SECTION 1: Term, Spirit of the rule
These tournament rules take effect starting at the first tournament of the season and will remain in effect for the entire year. These rules may only be changed after the final tournament of the season and before the first tournament of the upcoming season.
Spirit of the rule:
All rules have “loopholes”. It is the intention of this club to provide an honest sportsmanlike tournament. In the interest of good sportsmanship, club members are reminded that the “spirit of the rule” will prevail in all judgments. It should be noted that all judgment calls will be made by the tournament committee.
SECTION 2: Eligibility for tournament participation
Eligibility for tournament participation:
a. Current member must be in good standing with the club.
b. Members club and FLW/TBF dues must be current at the time of the tournament draw.
c. Boaters must provide proof of liability insurance that is current, copy of said insurance must be provided to the club secretary, and is to be kept on file by the club.
SECTION 3: Contestants, Guests
a. All contestants must be at least eighteen (18) years old.
b. Optional Tournament entry fees are ($10). $5 for Big fish and $5 for Big Bag
c. Each contestant must declare that they will be a boater or non-boater before the start of the tournament draw. This will dictate the blast off order of all contestants the day of the tournament.
d. Contestants will be drawn for each tournament at the club meeting before the event.
e. The first two (2) contestants drawn (boater & non-boater) must assist the Tournament Director during the weigh-in, this is not a request or option, contestants not abiding to this rule may be disqualified from the tournament.
f. There will be no last minute partner changes after the draw has taken place.
g. When two boaters are drawn together, then the first boater drawn has the option to use their boat, if both boaters cannot agree upon this than a coin toss will take place to determine the boater.
a. All guests must be at least (18) eighteen years of age in order to fish in any club sponsored tournament.
b. A club member must announce before the tournament draw that they are going to fish with a guest in order for their points to count.
c. Each member may only exercise their right to bring a guest twice a year.
d. A member can NOT exercise this right on the last tournament date of the year, as it may affect the race for angler of the year.
e. A member can NOT exercise this right if it would prevent one of the club members from fishing the tournament, the rights of the clubs members to fish in all club sponsored tournaments takes precedence.
SECTION 4: Sharing Expenses
a. Partners agree to share expenses for each tournament. Even if the non-boater travels to the tournament in another vehicle they are expected to pay half of the boater’s fuel & oil expenses for the boat & tow vehicle. With a minimum required payment of $40.00.
SECTION 5: Tournament Hours
a. The official tournament hours are to be announced at the prior tournament draw meeting.
b. The official time will be announced by the Tournament Director prior to blast off.
SECTION 6: Sportsmanship
a. Any contestant that displays poor sportsmanship violates boating laws, or fish and game laws will be disqualified from the tournament they are fishing.
b. All participants will be expected to maintain a clear and respectable distance between boats, fishing etiquette shall prevail and contestants shall not fish within 50 yards of any other club boater on the same bank.
c. All boats and live wells may be checked by the officials for live bait, or fish prior to blast off.
SECTION 7: Safety
a. All boats must have a minimum hull length of seventeen (17) feet
b. All boats must carry safety equipment that meets the minimum equipment requirements set by U.S. Coast Guard and may be checked at any time by the clubs officials.
c. No drugs or alcoholic beverages are allowed during official tournament hours, and are not allowed in or around boats or docks during weigh-in.
d. Safe boating conduct and all safety precautions must be observed at all times by all contestants.
e. Each contestant fishing in the tournament must wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device (PFD) any time the combustion engine is running.
f. All non-boaters are required to own and wear their own U.S. Coast Guard personal floatation device (PFD).
g. All boats MUST be equipped with an engine shut-off or “kill” switch device that is attached to the boater any time the combustion engine is running.
h. In an emergency or when safety dictates, both fisherman may take their catch, get into another boat and return immediately to the dock.
SECTION 8: Tackle
a. Only artificial lures can be used. No prepared or live bait, other than pork rind or pork type baits are permitted.
b. Rods may not exceed eight (8) feet in length
c. Only one rod may be used at any one time but any number of the rigged rods may be in the boat.
d. Trolling with the gas engine running as a method of fishing is not permitted.
SECTION 9: Permitted Fishing Waters
Permitted Fishing Waters:
a. All fishing and/or landing of fish must be done from the boat.
b. All contestants must leave and return to the start and weigh-in area by boat.
c. Boats may not be trailered from one State regulated fishing location to another during tournament hours.
SECTION 10: Boundaries
a. Contestants may not leave their boat to carry, tow or push their craft into areas not otherwise accessible.
b. Any posted “OUT OF BOUNDS” area may not be fished.
SECTION 11: Marker Buoys
a. Marker buoys are permitted but cannot be used to protect, reserve or make claim to an area.
SECTION 12: Penalties
a. Anyone not in the weigh in area as defined by the tournament director on time will be assessed one (1) ounce penalty per minute late according to the official time by the Tournament Director. Boat and/or engine trouble is NO excuse.
b. Anyone showing up to the weigh in with a over limit of fish or any fish under the legal length will be automatically disqualified.
c. There will be a 4oz deduction from the total weight for each dead fish. There will be no penalties accessed to the non-boater if the cause of the dead fish was a malfunction of the boater’s boat/equipment during the tournament see SECTION 13. Live Wells: However the boater will still be assessed the dead fish penalties.
d. No contestant is allowed to “gift” any of his or her fish to any other contestant in order to be entered into any tournament weigh in. This will result in an immediate disqualification of all contestants involved and immediate Termination of Membership.
SECTION 13: Live Wells
a. Adequate live wells are mandatory in each boat and must be operating at time of launch, they must provide proper aeration to maintain live fish since they will be released after the event. Built in live wells are not mandatory, the boater may use an ice chest or other container as long as it is equipped with a functioning aerator.
b. It is the responsibility of each contestant to monitor the health and wellbeing of their fish throughout the tournament.
c. Unless the fish is dead or to be claimed as a TROPHY, it must be released.
SECTION 14: Fish & Weigh in
a. The only species of fish allowed are Largemouth (black) bass, Smallmouth bass, and spotted bass.
b. All fish must be 12 inches or longer as determined by a flat board measuring device with mouth open.
c. Daily bag and possession limits for all permitted black bass contests, insofar that once the daily bag and possession limit has been reached by an individual angler, that same angler may continue to fish under the condition that each additional fish caught must immediately be returned to the water alive and in good condition, or be used to replace a fish being maintained alive and in good condition from the participant's livewell or other suitable holding facility.
d. Culling of dead fish is illegal and any contestant caught in violation will be disqualified.
a. Bass shall be transported to and from the vessel to the weigh-in site in water-filled containers with sufficient water to cover the fish, except during the actual measuring/weighing process. Fish shall be held in water-filled containers no longer than three (3) minutes prior to or after the weigh-in unless the water in that container is replenished.
b. Individual bass over approximately five (5) lbs shall be held in separate containers both before and after weighing.
c. The weigh master may check any fish.
d. The best four (4) fish will count in non-permitted tournaments, or five (5) in permitted tournaments.
e. Any fish over five (5) pounds must be brought to the weigh in scales in a separate weigh in bag.
SECTION 15: Scoring
a. Based on individual effort, winner and positions will be determined by total weight in pounds, and ounces.
b. A member will only receive tournament placement points if they placed in the standings by catching and weighing in at least one (1) legal fish.
c. Angler of the year will be determined by the total of all points accrued throughout the season.
d. Tournament weigh in finishing positions will determine the number of points awarded, eg:
i. 20 points for first place, 19 points for second place, 18 points for third place, etc.
ii. 2 points for fishing in each tournament.
iii. 1 point for each fish weighed in (5 points maximum per day).
iv. 2 points for attending the monthly meeting.
e. The President, Vice President, Secretary and Tournament Director shall approve the final year to date totals for the Angler of the Year.
SECTION 16: Tie-breakers
If there is a tie for the total weighed in bag weight, than the contestant with the largest LIVE fish among the contenders will determine the winner. If there is still a tie than a flip of a coin will determine the winner for points, but the prizes and awards will be split equally.
SECTION 17: Rights
If the Non-Boater draws a Boater that they consider unsafe, they may claim a problem to the executive committee for a ruling at the meeting.
Any member found deliberately operating their boat in a manner that handicaps their partner’s efforts will be disqualified from the event.
No one may hold an area for another person. Violations will cause disqualification.
Complaints MUST be submitted in writing no later than 30 minutes from completion of the weight-in to the Tournament Director or any other attending member of the “Board of Directors”.