2022 MRMTC Offshore Open Invitational Tournament Rules and Awards
The safety, health and well-being of our officers, trustees, members, families, friends, guests, and the public will always be our primary goal. To reduce the risk of COVID-19 exposures at Manasquan River Marlin and Tuna Club (MRMTC) member events, tournaments, and gatherings (functions), we have developed a MRMTC COVID-19 Health & Safety Plan. That plan is available for viewing at: mrmtc.com/covid19/
Captains meeting-Friday August 26, 2022, 6:00PM to 8:00 PM – Safe Harbor Crystal Point, 4000 River Rd, Pt. Pleasant, NJ
Fishing days- Saturday, August 27, 2022, through Saturday, September 3, 2022
Results will be posted after 10:00PM Saturday, September 3, 2022
Awards Party – Sunday, September 4, 2022, 12:00PM-2:00PM – Safe Harbor Crystal Point, 4000 River Rd, Pt. Pleasant, NJ
Boat Entry Guidelines
Invitational Tournament Entry Fee is $500, or $400 if registering online at www.theOffshoreOpen.com by August 12, 2022. Entry Fees are non-refundable. An individual, group of individuals, hull, corporations, partnerships, or any other entities having any financial interest in more than one vessel is allowed a maximum of one entry.
Only one day needs to be fished by one boat to make the tournament official and for awards to be presented.
The tournament may be altered, canceled, postponed, or extended to other dates by the MRMTC.
Cash and checks are acceptable forms of payment. If payment is made by check, please issue separate checks for the entry fee and for the Calcuttas. Credit card payments are accepted for on-line registration, processing fee applies.
Each boat entered in the tournament will be assigned a Boat Number. Upon registration, the Entrant will be provided with two placards with the Boat Number. These placards must be firmly affixed to the starboard and port sides of the boat during their declared fishing day(s), from prior to departure from Manasquan Inlet through completion of weigh-in or release reporting. The placards shall be placed in an unobstructed location with the Boat Number being visible away from the boat.
THE MRMTC reserves the absolute right to deny entry to any vessel for any reason. Any vessel or entrant involved in past or pending litigation against any fishing club or tournament in the continental US will not be entered.
Federal Legislation and IGFA Rules Apply
All State and Federal Regulations and Rules apply to participants of this tournament.
All-tackle IGFA Rules apply to participants of this tournament except as follows:
Spreader bars are permitted.
A fish may be hooked by anyone onboard the boat provided that the rod is immediately transferred to the angler after hook-up. From that time on, the angler must fight the fish alone until the fish is boated or released.
Federal law mandates that all anglers participating in a tournament that bestows points, prizes or awards for Atlantic billfish (blue marlin, white marlin, spearfish, and sailfish) must deploy only non-offset circle hooks when using natural bait and/or natural bait/artificial lure combinations. Anglers in these tournaments may use J-hooks only on artificial lures.
Participants are assumed to have all necessary permits and registrations required by law. For permit and registration information, visit www.nmfspermits.com or call the HMS Management Division at (727) 824-5399, and visit www.saltwaterregistry.nj.gov/
Fishing Days, Fishing Times, and Distance Parameters
All boats must leave from and return to Manasquan Inlet.
There is a fishing distance limit of 125 nautical miles from the Manasquan Inlet Sea Buoy.
Each boat may fish a maximum of 2 days. The options for fishing those 2 days are as follows:
Option 1 - The boat may fish any 2 separate fishing days. On each of those days, the boat must return to the inlet on the same day the boat departed the inlet.
Option 2 – The boat may fish one overnight (two consecutive days) fishing trip. In this case, the boat must return to the inlet on the day after the boat departed the inlet.
The times for departure from and return to the inlet are as follows:
Boats may not depart the inlet earlier than 12:00 AM the evening prior to a fishing day.
Boats must return to the inlet by 7:45 PM on the days from Saturday, August 27th to Saturday, September 3rd.
Any boat leaving the inlet early will be disqualified for the fishing day(s).
All boats must declare their fishing day(s) by 11:59 PM the evening before each day the boat is fishing and must state whether fishing a single day trip or 2-day overnight trip. Entrants failing to declare the number of days will be recorded as a 1-day trip and will risk disqualification if the entrant does not return as per section C (4) above.
To declare a fishing day, a representative from the boat must call (732) 612-8052 and leave a message with the following information: Entrants Name, Boat Name, Boat Number, time of call, selection of whether fishing a single day trip or an overnight trip as described in 3a and 3b above and the day(s) fishing. Should there be a problem with that phone number or it’s recording of your message, the alternate phone number for calling is (732) 423-6520. Fishing days cannot be declared via the MRMTC website. If no message is received, the boat will be considered NOT fishing that day.
Fishing days may also be declared on your mobile device via the MRMTC Offshore Open mobile app. Once logged in, the declaration feature can be found under your “account dashboard.” Download the App on the Apple App Store or Android marketplace.
Once declared, an overnight (two consecutive day) fishing trip (Option #2) cannot be converted to a day trip (Option #1) Likewise, a day trip cannot be converted to an overnight trip. Violation of this rule will result in disqualification of the boat.
In the event of a participant boat disability prior to a fishing day, participants may transfer to a substitute boat and assume the disabled boats number without paying an additional entry fee. The entrant must fish upon the substitute boat; entries are not transferable. As per section A(1), the substitute boat (hull) is ineligible if it has already been entered in the tournament. Any/all Calcutta’s entered by the disabled boat would then also apply to the substitute boat. The disabled and substitute boat must be reported to the MRMTC prior to departure for that days fishing by contacting MRMTC officials Joe Harriman 908-902-4982 or Jim Carton at 732-829-5567.
In the event of a boat breaking down after departure from Manasquan Inlet, that boat will be granted a substitute fishing day, if the following conditions are satisfied:
The boat must commence its return to Manasquan Inlet as soon as safety of the crew is addressed.
The boat must call in to report its breakdown as soon as communication can be made with an MRMTC Official. The report shall include the boat name, boat number and a description of the breakdown including time, location, return progress and estimated time of arrival at Manasquan Inlet.
The boat must return to Manasquan Inlet by 10:00 A.M. on the same day it departed. The boat must call in to an MRMTC Official as soon as it enters Manasquan Inlet.
Fishing lines shall have not been placed in the water.
Reporting and Weigh-In Procedures
All boats having fish for weigh-in and/or billfish release(s) to report must return from sea through Manasquan Inlet. All boats having fish to weigh-in and/or billfish release(s) to report must call-in to the MRMTC Weigh Master (VHF #65, VHF #71, phone (732) 423-6520 upon entering the inlet. Boats not having fish to weigh-in or billfish release(s) to report are also requested to call in to the MRMTC Weigh Master upon entering the inlet so that the weigh scale does not need to remain unnecessarily open.
An MRMTC observer may be at Manasquan Inlet to monitor the arrival of participant boats returning from sea. Any boats entering the Manasquan Inlet later than the time deadline will not be eligible to weigh-in fish or report billfish release(s).
To be eligible for awards, all fish must be weighed-in and all billfish release slips must be submitted on the day the boat is required to return from a separate day fishing trip (Option 1) or from an overnight fishing trip (Option 2). All fish must be weighed-in and/or all billfish release slips must be submitted at the MRMTC Weigh Scale at Brielle Yacht Club between 5:00 PM and 8:00 PM for the days Saturday, August 27th through Saturday September 3rd.
All fish must be brought to the weigh scale by the participant boat upon which the fish was caught. Billfish release slips can be submitted from the participant boat while at the MRMTC Weigh Scale or can be submitted via the angler and entrant traveling by vehicle to the MRMTC Weigh Scale. Weigh slips and camera verification footage must be submitted before the scale closes on the declared fishing day.
Upon submitting a fish for weigh-in, the angler responsible for landing the fish will be required to fill out an MRMTC Weigh/Release Slip that must be signed by the angler and the MRMTC Weigh Master.
Similarly, upon reporting a billfish release, the angler responsible for fighting/releasing the billfish will be required to fill out an MRMTC Weigh/Release Slip that must be signed by the angler and the MRMTC Weigh Master. For billfish releases, the MRMTC Weigh/Release Slip must include the date and time of release. Additionally, all boats must provide their own video camera(s) to verify each release. To verify a catch, video footage must include the official 2021 MRMTC Offshore Open boat number card, along with sufficient footage to identify the species, crew touching the leader or the leader inside the rod tip with the fish still hooked and fish visible, video must include a date and time stamp of catch, and full release of the fish. MRMTC Weigh/Release Slips will be available at the Captains Meeting and at the MRMTC Weigh Scale at Brielle Yacht Club. Camera footage will need to be submitted to the weighmaster at email@example.com. All photos and video become the property of MRMTC upon submission.
All billfish releases must be reported to a MRMTC member boat immediately after being released along with the Boat Name, Boat Number, fish species and time of release. If a MRMTC member boat is not available, the fish must be reported to another participant boat.
The official radio channels for reporting fish are: VHF #65, VHF #71.
All weights will be rounded off to the nearest 1/10th of a pound.
All release times are to be reported in hours and minutes.
The MRMTC Weigh Scale closure time allows 15 minutes from the deadlines for entering Manasquan Inlet for boats to navigate to Brielle Yacht Club. Should a participant boat encounter a situation (such as a RR bridge closure, extreme river congestion, etc.) whereby the participant boat suspects that the 15 minutes may not be sufficient time to get to Brielle Yacht Club, the participant boat shall immediately contact the MRMTC Weigh Master (VHF #65, VHF #71, phone (732) 423-6520 and advise of the Boat Name, Boat Number, its location and the prevailing circumstances.
Observers are not required for weigh-in or release entries.
This is a trolling, jigging and/or chunking tournament.
Fish species available for weigh-in awards are yellowfin tuna, longfin tuna, bigeye tuna, dolphin, wahoo and swordfish. Bluefin tuna are not eligible for awards.
Fish species available for release awards are blue marlin, white marlin and hatchet marlin/round scale spearfish. For this tournament, hatchet marlin/round scale spearfish will be counted as white marlin.
A maximum of twelve (12) hooked lines may be used for fishing.
For release purposes, a fish will be considered caught when the mate grabs the leader, when the swivel touches the rod tip, or when a wind on leader passes through the rod tip.
This is a recreational fishing tournament. No commercial gear such as green sticks, bandit gear, etc. or similar recreational gear may be used. Use of spotter planes, drones or any other types of aerial surveillance is also prohibited.
Use of harpoons is prohibited.
Once a boat leaves the inlet, no outside assistance of any nature may be rendered to that vessel. The providing of fuel, bait, tackle, or mechanical assistance, etc. to allow for the enhancement or continuation of fishing is prohibited and will result in disqualification of that entry.
Protests must be made on the day of the alleged infraction and reported to the MRMTC Weigh Master prior to closure of the MRMTC Weigh Scale or, in the event of an infraction observed at sea by a boat doing an overnight trip (C. 3b option 2), a protest may be made upon the day of return prior to closure of the scale.
The protest must be officially submitted in writing, with cash or a check in the amount of $250 made payable to MRMTC. The protest must include the Boat Name, Boat Number, anglers name and phone number, a detail description of the protested matter and include all supporting evidence available. The protest must be signed by the protesting angler and submitted to the MRMTC Weigh Master. If the protest stands, the $250 will be returned.
The MRMTC Weigh Master may protest any catch.
Any protested catches may be retained by MRMTC for further evaluation.
MRMTC retains the right to engage a Marine Biologist to determine fish species, freshness, and condition of a fish in dispute.
Protests will only be entertained for violations of IGFA/MRMTC Offshore Open Tournament Rules. MRMTC will not entertain protests for failure to have necessary permits and/or registrations. It is the participating Entrant’s responsibility to ensure compliance with all applicable state and federal regulations.
All properly submitted protests will be reviewed by MRMTC. The MRMTC decision will be final.
In the event a lawsuit or any claim of any nature is filed requiring the MRMTC to prosecute or defend same, all legal fees, expert witness fees and all litigation costs will be paid from first- the general award fund; second- the Calcutta prosecuting or defending the claim and third- from any available Calcutta or award category.
Money Payout Procedures
In the event of a tie on weight, the award for the tied placements are combined and averaged for awards determination, i.e. if there is a tie for first place, the first and second place awards (50% & 30%) are combined and each winner will receive 40%.
In the event of a tie for the number of billfish released, the following rules apply:
One fish tie -the boat having the first release wins, i.e. Boat A fishing on its day one has a release at 2:00 p.m. Boat B fishing on its day two has a release at 7:30 a.m. Boat A wins. If both boats had their release on their same respective day one or same day two of fishing, the boat having the earliest time of release wins.
Two or more fish tie- the boat accomplishing its total releases first wins i.e. Boat A has two releases on its fishing day one and two releases on its fishing day two. Boat B has four releases on its fishing day one. Boat B wins. If Boat A and B both have the same number of total releases on their respective same day one or same day two fishing days, the boat releasing its last fish at the earliest time wins.
The time of release must be recorded on the MRMTC Weigh/Release Slip.
Award money will be paid by check in the name of the Entrant whose name appears on the Offshore Open Entry Form or any individual crewmember.
All anglers winning $5,000 or more and all anglers winning any amount in the billfish release categories may be required, at the discretion of the MRMTC, to take a polygraph test prior to the distribution of awards. The determination of the polygraph administrator as to the authenticity of a particular catch, weigh slip/release form accuracy or any rule infraction will be final. A participant’s refusal to take a polygraph test or failure to answer test questions in a manner satisfactory to MRMTC Officials or polygrapher, in their sole discretion, may result in disqualification.
MRMTC Officials will notify participants of the need to take a polygraph test. Participants must make themselves available for polygraph testing in the Manasquan River area within 48 hours following notification from MRMTC Officials. If the polygraph test cannot be taken at the scheduled time and location, MRMTC reserves the right to reschedule the test within 30 days of the tournament end date. The rescheduled test will be at the angler’s expense. All polygraph tests will be administered by an MRMTC approved examiner.
All winners will be required to submit federal/state tax information before any award will be presented. An IRS Form 1099 will be issued to all award recipients.
Awards will be mailed within fourteen days after the treasurer receives the entrant’s completed IRS Form W-9. If a protest or polygraph test has not been resolved by that time, the disputed award will be made as soon as the issue is resolved.
The MRMTC Offshore Open Rules have been established for the best interest of all concerned. In the event of necessity, any rule may be altered at the discretion of the MRMTC.
All interpretation of the Rules and final decisions will rest with the MRMTC.
If the official MRMTC Weigh Scale at Brielle Yacht Club becomes malfunctioning, the MRMTC will establish an alternate official scale for continuation of weigh-ins until such time as the MRMTC Weigh Scale is repaired or replaced.
Tournament Entry Fee Awards
The distribution of Entry Fee award money will be as follows:
Heaviest Tuna – 50%
Second Heaviest Tuna – 30%
Third Heaviest Tuna – 20%
The entry fee for each Calcutta is per entry and the distribution of Calcutta award money will be as follows:
Registration for the Calcuttas will be at the Captains Meeting. (See SECTION 1: TOURNAMENT DATES ABOVE)
Each boat may enter as many Calcuttas as desired.
The total Marlin Calcutta is split evenly between the Blue Marlin category and the White Marlin category. If no Blue Marlin is released, the money in the Blue Marlin category will go into the White Marlin category. If no White Marlin is released, the money in the White Marlin category will go into the Blue Marlin category. If no Marlin is released, the monies will be rolled over into the general Entry Fee awards pool.
If no Swordfish is caught, the monies will be rolled over into the general Entry Fee awards pool
If no Mahi-Mahi is caught, the monies will be rolled over into the general Entry Fee awards pool.
If no Wahoo is caught, the monies will be rolled over into the general Entry Fee awards pool.
The Daily Jackpot purse will be 1/8th of the money collected in the Daily Jackpot Calcutta. For any particular day in which no tuna are brought to the scale, that day’s purse will be evenly distributed amongst all Daily Jackpot winners.
If no Longfin tuna are caught, no award will be distributed.
All awards must be claimed within (1) year or be forfeited.