Tournament Rules

GENERAL

  1. The following Tournament Rules were developed for the Florida BASS Federation Nation Chapter, Homestead Hawg Hunters (herein referred to as HHH) and approved by the Board of Directors. These rules shall apply to all Homestead Hawg Hunter Tournaments.

  2. The interpretation and enforcement of these rules is the responsibility of the Tournament Director, which may impose appropriate sanctions for rules violations that may include but are not limited to disqualification, forfeiture of prizes or prize money or suspension from participation in future HHH Tournaments.

  3. Competitors are expected to obey all applicable Florida Boating or FWC Statutes and Rules. Violation of such statutes or rules may result in your disqualification from tournaments and being banned from future participation in HHH Tournaments. All local, state, and federal laws supersede HHH Tournament Rules and By-laws, should there be a conflict.

  4. It is the duty and responsibility of every competitor in a HHH Tournament to report any violations or infractions of these Tournament Rules to the Tournament Director. Failure to report violations or suggestions to violate these rules is cause for disqualification.

  5. Competitors, who wish to lodge a protest concerning a “rules violation” during an HHH Tournament, must do so within thirty (30) minutes after the tournament weigh-in has been completed, but prior to the presentation of the awards. All protest must be presented in writing to a Tournament Director.

  6. Falsifying any official weigh-in form or any other official HHH Tournament document will be cause for disqualification.

  7. The decision of the Tournament Director shall be final in these and all tournaments related matters.

 

SPORTSMANSHIP

  1. Competitors in HHH Tournaments are expected to follow the highest standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infractions of these basic and fundamental sporting principles may be cause for disqualification,

  2. The use of alcohol or illicit drugs by a competitor during Practice Days (starting the Weds of the meeting) or a HHH Tournament will not be tolerated and will be cause for automatic disqualification from the current tournament and future HHH Tournaments.

  3. It is the duty and responsibility of all HHH Tournament competitors to show extreme courtesy toward non-competitors who may be angling or boating on the tournament waters. Any actions of tournament competitors that may reflect unfavorably on the HHH’s efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, courtesy and safety are grounds for disqualification from the tournament.

  4. Alcoholic beverages, illegal stimulants or depressants will not be allowed in a competitor’s boat during Practice Days (starting the Weds of the meeting) or a HHH Tournament. This rule shall apply to the weigh-in area as well.

  5. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of any felony, crimes involving moral turpitude, or any other conduct that may reflect unfavorably upon the HHH and its efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair and healthy competition, or inhibit compliance with these tournament rules will be grounds for rejection of an application for participation in a tournament or disqualification.

 

SAFETY

  1. Safe boat operation is the responsibility of all tournament competitors on Practice Days (starting the Weds of the meeting) and during a HHH Tournament.

  2. All competitors are required to wear a Coast Guard approved “chest-type” life jacket anytime the boat’s combustion engine is operating. The life jacket must remain securely fastened until the competitor reaches his fishing location and the combustion engine is shut off. A violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification.

  3. Tournament Director may delay or cancel the start of a HHH Tournament for inclement weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. Additionally, tournament waters may be restricted because of inclement weather or other safety reasons during the event.

PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY

  1. Participation in HHH tournaments is open to “members in good standing”, who are sixteen (16) years of age or older and their guest.

  2. A candidate for competition in a HHH Tournament who, in the judgment of the Tournament Director or any board member is handicapped in such a manner as to unfairly hinder or endanger the safety and well-being of other competitors shall not be eligible to participate.

  3. Disqualification, suspension or any other disciplinary action taken against an angler by any other fishing organization shall be grounds for rejection of an application for participation in a HHH Tournament.

 

PAIRING OF CONTESTANTS

  1. Two anglers will be assigned to each boat. The announcement of your fishing partner shall be made at the club meeting, the Wednesday prior to the tournament.

  2. Partner Assignments: Anglers will be guaranteed to use their boats at all HHH Tournaments but will not be guaranteed a partner in every tournament. In the event there is a shortage of co-anglers, anglers will be entitled to fish alone. No contestant shall be “held out” of the paring draw for the purpose of fishing alone.

  3. A co-angler wishing to fish shall be at the meeting or contact a board member prior to partner selection. Priority is given to active co-angler at meeting. If there are not enough boaters due to guest, the guest will be dropped beginning with the latest entry, to accommodate active co-anglers.

  4. Partners are responsible to establish a mutually agreed-upon meeting location, with sufficient time to reach the ramp area before the tournament launch time. HHH Tournament Director shall have no responsibility for finding “missing” partners. It is suggested that a minimum of sixty (60) minutes is required for preparation to depart to the launch area.

  5. Once a boat leaves the launch area at the start of the tournament, the two anglers must stay together and within sight of each other, and each other’s catch, throughout the day until weigh-in is completed, except for “natures call” or a credible emergency. A competitor will not allow any bass caught by him to be counted on the score (weight) of another competitor. In such case, both competitors shall be disqualified from this tournament and from all future tournaments conducted by the HHH.

  6. It is suggested the Co-Anglers compensate the Angler a minimum of $30 for fuel and other expenses for each local tournament and $45 daily for each  (2-day) away tournament.

  7. If you fail to call your boater and confirm, whether or not you  will be there, you will still be liable for the boater fees.

 

BOAT AND MOTOR

  1. All boats must be equipped with all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment.

  2. The maximum horsepower rating for all outboard motors used in HHH Tournament competition shall be 250 hp and a minimum 40 hp. Additionally, the maximum horsepower of an outboard motor shall not exceed the rating set by the U.S. Coast Guard for the particular boat it is mounted on and listed on a “manufacturers” plate attached to the boat. At the start of an event all outboard and trolling motors must be in good operating conditions.

  3. Any boat manufactured prior to November 1, 1972 must adhere to the rating set by the U.S. Coast Guard for similar boats. Upon signing up for the HHH Tournament, all competitors agree to submit to a boat inspection and have the outboard motor checked by factory trained personnel, if there is any reason to suspect the horsepower of the outboard motor exceeds the maximum rating (250 hp) or exceeds the listed boat manufacturer’s plate attached to the boat.

  4. Normal maintenance to increase the performance of an outboard motor is authorized, however, changing or altering standard factory parts of an outboard motor to increase the horsepower over the factory horsepower rating is forbidden, and will result in disqualification.

  5. For safety reasons, ALL boats must be equipped with an operable ignition “kill” switch that must be attached to the driver’s body anytime the combustion engine is operating.

  6. Anytime a boat is “under way” with the combustion engine running a driver/boat operator must be in the driver’s seat and in full control of the craft.

  7. Fishing boat seventeen feet or more in length may be used in a HHH Tournament.

  8. Boats with “Raised Platforms” higher than the “gunnels” of the boat will not be allowed.

  9. An electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering. The use of the electric controlling motor or the combustion engine for trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited.

  10. Bladder tanks and other types of auxiliary gas tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional “factory options” gasoline tanks that are installed by a manufacturer’s authorized dealer are allowed. Boats that do not have factory installed gasoline tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline in portable tanks, which must meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations, and must be properly secured in the boat. No portable tanks or containers capable of holding gasoline may be placed anywhere on the tournament waters or shoreline, for use by tournament competitors during Practice Days  (starting the Weds of the meeting) or during a HHH Tournament.

  11. Barges or similar cumbersome watercrafts are not permitted for use in a HHH Tournament. Tournament boats must be capable of reaching all tournament waters and return in a reasonable amount of time, so as not to handicap any contestant.

  12. Boats equipped with “Stick Steering” shall not be permitted to be used by any competitor during Practice Days (starting the Weds of the meeting) or during a FBFN Tournament.

  13. No airboats may be used to fish during Official Practice Days (starting the Weds of the meeting) or during a HHH Tournament.

  14. All boats must have a functional “bilge pump” and live well, properly aerated to adequately maintain alive, a limit catch of bass by two anglers in the boat. The Tournament Director shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is "proper and adequate."

  15. None the aforementioned rules shall prohibit a properly designated Tournament Director from approaching or boarding any competitor’s boat at any time during the Official Practice Days (starting the Weds of the meeting) or during the actual HHH Tournament competition for the purpose of inspecting the boat for violations of these rules. A Competitor who refuses to allow his/her boat to be inspected by the HHH Tournament Director shall be disqualified from the tournament and all entry fees and prizes or prize money shall be forfeited. The Tournament Director, at his discretion, may impose additional sanctions regarding future HHH Tournaments.

 

BOAT OPERATION

  1. During tournament hours, the Angler is in complete control of the boat, to include fishing location(s) and boat operation. Anglers may, at their discretion, choose to fish locations suggested by the co-angler. During tournament hours, anglers are to fish from the front of the boat and co-anglers are to fish from the rear of the boat however, the co-angler has the option to request ½ day at the front.

  2. Any Angler who operates or positions the boat in such a manner as to unfairly handicap their co-angler will be subject to disqualification.

  3. During tournament hours, contestants may not obtain or receive assistance from non-competitors, follow a non-competitor’s boat or participate in the practice of “hole-sitting” or the placing of markers by anyone.

  4. The use of mobile communication devices, including, but not limited to, cellular phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CB radios, etc., during tournament hours, is strictly prohibited except in an emergency (severe weather, disabled boat, etc.) or to communicate with lockmasters.

  5. Contestants are expected to remain on tournament waters and compete until the official end of the tournament, emergency situations not withstanding. If a contestant leaves early, they should relay that the are leaving to another angler.

  6. A competitor may not leave the boat to land a fish.

  7. In a credible emergency situation, such as an inoperable boat, one or both competitors may transfer to another tournament boat, or a rescue boat, for immediate return to the weigh-in site. Should one competitor elect to stay behind with the boat to await rescue, the returning competitor may transfer the catch of both partners to the rescue boat and transfer them to the weigh-in-site, under scrutiny of the rescue boat occupants.

  8. A competitor, who chooses to remain with the disabled boat to await rescue, waives the right to protest or challenge the official weight of his catch. All competitors involved in the rescue must cease fishing at this point, and their catch must be verified by a Tournament Director in order to be counted in the official tournament weigh-in.

  9. If after the emergency situation is resolved by the Tournament Director and enough time is left for the anglers to resume fishing, a “restart” will be allowed and the competitors may continue fishing and their catch will be counted. The aforementioned procedure applies only to a credible emergency.

  10. Failure of a competitor to render assistance to another competitor in a credible emergency situation, when requested, may be cause for immediate disqualification.

  11. A boat must remain in tournament waters at all times during tournament hours. Contestants must leave and return to the official check-in point by boat, and both competitors must remain in the boat at all times except in the case of “natures call” or a credible emergency.

  12. No Trailering: Loading a boat onto a trailer and driving to a ramp other than the official tournament launch site, during tournament hours, is strictly prohibited, except under the express direction and authority of the Tournament Director.

 

TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT

  1. Competitors in a HHH Tournament may use only artificial lures as bait. No “live bait” or “prepared bait” will be permitted, with the exception of pork strips, rinds, etc.

  2. Only one casting, spin-casting or spinning rod (maximum length eight feet) and one reel may be used by a competitor at a time. Other similar types of rigs may be in the boat, ready for use, however only one (1) rig is permitted to be used at a time.

  3. All bass must be caught alive, and in a conventional sporting manner. A competitor who is guilty of “snatching” or “snagging” fish on spawning beds will have their day's catch disqualified. When visually fishing for “bedding bass”, all bass must be hooked inside of the mouth to be counted as a legal fish.

  4. The use of “grippers” to land a bass is prohibited.

 

PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS

  1. The Tournament Director shall establish any boundaries on the tournament waters for all HHH Tournaments. It is the responsibility of each competitor to obtain this information from the Tournament Director prior to Practice Days (starting the Weds of the meeting) and tournaments.

  2. Only that water open to all public fishing will be considered “Tournament Waters”. Fishing on the tournament waters is permitted anywhere except:
    (a.) Within 50-yards of any marina gas pump.
    (b.) Within 50-yards (150-feet) of another angler’s boat which is first anchored or secured in a fix position. Competitors are not permitted to allow select competitors to fish within the 100-yard circle and exclude other anglers.
    (c.) Any water within these boundaries posted “Off-Limits” or “NO Fishing” by state or federal agencies will be off limits. This includes positioning boats outside areas posted “Off-Limits” or “NO Fishing” and casting into the posted areas. This action is strictly forbidden and any competitor violating this rule will be disqualified from the tournament.
    (d.) The live bass release area established by Tournament Director will be off limits and will be announced at the tournament briefing.
    (e.) Any waters closed to public fishing will be closed to tournament anglers.

  3. All fishing must be done from the boat.

  4. During a Practice Days (starting the Weds of the meeting), or the HHH Tournament, a competitor may not "SKIN DIVE" or "SCUBA DIVE" on tournament waters.

  5. A competitor may not buy or barter for “fishing locations” from other competitors for use during a competition day.

  6. Each competitor is responsible for keeping their fish separate from their partner’s.

 

OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT

  1. The Tournament Director for each HHH Tournament will establish the Official launch site and “check-in” points.

  2. At each pairing during the meeting, the Tournament Director will announce a blast off time, otherwise tournament hours are safe daylight until 2:00 p.m. Tournament hours can be increased or decreased by the Tournament Director.

  3. Prior to launch time, the Tournament Director for compliance with tournament requirements will inspect all competitors’ boats.

  4. Prior to the HHH Tournament, each boat operator will be assigned a boat/competitor number. At the end of the tournament day, all competitors will “check-in” with at the weigh-in area. This includes boats with no fish. Any boat that fails to “check-in” at the end of the tournament day may be subject to disqualification. Failure to comply with these requirements may result in disqualification the tournament and all future HHH Tournaments.

  5. After proper recognition at the check-in point, all fishing must cease and competitors should immediately proceed to the weigh-in area.

  6. Upon the commencement of the two-day HHH Tournament, fishing or being on the tournament waters is prohibited except during the tournament hours.

SCORING AND FISH CARE DURING TOURNAMENTS

  • Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Red Eyes, Shoal, Suwannee and (2) Peacock Bass will be weighed at HHH Tournaments.

  • The tournament limit for each competitor shall be five (5) bass. A competitor may not have more than the tournament limit of bass in the “live well” at any given time during the tournament. Any angler bringing in more than five (5) bass will be penalized that days catch.

  • The pound and ounce weight of each competitor’s catch during the tournament shall determine the tournament standings, auxiliary awards, and final winners of all HHH Tournaments.

  • The Official Tournament length for bass shall be twelve (12) inches. Only bass described above that measure 12 inches or more in length on an "Official Golden Rule" with mouth closed will be weighed. A “short” fish brought to the scales for weigh-in shall result in the loss of that fish and the competitor’s big fish of that day's catch.

  • Don’t Kill Your Catch! A competitor should make every effort to maintain the welfare of his catch throughout the day.
    (a.) Each competitor is expected to keep his bass alive by use of a properly aerated livewell.
    (b.) A bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or other wise altered may, at the Tournament Director discretion, not be weighed-in.
    (c.) The culling of a “dead” fish is strictly prohibited.

  • Each competitor must present their catch to the weigh-in official. Partners should stay together until their fish are weighed.

  • Every effort will be made for all fish will be weighed based on boat number order or launch order. Tournament Director will announce the boat numbers being weighed and only those anglers with fish from those boats will be permitted to approach the scales. Anyone bringing fish to the scales before their boat number has been called will not be permitted to weigh their fish.

  • Penalty Points: Tournament Director shall have the sole authority for assessing penalty points.
    (a.) Dead fish will be determined at the scales by the Tournament Director. For the purpose of this rule only, a “Dead Fish” will be considered any fish that is not moving. For each legal dead fish presented at weigh-in, the angler will be penalized a quarter of a pound of weight (4 ounces).
    (b.) Anglers will be penalized 1 pound for each minute they are late checking in at the official checkpoint designated by Tournament Director. After 15 minutes, the angler’s catch for that day will be disqualified.

  • The Tournament Director may make available special weigh-in bags that are designed to help increase the survival rate of the bass. These bags will be available to all competitors in the weigh-in area. No other bags are to be used to bring fish to the weigh-in area when these bags are in use. These weigh-in bags are the property of the HHH and must be returned. Anyone caught with a HHH weigh-in bag in their possession after a tournament is over may be disqualified from future HHH tournaments.
    Special Exception: If special weigh-in bags are not in use, competitors may bring their fish to the scales in their own bags and only when instructed by Tournament Director.

  • Ties: In case of a tie, the following measures should be employed in this order to break the tie.
    (a.) The individual with the largest number of legal fish weighed in during the competition
    (b.) The individual with the largest number of legal LIVE fish weighed in during the competition
    (c.) The individual with the heaviest single day's catch during competition.
    (d.) The individual with the second heaviest single day's catch during competition.
    (e.) In the unlikely event that there is still a tie, a “coin toss” will be used to determine the winner, and the monies for first and second place shall be evenly split between the two competitors.

 

 

 

 

 

AWARDS

 

ANGLER AND CO-ANGLER OF THE YEAR AWARD


Using the point system above, the Angler and Co-Angler of the Year honors will be awarded to the competitors in each division (Angler and Co-Angler) with the highest points from 10 tournaments. To be eligible for the Angler and Co-Angler of Year honors, anglers must meet the following requirements:

 

  1. May only count points received for participating in tournaments.

  2. May only count points received for participating in monthly meetings

  3. May only count points received for participating in special events established by the club.

 

In case of a tie, the angler with the heaviest weight caught during the season will serve as the tiebreaker. Should a tie still occur, then the angler with the largest bass during the season will be the tiebreaker.

 

 

BIG BASS AWARD

The anglers catching the Big Bass of the season will be recognized and awarded the Big Bass of the Year.

 

 

HEAVIEST BAG AWARD

The anglers weigh-in the heaviest bag of the season will be recognized and awarded the Heaviest Bag of the Year.

QUALIFYING FOR THE SIX MAN TEAM


The top six- (6) members of HHH will advance to the Florida BASS Nation Tournament. The team shall be made up of a guaranteed three- (3) fisherman from the Anglers Division and a guaranteed three- (3) fisherman from the Co-Angler Division. The any substitutions will be determined by order in which the fisherman finished for the season. It is expected that the first three (3) Anglers, will represent the HHH at the Florida BASS Nation Tournament as boaters, the remaining positions will fish as Co-Anglers.