From the Sharkathon Website:
2023 SHARKATHON TOURNAMENT RULES
All rules posted may be subject to revision up to one week prior to the event. It is the resposibility of the participant to review all rules and requirements prior to fishing the event. There will be banners with the rules and requirements printed on them at check in, and there will be a copy of the rules and requirements in the tournament packet that all participants receive. All potential winners must be present at the awards ceremony to qualify as a winner. All winners will be required to stay after the awards ceremony is done to receive checks, fill out tax forms, and find out if a polygraph is going to be submitted to them.
Padre Island National Seashore and all beaches except Mustang Island State Park up to Port Aransas South Jetty. The term “PINS” is used within these rules referring to Padre Island National Seashore. The actual boundaries of the fishing area are listed in detail within the numbered Sharkathon tournament rules. Check In & Awards ceremony location is Padre Balli Park at the Briscoe King pavilion.
Primary dates and alternate dates are are posted on the Sharkathon home page. The term “tournament weekend” is used within the rules referring to the weekend the tournament is actually held. The tournament will happen on the primary dates if PINS is open and there are no hazardous conditions present from “Red Tide”. Alternate dates will be used if PINS is closed or the hazardous conditions exist on the primary dates. In the event that Sharkathon cannot be held on the primary & alternate dates the tournament will commence on a date announced by Sharkathon being the earliest date that the event can be arranged with PINS and subsequent suppliers and contractors.
PAYMENTS – ONLINE REGISTRATION:
Credit card payments only will be accepted during online registration via Sharkathon.com. Online registration will begin as posted on the Sharkathon home page and end on the Wednesday before the event begins or when each division’s capacity has been reached. Participants are advised to print out a receipt of payment, email receipts and registration forms to present at check in.
All entry fees are non-refundable and it is the responsibility of the purchaser to read and understand the rules of the event prior to purchase.
Entries are non-transferable from year to year. An entry may be sold and transferred only if the transfer form has been completed on the Sharkathon website. We will not recognize any transfers that do not follow correct procedures. It is the sole responsibility of the entrant to sell their spot and collect the agreed upon amount between the two parties. There is a deadline for transfers of one week prior to the tournament weekend. Anyone purchasing an entry with the intent to sell for profit will have the entry disqualified. Shirt sizes cannot be changed when a transfer occurs.
Sharkathon Base Camp will be established at the Padre Balli Pavilion near Bob Hall Pier.
Contestants will adhere to parking rules set forth by Sharkathon for check in and awards ceremony. Contestants will obey instructions from board members & volunteers in regards to parking. Failure to follow these rules or instructions can result in disqualification. Sharkathon can and will be delayed from starting due to parking violations. Passenger vehicles without fishing gear will not be allowed to park in the primary parking lot at the awards ceremony and will be diverted to alternate parking. The primary parking lot at the awards ceremony is reserved for contestant’s vehicles with fishing gear.
VALID ID REQUIREMENTS:
Contestants must present to Sharkathon a legal photo ID proving identification. ID types include driver’s license, state issued ID, Military ID etc. Only minors that are not required to have a state issued ID are exempt.
FISHING LICENSE REQUIREMENTS:
Contestants must present to Sharkathon a current TPWD fishing license with proper saltwater stamps. Only minors that are not required by TPWD to have a license are exempt.
CHECK-IN TIMES & RULES:
Tournament Check-In will begin at Sharkathon Base Camp at 6:30 am on Friday, of tournament weekend and end at midnight on Friday, of tournament weekend. A secondary check in on Saturday of tournament weekend will run from sunrise to 12 noon. Each participant must check in at Sharkathon base camp, nobody can check someone else in and deliver their tournament materials.
Thursday afternoon (we try to start the process between 2-3 or earlier if we can) of tournament weekend, at Sharkathon base camp, a Pre-Check-In will occur. The line begins to form on Wednesday night and very early Thursday morning so please try to get in line as soon as you can. When we start the process there is typically over 100 people in line already. Bring a chair so you can relax while in line. The pre check-In allows the following to happen in advance.
1) Participants are screened for applicable valid ID & fishing licenses.
2) Participants are checked into Sharkathon system and entry validated.
3) Participants are issued a PINS camping permit to fill out.
4) Participants receive a reserved numbered spot in line for the 6:30 am Friday check-in.
At 11:59 PM Thursday, the numbering system will be discontinued and contestants without a number must form a line behind the numbered contestants. Each contestant can only obtain their own number, and cannot transfer their number to another contestant. Each number is only good for one contestant and will not hold a place in line for anyone other than the contestant holding said number. The purpose of this process is to prevent a line forming for an excessive amount of time prior to the event and allowing the actual check-in to flow much faster since all participants with a reserved numbered spot in line have already completed several time consuming steps involved in the process of check-in. Contestants will be arranged in numerical order for quick processing approximately 15 minutes prior to check-in beginning. This pre-check is not mandatory and you can show up on Friday morning after 8am or so and there will be little to no line. We do this because there will be a line no matter what and with the pre-check we can at least get you released after going thru it and you can go do shopping or whatever else. Please remember this event is run with 100% volunteer effort and we have a lot of work and packing we have to do Thursday before we go and start this process which lasts till Friday night at midnight for us.
All contestants are required to sign and return a liability release & rules acceptance form prior to participating in the event. Each release must include name, phone, address, and email (if applicable). Minors must have a parent or approved adult guardian sign a release allowing them to participate in the event.
BEACH PARKING & CAMPING PERMITS:
PINS rules: Each vehicle will be required to fill out a camping permit as per park rules. Camping permits will be available at Sharkathon base camp, and the camping kiosk located at the entrance to the beach. All other beach rules: Each vehicle will be required to establish what permits for parking and camping are required and obtain them.
Catch-Entry deadline is at 1:00 pm on Sunday, of tournament weekend, at the Briscoe King Pavilion located in Padre Balli Park. Any participant in line when deadline is reached will be processed. LATE ENTRIES WILL NOT BE ACCEPTED. Sharkathon organizers will begin accepting catch logs at 11:00 AM on Sunday, of tournament weekend. Each participant must submit his or her own catch log to qualify for entry.
Any winner is subject to a polygraph at the discretion of tournament directors. Any winner refusing to take the exam will result in disqualification. Any participants who are administered an exam must pass the exam. Failure to pass the exam will result in disqualification. All participants being administered an exam will be required to sign a release of liability prior to the exam being administered. This release will indemnify Sharkathon and any of its contractors from any recourse due to a failure of the polygraph exam. Polygraph exams will be administered at an undisclosed location after the awards ceremony. It is the responsibility of any potential winner to remain at the awards ceremony until the polygraph exam can be given. The estimated time to administer the exam is 1-2 hours. If any potential contestant does not agree with Sharkathon’s polygraph policy, please do not enter this tournament.
How it got started
We have seen worldwide shark populations declining at an alarming rate, and it is possible that we might witness the extinction of several shark species in our lifetimes if we humans don’t change our ways. There are many factors at work here, many of which are outside our control, but we can do our part to preserve this natural resource for future generations by promoting catch-and-release and by educating fellow anglers about the merits of this format. Catch-and-release tournaments provide a good medium for education, and can help change the practices of anglers who target sharks and other species.
When many of us started fishing for sharks on Padre Island, we were championed by other catch-and-release shark fishermen, and we learned how to successfully catch, photograph and release sharks from the beach. During its existence the original Texas Shark Rodeo started by “Big” Lou McGeachan was another big influence on nearly all shark fishermen in the state. Now, through Sharkathon, we would like to spread the message of conservation to a wider base of anglers. It takes a little time to teach a person why it is important to release sharks, but once the seed has been planted, many anglers see the value and participate willingly. We encourage like-minded anglers to join us in spreading the word of conservation, recruiting new members into the world of catch and release.
Sharkathon is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization created by surf fishermen for surf fishermen. Several of us sat on the beach one night and conceptualized what is now a proven format, a tournament where the only thing taken from the sea is a memory and a photograph. After several years of operation, we are realizing the dream we had that night on Padre Island. An idea has been transformed into a successful tournament series with substantial payouts and great prizes awarded to those who participate. Since 2004, our participants have risen from 50 to a self-imposed capacity of 950, and our prizes have increased from $2,500.00 to more than $80,000 in cash and prizes.
Sharkathon serves as a fund-raising entity for the several non-profit and educational organizations. Proceeds from raffle sales have been used to promote educational opportunities for underprivileged children. These funds help children from underprivileged school districts in the Coastal Bend experience the Padre Island National Seashore for the first time, and they allow park staff to educate children about the natural resources contained within the park. We have also donated to Friends of Padre, another non-profit organization that organizes the Billy Sandifer Big Shell Beach Cleanup. Finally, to further research opportunities, we donate and utilize the Texas A&M Corpus Christi’s shark tagging program during the tournament to assist the college in continuing this important research.
Visit www.Sharkathon.com for more info on how you can participate or sponsor the event.