Rules for 2020
Participation and Eligibility: Participation is open to all current Va. Top 100 members who are 18 years of age or older and participants less than 18 years of age accompanied by an adult with written parental permission. (Written parental permission must be provided to event staff prior to the start of the event) Participants under the age of 18 years may not fish alone in the event. All participants must sign the release of liability form to be eligible to compete. These tournaments are designed primarily for advanced tournament angler that still have amateur status, therefore anyone who has fished 4 or more tournaments within the past 12 months of this tournament with an entry fee over $2,000.00 or anyone who has provided guide service for pay within the past 120 days of these official tournament waters, will not be eligible to compete in these tournaments. Anglers may fish as individuals, but are still considered a team and it is his/her responsibility to have a contestant to volunteer to assist them during weigh-in.
Va. Top 100 reserves the right to refuse membership and participation in any all events, to any individual or Team for any reason at the discretion of the Tournament Director.
The Substitution Rule: A team may use a sub, the sub may not be a member of a current team in the same division, all rules still apply to the sub including off limit periods.
Federal, State and Local Laws: All contestants must have a valid fishing license and the boater must have passed a boater safety course, and are required to obey all federal, state, and local laws and regulations.
Team Entry Fees: $995.00 per team, all Va. Top 100 tournaments are team events, a team consists of one or two anglers.
All signed entries with payment must be received prior to the event's off limits period.
All Payments and entry forms are to be mail to: 494 Walton Street Strasburg, Va. 22657.
Pre- tournament practice and off limit days: Potomac River & James River/Chickahominy River & Lake; Monday & Tuesday are off limits the week of the tournament. Wednesday & Thursday will be the official practice days the week of the tournament, tournaments held on Fridays. Buggs Island: TBA at a later date
Pre-tournament meeting: Will be held the morning of the tournament. "Arrive early" If you launch at the official site the morning of the tournament please sign in before launching.
Payout: The 2019 one day tournament paybacks are 80% payback to 20% of the field, with an additional 10% carried over to the Championship Tournament.
1st place winner will receive 50% of the 80%. (example: Based on 50 boat 1st place payout would be $20,000.00 and $5,000.00 carried over to Championship Tournament.)
Insurance: A minimum of $100,000.00 liability insurance is required of all contestants utilizing their boats in any Va. Top 100 Bass Anglers Team Tournament. Proof of Insurance may be asked for at any time, Failure to do so, or reporting of false information will result in disqualification of catch.
Safety: Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant is required to wear a U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device, securely fastened per Manufacturer recommendations, at all times while the boat is being propelled by the combustion engine. Furthermore, a kill switch must be fastened to the driver any time the combustion engine is propelling the boat. Failure to do so is grounds for disqualification of the offending team's catch. Running lights must be operational and turned on at the blast-off of each tournament. Tournament days may be shortened or canceled due to unsafe weather or any conditions that would endanger the safety of the competitors by the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek shelter in bad weather, at which time no fishing may occur.
Sportsmanship and Conduct: Each contestant is expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and conservation. No fishing is allowed within twenty-five (25) yards of a non-anchored boat or fifty (50) yards of an anchored boat without that boat's permission. No Participant may buy, barter or hold a fishing location from any other Participant or Non-Participant for use during any Event day. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Consumption and /or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind mind-altering substance during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure and polygraph period will be disqualified. The act of moving bass from one area of the lake to another area also known as “Salting” during official practice days or competition days, is not permitted, leaving one area of the body of water to different area with more than 5 bass is not permitted. A team may not move within that 25 yard area of a non-anchored Boat, and then anchor themselves trying to force the original boat to move 50 yards away from them. Contestants may not have non-competitors in their boat on the tournament waters for any reason during official practice days or tournament hours, receive fishing information from non-competitors or follow a non-competitor’s boat or participate in placing of markers by non-competitors or participate in the practice of “HOLE SITTING” by anyone. . All culling must be done at the time the 6th fish is caught; no team may continue fishing with more than the tournament limit in the livewell at any time during the tournament. You may not cull a dead fish.
Off- limit Areas: Such areas established by federal, state, local laws and areas announced by Tournament Director. Within 50 yards of gas pumps on all our tournament waters, POTOMAC RIVER - Entire Leesylania Rock Jetties. (both inside and outside the jetties) JAMES RIVER - The pits located in the back of Chippokes, buoy to buoy at blast off location. BUGGS ISLAND - 100 yards in all directions of blast off location.
Tackle and Fishing Methods: Only artificial baits may be used. No live or cut bait is permitted (pork baits are permitted). All bass must be caught alive in a legal and sporting manner. No snagging, when Sight fishing for Bass, all fish must be hooked inside the mouth to be counted as a legal fish (this will be a polygraph question). Each competitor may only use 1 rod at a time. No more than 1 line in the water at a time per angler. Trolling with the combustion motor is not permitted. No competitor may leave the boat to land or catch fish.
Trailering: Trailering from one ramp to another to weigh-in will not be allowed. Trailering at the official check-in site ramps is allowed, and encouraged to make room for others. But all Teams must keep their livewells on, until their fish are placed in a tournament bag and brought to the staging area. In the event of severe weather the Tournament Director may at his sole discretion allow trailering.
Official Checkpoints: There is only ONE official checkpoint for boat inspection in the morning and ONE official check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat check-out in the morning or failure to officially check-in at the check-in point will result in disqualification from such event. It is the sole responsibility of each Contestant to arrive at the designated check-in location on time.
Scoring: Will be determined by the official weight of each team’s catch during the tournament. Only Largemouth, Spotted, and Smallmouth (collectively, “BASS”) are accepted species. Potomac River -15” is the minimum length, James River/Chick - 12" is the minimum length, Buggs Island - 14" is the minimum length. Lengths will be measured with mouth closed and tail compressed for greatest length. A short fish brought to the scales will not be weighed, and will result in a 1- pound penalty (per short fish) to the remaining fish. Dead fish will be penalized .5 (1/2) pound (per dead fish). The dead fish penalty will also apply to any fish weighed as a Big Fish if that fish is dead.
Ties: In case of a tie for 1st place, the Tournament Director shall designate depending on time and safety conditions, a fish off period of 1 hour to be held within 1 hr of the closing of scales. If an angler/team declines to complete in the fish off, the other team involved will be awarded 1st place. All other ties for cash and points will be split equally among the teams involved.
Emergencies: Competitors shall remain with their partners in the boat at all times during the tournament, except in the event of sickness or brief excursions for "nature calling", severe storm or other such hazard. It is permitted for a competitor to leave the boat for marina services. Competitors may leave the boat to dislodge it, but only to return the boat in the direction it came from. Leaving the boat to advance it is not permitted. (In falling water conditions, a team may leave the boat to advance it only to return from water they accessed without leaving the boat.) If for any reason either or both team members decide to leave the tournament waters early, both members shall bear full responsibility for notifying a tournament official. In case of a breakdown, one partner may return with fish by another tournament boat while the other partner is permitted to stay with the disabled boat.
Late Penalty: Competitors who are not checked in by the check in deadline will be penalized at a rate of 1 pound per minute, up to 15 minutes at which time their catch will be disqualified. Late penalties will be deducted from "Big Fish" weight as well as total weight.
Protest and Reporting Procedure: All protest must be submitted in writing along with a $100.00 cash deposit within 15 minutes of last flight check-in to Tournament Director or designated tournament official. The protestor also agrees that if there is a question with regards to verifying the protest charge, he or she may be subject to a polygraph exam and agree to testify in a court of law if necessary. If the Tournament Director, or polygraph, upholds the protest, the cash deposit shall be returned to the contestant submitting the protest.
Polygraph: Polygraph exams will be administered on-site at each event. The 1st place team, Big Bass winner, and a team randomly selected will automatically be tested. Each contestant who fishes a Va. Top 100 event agrees to submit to a polygraph examination at any time and location as determined by the Tournament Director following competition. Failure to pass examination will result in disqualification.
Closing of Scales: Scales will close 30 minutes after the last flight is due in. Due to certain weigh-in locations this time may be lengthened at Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion. It is the angler’s sole responsibility to verify the official scale closing time and to be in the weigh-in line by such time.
Violation of Rules and Disqualifications: The violation of a tournament rule by either team member may result in total weight loss for the entire day, disqualification for the entire tournament or, in an extreme circumstance, ineligibility to participate in future VA Top 100 events. If a team is disqualified from a tournament their weight will be recorded as 0 lb. If the director feels that their violation was a willful attempt to gain an unfair advantage or to intentionally cheat, then the director has the right to refuse entry from that team or team members in the future.
Rules Interpretation: Interpretation of these rules will be left to the Tournament Director. Infractions of any rule may result in disqualification of catch.
Tournament Points: 1 day tournaments points - 200 for 1st place, 199 for 2nd place, 198 for 3rd place and so on. Big Bass winner will receive 1 additional point to their place points. Year-end total points will be used to qualify for the Championship Tournament, and the Championship Tournament will be a 2 day event with the winner receiving 300 points, 298 for 2nd place, 296 for 3rd place and so on. At the end of the Championship Tournament we will have the winners of Championship, plus the winners of the Team of the Year. (Team of the Year points are all points combined from the 3 one day tournaments plus the two day Championship)