We were contacted by Alan Blanco last year regarding participating and sponsoring a new online fishing and spearfishing tournament. I’m not going to lie, I almost didn’t take the call. You see, this has been done in the past with less than impressive results when it came to number of entries and especially actually promoting the sponsors who supply all the prizes. Yet I figured I’d listen to the pitch and see if someone finally had some new ideas. I’m glad I did.
Alan proposed running the tournament across the country and all US territories. There would be winners monthly in different categories: freedive spearfishing, rod and reel fishing, scuba spearfishing, and by the time this is printed they will have a freshwater category.
This sounded very interesting but when he dropped the bomb about how it would be scored I knew this is something we needed to be part of.
The Ocean Warfare point system is unique to their tournament and was created specifically to allow them to fairly conduct a nationwide contest. Their system is simple, but is also the first that evenly levels the playing field so competitors can compete equally whether fishing offshore, inshore, or from a pier. Instead of focusing on the overall largest fish, they use the current IGFA World Record length or Ocean Warfare Record (whichever is larger) of each species individually to produce a percentage for your submission
For example, if you submit a 50″ fish and the WR for the species is 100″, your fish is at the 50th percentile of the WR. This percentage is now multiplied by 10 giving you 500 points for that individual submission.
There is a maximum capability of 1000 points per submission even if your fish supersedes the WR. This is how you can win with an above average bag of reef or inshore fish against the offshore anglers with an average sized bag of pelagic fish.
Simply put, Quantity means nothing. It’s all about quality.
Having always preferred the mentality of take only what you need and shying away from aggregate tournaments which focus on quantity this was clearly a perfect fit for us. For the first time in a long time the cookie cutter mold that the majority of spearfishing tournaments had been run within was being broken and the Ocean Warfare series has me excited.
After a few additional calls we agreed to be the official sponsor of the freedive spearfishing division and supply each monthly winner with a subscription.
So how do you sign up and get involved? Well, it’s simple. In order to submit catches you will have to register for an account with a Monthly, Quarterly or Yearly Subscription. Your membership will unlock the restriction to submit your catches and give you access to features being rolled out frequently. You will be able to manage your membership and orders with an account on Ocean Warfare. All of this can be found at www.oceanwarfare.com.
Once signed up, you will need an Official Ocean Warfare Ruler in order to submit your catches. If you subscribed to one of the paid memberships (Monthly, Quarterly or Yearly) you will receive a complimentary Official Ocean Warfare Ruler.
Members must adhere to the Ocean Warfare Submission Guidelines in order to have their catches approved and counted toward their points total. Pictured is an example of how a submission photo should look. They also have an excellent video tutorial that covers all the details necessary for a successful catch submission.
At Ocean Warfare, they want to make fish submission simple yet thorough to ensure disqualifications are at a minimum. Below are the steps you should follow to guarantee your submissions are accepted every time. The guidelines are as follows:
Photograph fish immediately after they are captured. Fresh is best. Fish that look like they were purchased at the local market will automatically be sent into investigation.
The official Ocean Warfare ruler is the only ruler acceptable for submissions.
Find a flat surface closest to where the fish was captured to properly display your ruler.
Place fish directly on top of the OW ruler allowing for the bottom area of the ruler to remain visible. This will assure the ruler is not folded underneath the fish being photographed.
Place outermost point of the mouth at the strong black line shown directly after the OW trident logo.
Measure to either the tip of the fork or tip of the tail, depending on current species regulations. It is your responsibility to know proper measurement requirements and abide to those requirements for your OW submission.
Place a cell phone below your fish at the same strong black line where your measurement begins. They will use this to scale your fish to confirm accurate measurements.
Click the cell phone home screen (brighten screen if necessary) to clearly display the time and date. You can also use their OW Time Stamp for this purpose. Pull it up on your mobile web browser and display it for your photo. This is extremely important as they must confirm your fish was caught within the month it was submitted.
Take your submission photo from directly over your fish. Please make sure both ends are captured, as well as the cell phone. They can always zoom in when reviewing your submission, but they unfortunately can’t zoom out.
You cannot edit or filter your submission photos in any way. No edited or filtered photos will be accepted as an OW submission toward prize packages.
Lastly, although you are only required to submit one photo per species at OW, please take several backup shots in case they are requested of you for confirmation. Also, please take a quick video to completely show your fish, your ruler, cell phone, surrounding and anything else that may help you prove your catch was legitimate. Keep it until that month tournament is over. It could be your savior!
In conclusion, Ocean Warfare has stepped outside of the standard spearfishing tournament box and reinvented how tournaments can be run. Doing so has allowed them to effectively and fairly allow spearfishermen to compete in their local waters, targeting local fish nation wide while still keeping the playing field fair regardless of your experience level or location.
Do yourself a favor and head over to Oceanwarefare.com and get signed up. You can follow them on Instagram as well as Face Book.
Good luck and dive safe.