Section 1 - General Rules
Tournaments are held once a month for most of the Teen Sportfishing programs. County Championship and State tournaments will be scheduled by the Teen Sportfishing Corporate Board of Directors. Each County, or program has the option of scheduling their own tournaments as to the number, times, and dates of their tournaments. We however suggest one tournament a month is adequate and seems to work well considering that most of the boats/captains also fish other tournaments or have other responsibilities that prohibit them from participating more than once a month. All County tournaments must be concluded in time for the top anglers from each county according to the points of each angler to move on to the County Championship, and State Championships.
Tournaments are individual type tournaments. We recommend that Teen's alternate between captains every tournament as to learn from a different captain each month. We also understand that some Teen's might want to fish with one of their parents and this is acceptable. A Teen that request that he fishes with one of his parents is what Teen Sportfishing is all about. Families fishing together! We will require however that the parent and child have another Teen from a random draw fish with them to discourage the rumors of cheating. No adult's fish can be weighed in. No fish can be shared or exchanged between two anglers or from a captain to a Teen. The majority of the participants if so agreed upon by the instructor and parents may select an earlier or later weigh in time. Tournaments will be conducted by the instructor and, or the weigh in committee (see Article III). The instructor, weigh in committee, or a volunteer may inspect live wells before blast off.
-A half (0.5) pound penalty will be applied per minute for each angler coming in late to the weigh in. --After 15 minutes the angler will be disqualified. Disqualification = zero points. Any decision having to do with the tournament will be handled by the Tournament Director. Species that can be caught and weighed in a Teen Sportfishing tournament can vary according to the predominant species in the particular area. Pan fish or saltwater tournaments can also be scheduled on the local levels. Large mouth bass will be the species that will determine the Teen Sportfishing Association's State Champion, as this species is the most prevalent through out the nation.
At the level of the County Championship and State Championship Tournaments each teen may fish with their family member or bring their own captain.
Section 2 – Tournament Locations
Tournament locations for the Teen Sportfishing tournaments are entirely up to the instructors and the Board of Directors from each County. Consideration must be given to the lake, river, bay, etc. as to the safety of the Teen's. Adequate ramp and restroom facilities must also be a concern. We must try to schedule the tournament locations around the best fishing times for each individual location. Distance from the County must also be a factor as some students may have trouble traveling to and from the tournament locations. Keep in mind that as of now we will be fishing for large and small mouth bass for the state and national levels.
Section 3 - Tournament Expenses
The Teen's will be responsible for the tournament expenses such as fuel cost that occurs during a Teen Sportfishing Tournament at the rate of $30.00 per Teen to be pre-paid at each meeting prior to any tournament. If a Teen cannot afford to help with the expenses, please see tournament official. The Teen's will be instructed in the classrooms as to the $30.00 fee but this will not be a deterrent for a Teen not to participate in the Teen Sportfishing program. If a Captain refuses the $25.00 fee, the fee will then be reserved into a Captain's fund for a special event for the Captain's at a later date, such as a banquet, Captain's Tournament, Etc. **NOTE** If a teen doesn't show up the morning of the tournament he/she forfeits all the fees!!
Section 4 - Launch Positions
Launch positions for a Teen Sportfishing tournament should be by a number draw during the morning check in. The launch number drawn will be the order at which the boats leave and will also the deciding factor in the case of any ties during the tournament weigh in.
Section 5 - On the Water
Each Teen should furnish his own life jacket that must be worn anytime the boat gas engine is in operation. Failure to do so will result in disqualification. Disqualification equals zero points The captains quite often will have extra life jackets available if the Teen has forgotten his. All fishing shall be done with rods and reels (spinning, bait casting). Artificial lures only are the standard for most all Teen Sportfishing tournaments. All those involved in the Teen Sportfishing tournaments will make every effort to release all fish alive and in good health in accordance to state exemption laws.. This will require an operating live well.
No competitor is allowed to fish within fifty (50) yards of another boat or be allowed to pull in front of another boat in a canal or dead end if the first boat is moving toward said canal without first asking permission from the other boat. All those participating in the Teen Sportfishing tournaments must have acceptable fishing etiquette and those who have broken this rule will lose all points earned during the tournament and a serious infraction may result in expulsion from the Teen Sportfishing program. The Tournament Director has the final say in any rule violation or tournament protest.
Section 6 - The Weigh In
The minimum size length limit will be the current state minimum limit for whatever species that's acceptable to be weighed in during the tournament. Permits to wave the State minimum length limit is acceptable and the permit must be in the possession of every Teen and Captain BEFORE blast off. All fish will be measured with the mouth closed and tail pinched using a Golden Rule. If a weigh in official measures a fish and finds it to be short, the fish is then measured on the Teens or captains Golden Rule. If the fish measures on the Teens or captains rule the fish is released and the weigh in continues. If the fish is short on the teens and captains rule then the Teen's total catch is disqualified and the teen receives no points for the tournament. The Teen's are never allowed to have more fish than the state maximum limit in the boat at any time. We encourage the instructors to put the maximum number of fish allowed to be weighed in well under the state law.
5 points for Big Bass per tournament
Dead fish penalty- .25lbs per dead fish. If a fish considered for Big fish is dead, the .25 penalty will come off the dead fish weight.
Live Fish- must remain up-right and swim off within 3 minutes.
*Big Bass of the year award will be considered only on big bass caught during regular point tournaments.
Section 7 - Tournament Times
The Teen Sportfishing tournament times are from safe light until 1:00. However these times can be altered (see article V section I). These times were chosen for several reasons. Too long of a day will burn out the Teen's and the Captains. Weighing in at 1:00 still gives the Teen’s families time for other activities during the afternoon, and many Teens in this age bracket have jobs that normally have them working on the weekends. The county championship and the state tournament times may be extended as to the importance of the tournaments to the participants. They may also be two-day tournaments and the Corporate Teen Sportfishing Board of Directors will make these decisions.