​ Rules and Regulations

 ​General Guidelines:
1. The following rules shall apply to all regular tournaments conducted by the Bass Thugs Trail, except for special tournaments as deemed by the Tournament Committee.
2. By participating in any tournament conducted by the Bass Thugs Trail, it is understood that the following tournament rules have been read, agreed on, and shall be adhered to.
3. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left to the sole discretion of the Tournament Director. Members of the Officers Committee present at the event may be consulted if deemed necessary by the Tournament Director.
4. Protests
1. Protests of violations of the tournament rules may be made to the Tournament Director or a member of the Officers Committee at any time during the tournament or weigh in,   but must be made within 15 minutes of the final fish being weighed.

Protests made more than 15 minutes after last fish weighed in will not be considered.
2. A formal protest shall require a $25.00 deposit or agreement to forfeit 75 T.O.Y points, which will be refunded should the protest be upheld. In the event the protest is found not valid or overturned, money or points shall be forfeited and applied to the Trail’s Classic Fund.

5. The decision of the Tournament Director and/or Officers Committee shall be final in all matters.
6. Checks will be issued 15 minutes after final weigh in. Once a check is issued, the tournament is officially over and no protests or changes may be made.
7. These rules are steadfast and not open for discussion at regular trail meetings unless all conditions are followed under “Changes to Rules”.

1. Teams will consist of only 2 members. Anglers that wish to fish alone may do so
2. Should a team dissolve or separate, and both members wish to remain members of the club, team points shall be split evenly and awarded to each member.
3. Should a member of a team be absent from a tournament, an alternate will be allowed to fish for that team, providing the alternate is a paid member of the trail. ONLY 1 Alternate angler per boat, per season.
4. Alternate anglers will be allowed to fish the Classic under extenuating circumstances, and must be registered priorto the start of our third      event*
 * In the event of a death or other act of God, a full-time replacement partner is acceptable.
5. During meetings and votes, each trail member present will be recognized as an individual and allowed their own voice and vote. Teams are a term used only for tournaments.

1. Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times. A violation of state or local boating laws as well as any conservation laws resulting in a written citation shall result in disqualification from the event.
2. Each angler is required to wear a Coast Guard approved life vest at all times the combustible engine is running..
3. Tournament hours shall be safe light (Discretion of Tournament Director) to 3:00 P.M.
4. Each boat must be properly registered and have all required Coast Guard safety equipment. In addition, it must have a functional livewell space, properly aerated to adequately maintain a live limit of all fish caught during the tournament.
5. Navigation lights must be used at the start of each tournament and remain on until the shoreline, on the opposite side of the lakes becomes easily visible.
6. The use of drugs or alcohol is not allowed during tournament hours or during the weigh in.
7. Kill switches must used in all boats though out the entire tournament.
9.  The Bass Thugs Trail does not provide insurance, and is not responsible for any accident or injury incurred during a tournament.

Tackle and Equipment:
1. Only Casting, Spinning, or Spincasting rods (Not exceeding 9’ in length) may be used. Any other type of rod or reel is prohibited. Numerous rods may be rigged and ready to use, but only one rod per person is permitted to be in use at any one time.
2. Only artificial lures may be used. No live or prepared baits may be used with the exception of commercial pork rinds.
3. All fish must be caught live and in a sporting manor. Anyone found guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will be disqualified.
4. When fishing for bedding fish. Fish must be hooked inside the mouth to be a legal fish.
5. Gaffs to land fish are strictly prohibited. Every attempt shall be made to land a fish in a manner that will not harm the fish and allow for a live release. The use of a landing net is allowed to boat a fish.

Tournament Rules:
1. Team entry fees shall be $60.00 per team and an optional $10.00 per boat for the Big Bass Pot (Strictly a side bet and not mandatory to fish).
2. No boat shall fish within 50 yards of another boat who is anchored and with the trolling motor up, without consent. Violaters will be disqualified 
3. No trolling is allowed.
4. No leaving the boat for any reason unless it is a dire emergency.
5. Fishing is only allowed in waters accessible to all fishermen
6. Sequence of boat launch shall be conducted by placement in the prior tournament. First event launch order will be based, in order their entry fees are received.                             

7a. Participants must cull fish in their boat immediately after the fish is caught.         ( Florida State Law prohibits discarding dead fish! Thus, dead fish CANNOT be culled.) 

7b. Any team turning in three or more fish in two consecutive events will forfit the days weight at the second event and must show proof that their livewells have been repaired,  Exceptions to this rule are gut hooked fish that still have the hook imbedded in the gullet

8. Minimum fish size will be 12" and no limit on oversize fish if exemptions are issued. If exemptions were not given the minimum size limit shall be 14" and Florida size limits will apply. If you are late and do not get the exemption certificate you must obey Florida law size limits for that lake. Only one courtesy measurement will be allowed per team. You must ask for the courtesy before your fish are in the weigh basket.
9. The Trail Director and Officers Committee reserves the right to refuse membership to anyone.

Big Bass: All fish presented for the Big Bass option MUST be alive. Dead fish are NOT eligible!!!!!!

Team Anglers of the Year:
Team Anglers of the Year points will be awarded based on team participation, and placement in each tournament they fish. Point system is as follows; 300 points for 1st place, 298 points for 2nd, 296 points for 3rd, and so forth on down the rest of the places in decreasing increments of two points per position. The Team weighing in the largest bass of the tournament (Big Bass) will receive 3 additional points. Teams that actively participate (fish the event) that do not catch a fish in that tournament will receive 2 points less than the lowest scoring team that presented a caught fish at the weigh-in. Lastly, teams that do not show for the event will receive no points for the event.

You may miss two events and still qualify for the Classic. Should you need to miss any other event(s), you must pay the entry fee for the missed event(s) to qualify for the Classic

Penalty Points:
1. Every attempt shall be made to keep each and every fish caught, living and releasable. Each legal fish presented at the scales, as a dead fish, deemed dead by the Tournament Director, shall access a penalty of .25 lbs.    Florida State Law prohibits discarding dead fish! Thus, dead fish CANNOT be culled.
2. Late Penalty: Any team who is not off the water at weigh in shall be considered late and will be accessed a 1-lb. penalty for each minute they are late. After 15 minutes, the team will be disqualified.
3. All fish will be checked on a "Golden Rule". If a short fish is brought to the scales and you did not ask for a "courtesy" measure your team will be penalized and will lose the weight of not only the short fish but also lose the weight of your largest fish being weighed in.

1. In the event of a tie for first place, tiebreaker will be weight of big fish. Any place thereafter shall be weight of big fish.
2. Ties for Big Fish shall split the money.

Off Limits:
All tournament waters are off limits entirely from sundown the night before the tournament until the tournament begins.

The Classic has an OFF LIMITS period from 6:00 pm the Friday before and OFF LIMITS after weigh-in on Saturday. 

Any angler and or teams found to be in non compliance with the off limit period will be unable to compete and or finish the event 

The payback shall be as follows, 70% payback for tournament. 20% shall go to the Classic Fund. 10% Admin fee

To qualify for the Bass Thugs Trail Classic, at least one member of the team must fish and/or pay for at least eight (8) of the ten (10)) tournaments.

1. The focus of the Bass Thugs Trail is to promote tournament fishing. Children may be present and it is of the utmost importance that each and every member of the trail retains sportsman like conduct. Failure to do so may result in disqualification and/or expulsion from the Bass Thugs Trail.
     Removal from the Bass Thugs Trail: Any member can be expelled from the Bass Thugs Trail for any, but not limited to the following:
    . Failure to pay trail dues or tournament fees
   .Any actions which would disgrace or dishonor the trail.
   . Any unsportsmanlike conduct against the trail, trail members, or general public.
Removal from the trail requires a majority vote 2/3rds of trail officers present.

Trail Officers:
To be eligible as a Trail Officer, the member must be a member in good standing for at least 1 year.
Election of officers will be by simple majority vote, of all members present at pre season meeting.
All trail Officers will be in place prior to the first event of the season.

Changes to the Rules:
1. Changes to the rules can only be made by the Trail Officers, at a regularly scheduled meeting and by a majority vote of those Officers present.
2. Any active member of the club may make suggested changes. However, a suggested change must be made in writing at least one month prior to the next committee meeting. The suggested rule change will then be brought up in the next regular club meeting and any member of the club may make a statement regarding the rule change.
3. The Trail Officers will take a vote on the suggested change at their next scheduled meeting, and the decision of the tournament committee shall be final.
Should any discrepancy arise not covered in the above rules, the Bass Thugs Trail retain the right to revert to the suggested rules of the B.A.S.S. Nation National Tournament Rules.

Updated 4/13/2016