2015 Rules


Tournament Director: Steve Levine


1.   GENERAL: 

These rules apply to the 2015 tournament season.  For simplification, all competitors will be referred to as “he” in these rules, but will apply to everyone.   Interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left to the Tournament Director.  The decision of the Tournament Director will be final in all matters.  If the Tournament Director is unable to execute his duties as outlined in these rules, he will designate an individual who will be authorized to execute the Tournament Directors duties.  The club president, or the highest-ranking club officer available, will be informed of the identity of the acting Tournament Director.



Full participation in club tournaments shall be limited to members in good standing of the Rochester Bassmasters only. All contestants entering as Boaters are required to show proof of liability insurance, with a certificate of insurance for $300,000 minimum.  All contestants must have valid fishing licenses for the license year.  New or re-joining members must participate in a boater orientation session and display an understanding of boater responsibilities and safe boat operation in order to use their boat.



Proper registration and fees must be received by the tournament registration team prior to the “partner draw” in order to register as a boater.  The dates of the partner draw meetings are listed on the 2015 Tournament Schedule at the end of these rules.  A fee of $15.00 will be imposed for late entries. Boaters can register late ONCE in a season. The late boat will become the Kick off and Check in boat for the day. In the event of multiple late boaters they will leave in order of when they registered.  Tournament entry fees are NON-REFUNDABLE after the “Partner Draw”, except in emergency situations, as determined by the Tournament Director.  100% of the entry fees will be paid back to competitors.  Tournament entry fees for professionals are $40 for one-day tournaments, $40 for each day of a two-day tournament ($80 if both days are fished).    For two-day events, the stated entry fees allow contestants to compete on either or both days.  The fee is $0.00 for amateurs for any event.



Competitors will be required to re-register with the tournament director or his designee and reaffirm their kickoff number the morning of the event. The re-registration times will be announced at the tournament draw.  Competitors arriving late to re-registration will be assessed a one-half pound per minute penalty.  Competitors who are more than 15 minutes late will be disqualified for the day.   Kickoff will not be delayed for late amateurs, and they will be disqualified for the day if late for re-registration.   If all competitors have re-registered on time, kickoff may occur early (based on weather and safety considerations). 



Amateur status is available for full time students only.  Pro entries are eligible for cash, merchandise, lunker pool, and trophies.  Amateur entries are eligible for trophies only (see Section 21, Classic, for exception).  Amateurs will not be allowed to go as a Boater


6.   SAFETY: 

Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times. A Coast Guard approved chest type preserver MUST BE WORN anytime the combustion engine is running and in gear. The preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely, and maintained in that position until the competitors reach their fishing location and the combustion engine is put into neutral or shut off (this excludes loading and unloading of boats in the launch area). Violation of this rule is reason for automatic disqualification from the tournament.  It is mandatory that partners discuss safe boat operation and conduct prior to the take off. 

 The Tournament Director has the right to delay or cancel the start of the tournament day, or move the launch site, because of bad weather or other factors, which would endanger the safety of the competitors. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time due to bad weather. 

 Drunkenness or substance abuse shall be cause for automatic disqualification and loss of boating or fishing privileges indefinitely. No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs may be consumed during the tournament hours.  Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek safe shelter in bad weather where danger may be imminent.

 Boaters under the age of 18 must show proof of having taken and passed a Boater Safety Course.



Competitors are expected to exhibit high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation.  Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regards to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors. A contestant must immediately release his fish if he decides to bow out of a tournament.  If that person is a non-boater, the boater shall be permitted to continue full participation in the tournament. If that person is a boater, he is responsible for transferring the non-boater and his/her fish to a boat in which the boater has no partner; this new boater must accept this new partner. Any violation of these sportsmanship rules may be grounds for disqualification from all future Rochester Bassmaster tournaments.

 Non-boaters are prohibited from entering GPS information during a tournament, by any means.  If an official protest is entered by a boater (see Section 17, Protests), the non-boater will be disqualified.



Tournament waters will not be closed prior to the tournaments.  Once the tournament has begun, all contestants are prohibited from fishing or further practice except during designated tournament hours.



Only artificial lures will be permitted for tournament use. Pork rinds will be permitted. Only one rod with a maximum of 8’can be used and in the water at a time. All bass must be caught in a conventional manner.  Trolling or Fly-fishing as methods of fishing is not allowed. Landing nets will be optional in a participant’s boat during the tournament.



Only boats 16’ or longer with a minimum horsepower engine of 40 hp will be permitted for tournament use. Each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard/B.I.A horsepower-rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must NOT exceed the rating specified on this plate nor the horsepower maximum set by BASS (250 hp).  Each competitor agrees to submit his boat and/or outboard motor to an inspection by factory-trained personnel, if there is any reason to suspect the horsepower is in excess of the rating.  In the event that an inspection is requested, the club will pay for testing if it is proven that the equipment tested meets the applicable standards, otherwise the competitor will assume full responsibility for testing costs.  Failure to submit a boat and motor for testing, if requested, will result in disqualification from tournaments and possible removal from club membership. 

 Normal maintenance of engines is allowed. Changing or altering standard factory parts of a competitor’s engine to increase the horsepower over the factory horsepower rating is forbidden, and will result in disqualification.  Falsifying information or altering the horsepower-rating numbers on the engine is also cause for immediate disqualification from tournaments, and possible removal from club membership.

 All boats must be equipped with an operational engine kill switch that is attached to the driver’s body anytime the combustion engine is operating. All boats should provide ease of fishing for both contestants. There should be no obstacles in the way to hinder ones casting or safety. All boats need to provide stable, elevated platforms for both contestants to safely fish from. The boater must provide a pedestal seat for the non-boat partner.


Every boat must have all the required Coast Guard safety equipment on board; it must also have a functional bilge pump and live well space, properly aerated to adequately maintain a limit catch of bass by both fishermen using the boat. The Tournament Director will have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is “proper and adequate”. The Tournament Director will disqualify a boat with an inadequate live well system from the tournament. In the event of a live well breakdown during a tournament, every effort will be made to keep the fish alive. The boat owner must notify the Tournament Director at the weigh-in site upon arrival so that the fish can be weighed as soon as possible. Boats deemed to be unsafe may be culled by the Tournament Director. If the Tournament Director determines that a boater has an unacceptable record of weighing in dead fish, the Tournament Director may forbid the boater from entering future tournaments as a boater.



A full discussion should be held between partners prior to the morning kick-off as to emergency boat operation and possible medical issues.



The Tournament Director shall determine permitted fishing locations and boundaries.  A 25-yard radius shall be maintained from another competitor’s boat that was first anchored. A properly anchored boat is one that has an anchor out and the trolling motor up before another competitor’s boat enters the 25-yard radius. No anchored boat shall permit any competitor to fish within 25 yards of their anchor to the exclusion of other competitors. During a tournament day, a competitor must not have the assistance of another person for “Hole Setting” or placing of markers for them. All angling must be done from the boat, and contestants must not leave the boat to land fish.  No trailing of boats is allowed for the purpose of fishing or transporting of fish.



There shall be only one official checkpoint in the morning and one checkpoint in the afternoon.  This checkpoint shall be designated by the Tournament Director.  Weights will be recorded (no signing required).  No weigh slips will be issued. Tournaments will be 8 hours, unless otherwise specified by the Tournament Director.


15.   PAIRING: 

The partner draw will be made by random draw at a designated general meeting prior to the tournament. Non-boaters will be paired with boaters. Competitors will not fish with the same partner twice in the same season.  If during the partner draw competitors are paired who have already fished together, a new partner will be drawn for both, the boater maintains his position while the non-boater is paired with the next boater drawn who he has not fished with. In the event there are more boaters than non-boaters, the remaining boaters will be allowed to fish alone.  Boaters who fished without a partner on the previous tournament day, or didn’t fish the previous day, will be the first to draw a partner. For two-day tournaments, a separate partner draw will take place for each day, following the above guidelines.   

 The last boat drawn each day will be the kickoff boat. The first boat drawn each day will be the check-in boat.

 In the event of a “down boat”, all available boaters will be put in a hat for a random partner draw. Non-boaters will be drawn first, then boaters.  If the down boat included a non-boater, the new partner pairing with that non-boater assumes the non-boaters original kickoff position and the former boater assumes his new partners original position.  If there was not a non-boater originally, the lowest kickoff position will be assigned to the new pairing.


16.   SCORING: 

Tournament standings, awards and final winners shall be determined by the weight of each competitor’s catch during the tournament. No regurgitated contents from a fish will be weighed.  Only Largemouth and Smallmouth bass will be weighed. The daily tournament limit will be the prevailing New York State limit (5). Any contestant who exceeds the tournament limit will be disqualified from the tournament.

 Only bass described above, which measure 12” or more in length with the mouth closed, shall be legal and weighed. Bass presented for the weigh-in which measure less than 12” will result in that fish being disqualified, plus the largest fish culled for each short fish presented. A 0.25-pound penalty will be assessed against each dead fish presented to weigh-in.  The penalty will be assessed against the dead fish.  No culling of dead fish is allowed at any time.  Culling of live fish will be allowed in the weigh-in area prior to being presented to the Measure Master. A courtesy board, which will match the tournament board, will be provided. The measure master determines whether or not a fish is legal length and if it is alive. If the competitor whose fish is/are in question disputes the measure masters call, the fish will be checked by the weigh master. If the weigh master agrees with the measure masters ruling, the call stands.  If the weigh master and measure master disagree, the Tournament Director makes the final determination. At no time can another competitor question whether a fish is dead or alive, or of legal length. Fish shall be transported to the weigh-in area with bags furnished by the Tournament Committee.

There will be a “last call” announcement, giving a competitor 10 minutes to weigh in his fish.  Failure to weigh fish in before the 10 minutes is over will automatically disqualify a competitor’s catch.  Competitors arriving late to the weigh-in will be assessed a one pound per minute penalty, starting with the angler’s largest legal fish. Competitors who are more than 15 minutes late will have their weight disqualified for the day.  No excuses will be accepted. If a boat breaks down, fish can be transported by either a competitor’s boat or non-competitors boat for safety reasons, but must be accompanied by the competitor whose catch is to be weighed.



Protests must be made verbally to the Tournament Director within 10 minutes of the last weighed fish, followed up by a written and signed protest delivered to the Tournament Director within the next 15 minutes. The Tournament Director will make all decisions and rulings in a reasonable amount of time. Written protests will be answered with a written decision submitted to all parties involved, as well as the executive committee.

 Protests involving the Tournament Director will be handled as above, except, the highest ranking available club officer will assume the role of Tournament Director.


18.   PAYOUT: 

The tournament prize list will consist of 100% of all entry fees payable as follows:

 One-Day Tournament:   $100 will be paid for lunker, with the remainder split 36%, 24%, 12%, 10%, 8%, 6%, 4% from first to seventh place.

 Two-Day Tournament:   $100 will be paid for lunker each day, with the remainder for each day split 36%, 24%, 12%, 10%, 8%, 6%, 4% from first to seventh place.

 In the event of a tournament with fewer than 25 paid anglers (Boater and Non-Boater Combined), payout will be adjusted as follows:







See Above

20 – 24


40%, 27.5%, 17.5%, 10%, 5% (1-5)

Up to 19


40%, 30%, 20%, 10% (1-4)

In the event not enough fish are caught to pay the specified number of places, the Tournament Committee will establish the pay out. If a merchandise prize is available, by order of finish the contestants shall have the option to receive the merchandise prize instead of the cash award.  For one-day events, 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will each receive a trophy, lunker does not. There will be no overall 1st, 2nd and 3rd place for two-day events, each days 1st, 2nd and 3rd place will receive a trophy, lunker does not. 

 At the end of the tournament schedule the individual with the most accumulated weight using the current scoring method will be declared Bass Angler of the Year. The club will award the following:  second through 10th place in the Angler of the Year standings will receive trophies.  The largest largemouth bass caught in any point tournament will receive the Largemouth Lunker of the Year award, and the largest smallmouth bass will receive the Smallmouth Lunker of the Year award.  Contestants must drop their lowest point tournament day for the yearend standings.


19.   TIES: 

In case of a tie, the appropriate position money will be split.  Example:  two way tie for first; they split first and second prize money.


20.   PRO-AM: 

A Pro-Am status shall apply to all club tournaments. Non-members are eligible under special circumstances at the approval of the tournament committee, but are not eligible for cash, merchandise, prizes or trophies.  All member contestants receive Angler of the Year points.


 21.   CLASSIC: 

All tournament rules apply, except where specific changes are written in this section.

 The classic is entry fee free.  Qualifiers are determined as follows:

The Top 20 finishers and the next Top 2 non-boaters (someone who has fished all tournaments as a non-boater) as determined by the Angler of the Year standings. A MINIMUM of 3 tournament days must be fished in order to be eligible to qualify for the classic. If any qualifier decides not to compete in the classic, his name will be eliminated and no replacement will be made.  A non-boater who has fished as an Amateur during the year is still eligible to fish the classic, and is also eligible for the classic cash prizes and trophies.

 Format: A two-day tournament, with each contestant fishing from his/her own boat (or boat supplied for that person’s use).  Non-boaters who qualify will be allowed to fish alone, or be accompanied by another boat’s owner.  

Kickoff:  The order of kickoff will be the top qualified finishers, in the order determined by the Angler of the Year standings, followed by the top qualified non-boaters, also determined by the Angler of the Year standings.

 Scoring:  Places will be determined by the best total weight minus penalties.

 Payout:  To be determined by budget allotment.  Possible payout if $1,200.00 allotted –

       First – $600, Second – $400, Third – $200 

 There will be a mandatory $10.00 lunker fee for classic participants.   One lunker prize will be awarded for each day.  The lunker payout will be 100% of the fees collected, split 50/50 for the two days.



The lakes will be selected by a random draw from a list of lakes to be determined by the Tournament Committee.  The decision on whether to eliminate one of these locations from the draw, for any reason, will be made by the Tournament Director. 

 The day 1 lake will be selected Friday evening at the Classic dinner meeting.  The day 2 lake will be selected at the weigh-in at the end of day one by the current classic leader.  The same lake is not eligible for both days.  Once a lake has been drawn, further practice on that lake is prohibited.

 This is a “No Information” classic.  An eligible contestant may practice on any (or all) of the lakes prior to the classic weekend, however networking for the purpose of obtaining an advantage on the classic lakes is not allowed, either before or during the classic.

2015 Tournament Schedule

 Draw Thur.      6/18/2015

Sunday           6/28/2015                    Seneca Lake                NYS Park Launch, north end

Payout Wed.               7/1/2015

Off limits:                   The side canal to the launch ramp, the main channel starting at the side canal and going out to the lake.  The canal going north from the side canal is not off limits.

Special Rules: No locking out permitted.


Draw Wed.     7/1/2015

Saturday          7/11/2015                    Oneida                                    A&P Marina

Sunday            7/12/2015                    Oneida                        A&P Marina

Payout Thur.   7/16/2015         

Off limits:       A&P Marina out to buoys in Maple Bay

Special Rules: No locking out permitted.


 Draw Thur.      7/16/2015   

Saturday         8/8/2015                      Chaumont Bay            NYS Launch Rte 12E

Sunday            8/9/2015                      Chaumont Bay            NYS Launch Rte 12E

Payout Thur.               8/20/2015      

Off limits:       Launch ramp area plus 20 feet either side

Special Rules:  TBA


Draw Thurs.    8/20/2015

Sunday            8/23/2015                    Cayuga Lake               Union Springs Town Launch

Payout Wed.   9/2/2015           

Off limits:                   All marinas on Cayuga Lake and adjoining bays. 100-foot distance around launch.

Special Rules:  No locking out permitted.


Draw Wed.     9/2/2015 

Saturday          9/12/2015                    Keuka Lake                 Keuka Lake State Park Bluff Point

Sunday            9/13/2015                    Conesus Lake              NYS Launch, East Side

Payout Thur.   9/17/2015          

Off limits:       Conesus Lake launch ramp area plus 20 feet either side.

Special Rules: Conesus Lake speed limit is 45mph.

Special Rules: Keuka Lake speed limit is 45mph.

Special Rules: Keuka Lake 5 mph within 200 feet of shore, docks, rafts or moored vessels


Saturday          10/3/2015        Classic TBA

Sunday            10/4/2015        Classic TBA