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The following rules are for the 2024 Berkley Big Bass Tournament on Lake Fork October 19th & 20th, 2024.

To protect the integrity of Bass Champs and our anglers, all winners will be subject to a polygraph exam before the prizes are distributed at each event. Contestants must pass the polygraph exam at the tournament site to receive prize money and awards for the event. The Tournament Director reserves the rights to waive any violation of these rules that are disclosed to him before the polygraph exam, in his sole and absolute discretion.
• All contestants must use Berkley baits EXCLUSIVELY during this event. The complete line up may be viewed at www.purefishing.com
• Spinner bait frames, jig heads, buzz bait frames, etc. may be used only when broken down to terminal tackle where ALL skirts and plastics have been removed and replaced with ONLY BERKLEY / PURE FISHING BRAND OF PRODUCTS.
• All terminal tackle must include a “functional” full length Berkley skirt and/or Berkley soft plastic.
• Non-Berkley skirts and soft plastic trailers are NOT permitted.

2.  RULES:
Decisions of the Tournament Director are final and are not subject to appeal. Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the Tournament Director in his sole and absolute discretion. Each competitor agrees to report any rule violation to the Tournament Director immediately upon discovery of the violation. The violation of a tournament rule may result in weight loss, the loss of weight up to a specific time during the tournament day, total loss of weight for that particular day, the ineligibility to participate in future Bass Champs events, or any other penalty deemed appropriate by the Tournament Director in his sole discretion. Protests must be made in writing within 10 minutes of the official closing of the scales at each tournament day.

• No membership fee is required for this event.
• Participation is open to all amateur anglers who are 18 years old and older. Any person entering a Bass Champs Big Bass Event under the age of 18 years must also have the signature of their parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the official entry form and written consent from parent or legal guardian specifically permitting such contestant under the age of 18 to participate in the Big Bass Event with the contestant who is 18 years old or older.
• Bass Champs Tournaments are open to all anglers except professional anglers. A professional angler is defined as:
1. Any angler that has entered more than one bass tournament that required an entry fee greater than $2,500 in the immediately preceding six (6) months prior to the date of the 2024 Berkley Big Bass Event.
2. Any angler that has guided for Bass (as defined in Rule 16 below) on tournament waters within 90 days of the official event for any method of compensation.
• All Contestants must have a valid fishing license.

Contestants may not be on Lake Fork Reservoir for the purpose of fishing between:

• 8:00pm Friday, October 18th, 2024 thru 4:30am Saturday, October 19th, 2024.
• 8:00pm Saturday, October 19th, 2024 thru 4:30am Sunday, October 20th, 2024.

Competitors may launch from any ramp on Lake Fork. Fishing will begin at 6:30am on competition days. The official start time will be broadcast by KMOO 99.9 radio. The scales will open the top ½ of every hour beginning at 8:00am. Scales are closed the bottom ½ of each hour. The final weigh-in will begin at 2:00pm and end at 2:30pm each competition day.

You may launch your boat prior to 4:30am, however, you may not leave the immediate launching or dockage area until 4:30am competition day. Electronics may be used for navigational purposes only before 6:30am on competition day. No Casting or Fishing may occur until 6:30am on competition day. Contestants must use established boat ramps on Lake Fork; no launching from banks, levees, causeways, or similar locations. Contestants may not launch into areas on Lake Fork that are not accessible by contestants boat from the main lake.

Each contestant must register in person at Lake Fork Marina during the official registration hours:
• 11:00am-7:00pm Friday October 18th
• 5:00am-7:00am Saturday October 19th
• 5:00am-7:00am Sunday October 20th
A completed and signed entry form & release must be received before the start of competition.

* There is no discount for Junior Anglers for this event.

Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant is required to wear a fastened (fully zipped and/or all clips fastened), U.S. Coast Guard approved, personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation during official tournament hours. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition shut-off device, which must be securely attached to the driver's body any time the combustion engine is in operation. The driver must be seated in the driver's seat anytime the combustion engine is engaged in gear. Tournament day may be shortened or canceled due to unsafe weather or any conditions that would endanger the safety of the competitors at the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek shelter in bad weather, at which time no fishing may occur.

Only artificial Berkley Baits/Pure Fishing baits may be used.
Only one fishing rod per angler may be used at any one time. Additional rods may be in the boat and ready for use; however, each cast and retrieve must be completed before another cast is attempted or rod is used. Trolling with the combustion engine as a method of fishing is prohibited. All bass must be caught alive, in a conventional, sporting manner. All angling must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish, or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Bank and dock fishing is not permissible.

All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any mind-altering substance during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure;
- Any previous conviction, charge, arrest, or investigation for a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime related to, arising out of, or involving any fishing tournament or event, except with full, prior written disclosure to the Tournament Director under oath and by affidavit of all facts and circumstances surrounding such conviction, charge, arrest, or investigation at least ten (10) days before the Bass Champs event being entered, and thereafter subject to the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion that such conviction, charge, arrest, or investigation does not result in the Contestant’s honesty, integrity, character or qualifications to enter the event being unreasonably questionable;
- Actions or words which reflect unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, and fair competition;
- Chemical substance abuse or addiction;
- Disqualification from Bass Champs tournaments or other fishing organizations that resulted from unexplained rule violations that result in a contestant’s honesty, integrity, character, and qualifications for entry into a Bass Champs event being questionable is the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion.
Upon review of the circumstances by tournament director, Bass Champs, Inc., and the Tournament Director shall have the right to refuse any application, or to deny a confirmed application, by returning the entry fee of a previously accepted application, or disqualifying a contestant. Bass Champs reserves the right to place an official observer in a contestant's boat at any time during competition hours.

During hours of competition, contestants may not receive fishing information from non-competitors or participate in the practice of "hole sitting." The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc., to communicate fishing information during tournament hours is strictly prohibited. In the event of an emergency call “911” first and then contact tournament officials at 817-439-3274.

Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated live well space to maintain alive a limit catch of bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition may not exceed the horsepower limitations as set by the U. S. Coast Guard in such vessel. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating plate to conceal such limitations will be cause for disqualification from the tournament.

Contestants may fish anywhere on navigable tournament waters on Lake Fork accessible by boat, except areas designated as "off limits" or "no fishing" by state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a competitor's boat which was first anchored (an anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight with the trolling motor in the up position), or within 25 yards of a non-anchored competitor's boat unless otherwise agreed upon by the other tournament angler. The act of moving bass from one area of the lake to another confined area of the same lake at any time, whether or not during practice days or competition days, is not permitted.

Boats may have up to 3 paid entrants aboard. Non-contestants are not allowed in any competitor boats.

Trailering is allowed throughout the competition days. Anglers may launch and leave from any available location on Lake Fork.

Only Largemouth, Spotted, or Smallmouth Bass are accepted species. Only one (1) bass per individual, per hour, may be submitted for the hourly payout. There is no limit on the number of hours an individual may submit their catch to the scales. Bass entered in the Big Bass of the Hour contest do not carry forward from hour to hour. Your biggest bass is registered into the final overall standings. No contestant may possess more than 3 bass at any time during the tournament. Any contestant who possesses more than the tournament limit at any time will have their catch for that day disqualified. All Bass caught during the first competition day not presented to the scales must be released back into Lake Fork before the start of day two competition, only Bass caught during official tournament day and hours may be presented to the scales. Switching or sharing fish with other contestants is a violation of these rules and will result in immediate disqualification. Contestants may possess only one (1) over slot fish at any time as part of their 3 bass limit. Contestants may present only one (1) fish per hour. Any artificially weighed, preserved, or altered bass will be disqualified and that contestant will be subject to prosecution under state and federal laws.

Only live bass will be weighed-in during the event. Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live well. The use of chemical live well additives made by Sure-Life which promote the healthy return of bass to their natural habitat are recommended. No dead bass will be weighed.

Lake Fork is a slot lake. No bass over 16 inches or under 24 inches in length may be presented to the scales. Bass will be measured with mouth closed, tail compressed and swiped to achieve overall greatest length. The Pro-Rule is the official measuring board of Bass Champs. Any contestant who receives a citation from TPWD for presenting a "slot" fish to the scales will be disqualified from violation point forward each tournament day.

19.  TIES:
A tie for the overall biggest bass over or under the slot will be determined by the contestant’s second largest bass weighed-in during tournament hours. In the event that a winner may not be determined by the above stated method, the winner will be determined by which angler weighed-in the winning fish first. If no bass are presented to the scales over the slot, the over the slot boat will be presented to the largest legal bass presented to the scales, while the second largest legal bass presented to the scales will be awarded the under the slot boat. All other ties will be resolved by splitting equally all money involved in the tie.

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