Unofficial Tournament Rules
While all efforts are made to keep this information current,
all rules and awards published on this website shall be considered
unofficial. Official rules and awards will be distributed and announced
at the registration check-in and captains meeting.
The Bermuda Big Game Classic is a three-day, billfish team
event with top-team honors going to the team that tallies the
most points during the tournament. Prizes pay down to third
place (first, second and third). The tournament will award cash
and prizes to the team(s) that catch the largest blue marlin and
game fish (by weight).
Billfish release trophies, cash prizes will also be awarded to the
team(s) with the most billfish release points for the tournament.
The high-point angler, lady angler and junior angler (age 17
and younger) will receive a trophy and a prize package. Eligible
species for the tournament include blue marlin, white marlin,
spearfish, sailfish, yellowfin and bigeye tuna, wahoo and
Base Entry Fee
The Base Entry Fee is $3,000 per team (up to six registered anglers). This
basic entry fee covers the participation of one to six registered
anglers. It also covers attendance at all planned entertainment
and social activities for up to six participants.
The fee is $200 for each nonangler participation-ticket package.
(Guests of anglers are welcome but are required to purchase
participation tickets for entry to all planned entertainment
and social functions.) The fee is $100 for the July 16th Awards
Cocktail and Dinner Banquet only. The tournament committee
reserves the right to deny tournament entry to any individual,
organization or corporation.
A final registration, captains meeting and kickoff party will take
place from 4 to 9:30 p.m., July 12, at the Hamilton
All teams that are preregistered and teams needing to register
must send at least one representative to obtain tournament
credentials and the team captains’ bag. All anglers and boat
captains must attend the scheduled anglers/captains meeting
at 7:30 p.m., July 12, at the Hamilton Princess Hotel.
If they do not attend, they accept and agree to be bound by
all instructions and/or rule changes made orally or in writing during that meeting.
In an effort to maximize participation, registrations will be
accepted until 7:59 a.m. on July 13.
In an effort to receive early registrations, the tournament will
allow participants to cancel their registration until the deadline
of 10:00 p.m. July 12th. The tournament will refund all entry
fees less a $100 processing fee.
Angler, Crew and Boat Requirements
Without exception, each boat must have on board one designated
boat captain and at least one designated mate. Captain
and crew changes are allowed but must be communicated to the
tournament committee prior to any days fishing. There is a limit
of six registered anglers per boat in this tournament; however,
if an angler drops out, an additional angler can be signed on
with the team if he/she registers before the start of that day’s
fishing. Designated captains and mates can also be registered
anglers. Guests are allowed on the boats. Boats may receive aid
from other boats in the form of towing in the event of mechanical
failure. Teams and boats are not allowed to receive assistance
in landing or releasing fish. All participants must exercise good
and courteous sportsmanship whether at the dock, under way
Schedule of Events
Event location: The Hamilton Princess Hotel. Weigh-ins
at the Barr’s Bay Park waterfront.
• July 12 — Final registration, captains meeting and kickoff party
from 4 to 9:30 p.m. at the Hamilton Princess Hotel. Dinner Buffett opens at 6:00 p.m. Captains
meeting will be held at 7:30 p.m.
• July 13 — Boat parade off the Hamilton Princess dock at
7:00 a.m. Participants are encouraged to decorate their boats’ outriggers
with flags and banners. All boats to line up behind the lead boat
at 6:30 a.m. and start a slow parade to Two Rocks Passage. Fishing
day: 8:30 a.m. start, 4:30 p.m. lines out. Open Bacardi bar at weigh station
starting at 4:30 p.m. Private Mid-Series tournament party presented by Miles Market, Bacardi, Costa & Marlin Magazine at the Royal Bermuda yacht Club starting at 6:30 p.m. until the food and Bacardi runs out.
• July 14 — Fishing day: 8:30 a.m. start, 4:30 p.m. lines out. Open Bacardi
bar at weigh station starting at 4;30 p.m.
• July 15 — Fishing day: 8:30 a.m. start, 4:30 p.m. lines out. Open Bacardi
bar at weigh station starting at 4:30 p.m.
• July 16 — Bacardi cocktail reception at Bacardi International
Building from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Awards banquet will begin at 6:30 p.m.
at the Hamilton Princess Harbourview Ballroom. Live band entertainment presented by Ironshore following awards.
IGFA angling and tackle rules apply in this tournament (see tournament release rules for scoring billfish release points). It is the responsibility of each registered angler and crew member to know, understand and abide by IGFA and tournament rules during this competition. Any angler, captain or mate who deliberately breaks any IGFA or tournament rules will be deemed ineligible for any prize, award, honor, or recognition and may be immediately expelled and disqualified from this and future tournaments without a refund of any jackpot or registration fees.
For a complete list of IGFA angling and tackle rules, go to igfa.org. The tournament will also distribute IGFA angling and tackle rules.
Billfish Release Rules
All teams must provide their own video camera(s) to verify releases. All video recording equipment must be set to the proper Bermuda time and date and must be synchronized to the official tournament time. To verify a catch, you must use control number cards 1-5 provided. Teams will be informed of the number card to use prior to each days start of fishing. To score an official release, the video footage must include sufficient continuous footage to (1) clearly identify the species; (2) show a team member, angler or crew touching the leader while the fish is still hooked; (3) display the catch control number card provided by the tournament; (4) identify the time and date of the catch; and (5) show the catch and full release of the fish. The video must be continuous, with no breaks in recording, and identify all of these elements. Do not delete any video taken during fishing hours, even if it does not include the above elements and will not be used to prove a catch. After the release video is taken, the time, species, catch control code number and angler name must be written on the catch-report affidavit. Each registered angler and boat captain must then sign the catch-report affidavit. At the end of the day's fishing, the camera, camera connections, catch-report affidavit and all video footage taken must be brought to the weigh station for verification of official release points. Catch reports should be turned in by 7 p.m. unless a team is fighting a fish after lines out at 4:30 p.m.
Billfish Division: Five hundred (500) points awarded for every
blue marlin officially released, or one point per pound for every
blue marlin weighed and verified at or over the 500-pound minimum.
Two hundred (200) points for every white marlin, spearfish or sailfish officially released.
If a blue marlin brought to the scales fails to make the minimum
weight limit, the team that caught the fish will be penalized
500 points, plus two points per pound that the fish is under the
minimum weight. For example, if a fish weighs 480 pounds, that
team will be penalized 500 points for not meeting the weight
requirement and another 40 points for the 20-pound difference.
The total penalty would cost them 540 points, and they would
receive no other points for the fish. Any blue marlin boated for any reason must be weighed. Failure to weigh a boated blue marlin will result in immediate disqualification for the remainder of the tournament and forfeiture of all points previously earned. Only one blue marlin may be taken per day, per boat. All white marlin, sailfish and spearfish must be released. Once a marlin is boated, the team must take a picture or video of the fish
while measuring the short length and girth of the fish. The
measurements of the fish must be reported to the tournament
committee. In the event of a tie the team reaching the highest score fist wins with the other team assuming the next award position. This is based on the time of release and boated time of billfish.
Game Fish Division: Eligible species are yellowfin and bigeye Tuna, Wahoo and dolphin. This is purely a biggest-fish category, with scoring calculated to the tenth of a pound to 200-pounds and to the pound for fish over 200-pounds.
The single largest game fish, yellowfin or bigeye tuna, dolphin or wahoo caught over the three-day event will win a percentage of the base-entry cash and prizes. Minimum weight for this category is 25 pounds.
The maximum line strength allowed is 130-pound-test.
Tournament and/or nontournament lines are eligible. If the line
test stated on the label is 130 pounds or less, the line will be
allowed in the tournament.
The length of the leader is the overall length, including any
swivel, lure or hook arrangement. In all line classes exceeding
20 pounds (10 kg), the leader shall be limited to 30 feet (9.14
meters). The combined length of the double line and the leader
shall not exceed 40 feet (12.19 meters) total.
The tournament committee holds the right to examine any hook
sets, line and/or leaders at any time during the event. Refusal
to allow the committee to examine any hook sets, line and/or
leaders will result in immediate disqualification from the event
without a refund of any jackpot or registration fees.
Unlimited in use or numbers.
Unlimited in use or numbers.
Live bait, dead bait, lures and any combination thereof are permitted
in this tournament.
All tournament participants must use non-offset circle hooks for
all species whenever natural baits or natural-bait/artificial-lure
combinations are used. For more information, visit nmfs.noaa.gov.
Fishing will commence at 8:30 a.m. and end at 4:30 p.m. on July 13, 14,
and 15. The tournament control’s time will act as the official
time for the start, catch-and-release and end of fishing each day.
The tournament committee reserves the privilege of changing starting
and finishing times for any reason it deems necessary. A radio
start will take place each morning at 8 a.m. The official tournament
channel will be 7 International.
In the event of late hookups all fish to be weighed or release videos must be back at the weigh station and in the slip by 11:59 p.m. on the day of fishing.
The weigh station and release-video check-in station is at Barr’s
All catches must be recorded on the catch-report-affidavit sheets
provided. The official time, species, control-number code and
angler’s name must be written on the catch-report affidavit. Each
registered angler, mate and boat captain must then sign the catch report
affidavit. The catch-report-affidavit sheets must be turned in
at the weigh station each day.
All billfish hookups, releases and lost fish must be reported to tournament
control, along with the boat name, boat number, angler
name and fish species. The tournament control’s time will act as
the official time for the start, catch-and-release and end of fishing
each day without exception. The official tournament channel will be
7 International. A Bermuda cell and International cell phone numbers on which teams can also communicate will be given at the captains meeting. During the last hour of fishing each day, all hookups must be reported.
There is no weather committee. The tournament is conducted on
a fish-at-your-own-risk basis. If any portion of the tournament is
fished and a team or teams land or release fish that match the tournament’s
eligible species and minimum weight limits, then prizes
will be awarded.
All participants are expected to maintain a reasonable and
sportsmanlike demeanor at all times throughout the tournament.
Unsportsmanlike or threatening conduct towards tournament
organizers or other participants, or any other behavior which the
tournament organizers deem inappropriate, in their sole discretion,
will result in immediate disqualification of the entire team with no
refund of entry fees.
Participants may lodge protests against any catch which they
believe was not made in accordance with these rules. All protests
must be stated in writing and accompanied by $500. The tournament
judges may call a protest hearing in their discretion; a protest
hearing is not guaranteed. All protests will be settled on the day of
the incident. All protests on July 13, 14 and 15 must be in the hands
of the tournament’s designated rules official by 7 p.m. on the day
of the alleged incident unless there is a protest regarding a fish that
comes to the scales late. The protesting party, as well as the accused
team members, captain and crew, must be present at any official
protest hearing. The tournament committee may refuse to consider
any protest evidence not submitted at the protest hearing in
the presence of the protested team. If the protesting or protested
team fails to show up for the protest hearing, that team forfeits its
right to submit evidence. Decisions of the tournament organizers
with regard to protests are final, nonappealable, and nonjusticiable.
Each participant agrees to submit to a polygraph examination at a time and location as determined by the Tournament management, and at the discretion of Tournament management, following the end of the competition. Failure to successfully pass such an examination may result in a test of a second team member; in the event of failure by the second team member, the team shall be disqualified.