and paybacks are made out to and follow the team captain. Partners receive no points, paybacks or awards of their own other than trophies and/or promotional oversized check(s).

Section 4 Sportsmanship and Penalties

  1. Super Team…While it is known and accepted that participants within the same HTOT event will stay together and have general conversations and recounts of their day or days including fish reactions, appearances, techniques and even locations in a “general” manner is acceptable. However, it is prohibited for any 2 or more participants to work together intentionally sharing information with specific details (gps coordinates, landmarks or markings, etc.) being disseminated regarding specific fish locations, patterns, techniques, lures, etc. in an intentional attempt to help one participant or team over another.

  2. It is prohibited and against the law to enter for weighing any fish in a saltwater fishing tournament that have had the length or weight altered, that were taken unlawfully and/or are fraudulently represented. Participant(s) doing such will be d.q.’d and could be prosecuted.

  3. Participant(s) in a HTOT event are required to display the highest level of sportsmanship to each other, recreational or commercial anglers, crabbers, etc. sharing the waters. Slow down when passing others fishing, working commercially (crabbing, oysters, etc.) and especially for smaller vessels i.e. kayaks, canoes, jon boats, etc..

  4. Participants must at all times exhibit courtesy and professionalism to their fellow competitors, the tour and it’s staff, Elite Fishing Series ownership, sponsors and fans.

  5. Participant(s) must use common courtesy at all times during official practice and competition. Such acts include but are not limited to, slowing down (idling past if possible) showing courtesy and giving room to anyone anchored or fishing a shoreline or obvious open water area (bay/pond) whether a fellow competitor, commercial fisherman, crabber, oyster harvester and/or a weekend boater or fisherman.

  6. Participant(s) in a HTOT proved to be displaying poor sportsmanship or violating fishing, game and/or boating regulations will be penalized.

  7. Act(s) or action(s) deemed to be a intentional and unsportsmanlike toward another Participant(s) is prohibited.

  8. Participant(s) receiving a non moving ticket for any reason may result in disqualification of the day’s catch for the day that the ticket was issued depending on the nature of the violation. Participant(s) receiving a moving violation will have their daily catch disqualified and may be disqualified from the event depending on the nature of the violation.

  9. Failing to disclose receiving any citation or ticket to tour officials will result in immediate disqualification from the event and may include expulsion from the tour.

  10. Participant(s) can not cast pitch or flip within 100 yards of a competitor’s boat (not separated by land or jetties but in same body of water) which is anchored by a traditional anchor and/or anchoring system such as Power Pole or Talon or obviously stationary through use of spot lock electronic system.

  11. Participant(s) may not use their vessel to limit passage or access to waters that are outside of the 100 yard stationary rule.

  12. Participant(s) knowingly attempting to circumvent state, federal or local law enforcement or similar in an attempt to avoid capture or issuance of a ticket or citation will be disqualified immediately for the remainder of the season.

Section 5 Participant Code of Conduct

  1. Anglers are frequently in the public eye and are considered role models by young people; therefore, it is imperative that tournament competitors demonstrate good sportsmanship in fishing. Sportsmanship is defined as fair play, respect for opponents and polite behavior while competing in the event and sport. Below are examples of unacceptable behavior by participant(s) and their families or affiliates in any Elite Fishing Series event will be cause for immediate removal from event and possible expulsion from the tour without refund of entry fees or delivery of expected winnings, prizes and awards.

  2. Participant(s) shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates integrity, honor and respect toward fellow competitors, tournament staff, ownership and the general public and does not reflect unfavorably on Headturners3, LLC, the Elite Fishing Series, its members, officers and/or representatives and/or community and product sponsors of Headturners3, LLC, the Elite Fishing Series, its tours and affiliates.

  3. Participant(s), family members or affiliates may intentionally interfere with a fellow angler’s ability to compete in a fair and sporting manner. I.E. blocking entrance into a canal or pond, failing to yield to allow access, fishing within 100 yards of an anchored (or power pole down) participant(s) boat not separated by jettie or land mass is prohibited.

  4. Participant(s) nor affiliate may shadow guides, airboats, tower boats or other anglers using equipment not allowed for use in Elite Fishing Series event(s). Taking part in hole sitting or spot holding is strictly prohibited.

  5. Heated and loud public disagreements with Elite Fishing Series officials, staff, other competitors, fans and/or volunteers during any Elite Solo tour event is unsportsmanlike and unprofessional conduct.

  6. Public attacks through media outlets including social media forums like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. on the integrity of Elite Fishing Series its decisions, calls, rules, penalties, etc. directed toward Elite Fishing Series ownership, officials, staff and or officials is strictly prohibited and will be penalized.

  7. Abuse (physical, verbal, threatening or slanderous) of tournament officials, volunteers, fellow competitors or others connected with a Elite Fishing Series event is strictly prohibited and will be penalized.

  8. Any disqualification, suspension or other disciplinary action imposed by any tournament and/or fishing organization may result in disqualification from competition and rejection of an application for participation in a Elite Fishing Series tournament. 

  9. Participant(s) agree by their participation to be filmed, photographed, quoted and share their likeness with the Elite Fishing Series for any purpose(s) the tour deems necessary.

  10. Any Participant(s) who violates any of the provisions of the Sportsmanship Rules or the Angler Code of Conduct may be subject to fines, reduction of points, forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competing in individual Elite Fishing Series events, permanent ban from competition or any combination thereof deemed by Elite Fishing Series ownership and officials.

Section 6 Polygraph – Truth Detection

  1. Participant(s) that feel they cannot take or pass a truth detection test, for any reason can not fish with Elite Fishing Series. Any participant(s) that have failed or refused to take a polygraph test on any tour or in any tournament will not be eligible to compete in a Headturners3, LLC. and Elite Fishing Series event(s). Participant(s) being prosecuted and pleading no contest, refusing to defend in a court of law may not be eligible to compete in a Headturners3, LLC Elite Fishing Series event.

  2. A moving violation against a participant(s) where a citation was issued may be brought to the attention of tour officials at anytime during the season and if discovered to be accurate penalties will be levied. 

  3. A written protest must be submitted in writing with 15 minutes of the scales closing for the day in which the potential violation took place. Should a polygraph or other truth detection test be needed to settle a protest, the angler protesting and the angler being protested may both be required to render to the tour the fee for the polygraph test, with the winning angler being reimbursed the test fee.

  4. Should no polygraph test be available the day of the protest, the event will continue as normal, under protest with the results, tournament placement, prizes, points and awards being retained by the tour until a test can be administered to settle dispute.

  5. Headturners3, LLC acts as a broker when hiring the truth detection administrator and has no influence on procedures, type of test, the amount of time or the results of the testing and as such all rulings of cause are determined by the testing agent and not by anyone affiliated with Headturners3, LLC and the Elite Fishing Series.

  6. All truth detection results are final and not contestable by any Headturners3, LLC. and Elite Fishing Series participant(s).

  7. Headturners3, LLC. and/or the Elite Fishing Series their parent, affiliated and subsidiary companies, the hosts, sponsors and tour officials are not involved in or in any way responsible for the results of or methods used in any truth detection test given.

Permanent link to this article: https://eliteredfishseries.com/team-rules/