1. The interpretation and enforcement of these rules is the responsibility of the Tournament Director. Any disputes or protests that cannot be resolved by the Tournament Director will be resolved by the Grievance Committee.
2. Anglers are expected to abide by all applicable Florida Boating or Fishing and Wildlife Statutes and Rules. Violation of such statutes or rules may result in the angler(s) being disqualified from the tournament.
3. All protests must be made to the Tournament Director within 15 minutes after the tournament weigh in has been completed. The decision of the Tournament Director or Grievance Committee may be made immediately or at a later time, depending on the nature of the protest and the clarity, or lack thereof, of the tournament rules or club by-laws.
4. Anglers in the First Coast Christian Bass Club are expected to follow the highest standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and safety. Any infractions of these basic and fundamental sporting principles may be cause for disqualification.
5. Mandatory release of live fish after weigh in. Four ounces, or .25 lbs., will be deducted from total weight for each dead fish. Culling of dead fish is not allowed.
6. All starts will be based on the boat number drawn at the tournament draw.
7. It’s the angler’s responsibility at the time of weigh-in to ensure that his catch is entered correctly into the club records.
8. Five fish limit per angler, unless otherwise stated by state law. Culling must take place immediately, which means the angler must not keep 6 or more fish in the live well.
a. If an angler forgets to cull a 6th (or 7th etc.) fish, or attempts to weigh in 6 or more fish, a two-pound penalty will be assessed on the final 5 fish weight after the angler has culled the number of fish down to 5.
9. The minimum length is 12 inches with mouth closed to the tip of tail then measured on a flat board. If we are using the Golden Rule, a 12-inch minimum will be used with only the best 5 fish submitted for final weight.
a. Courtesy measurements: Anglers may request a courtesy measurement at the weigh-in table prior to giving their fish to the tournament committee for the measuring/weigh-in process. There is no penalty if a fish comes up short for a courtesy measurement.
b. Penalty for a short fish will be the loss of that fish plus the largest fish. Fish under size must be released immediately. Decision of the Tournament Director is final.
10. All fishing must be done from the boat. An angler may not leave the boat to fish or land a fish. a. If an angler falls out of a boat while in the process of setting the hook or fighting a fish, he may return to the boat and then complete the fish landing process and still have the fish count. However, if the partner reels in the fish while the other angler is out of the boat, or if the angler who fell out of the boat lips his fish while out of the boat, the fish must be released immediately.
11. Life jackets are mandatory any time the boat is on plane.
a. It is permissible to idle to a location without a life jacket.
12. All boats must be equipped with all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment and functioning aerated live well(s) that can support two limits of fish.
13. No ladders or raised platforms may be used to fish from during a club tournament.
14. Mandatory drawing for partners (unless otherwise noted in the club schedule). Location and times of the drawing can be made at the discretion of the Tournament Director.
a. Members cannot fish with the same partner in successive tournaments, except for 2-day tournaments.
b. All attempts, including manual pairings, will be made to keep boaters and non-boaters fishing with different people each tournament during a club year.
15. No alcoholic beverages, illicit drug use, or foul language are allowed at any time during club-sanctioned events, including travel to, during, and traveling from a club tournament.
16. Boaters are required to abide by all posted no wake zones, speed zones, manatee zones, and off limit areas. Failure to abide by the laws of the water can be grounds for disqualification.
17. The Tournament Director will announce the time and place of arrival for weigh-in. Penalty for late return to weigh-in will be one pound for each minute late and after 15 minutes late the boater and non-boater will be disqualified (for the “big bass” award, the one pound per minute penalty may also apply). By way of example, if an angler is 6 minutes late to weigh-in and has a 5 fish limit weighing 20 lbs. with a big bass weighing 10 lbs., then the bag weight would be reduced to 14 lbs. and the 10 lb. big bass would be eligible to be considered the big bass of the tournament.
a. Good Samaritan Rule: If a boat comes across a situation that requires assistance to another club member or anyone else on the water, the boater or non-boater giving assistance may contact the Tournament Director to seek permission for late arrival to weigh-in with no penalty. If the Tournament Director is not reachable (or if it is the Tournament Director requesting permission to be late to weigh-in), then the club President, or another officer if he is also unreachable, should be contacted to get permission. In all cases, the request must be made prior to the official weigh-in time of the tournament (unless an extreme emergency prevented such a phone call). This rule only applies to the boater and non-boater giving assistance, not the anglers receiving assistance.
18. Artificial lures only. No live or prepared baits other than pork rind baits.
19. Only one rod may be in use at any time by an angler. Usage is defined as having a line in the water that can catch a fish.
20. Trolling is not allowed.
21. When visually fishing for bedding bass, a bass must be hooked inside the mouth to be counted as a legal fish.
22. All non-boaters are required to pay the boater’s $30.00 entry fee.
a. Note: For out of town 2-day tournaments, the non-boater should be prepared to cover half of the gas and oil costs of the trip (tow vehicle and boat), in addition to his own meals and lodging.
23. Any boater arriving late for a tournament must contact the Tournament Director to determine whether a live well check is necessary before they are eligible to fish in the tournament.
24. Any non-boater not showing for a tournament after committing to fish will be responsible for paying the boater’s entry fee.
a. Any no shows at a tournament without prior notification to the Tournament Director or other club officer could be penalized one point and could be subject to further penalties pending review by the club officers.
25. Anyone leaving the tournament before weigh-in time must notify a member who is fishing or leave a note on the Tournament Director’s windshield before leaving.
a. All boats must be accounted for before the weigh-in. The Tournament Director determines who stays in the water for a search party.
26. Any boat that breaks down may:
a. Have some other boat bring his partner in with the catch while the boater stays with his boat.
b. Return to a ramp other than weigh-in site and trailer to weigh-in. The boat is not allowed to re-enter water.
c. In both situations, the boat or catch must be on-time at weigh-in to avoid penalty.
27. Point System – Regular Tournaments
a. Tournament standings will be determined by most weight less penalties. (30 points for 1st place, 29 points for 2nd place and so on for each place that weigh fish).
b. If a member has no legal fish to weigh-in, the member will receive 1 point for fishing.
c. Up to the top three fishermen will receive a payout as outlined in Article VI, Section B of the Constitution and By-Laws.
d. Annual club dues must be paid prior to the tournament before an angler can receive a payout and be eligible to receive points. Guests may receive points retroactive to the previous tournament if they are approved for membership at the next scheduled club meeting, but they will not receive any money for a tournament that they fished as a guest, and any fish they weighed in will not count towards “big bass” awards.
e. One additional bonus point per tournament will be awarded if the member wears club colors such as a club hat, club shirt or club logo at the tournament.
f. One additional bonus point per tournament will be awarded if the member attends monthly club meeting.
g. Bonus points don’t apply to the Classic Meeting or Classic Tournament and bonus points for attending the monthly club meeting will not be “dropped” as part of the one tournament drop at the end of the year.
28. In the event of a tie in one of the first three places, the members that tied will evenly divide the sum of the money awarded for the tie position and the next position down. (Example: Two people tie for 1st place. The prize money for first and second places are added together and divided equally between the two members. Both members will be deemed as finishing first for points and there will be no second-place winner. The third-place winner will remain in third place for the calculation of points, prize money and awards). The same methodology would be employed for resolving a tie in any of the top three places, even if there were more than one tie for one of the top three places.
29. If an angler has fished in every tournament over the course of the year, he will be entitled to “drop” his lowest finish. For clarity, a normal tournament year will include 12 days of tournament fishing and opportunities to earn points. If 12 days of tournament fishing occur, then the highest 11 finishes will be included in the final standings for Angler of the Year and Classic qualification. If an angler does not fish ALL of the tournaments in a year, there will be no “drop” for that angler.
30. All boaters must have $300,000 of liability insurance coverage for their boat in order to participate as a boater in a club tournament. Copies of current insurance policies must be provided to the club Secretary.