2023 Official Rules
Top 150 Solo
Effective January 1, 2023
Entry Fees: Divisional and Wildcard Events - $600 per event
Championship - $600
Full Field: 150 Boats
Registration: Registration opens at 8 am central time on October 17, 2022
The following rules shall apply to all Top 150 Solo tournaments operated by American Bass Anglers during the 2023 season. These rules may be changed by American Bass Anglers (ABA) at any time upon notification to its members, which will be published on the ABA website at www.americanbassanglers.com. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to the Tournament Director.
1. RULES VIOLATION:
In the event of a rule violation, ABA may impose such sanctions, as deemed appropriate, including, without limitation, loss of one or more fish in question, loss of the angler's catch for the day, disqualification from the event, forfeiture of prizes and/or entry fee, probation for up to 6 months, and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. The decision of ABA shall be final in all matters. Each competitor agrees to report to the Tournament Director any violation or infraction of any Tournament Rules. Failure to report violations, false reporting, or suggestions to another competitor of an unreported violation of these rules will be cause for disqualification. Rules violations must be reported to the Tournament Director on site in writing within 15 minutes after the announcement, "The scales are closed."
2. ELIGIBILITY AND PARTICIPATION:
i.) This tournament is open only to current members of ABA who are 18 years of age or older. Proof of age to the satisfaction of tournament officials is the responsibility of the potential competitor. ABA may, at any time, decline to accept tournament entries for any reason.
ii.) Competitors may not buy, barter, or pool fishing locations from any person, including the hiring of guides, within 30 days prior to the event for use during any competition day.
iii.) During official practice and competition days, competitors are required to have documented proof of a minimum of $100,000 boating liability insurance covering the boat being used. A copy of proof of insurance must be with the boat being used and must cover the competitors using that boat. Additionally, random checks may be conducted at tournament registration and/or at tournament weigh-in. Any competitor not in compliance will be disqualified.
a. Priority Registration: Beginning 8:00 am CST on October 17, 2022, is reserved for entries from Solo anglers who fished the 2022 season entries by paying for all three events within a division of $1,800.00 total.
b. Package Entry: Beginning at 8:00 am CST on October 18, 2022, anglers may begin registering for package entries by paying for all three events within a division of $1,800.00 total.
c. Deposits: Beginning at 8:00 am CST on October 18, 2022, anglers may secure their position by paying a non-refundable deposit of $900.00 (three events) in a division. The remaining balance of the entry fee is due on or before January 25, 2023, with no exceptions.
d. Single Entries: Registration begins at 8:00 am CST on October 25, 2022, for all single entries. Single entries will be placed on a waiting list. No single entries will be accepted after Friday 5 pm CST the week before the event.
e. Waiting List: Priority entry will be given to package and deposit entries. If an event has more than 150 entries, a waiting list will be established. Open positions for an event will be filled from this list beginning January 26, 2023. Anglers not getting a position will have their entry fee returned.
4. MEDIA COMMENTS, PUBLIC ATTACKS:
The favorable public reputation of ABA as a sanctioning organization in the sport of fishing, the integrity of its officials, and the reputation of its media properties are valuable assets and tangible benefits for ABA. Accordingly, it is an obligation of competitors to refrain from comments to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage the integrity of tournaments, tournament officials, sponsors, fellow members, fellow anglers, or the ABA organization. Competitors are encouraged to express themselves and have the right to question rules officials. Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with ABA policies are encouraged as opposed to attacks upon the integrity of the rules or officials. However, public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of ABA, ABA officials, or sponsors shall be considered conduct unbecoming a professional and will result in disciplinary action.
5. PRACTICE, COMMUNICATIONS, POLYGRAPH, AND OFF-LIMITS:
a. Off-Limits – There will be no off-limits for individual events. However, there will be an off-limits period for the Championship. Official practice for Divisional events will be Monday through Thursday, the week prior to the event.
b. Practice/Assistance – Official practice is defined from Safe light Monday thru 3 PM Thursday prior to the event. All Anglers must be registered prior to entering tournament waters. During official practice for an event, contestants may only pre-fish alone, with a member of their immediate family, another contestant of the tournament, a sponsor of American Bass Anglers, or a member of American Bass Anglers staff. Contestants may not receive assistance from anyone other than another contestant for the purpose of locating or catching fish during competition days. Buying or bartering for fishing locations is prohibited. During practice and events, competitors may not "SKIN DIVE" OR "SCUBA DIVE" in the tournament waters. Contestants are not allowed to practice after 5 PM Thursday prior to the event.
c. Communications: During official competition day(s), a competitor may not use a C.B. radio, a VHF marine-band radio, a cellular phone, texting, or any other type of communication device for the purpose of locating or catching fish. Competitors are permitted to transmit by radio or telephone only in the event of an emergency. A designated tournament official must be granted access to the competitor's boat and cell phone at any time during the competition.
d. Hole Sitting: During Tournament hours, the practice of "hole-sitting" is strictly prohibited in all events. Competitors may not follow non-competitors’ boats for the purpose of a non-competitor assisting in locating fish.
e. Polygraph: Each event will have a truth verification examination. By his/her signature on the official entry form, each competitor agrees to submit to a truth verification examination method as determined by ABA and abide by its conclusion. In the event a competitor refuses to take or fails to pass the examination, he/she will be disqualified from the event in question and other disciplinary action taken as deemed appropriate in accordance with Rule 2 above.
6. ON-SITE SIGN-IN:
a. On-site: Each angler must register in person at the designated place during official onsite registration hours, 4:30 pm - 6:00 pm (local time), the day prior to the event. Failure to sign in onsite will result in disqualification, forfeit of entry fee, and removal from the event.
b. Mandatory meeting: The pre-tournament Safety and Rules meeting is mandatory for all competitors and will be conducted on the water at safe light on the first day of the event. All anglers must be in their boat.
c. Launch position: Launch positions will be determined by computer draw and texted after onsite check-in is completed.
7. SAFETY: Safety is paramount, and anglers must recognize that; fishing from an open boat is inherently dangerous; and as a result, American Bass Anglers seek to limit those hazards with reasonable safety rules.
a. Safe boating conduct and speed limits must always be observed by competitors. During official practice and competition, competitors must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver, and must always be worn while the combustion engine is in gear. This life preserver must also be strapped, snapped, or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is no longer in gear. Violation of this rule shall be a reason for disqualification. "Fanny Pack" preservers are not allowed. In the event a boat is being towed, all anglers in the towed boat must wear a life preserver.
b. Tournament officials may delay, shorten, restrict tournament waters, or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors.
c. ABA reserves the right to impose boat speed limits during any or all tournaments. The decision to impose a speed limit, the area covered by the speed limit and/or the actual speed limit shall be left exclusively to the tournament director's discretion.
d. In the event of an emergency, competitors should call 911 immediately and then notify tournament officials. Competitors may leave the boat and seek safe shelter in bad weather when danger may be imminent, at which time all fishing must cease.
8. SPORTSMANSHIP/CODE OF CONDUCT: Anglers participating in ABA sanctioned events shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules for the specific event in which he/she is participating. Anglers shall always conduct themselves in a manner becoming ABA anglers, and their actions will not reflect unfavorably on ABA, 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 bass fishing. Any angler who violates any of the Angler Code of Conduct provisions will be subject to fines, forfeiture of tournament winnings, probation, suspension from competing in ABA sanctioned events, permanently banned from competition, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by ABA. Competitors are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, and conservation.
a. Any competitor's use, possession, or consumption of illegal drugs during official practice, tournament hours, or during pre-and post-tournament activities will be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future tournaments. (Exception; medication prescribed to the angler by a licensed physician). The consumption or possession of alcohol during tournament hours is prohibited. Tournament hours are defined as check-out in the morning through the competition of weighing of fish in the afternoon.
b. Maximum courtesy must always be practiced, especially when boating and angling near non-competitors. Any act of a competitor which reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote water safety, fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy will be a reason for disqualification.
c. All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the state within which the tournament is being held, and all participants are required to have the appropriate state fishing license.
d. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, crimes involving moral turpitude, the conviction of a felony not specifically exempted by ABA, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition, and compliance with tournament rules shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and/or for disqualification. Any disqualification, suspension from, or disciplinary action imposed by any fishing organization will be grounds for rejecting applications for participation in a tournament and/or disqualification from a tournament after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director.
9. TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT: The use of a landing net is allowed. The use of grippers in landing bass is prohibited. Only artificial lures may be used. No "live bait" or "prepared bait" will be permitted during official practice and competition, except for pork strips or rinds. Only one casting, spin casting, or spinning rod (8-foot maximum length from butt of the handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. All bass must be caught alive and in a conventional sporting manner. When visually fishing for bedding bass, bass must be hooked inside the mouth.
10. HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS: Maximum horsepower for all outboard motorboats used in official tournament practice and in tournament competition will be 250 HP. Horsepower cannot exceed the limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard or the manufacturer's rating plate or the maximum horsepower set by ABA. In the event there is reason to suspect the horsepower requirement is exceeded, the competitor agrees to submit their boat and outboard motor used in the tournament to an inspection by factory-trained personnel. Changing or altering standard factory parts of a competitor's engine to increase the horsepower over the factory horsepower rating is forbidden and will result in disqualification.
11. BOAT AND MOTOR: During official practice and competition, all boats must be equipped with an operational and approved type of ignition kill switch and a single lanyard. The lanyard must be attached to the driver's body any time the combustion engine is in gear, and the driver must be in the driver's seat in full control of the boat. All boats must have a properly aerated livewell capable of sustaining a limit of fish. Fishing boats less than 16 feet in length may not be used. Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunnels of the boat. Fishing while standing on the outboard motor or boat seats is not allowed. An electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering; however, trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. All bladder tanks and any other type of auxiliary gas tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Boats that do not have factory-installed gas tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline in tanks, properly secured or strapped, and meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations. No portable gas tanks or containers capable of holding gasoline can be placed anywhere on tournament waters or shorelines for use by any tournament competitor. No "barges" or similar craft or "stick steering boats are permitted. Determination of acceptable fishing boats and properly aerated live-well will be left exclusively to the Tournament director.
12. BASIC BOAT EQUIPMENT: During official practice and competition, every boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. During the competition, every boat must have live-well space, properly aerated, to adequately maintain bass alive. Tournament officials shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is proper and adequate.
13. BOAT IDENTIFICATION: Prior to each day's start, each boat will be inspected and checked by a tournament official. Boaters will be given their launch numbered by text or by a card, it is the boater's responsibility to ensure they are check-out and check-in.
14. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Tournament waters and off-limits areas shall be established by the Tournament Director for each tournament. Specifically, any water within tournament waters posted "Off-Limits" or "No Fishing" by state or federal agencies will be OFF-LIMITS and announced at the Tournament Briefing. Only that water open to all public fishing will be considered tournament waters. All angling must be done from the boat. No fishing within 50 yards of any other competitor's boat anchored or not.
15. COMPETITORS MUST REMAIN IN BOAT: Competitors must leave from and return to the official checkpoints by boat and must not depart the boat to land fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Boats must remain in tournament waters during tournament hours. Trailering boats during tournament hours is prohibited.
16. OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT: There will be only one "official point" for check-out in the morning and check-in in the afternoon and will be designated at the tournament briefing. At the time of check-out, all boats must fully conform to all rules set forth by American Bass Anglers. At check-in, all boats shall identify themselves by means of the numbers described in Rule 13, and all fishing must cease.
17. SCORING: Tournament standings, auxiliary awards, and final winners shall be determined by the pounds-and-hundredths weight of each competitor's catch during the competition days of the tournament. Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, or Redeye bass will be weighed. The creel limit shall be five (5) bass of the above species and varieties per day unless otherwise established by the tournament director. The official length for bass shall be established by State regulations or by the Tournament Director. Culling must be performed immediately upon catching a sixth fish. In the event tournament officials observe more than the allowable limit is in the boat or at the weigh-in, tournament officials will cull, beginning with the largest fish. Only bass measuring the official length or more on the longest straight line will be weighed. Short fish will accrue a penalty of 1 pound and will not be weighed. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered will be weighed only at the discretion of tournament officials. Once a competitor's catch is verified by tournament officials, no additional fish may be added to the catch. Placing bass on a stringer is prohibited; however, culling tags or clips may be used. In the event of a mechanical failure (boat is inoperable) anglers may have their catch counted by one of the following methods ONLY: 1) Boat is towed to the weigh-in site by another boat; 2) the Boater secures his boat to an object (pier/bank) and boards another tournament competitors' boat only for a ride to weigh-in. Competitors must not allow any bass caught by them to be counted on the score of another competitor. Mechanical failures do not extend established weigh-in times.
18. CATCH AND RELEASE: CULLING OF DEAD BASS IS PROHIBITED. A penalty of one .5 pounds per dead fish will be assessed and deducted from the day's total weight. In the event, the angler's big fish is dead, a penalty of.5 pounds will be deducted from the big fish's total weight. The Tournament Director will have sole authority for assessing dead fish penalties. For fish care, ABA recommends only the use of T-H Marine G-JUICE live well treatment and G-Force Conservation Cull System with clips that do not puncture.
19. LATE PENALTY: Competitors who are not in the official checkpoint area as described in Rule 16 at the appointed time shall be penalized at the rate of one (1) pound for each minute. Any late penalty will be deducted from the total weight of their catch that day, including any weight to be counted toward a "big bass award." No weight will be awarded if the net weight after penalties is zero or less. Any competitor more than 15 minutes late will lose all credit for that day's catch. The exact starting and check-in times will be announced at the Tournament Briefing.
20. POINTS SYSTEM AND QUALIFICATIONS: Points will be awarded based on the place of finish and cannot be combined or transferred. Any angler disqualified from an event will not receive points for that event.
a. Divisional Events – These events are worth 250 points to first-place anglers. Points will be awarded in 1-point decreasing increments. Contestants not weighing fish will receive 50 points.
b. Angler of the Year – Each division will have an Angler of the Year (AOY) which will be determined by the total points accrued by anglers who have fished all events within a division plus Championship.
c. Advancement - The top 15 point holders from each Division will earn a slot in the Championship, providing the anglers have fished all three of their divisional events.
d. Wildcard Event - The top 5 anglers by place of finish will earn a slot in the Championship.
e. Championship – The top 5 anglers by points from each Division after the Championship will advance to the Ray Scott Championship. There will be an off-limit to this event.
21. TIEBREAKERS: Ties will be broken using the following criteria:
a. The largest number of legal fish weighed.
b. The largest number of legal live fish weighed.
c. Most Accumulative weight for the year
d. If the tie is not broken by applying the preceding procedures, place monies will be split evenly, and place points will be awarded accordingly. Event winners' tiebreakers may result in a fish-off.
22. ABA MEMBERS SHIELD & LOGO: ABA encourages (not mandatory) the wearing of the ABA Logo and Top 150 Solo logo. The suggested placement for the ABA logo is centered on the left chest, the top of the patch should hit the top center of the left collarbone.
23. PATCHES AND/OR SIGNAGE: ABA encourages the use of patches, logos, and other signage to promote the angler's sponsors. ABA may however, restrict the use of patches, logos, signage, etc., that promote or advertise products that are in competition with the products or services of official tour sponsors or which are, in ABA's sole judgment, in poor taste. In addition, if ABA provides any ancillary clothing or products (such as life vests) bearing the logos of ABA or the official sponsors of ABA, each competitor shall wear such clothing or utilize such products in a manner prescribed by ABA.
24. AWARDS: All anglers are required to execute a Fed Tax Form W9 prior to receiving any awards, including cash/check and prizes.
25. TAXES: Where and when state laws require, income tax may be automatically deducted before any awards are presented. Anglers are responsible for all applicable taxes for both cash and merchandise awards.
26. WAIVER AND RELEASE: As a condition of participation in each tournament, competitors must execute a waiver (Release of Liability and Assumption of Risk) and a name and likeness release.
All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any material in these rules is prohibited except by written permission of American Bass Anglers, Inc.
OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM-2023 ABA 150 Solo Tour.
Go to www.americanbassanglers.com for the preferred and easiest way to register for a 150 Solo tournament.
I WILL BE ENTERING AS A BOATER_____
ABA MEMBERSHIP #_____________________
LAST NAME ________________________ FIRST NAME_____________________________
CITY____________________________ STATE_____________ ZIP CODE____________E-MAIL
HOME PHONE______________________ CELL PHONE______________________
INSURANCE COMPANY ________________ POLICY DATES ____________________
BOAT BRAND_________________________ H.P. RATING_______________________
OUTBOARD MAKE_____________________ H.P. ______________________________
TROLLING MOTOR MAKE ________________ TRUCK MAKE ______________________
Boat Type: Hull Serial Number: ___________________________________________
If Mercury Owner: Engine Serial Number: ____________________________________________
[ ] Package Entries -- 3 X $600 = $1800.00 per Division $ __________
[ ] Non-refundable Deposit Package – 3 X $300 = $900.00 per Division $__________
[ ] Wildcard Event -- $600.00 $___________
ABA Membership; [ ] $35.00 – 1 Yr. [ ] $60.00 – 2 Yrs. [ ] $90.00 – 3 Yrs. $___________
Entries may be made online at www.americanbassanglers.com.
VISA___ MASTERCARD____ AMEX____ DISC______
Total Amount Enclosed or to be charged: $ ________________
Make checks payable & mail to American Bass Anglers, PO Box 475, Athens, AL 35612-Phone: 256-232-0406
"American Bass Anglers"
Liability Release and Assumption of Risk Form
(Effective January 1, 2023)
Participants Name (print): ______________________ Member #_________________Date: ________________
In consideration of being allowed to participate in bass tournaments operated by American Bass Anglers, Inc. I attest that I have read and understand the tournament rules, and I acknowledge and agree to the following:
1. The risk of injury, disability, death, loss or damage to person or property from the activities involved in the tournament(s) is significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis, illness, injury and death to a person and destruction of equipment, and while compliance with ABA rules, correct use of equipment, and personal discipline may reduce this risk, such risk does exist. In addition, the risk of illness from communicable diseases do exist (EX: MRSA, influenzas, and COVID-19) from the activities involved in bass tournament and are significant and potentially life threatening and I KNOWELING AND FREELY ASSUME ALL SUCH RISK, both known and unknown.
2. If I am using my own boat in the tournament(s), I certify that I now have or will obtain prior to the tournament series, Boat Owners Liability Insurance (including coverage for third party property damage and bodily injury) with no Tournament Exclusion, having a minimum limit of at least $100,000.00 Liability per occurrence and I will provide satisfactory evidence of having such current insurance to any ABA official upon their request.
3. I have been advised by ABA of the contents of this document through my reading it and have had the opportunity to seek legal counsel with respect to the legal effect of this document prior to signing it through it being posted on ABA's web site.
4. I KNOWINGLY AND FREELY ASSUME ALL RISKS REFERRED TO ABOVE, AND ALL OTHER RISKS OF TOURNAMENT PARTICIPATION, BOTH KNOWN AND UNKNOWN, EVEN, WITHOUT LIMITATION, IF ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES (AS DEFINED BELOW) OR OTHERS, AND ASSUME FULL RESPONSIBILITY FOR RISKS ARISING FROM MY PARTICIPATION IN THE TOURNAMENT (S;)
5. I willingly agree to comply with the terms and conditions for participation in any tournament of ABA and should I observe any unusual hazard(s) in my presence or during participation which could potentially cause injury or damage to any person, I will remove myself from participation and bring such hazard(s), to the attention of the nearest ABA official immediately.
6. I, FOR MYSELF AND ON BEHALF OF MY HEIRS, ASSIGNEES, PERSONAL REPRESENTATIVES AND NEXT OF KIN, HEREBY RELEASE, INDEMNIFY, AND HOLD HARMLESS AMERICAN BASS ANGLERS, INC., ITS PARENT AND AFFILIATED COMPANIES, THE OFFICERS, OFFICIALS, DIRECTORS, SHAREHOLDERS, AGENTS, CONSULTANTS, AND/OR EMPLOYEES OF EACH, OTHER PARTICIPANTS, AND SPONSORING AGENCIES, SPONSORS, ADVERTISERS, AND, IF APPLICABLE, OWNERS AND LESSORS OF PREMISES AND PROPERTY USED TO CONDUCT THE EVENT ("RELEASEES"), WITH RESPECT TO ANY AND ALL INJURY, DISABILITY, DEATH, OR LOSS OR DAMAGE TO PERSON OR PROPERTY, WHICH I SUFFER OR WHICH I AM FOUND TO HAVE CAUSED IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY MY NEGLIGENCE OR INTENTIONAL MISCONDUCT, WHETHER ARISING FROM THE NEGLIGENCE OF THE RELEASEES, OR OTHERWISE, TO THE FULLEST EXTENT PERMITTED BY LAW.
7. If there are any questions raised by the judges or officials of ABA as to my veracity in respect to my participation in any tournament, I agree to submit to a polygraph examination and understand that failure to pass the examination will result in disqualification from such tournament and potentially from ABA at its discretion as provided by the rules of the organization. I HAVE READ THIS RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND ASSUMPTION OF RISK AGREEMENT AND THE ATTACHED RULES, AND I FULLY UNDERSTAND THEIR TERMS, I UNDERSTAND THAT I HAVE GIVEN UP SUBSTANTIAL RIGHTS BY SIGNING IT, AND SIGN IT FREELY AND VOLUNTARILY.
8. PUBLICITY. In consideration for permission to participate in any ABA tournament, I ("Contestant") hereby grant to American Bass Anglers, Inc. its assignees and/or licensees (including television production companies contracted by ABA ), the unconditional right to use my name, voice, image, image in a video format while participating in a tournament, photographic likeness, biographical information, fishing tips and/or instructions in any medium whatsoever, including but not limited to video/audio productions, merchandising, promotions, articles, and/or press releases, in connection with American Bass Anglers, Inc., without restriction as to changes or alterations at any time. I understand that I will not be entitled to receive any royalties or other compensation in connection with such use and waive my right to review the finished product. By my signature below I verify that I have read and understand the foregoing provisions.
PARTICIPANT’S SIGNATURE: ________________________________