Bass Pro Shops Couples Series Championship
Tournament Rules 2020 Lake Keowee, Walhalla, SC
September 13-18, 2020
ENTRY FEE: $150.00 Per Team – BIG FISH: $10 Per day to be paid in cash at registration
OFF LIMITS: Sunset Sunday August 30 through Safelight Saturday September 12th, 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.
- All anglers are required to wear face mask/protection, use hand sanitizer and maintain social distance of 6ft minimum during registration and weigh-ins. Mask are suggested but not required while fishing.
- During on-site registration mask and/or face protection is required.
- Angler will be required to fill out and sign a Liability Release at time of registration.
- At time of registration, anglers will hand their Liability Release to the check-in person.
- After being checked in – anglers will receive a goodie bag and exit the inside area, do not linger go outside. There will not be a Wednesday Dinner.
- The tournament rules and safety briefing will be held Thursday morning on-the-water, insure you and partner are in the water prior to safe light.
- Flight and boat numbers will be sent via text message after registration has closed
- 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.
- Only ABA weigh-in bags will be used – only 15 bags will be put out.
- Holding tanks will be used however, only two anglers are permitted at a tank.
- Anglers will deliver their fish to the bump person for counting and measuring, the bump person will place fish back in weigh-in bag and angler will take to scales. After weighing fish angler will take fish to release boat.
- 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.
RULE CHANGES: These rules are a supplement to the 2020 published rules and will remain unchanged throughout the 2020 Bass Pro Shops Couples Series Championship. Interpretation of these rules shall be left exclusively to the tournament director. The decision of the tournament director shall be final in all matters.
PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY: The top 200 teams by points will be invited to the Championship. Qualification Requirements: Teams must have competed in a minimum of two divisional events to qualify for the Championship. 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. Any person entering the tournament that is under 18 years of age must have the signature of his/her parent or legal guardian on the entry form.
POLYGRAPH: By signing the official entry form, contestants agree to submit to a polygraph/voice test examination should he/she be accused of any rule violation.
PROTEST: Only written protests will be accepted by the Tournament Director and protests must be given to the Director within 15 minutes after scales have closed for that day of competition. The Director will resolve the protest if possible, if resolution is not possible Director may elect to administer a polygraph. Anglers submitting protest must be aware that they may be required to submit to a polygraph/voice test to verify the protest.
PRE-TOURNAMENT PRACTICE: Pre-tournament practice will begin at safe light on September 12, 2020. No contestant may enter the tournament water after accomplishing on-site registration or after tournament hours each day. During official practice contestants may only pre-fish alone, with a member of his/her immediate family, another contestant of the tournament, a sponsor of American Bass Anglers or a member of American Bass Anglers staff.
ON SITE Check-in: September 16th, 2020 from 3:30-5:30. Failure to register on site will result in disqualification and forfeiture of entry fee.
LATE FEE: All entries must be postmarked, completion of on-line entry or called in with a charge card before COB September 07, 2020. Entries submitted after this date will be assessed a $25.00 late fee.
MANDATORY MEETING: The MANDATORY RULES AND SAFETY MEETING will be conducted at safe light Thursday September 17th. Failure to attend the paring and safety meeting will result in immediate disqualification.
SAFETY: Safe boating conduct will be observed at all times. All 2020 safety rules apply to this event.
OFFICIAL CHECKPOINT: There will be only one official point for checkout in the morning and check-in in the afternoon. Director will give instructions at mandatory briefing.
PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Tournament waters shall be all waters accessible by boat on Lake Keowee. Any water within these boundaries posted “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing” by state or federal agencies will be OFF-LIMITS. Only that water open to public fishing will be considered tournament waters.
SCORING: Pounds and hundredths of each competitors (two-day total) catch will determine tournament standings and placement. Only largemouth and spotted bass will be weighed. The creel limit shall be five (5) bass per team with a minimum length of 12 inches measured on a flat board. Culling must be done immediately upon catching a sixth fish. A penalty of 1 pound will be deducted from the total weight for each short fish and a penalty of a 1/2 pound 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 the weigh-ins become the property of American Bass Anglers
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.
TRANSFERS: There will be no transfers of tournament entry fees. Refunds, minus $20 will only be given through COB September 11, 2020.
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It will be interesting to see how much Okeechobee has changed since last January. On this same weekend last year, Scott Kirsch of Edgewater, FL, won the boater side of the event with a five-fish limit of 18 pounds. Mason Meder won the Co-Angler side of the event with a three-fish limit of 10.91 pounds.
Team Tour Championship Postponed
Out of an overabundance of caution The Team Tour Championship that was scheduled for 10/10-11/2020 on Wheeler Lake has be postponed. The National Weather Service is forecasting winds of 10-20 mph with gust up to 35mph for Saturday, and winds of 10-15 mph with gust up to 20 mph Sunday. The safety of our anglers is the number on concern and factor when making the tough decisions on postponing a tournament. The new dates for the Team Tour Championship will be November 21-22 on Wheeler Lak