Oak Orchard River Bass Anglers

Tournament Rules





Participation in club point tournaments is open to club members only.  Club point tournaments are open to all club members in good standing.  No other participants are allowed.

Participation in the club’s annual Classic tournament is by qualification only and is limited to the Top Ten point qualifiers from the club’s final Angler of the Year point standings.  Substitutions are not allowed.

Non-participants are not allowed in a contestant’s boat during club tournaments without prior approval of the Tournament Director.


Club members must register with the Tournament Director prior to fishing in any club tournament.  There is a mandatory registration fee for each point tournament of $5.00 per registrant, including family members.  This mandatory registration fee shall be utilized as follows: $2.00 to the Classic Fund; $2.00 to the State Team Fund; and $1.00 to the club’s general fund.

There is also a prize fund entry fee for each point tournament.  The prize fund entry fee is $25.00 per registrant per point tournament.  This $25.00 prize fund entry fee shall be utilized as follows: $20.00 to three separate total weight prizes and $5.00 to a single lunker prize.

The prize fund entry fee is optional for family members (spouses, significant others, children and grandchildren between the ages of 10 and 17 years of age).  Covered family members have the option of entering both the total weight and the lunker prize funds, only the total weight prize fund, only the lunker prize fund or neither prize fund.  Prize funds will not be paid to any covered family member who did not pay the appropriate prize fund entry fee during tournament registration.

Club members who arrive late at a tournament site, after the tournament has already started, are still eligible to compete in the tournament.   The late arriving member must locate a club member on the water, notify that club member of the late arriving member’s intent to compete in the tournament and then submit their boat to a live well inspection.  Late arrivals are not permitted to begin fishing in a tournament until after such notification and live well inspection has taken place.  At the conclusion of the tournament, the late arriving member must pay appropriate registration and prize fund entry fees before weighing in.


Member non-boaters are encouraged to make arrangements to fish with a member boater before the start of point tournaments.  If, on the day of a point tournament, a member non-boater has not made arrangements to fish with a member boater, the unpaired member non-boater must so inform the Tournament Director during registration.  A random draw will then be held involving only member boaters who are registered to fish alone.  The random draw will pair the unpaired member non-boater with a member boater for that tournament only.  Member boaters will not be paired with an unpaired member non-boater by random draw more than once per tournament season.


Safe and courteous boating conduct must be observed at all times.  This includes compliance with all Federal and State laws as well as tournament rules and regulations.

Each tournament contestant is required to wear a fastened, U.S. Coast Guard approved personal floatation device (life jacket) anytime that the outboard engine is in operation during tournament hours.

Blast-offs at club tournaments are prohibited.  All club tournament starts will be staggered ease-offs.  The order of ease-off will be determined by random draw during registration.

For safety reasons, any contestant departing a tournament early or making a run to connected water bodies during the tournament must notify another contestant of their early departure or their intention to run to connected waters.

Boat insurance is mandatory for all boats used in club tournaments.  Member boat owners must provide a valid certificate of boat insurance showing a minimum of $300,000.00 in watercraft liability coverage on their boat in order to use it in club tournaments.


Contestants are expected to follow the highest standards of sportsmanship, safety, fair play and conservation, including compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations.

Cell phones are not to be used for the exchange of fishing information during tournament hours.

A contestant cited for violation of NYS Fishing Regulations must report that citation to the Tournament Director prior to weigh-in.  The cited contestant will AUTOMATICALLY be disqualified.

Any infraction of fundamental sporting principles or other State or Federal laws may be cause for disqualification.

Drunkenness by a contestant during a tournament will not be tolerated and will be cause for AUTOMATIC disqualification.

Illegal drugs and alcoholic beverages are not permitted in contestants’ boats during tournament hours.

Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times especially with regard to boating or fishing in the vicinity of other contestants or other boats that may be on the water.  Contestants shall use the utmost discretion when moving into an area with other contestants or other fishermen so as to not cut off, crowd or otherwise interfere with the contestant or other person already fishing the area.  If a contestant moves into an area containing other contestants or other fishermen and is not sure which direction the others are working, the contestant is expected to ask the other contestants or fishermen before beginning to fish.

Any act of a contestant which reflects unfavorably upon the club’s efforts to promote conservation, clean waters, courtesy and fair play may be grounds for disqualification.


Only artificial lures may be used during club tournaments.  Live bait is prohibited and is not allowed in any contestant’s boat during tournament hours.

Only one rod and reel (casting, spin-casting or open faced spinning with a maximum rod length from butt to rod tip of 10’) may be used at any given time.  Other types are prohibited.  Multiple rods and reels, as specified above, may be in the boat rigged and ready for use, but only one such rod and reel may be in use at any given time.

An electric motor may be used for slow maneuvering and boat positioning.   Trolling, as a method of fishing, is prohibited.


For each boat that has a Coast Guard rating plate attached to it by the manufacturer the horsepower rating of the outboard motor used on that boat must not exceed the rating specified on the rating plate.  Any boat that has no rating plate must adhere to ratings set by the Coast Guard for similar boats.

Each tournament contestant agrees to allow tournament officials to inspect their boat, live wells and outboard motor at any time.

Normal maintenance to increase the performance of an outboard motor is allowed.  Changing or altering standard factory parts of an outboard motor to increase the horsepower over factory horsepower rating is prohibited and will result in automatic disqualification.


Each contestant’s boat must be equipped with ALL required Coast Guard safety equipment.

Each contestant’s boat must also have a properly functioning, aerated live well.  The use of stringers is prohibited.

Tournament officials reserve the right to check any contestant’s boat, boating equipment and live wells at any time.


Since the club does not routinely pair member boaters with member non-boaters, decisions concerning boat operation and expense are left to the discretion of those members that fish together.  The club does recommend that member non-boaters reimburse member boaters for at least 50% of daily operating expenses.

When the club does pair a member boater with a member non-boater by random draw, the paired members are expected to reach a mutual arrangement that is equitable and fair to both parties prior to the start of the tournament.  The arrangement should include an equitable process for selection of fishing locations, boat operation and the sharing of operating expenses.

Any member boater that is determined to have operated their boat in a manner that unfairly handicaps a member non-boater shall be disqualified.


Tournament waters will be designated by the Tournament Director and announced to all contestants prior to the start of each tournament.  Fishing on tournament waters during tournament hours is permitted in any area that is not posted and is open to the general public, except within 50 yards of another contestant’s boat that is anchored or has its power poles down with the trolling motor raised in a stored position.

Any contestant claiming exclusive right to a 50 yard circle while anchored must so indicate verbally to any other contestants whom he believes are infringing upon that circle.  Failure to verbally claim exclusive right to the 50 yard circle nullifies any right of exclusiveness and no contestant shall permit selected competitors to fish within the 50 yard circle to the exclusion of any other contestants.

All angling must be done from the boat and all boats must remain in tournament waters during tournament hours.  Contestants must remain in the boat at all times.  When paired with another angler, both contestants must remain in sight of each other and each other’s catch, except that, leaving the boat to use bathroom facilities is permitted.

During the last 15 minutes of club tournaments, fishing within 50 yards of the launch site is prohibited.


There shall be only one official checkpoint for registration and weigh-in.  The checkpoint shall be designated by the Tournament Director prior to the start of each tournament.

All contestants shall depart from, and return to, the official checkpoint by water.

Trailering of boats to the checkpoint is prohibited and shall result in AUTOMATIC disqualification.


Tournament winners and tournament standings shall be determined using the club’s point system which is based on the pounds and ounces weight of each contestant’s total catch less any appropriate penalty.  Only largemouth and smallmouth black bass will be weighed and awarded points.

The club daily limit shall be the State daily limit unless otherwise specified by the Tournament Director.  Under no circumstances shall the club daily limit exceed the State daily limit.

Contestants shall not, at any time, be in possession of more than the State daily limit.

Bass must be at least 12 inches in length to be weighed and awarded points.

Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure 12 inches in length will not be weighed and will accrue penalties at the rate of 1 pound for each short fish.  This penalty weight will be deducted from the total weight of the contestant’s daily catch.

All bass must be caught alive and in a conventional sporting manner.

Any bass that appear to have been mauled, mashed, mangled or otherwise altered will be weighed and credited only at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

Contestants must be physically present at the scales when their fish are weighed and any questions regarding total weight or lunker weight must be voiced before the fish are removed from the scales.


Contestants who bring in bass that are dead, or in a condition determined to be unfit for live release, will be penalized 4 ounces for each such fish.  The Tournament Director shall determine whether each fish is fit for live release.

Bass that are penalized as dead, or unfit for live release, are the property of the contestant who presented it for weigh-in.  It is the responsibility of that contestant to insure that the bass is used in a productive manner.

Under no circumstances are dead fish, or fish determined to be unfit for live release, to be released back into tournament waters.

The culling of dead bass is strictly prohibited.  Dead bass must immediately become part of a contestant’s daily catch.


Contestants who are not back at the official checkpoint at the appointed time will be penalized at the rate of 1 pound for each minute, or portion thereof, that they are late.

Late penalty weight is to be deducted from both total weight and any individual weight to be counted towards a lunker prize.

Any contestant more than 15 minutes late will be AUTOMATICALLY disqualified, their catch will not be weighed and they will not receive credit for their catch.

Under no circumstances will a contestant be allowed to make up lost tournament time.

Exact start and check-in times will be announced prior to the commencement of the tournament.


Point Tournaments:

3 Total Weight Prizes: First Place: 50%; Second Place: 30%; Third Place: 20%;

1 Lunker Prize: First Place: 100%.

Classic Tournament:

A $30 Classic entry fee is mandatory for all Classic qualifiers.   The $30 entry fee shall be utilized as follows: $25.00 to one total weight prize and $5.00 to one lunker prize.

1 Total Weight Prize: First Place: 100% of total weight prize entry fees and 100% of the club’s Classic Fund.

1 Lunker Prize: First Place: 100% of lunker prize entry fees.

16. TIES

Ties for total weight will be broken by comparing the single heaviest bass, less any penalty weight, of each tied contestant.  The contestant with the single heaviest bass, less any penalty weight, shall be deemed the winner.

If after comparing the single heaviest bass a tie still exists, the following procedure shall apply:

1) In the case of a tie for First Place, a one hour fish-off shall be held.  The contestant with the heaviest total weight at the end of the fish-off shall be the winner.  If after the fish-off a tie still exists, co-winners will be declared and prize funds will be combined and divided equally.

2) In the case of a tie for any other money position, the tied individuals shall split prize funds equally.

Under no circumstances will prize funds be distributed to anyone who fails to weigh-in bass.  If no bass are weighed in at a tournament, prize fund entry fees will be refunded to those that paid them.  Registration fees will not be refunded.


Protests must be filed with the Tournament Director within 15 minutes of the completion of weigh-in.  Protests must be specific and factual.  Protests will be answered prior to the awarding of prize money and points.


All decisions of the Tournament Director are final.  There is no appeal.

The Tournament Director reserves the right to change or alter these rules and regulations as is necessary for the smooth operation of club tournaments.

Any and all such changes or alterations shall be announced prior to the start of the tournament.

The Tournament Director reserves the right to cancel any tournament for cause.  All such cancellations shall be announced at least 24 hours prior to the scheduled start of said tournament.  In the event that 24 hour advance notice cannot be provided to all members, cancellations shall only take place at the scheduled tournament site and on the morning of the scheduled tournament.


Violation of any of these rules and regulations shall be cause for tournament disqualification.

Violation of any of these rules and regulations may be cause for revocation of club membership.



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