Atlantic Bass Open (ABO) Tournament Rules

Sportsmanship is #1 at the ABO. We design our rules to keep things fair, to keep people safe and to keep the fish safe but it all begins and ends with you, the anglers.

1. All boats competing in the Atlantic Bass Open must prominently display the ABO decal. In 2015, former ECBD decals will be accepted.

2. Entry fees will be paid as a team, whether one or two entrants. Lunker pool entries will be an optional entry, payable only at the angler's meeting.

3. All participants must have a valid Nova Scotia fishing license.

4. Each boat will be inspected by the Tournament Committee prior to each tournament day. The following will be be checked: PFD's, livewells and paddles.

5. All tournaments will be a trickle start with the order determined by a draw prior to the blast off.

6. The Atlantic Bass Open (ABO) is not liable for any loss of equipment, injury or death during the tournament. It is also recommended that every boat have appropriate individual liability insurance coverage.

7. Each team member must meet and comply with all the safety requirements of the Canadian Coast Guard. All teams are required to practice safe boating, sportsman-like conduct, and courtesy to all non-competitors who may also be using the tournament waters.

8. All tournament participants are required to wear an approved PFD (must be fastened) while the combustion engine is in operation.

9. No alcohol or illicit drugs will be permitted within the boat during the tournament or official prefish. Anyone caught with these items will be banned from further competition that year.

10. In the event of a fog delay, set at the discretion of the tournament organizer for the safety of all competitors, the field will be held back for 30 mins. If after 30 mins the fog still poses a hazard, a quick lakeside anglers meeting will be held and blast-off options discussed at that time such as further delay or idle start.

11. A boat must be used in the ABO. A boat is defined as an open vessel or water craft powered by oars, paddles or motor. Each boat must a 'livewell' to keep a limit of fish alive for the duration of the tournament day. An acceptable minimum for a livewell will be: a Coleman / Rubbermaid type container with cover, in this container there must be some means of aeration such as a portable or fixed aerator with nozzle, air stone or sprayer. Water changes, though recommended during the day, will not be accepted as the only means of aeration. The tournament committee must find the system adequate. It is strongly recommended that competitors use a catch and release product in the livewell such as Rejuvenade. The strictness of this rule is to ensure minimal damage and/or stress to the true stars of the weekend, our fish!

12. Fishing may take place anywhere on the tournament waters except within 25 yards of another boat. This means that you cannot cast your lure within 25 yards of another boat, unless permitted by the other team. Any disputes will be an automatic disqualification. "Gentlemen's Agreement" exists, within 200 yards of designated rivers, canals and brooks the 25 yard rule will not apply. These designated rivers are open to all teams with side by side by fishing allowed. No fishing while the combustion engine in operation.

13. At the end of competition, it is the responsibility of each team to check-in with tournament officials. A limit of fish up to five maximum is to be weighed-in, with no more than six fish in the livewell at any time.

14. Competitors must be inside of the marker buoys set within the launch cove by 3 PM. Late arrivals will be assessed an 8 oz (0.5 lb or 1/2 lb) penalty for each minute past check-in time. Any team arriving more than 10 minutes late, will end up with an automatic disqualification for that day.

15. Only artificial baits can be used. No 'live bait' or 'prepared bait' will be permitted. Only one rod and reel may be used at any given time, but others may be rigged and ready for use in the boat.

16. Trolling is not permitted. Trolling is defined as moving the bait under power of the combustion engine.

17. Each team will be permitted to weigh-in a limit of FIVE smallmouth bass. No team will come to the weigh-in stage with more than five fish in their possession. A 1/4 lb (0.25 lb or 4 oz ) penalty will be deducted from the total weight for a dead fish or any fish the Tournament Director deems unfit for release. A team can only weigh in ONE dead fish per day. You cannot weigh a dead fish for Lunker pool consideration. Lunker fish must be identified with a tag in order to be weighed, you are only permitetd to weigh one lunker per tournament day. The lunker fish will be weighed first and then be included as part of the 5 (five) fish bag for total weight.

18. Pre-fishing of the tournament waters will be allowed up to and including the Sunday preceding the tournament. Cut-off is set as the preceding Sunday at dark. No competitors are permitted on the lake during the off-limits week, Monday through Friday after cut-off and before first day of competition.

19. All fishing must be done from the boat. Participants may not go to shore, except at tournament weigh-in site (except in dire emergency).

20. Tournament times: 7:00 am - 3:00pm each day.

21. All protests must be lodged prior to the completion of the weigh-in. It is advised that a digital picture including the time and date be taken of any team encountered breaking a rule. All decisions made by the Tournament Officials are final.

22. The use of underwater visual aids (i.e. Aquaview cameras etc) is not allowed during tournament hours.

23. Little Ponhook is off limits at all times, including prefishing and and tournament days.

24. Teams and or representatives are expected to be at the angler's meeting, to take place Friday evening prior to tournament commencement. We will discuss last minute changes, rules, special meeting prizing etc. There will be NO meeting Saturday morning, all information is shared at the Friday evening meeting only so it is best to attend Friday. Saturday morning will be used to efficiently launch boats and prepare for the tournament, ABO staff cannot be tied up via another meeting at that time.

25. The lower river is cutoff to all fishing downstream from a point near large docks on Chapel Hill Drive side of river, across the tip of the island and ending just below large dock on opposite side of river, please see attached image for visual instructions.

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