A. Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the Big Buck Bass Tournament Director and are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal.
B. Teams competing in any Big Bucks Bass tournaments must have a copy of these rules while competing in the tournament.
C. Protests must be made in writing within 30 minutes of the official check-in time of the last flight of each tournament, the tournament director will review all protests and there will be a ruling on the protest before any prizes will be awarded.
A. Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant is required to wear a fastened, U.S. Coast Guard approved, personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation.
B. All boats must be equipped with all safety equipment required by law.
C. No angler may fish from either deck of any craft while the combustion engine is in operation for the purpose of moving from one spot to another. (No casting from the front or back deck while your partner is idling thru a no-wake area.)
D. All boats must be equipped with an operating emergency ignition shut-off device that must be securely attached to the driver’s body whenever a combustion engine is in operation.
E. Tournament hours may be shortened at the discretion of the tournament director due to unsafe weather conditions.
A. Membership to Big Bucks Bass is mandatory to enter and compete in any tournament run by Big Bucks Bass. Your membership fee covers printing, postage and other costs associated with print information Big Bucks Bass needs to send to our members during the course of the tournament year.
B. The membership fee for 2008 is $40.00. There is a $20.00 per tournament fee for any angler who competes as a substitute but who chooses not to become a member of Big Bucks Bass.
C. Big Bucks Bass reserves the right to refuse membership to any angler or team at the managements discretion.
A. Participation is open to members of Big Bucks Bass that are in good standing. Good standing: membership paid in full, no returned or unpaid checks for any reason (including any fees associated with the returned check)
B. Any angler entering a tournament that is under the age of 18 must fish with a partner over the age of 18 and also have the signature of their parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the entry form.
C. Anglers must be 18 years or older to operate the boat at any time.
D. All contestants must have in their possession a valid fishing license if required by law.
E. Team entry fee for all regular division tournaments is $200 except on waters where a usage surcharge is levied. There is also an optional $10 big bass pot.
F. A completed entry form and the entry fee should be received prior to the tournament, for each tournament. Late entries will be accepted except for tournaments where we have a full 84-boat field.
G. A $20 late-entry fee for any “walk-up” entries will be assessed.
H. There will be a $40 charge for any check returned to our bank for any reason.
I. Pre-paid entry fees may be transferred from one tournament to another or from one division to another, as long as written notice is received by Big Bucks Bass 48 hours prior to the tournament not to be fished. Entry fees may not be transferred to retain qualification for the championship. If a team fails to give 48 hours written notice the entry fee will be used as if the team had competed in the tournament.
#5 Substitute Anglers
A. Big Bucks Bass realizes that it may be necessary for a team to use a substitute angler for a tournament. A team may use one substitute per division.
B. If a team cannot find a substitute for one team member that cannot compete in a tournament, the team has the option to have one team member compete in a tournament. The creel limit for that team will be one legal limit for the state or body of water the tournament takes place.
C. This rule is not in place so that one angler competes in a full division alone. In the event an angler needs to fish alone every effort will be made to have an observer (non competitor) go with that angler for that tournament day.
#6 Live Fish
A. Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live well. Big Bucks Bass recommends the use of live well additives and in warm weather the addition of ice to the live well to ensure that all fish are healthy when released.
B. A Penalty of ¼ pound will be deducted for each dead bass brought to the bump station. The ruling of the tournament director on all dead fish will be final and not be open for protest.
#7 Permitted fishing methods
A. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting and legal manner with a rod and reel.
B. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers.
C. Only one fishing rod may be used at a time.
D. Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited.
E. Any fish that is caught while sight fishing or bed fishing and hooked on the outside of the mouth or any place outside the mouth must be returned to the water. No intentional snagging of fish will be tolerated and will be cause for disqualification and exclusion from future tournaments.
A. Only Black Bass (largemouth, smallmouth or spotted) may be brought to the scale.
B. Bringing a non Black Bass species to the bump station will result in the large Bass of the creel being removed from the creel.
C. Minimum size limit for all bass will be 14 inches unless there is a site-specific regulation for the body of water where the tournament takes place. If there is a site-specific regulation regarding minimum size limit or possession limits the regulations for that body of water will apply. These special rules will be covered at the mandatory pre-tournament meeting. There will be a courtesy bump board available to all anglers prior to the scale opening, this courtesy board will be checked before each tournament by the “bump master” and tournament director to assure that it is exactly the same at the official board used at the bump station.
D. Any team that brings a short fish is violating the law and therefore they will be disqualified. If you have a fish that is close ask another team for a courtesy bump of that fish.
E. All teams will be allowed to weigh a six fish limit for all tournaments except in the event of an angler fishing alone (see rule 5-B/5-D). In this case the limit for that angler will be one legal daily limit for the state that the tournament is taking place.
F. Any team that brings an extra or 7th fish to the bump station will have the largest fish disqualified from their total creel. (COUNT YOUR FISH AS YOU PUT THEM IN YOUR WEIGH-IN BAG!)
G. Wisconsin has a no-cull law in effect. If a team has nine fish in possession one angler must stop fishing if a team has ten fish in possession then both anglers must stop fishing.
H. Once your weigh-in bag is given to the “bump master” there will be no substitution or changing the creel in any way.
I. All tournaments will be scored on a pound and 100th of a pound system. In the event of two teams having the exact same weight the tie would be broken by the number of fish brought to the scale. The team with the greater number of fish would win the tie. In the case there is still a tie, the big bass of the creel would break the tie. The team with the larger bass would win the tie. All tie breakers will be final and not open for protest.
J. A ¼ pound bonus will be awarded to each team that checks in at the end of the tournament. This bonus will not count in the days catch but will be added after the totals are calculated.
A. All contestants are required to follow high standards of common sense, sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, the sport of tournament fishing and Big Bucks Bass.
B. Any team angler or team that is issued a fineable citation for any reason during the tournament hours will be immediately disqualified for the day.
C. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance or non-doctor prescribed drugs during registration, the pre-tournament meeting or during tournament hours will be cause for immediate disqualification.
D. Suspension or disqualification of any angler or team from any tournament or fishing organization can be cause for exclusion from participation.
E. During tournament hours contestants may not obtain or receive assistance from non-competitors, follow a non-competitor’s boat or participate in the practice of “hole sitting” or the placing of markers by anyone. The use of mobile communication devices, including, but not limited to, cellular phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc., during tournament hours for the purpose of receiving assistance in finding or catching fish is forbidden, and shall be reason for disqualification.
F. No angler or team who is registered to fish in a Big Bucks Bass tournament shall place any bass in their live well during pre-tournament practice, this will be considered “moving fish” and is strictly forbidden and is reason for disqualification, and exclusion from future tournaments.
G. Big Bucks Bass and it’s employees reserve the right to exclude any angler/team from participating for any reason they see fit.
#10 Boat and horsepower regulations
A. All boats must be a minimum of 14 feet in length. No barges or similar cumbersome crafts will be permitted.
B. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment.
C. Boats must contain a properly aerated live well space to maintain alive a limit catch of bass.
D. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition shall not exceed the horsepower capacity set forth on the maximum horsepower placard on each boat.
E. By signing the entry form, each contestant agrees to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by Big Bucks Bass personnel. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating placard will be cause for disqualification from the tournament and may result in ineligibility to compete in future Big Bucks Bass events.
#11 Permitted fishing locations
A. Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off limits” or “no fishing” by the tournament director, local, state, or federal officials or within 25 yards of a competitor’s boat that is anchored (an anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight with the trolling motor in the up position). Off limits will be covered at the mandatory pre tournament meeting.
B. All angling must be conducted from the boat.
C. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.
D. At no time during the tournament hours shall any team remove their boat from the water for the purpose of getting to a fishing location.
E. In the event of a mechanical breakdown a team may get permission from the tournament director to put their boat on the trailer to make repairs.
F. Contestants must leave and return to the official checkpoint by boat.
G. The boat must remain in the tournament waters at all times during the tournament day.
H. No tournament boat may be loaded on the trailer before the weigh-in except with the permission of the tournament director. Unless there are special circumstances do not remove your boat from the water until you have weighed your fish.
I. In the event of equipment failure, there will be only two permitted methods of returning to the official check-in: by both partners remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or by one partner entering the boat of another tournament contestant. Under these two conditions the contestants’ catches will be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, dead fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules).
A. There will be only one official check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through check in point will result in disqualification.
B. All fishing must cease upon check-in.
C. If a team comes in early or has a mechanical break down and has fish to bring to the scale that team must check in with the tournament director. It is that teams responsibility to check in at the end of the tournament.
D. No fish will be weighed in prior to the scale being officially open.
#13. Late penalty
A. Any team that is late for the afternoon check in will loose their entire days catch for that day. If the official check-in time is 2:00 pm and the official clock hits 2:01 pm and your boat is not close enough for the Big Bucks Bass official performing check-in to read the numbers on your tournament draw number plate you will be considered late.
A. By signing the official entry form each contestant consents to a polygraph examination and abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass the examination will result in disqualification.
B. Polygraphs will be used at the tournament director’s sole discretion. The professional administering the test and the tournament director will make the determination of the meaning of the results.
A. Boat liability insurance, with coverage in reasonable amounts, is required of all contestants in Big Bucks Bass tournaments.
B. A copy of your insurance policy should be kept in your boat at all times during tournament competition. It is recommended that you have your insurance agent fax a copy of your current liability insurance policy to the Big Bucks Bass office.
#16 Qualifying for the championship
A. The top 20% of the teams will qualify for the championship per division
B. A team that qualifies for the championship in multiple divisions will represent the division that team qualified in first, by date.
C. Teams that place 1st in any tournament will qualify for the championship, to retain qualification the team must either compete in or pay for all tournaments in that same division.
D. If a team pays an entry fee or fees for a tournament or tournaments in order to stay qualified but choose not to compete in the tournament or tournaments, the entry fee or fees will be used as if the team had competed in the tournament or tournaments.
E. No team or teams can effect the number of teams that qualify for any division by qualifying multiple times. If a team or teams qualify multiple times. If a team or teams qualify multiple times in one division by placing 1st in two or more tournaments there will be a roll down and more teams will qualify by points. If one team qualifies 3 times in the same division by placing 1st then 9 teams will qualify by points.
F. There will be 1 wild card team per division.
G. There will be no back-paying for tournaments after they have been completed.
By signing your weigh-in slip at the end of the tournament you are insuring that you and your partner have in no way broken any of the rules above and that you have not been issued a fineable citation or conducted yourself in a manner that would be cause for disqualification during the tournament hours.