BUCKETMOUTH BASS CLUB INC. 2023 Tournament Rules

Changes in red.

Who can fish?

1.      You MUST be a member, complete and sign the waiver form and show proof of $100,000 liability insurance on your boat to fish.

2.      You MUST join as a team. 

3.      There will be an early signup period for all of last year's members and up to 10 new teams of May 1st. After that time memberships will be taken until a maximum of 40 teams is reached on a first come basis.  Membership fees are $100 per team due two weeks before fishing in any points tournament that year.

4.      Remove - A team my use a sub a maximum of twice a season.   When a non-member sub is used for the first time they must pay a $25 sub membership fee.  

  1. All tournaments will be partner tournaments. You may fish alone.

6.      Two non-partners may fish together in the same boat and keep their fish separate so each team will receive its own weight.

  1. A member of Team A may fish as a sub for Team B and Team B will receive all the points for that tournament.

8.      No more than 2 people per boat. One member of each team must be at least 18 years of age. If under 18 you must have signed permission by a guardian.


9.      All teams must be registered and their boat available for inspection 45 minutes before the scheduled start of the tournament.  If the team is more than 10 minutes late they are ineligible to fish.  All late teams will be flagged off last.

10.   A partner may show up late and fish if: 1) One member of the team shows up on time for registration, 2) The Tournament Director is notified before the Pre-Tournament meeting and 3) The late arriving member is picked up at the tournament designated launch site.

11.   A tournament committee member before each tournament must inspect each boat. Inspection ribbons must stay on the boat until after weigh-ins.

12.   There will be a mandatory pre-tournament meeting immediately after the close of registration. At least one member of each team must be present at the meeting.  All teams are responsible for any information given out at this meeting.

13.   The tournament director's watch is the official time to start and stop each tournament. All watches should be compared at the pre-tournament meeting

14.   At the pre-tournament meeting the launch order will be determined and we will blast off in single file.  A team can only be drawn once per season for flag off duties.

Entry Fees

15.    Tournament fees are $80 per team. 

16.   Tournaments entry fees will be collected as cash at the tournament site.


17.   The tournament purse is 85% of the total entries minus $5 per team. One place will be paid back per every 5 team entry fees collected. (1-5 teams 1 place, 6-10 teams 2 places, etc). This money will be divided as per the voted percentages.

18.   The club will absorb any money not won.

Fishing Rules

19.   No more than 5 fish will be weighed in per team.  No team can have more than 5 fish in their possession at the end of tournament hours.  The penalty will be culling of the largest fish in their possession, one fish for each fish over the limit.   Fish will be weighed in using a wet reinforced bag.

20.   Smallmouth and Largemouth bass only.

21.   Minimum length is 12 inches. (Black Lake is 15 inches)

22.   Artificial baits only - with the exception of pork trailers.

23.   Each person is allowed only 1 pole in the water at a time.

24.   Fishing must be done from a tournament registered boat. No shore fishing or wading is allowed nor may you leave the boat to land a fish.

25.   Fishing is not permitted within 100 ft. of another tournament boat, unless the first boat waves you through or permits you to share the spot.

26.   All NY State laws pertaining to bass fishing and boating.

27.   Live weigh-ins will be conducted shortly after the tournament has ended.

28.   Trolling under gas, electric or oar power is prohibited. Drifting is permitted.  No down riggers.

Boating Rules

29.   Each boat must have an operational live well. (Coolers are acceptable)

30.   Each boat must comply with state and federal regulations. (Flotation devices, horn, anchor etc.)

31.   Tournament waters are defined by all waters that can be reached without going through a lock or taking the boat out of the water.   

32.   A boat may be put on to a trailer at the designated launch site during tournament hours for repair or bad weather. Then the boat may be re-launched.   The boat may not be trailered from the launch site area during tournament hours.

33.   Beaching to use the latrine, for bad weather or any emergency will not disqualify any team as long as they reach the weigh-ins on time.

34.   Life jackets must be worn and if equipped, kill switches must be tethered to the driver while the outboard motor is in gear.

35.   NO alcoholic beverages or illegal substances allowed.


36.   Loss of 1/2 lb. for each fish that is weighed in dead or is less than the legal length. Culling of dead fish is not allowed.  Dead fish must be weighed in.  Dead fish cannot count for lunker.

37.   All fish being weighed in must be released. A lunker of 5 pounds or greater to be kept will suffer the penalty of 1/2 lb. off the total weight. A second fish that is kept will not be weighed in.

38.   Any team that is late for the weigh-in will get one pound deduced from their total weight for each minute or part of a minute that the team is late up to the total weight of their catch. If a team is 15 or more minutes late that team is disqualified.

39.   If you see a boater in distress you must stop and offer assistance.  If they are in no immediate danger you must bring one member and their fish to the weigh-ins on time to avoid a late penalty.  If they are in danger then you are required to help until the danger is past.  Then you are to bring one member and their fish to the weigh-ins.  You have until the results are announced to weigh in your fish with no penalty.  If the boater is a nonmember you should get name and number to verify your reason for being late.  A call should be made to the tournament director as soon as possible to explain your situation.

Tournament of Champions

40.   Location will be decided at the regular winter meetings by a vote of the membership present. Remove - The location must be one of the regular season lakes. To qualify you must fish 6 or more tournaments.

41.   You must fish with you season partner, fish alone, or fish with another qualifying member provided their partner does not fish.

42.   Entry fee is twice the regular season fee.

43.   Rules are the same as the regular season rules.

44.   Payout is 100% of the championship fees + $5 per every regular season tournament entry collected + 5% of the tournament fees collected throughout the year and any remaining balance after $1000 is put aside for the following year.

a) The top 5 teams will be paid.

b) The percentages will be 1st – 36.25%, 2nd – 24.5% 3rd – 17.5%, 4th – 12.5%, 5th – 8.25% per team.

c) Lunker will be $100 each day.

45.   Trophies for first, second, third, and lunker to be awarded at the end of the year banquette.

Season Awards

46.   The “Gary Bigford Anglers of the Year” award will be rewarded at the end of each year.  Each tournament winning team will receive 50 points, 2nd – 49 points, 3rd – 48 and so on for every team that catches a fish.  Only the best 9 tournaments will count towards end of the year standings.

47.   To receive tournament points one team member must be in their boat when their launch number is called.

48.   If for any reason a team decides to break up they must decide which member will receive the points accumulated to date.  The other member may start a new team with 0 points but will be credited with the number of tournaments fished. 

49.   Plaques will be awarded for the first three teams.


50.   Any protest of the results must be made before payouts. Protests should be in writing and must be reviewed by the entire tournament committee present.

51.   The tournament committee must interview all parties involved in a protest.

52.   A unanimous vote is needed to disqualify any team (tournament committee members involved in the protest are not allowed to vote).


1) Drunkenness or the possession of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs.

2) Unsportsman like conduct. (Not helping another boater, etc.)

3) Unsafe boat operation.

4) Any violation of club rules.

Any disqualification will be reviewed by the entire tournament committee to see if future participation will be allowed.