RULES

Tournament Entry

Entry Fee is $4,000 per boat through May 5, 2022 and covers four anglers. The Captain and Mate can attend all functions. Each additional angler is $400. After May 5, there will be a $500 late fee per boat and $50 late fee for each additional angler. The $400 additional angler fee is waived for junior anglers.

 

All tournament entires are non-transferable and non-refundable. If your vessel is unable to compete in the event after submitting payment, your entry will be rolled over to the following year for full credit. Payment of the entry fee constitutes a representation by each entrant that he/she has read fully and understands the tournament rules that he/she will abide by such rules and decisions of the Tournament Director and/or Committee.

 

The Gulf Coast Masters is a sportfishing tournament where participants agree to fish in a fair and ethical manner. While the tournament does not strictly enforce the use of IGFA rules, it certainly expects that only minor technical differences will be employed by anglers. One noted exception is the allowance that the rod may be handed off one time during the first minute of the fight. 

 

 

Captains Meeting

The Captain’s meeting will be held on Wednesday at 6:30pm at Fisher’s. The captain, owner or designated team representative must sign-in and be present at the captain’s meeting. Any changes to the rules and final instructions will be given at the meeting. 

Permits & Licenses

An Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling Permit is required and participants must be familiar with and follow HMS regulations. 

https://hmspermits.noaa.gov/findPermit

 

Anglers must obtain an Alabama Saltwater Fishing License which can be purchased locally or online.

Tournament Start

Teams may depart from Perdido Pass at 10am on Thursday.

Fishing Hours

Boats may begin fishing at 10:01am on Thursday morning and continue fishing until the scales close at 8:00pm on Saturday. All boats with catch & release videos and fish to be weighed, must return by water, and must pass by the Perdido Pass Bridge and check in by 8:00pm on Saturday. 

Weigh Station Hours 

Scales will be open 3:00-8:00pm on Friday and Saturday. All fish caught during the tournament must be weighed before scales close on Saturday night. Boats must be checked in by 8:00pm on Saturday to have their fish weighed in. Scales will close immediately after the last fish is weighed. All billfish catch verification forms for boated and/or released fish must be turned in to officials before the scales close.

Qualifying Fish 

The following species are eligible for competition when caught by registered anglers in accordance with tournament rules:

 

Eligible for Catch & Release

 

  • Blue Marlin
  • White Marlin
  • Sailfish
  • Spearfish
 
Eligible for Weigh-in at Scales
 
  • Blue Marlin – 112″ minimum (LJFL)
  • Tuna – 20 lbs. minimum weight
  • Wahoo – 20 lbs. minimum weight
  • Dolphin – 20 lbs. minimum weight
 
Boated Blue Marlin must measure at least 112 inches in length from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail (LJFL).
 
No angler or boat may be in possession of more than one blue marlin per day. Any angler in violation of this rule will be banned from further participation in the tournament without refund.
 
For each day the scales are open (Friday and Saturday), each boat will be allowed to bring to the scales a maximum of 1 blue marlin, 3 tuna, 3 wahoo, and 3 dolphin.
 
The tournament committee reserves the right to reject any fish entry because of poor condition or one that does not meet the eligible requirements set by this tournament. The condition of the fish will be left to the scrutiny of the tournament director and committee. THEIR DECISION IS FINAL. 

Reporting of Billfish 

Each boat is required to record all billfish that are boated or released in the order in which the first fish are caught on the Billfish Scorecard. The order of the recorded releases should match the order that appears on the boat’s Catch & Release video. The Billfish Scorecard will be available in your boat information packet. Report all boated billfish on the form. 

Be prepared to give the following information:

  • Name of Boat
  • Name of Angler
  • Species of Fish (Blue Marlin, White Marlin, Spearfish, Sailfish)
  • Time released or boated
  • Length of blue marlin if boated
 
DO NOT report Tuna, Dolphin, or Wahoo on the catch & release form.
 
Committee boats will be used for conservation and informational reporting only. Please contact a committee boat to report boated or released marlin.
 
Names of Committee boats and any changes to communication frequencies will be announced at the Captain’s Meeting. Please use alternate frequencies for conversations not related to the reporting of billfish.
 
The committee boats will be monitoring VHF Channel 78 and weigh station phone (337) 849-8642. Reporting of Billfish.

Weigh-in-Procedures

IMPORTANT: A tail tag with the boat name and registered angler’s name must be attached to each fish before unloading at the weigh scales. Tournament scales will be located at the Mobile Big Game Clubhouse. Boats having fish to weigh must be checked in by 8:00pm on Saturday. Anglers must remain with their fish fish until completion of the weigh-in procedure. The angler must sign the weigh-in stat sheet to verify the weight, at which time this will make the weight official. All fish weighed at the scales will be returned to the boat with the exception of a blue marlin. Boats with blue marlin and/or meat fish to weigh in will be unloaded at the main dock at the Mobile Big Game Clubhouse. 

Tournament Awards 

All Tournament Awards are based on 75 registered tournament boats. Payouts are subject to change depending on the number of entries. Awards for Heaviest Fish will be presented to the angler/boat for fish caught in the following categories:

Blue Marlin1st$75,0002nd$20,0003rd$10,000
Tuna1st$20,0002nd$15,0003rd$10,000
Wahoo1st$20,0002nd$15,0003rd$10,000
Dolphin1st$20,0002nd$15,0003rd$10,000

If no qualifying blue marlin are weighed, the cash award for blue marlin will roll down and be divided between the top 3 team’s accumulated catch & release points, 50/30/20.

Catch & Release

Billfish Catch: A billfish is considered caught when the leader connection is shown reeled to the tip of the rod, or a team member is shown touching the leader. 

 

Billfish Release: The billfish is considered released when, after being caught by the above definition, the rod and angler are shown with the fish no longer connected to the line or the billfish is shown in the water, no longer connected to the line.

Tournament Designator/Identification Marker

Designators will be assigned at the mandatory Captain’s Meeting. These markers must appear in all video submissions.

Video Verification and Points Awarded for Catch & Release

Points for catch and release are awarded when, in the process of the catch and release as defined above, all technical elements are shown on video. Tagging is not required for points and billfish removed from the water or boated will be disqualified.

 

Video submitted for consideration for points must include the following technical elements:

 

  • Angler fighting fish, including video of rod and reel
  • Cockpit panoramic view
  • Tournament Designator 
  • The Catch (swivel at rod tip or team member touching the leader)
  • Video of Billfish for species identification. (Judges use dorsal, anal and pectoral fins for fish identification)
  • The Release (the Billfish being released on video of the rod and angler with the fish no longer connected to the line)
  • Secondary cockpit panoramic view after the release
  • After the secondary cockpit panoramic view, a clear video of the GPS date & time; to be used for official release time. Hold camera steady for several seconds to allow clear focus of GPS Date & Time (This is critical.) GPS must display in CDT. Show designator along GPS if possible.
 
Verification videos become property of the tournament. Verification videos and billfish scorecards must be turned in to the video judges at the designated judging location near the weigh station between the hours of 3:00-8:00pm on either Friday or Saturday.

Billfish Scorecard 

All billfish released or boated must be logged on the Billfish Scorecard in the sequence in which they were caught. Scorecards must be signed by the Boat Captain indicating they agree to the information as recorded. The scorecard must include boat name, angler’s name, species, date and time of the release. Detailed instructions are printed on the billfish scorecard which is included in the team packet handed out at registration. 

All billfish must be recorded on the Billfish Scorecard regardless if you enter the Optional Entry for Catch & Release. In case there are no blue marlin that qualify for the minimum size requirements and no awards are issued for that division, the money will be divided and rolled over to the teams with the most points on the scorecard. 

Point Values for Catch & Release

The Catch & Release is determined by points awarded as follows:

 

  • 600 points for Blue Marlin
  • 250 points for White Marlin, Sailfish and Spearfish
  • 250 for any unidentifiable marlin (billfish excluding swordfish)
 
Only billfish caught and released according to these Rules are eligible for Awards as described herein.
 
The Billfish Scorecard must accompany the Catch & Release video to the weigh-in dock. The form must be completed with all required information. Catch & Release verification videos and scorecards must be turned in to the video judges at the weigh-in dock between the hours of 3:00-8:00pm on Friday or Saturday.
 
A Polygraph Test may be administered at the discretion of the Tournament Director and/or Committee.

 

Payment for Cash Awards

Prior to fishing, each tournament boat must designate a representative payee to receive payment for all cash awards. Payment of cash awards is by check. A single check will be written to the boat’s representative payee for the combined total of tournament cash awards and optional cash awards. Checks will be written after the Awards Ceremony on Sunday. Gulf Coast Master’s accepts no responsibility for the division of any cash awards between team members. 

Optional Entry Awards 

This is a separate entry. The Optional Entry is not required to compete for Tournament Awards. Participants may pay an Optional Entry fee in one or more of the following:

 

CategoryDivisions
12345
Catch & Release$10,000$5,000$2,500$1,000$500
Blue Marlin$10,000$5,000$2,500$1,000$500
Tuna $5,000$2,500$1,000$500
Wahoo$5,000$2,500$1,000$500
Dolphin$5,000$2,500$1,000$500
No Sonar$1,000
Crew Jackpot$500

 

The Catch & Release, Blue Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin will pay 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with a 50%, 30%, 20%, split. The No Sonar and Crew Jackpots are winner take all categories. In the event of limited participation in any category listed above, 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 standard 50/30/20 split. Participants who wish to pay an Optional Entry Fee Prior to May 1, may submit a credit card, cashier’s or business check made payable to the Gulf Coast Masters. Participants who wish to pay an Optional Entry Fee after May 1 must pay by cash, credit card or cashier’s check during registration hours on Wednesday at 5pm – 10pm of tournament week or make payment arrangements with the Tournament Director. Optional Awards for Catch & Release are determined by points according to Tournament Rules. Optional Awards for boated Blue Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo, and Dolphin are determined by weight according to Tournament Rules. In the event that no qualifying fish are weighed by an Optional Entry participant in a given Division eligible for an Optional Award, 90% of the Optional Entry Fees collected for that division are retuned to participant(s) who paid Optional Entry Fees for that division. 

Crew Jackpot

  • Entry cost for the category is $500
  • Winner is determined by the team with most accumulated points. 1 pt/pound for weighed Blue Marlin & Tuna, 2 pts/pound for weighed wahoo, and 3 pts/pound for weighed dolphin, 600pts for Blue Marlin release, 250pts for White Marlin, Sailfish, Spear, UBF.  

No Sonar

  • Entry cost for the category is $1000
  • Winner is determined by the team with most accumulated points on board a vessel without a sonar. 1 pt/pound for weighed Blue Marlin & Tuna, 2 pts/pound for weighed wahoo, and 3 pts/pound for weighed dolphin, 600pts for Blue Marlin release, 250pts for White Marlin, Sailfish, Spear, UBF. 

Submission for Video Recordings

Verification video recordings must be submitted not later than the closing of the scales on final day of fishing. Recordings should be submitted immediately upon return to the marina. All recorded images and sounds become the property of the tournament and may be used by the tournament for display purposes during the weigh in and future marketing campaigns. All Images will be copied from digital hard drive cameras, tapes, CD’s, and DVD’s, etc. Video Tips and Recommendations:

 

  • Use only new SD cards
  • SD type Sony and GoPro, etc. cameras which generate consumer type files allowing the judges to quickly copy the recording to a computer which facilitates slow motion and segment by segment scoring. 
  • Files with .MXF filename extension cannot be opened or viewed by the judges.
  • Judges will not score from your laptop computer or iPad type tablet.
  • Judges will accept more than one video fo the same release from a different camera (of the same type), provided the same previous video requirements are met.
  • If possible and without harm to the fish, have the mate display the dorsal fin on the video at the time of release to assist with identification.
  • Underwater video of the release is helpful with identification. Ensure that this video is adequately long enough to allow identification.
  • Limit the video release recordings from only this tournament with the segments stages, cued and ready for scoring. Before entering the scoring room, know where images are located on the recording. Have the SD card ready to be inserted into scoring computer. 
  • It is critical the person sent to scoring clearly understands how to provide the video digital media to the scoring judge. One person per team is allowed in video scoring. 
  • Understand how to properly display the GPS date and time on your boat GPS prior to the tournament. This is critical for a tie-breaker.
 
Remember: Report releases and boated fish to a Committee Boat on VHF Channel 78 so we can track them for unofficial reporting to the media and the verification committee. Releases may also be reported to weigh station phone (337) 849-8642

Weather: Tournament Delay or Cancellation 

In the event the tournament committee feels in their best judgement fishing is unsafe due to severe weather, high seas, or any cause beyond the control of the Gulf Coast Masters, the tournament may be cancelled or delayed. If delayed, a new start time or date will be announced should weather conditions improve. If cancelled, entry fees will be rolled over to the following year in their entirety. One day or part thereof of offshore fishing by one-third of the boats entered constitutes a complete tournament. Entrants shall have no claim against the Gulf Coast Masters for return of paid entry fees. All teams and participants should make their decision to fish based solely on their own judgment. Fish at your own risk. 

Tie Breakers

For fish weighed in any category of fish brought to the scales, placement is determined by the order of Weigh-in at scales. The recorded time of weigh-in determines placement. In case of a tie for top lady angler or top junior angler on points, placement is determined first, by heaviest fish and then, by the first angler to reach the highest point total as verified by boat’s GPS time.

Protest

Any protests relating to the tournament must be submitted in writing along with $1,000 deposit by the team captain to the tournament committee no later than 15 minutes after the last fish is weighed on the final day of the tournament. All entrants agree to abide by tournament rules and regulations. All disputes are decided by the Tournament Director and Committee. Their decision is final. Poor sportsmanship will be grounds for disqualification from the Gulf Coast Masters. Any violation of these rules resulting in disqualification will result in forfeiture of entry fee and prize money. 

Waiver/Disclaimer

It is understood that all participants in the Full Coast Masters enter at their own risk, and that the officers, committee members, sponsors, directors, tournament venue and all persons connected directly or indirectly with the operation of said tournament, shall be exempt from any liability for libel, slander, loss, damage, negligence, harm, injury or death suffered by any participant, entrant, anglers, his/her companions, boat captains, mates, crew members, vessels and equipment with may occur during or in conjunction with the tournament. By tournament entry, the captain consents that the Gulf Coast Masters may without payment or restriction, use any photographs in which he/she or any of their crew may appear for any purpose whatsoever; including, but not limited to resale, advertising, commercial or promotional material. The captain and his crew further release the Gulf Coast Masters, officers and directors, and all persons from injury, loss or damage which may result.

All state record winners must submit to and pass in a conclusive manner, a polygraph examination administered by a licensed polygraphist provided by tournament officials. All entrants agree to submit to a polygraph examination at the request of the tournament committee if there is a conflict involving said entrant. Failure to submit to such an examination will result in disqualification of the entrant at the sole discretion of the tournament committee. 

ALL DECISIONS OF THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR AND COMMITTEE WILL BE FINAL.