2016 TPST OFFICIAL RULES:
1.0 The Tres Pescados Slam Tournament (TPST) is a catch and release fly fishing only tournament. The health of the fish must be put above the competition. All means must be used to handle the fish properly to ensure their survival. Approved release methods will be provided to each contestant.
1.1 The Tournament shall be governed by the fly fishing rules of the International Game Fish Association ("IGFA Rules") and these TPST Rules, as amended from time to time. In the rare instances when the TPST Rules may conflict with the IGFA Rules, the TPST Rules shall supersede the IGFA Rules. It is the responsibility of each fly fisher and guide to know the IGFA Fly Fishing Rules and the TPST Rules.
2.0 There is one division, a Pro division.
Each Pro team will consist of a licensed Belize Tourism Board (BTB) fly fishing guide; defined as a BTB licensed professional fly fishing guide that has actively guided for at least six (6) months prior to the tournament, and no more than 2 fly fishers. Note: each Pro team may consist of only one (1) contestant fly fisher, however the team fees remain the same and you will be competing against those teams that have two (2) fly fishers.
2.1 Guides may not guide for a member of their immediate family, defined as spouse, sibling, child, or parent.
2.2 An active BTB fly fishing guide, defined as an individual having provided fly fishing guiding services for hire within the prior six (6) months, shall not be eligible to participate as a fly fisher in the Pro Division. This only restricts fly fishing guides.
2.3 The Pro Team BTB fly fishing guide may not fish or assist in the casting, hooking or retrieving of the fish.
2.4 In the event of emergency or illness, a fly fisher or guide may have a substitute.
2.5 The Pro Team fly fishers are responsible for daily guide fees/gratuities.
2.6 All fly fishers and their guides must attend the casting meeting banquet to confirm registration, receive tournament information, and pick up Catch and Release packets.
2.7 All fly fishing anglers entered in the tournament must obtain and carry with them during the tournament a valid Belize Sport Fish license covering all days of the event.
III. Fish Entries, Fishing Times, Territory, and Rules:
3.0 Only tarpon, bonefish and permit digital photographs with proper team IDs will be accepted as entries in this tournament. Each team will be provided with a daily ID card that must be clearly visible in all fish entered digital photos. All minimum fish lengths will be measured from the most protruding head portion to the center forked portion of the tail using the tournament provided measuring tape/stick to aid in quick identification of a legal length fish.
3.01 All cameras must be digital and capable of being downloaded to the judge’s computer. Contestants are responsible to provide their own compatible digital camera and USB cord. Each contestant should check with the tournament officials to ensure their digital camera is compatible and that their photo entries can be downloaded.
3.1 Each day the fishing shall begin at Tournament Headquarters at the Holiday Hotel, and all fishers must sign-in and pick up their tournament issued ID prior to departing.
3.2 All boats must depart from and return to Tournament Headquarters by water. Failure to sign out in the morning or turn in a score sheet will result in a 300-point penalty.
3.3 Under the direction of an official starter, all boats will leave the starting area each day at 5:30 AM. It is the responsibility of the team to ensure they arrive well in advance of the departure time to sign in and get their daily ID card.
3.4 All areas in and around Ambergris Caye are open to fish, but restricted to depths of water where a push pole may be used according to commonly accepted customs and practices. Fishers may wade from the boat to fish. All teams must be present at the judge's station no later than 3:00 PM daily.
3.5 Fishing may begin as soon as a boat arrives at a fishing spot. Fishing may continue until 2:00pm at which time lines must be out of the water. A fish hooked prior to 2:00pm may be fought, caught, and released after 2:00pm. However, all boats must return to Tournament Headquarters by 3:00pm. Boats returning to Tournament Headquarters after 3:00 pm may incur a penalty as set forth by the committee. Score sheets must be
returned to the Tournament Headquarters by 3:30 PM each day.
3.6 The start on any day may be delayed by the Tournament in the event of imminent inclement or dangerous weather. In the event of severe weather (i.e. tropical storm), the Tournament committee may shorten the number of Tournament fishing days.
3.7 The policy of the Tournament committee is that the first boat to reach a spot is entitled to fish there. The Tournament committee strongly recommends strict observation of all recognized courtesies and sporting practices between boats. This includes giving way and sufficient room to other boats in an area that typically accommodates more than one boat under normal fishing conditions. It is considered unsportsmanlike and a rules violation to have a spot "saved" by another boat.
3.8 Chumming or fishing in or near chummed areas is not allowed. There will be no fishing within 150 yards of known "pet fish" areas, such as the Sunset Grill or similar areas on Caye Caulker.
3.9 No assistance may be given to any fisher other than by his guide who handles the boat, gaffs or grabs fish, and measures or releases fish. No other assistance can be given by the guide.
IV. Scoring and Points:
4.0 All contestants are allowed to fish for any or all of the three fish species allowed in this tournament during each of the three days of the tournament, but are limited to a maximum of 5 of each species per day. Each fish to be entered into the tournament must be digitally photographed with the team's ID card clearly visible in the photograph.
4.1 For purposes of scoring, the Tournament shall issue to each team a Catch and Release packet to include: minimum length measuring devices, pen, Catch and Release forms and a set of the rules.
This is a 100% release tournament.
Minimum length by species:
Bonefish Tarpon Permit
15 inches 28 inches 15 inches **
(Measure all fish from fork of tail)
4.2 All fish must be photographed preferably while the fish is in the water. All fish to be photographed must only be handled with wet hands to protect the fish's slim from being removed. Only one (1) photo is required to be taken with the fish and the team ID card clearly visible in the photograph.
4.3 The angler/guide shall log the fish information on the provided score sheet for each fish released. Each day's score sheet must be completed and signed by the team anglers and in the case of the Pro Teams, by the guide, and returned to the tournament judges not later than 3:30 PM each day, whether points are scored or not.
4.4 Points: Each of the three (3) fish species eligible for entry into the tournament has separate point values. Tarpon will be scored at 200 points for each released fish above the minimum length. Each released permit will be scored at 300 points. Each released bonefish above the minimum length will be scored at 75 points each.
2013 AMENDMENT: Grand Slams completed in one tournament day qualify for 500 bonus points
4.5 Winning Order: The team entered who has accumulated the most slams or portions thereof will be the grand champions. In the event of a tie for the most slams or portions thereof, the most points will prevail. In the event of a tie with most slams and points, the last fish caught first will prevail.
5.1 Only fly casting will be permitted, and only artificial lures/flies may be used. Only one-handed rods and single action reels are eligible to be used. The rod may not be altered after a fish is hooked.
5.2 Tippet will be 20 lb. manufacturer's stated test or less for all species and will be furnished by the anglers. Anglers may use smaller size (pound strength) tippet material but may not exceed the stated pound test tippet material.
5.3 Leaders may not exceed 15 feet in length and must contain not less than 15 inches of tippet material between the knots. For tarpon, a shock tippet may be of nonmetallic or metallic material, may not exceed 12 inches including the knots, and must be tied directly to the tippet. If questions arise about a team's tippet material that team shall provided the spool with its identification as well as the actual tippet in question.
5.4 A broken rod, above the reel seat, will not disqualify a caught or released fish.
5.5 A release gaff may be used for tarpon and must be no more than two feet long with ropes or straps not to exceed 12 inches. Fish may be lip gaffed only. It is preferred NOT to use a gaff if at all possible but is understood to be a safety precaution for large tarpon.