Fishing tournaments are a whole lot of fun. But, like most competitions, there are rules and regulations that must be adhered to.
Participants must know them and abide by them or risk disqualification. The following rules are used for Bass Tournaments, but basically will be the same for most any fishing tournament.
The person in charge is the tournament director. He or she says when to launch boats, when to return for weigh- in, record the length and weights of the fish that have been weighed, and to determine if the weather is safe to go, make certain all anglers are wearing life jackets, running lights are on, call the launch order and watch for any problem boats (down deep, wishing he were on his way with them). As soon as the last boat is called, that's when he gets into his boat and gets going, hoping no one is in his spot when he gets there.
After about six or seven hours, they come back. Launch order is the order anglers follow for weigh-in. Each angler brings their bag of fish with plenty of water to the scales to keep them alive, as you do not want any dead fish at the scales. If you do, there is a penalty for dead fish (one of the rules).
If the weigh master thinks a fish is under set size for the tournament, the angler will have to measure him. The penalty for either infraction can be costly. For example: If a fish is under the set size and brought to the scales there will be a penalty assessed of disqualification of the short fish "and" the largest fish by weight in his creel. The penalty for dead fish is 8 ounces per dead fish. The penalty weights are subtracted from the total weight of all your fish that have been weighed. What's left is your actual tournament weight.
The tournament director is like the New Sheriff in town.
The rewards come to the victors, usually the first three places with the most weight and depending as to how many anglers, will depend as to how great the reward. As the saying goes the more the merrier, more anglers the better the rewards.
The next print will list area Bass Clubs, names and phone numbers to contact and get information on their Club. In the meantime Stay Safe, Have fun, and go catch a biggun.
Joe Kubik is a tournament fisherman and former Charter Captain. Joe can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org