Bass Action Trail Rules and Regulations
To protect the integrity of the Bass Action Trail (BAT) and our anglers, all winners will be subject to a polygraph exam before the prizes are distributed at each event. Contestants must pass the polygraph exam at the tournament site to receive prize money, awards, and points for the event. The refusal of any winner to voluntarily submit to a polygraph exam before the prizes are distributed at each event automatically disqualifies any winner from being eligible to receive any prize money, awards, points for the event, and any other offered prize and/or award. All decisions regarding compliance with Bass Action Trail rules and the interpretation of these rules will be made by the tournament director at his sole and absolute discretion, and BAT and the tournament director reserve the right to make additional reasonable rules for the conduct of its tournaments if circumstances require. The tournament director reserves the right to waive any violation of these rules disclosed to him before the polygraph exam, at his sole and absolute discretion.
1. Official 2020 Team Trail Event Rules:
Decisions of the tournament director are final and are not subject to appeal. Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director in his sole and absolute discretion. Each competitor agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. The violation of the tournament rules may result in loss of weight, the loss of weight up to a specific time during the tournament day, total loss of weight of the particular day, the ineligibility to participate in future BAT events, or any other penalty deemed appropriate by the tournament director in his sole and absolute discretion. Protests must be made in writing within 15 minutes of the official closing of scales at each tournament, and any written protests must be provided to the tournament director within said time period.
Prefer method of registration is to pay online on the website. If paying in person, register/pay at Action Marine 2481 Reeves Street Dothan AL, 36303 with cash or check only. Deadline for registration is seven days prior to the tournament (Saturday before tournament). Registration is non-refundable and non-transferable. It is an $150 entry fee per tournament. This entry fee will include big fish.
3. Participation and Eligibility:
Anglers must be 18 years or older. In order to fish under the age of 18, the angler has to be at least 13 years old and have a parent or guardian in the boat as their partner as their team member
Each team is allowed to use an alternate for up to two events. In the event a team elects to use an alternate, it is the duty/ responsibility of the team to advise the tournament director that an alternate is being used and to provide the name and information of the alternate prior to blast off. Alternates cannot fish the classic.
5. All Bass Action Tournaments Are Team Events:
All BAT events are team events, although a contestant may fish alone as a single-person team. If a contestant chooses to fish as a single-person team, the BAT reserves the right to place an observer in the boat at any given event, and further reserves the right to issue a polygraph at any given event. Any contestant who refuses to voluntarily submit to a polygraph exam will be disqualified from said event at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director.
A team may assign one alternate partner at the beginning of the year who may fish one regular-season event and allow the team to retain all points earned. ALL alternate partners MUST be assigned by the first tournament registration event.
Alternate partners may only be used during regular season tournaments and will not be permitted to fish in the classic.
Under the circumstances that a team has a team member unable to fish a tournament, said team member will fish alone and will be subject to a polygraph at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director.
Only registered contestants/alternate partner or an approved observer may be in the boat during official tournament days. Alternate partners are only allowed in the boat during practice days of the tournament in which they will be participating.
6. Pre-tournament Practice and off limits:
Tournament location will be off limits Sunday night at midnight to midnight Wednesday; the week of the tournament. Official practice will be Thursday morning at 12:01 am until Friday night at 11:59 pm. On official practice days all tournament rules apply.
During Official Practice Days and hours of competition, contestants may not purchase, barter or solicit fishing information from any person or participate in the practice of “hole-sitting.” The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc. to communicate fishing information during tournament hours is strictly prohibited. In the event of an emergency situation, competitors should first dial 911 and then notify the tournament director. Official Practice Days consist of Thursday and Friday immediately prior to the event. During Official Practice Days, all tournament rules apply.
Safe boating must always be observed. Each contestant is required to wear a fastened (fully zipped and/or all clips fastened), U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation from boat check to weigh in. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition shut-off device, which must be securely attached to the driver’s body any time the combustion engine is in operation. The driver must be seated in the driver’s seat anytime the combustion engine is engaged in gear. In the event of inclement weather, the tournament will be held the next day, weather permitting. Competitors can leave the boat and seek shelter in bad weather, at which time no fishing may occur.
In the event of equipment failure or emergency, the tournament director must be notified as soon as it is safe to do so. There are then two permitted methods of returning to check-in: (1) by both anglers remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or (2) with permission from the tournament director, by one or both anglers entering the boat of another tournament contestant. Under these two conditions, both contestants’ catches may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, dead-fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules) provided each team’s fish are adequately marked to provide clear distinction to the tournament director. Contestants who elect to return to check-in by any means other than those cited will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time of the tournament day. Abandoning a boat and leaving it adrift without proper tie-off or anchoring after a mechanical failure may result in disqualification of that day’s weight. Whether or not contestants may be disqualified for improperly “abandoning” a boat is in the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director.
9. Permitted Fishing Methods:
Only artificial lures may be used with the exception of Berkley Gulp products. Only one fishing rod per angler may be used at any one time. Additional rods may be in the boat and ready for use; however, each cast and retrieve must be completed before another cast is attempted or rod is used. Trolling with the combustion engine as a method of fishing is prohibited. Switching or sharing fish with other teams or individuals is a violation of these rules and will result in immediate disqualification. All bass must be caught alive, in a conventional, sporting manner. When sight fishing for bass, all fish must be hooked inside the mouth to be counted as a legal fish. All angling must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish, or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. All contestants must comply with all applicable state and federal laws, and any contestants’ failure to comply with all applicable state and federal laws are subject to disqualification and/or other disciplinary action that is at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director.
10. Permitted Fishing Locations:
Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off-limits” or “no fishing” by state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a competitor’s boat which was first anchored (an anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight with the trolling motor in the up position), or within 50 yards of a non-anchored competitor’s boat unless otherwise agreed upon by the other tournament angler. The act of moving bass from one area of the lake to another area of the same lake at any time is not permitted, regardless of whether it is during official practice or competition days. Locking through to another body of water is not permitted at any time during tournament hours.
11. Boat and Horsepower Regulation:
Each boat must have all the required U. S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain properly aerated live well space to maintain alive the limit of catch of bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition may not exceed the horsepower limitation set by the U. S. Coast Guard in such vessel. Falsifying information on entry forms, or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor, or rating the plate to conceal such limitations will be cause for disqualification from the tournament. No contestant may have a platform, raised deck, or ladder that is higher than the gunnel of the boat. Standing on the fishing seats or outboard motor will not be allowed in BAT events. No air or jet boats will be permitted during official practice or competition days. “Official practice” days are those days, if any, designated by BAT as such on its website with respect to a tournament. 2020 BAT classic qualifying team events – five (5) per region.
12. Sportsmanship and Conduct:
All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. All contestants must comply with all applicable state and federal laws, and any contestants’ failure to comply with all applicable state and federal laws are subject to disqualification and/or other disciplinary action that is at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director. Examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following:
a. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or mind-altering substances during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure.
b. Any previous conviction, arrest, or investigation for a felony, or crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime related to, arising out of, or involving any fishing tournament or event. Exceptions will be considered with full, prior written disclosure to the tournament director under oath and by affidavit of all facts and circumstances surrounding such conviction, arrest, or investigation so long as those facts and circumstances do not result in the continuing questionability of the contestant’s honesty, integrity, character or qualifications to enter the event.
c. Actions or words that reflect unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, and fair competition. The BAT will not allow bullying by any BAT competitor during practice, at meetings, or during tournament hours. ANY act of bullying will result in disqualification from the event and any future BAT events. ANY DOCUMENTED VIOLATION OF THE SPORTMANSHIP RULE WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION OF ALL BATTS EVENTS.
d. Chemical or substance abuse.
e. Disqualification from any BAT or other fishing organization’s tournament that resulted from unexplained rule violations that result in a contestant’s honesty, integrity, character, and qualifications for entry into an BAT event being questionable is in the tournament director’s sole and absolute discretion.
13. Official Checkpoints:
There will be only two official checkpoints for boat inspection in the morning and one official check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through the checkout in the morning or failure to officially check in at the check-in point will result in disqualification from such event. During morning checkout, all teams are required to idle a minimum of 100 yards before putting the boat on plane. It is the sole responsibility of each contestant to arrive at the designated check-in location on time. Regardless of what you are told or understand, it is the angler’s responsibility to verify his/her provided flight card time. All fishing must cease upon check-in, or upon such other time as may be designated by the tournament director.
Scoring will be determined by the pounds and hundredths of a pound of each angler’s catch during the tournament. ONLY Largemouth, Spotted and Smallmouth Bass are accepted species. The limit will be five (5) per team. Any contestant who possesses more than the tournament limit at any time will have his/her catch for the day disqualified. The minimum official length limit for all species for the 2020 BAT is 14 inches. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit, will result in loss of that fish and a one-pound penalty to the weight of the remaining fish. Each contestant’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag. The Pro-Rule measuring board is the official measuring board of BAT. Bass will be measured with mouth closed, tail compressed and swiped to achieve overall greatest length. Total points accumulated will be used to determine Angler of the year.
15. Live Fish:
You may weigh one dead fish as a part of your five-fish total; a one-pound penalty will be assessed to your total weight for the day. No dead fish will be weighed for big fish. Culling a dead fish is prohibited and will result in disqualification. All dead fish must be brought to weigh-in for sanitary disposal.
(Live Fish; must be able to maintain an upright swimming position.)
16. Late Penalty:
Contestants who are not at the official check-in point at the appointed time will be disqualified. In the event of a mechanical breakdown, a contestant may return to check-in location with their catch by receiving a ride from another registered contestant or tournament official only. The contestants must return to the official check-in location by the methods set forth above by their assigned check-in time to avoid late penalty.
17. Closing of the Scales:
Scales will close 30 minutes after the last flight is due in. Due to certain weigh-in locations, this time may be lengthened or shortened at the tournament director’s sole and absolute discretion. Any change to the above stated official scale closing time will be announced during registration, during boat checkout, or during weigh-in. It is the angler’s responsibility to verify the official scale closing time and to be in the weigh-in line by such time.
A tie for 1st place in all 2020 BAT events will be broken by a one-hour fish off. All other ties will result in splitting that place and the next place’s money.
19. Championship Qualifiers:
To qualify for the classic, teams will have to fish four tournaments or more and be the in top 50 in points. Classic take-off will be determined by AOY standings.
Points will be awarded as follows: Points will begin at 100 for 1st Place, 99 for 2nd Place, 98 for 3rd Place and so on. All teams that do not weigh a bass will receive 10 points less than the last place team that weighed fish in that event. Points will be awarded only to teams that fish an event; if a team does not show up for that event, that team will not receive points.
21. Bounty Money
To qualify for Action Bass Trail bounty money, participants must meet the eligibility requirements at the time of registration, by showing proof of a purchase of a new or used Ranger, Triton, or Nitro from Action Marine or any other sponsor.
22. Angler Team of the Year (AOY):
AOY will be awarded to the top 3 teams in points. The first place team will receive free entry for the following year . They will also be boat number one for the following year and receive a cash prize. Team 2 and 3 will also receive a cash prize. If an AOY team in disqualified from the Bass Action Tournament, they agree to forfeit any and all prizes they receive.
24. Photography & Video:
All photos and/or video taken at an BAT event are the property of the BAT Tournament Series and may be used for promotional purposes. If any form of the media approaches, you are expected to present yourself in a professional manner and to accommodate them within reason. During weigh-in you are expected to present yourself in a professional manner and answer the questions to the best of your ability. All video/camera equipment placed in a contestant’s boat shall not be tampered with or removed without permission from the BAT tournament director. Any tampering with, powering off, or removing of this equipment will result in the team’s disqualification.
25. MEDIA COMMENTS, PUBLIC ATTACKS; The favorable public reputation of BAT as a sanctioning organization in the sport of fishing, the integrity of its officials, and the reputation of its media properties are valuable assets and tangible benefits for BAT. Accordingly, it is an obligation of competitors to refrain from comments to the news media to include social media that unreasonably attack or disparage the integrity of tournaments, tournament officials, sponsors, fellow members, fellow anglers or the BAT organization. Competitors are encouraged to express themselves and have the right to question rules officials. Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with BAT policies are encouraged as opposed to attacks upon the integrity of the rules or officials. However, public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of BAT, BAT officials or sponsors shall be considered conduct unbecoming a professional and will result in disciplinary action.