Derby Rules
Tournament Rules and Regulations
 1. General Information
The MDR Halibut Derby (Tournament) is a two-day fishing tournament. Marina Del Rey Anglers, Inc. (MDRA or Club) hosts the Tournament; being a conservation minded organization, the Club encourages catch and release to the maximum extent possible. This is an event designed to support the Charitable and Conservation work of MDRA and CCA CAL. We hope that everyone has a good time fishing in the event.
 2. Dates, Times and Weigh-in
Fishing time starts at Sunrise Saturday June 3rd and ends at 3:00 PM on Sunday June 4th.
The Weigh-in dock at Burton Chace park will be open:
  • Saturday from 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
  • Sunday from 12:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Failure to be at the dock and checked in by the above closing times, will disqualify your fish. It is the anglers’ responsibility to return to the weigh-in and be at the check in table in time. Budget enough time to travel and to tie-up & dock as needed.
 3. Divisions
There are no divisions between types of anglers. All anglers, regardless of age or sex, compete equally with each other under these rules for prizes and trophies. Based on the level of participation there may be recognition of the top lady angler, top youth, or top kayak angler but all participants are in the same derby for the same prizes.
  4. Species & Prize Eligibility
The only species eligible for grand prizes are: California halibut, white seabass, lingcod, yellowtail and a collection (AKA "bag") of up to 5 calico bass. Halibut released alive after being weighed-in receive a 25% weight bonus added to the actual weight of the fish. ALL calico bass ( kelp bass - Paralabrax clathratus ) eligible for collective (bag) weight must be released alive and be able to swim away after being weighed in. The heaviest eligible fish (adjusted for weight bonus if applicable), or a collection (bag) of calico bass released alive after weigh-in, would be eligible for the 1st, 2nd and 3rd place grand prizes.
  5. Daily Catch & Limits
Each angler may weigh-in only one of the following per day: halibut, white sea bass, ling cod, yellowtail or a “bag” of calico bass (Bag = up to 5 live bass). Live release is mandatory for a calico bass submission. All anglers must abide by all California Dept. of Wildlife rules and have a current fishing license as required by state law.
  6. Prizes
First through 3rd places in the General division will be awarded a trophy, plus the prizes outlined below.
First Place prize is a ride on the Tomahawk for a 2.5 day Tuna Trip that will take place on Aug 18-21st, 2023. If the winner is unable to take this trip it can be transferred IF we receive written notification at least 7 days before departure and we provide an acknowledgement of the transfer.
2nd prize is a choice of 2 passes for an overnight fishing trip on the El Dorado out of Long Beach - OR- 2 passes for an overnight fishing trip on the Freedom out of 22nd street Landing.
3rd prize is an Okuma Fishlab roller bag.
**UPDATE 6/3/2023: Based on Women's Participation we will be awarding a 1st place trophy in the women's division for the lady angler that catches the largest fish, in addition to a jewelry prize and an additional prize TBD.
  7. Perpetual Trophies
The Club has several perpetual trophies that are the property of the club. They are retained by the club and the winners name is engraved on it for perpetuity.
  • First Place in the MDR Halibut Derby: For the winner of the derby.
  • The Bent Halibut: For the largest halibut caught by a MDRA member in the halibut derby.
  • The Rowan Henry Memorial: For the fishing club or Yacht Club in the halibut derby.
 8. Fishing Platform
Private Boats, Shore Anglers, Kayakers and Party Boats, etc. are all allowed. Anglers fishing from shore, on kayaks, and party boats compete equally and under the same rules as those fishing on private boats. If fishing from a private boat, all anglers aboard must be entered in the derby.
 9. Pay in Advance of Fishing
All entrants must pay for their entry in advance of the Halibut Derby via the Online web site at or at the in person to the Halibut derby chairperson. All entrants regardless of the type of fishing or age, compete equally in the tournament and pay the same entry fee.
10. California Dept. of Fish and Game Rules
All Anglers must possess a valid saltwater fishing license w/ ocean enhancement stamp unless exempted by state rules, and comply with all DFG rules and regulations at all times during the Tournament. The club will not be checking licenses. However you can expect DFG to be on hand and ask all who come to the docks with fish to prove up that they have complied.
11. Sport fishing / Hooks
We encourage use of IGFA recognized & approved fishing techniques with one exception, we allow the use of a trap hook on the halibut rig. The trap hook must be embedded into the tail of the bait. To insure the maximum number of live releases, we highly encourage the use of circle hooks.
12. Fishing Zone - please also see map below
Fishing is limited to Santa Monica Bay and a portion of the Palos Verdes Peninsula with the exception of MLPA areas closed to fishing. The northern boundary for this Tournament is the most easterly point of the Point Dume SMR, Lat: 33 Deg. 57.060 Min, Long: 118 Deg. 47.26 Min. (Commonly called the Point Dume north end of the Santa Monica Bay fishing closure). The southern boundary is the most easterly point of the Point Vicente SMCA No Take Zone, Lat: 33 Deg. 44.80 Min., Long: 118 Deg. 28.930 Min. (Commonly called the Palos Verdes MLPA south end of the Santa Monica Bay fishing closure).
13. Ties
If there is a tie based on these rules, the two individuals who tie for any place will be asked to flip a coin, or use any other tie breaking method to which they both agree to determine the winner. The identified winner will receive the designated prize, and the loser will be awarded the next position in the tournament.
14. Weighing In / Scale
All fish weighed-in must be weighed on the official Halibut Derby weigh station scale.
15. Postponement
The Tournament will run at the dates specified regardless of weather or sea conditions. However, in the event the National Weather Service issues a small craft advisory or a gale or storm warning for Santa Monica Bay and for both days, the tournament may be cancelled or rescheduled. If cancelled altogether, a drawing will be held to determine grand prizes and the cash jackpot. No entry fees will be refunded for any reason, including weather.
16. Inspection
Any fish weighed-in shall be subject to identification, markings, and any other inspections the judges & scientists deem appropriate including organ removal.
17. Disqualifications
The judges may disqualify any angler or fish for violation of the Tournament Rules and Regulations including but not limited to un-sportsmanlike actions of the Angler. The decision of the judges shall be final. Our 2022 Judges will be Chris Arechaederra, Keith Lambert, John Szymura, and/or another club director as appointed by the Halibut Derby Chairman.
18. Winnings
It’s the responsibility of the winners to claim and use their awards in a timely manner. The Club will not be responsible for the availability, delivery, or utilization of prizes once they have been awarded. Any unclaimed prizes not picked up within three months following the Tournament dates shall become the property of the Club. Winners may have to pay for transportation to use a prize. Winners are responsible for any applicable income taxes that may apply.
19. Photos & Release of Liability
All entrants grant the Club the right to use their likeness and photos for its publicity purposes. All Boat Owners and other entrants, by entering this Tournament, agree to hold the Club, its officers, directors and members free and clear of all liability and damages to persons and property in connection with all activities in connection thereto. Boat Owners, buy entering this Tournament, agree to assume all liability and damages related to those persons on their boat.
Fishing Range