Updated: 03-05-2022

TBC National Championship

TOURNAMENT RULES

Venue: Klerksdorp Dam, NW
Date: 20, 21 May 2022 - It is a two day, full field tournament. Participation is by invitation only.
Klerksdorp Dam is off limits to all participants effective from sunset on Sunday, 15 May 2022.

 

TOURNAMENT RULES
These rules supersede any previously published set of rules for this event and intended to further the best interests of bass fishing in general and not to benefit any individual, team or competitor. Please make sure you understand the rules and regulations.


1. INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT
Interpretation and enforcement 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 contestant agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament organiser immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification. Any complaint is to be submitted in writing, or by providing video footage, to the tournament organiser within 15 minutes of the check-in time of the final flight of each tournament day.

2. GENERAL
All anglers enter the TBC National Championship voluntarily and at their own risk. MLF South Africa, SA BASS, The Bass Challenge tournament organisers, tournament sponsors and its proprietors and all resort proprietors and their employees at all levels, are indemnified from any personal liabilities whatsoever that may be incurred by any person while travelling to, or from, or during the tournament. The emphasis is on team, rather than individual, competition. Only one team per boat is allowed and a team consists of maximum two persons on one boat. (A team may however consist of just one person.) Anglers are not allowed to keep the official weigh-bags, tags or boat flags used at the championship.

3. QUALIFICATION
- The top 10 (ten) teams on the TBC final log standings will qualify to compete in an exclusive "championship", where The Bass Challenge Championship winner will be crowned.

- The top 10 (ten) TBC Championship anglers qualify to compete in the MLF RSA National Championship* against the top anglers from each Cast-for-Cash region in South Africa for the pro- and co-anglers slots at the MLF Series International Championship in the USA.

*Please note: The MLF RSA National Championship has its own set of tournament rules that differ from the TBC tournament rules.


4. SAFETY
Life jackets are compulsory and each craft MUST have sufficient life jackets on board for its participants. Competitors under the age of 12 are required to wear their life jackets while underway.

At the discretion of the tournament organiser, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or cancelled due to unsafe weather or water conditions.
If the wind speed reaches and/or exceeds 30km/h, measured at the tournament weigh station, a RED flag will be raised announcing that the tournament is (automatically) called off for the rest of the day and all fishing has to stop. All participants have 45 minutes to return to the weigh-station and hand in their tags.


5. PURCHASING of INFORMATION
The purchasing of, or bartering for, information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters, including but not limited to GPS waypoints (other than through commercially available sources) and the hiring of fishing guide services is not permitted within FIVE days prior each tournament. The sharing of tournament winnings with non-contestants in exchange for information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters is strictly prohibited and will be cause for disqualification from the entire tournament. The purchasing of, or bartering for, fishing locations from another contestant is strictly prohibited and will be cause for both contestants to be disqualified from the entire tournament.
Contestants may not ask for and/or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone, including publicly available sources (quasi-public websites, blogs and/or social media pages set up for the specific purpose of sharing information with individuals or a small group of individuals, either private or public).
Flights over tournament waters, including drones, are not permitted beginning with the start of the off-limits period, extending through practice and competition days.


6. TOURNAMENT HOURS
TBC organisers cannot be held responsible if dates and venues need to be changed because of influences beyond their control. Notice will be given by notifying participants via the website or social media networks.

  • Tournament hours will be between 06:30 to 17:00 for day one and two.

  • Tournament hours depend on safe weather conditions 

  • All tags must be on the board at 17:00

  • No fishing is permitted between the pre-tournament meeting and the allocated starting times.

  • At the launch one of the marshals will check your live-well and life jackets.


7. TOURNAMENT PRIZES
Prize giving follows after the results are known and written complaints received have been sorted out.  .
Prizes for the TBC Championship will be awarded based on the total bag weight for the day and based on the number of paid entries. Prize money is allocated only to teams and not individuals. In the event of a tie, the teams will share the prize money of the tied position for which they tied, plus the position immediately below that.
The top 2 (two) TBC Championship team members (four anglers) qualify for the MLF International Friendship Tournament slots at the MLF Series International Championship in the USA.  


​8. REGISTRATION & PRE-TOURNAMENT MEETING
Entry fee: R600/ person.
Date: Registration will be on Thursday, 19 May 2022 at 17:00
Venue: Pickles & Peppers at Klerksdorp Dam
Anglers are required to wait for the pre-tournament meeting that will start at 18:00

9. BOAT & HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS
All fishing must be conducted from a watercraft of sorts by means of oars, fins or trolling motor propulsion. You are permitted to have two trolling motors on the boat and are allowed to use them at the same time.
Watercraft permitted in TBC events are as follows:

  • Small bass boats (aluminium, fibre glass or inflatable) (Length limit 4.6m)

  • Kick-boats (electrically propelled or by means of kicking)

  • Inflatable boats electrically propelled or by means of oars (Length limit 4.6m)

  • Kayaks (no size limit)

  • No jet skis, barges or similarly cumbersome craft will be permitted.

  • If your craft is not on the list and within the 4.6m cut-off, please contact the organisers prior to attending a tournament to confirm that your craft is permitted to enter.

  • All vessels are to conform to the SAMSA regulations.

Under no circumstances are outboard type motors to be used during TBC tournaments.


10. TEAM RULES
A team can compete off two individual crafts, if it is seen as an individual craft, which will be at the organizers discretion.

A team with two individual crafts are only allowed to use one live-well.

You need to contact the organizers prior to the competition to confirm that your craft complies with the two craft team rule, the organizers decision will be final.

You will not be allowed to fish off two crafts if one of the crafts are able to carry more than one angler safely. Teams who fish off two separate crafts are not allowed to be further apart from each other than 25 meter at any time.


11. LIVE WELLS
Any craft that is propelled by trolling motors or by oars are required to have a functional live-well. Such a live-well should meet TBC minimum requirements.

  1. Your live-well should be able to hold a minimum of 20 liter per three fish.

  2. Your live-well should at least have an aerator and preferably have a bilge pump as well, water has to be replaced regularly.

  3. The fish’s health is the angler’s responsibility.

Any craft that is propelled by kicking is to utilize an approved follow-me bag. However if the angler wishes to utilize a live-well instead, the live-well must meet TBC’s minimum requirements.

Should your follow-me bag or live-well not meet minimum specifications you will not be permitted to fish the tournament.
Only one live-well is allowed to be used if a team is fishing off of two individual crafts.


​12. EMERGENCY ASSISTANCE
All anglers must propel their own craft and are not allowed to pull (or be pulled) by another angler, UNLESS in an emergency situation. In such situations the angler being pulled is to remain on their craft (If it is in a safe condition) as well as their catch for the day and should contact the organisers.

If an angler has any technical issues with his boat and is unable to get back to the launch on his own, he will be allowed to be towed in by another angler or by one of the safety marshals, but will only be allowed to weigh in two fish, the angler needs to contact the organisers before being towed in.

If there were extreme weather conditions, or it was a real emergency issue, the organiser and the committee will vote and their decision will be final.

13. LIVE FISH
The target fish are largemouth, smallmouth or spotted bass only. The TBC Championship is a catch, weigh and release event. Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated live-well of some sort. MLF South Africa 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 therefore be penalised and a 1000 gram will be deducted from the total bag weight for each “dead fish” as decided upon by the weigh master alone.​
MLF South Africa also recommends the use of no-puncturing culling clips like the new T-H Marine G Force Conservation Cull for marking fish and live-well additives like G-Juice to help promote the healthy release of bass. Intentional damaging of fish (fin clipping, illegal tagging, or disfiguration of any kind) will lead to instant disqualification.


14. LIMITS
All live-wells must be empty prior to commencement of any fishing session. The daily bag limit is THREE bass per team, on the craft at any one time. Anglers possessing more than the tournament limit of five fish per team per day will be disqualified. There is minimum length limit of 300mm (12 inches) per fish to be weighed.

The measurement is to be from the outer extremities of the closed mouth to the outer tip of the tail, with the fish placed on a flat surface. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit will be penalized at the rate of 500 gram for each short bass presented.


15. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS
All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner and be hooked inside the mouth. All fishing must be conducted from the boat. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. (No live-baiting permitted)
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.
Creating feeding spots by dumping bait either artificial or natural, or any other attractant in order to attract fish to a specific location is prohibited.

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 official checkpoint by boat.
A minimum radius of 20 metres (Casting Distance) must be kept between teams at all times. No team may cast into or move into another team’s area at any time during the competition unless invited by that team, In which case you must also vacate the area on request.


​16. 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, provincial or tournament officials, or within 45 metres of a competitor’s boat.
Anglers may be disqualified if encroachment is made on out-of-bounds areas, which have been declared as such at the competition briefing. 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. Contestants must leave and return to the check-in by boat.
Marker buoys are permitted by anglers but if an angler allows any one angler into his casting distance radius, they are then obliged to allow other anglers into this area.
 

17. OFF-LIMITS, PRACTICE & COMPETITION
Contestants may not enter tournament waters to locate bass or potential fishing waters or sightsee after registration has opened, except during tournament hours. No testing of equipment on tournament waters after registration is permitted.
During competition days contestants may not place brush or other physical fish attractors, including chum or holding nets with bait fish of any kind, in tournament waters. During competition days teams may not follow a non-contestant’s boat or participate in the placing of markers, brush or other fish attractors including holding nets by non-contestants or the practice of “hole sitting” by anyone. Disqualification will be enforced if there is a breach of this rule.

18. WEIGHING OF FISH
All teams must be in the weigh-in queue and handed in their tags by 17:00.

  1. You will be disqualified if your tag is not on the board before 17:00.

  2. Any team who has already handed in their tag on time and joins the weigh-in queue after 16:20 will be disqualified.

Only members of the bass family may be weighed-in and the weight will be measured in kilogram.

Any fish presented to the weigh master which is obviously dead, or a fish that is not gilling or finning within (10) ten seconds after being placed on a wet towel in the shade; will be regarded as “dead” as decided upon by the weigh master alone, and will not be added to the competitor’s scorecard.

Any number of fish may be caught and released during tournament day, however only a maximum of three fish may be weighed by the weigh-in marshals, which will count towards the teams total bag weight.

Any fish weighed by a marshal before the weigh-in time will be noted on the teams score card and once it has been noted it cannot be removed for any reason whatsoever.

Culling is permitted, however culling at the weigh-station will not be allowed.

Only a total of three fish per team can be kept in a follow me bag or live-well at any given time. Teams with more than three fish per team in a live-well or follow-me bag will incur a 1000 gram penalty.  
No stringers or keep-nets are permitted.
Intentional damaging of fish (fin clipping, illegal tagging, or disfiguration of any kind) will lead to instant disqualification.​


19. INFRINGEMENT RULES
Any complaint is to be submitted in writing, or by providing video footage, to the tournament organiser within 15 minutes of the check-in time of the day.

Should any infringement on these rules be brought to the attention of TBC organizers, the TBC organizers will take all evidence into account, call up a committee, deliberate and pass their verdict before prize giving. The committee and TBC organizers verdicts are final.

The competition organisers and marshals are responsible for the fair and impartial application of the rules. The decisions of the organisers and marshals are final.  

The use of alcohol and/or non-medical drugs before or during competitions is prohibited. Violation of this rule will result in competition disqualification.

Littering will not be tolerated. Angler’s found littering will be asked to clean up their mess. If they refuse they will be disqualified from the day’s proceedings and possibly banned from future tournaments.

The organizers of the TBC competitions would like to promote a sense of sportsmanship, respect and proper conduct prior to, during and after competitions. If anyone from the public, a marshal, or competitor, view a TBC competitor exhibiting un-sportsman like conduct, or in any way conduct him/herself in breach of the competition’s rules prior to, during, or after a competition, they could be disqualified from that competition, and future competitions.
 

​20. PENALTIES & DISQUALIFICATIONS
There will be three penalty levels:
a. Minor offences  - penalized at the rate of 500 gram per penalty

Smoking in the weigh-in line
Weighing short fish
b. Serious offences - penalized at the rate of 1000 gram per penalty
A 1000 gram will be deducted from the total bag weight for each “dead fish”.
Teams who have fished off two separate crafts more than 25 meter apart from each other will lose 1000 gram from their total bag for that fishing session.
No angler may hand to, or exchange, any article with any other boat and, excepting in an emergency situation, may not leave the boat during the fishing session.

c. Disqualification
Violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the Championship rules except for minor and serious offences.

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 and prize giving.

Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.

Suspension/disqualification, probation or ban from any tournament or fishing organization.

Anglers possessing more than the tournament limit of five fish per team per day will be disqualified.
Teams who beach directly at the release point.
The intentional introduction of materials that cause an increase in weight/mass of a fish by an angler.
Intentional damaging of fish (fin clipping, illegal tagging, or disfiguration of any kind).
A tag that is not on the tag board by the closing time of the event will result in the entire catch being disqualified. (In case of a lost tag the team must identify itself to the tournament director and inform him of a lost tag before the dedicated cut-off time, to avoid disqualification.)
Fishing in an off limits area.
In the event that a team is found guilty of cheating, the team members will be immediately banned from all TBC, SA BASS, Cast-for-Cash® or MLF Championship tournaments and legal action will be taken against the team members

21. MEDIA COMMENTS, PUBLIC ATTACKS
The favourable public reputation of MLF South Africa as a sanctioning organization in the sport of fishing, the integrity of its officials, and the reputation of its media properties are valuable assets and tangible benefits for SA BASS and MLF South Africa. Accordingly, it is an obligation of competitors to refrain from comments to the news media that unreasonably attack or disparage the integrity of tournaments, tournament officials, sponsors, fellow members, fellow anglers, Major League Fishing (MLF) or SA BASS. Responsible expressions of legitimate disagreement with MLF South Africa and/or SA BASS policies are encouraged as opposed to attacks upon the integrity of the rules or officials. However, public comments that an angler knows, or should reasonably know, will harm the reputation of MLF South Africa, SA BASS, its officials or sponsors shall be considered conduct unbecoming an angler and will result in disciplinary action.


22. SPORTSMANSHIP
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 MLF South Africa, our sponsors, the sport of fishing and MLF’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 championship rules

  • No angler may hand to, or exchange, any article with any other boat and, excepting in an emergency situation, may not leave the boat during the fishing session.

  • 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 and prize giving.

  • Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.

  • Smoking is not allowed in the weigh-in line.

  • 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 unfavourably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, or which fail to comply with the standards set in this rules.
    In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, MLF South Africa shall have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete by returning the entry fee, to disqualify a contestant or impose any penalty outlined in these rules. All disputes will be handled and finalised immediately after each leg. The organisers may at their discretion co-opt persons to assist in settling disputes.


23. MISBEHAVIOURS
a. Fighting, pulling pushing and threatening each other and abusive language will not be tolerated this includes officials as well.
b. Deliberate or intentional actions of a member, official, 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 (official) may be banned for a period for a period of if found guilty by a special committee appointed to investigate the matter. The decision of the special committee is final.


24. COMMUNICATION and SOCIAL MEDIA
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.
 

25. RIGHT OF ADMISSION
Right of admission is reserved: the MLF South Africa tournaments are showcases for bass angling! 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 TBC, MLF South Africa, SA Bass, sponsors, the sport of fishing and MLF’s efforts to promote the sport examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following: violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the official rules for the TBC Championship.


26. LOGO DISPLAY & MEDIA COVERAGE
During all days of competition any and all tobacco logos are prohibited and may not be worn or displayed. Anglers may wear their own apparel every day, except when anglers represent MLF South Africa in any event. MLF South Africa reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to prohibit any angler’s apparel that it finds to be offensive. All decisions are in tournament organisers’ sole discretion.
Only official TBC sponsors and benefit providers are entitled to publicity at the championship as jointly agreed. No competitor may offer publicity, guaranteed or incidental, on behalf of SA Bass magazine or MLF South Africa in exchange for sponsorship.
In the event of any television coverage of any sort, SA BASS owns the rights to all camera footage. SA BASS and MLF South Africa are under no obligation to remunerate, whether it be cash or any other means, what so ever, to any competitors should they appear in the production.


27. TRUTH VERIFICATION
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 from the tournament. Truth verification tests will be used at MLF South Africa’s sole discretion and the decision based on the findings will be made solely by MLF South Africa. All costs for such a polygraph test will be for the competitor’s account, despite the outcome.


25. POWER OF DISQUALIFICATION
Under any of the above rules, tournament organisers are empowered to disqualify any competitor, after due consideration of the facts, deemed to have broken these rules at their level and/or apply disciplinary measures as defined in the TBC Championship rules. The tournament organiser may recommend the banning of any angler for serious breach of rules. In the event of a dispute MLF South Africa may make use of a polygraph test for both anglers on the boat.
 

28. CAPTIONS
The captions at the beginning of each paragraph are intended to facilitate convenience in referring to the various rules. The captions are not part of the substance of the paragraph and should not be used in construction of any paragraph or of this overall set of rules


Copyright: MLF South Africa, 2022