Balboa Angling Club General Angling Regulations
There shall be one classification of tackle, known as IGFA (International Game Fish Association) Tackle. Note: Past linen tackle records shall be maintained and can only be broken by taking fish on linen line.
All members shall fish in conformance with current California Sport Fishing Regulations and such other Rules and Regulations as are set forth herein.
All fish to be entered for Club awards, trophies, buttons, or championships must conform to the following rules and regulations:
1. Taking of game fish by any member by means other than rod and reel is prohibited. The harpooning of broadbill or the carrying of harpoon gear on one’s boat, or the use of spotter aircraft to place an angler in position for the purpose of baiting any billfish is unsportsmanlike conduct. A fish caught on rod and reel on an open party boat dragging a land line or carrying a broadbill harpoon that calendar day but over which the angler has no control shall not be disqualified under this rule.
2. The maximum length of pulpit on a member’s boat, or on any boat on which a member fished the calendar day of the catch, shall be no longer than 10% of the length of the boat, except that the Tackle and Tournament Committee will give consideration to the written request from a member owning a boat with a pulpit in excess of 10% and formal approval must be given prior to the weigh-in of the catch.
3. Violation of California Sport Fishing Regulations or of the specific rules and regulations of the Club may subject a member to action as set forth in Section II, Paragraph 4 of the Constitution and By-Laws.
4. All fish entered into competition for buttons, trophies, and awards must be officially weighed and/or recorded at the BAC, or any recognized weigh station facility that uses a certified scale. Fish weighed at sea will not be accepted. Fish may be, frozen, cleaned or gutted but must be identifiable as to species. Only the cleaned carcass will be considered when weighing fish. The weight of the guts may not be added to the total weight. Mutilated fish (as per IGFA rules) are disqualified.
NOTE: For World Records the scales must be certified. (See BAC House Rules for weigh station hours at the Clubhouse.)
5. Certificates of weight must be filed with the weigh master within fifteen (15) days of the date of catch.
6. In all line classes, the double line will now be limited to fifteen (15) feet (4.57 meters). Leaders in use for these line classes shall also be limited to fifteen (15) feet. If both a double line and leader are used, the combination maximum length shall not exceed thirty (30) feet (9.14 meters). With one exception to the above ruling, i.e.:
a. For Croaker and Corbina on 2#, 4#, 6# and 8# test, the limit of the leader shall be four (4) feet maximum.
7. Tackle must be exhibited when fish is weighed. Any protest relative to weight of fish or manner of weighing must be made before fish is removed from the certified scale. Any protest relative to tackle or method of killing fish must be made in writing by a member and filed with the Secretary within thirty (30) days from the time the weight certificate was filed.
8. The award of buttons, certificates and trophies will be governed by the tackle on which it is taken/released (angler must declare the line class at time of application). Angler is required to provide ten (10) feet of line for testing to the BAC within fifteen (15) days of the date of catch/release for any and all possible button or trophy fish. If angler questions the Club’s line class decision, a written response is necessary within thirty (30) days.
9. In all tournaments including “The Competition for the First Fish of the Season” trophies, the time of the catch will be the time the fish is brought to gaff. This shall immediately put on the air or reported as soon as possible to the nearest radio equipped boat. In order to qualify for the “First Flag” by a member, the boat or the angler taking the fish must bring the fish to the dock of the Balboa Angling Club within 36 hours from official time of the catch. A member’s boat may take First Fish Flag providing that a member in good standing was the angler taking the fish. Released Marlin must be confirmed by VHF or telephone to BAC Club Secretary within 36 hours.
10. In the event of a tie in the weights of fish, the fish first boated shall be recognized. In the event of a tie regarding released fish or trophies, the first member to reach the total points shall be recognized.
11. Club Boundaries: Competition for all Club trophies, buttons and awards is limited to waters between a line drawn due west (true) from Point Conception and a line running due west (true) along the 31st Parallel (approximately eighty (80) miles below the southern tip of South Coronado Island.
12. In order to qualify a fish as having been caught and released and/or tagged alive, the following conditions must be met.
a. Prior to the time the leader is taken the angler must announce to the other occupants of the boat that he/she intends to release and/or tag the fish.
b. Leader must be in the hands of the angler or gaffer.
c. After the fish is released, the leader or portion thereof must remain in the hands of the angler or gaffer.
d. A tagged fish is considered caught when the fish is tagged and/or released, and the leader or a portion thereof remains in the hands of the angler or gaffer or, if retrieved from the fish, is still attached to the line with hook attached.
e. When entering the harbor and for the remainder of the day upon which the fish was released, it is requested that the boat fly the proper species flag with a WHITE PENNANT or the Woods Hole Released Flag BELOW, designating that the fish was released and is not aboard.
13. A fish must weigh at least half the weight of a button fish in order to win a trophy. EXCEPTIONS: Special trophies, ie., First Fish of the Season, Last Marlin and those designated as full weight button-eligible fish.
14. The following clarification is in reference to the IGFA rules on the use of gaffs: Fish that are caught and submitted to the Club, from a licensed passenger carrying vessel 55’ in length and over, where it is impractical to abide by the IGFA limitations will be accepted for Annual Trophy Awards, Outstanding Angler, and Button Awards, provided that the fish was caught in conformance with the other regulations set forth herein, and in accordance with IGFA rules and regulations.
15. The Balboa Angling Club is not responsible for the actions of any persons in the operation of boat, conduct of fishing endeavors, transfer of personnel or fishing equipment on or off of boats or docks or otherwise, and each participant assumes all risks in connection therewith.
International Angling Rules
The following angling rules (1995) have been formulated by the International Game Fish Association (IGFA) to promote ethical and sporting angling practices, to establish uniform regulations for the compilation of world marine fish records, and to provide basic saltwater angling guidelines for use in fishing tournaments and any other group angling activities.
The word “angling” is defined as catching or attempting to catch fish with a rod, reel, line and hook as outlined in the international angling rules. There are some aspects of angling that cannot be controlled through rule-making however. Angling regulations cannot insure and outstanding performance from each fish, and world records cannot indicate the amount of difficulty in the catching of the fish. Captures in which the fish has not fought or has not had a chance to fight do not reflect credit on the fisherman, and only the angler can properly evaluate the degree of achievement in establishing the record. Only fish caught in accordance with IFGA international angling rules, and within the intent of these rules, will be considered for world records.
1. Line and Line Classes
a. Monofilament, multifilament, and lead core multifilament lines may be used. For line classes, see World Record Requirements.
b. Wire lines are prohibited.
IGFA world records are maintained according to the wet testing strength of the line used by the angler.
Metric US Customary
1 kg 2 lb 2.20
2 kg 4 lb 4.40
3 kg 6 lb 6.60
4 kg 8 lb 8.81
6 kg 12 lb 13.22
8 kg 16 lb 17.63
10 kg 20 lb 22.04
15 kg 30 lb 33.06
24 kg 50 lb 52.91
37 kg 80 lb 81.57
60 kg 130 lb 132.27
2. Line Backing
a. Backing not attached to the fishing line is permissible with no restrictions as to size or material.
b. If the fishing line is attached to the backing, the catch shall be classified under the heavier of the two lines. The backing may not exceed the 60 kg. (130 lb.) line class and must be of a type of line approved for use in the angling rules.
c. Double line (Note: Exception with BAC). The use of a double line is not required. If one is used, it must meeting the following specifications:
1. A double line must consist of the actual line used to catch the fish.
2. Double lines are measured from the start of the knot, braid, roll or splice making the double to the furthermost end of the knot, splice, snap, swivel, or other device used for securing the trace, leader, lure or hook to the double line.
In all line classes up to and including 10 kg. (20 lb.), the double line shall be limited to 15 feet (4.57 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader shall not exceed 20 feet (6.1 meters).
The double line on all classes of tackle over 10 kg. (20 lb.) shall be limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters). The combined length of the double line and the leader shall not exceed 40 feet (12.19 meters).
3. Leader (Note: Exception with BAC) The use of a leader is not required. If one is used, it must meet the following specifications:
a. The length of the leader is the overall length including any lure, hook arrangement or other device. The leader must be connected to the line with a snap, knot, splice, swivel or other device. Holding devices are prohibited. There are no regulations regarding the materials or strength of the leader.
In all line classes up to and including 10 kg. (20 lb.) the leader shall be limited to 15 feet (4.57 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader shall be limited to 20 feet (6.1 meters).
The leader on all classes of tackle over 20 lbs. (10 kg.) shall be limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters). The combined length of the double line and leader shall be limited to 20 feet (6.1 meters).
a. Rods must comply with sporting ethics and customs. Considerable latitude is allowed in the choice of a rod, but rods giving the angler an unfair advantage will be disqualified. This rule is intended to eliminate the use of unconventional rods.
b. The rod tip must be a minimum of 40 inches (101.6 cm) in length. The rod butt cannot exceed 27 inches (68.58 cm) in length. These measurements must be made from a point directly beneath the center of the reel. A curved butt is measured in a straight line. (Above do not apply to surf casting rods.)
a. Reels must comply with sporting ethics and customs.
b. Power driven reels of any kind are prohibited. This includes motor, hydraulic, or electrically driven reels, and any device which gives the angler an unfair advantage.
c. Ratchet handle reels are prohibited.
d. Reel designated to be cranked with both hands at the same time are prohibited.
6. Hooks for Bait Fishing
a. For live or dead bait fishing no more than two single hooks may be used. Both must be firmly in bedded in or securely attached to the bait. The eyes of the hooks must be no less than a hook’s length (the length of the largest hook used) apart and no more than 18 inches (45.72 cm) apart. The only exception is that the point of one hook may be passed through the eye of the other hook.
b. The use of a dangling or swinging hook is prohibited. Double or treble hooks are prohibited.
c. A two-hook rig for bottom fishing is acceptable if it consists of two single hooks on separate leaders or drips. Both hooks must be imbedded in the respective baits and separated sufficiently so that a fish caught on one hook cannot be foul hooked by the other.
d. All record applications made for fish caught on two-hook tackle must be accompanied by a photograph or sketch of the hook arrangement.
7. Hooks and Lures
a. When using an artificial lure with a skirt or trailing material, no more than two single hooks may be attached to the line, leader or trace. The hooks need not be attached separately. The eyes of the hooks must be no less than an overall hook’s length (the overall length of the largest hook used) apart and no further than 12 inches (30.48 cm) apart. The only exception is that the point of one hook may not extend more than hook’s length beyond the skirt of the lure. A photograph or sketch showing the hook arrangement must accompany a record application.
b. Gang hooks are permitted when attached to plugs and other artificial lures that are specifically designed for this use. Gang hooks must be free swinging and shall be limited to a maximum of three hooks (either single, double, or treble, or a combination of all three). Baits may not be used with gang hooks. A photograph or sketch of the plug or lure must be submitted with record application.
8. Other Equipment
a. Fighting chairs may not have any mechanically propelled devise which aid the angler in fighting a fish.
b. Gimbals must be free swinging which includes gimbals that swing in a vertical plane only. Any gimbal that allows the angler to reduce strain or to rest while fighting the fish is prohibited.
c. Gaffs and nets (Note: BAC exception) used to boat or land a fish must not exceed 8 feet (2.44 meters) in overall length. In using flying or detachable gaff the rope may not exceed 30 feet (9.14 meters). The gaff rope must be measured from the point where it is secured to the detachable head to the other end. Only the effective length will be considered. If a fixed head is used, the same limitations shall apply and the gaff rope shall be measured from the same location on the gaff hook. Only a single hook is permitted on any gaff. Harpoon or lance attachments are prohibited. Tail ropes are limited to 30 feet (9.14 meters). (When fishing from a bridge, pier, or other high platform or structure, this length limitation does not apply.)
d. Floats are prohibited with the exception of any small floatation device attached to the line or leader for the sole purpose of regulating the depth of the bait. The flotation device must not in any way hamper the fighting ability of the fish.
e. Entangling devices, either with or without a hook, are prohibited and may not be used for any purpose including baiting, hooking, fighting, or landing the fish.
f. Outriggers, downriggers, and kites are permitted to be used provided that the actual fishing line is attached to the snap or other released device, either directly or with some other material. The leader or double line may not be connected to the released mechanism either directly or with the use of a Connecting device.
g. A safety line may be attached to the rod provided that it does not in any way assist the angler in fighting the fish.
1. From the time that a fish strikes or takes a bait or lure, the angler must hook, fight, and bring the fish to tag without the aid of any other person, except as provided in the regulations.
2. If a rod holder is used and a fish strikes or takes the bait or lure, the angler must remove the rod from the holder as quickly as possible. The intent of this rule is that the angler shall strike and hook the fish with the rod in hand.
3. In the event of a multiple strike or separate lines being fished by a single angler, only the first fish fought by the angler will be considered for a world record.
4. If a double line is used, the intent of the regulations is that the fish will be fought on the single line most of the time that it takes to land a fish.
5. A harness may be attached to the reel or rod, but not the fighting chair. The harness may be replaced or adjusted by a person other than the angler.
6. Use of rod belt or waist gimbal is permitted.
7. When angling from a boat, once the leader is brought within the grasp of the mate, or the end of the leader is wound to the rod tip, more than one person is permitted to hold the leader.
8. One or more gaffers may be used in addition to persons holding the leader. The gaff handle must be in hand when the fish is gaffed.
9. The angling and equipment regulations shall apply until the fish is weighed.
Any of the following will disqualify a catch:
1. Failure to comply with equipment or angling regulations.
2. The act of persons other than the angler in touching any part of the rod, reel, or line (including the double line) either bodily or with any device, from the time a fish strikes or takes the bait or lure, until the fish is either landed or released, or in giving any aid other than that allowed in the rules and regulations. If an obstacle to the passage of the line through the rod guides has to be removed from the line, then the obstacle shall be held and cut free. The line may not be held or touched by anyone other than the angler during the process.
3. Resting the rod on a rod holder, on the gunwale of the boat, or any other object while playing the fish.
4. Handling or using a handling or rope attached in any manner to the angler’s line or leader for the purpose of holding or lifting a fish.
5. Shooting, harpooning, or lancing any fish (including sharks and halibuts) at any stage of the catch.
6. Chumming with or using as bait the flesh, blood, skin, or any part of mammals other than hair or pork rind used in lures designed for trolling or casting.
7. Using a boat or device to beach or drive a fish into shallow water in order to deprive the fish of its normal ability to swim.
8. Changing the rod or reel while the fish is being played.
9. Splicing, removing, or adding to the line while the fish is being played.
10. Intentionally foul-hooking a fish.
11. Catching a fish in a manner that the double line never leaves the rod tip.
12. Using a size or kind of bait that is illegal to possess.
13. Attaching the angler’s line or leader to part of a boat or other object for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish.
14. If a fish escapes before gaffing or netting and is recaptured by any method other than as outlined in the angling rules.
15. When a rod breaks (while the fish is being played) in a manner that reduces the length of the tip below minimum dimensions or severely impairs its angling characteristics.
16. Mutilation to the fish, prior to landing or boating the catch, caused by sharks or other fish, mammals, or propellers that remove or penetrate the flesh. (Injuries caused by leader or line, scratches, old healed scars or regeneration deformities are not disqualifying injuries.) Any mutilation on the fish must be shown in a photograph and fully explained in separate report accompanying the record application.
17. When a fish is hooked or entangled on more than one line.
Fly fishing Rules and Regulations & Equipment
1. LINE – Any type of fly line and backing may be used. The breaking strength of the fly line and backing are not restricted.
2. LEADER – Leaders must conform to generally accepted fly fishing customs. A leader includes a class tippet and, optionally, a shock tippet. A butt or taper section between the fly line and the class tippet shall also be considered part of the leader and there are no limits on its length, material, or strength.
A class tippet must be made of nonmetallic material and either attached directly to the fly or to the shock tippet if one is used. The class tippet must be at least 15 inches (38.10 cm) long (measured inside connecting knots). With respect to knotless, tapered leaders, the terminal 15 inches (38.10 cm) will also determine tippet class. There is no maximum length limitation.
A shock tippet, not to exceed 12 inches (30.48 cm) in length, may be added to the class tippet and tied to the lure. It can be made of any type of material, and there is no limit on its breaking strength. The shock tippet is measured from the eye of the hook to the single strand of class tippet and includes any knots used to connect the shock tippet to the class tippet. In the cast of a tandem hook fly, the shock tippet shall be measured from the eye of the leading hook.
3. ROD – Regardless of material used or number of sections, rods must conform to generally accepted fly fishing customs and practices. A rod shall not measure less than 6 feet (1.82 meters) in overall length. Any rod that gives the angler an unsporting advantage will be disqualified. Extension butts are limited to 6 inches (15.24 cm).
4. REEL – The reel must be designed expressly for fly fishing. There are no restrictions on gear ratio or type of drag employed except where the angler would gain an unfair advantage. Electric or electronically operated reels are prohibited.
5. HOOKS – A conventional fly may be dressed on a single or double hook or two single hooks in tandem. The second hook in any tandem fly must not extend beyond the wing material. The eyes of the hooks shall be no farther than 6 inches (15.24 cm) apart. Treble hooks are prohibited.
6. LURES – The lure must be a recognized type of artificial fly, which includes streamer, bucktail, tube fly, wet fly, dry fly, nymph, popper and bug. The use of any other type of lure or natural or preserved bait, either singularly or attached to the fly, is expressly prohibited. Only a single fly is allowed. Dropper flies are prohibited. The fact that a lure can be cast with a fly rod is not evidence in itself that it fits the definition of a fly. The use of any lure designed to entangle or foul hook a fish is prohibited. No scent, either natural or artificial is allowed on flies. The use of scented material in a fly is prohibited.
7. GAFFS & NETS – Gaffs and nets used to boat or land a fish must not exceed 8 feet (2.44 meters) in overall length. (When fishing from a bridge, pier or other high stationary structure, this length limitation does not apply.) The use of a flying gaff is not permitted. Only a single hook is permitted on any gaff. Harpoon or lance attachments are prohibited. A rope or any extension cannot be attached to the gaff.
NOTE: Button Awards are identical to standard buttons with the exception of the 4# Tippet for White Seabass, Yellowtail, Halibut, Dorado, Albacore, Tuna, Marlin, Swordfish, Mako and Thresher Sharks being 7 lbs. for the button fish weight.
Fly Fishing Regulations
1. The angler must cast, hook, fight and bring the fish to gaff or net unaided by any other person. No other person may touch any part of the tackle during the playing of the fish or give aid other than taking the leader for gaffing or netting purposes.
2. Casting and retrieving must be carried out in accordance with normal customs and generally accepted practices. The major criterion in casting is that the weight of the line must carry the fly rather than the weight of the fly carrying the line. Trolling a fly behind a moving watercraft is not permitted. The craft must be completely out of gear both at the time the fly is presented to the fish and during the retrieve. The maximum amount of line that can be stripped off the reel is 120 feet (36.57 meters) from the fly.
3. Once a fish is hooked, the tackle may not be altered in any way, with the exception of adding an extension butt. A harness cannot be attached to the fly rod.
4. Fish must be hooked on the fly in use. If a small fish takes the fly and a larger fish swallows the smaller fish, the catch will be disallowed.
5. One of more people may assist in gaffing or netting the fish.
6. The angling and equipment regulations shall apply until the fish is weighed.
The following acts will disqualify a catch:
1. Failure to comply with equipment or angling regulations.
2. The act of persons other than the angler in touching any part of the rod, reel, or line either bodily or with any device during the playing of the fish, or in giving any aid other than that allowed in the rules and regulations. If an obstacle to the passage of the line through the rod guides has to be removed from the line, then the obstacle shall be held and cut free.
3. Under no circumstances should the line be held or touched by anyone other than the angler during this process.
4. Handlining or using a handline or rope attached in any manner to the angler’s line or leader for the purpose of holding or lifting the fish.
5. Intentionally foul hooking or snagging a fish.
6. Shooting, harpooning, or lancing any fish (including sharks and halibut) at any stage of the catch.
7. Chumming with the flesh, blood, skin or any part of mammals.
8. Using a boat or device to beach or drive a fish into shallow water in order to deprive the fish of its normal ability to swim.
9. Attaching the angler’s line or leader to part of a boat or other object for the purpose of holding of lifting the fish.
10. If a fish escapes before gaffing or netting and is recaptured by any method other than as outlined in the angling rules.
11. When a rod breaks (while the fish is being played) in a manner that reduces its length below minimum dimensions or severely impairs its angling characteristics.
12. When a fish is hooked or entangled on more than one line.
13. Mutilation to the fish, prior to landing or boating the catch, caused by sharks, other fish, mammals, or propellers that remove or penetrate the flesh. (Injuries caused by leader or line, scratches, old healed scars or regeneration deformities are not considered to be disqualifying injuries.) Any mutilation on the fish must be shown in a photograph and fully explained in a separate report accompanying the record application.