Rules TBTT

Tournament Rules

2023 Trader Bill’s Tournament Trail Rules

1. WE RESERVE THE RIGHT TO REFUSE ENTRY OF ANY APPLICANT AT OUR DESCRETION.

2. PARTICIPANTS & ELIGIBILTY: PARTICIPATION IN EACH TOURNAMENT IS OPEN TO ALL MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING. NON-MEMBERS MAY JOIN BY ENCLOSING A $200.00 MEMBERSHIP FEE PER TEAM AND DECLARING A PARTNER. ENTRY FEE IS $300.00, PER QUALIFING TOURNAMENT. IF A TEAM DID NOT ATTEND THE FIRST MANDATORY MEETING & WANTS TO FISH A MID SEASON EVENT, THE TEAM MUST ATTEND A MANDATORY 1 HOUR ORIENTATION AND PAY MEMBERSHIPS AND TOURNAMENT FEE. 

3. REGISTRATION: EACH TEAM CAN REGISTER AT TRADER BILL’S OR ONLINE. BOAT NUMBERS WILL BE DRAWN ON FRIDAY NIGHT ON OR ABOUT 7 PM AT TRADER BILL’S. ALL ENTRIES AFTER THIS TIME WILL BE GIVEN THE NEXT IN ORDER OF ENTRY. WE ACCEPT ALL MAJOR CREDIT CARDS WITH A $15.00 PER TOURNAMENT HANDLING FEE. ENTRY FEES CAN BE PAID ONLINE, OR IN STORE AT TRADER BILLS IN HOT SPRINGS OR LITTLE ROCK. MEMBERSHIPS ARE $200 PER TEAM. ALL QUALIFER TOURNAMENTS ARE A $300 ENTRY. THE CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT IS A $300 ENTRY. TEAMS MUST BE REGISTERED BY THE WEDSNESDAY BEFORE EACH TOURNAMENT BY 11:59PM . A $25 LATE FEE WILL BE ESTABLISHED FOR ANYONE REGISTERED AFTER THE CUT OFF PERIOD.  REFUNDS ARE ONLY GIVEN IN MEDICAL EMERGENCY SITUATION OF ANGLER AND WILL BE DETERMINED BY OFFICAL. NO REFUNDS ARE GIVEN THE DAY OF TOURNAMENT OR AFTER. 

4. SAFETY: SAFE BOATING WILL BE OBSERVED AT ALL TIMES. EACH PARTICIPANT IS REQUIRED TO WEAR A FASTENED U.S. COAST GUARD APPROVED LIFE PRESERVER ANYTIME THE BOAT IS ON PLANE. ALL BOATS MUST BE EQUIPPED WITH A KILL SWITCH.

5. SPORTSMANSHIP AND CODE OF CONDUCT: TRADER BILL’S HAS THE RIGHT TO REFUSE or DISQUALIFY ANY PARTICIPANT TO PARTICIPATE IN ANY TRADER BILL’S TOURNAMENT.  ALL PARTICIPANTS ARE REQUIRED TO FOLLOW THE HIGHEST STANDARDS OF SPORTSMANSHIP AND CONSERVATION. Anglers participating in any Trader Bill’s event shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules for the specific event in which they are participating.  Anglers and family members of anglers shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates integrity, honor and respect toward fellow competitors, tournament staff and the general public and does not reflect unfavorably on Trader Bill’s, its members, officers, representatives, tournaments, or sponsors.  This includes social media of all kinds.  Integrity, honor and the respect for others for all members, family and the Trader Bill’s organization will be strictly upheld.  Trader Bill’s reserves the right to make all judgment calls on negative actions and all decisions are final.
Anglers have the right to make a complaint or grievance, but must be done in writing and within 10 minutes of the closing of the scales during a tournament.

6. BOAT AND MOTOR REGULATIONS: EACH BOAT MUST MEET ALL U.S. COAST GUARD AND STATE REGULATIONS.

7. TOURNAMENT HOURS: FISHERMEN WILL BE ALLOWED TO LAUNCH THEIR BOAT FROM ANY PUBLIC RAMP 1 HOUR BEFORE SUNRISE.  THEY CAN THEN IDLE UNTIL 30 MINUTES BEFORE SUNRISE, THEN RUN ON PLANE TO THEIR STARTING SPOT.  AT SUNRISE THEY CAN START FISHING.  ALL STARTING TIMES WILL BE SPECIFIED BEFORE THE TOURNAMENT. AT 3:00 PM THEY MUST HAVE THERE LINES OUT OF THE WATER.  THE WEIGH IN CHECK IN CUT OFF TIME WILL BE 3:30PM.  NO ONE WILL BE ALLOWED TO CHECK IN LAND WEIGH AFTER 3:30 PM.  BOATS CAN BE TRAILERED TO THE WEIGH IN SITE. IN CASE OF FOG A BOAT SPEED LIMIT OF 30 MPH WILL BE IN EFFECT. UNDER HEAVY FOG WITH VERY LITTLE VISIBLITY THE DIRECTOR MAY CALL FOR A DELAY.  OFF LIMITS WILL BE MONDAY– FRIDAY THE WEEK OF THE TOURNAMENT UNTIL LAUNCH TIME THE DAY OF THE TOURNAMENT.

8. PERMITED FISHING LOCATIONS: PARTICIPANTS MAY FISH ANYWHERE ACCESSIBLE BY BOAT, EXCEPT AREAS DESIGNATED AS OFF LIMITS, KEEP OUT OR NO BOATS BY FEDERAL, STATE OR LOCAL OFFICIALS OR WITHIN 50 YARDS OF OTHER COMPETITORS WHO WERE FIRST ANCHORED. ALL ANGLING MUST BE FROM THE BOAT. PARTICIPANTS MUST LEAVE FROM AND RETURN TO THE OFFICIAL CHECK POINT, THERE IS ONLY ONE CHECK POINT. FAILURE TO DO SO WILL CAUSE DISQUALIFICATION.

9. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS: ALL BASS MUST BE CAUGHT IN A CONVENTIONAL SPORTING MANNER.  ONLY ARTIFICIAL LURES OR PORK TRAILERS MAY BE USED. NO BAITING ALLOWED. No fishing information may be purchased, bartered, solicited or otherwise received from any person who entered official tournament waters during the established off-limits periods for all Trader Bill’s Team Trail Tournaments

10. PRE-FISHING: YOU MAY ONLY PRE-FISH THE DAY BEFORE THE CHAMPIONSHIP, OTHERWISE LAKE OFF LIMITS WILL BE MONDAY– FRIDAY THE WEEK OF THE TOURNAMENT UNTIL LAUNCH TIME THE DAY OF THE TOURNAMENT

11. TOURNAMENT SCORING: ONLY TEAMS THAT HAVE CHECKED IN AT THE OFFICIAL CHECK POINT, BEFORE THE OFFICIAL ENDING TIME OF THE TOURNAMENT, WILL BE ALLOWED TO WEIGH THEIR CATCH. EACH TEAM IS GIVEN A TEAM NUMBER, THEY MUST BE CHECKED IN WITH DESIGNATED TOURNAMENT OFFICAL BY 3:30  IF YOU CHECK IN LATE YOU WILL NOT GET YOUR WEIGHT OF THE DAY. ONLY LARGE MOUTH, SMALLMOUTH AND SPOTTED BASS WILL BE ACCEPTED. THERE WILL BE A 5 FISH LIMIT PER TEAM ON EVERY LAKE. THE OFFICIAL LENGTH FOR BASS WILL BE 12 INCHES, OR THE LAKE LIMIT. THE LENGTH LIMIT WILL BE THE SAME LENGTH FOR ALL WEIGHABLE FISH FOR EACH LAKE (12” FOR KENTUCKYS, 12” FOR LARGEMOUTH”) IF A TEAM PRESENTS A FISH THAT FAILS TO MEASURE, THE FISH WILL BE RELEASED AND TEAM WILL BE PENALIZED 1 POUND FOR EACH FISH FAILING TO MEASURE. EACH TEAM’S CATCH MUST BE PRESENTED IN WATER FILLED WEIGH-IN BAG WITH AMPLE ROOM FOR THE FISH. WE WILL USE OUR WEIGH IN BAGS AT THE TOURNAMENT. ONLY ONE DEAD FISH PER TEAM WILL BE ALLOWED, AND TEAM WILL RECEIVE A .50 POUND PENALTY ANGLERS ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR PUTTING THEIR FISH BACK INTO THE LAKE.  IF A TEAM DOES NOT, THEY WILL LOSE THEIR POINTS FOR THE DAY.

12. TIES: IN CASE OF TIES, POSITIONS WILL BE RESOLVED BY COMBINING THE AWARDS AND POINTS AND DIVIDED EQUALLY. WHEN PRIZES CANNOT BE DIVIDED, THE WINNER WILL BE DECIDED BY A COIN TOSS.

13. LIABILITY INSURANCE: ALL PARTICIPATING TEAMS ARE REQURIED TO HAVE LIABILITY INSURANCE AS DESCRIBED BY ARKANSAS LAW.

14. ALTERNATES: THERE WILL BE NO ALTERNATES ALLOWED. TEAMS CAN ONLY FISH WITH ONE MEMBER ONLY WITH THE EXCEPTION OF BOTH MEMBERS AND It’s ALTERNATE BEING A MINOR UNDER THE AGE OF 16 AND PRINCIPAL MEMBER HAVE GUARDIANSHIP. THIS MUST BE DECLARED AT ORIGINAL SIGNING OF MEMBERSHIP. IF AN ANGLER NEEDS TO CHANGE PARTNERS A WHOLE NEW TEAM WILL BE CREATED AND ALL POINTS AND WEIGHTS OF ALL PREVIOUS TOURNAMENTS WILL BE FORFEITED. 

15. SCORING & QUALIFICATION: A TEAM’S SCORE WILL BE THE WEIGHT OF THEIR CATCH PLUS POINTS, FIRST RECEIVING 200 POINTS, SECOND RECEIVING 199, ETC. All TOURNAMENTS MUST HAVE A PAID ENTRY FROM TEAM TO BE ELIGIBLE TO FISH THE CHAMPIONSHIP. 

16. LIVE WELLS: MUST BE CHECKED BEFORE YOU LEAVE TOURNAMENT TAKE-OFF POINT. 

17. ALCOHOL OR DRUGS: ALCOHOL OR ILLEGAL DRUGS ARE NOT PERMITTED DURING TOURNAMENT HOURS.

18. PROTEST: A FIVE-PERSON FISHERMAN’S COMMITTEE WILL BE ELECTED TO REPRESENT THE FISHERMAN’S INTEREST. ANY AND ALL PROTEST MUST BE PRESENTED IN WRITING WITHIN 10 MINUTES OF COMPLETION OF WEIGH-IN.

19. A TEAM CANNOT WIN 1ST & 2ND BIG BASS IN ONE TOURNAMENT.

20. CONTESTANTS MAY NOT USE MOBILE COMMUNICATION DEVICES, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO, CELL PHONES, TABLETS, MARINE RADIOS, WALKIE-TALKIES, CBs, ETC., TO COMMUNICATE WITH ANYONE ABOUT LOCATING OR CATCHING FISH ON TOURNAMENT WATERS DURING TOURNAMENT HOURS. MOBILE COMMUNICATION DEVICES MAY BE USED DURING TOURNAMENT HOURS TO COMMUNICATE WITH LOCKMASTERS ABOUT LOCKING OR TO COMMUNICATE WITH THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR. BOATERS MAY USE SMART PHONES AND/OR TABLETS DURING TOURNAMENT HOURS FOR GPS, MAPPING, WEATHER, POWER GENERATION, BARGE TRAFFICE UPDATES, PERSONAL FISHING NOTES AND RELATED DATA. AT NO TIME DURING TOURNAMENT HOURS MAY CONTESTANTS READ OR DISCUSS SOCIAL MEDIA POSTS FROM OTHER CONTESTANTS.

21. EACH COMPETITOR AGREES TO SUBMIT TO POLYGRAPH TEST.  THE ADMINISTRATION AND INTERPRETATION OF A POLYGRAPH TEST SHALL BE SOLEY THE RESPONSIBILITY OF THE TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS, AND ITS AGENT.  VIOLATION OF RULES OR A FAILURE OF POLYGRAPH WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION.