2023 / 2024
High School Tournament Trail
Rules & Regulations
ALL 2023 / 2024 Events will be from safe-light with 2:00PM weigh-in.
The Central Texas High School Tournament Trail expect strict adherence to the following rules by all contestants. In the event of an emergency, please call 911 first and then notify the tournament director.
1. INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT: These rules will remain unchanged for the 2023/ 2024 school year. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules is the responsibility of the tournament director. Decisions of the tournament director are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal. Each contestant and coach agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification. The violation of a tournament rule may result in weight loss (late penalty, dead-fish penalty and short-fish penalty), the loss of weight up to a particular time in the tournament day, the loss of weight for the entire day, disqualification from the entire tournament or, in an extreme circumstance, ineligibility to participate in future Central Texas High School Tournament Trail tournaments. Protests are to be made in writing within 15 minutes of the check-in time of the final flight of each tournament day.
2. PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY: Participation in this tournament trail is open to all 6th thru 12th grade students. The entry fee for each tournament is $60 per boat / team, with no more than two team members per boat and each team member must be a The Bass Federation (TBF) / Student Angler Federation (SAF) member. Contestants must also have the signature of a parent or legal guardian in the provided space on all liability and registration forms. Contestants must have in their possession a current student identification card from their school (or proof of grade level for those home schooled), be passing all their classes and have a valid fishing license for the waters they fish (for students aged 17 or older). Contestants are required to follow all applicable federal, state and local regulations and laws. Any violation of such regulations and laws may result in disqualification from the tournament. Each team will consist of two eligible contestants and one boat captain. No student boat captains and no boats with less than two student anglers will be allowed. If a situation arises where a student fails to show up to complete as a two-student team, the tournament director may choose to pair two individual students from two separate teams into a single boat to compete together as a team to satisfy the goal of all students being able to fish. The Tournament Director may also request that you provide an observer in a boat for hardship cases. In extreme cases however, it may be necessary to have a team compete with only one student angler. This measure will only be used as a last resort and only with the approval of the CTHSTT Board. The goal of this Tournament Trail is not to leave any student angler without a means or the ability to compete. There is no limit to the number of teams accepted from each school or club for the 5 qualifying tournaments. Points will be awarded to each team based on total weight of fish brought to the scales on tournament day. Schools or Clubs that vary team partner, that team will be recorded as a new team. Tournament officials reserve the right to reject any application to fish for any reason whatsoever.
3. CHAMPIONSHIP QUALIFICATIONS: To qualify for the championship an angler must first have fished three (3) of the five (5) qualifying tournaments. Once an angler has competed in 3 of the 5 qualifying events, there are three (3) methods of qualifying for the Championship. The first method of qualification is to finish in 1st, 2nd, or 3rd place in any one (1) of the five (5) qualifying tournaments. The second method is, an angler has registered and paid for all 5 qualifying events or the third way is to finish in the top 50% of qualifying anglers from each school / club based program, in total points from all 5 qualifying events. If 50% of the qualifying anglers from a school / club program, results in an odd number of students, one additional qualifying angler may be included to make an even number to complete a Team.
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 or a coach is not permitted by contestants or coaches within 15 days of any tournament. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.
5. OFF-LIMITS, PRACTICE AND COMPETITION: Tournament lakes will be off limits to student anglers and boat captains the Sunday before each event beginning at 11:59PM until check in on tournament day. Contestants and coaches may not enter tournament waters to locate bass or potential fishing waters or sightseeing during off limits period. Testing equipment on tournament waters after the start of the registration is permitted, but only with prior approval from the tournament director. Once competition is under way, contestants and coaches may not solicit and/or receive information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except contestants and coaches confirmed in the tournament and through publicly available sources (quasi-public websites set up for the specific purpose of sharing information with individuals or a small group of individuals are not publicly available sources). On competition day, teams may not follow a non- contestant’s boat or participate in the placing of markers by non-contestants or the practice of “hole sitting” by anyone. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.
6. REGISTRATION: Registration deadline will be the Saturday, prior to the tournament date, at which time the entry fee will be $60 per team. After that time, a $10 late registration fee will be assessed until the start of the tournament. Unless prior arrangements have been made and approved with the Tournament Director, at which time any and all late fees will be waved. Once competition has started, no more registrations will be accepted. Late registrations will not affect the number of places awarded for the tournament.
7. TOURNAMENT AWARDS: The Central Texas High School Tournament Trail will recognize and award scholarships, trophies and / or prizes for the first, second, third places teams, with additional places awarded (1 place per every 10 entries), along with a Big Bass award at each of the 5 qualifying tournaments. The Central Texas High School Tournament Trail will recognize and award scholarships, trophies, and / or prize products for the first, second, third and forth place teams of the Championship Tournament, as well as recognize the Team of the Year for the team with the highest collective points of the 5 qualifying tournaments. Scholarships (when awarded) will be used for any higher-level education including trade schools or colleges. All Prizes and scholarships are subject to and will be determined by the Central Texas High School staff and their sponsors. Additional prizes may be awarded based on the number of participants and sponsor contributions.
8. SAFETY: In compliance with the Federal Safe Sports Act for YOUTH events, no youth angler may fish alone with a Boat Captain in a youth event, ALWAYS 3 people to a boat. Under the SafeSport Act, in the event a team is represented by a single angler where the parent of the student angler is not the boat captain, individual schools must place an Official Observer in the boat appointed by individual school’s team advisor. Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant and coach is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved and state approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation from boat check until weigh-in each day of the tournaments. 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 in operation (by Law). All persons in a tournament boat shall remain seated in a manufacturer-recommended on-plane seating location when the combustion engine is in operation. Sitting on pedestal seats while the combustion engine is in operation is not permitted. Contestants are not permitted to drive the boat when the combustion engine is in operation. Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by contestants and coaches. At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. Violation of any of these safety rules may result in disqualification.
9. SPORTSMANSHIP: All contestants and coaches are required to follow a high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy and conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, to the Central Texas High School Tournament Trail, FLW, TBF and SAF, our supporters, the school or club and the team that is representing, the sport of fishing and the Central Texas High School Tournament Trail, FLW, TBF and SAF’s efforts to promote the sport. Contestants not complying with these standards including, but is not limited to, the following:
a. Violation of, or failure to comply with, any of the rules for the 2023/24 High School Fishing season.
b. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration, the pre-tournament meeting or during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure will not be tolerated.
c. Abuse of or addiction to, mind-altering substances.
d. Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months.
e. Suspension/disqualification, probation or ban from any tournament or fishing organization.
f. 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 8.
g. Any contestant not complying with the standards outlined above, tournament officials have the right to refuse their application to compete, to deny a confirmed application to compete or to disqualify a contestant.
10. BOAT OPERATION: Boat Captains will supply and drive the boats for their teams. To qualify as a boat captain, the person accompanying a team must be at least 18 years old. The Contestants / Student Anglers may operate the trolling motor (if approved by the boat captain). Boat Captains may provide assistance, including information about locating and catching fish, and will be permitted to fish but all fish caught by the Boat Captains must be released and will in no way contribute to the team’s total weight. The coaches or captains may not fish for a student competitor. The student competitor must actively perform the entire fishing process including the casting, retrieving the lure, and reeling in of the fish. The captain/coach may not hand the student a rod and reel that has a bait in the water. The use of mobile communication devices may only be used by the boat captains but not for the purposes of sharing fishing information during the tournament.
11. BOAT AND HORSEPOWER REGULATION: All boats must be a minimum of 16 feet in length. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain a properly aerated live-well space to maintain alive, a limit catch of bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards is 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. By signing the entry form, contestants and coaches agree to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by tournament officials. 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 High School Fishing 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 or auxiliary fuel tanks that are securely strapped or otherwise fastened to the boat. 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.
12. PERMITTED FISHING METHODS: Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with the lure in the water. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner by the student angler. Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits. Only ONE fishing rod per contestant may be used at a time. Trolling (defined as operating the combustion engine to extend a cast or lengthen a retrieve) as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited. All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately shown to your coach for verification.
13. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS AND BOUNDARIES: Teams may fish anywhere on tournament waters that is available to the public and accessible by boat, except areas 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 tournament officials, 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, using a Power-Pole or similar shallow water anchoring systems (spot Lock). Teams must also maintain a minimum of 25 yards distance between boats unless agreed upon by both parties. 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 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. Teams 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 their check-in except with the permission of the tournament director. In the event of equipment failure or emergency, there are three permitted methods of returning to the check-in: (1) by both contestants remaining in their boat and being towed by water, (2) by one contestant entering the boat of another team or (3) both contestants entering a rescue boat so designated by the tournament director. Under these three conditions the team’s catch may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules). Teams that 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. Any team 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 teams to locate the tournament director to request a restart. Teams must remain together at all times and within sight of their coach until check-in. The momentary condition of being out of sight of each other for restroom breaks is permitted. Violation of this rule may result in disqualification.
14. CHECKPOINTS: There will be only one checkpoint for boat check in the morning and one check-in point in the weigh-in. Failure to go through boat check-in and checkout in the morning or failure to check in at the check-in point may result in disqualification. All fishing must cease upon check-in.
15. LATE PENALTY: Teams that are not at the designated checkpoint at the appointed time will be penalized 1 pound per minute, deducted from the total weight. Teams 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 live-well. .5 (1/2 of a pound) will be deducted from the total weight for each dead bass presented for weigh-in.Plastic clip type culling systems must be used when tagging your fish. The metal clip type, which puncher the fishes jaw is prohibited.
17. SCORING: Scoring will be determined by the final weight of each team’s catch during each tournament. Only Largemouth, Spotted, Guadalupe, or Smallmouth bass are accepted species. The tournament limit is five bass per team. The minimum length for all bass on all bodies of water fished within the season will be 14 inches. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length will be removed and not counted in the anglers total catch. Each team’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag. The winning team is determined by the day’s heaviest catch. For each tournament in the series, prizes will be awarded to the top 3 places and big bass, plus points will be recorded as follows to each team:
Place 1 = 200
Place 2 = 199
Place 3 = 198
Place 4 = 197
(Points continue decrementing by 1 for each placing for teams that weighed in fish.) For teams with no fish weighed in, they will be awarded 30 points less than the last team weighing fish for participation. Points from each of the 5 qualifying tournaments will be totaled and used for determining the individual Championship qualifiers and for Team of the Year. Championship results will be based on each team’s total weight for the championship tournament day only.
18. TIES: Will be broken first, by big bass. If a tie remains it will be broken by the total number of fish. If a tie still remains, it will be broken by a flip of the coin. The only exception to this is when fishing the CTHSTT Championship. At the Championship, all ties will be broken by a fish-off. The first team to catch and weigh–in a keeper fish will be determined the winner.
19. LOGO DISPLAY AND TELEVISION COVERAGE: Contestants and coaches are encouraged to wear their own team shirts or jerseys during all Central Texas High School Tournament Trail events. Tournament officials reserve the right, in their sole discretion, to prohibit any contestant or coach’s shirt or jersey found to be offensive. All decisions are at the sole discretion of the Central Texas High School Tournament Trail Officials.
20. ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO: During all days of competition any and all alcohol and tobacco logos are prohibited and may not be worn or displayed. Contestants may not smoke, use tobacco products or alcohol during tournament hours, including weigh-in, at any CHTSTT event.
21. TRUTH VERIFICATION TEST: Each contestant and coach 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 the sole discretion of tournament officials, and the determination of the meaning of the results will be made solely by tournament officials.
22. INSURANCE: Liability insurance with coverage in a reasonable amounts is required on all boats used in Central Texas High School Tournament Trail fishing tournaments. Proof of insurance must be with the boat being used and must cover all passengers in the boat. Random checks may be conducted at any CTHSTT event.
17 September 2023 Lake Belton Temple Lake Park 6:00 am
15 October 2023 Lake Whitney Lofers Bend Park 6:00 am
11 November 2023 (Saturday) Lake Limestone BRA Park #1 6:00 am
CTHSTT High School Winter Classic
3 February 2024 Lake Belton Temple Lake Park 7:15 am
03 March 2024 Lake Waco Speegleville Park 6:00 am
07 April 2024 Stillhouse Hollow Reservoir Stillhouse Hollow Marina 6:00 am
27 April 2024 TBA Championship 6:00 am
To qualify for a championship, an angler must FIRST:
Fish in 3 of the 5 qualifying events
Once an angler has fished the required 3 tournaments, there are 3 methods to qualify:
The angler has finished in one of the top 3 places in any one of the five qualifying events
The angler has registered and paid for all five qualifying tournaments
The angler must be in the top 50% in points for the school/club that they represent
* It is important to note that an angler can only qualify once
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