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2019 MBN TOURNAMENT RULES For any/all tournaments

Prolog: These tournament rules are subject to change. There are three different MBN Trails: Pro-Am, Sunday Classic Team and Friday Classic Team Trail. There are also individual events: State Fishoffs and Club vs. Club. The following rules are a general set of rules that all participants will be held accountable – no matter which trail or MBN tournament a person is competing in. Infringement of any of the MBN Tournament Rules will be reason for disqualification. MBN reserves the right to refuse entry of any contestant.  Each Trail and each event has their own set of rules that will be IN ADDITION TO the following:

  1. ALL State, Local and Federal rules apply.
  2. Drugs, including marijuana, and/or alcohol are not allowed to be consumed by a competitor within 6 hours of a competition’s start time or allowed on/in a competitor’s boat.
  3. All boats in a MBN tournament:
    1. Must be equipped with all required Coast Guard safety equipment.
    2. Must have a working kill switch.
    3. Must have separated aerated livewells with the capacity to hold 5 average size bass.
  4. All people in the boat must wear a life vest when the gas engine is running.
  5. A minimum of $300,000 liability insurance is required. Proof must be submitted with the application.
  6. All Contestants must have a valid fishing license for the state or states that the tournament is being held.
  7. A Non-MBN participant, fishing MBN events, must join MBN before being allowed to fish the following year.
  8. If competing in New Hampshire waters, the boater must have a “Safe Boaters Certificate” in the boat.
  9. Protests must be brought in writing to the Tournament Director (TD) before weigh-in. The TD’s decision is final.
  10. Only artificial lures may be used. No live or prepared baits allowed. Pork rind is the only exception.
  11. Only one fishing rod per angler is allowed to be used at one time. No trolling.
  12. Fishing is allowed anywhere on the tournament waters unless the TD specifies an area as “off limits.”
  13. Culling of fish must be done immediately. There will be NO CULLING AT THE RAMP.
  14. More than allowed limit brought to the scale: Angler picks live fish to release and 1-lb is deducted from total weight.
  15. Dead fish cannot be culled and a .25 penalty (1/4 pound) will be assessed for each dead fish.
  16. A 1 pound penalty per minute a contestant is late to the weigh-in site. More than 15 minutes late = disqualification.
  17. A tie for 1st place will be broken by first: # of live fish; second: heaviest fish. If still tied, the first and second place monies will be combined and divided equally between the two contestants. Same process for any other ties.
  18. Launch take –off positions will be determined by a blind draw of numbers.
  19. 1st Place will receive 200 points. 2nd 199 points and 3rd 198, etc. If a contestant(s) enters and fishes in a tournament but catches no fish, they will be allotted 100 points.
  20. Only largemouth and smallmouth bass will be allowed to be brought to the scales.
  21. Nets are allowed. A protest will not be allowed if a fish is lost while one contestant attempts to net another’s fish.
  22. Tournament hours are from 7 A.M. to 3 P.M. unless otherwise decided by the Tournament Director.
  23. Everyone must be at the ramp and monies paid by 6:20 A.M. There will be a tournament briefing at the ramp or on the water before takeoff.
  24. If there is a “check-in boat” all participants, at the end of the tournament, must check in with this boat before 3 P.M.
  25. If there is an out-of-the-water weigh-in, then the Tournament Committee will pull their boats first. No other boats will be allowed to pull unless otherwise authorized at the pretournament briefing.
  26. All Contestants are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and consideration. Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification.
  27. ONLY non-penetrating culling clips are allowed for use. Any clip that penetrates the skin or mouth of a bass is not allowed. Non-Boaters are required to supply their own as specified culling clips.
  28. Pre-Registering for each tournament:

Note: Nothing is more discouraging to a person new to this sport than showing up to a tournament and not being able to fish because a shortage of boaters. It is likely that potential MBN new member will never give us another chance.

  1. It is highly recommended that all participants, Boaters and Co-Anglers, contact the Tournament Director (TD) and let him know you will be attending.
    1. i. Contact the TD by TEXT no later than the Thursday before the tournament.
    2. ii. Any participant that shows up to a tournament without contacting the TD by the Thursday before the tournament will pay an additional fee: Boaters $20 and Non-Boaters $10

     MBN 2019 CLASSIC TEAM TRAILS: Weekend & Weekdays          


Participation Requirements: There are two Massachusetts BASS Nation (MBN) Classic Team Trails. One trail will hold their tournaments on the first Sunday in May, June, July and August. (Sunday Classic Team Trail) The second trail will hold their tournaments on the third Friday in April, May, June, July and August. (Friday Classic Team Trail) These rules will apply to both trails unless otherwise specified. There are no restrictions to compete in these trails with the exception of:

  1. All Boaters must be a minimum of 21 years of age as of date of tournament.
  2. All Non Boaters must be 16 years of age as of the date of the tournament OR
    1. They present a permission note signed by their parent/guardian and/or they fish with a parent/guardian.
    2. A person must be 16 years of age as of the date of the Classic Team Championship
  3. All local and state regulations must be followed – including both anglers having a valid fishing license for the state in which the tournament is held. If the tournament is on water that is in two states and a license is not reciprocal for both states, both anglers must have valid licenses for both states.
  4. A minimum boat length of 15 feet is required to compete. No pontoon boats allowed. A functioning livewell that will hold and keep alive five (5) bass is required. If there are no operating livewells in the boat, the team will not be allowed to fish that tournament.
  5. Only artificial lures will be allowed, with the exception of retail pork used as a trailer. Nets are allowed. There is no limit to the amount of rods being allowed in the boat. Only one rod will be allowed to be used at a time, which means no form of trolling. Keeping a pork trailer wet by allowing it to be just under the surface is allowed.  Alabama Rigs are not allowed on Massachusetts waters.


Membership Requirements: There are no membership requirements, but if the team that wins the MBN Classic Team Tournament of Champions (Team TOC) and has qualified for the Classic Team Championship, where the winner of that tournament goes on to The Classic, then both members of that team must be a member of B.A.S.S. before the first tournament.  Joining B.A.S.S. is easy, just go to – it cost just $25. If you have no desire to fish in the World Series of Bass Fishing: The BassMasters Classic, then you do not need to join. Remember, once the day of the first tournament arrives and you are not a member of B.A.S.S., you can still fish for the purses, but not be able to go on to the Classic Team Championship – even if you win the Team TOC.

To Enter: 

Option # 1: Pre-Registration -  IT IS REQUIRED THAT ALL TEAMS PRE-REGISTER. Pre-registering does not require pre-paying for the tournament. All teams must TEXT (Not Call) the Tournament Director in charge of the trail you will be fishing. Contact info for Ben Hale: Sunday trail and Ray Lentine: Friday trail are at the bottom of the Entry Form.  TEXT both team member’s names, phone numbers and what tournament(s) you plan on fishing. There is a limit of 24 teams for the Sunday trail and 15 teams for the Friday trail, unless otherwise stated on the Entry Form.

     Entry Fee: The Entry Fee is $200 per tournament, but B.A.S.S. requires that each member pay $10 ($20 per team) for the first tournament they enter each year. The $20 per team will go directly to B.A.S.S. to offset Championship costs. Therefore, the first tournament a team fishes will pay $220. The entry fee for the remaining tournaments will be $200. No fee for the TOC.  Two ways to pay:

     Option #1:

  1. Send a Check, along with your Entry Form (see last page for Entry Form and lakes) and a $300,000 insurance binder that is dated to cover the tournament(s) in which the team will be fishing. Mailing address and contact info at bottom of Entry Form.
  2.  Pay with a credit/debit card. Either txt/call (508-826-7471) Ray with your Credit Card #, Exp date, 3 digit code on the back, exact name on the card and billing address.  Note: The card will be run through Ray’s business account. The bank charges 3 ¾% to use the service. Amount charged for the first tournament entered: $220 X .0375 = $228.25. remaining tournaments entered: $207.50 ea.

Option # 2: Pay at the Ramp - Teams can enter the morning of each tournament. You will fill out an application that morning and LEAVE A COPY of your insurance for $300,000 Liability. The entry Fee is $220 for first tournament your team fishes. $200 per tournament for each additional – cash only.


Payouts:  $20 per team will be subtracted from each entry fee. This money will be kept and given to the winner of the TOC to offset the expense to attend The Classic Team Championship AND $20 will be taken out as a mandatory Lunker Pool Fee. This will leave $160 per team to be paid out:

                       1st Place: 65% of total entries   2nd Place: 35% of total entries   

Ties: First Break: Total number of live fish  – Second Break: Largest alive Fish.

Ties out-of-the-money: If  two teams finish “out of the money” it still is very important to find the proper place- ment because the top 5 teams go to the TOC – with the winner of the TOC going to the Classic Team elimination round (Championship) on a Southern  lake. Therefore, weighing your largest alive fish is critical. If you do not present the largest fish to the weigh master and your weight ties with another team – the team that did weigh their largest fish would break the tie.

Substitute: At one tournament only a team may substitute a Co-Angler. No substitute Co-Angler will fish the TOC. The original team will be the team members that qualify for the TOC. Nobody will be allowed to fish alone.

Drop Tournament: There will be no drop tournaments for the Sunday Trail. The Friday Trail will have one drop tournament.


  1. Points will be determined by finish: 1st Place = 200 points - 2nd place = 199  -  3rd = 198, etc.
  2. If a team fishes an event, but does not weigh-in a fish, they will receive 100 points.
  3. The Friday trail will publish final standings based on the top 4 tournaments.
  4. Cumulative Standings will be posted on the MassB.A.S.S. Nation website and Facebook Page.


This is a five (5) fish limit trail. Only five fish will be allowed in your livewells and five fish brought to the scale. Largemouth and Smallmouth that are a minimum of 12” will be considered legal. Any fish, as determined by the official’s, that is determined questionable as to mutilation or how long fish had been dead – will not be allowed.


Road to The BassMasters Classic:

  1. Using the above points method, the top 25% ** of the Sunday trail and Friday trail will qualify for “The MassB.A.S.S. Classic Team Championship” AKA: “Classic Team TOC.” That team will be crowned the “MassB.A.S.S. Classic Team Champions.” ** Top 25% in the final standings of the Sunday trail and Friday trail qualify for the TOC. This will be determined by dividing the total number of teams that fished each trail by 4 with a maximum of 5 qualifying from each trail. (Ex: 10 to 13 teams enter =  3 go to TOC  – 14 to 17 = 4 – 18 to 21 = 5 – over 21 = 5.) Only the top 25% in each standings will compete in the TOC. NO replacements
  2. The 2019 Team Champions will qualify to represent MassB.A.S.S. Nation at the B.A.S.S. Classic Team Championship. They will compete for 2 days and the top 3 teams (6 individuals) after those two days will fish day 3 and 4 alone.  The non-boaters will be given bassboats to use on these two days. The person that wins will have an automatic entry in the most prestigious tournament in the world: The BassMasters Classic.

 EPO –Launch FEES:

  1. EPO Fee: With 15 boats there should not be any EPO Officer needed. .
  2. Launch Fees: These fees are known when lakes are chosen. At this writing the only tournament that will require a launch fee is the Neponset Reservoir Friday tournament:  $20.


Check-in between 5:30 and 6:30. Because the people running this trail also fish the trail, they must also have time to put away check-in materials/tables, etc. and prepare for the tournament. Therefore, any team that shows up after 6:30 will be turned away.  The Tournament Directors can change the start/finish times if all contestants are notified. Weather or other situations could cause a delay Normal start/finish: 7:00 A.M. to 3 P.M.

Boat Examination and Launching at a site other than Check-in Ramp:

  1. Every boat will be checked by a MassB.A.S.S. Nation official. If you intend to enter the tournament you are giving permission for a MassB.A.S.S. Nation official to inspect your boat. Inspection may include th entire boat and not just livewells.                                                                                 
  2. If a team launches their boat at a ramp that is not at the check-in site, they must beach their boat and alert a MassB.A.S.S. Nation official so the boat can be inspected. Not knowing “who” an official is unacceptable.
  3. All inspected boats will have their trolling motors “ribboned.”

Leaving the Boat: Once the tournament starts no contestant will be allowed to leave the boat with the following exceptions:

  1. If there is a bathroom or port-o-john and a team member needs to relieve themselves, the other member must stay in the boat.
  2. Medical Emergency.
  3. Leaving a hook on a dock/boat must be avoided. ONE member will be allowed to retrieve a hook that is stuck on a dock or a boat tied to a dock. No one will be allowed to retrieve a hook/lure that is stuck on land and cannot be reached by staying in the boat. Absolutely No fishing will be allowed by the person in the process of retrieving a lure.

Take-Off and Weigh-in Procedure:

  1. One member from each team will draw their team take-off number as part of Check-in.
  2. To not stress out the bass, the weigh-in will be by called number ONLY. Do not bring fish to scales until called. Starting at #1 and depending on the number of boats in the tournament, teams will be called to the scales 5 Teams at a time. To save time: If numbers 6 thru 10 are called (for example) teams 11 thru 15 should bag their bass. At the Pre-tournament meeting it will announced who the Tournament Officials are AND if the weigh-in will be a “beached boats” or a “pull boats” weigh-in. To have a speedy weigh-in, the officials need to weigh-in first and their takeoff numbers will not be a factor for the weigh-in.



Late for Weigh-in:  There will be a deduction of one pound for every minute a team is late. This means that a team must either check-in with a check-in boat, or with a check-in official standing on shore, or the boat beached by the official end of the tournament.                                                                                                                                                  

Dead Fish: There will be NO culling of dead fish. There is a fine line here. If you think a fish is dying and you want to cull it before it dies, this is allowed, but if the fish is dead – you must bring it to the scales.  Any fish that is brought to the scales dead will be assessed a ¼ pound penalty (.25 lb.) per dead fish.

Under 12”: All bass caught must be 12” minimum length. A 1 pound penalty will be assessed for bringing a short fish to the scale and that fish will not be allowed. BEFORE a team brings fish to the scale, they will be allowed to compare their measuring device to the measuring ruler being used at the scale. (Golden Rule)

Unsportsmanlike Conduct: These tournaments are a COMPETITION and sanctioned by B.A.S.S.  Fair play is demanded, but aggressiveness is part of any sport. There will be occasions that two teams will come to the same spot on the water. Talk to each other as to what path you take. “Cutting Off” another angler is not something that is punishable, but doing so will not be looked upon favorably by the competitors or the organizers. If a team is, for example, fishing a row of docks, a substantial amount of those docks would be on a first come - first to fish basis. The bottom line: If it doesn’t feel right to do it – don’t do it. Staying competitive, as you use common sense, must be the rule. Passing a non motorized boat/canoe/kayak, etc. on any Massachusetts river must be passed at no wake.


Safe boating is required at all times. Most New England waters have a 45 mph speed limit. Some have “no wake” until a certain time and others have different speed limits for different parts of the lake. It is each boat driver’s responsibility to know the speed limit on the water they fish. If you are not sure, ask at the pre-tournament meeting.   

  1. Each team member must wear a Coast Guard approved chest-type Personal Flotation Device (PFD) whenever the gasoline engine is on. The boat does not need to be moving. If the engine is on and a vest is not worn by both team members – the team WILL BE disqualified.
  2. Kill switch cords must be attached to the PFD if the engine is on.
  3. 150’ must be the distance between all boats on plane, no matter if the other boat is in the tournament.
  4. No external fuel tanks will be allowed. Only the fuel in the boat’s installed gas tank will be used. The only refueling allowed will be at a regulated fuel depot, such as in a marina.



  1. Protest: If you want to file a protest against another team, you must do so in writing, before the end of the weigh-in and before the scales are closed. The person filing a protest must be available when the protest is reviewed and when, if needed, a penalty is given. The MassB.A.S.S. Nation Officials at the tournament will determine the severity of the offense and the penalty.
  2. Citation: If any team is given a Citation for any on the water offense, they must inform a MassB.A.S.S. Nation Official. Not informing an official that a Citation was given will disqualify that team for the balance of that year’s Classic Team Trail. If a team is given a Citation, then that team’s weight will not be allowed.
  3. Off-Limits and Cutoff:
    1. If a Cutoff Period is announced/posted and if a team or a member of a team is found fishing during the period, then that team will be disqualified from the tournament held on that lake. (If there is a cutoff it will be posted on the MassB.A.S.S. Nations website/Facebook. It will be important, before you prefish, to check the website/Facebook and the info for that tournament.)
    2. There are some bodies of water where there will be “Off-Limits.” So anglers don’t waste time prefishing off limit areas, MassB.A.S.S. Nation, when possible, will post those off-limits on the MassB.A.S.S. Nation website/Facebook. If there are off limits they will be announced at the pre-tournament meeting. Off-limits only pertain to the actual tournament hours. Any team caught in a designated off limit area during the tournament will be disqualified from that tournament.
  4. Drugs and/or Alcohol: None are allowed 6 hours before an event, during the event or at the weigh-in site. Never will illegal drugs or alcohol be allowed in a boat that is being used in the tournament. If illegal drugs or alcohol are found in the boat, the team will be disqualified from that tournament.
  5. The use of cell phones or walkie talkies to communicate with teams in the event is not allowed.


Pre-tournament Meeting: Required for all participants (both team members) to attend the Pre-tournament Meeting. These meeting will take place on or about 6:45 A.M., so plan accordingly.

MassB.A.S.S. Nation Tournament Officials:  At each tournament the top three teams drawn for takeoff will be the Tournament Officials for that tournament. Each team will have 1 (one) vote. The scoreboard will show their names. Disqualifications or assessed penalties and any interpretations of these rules will only be made by these tournament officials.

Tournament Committee: All past participants in these tournaments will be invited to be on the Classic Team Trail Tournament Committee. (CTTC) Suggested waters will be e-mailed out by June of the year before the trail. Any changes will be made by the CTTC.

Classic Team Trail: PAYOUT MATRIX

Number of Teams                                 1st Place                                   2nd Place         

5                                                            520                                          280

6                                                            625                                          335

7                                                            730                                          390

8                                                            830                                          450

9                                                            935                                          505

10                                                          1040                                        560

11                                                          1115                                        645

12                                                          1250                                        670

13                                                          1350                                        730

14                                                          1450                                        790

15                                                          1560                                        840


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