By-Laws of the Leesville BASSMasters of Wake County - Rev. December 6, 2018

Article I: Name and Purpose

Section 1: Name

This club shall be called the Leesville BASSMasters of Wake County

Section 2: Purpose

The goal of the club is to stimulate public awareness of bass fishing as a major sport, to offer our state conservation department our organized moral and political support and encouragement, to promote full adherence to all conservation codes, to demand adequate water standards and legal enforcement of existing regulatory standards, to improve our skill as bass anglers through a fellowship of friendly exchange of expert bass catching techniques and ideas, and encourage a love for this great recreation.

Article II: Membership

Section 1: Composition of Membership

Leesville BASSMasters shall not exceed twenty-five (25) members with no more than 40% as non-boaters.

Section 2: Requirements for Membership

  1. Be at least 18 years of age, and voluntarily express a genuine interest in membership.
  2. Agree to abide by all club by-laws and tournament rules in good faith, and follow the reasonable direction of club officials during club proceedings or in association with club sanctioned events.
  3. Fish with a club member who is not their sponsor.
  4. Be voted on by the membership at a regularly scheduled meeting, which the prospective member shall not attend.  Any member may request a secret ballot. The vote must be affirmative by a simple majority of the members present and in good standing.

Section 3: Membership Dues

  1. First year members must pay $50 annual dues on the first Thursday of the month after they are affirmed as a member of the club.
  2. $15 monthly dues may be paid in advance or by the first Thursday of each month.
  3. $35 annual dues are collected at the January meeting from each member on the club roster.
  4. A member in good standing shall not owe the club treasury two months or more dues on the first Thursday of any month.
  5. Members are responsible for paying their dues prior to a club tournament via mail if he/she misses the club meeting.  Funds must be in the possession of the club Treasurer prior to the forthcoming tournament.

Section 4: Club Treasury

  1. The club treasury shall not be drawn below $750.
  2. Monthly and/or annual dues adjustments may be necessary to ensure a $750 minimum balance, and will be reviewed quarterly based on the Treasurer's financial projection.

Article III: Suspension and Removal from Membership

Section 1: Suspension of Membership

Any member whose monthly dues are two months (or more) and less than four months in arrears is deemed suspended and ineligible to participate in club activities (e.g., tournaments, meetings, banquets, etc.). Suspension is lifted when the member is current for both annual and monthly dues. Monthly dues accrue during suspension and are due and payable as if the suspension did not happen.

Section 2: Removal from Membership

A member shall be dropped from the membership roll for any of the following reasons:

  1. They have not paid their annual dues by the end of the March meeting.
  2. They owe the club four months or more in monthly dues.
  3. Two-thirds of members in good standing voted to expel a member.  A member can be removed for any reason, no reason, good reason, or bad reason.  The member whose termination is under consideration is ineligible to vote.

Article IV: Officers, Elections, Vacancies and Eligibility

Section 1: Eligibility To Hold Office

  1. Must be a member for at least six (6) months.
  2. Conditions of eligibility may be waived under special circumstances upon consultation with the club officers and agreement by the club membership.

Section 2: Officers and their Duties

  1. President
  1. Presides over all meetings and directs all official business
  2. Appoints and directs all committee functions
  3. Supervises all club functions, except club tournaments
  4. Signs contracts on behalf of the club
  5. Has signature authority on all of the club’s banking accounts

In the absence of the President, any other club officer may preside over the meeting.

  1. Secretary
  1. Accurately records meeting minutes
  2. Maintains reports and correspondence as required
  3. Maintains the club’s By-Laws
  1. Treasurer
  1. Maintains accurate financial records of income and disbursement of funds
  2. Provides a quarterly financial projection at the January, April, July, and October meetings
  3. Has signature authority on all of the club's banking accounts
  1. Tournament Director
  1. Selects sites and schedules twelve (12) weekend tournaments between February 1 and November 31 of each year. Tournaments shall not be scheduled for any weekend associated with a Friday, Saturday, Sunday or Monday Federal Holiday.
  2. Measures and weighs fish, and accurately records and posts the results of each tournament.
  3. Interprets and enforces all tournament rules, and adjusts pairings as needed prior to the tournament.  The Tournament Director’s decisions on tournament rule interpretations, enforcement actions, and pairings are final.
  4. Immediately prior to each tournament, verifies the limits for the tournament site from a source independent of the club website (i.e., NCWRC fishing regulations) to ensure the stated limits are correct for the body of water and date being fished.
  5. Immediately prior to the blast off for each tournament, announces:
  1. The size limit for the tournament
  2. The current time
  3. The weigh-in time
  1. Assistant Tournament Director
  1. Assists the Tournament Director as needed but especially during weigh-ins, such as accurately recording creel weights.
  2. In the absence of the Tournament Director, assumes all duties and responsibilities of the Tournament Director.
  3. If the Tournament Director leaves the club or otherwise resigns his position for any reason, the Assistant Tournament Director succeeds him/her as the Tournament Director for the remainder of his term and a new Assistant Tournament Director will be elected using the process to fill officer vacancies.

If the Tournament Director and Assistant Tournament Director are absent, the highest ranking club officer participating in the tournament presides and assumes all duties and responsibilities of the Tournament Director. In this situation, the Tournament Director will make mutually agreed arrangements with the presiding club officer to ensure the scales and associated weigh-in supplies are transported to the tournament site.

Section 3: Elections

Nomination and election of officers is held annually at the regular December meeting. Election is by a simple majority of members present and in good standing.  Election of officers shall be held in the order listed in Article IV, Section 2.

Section 4: Term of Office

The term of office is one year beginning January 1 and ending at the conclusion of the December meeting or until the successor assumes office.

Section 5: Eligibility To Vote

Each member in good standing is entitled to one vote.  Proxy votes are permitted and may be submitted to any member of the club.

Section 6: Vacancies

If an office becomes vacant, nominations shall be requested and an election held to fill the unexpired term of office.

Article V: Method of Amending the By-Laws

Section 1: Amending the By-Laws and Tournament Rules

  1. The By-Laws may be amended at any regular meeting by quorum of at least 60% of the club members in good standing, provided notice of the proposed amendment has been presented to the membership at least one regular meeting prior to the vote.
  2. Tournament Rules may not be changed during the current season.

Article VI: Tournament Rules

Section 1: Safety

  1. Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times by all participants.
  2. No alcoholic beverages are allowed during tournament hours.
  3. The boat's running lights must be on and fully operational before the boat will be permitted to blast off.
  4. Each participant must wear a Coast Guard approved life preserver while the boat is running on plane.
  5. Reckless or unsafe boating is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  Reckless boating includes, but is not limited to:
  1. Blasting off before idling well clear of other participants
  2. Passing or crossing in front of or behind another boat at an unsafe distance
  3. Exceeding the posted speed limit for a body of water or section thereof
  4. Excessive speed in poor boating conditions (poor visibility, rough water, extreme precipitation, etc.)
  5. Riding too close to the bank or too close to another boat

Upon notification of an alleged infraction, the Tournament Director will consult with the other officers at the ramp to determine whether reckless or unsafe boating has occurred based on available evidence and statements made by the members involved.  If an infraction is confirmed, the Boater’s catch is disqualified for the day of the offense (non-boater’s catch still qualifies).

  1. Failure to comply with any safety rule will result in the disqualification of the offender's catch for the day the infraction occurred.

Section 2: Definition of a Bass Boat For Tournament Competition

  1. Hull length no less than 16 feet and no more than 22 feet
  2. Total horsepower for the outboard motor(s) shall not exceed the manufacturer's hull rating or applicable Coast Guard regulations, whichever is less
  3. Has an outboard motor of at least 60hp
  4. Has a working motor "kill switch"
  5. Has working navigation lights
  6. Has a foot controlled, remote controlled or manual controlled bow mounted trolling motor
  7. Has a working livewell sized to maintain the limit catch of two anglers, and
  8. Has raised platforms or casting areas on the bow and stern, with or without seats.

Section 3: Pairing of Competitors

  1. Competitors for each tournament are paired randomly at the club’s regularly scheduled monthly meeting using the club's sanctioned draw pairing method.
  2. Blast-off order is in the order pairs are drawn, except for the annual money tournament (see Section 12 below).
  3. Boaters not paired with a non-boater will be paired together unless they are the sole unpaired boater.  If they are unable to mutually agree whose boat will be used to fish, a coin toss will decide.
  4. When there are more non-boaters than boaters for a tournament:
  1. A club member who owns a non-qualified boat may use his boat individually to permit another non-boater to fish with a qualified boat member.
  2. When two or more non-boaters remain to be paired, the non-boater with club seniority gets the final position.
  1. If a boater paired with a non-boater withdraws prior to a tournament for any reason, the non-boater shall be paired with the next available boater.
  1. “Next available” is determined by proceeding downward from the #1 blast off position to the first unpaired boater.
  2. Club members take precedence over invited guests.
  3. The Tournament Director can break a boater-on-boater pairing if necessary to accommodate the unpaired non-boater, and the substitute boater will move into the vacated position.  If the two boaters cannot mutually agree on which one will be paired, a coin toss will decide.  If no boaters remain, the non-boater position will be awarded by club seniority.

Section 4: Guests

  1. When a club member is not paired, he may invite a guest to fish with him. The guest will not pay an entry fee, is ineligible for any club tournament benefits, and required to observe all tournament rules.
  2. A boater paired with another boater is permitted to bring a guest (e.g., a family member, son/daughter, prospective member) on a case-by-case basis provided the two boaters mutually agree to split at the time the pairing is made. Members always take precedence over invited guests.

Section 5: Tournament Hours

  1. The Tournament Director determines the blast-off and weigh-in times on tournament day(s).
  2. All contestants' boats should be in the water at the designated ramp prior to the tournament blast-off time.
  3. Blast-off will occur no earlier than the time announced prior to the tournament or first safe light as determined by agreement of ALL boaters, whichever is later.
  4. The contestant's boat drawing the "last to leave" position number will time the "ooze-off".
  1. The interval will be approximately 10 to 15 seconds between boats or such time as deemed necessary at the last-to-leave boat’s discretion for the next boat to safely blast off.
  2. As boats are called off, each boat will proceed AT IDLE until SAFELY CLEAR of the remaining competitors before blasting off.
  3. Late arrivals may leave the designated ramp at their convenience but must make a reasonable attempt to notify one of the tournament participants of their departure.
  1. Each contestant is entitled to pick where to fish for one-half (1/2) of the scheduled tournament hours.
  2. Each contestant must be within the no wake zone at the designated ramp prior to the scheduled weigh in time.
  3. Any tournament cancelled by the Tournament Director due to unsafe conditions (e.g. lightning, wind, fog, drought, smoke, hail, ramp damage, etc.) will not be scored and the tournament can be rescheduled for another date or location with the unanimous consent of the participants that were in the blast off order for the cancelled tournament.

Section 6: Method of Catching Fish

  1. All fish must be caught in a legal sporting manner.  Intentional snagging of fish is not allowed.
  2. A rod and reel must be used.
  3. Only one (1) rod may be used at any given time. Other rods may be in the boat and ready for use, however, the current retrieve must be completed before another rod can be used.
  4. Only artificial baits may be used.  Liquid fish attractants and pork rind trailers are allowed.
  5. A landing net may be used, but only if the fish is attached to the contestant's reel line. Seine or casting nets may not be used under any circumstances.
  6. Participants will not fish while the boat is being propelled by the main propulsion engine. Any fish caught while trolling with the main propulsion engine shall be released immediately.  Failure to release a fish caught while trolling will result in disqualification of the day’s catch.  Participants must notify the Tournament Director if any fish presented at the weigh in were caught while trolling with the main propulsion motor.

Section 7: "Don't Kill Your Catch"

  1. Fish must be placed in the livewell after landing, and culling activities must be completed before casting is resumed by the landing angler.  Culling of dead fish is prohibited and will result in disqualification of the participant’s creel.  
  2. All contestants will hold fish in the livewell until the Tournament Director calls the catch to the weigh-in.
  3. All fish weighed in alive must be released. (Exception: Trophy fish may be kept, determined on an individual basis)

Section 8: Tournament Weigh In

  1. Each angler is permitted to weigh in five (5) fish or as permitted by State law, whichever is less.  Of those, two may be between 12 and 14 inches in length.  If lake size limits are more restrictive, the local limit applies.
  2. Catch will be placed in a scale basket free of all encumbrances, the only exception being a "gut-hooked" fish with the hook remaining in the fish and all weights removed.
  3. The Tournament Director will verify any questionable fish using a "Golden Rule" with the fish's mouth closed and tail extended to the appropriate inch mark.
  4. The weight will be read aloud by the Tournament Director and witnessed by the contestant.
  5. Tournament weights shall be determined to the nearest 1/100th pound (0.01 lb) with net weight equaling scale weight less any penalties as described in Section 9 below.  

Section 9: Penalties

  1. Late to Weigh-in: One pound per minute from each late competitor's catch. Total catch is disqualified after 15 minutes.
  2. Short Fish: One pound for each short fish and loss of fish.
  3. Over Creel: Loss of largest fish in the competitor's creel.
  4. Dead Fish: Three-tenths (0.30) of a pound per dead fish.
  5. Use of Live or Natural Bait: Disqualification of competitor’s catch.
  6. Penalties carry over from the first day to the second day of all two-day tournaments.

Section 10: Tournament Scoring

  1. The winner of each tournament receives twenty (20) points plus a two (2) point bonus for winning.  In a tie for first place, each competitor receives the two point bonus.
  2. Each subsequent position is worth one (1) point less (Second is 19, third is 18, etc.)
  3. Ties in position receive points for the highest position. (Two competitors tied for second will both receive 19 points. The next position receives 17 points for fourth place.)
  4. A one (1) point bonus will be given for big fish for each tournament.  Each competitor shall select one single fish from the eligible fish in their creel to be weighed as their "big fish".  It is the competitor’s responsibility to present the big fish to the Tournament Director or weighmaster to be weighed.  The extra point for big fish will be awarded to the largest fish by net weight presented for big fish.
  5. In a tie for big fish, each competitor receives the bonus point.  
  6. Competitors with zero (0) fish or negative weight due to penalties receive two (2) points.
  7. Total points for the year consists of the ten (10) highest tournaments finished.
  8. If two competitors are tied for a position at the end of the year, total net weight will break the tie; if they are still tied, a coin toss determines their final position.

Section 11: Tournament Expenses

Non-boaters must reimburse their boater partner for half of all tournament-related expenses, but no less than $25.  Tournament-related expenses include but are not limited to: round trip gas for the tow vehicle, boat gas and two-cycle oil, cooler ice, and ramp fees (if applicable).  Non-boaters are required to reimburse their boater partner for round trip gas for the tow vehicle even if they choose to meet their partner at the tournament site.

Section 12: Annual Money Tournament

  1. The top six finishers in each season qualify for a money tournament conducted during the following season.  If a top six finisher(s) does not fish the money tournament for any reason, the remaining field adjusts upward to fill the vacated position(s).
  2. The date/location of the money tournament is determined by draw at a regularly scheduled meeting prior to the current season’s start.  Each eligible contestant chooses a single date/location from the current season’s schedule and one entry is drawn at random.
  3. The money tournament is fished concurrently at the chosen site with the club's regular tournament as a “tournament within a tournament” and all tournament rules apply.
  4. Money tournament contestants are not paired together in the same boat unless there are insufficient boats to allow each contestant to fish separately.
  5. The first six money tournament blast-off positions are in the order of the previous season’s standings.  Pairings with money tournament contestants are filled randomly with remaining tournament participants.  Any pairings following the number six position are filled randomly using normal pairing procedures.
  6. The money tournament pot totals $900, and is paid out as follows:
  1. 1st Place: $300
  2. 2nd Place: $200
  3. 3rd Place: $125
  4. 4th Place: $100
  5. 5th Place $75
  6. 6th Place: $50
  7. Big Fish: $50

Section 13: Annual Trophies

  1. Annual trophies are awarded at the club's annual party (typically in December).  Winners and rankings are announced or posted prior to the annual party.
  2. Members not wishing to receive a trophy can request a dues credit for the cost of the trophy, but cash payouts are prohibited.  The member must make their request explicitly prior to the production of the trophies.