For many years, winners of TBF’s International Tag & Release Competition blue marlin categories have come out of Cape Verde, as it is without a doubt one of the top places in the Atlantic Ocean to catch one of these top predators. Each year this small chain of islands off the west coast of Africa draw some of the biggest and best names in the sportfishing arena. The number of blue marlin and their sizes in Cape Verde make it a special place, a great fishery, and an important place for TBF to recognize.

TBF is proud to introduce the Cape Verde Regional Tag & Release Competition that creates another locality to our year long International Tag & Release Competition. Award categories are only for blue and white marlin tagging and only these species will count toward overall award categories.

COMPETITION DATES: November 1 – October 31 of the following year.

DEADLINE: All Tag Data Reports must be entered online or mailed to by TBF no later than November 15.

ELIGIBILITY: Anglers, captains and mates MUST be a current TBF member to receive an award based on their submitted Tagging Data Report Cards. Regardless of membership, all data from every card is valuable for billfish research and membership is not required if you wish submit your tag & release data from anywhere in the world. You can check your membership status or join TBF by calling (954) 938-0150 or going online at Overall tag and release categories are calculated as the total number of eligible species reported tagged and released by a captain or angler.

ELIGIBLE SPECIES: Only blue marlin and white marlin are eligible species and categories. Overall winners will be the angler or captain that tags the greatest number of eligible species combined for the respective category.

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Tag cards should be submitted online through TBF’s database as soon as possible. You’re also welcome to submit physical cards via mail, but if you wait until the end of the competition year to mail your cards, you run the risk of not having them reach TBF by the deadline. Entering cards online is the fastest and most secure method of submitting tags. TBF also reserves the right to disqualify any participant if circumstances indicate there is reason to question reports.

TAGGING: Captain and Angler Awards are presented to those who tag the most billfish of each species within each category after having met the 5 fish minimum.


Top Tagging Angler
Top Tagging Captain


TBF recognizes the valuable contribution of mates in both the release and tagging of billfish. A mate must be nominated by their winning captain to be eligible for an award. Mate awards are distributed during TBF’s annual awards ceremony. 

Proper Tagging Procedure & Tagging at Tournaments

The post-release survival of billfish is vital and TBF urges that proper tagging procedures are used when tagging any billfish to ensure safe, healthy releases (see TBF’s Tag & Release Program brochure for more information). Improper tag placement, ‘speed tagging’ or using too much force when tagging can result in serious injury or death to the fish. For this reason TBF does not encourage tagging during tournaments. However, if a boat chooses to tag any billfish during a tournament they will be counted toward any applicable regional competition as well as the International Tag & Release Competition. All participants are encouraged to see TBF’s Tag & Release brochure for information on safe handling and proper tagging procedure.