LAKE GUNTERSVILLE BASS MASTERS-MADISON
TOURNAMENT RULES AND REGULATIONS
January 4, 2021
The following will be applied in conducting all bass fishing tournaments of the Lake Guntersville Bass Masters-Madison (LGBM-M). Implementation of these rules shall be left exclusively to the officers of the club. The decision of club officers shall be final in all matters.
PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY
Participation in tournaments will be open to club members and perspective members of the club or guests of members. The authorization to fish and pairing of fishing partners will be done at the regular club meeting preceding the tournament.
All members, prospective members, and guests must agree to and sign a liability release form before participating in any club functions. These forms will be valid until revoked, in writing, by signee.
Article I - Sign-Up
A. Upon entering the club meeting, sign up for the next tournament. You must declare your intention to be a boater or non-boater at this time. A member may sign up another member. Tournament monies must be paid upon sign up at the meeting for all entries.
B. The Tournament Director (TD) will pair members by draw. Non-boaters will be first drawn with boaters. If a member signs up as a Boater, they will be guaranteed the use of their boat. If there are multiple Boaters left after all of the Non-Boaters are drawn out, it will be up to the Boaters to decide if they wish to fish together or not.
C. A prospective member may sign up for the next tournament at the meeting. Two non-members may not fish together.
D. To prevent prospective members from being bumped or drawn together, the Tournament Director may alter the draw.
E. Partners will make arrangements prior to the tournament for transportation to and from the tournament site. Each partner shall be responsible for 50% of the cost of transportation, lodging, ramp fees, and boat expenses, but not including any expenses related to pre fishing or early arrival to tournament site. Costs related to pre-fishing and/or early arrival to the tournament site shall be borne by the fishermen involved.
F. If necessary, tournament day, hours, or ramp may be changed by majority vote of the participating members. Only members planning on participating in any club tournament may vote on ramps and times chosen. If necessary, for safety reasons only, a tournament may be cancelled or shortened, by the Tournament Director. Rescheduling of any cancelled tournament will be decided by club vote.
G. If two members are drawn together, and neither has access to a boat. The Tournament Committee may alter the draw to accommodate the members, if possible. Non-members will be paired last.
H. During a club tournament using the card system: In the event of an emergency a member may leave the tournament and still have their weight count using the following procedure:
1. Contact the Tournament Director (first) or another member (if unable to reach TD) by phone to alert them of the issue. If unable to reach TD / another member, leave a voicemail with TD as soon as possible.
2. Each partner must sign their own and their partner's cards for the day, then leave the cards with another member, or on the windshield of the vehicle of the TD (preferred) or another member.
3. Contact the TD or another member, as soon as possible, to let them know where your cards were left and that you are ok and off the water.
[This rule is for emergencies only, and it is each member's responsibility to have the cell phone numbers of the Tournament Director and other members for use in case of emergency.]
I. No members can fish together in consecutive draw tournaments and no two members can fish more than two times in a club tournament year by draw, unless it approved by the TD.
J. If you are signed up by another member and you don’t show up at the tournament without ample notice (24 hours) to your partner, you must sign up yourself for the remainder of the year. If your partner can't find another partner, you will be responsible for half your partner's expenses.
K. Members may fish a club tournament (1 or 2 day), using a Pass. This may be done three (3) times per club year without going through the draw.
If a member uses one of their passes to fish alone or with a guest that is not a true prospective member, they will fish for points only and only pay a $20 entry fee ($10-Club & $10 Classic Pot). The guest will pay the same amount. They will not be eligible for the Club Tournament Prize Money Pot.
Members using any of their Passes to fish with other members or true PM's may fish for all prizes.
Article II - Prospective Members
A. Prospective members are eligible for fish out awards only, and no year end points can be earned until voted in. A true prospective member is: Anyone who seriously wishes to join the Club as a member, fills out a Membership Application, attends a meeting, and fishes a club tournament.
B. Prospective members must be present at the meeting in which they are voted on and pay club dues at that time. Dues will be prorated based on the month that a member is voted into the club. Prospective members may pay full entry fees in order to fish for a share of the club prize pot or pay just $20.00 to fish with the Club.
C. Prospective Members may use their own boats in a tournament if they fish with a member and they sign a release form and show proof of boat insurance. Ex-members of the LGBM, fishing as guests, may use their boats with the permission of the TD, liability release form signed and proof of required insurance shown to TD.
Article III - Guests
A. Guests are ex-members and others who do not fish with the club on a regular basis. Each guest may fish with the club a maximum of two times per year. Guests will pay a $20.00 guest fee for each tournament to the treasurer. Guests are not eligible for fish out awards or year end points.
Article IV - Tournament Rules
A. Safe boating conduct and all necessary precautions must be observed at all times.
1. Everyone in the boat must wear a Coast Guard approved life vest and the kill switch must be attached to the boat operator whenever the combustion engine is running.
2. Any boat used during club events shall be at least 14 feet in length, and have a minimum of a 40 H.P. engine, a kill switch, an electric trolling motor, a depth finder, proper insurance for the boat, and an aerated live well or an aerated 48 qt. ice chest.
3. When necessary, one or both partners may take their fish and equipment, get into another participants boat, and return to the dock and still have their weight counted as valid.
4. If a member observes anyone in an emergency situation, or stranded, they must stop and offer assistance unless it puts them in danger.
B. Members will not violate Fish and Game laws, lake rules, nor display poor sportsmanship to anyone during tournament hours.
C. No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs may be in a member=s possession during tournament hours.
D. All Black Bass less than the legal tournament size limit shall be returned immediately to the water.
E. If you are late to the ramp and the tournament has started, you must check in with another participant on the water before you start fishing.
F. Any damage to a boat, vehicle, or equipment, is the financial responsibility of the party at fault. The individuals involved will decide who is at fault between themselves.
G. Only artificial lures may be used. No live bait is permitted.
H. No fishing will be permitted within the “off limits” area designated by TD. Before each tournament, the TD will be required to set an official launch and weigh-in time as well as to specify any “off limit” areas. Fishing in any “off limit” area or fishing before official launch or after official weigh-in time will be grounds for immediate disqualification.
I. A member cannot move in on a boat which is fishing or working an area with an electric motor, or has claimed that area by anchoring. It is permitted to courteously fish along with the other boat at a reasonable distance. No more than 50 yards distance, in any direction, may be claimed by a member. Only one dock at a time can be claimed by a member.
J. All members must leave and return to the starting point by boat. A boat may not be trailered from one fishing location to another during tournament hours for the purpose of fishing unless authorized by the TD.
K. All fish must be hooked and landed from the boat.
L. No member may leave the starting area until the start is signaled. Boats will leave according to their start positions unless they are late and /or have problems that prevent them from doing so.
M. The TD will be responsible for determining safe light for the blast off. The TD will not release participants prior to safe light.
N. All boats must be checked in at the designated weigh-in area at the cut-off time or a one pound per minute penalty will be enforced for up to ten minutes late. If over ten minutes late, the angler’s weight will not be counted. The TD will be responsible for determining any late penalties.
O. All protests must be presented to the TD in writing before the official scales close at the conclusion of any club tournament. All decisions of the TD, on protests, will be on an individual basis and will be final.
P. There will be no trolling with the combustion engine.
Q. All types of communication devices may not be used in any club tournament, except for emergency situations or to contact the TD. Doing so will result in immediate disqualification.
R. Competitors may only have the allowed tournament legal amount of fish per competitor in their boat at any time. Upon catching their first legal fish over their allowed limit, they must cull back to the allowed limit of fish before resuming to fish.
S. At any weigh in, dead fish will not be returned to the lake or disposed of at the weigh in site.
T. All live tournament caught fish must be returned to the lake unless the TD approves keeping of the fish.
U. Ties for Largest Bass will be determined by highest total weight for the tournament. AOY points tie will be determined by highest total weight for the best 10 tournaments. Positional ties for points at individual tournaments will be determined by the angler with the Biggest Fish.
V. At the discretion of the club, a card system may be used to weigh fish at Club Tournaments. When the card system is used the minimum length for a legal fish is 12 inches.
Article V - Penalties
A. Competitors who have not checked in to the designated area at cut off are subject to a one pound penalty for each minute late up to ten minutes. After ten minutes the late competitors will be disqualified.
B. Failure to comply with any of the tournament rules and regulations during the fish out may result in disqualification.
C. Failure to comply with any Lake, State or Federal rules will result in disqualification.
Article VI - Live Wells
A. All boats must be equipped with live wells or at least 48 qt. ice chest filled with water to keep fish alive. All fish holding equipment must be equipped with an aerator. All fish in the live well must be identified separately for each member. Before each tournament all live wells must be in good working condition and capable of keeping two limits of fish alive.
Article VII - Rods
A. Only ONE (1) casting, spin casting or spinning rod (10-foot maximum from butt of handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. A hung or snagged lure may be, at the angler's discretion, considered NOT in use and must be set aside on the boat deck, not in the hand(s) of the angler, while the angler then places another into use. Other rigs as specified above may be in the boat and ready for use; however, only ONE (1) is permitted in use at any given time.
Article VIII - Awards
A. The following awards will be given for regular Club draw tournaments:
1. 1st Big Fish
2. 1st Place: Heavy Boat: Based on Best 5 fish combination of both anglers. (Boater & Non-B) (3 Boats or Less)
3. 2nd Place: Heavy Boat: Based on Best 5 fish combination of both anglers. (Boater & Non-B) (4 Boats)
4. 3rd Place: Heavy Boat: Based on Best 5 fish combination of both anglers. (Boater & Non-B) (5 Boats).
5. 4th Place: Heavy Boat: Based on Best 5 fish combination of both anglers. (Boater & Non-B) (6 boats).
[Of the $25.00 entry fee: $5.00 per entrant will go to the Club Treasury and $5.00 will go the EOY Classic Pot]
B. The following will be given for the end of the year awards:
1. Angler of the Year -First through Fifth place = Plaque plus a Club Jacket for 1st place.
2. Perpetual Angler of the Year plaque listing the First Place Finisher.
3. Annual Lunker- (Big Fish) Plaque.
4. Heaviest Individual Tournament One Day Catch-Plaque-(Heaviest One Day Stringer)
5. Classic Tournament Winner- Plaque and First Place Money from Classic Pot.
Article IX - Club Tournaments
A. Tournament Schedule and Lake Selection Procedure
1. The Tournament Committee will pick the lakes to be fished for each month. The TC will pick 6 lakes for the first 6 months of the club year starting in November and then pick the next 6 lakes to be fished in April of the following year. The list will be presented to the club at the October and April club meetings. There will be no changes to the tournament lakes picked or the dates to be fished for any reason except for Safety Concerns. Any changes for safety concerns will be the sole responsibility of the Tournament Director and/or the Tournament Committee.
B. There will be twelve (12) regular draw tournaments per year. These tournaments may be one or two day events selected by the Tournament Committee.
C. The participants of a club tournament will be awarded place points on a 25-point scale and accumulated by each member for the year-end standings.
The 25-point scale is as follows:
1st Place: 25 points
2nd Place: 24 points
3rd Place: 23 points
4th Place: 22 points
5th Place: 21 points
and so on through 25th place.
D. Place points will only be awarded for fish caught which are within the club set length size limits (12 inch minimum length when using the card system). There will be an additional 5 points awarded to each member for fishing the tournament. (Show up points).
1. Additionally, show up points will be awarded to members who sign up for the tournament, show up to the launch site, and make an effort to fish. If a member meets those requirements and has a medical or mechanical problem at the launch site, they will be awarded show up points for that tournament.
E. Only the best ten tournaments of the year, per member, will be counted toward year end points.
Article X - Scoring
A. Tournament scoring will be determined by total weight of each tournament catch.
B. Points will be awarded for black bass only (large-mouth, small-mouth, and spotted bass).
C. The Official Limit for all tournaments shall be determined by the TD and stated for each tournament.
E. Measurement of fish will be with the mouth closed and the tail fanned.
F. Contestants scores will be in US pounds, tenths and hundreds of pounds.
G. Contestants will transport all fish from live-well to scales in bags with ample water for fish.
H. Contestants who fail to bring fish to the scales in bags with water will be penalized one pound in weight from the angler's total weight.
I. Any fish submitted for weigh-in that is not within the tournament’s legal size limit will result in the contestant being penalized one (1) pound for each illegal fish and also the loss of that fish=s weight. (Minimum length for Club, when using the Card System, will be 12 inches).
J. Courtesy measurements by the Tournament Director or any other contestant are prohibited.
K. All fish taken from the live-well shall remain in the possession of the contestant until submitted to the TD / Weigh Master at the "Official Weigh-In".
L. Any fish submitted for weigh-in that is dead will incur an 8 ounce penalty.
M. All fish shall remain with each contestant until big bass and total weight for that angler has been determined. After scoring the fish will be released, as soon as possible, to the lake.
N. Culling of fish shall be done on the water only.
O. All decisions of the Tournament Director at the official weigh-in are final. No contestants other than the TD / Weigh Master shall measure or weigh fish without the TD’s permission.
Article XI - Deviation from Rules
Any conscious deviation from any of the club rules will result in disqualification from any tournament.
Article XII - Change in Tournament Rules
Tournament rules may be changed in accordance with the Lake Guntersville Bass Masters-Madison Preamble, Article VI - Amendments, Section 1.
2020 / 2021 OFFICERS:
PRESIDENT: Tony Jones
VICE PRESIDENT: Casey Walker
SECRETARY/TREASURER: O.V. Bonner
TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR / WEIGH MASTER: Mike Laughmiller
WEB SITE ADMINISTRATOR: Chris LouAllen
2019 / 2020 TOURNAMENT COMMITTEE:
Tony Jones - President
Bobby Rocha - VP
O.V. Bonner - Sec/Treas
Mike Laugmiller - TD
If necessary, tournament day, hours, or ramp may be changed by majority vote of the participating members. Only members planning on participating in any club tournament may vote on ramps and times chosen. If necessary, for safety reasons only, a tournament may be cancelled or shortened, by the Tournament Director. Rescheduling of any cancelled tournament will be decided by club vote.