2022 TOURNAMENT RULES

Rules are subject to change. Final rules including any final revisions will be distributed prior to boat departure Thursday, August 18, 2022.

TOURNAMENT ENTRY:

Tournament entry is $3,000 after July 17th. Tournament dockage in Freeport will be provided to tournament boats based on entry date (size restrictions may be a factor). Tournament discount dockage rates will apply and be handled directly with the Marina.

POTENTIAL TOURNAMENT CASH AWARDS PAYOUTS:

Heaviest Blue Marlin Tournament Cash Award - $18,000 (Payout based on 40 boats)

- Tournament Teams must be entered in at least one of the 3 mandatory $500 billfish pots (Blue Marlin, Billfish Release, Swordfish).

- Teams can enter more than 1 of the mandatory $500 pots

 

* If no Blue Marlin is weighed, this money will go to the 1st Place Billfish Release boat.

Most Billfish Release Points Cash Award - $18,000 (Payout based on 40 boats)

Heaviest Swordfish Tournament Cash Award - $15,000 (Payout based on 15 boats)


Optional Cash Awards will pay out 60/30/10, 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. If only two eligible fish are weighed in the category, the cash awards will be split 65/35 between 1st and 2nd place. If no Blue Marlins are harvested during the event, the Blue Marlin mandatory side pot money will roll over to the top Billfish Release boat. The optional Blue Marlin meat pots will be returned minus 10%. If no Swordfish are harvested during the event, the optional Swordfish meat pots will be returned minus 10%. Participants must enter at least one of the Mandatory $500 Side Pots for either Blue Marlin, Billfish Release or Swordfish (you can enter one, two or all three).

TOURNAMENT CHECK-IN & OPTIONAL ENTRY REGISTRATION:

Registration is open online at https://tbc.catchstat.com and will remain open until Wednesday, August 17, 2022 (all Teams must be checked in by 11:00 pm). Optional Side Pot Entries will remain open online until 8:00 am on Thursday, August 18, 2022.


TOURNAMENT DEPARTURE:

Boats docked in Freeport will depart the Freeport ICW intersection at 8:00 am Thursday, August 18th. Boats docked elsewhere and not participating in the boat parade may depart no earlier than 10:00 am. 

TOURNAMENT RETURN: 

ALL BOATS LINES OUT AT 12:00 PM NOON SATURDAY, AUGUST 20TH. 

TEAMS RETURNING TO FREEPORT BY BOAT MUST BE INSIDE THE FREEPORT JETTIES BY 3:00 PM, SATURDAY AFTERNOON. 

IF YOU ARE SUBMITTING VIDEOS FOR BILLFISH RELEASE VERIFICATION AND BRINGING THEM TO THE WEIGH-IN BY LAND, THEY MUST BE RECEIVED BY VIDEO RELEASE JUDGE BY 5:00 PM (NO EXCEPTIONS). CALL TOURNAMENT CONTROL AT (281) 857-0938 TO CONFIRM ARRIVAL TIME.

WEATHER AND COMPLETED TOURNAMENT:


In the event the tournament committee feels in their best judgment unsafe offshore weather and sea conditions exist, the tournament may be shortened or delayed. The tournament may be resumed as weather conditions improve. All teams and participants should make their decision to fish based solely on their own judgment of prevailing conditions, vessel seaworthiness, and captain and crew's seamanship skills. 

TOURNAMENT CANCELLATION:

In the event the tournament is canceled, 100% of optional side pot entries and 80% entry fees will be refunded within two weeks. Boats may elect to roll over 100% of their entry fee to the following year. Entry fee may only be rolled over to the following year one time.

WITHDRAWALS:

There will be no refunds of tournament entry fees, deposits, or optional entries after the conclusion of the Kickoff Party, Wednesday, August 17, 2022 (midnight). No refund of entry fees or Optional Side Pot Entries due to mechanical breakdown or any other reason once Tournament officially begins.

SPORTSMANSHIP AND ANGLING RULES:

The TBC is a non-IGFA sportfishing tournament where participants agree to fish in a fair and ethical manner. It is the Team's responsibility to comply with all Federal and Texas state laws regarding fishing licenses, size limits, bag limits and any other regulations that may apply. 
 

POLYGRAPH EXAMINATION: 

Texas Billfish Classic winners may be polygraphed. Failure to comply will result in disqualification of the participant and, at the discretion of Tournament Officials, the participant's entire team. Disqualified participants and/or teams forfeit all entry money, prizes, or prize money, and may be refused entry to future tournaments. 

RELEASE OF ALL CLAIMS:

In consideration for being accepted by the Tournament Organizers for participation in the Texas Billfish Classic, the Participants hereby release, forever discharge, and agree to hold harmless the Tournament Committee, Sponsors, Billfish Classic, LLC, City of Freeport and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers, partners, members, the and/or attorneys for any and all losses, claims, or demands of any kind or character whatsoever arising from the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or from any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament. The Participants expressly acknowledge that he/she has received, reviewed, and agrees to abide by the Tournament Rules and this Release. Furthermore, the Participants expressly acknowledge that activities relating to deep-sea fishing are extremely dangerous and involve the risk of serious injury or death. Having so acknowledged, the Participants hereby assume full responsibility for the risk of bodily injury or death due to the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament. 

DISPUTES:

All disputes, protests, claims, differences, or controversies relating to any aspect of the Tournament, including, without limitation, Tournament Rules, must be submitted to the Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee no later than 6:00 pm on Saturday, August 14th or are deemed waived. All such disputes must be presented in writing along with a non-refundable fee of $1,000 cash. All such disputes shall be decided by the Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee and shall be final and binding upon all parties. 

BINDING ARBITRATION:

In the event the Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee cannot render or refuses to render a final and binding decision with respect to any dispute, protest, claim, difference, or controversy under review, the matter shall be resolved by binding arbitration under the commercial arbitration rules of the American Arbitration Association. The decision rendered in arbitration shall be in writing and shall be final and binding upon all parties. The parties shall have no further recourse, except as provided for by the commercial rules of the American Arbitration Association. The Participants specifically waive any right to a trial by judge or jury. Arbitration shall be held exclusively in Brazoria County, Texas.

 

PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEO IMAGE RELEASE:

The Participants specifically agree and consent to the use of any photograph, video recording, or audio recording in which they appear or are heard, by the Tournament Committee, Billfish Classic, LLC for any purpose whatsoever including, but not limited to, resale, advertising, and promotional material without compensation or restriction of any kind. 

WEIGH-IN:

  • Thursday, August 18th, optional evening weigh-in for Blue Marlin & Swordfish ONLY

  • Friday, August 19th, optional evening weigh-in for Blue Marlin & Swordfish ONLY

  • Saturday, August 20th, scales open at 2:00 pm until the last boat checked in and in line at the weigh-in (which will be confirmed by tournament committee). All fish must be weighed at the TBC central weigh-in station at Hook’s. Fish to be weighed must be in fresh condition (gaff, hook, line and wounds incurred during the fight are acceptable.) Fish may not be frozen. The weigh master has final decision to disqualify a fish for poor condition. No Blue Marlin, Swordfish, and gamefish to be weighed, or catch and release videos, may be transferred from one boat to another. Fish to be weighed should be tail tagged with boat and angler's name prior to fish leaving the boat.


ELIGIBLE SPECIES TO WEIGH-IN:

The following species and size limits of gamefish when caught in the Gulf of Mexico in accordance with all tournament rules will be eligible for tournament awards. 

 

SPECIES                                           MIN WEIGHT/LENGTH LIMIT

BLUE MARLIN                                 105" minimum length

SWORDFISH                                      47" minimum length

DOLPHIN                                           20 LB.  /  3

TUNA (YELLOW FIN, BIGEYE)          20 LB.  /  3

WAHOO                                             20 LB.  /  3


WEIGHED BLUE MARLIN, SWORDFISH AND BILLFISH CATCH AND RELEASE POINTS: 

WEIGHED BLUE MARLIN                              1 POINT per pound

WEIGHED SWORDFISH                                 1 POINT per pound

BLUE MARLIN CATCH AND RELEASE          600 POINTS

WHITE MARLIN / SPEARFISH                        250 POINTS

SAILFISH/UNIDENTIFIED BILLFISH              200 POINTS

BLUE MARLIN & SWORDFISH CAUGHT ON THURSDAY AND FRIDAY MAY BE WEIGHED THURSDAY OR FRIDAY EVENING ONLY IF REPORTED TO TOURNAMENT CONTROL THE DAY OF. NO TOURNAMENT BOAT MAY BE IN POSSESSION OF MORE THAN ONE BLUE MARLIN AT A TIME. 

 

DETERMINATION OF TOURNAMENT WINNERS:

The heaviest Blue Marlin weighed is the TBC Tournament Champion and is considered 1st place for the Blue Marlin Tournament Cash Award. If only Catch and Release points are the issue (no eligible Blue Marlin harvested during the event), the first team to reach the total most points, as scored by the tournament judges and verified by the boat's video of GPS time and date, wins the Tournament. Blue Marlin and gamefish weight ties are broken by check-in time, as through the official line of demarcation at the tip of the Freeport jetties as video recorded by tournament spotters. Top Lady Angler and Top Junior Angler awards are awarded first by the Heaviest Blue Marlin, then the most Billfish Release points. In the event no Blue Marlin are weighed, nor catch and release points awarded, Lady Angler and Junior Angler awards will be decided by heaviest gamefish caught. 

VERIFICATION OF BILLFISH RELEASE SCORECARDS:

Teams will be provided Billfish Catch and Release reports, which must be legibly filled out prior to judging, signed by the captain, and turned in with the video recording. Multiple fish may be recorded on same video, but scorecard should reflect the same order. Please fill out all blanks for scoring information on the scorecards. Any team intentionally recording wrongful information on the scorecards for the purpose of altering tournament standings or results is disqualified from the event, and forfeits all entry money, prizes or prize money. 

VIDEO SUBMISSIONS RELEASE:

All recordings of video images and sounds become the property of the Tournament and may be used by the Tournament for display purposes as it sees fit including but not limited to Tournament Jumbotron television, radio, any media print, television series, advertisement, or future marketing campaigns. 

CATCH AND RELEASE RULES:

Only Billfish caught and released according to the following rules are eligible for tournament awards and cash awards. Billfish are considered caught when the leader connection or swivel touches the tip of the rod, or the mate or other team member touches the leader. Billfish removed from the water or boated will be disqualified. 

GoPro or SD type video cameras are the preferred and recommended method of capturing catch and release video recording. If not recorded on a GoPro video camera the video must be captured on a digital video camera. 

Video must include: 

  • Angler fighting fish including video of rod and reel. 

  • Cockpit pan. 

  • Tournament designator. 

  • Video of swivel at rod tip or mate touching the leader. 

  • Video of Billfish for species identification. 

  • Video of Billfish Release. 

  • Secondary cockpit pan. 

  • Clear video of GPS date & time of release. Hold camera steady for several seconds to allow clear focus of GPS Date & Time. This is critical. GPS must display in CDT.


Note: If video shows time of release but no date, the GPS time as recorded will be used and the last date of tournament fishing is used as the official release date. In the event the boat returned to Freeport to weigh-in on Friday and the video was viewed/scored by tournament judges at that time, then Friday will be used as the date of release.

Catch and Release Tiebreaker: ties are broken by the first team to reach the total amount of points as verified by the boats GPS time.

Verification Scorecard reports must be legibly completed and totaled along with date and time of last release prior to scoring and turned in with video. Videos must be turned in to scoring (having checked in thru the Freeport Jetties prior to 3:00 pm and waiting in line) prior to the closing of the weigh-in. A team representative will be required to acknowledge and sign verification video scorecard accepting results.

 

2022 TEXAS BILLFISH CLASSIC ACCEPTANCE

In consideration for being accepted by the Tournament Organizers for participation in the Texas Billfish Classic, the Participants hereby release, forever discharge, and agree to hold harmless the Tournament Committee, Sponsors, City of Freeport and the Texas Billfish Classic, LLC and their respective officers, directors, employees, agents, volunteers, partners, members, the and/or attorneys for any and all losses, claims, or demands of any kind or character whatsoever arising from the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or from any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament. The Participants expressly acknowledge that he/she has received, reviewed, and agrees to abide by the Tournament Rules and this Release. Furthermore, the Participants expressly acknowledge that activities relating to deep-sea fishing are extremely dangerous and involve the risk of serious injury or death. Having so acknowledged, the Participants hereby assume full responsibility for the risk of bodily injury or death due to the negligence or gross negligence of the Releases or any other cause connected with or occurring during the Tournament.