54th Beach Haven White Marlin Invitational

August 16 - August 19, 2023

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, calcuttas and Treasure Chest cash payouts:

White Marlin

69” LJFL - All boated fish not meeting the minimum requirement will be disqualified. Qualifying fish brought to the scale is 100 points plus 25 points per pound over 65lbs.Example: A 70lb white marlin will earn 225 points. White Marlin released using positive confirmed video evidence shall receive 100 points. *Hatchet marlin (Roundscale Spearfish is considered a White Marlin)

Blue Marlin
110” LJFL OR 400lbs (New for 2023)- All boated fish not meeting the minimum requirements will be disqualified. Qualifying fish brought to the scale is 400 points plus 1 point per pound over 400lbs. Example: A 500lb blue marlin will earn 500 points. Blue Marlin released using positive confirmed video evidence shall receive 200 points.

Sailfish - Release only – 100 points using positive confirmed video evidence.

WMIT Slam - Catch both a blue and a white marlin in the same day earns an additional 100 points.

1st Daily Billfish Release (New for 2023)- 1st Daily Billfish Release earns an additional 100 points. (Thursday, Friday, Saturday).

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 & Dolphin- (10lb minimum) For high boat, angler & crew awards - 1 point per pound for a qualifying fish

Schedule of Events:

Wednesday, August 16

4:00pm-7:00pm Registration 5:00pm Reception Party 7:00pm Captain’s Meeting

Thursday & Friday, August 17 & 18

8:00am-3:00pm......Optional Fishing Days 1 & 2 6:00pm Barbeque Served at Clubhouse Each Day 5:00pm-8:30pm...... Scale Hours and Catch Reports Due

Saturday August 19

8:00am-3:00pm......Optional Fishing Day 3

5:00pm-8:00pm** Scale Hours and Catch Reports Due

8:00pm Awards Dinner at Clubhouse 9:00pm Awards Presentation

**Scale closes thirty minutes earlier on Saturday.

Dave Wittenborn, Tournament Chairman wmit@bhmtc.com
(609) 577-2797 dwitt000@inreach.garmin.com

Courtney Bowden, Scoring Official hello@contactcourtney.com (561) 909-7868

Tournament VHF Channel 69 Local Dockage:

Queen City Marina (609) 492-2150

Beach Haven Yacht Club (609) 492-9101

New Rules are highlighted in Red.

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54th Rules August 16-19, 2023


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.

2)  Signing of the Entry Sheet - 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. 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/HMS and the State of NJ. This includes possession of a current NMFS/HMS permit.

3) Members of the tournament committee (hereinafter, the committee) are tournament officials. The weigh master for WMIT 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) 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, sickness, 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) 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.

7) 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.

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

9) Registration is to be made by vessel. If competing for an optional angler award, registration may also be made by angler, junior angler (16 and under), & lady angler. There is no limit on the number of anglers per vessel.

10) An angler or boat will be disqualified for such cause, as misconduct, unsportsmanlike behavior, or any other incident deemed inappropriate by the tournament committee. In such case, the individual or boat may lose future participation privileges. The WMIT will not be responsible for any fine or penalty incurred by any angler who boats a fish which does not meet the federal and/or state size limit requirements or other restrictions.

11) Any rule changes will be addressed at the captain’s meeting on Wednesday, August 16th, 2023. 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 and abide by all rules and regulations of this tournament.

Fishing Days, Fishing Times, Boundaries

12)  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 17th Friday, August 18th Saturday, August 19th

13)  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.

14)  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. 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.

15)  Any boat not submitting the lay day information by “Lines In” 8:00am on any given day is assumed to be fishing that day. No exceptions.

16)  Should a boat submit a lay day notification and still practice fish, that day of fishing is unofficial and will not be scored.

17)  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.

18)  Boats must depart and return from any inlet in New Jersey.

19) No boat may pass the sea buoy of any inlet prior to 2:00am on any fishing day. For boats using Little Egg Inlet, the WMIT uses the old LEI sea buoy coordinates (Latitude: 39° 27 56.2”, Longitude: 74° 16 27.3”) which may not be passed until 2:00am. For any other NJ inlet, 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 2:00am on any fishing day.

20) 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. See rule 21.

21) Any fish hooked prior to 3:00pm may be played until boated or released but it must be made available for weigh-in that day.

22) Omni Sonar transducers are not permitted to be deployed prior to the official lines-in time of 8:00am.

23) All fish must be hooked within tournament boundaries which are limited to a 125 Nautical- mile radius from Little Egg sea buoy (Latitude: 39° 27 56.2”, Longitude: 74° 16 27.3”). Fish may then be played outside the boundaries until captured or released.

General Angling Rules

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

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

26)  All IGFA rules for fishing and tackle will apply unless noted otherwise in this document.

27)  The WMIT is a registered HMS billfish tournament. Anglers fishing with natural bait (or natural/artificial combination bait) must only use non-offset circle hooks. Anglers may only use J- hooks if they are fishing with artificial lures.

28)  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 after the initial hook up. The angler, from that time on, shall fight the fish alone until boated or released.

29)  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.

30)  Spreader Bars are allowed as teasers only. No hooks are allowed to be attached to a spreader bar.

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

32)  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.

33)  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.

Dock Road Weigh-in

34)  ICW Marker 109 is the WMIT finish line. Boats are considered in time for the scale if they have crossed the finish line by the time the scale closes. If you have not crossed the WMIT finish line by the time the scale closes, your catch will be disqualified. The scale closes at 8:30pm on Thursday and Friday and 8:00pm on Saturday.

35)  Once past Marker 109, check in with the scout boat using channel 69 and proceed at idle speed to the weigh-in location at Dock Road Marlin Fest. The scale will remain open until the last boat in the queue has finished their weigh-in.

36)  Other than billfish releases, all fish eligible for prizes must be brought to the official WMIT scale location at Dock Road Marlin Fest in Beach Haven on the same day and boat from which it was caught.

37) 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).

38) All fish whether boated or released are required to be recorded on the day's daily catch report. Catch reports are supplied with your registration package and must be filled out prior to weighing in your catch. If you do not have one for each day, please see the committee for a replacement.

39) The angler or boat representative must remain with the fish throughout the weigh-in process, and before leaving the scale area, must sign the catch report.

40) Catch reports must be submitted by either texting a photo of the front and back of the report to Courtney Bowden (cell) 561-909-7868 or if you have fish to weigh, by hand delivering to the weigh master at Dock Road Marlin Fest. If you do not submit a catch report by the time the scale closes, your catch will be disqualified.

41) 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.

42) 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.

43) 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.

44) 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 weight has been called and the fish has been removed from the scale, the weight is considered official and shall stand.

45)  Any fish mutilated by shark, propeller, other fish, or mammals, prior to landing or boating that remove or penetrate the flesh will be disqualified. (Injuries caused by leader or line, scratches, old healed scars or regeneration deformities are not considered to be disqualifying injuries.)

46)  Billfish are measured using a flexible tape measure from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail.

47)  If there is a tie in weight for white marlin, blue marlin or billfish points, the tie breaker will be earliest team’s respective fishing day (Day 1 or Day 2 & time of reported catch).

48)  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.

Billfish Release qualifications

49)  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.

50)  If a gaff breaks the horizontal 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.

Official Time & Billfish Reporting

51) All boats must report boated or released billfish to a committee boat and have a time assigned. Reported information shall include boat number, species, and whether the fish was boated or released. Do not call-in tuna, wahoo, or dolphin. All committee boats shall identify themselves by boat number and shall be recorded on the catch report for verification purposes. Radio Channel 69.

52) Boats fighting billfish between 2:45pm and 3:00pm must radio the hook-up immediately to a committee boat. All other radio communications must cease during this time. For the fish to qualify, it must be reported to a committee boat and have an official time assigned before returning to the dock. This is the responsibility of the captain of the vessel catching the fish.

53) 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.

Billfish Release Video Verification Recordings

54) Identification Markers - each team will obtain a marker prior to the day's fishing. This marker must be displayed during the fight and recorded. Failure to show the marker in your video proof will disqualify your catch, even if it is time-stamped.

55) Each team is required to provide video evidence of each billfish catch and release. Your video proof must include the following:

1) Identification marker

2) Time / date stamp

3) Angler fighting the fish

4) Sufficient footage of the fish to accurately determine the species

5) Proper release evidence - see Rules 49 & 50

56) Release verifications are required to be uploaded to the WMIT Reel Time App or SD cards hand delivered to the scoring officials no later than when the scale closes on that day of fishing. NO VIDEO = NO FISH. The video date / time stamp must match the correlating catch report for that day.

Protest / Breach of Rules

Polygraph Examinations

57)  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.

58)  Any subsequent penalty will be solely determined 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.

59)  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 7:30pm on August 19th, 2023.

60)  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.

61)  Tournament officials shall serve as judge, and their decision is final.

62) 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. Time and place of the polygraph will be at the sole discretion of the WMIT tournament officials.

63) 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.

64) Tournament officials reserve the right, in its sole discretion, to reschedule any polygraph examination, or require additional polygraph examinations.

65) 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.

66) 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).

67) 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.

68) The decision of the tournament officials shall be final.


Video & General Tournament Suggestions

  • Designate one individual team member to oversee the submitting of the “lay day” notification. The “lay day” notification may be submitted for any day as early as the Captain’s Meeting.

  • All fish must be hooked within tournament boundaries which are limited to a 125 nautical-mile radius from Little Egg sea buoy (Latitude: 39° 27 56.2”, Longitude: 74° 16 27.3”). Additionally, boats using LEI may not pass the sea buoy prior to 2:00AM on any fishing day. Since the LEI sea buoy has been removed, create a waypoint on your chartplotter using the coordinates provided to make sure your vessel remains within tournament boundaries. Once hooked, fish may be played outside the boundaries.

  • Make sure your NMFS permit is up to date and on board the vessel. All anglers must have their NJ saltwater license. https://dep.nj.gov/saltwaterregistry/

  • Have a crew/team meeting prior to fishing to familiarize everyone with the rules.

  • Put the tournament release video “Marker” on the vessel ASAP once it is received. The “Marker” must be in the

    release video. Markers will be provided at registration at the Captain’s Meeting.

  • Be sure your camera meets tournament requirements prior to its start.

  • Be sure to possess the appropriate cables, adapters, cards, readers, etc. to allow the committee to download your evidence, if needed.

  • Designate a qualified team member familiar with your camera operation to bring the release evidence (and catch report) to the committee.

  • Have two cameras recording during the fight. Back up is never a bad idea.

  • Be sure to have batteries fully charged and extra batteries, SD cards, etc. on hand.

  • Recordings should be cued up for committee review.

  • Be sure the date and time are accurate and match the committee's "official time".

  • Be sure the date and time are displayed on the image, if possible. Otherwise, the time and date stamp must be displayed on the actual file.

  • Test your equipment prior to the tournament start.

  • Designate someone to record the release evidence, be familiar with the equipment and the tournament rules.

  • Do not store the equipment in an air-conditioned environment to avoid fogging.

  • Underwater video (i.e. use of a GoPro or other underwater device) is the best way to positively identify your billfish species.

  • Be sure you have captured all the evidence necessary for qualification prior to submission.
    Any images or video downloaded by the committee become the property of the tournament and its agents and may be used

    in displays, promotional materials, marketing campaigns or web design.

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. Marker 109 is the tournament finish. Boats are considered in time for the scale if they have crossed the finish line by the time the scale closes. The scale closes at 8:30pm on Thursday and Friday and 8:00pm on Saturday. 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 queue position 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. There is no need to rush. The scale will remain open until the last boat in the queue has finished their weigh-in.

If you do not have a fish to weigh, you may proceed to your 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.

Family members are welcome to participate in pictures, however, we want to be as efficient as possible. 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 Queen City Marina’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 tournament legal and should be weighed. The crew will drop a block and 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.

If you have a blue marlin to weigh, please call Courtney Bowden 561-909-7868 as soon as possible so arrangements can be made in advance by the weigh team.

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

Thank you for participating in the 54th WMIT.

WMIT Committee