Angling Rules For the Freeport Tuna Club

January 2010

Awards Chairman: Captain Bill Morrogh

Committee Team: Captain Bill Toohey, Captain Michael Zullo

     The following angling rules have been formulated by the Awards & Contest Committee of the Freeport Tuna Club using International Game Fish Association Rules as a guide. These rules have been established to promote ethical angling practices and uniform regulations for eligibility of the Freeport Tuna Club Awards, Club Records, Rodeos, and Group Angling Events such as Derby Contests.

     These rules apply to all members in good standings with the exception of family members competing for Equalizer Annual Awards.

     Only fish caught in accordance with these rules or IGFA Rules will be considered for Freeport Tuna Club Awards and Club Records.

     These rules do not apply for any IGFA Records or Shootout Events. Any Club Records in this category must be in compliance with the IGFA Angling Rules


Equipment Regulations


1. Monofilament, multifilament, dacron, braid, wire line and lead core multifilament lines may be used.


1. Backing not attached to the fishing line is permissible with no restrictions as to size or material.

2. If the fishing line is attached to the backing, the catch shall be classified under the heavier of the two lines.


When double line is used, the intent of the double line is that the fish will be fought on the single line most of the time that it takes to land the fish.  If double line is used, it must meet 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 farthermost end of the knot, splice, snap, swivel or other device used for securing the trace, leader, lure or hook to the double line.

          a) Line classes up to and including 20 lb:
              Double line is limited to 15 feet. The combined length of the double line and leader should not exceed 20 feet.

          b) Line classes of tackle over 30 lb:
              Double line is limited to 30 feet. The combined length of the double line and leader should not exceed 40 feet.


Leaders will meet the following specifications:

1. 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. There are no regulations regarding the material or strength of the leader.

          a) Line classes up to and including 20 lb:
              Leaders are limited to 15 feet. The combined length of the double line and leader should not exceed 20 feet.

          b) All line classes of tackle over 20 lb:
              Leaders are limited to 30 feet. The combined length of the double line and leader should not exceed 40 feet.


1. Rods must comply with sporting ethics and customs.

2. The rod tip must be a minimum of 40 inches in length. The rod butt cannot exceed 27 inches 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. When the rod butt is placed in a gimbal, the measurement from the center of the reel seat to the pivot point of the gimbal can be no more than 27 inches. (The above measurements do not apply to surfcasting rods.)


1. Reels must comply with sporting ethics and customs.

2. Power driven reels of any kind may not be used.

3. Ratchet handle reels may not be used.

4. Reels designed to be cranked with both hands at the same time may not be used.


1. For live or dead bait fishing no more than three single hooks may be used. All hooks must be firmly imbedded in or securely attached to the bait.

2. Double or treble hooks are allowed.

3. All hooks must be imbedded in the respective baits.


1. 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.

2. The point of one hook may be passed through the eye of the other hook. The trailing hook may not extend more than a hook's length beyond the skirt of the lure.

3. Gang hooks are permitted when attached to plugs and other artificial lures that are specifically designed for this use.

4. Gang hooks must be free swinging and shall be limited to a maximum of three hooks (single, double, or treble, or a combination of any three)

5. Treble hooks may be used with any live or dead bait.

6. All baits must be DEC legal size.


1. Fighting chairs are permissible.

2. Gimbals must be free swinging to allow the angler to pump the fish. Back and bucket harness may also be used.

3. Gaffs and nets used to boat or land a fish must not exceed 8 feet in overall length unless the angler is fishing on a party or charter boat.  In using a flying or detachable gaff the rope may not exceed 30 feet. 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 gaff 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.

4. Harpoon or lance attachments may not be used.

5. Tail ropes are limited to 30 feet.

6. 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.

7. Outriggers, downriggers, side riggers and kites are permitted.

8. Spreader bars, umbrella bars, shad rigs, daisy chains and similar trolling devices are permissible.

a) Spreader bars and daisy chains will be limited to a one or double hook set up in the trailing lure.

b) Umbrella & Shad rigs may use multiple hooks. 

9. Birds, floats and similar devices may also be used.

10. A safety line may be attached to the rod provided that it does not in any way assist the angler in fighting the fish.

Angling Regulations

1. From the time that a fish strikes or takes a bait or lure, the Angler will hook, fight, and land or boat the fish.

2. If a rod holder is used and a fish strikes or takes the bait or lure, the angler should remove the rod from the holder as quickly as possible.

3. Persons other than the angler should not touch the rod, reel, or line in such a manner as to aid the angler during the time the fish strikes or takes the bait or lure, until the fish is either landed or released. If an obstacle affects the passage of the line through the rod guides and has to be removed from the line, then the obstacle (whether chum, float line, rubber band, or other material) may be removed by the aid of a crewmember.

4. A harness may be attached to the reel or rod, but not to the fighting chair. The harness may be replaced or adjusted by a person other than the angler.

5. Use of a rod belt or waist gimbal is permitted.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. Resting the rod in a rod holder, or any other object while playing the fish with stand up tackle is not permitted.

9. Hand lining or using a hand lines is not permitted.

10 Shooting, harpooning, or lancing any fish at any stage of the catch is not permitted.

11 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 is prohibited.

12 Splicing, removing, or adding to the line while the fish is being played is not allowed.

13. Intentionally foul-hooking a fish is prohibited.

14. Using a size or kind of bait that is illegal to possess may not be used as bait or chum.

15. A broken rod will not disqualify a fish from being recognized for an award, providing that the angler does not hand line the fish.

16. 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 will be at the discretion of the awards committee.

rotests & Disputes of Fish

1. Protests or disputes will be referred to the Freeport Tuna Club’s Board of Directors in writing. Its decisions will be final.

2. All fish must be weighed by an official weigh master recognized by the Freeport Tuna Club. The weigh master must sign and stamp each weigh slip. No fish weighed by an angler, or weighed at a commercial establishment other than a fishing station, which promotes sport fishing, will be accepted. All fish being considered for any FTC 24 hour rule of sail MUST be weighed at an official weigh station within 24 hours of departure time.

3. All fish must be weighed on an official FTC weigh slip. If the FTC Slip is not available the acceptance of the weigh slip will be at the discretion of the Awards Committee.

4. The angler is responsible for obtaining all of the necessary signatures and information on their weigh slips.

5. It is the Captain/Angler’s responsibility to get their weigh slips to the Awards Committee within 14 days of all Derby closings in order to be eligible for a Derby prize.
All weigh slips must be submitted by January 14th of the following year to be eligible for any Annual Award. No exceptions to this rule will be allowed.

6. Only fish meeting the official minimum weights are eligible for Derby and Annual Awards. There is no restriction on weights on Equalizer or Junior Rodeo Prizes. All fish must comply with DEC Regulations.


Species Weight in lbs.
Cod 6
Flounder 1.5
Striped Bass 15
Fluke 3.5
BlueFish 8
Mahi 4
Green Bonito 4
Blackfish 3
Seabass 2.5
Weakfish 5
Shark 125
Tuna 20
False Albacore 6