Download and print the 2019 rules (PDF)
1. Tournament early entry fee, paid by January 22nd, is $2500.00 per boat. Two anglers are included in the $2500.00 entry. An additional angler may be added for a maximum total of 3. The third angler fee is $300.00. After January 22nd the entry is $2800.00 per boat of two anglers and the third angler fee is $350.00. The entry fee includes Florida state sales tax, dinners and gifts for anglers, captain and mate. The entry fee is non-refundable unless a written request is received at least 30 days prior to the start of the tournament. After that, refunds will be made only if approved by the tournament committee. Additional social tickets may be purchased at the Islamorada Fishing Club.
2. Islamorada Fishing Club’s Sailfish Tournament rules shall be strictly adhered to and all decisions of the Rules Committee are absolute and final.
3. The Tournament Committee must approve any substitutions of anglers.
4. This is a “BOAT” tournament with a release format. 100 points will be awarded to each released sailfish. The “BOAT” accumulating the most release points first, will be judged the winner.
5. IGFA rules will apply unless otherwise stated below.
6. Lines in, other than bait catching, at 8:00 AM and lines out at 4:00 PM. No larger than manufacturer’s stated 20-lb. test line may be used. No more than six (6) lines can be in the water at any time. This restriction does not include teaser lines. A fish may be fought after lines out provided it has been reported to and acknowledged by the Committee Boat prior to lines out of the water. All boats must return to the dock by 5:30 PM.
7. Only non-offset circle hooks may be used on live or dead baits
8. In the event of multiple hookups on separate lines by a single angler, all released fish can be scored and single anglers may fight multiple fish utilizing the rod holders.
9. All boats must depart from and return to the same dock each day.
10. All sailfish hook-ups and releases must be reported immediately, by VHF radio CHANNEL 78 only, and acknowledged by the Committee Boat. The exact number of sailfish hooked up must be reported, for example, a single, a double, a triple, or a quadruple. The term “multiple” will not be acknowledged by the Committee Boat. In addition, the captain must report the final disposition of the hook-up(s) to the Committee Boat. Reports may be relayed by another boat, if the reporting boat cannot reach the Committee Boat.
11. In order to qualify a fish as having been caught and released the following conditions must be met: after the fish is released, the captain, mate or angler, must retain the leader or a portion thereof. The terminal line for each fish caught, including the leader, double line and at least three feet of the standing line must be provided to the Committee Boat.
12. Chumming is prohibited throughout the course of this tournament. Any bait, or portion thereof, not being fished or used as a teaser, shall be retained within the vessel. In addition, any vessel participating in this tournament shall not permit any other vessel to chum on their behalf. This does not prohibit trolling or anchoring with a chum bag in the water to attract baitfish.
13. Only registered anglers may cast baits to fish.
14. Fishing boundaries are as follows: The northerly boundary is the shoreline and the southerly boundary is the 100-fathom curve. The easterly boundary is 80.15.00W and the westerly is 80.50.00W. All fishing other than bait catching must take place within these boundaries.
15. SPA Rule. Other than bait catching with the proper permits, no vessel will be allowed to engage in any fishing activity inside of a Special Preservation Area of the National Marine Sanctuary (SPA marked by four yellow balls). If you hook up a sailfish and in the course of the fight the fish enters a Special Preservation Area you may not pursue it into the SPA with your vessel or your fish will be disqualified. The fish is allowed in the SPA. Your vessel is not.
16. Any protests concerning the tournament must be made in writing by 5:15 PM.
17. All captains of boats having a winning angler(s) in this tournament may be subjected to a polygraph examination. In the event the polygraph examiner is unable to make an accurate determination from the captain’s statement, the captain, may at his option, allow his angler(s) or mate(s) to be subjected to the examination. Any captain(s), angler(s) or mate(s), who fail or refuse to take this examination, by so doing, will be disqualified from winning any division of this tournament. By entering this tournament all anglers, captain(s) and mates(s) agree to abide by the results of the polygraph examination.
18. The IFC Sailfish Tournament is a winner-take-all competition with guaranteed prize money for first place of $10,000.00. For each boat registered over 10 boats the prize money increases by $1,000.00 per boat up to a max.of 25 boats for $25,000.00!
19. Participants in this tournament enter at their own risk. Officials, committee members, sponsors and all persons connected directly or indirectly with the operation of the Islamorada Fishing Club Sailfish Tournament shall be exempt from any liability for loss, damage, negligence, harm or injury suffered to any participant, entrant, sportfishing vessel, their companions, boat captains, crew members, vessels and equipment, which may occur during this tournament.