1. Registration: This is a Bayboat Tournament all bay boats are limited to 26 feet or less in length. Single engine center consoles 25 feet or less in length. All boats are subject to committee approval. When pre-registering you need to supply the boat manufacturer and model for approval. The tournament entry is $300.00 plus applicable taxes per boat. Pre-registration forms and deposits should be mailed to Bayboat Billfish Tournament Series, LLC at 132 Navajo Street, Tavernier, Florida 33070. Make deposit check payable to Bayboat Billfish Tournament Series, LLC in the amount of $100.00 per tournament. The remainder of the entry fee is due at Registration/Captain’s meeting. No checks accepted at the Captain’s meeting. All deposits should be received no later than 7 days prior to the tournament date. Deposits are non-refundable except for tournament cancelation. For questions regarding registration call (305) 509-1078. Non pre-registered teams will be charged $350.00 plus applicable taxes at the Captain are meeting.
2. Entry Forms: Entry forms must be filled out by all participants with appropriate fees and registration information. Officials in BBTS, LLC reserve the right to refuse application or entry into the tournament at their discretion with or without cause.
3. Date & Location: Tournament competition will be held on scheduled dates at scheduled Marinas /Boat Ramps.
4. Eligible Species: Sailfish, White Marlin, Blue Marlin.
5. Maximum Anglers: All anglers should be listed on the entry form. There is a maximum of 4 anglers including the captain. This is a boat tournament. All anglers including the captain may fish. Hooked fish may be handed off to other anglers. Any teams with angler changes or substitutions should notify the committee prior to the start of fishing.
6. Maximum Lines: There is a maximum of five lines in the water at one time during the tournament.
7. Tackle: All fish must be caught on rod and reel. 20 pound maximum manufactures stated pound test line is permitted. (No Braided line). No electric reels (except kite rods and downriggers). All teams must use a non-offset circle hook in the tournament. The length of the leader may not exceed 15 feet. The combined length of the double line and the leader may not exceed 20 feet in length. Up to two artificial dredges are permitted in the tournament.
8. Bait & Bait Fishing: Fishing with live bait is permitted in the tournament. Live chumming is also permitted. Registered boats may catch their own live bait at any time during the tournament as long as long as the 5 line maximum is not exceeded.
9. Hook & Catch: This is a boat tournament. Once a fish is hooked, any angler including the captain may fight the fish until it is properly released, boated, or lost. Anglers may pass rods to fellow anglers once a fish has been hooked. The use of a rod holder to hook a fish is allowable.
10. Tournament Channel: The tournament committee will operate on CELL PHONE ONLY.
11. Boundaries: Participating boats are limited to the waters off the coast of Florida no more than 10 miles offshore.
12. Prize Structure: The general prize structure is based upon a participating field of 10 boats.
13. Check-Out: Check-out will take place at the scheduled Marina or Ramp from 6:30am – 7:30am. All boats must pass by the committee at idle speed and clearly display their boat # for verification. Any boats in need of a check-out after 7:30am should contact the committee to arrange a visual checkout. Any boats that do not visually clear prior to fishing will be automatically disqualified from the tournament. Multiple Checkout locations maybe utilized at the discretion of the tournament committee.
14. NO BIMINI START: Upon checking out, all boats should exercise idle speed. Once cleared from checkout all boats may proceed safely towards their fishing grounds to await the start of fishing, lines in the water at 8:00 am. No boats may be trailered to or from their fishing locations during the tournament.
15. Check-In: Lines are out of the water at 4pm. Boats with release cards and SD cards to turn in must do so by visually displaying their boat # to the check-in committee at the scheduled Marina or Ramp by 6:00 pm. Boats that do not check in by 6:00 pm will be ineligible to turn in their release cards and SD cards.
16. Weather: In the event that weather conditions arise and it is deemed unsafe for the average registered boat, by the tournament officials, the tournament schedule may be altered to accommodate the best weather & fishing conditions available to participating teams. Any schedule adjustment due to inclement weather will be made at the sole discretion of the tournament committee and rescheduled for the following day or following Saturday. No refunds will be made in the event of cancellation unless made by the tournament committee. Captains, anglers, and all other members of registered boats must determine in their own judgment whether to fish under the given conditions based on factors including but not limited to, the seaworthiness of their boat and their own seamanship including but not limited to, any changes in the sea and/or weather conditions.
17. Competition Day: The schedule calls for hours of fishing from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm on day of the tournament. Best effort will be made to ensure the full day of fishing is met for the day of competition. At least 4 hours of tournament fishing must occur on that given day in order for the points from that day to be factored into the overall score & standings for each team. Should inclement weather or any other force majeure condition occur that limits the tournament to only 1/2 day of fishing, the daily calcutta All other general prize and calcutta money will be paid according to standard procedure based on the standings from the 1/2 day of fishing.
WIND: By 5:30am tournament officials will consult with the local NOAA Marine Buoys and if wind speeds are over 20 knots the officials will then postpone the tournament to the following day. Team captains will be notified by a group text message if the tournament has been postponed. The information will also be posted on the web site and Facebook. All teams will be notified at the Captain’s meeting what buoy the tournament officials are monitoring.
18. Protests: All protests must be submitted in writing along with $100 cash to the tournament officials within two hours of the conclusion of the day of fishing. Protests should be made based on first hand eyewitness information. All decisions of the tournament officials regarding protests are final.
19. Polygraph: By entering the tournament all captains and anglers voluntarily consent to submit to a polygraph examination as deemed necessary by tournament officials. All decisions of the polygraph examiner will be final. Any captain or angler of a registered boat who refuses to take a polygraph or provides untruthful answers as determined by the examiner will be disqualified from the tournament without further notice. Such a disqualification will eliminate payment or provision of any prize money, awards, and/or refund of entrance fees.
20. Tournament Discretion: The tournament director reserves the right to implement his or her discretion at any time during the tournament as it may apply to the rules or any other circumstance that should arise during the course of the event.
21. Release: All registered captains and anglers of their boats consent that tournament officials may use without payment or restriction, any photographs or video in which he or she appears for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to resale, advertising, and promotional material.
22. Release and Hold Harmless: In signing these rules, each captain, angler, observer or other participant in The Bayboat Billfish Tournament Series, LLC sponsored event acknowledges and agrees that they have entered into the tournament freely and voluntarily and have assumed all risks that may be attendant to their participation in the tournament. Each captain, angler, observer or other participant, on their own behalf as well as that of any family members or dependents, agrees to fully release, acquit, hold harmless and discharge The Bayboat Billfish Tournament Series, LLC and its officers, officials, employees, agents and representatives, affiliates, successors and/or assigns, and all other persons connected, directly or indirectly, with the operation and/or sponsorship of the tournament from and against any and all claims, liabilities, causes of action, damages, costs, attorney’s fees, expenses and compensation whatsoever, of whatever kind or nature, in law, equity or otherwise; and including, but not limited to, any claims for negligence, property damage or loss, personal injury, death, damages, defamation or libel, which might be claimed by, on behalf of, or through any captain, angler, observer or other participant.
23. Signature: By signing the entry form and/or registering for the tournament, the captain agrees that all anglers of their boat will abide by all tournament rules.
24. Scoring: Billfish Points- Registered teams will receive 100 points for each eligible billfish released in the tournament. All team prize categories will be awarded based on the team’s overall point standings. In the event of a tie, winners will be determined by the team that releases their last fish first.
25. Billfish Release Criteria: All billfish must be properly released in order for 100 points to be scored. The requirements for a release are as follows: (1) The double line and leader must leave the tip of the rod once a strike occurs. (2) At the conclusion of the fight the fish must be brought close enough to the boat for a team member to touch the leader, not the double line. (3) In a continuous sequence, video footage must clearly identify the fish as well as the leader touch by a team member. (4) The proper color card must be displayed on video to mark the completion of a catch. Any team that hooks up a sailfish in the last 15 minutes before lines out must call the hook up into the committee.
26. Video Requirement: Every billfish released in the tournament must be verified by video footage clearly identifying the release. Each team is responsible for providing their own video camera and the appropriate media to record video footage that documents the releases on their boat. Video media will not be provided to teams by the tournament committee.
Acceptable video formats are SD cards only. The first video clip to be shot by all teams should be of the checkout staff or a subject determined by committee before the start of each tournament day. This will be determined at the Captain’s Meeting. If you fill your first video SD card and need to switch to a second SD card during fishing please contact the committee for an establishing shot to begin your video.
27. Continuous Video Sequence: To ensure the authenticity of the releases, each team will be required to maintain a continuous video sequence from the time video evidence of the fish is established up to the time the leader touch is verified on video. If a break in the footage should occur, the team must reestablish video evidence of the fish again with a continuous video sequence up to the leader touch. It is not necessary to keep the camera rolling while waiting for confirmation number and color card verification from the committee.
28. Break Image: Once a release has occurred and the leader has been touched, a team member must contact the committee for confirmation number and instructions on which color card to shoot before footage of a subsequent release begins. If a team is hooked up to multiple fish, a team member should state that on camera with video evidence to support it. If both fish are brought boat side at the same time the break image can be made once both fish are properly released and confirmation numbers are received.
29. Live Scoring: Teams may access website: www.bayboatbillfishtournamentseries.com and Bayboat Billfish Tournament Series, LLC Facebook page to view live scoring and team standings during the tournament.
30. Release & Catch Verification: All billfish releases must be reported to the tournament committee immediately following the release. Individuals calling in a release must include the boat number and/or name in their report. A release will be official once the committee responds to the respective boat with a confirmation number. That confirmation number should be recorded on the registered boats release card. The tournament cell phone number will be provided to teams at the Captain’s meeting. Boats that intend to fish in areas with poor cell phone coverage are still responsible for maintaining communication with the tournament committee on all releases.
31. Tournament Prize Money and Calcutta Disbursement: At the end of the tournament days fishing the teams will turn in their catch card and video chip (SD card) to the tournament committee. Through the live scoring the tentative winners will be announced and photographed. The SD card and catch sheets will then be taken back to the BBTS, LLC headquarters for video catch verification. Should all of the winning teams catches be verified then the winners will be notified and checks will mailed out on Tuesday following the tournament. All SD media cards will be mailed back to their appropriate team’s captain. The winning team’s photos will be posted on our website and Facebook.
32. Winnings: All winners are required to provide their social security number prior to receiving any awards. Awards and prize money will be withheld as required by law if a social security number is not presented in advance of the awards presentations.