1. Rules All contestants must have a valid fishing license.
Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director. Decisions of the tournament director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. Each competitor agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification. The violation of a tournament rule may result in weight loss (late penalty, dead-fish penalty and short-fish penalty), the loss of weight up to a particular time in the tournament day (eligible for a restart), loss of weight for the entire day, disqualification for the entire tournament or, in an extreme circumstance, ineligibility to participate in future F4R Outdoors events. Protests must be made in writing within 30 minutes of the check-in time of the final flight of each tournament day.
Participation is open only to members of F4R Outdoors who are 16 years of age or older. Any person under the age of 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska) entering a tournament must also have the signature of a parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the entry form.
3. Point standings
200 points are awarded to the winner of each qualifying tournament, 195 to 2nd, 194 to 3rd, etc.
All anglers who receive weight credit receive points. (10 Show up Points)
The top anglers/teams from the point standings after four qualifying tournaments (ties resolved by total weight) qualify for the GO Hard Or Go Home Classic. If a top-25 angler/teams has already qualified for GO Hard Or Go Home Classic the next person in the F4R Tour point standings may be invited.
The top 25 anglers/teams receive priority entry for the season. The non boater of the team can choose to be and have a team in any subsequent season.
4. Off-limits, Practice and Competition
Tournament waters will not go off-limits to all contestants, Classic has off limits and opens, Monday 6 days before!
Beginning with practice and extending through competition, pros may not obtain fishing patterns or locations from co-anglers or fishing information from noncompetitors or follow a noncompetitor’s boat or participate in the practice of “hole sitting” or the placing of markers by anyone. Anglers eliminated after each round of competition are considered noncompetitors.
The purchasing of, or bartering for, information or the hiring of services will not be permitted after the start of the off-limits period. The sharing of tournament winnings in exchange for fishing information is strictly prohibited.
5. Registration and Pretournament Meeting
Each contestant must register in person at the designated site. In an emergency or due to an F4R Outdoors sponsor obligation, contestants may request permission from the tournament director to send a person who is 16 years of age or older to represent them. If permission is granted, non-contestants can represent one person; contestants can represent themselves and one other person. This representative must attend the pretournament meeting to record flights, takeoff time, check-in time, off-limits areas, size and creel limits, etc. This representative must also attend the partner draw immediately following the pretournament meeting to receive the contestant’s boat number, meet the contestant’s partner, and record the partner’s lodging information, phone number and exact location for the contestant and partner to meet prior to takeoff.
It is mandatory that all contestants or their representatives attend the pretournament meeting that will be held at 7:30 p.m. local time the day before each tournament. Being late for the pretournament meeting will result in a $25 late fee that will be donated to the F4R Youth Outreach.
Unless otherwise stated F4R events are team oriented and all contestants must register accordingly. All substitutes must be made 7 days prior to event and must be approved by the tournament director.
Partners will be paired by draw in pro-m events. All contestants or their representatives must meet with their assigned partners during pairings at the pretournament meeting. Partners should advise each other of their respective lodging and phone numbers and establish a meeting time and place for the following morning’s takeoff.
The tournament director, at his sole discretion, may reassign partners prior to takeoff.
Safe boating must be observed at all times.
Each contestant is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation during practice and from boat check until weigh-in each day of the tournament.
All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition-shutoff device that must be securely attached to the driver’s body whenever the combustion engine is in operation.
At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions.
All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, to F4R Outdoors, F4R Outdoors sponsors, the sport of fishing and F4R Outdoors efforts to promote the sport. Conduct not complying with these standards includes, but is not limited to, the following:
• Violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the rules for the F4R Tour.
• Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration, the pretournament meeting or during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure.
• Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.
• Suspension/disqualification from any tournament or fishing organization.
• Any other words, conduct or actions reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, or which fail to comply with the standards set forth in the first sentence of paragraph 8.
In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, F4R Outdoors shall have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete by returning the entry fee (minus deposits) or to disqualify a contestant.
9. Boat operation
Pros will fish from the front deck of the boat only. Co-anglers will fish from the back deck of the boat only. (Unless fishing a Team event). Pros will have complete control of boat operation and waters to be fished. Pros may not request that the co-angler not fish. Any pro that, in the judgment of the tournament director, operates the boat in such a manner that unfairly handicaps their co-angler partner will be disqualified for that day.
The use of mobile communication devices, including but not limited to, cell phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc., during tournament hours is strictly prohibited except in an emergency (severe weather, etc.) or to communicate with lockmasters about locking or with the tournament director.
Contestants are expected to compete every day for which they are qualified; failure to do so may result in ineligibility to compete in future F4R Outdoors events.
10. Boat and horsepower regulation
All boats must be propeller-driven, a minimum of 16 feet in length and have a rear deck (with a seat if requested).
All boats must be equipped with wheel steering; no other steering device will be permitted.
No barges or similar cumbersome crafts will be permitted.
Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment.
Boats must contain a properly aerated livewell space to maintain alive a limit catch of bass by both contestants.
Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition will be 250-horsepower, not to exceed the horsepower capacity set forth on the “Maximum Capacities” placard described below.
• Each boat must have a clearly legible “Maximum Capacities” (or comparably titled) placard that includes a maximum horsepower rating affixed to the boat by the manufacturer.
• The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the maximum horsepower capacity specified on this placard or the 250-horsepower maximum set by F4R Outdoors.
• By signing the entry form, each contestant agrees to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by F4R Outdoors personnel.
• Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating placard will be cause for disqualification from the tournament and may result in ineligibility to compete in future F4R Outdoors events.
Fishing platforms must be factory-installed equipment. No portable platforms may be used in tournament competition.
Fuel may be carried only in factory-installed (built-in) fuel tanks. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to the public and pumped through a hose with a nozzle.
11. Permitted fishing methods
All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner.
Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits..
Only one fishing rod may be used at a time.
Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited.
Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the lure in the water.
All bass caught while sight fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately shown to your partner or F4R Outdoors camera operator for verification.
12. Permitted fishing locations
Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off-limits,” “no boats” or “no fishing” by F4R Outdoors, local, state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a competitor’s boat that was first anchored. An anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight or by a Power-Pole with the trolling motor in the up position.
All fishing must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.
Contestants must leave and return to the check-in by boat.
The boat must remain in the tournament waters during the tournament day.
No tournament boat may be loaded on a trailer before the weigh-in except with the permission of the tournament director.
In the event of equipment failure or emergency, there will be only two permitted methods of returning to the check-in: (1) by both partners remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or (2) by both partners entering the boat of another tournament contestant. Under these two conditions the contestants’ catches may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, dead-fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules).
Contestants who elect to return to the check-in by any other means than cited above will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time of the tournament day.
Any contestant returning to the check-in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the tournament director or his designated tournament official. It is the sole responsibility of contestants to locate the tournament director to request a restart.
Partners must remain together at all times and within sight of each other until the weigh-in verification is signed. The momentary condition of being out of sight of each other for restroom breaks is permitted.
There will be only one checkpoint for boat check in the morning and one check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat check and checkout in the morning or failure to check in at the check-in point will result in disqualification. All fishing must cease upon check-in.
14. Late penalty
Contestants who are not at the check-in area at the appointed time will be penalized 1 pound per minute, deducted from the total weight, including any weight to be counted toward the Big Bass Award. Any contestant more than 15 minutes late will lose credit for that day’s weight.
15. Live fish
Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated livewell. F4R Outdoors recommends the use of Rejuvenade, which promotes the healthy return of bass to their natural habitat. Eight ounces will be deducted from the total weight for each dead bass presented for weigh-in.
Scoring will be determined by the pounds and ounces of each contestant’s catch during each qualifying tournament.
Only largemouth, spotted, redeye or smallmouth bass are accepted species.
The limit will be five unless the state or lake limit is less than five, in which case the state or lake limit will prevail. Contestants possessing more than the tournament limit will have their catch to that point disqualified.
The minimum length limit for bass will be 12 inches unless the state or lake limit is more than 12 inches, in which case, the state or lake limit will prevail. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit will be penalized at the rate of 1 pound for each short bass presented.
Each contestant’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag and verified by the signature of their partner. Failure to have a verified partner signature will result in disqualification. Unless its a team tournament.
The heaviest one-day catch for the tournament will break ties on that day . If a tie remains, it will be broken first by point standings, then by total number of fish for the tournament, then by total number of live fish for the tournament and then by lottery.
18. Logo usage and television coverage
During all days of competition, alcohol and/or tobacco logos may not be worn or displayed.
19. Truth verification test
Each contestant agrees to submit, by signature on the tournament entry form, to a polygraph or voice stress analysis examination and to abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass an examination will result in disqualification. Truth verification tests will be used at F4R Outdoors’ sole discretion, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by F4R Outdoors. Members of F4R Outdoors may be boaters or non-boaters, That have not directed the course of control for pay or as a professional.
All contestants must sign a limited Liability waiver releasing F4R It’s owners subsidiaries and sponsors from all responsibilites associated with any damages and/or personal injuries associated with our events. Liability insurance with coverage in reasonable amounts is required of all contestants in F4R Outdoors tournaments.It is recommended all boat owners carry $100,000 of liability insurance on their boats to cover all said damages.