2022
Tournament Rules

2022 Tournament Official Rules (02/03/22)

Rules are subject to change.
Final rules will be presented at the Captains Meeting, Thursday, July 14th, 2022

(02/03/22)


Section 1: Tournament Entry & Registration

TOURNAMENT ENTRY*
Tournament registration is $10,000.

REGISTRATION
Teams may register via Catchstat at bmgc.catchstat.com

Teams may pay the entry fee in full or submit a $2,500 nonrefundable deposit upon registration.

Entry payments can be made via check, wire transfer or credit card. You will find these details on Catchstat as part of your registration.

Tournament entry balance of $7,500 is due before July 13th, 2022

* Blue Marlin Grand Championship reserves the right to refuse application or entry into the Tournament at their discretion with or without cause.

Section 2: Tournament Format, Payout and Optional Cash Awards

TOURNAMENT FORMAT & PAYOUT (NEW FOR 2022)

The tournament format will be split between weighed Blue Marlin and Catch and Release.

Total tournament payout is based on $7,500 from each tournament entry, minus one boat entry fee, which is donated to St. Jude's Research Hospital.

60% of Total Tournament Payout will be paid to Weighed Blue Marlin.
Places: 1st (50%), 2nd (30%), 3rd (20%)*

40% of Total Tournament Payout will be paid to Billfish Catch and Release.
Places: 1st (50%), 2nd (30%), 3rd (20%)*

*If only two eligible fish in a tournament entry category are weighed, the payout will be split 1st Place (60%) and 2nd Place (40%). If only one eligible fish is weighed in a category, that fish sweeps the category.

OPTIONAL CASH AWARDS:

Teams may enter Optional Cash Awards categories online before the tournament at bmgc.catchstat.com or at Check in/ Optional registration in the Orange Beach Event Center on Wednesday, July 13th from 1:00-9:00 PM.

Optional Cash Awards Payouts:
Optional Cash Awards entry fees will have a 90% return.
Places: 1st (50%), 2nd (30%), 3rd (20%)**
** In the event of limited participation in any optional category, the payouts will be modified as follows: One team entered will be refunded in full, 2-5 teams will be winner-take-all, 6-9 will be 60/40 split and 10 or more teams will be the standard 50/30/20 split.

Section 3: Determination of Tournament Winners

The heaviest Blue Marlin weighed will be awarded 1st place in the Weighed Blue Marlin Tournament Payout and will be Tournament Champion. 2nd and 3rd place follows sequence according to heaviest weighed.

If a team catches multiple Blue Marlin on separate days/ trips:
Each fish will be eligible to place in the Weighed Blue Marlin Tournament Payout category. Each fish will be weighed and scored independently.
If no eligible Blue Marlin are weighed, Tournament cash awards that were allocated for weighed Blue Marlin will roll over to Tournament Catch & Release.

Section 4: Tournament Schedule

Wednesday, July 13th
1PM - 9PM Team Check-in & Final Optional Cash Awards Entry
(New for 2022) Held at Orange Beach Event Center

Thursday July 14th
9AM Mandatory Captain's Meeting
10:01 AM Tournament Departure from The Wharf Marina
All teams must depart out of Perdido Pass.
Any boat not leaving from The Wharf Marina must depart in line behind A Work of Art.
A Work of Art will lead teams for staging through and outside the pass.
The Tournament will officially begin with a shotgun start at Noon on VHF 72.

Saturday July 16th
6:00 PM Tournament Return Demarcation Line
Tournament boats must return to the Wharf weigh-in through Mobile Pass and must be visually confirmed by tournament spotters at the official demarcation line between ICW markers #103 & #104 at Sailboat Bay by 6 PM.
Boats not inside demarcation line by 6 PM will be ineligible to weigh-in or submit Catch & Release video.
Boats may not return to the Wharf via Perdido Pass.

Sunday, July 17th
9 AM Tournament Awards Breakfast

Section 5: Tournament Eligible Fish

The following species and size limits of gamefish, when caught in the Gulf of Mexico in per all tournament rules, will be eligible for tournament awards. The use of dart gaffs and harpoons is prohibited.

SPECIESMIN WEIGHT/LENGTH LIMIT
BLUE MARLIN 110" 1 per boat per trip/day
DOLPHIN20 LB. 3
TUNA (YELLOW FIN, BIGEYE) 50 LB. 3
WAHOO 20 LB. 3
Tuna, Dolphin and Wahoo are Optional Cash Award categories only.
No tournament boat may be in possession of more than one blue marlin at a time.
Culling/ Discarding of previously caught billfish is prohibited.
Weighed Blue Marlin 110 inch minimum length. Lower Jaw Fork Length (LJFL). The length of a fish as measured from the tip of its lower jaw to the fork of the tail (over body of fish measurement method).
Video back up of all boated blue marlin is strongly recommended.

Section 6: Billfish Catch & Release Rules & Scoring

Billfish are considered caught when the leader connection or swivel touches the tip of the rod or the mate or other team member touches the leader.

Billfish removed from the water or boated will be disqualified.

Verified video release are scored:
BLUE MARLIN: 501 POINTS
WHITE MARLIN, SPEARFISH, SAILFISH, UNIDENTIFIED BILLFISH: 250 POINTS

Section 7: Catch & Release Video Verification Requirements

Video must be captured on a digital video camera and must include:
  • Angler fighting fish, including video of rod and reel.
  • Cockpit pan.
  • Tournament designator, which is the same for the entire tournament.
  • Video of swivel at rod tip or mate touching the leader.
  • Video of Billfish for species identification.
  • Video release of Billfish.
  • Secondary cockpit pan.
  • Clear video of GPS date & time of release. Hold camera steady for several seconds to allow clear focus of GPS Date & Time. GPS must display in CDT.
    If the video shows the time of release but no date: The GPS time as recorded will be used and the last date of tournament fishing is used as the official release date.
    If the date is shown but no release time: The date as recorded will be used and the time of check-in at the official demarcation line (#103 & #104) Sailboat Bay is used as the official release time.
  • Fill Out Video Verification Billfish Scorecard

Section 8: Tiebreakers:

The earliest times and dates will be the determining factor in breaking a tie.

Blue Marlin weighed on Friday will break a tie with Blue Marlin weighed on Saturday.

On Saturday, times recorded at the demarcation line will be used to break Blue Marlin and gamefish ties.

Catch and Release Tiebreaker: ties are broken by the team to reach the total amount of points first as verified by the boat's GPS time.

Demarcation times will also be used for catch and release video scoring ties in the event of missing GPS date/times.

Section 9: Weigh-In Schedule Friday, July 15

Weigh Scales Open 7 AM - 8 AM
'Early-Bird' weigh-in. Blue Marlin only.
To schedule a Friday morning weigh-in, teams must call and receive a confirmation from the tournament committee by 9 PM on Thursday, July 14

Weigh Scales Open 5 PM - 7 PM
Check-in at Sailboat Bay not required on Friday
The boat must be clearly in sight of weigh dock by 7 PM to be eligible for weigh-in.

Section 10: Weigh-In Schedule Saturday, July 16

Weigh Scales Open 5 PM - 8 PM or until last eligible fish waiting in line.


Section 11: Weigh-in Procedure:

Each fish to be weighed must be tail tagged with the boat and the angler name before the fish leave the boat. Tail tags are included in the registration packet handed out at check in.

All fish must be off-loaded and weighed at The Wharf central weigh-in station.

Fish to be weighed must be in fresh condition, not frozen nor mutilated in any such manner.

The weigh-in committee, led by Weigh Master Craig Martin, have the final decision and authority to disqualify a fish for poor condition or mutilation. All potentially mutilated fish must be disclosed prior to arrival at weigh-in.

Fish to be weighed or catch and release videos may be not transferred from one tournament boat to another.

Tournament officials may alter the weigh-in sequence.


Section 12: Billfish Video Verification Procedure

Only teams that have successfully cleared the demarcation line at Sailboat Bay, on Saturday, July 16, before 6:00 PM, will be eligible to have video scored.

Scoring order may be prioritized for teams with multiple Blue Marlin releases.

One team member shall accompany videos to be verified with completed Verification Billfish Scorecards to video scoring at The Wharf Marina Outfitter Store.

Verification Billfish Scorecards must be completed, legible, and signed by the captain before arrival at the video judging area. Incomplete or non-legible scorecards may cause you to lose your current place in line until corrected.

The first release video should be cued up and ready to play immediately.

Multiple fish may be recorded on the same video, but the scorecard should reflect the official release order.

Videos must be digital, preferably on an SD or micro SD card. Videos must be able to be transferred from your video device to a laptop computer for viewing.

Teams are responsible for providing any needed cables or adapters for the judges to score videos.

The team representative will sign a video scorecard accepting the video judges scoring as final.

Video Verification judging will conclude with the closing of weigh-in or after the last eligible team's video has been judged.


Section 13: Polygraph Examination

Blue Marlin Grand Championship winning captains will be polygraphed. Failure to comply will result in disqualification of the participant and, at the discretion of Tournament Officials, the participant's entire team. Disqualified participants and/or teams forfeit any and all entry money, prizes, or prize money and will be refused entry to future BMGC tournaments.

Section 14: Sportsmanship and Angling Rules

Participants agree to compete by IGFA rules with one exception: Rod may be transferred (handed off) one time within the first minute of the fight.

It is the team's responsibility to comply with all Federal and Alabama state laws regarding angling rules, fishing licenses, permits, size limits, bag limits and any other regulations that may apply.

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 or directors 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.

For information regarding Alabama Saltwater Fishing Licenses refer to http://www.outdooralabama.com/licenses/saltwater-recreational-licenses. For information regarding Federal HMS Permits call 877.376.4877 or refer to https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/.

Section 15: Video Submissions Release

Recordings of video images and sounds become the property of the Tournament. The Tournament may use these for display purposes as it sees fit, including but not limited to Tournament television, radio, any media, print, television series, advertisement, or future marketing campaigns.

Section 16: Weather and Completed Tournament

Teams and participants should make their decision to fish based solely on their judgment of prevailing conditions, vessel seaworthiness, and captain and crew's seamanship skills. Participation of at least one-third of the registered tournament fleet constitutes a completed tournament. Participation, as mentioned above, shall be defined as boats which pass the official line of departure demarcation which will be the Perdido Pass Bridge.

Section 17: Tournament Cancellation Policy

If the tournament should be cancelled due to any cause beyond the control of the Blue Marlin Grand Championship, tournament entry fees will be rolled over for one year less tournament deposit. 100% of optional entries will be refunded. The Tournament is not eligible for rescheduling during the same calendar year.

Section 18: Withdrawals

Withdrawals from the Tournament before 10 AM, Thursday, July 14th, will be eligible to be refunded 100% of their Optional Entries and Tournament entry fees less the $2,500 deposit. There will be no refunds of tournament entry fees, deposits or optional entries after the official fleet departure at 10:01 AM Thursday, July 14th.

Section 19: Photography and Video Image Release

The Participants specifically agree and consent to the use of any photograph, video recording, or audio recording in which they appear or are heard, by the Tournament Committee, Wharf Entertainment Properties, LLC, Wharf Retail Properties, LLC, Blue Marlin Grand Championship, LLC, Wheels Up Events, LLC, or Coastal Marina Management, LLC for any purpose whatsoever including, but not limited to, resale, advertising, and promotional material without compensation or restriction of any kind.

Section 20: Disputes

All disputes, protests, claims, differences, or controversies relating to any aspect of the Tournament, including, without limitation, Tournament Rules, must be submitted to the Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee no later than 30 minutes following the closing of weigh-in on Saturday, July 16th or are deemed waived. All such disputes must be presented in writing along with a non-refundable fee of $1,000 cash. The Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee shall decide all such disputes and shall be final and binding upon all parties.

Rules Committee: Scott Burt, Chris Miller, Art Favre, Craig Martin, Dewey Blaylock, Jim Cox.

Section 21: Release of all Claims

In consideration for being accepted by the Tournament Organizers for participation in the Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf, the Participants hereby release, forever discharge, and agree to hold harmless the Tournament Committee, Sponsors, Blue Marlin Grand Championship, LLC, The Wharf Entertainment Properties, LLC, Wharf Retail Properties, LLC, Coastal Marina Management, LLC, Wheels Up Special Events, LLC and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers, partners, members, the and/or attorneys for any and all losses, claims, or demands of any kind or character whatsoever arising from the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or from any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament. The Participants expressly acknowledge that he/she has received, reviewed, and agrees to abide by the Tournament Rules and this Release. Furthermore, the Participants expressly acknowledge that activities relating to deep-sea fishing are extremely dangerous and involve the risk of serious injury or death. Having so acknowledged, the Participants hereby assume full responsibility for the risk of bodily injury or death due to the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament.

Section 22: Binding Arbitration

In the event the Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee cannot render or refuses to render a final and binding decision with respect to any dispute, protest, claim, difference, or controversy under review, the matter shall be resolved by binding arbitration under the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association. The decision rendered in arbitration shall be in writing and shall be final and binding upon all parties. The parties shall have no further recourse, except as provided for by the commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association. The Participants specifically waive any right to a trial by judge or jury. Arbitration shall be held exclusively in Bay County, Florida.

BLUE MARLIN GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP ACCEPTANCE

In consideration for being accepted by the Tournament Organizers for participation in the Blue Marlin Grand Championship of the Gulf, the Participants hereby release, forever discharge, and agree to hold harmless the Tournament Committee, Sponsors, Blue Marlin Grand Championship, LLC, The Wharf Entertainment Properties, LLC, Wharf Retail Properties, LLC, Coastal Marina Management, LLC, Wheels Up Special Events, LLC and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers, partners, members, the and/or attorneys for any and all losses, claims, or demands of any kind or character whatsoever arising from the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or from any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament. The Participants expressly acknowledge that he/she has received, reviewed, and agrees to abide by the Tournament Rules and this Release. Furthermore, the Participants expressly acknowledge that activities relating to deep sea fishing are extremely dangerous and involve the risk of serious injury or death. Having so acknowledged, the Participants hereby assume full responsibility for the risk of bodily injury or death due to the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament.

ON BEHALF OF TEAM

I UNDERSTAND, ACCEPT AND AGREE TO THE ABOVE RELEASE AND ACCEPT AND AGREE TO COMPLY WITH THE RULES OF COMPETITION AS PRESENTED FOR THE 2022 BLUE MARLIN GRAND CHAMPIONSHIP.

I UNDERSTAND, IN ORDER TO WEIGH A FISH OR HAVE VIDEO VERIFIED ON THE FINAL DAY OF THE TOURNAMENT, TEAMS MUST CLEAR THE DEMARCATION LINE ON SATURDAY, JULY 16, 2022 BY 6:00 PM.

PRINT NAME: ____________________________________

SIGNATURE: ______________________________________

BOAT: ____________________________________________

DATE: ____________________________________________