Harvester Bass Club Official Rules - Approved January 2023
The following are the rules of this club and all tournaments and will remain unchanged for the year. Decisions of officers and tournament officials shall be final in all matters. Interpretation of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Officers and tournament committee, not involved in the dispute.
2. Tournament Committee:
Article IX, Harvester Bass By-Laws requires that if there is a need for a tournament committee, the committee will be selected by a random draw of boat numbers. Each team, when drawn for the committee, is required to supply one person to serve on the committee. A committee shall consist of 3 to 5 members. Teams involved in the infraction or the reporting of the infraction can not serve on the committee.
3. Participation and Eligibility:
Each tournament registration must be completed in person by the start of the tournament at the time and place listed in the Schedule of Events. Tournaments listed as ‘open’ will not require a club membership for either participant. All other tournaments require eligible club memberships for all participants. No more than 2 persons per boat is permitted. Participants are allowed to fish alone.
New for 2022 we do not require membership a week prior. Both team members must be paid members at the time of event check in of the event they wish to fish. Point of contact for current membership information will be the Secretary/Treasurer or a member of the executive board.
4. Laws and Safety:
Every boat shall have standard Coast Guard Safety Equipment and must obey all Federal and State Laws. Safe Boating must be observed at all times by all tournament competitors.
All boaters are required to wear a Coast Guard approved chest-type life preserver or PFD, and it shall be strapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition any time the boat is on plane. A PFD is NOT required at idle speeds. A kill switch must be worn at ALL times any any speed.
Each boat shall have a kill switch with a lanyard attached to the operator’s life vest or PFD (Coast Guard ruling dated November 1st 1972.)
Adult and junior members must abide by all official watercraft operation regulations applicable.
Blast-off and return to tournament site must be done in safe and orderly. Blast-off is done in assigned order and started by the event directors. No tournament will blast-off until all participants are in their boats and lined up in order.
Boats returning to the event site will come in off-plane at a safe distance and idle in to drop off the partners, no unsafe rushing up to the docks.
Violations of laws or club safety rules, or receiving violation citations from law enforcement officials can lead to tournament disqualification and the possibly of club termination.
Courtesy, safety and conservation are expected from each participant. Any infraction to these fundamental-sporting principles may deem cause for disqualification. All State and Federal Laws pertaining to alcohol shall apply. Unnecessary or vexatious complaints made by a tournament participant or club member may be grounds for disqualification from an event. Repeated violations of the sportsmanship rule may be grounds for removal from the club, as per club by-laws.
6. Tackle and Equipment:
Baits shall be artificial lures only. Pork rinds are considered artificial. Only one casting, spin casting or spinning reel and rod may be used at any one time. All other type rigs and methods including trolling are prohibited. All bass must be caught live and in accordance with state regulations.
The use of underwater cameras is not allowed during competition. Use of a CB, VHF marine band radio, cellular phone, texting, or any electronic communication device for the purpose of locating or catching bass during tournament hours is prohibited.
7. Live Wells:
Each boat is required to have an aerated live well used to keep fish alive. The club suggests use of Catch and Release agents.
8. Boat and Motor:
Boats that are 14 foot in length or more may be used. A smaller additional gas or electric motor may be used to maneuver while casting. Trolling is not allowed. Horsepower shall not exceed the limitations set by the Coast Guard in their ruling of November 1st 1972.
9. Permitted Fishing Locations:
There will be no fishing within 50 yards of another competitor’s boat that is anchored with trolling motor raised. You must be at least 50 yards from another H.B.C. competing boat before dropping an anchor or deploying an anchoring system and raising a trolling motor in a fishing area. All fishing must be done from the boat. Boats may only be taken out of the water at the tournament site and must remain there until the end of competition. Fish must remain with a team member until fish are weighed in. No trailering of boat is allowed. No pool or lake will be closed prior to any tournament. Tournament pool and lake restrictions will be announced at check-in, and may apply due to permit limitations. Federal, State & Local governmental restrictions & postings will be honored by club members.
10. Tournament Headquarters/Weigh In:
Shall be the tournament site. All participants must start & end each day at this site and each team MUST have a member present at the pre-tournament meeting. . Boats encountering mechanical trouble prohibiting the boat from returning to tournament launch site under it's own power (running out of gas isn't a mechanical failure) must abide by the following:
If fish are to be transported in another boat, the transporting boat team must be registered and participating in same tournament.
Neither team member of the disabled boat is allowed to fish for the rest of the tournament. Transporting boat team members can continue to fish.
One member of the disabled team must stay with fish and drop coin within tournament hours.
Any team not able return with their original boat must notify tournament director as soon as possible.
11. Fishing Hours:
Check-in times will be posted on schedules. Weigh in times to be announced before tournament launch.
On multi-day tournaments, it is not permissible to fish during non-tournament hours between tournament days.
12. Blast-Off Position:
Take-off order will be determined by manual draw or computer randomizing for each boat’s assigned order. The boat with highest number is the last to leave and is considered starter or ‘blast-off’ boat. Boats must line up in assigned order then idle past the starter boat and take off at 10 second intervals determined and signaled by the starter.
13. Late Penalties:
If you are late for tournament sign-in, but the pre-meeting is still ongoing, you will be allowed to fish but will be the blast off boat. If you are late for the weigh-in, you will forfeit the ability to weigh-in. Late means no coin in the drop box at the designated time.
Pounds accumulated will determine tournament score. All fish, unless otherwise noted by individual tournament rules, must be 14” measured with an official club measuring board and only Largemouth, Smallmouth and Kentucky bass will be accepted. A fish is measured with mouth closed and tail squeezed. A short fish brought to the scale will result in the team’s short fish AND biggest fish being disqualified. The number of fish allowed to be scored is limited to 5 fish for weekend and Thursday tournaments and 3 fish for Tuesday night tournaments. At no time shall any boat have more than the club limit set for the event except for the purposes of culling. All culling must be done immediately upon catching a fish putting a team over the 3 or 5 fish per boat limit. Any team weighing dead fish shall be assessed a 0.5lbs penalty for each dead fish. A dead fish is not allowed to be counted for a Big Bass prize. Release boats when necessary, are voluntary. No volunteers will result in 2 boats being selected by draw.
15. Total Weight Ties:
All ties will be determined by big fish. In the event of ties in big fish weight, points and money will be split among both teams.
16. Rules Violations:
Anyone witnessing and reporting rules violations must do so before the weigh-in has started. A tournament director must be notified and a tournament committee selected to determine if there is a true violation and what penalty if any must be assessed.
Any blatant cheating (if proven) such as hiding and retrieving previously caught fish or receiving fish from another angler, boat or team is grounds for automatic disqualification, forfeiture of fees, club dues and banishment from future club activities. A Polygraph examination may be required, at the discretion of the executive board, and may subject the team involved to criminal charges.
18. Shootout / Classic Qualification:
If there is a final year-end Shootout or Classic tournament held in which extra money is allocated to the prize funds for said tournament. Members will be able to qualify by fishing 5 HBC points tournaments. Both the 1st team member and the 2nd team member are required to have participated in 5 HBC point tournaments.
Tournament results will be decided by points awarded each day. Sum of the point total for the 2 days will decide the final results.