Florida Bass League
FBL Rules and Regulations
(* indicates rule applies to club league only, not open series.)
1. The following rules shall apply to all regular tournaments conducted by The Florida Bass League, except for special tournaments as deemed by the tournament committee.
2. By participating in any tournament conducted by The Florida Bass League, it is understood that the following tournament rules have been read, agreed on, and shall be adhered to.
3. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left to the sole discretion of the tournament director. Members of the tournament committee present at the event may be consulted if deemed necessary by the tournament director.
a. Protests of violations of the tournament rules may be made to the tournament director or a member of the officers committee at any time during the tournament or weigh in, but must be made within 15 minutes of the final fish being weighed. Protests made more than 15 minutes after the last fish weighed in will not be considered.
b. A formal protest shall require a $25.00 deposit or agreement to forfeit 75 A.O.Y. points, which will be refunded should the protest be upheld. In the event the protest is found to be not valid or overturned, money or points shall be forfeited and applied to the FBL classic fund.
5. The decision of the tournament director and/or tournament committee shall be final in all matters.
6. Tournament winnings will be issued 15 minutes after final weigh in. Once the winnings are issued, the tournament is officially over and no protests or changes may be made.
7. These rules are steadfast and not open for discussion unless all conditions are followed under “changes of rules”.
1. Teams will consist of only 2 anglers. Anglers that wish to fish alone may do so.
2. *Should a team dissolve or separate, and both anglers wish to continue and compete in the FBL, team points shall be divided equally and awarded to each angler.
3. *Should a member of a team be absent from a tournament, an alternate will be allowed to fish for that team. ONLY 1 alternate angler per boat per season.
4. *An alternate will be allowed to fish the classic under extenuating circumstances, and must be registered as that teams alternate prior to the start of the 3rd event.
1. Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times. A violation of state or local boating laws as well as any conservation laws resulting in a written citation shall result in disqualification from the event.
2. Each angler is required to wear a Coast Guard approved life vest at all times the combustible engine is running.
3. Tournament hours shall be safe light (discretion of tournament director) to 3:00 pm.
4. Each boat must be properly registered and have all required Coast Guard safety equipment. In addition, it must have functional live well space, properly aerated to adequately maintain a live limit of all fish caught during the tournament.
5. Navigation lights must be used at the start of each tournament and remain on until the shoreline, on the opposite side of the lakes become easily visible.
6. The use of drugs or alcohol is not allowed during tournament hours or during the weigh in.
7. Kill switches must be used in all boats throughout the entire tournament.
8. The Florida Bass League does not provide insurance, and is not responsible for any accident or injury during an FBL tournament.
Tackle and Equipment:
1. Only casting, spinning, or spin casting rods (not exceeding 9’ in length) may be used. Any other type of rod or reel is prohibited. Numerous rods may be rigged and ready to use, but only one rod per person is permitted to be in use at any one time.
2. Only artificial lures may be used. No live or prepared baits may be used with the exception of commercial pork rinds.
3. All fish must be caught live and in a sporting manner. Anyone found guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will be disqualified.
4. When fishing for bedding fish, fish must be hooked inside the mouth to be a legal fish.
5. Gaffs to land fish are strictly prohibited. Every attempt shall be made to land a fish in a manner that will not harm the fish and allow for a live release. The use of landing net is allowed to boat a fish.
1. Team entry fees shall be $80.00 total per boat for each tournament fished, this will include the $10.00 Big Bass fee. *Club Membership fee is $25.00 per angler for the season.
2. No boat shall fish within 50 yards of another boat who is anchored or have the trolling motor in the water without consent. Violators will be disqualified. You may troll around another boat as long as you remain 50 yards from the other boat.
3. No trolling is allowed.
4. No leaving the boat for any reason unless it is a dire emergency.
5. Fishing is only allowed in waters accessible to all fisherman.
6. Sequence of boat launch shall be based on registration at boat ramp. First come first serve.
7. Participants must cull fish in their boat immediately after the fish is caught.( Florida State law prohibits discarding dead fish, Thus dead fish cannot be culled).
8. Any team turning in 3 or more dead fish in two consecutive events will forfeit the days weight at the second event and must show proof that their live wells have been repaired. Exceptions to this rule are gut hooked fish that still have the hook imbedded in the gullet.
9. Minimum fish size will be 12” and no limit on oversize fish with exemptions pulled for the event. If exemptions are not pulled for the event the minimum size shall be 14” and Florida size limits will apply. If you are late and do not get the exemption certificate you must obey Florida law size limits for that lake. Only one courtesy measurement will be allowed per team. You must ask for the courtesy before your fish are in the weigh bag.
10. The tournament director and tournament committee reserves the right to refuse entry of any angler(s). NO PROS & NO GUIDES will be permitted to participate in any open series or club league tournaments. A pro would be defined as anyone who's primary income comes from tournament fishing. Anyone who has a primary income outside of the sport of fishing but still competes in tournament fishing is considered semi-pro and is eligible to compete. A guide would be defined as a person who, for compensation, accompanies, assists or transports a person or persons engaged in fishing in the waters of any lake in the state of Florida. NOTE: These rules apply to fresh water fishing only.
11. The tournament director and partner fish all tournaments for free. They will however pay into the Big Bass pot if they choose to do so. *They will also pay the club membership fee.
1. All fish presented for the Big Bass win must be alive. Dead fish are not eligible.
2. Ties for Big Bass shall split the winnings.
*Angler(s) Of The Year:
Team Angler(s) Of The Year points will be awarded based on team participation, and placement in each tournament they fish as well as number of fish caught. Point system is as follows; 100 points for 1st place, 98 points for 2nd, 96 points for 3rd, and so forth on down in decreasing increments of two points per position. Each team will receive 1 point for each fish weighed in. Each team will also receive 10 points for each tournament they participate in. The team weighing in the largest bass of the tournament (Big Bass) will receive 5 additional points. Lastly, teams that do not show for the event will receive no points for the event.
You may miss 3 events and still qualify for the Championship Classic. Should you need to miss any other event(s) you must pay the entry fee for the missed event(s) which would be $80.00 minus the $10.00 Big Bass equals $70.00 event fee to qualify for the Championship Classic.
1. Every attempt shall be made to keep each and every fish caught, living and releasable. Each legal fish presented at the scales, as a dead fish, deemed dead by the tournament director, shall access a penalty of a half pound. Florida State Law prohibits discarding dead fish, thus, dead fish CANNOT be culled.
2. Late Penalty: Any team who is not off the water at weigh in and have their buoy on the board by 3pm shall be considered late and will be accessed a 1 pound penalty for each minute they are late.
3. All fish will be checked on a “Golden Rule”. If a short fish is brought to the scales and you did not ask for a “courtesy” measure, your team will be penalized and will lose the weight of not only the short fish but also lose weight of your largest fish being weighed in.
1. In the event of a tie for first place, the tiebreaker will be weight of big fish. Any place thereafter shall be weight of big fish.
2. Ties for Big Bass shall split the money.
All tournament waters are off limits entirely from 5:00 pm the night before the tournament until the tournament begins.
*The Championship Classic has an OFF LIMITS period of 5 days prior to the tournament and OFF LIMITS after weigh in on Saturday.
Any angler or teams found to be in non compliance with the off limit period will be unable to compete and or finish the event.
The payback shall be as follows, 80% payback for tournament. *20% shall go to the Championship Classic fund.
To qualify for The FBL Championship Classic, at least one member of the team must fish and/or pay for at least (9) of the (12) tournaments. The entry fee for the 2 day Championship Classic is $140.00. All fees must be paid on or before the date of the first tournament.
1. The focus of The FBL is to promote tournament fishing. It is of the utmost importance that each and every angler retains sportsman like conduct. Failure to do so may result in disqualification and/or expulsion from The FBL.
2. Any angler can be expelled from The FBL for any, but not limited to the following:
a. Failure to pay tournament fees.
b. Any actions which would disgrace or dishonor The FBL.
c. Any unsportsmanlike conduct against The FBL, anglers of The FBL or general public.
d. Removal from The FBL is determined by the Tournament Director.
1. To be eligible as part of the tournament Committee, the member must be an angler fishing a full season in The FBL.
2. The tournament committee will be in place prior to the first event of the season.
Changes to the Rules:
1. Changes to the rules can only be made by the tournament committee and only by a majority vote.
2. Any angler of The FBL may make suggested changes, however a suggested change must be made in writing at least on month prior to the next scheduled tournament. The suggested rule change will then be discussed amongst the tournament committee.
3. The tournament committee will take a vote on the suggested change prior to the next scheduled tournament and the decision of the tournament committee shall be final. Should any discrepancy arise not covered in the above rules, The FBL retains the right to revert to the suggested rules of the B.A.S.S. Nation National Tournament Rules.