1st Annual Estero Kayak Challenge Information

1st Annual Estero Kayak Challenge  

a benefit event for

Heroes on the Water

Schedule, Fees, and Rules:

Tournament Schedule:

Captain's Meeting: 
Saturday June 6th @ 5:00 pm on the beach, North side of Cayucos Pier.

Tournament Date: 
Sunday June 7th, 2015

Cayucos, CA - see launch locations for more details

Event Times:
Check-in @ 5:45 am
Launch @ 6:30 am
Weigh-in cutoff @ 2:30 pm
Awards and raffle @ 3:30 pm or as near as possible

Tournament Fees:

Registration and Entry Fees:  
See “fee breakdown” below, for an explanation of fees

Early Registration (Registered on or before May 1st, 2015) -

$85.00 per person, includes an event T-shirt and a Captain’s bag

Registration after May 1st, 2015 -

$85.00 per person (We will try to have Captain’s bags for everyone but for registrations after May 1st, it is not guaranteed) 
No T-Shirt included after May 1st.
The period to include a shirt with your registration has been extended to Wednesday May 13. 
T-Shirt orders will be placed on Thursday May 14.

Last day to register -

May 24th, 2015 at midnight

Fee Breakdown -

$85 for a tournament, WTH! I hear ya, but here is why. This is a cash payout tournament and those payouts come from entry fees. In fact, the purse that the anglers are competing for is entirely dependent on how many people enter the tournament. The more competitors we have the bigger the payouts.


Here is where your money goes:
½ of each entry goes to winner payouts, the rest goes to shirts, tournament costs, prizes, and Heroes on the Water (HOW).
Entry Fee - $85.00
                        -  $40.00  Tournament purse
                         $45.00  Tournament costs, 
event shirts, prizes, 
and HOW.

All entry fees are non-transferable and non-refundable. Refunds will only be given in extreme circumstances and will be assessed on a case by case basis by the tournament director. 
If a refund is given it will be in the amount of $40.
Release of Liability/Waivers:
To participate in the tournament you must read and agree to the release of liability waiver provided during registration. Upon filling out the registration and entering, you are agreeing to the terms and conditions of the release of liability and the rules of the tournament.

Tournament Payouts:

Competitive Divisions: 
All paid competitors are automatically entered into all 4 divisions. These divisions are cash payout divisions and payouts will be determined by the number of competitors entered.

All divisions are based on weight -

Division #1 - Heaviest single Lingcod
Division #2 - Heaviest single Cabezon
Division #3 - Heaviest single Rockfish
Division #4 - Tournament Champ: Heaviest combined catch. Based on a maximum of 2 fish, any species. Lings, halibuts, Cabs, WSB, etc. If the CA DFW says they are in season then they are fair game.

Divisions 1 - 4 will award cash payouts to 
1st, 2nd, and 3rd places.

1st place  - 50% of pot
2nd place - 30% of pot
3rd place  - 20% of pot

The “Tournament Champ” in the 2 fish division will also be awarded a custom trophy.

Total purse and payout is dependent on number of competitors. 
Example of purse payouts:

Based on a $500 division purse Based on a $1000 division purse
1st - $250        1st - $500
2nd - $150         2nd - $300
3rd - $100         3rd - $200

Awards and Raffle:
The awards and raffle will be done after the weigh-in has closed and totaled to determine winners. We are shooting to start the ceremony by 3:30 pm.

The raffle will occur immediately after the awards ceremony and tickets cost $5.00 each for general raffle items or $20 each for the Wilderness Systems Kayaks Thresher 140. Raffle tickets will be for sale at the Captain's meeting and any time at the event prior to the start of the raffle.

Proceeds from the raffle will go to Heroes on the Water (HOW). Help support this great organization by purchasing tickets and give yourself the opportunity to win some great prizes.

Tournament Rules:

Launching locations and tournament boundaries: For directions and maps see the Maps/Lodging section

There are two approved launch locations for the tournament. The first and primary location is the beach on the north-side of Cayucos Pier in 
Cayucos, Ca. The second location is the spot known as “Windmills”. This spot is located north of Cayucos on Hwy. 1. There is a large turnout with a windmill near it. If launching from this location wheels are a necessity to get your kayak and gear down to the beach.

ALL competitors must launch from shore at the designated launch spots.
ALL competitors must launch at designated start time and not before.

See the attached map for boundaries and launch locations.

Prior to launching on the day of the event, all anglers must check-in and receive their competition number. Upon landing at/or before cutoff time, anglers must check-in and return their competition number at the judges table for accountability. Anglers who do not check-in risk having the Coast Guard searching for them. Please check-in so that we do not launch an unnecessary search and waste resources.

Competitors must wear a PFD at all times during the tournament. Any angler not wearing a PFD on the water during the tournament will be disqualified.
All anglers are encouraged to use the “buddy system” and fish in pairs.
All anglers are encouraged to have a vhf radio in their possession.
All competitors must have some form of signaling device (whistle, horn, etc.)

Approved Vessels:
ONLY human powered vessels will be allowed.
Kayaks (paddle or pedal powered), canoes, and stand up paddle boards (SUP’s) are acceptable.
NO gasoline or electric motor propelled boats, sail boats, or float tubes.
NO use of a “mothership” or fishing guide is allowed.

Approved Fishing Techniques:
All fish must be caught on rod and reel ONLY.
All anglers are responsible for having a valid California fishing license 
and in their possession.
All anglers are responsible to know and follow all CA DFW fishing rules 
and regulations.
NO pier, shore, hand line, cast or drag net, bow fishing, 
or spear fishing is allowed.
All fish must be caught by the angler, fishing partners may not pool their catch.
Artificial lures and live or dead bait, including bait scents 
ARE approved for use.

Competition Weigh-in:
Scoring for this tournament is based on weight. The judges scale is the official scale and all weights are based on that scale. Anglers are allowed to weigh in one (1) fish per division for divisions 1 - 3. Anglers are allowed to weigh in two (2) fish in the 4th all-around division.

ALL competitors must be in line at the weigh-in tent by the designated time.
- ONLY the Tournament Director and designated staff will be involved in the judging process.
- Anglers not in line by the cut-off time will not be allowed to weigh-in fish and will be disqualified.

For anglers who would like to practice catch and release, we are working on having a weigh-in/safety boat on the water. We will post information regarding this, when and if we are able to put this in place.

In the case of a tie, in any division, the winner will be determined by the total combined weight of their catch. On the off chance that a tie still exists the tie will be broken by a coin toss. All rulings from the judges and/or tournament director are final.

The tournament is intended to be a competitive and professional event. But more importantly it is meant to be a fun way to celebrate kayak fishing on the Central Coast. That  being said, ALL anglers are encouraged to be good sportsmen throughout the event. Any disorderly conduct, violation of rules, or illegal activity may result in your disqualification. Any report of cheating will be investigated. Any angler found to be cheating will be immediately disqualified. Above all have fun, fish hard, be safe, cheer for the winners, 
and commiserate with the rest!

Maps, Camping, and Lodging:

All of these locations book up fast and early for the summer months. If you are planning on coming to the event and need camping or lodging, 
reserve early!

Launch locations and main event location maps -

Camping - nearby campgrounds and links -

Morro Strand State Beach Campground - Located on the north end of Morro Bay. Less than 5 miles from Cayucos pier.

Morro Bay State Park Campground - Located on the south end of Morro Bay. Less than 10 miles to Cayucos.

Montana de Oro State Park Campground - Located approximately 17 miles from Cayucos. This is another great local fishing spot.

Area lodging and links -


  1. Wow!! What an amazing post you have shared here!! Well dear, I am not aware about these event locations. So, could you please tell me exact locations where these events are going to organize? Actually, I am very curious to attend.

  2. The event occurred on June 7 in Cayucos, California. This is an annual event, so if you would like to attend check back for information on next years event. Thanks.

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