The tournament begins at 6:00 a.m. on June 1, 2019 and ends at 8:00 p.m. on June 30, 2019.
Tickets must be purchased from an official ticket vendor. Price is $10 for a one-day ticket.
Each applicant for entry shall be subject to approval of, or rejection by the tourney judges. All entrants must have purchased an OFFICIAL VALIDATED TOURNAMENT TICKET prior to the time of the catch and fish must be caught on the date(s) indicated on the ticket. The following are not eligible for derby participation: current employees or owners of a charter company, and Seward Halibut Tournament committee members, and all employees of the Seward Chamber of Commerce (SCOC). Individuals in possession of a current Alaska State Department of Fish & Game (ADF&G) Sport Fish Business Owner and/or Guide License are not eligible. All entrants must possess a current sport fishing license as required by ADF&G. Entrants may not proxy fish for another individual while participating in the tournament.
Entrants Participating with Non-Entrants
Entrants may not share a vessel with non-entrants with the following exceptions:
- Entrants may participate alongside non-entrants while on board a charter vessel, which is engaged in a passenger-for-hire service and whose captain has pre-registered with SCOC to act as a tournament witness. It will be the responsibility of the charter boat captain to ensure that the rules concerning hooking and landing are complied with. Violation of this rule will disqualify the entrant, the boat, and its occupants for the duration of the June tournament;
- Children under the age of five are considered non-entrants and may be aboard a participating vessel without a personal entry ticket.
Persons fishing in the tournament must validate by following the texting directions on the ticket at the time of purchase. Any ticket not validated will not be recognized. Tickets sold to anglers on board a charter fishing vessel must also be validated using the texting instructions by 9:00 a.m. on the day sold to be considered valid. The fish and angler must be transported to the Seward harbor on board the boat on which the fish was originally hooked and landed. All vessels and entrants must adhere to all applicable rules, including State and Federal regulations. All boats must be available for examination at any time. All charter boats must comply with United States Coast Guard licensing requirements and have current protection and indemnity insurance as required by the City of Seward Harbor Department. No boats with commercial fishing gear are allowed to participate in the tournament.
All fish to be entered in the tournament must be caught on sport fish rod and reel while the vessel is sport fishing only. Crew and vessels on commercial fishing trips are expressly excluded from participating in the tournament. Each entrant may have only one line in the water at a time. All entrants shall hook and reel up their fish unassisted. Assistance may be provided only to safely bring the fish aboard the vessel.
All fish to be entered must be caught on a single hook. Absolutely no treble hooks, snag hooks, or other devices are allowed that would increase release mortality and be considered inconsistent with usual and customary recreational halibut fishing practices. The hook used to catch the fish must accompany the fish to the weigh-in station. The Pacific Halibut biomass is at a near all-time low and it is the responsibility of all users to be conservation minded and to reduce mortality of released halibut when sport fishing.
There will be boundary lines for the Seward Halibut Tournament both to the east and west fishing grounds. The eastern line starts at a point on Montague Island. N 59’ 46.066, W 147 49.824 and runs a line to a point N 59 35.993, W 147 49.825 then continues past on a 162’ heading. No fishing East of this line. All passages leading into Prince William Sound are fishable, however at the most Northern points of the passages is another line. No tournament fishing beyond the two most northern points of any of such passages. The Western line starts at a point on Outer Island. N 59’20.227, W 150’23.112 and runs a line to a point N 59’15.235, W 150’23.087 then continues past on a 162’ heading, no fishing West of this line. The boundary line for Macarthur Passage leading into Nuka Bay is the two closest points entering from the East. Nuka Bay is closed to tournament fishing. If a vessel has crossed any boundary in a day this such vessel and anglers will not be able to enter a fish for the derby.
No Overnight Fishing
No overnight fishing is allowed. Boats and anglers must leave and return the same day for a fish to be valid. A tournament day begins at 5:00 a.m. and ends at 8:00 p.m. when the weigh-in station closes. The day the fish is weighed is the day it is counted for the tournament.
All fish entered must be fresh, whole, uncut, and accompanied by the entrant when presented at one of the three weigh-in stations. Fish must be hung by the tail for weigh-in purposes. Any line and/or equipment used to hang the fish during weigh-in will be independently weighed and subtracted from the total seal weight. The stations will be open from 9:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. daily. All entrants must provide their validated tournament ticket for that day prior to weigh-in along with a current fishing license. Entrants and weighing officials must sign the official weigh-in ticket. Periodically, fish will be opened and checked by a tournament judge. Any evidence of fish tampering will result in permanent disqualification from the tournament. Each entrant will keep his or her halibut after it is weighed in and entered in the tournament. If the entrant does not want to keep the halibut, the entrant may donate their fish in accordance with State regulations.
Rules & Decisions
Judges shall be appointed by SCOC. Weigh-in officials will be employees of Captain Jack’s Seafood Locker, J-Dock Seafood Company or Seward Military Resort. Judges may, at their discretion, meet emergencies as may arise with additions to, or amendments of these rules. Judges’ decisions on rules and conduct of this tournament shall be considered final and binding upon contestants, owner/operators, and sponsors. Any decision may be appealed to SCOC, which has the final authority and responsibility for all matters pertaining to the tournament.
If the entrant is able to retain the tagged fish in accordance with all charter halibut fishing regulations, it must be weighed in one piece, with the tag still in the gill. In order to redeem your prize you must willingly and truthfully disclose the latitude and longitude where you caught the tagged fish, and provide all information required by the International Pacific Halibut Commission (IPHC).
All prizes will be finalized and awarded within three days of the close of the tournament. Prizes are based on the weight of the fish at the time it is weighed on the official weigh-in scale at the designated weigh-in station. Final prize list is binding. Winners need not be present to win.
- HEAVIEST FISH – 1st place $1,500; 2nd place $750; 3rd place $500
- HEAVIEST FISH CAUGHT FROM A PRIVATE BOAT – $1,000
- WOMEN – $250 cash
- YOUTH (16 yrs and under) – $250 cash
- YOUTH (16 yrs and under) HEAVIEST FISH CAUGHT FROM A PRIVATE BOAT – $250
- ACTIVE MILITARY – Stay & Play Package at Seward Military Resort
- FIRST FISH WEIGHED – $250
- TAGGED FISH – From $250 to $5,000 per tag in gear or cash. Not exceeding the personal daily halibut limit, there is not a limit on tagged fish caught per person
- WEEKLY PRIZES – $1,000 HEAVIEST FISH PER WEEK
- WEEKLY DRAWING – $100 (Just purchase a ticket to enter!)
- DAILY PRIZE – The heaviest fish turned in daily wins a tournament hat.
A tie for first place for the tournament will share the combined first and second place cash total. A tie for second place will share the second and third place cash total. A tie for third place will share the third place prize. A tie for the daily prize will be broken by a random drawing in the presence of a tournament judge.
Prize Winner Responsibilities
Any taxes on cash or prizes are the sole responsibility of the individual winners. Winners are required by IRS regulations to provide their social security number or other tax ID number to SCOC when they claim their prize money.
Waiver of Liability
The purchase of the tournament ticket constitutes a waiver of liability absolving the SCOC and its Board of Directors, the Halibut Tournament Committee, and sponsors of the Seward Halibut Tournament of any and all damages or liability which may occur upon entering the tournament. Rewards for tagged fish caught and reported after the tournament are worth $100. You must have a valid fishing license and submit information for the IPHC to SCOC.