IT IS THE RESPONSIBILITY OF EACH CONTESTANT to know these rules. A rule violation compromises the entire tournament field and future CBL events.
Boating safety must be observed at all times during practice and competition. A U.S. Coast Guard-approved life preserver must be worn and fastened with a kill switch lanyard attached to the driver any time the boat is operative and on-plane. When boating in poor visibility conditions, i.e., fog and heavy rain, competitors must operate their boats at a safe speed and in a safe manner as determined by the Tournament Director. A violation during a competition will result in disqualification. In the event of an emergency, competitors should call 911 first and then notify the Tournament Director as soon as possible. Competitors are allowed to leave their boats and seek shelter in bad weather when danger may be imminent. Any contestants cited for violating State or Federal boating or fishing regulations will be disqualified.
Christian Bass League (CBL) reserves the right to refuse any entry into its team tournaments at the discretion of the Tournament Director. All teams are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, and conservation. Any team who displays poor sportsmanship violates these rules, or any California Department of Fish and Game regulations, State or local laws, or brings unfavorable publicity to the sport of bass fishing will be disqualified. Specifically, the use of obscene language or gestures is strictly forbidden at any time prior to, during, or after the event in the area of the host marina, parking areas or weigh-in site. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification or expulsion from the CBL. Use of alcohol or drugs, other than those purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician, by any competitor during the tournament will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification for this and all future tournaments. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act or inflammatory statement by any contestant that, in the opinion of the Tournament Director, is detrimental to the operation of tournament, damaging to organized bass fishing, to the CBL, or to permitting agencies or their officers (such as rangers, fishery biologists, etc.) during or after the tournaments may result in temporary or permanent suspension from all future CBL tournaments. Any act of a competitor, which reflects unfavorably upon the efforts of the CBL to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy, may be deemed a reason for disqualification.
3. BOATS AND MOTORS
There is no horsepower limit; however, no engine may exceed the horsepower rating for the boat on which it is used. All boats must meet US Coast Guard and State regulations. All boats must have an emergency kill switch. All boats must have lights required by the Coast Guard. Lights must be in and turned on before the sun comes up prior to a day tournament.
4. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT
All fish must be caught in a legal sporting manner. Intentional snagging of fish is prohibited. Trolling with the aid of combustion or electric motors is not permitted. Only artificial lures may be used. No live bait or prepared bait is permitted with the exception of pork rinds. Liquid fish attractants are allowed. Only one (1) rod per angler may be used at any one time. Other rods may be in the boat and ready for use, however, every cast and retrieve must be completed before another cast is made.
All protests must be submitted verbally no later than 15 minutes after the tournament official closes the scales. This means once the tournament is over, it’s over. You must have at least one witness to confirm the violation other than your partner. The Tournament Director and/or his designee will hear protests and the decisions of the Tournament Director will be final in all matters.
Each team may weigh-in five (5) fish per tournament with a minimum of 12 inches in length per California Department of Fish and Game regulations. Any team bringing more than five (5) fish to the scales will be disqualified. Fish will be measured on a red Wil-E-Go board with the mouth closed. Any team weighing in a fish shorter than the legal tournament length (12 inches) will be assessed a one (1) lb. penalty plus the loss of all short fish. Any infraction of the California Department of Fish and Wildlife rules will result in disqualification. A penalty of one half (.50) lb. per dead fish will be deducted from the total weight. Any team returning late to the host marina (inside the 5 mph zone/buoys) at the official end of tournament time will be penalized at the rate of one (1) lb. per minute late up to 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, no weight will be allowed. Only largemouth, spotted, red eye, or smallmouth bass will be scored. When presenting fish to be measured, the contestants cannot touch the fish while the official takes the measurement. Once fish are presented to the weigh master, they immediately become the “official catch” of the contestant and become the possession of the weigh master to measure weigh and record as such. Team points will be awarded based on the finishing results of each tournament. Tournament standings will be determined by the total weight for the competition day. 1st place will be awarded 100 points, 2nd place 99 points, 3rd place 98, and so on. All contestants not weighing fish will receive 50 show points. These points are accumulated throughout the season to determine the standings for the top 3 Angler-of-the-Year teams. Tournament big bass breaks all ties and season big bass breaks AOY ties. To accumulate team points in more than one tournament, no change in team partners is allowed. If the partners change, a new team point accumulation will be started for the new team. No points may be transferred from one team to another.
7. CULLING FISH
It is the responsibility of each team to keep no more than the five (5) fish tournament limit in a live well at any time. If more than the five (5) fish tournament limit is present in the live well during the event, you will be subject to disqualification. You cannot cull in the host marina after the official time that the tournament is over.
8. PERMITTED FISHING WATERS
All fishing must be done from a previously inspected boat. No shore, tube, or wade fishing is allowed. Boats may not be trailered to and from weigh-in during tournament hours unless under the direction of the Tournament Director. No fishing is allowed within 25 yards of a non-anchored tournament boat without that boat’s permission. No fishing is allowed within 50 yards of another anchored or tied tournament boat with the trolling motor out of the water without the anchored boat’s permission. Both team partners must fish from the same boat. Only contestants may be in the boat during the tournament hours. Having a non-contestant sit in a hole for you (save your spot) is prohibited. Contestants cannot leave a boat to land a fish. Contestants can leave the boat to retrieve a lure. All fishing by that competitor must cease until back in the boat before making another cast. Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by boat except area posted or otherwise designated as “off-limits”, “no boats”, “keep out”, “restricted”, “no trespassing” or “no fishing” (or similar markings intended to restrict public access).
9. PRACTICE FISHING
You can pre-fish the body of water whenever it is open prior to the tournament. You may pre-fish at any time up until midnight the day prior to the tournament. During the tournament, a competitor may not use a CB radio, a VHF marine band radio, a cellular phone, or any other type of communication device for the purpose of locating or catching fish. These devices may be used for emergency purposes only. During the tournament, a team must not have the assistance or advice from anyone to locate bass. Failure to report violations or suggestions to violate these rules will be cause for disqualification.
Conservation and safety is the primary concern in the CBL tournaments. Adequate live wells are mandatory on each boat and must provide adequate aeration to maintain fish in good condition.
Exact starting and check-in times will be posted on the CBL website and/or announced at the tournament. At the weigh-ins, once the contestant has passed his sack of fish to the weighmaster, the contestant cannot touch the fish again. Any angler may request a one-time immediate “re-weigh” of their fish before leaving the scale area with their sack of fish. Once a sack of fish has left the scale area, the angler loses his right to request a re-weigh and any request of that nature will be denied.
12. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND DRUGS
At no time during tournament hours are any alcoholic beverages or drugs other than prescription or over the counter medication allowed to be consumed while on the water. All local, State, and lake laws will be enforced.
13. TOURNAMENT PROTECTION
Any act or inflammatory statement by any contestant that, in the opinion of the Tournament Director, is detrimental to the bass tournament, damaging to organized bass fishing, to the CBL or its Director or volunteers, or to permitting agencies or their officers (such as park rangers, fisheries biologists, or other officials), during the practice rounds or tournaments, may result in the temporary or permanent suspension from all future CBL events.
14. SIGHT FISHING
This rule concerns “sight fishing or bedding bass” and is in effect at any time that either of these conditions exists, and is designed to eliminate the illegal snagging of bass. A sight or bedding fish is defined as one that can be seen and is watched as it approaches the lure. Fish being caught under these conditions must be caught by hook and line and by the fish ingesting the lure. Any bass that is caught that is either a “sight” or “bed” fish must be caught “hook in the mouth with the hook point entering from inside the mouth”. This catch must be verified as a legal catch by the angler’s team partner. Any “sight” or “bed” fish caught by snagging or with the hook starting outside the mouth shall be deemed an illegally caught fish and must be released. This same fish may be caught again by the legal method with the hook starting from inside the mouth.