Rules & Regulations

These rules are for all 2016 Salt Water Bass Anglers tournaments. Each contestant MUST READ, UNDERSTAND, AGREE TO, AND SIGN a 2015 Salt Water Bass waiver prior to entering their first event each year. These rules will remain unchanged during the 2016 season. Separate or additional rules may apply for, “Special Events”. Ignorance of the rules is not a defense for violation of them. Protests must be made in writing within 30 minutes of the scales closing. The tournament director may assess a penalty/ disqualification without a written protest.

The results of any event where protests have been filed or penalties or disqualifications have been assessed shall be considered unofficial until the tournament director of Salt Water Bass Anglers has conducted a review of the incident. This review shall be completed within 72 hours of the event. The decision of the tournament director shall be final in all matters. Adjustments to the results/paybacks, if necessary, shall be made after the final decision. Our objective is to offer you the fairest most consistent handling of any problem. To avoid protests, if you suspect a possible infraction is about to take place – Alert the would-be offender and check the rules!!!

Any contestant who displays poor sportsmanship, violates these rules or violates the state fishing laws may be disqualified. This includes conduct on and off the water including conduct in and around the host facilities for any event as well as conduct on public message boards and social media. Misconduct may be deemed as an infraction of our sportsmanship rule and is grounds for disqualification from any event and/or exclusion from membership in Salt Water Bass Anglers.

Participation is open to all members of Salt Water Bass Anglers. Membership is open to everyone. At least one (1) partner of each team shall be 18 years of age or older. Those anglers under the age of 18 years must have written consent of parent or guardian. High School students must maintain a GPA of at least 2.0. No one under the age of 18 may fish alone. A “Team” consists of two anglers. Teammates must remain the same throughout the series in order to accumulate points for that team. One member of a team may fish alone at any event; however, points will not be awarded if the other partner fishes the same event with a different partner.

All boats must meet Coast Guard regulations. Each boat must contain all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats with non-operating navigational lights will be held back until safe light or the last boat has left. Both anglers are required to wear a USCG certified PFD while the boat is on plane, the boat operator must have the boat kill switch lanyard attached while underway. Boats must contain a properly aerated or recirculating live well to maintain alive a team limit catch of fish. Any vessel deemed “unsuitable” by a tournament director would not be allowed to participate in that event. Boat owners will be required to provide proof of liability insurance to Salt Water Bass Anglers before they may compete in any SWBA event. No open air refueling unless performed/supervised by an authorized tow service. Storage of ‘Jerrycan’ style fuel cells will be prohibited. Only MMA approved tanks will be allowed on board. Safety Violations will result in a disqualification.

All fish must be caught live in a conventional and sporting manner. Trolling is prohibited. Cast and retrieve methods only, fish must be hooked/retrieved by the angler. Only artificial lures are permitted. No prepared or live bait may be used. The intentional snagging of fish is strictly prohibited. Only one “rod and reel” may be used at a time. Both anglers’ feet must remain aboard the vessel while casting, retrieving and landing fish.

A “25 yard rule” is in effect at all times during competition. No contestant’s boat may move within 25 yards of another contestant’s boat at any time for the purpose of fishing. As a general rule of sportsmanship all anglers should give all others enough room to make a reasonable cast to fish an area. Exception: In the case of fishing docks or piers, no contestant’s boat may “tie up,” or “protect” more than a single dock at one time regardless of the distance involved.

In the event of equipment failure or emergency, contestants’ boat may be towed to the check-in. If it is necessary to transfer fish to another boat, it must be another contestant’s boat. At least one member of the team must accompany the fish to the weigh-in site.

Official fishing hours will be announced prior to the day of each event (Safe Light start is the general rule). Late registration (after registration deadline) will be last out and due back within their designated flight. New registering teams will be last out/first flight in. All teams must check in with the tournament boat. There will be a 1lb./min penalty, up to 15 minutes, assessed to teams who have not checked into the tournament boat at their appointed flight time. No culling of fish in the host marina or weigh-in area. Fish must be ‘bagged and tagged’ before you approach the weigh-in dock. Catch bags must be SWBA approved and ‘self-draining’. Landing nets, buckets, etc. that are presented to the weigh master will not be weighed!

Rubber mesh landing nets only, (no twine nets). .50 lbs. will be deducted from the total bag weight for each dead fish presented for weigh-in, this also means that the .50 lb. penalty will apply to all fish submitted as ‘Big Fish’. The tournament director or a designee will make all judgments of fish mortality. No Team shall possess more than five (5) fish at any time except when culling. Both anglers must stop fishing when culling. Culling of dead fish is prohibited and will result in disqualification.

Unless specificaley stated, there will be no off limits for the 2016 regular season. Off limits periods for special events like the Tournament of Champions and the California Offshore Challenge may be established.

Scoring will be determined by the total weight of each teams catch. The limit shall be five (5) fish per team. The official minimum length for all bass shall be (14″) inches. Fish should be measured lying down, mouth closed / tail fanned, on a FLAT board. Tail may be swung but must remain fanned. Bass presented for weigh-in, which fail to measure the prescribed minimum length limit, shall be removed from the catch and a penalty of one (1) pound will be deducted from the remaining weight. 100 points will be awarded for first place, 99 points for second place and so on. Twenty (20) “Show-up” points will be awarded to each team in attendance. All ties will be broken by the team weighing the heaviest bass at that event. All tournaments are based on a 1 in 5 payout ratio. Angler of the year ties will be broken by total bag weights for the season.


The SWBA Championship will be comprised of the top 20 teams of the 2016 SWBA season plus 5 teams randomly selected from the SBS.
To qualify for the SWBA championship, you must fish a minimum of 4 SWBA events PLUS 1 SBS event.
SWBA and SBS have adopted a ‘Standardized’ points system between the 2-series, where points earned in a teams ‘required’ SBS event will carry over into SWBA and vice versa.
Teams may fish as many SBS events as they like and take their highest score back to SWBA . . . . but only 1!
As an incentive, SWBA will be ‘randomly’ selecting 5 teams to fish the SBS Championship. To qualify for these spots, you must fish a minimum of 4 SWBA events and ‘2′ SBS events.
***In the event a team(s) qualify for both championships through points and is ‘randomly drawn’, we will re-draw. The SBS will be offering the same incentive.***
Anglers of the year will be required to fish a Minimum 4 SWBA events & 1 SBS event.

Communication between Teams during tournament hours is strictly prohibited. This includes the use of cellular phones, vhf radios or any other communication devices. Exceptions are allowed in emergency situations.

All coastal, harbor, and Back Bay waters within the 120′ depth line considered legal to fish by the USCG and local authorities will be deemed legal to fish.  Fishing within a closed, restricted or MPA zone will result in an automatic disqualification. No fishing will be permitted within 50 yards of any fuel dock. No fishing will be permitted within 300 yards of any oil platform. Casting over a buoy line into restricted/out of bounds waters is prohibited. No team may enter to fish within any posted no entry zones by the US navy, USCG, DF&W or local authorities. Teams that receive a ticket from law enforcement for any violation will be disqualified from that event. All teams must launch and retrieve from host marina. In the case of a ‘moored or ‘slipped’ boat to be used for competition, anglers must be cleared by tournament Staff, and will require a boat inspection prior to the event start.

All competing members must possess a current and valid California fishing license. This license must be in possession at all times during competition. Any Team member(s) cited for non-possession of a valid fishing license will automatically receive a Team disqualification for that event.

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