Sailfish Series Rules
1. Registration: Primary registration method is online. Teams that wish to pay by check may do so by mailing the check to: Bluewater Movements, Inc., PO Box 50114, Lighthouse Point, FL 33074. Early entry for each event closes on the following dates:
Operation Sailfish: 12/28/2022; Sailfish Challenge: 2/8/2023; Final Sail: 3/9/2023.
All registration and calcutta payments must be complete by the conclusion of the kickoff party for each fishing tournament. For questions regarding registration call (954) 725-4010.
2. Entry Forms: Registration must be completed by the captain or owner with appropriate fees and registration information. Officials in each event reserve the right to refuse application or entry into the tournaments at their discretion with or without cause. General entry fees are not refundable for any reason.
3. Eligible Species: Sailfish, White Marlin, Blue Marlin, Dolphin, Wahoo, Kingfish, Tuna and Cobia.
4. Maximum Anglers: There is no limit on anglers. Additional crew members or mates may accompany the team if desired. Any teams with angler changes or substitutions should notify the committee prior to the start of fishing for each event.
5. Maximum Lines: All boats are permitted to fish up to seven lines in the water during each tournament.
6. Tackle: All fish must be caught on rod and reel. Wire lines are permitted. No electric reels (except kite rods and downriggers). All teams must use a non-offset circle hook in the tournaments. The length of the leader may not exceed 15 feet. The combined length of the double line and the leader may not exceed 20 feet in length. 2 artificial dredges are permitted in the tournaments. Dredges do not factor into your line count. Stinger rigs are permitted provided the hook is a circle hook.
7. Bait & Bait Fishing: Fishing with live bait is permitted in the tournaments; however, live chumming is not permitted. Frozen block chum is acceptable. No dead baits (whole or chunk) may be used for chumming. All boats in the tournaments are prohibited from having any boats outside the tournaments to live chum on their behalf. Bait fishing is permitted during the tournaments however, teams cannot fish for sailfish at the same time they are bait fishing.
8. Hook & Catch: A hook and hand scenario is permitted in all Quest for the Crest tournaments. A hooked fish may be fought by multiple members of a team with no limit on the number of times a rod is passed from one angler to another. The use of a rod holder to hook and fight a fish is permitted.
9. Tournament Channel: The tournament channel will vary by tournament. The official channel will be announced at the captain's meeting for each event. The tournament channel is reserved for specific announcements and the report of angler releases. All discussions among competitors should be conducted on alternate channels.
Operation Sailfish: North: 27.15 South: 26.15 East: 79.22
Sailfish Challenge: North: 27.04 South: 25.28 East: 79.35
Final Sail: North: 26.16 South: 25.15 East: 79.37
11. Prize Structure: The general prize structure is based upon a participating field of 60 boats in each event.
12. Check-Out: There is not a land based checkout location for the tournaments. Prior to the start of fishing each day, all teams must video the time and their GPS coordinates to confirm that they are within the stated boundaries for the tournament. Video must show time, date and GPS location. Boats may not deploy any lines in the water until they are within the stated boundaries.
13. LINES IN/LINES OUT:
Operation Sailfish: 8:00 AM & 4:00 PM on January 13 & 14, 2023
Sailfish Challenge: 8:00 AM & 4:00 PM on February 24 & 25, 2023
Final Sail: 8:00 AM & 4:00 PM on April 14 & 15, 2023
Operation Sailfish: Media and release cards must be turned in at Sailfish Marina by 6 PM each day.
Sailfish Challenge: Media and release cards must be turned in at Miami Beach Marina, Hillsboro Inlet Finger Docks OR Sailfish Marina by 6 PM each day.
Final Sail: Media & release cards must be turned in at Miami Beach Marina by 6 PM on Friday and 5:30 PM on Saturday.
15. Changing Boats: The series points for the Quest reside with the registered boat and the owner of that boat. If a registered boat elects not to participate in the next leg of the series and other members of the team wish to continue forward on a new boat with those points, they may do so provided at least 3 of the original team members are on board the new boat and approval in writing has been provided by the owner of the original boat. However, points may not be transferred to another boat already competing in the series.
16. Weather: In the event that weather conditions arise deemed unsafe for the average registered boat, by the tournament officials, the tournament schedule at each event may be altered to accommodate the best weather & fishing conditions available to participating teams. Any schedule adjustment due to inclement weather will be made at the sole discretion of the tournament committee. Best effort will be made to achieve a 2-day fishing format on the scheduled weekend of the tournaments. In the circumstance, as determined by the committee, where 2 days of fishing may be unachievable, the tournament may be reduced to a one-day format. Captains, anglers and all other members of registered boats must determine in their own judgment whether to fish under the given conditions based on factors including but not limited to the seaworthiness of their boat and their own seamanship.
17. Competition Day: Best effort will be made to ensure the full fishing schedule is met for each tournament in the series. At least 4 hours of tournament fishing must occur on any given day in order for the points from that day to be factored into the overall score and standings for each team. Should inclement weather or any other force majeure condition occur that limits the tournament to only 1 day of fishing during a tournament, the daily calcutta money allocated for the cancelled day will be returned to the teams that are registered for the affected calcutta. All other general prize and calcutta money will be paid according to standard procedure based on the standings from the modified fishing schedule.
18. Protests: All protests must be submitted in writing along with $500 cash or check to the tournament officials within 4 hours of the conclusion of the day of fishing. Protests should be made based on first hand eyewitness information. All decisions of the tournament officials regarding protests are final. All participants agree and acknowledge by their participation that this protest shall be the sole remedy for any and all disputes arising from the competition. In addition, all participants expressly waive their right to trial.
19. Polygraph: By entering any tournament in the series, all captains, anglers and occupants of their boats voluntarily consent to submit to a polygraph examination as deemed necessary by tournament officials. All decisions of the polygraph examiner will be final. Any captain, angler or occupant of a registered boat who refuses to take a polygraph or provides untruthful answers as determined by the examiner will be disqualified from the tournament without further notice. Such a disqualification will eliminate payment or provision of any prize money, awards and/or refund of entrance fees.
20. Tournament Discretion: The tournament director reserves the right to implement their discretion at any time during the tournaments as it may apply to the rules or any other circumstance that should arise during the course of an event in the series.
21. Release: All registered captains, anglers and occupants of their boats consent that tournament officials may use without payment or restriction, any photographs or video in which he or she appears for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to resale, advertising and promotional material.
22. Hold Harmless: It is expressly understood that all registered participants and non-registered occupants of their boats enter into the events in the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series voluntarily and at their own risk. Further, each registered and non-registered participant on behalf of other family members and/or executors agrees to release and hold harmless Bluewater Movements Inc, its officers, directors, owners, members, representatives, agents, employees, independent contractors, volunteers, promoters, advertisers, sponsors, partners, joint ventures, affiliates, assigns, polygraph examiner, the city and county where the events are held and all other persons connected directly or indirectly with the operation of any event in the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series (collectively, “Released and Indemnified Parties”) from any and all claims, losses, damages, demands, causes of action, suits and liabilities of every kind arising out of, related to, or resulting from the tournament, activity or event, including but not limited to all events in the Quest for the Crest Sailfish Series, including without limitation, any claim for loss, damage or destruction of property, or injury (including death), regardless of whether such loss arises in whole or in part from the negligence of any Released and Indemnified Party. This release is intended to be as broad and inclusive as possible under applicable law, and if any portion of this release is held invalid or unenforceable, the balance shall continue in full force and legal effect. Jurisdiction over the tournament shall be exclusively that of the tournament director. All parties agree to be bound by the tournament director’s decisions without exception.
23. Agreement: By registering for a tournament, the captain and/or owner agrees that all anglers and occupants of their boat will abide by all tournament rules.
24. Scoring: Billfish Points - Registered anglers will receive 1 point for each eligible billfish released in the tournament. All team and individual prize categories will be awarded based on the individual or team’s overall point standings. In the event of a tie, winners will be determined by the team or individual that releases their last fish first.
Meat-fish Points (Dolphin, Wahoo, Kingfish, Tuna & Cobia): These species must weigh a minimum of 10 lbs. to be eligible in the tournaments. Each fish meeting weight requirements will be given a score of one point per pound. These points will not be included with points awarded for billfish releases when determining the top team standings. See the meatfish division in the general prize structure of each event as well as the optional entry prize structure of each event for details on the prize money available in the meat fish categories. Mutilated fish will be disqualified. All decisions of the weigh-master are final.
25. Non-Pro Category: There is a non-pro prize category in each leg of the series. To qualify for this prize money, the following criteria must be met. #1: Less than 3 paid crew members on board (including captains, mates, and anglers) and #2: There can NOT be anyone onboard that has placed in the Top 8 at a Quest for the Crest tournament in the last 8 years.
26. Billfish Release Criteria: All billfish in each event must be properly released in order for a point to be scored to the registered angler and his/her team. The requirements for a release are as follows: (1) The double line and leader must leave the tip of the rod once a strike occurs, unless they have already exited the tip of the rod. (2) At the conclusion of the fight the fish must be brought close enough to the boat for a mate or crew member to touch the leader, not the double line. (3) In a continuous sequence, video footage must clearly identify the fish as well as the leader touch by a crew member. (4) Evidence on video of the leader being cut at the time of release. (5) The proper color card and confirmation # should be displayed on video to mark the completion of a catch.
27. Charter Boat Division: To qualify for the Charter Boat Division the following criteria must be met:
- Boat must possess a valid charter/headboat permit from NOAA fisheries.
- Participating team must be an actual charter with paying customers, not hired guns on board a charter boat.
- Captain and/or owner’s primary income is derived from the charter business and does not operate as a side business.
- Maximum of one captain and two paid mates plus customers. The customers are the only anglers on the boat. The rod may only be passed one time from a mate to a customer and that should occur immediately after the drag is engaged on a hooked fish.
28. Video Requirement: Every billfish released in the tournament must be verified by video footage clearly identifying the release. Each team is responsible for providing their own video camera and the appropriate media to record video footage that documents the releases on their boat. Video media will not be provided to teams by the tournament committee. Acceptable video formats are SD cards only. The first video clip to be shot by all teams should be of time, date and GPS location at the start of fishing. If you fill your first video and need to switch to a 2nd video during fishing please contact the radio room for an establishing shot to begin your video. A secondary video source is highly recommended.
29. Continuous Video Sequence: To ensure the authenticity of the releases, each team will be required to maintain a continuous video sequence from the time video evidence of the fish is established up to the time that the leader touch and cut is verified on video. If a break in the footage should occur, the team must reestablish video evidence of the fish again with a continuous video sequence up to the leader touch and leader cut.
30. Break Image: Once a release has occurred, the captain must contact the radio room for a confirmation # and instructions on which color card to shoot in order to complete the release on video. If a team is hooked up to multiple fish, a crew member should state that on camera with video evidence to support it. In the case of a multiple, if necessary, one color card can be used for the break image, provided the video evidence can clearly distinguish multiple sailfish and anglers fighting those fish and the necessary criteria referenced above for qualification of the release on video.
31. Release & Catch Verification: All billfish releases must be reported to the tournament committee immediately following the release. Individuals calling in a release must include the boat number and angler name in their report. A release will be official once the radio controller responds to the respective angler with a confirmation number and color. That confirmation number and color should be recorded on the registered angler’s release card. Any boat unable to contact the committee should contact another boat for a relay. A tournament cell phone # will also be provided to teams at each Captain’s meeting. Boats that intend to fish in areas with poor cell phone coverage are still responsible for maintaining communication with the tournament committee on all releases.
32. Winnings: All winners are required to complete a W9 form prior to receiving any awards for each tournament. Awards and prize money will be withheld as required by law if a W9 form is not presented in advance of the awards presentations.