53rd Beach Haven White Marlin Invitational

August 17 - August 20, 2022

Tournament Rules

The following minimum weights/lengths must be met for a fish to qualify for prize money and/or points. Minimum sizes are the same for Angler Awards and all Calcutta and Treasure Chest cash payouts:
White Marlin* - 69” LJFL Qualifying fish brought to the scale is 100 points plus 25 points per pound over 65lbs - All boated fish under 69" will be disqualified. *Hatchet Marlin (Roundscale Spearfish is considered a White Marlin) White Marlin released using positive confirmed video evidence shall receive 100 points. Example: A white marlin weighing 70lbs shall earn 225 points.
Blue Marlin - 110” LJFL- Qualifying fish brought to the scale is 300 points plus 1.5 points per pound over 400lbs. All boated fish under 110” will be disqualified. Blue Marlin released using positive confirmed video evidence shall receive 300 points. Example: A blue marlin weighing 500lbs shall earn 450 points.
WMIT Slam- Boats that capture or release both a blue and a white marlin in the same day earn an additional 200 points.
Sailfish – Release only – 100 points using positive confirmed video evidence
Unidentified Billfish Release- 99 points using positive confirmed video evidence.
Tuna - Bigeye, Yellowfin, True Albacore (Longfin) (40 lb. Minimum). For High Boat, angler & crew awards one point per pound for a qualifying tuna. Bluefin Tuna are ineligible for this tournament
Wahoo- (10lb minimum) For High Boat, Angler & Crew awards - 1 point per pound for a qualifying fish
Dolphin- (10lb minimum) For High Boat, Angler & Crew awards - 1 point per pound for a qualifying fish
1) Hold Harmless Agreement - 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.
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2) Signing of the Entry Sheet - By registering a team and signing the entry form, the Boat Owner/Team Representative agrees to follow the White Marlin Invitational Tournament rules, including all regulations set by NMFS and the 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.
3) Members of the Tournament Committee (hereinafter, the Committee) are Tournament Officials. The Weigh Master for BHMTC is also a Tournament Official.
4) The Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club reserves the right to cancel or modify any aspect of the tournament at any time, for any reason including if in its 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.
5) Entry fee for the tournament shall be $1,500 before August 1st and $1,800 thereafter. No refunds for entry fees will be given for any reason after July 31st including but not limited to acts of nature, weather, war, national security, Covid-19, vessel malfunctions, crew availability, or travel restrictions. Calcutta fees may be refunded (minus the % for service fee) if a team is unable to compete in the tournament.
6) 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.
7) Only one day need be fished by at least one boat to make an official tournament and for the prizes to be awarded.
8) Registration is to be made by vessel. If competing for an optional Angler Award, registration may also be made by men, junior (16 and under), & woman.
9) An angler or boat will be disqualified for such cause, as misconduct, unsportsmanlike behavior, or
16) 17)
any other incident deemed inappropriate by the Tournament Committee.
Boundaries- All fish must be hooked within tournament boundaries which are limited to a 115 Nautical-mile radius from Little Egg Bell Buoy (Latitude: 39° 27 ’56.2”, Longitude: 74° 16 ’ 27.3”). Fish may then be played outside the boundaries until captured or released.
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. “Lines out” will be called at 3:00PM, at which time all fishing must cease unless already hooked-up.
No boat may pass the sea buoy of any inlet prior to 2:00 a.m. on any fishing day. In the absence 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.
Tournament radio channel is VHF-69. Captain must announce as fishing “Beach Haven Tournament” when hailing committee boats. Due to the advancements of video verification, boats do not need to report any boated or released fish to a committee boat. See rules 43-49 for the catch verification process.
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.
For prize money to be awarded, a W9 must be completed by the winning team and submitted to the BHMTC Treasurer at treasurer@bhmtc.com with a copy to the chairman at wmit@bhmtc.com.
Use of spotter planes, drones or any other types of aerial surveillance is prohibited.
Boats may depart and return from any inlet in New Jersey.
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Declared Fishing Days:
18) 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 18th Friday, August 19th Saturday, August 20th
19) 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.
20) Each boat must pick one (1) non-fishing day by submitting a “lay day” notice using the Reel Time Apps platform from their smart phone. Or by texting Courtney 561-909-7868 a photo of the “lay day 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 lay day”. Toggle to the correct day and select “submit”. Once this task is completed, the boat and tournament officials will receive a confirmation notification.
21) Any boat not submitting the lay day information by 9:30AM on any given day is assumed to be fishing that day. No exceptions.
22) Should a boat submit a lay day notification and still practice fish, that day of fishing is unofficial and cannot be scored.
Angling Rules:
23) All 53rd Annual White Marlin Invitational Tournament rules will apply. All IGFA and NMFS rules for fishing and tackle will apply unless noted otherwise in this document.
24) Any rule changes will be addressed at the captain’s meeting on Wednesday, August 17th, 2022. It is MANDATORY that at least one crew member of a registered boat attends 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.
25) “Hook and Hand” is permitted. Hook and Hand is defined as: a fish may be hooked by anyone other than the angler, (Captain, mate, or other registered angler) however, after the hook is set, the fishing rod must be transferred immediately to the angler. One pass only. The angler, from that time on, shall fight the fish alone until boated or released.
26) Holding or touching an angler in a manner that assists them in fighting the fish or takes pressure off the angler is prohibited. Touching or briefly holding the angler to prevent them from falling is permitted.
27) Spreader Bars are allowed as teasers only. No hooks are allowed to be attached to a spreader bar.
28) There is no limit on the number of lines with hooks or teasers that may be fished.
29) 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 to verify that all required permits, licenses and/or registrations are acquired by anglers participating in the tournament. Failure of a winning angler to have obtained any or all required permits, licenses and or registrations shall not be the basis for a protest to be filed under the tournament rules, or for a fish to be disqualified.
30) 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.
31) 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, jigging, casting, or pitching to tailing fish or fish balling bait is not permissible.
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Dock Road Weigh-in
32) 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.
33) Boats that have past ICW Marker 109 by 8:30PM are considered in time for the scale at Dock Road. Once past ICW Marker 109, check in with the scout boat using channel 69 and proceed at idle speed to the weigh-in location at Dock Road.
34) 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.
35) A maximum of 2 White Marlin, 1 Blue Marlin, 3 Tuna, 2 Dolphin, 2 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).
36) 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.
37) All fish eligible for cash prizes will be subject to examination for by Tournament Officials, fish I.D. experts, consulting biologists and/or the Tournament Weigh Master.
38) Any fish mutilated by shark, propeller, etc., prior to boating will be disqualified.
39) 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 examinations, the decision of the Tournament Officials shall be final.
40) Any concerns as to the weight of the fish, the way 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.
41) Any fish under protest will be kept in the possession of the Beach Haven Marlin & Tuna Club until the Tournament Officials release an official decision.
42) If there is a tie in weight for White Marlin, Blue Marlin or Billfish points, the tie breaker will be earliest time of reported catch.
Release qualifications
43) A billfish is considered officially released when a) the swivel between the main line or double line hits the rod tip b) the mate grabs the leader or c) the wind-on leader goes through the rod tip. Please release the fish in good condition by either removing the hook-set or cutting as close to the hook as possible. We ask that you refrain from “popping” the leader as this is not a good method for a healthy release.
44) If a gaff breaks the plane of the cockpit covering boards or if the billfish is brought on board, the team has committed to a capture and the billfish will not count as a release whether it is subsequently released. To qualify as a release, the billfish must remain in the water. NO DECK CHECKING.
Billfish Daily Catch Report
45) Each boated or released billfish is required to be recorded on the day's daily catch report. Catch reports are supplied with your registration package. If you do not have one for each day, please see the Committee for a replacement.
46) Catch reports must be submitted by either texting a photo of the report to Courtney Bowden (cell) 561- 909-7868 or by hand delivering to the weigh master. If you do not submit a catch report by 8:30 PM, your fish will be disqualified. No exceptions.
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Release Video Verification Recordings
47) Each team is required to provide video evidence of each billfish catch and release. Your video proof shall include: 1) time / date stamp 2) registered angler fighting the fish 3) sufficient footage of the fish to accurately determine the species 4) proper release evidence - see Rule 43 & 44 above.
5) Immediately after the release, a crew member must verbally state on the video the time, angler name, and whether it is their Day 1 or Day 2. In the event your video does not have sound or a date/time stamp option, a recording of the cover of your registration booklet and a device (phone or chartplotter) with the date and time will suffice. This information must match the catch sheet.
48) If tournament officials are unable to identify the billfish species, the release will earn 99 points. If tournament officials are unable to see indisputable evidence of a proper release, the release will earn zero points.
Submission of Recordings
49) Release verifications are required to be uploaded to the WMIT (Reel Time App) no later
than 8:30pm on the day of fishing. Additionally, SD cards may hand delivered at the WMIT weigh station by 8:30pm at the latest. NO VIDEO = NO FISH. The video date / time stamp must match the correlating catch report for that day.
50) Any allegations of violations of any of the above rules may only be submitted only by an official tournament registrant and must be submitted in writing. In the event of such an allegation, the tournament officials 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.
51) 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 officials.
52) 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 20th, 2022.
53) 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.
54) The Tournament Officials shall serve as judge, and their decision is final.
Polygraph Examinations
55) 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.
56) 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 21st, 2022 or during a mutually agreeable date and time within 5 business days of Sunday, August 21st, 2022.
57) The tournament officials reserve the rights, in its sole discretion, to reschedule any polygraph examination, or require additional polygraph examinations.
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58) 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 angler’s expense. This polygraph must be administered to ASTM standards.
59) The decision as to which of the two-polygraph tests will be used to determine prize money eligibility is that of the tournament officials in consultation with the polygraph examiner(s).
End of Rules
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60) 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.
61) The decision of the tournament officials shall be final.