Official Rules

Big Bass Tournament Trail Official Rules  Print

Print out entry form here

Official Rules / Changes
Participation in the 2017 Limit Out Performance Marine Big Bass Classic constitutes each contestant’s understanding of the full and unconditional agreement to and acceptance of these Official Rules. Contestants must obey all State, Federal and local fishing and safety laws. The Tournament Director reserves the right to disqualify any contestants that are determined to be in violation of any term contained in these Official Rules. The Tournament Director’s decision not to enforce a specific provision of the Official Rules does not constitute a waiver of that provision or of the Official Rules generally. Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the Tournament Director. Decisions of the Tournament Director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. At the sole discretion of the Tournament Director, entry may be refused to any individuals. Protests must be made in writing within 15 minutes of the official check-in time.

Participation / Eligibility
Participation teams must provide their own equipment including, without limitation, fishing equipment and boat; all subject to the restrictions contained in these Official Rules. All contestants must have in their possession a valid 2017 State fishing license.

Registration/Drivers Meeting Information
Mail in registration begins on January 1, 2017. Teams wishing to register in person at the event location will have to pay in cash only no checks and need to notify staff at Limit Out Marine in advance. Registration Times are 6 to 8:00 pm Friday and 4:00 am to 6:00 am Saturday the day of the Big Bass Tournament event. There will not be any more registration accepted after 6:00 am Saturday the day of tournament.

The Big Bass Tournament is a two day, Team big bass tournament. First Weigh-ins will be held between 8:00 to 9:00 am, 2nd 9:01 to 10:00am, 3rd 10:01 to 11:00am, 4th 11:01 to 12:00, 5th 12:01 to 1:00 pm, 6th 1:01 to 2:00 pm, and 7th 2:01 to 3:00 pm, 8th 3:01 to 4PM. Day 2. First Weigh-ins will be held between 8:00 to 9:00 am, 2nd 9:01 to 10:00am, 3rd 10:01 to 11:00am, 4th 11:01 to 12:00, 5th 12:01 to 1:00 pm, 6th 1:01 to 2:00 pm. Prizes will be awarded for winning the heaviest bass weighed in each session, and the heaviest bass of the event. Awards will start at approximately 3:30 pm on day 2 of the Big Bass Tournament. Up to 2 team contestants may fish from the same boat. Contestants are not required to be member. This is an open Tournament 2 person team to fish together in the same boat. The full field will compete both days.

Only Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass is the accepted species.
The official minimum length limit for bass will be twelve (12) inches. Bass presented for weigh-in, which fail to measure the prescribed minimum length, will not be weighed. All bass brought to weigh-in site must be in a bag with water. No team may weigh more than one bass per weigh-in session. Only one bass per weigh-in bag is allowed. Bass entered into each session do not carry forward from session to session. Each team’s biggest bass is entered into the overall standings. Bass may be weighed in by either of the team contestant. No more than (3) bass in possession at any time during official tournament hours. No dead fish will be accepted at the weigh-ins.

Off-Limits / Pre-Tournament Practice
Off limits for all events will be Monday thru Thursday the week of the tournament except for the 10 Mile event in which Off-Limits will be Monday thru Friday. No contestant may be on the tournament waters after the start of the mandatory tournament registration.

During the official practice days and competition days, contestants may not solicit and/or receive fishing information from anyone except other contestants. Beginning with official practice and extending through competition, non competitors are not allowed to be in the boat with contestants except in the event of an emergency (rescue, mechanical breakdown, etc.). GPS waypoints may not be provided to contestants by anyone except other contestants. Contestants may not follow a non competitor’s boat or participate in the practice of “hole sitting” or the placing of markers by anyone. The purchasing or bartering for information or the hiring of services is not permitted after the start of the official practice period. The use of mobile communication devices, including, but not limited to cellular phones, marine radios, two-way radios, CB’s, etc., during tournament hours is strictly prohibited except in an emergency (severe weather, etc.).

Registration & Pre-Tournament Meeting
Each team must register or check-in in person at the designated site during the official registration hours. A team member must be present during the pre-tournament meeting unless authorized by the Tournament Director. Drivers meeting will be at 6:30 am Saturday the day of the event. Blast off will be at approximately 7:00 am Saturday and Sunday. No drivers meeting on day 2 of the tournament. Blast-Off will be in reverse order on Sunday day 2 of the tournament.

Safe boating must be observed at all times. Contestants must observe “no wake” areas including posted bridges and other areas identified by the Tournament Director. Each contestant is required to wear a fastened, U.S. Coast Guard approved, personal flotation device at all times when the combustion engine is in operation, during official practice days and during the tournament days. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition shut off device that must be securely attached to the driver’s body whenever the combustion engine is in operation. At the discretion of the Tournament Director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions.

All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, their event sponsors, and the sport of fishing. Examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following: Violation of or failure to comply with any of the official rules for the Tournament. Consumption and/or possession of any alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind altering substance during registration, the pre-tournament meeting or during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in are strictly prohibited. In other words, conduct or actions reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, or which fail to comply with the standards set forth in this paragraph. In case of any conduct not complying with the standards, the Tournament Director shall have the right to refuse any application, or to deny a confirmed application, by returning the registration of a previously accepted application to disqualify a contestant.

Boat and Horsepower Regulations
All boats must be propeller driven, be a minimum of 16 feet in length. All boats must be equipped with wheel steering; no other steering device will be permitted. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated livewell capable of maintaining a live limit of bass.

Each boat must have a clearly legible “Maximum Capacities” placard that includes a maximum horsepower rating affixed to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the maximum horsepower capacity specified on the boat placard. By registering for the Tournament, each contestant agrees to submit his or her boat and/or motor to an inspection by the Tournament Director. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or “Maximum Capacities” placard will be cause for disqualification from the Tournament and may result in ineligibility to compete in future events. Fishing platforms must be factory-installed equipment. No portable platforms may be used in Tournament competition. Fuel may be carried only in factory installed (built-in) fuel tanks. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to the public.

Permitted Fishing Methods
All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. All bass must be hooked inside the mouth. Only artificial lures may be used with the exception of pork rinds. Only one fishing rod per angler may be used at a time. Trolling, defined as moving the bait with the assistance of the combustion engine, as a method of fishing is not allowed.

Permitted Fishing Locations
Contestant’s may fish anywhere on tournament waters within the boundaries of tournament waters available to the public and accessible by boat, except areas designated as “Off-Limits”, “No Fishing”, “No Boats”, “Boats Keep Out”, etc. by local, state or federal officials. Contestants are prohibited from casting into these areas or having their boat in these areas at any time. Contestant’s may not fish within 50 yards of a competitor’s boat that was first anchored (an anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight or a Power Pole anchor with the trolling motor in the up position). At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Contestants must leave and return to the official checkpoint by boat. The boat must remain in the tournament waters during the tournament day. No tournament boat may be loaded on the trailer before weigh-in except with the permission of the Tournament Director. In the event of equipment failure or emergency, there will be only two permitted methods of returning to the official checkpoint. By both team members remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or by one or both team members are entering the boat of another tournament contestant. Under these two conditions the teams catch may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, fish care penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules). Contestants who elect to return to the official checkpoint by any other means than cited above will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time in the tournament day. Any contestant returning to the checkpoint will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the Tournament Director or his designated Tournament Official. It is the sole responsibility of contestants to locate the Tournament Director to request a restart.

Official Checkpoints
There will be only one official checkpoint for boat check-in in the morning and one official check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat checkout in the morning or failure to check-in at the official checkpoint in the afternoon will result in losing credit for that day’s catch. All competitors and their boats must be in full compliance with tournament rules before they can depart from the official checkpoint in the morning.

Live Fish
Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated livewell. The use of livewell additives is encouraged to promote the healthy return of bass to their natural habitat. Bass must be alive to be weighed-in; no dead fish will be accepted at weigh-ins.

Ties for each hourly session prizes will be combined and split equally. Teams that Tie for the overall big fish award will have the opportunity to decide if they would like to have a one (1) hour fish-Off or to split the grand prize equally. All Teams involved will have 15 minutes to make that decision). If a decision can’t be made, the awards will be split equally. If teams are still tied after a one (1) hour fish-off, the awards will be split equally.

Truth verification test
Each contestant agrees to submit, by signature on the release form, to a polygraph or voice stress analysis examination and to abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass an examination will result in disqualification. Truth verification tests will be used at the Tournament Director’s sole discretion, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by the Tournament Director.

Watercraft liability insurance, with coverage in reasonable amounts, is required of all contestants in the Tournament.

Big Bass Tournament Trail Official Rules  Print

Print out entry form here

Want to learn more about our tournaments? Russ Baker and his team are always available to answer your questions and explain our tournament format and goals.