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The San Pedro Classic Fly Fishing Tournament is a three-day tournament with a community focus and is open to all participants. Located in San Pedro, Belize.

 

The fishing boundaries are Ambergris Caye and the surrounding Cayes — all Belizean waters.  The three-day, photo submission format will make it possible for fishermen in this entire range to participate. 

The San Pedro Classic Fly Fishing Tournament is not only a thrilling event for anglers but also a great way to promote the sport of fly fishing and raise awareness about the importance of conservation and sustainable fishing practices.  It brings together people who share a love for fly fishing and the outdoors, creating a sense of camaraderie and community.

Overall, the tournament is a celebration of fly fishing, the beauty of Belize and San Pedro, and the joy of being out on the water.  It's an event that combines skill, passion, and a love for nature, making it a memorable experience for all involved.

 

The San Pedro Classic Fly Fishing Tournament culminates in an Awards Banquet with a can’t-miss Raffle made possible by our generous sponsors.

Event Schedule:

7/31/2024 - Captains Meeting 7:00 p.m. at Holiday Hotel

8/1/2024 - Fishing Day 1 - 5:30 am-2:00 pm

8/2/2024 - Fishing Day 2 - 5:30 am-2:00 pm

8/3/2024 -  Fishing Day 3 - 5:30 am-2:00 p.m.

8/3/2024 - Awards Dinner and raffle 6:00 pm at Holiday Hotel

All proceeds from The San Pedro Classic Fly Fishing Tournament benefit the Bonefish & Tarpon Trust and Omar Arceo's Youth Fly Fishing program.

San Pedro Classic Fly Fishing Tournament Official Rules & Details:


I. General

1.0 The San Pedro Classic Fly Fishing Tournament 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 Official Rules, as amended from time to time. In the rare
instances when the Official Rules may conflict with the IGFA Rules, the Official 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 Official Rules.


II. Teams

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 who 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 an 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 and 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 the quick identification of a legal-length fish.


3.1 Cameras and smart phones may be used to take pictures of the entries.


3.2 Each day the fishing check-in shall begin at Tournament Headquarters at the Holiday Hotel at 5 a.m., and all anglers must sign in and pick up their tournament-issued ID prior to departing.


3.3 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.


3.4 Under the direction of an official starter, all boats will leave the starting area each day at 5:30 a.m. 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.


3.5 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. No
anchors are to be used. Fishers may wade from the boat to fish. All teams must be present at the judge's station no later than 3:00 p.m. daily.


3.6 Fishing may begin as soon as a boat arrives at a fishing spot. Fishing may continue until
2:00 pm at which time lines must be out of the water. A fish hooked prior to 2:00 p.m. may be
fought, caught, and released after 2:00 p.m. However, all boats must return to the Tournament
Headquarters by 3:00 pm. Boats returning to Tournament Headquarters after 3:00 p.m. may incur a penalty as set forth by the committee. Score sheets must be returned to the Tournament Headquarters by 3:30 p.m. each day.


3.7 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.


3.8 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.


3.9 Chumming or fishing in or near chummed areas is not allowed. There will be no fishing
within 200 yards of known "pet fish" areas, such as the former Sunset Grill or similar areas on Caye Caulker.


3.10 No assistance may be given to any angler other than by his guide who handles the boat, grabs fish, measures, and 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: 15 inches

Tarpon: 28 inches

Permit: 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 slime 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 p.m. 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.
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 the most slams and points, the last fish caught first will prevail.


V. Tackle:

5.1 Only fly-casting will be permitted, and only artificial 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 provide 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 No gaffs may be used in the retrieval of fish boat-side. Landing nets or cradles are the only
acceptable method if not using your hands. Please take great care when handling fish and prevent air exposure to a minimum. KEEP EM WET!!


CATCH & RELEASE TIPS:
1.) Land fish in the water
2.) Keep fish out of boats
3.) Get photos fast-fish in the water or dripping wet
4.) Support fish with two wet hands, never squeeze/hug

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