Rules and Regulations

1) RULES: The following rules of this Tournament will remain unchanged. Interpretation of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Committee whose decisions shall be final in all matters.

2) PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY: ALL competitors must have a valid Mississippi fishing license. A team/boat entry must consist of exactly two (2) anglers – no more, no less. Must be 16 years of age or older unless fishing with parent or guardian (Grandparent, etc.) OR as an entrant in the Buddy Division, and must be accompanied by adult to registration. Proof of age to the satisfaction of Tournament Committee is responsibility of prospective competitor. A properly completed and signed official registration form and the $145.00 early bird entry fee (includes Big Bass Sidepot) MUST BE submitted online by April 24th @ 5:00 pm Central Time. All entries submitted online after this date will be $170.00 (includes Big Bass Sidepot). BLAST OFF NUMBERS WILL BE ASSIGNED IN THE ORDER THAT REGISTRATION AND PAYMENT IS RECEIVED. “Buddy” teams must consist of one adult and one youth under the age of sixteen (16) on the date of the tournament. “Couples” teams must consist of two (2) adults (age 16 or over), one (1) male and one (1) female. The Tournament Committee reserves the right to discontinue acceptance of applications prior to the deadline and also the right to extend the acceptance date. Refund of entrance fee will be made only if PROPER notification is made prior to the deadline.

3) REGISTRATION: A representative from each team must register in person at the time and place prescribed on the schedule of events. Tournament officials shall present all tournament credentials at that time. Registration will be limited to the first 300 boats.

4) SAFETY: Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times by all tournament competitors. Caution and safety on the morning start must be observed. Each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved life preserver at any time the combustion engine is operating. The preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the competitor reaches the team’s fishing location and the combustion engine is shut off. Violation of this rule shall be reason for immediate disqualification.

5) SPORTSMANSHIP: Competitors are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, both to competitors and non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Drunkenness by any competitor during the tournament will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification. No alcoholic beverages or non-prescription drugs shall be allowed in the boats or at the Weigh-In. Having a non-contestant sit on a hole for you will not be tolerated. Cell phones and other electronic communication devices cannot be used by competitors for the purpose of locating or catching fish during tournament hours. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. Any failure to report known infractions is also cause for disqualification. Competitors must obey all Mississippi game laws and Ross Barnett Reservoir rules (No Wake Zones, No Fishing Zones, etc.) Any citation will be ground for disqualification.

6) 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, spincasting or spinning rod and reel may be used at any one time. All other types prohibited. Other rigs as specified above may be in boat ready to use, however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. All bass must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner.

7) BOAT AND MOTOR: ALL boats livewells must be EMPTY, and will be checked for fish. ALL BOATS/TRAILERS/MOTORS MUST BE CHECKED FOR VEGETATION PRIOR TO LAUNCH. Failure to comply with BOAT INSPECTION will be ground for immediate disqualification. ALL BOATS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH SOME TYPE OF IGNITION KILL SWITCH. Fishing boats must be at least 14 feet in length. Any motor, 10 horsepower or greater, may be used. A smaller motor, gas or electric, may be used for slow maneuvering. Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited.

8) BASIC BOAT EQUIPMENT: Every boat must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment. The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the U.S. Coast Guard rating for the individual boat.

9) BOAT IDENTIFICATION: Each properly inspected boat will be given, prior to day’s start, a colored ribbon that MUST remain on your boat until the Weigh-In AND a Boat Number Card. The ribbon must be displayed on the boat at all times during the tournament, and the Boat Number Card must be presented at Blast-Off and then turned in at Weigh-In.

10) PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Tournament waters include any navigable part of the Ross Barnett Reservoir and Pearl River above the Reservoir unless temporarily or permanently prohibited by law or by PRVWSD rule or policy. Fishing on tournament waters is permitted anywhere except within 50 yards of another competitor’s boat which was first anchored. No such anchored boat shall permit selected competitors to fish within the 50-yard circle claimed by him, to the exclusion of any other competitor. All angling must be done from boat. Competitor must not depart boat to land fish. Boat must remain in tournament waters during tournament day. Competitors must leave and return to official checkpoint by boat. Both competitors must remain in boat at all times except in case of dire emergency. Trailering of boats during tournament hours is prohibited, unless tournament officials are notified and boat is checked before it is removed from the lake and again before it is relaunched and a new ribbon is issued.

11) OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT: There shall be only one official point for checkout in the morning, and check-in that afternoon. This point shall be designated at the registration. At the time of checkout, all competitors and their boats shall be in full conformance with all rules set forth by Tournament Committee and must take off in numerical order and be recognized by launch master or the day’s catch will not be counted; at checkout and check-in, all boats shall identify themselves by means of a Boat Number Card and proceed immediately to the designated weigh-in area.

12) SCORING: Tournament standings, auxiliary awards and final winners shall be determined by the pound and ounce weight of each team’s catch during the tournament. With the exception of the Trash Fish category, only Largemouth or Spotted Bass will be weighed. The limit shall be 5 fish in any combination of these two species. At no time shall a team possess more than the 5 fish limit. Tournament officials will conduct checks for violation of this provision. In the event a team has reduced to possession more than the described limits, tournament officials shall cull the largest bass first, down to the limit described. Only bass as described above that measure 14 inches or longer shall be presented for weigh-in. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure 14 inches shall accrue penalties at the rate of one pound for each bass and the loss of that fish. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered will be weighed and credited only at the discretion of tournament officials. There will be a 4 oz. penalty for each dead fish weighed in.

13) LATE PENALTY: Teams that are not in the official checkpoint area as described in Rule 11 at the appointed time shall be penalized 1 pound of the total weight of their catch, including any weight to be counted toward a “lunker award,” for each one (1) minute they are late. Any team more than 15 minutes late shall lose all credit for that day’s catch. There will be no excuse for tardiness, and in no case shall a team be allowed to make up “lost time.” After proper recognition at the check-in point, teams will be allowed ample time to proceed to the weigh-in site; however, all fishing must cease upon check-in. After tournament begins, fishing is prohibited except during tournament hours. Exact starting and check-in time will be announced at the registration.

14) TIES: A Tie will be decided at the discretion of the Tournament Committee. The presentation of trophy or plaque shall be decided by a flip of the coin.

15) CARE OF FISH: All boats must be equipped with a live-well, in which fish should be kept in good condition. All live fish deemed in good condition will be returned to the lake. All others will be donated as selected by the Tournament Committee.

16) PROTESTS: All protests must be submitted in writing to the Tournament Director before the scales are closed.

17) POLYGRAPH: All competitors, winners and non-winners are subject to a polygraph test. The results of said polygraph will be final and grounds for disqualification. Failure to submit to a polygraph test will result in immediate disqualification.

18) OBSERVERS: The Tournament Committee shall reserve the right to place an observer in any team’s boat during tournament hours for any reason and without explanation.

19) PRIZES: Cash payout prize checks will be mailed to winners beginning Tuesday, May 7th.  Non-cash prizes, subject to availability, must be claimed by 5 PM tournament day (May 5th).