Pelican Yacht Club Billfish

Pelican Yacht Club Billfish

January 9 - January 14, 2023

Tournament Rules

43rd Annual Pelican Yacht Club Invitational Billfish Tournament Rules


1.      The 43rd Pelican Yacht Club Invitational Billfish Tournament is governed by IGFA Rules and the Pelican Yacht Club.

2.      Tournament fishing days: January 10 -14, 2023. The Captain's meeting is Monday, January 9th at 6 PM in the clubhouse.  It is mandatory to have a boat representative, preferably the Captain, at this meeting.  Each boat may fish three (3) out of the five (5) days of competition. The choice of fishing days will be up to each boat.

3.      Minimum tournament boat length - There will be a minimum boat size of 30 feet. Inboard powered boats only.

4.      This is a billfish release tournament: Billfish are classified as Blue Marlin, White Marlin, and Sailfish. All participants are to release all billfish. Tagging is encouraged but not required. No points will be awarded for any boated billfish. Measurements for mounts should be carefully taken in the water.

5.      Fishing hours: 8:30am to 3:30pm. Tournament boats may depart the Pelican Yacht Club no earlier than 7:00am each morning. No lines are allowed overboard before the 8:30am " lines in" announcement and each line must be removed from the water by 3:30pm "lines out" announcement unless your hook-up time is prior to 3:30pm and has been announced to the tournament radio. The deadline for weigh-in will be 5:30pm.

6.      Fishing boundaries: The boundaries are limited to 50NM from the entrance buoy of the Fort Pierce Inlet (N 27d 28.38m AND W 80 d16.84m). Boats may depart from the Fort Pierce Inlet. Tournament boats must maintain idle speed to the end of the inlet.

7.      Tournament Radio channel will be announced at the Captain’s meeting.

8.      ANGLERS:

a.      A team may consist of one (1) to four (4) registered Anglers. All Angler substitutions must be announced to tournament radio prior to 8:00am the day the Angler participates in the tournament.

b.      One professional angler will be allowed. Persons who have been paid for services as a Captain, Mate, or crew member while engaging in fishing within the last 12 months are considered professional.

9.      Lines and tackle- IGFA Rules apply with the following exceptions:

a.      Six (6) lines are permitted per boat. Four (4) hooked lines; Two (2) teaser lines with no hooks

b.      Maximum IGFA Rated 30# test is permitted. There is no bonus for lighter line and lines will be subject to random testing by the tournament committee. Conventional revolving spool reels only are allowed. 

c.      The leader shall be limited to 15 feet. The combined length of a double line and leader shall be limited to 35 feet.

d.      Hooks: Federally regulated hooks are required.

e.      The following are not permitted. Live Bait - Kites - Backing into Schools - Pitching Baits

f.        Backing down is only allowed when hooked-up and fighting a fish.

10.   Multi-header rule: The angler may fight multiple fish concurrently. The angler must remove the rod from the rod holder as quickly as possible with the intent that the angler hook the fish with rod in hand. The angler may then change between rods as he/she chooses, using the rod holder to rest the rod not in use. Angler may not fight the fish from the rod holder. Angler must fight one fish at a time.

11.   Scoring: Only released billfish will qualify for scoring. The scoring for all billfish is 100 points. The team that accumulates the most billfish points will be declared winners. In the event of a tie the angler obtaining the highest score first is declared winner.

12.   Meat fish categories: Dolphin, Kingfish, Wahoo and Tuna. Meat fish must be weighed in by 5:30 pm and must be weighed on the Pelican Yacht Club Scale. These species of fish do not earn any points but winners are determined by heaviest weight and are eligible for a trophy.

13.   Recording of scores:

a.      Each boat will receive a daily log that must be turned in by 6:00pm daily by participating boat.

b.      Released Billfish must be called into the official tournament radio.

                                           i.     Boat name

                                          ii.     Angler

c.      If transmitting is an issue, you may call or text 772-370-6273 or 772-979-0986. Regardless of transmission you must relay your catch on the radio. To qualify the release, the angler must hook, fight, and retrieve the line until the swivel, snap or leader touches the rod tip or the mate has control of the leader. Deliberately jerking or snatching the leaders to release the fish is forbidden and will disqualify the release. Crewmen are reminded to exercise extreme caution at all times to ensure that no catch is disqualified because someone other than the angler touches the rod, reel or line while the fish is being fought.

d.      Hook up times should not be called in unless the fish is hooked within 15 minutes of the 3:30pm deadline.

e.      All meat fish must be weighed on the Pelican yacht club's scale and verified by the Weigh master on the boat's daily log. Any fish weighed after 5:30pm will not be recorded.

f.        Tournament radio will be the official time.

14.   Protests: This is an honor system tournament with each angler being responsible for his/her own performance. Any person witnessing a rules violation can enter a protest in writing to the Judges Committee no later than 6:00pm the day of the alleged violation. The Judges committee decision shall be final.

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