Catch And Release Video Guide

Catch and Release - Video Guide

Eight Key Elements

Angler fighting fish, including video of rod and reel.

This is best done early after hooking up the fish. It's also a good time to video the Tournament Designator (or indicator) before the real excitement begins. A side view of the angler is best for this portion of the video. It's also a good time to video the full cockpit pan. See below.

Cockpit pan of all rods in use. If there is a double hookup situation, verbally declare "double hookup" for the judge.

Pan the cockpit from one side to another side and include bridge rods if they are in use. This is done to demonstrate the number of fish currently hooked up. Again, the best time is when the fish is hooked up. If it's simultaneous hookups of multiple fish, show each angler fighting their fish. If the second fish is hooked up later, do a second cockpit scan announcing the number of fish hooked up. If there is only one fish being fought, one cockpit pan is sufficient.

Tournament designator.

The best time to film the Tournament Designator is early on after the fish is hooked up, AND immediately after the fish is released.

The Catch (swivel at rod tip, or leader through rod tip or team member touching the leader).

The real excitement is here. The entire team is a ready and coordinating the catch. Without aiding the angler with the tackle, the captain is positioning the sportfishing vessel and the mate is prepared to grab the leader or observe the swivel (or leader) passing through the rod tip. In the Gulf, 99% of the time, the mate is grabbing the leader. When this happens, and is captured on video, the video review team can declare a catch. Conditions might make this difficult - light/dark, rolling seas, sea spray. Best to use a couple of cameras in this process. When the leader is touched, verbally declare the leader touch, and confirm with the video team that the touch was filmed before releasing the fish. If the fish surges away pulling the leader from the mate's hand, no worries, the first leader touch is sufficient, but the team may need to go for the leader again if the fish has not been identified and to perform a clean release for the fish.

Video of Billfish for species identification. (Judges use Dorsal, Anal and Pectoral Fins for fish identification).

Species identification for a verified billfish must show enough of the fish in the video. Often the videos with best views of the fish are near the sportfishing boat. If the fish is more subdued and is pulled to the port or starboard side, the view of the fish for identification is easy. Try to film the dorsal, and/or pectoral and/or the anal fin of the billfish. Usually only one of the aforementioned is sufficient, but it can depend on the angle of the fin to the camera. A nearby jump of the fish is another means to identify the species if the jump is filmed properly. Video operators must be ready and following the line to capture a jump. An underwater video with water proof camera's (in good light conditions) is another great way to film the fish for species identification. If using underwater camera's, it's wise to have a secondary camera to film any above water action of the fish.

After the confirmed catch, the video review team will use best effort to look at each set of frames in which the fish is filmed. Beside the vessel, cutting through the water exposing a dorsal fin, near and far jumps, underwater video. It's best to have all these filmed, as filming from a moving vessel is not the easiest platform from which to capture enough footage to identify a species.

The Release (the Billfish being released or video of the rod and angler with the fish no longer connected to the line).

As stated, after the Catch, the release can be deliberate, by unhooking a fish at the side of the vessel, or by cutting a leader to minimize stress for a release, or intentionally or not breaking the leader. No matter, the release goal is for the fish to live, go back and repopulate the species. After the excitement of the catch, and capturing video of the billfish species, the release is anticlimactic and a call for celebration. But not too fast. This is a great time to conduct a secondary cockpit scan, video the Tournament Designator again, and finally video the boat GPS to view the current date and time.

Secondary cockpit pan after the release to see the status of all rods.

Please conduct a secondary cockpit scan either showing no lines are in the water, or if there is a second hookup, showing that second angler with their tackle and declaring that another fish is being fought. If two fish are being fought, the camera action may have to switch between anglers, and the mate attempting to touch a leader, and fish identification. Verbally identify if you are filming fish/angler 1 or 2 with this cockpit scan.

A clear video of the GPS date & time is to be used for the official release time. Hold the camera steady for several seconds to allow a clear focus of the GPS Date & Time. This is critical. GPS must display in CDT. Show the designator alongside GPS if possible.

Release scoring is determined by the Species released, and the Date / Time the fish is released. Of the same species, two releases score higher than one release. If two boats have two releases, or three releases, or more, then the tie breaker is based on the first boat to achieve that number of releases. Date / Time become the tie breaker. This can be worth lots of prize and Calcutta monies so it's very important to show BOTH Date and Time on your GPS in CDT. And for good measure - display the Tournament Designator when you video the GPS Date and Time.

Special Note: The commonly used Garmin 86xx/84xx Multifunction Displays by default will show the time of day, BUT NOT THE DATE. Attached are instructions and a video link on how to display the Date on your Garmin Display. The Date / Time are displayed on the Side "OVERLAY" on your Garmin. When you power down and then back up your display, the display will revert back to showing only the Time, so you may have to repeat this process before you video the Date / Time after each release.

I will work on how a display can display to prove CDT, rather than EDT. I am also going to video a captain showing how to display both Date and Time on their Garmin.

For Catch & Release Awards: Team placement is determined by the first team to reach the highest total points as verified by the boat's GPS date/time. It's bright, overcast, or dark (dusk, dawn).
   Boat Lights - get close video. Its hard to verify a shadow.
   Underwater Video
Seas are flat, or rough, it's raining.
The fish goes down, or swims ahead of the boat.
   Be prepared with underwater camera on a stick. Camera person must be mobile and on deck.
The fish jumps nearby or way off.
   Be ready with the video camera to capture above water action. It may help with species id.
Know where on the video this occurs to expedite the review process.

Video Tips and Recommendations

We are now accepting release video via email. If you have sufficient email service via onboard internet access, or via Wi-Fi at the dock you may email your video. Be aware when you reach the dock, the Wi-Fi may be overloaded with use, and may not get through. To email your video - send it to Dewey Blaylock will monitor the email and let you know when received. If you are not notified, you may call Dewey at 850-527-5498 to verify receipt. In the email, please provide the tournament name, team name, angler, species and confirmation number. Use fresh, new SD cards.

Use SD Card enabled type Sony and GoPro, etc. cameras which generate consumer-type files allowing the judges to quickly copy the recording to a computer that facilitates slow motion and segment-by-segment scoring.

If recording to a Sony HD (hard drive) or other manufacturer camera with a hard drive, try to store to a SD card in the camera. If you don't have the SD card, know how to operate the camera, and bring the cables to connect the camera to a USB drive on a computer.

Have multiple cameras in use and as backups.

Have spare blank SD Cards and Charged Batteries for each Camera. Use 32 GB or greater SD Cards. Judges can review from either standard sized SD cards, or Micro SD Cards.

Note: Files with .MXF filename extension may not be opened or viewed by the judges. If the file cannot be copied and played, it will not be scored.

Judges will not score from your laptop computer or iPad-type tablet. If using an iPhone or iPad plan on using AirDrop to share your catch and release video. If you are using an Android phone, bring the cable to connect to a computer with a USB cable. You will need to know the security access to your device in either case.

Judges will accept more than one video of the same release from a different camera (of the same type), provided the same previous video requirements are met.

If possible and without harm to the fish, have the mate display the dorsal fin on the video at the time of release to assist with identification.

Underwater video of the release is helpful with identification. Ensure the video is adequately long to allow identification.

Limit recordings on each SD Card to only video release recordings from this tournament with the segments staged and cued and ready for scoring. Know before entering the scoring room where images are located on the recording. Have the SD card ready to be inserted into the scoring computer.

It is critical the person sent to scoring clearly understands how to provide the video digital media to the scoring judge. One person per team is allowed in video scoring.

Understand how to properly display the GPS date as well as the time on your boat GPS prior to the tournament. This is critical for tiebreakers

Below you see a Garmin 86xx without date and with date. The Side Overlay is where you want the date and time displayed. Following are instructions and a link on inserting the DATE into the Side Overlay.

You can customize the data in the data overlays shown on a screen.

  1. Select an option based on the type of screen you are viewing:
    • From a full screen view, select Options > Edit Overlays.
    • From a combination screen, select Options > Edit Combo > Overlays.
    • From a SmartMode™ screen, select Options > Edit Layout > Overlays.
    • TIP: To quickly change the data shown in an overlay box, hold the overlay box.
  2. Select an item to customize the data and data bar:
    • To show the data overlays, select Data, select the location, and select Back.
    • To change the data shown in an overlay box, select the overlay box, select the new data to show, and select Back.
    • To customize the information shown when navigating, select Navigation, and select an option.
    • To turn on other data bars, select Top Bar or Bottom Bar, and select the necessary options.
  3. Select Done.