2017 River Bassin Rules

CLICK HERE to view our 2017 Pre-Season Facebook Live session that took place on 2/28/2017.  For even more information on the trail, CLICK HERE, to view last season’s video which provides a general overview.

Anglers are responsible for following all rules below but if you would like to jump straight to the Bass Measuring Rules, CLICK HERE.

1. THE COMMON SENSE RULE: This whole trail is about getting anglers who love to fish moving water out there to compete and have fun! Therefore, if anything in these rules needs to be changed to ensure the safety of participants, or the betterment of all anglers then we’re going to change them at any given point in the trail, so long as it keeps the playing field fair and balanced. In this unique tournament format there could be unforeseen situations that may arise but participants will be informed of any changes on this site and on the Facebook page.

2. WHO CAN ENTER THIS THING?: Its simple, this kayak fishing tournament trail is for any man, woman or child (we call them young river bassers, and for future references in this document the term “young river basser” or “child” refers to a child 16 yrs and younger) who enjoys fishing on moving water for black bass. See section 19, SPECIAL RULES FOR YOUNG RIVER BASSERS. There are four divisions of river bassers.

3. THE DIVISIONS: We wanted to make this a trail for everyone so we have a division that should work for you.

  • INDIVIDUAL RIVER BASSER DIVISION: In this division anglers compete as individuals for the title at each stop and earn “series points” in that division as well. If an angler earns Series Points in at least (1) Qualifier and at least (2) Regional events (the Online Regional event may count as one of your qualifying Regional events) he or she is eligible to win the title of River Basser of the Year at our finale in Kingston, TN on Saturday September 23, 2017 . At that event they will be eligible to win cash and prizes (the cash prize accumulates throughout the season with each entry) and become the River Basser of the Year! We will document this cash total as the year goes on but this prize package will start with a value of $10,000 between the cash and prizes. Anglers can compete simultaneously in both the Individual River Basser Division and the Team River Basser Division, which is explained below. The bottom line? If you sign up as a team, you are also entered to win prizes in the Individual River Basser Division.  Young River Bassers 16 years and under will be included in the Individual River Basser Division, giving them the option to take down their more seasoned competitors, so watch out!  The top female participants will also be recognized at each event and eligible for Series Points at each event and of course in contention for River Basser of the Year.  Aside from the awesome prizes, we will have guaranteed cash for the top 10 anglers in the Individual River Basser Division.
  • RIVER BASSIN TEAM DIVISION – This two-person team division is to help promote camaraderie among participants which shows what this past-time is all about – getting on the water with friends to have a good time! The way the division is scored is simply a combination of the two angler’s 3-fish virtual stringers; 6 fish total. However, no more than 3 fish per angler may be contributed to their team’s virtual stringer. Anglers don’t have to fish together, but it is encouraged that they do. In 2017, the winning team will be eligible to win cash and prizes (the cash prize accumulates throughout the season just like in the Individual Division, so encourage your friends to sign up). We will document this total as the year goes on and you can view it here.
    • If a team remains together and earns Series Points in at least (1) Qualifier and at least (2) Regional events (the Online Regional event may count as one of your qualifying Regional events) that team is eligible to win the title of  River Bassin Team of the Year and anglers will split the cash prize mentioned above at the finale in Kingston, TN. The award is determined in the same way as the River Basser of The Year award, where points are awarded for top finishes, and they add up in the RBTOY standings/rankings. All teams will consist of two anglers and there will be no alternates on a team, but an angler may fish on more than one team during the season. If an angler is on more than one team that qualifies for River Basser Team of the Year, he or she will need to choose the team which will be represented at the finale.
  • YOUNG RIVER BASSER DIVISION – This individual division is designed to help bring Young River Bassers into the sport. Young River Bassers can also participate as part of a team in the River Bassin Team division.  There will be separate prizes for top finishers in this division as well.
  • COLLEGE KAYAK FISHING DIVISION – This is a separate classification that allows college anglers to compete against their peers. These anglers will receive a reduced entry fee and be eligible in the main individual division as well.

4. 2017 EVENT TYPES:

  • In-Person Regional Events: The River Bassin crew will be on site and you can look forward to meeting River Bassin Tournament Trail founder and host of Hooked on Wild Waters, Drew Gregory, at all events. Some events this season will be held at a park and recreation area this year while others will be hosted by a dealer or livery so be sure to check the event pages for these details.  Prize packages will be around $15,000 at each event! In-Person Regional Events will be held in North Carolina/South Carolina, Missouri/Arkansas, Indiana/Michigan, West Virginia/Ohio, Texas, Pennsylvania and Tennessee. The top 20 anglers from each Regional Event will earn Series Points.
  • Online Regional Events: Each region (Southeast, Northeast/Mid-Atlantic, Midwest and Central) will have a season-long online component so that anglers can compete against each other within the same basic longitude and latitudes. Anglers vying for the RBOY or RBTOY titles may use this event as one of their two qualifying Regional Events.  Each event will have a separate prize package and each event will run the length of the season beginning on 3/1/2017 and ending at 11:59 PM EST on September 15th. These events provide a way to improve your standing as both an individual and as a team. Anglers and/or Teams may compete in more than one Online Regional Event but fish submitted to each event MUST be caught within that region (regions are defined as shaded areas on our live scoring site, http://www.kayakfishingseries.com) and must be caught in moving water. If you are unsure if your fishing area is eligible, please email riverbassin@gmail.com and we will review the location in question within 24 hours. The top 20 anglers from each Online Regional Event will earn Series Points.
  • River Bassin Qualifiers: Beginning with 2017, tournament organizations across the country will be hosting qualifying events which provide an opportunity for anglers to earn Series Points for the trail close to home. Rules for hosts of River Bassin Qualifiers supersede rules stated in this document or within our measuring rules including but not limited to, start time, end time, number of scorable fish and measuring board used. At least one River Bassin Qualifier is a requirement for your RBOY and/or RBTOY score so find one that works for you and meet some friends in a neighboring club or at a dealer host. The top 10 or 20 anglers (depending on event size) from each qualifying event will earn Series Points.
    • Teams can earn points fishing River Bassin Qualifiers. Both members of a team are not required to fish the same event but for legitimate contention, both anglers will likely need an eligible finish in a qualifier because the team score is an average of the best River Bassin Qualifier scores for each angler. Confused? here’s an example (Jeremy and Shannon are on a team. Shannon fishes a qualifier held in Leechburg, PA and finishes first for a score of 100. Jeremy fishes a qualifier in Kalamazoo, MI and finishes third for a score of 90. If neither of these scores are improved, the River Bassin Qualifier score for Jeremy and Shannon will be 95. Jeremy will keep his score of 90 for the individual division and Shannon will keep her score of 100). When these scores are averaged, they are rounded up to the nearest whole point.
    • A minimum of 20 anglers must compete in order to earn Series Points for a River Bassin Qualifier
    • Anglers must register for our “2017 River Bassin Qualifiers” event on our live scoring site in order to receive points earned for these events.
  • Online Special Events: These online events won’t help you in your quest for River Basser of the Year or River Bassin Team of the Year but these events each have a prize package of their own and will be a great way for your to keep track of your personal best catches throughout the year. These events will include (3) species-specific events for Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Spotted Bass/Shoal Bass. These events are for individual anglers only. Events begin on March 1, 2017 and end at 11:59 PM EST on September 15th. Online Special Events are not eligible for Series Points.
  • National Championship: Held on September 23 in Kingston, TN. A perfect time of year to be in beautiful Tennessee. During this event, we’ll find out who will be crowned River Basser of the Year and River Bassin’ Team of the Year. Didn’t do as well as you had hoped during the season? Don’t worry, this is also an OPEN EVENT just like the Regionals and we will award some great prizes for the winners of this event. You do not need to “qualify” to fish this event.  We’ll also celebrate the season that was with a large festival. The National Championship carries a higher point total as compared to any other events so do not be surprised if it shakes up the leaderboard!

5. REGISTRATION AND FEES: We aim to provide a low cost sport with a low cost tournament trail so that all can afford to enter.

Individual Angler (includes entry to the individual division only)

  • $50 for In-Person Regional Events
  • $30 for Online Regional Events
  • $20 for Online Special Events

Team & Individual (includes entry to both the team and individual divisions)

  • $160 for In-Person Regional Events ($80 per person)
  • $65 for Online Regional Events

Young River Bassers

  • $30 for In-Person Regional Events
  • $25 for Online Regional Events
  • $20 for Online Online Special Events

College Kayak Anglers

  • $30 for In-Person Regional Events
  • $25 for Online Regional Events
  • $20 for Online Regional Events & Online Special Events

River Bassin Qualifiers

  • Entry fees will be determined by each tournament host and may vary
  • No additional entry fee is required in order to earn Series Points for the River Bassin Tournament Trail

Late Registration: Once we get underway, registration will open roughly 2 months in advance of each event. It is important for hosts to know what level of participation to expect. For that reason, we reserve the right to increase the In-Person Regional Event fees by $10 to the prices above for those signing up within 7 days of the event date.

Joint Events: When the River Bassin Tournament Trail teams up with another entity, that entity may have their own entry fees or there may be an option to pay one entry that includes registration to both events.

Partner Club Discounts: If a partner club is working with us to host an event, there may be a discount available for members of that partner club. Talk to your local Tournament Director who will be able to provide additional information.

Partner Brand Discounts: Are you on a Team/Pro Staff for one of our River Bassin Tournament Trail partner brands? There may be a discount available for you too. Be sure to ask your team manager for more details.

PLEASE NOTE: Payments for the River Bassin Tournament Trail portion of the event can be made by credit card or via PayPal on the KayakFishingSeries.com event page at any time once registration is open. Without full payment, registration forms, and signed waiver, an angler will not be eligible to participate. Please see each individual tournament page for more details on each tour stop.

6. SCHEDULE: Our official schedule page will be online soon. In the meantime, please check our Facebook page

7. ELIGIBLE WATERCRAFT: This is a trail that is predominately propelled by man power and his use of the river’s natural propulsion, the current, to get the job done. The only exception is the senior citizen exception which permits any senior citizen 62 and older to use an electric motor so long as it does not exceed 50lbs of thrust. Anglers can share a two man watercraft so long as both are entered into the tournament. An angler can bring a friend, spouse or child along in a two-man watercraft so long as that friend, spouse or child does not assist the competing angler in any way, most notably paddling, landing fish, untangling lines, lures or anything that can be seen as an advantage. The only two eligible watercrafts are fishing kayaks, canoes & approved “hybrids.” You are still free to wade fish but your watercraft must still be in photo, per Bass Measuring Rules). Please be courteous and supportive of Catch and Release by keeping your watercraft close by to ensure all fish are released unharmed.

8. ELIGIBLE WATER: Each tournament stop is held at a “host location” and the eligible water corresponds with that location, usually a 50 mile radius. More information on the radius for each event can be found on the event page and that supersedes our rough rule of 50 miles. As noted above, the host locations for these events will either be a public park/recreation area or a kayak dealer. Some events will specify a lake as in bounds. If not, all lakes and ponds are off limits, including natural lakes and beaver ponds. If you have any doubts about whether an area you are fishing is lake or river then feel free to email or call the tournament contact for that stop to get their opinion so you’ll have a clear conscience about it.  This information will be kept confidential.

Eligible moving water will be defined by a event-specific map. On your mobile device, location must be tagged on your photos in order for catch photos to be accepted by the live leaderboard system.

iPhone Users CLICK HERE

Android Users CLICK HERE

If you do not have a device with location services please inform the tournament director before hitting the water as you’ll need to plan on downloading your catch photos with our staff after your day of fishing.

The River Bassin staff reserves the right to disqualify participants who were fishing waters which were not in bounds during the event.

9. PRE-TOURNAMENT CAPTAIN’S MEETING & MEET AND GREET WITH DREW GREGORY: This meeting is not mandatory, but can be very fun and beneficial to attend, especially for first time participants. Anglers can get their tournament “identifier” at this pre-tournament meeting, ask questions and try and glean any tips or tactics from tour founder and MC, Drew Gregory. Anglers can also purchase River Bassin Store items and play yard games at these pre-tournament events.

If you show up late and miss a chance to get your tournament identifier, don’t worry!  They will be at the host location in a folder titled “River Bassin” over night and will be there the morning of the event. Of course, they can always be printed off online as well since they will appear on the event page on Friday evening. Anglers are also responsible for reading and complying with the event rules and returning to the host location before their name is called on event day. More on that in Section 15: THE RIVER BASSIN RESULTS

10. SCORING: Scoring is done by the “catch-measure-photo-release” method. Participants must use a digital camera or smart phone (preferred) to take a photo of the bass on the standard measuring device that is on the “approved list.” SEE PHOTO RULES PAGE FOR A BETTER UNDERSTANDING ON HOW TO SCORE YOUR CATCH.

•Anglers may score up to 3 black bass. Fish are scored via length (inches) and the longest combined length will win.
•Anglers may begin fishing at the time noted at each event page or as specified by each tournament director at our River Bassin Qualifiers.
•Photos clearly taken in the dark before “safe light” will not be accepted.
•The bass’ nose or lip must be touching the front of the measuring device and a deduction should be expected if it is not.
•The tail can be pinched or natural and the mouth can be open or closed; we encourage you to get the most out of your fish!
•The bass must be facing to the left when measuring it to prevent a competitor from trying to score it twice.
•Your catch may be tethered to the kayak using a fish grip tool as you prepare for taking your photo but must be removed from the mouth in your photo submission or a penalty will apply.
•The bass must be on an “approved” measuring device with the front of the device and the device beyond the tail in the photo. The only approved device as of 1/28/2017 is the Hawg Trough Measuring Board.
•The tournament identifier for that tournament must be present in the photo (in-person events only)
•In the event a photo submission does not meet the stated rules, length will be determined by judge.
•There is an 8-inch minimum length on fish.
•All fish must be released back into the water system where they were caught before an angler can fish for his/her next catch.
•If you’re not using mobile device, upon return to the host location, anglers will work with the River Bassin staff to download and submit their catch photos.
•The same fish cannot be scored more than once even if caught on separate casts.  This also applies to Online Regional Events and not only individual scores but team scores as well.
•Submitted fish measuring the same length must have distinct differences in appearance or the angler may be subject to disqualification. One way to ensure these distinct differences can be seen is to remove any objects (identifiers, hands, etc) that will cover the unique pattern of your fish.
•The tournament committee will review all photos to verify validity of the catch and the length to determine place winners
•Length is rounded down to the nearest quarter of an inch.
Fish must be submitted to the system by 3:45. Anglers must be present when their name is called during the results ceremony or they will be disqualified.
•Ties are broken by whichever fish were submitted to the site first. Yes, this does give those with a smartphone an advantage if they submit from the water. We’re encouraging that so that we have live results/scoring coming in throughout the day which helps the fans follow along and ensures timely judging.
•Polygraph: Each contestant may be required to submit to a polygraph examination at a time and location determined by the tournament director following the end of the competition in each tournament and abides by its conclusion. Failure to pass the polygraph will result in disqualification.
•To be eligible for series points and prizes specific to the placing anglers, you must catch at least one fish. Those who submitted zero fish during the event may be eligible for other prizes.

11. ELIGIBLE FISH: Anglers can score up to 3 BLACK BASS SPECIES on their “virtual stringer.” The eligible species are as follows:
•Largemouth bass
•Smallmouth bass
•Spotted bass (Alabama or Kentucky)
•Shoal bass
•Redeye bass
•Suwannee bass
•Guadalupe bass
•Or a hybrid of any of the previously mentioned species.

12. ELIGIBLE FISHING METHODS: All fish must be caught alive on a conventional rod and reel in a sporting manner. Only artificial lures may be used during competition. Commercially sold pork trailers or scents may be added and used. An intentional foul hooked fish may not be scored. If a fish misses your lure and gets hooked in the side then so be it, but if you are sight fishing and foul hook it then that fish cannot be scored. A foul hooked fish is defined as a fish that does not have at least one hook in its mouth, and it must be released. Anglers may not catch fish or measure and submit fish that have been caged or confined in an area prior to the tournament, including fish deliberately displaced into a small pool prior to the event All fish must be caught during the hours of competition. Trolling is allowed. Fly fishing is allowed. No cast nets allowed, but anglers may use a landing net. More than one rod can be in use at a time only if the angler is trolling.

13. ACCESSING THE ELIGIBLE WATERS: All anglers must access the rivers they fish legally and not until 30 minutes before official sunrise the day of the tournament. Anglers can begin fishing upon launching. River camping that requires you to get on the water during the dark is not permitted. You can certainly camp along the river if you can drive to your riverside campsite. The state laws where the angler is fishing are what the angler will be required to comply with.

14. SAFETY: Safe boating will be observed at all times. During competition each contestant is required to comply with all state boating and fishing laws. Tournament days may be canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. The decision to cancel will be made by Friday morning the day before the tournament (if not sooner). All participants will be notified immediately via email, Facebook and on the live scoring page. We will try to avoid cancellations whenever possible and that is part of the reason we are designating specific lakes for some of our events.

15. THE RIVER BASSIN RESULTS: Following the event, winners will be announced and awarded prizes for their efforts that day.

Prizes will be awarded for the following finishes at each tournament:
INDIVIDUAL RIVER BASSER DIVISION: 1ST through 20th place (at most events)
8 other “random” prize categories

*Contingency Prizes: Sponsors may at their discretion award contingency prizes for anglers winning or placing using their products. * Prizes are subject to change (grow), see individual event pages for specific and up to date prize packages.

*The divisions above do not reflect the order in which they are called. Anglers not present at the time their name is called will be considered late and therefore disqualified.

16. RIVER BASSER OF THE YEAR: In the Individual River Basser Division and in the River Bassin Team Division participants will compete to have a shot to become RIVER BASSER OF THE YEAR (RBOY) or the RIVER BASSIN TEAM OF THE YEAR (RBTOY)! How this will work for the RBOY and RBTOY is simple; anglers/teams get points based on how they finished via the scoring system listed below.

River Bassin Qualifiers (hosted by other tournament organizations or dealers, based on event between 20 and 49 anglers)

•1st place = 100 points
•2nd place = 95 points
•3rd place = 90 points
•4th place = 85 points
•5th place = 80 points
•6th place = 75 points
•7th place = 70 points
•8th place = 65 points
•9th place = 60 points
•10th place = 55 points

River Bassin Qualifiers (hosted by other tournament organizations or dealers, based on event of 50 anglers of more)

•1st place = 100 points
•2nd place = 98 points
•3rd place = 96 points
•4th place = 94 points
•5th place = 92 points
•6th place = 90 points
•7th place = 88 points
•8th place = 86 points
•9th place = 84 points
•10th place = 82 points
•11th place = 80 points
•12th place = 78 points
•13th place = 76 points
•14th place = 74 points
•15th place = 72 points
•16th place = 70 points
•17th place = 68 points
•18th place = 66 points
•19th place = 64 points
•20th place = 62 points

Regional Events (including online regional)

•1st place = 200 points
•2nd place = 195 points
•3rd place = 190 points
•4th place = 185 points
•5th place = 180 points
•6th place = 175 points
•7th place = 170 points
•8th place = 165 points
•9th place = 160 points
•10th place = 155 points
•11th place = 150 points
•12th place = 145 points
•13th place = 140 points
•14th place = 135 points
•15th place = 130 points
•16th place = 125 points
•17th place = 120 points
•18th place = 115 points
•19th place = 110 points
•20th place = 105 points

National Championship

•1st place = 300 points
•2nd place = 290 points
•3rd place = 280 points
•4th place = 270 points
•5th place = 260 points
•6th place = 250 points
•7th place = 240 points
•8th place = 230 points
•9th place = 220 points
•10th place = 210 points
•11th place = 200 points
•12th place = 190 points
•13th place = 180 points
•14th place = 170 points
•15th place = 160 points
•16th place = 150 points
•17th place = 140 points
•18th place = 130 points
•19th place = 120 points
•20th place = 110 points

Anglers and teams competing for RBOY and RBTOY must earn Series Points in at least (1) Qualifier AND at least (2) Regional events (the Online Regional event may count as one of your qualifying Regional events) but of course can fish as many as they want in order to increase their lowest finish score. A maximum of (1) Qualifier and (2) Regional events may be counted. An angler or team’s best (1) Qualifier and (2) Regional events will equate to their total score as shown in the standings.

17. SPORTSMANSHIP: We realize there are cash prizes involved but it is important that all anglers adhere to a high standard of sportsmanship that portrays our sport in a positive light.

•The possession or use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs is prohibited. Any possession or use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs, participation in criminal activity, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon the tournament and its sponsors will be subject to disqualification

•All anglers will sign a statement of honor that they will abide by all the rules. If found guilty intentional, predetermined cheating they are subject to be disqualified from the entire trail, surrendering any monies gained up to that point during the season.

•Any angler may be subject to a polygraph test at any time to verify their catch and any other rules. If an angler is requested to take the test and chooses not to, it will result in their disqualification, surrendering any monies gained up to that point during the season.

•Proper river etiquette should be adhered to while competing. This includes anglers not cutting in front of another angler, giving plenty of space when passing another angler so as to not disturb their fishing location. Essentially, treat other anglers as you expect to be treated on the water and if you are unsure if you are too close to another angler or potentially cutting them off, just ask!

18. PROTEST: All protests must be submitted in writing (riverbassin@gmail.com) along with a $100 deposit, within fifteen (15) minutes of the last angler check-in. The protester also agrees that if there is a question of verifying the charge of a protest that he or she also may be subject to take a polygraph and agree to testify in a court of law if necessary. If the tournament committee, or polygraph, upholds the protest, the cash deposit shall be returned to the contestant submitting the protest. Even if there is not an official protest the rules committee will follow up on any accusations and there will be a serious price to pay if an angler has been found to purposely cheat. As mentioned above, fraud charges may be filed against the angler.

19. SPECIAL RULES FOR YOUNG RIVER BASSERS: Children under the age of 18 must have their parent or guardian’s signed consent to enter the river bassin’ tournaments. An adult must accompany any child under the age of 16 on the river. The adult may be entered in the tournament as well.

20. PHOTO/VIDEO RIGHTS: All photos, video, data, audio and angler profile information shall be used by the River Bassin Tournament Trail indefinitely and may be used by any of its tournament partners in future projects, promotions, articles or media releases. There will be no compensation for such use of these photos, video, voice or data. Anglers will be allowed to keep their photos/videos and use how they please as well.

21.FINAL DECISIONS: Any decisions that need to be made in relation to the event will be done so by the tournament committee and their decisions are final.

22.RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE: all participants must sign a waiver, release of liability, and covenant not to sue before competing in any tournament. It is required that all participants take responsibility for themselves while participating in event activities.

23.HAVE FUN: Remember, winning is not something you can completely control, because there is no way to play defense in this sport. All you can control is your fishing and your attitude so relax, have fun, and enjoy your time on the water. No amount of money is worth more than your name.