Bimini Bluefin Tournament


The Bimini Sands Resort & Marina - South Bimini, Bahamas May 1 - June 17, 2016


The objective: To capture and tag as many Bluefin tuna migrating along the offshore edge of the Bahama Banks as possible. Intercept these giants as they head toward the northern canyons to achieve winner-take-all honors in this 48-day tournament window - fish five days at your discretion; two days at ours!

2016 Schedule of Events

Monday, May 1st - Wednesday, June 15th
7:30pm to 4:30pm Day 1 - Day 15 Fishing days & hours
...choose 5 days...
Thursday, June 16th
6am Breakfast delivered
8:30am to 4:30pm Mandatory Fishing Day #1
4:30pm Dock greeting
7pm Welcome Party!
8pm Dinner... to be announced
Friday, June 17th
6am Breakfast delivered
8:30am to 4:30pm Mandatory Fishing Day #2
4:30pm Dock greeting
7:30pm Awards Dinner

Tournament Rules

There will be no official Captain's Meeting. Questions regarding these Rules may be directed to the Tournament Committee: or

  1. PERMITS & LICENSES: All teams must possess a Bahamas Fishing Permit, any other permits required for Bluefin tuna, and a Tournament Sticker. The Tournament Stickers will be located in your team package which you will receive via email, or U.S. Mail, if requested. The Tournament Sticker is required to be adhered to your Bahamian fishing license.
  2. FISHING HOURS: The Tournament will begin on May 1, 2016 at 7:30am and continue through June 17, 2016 at 4:30pm. Teams may fish any five days of their choosing between May 1st and June 15th, and also fish June 16th and 17th, for a total of seven fishing days. On June 16th & 17th we will be having a formal "touranment" based out of the Bimini Sands with an Awards dinner on the night of June 17th. There are no lay days or weather days, unless determined by the Committee. Fish at your own risk.
  3. DECLARING FISHING DAYS: Once a fishing day has been decided, a team member must contact the Committee, via phone or email before 7:30 am, stating 1) Boat Name; 2) Fishing Day 1, 2, or 3; 3) Date; and 4) Port/area fishing. The Committee will give you a confirmation number, which you will record on your Bluefin Catch Affidavit for that day. Should you be unable to contact the Committee, please be sure to leave a voicemail AND send an email. The Committee will contact you with your confirmation number ASAP, even if your fishing day has already begun. Fishing without a confirmation number on your Affidavits will disqualify the fishing day.
  4. BOUNDARIES: There is a 70-mile boundary rule - radius from the marina.
    • 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. The angler who engages the fish is the only angler who may fight the fish.
    • Three anglers per team per day are permitted, with no restrictions. If an angler is not registered, he/she may be added after the start of the tournament. Angler changes may be allowed with permission of the Committee. Teams are not permitted to hook and hand - the angler who engages the fish is the only angler who may fight the fish.
    • Modern day tuna rods, reels, and line are permitted.
    • Hand lining is not permitted.
    • Harpoons are not permitted.
    • Kites are not permitted.
    • Live bait is not permitted.
  6. TOURNAMENT SPECIES: Only Bluefin tunas are eligible for scoring.
  7. CATCH & RELEASE RULES: A released Bluefin MUST BE TAGGED (satellite or spaghetti style) to qualify for scoring. A tuna 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.
    • Each Bluefin tuna, regardless of size, will be worth 1000 points.
    • Fish must be tagged (with a SAT or spaghetti tag) to be scored.
    • All ties will be broken on time.
  9. HARVEST RULE: A boated Bluefin must meet all requirements of the governed fishery at the time the tournament takes place. Should harvesting be allowed during this time, any legal, boated Bluefin will also be worth 1000 points.
    • After each fishing day, please email your catch affidavits to the Committee. Video files must be received prior to your next fishing day, or ASAP. Once your affidavits and videos have been verified, the Committee will post the results to the public.
    • Any required reporting to governing authorities is solely the team's responsibility.
    • Identification Numbers - each team will obtain a series cards, one of which will correspond to your fishing day confirmation number. This card must be displayed during the fight and recorded. Failure to show the card in your video proof will disqualify your catch, even if it is time-stamped. This card will be displayed with each catch for that day, regardless of the number of fish caught.
    • Release Verification Recordings - each team is required to submit video evidence of each tuna catch, release and/or harvest. This recording shall be time and date stamped in accordance with the "official time" in your area. Your video proof shall include: 1) registered angler fighting the fish 2) proper identification card 3) sufficient footage of the fish in order to accurately determine the species 4) proper release or harvest evidence - see Rules 7 & 9 above. All recordings submitted must be easily viewed by the Committee. It is the team's responsibility to provide the required video. 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.
    • Bluefin Catch Affidavit - each Bluefin catch, either released or harvested, is required to be noted on the day's Affidavit and submitted to the Committee. Failure to send in your Affidavit will disqualify that day. Affidavits are supplied with your registration package. If you do not have one for each day, please contact the Committee for replacement.
    • Submission of Recordings - Verification recordings must be submitted to the Committee May 1 - June 15. Recordings for the mandatory days of June 16th and 17th must be personally submitted to the Committee at the Bimini Sands Resort and Marina, South Bimini Bahamas. All recordings, images, sounds, etc. become property of the Tournament and may be used at any time at its discretion. All recordings and images will be downloaded from the team's email and/or devices. If the Committee is unable to download the verification recording, then the recording will not qualify. Please see Video Evidence.
    • Disputes or Protests - All disputes will be settled by the Committee. All decisions are final.

2016 Jackpot Schedule - $5,000






$3,000 pays 1st, 2nd & 3rd (50/30/20)

The Bimini Bluefin Tournament is a professional tournament.

U.S. Company Disclosure

The Bimini Bluefin Tournament is a U.S.-based company and requires all payouts be submitted with an IRS Form 1099 Misc., even if the winnings are earned in a foreign country. If your team is entitled to a cash reward at the conclusion of a tournament, an IRS Form W-9 must be submitted to the Committee prior to receiving the award. Each tournament team must designate one representative payee to receive payment. Payment of "cash prizes/awards" is by check and will be written to the team's representative. The Committee has up to one week after the conclusion of the tournament to make payment(s) to the winner(s). The Tournament Committee accepts no responsibility for the division of cash awards, optional cash rewards, or any other rewards between team members. You may download the IRS Form W-9 here:

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.
    • 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).
  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.
    • 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 hook’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.



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. Be sure to possess the appropriate cables, adapters, cards, readers, etc. to allow the Committee to download your evidence, if needed.
  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 catch 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.

Entry Form

Please click on the link below to download the Bimini Bluefin PDF entry form.

Download Entry Form

Mail completed forms and check to:
  • Skip’s Tournaments, LLC
  • Attn: Skip Smith
  • 2931 N.E. 16th Street
    Pompano Beach, FL 33062