2018 REEL ‘EM IN OPEN TOURNAMENT
Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the Tournament Director. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director may impose such sanctions, as he deems appropriate, including, without limitation, disqualifications, forfeiture of prizes and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. Decisions of the Tournament Director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal, and are not reviewable by any court of law. The Reel ‘Em In Foundation reserves the right to make needed changes to these rules in order to ensure the safety, welfare of the anglers, and/or the public and preserve the integrity of the Reel ‘Em In Foundation. Any rule changes will immediately supersede all previously published copies of rules. It is your responsibility to read and understand the rules and how you are affected by not complying with the following rules. Every Angler will be required to sign an affidavit that he/she has read, understands and accepts all rules.
1. Participation and Eligibility: Participation is open. Any person entering the event under the age of 18 years must be paired with a partner 18 years of age or older and also have the signature of their parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the official entry form. The Reel ‘Em In Foundation reserves the right to refuse participation in any and all events to any individual or team at the discretion of the Tournament Director.
a. Guides that have guided on the tournament water within 30 days immediately preceding the event being entered are not eligible to compete.
2. Federal, State and Local Laws: All contestants must have a valid fishing license and are required to obey all federal, state and local laws and regulations.
3. Teams: All Reel ‘Em In Foundation tournaments are team events, but anglers may fish as individuals if they choose to do so.
4. Pre Tournament Practice: All events have an off-limits period, which consists of the night prior to the tournament. No Contestant may be on designated tournament waters for any reason during the official off-limits period (this includes “walking” the shoreline, marinas, boat docks, etc. for the purpose of locating or catching fish). Tournament waters are also off-limits for the purpose of locating or catching fish following registration from 8:00 pm Friday evening until 1 hour before tournament start time .
5. Registration: Anglers can enter online at www.brianrobison96.com, mail a completed entry form along with entry fee to P.O. Box 1050 Pinehurst, TX 77362 or may register in person at the onsite registration(go to website for Registration times).
6. Insurance: A minimum of $100,000 liability insurance is recommended of all contestants utilizing their boats in any Reel ‘Em In Foundation tournament.
7. Safety: Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each Contestant 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 launch until 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. Tournament days may be shortened or canceled due to unsafe weather or any conditions that would endanger the safety of the competitors at the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek shelter in bad weather, at which time no fishing may occur.
8. Permitted Fishing Methods: Only artificial lures may be used with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. 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 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. 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 (this will be a polygraph question). All angling must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a Contestant leave the boat to land a fish, or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.
9. Sportsmanship and Conduct: All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act of a competitor, which reflects unfavorably upon the Reel ‘Em In Foundation's effort to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy, shall be reason for disqualification. Other examples of conduct not complying with these standards include, but are not limited to, the following:
Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any mind-altering substance during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure;
Any previous conviction, charge, arrest, or investigation for a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime related to, arising out of, or involving any fishing tournament or event, except with full, prior written disclosure to the Tournament Director under oath and by affidavit of all facts and circumstances surrounding such conviction, charge, arrest, or investigation at least ten (10) days before the event being entered, and thereafter subject to the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion that such conviction, charge, arrest, or investigation does not result in the Contestant’s honesty, integrity, character or qualifications to enter the event being unreasonably questionable.
Actions or words which reflect unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, and fair competition;
Disqualification from the Reel ‘Em In Foundation Tournament or other fishing organizations that resulted from rule violations that result in a Contestant’s honesty, integrity, character, and qualifications for entry into a Reel ‘Em In Foundation event being questionable in the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion.
Upon review of the circumstances by Reel ‘Em In Foundation 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 Contestant. Reel ‘Em In Foundation reserves the right to place an official observer in a Contestant's boat at any time during competition hours.
10. Assistance: During the hours of competition, Contestants may not receive fishing information from non-competitors or follow a non competitor’s boat or participate in the placing of markers by non competitors or participate in the practice of "hole sitting” by anyone. The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular telephones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, pagers or any electronic device to obtain and use fishing information from anyone during tournament hours is strictly prohibited. In the event of an emergency situation, competitors should call 911 first and then notify the Tournament Director.
11. Boat and Horsepower Regulation: Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated live well space to maintain alive a limit catch of Bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition may not exceed the horsepower limitations as 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 plate to conceal such limitations will be cause for disqualification from the tournament. No Contestant may have a platform, raised deck, or ladder which is higher than the gunnel of the boat. Standing on the fishing seats or outboard motor will not be allowed in Reel ‘Em In Foundation events. No air or jet drive boats will be permitted during competition days.
Fuel may be carried only in factory-installed (built-in) fuel tanks. Optional remote engine fuel tanks must be factory or factory authorized dealer installed and be strapped or otherwise secured. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to the public and pumped through a hose with a nozzle.
12. Permitted Fishing Locations: Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters accessible by boat, except areas designated as "off limits", “no boats”, “keep out”, “restricted” or "no fishing" (or similar language or markings intended to restrict public access) 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 or by a Power Pole or similar shallow water anchor with the trolling motor in the up position. The act of moving Bass from one area of the lake to another confined area of the same lake at any time, whether or not during official practice days or competition days, is not permitted.
13. Off-Limits Areas: Such areas established by federal, state and local laws and areas announced by the Reel ‘Em In Foundation. Contestants may not fish inside the established “off-limits” areas. Violation of the rule will result in immediate disqualification.
14. Trailering: No Trailering unless otherwise noted by the Tournament Director due to weather or other conditions. In this case, Contestants may launch their boat at any ramp other than the designated home tournament location, but all Contestants must abide by take-off rules and official “last cast” and “in weigh in line by” rules.
15. Scoring: Will be determined by the official weight of each angler's catch during the tournament. Only Largemouth, Spotted, Red Eye or Smallmouth Bass (collectively, “Bass”) are accepted species. The limit will be five Bass per team. Any Contestant who possesses more than the tournament limit, unless actively culling, will have their catch for that day disqualified. Culling must be done immediately. The minimum official measurement will be based on the lake limit. Bass presented for weigh-in, which fail to measure the prescribed length limit, will result in, but not limited to loss of that particular fish and a one-pound penalty to the weight of the remaining fish. Each Contestant's catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag and verified by the signature of at least one team member. Bass will be measured with mouth closed, tail compressed and swiped to achieve overall greatest length. A measuring board will be provided at check-in and will serve as the official measuring standard for Reel ‘Em In Foundation events. It is the contestant’s responsibility to ensure all fish presented for weigh-in are of legal length according solely to the Reel ‘Em In Foundation official measuring board.
16. Live Fish: Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live well. The use of chemical live well additives which promote the healthy return of bass to their natural habitat are recommended. A half pound (.50) penalty will be deducted for each dead Bass presented for weigh-in. Culling of dead bass is prohibited. No dead bass will be eligible for Big Bass awards or prizes.
17. Late Penalty: Contestants who are not at the official check-in point at the appointed time will be assessed a ONE (1) pound per minute penalty from their total weight including any weight to be counted toward a big Bass award. Any Contestant more than 15 minutes late will forfeit that day's catch.
18. Ties: All ties for cash prizes will be split equally among the teams involved
19. Polygraph: Polygraph exams will be administered on-site at the event. The first place team, big bass and a team randomly selected will automatically be tested. Each contestant who fishes a Reel ‘Em In Foundation event also agrees to submit to a polygraph examination should it be deemed necessary at a time and location determined by the Tournament Director following the competition. Failure to pass the examination will result in disqualification.
20. Protest and Reporting Procedure: All protests must be submitted in writing along with a $50 cash deposit within fifteen (15) minutes of the last person who weighed-in to the tournament director or designated tournament official. The protestor also agrees that if there is a question with regards to verifying the protest charge, he or she may be subject to a polygraph exam and agree to testify in a court of law if necessary. If the Tournament Director, or polygraph, upholds the protest, the cash deposit shall be returned to the contestant submitting the protest.
Last, but not least please be courteous and have fun! You are a huge part of this great cause that will effect the lives of many! Thank You.