NC Saltwater Fishing Tournament

The North Carolina Saltwater Fishing Tournament, also known as the Citation Program, recognizes exceptional catches of North Carolina’s most popular sport fish. The tournament runs from January 1 to December 31 each year and is open to any angler, except those who captain or work on a for-hire vessel or those who sell their fish. To qualify for a citation, the fish must be caught on hook-and-line and landed without the use of electric or hydraulic equipment. The fish must meet program size requirements, be weighed at an official weigh station and then recorded on an official application form. For release citations, an angler or mate must touch the fish or the leader.

Saltwater Fishing Tournament FAQs

Current N.C. Saltwater Records



Fish shall be caught in accordance with North Carolina State and Federal laws and regulations as well as the N.C. Saltwater Fishing Tournament rules. Everyone is eligible except a charter boat captain or a crewman of a for-hire boat or anyone who offers fish for sale. Weighmasters or their employees are eligible for awards, provided a witness signs verification. Eligible waters include all North Carolina sounds, estuaries, surf and the Atlantic Ocean. No registration fee is required.

Certificate Qualifications

All fish must be caught on hook and line and landed or brought to gaff or net by the angler. No electric or hydraulic equipment is allowed. Fish must be weighed by an authorized weighmaster (or his/her representative) at an official weigh station. Each fish must be recorded on an official application form, signed by the angler and by a weighmaster. Snagged, mutilated, scaled, speared, frozen, or shot fish are not eligible. The weighmaster reserves the right to cut, open, or mark the fish after it has been weighed.

Release Rules

Angler or mate must touch the fish or the leader. Application must be completed with exception of length and weight (false albacore, amberjack, atlantic bonito, barracuda, cobia, black drum, jack crevalle, king mackerel, shark, striped bass, gray trout, speckled trout and red drum must have the length recorded). A witness must sign the application.

Apply for a Release Citation online

Minimum Weights and Release Lengths

Minimum Weights and Release Lengths

Read and print the Tournament Requirements

Species Minimum
Albacore, False Release Only 34 inches
Amberjack 50 lbs. 50 inches
Barracuda Release Only 45 inches
Bass, Black Sea 4 lbs. N/A
Bluefish 15 lbs. 34 inches
Cobia 40 lbs. 36 inches
Croaker 1.5 lbs. N/A
Dolphin 35 lbs. N/A
Drum, Black Release Only 40 inches
Drum, Red Release Only 40 inches
Gag Grouper 20 lbs. N/A
Jack, Crevalle Release Only 32 inches
Mackerel, King 30 lbs. 45 inches
Mackerel, Spanish 6 lbs. N/A
Marlin, Blue 400 lbs. Any Length
Marlin, White Release Only Any Length
Mullet, Sea 2 lbs. N/A
Pompano, Florida 2 lbs. N/A
Porgy (Silver Snapper) 4 lbs. N/A
Sailfish Release Only Any Length
Shark Release Only 80 inches
Sheepshead 8 lbs. N/A
Spearfish Release Only Any Length
Spot 1 lb N/A
Swordfish 50 lbs. Any Length
Tarpon Release Only Any Length
Tilefish, Gray 12 lbs. N/A
Triggerfish 5 lbs. N/A
Trout, Gray 5 lbs. 24 inches
Trout, Speckled 5 lbs. 24 inches
Tuna, Bigeye 100 lbs. N/A
Tuna, Blackfin 25 lbs. N/A
Tuna, Bluefin 200 lbs. 70 inches
Tuna, Yellowfin 70 lbs. N/A
Wahoo 40 lbs. N/A


Official Weigh Station List

Official Weigh Station List

Printable Official Weigh Station List

City Name Phone Number
Atlantic Morris Marina 252-225-4261
Atlantic Beach Anchorage Marina - Atlantic Beach 252-726-4423
Atlantic Beach Captain Stacy Fishing Center 252-726-4675
Atlantic Beach Chasin' Tails Outdoors 252-240-3474
Atlantic Beach Fisherman's Inn 252-726-2273
Atlantic Beach Freeman's Discount Bait & Tackle 252-726-2607
Atlantic Beach Saltwater Bait and Tackle 252-240-2744
Avon Avon Pier 252-995-3862
Avon Frank & Fran's 252-995-4171
Beaufort Jarrett Bay Boatworks 252-728-2690
Beaufort Town Creek Marina 252-728-6111
Buxton Dillon's Corner 252-995-5083
Buxton Red Drum Tackle Shop 252-995-5414
Cape Lookout Cape Lookout National Seashore 252-728-2250
Carolina Beach B & B Bait & Tackle 910-458-4644
Carolina Beach Island True Value Tackle & Hardware 910-458-3049
Cedar Point Neuse Sport Shop 252-393-1599
Corolla Corolla Bait & Tackle 252-453-9500
Duck Bob's Bait & Tackle 252-261-8589
Frisco Frisco Rod & Gun 252-995-5366
Frisco Frisco Tackle 252-995-4361
Goldsboro E-Z Bait & Tackle 919-736-2488
Grantsboro Neuse River Bait & Tackle 252-745-0708
Greenville Greenville Marine 252-758-5938
Hampstead Eastern Outfitters 910-270-2823
Harkers Island Barbour's Marina / Cape Point Marina 252-728-6181
Harkers Island Harkers Island Fishing Center 252-728-3907
Hatteras Hatteras Harbor Marina 252-986-2166
Hatteras Hatteras Landing Marina 252-986-2205
Hatteras Hatteras Marlin Club 252-986-2454
Hatteras Oden's Dock 252-986-2555
Hatteras Teach's Lair Marina 252-986-2460
Hatteras Village Marina 252-986-2522
Jacksonville Eastern Outfitters 910-347-4868
Jacksonville Tideline Marine, Inc. 252-455-2979
Kill Devil Hills Avalon Fishing Pier 252-441-7494
Kill Devil Hills Stop 'N Shop Convience & Deli 252-441-6105
Kinston Neuse Sport Shop 252-527-3230
Kitty Hawk TW's Bait & Tackle - Kitty Hawk 252-261-7848
Kure Beach Kure Beach Pier 910-458-5524
Manteo Oregon Inlet Fishing Center 252-441-6301
Manteo Pirate's Cove 252-473-3906
Minnesott Beach Minnesott Beach Bait & Tackle 252-249-1786
Morehead City Carolina Princess Dock 252-726-5479
Morehead City EJW Bicycle & Sport Shop 252-247-4725
Morehead City Portside Marina 252-726-7678
Nags Head Nags Head Fishing Pier 252-441-5141
Nags Head Outer Banks Pier & Fishing Center 252-441-7413
Nags Head TW's Bait & Tackle - Nags Head 252-441-4807
Nags Head Jennette's Pier 252-255-1501
Nags Head Ocean's East Bait & Tackle 252-441-7413
New Bern Custom Fabrication & Sports 252-638-2920
Newport Goose Creek Marine 252-393-2779
Oak Island Ocean Crest Motel & Pier 910-278-6674
Oak Island Oak Island Pier 910-278-6464
Oak Island Oak Island Sporting Goods 910-278-9872
Oak Island Wildlife Bait & Tackle 910-457-9903
Ocean Isle Beach Ocean Isle Fishing Center 910-575-3474
Ocean Isle Beach Sheffield's Seafood & Grocery 910-579-9615
Ocracoke Anchorage Marina - Ocracoke 252-928-1101
Ocracoke Tradewinds Tackle Shop 252-928-5491
Rodanthe Hatteras Jack 252-987-2428
Rodanthe Rodanthe Pier 252-987-2323
Rodanthe The Fishin' Hole 252-987-2351
Sneeds Ferry Yopp Brothers 910-327-2088
Southport Dutchman Creek Bait & Tackle 910-457-1221
Supply Holden Beach Marina 910-842-5447
Supply Robinsons Hardware 910-540-4343
Surf City East Coast Sports 910-328-1887
Surf City Herrings Outdoor Sports 910-328-3291
Surf City One Stop Bait & Tackle 910-328-1161
Swansboro Dudley's Marina, Inc. 252-393-2204
Topsail Beach Jolly Roger Pier 910-328-4616
Vandamere Squidders Supply Store 252-670-2450
Wanchese Outer Banks Marina 252-473-9991
Wanchese Thicket Lump Marina 252-473-4500
Wanchese Wanchese Marina 252-475-0787
Washington East Side Bait & Tackle 252-946-2186
Wilmington Fisherman's Post 910-452-6378
Wilmington Intracoastal Angler 910-392-3500
Wilmington Tex's Tackle & Bait 910-791-1763
Wrightsville Beach Johnnie Mercer's Fishing Pier 910-256-2743
Wrightsville Beach Motts Channel Seafood 910-256-3474
Wrightsville Beach The Bridge Tender Marina 910-256-6550
Wrightsville Beach Wrightsville Beach Marina 910-256-6666