Tournament Rules

Official Tournament Rules & Regulations

All rules stated below will remain in effect for 2017. All decisions made by the tournament director and/or tournament officials will be final in all matters and are not subject to appeal, and are not reviewable in court of law. The tournament director and/or the tournament officials can make a change when the safety of a contestant is in question or by a unanimous decision by the tournament committee. Any changes to the rules will be posted on this website and communicated to the tournament members in the pre-tournament meeting before the tournaments. Warnings, penalties and disqualifications will be determined by the tournament officials. A signature on one set of rules and regulations is applicable for the event and may be used as an acknowledgement for such. Each participant (“contestant”) must read and acknowledge the following rules and indicate so by signing an entry form. A “team” shall consist of two contestants.


  1. This is a rod and reel, hook and line tournament. There will be 2 rod passes allowed fromthe bridge and 1 rod pass allowed from the cockpit. Once the angler has engaged the fish,he/she cannot pass the rod to anyone else. No mechanical devises are to be used in aid ofangling a fish. The following practices are illegal in this tournament: a) use of handline orrope attached to the line or leader; b) shooting, harpooning, or lancing; and c) the transfer ofany participant from one boat to another to aid in the landing of a fish.
  2. Monofilament, multifilament, or lead core multifilament lines may be used. Wire lines areprohibited. Line backing may not exceed the 130 lb (60 kg) line class. Double line and leadercombined may not exceed 40 ft.; neither of which may exceed 30 ft.
  3. Non-offset circle hooks are mandatory when deploying natural bait or natural bait/artificiallures. “J” hooks are allowed on artificial lures only.
  4. All boats must be entered and all fees paid prior to fishing to qualify for prizes, trophiesand awards. In the event of mechanical breakdown after the start of the tournament asubstitute boat may be allowed. Any change of vessels from the original registrationmust be submitted and approved by the Tournament Committee and will be allowedonly if the original boat becomes disabled. Failure to receive approval will result indisqualification.
  5. All boats must be represented at the Captains’ meeting held on July 27, 2017 at 7:00 pm atthe Crystal Coast Civic Center. All participants are expected to have read and comply with therules, including any changes that may take place at the Captains Meeting, and agree to complywith them. Signature of the entry form constitutes acknowledgement of rules compliance.
  6. Fishing days and hours will be:Friday, July 28, 2017 - 9:00 AM - 3:00 PMSaturday, July 29, 2017 - 8:00 AM - 2:00 PMScales will close at 6:30 p.m. on Friday and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday.No vessel or team is to deploy any lines, teasers, dredges, chum or bait prior to the officialstarting times or after the daily stop time. Official Fishing time is Continuous GPS time.All billfish must be reported to TOURNAMENT HEADQUARTERS when hooked, lost, boated orreleased. Radio frequency shall be VHF CHANNEL 72. Fish hooked prior to or after fishinghours are not eligible. Saturday may be played until caught or released. Official weigh stationwill be the Big Rock Weigh Station unless other weigh stations are designated by the RulesCommittee. The weigh-in deadline will be extended for boats which are fighting a billfish atthe end of each day. However, once the fight is over the captain must make every effort toget to weigh-in as quickly as possible.
  7. All fishing will be done between Loran coordinates North 40275 and South 39200. Any fishhooked up outside these boundaries will be disqualified.
  8. Score sheets must be turned in before the scales close each day at the tournamentheadquarters located at the Big Rock Weigh Station. Score sheets showing catch and dailypoints (in categories) must be signed by the team captain and the boat captain. Score sheetswill be in the captain’s bag and will be available at the tournament headquarters daily at theBig Rock Weigh Station.
  9. Protests must be submitted in writing and turned in to the tournament officials before6:30 p.m. on Friday and 5:30 p.m. on Saturday or within 1/2 hour after the fish is officiallyweighed, whichever is later. Any decision by the Tournament Rules Committee will befinal.
  10. There is no Weather Committee. The choice to fish is by team or captain’s discretion.
  11. The tournament will recognize a 110” minimum length and/or 400 pounds on Billfish to beweighed. This length is measured from tip of lower jaw to the fork of the tail. Any fishbrought to the dock less than 110” and 400 pounds will be disqualified. In the event a bluemarlin does not meet these qualifications, the fish will be disqualified, and the boat will bepenalized four hundred pounds from the weight of the largest blue marlin weighed in by theboat during the week. In addition, a penalty of four hundred points will be taken away fromthe total of release points accumulated by said boat. No official weigh slip will be given forany disqualified fish. In the event a blue marlin is boated or gaffed, the fish shall be presentedat the official weigh station; if not presented the 400 point penalties will incur. A fish isboated when it breaks the plane of the boat. The weigh master has the right to refuse anyfish in his sole discretion. Additionally, all fish must adhere to State and Federal Fisheriesregulations to qualify for prizes in this tournament.
  12. To be considered a release, the crew cannot have attempted to boat or gaff the fish. Inorder for a billfish to be counted as a release, a member of the fishing team or crewmembermust touch the leader. A fish is boated when any portion of the fish breaks the plane of theboat. A released Blue Marlin will be awarded 400 points. All other released billfish will beawarded 150 points. All billfish are to be released except those in excess of 110” forklength or 400 pounds, and then it is up to the crew whether or not they want to takethe fish. Billfish which meet a minimum (110” and/or 400 lbs.) to 499 lbs. will be awarded 1point per pound. Billfish which weigh 500 lbs. to 699 lbs. will be awarded 2 points perpound. Billfish weighing 700 lbs. and over will be awarded 3 points per pound.You must enter Level 1 to enter Level 2!!
  13. Any billfish gaffed or boated to determine if it meets minimums is a taken fish and is noteligible for release points. All fish except taken fish must remain in the water to becounted as a released fish. Nothing can be put inside any fish to enhance its weight; i.e.water, ice, weights or other fish.
  14. All participating boats must adhere to state and federal regulations to qualify for prizes.Atlantic Tuna/ HMS Permit Required - Automated Permitting System - 888-USA-TUNA(872-8862). Permits may also be obtained at www.hmspermits.noaa.govAll participants must adhere to the North Carolina Coastal RecreationalLicense. Call 1 -800-682-2632 or DMF 1-252-756-7021 for information.
  15. First, second, and third place winners in the GETSCO Category (Level 1) are not eligible fordaily prizes.
  16. All fish must be weighed in on the day they are caught and must be in fresh edible conditionfit for human consumption. One wahoo, tuna (yellowfin, bigeye) and dolphin (sport fish) maybe weighed by each boat per day. The total poundage of these fish will serve as tiebreakers for awards and prizes in the GETSCO (Level 1) & Murphy-Brown (Level 2)Categories. Only one of each species of fish per boat can be weighed per day. Sport fish to beweighed may be transported to the weigh station by chase boat or on board the boat onwhich the fish was caught with the daily catch report and a member of the fishing team.Sport fish only break ties and cannot win anything by themselves exceptdesignated sport fish categories. The largest dolphin can count in both the Action GroupSportfish and the NCDU Largest Dolphin Categories.
  17. If there is only 1 winner in Level I or Level II categories then they take 100%, if only 2winner’s prize money will be split 60% - 40%. If no winners in Level I, Level II, or the GregoryPoole Marine Power Tournament category, then those respective monies will be returned. Ifthere is not a winner of a daily, that prize money will be added to Level I category three placefinisher’s purse. The rest of the paragraph will be the same. If one or two of the sport fishspecies are not weighed in, then that winning money will be pro-rated between the otherwinners in the Action Group Sportfish Category. If Tournament is called for reasons beyondour control, all social events will be held if possible, entry fees will be retained to help deferTournament expenses and competition monies will be refunded.
  18. OUTBOARD LEVEL $500 - Entry in this level is restricted to outboard boats only. No inboards,inboard-outboards, jet powered or airboats permitted. No sailboats permitted. Any hybrid orcombination engine boat will not be eligible for prizes in this level. To be eligible for prizemoney, a blue marlin must weigh at least 400 pounds or measure at least 110”. If no bluemarlin are caught, the winners will be determined by release points. If no billfish are caughtor released, winners will be determined by the largest gamefish, (yellowfin tuna, dolphin,wahoo). Prize money for the Outboard Level is as follows: 50%/first place, 30%/secondplace and 20%/ third place or 60/40 for two places. Winners may be polygraphed. All otherNCDU Billfish Tournament rules are enforced for this level. Entrants must enter Category #1Tournament Entry and may enter additional levels as stated in NCDU Billfish Tournamentrules.
  19. Polygraph test will be mandatory and shall be administered to the top money winners(captains or mates only). ALL winners are subject to polygraph testing. Refusals to takethe test will result in immediate disqualification. Any candidate who is impaired by drugs oralcohol will immediately cause their boat to be disqualified. In the event that a boatdesignates a release as a Blue Marlin on the score sheet and the Captain or Mate cannotsuccessfully pass the polygraph as to the same, that fish will be disallowed for all categoriesand the boat will be penalized 400 points.
  20. Sport fish (tuna/dolphin/wahoo) of the boat will serve as tie breakers for Greenwing and LadyAngler.
  21. Tournament winner is the boat with the most points. Prizes will be split if there is a tie aftersport fish tiebreakers.
  22. Weighed fish remain the property of the boat on which they were caught.
  23. Rulings of the committee on all issues will be FINAL
  24. All releasing and taking of Billfish must be radioed to the committee boat immediately.
  25. Fish can be transferred to another boat to meet the weigh in deadline. They must beaccompanied by the angler, responsible team member and with the daily catch report.
  26. To win the Cruzan Rum Grand Slam Category the boat must be the first to catch one BlueMarlin, one White Marlin and one Sailfish on theSAME DAY during the tournament. Aboated undersize Blue Marlin per the rules will be disqualified and will not count in theCruzan Rum Grand Slam Category. If no boat does this, then all eligible funds will be carriedforward to the 2016 tournament and tournaments thereafter until we have a winner.Winners will be subject to a polygraph. Ties will be awarded to the first boat called in to thecommittee boat. If there is still a tie, the boat with the most tournament points and totalpoundage of meat fish will be the winner.
  27. All Prize monies will be mailed to the respective winners within 10 days of the completion ofthe tournament.
  28. Binding Arbitration - In the event the Tournament Organizers/Rules Committee cannotrender or refuses to render a final and binding decision with respect to any dispute, claim,difference, or controversy under review, the matter shall be resolved by bindingarbitration 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 allparties. The parties shall have no further recourse, except as provided for by the commercialrules of the American Arbitration Association. Once the decision is rendered, it will producethe effect of “res judicata” and the parties shall fully comply with the decision withoutdelay. The participantsspecifically waive any right to a trial by judge or jury.*Rules may be changed by tournament committee. Any changes will be announced at theCaptains Party meeting July 27, 2017.FEDERAL AND STATE REGULATIONS - All vessels and participants shall comply with NorthCarolina and Federal Fisheries laws and regulations regarding fishing licenses, vessel permits,fishing gear, season size limits and bag limits. Participants shall also adhere to all NC DucksUnlimited Tournament rules as contained herein.
  29. DISPUTE RESOLUTION – A protest by one participant against the catch of another must besubmitted in accordance with Rule 16. All other disputes, controversies, or claims of any kindarising out of or relating to the Tournament (hereinafter, “dispute” or “disputes”), including,but not limited to, all disputes concerning decisions by Tournament Officials, Boards, orCommittees, must be submitted in writing to the Rules Committee no later than 5:00 p.m. onthe last fishing day of the Tournament. Failure to submit any such disputes in writing by thatdate and time shall constitute a waiver and release of any and all such disputes.In the event of any dispute arising out of or relating to the Tournament in any way, theinterested parties shall use their best efforts to settle such dispute by mutual agreement. Tothis effect, responsible, authorized representatives of the interest parties shall meet, consult,and negotiate with each other in good faith (with or without a third-party mediator, as theymay choose) and attempt to reach a mutually satisfactory solution. In the event they do notreach such a solution within a period of five (5) days after the first notice by any party to anyother of the existence of the dispute, then without waiving any other provisions in these Rulesconcerning the absolute discretion and finality of decisions made by the Tournament Officials,Boards, or Committees, the sole and exclusive means for resolution of any dispute shall be theprocedures set forth below:
    1. The dispute shall be submitted to arbitration under the North Carolina Revised UniformArbitration Act, Chapter 1, Article 45C of the North Carolina General Statutes.
    2. All negotiations, mediations, and arbitration hearings shall take place in Morehead City,North Carolina, or such other places the interested parties may agree upon in writing.
    3. The arbitration shall be conducted by a single arbitrator who is a retired North Carolinastate or federal judge or an attorney whose practice experience includes commerciallitigation. The arbitrator must be a resident of the State of North Carolina. In the event theinterested parties cannot agree upon an arbitrator, the decision shall be made by a ResidentSuperior Court Judge of Carteret County, North Carolina.
    4. Prior to any arbitration hearing, limited discovery shall be permitted for the purpose ofobtaining production of documents and taking depositions. All discovery shall be governed bythe North Carolina Rules of Civil Procedure. All issues regarding discovery requests shall bedecided by the arbitrator. All discovery shall be completed within 90 days after the selectionof the arbitrator; provided, however, that the arbitrator shall have the authority to extend orreduce the time for discovery in a manner consistent with a general desire for expeditedresolution of the dispute.
    5. All fees and expenses for the arbitration shall be borne by the parties equally. However,each party shall bear the expense of said party’s own counsel, experts, witnesses, andpreparation and presentation of proofs. Only in the case of extreme abuse of the proceduremay the arbitrator reallocate such costs and expenses among the parties.
    6. Any arbitral award may be enforced by an action in the Superior Court of Carteret County.The terms and conditions of this Agreement shall be construed, interpreted, and enforcedunder the laws and judicial decisions of the State of North Carolina, notwithstanding anyprinciple of conflicts of law. In the event any part of this Agreement shall be declared illegal,invalid, or void, such declaration shall not affect the validity of any of the other terms or provisions of this document.
  30. VIOLATION OF RULES - Any boat violating any of these Tournament Rules or any boatcontaining a participant violating any of these Tournament Rules is subject to disqualificationfrom the Tournament (unless another sanction for a particular violation is expressly set forthherein). By participating in the Tournament, all participants acknowledge that all TournamentRules are material and that disqualification is a permitted and appropriate sanction for anyviolation of any Tournament Rules. Decisions regarding the interpretation of Rules, violationof Rules, penalties, and the suspension of any Rules or penalties will be made by RulesCommittee and/or Board of Directors in their sole and absolute discretion. All decisions byRules Committee and/or Board of Directors are final and are not subject to further challengeby participants.