El Pescado Billfish Tournament

El Pescado Billfish Tournament

October 5 - October 8, 2022


Tournament Rules


The Tournament will be governed by the Northeast Florida Marlin Association, 3030 Harbor Dr., St Augustine, FL 32084. Captains meeting will be held at 6pm September 28, 2022 at the Northeast Florida Marlin Association Club House, located at the beautiful Camachee Cove Marina in St Augustine, FL.

Each boat may fish 2 days of competition. The choice of lay day will strictly be that of the Captains. Lay days must be declared by 10pm the day before on the El Pescado Reel Time Fishing App. In case of bad weather, any one “day” of fishing will constitute a full tournament. Sunday Oct 2, can be used as a weather day if all other days are unfishable.

This is a Catch and Release Billfish Tournament.
Billfish are classified as Blue Marlin, White Marlin, and Sailfish. No points awarded if fish removed from water. Fishing hours: 8:00am to 3:00pm. No boats allowed east of the St. Augustine Sea Buoy before 5:00am.

No lines are allowed overboard before 8:00am . All lines are required to be out at 3pm unless the boat is hooked up. Hook ups should be documented with digital proof.

All boats must be west of St Augustine Sea Buoy by 6pm.

Fishing boundaries: There are no fishing boundaries.

Lines and tackle:

No lines greater than 30lb test permitted. Lines subject to testing by tournament committee.

This is a trolling tournament. Conventional tackle only , NO SPINNING REELS.

Leader (clear line) shall be limited to 30ft from hook to double line.

Federally regulated non off-set circle hooks are required.

10. The following are not permitted, Live Bait, Kites, backing into school to cast or pitching baits.

11. No more than 6 lines not including teasers. Hookless teaser and dredges permitted, no limit.

12.This is a hook and hand tournament. Rod may be passed only once immediately after hook up.

13.Only released billfish will qualify for scoring. Blue Marlin 200 , White Marlin and Sailfish 100. The team that accumulates the most billfish points will be declared winners. In the event of a tie the boat obtaining the highest score first is declared winner.

14.Game fish categories:
Dolphin, Wahoo and Tuna. Game fish must be weighed in by 6:45 pm and must be weighed on the NEFMA Scale. You can weigh one of each species each day. Heaviest in each category will win.

15.Recording of scores:

16.Each boat must register on the Reel Time Fishing App for the El Pescado Tournament. All catches must be logged into the Reel Time App by 7:30pm daily . This will be the official log for the tournament. Points will be awarded after video/pictures have been approved by Tournament Committee. If unable to upload to the App, the device containing the video should be brought to the NEFMA Club House for Verification.

17.All tournament participants must supply their own digital and/or video camera with a time and date stamp. No picture or video, no date & time on the picture or video, no points. Failure to comply with this rule will disqualify the fish. The photo(s)/video must allow the tournament committee to identify the species of billfish.

a. Released Billfish must be announced on channel 72. Announce boat name and GPS time.

b. Hook up times should not be called in unless the fish is hooked 15 minutes prior to the 3:00pm deadline.

18.To qualify for a release, clear leader material touches the rod tip or mate gains control of the leader. Upon release, please use a line cutter as close to the hook when possible.

19.Protests: Any person witnessing a rules violation should enter a protest in writing to the Judges Committee no later than 7:00pm the

day of the alleged violation. This will require $1000 in cash. No refund unless protest upheld. The Judges committee decision shall be final.

20. The tournament committee has the right to Amend the rules at any time.

21. Any substitute boat must be registered with the tournament director prior to fishing and will be permissible only if the original boat becomes disabled

22. Any boat taken under tow after "Lines In" is announced will be disqualified for that day's fishing. Boats who return to the dock under their own power may make repairs and continue that day's fishing

23. Captains maybe subject to polygraph.