Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is running from boat check until weigh-in each day of the tournament. All boats must be equipped with a factory-installed emergency ignition-shutoff device that must be securely attached to the driver’s body with a standard-length, factory tether whenever the combustion engine is running. Anglers may fish and charge batteries using an onboard charger by letting the combustion engine idle in neutral only if the boat is equipped with a certified and functioning wireless ignition-shutoff device and everyone in the boat is wearing a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device. All persons must be seated and a driver must be behind the steering wheel in full control of the boat whenever it is on plane or the combustion engine is running and in gear. At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament day may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. In this case, we will move directly to the post event at Sweet Springs Venue and the tournament will be rescheduled. Competitors may leave their boat and seek shelter in bad weather or when danger is imminent. They must, however, stay within sight of each other.
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, to our tournament hosts and sponsors, the sport of fishing and SALT Next Gen Ministry’s efforts to promote the sport. Conduct not complying with these standards includes, but is not limited to, the following:
- Violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the rules for the this tournament.
- Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration or tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure and post event.
- Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.
- Boat operation in an unsafe or unsportsmanlike manner.
- Violation of a posted no-wake area.
- Failure to comply with any state fishing laws.
Anglers must have complete control of the boat and waters to be fished. For safety concerns in rough water or swift current, in the event of an outboard or trolling motor breakdown or during an emergency, 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 the tournament director. Phones are also allowed to aid in GPS, Mapping, Weather, power generation, personal fishing notes and related data. Boats must be properly insured and must contain all legal requirements by Alabama law.
INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT
These rules will remain unchanged. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director. Decisions of the tournament director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. Each contestant agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification. The violation of a tournament rule may result in, but is not limited to, weight loss, and the loss of the big fish, disqualification from the tournament. Protests and/or alleged rule violations are to be made to the tournament director by the witness immediately.
PAYBACK & PARTICIPATION
Payback is based on the number of paid entries for the tournament. Payout exceeding the price of entry will be given to the top 5 places. Places 6 through 8 will receive their money back. In addition, gear and apparel provided by sponsors will be part of the prize packages for the top 10 places. The dividing of all winnings between anglers is to be handled on their own by co-anglers. Participation is open to people of any age and skill level outside of any current or former elite series professional fisherman and any former or current local fishing guide. However, there are only 2 anglers allowed per boat and any person under the age of 19 entering the tournament must be on the boat with someone over the age of 19. All contestants must have a valid fishing license for the waters they fish. Failure to provide proof of a valid fishing license when requested by the tournament director will result in disqualification.
Anyone interested in fishing this tournament must sign up online at the provided website prior to the evening of 4/21 in order to secure their spot. The tournament size is capped at 300 boats. Anglers will pay an entry fee of $250 and can choose to either fish alone or with a legal partner. Since this is a fundraiser on behalf of a 501(c)3, all entry fees can be made tax deductible if requested and are to be paid in full upon online registration. If you wish to make it so, but will be non refundable as of 2/23/2022. Fees go directly to the cause. The splitting of any entry fee between co-anglers must be done on their own and the entry fee paid must be paid in full by one of the anglers.
WEIGH-IN AND PENALTIES
All contestants not exceed 5 legal tournament fish in their live well at any times and at no point are they allowed to place any other game fish or bait fish in their live well. Proper culling is allowed. This tournament only allows for the weighing in of any legal sized largemouth bass, small mouth bass, and spotted bass. Each boat’s final weight will be the total of their 5 biggest legal fish. A penalty of half a pound (8oz) will be given for any fish weighed in that is dead and not on ice. All fresh fish that were placed immediately on ice will only receive a dead fish penalty of a quarter pound per fish (4oz). All dead fish will be cleaned and given to families that SALT Next Gen serves. The weighing in of any fish with fin clips or cull tags left on them will result in a penalty of (4oz) per fish. Any anglers who arrive in the no-wake zone of the boat ramp after the time limit will be given a late penalty of 1lb and another 1 lb for every 2 minutes they are late beyond that. Exceptions can be made in the case of boat problems so long as the tournament director is contacted in reasonable time for that boat to have been able to make it to weigh in within the time limit.
Anglers are not allowed to fish outside of Lake Guntersville public waters and cannot trailer or lock to any other bodies of water. All anglers must launch from the designated ramps at the Guntersville State Park. Fishing is not permitted in any body of water that is closed to the public. All anglers must stay in their boats at all times unless of an emergency in which case they must either contact the tournament director or 911 immediately.
PRE-TOURNAMENT MEETING AND LAUNCH
All anglers will launch their boats and remain within the designated zones of the State Park waters until safe light. Anglers will be randomly given a takeoff position upon launch once their live wells will be checked. Once on the water, prior to takeoff, we will have a prayer and a tournament briefing. Anglers will weigh in in the same order that their takeoff position was. In the case of high numbers of anglers, weigh in time might be staggered to provide an even amount of fishing time per flight.
PERMITTED FISHING METHODS
Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the rod in hand. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. All lures must adhere to state regulations. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Alabama rigs and similar umbrella-type rigs are limited to a maximum of five wires with a maximum of five spinners, five lures and three hooks (single or treble) unless state regulations are more restrictive, in which case state regulations prevail. Only ONE fishing rod per angler may be used at a time. Trolling or long lining as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. Trolling and long lining is defined as operating the combustion engine or the trolling motor to extend a cast or lengthen a retrieve. Co-anglers can aid each other in providing information, operating the boat, tying on lures, and netting fish. Rods cannot be passed to another angler to aid in landing any fish. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately shown to your co-angler verification.
TIES AND QUALIFIERS
In the case of a tie, a boat’s podium place will be determined based off of the heaviest weighing fish in their bag. In the case that this remains in a tie, the podium place will be determined based off of the next heaviest weighing fish across the tied anglers. In the rare case that there is a tie across total weights and all 5 fish across two boats, the prize money for their collective podium prizes will be split evenly between the two boats.