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Islamorada Sailfish Tournament

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Florida Keys Gold Cup Series

2023 Islamorada Sailfish Tournament | Official Rules

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  1. The entry fee if paid by before October 31st 2023 is $695.00 for the first angler fishing aboard a vessel and $575.00 for each additional angler. If payment is received after October 31st 2023, the entry fee is $795.00 for the first angler and $675.00 for each additional angler. Junior angler entry is $350.00 per angler. Junior anglers must not be over 18 years of age on the first day of fishing. If paid by credit card entry fees are subject to credit card processing and handling fees. There is no limit of anglers fishing aboard a vessel. The initial angler charge includes entry fee, sales tax, gifts and social tickets for both the angler and the captain. The additional angler charge includes entry fee, gifts and social tickets for that angler only. There is no provision for the return of entry fees unless the Tournament Director receives a written request for such fees at least seven (7) days prior to the kick-off of the tournament.
  2. The Islamorada Tournament Rules will be strictly adhered to and all decisions of the Tournament Director will be final. Any Angler(s), Captain(s), or Mate(s) found to be in violation of any tournament rule might be disqualified from this tournament.
  3. This entry is non-transferable and there can be no substitution of anglers unless so approved by the Tournament Director. The Tournament Director reserves the right to refuse tournament application or entry to any prospective entrant with or without cause at its' sole discretion.
  4. This is a BOAT tournament. Although point scoring will be on both a cumulative and individual basis for trophy purposes. The angler(s) on the BOAT accumulating the most release points first will be judged the winner. All vessels and/or anglers must possess the proper licenses and permits.
  5. This is a tag and release format. Point scoring is as follows: 100 Points for each released sailfish
  6. Only manufactures stated 20 Lb. test line or less may be used. Only manufactures stated circle hooks that are NON-OFFSET may be used with live or dead bait. Hooks may not be altered.
  7. 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. Live bait, dead bait or artificial may be used. No entangling device or similar material may be used. Fish must be caught by hook and line in a conventional manner aboard the boat from which it was hooked. Spin or conventional tackle may be used and no more than six (6) lines can be in the water at any time. This restriction does not include teaser lines.
  8. All boats must depart from and return to the same dock each day.
  9. All sailfish hook-ups and releases must be reported immediately to and acknowledged by the Committee Boat. The exact number of sailfish hooked up must be reported, i.e. a single, a double, etc. In addition the captain must report the final disposition of the hook-up to the Committee Boat (released, tagged, lost, etc.). Reports may be relayed by another boat if the reporting boat cannot reach the Committee Boat. The tournament channel is 78.
  10. No one except a registered angler can hook-up a fish and no one except the angler may touch the rod, reel or line while the fish is being fought.
  11. The double line shall be limited to fifteen (15) feet and the leader shall be limited to fifteen (15) feet. However, the combined length of the double line and the leader cannot exceed twenty (20) feet. No more than two (2) single hooks may be attached to the leader and then only if both hooks are imbedded in or attached to the bait. These must be attached separately at least a hooks length apart and not more than eighteen (18) inches.
  12. For the purpose of this tournament a "Release" shall be considered to be accomplished when the captain, angler, or mate touches the leader. It is recommended that the leader be cut as close to the fish as possible. If a fish is subsequently tagged after being released according to the above criteria, the time of tagging shall be considered to be the same time as the release.
  13. If a fish should become hooked on more than one line or become entangled in another line, then the fouled line or lines must be cut immediately. It is the intent of this rule that the fish is fought the majority of the time on a single line, if the fish is not fought the majority of the time on a single line, then the fish will not be scored.
  14. Crew members are permitted to cast baits, however, the rod and reel may not be passed directly to the angler. It must first be placed in a neutral position (most commonly a rod holder) in free-spool. If the fish is hooked-up, even accidentally by the crewmember, the fish is disqualified.
  15. Time limits are as follows: Other than bait catching, on all days except the final day, lines and teasers in the water at 8:30 A.M. and lines out of the water at 4:00 P.M. All boats must return to the dock by 5:30 P.M. On the final day of fishing, lines and teasers in the water at 8:30 A.M. and lines out of the water at 3:00 P.M. All boats must return to the dock no later than 4:30 P.M. Fish may be fought after lines out provided they have been reported to and acknowledged by the committee boat prior to lines out. Final disposition of fish must be reported to the committee boat no later than 5:00 on the first two days and by 4:00 on day 3 or it will be disqualified from the tournament. There is no time limit as to when the boat must return to the dock. If you have a tidal problem that may cause damage to your boat or fragile seabeds, please notify the Committee Boat, alternate arrangements can be made. Basically, you will be required to return as close as possible to your point of departure and anchor out.
  16. Fishing boundaries are based on GPS latitude and longitude. The northerly boundary is the shoreline and the southerly boundary is the 100-fathom curve. The easterly boundary is 80.17.85W and the westerly boundary is 80.51.30W. All fish must be hooked-up within these boundaries. 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.
  17. All protests must be made in writing and filed with the Tournament director before 6:00 P.M. on the day of the protest to be considered. On the final day protests must be filed by 4:15 P.M. The Tournament Rules Committee may rule immediately or reserve judgment until the end of the tournament. The final disposition of all protests, where judgment has been withheld will be determined by the polygraph examination.
  18. All captains of boats having a winning angler(s) in any division of 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 statements, the captain may at his option allow his angler(s) or mates(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, captains and mates agree to abide by the results of the polygraph examination.
  19. RELEASE: All participants, sports fishermen, their companions and boats enter at their own risk, and hereby release, discharge and further agree to indemnify and hold harmless Islamorada Charter Boat Association  and their sponsors, advertisers and other participants and any agents, employees, officers, directors, contractors and successors of the above mentioned organizations from any and all claims, losses, damages, demands, causes of action, suits and liability of every kind arising out of , connected to, or resulting from the IST event, 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 IST, its officers, employees, agents, sponsors, directors, contractors, or successors for any loss arising out of, connected to, or resulting from this event. We also understand that this release binds our heirs, executors, administrators and assigns as well as ourselves. By signing above, my team and I and our participants and attendees acknowledge that we have read and understand the release terms and conditions and agree to be legally bound by these terms and conditions. We also agree to authorize Islamorada Charterboat Association  the freedom to use any of our likenesses in any video or print whether for advertisement or profit without compensation of any kind.  
  20. Additional entries are elective. These entries will be scored by the same rules as the overall tournament releases. Payouts for these entries will be 90% of the entries fees collected for each category. All winners are required to provide their social security number prior to receiving any awards.

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