PNG National Game Fishing Titles Rules 2016

This section includes:

  • Tournament Rules
  • Tag and Release Rules
  • Turkai Billfish Shootout Rules
  • BSP 100K Prize Rules
  • Release Card

Tournament Rules

1. Tournament Anglers

All participants must be members of the IGFA or a club affiliated to either the IGFA or the GFA of PNG and all fishing will be strictly in accordance with the rules laid down by these organisations.

2. Nominations

Anglers nominating to fish in the National Titles must complete and sign the GFA of PNG National Titles Nomination form supplied by the host club. All details must be completed and the form properly signed. Acceptance of the Nomination will be solely at the discretion of the Tournament Committee. Junior anglers’ forms must be signed by a parent or guardian. 

3. Tournament Waters

The tournament waters are the New Britain Game Fishing Club designated fishing waters, as per the Constitution of the NBGFC. A map is included in each team kit. 

4. Line Categories

Line classes and sections will be as follows:

Ultra Light 1kg, 2kg, 3kg, 4kg

Light 6kg, 8kg

Medium 10kg, 15kg

Heavy 24kg, 37kg, 60kg

Anglers registered as Junior anglers may only fish on ultra light, light and medium tackle. Line classes and regulations for fly fishing shall be as per IGFA regulations. Maximum tippet line class is 10kg. Shock leaders shall be a maximum of 305 mm (12 inches) in length, any material. 

5. Scoring – Weighing

Points scoring will be calculated by dividing the weight of the fish by the line class and then multiplying by the fish factor as indicated:

Billfish 150

Game Fish 100

Sharks 50

To weigh, Marlin and Broadbill must be a minimum of four times line class, and Sailfish a minimum of three times line class (ALL line classes). 

All other fish must score a minimum of 50 points to be eligible.

6. Scoring – Tagging

The following points will apply for tagging:

 (1) Billfish and Sharks

            Line Class                 Marlin/Broadbill                   Sailfish          Sharks

            1kg                              3000                                        2500                350

            2kg                              2500                                        2000                300

            3kg                              2000                                        1600                250

            4kg                              1500                                        1200                200

            6kg                              1300                                        1000                175

            8kg                              1100                                        800                  150

            10kg                            950                                          700                  125

            15kg                            800                                          550                  100

            24kg                            700                                          400                  70

            37kg                            600                                          300                  50       

            60kg                            500                                          250                  30

            No tagging limit numbers for the above. 

(2) Other Game Fish

Tagging points will not be awarded for Skipjack Tuna, Mackerel Tuna and Rainbow Runner caught on heavy tackle. A limit of 5 tags per angler per species for:

Tuna – Dogtooth, Bluefin, Yellowfin, Longtail, Bigeye 60 points

Cobia                                                                                      60 points

Wahoo                                                                                    60 points

Dolphin Fish                                                                          40 points

NB and Spotted Mackeral                                                  40 points

All Trevally                                                                            40 points

Tripletail                                                                                 40 points

Skipjack Tuna                                                                       40 points

Barracuda                                                                              20 points

Large Scale Tuna                                                                  20 points

Mackeral Tuna                                                                      20 points

Rainbow Runner                                                                   20 points

Queenfish                                                                              20 points

(3) Note

Tag points shall be treated as being an entirely separate category to points earned by actually weighing fish and shall only accrue for designated tagging prizes. In addition to normal tagging information, all tag cards presented to the Weighmaster must show the line class, time of Capture and the Capture Number. 

7. Teams and Rods

Each team shall consist of a minimum of 2 and a maximum of 4 anglers. They shall be limited to a maximum of 2 days fishing which need not be consecutive. All members of a team must fish on the same boat and on the same days. There is no limit to the number of rods that may be fished, however in the event of multiple hookups, the first rod picked up by each angler will be the only one eligible to score on.

Local anglers will be required to fish the first weekend and during the week, reserving the second weekend for visiting anglers. Any variations to this will be at the discretion of the Tournament Committee. 

8. Junior Teams and Anglers

To encourage Junior participation, and to allow Junior anglers and teams wider opportunity, they may elect to compete as follows:

1) A Junior angler fishing as part of a Junior Team (2-4 junior anglers).

•  They and their team compete for all Junior individual and team prizes.

•  They are not eligible for any other individual or team prizes.

•  Registration is free

2) A Junior Full angler, fishing as part of a Junior Full Team (2- 4 anglers).

•  They and their team compete for all Junior and Senior individual and team prizes.

•  Junior Full Anglers each pay a Registration Fee of K215.

3) A Junior Full angler, fishing as part of a Senior Team (2-4 anglers, at least one of whom is a Senior).

•  They compete for all prizes other than Junior Team prizes.

•  Junior Full Anglers each pay a Registration Fee of K215.

9. Radios, Safety Equipment and Reporting

All boats must be able to receive and transmit on the East New Britain Game Fishing Club’s VHF channel 84 and must maintain contact with the Tournament Base directly or by relay through another boat at every sked. The first daily radio sked will be at 0705 hours and then every hour, 0805, 0905, etc. (Advise grid location and score i.e. strikes, hookups, landed, tagged).

Boat skippers must sign "on" on departure and "off' on return, both by radio to Tournament Base. In the departure radio call skippers are required to advise team name, angler names and numbers, the total number of people aboard the boat, and the boat’s normal transit speed in knots.

Boats that miss two consecutive radio skeds (directly or by relay) will be liable to disqualification for the day.

Where reasonable concern exists for the safety of any vessel a search will be instituted. Variation to communication requirements may be made in the case of radio failure whilst at sea (e.g. mobile phone, satphone, HF) at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

It should be clearly understood by all skippers that if their boat has limited radio range they will be required to operate inside the range of their fixed radio unit. This important safety aspect will be enforced.

Boats must be equipped with safety equipment. A list of recommended safety equipment will be in each skipper kit. It is compulsory for all boats to be equipped with a functioning GPS unit.

All billfish hook-ups and landings must be reported immediately to the Tournament Base. Details of any team’s first scorable non-billfish (captured or tagged) must be reported at the time of landing (important in the event of a countback, see Rule 17), plus those of any meritorious fish captured or tagged.

Information to be provided:

•  Boat & Team name

•  Angler name and number

•  Line class

•  Species

•  Estimated weight

•  Grid reference

•  Tag card number

10.    Times

1) Definitions:

Weigh Station

A boat has arrived at the Weigh Station when it has entered the host club’s marina or designated base. 

Weigh in

On all days except the last day – 1900 hours.

NOTE: refer Clause (2), Time Rules, below, para’s 6 and 7 on the last day (Sunday) – 1800 hours. Absolutely no exceptions.

Lines In:        Time at which fishing may commence – 0600hrs

Lines Out:     1800hrs, or at latest time at which your boat can depart your fishing location and travel at normal speed to reach the Weigh Station by Weigh In.

NOTE: “Normal Speed” is your transit speed advised to Tournament Base when you log on each morning. This speed will be used to calculate Lines Out times for boats fishing in distant grounds, together with the lat. And long advised by the boat to Tournament Base when they ceased fishing. Teams fishing distant waters should note this rule carefully.

2) Time Rules

On their first fishing day, teams may depart from anywhere inside or outside of the host club waters. Team captains are responsible for ensuring that the Tournament Director is directly advised of their intentions to do so, together with team and angler names, fishing dates, communication, and acceptable SAR arrangements prior to leaving port.

Boats will otherwise depart from the host club’s base.

Boats may depart any time after 0500 hours.

Fishing times will be from Lines In to Lines Out each day.

Boats with eligible fish must arrive at the Weigh Station by Weigh In time. This applies to all boats including those who departed from alternate locations.

All boats are to advise Tournament Base when they cease fishing for the day (Lines Out) and their lat. and long. at that time.

Other than on the last day, fish hooked up prior to Lines Out may be played until the fish is either landed or lost, providing that the hookup and location were reported to and acknowledged by Tournament Base prior to that boat's Lines Out time. The loss or capture of such hookups must be reported immediately to Tournament Base. In these circumstances, Weigh In timing may be extended beyond 1900 hours to allow safe passage of the boat and anglers.

Except on the last day, providing that all rules with respect to Lines Out time are met, and only at the request of the Team Captain or the boat Skipper, the Tournament Director may provide extended Weigh In time for exceptional and extenuating circumstances.

NOTE: The purpose of the above paragraph is to allow the Tournament Director some latitude to consider circumstances which are not covered in the rules, and therefore to avoid having to have an exhaustive set of rules covering all situations. It is not intended to provide blanket extensions on request. A request for extension needs to be made for a specific reason by the boat’s Skipper or Team Captain. Examples envisaged are situations where a boat, which is otherwise functioning normally, is unable to travel at normal speed due to exceptional sea conditions and/or exceptional weight of catch. 

11.    Weighing

All captures will be weighed on the day of capture by a Tournament Weighmaster on arrival of the fish at the Weigh Station. Note the exceptions allowed in Rule 10, Clause (2) Time Rules, para’s 6 and 7.

All fish presented for weighing must be identified by the supplied aluminium or plastic tag marked by indentation or permanent marker and wired to the dorsal or tail fin.

The following information is required:

•  Angler's number

•  Line Class

Capture Books are in use by certain clubs. All captures and tagged fish will be recorded through the radio controllers. On presentation of fish at the Weigh Station the Capture Book, correctly completed, must be presented at the same time. Note the East New Britain Game Fishing Club does not have individual capture books.

In the case of tagged fish, fully completed tag cards must be handed to the Weighmaster before Weigh In (refer to Rule 6.).

The Weighmaster reserves the right to investigate any or all tackle on the boat to see that it conforms to IGFA rules.

For any fish caught that may be subject to National or World record claims, it is required that the leader/lure, double and at least 50 feet of main line remain intact and be presented with the Fish at the time of weighing.

Anglers intending to make Record Claims should remove the required line, leader & lure immediately the decision is made to make a record claim.

Mutilated fish will be treated in accordance with IGFA rules.

All fish weighed and presented for weighing become the property of the host club and will be disposed of for charity. 

12.    Prohibitions

1) Fishing within 100 meters of any fish trap or commercial or village fishing activity.

2) Passing live bait between boats.

3) Tying or anchoring to a FAD.

Note: The host club’s recognized FAD's are excluded from Prohibition (1) above and may be fished as per normal fishing activities. 

13.    Transfer of Fish/Angler

1) Transfer of Fish

Where a breakdown occurs, or when a fish is too large to be boated safely, the fish may be transported to the Weigh Station by another vessel, provided that the angler and tackle used accompany the fish and arrive at the Weigh Station by the specified deadline.

Any such alternate transport of anglers and their fish will be at the sole discretion of the skipper of the boat providing the alternate means of transportation. Tournament Base must be advised at the time of transfer.

2) Transfer of Angler

In the event of an angler having a fish in play and there being dangerous sea conditions, boat engine failure or other reasonable consideration, the transfer of the angler fighting the fish to another vessel will be allowed - providing it is approved by a Tournament Committee Member, and carried out in accordance with IGFA rules. Boat points shall be split 50/50 to either vessel.

14.    Protests

Any protest must be submitted in writing and placed in the protest box at Tournament Base on each day of fishing within one hour of completion of Weigh In for the day. On the last day protests must be submitted by 1830 hrs.

The Protest Committee shall consist of the Tournament Director (or his nominee from the Titles Committee), a representative of the IGFA (if none is available then a representative from the host club Committee) and a representative of the GFA of PNG.

Decisions of the Protest Committee will be final.

15.    Boat Prizes

All boats, including those on charter for the Tournament are permitted to win the listed boat prizes. The winning boats will be determined by their best 2 days of fishing recorded for the whole tournament (not necessarily the best 2 days by any one team). 

16.    Overseas Angler

Must be a non-resident of PNG whose permanent domicile is in another country (PNG resident students attending overseas facilities and returning to PNG on holidays do not qualify).

17.    Time Clause

In the event of a tie for any prize category, and depending on the availability of prizes, the Tournament Committee reserves the right to revert to award the prizes on a count back basis. In the event of a tie the earliest recorded capture or tag by the angler or team during their fishing days will count. The official time for countback will be the time at which Tournament Base logs and acknowledges the capture or tag.

18.    Captures defeating Host Club Records

During the National Titles and in accordance with GFA of PNG rules, all registered anglers are deemed to be members of the host club with respect to claims for host club records. (All captures will be checked against current record files and new records will be notified automatically).

19.    Tagging

Tagging must be done in accord with the GFA of PNG’s tagging rules. Please read revised rules carefully. 

Tag and Release Rules

Please note that these rules have been revised to provide for the free release of small fish. A new release card is now available, as depicted below.

The GFA of PNG supports and encourages the ethics underlying the tagging and release in good condition of all fish. The GFA of PNG also supports the free release of all species of fish except for all billfish. (refer to clause 2 below).

NSW DPI (was NSW Fisheries) now advocates the free release of all species of fish under 60cm length.

These rules shall apply to all Game Fishing Club’s Annual Point Scores and Tournaments, including the National Titles.

  1. All IGFA angling rules will apply until the fish is tagged.
  2. NSW DPI tags are the preferred tags and are freely available from all member Clubs. Billfish must be tagged with a billfish tag - “B” prefix on the tag number and an orange card.
  3. The tagpole or tagging device must be in hand when the tag is implanted, and every effort made to place the tag in a recognised, scientifically correct  position.
  4. Gaffs may not be used during tagging and/or releasing, other than a jaw gaff used to secure the fish in the jaw.
  5. The fish must be alive when tagged and released or free released and capable of survival after release.
  6. A fish is deemed to be tagged and released when the tag is implanted in the livefish, AND the hooks removed or the leader cut as close to the fish as possible, AND the fish is released in the water.
  7. A fish is deemed to be free released when the fish is brought into the boat, hook/s is/are removed, AND the live fish released back into the water.
  8. The GFA of PNG recommends that fish under 60cm be free released and fish over 60cm be tagged and released with the appropriate tag as advocated by the NSW DPI.
  9. Tagpoles may not exceed 12ft (3.66m) in length.
  10. One or more persons may assist in the tagging providing all IGFA rules are followed.
  11. To claim points for tag and release or free release of fish, a fully completed tag card or release card must be given to the Clubs Weighmaster. 

Please find attached, the Release Card.

Trukai Billfish Shootout Rules

  1. There will be only one prize, HEAVIEST MARLIN, or if no weighed marlin, most billfish tag points.
  2. A Marlin must weigh minimum 96kg, if it is to be eligible to be weighed in the shootout. Smaller billfish should be tagged. Marlin 100 points Sailfish 50 points. 
  3. Only Pacific Blue Marlin, Black Marlin, Striped Marlin and Sailfish captured within the official New Britain Game Fishing Club waters will qualify for the shootout. (Refer to the chart in this magazine).
  4. The shootout will be a 24kg line class only competition. 
  5. Each team will consist of a minimum of 2 anglers, there will be no maximum, so long as the safety of the respective boat/s is not jeopardized. Team members must be affiliated with the GFAPNG. 
  6. There will be a shotgun start at 6.30am for all boats participating in the shootout. ALL boats must leave from the RYC Marina. Details of the shotgun start will be provided at the briefing. 
  7. Lines out is at 1700hrs and latest weigh in at 1900hrs. Skippers / Team Captains are reminded that boats must be within achievable reach (at the documented cruising speed of that boat) of the official tournament gantry by 1900hrs, if they wish to fish till 1700hr lines out call. 
  8. A late weigh in can be called providing that the fish was hooked prior to lines out call at 1700. The Marlin must be landed or tagged and the boat back within sight of the official tournament gantry by 2400hrs. Otherwise that boat will be disqualified. If a late weigh in is called, that boat must be within achievable reach of the gantry by 1900hrs at the time of hook up / call. 
  9. The boats will be monitored by the official tournament radio base with radio skeds on the VHF Channel 84 to be conducted hourly, as per the normal sked times. Each boat will be required to give the following information upon leaving the RYC marina: The boat name and average cruising speed The number of POB The number of registered anglers fishing and their tournament angler numbers or their name/s if not fishing in the National Titles, i.e. if no registration number the team name. 
  10. Boats must ONLY report billfish strikes, hook up and captures. 
  11. Missing consecutive radio skeds may disqualify a boat and fish, this will be at the discretion of the shootout committee. 
  12. Each boat / team must provide a digital photograph or video footage of their billfish tag/s for the day. The shootout committee will check all photographs before declaring the winning team. 
  13. A member of the shootout committee will also check all leader lengths and terminal tackle for the winning fish. 
  14. In the event of a tie, the winner will be the earliest Marlin captured or the first to reach the winning tag points. Note, that this time will be taken as the time recorded by the official club radio operator on the day. 
  15. Entry Fee per boat is K1,000 
  16. As an added incentive Trukai will provide a bag of special Trukai goodies to each angler tagging or landing a legal billfish during the competition. 
  17. This day can be counted as a regular fishing day of the National Titles Tournament for those who choose not to fish the shootout. Shootout teams however, cannot count any shootout captures as part of the National Titles. 
  18. A Calcutta may be run on the briefing / registration night where boats will be auctioned. In this event, NBGFC will take 10% of the pool funds with the winning boat owner taking 90%.

BSP K100,000 Prize for 250kg+ Marlin

  1. In relation to any conditions being imposed, IGFA rules are to apply in relation to tackle and style of fishing. Any rules applying to the Titles themselves are also to apply.
  2. The maximum Line Class is to be 37kg and only Anglers who are fishing on either of their two allocated fishing days are elligible.  The prize is not eligible for any participants in the Shoot-out competition.
  3. Any Marlin species is acceptable i.e Blue, Black, Striped,  and Broadbill and the fish are to be weighed on New Britain Game Fishing Club certified scales.
  4. Any fish caught that are to be considered eligible are to be radioed in to the Titles base and in the event that more than one are caught on the same day, the prize will be allocated to the first capture that was radioed in and meets the weight criteria.
  5. National Titles Competition rules apply and in the event of any dispute, tournament committee decisions will be binding.  This may apply to matters such as meeting weigh-in cut off times.

See past year's rules here.