SPECIAL EVENT RULES:
GBT OPEN TOURNAMENT
The Georgia Bass Trail will be hosting an open event on Lake Oconee on September 23rd, 2023 on Lake Oconee at Sugar Creek Marina in Buckhead, GA 30625.
Entry fee will be $100.00 per team.
There will be a table setup for check in. Only one team member should check in. Once you check in launch your boat and wait for the launch.
Weigh In will be as follows:
You must be inside the no wake buoy no later than 3:00 p.m. Failure to do so will result in disqualification.
Weigh In will start at 3:15.
Only one team need to be at the weigh in.
Team member will approach the sink and place bass in the basket and will step away (6ft). The weigh master will then weigh the fish and place the basket back in sink at which time the angler may retrieve his catch and return them to the lake.
Once you have weighed in you may trailer your boat and wait for the results.
You will weigh in, in the order you launched. NO OUT OF TURN weigh ins will be permitted. NO EXCEPTIONS.
Once weigh in is complete payout envelopes will be placed on the table and the winners will be called out at which time you may retrieve your envelope.
It is very important that know one stands around the weigh in table. DNR will likely be at the ramp to make sure all rules are followed.
1) Refunds & Cancellations:
Refunds will not be issued on registrations for this event. Should the event be cancelled due to inclement weather or acts of God, a make-up date will be announced.
Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each participant is required to wear a fastened (fully zipped and/or all clips fastened), U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation from boat check to weigh in. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition shut-off device, which must be securely attached to the driver’s body any time the combustion engine is in operation. The driver must be seated in the driver’s seat anytime the combustion engine is engaged in gear. In the tournament of inclement weather, the tournament will be held the next day, weather permitting. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek shelter in bad weather, at which time no fishing may occur. In the tournament of equipment failure or emergency, the tournament director must be notified as soon as it is safe to do so. There are then two permitted methods of returning to check-in: (1) by both anglers remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or (2) with permission from the tournament director, by one or both anglers entering the boat of another tournament participant. Under these two conditions both participants’ catches may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, dead-fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules) provided each team’s fish are adequately marked so as to provide clear distinction to the tournament director. Participants who elect to return to check-in by any means other than those cited will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time of the tournament day. Abandoning a boat and leaving it adrift without proper tie off or anchoring after a mechanical failure may result in disqualification of that day’s weight.
3) Fish Information:
No fishing information may be purchased, bartered, or solicited from any person after official practice has begun. Official practice for each regular season tournament shall be the Thursday and Friday prior to the tournament. Official practice begins at 12:01 A.M. on Thursday and ends on Friday at 6:30 P.M.
4) Permitted Fishing Methods:
Only artificial lures may be used. Only one fishing rod per angler may be used at any one time. Additional rods may be in the boat and ready for use; however, each cast and retrieve must be completed before another cast is attempted or rod is used. Trolling with the combustion engine as a method of fishing is prohibited. Switching or sharing fish with other teams or individuals is a violation of these rules and will result in immediate disqualification from the tournament and the remainder of the season. All bass must be caught alive, in a conventional, sporting manner. When sight fishing for bass, all fish must be hooked inside the mouth to be counted as a legal fish. All fishing must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a participant leave the boat to land a fish, or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.
5) Code of Conduct:
All participants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following: a. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or mind-altering substances during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure. b. Any previous conviction, arrest, or investigation for a felony, or crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime related to, arising out of, or involving any fishing tournament or tournament. Exception will be considered with full, prior written disclosure to the tournament director under oath and by affidavit of all facts and circumstances surrounding such conviction, arrest, or investigation so long as those facts and circumstances do not result in the continuing questionability of the participant’s honesty, integrity, character or qualifications to enter the tournament. c. Actions or words that reflect unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, and fair competition. The GBT will not allow bullying by any GBT competitor during practice, at meetings, or during tournament hours. ANY act of bullying will result in disqualification from the tournament and any future GBT tournaments. ANY DOCUMENTED VIOLATION OF THE SPORTMANSHIP RULE WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION OF ALL GBT TOURNAMENTS. d. Chemical or substance abuse. e. Disqualification from any GBT or other fishing organization’s tournament that resulted from unexplained rule violations that result in a participant’s honesty, integrity, character, and qualifications for entry into a GBT tournament being questionable in the tournament director’s sole and absolute discretion. f. Anglers participating in any GBT sanctioned tournament shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules for the specific tournament in which they are participating. Anglers shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates integrity, honor and respect towards fellow competitors, tournament staff, and general public, and does not reflect unfavorably on GBT, its members, officers or representatives, tournaments, or sponsors.
To this end, anglers shall use their best efforts to demonstrate professionalism and integrity in support of the sport of professional fishing. Any angler who violates any of the provisions of the Angler Code of Conduct may be subject to fines, reduction of points, forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competing in individual GBT sanctioned tournaments, permanent ban from competition, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by the GBT. Upon review of the circumstances by GBT and the tournament director, the tournament director shall have the right to refuse any application, or to deny a confirmed application by returning the entry fee of a previously accepted application or disqualifying a participant. GBT reserves the right to place an official observer in a participant’s boat at any time during competition hours.
6) Boat & Horsepower Regulation:
Each boat must have all the required U. S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain properly aerated live well space to maintain alive the limit of catch of bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition may not exceed the horsepower limitation set by the U. S. Coast Guard in such vessel. Falsifying information on entry forms, or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor, or rating the plate to conceal such limitations will be cause for disqualification from the tournament. No participant may have a platform, raised deck, or ladder that is higher than the gunnel of the boat. Standing on the fishing seats or outboard motor will not be allowed in GBT tournaments. No air or jet boats will be permitted during official practice or competition days. “Official practice” days are those days, if any, designated by GBT as such on its website with respect to a particular tournament.
7) Allowable Fishing Locations:
Participants may fish anywhere on tournament waters accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off-limits” or “no fishing” by state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a competitor’s boat which was first anchored (an anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight with the trolling motor in the up position), or within 50 yards of a non-anchored competitor’s boat unless otherwise agreed upon by the other tournament angler. The act of moving bass from one area of the lake to another area of the same lake at any time is not permitted, regardless of whether or not it is during official practice or competition days. Locking through to another body of water is not permitted at any time during tournament hours.
8) Prohibited Areas:
Participants may not fish inside the established “off-limits” area. Violation of the rule will result in immediate disqualification. Participants’ boats must remain in the tournament waters during the tournament.
9) Not trailering:
All boats must leave the official checkpoint in the order designated at registration. Participants may launch their boat at a ramp other than the designated take-off location, but all participants must come through the official checkpoint location before leaving to fish. In the tournament of severe weather, alternate takeoff instructions will be given at the registration site at the sole discretion of the tournament director.
10) Official Checkpoints:
There will be only one official checkpoints for boat inspection in the morning and one official check in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through the checkout in the morning or failure to officially check in at the check-in-point will result in disqualification from such tournament. During morning checkout, all teams are required to idle a minimum of 100 yards past the checkpoint or past no wake buoy before putting the boat on plane. It is the sole responsibility of each participant to arrive at the designated check-in location on time. Regardless of what you are told or understand, it is the angler’s responsibility to verify team check in time. All fishing must cease upon check-in, or upon such other time as may be designated by the tournament director.
Scoring will be determined by the pounds and hundredths of a pound of each angler’s catch during the tournament. ONLY Largemouth and Spotted Bass are accepted species. The limit will be five (5) per team unless otherwise stated by the tournament director. Any participant who possesses more than the tournament limit at any time will have his/her catch for the day disqualified. The minimum official length limit for all species for the 2020 GBT Qualifying Team tournament will be provided at each tournament. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit, will result in loss of that fish and a one–pound penalty to the weight of the remaining fish. Each participant’s catch must be presented in a weigh-in bag. Bass will be measured with mouth closed, tail compressed and swiped to achieve overall greatest length.
12) Live Fish:
You may weigh one dead fish as a part of your five-fish total; a one-pound penalty will be assessed to your total weight for the day. No dead fish will be weighed for big fish. Culling a dead fish is not allowed and will result in disqualification. All dead fish must be brought to weigh in for sanitary disposal.
13) Late Penalty:
Participants who are not at the official check-in point at the appointed time will be assessed a one pound-per-minute penalty from their total weight, including any weight to be counted toward a big bass award. Any participant more than 15 minutes late will forfeit that day’s catch. In the tournament of a mechanical breakdown, a participant may return to check-in location with their catch by receiving a ride from another registered participant or tournament official only. The participants must return to the official check-in location by the methods set forth above by their assigned check-in time to avoid late penalty.
14) Closing of the Scales:
Scales will close 30 minutes after the last flight is due in. Due to certain weigh-in locations, this time may be lengthened or shortened at the tournament director’s sole and absolute discretion. Any change to the above stated official scale closing time will be announced during registration, during boat checkout, or during weigh-in. It is the angler’s responsibility to verify the official scale closing time and to be in the weigh-in line by such time.
All photos and/or video taken at a GBT tournament are the property of the GBT Tournament Series and may be used for promotional purposes. If any form of the media approaches, you are expected to present yourself in a professional manner and to accommodate them within reason. During weigh-in you are expected to present yourself in a professional manner and answer the questions to the best of your ability. All video/camera equipment placed in a participant’s boat shall not be tampered with or removed without permission from the GBT tournament director. Any tampering with, powering off, or removing of this equipment will result in the team’s disqualification.