WEST TEXAS BASS TRAIL 2023 RULES
PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY
• Teams may consist of one or two anglers per boat; only registered contestants may be in the boat during official tournament hours.
• Any contestant under the age of 18 must have the signature of their parent or legal guardian.
• If you have been disqualified from a fishing trail or have failed a polygraph for a tournament, you are NOT eligible to participate in any WTBT events.
• The WEST TEXAS BASS TRAIL reserves the right to refuse a contestant’s entry for any reason.
ENTRY FEES AND MEMBERSHIP
• $240.00 entry fee for each tournament; $ 20 goes to the Championship pot, and $20 goes to BIG BASS.
• $40.00 yearly membership for each contestant must be paid before 1st tournament that the contestant participates in.
• Championship Entry is $300.00. The Championship is 100% Payback.
• $100.00 of each entry will go to first place. The remaining places will pay 1 (One) place for every 10 (Ten) teams plus one additional place. Example: 30 teams would pay 4 (Four) places, etc.
• $20.00 from each entry will go to the BIG BASS pot. Only one BIG BASS will be paid for each tournament. $20.00 from each entry during the regular season will be carried over to the championship.
• In the event of a tie, prize money is added together and split evenly between the involved teams. The team that weighed in the biggest bass will be awarded the higher place in the tournament standings.
• Teams will only consist of 1 (One) or 2 (Two) contestants. Each team is allowed one substitute that can be used 2 (TWO) times during the regular season and/or Championship.
• Substitutes must be declared at the first tournament a team enters for the 2023 season.
• Championship teams will consist of regular season team members or one team member and that team’s substitute.
• No member may be added to a team once the season has started. Adding a team member will constitute a new team, and all previously accumulated points will not be transferred from the initial team.
• Single-member teams are permitted if one team member cannot make the tournament and a substitute was not declared at the start of the season.
• Guides are permitted as part of a team if they haven't provided guide services for any form of compensation on the tournament lake within the previous 30 days.
• An adult partner must accompany any contestant under 17. The minor’s guardian must sign the registration and release form.
• Only registered contestants are allowed in the boat during tournament hours.
AOY STANDINGS AND QUALIFICATIONS
• Teams that fish all 6 (SIX) tournaments automatically qualify for the Championship.
• Teams that fish in 4 (FOUR)tournaments and finish in the top 50% in points will qualify for the Championship and Angler of the Year race.
• AOY standings will be calculated by total weight and attendance points awarded for each tournament. The 1st place team will be awarded their tournament weight to the 100th of a pound plus attendance points, 2nd place will receive their tournament weight to the 100th of a pound plus attendance points, and so on.
• 10 (TEN) Attendance points will be awarded to all teams that have paid their entry fee before the start of each tournament.
• Total combined weight from all tournaments fished and attendance points received during the season will be used to determine AOY standings. If there is a tie in AOY points after six (6) tournaments, AOY will be decided by the BIGGEST BASS THE TEAMS WEIGHED IN DURING THE SEASON.
• The AOY team will receive free regular-season tournament entries for the 2024 season.
SPORTSMANSHIP AND CONDUCT
• All participants are expected to always exhibit good sportsmanship. Poor sportsmanship of any kind will not be tolerated.
• No culling of dead fish. Only 5 (FIVE) fish are allowed in the live well except for the purpose of culling.
• No fishing within 25 yards of another contestant that is anchored, with a rope and weight in the water, or secured with a rope to an object with the trolling motor in the stowed position. Unless there is a mutual agreement between teams.
• Fishing in areas marked as off-limits is to be observed.
• No alcohol or non-prescribed narcotics are allowed anytime during tournament hours. Contestants that violate this rule will be disqualified.
• Contestants shall not leave the boat to land a fish.
PERMITTED FISHING METHODS
• Each contestant may only use 1 rod at a time. No more than 1 line in the water at a time per angler. A cast must be completed before another rod may be used by the same angler.
• Only artificial bait may be used. Pork rind trailers are acceptable. No live or cut bait allowed.
• Trolling with the big motor is not permitted.
• No video equipment may be used to locate and/or catch fish during tournament hours.
• All fish must be caught in a sporting manner. Fish caught while sight fishing must be hooked inside the mouth. Snagging fish is not permitted.
• The tournament lake is off-limits beginning at 12:01 AM the prior Monday to each tournament until the start of each tournament. This applies to all regular contestants and team substitutes. Contestant launch their boats prior to the start tournament but may not have a line in the water until their boat number is called at send off at the start of the tournament.
• Tournament registration will begin around 5:00 AM the day of the tournament. Registration will be at the official take-off and weigh-in location.
• Cash is the only form of payment for all tournaments.
• Boat numbers will be drawn at registration the morning of the tournament and called out at safe light. Weigh-in times will be regulated by flights when there are more than 20 teams. More than 20 teams may have flighted starts.
• Boats may be inspected during/at registration.
• Contestants may launch their boats from any ramp on the tournament lake but must take off from the official take-off site.
• All Texas Parks and Wildlife rules must be followed during tournament hours.
• Lifejackets with the kill switch attached to the boat must be worn anytime the big motor is in gear.
• Tournament hours may be altered at the discretion of the tournament director.
• The tournament director may allow trailering for inclement weather.
• Every attempt shall be made to ensure the survival of each team’s catch. Fish shall be brought to the weigh-in line in an acceptable weigh-in bag with enough water to promote the live release of the team’s catch.
• All bass must be a minimum of 14” in length (Mouth closed and the tail pinched to achieve max length). State regulations for each lake must be followed.
• A one (1) pound penalty per dead fish will be assessed for any fish not alive when presented to the scales and weighed as part of a limit.
• Contestants may be subject to polygraph upon request. Refusing to take a polygraph is an automatic disqualification from the event and trail. Disqualification from a tournament will result in the team forfeiting their weight for the tournament. The team will receive credit for attending the tournament and receive attendance points.
• If a team is late to weigh in, the team may still weigh their fish but will incur a 1-pound penalty for each minute past the team’s weigh-in deadline, a maximum of 15 pounds. The team will receive their tournament weight plus attendance points minus their late penalty.
• All protests must be in writing and picture/video form within 10 minutes of the close of the weigh-in.
• All decisions made by the tournament director are final.
• A blind draw at the last regular season tournament will determine the Championship Lake. The Championship will be from the previously fished tournament lakes at the last tournament or another lake at the tournament director’s discretion.
• Championship entry fee will be $300.00 for each qualified team. The championship payout will be based on the number of entered teams plus $20.00 from each entry paid during the regular season that was carried over. All sponsor money will go to the Championship payout.
• One place for Big Bass will be paid at the Championship. $30.00 from each Championship entry fee will go to the Big Bass pot.
• The Championship is 100% payback.
• The Championship will have the same off-limits period as the regular season.
RELEASE OF LIABILITY
• Upon entering the West Texas Bass Trail, contestants release West Texas Bass Trail from liability for accidents, losses, thefts, etc.
If there are any questions, contact Todd Mayes @ 254-631-1852