Rules & Regulations

Rules and Regulations

  1. This is a fish “2 out of 3 day” event, and all teams will have one lay day. A lay day form must be turned in to the Pirates Cove Morning Booking desk on or before the Team’s layday, before 8:30am that day.
  2. Official Clock – TIME STARTS THE FIRST DAY OF THE TOURNAMENT. Official tournament time will be continuous GPS time. In case of a tie, time of catch/release will be used to determine the winner.  The Rules Committee may consult the Committee Boat log to reach a decision based on fractions of a minute or sequence of catch.
  3. Boundaries – All fish must be hooked within tournament boundaries with are: North 41350; South 40000; East 26700; fish can then be played outside boundaries until caught or released.
  4. Point System – all billfish must be released to obtain points. This is a release ONLY tournament with the exception of the game fish category which includes dolphin, tuna, and wahoo. All releases for blue marlin, white marlin, sailfish, spearfish, and swordfish will count as 100 points each.  In the event of a tie, the team catching the equal number of fish first wins.
  5. Tackle – All IGFA rules apply unless otherwise noted. All fish must be hooked and caught by angler. For more about anglers, see 8 below. Unconventional, non-trolling techniques are strictly prohibited.  No backing into schools, casting, use of casting tackle, use of live bait or live bait teasers. CIRLCE HOOKS – Federal Law mandates that all anglers participating in a Tournament which bestows points, prizes, or awards for Atlantic Billfish (Blue & White Marlin, Sailfish, and Spearfish) must deploy only non-offset circle hooks when using natural bait and/or natural/artificial lure combinations. Anglers in these Tournaments may use J-hooks only in artificial lures.
  6. Anglers – Anyone on the boat, including the Captain or Mate may hook a fish, and the rod is allowed to be passed ONCE to an angler. If this occurs, angler must fight fish until release unassisted. There is no limit to the number of eligible anglers per boat. All anglers must be registered with the Tournament Director prior to each eligible day’s fishing. Any fish caught by a non-registered angler will be disqualified.
  7. Releases – In order to qualify a billfish as a release one of the following conditions must be met: (1) the leader is touched by a team leader, angler or mate, OR (2) the knot or swivel connecting the leader to the main line touches the rod tip.
  8. Scoring/Score sheets – The scoring table, located in the Tournament Pavilion, will close Thursday and Friday at 8pm and Saturday at 7pm. Scorecards must be turned in by closing in order to receive points that day. Scorecard must show date, angler’s name, junior or lady angler designation, time of release and signature of anglers and captain.
  9. Reporting catch – All billfish released must be reported to a committee boat (to be announced at the Captain’s meeting) on the VHF radio channel 74 or Side Band Radio channel 4149.0. Only billfish releases need be reported. Hook-ups in the last 10 minutes of each day will also require reporting to the committee boat. The committee boat will respond with a time of release. If committee boat cannot be raised, then a verifiable report must be given to another tournament boat. Note boat name on scorecard.
  10. Game fish – if you’re entered in category 4, Game Fish, you’ll be eligible for trophies and cash for the 1st and 2nd place of each of the following species: wahoo, dolphin, tuna (including yellow fin, black fin, and big eye). Fish are to be brought to the weigh station each day by a team representative no later than 8pm (7pm on Sunday) for weighing by the weigh master. If two or more entries are the same weight, then the fish with the largest total measurements (length and girth) shall be deemed the winner. If the weight and total measurements are the same, the fish with the earliest weigh in time will determine the winner.
  11. Protests / disputes – must be submitted in writing to the Tournament Director by 9am on the day following the catch of the disputed fish and by 6:00pm on Saturday July 28. The rules committee at their discretion may use polygraph test to reach a decision. By virtue of signing the entry form all participants agree to the final decision of the rules committee.
  12. Cancellation Policy – If the weather and/or other conditions exist that require cancellation of the tournament, refunds will be paid less tournament expenses. The decision to cancel the tournament will be made by the tournament director.