Rules & Regulations

Official Rules Texas Bass Couples Tournament Trail

1.     RULES AND REGULATIONS:  These rules are set forth and must be strictly followed by all contestants.  The decision of the tournament director will be final on all matters. Any and all tournaments, subject to Polygraph at anytime.

2.     MEMBERSHIP FEE:   $35 per couple. A couple must consist of one male and one female who fish together as a member of the same team from the same boat.  Membership is open at any time during the tournament year and if joining after the conclusion of the first tournament in a region, payment will be membership dues ($35) plus the next two consecutive tournaments entry fees ($200).  No more than two qualifying events may be fished entered by only one member of the same team.  A substitute may fish as a replacement partner in those tournaments.  The first tournament of the year must be fished by both members (if new to the Texas Bass Couples organization).  Prior members may fish the first tournament with only one member present.  Any contestant who has failed a polygraph test in connection with any bass tournament for cheating will not be eligible to compete in Texas Bass Couples Fishing Tournaments.

Contestants under the age of 18 must have the signature of their parent or guardian to compete.

3.     ENTRY FEES:  Each couple is required to pay an entry fee of $100 before fishing in a tournament.  $15 of each team entry goes toward the Championship and $10 goes towards Men’s Big Bass and Ladies Big Bass.

4.     TACKLE:  Only artificial lures may be used, the only exception is pork rinds.  Only one rod may be used at one time, though others may be rigged and ready in the boat, but each cast must be completed before.

5.     FISH LENGTH/LIMITS:  Each couple may weigh in five fish per day.  Minimum length is 14 inches (all species) (unless fishing a slot lake) measured on a flat board, mouth closed, tail compressed.  Only largemouth, smallmouth and spotted bass will be weighed and .50 will be deducted for each dead fish.  No more than five fish can be brought to the scales.  A sixth fish may be held in the boat temporarily for culling purposes only.  There will be a (1) pound penalty for each short fish and the short fish will not be weighed.

To be considered for Ladies Big Bass, the fish must be marked/tagged with a cull ring, clip etc. before presented for weighing.  Unmarked fish will not be considered for Ladies’ Big Bass.

Official measuring board is a PRO-RULE.

6.     CHAMPIONSHIP TOURNAMENT:  Teams qualifying for the Texas Bass Couples Championship must have a minimum of 250 points in a region or compete in 4 tournaments from a combination of different regions.  Points will not transfer from region to region (for AOY race).  Entry Fee will be $150.00.

7.     TOP SIX TOURNAMENT: The Top Six Teams in each region will qualify for the Top Six Invitational.  Each team will pay $150 entry and one night hotel.  Dinner options may vary from year to year.  Lake location will be announced two (2) weeks prior to the tournament and will be off limits until the tournament. (No one can fish for you prior to tournament). Each team may scout the lake the day before. Scouting hours will be designated by Tournament Director.   If a team cannot participate, then the 7th place team will move up, etc.  Violation of these rules will result in disqualification of the entire regional team.  Weigh-in will be conducted in a closed setting and weights relayed only to the team.

8.     PROTESTS:  Any contestant wishing to file a protest of another contestant must do so in writing within (15) minutes after the official weigh-in is over.  Must include names and registration number of the boat.

9.     SPORTSMANSHIP:  All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, Texas Bass Couples and the sport of fishing.  If a contestant does not comply with the standards set forth, Texas Bass Couples and its DIRECTORS shall have the right to refuse any and all APPLICATIONS FOR MEMBERSHIP TO TEXAS BASS COUPLES.  Multiple tournament fees may be charged to secure the intentions of the contestants.

10.   RULE DECISION: The determination and interpretation of the rules shall be at the discretion of the DIRECTORS or OFFICIALS and shall be final.  Texas Bass Couples rules and regulations are subject to change at any time by the DIRECTORS or OFFICIALS; however any change will be posted at registration.

11.   BOATS/MOTORS/SAFETY:   There is no horsepower minimum or maximum, however motor cannot exceed BIA rating for the boat which it is on.  No trolling with the big motor.  Each contestant is required to have on a zipped or fastened Coast Guard approved life preserver any time the boat is on plane.

12.   ALCOHOL/DRUGS: Contestants will abstain from consuming alcohol beverages until after tournament hours and after polygraph tests are finished.

13.   PRE-TOURNAMENT PRACTICE:  No OFF LIMITS prior to tournament events (Except Top Six).

14.   PERMITTED FISHING WATERS:  No tube or wade fishing.  No fishing within 25 yards of a competitor’s boat or 50 yards of a boat that is anchored or tied without the permission of the occupants.

15.   POINTS:  Points will be awarded to couples by order of their finish in each tournament determined by total weight of their catch.  Starting with 100 points for 1st place, 99 points for 2nd, and so on.  Teams who do not weigh any fish will be awarded 25 points for entering the tournament.

16.   ANGLERS OF THE YEAR:  Anglers of the Year are selected on the basis of highest point finishers in each region.  Only points awarded during the regions 6 qualifying tournaments count toward AOY.  If there is a tie for AOY, then total weight will be the tie breaker.

Anglers of the Year will fish the next year’s season free in their region.  Championship/Top Six entry fee not included.

17.   LATE PENALTY: Contestants who are not at the official check-in point as directed by the DIRECTOR will be disqualified from the day’s tournament.

18.   GUIDE RULE:  Full Time Professional Bass Guides that have guided in the last 12 months may not fish the Texas Bass Couples Tournament Trail.