16. Specific Pro-Am Competition Rules / Penalties
1. NO INFORMATION RULE: Pro-Am Anglers shall not pursue any action of any kind that may give that Pro-Am Angler a competitive advantage during competition. Exceptions to this will apply when an angler has identified that he/she is in another tournament to be held on the same body of water. The director will make a final decision in those matters.
2. Pro-Am Anglers may not talk to Boat Officials about any other Pro-Am Angler or tactics used during any competition day.
3. Should a Pro-Am Angler receive information that potentially gives him a competitive advantage, such as locations: baits, topography, conditions, etc., including unsolicited information, he is required to share that information with the Pro-Am Directory or his designated representatives. The Director or his designated representatives shall determine whether this information should be subsequently shared with any or all other Pro-Am Anglers.
4. GPS STORED WAYPOINTS: Waypoints may only be marked during competition periods only. Waypoint creation in between periods constitutes a graphing violation. (See Graphing Violation)
5. OFF LIMITS: Lake is off limits except for when Pro-Am Anglers are competing in the actual Pro Am event, or pre-cleared by the Director due to participation in another tournament event. (Penalty – Pro Am Director: Illegal Scouting, Disqualification)
6. ASSESSING PENALTIES: If the Boat Official calls a penalty on the Angler, he/she must immediately stop all activities including fishing. The Angler is not allowed to drop shallow water anchors or operate the trolling motor unless the boat is in immediate danger of being damaged and the Boat Official gives the Angler permission to do so. ALL other activities of any kind are not allowed and additional penalty time will be added for a penalty compliance violation for each occurrence. If a penalty results from a Bass Landing Violation the Bass must immediately be measured and released or measured, weighed and released. The Boat Official is required to manually record the weight of the Bass before he starts the penalty clock on the SCORETRACKER© Scoring System Device. Boat Officials are not allowed to enter the penalty on the SCORETRACKER© Scoring System Device before the weight is first manually recorded. The Angler must not request that Boat Official start the penalty clock before the weight is first manually entered. The Angler must sit down on the deck and is not allowed to do ANYTHING during his penalty time with the exception of talking to the camera operator, if present, about his fishing day up to that point or what it is that he is going to do next. (Penalty – Official: Penalty Compliance Violation, 1 Minute Additional Penalty)
7. PENALTY CARRY-OVER: If an Angler is assessed a penalty at the end of Period One or Period Two, the penalty time spent will be at the “Start of Fishing” in the next period. If an Angler is penalized at the conclusion of Period Three then the penalty is null and void. The beginning ride around time cannot be used for penalty time.
8. LINES-IN RULE: During the countdown to begin fishing in any period and at the end of a Penalty, the Pro-Am Angler cannot cast his lure before the Boat Official says “Lines In.” (Penalty – Official: Lines-In Violation, 2 Minutes at Start of Period)
9. LINES-OUT RULE: If the Boat Official has called “End of Period, Lines Out” or “End of Round, Lines Out” the Pro-Am Angler cannot make another cast. (Penalty – Official: Lines-Out Violation, 2 Minutes Carry-Over Penalty)
10. ENCROACHMENT RULE: There is no official buoy distance rule. However, at no time is a Pro Am Angler allowed to interfere with another Pro-Am Angler’s line. If a Pro Am Angler casts close to another Pro Am Angler and hooks into his line, the casting Angler will be penalized. (Penalty – Official: Hooking other’s line, 2 Min., stop fishing when line untangled)
11. LANDING BASS: While landing Bass, the Bass cannot touch the carpet or any other part of the boat inside the gunnel at any time during the process. If the Bass comes unhooked from the bait and falls to the carpet or hits any other part of the inside of the boat it will be assessed as a violation. Excepted from this rule will be laying the Bass on the measuring board or on the carpet to remove a deep set hook, “only after it has been properly landed without it touching the carpet”. Pro Am anglers should first ask the Boat Official if the Angler can lay the Bass on the carpet. If a Bass comes off of the measuring board while measuring or off the scale while weighing the Bass it will not be assessed as a penalty. Additionally, Pro-Am Anglers are not allowed to cradle Bass or allow Bass that he/she is landing to touch his/her body. A Pro-Am Angler cannot allow a Bass to touch any part of the body other than the hands or forearms. A slight touch will not be penalized. If the Angler brings the Bass to the body deliberately to secure control of the Bass or the Bass hits the Angler more than slightly, then it will be a penalty. From a rules standpoint, the body is to be treated the same as the carpet. (Penalty – Official: Bass Landing violation, 2 Minutes immediate, stop Fishing)
12. RELEASING BASS: When releasing any Bass that is Score able or non-Score able, the Pro-Am Angler’s hand must be at gunnel level or closer to the water. No flipping or tossing of a Bass. (Penalty – Official: Bass release violation, 2 Minutes immediate, stop Fishing)
13. BROKE OFF BASS: Breaking off a hooked Bass while fighting and landing it will result in a penalty. If a hooked fish does not reveal itself as something other than a Bass then the fish will be judged to be a Bass. A break-off on the initial hook set will not result in a broke off Bass penalty. (Penalty – Official: Breaking off hooked Bass, 2 Minutes immediate stop Fishing)
14. SECOND LINE: Pro-Am Anglers are prohibited from having a second line in the water during all Pro-Am rounds (Penalty – Official: Second Line Usage, 2 Minutes immediate stop Fishing)
15. LEAVING BOAT TO FISH: Pro-Am Anglers may not leave the boat for the purpose of Fishing. Leaving the boat to assist in landing a hooked Bass, as an act of Fishing, will result in a penalty. Although penalized, if a Pro-Am Angler retrieves a Score able Bass, the Bass will count. Leaving the boat for non-Fishing reasons is allowed without a penalty. (Penalty – Official: Leaving Boat to Land Bass, 4 Minutes immediate stop fishing)
16. OUT OF BOUNDS: On some bodies of water, Pro Am Anglers will compete in pre-determined zones each day. The boat must be positioned inside the zone boundaries. Fishing outside of the boundaries is allowed as long as the boat position remains inside the boundaries. Any boat position outside the zone will result in a penalty. (Penalty – Official: Boat out of Bounds, 5 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)
17. GRAPHING: Graphing between periods in order to locate Bass is not allowed. Penalty will be called when the Pro Am Angler marks a waypoint between periods. (Penalty – Official: Graphing between Periods, 5 Minutes at start of next period)
18. PERSONAL FLOTATION DEVICE: Each Pro-Am Angler must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver. Pro-Am Angler’s life preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely and maintained in that condition any time the combustion engine is in gear. The Pro-Am Boat Official’s life preserver must be on before the boat is put on plane. Camera Operators are not required to wear the life preserver, but one must be on board for them at all times. (Penalty – Official: Safe-boat conduct Penalty, 3 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)
19. KILL SWITCH: The Pro-Am Angler or other appointed driver must have his boat’s kill switch connected any time the combustion engine is in gear. (Penalty – Official: Kill-switch connection, 5 Minutes immediate, stop fishing)
20. SPORTSMANSHIP: A Sportsmanship Violation is defined as aggressive or hostile behavior directed at a fellow Pro-Am Angler, Boat Official, a non-competitor or any representative of the Pro-Am, including the use of profanity directed at these individuals, will not be tolerated. ALL Boat Officials are required to report violations. (Sportsmanship Violation, Penalty will be determined by the Pro-Am Director)
21. FLAGRANT VIOLATION: A flagrant violation for any act that reflects unfavorably upon the positive efforts of the Pro-Am, Pro-Am sponsors, spectators, fisheries conservation, and clean waters will not be tolerated. (Flagrant Sportsmanship Violation, Penalty determined by Pro-Am Director)
22. At the end of the period, Pro Am Anglers will be allotted extra minutes of Fishing, with the total number of minutes equaling the duration of the TIME OUT. Pro-Am reserves the right to alter the day’s competitive time schedule should a TIME OUT occur.
23. PROHIBITED LURES: Only artificial lures with two or fewer hooks will be allowed to be used. Alabama / Umbrella rigs are prohibited from use due to their propensity to create additional stress on multiple fish caught.
24. SPOT LOCK / POWER POLE / TALON USE: Use of power poles, talons, and spot lock trolling motors is allowed during regulation play. These positioning systems are not allowed to be engaged during a penalty unless not doing so would place the boat in danger of receiving damage. If the positioning system is engaged while landing a fish and is active once the fish is landed then the system may remain engaged during penalty time.
These rules are subject to consistent review and update by the Pro Am Director only. In the event of a change resulting in review all anglers will be notified in advance via social media, email, and sms alert as to the change.