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Rules of Conduct

  1. RULES: The following rules of this tournament will remain unchanged. Interpretation of these rules shall be left to the Board of Directors. A copy of the tournament rules must be in each competitor’s boat during the tournaments. The decision of the Board of Directors shall be final in all matters.

  2. PARTICIPANTS & ELIGIBILITY: You must be a WABTA member to fish in each year's circuit.  Participation in this tournament is open only to individuals who are 18 years of age and older unless fishing with a parent or guardian. Proof of age is to the satisfaction of the Board and is the responsibility of the competitor. The Board reserves the right to refuse any application for any event, for any reason. All entries must be paid online by 8:00pm on the Thursday prior to the tournament. There will be no entries accepted the day of the tournament. There will be a $40 NSF charge on all returned checks.

  3. PRETOURNAMENT PRACTICE: Each individual tournament lake is off limits to all contestants from 12:01am the day of the tournament, until the start of the tournament.

  4. REGISTRATION: There is a 5:30am check in meeting on tournament day. You must have your boat checked by a board member before the morning meeting.

  5. SAFETY: Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times by tournament competitors. Each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved chest type life preserver any time the combustion engine is operating. The preserver must be strapped, snapped, zippered, or buckled securely and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is turned off. Violation of this rule will result in immediate disqualification. If a competitor receives a citation/ticket during the tournament hours for a local ordinance violation or a DNR law violation that competitor will be disqualified.

  6. SPORTSMANSHIP: Competitors 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. Drunkenness by any competitor during the tournament will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification. 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 unfavorable upon the effort to promote fisheries, conservation, clean waters, and courtesy shall be reason for immediate disqualification. No seeding/salting: Moving fish to an area with intent of gaining an unfair advantage is strictly prohibited. No alcoholic beverages or other stimulants or depressants will be allowed in tournament boats. Use of illegal drugs, or non-prescribed drugs at the tournament headquarters, in the tournament boat, or at all event facilities will result in disqualification.

  7. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT: Each competitor may only use one rod with one lure at a time. Artificial baits only. Trolling is not allowed. Fishing from the front deck while under power from the combustion motor is not allowed. Any umbrella-type rigging, harness or other device designed to hold more than one lure at a time – with or without hooks – is not allowed.

  8. HORSEPOWER REGULATION: Maximum horsepower for all outboard motor boats used in tournament competition will not exceed limitations set by the US Coast Guard in their ruling of Nov 1, 1972. All competitors in WABTA tournaments are required to have boater’s liability insurance of at least $100,000 liability coverage.

  9. BASIC BOAT EQUIPMENT: Every boat must have all required Coast Guard mandated safety equipment. In addition, it must have a functional live well space that is properly aerated to adequately maintain a live limit of bass by the fisherman using the boat. The use of binoculars and cameras with telephoto lenses is prohibited during tournament hours.

  10. BOAT IDENTIFICATION: Each boat must be given, prior to the tournament start, an inspection by a Board Member and assigned a boat number, which must remain with your boat until turned in at the end of the tournament. 

  11. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Fishing is confined to the tournament lake. Fishing on the tournament waters is permitted anywhere except within 50 yards of a marina gas pump. Competitors are restricted from impeding another competitor's immediate water (25 yards is considered a courteous distance). No competitor may fish within 25 yards of a boat with the anchor deployed and the trolling motor out of the water. All fishing must be done from the boat. Competitors must leave and return to the official check in by boat and must remain in tournament waters during tournament hours. Competitors must not leave the boat to land a fish, and are only allowed to leave the boat in case of eminent danger defined as high probability of great bodily harm or death due to weather or lake conditions, to leave the boat to retrieve a lure if it becomes entangled in a dock or moored boat, or to use the facilities at the tournament headquarters or a commercial gas dock open to the public.

  12. SCORING: Tournament standings shall be determined by the catch during the day of the tournament. Only largemouth and smallmouth will be weighed. The limit shall be a total of 5 of the above species in aggregate per day for a team, or 3 of the above species for a single competitor during warm water periods. All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the State of Wisconsin. Only bass as described which measure 14 inches or more in length as measured with mouth closed shall be weighed in. Bass presented for weigh in which fail to measure 14 inches shall immediately disqualify the team. There will be a 1 pound penalty for each dead bass brought to the scales. This penalty shall be deducted from the total score of the competitor. Only one fish can be weighed in for Big Bass. Any bass that appears to have been illegally harvested will be weighed and credited only at the discretion of the Board Members. In event of a mechanical failure or acts of God prohibiting or disrupting the weigh in process, the Tournament Board reserves the right to return all competitors money for the event. Only the weigh master has final say over a fish’s legal status, short or dead. Team of year will be determined by the best 4 of 5 tournaments. ONLY one sub will be allowed per team for TOY. It is your responsibility to notify the tournament directory if there is a sub.

  13. LATE PENALTY: Late is late. If you are late, you are disqualified.

  14. TIES: In case of a tie, the first tie breaker shall be the number of fish. If a tie still remains, the purses will be combined and divided equally. Trophies will be decided by a coin flip. Last paid place ties will split the last paid place purse.

  15. None of the above rules shall prohibit a properly designated Board Member from approaching or boarding any competitor’s boat at any time during the practice period or the tournament day.

  16. ORDER OF START: A lottery system will determine boat position for all entries received prior to start the boat number drawing meeting. After the boat draw meeting boat position will be determined by entry post mark.

  17. PROTEST: Each participant will have the right to protest another participant for a rule's violation. Protests must be submitted in writing before the official close of the scales by tournament officials. A protest fee of $50 must accompany the protest and will be returned if the protest is upheld. Tournament official’s reserve the right to review and act on rules infractions after the close of scales.

  18. POLYGRAPH TEST: All competitors are subject to a polygraph testing. Failure to submit to a test, failure of the test in the polygraph examiner’s opinion, or failure to follow the instructions of the polygraph examiner is grounds for disqualification and forfeiture of any and all prize money. Any competitor who has failed a polygraph test for cheating in a bass tournament or whose results are found to be inconclusive shall not be eligible to compete in WABTA tournaments. The ordering of a polygraph test is at the discretion of the Board of Directors.

  19. RELEASING OF FISH: Each boat is responsible for releasing their own fish IMMEDIATELY in the designated area the day of the tournament. Failure of this rule will result in disqualification and/or dismissal from WABTA.

  20. IN THE EVENT OF AN EQUIPMENT FAILURE: You must immediately notify a Board Member by cell phone of the problem. There will be only two permitted methods of returning to the official tournament headquarters: 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 penalty (except for late penalties, dead fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules).

  21. SUBSTITUTE RULE: If a situation arises during the tournament season that a team needs to use a substitute angler, it is permitted with the following stipulations. The substitute must be a member. The total weight for the day will count in full for that tournament day. (No penalty for Team of Year).  If a contestant decides to fish by themselves, he/she would only be allowed to weigh the daily bag limit allowable by DNR regulations for the date of the tournament, and he/she would get credit for the full allowable days catch in the team of the year standings. 

  22. GUIDES: Paid guides are prohibited via verbal information or on the water information 7 days prior to all tournaments.

  23. CELL PHONES: The use of cell phones is permitted for emergency use only. THEY MAY NOT BE USED TO COMMUNICATE WITH PARTICIPANTS AND/OR NON-PARTICIPANTS DURING TOURNAMENT HOURS. Violation of this rule will result in disqualification or/or dismissal from WABTA.

  24. ANGLER CODE OF CONDUCT: Anglers shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates integrity, honor and respect toward fellow competitors, tournament staff and the general public that does not reflect unfavorably on WABTA, its members, officers or representatives, tournaments or sponsors. This includes but is not limited to the participant’s social media accounts and digital sights. Breach of this rule will result in a board review. Consequences will vary based on the infraction.

  25. CLASSIC QUALIFICATIONS: You must register and pay for any 4 tournaments and launch a boat the morning of said event. Board has final say on any interpretation.

How to qualify for the classic?  Click Here

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