Big Game Tournament Rules

  1. Date and Time: Tournament fishing days begin Friday, May 22nd thru Sunday, May 31st. Each Team can declare to fish (2) days of the Tournament. The Team representative will declare which day they are fishing by text/call to the designated Tournament Committee number by 8:00pm the night before. Teams may leave Ponce Inlet at 4:00 AM the morning of their declared fishing day. Lines in at 7:00am and Lines out at 3:30pm. A Tournament vessel can undeclare for that day of fishing by contacting Tournament Committee number or VHF channel 80 prior to Lines In at 7:00am.
  2. Registration: Registration for the NSBBGT will be available online at the New Smyrna Beach Big Game Tournament’s website,, via mail and at the Captain’s Party on May 6th at Outriggers Tiki Bar & Grille located at 300 Boatyard Street, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169. All Teams must be registered to be eligible for Tournament Awards or Prizes. Entry to the NSBBGT is $500 per boat.
  3. Federal Legislation and I.G.F.A. Rules Apply
    1. (A)  All tackle I.G.F.A. rules apply unless otherwise noted. In the event of any conflict between the New Smyrna Beach Big Game Tournament rules and the I.G.F.A. Rules, the New Smyrna Beach Big GameTournament Rules apply.
    2. (B)  Federal law mandates that all anglers participating in a tournament which bestows points, prizes. or awards for Atlantic billfish (blue & white marlin, sailfish and spearfish) must deploy only non-offset circle hooks when using natural bait and/or natural/artificial lure combinations. Anglers in these tournaments may use J-Hooks only in artificial lures.

    (C) All winners are subject to a Polygraph Examination.

  4. Judging, Licenses and Permits: Judging in the NSBBGT is based solely on Tournament Rules. All decisions made by the Tournament Committee are Final. Boats and Anglers are required to comply with all Federal and Florida State laws regarding fishing licenses, size limits, bag limits and any other regulations that may apply. For more info regarding Florida Saltwater Fishing Licenses refer to or call 888.347.4356. For more info regarding Federal HMS permits refer to or call 877.376.4877.
  5. Departures & Boundaries: Teams must depart and return through Ponce Inlet, FL. The Boundary for the NSBBGT is 75 nautical miles from the Bell Buoy, located at Ponce Inlet, Florida. Any boat not complying with the Departure or Boundary will be disqualified.
  6. Boat Number: Each Team will receive a NUMBER when they declare to fish, write this number down on a 8.5 x 11 sheet of paper using a marker that will be visible in a picture. After a fish has been boated, we require a photo or video of the fish with this number, and the ocean in the picture. This recording shall be TIME and DATE stamped. Making a few numbers is wise in case one blows off the boat.
  7. Catch and Release Verification: Each team is required to show video evidence of billfish catch and release. This recording shall be TIME and DATE stamped. Your video proof shall include: 1) Team angler fighting the fish 2) The NUMBER that you received when declaring to fish that day must be visible or vocalized in each release video. 3) Sufficient footage of the fish in order to accurately determine the species 4) Proper release evidence of the swivel touching the rod tip or the mate takes control of the leader, cut the leader as close to the fish as possible. Deliberate jerking or snatching of leader by mate to cause the leader to break will disqualify the fish. All recordings submitted must be easily viewed by the Committee. It is the team’s responsibility to have these items and the video cued up for immediate viewing along with the Daily Release Log, provided by NSBBGT, failure to do so will delay the verification process. We highly recommend you have at least two recordings on different cameras, and underwater shots (if possible) are the best way to accurately identify the species.
  8. Angling & Equipment: Any angler of the Team may set the hook and fight the fish, or set the hook and immediately pass the rod to another angler within 1 minute, that angler must then fight the fish unassisted. Electric reels may be used for teasers only. Unlimited amount of hookless baits or teasers are allowed. Wire lines may not be used. Planers are allowed. Trolling Leads are allowed. Maximum of six lines (with hooks) are permitted at any one time. This is a rod and reel, hook and line tournament. Double Line and Leader combined may not exceed 30 ft. The NSBBGT organizers expect the highest level of integrity and sportsmanship from their participants and for them to compete in the spirit of the IGFA Saltwater Equipment and Angling rules.
  9. Weigh-In: The NSBBGT scales will be located at the Fishing Store & Marina, 200 Boatyard St, New Smyrna Beach, FL 32169. Phone (386) 427-4514. Each Team must let the Weighmaster know if they intend to weigh their fish the same day or the next morning. The scales will be open each day of fishing from 4:00-7:00pm. In the event that a Blue Marlin has been boated, the scales will remain open past 7;00pm per the discretion of the weighmaster. If the team wants to weigh the next morning, fish must be weighed between 9:00-11AM. The Tournament Weighmaster reserves the right to reject any fish due to poor condition, freezing or any signs of being frozen and mutilation. A crew member must remain with the fish until completion of the weigh in process. The crew member must sign the Daily Catch Log and verify the Weight, Time and Date caught, using the TIME and DATE stamped on the photo or video of your catch, which will then become official.

10. Eligible Fish: The following provides the Tournament requirements for eligible fish species:

Blue Marlin Division: 105” minimum length, measured from Tip of Lower Jaw to Fork in tail can be weighed. Billfish Release Division: Blue Marlin (under 105”), White Marlin, Sailfish and Spearfish can be released for points. Any Billfish that is boated will not be eligible for release points.

Wahoo, Dolphin & King Mackerel: 15 pound minimum Tuna: Yellowfin, Blackfin & Big Eye: 10 pound minimum.

Winning Gamefish (Wahoo, Dolphin, Tuna & King) will be determined by weight. Fish must be in fresh edible condition and fit for human consumption.

Each Team is allowed to place (2) fish per species on the final board. (Wahoo, Dolphin, King Mackerel & Tuna divisions)

11. Point Scoring: The Point System used to calculate the Winners of the NSBBGT is as follows: Blue Marlin (105” or greater) 1 point per pound.
Blue Marlin Release = 3points

White Marlin, Sailfish and Spearfish Release=1 point Wahoo, Dolphin, Tuna and King Mackerel = Heaviest 6 fish in each Species

Scoring ties will be broken by the boat first achieving winning status as determined by the time recorded in the daily catch logs. The numeric day of fishing for the boats in question will also be used to break scoring ties.

Blue Marlin Example: A 430 lb Blue Marlin is weighed earning 430 points.

Billfish Release Example: A Team releases (2) Blue’s and (2) Sailfish during their declared days fishing, they would receive (8) release points. The Team with the most release points will earn 250 pts. 2nd most release points will earn 225 pts. See Above

Optional Tournament Within a Tournament (TWT): Awards are a voluntary entry for additional payout from tournament competition. Cash Awards in the TWT are not included in the Tournament Entry Fee. Entry into the TWT is not required to be eligible for the main Tournament Awards. However, you must be registered in the NSBBGT to be eligible for the TWT cash awards. Entry into the TWT is limited to your boat. You may not enter in the TWT for another Boat. 5% Handling fee will be deducted.

TWT Categories:
Largest Blue Marlin: $500 Winner takes all (If no Marlin are weighed, this money will be refunded, -5% handling fee Largest Wahoo & Dolphin Combo: $100 (50/30/20)%
Most Billfish Release Points (Daily) $500 (50/30/20)%
Most Points on Final Board (Non-Billfish) $200 (70/30)%
Largest Fish in each Meat Category (Wahoo, Dolphin, Tuna, King) $100 per category. Winner takes all

13. Tournament Awards:The Tournament will award the following categories. 

1st Place Overall: The boat with the most points on the Final Board.
2nd Place Overall: The boat with the 2nd most points on the Final Board
3rd Place Overall: The boat with the 3rd most points on the Final Board

1s t-6th places in Blue Marlin, Billfish Release, Wahoo, Dolphin, Tuna, and King Mackerel.
Top Small Boat (25ft & Less): The Boat, under 25’ with the most points.
Top Lady Angler: Awarded to the Lady Angler with the most accumulated points in the Tournament.
Top Junior Angler (16 & under): Awarded to the Junior Angler with the most accumulated points in the Tournament.

  1. Agree&Consent:The registered Participants of the NSBBGT agree and consent to the use of any picture, video or audio recording in which they appear or are heard, by the NSBBGT and Affiliates for any purpose whatsoever including, but not limited to, resale, advertising and promotional material without compensation or restriction of any kind.

  2. Protests: No protests will be accepted after the conclusion of the Awards Ceremony on Tuesday, May 19t h, 2020. Protests must be presented to the NSBBGT Committee in writing by a registered Entrant and accompanied with a $250 cash fee. If the Protest is in favor of the registered Entrant who submitted the Protest, the fee will be returned. If the Protest is denied, the Protest Fee is retained by the Tournament. All decisions of the Tournament Rules Committee are final and binding by all parties involved.

  3. Polygraph: Polygraph Tests shall be administered to the top money winners, release winners(captain, mate and/or angler) and others deemed necessary by Tournament Officials. Participants will be notified on Monday May 18th, and must make themselves available on Tuesday May 19th, (time TBD) 2020. Individuals that are required to take the polygraph test must not consume alcohol or any controlled substance within eight hours prior to the test. ALL DECISIONS OF THE TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE & WEIGHMASTER WILL BE FINAL.

  4. Waiver/Disclaimer: It is expressly understood that all Participants in this Tournament enter at their own risk, and that The New Smyrna Beach Big Game Tournament, its Officers, Directors, and all persons connected directly or indirectly with the operation of said Tournament, shall be exempt from any liability for libel, slander, loss, damage, negligence, harm, injury, or death suffered by any participant, entrant, sport fisherman, equipment which may occur during or in conjunction with the Tournament.