RULES



Official Membership and Angling Rules of the Southern Kingfish Association

ELIGIBILITY: You must be an active Competition Member of the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA) to win any SKA sponsored prizes. Competition membership runs on an annual basis, from January 1 to December 31. Once SKA accepts your membership, no refunds will be issued.

COMPETITION FAMILY: A Competition Family may consist of a husband, wife, partner or child under the age of 22 still residing at home. Competition Family membership includes membership for any three (3) members, i.e. father, mother, and son; husband, daughter and wife/partner, etc. Additional family members within that household may be added to the Competition Family membership for $30 each.

COMPETITION MEMBERSHIP: Competition Members are entitled to the following: The right to compete in any number of the Divisions, and Lady Angler, Junior Angler, or Senior Angler Divisions if qualified. Primary membership for new members include nine (9) issues of Angler magazine, the official publication of the SKA, two SKA decals, and one SKA embroidered full color patch.  Renewing members please stop by the trailer for your decals and patch. You will also receive a personalized membership card with your name and membership number, and access to member discounts provided by SKA industry partners.

STUDENT COMPETITION MEMBERSHIP: Student Competition is only for individual Anglers, ages 17-22, currently enrolled in a collegiate program. All Competition Membership benefits stated above apply for the student membership.

ANGLER MAGAZINE SUBSCRIPTION or ASSOCIATE MEMBERSHIP:  Associate Members are NOT entitled to compete for points in any Divisional competition or allowed entry to fish in the National Championship. They will however, receive all of the above mentioned membership benefits listed under Competition Member.

RESPONSIBILITY OF MEMBERS: By registering as a member of the Southern Kingfish Association (SKA), and fishing an SKA Sanctioned Tournament or an SKA produced 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, its officers, directors, employees, 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 members who threaten or pursue any form of litigation against the Southern Kingfish Association, 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, Code of Conduct, Angling Rules, Tournament Rules, Professional Tour Rules and Mercury Tournament Trail Division Rules and comply with the same guidelines in all SKA sanctioned events they fish or participate. In joining the SKA, every member agrees to abide by the rules set forth in the Membership Rules, Code of Conduct, Angling Rules, Tournament Rules, and Mercury Tournament Trail Division Rules, whether they have read them or not. Furthermore, said member agrees that all decisions on disputes and/or protests are final and cannot be judged by any court or other authority.



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 nonmembers 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/or 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, however any 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 pre-arranged upon request. This rule does NOT apply to power driven kite reels provided 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, provided 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: It is the overall intent of the SKA to prevent any angler from attempting to/or obtaining an unfair advantage over any other anglers. Any angler, who uses illegal methods to capture 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 ribbon fish 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.  This is largely in the case of ribbonfish or silver eels. Anglers are encouraged to use the least amount of hooks possible in order to increase the chances of survival for any kingfish who are released. This is especially important while pre-fishing, when 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 an area affected by red tide. If bait cannot be kept alive in a given area, alternative arrangements will 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, provided 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 more 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).

Mercury Tournament Trail & Division Rules

OVERVIEW: 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(minimum 10 pounds). 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 on throughout the year in that division. The name of the boat remains the same all year, as you cannot change names in midseason. If you sell your boat, you will be allowed to transfer points to the new boat, provided that you remain within the same boat class., i.e. if you begin the year in the Small Boat Class, garner points, then purchase a boat larger than 28 feet, you will NOT be allowed to transfer points between the Small Boat Class and the Open Class. 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 declared as a SKA tournament boat, furthermore you may not substitute a boat in order to allow your SKA declared vessel to fish in a non-SKA tournament. There are two exceptions: one is a licensed boat dealer fishing a company-owned demonstration 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. See paragraph 7 of Sanctioned Tournament and SKA Produced Tournament Rules. All substitutions qualifying under these exceptions must be approved by SKA Director of Operations prior to tournament registration. Chartered and/or rented vessels will not be allowed to compete in SKA sanctioned and SKA Professional Tour events. Substitution vessels will be allowed in the event of breakdowns or if the manufacturer of a new vessel is not complete at the time of tournament.

CAPTAIN QUALIFICATIONS: For members to register as captain or co-captain, they must be at least 16 years of age and have had their sixteenth birthday prior to January 1 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 scorekeeping. Once a captain is determined, he or she will remain captain for that season.  SKA recommends designating a co-captain at the beginning of the season in case the captain cannot be onboard for an event.

OPEN CLASS:  This class has no maximum horsepower or length restrictions.  

SMALL BOAT CLASS: This class is for boats whose manufacturer lists the Length Overall (LOA) as 28 feet or less. The SKA may physically measure any boat to determine its length and will assist any member in determining the length. The boat cannot exceed 28’ LOA regardless of the manufacturer’s size claim.  Any brackets or mounts may considered part of the vessel-check with an SKA director for ruling on your vessel.  If your boat length falls within the Small Boat Class guidelines, you will be automatically placed in the Small Boat Class upon registration.  You may choose to fish the Open Class or SIngle Engine Class in a Small Boat (28’ LOA or less). You must declare your boat’s Class on the SKA Points Form for each tournament you enter. This will determine which category you qualify to fish in the National Championship. NOTE: If you are in the process of selling your Small Boat Class boat and moving to Open Class, it is recommended that you declare Open Class at the beginning of the season. You may not transfer points between Classes during a season. Once you declare a Class, points earned cannot be transferred.

SINGLE ENGINE CLASS: Open only to boats with 1 (one) outboard motor. No inboards or inboard/outboards (I/O’s) will be permitted to participate. Maximum horsepower not to exceed 350hp. Anglers in this class are eligible for Lady, Junior and Senior Primary Prizes.  If your vessel qualifies for the Single Engine Class, you will be automatically placed in the Single Engine Class upon registration.  You may choose to fish in the Small Boat (28’ LOA or less) or Open Class, however SKA must have written authorization to change classification. This must be done before you fish your first tournament of the season.  This will determine which category you qualify to fish in the National Championship. Note: If you are in the process of selling your Single Engine Class boat and moving to Small Boat or Open Class, it is recommended that you declare your desired Class at the beginning of the season.

MERCURY TOURNAMENT TRAIL & DIVISION RULES:  There are eight (8) divisions in the SKA. A team’s best three fished events (within their division) count toward the team’s score. SKA only allows one qualifying fish weight per event for points.  For teams that fish more than three events within their division, their lowest weighing fish points are dropped - SKA keep the three highest weighing fish for points.  Teams may fish in as many divisions as they choose, however their points are not transferable between divisions. Upon registration, teams must declare their desired division. Points garnered will remain with that boat/team within their declared division. Captain or co-captain must be an SKA Competition member and one or both must be onboard in order to receive points in their division. 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 team to another.

SKA MEMBER REGISTRATION AND POINTS FORM:  There is a $10 fee for processing the Member Registration and Points form at each tournament. Each team must register with the SKA and complete the SKA Points Form prior to or during tournament registration hours.  It is imperative that SKA Member registration and SKA Points Form are completed in full, by designated deadlines. Failure to do so will result in the team’s points not counting for that tournament. There will be no exceptions. An SKA representative will be on-site and available during the hours of tournament registration. Members registering on-site will receive a copy for their records.

CHANGES TO SKA POINTS FORM: Teams must notify SKA Representative of any changes to crew listed on the SKA Points Form within 24 hours of the event ending, or SKA can not guarantee changes will be made. Anyone violating the honor system will not be awarded points for that event.

LADY ANGLER AWARDS: The Lady Angler’s best three fished events within her division will count toward points for that season. The Top Lady Angler in each division will receive a plaque engraved with her name, boat name, division, and year. Lady Angler must be aboard the boat to receive points but does not have to be the angler of the fish. SKA rewards them for participating with the team only. Lady Anglers must remain with one team in a division in order to garner points throughout the season. The Lady Angler cannot qualify for points on another boat within her division but may qualify for points within other divisions. Boat switching for Lady Angler in a division is not allowed unless falling under approved breakdown substitution rules. Lady Anglers must be clearly and properly marked on the SKA Points Form ($10 Form) to be eligible for points. This must be done for 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 before the last fish is weighed at the event, so the SKA Points Form ($10 Form) can be corrected. There will be one Top Lady Angler per division. There will be one Lady Angler of the Year award. 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) has a 39 point handicap meaning their highest three-fish aggregate will be reduced by 39 points. The Pro Tour ladies are not eligible for Top Lady Angler of the Year honors. This is for Divisional participants only.

JUNIOR ANGLER AWARDS: The Junior Angler’s best three fished events within their division will count toward points for that season. The top (3) Junior Anglers in each division will receive awards engraved with their name, boat name, division and year. If the Angler is Fifteen (15) on January 1 of that calendar year, they are eligible for competition in the Junior Angler class. There will be (3) Top Junior Anglers of the Year. Junior Anglers must be aboard the boat to receive points, but do not have to be the angler of the fish. SKA rewards them for participation as part of the fishing team. Junior Anglers must remain with one team in a division in order to garner points throughout the season. The Junior Angler cannot get points on multiple boats throughout a single division but may switch to a different boat in a different 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 Points Form to be eligible for points (must be done at each event they fish.) In the event a Junior Angler is indicated on the points form but does not fish, it is the responsibility of the team captain to notify the SKA representative prior to the last fish weighed, so the SKA Points 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) has 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.

MERCURY SCHOLARSHIP: The top SKA Junior Competition Angler in all SKA Sanctioned Tournaments fishing in 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. If the captain substitutes his boat and uses a Mercury powered boat, and his regular boat is not Mercury powered, the scholarship will not be awarded. See Mercury Junior Angler rules for further information.

LONNIE BROADWELL SENIOR ANGLER AWARD:

The top Senior Angler in each division will receive an award.  The Senior Angler’s 55th birthday must fall prior to January 1 of the calendar year of competition. The Lonnie Broadwell Senior Angler of the Year award will be awarded to the divisional winner (Male or Female) in the Senior Angler category with the highest three fish aggregate point total. Senior Anglers must be aboard the boat to receive points, but do not have to be the angler of the fish. SKA rewards them for participation as part of the fishing team. Senior Anglers must remain with one team in a division in order to garner points throughout the season.  The Senior Angler cannot get points on multiple boats throughout a single division but may switch to a different boat in a different division. Boat switching in a division is not allowed with the exception of approved breakdown substitution. Senior Anglers must be clearly and properly marked on the SKA Points Form to be eligible for points (must be done at each event they fish.) In the event a Senior Angler is indicated but does not fish, it is the responsibility of the team captain to notify the SKA representative prior to the last fished weighed, so the SKA Points 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.  Senior Anglers fishing in Division 7 (upper Gulf) has a 39 point handicap. (Their highest three-fish aggregate will be reduced by 39 points). The Pro Tour seniors are not eligible for the Lonnie Broadwell Senior Angler of the Year award. This is for Divisional participants only.

QUALIFYING FOR THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP:

Angler Qualification: To qualify for the National Championship an angler must be a current SKA member and participate in at least 2 SKA sanctioned events.  This means angler name will appear on the Points Form that is submitted to the SKA at the captains meeting and the team pays the entry fee to the tournament.   Captains that qualify for the Championship may choose crew members to fish the Championship from the general pool of qualified SKA anglers.

Team Qualification: To qualify for the National Championship a team must compete in at least 2 SKA sanctioned events, and weigh in a King Mackerel (minimum 10.0 pounds) in at least one of those sanctioned events.  Teams that meet these criteria will be invited to compete in the SKA’s National Championship and will receive an invitation to notify of their selection. Captains can fish with their original team or may pick their crew from the general competition member rank and file of the SKA. All members of a National Championship crew must be current SKA competition members and have fished in at least two SKA sanctioned tournaments during the current season. SKA Corporate Partners and members of the press are the only exceptions and must be approved by the SKA management prior to fishing. Captains must submit a request to the SKA for an exemption at least 60 days prior to National Championship.  Note to Captains: Make sure throughout the season that any crew you would like to attend the National Championship are current SKA Competition members.

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 necessary, 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. Small Boat Class teams are competing for their own set of prizes in the Nationals, and are unable to win prizes in any other Class. Single Engine Class boats are competing for their own set of prizes in the Nationals, and are unable to win prizes in any other Class.  Past National Champions and past Anglers of the Year are automatically qualified for the Championship and will be purged from any divisional qualifying finishes. (Must use the name of boat used for Championship wins or Angler of the Year title). Past Champions and Anglers of the Year must fish a minimum of two sanctioned events during the calendar year to be eligible for participation in the Championship. Past National Champions do not have to fish in the class they won in, as long as they fish the minimum required two (2) sanctioned events in that class.  They do not have to weigh a fish to be invited. If the past champion remains in the same class, the Captain may choose to bring another boat (other than the one originally qualified in) to the Championship. However, it must conform to the class they won the title in. If the Captain elects not to attend the National Championship, so as not to penalize the co-captain and team members, they can elect to use the qualifying position. They must use the boat name that the captain won the title in for at least two (2) sanctioned events during the current season. The past National Champion Captain must notify SKA of this change and receive approval to transfer the qualifying position.

Sanctioned Tournament & SKA Produced Tournament Rules:

ALL SKA SANCTIONED OR PRODUCED TOURNAMENTS ARE CAPTAIN’S CHOICE EVENTS.

1. Captain’s Choice: 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) until it ends (Awards Ceremony). Captains are responsible for their crew’s and/or teammates’ actions at all time. Captains can only enlist (1) co-captain and up to (8)* crew members for sanctioned SKA tournaments.  Sanctioned SKA events do allow for crew member changes from one tournament event to another, but Mercury Pro Tour crew members are assigned for the season. For any unforeseeable circumstance, for the Mercury Pro Tour only, the Captain must receive approval for member changes from the SKA Director.

*if your boat capacity allows

2. UNDERSTANDING THE RULES: It is the responsibility of all SKA members to familiarize themselves with all rules and regulations of the association and sanctioned tournaments and to abide by the rules and regulations. Members also agree by joining the association, that all decisions of SKA management are final.  This is to protect both members and the association.

3. Any King Mackerel caught and presented at a tournament scale for tournament participation must be fit for human consumption. Please ice your catch. The weighmaster, Tournament Director, or SKA management may disqualify any fish kept improperly after capture. The fish to be weighed must be presented to a SKA staff member prior to being weighed, and ready for photo presentation with all SKA members present. 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 check-out will be subject to disqualification. Fish to be weighed in must be accompanied by a member of the boat’s crew, who must stay with the fish to verify the weight and sign the weigh ticket.

4. In the event of identical weights, the first fish weighed in will 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.

5. Hooks and any items used to stop blood loss must be removed prior to bringing a fish to the scales. This is for the safety of the weighmaster and fish handlers.

6. No boat is permitted to 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.  Please keep in mind notifying the tournament committee, committee boat, or another tournament participant, is required. The boat rendering assistance must maintain 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 (related to fishing or not) onto any other boat 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. as 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.

7. At tournaments, after Registration and/or Captains Meeting, if your registered vessel has a breakdown, you will be allowed to switch boats for the remainder of that event, provided you notify the Tournament Director and the SKA representative in attendance of your intention to switch boats, and provided that the sanctioning tournament allows such a substitution. Limit is two (2) breakdowns per season, per division, once you have entered an event. 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 SKA management to change boats for the remainder of the season or until the problem is resolved. You will be required to provide proof of the problem for verification.

8. All boats are responsible for getting their fish to the weigh station by their own power and on the boat which the fish was caught. 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. SKA officials and/or tournament representatives reserve the right to inspect all boats entered in competition at any time.

9. Anglers must safely secure their vessel at the dock while weighing in (anglers must provide their own dock lines). SKA officials assume no responsibility for any damage incurred while securing vessel.

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

11. Participants in tournaments must 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 mandatory that all vessels carry the prescribed Coast Guard approved flotation devices for all people on board, plus an approved EPIRB and/or PLB, and an approved fire extinguisher. Captains and crew members must abide by State and Local laws.

12. Any member who provides any of the following to a sanctioned tournament vendor and or the SKA; a bounced check, stopping payment on a check, a credit card payment which does not clear, will have points frozen until the matter is resolved.

13. 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 ten (10) pounds for points, regardless of fork length, even though the tournament may accept it. Otherwise all other SKA rules, Angling Rules, Code of Conduct, Membership Rules, Tournament Rules, Mercury Tournament Trail Division Rules and Mercury Pro Tour Rules apply to all SKA members and must be strictly adhered to at all times.

14. Captains and crew members are responsible for following and adhering to all local, state, and federal fishing and boating laws. This includes having the proper fishing license. No tournament fishing is allowed in foreign waters at any time. Tournaments have the right to set boundaries.

15. All SKA members participating in a sanctioned event understand that the SKA does not get involved in tournament disputes. The SKA is a guest 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). 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.

16. Payment of the entry fee into a sanctioned or SKA produced 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.

17. 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. This disciplinary action is subject to the discretion of the management of SKA. Anyone expelled from the SKA will also forfeit any points already awarded prior to the infraction which caused the expulsion and will not be entitled to any refunds of membership or registration fees.

18. Any team violating tournament rules, expelled or disqualified from an event, or attempts to initiate 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 rulings and management decisions are final, within the time frame allowed by the 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.

19. AT ALL SKA SANCTIONED AND SKA PRODUCED EVENTS, THE SKA AND/OR THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS EXERCISE THEIR RIGHT TO REFUSE ENTRY TO ANY PERSON OR PERSONS. The SKA and/or Tournament Director has the right to enforce any and all rules and their penalties without a formal written protest from other contestants.

20. In the event of cancellation due to bad weather or any other reason, all efforts to reschedule will be made and the event will count as a divisional sanctioned tournament.

21. 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. Vendor partners and sponsors are eligible to participate in sanctioned SKA tournaments. Registration and local rules apply.

22. 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 manner. 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.

23. It is the official policy of the SKA to polygraph tournament winners as well as random tournament participants in SKA produced/sanctioned events and National Championship 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).

24. ANY AND ALL PROTESTS WILL BE ADDRESSED THROUGH 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, Code of Conduct, Tournament, Professional Kingfish Tour, and Mercury Tournament Trail Division Rules shall apply at all times. Tournament protests must be made within 30 minutes after the last fish is weighed in, and must be accompanied by a $500 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 30 minutes after the protest, and any and all decisions will be final.

25. 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.

26. Crew Members for the Mercury Pro Tour Events, must be a registered SKA Competition Member. Captains for the Pro Tour must be a registered SKA Professional Member. Captain and/or crew are not allowed to fish on more than one (1) Pro Tour boat in a Pro tour season.

27.  Teams are not permitted to carry extra fuel on board the vessel.  This does not apply to overflow tanks, or tanks that are designed by the manufacturer.

CODE OF CONDUCT

OVERVIEW: Each person joining the SKA is expected to conduct herself/himself in a manner that reflects the wholesomeness and image of the organization both on and off the water. While the tournaments are highly competitive in nature, good sportsmanship is paramount at all times. Members are expected to be role models both on the water as well as social media, as this is a family organization.  

While the tournaments are highly competitive in nature, good sportsmanship is 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 member 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. Subversive or damaging comments directed at the SKA and/or its Sponsors and members is strongly discouraged.  This includes but is not limited to verbal and written communications. Any member putting the welfare of the general membership at risk with sponsors, or potential sponsors, will be expelled from the SKA immediately.


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 set good examples. Please keep in mind that this is a family fishing organization. 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. Inappropriate language, poor sportsmanship, and disrespectful or demeaning communication is strictly prohibited. Failure to comply with this guideline may 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. In SKA sanctioned events, anglers with Federal Permits that allow them to keep more King Mackerel than State Regulations will not be recognized. State regulation on total King Mackerel per boat, per day will be applied to all SKA tournament vessels.

2017 JR. ANGLER SCHOLARSHIP PROGRAM

Overview: Mercury Marine sponsors a Junior Angler Program for the Southern Kingfish Association. Mercury will award a $500 college certificate to the top point qualifying SKA Jr. Angler fishing on a registered Mercury powered boat in each of the SKA sanctioned events. At the end of each event, each Jr Angler is recognized for his/her accomplishments. The captain of each boat is required to fill out the official 2017 SKA Jr Angler Registration form verifying the accomplishment and within 30 days of the tournament end date. The captain must adhere to all requirements or the Registration will be null and void and the college certificate will not be awarded.

Boat Captain/Angler/Guide Requirements: It is the responsibility of the boat captain/angler/guide to make sure the engine is registered in their name with Mercury prior to competing. Non registered engines will not be eligible and will void the application and the Scholarship. Warrant registration line is (920) 929-5054. Note: For engines purchased from Mercury pro staff, please call the warranty line to confirm registration eligibility. Entrants must use this engine for the tournament. Mercury Marine reserves the right to make the final decision in all matters regarding scholarship eligibility and to change or discontinue the program at any time. Boat captain/angler/guide also authorizes the use of their name, voice, biographical material, photograph or other likenesses to promote Mercury products. Claiming the Scholarship.

Forms: Scholarships can be claimed by sending in the form accompanying the acceptance letter that is received at the time your scholarship is awarded by Mercury Marine. Total banked scholarships can be claimed right after your graduation from high school and set to: Mercury Marine Attn: Manager Competitive Angling PO Box 1939 Fond du Lac, WI 54936-1939.

Acknowledgment: A letter from the college being attended acknowledging admission must accompany the completed form. The scholarship check will be made payable to the accredited, nonprofit institution of higher education of your choice. The check will be sent to your attention for use during the current school year.

Expiration: Scholarship monies not claimed within one (1) year from the date of your high school graduation will become null and void. We are aware that high school graduation is a few years away, so please notify us if you move and/or change your phone number. The letter received at the time of the scholarship win will be the only official notification of your scholarship award.

Updated 6/23/17




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