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St. Johns Bass Anglers

2024 Tournament Rules



  • Tournaments will be scheduled at the discretion of the Tournament Committee and there will be a minimum of twelve (12) ladder events and a maximum of fifteen (15) ladder events per year. Only each individual’s best twelve ladder events will count in total point calculations for the club’s annual final standings.


  • Size and number of fish: The tournament limit shall be 5 bass, of any species except white, hybrid, and striped bass, that comply with appropriate regulations for that body of water. In the case that tournament exemptions are not obtained, the tournament Director will inform all contestants of any and all changes prior to launch time. No more than the tournament limit of 5 fish per contestant will be allowed in the live well at any time. There will be no culling of fish at dockside or culling of dead fish. Violators will be immediately disqualified.


Net weight ties are determined in the following order:

  • Number of fish caught

  • Biggest fish

  • Flip of a coin


In the event of a Big Fish tie, the money for 1st and 2nd Big fish will be combined and evenly split between the tying contestants. In the event of a Lunker Pot tie, the money will be split equally.


  • Penalty for undersized fish: Any fish that is questionable, in length, will be measured, with the mouth closed, pinched tail, on a Golden Rule by the Weighmaster. Fish not meeting this limit will be pointed out to the angler. In the event the Weighmaster and angler disagree, the Tournament Director’s decision as to the length of the fish will be final! Any fish presented for weigh-in not meeting the specified length limit will result in the loss of that fish and the contestant’s largest fish.


  • Courtesy measurement: Any contestant who is doubtful that a fish in their creel meets the measurement requirement may request one (1) courtesy measurement from the Weighmaster. It is the responsibility of the contestant to ask for a courtesy measurement prior to any fish being removed from bag…at that point Weighmaster will then conduct the courtesy measurement.


  • Penalty for Dead Fish: A penalty of .25lbs will be assessed for each dead fish. This penalty will affect the net weight of the individual angler and the net weight of the boat as a whole. This penalty will not affect the Big Fish Pot.


  • Each boat will weigh-in as directed by the Tournament Director. All weigh-ins will be trailer weigh-ins, unless specifically directed otherwise by the Tournament Director. All fish should be handled in a manner to promote a healthy release. (i.e., Use of culling systems and manner of holding fish for photos.)


  • Late arrival to weigh-in: A penalty of 1 pound per minute will be assessed to the boater and non-boater. After 10 minutes the boat, and all contestants within the boat, will be disqualified. A contestant will be considered late when the boat has not touched the dock, bank, or specified location by designated weigh- in time.

  • During weigh-in: Once an angler’s creel has been weighed, in an effort to avoid mis-communication between the Weighmaster and the Tournament Director, the angler is to stand back at least ten (10) feet and observe until all angler’s creels have been weighed and recorded.  (In other words, keep quiet around the weigh-in table.)


  • If a tournament competitor departs the launch site prior to the official weigh-in time, that competitor must leave a note on the Tournament Director’s, or other club officer’s vehicle, or inform a member of the tournament committee, prior to departure from the launch site. This is an accountability rule and is intended to ensure the safety of all participants.


  • Disabled boats: In the event that a boat is disabled due to mechanical difficulties: competitors and creel may be transported in another boat, considering no bag limit or boating regulations are compromised. Example, a rescue boat taking on a 3rd competitor can only carry a total of 15 bass per FWC and Exemption permit rules.


  • Pairings: Pairings will be conducted by the Tournament Director and a member of the Tournament Committee.


  • Prospective/Qualifying boaters will be invited as necessary.

  • Boaters can sign-up with a guest twice per year.

  • Pairings will occur on or before the Thursday prior to the event.


  • In the event, more boaters than non-boaters are signed up at the time of the draw, random pairings will occur as normal, drawing a boater and non-boater together until there are no more non-boaters to be drawn. Then the Tournament Committee will invite remaining boaters to bring a guest, pair with the other boater, or fish solo.


  • In the event, more non-boaters have signed up than boaters, prospective/qualifying members will be invited to be a boater prior to the draw. Every attempt will be made to balance the boater/non- boater pool prior to the draw. In the event there are still additional non-boater pairings will occur as normal giving precedence to non-boater anglers in the following categories in the following order:


  • Active anglers in good standing

  • Prospective members with the following order of precedence:

  • Prospective member who is in a Qualifying status, who has achieved 3 meetings and 3 tournaments, and has been voted in by Active members,

  • Prospective members who are somewhere between 3 meetings and 3 tournaments with consideration to the Prospective member with the most combined meeting/tournaments precedence over the others.

  • Youth members


Once paired for a tournament, a competitor must notify the Tournament Director, or member of the tournament committee and your designated partner, at least 24 hours before the tournament begins if you are unable to fish. Unless excused by a majority vote of the Tournament Committee after a review of the situation, anyone that fails to show up for a tournament without notifying the Tournament Director or a member of the tournament committee at least 24 hours in advance will still be required to pay the $20 entry fee for the tournament and will not be allowed to fish other club events until the payment is made.


Unless pre-arranged otherwise, paired anglers must be able to fish the entire event.


  • Life jackets: Coast Guard approved PFD’s will be worn by each contestant and a working kill switch will be hooked up to boat operator any time the combustion engine is propelling the boat during the tournament.


  • Distances between boats:


  • If a boat is fishing with the anchor/pole down and the trolling motor up, other contestants must remain a minimum of 50 yards from the anchored boat.

  • Any boat that comes within 50 yards of another will not be permitted to anchor their boat to prevent the existing boat from fishing waters previously established.

  • If a boat is fishing a shoreline and another boat wishes to fish the same shoreline, the second boat must begin at least 100 yards from the first boat. No restrictions will apply to the direction the second boat may fish. No boat anchored and fishing under section (a) shall permit selected competitors to fish within the 50 yard circle claimed by him to the exclusion of any other competitor.

  • No angler can block a navigable channel regardless if the boat is anchored or not.


  • Protests: All protests must be filed within 5 minutes after the final contestant has weighed in to the Tournament Director. Tournament Committee rulings are final after hearing from all parties.


  • Basic Boat Equipment: Every boat will have all required Coast Guard approved safety equipment. In addition, it must have a functional bilge pump and live well space properly aerated to maintain a limit catch of bass by both fishermen using the boat. No stringing of fish is allowed. All participating boats will have fully operating running and anchor lights. It will be the non-boater’s responsibility to check the boat before the tournament begins. Boats with no, or non-functional, lights will be designated “starter boats” and will be the last to leave launch sites and in such case, not until lights are no longer required by FWC regulations.


Weigh-in bags should only be filled using a pump-out system or a water jug. DO NOT submerge the bag in the live well to fill in order to prevent damage to the bag.


  • Boat Insurance is required for all boats participating in St Johns Bass Anglers sponsored tournaments. NO CONTESTANT MAY OPERATE A BOAT UNLESS THAT CONTESTANT HAS SUBMITTED DOCUMENTED PROOF OF BOATING LIABILITY INSURANCE TO THE CLUB SECRETARY. THIS DOCUMENTED PROOF MUST SHOW YOUR NAME, AN EFFECTIVE DATE, AND EXPIRATION DATE AND MUST BE RECEIVED BY THE CLUB SECRETARY ON OR BEFORE THE TOURNAMENT DATE. If you use a boat other than your own, you must attach an insurance certificate, including a rider naming you as insured for that boat. The minimal requirements for boat coverage will be dictated by the Florida Bass Federation. St Johns Bass Anglers sponsored tournaments are open to its membership in good standing and guests. No individual will be permitted to operate a boat until the angler has reached 18 years of age and must be documented as covered by appropriate insurance on the policy of the boat.


  • All one day tournaments will normally end at 3:00 pm, or at the discretion of the Tournament Director. Official start times and weigh-in times will be announced prior to blast off. Blast off will be safe light unless conditions warrant tournament director to delay blast off and Tournament Director has final decision. All boats are to be at designated blast off site prior to safe light. Any boater not at designated blast off site prior to safe light announcement will be skipped over until arrival. Two-day tournaments and night tournaments will end as directed by the Tournament Director.


  • Only artificial lures will be used. No live bait will be permitted with the exception of pork strips, rinds, etc. Only one rod may be used and in the water at any one time. All bass must be caught in a conventional sporting manner. Intentional foul-hooking or netting of a disabled fish will not be permitted.


  • All angling must be done from the boat. Contestants may not depart from the boat to land fish. All competitors must remain in the boat, except in the case of an emergency. In case of an emergency, a contestant(s) may exit their boat and not be disqualified (dangerous weather conditions, bathroom, etc.). If the emergency prevents the contestant(s) from returning before the end of the tournament, then another contestant in the tournament may weigh-in the fish for that person(s). Any questions in defining emergencies will be resolved by the tournament committee. Fishing in waters designated “off-limits” or “non-boating” by the Tournament Director or federal, state, or local authorities, for any reason, will be cause for disqualification.


  • Tournament Director Communications: All anglers wishing to participate in club sanctioned tournaments are responsible to respond to the Tournament Director’s email notice within 10 days in advance of any scheduled tournament. Even in the event an angler signs up to participate in a tournament at a club meeting, the Tournament Director will email or call to verify that the anglers still intends to fish. All anglers are expected to communicate with the Tournament Director either by email or phone whether he or she intends to fish. The responsibility is on the individual NOT the Tournament Director or his Committee.


  • Use of drones or underwater cameras, so as to have no overhead or underwater views of the fishing area, during tournaments or during official practice days is prohibited. Go-pros and cell phone cameras/videos are allowed.

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