PELAGIC CALIFORNIA TUNA CHALLENGE
The Pelagic California Tuna Challenge embraces the core fishing culture of Southern California – and with another banner season upon us for large tuna offshore, this tournament offers the chance to target these incredible gamefish with the opportunity to win some serious CA$H. Leave from any marina or launch facility in the greater Southern California bight, & bring us your heaviest tuna to be weighed at The Marlin Club San Diego. This team event awards cash & prizes to the three largest tuna weighed. Optional jackpots are also available for tuna & yellowtail with an estimated $50,000 in cash prizes up for grabs. (Note: teams are constituted of up to six anglers, plus 1 captain and up to 2 mates only)
Eligible Species: Bluefin Tuna, Yellowfin Tuna, & Bigeye Tuna
General Entry and Awards: All teams must enter the $500 general category to be eligible – this enters you into the general tournament, which pays 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place. Teams will score their largest tuna only for the general tournament. Awards as follows: 65% to 1st place; 25% to 2nd place; and 10% to 3rd place. *50% Net Payout of General Entries collected.
Rankings: During the designated weigh-in time the day of tournament fishing, teams may weigh their single-heaviest tuna. Upon conclusion of weigh-ins, team rankings will be determined based on their heaviest tuna caught during the one-day tournament. The general tournament awards 1st, 2nd, and 3rd place cash & trophies.
Scoring: Qualifying tuna weights will be rounded to the nearest tenth (i.e. 217.2 pounds).
NOTE: In the event of a tie in the general tournament, the higher seeding will go to the team that first weighed their fish. Although unlikely, if no qualifying tuna are scored during the tournament, the entry money (minus a $250 tournament administration fee) will be redistributed by check in the mail, or via wire transfer.
Eligible Species: Tuna (Bluefin, Yellowfin, Bigeye) & Yellowtail
Teams have the option of raising the stakes by placing bets in optional daily jackpots for multiple levels of tuna, plus a yellowtail category. Jackpot winners will be determined by single-heaviest qualifying fish in the tuna & yellowtail jackpot categories.
$500 - Mandatory
500 TUNA JACKPOT
$500 - Optional
1K TUNA JACKPOT
$1,000 - Optional
2500 TUNA JACKPOT
$2,500 - Optional
5K TUNA JACKPOT
$5,000 - Optional
250 YELLOWTAIL JACKPOT
$250 - Optional
ACROSS THE BOARD
$9,750 - [All-In]
*80% Net Payout of Jackpot entries collected.
Tie Breakers/Paybacks: In the event of a tie in any of the optional jackpots (tuna & yellowtail), money will be split evenly between the teams with the tied weight. In the unlikely event that no qualifying fish are scored by any teams in a given jackpot category, the money will be paid back to each team entered in that jackpot category, minus 20% for tournament administration.
Registration & Team Check-In
- Wednesday, July 22nd – Pelagic Costa Mesa – 1660 Placentia Ave, Costa Mesa, CA 92627 – [2:00-7:00pm]
- Thursday, July 23rd – Pelagic San Diego – 115 N Hwy 101, Solana Beach, CA 92075 – [2:00-7:00pm]
- Friday, July 24th – San Diego Marlin Club – 2445 Shelter Island Dr, San Diego, CA 92106 – [2:00-7:00pm]
Registration: All teams wishing to enter the Pelagic California Tuna Challenge must complete the tournament registration form. Registration options are available: online; by email, fax, or postage; or during on-site Team Check-Ins/Registration July 22-24, 2020 [on-site locations/times listed above]. Tournament entry fees & Optional Jackpots (if applicable) must be determined, listed, & payment received by NO LATER than 7:00pm on Friday, July 24, 2020.
Check-In: Check-in will be held at the dates, times, & locations listed above. Check-in is required for all teams that pre-registered online or via email, fax, or postage submission. Additional notes/rule changes may be provided at the time of check-in.
Fishing Hours & Departure: 4:00am-3:30pm – Saturday, July 25, 2020
Teams may depart from any Southern California marina or launch facility only upon closure of Tournament Registration – which is at 7:00pm on Friday, July 24, 2020 – at which point teams may venture to their desired fishing grounds. Official tournament fishing times are from 4:00am to 3:00pm on Saturday, July 25, 2020. Bait can be made or purchased prior to lines-in, so long as tournament species are not targeted prior to lines-in at 4:00am on July 25th.
All teams must weigh their fish at the Official Tournament Weigh Station at the Marlin Club San Diego to be eligible & scored. Fish hooked prior to lines-out at 3:30pm may be fought until it is either boated or lost, however teams must be within visual contact of the weigh station by 6:00pm. Radio/phone verification is requested upon harbor entry.
Weigh-In & Documentation: 2:00-6:00pm – Saturday, July 25, 2020
Weigh-ins will be officially hosted at the Marlin Club San Diego dock facility. Weigh station will close at 6:00pm; however, if there are fish waiting to be weighed past official close time, they will be accepted, so long as visual contact has been made with weighmaster or tournament officials. All teams must be within visual contact of weigh station by 6:00pm, with radio/phone contact requested.
All team members must be present onboard & fish may not be previously removed from the registered vessel upon arrival at the Official Tournament Weigh Station.
Teams are asked to bring their heaviest tuna & yellowtail (as per individual tournament team’s discretion) to the scales for official weigh-in. Each team may weigh one tuna for the general tournament, and one each of tuna & yellowtail for the optional jackpot categories.
The tail of each fish brought to the weigh station will be clipped, signifying that it has been weighed and scored. All fish that appear to have been altered, spoiled, mutilated, frozen, or deemed previously caught prior to lines-in will be disqualified, per the discretion of tournament officials. Any team which enters a fish that is proven to have been weight-altered, frozen, or previously weighed will be disqualified from the tournament without refund.
Teams with fish that are deemed subject to review may be asked to provide video evidence to support the eligibility of their catch.
Proof of Catch: Photo & video evidence must support your catch to properly verify your catch. Upon team check-in, you will receive a “catch verification card” in which must be placed in your photo/video when documenting your catch. You will be asked to supply this after weighing the fish on the official tournament scales. To properly document the catch, we ask that you show: (1) a registered angler on the rod fighting the fish, (2) fish being boated & brought over the rail, & (3) removal of hook once on board – all with “catch verification card” in clear view.
Teams May Depart: 7:00pm [Friday, July 24, 2020]
Lines-In: 4:00am | Lines-Out: 3:30pm [Saturday, July 25, 2020]
Weigh Station Opens: 2:00pm | Weigh Station Closes: 6:00pm [Saturday, July 25, 2020]
Awards Presentation & BBQ: 7:00pm – Saturday, July 25, 2020
An awards presentation will be held at the Marlin Club San Diego following conclusion of weigh-ins celebrating top finishing teams & jackpot winners. All tournament teams are encouraged to join, regardless of overall placing in the tournament and enjoy the BBQ & social hours from 4:00-7:00pm.
General Tournament Rules
(1) Fish must be caught on standard rod and reel equipment during advertised tournament hours of 4:00am-3:30pm on Saturday, July 25, 2020. (2) Teams may use lures, live bait, dead bait, or any combination of the aforementioned. (3) There is no limit to line class. (4) No greensticks, spears, harpoons are permitted. No electric reels may be used to fight a fish; however, it is permitted to use for a kite rod (5) All participants must possess valid fishing licenses or permits for advertised day of the tournament. (6) There are no restrictions on how/when bait can be obtained prior to start fishing. (7) “Jungle Rules” apply.
(8) Anglers may receive assistance from their captain/crew in hooking and landing fish. This is a fun tournament, and while it’s perfectly acceptable for crew to hook, pass, & assist anglers during the fight, the primary angling is to be done by the registered anglers of each individual team; more than one registered angler may fight a single fish; captains and crew can fight fish, so long as they are registered as one of the team’s potential 6 anglers.
(9) The term “team” is constituted of up to 6 total anglers, plus the addition of 1 captain and up to 2 mates only (defined as 3 “crew” members). Crew can be registered as anglers to fill up to 6 angler spots; only registered anglers can fight fish. The tournament reserves the right to refuse entry to any individual or any team. Any guests aboard a team’s boat and not registered as anglers or crew may not engage in the act of fishing whatsoever and must be approved by tournament officials to ride along.
(10) For tuna boated that are estimated at 50 lbs. and over, teams are asked to call-in their catch via radio control; Radio control channel will be 28. (11) Additional rules may be given during team check-ins July 22-24, 2020.
(12) It is the sole responsibility of participating anglers, captains, & crewmembers to know and abide by the listed rules of the tournament. Upon entering the Pelagic California Tuna Challenge, they acknowledge & agree to all rules. The tournament reserves the right to change and/or modify rules at any time, as well as modify fishing times or postpone/cancel tournament due to weather & sea conditions.
(13) All decisions made by the tournament director are FINAL, including but not limited to: weigh station rulings, disqualifications, protests, awards, payouts, registration refusal, rule breaking, refunds, event cancellation, & any other item relating to the 2020 Pelagic California Tuna Challenge.
Tournament Waters, Licensing, & Permits: California & Mexico. All registered vessels & anglers are required to possess the appropriate licensing & permits dependent on intended waters to fish. All California Department of Fish & Wildlife regulations and U.S. Coast Guard regulations must be adhered to.
Prize Disbursement: please expect a 30 to 60-day processing period to receive any cash winnings earned during the 2020 Pelagic California Tuna Challenge; winnings are subject to being taxed (1099); form W9 to be completed by all cash receiving participants.
Protests: Any protests must be made in writing and presented to the tournament director NO LATER than 6:15pm on Saturday, July 25, 2020. You will be asked to provide a statement and any photo/video or other form of supporting documentation surrounding the claim. Protests will be ruled on by tournament director and supporting staff; tournament director’s decision is final. Any verbal/physical abuse or threats made to tournament staff is grounds for team disqualification without refund.
Release of Liability: All registered team participants must sign a liability release form and must be aware of the surrounding dangers of fishing, boating, & the ocean.
Have questions or need assistance with registration? Contact Tournament Director, Colin Sarfeh:
Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Phone: 949-584-8968