Enforcement of these rules are at the discretion of the Tournament Director and the Tournament Committee. All local, state, and federal laws, rules, and regulations must be obeyed and followed and supersede any and all PAYCHECK Bass Tournament Series rules unless otherwise noted.
All PAYCHECK tournaments are open to any and all individuals holding a valid PAYCHECK Bass Tournament Series membership. Angler’s under the age of 16 must be accompanied by a parent or guardian. PAYCHECK reserves the right to refuse entry to any team or individual they deem detrimental to the tournament or to the PAYCHECK organization.
#3-MEMBERSHIP AND ENTRY FEES
Entry fees will fund a minimum of 3 polygraph or voice stress analysis examinations per division per season
Tournament Entry Fees:
PAYCHECK Team Events…$170 entry, $10 lunker, voluntary $20 Option Pot
PAYCHECK High Stakes Opens…$300 entry including $20 lunker (no option pot)
OPTION POT…Paid back 100%…70% to highest finishing team that enters Option Pot and 30% to second highest finishing team that enters Option Pot. (no option pot for High Stakes Opens)
PAYCHECK Bass Tournament Series require sportsmanship and courtesy to be displayed at all times to fellow competitors, other boaters, property owners, etc. The display of poor sportsmanship or any action detrimental to PAYCHECK Bass Tournament Series will result in immediate disqualification and possible ban from future PAYCHECK events. Verbal intimidation before, during, or following a tournament will not be tolerated.
Launch position will be determined by the order entries are received.
#6-FLIGHTS AND CHECK-IN TIMES
Flights, check-in times and other pertinent weigh-in instructions will be announced at the tournament briefing 15 minutes prior to blast off.
#7-DRUGS AND ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES
No alcohol or drugs, with the exception of prescription medication, are to be consumed or used during the tournament hours INCLUDING weigh-in.
All boaters and non-boaters must have a Coast Guard approved chest type life preserver (PFD). This MUST be worn any time the gas engine is running with the driver of the boat having a kill switch/lanyard attached. ALL boats must have operating navigational lights in place prior to launch regardless of how light it is at launch. KILL SWITCHES WILL BE CHECKED FOR OPERATION!
#9-PERMITTED TACKLE AND EQUIPMENT
Only one (1) rod per person may be used at any time. Artificial lures and baits only may be used. Alabama-type rigs may be used provided no more than two (2) hooks are being utilized per state regulations. No trolling allowed.
Livewells will be checked in the morning and must be operating/pumping water or entry into the tournament will be denied.
#11-CELL PHONES Cell phones may be used for emergency use only and not for the purpose of locating fish, talking to family, or talking with other contestants (with the exception of a breakdown), etc. The exception is the PAYCHECK Friday Division where business calls only will be allowed.
Teams that experience mechanical boat malfunctions must contact the Tournament Director. A contestant may contact another competitor, a non-tournament boat, or a tournament staff boat (if available) and one or both angler’s may ride back to weigh-in with your fish. Teams are not allowed to transport their fish by truck or auto to the weigh-in site. Switching boats during a tournament due to a breakdown MUST be approved by the Tournament Director prior to the swap.
Your signature on the entry form states that you agree to a random polygraph examination or Voice Stress Analysis regardless of finish in the tournament. PAYCHECK Bass Tournament Series will be polygraphing A MINIMUM OF 3 random tournaments in each division in 2016
PAYCHECK Bass Series payout to the anglers will be based on a 1-in-5 payback. Payback is 80% at the ramp. 10% of each entry fee from both Regular Paycheck and High Stakes Opens will go toward the Championship fund making this an overall payback of 90%
#15-SCORING OF BASS
Each team may bring in 5 bass which must meet the official tournament length limit based upon the time of year and location of the tournament.
Upon catching fish number six (6) one team member must IMMEDIATELY begin culling their bass. One member may continue to fish as long as one is culling. No culling at the ramp permitted.
#17- “COURTESY CUSHION”
Boaters MUST give another tournament boat a 25-yard perimeter cushion provided they have an anchor/anchor line out and their trolling motor in the stowed position. SHALLOW WATER ANHORING SYSTEMS ARE NOT CONSIDERED AN ANCHOR UNDER THIS RULE! You are not permitted to approach another boat, anchor out or not within 25 yards and drop your anchor forcing them off of a spot. See RULE #4 regarding SPORTSMANSHIP.
All protests must be submitted in writing to the Tournament Director prior to the last team weighing in their fish.
#1-Upper Chesapeake Bay-The entire western shoreline from Sandy Point to Abbey Point is off limits in ALL PAYCHECK tournaments. Creeks in the Gunpowder and Bush Rivers that are listed as “Restricted” or “Prohibited” are also Off Limits! It is your responsibility to know the off limits areas as noted on the provided map of “Aberdeen Proving Ground’s Restricted Water Zones”.
#2-For all tournaments launching from Anchor Marina, the Off Limit’s area will be from the north point of the first cut/canal diagonally to the flagpole at the entrance to North East Creek. No fishing will be permitted inside this area.
#3-For all tournaments launching from Smallwood State Park, the last launching ramp to the end of the long dock that parallels the shoreline in front of the Shore Store will be off limits unless otherwise noted.
A “Points-Plus-Pounds” format will be used for Championship qualifying. For instance if the winners of a qualifying tournament have 18.50 pounds, they will receive 100 points PLUS 18.50 pounds for a total score of 118.50. If second place had 18 pounds they would receive 99 points PLUS 18 pounds for a total score of 117. Teams not weighing fish will receive 25 show points.
80% of each division will qualify for the Championship provided they fish at least 6 tournaments within that division. For teams wanting to mix and match tournaments throughout the year in different divisions, they will be included in the “Voyager Division” where the top 80% will qualify provided teams have fished a minimum of 6 tournaments.
The final tournament in each division shall be considered a Wild Card tournament where the 5 highest finishing teams who have fished at least 6 events , but did not qualify will advance to the Championship.
Penalties will be assessed as follows:
DEAD FISH…deduct .20 pounds
SHORT FISH…deduct 1 pound plus loss of that fish
OVER 5 FISH LIMIT…deduct 3 lb per fish over limit
LATE PENALTY…deduct 1 pound per minute for each minute late, DQ’d after 15 minutes
Landing nets may be used in all PAYCHECK tournaments.
Plaques will be awarded to all Divisional “Teams of the Year” at the Grand Championship
Each team is allowed 3substitutes per division per season. One member may also fish alone for 3 tournaments if his/her regular partner is unavailable. In either case, points will be accumulated.
In the case of a tie, the heaviest bass will break the tie. If each team’s heaviest bass weighs the same, then the money will be divided equally.
NEW FOR 2016
A dead bass cannot be weighed for lunker, but can be included in overall catch.