Official Tournament Rules New Mexico B.A.S.S. Nation Effective September 2017
These rules apply to state team qualification tournaments. Rules for the New Mexico BASS Team Trail are under development.
The following rules shall apply to all New Mexico B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments, with the following exceptions: (i) rules for special tournaments may differ from those contained herein and (ii) these rules may be changed by New Mexico B.A.S.S. Nation immediately upon notice by New Mexico B.A.S.S. to its members, which notice may be published on the New Mexico B.A.S.S. Nation internet site at www.NMBFN.com. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director or his/her designee at a tournament. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Committee (all Directors in attendance and the President of NM B.A.S.S. Nation) may impose such sanctions as deemed appropriate by them, including without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes, entry fee and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. Subject to the appeal process set forth in paragraph 22 below, the decision of the Tournament Director, his/her designee, or the tournament committee, shall be final in all matters.
Penalties for rules violations may include the following:
By his/her signature on the official tournament entry form, each competitor agrees to submit to a truth verification test and abide by its conclusion.
The NMBN President with the advice of the Tournament Director, shall have the discretion to determine the need for a truth verification test. The Tournament Director or his/her designee shall be responsible for selecting an independent expert to administer and interpret the results and establishing, in consultation with the expert administrator, the scope of the questions which may be asked during the test. The Tournament Director or his/her designee shall have sole responsibility selecting the location, date, and time of the test with respect to all concerned parties schedule and travel cost. The competitor shall make himself/herself available at the location selected by the Tournament Director and shall cooperate in all respects with such test. Anglers taking a truth verification test may be responsible for any and all costs incurred.
A PROPERLY COMPLETED AND SIGNED OFFICIAL ENTRY FORM MUST BE
RECEIVED BY THE NM B.A.S.S. NATION Tournament Director before 6:00 P.M. of the Friday before the weekend qualifying tournaments. Tournament entry fees must be received by the NM B.A.S.S. Nation Tournament Director before 6:00 P.M. of the Friday before the weekend qualifying tournaments. Payment penalties for all returned checks will be the responsibility of the contestant and may result in disqualification from future tournaments.
The Tournament Director reserves the right to extend the acceptance time if notified of a late arrival due to unavoidable circumstances. One member of each pair may attend for the boat but takes responsibility for briefing the other person.
Competitors in NM B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification by the Tournament Director or the President, NM B.A.S.S. Nation.
Anglers participating in any NM B.A.S.S. Nation-sanctioned event shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules for the specific event in which they are participating. Anglers shall, at all times, beginning when they arrive for an NMBN event until they depart, (including official and non-official prefish days), conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates integrity, honor and respect toward fellow competitor’s, tournament staff and the general public and does not reflect unfavorably on NM B.A.S.S. Nation., its members, officers or representatives, tournaments or sponsors.
Anglers are frequently in the public eye and are considered role models by young people; therefore, it is imperative that tournament competitors demonstrate good sportsmanship in fishing. Sportsmanship is defined as fair play, respect for opponents and polite behavior while competing in the sport.
Use of grippers for landing bass is prohibited during tournament competition. During practice and competition only artificial or biodegradable artificial lures may be used. All New Mexico state and contestants are responsible for understanding those rules and regulations. If multiple fish are caught on a single manmade lure, on a single cast, all fish are considered legal and may be added to the daily catch subject to scoring rules. No “live bait,” “dead bait,” or “prepared bait” will be permitted during official practice and competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds.
Only ONE casting, spin casting or spinning rod (10-foot maximum length from butt of handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. A hung or snagged lure that is not in or on the water is not considered in use and may be set aside while another is in use. Other rigs as specified above may be in the boat ready for use; however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. If a competitor breaks his line while setting the hook or retrieving a fish, he is allowed to make an attempt with the rod being used or with his hands to secure the visible line and land the fish for it to be counted as legal. He may NOT hook the line with another lure, rod and reel, or other device.
No competitor may intentionally snag or foul hook a bass. Anyone guilty of intentionally snatching or snagging visible fish will have their catch disqualified. When visually fishing for bedding bass, to be counted as a legal fish, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth. With the mouth closed naturally, you must not be able to see where the hook point enters the fish to be considered hooked inside the mouth.
Horsepower cannot exceed the limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard. When required, each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard horsepower-rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must NOT exceed the rating specified on this plate nor the horsepower maximum set by B.A.S.S. Each competitor agrees to submit, by their signature on the official entry form, the boat and outboard motor used in the tournament, to an inspection by factory-trained personnel, if there is reason to suspect the horsepower is in excess of the rating. Normal maintenance of engines is allowed. Changing or altering standard factory parts of a competitor’s engine to increase the horsepower over the factory horsepower rating, is forbidden and will result in disqualification. Falsifying information on entry forms, or altering the horsepower-rating numbers on the engine, is also cause for immediate disqualification from NM B.A.S.S. Nation tournaments.
These restrictions apply during official practice and competition. For the safety of all competitors, all boats must be equipped with an approved type of 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. Any time the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat. Fishing boats that are 16 feet or more in length may be used. Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunnels of the boat. Standing on the outboard or seats while fishing, is not allowed. An electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering. All bladder tanks, and any other type of auxiliary gas tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer, are prohibited. Additional gas tanks that are factory options, installed by a manufacturer’s authorized dealer, are permitted. Boats that do not have factory-installed gas tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline, in tanks that meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Gas tanks must be properly secured or strapped in a boat. No portable gas tanks, or containers capable of holding gasoline, can be placed anywhere on the tournament waters or shoreline for use by any tournament competitor. No “barges” or similar craft will be permitted. No boat equipped with “stick steering” shall be permitted to be used by any competitor. “Stick steering” shall be as defined by the Tournament Director.
During official practice and competition, every boat must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment and a functional bilge pump. During official competition, every boat must have live-well space, properly aerated, to adequately maintain alive, a limit catch of bass by both competitors using the boat.
Prior to each day’s start, each boat must be given an inspection check by a tournament official. In the event a boater is not able to make it to pre-launch inspection, the boater may launch and locate another tournament boater and request a live-well inspection (documented in writing) from that boater before they begin fishing. Fishing before an inspection is cause for immediate disqualification. A numbered object (duck or float) may be given to the boater that must be turned in at check-in before weighing any fish to assure that the boat has returned to dock safely.
During NM B.A.S.S. Nation competition, Boaters and Non-Boaters may fish from the front or the rear deck. During both official practice and competition, Non-Boaters are only allowed to operate the Boater’s boat (outboard motor) in emergency situations with the exception of loading and unloading from trailers. During official practice, Non- Boaters not practicing with a Boater competitor, may practice, drive, and fish from the front deck of the boat. Any Boater that, in the judgment of the officials, operates the boat in such a manner as to unfairly handicap their Non-Boater partner, shall be disqualified. At no time may a Boater competitor request that the Non-Boater competitor not fish. The cost of gas and oil for the competition days must be settled between the boater and the non-boater prior to the tournament day. In NM B.A.S.S. Nation events where observers replace anglers as the official rider, observers cannot assist the competing angler in any way except for netting fish. Observers are not required to help with gas and oil expenses.
Tournament waters shall be established by the Tournament Director for each tournament. Any water within these boundaries posted “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing” by state or federal agencies as well as the area within 100 yards of the live-bass-release area established by the Tournament Director will be OFF-LIMITS and will be announced at the Tournament Briefing. Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. Waters deemed off limits by authorities or tournament officials should be treated like a wall. No boats or casting behind that boundary while fishing. All angling must be done from the boat. Competitors wishing to change fish habitat by placing any object in the tournament waters may do so if such action does not violate state or federal regulations. Prior to the tournament registration, any questionable areas must be brought to the attention of tournament officials to be considered tournament waters and may be announced in the briefing for all to hear unless determined otherwise by tournament officials. Tournament officials reserve the right to restrict or enhance tournament waters based on conversations with local authorities.
During the competition days, competitors may not depart the boat to land fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. Competitors may not shift a majority of their weight outside the boat and onto a dock or other object outside the boat for the purpose of landing a bass or accessing a fishing spot. A bass that cannot be landed without the angler leaving the boat or shifting his weight outside the boat must be released immediately. While keeping the majority of weight in the boat anglers are allowed for boat protection to push or shove off objects while landing a fish to be counted as legal. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat to retrieve a lure. All fishing by that competitor must cease until the competitor is back in the boat. Only then may another cast be made.
Boats must remain in tournament waters during tournament days. Competitors must leave from and return to the official checkpoint by boat. Both anglers must remain in the boat at all times, except in case of dire emergency, or with permission from the Tournament Director. Exceptions are spelled out in rules 5, 15, and 18. In such an emergency, or with permission of the Tournament Director, competitors may be allowed to leave their boat, either to a boat operated by other competitors, or a rescue boat designated by the Tournament Director. Partners must remain together at all times, in sight of each other and each other’s catch, under the conditions cited above, in order for their catch of that day to be scored in the tournament. In the event of a needed restroom break or refueling situation at a marina gas pump, contestants are allowed to leave the boat, at which time all fishing must cease until partners are back together in the boat. If a competitor violates any of the above conditions (to contact a tournament official by phone or other means, or to report an emergency or breakdown), both competitors must cease fishing at this point and their catch must be verified by a tournament official in order to be counted in the tournament. If, after the emergency situation is resolved by tournament officials, and enough time is left for the competitors to resume fishing, a restart will be allowed, the competitors will continue, and their catch will be counted. This applies only to dire emergency situations as determined by the Tournament Director or his/her designee. Towing boats on trailers during tournament hours is prohibited, except by the direction of tournament officials.
There shall be only one official check point for check-out in the morning, and one official check-in point in the afternoon, which points shall be designated at the tournament briefing. Failure to go through boat check and check-out in the morning or failure to check-in at the check-in point in the afternoon may result in disqualification. At the time of check-out, all competitors and their boats shall be in full conformity with all rules set forth by the Tournament Director. At check-in, all boats shall identify themselves by means of the numbers described in Rule 12 and proceed immediately to the designated weigh-in area. Partners must stay together, through the weigh-in process if both are weighing bass. Once bass are bagged for weigh-in, anglers that are not weighing bass do not need to accompany their partner through the weigh-in process.
Tournament standings, contingency awards and final winners shall be determined by the pound-and-ounce weight of each competitor’s catch during the competition days of the tournament. Only Largemouth, Smallmouth, Spotted, Redeye or Shoal bass will be weighed. The Boater limit shall be 5, Non-Boater limit shall be 3, of the above species and varieties per day, unless otherwise specified by tournament officials (example – hot weather/fish care concerns/championship events). At no time shall a competitor have in his or her possession more than the tournament limit. If a competitor determines they have over the limit they must immediately reduce his/her catch to the tournament limit with a live bass of their choice from their catch. Once a competitor checks in they must present all legal bass to tournament officials at the verification table. If competitors at the verification table have more than the tournament limit, the competitor will reduce with live bass to the tournament limit and each returned bass will result in a 1-pound penalty to be deducted from their daily score.
The official length for bass shall be determined by the Tournament Director and announced at the Tournament Briefing. In most cases it will be the longest state limit covering the tournament waters. Only bass as described above which measure the official length or more on a red “Will-e-Go” belly board shall be weighed. Bass presented for weigh-in, which fail to measure the official length, shall result in a penalty of 1 pound for each such bass, which penalty shall be deducted from the total score of the competitor. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered will be weighed and credited only at the discretion of tournament officials. A bass that appears to be mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered, including holes behind the lower jaw, must be shown to the partner and/or photographed. After competitors check in at the official checkpoint they MUST present all LEGAL fish in their possession to a tournament official to be counted, measured and weighed. Once a competitor’s catch is measured, counted and verified by a tournament official, that competitor may not return to the boat until their catch has been weighed and recorded. Bass must not be stringered (more than one fish per lanyard) at any time during the tournament.
CULLING OF DEAD BASS IS PROHIBITED. For each legal dead bass presented to weigh-in officials, the competitor shall be penalized 8 oz. to be deducted from their daily score. Competitors are allowed to ice a dead fish that is part of their daily catch. The Tournament Director, or his/her designees, shall have sole authority for assessing penalty points. In addition, the Tournament Director, or his/her designees, may reduce tournament hours or tournament limits for fish care purposes. It is suggested in warm weather tournaments anglers keep extra ice for fish care. It is recommended competitors keep all bass in live wells during the culling process. Placing bass on the boat carpet during culling is not advised. Penetrating the lower jaw or other part of the fish with a penetrating (sharp pointed wire) culling clip is prohibited. Proper fizzing technique is recommended on the water if needed. For instructions on acceptable fizzing practices please contact the Conservation Director.
Competitors who are not at the official check-in point, as described in Rule 16, at the appointed time according to the Tournament Director’s clock, shall be penalized at the rate of one pound per minute late; to be deducted from the total weight of his/her catch that day, including any weight to be counted toward a “big bass award”. Any competitor more than 15 minutes late shall lose all credit for that day’s catch. Unavoidable delays caused by official safety or game warden checks should be anticipated and are not allowed reasons for late arrival. Allow time for unexpected events, inspections and inclement weather conditions. There shall be no excuse for tardiness, and in no case, shall a competitor be allowed to make up “lost time.” After proper recognition at the check-in point, competitors will be allowed ample time to proceed to the weigh-in site; however, all fishing must cease upon check-in. After the tournament begins, fishing the tournament waters is prohibited except during tournament hours. Exact starting and check-in times will be announced at the Tournament Briefing. It is each competitor’s responsibility to confirm check-in times each day at the daily pairings.
All ties will be broken by 1)-total fish weighed, 2)-total live fish weighed, 3)-big fish weighed. If still unresolved, a flip of a coin will decide placement.
Two competitors will be assigned to each boat. Boaters may be paired with other Boaters, and share time. Boaters and Non-boaters registering together on the entry form will fish with each other for that tournament. Unpaired boaters and non- boaters are encouraged to pair before entering the tournament. Any unpaired boaters and non-boaters will be paired by the Tournament Director as needed to assure there are two people in each boat. Announcement of “paired” fishing partners will be made at the Tournament Briefing, which must be attended, except with permission from the Tournament Director, by each competitor. It will be the responsibility of each partner to appear at a mutually agreed upon location, with sufficient time remaining to check out at the official checkpoint and start on time. Tournament officials shall have no responsibility for finding missing partners. When there are mechanical breakdowns or other legitimate reasons, the Tournament Director, at his/her sole discretion, may reassign partners prior to the morning take-off. In very exceptional cases, the Tournament Director may allow a boater to fish alone if their non-boater is ill or has a dire emergency. It is suggested that a minimum of 30 minutes is required for preparation to depart to the check-out point. When two competitors check out at the beginning of the day, they must stay together and within sight of each other and each other’s catch, throughout the day, until the weigh-in is completed, except in case of dire emergency or exceptions (see Rule 15, 16 &18). A competitor must not allow any bass caught by them to be counted on the score of another competitor (sharing bass). In such a case, both competitors shall be disqualified from this tournament and from all future tournaments conducted by NM B.A.S.S. Nation.
An appeals committee will be established by President, NM B.A.S.S. Nation, which shall be comprised of the President, New Mexico B.A.S.S. Nation and two anglers who are not involved in the incident in question. Appeals of penalties assessed under Rule 1 (b), (c), (d), (e) & (f) must be presented in writing 48 hours from the time and date of ruling to the Tournament Director. Appeals hearings shall take place within seven (7) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal and all parties must make themselves available at prescribed time of hearing. If competitors admit to a rules violation, they may not file an appeal of either the finding that they have violated the rules or the penalty imposed for the violation. Decisions of the appeals committee shall be final.
Competitors are allowed to compete under appeal. Final standings will not be official until all appeals hearings are final and ruled upon. However, all standings above that of any appealing angler, as well as any adjusted final standings may be declared official. Standings, including points and monetary awards, may be adjusted after appeals final ruling and all affected anglers shall comply with all details of the final ruling.
Anglers are encouraged to wear their own clothing which may bear patches, logos and other signage promoting the angler’s sponsors. NM B.A.S.S. Nation may, however, restrict the use of patches, logos, signage, etc. that promote or advertise products which are, in NM B.A.S.S. Nation’s’ sole judgment, in competition with the products or services of official B.A.S.S. sponsors, especially in photo and media pictures. Anglers may be requested to wear B.A.S.S. alliance sponsor gear during photos.
Where and when state laws require income taxes be paid on cash awards to non- residents, the taxes will be automatically deducted prior to the awards being presented to the winners. Competitors are responsible for all applicable taxes on both cash and merchandise awards. A w-9 may be requested pending tax advisement for 2018.
As a condition of participation in each tournament, each competitor must execute a waiver and release of liability, and a name and likeness release.
It is important that the State Team be declared and identified to B.A.S.S. and sponsors in a timely manner to assure each team member may access the many incentives and discounts offered by the sponsors. A twenty-person state team will consist of ten Boaters and ten Non- boaters based on the standings in each separate category after all qualifying tournaments (one drop). All state team members must formally accept the position and agree in writing by signing and returning the commitment form to the NMBN President by December 1st.
1. The President will invite all remaining competitors to declare their interest (by email or written notice) to be on the team by November 5th. The President shall then fill the team from those that have declared their interest by going down the standings until the team is filled. If the team is not full, open positions will be filled by the President on a first come, first served basis by any NM B.A.S.S. Nation member with preference given to any officers of NM B.A.S.S. Nation. If a person withdraws from the team, a replacement will be named by the President as well as two alternates.
NMBN bylaws govern the responsibilities and stipends for team members. No other payment or incentives are implied by these rules. Team members must complete all B.A.S.S. entry forms and tax forms by the required date and agree to abide with NMBN bylaws and B.A.S.S. rules at all times. Team members are expected to also participate in fundraising for the team beginning no later than December 1. Failure to participate in fundraising will result in removal from the team by the President, NMBN.
B.A.S.S. headquarters must receive a completed entry form from the alternate team member and the B.A.S.S. Nation state president or his/her designated representative, on or before the tournament entry deadline date or the state will not be allowed an alternate team member(s). The Tournament Director must approve the reason for the leaving of the official team member before a replacement of the official team member with the alternate will be allowed.
28. New Mexico BASS Team Trail Rules are still under development but will generally follow these rules except that teams are established at registration. A competitor is allowed to fish alone and a “guest” partner will be allowed for one regular tournament (first six) during the year. The limit per boat shall be five fish of state regulation limits for the lake.