The IGFA has given this tournament permission to replicate portions of their rulings,
And has no involvement in these particular Regulations.
- Monofilament, multifilament, and lead core multifilament lines may be used.
- Wire lines are prohibited.
- 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.
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).
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).
- 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.)
HOOKS FOR BAIT FISHING
- 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.
HOOKS AND LURES
- 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.
- 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 hookâ€™s length.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.