Fishing Rules

Fishing Rules.

1. Championships & Festivals General.

1.1 The Federation will stage the European Championships – Boat-((European Boat, European Line Class and European Species) Shore and the EFSA Game Championship annually. At least four months prior notice of an application by a section to act as hosts for the European Championships two years hence should be received by the General Secretary, and at least two months prior to the A.G.M. Information with estimated costs should be circulated to all member Sections. Such application must be subject to the approval of the A.G.M. and must, if necessary, be vetted by a sub-committee set up for that purpose.

1.2 It is desirable that the different Championships are held in a different country each year.

1.3 Member Sections having no national sea water may, with the full co-operation of another Section, nominate their Championship to be held in that Section’s waters, but the organisation of such events shall rest with the Section applying, which will be recognised as the Host Section.

1.4 All Championships and Festivals held under the auspices of the Federation shall be open to all members of the Federation who fish for sport.

Size limits.

1.5 Minimum sizes as laid down by the Government of the Country concerned must be recognised.

1.6 Size limits shall be published prior to the Championship. Any physical attempt to interfere with the size of the fish (e.g. extend its length) shall lead to immediate disqualification of the competitor.

1.7 Any competitor bringing a fish under the stipulated size may be disqualified from the event.

1.8 No allowance can be given for shrinkage occurring from the time of capture to the time of weigh-in or recording.

Officer’s participation.

1.9 All members’ fish as members, no special privileges will be extended to the holder of any office in the Federation.

Awards.

1.10 The decision of the Organising Committee of the Section concerned with the running of any competition shall be final so far as the award of trophies and prize is concerned.

1.11 In the event of bad weather, the Organising Committee reserve the right to award trophies and prizes on a total number of days fished.

1.12 The EFSA Award Pins and certain other trophies allocated to Championship can only be awarded to individual (also Junior) and Life Members (also Honorary Life) members of EFSA.

1.13 Championship Pins with Laurel wreath (Gold, Silver and Bronze) to be presented only to the winner, runner up and third place in the European Boat Championship. Championship Pin Game to be presented only to the winner, runner up and third place in the European Game Championship. For other Championships: Line Class, Species and Shore, the winner, runner up and third place will be presented with the Pin Line Class, Species and Shore respectively.

2. General Boat Fishing Rules.

2.1 For the European Boat and Line Class Championships which are held at the same venue within the week, one day line class and four consecutive days general boat fishing, with not less than six hours fishing per day is required for the Championships. The Line Class Championship is to be held on either the first fishing day or last fishing day of the week. The Standing Committee meeting and the A.G.M. are to be held prior to the start of the Championships. For the European Species Championship fishing shall be over two consecutive days with a minimum of six hours fishing each day.

Any deviations must be agreed by the Standing Committee in the form of an approved dispensation.

2.2 A points system shall be used that has been approved by The Standing Committee. The angler with the highest number of points accumulated over the total available number of fishing days of the Championships shall be declared The European Champion for that year.

2.3 Members of Section Teams and Reserves must be registered by name with the Organising Committee by the closing date for entries of the Championship. One reserve angler per team will be allowed. When a member of a team is unable to fish, their name, together with the name of the reserve angler being substituted must be submitted to the Organising Committee prior to commencement of fishing. No reserves are allowed after commencement of the Championship. A Section is allowed to enter a maximum of two official Section Teams into an event, there is no restriction on the number of individuals allowed per Section. However, participation is subject to spaces being available.

2.4 Any sponsorship can only be accepted if approved by the Standing Committee.

2.5 In the interest of conservation, and if possible, all fish should be returned alive to the sea, unless required for record purposes or for consumption.

2.6 Where fish are retained they must be killed after landing and before fishing recommences.

2.7 There shall be a limitation of 5 fish of any species to be landed per angler per day in the European Boat Championship, however, the Organising Committee can request a waiver for specific fish, important in that area. After a fish is killed it cannot be replaced by a heavier/larger fish within that angler’s bag.

2.8 The Host Section must bear responsibility and / or take out third-party insurance to cover the Section and HQ against all possible claims. The Organising Committee shall insure the event against unavoidable losses arising from cancellation of the event. It is the responsibility of the individual angler to insure themselves against losses arising from illness, breakdown or their cancellation for other reasons.

Qualifications and Limitation.

2.9 Section Team events are open to two official Section Teams consisting of 2-5 members from any Member Section, except for the Game events. These teams must be approved by the Executive Committee of the Member Section and only teams so nominated can be accepted by the Organising Committee of the host Section. Section Teams shall consist of A maximum of five anglers with the lowest results each day not counting, where less than five anglers represent a Section no scores are dropped. No member may compete in more than one team in any category within a Championship. A Member Section may not enter an official Section Team into the Championship unless membership fees have been paid as under clause 17.2 of the Constitution. In addition a Member Section must be represented at the Standing Committee meeting held in conjunction with the Championships to qualify for the Section’s Team entry.

2.10 Official Section Team members shall not be allowed to fish together in the same boat on any day of the Championship. These anglers must be seeded before the boat draw.

2.11 No more than two members of any Official Section Team can be members of any other team apart from the randomly drawn Executive Team category. No member may compete in more than one team in any category within the Championship.

2.12 All fish caught in Championships and Festivals organised by, or on behalf of the Federation shall be disposed of at the discretion of the Organising Committee.

2.13 Under no circumstances shall any Section, club or individual be allowed to reserve a boat for their own use in any Championship.

2.14 The Organising Committee shall be responsible for selecting the competitors for each boat. Competitor’s names will be drawn for named boats by public ballot, witnessed and signed by independent people, followed by a draw for boat positions in the same way or by drawing for boat positions onboard.

2.15 For reasons of disablement only, the Organising Committee may allocate a special safe boat place, provided application is made on the application form. If man and wife or adult/junior wish to fish together, this must be stated on the application form. The safe boat position rule may also be applied at the discretion of the fishing captain, but only for Senior anglers over the age of 65 and Juniors under 18 years of age.

2.16 An Angling Captain shall be selected for each boat and they shall be responsible for the liaison with the skipper of the boat and the observance of the Federation rules.

2.17 Each competitor shall have equal angling time. The qualification being that those competitors in smaller, slow boats will have no handicap in relation to competitors angling on larger and/or faster boats. In the event of significant (minimum ½ an hour) angling time being lost, due to breakdown of boat, the anglers on that boat will be allocated points / weight proportionally to the angling time they have lost, to bring their result up to a full days angling. It will be the duty of the boat skipper and angling captain on each boat to enforce the time for “lines down” and “lines up” Boats may leave and arrive at port at staggered intervals as decided by the organising Committee.

2.18 In the event of an angler being in the process of playing a fish at the end of angling time, and provided that they have announced that a ‘fish is on’, this angler shall be allowed to attempt to land this fish. Any fish hooked after “lines up’ has been called does not count. This and/or any other cause resulting in a late arrival at the weighing-in point must be reported in writing or via a radio or telephone to the Organising Committee by the boat skipper and angling captain of the boat concerned. Non acceptance of such a report by the Organising Committee may result in the anglers from the boat concerned being disqualified. Catches should, however, wherever practicable, be officially weighed or recorded and information passed to the Organising Committee whose decision will be final.

Boat Competition Rules.

2.19 A competitor taking part in any event organised by, or on behalf of the Federation in conjunction with any Section, Federation or Club, shall use only one rod and reel with running line, a second rod and reel may be assembled and ready for use but terminal tackle must NOT be attached to both rods at the same time. Terminal tackle is classed as the trace/s to which the hook/s is attached. Additional reserve rods may be carried, but these must not be assembled in anyway whatsoever.

2.20 Terminal tackle and species limitations shall be laid down by the Section’s Organising Committee but shall meet the approval of the Standing Committee. Only justifiable limits on tackle and methods will be approved.

2.21 The Committee organising the competition may prohibit the use of any type of equipment which in their opinion is likely to cause danger or discomfort to any competitor or other person. Casting is only allowed if sanctioned by the Organising/Standing Committee.

2.22 Bait Angling: a maximum of two single hooks may be used. Each hook must be a separate single hook and must be free swinging. Positioning of hooks may be spaced on the trace above or below the weight.

Pirks: may be fitted with or without free swinging hooks (single, double or treble). Only a hook with a single point may be baited.

Plugs/Artificial Lures: double or treble hooks are permitted when attached to plugs and other artificial lures that are specifically designed for this use. Those hooks must be free swinging and shall be limited to a maximum of three hooks (either single, double, treble or a combination of any three). A photograph or sketch of the plug or lure must be submitted with record applications.

If not satisfactory the plug or lure itself may be requested. When using an artificial lure with a skirt or trailing materials, not more than two single hooks may be attached to the lure, leader or trace. The hooks need not be attached separately. The eyes of the hooks must be not less than an overall hook’s length (the overall length of the largest hook used) apart and no more than 30cm apart. The only exception is that the point of one hook may be passed through the eye of the other hook. The trailing hook may not extend more than a hook’s length beyond the skirt of the lure. A photograph or sketch showing the hook arrangement must accompany a record application.

2.23 Length of Shock Leader: Shock leaders must not exceed 4.5 metres for up-tide angling, and the combined length of shock leader and trace shall not exceed 6.0 metres.

2.24 Hand lining is barred, as is the shooting, harpooning or lancing of a fish.

2.25 Beaching or driving of fish hooked from a boat into shallow water in order to deprive said fish of its normal ability to swim is prohibited.

2.26 Persons other than the angler are not allowed to adjust the reel drag or touch any part of the tackle during the playing of a fish, nor may they give aid other than taking hold of the leader (trace) for gaffing purpose, or in replacing or adjusting the harness or gimbal. Only one person is permitted to hold the leader/trace, but others may gaff or net.

2.27 At no time during the playing of a fish shall the rod rest on the gunwales or any part of the boat, except by special permission granted by the Organising Committee to disabled persons. Permission for dispensation must be requested on the application form.

2.28 Competitors must bait their own hooks. Assistance is allowed with the extraction of hooks.

2.29 Fighting chairs may be used but the gimbal must be free swinging. Any gimbal which allows the angler to reduce the strain or rest while fighting the fish is prohibited.

2.30 The Organising Committee for Championship events shall apply to Standing Committee for permission to disallow any species of fish other than Weavers. Weavers can not be weighed-in or recorded for points.

2.31 A foul-hooked fish is one which has not been brought to the gaff or landed, hooked in front of the rear edge of the gill cover.

2.32 A fish having one hook in its mouth and another hook in its body shall count for

the angler who has the hook which is in the mouth of the fish. Any fish having hooks from more than one angler in its mouth shall be disqualified. If two or more anglers hook a fish in front of the rear end of gill cover or gill slit, and none of the hooks are in the mouth, in this instance the fish shall be disqualified. The responsibility for adjudicating on these matters comes under the jurisdiction of the person appointed as angling captain of the boat.

2.33 In the interest of conservation, slow growing species, particularly Common Skate, should be returned to the water without undue delay, and whilst still alive, if taken in a competition such species should if possible be weighed on board and returned to the water after witnessing by at least two other anglers and the boat skipper.

2.34 As an alternative to weighing on board a points system may be applied according to measurement e.g. in the case of Skate and Rays the maximum width in a straight line from wing tip to wing tip. Any such system must be approved by the EFSA Standing Committee before being applied.

2.35 Bait: Natural bait must be supplied by the Host Section, same kind and same amount to each competitor and only that may be used in the Championship. Any natural bait left at the end of the day must be disposed of as directed by the organisers and must not be used on any subsequent day. The only other bait allowed will be any bait caught by the competitor during the day’s angling at sea. Bait for Festivals and Section competitions are at the discretion of the Organising Committee. Artificial baits and lures may be used by any competitor.

2.36 The angler is totally responsible for their catch until it is brought to the scales and a receipt is received or until it is formally recorded and signed for.

2.37 Where a fish, hooked fairly, is lost in the process of being gaffed or netted, it shall be allowed to count provided it is immediately recaptured by the gaff or net handler. Any fish lost by any angler whilst attempting to lift it into the boat unaided shall not count. Recaptured fish shall not be eligible for record purposes.

2.38 In the event of a dispute as to the identity of a fish, then the angler who has caught the fish must retain the fish and bring it to the weigh –in point so that formal identification can be carried out by the event organisers.

2.39 Any deviation from these rules must be sanctioned by the Standing Committee.

2.40 Power assisted reels are only allowed when so designated.

2.41 All tackle and terminal tackle for the Line Class Championship must comply with the record requirements of Line Class Rules section 5.

Groundbait.

    1. Groundbait and the use of rubby-dubby is permitted on all occasions during a competition by an individual angler; but may not be laid previous to a competition. This groundbait or rubby-dubby can only consist of the bait given to the individual angler, or any fish, mollusc or crustacean they catch during the competition period. The blood of mammals is not permitted. Rubby-dubby for the benefit of all the anglers on a boat can only be deployed with the agreement of the majority of anglers onboard, and this must consist solely of unwanted species, bait discards and remnants returned to a common box solely for the purpose of baiting a rubby-dubby device for the benefit of all anglers on the boat.

Boatmen and boats.

2.43 Boatmen in charge of boats that have competitors on board are barred from angling except from the catching of bait prior to the commencement of the competition.

3. General Game Competition Rules.

3.1 For all Game Fishing events or for anglers wishing to submit a claim for a world record catch, rules will be as laid down by the International Game Fish Association (www.igfa.org), details of which can be obtained from the H.Q Secretary, or Secretary of the member’s Sections.

3.2 The EFSA Game Championship is a Team event.

Teams will consist of 2 and up to 5 anglers (the number of anglers allowed per team will be decided by the Organising Committee, depending on the available space in the boats).

3.3 There is no restriction on the number of teams allowed per Section in the European Game Championship, however, subject to spaces and boats being available.

3.4 There is no restriction on the number of teams allowed per Section in the EFSA Game Championship, however, subject to spaces and boats being available.

3.5 Open Team event is open to all anglers including non EFSA Members Team.

3.6 The EFSA Game Championship, fishing shall be over three or four consecutive days with a minimum of six hours fishing. In case of four days Championship a lay day can be included within the fishing days.

3.7 The Organising Committee shall be responsible for allocating the team for each boat. Teams will be drawn for named boats by public ballot, witnessed and signed by independent people, followed by a draw for boat positions in the same way if requested.

3.8 Terminal tackle, species limitations and fishing rules shall be laid down by the Section’s Organising Committee but shall meet the approval of the Standing Committee. Only justifiable limits on tackle and methods will be approved.

3.9 As an alternative to weighing on board, a points system may be applied according to measurement. Any such system must be approved by the EFSA Standing Committee before being applied.

3.10 Natural bait must be supplied by the Organising Committee, same kind and same amount to each team and only that may be used in the Championship. Any natural bait left at the end of the day must not be used on any subsequent day. The only other bait allowed will be any bait caught by the competitor during the day’s angling time at sea. Bait for Festivals and Section competitions are at the discretion of the Organising Committee. Artificial baits and lures may be used by any competitor.

3.11 In the event of an angler being in the process of playing a fish at the end of angling time, and provided that they have announced that a ‘fish is on’, an extra time not exceeding 60 minutes shall be allowed to attempt to land this fish. Any fish hooked after “lines up’ has been called does not count.

3.12 Each Team shall have equal angling time. In case of failure or breakdown of a boat, when possible it will be replaced. In case will not be possible to replace the boat, in any case, no extra time will be allowed.

3.13 Team is totally responsible for their catch, video and photos (when requested) until it is brought to the scales and a receipt is received or until it is formally recorded and signed for.

3.14 Team is totally responsible for compliance of any fishing tackle with IGFA and EFSA rules, even those provided by the Charter Boats.

3.15 In the event of a dispute as to the identity of a fish, then the Team who has caught the fish must retain the fish and bring it to the Organising Committee so that formal identification can be carried out.

If the fish must be released, than the fish cannot be retained and the identity of the fish will be carried out from video or photo.

Any deviation from these rules must be sanctioned by the Standing Committee.

4. General Shore Competition Rules.

4.1 Angling will be from a peg allocated by means of a draw which will take place on peg 1 of each zone every day. Competitors must fish from their allotted peg number.

4.2 All matches to be pegged in 5 zones. The fishing zones for each competitor for each day of the overall competition will be drawn on the registration evening.

4.3 All Shore Championships shall be fished over 3 qualifying days.

4.4 A minimum size list shall be given to all competitors before the competitions start.

4.5 The start and finish of the match will be signalled by a whistle, or other audible or visible signal.

4.6 Competitors are allowed to wet and stretch their lines with the use of a plain lead with no trace attached, but not in the final 15 minutes before the start of the match.

4.7 Competitors shall not have in use more than one rod at a time. A reserve rod is allowed but must not have terminal tackle attached. A maximum of three single hooks per trace is allowed, a pennel rig counting as 2 hooks. Spare baited traces are allowed.

4.8 The use of bait additives or extracts will not be permitted, and the practice of ‘ground baiting’ and/or the use of ‘rubby-dubby’ is prohibited.

4.9 Beads, sequins, tubing, and muppets. All these are allowed on hook lengths, with no restriction on length, quantity, or combination of these, as long as nothing hangs below, or protrudes over, the eye of the hook.

4.10 Floats and float fishing are not allowed, unless the float is tethered to a ledgered line.

4.11 Assistance may be given to land a fish, but no one other than the competitor shall handle the rod, except for reasons of safety.

4.12 A fish which is hooked behind the gill cover is classed as ‘foul hooked’. If a fish is so hooked, or is hooked on more than one line, it is automatically disqualified and should be returned to the sea immediately where practicable. This also applies to fish landed on lost traces. The responsibility for observing, and implementing this rule, comes under the jurisdiction of the neighbouring angler.

4.13 All competitors must bait their own hooks, and must cast and retrieve their own tackle/traces. Assistance is allowed with the extraction of hooks.

4.14 Bait will be provided each day, by the organizers, sufficient for that day, and will be put in similar bags to be picked at random by the participating anglers. Competitors are not allowed to use any bait other than that supplied. Any infringement of this rule will result in automatic disqualification. Upon conclusion of each day’s fishing any unused bait shall be disposed of and none shall be carried over to the next day.

4.15 All competitions are to be run on a ‘catch and release’ basis, and points awarded at 1 point per centimetre length, and 5 points per fish. No fish = no points.

The angler with the greatest number of points will be awarded first place, and 2nd, 3rd, 4th places etc. given to competitors in descending order of points scored.

In case of a ‘tie’, places will be awarded on countback of fish.

4.16 The zone winner will receive a point per number of anglers in the zone i.e. 9 anglers = 9 points, 2nd place angler will receive 8 points. In the event one zone has 10 anglers, then the winning angler of EACH zone will receive 10 points and the rest of the positions will be scored pro rate.

4.17 The winner of the Championship will be the angler with the most zone points over the 3 days. In the event of a tie, number of fish will be calculated. If there is still a tie then the total length of fish caught will be calculated. This rule only applies to the overall results and not the daily results.

4.18 When an angler catches fish, they are permitted to cast out another trace before taking the fish to the steward to be recorded. However, they must not retrieve that trace until their previous catch has been dealt with. All competitors must have their fish recorded by an angler who is not a member of their own team or Section.

4.19 It is a condition of entry that all anglers must be prepared to act as stewards. All competitors must have their scorecard signed by their neighbouring angler and must sign the zone master sheet before leaving the zone. Failure to comply will result in disqualification for that day.

4.20 Fish may be kept in water, but any physical attempt to interfere with the size of the fish (e.g. extend their length) shall lead to the disqualification of the competitor. The match organisers’ decision, with regard to the size of the fish at the time of recording, or in the event of any dispute not covered by these rules, shall be final.

All undersized fish must be returned alive immediately after capture where practicable.

4.21 No allowance can be given for shrinkage occurring from the time of capture to the time of recording.

4.22 No competitor shall fish along the waterline closer than five metres to another competitor, other than by mutual consent.

4.23 Any fish to be kept for culinary purposes must be over the minimum size and must have the tail removed once being humanely dispatched in full view of the angler signing for it.

4.24 Competitors are only permitted to wade into the sea up to their knees in order to cast, but must then return to the beach.

4.25 No competitor shall fish in the match area in a period commencing seven days before the start of each day’s angling

4.26 The match organisers have the right to refuse any entry.

4.27 Double drawing of pegs is not permitted.

4.28 Any complaints must be submitted in writing to the match organisers not later than 1hour after the end of the match. The decision of the match committee shall be final.

4.29 All competitors must return their peg to the zone official and return their angling scorecard when signing out.

4.30 Any competitor who acts in a manner considered by the organisers to be against the spirit of the competition or the interests of the other anglers and fair play may be disqualified at the sole discretion of the organisers.

4.31 Weavers, Mackerel, Sandeels and/or Launce cannot be recorded.

4.32 A shock leader of minimum 24kgs.breaking strain and not less than 7 metres long shall be used by all competitors.

4.33 All competitors shall collect and remove their rubbish from the beach at the end of each day’s fishing, and dispose of responsibly.

4.34 The Organising Committee and EFSA shall not be held responsible for any loss, damage, accident or injury occurring during the event.

4.35 The Organising Section shall appoint a protest committee consisting of four members of separate competing Sections wherever possible and an HQ officer if present.

4.36 All open 2, 3, and 4 man teams to be a blind draw.

4.37 A National / Section Team shall consist of 5 anglers. The best 4 scores will count each day.

4.38 A maximum of 2 teams can represent a Section.

4.39 All fishing will be to EFSA fishing rules. Any dispensations from the EFSA rules for Championships, whether from the check list or the main shore rule list, must be applied for in a Standing Committee meeting and communicated to all anglers competing prior to commencement of the event.

5. Line Class and Fly Fishing Rules.

5.1. Eligibility.

5.1.1 All fish caught in accordance with the EFSA Record Rules shall be eligible for consideration for record status providing the fish have been caught within the area defined by longitude 30° W to 65° E and latitude 23.5° N to 80° N and including Greenland.

5.1.2 Only fish which are hooked in front of the gills/gill slit can be considered for record status. A fish which is landed or brought to the gaff/net hooked behind the gills shall be deemed as “foul hooked”.

5.2. Record Categories.

5.2.1 All Tackle Records – The heaviest fish of any species caught either from a boat or from the shore with a Rod, Reel and Line not exceeding the strength of 60kg.

5.2.2 Line Class Records – Boats The heaviest fish of a species taken on any of the following Line Classes, angling either from a boat or from the shore. (Separate acceptable Line Classes apply to each individual specie.)

“4 pound” Class: lines up to and including 2kg breaking strain.

“8 pound” Class: lines over 2kg and up to 4kg breaking strain.

“12 pound” Class: lines over 4kg and up to 6kg breaking strain.

“16 pound” Class: lines over 6kg and up to 8kg breaking strain.

“20 pound” Class: lines over 8kg and up to 10kg breaking strain.

“30 pound” Class: lines over 10kg and up to 15kg breaking strain.

“50 pound” Class: lines over 15kg and up to 24kg breaking strain.

“80 pound” Class: lines over 24kg and up to 37kg breaking strain.

“130 pound” Class: lines over 37kg and up to 60kg breaking strain.

5.2.3 Shore Records

The heaviest fish of any species caught from the shore with Rods, Reel and Line not exceeding the strength of 60kg.

5.2.4 Boat caught: – includes those fish caught from any man-made structure which may be moored but not permanently anchored to the sea bed.

Shore caught: – means those fish caught from a natural shore or any man-made structure permanently secured to the sea bed.

5.2.5 For all the above records the average of several dry tests will be taken to record the line strength. Should this result in the line testing over the strength stated on the claim form then wet tests will be undertaken to determine the average strength. A latitude of one line class either side of the manufacturer’s stated breaking strain is allowed. That is to say that if the claim form states the line to be 6kg it can test between 2 kg and 6 kg to be given the 6 kg record. If it overtests between 6 kg and 8 kg and the fish is also a record in that class then it will be given the 8 kg record for the species. Claims with lines testing outside these limits will be rejected.

5.3. Acceptance of Records.

5. 3.1 Only those fish caught in accordance with the rules will be accepted for record consideration.

5.3.2 Claims will only be accepted if the date of the catch was not more than two months prior to the date of receipt of the claim by the European Federation of Sea Anglers

5.3.3 If a claim for a record is submitted without full particulars, a period of two months from the time of notification to this effect by EFSA will be allowed for the claimant to complete the claim to the satisfaction of EFSA.

5.3.4 To replace an existing record a fish must exceed the weight of that record by at least the following weights: – Weight Range Margin (Not less than)

0 to 10kg (22lbs) 50 grammes (2oz)

10 to 25kg (56lbs) 100 grammes (4oz)

25 to 50kg (110lbs) 200 grammes (8oz)

50 to 100kg (220lbs) 500 grammes (18oz)

Over 100kg (220lbs) 0.5 per cent ½%

If the difference is less then it will be considered as a tie with the existing record.

5.3.5 If an angler is submitting a fish for consideration as an I.G.F.A. record the responsibility rests solely with the angler to ensure the method of capture and requirements of the I.G.F.A. are complied with.

5.4. Record Lists.

5.4.1 The Fish Recorder will compile and publish an accredited list of current records in all classes at the end of each calendar year. Copies will be available to Members Sections, and all interested anglers.

5.4.2 Provision will be made in the Record List to show where the holder is a member of EFSA by placing an asterisk before the name, if this information is available.

5.5. Tackle limitations.

5.5.1 Boat Rods: minimum length of rod tip including foregrip 130cm. (51″) with the maximum butt length 70cm. both measured from the centre of the reel. A curved rod butt is to be measured in a straight line.

5.5.2 Shore Rods: no maximum length restriction, minimum as for boat rods. Fishing with Poles from the shore, the maximum length of elastic attached to the pole allowed is 0.5 metres and the line class claim should be the breaking strain of the longest length of line, whether this is the main line or that deemed to be the trace.

5.5.3 Reels: there is no size restriction but ratchet handled reels, motor or hydraulically driven or double handed types are prohibited.

5.5.4 Lines: Mono and multi-filament lines are permitted. Wire lines are also permitted, but for record purposes only. Main reel line has to be provided by the host Section, whether sponsored or not and such line must be used by all anglers. The use of any other line will lead to disqualification of the competitor.

5.5.5 Traces/Leaders: Traces or leaders may be of single or multiple strand wire, braided wire or any other material in use as a fishing lines, and may be of any breaking strain. The leader on line classes up to and including the 10kg class shall be limited to 4.5m, the combined length of the leader and double line shall not exceed 6.0m. The leader on all classes of tackle above 10kg shall be limited to 9.0m and the combined length of leader and double line shall not exceed 12m.

5.5.6 Terminal Tackle: The maximum number of hooks permitted shall be two.

“Bottom Rig”: may consist of up to two single hooks on separate leader or drops.

“Troll and Live-Bait Rigs”: A maximum of two single hooks may be used with both hooks embedded in a single bait in such a way that the distance (measured eye to eye) between them is at least one hook length and at most 45cm apart. Plugs/Artificial Lures: double or treble hooks are permitted when attached to plugs and other artificial lures that are specifically designed for this use. Those hooks must be free swinging and shall be limited to a maximum of three hooks (either single, double, treble or a combination of any three). A photograph or sketch of the plug or lure must be submitted with record applications.

If not satisfactory the plug or lure itself may be requested.

5.6. Other equipment.

5.6.1 A rod belt with butt pad and shoulder harness may be used. When a harness is attached directly to the rod it must not be positioned more than 30cm ahead of the centre of the reel, provided this is not forward of the handgrip.

5.6.2 Fighting chairs may not have any mechanical device which aids the angler in fighting fish. Gimbals must be totally free swinging and must not be such that they allow the angler to rest or reduce strain whilst fighting a fish.

5.6.3 The use of a float is permitted for the sole purpose of regulating the depth of the bait or for drifting a bait.

5.7. Gaffs and landing nets.

5.7.1 The handle on any gaffs (fixed or flying) and/or landing net shall be such that the overall length of the gaff or net shall not be greater than 250cm. These limitations do not apply when shore angling or when the size of the boat is such as requires a longer gaff or net handle to reach the water.

5.7.2 The use of a drop net is permitted.

5.7.3 In the case of a flying or detachable gaff the attached line may not exceed 920cm the length being measured from the point of attachment.

5.8. Playing and landing a fish.

5.8.1 If a rod holder is used, the angler himself must remove the rod from the holder and must hook, fight and bring the fish to the gaff unaided by any other person.

5.8.2 No person other than the angler may touch any part of the rod, reel or running line when the fish is being played, but other persons may hold the leader and gaff the fish.

5.8.3 Where a fish hooked fairly is lost in the process of being gaffed or netted, it shall be allowed to count provided it is immediately recaptured by the gaff or net handler. Any fish lost by any angler whilst attempting to lift it into the boat unaided shall not count. Recaptured fish shall not be eligible for record purposes.

5.9. Acts causing disqualification.

The following will cause disqualification for recognition of record status:

5.9.1 Failure to comply with the rules concerning tackle specifications and playing of the fish.

5.9.2 Changing the rod or reel, splicing the line or removal or addition thereto of any item during the playing of the fish.

5.9.3 A rod which breaks at a point which reduces the length of the tip below the minimum requirements.

5.9.4 Hand-lining or using a hand-line or rope attached in any manner to the angler’s line or leader for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish.

5.9.5 Shooting, harpooning or lancing any fish including sharks at any stage of the catch.

5.9.6 Mutilations caused by sharks, other fish or propellers that penetrate or remove flesh (injuries caused by line or leader, scratches, old healed scars and regenerations shall not be considered as disqualifying injuries).

5.9.7 Chumming with any part or products of mammals.

5.9.8 Beaching or driving into shallow water any fish hooked from a boat in order to deprive the fish of its normal ability to swim.

5.9.9 Resting of the rod on the gunwale or the boat or any handrail, capstan etc., while playing a fish.

5.10. Weighing.

5.10.1 Only weighing done ashore will be accepted.

5.10.2 No estimated weights will be accepted e.g. grammes or divisions of an ounce included in the weight must actually be shown as marked divisions on the weighing device. In the case of weight indications falling between indicated marks on the scale, the mark below the indication of the actual weight shown must be read, i.e. the weight must not be up-graded to the mark above that actually indicated.

5.10.3 Checking: Weighing devices should be such that they can be checked for accuracy by a Government Agency or similar body.

5.10.4 The weighing must be confirmed by two independent witnesses.

5.11. Claim requirements.

5.11.1 The fish must have been caught and weighed in accordance with the rules.

5.11.2 Claims will not be accepted for consideration if more than two months have lapsed between capture and receipt of claim by EFSA Fish Recorder unless special circumstances apply at the discretion of the Fish Recorder.

5.11.3 The claim must be submitted on an official claim form duly completed.

This requires:

(a) Information concerning the exact place of capture, together with the description of tackle used (maker’s name etc), boat or shore designation, captor’s full name and address, club membership (if any).

(b) The signatures and address of two independent witnesses to the capture. Witnesses must not be related to the angler.

(c) A notarisation or its equivalent must be provided with the claim in the case of no independent/unrelated witnesses actually seeing the capture taking place.

(d) The completion of the declaration to the correctness of detail of the capture by the claimant.

(e) The exact weight of the fish, details of the place of weighing and description of the scales used (maker’s name etc) and a scale certificate of accuracy.

(f) Signatures and address of two witnesses to the weighing. These witnesses to be different from the witnesses of the actual capture and must not be related to the angler.

(g) The claim may be submitted on an Entry Form for any other recognised governing angling body, or record committee, provided that the entry details stated contain all the information as required by EFSA.

(h) All claims must be accompanied by the following: A certificate indicating the accuracy of the scales used if these are not regularly approved by a Government Agency. The certificate should not be pre-date the actual weighing by more than 12 months.

(i) Photographs: The fish in question must be photographed on its side showing all fins spread, and in the case of flat fish (and rays and skates) complete views of upper and lower surfaces. In the case of sharks a close up photograph of the open mouth, clearly showing the teeth must also be provided. All photographs must include an object of definable size or a measuring scale i.e. matchbox or ruler.

(j) 15 metres of the actual running line. Photographs of the rod and reel, including the terminal tackle, used in making the capture.

(k) If the identity of the fish is likely to be in doubt the body of the fish should be kept deep frozen or otherwise preserved in the flesh whenever possible, so that it can be produced if required for inspection by a person or persons appointed by the European Federation of Sea Anglers.

5.12 European Fly Fishing Records.

These rules relate specifically to additional or alternative requirements required for the capture of records using fly-fishing methods.

5.12.1

The European Saltwater Fly Fishing Records will be single All Tackle entries for fish caught using fly fishing methods. All applicable Fishing and Line Class Rules will still apply and the rules set out below should be read in conjunction with those rules. There is no restriction on the breaking strain of the fly and backing line. The breaking strain of the leader, excluding any shock tippet or butt or taper section, should not exceed 10kgs (22lbs 1oz).

There will be only one entry for each species irrespective of whether the fish has been caught on a boat or from the shore.

The minimum acceptable weight for any fish to be considered for a record will be 1kg (2lbs 3ozs). Claims for all existing acceptable species will be accepted together with any for a new specie where the fish weighs at least 1kg.

      1. Line.

Any type of fly line and backing may be used. The breaking strain of the fly line and backing, if used, must not exceed 60kgs.

5.12.3 Leader.

Leaders must conform to generally accepted fly fishing customs.

A leader may incorporate a shock tippet. In addition a butt or taper section between the fly line and the leader may be used.

A leader must be made of non-metallic material and should be attached directly to the fly or shock tippet.

A shock tippet which must not exceed 30.48cm (6ins) in length may be added to the leader and tied to the lure. It can be made of any type of material and there is no limit on its breaking strength. The shock tippet is measured from the eye of the hook to the single strand of leader and includes any knots used to connect the shock tippet to the leader. In the case of a tandem hook fly, the shock tippet shall be measured from the eye of the leading hook.

The total length of the leader, including any shock tippet, butt or taper section, must not exceed 6 metres (19 feet 8ins)

      1. Rod.

Regardless of materials used or number of sections, rods must conform to generally accepted fly fishing customs and practices. A rod shall not measure less than 1.82 metres (6 feet) in overall length. Any rod that gives the angler an unsporting advantage will be disqualified

Extension butts are limited to 15.24cm (6ins).

      1. Reel.

The reel must be designed expressly for fly fishing. There are no restrictions on gear ratio or type of drag employed except where the angler would gain an unfair advantage.

      1. Hooks.

A conventional fly may be dressed on a single, double or treble hook or two single hooks in tandem. The second hook in any tandem fly must not extend beyond the wing material. The eyes of the hooks shall be no further than 15.24cm (6ins) apart.

      1. Lures.

The lure must be a recognised type of artificial fly, which includes streamer, bucktail, tube fly, wet fly, dry fly, nymph, popper and bug. The use of any other type of lure or natural or preserved bait, either singularly or attached to the fly, is expressly prohibited.

Only a single fly is allowed.

Dropper flies are prohibited.

The fact that a lure can be cast with a fly rod is not evidence in itself that it fits the definition of a fly.

The use of any lure designed to entangle or foul-hook a fish is prohibited.

No scent, either natural or artificial, is allowed on flies. The use of scented material in a fly is prohibited.

      1. Fishing Method.

Casting and retrieving must be carried out in accordance with normal customs and generally accepted practices. The major criterion in casting is that the weight of the line must carry the lure rather than the weight of the lure carrying the line.

Trolling a lure behind a moving watercraft is not permitted. The craft must be completely out of gear both at the time the fly is presented to the fish and during the retrieve.

      1. Line Testing.

The complete length of leader, excluding any shock tippet, butt or taper section, should be sent in with the claim for testing. To be awarded the European fly record this must not test above 10kg (22lbs 1oz).

      1. Claim Procedure.

The normal claim form for European, British and Light Tackle Club records should be used but it should be clearly marked FLY RECORD. Care should be taken on completing the various sections to demonstrate that the above requirements have been met. For example under the entry for Type of Lure or Bait the detailed description of the lure should be given. If necessary additional information should be attached to the claim form.

Footnote:

Whereas these requirements almost agree with those of the IGFA for the capture of World fly records, there are some differences. For example the use of a treble hook will disqualify a claim for the World Record. Anglers are advised to check on the requirements of the IGFA if they are concerned about claiming World Records.

Current approved version of EFSA Fishing Rules; ratified 28th March 2015.