Fishing Tournament & Fish Fry

Fishing Tournament 2018 Banner

Friday, May 18, 2018
Boat Ramp, Chautauqua Hall of Brotherhood,
      95 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, FL
6am - 4pm

The LakeFest Fishing Tournament & Fish Fry are the kick-off events of LakeFest 2018 in DeFuniak Springs, Florida.  LakeFest is an annual festival in DeFuniak Springs, Florida celebrating sports and exercise on the water.  This event is held in Chipley Park on the banks (and on the water) of Lake DeFuniak, one of the world's rare, naturally round spring-fed lakes, and is orchestrated by the City of DeFuniak Springs in collaboration with many regional nonprofit and government agencies.

This fishing tournament and fish fry are held on Friday, the day before the bulk of family activities take place the following day.  Paddling boats and small boats with electric (only) trolling motors are allowed this year.

Schedule, Friday May 18:

  • 6am-9am:  Fishing tournament check-in and registration at boat ramp next to Chautauqua
          Hall of Brotherhood, 95 Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs, FL.   Registration Form.
          See Eligibility Requirements and rules below.
  • 7am:  Tournament take-off.
  • 11am-until:  Fish Fry located at amphitheater (across from Train Depot located at 1140
          Circle Drive, DeFuniak Springs).  $8/plate.  Fish, fries, beans, slaw & hushpuppies.
          Proceeds benefit VFW Veterans Relief Fund.
  • 4pm:  Final weigh-in           

Fishing Tournament Rules:

A. Eligibility Requirements

  1. All individuals with a paid entry fee are eligible to fish.
  2. Participants must have a Tournament Rules acknowledgment form signed.
  3. Events are “Buddy” Tournaments with teams of not more than 2 registered anglers fishing from the same boat. Individuals not included in the registered entry for the boat in question, cannot be in the boat in question during tournament hours unless in the event of an emergency.

B. Registration

  1. Tournament registration fee is $30.00 per angler. Registration Form.
  2. The Tournament Committee must RECEIVE the tournament registration fee prior to launch on the morning of the tournament or an additional $10.00 late fee will be required prior to take off. Late entries will only be allowed until 9:00 am. This money will be retained by the committee for the next Lakefest fishing tournament, and NOT go toward the payout.

C. Tournament Fishing

  1. Tournament Check-in will start at 6:00 am Friday 18 May 2018. Take-off will occur at 7:00 am with all teams off the water and in the weigh-in line no later than 4:00pm.
  2. Fishing is allowed anywhere on the designated tournament waters during tournament hours except in the “No Fishing” area as defined during the pre-tournament meeting or any other area declared off limits by local or other authorities.
  3. All fishing must be done from the team’s single boat. No fishing from the bank is allowed. Contestants may not depart the boat to enter a fishing area or to land fish or to carry, tow, push, or pull their boat to access fishing areas not otherwise accessible.
  4. All fish must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner in accordance with Florida FWC regulations.
  5. Only one rod and reel may be used by one angler at any time.
  6. All contestants must leave from and return to the take-off (weigh-in) site by boat. Anglers are encouraged to leave their boats in the water during tournament hours but if a team must trailer their boat during tournament hours, boat and both anglers must not leave the immediate area of the take-off site until the tournament is officially over or their team weigh in is completed.
  7. Fish to be submitted for weigh-in must be transported to the weigh-in location in the boat from which the fish were caught. No other boat can be used to transport the fish to the weigh-in location.

D. Weigh-In Procedures

  1. 1. Only (5) Black, Suwannee, Choctaw Bass and (5) Panfish, Brim, Bluegill, Sunfish, Flier and Redbreast sunfish are eligible for weigh in. No more than five fish per category, per team are eligible for weigh in. The scales will be open during the tournament day. The weigh in officially ends 5 minutes after last call for fish. Last call will be made when no one is waiting in line to weigh in fish.
  2. Each team will be issued a boat number when their live wells are checked. That number must be returned to the weigh in area with their fish at the designated weigh in time for the team to have their weight counted.  NOTE: There is NO GRACE PERIOD at WEIGH-IN and there are NO EXCEPTIONS to this rule.  Only fish caught in the designated tournament waters, the day of, and during the official tournament hours, by registered participants competing in the tournament, are eligible for weigh in.
  3. Only fish submitted at the weigh in by one of the team members catching the fish are eligible for weigh in. Fish must be segregated by team members during the tournament and when presented at weigh in.
  4. Mangled, mauled, bloated, or mutilated fish will not be eligible for weigh in.
  5. Dead fish will be eligible for weigh in with a ¼ (.25) pound penalty assessed against the team’s total weight only.
  6. Fish submitted for weigh in that do not comply with specific length limits, for Lake DeFuniak (as established by the Florida FWC will not be eligible for weigh in. All fish measured will be determined legal by the tournament committee chairmen. All weights of fish weighed in will be determined and announced by the tournament chairmen or their designate and shall be the final decision.
  7. Upon completion of a team’s weigh in, all fish submitted will be returned to the water immediately at the weigh-in location.
  8. Prize money will be paid following the last tournament weigh in. Placement ties will split the payouts for tied positions.

E. Safety/Sportsmanship

  1. Take off may be delayed due to unsafe conditions as determined by the City of DeFuniak Springs. In the event of inclement weather or extenuating circumstances, the tournament may be cancelled by the City of DeFuniak Springs.
  2. Safe boating conduct must be observed always. All participants must abide by all the rules outlined within the Florida Safe Boating Manual, as well as US Coast Guard navigation rules, Water Patrol boating laws and any laws of the governing bodies for any lakes. If a citation is received for ANY reason (PENALTY #2) applies. 
  3. On takeoff, each boat must idle in boat number order (reverse order second
    day) to the Tournament Directors boat for a life jacket check. All participants must be wearing a serviceable U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device with kill switches attached (if available). On confirmation of life jacket compliance, Tournament Directors will approve each boat for takeoff and send them out. Any boat not in compliance for life jackets and kill switches.