Rules

Rules & Regulations

Agreement Form:

This link brings you to our agreement form we suggest you print and fill out. We will also have copies on site the day of each event.

Download PDF

Please read all rules and regulations. Pamphlets will be given out in the morning that go over the necessary information to keep your tournament morning stress free and as efficient as possible!

Participants signing up the morning of an event are not penalized financially but will be penalized by having a later flight number than those that pre-register. (More on launching sequence in Rule 7)

Standard Tournaments: Rules and Regulations

  1. PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY

        1.1 Tournaments are open to all individuals over the age of 18 at the time of

           registration. Juniors (under 18) may fish under immediate parental supervision.

        1.2 All Open Tournaments have competitor limits, depending on the event.

        1.3 All participants must sign the “Release of Liability/Agreement” form at the time of registration to become eligible to compete in any Think Like A Fish tournament series. This document is available on our site and will be available the day of the event.

  1. REGISTRATION / ENTRY FEES

(Payments day of are accepted but not recommended, as the tournament could be filled up before you arrive)

        2.1 Entry fees for Open Tournament registration are between $150 and      $300 per team depending on the terms of the tournament.

        2.2 Rate does not include the $10.00 Lunker entry.

        2.3 Tournaments open to the public once Think Like A Fish registers with the local municipality. Under no circumstances will entries be accepted after the official’s boat has launched and has indicated the start of the tournament.

        2.4 Refund requests will be accepted until two weeks before the tournament date.

  1. PRIZE PAY-OUT

        3.1 Prize money will be awarded in cash after the final weigh-in at each tournament.

Lunker- $10 per team (ex. 25 boats = $250 )

1st Place:

  •        60% of the pot 
  •       An interview with the angler
  •       Facebook and website feature

2nd Place:

  •        20% of the pot
  •       An interview with the angler
  •       Facebook and website feature

3rd Place:

  •       10% of the pot
  •       An interview with the angler
  •       Facebook and website feature

          4. Taxes

          4.1 Winners are responsible for any and all taxes on any money or prizes won.

  1. OFF-LIMITS

        5.1 Fishing within 100 yards of the launch point will be off limits to all participating anglers. Certain events may have increased off-limit areas. It is the angler’s responsibility to check with an official to clarify any additional limits which will be announced before any given tournament begins.

        5.2 Violation of these rules will result in a disqualification

  1. TOURNAMENT HOURS

        6.1 Tournament hours will be from first light, rounded up to the closest hour, and will run for 8 hours. Tournament directors reserve the right to assign flights and change hours if necessary.

  1. LAUNCH SEQUENCE

        7.1  Competitors will receive a flight number determined by the time of registration. Anglers who pre-register online will have priority over day-of registrations and will receive the next available flight number. We want to incentivize pre-registering over the morning of signups. Day-of registrations will be put into the next available flight after all of the pre-registered anglers. Each flight will be a maximum of 10 boats (30 boats = 3 separate flights). Flights will be separated by 2-minute intervals. Each flight will slowly idle out until the alarm is sound in order to create space between the committee boat and the rest of the boats waiting to blast off. If there is less than 20 boats we will idle out those who preregistered first and then idle out the day of sign ups a minute after. 

  1. SAFETY

        8.1     All boating laws and safety procedures apply during Think Like a Fish tournaments, and violation of these laws and procedures will result in a penalty of ejection from the tournament.

         8.2 Each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved personal floatation device, securely fastened, at all times while the boat is being propelled by the combustion engine. Furthermore, a kill switch must be fastened to the driver any time the combustion engine is propelling the boat. Failure to do so is grounds for disqualification of the offending team’s catch. Running lights must be operational and turned on when in accordance with the law. Each competitor’s boat must be equipped with a live well system capable of keeping a tournament limit of bass alive. Any boat equipped with a motor that exceeds the horsepower rating of the boat according to the manufacturer is prohibited from being used. All auxiliary gas tanks and bladder tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional gas tanks that are factory options and installed by a manufacturer’s authorized dealer are legal. Boats that do not have factory installed gas tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline in tanks that meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Gas tanks must be properly secured or strapped in the boat. During the tournament, no portable gas tanks or containers capable of holding gasoline can be placed anywhere on the tournament waters or shoreline for use by any tournament competitor.

  1. SPORTSMANSHIP

        9.1 Each contestant is expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and most importantly, conservation. No team may fish within 50 yards of any other boat which is anchored with the trolling motor up. Furthermore, no team may fish within 25 yards of any other boat without other boater’s permission. Permission may not be granted to any team at the exclusion of any other team. No hole sitting by a non-competitor or by another competitor, to aid a tournament participant will be allowed. Violators will have their catch disqualified.

  1. TACKLE AND FISHING METHODS

        10.1 Only artificial baits may be used. No live or cut bait is permitted (pork baits are permitted). All bass must be caught alive in a legal and sporting manner. No snagging. Each competitor may only use 1 rod at a time. No more than 1 line in the water at a time per angler. Trolling with the combustion motor and/or electronic motor is not permitted. No competitor may leave the boat to land or catch fish.

  1. STATE AND FEDERAL GAME REGULATIONS

        11.1 All participants are expected to abide by all state and federal laws and game regulations. Any team who intentionally violates a law or regulation in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage will have their catch disqualified. In the case of multiple governing authorities, the strictest law is applicable.  Any participant who consumes, or is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, stimulants or depressants during any tournament function will have their catch disqualified. (Prescribed medications taken per doctor’s instructions are excluded).

  1. SCORING

        12.1 A limit of 5 bass (largemouth, smallmouth) may be weighed in. Minimum lengths will be set at the discretion of the division director but at no time will be less than the legal limit. Lengths will be measured with mouth closed and tail pinched. No culling of dead fish.  A short fish brought to the scales will not be weighed and will result in a 1 pound penalty and potential disqualification from the event and potential future events. Dead fish must be presented to tournament director if a dead fish is identified by the tournament director and the fish has not been presented as dead or for review, the fish will be disqualified and will not be weighed. Dead fish presented to tournament director will be penalized .5 (1/2 pound). The dead fish penalty will also apply to any fish weighed as a lunker if that fish is dead. In the event of a tie, the team with larger lunker will take higher placement, it is the team(s) responsibility to choose to have lunker weighted.

  1. EMERGENCIES

        13.1 Competitors are to remain with their partners in the boat at all times during the tournament, except in the event of sickness or brief excursions for “nature calling,” severe storm conditions, or other such hazards. It is permitted for Competitors to leave the boat for marina services. Competitors may leave the boat to dislodge it, but only to return the boat in the direction it came from. Leaving the boat to advance it is not permitted. (Infalling water conditions, a team may leave the boat to advance it only to return from the water they accessed without leaving the boat.) If for any reason either or both team members decide to leave the tournament waters early, both members should bear full responsibility for notifying a tournament director. If one team member leaves the water early, he/she must notify the director before returning to fish and the other team member may continue fishing in his/her absence. In the event that he/she does not intend to return, his/her partner may continue fishing alone for the remainder of the tournament hours. In case of a breakdown, one partner may return with fish by another tournament boat or a Think Like A Fish LLC staff boat while the other partner is permitted to stay with the disabled boat.

  1. WEIGH-IN PROCEDURES

         14.1 Weigh-in will be on a first come first serve basis. Once fish have been presented to a tournament director to be weighed-in all fish become the property of Think Like a Fish LLC and no additional fish may be brought to the scales. Teams not weighing any fish are still required to check in with tournament officials in order to account for all teams. Once a team member has checked in or left the boat for the purpose of checking in, neither team member may fish or continue fishing.

  1. LATE PENALTY

          15.1 Competitors who are not checked in by the check-in deadline will be penalized at a rate of 1 pound per minute, up to 15 minutes at which time their catch will be disqualified. Late penalties will be deducted from lunker weight as well as total weight.

  1. CHANGE OF PARTNERS & USE OF SUBS

           16.1 All Tournaments will be fished in an open fashion with any partner or solo

  1. PROTEST AND POLYGRAPH TEST

            17.1 Any protest must be submitted in writing to the tournament director within 15 minutes of the close of the weigh-in. Think Like a Fish, LLC reserves the right to give a polygraph or other truth verification test to any participant at any time. This test does not have to be administered on site and may be set up by the tournament director at his discretion. All participants agree to abide by the results of any polygraph or other truth verification test administered. In the event of a protest and an off-site polygraph or other truth verification test the tournament director will have the option of mailing all the checks to the teams in the money pending the outcome of the test.

  1. LIABILITY INSURANCE

             18.1 All participants must carry a minimum of $300,000 of liability insurance on any boat they might use during any Think Like A Fish LLC tournament. Failure to do so, or reporting of false information will result in disqualification of catch.

  1. VIOLATION OF RULES AND DISQUALIFICATION

               19.1  The violation of a tournament rule by either team member may result in weight loss, the loss of weight up to a particular time in the tournament day (eligible for a restart), loss of weight for the entire day, disqualification for the entire tournament or, in an extreme circumstance, ineligibility to participate in future Think Like A Fish LLC events. If the director feels that their violation was a willful attempt to gain an unfair advantage or to intentionally cheat, then the director has the right to refuse entry from that team or team members in the future and may inform all other Think Like A Fish LLC directors of the situation.

  1. RULES INTERPRETATION

20.1 Interpretation of these rules will be left to the tournament directors. Infractions of any rule may result in disqualification of catch.

20.2 All images we capture during tournament hours are subject to usage on our website, social media pages and any other platform Think like a fish LLC utilizes.