GENERAL RULES – Florida Sailfish Cup

General Rules

1. Registration:The only 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 ($1,500 plus tax) valid through Nov 4. Late entry ($2,000 plus tax) after Nov 4. All registration and calcutta payments must be complete by the conclusion of the kickoff party on Nov 10. 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. All participants must sign a participant release of liability as a condition of participation in the tournament. Failure to do so will disqualify a team from competition. Officials in the tournament 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.


4. Maximum Anglers: There is no limit on anglers. Additional crewmembers 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 day. Each team receives a maximum of (6) social bands for Florida Cup parties with their general entry fee. Additional bands may be purchased if needed.


5. Maximum Lines: All boats are permitted to fish up to seven lines in the water during the tournament. In addition to the seven line count, a maximum of 2 dredges (artificial or natural) may be fished.


6. Primary Crew: Each team must designate (4) primary crew members at the time of registration. The captain is considered part of  the crew. A minimum of (2) of the primary crew members (including the captain) must compete during any declared day of fishing for the Florida Cup. Teams are still permitted to substitute and add additional anglers as needed during any day of competition for the Florida Cup provided the conditions described above are met.


7. Boat Substitution: A boat substitution is permissible in the Florida Cup, provided that the replacement boat is owned by one of the ‘Primary Crew Members’.  Any boat substitution that does not meet the above criteria requires the approval of the tournament director prior to fishing. Registered teams may not charter another boat for a declared day of fishing in the Florida Cup.


8. Tackle: All fish must be caught on rod and reel. No electric reels (except kite rods and dredge rods). All teams must use a non-offset circle hook in the tournament. 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 or natural dredges are permitted in the tournament. Dredges do not factor into your line count. Live bait teasers are not permitted.


9. Bait & Bait Fishing: Fishing with live bait is permitted in the tournaments; however, live chumming and chunking is not permitted. Frozen block chum is acceptable. 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. All used baits must remain on board the boat until the conclusion of fishing each day.


10. Hook & Catch: As there are no angler awards in the Florida Sailfish Cup, teams are permitted to pass or hand off a rod while fighting a fish.


11. Boundaries: (noted in degrees, minutes, seconds)

North Zone:North: 30 43      South: 28 47

Central Zone: North: 28 46    South: 27 10

South Zone: North: 27 09      South: 25 23

Keys Zone: W: 80 10 to W: 82 15

All releases are scored to the zone where they occur. Teams can fish in any zone they choose and are permitted to fish in more than one zone during a day of fishing.


12. Prize Structure: The general prize structure is based upon a participating field of 50 boats.


13. Fishing Schedule: December 1 to May 31


14.  Fishing Days: The results of the tournament are based on 3 scheduled days of fishing. Each team will have the ability to choose any 3 days of fishing during the fishing schedule days noted above.


15.  Scheduling a Fishing Day: A team representative must log into the registered team’s account to schedule a fishing day no later than 11pm on the day preceding a scored fishing day. A score will not count if the team fails to schedule by 11pm preceding the day of fishing. In order to cancel a scheduled day of fishing, a team representative must do so no later than 11pm preceding the day of fishing as well. After 11pm, a scheduled day of fishing cannot be canceled.


16.  Mulligan Day: Each team will have the option to purchase (1) mulligan day in advance of the start of the competition. The mulligan day can be used to replace the team’s lowest scoring day during the competition.


17.  Check-Out:Prior to the start of fishing each day, all teams must video the time, date and their GPS coordinates and state on camera what boundary they are in at the start of fishing each day. Video must show time, date and GPS location. Boats may not deploy any lines in the water until they are within the stated boundaries.


18. Lines In/Lines Out:

Lines In – 8am

Lines Out – 4pm


19. Entering Releases

Following a day of fishing a member of the team must log into their team account on the Florida Cup website to record the required information for their releases by 11pm on the same day that fishing occurred. The following release information must be recorded: fish release #, color card, time of release, and zone of release.


20. Uploading Release Videos: Teams have until 11pm on the day after a scheduled day of fishing to initiate the video upload process to their appropriate folder for the designated day of fishing.


21. Weather:Teams choose their own days of fishing during the Florida Sailfish Cup. Captains, anglers and all other members of registered boats must determine in their own judgment whether to fish on any given day, based on factors including but not limited to the seaworthiness of their boat and their own seamanship.


22. Protests: All protests must be submitted in writing along with $500 cash or check to the tournament officials. 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 the determination of the tournament direct regarding a protest shall be the sole remedy for all disputes arising from the competition. In addition, all participants expressly waive their right to trial.


23. Polygraph: By entering the Florida Sailfish Cup, 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.


24. Tournament Discretion: The tournament director reserves the right to implement his or her discretion at any time during the tournament as it may apply to the rules or any other circumstance that should arise during the competition.


25. 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.


26. Hold Harmless: It is expressly understood that all registered participants and non-registered occupants of their boats enter the events in the Florida Sailfish Cup 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 Florida Sailfish Cup (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 Florida Sailfish Cup, 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.


27. Agreement: By registering for the tournament, the captain and/or owner agrees that all anglers and occupants of their boat will abide by all tournament rules.

Competition Rules

28. Scoring:Billfish Points – Registered anglers will receive 1 point for each eligible billfish released in the tournament. All prize categories will be awarded based on the team’s overall point standings. In the event of a tie, winners will be determined by the team or that releases their last fish first.


29. 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.


30. Billfish Release Criteria: All billfish in the tournament must be properly released for a point to be scored to the registered angler and his or her team. The requirements for a release are as follows: (1) At the conclusion of the fight the fish must be brought close enough to the boat for a mate or crewmember to touch the leader, not the double line. (2) In a continuous sequence, video footage must clearly identify the fish as well as the leader touch by a crew member. (3) Evidence on video of the leader being cut at the time of release. (4) The proper color card should be displayed on video (5) The time, date and GPS coordinates must be filmed to document the completion of a release.


31. 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. A secondary video source is highly recommended.


32. 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 as well as the confirmation of time, date and GPS coordinates. If a break in the footage should occur, the team must reestablish video evidence of the fish again with a continuous video sequence as described above.


33. Color Card Sequence: Once a day of fishing is scheduled, the email address associated with the team account will receive an automated email just prior to the scheduled day. That email will contain a sequence of colors from 1 to 50 that are to be used in that order for each billfish released during the day of fishing. If all 50 colors are used before the conclusion of fishing on a day, the team should resume their color sequence at the top of the list again.


34. 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.