Rules and Prizes

Tournament Registered Boat & Angler Requirement:


All Fish weighed for PRIZE consideration must be caught from a tournament registered boat.  All anglers fishing on a tournament registered boat must be identified and in writing to tournament officials the night of the Captain’s Meeting.


Prizes & Awards:


With the exception of largest daily fish, no fish will qualify for more than one tournament prize and/or category.  In the event of a tie, the first fish weighed at the official tournament scale will be declared the winner.


Catch & Release Awards:


For catch and release awards, a shark is considered caught when the leader is handheld within 6’ of the fish and/or brought to the rod tip. The leader must be cut within six feet (6’) of the fish.


Catch & Release Affidavits:


Original affidavits must be presented at the awards ceremony on Saturday, August 24, 2019 by 5:00 pm when scales close.



Sportsmanlike conduct is required of all participants and their guests onshore and offshore. All anglers are responsible for taking care of their own fish.  Do not leave remains at the dock unless it has been cleared by a tournament official. A registered boat and/or angler may be disqualified at anytime by the tournament rules committee for condoning and/or engaging in unsportsmanlike behavior.

Assumption of Risk:


The Newburyport Shark and Tuna Tournament does not have an official weather committee.  The tournament rules committee will not predict and/or advise participants regarding weather conditions.  The decision to fish is the sole choice and responsibility of each angler individually.  Navigating the ocean in seasonal conditions may require movement and exposure to inherently dangerous situations that could result in severe injury including death.  All participants represent that they are in sufficient health to withstand the rigorous nature of this activity, practice safe fishing and boating tactics, as well as knowingly and willingly accept any and all associated risks.


It is the responsibility of tournament participants to obtain and become familiar with tournament rules and all applicable state and federal laws.  A person or vessel is ineligible to obtain or possess any type of award or certification associated with this tournament unless the fish submitted for consideration is caught legally and under compliance of tournament, state and federal laws.  In the event that one or more rule provisions appear to be in conflict, the most restrictive rule applies and is to be determined by the tournament rules Committee.  All landed fish are subject to examination by the tournament rules committee and/or tournament weigh master.


The tournament rules committee has final and sole authority to resolve questions and/or issues that arise.  All committee decisions are final.  Protests must be in writing and submitted by 5:00 pm Saturday, August 24, 2019.

Tuna Rules


Vessels fishing in the HMS General Category Tuna must follow all HMS General Category Rules EXCEPT:


  1. Electric Harpoons may not be used
  2. Airplanes may not be used directly or indirectly to locate and/or catch fish
  3. Bluefin Tuna must be hooked and boated by a manually operated rod and reel or hand line ONLY.  A person that is unable to operate a manual rod and reel may use an electric reel with the prior approval from the tournament rules committee.

Shark Rules

*** Per new federal regulations, (a) Non-stainless steel, non-offset Circle hooks must be used for shark fishing, and Mako sharks must have a minimum fork length of:

  1.  Male - 71 inches
  2. Female - 83 inches

Catch and Release Division:


Mako, Thresher, Porbeagle and Blue sharks are eligible for the catch and release division.

Calcutta Division:

  1. Mako, Thresher, Porbeagle and Blue sharks are eligible for the Calcutta division.
  2. Mako sharks must meet federal regulations for fork length.
  3. Thresher and Porbeagle sharks must be over 150 lbs.  Blue sharks must be over 325 lbs.
  4. Only one shark may be brought to the scales per calendar day.
  5. Prizes will be awarded based on combined total points per the matrix below:



Registration is open until the captain’s meeting.  Because many sign up at the captain’s meeting, we can never determine an exact amount of prize money.


  • PRIZE MONEY is split 60%/40% between tuna and shark, and is paid out at 50%, 30%, 20% to first, second, and third place winners.
  • CATCH & RELEASE prizes have been generously donated by several of our sponsors and will be awarded to a first, second, and third place winner.
  • TROPHIES are provided to all winners in all categories.


New this year: the largest tuna and shark weighed on Friday and Saturday will each receive $1,000.

Postponement & Refunds:


In the circumstance of partial or full tournament postponement due unforeseen circumstances, the tournament rules committee will decide when, where and/or if the event will be rescheduled.  All registration fees are nonrefundable.

Tournament Scales Are Open as Follows:


Friday: Scales are open from noon to 1:00 pm, 5:00 pm to 6:00 pm, 10:00 pm to 11:30 pm

Saturday: Scales are open from 12:00 pm to 5:00 pm

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