Video by Strong Persuader, Kona

Tournament Rules

HAWAIIAN BILLFISH SERIES

Hawaiian Open Big Game Fishing Tournament Rules- 2017

Rules Committee: Joe Gallegos, Shane O’Brien, Boyd DeCoito, Fran O’Brien, Sammy Choy
Weigh Master: Fran O’Brien
Tournament CEO and founder: Joe Gallegos
Tournament Director: Joe Gallegos
Tournament Control: Rob Englehard at Fish Hopper Kona
FISHING DAYS/TIMES:
June 16th, 2017 – fish 7:00 am – 4:00 pm OR
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
June 17th, 2017– fish 7:00 am –  4:00 pm OR
8:00 am to 5:00 pm
June 18th, 2016 – fish 7:00 am – 3:00 pm- Bimini start north of Green Sea Buoy
AWARDS AND CASH PRIZES:
Base Entry fee – seventy percent of the base entry fee is allocated to biggest Black or Blue marlin weighed over 400 pounds.
One fish caught – 100%
Two fish caught – 70% biggest – 30% second biggest
Three fish caught -50% biggest – 35% second biggest – 15% third biggest
In event one qualifying marlin is weighed then second and third will be high point’s tournament.
In event two qualifying marlin are weighed, third place will be high points tournament.
In the event that no fish are weighed, the base entry fee prize will be paid to the most points scored to the top three high point places.
All daily optional entries will roll to the next day in event no fish are weighed, no points or tagged for each category below.
Optional Entry fees with an 90% return
Optional Entry for each category and/or amount that are not paid out will have a 100% return
Grundens -Biggest Blue or Black Marlin weighed daily over 400 pounds – paid daily Categories
$500, $1000, $1500 (each day) (100% returned for no qualifying fish weighed during tournament)
Release Marine– High Points Tournament – Categories $500, $1000, $1500 Northern Lights Generators- High Tagged points daily –tagged/released fish only – paid daily Categories $500, $1000, $1500 (each day)
Spencer Yachts– Biggest Yellowfin (Ahi) Tuna paid daily – over 100 pounds weighed Categories $100, $200, $300 (each day) (100% returned for no qualifying fish weighed during tournament)
Yeti– Biggest Ono/Wahoo Daily- Over 20lbs weighed- paid daily Categories $100, $200, $300 (each day) (100% returned for no qualifying fish weighed during tournament)
Maui Jim Sunglasses– Biggest Mahi/Dolphin Daily- Over 20lbs weighed- paid daily Categories $100, $200, $300 (each day) (100% returned for no
qualifying fish weighed during tournament)
Papa Pilar Rum– Last day “Hawaiian Open” entry will be accepted up thru 7:00 pm on the second day of fishing (June 5th). – Most release and weighed points on last day only. Categories $500, $1000, $2000. (one day only-90% returned-100% returned for no points on last day)

8-Optional Captain – Crew only brown bag side. $100.00 per tournament. High Points Tournament. (100% payout)
In the event that an optional entry is not awarded during event- 90% of the money will be returned to the team.
1. ELIGIBILITY:
The Tournament Committee invites all anglers in all age groups to participate in the Hawaiian Billfish Series tournament “Hawaiian Open 2017”. A team shall consist of a minimum of two (2) anglers, and a maximum of 6 anglers. Anglers may also be the Captain or Crew of the vessel. Non-anglers may ride along on the boat for the day as long as there is enough room on board to accommodate them and is within Coast Guard regulations. Guests or spectators shall not be permitted to catch any fish or assist in any fishing activities. All anglers must be registered with Tournament officials prior to lines in on first day. Guests do not need to be registered with tournament officials. No substitution of anglers after start of fishing times for the day.
2. ENTRY FEE:
The team registration fee is $3000.00 for a team of 4 anglers if paid before May 15th, 2017 -entry will be $3250.00 after May 15th, 2017. Additional anglers can be added up to 6 anglers at a cost of $150 per angler. Registration fee includes entry to all social events and merchandise for four anglers plus 2 crew members. Additional merchandise and social event tickets are available at the door or during registration for guests. All fees must be paid in full before a team competes in the Hawaiian Billfish Series tournament “Hawaiian Open”.
Entry fees are non-transferable and are 100% refundable up until May 15th, 2017. The tournament committee reserves the right to refuse tournament application or entry to any prospective entrant, boat, captain, angler or crew with or without cause at their sole discretion.
3. REGISTRATION:
At least one member, preferably the team captain from each team, must register at the tournament registration desk prior to the tournament; registration will be at Fish Hopper restaurant from 5:00pm until 7:00pm on June 15th, 2017.
Any team failing to register at that time must inform tournament headquarters ahead of time to pre-register prior to the registration date. No anglers can be added or removed after the start of fishing on the first day.
4. BRIEFING AND RULES MEETING:
The tournament captains briefing will be held from 7:30 pm – 8:00 pm at a Fish Hoppers Restaurant. A representative from each team must attend. Immediately following is the Hawaiian Billfish Series tournament “Hawaiian Open” reception and kick-off party. Charter captains are encouraged to attend all functions, however it is not mandatory. Captain and one crew or guest will be admitted to each of the social functions, as long as they have been officially registered on the entry forms.
Additional guests or anglers will pay $125.00 to attend all functions. Kick-off Party tickets will be sold for $75.00 each. Awards Banquet tickets will be sold at a price of $75.00 for non-registered guests.
5. FISHING DAYS & TIME:
No lines, lures, bait or teasers in the water before official fishing hours each day, except light tackle only for bait fishing will be allowed up to 6:45am only on the morning of each fishing day for 7am start and 7:45am for 8:00am start, official time will be Tournament Control time. In the event there is a day that is affected by adverse weather it is up to each individual boat as to whether they will fish or not.
The fishing hours are:
Friday      June 16th,  7:00 am lines IN –  4:00 pm lines OUT OR
8:00 am lines IN –  5:00 pm lines OUT
Saturday June  17th,  7:00 am lines IN –  4:00 pm lines OUT OR
8:00am  lines IN – 5:00pm lines OUT,
Sunday   June 18th,   7:00 am Lines IN – 3:00 pm lines OUT. One Start time
Each entered vessel must clear out of harbor at the weigh station no earlier than 6:30am am, no exceptions-the start fishing will be announced on the radio. The official start of each fishing day is lines in is where ever the boat is located within radio range. Do not start fishing until you are told to do so from the tournament control. All fish must be hooked when lines out is announced each day.
If in the event a fish is still hooked at the call of lines out, the angler may keep fighting the fish until it is released, boated, or lost, and must return to the dock within two hours, unless there is circumstances determined to prevent them from doing so, which is at the discretion of the tournament committee. Tournament radio control must acknowledge that the team is hooked up prior to lines out signal being called or fish will be disqualified.
Radio Round ups will be held at 10:00am, 12:00pm, 2:00pm, 4:00pm and 5:00pm on channel VHF 68.
6. SCORING:
TAG AND RELEASE POINTS
Any Blue Marlin, Black Marlin, regardless of weight, released in accordance with the Tournament rules shall be awarded 250 points. Striped Marlin and Spearfish will be awarded 50 points regardless of weight. (Ahi) Yellowfin Tuna must exceed 100lbs will be awarded 1 point per pound. Dolphin (Mahi Mahi) and Wahoo (Ono) will be awarded 1 point per pound, must be over 20lb minimum weight to qualify.
To be considered a released fish, the crew cannot attempt to boat or gaff the fish. If the fish dies or is boated for any reason, it can be disqualified, without penalty, with no release points awarded, as long as it is not weighed. To be counted as a released fish, the leader must be wound to the rod tip and the leader touched by the mate and a tagged placed in the fish. The hook or hooks must be disengaged from the fish or the leader cut as close to the hook as possible. The leader and line sample must be retained for each fish released for the judges and fish release form completed and delivered to the judges on the dock at Honokohau Marina by 6:45 pm at the end of each fishing day. And 4:30pm on the last day of fishing- Tagging is mandatory.

All release fish must have a video taken by a camera on board, the video must include video of angler fighting fish/mate leadering fish /tag in fish to be a legal release, Fish species must be clearly visible. Video cameras must be delivered to the weigh master with the release paperwork.
A team video must be taken on the morning of each fishing day with a definitive part of the boat in the film before start fishing is called, for a tag the fish and the tag must be in the video. Each video camera will be required to be turned into the committee on return to port to verify the catch. No film no points
Clearing video shot will be instructed after tag video is taken, which will also apply to the video. The video camera must be physically delivered to the tournament director or weigh master by 6:30 pm at the end of the day with any videos, unless extension is granted do to late fighting fish time.
Team Captains will be responsible to confirm receipt of the camera video of the catch during the tournament for verification purposes. If requested the team may be asked to have a polygraph test taken for verification purposes.
Catchstat online figures cannot be considered final, nor can the Hawaiian Billfish Series be held Liable in anyway or form for errors/ entry’s or software issues with Catchstat use.
Youth (under 18) and Junior Youth (under 14)-Division Rules
In the youth division (under 18), the registered anglers may only acquire overall tournament points in the Tag/Release and/or weighed fish divisions if there was no assistance provided. Points made with assistance will qualify for youth award points only. For junior youth (under 14) age they may have assistance in moving the rod from the bulwark to the chair and getting connected to the bucket harness. The youth angler must contribute to the rod transfer for the points for tag/release or weighed points to be eligible. The junior youth (under 14) angler may have outside assistance in holding them in the chair from the backside and with drag assistance on the reel only, under no circumstance is there to be assistance in actual reeling with a youth angler. If any youth is assisted in any way they are not eligible for any overall tournament award or prize distribution, only Youth awards. If they are unassisted and comply with all HBS/IGFA regulations all points will qualify for overall awards.
Youth (under 18) or Junior youth (under 14) are not eligible for any cash prizes, all cash prizes will be awarded to the team captain of record if they are unassisted in all ways and the points are qualifying under the Hawaiian Billfish Series/IGFA rules.
WEIGHED FISH – POINTS AND BONUS POINTS
1 point per pound will be awarded for each Blue or Black Marlin which exceeds 400 pounds. 1 point per pound will be awarded for each (Ahi) Yellowfin Tuna which exceeds 100lbs and 1 points per pound for Ono/Wahoo and Mahi/Dolphin which exceeds 20 pounds. In the event of a weight tie, the team boating their fish first will receive 100 bonus points.
Blue and Black Marlin that are weighed that are less than 400 pounds will be disqualified. Fish that are disqualified will be penalized 1 point per pound from their daily and total score. In the event no qualifying fish are weighed during the tournament, the Base Entry fee will be awarded to the highest point’s team. The official weigh scale will be located at Honokohau Harbor in front of the Charter Desk.
7. IGFA RULES WILL APPLY TO ALL CATCHES.
Teams are responsible for verifying that IGFA rules are followed. Teams should check tackle, leaders, hook arrangements, and line prior to start fishing. IGFA rules are available upon request. Any infraction of an IGFA rule will disqualify all catches made for the day.
8. FISHING LINE:
The tested fishing line shall not exceed 130 pound IGFA test. There shall be no more than 6 lines in the water from any boat at any time. No lines in the water prior to the start of fishing, other than light tackle bait fishing lines and these must be out of the water 15 min before start times.
9. VESSELS
Teams must hire or provide their own fishing vessels. All vessels must be Coast Guard certified for the number of passengers on board. All vessels must provide proof of insurance prior to the beginning of fishing. In the event of boat failure, teams may transfer to a new vessel and continue fishing. They must notify boat change with Tournament Control. It is the responsibility of the Captains to have all proper licenses and must adhere to all laws and regulations in the areas that they will be fishing.
10. HOOKS AND TACKLE:
Only fish caught on rod and reel will qualify. No people, objects, tackle or bait may be passed between boats after start of fishing each day. Live bait and dead bait must be rigged with circle hooks only. Circle hooks CANNOT be offset, STRAIGHT circle hooks are allowed -ANY FISH CAUGHT ON A BOAT WITH AN OFFSET CIRCLE HOOK, ALL FISH CAUGHT ON THAT BOAT FOR THAT DAY WILL BE DISQUALIFIED. Lures can be rigged with conventional hooks. No Green Sticks are allowed. No Birds allowed. Tag sticks must not exceed 8 feet in length. If there is a tag stick on board that extends past 8 feet, all fish will be disqualified. No guns or explosives allowed.
11. FORMS:
Each angler must complete a Fish Catch/Release form, which is supplied in the tournament bags at registration. The form must be completed and turned in at the end of the fishing day. No form, no points! All anglers must furnish, if requested, the lure, leader, rod, reel, hooks and terminal tackle with which the fish was caught. Photos of catch will be required for all released fish for all teams, no exceptions.
12. PROTESTS
The Rules Committee has the right to investigate and act upon any incident occurring during the tournament. They shall have the right to disqualify any capture following examination of photos and measurement of tackle and equipment used on the boat, and interviewing any witnesses. Any protest, concerning the validity of any catch, must be filed in writing by Team Angler Representative #1 as designated on the entry forms, signed by the team captain only and hand delivered to the Rules Committee no later than 7:00 pm of the day of the catch or infraction. No protests will be accepted by Boat Captains or crews, they will be immediately dismissed as invalid. The decision of the Rules Committee is final. The governing rules committee will be announced at registration and is subject to change at the sole discretion of the Tournament CEO or Director. All captains of boats and all anglers participating in this tournament may be subjected to a polygraph examination. Any Captain or angler refusing to take this examination will be disqualified from winning any prize moneys.
13. FISHING BOUNDARIES
Fishing Boundaries are: All Boats must fish within Radio Range. All boats fishing in Tournament must fish between the Southern boundary of Latitude: 18-54’53” N and Longitude: 155-41’04” W (South Point) and the northern boundary of Latitude: 20-02’28” N and Longitude: 155-49’50” W (Kawaihae Harbor). All fish must be hooked within those coordinates. All fishing, must take place within Radio Range within these boundaries.
14. RADIO CONTROL
Radio Control will operate on a VHF Channel 68, backup channel will be VHF Channel 78. All hookups must be called in and acknowledged by tournament control. If a tournament boat is out of range, the hookup must be relayed via radio. No Cell phone hookups will be accepted. No exceptions. In the event there is a multiple hook up, the number of fish on the line must be announced on the radio and clearly acknowledged by tournament control.
If in doubt, call in again to confirm. All boats must confirm they are ready to fish prior to start fishing is called. All boats must secure with tournament control after lines out prior to 7:30 pm.
15. WEATHER AND CANCELLATION POLICY
Weather related decisions are at the sole discretion of each Captain. The Tournament Committee does not declare a “weather” day in the event of severe weather conditions. If any of the boats registered in the tournament decide to fish on a particular day that is an official tournament fishing day and all eligible fish are scored according to tournament rules. However, at least 10% of the tournament fleet must fish in order for a daily optional award to be paid, overall awards will continue for even one boat. In event boats are not allowed to leave the harbor by USCG due to weather then that day will have all daily’s rolled to the next day, and event will continue. If he third day is not fishable by USCG or harbor closure the optional will be returned per policy for the third day amount only. In event all three days have cancelled fishing by the USCG harbor closure notice then the entries will be returned minus operating costs. The registration party and awards dinner will be continued if possible.
16. PRIZE PAYOUTS
Prize payouts checks will be made payable to the person or entity indicated on the registration form of the winning boat. Social Security Numbers or Taxpayer ID numbers of the recipient must be provided on the entry form to receive checks, – See website for complete Hawaiian Billfish Series Policies.
17. DISPUTE RESOLUTION
A protest by any participant against the catch of another must be submitted in writing to the Tournament Committee in accordance to Item number 12. In the event of any dispute arising out of or relating to the Tournament in any way, the interested parties shall use their best efforts to settle such dispute by mutual agreement. To accomplish this, authorized representatives of the interest parties shall meet, consult, and negotiate with each other in good faith with the Tournament Committee and the representatives of each team involved in the dispute to attempt to reach a mutually satisfactory solution. In the event they do not reach a resolution within a reasonable amount of time, a neutral third-party mediator will be chosen to resolve the dispute. All costs for the mediator and mediation will be shared by the two parties involved in the dispute.
18. VIOLATION OF RULES
Any team, angler, captain or crew on any boat violating any of these tournament rules, is subject to disqualification from the tournament, and will be subject to the loss of all entry fees paid. Decisions regarding the interpretation of Rules, violation of Rules, penalties, will be made by the Rules Committee and all decisions of the Rules Committee are final, and are not subject to further challenge by the participants of the event, or their family, friends, legal counsel, associates or employees or any other person.  These rules are subject to change without notice as a draft prior to the tournament start only

 

 

 

 

 

 

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