Master Angler Billfish Tournament

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
411
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
1- Visit Balboaanglingclub.org Click 2019 Masters Tournament link. This link has the rules as well as the entry form.
2- The format is 4 boats per team. As a solo, you have no chance to win the team awards. You can win individual awards. I'm pretty sure that 3 team members are required for a boat your size.
3- The fishing area is 90 miles from the Newport Harbor entrance. That is a giant area. Everyone goes to where the fish are. I found an area holding fish and called in my club team members on the Secret channel. Within 4 hours, there were 40 boats catching the fish I found. My secret channel was not so secret. It happens. I have ran to the grid many times and caught fish. Do not be too proud. These fish do group up.
4- Get here early and pre-fish near Catalina and San Clemente islands. I hope you have a good sea surface temperature site to reference. You will need it.
5- Have an IGFA rated, 12 pound bait rod set up. Only fish this with bait. I saw on your other post that you can only troll 1 lure. If you are lucky enough to raise a fish on the daisy chain and drop back on 12 pound, then you have a chance. The hot shots will be on gyro binos watching sleepers prior to lines in. As soon as lines in is called, 5 minutes later hookups will be called in on 12 pound tackle. Tie breaker is time of day hooked and then time on fish.
6- Only use IGFA rated line. All 12 pound fish will have line and leader inspected and 16 pound classes too. Follow IGFA rules on leader length.
7- If in doubt, go to JD's Big Game tackle or Anglers Center. Both are in Newport Beach.
So I should have 12 lb line on my main rig? Are most of these fish fairly small? I would need to completely re-spool

Also my my post on trolling a single rig was for a different scenario. I could troll up to 3 rods but I only have 1 that is of sufficient caliber to use.
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
411
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
Also I must be retarded because there are no rules showing up when I click on that link. Just the sign up form.
 

mahi

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 5, 2005
733
146
laguna niguel
Name
Bob
Boat
Henriques 28 Express
1-IGFA changed the rules so that an angler can use spectra backing with at least 16.5 feet of mono main line. I would use more mono as it gives you some stretchy give.
2- Rules are handed out at Captain meeting. Try a google search.
3- With your small boat, you can pull hookless lures on heavier tackle, along with the squid chain.
4- I use Diawa BG40 reels for 16 pound. Can use similar with 12 pound.
5- If you fish 12 pound, use a whippy rod with some back bone. The fast taper rods for heavy fishing on big tuna are not a good idea. Ceramic guides are a must to reduce friction.
6- You will be on a 12 pound fish for a long long time. We had 16 pound fish take 25 minutes to 2 hours. It all depends on the fish. You can grab leader and break off the fish after 10 minutes, but the leader must remain in your hands. Use a good pair of gloves.
7- You will be chasing the fish for most of the fight, trying to get it to calm down and allow you to get close enough to release it.
8- Circle hooks are mandatory on all bait, including ballyhoo. J hooks are okay with trolling lures. Use a bridal to rig the circle hook to the live bait. I'm assuming you have a live bait tank here.
9- Fish size runs from 120 to 200 pounds. They fight very good and put on a good show.
10- You will be up against seasoned crews that have fished this tournament for 20 or more years. I have fished it for 20 years on and off as crew and captain. I'm selling my boat or I would be fishing it.
11- As another poster said, come down and fish the same days and see how it goes. We often fished on the 2nd day of fishing and got a few fish. My brother caught his first Marlin during the tournament, just not as an paying angler. You need a grid map to understand where the fish are called into.
12- I repeat. No cash prizes. Only high quality tackle and good parties.
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
411
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
Thanks for the reply Bob.

I called the office and they are going to email me the rules.

I don't have a bait tank- no room so that's not even an option.

I'm used to being the underdog so it doesn't bother me that I'm gonna get crushed! Haha.

Also I caught that there are no cash prizes.
 

mahi

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 5, 2005
733
146
laguna niguel
Name
Bob
Boat
Henriques 28 Express
Here is a copy of the 2011 rules. 2019 maybe slightly different.
If you do not have a bait tank for live bait, I suggest using a rigged ballyhoo as your drop back bait. It works very well. Go to JD's Big Game Tackle for the bait. Try to buy ahead and have him hold it for you. Get it rigged with circle hooks. Buy a few and keep frozen before use. I hope you know how to tie a 12 turn Albright knot. This is how most attach the leader to the bait reel's line. It goes through the guides easy.
 

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Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
411
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
Here is a copy of the 2011 rules. 2019 maybe slightly different.
If you do not have a bait tank for live bait, I suggest using a rigged ballyhoo as your drop back bait. It works very well. Go to JD's Big Game Tackle for the bait. Try to buy ahead and have him hold it for you. Get it rigged with circle hooks. Buy a few and keep frozen before use. I hope you know how to tie a 12 turn Albright knot. This is how most attach the leader to the bait reel's line. It goes through the guides easy.
I usually use the FG knot. I'm not familiar with the Albright.

I got the rules from the clubhouse already but I'm a little confused on something. You keep swordfish and weigh them in at the dock but you release all Marlin?
 

mahi

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 5, 2005
733
146
laguna niguel
Name
Bob
Boat
Henriques 28 Express
I usually use the FG knot. I'm not familiar with the Albright.

I got the rules from the clubhouse already but I'm a little confused on something. You keep swordfish and weigh them in at the dock but you release all Marlin?
If anyone is so lucky as to hook and land a Swordfish, that fish is always landed. It is a high quality fish to eat. In So Cal, it is common to release Marlin. This tournament is a release only for Marlin, except the rules has a provision in case a Marlin dies on the line, the angler is not penalized for it dying. If conditions stay as they are now, there maybe a Swordfish caught. There are a lot in the general area right now. Swordfish are extremely tough to find, hook and then land. A worthy opponent. You also waste a lot of hours when Marlin are much easier.

Look up the Albright and try to tie it. It is a good know when tieing 150 leader to 12 or 16 pound mono. I'm not sure if the FG is good in this situation. It goes through the guides very easy and is quick to tie. Either way, tie what you have confidence in.
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
411
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
If anyone is so lucky as to hook and land a Swordfish, that fish is always landed. It is a high quality fish to eat. In So Cal, it is common to release Marlin. This tournament is a release only for Marlin, except the rules has a provision in case a Marlin dies on the line, the angler is not penalized for it dying. If conditions stay as they are now, there maybe a Swordfish caught. There are a lot in the general area right now. Swordfish are extremely tough to find, hook and then land. A worthy opponent. You also waste a lot of hours when Marlin are much easier.

Look up the Albright and try to tie it. It is a good know when tieing 150 leader to 12 or 16 pound mono. I'm not sure if the FG is good in this situation. It goes through the guides very easy and is quick to tie. Either way, tie what you have confidence in.
Ahh. Do you fish for swordfish and Marlin the same way? Is it just a matter of chance or can you target them?
 

mahi

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 5, 2005
733
146
laguna niguel
Name
Bob
Boat
Henriques 28 Express
Two ways to fish for Swordfish.
1- Deep drop. Search internet for techniques. A few guys are doing it. Takes a lot of expensive tackle.
2- Find a Swordfish finning on the surface and throwing or slow trolling a bait to the fish. 99% of the time- no bite.
3- They seem to like green warm water on hard breaks over deep structure. I have seen half dozen off shore. Never came close to a bite.
To me, a complete chance opportunity. I see them while I'm searching with the gyros.
 

DavyJones

Well-Known "Member"
May 2, 2012
54
19
Southern Cal. USA
Name
Mike.
Boat
-------
The tournament ended yesterday. I don't know the exact numbers of marlin caught yet but sounded like it was just fair fishing.

Yes the rules allow for bait and switch. As for maximum leader length...I don't know.

The big news is that apparently they allowed swordfish to be counted this year and several fish were hooked and landed by deep dropping technics with one boat getting at least 3 fish in two days.

That's GOOD fishing.

Anyone with more knowledge about what happened then I have, please fill us in.

DavyJones.
 

Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
411
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
The worst news is that I didn't make it... :(
 

?? fisherman

super Captain
Feb 27, 2003
16,893
5,010
Soul Cal
www.sandiegofishing.com
Name
Mike
Boat
Kencraft CC
41 Boats entered in the Masters, with about 167 anglers.

Numerous different awards in this, but the big news was the Master Angler award, which went to Angler Charlie Albright fishing aboard the Kea Kai.

Charlie earned these honors with his incredible catch of 3 Swords in two days!

Charlie hooked 3 Swordfish on the first day of the tournament, and landed his limit of two on that first day, with those fish weighing 137 & 219lbs.

Also on that first day, team Kea Kai and Charlies fellow teamate and angler Sam Long, also hooked and landed a 204lb Sword!!

That's 3 boated Swords in one day and absolutely insane Socal Swordfishing!!

The following day, team Kea Kai kept the pace going, as they hooked another two Swords with Charlie landing his 3rd in two days. This one pegging the scales at a solid 279.9lbs.

That is 4 Swordfish for team Kea Kai in two days, and 3 for Charlie Albright.

That's some epic crazy SoCal sword action!!

All in all, 14 Swords were reported hooked with 6 being boated.

The unknown fisherman:p:
 

BiggestT

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 8, 2004
12,558
7,445
Fullerton
Name
SM
Boat
Salsipuedes & Czech Mate
Basically I'm trying to make a enough money fishing to survive. And it's not going too well...
I don’t know how old you are, but let me provide you some fatherly advice. Sport fishing is fun, spelled FUN. Fishing tournaments for money, prizes, sponsorships is work, and a piss poor way of making a living. The competition you would facing in this tournament is comprised largely of wealthy men who don’t mind throwing $100 bills into their boat wash every 10 minutes. The skill and persistence required to spot fish in the gyros is enough to burn up the average guys eyeballs. Wealthy men pay young guys to do this. If you are dead set on participating in this tournament, join Balboa Angling Club or Dana Angling Club and pimp yourself to the members to get on a crew. Clean their boats every weekend when they come in. Give them reach arounds on the bridge. Whatever it takes, do it. After all that, go back to school so you can get a real job to support fishing FUN!
 
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Hard Chargin'

Fischjäger
Aug 11, 2019
411
264
31
PNW
Name
Andre
Boat
Stabicraft 459 Fish'r
I don’t know how old you are, but let me provide you some fatherly advice. Sport fishing is fun, spelled FUN. Fishing tournaments for money, prizes, sponsorships is work, and a piss poor way of making a living. The competition you would facing in this tournament is comprised largely of wealthy men who don’t mind throwing $100 bills into their boat wash every 10 minutes. The skill and persistence required to spot fish in the gyros is enough to burn up the average guys eyeballs. Wealthy men pay young guys to do this. If you are dead set on participating in this tournament, join Balboa Angling Club or Dana Angling Club and pimp yourself to the members to get on a crew. Clean their boats every weekend when they come in. Give them reach arounds on the bridge. Whatever it takes, do it. After all that, go back to school so you can get a real job to support fishing FUN!
I'm a young lad of 30. I went to school. I have a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering. I've worked full time making six figures but I'll trade most of that money for more time on the water. I don't need a lot, just enough to survive and keep me fishing.
 
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BiggestT

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Sep 8, 2004
12,558
7,445
Fullerton
Name
SM
Boat
Salsipuedes & Czech Mate
I'm a young lad of 30. I went to school. I have a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering. I've worked full time making six figures but I'll trade most of that money for more time on the water. I don't need a lot, just enough to survive and keep me fishing.
So I was correct on your age. Let me reiterate: stop wasting your time on this fishing living thing. Go back to work. You will only scrape subsistence from from fishing. Who in their right mind would pay the fuel bills of a complete rookie to fish in a marlin tournament against a fleet of top drawer captains and fishermen? Not sure what the sponsor gets out of that deal.
 
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PacificBlue

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Nov 25, 2011
367
217
USA
Name
JM
Boat
Still Looking
I'm a young lad of 30. I went to school. I have a master's degree in Mechanical Engineering. I've worked full time making six figures but I'll trade most of that money for more time on the water. I don't need a lot, just enough to survive and keep me fishing.
The call of the sea is strong, nothing else like it being out on the ocean.........
 

mahi

I've posted enough I should edit this section
Jan 5, 2005
733
146
laguna niguel
Name
Bob
Boat
Henriques 28 Express
The tournament ended yesterday. I don't know the exact numbers of marlin caught yet but sounded like it was just fair fishing.

Yes the rules allow for bait and switch. As for maximum leader length...I don't know.

The big news is that apparently they allowed swordfish to be counted this year and several fish were hooked and landed by deep dropping technics with one boat getting at least 3 fish in two days.

That's GOOD fishing.

Anyone with more knowledge about what happened then I have, please fill us in.

DavyJones.
Swordfish catches has always been counted in the Master's Tournament. Until this year, catching a Swordfish was a truly rare catch. Guys would hook a surface fish on 30 pound and the others knew they were out of the tournament as they spend an entire day chasing it. One year, a boat hooked one off San Clemente Island and they asked on the tournament channel if anyone would lend them a flying gaff. Not one response.
Open up the rules file I down loaded from 2011. A 100 pound Swordfish, caught on 80 pound line is worth more points than a Marlin released on 12 pound.