Entry forms and fees should be mailed to CI Management at 17301 SW 93rd Avenue, Miami, Fl 33157 or emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org. Checks are to be made payable to CI Management. Registrations at the kickoff must be paid by cash, Mastercard, Visa or American Express. Checks will not be accepted at registration. Entry fees are not refundable for any reason. For questions regarding registration, call (305) 255-3500.
Entry forms must be filled out by all participants with appropriate fees and registration information. All Captains or Owners must sign the angler information form acknowledging their agreement to the rules. IGFA Rules apply with the following exceptions listed below. Officials in the Jimmy Johnson National Billfish Championship (JJNBC) reserve the right to refuse application or entry into the tournament at their discretion with or without cause.
Tournament competition will be held on March 9 & 10 with a gifting poolside party on March 3 at Hard Rock Hotel & Casino – Hollywood and tournament kick off, to include boat packet pick up and captain’s meeting, March 7th at the Big Chill, MM 104, Key Largo, FL. A representative from your team must be present at the Captain’s meeting. The awards ceremony will be held on March 10th at the Big Chill as well.
Sailfish, White Marlin, Blue Marlin, Spearfish, Dolphin, Yellowfin Tuna, Blackfin Tuna, Wahoo, Kingfish, and Cobia.
All anglers should be listed on the entry form. There is no limit on anglers. Additional crewmembers or mates may accompany the team if desired. Any teams with angler changes or substitutions should notify the committee prior to the start of fishing.
All boats are permitted to fish up to seven lines in the water in the tournament.
All fish must be caught on rod and reel. Max test line is 20lbs. No electric reels (except kite rods and downriggers). All teams must use a non-offset circle hook in the tournament. The length of the leader may not exceed 15 feet. The combined length of the double line and the leader may not exceed 20 feet in length. Up to 2 artificial dredges are permitted in the tournament. No live or dead bait on dredges or teasers.
Fishing with live bait is permitted in the tournament; however, live chumming is not permitted. No dead baits (whole or chunk) may be used for chumming. Bait fishing is permitted during the day however, teams cannot be sail fishing at the same time they are bait fishing. Any bait removed from a hook must be kept in the boat. Casting repeatedly and jerking the bait off is considered chumming and may lead to disqualification.
All anglers must hook, fight, and catch their own fish. Once a fish is hooked, that angler must fight the fish until it is properly released, boated, or lost. Anglers may not pass rods to fellow anglers once a fish has been hooked. A fish is considered to be hooked once a strike occurs and the drag is engaged or the bail is closed. The use of a rod holder to hook a fish is allowable provided the individual that engages the drag is the same person that fights the fish until release, catch, or loss.
The tournament committee will operate on channel 74. Channel 68 will be used as an alternate. The tournament channel is reserved for specific announcements and the report of angler releases. All discussions among competitors should be conducted on alternate channels.
ALL Participating boats entered either into the Catch & Release Division or Weighted Division are limited to the waters off the coast of Florida no more than 35 miles offshore. North Boundary – 25°36° West Boundary – 80° 54°. A boat may not exit the boundaries when fighting a fish. Turn on GPS Tracking on your GPS. This may be used to verify the boat stayed inside the boundaries, in the event of a protest. If your tracking is not on or available, you may be disqualified for any day there is no tracking.
The overall tournament prize structure is based on a $1,500,000 guaranteed payout. See entry prize structure for details on prize structure breakdown.
The JJNBC will not have a land based check-out location. At the start of fishing each day, all teams must video the time and their GPS coordinates to confirm that they are within the stated boundaries for the tournament. Be sure to initialize all cameras you may use. If you have to change cameras, all new cameras need to be initialized. Video must show time, date and GPS location. Boats may not deploy any lines in the water until they are within the stated boundaries.
7:30 am. No boats may be trailered to or from their fishing locations during the tournament hours.
Lines are out of the water at 4pm on Friday and 3pm on Saturday. Boats with release cards and SD cards to turn in or fish to be weighed must do so by 6:00pm on Friday and 5:00pm on Saturday. There will be 3 check-in locations to turn in your SD cards and release cards: Ocean Reef Marina Fuel Dock and Mariners Club Marina on the ocean side, and, Big Chill’s Contender Barge on the bay side. There will be 2 weigh in docks: Ocean Reef Marina Fuel Dock on the ocean side and Big Chill’s Contender Barge on the bay side. Online Dropbox upload check in is available on Friday. Any changes to the Check-in locations will be announced at the captain’s meeting as well as Dropbox shared details. Check-in locations will be based on the location of where most boats are docked for the tournament. If you are using online Dropbox check-in on to upload your video and release cards, this will only be available on Friday and you must provide visual evidence to the committee that you are tied up at the dock and you have started your upload prior to 6:00PM on Friday. This must be done by taking a picture of your boat tied up in the slip and a picture of your computer screen showing your upload has started. These pictures must be texted to your committee representative prior to 6:00pm on Friday. Committee representatives’ information will be provided at registration. If the tournament committee does not receive these two photos by cut-off, your fish will not count. If you are in contention, it is advisable to turn in your SD cards to a check in point to insure the committee received them on time. It is each boats responsibility to get your videos and release cards in on time. All SD cards and release cards must be brought in on the boat in which they were caught. You may not pass SD and release cards to another vessel to bring in for you. They may be brought in by car by an angler or crewmember on the vessel they were caught. In the event of a boat mechanical break down, you must still be in on time.
In the event that weather conditions arise deemed unsafe for the average registered boat, by the tournament officials, the tournament schedule may be altered to accommodate the best weather & fishing conditions available to participating teams. Any schedule adjustment due to inclement weather will be made at the sole discretion of the tournament committee. Best effort will be made to achieve a two-day fishing format on the scheduled weekend of the tournament. In the circumstance, as determined by the committee, where 2 days of fishing may be unachievable, the tournament may be reduced to a one-day format. Captains, anglers, and all other members of registered boats must determine in their own judgment whether to fish under the given conditions based on factors including but not limited to the seaworthiness of their boat and their own seamanship.
The schedule calls for hours of fishing from 7:30am to 4:00 pm on Day 1 & 7:30am to 3:00pm on day 2. Best effort will be made to ensure the full fishing schedule is met for each day of competition. At least 4 hours of tournament fishing must occur on any given day in order for the points from that day to be factored into the overall score & standings for each team. Should inclement weather or any other force majeure condition occur that limits the tournament to only 1 day of fishing, the daily calcutta money allocated for the cancelled day will be reallocated to the teams that won the daily calcutta of the full day of competition. All other general prize and calcutta money will be paid according to standard procedure based on the standings from the single day of fishing.
All protests must be submitted in writing along with $500 cash or check to the tournament officials within four hours of the conclusion of the day of fishing. Checks are to be made payable to CI Management. Protests should be made based on first hand eyewitness information. Video confirmation would be helpful to back up your protest. All decisions of the tournament officials regarding protests are final.
By entering the tournament, all captains, anglers, and occupants of their boats voluntarily consent to submit to a polygraph examination as deemed necessary by tournament officials. All decisions of the polygraph examiner will be final. Participants chosen to be polygraphed may not have consumed drugs or alcohol prior to the polygraph exam. If there are any captains, angler, or occupants of a registered boat refusing to take a polygraph or if they provide untruthful answers as determined by the examiner, the entire team will be subject to disqualification from the tournament without further notice. Such a disqualification will eliminate payment or provision of any prize money, awards, and/or refund of entrance fees.
The tournament director reserves the right to implement his or her discretion at any time during the tournament as it may apply to the rules or any other circumstance that should arise during the course of the event.
All registered captains, anglers, and occupants of their boats consent that tournament officials may use, without payment or restriction, any photographs or video in which he or she appears for any purpose whatsoever, including but not limited to resale, advertising, and promotional material.
It is expressly understood that all registered participants and non-registered occupants of their boats enter into the Jimmy Johnson National Billfish Championship voluntarily and at their own risk. Further, each registered and non-registered participant on behalf of other family members and/or executors agrees to release and hold harmless CI Foundation Inc., CI Management Group Inc., tournament officials, sponsors, and all other persons connected directly or indirectly with operation of said tournament from any liability for libel, slander, loss, damage, negligence, harm, injury, or death suffered by any participant, entrant, sportfishermen, their companions, boat captains, mates, crew members, vessels or their equipment during the tournament.
By signing the entry form, registering online, or signing the angler form, the captain and/or owner agrees that all anglers and occupants of their boat will abide by all tournament rules.
All winners are required to provide their social security number prior to receiving any awards. Awards and prize money will be withheld as required by law if a social security number is not presented to the committee.
Billfish Points – Registered anglers will receive 1 point for each eligible billfish released in the tournament. All team and individual prize categories will be awarded based on the individual or team’s overall point standings. In the event of a tie, winners will be determined by the team or individual that releases their last fish first.
All billfish must be properly released in order for the points to be scored to the registered angler and his or her team. The requirements for a release are as follows: (1) The double line and leader must leave the tip of the rod once a strike occurs. (2) At the conclusion of the fight the fish must be brought close enough to the boat for a mate or crewmember to touch the leader, not the double line. (3) In a continuous sequence, video footage must clearly identify the fish as well as the leader touch by a crew member. (4) Evidence on video of the leader being cut at the time of release. (5) The proper color card and confirmation # must be displayed on video to mark the completion of a catch.
Every billfish released in the tournament must be verified by video footage clearly identifying the release. Each team is responsible for providing their own video camera and the appropriate media to record video footage that documents the releases on their boat. Video media will not be provided to teams by the tournament committee. All video must be date and time stamped. Acceptable video formats are SD cards. Secondary video can be provided by cell phone video upon request of a committee member. In the event of cell phone video being used, the cell phone must be surrendered to the tournament committee until verification is complete. The first video clip to be shot by all teams should be of time, date and GPS location at the start of fishing. If you fill your first video and need to switch to a 2nd video during fishing, please contact the radio room for an establishing shot to begin your video.
To ensure the authenticity of the releases, each team will be required to maintain a continuous video sequence from the time video evidence of the fish is established up to the time the leader touch is verified on video. If a break in the footage should occur, the team must reestablish video evidence of the fish again with a continuous video sequence up to the leader touch. It is not necessary to keep the camera rolling while waiting for a confirmation # and color card verification from the committee. Anglers should remove buffs or face protection, briefly, so the committee can establish the angler. Angler’s face should be visible with color card at end of the fight.
Once a release has occurred, the captain must contact the radio room for a confirmation # and instructions on which color card to shoot before footage of a subsequent release begins. If a team is hooked up to multiple fish, a crewmember should state that on camera with video evidence to support it. If both fish are brought boat side at the same time, the break image can be made once both fish are properly released and confirmation numbers are received.
All billfish releases must be reported to the tournament committee immediately following the release. Individuals calling in a release must include the boat number and angler name in their report. A release will be OFFICIAL once the radio controller responds to the respective angler with a confirmation number. That confirmation number should be recorded on the registered angler’s release card with the time of release. Any boat unable to contact the committee, should contact another boat for a relay. A tournament cell phone # will also be provided to teams at the Captain’s meeting. Boats that intend to fish in areas with poor cell phone coverage are still responsible for maintaining communication with the tournament committee on all releases.
The last 15 minutes of fishing each day, all hook ups must be reported to the tournament committee and a confirmation must be received from the tournament committee that you are hooked up. If you use another boat to relay, make sure that boat receives confirmation from the tournament committee of your hook up and confirms the relay back to your boat. It is advisable to record the name or number of the boat that has assisted in the relay for additional assurance. It is each boats responsibility to make sure the tournament committee confirms you are hooked up. Call in your release as soon as possible and ensure your video can clearly show the hook up began prior to lines out. If you lose the fish, notify the tournament committee as soon as possible. Fish that are not confirmed by the tournament committee before lines out will be not be counted.
All weighted fish will follow the same rules as the Catch & Release Division categories with the exception of videotaping. Although not required, it is advisable to video tape weighted fish also. This can aide the committee in the event of a protest.
Any fish, determined by the committee, to be mutilated will be disqualified.
All fish must be checked in at one of the two weigh stations: Ocean Reef Marina Fuel Dock or Big Chill’s Contender Barge.
The weigh stations will be open from 4:00PM – 6:00PM on Friday and 3:00PM – 5:00PM on Saturday. All fish must be at either of the weigh scales by 6:00PM on Friday and 5:00PM on Saturday. Weighed fish may be brought in by car but must be at the scale on time, not in the parking lot. A weigh official will acknowledge that you are on time so you can wait your time to weigh in.
Boats weighing in at the Ocean Reef Marina Fuel Dock should drop off their fish with a team member and proceed to their slip. If you are not staying at Ocean Reef, please move to a safe area to wait until your fish is weighed. Do not block the fuel dock area.
All eligible fish must weigh minimum of 10 lbs to count in tournament. Two fish per species may be weighed in each day. Each eligible fish will be award one point per pound.
A boat may win more than one prize in any category.
The general entry overall heaviest fish category will be paid out to the top 4 teams and will be determined by the overall heaviest fish of any eligible species weighed in during the competition.
Big Fish Bonanza will be determined by the total weight of up to three heaviest fish on any boat. Less then three fish can win this category. Only two fish per species can be weighed.
All decisions of the weighmaster are final.
It is not required to call in weighted fish to the tournament committee. You must fish within the tournament boundaries and turn on your GPS tracking.
Prize winnings will be paid out as stated under the Prize Structure of the Weighted Division. Should there not be a winner in any of the optional entry categories of Big Fish Bonanza, or Heaviest Dolphin, Tuna, Wahoo, Kingfish, or Cobia, the money will be dispersed evenly into the Weighted Division’s general entry overall heaviest fish places. Should any of the top four places not be paid out of the Weighted Division’s general entry overall heaviest fish places, the money will be evenly reallocated to the places that are being paid out.