Antigua Open Lionfish Tournament

Rules and Information

Tournament Dates:

November 18th, 19th & 20th, 2022

Brief Schedule

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

COAST GUARD Briefing – Lionfish Hunting 101: Techniques and Safety – 3:00pm, Nelson’s Dockyard, English harbor

Captain’s Briefing – 5:00 pm, Nelson’s Dockyard, English harbor or Tune in to Facebook Live (see below)

Tournament Registration ENDS at 6:00 pm

Friday, November 18th, 2022

Harvesting begins at sunrise and ends at 4:00 pm.

OPTIONAL Weigh Station opens at 3:00 pm and closes at 6:00 pm

Saturday, November 19th, 2022

Harvesting begins at sunrise and ends at 4:00 pm.

OPTIONAL Weigh Station opens at 3:00 pm and closes at 6:00 pm

Sunday, November 20th, 2022

Weigh Station opens at 8:00 am and closes at 11:00 am.  All lionfish must be turned in by 11:00am.


Awards ceremony – Approximately 1:00pm


  1. Registration will be available on the Antigua Open website ( through an online registration system. All participants must read and understand the Tournament Rules prior to registering. Diver’s signature shall constitute a representation by each participant that he/she has read and fully understand the tournament rules and that he/she will abide by such rules and decisions of the tournament committee.
  2. For those wishing to join the hunt who are unable to register on the website, you can sign up and complete a liability release at Ava’s Watersports on the main road in English Harbor. They are open 8-4 Monday to Friday and 10-4 on Saturday (phone: 268-776-0933).
  3. Each registrant will receive a tournament packet, including a tournament T-Shirt. Packets can be picked up by the participant at the Captain’s meeting. If registered participants are not attending the Captain’s meeting, registered participants can pick up their packet at the awards ceremony on Sunday. If registered participants are unable to pick up their packet, please designate someone to pick it up for registered participants. Packets will not be mailed to participants after the event.
  4. To qualify for prizes and awards, participants must be registered and show proper identification.  All applicants must be registered completely by 7:00pm , November 11th, 2022
  5. Teams will be limited to 4 persons; though more than one team may be present on the same boat. Each member must declare a team name upon registration. Once registration is closed, teams are locked. Teams may not substitute participants during the tournament for any reason, and will be subject to disqualification. Individuals can register as a single person team to be eligible for prizes.
  6. Team names must not be offensive in nature. “Offensive” will be determined by the Tournament Director and may require teams to modify their names at any time. 
  7. Registration includes entry into the Antigua Open Lionfish Tournament.


  1. The OPTIONAL Lionfish Hunting 101: Techniques and Safety seminar at 4:00pm, Nelson’s Dockyard, English harbor.
  2. Mandatory captain’s briefing will be held from 6:00 – 7:00 pm at Nelson’s Dockyard, English harbor on Thursday, November 17th, 2022
  3. A designated representative from each team must check in at the official Captain’s briefing for rule changes and tournament instructions. The Captain’s briefing will be also be livestreamed on Facebook Live on the Antigua Open Lionfish Tournament Facebook Page.  The team representative must either be present in person or comment on the Facebook page that they are watching the livestream event.

Registered teams who do not check in at the mandatory captain’s meeting will not be eligible for participation.


  1. Lionfish (Pterois volitans/miles) eligible for entry may only be taken during the tournament hours. No previously caught or frozen lionfish will be allowed, however, please keep all lionfish on ice.
  2. Only legal means of capture in areas allowing use of those gear types will be allowed. All existing regulations must be followed.
  3. All lionfish must be in whole condition (no missing heads or tails). Largest and smallest fish will be determined by total length of the fish in millimeters measuring from tip of snout to tip of tail.
  4. Lionfish caught during the tournament may be donated for sampling, research or for consumption during the event days. Fish must be preserved on ice. All other Lionfish not donated or sold must be disposed of properly by the individual capturing the Lionfish.
  5. Protective gloves should be worn when handling lionfish. Participants are encouraged to carry appropriate first aid kit specific for Lionfish stings.


  1. Teams may start from any waters where lionfish are legal to harvest. Tournament hours are sunrise until 4:00pm Friday and Saturday November 18th & 19th, 2022.  No fish may be harvested on Sunday. All fish must be present at the scoring station by 11 am on Sunday TBD. Any fish not present at the scoring station by the designated time will not be counted for the tournament.
  2. All waters are eligible for tournament harvest. The tournament shall take place regardless of weather conditions. Captains make their own decisions about whether to venture out.  


  1. Lionfish may only be taken during tournament hours and the fish must be presented to the scoring station. Scoring station will be located at Nelson’s Dockyard, English harbor.  The Scoring Station (OPTIONAL) will open on Friday and Saturday November 18th & 19th, 2022 from 3:00 – 6:00 pm and Sunday November 20th, 2022 from 8:00 am – 11:00 am. Fish may be brought to the optional score station on Friday or Saturday but it is not required.   All fish must be present at the scoring station by 11:00 am Sunday November 20th, 2022 to be counted.


  1. All fish must be present at scoring station by 11:00 am on Sunday November 18th & 19th, 2022. Teams must have lionfish properly iced.
  2. Team captain or designee must deliver the lionfish to the designated scoring location and check in with the scoring station staff.  Teams need to declare at this time whether lionfish will be sold, donated or kept.
  3. It is highly recommended that the team captain or designee be present when the lionfish are being counted and measured by scoring station staff. If there is a backup at the scoring station, team captain or designee does not have to stand next to their catch, but stay close enough where scoring station staff can locate them quickly.
  4. Scoring station staff will direct the teams catch to a specific counting station.  Staff will measure and record total length of each fish according to current scientific established methods.  
  5. An overall count, minimum and maximum size will be recorded by the scoring staff on the team scoresheet and submitted to the weighmaster.
  6. If there is any discrepancy over measurement or count, the team captain should bring it to the weighmaster immediately while the fish are still at the scoring station table. Decisions of the weighmaster and rules committee are final.


  1. Only one winning entry per team will be allowed in EACH category. For example: a team can not win first, second and third largest lionfish.  In the event of a tie the winning team or individual will be determined by the earliest check in of their lionfish at the scoring station. 
  2. Teams that wish to donate their catch may do so.
  3. Cash awards will be presented to the SCUBA teams, as well as the Freediving teams


  1. ALL Cash Prizes will be awarded by a VOUCHER from the MILL REEF  CLUB 
  2. Each team must designate a representative payee to receive payment of all team cash awards.  For winners of cash awards a single check will be written to the boat’s representative payee for the total of tournament cash awards
  3. Checks will be written after the Tournament Awards Ceremony on Sunday.
  4. The Tournament accepts no responsibility for the division of any prizes between team members.
  5. Details will be provided to collect the check from Mill Reef.


  1. The Lionfish tournament is an honor system tournament with all registrants being responsible for compliance with the rules.
  2. Any violation of these rules resulting in disqualification will result in forfeiture of entry fee, prizes and cash awards, and at the sole discretion of the tournament officials, prohibited from entry in any future tournaments.
  3. All protests must be presented in writing along with a $500 deposit by the team captain to the tournament committee no later than 15 minutes after results are posted on the final day of the tournament.
  4. Tournament committee will refer to submitted count sheets for any protests relating to  count or size. If teams are not present during the counting, they forfeit their ability to protest the accuracy of the count sheets.  
  5. Poor sportsmanship will be grounds for disqualification from this tournament.


  1. All entrants agree to allow tournament officials and Antigua Open to use participant’s name, awards, and photos for any media and promotional purposes.