North Shore Challenge Rules

1) Entries:

Spots are available for the competition on a first come, first served basis. All entrants must have completed the online registration form in full (including entering into the Exclusion of Liability, Release and Indemnity form) and made payment to secure a competition spot. All anglers are entered in the individual challenge. Regarding the team challenge, entrants can enter as part of a pre-formed team of two people, be placed in a team by the organisers, or opt not to participate in the team challenge.

2) Entry Fee:

The entry fee is $70, entries are not refundable for cancellations, but can be transferred to another entrant.

3) Vessels:

All man powered kayaks and skis are welcome – this includes surf skis, tandems and those funny ones that require leg pedalling but no motors, no sails (i.e. human power only). The onus is on the entrant to provide a seaworthy kayak compliant with marine requirements and suitable for the conditions they wish to fish in.

4) Age:

Competitors must be 18 years of age or above.

5) Species:

There are five eligible species for the comp: kingfish, tuna, snapper, whiting and salmon. Squid, (hood length) will also be introduced as a target species in the event that the fishing area is restricted due to inclement weather. Entrants may enter their two best fish of each species to count towards their points tally. Only fishers entering kingfish or tuna will be eligible for the Best Catch title.

6) Fishing Equipment:

Each entrant must supply their own bait and equipment, which must comply with the Victorian rules and regulations. Entrants can use bait, lures or live bait. Live bait used in the competition must be caught during the competition window. Live bait may be shared between entrants, but catches of comp eligible fish cannot. The use of berley is allowed.

7) Safety Equipment:

Each entrant is responsible for supplying their own safety equipment that meets the minimum legal requirements. Inspections will be carried out prior to launch on Saturday morning. Due to the offshore nature of the competition, entrants are also required to carry a emergency beacon (PLB, EPIRB or SPOT GPS) even when fishing within 2 nautical miles of the shore. All entrants must carry a working VHF radio set to our working channel (77) for the duration of the competition to receive communications and weather reports and to contact rescue crews in the event of an emergency. Entrants will be required to perform a radio check at the commencement of the event.

Mandatory Equipment for all entrants:

  • PFD
  • Bilge pump/bailer/sponge
  • VHF radio
  • Emergency beacon
  • Safety flag or Hi-vis clothing*
  • Sticker displaying entrant number to be displayed on both sides of bow for the duration of the event (supplied in your welcome pack). 

For those fishing beyond 2 nautical miles of the shore, MSV requirements must be met, which require the above, plus:

  • Flare kit
  • Compass (non-electric)
  • Spare paddle
  • Epirb (not PLB)
  • Floating waterproof torch

If you have trouble meeting the safety gear requirements, let us know in advance and we might be able to rustle up some spares. Alternatively the expensive gear can be rented for the event from Oz Satellite Rentals. If you tell them you are fishing the comp at the time of booking, they will give you a 20% discount.

*The inclusion of the safety flag/high vis is at the request of boat traffic on the water at our first event back in 2017. They reported that it was hard to see the kayaks fishing out wide in the open swell at the back of the Anchorage and Julia Reef. We won't keep you off the water for not having a safety flag, but it is your responsibility to make yourself as visible as possible to other water users, please leave the camo gear at home!

 8) VHF Communication

All entrants must provide a working VHF radio with sufficient charge for the duration of the event. It must be operated on dual watch channel 16 (emergency) and 77 (chatter channel) throughout the duration of the competition. Entrants should know how to channel lock their unit to avoid accidental channel changes during the day. General banter/non emergency communication must be restricted to the working channel (77). Weather warnings, time updates etc will be communicated via channel 77. In large swell, entrants fishing beyond range at the back of Julia Reef may need to send their messages to admin via a relay by the safety boat on Minerva. 

 9) Signing in and out:

The briefing on the Friday night before the comp is mandatory and includes an overview of the competition rules, safety briefing, weather briefing and welcome pack collection. It’s also a great opportunity to meet other entrants and catch up with teams. If you are unsure of the use of any of the safety items, stay for the demonstration of the safety gear after the main briefing. Explanation of the use of emergency equipment will be conducted by the coast guard at the briefing.

On the mornings of the competition, entrants must be on the beach at 6am where safety inspections will be carried out.  All entrants will launch together at 6.30am so don’t be late! Entrants must have signed back in at the tent before the 2pm deadline on Saturday and 11am deadline on Sunday in order for fish entries to count in the competition.

10) Individual Challenge:

The scoring system is as follows and aims to encourage pelagic fish being brought in:

0cm – 39cm = .5 points  per cm
40cm – 75cm = 1 points  per cm
75cm – 99cm = 1.5 points per cm
100cm+ = 2 points  per cm

The winner of the individual challenge will be decided by compiling the accrued points across each of the eligible species entered. The top 5 anglers will get to choose a prize pack from the prize pool in the order that they place. In the event of a tie, the angler with the biggest fish for the species both teams have entered will be deemed the winner. If more than one common species has been entered the common species for each angler will be tallied to determine the winner.

11) Team Challenge:

The winner of the team challenge will be decided by taking the highest scoring fish from both members of the team and dividing the resultant total by two to calculate the team average. Fish cannot be shared among team members for either the individual competition or the team competition. The highest team average will be awarded the perpetual Team Challenge trophy as well as a prize pack for each team member.

12) Best Catch:

The Portland Bait & Tackle best catch title is up for grabs between anglers entering either a kingfish or tuna as part of their bag. If only one of the species is caught over the weekend the winner will be the biggest fish of that species. If both tuna and kingfish are caught, the winner will be determined by the fish with the greatest percentage score as rated against their species benchmarks of 90cm for tuna and 75cm for kingfish. If anglers are tied on length difference, the winner will be the angler that returned to the beach with their fish first.

13) Day Two Dash

On Sunday morning we will be running a quickest catch comp awarding a bonus prize for the first angler to catch a legal length fish of a particular species as identified by admin at the commencement of the day's fishing. 

14) Entering Fish:

Day 1: On returning the entry tag and signing back in prior to 2pm, entrant’s fish must be presented to the measuring table located at the admin tent. The two best fish of each species are eligible for entry. Photo entries with geo-tagging enabled are welcome for catch and release, but the photo must include a reliable measurement and the entrant's competition tag. We would like to discourage bringing in fish you do not plan to eat or share – if this is you, bring a camera. Anglers entering fish not caught by themselves will be disqualified from the event. All fish will be measured from the nose to the fork of the tail, squid (if in play), will be entered using the hood length. Non whole number entries will be rounded up to the nearest cm. All fish caught on Day 1 that meet the requirements for the Day Two Dash must be presented to admin to have the tail fin cut.

Day 2: Species being added to anglers bag's for the main comp are to be entered as per Day 1 but the time limit of 11am applies. Fish entered on Day 1 can be upgraded on Day two with the two best fish of each species entered over the two days counting towards your tally.

Day Two Dash: To enter a fish for The Dash, you must catch a legal size fish of the nominated species. To submit your entry you can send a photo of your catch which includes your comp keyring through to the comp WhatApp group or paddle back to the launch to present your catch to comp admin. The first angler to submit a vaild entry will be declared the winner.Your catch must be presented to comp admin on your return for verification. 

15) Weather:

NSC is an offshore comp, and as such it will run subject to weather being deemed suitable for the field of entrants by the organisers. If the weather for a session is deemed un-fishable for all of the field in certain areas, the organisers will endeavour adjust the fishing area or times accordingly. Where availability of support crew allows, sessions may be rescheduled later in the day where possible. It is the responsibility of the entrant, to decide whether conditions are suitable for their craft, their kayaking ability and whether or not to launch on the day. Entrants should be proficient with re-entry of their craft in choppy conditions and are encouraged to fish within distances they can easily cover in their craft given the conditions that present on comp day.

If both sessions are deemed un-fishable, the prize packs will be split and the individual items will be raffled off to entrants.

16) Fishing Zones 

The fishing zones may be restricted before or during a session in line with weather conditions, but the un-restricted fishing zones are as follows:

Day 1 Boundaries

East - Julia Reef

South - Outer Anchorage

West - Portland Harbour

Day 2 Boundaries

East - Minerva Reef

South - Outer Anchorage

West - Portland Harbour

NSC fishing grounds map

*Rules and fishing areas are subject to amendments/omissions on competition weekend to suit the conditions presented. Please monitor the competition WhatsApp group, & VHF 77 to stay up to date.