OFFICIAL RULES FOR 2013 ARKANSAS COUPLES TOURNAMENTS
1. RULES CHANGES: The following rules will remain unchanged throughout the event unless State or local laws are in conflict. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director may impose such sanctions as he deems appropriate, including, without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes, entry fee and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. The decision of the Tournament Director and tournament officials shall be final in all matters. It is at the Director's discretion to make a change where safety of the contestants is a concern. All Federal, State and local laws must be obeyed and it is the contestant's responsibility to know these laws.
2. PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY: Participation in each tournament is open to all couples in good standing in Arkansas Couples Tournaments. Non members may join Arkansas Couples Tournaments by enclosing a $75 membership fee with the entry fee. At least one team member must be 18 years or older.
3. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND DRUGS: At no time during tournament hours are any alcoholic beverages or drugs other than prescription allowed in the boat or to be consumed while on the water.
4. SPORTSMANSHIP: All couples are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any couple who displays poor sportsmanship, violates these rules or any state or local laws or brings unfavorable publicity to the sport of bass fishing will be disqualified.
5. BOATS & MOTORS: There is no horsepower limit, however, no engine may exceed the BIA 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 an aerated livewell large enough to sustain a tournament limit in releasable condition. Extra gas tanks must be secured and must meet US Coast Guard specifications.
6. SAFETY: Boating safety must be observed at all times during practice and competition. A U.S. Coast Guard approved chest type life preserver must be on and fastened any time the combustible engine is operative and the kill switch must be attached to the driver during competition day. It is suggested that this be practiced during the official practice day, but will be enforced only on competition day.
7. TACKLE & EQUIPMENT: All fish must be caught in a legal sporting manner. Intentional snagging of fish will not be allowed and all fish caught sight fishing must be hooked in the mouth. 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 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. Rods may not exceed eight feet in length. The official measuring board for Arkansas Couples Tournaments is the Fish ’N Stuff Gator Grip Rule. The use of electronic fish tracking equipment is not allowed in official practice or competition.
8. PROTESTS: All protests must be submitted in writing before the tournament officials close the scales.
9. POLYGRAPH: All contestants, winners and non winners are subject to a polygraph test. Failure to submit to a polygraph test will result in immediate disqualification. Any contestant who has failed a polygraph test in connection with any bass tournament for cheating or whose results are found to be inconclusive will not be eligible to compete in Arkansas Couples Tournaments tournaments.
10. OFFICIAL BOATS: Officials will be on the lake for boat inspection and observation during tournament hours. Each couple is required to cooperate with all requests.
11. SCORING: Each couple may weigh in five (5) fish per day with a minimum of 12 inches in length, unless state or lake limits are greater, measured on a flat board with mouth closed and tail compressed. A penalty of .20 lbs. Per dead fish will be deducted from the total weight. Any couple bringing more than five (5) fish to the scales will be disqualified. Tournament standings will be determined by the total weight for the competition days of the tournament. Only largemouth, spotted, red eye or smallmouth bass will be scored. Any couple weighing in a fish shorter than the legal tournament length will be assessed a one (1) lb. penalty plus the loss of the short fish. Each couple is required to leave from and return to a specified check point. Any couple returning to the check point late will be penalized at the rate of one half pound per minute up to 15 minutes. After 15 minutes no weight will be allowed.
12. CULLING FISH: It is the responsibility of each couple to keep no more than a maximum of a limit of five (5) fish in a livewell. If more than five fish are present in the livewell during the event you will be subject to disqualification. No culling is allowed in the host marina.
13. PERMITTED FISHING WATERS: No fishing is allowed inside the host marina area. All fishing must be done from a previously inspected boat. No tube or wade fishing is allowed. Boats may not be trailered to and from weigh in during the 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 trolling motor out of the water, without the anchored boat's permission. Each couple must fish from the same boat. Only contestants may be in the boat during the tournament hours. Having a non contestant sit on a hole for you will not be tolerated. Contestants cannot leave the boat to land a fish. Navigable waters are the only waters to be fished during the tournament. Contestants must be able to drive the boat into the fishing area without getting out of the boat. The practice of restricting the natural movement of fish by any means such as, but not limited to the use of nets, tanks, or dams will not be tolerated and will result in disqualification. Restricting the access to waters normally accessible by all anglers, by any means such as, but not limited to the felling of trees or the construction of obstructions will not be allowed and will result in disqualification.
14. GUIDES: No guides may be used on the practice days.
15. REGISTRATION: Contestants may register by mail or at Fish ‘N Stuff in person, or at the tournament headquarters Saturday between 4:00-6:00pm. Late registration is $110.00 and will be taken at the launch site at 5:00 A.M. Sunday up until the last boat has left. Fishing hours and check points will be disclosed at the registration./start. It is each couples responsibility to obtain this information from the Tournament Director. Starting position will be determined by drawing.
16. PRACTICE FISHING: No off limits you may not use guides or local experts the week of 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 (official practice days Friday and Saturday and) competition days a contestant must not have the assistance or advice from anyone to locate bass except from another entered contestant in this tournament. Failure to report violations or suggestions to violate these rules will be cause for disqualification. All Contenstansts must be off the water before sunset on Practice days (Friday and Saturday).
17. CONSERVATION: This is a primary concern of Arkansas Couples Tournaments. Adequate livewells are mandatory on each boat and must provide aeration to maintain fish in good condition as every effort will be made to release as many live, releasable fish as possible, following weigh in.
18. CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFYING: Qualifying will be based on a points and pounds format. First place in each event will receive 100 points plus the pounds, i.e.,
1st place - 100 points + 20.50 lbs. = 120.50 points. In addition 10 show points will be added to each couple per entered tournament. The top 25 points leaders after six (6) events will qualify for the final providing they have fished at least four (4) events. Five wild cards will also qualify providing they have fished five (5) of the six- (6) events.. Their standings in the last event after the top 25 have been removed will determine their position. To accumulate points in more than one tournament, no change in partners is allowed. If the partners change, a new point accumulation will be started for the new couple. No points may be accumulated by individuals or transferred from one couple to another. Each member is allowed to fish two qualifying tournaments alone and represent the couple, providing that the other member does not enter that tournament. All couples fishing all 6 events will qualify for the Couples championship.
19. Additional CHAMPIONSHIP: Top 5 Couples will qualify for the Super Team Championship Prize: NITRO Z7 with 150hp MERCURY PROXS. Bradford Bonus Bucks - A $500 Cash Prize will be awardered at each SUPER TEAM and COUPLES EVENT for the highest Team or Couple fishing out of a boat they bought from BRADFORD MARINE AND ATV (MUST BE ORIGINAL OWNER).
This Award can only be Won Once (1x) per Year.
Bradford Pro Staff cannot qualify for this Award.