BASS Pro Series Rules
Updated 22nd January 2022
2023 Major Changes
• Guaranteed entries expanded to those loaning a boat.
• Bass Rankings discontinued.
BASS Pro Rules
$275 – Boater
$150 – Non boater
Prize Money is calculated for the field of anglers and will be adjusted up or down according to the number of entries. Boater payouts are calculated on a 1 in 5 entry basis on a 70% payback, while Pro payouts are a 100% payback.
Pre Entry Requirements
- All anglers participating in BASS Pro events must be current financial members of ABT.
- Membership and entry 1800 228 244 or rule enquiries 0427 32 64 64 during business hours.
- Anglers must be 16 years of age or older at the time of the tournament.
- Anglers should use the entry form found on the www.abt.org.au website.
- All entrants are required to submit a completed and signed event entry form. Included on the entry form is a Liability Waver that is to be understood and acknowledged as part of the entry form completion and submission process.
- Entries to the BASS Pro tournaments will be filed in order of receipt of correctly completed entry forms and payment. Entering as a boater guarantees a place in the tournament (at the least as a non boater), where non-boaters are placed with boaters on a first-come, first served basis.
- Entry is guaranteed for boaters/non-boaters whose entries are received on the same entry form and with full payment before the close of entries. Guaranteed entries must be travelling, staying together or loaning a boat. If either the boater or nonboater withdraws, guaranteed entry for the other angler is then revoked.
- All entry forms must be accompanied by payment to be processed. Entries without payment will be discarded. It is the responsibility of the competitor to contact ABT if their entry is not listed on the website. All competitors must fill out an entry form, including sponsors and credit vouchers.
- If you are using entry credits from a cancellation, please write the event you’re using credits from in the space provided.
- No late additions to entries will be considered as a team entry. For example do not ring up and say, “I forgot to enter as Joe Blow’s nonboater,” or “I forgot to enter Joe Blow as my non-boater”. If after the close of entries the listings are unbalanced between Boaters and Non Boaters, ABT reserves to right to permit competitors to guarantee their status.
- Cancellation of an entry before the closing date will result in a refund or entry credits. Cancellation of an entry after the closing date may incur a 20% cancellation fee.
n.b. Cancellation of an entry on the prefish day will result in the forfeit of all the entry fee, regardless of the reason.
- Entries received after the closing date may be declined or incur a 20% late fee.
- There will be a practice fishing ban for all competition waterways and linked systems from dawn on the Monday week prior to the competition until dawn on the Thursday/Friday immediately before the tournament. For instance, if a Qualifier tournament is held over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of a month, the pre-fish ban will extend from dawn on Monday the 8th until dawn on Friday the 19th. Check the event information sheets for the exact dates.
BASS Pro Qualifying Events
- Australian Bass Tournaments conducts six BASS Pro Qualifying Events throughout the 2023 BASS Pro Series.
- BASS Pro Qualifying Events are contested by a field of Boaters and Non-boaters. Daily, Non-boaters are randomly paired with Boaters. ABT may send out boaters without non-boaters or place camera persons on boats at its discretion.
- BASS boats must be 3.7m in length or greater and insured. Horsepower and beam must be sufficient to plane the craft with two anglers and full livewell/s, 20hp is the minimum accepted. If in doubt, check with ABT staff.
- All outboards must not exceed the maximum horsepower rating stipulated on the boat’s compliance plate or Australian Builders’ Plate.
- Boat drivers must wear their engine’s safety lanyard strap that connects to the kill switch at all times while the engine is running. Additionally, all competitors are required to wear a PFD Type 100 while the boat is planing. All jackets worn must comply with required standards as outlined by the relevant waterway authority.
- Entries to the BASS Pro Qualifying tournaments will be filed in order of receipt of correctly completed entry forms and payment. Entering as a boater guarantees a place in the tournament (at least as an nonboater), whereas non-boaters are placed with boaters on a first come, first-served basis.
- Entry is guaranteed for boaters/non-boaters whose entries are received together, fully paid, in a single envelope at ABT’s mailing address before the close of entries. If either the boater or non-boater withdraws, guaranteed entry for the other angler is then revoked. No late additions to entries will be considered as a team entry. For example do not ring up and say, “I forgot to enter as Joe Blow’s non-boater,” or “I forgot to enter Albert Einstein as my non-boater.” Ensure the entries come together in the one package. ABT may allow boaters to find non-boaters at the last minute to ensure their status if numbers are not equal.
- Cancellation of an entry before the closing date will result in a refund or entry credits.
- Entries received after the closing date may be declined or incur a 20% late fee.
- Cancellation of an entry after the closing date may incur a 20% cancellation fee.
- All boaters must ensure an ABT official has received a copy of their current boat insurance policy before competing. This can be emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There will be a practice fishing and boating ban for all competition waterways from dawn on the Monday the week prior to the competition until dawn on the Friday immediately before the tournament. An example is if a tournament is held over the weekend of Saturday 20th and Sunday 21st of a month, the pre-fish ban will extend from dawn on Monday the 8th until dawn on Friday the 18th. From dawn on Friday, anglers are able to practice fish within the state’s Freshwater Fisheries guidelines. Check this information on the Event Informations sheet online for any variation in specific events.
On the Friday night (or night before) briefing, boats will be allocated a starting position for Day 1 that is determined by the receipt of a fully completed and paid entry. It is a requirement of entry that all anglers must attend the briefing. Failure to do so will result in a starting position penalty regardless of reason for absence. Briefings often start at 6.00pm the evening prior to day 1, unless otherwise advised. Competitors are required to pre-register at the briefing location BEFORE the 6.00pm start, late-comers may be subject to penalty after this time.
Every day prior to the start-time, competitors must go to the pre-arranged location to have their boats checked by an ABT official. The official will check that the live well is empty and the safety gear/lanyard meets the tournament safety requirements, including a check that the safety lanyard is working. Once the boat is approved, the angler is given their key-tag with their start position number. ABT reserves the right to disallow unsafe boats (for either anglers or fish) to compete.
BASS Pro events will run as two sessions – one on the Saturday (dawn till 2pm) and one on the Sunday from (dawn till 1pm), unless varied at the briefing. Anglers will fish for an individual limit of fish with the following limits applying.
Blue Rock (App event) – 5 boater/3 non-boater
Lake Glenmaggie (App event) – 5 boater/3 non-boater
Lake St Clair (Weigh-in event) – 3 boater/ 2 non-boater.
Hunter River (App event) – 5 boater/ 3 non-boater.
Boondooma Dam (Weigh-in) – 5 boater/3 non-boater
Somerset Dam (weigh-in) – 5 boater/ 3 non-boater
The first session will start with boat one approaching the start area, where it will be held until the designated start time. When released, boat two can approach the start area, be identified and released, and so on until all competitors are released.
- Once released to fish, boaters may proceed to their chosen fishing spots with due care and attention to the safety of themselves, their non-boaters, other competing boats and the general public.
- Any speed restrictions, non-boating or non-fishing areas must be adhered to; failure to do this will result in either disqualification from the session, and or the tournament and a maximum penalty of 750 grams may be applied.
- Anglers finish a session by placing the key tag on the appropriate peg before the session finishes. Anglers placing their key tag on the peg after the finish time will incur penalties.
The second session will be run as a chase start. That is, the Boater placed in first position after Session 1 and then Session 2 will be released first, then the second placed boat and so on until all boats are released. Your start number will correspond to your Day 2 Key Tag number.
- Anglers must fish within the current Freshwater Fisheries guidelines of the state in which the event is being held and must be in possession of the necessary permits or licences. Anglers should bring all necessary licences to the briefing.
- ABT must sight current boat insurance policies from all boaters competing in ABT sanctioned events. This can be emailed to email@example.com.
- Anglers may fish any line class with any legal lure or fly-fishing tackle.
- Lure and fly casting only is permitted. Trolling is not permitted. Trolling is using the motor of the boat to give the lure action. Casting along a stretch of bank under electric power is fine, as is using your electric motor to keep position; don’t, however, leave your lines in the water when changing positions. ABT Staff reserve the right to disqualify anglers deemed to be purposely trolling in defiance of the spirit of BASS events.
- Long lining is permitted in ABT BASS Pro events, but is to only be done so with the aid of electric motor (outboard/petrol combustion motors are prohibited) while the reel is disengaged. The reel cannot be engaged and a retrieve started until the momentum of the boat has ceased. Doing so would constitute trolling which is prohibited in all ABT events.
- Only one rod per angler is allowed to be used at any one time. This includes instances where one rod is snagged and the angler picks up another rod to fish with. The angler is considered to be using two rods and will be disqualified for that session.
- Fishing is NOT permitted within any defined non-boating or non-fishing areas. Neither boat or lines can be in the no-fishing area.
- Only Australian bass are eligible for points in lakes. Estuary perch are also allowed to be weighed in river tournaments.
- Fish must be caught during the designated times and kept alive in a functioning livewell. Livewells must be at least 60 litres capacity, have a functioning aeration or recirculation system and be insulated if above deck. Livewells are not necessary for App-events.
- No more than the bag limit of bass per angler are allowed to be kept at any one time. If you already have a limit of fish and catch another, immediately release a fish. Anglers caught fishing with more than the bag limit will be immediately disqualified and ABT staff reserve the right to check livewells for excess bass during competition hours.
- All pairs of anglers are to stay with each other at all times, to ensure safety and to validate catches. Additionally, anglers are not permitted to fish from outside their fishing vessels at any time during sessions, including fighting and landing fish.
- ABT reserves the right to place camerapersons on boats and swap non-boater positions to accommodate this need.
- In the case of physical or medical emergencies, ABT officials will judge the acceptability of catches.
- Any complaints regarding a breach of the rules must be addressed to the on-site Tournament Director within 24hrs of specific incidents. Penalties for rule and conduct violations may include the following:
- Disqualification of catch for the day
- Disqualification from the tournament
- Disqualification from future ABT event
- A maximum penalty of 750 grams may be applied.
- Any concerns regarding clarification of rules can be discussed with ABT officials BEFORE the start of the tournament.
- The Tournament Director’s decision is final regarding all rule decisions.
Code of Conduct
- During fishing sessions, no mobile phones or radios should be used competitor-to-competitor, except in an emergency, to communicate with ABT staff or for an App event.
- Non-boaters should bring their own PFD to tournaments.
- Boats should remain a cast apart (30metres) while fishing.
- ABT sportsmanship would dictate that care of fellow competitors is of utmost importance. If an angler or boat is in distress it is expected that other competitors will assist. Remember that safety is more important than your day’s catch.
- ABT will encourage Fisheries and Boating Officers to attend all ABT tournaments to police safety regulations, registration, relevant boating legislation as well as alcohol and drug laws.
- Anglers are not to be under the influence of alcohol or drugs while competing. Legally required blood alcohol levels must be adhered to, and ABT reserves the right to request a blood alcohol breath test prior to the start of competition.
- It is expected that Anglers shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a manner becoming a professional sportsperson. Behaviour that will reflect unfavourably on ABT, its members, representatives and sponsors will subject the angler’s catch to penalty or disqualification.
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 ABT, ABT’s sponsors, the sport of fishing and ABT’s 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 ABT events.
- Being motivated enough to pre-fish but too lazy to come to the briefing.
- Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration or tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure.
- Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.
- Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months.
- Suspension/disqualification, probation or ban 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 this section. This includes verbal communication and social media.
In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, ABT shall have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete by returning the entry fee (minus deposit) or to disqualify a contestant.
Weigh-in procedure and Points Scoring
- The BASS Pro Series will be run on an individual weight format.
- Each angler may bring in their limit per session to the weigh-in (depending on the location).
- Anglers are to present their bass to the weighmaster in the weigh bags provided or their scorecard to officials in an App event.
- Fish smaller than the minimum legal length to the fork of the tail (QLD -300mm, NSW – 300mm) are ineligible for tournament points in a weigh-in event. There is no minimum size in an App event where fish are immediately released after capture unless specified at the weigh-in.
- Big Bass will be weighed individually and it is the angler’s responsibility to notify the weighmaster of a possible Big Bass.
- Dead fish, or those unable to swim away from the release point (as deemed by ABT officials) will not score points. At all times, bass are the responsibility of individual anglers.
- Anglers observed not displaying best practice fish care may be disqualified.
- Late tags will be penalised at the rate of 50 grams per minute per angler. If a boat returns later than 15 minutes after weigh-in time both anglers will be penalised 750 grams and all fish caught will not be weighed. There will be no exceptions to this regardless of circumstance.
- Ties will be settled by countback. The angler with the largest and subsequent largest bag will gain the higher place, if they have the same heaviest bag weight it will then go the angler who caught that bag in the earliest session.
- Boats that start in an incorrect order will be penalized, in a decision to be made by tournament officials. Boats missing their call-up must wait until all boats have left to be started by ABT staff.
- Boats can return to the weigh-in area earlier than the allotted time, however, that’s all the anglers in that craft can fish for the session. Weighing of fish will begin at the allotted time mentioned to anglers at the briefing by tournament officials.
BASS Angler of the Year Award
The BASS Angler of the Year (AOY) rates alongside the BASS Grand Final Winner as the most prestigious award a BASS angler can achieve. The BASS Angler of the Year (AOY) will be calculated using ABT BASS Pro Qualifying events (6 x events) and will be awarded to the angler with the highest 4 round tally out of a possible 6 events.
- The AOY title rewards the angler who is the most consistent highly placed angler with points per round allocated according to placing. The first placed angler in each event receives 100 points, and each place below that receives one less point eg.
- Anglers do not need to catch a fish to receive AOY points, however, they do need to fish both days in an event to score. This rewards anglers who have made the effort to attend and fish events to the best of their ability. Note that a negative score will impact on AOY points.
- Anglers catching no fish for a tournament will incur a 10 AOY point penalty to reward anglers who have landed a fish during a tournament.
- AOY points ties will be settled by countback. The angler with the best performance in the most recent event will gain the higher placing.
- Anglers with zero fish will score equal AOY points.
- Anglers completing a competition with negative weight will be placed below anglers scoring zero points in AOY calculations.
- At the end of year AOY points are tallied and the BASS Angler of the Year is determined. An angler’s best four events will count towards their AOY calculations.
BASS Grand Final Qualification
The field is limited to only 30 BASS Pro boaters and 30 BASS Pro non-boaters.
Boater & Non-boater Qualification.
- The winning angler2 from each of the five BASS Pro Qualifiers (6 anglers).
- Top anglers of the AOY Points Table who have not already qualified.
- Win the previous Grand Final (1 angler).
- Unfilled Grand Final positions will be offered to the next best placed AOY point scorer. E.g. For example an angler wins a BASS Pro Qualifier but cannot make it to the Grand Final. That position is then offered to the next best AOY.
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