2017 Florida West Coast Bluewater Series
The Florida West Coast Bluewater Series is a 3-part tournament series. To qualify for the Florida West Coast Bluewater Series you must participate in a minimum of 2 of the 3 tournaments in the Florida West Coast Bluewater Series.
- Crosthwait Extreme Billfish Classic July 18th-22nd
- Sarasota Slam Aug 1st-5th
- Old Salt Loop Tournament August 15th-19th 2017
- Winner takes all. There will be only one (1) winner in the series. Billfish catch logs from each of the three events will be collected; each legal catch and release will be awarded points.
- The boat / team with the highest aggregate points from the series wins the Florida West Coast Bluewater Series.
- Eligible species and points:
- Blue Marlin – 501 pts;
- White Marlin – 250 pts; Sailfish – 100pts
- Spearfish 100 pts
- Extra Billfish Tag Points – Presented by the Billfish Foundation
- 10 points per tag for each eligible species will be awarded upon video or photo submission.
- The prize money will be based on boat entries and will be an 100% payout on entry fees. $1000 from each event entry fees will go into the Florida West Coast Bluewater Series “pot”. The “POT” is guaranteed to be a minimum of $50,000.
- A minimum of 2 anglers / crew members must remain the same throughout the tournament series.
- All rules and regulations of each individual tournament in the series must be complied with to qualify and/or win in the Florida West Coast Bluewater Series Series.
- Florida West Coast Bluewater Series winnings will be awarded at the Weigh In after tournament awards.
- Winning captains / anglers may be requested to submit to and pass a polygraph test concerning their winnings. Should the test be failed, the tournament directors reserve the right to forfeit all monies awarded to the boat / team in question.
- All decisions of the Tournament Directors are final.
- This is a captain’s choice tournament. It is up to the registered captain to determine whether his or her craft is seaworthy for existing sea conditions. Participants are encouraged to scan channel 16, along with the tournament channel (68), to keep abreast of any marine or weather warnings. The captain is responsible for all members of his or her crew both on and off the water.
- All protests made to the tournament committee shall be accompanied by $2,000 cash deposit. All protests shall be made no later than one hour after the last fish is weighed. The $2,000 cash deposit will be returned if the protest is upheld by the tournament committee. The $2,000 cash deposit will become the property of the FWCBS if the protest is not upheld. All decisions of the tournament committee shall be final.
- The tournament committee has the right to refuse entry from any applicant.
- In the event such occurs, 100% of the applicant’s entry fee will be returned.
- The tournament committee has the right to change these rules up to and during the captain’s party.
- The tournament committee reserves the right to postpone the event due to inclement weather, small craft warnings, or advisories. The tournament will be rescheduled to the next available date.
- Leaving Port: Boats may leave from any port between Cedar Key and Boca Grande Pass.
- Leaving Port: Boats may leave port anytime after 6am on Wednesday of the tournament week.
- Fishing Boundaries: The Gulf of Mexico from the N 28.00.00 to S 25.00.00 and as far west as you care to go within the boundaries.
- Fishing Begins / Lines In: 6pm Wednesday of each tournament week. Bait fishing is permitted before lines in.
- Check In: 12pm – 1:00pm on the Saturday of each tournament week.
- Hand held rods and reels only.
- All-tackle I.G.F.A. rules apply
- No transfer of catch from one boat to another.
- Federal law mandates that all anglers participating in a tournament which bestows points, prizes, or awards for Gulf billfish (blue & white marlin, sailfish or spearfish) must deploy only non-offset circle hooks.
- Participants are assumed to have all necessary permits, licenses and/or registrations required by law. However, it is not the responsibility of the tournament officials or directors to verify that all required permits, licenses and/or registrations are acquired by anglers participating in the tournament.
- All Federal and State Fishing laws must be adhered to.
Billfish Photo / Video Release Rules
- Eligible species for catch, photo and release Billfish division are:
- Blue Marlin – 501 points
- White Marlin – 250 points
- Sailfish – 100 points
- Spearfish – 100 points
- Extra Billfish Tag Points – Presented by the Billfish Foundation
- 10 points per tag for each eligible species will be awarded upon video or photo submission for that tagged fish.
- Photos or Videos must have conclusive evidence as to which species the fish is, and if the fish has been tagged or not. The Tournament Committee’s decision is final. The tournament committee will not provide any special equipment with which to photograph / video or view catch with. Boat/Teams are responsible for providing their own digital photo equipment. (ONLY Digital Photos or Videos allowed) Each Boat/Team will have to present their digital camera card/chip and or the download cable so pictures can be retrieved.
- In the video (Or with stills, multiple frames consecutively) Make sure the indicator is in the footage and then turn to your GPS to time stamp the clip.
- The largest total Billfish points wins first place in Billfish Division, second largest total wins second place, third largest total wins third place. If there is NO winners in the Billfish Division, monies are split between Swordfish, Dolphin, Wahoo and Tuna Divisions. If there is no second or third place winners, monies are awarded to first place winner.
- Boat/Teams submitting photos must also submit a “Catch Log” form (form supplied at Weigh In) that requires name of boat/team, name of angler which caught the fish, species and time fish was landed. The time of catch must be recorded and turned in with your photos.
- A Tournament Indicator will be given to each boat/team at Captains meeting. The Tournament Indicator must be clearly present in all photos.
- All teams / boats must have digital equipment delivered between 12pm-1pm per event schedules.
- Funfish Weigh-In
- (Swordfish, Tuna, Wahoo and Dolphin)
- Swordfish, Tuna, Wahoo and Dolphin trophies are awarded solely on the basis of weight. In the event of identical weights, the first paid registration shall be declared winner. Any Boat may participate in the fun fish divisions.
- Funfish Divisions will have two places in each species. Each boat may weigh two (2) fish per species. Each boat / team must check in from 12pm-1pm and declare their weighable species. Weigh in will start at 2pm.
- Any fish weighed-in found to contain lead or any foreign matter will be subject to disqualification as decided by the tournament committee.
- No mutilated or rotten fish may be brought to the scales.
- You must have a valid HMS permit to possess Swordfish and Tuna.