2019 Blackhawk Bassmaster Rules

Note: If not covered in the rules below, BASS Nation rules apply.

1. All federal, state, and local laws must be adhered to at all times and have precedence over all club tournament rules.


2.  All rulings of the Tournament Director and Board members present will be final.


3.  Every effort will be made to assure that all members who want to fish have the opportunity to do so. Those that are not present at the meeting of the tournament draw may not be partnered in the event that there are an odd number of entrants. Every effort will be made to solicit guest(s) to make an even number of boaters and non-boaters.


a.  Tournament entrants must sign-up as a boater or non-boater for the tournament.

b.  In the event that there are more co-anglers than boaters signed up for a tournament, the order of priority shall be

1.  Attending meeting for draw

2.  Blind Draw (extra numbers shall be added to the draw)

c.  A co-angler shall not be denied fishing a tournament again until all co-anglers in the tournament have also been denied a tournament.

d.  Pairings are set beginning the Monday prior to the tournament.  The tournament director has the right to approve a change in pairings (due to an angler becoming unable to fish the tournament) that is pre-agreed upon by the boater and co-angler, requested by the boater to the tournament director, and approved by the tournament director at their discretion prior to tournament start.


4.  Entrants must be a Blackhawk Bassmasters member or a guest of a Blackhawk Bassmasters member:


a.  A guest of any member of the club is welcome to attend any club event. A guest wishing to fish a club tournament must pay the tournament entry fee (optional big bass fee). The sponsor of the guest is responsible for the guest’s conduct.

b.  At no time will a guest cause a member of the club not to fish a tournament. 

c.  A guest may only fish a maximum of 2 tournaments a year. 


5.  Artificial baits only (pork baits acceptable).


6.  Only one line per entrant in the water at a time.


7.  No main motor trolling allowed.


8.  Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, or Spotted (Kentucky) Bass, meeting lake minimum or larger, may be entered at the weigh-ins.


9.  Competitors may NOT cull any legal size dead fish.


10.  Sportsmanship: Competitors in Blackhawk Bassmasters tournaments are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification.


a.  Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor, during the official practice or during the tournament, will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future Blackhawk Bassmasters tournaments. No alcoholic beverages, other non-prescription stimulants or depressants shall be allowed in the boats during the official practice or competition days, or when in the weigh-in area.

b.  Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act of a competitor, which reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters and courtesy, may be reason for disqualification.

c.  All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the various states in which they fish. Competitors are responsible for research of fishing and boating regulations.

d.  Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other crimes involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and/or for disqualification after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director. Any disqualification, suspension from, or other disciplinary action regarding any tournament or fishing organization, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation in a Blackhawk Bassmasters tournament, and/or disqualification from a Blackhawk Bassmasters tournament, after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director.


11.  Fishing in an area posted or restricted by the lake authority, or an area designated off-limits by the board, will result in disqualification for that day.


12.  Individual creels must be kept and each fish entered must have been caught by the entering contestant. Each contestant must enter their fish in a separate bag at weigh-in.


13.  Five (5) fish limit and lake length limit will apply unless told differently by the Tournament Director.


14.  No fishing within fifty (50) yards of another Blackhawk Bassmasters Club boat that is anchored with trolling motor raised.


15.  The Tournament Director with help from appointed members will handle the weigh-in and record the weights. All healthy bass must be returned to the lake.


16.  All contestants must wear a life vest when the outboard is running and the kill switch must be attached to the driver’s body.


17.  All boats must meet USCG specifications and all boat systems (live-wells, trolling motor, etc.) should be operational and in good working order and not cause a safety concern.


18.  All contestants should check in at the designated starting point thirty (30) minutes prior to the designated take-off to receive take-off order and to be advised of any pertinent information involving the tournament (early/late starts, off limits, live-well checks, etc.) (Failure to be at the designated place or time could result in a disqualification.) (People that are late will have to check-in with the Tournament Director within 30 minutes after the official tournament start time. Failure to do so may result in disqualification for that day.)


19.  Each boat will be assigned a starting position and must idle in single file past the member starting the tournament regardless of fishing area. The starter will provide information to participants during the take-off process. In all cases, the participant is responsible for knowing the requirements associated with that tournament.


20.  Any member not in attendance when the tournament sign-in is scheduled must contact a board member to sign them up and submit their fees. All fees are non-refundable!  Anyone signing up after the pairings begin will do so as a non-boater (The Tournament Director can override this to equalize the teams.)


21.  No racing during tournament hours.


22.  Competitors must not depart the boat to land fish or make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Competitors must leave from and return to the official check-in point by boat. Trailering of boats to another location during tournament hours is prohibited, except by direction of tournament officials.  Nothing in this rule shall be construed to prevent any competitor from using rest room facilities or seeking shelter during a storm.  In such cases one partner may remain with the boat.


23.  The paired boater non-boater tournament expectations are:


a.  Boaters and non-boaters will equally share the tournament event expenses including tournament fee, fuel expenses for boat and tow vehicle, launch fee, lodging (at a single shared room cost), and any other tournament related expenses. If the boater or non-boater travels to the tournament early (ex. pre-fish) or stays following the tournament event, that member is solely responsible for the non-tournament event expenses (ex. Boat fuel, lodging, launch fees, etc.).

b.  Non-boaters will assist their boater to the best of their ability with boat launching and retrieval.  They will also assist other club members at the launch.

c.  Non-boaters will assist their boater with routine post tournament boat/trailer cleaning.

d.  Boaters and non-boaters shall promote a positive tournament experience by respecting each other’s abilities, equipment, and fishing knowledge.

e.  Boaters may, at their discretion allow non-boaters to fish from the front of the boat, operate the boat, and operate the tow vehicle.

f.  Boaters shall, to the best of their boat’s ability, provide the non-boater with reasonable room for tackle, rods, and storage for raingear, lunch, etc.  Non-boaters should discuss the available space with their boater prior to the tournament as each boat’s capabilities vary.


24.  All contestants must check in at the end of the tournament day at the designated place and time. If late, one pound per minute up to ten (10) minutes late will be deducted from the total weight of the fish caught that day. Any participant over ten (10) minutes late will be disqualified for that day. Except in the case of an emergency, any contestant choosing to leave early during a tournament day will result in loss of all tournament points (weight, place, and participation).


25.  If a team member does not fish the entire tournament of whatever reason, payouts will be based on a complete team payout. No refunds will be given to the team member that was unable to fish the entire tournament.


26.  Published payouts are for teams, not individuals. All boats must select their 5 best fish for the boat totals. Individual weights will apply for individual standings.


27.  If two boaters are partnered together, the boater that was at the pre-tournament meeting has the right of first-refusal to use his boat. If both boaters were at the pre-tournament meeting, then a coin toss will be used. Anyone (boater or non-boater) refusing to fish with their partner will be disqualified.


28.  Weigh-in will start within twenty (20) minutes after the scheduled end of the tournament at the designated place.


29.  All boat owners must have a copy of their boat insurance on file with the Board prior to their using the boat in a club tournament. The insurance limits must meet or exceed the limits set by the IBN and BASS.


30.  Lights must be on if the start of the tournament is before official sunrise.


31.  If a tournament is canceled everyone who signed up at the meeting will receive last place points.  Boaters will receive an entry fee refund or put the entry fee towards a future tournament.


32.  If caught cheating, person or persons will lose all rights to the club, lose all fees, and must return all club property.


33.  If any member causes the club to be fined then that member must pay the fine.


34.  During the Tournament Pre-Fishing week, each angler is allowed 1 day of Pre-fishing for a 1 day Tournaments and 2 days of Pre-fishing for 2 day tournaments.  Pre-fishing week begins at 1:00 AM the Monday immediately before the first official Tournament day.  The lake is off-limits other than the pre-fishing days.


35.  All "questionable" fish WILL be checked/bumped for proper length.


36.  Umbrella rigs (aka Alabama Rigs) are allowed and must comply with applicable regulations for the lake.


37.  Rod length is limited to 10 feet maximum.


38.  No penetrating culling clips are allowed.  Culling clips that require puncturing the fish are NOT allowed for tournament use.


39.  Club members must be 18 years old or older.  Certain exceptions may be approved by the club.


40.  The club should not accept more co-anglers than boaters into the club.  Exceptions may be made at the discretion of the club president with input from club members in good standing.



a.  The best 5 fish for the boat shall be weighed to determine place.  Penalties will be subtracted from this boat weight.

b.  Competitors that present a bass for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length of a legal fish in the tournament waters will be penalized at the rate of one (1) pound for each non-legal bass presented from the total score of the competitor after throwing out the illegal bass.

c.  In the case that no fish are caught by anyone in a tournament, the place money will be either refunded or credited (toward the next tournament) equally to all that participated in the tournament. Participation points will be given to all.  Place points will be credited equally to all participants. No fractional points will be awarded.

d.  Ties will be decided first by number of fish then by big bass.

e.  Dead Fish Penalty

1.  For each legal dead bass presented at weigh-in, the competitor shall be penalized 0.50 lbs per dead bass on that day's weigh-in only.

2.  The dead bass does not need to be weighed as part of the best 5 for the boat but the dead bass penalty MUST be taken by the boat.

3.  The resulting weight will be counted for all SCORING; TOURNAMENT, BIG BASS, etc.