Fishing tournament
A fishing tournament, or derby, is an organised competition among anglers. Fishing tournaments typically take place as a series of competitive events around or on a clearly defined body of water
Water is a chemical substance with the chemical formula H2O. A water molecule contains one oxygen and two hydrogen atoms connected by covalent bonds. Water is a liquid at ambient conditions, but it often co-exists on Earth with its solid state, ice, and gaseous state . Water also exists in a...

 with specific rules applying to each event. They can take place on or along the edge of ocean
An ocean is a major body of saline water, and a principal component of the hydrosphere. Approximately 71% of the Earth's surface is covered by ocean, a continuous body of water that is customarily divided into several principal oceans and smaller seas.More than half of this area is over 3,000...

s, lake
A lake is a body of relatively still fresh or salt water of considerable size, localized in a basin, that is surrounded by land. Lakes are inland and not part of the ocean and therefore are distinct from lagoons, and are larger and deeper than ponds. Lakes can be contrasted with rivers or streams,...

s, river
A river is a natural watercourse, usually freshwater, flowing towards an ocean, a lake, a sea, or another river. In a few cases, a river simply flows into the ground or dries up completely before reaching another body of water. Small rivers may also be called by several other names, including...

s, including ice covered bodies of water.

The tournament

Fishermen compete for prizes based on the total weight of a given species of fish caught within a predetermined time. This sport evolved from local fishing contests into large competitive circuits, especially in North America
North America
North America is a continent wholly within the Northern Hemisphere and almost wholly within the Western Hemisphere. It is also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas...

. Competitors may be professional fishermen supported by commercial endorsements. Other competitions are based purely on length with mandatory catch and release
Catch and release
Catch and release is a practice within recreational fishing intended as a technique of conservation. After capture, the fish are unhooked and returned to the water before experiencing serious exhaustion or injury...

. Either longest fish or total length is documented with a camera and a mandatory sticker or unique item, a practice used since it's hard to weigh a living fish accurately in a boat.

Tournaments usually involve individuals if the fishing is from the land and teams if conducted from boats. A score is awarded for each fish caught. The points awarded depend on the fish's weight and species. Occasionally a score is divided by the strength of the fishing line used, yielding more points to those who use thinner, weaker line. In tag and release competitions, a flat score is awarded per fish species caught, divided by the line strength. Usually sport fishing competitions award a prize to the boat or team with the most points earned.

The internet

Traditional fishing tournaments take place on a confined body of water where a group of participants pursue a common goal and the fishing tournament results are kept within the host community. The internet
The Internet is a global system of interconnected computer networks that use the standard Internet protocol suite to serve billions of users worldwide...

 has started a new trend giving fishing tournaments a world wide presence. The internet lets fishing tournaments take place in multiple bodies of water spanning multiple areas within a country, and even multiple countries. Now anglers who live hundreds of miles apart can participate in the same fishing tournament, pursuing the same prize while fishing in different bodies of water.

Not only are new fishing tournaments being conducted online but now event officials, whose fishing tournaments have been annual events for past decades, are placing their fishing tournaments online as well. Existing fishing tournament participants can post their results online in real-time. These changes have lowered the fish kill
Fish kill
The term fish kill, known also as fish die-off and as fish mortality, is a localized die-off of fish populations which may also be associated with more generalised mortality of aquatic life...

 in many tournaments as participants no longer have to kill their fish for weigh-in if they already know it won’t be a top contender.


The official guide to world salt and freshwater fish records is the World Record Game Fishes, published annually by the International Game Fish Association
International Game Fish Association
The International Game Fish Association is the leading authority on angling pursuits and the keeper of the most current World Record fishing catches by fish categories. Fishermen who are sport fishers are careful to follow their stringent rules for fair play and line requirements in order to...

 (IGFA). The IGFA maintains records for nearly 400 species around the world. The records are categorised, with separate records for juniors, for the type of tackle and line used, for fly fishing, and locality records. The IGFA also organise the world saltwater championship tournaments, the saltwater fisherman's equivalent of the Olympics.

Regional tournaments

In the US, there are nearly 40 million anglers, outnumbering the number of Americans who play golf
Golf is a precision club and ball sport, in which competing players use many types of clubs to hit balls into a series of holes on a golf course using the fewest number of strokes....

 (24.4 million) and tennis
Tennis is a sport usually played between two players or between two teams of two players each . Each player uses a racket that is strung to strike a hollow rubber ball covered with felt over a net into the opponent's court. Tennis is an Olympic sport and is played at all levels of society at all...

(10.4 million) combined. There are an estimated 30,000 to 50,000 fishing derbies and tournaments in the US annually. It is important to note that not all states require fishing events to be registered so it proves difficult to estimate exact numbers.


Because of the potential for large fishing tournaments to impact the environment and fish stocks, standards for fishing tournaments have been developed. An environmental standard designed in Australia rates a tournament's environmental performance as well as social and economic aspects.

External links

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