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MLF Australia Rules

2024 MLF Australia Bream Series Rules

Entry Fees

$700.00 per Team Entry (2 anglers)

Payouts are calculated on a 70% payback.

 

Pre-Entry Requirements

All anglers participating in events must be current, financial members of Major League Fishing.

Membership and entry through MLF Australia website www.mlfaustralia.com.au  

All entrants are required to submit a completed and signed event entry form. Included on the entry form is a Liability Waver that is to be understood and acknowledged as part of the entry form completion and submission process.

Entries to MLF tournaments will be filed in order of receipt of correctly completed entry forms and payment (and tournament staring order). Only one entry form per team will be accepted.

All entry forms must be accompanied by payment to be processed. Entries without payment will not be processed. It is the responsibility of the competitor to contact MLF Australia if their entry is not listed on the entry lists on the website. All teams must fill out an entry form.

Cancellation of an entry before the advertised closing date will result in a refund or entry credits. Cancellation of an entry after the closing date may incur a 20% cancellation fee. n.b. Cancellation of an entry on the pre-fish day will result in the forfeit of all the entry fee, regardless of the reason.

Entries received after the closing date may be declined or incur a late fee.

Anglers must be 16 years of age or older at the time of the tournament start.

There will be a practice fishing ban for all competition waterways and linked systems from dawn on the Monday week prior to the competition until dawn on the Thursday/Friday immediately before the tournament. For instance, if a tournament is held over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of a month, the pre-fish ban will extend from dawn on Monday the 8th until dawn on Friday the 19th. Specific dates and variations are listed on Event Info sheets.

Upon signing the entry form anglers consent that the information provided on the entry form may be provided to a third party such as a tournament major sponsor for marketing purposes.

 

Event Rules

MLF Events are contested by teams of 2 anglers. Teams fish together on their own boat, with one nominated Pro Angler and one nominated Co-Angler. Teams fish for the event prize pool on offer.

Competitor boats must be 3.7m in length or greater. Horsepower and beam must be sufficient to plane the craft with two anglers and full livewell/s. 20hp is considered the minimum to achieve this. All engines must be fitted with a functional kill switch and safety lanyard, which will be checked at the boat checkout.

All outboards must not exceed the maximum horsepower rating stipulated on the boat’s compliance plate or Australian Builders’ Plate.

Boat drivers must wear their engine’s safety lanyard strap that connects to the kill switch at all times, while the engine is running. Additionally, all competitors are required to wear a PFD Level 100 while the boat is on the plane. All jackets worn must comply with required standards as outlined by the relevant waterway authority.

All boats must have a minimum 60 litres of live well with an aerator or recirculating pump installed and functioning. Live wells must be insulated if above deck, and no Nally bins, garbage bins or fish tubs will be accepted.

All boaters must ensure an MLF Australia official has received a copy of their current boat insurance policy before competing. This can be emailed to fish@mlfaustralia.com.au or submitted with tournament entry.

All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, fish welfare and to conduct themselves in a professional manner. This includes all local fishing regulations and waterway rules. Non-compliance of event rules or local regulations can result in disqualification from events or penalty at the discretion of MLF Australia.

Pre-Fish session

Teams can pre-fish the competition area on the day prior to Day One of the event, at times as provided on the event information sheet. Pre-fishing activities outside of these times may result in disqualification from the event.

Only the two team members are permitted to pre-fish together on the boat entered in the tournament.

If one team member is unable to pre-fish, the other team member can pre-fish by themselves. Team members are not permitted to pre-fish in separate vessels.

Briefing Attendance is compulsory for all team members.

Each event will hold a pre-event briefing. Starting order of boats for Day One of fishing will be allocated in order of  received team entry, as defined by receipt of a fully completed and paid entry. It is a requirement of entry that all anglers must attend the briefing.

Any team members unable to attend the event briefing must make prior contact with the MLF Tournament Director. Failure to do so may result in a starting position penalty. Briefings start at 6.00pm or as advertised on the Event Information Sheet the evening prior to day 1.

All team members must pre-register at the briefing location BEFORE the briefing start, usually open one hour before commencement of the Event Briefing.

Event Process

Boat Inspection

Prior to commencement of any tournament day, every team boat must be checked and approved by a MLF Australia official. Checks will include live well inspection, PFD use, lanyard inspection and inspection of any other required tournament safety requirements.

Once approved, the team will be provided their unique key tag with starting position. Any vessel or team not meeting the tournament safety requirements will not be permitted to compete in the event.

Boat Inspection and check in will be available one hour prior to event start or as otherwise advised to all teams at briefing event.

Day 1

After the boat has been checked and approved, teams are to position themselves according to their key-tag number in preparation for the event start. One MLF Australia Official will announce the beginning of the tournament by calling out the starting numbers. A rolling start at idling pace past the MLF Australia Event Official will proceed until the take-off zone, with a time gap between boats. Once team start number is announced, MLF Australia expects clear acknowledgement signal from the team (such as an arm raise) prior to idling through the start zone.

Boats that start in an incorrect order will be penalized, in a decision to be made by MLF Australia tournament officials. Boats missing their call-up must wait until all boats have left to be started by MLF Australia tournament officials.

 

Day 2

After the boat has been checked and approved, teams are to position themselves according to their key-tag number in preparation for Day Two start order. The starting order and key tag allocation is determined by placings after Day One of the event. A rolling start process the same as Day One will be undertaken. MLF Australia reserves the right to modify the start process as required.

End of Fishing Sessions

Teams will finish a session by placing the key tag back on the appropriate spot on the board before the session finish time. MLF Australia Officials will be in attendance but cannot accept tags from teams to place on the board. MLF Australia consider a team is still fishing until their key tag is returned to the official board.

Any team placing their tag on the board after the session finish time will incur a weight penalty, at the rate of 50 grams per minute per team. If a boat returns later than 10 minutes after weigh-in time, the team will be disqualified from that day’s session. It is the team’s responsibility to allow enough time to ensure the key tag is placed before the end of session time.

Details of the weigh-in site and times will be established during the briefing prior to the start of the event. Fish will be weighed in order of arrival.

 

Fishing Rules

Teams must hold the required local fishing licence, boating operator licence or any other required permit/licence as required for the event location. Obtaining these licences is the sole responsibility of the competitors in the team. MLF Australia may require these to be presented at the registration briefing. All documents should be brought to the briefing and shown at pre-registration.

Anglers may fish any line class with legal lure, spin, baitcast or spincast tackle. Flyfishing tackle is permitted. Trolling is not permitted. MLF Australia events are strictly cast and retrieve events. Trolling is defined as using any motor to provide action to the lure being fished. Motors (boat or electric) can be used solely to position the vessel in order for team members to cast. Trolling will result in event disqualification by MLF Australia.

Each angler can only use one rod at a time while fishing and this rod must be in the angler’s hands. If a lure is snagged but still attached to the rod, the angler cannot pickup another rod and begin fishing – this is declared as using two rods.

Fishing is NOT PERMITTED in any non-fishing or non-boating areas. If requested to leave a private marina, oyster lease or similar area, the team must cease fishing and do so immediately.

Team members are not permitted to leave their vessel while fishing. This includes fighting a fish.

Any speed restrictions, non-boating or non-fishing areas must be adhered to; failure to do this will result in either disqualification from the session, and or the tournament. MLF Australia will attempt to outline all of these at the briefing or in the online event notes, however omission from these notes does not imply permission to break any waterway rules.

Only live bream (yellowfin, black, tarwhine) are eligible species for event tournaments.

Fish must be caught within the designated fishing session times, kept in the team boat livewell and must be weighed in live. Fish MUST BE RELEASED immediately after weigh-in, back into the event location waterway where it was caught. Any fish that does not swim away or present live to MLF Tournament Weigh In Official will not be included in the team bag weight.

Anglers must catch their own fish and weigh-in only fish they have caught using legal recreational fishing methods, as per the local waterway or state regulations.

No more than the tournament bag limit per team are allowed to be kept at any one time. If your team already has a full limit and catch another fish, the team must immediately release a fish. Anglers caught fishing with more than the tournament session bag limit will be immediately disqualified from the entire event and MLF Australia staff reserve the right to check boat live wells during competition hours.

MLF Australia reserves the right to place media or camerapersons on team boats. Any media crew onboard will not impede fishing effort of that team in any way.

In the case of physical or medical emergencies or teams following the Marine Safety Act, MLF Australia will judge the acceptability of catches. The health and safety of competitors is of paramount importance.

Any complaints regarding a breach of the rules must be addressed to the MLF Australia Tournament Director immediately in a professional manner. Penalties for rule and conduct violations may include disqualification of the event session, disqualification from the event, disqualification from all future MLF Australia and associated events. Concerns regarding clarification of rules can be discussed with officials BEFORE the start of the tournament.

MLF Australia Tournament Director decision is final regarding all rule decisions.

 

Weigh-in Procedure

Details of the weigh-in site and time will be established during the briefing prior to the start of the event. Teams fish will be weighed in order of arrival.

Each team may bring the event limit per session to the weigh-in. This limit is 5 of the target species, unless otherwise altered by the MLF Australia and will be advised at the event briefing.

Bream must be the state’s legal length to the tip of the tail PLUS 1cm while laying flat on a measure. The fish’s mouth must be closed while measuring. The tail of a fish cannot be compressed or interfered with in order to stretch or extend the true length, as seem while laying stationary on the measure. Any variations to this and the event’s lengths will be announced at the briefing.

Bream will be weighed collectively with any “Big Bream” candidates to be weighed individually. It is the angler’s responsibility to identify these fish to the MLF weighmaster.

At all times, bream are the responsibility of the individual team members.

Boats can return to the weigh-in earlier than the allotted time, however, that team can no longer fish for the session unless negotiated and approved by the MLF Australia Tournament Director.

Ties will be settled by countback. The team with the largest and subsequent largest bag will gain the higher place, otherwise the first team to reach their score gains the higher place.

 

Results & Presentation

The winning team of each MLF Australia event will be declared as the team finishing highest on combined total bag weight over each session of the tournament. Subsequent places will be awarded on descending weight.

Prize values advertised prior to the event upon close of entries and presentations will take place immediately after the conclusion of the final session weigh in and collation of results by the MLF Tournament Officials.

Team of the Year Award

MLF Australia Team of the Year is the most prestigious award that can be achieved.

The team who is the most consistent highly placed angler throughout all rounds is awarded the Team of The Year, with points per round allocated according to final placing of that round. The first placed team in each event receives 100 points, and each place below that receives one less point.

Teams need to weigh fish to receive points in Team of the Year.

Note that a negative daily score will impact on Team of the Year points. Teams completing a tournament with negative points will be receive zero Team of the Year points.

Team of the Year points ties will be settled by countback. The team with the best performance in the most recent event will gain the higher placing.

MLF International Series Championship

Two teams from MLF Australia will qualify to enter the MLF International Series Championship. Any team that declines their invitation will see the qualification invitation passed to the next team in line from the rounds final results. Held annually in the United States, with qualification from MLF and other participating MLF International countries.

The following rules apply based on a field of at least 35 teams per round.

Due to only two events scheduled for our inaugural year, the organizers have opted to grant the champions of each round (Mallacoota and Hawkesbury River) the opportunity to represent MLF Australia in the USA MLF Toyota Series International Championships.

This implies that anglers have the chance to secure a sponsored slot by participating in just one round of the MLF Australia series. Qualifying will not be as straightforward in the future.  The winning team of each round will earn the opportunity to compete against the top anglers in the world.

Funded slot to compete in the USA MLF Toyota Series International Championship valued at $10,000 from price pool – this includes entry fees, use of boat during competition, return airfares from Melbourne or Sydney, accommodation, and team manager who organizes and makes sure everything runs smoothly. Accommodation covered during the MLF Toyota Series Championship.

*Visa, food, alcohol, car hire, and private spending money are not included in this offer.

If the winning team declines this invitation (Funded slot to the US) * MLF Australia will pay that team a first-place payout of $8,000. The qualification invitation will be passed to the next team in line to compete in the USA MLF Toyota Series International Championships at their own expense except for entry fees. MLF will supply boats on tournament days for the pro-anglers in the USA MLF Toyota Series International Championships.

In case of less than 35 teams per round.

If the number of teams is fewer than 35, the initial prize offer (Funded slot to the US) * will be revoked, reverting instead to a 70% payout of entry fees on a 1-5 ratio.

Team of the Year points will still be awarded to teams participating in the MLF Australia series with points per round allocated to final placings for that round. The winners of the prestigious MLF Australia Team of the Year award will get free membership for the 2025 season plus free entry into the first round the team will participate in.

* Funded slot to compete in the USA MLF Toyota Series International Championship valued at $10,000 from price pool – this includes entry fees, use of boat during competition, return airfares from Melbourne or Sydney, accommodation, and team manager who organizes and makes sure everything runs smoothly. Accommodation covered during the MLF Toyota Series Championship.

*Visa, food, alcohol, car hire, and private spending money are not included in this offer.

 (*First prize is based on a field of 35 boats)

Code of Conduct

During fishing sessions, no mobile phones or radios should be used to communicate with other competitors, except in an emergency, or to communicate with MLF Australia event staff.

Co-Anglers should bring their own PFD to tournaments or ensure the Pro Angler has the required PFDs onboard.

All boats should remain at least one cast apart (30metres) while fishing.

Sportsmanship would dictate that care of fellow competitors is of utmost importance. If any angler or boat is in distress, it is expected that other competitors will assist immediately.

MLF Australia encourages local Fisheries and/or Boating Officers to attend events to police safety regulations, registration, relevant boating legislation as well as alcohol and drug laws.

Anglers are not to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while competing. Legally required blood alcohol levels must be adhered to.

It is expected that Anglers shall, always conduct themselves in a manner becoming a professional sportsperson. Behaviour that will reflect unfavourably on MLF Australia, its members, representatives and sponsors will subject the team catch to penalty or disqualification at the discretion of MLF Australia Tournament Director.

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