Official Rules, Schedule & Prize Structure



Captain’s Meeting:  January 23, 2024 Viking Service Center, Riviera Beach, FL 33404 (Registration/Calcutta / Entry – 6 to 9 PM)

Awards Dinner:  January 27, 2024 @ The North Palm Beach Country Club (951 US HWY One). (NOT Sailfish Marina or The Sailfish Club). 6:30-7:30 Cocktail Hour / 7:30-10pm Dinner/Awards.

Note: Teams are required to RSVP for the awards dinner no later than Friday (lines out). With the exception of winning teams. Each registered team receives (4) tickets included. Additional are available on first come/first serve basis. There is strict capacity at the NPBCC.

  1. Fishing Days: January 25, 26, 27, 2024.  Teams choose 2 out of the 3 days to fish.  Teams must submit/declare their Lay day on the app or by texting Courtney. Teams must fish a total of 2 days to qualify, lines in to lines out.

Fishing Hours: Lines in 8:00 AM. Lines out 3:30 PM

  1. Boundaries:From 27.40.00 latitude (North) to 26.02.00 latitude (South · Ft. Lauderdale Inlet area) and no further offshore than 079.45 longitude.
    2. Fishing Days: All teams are required to notify the Committee that they will NOT fish (Lay day) on a given fishing day prior to setting lines. Teams may text Courtney to “submit lay day” each day or use app.
    3. Note: Omni Sonar transducers or any other brand are not permitted to be deployed prior to the official lines-in time of 8:00 a.m.


I.G.F.A. Rules apply except as follows.

    1. Only non-offset circle hooks and maximum manufacturer stated 20-lb. test line may be used.
    2. 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.  
    3. Live or dead baits may be used, but only one type of bait is permitted in the water at any one time. Teams are required to declare which type of bait they will use on each fishing day by radio when calling in a release.  If a team decides to change from live to dead baits or dead to live baits while fishing, the team must notify the Radio Committee.  All lines must be out of the water prior to a bait change.  A bait change cannot take place during a hook-up.  Following a team giving notification to the Radio Committee of a bait type change, no fish may be recorded for a period of 5 minutes for that team.  

Chumming of any kind, including with live bait, is prohibited.

    1. No more than six rods are permitted in the water at any time. This includes rods being used to catch bait.
    2. Live Bait: No more than two kites maybe used and artificial or dead bait dredges or teasers are permitted. Dead Bait: No more than two dredges maybe used and artificial or dead bait surface teasers and daisy chains are permitted.
    3. Live bait teasers are prohibited.
    4. Passing the rod after hookup (hook and hand) is permitted to a registered angler only once per fish. The pass must occur as close to immediately after hookup as possible and as soon as the line is tight.


    1. The Buccaneer Cup will utilize video catch verification on all participating boats. Each team will be prompted to show a phone or GPS with date and time as well as repeating the verification “word of the day” which will be announced & text each morning prior to lines in.
    2. Buc Cup Tournament committee will utilize video catch/ release verification for all participating boats. Every boat must supply their release footage at the end of each fishing day upon check in. Release videos are required to be uploaded to the Buc Cup (Reel Time App) no later than 7pm. Or SD cards dropped at the Buccaneer Marina weigh station by 6pm at latest. NO VIDEO = NO FISH. The video must match the date / time stamp on the correlating catch card for that day. Catch release cards must be submitted by text photo to Tournament Director, Courtney Bowden 561-909-7868 cell by 7pm as well.
    3. Video must clearly capture the species of fish during the fight and the release of each fish. Angler fighting the fish must also be identified on video. Failure to qualify species and release of fish will result in disqualification of fish.
    4. Any question or concern regarding fish verification will be determined by the Video/Rules Committee alone. Polygraph will be administered to the winning team in the event there is a discrepancy with protest.
    5. To qualify for points each release must be called in to the Tournament Committee including the boat name/number, type of bait and angler’s full name immediately by VHF radio (channel 79) or cell phone and it is acknowledged with an assigned catch number and official time of release. The time, catch number and angler’s full name must be entered for each release on the boat’s catch log. Hookups 15 minutes prior to the end of fishing must be called in for a release after lines out to qualify.
    6. A release is official when the leader is touched by the mate, the leader is wound inside the rod tip or the cork on a live bait rod touches the rod tip.
    7. Your entry into the Buccaneer Cup implies expressed approval that you and all anglers and crew members will submit to a polygraph test if requested by the rules committee. Failure to do will result in disqualification. A certified polygraph examiner will be on site should such services be required.
    8. Meat Fish Validation: Weigh station will be held at The Buccaneer Marina & Jib Club each day from 3:30p-5:30pm – The T Head will be available for teams to pull in and weigh. No mutilated fish will be weighed. Species include, Kingfish, Dolphin, Wahoo, Cobia, Tuna. Heaviest overall will qualify for the “Walter Johnson” Meat Fish Trophy. 


    1. Release points will be awarded as follows:

          200 points for sailfish on live bait.

          300 points for sailfish on dead bait.

          400 points for marlin on either bait.

    1. In case of a tie the winner will be determined by which boat/angler reaches the number of points that resulted in the tie first by time.
    2. Tagging award: The team with the most successfully deployed billfish tags via TBF will be awarded a Buccaneer Cup. Teams must follow guidelines outlined by TBF while tagging and must mark the “Tagged” box on each release catch sheet to qualify. Tags will be verified via video validation outlined above.
    3. Protests must be submitted to the Rules Committee in writing accompanied by a nonrefundable $500 filing fee no later than 5:00 PM on the fishing day in question. In all cases the decision of the Rules Committee is final.

Prizes: Prizes are awarded to Top Overall Boat · Top Live Bait Boat · Top Dead Bait Boat · Top Captain · Top Angler · Top Lady Angler · Top Junior Angler (16 and under) · Heaviest Meat Fish · Top Tagging Team · (+additional Calcutta awards). 


    1. 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.  All boats must be a minimum of 27 feet LOA. The final determination of a boat’s eligibility will be at the discretion of the Rules Committee.
    3. RefundsNo refunds for entry fees will be given for any reason including, but not limited to acts of nature, war, national security, Covid-19, vessel malfunctions or travel restrictions. Calcutta fees will be returned (minus the % for cc service fee) given a team is unable to compete.







  1. Hold HarmlessBy entering the tournament all registered anglers and non-registered occupants of their boats enter and participate in this tournament voluntarily at their own risk. In consideration for the tournament’s acceptance of his or her entry, each angler, for his or her heirs, executors, and administrators, agrees to release, hold harmless and indemnify the Tournament (Buccaneer Cup Sailfish Tournament / Contact Courtney Consulting, LLC / Fisheries Conservation Trust.), its officers, managers, directors, agents, sponsors, donors, the city and county where the event is held, and all other persons connected directly or indirectly with the operation of the tournament, from and against any and all liabilities, claims, actions, damages, costs, fees or expenses which he or she may have against any above-described party, or which his or her captains, crew members, family members, companions or nonregistered occupants of their boat may have, arising out of or in any way connected with his or her participation in this tournament, including any injury or death suffered by any registered angler, boat captains, crew members, family members, companions or other occupants of any boat, and including any damage to vessels and equipment, which occurs during or in conjunction with the event. Each Angler understands and agrees that this release specifically includes and waives any claims based on libel, slander, negligence, action or inaction of any above-named party.


Calcutta: Will be available the week of the Tournament, at the Capt. Meeting (Jan 23rd Tuesday) until Noon on Jan. 24th (Wednesday).  Cash, Check, CC, wire are accepted. For wire instructions please email: (please note, all Calcutta entries and payment must be submitted in writing and signed for by the team member paying). 


Contact Info:

Courtney Bowden, Director

561-909-7868 cell


John Depersenaire, Viking Yacht Co. & Fisheries Conservation Trust

609-576-4421 cell