Frequently Asked Questions
*These FAQ's are in no way to be construed as a complete list of tournament rules. Anglers may visit our rules page by clicking here.
What is the tournament FORMAT?
The BIG BASS CHALLENGE is a two day bass angling event. Fishing is from boats only. Maximum two persons per boat. Each team may weigh up to THREE fish per day; only one at any time. No culling at the weigh station will be allowed. Only your heaviest fish of the day will count.
There is no minimum size limit on bass to be weighed.
It is a catch & release tournament - only live fish will be weighed. Each team’s combined weight of day one and day two will determine their final placing.
Can anyone compete in the BIG BASS CHALLENGE?
Participation is open to any angler, irrespective of creed, colour or race. No angler under the age of 16 is allowed to participate, unless accompanied by an adult. However; the tournament director reserves the right of admission to any participant. Any person who, in the judgment of the tournament organiser is disabled or handicapped in such a manner as to unfairly hinder his or her skipper or co-angler partner or compromise his or her safety or the safety of his or her skipper or co-angler partner may not be eligible to participate.
What is the ENTRY FEE?
R3,500.oo /team, regardless if the team consist of just one person.
(The entry fee excludes launching and accommodation fees.)
Can I change or transfer an entry?
There will be no refunds of the entry fee unless an event is permanently cancelled. In the event a participant needs to cancel an entry (for any reason), the BIG BASS CHALLENGE will move the entry fee forward to a subsequent event.
What is the PRIZE MONEY?
All prize money is based on the number of entries and will be electronically transferred to the winning team’s bank account. In the event of a tie, the team who had the heaviest fish on day two will have the benefit. If there is still a tie, the team who had the heaviest fish on day one.
Each angler has to be at the prize giving ceremony to receive his prize. No prizes will be kept for collection and non attendance will result in a forfeiting the prize.
How do I ENTER for this tournament?
#1. Entries must be made on the official entry form on our web site. Download the BIG BASS CHALLENGE entry form; complete it prior to the tournament.
Please DO NOT email your entry form to us, but bring it along to registration.
#2. Do an EFT (Electronic Funds Transfer) to our bank account and use your team name as a reference.
#3. Please email your proof of payment, together with your name and contact number to firstname.lastname@example.org
Can I register late at the venue the morning of the tournament?
No, the tournament entry fee (per team) must be paid upfront eight (8) calendar days before the first day of the tournament. (The entry fee excludes launching and accommodation fees.)
Is there a limit on the number of entries?
Yes, the limit is eighty (80) teams per event.
Is the tournament entry fee per angler, or per boat?
The entry fee is per team and only one team per boat is allowed. A team consists of maximum two persons on one boat, but a team may however consist of just one person.
What is the PROGRAMME of events?
Registration: FRIDAY afternoon @ 17:00
Day-one: SATURDAY, 07:00 – 16:00
Day-two: SUNDAY, 06:30 – 12:00
Prize giving: SUNDAY @ 15:00
Is there a meeting to attend prior to the tournament?
Yes, the pre-tournament meeting follows after registration. All contestants have attend the pre-tournament meeting to record flights, takeoff time, check-in time, off-limits areas, and any other relevant tournament rule information. Non-attendance at a briefing will not be accepted as an excuse for ignorance of the arrangements and/or rules in the event of a complaint or objection being raised.
Is there a formal launch area?
Yes, The Hengeloord at Roodekopjes Dam is the official launch site where registration, the pre-tournament meeting, start of the tournament, weigh-in and prize giving will take place.
Is there a no pre-fishing period for this tournament?
Yes, Roodekopjes Dam is off limits to all participants effective five days from sunset on Sunday, 16 May 2021 untill the start of the tournament on day one.
Further, no contestant may be on tournament waters for the purpose of locating fish or testing boats or equipment or be on potential fishing waters after the opening of registration, except during tournament hours.
How does the pull away (start of the tournament) work?
There will be only one official checkpoint for boat check in the morning and one official check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat check in and checkout in the morning or failure to check-in at the check-in point will result in disqualification.Starting positions will be according team numbers. All team numbers will be randomly drawn out of a hat on a first come first serve basis during registration. The number drawn will be valid for the duration of the tournament.
Each day there will be four flights and starting positions during each flight will be according team numbers.
At what time does the tournament START?
Each day there will be four flights and starting positions during each flight will be according team numbers.
1st flight: Day-01 - 07:00, Day-02 - 06:30
2nd flight: Day-01 - 07:10, Day-02 - 06:40
3rd flight: Day-01 - 07:20, Day-02 - 06:50
4th flight: Day-01 - 07:30, Day-02 - 07:00
Every registered team must collect their corresponding boat flag number each morning before the start. Skippers must separate themselves on the water and each co-angler must display his team’s starting number so that all skippers can arrange themselves for a single boat start. Teams will only be allowed to set off once the team number is called and a GREEN flag has been raised. No team may set off whilst the RED flag is raised. Teams failing to comply with the starting procedure will be disqualified immediately and no tournament entry fees will be refunded. When a team’s number is called out, the team must idle out and is only allowed to go on the plane from the point the organiser has appointed.
What is the check CHECK-IN times?
All tags must be returned and be back at the weigh station, on the board with 15 minutes between flights. Even though a team’s bag could have been weighed but their tag is not on the board at the time, the team will be deemed late and their catch for the day will be disqualified. Any team who is late solely due to them rendering emergency assistance to another team may, at the discretion of the tournament organiser, have their catch weighed if they provide satisfactory proof of such assistance given.
1st flight: Day-01 - 15:15, Day-02 - 11:15
2nd flight: Day-01 - 15:30, Day-02 - 11:30
3rd flight: Day-01 - 15:45, Day-02 - 11:45
4th flight: Day-01 - 16:00, Day-02 - 12:00
Do you have to have a boat in order to compete?
Yes, fishing is from boats only. Please adhere to the minimum boat requirements.
Are there any minimum BOAT REQUIREMENTS to compete in this tournament?
All boats participating must be fitted with a minimum of 15hp (fifteen horsepower) outboard engine, must be propeller driven and be a minimum of three meter (10ft) in length. No kayaks, jet skis, barges or similarly cumbersome craft will be permitted. Each boat must have all required safety equipment and must be equipped to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live-well of some sort. All vessels should be equipped with an emergency ignition shut-off device that should be securely attached to the driver's body whenever the combustion engine is in operation.
The use of generators, other than solar or wind-powered generators, is prohibited in contestant boats during tournament hours on all competition days.
What happens if I experience EQUIPMENT FAILURE or an emergency?
In the event of equipment failure or emergency, there will be only two permitted methods of returning to the official check-in:
(1) by both partners remaining in their boat and being towed, or
(2) by one partner boarding the boat of another tournament contestant with their entire catch kept separate in a weigh bag.
Under these two conditions the contestant’s catches may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties or dead-fish penalties. Note: Equipment failure does not allow for flat batteries or running out of fuel). Contestants who elect to return to the official check-in by any other means than cited above will forfeit their day’s catch.
May I use my CELLULAR PHONE during the tournament?
Contestants may not use mobile communication devices, including but not limited to, cell phones, tablets, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc., to communicate with anyone about locating or catching fish on tournament waters during tournament hours. Mobile communication devices may be used during tournament hours to communicate with the tournament director. At no time during tournament hours may contestants read or discuss social media posts from other contestants.
Can a co-angler fish with me in my boat?
How many anglers can I have in my boat?
Only one team per boat is allowed. A team consists of maximum two persons on one boat, but a team may however consist of just one person.
Can I have someone in my boat that is not competing in the tournament?
No; all persons on board have to be registered competitors for the tournament.
May I use LIFE BAIT in the tournament?
No; only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Rigs like the double rig where multiple lures / baits are attached to one main line are not allowed, except for commercial available “Alabama” rigs.
May I use anything else to catch fish?
All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner and must be hooked inside the mouth. All fishing must be conducted from the boat and only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Only one wet rod with one main line and one lure / bait per angler at any given time is allowed. The rod must be hand held (no rod holder may be used). Rigs like the double rig where multiple lures / baits are attached to one main line are not allowed, except for commercial available “Alabama” rigs.
How many fish can I have in my live-well?
A team possessing more than the tournament limit of THREE fish per team per day will be disqualified.
What are the permitted FISHING LOCATIONS?
Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off limits” or “no fishing” by local or provincial officials or within 45 meter of a competitor’s boat.
Non-contestants (spectators on boats) are also not allowed within 45 metres from a contestant’s boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. The cutting of trees, bushes and/or logs after the start of registration to make an area more accessible by boat is strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification from the tournament.
Are there any OFF LIMIT areas?
A 100 meter radius from the weigh station must be treated as a no-wake zone.
Boats are not allowed to beach directly at the release point. There is a “No Fishing Zone” directly at the weigh station as indicated by the tournament organiser. Teams who do not comply will be disqualified. Tournament officials reserve the right to board any participating boat before, during or after the tournament.
How does the WEIGH-IN work?
Each team may weigh up to THREE fish per day; only one at any time. No culling at the weigh station will be allowed. Only your heaviest fish of the day will count.
The weigh-station will be open through the day, but once the flights start to come in - then only teams in that particular flight may weigh their fish.
Due to COVID protocols, anglers must use their own weigh bag.
After placing only ONE bass inside the weigh bag (be sure to fill with adequate water) simply bring your bass to the weigh-in line (look for the gazebo and fish-care tanks). Any fish brought lip-landed to the scale will NOT be weighed. BIG BASS CHALLENGE staff will ask you for your name and you will be called up to the weigh-in stage by the tournament director to weigh your bass. Weight will be measured in kilogram.
Only a team member may handle his team’s catch to be weighed and presented for scoring by a tournament official. No angler may allow any fish caught by him to be added to the score of any other team. In such an event both teams shall be disqualified and subject to disciplinary procedures. Each team’s catch must verified by the signature of a team member. Failure to have a verified signature may result in disqualification of that day’s catch. The team’s boat flag must be weighed along with their fish.
Any fish weighed before the weigh-in time will be noted on the team’s score card and once it has been noted it cannot be removed for any reason whatsoever. Winners are determined by the heaviest cumulative weight from days 1 and 2.
Can I weigh a DEAD FISH?
No; the BIG BASS CHALLENGE is a catch & release tournament - only live fish will be weighed. Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live-well of some sort. The tournament proprietor and all its sponsors recommend the use of live-well additives that promote the healthy return of bass to their natural habitat. (No stringers, keep nets or fish nets are allowed).
Any fish presented to the weigh master with a white circle in the eye or a fish, or obviously dead, or a fish that is not gilling or finning within (10) ten seconds on a wet towel in the shade; will be regarded as “dead” and will not be weighed.
What do I do when I have a COMPLAINT?
Protests are to be made in writing within 15 minutes after the check-in time of the final flight of each tournament day and handed to the tournament director in person. Protest forms are available on request from the tournament director.
The deliberate or intentional actions of a competitor (including the competitor’s family, relatives or friends), publishing negative comments towards fellow competitors, administrators, officials or tournament partners on social media, using foul language (including officials) towards spectators, officials, competitors, tournament partners or employees of the venue. The competitor may be banned from future BIG BASS CHALLENGE events if found guilty by a special committee appointed to investigate the matter. The decision of the special committee is final.
Can we weigh more than ONE fish per day?
Yes; each team may weigh up to THREE fish per day; only one at any time. No culling at the weigh station will be allowed. Only your heaviest fish of the day will count.
Note: No dead fish will be weighed. Also; a team may not have fish in their live-well on the start of day two.