Tournament Bass League Elites Tour is an individual angler format without co-anglers. Elite registration opens March 1st of the season. Entries are first come first serve and must be 18 years of age or older. Entry fee per Elite tournament is $260. A $600 deposit due by May 18th reserves a spot for six qualifying Elite tournaments. Remaining balance of $160 per tournament is due by 8pm the Thursday before each tournament. Late Elite tournament entry fee is $20. Top 5 Elites and Elites Cup champion from the previous year have priority season entry. DEPOSITS ARE NONTRANSFERABLE AND NONREFUNDABLE ONCE ACCEPTED INTO THE COMPETITION. TOURNAMENT ENTRY FEES ARE NONTRANSFERABLE AND NONREFUNDABLE ONCE THE COMPETITION HAS STARTED.
The field is set for a maximum of 30 elites on tour. Once the season has a full field, elites who did not make it into the season will have their entry reserved for next year's season should they keep their deposit in. If an elite chooses to have their deposit refunded, they will lose their reserved entry for the following year's season.
Should there be less than 30 elites for the season, remaining openings may be filled with non-tour contestants. Non-tour contestants may register for an individual tournament or multiple tournaments throughout the season but must register by 8pm the Thursday before each tournament. Entry fee for non-tour contestants is $260 per tournament with no deposit. Entries are first come first serve. Non-tour contestants will not receive points for Angler of the Year nor qualify for the Elites Cup.
Payouts are set for 1/4 of the field and all elites that make the Elites Cup. Angler of the Year payout is $1000-$2500 based on elite entries. Per IRS, 1099-MISC forms will be sent to contestants with winnings of $600 and more.
(Payouts based off of 30 boats)
1st $2500, 2nd $800, 3rd $500, 4th $300, 5th-7th $260
1st $3000, 2nd $900, 3rd $800, 4th $700, 5th-10th $600
PAYOUT STRUCTURE FOR LESS THAN 30 BOATS:
1st $2500, 2nd $800, 3rd $500, 4th $300, 5th-7th $260, BB $100
1st $2000, 2nd $800, 3rd $500, 4th $300, 5th-6th $260, BB $100
1st $1750, 2nd $800, 3rd $500, 4th $300, 5th $260, BB $100
1st $1500, 2nd $500, 3rd $300, 4th $260, BB $100
1st $1250, 2nd $300, 3rd $260, BB $100
1st $1000, 2nd $260, BB $100
PAYOUT for Elites Cup based off of elite entries for the season.
1st $3000, 2nd $900, 3rd $800, 4th $700, 5th-9th $600
1st $3000, 2nd $900, 3rd $800, 4th $700, 5th-8th $600
1st $3000, 2nd $900, 3rd $800, 4th $700, 5th-7th $600
1st $3000, 2nd $900, 3rd $800, 4th $700, 5th-6th $600
1st $3000, 2nd $900, 3rd $800, 4th $700, 5th $600
1st $3000, 2nd $800, 3rd $700, 4th $600
1st $3000, 2nd $700, 3rd $600
Pre-fishing is allowed up to off-limits day. Elites and non-tour contestants are permitted to pre-fish on tournament waters with friends and family, but not with anyone who has knowledge of tournament waters, unless the only knowledge was gained exclusively from the contestant. During pre-fishing and competition, anglers cannot solicit, gather or intentionally receive any information from anyone other than another competitor in the tournament. Elites cannot be given on-the-water instructions from non-contestants or mobile communication devices or follow non-contestants during pre-fishing and competition days. Competitors are not allowed to keep or live well any bass during pre-fishing. Off-limits day is the day before tournament day. Elites and non-tour contestants may not enter tournament waters to fish, test equipment, sightsee, or for any reason without TBL approval during the off-limits period. During competition days elites and non-tour contestants may not have other persons on their boats not approved by TBL. Mobile devices may only be used to view google earth, weather, take still photos, which may be posted on the angler's social media and website, and make emergency calls during competition days.
Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the rod in hand. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner. All lures must adhere to state regulations. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and soft baits. Alabama rigs and similar umbrella-type rigs are not permitted. Only ONE fishing rod may be used at a time. Trolling as a method of fishing or "long- lining" by using either the trolling motor or outboard to mechanically extend a cast is strictly prohibited.
Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters except areas posted restricting access but not limited to "keep out," "no boats," "no trespassing." Tournament director will designate tournament boarders prior to tournament day. No contestants may leave their boat to fish or land fish.
Fishing boats that are 16 feet or more in length may be used. Outboard power output should not exceed the vessel's rating. For the safety of all competitors, all boats must be equipped with an ignition kill switch with lanyard. The lanyard must be attached to the driver's body anytime the combustion engine is on and in gear. Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunnels of the boat. Only gas tanks that are installed by the boat manufacture are allowed. All boats must be equipped with fully functioning aerated and/or flow-through livewells. All boats must meet state boating regulations.
Points system will be based off the number of elite entries at the start of the season. First place for 30 elites for the season equals 30pts regardless of elite drop outs through the season. Weighing in receives points. Points will stop at the last angler who weighs in a legal bass. Top elite from points standings after 6 qualifying rounds wins the Angler of the Year. Ties resolve from total weight, number of fish, then number of live fish.
After 6 qualifying tournaments, the top 1/3rd of the field will advance to the Elites Cup at no entry cost. Total cumulative weight from 3 days wins the Elites Cup. Angler of the Year and Elites Cup champions qualify for the following year Elites Cup.
PENALTIES, CATCH AND RELEASE
Dead fish: 4oz deducted per dead fish & will not qualify for big fish prize. Late weigh in: 1lb per min, disqualified after 15 min. Minimum length for bass is 12 inches unless stated by the body of water or state regulations. Total length is determined by laying the fish flat on its side, tail pinched down from tip to tip, measuring from the nose or jaw, which ever is longer, with its mouth closed to the furthest tip of the tail when fully extended. Short fish penalty is 1lb per short fish. Tournament possession limit is 5 bass. For over possession limit penalty, the competitor will remove fish from the bag until a 5 fish limit and 2lb deduction per fish over limit from overall weight. Immediate disqualification of culling dead fish. Only non-penetrating culling clips are allowed for use. Any clip or device that penetrates the skin or mouth of a fish is not allowed. Any contestant cited for any violations of State laws results in disqualification from the event.
Safe boating must be observed at all times by contestants. All contestants must wear a U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device whenever the combustion engine is operating. At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. Should there be an emergency, call 911, then notify the tournament director as soon as possible.
If your boat becomes immobile, you should contact the tournament director. You may call another competitor for assistance. You may get a ride back to weigh-in on another contestant's boat. Equipment replacement during tournament hours is allowed but the director must be notified of the replacement. Equipment replacement is not limited to boat, outboard, trolling motor, battery, fishing electronics, fishing equipment, or fish care system.
All competitors must show proof of boat owners liability insurance coverage (including third party property damage and bodily injury) with no "tournament exclusion," having a minimum of $300,000 per occurrence prior to official practice days and competition days. Proof of insurance must be with the boat being used and must cover all passengers. Insurance policy must show an effective start date and expiration date.
At the discretion of Tournament Bass League, camera equipment and/or a camera operator may be placed in a contestant's boat on any tournament day. Anglers are expected to participate in media opportunities requested by TBL editors and producers on any tournament day. Tournament Bass League, LLC reserves the right to copyright, distribution, publish, and use any audio, television videotape, film and photographs of participants for advertising, promotion, trade, television or other lawful uses.