2018 Texas Billfish Classic - Live Scoring provided by CatchStat.com

  1. Dates and Times

    • Tournament fishing days are Friday, August 3 and Saturday, August 4, 2018.
    • Boats can depart from any Texas port no earlier than 12:00pm on Thursday, August 2, 2018.
    • Fishing begins no earlier than 12:01am August 3, 2018.
    • Bait fishing is allowed prior to lines in on August 3rd. Bait may not consist of any species eligible for weigh-in. If a species in the Tournament is caught before lines in, it MUST be released.
    • Fishing ends at 3:00pm on Saturday, August 4, 2018. All lines must be out of the water at that time. A fish hooked prior to the 3:00pm lines out time may qualify landing or release provided that:
      1. The hook up was reported prior to 3:00pm and a Tournament Committee Boat, another Tournament Boat or a Tournament Official onshore can verify the reporting.
      2. The boat is inside the tip of the Freeport jetties by the 6:00pm deadline and all other qualifying requirements are met.
    • The Tournament weigh station will be open from 12:00pm – 10:00pm on Friday, August 3, 2018 and 4:00pm - 7:00pm on Saturday, August 4, 2018. If you plan to weigh a Blue Marlin on Friday, please contact Tournament Control prior to arrival with your estimated time of return.
    • All boats must return to Freeport to weigh fish and submit release video to receive Tournament points. All boats must be inside the tip of the Freeport jetties and be verified by Tournament Control by 6:00pm, Saturday, August 4, 2018. NO EXCEPTIONS. If you are only showing video, do not return directly to your slip unless directed by Tournament Control first.
  2. Entry and Regsitration

    You can register online at http://www.texasbillfishclassic.com. Tournament entry forms can also be downloaded from the website, filled out and email to texasbillfishclassic@yahoo.com or mailed to Texas Billfish Classic, 65 Marlin Ln, Freeport, Texas 77541. Tournament entry is not final until payment is received (Check, Credit Card or PayPal). Entry forms, fees and optional pots will be accepted during registration between the hours of 5:00pm to 7:00pm on Wednesday, August 1, 2018. All Tournament participants must be registered and paid by that time. Each entry will receive one boat bucket including 6 caps/visors, 6 t-shirts, 2 each “object of the day” and 6 wristbands for each event. Early entries will receive a special gift. Additional dinner tickets and wristbands can be purchased at registration for all events. A combo for Wednesday and Saturday is $140.00 per adult, or separately for each night for $75.00 per adult. Minor’s tickets (under 21) are $50.00 for both Wednesday and Saturday night, or $30.00 for one night. Extra tickets are limited so you are encouraged to purchase extra tickets with your tournament entry.
  3. Mandatory Captain’s Meeting

    The Captain’s Meeting is scheduled for 10:00am on Thursday, August 2, 2018. A representative from each Tournament boat MUST attend the Captain’s Meeting unless given prior exemption from the Tournament Director. All boats leaving from an alternate port, outside of Freeport, MUST contact Tournament Director prior to their departure to go over final details and confirm acceptance of all rules. There will be a roll call and a sign-in sheet.
  4. Rules

    Rules: All fish MUST be caught on a conventional rod and reel and boated by hand or gaff. No harpoons or electric reels.  No shooting, explosives, entangling devices, nets, long lines or other non-sporting devices may be used. Fish must be weighed in edible condition (this rule will be strictly enforced). Boats may not pool catches nor transfer ANY catch from one boat to another. Any weighted fish can remain in the weigh master’s possession until the end of the tournament or until released by the weigh master. Boats weighing fish will be responsible for those fish after weigh-in (this includes Blue Marlin). No mutilated or frozen fish will be accepted. A boat may fish as many lines as desired. All fish must be caught in accordance with State and Federal Laws.
  5. Eligible Waters

    Tournament fishing of any kind is restricted to waters north of the 26-degree latitude line.
  6. Reporting of Fish

    All billfish releases must be reported to a Tournament Committee Boat or Tournament Official. Official frequency is 68 for VHF. When a billfish has been boated or released, you must notify a Tournament Committee Boat, or designated land based official immediately. When reporting the boating or release of a billfish, you must provide the Boat Name, Name of Angler, Time of Release, and Species of Billfish. Time of Release must be contained in the transmission to a Tournament Committee Boat or land based Tournament Official, and must match time/date on video. If contact with a Tournament Committee Boat or land based Tournament Official cannot be made, you must report the catch to another Tournament Boat. Please make note of the name of the boat and the radio operator that took the report and the time that the radio transmission occurred. See committee boat sheet for more details. All billfish must be reported to qualify for points.
  7. Scoring

    1. Blue Marlin Division
      • In this division, a Blue Marlin can be harvested or released to receive points. A released fish will score 500 points. In order to harvest a Blue Marlin for points, it must meet a minimum length of 107”, from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail. A weighed Blue Marlin will receive 500 bonus points + 1 point per pound. (i.e. a 109” Blue Marlin, weighing 600 lbs would earn 1100 points). Any Blue Marlin taken must meet the minimum length of 107” to earn points for this Tournament. Smaller fish will be disqualified.
    2. Tie Breaker
      • Tie Breaker: In case of a weight tie, to the tenth, length prevails. If a Blue Marlin is not harvested during the Tournament and the points total is tied, the boat reaching the highest point total first will be declared the winner. In case of a point tie, the boat achieving the highest total first will be declared the winner. If no Blue Marlin is harvested, and no Billfish is released, the Team with the largest fish will be declared the winner.
    3. Billfish Release Division
      • Blue Marlin: 500 points
      • White Marlin: 150 points
      • Sailfish: 100 points
      • Spearfish: 100 points

       Do not pull any billfish into the boat. Video showing billfish pulled over the gunnel, into a tuna door or otherwise brought into the boat will be disqualified.

    4. Total points will determine the overall Tournament Champion. This will include  Billfish  Release points and weighed Blue Marlin points.
    5. Tuna, Wahoo and Dolphin must meet the minimum weight of 20 lbs. and be in fresh, edible condition. No mutilated, cut, frozen or questionable fish, as determined by the Tournament Committee, will be weighed. Any decision of the Tournament Weigh Master and the Tournament Committee is final.
  8. Video Release Rules

    To obtain release points, the video MUST clearly show the following (5) five items in continuous, unedited video:
    1. Angler fighting the fish
    2. Object of the day
    3. Positive identification of the fish species
    4. Mate with the leader in hand
    5. The correct time immediately following the release. Camera time / date stamp is strongly preferred. An alternative video recording of the GPS unit must clearly show the time / date on the navigation device. This time / date MUST reflect the Tournament Catch Form and Committee Boat Report Form.
    To obtain release points, the video MUST be:
    1. Recorded continuously on a single camera from a time starting prior to the leader being in hand, clearly showing the time / date of the release. If the identification of the fish is prior to the above starting point, then the video MUST be continuous starting from the time of the identification of the fish.
    2. Presented for review, unedited, and in the camera that is was recorded with. The camera or filming device must be able to play back on a television or computer monitor.
  9. Awards

    1st, 2nd and 3rd place awards will be given for the following categories: Blue Marlin, Billfish Release, Tuna, Wahoo and Dolphin. Awards will also be given to the Top Woman Angler and Top Junior Angler. The Top Woman Angler and Top Junior Angler will be decided based on total billfish points. If no billfish points, then the heaviest weight of the following species will determine the winner; Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin (in this order).
  10. Side Pot Payouts

    3 Places 2 Places 1 Place
    1st 60% 65% 100%
    2nd 30% 35%
    3rd 10%
  11. Polygraph

    By participating in the Tournament, each participant is subject to a polygraph examination. Any Tournament participant who refuses to submit to a polygraph examination will be disqualified from the Tournament. The Tournament Committee is free to use, or disregard, any polygraph test results in the Tournament Committee’s sole, complete, absolute and uncontrolled discretion.
  12. Protests

    All registered participants must present protest in writing along with $1,000 deposit by the Team Captain to the Tournament Director before 8:00pm, Saturday, August 4, 2018. The protest must be written and accompanied by $1,000 cash, as well as, any evidence / materials supporting the protest that will be presented to the Tournament Committee by the protesting team member. The Tournament Committee will use all best efforts to resolve and rule on any protest in a prompt manner, but may, at its discretion, delay the payment or awarding of any prize payout until the protest is resolved. The deposit will be returned only if the protest is upheld. Any decision of the Tournament Committee regarding protests, specie identification or any other matter is final.
  13. Permits and Licenses

    All boats are required to possess and display a current NMFS Highly Migratory species permit prior to the weighing of any billfish or tuna. For additional info, please go to https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/PermitList.asp. Anglers must have a Texas fishing license and saltwater endorsement to bring any fish taken in federal waters ashore in Texas.
  14. Weigh-In

    The weigh station will be open from 12:00pm until 10:00pm on Friday and on Saturday from 4:00pm until 7:00pm.
  15. Slips / Dockage

    The base entry fee does NOT include slip/dockage rental fees. Slips will be assigned by the Tournament Director on a first entered, first paid basis (determined by receipt of entry fee, completed entry form and size of vessel). Your slip will not be confirmed without paid entry.
  16. Cancellation

    Tournament entries are non-refundable. Payment of the entry fee constitutes a representation by each participant that he / she has read the rules of the Tournament and is in complete agreement. If the Tournament should be cancelled due to any cause beyond the control of the Texas Billfish Classic, entry fees will be rolled over to the following year (at full entry rate) or may be refunded (less a pro-rated share of Tournament expenses). Entrants shall have no claim against the Texas Billfish Classic for return of said entry fees less.

    The Tournament is scheduled for two days of fishing, August 3 - 4, 2018. The Tournament Committee, at their discretion, may change the Tournament to one day of fishing if weather dictates, or cancel Tournament fishing days altogether. There will be no make-up weather days for this event. All events, dinners and non-fishing activities will proceed regardless of whether fishing takes place or not.

    Participation in the Texas Billfish Classic (the “Tournament”) shall be at his or her own risk and indemnifies, releases, holds harmless and defends the Texas Billfish Classic LLC. from any and all loss, cost, claim, injury, damage or liability sustained or incurred by him or her, their agents, deckhands, fishing mates, employees, family members, or other guests (hereinafter defined as “Participants” whether they are actual participants in the Tournament or not).