1. SCORING: Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, or Shoal Bass will be weighed. . No regurgitated forage or other foreign matter may be placed in a bass. The limit shall be five (5) of the above species and varieties per angler, per day unless the prevailing state limit is less than five (5), or a special limit is established for a particular tournament by the Tournament Director. At no time shall a competitor have in possession more than the tournament limit. Tournament Officials will conduct checks for violations of this provision, and in the event a competitor has in their possession more than the stated limit, shall cull, starting with the largest fish first, down to the stated limit. The official length shall be announced at the tournament briefing. In most cases it will be the longest state limit covering the tournament waters; in no case will it be less than 12 inches. Only bass which measure the official length or more on the longest straight line, shall be weighed-in. Bass presented for weigh-in which fail to measure the official length shall not be weighed and will accrue penalties at the rate of one pound for each non-legal fish. . This penalty shall be deducted from the total score of the competitor. Any fish that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered will be weighed and credited only at the discretion of Tournament Officials. After a competitor checks in at the official checkpoint he MUST present all LEGAL fish in his possession to a Tournament Official to be counted, measured and weighed. Once a competitor’s catch has been presented to tournament officials, no one may alter nor add to their catch or return to their boat until their catch has been weighed and recorded. Fish must not be “stringered” at any time during the tournament. This would also include any device that would hold more than one fish in the livewell. Balance beams can be used for sorting fish but cannot be left attached to a fish. Each contestants catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag, you MAY NOT use you own bag, unless it is determined by the tournament director. Boaters and Co-anglers must keep their catch separate and/or distinguishable from one another.
2. LEGAL LENGTH: All bass entered must be at least 12 inches in length. Legal length will be determined depending upon which body of water the club is fishing for their monthly tournament. If the tournament director announces a short fish, he/she will ask the president or representative determines that the fish is short, that contestant will lose the short fish plus their big fish. No discussion and/or argument.
3. CATCH AND RELEASE/DEAD FISH PENATY: For each legal dead fish presented to weigh-ins officials, the competitor shall be penalized eight (8) ounces, to be deducted from the total weight of that fish. Tournament Officials shall have sole authority for accessing penalty points. All tournaments will be catch and release.
4. TACKLE & EQUIPMENT: Only artificial lures may be used. No "live bait" will be permitted. Only ONE (1) fishing rod (8-foot maximum length from butt of the handle to rod tip) and reel may be in use or used at any one time. All other types prohibited. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional and sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will have their day’s catch disqualified. When fishing for bass you can see, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by your partner before being unhooked to be counted as a legal. No gaffs or grippers may be used to land bass nor be permitted in the boat at any time. Alabama rigs and other similar type baits will follow the most restrictive state laws covering any part of the tournament waters. Boaters will utilize the front storage compartments and the Boater will make available the back storage compartments for the Co-Anglers use. Co-Anglers are limited to a maximum of 7 rods as defined above rigged and ready for use in the boat.
5. LATE PENALTY: Competitors who are not at the official safety check in point as described above at the appointed check in time shall be penalized at the rate of one pound per minute to be deducted from the total weight of their catch that day, including any "Big Fish Award". Any competitors more than fifteen (15) minutes late shall lose credit for that day’s catch. There shall be no excuse for tardiness and in no case will a competitor be allowed to make up.
6. TIES: Ties for all club sponsored tournaments for any place finished will be broken as follows: Number of fish, largest fish, second largest fish, and coin toss in that order. It is the responsibility of the contestant to determine which their largest fish is for the tie breaker.
7. SPORTSMANSHIP: Contestants will not fish 75 yards of another contestant’s boat, if the contestant is actively fishing. Participants will conduct themselves in a true sportsmanlike, courteous, safe and ethical manner at all times maintaining professional demeanor in public and in communication with officials. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any unfavorable conduct, speech or action by a participant in our efforts to promote sportsmanship, clean waters and conservation will not be tolerated and could affect eligibility to participate. Each competitor is expected to participate in the marshaling of the field to help maintain the highest integrity of competition. Use of alcohol or any mind altering drugs (other than those drugs purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during the event or use of alcohol until after you have weighed in will not be tolerated. All competitors are bound by prevailing state statutes and regulations of the various states within which they fish. Any conduct prior to or during the event reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules shall be grounds for rejecting participation andor disqualification. Any disqualification
discipline or suspension from any fishing organization may be grounds for rejecting any participation or lead to a disqualification. Any violation of these basic sporting principles will be taken seriously.
8. SAFETY & TOURNAMENT INTEGRITY: Safe conduct must be observed at all times by all participants. Participants must abide by all local navigation laws and avoid restricted areas at all times. All participants are required and agree to wear a fully zippered fastened or snapped Coast Guard-approved type III or greater chest type personal floatation device anytime the combustion engine is running. Tournament officials have the right to delay or cancel the start of an official tournament day, restrict tournament waters or impose speed limits because of navigation, traffic, bad weather or any other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors or the public. In the event of a storm, lightning, severe weather or any unsafe condition, participants should remove themselves from competition and seek safety or shelter until it is safe to continue. Participants may not leave their boats during tournament hours except in case of emergency. Competitors may leave their boat and seek shelter in bad weather or when danger is eminent. They must, however, stay within sight of each other. In case of any emergency contact the President and/or Tournament Director. We will give out the emergency contact numbersinstructions at club meetings. ALL the rules of this event, particularly the safety rules are the responsibility of ALL contestants in the boat to verify and adhere to.
9. BOAT OPERATION: For safety concerns, in the event of a breakdown or an emergency, Co-Anglers may operate the trolling motor or the outboard but may not fish anytime from the front deck. Boaters may NOT request that the Co-Angler not fish. Any Boater that, in the judgment of the officials, operates the boat in such a manner that unfairly handicaps their Co-Angler and any Co-Angler who unfairly handicaps their Boater may be disqualified. Co-Anglers are not permitted to record GPS waypoints or use any type of handheld GPS during any competition day nor share information of any Boater’s location or tactics with another boater.
10. BOAT EQUIPMENT & SAFETY: The safety of all contestants, ALL BOATS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH SOME TYPE OF OPERABLE IGNITION KILL SWITCH SAFETY DEVICE. This engine stop device must be attached to the driver's body any time the combustion engine is operating. Anytime the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver's seat in full control of the boat. Each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer if required. The horsepower rating of the outboard engine must not exceed the rating specified on this plate. Changing or altering standard factory motor parts to increase horsepower over factory rated horsepower is forbidden and will result in disqualification.