B.A.S.S. Nation Northeast Region tournament rules
Participation & Eligibility: Anyone who is 16 years old or older, a member in good standing with B.A.S.S., a member in good standing with the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation and a member in good standing of a Texas B.A.S.S. Nation affiliated club may fish the Northeast Region tournaments and accumulate tournament trail points for the tournament trail. Individuals who are not in good standing with a Texas B.A.S.S. Nation affiliated club, but are members of B.A.S.S. and the B.A.S.S. Nation may enter and compete in the tournament as a Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Non-Chapter Member provided they have paid the annual Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Non-Chapter dues. No guests will be able to fish or accumulate tournament trail points. Contestants must fill out a complete personal information form before fishing the first tournament. Texas B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments are only open to members of the Texas B.A.S.S. Nation members who are 16 or older. Proof of age to the satisfaction of tournament officials is the responsibility of competitor. DURING THE OFFICIAL PRACTICE AND TOURNAMENT HOURS NO CONTESTANT MAY OPERATE A BOAT WITHOUT PROOF OF BOAT LIABILITY INSURANCE OF $300,000 OR MORE. Proof of insurance is not required to be sent in with the tournament registration, but will be required to be on the boat and ready for check if requested. If the insurance binder is not available when/if requested the boater will not be eligible to participate in a tournament. Any contestant that is handicapped in such a manner as to unfairly hinder his partner or endanger his safety shall not be eligible.
PRE-TOURNAMENT PRACTICE/OFF LIMITS:
No Off Limits period
One day tournaments: No off limits period but boats have to be off the water by dusk on Saturday ‘official pre-fish day’ prior to Sunday tournament day (no night pre-fishing from dusk to dawn). Official Practice hours is safe light to sunset on Saturday the day before the tournament.
Paid guides may not fish a tournament if they have guided on the tournament lake in the past 30 days. (Fishing Guide Definition – A person who, for compensation, accompanies, assists, or transports a person or persons engaged in fishing for bass in the water of this State). During practice, and during the tournament, a competitor may not have the assistance or advice of anyone for the purpose of locating or catching bass other than another contestant. The purchasing or bartering of information or the hiring of a bass fishing guide within 30 days prior to any tournament is prohibited. No skin diving or scuba diving on the tournament waters during official practice or tournament days. No use of CB Radios, VHF marine band radio or cellular phones for the purpose of locating or catching fish on tournament day other than another contestant. All of the above communication devices may be used in the case of an emergency for location purposes only. Each contestant agrees to report any violation of these rules immediately to the tournament officials. Failure to do so could result in your disqualification. By your participation in this event you agree to submit to a polygraph test should you be accused of any rule violation. The administration and interpretation of the polygraph test shall be the sole responsibility of the Tournament Official. The Tournament Official shall select the place, the individual and the scope of questions. The contestants shall make themselves available at their own expense for this examination.
Alcoholic Beverages & Drugs: No alcoholic beverages or drugs (unless prescribed) are allowed in the boat or to be consumed during tournament hours. Tournament hours are concluded for a contestant when their weigh-in slip is signed.
Sportsmanship: Any contestant(s) who displays poor sportsmanship, violates the rules of any federal state or local laws or brings unfavorable publicity to the sport of bass fishing may be disqualified and shall forfeit all entry fees and/or prize money. Contestants must remain 50 ft. from another contestant with the trolling motor down and 100 ft. from contestants that are anchored with the Trolling motor up in the stowed position.
Safety: Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by tournament competitors. During official practice and tournament hours, each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved chest type life preserver. This life preserver must be worn anytime the combustion engine is operating. The preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the competitor reaches his fishing location and the combustion engine is shut off. Tournament officials have the right to delay or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. For the safety of all, boats must be equipped with some type of ignition kill switch. This device must be attached to the driver any time the combustion engine is operating. No raised platforms or decks higher than the gunnels. No bladder or auxiliary fuel tanks that were not installed by the manufacturer permitted. No stick steering boats permitted to be used.
Boats & Motors: All boats and motors must meet U.S. Coast Guard and State regulations. No motor shall exceed the BIA rating for that boat. The maximum horsepower allowed for any contestant’s boat will be 250 hp. No altered motors to increase the horsepower over the factory rating allowed. Minimum boat length for any contestant’s boat is 16 ft. Every boat must have all required safety equipment. In addition, it must have a functional bilge pump and live well space, properly aerated, to adequately maintain a limit catch of bass by both fishermen using the boat. All boats may be inspected by a tournament official prior to the start of the tournament.
Protests: All protests must be submitted in writing, to the tournament official, within 15 minutes of the final weigh–in.
Officials: All contestants are required to cooperate with all requests from all tournament officials, on and off the water.
REGISTRATION and PAIRING OF CONTESTANTS: Registration for the Northeast Regional Tournament Trail will be conducted by email, phone call, or text to the Regional Director no later than 11:59 pm, the Thursday prior to the tournament date to avoid a late fee. All other contestants can register for the tournament on Saturday at 3:00 pm (with a $10.00 late fee) on the tournament pre-fish day. The draw for the tournament will be held immediately after the Saturday registration. Tournament anglers may pair up to avoid the blind draw but will have to notify the Regional or Tournament Director by the Saturday blind draw.
The Championship registration cutoff is the Saturday prior to the start of the Championship. It is the contestant’s responsibility to obtain any special instructions given at the official morning check in. A contestant who has registered and pre-paid for a tournament, but is unable to attend the tournament, may cancel the registration by notifying the Regional Director before the start of the official registration. The entry fee of the contestant shall be applied to the next tournament on the schedule. Any contestant who has registered for the event by the due date, and fails to attend the tournament, and does not notify the Regional Director before the start of official registration, shall owe the full tournament fee. Boater or Non-Boater – Entrants will register and declare themselves as a boater or non-boater. A blind random pairing of registered boaters and non-boaters will take place prior to the start of the tournament on Friday at 3:00 pm, the day before the Championship. The random pairing shall be conducted so that boaters receive equal sharing of non-boaters, throughout the tournament trail. (Example: 20 boaters’ registers and 5 non-boaters register, those boaters paired for the first tournament shall be pulled out of the pairing for the next tournament, and the process repeated until all boaters have shared non-boaters). Registered boaters will take their boat regardless of pairing. Exceptions shall be made by the Regional Director to accommodate and facilitate the operation of the tournament.
STARTING POSITION: Contestants will receive their starting position as assigned by the Regional Director through a random blind drawing. Boat numbers will be randomly drawn. Any contestant who starts prior to their assigned number being called may have their day’s catch nullified.
Tackle & Equipment: All fish must be caught in a legal and sporting manner on artificial lures. No trolling with the combustion engine or snagging fish is permitted. No live or prepared bait is permitted with the exception of pork rind. Liquid fish attractants are allowed. Only one casting, spin casting, or spinning rod and reel may be used at any one time. Other rigs as specified above may be in the boat ready for use. However, only one is permitted in use at any given time. A cast must be fully retrieved before another rod is picked up. Only rods 8 feet in length and shorter may be used. All other types of rods are prohibited. All bass must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will lose their day’s catch. When visible (sight) fishing, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by your partner before unhooking to be a legal fish. No gaffs may be used to boat a bass or be permitted in the boat at any time. The use of grippers in landing bass is prohibited. The use of electronic tracking equipment is not allowed at any time. Nets WILL be allowed. Nets cannot exceed 6 1/2 feet in overall length. If fish are netted, B.A.S.S. recommends the use of a rubber or vinyl-coated net. Loss of fish by improper netting may not be protested.
BOAT OPERATION: A full discussion between partners must be held prior to the morning departure as to the schedule of boat operations. This schedule must permit each partner equal time to fish from the front of the boat and operate the trolling motor so as to offer each partner the opportunity to fish his selected water an equal number of hours. Distance traveled to fishing locations must be considered in order not to deprive either partner fishing time. If a contestant waives the above rights, he/she shall retain the right to select the fishing water for one-half the tournament day. It is the non-boaters responsibility to share in the fuel cost. A minimum of $20 for fuel is required.
In a continuous effort to promote fairness and sportsmanship a draw partner who shares or divulges a previous partner’s fishing locations with other competitors will be disqualified along with the person utilizing this information. Any contestant who, in the judgment of the officials, operates the boat in such a manner as to unfairly handicap his partner shall be disqualified. An electronic trolling motor may be used for positioning only. No trolling with the electronic trolling motor for the purposes of fishing. In view of the large expense in operating and maintaining a tournament boat, it is suggested that the non-boater at least share part of the cost of gas and oil for the competition day.
PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: The Tournament Officials shall establish the Tournament waters. Any posted off limits or no fishing areas by state or federal officials will be off limits. The live bass release area established by the tournament officials will be off limits. This area will be announced at the tournament briefing. All angling must be done from the boat. Contestants must remain 50ft from another contestant with the trolling motor down and 100ft from contestants that are anchored with the trolling motor up. All such boats are required to advise any other competitor when such boat believes the competitor is close to being within these distances.
CONTESTANTS MUST REMAIN IN BOAT: Contestants may not leave their boat to land a fish or make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Boats must remain in tournament waters during each tournament day. Contestants must leave and return to official checkpoint by boat. Both competitors must remain in boat at all times except in case of dire emergency. Partners must remain together at all times, in sight of each other and each other’s catch under the conditions cited above in order for their catch to be scored. If a competitor must violate this rule then both partners must cease fishing and have their catch verified by a tournament official in order for that catch to be scored. A restart will be allowed and the competitors will continue from that time. The only exception to this rule will be when launching and loading the boat, one angler will be allowed to park and retrieve the launch vehicle. No trailering of tournament boats will be allowed except by the direction of the tournament official.
OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT: There shall be only one official point for check out in the morning and check-in in the afternoon, and the posted launch site is designated as such for each tournament. Following a mandatory live well check, and safety inspection, all contestants are expected to be in the water ready for the first safe-light take off. Take-off will be in order of number assigned by the Regional Director or Tournament official.
SCORING: Will be based upon a points system. (Example-200 points for 1st, 199 points for 2nd, 198 points for 3rd and so on through the placements). Points drop by one for each position until all entrants are awarded points who weighted fish. Any contestant not weighing in fish shall be awarded 30 points less than the points awarded for the last point placement. Each angler should ask to have his/her big fish weighed. Each contestant may weigh a 5-fish limit with a minimum length of 14 inches (courtesy check is allowed) unless the lake minimum is greater. Contestants, who present bass at weigh-in which fall short of the official length or presents more than the legal limit of bass, shall lose that day’s catch, as this constitutes a violation of state law. Culling of fish is each contestant’s responsibility and no more than 5 fish may be kept in the livewell. Culling of dead fish is not allowed. Only Largemouth, Guadalupe, Smallmouth and Kentucky Spotted Bass will be weighed. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, or otherwise altered will be weighed and credited only at the tournament official’s discretion. The official tournament measuring board is available for inspection.
KILLING YOUR CATCH: Each competitor is expected to keep their catch alive and properly aerated. There will be a .50 lb penalty for each dead fish presented at the weigh in. The culling of dead fish is a violation of Texas law, and a violation of B.A.S.S. rules. Any contestant that culls a dead fish shall lose that day’s catch.
LATE PENALTY: Competitors who are not in the official checkpoint area at the appointed time shall be penalized at the rate of one (1) pound per minute to be deducted from the total weight of his catch that day. The penalty will also be deducted from big bass weight. Any competitor more than 15 minutes late shall lose all credit for that day’s catch. All fishing must cease when that contestant has checked in. After the tournament begins, fishing the tournament water is prohibited except during the tournament hours. Tournament start and check-in times will be announced at the tournament briefing.
TIES: In case of a tie, the following tiebreakers will be used; (1) the individual with the most fish weighed in, (2) the individual with the largest single fish (the contestant must have had their big fish weighed), (3) if a tie still remains, the flip of a coin will determine the winner or the two individuals may agree to split (equally) the proceeds of the tied position(s).
ANGLER OF THE YEAR: Will be awarded to the angler having the greatest number of points totaled from all 6 tournaments (awarded a cash prize). In the event of a tie, ties will be broken in order by 1) total number of fish caught during qualifying tournaments, 2) Total weight of all fish caught during qualifying tournaments and 3) highest average finish of qualifying tournaments.
CLUB OF THE YEAR: Will be awarded to the club that has the greatest number of points totaled from 4 out of the 6 tournaments (awarded a cash prize). In the event of a tie, ties will be broken in order by 1) total number of fish caught during qualifying tournaments, 2) Total weight of all fish caught during qualifying tournaments and 3) highest average finish of qualifying tournaments. Club points are earned from the top 3 anglers of each club from each qualifying tournament during the current Region’s tournament season.
NORTHEAST REGION CHAMPIONSHIP CLASSIC: The Northeast Regional State Team representatives (Boater and non-boater who goes to the divisional tournament) will be determined at a Championship Classic draw tournament after the Regional Trail is concluded. A contestant who fishes all 6 of the Regional Trail tournaments receives an automatic bid to the championship. All other Contestants for the Championship Classic must have fished at least 2 of the 6 Regional Trail tournaments to qualify as a non-boater for the Championship Classic to try and field and even number of 20 anglers (10 boaters and 10 non-boaters) or 60 percent of the field whichever greater. It will be the discretion of the Northeast Regional director to recruit non-boaters who fished at least one tournament by going down the list of anglers by tournament final standings points. The Championship boaters are determined by the highest accumulated points after two drops from the six regional trail tournaments.
REGIONAL TOP SIX TEAM: The contestants for the Regional Top Six Team competing in the State Championship will be selected from the Northeast Regional Championship Classic tournament final standings first then from the final season standings after drops. The Regional representative(s) must be a member in good standing with a Texas B.A.S.S. Nation club and also have been a paid member of the Northeast Region “Team” Chapter club. Under all circumstances, the Regional Director shall have final direction for the formation of the Regional Top Six Team(s), to encourage maximum participation at the State Championship.
TOURNAMENT FEES AND PAYOUTS: The fees to fish a Northeast Regional Tournament is $80.00 which includes a $5.00 big fish pot. There is a 77% payback to the anglers on the 75.00 entry fee. $57.50 of the angler’s fee goes to the tournament pot which pays out one spot for every five anglers. $10.00 of the angler’s fees goes to Regional Top Six Team and Regional fees; $2.00 of the angler’s fees goes to the Angler of the Year pot; $2.50 of the angler’s fees shall go to into a regional account to cover regional expenses; $2.00 of the angler’s fees goes to Club of the Year fees; and $1.00 of the angler’s fees goes to the NE Championship Classic pot.
OTHER RULES: The Texas B.A.S.S. Nation Tournament Rules and Regulations will be used if a rule is not specifically covered in these rules. The Northeast Regional Director reserves the right to make final decisions on any rule/issue.
Emergency/Leave Early: If a contestant wishes to leave the lake prior to weigh-in, that contestant MUST notify the tournament director or a tournament official, leave a note at the designated check-in area, or notify another tournament contestant that will be present at the weigh-in in order to receive points for the tournament. This is a safety requirement that all must adhere to.