52nd Annual Gold Cup Team Fishing Tournament

52nd Annual Gold Cup Team Fishing Tournament

February 6 - February 10, 2024

Tournament Rules

  1.  The Invitational Gold Cup Team Tournament is open to all teams who are in compliance with the tournament rules. If a team is a member of another fishing or yacht club, they are encouraged to fish as a representative of that club in order to promote friendly competition among the clubs represented.

  2.  A team can fish three out of four days. The team will select its own days to fish. Each team must declare their fishing days by radio to the committee boat by 7:30 AM. Failure to contact the committee boat before this time will be considered a lay day for the team. Should the Weather Committee cancel fishing on any day, there will be no make-up days added.

  3. The boundaries are from Boca Raton (26° 15.00) to just north of the Fort Pierce Inlet (North: 27° 40). The eastern boundary is 25 miles east of the state of Florida.

  4. Each team must have not less than two (2) anglers and not more than four (4) amateur anglers. Anglers shall be those officially registered. If a registered angler is unable to fish on any given day, an alternate angler may fish in place. (Each team is allowed only one alternate angler. An additional alternate will be charged $150.00 per day.) Alternate anglers who have not registered before the tournament must submit a signed released form and be approved by the Executive Committee before fishing. Alternates may register by phoning the Radio Operators or the Tournament Chairman and deliver a signed release form to the Club, in person or by email, by 7:30 AM the day of registration (no angler will be qualified without submission of the signed release form). Alternates who are properly registered must inform the Committee Boat by 7:30 AM of the day they intend to fish and must specify the angler who is replaced. No alternate may be substituted for an angler at any time after 7:30 AM.

  5. Amateur Anglers are defined as not having engaged in commercial fishing or receiving monetary remuneration at any time for guiding, crewing, or captaining within the past three years. (Calcutta payments are excluded.) Teams who are discovered to have a professional crewman will be disqualified for the day. (Sportswriters excepted.)

  6. No more than four (4) lines with hooks are permitted out from any boat at ANY TIME.

  7. Teams will furnish their own boats, boat crews, and bait.
    Breakfast is available at the Sailfish Club from 5:30 AM – 8 AM. Made-to-order Sandwiches Bar is available for purchase during that time. (To-Go boxed lunches also include smaller side items: a piece of fruit, granola bar, homemade cookie, and a bottle of water).

  8. Boat crews will be limited to a boat captain and no more than three mates. NO PROFESSIONAL CREWMAN may be aboard during fishing as a “guest.”

      1)     This is a CIRCLE HOOK tournament. Only fish released on single-circle hooks will be counted on scoring. Circle hooks must not have any offset.

B. LINE   
      1)     Only 20 lb. TEST LINE MAY BE USED. Double line, if used, shall be limited to 15 feet. The combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 20 feet. All lines will be subject to random testing and inspection by the Tournament Committee.


A.   Lines in at 8 AM, lines out at 3:30 PM. No teasers in the water before 8 AM.

B.   Boats must leave out of the Palm Beach Inlet.

C.   No fishing for live bait between 8 AM and 3:30 PM.


              A.    This is a RELEASE tournament. All billfish must be released.

                                     1)   Billfish released on live bait will count for 100 points each.        
                                     2)   Billfish released on dead bait or artificial bait will count for 300 points each.         
                                     3)   Tuna, Dolphin, and Wahoo (heaviest) have separate awards. THEY DO NOT COUNT FOR POINTS. A tie is broken based on length.



1) Catches will be combined to determine team scores.
2) In the case of a boat breakdown, the committee must be notified. Team scores will be transferred to a replacement boat. The replacement boat must not be participating in the tournament.


1) Crew scores will be the same as their team scores.
2) Crew scores are transferable in the case of a boat breakdown, provided the same crew is used.


 1)  The following must be reported to the Scoring Committee: Team Number, Angler’s Name, and THE TYPE OF BAIT USED. The time will be the time recorded by the radio operator. Each fish reported may be fought until caught; any fish hooked after 3:30 PM is ineligible.

2)   Ties will be broken on time – the team reaching the tie score first will be the winner. The numeric day of fishing for the teams or anglers in question will be used to break scoring ties.

3)   To facilitate early posting of team scores, the RADIO LOG WILL BE THE OFFICIAL SOURCE OF INFORMATION DURING FISHING HOURS; boats (teams) reporting fish caught must turn in hard copies of daily report forms for OFFICIAL SCORE and verification of posted scores by the time indicated in (4); failure to comply with (4) will result in the loss of this day’s score plus a 50-point penalty. In case of a boat breakdown, notify the Committee, and the reporting time will be extended accordingly.      

Boats must enter and return through the Palm Beach Inlet. The boat must physically turn in daily score sheets at the center dock to the Sailfish Club by the deadline of 6:45 PM for official posting. Only Score Sheets turned into the center dock indicating the type of bait and time will be considered official reports. The Team Captain’s Signature is required. The Gold Cup representative will also weigh any Dolphin, Wahoo, and Tuna.

4)   Each team must complete the “Shot to Ratio” score of each angler, which is located at the bottom of the daily score sheet, before submitting it to tournament representatives.

12.  In order to qualify a billfish as having been caught and released, only one team member is permitted to set the hook, fight, and retrieve the line until the swivel or leader touches the rod tip. Once a team member has set the hook, no one else may touch the rod at the time until the fish is released.

13.  Any fish mutilated in such a way as to impair its fighting ability from the time of hooking to the time of release or boating is ineligible for entry.

14.  A broken rod will disqualify the entry.

15. The following are not permitted: nets, backing into schools, more than one hook per bait, use of hooks in teasers (there is no limit on the number of teasers), spinning tackle, one fish hooked by more than one line.  Prospecting is permitted.

B.     The use of kites is permitted.

      16.  All anglers and crew must remain in the cockpit when attempting to hook or fight a fish unless they are fishing from a boat specifically designed (such as a walk-around) to safely accommodate such actions.

A.     A team fishing in a boat designed for this purpose must notify the Rules Committee at or before the Captain’s meeting. A violation of this rule will result in forfeiting all team points in that day’s fishing.

17.  The Committee would like to stress that this is an honor system tournament, with each team captain and co-captain being responsible for their team’s compliance with the rules. Any angler or Committee person witnessing a rules violation should enter a protest by reporting the violation to the Protest Committee no later than the same time scores for that day are turned in. Protests must be in writing and only to the Protest Commit.

18.  The decision of the Protest Committee, in regard to protest and the interpretation of rules, shall be final. The Rules Committee is the Protest Committee.

19.  The Tournament Committee has the authority to cancel any day’s fishing, alter boundaries, and change fishing hours.

20.  Minimum boat length is 30 feet. Please obtain your fishing license prior to the tournament.