Riptide Rendezvous Rule 1 - Catch the morning incoming tide! - Photo courtesy Greg LaPolla

Photo by Greg LaPolla

The Rules…

We’ve tried to make the rules as simple as possible…but you know how that goes! To get a general idea of how the event works, go to the “How It Works” page, then return here to see the details.

The rules are intended to make sure everyone has a fair, fun, and above all, SAFE event. If you have any questions at all, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

General Rules:

A Perch in the hand is worth two in the surf!

A Perch in the hand is worth two in the surf! Photo by Kesley Gallagher

  • Participants can register online before the event at, or on the day of the event at the Event Desk located in the covered table area near the park entrance
  • There is no charge to register for the event. However, you must supply one “surf appropriate” fly when you check in (see “Flies” below). If you do not provide a fly, you are required to pay $10.00, and a fly will be supplied on your behalf
  • You must have a valid California saltwater fishing license in possession
  • You must accept the liability waiver on the website or sign a waiver on-site prior to participation
  • Check-in begins at 6am. You have to turn in your fly at this time


  • Each angler shall provide their own fly rod, reel and line.
  • Only conventional fly rods and reels are allowed. Fishing a fly using a float, casting bubble or sinker on conventional gear is not allowed
  • Leaders and tippets can be of any strength or length
  • Each angler must wear some form of eye protection while fishing. Sun glasses, prescription glasses or safety glasses are all acceptable


  • Each participating angler is to provide ONE saltwater fly pattern. If you do not provide a fly, you are required to pay $10.00, and a fly will be supplied on your behalf
  • Only flies tied on single point hooks, in sizes: #6, #4 or #2s will be accepted. Double- or treble-hooked files are NOT allowed
  • The fly must be designed to be fished subsurface. No surface flies (poppers, crease flies, sliders or dry files) will be accepted.
  • Each fly will be inspected and deemed fishable before it will be accepted. If the fly you supply does not meet requirements, a substitute fly will be entered on your behalf at no charge

Competition Rules:

Riptide Rendezvous Scoring

Beach Spotter updating a One Surf Fly contestant’s scorecard. Photo by John Loo

  • Riptide Rendezvous is a FLY FISHING ONLY event! Flies must be fished on a conventional fly rod and reel
  • All flies submitted at check-in will be logged, placed in an envelope, and thrown into a bag.
  • Each angler will be given ONE randomly assigned fly from the bag prior to fishing
  • All contestants must use only their assigned fly for the entire tournament time window
  • A lost fly terminates your tournament session! No exceptions!
  • If a fly falls apart due to poor construction, a Beach Spotter (see below) will provide a replacement fly
  • All fish caught prior to a lost fly will be counted towards your final score.
  • “Lines-In” (start of fishing) is 7:30am. “Lines-Out” (end of fishing) is 9:30am.
  • Prior to Lines-In, all anglers must attend a brief meeting at the registration desk to review the rules, safety protocols, and any last-minute changes
  • After the meeting, anglers will have approximately 15-20 minutes to walk to a starting position on the beach.
  • Anglers must fish within the tournament area, which will be marked with orange traffic cones
  • An airhorn blast will signal official Lines-in, and anglers may begin fishing
  • A second airhorn blast will signal Lines-Out, and all anglers must stop fishing immediately. Any fish hooked before Lines-Out will count, even if landed after Lines-Out
  • ALL FISH MUST BE FAIRLY CAUGHT & NOT FOUL HOOKED! Foul hooked fish will not count
  • “Beach Spotters” will be stationed at intervals within the tournament area, and can be identified by their bright yellow measuring boards.
  • When an angler catches a fish, the angler will take the fish to a Beach Spotter for scoring
  • Beach Spotters are responsible for measuring fish and recording the angler’s catch using the official measuring board and the required iAngler Tournament system. All catches must be recorded by a Beach Spotter to be official!
  • Beach Spotters are responsible for providing replacements for flies that become unfishable due to poor construction
  • Damaged leaders can be only be retied by the angler in the presence of a Beach Spotter
  • If you lose your fly, you are done competing in the tournament. You can continue fishing with a different fly, but nothing you catch after losing your one fly will be counted
  • At Lines-Out, anglers should return to the area near the Event Desk for the remainder of the activities

Safety Rules:

  • Anglers must maintain a safe distance from each other to avoid hitting each other with their casts or tangling lines.
  • For extra safety, Beach Spotters will watch for bystanders, and ensure that anglers maintain a safe distance from neighboring anglers and other beach-goers.
  • Beach Spotters will have whistles to warn anglers of safety issues. Whistles will be used ONLY in an extreme situation
  • If a whistle is blown it means you are either in an unsafe situation, crowding another angler, or there is a beach-goer endangered by your back cast. You must stop casting immediately.
  • Anglers that have their flies in the water may continue to retrieve the fly, but may not cast again until instructed by the Beach Spotter
  • Any angler disregarding a blown whistle may be immediately disqualified, at the discretion of a spotter.

Prize Categories:

Surf Buddies

Spending time with friends – Mark Johnson, Kevin Green, Mark Flo. Photo courtesy Kevin Green

  • First Fish caught
    • Any species
    • Based on time recorded by the Beach Spotter
  • Biggest Boney Fish
    • Examples: perch; corbina; halibut; calico-, sand-, or spotted bay bass; white seabass; yellowfin or spotfin croaker
    • Based on length (to the nearest inch), measured from tip of nose to tail fork or middle of tail fin
  • Biggest Cartilaginous Fish
    • Examples: leopard sharks, guitarfish, rays
    • Based on length (to the nearest inch), measured from tip of nose to base of tail
  • Most Fish (all species count)

Prizes will be awarded to the winning angler in each category, and the person supplying the fly used by the winning angler