Throngs of anglers who enjoy shore and coastal fishing will once again descend upon Southern California’s beautiful Santa Barbara beaches for some great light tackle angling, family fun in the great outdoors and a chance to support a great cause — ongoing restoration of the Carpinteria Salt Marsh.
The No Motor Tournament has been gaining momentum for many years, and event organizer The Sportfishing Conservancy expects this upcoming annual event to be the best ever when it returns Oct. 15. This time of year, the weather is usually great, the scenery is spectacular and a wide variety of coastal fish species are available.
“There is a vibrant sport and surf fishing community across the Santa Barbara region,” said Tom Raftican, of The Sportfishing Conservancy. “These anglers not only love the unique fishing opportunities this area offers, they are more than willing to put their money where their mouth is to help restore the Carpinteria Salt Marsh and win awesome prizes at the same time.”
This annual event provides a family-friendly atmosphere where anglers of all ages can fish from the beach, kayaks, float tubes, stand up paddleboards or any human-powered craft. Check-in/registration is from 6-8 a.m. at local landmark Danny’s Deli (4890 Carpinteria Avenue). Participants may fish anywhere they like, but must return to Danny’s Deli by 11:30 a.m. for the tallying of results and announcement of the winners during a special luncheon.
Unlike traditional fishing tournaments where fish are weighed in, this event rewards anglers who catch the highest cumulative length of fish in inches. Catch-and-release is strongly encouraged, however anglers who choose to keep a legal-sized fish will have each two inches deducted for each fish taken. Anglers keep their own tally of fish (“selfie” photos or friend verification may be requested), and the combined length of the 10 biggest fish (any combination of species) will make up the angler’s total score.
Each registered angler will be given a scorecard to keep track of six eligible coastal species — calico bass (14” minimum), sand bass (14” minimum), surf perch (5” minimum), white seabass (28” minimum), halibut (22” minimum) and corbina (no minimum length). To count, fish must meet the minimum size limits as established by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife, and anglers must follow all DFW rules while participating in the No Motor Tournament.
In addition to raising funds for the Carpinteria Salt Marsh, participants in the 2016 No Motor Tournament will be competing for trophies and thousands in valuable prizes provided by sponsors like Seeker Fishing Rods, Big Hammer Lures and Hook Line & Sinker tackle shop. Deep Blue Stand Up Paddleboards is once again providing the event’s grand raffle prize, an awesome SUP worth more than $2,000.
“This event wouldn’t be possible without the support of our great partners and sponsors,” said Raftican. “They deserve the gratitude of not just tournament participants, but all sportsmen who enjoy the fishing opportunities this unique stretch of coastline provides.”
The entry fee remains at $20 and includes participation in the tournament, fishing bucket, five prize raffle tickets and a tasty tri-tip lunch following the fishing at Danny’s Deli. Proceeds from entry fees and sales of additional raffle tickets will be donated to The Land Trust for Santa Barbara County, a non-profit organization dedicated to restoring the Carpinteria Salt Marsh. Ocean fish populations are directly connected to these wetland environments. They are vital for sustaining marine animals and juvenile fishes, California halibut in particular.
For complete tournament rules and a downloadable PDF registration form, anglers can visit The Sportfishing Conservancy’s website or call event coordinator Jenny Armstrong at (949) 813-7831. Anglers can also sign up in advance at The Hook, Line & Sinker tackle shop in Santa Barbara, or just show up early at Danny’s Deli the morning of the event.