PARTICIPATION & ENTRY
To participate, each team must complete, sign and submit an official entry form along with payment Any person 17 years of age or younger must be teamed with a parent or guardian. Proof of insurance will be required for any boat used in a tournament. Proof of insurance must show at least $300,000 liability coverage. The entry fee for each team per qualifying tournament is $150. Entry Fee for the Championship is $175. Payment must accompany each entry. Money order, checks or cash are acceptable payments. A $75.00 deposit per event is allowed. Entries must be mailed or submitted electronically. All entry fees must be paid in full by March 20, 2021. A team that does not submit full payment by March 20, 2021 will not be entered in the early draw of the boat draw event. A $20 processing fee will be applied to all NSF checks. No refunds whatsoever after February 28th.
Entries will be accepted based on a first-come, first-served basis determined by when tournament officials receive it and/or post mark and will determine picking order for the boat draw for the entered tournament (Excluding the championship). Each tournament will be considered full at 50 teams. The Championship will be full at 36 teams, however, to be invited to the championship a team must fish at least 3 events.
New teams will be able to sign up between March 1 and March 20. This gives priority to current teams (teams who fished the River Series in 2020), meaning they have the first chance to get in when a tournament fills completely.
There will be a $30.00 per person membership fee to enter, or $60.00 per team. A substitute angler must also pay the $30.00 membership fee. This fee is assessed to cover tournament trail insurance, as we are no longer under the TBF or BASS Nation umbrella insurance.
Tournament boat order for each event will be determined by boat draw. At the boat draw event we will draw for each event except the championship. Championship boat numbers for Day One will be determined by Team of the Year standings and Day Two by finishing order of Day One.
Boat draw picking order will be determined by the order that entries received. All teams paid by March 20 will be eligible for an early draw. The first teams to pull a number will be teams who fished the River Series in 2020 and who are present at boat draw. For example, if 20 teams that fished last year are present, they will draw from boat numbers 1-20. Next will be new fully paid teams. They will choose from the next set of numbers. After that the Tournament Director will pick boat numbers for current teams who are not in attendance. New teams not in attendance will fall at the end of the field.
REFUNDS & CREDIT
No refunds will be made after February 28th nor will credit be extended for any cancellations. Disqualification from a tournament for any reason will result in forfeiture of entry fee. No refunds or credits are extended to teams that choose not to fish due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances.
PRE-TOURNAMENT PRACTICE, REGISTRATION & RULES MEETING
There will be NO cut-off before each qualifying tournament or the 2-day Championship tournament. On tournament days, participants are prohibited from fishing tournament waters except during designated fishing hours. This means anglers must be off the water by midnight the night before the tournament. At least one team participant must sign in at the registration area and attend the mandatory rules meeting. No exceptions. Tournament Registration ends at 6:30 a.m. at each event. The mandatory rules meeting will be held at 6:30 a.m. for each event. Check in for each event will be held in the morning the day of the tournament. Any team not checked in my 6:30 a.m. on tournament morning will be disqualified, with no refund. No exceptions.
TOURNAMENT INTEGRITY & SAFETY
Participants will conduct themselves in a true sportsmanlike, courteous, safe and ethical manner at all times maintaining professional demeanor in public and in communication with tournament officials. Any unfavorable conduct, speech or action by a participant will be considered grounds for disqualification or rejection of entry.
Any tournament official or participating angler has a right to protest another team. An official protest with $100 fee must be made with a tournament official before the scales close. The fee will be returned if the protest is found valid by tournament officials. Following interviews with concerned parties, a ruling will be made. In the event rules infractions occurred, a penalty of daily and/or tournament weight may be applied, and cash, prizes and awards must be returned if so requested. The tournament officials will interpret these rules according to the spirit and intent of the rule and their decision is final.
All tournament boats will be inspected to have Coast Guard required safety equipment, including a type IV throw cushion, personal flotation devices for both anglers, fire extinguisher, and must display tournament ribbon. Tournament boats will also be inspected for functioning and empty live-wells. All tournament boats must be cleaned of all harmful exotic aquatic plants prior to entering the water and upon departure from tournament waters. All tournament boats must also be equipped with an emergency ignition-shutoff device that must be securely attached to the driver when the main engine is in operation. (Lanyard or electronic device)
No fishing information may be given to participants during tournament fishing hours by anyone in any fashion. Cell phones are allowed for safety purposes only. Participants must wear a Coast Guard-approved personal floatation device when combustion motor is running. Each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower rating of the outboard engine must not exceed the rating specified on this plate. Changing or altering standard factory parts of your motor to increase horsepower over factory rated horsepower is forbidden and will result in disqualification. Minimum boat length is 16 foot and minimum Hp is 50 HP. Maximum HP will not exceed 250 HP.
In the event of a thunderstorm, lightning and/or severe weather, participants may pull into the nearest shoreline until it is safe to continue fishing. Participants may not leave their boats during tournament hours except at a commercial gas dock, the official weigh-in site or if severe weather forces them ashore. No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs may be possessed or consumed during tournament hours.
All tournaments will have published the days of competition, unless delayed or shortened due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. Tournament waters /restricted areas will be announced at the rules meeting and may be further restricted if needed. Participants must abide by all local navigation laws and avoid restricted areas at all times, and may not encroach within 50 yards of a contestant’s boat that was first anchored in an area by any anchoring means (traditional anchor, shallow-water anchor, etc.)
There will be no culling allowed at any tournament weigh-in site. Teams are to have only five fish in their livewell and should cull when they catch their 6th fish. Only non-puncture cull tags are acceptable. Teams wishing to weigh a big fish will attach that fish to the non-puncture cull tag in the Wisconsin Bass Team Trail weigh bag. Only our bags will be used at weigh in.
All participants must check-in in the morning before the morning meeting at 6:30 am and check-in by placing their team chip on the board by the team’s “due back” time. Participants who return after the designated check in time will forfeit their total fish weight for that day. Returned is defined as returning your team chip to the tournament weigh in site board before the cutoff time period is reached. (Late is late) If you do not make the registration or morning meeting you will be disqualified for the day. No exceptions. If a team is late getting their chip on the board, they are disqualified. No exceptions.
Participants must possess a Wisconsin fishing license and commit to following state regulations. All Wisconsin state rules regarding fishing will be observed unless more stringent regulations are specified at the rules meeting. Only fish caught on hook and line in a normal and usual manner will be accepted. Live bait is not permissible. Only artificial lures are permissible, with the exception of biodegradable soft baits and pork trailers. Each angler may use only one fishing rod at a time, trolling is not allowed.
All fish weighed must be kept in aerated live wells to keep bass alive and as fresh as possible for release. Any fish altered in any fashion or injected with any type of fluid or solid matter to add weight will result in disqualification. There will be a Half pound penalty on each dead fish brought to the scale for weigh in.
Largemouth and Smallmouth bass will be weighed. The minimum length is 14 inches. There will be a five (5) fish limit per team. Teams must cull upon catching their 6th fish. NO more than 5 fish will be kept in the livewell. Fish will be measured by a tournament official with fish’s mouth closed and tail squeezed (based on Tournament regulations, but not violating state or local laws). No short fish. If a “short” fish is brought to the scale, the team will be disqualified from that tournament day. There will be no “courtesy bump.” Teams are expected to have a Golden Rule or some other measuring device in their boat. The board used by tournament officials will determine the size of the fish. Teams will be allowed to measure their board against the tournament board before the tournament starts if they choose.
This is a catch-hold and release tournament as per the tournament permit from the Wisconsin DNR. All fish are to be released back into the waterbody that the tournament is held on following weigh-in.
SCORING, POINTS, PAYOUT & SPECIAL AWARDS
Scoring shall be determined by the pound weight of each team’s catch during the tournament. Each team’s total weight will determine the final tournament standings. If a tie occurs at the Championship, Tie breaker will be broken by first day weight. If still tied the tie breaker will be year to date standings. If a tie occurs at a qualifier, big bass will be the tie breaker.
The first-place team at each tournament will receive 100 points. Remaining teams will receive points using the following formula: Team’s Weight (X) divided by Winning Weight(Y), times 100 (scored to the second decimal point). X/Y*100=. If a team brings a $10 donation for the 50/50 raffle, that team will receive a 5 point bonus for that tournament.
Total weight will be the determining factor to decide the standings at each event. The bonus points will be added after the event is concluded. The total points then after four events will determine team of the year.
50/50 cash donations at the Championship does not accumulate points. At the end of each tournament we will hold a raffle from the teams that made the $10 cash donation for 50% of the cash collected. The other 50% of the cash will be a donation to the local charity of choice.
One alternate or substitute can be used throughout qualifying events to fish with an angler in an already established team for one tournament. That substitute would be eligible to fish the championship in the event that one partner cannot fish the championship. If the substitute fishes the championship, he/she must fish with the partner they fished with in the qualifier. One partner may fish alone if the other partner is unavailable. However, in the months of July and August, that person would only be able to bring in 3 fish, per state regulation.
Championship qualification will be done by Team of the Year points that fished at least 3 Wisconsin Team Bass Trail events. The top 34 teams in Team of the Year points will qualify for the Championship Tournament. Previous Team of the Year (from 2020) and Past Championship winners (from 2020) automatically qualify for the Championship, provided they fish at least 3 qualifiers in the current (2021) season. Ties will be resolved by total weight. If a team from the standings is unable to participate in the Championship after so qualifying, the next team in the point standings will be asked. If a team qualifies for the championship, the entry fee is due from that team and must be paid to be deemed entered in the championship. Team needs to make the payment for the Championship within designated time period as deemed by the Tournament Director.
The tournament payout will be based on the number of total teams entered in each tournament with a 90% payback. Places paid will be determined by the number of boats entered, with one place paid for every 5 boats. $20.00 of the tournament entry fee will be held over for payout at the championship. 100% payback at the Championship (includes entry fee for the Championship and the held over amounts from each of the qualifying tournaments.)
TEAM OF THE YEAR
An overall Team of the Year title will be awarded to the Team with the most total points taken from all four tournaments. The Team of the Year will receive a special prize and each member will receive an award. If a tie occurs for the Team of Year title, the team tiebreaker will be the team with the heaviest one-day bag, taken from any of the four tournaments.
Payout for Qualifiers
Payout at qualifiers will be determined by the number of boats in each event. We will pay 1 spot for every 5 boats entered.
There will be two Big Bass awards at each qualifier for those entered in the side pot for Big Bass. Largest largemouth and Smallmouth bass of the day will win half of big bass pot each. $20.00 entry for side pot)
Pay out for Championship
Championship payout will include 100% payback of 175.00 entry fee of each team. Added to that total will be the held over amounts from each qualifying tournament during the season.
Payout at Championship will be for top 7 places after two days of competition.
Big bass will be split and paid for each day. One award each day.
(20.00 entry for big bass)
Total cash payback for the year is over 90%
All teams will have a copy of these rules will be available at registration. These rules are always available online at http://www.wisconsinbassteamtrail.com/rules