Our Tournament Rules


1.    RULE CHANGES: These rules shall remain unchanged except for special tournaments. Interpretation of these rules shall be left exclusively to the tournament officials, comprised of; Tournament Director, President and Secretary.  Protests must be made within 30 minutes of the official check-in time.

2.    PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY: Participation will be open only to members of the Palm Bay Bassmasters Chapter who are 16 years of age or older.  Entrance fee must be received prior to the start of the tournament. Refunds will not be made.

3.    PAIRING AND REGISTRATION:  Partner pairing will be held at the club meeting immediately preceding a scheduled tournament. If unable to attend meeting, a club member in attendance must have been notified of your intention to fish. To be eligible to fish, contestants must be included in the draw for pairing. Each contestant shall register in person at the designated ramp at least 15 minutes prior to announced starting time. There shall be only one official checkpoint for checkout at the start of the tournament and for check-in at the end of the tournament.

4.    CONSECUTIVE FISHING PARTNER DRAWS:  No angler shall fish two consecutive regular club tournaments with the same partner.  During the draw for the tournament if a boater and non-boater are drawn together who fished together in the previous regular club tournament then another non-boater will be drawn and the original non-boater will be placed back in the tournament draw.

5.    SAFETY:  Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant is required to wear a chest type life preserver anytime the combustion engine is operating.  The preserver must be fastened securely until the engine is shut off.  All boats must be equipped with an ignition kill switch that is securely attached to the driver’s body anytime the engine is operating. Violation of these rules will be reason for disqualification.
6.    BOAT & MOTOR: Boats must be 12 feet or more in length.  Any motor may be used that is 9 1/2 hp or larger except aircraft type. Each boat must have required coast guard safety equipment.  It must also have enough properly aerated livewell space to maintain, alive, 2 limits of bass. Tournament officials have the right to reject any boat they determine to be unsafe for any reason.

7.    BOAT OPERATION AND EXPENSE: Partners must discuss a schedule of boat operation prior to morning take-off.  Each partner is entitled to equal time in front of the boat and trolling motor operation. Each partner is entitled to an equal number of hours to fish his selected waters. Any contestant who, in the judgment of the tournament director, operates the boat in such a manner as to unfairly handicap his partner shall be disqualified. The non-boat partner is expected to assume a minimum 50% of fuel/oil costs of the boat and tow vehicle incurred during the tournament. These costs should be paid on the day of the tournament.  Partners should discuss and arrive at a mutually agreeable amount.
8.    PERMITTED FISHING METHODS: Only artificial lures may be used. No live or prepared bait except “pork baits” may be used. Only one casting, spin casting, spinning or flipping rod may be used at any time. Rods longer than eight (8) feet are not permitted. Other rigged rods may be in the boat for substitution purposes. Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. All fish must be caught live in a conventional sporting manner. Snag hooking bedding fish is prohibited and grounds for disqualification.

9.    SPORTSMANSHIP:  All contestants are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, fellowship, and conservation. Violation of this policy shall be cause for disqualification. No alcoholic beverages shall be allowed in the boats. Drunkenness shall be cause for automatic disqualification.  Any extreme violation of the sportsmanship rule shall be grounds for expulsion from the club.

10.    PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Contestants may fish anywhere on the tournament waters reachable by boat, but not within 50 yards of any marina gas pump or within 50 yards of another competitor anchored boat which was first anchored or secured in a fixed position, with the trolling motor out of the water and stowed. No such boat shall permit selected competitors to fish within the 50 yard circle claimed by him to the exclusion of any other competitor.  All fishing must be done from the boat; contestants may not depart the boat to land fish. Boats must stay in the tournament waters during tournament hours; all contestants must remain in the boat except in the case of an emergency or where safety is involved.  In an emergency, partners may enter the boat of another competitor or a rescue boat. Partners must remain together at all times, in sight of each other and each other’s catch in order for their catch of that day to be scored. The momentary condition of being out of each other’s sight to use the restroom is permitted. If a competitor must violate any of these conditions due to an emergency or any other reason, his catch for that day shall not be counted in the tournament. Trailering of boats during tournament hours, except by tournament official’s direction, is prohibited.

11.    SCORING: Scoring shall be determined by pounds and hundredths of each competitor’s catch during the tournament. Only black bass may be weighed in.  The limit is five (5) bass per day, measuring a minimum of fourteen (14) inches from closed mouth to tip of tail and only one fish over twenty two (22) inches, on a golden rule, unless exempted by Fla. Fish and Game Commission permit and stipulated by the tournament director. At NO TIME may any contestant have more than 5 bass. Culling of fish must be done immediately. Any contestant exceeding bag limit, except while culling, will be disqualified. Each contestant must keep his catch separate from his partners. Bass may not be stringered at any time during a tournament. Each contestant must present his own catch for weigh-in. The tournament director will accept no fish unless presented in a weigh-in bag.  A penalty shall be assessed for any bass presented for weight-in which fail to meet prescribed limits; such penalty shall be loss of largest bass. Any bass that appears to have been mutilated, mashed or stretched to reach the limit will disqualify the contestant.  Every effort must be made to keep fish alive. A 0.25 lbs. (4oz) penalty will be deducted for each dead bass. The tournament director shall be sole judge for the viability of live release.

12.    LATE PENALTY: All contestants must check in at the official check in point at or before the official check in time even if they do not weigh in fish. For each 1 minute or portion thereof that a contestant is late checking in he shall be penalized 1 pound. Any contestant checking in more than 15 minutes late shall lose all weight for that day. All fishing ceases at check in.

13.    TIES:  In the case of a tie for any place, the number of fish in creel will determine the winner. Should a tie still exist the largest bass on each contestant will be weighed. If this method fails to break the tie, a coin flip will do so. In the event there is a tie of overall points at the end of the year, total accumulated weight will be the tiebreaker, with number of fish accumulated during the year as the second tiebreaker. If a tie should exist, after weight and number of fish, the biggest fish of the year will be used to break it. If no big fish is recorded by either party then a coin flip will determine final standing for positions 2 thru 10. If there is a tie for Bassmaster of the Year the above method shall be used except the coin flip, which will be replaced with a sudden death fish-off at the final tournament lake. Sudden death winner will be the first contestant to present, for weigh-in, a legal bass.