Club Tournament Rules

Ammended by DBM membership on 5/7/14


Great effort, study, and research has gone into the formulation of these rules. The following rules of this tournament will remain unchanged, except for special tournaments conducted by the Denver Bassmasters (DBM.) Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director may impose such sanctions as deemed appropriate, including, without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes, entry fee, and prohibition from participation in subsequent DBM tournaments. The decision of the judges and tournament officials shall be final in all matters.


A tournament committee shall consist of the DBM Tournament Director and all Club Officers and Board Members present. Each member of the committee will have the ability to cast one vote on each matter brought before it with the Tournament Director only voting in the event of a tie. Only those committee members who are present will vote on tournament related issues during the actual conduct of any given tournament.


This tournament is open only to members of the Bass Anglers Sportsman Society and DBM members who are 16 years of age or older. Proof of age to the satisfaction of tournament officials is the responsibility of the potential competitor. As of April 1, 2009, by majority the club voted to allow persons aged 16 to be DBM members on a member’s recommendation and case-by-case vote. During the official practice and competition days of any DBM tournament no contestant may operate a boat unless the contestant has submitted documented proof of a minimum of $300,000 boating liability insurance to the DBM Tournament Director. This documented proof must show effective and expiration dates and must be received on or before the application deadline. A properly completed and signed official entry form and entrance fee must be received by the DBM Tournament Director on or before the application deadline date. The Tournament Director reserves the right to extend the acceptance date. Insufficient notice of cancellation prior to the start of a tournament can result in forfeiture of entry fee.


The tournament waters shall be off-limits to all competitors commencing at 12:01 AM on the Monday prior to the first day of practice or competition day. The exact dates and times of the tournament and off-limit period must be obtained from the Tournament Director. It is the responsibility of the competitor to know and observe these dates. Exception may be given by the Tournament Director for special events. I.E. Youth events. During the official practice period or tournament, a competitor may not have the assistance or advice of anyone for the purposes of locating bass, nor may enter the tournament waters during the off-limits period, a professional guide, state or wildlife agency employee, or any person deemed a local expert on these waters by the Tournament Director unless he is a contestant in the tournament. Each competitor agrees to report any violations of these rules to a tournament official. The failure to report violations or suggestions to violate these rules or false verification of weight-in forms will be cause for disqualification.


Each competitor must register in person or by proxy with a Tournament Committee member at the club meeting prior to the event. Payment is due one week prior to the tournament date (some exceptions can apply). A $10 late fee will be assessed if paid less than one week in advance. Late payment(s) at the ramp must be made with cash only. It is the responsibility of each contestant to obtain the current tournament information including but not limited to; date, time, and location of the pre-tourney meeting.


Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by the tournament competitors. During the official practice and tournament each competitor is required to provide and wear a Coast Guard approved chest-type life preserver. This preserver must be worn any time the combustion engine is operating. This preserver must be strapped, snapped, or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the competitor reaches his fishing location and the combustion engine is shut off. Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification. The Tournament Director has the right to delay or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. Tournament waters may also be restricted due to bad weather or other conditions.


Competitors in DBM 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. 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 tournament will not be tolerated and shall be cause for immediate disqualification from this and all subsequent DBM tournaments. 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 the tournament waters. Any act of a competitor which reflects unfavorably upon DBM’s efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy shall be reason for disqualification. No alcoholic beverages or other stimulants or depressants shall be allowed in a boat during official practice or competitor days or in the weigh-in area. No competitor will be allowed to have alcoholic beverages in the weigh-in area until that competitor has completed weigh-in. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other crimes involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably on DBM’s efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship and compliance with tournament rules shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and disqualification.

If a member is disqualified due to section 7 of the tournament rules, the tournament committee shall meet and discuss the findings with both the boater and the non-boater. If the infraction was a result of only one member the tournament committee shall make a recommendation to the tournament director that only the one member be disqualified.


Only artificial lures may be used. No live bait or prepared bait will be permitted with the exception of pork strips, rinds, etc. Only one casting, spin-casting, or spinning rod (8 foot maximum length from the butt of the handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. All other types are prohibited. Other rigs as specified above may be in the boat ready for use, however only one is permitted in use at any given time. All bass must be caught alive and in a conventional sporting manner. Snagging or snatching bass on spawning beds is prohibited. No gaffs may be used to boat bass nor be permitted in the boat at any time.


Maximum horsepower for all outboard engines used in official practice and competition shall not exceed the horsepower limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard (U.S.C.G.) in their ruling of Nov. 1, 1972. When required, each boat must have a U.S.C.G. horsepower rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. Any boat manufactured prior to Nov. 1, 1972 must adhere to that rating set by the U.S.C.G. for similar boats. Falsifying information on the entry forms or altering the horsepower rating numbers on the motor is cause for immediate disqualification.


For the Safety of all contestants, all boats must be equipped with some type of operable ignition kill switch. This ignition kill device must be attached to the drives body any time the combustion engine is operating. Any time the combustion engine is operating and in gear there must be a driver in the drivers seat and in full control of the boat. Fishing boats may be used that are 15 feet or more in length and legally powered by an outboard motor with a horsepower rating of 50 HP or greater. Unless on a wakeless or an electric motor only lake, then the boat can be powered by an electric motor. Must still be 15 feet, sea worthy and be approved by Tournament Director. A small electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering. However, trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. All bladder tanks and any other type of auxiliary gas tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional gas tanks that are factory options and installed by a manufacturers authorized dealer are legal. Boats not having factory installed gas tanks that meet U.S.C.G. regulations. Gas tanks must be properly secured or strapped in a boat. No barges or similar cumbersome craft will be permitted. No boat equipped with stick steering shall be permitted to be used either during practice or competitor by any contestant.


Every boat must have all required U.S.C.G. Safety equipment. In addition, it must have a functional bilge pump and properly aerated live well space to adequately maintain alive a limit catch of bass by both fishermen using the boat. The Tournament Director shall have sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is proper and adequate.


Each boat must be given, prior to each days’ start, a pre-launch inspection by a designated tournament official.


A full discussion must be held between the two boat partners prior to a morning departure as to the schedule of boat operations. This schedule must permit each partner equal time to fish from the front of the boat and to operate the trolling motor, so as to allow each partner the opportunity to fish his scheduled waters an equal number of hours. When the non-boater operates the trolling motor, he accepts full responsibility for the boat and any repairs due to damage occurring during operation unless related to normal wear and tear. Distance traveled to fishing locations must be considered in order not to deprive either party of fishing time. If a contestant waives the above rights, he retains the right to select the fishing waters for one-half the tournament day. Any contestant, who in the opinion of the tournament officials operates the boat in such a manner as to impair his partner shall be disqualified. In view of the large expense of owning and maintaining a boat, the non-boater shall pay minimum of 1/2 the cost of gas and oil for the day.


Tournament waters shall be established by the Tournament Director for each tournament. Each competitor must obtain this information from the Tournament Director. Fishing on tournament water is permitted anywhere except within 50 yards of any marina gas pump or within 50 yards of another competitors’ boat who was anchored first with the trolling motor up and secured in a fixed position. No anchored boat shall permit selected boats within that 50 yards minimum to the exclusion of other contestants’ boats. Any area within the designated tournament waters posted as off-limits or no fishing by the governing agencies shall be off-limits. Also, the bass release area established by the Tournament Director will be off-limits and announced at the tournament briefing. If a contestant misses the briefing, it is their responsibility to obtain this information. All angling must be done from the boat.


Contestants must not depart the boat to land fish. Boats must remain in tournament waters during the tournament days. Contestants must leave and return to the official checkpoint by boat. Both competitors must remain in the boat at all times except in case of dire emergency. In such emergency, competitors may be removed from their boat to a boat operated by other competitors or a rescue boat. Partners must remain together at all times, in sight of each other and each others’ catch under the conditions sited above in order for that day catch to be counted. This applies only to dire emergency situations. Trailering of boats during tournament hours is prohibited unless at the direction of the tournament officials.


There shall be only one launch and check-in area for each competition day and these will be identified at the tournament briefing. All boats MUST check-in with the launch official.


Tournament standing and awards will be determined by either the pound and ounce weight (if a weigh tournament) or by points (if a card tournament) of each competitors’ catch during the competition days of the tournament. A conversion table will be utilized during card tournaments to convert length to points. Partners must visually verify and initial each others catch. Only largemouth, spotted or smallmouth bass will be weighed. The limit shall be 5 bass in the aggregate per day unless the prevailing state limit is less than 5 at which time the daily limit will be announced at the tournament briefing. Any deviation from this limit necessary to observe local regulations will be announced at the tournament briefing. Only bass measuring at or greater than the size limit on a “Golden Rule Weigh Board” for a given tournament will be weighed or recorded. Bass presented for weigh-in which fail to measure the official length shall accrue penalties of one pound per bass and the loss of the short fish. This penalty well be deducted from the total tournament score of a competitor. Once a competitors’ catch has been turned over to the weighmaster, no other fish can be added or subtracted. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mauled or other wise altered will be weighed at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

Each competitor who weighs a legal bass and places in a given tournament shall receive YEAR END POINTS on the following basis. 50 for first place, 49 for second place, 48 for third place, graduating to 0 points. competitors who do not weigh-in fish will receive half of the lowest earned points not to exceed 10 points.

YEAR END POINT TOTALS: Point totals will consist of the 4 best scores for the tournament year.


Each competitor is expected to keep their bass alive by use of a properly aerated live well.


For each legal dead bass presented to the weigh-in officials, the competitor shall be penalized four ounces of weight to be deducted from the daily score. Culling of dead fish is prohibited at any time. The

Tournament Director shall have sole authority for assessing penalty points.


Competitors who are not at the official check-in point at the proper time will be penalized at the rate of one pound per minute to be deducted from the days’ catch. Any competitor arriving over 15 minutes past the check-in time will forfeit the total weight of the days’ catch. There will be no excuse for tardiness. After proper recognition at the check-in point, the competitors will be allowed time to proceed to the weigh-in area, all fishing for that day must cease.

21. TIES:

In the case of a tie for first place, the tie will be broken by: most fish, then largest bass, then flip of a coin. In the case of a tie other than 1st place, points and awards will be combined and split evenly.


All Denver Bassmasters Members must enter the DBM club draw to be eligible to fish. If you are not in the draw and wish to join after the draw, you must partner with the first person available from the draw. No one will be allowed to partner with anyone prior to the draw. Any infraction of this rule will be cause for revocation of club membership. Two contestants will be paired by drawing at the tournament briefing. Second day partners will be paired by reversing the field. It is the responsibility of the contestants to attend the briefing and maintain contact during the tournament.

Tournament officials shall have no responsibility for finding missing partners. Paired contestants must remain in sight of each other and each others catch during the official tournament day. A contestant must not allow a bass caught by him to be counted on the card of another. In such a case, dual disqualification’s from this and future DBM tournaments will be assessed.


All tournament water will be off-limits starting at 12:01 AM on the Monday immediately preceding the official pre-fish or tournament day (when no official pre-fish day is provided) until the start of the official tournament period.


All protests must be presented in writing to the Tournament Director within 30 minutes of the end of the official tournament day. All formal protests will be acted upon by the Tournament Director at the tournament. All involved parties will be interviewed by the Tournament Director. A competitor who is charged with a rule violation or protest may appeal the Tournament Director decision by:

A. Immediately notifying the Tournament Director of wish to appeal. The Tournament Director will then convene a Tournament Committee made up of all Club Officers and Board Members present at that tournament.

B. All parties involved will separately state their case to the Tournament Committee in person.

C. The Tournament Committee will discuss then vote on the appeal. The Tournament Director will only vote in the case of a tie. The decision of the Tournament Committee is final.


DBM encourages the use of patches, logos, and other signage to promote sponsors and supporters.


None of the above rules shall prohibit a properly designated tournament official from approaching or boarding any competitors boat at any time during the pre-fish or competition days.