Main Entry Fee is $4,500 per boat through June 15 and covers everyone on board. After June 15 there will be a $450 late fee per boat.
Swordfish Entry Fee is $1,500 per boat through June 15 and covers everyone on board. After June 15 there will be a $250 late fee per boat. This entry is separate from the main tournament entry. Teams are allowed to enter the main tournament and the swordfish tournament.
All tournament entries are non-transferable and non refundable. If your vessel is unable to compete in the event after submitting payment, your entry will be rolled over to the following year for full credit. Payment of the entry fee constitutes a representation by each entrant that he/she has read and fully understands the tournament rules that he/she will abide by such rules and the decisions of the Tournament Director and/or Committee.
The Texas Gulf Coast Billfish Classic is a sport fishing tournament where participants agree to fish in a fair and ethical manner. While the tournament does no strictly enforce the use of IGFA rules, it certainly expects that only minor technical differences will be employed by anglers. One noted exception is the allowance that the rod may be handed off one time within the first minute of the fight.
The full page of State Saltwater Fishing Rules can be found at https://tpwd.texas.gove/regulations/outdoor-annual/fishing/
All rules will be reviewed by tournament director with each team, prior to fishing.
An Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling Permit is required and participants must be familiar with and follow HMS regulations. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/permit/atlantic-highly-migratory-species-angling-permit-open-access
Anglers must obtain a Texas Saltwater Fishing License, which can be obtained locally or online. https://tpwd.texas.gov/regulations/outdoor-annual/licenses/fishing-licenses-stamps-tags-packages/fishing-licenses-and-packages
Teams can depart from any TEXAS port. Lines in at 6am on Thursday. You are allowed to catch bait prior to lines in. Fishing continues through 6pm Saturday. All teams must be checked in with their desired weigh stations by 6pm Saturday, to weigh in or submit catch & release cards. Boats cannot be trailered during fishing hours and must return to weigh-in by water.
Scales will be open until 5pm -7pm on Thursday and Friday, and 4pm – 7pm Saturday. All fish caught during the tournament must be weighed before scales close on Saturday night. Boats must be checked in by 6:00pm on Saturday to have their fish weighed in. Scale will close immediately after the last fish is weighed. All billfish catch verification forms for boated and/or released fish must be turned in to officials before scales close.
Tournaments scales will be located at
Anglers must remain with their fish until completion of the weigh-procedure. The anglers must sign the weigh-in stat sheet to verify the weight at which time will make the weight official. All fish weighed at the scales must be returned to the boat.
Eligible for Catch & Release
Eligible for Weigh-in at Scales
Boated Blue Marlin must measure at least 111 inches in length from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail (LJFL). Boated Swordfish must measure at least 65 inches in length from the tip of the lower jaw to the fork of the tail (LJFL). Deck checking of billfish is strictly prohibited: A boated billfish is one that has been partially or totally pulled onto the boat. Boated billfish cannot be released for points. Culling or discarding a previously boated marlin is prohibited. Violation of this rule will result in team disqualification from the tournament, including all categories entered, and forfeiture of all entry fees.
No angler or boat may be in possession of more than one blue marlin per day. Any angler in violation of this rule will be banned from further participation in the tournament without refund. Teams competing for swordfish are allowed to use electric reels.
For each day the scales are open (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday), each boat will be allowed to bring the scales a maximum of 1 blue marlin, 3 tuna, 3 wahoo, 3 dolphin and 4 swordfish (1 per person).
The tournament committee reserves the right to reject any fish entry because of poor condition or one that does not meet the eligible requirements set by this tournament. The condition of the fish will be left to the scrutiny of the tournament director and committee.
THEIR DECISION IS FINAL.
Each boat is required to record all billfish that are boated or released in order in which the fish are caught on the Billfish Scorecard. The order of the recorded releases should match the order that appears on the boats Catch and Release video. The Billfish Scorecard will be available in your boat information packet. Report all boated billfish on the form.
Be prepared to give the following information:
DO NOT report Tuna, Dolphin or Wahoo on the catch & release form.
All billfish released or boated must be logged on the Billfish Scorecard in the sequence in which they were caught; scorecards must be signed by the Boat Captain indicating they agree to the information as recorded. The scorecard must include boat name, angler’s name, species, date and time of release. Detailed instructions are printed on the billfish scorecard with is included in the team packet handed out at registration.
All billfish must be recorded on the Billfish Scorecard regardless if you enter the Optional Entry for Catch & Release or not. In case there are no blue marlin that qualify for the minimum size, requirements and no awards are issued for that division, the money will be dived and roll over to teams with the most points on the scorecard.
All Tournament Awards are based on 50 registered tournament boats. Payouts are subject to change depending on the number of entries. Awards for Heaviest Fish will be presented to the angler/boat for fish caught in the following categories:
|Blue Marlin||1st $40,000||2nd $20,000||3rd $10,000|
|C&R||1st $25,000||2nd $15,000||3rd $10,000|
|Tuna||1st $10,000||2nd $7,500||3rd $2,500|
|Wahoo||1st $10,000||2nd $7,500||3rd $2,500|
|Dolphin||1st $10,000||2nd $7,500||3rd $2,500|
If no qualifying blue marlin are weighed, the cash award for blue marlin will be rolled down and be divided between the top 3 team’s accumulated catch and release points, 50/30/20.
Top Jr. (16 yrs. or younger) & Lady Angler Awards will be presented to the one Lady Angler and the one Jr. Angler with the most accumulated points based on the following:
If no marlin is brought to the scale or released for points, the heaviest meat-fish and time of weigh-in will be used to determine the prize for top angler in that division.
This is a separate entry. The Main Optional Entry is not required to compete for the Main Tournament Awards. Participants may pay an Optional Entry Fee in on or more of the following:
|Species||Division 1||Divison 2||Division 3||Divison 4|
|Catch & Release||$10,000||$5,000||$2,500||$1,000|
Catch & Release, Blue Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo, Dolphin will pay 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with a 50%, 30%, 20% split. Crew Jackpot is winner take all. In the event of limited participation in any category listed above, the payouts will be modified as follows: One team entered will be refunded in full, 2-5 teams will be winner-take-all, 6-9 will be 60/40 split and 10 or more teams will be standard 5030/20 split. Optional Awards for Catch & Release divisions are determined by points according to Tournament Rules. Optional Awards for boated Blue Marlin, Tuna, Wahoo, and Dolphin are determined by weight according to Tournament Rules. If no qualifying fish are weighed by any Optional Entry participant in each Division eligible for an Optional Award, 90% of the Optional Entry Fees collected for that division are returned to the participant(s) who paid Optional Entry Fees for that division.
Winner is determined by the heaviest fish caught in the tournament.
All Tournament Awards are based on 30 registered tournament boats. Payouts are subject to change depending on the number of entries. Awards for Heaviest Fish will be presented to the angler/boat for fish caught in the following categories:
|Swordfish||1st $20,000||2nd $10,000||3rd $5,000|
|First Fish over 250#||$1,000|
This is a separate entry. The Swordfish Optional Entry is not required to compete for Swordfish Tournament Awards. Participants pay an Optional Entry fee in one or more of the following:
Biggest Fish, 2-Fish Aggregate and 3-Fish Aggregate will pay 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with a 50%, 30%, 20% split. In the event of limited participation in any category listed above, the payouts will be modified as follows: One team entered will be refunded in full, 2-5 teams will be winner-take-all, 6-9 will be 60/40 split and 10 or more teams will be standard 50/30/20 split. Optional Awards for boated Swordfish are determined by weight according to Tournament Rules. If no qualifying fish are weighed by an Optional Entry participant in each Division eligible for Optional Awards, 90% of the Optional Entry Fees collected for that division will be returned to the participants(s) who paid Optional Entry Fees for that division.
Prior to fishing, each tournament boat must designate a representative payee to receive payment for all cash awards. Payment for cash awards is by check. A single check will be written to the boats representative payee for the combined total of tournament cash awards and optional cash awards. Checks will be written after the Awards presentation. Texas Gulf Coast Billfish Classic accepts no responsibility for the division of any cash awards between team members.
Billfish Catch: A billfish is considered caught when the leader connection is shown wound to the tip of the rod, or team member is touching the leader.
Billfish Release: The billfish is considered released when, after being caught by the above definition, the rod and angler are shown with the fish no longer connected to the line or the billfish is shown in the water, no longer connected to the line.
Catch and Release placements are determined by points awarded as follows:
Only billfish caught and released according to the Rules are eligible for Awards as described herein. The Billfish Scorecard must accompany the Catch and Release video to the weigh-in dock. The form must be complete with all required information. Catch and Release verification videos and scorecards must be turned in to the video judges at the weigh-in dock by close of scales (before last fish is weighed) on Thursday, Friday or Saturday. Polygraph Test may be administered at the discretion of the Tournament Director and/or Committee.
Designators will be assigned prior to fishing. These markers must appear in all video submissions.
Points for catch and release are awarded when, I the process of the catch and release as defined above, all technical elements are shown on video. Tagging is not required for points and billfish removed from the water or boated will be disqualified. Video submitted for consideration for points must include the following technical elements:
Verification Videos become the property of the tournament. Verification videos are billfish scorecards must be turned in to the video judges at the designated judging location near the weigh station until 7:00pm on Thursday or Friday, or until 6pm Saturday.
In the event the tournament committee feels in their best judgement fishing is unsafe due to severe weather, high seas, or any cause beyond the control of the Texas Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, the tourmanent may be delayed. If delayed, a new start time or date will be announced should weather conditions improve. All teams and participants should make their decision to fish based solely on their own judgement. FISH AT YOUR OWN RISK. One day of fishing constitutes a complete tournament. Entrants shall have no claim against the Texas Gulf Coast Billfish Classic for return of paid entry fees.
For any category of fish brought to the scales, placement is determined by recorded weight and time of the fish. In case of a tie for Top Lady Angler or Top Junior Angler on points, placement is determined by the first angler to reach the points based on recorded time.
Any protests relating to the tournament must be submitted in writing along with $500 deposit by the team captain to the tournament committee no later than 15 minutes after the last fish is weighed on the final day of the tournament. All entrants agree to abide by tournament rules and regulations. All disputes are decided by the Tournament Director and Committee. Their decision is final. Poor sportsmanship will be grounds for disqualification from the Texas Gulf Coast Billfish Classic. Any violation of these rules resulting in disqualification will result in forfeiture of entry fee and prize money.
It is understood that all participants in the Texas Gulf Coast Billfish Classic enter at their own risk, and that the officers, committee members, sponsors, directors, tournament venue and all persons connected directly or indirectly with the operation of said tournament, shall be exempt from any liablity for libel, slander, loss, damage, negligence harm, injury or death suffered by any participant, entrant, anglers, his/her companions, boat captains, mates, crew members, vessels and equipment which may occur during or in conjunction with the tournament. By tournament entry, the captain consents that the Texas Gulf Coast Billfish Classic may just without payment or restriction, any photographs in which he/she or any of their crew may appear for any purpose whatsoever; including, but not limited to resale, advertising, commercial or promotional material. The captain and his crew further release the Texas Gulf Coast Billfish Class, officers and director and all persons from injury loss or damage which may result.