American Bass Anglers, Inc.
2020 Bass Pro Shops Fishing Tour
Old Hickory Lake, Gallatin TN October 18-23,2020
FORMAT CHANGE: Due to the situation with COVID-19, we are required to change our tournament procedures to comply with National, State, and Local Government requirements to reduce the possibility of spreading the virus. The daily procedures will be slower than usual, but be patient, your health and wellbeing are what ABA is concerned about. The following are mandatory procedures and sequence of events for the tournament.
a. All anglers are required to wear face mask/protection, use hand sanitizer, and maintain a social distance of 6ft minimum prior to and during all events.
b. When entering the Gallatin Civic Center, mask and/or face protection is required.
c. Angler will be required to fill out and sign a Liability Release form prior to registration outside the Gallatin Civic Center.
d. Upon entering the Civic Center, anglers will announce their name and hand in their Liability Release forms to the check-in person.
e. After being checked in – anglers will receive a goodie bag and box meal then exit the Civic Center. Do not linger go outside.
f. The tournament rules and safety briefing will be held Wednesday morning on-the-water, ensure you and partner are in the water prior to safe light.
g. Flight numbers and partner pairings will be sent via text message after registration has closed
h. Weigh-in Procedures – During weigh-ins, face protection is mandatory, and the 6ft distancing rule will be in effect. The following are mandatory weigh-in procedures.
a. Only ABA weigh-in bags will be used – only 15 bags will be put out.
b. Holding tanks will be used; however, only two anglers are to have their fish in a tank at a time.
c. Anglers will deliver their fish to the bump person for counting and measuring, the bump person will place fish back in the weigh-in bag, and the angler will take to scales. After weighing fish, angler will take fish to release boat.
i. Draw Prizes – Each morning, the Tournament Director will call out the prizes and pre-drawn names of those winners for that day. After weigh-in, these winners may come to the stage trailer and collect their prizes. This announcement will be made each morning of the event, so pay attention; it will be your responsibility to collect your prize after weigh-in.
j. Banquet and Awards – There will not be a Friday evening banquet, anglers will be given a box meal at the ramp while awaiting awards presentations at the ramp. All awards will be presented after the conclusion of the final day’s weigh-in. This includes Service Teams, Hall of Fame, Team Competition, and place of finish awards.
1) RULE CHANGES: These rules supplement the 2020 AFT rules. These rules will remain unchanged throughout the 2020 National Championship. Interpretation of these rules shall be left exclusively to the tournament director.
2) PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY: Change due to COVID-19 – Participation is open to current qualified members in good standing of American Bass Anglers, Inc. Waivers maybe used for special cases that are directly impacted by COVID-19. Tournament officials reserve the right to refund any membership and/or entry fee, if they shall choose for any reason not to accept the application for entrance.
3) POLYGRAPH: By signing the official entry form, contestants agree to submit to a polygraph/voice test examination. Any person convicted of violating tournament rules or failing to successfully pass a polygraph/voice test will not be allowed membership or entry into any future American Bass Anglers, Inc. event. The administration and interpretation of the polygraph/voice test shall be solely the responsibility of the American Bass Anglers, Inc., and shall be used (or not used) at their discretion. Without limiting the foregoing, the American Bass Anglers, Inc. shall have the sole discretion of the individual(s) who administers such polygraph/voice test and the scope of the questions which may be asked during such test. Failure to take and pass the polygraph/voice test examination, if required, will result in immediate disqualification without recourse.
4) Eligibility: Individuals that have fished two or more tournaments requiring an individual entry fee of $675 or more in the preceding six months are not eligible to fish. Individuals who have guided on tournament waters within 30 days prior to the Championship are not eligible to compete.
5) OFF LIMITS and PRE-TOURNAMENT PRACTICE:
a) Off Limits: Old Hickory Lake will be off-limits beginning at sunset on September 27th, 2020, until safe light October 17th, 2020. During the off-limits periods, Practice, and competition days, other than using publicly available information (e.g., newspaper, periodical, and Internet reports) competitors cannot solicit, receive or gather any information via phone, electronic devices or any other means about locating or catching fish on tournament waters. THERE SHALL BE NO EXCEPTIONS. No contestant may enter the tournament water for the purpose of catching or locating possible fishing locations after this meeting or after each day's weigh-in.
a) Pre-tournament practice: Contestants must be paid in full prior to going on the water. Official practice will begin at safe light on October 17th, through 3pm October 20th, 2020. There will not be a pairings and safety meeting on Tuesday October 20th. Pairings will be transmitted via text after registration is completed. MANDATORY SAFETY BRIEFING will be conducted each morning of the event on the water. Anglers must have their boat in the water prior to Mandatory Briefing. During official practice, contestants may only pre-fish alone, with a member of his/her immediate family, another contestant of the tournament, a national sponsor of American Bass Anglers, or a member of American Bass Anglers staff.
6) ON-SITE REGISTRATION: On-site registration will be Tuesday, October 20th, 2020, from 3-5 pm at the Gallatin Civic Center. Failure to sign in with tournament officials will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.
7) LATE FEE: All entries must be postmarked, completion of on-line entry, or called in before 5 pm, October 9th, 2020. All entries received after this date will be assessed a $25 late fee. Entries for this event will cease at 12 noon Tuesday, October 20th, 2020.
8) SAFETY: Safe boating conduct will always be observed. All 2020 Fishing Tour Safety Rules are in effect. 2020 AFT Rules Link
9) SPORTSMANSHIP: All contestants are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, and conservation. Contestants must adhere to all local, state, and federal laws.
10) BOAT OPERATION: Any competitor answering yes to the question: "Will you enter as boater?" will be expected to make that boat available for the duration of the tournament. Partners must discuss boat operation prior to send-off. Each partner is entitled to an equal number of hours to fish his/her selected waters. The non-boater is responsible for any damages, which may occur to the boater's boat if he/she is granted permission to operate the trolling motor. Any contestant who, in the judgment of the tournament director, operates the boat in such a manner as to unfairly handicap his/her partner shall be disqualified. It is the responsibility of the non-boater to reimburse the boater in the amount of ½ the fuel cost to defray daily expenses (this will be enforced by tournament officials). All boat operation within 200 yards of the launch facility will be by trolling motor or idle speed only.
11) PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Fishing will be permitted on Old Hickory Lake and the Cumberland River only. Fishing is not permitted within 50 yards of a marina gas pump or within 50 yards of another competitor's boat anchored or not. Competitors invoking the 50-yard rule must hold their boat in a steady manner. Any competitor that allows any other competitor to fish within 50 yards of his/her boat has suspended the 50-yard rule and opened the water to all competitors. Off-limits will be an area clearly marked at Sanders Ferry Park Launch Ramp. Additional off-limits areas may be designated and explained at the pre-tournament meeting by the tournament director.
12) OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT: Due to safety precautions, there will be several flights, tournament director will announce flights and weigh-in times at pre-tournament meeting. There will be only one official point for checkout in the morning and check-in in the afternoon. Competitors not at the checkpoint at the designated time will be penalized at the rate of 1 lb., per minute, deducted from his/her total weight for the day. Any competitor more than 15 minutes late for send-off or check-in will be disqualified for the day.
13) SCORING: Pounds and hundredths of each competitors (three-day total) catch will determine tournament standings and placement. Only largemouth, spotted, or small mouth bass will be weighed. The creel limit shall be five (5) unless the prevailing state limit is less. At no time shall a competitor have in his/her possession more than the tournament limit. Culling must be done immediately. Minimum length will be 14 inches for largemouth, 12 inches for spotted bass, and 18 inches for smallmouth bass (measured on a flat board). A penalty of 1 lb. will be deducted from the total weight for each short fish and a penalty of .50 pounds will be deducted from the total weight for each dead fish. Penalty weights will be subtracted from the scale weight. A contestant that presents more fish than the tournament limit will be disqualified immediately. All fish presented at weigh-in become the property of American Bass Anglers.
14) PAIRING OF COMPETITORS: For day one, anglers will be paired, and boat numbers assigned via text message after on-site registration is completed. Pairings for Thursday and Friday will be posted at the weigh-in sight after each 'day's weigh-in and will appear on your daily weigh slip (text messages may be used for pairings). All assignments of partners will be by computer draw, and all angling must be accomplished from the boat. Boater must meet his/her partner at a designated place prior to coming to the launch ramp. Tournament director has no responsibility for finding lost partners. Competitors must stay on tournament waters and in sight of each other throughout the tournament day from send-off until weigh-in (Exception: Nature call). Any contestant refusing to take or go with another contestant in his/her boat will be subject to immediate disqualification. Tournament Director may reassign partners prior to morning ooze-off to accommodate problems and/or emergencies.
15) TIE: In case of a tie, combining awards and dividing them equally among the tied contestants shall resolve positions. A form of lottery shall determine trophy positions. The tournament director may decide to break first-place ties with a fish-off. Duplicate points will be awarded to tied competitors.
16) TRANSFERS: There will be no transfers of tournament entry fees. Refunds, minus 10%, will be given through October 9th, 2020 only.
17) NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP REQUIREMENTS: Contestants must have fished two one-day events and one divisional two-day event to participate in the Championship. After all two-day events are completed, the top 500 national point holders will be invited to compete in the National Championship, in the event some of the top 500 elect not to participate additional anglers will be invited starting with points position 501 and continue until a full field is reached. The top 250 points holders and all divisional "Anglers of the Year" will be guaranteed boater status. All registered non-boaters who meet qualifications will be paired with a guaranteed boater. If there are not enough non-boaters, boaters may fish alone. The top qualifiers (boaters) will be notified of their boater status on September 25th, 2020. The National Championship is worth 2000 points to the winner. Points will be awarded in 5-point decreasing increments depending on place of finish. Service Team Anglers of the Year will be determined by the best four 1-day district finishes plus best two-day finish plus points received at the Championship.
18) ANGLER OF THE YEAR: The divisional Angler of the Year from each division who has completed four one-day and one two-day will be eligible and invited to compete for the national title Angler of the Year". Title will be awarded to the highest finishing divisional Angler of the Year competing in the Championship based on their total weight for the three days of the competition. Divisional Angler of the Year is determined by points acquired within 'angler's home division (see season rules for points system).
19) Awards: The same person is not eligible to win more than one prize boat from American Bass Anglers, Inc. during the same calendar year. In the event the winner of the National Championship is also Angler of the Year”, he/she will be awarded the first-place prize boat and second place by place of finish will be awarded the second boat.
20) WAIVER AND RELEASE: As a condition of participation in this tournament, competitors must execute a waiver, release of liability, and a name and likeness release.
21) TAXES: Anglers are responsible for all applicable taxes for both cash and merchandise awards.
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