Swordfish Showdown Rules

Entry Fee is $2,000 per boat through September 1 and covers everyone on board. The entire team can attend all functions. After September 15, there will be a $250 late fee per boat. Payment of the entry fee constitutes a representation by each entrant that he/she has read and fully understands the tournament rules that he/she will abide by such rules and the decisions of the Tournament Director and/or Committee.

The Swordfish Showdown is a sportfishing tournament where participants agree to fish in a fair and ethical manner. While the tournament does not strictly enforce the use of IGFA rules, it certainly expects that only minor technical differences will be employed by anglers. 

A Captains’ Meeting will be held on Friday September 30 at 5:30pm at Venice Marina. Rules are Subject to Change. Any changes to the rules and final instructions will be given at the meeting. All participants are invited to pick up tourney swag following the meeting at 6:00pm. Captain’s meeting is not mandatory.

An Atlantic Highly Migratory Species (HMS) Angling Permit is required and participants must be familiar with and follow HMS regulations. https://www.fisheries.noaa.gov/permit/atlantic-highly-migratory-species-angling-permit-open-access

Teams must declare two consecutive fishing days between October 1 through October 31. Lines in at 12:01am on your first fishing day. Boats cannot be trailered during fishing hours and must return to weigh-in by water. You do not have to fish the same boat you initially registered in but you cannot change vessels once you have declared your two fishing days. You must declare your fishing day(s) no later than 9 p.m. the day prior to your first declared days. You can do this on catch stat. All swordfish must be caught and weighed at a tournament authorized scale on a team’s declared fishing day.  

Scales will be open until 7pm on the allowable fishing days. All fish caught during the tournament must be weighed before scales close on the teams declared day. Teams will be allowed to weigh in 12 different marinas. 


Orange Beach Marina – Orange Beach: Jimmy 251-747-5753

Dauphin Island Marina – Dauphin Island: Josh 205-635-6625 or Greg 251-599-0261



Cypress Cove Marina – Venice: Greg 504-912-4754 

Venice Marina – Venice: Jake 337-277-5447

Fish Heads La – Cocodrie: Todd – 601-606-6937 or Lane 936-537-6339* Team Fish Heads must have tournament staff present for THEIR weigh-in

Hurricane Hole Marina – Grand Isle: Lan Tivet 985-271-1185



Mary Walker Marina – Gautier: Michael 228-497-3141 



Destin Harborwalk – Destin: Steve 850-210-5585

Marina Jack – Sarasota: Joe 586-770-0955



Surfside Marina – Surfside: Santos 979-418-1768

Fisherman’s Wharf Port Aransas: Capt. Dee 361-815-1682

Matagorda Harbor Bait & Tackle – Matagorda: Mark 979-637-0962.

Pelican Rest Marina – Galveston: Marita 

Swordfish – 57″ minimum (LJFL) to be weighed.

Conventional rod and electric reels allowed.

The fish must be caught in the Gulf of Mexico and well documented with official tourney identifier.

Harpoons are permitted but not allowed to use on free swimming fish. 

Hooking and fighting a fish from the gun wale is permitted.

This is a boat tournament, not an angler tournament. Anglers may switch during the fight. 

Each vessel can weigh 4 fish per declared day. 

Vessels may not travel further South than 25.0N 

All tournament swordfish catches must be documented as follows: A continuous video clearing showing the fish coming into the boat, the measuring of the fish (LJFL) and a shot of the GPS showing date/time of the catch. To reiterate, we need conclusive video evidence of the catch, the length of the fish in inches and the date/time on the GPS console to verify the catch.

The tournament committee reserves the right to reject any fish entry because of poor condition or one that does not meet the eligible requirements set by this tournament. The condition of the fish will be left to the scrutiny of the tournament director and committee. THEIR DECISION IS FINAL. 

All Tournament Awards are based on 30 registered tournament boats. Payouts are subject to change depending on the number of entries. 

Swordfish 1st$25,0002nd$15,0003rd$8,000

This is a separate entry.  The Optional Entry is not required to compete for Tournament Awards.

Participants may pay an Optional Entry fee in one or more of the following:

Biggest Fish $3,000$1,500$500
Tag & Release$3,000$1,500$500

Biggest Fish, Aggregate (2 biggest fish) and Tag & Release (most number of releases) will pay 1st, 2nd, and 3rd with a 50%, 30%, 20% split. In the event of limited participation in any category listed above, the payouts will be modified as follows: One team entered will be refunded in full, 2-5 teal will be winner-take-all, 6-9 will be 60/40 split and 10 or more teams will be the standard 50/30/20 split. Optional Awards for boated Swordfish are determined by weight according to Tournament Rules. In the event that no qualifying fish are weighed by an Optional Entry participant in a given Division eligible for an Optional Award, 90% of the Optional Entry Fees collected for that division are returned to the participant(s) who paid Optional Entry Fees for that division.



For fish weighed in, any category of fish brought to the scales, placement is determined by the order of weigh-in at the scales.  The recorded time of weigh-in determines placement.

Any protests relating to the tournament must be submitted in writing along with a $1,000 deposit by the team captain to the tournament committee no later than 15 minutes after the last fish is weighed on the final day of the tournament.  All entrants agree to abide by tournament rules and regulations.

All disputes are decided by the Tournament Director and Committee.  Their decision is final.

Poor sportsmanship will be grounds for disqualification from the Swordfish Showdown.  Any violation of these rules resulting in disqualification will result in forfeiture of entry fee and prize money.

It is understood that all participants in the Swordfish Showdown enter at their own risk, and that the officers, committee members, sponsors, directors, tournament venue and all persons connected directly or indirectly with the operation of said tournament, shall be exempt from any liability for libel, slander, loss, damage, negligence, harm, injury or death suffered by any participant, entrant, anglers, his/her companions, boat captains, mates, crew members, vessels and equipment which may occur during or in conjunction with the tournament.  By tournament entry, the captain consents that the Louisiana Gulf Coast Billfish Classic may use without payment or restriction, any photographs in which he/she or any of their crew may appear for any purpose whatsoever; including, but not limited to resale, advertising, commercial or promotional material. The captain and his crew further release the Louisiana Gulf Coast Billfish Classic, officers and directors, and all persons from injury, loss or damage which may result.

All state record winners must submit to and pass in a conclusive manner, a polygraph examination administered by a licensed polygraphist provided by tournament officials.  All entrants agree to submit to a polygraph examination at the request of the tournament committee if there is a conflict involving said entrant. Failure to submit to such an examination will result in disqualification of the entrant at the sole discretion of the tournament committee.