1. PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY
Open to all 7th grade through 12th grade students enrolled in home school, private school and or public school.
No school team or school sponsored club is required to fish the Realtree Fishing HS Series.
To be eligible to advance to the SAF High School National & World Championships, teams must either have two 9th thru 12th grade anglers or one 9th thru 12th grade angler and one 7th or 8th grade angler.
Any angler who has graduated can continue to compete in the SAF MLF National and World championships for that calendar year.
Each competitor must be a current Fishers of Men member in good standing and must provide a coach/marshal that is 19 years of age or older. Fishers of Men reserves the right to reject any entries which we feel are not in the best interest of the tournament.
Membership fees are as follows:
High School / Youth $20 per person + $2.50 processing fee
If the student angler already has an individual membership or is part of a family membership, no additional membership fee is necessary.
2. ENTRIES AND TOURNAMENT FIELD
There are no entry fees for Realtree Fishing HS Series tournaments,
nor for the SAF National and World Championship tournaments.
Realtree Fishing HS Tournaments will have no set limit to the number of anglers, unless mandated by state or local government.
The top team from each division will advance to the SAF National World Championships
If a team declines their invitation to the championships, the next team will become eligible to take that teams place.
All teams are required to own a set of “Connect” brand scales to be eligible to compete, Teams who do not have Connect scales may purchase them from the director at the pretournament meeting. Scales are limited and sold on a “first come first served” basis. Contact your director in advance to check availability.
Each team is required to bring a marshal to all events, NO EXCEPTIONS. Marshals must be 19 years of age or older.
4. PRE-TOURNAMENT MEETING
There will be a mandatory Friday Night pre-tournament meeting prior to each tournament. At least one team member must attend the meeting for the team to be eligible to compete. It is the responsibility of each competitor to find out the time and location of the meeting.
Each team is required to arrive at the designated ramp with a qualified marshal, a set of official scales, and an approved smart phone or other device 30 minutes before the scheduled blastoff. Teams who are late will be penalized 5 minutes of fishing time for each minute they are late arriving at the ramp.
Trophies or Plaques will be given to the top teams
6. OFF LIMITS
There will be no off-limits period for Realtree Fishing HS Series tournaments,
7. TOURNAMENT HOURS
Tournament hours will be set by the tournament director and will be posted in the tournament details section of the schedule on the website.
8. LAUNCH SEQUENCE
Boat numbers will be assigned at the Friday Night meeting. Numbers will be determined by either a drawing, a random number assignment by a computer, or by when the entries were received. The tournament director will choose one of these three methods. Blast off numbers are not transferable. Competitors must keep the number they are assigned.
Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times. All competitors and marshals are required to wear Coast Guard approved personal floatation devices, securely fastened at all times while the boat is being propelled by the combustion engine.
***A “chest type” Life vest must be worn by all High School anglers. Inflatable life preservers are NOT allowed for High School anglers. ***
Inflatable devices may only be worn by the marshal, and a “chest type” life vest of the correct size MUST be on board for the marshal. Furthermore, a kill switch must be fastened to the driver any time the combustion engine is propelling the boat. Failure to do so is grounds for disqualification.
Running lights must be operational and turned on at the blast off of each tournament.
Any boat equipped with a motor that exceeds the horse power rating of the boat according to the manufacturer is prohibited from being used in a Fishers of Men Tournament.
All auxiliary gas tanks and bladder tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional gas tanks that are factory options and installed by a manufacturer’s 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 the boat. During the tournament, no portable gas tanks or containers capable of holding gasoline can be placed anywhere on the waters or shoreline for use by any tournament competitor.
Each contestant is expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and conservation. No angler may fish within 50 yards of any other boat which is anchored with the trolling motor up. Furthermore, no angler may fish within 25 yards of any other boat without the other boater’s permission. Permission may not be granted to any angler at the exclusion of any other angler. No hole sitting by a non-competitor or by another competitor, to aid a tournament participant will not be allowed. Violators will be disqualified.
11. TACKLE AND FISHING METHODS
Only artificial baits may be used. No live or cut bait is permitted (pork baits are permitted). All bass must be caught alive in a legal and sporting manner. No snagging. Any fish caught while “sight fishing” must be verified by the Marshall as having been hooked inside the fish’s mouth, before the hook is removed.
Each competitor may use only one rod at a time. More than one line in the water at a time is not permitted. Trolling with the combustion motor is not permitted.
No competitor may fully lose contact with the boat to land or catch fish. However, it is legal for the angler to leave the boat to retrieve a fairly caught fish as long as he maintains physical contact with the boat.
The use of landing nets is permitted.
Marshals are not permitted to assist competitors in locating, catching, or landing fish.
12. STATE AND FEDERAL GAME REGULATIONS
All participants are expected to abide by all state and federal laws and game regulations. Any angler who intentionally violates a law or regulation in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage will be disqualified. In the case of multiple governing authorities, the strictest law is applicable. Any participant who consumes, or is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, stimulants or depressants during any Fishers of Men function will be disqualified. (prescribed medications taken per doctor’s instructions are excluded)
Only largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass may be weighed. To count as a scorable bass a fish must weigh a minimum of 1 lb. There are no length restrictions. Depending on the body(s) of water fished, a higher minimum weight of 2lbs. may be appropriate. The director can call for a vote to increase the minimum scoreable fish weight to 2 lb. The 2 lb. minimum must be agreed upon by the majority of the anglers at the pre-tournament meeting. The vote may be conducted by a “show of hands”. If any competitor asks for a “secret ballot” vote, the vote must be conducted by secret ballot.
Competitors shall remain with their marshal in the boat at all times during the tournament, except in the event of sickness or brief excursions for "nature calling", severe storm or other such hazard. It is permitted for a competitor to leave the boat for marina services. During competition, competitors and marshals may leave the boat to dislodge it, but only to return the boat in the direction it came from. Leaving the boat, on a competition day, to advance it is not permitted. (In falling water conditions, a team may leave the boat to advance it only to return from water they accessed without leaving the boat.) If for any reason it becomes necessary to leave the tournament waters early, the angler shall bear full responsibility for notifying the tournament director.
15. FISH WEIGHING PROCEDURES
All fish caught may be weighed at the request of the angler but only those fish weighing 1lb. (or 2lb. in the cases where the minimum has been increased) or more will count as scorable bass. The weight is not official until marshal and angler verbally agree on weight. The marshal is not allowed to touch the fish. Each team is allowed to keep their two largest fish in the livewell to bring back to the ramp photos. All other fish must be released into the water immediately after being weighed or culled. Once the competitor and Marshal agree on the weight, the marshal will record the fish’s weight on the official scoring method and on his score sheet.
16. PROTEST AND POLYGRAPH TEST
Any protest must be filed by a group text that includes the tournament director, at the time of the infraction, and the National Office must be notified by the director immediately. Fishers of Men National Office reserves the right to give a polygraph or other truth verification test to any participant at any time. This test does not have to be administered on site and may be set up by the tournament director at his discretion. All participants agree to abide by the results of any polygraph or other truth verification test administered. In the event of a protest and an off-site polygraph or other truth verification test the tournament director will have the option of mailing all prizes pending the outcome of the test.
17. LIABILITY INSURANCE
All members must carry a minimum of $100,000 of liability insurance on any boat they use during any Fishers of Men Tournament. Failure to do so, or reporting of false information will result in disqualification of catch. Participants must include the company name and either the policy number or the name of the agent binding the coverage on the entry form for each tournament.
18. VIOLATION OF RULES AND DISQUALIFICATION
The violation of a tournament rule by an angler may result in loss of fishing time, loss of a specific amount of weight, the loss of weight up to a particular time in the tournament day (eligible for a restart), loss of weight for the entire day, disqualification for the entire tournament or, in an extreme circumstance, ineligibility to participate in future FOM events. If an angler is disqualified from a tournament and the director feels that their violation was a willful attempt to gain an unfair advantage or to intentionally cheat, then the director has the right to refuse entry from that angler in the future and may inform all other Fishers of Men directors of the situation.
The use of profanity will not be permitted during Realtree Fishing HS Series tournaments. Upon the first infraction, the angler will receive a warning from the marshal. If there is a second infraction, a one minute penalty will be imposed. For a third infraction, the penalty will be five minutes. All additional infractions will result in an additional five-minute penalty per incident.
20. RULES ENFORCEMENT
It is the responsibility of the marshals and the tournament director to enforce all of these rules as they are written. Infractions of any rule may result in a penalty or disqualification. In any issue not specifically covered in these rules the director must contact the National Office before making a ruling.