BAITFUEL FISHING TOUR COMMUNICATION PATHWAYS
- IN EVENT Any/all communication regarding rules, interpretation/implementation and protests during qualifier/tour championship hours (until the conclusion of weigh in) MUST be addressed to the Tournament Director (TD, Todd Morton 2024 Season) and the TD ONLY. Communication MUST occur through a voice conversation (in person or phone 613-983-2277)
- OUTSIDE EVENT Any/all post-qualifier/tour championship communication regarding rules, interpretation/implementation, etc after weigh in concludes, MUST be addressed to Baitfuel Fishing Tour admin ONLY (Tom Hooper and/or Greg Scott 2024 Season) via email email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org. One of them will follow up ASAP.
SECTION 1 – TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR
The role of the tournament director (TD, Todd Morton) is to oversee the delivery of professional tournaments that ensure angler safety, proper fish management and positive community relations.
The TD is responsible for interpreting and applying the rules herein in a fair and consistent manner throughout the season.
Any questions concerning the interpretation of the rules, procedures or appropriate action must be directed to the TD exclusively (in event hours) or to Baitfuel Fishing Tour admin (outside event hours) as per the communication pathways above.
All decisions of the TD (in event) are final.
At any time the TD may impose a penalty he/she deems appropriate for any violation of the rules, procedures or sportsmanship code. Penalties, disqualifications or expulsions will be issued without the refund of any of fees or dues.
Penalties for rules violations may include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Loss of the total day’s weight or any portion thereof;
- Disqualification from the qualifier in question;
- Disqualification for a specific period or number of future BaitFuel Fishing Tour events;
- Lifetime expulsion from BaitFuel Fishing Tour.
SECTION 2 – GRANT OF RIGHTS
In connection with the promotion of any events under BaitFuel Fishing Tour jurisdiction and any tournaments or other events, I agree to promptly and fully comply with all filming, camera locations, guidelines and instructions.
I hereby irrevocably grant permission to BaitFuel Fishing Tour and its affiliates and each of their respective agents and those acting under their permission or upon their authority in perpetuity, a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free, fully paid up license to reproduce, display, exhibit, publish, broadcast, distribute, and otherwise use, and permit others to use, my name, image, nickname, initials, symbols, likeness, signature, photograph, voice, statements, biographical material, and any and all attributes of my personality and appearance in materials created in connection with my participation in the BaitFuel Fishing Tour.
WAIVER AND RELEASE:
As a condition of participation in the BaitFuel Fishing Tour, each competitor must execute a waiver and release of liability, and a name and likeness release.
By electronic signature on the official tournament entry form, each competitor agrees to submit to a truth verification test and abide by its conclusion should he/she be accused of any rule violation.
During tournaments, BaitFuel Fishing Tour retains the right to mount a GoPro or similar camera in a competitor’s boat (the footage may be used in social media or TV coverage). A competitor is required to comply, and assumes responsibility for the camera’s safe return and continuous operation. If the camera is not working, a message must be sent to the TD, who will then inform the film crew. Damage incurred, determined to be excessive or wanton by the TD, shall result in the angler being responsible for all costs of repair or replacement.
SECTION 3 – PRE-EVENT
All anglers must be at least 16 years of age on the day of the event before they are eligible to participate in a BaitFuel Fishing Tour event. Any angler less than 18 years of age may only participate with someone over the age of 19.
All documentation including registration forms, waivers, proof of insurance, and proof of boater’s safety course must be submitted prior to competing in the first tournament of the year. Failure to comply will result in disqualification from the first qualifying tournament without the possibility of a refund.
All Teams must submit insurance company name and policy number for all boats to be used in the series, as well as an E-transfer payment at registration. All insurance waivers must clearly identify; the vessel, engine, date in effect and must include at least 1 million dollars in liability coverage for the user of the boat.
Law requires all boat operators to possess a safe boating card. If a team member makes a substitution and the substitute will act as the operator, then that substitute must possess a safe boater’s card to be eligible. All competitors are responsible to ensure that they carry licenses appropriate for the waters that they choose to fish.
Registration will open on Oct 1, 2023 . The period of Oct 1 (opening) until Oct 14 will be reserved exclusively for 2023 BaitFuel Fishing Tour teams to register. As of Oct 15, 2023 registration is open to all other anglers. Registration will be capped at 65 teams.
Team numbers will be assigned based on a random draw by BaitFuel Admin. The timing of the draw will be communicated via email.
Team starting identification numbers must be placed exclusively on either side of the cowling. Teams may not be allowed to compete without cowling markers. Each team will receive one (1) set of cowling markers at the first qualifying event. Teams requiring additional cowling markers must notify BaitFuel Fishing Tour one week before the event the cowling markers are required. A third set can be provided if necessary.
Each team will take their boat to the designated boat check area where the boat will be inspected and registered by the shore staff. Shore staff will check for operational live wells, a kill switch and 2 life jackets. All boats must be checked by BaitFuel Fishing Tour shore staff before they can participate in the tournament. Each event will commence with a trickle start in order by “flight”. Each flight will consist of 13-20 teams depending on the number of registrants for that season. The first flight blasts off at 06:30 and checks in at 15:30. Subsequent flights leave at 15 minute intervals. Flight orders change from event to event to ensure equity. BaitFuel Fishing Tour will communicate flight sequences in the 24 hour pre-event communication via email.
At blast off, the TD will call each starting number ONCE. Failure to maintain blast off order or delaying the blast-off will result in being sent to the end of the blast off order for that flight, at the TD’s discretion.
Specific instructions modifying the starting procedures may be communicated at each event by the TD. No team will start fishing until their starting number has been called. Any violation may be penalized by the TD.
TEAM CAPTAIN DESIGNATION
The first name on the registration is team captain. In the event of a change in the team either before or during the season, the team captain will retain rights to the team’s registration/starting position and the other team member must withdraw.
There will be one substitution allowed per team member per year for BaitFuel Fishing Tour qualifier events. Each team can fish alone a maximum of 2 times whether it be each partner fishing alone for one qualifier tournament or one of the members may fish alone twice during the season. The TD/BaitFuel Admin will consider circumstances to allow one member of the team to fish alone a second time if both members have already each fished alone once. If a competitor elects to fish a BaitFuel Fishing Tour event alone, they must notify BaitFuel Fishing Tour ASAP – TD on the day of event, BaitFuel Fishing Tour admin prior. Anyone fishing alone can be assigned a GoPro recording device.
If a team utilizes a substitute during one or more of the qualifier events the team will NOT be eligible for the Team of the Year (TOY) prizes. If a team member fishes alone as per the substitution rule above, the team will be still eligible for the TOY prizes.
There are absolutely no substitutions for the Tour Championship. All Teams must participate as originally registered or one of the anglers may fish as an individual with an assigned GoPro recording device.
- Qualifier pre-fish is from Sunday-Friday prior to the event..
- All teams must be off the water by 5:00 PM Friday.
- During qualifier pre-fish, competitors are not allowed to livewell or keep any bass unless they have permission from BaitFuel Admin.
- Any angler fishing another competitive event on the same body of water/location during the official pre-fish period MUST inform the BaitFuel Admin and receive approval prior to participation.
- A designated tournament official must be granted access to the competitor’s boat at any time during the official pre-fish.
Failure to comply with any of the rules above can result in disqualification from that tournament.
Should competitors wish to challenge a violation of the pre-fishing code of conduct, they may do so by either taking an image/video and/or following the formal protest procedure (see section 6). In either case, the TD/BaitFuel Fishing Tour admin must be informed ASAP.
SECTION 4 – IN EVENT
Qualifying tournaments event hours will be from 06:30-16:30 with each flight fishing for 8 hours.
Day 1 of the Tour Championship will be from 07:00-16:00. Day 2 of the Championship Tour will be from 07:00-15:00. During the period of 16:00-07:00 between day 1 and day 2 of the Tour Championship or back-to-back qualifier weekends, no tournament participants may fish on the tournament body of water. Failure to adhere results in DISQUALIFICATION.
Qualifier headquarters will be open at 05:15 for boat checks and launch. The TD has the right to delay, shorten or cancel the start of an official tournament day due to inclement weather or any other factors that may endanger the safety of the competitors. **Small craft warning, issued by the Canadian Coast Guard, will be adhered to by the TD.
Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time because of potentially dangerous conditions at the discretion of the TD.
In the event that a qualifying tournament must be canceled, the Q5 location will be used back-to-back with Sunday being the replacement “Rain Date”.
***provided the tourney area is still available.
If Day 1 of the Tour Championship must be canceled, Day 2 will serve as the one-day championship. If Day 2 of the Tour Championship must be canceled after the successful completion of Day 1, the results from Day 1 will serve as the final results. In the event that both days of the Tour Championship are canceled, then it will be up to the BaitFuel Admin on how to proceed.
EARLY WEIGH-IN (1:00 – 2:00 pm)
Early weigh-in is offered in circumstances ruled upon by the TD.
Only waters which are accessible by boat from tournament headquarters and in accordance with MNR regulations may be fished during an event. No locking will be permitted. Anglers are responsible for having all licenses for any waters they choose to fish.
Should a qualifier have defined boundaries, such “cut off areas” will be communicated at least 48 hours prior to the event via BaitFuel Fishing Tour email, website and social media channels.
CELL PHONES, SMART PHONES, OR ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATION DEVICES
Cell and Smartphones or other electronic communication devices may only be used for global maps and weather, to communicate with TD for rules clarification or in the event of an emergency. The use of any communication device to obtain and use fishing information from anyone during tournament hours is strictly prohibited and will be penalized by the TD. When in doubt, call the TD!!!
ELIGIBLE SPECIES AND BAG LIMIT
Only largemouth and smallmouth bass of any length are eligible for any event. A maximum of five (5) largemouth only for Q1, Bay of Quinte and only four (4) Qs 2-5, in any combination (largemouth or smallmouth) of eligible species, may be weighed in.
TACKLE & EQUIPMENT
Only artificial lures may be used at any BaitFuel Fishing Tour event. Trolling is not permitted.
GOPRO RECORDING DEVICES
As stated in Section 2, a competitor may be assigned a GoPro for any qualifying event. For the Tour Championship, the top teams will be assigned a GoPro. This GoPro will act as a human scrutineer. If assigned, competitors are responsible for ensuring the camera is recording and unobstructed throughout the tournament. A competitor MUST start recording prior to blast off and end recording when weigh in starts. Any break in recording/issue with GoPro must be communicated to the TD immediately.
Failure to do so may result in penalty or disqualification.
BOAT & MOTOR
All boats must be equipped with a functional livewell. Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by competitors. Each competitor must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver any time the combustion engine is operating, as well as observe and abide by any and all provincial and state life preserver regulations that apply to his/her age. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely, and maintained in that condition at all times while being worn. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification. All boats must be equipped with an approved type operable ignition kill switch and lanyard. Only one manufactured lanyard may be used and it must be attached to the driver’s body any time the combustion engine is operating and in gear. Anytime the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat.
Only four (4) fish of the eligible species are permitted in live-wells and five (5) for Q1 Bay of Quinte while under power of the main engine. Any competitor caught culling a dead fish back into the water or on land will be immediately disqualified from the event. Culling of a dead fish will be allowed provided that the competitors keep the dead fish in a bag and stored elsewhere in their boat during the tournament. Dead fish in the live-well count towards the team’s four (4) or five (5) fish limit. When anglers check-in, they must notify the TD of any bagged dead fish not included in their fish limit as well as any dead fish included in the bag to be weighed.
Failure to declare any and all dead fish to the TD will result in a one (1) pound penalty per dead fish.
The bagged dead fish and any dead fish weighed in are the sole responsibility of the angler. BaitFuel Fishing Tour staff will provide a garbage bag for dead fish transport.
NON-PENETRATING CULLING CLIPS
Any part of the fish may not be punctured during the course of culling by weigh scale or balance beam. The use of puncturing culling clips or weighted fin clips is strictly prohibited.
Any Weighted Fin Clips found on fish by either the Fish Checker or Weigh Master will receive a 1 pound penalty per fish.
To ensure successful release and educate the angler on how to properly care for their fish, all fish suffering from barotrauma must be fizzed by the angler prior to weighing in.
In the event that the fish checker is unable to see evidence of the fish being fizzed that are clearly suffering from barotrauma and need to be fizzed, fish will be weighed and then transferred to a separate tub for fizzing by the angler.
Each team may request one (1) re-weigh and weigh master has discretion in this area. When a re-weigh occurs, the second (re-weigh) weight will be the recorded weight.
Similarly, it is the Weigh Master’s discretion to reweigh a bag and/or big fish at any time.
Teams are only allowed to weigh-in one (1) big bass and this will be weighed in before their bag of fish. Big Bass should be clearly marked with a non piercing mouth culling clip to speed up the weighing process. Do not use weighted Fin Clips! Dead fish are NOT eligible to be weighed in the big bass category.
Any Weighted Fin Clips found on fish by either the Fish Checker or Weigh Master will receive a 1 pound penalty per fish.
- The late penalty (arriving to check in after designated time) is 1 pound (16oz) per minute, up to a ten-minute maximum. Beyond 10 minutes, the late team will record a zero weight for that event. If a team fails to contact the TD, they will be disqualified from that event.
- If, at any point, a team transports (in their livewell) more than four (4) St. Lawrence, five (5) Bay of Quinte fish under power of the combustion engine, their catch will be culled by the TD, commencing with the largest fish and will continue until only the required number of fish remain. Fish that have died and have been bagged and stored elsewhere in the boat for proper consumption at the end of the event will not violate the aforementioned rule.
- Anglers must declare any dead/struggling fish to the TD prior to weighing in. Failure to declare any/all dead fish to the TD will result in a one (1) pound penalty per dead fish. Struggling fish whose health is in question must be reported to the TD prior to fish check.
- The penalty for each dead fish weighed is progressive as indicated below. The number of dead fish is carried forward into each qualifier.
1st dead fish 0.50 lbs
2nd dead fish 0.50 lbs
3rd dead fish 0.50 lbs
4th dead fish 0.75 lbs
5th dead fish 1.00 lbs
6th dead fish 1.25 lbs
7th dead fish 1.50 lbs
Further Dead Fish results in DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE REMAINDER OF THE TOURNAMENT SEASON – INCLUDING THE TOUR CHAMPIONSHIP.
The progressive dead fish penalty will apply for the 2-day Tour Championship. However, each team will recommence from zero dead fish for the Tour Championship.
Dead fish are the responsibility of the anglers and will not be accepted by shore staff. Failure to retain in your possession any dead fish weighed in will result in a 0.5 lb penalty as determined by the TD. Shore staff will provide bags to anglers at the scales for any/all dead fish.
SECTION 5 – PAYOUTS and PRIZES
QUALIFIER SCORING SYSTEM
Cumulative points will be recorded for each team throughout the qualifying series. Example: 1st place 100 points, 2nd place 99 points, etc Teams will be ranked according to their total aggregate points, irrespective of the number of qualifying events fished. The top forty (40) teams in TOY standings after Q5 will qualify for the Tour Championship.
In the event of a tie for prize money of any qualifier, first and second place prizes will be added together and split evenly between the teams. Same for subsequent tied prize money moving down the order.
In the event of a tie for first place of the TOY (as determined at the conclusion of the final qualifier event), the tie will be broken by the team who weighed in the most cumulative weight over the 5 qualifiers. In the event of a tie for first place in the Tour Championship, the tie will be broken by the team with the heaviest Day 1 bag.
Any ties in top 40 positioning for the Tour Championship will be broken by total cumulative weight over the 5 qualifiers.
Contingency programs are sponsor-funded programs developed to reward competitors based on a predefined set of criteria. Participation in contingency programs is at the anglers’ discretion and the responsibility of the angler to inform the series which contingency programs they qualify for (keep up to date as season progresses) and ensure they meet the criteria for awards based on manufacturer’s criteria. In many instances, anglers will be responsible for contacting the manufacturer to claim their reward.
The top forty (40) teams in the TOY standings will qualify for the Tour Championship. Each qualifying team must pay $500 + $20 for Big Fish + HST in order to fish the two day Tour Championship. In order to qualify for the drawing of the prize boat, anglers will be given time to trailer their boats and meet for a Celebratory BBQ. All anglers must have fished, weighed in both days and most importantly, be present during the draw, in order to win the boat/motor package.
PROPOSED PAYOUT STRUCTURE
|BAITFUEL FT||Qualifiers (5)||BAITFUEL FT||BFT Tour Championship|
|Entry||$400 + HST||Entry||ENTRY – $520+HST|
|TEAMS||65||TEAMS||TEAMS – 40|
|MONEY IN||$26000.00||MONEY IN||$20000.00|
|6||$1400.00||$80K Boat Draw|
|OA BIG FISH||BF||$1300.00||BF||$800|
|100% PAID OUT||$26000.00||100% PAID OUT||$20800.00|
****Payout structure can/will be reflected by the number of teams competing during any given season.****
Payouts will be by cheque mailed via Canada Post. (Make sure your address is correct when registering)
BOAT/MOTOR DRAW LOGISTICS (only for Tour Championship participants)
The Tour Championship winning team receives 1 key.
9 keys will be available for random selection.
The remaining 9 keys will be drawn in order from second place downward based on their Tour Championship finishing positions.
Once all 10 keys are revealed, a process of elimination will occur until there is one key remaining.
That team will win the boat/motor prize!!!!!
SECTION 6 – SAFETY and SPORTSMANSHIP
All contestants must remain in their boats at all times during tournament hours except when instructed at tournament headquarters. Participants may only exit their vessel to use washroom facilities. One team member must remain in the boat at all times. If you are unsure, call the TD. When in doubt, call the TD!!!
ALL Teams are obligated to check in with the TD at the end of each qualifier. In the event that a team must/chooses to leave early, the team MUST check in with the Tournament Director via phone or in person prior to trailering their boat.
If a team fails to contact the TD (same reasons stated above) during the Tour Championship, they will be disqualified and be ineligible for the boat draw.
When in doubt, call the TD!!!
Due to Liability and the Well Being of our anglers, either will result in a DISQUALIFICATION for the remainder of the season!
All anglers must wear a personal floatation device (PFD) or lifejacket at all times while under power of the internal combustion engine during tournament hours. Participants may elect to wear a self inflating PFD while under power of the combustion engine. A self-inflating PFD does not qualify as an approved floatation device unless it is worn and therefore anglers must also have at least a conventional PFD or lifejacket on board if they wish to remove their inflatable PDF.
SPORTSMANSHIP & CONDUCT
All BaitFuel Fishing Tour members are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation. Anglers must conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, the BaitFuel Fishing Tour organization, the BaitFuel Fishing Tour sponsors, the sport of fishing and the BaitFuel Fishing Tour. All contestants are obligated to adhere to the tournament rules and procedures as well as any additional instructions communicated by the TD. Interpreting and potentially manipulating a rule or the spirit of a rule in the interests of advantage will be deemed a violation of the sportsmanship code and will result in a 0.5lb penalty.
Examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following:
Any act or inflammatory statement by any contestant that, in the opinion of the TD/BaitFuel Admin, is detrimental to the operation of the tournament, damaging to organized bass fishing, to BaitFuel Fishing Tour or any of its sponsors, or to regulatory agencies or their officers (such as rangers, wardens, fishery biologists, etc.) during the pre-fish or tournament, may result in a temporary suspension or expulsion from all future BaitFuel Fishing Tour events.
- Violation of or failure to comply with any of the BaitFuel Fishing Tour rules, regulations,guidelines and procedures.
- Any act that is considered threatening behavior to another competitor, BaitFuel Fishing Tour shore staff, BaitFuel Fishing Tour admin or TD.
- Failure to comply with directions or orders given by the TD. (i.e. when to bag fish, when a competitor can load their boat, etc).
- Failure to comply with municipal, provincial and federal laws and regulations. (i.e. this will also include complying with all official Federal marine speed limits and all no wake zones).
- The use/possession of illegal drugs or the consumption of marijuana and/or alcoholic beverages will not be tolerated at any BaitFuel Fishing Tour function
PROTEST / DISPUTE PROCEDURES
Competitors can ONLY make an OFFICIAL PROTEST / DISPUTE during tournament hours by reporting their intentions to the TD (in person or voice call) BEFORE the conclusion of weigh in. Any official protest must be substantiated by at least one (1) other team. Competitors making a protest can request a protest form from the BaitFuel Fishing Tour Admin.
The protest will be communicated to and only to the TD. BaitFuel Fishing Tour can suspend the final outcome for up to 48 hours to investigate the allegations and then determine the outcome of said event.
The Protesting Team can request for a Polygraph/Lie Detector Test to be conducted on the Team in Question BUT the Protesting Team MUST pay for the test to be done at the protesting team’s expense.
(Roughly $500) No Refund
Final decisions will be made by the TD and communicated by BaitFuel Fishing Tour Admin.
SECTION 7 — COMMUNICATION
BaitFuel Fishing Tour will utilize the digital media including the BaitFuel Fishing Tour website, email, Facebook and Instagram for any and all official announcements.
Specifics related to each event including site plan, parking etc will be posted on the website 72 hours prior to each event.
The BaitFuel Fishing Tour reserves the right to amend the Rules & Regulations as deemed necessary.