Custom Shootout


CUSTOM SHOOTOUT

The Abaco Beach Resort & Boat Harbour Marina - Abaco, Bahamas May 11 - 14, 2016

THE MOST ELITE FLEET OF SPORT BOATS ASSEMBLED

This all-charity event is limited to just 50 custom inboard boat teams - 32' or larger - chosen by Invitation only to represent the U.S. custom boat manufacturers in an all-release format. Accept a coveted Custom Shootout invitation, and you compete to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Wounded Warriors, and many other organizations in need.

2016 Schedule of Events

Tuesday May 10th
6pm Pre-Kickoff party!
  Dinner and Cocktails
Sponsors will be there to display their products sponsored by Smith-Merritt Insurance
Wednesday May 11th
3pm-6pm Registration and boat bag pick up
7pm Kickoff Party!
8pm Dinner & Cocktails, Captain's Meeting
7-9pm Silent Auction
Thursday May 12th
6am Breakfast Sandwiches delivered
8:30am-4:30pm 1st Day of Fishing
4:30pm Rum punch dock greeting
6-9pm Grill night!
  Bring your meat, fish, chicken, etc. and our Chef will grill it for you. We will have sides dishes available.
Our Burgers and Hotdogs are available too.
Friday May 13th
6am Breakfast Sandwiches delivered
8:30am-4:30pm 2nd Day of Fishing
4:30pm Rum punch dock greeting
7pm Honor the Custom Boat Builders with Dinner & Cocktails Sponsored by XL Insurance
Saturday May 14th
6am Breakfast Sandwiches delivered
8:30am-4:30pm 3rd and Last Day of Fishing
7pm Awards Dinner at the Boat Harbour Tent
7-9pm Silent Auction

Tournament Rules

The Captain's Meeting will be held Wednesday, May 11, 2016 at 7pm in the Tournament Tent at the Abaco Beach Resort, Marsh Harbour, Bahamas for all registered teams. A team representative must be in attendance, as rules are subject to change.

  1. PERMITS & LICENSES: All teams must possess a Bahamas Fishing Permit and a Tournament Sticker. The Tournament Stickers will be located in your team package which you receive at registration. The Tournament Sticker is required to be adhered to your Bahamian fishing license.
  2. FISHING HOURS: The Tournament will begin with the call of "lines in" at 8:30am and continue until 4:30pm on May 11th, 12th, and 13th, 2016. All boats must be inside the marina before 7pm each evening, as the Committee must have your catch affidavits and video by then. Any gamefish requiring a weigh-in must at the scales prior to closing at 7pm. There are no lay days or weather days, unless determined by the Committee. Fish at your own risk.
  3. BOUNDARIES: There is a 60-mile boundary rule - radius from the marina.
  4. ANGLING & EQUIPMENT:
    • International Billfish Tournament Regulations apply.
    • Four anglers per team per day are permitted, with no restrictions. If an angler is not registered at the team registration, he/she may not be added after the start of the tournament.
    • Professional crew members (paid within last three years) are not permitted to be registered anglers.
    • A maximum of six lines (with hooks) are permitted at any one time. An unlimited amount of hookless baits or teasers are allowed. "J" hooks may be used on lures only. Natural baits must be deployed with non-offset circle hooks.
  5. TOURNAMENT SPECIES: Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Sailfish and Spearfish are eligible for catch and release.
  6. REPORTING OF BILLFISH: A billfish hook-up must be called in to the "Committee Boat" within the first minute on VHF channel 71. The "Committee Boat" will validate your hook-up by announcement. A billfish release must be called in to the "Committee Boat" with the following information: species released, boat name, angler name, and type of tag, if applicable. The "Committee Boat" will then verify your information by announcement and give you a release time, which must be recorded on your daily catch affidavit and turned in at the end of the fishing day, with your video evidence. If you lose your fish prior to release (i.e. jump-off, pulled hook, etc.) please inform the "Committee Boat" as soon as possible.
  7. CATCH & RELEASE RULES: All billfish must be released to qualify. A billfish is considered released when: a) the swivel between the mainline or double line and leader hits the rod tip b) the mate grabs the leader or c) the wind-on leader comes through the rod tip. Please release the fish in good condition by either removing the hook-set or cutting the leader as close to the hook-set as possible. "Popping" the leader is not a good method of healthy release, and we ask that you refrain from doing so.
  8. CATCH & RELEASE POINTS:
    • Blue Marlin: 400 points
    • White Marlin: 150 points
    • Spearfish: 150 points
    • Sailfish: 50 points
    • Unidentifiable Billfish: 50 points
    • A "Hatchet Marlin" will be considered a White Marlin in this tournament and therefore is categorized as such.
    • One-day Grand Slam: 400 points
    • All ties will be broken on time.
  9. CATCH & RELEASE VERIFICATION:
    • 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.
    • Release Verification Recordings - each team is required to show video evidence of billfish catch and release. This recording shall be time and date stamped in accordance with the "official time" as stated by the "Committee Boat" prior to each day's fishing. Your video proof shall include: 1) registered angler fighting the fish 2) proper identification marker 3) sufficient footage of the fish in order to accurately determine the species 4) proper release evidence - see Rule 7 above. All recordings submitted must be easily viewed by the Committee. It is the team's responsibility to have these items and the video cued up for immediate viewing. Failure to do so will delay the verification process. We highly recommend you have at least two recordings on different cameras, and underwater shots are the best way to accurately identify the species.
    • Billfish Release Affidavit - each billfish release is required to be noted on the day's Affidavit and submitted with your video to the Committee each fishing day. Failure to turn in your Affidavit will disqualify that day's catch(es). Affidavits are supplied with your registration package. If you do not have one for each day, please see the Committee for a replacement.
    • Submission of Recordings - Verification recordings must be submitted to the Committee between 4:30pm and 7pm each day of fishing. All recordings, images, sounds, etc. may become property of the Tournament and may be used at any time. Recordings and/or images will be downloaded from the team's device(s), if needed. Please see INSTRUCTIONS & SUGGESTIONS re: video attached.
    • Dispute & Polygraph - In the unlikely event a dispute or protest is filed with the Committee, it is possible a polygraph test may be required should the dispute not resolve. Members must be available within 24 hours of the dispute and must not consume alcohol or any controlled substance eight hours prior to testing. Failure to report for a polygraph test or refusal to answer any questions satisfactory to the Committee may result in disqualification. All disputes or protests must be submitted to the Committee in writing prior to 5 pm on the last day of the tournament.

Tournament Proceeds

The Custom Shootout is a 501(c)3 charitable organization which has contributed over $800,000 in the past 14 years to the Breast Cancer Research Foundation, the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society, the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital, the 9/11 Fallen Heroes, and the Hurricane Katrina Red Cross Relief Fund - as well as many other charities.

2016 tournament proceeds look to benefit the Breast Cancer Research Foundation and the Wounded Warriors in addition to many other needed charities, which will be announced as tournament time approaches.

The Custom Shootout is committed to support organizations in need of immediate recuperative funds and on-going research and rely on the generosity of our team members to aid in that dedication.

International Billfish Tournament Regulations

Equipment Regulations

The IGFA has given this tournament permission to replicate portions of their rulings, And has no involvement in these particular Regulations.

  1. LINE
    • Monofilament, multifilament, and lead core multifilament lines may be used.
    • Wire lines are prohibited.
  2. LINE BACKING
    • Backing not attached to the fishing line is permissible with no restrictions as to size or material.
    • If the fishing line is attached to the backing, the catch shall be classified under the heavier of the two lines. The backing may not exceed the 130 lb (60 kg) line class and must be of a type of line approved for use in these angling rules.
  3. DOUBLE LINE
    The use of a double line is not required. If one is used, it must meet the following specifications:
    • A double line must consist of the actual line used to catch the fish.
    • Double lines are measured from the start of the knot, braid, roll or splice making the double to the farthermost end of the knot, splice, snap, swivel or other device used for securing the trace, leader, lure or hook to the double line.
    • The combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 40 feet (12.19 meters).
  4. LEADER
    The use of a leader is not required. If one is used, it must meet the following specifications:
    • The length of the leader is the overall length including any lure, hook arrangement or other device, and is measured to the bend of the last hook. The leader must be connected to the line with a snap, knot, splice, swivel or other device. Holding devices are prohibited. There are no regulations regarding the material or strength of the leader.
    • The leader on all tackle classes shall be limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters).
    • The combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 40 feet (12.19 meters).
  5. ROD
    • Rods must comply with sporting ethics and customs. Considerable latitude is allowed in the choice of a rod, but rods giving the angler an unfair advantage will be disqualified. This rule is intended to eliminate the use of unconventional rods.
    • The rod tip must be a minimum of 40 inches (101.6 cm) in length. The rod butt cannot exceed 27 inches (68.58 cm) in length. These measurements must be made from a point directly beneath the center of the reel. A curved butt is measured in a straight line. When the rod butt is placed in a gimbal, the measurement from the center of the reel seat to the pivot point of the gimbal can be no more than 27 inches. (The above measurements do not apply to surfcasting rods.)
  6. REEL
    • Reels must comply with sporting ethics and customs.
    • Power driven reels of any kind are prohibited. This includes motor, hydraulic, or electrically driven reels, and any device that gives the angler an unfair advantage.
    • Ratchet handle reels are prohibited.
    • Duel reels are permitted.
    • Reels designed to be cranked with both hands at the same time are prohibited.
  7. HOOKS FOR BAIT FISHING
    • For live or dead bait fishing no more than two single hooks may be used. Both must be firmly imbedded in or securely attached to the bait. The eyes of the hooks must be no less than a hook's length (the length of the largest hook used) apart and no more than 18 inches (45.72 cm) apart. The only exception is that the point of one hook may be passed through the eye of the other hook.
    • Circle hooks must be used with any natural bait (live, dead, whole, strip and/or combo).
    • A hook may not precede bait, lure or bait/lure combo by more than one hook's length.
    • The use of a dangling or swinging hook is prohibited. Double or treble hooks are prohibited.
  8. HOOKS AND LURES
    • When using an artificial lure with a skirt or trailing material, no more than two single hooks may be attached to the line, leader, or trace. The hooks need not be attached separately. The eyes of the hooks must be no less than an overall hook's length (the overall length of the largest hook used) apart and no more than 12 inches (30.48 cm) apart. The only exception is that the point of one hook may be passed through the eye of the other hook. The trailing hook may not extend more than a hook's length beyond the skirt of the lure. A hook may not precede bait, lure or bait/lure combo by more than one hook’s length.
  9. RELEASE
    • A release is official when one of the following actions is completed:
    • The mate is able to grab the leader.
    • The swivel hits the rod tip.
    • When the connection knot between the double line and the wind on leader passes through the rod tip.
  10. OTHER EQUIPMENT
    • Fighting chairs may not have any mechanically propelled devices that aid the angler in fighting a fish.
    • Gimbals must be free swinging, which includes gimbals that swing in a vertical plane only. Any gimbal that allows the angler to reduce strain or to rest while fighting the fish is prohibited.
    • Gaffs and nets used to boat or land a fish must not exceed 8 feet (2.44 meters) in overall length. In using a flying or detachable gaff the rope may not exceed 30 feet (9.14 meters). The gaff rope must be measured from the point where it is secured to the detachable head to the other end. Only the effective length will be considered. If a fixed head gaff is used, the same limitations shall apply and the gaff rope shall be measured from the same location on the gaff hook. Only a single hook is permitted on any gaff. Harpoon or lance attachments are prohibited. Tail ropes are limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters). (When fishing from a bridge, pier, or other high platform or structure, this length limitation does not apply.)
    • Entangling devices - both with, or without a hook - are prohibited and may not be used for any purpose including baiting, hooking, fighting, or landing the fish.
    • Outriggers, downriggers, spreader bars and kites are permitted to be used provided that the actual fishing line is attached to the snap or other release device, either directly or with some other material. The leader or double line may not be connected to the release mechanism either directly or with the use of a connecting device. Spreader bars are also acceptable when used strictly as a teaser.
    • Daisy chains, birds, floats and similar devices may only be used if they do not unfairly hamper or inhibit the normal swimming or fighting ability of the fish, thereby giving the angler or crew an unfair advantage in fighting, landing or boating the fish.
    • A safety line may be attached to the rod and/or harness provided that it does not in any way assist the angler in fighting the fish.

 

ANGLING REGULATIONS

  • From the time that a fish strikes or takes a bait or lure, the angler must hook, fight, and land or boat the fish without the aid of any other person, except as provided in these regulations.
  • If a rod holder is used and a fish strikes or takes the bait or lure, the angler must remove the rod from the holder as quickly as possible. The intent of this rule is that the angler shall strike and hook the fish with the rod in hand.
  • (a) In the event of a multiple strike/hookup on separate lines being fished by a single angler, only the first fish hooked/fought by the angler will be considered for a catch, unless no one touches the other rod/reel(s) that are hooked up until the angler releases (or loses) the first fish that was hooked. You may not touch the other rod(s), wind on the other reel(s) or move the other rod(s) that are hooked up until you are done fighting the first fish. This includes trying to hook the other fish that are biting the other rods while you are hooked up.
    (b) When fishing a billfish tournament, and when the rules allow, one angler may fight multiple fish at one time, as long as the rod/reel is removed from the rod holder and fought. You may not wind the reel the while the rod is in the rod holder.
  • If a double line is used, the intent of the regulation is that the fish will be fought on the single line most of the time that it takes to land the fish.
  • A harness may be attached to the reel or rod, and may be replaced or adjusted by a person other than the angler.
  • Use of a rod belt or waist gimbal is permitted.
  • When the leader is brought within the grasp of the mate, or the leader connection is wound to the rod tip, more than one person is permitted to hold the leader.
  • When it is intended the fish will be gaffed, one or more gaffers may be used in addition to persons holding the leader. The gaff handle must be in hand when the fish is gaffed.
  • The angling and equipment regulations shall apply until the fish is weighed.

 

The following acts will disqualify a catch:

  • Failure to comply with equipment or angling regulations as described.
  • The act of a person or persons other than the angler in touching any part of the rod, reel, or line (including the double line) either bodily or with any device, from the time a fish strikes or takes the bait or lure, until the fish is either landed or released, or in giving any aid other than that allowed in the rules and regulations. If an obstacle to the passage of the line through the rod guides has to be removed from the line, then the obstacle (whether flotsam, float line, rubber band, or other material) shall be held and freed. Under no circumstances should the line be held or touched by anyone other than the angler during this process.
  • Resting the rod in a rod holder, on the gunwale of the boat, or any other object while playing the fish.
  • Hand lining or using a hand line or rope attached in any manner to the angler's line or leader for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish.
  • Shooting, harpooning, lancing or mutilating any fish (as described in #16 below) (including sharks and contact with the boat, props, rudders or other sharp objects that cause mutilation) at any stage of the catch.
  • Chumming with, or using as bait the flesh, blood, skin, or any part of mammals other than hair or pork rind used in lures designed for trolling or casting.
  • Using a boat or device to beach or drive a fish into shallow water in order to deprive the fish of its normal ability to swim.
  • Changing the rod or reel while the fish is being played.
  • Splicing, removing, or adding to the line while the fish is being played.
  • Intentionally foul-hooking a fish.
  • Catching a fish in a manner that the double line never leaves the rod tip.
  • Using a size or kind of bait that is illegal to possess.
  • Attaching the angler's line or leader to part of a boat or other object for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish.
  • If/when a fish escapes - before or after gaffing - (line breaks or hook pulls) and/or is recaptured by any method other than as outlined in the angling rules.
  • If/when a rod breaks (while the fish is being played) in a manner that reduces the length of the tip below minimum dimensions or severely impairs its angling characteristics.
  • Mutilation to the fish, prior to landing or harvesting the catch caused by sharks, other fish, mammals, or propellers that remove or penetrate the flesh. Note: Injuries caused by leader or line, scratches, or old, healed scars or regeneration deformities are not considered to be disqualifying injuries.
  • If/when a fish is hooked or entangled on more than one line.

 

 

General Instructions & Suggestions

  1. Be sure that your camera meets Tournament requirements prior to its start.
  2. Be sure to possess the appropriate cables, adapters, cards, readers, etc. to allow the Committee to download your evidence, if needed.
  3. Designate a qualified team member familiar with your camera operation to bring the evidence (and Release Affidavit) to the Committee.
  4. Have two cameras recording during the fight. Back up is never a bad idea.
  5. Be sure to have batteries fully charged and extra batteries, SD cards, etc. on hand.
  6. Recordings should be cued up for Committee review.
  7. Be sure the date and time are accurate and match the Committee's "official time".
  8. 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.
  9. Be familiar with your equipment.
  10. Test your equipment prior to the Tournament start.
  11. Designate someone to record the release evidence, be familiar with the equipment and the Tournament rules.
  12. Do not store the equipment in an air-conditioned environment to avoid fogging.
  13. Underwater video (i.e. use of a GoPro or other underwater device) is the best way to positively identify your billfish species.
  14. 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.

Request for Entry Form

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Celebrating 14 Years of Custom Shootout History!

2015 BOAT HARBOUR, ABACO, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Vintage
  • 2nd Place: Reel Pushy
  • 3rd Place: Sweet Thing
  • Top Angler: Tony Huerta
  • Top Captain: Kevin Paul
  • Manufacturer Award: Willis Marine

2014 BOAT HARBOUR, ABACO, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Plane Simple
  • 2nd Place: Escapade
  • 3rd Place: Uno Mas
  • Top Angler: Jim Jensen
  • Top Captain: Jimmy Werling
  • Manufacturer Award: Spencer Yachts

2013 BOAT HARBOUR, ABACO, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Reel Pushy
  • 2nd Place: Jichi
  • 3rd Place: Arc Strike
  • Top Angler: Wally Whitley
  • Top Captain: Chris Workmon
  • Manufacturer Award: Spencer Yachts
  • Fastest Boat: Ravaganza, Jarrett Bay Boatworks

2012 BOAT HARBOUR, ABACO, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Wave Paver
  • 2nd Place: Plane Simple
  • 3rd Place: Bear Trap
  • Top Angler: Jr. Davis
  • Top Captain: Russell Sinclair & Jason Parker
  • Manufacturer Award: Garlington Landeweer
  • Fastest Boat: Reel Joy, Revenge

2011 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Chasin
  • 2nd Place: Double Dog
  • 3rd Place: Ravaganza
  • Top Angler: Don McKinney
  • Top Captain: Bennett Griffin
  • Manufacturer Award: Spencer Yachts
  • Fastest Boat: Reel Joy, Revenge

2010 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Sandman
  • 2nd Place: Brier Patch
  • 3rd Place: Svengali
  • Top Angler: Lester Petracca
  • Top Captain: Neil Orange
  • Manufacturer Award: Spencer Yachts
  • Fastest Boat: Reel Joy, Revenge

2009 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: HT Hook
  • 2nd Place: Owls Nest
  • 3rd Place: Sandman
  • Top Angler: Al Eldridge
  • Top Captain: Stetson Turney
  • Manufacturer Award: Tribute Performance Boats
  • Fastest Boat: Reel Joy, Revenge

2008 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Que Mas
  • 2nd Place: MIMI
  • 3rd Place: Reel Joy
  • Top Angler: Paul Spencer
  • Top Captain: Travis Butters
  • Manufacturer Award: American Custom Yachts
  • Fastest Boat: MIMI, Spencer Yachts

2007 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Alican
  • 2nd Place: Jack O' Hearts
  • 3rd Place: Meant 2 Be
  • Top Angler: Scott Frohman
  • Top Captain: Doug Heaton
  • Manufacturer Award: Tribute Performance Boats
  • Fastest Boat: Jack O' Hearts, Jim Smith Boats

2006 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Wave Paver
  • 2nd Place: Cutnail
  • 3rd Place: Blank Check
  • Top Angler: Jr. Davis
  • Top Captain: Jeff Babuschak
  • Manufacturer Award: Garlington Landeweer
  • Fastest Boat: Jack O' Hearts, Jim Smith Boats

2005 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Black Out
  • 2nd Place: NUCO2
  • 3rd Place: Frantastic
  • Top Angler: Jim Black
  • Top Captain: Kevin Llorente
  • Manufacturer Award: Merritt Boats
  • Fastest Boat: Double Dog, Hines-Farley

2004 HARBOUR ISLAND, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Rosemary
  • 2nd Place: Miss Allied
  • 3rd Place: Double Dog
  • Top Angler: Terry Sherman
  • Top Captain: Ed Nicolace
  • Manufacturer Award: Rybovich Boat Works
  • Fastest Boat: Double Dog, Hines-Farley

2003 CHUB CAY, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: Salem Wolf
  • 2nd Place: Miss Allied
  • 3rd Place: China Girl
  • Top Angler: Roger Hammond
  • Top Captain: Jake Triay
  • Manufacturer Award: Rybovich Boat Works
  • Fastest Boat: Double Dog, Hines-Farley

2003 CHUB CAY, BAHAMAS

  • 1st Place: HT Hook
  • 2nd Place: Jack O' Hearts
  • 3rd Place: ARC Strike
  • Top Angler: Harry Schufflebarger
  • Top Captain: Robby Moore
  • Manufacturer Award: Tribute Performance Boats
  • Fastest Boat: Freedom, American Custom Yachts

Top Engine Manufacturers

  • CAT - 7 wins
  • Detroit Diesel/MTU - 6 wins
  • Cummins - 1 win

Race from the Edge Winners

  • Revenge - 4 wins
  • Hines-Farley - 3 wins
  • Jim Smith Boats - 2 wins
  • American Custom Yachts - 1 win
  • Spencer Yachts - 1 win
  • Jarrett Bay Boatworks - 1 win
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