1) 2024 ELIGIBILITY: All individuals, 16 years of age or older with a paid entry fee and a current paid membership to Joe Bass Team Trail is eligible to fish. A parent or legal guardian must accompany anyone under 16 years of age. A team may consist of one (1) angler per boat or two (2) anglers per boat. Antique Division requires 1 angler on the team to be 50 years of age or older. The Director reserves the right to reject any entry if he feels that it is not in the best interest of Joe Bass Team Trail.
2) ENTRY/MEMBERSHIP FEE: Entry fee is $180.00 per team which includes Big Bass. Entries will be accepted by mail, on-line, fax, or may be paid at the ramp. NO late fees will apply. There will be a yearly membership fee of $50.00 per angler. Memberships expire seasonally. Take off positions are determined by order of paid entry. Paid entry fees may be transferred with Joe Bass Team Trail approval. Deposits will be lost without notification to Joe Bass Team Trail. $10.00 per entry will be used for tournament operational fees. 1 membership required per angler, good in all divisions. Ramp launch fees are paid by the competing teams.
3) INSURANCE: Boat owners must have at least $300,000.00 of Boating Liability Insurance. Proof of insurance may be asked for at any time and may be a question on the polygraph test.
4) PAYBACK: One (1) place for every five (5) teams entered. 80% payback of paid entries. Maximum 25 paid places. Two (2) Big Bass places will be paid at each event. Only 1 big bass weighed per team, chosen by team member. PRIZE ELIGIBILITY: You must be in attendance to win.
5) POINTS: Each team will automatically receive 10 show up points. In addition to show up points, 1st will receive 200 points, 2nd 199, 3rd 198, and so on. Each team will select one division to fish. All points earned will be assigned to that division. Position ties will be awarded equal points.
6) INVITATIONAL QUALIFICATION: To qualify for Invitational both members must fish at least four (4) regular season tournaments. Qualification paths include; 1) Place in the top forty percent (40%) by points in your selected division. 2) Or fish 5 season events which will be automatic. 1 buy-in is allowed. If a team is unable to compete in the Invitational the next team in points will be added. The overall field in each regular division will consist of all teams that fish one (1) or more tournament during the year. Alternates cannot be used however with approval another qualified angler would be allowed to pair with and fish if circumstances require it. Joe Bass Team Trail reserves the right to qualify up to five (5) teams per division as wildcards when deemed necessary.
7) DIVISION POINT CHAMPIONS: The division point’s champions will be decided on their best four (4) finishes within each division. The Open division will be the best four (4) tournaments. All divisional point’s champions will receive their entry fee paid into the Team Championship and Tournament of Champions. Plus boat #1 positioning the following season, excluding Open. Tournament of Champions will be held within the regular Invitational. Division Champions will be fishing for the following season membership plus 5 entries.
8) ALTERNATES: A team may use two (2) alternates per season/per division or fish by themselves. Does not apply to Open Division where you can use any number of alternates
9) CHECK-IN and PRE-MEETING: One team member must check in the morning of tournament. A pre-meeting will take place on the water approximately five (5) minutes prior to the official start. Idle by live well checks may take place at any time either on or off the water.
10) SCORING: Largemouth, small mouth, and spotted bass will be scored, five (5) fish limit. All lake rules apply. A short fish will result in the loss of all fish and disqualification. A dead fish will result in a .50 (1/2) pound penalty per fish. No more than five (5) fish are allowed in live well (in possession) at any time. Anyone bringing more than five (5) fish to the weigh-in scales will not be allowed to weigh in ANY fish. Gator Grip Golden Rule will be the official measuring board. A courtesy bump tub will be provided.
11) LOCATIONS: Anywhere on the tournament lake except 50 yards of another contestant’s anchored boat, trolling motor up. Also any area marked off limits or no fishing by the Corp of Engineers, local, state, or Federal officials. Any additional off limits will be announced at the pre-tournament meeting. All host ramps will be deemed OFF LIMITS during tournament hours.
12) TIES: All ties will be broken by 1) big bass, 2) most fish weighed in, 3) by earliest entry. (there will be no ties)
13) LATE PENALTY: All anglers are due back at announced check-in time. Being late will result in disqualification – NO EXCEPTIONS. Official time will be determined by mobile phone.
14) TACKLE and EQUIPMENT: Only artificial lures and pork style baits are allowed. All bass must be caught on a rod and reel. Only one rod and reel in use at any time.
15) PROTEST: All protests must be submitted in writing to the tournament director within five (5) minutes of the weigh-in completion. Decisions of the Tournament Committee shall be final in all matters and are not subject to appeal.
16) QUALITY ASSURANCE TESTING: By contestants’ signature on entry form and/or participation in these tournaments, the contestants agree to any quality assurance tests if required by the Tournament Director.
17) BOATS and MOTORS: Any boat, 14 feet or longer, meeting Coast Guard requirements with a functional kill switch and properly aerated live well will be accepted.
18) SAFETY and SPORTSMANSHIP: Safe boating must be observed at all times. Life jackets and kill switches must be used any time the combustion motor is running above an idle. All contestants are required to follow the highest degree of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation. At the discretion of the Tournament Director, tournament days may be shortened or cancelled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. No alcohol or controlled substance can be used or allowed in the boat during tournament hours.
19) SPECIAL SITUATIONS: Breakdown: In the event of a boat breakdown, the team may transfer their fish to another contestant’s boat or rescue boat for transport to the weigh-in site, meeting the following conditions; the fish must be placed in a segregated livewell and one member of the breakdown team must accompany those fish to the weigh-in site. Contestants may not depart the boat to land fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Contestants must leave and return to official checkpoint by boat. Early Departure: Any team departing prior to weigh in from the tournament lake, must contact the tournament director or appointed staff member. Cell Phones: We encourage all contestants to have a cell phone in their boat for emergency use only. Joe Bass emergency phone number 417-818-3898
20) LIKENESS/PHOTO RELEASE: In consideration for permission to participate in the tournament, I hereby grant to Joe Bass Team Trail LLC, its assignees and/or licenses (collectively “Sponsors”), the unconditional right to use my name, voice, photographic likeness, biographical information, fishing tips and/or instructions in any medium whatsoever, including but not limited to video/audio productions, merchandising, promotions, articles, and/or press releases, in connection with Joe Bass Team Trail LLC, without restriction as to changes or alterations from time to time. I understand that I will not be entitled to receive any royalties or other compensation in connection with such use.
21) COVENANT NOT TO SUE AND WAIVER OF SUBROGATION: I further agree that I will never sue Joe Bass Team Trail LLC or staff, for damages on account of any injury, death or damage I suffer or cause whether known now or which may develop in the future. In the event Joe Bass Team Trail LLC or staff, are sued because of my actions, I expressly agree to indemnify and hold Joe Bass Team Trail LLC and staff, harmless from any liability whatsoever, including court costs and attorney’s fee, arising with respect to such actions. I understand that in waiving my rights to sue Joe Bass Team Trail LLC or staff, I am also waiving the rights of recovery from Joe Bass Team Trail LLC or staff, of my insurance carrier for any claims they may pay on my behalf.
22) KNOWLEDGE OF THESE RULES IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH CONTESTANT. Failure to read these rules or ignorance of them is no excuse. Any announcements made by the Tournament Director at the tournament site take precedent over written rules. The decision of the Tournament Director shall be final in all matters and are not subject to appeal.
23) I SIGNIFY by my signature on an entry form that I have read all tournament rules and liability release and agree to abide by all rules, regulations, releases and tournament official’s decisions.