OFFICIAL 2023 WON CABO TUNA JACKPOT RULES
*Updated September 15, 2023*
HAGA CLIC AQUÍ PARA LEER LAS REGLAS EN ESPAÑOL
1) All decisions by the tournament director and advisory board are final. Decisions on rules interpretation requested by teams or team members will be reviewed and made only by the tournament director and are final. WON reserves the right to change/modify rules at any time. WON reserves the right to deny any team’s or individual's entry.
2) The official radio channel for the Cabo Tuna Jackpot is channel 28. All boats must fly the official tournament flag during the 2-day event.
3) The tournament director reserves the right to alter starting and finishing times to coincide with weather, tides and probability of better fishing conditions.
4) It is recommended that all anglers and crew attend the scheduled Angler/Captains' Welcome Meeting at the Tesoro Resort conference center Wednesday night at 7 p.m. At least one team member must attend in person, if your team chooses to not to attend, that team will automatically accept and agree to be bound by all instructions/rules announced on the meeting.
5) A video of a qualifying fish being gaffed and boated must be available to the tourney staff. 20 seconds to a minute is adequate, and being time-stamped (most phones or videos are) will be sufficient. The video may also be used in the official video to promote the WON Cabo Tuna Jackpot.
6) Boat Capacity will be a maximum of 11 persons for all boats. Team size cannot exceed the number of people allowed as per the boat’s charter permit and insurance and must obey boat capacity laws, and manufacturer maximum capacities at all times. In addition, A “team” is defined as either a single angler or up to 6 total anglers on the official roster. Boats can have a maximum of 3 crew members and up to 2 guests/observers. The 6 anglers per team who can fish, and a crew of up to 3 people who cannot fish. Crew can include the boat captain, and the crew CAN chum and set lines and gaff, etc., but CANNOT pull on fish. Teams are allowed 2 additional spots on their team for guests, but the “guests” cannot assist in fishing or spotting in any way. Further questions may be answered at registration.
Plan your team around the 11 person max capacity. You may include a crewman as a team angler member, or list a guest or angler as a crewman. Your roster at check-in must reflect those specific designations, with those listed as team members on the roster qualifying as anglers. How teams fill their angler roster of six is up to them, however, those 6 chosen anglers cannot be replaced or exchanged from day 1 to day 2, exceptions under extreme circumstances are to be considered by tournament director.
6 anglers, 3 crew, 2 guests regardless of size of vessel. Each vessel must adhere to individual boat passenger safety rating(s) accordingly. Despite each team being allowed a maximum of 6 anglers, a maximum of 4 giveaway packs will be given to each team upon check-in.
7) All participants must possess a valid Mexican fishing license for both days of fishing. Anglers checked by a Mexican authority who do not have a valid Mexican license will cause their entire team to be disqualified from the tournament. To avoid delays and other problems, it is highly recommended you obtain a Mexican license and boat permit before entering Mexico. Licenses will be sold at the check in area.
8) There is no limit or restriction on when and how much bait can be obtained prior to the shotgun start. Teams can obtain bait (buy it) one half-hour past the 7 a.m. shotgun start. The PURCHASE of bait must be completed by 7:30 a.m.
9) All boats must be behind the official starter's boat prior to the 7 a.m. flare-gun start. There will be a visual boat check-off starting at 6:15 a.m. outside the harbor entrance. Any boats that take off before the flare-gun start will be immediately disqualified from the event sacrificing all paid entries and options. All boats must attempt to report in fish on the tournament channel that are estimated at over 100 pounds. Locations need not be disclosed on the radio.
10) Boundary - There is no off-limits boundary enforced in the 2023 Cabo Tuna Jackpot, local laws and regulations still apply.
11) Lines must be out at 4:00 p.m. during each day of tournament fishing. If a team hooks a fish prior to the 4:00 lines out period and there is any thought of boating that hooked fish after the 4:00 lines out time, that team must radio in prior to lines out to let tournament officials know of the hook / catch situation to alleviate any grey area whatsoever. The scale will open at 3 p.m. Boats must be within the outer harbor entrance (at the jetty) by 6 p.m. > 6:01 p.m. is late! There are no exceptions PERIOD! No tournament fish will be weighed in from boats that arrive after the 6 p.m. deadline
12) Any boat deemed operating in an unsafe manner will be disqualified from that day's fishing.
13) Tackle for tournament qualifying fish must be taken on hook and line using standard rod and reel equipment. There is no size limit as far as size of rod / reel or line. Crew members may touch the rod briefly before handing off to an angler. It may not be passed back to any crewman at any time. More than one team member (not crew) may fight the fish, and team members or crew may assist the angler by touching the main line at any time during the fight. The rod may touch the boat railing during the fight. Use of outriggers, teasers, downriggers, spreader bars, kites and balloons are allowed. DRONES AS WELL AS GPS TRACKING CHIPS ARE NOT ALLOWED. The use of the Green Stick, a commercial “TROLLING” method with a mast, a "bird" attractor and multiple clips from the main line are NOT ALLOWED.
14) Teams can possibly win 1st, 2nd & 3rd overall. A maximum of 3 tuna, 1 wahoo and 1 dorado may be weighed per day, per team. The tournament weigh master may decide not to weigh all fish if there is a larger fish already holding down 1st through 3rd place at the time your team weighs in.
15) It is the responsibility of the team to decide which fish to weigh prior to docking at the weigh area. So, a team can bring in three Tuna as well as one wahoo and one dorado if they are in those jackpots. The team must choose which fish to enter in the dorado and or wahoo optional. Staff will pre-weigh some small dorado and wahoo to alleviate a weigh-in backup.
16) Between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 6 p.m. of the fishing days, no vessel entered in the tournament may be involved in handing off or receiving anything from another vessel whether that vessel is entered in the tournament or not. The tournament director may choose to grant special permission in advance to a team to waive this rule if someone's personal safety or health is at risk. A disabled boat CAN be towed back to the weigh-in site so a fish can be weighed in on time. If the assisting tow boat as well as the assisted boat is late, BOTH teams will be disqualified! No fish can be brought back by another boat whether it is in the tournament or not.
17) Overall, $500 of the $1,000 entry fee, and 80 percent of the daily jackpots will be paid back to anglers. The team that catches the biggest tuna over the two days wins 85 percent of the total cash in the entry pool. Second largest tuna wins 10 percent of the cash in the entry pool. Third largest tuna wins 5 percent of the cash in the entry pool. In jackpots, the winning team/captain takes all cash in the pot. Of the total amount awarded for first, second and third places in the entry pool and in the optional jackpots, 90 percent will go to the team and 10 percent will go to the boat captain of the charter boat if that boat is chartered. If not chartered, the captain's winnings are divided among the team members as they see fit. A $20,000 Tuna option was added solely for the teams going in across the board in all the tuna options, the $20,000 optional is an 85 percent payback, with 20 percent of the retained 15 percent going directly to the Grays Fish Tagging program. Mexican taxes totaling 15% of each team’s winnings will be held by WON and paid to Mexican municipal, state, and federal authorities.
18) The official minimum weights for tuna and wahoo is 30 pounds the first day. The second day the minimum for tuna and wahoo remains 30 pounds. Dorado will carry a 20 pound minimum each day. If no Dorado over 20 pounds are weighed on Day One, the Day Two minimum will be adjusted accordingly. Minimum weights may be changed prior to shotgun start on fishing days and will be announced over the official tournament radio channel. It is angler’s responsibility to pay attention to these announcements as they are made.Note that Wahoo and Dorado are backup species for tuna in the overall only. There is no backup species for any optional jackpots.
19) In the event of a tie in any overall or optional pool the two teams will split the winnings equally for that divisional award. More than two teams tying will result in an equal split for all teams. If no eligible optional jackpot fish are caught the first day, the jackpot money rolls to the second day. If no eligible jackpot fish are caught the second day the money rolls back to the first day winners. In the unlikely event that no eligible fish are caught over both days, refunds of the entry amount (minus $500 tournament operation fee) and jackpot amounts (minus 20 percent tournament operation fee) will be given, via mail.
20) Mutilated fish in which the ability of the fish to fight has been compromised will not be weighed in. The tournament director will make the final decision, with no protests allowed since it is a visual judgment.
21) Any U.S. team or U.S. individual receiving monetary winnings is required to provide to Western Outdoors Publications a social security number and a current address. A signature will additionally be required for receipt and acknowledgment of winnings. Team captains of teams that win money will be required to meet with WON staff to apply for their winnings which will be sent by check via mail within 2 weeks after the event.
22) Wristbands will identify team members and must be worn at all times. These will be distributed to team captains at check-in. All prizes must be won and accepted by a team member with a team wristband.
23) All monetary winners will be subject to a lie detector test at the discretion of the tournament director. If any angler declines to be tested, his team is automatically disqualified from receiving any monetary awards. The lie detector test will be used as one of, but not the sole, determining factor in any decision by the tournament director and the advisory board.
24) All verbal protests and supporting evidence must be presented to the tournament director immediately upon returning to Cabo, followed by a written protest no more than 30 minutes after the verbal protest. Protests must be filed with WON staff at the “official” weigh station location. Evidence will be ruled on by both tournament director and the staff advisory board prior to the next day's events. Any verbal or physical abuse or threats from entrants toward Jackpot staff is cause for a team's disqualification.
25) Teams which weigh in fish cannot continue to fish that day. All boats that weigh in qualifying fish are subject to a thorough boat inspection at the dock by a tournament staffer. The inspection would include visual checks on board, bait tanks / livewells, fish holds / kill bags and confirmation on gear / set up used to catch qualifying fish.
26) Spotter planes cannot assist teams in any way during the two days of official tournament fishing.
27) All boats must visually check in with the tournament start boat between 6:15 a.m. and 8 a.m. or will be disqualified for that day's fishing. The start boat and staff will be on the water until 8 a.m., either at the arch or at its slip. Call radio control at channel 28 if the start boat is not visible.
28) Safety is No. 1. No boats on the flare start shall "shoot" between the rock and arch at the start, which means all boats must run to the fishing grounds on the OUTSIDE of the outer rock. There is no automatic penalty, however. Disqualification of a team or teams is up to the discretion of the tournament director on both days.
29) SELF POLICING POLICY is encouraged for all teams to enable a fair and level playing field. Teams that report foul play will be held as “anonymous” to bring to the attention of the tournament director and WON staff to aid in resolving such matter(s).
It is the responsibility of the anglers to report any rule violation(s) to the tournament director if witnessed during an event. This self-policing will help maintain a level playing field for all. Remember that proof must be presented in form of picture, video or another team for the tournament director and WON event staff to be able to take action. There can be no grey area whatsoever. If 100% proof cannot be presented, understand that action(s) cannot not be taken.
Angler Code of Conduct
Anglers participating in the WON Cabo Tuna Jackpot event shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules for this specific event in which they are participating. Anglers shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional and friendly manner that demonstrates integrity, honor and respect toward fellow competitors and tournament staff and does not reflect unfavorably on the WON Cabo Tuna Jackpot tournament or its sponsors
Proper sporting ethics and good sportsmanship shall be expected from all WON Cabo Tuna Jackpot competing teams. Sportsmanship is defined as fair play, respect for opponents and polite behavior while competing within the WON Cabo Tuna Jackpot event.
All participating teams must respectfully regard political views as personal and must be kept outside and away from the Cabo Tuna Jackpot event. No political themes via boat décor or costumes as well as vocally on stage during the weigh-ins or other event gatherings will not be allowed.
***It is the sole responsibility of the participating anglers, captains and crews to know and abide by the tournament’s rules. By entering the Cabo Tuna Jackpot, they (the teams) acknowledge such and agree to all rules.
The Cabo Tuna Jackpot tournament director and staff reserves the right to refuse service / participation to any team when felt necessary to preserve the integrity and or growth of the WON Cabo Tuna Jackpot tournament