Official: Catfish Tournament on the Schuylkill Banks.

Hello, Dear Readers.
So, the permit for the first Catfish Tourney on the Schuylkill Banks finally arrived:

The set date for the competition is May 26th (Rain/Weather Date: June 2nd), which is a Sunday. The weather has been a little bit fuzzy, but it will normalize by then. Hopefully, water temperatures will be around 60-80 in May, meaning that the Tournament will be productive and fun for everyone!
Although this is a friendly Tourney, I want to make it as professional as possible. This means that I want to provide the fun while also giving the unique excitement of a competition, "in situ." Therefore, I ask everyone to read and follow the set of rules below if he/she wishes to participate in it. I believe that a good collaboration among anglers will certainly result in good experiences for everyone (especially kids, if there are any present). Now...let's go over the final rules of our little friendly tourney:
1. The Event and the Rules (they may be subjected to changes at any given time).
Please, read every one of these very carefully:
A. The Event:

- The first official Catfish Tourney on the Banks will happen between the Locust and Chestnut Bridges on the Schuylkill Banks. The official date for it is April 14th - 2013, which is a Sunday. In case of rain or weather issues, the Rain Date is set to be one week after - April 21st, 2013. Registered participants will be contacted through e-mail/phone 1 day prior to the event in case of bad weather. The original plan is to hold a monthly Catfish Tourney on the Schuylkill Banks from April to September - 6 in total.

- The entry fee for the competition is 20 dollars - cash only. Kids are excluded from this fee; however, they will be counted as one party, together with their parents (see next section for more details on kids).
- Public Transportation is available (Amtrak - Regional Rails, and Septa) through the 30th street-station, and it's highly recommended. The distance between the site of the competition and the station is a 10 minutes walk. For cars, there's parking along the Walnut and Chestnut bridges, as well as parking around 26th and Locust and below. In other words, parking should not be difficult to find.
- The minimum number of participants for each competition to happen is 10 (ten). If there are not enough participants (which is unlikely to happen), they will be contacted 2 days prior to the competition about its cancellation, and the next competition will be schedule then. Notice that higher the number of participants, higher the amount of the prize (see prize section; section 3). Therefore, invite your buddies to come. =) 

- Instead of the traditional format of 6 a.m.-3 p.m., the Catfish Tourney on the Banks will start at 9 a.m. sharp, and end at 3 p.m. (lasting 6 hours instead of 9 hours, which is already some extreme fishing for certain anglers!). Therefore, it's highly recommended for people to show up 1 hour or half an hour prior to the beginning of the event for choosing a good spot, setting up, etc.

- Prizes will be awarded half an hour after the end of the competition, in situ. Therefore, everyone that won (1st, 2nd, 3rd place, and biggest Catfish) will walk out of the event with the prize in their pockets, which will be distributed as cash. Notice that this friendly tourney is profit-free. For more details, see the prize section; section 3.
- Since this is a friendly competition, participants are free to leave the site at any moment. There's a restroom between Locust and Walnut on the Schuylkill Banks, and there is a Rite Aid on 23rd and Walnut, in case anyone needs water or food. If there are small emergencies, participants may leave and come back, as far as they come back within the range of the competition (9-3p.m.)
- Kids (16 and below) are highly encouraged to participate, and they don't require any fee to enter the competition. Also, they are not required to have a fishing license in order to fish. One child per participant is the ideal case (note that the parent is responsible for his/her child's safety in situ). The kid will be counted as part of its parent's "team," and the result of both will be summed as one.
B. The General Fishing Rules:
- A PA fishing license is required for anyone older than the age of 16 (as the law says), and it must be shown to one of the judges (there will 2 in total) before the beginning of the competition. Participation without a license will not be permitted. The license can be purchased online, or in-person at certain stores. 
- Fishing spots will be taken on a FCFS basis (first-come, first-served); therefore, no right to complain if one comes late: you are being advised, and you should time yourself for the event. Also, for more comfort and better fishing, anglers should stay 6 meters apart from each other (about 20 feet). Chances are that there will be available spots for everyone (plenty of spots!); however, I'm writing these out just in case.     
- 2 fishing rods per Participant (kid or no kid), 2 fishing hook per rod. Although the PA law states that it's legal to fish 3 rods per session and 3 hooks per rod, the competition will work on the 2 rod per person and 2 hook per rod rule, with the purpose of preserving space for other participants to set their equipments. Anyone disrespecting this rule will be disqualified.
- For weight-in: there will be 2 weight-in posts (my friend and I) in total - one between Locust and Walnut, and the other one between Walnut and Chestnut. Instead of the traditional weight-in system, which happens at the end of the competition, the weight-in for this specific competition will happen just after catching the fish. After successfully landing a fish, the participant should go to a weigh-in post to have his/her fish recorded in terms of weight and length.

-There will be a penalty for mishandling fish. Every fish should be perfectly caught and released. In cases where the fish is heavily injured as consequence of the angler's actions, and dies, there will be a severe penalty of 5lbs per incident. Therefore, follow the guidelines for safely practicing CPR. Note: a net is highly recommended for landing big fish (drop net or long net), and it will not be provided by the staff. A Balzer fishing net, which can scoop fish up at the Schuylkill even in the lowest tide, will be available for "renting" at a cost of 1lb per fish. In other words, the measured fish scooped with the lent net will be counted 1lb less in the record chart. 
- Only Catfish (Channel, White, Flathead, Bullhead) will be counted as part of the tourney. Each participant can weight-in as many Catfish as possible, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.. The five biggest ones (lbs) will be used to determined the final result for certain participant.  
2. Registration
In order to register, send an e-mail to "" with the subject "Catfish Tourney on the Banks." Please, include your name in it.
After receiving the e-mail, I'll e-mail the person back with a formal registration chart, requesting some additional information. Once the person fills up the registration chart and e-mail it back to me, the same will be officially registered in the tourney of certain month.
3. Results and Prizes
The prizes will be distributed for 1st, 2nd, and 3rd places. There's also a small prize for the "Biggest Catfish."

The prizes will be distributed as it follows (in cash): 

- 20% of the total amount of money gathered in each tourney will go to a non-profit organization in PA or USA that focuses on environmental conservation and/or aquatic environments. Therefore, the "Catfish Tourney on the Banks." is a profit-free event.

After subtracting 20% from the final amount of cash gathered, the prizes will be distributed as it follows:

1st place: 40%
2nd place: 30%
3rd place: 20%
Big Catfish: 10%

Example: Since the minimum number of participants must be 10, the total amount of money will be 10*20= $200.

20% of 200 will go to a non-profit organization: $40

The remaining $160 will be distributed as it follows:

1st place: 40% --> $64
2nd place: 30% --> $48
3rd place: 20% --> $32
Big Catfish: 10% --> $16
Note: if, for example, the first place is accounted for the biggest Catfish of the day, that person will be taking $64+16.

If the number of participants are actually 20 instead of 10: 20*20= $400. The same calculation is performed. Therefore, the higher the number of participants, the higher the amount of money distributed.
The non-profit organization will very likely be a local one. I'll request a formal e-mail from the non-profit to every participant after the donation is in, as a gesture of gratitude. 
Alrighty! I'll see all participants next month,
Best of luck for All of us,
Long Days and Pleasant Nights,
Leo S.