2020 OFFICIAL RULES AND REGULATIONS

1. RULES: The following rules will be interpreted by the tournament director and/or committee and all decisions are final. We reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone.

2. PARTICIPATION ELIGIBILITY: Nichols Marine Tournament Series events are open only to it's annually registered members. Membership fee is $110 per person. All entrants must submit a one-time yearly waiver. At least one member of a participating team must be a minimum of 18 years of age. Entrants under the age of 18 must submit signature of his or her parent or legal guardian on entry waiver form before participating and may particpate only when accompanied by adult partner. Each team is allowed a maximum of (4) members, however team is only allowed (1) or (2) team members during a daily event. Championship eligibility requires that a team must have been represented in all regular season (held) events. Paid entries will be credited qualifying event status, regardless whether actually having fished event, provided entry was included in the event awards payout. Qualifying teams may attain a new member for Championship participation provided (4) member allotment is not exceeded.

3. FEES: Regular Season Event ($200) and Championship Event ($300). Entry fees are non-refundable once entry deadline has expired per event. Entries may be mailed or paid online. All other entries will be accepted at the pre-tournament registration. Entrants will be charged $35.00 for any returned or stopped checks. If check not made good within ten (10) days notice, such entrants may be banned from all future events.

4. PRE-TOURNAMENT MEETING and ENTRY DEADLINE: Pre-tournament meeting is non-mandatory, however teams are held responsible for adherence to any late (UPDATE NEWS) announcements. Such announcements are provided via website or in person at meeting. Regular Season entry deadline is 6:00 pm (sat) preceding event. Championship entry deadline is 6:00 pm (Fri.) preceding event. Late entries will not be accepted once take-off positions are established. Teams will be issued a 6x9 team card that can be attained at tournament registration site, 12:00 noon til 6:00 pm or at morning check-in. The card is to be displayed anytime checking in with the official afternoon check-in boat.

5. DEPARTURE & RETURN: The number of flights will be determined by number of entries. We reserve the right to assign flights and hours deemed necessary.

6. MORNING CHECK-IN:  Prior to fishing, each team must have their livewell checked by a tournament official. If event is designated a trailering event due to severe conditions, mandatory morning check-in will be waived.

7. TAKE-OFF: Take-off positions are established at closing of registration and made available via nicholsteamseries website (UPDATE NEWS) link. Under normal procedures, boats are directied out in numerical take-off position order. As team is announced said team must wave to be recognized by director and may depart only after director acknowledges them by waving them out. Any team arriving later than the announcement of their take-off must approach and notify starter boat for permission to depart.

8. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Off limits map is available via (MAPS) link under TOURNAMENT. Fishing is permitted from boat only and contestants are not permitted to leave boat in order to access shallow areas or to retrieve a hooked fish. No fishing within 50 yards of another contestants anchored boat with trolling motor in up position provided that boat was first to arrive or have given their permission. At no time may a contestant cast a lure closer than 25 ft., of another competitor's boat. Partners must remain in sight of each other during tournament hours. In case of emergency, one or both contestatns may return to weigh-in by means of another boat, provided it has a operating live well and the director is notified of such arrangement prior to weighing. Return by any other means for purpose of weighing is prohibited, except when event is designated as a trailering event.

9. PRE-TOURNAMENT PRACTICE: No off the water limits prior to tournament day, however there will be no fishing allowed between Championship Day one afternoon weigh-in and Day two take-off.

10. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS: All bass must be caught alive in conventional sporting manner, with one (1) line per angler in active use at any time. Only artificial lures and pork trailers permitted for use. No trolling by combustion engine.

11. CULLING FISH: No team may maintain more than the five (5) fish limit, in the live-well at any time. One member must attend to culling immediately, anytime any additional fish have entered the boat.

12. WEIGH-IN and CLOSING OF SCALES: Must weigh before trailering. Official weigh-in begins with 1st flight at 3:00 pm. Each team must check in with the check-in boat no later than their assigned flight time. Teams without fish need not check-in. Fish will only be accepted in the tournament provided bags. Accepting fish in any other bag will result in disqualification. Once majority of last flight weigh bags are in, a air horn blast will sound off, notifying teams they have 5 minutes to attain official bag for weighing.

13. SCORING: 5-fish limit, 14 inch minimum, measured on flat board (Wil-e-Go) in a relaxed manner, mouth closed and tail lobes pressed together and swept in any manner necessary to hit the mark. Only largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass allowed. Dead fish will be weighed upon discretion of officials. Rulings will be final. All fish must be caught during tournament hours. Total weight determines placing, then greater number of fish.

14. PENALTIES: Late afternoon check-in will result in a deduction of (1) lb. per minute up to (5) minutes, then disqualification. Each bass not within legal limits will result in a two (2) lb. penalty deduction, plus loss of said fish. There will be  a (1/2) lb. deduction for each dead fish. Frozen or iced fish presented for weigh-in will result in immediate disqualification.

15. AWARD TIES: Tie breaker will be determined by the greater number of fish. If tie still exists, the (2) or more positions will be added together, divided by number of ties, with the amount of payback awarded equally. Ties involving boat awards may be given the option for a fish-off, provided involved teams agree to such.

16. POINT SYSTEM: Points will be accrued from all yearly held events, including Championship. First place = (1) point, Second place = (2) points, etc. throughout the money placing only. All teams not placing in the money will receive last money place points plus (10) additional points for regular season held events, and (20) additional points for the Championship final 2 day placing. No-Shows will receive 500 elimination points.

17. PAYOUT DEFINITION: All payout checks will be made out in the name of the registered/designated captain. Teams will be responsible for handling the division of payment concerning 1099's.

18. RESTRICTING, SEEDING, OR BAITING: No restricting bass by any method wihich disallows natural movement throughout the entire impoundment, seeding bass from one impoundment to the tournament impoundment, or any co-ordinated effor in the use of live bait in baiting holes for the means of attracting or maintaining bass.

19. MOBILE COMMUNICATIONS & GUIDE ASSISTNCE RESTRICTION: During tournament hours, contestants are prohibited from acquiring any fishing information by means of mobile communication devices such as cellular phones, marine radios, walkie talkies, CB's, etc. No on the water guidance or any participation in the practice of hole sitting.

20. SAFETY & PARTICIPATION: Safe boating and fishing practices, must be observed at all times. U.S. coast guard approved floatation device and kill switch must be worn anytime boat is on plane. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or mind-altering substance during tournament hours is prohibited.

21. BOAT & MOTOR REQUIREMENTS: No pontoons allowed. Allowed are any brand of boats of 16' minimum length, powered by a minimum of forty (40) horsepower and meets U.S. Coast Guard and State boating regulations. Boat must be equipped with a fully operational livewell.

22. PROTEST: Any protest must be in writing and filed with tournament officials prior to closing of the scales.

23. POLYGRAPH: By signature on membership registration form agreeing to waiver/release agreement, contestants agree to a polygraph test by a qualified examiner. Refusal to or failure of a polygraph test will result in disqualification and possibly banishment from all future Nichols Marine sponsored events. First, Second and Big Bass award winners must be present at conclusion of weigh-in for polygraph administration, unless prior arrangements are approved directly in co-ordination with tournament director. Any contestatns not present for a requested polygraph will not receive winnings until test has been administered at the next shceduled tournament. Any other arrangement for a polygrapah will be at the contestants own expense of $300.