South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational

May 1 - May 23, 2023


Tournament Rules

1. Rules Acceptance - Rules, including published rules in print or on the www.scbluemarlininvitational.com are subject to change. It is the sole responsibility of the participating anglers, captains, crews, and guests (“Participants”) to know and abide by the Tournament Rules as published. By entering the South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational (SCBMI) and paying entry fees, Participants agree to abide by the Tournament Rules and accept decisions made by the Tournament Committee as final. The SCBMI has the right to refuse entry of an individual or team. The SCBMI has the right to disqualify, without refund; an individual or team from the competition if the Tournament Committee discovers any cheating, or misconduct towards other teams, weigh station, or tournament rules.

2. Nature of Tournament - South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational is a fishing team competition. Participants enter at their own risk and understand the possibility exists that there may be no winners if no qualifying fish are caught.

o In the event no qualifying fish are caught in a given Tournament category, the Tournament category entry will be returned to the boats minus the 12% Administrative Fee.

3. In Good Faith - In any unforeseen man made events, or Acts of God, major regulatory changes, fishery closures etc. that could affect the schedule or categories of the tournament. The Tournament Committee will act in good faith and take all efforts to make fair and equal decisions that could affect the tournament's participants and sponsors.

4. Anglers and Team Boats - There is no limit to the number of anglers on a Boat. Anglers can change, however, if the Team of the Boat decides to use a different Boat other than the original Boat registered during the given tournament, the SCBMI Tournament Committee needs to be notified in writing and such approval must be received in order to transfer the original Boat’s entry fees onto the new Boat prior to the following fish day. Only One entry is permitted per Boat. Under no circumstances, can a Team use two Boats at once  under one tourney entry. A given Team may use two Boats for two tourney entries.

5. Cancellations:

o All entry fees must be paid in full, and funds cleared prior to  May 1st, 2023, to be entered in the SCBMI.

o All cancellations requested in writing will receive a 100% refund prior to 11:59 PM April 29, 2023. No Refunds for Cancellations after 11:59 PM on April 29, 2023.

6. Winners and Prizes - All Cash Prizes will be paid to winners by their choice of either check, or wire transfer only (USD).

o Prize money is equal to entry fees minus the 12% Administrative Fee. All prizes subject to terms and conditions.

o The SCBMI will donate 5% of the Administrative Fee to The South Carolina Memorial Reef

o The Blue Marlin Jackpot TWT will only be paid for 1st & 2nd place only:

1. First Place Heaviest Blue Marlin: 70% Split

2. Second Place Heaviest Blue Marlin: 30% Split

o The Blue Marlin Daily Release Jackpot TWT will be evenly distributed across days 1,2 and 3. Only Blue Marlin releases count towards a Boat’s total release number. In the event of a tie, the boat with the most Blue Marlin releases based on time will be declared the winner of that Daily prize.

1. Day 1 Release: 100% paid to Day 1 Winner.

2. Day 2 Release: 100% paid to Day 2 Winner.

3. Day 3 Release: 100% paid to Day 3 Winner.

7. Permits, Licenses & Judging – All vessels and participants shall comply with South Carolina and Federal Fisheries laws and regulations regarding fishing licenses, vessel permits, fishing gear, season size limits and bag limits. Participants shall also adhere to all SCBMI Tournament rules as contained herein.

For information regarding Federal, HMS Permits call 877.376.4877 or refer to www.hmspermits.noaa.gov

8. Weather – Participants fish at their own risk, teams are urged to make sound decisions utilizing marine forecasts to assist and taking in the seaworthiness of their own vessel solely deciding on their own when it is safe for their team to fish.

9. Fishing Days – Fishing starts May 1st , 2023. Fishing ends May 23rd , 2023. Each boat is allowed to fish 3 days out of the 23-day tournament. *All SCBMI Boats, Participants and Teams are permitted to fish other tournaments as well during the available SCBMI fishing dates. If a SCBMI Fish Day is declared during another billfish tournament, it is the responsibility of the Boat, Participants, and Teams to adhere to all rules and regulations of such tournament.*   

10. Fishing Times – Fishing hours are from 8:00am EST until 4:00pm EST. In the event that a Boat is hooked up prior to lines out, a contiguous video of the angler fighting the fish and GPS time surpassing the 4pm EST lines-out deadline is required.

11. Boundaries – Boats may fish out of any port in South Carolina, 125-mile boundary from the Charleston harbor sea buoy.

12. Equipment & Angling Rules - The SCBMI organizers expect the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship from their Participants and for them to compete within the IGFA

Saltwater Equipment and Angling rules. Any member of the team may set the hook and fight the fish (or) may set the hook and pass the rod to another angler as soon as possible of setting the hook, but the rod may only be passed one time on the onset of striking the fish; the angler must then fight the fish unassisted. Sonar Usage: Vessels equipped with Sonar and side scanning technology cannot deploy their devices until lines in on their given fish day.

State Record: For a captured Blue Marlin to qualify for a South Carolina State Record, the rod cannot be passed at any point during the fish. Only one angler can touch the rod and angle the fish. One angler, one fish.

13. Blue Marlin End Game - Blue Marlin end game MUST to be captured on video. In one continuous video, film the angler, the mate and the boating of the fish, GPS time and date and position. No Video = No Qualifying fish. The Videos can be emailed to the Tournament Committee or uploaded to the mobile app account within 24 hours after weigh-in. Your 4-digit code fish day must be seen or heard in picture or video.  No deck checking, teams are encouraged to use their best conservation efforts to ensure not killing short or underweight tournament legal fish.

14. Blue Marlin Daily Release Jackpot - Boats must take a video or picture of your Blue Marlin release. The Boat’s 4 Digit Fish Day Code along with GPS time and date must be seen or heard in the picture or video.

15. Disqualification & Points – The Blue Marlin minimum length is 105 inches, from the tip of lower jaw to the fork of the tail (LJFL). After two eligible Blue Marlin have been weighed, the minimum qualifying length will increase to the LJFL of the shorter Blue Marlin. Fish caught not according to tournament rules are disqualified. Fish under the minimum length will not qualify. Mutilated fish; mutilation defined as anything that impairs the fighting ability of the fish, like shark bites and propeller trauma will not qualify. Small cookie cutter shark bites may be accepted upon approval of Tournament Committee. The Tournament Committee reserves the right to inspect the internals of any weighed Blue Marlin to ensure no hidden foreign objects or matter were added for weight.

o BLUE MARLIN - 105 inch (tip of the lower jaw-fork of tail)

16. Check Out & Weigh Process: Check out for a South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational fishing trip by using the South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational Mobile App, follow instructions under your team account to check out prior to your trips. When you check out you will be given a 4 digit code for that day of fishing. That 4 digit code will be used in all pictures or videos (verbally or visually) for that day. If for some reason you are having technical difficulties with the App, you are allowed to text or email a picture or video of your crew, and of your GPS position, with time and date shown when checking out for a trip. You have until 7:30 am of the day you have checked out for fishing to cancel your trip. Please use the mobile app, text or email to cancel your trip. We will use the time and date stamp to confirm that we were notified before 7:30 am.

o Use your South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational Mobile APP to score your fish. If you’re having any issues with the App, you can Email the information to the email- scbluemarlininvitational@gmail.com or text info- 843-469-3337 or 248-996-0556 - within 24 hours of weigh-in

o All Blue Marlin must be weighed on a certified scale. The SCBMI two official weigh stations are Toler’s Cove Marina (843) 881-0325 and Georgetown Landing Marina (843) 546-1776. Qualifying Blue Marlin are permitted to be weighed at locations outside of the two official weigh stations so long as a SCBMI Tournament Committee member is present and all other SCBMI rules as outlined in Section 16 are complied.

1. Please Call, text, or email to notify a South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational committee when in route to weigh dock. Text photos of fish to SCBMI in route if possible. USE your SCBMI MOBILE APP to upload weight score and photos. Record 2 witnesses names and phone numbers that were not on your vessel.

2. With 2 witnesses, take a length and a girth measurement of your fish photo and enter info on the SCBMI App.

3. Weigh your fish on a certified weigh scale at Toler’s Cove Marina or Georgetown Landing Marina.

4. Take a picture of your fish with official weight visible.

5. Make sure your 4 digit code is seen or heard in picture or video

6. Document the 2 witnesses contact info. (name, email, and phone number)

7. IF YOU CAN’T USE THE MOBILE APP, you may Email or TEXT your weigh pictures including a photo within 24 hours.

o Your weight info and pictures will be reviewed by the SCBMI weigh committee and updated to the SCBMI leader board daily. Teams may keep their fish, but SCBMI reserves the right to inspect all weighed fish, SCBMI will assist in the removal of any Marlin weighed in and accept donations of unwanted unspoiled fish which will be donated to charity.

o Please make every effort to respect the Marina weigh stations property, rules, policies, employees and patrons while visiting and weighing in your SCBMI fish. The tournament is dependent on Marinas participation and allowing us use of their weigh docks.

o Heading to scales after hours- it is the boat’s responsibility to keep the fish iced & presentable for weighing the following morning.

17. Weighed fish tie-breakers – In the event, there is a tied official weight, the Boat who boated their Blue Marlin first according to time & declared fishing day, wins.

18. Polygraph Examination – Polygraph Tests shall be administered to captains, mates and others as deemed necessary by the Tournament Committee. Participants must make themselves available for polygraph testing in Charleston County within 24 hours following notice from the Tournament Committee. Individuals that are required to take the polygraph test must not consume alcohol or any controlled substance within eight hours prior to the test. A participant’s refusal to take a polygraph test or failure to answer test questions in a manner satisfactory to the Tournament Committee, in their sole discretion, may result in disqualification. By entering the Tournament, participants consent to the admissibility of polygraph results in any dispute or proceeding arising out of the tournament.

19. Release of All Claims -

o This section must be carefully read by each Participant.

o In consideration for being accepted for participation in the South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational (the “Tournament”), the Participants hereby release, forever discharge, and agree to hold harmless the Tournament, The South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational LLC ; Toler’s Cove Marina ; Georgetown Landing Marina, and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers, partners, members, and/or attorneys (collectively the “Releasees”) for any and all losses, claims, or demands of any kind or character whatsoever arising from the negligence or gross negligence of the Releasees 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 Releasees or any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament.

20. 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 South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational Tournament Committee no later than May 24th , 2023 5pm Eastern or are deemed waived. All such disputes must be presented in writing along with a non-refundable fee of $1000. All such disputes shall be decided by the Rules Committee and shall be final and binding upon all parties.

21. Photo ; Video Release - The Participants specifically agree and consent to the use of any photograph, video or audio recordings, or South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational Related Blogs, or interviews in which they appear or are heard, by the Tournament, South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational LLC; for any purpose whatsoever including, but not limited to, resale, advertising, and promotional material without compensation or restriction of any


22. Binding Arbitration - In the event the South Carolina Blue Marlin Invitational 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 produces the effect of “res judicata” and the parties shall fully comply with the decision without delay. The participants specifically waive any right to a trial by judge or jury.