There are no territorial limits set for this tournament. However, tournament boats must return to Charleston Harbor Marina by the prescribed weigh-in hours to have any boated fish considered for competition. Eligible fish must return on the boat on which it was caught unless an exception is granted by the Tournament Rules Committee.
All fish must be caught in accordance with all state and federal laws, and under IGFA Rules with the exception of passing rod to qualify to earn SC Governor’s Cup points/awards. In addition, every individual (age 16 and above) aboard the vessel must have a valid official S.C Saltwater Recreational Fishing License in their possession. After a fish strikes, the rod may be passed to one angler one time as soon as possible. All anglers may have the rod passed one time to them. After the rod has been passed, only the angler is allowed to touch the rod/reel/mainline. Once the leader is brought within the grasp of the crew member or is wound to the rod tip, then the angler may have assistance to catch and release or boat the fish. Series points will accrue towards Series awards for these fish. Vessels may provide assistance to other vessels for boating fish. Violations of state or federal law will lead to disqualification of all fish caught on that fishing day, and the day will be counted as an eligible fish day for the tournament.
Knowingly fishing on a Fish Aggregating Device (FAD - is defined by NOAA as a floating object(s) that is designed and strategically placed to attract pelagic fish) during a Series tournament is prohibited and will lead to disqualification. Burden of proof falls upon the protesting vessel, and clear and convincing evidence must be provided by the protesting vessel to the individual Tournament Rules Committee. Disqualification for fishing on a FAD shall be determined by the Tournament Rules Committee.
Any angler who has not passed his/her 16th birthday by April 1 of current year may fish in the Youth Angler division. Any angler in this category is in this category only (i.e. An Angler that is female and under sixteen
years of age on April 1 of the current tournament year is a Youth Angler, not a Lady Angler.)
It is the responsibility of the angler to identify a catch as eligible for the Youth angler award. This is typically done at the time of weigh-in.
Any angler who has not passed his/her 10th birthday by April 1 of current year may fish in the Junior Angler division. Junior anglers are eligible for all other awards unless they choose not to follow IGFA rules. Those choosing not to follow IGFA rules will only be eligible for Junior Angler awards. Junior Anglers may be assisted as needed to boat a fish for Junior Angler awards only.
Eligible Species | Points | Disqualifications
Eligible Billfish Species in this tournament are Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Spearfish, and Sailfish.
Other eligible species are Dolphin, Wahoo, and Tuna. To remain consistent with the SC Governor’s Cup Series, eligible Tuna Species include: Yellowfin, Bluefin, Blackfin, and Bigeye.
Dolphin | Creel limit - 10 per angler per day with a limit of 60 per boat per day, with a minimum size limit of 20 inches fork length
Yellowfin Tuna | Creel limit - 3 per angler per day with a minimum legal size of 27 inches curved body fork length
See current federal size and creel limits for other Tuna species
Wahoo | Creel limit - 2 per person per day
Note: Size or creel limits will automatically be changed in SC Governor’s Cup Billfishing Series tournaments to reflect changes in federal or state laws.
All registered boats and anglers must be in compliance with Federal (HMS Permit) and State Regulations (saltwater fishing license) regarding recreational and/or charter fishing as well as SC Governor’s Cup Tournament Series Regulations.
Catch and Release
White marlin, sailfish, and spearfish are catch and release only. Tagging is optional and not required for points.