UPCOMING EVENT: Bass Fishing League - 2016 - Lake Ouachita

FLW expects strict adherence to the following rules by all contestants. Additionally, FLW suggests that co-anglers share fuel expenses with their pro partner each day of competition to help offset the high cost of boat operation. FLW also recommends the use of nonpuncturing culling clips for marking fish and livewell additives like G-Juice to help promote the healthy release of bass. FLW discourages sharing a partner’s phone number with anyone without the partner’s consent. In the event of an emergency, please call 911 first and then notify the tournament director. The tournament director should be notified as soon as possible prior to weigh-in if you use a mobile communication device under the conditions outlined in rule 10.

 

2016 FLW Tour Rules:

1. INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT • These rules will remain unchanged during 2016. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director. Decisions of the tournament director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. Each contestant agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations (pro or co-angler) may be cause for disqualification. The violation of a tournament rule may result in, but is not limited to, weight loss, the loss of weight up to a particular time in the tournament day, the loss of weight for the entire day, the loss of the heaviest one-day catch, the loss of the heaviest bass for the day, disqualification from the entire tournament or ineligibility to participate in future FLW tournaments. Protests are to be made in writing within 30 minutes of the check-in time of the final flight of each tournament day.

2. PAYBACK & PARTICIPATION • Payback is based on the number of paid entries for each tournament. Participation is open only to members of FLW who are 16 years of age or older. Any person under the age of 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska) entering a tournament must also have the signature of a parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the entry form. Any person’s participation in any tournament is at the sole discretion of FLW officials. Any person who, in the judgment of the tournament director, is disabled or handicapped in such a manner as to unfairly hinder his or her pro or co-angler partner or compromise his or her safety or the safety of his or her pro or co-angler partner may not be eligible to participate. All contestants must have a valid fishing license for the waters they fish. Random checks will be conducted at each tournament. Failure to provide proof of a valid fishing license within a reasonable amount of time when requested by the tournament director will result in disqualification for that day and any preceding days in which the license was required for the tournament.  

QUALIFIERS – PRO ENTRY: Entry in the FLW Tour Qualifiers requires a $6,000 deposit for the season. Pros are expected to fish all six qualifying tournaments. A pro may be permitted to miss a tournament for proper cause with prior approval from the tournament director. Missing a tournament without prior approval will result in ineligibility to participate in future 2016 FLW Tour events. The top 100 pros and the top 10 co-anglers from the 2015 FLW Tour, the top 10 pros from each division of the 2015 FLW Series, the 2015 TBF National Champion from the boater division and the boater champion from the 2015 BFL All-American must pay their deposits by November 30, 2015 in order to secure their priority entry position. For Ranger boat owners (Ranger owners with current registrations or confirmation of a boat order who will use their Ranger boat in FLW Tour competition) and sponsor entries (FLW may reserve sponsor spots in each qualifying tournament), deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 1, 2015. For TBF members, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 3, 2015. For other entries, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 4, 2015. Entry priority will be assigned by the date and time of entry and will be final once full payment of the 2016 deposit is received. Entries may be made either by mail, phone or on the Internet at FLWFishing.com. Do not make entry by more than one method. Published payouts for each qualifying tournament are based on 150 entries. A maximum field of 160 pros will be set prior to the first tournament (sponsor entries will not count toward the maximum field size), at which time pros not accepted into the field are eligible for a full refund or participation in a reserve pool to be called up for competition should a member of the original field drop out at any point during the season. Once called up to the FLW Tour, pros are expected to fish all remaining tournaments. If a reserve pool angler declines an invitation to compete, he or she will be dropped from the pool for the remainder of the season. Reserve pool anglers will receive a $1,000 deposit refund following each tournament they are not called up to fish. DEPOSITS ARE NONTRANSFERABLE AND NONREFUNDABLE ONCE ACCEPTED INTO THE FIELD. Any entry balances not received by the entry balance deadline (excluding reserve pool anglers called up after the deadline) will be charged a $100 late fee.

QUALIFIERS – CO-ANGLER ENTRY: Entry into individual FLW Tour events is permitted and requires a $300 deposit per tournament. The top 100 co-anglers from the 2015 FLW Tour, top 10 co-anglers from each division of the 2015 FLW Series, the 2015 TBF National Champion from the co-angler division and the co-angler champion from the 2015 BFL All-American must pay their deposits by November 30, 2015 in order to secure their priority entry position. For Ranger boat owners (Ranger owners with current registrations or confirmation of a boat order) and sponsor entries (FLW may reserve sponsor spots in each qualifying tournament), deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 1, 2015. For TBF members, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 3, 2015. For other entries, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 4, 2015. Top entry priority goes to co-anglers who enter all six qualifying tournaments by January 4, 2016. All other entry priority will be assigned by the date and time of entry. Entry priority will be final once payment of deposits is received. Entries may be made either by mail, phone or on the Internet at FLWFishing.com. Do not make entry by more than one method. Published payouts for each qualifying tournament are based on 150 entries. Deposits are nontransferable and nonrefundable once accepted into a tournament. Co-angler entries received after a tournament has filled will be placed on a waiting list. Those placed on the waiting list and not accepted into the tournament will receive a full refund after the tournament. CONFIRMED ENTRIES ARE CONTINGENT UPON COMPLETE ENTRY FEE BEING PAID BY THE ENTRY/BALANCE DEADLINE DATE. Entry fees (minus the deposit) may be transferred or refunded if FLW is notified prior to the entry/balance deadline. Entry fees will not be transferred or refunded after the entry/balance deadline. Any entry balances not received by the entry balance deadline (except those called up from the waiting list) will be charged a $100 late fee.

QUALIFIERS – PAYMENT SCHEDULE: Pro entry fees for the six qualifying tournaments total $27,000, and co-angler entry fees are $800 per tournament. Pros must pay a $6,000 deposit upon entry for the season followed by payments for the season according to the schedule outlined below. Co-anglers must pay a $300 deposit per tournament upon entry followed by payment for the balance of the entry fee according to the schedule outlined below.

1. Lake Okeechobee: $4,200 pro and $500 co-angler due January 13, 2016.

2. Lake Hartwell: $4,200 pro and $500 co-angler due February 24, 2016.

3. Beaver Lake: $4,200 pro and $500 co-angler due March 23, 2016.

4. Pickwick Lake: $4,200 pro and $500 co-angler due April 13, 2016.

5. Kentucky Lake: $4,200 pro and $500 co-angler due May 18, 2016.

6. Lake Champlain: $500 co-angler due June 1, 2016. Pro paid in full based on payments listed above.

INVITATIONALS – PRO ENTRY: One hundred twenty-five (125) anglers will be invited to participate. Invitations will be extended to the following anglers:

  • The top 100 pros in the point standings from the 2016 FLW Tour qualifiers.
    • Pros must have fished all six qualifiers, unless granted approval from the tournament director to miss a tournament, to be eligible for an invitation.
    • If a pro in the top 100 declines an invitation, the next eligible pro will be invited.
  • The top five co-anglers in the point standings from the 2016 FLW Tour qualifiers.
    • If a co-angler in the top five declines an invitation, the next co-angler will be invited. This process will continue until five co-anglers are selected or the 15th ranked co-angler is invited.
    • Any unclaimed co-angler invitations will revert back to the 2016 FLW Tour pros.
  • The top four pros from each of the five 2015 FLW Series divisions.
    • Pros must have fished all three qualifiers in a division to be eligible for an invitation.
    • If a pro in the top four declines an invitation, the next eligible pro will be invited. This process will continue until four pros are selected or the 15th ranked pro in the division is invited.
    • Any unclaimed invitations in a division will revert back to the 2016 FLW Tour pros.
  • If 125 invitations are not accepted following the procedure outline above, FLW may extend at-large invitations to fill the field.

After an invitation is received, anglers will have one week in which to accept or decline. Published payouts for each invitational tournament are based on 125 entries. DEPOSITS ARE NONTRANSFERABLE AND NONREFUNDABLE ONCE ACCEPTED INTO THE FIELD. Any entry balances not received by the entry balance deadline will be charged a $100 late fee.

INVITATIONALS – PAYMENT SCHEDULE: Pro entry fees are $4,000 per tournament. Pros must pay a $1,000 deposit per tournament upon entry followed by payment for the balance of the entry fee according to the schedule outlined below.

  • Lake Norman: $3,000 due Aug 24, 2016.
  • Norris Lake: $3,000 due Sep 28, 2016.

3. POINT STANDINGS & FORREST WOOD CUP ADVANCEMENT • 200 points are awarded to the winner of each qualifying tournament, 199 to 2nd, 198 to 3rd, etc. All anglers who receive weight credit receive points. The top pro and co-angler from the point standings after the six qualifying tournaments (ties resolved by total weight, then total number of fish, then total number of live fish) win the FLW Tour Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year titles, respectively. The top 35 pros from the point standings after the six qualifying tournaments (ties resolved by total weight, then total number of fish, then total number of live fish) qualify for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup. If a top-35 pro has already qualified for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, the next person in the point standings will be invited. The winner from each 2016 FLW Tour Invitational qualifies for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup. The 2016 FLW Tour Angler of the Year and 2016 Forrest Wood Cup champion qualify for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup provided they compete in the pro division of all the 2017 FLW Tour qualifiers. If the 2016 FLW Tour Angler of the Year or Forrest Wood Cup pro champion does not compete in 2017, their entry in the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will go to the 2017 FLW Tour pro with the highest point total who is not already qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup. The top 100 pros and co-anglers from the 2016 FLW Tour receive priority entry for the 2017 season. The top 10 co-anglers in the final point standings in the 2016 FLW Tour have the option of moving to the pro side in 2017.

4. PURCHASING OF INFORMATION • The purchasing of, or bartering for, information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters, including but not limited to GPS waypoints (other than through commercially available sources) and the hiring of fishing guide services is not permitted by pros after January 4, 2016. The sharing of tournament winnings with noncontestants in exchange for information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters is strictly prohibited and will be cause for disqualification from the entire tournament. The purchasing of, or bartering for, fishing locations from another contestant is strictly prohibited and will be cause for both contestants to be disqualified from the entire tournament.

5. RESTRICTED ACCESS, OFF-LIMITS, PRACTICE & COMPETITION • Thirty (30) days prior to the first practice day pros are only permitted on tournament waters alone or accompanied by a contestant in the tournament, a member of their immediate family (mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandparent, grandchild or spouse), approved sponsor representatives, approved youth age 18 or younger or approved media representatives. Starting 30 days prior to the first practice day pros may not follow a noncontestant or receive on-the-water instruction from a noncontestant. A list of contestants confirmed in each tournament will be posted at FLWFishing.com. With prior approval from the tournament director, pros may participate in FLW, B.A.S.S. Elite Series, B.A.S.S. Opens, PAA and other pro/am tournaments featuring random partner draws within the 30-day window. Tournament waters will go off-limits to all contestants 13 days prior to the first practice day in all tournaments. Contestants, including pros in the reserve pool and co-anglers on the waiting list, may not enter tournament waters to fish, test equipment, sightsee, or for any reason without FLW permission, during the off-limits period. During the off-limits period, practice and competition days, pros may not solicit and/or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except pros confirmed in the tournament and through publicly available sources (quasi-public websites, blogs and/or social media pages, including but not limited to Facebook, Instagram and Periscope, set up for the specific purpose of sharing information with individuals or a small group of individuals are NOT publicly available sources). Beginning with practice and extending through competition, pros may not obtain information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from co-anglers or information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from noncontestants or follow a noncontestant’s boat or participate in the placing of markers, brush or other fish attractors by noncontestants or the practice of “hole sitting” by anyone. Anglers eliminated after each round of competition are considered noncontestants. Pros in the top-20 cut after the close of weigh-in on day 2 may not solicit or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except other top-20 pros. Pros in the top-10 cut after the close of weigh-in on day 3 at FLW Tour qualifier tournaments and the Forrest Wood Cup may not solicit or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except other top-10 pros. Co-angler contestants who share information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters with pro or co-angler contestants will be disqualified from the entire tournament along with the pro or co-angler requesting and/or using the information. Tournament waters will reopen for practice three days (Sunday, Monday and Tuesday) prior to registration day (Wednesday). Pros and co-anglers may practice alone, with another contestant or with a member of their immediate family (mother, father, brother, sister, son, daughter, grandparent, grandchild or spouse), approved sponsor representatives or an approved youth age 18 or younger, provided the practice companion has also observed the off-limits period and procedures. Pros and co-anglers may also practice with an approved media representative. Flights over tournament waters, including drones, are not permitted beginning with the start of the off-limits period, extending through practice and competition days. Tournament waters will be closed to all contestants on registration day (Wednesday).

Tournament                               Restricted Access Begins                              Off-limits

  1. Lake Okeechobee                  Jan 1, 2016                       Jan 18–30 & Feb 3, 2016
  2. Lake Hartwell                         Feb 12, 2016                     Feb 29–Mar 12 & Mar 16, 2016
  3. Beaver Lake                           Mar 11, 2016                     Mar 28–Apr 9 & Apr 13, 2016
  4. Pickwick Lake                        Apr 1, 2016                        Apr 18–30 & May 4, 2016
  5. Kentucky Lake                       May 6, 2016                       May 23–Jun 4 & Jun 8, 2016
  6. Lake Champlain                     May 20, 2016                    Jun 6–18 & Jun 22, 2016
  7. Wheeler Lake – FWC             Jul 1, 2016                        Jul 18–30 & Aug 3, 2016
  8. Lake Norman – Invitational     Aug 12, 2016                    Aug 29–Sep 10 & Sep 14, 2016
  9. Norris Lake – Invitational        Sep 16, 2016                    Oct 3–15 & Oct 19, 2016

6. REGISTRATION & PRETOURNAMENT MEETING • Each contestant must register in person at the designated site. In an emergency or due to an FLW sponsor obligation, contestants may request permission from the tournament director to send a person who is 16 years of age or older to represent them. If permission is granted, noncontestants can represent one person; contestants can represent themselves and one other person. This representative must attend the pretournament meeting to record flights, takeoff time, check-in time, off-limits areas, size and creel limits, and any other relevant tournament rule information. At qualifying events, this representative must also attend the pro/co-angler draw immediately following the pretournament meeting to receive the contestant’s boat number, meet the contestant’s pro or co-angler, and record the pro or co-angler’s lodging information, phone number and exact location for the contestant and pro or co-angler to meet prior to takeoff. Registration hours are 2-4 p.m. local time the day before each tournament’s start date. Contestants registering between 4-4:15 p.m. will pay a $50 late fee that will be donated to the FLW Foundation. Contestants who fail to notify the tournament director and are more than 15 minutes late for registration may forfeit their entry fee and not be entered in the tournament. It is mandatory that all contestants or their representatives attend the pretournament meeting that will be held at 4:30 p.m. local time the day before each tournament. Being late for the pretournament meeting will result in a $50 late fee that will be donated to the FLW Foundation. Contestants not present or represented for pairings at qualifying events may forfeit their entry fee and not be entered in the tournament.

7. PAIRINGS • Pros and co-anglers in FLW Tour Qualifiers will be paired by random draw and will receive a text message with their boat number, flight time and pro or co-angler’s name and phone number. All contestants or their representatives must contact their assigned pro or co-angler following the pretournament meeting. Partners should advise each other of their respective lodging and phone numbers and establish a meeting time and place for the following morning’s takeoff. The tournament director, at his sole discretion, may reassign partners prior to takeoff. Pros in FLW Tour Invitationals and the Forrest Wood Cup will be assigned marshals to accompany them on the water.

8. SAFETY • Safe boating must be observed at all times. The provisions of this rule apply during practice and from boat check until weigh-in each day of the tournament. Each contestant and any person practicing with a contestant is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is running. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition-shutoff device that must be securely attached to the driver’s body whenever the combustion engine is running. All persons must be seated and a driver must be behind the steering wheel in full control of the boat whenever it is on plane or the combustion engine is running and in gear. At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. Competitors may leave their boat and seek shelter in bad weather or when danger is eminent. They must, however, stay within sight of each other.

9. SPORTSMANSHIP • All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, to FLW, FLW’s sponsors, the sport of fishing and FLW’s efforts to promote the sport. Conduct not complying with these standards includes, but is not limited to, the following:

•     Violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the rules for the 2016 FLW Tour.

•     Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration or tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure.

•     Abuse of, or addiction to, mind-altering substances.

•     Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months.

•     Suspension/disqualification, probation or ban from any tournament or fishing organization.

•     Any other words, conduct or actions reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, or which fail to comply with the standards set forth in the first sentence of paragraph 9.

In case of any conduct not complying with the standards outlined above, FLW shall have the right to refuse an application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete by returning the entry fee (minus deposit), to disqualify a contestant or impose any penalty outlined in paragraph 1.

10. BOAT OPERATION • On days that include co-angler competition, pros will fish from the front deck of the boat only. Co-anglers will fish from the back deck or seating area of the boat only. Co-anglers may not cast unless their pro partner has both feet on the front deck of the boat. Pros will have complete control of boat operation and waters to be fished. For safety concerns in rough water or swift current, in the event of an outboard or trolling motor breakdown or during an emergency, co-anglers may operate the trolling motor or the outboard but may not fish anytime from the front deck. Pros may not request that the co-angler not fish. Any pro that, in the judgment of the tournament director, operates the boat in such a manner that unfairly handicaps his/her co-angler and any co-angler who unfairly handicaps his/her pro may be disqualified for that day. The use of mobile communication devices, including but not limited to, cell phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc., during tournament hours is strictly prohibited except in an emergency, severe weather, breakdowns or to communicate with lockmasters about locking, to communicate with the tournament director or to communicate with FLW editors or producers. If boat installed electronics fail, pros may use cell phone GPS and mapping apps with approval from the tournament director. Co-anglers are not allowed to record GPS waypoints or use any type of handheld GPS during any competition day. At the request of their pro partner, a co-angler may use a cell phone for the sole purpose of assisting the pro with his or her social media updates. Co-anglers are not, however, obligated to assist a pro with social media updates. At no time during tournament hours may contestants read or discuss social media posts from other contestants. Co-anglers are not allowed to have more than seven rods, one tackle bag and one foul-weather bag in their pro’s boat on any day of competition. Co-anglers are not permitted to smoke if requested not to do so by their pro. Contestants are expected to compete every day for which they are qualified; failure to do so may result in ineligibility to compete in future FLW tournaments. If a special circumstance arises that inhibits a contestant’s ability to compete, the tournament director may allow the contestant to withdraw from competition and maintain the weight caught to that point.

11. BOAT & HORSEPOWER REGULATION • All boats must be propeller-driven, a minimum of 18 feet in length and have a rear deck (with a seat if requested). All boats must be equipped with wheel steering; no other steering device will be permitted. No barges or similarly cumbersome craft will be permitted. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated livewell space to maintain alive a limit catch of bass by both contestants. Minimum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition will be 150 horsepower. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition will be 250 horsepower, not to exceed the horsepower capacity set forth on the “Maximum Capacities” placard described below. Each boat must have a clearly legible “Maximum Capacities” (or comparably titled) placard that includes a maximum horsepower rating affixed to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the maximum horsepower capacity specified on this placard or the 250-horsepower maximum set by FLW. By signing the entry form, contestants agree to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by FLW personnel. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating placard will be cause for disqualification from the tournament and may result in ineligibility to compete in future FLW tournaments. Fishing platforms must be factory-installed equipment. No portable platforms may be used in tournament competition. Fuel may be carried only in factory-installed (built-in) fuel tanks. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open to the public and pumped through a hose with a nozzle. The use of generators, other than solar or wind-powered generators, is prohibited in contestant boats during tournament hours on all competition days.

12. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS • 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 biodegradable 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 is strictly prohibited. Trolling is defined as operating the combustion engine to extend a cast or lengthen a retrieve. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately shown to your co-angler, pro, marshal or FLW camera operator for verification.

13. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS • Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by boat except areas posted or otherwise designated as “off-limits,” “no boats,” “keep out,” “restricted,” “no trespassing” or “no fishing” (or similar language or markings intended to restrict public access) by FLW, commercial property owners and/or local, state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a contestant’s boat that was first anchored. An anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight or by a Power-Pole, Talon or similar shallow water anchor with the trolling motor in the up position. All fishing must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. The cutting of trees, bushes and/or logs after the off-limits date and/or the removal of official local, state or federal barricades at any time to make an area more accessible by boat is strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification from the tournament. The use of cables, ropes, chains or any type of block and tackle system to maneuver a boat into fishing waters is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification from the tournament. Contestants must leave and return to the check-in by boat. The boat must remain in the tournament waters during the tournament day. No tournament boat may be loaded on a trailer before the weigh-in except with the permission of the tournament director. In the event of equipment failure or emergency the tournament director must be notified as soon as it is safe to do so. There are then two permitted methods of returning to the check-in: (1) by both paired anglers (or the angler and marshal) remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or (2) with permission from the tournament director, by one or both paired anglers (or the angler and marshal) entering the boat of another tournament contestant. Under these two conditions both contestants’ catches may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, dead-fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules) provided that the co-angler’s fish are adequately marked so as to provide clear distinction of the pro’s catch and the co-angler’s catch to the tournament director. Contestants who elect to return to the check-in by any other means than cited above will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time of the tournament day. Abandoning a boat and leaving it adrift without proper tie-off or anchoring after a mechanical failure may result in disqualification of that day’s weight. Any contestant returning to the check-in point will be eligible to restart and resume competition under the supervision of the tournament director or his designated tournament official. It is the sole responsibility of contestants to locate the tournament director to request a restart. Partners (including anglers and marshals) must remain together at all times and within sight of each other until the weigh-in verification is signed. The momentary condition of being out of sight of each other for restroom breaks is permitted.

14. CHECKPOINTS • There will be only one checkpoint for boat check in the morning and one check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through boat check and checkout in the morning or failure to check in at the check-in point will result in disqualification. All fishing must cease upon check-in.

15. LATE PENALTY • Contestants who are not at the check-in area at the appointed time will be penalized 1 pound per minute, deducted from the total weight, including any weight to be counted toward the Big Bass Award. Any contestant more than 15 minutes late will lose credit for that day’s weight.

16. LIVE FISH • Every effort must be made to keep bass alive through the use of a properly aerated livewell. Four ounces will be deducted from the total weight for each dead bass presented for weigh-in.

17. SCORING • Scoring is determined by the pounds and ounces of each contestant’s catch during each qualifying tournament, invitational and the Forrest Wood Cup. It is mandatory that co-anglers mark each of their fish for identification before placing them in their designated livewell. Only largemouth, spotted, redeye or smallmouth bass are accepted species. No regurgitated forage or other foreign matter may be placed in a bass. The daily limit will be five unless the state or lake limit is less than five, in which case the state or lake limit will prevail. Pros and/or co-anglers possessing more than the tournament limit must notify the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the infraction and reduce his/her catch to the tournament limit by releasing live bass. Anglers possessing more than the tournament limit will be penalized 2 pounds for each bass over the limit. The minimum length limit for bass will be 12 inches unless the state or lake limit is more than 12 inches, in which case, the state or lake limit will prevail. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit will be penalized at the rate of 1 pound for each short bass presented. Each contestant’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag and verified by the signature of their pro, co-angler or marshal. Failure to have a verified pro, co-angler or marshal signature may result in disqualification of that day’s catch. Co-angler competition concludes on day 2 of qualifying tournaments with the winner determined by the heaviest combined weight from days 1 and 2. On day 3 of qualifying tournaments, invitationals and the Forrest Wood Cup, the top 20 pros based on combined weight from days 1 and 2 compete. The winner in each invitational is determined by the heaviest combined weight from days 1, 2 and 3. On day 4 of qualifying tournaments and the Forrest Wood Cup, the top 10 pros based on combined weight from days 1, 2 and 3 compete, and the winner is determined by the heaviest combined weight from days 1, 2, 3 and 4. No co-anglers compete in the invitationals or the Forrest Wood Cup.  

18. TIES • QUALIFIERS: The heaviest one-day catch for the tournament will break ties on day 2. If a tie remains, it will be broken first by point standings, then by total number of fish for the tournament, then by total number of live fish for the tournament and then by lottery. Ties on day 3 will be resolved by day-2 standings. Ties on day 4 will be resolved by day-3 standings. INVITATIONALS: The heaviest one-day catch for the tournament will break ties on day 2. If a tie remains and the anglers were invited from the same circuit, the tie will be broken first by point standings, then by total number of fish for the tournament, then by total number of live fish for the tournament and then by lottery. If a tie remains and the anglers were invited from different circuits, the tie will be broken first by circuit/division rank with FLW Tour pro being first, FLW Series being second and FLW Tour co-angler being third; then by total number of fish for the tournament; then by total number of live fish for the tournament; and then by lottery.  FORREST WOOD CUP: The heaviest one-day catch for the tournament will break ties on day 2. If a tie remains and the anglers qualified through the same circuit, the tie will be broken first by point standings (current year FLW Tour or prior year FLW Series), then by total number of fish for the tournament, then by total number of live fish for the tournament and then by lottery. If a tie remains and the anglers qualified through different circuits, the tie will be broken first by circuit rank with FLW Tour being first, FLW Series being second, BFL being third, TBF being fourth and College Fishing being fifth; then by total number of fish for the tournament; then by total number of live fish for the tournament; and then by lottery.  Ties on day 3 will be resolved by day-2 standings. Ties on day 4 will be resolved by day-3 standings.

19. LOGO DISPLAY & MEDIA COVERAGE • During all days of competition any and all tobacco logos are prohibited and may not be worn or displayed. Contestants are expected to participate in media opportunities requested by FLW editors and producers during any day of competition. Anglers will run their own boats every day of competition. Anglers must wear their own compliant apparel with a 5-inch wide FLW logo on the upper chest every day of competition from takeoff through weigh-in. On days 3 and 4, logos on the apparel may not conflict or compete in any way with FLW or the exclusive categories listed below unless the category is not occupied by an FLW sponsor and a written exception is obtained from the FLW Marketing Department.

Exclusive Categories:

  • Automotive oil
  • Boats
  • Marine electronics
  • Outboard engines
  • POV cameras

FLW reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to prohibit any angler’s apparel that it finds to be offensive. FLW also reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to prohibit any angler’s apparel that in any way competes with any of the above referenced categories on days 3 and 4. Any angler wearing a nonapproved jersey may be disqualified. On days 3 and 4, anglers may wear any hat, PFD or rain suit that does not in any way compete with the above referenced categories or FLW. On days 3 and 4, contestants may not fish while using tobacco products. Smoking is not allowed in the weigh-in line during all days of competition. FLW may, at its sole discretion, place a camera operator or camera equipment in a tournament boat on any day of competition. During the 2016 season FLW reserves the right to add categories to the above list. If an angler has made FLW aware, in writing, of all his or her sponsors prior to FLW adding the category or adding a sponsor in an existing category, the angler may be allowed to display the competing logo for the remainder of the year. Confirmation of the angler’s category exception must be obtained in writing from the FLW Marketing Department. All decisions are in FLW’s sole discretion.

20. TRUTH VERIFICATION TEST • Each contestant agrees to submit, by signature on the tournament entry form, to a polygraph or voice stress analysis examination and to abide by its conclusion. Failure to pass an examination will result in disqualification from the tournament. Truth verification tests will be used at FLW’s sole discretion, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by FLW.

21. INSURANCE • Liability insurance with coverage of not less than $300,000 per occurrence is required of all pro contestants in FLW Tour events. Proof of insurance must be with the boat being used and must cover all passengers in the boat. Random checks will be conducted. Failure to provide proof of insurance when requested by the tournament director may result in disqualification.

22. CAPTIONS • The captions at the beginning of each paragraph are intended to facilitate convenience in referring to the various rules. The captions are not part of the substance of the paragraph and should not be used in construction of any paragraph or of this overall set of rules.


 

Forrest Wood Cup Format

The top 35 pros from the point standings after the six qualifying tournaments (ties resolved by total weight, then total number of fish, then total number of live fish) qualify for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup. If a top-35 pro has already qualified for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup, the next person in the point standings will be invited.

The winner from each 2016 FLW Tour Invitational qualifies for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup.

The 2016 FLW Tour Angler of the Year and 2016 Forrest Wood Cup champion qualify for the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup provided they compete in the pro division of all the 2017 FLW Tour qualifiers. If the 2016 FLW Tour Angler of the Year or Forrest Wood Cup pro champion does not compete in 2017, their entry in the 2017 Forrest Wood Cup will go to the 2017 FLW Tour pro with the highest point total who is not already qualified for the Forrest Wood Cup.

Days 1 and 2

  • 50 professionals compete
    • Top 35 pros in the 2016 FLW Tour AOY standings
    • 2015 Walmart FLW Tour AOY winner
    • 2015 Forrest Wood Cup champion
    • 10 2015 Rayovac FLW Series Championship qualifiers
    • 2016 BFL All-American champion
    • 2016 FLW College Fishing National Championship winner
    • 2016 The Bass Federation National Championship winner

Day 3

  • Top 20 professionals based on cumulative weight from days 1 and 2 continue competition

Day 4

  • Top 10 professionals based on cumulative weight from days 1, 2 and 3 continue competition
  • Winning professional determined by heaviest cumulative weight from all four days

 

2016 Contingency Awards

Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year:

Angler of the Year: $100,000 + 2016 Forrest Wood Cup entry (provided the angler fishes the 2016 Tour)

Co-angler of the Year: Ranger Z518C with 200-hp outboard 

Points: 200 points are awarded to the winner of each tournament, 199 to 2nd, 198 to 3rd, etc. All anglers who receive weight credit receive points. The top pro and co-angler from the point standings after the six FLW Tour events (ties resolved by total weight, then total number of fish, then total number of live fish) win the Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year.

Walmart FLW Tour Rookie of the Year: The top pro from the point standings after the six FLW Tour events (ties resolved by total weight) who has never fished an FLW Tour (Major) or BASS Elite Series tournament as a pro before this season wins the Walmart FLW Tour Rookie of the Year trophy.


Ranger Cup

Ranger awards $25,000 to the winning pro and $5,000 to the winning co-angler in each qualifying tournament if they meet Ranger Cup guidelines. Additionally Ranger awards a Z518C with a 200-horsepower Mercury or Evinrude outboard to the highest finishing pro in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year standings that meets Ranger Cup guidelines. Pros must be the original owner of a 2011 or newer Ranger boat. Co-anglers must be the owner of a 2007 or newer Ranger boat. Anglers must be registered with Ranger and meet all Ranger Cup clothing, decal and boat year model requirements to receive a Ranger Cup bonus. The decision of Ranger Boats is final in all matters regarding Ranger Cup bonus eligibility. Visit the Ranger Cup page at RangerBoats.com or call 870.453.2222 for additional information.


Quaker State

Quaker State will provide participating Walmart FLW Tour pros with four cases each of Shell Rotella Diesel, Pennzoil Marine and Quaker State Full Synthetic oil. Two cases of each product will be delivered during registration at Lake Okeechobee and two cases of each product will be delivered during registration at Kentucky Lake. To be eligible, pros must:

  • Fish all six 2016 Walmart FLW Tour qualifiers as a pro.
  • Display a 10-inch Quaker State decal on the driver’s console or a 6-inch Quaker State decal above the rub rail on both sides of their boat used during all days of FLW Tour competition.

Click here to download the Quaker State logo. Decals will be available at registration for Lake Okeechobee.


Power-Pole Captains Cash Rewards Club

Power-Pole awards $1,000 to the winning pro in each FLW Tour qualifier and the Forrest Wood Cup if he or she meets Captains Cash Rewards Club contingency requirements.

That’s right. Get cash rewards for winning sanctioned tournaments with your Power-Pole shallow water anchor! We love winners and we want to reward you for making Power-Pole an important part of your advantage over the competition.

How to become a member of the Power-Pole Captains Cash Club

Tournament anglers please note: Power-Pole Captains Cash Rewards recipients will be responsible for paying any and all local, state, federal or other taxes on contingency earnings.

Claiming Your Captains Cash Rewards

Registered Power-Pole owners placing first place overall only in a sanctioned event are eligible for contingency payments. Winners must be verified through the sanctioned tournament via website, newsletter or other official organization communication and obtain tournament director’s signature on claim form. Completed Power-Pole Captains Cash claims forms must be submitted within 30 days of the tournament win.

Download a Claim Form


T-H Marine Atlas Awards

For 2016 the payouts have been restructured to give more opportunity to anglers fishing smaller tournaments. The payouts below will be for EVERY tournament, regardless of size (50-boat minimum). So Many Ways To Win!

Entry Fee - $24.99

2016 ATLAS AWARDS PAYOUTS **

  • HOTFOOT - $50
  • G-FORCE HANDLE - $50
  • TWO-WAY ALARM - $50
  • LOC-R-BAR - $50
  • TROLL-TAMER - $50
  • THE OXYGENATOR - $50
  • G-Force Eliminator - $50
  • KVD Kong Mount - $75
  • Hydrowave H2 - $100
  • ATLAS™ HYDRAULIC JACKPLATE - $250
  • GRAND SLAM BONUS - $500**
  • TOTAL POSSIBLE WINNINGS: $1,275

** Any Combination is a Winner! Paid on a Per Part Basis. Must Win for AA Cash

***To receive the Grand Slam Bonus, ALL qualifying parts must be owned. Photograph or video evidence with proof of every product must be provided with each Grand Slam claim. Grand Slam Bonus ONLY applies to a Tournament WIN!

Highest Finisher Information

  • If an Atlas Awards member does not win the event, T-H Marine will pay the highest finishing Atlas Awards member* 
    • 2nd-10th = $100
    • 11th-20th = $50
  • *Must Own at least 5 products (Photo/Video evidence may be requested)

2016 Costa Contingency Program

Costa FLW Rewards – Costa awards $200 or a pair of Costa sunglasses (winner’s choice) to the highest-finishing pro/boater and $100 or a pair of Costa sunglasses (winner’s choice) to the highest-finishing co-angler in each Walmart FLW Tour, Costa FLW Series and BFL tournament if he or she meets Costa FLW Rewards contingency requirements. The second-highest finishing pro/boater receives a $100 Costa clothing certificate and the second-highest finishing co-angler receives a $50 Costa clothing certificate.

Circuits:

  • Walmart FLW Tour – All tournaments
  • Costa FLW Series – All tournaments
  • FLW Bass Fishing League – All tournaments

Awards:

  • Highest Costa FLW Rewards finisher = $200 pro/boater or Costa sunglasses (winner’s choice) and $100 co-angler or Costa sunglasses (winner’s choice)
  • 2nd Highest Costa FLW Rewards finisher = $100 Costa Clothing Package pro/boater and $50 Costa Clothing Package co-angler

Requirements:

  • The Costa logo must be visible on the front of your jersey or Costa branded clothing, hat and/or visor.
  • Costa branded sunglasses must be worn on stage in some fashion (on your face, around your neck or on your hat).
  • The Costa logo must be displayed on your tow vehicle and/or boat.
  • You must verify participation in the Costa FLW Rewards program at registration for each tournament by showing FLW staff the Costa logo on your jersey, Costa branded clothing, hat and/or visor.

Click here to download the Costa logo.

Costa patches and boat/vehicle decals are available at tournament registration.


LEER Cover Cash

LEER awards $500 to the highest placing eligible pro and $150 to the highest placing eligible co-angler that meets LEER Cover Cash contingency requirements in each FLW Tour qualifier. Awards jump to $1,000 for pros and $500 for co-anglers at the Forrest Wood Cup. Highest finishes must fall within the top 50 percent of the field. You must own a LEER or Pace Edwards truck cap or tonneau cover and use it on your primary tow vehicle to be eligible for this award. You must be registered with LEER and confirmed in the program before eligibility begins. There is no cost to participate. Claim forms must be submitted within 30 days of the tournament finish. You can register at leercovercash.com.


Buck Knives Cut

Buck Knives awards a limited edition FLW Buck Knife to the 20th place pro following the day 2 weigh-in at each FLW Tour stop and the Forrest Wood Cup. The top 20 pros continue competition on day 3.


Bob's Machine Tournament Rewards

1. Read, Understand & Agree to the Terms and Conditions, Click here to read.

2. Purchase a Bob's Tournament Rewards Membership.  Membership is valid from Jan1st to Dec31st of given year.  Click here to purchase.

3. Place 1st, 2nd or 3rd in a Bob's Tournament Rewards sanctioned event using Bob's Jack Plate.  Extra payout if also equipped with Bob's Billet foot throttle or Bob's low water pickup nose cone. Click here for list of Sanctioned events and event payouts.  If your club or tournament trail is interested in being added to approved tournaments, please have the Club president or the Tournament director contact us at Prostaff@bobsmachine.com or call 1-855-JACKPLATE

4. Download a Claim Form and get PAID!!  Click here for claim form.

5. Download Vector LOGO : Click here


Toyota Bonus Bucks

The Toyota Bonus Bucks program is totally free and is available to anglers who tow with a 2012 or newer Toyota Tundra, Sequoia, 4Runner, Tacoma or FJ Cruiser and fish in Bonus Bucks supported events.  Plus, you don’t have to win the tournament to win the Bonus Bucks; you simply have to be the highest finishing registered participant and finish in the top 50% of the field.  For more information and to register for Toyota Bonus Bucks, please visit www.toyotatrucksbonusbucks.com.

 

Entry Fees

PAYBACK & PARTICIPATION • Payback is based on the number of paid entries for each tournament. Participation is open only to members of FLW who are 16 years of age or older. Any person under the age of 18 (19 in Alabama and Nebraska) entering a tournament must also have the signature of a parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the entry form. Any person’s participation in any tournament is at the sole discretion of FLW officials. Any person who, in the judgment of the tournament director, is disabled or handicapped in such a manner as to unfairly hinder his or her pro or co-angler partner or compromise his or her safety or the safety of his or her pro or co-angler partner may not be eligible to participate. All contestants must have a valid fishing license for the waters they fish. Random checks will be conducted at each tournament. Failure to provide proof of a valid fishing license within a reasonable amount of time when requested by the tournament director will result in disqualification for that day and any preceding days in which the license was required for the tournament.  

QUALIFIERS – PRO ENTRY: Entry in the FLW Tour Qualifiers requires a $6,000 deposit for the season. Pros are expected to fish all six qualifying tournaments. A pro may be permitted to miss a tournament for proper cause with prior approval from the tournament director. Missing a tournament without prior approval will result in ineligibility to participate in future 2016 FLW Tour events. The top 100 pros and the top 10 co-anglers from the 2015 FLW Tour, the top 10 pros from each division of the 2015 FLW Series, the 2015 TBF National Champion from the boater division and the boater champion from the 2015 BFL All-American must pay their deposits by November 30, 2015 in order to secure their priority entry position. For Ranger boat owners (Ranger owners with current registrations or confirmation of a boat order who will use their Ranger boat in FLW Tour competition) and sponsor entries (FLW may reserve sponsor spots in each qualifying tournament), deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 1, 2015. For TBF members, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 3, 2015. For other entries, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 4, 2015. Entry priority will be assigned by the date and time of entry and will be final once full payment of the 2016 deposit is received. Entries may be made either by mail, phone or on the Internet at FLWFishing.com. Do not make entry by more than one method. Published payouts for each qualifying tournament are based on 150 entries. A maximum field of 160 pros will be set prior to the first tournament (sponsor entries will not count toward the maximum field size), at which time pros not accepted into the field are eligible for a full refund or participation in a reserve pool to be called up for competition should a member of the original field drop out at any point during the season. Once called up to the FLW Tour, pros are expected to fish all remaining tournaments. If a reserve pool angler declines an invitation to compete, he or she will be dropped from the pool for the remainder of the season. Reserve pool anglers will receive a $1,000 deposit refund following each tournament they are not called up to fish. DEPOSITS ARE NONTRANSFERABLE AND NONREFUNDABLE ONCE ACCEPTED INTO THE FIELD. Any entry balances not received by the entry balance deadline (excluding reserve pool anglers called up after the deadline) will be charged a $100 late fee.

QUALIFIERS – CO-ANGLER ENTRY: Entry into individual FLW Tour events is permitted and requires a $300 deposit per tournament. The top 100 co-anglers from the 2015 FLW Tour, top 10 co-anglers from each division of the 2015 FLW Series, the 2015 TBF National Champion from the co-angler division and the co-angler champion from the 2015 BFL All-American must pay their deposits by November 30, 2015 in order to secure their priority entry position. For Ranger boat owners (Ranger owners with current registrations or confirmation of a boat order) and sponsor entries (FLW may reserve sponsor spots in each qualifying tournament), deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 1, 2015. For TBF members, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 3, 2015. For other entries, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 4, 2015. Top entry priority goes to co-anglers who enter all six qualifying tournaments by January 4, 2016. All other entry priority will be assigned by the date and time of entry. Entry priority will be final once payment of deposits is received. Entries may be made either by mail, phone or on the Internet at FLWFishing.com. Do not make entry by more than one method. Published payouts for each qualifying tournament are based on 150 entries. Deposits are nontransferable and nonrefundable once accepted into a tournament. Co-angler entries received after a tournament has filled will be placed on a waiting list. Those placed on the waiting list and not accepted into the tournament will receive a full refund after the tournament. CONFIRMED ENTRIES ARE CONTINGENT UPON COMPLETE ENTRY FEE BEING PAID BY THE ENTRY/BALANCE DEADLINE DATE. Entry fees (minus the deposit) may be transferred or refunded if FLW is notified prior to the entry/balance deadline. Entry fees will not be transferred or refunded after the entry/balance deadline. Any entry balances not received by the entry balance deadline (except those called up from the waiting list) will be charged a $100 late fee.

QUALIFIERS – PAYMENT SCHEDULE: Pro entry fees for the six qualifying tournaments total $27,000, and co-angler entry fees are $800 per tournament. Pros must pay a $6,000 deposit upon entry for the season followed by payments for the season according to the schedule outlined below. Co-anglers must pay a $300 deposit per tournament upon entry followed by payment for the balance of the entry fee according to the schedule outlined below.

1. Lake Okeechobee: $4,200 pro and $500 co-angler due January 13, 2016.

2. Lake Hartwell: $4,200 pro and $500 co-angler due February 24, 2016.

3. Beaver Lake: $4,200 pro and $500 co-angler due March 23, 2016.

4. Pickwick Lake: $4,200 pro and $500 co-angler due April 13, 2016.

5. Kentucky Lake: $4,200 pro and $500 co-angler due May 18, 2016.

6. Lake Champlain: $500 co-angler due June 1, 2016. Pro paid in full based on payments listed above.

 

INVITATIONALS – PRO ENTRY: One hundred twenty-five (125) anglers will be invited to participate. Invitations will be extended to the following anglers:

  • The top 100 pros in the point standings from the 2016 FLW Tour qualifiers.
    • Pros must have fished all six qualifiers, unless granted approval from the tournament director to miss a tournament, to be eligible for an invitation.
    • If a pro in the top 100 declines an invitation, the next eligible pro will be invited.
  • The top five co-anglers in the point standings from the 2016 FLW Tour qualifiers.
    • If a co-angler in the top five declines an invitation, the next co-angler will be invited. This process will continue until five co-anglers are selected or the 15th ranked co-angler is invited.
    • Any unclaimed co-angler invitations will revert back to the 2016 FLW Tour pros.
  • The top four pros from each of the five 2015 FLW Series divisions.
    • Pros must have fished all three qualifiers in a division to be eligible for an invitation.
    • If a pro in the top four declines an invitation, the next eligible pro will be invited. This process will continue until four pros are selected or the 15th ranked pro in the division is invited.
    • Any unclaimed invitations in a division will revert back to the 2016 FLW Tour pros.
  • If 125 invitations are not accepted following the procedure outline above, FLW may extend at-large invitations to fill the field.

After an invitation is received, anglers will have one week in which to accept or decline. Published payouts for each invitational tournament are based on 125 entries. DEPOSITS ARE NONTRANSFERABLE AND NONREFUNDABLE ONCE ACCEPTED INTO THE FIELD. Any entry balances not received by the entry balance deadline will be charged a $100 late fee.

 

INVITATIONALS – PAYMENT SCHEDULE: Pro entry fees are $4,000 per tournament. Pros must pay a $1,000 deposit per tournament upon entry followed by payment for the balance of the entry fee according to the schedule outlined below.

  • Lake Norman: $3,000 due Aug 24, 2016.
  • Norris Lake: $3,000 due Sep 28, 2016.

 

Qualifying Event Format

Days 1 and 2

- In qualifying tournaments, all pros and co-anglers compete on days one and two. Co-angler competition concludes on day 2 of qualifying tournaments with the winner determined by the heaviest combined weight from days 1 and 2.

- No co-anglers compete in the invitationals or the Forrest Wood Cup.  

Day 3

- On day 3 of qualifying tournaments, Invitationals and the Forrest Wood Cup, the top 20 pros based on combined weight from days 1 and 2 compete. The winner in each Invitational is determined by the heaviest combined weight from days 1, 2 and 3.

Day 4

- On day 4 of qualifying tournaments and the Forrest Wood Cup, the top 10 pros based on combined weight from days 1, 2 and 3 compete, and the winner is determined by the heaviest combined weight from days 1, 2, 3 and 4.

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