Article I: Rules and Regulations
1.01 These Rules and Regulations are the Official Rules (“Rules”) of the Minn Kota Owners Tournament (“Event”).
1.02 Participant(s) acknowledge and agree that they have reviewed, understand, and will abide by the Rules as posted on our official website. Participants willingly agree to comply with the Rules for participation in the Event.
1.03 All local, State & Federal laws shall apply at all times including, without limitation, the penal code.
1.04 All local, State, U.S. Coast Guard, Parks & Wildlife, and federal boating and fishing regulations or off limits, shall apply at all times. The states of Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi have a reciprocal agreement for fishing at Pickwick Lake. It is the anglers responsibility to know the law and acquire the correct license, based on where they plan to fish.
Tennessee License Info: https://www.tn.gov/twra/license-sales.html
Alabama License Info: https://www.outdooralabama.com/license-information
Mississippi License Info: https://www.mdwfp.com/license/
Tennessee License Info: https://www.tn.gov/twra/license-sales.html
Alabama License Info: https://www.outdooralabama.com/license-information
Mississippi License Info: https://www.mdwfp.com/license/
1.05 In the event of a discrepancy between the printed version and digital version of the Rules, the Rules posted on the official website at the time of the Event shall prevail.
Article II: Event Participation and Eligibility
2.01 Eligibility is defined below:
A. Each boat owner (“captain”) must own either one Minn Kota product and/or one Humminbird product (trolling motor, shallow water anchor, electronics and/or battery charger). Each captain is allowed to be accompanied by two participants who are not owners of either a Minn Kota or Humminbird product. Each captain will be checked by a tournament official on site for such product(s).
B. Each person in the boat must be a paid contestant of the Event and abide by the Rules. Maximum of three (3) anglers per boat
2.02 The Event is an “open” amateur event. (See 2.07 for Professional criteria)
2.03 Participants less than 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult with written parental permission. (Written parental permission must be provided to Event staff prior to the start of the Event) Participants under the age of 18 years may not fish alone in the Event. *You do NOT have to notify us if you're fishing with your own parent/child.
2.04 Event officials reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone in their sole discretion.
2.05 Anyone who has failed a polygraph examination and/or been disqualified for fraudulent actions in connection with any fishing tournament is not eligible to compete.
2.06 The Event is for amateur anglers only. Professional anglers are not eligible to compete. If you are unsure of your professional status, it is your responsibility to request a decision in writing from the Event Staff prior to entering an Event. Any Participant who enters this Event and is determined to be a professional, will be removed from competition immediately and will forfeit the Entry Fee (or entry fees) (as defined below).
2.07 Any angler meeting any of the following criteria is considered a “professional” and is not eligible to compete in this Event:
A. Anglers who have guided professionally for a fee (of any kind) on the host lake within the last twelve (12) months immediately preceding the Event. This includes any species of fish.
B. Anglers who have competed as a professional in two (2) or more individual tournaments with an entry fee of $1,500.00 or greater within the last twelve (12) months immediately preceding the Event. This includes, but is not limited to anglers competing as a professional in the B.A.S.S. Opens, and/or MLF Toyota Series. (This rule does not apply to co-anglers competing in B.A.S.S. Opens, and/or MLF Toyota Series, unless the co-angler entry fee exceeded $1,500.00 per tournament event.)
C. Anglers who have competed professionally in the Bassmaster Classic, B.A.S.S. Elite Series, Forrest Wood Cup, Former FLW Tour, Major League Fishing Bass Pro Tour, Tackle Warehouse Series/Invitational, or General Tire Team Series or the National Professional Fishing League (NPFL) within the last five (5) years.
D. Anglers who have professional career fishing tournament earnings in the aggregate in excess of $250,000.00 with B.A.S.S., FLW, MLF/BPT, NPFL and/or the former PAA.
E. Anglers who are currently under a Prostaff sponsorship agreement with either Minn Kota and/or Humminbird, this includes both paid or in-kind (product) sponsorships.
2.08 Any Participant desiring to inquire regarding the professional status of another Participant, must do so in accordance with the Protests and Dispute Article of these Rules.
Article III: Registration and Entry Fee
3.01 Each participant shall pay an entry fee of $175 for a two-day entry or $125.00 for a one-day entry, plus the processing fee. (hereinafter “Entry Fee”) per angler to participate in the Event. We accept all major forms of credit card payments. If you need assistance by phone, it will be available.
The Entry Fee shall be paid (in full) prior to participation in the Event. If you've signed up for a one-day entry and you want to add an additional day, you must do so on or before the first day of the Event. If you add it after the Event starts, you will have to pay the full daily entry fee. You must contact us for the special code to make the entry adjustment at firstname.lastname@example.org
3.02 Registration to fish the Event all days closes at 5:00 p.m. on Friday June 2nd, 2023. There will be no morning or late registration on any days of the Event.
3.03 There will be no refunds of the Entry Fee unless an event is permanently cancelled with no reschedule date. If we are forced to reschedule an event due to floods, drought, closures and/or other "acts of God" or circumstances beyond our control, we will provide a reschedule date and move all entries forward to the new date. For anyone unable to attend the rescheduled event, we will move the Entry Fee forward to another event in the future. In the event a Participant needs to cancel an entry (for any reason), the tournament officials will move the Entry Fee forward to a subsequent event as a one-time courtesy. Subsequent withdrawals or removals from competition will cause the forfeiture of the Entry Fee.
3.04 If the Participant registered online and qualified to receive a free Lakemaster chip (please check Event details), you may pick up the Lakemaster chip on Friday June 2, 2023, at the tournament dinner/meeting from 5-8pm.
3.05 Payment of the Entry Fee constitutes a representation by each Participant that he/she has read and understands the Rules and the Participant will abide by such Rules and the decisions of the Event Director and/or Event Staff.
3.06 Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other crimes including those involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with Event Rules, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for registration and/or for disqualification, suspension from the Event, and/or other disciplinary action.
Article IV: Interpretation and Discipline
4.01 Participants agree to abide by the Rules and any decisions of the Event Director and/or Event Staff.
4.02 Interpretation and enforcement of the Rules shall be left to the sole and exclusive discretion of the Event Director and/or his/her designee at the Event. In the event a Participant(s) violates any rule set forth in the Rules or, at the discretion of the Event Director, other rule not specifically codified herein, the Event Director may impose a penalty and/or sanction on the Participant (including but not limited to any other participant competing from the same boat). Such penalties and sanctions may include disqualification from the Event and future events. Penalties and sanctions for violation of any rule set forth in the Rules or, at the discretion of the Event Director, other rule not specifically codified herein may include, but are not limited to, 1) reduction of competition hours; 2) loss of one or more fish; 3) loss of catch for an hour or the day; 4) disqualification from the Event; 5) disqualification from future events which may include a specific number of events, a specific time period, or a lifetime disqualification; 6) loss of Entry Fee; 7) forfeiture of Event winnings and/or prizes; and 8) any other penalty determined by the Event Director or his/her designee and/or the Event Staff.
4.03 Each Participant agrees to report to the Event Director immediately any violation or infraction of the Rules. Failure to report violations, suggestions that another Participant violated these Rules, or false verification of documents, may be cause for disqualification.
Article V: Safety
5.01 Participants are aware he/she/they are participating in a physical activity in the sport of fishing that may be dangerous and can cause injury. These activities may involve severe cardiovascular stress and possible violent contact. Participants understand and acknowledge the activities involve certain risks including, but not limited to, death, serious neck and spinal injuries resulting in complete or partial paralysis, brain damage, and/or serious injury to virtually all bones, joints, muscles and internal organs, and property damage. Although particular Rules, equipment, and personal discipline may reduce the risks associated with participating in the Event, the risk of serious injury does exist and cannot be completely eliminated.
5.02 During Event hours no alcoholic beverages or drugs (other than those purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) are to be consumed by Participants or allowed in Participants’ boat until the final hourly weigh-in is complete and/or polygraph examinations are complete.
5.03 All boats must be equipped with some type of emergency ignition cut-off device (kill switch) on any remote steered outboard while main engine is in use. Ignition cut-off device (kill switch) must operate properly, which means when the kill switch is activated the outboard main engine must stop running immediately. The ignition cut-off device (kill switch) must be attached to the boat operator at all times while the outboard main engine is in use.
5.04 U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets are required for each person on board a boat during competition. Life jackets must be worn and strapped, snapped, or zippered securely, and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is out of gear or shut off. Participants shall check inflatable life vest indicators daily during the Event.
5.05 If Participants observe any significant hazard, condition or activity during his/her presence or participation in the Event, Participant reserves the right to remove himself/herself from participation and bring it to the attention of a representative of the Event immediately.
5.06 Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by Participants.
5.07 No boat shall have a motor of higher horsepower than approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and/or the lake authority.
5.08 No firearms will be allowed in Participant’s boat during Event hours, unless you have an active licensed concealed carry permit or are a credentialed law enforcement officer. Currently firearms are NOT allowed (even with concealed carry permit) on Corp of Engineers Lakes. It is the participants responsibility to follow all local, State and Federal laws applicable as referenced in Rule 1:03-04.
5.09 In the event of significant weather conditions during competition, the Event Director will advise via text message regarding any change, delay, suspension and/or cancellation of one or more hours or day(s). In such event, the total daily payouts will be allocated against all completed hours of competition and paid places for the day(s). In the event of an entire day cancellation, the payouts for that day will be evenly distributed against all completed hours of the event. No refunds will be provided in any of these scenarios. See Rule 3.03.
Article VI: Permitted Fishing Areas, Practice, Off Limits, and Hours
6.01 All fish must be caught on and within the official designated Event waters during official Event hours. Participants may fish anywhere on Event waters accessible to the public by boat, except areas designated as “off limits” or “no fishing” by private ownership or local, state and federal officials. Jumping dikes, landmasses, or any other object, natural or manmade to enter an area is prohibited.
6.02 - The Event off-limits time begins at 4:00 p.m. June 2nd, 2023. Participants must be off the water on or before 4:00 p.m. on the day prior to the Event and may not begin fishing until the official Event start time on the following day, which will be announced via text message the morning of the Event. The Event Lake is off-limits to fishing after 2:00 p.m. on the first day of the Event. ALL participants must follow the off-limits rules for the previous day(s), even if you're not fishing all both days of the event. Participants may return to their respective launch site by boat but are not allowed to fish or use electronics and/or other devices (including lights) or attempt to locate or mark, for the purposes of finding fish, after the off-limits time.
6.03 There is no formal launch site for the Event. Participants may leave from any launch site on the Event Day at any time; however, the Participants may not begin casting and are not allowed to fish or use electronics or other devices, including lights, to locate for the purposes of finding fish until the Event has officially started. Official start times will be determined by the Event Director and Participants will be notified when to commence fishing via text message the morning of the Event. (In the event the participant does not receive the official text message, the participant may commence fishing at the official start time as verified by cellular phone time)
6.04 No fishing shall occur within fifty (50) yards of a marina gas pump.
6.05 No one may leave his or her boat to fish or land a fish.
6.06 Participants are limited to use of a primary motorized boat only with a fully operational livewell. No personal water craft, canoes, kayaks, rafts, or flotation apparatuses.
6.07 No fishing is allowed within twenty-five (25) yards of a non-anchored boat or fifty (50) yards of an anchored boat without that boat's permission.
6.08 Participants may not collude to buy, barter, block or hold a fishing location for any other Participants or Non-Participants for use during any Event day or during off-limits prior to start. This includes Participants or Non-Participants attempting to block access to Event water and/or a specific location.
6.09 Participants must be in line at the bump tanks and "declared" before the end of the respective hour for their fish weight to be tallied and counted in the results of the Event.
6.10 From time to time, the immediate areas where the Event “live releases” fish daily may be made off-limits to fishing and Participants.
Article VII: Methods, Tackle and Equipment
7.01 All bass must be caught on artificial bait by casting only, no foul hooking of bedding fish. A foul hooked “bedding” fish is defined as a fish that does not have at least one hook in its mouth, and it must be released. Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. “Long-Lining” and/or “Strolling” (use of trolling motor or outboard motor to mechanically extend a cast) is NOT allowed. Participants may use only one rod at any one time. Other rods may be in the boat for substitute purposes.
7.02 No electronic tracking devices (implanted microchips) may be used to locate fish for Event purposes (depth-finders, sound mimicking devices (such as Hydrowave) and graph charts are the only exception).
7.03 Alabama (Umbrella) rigs are permissible and it is the responsibility of the Participant to abide by all local, state, and federal Rules for the Event lake(s).
Article VIII: Sportsmanship
8.01 Sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and bass conservation are required from every Participant. Participants shall demonstrate professionalism and integrity in support of the sport of fishing. This includes any and all social media content that may be shared now or in the future. Any Participant found compromising the integrity of the sport and/or the Event may be subject to disciplinary action and/or disqualification.
8.02 The favorable public reputation of the Event, the sport of fishing, the Event Director, the Event Staff, sponsors, partners and officials is of paramount importance. Accordingly, Participants shall refrain from making unreasonable attacks, accusations, and comments that disparage the integrity of the Event, the sport of fishing, the Event Director, the Event Staff, sponsors, partners and officials. This includes but is not limited to the Participants social media accounts and digital sites.
8.03 Participants shall act in a courteous manner at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-participants who may be on Event waters.
8.04 Any Participants attempting to manipulate the outcome of the Event or defraud the Minn Kota Owners Tournament will be disqualified and may be subject to prosecution.
Article IX: Weigh-in, Points, and Penalties
9.01 All bass weighed-in will be released back into the lake alive, if possible by our tournament staff and/or fish care team.
9.02 Trailering a bass to a weigh-in site during Event hours is permissible at all times and may be required by the Event Director based on adverse weather conditions. If trailering becomes mandatory, anglers will be notified via text message. Any Participant, whether trailering or not, shall be required to bring their boat and respective partner or partners, if any, with them to the official weigh-in site for a boat inspection when weighing bass in any respective hour.
9.03 Hourly weigh-ins are held each day at 7:00-8:00a.m., 8:00-9:00 a.m., 9:00-10:00 a.m., 10:00-11:00 a.m., 11:00 am -12:00 p.m., 12:00-1:00 p.m., 1:00-2:00 p.m
9.04 For reasons of conservation, all bass brought to the official weigh-in station must be in a weigh bag with adequate water. Anglers must bring their own weigh bags. Bass must be alive to be weighed-in.
9.05 No Participant may weigh more than one (1) bass per official Event hour. Bass entered as a part of big bass of the hour does not carry forward from hour to hour. Participant’s biggest bass is registered into the final overall standings. Anglers must use their own weigh bag or purchase one of our bass sacks in advance or at the event.
9.06 Bass must be weighed-in by the Participant who originally caught the bass and it must be in said Participant's actual physical possession in the weigh-in line. (The only exception to this rule would be if one of the tournament participants is disabled, in this case we will allow another Participant to bring the fish to the scales for the disabled angler.)
9.07 Any artificially weighted bass will be disqualified and the Participants may be subject to prosecution and shall be disqualified from all future Minn Kota Owners Tournament events. Any questionable fish may be subject to inspection by a marine biologist or similarly qualified expert.
9.08 Only largemouth, smallmouth and Kentucky spotted bass will be weighed-in. Specific lake minimums and/or slot requirements must be followed and it is the responsibility of the Participant to abide by all local, state, and federal Rules for the Event lake.
9.09 No Participant may have more than three (3) bass (per Participant) in his/her possession at any time during official Event hours. When the Event officially concludes each day, all bass not weighed in shall be released back into the water and are not allowed to carry over to another day.
9.10 In the event of a tie for the overall big bass or overall places 2nd through 5th, the winner will be the Participant that weighed-in his/her fish first.
9.11 Every effort must be made to keep bass alive including proper livewell aeration, treatment and temperature management. You may not weigh a dead fish.
9.12 Any alteration of length or weight of bass is prohibited and the Participant will be banned from any future Minn Kota Owners Tournament events and may be subject to prosecution.
Article X: Communications
10.02 Text message updates and Event communication is an added value service provided by the Event. The Event and the Event Staff can NOT guarantee delivery of any text messages or communications. It is the Participant’s responsibility to manually enter themselves into the text system. Some carriers/providers block text messaging services and it is the Participant’s sole responsibility to check with his/her respective provider to determine text delivery services. If Participant is unable to receive text messages, please contact your provider prior to the Event or you may utilize the Minn Kota Owners Tournament live leaderboard. If you have ever opted out of our text system we can NOT put you back into our system and you will NOT receive text updates unless YOU put yourself back into the system with the keyword. If you have opted out previously some carriers will NOT allow you to re-enter yourself into the system and you will have to use the Live Leaderboard link on the website.
10.03 Cell phones and other communication devices may NOT be used for the purposes of locating or finding fish and/or communicating with other Participants or Non-Participants regarding such.
Article XI: Polygraph Examination
11.01 Participant agrees to submit for a third-party administered polygraph examination and agrees to provide truthful and honest responses as to be determined by the third-party polygraph examiner.
11.02 Refusing to take a polygraph examination for any reason will result in immediate disqualification.
11.03 Any Participant taking medication should notify the polygraph examiner prior to examination.
11.04 Any Participant determined by the polygraph examination and/or other Event Officials to be intoxicated and/or under the influence of any type of illegal drug(s) at the time said Participant is required to take the polygraph examination or in violation of the Rules, will be disqualified from this Event and all future Minn Kota Owners Tournament events.
11.05 Participants acknowledge and agree that Event may disclose the results of the polygraph exam. Whether disclosure occurs is at the sole discretion of the Minn Kota Owners Tournament.
11.06 By his/her signature on the Event entry form and/or other required documents or entering the Event online, each Participant agrees to submit for a third-party administered polygraph examination. Each participant shall abide by the conclusion reached by the third-party administrator administering the polygraph examination and, specifically, whether the Participant provided honest and truthful responses. Participants must successfully pass the polygraph examination or be removed from competition.
11.07 At the sole discretion of the Event Director or his/her designee, random third-party administered polygraph examinations may be administered on site during the Event.
Article XII: Boat Inspection
12.01 All Participants, by entering this Event, hereby agree to allow their boat to be boarded and inspected by Event Officials at any time prior to, during, or following the Event, to include, but not limited to, their boat registration, U.S. Coast Guard horsepower rating plate, live-well, rod boxes, closed storage compartments, tackle boxes, life jackets, personal floatation devices, and safety equipment.
12.02 The Event cooperates with local law enforcement, park rangers and fish/wildlife officers during the Event. If any Participant is found to be in violation of local, State or federal law during Event hours, he/she/they will immediately be disqualified and unable to compete in future tournaments.
Article XIII: Protests and Disputes
13.01 All protests or disputes relating to any matter involving the Rules and/or the Event must be registered in writing with the Event Director within fifteen (15) minutes of the designated weigh-in and prior to delivery of any prizes or winnings. Protests made after the deadline will be disregarded and the protesting Participant may be subject to disqualification. Failed polygraph examinations are non-disputable and the results are final.
13.02 Any protest filed by a Participant shall be heard by the Event Staff. After reviewing the protest submitted, the Event Director shall inform the protesting Participant of the Event Staff’s decision. The Event Staff’s decision is final and not subject to further appeal.
13.03 The interpretation and enforcement of the Rules will be the sole responsibility of the Event Director and, if protested, the Event Staff.
Article XIX: Miscellaneous
14.01 The headings, captions, titles, and numbering system are inserted only as a matter of convenience and may under no circumstances be considered in interpreting the provisions of this Agreement.
14.02 The Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas in all respects, including matters of construction, interpretation, validity, and enforcement.