2024 Tournament Rules

1. Fishing Hours

Fishing hours are continuous beginning at 12 noon on Thursday, May 16th. Boats must clear the Perdido Bridge or Sailboat Bay in Bon Secour by 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 18th in order to weigh in. Please monitor VHF channel 88A when departing and returning to tournament headquarters. Landed blue marlin must be reported along with length of fish within 30 minutes of boating the fish to tournament headquarters. Fish tags must be filled out for each fish to be weighed. There is no limit to the number of anglers you can have, but they ALL must be registered. Substitution of boats, teams or anglers after the flare start (12:00pm Thursday) is prohibited.

2. Eligible Fish

Fish eligible for tournament awards will be; billfish Catch and Release, blue marlin, tuna, dolphin and wahoo. Spearfish are included in billfish Catch and Release. Swordfish are not an eligible tournament species. In billfish Catch and Release division, blue marlin will be scored at 500 points per release, white marlin, sailfish and spearfish will be scored at 200 points per release. Tuna, wahoo and dolphin must weigh at least 20 pounds and each species is limited to 3 per boat per trip. Blue marlin are required to have a 107” LJFL, and are limited to 1 per

3. IGFA Rules

Participants agree to compete in IGFA rules with one exception only: rod may be transferred (handed off) one time within the first minute of the fight.

4. Catch and Release

A billfish is considered caught when the leader connection is wound to the tip of the rod or a team member touches the leader. The billfish is considered released when, after being caught, the fish is no longer connected to the line. Blue Marlin eligible for release shall not be gaffed or attempted to be gaffed. All billfish eligible for release shall not be boated. A color video must be presented to confirm all catch and release submissions. The video must clearly show the species of the fish, the angler fighting the fish, the release of the fish, a complete pan of the deck area after the release, the tournament designator and the GPS date and time of release. You must provide this video on a SD or micro SD card or a cable with your video camera. Cell phone video will be accepted. If possible please email video from the phone to dblaylock6@gmail.com. ALL of these conditions MUST be met to receive billfish catch and release points.

5. Weigh In

The tournament weigh in location will be at The Wharf Marina. Hours of operation will be Friday, May 17th 7 to 10 p.m. and Saturday, May 18th from 6 to 10 p.m. Monitor VHF channel 88A for docking instructions. In case of a tie in weight, the boat with the first check in number wins. Fish must be brought to the weigh dock aboard the boat that landed the fish. Frozen fish will not be accepted. No mutilated fish will be accepted. Disqualification will be determined by the weighmaster. All decisions will be final. Any boat in possession of an illegal fish will be disqualified from the tournament with no refunds. There shall not be any pooling of the catch or transfer of the catch from one boat to another. Substitution of boats prior to the start of the tournament must have clearance from the OBBC Tournament Committee. All boats are responsible for their fish, the proper reporting documentation, confirmation in the Release category and the submission of any State Record applications.

6. Lady and Junior Angler

Junior anglers must be age 15 and under. Top junior angler and lady angler will be determined based upon points as follows:

Released Blue Marlin = 500 points each
Released White Marlin = 200 points each
Released Sailfish = 200 points each
Released Spearfish = 200 points each
Weighed Blue Marlin = one point per pound
Tuna, Wahoo and Dolphin = one point per pound

7. Images

All participants give their consent to the OBBC for the use of any video or photograph recorded or taken during the tournament. OBBC may use these images for any purpose without compensation or restrictions.

8. Cancellation

In the event of inclement weather on Friday, May 17th or Saturday, May 18th then Sunday, May 19th will be used to complete the tournament. If it is necessary to reschedule the tournament a new date will be set. If the tournament is canceled due to circumstances

9. Tournament Cash Awards

The largest blue marlin weighed is considered the tournament champion; if no blue marlin are weighed then first place catch and release is considered the tournament champion. In the event that no eligible blue marlin (107” minimum) are weighed in, the tournament cash awards for that category will be added to the Catch and Release awards in the same proportion. If there are only two billfish released then the catch and release award will be split 60/40 between first and second place. If only one billfish is released then that team will win all categories. The Blue Marlin (107” minimum) and billfish Catch and Release Awards will equally split the tournament prize money which will be distributed on a 50/30/20 percent basis to the first, second and third place finishers. The tournament will be capped at 60 paid entries. The entry fee is $7,000. In the event of participant cancellation, $2,000 is non-refundable and non-transferable and the remaining $5,000 may be rolled over for one year. No refund of entry fee or optional

10. Optional Cash Awards

There will be Optional Jackpots for blue marlin (107” minimum), billfish catch and release, in the amounts $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, $10,000 and $15,000. In the tuna, wahoo and dolphin in the amounts of $500, $1,000, $2,500, $5,000, and $10,000. In addition, there will be a “Winner Take All” in the $5,000 division for blue marlin and billfish catch and release. Cash, checks and credit cards(subject to a service charge) will be accepted. The tournament retains 10 percent of all funds in the Optional Jackpot divisions.

11. Payouts

All payouts will be mailed within 10 business days following the tournament. Winners must provide a tax ID or social security number and mailing address. OBBC will issue 1099s to winners. ANY PRIZEWINNER MAY BE SUBJECTED TO A POLYGRAPH TEST. Checks must be cashed within 180 days of issuance.

12. Rules Committee

The 2024 Rules Committee members will be Johnny Dorland, Travis Dorland and Craig Martin. The Honorary Conservation hostess will be Ellen Peel, President of The Billfish Foundation.

13. Disputes

The Orange Beach Billfish Classic is an honor system tournament; each entry will be responsible for their team and crew’s performance. Should anyone have a complaint of any nature, it must be submitted in writing along with $500.00 cash to the Tournament Committee at least 30 minutes prior to the close of the weigh in on Saturday. Any decision rendered by the Tournament Committee shall be final and binding.

14. Rules Acceptance

Rules Acceptance: OBBC rules are subject to change. The Captain’s meeting is mandatory and must be attended by at least one representative from each boat. All participants are responsible to know the rules and representatives will be informed of any rule changes. Sign out is required at the Captain’s meeting.