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64th International Billfish San Juan

December 07 - December 10, 2017

Tournament Rules

Post Hurricane María Edition

    A compulsory meeting for captains, crew and anglers will be held at 8:00 PM on Thursday, December 7, at the Salón Rojo, Club Náutico de San Juan to assure that all boat crews are familiar with the tournament rules and scoring. The tournament rules will be provided to each boat captain.
    The Tournament Control room will be located at the Club Náutico de San Juan. At the captain & anglers’ meeting, the exact location will be announced. Official tournament notices are to be posted on the tournament bulletin board located in the breakfast area. Changes will be posted by 6:30 A.M. each fishing day.
    The fishing area will be limited in the East to Long. 65 degrees 45 minutes W (or around to Punta Picúa Buoy) and in the West to Long. 66 degrees 25 minutes West (or to around Vega Baja Beach). No Northern limit exists.
    Boats will not depart from the pier before 7:00 A.M. Boats failing to comply will be disqualified for the day.
    The following fishing hours will be observed:
    Starts Ends
    First Fishing Day 7:30 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
    Second Fishing Day 7:30 A.M. 4:30 P.M.
    Any changes to the above will be announced at the captain & anglers’ meeting and will be posted on the bulletin board in the area where the breakfast is served. Anglers must be ready at assigned boats at 6:45 A.M. If an angler is not on board 10 minutes before departure time, the captain of the vessel will contact Control and get consent to depart. Neither LINES nor TEASERS may be put into the water before 7:30 A.M. or after the end of each fishing day as stated above.
  5. 5. FISH
    Only billfish will qualify for the tournament. All billfish must be released. NO EXCEPTIONS.
  6. 6. TIME LIMIT
    There is a time limit of one and a half (1 1/2) hour for releasing and tagging any billfish and 15 minutes to catch or release any other species including but not limited to Mahi-mahi, Wahoo and Tunas. After the expiration of the time limit, the fish is disqualified and the angler must break the line. To break the line the angler must lock the spool so it fails at the knots near the fish and the marlin is not dragging hundreds of yards of monofilament. Non-billfish species must be caught or broken off as soon as identified or in a maximum of 15 minutes.
    Boats must be equipped for Blue Marlin fishing, including fighting chair and outriggers.
    Every boat must have a captain and at least one fishing mate working in the cockpit.
    The boat must have a toilet and kitchen in good working conditions.
    If a registered boat is unable to continue fishing for any reason after leaving the docks the first fishing day, and the registered anglers continue fishing on a different boat; any catch made outside the registered boat will accumulate points for the anglers and their teams, but not for the registered boat or a non-registered substitute boat. The same way, captains and/or crew not present during the catch will not accumulate any points.
    Each angler may have only one line in the water and rods must be assigned to each registered angler on board.
    The minimum age for participation, as set by the By-Laws, is eighteen (18) years of age for male or female anglers unless an exception is requested to the Tournament Committee prior to the tournament.
    Only one angler per boat per day may be substituted. Professional captains or mates cannot be used as substitutes.
  8. 8. I.G.F.A. RULES
    The International Angling Rules formulated by the International Game Fish Association will apply, with the following exceptions:
    Only single non-offset circle hooks are permitted on natural baits or bait/lure combinations.
    Only single hooks are permitted on artificial baits or lures.
    No spinning tackle will be allowed.
    All other rules relating to rods, reels, lines, double-line and leaders for 20# and 30# line will apply, including terminal tackle. For more information visit the IGFA website at www.igfa.org
  9. 9. BAITS
    All bait shall be considered community property of all anglers. Non-entangling devices, such as leads, skirts, birds, sea witches, or jigs may be used with tournament bait, at the choice of each angler.
    Artificial or natural baits are allowed. All artificial baits must be rigged with a single hook. All natural baits or natural bait / lure combination must be rigged with a non-offset circle hook. Tampering with hooks is grounds for disqualification.
  10. 10. BAIT & SWITCH
    The use of the Bait & Switch system will be permitted only under the following rules and regulations:
    a. If an angler on board does not want to fish using the Bait & Switch system on a boat that is doing so, he/she may use bait on the short riggers during his rotation on those positions. No angler can be forced to use the Bait & Switch system.
    b. The system will be used only in the short (flat) lines. The long lines (outrigger lines) will have baits or lures with hooks in them.
    c. Boats using the bait & switch system can use as many teasers as wanted which will be placed anywhere as long as they are in front of the long riggers.
    d. In the boats that have only three anglers on board, or boats with four anglers that wish to fish three riggers with hooks and one pitch bait, the angler at the pitch bait position will have control of all the teasers and any fish that is attracted by those teasers can be hooked using the bait & switch system only by that angler.
    e. In the boats with four anglers on board where two anglers will have pitch baits, each angler will have a side of the boat assigned to him and will be able to pitch the bait only on his/her side of the boat.
    No angler can place his bait in the side of the boat where the other angler is assigned. Captains maneuvering the boat to move a fish from one side of the spread to the other will be expelled from the tournament.
    f. Teasers will not be placed behind the long riggers. No angler using the bait & switch system will be permitted to drop his bait farther back than where the farthest teaser was located when the fish was first raised.
  11. 11. TACKLE
    Only line complying with I.G.F.A. (IGFA Tournament Line) 30pounds (15Kg) and 20 pounds (10Kg) requirements will be used. No braided lines are allowed, only 20# and 30# monofilament. The committee reserves the right to test any line of any angler.
    No ratchet handle reels such as Duel are allowed, reels designed to be cranked with both hands at the same time and power-driven reels of any kind are prohibited. Reels must comply with sporting ethics and customs.
    No one except the angler may touch his rod, reel, or line during the fight without disqualifying the catch.
    The use of gaffs on the fish is prohibited and its use for any reason will disqualify the catch.
  12. 12. HOOKUP
    When an angler has hooked a fish, the other anglers in the boat shall immediately retrieve their baits and remove them from the water. In case of a double hookup (two fish on two different lines), the first angler to hookup shall have sole control of the boat until the fish is released, tagged, or lost. Control of the boat then passes on to the second angler to hookup and the time limit for the second fish will begin counting for him from that time on.
    When an angler has a fish approaching his bait or has a strike, the other two anglers may not attempt to bait that fish. They may not pull out of the outriggers or drop back from the flat line until the first angler loses his bait or stops trying to catch this fish. If the fish goes to the bait of another angler, the same rules apply to the second angler or the third angler. Upon a hook-up, the boat must stop and the other anglers must remove their baits from the water unless there is another active billfish on the spread.
    If an angler stops trying to catch a fish on the flat line, because of loss of bait, etc., and a fish remains on the teasers, the other angler then has the right to bait a fish on the teaser.
  13. 13. REPORTING
    Daily fish reports duly signed by the boat captain on each boat must be submitted by each angler at the end of each day of fishing. These reports must be submitted whether the angler has a catch or not, and must be delivered to the Committeeman at the office when the angler disembarks.
    All strikes and all fish hooked will be reported immediately to the control center. The report must include the name of the angler, name of the boat, fishing lines and coordinates (Latitude and Longitude to the nearest minute).
    Another report must be made when the fish is tipped, tagged, or lost. Only authorized radio operators may use the radios. The radio must not be used to carry on unnecessary conversations. When using the radio be brief and specific.
    Radios should not be used during the last ten minutes of every fishing day unless it is to report a hooked fish.
  14. 14. SCORING
    All released billfish will score points as follows:
    BLUE MARLIN on 30# 300 pts.
    BLUE MARLIN on 20# 410 pts.
    WHITE MARLIN on 30# 160 pts.
    WHITE MARLIN on 20# 205 pts.
    SAILFISH or SPEARFISH on 30# 130 pts.
    SAILFISH or SPEARFISH on 20# 165 pts.
    A billfish will be considered as released (or tipped) when the swivel touches the rod tip, or if no swivel is used, when the leader touches the rod tip. Should either of these events occur, the fish is scored irrespective of subsequent events.
    b. To release the fish, the person holding the leader shall try to disengage the hook from the fish or shall cut the leader as close to the fish as possible. No jerking of the leader to break it or pull the hook free shall be permitted.
    c. If an angler, captain or crew wishes to tag a fish, it should be done no more than five (5) minutes after it has complied with the requisites established under a released billfish. If the fish has not been tagged after five (5) minutes it must be released. Tagging billfish will not affect the overall accumulated score of anglers, boats or teams.
    d. All billfish must be released. NO EXCEPTIONS.
    e. Any fish mutilated in such a way that would impair its fighting ability is disqualified and any fish hooked by more than one angler is disqualified.
    f. In case of a tie, the angler, boat, captain or team first achieving the points will win.
  15. 15. TEAMS
    If there is more than one International Team representing the same country, each team will fish as separate teams as far as scoring is concerned. Only one Team per Country will be awarded for International teams.
    If there is more than one Team representing the same Club, each team will fish as separate teams as far as scoring is concerned. Only one Team per Club will be awarded for Interclub teams.
    It shall be of the responsibility of each Angler to be familiar with these Rules and the I.G.F.A. International Angling Rules, including the new release rules and recommendations. They must test their lines and measure their leaders and double lines. The Tournament Committee is entitled to enter any boat to check equipment. In case of a protest, the protesting angler shall, when aware of the infraction, radio-in his intention to file a protest. No later than one hour after arriving at the dock, he shall deliver a written report of the complaint to the Tournament Director.
    The Tournament Chairman shall designate a Judging Committee composed of three members. If any of the judges restrains from taking action in any specific issue, the Tournament Chairman, or someone else named by him shall act on behalf of the judge or judges that inhibit themselves. The Judging Committee shall have the sole power to decide upon all protests.
    All decisions regarding protests and awards will be made by the Judging Committee after review and examination of all pertinent information and, if deemed necessary, testimony from all parties involved. The decisions of the Judging Committee shall be firm, final and subject to no further review and shall be binding and obligatory for all participating Anglers.
    Anglers are advised to be familiar with these Rules and all applicable I.G.F.A. Rules. They must measure their leader and double line. The Tournament Committee is entitled to enter any boat to check equipment.
  17. 17. SPEED LIMIT
    There is a five-mile per hour speed limit in the San Juan Bay.
  18. 18. WEATHER
    There will be two days of Tournament fishing unless any is canceled due to reasons of weather. One fishing day will make the tournament complete.
  19. 19. OTHER
    Anglers who are not boat owners are reminded that the boat owners are your hosts and that they have no obligation to supply any personal fishing tackle to any angler. The Tournament supplies every boat with liquor, beer, refreshments and other minor necessities. All other equipment must be supplied by the angler.
    All participants in the tournament enter at their own risk. By registering as an angler in the tournament, the angler holds harmless the Club Náutico de San Juan and the International Billfish Tournament, its officers, managers and directors, its sponsors and donors and all persons connected directly or indirectly with the operations of the tournament from all liability for libel, slander, loss, damage, negligence, harm, injury or death suffered by any participant, entrant sport-fisherman, their companions, boat captain, crew members, family members, vessels and equipment which may occur during or in conduction with the tournament.
    Club Náutico de San Juan, its Directors, and the International Billfish Tournament Committee in no way will regulate, establish the rules for, or control any money pools or any other kind and in no way will they judge, adjudicate, award or mediate in any controversy related to money pools or betting of any kind. Any angler or person participating in any money pool and/or any betting of any kind during the tournament, hereby releases and hold harmless (in the most extensive, inclusive and embracing meaning of said terms), Club Náutico de San Juan, its Directors and the International Billfish Tournament Committee from any responsibility and/or liability and/or claim and/or action in any way related to the formation, organization, execution and development of said money pools and/or betting and/or in any way related to the awarding and/or selection of a winner in any pools or betting. If any such pool is formed or any kind of betting is conducted or performed, be it anglers or captains of the participating boats or any other persons, said will participate in the pools or betting at their own risk..