2024 Montauk Canyon Challenge Tournament Rules

Dates & Times: 

Tournament starts Friday-  July 12, 2024 at 7:00 p.m. and ends Saturday - July 20, 2024 at 3:00 p.m. 

Fishing Grounds: 

Boats may fish from Tom's Canyon to the West & Hydrographer Canyon to the East.  (See below for details) 

Tournament Inlets: 

Boats may depart from Montauk and Shinnecock  or other tournament approved inlets that do not provide a competitive advantage. Example Connecticut boat's may elect to run directly to Montauk inlet then depart (38 hours from MTK) or leave from CT at a slight time disadvantage. Director reserves the right to require any tournament boat to make way to MYC docks prior to departing. All boats must return directly to Montauk Inlet to weigh fish. Contact Director upon return for directions to the weigh station. 

Overnight Fishing: 

Boats may choose to fish one 38 hour overnight fishing trip. Before casting off lines, boats must text the director the following information: Rich (516) 851-3078 / Chris (516) 523-3444 

  1. Boat Name 
  2. Time 
  3. Departure Inlet 
  4. Return Date & Time 

* Do not depart until you receive a return text "Tight Lines".

* Returning boats must clear the inlet markets within the tournament hours 38 or 19 

Day Trip Fishing: 

Boats may choose to fish two 19 hour fishing trips. Before casting off lines, boats must text the director the following information: "Same As Above". Do not depart until you receive text "Tight Lines". Returning boats must clear the inlet markers within the tournament hours 38 or 19. 

Weather Decision: 

There is no weather committee, captains are responsible for reviewing all weather forecasts and making weather related decisions. The Director reserves the right to discuss each boat's weather fishing decision but the ultimate decision belongs to the Captain. 

Fishing Regulations: 

All fish must meet SIZE and bag limits of state and federal regulations to qualify for this tournament. Bluefin Tuna is a "Calcutta Only" category species. All NOAA/HMS rules and reporting requirements apply to landing a Bluefin Tuna. The Fishing territory is between Toms Canyon to the West (within 1 mile of West Wall) and Hydrographer Canyon to the East (within 1 mile of East Wall) . Captain must have continual knowledge of the vessel position in regard to the boundary limits at all times.This is a Polygraph question, be sure to stay within limits. The angler must fight and bring the fish to the gaff unaided by any other person (excluding gaff and leader man). The "One Pass Rule" provides the angler the opportunity to have the rod handed to them from the Rod Holder or Rocket Launcher as long as the reel is not advanced during the hand off.  Fishing out of a Rod Holder is not permitted. This is a rod and reel, hook and line tournament.  The use of hand lines, ropes, nets, harpoons and any other means of fish capture other than rod and reel are strictly prohibited. 

Fishing Regulations Continued: 

Outriggers and downriggers are permitted, greenstick are not allowed and must be tied forward to the bow of boat. Fish must be hooked, fought and landed or tagged from the same boat. In the event of a mechanical breakdown, fish cannot be transferred. No mutilated fish will be eligible for competition. There shall be no use of aircraft of any kind, for spotting or baiting fish. This includes recreational Drones; film your boat and spread at another time. There shall be no use of outside assistance for landing or acquiring fish. Protest must be made prior to distribution of awards and prizes.  The Tournament Director reserves the right to protest a fish at any time during the length of the Tournament. The ruling on each protest by the Tournament Director is final, there is no appeals process. Tournament Director reserves the right to refuse entry to any boat for any reason prior to the start of the Tournament.  

Tackle Specifications:  

International Game Fishing Association Rules and additional rules specified herein. Maximum line class is "as stated, not tested breaking point" maximum line class is 130 lbs. Leaders may exceed the 130 lb. limit but cannot be more than 40 feet in length from line to hook including double line, wind-on etc. Spreader Bars are permitted, but may only have one hook per bar. Double Hook Rigs are not permitted with live or dead baits in this Tournament. A. single J, Circle or Offset  Hook must be used on live, deal or artificial baits. Fish must be fought either stand up, from a fighting chair, or rocket launcher with floating gimbal. Fish may not be fought from Rod Holders. 

Polygraph Testing: 

Tournament Director reserves the right to require a Polygraph test to any boat captain that received more than $10,000 in  combined winnings. All Polygraph questions are at the discretion of the Tournament Director and Examiner and may vary from boat to boat. The three top prize winners will be polygraphed unless a polygraph test is needed for a protested boat. There may be a polygraph test given to the top three cash prize winners of this tournament. The Captain will be tested and must have  knowledge of the vessel position for the entire trip, witnessed the fight and landing of the winning fish and a good knowledge of IGFA Rules. If the Captain is excused by the Tournament Director and Examiner, the Tournament Director reserves the right to choose between a replacement from the crew. If no crew member can attest to location, fish fight and IGFA rules, boat will be disqualified. All polygraph tests will take place on Saturday, July 20th. Please be available from 12:00pm - 5:00pm. Interviews take approximately 1 hour. Prize money categories for boats with winning fish being polygraphed, will not be given out until interviews are complete. Should there be a protest relating to a prize category not in the top three payouts, Tournament Director reserves the right to substitute a polygraph exam of one of the top three payout boats to settle the protest. All decisions of the Polygraph Examiner and Tournament Director are final, no appeals process. 

Prize Money Distribution:  

Trophies, Large Ceremonial Checks and Tournament Prize Checks will be distributed at the Awards Dinner. All Calcutta payouts will take place Saturday after 6:00pm. Location to be announced to winners. Calcutta will be paid immediately after the Awards Dinner. Boats must provide the name, address and SS Number for recipient(s) of Tournament Prize Checks.

Prize Money Distribution Continued:  

Tournament Prize Money is based on 50 boats. If the Tournament has less than 50 boats, Prize amounts will be pro-rated based on number of registered boats. Example: Only 45 Boats Registered, Heaviest Tuna $25,000.00 will be adjusted as follows - $25,000 divided by 50 = $500.00 then 45 X $500.00 = 22,500.00 Payout. All Prize categories are pro-rated based on number of boats up to 50, except Junior and Lady Angler.

Refunds - Entry Fees & Calcutta: 

100% Refund of Entry Fee and Calcutta Payments are available to boats that provide a written refund request before Wednesday, July 10th, 2024 6:00pm. No Refunds for any reasons, including illness and mechanical failure after July 10th, 2024, 6:00pm. No refunds for disqualified fish or disqualified boats for breaking the Tournament Rules. Tournament will pay out 96% of all Calcutta monies collected. 

Heaviest Tuna:  Species included: Big Eye Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna & Albacore Tuna - No Bluefin. 

Triple Yellowfin:  Combined weight of the 3 heaviest yellowfin tunas from each boat. Day Trip boats may use tuna from each trip to create their heaviest string. 

Bluefin Tuna:  Calcutta Only - No Cash Tournament Prize or Trophy. 

Calcutta Split:  

All Calcutta's are split 70/30 for 1st & 2nd Place except Heaviest Tuna. Only 1 Fish from each species per boat  

(3 Yellowfin limited to 1 set of 3 per boat) qualifies for each Calcutta. Example: Boat 1 catches  two Yellowfins 85 & 84 lbs., Boat 2 catches a 83 lb. Yellowfin. Yellowfin 1st Place Boat 1 85 lb. & Boat 2 83 lbs. 

Green Sticks:  

  1. Any vessel equipped with a "Green Stick" must declare the Green Stick to the Tournament Committee at or prior to the Captains meeting .
  2. The use of Green Sticks and Bandit Reels during the Tournament for any reason/purpose is prohibited.
  3. All vessels with Green Sticks must have them secured by a Tournament committee member prior to leaving the harbor on  their designated offshore days or will not be allowed to weigh a competing fish. 
  4. Any tampering with or changing the Tournament approved security tag will cause any competing fish by the vessel to be  disqualified. 
  5. LE Electric Reels, and other electric reels including bridge teaser reels may only be used to tow dredges and teasers. No hydraulic reels are allowed as teaser reels.


  1. Any and all protests must be filed in writing and signed by the protestor, To Tournament Committee 
  2. Protests will only be accepted that pertain to boats that have competing fish 
  3. Protests must include the protesting boat, the boat being protested, details of the event including time and location the protested event took place. 
  4. Protests must be brought on specific rule violations and not personal beliefs and will be vetted based on current rules in place. 
  5. Hearsay protests will not be accepted without a written statement from the witnessing party. Witnessing parties must be an entered boat or angler in the current years Montauk Canyon Challenge Shootout. 
  6. Members of the protesting boat, protested boat, and any witnesses providing statements may be subject to a polygraph test to determine the validity of the claims put forth.
  7. Prize money may be withheld up to 48 hours to allow for all information to be collected regarding protested events.