Rules last updated 2/23/2021 5:37 PM by cbt


These rules & safety regulations have been “time tested” in over years of history and represent great effort, study, and research in their formulation. These rules shall remain in effect and unchanged throughout the current tournament year unless superseded by law or changed at the discretion of the tournament director. Tournament officials may impose such sanctions, as deemed appropriate including, without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes and prohibition from participation in future events. The decisions of College Bass Tour (CBT) Officials shall be final in all matters.


CBT tournaments are open to any full-time student who is enrolled in an accredited university or college. Incoming students are eligible to fish the summer before their freshman year as long as they have enrolled before the start of each tournament. Graduating seniors are eligible for one calendar year after receiving their degree. All participants must be under the age of 28 unless a waiver is given in writing by the director for special exemptions. Only current members of the CBT are eligible to fish in any event. Anglers wishing to participate in CBT events may join at any time prior to the start of an event. At least one team member is suggested to be 18 years of age or older (19 in Alabama and Nebraska) to participate, however, if 1 or both anglers or anyone under the listed ages above participate they must present written permission and official release of liability from a parent or legal guardian. EVERY INDIVIDUAL MUST COMPLETE AND SIGN A MEMBERSHIP FORM AND A CBT LIABILITY RELEASE BEFORE BEING ALLOWED TO COMPLETE, NO EXCEPTIONS. CBT does not discriminate based on race, creed, color, or gender. We specifically reserve the right to refuse participation or entry to anyone for any reason. This includes any discipline or punishment from another tournament organization. All members must carry boater liability insurance of reasonable amounts on any boat they might use during an CBT Tournament Event. Failure to do so or reporting of false information will result in disqualification. Anglers must provide proof of insurance upon request.

2.1 Entry Fee Refunds:

Requests for entry refunds must be made 24 hours prior to the start of the event. No entry fees will be refunded 24 hours prior to the start of the event. In the event a tournament is cancelled due to weather other related events, a full refund of all entry fees will occur. The competitor has the option of transferring the fees to the next event.


Tournament waters are off limits the day of the event with pre-fishing allowed on all bodies of water until 11:59 p.m. the day prior to any tournament except for special events conducted by CBT.


Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by tournament competitors. Participants must abide by all local navigation laws and avoid restricted areas at all times. All participants are required and agree to wear a Coast Guard-approved type III or greater chest type personal floatation device anytime the combustion engine is running. Tournament officials have the right to delay or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time. In the event of a thunderstorm, lightning, severe weather or any unsafe condition, participants should remove themselves from the competition and seek safety or shelter until it is safe to continue fishing. Participants may not leave their boats during tournament hours except in case of emergency. The horsepower of the engine must not exceed the US Coast Guard rating plate for that boat. All CBT qualifying tournaments will have published days of competition, unless delayed or shortened due to weather or unforeseen circumstances. Tournament boundaries or restricted fishing zones will be announced at the rules meeting and may be further restricted if needed.


Participants will conduct themselves in a true sportsmanlike, courteous, safe, and ethical manner at all times maintaining professional demeanor in public and in communication with tournament officials. Any unfavorable conduct, criminal behavior, speech, or action by a participant in our efforts to promote sportsmanship, clean waters and conservation could be grounds for disqualification or rejection of entry application. Every competitor is expected to participate in the marshaling of the field in order to maintain the highest integrity to the competition. Use of alcohol of any kind or drugs (other than those purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during the tournament or use of alcohol until after you have weighed in will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification. Any incidents observed during tournament hours should be reported to tournament officials for further investigation. Any violation of these basic sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification.


CBT participants must possess all necessary fishing licenses and commit to following regulations. All state rules regarding fishing will be observed unless more stringent regulations are specified at the rules meeting. Only artificial lures may be used. No "live bait" or "prepared bait" will be permitted, with the exception of bio-soft baits and pork strips, etc. Only ONE (1) fishing rod (8-foot maximum length from butt of the handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. All other types prohibited. Other rigs as specified may be in the boat ready to use, however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional and sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will have their day’s catch disqualified. When fishing for bass you can see, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth to be counted as a legal fish. No gaffs OR “GRIPPERS” may be used to land bass, Nets are allowed. After checking in and near the weigh in location, a courtesy board will be provided which will be the same as the official board used for the event.


All tournament boats are required to have in their possession all Coast Guard-required safety equipment, including but not limited to approved chest type personal flotation devices, a type IV throw cushion, fire extinguisher, distress horn/flag/whistle, a bailing device and display tournament decal\credentials (if so, supplied by CBT). Great Lakes and Canadian border water tournaments require flares. In addition, a functioning bilge pump or bailing device is required. All tournament boats must be cleaned of all harmful exotic aquatic species prior to entering the water and upon departure from infected waters. All tournament boats must also be equipped with an emergency ignition-shutoff device that must be securely attached to the driver. Anytime the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver's seat in full control of the boat. Tournament boats will be inspected for functioning and empty live-wells and operating emergency ignition stop switch. Any raised platforms or decks cannot be higher than the gunnel of the boat. Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. Trolling is defined as operating any combustion engine to extend a cast or lengthen a retrieve or using any mechanical propulsion device to move the boat as the sole means of imparting action to the lure. Any type of AUXILIARY gas tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional gas tanks that are factory options and installed by an authorized dealer are legal. Boats that do not have factory installed gas tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline in tanks that meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Gas tanks must be properly secured or strapped in a boat. Any additional fuel used during the tournament day must be purchased from a retail facility open and available to all contenders and the public.


All angling activities must be done from a previously inspected boat. Each boat MUST be given, prior to each day's start, a livewell and SAFETY INSPECTION check by a tournament official, also a boat board or marker MAY be given which MUST remain in or on the boat and be turned in during check-in at the end of each day. Tournament officials reserve sole discretion to assign boat numbers in any manner. Tournament officials reserve the right to do compartment checks prior to each tournament.


Tournament waters shall be established by the Tournament Officials. Each competitor must obtain this information from the CBT official. Fishing on Tournament waters is permitted anywhere except: No fishing will be allowed within 50- yard circle of another competitor’s boat which was first anchored or tied, with its trolling motor stowed out of the water. NO boat maybe allowed with-in 50-yard circle to the exclusion of another boat if you let one boat fish within your 50 yard circle you must let everyone. An anchored boat is a boat held in a fixed position by a line attached to a weight or by a Power-Pole with the trolling motor in the up position. Absolutely no hole-setting or holding of a fishing spot, this will not be tolerated. Any water within these tournament boundaries posted "off-limits or no fishing" by state or federal agencies will be OFF-LIMITS. Also, any live fish release off-limits area established by the Tournament Director will be Off-limits and will be announced at the Tournament Briefing. Competitors may not exit their boat in order to gain access to fishable waters. The use of cables, ropes, chains, or any type of block-and-tackle to access fishing waters, other than when first launching prior to take-off, is forbidden. No contestant may “Buy” or “Barter” a fishing location. Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. Any water closed to public fishing will be closed to these tournament contestants. All angling must be done from the boat.


Up to 1 substitute may be used during the regular season by any team as long as one team member fishes with the sub. Subs must have a valid membership with CBT and meet all participation eligibility criteria. Sub is allowed to participate in the Championship provided that they had previously fished at least 75% of the regular events. Teams with a member who unexpectedly cannot attend the National Championship may utilize a sub from the field that has qualified as stated above. Exceptions to this rule maybe made by the tournament officials in cases of death, disability, employment status, or military duties.


Teams must depart and return from a specified point by boat unless otherwise noted. Teams arriving late will be disqualified. In case of an emergency\breakdown a team may bring their fish back in a competitor’s boat but there must be at least one member from each team present when checking in with their clearly marked fish. All fishing must cease upon checking in, disqualification will result for fishing after checking in.

12. NO-WAKE:

Boats will not pass another’s competitors’ boat in any no-wake zones at any time during tournament hours except for boats that may be changing course within the zone, boats which have stopped or are engaged in fishing activities.


Only non-piercing cull tags can be used in CBT events. The new rule states: Cull Tags - No cull tags that pierce or puncture the fish in any way may be used. Only non-piercing cull tags, similar to the TH Marine Conservation Cull System, may be used in any CBT event.


Scoring shall be determined by the pound weight of each team's catch during the tournament. Each team's total weight will determine the final standings. Only Largemouth, Smallmouth and Spotted Bass, Red Eye or Shoal Bass will be weighed where permissible by state law. Length and bag limits of eligible fish will be set for each tournament and will be announced at each event. All fish weighed must be kept in aerated livewells to keep fish alive and as fresh as possible for release. Any fish mauled, mashed, frozen, stringered, injected with fluids, containing foreign matter to add weight or showing white gills, soft flesh or other signs of decomposition (as per an CBT official) could result in disqualification. At no time shall a competitor have in possession more than the stated legal possession limit. Tournament Officials will conduct checks for violations of this provision, and in the event a competitor has in their possession more than the stated limit, shall cull, starting with the largest fish first, down to the stated limit. Fish will be measured by a tournament official with fish's mouth closed and longest straight line. Only fish which measure the official length(s) on the longest straight line shall be weighed in. Any fish presented for weigh-in which fails to measure the official length limits shall accrue penalties at the rate of one pound for each non-legal fish plus loss of the fish. Once a competitor’s catch has been presented to tournament officials, that team may not return to their boat until his catch has been counted, weighed, and recorded. Competitors may choose only one bass out of their bag as an entry into the “big bass side pot/s”.


Any tournament official or participant has a right to protest another team. Directors must be notified of all protest before close of scales. Protests also, must be submitted in writing within 10 minutes of the closing of the scales. A “protest committee” consisting of three (3) fellow anglers, randomly drawn by the tournament director will address all protests. All participants agree to submit to a polygraph or voice stress analyzer, I.E. truth verification test if they are so requested. Truth verification tests may be applied either for cause or randomly, interpretation of any truth verification testing shall be at the sole discretion of CBT tournament officials. Refusal to submit to or failure to pass the truth verification test shall result in disqualification. The tournament officials will interpret these rules according to the spirit and intent of the rule and their decision in any matter of rule or conduct of the event is final.


All CBT tournaments will be conducted as catch-and-release events. An 8-ounce (1/2 pound) deduction will be made for each legal fish presented to the bump master for weighing that is determined to be dead. Every boat must have adequate livewell space, properly aerated, to sufficiently maintain, in a healthy condition a limit catch by competitors using the boat. CBT recommends the use of livewell additives to promote a healthy release of all fish to their natural habitat. Further CBT recommends the use of ICE to cool livewell water and improve oxygen levels during “warm water” months. Tournament Director shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is "proper and adequate". Tournament Officials shall also have sole authority for accessing penalty points. All fish caught and weighed in at an CBT event must be released at the official weigh in location. Failing to release your fish at the official release location will result in an automatic disqualification.

17. TIES:

In the event of a tie at the event, big bass will be the deciding factor. In cases of a big bass tie, then the money will be split. In the event that big bass and total weight are the same for two or more teams then both (all) tied teams shall be awarded the same amount of points. At the end of the season if there is a tie between two or more teams in equal points, then overall weight of the teams will be the deciding factor.


18. TEAMS:

Teams must be declared at the first event fished in any one division by either member of the team. If both members of the team are present for any event in a specific division that they have declared themselves as a team they must fish together for their points to count towards their total team points. Members of a team that decide to fish apart during the same event in a specific division where they have declared themselves as a team no points will be awarded to the original declared team. ADVANCEMENT QUALIFICATION:


Participants must fish at least three (3) of four (4) qualifying events to automatically qualify to fish the CBT Championship. Teams will be allowed to "Buy In" to the qualifying events make the minimum requirements to fish the Championship. "Buy In" entry fees must be made prior to the qualifying event. Normal entry fees will apply at the Championship.


In the event that CBT is unable to conduct a planned major tournament due to weather, safety concerns or circumstances beyond CBT’s control, a drawing or raffle may be held in lieu of the scheduled competitive format to award the guaranteed prizes. The conditions to warrant the implementation of this rule will be determined by the tournament director. This rule is designed for major tournament events with guaranteed prizes including, but not limited to the Championship. The location, time and method of the drawing will be determined by the tournament director and explained in detail to all participants. All participants must be present for the drawing or raffle. All attempts will be made to avoid the implementation of this rule and will only be considered in the event of an emergency.


A team may submit for permission to allow a media person to accompany the team during tournament hours. The submission must be made 24 hours prior to the event. The media person, if allowed, may not in assist anglers in any way - this includes netting, spot selection, boat maneuvering, or any action that in any way assists the angler in their fishing. Media personnel must follow all safety rules including use of PFD and sign a release of liability form. Parents, guides or tournament anglers will not be allowed as media personnel. It will be solely up to the tournament director to allow or disallow the media person, and his decision is final. If it is determined that the media person assisted in any way, the team will be disqualified from that tournament and may be banned from future events. All coverage of any CBT event must hold CBT staff and sponsors in a positive light. Copies of all footage must be released to CBT upon request. CBT will retain the right to use any footage, photos or other media produced during any CBT event.