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52nd Beach Haven White Marlin Invitational

August 11 - August 14, 2021

Presenting Sponsor SPONSOR

Tournament Rules

Administration:

 

1)    By participation in this tournament on any registered vessel, an individual is consenting to hold harmless The White Marlin Invitational Tournament (hereinafter, the Tournament or WMIT) and Tournament Officials of the White Marlin Invitational Tournament, The Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club (hereinafter, the Club or BHMTC) and its Officers, Directors, Paid Consultants, and members from any and all liability.

2)    Members of the Tournament Committee (hereinafter, the Committee) are Tournament Officials. The Weigh Master for BHMTC is also a Tournament Official.

3)    Only one day need be fished by at least one boat to make an official tournament and for the prizes to be awarded. 

4)    The Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club reserves the right to cancel the tournament or modify any aspect of it at any time, for any reason. 

5)    Registration is to be made by vessel, junior (16 and under), & woman.  

6)    There shall be three (3) available fishing days for the tournament. The three (3) available fishing days for the tournament are as follows:                                                          

     Thursday, August 12th                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        Friday, August 13th                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                     Saturday, August 14th

7)    An angler or boat will be disqualified for such cause, as misconduct, unsportsmanlike behavior, or any other incident deemed inappropriate by the Tournament Committee. 

8)    Fishing grounds are limited to a 115 Nautical-mile radius from Little Egg Bell Buoy (Latitude: 39° 27’ 56.2”, Longitude: 74° 16’ 27.3”)

9)    Fishing begins at 8:00AM and ends at 3:00PM (GPS time). No lines or bait of any kind may be put into the water until “Lines In” is called. Committee boats will announce lines in at 8:00AM.

10) No boat may pass the sea buoy of any Inlet prior to 2:00 a.m. on any fishing day.  In the absent of a sea buoy, or if the sea buoy is located oceanside of the COLREGS Demarcation line, then the COLREGS Demarcation line shall be considered the sea buoy which shall not be passed prior to 2:00 a.m. on any fishing day.

11) Tournament radio channel is VHF-69. Captains must identify as fishing Beach Haven Tournament” when hailing committee boats.

12) The captain and crew of a boat with mechanical problems may be allowed to switch boats prior to “lines in” for each fishing day. In this event, they will fish under the same name and same tournament boat number. The Tournament Committee must approve such transfers. 

13) Use of spotter planes, drones or any other types of aerial surveillance is prohibited.

14) Boats may depart and return from any inlet in New Jersey.

 

Declared Fishing Days:

 

15) Each registered vessel shall be permitted to fish a maximum of two (2) of three (3) available days of the tournament, and the choice of days to be fished shall be made individually by each captain/crew.  

16) Each boat must pick one (1) non-fishing day by submitting a layday” notice using the Reel Time Apps platform from their smart phone.  Or by texting Courtney 561-909-7868 a photo of the “layday card” provided in the registration packet. To Use the Reel Time App, log in to your WMIT registered account and select the option “Submit a Layday”.  Toggle to the correct day and select “submit”.  Once this task is completed, the boat and tournament officials will receive a confirmation notification. 

17) All boats must be dockside to declare a non-fishing day.  Any boat not submitting the layday information by 9:30am on any given day is assumed to be fishing that day.  No exceptions.

18) Should a boat submit a layday notification and still practice fish, that day of fishing is unofficial and cannot be scored. 

Angling Rules:

 

19) All 52nd Annual White Marlin Invitational Tournament rules will apply.  All IGFA rules for fishing and tackle will apply unless noted otherwise in this document. 

20) Any rule changes will be addressed at the captain’s meeting on Wednesday, August 11th, 2021. It is MANDATORY that at least one crew member of a registered boat attend the captain’s meeting.  The crew member must sign off at the meeting to prove attendance.  It is the responsibility of all participants to familiarize themselves & abide by all rules & regulations of this tournament.  

21) “Hook and Hand” is permitted.  Hook and Hand is defined as a rod being able to be picked up from a rod holder after a fish is on the line for the purpose of transferring the rod immediately to the designated angler.  After the moment of transfer of the rod to the designated angler, the angler must fight the fish alone until it is boated or released. 

22) Spreader Bars are allowed as teasers only. No hooks are allowed to be attached to a spreader bar. (This includes Squid Nation Flippy Floppies per IGFA)

23) There is no limit on the number of lines with hooks or teasers that may be fished.

24) Participants are assumed to have all necessary permits, licenses and/or registrations required by law.  However, it is not the responsibility of the tournament officials or directors to verify that all required permits, licenses and/or registrations are acquired by anglers or vessels participating in the tournament.

25) Holding or touching an angler in a manner that assists them in fighting the fish or takes pressure off the angler is grounds for disqualification. Touching or briefly holding the angler to prevent them from falling does not constitute a disqualification. 

26) Line class shall be limited to the manufactures stated rating of no greater than 130 lbs.  The use of tournament grade line is not required.  The use of any pound test backing is permitted.  The catch shall be classified under the breaking strength of the first 16.5 feet (5 meters) of line directly preceding the double line, leader or hook.  This section must be comprised of a single, homogenous piece of line. 

27) This is a trolling tournament. While hook-ups accomplished with no headway are permissible if they occur at a time when baits settle while fighting another fish, the use of live bait or stopping and casting or pitching to tailing fish or fish balling bait is not permissible.

 

Billfish Specific Angling Rules:

 

28) A billfish is considered officially released when the leader connection is wound to the tip of the rod, or the mate or other crew member touches the leader. Tagging is not required for tournament points but is encouraged if the billfish is under control and the tag can be placed without injury to the fish. 

29) Release points shall be awarded as follows:

White Marlin – 100 points

Blue Marlin – 300 points

Sailfish – 100 points

30) If a gaff breaks the plane of the cockpit covering boards or the billfish is brought on board, the team has committed to a capture and the billfish will not count as a release whether or not it is subsequently boated.  In order to qualify as a release, the billfish must remain in the water.

31) All boats must report boated or released White Marlin and Blue Marlin to a Committee Boat.  Reported information shall include boat number, species, time and whether the marlin was boated or released.  

32) A release/catch time must be assigned by a committee boat in order to qualify for points or tie breakers by weight accompanied with matching release video footage.  All Committee Boats shall identify themselves by boat number and shall be recorded in the catch report for verification purposes. Radio Channel 69.

33) Boats fighting billfish after 2:45 p.m. must radio the hook-up immediately to a Committee Boat. All other radio communications must cease. For the fish to qualify, it must be reported to a Committee Boat and have a time assigned before returning to the dock.  This is the responsibility of the captain of the vessel catching the fish.

34) If a committee boat is unavailable or out of range at any point during the tournament, a boat may contact another registered boat or tournament official via VHF or satellite communication and have a release time assigned.  Courtney Bowden will be available throughout the tournament at (561) 909-7868. The tournament number of the proxy committee boat or name of the tournament official must be recorded on the catch report for verification purposes.  This is the responsibility of the captain of the vessel catching the fish. 

35) For release points to count, boats must be dockside (unless you are in the queue past ICW marker 109) by the weigh-in deadline and submit the Billfish Daily Catch report by 8:30 PM at the weigh station. Additionally, a photo can be taken of the completed catch report and emailed to court.bowden@gmail.com and a copy emailed to wmit@bhmtc.com.  If you do not submit a catch report by 8:30 PM, your fish will be disqualified. No exceptions. 

36) Video evidence:  Time stamped video evidence of a release is mandatory and will be used by tournament officials to verify billfish species, catch and release times.  All video evidence must be submitted by 8:30 p.m. on the day of fishing.  

37) Videos may be submitted via Reel Time Apps or email.  Additionally, SD cards may be hand delivered to Courtney Bowden at the weigh station on Dock Road. No video = no points!

38) The video must clearly capture the species of fish during the fight and the release of each fish.  The video footage must be continuous and show the mate touching the leader or the leader touching the rod tip.  If tournament officials are unable to see indisputable evidence of the species of billfish, the release will be scored at 99 points.  If tournament officials are unable to see indisputable evidence of a proper release, the release will earn zero points.

39) An ‘identifier’ will be distributed to each boat at registration.  Teams MUST show the identifier in the video along with saying “the tournament name, date and day of fishing once at the beginning of each day). After release - Teams must say the assigned release time given by the committee boat on camera. The identifier will be announced at the Captains Meeting and via Reel Time Apps on the night before fishing begins.  All videos will become property of the WMIT.  

40) If there is a tie in weight for White Marlin, Blue Marlin or Billfish points, the tie breaker will be time of reported catch. 

 

Weigh-in:

 

41) Tournament scales are open between 5:00 p.m. and 8:30 p.m.  Scales will remain open until the last boat in the queue has finished their weigh-in.  

42) Other than billfish releases, all fish eligible for prizes must be brought to the official WMIT scale location at Dock Road in Beach Haven on the same day and boat from which it was caught. A completed catch report must be delivered to the Weigh Master at the time of weigh-in. 

43) A maximum of 3 tuna, 1 White Marlin, 1 Blue Marlin, 1 Dolphin, 1 Wahoo, may be weighed in per boat, per day. (Regulations shall be under the Atlantic HMS Angling permit limitations at the time of the tournament). 

44) In the event of a malfunction in the primary weighing system, the Tournament shall switch to a back-up scale certified by the New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures or an approved vendor certifying the BHMTC scales to the requirements of the New Jersey Office of Weights and Measures and or the IGFA.

45) If there is a tie for 1st place in a tuna, dolphin, or wahoo category by weight, the tie splits 1st and 2nd place money.    If there is a tie for 2nd place for tuna, dolphin, or wahoo, the money will be split evenly with both those in 2nd place.

 

Protest at the scale:

 

46) All fish eligible for cash prizes may be subject to examination by the Tournament Officials, fish I.D. experts, consulting biologists and/or Tournament Weigh Master, should there be any question as to the “freshness” or species of the catch.  It shall be the responsibility of the participant to keep all eligible catches in suitable and proper condition until weigh-in. In the event of any disputes arising from such examination, the decision of the Tournament Officials shall be final. Polygraph examination may be required of winning crews.

47) Any protest as to the weight of the fish, the manner in which it is being weighed or the condition of the fish must be made while the fish is on the scale to the Weigh Master. Once the fish has been removed from the scale, the weight is considered official and shall stand. Any fish under protest will be kept at Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club until the Tournament Officials release an official decision.

48) All fish protest may only be made by a registered angler, registered crew member, BHMTC Weigh Master, or Tournament Official. The required protest fee must be submitted on the day the protest is made.

49) Any fish mutilated prior to boating or landing the fish by shark, propeller, etc. will be disqualified.

Protest, Payouts, and Polygraph Examinations

 

50) Allegations of violations of any of the above rules may be submitted only by an official tournament registrant and must be submitted in writing on the day of the alleged infraction. In the event of such an allegation, the tournament directors will have the sole and exclusive responsibility to investigate the alleged incident and to rule as to whether any violation materially aided the angler, crew, or vessel, or otherwise affected the outcome of the tournament. Any subsequent penalty will be solely at the discretion of the tournament officials and shall be final. In all cases, registrant and their crews agree to be bound by the ruling of the tournament directors. 

 

51) The written protest must contain a detailed description of the protested matter and include any supporting evidence available. The written protest must be signed, dated and include time of written protest and must be delivered by a tournament registrant to Dave Wittenborn, Tournament Chairman, phone # (609) 577-2797.  No protests will be accepted after 8:30PM on August 14th, 2021.  The Tournament Officials shall serve as judge, and their decision is final.

52) A protest fee of $1,000 cash must accompany the written protest.  If the tournament officials rule in favor of the tournament registrant making the allegations, the protest fee will be returned.  If the tournament officials rule against the tournament registrant making the allegation, the protest fee will be forfeited and donated to a local charity.

53) Polygraph examinations may be required at the discretion of the tournament officials. The tournament officials shall have the right, at its discretion, to require a single person or multiple persons (including the entire crew) on a registered vessel to take a polygraph examination.

54) All persons selected by the tournament officials must take and pass the polygraph examination at the determination of the test administrator, prior to the distribution of any prize or award money to them (or their vessel) by the WMIT. The polygraph testing will occur at The Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club, 420 N. Pennsylvania Ave, Beach Haven NJ 08008, Sunday, August 15th, 2021 or during a mutually agreeable date and time within 5 business days of Sunday, August 15th, 2021.

55) The WMIT Committee reserves the rights, in its sole discretion, to reschedule any polygraph examination, or require additional polygraph examinations.

56) If an angler wishes to dispute an unfavorable polygraph result, the angler may have a second polygraph conducted within 5 days by a certified polygraphist by the American Polygraph Association at the anglers expense.  This polygraph must be administered to ASTM standards.

57) The decision as to which of the two-polygraph tests will be used to determine prize money eligibility is that of the WMIT tournament officials in consultation with the polygraph examiner(s).

58) The decision of the WMIT tournament officials shall be final.

59) Prize money will not be awarded to anyone (individually or to a boat) selected by the tournament officials to take a polygraph test should that individual or members of the selected boat crew refuse to take a polygraph examination.

60) Prize money will not be awarded to anyone who does not provide a social security number OR a Federal ID Number.

 

Weather

61) Tournament officials may cancel the tournament day if in their best judgment unsafe conditions exist at sea for the average boat entered. No refunds of any sort will be made for any cause in the event of such cancellation. If the day (or any portion thereof) is “weathered out”, the tournament results will be final based on the results of the official fishing time that can be completed. Notice of cancellation and/or resumption of fishing will be provided via Committee Phone. A determination permitting fishing by tournament officials should not be interpreted to mean that the tournament ensures the safety of any registered angler or occupant of any boat.  Anglers must make their own judgments whether to fish under the prevailing weather conditions based on the size and seaworthiness of their boat, their seamanship skills, and any other relevant factors.

Hold Harmless

62) All registered anglers and non-registered occupants of their boats enter and participate in this tournament voluntarily at their own risk. In consideration for the tournament’s acceptance of his or her entry, each angler, for his or her heirs, executors, and administrators, agrees to release, hold harmless and indemnify Beach Haven Marlin and Tuna Club, its officers, managers, directors, agents, sponsors, donors, the city, county or country where the event is held, and all other persons connected directly or indirectly with the operation of the tournament (including, Tournament Consultant, Courtney Bowden – Contact Courtney Consulting, LLC), from and against any and all liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs, fees or expenses which he or she may have against any above-described party, or which his or her captains, crew members, family members, companions or nonregistered occupants of their boat may have, arising out of or in any way connected with his or her participation in this tournament, including any injury or death suffered by any registered angler, boat captains, crew members, family members, companions or other occupants of any boat, and including any damage to vessels and equipment, which occurs during or in conjunction with the event. Each Angler understands and agrees that this release specifically includes and waives any claims based on libel, slander, negligence, action or inaction of any above-named party. 

63) Signing of the Entry Sheet - By registering a team and signing the entry form, the Boat Owner/Team Representative agrees to follow the above tournament rules, including all regulations set by the IGFA and State of NJ.  All Boat Owners/Team Representatives are required to sign the entry form as certification that they have read and agreed to abide by all guidelines and the above liability release. 

 

Vessel weigh-in procedure at Dock Road

 

Upon returning from the days fishing, boats will run up the bay to Marker 109 at the south end of Mordecai Island at which point it is idle speed to the scale. Boats are considered in time for the scale at Marker 109 if you have a fish to weigh. At marker 109 we will have a scout boat that you will hail on VHF channel 69 to report that you are in from fishing.

Please hail White Marlin Invitational and give:

Boat name & number

Fish to be weighed

 

You will be given a number to use when coming to the scale so we have an orderly weigh-in.

Next, proceed up the bay to the weigh-in holding area at idle speed. If you do not have a fish to weigh, you may proceed to your marina and dock slip at idle speed. ANYONE going above IDLE speed from Marker 109 may lose the privileges of participating in future tournaments. Mordecai Island is a fragile ecosystem that has been rapidly eroding on the west side and we will not tolerate any participants adding to the erosion through high-speed transit in the area. Boats must also idle out past marker 109 in the morning as well.

Our weigh-in area is new this year. We will be using a truck crane and gantry. We want to be as efficient as possible with pictures etc. please be prepared to disembark and reload from your boat and as quickly as possible so the next boat can proceed. 

Boats will advance to the scale area and monitor channel 69 and wait to be called in to the scale. You must come to the dock with your bow facing north and lay on your starboard side. We will have A5 polyballs along the dock and dockhands to throw you a bow, spring and stern line. Larger boats will have their bow past the fence at the Morrison’s property and we will have a dockhand there to throw you a line. 

Weigh-in crew will board your boat and measure any marlin to be sure they are legal and should be weighed. The crane will drop a hook into your cockpit with a tail rope and the fish will be hoisted from the boat. Dolphinfish and small tuna may be carried off the boat to the scale. 

You may only weigh-in fish via boat. No walk-up fish will be accepted for weigh-in. 

 

END OF RULES