2023 NORTHEAST BLUEFIN SHOWDOWN TOURNAMENT RULES

1. REGISTRATION

A representative from each registered vessel must be present and signed in prior to the Captain’s Meeting held on TBD. The vessel representative must be at least 18 years old. Any vessel that is not registered or has not completed a Waiver of Damages or acknowledgment of receipt and understanding the rules prior to the start of the Tournament  will not be eligible to fish. By registering in the NEBFS and paying the entry fee it is expressely understood that all entrants have read the RULES and Liability Release. All entrants agree to be held to ALL RULES & LIABILITY RELEASE.

2. GENERAL COMPLIANCE

Tournament participants are responsible for obtaining and becoming familiar with tournament rules and all applicable State and Federal laws, rules and regulations.

All Tournament participants must be in full legal compliance with NOAA/ National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulations.

All entrants must be properly licensed to fish in the Atlantic Tunas General Category or HMS Charter/Headboat Category with commercial endorsement under NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulations and must meet all U.S. Coast Guard requirements

All entrants must posses a landing permit issued by the State of Massachusetts, it is the entrants responsibility to obtain all applicable permits, lack of permits will not be grounds for a refund.

3. TOURNAMENT ENTRY

Bluefin Tuna base entry fee is $2000.00 and it covers the registered vessel. All tournament entries are non-transferable and non-refundable. If a vessel is unable to compete in the event after submitting payment, you must contact the Tournament Director  below. 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 Event Director. Please read the rules and regulations very carefully. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Ed Fontes 978-476-7187 [email protected]

4. PERMITS

All participants must be familiar with state and federal permitting depending on each commercial category. An HMS charter/headboat permit is required for vessels taking for hire passengers recreational fishing for Atlantic HMS  www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/atlantic-bluefin-tuna-commercial-minimum-sizes-and-retention-limits 

In addition to Federal Permits all entrants must obtain a landing permit from the State of Massachusetts, it is the entrants responsibility to obtain all applicable permits, lack of permits will not be grounds for a refund or protest.                                                                        https://www.mass.gov/doc/application-for-commercial-saltwater-fishing-permits/download

Entrants must obtain all pertinent permits required by law and present them on sign in.

5. TACKLE REQUIREMENTS

All fish must be caught with traditional rod and reel.
Electric reels are not allowed.

Greenstick and bandit reels are not allowed.

Harpoons are allowed when landing the fish.

6. LOCATION

There are no limitations on fishing area, except that tournament participants must fish in a location that allows fish to be landed.

7. WEATHER

There is no weather committee. The decision to fish is that of the captains and participants, and is strictly at their own risk. Upon signing the Waiver of Damages, the New England Bluefin Showdown Tournament cannot be held liable.  

8. FISHING DAYS

Fishing days will be governed by NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulations at the time of the Tournament, we expect there will be limited daily fishing restrictions, it is the entered vessels responsibility to be aware of the current restrictions, if any.

9. QUALIFYING FISH

The following species are eligible for competition when caught by registered anglers in accordance with tournament rules:

  • Bluefin Tuna

Eligible for Weigh-in at Scales

The Weighmaster or Tournament Director reserves the right to reject any fish entry because of poor or suspect 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 weighmaster.  HIS OR HER DECISION IS FINAL.

All Tournament caught fish are the property of the boat. Once the Weighmaster weighs and releases the fish it is the entrants responsibility on what he/she will do in regards to selling/disposing the fish. If a fish is to be sold/disposed onsite it is the entrants responsibility to discuss with the Buyer any and all fees that may be assesed by the Buyer, the Tournament has no control over Buyer assessed fees nor takes any reponsibility for such fees.  Merri-Mar Yacht Basin will not charge a fee to unload your fish.

10. FISHING

All hookups should be reported or relayed to the Tournament Weighmaster as soon as possible when the fish is hooked. Tournament channel – 8, using I Angler App or calling 978-476-7187

Once fish is landed (subdued, tail-roped and is hanging from or lying on the deck) vessels MUST radio or relay notification to the Tournament Weighmaster, or other Tournament Official. Tournament channel – 8. Participants are also encouraged to take a digital photo of the fish with date and time stamp.

All participants are expected to operate in the spirit of cooperation and fair play. At the request of a boat fighting a fish, all others must stay clear.

General Category Rules apply with the following exceptions: a) no electric harpoons, b) no aerial reconnaissance allowed and c) all tuna are to be hooked, fought and brought to boat side only by manually operated rod and reel (hand line or conventional harpoon prohibited except cockpit harpoon may be used to land fish). Power driven reels or devices of any kind are prohibited, except when used as kite rods . This includes, but is not limited to motor, hydraulic or electrically driven devices. Fish may be fought from the rod holder or freestanding. Fish may be fought by multiple anglers.

All tuna must measure 73 inches curved fork length (CFL) or greater to be eligible for entry in this category. Please check updated regulations on the NMFS website: https://hmspermits.noaa.gov

 

11. WEIGH IN PROCEDURES

All vessels intending to weigh in a qualifying fish must contact the Tournament Weighmaster or Tournament Director for instructions on proceeding to the weigh station at Merri Mar Yacht Basin, any vessel failing this notification will be subject to delays if other vessels are at the weigh station.

12. WEIGH IN

All eligible fish must be weighed at the Tournament Authorized Weigh Station at Merri Mar Yacht Basin and must be delivered on the tournament registered vessel upon which it was boated. Per NOAA/NMFS regulations, transfer of fish between vessels is prohibited.
In order to be eligible, all bluefin tuna must be completely gilled and gutted including all gonads and inards, one gill plate may remain if desired, heads and tails must be left on prior to weighing. Fish will be weighed by the tail using a tail rope provided by the Tournament, the Tournament Weighmaster will inspect all GBFT to ensure proper dressing and may remove any portions of the GBFT not strictly conforming to the rules. All GBFT will be weighed only  by the Weighmasters scale and the vessel  and Tournament Director will receive a certified weight card. 

The Weighmaster will not accept any fish not dressed according to the rules except for minor dressing as stated above, improperly dressed fish will be asked to leave the scale area if other entrants are in the queue

13. PROTEST

Any protests relating to the tournament must be submitted in writing along with a $50 deposit by the team Captain to the Weighmaster or Tournament Committee no later than 60 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 Northeast Bluefin Showdown. Any violation of these rules will result in disqualification of the vessel and  will result in forfeiture of entry fee and prize money.

The Tournament Committee reserves the right to reject any fish entry because of poor or suspect 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 Weighmaster, Tournament Director and Committee.

ALL DECISIONS OF THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR AND COMMITTEE WILL BE FINAL

14 TOURNAMENT AWARDS

There will be guaranteed cash awards for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place, awards will be published and updated as registration proceeds.

The first place winner will be for the overall largest fish weighed , there will be Calcutta’s as follows

 

Biggest Fish Each Day

Highest Aggregate Weight