2017
Tournament Rules

The Greatest Show
in Sportfishing!

2017 Blue Marlin Grand Championship Rules


Rules are subject to change. Final rules including any final revisions will be distributed at the Captains Meeting, Wednesday, July 12th, 2017.

Grant, Sanders & Taylor, P.C. - leading independent accounting firm will oversee the Tournament optional entries and will certify the Official Results prior to the Awards Ceremony.

TOURNAMENT ENTRY:

Tournament is limited to the first 60 boats to register by payment of $2,500 nonrefundable entry deposit. Balance of entry fee ($7,500) must be paid by June 30, 2017. Tournament dockage at the Wharf Marina will be guaranteed to the first 40 boats to register. Regular dockage fees apply.

Note: Exceptions to the 60 boat limit:

St. Jude Children's Research Hospital benefiting entry - the 61st position will be auctioned to the single highest bidder when all 60 positions in the tournament are filled. 100% of the winning bid will be donated to St. Jude. The Gulf Coast Triple Crown Last Chance Qualifier allows the top ten teams as posted on the Gulf Coast Triple Crown website following the conclusion of the Emerald Coast Blue Marlin Classic to be eligible for registration in the BMGC Tournament above and beyond the 60 boat limit.

TOURNAMENT CASH AWARDS PAYOUTS:

Based on 60 boats entered.

60 boats @ $7,500 = $450,000

1st (60%) $270,000
2nd (25%) $112,500
3rd (10%) $45,000
4th (5%) $22,500

Optional Cash Awards will pay out 50/30/20 unless only two eligible fish are weighed then the cash awards for third place will be split 60/40 between 1st and 2nd place.

Note: 61st "St Jude Benefitting" position does not contribute to money pool.


  • TOURNAMENT CHECK-IN:

    A team member must check in with tournament headquarters prior to 5pm, Wednesday July 12th, 2017. All participants and anglers must be registered prior to departure.

  • TOURNAMENT DEPARTURE:

    Boats are required to depart from the Wharf Marina behind the tournament pace boats (VHF 72) and may not pass pace boats until notified to do so. Boats docked at other marinas must arrive at the Wharf Marina prior to departure time and be recognized by tournament personnel. Boats may depart for fishing behind the pace boats at 11:01 am on Thursday, July 13th. Fishing is allowed from time of departure until return on Saturday, July 15th.
    Note: Tournament pace boats will depart for Perdido Pass and Mobile Pass. Boat speed will be set by the pace boats in order to minimize the potential for damaging boat wakes. Boats departing after the pace boats have already left the Wharf will be required to operate in slow/no wake mode until reaching open Mobile Bay to the West or Perdido pass to the east.

  • TOURNAMENT RETURN:

    IMPORTANT! All tournament boats must return to the Wharf weigh-in through Mobile Pass and be checked in by tournament spotters at Sailboat Bay. No exceptions. Check in times may be utilized to break ties with weighed fish or catch and release.

  • WEATHER AND COMPLETED TOURNAMENT:

    In the event the tournament committee feels in their best judgment unsafe offshore weather and sea conditions exist, the tournament may be delayed. The tournament may be resumed should weather conditions improve. All 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. The Tournament may be delayed to the following day or postponed to the following weekend. Six hours of fishing by one third of registered boats constitutes a completed tournament.

  • TOURNAMENT CANCELLATION:

    In the event the tournament is canceled, 100% of optional entries and $7,500 (money pool portion) of entry fees will be refunded within two weeks. Boats may elect to roll over $7,500 (money pool portion) of their entry fee to the following year. Balance of entry fee will be due at registration for the next year's tournament. Entry fee may only be rolled over to the following year one time.

  • WITHDRAWALS:

    Withdrawals from the Tournament prior to 6:30pm, Wednesday July 12th will be refunded 100% of their Optional Entries and Tournament entry fees less the non-refundable deposit of $2500. There will be no refunds of tournament entry fees, deposits or optional entries after the official beginning of competition at 11:01am, Thursday July 13th, 2017. No refund of entry fees or Optional Entries due to mechanical breakdown or any other reason once Tournament officially begins. No rollover of entry fees or optional entries once competition begins at 11:01am, Thursday July 13th.

  • SPORTSMANSHIP AND ANGLING RULES:

    Participants agree to compete in the spirit of IGFA rules. Note: Rod may be transferred (handed off) one time within the first minute of the fight.

  • POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION:

    Blue Marlin Grand Championship winners will be polygraphed.
    All registered participants agree to submit to a polygraph examination when requested to do so by Tournament Officials. 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 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.

  • DISPUTES:

    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 the Weigh Station on Saturday July 15th or are deemed waived. All such disputes must be presented in writing along with a non-refundable fee of $500 cash. All such disputes shall be decided by the Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee and shall be final and binding upon all parties.

    Rules Committee: Rocky Jones, Scott Burt, Chris Miller, Craig Martin. Jim Cox (alternate).

  • BINDING ARBITRATION:

    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. Once the decision is rendered, it will produce the effect of "redudicata" and the parties shall fully comply with the decision without delay. The Participants specifically waive any right to a trial by judge or jury.

  • 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 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.

  • WEIGH-IN:

    Weigh-in hours are Friday, July 14th, 7:00 pm - 10:00 pm and Saturday, July 15th, 5:00 pm - 10:00 pm or last boat in line which was confirmed by tournament spotters as inside the check in point at Sailboat Bay (Markers 103 & 104) by 7:00 pm, Saturday July 15th. All boats with fish to weigh-in or catch and release video to be scored must be inside the check in point (Markers 103 & 104) at Sailboat Bay by 7:00pm, Saturday July 15th. Check in time on Saturday may be used to break Blue Marlin, gamefish and catch and release ties. Check in at Sailboat Bay is not required on Friday; however, boats with fish to weigh on Friday must call Scott Burt at (850) 527-2882 prior to returning to the Wharf weigh-in and be clearly within sight of the weigh-in dock by closing time of the scale at 10pm. On Friday, actual weigh-in times will be used to break ties. Official weigh-in time is defined as the time marked on the weigh-in fish tags at the weigh-in dock by tournament personnel. All fish must be weighed at The Wharf central weigh-in station. 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 weighmaster has final decision 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.

  • ELIGIBLE SPECIES TO WEIGH-IN:

    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.

    SPECIESMIN WEIGHT/LENGTHLIMIT
    BLUE MARLIN 106" 1 per boat per day
    DOLPHIN 20 LB. 3
    TUNA (YELLOW FIN, BIGEYE) 20 LB. 3
    WAHOO 20 LB. 3


    WEIGHED BLUE MARLIN AND BILLFISH CATCH AND RELEASE POINTS:
    WEIGHED BLUE MARLIN1 POINT per pound
    BLUE MARLIN CATCH AND RELEASE501 POINTS
    WHITE MARLIN250 POINTS
    SPEARFISH250 POINTS
    SAILFISH/UNIDENTIFIED BILLFISH200 POINTS


    NOTE: ONLY ONE BLUE MARLIN MAY BE WEIGHED PER BOAT PER DAY. MEANING, ONE BLUE MARLIN MAY BE WEIGHED PER BOAT ON FRIDAY AND ONE BLUE MARLIN MAY BE WEIGHED PER BOAT ON SATURDAY. NO TOURNAMENT BOAT MAY BE IN POSSESSION OF MORE THAN ONE BLUE MARLIN AT A TIME. WEIGHED BLUE MARLIN 106 IN. MINIMUM LENGTH. (LOWER JAW - FORK TAIL, TAPE OVER BODY OF FISH MEASUREMENT METHOD)

  • 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 thru Fourth Place is determined by the highest total points accumulated by adding any weighed blue marlin 1 point per pound and all other eligible catch and release points. In the event of a tie, the heaviest blue marlin weighed wins or the following applies: If both fish are weighed on Friday, the first fish weighed wins. If both fish are weighed on Saturday, the earlier check in time will be used to break the tie. If one fish is weighed on Friday and the other on Saturday, the Friday fish wins. If only catch and release points are the issue, the first team to reach the total most points as verified by boat's video of GPS time wins. Gamefish and Blue Marlin ties on Friday are broken by weigh-in time as recorded on weigh-in fish tags by tournament personnel at the weigh-in dock. On Saturday, Blue Marlin and gamefish ties are broken by check in time at Sailboat Bay as recorded by tournament spotters. Lady angler and Junior angler awards are scored by weighed billfish points and catch and release points. In the event no billfish are weighed or caught and release points awarded, Lady Angler and Junior angler awards will be decided by heaviest gamefish caught.

    Note: Teams may place in one position only first through fourth in Tournament Cash Awards.
    This does not apply in Optional Cash Awards; teams may win in multiple positions.

  • VERIFICATION OF BILLFISH 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 same video but scorecard should reflect the same order. Please fill out all blanks for scoring information on the scorecards. Scoring order on Saturday night will prioritized to teams with multiple Blue Marlin releases.

  • VIDEO SUBMISSIONS RELEASE:

    All 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.

  • ACCEPTANCE OF THE RULES:

    Final rules will be handed out at the Captains Meeting on Wednesday, July 12th. The team captain or member representing the team must sign that they have read and agree with all rules as printed. By signing, team member agrees to provide the rules to all persons involved on the fishing team as they are also bound by these rules.


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 or SD type video cameras are the preferred and 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.
No cell phone, iPad, DVD or CD video will be accepted.

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. This is critical. GPS must display in CDT.

SPECIAL SITUATION:
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, and go directly to the GPS and CLEARLY video date and time. If ALL these requirements are NOT met the fish WILL BE disqualified! It may be difficult for the Judges to determine the Species under these circumstances.

SPECIAL RULE:
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 IMMEDIATELY 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 till 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 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.


Verification reports must be legibly completed and totaled along with date and time of last release prior to scoring and turned in with video. Videos must be turned in to scoring (having checked in at Sailboat Bay prior to 7:00pm and waiting in line) prior to the closing of the weigh in scales.

Helpful tips:

  • SD type and GoPro cameras allow the judges to quickly copy the recording to a computer which facilitates slow motion and segment by segment scoring on large video monitors.
  • More than one camera of the same type on board the boat. The judges will accept more than one video of the same release from a different camera, 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.
  • Limit recordings to only video release recordings from the 2017 BMGC with the segments staged and cued and ready for scoring. Know before entering the scoring room where on the recording images are located.
  • It is critical the person sent to scoring clearly understands how to operate the camera.
  • 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.


I ACCEPT AND AGREE TO COMPLY WITH THE ABOVE RULES OF COMPITITION AS PRESENTED FOR THE 2017 BLUE MARLIN GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP.

SIGNATURE: ______________________________________

BOAT: ____________________________________________

DATE: ____________________________________________