Many of the tournaments I fished in North Carolina explicitly prohibit teams from potentially double dipping in both the kill and release categories. The rules in the tournament state, “To be considered a release, the crew cannot have attempted to boat or gaff the fish. Once the gaff breaks the plane of the boat, the billfish cannot be considered a release.” This important distinction comes into play if you take the example of an errant mate hitting the leader with the gaff attempting to sink it into the fish, only to cause the leader to break or the hook to pull. As the fish swims away, what now? When the team had the fish on the leader, they had no intention of letting the fish swim away for the release — it was a mistake. Yet, in many tournaments, the team still gets release points. If fishing in a tournament that used language similar to that of the many tournaments in North Carolina, the team would not be able to weigh the fish or permitted to gain points in the release category.