The 2021 IGFA SoCal Swordfish Open

November 12 – 14, 2021

This exclusive two-day tournament will take place during prime swordfish season in the famed waters off Southern California, the birthplace of big game sportfishing! The tournament is open to the public and will include three tournament weigh stations: San Diego, Newport Beach, and Oxnard, making this truly accessible to anglers throughout Southern California.

Please join us for this exciting new tournament, and to celebrate both the iconic broadbill swordfish and the historic fishery of Southern California. We will see you there!

Schedule of Events

We strongly encourage all anglers, their guests, and crew members to attend the awards ceremony out of respect for the winning anglers and teams, as well as all competitors.

Individual tickets to the awards ceremony are available for purchase at a fee of $75.  

Tuesday, November 9, 2021
Virtual Captain’s & Rules Meeting

6 PM- 7 PM

Wednesday, November 10, 2021
Tournament Bag Pick Up

Dana Landing – San Diego, CA

Melton’s Tackle  – Anaheim, CA

Eric’s Tackle Shop – Ventura, CA

(Tournament bag pick up available only during regular business hours.)

Thursday, November 11, 2021
Tournament Bag Pick Up

Dana Landing – San Diego, CA

Melton’s Tackle  – Anaheim, CA

Eric’s Tackle Shop – Ventura, CA

(Tournament bag pick up available only during regular business hours.)

Friday, November 12, 2021
First Day of Fishing

Lines In
6 AM

Lines Out
5 PM

Weigh Stations Close
7 PM

Saturday, November 13, 2021
Second & Final Day of Fishing

Lines In
6 AM

Lines Out
5 PM

Weigh Stations Close
7 PM

Sunday, November 14, 2021
Awards Ceremony

11 AM – 3 PM
Dana Point Yacht Club

 

Tournament Rules

A virtual Captain’s Meeting will be held on Tuesday, November 9, 2021. A team representative must be in attendance and all participants are encouraged to join. The time of the meeting and a link to the Zoom call will be provided to all registered teams and participants. 

1. GENERAL REGULATIONS

Boats and anglers must comply with all state and federal fishing regulations and licensing requirements. Failure to do so may result in disqualification. All boats must carry appropriate liability insurance.

2. FISHING DAYS & HOURS

Fishing days for the 2021 IGFA SoCal Swordfish Open are Friday, November 12, 2021, and Saturday, November 13, 2021.  

The tournament will begin with the call of “lines in” at 6:00 a.m. and continue until 5:00 p.m. for the two fishing days of the tournament.

Any swordfish requiring a weigh-in must arrive at the scales prior to 7:00 p.m. There are no lay days or weather days unless determined by the tournament officials. Participants fish at their own risk.

There is no time limit on landing or releasing a fish that is hooked up before lines out. Any fish that is still hooked up at lines out must report to the tournament committee. 

3.BOUNDARIES & DEPARTURE

The fishing boundary for the IGFA SoCal Swordfish Open is a 115 nautical mile radius from Newport Beach (Newport Bell Buoy). 

Boats are not required to check out with the tournament committee upon departure from their respective ports. 

Tournament boats may depart from any port. Once entering tournament boundaries during fishing hours, boats must remain within the boundaries until “lines out” unless the departure is approved by a Committee Boat.

4. ANGLING & EQUIPMENT

All IGFA International Angling Rules apply.  Please see important highlights of IGFA Angling Rules below: 

  • The maximum line class allowed is 60 kg (130 lb)
    • It is required to provide the leader and line sample for each weighed fish.
  • The use of backing is permissible per IGFA rules. There is no limit to the strength or material of your backing. 
  • Top shots must be a minimum of 5 meters (16 feet, 4 inches) in length.
  • When using mainline heavier than 10 kg (20 lb), leaders are limited to 30 feet and are measured to the bend of the last hook. 
  • When using mainline heavier than 10 kg (20 lb), double lines are limited to 30 feet and must be constructed of the mainline/top shot.
  • When using mainline heavier than 10 kg (20 lb), the combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 40 feet. 
  • Fighting fish from the rod holder is prohibited. 
  • Resting the rod on the gunwale, covering board, or any part of the boat is prohibited. 
  • Harpoons are prohibited. 
  • Ratchet handle reels are prohibited.
  • Power- driven reels are acceptable under the following situation and configuration.
       a) Reels that have power accessories (e.g., electric drill attachments, motors or other power accessories specifically designed for a reel) that can be physically removed from the reel may be used strictly for the purpose of retrieving a deployed bait or lure at depth all the way to the boat.
       b) Power accessories may only be used to retrieve a bait or lure completely to the boat and are not permitted for adjusting the position of a bait or lure in the water column. Once a power accessory is attached to the reel, the bait or lure may no longer be legally used to catch a fish and the bait or lure must be retrieved all the way to the boat for manual redeployment before it may be legally used to hook or catch a fish. Power accessories may not be attached to the reel during the deployment of a bait or lure.
       c) Power accessories must be physically removed from the reel before the act of or hooking or fighting a fish. Any fish that strikes a bait or lure being fished with a reel with power accessories still attached- whether or not under electric operation- will not be eligible for record consideration.
      d) Electric reels that do not have removable electronic components that allow them to be completely manually driven are prohibited. 

5. TOURNAMENT SPECIFIC RULES

  • Any type of live, dead or artificial bait can be used. 
  • Four anglers per team/boat, per day, are permitted, with no restrictions.
  • A maximum of four lines (with hooks) are permitted at any one time. An unlimited amount of hookless baits or teasers are allowed.

6. SCORING OF WEIGHED FISH

  • The minimum size for weighing a fish is 100 pounds. Fish weighing under 100 pounds will not qualify for the tournament, but the angler/team will not be docked points.
  • For scoring purposes, each pound counts as a point. Scores will be recorded to the tenth of a pound. For example, a 500-lb fish would be 500 points.
  • Swordfish caught on the surface will count for two times the points of a fish caught deep-dropping. For example, a 500-lb fish would be counted as 1,000 points. 
  • Teams are allowed to weigh a maximum of four fish per day.
  • Boated fish cannot be discarded to be “high graded” if a larger fish is caught later in the day.
  • Teams can decide to release a fish, which will not count towards their daily fish limit. Fish must be released in the water without boating the fish.
  • Any fish brought on board counts as a “landed fish” and counts towards your daily fish limit.

7. SCORING OF RELEASED FISH

  • Any swordfish released during the tournament will count for 100 points. 
  • Any surface-caught swordfish that is released will count for 200 points. 
  • Fish that are removed from the water at any point do not qualify for release points. 
  • Appropriate documentation must be provided to confirm the release (see below). 

8. CATCH DOCUMENTATION

The following steps must be taken by the angler/team to document their catches/releases:

    1. REPORTING: Teams must report all hook-ups and captures to the tournament officials via VHF channel 65 or via Tournament Committee cell phone at 786 -863-3321. The alternate VHF channel is 71. Information required is the team name, angler name, time of hook-up, time of capture or release, and grid number. Hook-ups and captures/releases can also be reported to one of the following committee boats: Royal Slam, Half Moon, Prospector. 
      1. All hook-ups and captures will be updated live via CatchStat. 
    2. WEIGHING: Weighed fish must be officially weighed at one of three pre-determined weigh stations:
      1. San Diego – San Diego Marlin Club
      2. Newport – Balboa Angling Club
      3. Ventura – PCYC
    3. TACKLE: The full length of the leader and double line (if used), as well as at least 5 meters (16 feet, 4 inches) of the mainline or top-shot must be provided for all weighed fish. The required 5 meters of mainline must still be connected to the double line or leader for each fish that is weighed. If the tackle is not provided, the fish will be disqualified. The terminal tackle will be measured and documented by tournament officials during the weigh-in. Terminal tackle is not required for fish that are released. 
    4. TESTING: The terminal tackle and line samples from the three weigh stations will be delivered to tournament headquarters at the Balboa Angling Club where all line samples will be tested to confirm they are below the 60 kg (130 lb) maximum. Line sample testing is not required for released fish. 
    5. DAILY CATCH CARD: Anglers are required to submit a completed and signed “tournament catch card” for each fish that is weighed or released. The tournament will provide the catch cards. 

9. RELEASE RULES & DOCUMENTATION

A swordfish is considered released when: a) the swivel between the mainline or double line and leader hits the rod tip, b) the mate grabs the leader or, c) the wind-on leader comes through the rod tip. 

Anglers/teams reporting a release must provide video footage confirming the species, and showing that one of the actions listed above occurred. 

Please release the fish in good condition by either removing the hook-set or cutting the leader as close to the hook-set as possible. 

10. CATEGORIES & AWARDS

TOP TEAM CATEGORY (based on total points, including weighed and released fish)

First Place Team

Second Place Team

Third Place Team

In case of a tie, the winner will be determined by which team reached the number of points first.

BIGGEST FISH CATEGORY (based on the weight of individual fish)

First Place

Second Place

Third Place

In case of a tie, the winner will be determined by whichever fish was landed first. 

11. WEIGH STATIONS

The tournament has arranged for three separate weigh stations throughout the range of the tournament boundaries. All tackle samples, catch documentation, and fish weigh-ins must take place at one of these three locations. 

SAN DIEGO – The Marlin Club

NEWPORT BEACH – Balboa Angling Club

VENTURA – Pacific Corinthian Yacht Club

Video Evidence: General Instructions & Suggestions

  • Be sure to possess the appropriate cables, adapters, cards, readers, etc. to allow the tournament officials to download your evidence if needed.
  • Designate a qualified team member familiar with your camera operation to bring the evidence (and Daily Report Form) to the tournament officials.
  • Have two cameras recording during the fight. Back up is never a bad idea.
  • Be sure to have batteries fully charged and extra batteries, SD cards, etc. on hand.
  • Recordings should be cued up for tournament official review.
  • Be familiar with your equipment.
  • Test your equipment prior to the Tournament start.
  • Designate someone to record the release evidence, be familiar with the equipment and the tournament rules.
  • Do not store the equipment in an air-conditioned environment to avoid fogging.
  • Underwater video (i.e. use of a GoPro or other underwater device) is the best way to positively identify your billfish species.
  • Be sure you have captured all the evidence necessary for qualification prior to submission.

 

Tournament Registration

The entry fee for the IGFA SoCal Swordfish Open is $300 per angler, when paid before September 1, 2021. After September 1, 2021, the entry fee per angler increases to $350.

Your registration fee covers your tournament angler bag, as well as food and beverages at the awards ceremony on Sunday, November 14, 2021.

Guest tickets to the awards ceremony can be purchased at a fee of $75/ticket. The deadline for purchasing guest tickets is November 6, 2021. Guest tickets will not be available at the door. To purchase guest tickets, please contact IGFA at [email protected] or 954-927-2628. 

Anglers/Teams are responsible for chartering or providing their own boats for the tournament.

Please click the icon below to register online. For any questions on registration, please contact IGFA at 954-927-2628 or email [email protected].

Tournament Standings

Scoring for the 2021 IGFA SoCal Swordfish Open is provided by CatchStat.  Started in 2005 CatchStat has provided live-scoring to over 200 tournaments around the world.

Please click the icon below to view registered teams, check scores, and view tournament details. 

Online Auction

The IGFA will host an online auction to coincide with the IGFA SoCal Swordfish Open. Angling enthusiasts from around the world can bid on world-class fishing trips, tackle, artwork, and more! All proceeds from the IGFA SoCal Swordfish Open and the online auction go directly to support the IGFA’s conservation programs. 

The online auction begins on Monday, November 8, 2021 at 12 am (EST), and ends on Sunday, November 14, 2021 at 11:59 pm (EST). Register and place your bids by clicking here or the image below. 

For information on how to donate to the online auction, please contact IGFA Events Coordinator Michelle Andersen at [email protected] or 954-924-4315. You can also see our sponsorship levels here

 

 

Thank You to Our Tournament Sponsors!

We greatly appreciate the support of all our tournament sponsors! Whether they support the tournament, the corresponding online auction, or both, we couldn’t do it without their help.

For more information on tournament sponsorship packages, please click here. You can also reach us directly by contacting IGFA Events Coordinator Michelle Andersen at [email protected] or 954-924-4315. 

 

 

IGFA SoCal Swordfish Open

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