2021 Tournament Rules
At least one member from each team is asked to attend the Pre-Tournament Safety Meeting. The following rules of this tournament will remain unchanged. The decision of the Tournament Director and/or Tournament Committee shall be final in all matters.
1. Participation & Eligibility
Participation is open to anyone sixteen years of age or over (must have proper identification) Any person entering tournament under 16 years of age must have signature of parent or legal guardian in space provided on entry form, and also, must have someone 16 years of age or older as his or her partner. Student anglers who have graduated high school the same year as the tournament date or younger may participate as a 2 student team in the tournament provided they have a team boat captain (3 in the boat). See special rule 1A for student anglers /captain participation.
1A. Student Anglers & Boat Captains
Boat Captains will not be allowed to fish the tournament day, they are there to act as boat captains, mentors and observers. They may assist the Student Anglers only in a manner as to a coach or mentor. They may suggest fishing areas, techniques, baits, etc., but the final decision, as long as safety is not a factor, on where to fish or fishing methods will rest with the Student Anglers. The boat captain MAY NOT tie knots, cast lines or lures, set the hook, or play fish to the boat. They may operate the dip net if they so choose. Boat Captains will have complete control of the boat and outboard engine at all times. The Student Anglers may not drive the boat with the exception of loading or unloading the boat from the trailer. Student Anglers may run the trolling motor if they have a valid boater's license; however, the Boat Captain has the right to take control of the trolling motor at any time if safety or equipment is at risk. Boat captains are subject to the same rules as the anglers, and penalties if any can be applied to the team in your boat. Boat Captains are subject to polygraph tests. A completed entry form by the high school team must include the boat captain's name, address and phone number as well as boat information.
Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times by all tournament competitors. Each competitor is required to have a Coast Guard approved chest life preserver and required safety equipment (running lights). Life jackets must be worn when the big engine is running.
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. Competitors may not remove any fish from any known fish holding container, baskets, barrels, etc., nor may they weigh in any fish taken from known baited areas, brush piles, docks or structure. Illegal bait will include crawfish, dry feed or any product not natural to these waters. Competitors may not accept any fish from another person or persons in or outside this event. Questions pertaining to these violations will be included in the polygraph test. Violations of any of these are grounds for disqualification from the tournament and names of violators will be shared with other tournament directors.
4. Tackle & Equipment
Only artificial lures may be used. No live bait or prepared bait will be permitted, with exception to pork rinds, strips, etc. Only one casting, spin casting, or spinning rod and reel may be used at any time. No trolling is permitted.
5. Permitted Fishing Loations
Fishing in tournament waters are permitted anywhere except within 50 yards of another competitor's boat, which was first anchored. A boat with the trolling motor down is considered to be anchored. No such anchored boat shall permit selected competitors to fish within a 50 yard circle claimed by him or her to the exclusion of any other competitor. (All competitor boats will be marked.) All angling must be done from the boat. Trailering of boats during tournament hours is prohibited. Anyone locking through Fort Gaines is responsible for their own safety and help in case of breakdown. A call to the emergency number provided will be referred to Sea Tow or Coast Guard and boater will be responsible for any charges.
6. Official Checkpoint
The official checkpoint for check-out in the morning and check-in in the afternoon shall be the Gas Dock within the Marina Basin, as designated by the Tournament Director. All contestants boats are to gather within the Marina Basin to launch in order as designated by Tournament Officials. There will be additional dockage space provided to allow tournament boats easier access to the Marina facilities. No boat will leave the official checkpoint before designated time of departure and all boats must check in at the official checkpoint by their designated time. It is mandatory for all boats to check in. This is for your own safety, Director must spend time calling to make sure fishermen are safe and off the water. Failure to make a courtesy call when leaving tournament waters involves unnecessary calls to home and cell phones provided. Please cooperate, check out and check in.
7. Late Penalty
Competitors who are not checked in by the check in deadline will be penalized at a rate of 1 pound per minute, deducted from the total weight, up to 15 minutes at which time their catch will be disqualified. In the case of emergency or mechanical breakdown, one or both team members may enter another competitors boat with their catch for transport to weigh-in (provided their disabled boat is properly secured) without penalty as long as the team's catch remains in the immediate control of the team member(s).
Only largemouth and spotted bass will be accepted with a limit of 5 fish per boat. Minimum length is 14 inches measured on a standard Golden Rule. A short fish brought to the scales will not be weighed and will result in a 1 pound penalty. DEAD FISH - For each dead fish presented to the weigh master there will be a .25 (1/4) pound penalty taken away from the total weight. Any competitors presenting over the 5 fish limit to the weigh master will be disqualified. All fish become property of THE TOURNAMENT. No over-the-side live baskets or stringers will be used. All boats must be equipped with aerated live wells. Once competitors have entered the weigh-in-line, they must weight the fish in their possession at that time. Anyone who exits the line forfeits the right to weigh-in. Please help us by weighing ALL FISH so the information can be used by the BAIT Program to help make fishing in Alabama better for everyone.
In the event of a tie for any place, combining award money and dividing them equally among the contestants shall resolve wining funds. A coin toss will determine trophy position.
All fishermen are responsible for making sure their partners are on time at the landing. A Boater may fish alone.
11. Alcoholic Beverages
No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs can be consumed or taken during the tournament hours including the weigh-in.
Any protest must be registered in writing and signed by the competitor protesting. Also required is a $50 deposit. This must be done within 15 minutes of the weigh-in ($50 deposit will be refunded if protest is upheld).
If at any time a competitor is caught disregarding the rules of the tournament, the competitor and his/her partner will be disqualified.
14. Spare Gas Tanks
Spare gas tanks are allowed, but must have quick hook-ups (No pouring or siphoning is allowed). Spare tanks must be B.I.A. certified or Coast Guard approved.
15. Big Fish Pot
Big Fish is no longer included in the entry fee but now voluntary at $20 per angler with the pot being split 60/40 for 1st and 2nd Big Fish and paying back 100%. If a single member of a team pays into the pot they may weigh ONE bass that will allow them to complete for one of the Big Bass awards. If both members of a team enter the pot, they may weigh TWO bass and compete for both awards.