Pescadora Billfish Championship

Rules & Regs

(Final Official Rules will be given at registration)

    • General Information: 2023 Entry fee is $3,700 per team plus $300 to be paid to IGFTO (International Game Fish Tournament Observers). A COSTA RICA FISHING LISCENSE IS REQUIRED, these can be purchased online or at Marina Pez Vela. This is an all-female angler tournament. Male captains and mates are permitted.
      • A Maximum of 5 lady anglers per team, a minimum of 2. All anglers must be registered before fishing begins.
      • 1st, 2nd, 3rd place team/boat will be presented with awards and money.

      Two Female Angler of the Year awards will be awarded by how the fish was caught. Category 1: To the angler who hooks and releases the most billfish (per IGFA rules). Category 2: To the angler who reels and releases the most billfish (hook & hand). Specify on the daily catch report who caught the billfish and how it was hooked.

      • Registration – Held at Marina Pez Vela on Thursday February 16th, 2023 from 3:00pm to 6:00pm. We request that all team members are present for team pictures.
      • Angler & Captains Meeting:  One person from each team is required to attend, but all anglers are strongly encouraged to attend. Each team is responsible for knowing any rule changes made during captains meeting. NO EXCEPTIONS.
      • Tournament Time – Fishing Days are February 17th and 18th. Boats are permitted to leave their slip at 6:00am.  Lines in the water at 8:00am, lines out of the water at 3:30pm. No lines in the water includes teasers, dredges, fishing line, leader etc… nothing in the water prior to lines in.
      • Scoring – All billfish must be released alive to earn points.
        • IGFA Releases are 120 points for sailfish and 350 points for marlin
        • Hook and Hand Releases are 100 points for sailfish and 300 points for marlin.
        • For live scoring purposes Captain must call in the species, how the fish was released and the angler name.
        • All meat fish (dorado & tuna) are 1 point per pound, and do not count towards the aggregate billfish points… meat fish are their own category.
        • All score cards must include the species, time of release, angler name and how the angler released the billfish (IGFA Release/Hook & Hand).  Score cards must be signed by the captain and the IGFA Tournament Observer and must be submitted to the designated room no later than 6:00pm.  It is the boats responsibility to ensure that the card is turned in on time. In the event of a tie, the release time will be used to declare the winner. Meat Fish- if there is a tie in weight, the team who weighs their fish first is the winner.
      • Releases– All anglers and boats must abide by Costa Rican fisheries laws. CIRCLE HOOKS are required for billfish releases. No live bait.  No J-hooks allowed in combination with dead bait. 50 mile boundary from Marina Pez Vela (exact coordinates given at Captains Meeting). A release is defined as: leader is touched, or the leader passes through the rod tip. Max of 6 rods.
        • Hook and Hand Requirements: A maximum of 3 registered individuals may hook the fish then immediately hand the rod over to a female angler or put it in the rod holder. The angler must then reel the fish in on her own without any other assistance.  The rod may only be passed one time (from the mate to the angler). ALL I.G.F.A. rules apply except for the passing of the rod.
      • Communication: All releases must be reported to Radio Control via a VHF channel given at the Captains meeting. Captains need to state the name of the boat, species, angler and how the fish was released. Hook-ups must be called in 15 minutes before lines out. Radio Control will reply with the release time which needs to match the scorecard.
      • Mechanical: In event of a mechanical failure, a substitute boat may be used if coordinated with the tournament director.
      • Weigh Scale-Meat Fish: 2 fish over 15 pounds per boat, per species (tuna & dorado), per day can be weighed. Total accumulated points per species (1 point per pound) will be presented with an trophy. Ex: Most points overall for tuna and most points overall for dorado. Fish must be weighed in the presence of the weigh-master and angler. No fish or anglers can be transferred between boats. The decision of the weigh-master is final.
      • Observers: A different (IGFTO) Trained Observer will be assigned to each boat during each day. The observer will be there for species identification and confirmation of hook & hand or IGFA releases.  Observers will be to your boat before 6:00am each morning.  If there is an issue please call Samantha @ 8703-2615 or 772-266-0063.
      • Video: We are encouraging all teams to video their releases. It is a solid form of back-up if there are ever any discrepancies, and we are asking that you submit your videos to our video station.  These videos/pictures will be used on TV’s through-out the marina and for the awards video.  Fun, crazy or serious, we want them all! iPhones, iPads, GoPros are all acceptable forms of video.
      • Conduct: The Tournament Committee reserves the right to refuse entry to any participant for any reason. Cheating in any form is 1,000% NOT TOLERATED. If you feel the need to cheat or bend the rules, you are not welcome at the Pescadora Billfish Championship. Any person with an official protest must present it to the Tournament Director by 7:30pm on the same day for review by the Committee.  By entering this tournament, participants agree to abide by all rules and decisions.  The decision of the Rules Committee is final.