2024 Matagorda Slam Open Bait and Artificial Bait Tournament Rules and Regulations

All rules stated below will be in effect for the 2024 Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament. All decisions made by the tournament director and/or tournament officials will be final in all matters. The tournament director and/or the tournament officials can make changes when the safety of a contestant is in question or by a unanimous decision by the tournament committee. Any changes to the rules will be posted on the website www.matagordaslam.com and communicated to the tournament members in the pre-tournament meeting before the tournaments. Warnings, penalties, and disqualifications will be determined by the tournament officials. A signature on one set of rules and regulations is applicable for any Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament events and may be used as an acknowledgment for such.


Applicable Laws: Contestants must comply with all Federal, State, and Local laws always. Contestants fishing outside of Texas waters must adhere to the local and state laws of the venue, including purchasing and possessing a valid fishing license for that state effective for the dates of the competition. Violation of any federal, state, and/or local laws will result in the disqualification of the individual and their team from the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament event and may disqualify (at the discretion of the tournament officials) the individual and their team from the tournament.

Tournament Eligibility: Contestants must be 18 years or older and must follow all the rules and regulations of TP&W. However, if a Contestant is under 18 years old, they may fish in the adult division with their legal guardian or another adult approved by the minor’s legal guardian as a paying team member. Contestants registered in the Junior Division may fish from the same boat as an adult team but may not register in both adult and junior divisions. The Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament reserves the right to refuse participation in any event to any individual and/or team at the discretion of the tournament committee.

Sportsmanship: Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament participants are expected to follow the highest standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and ethics. Unsportsmanlike and unethical conduct will result in disqualification (at the tournament committee’s discretion). Please refer to the Texas Boating Safety Rules.

Permitted Tournament Fishing Waters: Contestants may fish in any inshore public water accessible by boat, kayak, pier, or walking in. “Inshore” for this tournament is defined as the navigable, tide-consumable coastal waters, bays, rivers, and wetlands, extending to the inside of the passes to The Gulf of Mexico. Contestants may not fish beyond the furthest point of a pass extending into the Gulf of Mexico.

  • • No fishing is allowed within 300 yards of the tournament weigh station.
  • • No fishing is allowed within 500 yards of any ferry landing.
  • • Contestants shall not fish in any area which has been “closed” by a governmental agency.
  • • Wade fishing is allowed, but both contestants must remain within 300 yards of the boat or shoreline.
  • • Participants are not allowed to fish within 150 feet (50 yards) of another anchored boat or wade fisherman unless they are invited by that team. An anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by an anchor, a weight, push pole, Power Pole, or other “anchoring” mechanism with the trolling motor in the up position. If a team invites another team into the inviting team’s 50-yard area, any tournament participant is also allowed within the waived area.
  • • The boat anchored in an area first has the right to a 150 feet radius of the area.
  • • If the boat does not have a trolling motor, the definition of anchored still applies.

Permitted Fishing Methods: All tournament fish shall be taken by rod, reel, and artificial bait in the Artificial Division and artificial, live, dead, or cut bait in the Open Bait Division. Contestants shall not “harass” fish, including such antics as “burning” or corralling of schools with a boat. Prior to and during the tournament, contestants shall not “cork” or otherwise mark fish or schools of fish for identification for the purposes of locating fish during tournament hours. Wade-fishing is allowed. Teams who wade-fish must remain within a 300-yard radius of the team’s boat or shoreline. However, contestants may not leave the boat to net a fish hooked while the contestant or their partner is in the boat. A wade-fisherman must net their own fish. Teams shall not have one participant fishing from the boat with the other teammates wade-fishing; all teammates must be fishing in the same manner. All team members must be in the boat before the combustion engine is started.

Checkpoints and Inspection: Teams may launch anywhere within permitted tournament fishing waters 30 minutes before sunrise (safelight). This means teams can have their boat launched in the water but may not leave the dock until this time. Check-in times will be between 2:00 PM and 4:00 PM. Contestants who are not at the official checkpoint area at the appointed time will be penalized at the rate of one-quarter (1/4) pound per minute, which will be deducted from the team’s total day’s weight. Any contestant more than fifteen (15) minutes late will be disqualified from that day’s weight entry. Teams unable to check-in due to equipment failure or other unforeseen circumstances are responsible for contacting the tournament director before the official check-in is over to determine an acceptable solution.

Polygraphs: By signature on the official tournament entry form, each contestant agrees to submit to a polygraph test and be bound by its interpreted results and conclusions. The first-place team in each event shall be subject to a polygraph examination and will not receive any award until the test has been administered and determined to be non-deceptive. Polygraph tests may be issued at the discretion of the tournament director/committee for any reason, and each contestant hereby acknowledges and consents to the examination. The results and interpretations of the polygraph are final, and each contestant knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waives any review of said test result, including any judicial process seeking to overturn, amend, or otherwise negate the finding of the test administrator.

Insurance and Liability: Each boat entered in the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament shall have a minimum liability insurance coverage. It is the responsibility of the boat owner to carry liability insurance covering the vessel. The Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament will not issue liability coverage for its events. A current copy of the team’s insurance policy and each member’s signed DECLARATION, WAIVER, RELEASE, AND HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT shall be given to the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament before a team may compete in any Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament event. All tournament participants are required to sign a waiver absolving all tournament officials, officers, participants, sponsors, and co-sponsors from any responsibility for damage or personal injury sustained as a result of the contestant’s participation in the tournament or its related activities, and the contestant’s signature on this form shall constitute an alternate release in the instance the member fails to sign the official DECLARATION, WAIVER, RELEASE, AND HOLD HARMLESS AGREEMENT.

Pre-Tournament “Captain’s” Meeting: Tournament Registration for the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament will be online. Online registration will end on April 24th at midnight. Teams may register at the captains’ meeting but will be charged a $100 late fee. The captains’ meeting will be on Thursday, April 25th between 6:00 PM and 9:00 PM. At least one member of each team MUST attend the Pre-Tournament meeting. Participants may be excused from the meeting if arrangements are made with the tournament officials. If a contestant fails to attend the registration and pre-tournament meeting without permission from the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament office, a one (1) pound per fish will be assessed against the team’s fish at weigh-in.

Entry Fees, Tournament Registration, and Identification: The entry fee for the event is $400.00 per two to four-person team if you register online by midnight on April 24th! If teams register after April 24th, the entry fee is $500 per team and you must register at the captains meeting by 7:00 PM. All entry fees and deposits are non-refundable and are in consideration for holding a team’s spot and calculation of projected winnings for tournament officials.

Tournament Payouts: Tournament Payouts are separate from the Calcutta payouts. 50% of the Tournament entry fees will be totaled and paid out separately for each division (50% will go to the cause of the tournament). The payouts will be divided into three payout places for each division as follows: 1st Place 50%, 2nd Place 30%, and 3rd Place 20%

Fish: THIS IS A LIVE FISH WEIGH-IN. A team’s tournament weight will consist of 2 Redfish measuring 20 inches to 28 inches in length, 2 Speckled Trout measuring 15” to 20”, and a Flounder measuring no less than 15”. No altered or mutilated fish will be accepted. Fish will be inspected for alterations, size, length, and weight. Any altered fish shall result in the disqualification of the team weighing the altered fish and may result in a perpetual ban from the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament. A 1/4-pound penalty will result for each dead fish brought to the weigh-in scales.

Scoring: Tournament standings, auxiliary awards, and final winners shall be determined by the total weight of each team’s catch during the tournament, measured in pounds and 100ths of a pound. All fish must be brought to the weigh station in tournament bags provided by the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament. Fish may not be brought to weigh-in on a stringer or in a basket. Fish shall be weighed with the equipment provided by the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament.

Ties: If two or more teams have identical weight in the tournament, it will be considered a tie. In the event of a tie, the prize money from the consecutive places will be combined and split between the teams. For example, if two teams tie for fourth place, the amounts designated to fourth place AND fifth place will be combined, divided by two, then distributed to the teams, equally.

Team-Based Fishing Tournament Calcutta Rules:

There will be a separate Calcutta for Artificial and Open Bait Divisions

Team Size:
  • a. Each team must consist of a minimum of 2 anglers and a maximum of 4 anglers.
Calcutta Prize Pool:
  • a. The Calcutta prize pool will be 70% of the total collected pool. 30% will go to the cause of the tournament.
  • b. The Calcutta prize pool will be divided into three payouts for 1st place (50%), 2nd place (30%), and 3rd place (20%).
Calcutta Insurance:
  • a. Teams have the option to purchase Calcutta insurance for $100. Calcutta insurance does not make a team eligible for participating in the Calcutta payout. Teams must still bid on their boat at the captains’ meeting to be eligible for the Calcutta winnings!
  • b. Calcutta insurance guarantees the team 50% of the winnings if they are outbid by an individual not on their team.
Eligibility for Winnings:
  • a. Teams that purchased their boats in the auction will be paid 100% of the Calcutta prize pool payout based on their percentage of the winning place in the tournament.
  • b. Teams that are outbid by another bidder and purchased Calcutta insurance will receive 50% of the winnings if they are outbid by an individual not on their team.
  • c. Teams that have not purchased Calcutta insurance and are outbid by an individual not on their team will not be eligible for any winnings.
  • Protest Procedure: All protests must be submitted in writing, along with a $300 cash deposit. Protests must be submitted to the tournament director no later than 15 minutes following the weigh-in of the last fish. All decisions will be made by the tournament director and committee and are final. If the protest is upheld, the cash deposit will be returned to the person submitting the protest. The protester agrees that by filing a protest, he may be subject to a polygraph test.

    Permission to be filmed for Television: All participants agree to be filmed, photographed, taped, interviewed, quoted, or otherwise revealed, without compensation, by the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament or its assigns. This includes but is not limited to the official photographers, writers, hosts, or sponsors of this event under the conditions authorized by the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament organizers. Each contestant, by his signature affixed below, hereby gives the Matagorda Slam Fishing Tournament, and its assigns, the right to use (without compensation) the contestant’s name, picture, likeness, quotes, and biographical information, whether audio or visual, before, during, and after the period of an individual or team participation in an event.

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