May 17 - May 20, 2017
- The Captain's Meeting will be held Wednesday, May 17, 2017 at 7pm in the Tournament Tent at the Abaco Beach Resort, Marsh Harbour, Bahamas for all registered teams. A team representative must be in attendance, as rules are subject to change.
- All boats must stay at Boat Harbour Marina or enter & depart each day, with permission from the committee.
- Any fish that is harvested, must be brought in on the boat on which the fish was caught.
- PERMITS & LICENSES
All teams must possess a Bahamas Fishing Permit and a Tournament Sticker. The Tournament Stickers will be located in your team package which you receive at registration. The Tournament Sticker is required to be adhered to your Bahamian fishing license.
- FISHING HOURS
The Tournament will begin with the call of "lines in" at 8:30am and continue until 4:30pm on May 17th, 18th, and 19th, 2017. All boats must be inside the marina before 7pm each evening, as the Committee must have your catch affidavits and video by then. Any gamefish requiring a weigh-in must at the scales prior to closing at 7pm. There are no lay days or weather days, unless determined by the Committee. Fish at your own risk.
There is a 70-mile boundary rule - radius from the marina.
- ANGLING & EQUIPMENT
- International Billfish Tournament Regulations apply.
- Six anglers per team per day are permitted, with no restrictions. If an angler is not registered at the team registration, he/she may be added after the start of the tournament for a fee. Teams are permitted to hook and hand, but only once, upon the initial hookup!
- A maximum of six lines (with hooks) are permitted at any one time. An unlimited amount of hookless baits or teasers are allowed. "J" hooks may be used on lures only. Natural baits must be deployed with non-offset circle hooks.
- TOURNAMENT SPECIES
Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish and Spearfish are eligible for catch and release. Tuna (Yellowfin and Blackfin only), Wahoo, and Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi) are eligible for weigh-in, with a 15 lb. minimum weight requirement.
- REPORTING OF BILLFISH
A billfish hook-up must be called in to the "Committee Boat" within the first minute on VHF channel 71. The "Committee Boat" will validate your hook-up by announcement. A billfish release must be called in to the "Committee Boat" with the following information: species released, boat name, angler name, and type of tag, if applicable. The "Committee Boat" will then verify your information by announcement and give you a release time, which must be recorded on your daily catch affidavit and turned in at the end of the fishing day, with your video evidence. It is unnecessary to call in any other species besides billfish. If you lose your fish prior to release (i.e. jump-off, pulled hook, etc.) please inform the "Committee Boat" as soon as possible.
- BLUE MARLIN WEIGH-IN
A boat may kill only one fish per day. To qualify for weigh-in, the fish must measure a minimum of 101" LJFL on day one. If the fish does not meet the minimum measurement requirement, then the undersized fish is disqualified and no points will be awarded. Fish meeting the minimum measurement requirement will be awarded 1 point per pound. This division only pays two places. The fish must be brought to the weigh-in station on the boat it was caught on!
- GAMEFISH DIVISION WEIGH-IN
Teams may weigh in one of each species per day. Scale hours are 4:30pm - 7pm each fishing day. The minimum weight of each species is 15 pounds. Any fish eligible for weigh-in must be brought to the scales by a team representative, preferably the actual angler. In the event of a tie, we request you record your landed gamefish on the day's catch affidavit, with the angler's name and time boated. We love videos too! The gamefish division is a tournament-wide winner-take-all and is weight-benchmarked by the last largest fish brought in by species Species benchmarks will be listed on the Tournament Standings board and announced by the "Committee Boat" prior to lines in each day. Each fish must be brought to the dock by the boat it was caught on! You may then "walk or roll" the fish to the weigh station.
- CATCH & RELEASE RULES
All billfish must be released to qualify. A billfish is considered released when: a) the swivel between the mainline or double line and leader hits the rod tip b) the mate grabs the leader or c) the wind-on leader comes through the rod tip. Please release the fish in good condition by either removing the hook-set or cutting the leader as close to the hook-set as possible. "Popping" the leader is not a good method of healthy release, and we ask that you refrain from doing so.
- CATCH & RELEASE POINTS
- Blue Marlin 400 points
- White Marlin: 150 points
- Spearfish: 150 points
- Sailfish: 100 points
- Unidentifiable Billfish: 100 points
- A "Hatchet Marlin" is considered a Spearfish in this tournament and therefore is categorized as such.
- All ties will be broken on time.
- CATCH & RELEASE VERIFICATION
- Identification Markers - each team will obtain a marker prior to the day's fishing. This marker must be displayed during the fight and recorded. Failure to show the marker in your video proof will disqualify your catch, even if it is time-stamped.
- Release Verification Recordings - each team is required to show video evidence of billfish catch and release. This recording shall be time and date stamped in accordance with the "official time" as stated by the "Committee Boat" prior to each day's fishing. Your video proof shall include: 1) registered angler fighting the fish 2) proper identification marker 3) sufficient footage of the fish in order to accurately determine the species 4) proper release evidence - see Rule 8 above. All recordings submitted must be easily viewed by the Committee. It is the team's responsibility to have these items and the video cued up for immediate viewing. Failure to do so will delay the verification process. We highly recommend you have at least two recordings on different cameras, and underwater shots are the best way to accurately identify the species.
- Billfish Release Affidavit - each billfish release is required to be noted on the day's Affidavit and submitted with your video to the Committee each fishing day. Failure to turn in your Affidavit will disqualify that day's catch(es). Affidavits are supplied with your registration package. If you do not have one for each day, please see the Committee for a replacement.
- Submission of Recordings - Verification recordings must be submitted to the Committee between 4:30pm and 7pm each day of fishing. All recordings, images, sounds, etc. may become property of the Tournament and may be used at any time. Recordings and/or images will be downloaded from the team's device(s), if needed. Please see INSTRUCTIONS & SUGGESTIONS re: video attached.
- Dispute & Polygraph - In the unlikely event a dispute or protest is filed with the Committee, it is possible a polygraph test may be required should the dispute not resolve. Members must be available within 24 hours of the dispute and must not consume alcohol or any controlled substance eight hours prior to testing. Failure to report for a polygraph test or refusal to answer any questions satisfactory to the Committee may result in disqualification. All disputes or protests must be submitted to the Committee in writing prior to 5 pm on the last day of the tournament.
- PAYMENT OF CASH AWARDS
- Participation in optional jackpots is not required to compete for awards.
- 90% of all optional jackpot fees are distributed in the form of cash prizes/awards except for the Gamefish and Captain/Crew categories (if applicable), where 100% of fees will be distributed.
- Participants wishing to pay optional jackpot fees up to 10 days prior to the Tournament may pay by U.S. currency, check (payable to Skip's Tournaments, LLC), or wire transfer. Participants paying optional jackpot fees within 10 days prior to the Tournament may pay by U.S. currency or wire transfer.
- Cash awards for the Catch & Release divisions are determined by points as stated in these Rules.
- Heaviest Marlin (if applicable) divisions are determined by weight as stated in these Rules. In the event no qualifying fish are weighed, 100% of all fees collected for this/these division(s) will be refunded.
- Gamefish: If no gamefish are caught in any division then that category will be shared/split into the other divisions. If no gamefish are caught, then all money will be refunded at 100%.
- Please reference U.S. Company Disclosure in regard to award payouts.