2021 Tournament Rules (Jan 2021 V.2)
Rules are subject to change. Final rules will be presented at the Captains Meeting, Thursday, July 15th, 2021.
Tournament registration requires a $2,500 nonrefundable entry deposit. Balance of entry fee ($7,500) due prior to Wednesday July 14th, 2021. Total tournament registration is $10,000. $7,500 of which will be contributed to Tournament Cash Awards payouts.
The proceeds from the last entry in the tournament will be donated to St Jude's Children's Research Hospital. This entry will not contribute to Tournament cash award payout.
TOURNAMENT CHECK-IN & OPTIONAL ENTRY
Wednesday July 14th 2pm - 8pm. Optional Entries may be submitted up until boat departure on Thursday at 10:01 am, July 15th.
Optional Cash Awards will pay out 50/30/20 unless only two eligible fish in a category are weighed then the cash awards for third place will be split 60/40 and added to 1st and 2nd place. Optional entry fees will have a 90% return.
Boats docked at the Wharf Marina may depart behind the tournament pace boats (VHF 72) at 10:01 am Thursday, July 15th. Boats docked elsewhere in Orange Beach may depart through Perdido Pass after the pace boats. Tournament boats may depart through Mobile Pass or Perdido Pass behind the pace boats. Fishing is allowed from time of departure until return on Saturday, July 17th.
WEATHER AND COMPLETED TOURNAMENT
Teams and participants should make their decision to fish based solely on their own judgment of prevailing conditions, vessel seaworthiness, and captain and crew's seamanship skills.
Weather cancellation policy: The Blue Marlin Grand Championship is not insured against losses incurred in the event of cancellation due to inclement/unsafe weather conditions. Participants acknowledge if in the sole judgement of the tournament committee, the tournament is cancelled due to unfavorable weather or unsafe sea conditions, 100% of optional entries and tournament entry fees less the non-refundable $2,500 deposit will be refunded within two weeks. The Tournament is not eligible for rescheduling during the same calendar year.
Withdrawals from the Tournament prior to 10 am, Thursday, July 165h, will be eligible to be refunded 100% of their Optional Entries and Tournament entry fees less the $2,500 deposit. There will be no refunds of tournament entry fees, deposits or optional entries after the official beginning of competition at 10:01 am Thursday July 16th.
SPORTSMANSHIP AND ANGLING RULES
Participants agree to compete by IGFA rules with one exception: Rod may be transferred (handed off) one time within the first minute of the fight.
It is the team's responsibility to comply with all Federal and Alabama state laws regarding angling rules, fishing licenses, permits, size limits, bag limits and any other regulations that may apply. For information regarding Alabama Saltwater Fishing Licenses refer to http://www.outdooralabama.com/licenses/saltwater-recreational-licenses. For information regarding Federal HMS Permits call 877.376.4877 or refer to hmspermits.noaa.gov.
Blue Marlin Grand Championship winning captains will be polygraphed. Failure to comply will result in disqualification of the participant and, at the discretion of Tournament Officials, the participant's entire team. Disqualified participants and/or teams forfeit any and all entry money, prizes, or prize money, and will be refused entry to future BMGC tournaments.
RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS
In consideration for being accepted by the Tournament Organizers for participation in the Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf, the Participants hereby release, forever discharge, and agree to hold harmless the Tournament Committee, Sponsors, Blue Marlin Grand Championship, LLC, The Wharf Entertainment Properties, LLC, Wharf Retail Properties, LLC, Coastal Marina Management, LLC, Wheels Up Events, LLC and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers, partners, members, the and/or attorneys for any and all losses, claims, or demands of any kind or character whatsoever arising from the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or from any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament. The Participants expressly acknowledge that he/she has received, reviewed, and agrees to abide by the Tournament Rules and this Release. Furthermore, the Participants expressly acknowledge that activities relating to deep sea fishing are extremely dangerous and involve the risk of serious injury or death. Having so acknowledged, the Participants hereby assume full responsibility for the risk of bodily injury or death due to the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament.
All disputes, protests, claims, differences or controversies relating to any aspect of the Tournament, including, without limitation, Tournament Rules, must be submitted to the Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee no later than 30 minutes following the closing of weigh-in on Saturday July 17th or are deemed waived. All such disputes must be presented in writing along with a non-refundable fee of $1,000 cash. All such disputes shall be decided by the Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee and shall be final and binding upon all parties.
Rules Committee: Scott Burt, Chris Miller, Craig Martin, Dewey Blaylock, Jim Cox.
In the event the Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee cannot render or refuses to render a final and binding decision with respect to any dispute, protest, claim, difference, or controversy under review, the matter shall be resolved by binding arbitration under the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association. The decision rendered in arbitration shall be in writing and shall be final and binding upon all parties. The parties shall have no further recourse, except as provided for by the commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association. The Participants specifically waive any right to a trial by judge or jury. Arbitration shall be held exclusively in Bay County, Florida.
PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO IMAGE RELEASE
The Participants specifically agree and consent to the use of any photograph, video recording, or audio recording in which they appear or are heard, by the Tournament Committee, Wharf Entertainment Properties, LLC, Wharf Retail Properties, LLC, Blue Marlin Grand Championship, LLC, Wheels Up Events, LLC, or Coastal Marina Management, LLC for any purpose whatsoever including, but not limited to, resale, advertising, and promotional material without compensation or restriction of any kind.
Tournament boats must return to the Wharf weigh-in through Mobile Pass and must be visually confirmed by tournament spotters at the official demarcation line between ICW markers #103 & #104 Sailboat Bay. BOATS MUST BE INSIDE DEMARCATION LINE BY 5 pm SATURDAY EVENING. Boats not inside the demarcation line by 5pm will be ineligible to weigh-in.
ELIGIBLE SPECIES TO WEIGH-IN
- TOURNAMENT WEIGH-IN (Friday & Saturday July 16th & 17th)
- Friday morning early-bird weigh-in. 7 am - 8 am. Blue Marlin only. Thursday evening prior notification and acknowledgement from tournament committee required.
- Friday evening weigh-in. 5 pm - 7 pm. Check-in at Sailboat Bay not required. Boat must be clearly in sight of weigh dock by 7pm to be eligible for weigh-in.
- Saturday evening weigh-in. 5 pm until the last eligible fish (boat must have been within demarcation line by 5pm) and waiting in-line fish is weighed and last video review complete.
- Tie-Breaker: Earliest times and dates break the tie. Blue Marlin weighed on Friday will break a tie with Blue Marlin weighed on Saturday. On Saturday, check in times at the demarcation line will be used to break Blue Marlin and gamefish ties and may be used for catch and release video scoring ties in the event of missing GPS date/times. All fish must be weighed at The Wharf central weigh-in station and off-loaded directly on to weigh-in dock. Fish may not be transported to weigh-in by any other means. Fish to be weighed must be in fresh condition and not mutilated in any such manner. (Gaff, hook, and line wounds are acceptable.) Fish may not be frozen. The weigh in committee and Craig Martin has final decision and authority to disqualify a fish for poor condition or mutilation. No Blue Marlin, game fish to be weighed or catch and release video may be transferred from one boat to another. Fish to be weighed must be tail tagged with boat and angler's name prior to fish leaving the boat.
- Fish may not be weighed in sequence. Check in times will apply in event of a tie.
The following species and size limits of gamefish when caught in the Gulf of Mexico in accordance with all tournament rules will be eligible for tournament awards.
WEIGHED BLUE MARLIN AND BILLFISH CATCH AND RELEASE POINTS
|SPECIES||MIN WEIGHT/LENGTH ||LIMIT|
|BLUE MARLIN ||110" ||1 per boat per trip/day|
|DOLPHIN||20 LB.|| 3|
|TUNA (YELLOW FIN, BIGEYE) ||50 LB.|| 3|
|WAHOO ||20 LB.|| 3|
|WEIGHED BLUE MARLIN: ||1 POINT per lb. up to and including 499.9 lbs. (for example: a 470 lb. B/M will score 470 points)|
2 POINTS per lb. 500 lbs. and greater (for example: a 750 lb. B/M will score 1500 points)
|BLUE MARLIN CATCH AND RELEASE ||501 POINTS|
|WHITE MARLIN ||250 POINTS|
|SPEARFISH ||250 POINTS|
|SAILFISH/UNIDENTIFIED BILLFISH ||200 POINTS|
NO TOURNAMENT BOAT MAY BE IN POSSESSION OF MORE THAN ONE BLUE MARLIN AT A TIME. CULLING/DISCARDING OF PREVIOUSLY CAUGHT BILLFISH PROHIBITED.
WEIGHED BLUE MARLIN 110 INCH MINIMUM LENGTH. (LOWER JAW - FORK TAIL, TAPE OVER BODY OF FISH MEASUREMENT METHOD)
VIDEO REQUIRED FOR BOATED BLUE MARLIN- video of gaffing and boating of the blue marlin
DETERMINATION OF TOURNAMENT WINNERS
The heaviest Blue Marlin weighed is the Grand Champion and is considered 1st place for the Blue Marlin Tournament Cash Award. Second through Fourth Place is determined by the highest total points accumulated by adding weighed Blue Marlin points and all eligible catch and release points. In the event of a tie, the heaviest Blue Marlin weighed wins or the following applies: The team with the earliest weigh-in date/time or check in time as recorded by tournament spotters at the line of Demarcation at Sailboat Bay wins.
If catch and release points are tied, the first team to reach the total most points as scored by the tournament judges and verified by video of GPS time and date wins.
VERIFICATION OF BILLFISH RELEASE SCORECARDS
Teams will be provided billfish catch and release reports which must be legibly filled out prior to judging, signed by the captain and turned in with the video recording. Multiple fish may be recorded on the same video but scorecard should reflect the same order. Please fill out all blanks for scoring information on the scorecards. Scoring order may be prioritized to teams with multiple Blue Marlin releases.
VIDEO SUBMISSIONS RELEASE
Recordings of video images and sounds become the property of the Tournament and may be used by the Tournament for display purposes as it sees fit including but not limited to Tournament Jumbotron television, radio, any media print, television series, advertisement or future marketing campaigns.
CATCH AND RELEASE RULES
Only Billfish caught and released according to the following rules are eligible for tournament awards and cash awards. Billfish are considered caught when the leader connection or swivel touches the tip of the rod or the mate or other team member touches the leader. Billfish removed from the water or boated will be disqualified.
GoPro Version 8 cameras are the recommended method of capturing catch and release video recording. If not recorded on a GoPro video camera the video must be captured on a digital video camera. Multiple cameras and especially underwater video highly recommended.
Video must include:
- Angler fighting fish including video of rod and reel.
- Cockpit pan.
- Tournament designator.
- Video of swivel at rod tip or mate touching the leader.
- Video of Billfish for species identification.
- Video of release of Billfish.
- Secondary cockpit pan.
- Clear video of GPS date & time of release. Hold camera steady for several seconds to allow clear focus of GPS Date & Time. GPS must display in CDT.
Very important: Please immediately review your video to confirm date AND time are clearly visible.
1. Billfish breaks off or hook pulls.
There must be video showing the mate grabbing the leader or a clear shot of the connection touching the rod tip. Be sure to include a shot of the designator in the action of this segment. Without stopping the camera, pan the cockpit showing no other rods in play. Go directly to the GPS and clearly video the date and time. If these requirements are not met the fish will be disqualified! It may be difficult for the Judges to determine the Species under these circumstances.
2. When an Angler fights a fish to the Release.
Video the release. This may help the Judges determine the Species if questionable. During the video release, without stopping the camera, pan the cockpit and go directly to the GPS and film the Date and Time. Make sure you have a shot of the tournament designator in this segment. When the Angler fights the fish to the release as described above, you are NOT ALLOWED TO RECORD THE DATE & TIME AFTER THE LEADER GRAB OR CONNECTION TOUCH. You must wait until all of the above has occurred.
Note: If video shows time of release but no date, the GPS time as recorded will be used and the last date of tournament fishing is used as the official release date.
If date is shown but no release time, the date as recorded will be used and time of check-in at the official demarcation line (#103 & #104) Sailboat Bay is used as official release time.
Catch and Release Tiebreaker: ties are broken by the first team to reach the total amount of points as verified by the boats GPS time.
Videos must be turned in to scoring (having checked in at Sailboat Bay prior to 5:00pm and waiting in line) prior to the closing of the weigh in scales. Weigh-in and Video Scoring will close after the last eligible team waiting in line. A team representative will be required to acknowledge and sign verification video scorecard accepting results.
Video Scoring Tips:
2021 BLUE MARLIN GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP ACCEPTANCE
- Use fresh, new SD cards dedicated solely to Blue Marlin Grand Championship video.
- GoPro, (specifically version 8) cameras are recommended. Multiple cameras with different angles including underwater video greatly enhance the scoring process.
- Note: Files with .MXF filename extension cannot be opened or viewed by the judges.
- 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 very helpful with identification. Ensure video is adequately long to allow identification.
- Limit recordings to only video release recordings from the BMGC 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 scoring computer.
- It is critical the person sent to scoring understands computers/cameras/SD cards and the video scoring process. Only 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 BMGC. This is critical for tie-breaker.
In consideration for being accepted by the Tournament Organizers for participation in the Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf, the Participants hereby release, forever discharge, and agree to hold harmless the Tournament Committee, Sponsors, Blue Marlin Grand Championship, LLC, The Wharf Entertainment Properties, LLC, Wharf Retail Properties, LLC, Coastal Marina Management, LLC and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers, partners, members, the and/or attorneys for any and all losses, claims, or demands of any kind or character whatsoever arising from the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or from any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament. The Participants expressly acknowledge that he/she has received, reviewed, and agrees to abide by the Tournament Rules and this Release. Furthermore, the Participants expressly acknowledge that activities relating to deep sea fishing are extremely dangerous and involve the risk of serious injury or death. Having so acknowledged, the Participants hereby assume full responsibility for the risk of bodily injury or death due to the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament
ON BEHALF OF TEAM__________________________________________________
I UNDERSTAND, ACCEPT AND AGREE TO THE ABOVE RELEASE AND ACCEPT AND AGREE TO COMPLY WITH THE RULES OF COMPETITION AS PRESENTED FOR THE 2020 BLUE MARLIN GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP. FURTHER, I UNDERSTAND POLYGRAPH TESTING IS A REQUIREMENT UPON WINNING IN A CATEGORY.
PRINT NAME: ____________________________________