Northeast Team Bass Rules

  1. PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY
    Participation is open only to members of the Northeastern Team Bass Trail who are 14 years of age or older. Ages 14-15 may join and fish as long as their declared partner for the year is a parent or legal guardian. Any person entering a tournament under the age of 18 must also have the signature of his or her parent or legal guardian and must fish with a partner for every tournament. A Social Security Number is required for all participants. When fishing alone the total entry ($200.00) for the tournament must be paid. Each team will be allowed to have 1 (one) substitute for 1 (one) regular points tournament per season, and may have either partner fish alone once (1). NO SUBSTITUTES ALLOWED FOR THE TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS. If you use up your single competitor through the season you may contact the Tournament Director directly regarding the possibility of fishing alone in the TOC. Boat owners must provide Certificate of Insurance with at least $300,000 liability coverage. A copy of your boat policy is not acceptable. Membership may be denied due to a number of reasons including but not limited to past conduct, participation, refusal to comply with any of the rules set forth herein. PARTICIPATION IS A REQUIREMENT FOR ENTRY TO ANY TOURNAMENT. THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR RESERVES THE RIGHT TO REFUSE THE APPLICATION OF ANY COMPETITOR TO THE TOURNAMENT.
  2. SAFETY
    Safe Boating will be observed at all times by tournament competitors. During competition, each contestant is required to wear US Coast Guard approved PFD (chest type life preserver) any time the combustion engine is in operation. This preserver must be buckled, strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition whenever the combustion engine is running. Violation of the rule shall be reason for disqualification. 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. Navigational Lights must be in place and working properly in low light and limited visibility conditions.
  3. SPORTSMANSHIP
    Competitors in the Northeastern Team Bass Tournaments are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during the tournament will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future Northeastern Team Bass Tournaments. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act of a competitor, which reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy, shall be reason for disqualification. All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the various states within which they fish. It is your responsibility to learn and obey any rules associated with the body of water you are fishing. There will be no consumption of alcoholic beverages at the weigh in or at the tournament briefing area.
  4. BOAT AND HORSEPOWER REGULATION
    For the safety of all contestants boats must be equipped with an operable ignition kill switch. This ignition kill device must be attached to the drivers, body any time the combustion engine is operating. Any time the combustion engine is operating there must be a driver in the driver's seat in full control of the boat. Fishing boats may be used that are 15 feet or more in length. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard Safety Equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated or recirculating live well space to maintain a live limit catch of bass. Live wells must be completely empty for the boat check at the start of each day of the tournament. Any boat found to have water in the live wells will be disqualified. Each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the rating specified on this rating plate.
  5. BOAT INSPECTION
    Each boat MUST be given an inspection check by a tournament official on the morning of each tournament.
  6. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATION
    Fishing on tournament waters is permitted anywhere except within a 25 yard radius of a marina gas pump or within the area designated as too close to the weigh-in site. All man made marinas and cuts are off limits. Contestants may fish anywhere accessible by boat, except areas designated as off limits or no fishing by local, state, federal officials, or within 50 feet of any other competitor’s boat which is anchored (when trolling motor is up and combustion engine is off). All angling must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave to land a fish or to make the boat accessible to fishing waters. Contestants must leave and return to the official checkpoint by boat, in the event of equipment failure or emergency; there will be only two permitted methods of returning to the official check-in.
    1) By both partners remaining in their boat and being towed by another tournament competitor or law official.
    2) By one of the team members with their catch, entering the boat of another Northeast Team Bass contestant.

    Under these two conditions the contestants catch may be counted. All other tournament rules apply. Contestants who elect to return to the official check-in by other means than cited above will forfeit that days catch to that point in the tournament day.
  7. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT
    Only artificial lures may be used. No "live bait" or "prepared bait" will be permitted, with the exception of pork strips, rinds, etc. Only ONE casting, spin casting or spinning rod and reel may be used at one time. All other types prohibited. Other rigs as specified above may be in the boat ready for use, however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. The use of landing nets will be allowed.
  8. BOAT IDENTIFICATION
    Each boat will be given a flight number at the briefing following registration. Boaters will use the identification specified by the Tournament Committee until the timekeeper at the end of the tournament checks them in. This number must be displayed on your boat.
  9. SCORING & PENALTY'S
    Official Entry: This will be when contestant’s boat passes the official start line of the tournament. Failure to show up at a tournament without prior notification leads to forfeit of entry.
    Weigh in: The official start of weigh in is when a contestant returns and checks in at the dock with the timekeeper.
    After check-in, teams must proceed to the weigh-in site and fishing must cease. There is a five fish limit.
    Each competitor must present their catch to the weigh-in officials, and their SIGNATURE must certify the weight of their catch. Anyone leaving early or not weighing in any fish must notify the tournament staff. Failure to check in will result in forfeit of tournament points.
    All anglers weighing in their catch must use provided weigh bags, any team not using provided weigh bags will be penalized one pound, deducted from their total weigh.

    Tournament standings, auxiliary awards and final winners will be determined by the weight of each competitor's catch during the tournament. Only large mouth and small mouth bass will be weighed. Limit shall be a total of 5 of the above species. Culling must begin after possessing a tournament limit. No culling at the dock. Each team will be allowed to weigh in one fish for lunker.  The choice determined by the competitors. The official length for the bass shall be 12 inches. Fish will be measured with mouth closed and a pinch tail. Bass presented for weigh in which fail to measure the official length shall accrue penalties at the rate of one pound for each such bass, and additionally, such bass will not be weighed as part of the contestant's catch. This penalty shall be deducted from the total score of the competitor. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered will be weighed and credited at the discretion of the Tournament Committee. Any one who brings to the weigh-in more than the 5 fish limit will be disqualified.
  10. DON'T KILL YOUR CATCH
    Competitors are expected to keep their bass alive by the use of a properly aerated live well.
    Bass must not be stringered at any time during the tournament.
    For each dead bass presented to the weigh in official, the competitor shall be penalized four ounces (.25 lbs) of weight, including lunker. At no time will a competitor be allowed to cull a dead fish.
  11. LATE PENALTY
    Contestants who are not at the official check-in area at the appointed time will be penalized at one (1) pound per minute deducted from their total weight including any weight to be counted toward a big bass award. Any contestant more than fifteen (15) minutes late will lose credit for the day's weight. The Tournament Director and their designated appointees shall have the sole authority for assessing penalties.
  12. VIOLATION
    Contestants must report possible violations to the tournament director within 15 minutes of their check-in time. All protest must be submitted in writing and supported by two teams.
  13. TIES
    In the event of a tie in point’s tournaments, cash awards for these positions will be added together and divided evenly between teams.

    In Special Events and TOC
    1) In the event of a tie for first place competitors will have a fish off for one hour. This will be for a 5 fish limit. The fish off is for first and second place awards only.
    2) In the event of a tie in positions 2 though remaining positions, awards will be added together and divided between the teams.
  14. POLYGRAPH
    EACH COMPETITOR AGREES TO SUBMIT, BY HIS SIGNATURE ON THE MEMBERSHIP DOCUMENT, TO A POLYGRAPH TEST. The Administration and interpretation of the polygraph test shall be solely the responsibility of the Tournament Director and his agents, and shall be used (or not used) at the discretion of the Tournament Director. The participant shall be available, at the location selected by the Tournament Director and shall cooperate in all respects with such examination.
  15. COMMUNICATION
    All communication (Cell phones, UHF, VHF radio's, 2 way) is prohibited except for emergency use only among tournament anglers during tournament hours. Use of underwater viewing devices is prohibited during tournament hours.
  16. ANGLERS OF THE YEAR
    To qualify for "Anglers of the Year" the team must fish all regular tournaments and have the highest total points of all regular tournaments. Awards for Angler of the Year, see #19 Payouts.
  17. QUALIFYING FOR TOURNAMENT OF CHAMPIONS
    To qualify for the TOC you must either fish all 6 tournaments OR have a total of 425 points. The TOC is a free entry event. An entry form must be filled out and mailed in by the required date. Lunker at the TOC will be $20.00 per team per day ($40.00 total) payable on the morning of day one of the TOC.
    Emergencies or breakdowns resulting in the inability of a team to attend a tournament, therefore putting their TOC qualification in jeopardy shall be immediately brought to the attention of the Tournament Director. Upon such notification, the Tournament Director will verify the reason for the inability to attend such tournament and make a final decision as to whether or not that team will be given credit for that tournament based on the findings. Payment of the entry fee for the missed tournament shall also be up to the discretion of the Tournament Director based on the findings.
  18. PAYMENT OF TOURNAMENT FEES AND MEMBERSHIP
    Tournament fee is $200. Membership is $40 per person if payed by the first tournament. After that it is $50 per person. Money order or check should be made payable and mailed to Anna Hanchett, PO Box 154, Severance, NY 12872. *NEW* The cut off for payment will be the Monday prior to the tournament. Entries received after MONDAY or incomplete entries will be returned & charged an additional $40.00. Dates for cut off are listed on the tournament schedule page under each tournament. There is a $5 fee for using Pay pal in addition to the entry and late fee. Teams may pay cash only at the ramp the morning of the tournament. Entry fee will be $240 per team. Membership fees still apply. Please be advised, any teams choosing to pay at the ramp will be required to go out in the last flight and will return in the first flight. Members must provide social security numbers and proper names or addresses changes when collecting a payout.
  19. PAYOUTS 
    Payout will be as follows: $120 payout for tournament, $10 lunker, $50 TOC, $20 AOY. Total $200. Pay out for regular tournaments will be 1 in 6 with exception of the Tournament of Champions where we will pay back 25% of the field.
    Example: With a 50 boat average and a 6 tournament schedule the new payout will be $6000 per regular tournament, $15000.00 for TOC and $6000 for AOY.
  20. *NEW* By signing the entry form and participating in each tournament you are guaranteeing that you have a minimum of $300,000 liability insurance on the boat being used in this tournament. Random checks will be done for insurance. Anyone not able to provide on demand a copy of their valid and current insurance policy will be disqualified from the tournament.
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