1. IN EVENT Any/all communication regarding rules, interpretation/implementation and protests during American Baitworks Thousand Island Open 3 day event  MUST be addressed to the Tournament Director (TD, Todd Morton ) and the TD only.  Communication MUST occur through a voice conversation (in person or phone 613-983-2277)
  1. OUTSIDE EVENT Any/all American Baitworks Thousand Island Open  communication regarding rules, interpretation/implementation and administrative questions before the TIO should be addressed to Baitfuel Fishing Tour Admin  (Tom Hooper and Greg Scott 2024 Season) via email tom@baitfuel.com and greg@baitfuel.com.  One of them will follow up by phone/email.


All decisions of the tournament director are final and may not be protested. Any questions concerning the interpretation of the rules, procedures or appropriate action must be directed to the Tournament Director exclusively. 

At any time the tournament director 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 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 tournament in question.
  • Disqualification for a specific period or Thousand Islands Open future  events or potentially a lifetime expulsion from TIO


In addition to all of the required documentation, and all applicable tournament fees,  expenses must be paid prior to participation in the Thousand Islands Open. All anglers  must be at least 16 years of age before they are eligible to participate in an American Baitworks TIO event. Any angler less than 18 years of age may only participate with an adult  (>18 years). 


In connection with the promotion of any events under American Baitworks  Thousand Island Open 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 American Baitworks Thousand Island Open 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 licence 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 American Baitworks Thousand Island Open (TIO).


As a condition of participation in the American Baitworks TIO, 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, American Baitworks TIO 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 ASAP, who will then inform the film crew. Damage incurred, determined to be excessive or wanton by the Tournament Director, shall result in the angler being responsible for all costs of repair or replacement.


It is the angler/competitor’s responsibility to possess all legally required documentation (proof of insurance, boater’s safety card, boat registration, all applicable fishing licences and passports (if req’d)).  

All insurance policies must clearly identify: the vessel, engine and date in effect and  must include at least 1 million dollars Canadian 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.  New York (if fishing US waters) and Ontario fishing licences are required by all competitors at this event. 


TIO Competitors must be off the water for pre-fishing by 6:00 PM on Wednesday July 24, 2024. As of this time, tournament waters are only accessible to TIO competitors during designated tournament hours. 

If one of the 2 Qualifying days (Thursday or Friday) has to be cancelled, all teams fish Saturday and the final half  fish Sunday. 

Days 1 & 2Trickle start by team number. 3 flights of boats leaving 15 minutes apart: 7:00 am, 7:15 am and 7:30 am. Check-in times will be 

4:00 pm, 4:15 pm and 4:30 pm.  The order will be reversed for day 2. 

Day 3start order determined by 2 day qualifying weight. Trickle start begins at 7:00 am and all anglers must be checked in by 3:00 pm

Tournament headquarters will be open at 5:15 a.m. on Days 1 & 2 and 5:30 am on Day 3. Tournament officials have 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. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time because of potentially dangerous conditions. 

EARLY WEIGH-IN (1:00 – 2:00 pm) all three days

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.  Accessible US waters are open to fish. Anglers are responsible for necessary licences and passports as required.



Cell and Smartphones or other electronic communication devices may only be used for global maps and weather, to communicate with TD 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 penalised. When in doubt, call the TD!!!


A maximum of four (4) largemouth or smallmouth bass, in any combination of eligible species, may be weighed in.


Only artificial lures may be used.  Trolling is not permitted. 

Anglers must adhere to different requirements for safety equipment in US and Canadian waters. 


A competitor may be assigned a GoPro on days 1 and 2. For day 3, 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.


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.


Starting positions are determined by draw. Timing will be communicated by email.


Team starting identification numbers must be placed exclusively on either side of the cowling. Teams will not be allowed to compete without cowling markers. Each team will receive  one (1) set of cowling markers. Teams can pick up their cowling markers from the Shore Staff during Day 1 at morning Boat Check. 


Each team will take their boat to the designated boat check area where the boat will be checked in by the shore staff. Each event will commence with a trickle start in order by starting number. The tournament director 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 at the discretion of the TD.

Specific instructions modifying the starting procedures may be communicated each day of the event by the Tournament Director.  No team will start fishing until their starting number has been called.  Please check the website/email prior to the event for any updated tournament procedures. 


There are absolutely no substitutions during the TIO. All teams must participate as originally registered or one of the anglers may fish as an individual with an assigned scrutineer. This must be communicated to the TD prior to blast off.


Only four (4) fish of the eligible species are permitted in live-wells 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, elsewhere in their boat, during the tournament. Competitors cannot leave the dead fish in the live-well.  When anglers check-in they must notify the tournament director of the dead fish.  Failure to declare any and all dead fish to the tournament director 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.  American Baitworks TIO staff will provide a garbage bag for dead fish transport.


The use of fin clips is strictly prohibited. 

Any part of the fish must not be clipped during the course of the tournament including on the water and during weigh-in. 

The use of puncturing culling clips is strictly prohibited. Only non-puncturing cull clips may be used. Any part of the fish must not be punctured during the course of culling either by weigh scale or balance beam.

***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.  Fish will be weighed only after they have been fizzed.



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.


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!   Anglers are solely responsible for selecting the fish.

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.


  1. The late penalty (arriving to check in after designated time) is 1 pound per minute, up to a ten-minute maximum.  Beyond 10 minutes, the late team will record a zero weight for that day. If a team fails to contact the TD, they will be disqualified from the Thousand Island Open.
  2. If, at any point, a team transports (in their livewell) more than four (4) 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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 

The progressive dead fish penalty will apply for the entire event. 

Dead fish are not eligible for a big fish award. Further Dead Fish results in DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE REMAINDER OF THE TIO TOURNAMENT.


Teams will be ranked according to their total aggregate weight. The field will be cut to top 35 for the final day of the event.  Only the final day qualifying teams will be eligible to win the Bass Cat boat and Mercury motor package


In the event of a tie for first place overall, the tie will be broken by the team with the heaviest bag on Day 1. 

Combining the pay back spots and splitting the money equally will resolve ties for other positions. 

PAYOUT STRUCTURE (based on maximum 75 entries)

1ST $15 000 + key $15 000
2ND $8 500 $8 500
3RD $5 000 $5 000
4TH $4 000 $4 000
5TH $3 500 $3 500
6 TH- 9TH $2 500 each $10 000
10TH – 19TH $2 000 each $20 000
20TH – 25TH $1 500 each $9 000
OVERALL BIG FISH $1 500 $1,500
PRIZE BOAT valued at $80 000

BOAT/MOTOR DRAW LOGISTICS (only for Day 3 participants)

The American Baitworks Thousand Island Open 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 TIO 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!       VALUED AT OVER $80 000!!!!!!!!


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 TDWhen in doubt, call the TD!!!


ALL Teams are obligated to check in with the Tournament Director at the end of each tournament.  In the event that a team must/chooses to leave early, the team IS REQUIRED to communicate this to the Tournament Director via phone before trailering their boat. 

Due to Liability and the Well Being of our anglers, failure to do so will result in a DISQUALIFICATION FROM THE TOURNAMENT AND INELIGIBILITY FOR THE BOAT DRAW!!!


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.


All contestants 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 American Baitworks TIO organisation, the American Baitworks sponsors, the sport of fishing and American Baitworks efforts to promote the sport.  All contestants are  obligated to adhere to the tournament rules and procedures as well as any additional instructions communicated by the Tournament Director. 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 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 Tournament director, is detrimental to the operation of the tournament, damaging to tournament bass fishing, to American Baitworks or any of its sponsors, or to regulatory agencies or their officers (such as rangers, wardens, fishery biologists, etc.) during the practice round or tournament, may result in a temporary suspension or expulsion from all future American Baitworks tournaments.
  • Violation of or failure to comply with any of the American Baitworks TIO rules, regulations, guidelines and procedures.
  • Any act that is considered threatening behaviour to another competitor, American Baitworks shore staff, American Baitworks tournament organisers or tournament director.
  • Failure to comply with directions or orders given by the Tournament Director. (i.e. when to bag fish, when a competitor can load their boat)
  • 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 and or possession of drugs or the consumption of alcoholic beverages will not be tolerated at any American Baitworks function.


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.

The American Baitworks Thousand Islands Open reserves the right to amend the Rules & Regulations as deemed necessary.