Don’t wait ’til the last minute! After April 30th, entry fee will increase to $4,500.
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Abaco Activities, LLC
Attn: Gerard Brutus
1007 N Federal Hwy
Fort Lauderdale, FL 33304
Bahamas Blue Marlin Cup Rules
- Conflicting tournaments:Any boat or participant entered in the Tournament shall not be entered in another May 4th tournament in which boats, anglers or participants compete with other boats, anglers or participants in more than one country, territory or like jurisdiction.
- Entry fee:$4,000 per boat (each boat is referred to as “Participant”).
- Optional Marlin Grander Challenge (MGC):$8,000 per boat.
- Payment and Acceptance of Entry Fee:Payment can be made by standard commercial means either by mail, wire transfer or over the internet. After April 1st, 2020 only, internet credit card payments and cash (US currency only) will be accepted. Each Participant must receive a confirmation number prior to May 4 which shall confirm Participant’s entry into the Tournament. Registration will close May 2, 2019, 6:00 pm EST!
- Revocation of Entry:BBMC reserves the right in its sole and absolute discretion to reject or revoke participation by any Participant for any reason. Revocation may be communicated or sent to Participant by phone, fax or email and is effective when sent by BBMC.
- Withdrawal:Refunds will only be made for withdrawals if a written withdrawal and refund notice signed by the Participant is received by BBMC on or before 5:00 pm, May 2, 2019.
- Qualifying fish:Blue Marlin must be 500 pounds or more. All fish below the qualifying weight or those fish caught that are smaller than the biggest reported catch shall be released.
- REPORTING A KILL FISH:If you call in a release, then you may not kill your fish. Be sure of your intent before calling the catch into the "Committee". Once you call in a "release" it is recorded as a release and cannot be changed. "Deck-checking" is not permitted. Once you have decided you have a kill fish on the leader, please inform the "Committee" of your intent, and again when it is landed. The fish's measurements must be given to the Committee within 30 minutes of landing, and will be relayed to the fleet by the "Committee". It is highly recommended you continue to capture your kill on video, although not required.
- Winning fish:The winning fish will be the heaviest blue marlin over 500 pounds caught in accordance with these Tournament Rules. If the winner is not entered in the Marlin Grander Challenge, there may be a separate Marlin Grander Challenge winner if a BBMC Participant catches a qualifying fish. In the case of a tie, the earliest confirmed time with BBMC of fish boated will be the winner.
- IGFA and Government Rules:Subject to the express modifications set forth in these Tournament Rules, each Participant shall comply with the IGFA rules which can be viewed at www.igfa.org. under “ Fishing,” and with all applicable governmental rules and regulations. THE TOURNAMENT WILL ONLY ALLOW THE USE OF SPECIFIED FISHING LINE AS NOTED AT RULE NUMBER 17 BELOW. PARTICIPANTS ARE SOLELY RESPONSIBLE FOR REVIEWING THIS RULE AND COMPLYING WITH THE LINE SPECIFICATIONS.Participants are assumed to have all the necessary permits, licenses and /or registrations required by law. However, it is not the responsibility of BBMC to verify that all required permits, licenses and registrations are acquired by Participants or any applicable parties on their boats. Failure of a winning angler or team to have obtained any or all required permits, registrations or licenses shall not be grounds for a protest to be filed or for a fish to be disqualified.
- Tournament Prize Money and Distribution:Prize money is awarded for first place only in this winner takes all tournament. Participant catching the largest blue marlin over 500 lbs. If the winner is not entered in the Big Blue Challenge, there may be a separate Marlin Grander Challengewinner if a BBMC Participant catches a qualifying fish. Prize money shall be equal to 80% of Tournament Entry Fees (the “ Prize Money”). The Prize Money will be distributed to the “ Payee” designated in writing by Participant. IN THE EVENT THAT A QUALIFYING FISH IS NOT CAUGHT, THE TOURNAMENT PRIZE MONEY (TOURNAMENT ENTRY FEES MINUS 20%) WILL BE ROLLED OVER AND ADDED TO THE PRIZE MONEY FOR THE 2021 TOURNAMENT. Reentry and payment of the 2021 Tournament Entry Fee will be required to participate in the 2021 BBMC Cup.
- Marlin Grander Challenge (MGC):Entry in the Marlin Grander Challenge is optional and all Tournament Rules will apply. The winning BBMC Participant will be the BBMC Participant catching the largest blue marlin over 500 Lbs. The BBMC is a winner takes all event with prize money equal to the total BBMC entry fees minus 20% (the “BBMC Prize Money”). The BBMC Prize Money will be distributed to the “Payee” designated in writing by Participant. If there is no BBMC winner, 80% of the BBC entry fees will be refunded.
- Fishing hours:Lines in the water at 7:30 am and out of the water at 4:30 pm in the angler’s local time zone. If a hookup is reported to BBMC headquarters prior to lines out at 4:30 pm and the angler reasonably believes that the marlin exceeds 500 lbs., the angler may continue fighting the marlin until it is boated, released or lost, and the midnight reporting deadline in rule 14 below shall be extended for a reasonable period of time, determined by BBMC in its sole discretion, to allow for the boating and weighing of the fish.
- PERMITS & LICENSESAll teams must possess a Bahamas Fishing Permit. The Tournament Stickers and makers will be located in your team package which you receive at registration. The Tournament Sticker is required to have adhered to your Bahamian fishing license.
- Polygraph:BBMC reserves the right to require that the angler and/or any members of the crew pass a polygraph test, administered in the manner determined by BBMC, in order to collect the Prize Money. All tests or other verification costs incurred by BBMC shall be paid out of the Prize Money and/or BBMC Prize Money, as applicable.
- Determination and Verification of Fish Size:Fish weight, as well as length (as measured from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail) and girth (the “Weight and Measurements”), shall be taken by a qualified weigh master approved by BBMC. At least two independent witnesses are required to witness the taking of the Weight and Measurements. The Weight and Measurements along with photos taken to verify the Weight and Measurements and the witnesses’ names and contact information shall be submitted to BBMC as soon as reasonably possible, but no later than midnight, May 4th, 2020. An observer approved by BBMC may be required for any Participant fishing in a remote area where there are no other Participants (the “ Remote Area”). BBMC shall have the right to refuse any entry if it believes that adequate verification procedures are not available in the Remote Area to modify verification compliances and procedures in its sole discretion.
- Fishing Line Requirements:Any line (monofilament, Dacron or braided line) with a manufacturer’s stated breaking strength of 100 pounds or less; also accepted is any line labeled as “ IGFA-rated or Tournament-rated” with a breaking strength of 130 pounds or less. The backing of ANY SIZE is permitted as long as the top spot does not exceed 130lb. test IGFA or 100lb manufacturers stated. IGFA Top Shot & backing rule. The catch shall be classified under the breaking strength of the first five meters of the line directly preceding the double line, leader or hook. This section must be comprised of a single, homogenous piece of line.”
- Reporting:Participants shall use their best effort to report, as soon as possible, when a fish is hooked and then when any large blue marlin is boated and the estimated weight of the fish. BBMC may provide Tournament day activity on the Bahamas Blue Marlin Cup web site or through “Twitter”, Facebook or the tournament website as it occurs throughout the day, however, in no event shall BBMC have any liability for any such information that may later turn out to be inaccurate or false.
- CATCH & RELEASE VERIFICATION Identification Markers - each team will obtain a marker(s) 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" 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. 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.
- Submission of Recordings - Verification recordings must be submitted to the Committee during the day of fishing (preferably after the catch). All recordings, images, sounds, etc. may become the property of the Tournament and may be used at any time.
- Adverse Conditions:It is the responsibility of each Participant to decide in advance whether to fish on May 4th. Participants shall not be entitled to refunds for the Tournament or the Marlin Grander Challenge (MGC): unless Participant complies with the refund rules set forth above. Participant shall not be entitled to a refund after the refund deadline due to the inability of Participant to fish on May 4th for any reason, including, but not limited to bad weather, adverse sea conditions, other acts of God, mechanical or physical conditions or other similar conditions or events.
- Dispute Resolution:In order for any dispute or protest to be considered it must be submitted to BBMC prior to 6:00 pm on May 5th, 2020. Any dispute shall be determined and resolved in the sole and absolute discretion of the BBMC rules committee and said determination and/or resolution shall be final and binding.
- Indemnification:Anglers/crews/ boat owner and guests of Participant (collectively “Participating Parties”) enter the Tournament at their own risk, individually and collectively, and assume all risks which might occur. Participating Parties hereby release and forever discharge BBMC and their agents, employees, representatives, attorneys, shareholders, officers, directors, assigns, heirs and successors-in-interest from and against any and all claims, demands, obligations and causes of action, which Participating Parties may have to arise out of or in any way connected with their participation in the Tournament. Participant acknowledges and agrees to abide by the rules established by BBMC and any decisions or determinations made by BBMC regarding said rules. Participant shall be responsible for having each of the participating parties sign a copy of these rules prior to the tournament. In the event any claim is not covered by this indemnification provision, maximum damages payable to any Participant or any other party shall be limited to; (i) the amount of their entry fee; or (ii) $12,000, whichever is less.
- Jurisdiction:In the event of any litigation arising out of the Tournament, participant hereby consents to the jurisdiction of the Bahamas courts
- Consent to Rules and Failure to Abide by the Rules:Submission of your entry into the Tournament constitutes your acceptance of the Rules and your agreement to abide by the Rules. Failure to abide by the Rules shall constitute disqualification.
General Instructions & Suggestions
- Be sure that your camera meets Tournament requirements prior to its start.
- Be sure to possess the appropriate cables, adapters, cards, readers, etc.
- Have two cameras recording during the fight. Back up is never a bad idea.
- Be sure to have batteries fully charged and extra batteries, SD cards, etc. on hand.
- Recordings should be cued up for the Office Committee review.
- Be sure the date and time are accurate and match the Office Committee's "official time".
- Be sure the date and time are displayed on the image, if possible. Otherwise, the time and date stamp must be displayed on the actual file.
- Be familiar with your equipment.
- Test your equipment prior to the Tournament start.
- Designate someone to record the release evidence and boated fish, be familiar with the equipment and the Tournament rules.
- Do not store the equipment in an air-conditioned environment to avoid fogging.
- Underwater video (i.e. use of a GoPro or other underwater device) is the best way to positively identify your billfish species.
- Be sure you have captured all the evidence necessary for qualification prior to submission.
Equipment RegulationsThe IGFA has given this tournament permission to replicate portions of their rulings, And has no involvement in these particular Regulations.
- Monofilament, multifilament, and lead core multifilament lines may be used.
- Wire lines are prohibited.
- LINE BACKING
- Backing not attached to the fishing line is permissible with no restrictions as to size or material.
- If the fishing line is attached to the backing, the catch shall be classified under the heavier of the two lines. The backing may not exceed the 130 lb (60 kg) line class and must be of a type of line approved for use in these angling rules.
- DOUBLE LINE The use of a double line is not required. If one is used, it must meet the following specifications:
- A double line must consist of the actual line used to catch the fish.
- Double lines are measured from the start of the knot, braid, roll or splice making the double to the farthermost end of the knot, splice, snap, swivel or other device used for securing the trace, leader, lure or hook to the double line.
- The combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 40 feet (12.19 meters).
- LEADER The use of a leader is not required. If one is used, it must meet the following specifications:
- The length of the leader is the overall length including any lure, hook arrangement or other device, and is measured to the bend of the last hook. The leader must be connected to the line with a snap, knot, splice, swivel or other device. Holding devices are prohibited. There are no regulations regarding the material or strength of the leader.
- The leader on all tackle classes shall be limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters).
- The combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 40 feet (12.19 meters).
- Rods must comply with sporting ethics and customs. Considerable latitude is allowed in the choice of a rod, but rods giving the angler an unfair advantage will be disqualified. This rule is intended to eliminate the use of unconventional rods.
- The rod tip must be a minimum of 40 inches (101.6 cm) in length. The rod butt cannot exceed 27 inches (68.58 cm) in length. These measurements must be made from a point directly beneath the center of the reel. A curved butt is measured in a straight line. When the rod butt is placed in a gimbal, the measurement from the center of the reel seat to the pivot point of the gimbal can be no more than 27 inches. (The above measurements do not apply to surfcasting rods.)
- Reels must comply with sporting ethics and customs.
- Power driven reels of any kind are prohibited. This includes motor, hydraulic, or electrically driven reels, and any device that gives the angler an unfair advantage.
- Ratchet handle reels are prohibited.
- Duel reels are permitted.
- Reels designed to be cranked with both hands at the same time are prohibited.
- HOOKS FOR BAIT FISHING
- For live or dead bait fishing no more than two single hooks may be used. Both must be firmly imbedded in or securely attached to the bait. The eyes of the hooks must be no less than a hook's length (the length of the largest hook used) apart and no more than 18 inches (45.72 cm) apart. The only exception is that the point of one hook may be passed through the eye of the other hook.
- Circle hooks must be used with any natural bait (live, dead, whole, strip and/or combo).
- A hook may not precede bait, lure or bait/lure combo by more than one hook's length.
- The use of a dangling or swinging hook is prohibited. Double or treble hooks are prohibited.
- HOOKS AND LURES
- When using an artificial lure with a skirt or trailing material, no more than two single hooks may be attached to the line, leader, or trace. The hooks need not be attached separately. The eyes of the hooks must be no less than an overall hook's length (the overall length of the largest hook used) apart and no more than 12 inches (30.48 cm) apart. The only exception is that the point of one hook may be passed through the eye of the other hook. The trailing hook may not extend more than a hook's length beyond the skirt of the lure. A hook may not precede bait, lure or bait/lure combo by more than one hookâ€™s length.
- A release is official when one of the following actions is completed:
- The mate is able to grab the leader.
- The swivel hits the rod tip.
- When the connection knot between the double line and the wind on leader passes through the rod tip.
- OTHER EQUIPMENT
- Fighting chairs may not have any mechanically propelled devices that aid the angler in fighting a fish.
- Gimbals must be free swinging, which includes gimbals that swing in a vertical plane only. Any gimbal that allows the angler to reduce strain or to rest while fighting the fish is prohibited.
- Gaffs and nets used to boat or land a fish must not exceed 8 feet (2.44 meters) in overall length. In using a flying or detachable gaff the rope may not exceed 30 feet (9.14 meters). The gaff rope must be measured from the point where it is secured to the detachable head to the other end. Only the effective length will be considered. If a fixed head gaff is used, the same limitations shall apply and the gaff rope shall be measured from the same location on the gaff hook. Only a single hook is permitted on any gaff. Harpoon or lance attachments are prohibited. Tail ropes are limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters). (When fishing from a bridge, pier, or other high platform or structure, this length limitation does not apply.)
- Entangling devices - both with, or without a hook - are prohibited and may not be used for any purpose including baiting, hooking, fighting, or landing the fish.
- Outriggers, downriggers, spreader bars and kites are permitted to be used provided that the actual fishing line is attached to the snap or other release device, either directly or with some other material. The leader or double line may not be connected to the release mechanism either directly or with the use of a connecting device. Spreader bars are also acceptable when used strictly as a teaser.
- Daisy chains, birds, floats and similar devices may only be used if they do not unfairly hamper or inhibit the normal swimming or fighting ability of the fish, thereby giving the angler or crew an unfair advantage in fighting, landing or boating the fish.
- A safety line may be attached to the rod and/or harness provided that it does not in any way assist the angler in fighting the fish.
ANGLING REGULATIONSFrom the time that a fish strikes or takes a bait or lure, the angler must hook, fight, and land or boat the fish without the aid of any other person, except as provided in these regulations.
- If a rod holder is used and a fish strikes or takes the bait or lure, the angler must remove the rod from the holder as quickly as possible. The intent of this rule is that the angler shall strike and hook the fish with the rod in hand.
- (a) In the event of a multiple strike/hookup on separate lines being fished by a single angler, only the first fish hooked/fought by the angler will be considered for a catch, unless no one touches the other rod/reel(s) that are hooked up until the angler releases (or loses) the first fish that was hooked. You may not touch the other rod(s), wind on the other reel(s) or move the other rod(s) that are hooked up until you are done fighting the first fish. This includes trying to hook the other fish that are biting the other rods while you are hooked up. (b) When fishing a billfish tournament, and when the rules allow, one angler may fight multiple fish at one time, as long as the rod/reel is removed from the rod holder and fought. You may not wind the reel the while the rod is in the rod holder.
- If a double line is used, the intent of the regulation is that the fish will be fought on the single line most of the time that it takes to land the fish.
- A harness may be attached to the reel or rod, and may be replaced or adjusted by a person other than the angler.
- Use of a rod belt or waist gimbal is permitted.
- When the leader is brought within the grasp of the mate, or the leader connection is wound to the rod tip, more than one person is permitted to hold the leader.
- When it is intended the fish will be gaffed, one or more gaffers may be used in addition to persons holding the leader. The gaff handle must be in hand when the fish is gaffed.
- The angling and equipment regulations shall apply until the fish is weighed.
The following acts will disqualify a catch:
- Failure to comply with equipment or angling regulations as described.
- The act of a person or persons other than the angler in touching any part of the rod, reel, or line (including the double line) either bodily or with any device, from the time a fish strikes or takes the bait or lure, until the fish is either landed or released, or in giving any aid other than that allowed in the rules and regulations. If an obstacle to the passage of the line through the rod guides has to be removed from the line, then the obstacle (whether flotsam, float line, rubber band, or other material) shall be held and freed. Under no circumstances should the line be held or touched by anyone other than the angler during this process.
- Resting the rod in a rod holder, on the gunwale of the boat, or any other object while playing the fish.
- Hand lining or using a hand line or rope attached in any manner to the angler's line or leader for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish.
- Shooting, harpooning, lancing or mutilating any fish (as described in #16 below) (including sharks and contact with the boat, props, rudders or other sharp objects that cause mutilation) at any stage of the catch.
- Chumming with, or using as bait the flesh, blood, skin, or any part of mammals other than hair or pork rind used in lures designed for trolling or casting.
- Using a boat or device to beach or drive a fish into shallow water in order to deprive the fish of its normal ability to swim.
- Changing the rod or reel while the fish is being played.
- Splicing, removing, or adding to the line while the fish is being played.
- Intentionally foul-hooking a fish.
- Catching a fish in a manner that the double line never leaves the rod tip.
- Using a size or kind of bait that is illegal to possess.
- Attaching the angler's line or leader to part of a boat or other object for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish.
- If/when a fish escapes - before or after gaffing - (line breaks or hook pulls) and/or is recaptured by any method other than as outlined in the angling rules.
- If/when a rod breaks (while the fish is being played) in a manner that reduces the length of the tip below minimum dimensions or severely impairs its angling characteristics.
- Mutilation to the fish, prior to landing or harvesting the catch caused by sharks, other fish, mammals, or propellers that remove or penetrate the flesh. Note: Injuries caused by leader or line, scratches, or old, healed scars or regeneration deformities are not considered to be disqualifying injuries.
- If/when a fish is hooked or entangled on more than one line.