OFFICIAL TOURNAMENT RULES & BYLAWS
- STRUCTURE OF DUES: All dues and fees will be
paid or you will not fish the tournament. Dues for full club membership,
including State Federation dues is $150. Full dues for club members not
interested in State Federation activities is $100. Associate membership is
$30 plus a $10 per tournament fee. There is a $25 dollar discount for members
in their first year off the full $150 membership, which equals $125
- PRE-FISHING PRACTICE:
There will be NO pre-tournament fishing or boating for a period of 12 hours
before a tournament. (Unless waived by the tournament committee.)
- SAFETY: Safe boating conduct must be observed at
all times by all competitors. Each competitor is required to wear a coast
guard approved chest type preserver. This preserver must be worn strapped,
snapped or zipped securely at any time the combustion engine is operating. All
boats in the Gopher Bassmasters tournaments shall be equipped with a safety
tether switch. A disqualification will be automatic for no safety tether
switch, NO EXCEPTIONS. The tournament Director has the power to cancel or
delay any tournament before or during fishing due to inclimate weather.
Failure to comply will be a DQ. Consumption of alcoholic beverages,
marijuana, depressants, and stimulants by any competitor during the
tournament from takeoff until the weigh in is complete with result in a DQ for
this tournament and all other Gopher Bassmaster tournaments, also competitors
that observe or allow this behavior without reporting it will result in a DQ
for that tournament.
- SPORTSMANSHIP: Competitors in the Gopher
Bassmasters are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy,
safety, boat wake control, and conservation. Any infraction of these
fundamental sporting principles may be cause for a DQ. Maximum courtesy
must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling
in the area of non-competitors. Any act of a competitor which reflects
unfavorably upon Gopher or B.A.S.S. shall be reason for immediate DQ, subject
to a final decision by the tournament committee.
- TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT: Only artificial lures may
be used. No live bait or prepared bait will be permitted, with the exception
of port strips, rinds, ETC. Only casting, spin casting, or spinning type
tackle is permitted. All other types are prohibited. All competitors are
bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the state. Rod length may
not exceed 8 feet overall, butt of handle to tip.
- HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS: Maximum horsepower for
any boats in the tournament is 250 HP, not to exceed the limitations set by
the U.S. Coast Guard in their ruling of Nov. 1st, 1972, or BIA
equivalent rating. Each boat must have a HP rating plate attached to the boat
by the manufacturer. The HP shall not exceed this rating or the 250 HP maximum
set by the Gopher Bassmasters. All boats not having this tag shall have their
maximum HP determined by the U.S. approved equations set by the Coast Guard.
Normal maintenance to increase the performance of your engine is allowed.
Changing or altering standard factory rating is prohibited and will result in
- BOAT AND MOTOR: A small motor, gas or electric,
may be used for slow maneuvering. Trolling as a method of fishing is
prohibited. Boats equipped with stick steering are prohibited to be used
during tournament hours by any competitor.
- BASIC BOAT EQUIPMENT: Every boat must have all
required Coast Guard safety equipment. This includes a fire extinguisher and a
throw able type life preserver in addition to the chest type for all boats 16
feet or more in length. All boats must be equipped with functionally adequate
livewell, properly aerated, capable of maintaining a limit catch of bass by
both fishermen in a healthy, live condition. No minnow type aerators will be
allowed. Nets will be allowed in any competitors’ boat during the tournament,
but nets must be rubber or rubber coated.
- PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS:
- Movement or fishing on the tournament waters is
permitted anywhere accessible by boat without its occupants debarking; even
one foot is illegal, except within 25 yard of another competitor’s boat or
bouy. A single marker being fished by a boat shall be deemed to be an
anchored boat. No such boat shall permit another competitors lure to fish
within a 25 yard circle occupied by his boat or marker at any time, unless
contestant abandons their buoy by moving more than 25yds from buoy.
Contestants must not debark to land fish. Contestants must leave and return
to the official checkpoint by boat unless there is an emergency. Both
partners must remain in sight of each other and each others catches until
their catches have been officially weighed for that day. Both competitors
must remain in their boat at all times except in a case of an emergency or
to prevent or to assist any person who’s life or health is threatened in any
way or nature calls. Any other emergency shall be the decision of the
tournament committee. As MN law prohibits placing of any foreign object into
water without a special permit, the artificial creating of man made fish
habitat shall be prohibited. During a tournament, an angler may leave the
boat to retrieve a lure from a man made object in an effort to cause no harm
to the subject.
- OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT: Check-out and check-in will
be from the shore area chosen by the tournament committee. The take-off at
each tournament will be in 10 second intervals. The last boat off will
designate the 10 second intervals with a hand signal. Travel time to the point
of origin shall be mandated so that the second 4 hours of fishing time would
be started at origin. The first boat off will be responsible for fish bag
handouts for the tournament check-ins at the take off area. Tournament times
will be according to the first boat off. Once you receive your bag you are
- SCORING: Tournament standings, lunker award, and
final winners shall be determined by the pound weight of each competitors
catch during the days of the tournaments. Only largemouth and smallmouth bass
shall be weighed. The limit shall not exceed 5 in MN and 4 in WI per day,
subject to change by tournament director. All fish must be caught in a
conventional sporting manner. Only bass which measure 12 inches in length in
MN and 14 inches in WI on any straight line will count. The mouth of the fish
will be closed when it is measured. Undersized fish (see rule # 13). Any bass
that appears to be mangled, mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered will be
weighed and credited only at the discretion of the tournament weighmaster, who
also shall make any decisions as to minimum length eligibility. Each
competitor must present their catch to the weigh in officials. Stringing of
your fish is prohibited at any time during the tournament and fish will not be
counted, approved culling devices allowed.
- DO NOT KILL YOUR CATCH: Each competitor is
expected to keep their bass alive by the use of a properly aerated livewell.
There will be a .25lb. per fish penalty for any dead
fish. Live fish will immediately be released after they are weighed. Dead
fish penalty also applies to big fish weight - .25 lbs.
- PENALTY POINTS: If a fish can not prove to
measure once an angler said their catch can be weighed, a penalty would be
enforced to subtract the anglers biggest fish weight of that days catch. Dead
fish penalty is 4 oz./ .25lb. for each dead fish, weigh master makes
determination on all dead fish. Measuring a short
fish where there is a legal minimum length will result in disqualification.
(i.e. 14” min. WI)
- LATE & NO SHOW PENALTIES: Competitors who are not at the
official checkpoint area as described in rule #10 at the appointed time shall
be penalized in the morning at the rate of 10% of the total weight of the days
catch, and .7 oz. per minute of the days catch in the afternoon. This will be
deducted from the total weight of their catch that day. Any competitor
checking in late that day will be ineligible for lunker awards for that day.
Any competitor over 15 minutes late in the weigh in area shall lose credit for
that days catch. Start & finish times will be set by Tournament Director
prior to contest.
Most if not all Gopher tournaments are organized as two
anglers per boat. When an angler is unexpectedly absent for a tournament, it
can leave one or more anglers significantly disadvantaged for that
tournament. A “No-Show” penalty will be assessed to any angler who fails to
show up for an event without notifying the tournament committee or partner
for that event. Notification must take place no less than 30 minutes prior
to tournament start for extreme cases with a 24 hour notification strongly
encouraged for all normal circumstances. The penalty will be equal to the
average weight of that tournament and will be assessed to the yearly weight
total for the absent angler.
- AWARDS: All contestants will be rewarded 1 lb.
show up weight.
In an attempt to encourage and continue a spirit of
learning and sportsmanship, a bonus will be awarded to the two anglers
sharing a boat who bring in the heaviest combined weight consisting of two
limits in each event. The bonus will be one half pound per angler and will
be added to the cumulative yearly total.
A sportsman award & most improved award will be given to one
member by secret ballot. Sportsmanship award for the person who shows good
sportsmanship both on and off the water, and is always willing to give someone
a hand. Most Improved award is for members who show greatest improvement in
their over all angling ability. Winners of each tournament will receive an
award. An award will be given to the all TOC participants. A lunker award
will be given for the biggest bass caught in a Gopher Club tournament, for
that year. Rookie of the year award will be awarded to top finishing rookie
angler in years where we have more than 1 new member.
- TIES: The first tie breaker will be the total
number of bass weighted in by each competitor, if still tied, the largest
individual fish of each competitor will be weighed, if still tied, the
tournament committee will decide the winners.
- PAIRING OF CONTESTANTS: No one shall be allowed
to fish alone unless authorized by the tournament committee. If both
contestants have a boat, then their will be a coin toss to determine the
boater and the non-boater, the boat owner has the option of which 4 hours he
will be in the front of the boat, to be split as participants agree.
Split fishing time 50/50. DQ would be in order for not splitting time in the
front of your boat when requested. Boater has right to refuse navigating his
boat where he feels it is unsafe, non-boater may file a protest and tournament
committee will rule, if committee rules otherwise, boater will be disqualified
- TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE: All decisions of the
tournament committee are final. Tournament Committee consist of Tournament
Director, President, & Vice-President.
If a member of
tournament committee is involved, another member will be appointed.
- APPEAL: Any contestant adversely affected by the
tournament committees’ decision at the landing has the right of appeal to the
written tournament rules.
- NO SHOWS: If a non-boater does not show, the
boater will fish alone. If a boater does not show, the non-boater will fish
with the person with the biggest boat and does not get the front of the boat
unless deemed by the team they are fishing with. If this happens more than
once, boaters with watercraft larger than 19ft will rotate starting with
largest and going smaller. This prevents the guy with the biggest boat from
getting stuck with a 3rd angler all the time. If participants drop
out more than 48hrs in advance of tournament, pairings will be redone to
accommodate. Under 48hrs it is at the discretion of the competitors to fish
alone or together. For no show penalty, see section 14.
I HAVE READ THE GOPHER
BASSMASTERS TOURNAMENT RULES AND REGULATIONS
AND AGREE TO ABIDE BY THEM IN
ACTIVITY THAT INVOLVES THE