Billfish Tagging Tournament Rules

Waihau Bay Billfish Tagging Tournament
This tournament is for tagged and released billfish only.  Weighed fish are not eligible.
This document contains the Tournament rules and terms and conditions of entry into the Waihau Bay Billfish Tagging Tournament.
Any individual or team that breaks these rules will be deemed ineligible for any prize or recognition that is offered in the Tournament and may be expelled from the competition with no refund of entry fees.
The decisions of the Tournament Committee are final and cannot be appealed.
This is a ‘one base’ tournament therefore all boats must launch and retrieve at the Waihau Bay ramp.
Fishing Dates and Times
Fishing Dates will be March 11th, 12th, 13th and 14th. (Briefing on the 10th)  Fishing Times will be from 6 am to 6 pm except the last day (10th) when fishing will cease at 3 pm.
Boats may be launched prior to 6 am but no lines in the water until the start fishing radio call from the Tournament Committee at 6 am when the colour for the day will be announced.
Tag cards, completed catch sheet, videos, rods and reels must be at the club by 8 pm on the first three days to be verified.  Photo or Video evidence will be accepted.
On the first three days any fish hooked and called into the Committee before 6 pm can be played and count towards the Tournament.
On the final day any fish hooked and called into the Committee before 3 pm can still be played and count toward the Tournament however all tag cards, video evidence, rods and reels must be in the hands of the committee by 5 pm.
A team must comprise not less than two (2) persons. There must not be less than two members of the team on the boat at any time.
Each registered angler must also be a member of Waihau Bay Sports Fishing Club.
Fishing Methods
All fishing must be conducted according to IGFA rules. The Committee has the right to inspect any/all fishing gear on board the boat. Non-compliance will result in no points being awarded for the tag and release.
Allowable line class for the Tournament will be 37 kg and 60 kg only.   For all bait fishing non-offset circle hooks are compulsory.
Coloured ribbons will be provided in the skippers pack. For your fish to qualify this coloured ribbon must be visible in the tag and release video. At the start of fishing each day (6am) the Tournament Committee will announce the colour of the ribbon for the day.
All hook ups must be called into the Committee as soon as possible with a position reference according to the clubs Sponsors Fish Grid. Also, all releases are to be called in to the Committee. The times will be recorded and used to determine the winner should there be a tie.
Blue, Black and Striped Marlin                    300 points
Shortbilled Spearfish                                      100 points
Major prizes for the Tournament will be decided by the greatest accumulation of points scored from tagging and  releasing a qualifying billfish. In the event of a tie the winner will be the team to accumulate their points last.
Tag and release conditions and Billfish eligibility
All photos or videos must show the billfish in a healthy and unmutilated condition prior to release.
Any dead marlin will not qualify for points.
Any tagged fish or fish deemed mutilated or in a condition not suitable for release on review of the video by the Committee will not qualify for points.
All fish must be tagged and videoed to be eligible for points in the Tournament.
All video evidence must clearly show the fish alongside the boat with the tag in place. All teams must provide their own video equipment.
Summary of Prize Categories
  • Team with the most points overall – four days fishing with Blue Marlin Magic in Tonga
  • Sweepstake divided 50/30/20
  • First marlin tagged - 50W RSL
  • Last marlin tagged – 50W RSL
Spot prizes at 8 pm
Communication with the Committee
Communication will be via VHF channel 65. in the event of VHF communication failing call the following
Christine 021 1088817                    Ben 021 269 7897
Please be sure to report all hook- ups and releases including the GRID.
COASTGUARD sked times are 9.15 am and 3.15 pm. Please do not call prior to the morning sked.
Weather and Safety
Committee, in conjunction with local experts, will make daily calls as to the weather conditions.  If the weather is deemed unsafe for the Tournament to proceed fishing will be put on hold until the weather is deemed fishable.  The Committee has the right to alter fishing stop or start times (due to weather) to ensure the safety of all participants.
Each team is directly responsible for deciding to compete on any given day of the tournament.  In particular, the skipper or owner of the vessel has overall responsibility for determining if the sea conditions and weather forecast are safe for his/her boat.
All boats entered into the competition must be in a seaworthy condition and meet all Coastguard and other regulatory requirements.
The Waihau Bay Sports Fishing Club is not liable for any loss or damages to any persons or property during the Tournament.
The Health and Safety Disclaimer must be signed prior to fishing.
Any protests should be filed in writing by the skipper of the protesting boat with the Committee no later than one hour after final close off for tag cards on the final day.  All decisions on protests made by the Committee are final and cannot be appealed.
Any conflicts or matters arising with the WBSFC and/ or Committee need to be addressed directly with the Committee.  Any negative post on ANY social media platform about the Tournament or Committee will result in bans for all WBSFC tournaments and could result in membership being cancelled.
Right of Admission
The Committee reserves the right of admission to the Tournament. Furthermore, any team member threatening or insulting a member of the Tournament Committee will be subject to the team’s immediate disqualification (with no refund of fees).
In all cases the decisions made by the Tournament Committee are irrevocable and final.
The WBSFC reserve the right to use all images and video for advertising purposes.