MBMC Fishing Rules and Regulations

RULES AND REGULATIONS – Updated 1/16/2019

The version of the MBMC Rules and Regulations on the MBMC website are the official rules of the club. Rules printed in yearbooks are current as of the time of printing. Anglers should periodically check the website for the most current version.

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.

Rules of the Mission Bay Marlin Club pertaining both to equipment and angling regulations are based upon the current year’s INTERNATIONAL GAME FISH ASSOCIATION (IGFA) RULES FOR FISHING IN FRESH WATER AND SALT WATER. The IGFA rules are designed to promote ethical and sporting angling practices, establish uniform regulations for the compilation of world game fish records, and provide basic angling guidelines for use in fishing tournaments and other group angling activities. Only fish caught in accordance with IGFA international angling rules, and within the intent of such rules, will be considered for world records.

IGFA Rules


In order to be considered for MBMC AWARDS, all fish must be caught from a member’s boat, aboard a rented boat where a member is the captain, or from a shore attached platform.

Fish caught must be in accordance with all California Department of Fish and Game Regulations regarding the species landed.

Fish must be caught in accordance with the current year’s IGFA RULES FOR FISHING IN FRESH WATER AND SALT WATER. Each member is advised to read those rules so as not to inadvertently disqualify a catch

NOTE: adherence to the following MBMC rules, which vary from IGFA Rules, may result in disqualification of the fish from consideration for world record certification.
Bottom Fish
The following MBMC exceptions apply as to the taking of bottom fish only.
1. Wire line is allowed.
2. Multi-hook rigs (“Gangions”) are allowed.

Other Equipment
1. Gang Hooks: As to the taking of all marlin and swordfish, gang hooks (whether double or treble and regardless of method of attachment) on any lure shall be prohibited.
2. MBMC and IGFA considers the line class by the topshot line test. Topshot length must be 5 meters (16.5 feet) or longer for topshot line test to qualify.
3. MBMC does not use the IGFA 50% of line test rule for any awards or tournaments. (20lb line class and under)
4. MBMC does not use the IGFA 100% of line test for any awards or tournaments. (over 20lb line class)

The fishing areas for the Mission Bay Marlin Club shall be limited to those waters of the Pacific Ocean lying between a line running due East and West (true) from the southern tip of San Martin Island on the south and a similar line running due East and West (true) from the northern tip of San Miguel Island on the North.

January 1st is the opening day of each year’s fishing season. Midnight, December 31st shall be the official closing date of the season.

AWARDS – The award of certificates and trophies will be governed by the tackle on which the fish is taken.
Due to adoption of the metric system the following metric classes together with U.S. Customary Equivalent are provided.

Metric U.S.Customary Equivalent
1kg. 2lbs.
2kg. 4lbs.
3kg. 6lbs.
4kg. 8lbs.
6kg. 12lbs.
8kg. 16lbs.
10kg. 20lbs.
15kg. 30lbs.
24kg. 50lbs.
37kg. 80lbs.

1. All fish entered in competition for trophies and awards may be weighed at MBMC or any weigh station listed below, with the exception that any MBMC No. 1 Flag fish or Last Marlin being weighed MUST be weighed at the MBMC weigh station.

MBMC Weigh Station – Dana Landing Fuel Dock, Mission Bay
Tuna Club – Avalon, Santa Catalina
Marlin Club – San Diego Bay
Southern California Tuna Club – Long Beach Marina
Balboa Angling Club – Balboa
Oceanside Harbor – Oceanside
Huntington Harbor – Huntington Beach
King Harbor Marlin Club – King Harbor
Dana Angling Club – Dana Point

2. Within 3 days of the catch, the angler must notify the club/weighmaster by radio, telephone, text or email and provide all information included on the weight certificate.

3. Certificates of weight must be filed with the MBMC Weigh Master within ten (10) days of date of catch. File is tended by Dana Landing fuel dock personnel

4. The angler who caught the fish must present the tackle used for the catch at the time of weigh in. Any protest relative to weight of fish or manner of weighing must be made before fish is removed from the scale. Any protest relative to tackle or method of taking the fish must be made in writing by a member and must be filed with the secretary within 72 hours from the time the weight certificate was filed with the MBMC Weigh Master.

Only Tagged and/or Released fish caught and reported in accordance with the following rules shall qualify and be considered for Tag and Release trophies and awards. For the purposes of this section the term Tag and Release is used whether the fish was tagged and released or just released. The following is required for a Tag-and-Release fish to qualify:

1. Prior to the time the leader is taken, the angler must announce to the other occupants on the boat or, in the case of a single angler, by radio to another Marlin Club member if possible, that he intends to Tag and Release the fish.

2. The leader must be in the hands of the angler or deckhand during the act of tagging or releasing the fish.

3. A photograph CLEARLY DEPICTING A HAND ON THE LEADER AND THE MARLIN or A HAND CONTROLING THE BILL OF THE MARLIN is required and must be submitted with the completed MBMC Tag-and-Release Form .

4. After the fish is tagged or released the leader or a portion thereof must remain in the hands of the angler or deckhand.

5. Within 3 days of the catch, the angler must notify the club/weighmaster by radio, telephone, text or email and provide all information included on the MBMC Tag-and-Release Form .

6. The MBMC Tag-and-Release Form and verification photograph must be received by the weigh master within ten (10) days of the tag and release date or if mailed, must be postmarked within ten days of the date the tag and release occurred.

When entering the harbor and for the remainder of the day during which the fish was released, it is requested that the boat fly the proper specie flag with a white pennant or a red pennant w/white-T release flag beneath the specie flag designating that the fish was released and is not aboard.

To be eligible for the first marlin of the season award, or for the last marlin of the season award, the marlin must be weighed at the Mission Bay Marlin Club. The Angler must bring the fish to the Club within 36 hours from official time of the catch. The time the fish is caught will determine the first marlin of the season. This shall be reported as soon as possible to the nearest Club boat. The latest hook-up time shall determine the last marlin of the season. Released marlins can qualify for first and last marlin if caught according to the Club tag and release procedures for awards.

The “Fish of the Month” FOM Contest begins January 1st and ends December 31st. A single entry fee covers the entire year and must be submitted prior catching a fish for that fish to be eligible. Entry may be made during membership renewal or subsequently using the Membership Form.

The Club shall recognize as “Fish of the Month” the largest fish by weight, not including sharks, skates, and rays, caught during each month of the year by a club member participating in “Fish of the Month” competition. Weigh slips from a certified scale, as listed in Weighing In above, are accepted provided such slips are received at the Club within ten (10) days of the catch. In addition, the club/weighmaster must be notified within 3 days of the catch. Each participant is limited to two (2) FOM awards per year.

Marlin tag/releases will be eligible for FOM recognition. All entries must follow all of the rules for releases as published above under Tag & Release. For FOM, 130 points (pounds) will be awarded for each release that is properly documented. Tie breaker will be awarded to the first Marlin released for the month.

The following rules apply to Intra Club Tournaments. Tournament dates are set to correspond with the availability of target species in our local waters.

Tournament Registration is held the Friday night before the Tournament at the Captain’s Meeting. Unless otherwise noted, Tournaments are a two day format with fishing starting at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and the last weigh-in deadline at 6:00 p.m. Sunday evening.

Tournaments will be cancelled/postponed at the discretion of the Tournament Director by 9:00 PM of the day preceding the event. The Director will use his best judgement after reviewing weather reports and consulting with other Directors and participants.

Entry in Tournament winner-take-all largest fish cash jackpots is voluntary, however all anglers, except Junior Anglers, fishing on the same boat must be entered in the cash jackpot in order to qualify for jackpot winnings.

Tournament Awards:
Male Angler, Female Angler, and Junior Angler tournament awards are based upon the largest fish by weight submitted by each respective angler participating angler entered in the tournament. Awards are given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place anglers based on their single heaviest target fish. Four points for first, three points for second, two points for third, one point for all others weighing in targeted fish will be awarded toward annual top angler awards.

Boat tournament awards are based on the heaviest composite weight of a maximum of three fish caught by any of the anglers registered to fish on that particular boat for the Tournament. Awards are given to 1st, 2nd and 3rd place boats based on heaviest composite weight of target fish. Four points for first, three points for second, two points for third, one point for all others weighing in targeted fish will be awarded toward the annual top boat award.

Top Male Angler, Top Female Angler, Top Junior Angler and Top Boat Awards will be determined by the highest cumulative points from five tournaments entered during the season.

In the event of an angler hooking a fish on one boat and catching the fish on another boat, the angler shall receive full credit for fish caught in a recognized and accredited manner. The boat on which the fish was initially hooked will receive unofficial credit for weigh certificates and pictures, and may fly the catch flag, but neither boat shall receive recognition for boat trophies.

In order for fish to be eligible for boat trophies it must be caught on a member’s boat and a Marlin Club member must be aboard. In addition, the registered owner, or a member of his immediate family, must be aboard. Immediate family consists of husband, wife, son or daughter.

Members will be included in the junior division up to and including the year in which they turn 16 years of age