2018 River Bassin Rules

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 tournament series 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 tournament. They also earn River Basser of the Year (RBOY) points, where they could end up winning this elusive angler of the year title (worth $15,000 in cash/prizes).
  • 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 2018, the winning team will be eligible to win cash and prizes by earning River Bassin’ Team of the Year points (RBTOY). If they end up being the team of the year, they will win $8000 in cash/prizes respectively.
    • 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 RBTOY, he or she will need to choose the team which will be represented at the final championship tournament.
  • SUPER TEAM DIVISION – New for 2018, and only available at the National Championship and in the Online Regional Tournaments. 5 anglers, 5 fish total, and each angler must contribute 1 bass. So, basically it is each angler’s longest bass of the online tournament season (Feb 15th through Sept 16th)
  • 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. The Tournament Types

River Bassin’ Club Series Tournaments

*Click here to visit the Club Series Schedule page*

Club Series events are an arm of River Bassin’ that are run by local kayak fishing clubs, organizations or even dealers, across the country. These are their in person, one day tournaments, ran their way with their rules, but of course have to be river-focused events (50% or more of eligible water must be river). Anglers fishing these events will receive valuable River Basser of the Year (RBOY) and River Bassin’ Team of the Year (RBTOY) points [Refer to the bottom of this article for more information about what RBOY & RBTOY are, how you win, and the prize purse that comes along with the titles]. These events will be on the River Bassin’ schedule starting in January, and many will still be added up until March 1st, which is the deadline for organizations to fill out the River Bassin’ Club Series form. Aside from the prizes at the tournament, the winner of a River Bassin’ Club Series event will get a free entry into the River Bassin’ Championship ($50 value) and will receive 100 RBOY points.

River Bassin’ Online Regional Tournaments

*Click here to visit the Online Regional Tournaments Page*

There will be five season-long (Feb 15 – Sep 16) online “Regional” tournaments across the country, where anglers score their top 5 longest river bass of the year. Anglers enjoy these events because everyone can fit them into their schedules, since it isn’t a “one day” in-person event; fish as much or as little as you would like in between the start and end date. Plus, since these events are split into regions, it allows anglers to compete fairly against others fishing similar waters, with similar sized bass. In these tournaments, anglers must follow the official River Bassin’ rules and fish within the region that he/she has signed up for. Anglers may fish multiple online regional tournaments, if they choose to fish outside their home regional boundary. RBOY & RBTOY points are on the line at these events, and will be awarded upon the conclusion of the tournament (Sep 16th). These are valuable RBOY events because the winner will receive 200 points, followed by 195 for 2nd place and so on. These tournaments are only $30 to enter (+$20 for 2-man team division) for the entire season, and each will have a total prize purse worth over $2500, with $700 in cash/prizes going to the winner. A new element, for 2018, is the addition of a fun “Super Team” division (+$20 per angler – $100 per team), where 5 anglers form a team and each is allowed one fish to count for the team’s 5-fish virtual limit. This will promote additional camaraderie and enjoyment for those fishing throughout the year. Just like all River Bassin’ events these are open events, available for anyone to participate in.

Regions are broken down as follows:

Species-specific Online Tournaments

*Click here to visit the Online Species Tournaments Page*

With so many cool black bass species, it only makes sense to highlight them each in their own unique contest. These online tournaments are also just $20 and last throughout the entire season (Feb 1 – Sept 16). However, in these events you may fish any public water type (rivers, lakes or ponds), and the winners will be determined by their biggest 5 bass of one species. New for 2018 is the “mixed bag” category, which allows anglers to score no more than 2 of any species, meaning they must catch at least three species to have a full 5-bass limit. Any angler who finishes inside the top 10 in any of these species tournaments will receive an additional 5 RBOY points (5 points max if angler’s are entering more than one). For $20 a year, and giving you a reason to target some different species, plus the chance to earn 5 very important RBOY points, they are well worth your time and money to get involved in! 

The categories are as follows:

National Championship

*Click here to visit the National Championship page*

The 2018 River Bassin’ National Championship, held centrally in Waynesville, MO, at Ruby’s Landing, on September 22, 2018, will be one giant grand finale with $75,000 in cash/prizes being handed out! The entire River Bassin’ nation will come together in fellowship, compete and share some good times in celebration of the entire 2018 season. Many of the prizes will be handed out via our random prize categories or by spinning the popular River Bassin’ Prize Wheel, where anglers can win big or even lose a lure if they hit the wrong space! The largest of the random prizes will be two Jackson Kayak raffles. Anglers will receive one free raffle ticket with their entry into the tournament, but will have the option to purchase more raffle tickets to increase their odds. Tickets are just $10 a piece and all proceeds go towards local charities.

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 or National Championship Tournaments
  • $30 for Online Regional Tournaments
  • $20 for Online Species Tournaments

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

  • $160 for National Championship Tournaments ($80 per person)
  • $65 for Online Regional Tournaments

5-Man Super Team Division (only for Online Regional Tournaments and the National Championship)

  • $20 per person for In-Person National Championship and Online Regional Tournaments ($100 per team)

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 Club Series Tournaments

  • 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: 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.

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: Without full payment, registration forms, and signed waiver, an angler will not be eligible to participate in a River Bassin’ tournament. Please see each individual tournament page for more details on how to register and pay your fee.

6. SCHEDULE: Check the schedule link above on this page. Species tournaments begin on February 1st, Online Regionals begin on February 15th and all Club Series tournaments are listed on the Club Series page. Please check our Facebook page for the latest updates

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 two main eligible watercrafts are fishing kayaks, canoes. “Hybrids” or any “Catamaran Style” watercraft must be less than 14 ft and get approval before using. Email us at riverbassin@gmail.com with a photo and model of the craft you’re looking to get approved. Or, message us on our Facebook page. Anglers can wade fish away from their watercraft, but part of your watercraft must 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 page specifies the eligible water for that particular tournament. 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. NOTE: The online species specific tournaments allow both lakes and rivers to be fished.

For Online Regional Tournaments you must only submit fish that were caught in your region (for example if you live in the Midwest but take a vacation to FL and catch a 24 inch largemouth, you cannot submit it to the Midwest tournament. You can however, register to the Southeastern Online Regional Tournament and submit it there along with any other fish you catch in the Southeast this year) On your mobile device, your camera’s “location or GPS tags” or “location services” must be turned on or set to “while using the app” (iphone) in order for catch photos to be accepted by the live leaderboard system. We do not share the location of fish caught with anyone, and it it mainly used to ensure that everyone is abiding by the proper boundaries. If a protest is filed, we will look into the location of the fish in question.

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. This will just take place at the National Championship for 2018. At this meeting 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 (some online tournaments it may be 5). 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 the time listed on each tournament page. For the National Championship in-person tournament, 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.
•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.
•All prizes based on a minimum of 20 anglers. If less, prizes are subject to be lower or entry fees will be refunded to the “placing” anglers.

11. ELIGIBLE FISH: 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. Anglers can begin fishing upon launching but for the national championship in-person event, 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 upon the tournament’s completion. Check your tournament page for specific prizes.

*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.

For live in-person tournaments, anglers who are 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 (2-man) 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 Club Series tournaments (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 Club Series tournaments (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

Online Regional Events 

•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 will earn Series Points for the following tournaments – Club Series tournaments (1) Online Regional tournaments (1), Species Specific tournaments (bonus points offered) and the National Championship (1). Anglers can fish as many as they want in order to increase their odds at a higher finishing score. The top Club Series score will be combined with the top Online Regional Tournament score, plus a 5-point bonus will be added for anyone who finishes in the top 10 of any of the Species Specific online tournaments. This total will be added to their National Championship total to reveal each angler’s true 2018 RBOY or RBTOY point total. This graphic may make more sense.

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 & EMAIL 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, media releases or newsletter emails. 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.