Bermuda Big Game Classic Unofficial Rules 2011
While all efforts are made to keep this information current, all rules published on this website shall be considered unofficial. Official rules will be distributed and announced at the registration check-in and captains meeting. All participants agree to the terms of these rules by participating in the tournament.
The Bermuda Big Game Classic is a three-day, big-fish team event with top-team honors going to the team that tallies the most points during the tournament. Prizes pay down to third place (first, second and third). The tournament will award cash and prizes to the team(s) that catch the largest blue marlin and game fish (by weight).
A release trophy and cash prize will also be awarded to the team with the most billfish release points for the tournament. The high-point angler, lady angler and junior angler (age 17 and younger) will receive a trophy and a prize package. Eligible species for the tournament include blue marlin, white marlin, spearfish, sailfish, yellowfin and bigeye tuna, wahoo and dolphin.
The fee is $3,000 per team (up to six registered anglers). This basic entry fee covers the participation of one to six registered anglers. It also covers attendance at all planned entertainment and social activities for up to six participants.
- The fee is $200 for each nonangler participation-ticket package. (Guests of anglers are welcome but are required to purchase participation tickets for entry to all planned entertainment and social functions.) The fee is $100 for the July 17th Awards Cocktail and Dinner Banquet only. The tournament committee reserves the right to deny tournament entry to any individual, organization or corporation.
A final registration, captains meeting and kickoff party will take place from 4 to 9:30 p.m., July 13, at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel.
All teams that are preregistered and teams needing to register must send at least one representative to obtain tournament credentials and the team captains' bag. All anglers and boat captains must attend the scheduled anglers/captains meeting at 7:30 p.m., July 13, at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel. If they do not attend, they accept and agree to be bound by all instructions and/or rule changes made during that meeting. In an effort to maximize participation, registrations will be accepted until 7:59 a.m. on July 14.
In an effort to receive early registrations, the tournament will allow participants to cancel their registration until the deadline of 10:00 p.m. July 13th. The tournament will refund all entry fees less a $100 processing fee.
Angler, Crew and Boat Requirements
Without exception, each boat must have on board one designated boat captain and at least one designated mate. Captain and crew changes are allowed but must be communicated to the tournament committee prior to any days fishing. There is a limit of six registered anglers per boat in this tournament; however, if an angler drops out, an additional angler can be signed on with the team if he/she registers before the start of that day's fishing. Designated captains and mates can also be registered anglers. Guests are allowed on the boats. Boats may receive aid from other boats in the form of towing in the event of mechanical failure. Teams and boats are not allowed to receive assistance in landing or releasing fish. All participants must exercise good and courteous sportsmanship whether at the dock, under way or fishing.
Schedule of Events
Event location: the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel. Weigh-ins at the Barr's Bay Park waterfront.
July 13th, 2011
Final registration, captain's meeting and kickoff party at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Hotel, 4 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Captain's meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m.
July 14th, 2011
6:30 a.m. boat parade off of Hamilton Princess dock. Boats are encouraged to participate and decorate their outriggers with flags and banners. All boats to line up behind lead boat at 6:30 a.m. and start slow parade to Two Rock Passage. Fishing day: 8 a.m. start 4 p.m. lines out. Open Bacardi Bar at weigh station.
July 15th, 2011
Fishing day: 8 a.m. start 4 p.m. lines out. Open Bacardi Bar at weigh station. Private tournament party presented by Marlin Magazine, Miles Market and Bacardi International at the Royal Amateur Dinghy Club starting at 6:30 p.m. till the food and Bacardi runs out.
July 16th, 2011
Fishing day: 8 a.m. start 4 p.m. lines out. Open Bacardi Bar at weigh station.
July 17th, 2011
5 p.m. to 6:30 p.m., Bacardi cocktail reception at Bacardi International Building. Awards banquet will begin 6:30 p.m. at the Fairmont Hamilton Princess Harbourview Ballroom. Dinner wine compliments of Inmarsat. Live band celebration following dinner provided by Hamish Burns of Atlantic Water Development.
IGFA rules apply in this tournament (see release rules for scoring points). It is the responsibility of each registered angler and crew member to know, understand and abide by IGFA and tournament rules during this competition. Any angler, captain or mate who breaks any IGFA or tournament rule will be deemed ineligible for any prize, award, honor, or recognition and may be immediately expelled and disqualified from this and future tournaments without a refund of any jackpot or registration fees. All winners may be asked to take and pass a polygraph test.
- Once the fish takes a bait or lure, mates cannot hook the fish or touch the rod, reel or line (including the double line) at any time for any reason, unless they are also a registered angler.
- The bait-and-switch method of angling is permitted; however, fish must be hooked for at least 10 seconds before the mate may touch the leader.
- Wind-on leaders are permitted but may not exceed 30 feet as per IGFA rules. For a complete list of IGFA rules, go to igfa.org.
All teams must provide their own digital, still or video camera to verify releases. The camera must show the correct time and date on each photo or video. To score an official release, the fish must be at the leader, and an identifiable photo or video must be taken of the fish showing the control-number code, time and date. When you know you're going to release the fish, you must immediately call tournament control and ask for the control-number code. The control-number code will be between 1 and 5. Then, have your designated photographer or any other crew member hold up the supplied number cards next to the fish as the photo or video is taken. The photo or video must identify the species, control-number code, time and date. A single photo must identify all of these elements. The video must be continuous, with no breaks in recording, and identify all of these elements.
After the release photo/video is taken, the official time, species, control-number code and angler name must be written on the catch-report affidavit. Each registered angler and boat captain must then sign the catch-report affidavit. At the end of the day's fishing, the camera, catch-report affidavit and all photos or video footage taken must be brought to the weigh station for verification of official release points. Failure to do so will result in disqualification of that day's catch. Do not delete any photography or video taken during tournament hours.
Failure to abide by any aspect of the Release Rules may result in disqualification of the catch, angler, or team, in the tournament committee's sole discretion.
Billfish Division: Five hundred (500) points awarded for every blue marlin officially released, or one point per pound for every blue marlin weighed and verified over the 500-pound minimum. Two hundred (200) points for every white marlin officially released. One hundred (100) points for every sailfish or spearfish officially released.
If a blue marlin brought to the scales fails to make the minimum weight limit, the team that caught the fish will be penalized 500 points, plus two points per pound that the fish is under the minimum weight. For example, if a fish weighs 480 pounds, that team will be penalized 500 points for not meeting the weight requirement and another 40 points for the 20-pound difference. The total penalty would cost them 540 points, and they would receive no other points for the fish.
Any billfish boated for any reason must be weighed. Failure to weigh a boated fish will result in immediate disqualification for the remainder of the tournament and forfeiture of all points previously earned.
Only one blue marlin may be taken per day, per boat. All white marlin, sailfish and spearfish must be released. Once a billfish is boated, the team must take a picture or video of the fish while measuring the short length and girth of the fish. The measurements of the fish must be reported to the tournament committee.
Yellowfin and Bigeye Tuna, Wahoo and Dolphin Division
This is purely a biggest-fish category, with scoring calculated at one point per pound. The single largest game fish, yellowfin or bigeye tuna, dolphin or wahoo caught over the three-day event will win a percentage of the base-entry cash and prizes. Minimum weights for this category are as follows: tuna, 25 pounds; dolphin, 20 pounds; and wahoo, 25 pounds.
The maximum line strength allowed is 130-pound-test. Tournament and/or nontournament lines are eligible. If the line test stated on the label is 130 pounds or less, the line will be allowed in the tournament.
The length of the leader is the overall length, including any swivel, lure or hook arrangement. In all line classes exceeding 20 pounds (10 kg), the leader shall be limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters). The combined length of the double line and the leader shall not exceed 40 feet (12.19 meters) total.
The tournament committee holds the right to examine any hook sets, line and/or leaders at any time during the event. Refusal to allow the committee to examine any hook sets, line and/or leaders will result in immediate disqualification from the event without a refund of any jackpot or registration fees.
Unlimited in use or numbers.
Unlimited in use or numbers.
Live bait, dead bait, lures and any combination thereof are permitted in this tournament.
All tournament participants must use non-offset circle hooks for all species whenever natural baits or natural-bait/artificial-lure combinations are used. For more information, visit nmfs.noaa.gov.
Fishing will commence at 8 a.m. and end at 4 p.m. on July 14, 15 and 16. The tournament control's time will act as the official time for the start, catch-and-release and end of fishing each day. The tournament committee reserves the privilege of changing starting and finishing times for any reason it deems necessary. A radio start will take place each morning at 8 a.m. The official tournament channel will be 7 International.
In the event of late hookups all fish to be weighed or release photos/videos must be back at the weigh station and in the slip by 11:59 p.m. on the day of fishing.
The weigh station and release-photo check-in station is at Barr's Bay Park.
All catches must be recorded on the catch-report-affidavit sheets provided. The official time, species, control-number code and angler's name must be written on the catch-report affidavit. Each registered angler, mate and boat captain must then sign the catch-report affidavit. The catch-report-affidavit sheets must be turned in at the weigh station each day.
- In the event of a tie, the team that reached the highest score first wins.
- All winners may be asked to take and pass a polygraph examination.
All billfish hookups, releases and lost fish must be reported to tournament control, along with the boat name, boat number, angler name and fish species. The tournament control's time will act as the official time for the start, catch-and-release and end of fishing each day without exception. The official tournament channel will be 7 International. A Bermuda cell phone number on which teams can also communicate will be given at the captains meeting. During the last hour of fishing each day, all hookups must be reported.
There is no weather committee. The tournament is conducted on a fish-at-your-own-risk basis. If any portion of the tournament is fished and a team or teams land or release fish that match the tournament's eligible species and minimum weight limits, then prizes will be awarded.
Participants may lodge protests against any catch which they believe was not made in accordance with these rules. All protests must be stated in writing and accompanied by $500. The tournament judges may call a protest hearing in their discretion; a protest hearing is not guaranteed. All protests will be settled on the day of the incident. All protests on July 14, 15 and 16 must be in the hands of the tournament's designated rules official by 7 p.m. on the day of the alleged incident unless there is a protest regarding a fish that comes to the scales late. The protesting party, as well as the accused team members, captain and crew, must be present at any official protest hearing. The tournament committee may refuse to consider any protest evidence not submitted at the protest hearing in the presence of the protested team. If the protesting or protested team fails to show up for the protest hearing, that team forfeits its right to submit evidence. Decisions of the tournament organizers with regard to protests are final, nonappealable, and nonjusticiable.
All participants are expected to maintain a reasonable and sportsmanlike demeanor at all times throughout the tournament. Unsportsmanlike or threatening conduct towards tournament organizers or other participants, or any other behavior which the tournament organizers deem inappropriate, in their sole discretion, will result in immediate disqualification of the entire team with no refund of entry fees.