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The Torbay Sea Angling Festival ( T.S.A.F.)  promotes a sporting opportunity for Recreational Sea Anglers.  The event is  based on trust and respect for each participant. It is imperative that the Rules are adhered to. Any breach of the rules, misconduct or bringing the TSAF into disrepute by Anglers or other  persons can lead to disqualification and/ or a period of ban from the Torbay  Festival, and its events or functions.

  1. Definitions of Anglers

a) A senior is defined as a person over 18 years of age at the conclusion of the T.S.A.F.

b) A junior is defined as a person under 18 years of age at the conclusion of the T.S.A.F.  A Junior can win senior prize sections only if they pay the senior weekly or  daily entry fee, they will then be classed as seniors and cannot win Junior prizes.  Juniors who win any Cash prizes will be awarded a Tackle Voucher to the equivalent cash value in accordance with current Gambling Laws

c) A visitor is a person who neither works or resides within 30 mile radius of Paignton, eg beyond a line from Seaton to Honiton to Cullompton to Crediton to Okehampton to Tavistock to Plymouth.

 2. Rods and Terminal Tackle

a) Using One Rod – Using  one  rod only  allows  the  use  of  up to 3 hooks and 3 baits.

b) Using Two Rods - Allows the use of one rod with 2 hooks and 2 baits and the second rod with 1 hook and 1 bait.

c) Definition of a Pennel Rig - A Pennel rig is two hooks with the line passed through their eye, one is set or movable just above the second hook which is tied to the terminal end of the trace. It is designed to hold a single bait securely. The maximum distance between each eye of the hooks is 20cm (boat) and 10cm (shore).

















d) Use of a Pennel Rig in the T.S.A.F. - If a competitor chooses to use a Pennel Rig, they may fish 2 rods terminating in a Pennel Rig with one single bait on each, thus two baits. Or an angler may use one rod terminating in a Pennel Rig, with another rod with two single hooks, with one bait on each, thus three baits in total.

e) Treble/Double forged hooks - A treble/double forged hook counts as one, therefore a maximum combination of three treble hooks or three doubles are allowed on a lure or pirk using one rod

3. Casting and Landing of Fish

The competitor must cast the line and land the fish. The competitor may however, accept assistance in landing the fish, by means of a landing net or gaff only and in taking fish off the hook(s). A competitor may cast for another competitor who is disabled or incapacitated and cannot cast for themselves, provided that application is made verbally or in writing for each individual case to a member of the T.S.A.F. committee prior to commencing fishing.

4. Festival Boundaries

Fish caught outside the TSAF Boundaries below do not qualify for entry, your honesty and integrity in adhering to the boundaries is appreciated.

a) Offshore Boat Boundaries -  See  diagram









Eastern boundary line runs from Devon/Dorset Border (N50°43.096’, W02° 56.865’) and runs 39  nautical miles at an angle of 141° True  to the LYME BAY OUTER point N50° 11.320’ W02° 20.890’. Fishing may only be had West of this line.

The Southern boundary line runs from the LYME BAY OUTER point for 73 nautical miles on a heading of 239° True to RIVER ERME OUTER point N49° 32.559’ W03° 57.237’. Fishing may only be had North of this line.

The Western boundary line runs from River Erme at  Mothecombe  N50° 18.577’, W03° 57.237’ and runs 46 nautical miles at an angle of 180° True to the RIVER ERME OUTER point N49° 32.559’, W03° 57.237’ Fishing may only be had East of this line.​

b) Inshore  Boat  Boundaries - Inshore boat fishing is within 6 miles from the shoreline inside the sea boundaries (excluding wrecks). Fish  caught outside this area are classified ‘Wreck’ fish. Anywhere  within in the  sea boundaries, boats anchored on wrecks, or boats  commencing  a drift  over a wreck  are  deemed to be wreck fishing for the duration of the  anchor   or the drift.   Fish caught at anchor or  drift are classified ‘Wreck’ fish.


c) Charter Boats or Privately owned boats can enter the TSAF, and launch from and return to ports either inside or outside  the TSAF sea  boundaries. Fish must be caught within the above TSAF sea  boundaries to qualify for entry.


d) Shore Boundaries - Shore fishing is between The River Axe mouth at Seaton N50° 42.223, W03° 03.418, along the shoreline to the River Erme mouth at Mothecombe Beach N50° 18.577 W03° 57.237, including the shore line between and the tidal waters of only the specified Rivers and the Salcombe Estuary up to Kingsbridge. (See below)

The definition of Shore fishing for the purposes of the T.S.A.F, is any firm ground that  does not  rise and      fall  with   the  tide.  Floating   structures,  such as   pontoons  are  classified  as  Inshore  Boat.


RIVER ERME – is defined as being from a line between Mothecombe Beach and Wonwell Beach up to its tidal limits.

RIVER AVON – is defined as being a line between Bigbury Beach and Bantham Beach up to its tidal limits.

SALCOMBE ESTUARY – is defined as a line between South Sands Beach to Limebury Point at Rickham Common up to its tidal limits at Kingsbridge.

RIVER DART - is defined as  a line between Dartmouth and Kingswear Castles up river up to its tidal limits at Totnes Weir

RIVER TEIGN -  is defined as being up river from a line between the “Lucett” Navigation Light House, Shaldon across to the Car Park Light House, Teignmouth up river up to its tidal limits

RIVER EXE –  is  defined  as  a line from Dawlish Warren point to Exmouth Docks to its tidal limits at St James’ Weir

RIVER OTTER - is defined as from the river mouth at Budleigh Salterton up to its tidal limits

RIVER AXE –is defined as from the river mouth at Seaton up to its tidal limits


e) Shore Anglers are responsible for obtaining any permissions, current Environment Agency Licences and/or Angling Club Permits when fishing a river within TSAF Boundaries.

5. The Weighing in and disposal of Fish

a) The angling day is 24 hours, starting at 7.30pm one day to 7.30pm the next.

b) Weigh in is from 7pm to 7.30pm every  day (except  local shops/ Dartmouth  Club). Please see ‘HOW TO WEIGH-IN’ page. All fish must be weighed on the same fishing day that they are captured, on TSAF scales, at the weigh-in times published.

c) Any D.E.F.R.A. or Devon and Severn IFCA fish restriction will be upheld during the T.S.A.F.

d) Fish will NOT be accepted for weighing if not intact or clean, or  hooked in parts  of the body, other than the mouth or lip.

e) Fish will be compared against the T.S.A.F.  Specimen   Weights List  as published.

f) For conservation purposes the minimum size is 75% Senior, and 50% Junior of the TSAF Specimen Weights List.

g) All fish must be de-tailed after weighing, except in the interests of conservation, when a fish may be released alive.

h) Anglers are responsible for disposal of their catch after the weigh-in. NO FISH MUST BE DISPOSED OF IN THE SEA or HARBOUR AREAS.

i) Anglers must check their weigh-in slips before leaving the weigh-in station, error cannot be rectified afterwards.

j) ‘WEIGH  AND  RELEASE’ fish must be weighed at a Festival Weigh-in Station before being returned alive.

6. Fish for Identification or Fish of Concern

a) Where there is doubt or dispute regarding the species of fish, a sub-committee consisting of two or more  members of the organising committee shall convene for the purpose of determining which specie that fish is to be recorded as for the purposes of the T.S.A.F.

b) This also applies to any fish for which its general condition of freshness is disputable at the time of weighing. The sub committees’ decision is final in all cases.

​c) The decision of the T.S.A.F. sub-committee shall be final for the purpose of determining any prize category in the T.S.A.F.


7. Trophies and Prizes

a) No one fish is eligible to take more than one trophy, with the exception of the Manor Building Trophy, the Sportsman Trophy and the  Conger  Club Tankard.

b) In the case of the major cash prizes, in the event of a tie, the cash award is equally shared.

c) The perpetual trophies will be held by the winner for a period under a signed guarantee for their proper keeping and safe return not later than July 1st in the year following the presentation. No Trophy shall move outside a 30 mile radius of Paignton.  The custodian/holder of any trophy who fails or otherwise neglects to return it promptly by no later than 14th July in the year following the presentation, shall be liable to a penalty of £50.00 and/or be banned from retaining T.S.A.F. trophies in future.

d) Following the presentation, some trophies will be retained by the committee, due to their value. These trophies are clearly marked in the brochure and on the T.S.A.F. website with a double asterix. The winner will have a photograph taken, which will be posted following the presentation.

e) Where any trophy is to be retained in the custody of a third party within the 30 miles radius of Paignton, in addition to the winner signing for its safe keeping, that third party must also sign an undertaking of responsibility, which guarantees its safe custody while in their possession. In any case such arrangements will only be permitted when the winner has advised the T.S.A.F. committee of such proposed arrangements prior to presentation of the trophy and the arrangement has been agreed.

f) Top Charter Skipper prize - Being a Charter Skipper must be a full time occupation and livelihood to qualify for the Top Charter Skipper prize. The Prize will be determined by the Committee.

g) Trophies/Prizes are awarded Trophy/Prize List order and percentage preference. The Committee decision is final.

h) Trophies with Prizes awarded can only be collected by the winners in person at the Presentation evening or after the Presentation by arrangement with the Committee up to 30th November in the year of award. Trophies with Prizes not collected by 30th November will be returned to the TSAF Committee for future use. The condition of  Prizes becomes the responsibility of winners on it leaving the Presentation Night or when collected from TSAF.

8. Restricted Areas and Prohibited Activities

a) Torquay Harbour - No fishing boat or shore is allowed in Torquay Harbour. However, special  permission for competitors  of  this  year’s  Torbay  Sea  Angling  Festival  has  been given  that  they may fish in the Banjo area  of Torquay   outer  harbour  for  Mullet  only  and  with  the  following  restrictions  applying:

i) Fishing midnight to 9.00am only. No overhead casting. Split shot weights only. No mess or rubbish is to be left behind.

ii) You  must  carry  your  T.S.A.F.  entry form with you.  If   you cannot  show it upon request  you will be asked  to  leave.

b) Paignton Harbour - Competitors may not fish into the Harbour limits. They will not be permitted to fish from any pontoons, steps or slipways within the harbour. They will not be permitted to cast feathers or other heavily weighted fishing tackle. Competitors are kindly reminded to exercise due care when fishing and respect must be given to passing vessels and members of the public using the harbour.

c) Brixham Harbour - Competitors are not allowed to fish within any part of the enclosed harbour, Brixham Fish Quay or the Oil Jetty. No entry to the Brixham Marina Wave Screen structure is allowed for whatever reason. Competitors will not be permitted to cast feathers within the waters inside of the Breakwater from the end of the lighthouse across the fairway to Battery Point. Competitors will not be allowed to fish from any pontoon or associated structures that rise and fall with the tide. E.g. Brixham yacht pontoon and Brixham Marina pontoons.

d) River Dart – Competitors  may  not  fish  from  any  of  the  MOD  property  or  pontoons  at  Sandquay.

e) River Teign – Teignmouth  Docks  and  Shaldon  Bridge  are  out  of  bounds.

f) Areas marked ‘No Fishing’ - Fishing is not permitted from marked ‘No Fishing’ areas. All marina and Harbour Authority pontoons within the defined T.S.A.F. boundaries are also out of bounds, though it is permissible to fish from a boat moored alongside such pontoons, provided that no fishing takes place from the surface of such pontoons.

g) No Wreck fishing is permitted in the rivers and estuary

h) All Anglers entering  to ensure bait,  tackle  and  personal litter is cleared from the fishing areas and  infrastructures.


9. Recreational Participation

Recreational Fishing means any person fishing with rod and line for the purposes of sport, pleasure or tourism from boat or shore. It is illegal to sell, barter or trade any of the catch from recreational fishing.

Commercial Fishing means any person undertaking fishing of any kind with rod and/or line from boat or shore for any kind of reward or gain whether through current employment or not or a financial transaction, barter or trade.

Types of Commercial Fishing

1. Licensed Fishing Vessels - by UK Fisheries Authorities, Category A, B, C and hand lining for Mackerel.

2. Unpowered Vessels under 10m - may currently fish commercially without a UK Fishing Vessel Licence if the vessel is unpowered and not towed by a powered vessel

3. Licensed Charter Vessels – If you fish as an owner, worker or recreational angler from a Charter Boat which has a UK Fishing Vessel Licence and any of the fish caught is sold, or intended to be sold, bartered or traded then that Charter trip is for a Commercial purpose. The Charter Vessel Licence then applies and ALL the fish catches taken by everyone aboard are Commercial and subject to the Charter Vessels Licence and any conditions.

4. Shore – Fishing Commercially from the shore without a vessel does not require a Licence issued by a UK Fisheries Administration. Bass cannot be currently be sold if caught from the shore.

(Reference Government Guidance updated July 2022)

5. Any person who fishes with gill nets, seine nets, long lines or hand lines for Commercial Fishing cannot enter the Torbay Sea Angling Festival. Any person who has entered the TSAF and uses or carries gill nets, seine nets or longlines during the dates of the TSAF will be disqualified, and a possible ban from the T.S.A.F. for a period of time may be determined by the committee.

Torbay Sea Angling Festival is for Recreational Sea Anglers only. Any person entering the TSAF shall neither sell, store any fish for future sale, or trade or barter any fish caught during the dates of the TSAF, either in person or by a third party acting on their behalf for their own reward or gain whether for money or money’s worth.

Persons as described in 1-5 above, that is, an owner of a Licenced/Unlicensed vessel, worker on board or recreational angler fishing on a Licensed/Unlicensed Vessel engaged in Commercial Fishing, or Shore Commercial Fisher person or Commercial netter or longliner or handliner is not permitted to enter the Torbay Sea Angling Festival from boat or shore, and no Dispensation to fish the TSAF will be granted.

Charter vessel owners with a UK Fishing Vessel Licence, workers on board and anglers who charter the vessel are considered Recreational Sea Anglers, only if none of the fish caught on any angling charter during the dates of the TSAF are sold, traded or bartered for their own reward or gain whether for money or money’s worth.

Fishing Guides are considered Recreational Sea Anglers only if none of the fish caught on any guided boat or shore fishing trip during the dates of the TSAF are sold, traded or bartered for their own reward or gain whether for money or money’s worth.


10. Complaints and the Rights of the Torbay Sea Angling Festival Committee

a) Any complaint must be made online (See Website for Form) to the Hon. Secretary within  24  hours  after  the  end  of  the  Festival,  and be accompanied  by £5.00.  The £5.00 will be returned if  the  complaint  is  upheld.

b) Queries on the Provisional Winners List  to the made to Hon Secretary  within 24  hours of the release of the List.

c) The  committee  reserve  the  right  to  refuse any entry.

d) Breaches to, or matters not covered in the Rules will be dealt with by the Committee, whose decisions are binding and final.


11. Rules for Team Entries and Prizes

a) To enter as a 2 person Team you must individually enter the Festival first, you can only enter in one team

b) A Team can Wreck and/or Inshore Boat and/or Shore, as Senior and/or Junior or a mix of any Section

c) Entry Fees will be advised by the Committee each year, and the total cash entry money will be distributed 70% to the Best Team and 30% to the 2nd Best Team

d) A Team to weigh-in their best percentage fish of 4 different species, with 2 different Species for each Team member The highest percentage of the 4 different species will be the Best Team.

e) In the event of a tie for any prize the cash percentage will be divided equally.

f) If a Team of Juniors wins a prize the cash will be converted into vouchers. If a Team of Seniors/Juniors wins a prize the cash will be awarded to the Senior only.

12. General

a) Any person who is, or has been banned from an  Angling  Club or competition, is excluded from entering the T.S.A.F.

b) Anglers who purchase an individual or team entry ticket on the day of sailing from the Charter Boat Skipper must themself send a message by photo text of their ticket(s) to 07917 024282 BEFORE the Charter boat sails as proof of a valid entry


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