Rules

When a penalty is assessed by the Boat Official, the Competitor is NOT allowed to fish or do anything related to fishing such as retie, change or fix a lure, reposition the boat or graph. Angler is NOT allowed to go to the bathroom, eat food or take a drink while serving a penalty.  If Spot-Lock is not engaged at time of penalty, it may NOT be engaged during the penalty.

The exception to this is if the boat is in danger of drifting into a solid structure such as a rock or dock, etc, in these cases the Competitor may reposition the boat to the nearest open water.


PENALTY CARRY-OVER:
If an angler is assessed a penalty at the end of a period, the remaining penalty time will be served at the “start of fishing” during the next period.

If the fish comes unhooked from the lure and falls to the deck or floor of the boat it will still be assessed as a violation, even if the bass is a non-keeper.

Penalty – Fish Landing Violation:  2 Minutes & Competitor must stop fishing after the fish is released.


LANDING FISH:
When landing a largemouth or smallmouth bass, the fish cannot touch any part of the boat at any time during the landing process such as carpet, windshield, motor, console, etc.


RELEASING FISH:
When releasing ANY bass, the angler’s hand must be at gunnel level or closer to the water. No flipping or tossing of a bass back into the water is allowed.

Penalty – Fish Release Violation:  2 Minutes & Competitor must stop fishing after the fish is released.


LEAVING BOAT:
Competitor may not leave the boat for the purpose of fishing; all fishing and landing of fish must be done within the boat.  Neither of the angler’s feet may leave the inside of the boat.

Penalty – Leaving Boat Violation:  Any fish landed is not scorable and must be released & Competitor must stop fishing after the fish is released & serve a 4-minute penalty.


LITTERING:
No littering of any materials in the lake is allowed including plastic baits and fishing line.  If an angler directly puts any foreign matter from his or her boat in the water, it must be removed upon notification by the Boat Official.  If a fish removes or breaks a lure off, that is NOT considered a penalty.

Penalty – Littering Violation:  Angler must remove the litter from the water immediately, if he or she fails to do so, a 2-minute penalty will be given.


BREAKING OFF ON PRIVATE PROPERTY PENALTY:
Anglers must make a full attempt at getting their lure unhung from the private property.  An angler can NOT break their line when their lure becomes snagged on any private property, such as a boat dock, boat lift, etc. 

Penalty – Breaking off Violation:  If a Competitor does break their line off on a piece of private property, they must stop fishing & serve a 4-minute penalty.


LATE POLICIES:
Competitors must return to the official lunch meeting location by 11:00 a.m.

Penalty – Late Violation (lunch):  If a Competitor is late for the midday lunch break, the Competitor will be penalized 1 pound per minute up to 30 minutes. First half weight will be disqualified after 30 minutes.

Competitors must return to the official takeoff location within 15 minutes of fishing time being completed at the end of the second half of fishing.  Fishing ends at the designated time given at the pre-tournament meeting by the Champions Tour Tournament Director.

Penalty – Late Violation:  The Competitor will be penalized 1 pound per minute up to 30 minutes. Total days weight will be disqualified over 30 minutes late.


PRACTICE:
One week prior to the tournament, ONLY immediate family members, or a registered Boat Official for that event can pre-fish or be in a boat with a Champions Tour angler.

While practicing at ANY TIME for a Champions Tour event on that given body of water, no largemouth or smallmouth bass can be transported from one fishing location to another on that given body of water.  The only exception is if you are competing in another tournament on that body of water.



SAFETY
:
Safe boating practices are EXPECTED and the responsibility of the Champions Tour Angler’s.

There is a 55-mph speed limit by Champions Tour Angler’s during the competition hours, unless local regulations are less.

It is the Champions Tour Angler’s responsibility to be aware of the weather and navigate safely in the given conditions.

All Competitors & Boat Officials are required to wear a Coast Guard approved life vest, securely fastened, always while the boat is being propelled by the main combustion engine.

Boats must have a kill switch attached to driver of boat when big motor is turned on.

Running lights must be on if necessary and functioning properly.

Champions Tour Competitor MUST have a first aid kit in their boat during all Champions Tour events.  Competitor must show this kit to Champions Tour Staff at their first event of the season.


BOAT OFFICIAL’S:
Boat Officials are NOT allowed to help the angler in catching fish, driving boat, or giving information that would help the angler catch fish.

Boat Officials are NOT allowed on the front deck of a Competitor’s boat unless permission is granted by the Competitor.

Boat Officials WILL provide scoreboard updates to the angler, following each fish recorded in the LiveWell App and every five minutes.


SCORING OF FISH:
Only the Competitor will handle bass caught during competition.

The minimum size bass will be 1 lb 0oz in weight.

Immediately after a catch is made, the fish will be weighed, and a photo will be taken of the catch to be uploaded to the Reel LiveWell app. The photo can be anything that shows people watching the App your fish, creativity is encouraged! The order of weigh/photo is up to you, but you are encouraged to take photo first.

Only the Competitor will attach the fish to the scale.

Boat Official will “call the weight” of the bass and the Competitor will have the opportunity to challenge the call.

If the call is challenged by the Competitor, the Boat Official will zero the scale and re-weigh the fish a maximum of two (2) additional times. The weight displayed on the final challenge shall be the weight recorded.

Once the weight is called, the Boat Official will immediately record the weight by writing it down on the competitors fish log sheet, have the Competitor initial the weight and then will proceed to immediately enter the weight into the LiveWell App. 

The Competitor may resume fishing as soon as the catch is legally released, and the catch is initialed on the score card.

At NO time can Champions Tour Competitor put a bass in their livewell.

A Champions Tour Competitor’s Boat Official WILL notify Champions Tour Staff if they are having technical difficulties of adding a scorable bass into the LiveWell App IMMEDIATELY at time of technical issue.  Instructions will be given at that time.


SIGHT FISHING:
A bedding Bass may only be caught and entered once.

Any bass that is caught sight fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and shown to the Boat Official.


ANGLING TECHNIQUES

You may NOT use the trolling motor or outboard to move your lure (No Trolling or Strolling).

You can NOT use the trolling motor or outboard to lengthen the distance of your cast

No Live bait, only artificial lures are permitted.

A-rigs are allowed as long as they adhere to the state laws in which competing.

NO LANDING NETS or GRIPPERS.

Only rods shorter than 8 ½ feet.

All fish must be caught in a traditional sporting manner.


END-OF-PERIOD SCORING:
The LiveWell App will serve as the “Official Time Clock.” 

At the end of a period, the Competitor will be clearly notified by the Boat Official when the period competition is coming to an end and when the Competitor must stop fishing

Any bass hooked on the final cast must be “inside the boat,” visibly inside the gunnel before the time expires. 

The legality or illegality of a period-end catch will be determined by the Boat Official.


POINT ACCUMULATION and STANDINGS:
Competitor MUST PAY for all 3 of the Champions Tour events in 2021, and Competitor MUST fish 2 of the events.  Anglers will only receive points if they attend an event.

Angler of the Year and Championship qualification points will be calculated based on a fixed scale of 50 points for first place, 49 for second place and so on down the line.

Championship Qualification:

      The Championship field will be 50% of the field from the regular season.

      Each winner of a regular season event will qualify.

      The remainder of field will be from point totals of the season.

     
Angler of the Year will be based on Angler’s best 4 events (including the Championship).

In case of a tie for the point standings that determine Championship qualification and Angler of the Year award, ties will be broken in the following manner, 1) angler who has caught the most # of bass throughout the season 2) the angler who caught the biggest bass during the season. 3) angler who fished the most # of Champions Tour events during the season.


CHAMPIONSHIP DETAILS

No entry fee.

The day before the event will be the ONLY practice day for the Championship.

Location will NOT be disclosed until August.

Angler’s will NOT be allowed to receive any information on the Championship lake following its announcement, if an angler is found out to have received information, they will be disqualified from the Championship.



MECHANICAL FAULT:

It is the Competitor’s responsibility to have a working boat, motor, and equipment.  The competitor’s boat WILL meet all state and local regulations.

The Champions Tour will NOT refund any entries because of mechanical issues.

The Champions Tour and their staff are not responsible for providing a loaner boat or ensuring a Competitor has returned to the official check in point at the given time.  It is the Competitors responsibility to compete at all possible times and make every effort to return to the official check in point at the given time under their own power or via another Champions competitor.  Before any communication takes place with another Champions Tour competitor regarding transportation in another angler’s boat, approval must be received from the Champions Tournament director.

If a Competitor experiences mechanical failure or difficulties with their boat during a Champions Tour event, NO TIME OUT will be called.


TIES:
In case of a tie for a day’s total weight, ties will be broken in the following manner, 1) total number of legal keeper’s caught 2) largest fish caught and 3) coin toss

In case of a tie for the day’s big bass, it will be awarded to the angler that caught the bass first.



SPORTSMANSHIP
:
Contestants cannot use alcohol or drugs during the tournament.

At NO time can a competitor use cigarettes or cigars during the official tournament hours. 

At NO time can a competitor use cigarettes or cigars during the official tournament hours. 

A Sportsmanship violation is defined as an aggressive behavior or hostile action directed at a fellow angler, Boat Official, non-competitor, or a representative of the Champions Tour. 

Use of profanity directed at these individuals, will not be tolerated.  Boat Officials are required to report violations. 

Penalty will be determined by the Champions Tour tournament director and Competitor is subject to disqualification.


FLAGRANT VIOLATION:
A flagrant violation is any act that reflects unfavorably upon the positive efforts of Champions Tour, Champions Tour director, sponsors, spectators, fisheries conservation, & clean waters will not be tolerated.

Penalty will be determined by the Champions Tour tournament director & Competitor is subject to disqualification.

If a competitor receives an on the water violation from a Department of Natural Resources Officer, Sherriff, etc., their tournament weight prior to the issuance of the ticket will be erased and they will start over a zero fish/zero pounds when they begin fishing again.


EMERGENCIES:
Competitors shall always remain with their Boat Officials in the boat during the tournament, except in the event of health concern, severe storm, other weather, boating or navigational hazard.

Competitors may leave the boat to dislodge boat but are required to return to the boat in prompt manner.  A penalty will not be assessed in this situation.

Going to shore to use a public restroom is permitted for either a competitor or boat official. No fishing shall take place unless the Boat Official and Competitor are both back in the boat.


COMMUNICATION:
In case of emergencies, severe weather conditions or event instructions, Champions Tour Staff will text instructions to the Competitors and Boat Officials phone, with the details.  It is the Competitors responsibility to be aware of incoming text messages on their phone and ask for updates on text communications from their Boat Officials.

At NO time can a competitor inform or instruct a boat official to not answer a phone call or text message from the Champions Tour staff.  If the Champions Tour staff calls or texts the phone of the Competitor or Boat Official, the Boat Official MUST pick up, reply, or call back immediately following the boat ride or fish catch.  If at any time the Competitor instructs the Boat Official to not answer or reply to a Champions Tour staff phone call or text message, the Boat Official MUST inform the Champions Tour Tournament director immediately.  If it is determined that a Competitor has instructed a Boat Official to not communicate with Champions Tour Staff, or provide the Champions Tour Staff with an accurate location information, that Competitor will receive a 10 lb penalty and may be subject to not receiving future Champions Tour invitations.- Competitors shall be prohibited from using cell phones, pagers, text messaging or marine band radios to contact or communicate with other anglers, non-competing anglers, family or media staff, other than for emergency reasons.

NO team fishing or the sharing of information or strategy between Competitors.  This goes into effect at the pre-tournament meeting as soon as the lake split is announced until completion of the event.

Any communication between anglers for the purpose of assisting another competitor returning to the “weigh in” due to a mechanical failure will first need to be approved by the tournament director.


PROTESTS:
If a Competitor witnesses a rule infraction, he/she must inform the Champions Tour Tournament Director within 15 minutes upon arrival to the check-in site at the midday break or tournament conclusion. Protest MUST be in writing and can NOT be anonymous.  You must also keep your Boat Official in your boat and with you until the protest has been reviewed by the Tournament Director.  The protest must include the angler’s name that is being protested, description of the angler’s boat, detail of the rule infraction, as well as the time of infraction.