2024 Northeast Bluefin Showdown


2024 Northeast Bluefin Showdown

Wednesday, June 26, 2024 to Saturday, June 29, 2024
 | Fishing Tournament
Bluefin Tuna



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Northeast Bluefin Showdown
Tuna Tournament

June 26 - 30, 2024

The Third Annual Northeast Bluefin Showdown will again be held in Newburyport, with the location of the Captain’s Meeting and Awards Dinner at the newly renovated Elks Hall @ 25 Low St, Newburyport. This year, our tournament will feature three fishing days and three weigh-in locations. The main weigh-in location will be in Newburyport at the Commercial Pier, with additional weigh-in locations in Portland, Maine, and Marshfield, Massachusetts. If the recent NOAA rulings apply to this year, participants will be able to fish three consecutive days with a three-bag limit per day. Once a final determination is posted by NOAA, we will provide further guidance. The inclusion of two additional weigh-in locations will enable more vessels to participate without the need to travel long distances. It will also broaden the competition from Portland, Maine to Cape Cod. Newburyport will serve as the hub for our tournament, offering weigh-in facilities, a leaderboard with real-time updates from all locations, and more. Vessels can weigh in at any of the three locations, regardless of their homeport.



All entrants must be properly licensed to fish in accordance with the state the fish will be landed and sold in (MA & ME) as well as federal requirements, under the general category rules.


    $1,650.00 minus a $150 Early Registration Discount


    First Place: $50,000.00
    Second Place: $25,000.00
    Third Place: $8,000.00


NEW Charity!! Our mission is to support charities who are making a difference in people’s lives.

Our 2024 charity is The Light Foundation. The Light Foundation, founded by New England Patriots Hall of Famer and 3X Super Bowl Champ, Matt Light. Matt spent his entire pro career protecting #12’s blind side and since retirement, he and wife Susie have dedicated their time and energy to the betterment of today’s youth. The Light Foundation takes at-risk teens to the outdoors to not only teach the benefits of being outside but mentors them to bring leadership skills back to their community for a lifetime. It is truly an amazing foundation with two decades of making a difference for young people and communities across the country. In fact, over 450 students from underserved areas in Massachusetts have participated in leadership conferences. Learn more at mattlight72.com. We will use donations from our product auctions, raffle tickets, and our sponsors to raise funds. Join us to fish competitively and raise funds to help a worthy cause.

$1,650 USD
Team Event
Min: 1 Angler
Max: 1 Angler

Newburyport Elks Lodge25 Low Street, Newburyport, MA

Website: www.northeastbluefinshowdown.com

Registration open from Monday, December 20, 2021


Welcome to iAngler Tournament - Adding Your Photo to the Leaderboard
3 months 3 weeks ago

Events & Schedule

Captain’s Meeting (6-9pm)

06/26/2024 03:00 PM

Elks Hall ,Newburyport

First Fishing Day - Lines In

06/27/2024 12:00 AM

Fishing Day - Scales Open (11am-9pm)

06/27/2024 11:00 AM

Fishing Day - Scales Open (11am-9pm)

06/28/2024 11:00 AM

Final Fishing Day - Scales Open (11am-9pm)

06/29/2024 11:00 AM

Awards Ceremony

06/30/2024 11:00 AM

Elks Hall, Newburyport



Ed Fontes


Rules and RegulationsClick to Read



A representative from each registered vessel must be present and signed in prior to the Captain’s Meeting held on July 8, 2022. The vessel representative must be at least 18 years old. Any vessel that is not registered or has not completed a Waiver of Damages prior to the start of the Tournament will not be eligible to fish.

Tournament participants are responsible for obtaining and becoming familiar with tournament rules and all applicable State and Federal laws, rules and regulations.

All Tournament participants must be in full legal compliance with NOAA/ National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulations.

All entrants must be properly licensed to fish in the Atlantic Tunas General Category or HMS Charter/Headboat Category with commercial endorsement under NOAA National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulations and must meet all U.S. Coast Guard requirements

Bluefin Tuna base entry fee is $1,650 and it covers the registered vessel. All tournament entries are non-transferable and non-refundable. If a vessel is unable to compete in the event after submitting payment, you must contact one of the Tournament Officials below. Payment of the entry fee constitutes a representation by each entrant that he/she has read and fully understands the tournament rules that he/she will abide by such rules and the decisions of the Event Director and/or Committee. Please read the rules and regulations very carefully. If you have any questions please feel free to reach out to Ed Fontes 978-476-7187 info.nebft@gmail.com or Bob Freeman 978-270-8107, scrazy95@aol.com

All participants must be familiar with state and federal permitting depending on each commercial category. An HMS charter/headboat permit is required for vessels taking for hire passengers recreational fishing for Atlantic HMS www.fisheries.noaa.gov/action/atlantic-bluefin-tuna-commercial-minimum-s...

All fish must be caught with traditional rod and reel.
Electric reels are not allowed.

Greenstick and bandit reels are not allowed.

Harpoons are allowed when landing the fish.

There are no limitations on fishing area, except that tournament participants must fish in a location that allows fish to be landed.

There is no weather committee. The decision to fish is that of the captains and participants, and is strictly at their own risk. Upon signing the Waiver of Damages, the New England Bluefin Showdown Tournament cannot be held liable.

Fishing hours will be governed by NOAA/National Marine Fisheries Service (NMFS) regulations at the time of the Tournament, we expect there will be limited daily fishing restrictions, it is the entered vessels responsibility to be aware of the current restrictions, if any.

The following species are eligible for competition when caught by registered anglers in accordance with tournament rules:

  • Bluefin Tuna (Eligible for Weigh-in at Scales)
  • Bluefin Tuna (Commercial) – 73″ CFL or greater)

    The Tournament Committee reserves the right to reject any fish entry because of poor or suspect condition or one that does not meet the eligible requirements set by this tournament. The condition of the fish will be left to the scrutiny of the weighmaster. HIS DECISION IS FINAL.

All hookups should be reported or relayed to the Tournament Weighmaster or other boats in the area as soon as possible when the fish is hooked. Tournament channel – 8

Once fish is landed (subdued, tail-roped and is hanging from or lying on the deck) vessels MUST radio or relay notification to the Tournament Weighmaster, or other Tournament Official. Tournament channel – 8. Participants are also encouraged to take a digital photo of the fish with date and time stamp.

All participants are expected to operate in the spirit of cooperation and fair play. At the request of a boat fighting a fish, all others must stay clear.

General Category Rules apply with the following exceptions: a) no electric harpoons, b) no aerial reconnaissance allowed and c) all tuna are to be hooked, fought and brought to boat side only by manually operated rod and reel (hand line or conventional harpoon prohibited except cockpit harpoon may be used to land fish). Power driven reels or devices of any kind are prohibited, except when used as kite rods . This includes, but is not limited to motor, hydraulic or electrically driven devices. Fish may be fought from the rod holder or freestanding. Fish may be fought by multiple anglers.

All tuna must measure 73 inches curved fork length (CFL) or greater to be eligible for entry in this category. Please check updated regulations on the NMFS website: https://hmspermits.noaa.gov

Regardless of the duration of a fishing trip (e.g., whether a vessel takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day), no more than a single day’s daily retention limit may be possessed, retained or landed. For example, under a three-fish retention limit, whether a vessel fishing under the General category limit takes a two-day trip or makes two trips in one day, no more than three fish may be possessed, retained or landed in a single day.

The tagging program by the Large Pelagic Research Center (LPRC) under the direction of Molly Lutcavage, PH.D has helped identify migration routes, growth patterns and potential spawning grounds of Bluefin Tuna.

The objective is to catch, measure, tag and release juvenile Bluefin Tuna. The winner will be determined by the greatest number of fish tagged and released during the Tournament.

In the event of a tie, the earliest fish tagged and released, ( by date stamped photo or video) will be declared the winner.

Prizes for this Category will be based on the number of entrants to this division.

Each boat that enters will receive the following:

A) Tagging Kit

B) Two Tournament Shirts

C) Two Awards Dinner Tickets

The “Tag a Tiny” Tagging Kit contains 5 conventional tags with associated data cards. You will also receive educational leaflets illustrating the proper technique and placement of the tags.

Once you have caught and brought the fish alongside insert the conventional tag into the muscle just below the 2nd dorsal fin. Take a photo of the fish showing the tag.

Complete the data card enclosed in the kit with the date, time, lat/long, fight time, condition of the fish, size, whether hook was removed, and contact information of the Captain and Angler, take a photo of the completed card.

By the end of the fishing day forward two photos ( by text or email )to the Tournament Committee or designated LPRC Representative. Bring your original completed data cards to the Awards Ceremony so that we may verify your catches.

All vessels intending to weigh in a qualifying fish must contact the Tournament Weighmaster or Tournament Director for instructions on proceeding to the weigh station, any vessel failing this notification will be subject to delays if other vessels are at the weigh station.

All eligible fish must be weighed at the Tournament Authorized Weigh Station and must be delivered on the tournament registered vessel upon which it was boated. Per NOAA/NMFS regulations, transfer of fish between vessels is prohibited.

In order to be eligible, all bluefin tuna must be gilled and gutted which includes one gill plate, all internals and gonads, heads and tails must be left on prior to weighing. Fish will be weighed by the tail using a tail rope provided by the Tournament, the Tournament Weighmaster will inspect all GBFT to ensure proper dressing and may remove any portions of the GBFT not strictly conforming to the rules. All GBFT will be weighed only by the Weighmasters scale and the vessel and Tournament Director will receive a certified weight card.

Any protests relating to the tournament must be submitted in writing along with a $50 deposit by the team Captain to the Weighmaster or Tournament Committee no later than 60 minutes after the last fish is weighed on the final day of the tournament. All entrants agree to abide by tournament rules and regulations.

All disputes are decided by the Tournament Director and Committee. Their decision is final. Poor sportsmanship will be grounds for disqualification from the Northeast Bluefin Showdown. Any violation of these rules will result in disqualification of the vessel and will result in forfeiture of entry fee and prize money.

The Tournament Committee reserves the right to reject any fish entry because of poor or suspect condition or one that does not meet the eligible requirements set by this Tournament. The condition of the fish will be left to the scrutiny of the Weighmaster, Tournament Director and Committee.


There will be guaranteed cash awards for 1st, 2nd & 3rd place, awards will be published and updated as registration proceeds.


Disclaimer Click to Read

Waiver of Damages and Photo Release:

In consideration of being allowed to participate in the Northeast Bluefin Showdown Tuna Tournament, I, for myself, my executors, administrators, heirs and assigns do hereby waive any claims of damage, demand, officers, employees, and agents arising out of my participation in this event, whether arising from a negligent act, failure to act or from any cause whatsoever. I assume the risk of all dangerous conditions inherent and foreseeable in participating in the tournament and waive any and all specific notice of the existence of such conditions.

For valuable consideration received, I hereby grant to the Northeast Bluefin Showdown Tuna Tournament the unrestricted permission in respect of pictures taken of me in which I may be included with others, to use re-use, publish, and republish the same in whole or part, and for any illustration, promotion, advertising, or any other purpose whatsoever and to use my name in connection therewith if chosen.

As Captain of my vessel, I agree to indemnify Northeast Bluefin Showdown Tuna Tournament and to hold it harmless from any claims asserted by passenger and/or crew of my vessel.