FISHING LEAGUE WORLDWIDE
Walmart FLW TourRULES AND CONTINGENCY AWARDS
2015 FLW Tour Entry Fees
Entire 6-event season
$800 (per event)
$300 (per event)
2015 Qualifying events format
Days 1 and 2 - Professionals and Co-anglers
- Full field in each division will compete on days one and two
- Winning co-angler determined by the heaviest cumulative weight from days 1 and 2
Day 3 - Professionals
- Top 20 professionals based on cumulative weight from days 1 and 2 continue competition
Day 4 - Professionals
- 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
- Weigh-ins will be held lakeside on days 1 and 2 at all qualifying events then at the local Walmart on days 3 and 4 in conjunction with the FLW Expo, except for the Beaver Lake tournament. Weigh-ins on days 3 and 4 at Beaver Lake will be held at the John Q. Hammons Convention Center along with the FLW Expo.
2015 Forrest Wood Cup Format
Days 1 and 2 - Professionals and Co-anglers
- 50 professionals and 50 co-anglers compete
- Top 35 pros and co-anglers from the 2015 FLW Tour, the top five pros and co-anglers overall at the 2014 FLW Series Championship plus the next-highest-finishing pro and co-angler from each of five FLW Series divisions at the 2014 FLW Series Championship, 2015 BFL All-American boater and co-angler champions, 2015 TBF boater and co-angler champions, 2015 FLW College Fishing champions, 2014 Forrest Wood Cup pro and co-angler champions, and 2014 FLW Tour Angler and Co-angler of the Year
- Winning co-angler determined by the heaviest cumulative weight from days 1 and 2
Day 3 - Professionals
- Top 20 professionals based on cumulative weight from days 1 and 2 continue competition
Day 4 - Professionals
- 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
2015 Walmart FLW Tour Contingency Awards
Walmart FLW Tour Angler of the Year and Co-angler of the Year presented by Kellogg’s:
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 titles presented by Kellogg’s, respectively.
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-hp Mercury or Evinrude outboard to the highest-finishing pro in the FLW Tour Angler of the Year standings that meets Ranger Cup guidelines. 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.
Typhoon Wear It to Win It – Typhoon awards $1,000 to the winning boater and $500 to the winning co-angler in each FLW Tour event and the Forrest Wood Cup if he or she meets Wear It to Win It contingency requirements. Additional awards are presented to qualified boaters and co-anglers who finish second or third in each tournament. Typhoon also awards a $50 photo and/or video bonus to qualified anglers who place in the top three at a tournament.
Visit Typhoon.com for details.
• 1st place = $1,000 boater and $500 co-angler
• 2nd place = $750 boater and $250 co-angler
• 3rd place = $500 boater and $100 co-angler
Requirements: All entrants must fulfill the stated requirements of the Typhoon Wear It To Win It (WITWI) contingency program in order to be eligible for WITWI prize payouts. Winner’s must follow the guidelines of the winner’s verification submissions. Any violation of these requirements may result in disqualification.
• BUY TYPHOON - Purchase Typhoon sunglasses at a retail store or online. Typhoon sunglasses may also be purchased during the WITWI registration process at Typhoon.com.
• REGISTER - All pros/boaters and co-anglers must register for Wear It to Win It prior to their tournament’s commencement (If you have previously registered for WITWI you are already registered for future tournaments and future seasons and do not need to register again). Be sure to register at least 10 days before your tournament so that you will receive your WITWI kit well in advance of your tournament.
• POST YOUR PHOTO - After receiving your WITWI kit, take a photo (or multiple photos) of yourself wearing: Your Typhoon sunglasses and tournament jersey with the official Typhoon logo or logo patch applied (or your own shirt with the official Typhoon logo patch applied). Log in to your Typhoon account and upload a minimum of one (1) photo following the requirements above (optional photos are appreciated but not required to meet qualification requirements). Your photo or photos will be posted on the Typhoon Wear It To Win It Facebook page and other Typhoon social media accounts. Optional photos:
• Wear your Typhoon sunglass and Typhoon cap
• Wear your Typhoon sunglass and Typhoon t-shirt
• Photos of your vehicle or boat with Typhoon logo stickers applied
• POST A REVIEW - Log on to Typhoon.com and post a review of your Typhoon sunglass. We'd love to know what you think.
• WEAR THE TYPHOON LOGO - All WITWI registered pros/boaters and co-anglers must wear a Typhoon logo in one or more of the following ways:
• Typhoon iron-on logo patch (stickers are not authorized) on your tournament jersey or shirt
• Typhoon cap (optional)
• Typhoon t-shirt (optional) CLICK HERE to download the Typhoon logo for your jersey. Three (3) Typhoon heat transfer logo patches are also included in your WITWI kit for you to iron on to your own shirt or tournament jersey.
• WEAR YOUR TYPHOON SUNGLASS - All WITWI competitors must wear their Typhoon sunglass each day of their tournament.
• COMPETE & WIN - To qualify as a WITWI winner, you must finish in 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in your tournament.
• SUBMIT WINNER’S VERIFICATION TO CLAIM WITWI PAYOUT - To qualify as a WITWI winner, you must finish in 1st, 2nd or 3rd place in your tournament. To verify your winning status, you must submit a photo of your award presentation with the following requirements:
• You MUST be pictured receiving the award from the tournament presenter on stage at the tournament.
• You must also be wearing either your tournament jersey with the Typhoon (iron-on or sewn-on) patch or factory printed logo, or an official Typhoon cap or an official Typhoon t-shirt. NOTE: A Typhoon sticker stuck on your shirt does not qualify.
• All competitors who submit a WITWI Payout Claim MUST meet these requirements. No exceptions.
• The decision of Typhoon is final in all matters regarding contingency eligibility. Visit Typhoon.com for complete details.
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.
• Captains Cash Club is open to all tournament anglers fishing any 2014 Captains Cash sanctioned event. Be sure to check the current list of sanctioned tournaments.
• Membership is $24.95 for 2014. Membership valid from October 2013 through December 2014. Purchase a Club Membership
• Registration must be completed prior to any sanctioned tournament to be eligible for contingency payments.
• Eligible contingency payment participants are registered Power-Pole owners who are registered members of the Captains Cash Club.
• Sanctioned tournaments are posted at power-pole.com
• Registered Power-Pole owners placing in first place overall only in a sanctioned event are eligible for contingency payments.
• Only 1 possible payout per tournament. A maximum of one angler per tournament will be rewarded.
• Sanctioned tournaments must have a minimum of 20 boats registered to qualify for Captains Cash Rewards payments.
• Winners must be verified through the sanctioned tournament via website, newsletter or other official organization communication along with the tournament director’s signature on claim form. • Completed Power-Pole Captains Cash claims forms must be submitted within 30 days of the tournament win and can be obtained here.
• JL Marine employees and members of JL Marine’s employees’ immediate families are excluded from participation.
• Approval of claims and payments is at sole discretion of JL Marine Systems, Inc.
• Payment claimants must have Power-Pole registered with JL Marine Systems.
• Power-Pole Captains Cash decals must be displayed on the participant’s boat or Power-Pole anchor.
• Power-Pole Captains Cash 4-inch logo must be displayed on the upper-left shoulder of the participant’s shirt. Captains Cash logo must be worn from takeoff through weigh-in during all days of sanctioned tournaments. Logo is available in three formats. Download logos
• JL Marine reserves the right to change, modify, enhance, or terminate the Captains Cash program at any time. Refer to power-pole.com for current rules. Rules posted at power-pole.com will supersede any previously printed rules.
• It is the participant’s responsibility to know the rules of the program. Captains Cash participants must meet all requirements and submit proof that they were met.
• Power-Pole Captains Cash Rewards recipients will be responsible for paying any and all local, state, federal or other taxes on contingency earnings. Atlas Awards – T-H Marine Supplies Inc. awards as much as $1,250 cash to the winning pro in each FLW Tour qualifier and as much as $1,800 cash to the winning pro at the Forrest Wood Cup if he or she meets Atlas Awards contingency requirements. Co-anglers can win as much as $150 in each event.
• Pro/boater membership is $19.95 and co-angler membership is $12.99 for 2014 and runs Jan. 1 to Dec. 31, 2014. Membership can be purchased at www.thmarine.com.
• Membership registration must be done prior to any sanctioned event.
• If you sign up the evening of the pretournament meeting, the tournament director or T-H Marine representative must sign and date for it to be valid. Payment must be postmarked by the following Monday.
• Angler must be the owner of any or all of the following T-H marine products:
• Hot Foot
• G-Force Trolling Motor Handle
• Two Way Boat Alarm
• Atlas Hydraulic Jack Plate, which must be on the boat used during sanctioned event
• Loc-R-Bar storage locking system
• Troll-Tamer trolling motor stabilizer lock
• Shock-Lock super duty electronics mount
• Event must have 40 boats minimum to be a sanctioned event.
• Winners must be verified through the tournament organization via website or official organization publication.
• All Atlas Awards claims must be submitted within 30 days of tournament win. Form can be found at www.thmarine.com.
• Atlas Awards custom decal must be visible on the boat (windshield, outside gunnel, etc.)
• Atlas Awards logo or patch must be worn during competition and weigh-in.
• Participants must meet all rules and requirements to be eligible for Atlas Awards.
• Please allow up to 4 weeks for processing and payout.
• Atlas Awards winners will be responsible for paying all taxes on contingency earnings.
• All decisions on eligibility and payment made by T-H Marine on the Atlas Awards program will be final.
Highest Finisher Awards
• If an Atlas Awards member does not win the event, TH Marine will pay the highest finishing Atlas Awards member.
• To receive highest finisher award, Atlas Awards member must own Atlas Hydraulic Jack Plate.
• If the tournament field contains 40-100 boats, TH Marine will pay the highest eligible finisher within the Top 5 in the tournament standings.
• If the tournament field contains 101 or more boats, TH will pay the highest eligible finisher within the top 15 in the tournament standings.
• If the highest finisher in the sanctioned event is Atlas Awards Grand Slam qualified, TH Marine will pay a Grand Slam Bonus to the highest qualified finisher.
• If the highest finisher is not Atlas Awards Grand Slam qualified, the highest finisher will receive the designated non-Grand Slam payout for the event.
• Two qualifying products: G-Juice and G-Force Cull System.
• Co-anglers winning any sanctioned event using both qualifying products will receive the Grand Slam bonus.
• Co-angler must provide photo evidence of victory and products used. All awards are subject to change.
2015 Walmart FLW Tour rules
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 Rejuvenade and G-Juice to help promote the healthy release of bass. 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.
2015 FLW Tour Rules:
1. INTERPRETATION & ENFORCEMENT • These rules will remain unchanged during 2015. 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 (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, 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.
PRO ENTRY: Entry in the FLW Tour 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 2015 FLW Tour events. The top 100 pros and the top 10 co-anglers from the 2014 FLW Tour, the top 10 pros from each division of the 2014 FLW Series and the boater champion from the 2014 BFL All-American must pay their deposits by December 1, 2014 in order to secure their priority entry position. For Ranger boat owners (Ranger owners with current registrations 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 2, 2014. For TBF members, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 3, 2014. For other entries, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 4, 2014. Entry priority will be assigned by the date and time of entry. Entries may be made either by mail, phone or on the Internet at FLWFishing.com. Do not make entry by more than one method. A maximum field of 150 pros will be set prior to the first tournament, 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 of 150 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.
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 2014 FLW Tour, top 10 co-anglers from each division of the 2014 FLW Series and the co-angler champion from the 2014 BFL All-American must pay their deposits by December 1, 2014 in order to secure their priority entry position. For Ranger boat owners (Ranger owners with current registrations) and sponsor entries (FLW may reserve sponsor spots in each qualifying tournament), deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 2, 2014. For TBF members, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 3, 2014. For other entries, deposits will be accepted beginning at 8 a.m. Central time December 4, 2014. Top entry priority goes to co-anglers who enter all six tournaments by January 2, 2015. All other entry priority will be assigned by the date and time of entry. Entries may be made either by mail, phone or on the Internet at FLWFishing.com. Do not make entry by more than one method. 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.
PAYMENT SCHEDULE: Pro entry fees for the six tournaments total $25,800, 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 each tournament 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 Toho: $3,300 pro and $500 co-angler due February 11, 2015.
2. Lewis Smith Lake: $3,300 pro and $500 co-angler due March 4, 2015.
3. Beaver Lake: $3,300 pro and $500 co-angler due April 1, 2015.
4. Lake Eufaula: $3,300 pro and $500 co-angler due April 22, 2015.
5. Lake Chickamauga: $3,300 pro and $500 co-angler due May 20, 2015.
6. Potomac River: $3,300 pro and $500 co-angler due June 3, 2015.
3. POINT STANDINGS • 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 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 and co-anglers 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 2015 Forrest Wood Cup. If a top-35 angler has already qualified for the 2015 Forrest Wood Cup, the next person in the point standings will be invited. The 2015 FLW Tour Angler of the Year and 2015 Forrest Wood Cup pro champion qualify for the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup provided they compete in the pro division of all the 2016 FLW Tour events. If the 2015 FLW Tour Angler of the Year or Forrest Wood Cup pro champion does not compete in 2016, their entry in the 2016 Forrest Wood Cup will go to the 2016 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 2015 FLW Tour receive priority entry for the 2016 season. The top 10 co-anglers in the final point standings in the 2015 FLW Tour have the option of moving to the pro side in 2016.
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 2, 2015. 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 AND COMPETITION • Thirty 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. 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 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 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 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).
Restricted Access Begins
Jan 30, 2015
Feb 16 – 28 & Mar 4, 2015
Lewis Smith Lake
Feb 20, 2015
Mar 9 – 21 & Mar 25, 2015
Mar 20, 2015
Apr 6 – 18 & Apr 22, 2015
Apr 10, 2015
Apr 27 – May 9 & May 13, 2015
May 8, 2015
May 25 – Jun 6 & Jun 10, 2015
May 22, 2015
Jun 8 – 20 & Jun 24, 2015
Jul 17, 2015
Aug 3 – 15 & Aug 19, 2015
6. REGISTRATION AND 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. 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 may forfeit their entry fee and not be entered in the tournament.
7. PAIRINGS • Pros and co-anglers 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.
8. SAFETY • Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation during practice and from boat check until weigh-in each day of the tournament. 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. A driver must be seated behind the steering wheel and in full control of the boat whenever it is on plane or the combustion engine is in operation 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 2015 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 • 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. 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 AND 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. No additional marine electronics, marine/automotive batteries or generators may be installed or used in FLW supplied boats.
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 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 remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or (2) with permission from the tournament director, by one or both paired anglers 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 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 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 or co-angler. Failure to have a verified pro or co-angler signature may result in disqualification of that day’s catch. Co-angler competition concludes on day 2 of qualifying tournaments and the Forrest Wood Cup with the winner determined by the heaviest combined weight from days 1 and 2. On day 3 of qualifying tournaments and the Forrest Wood Cup, the top 20 pros based on combined weight from days 1 and 2 compete. 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.
18. TIES • 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 (point standings only apply in the Forrest Wood Cup if the tied anglers qualified through the same circuit), 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 AND 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. On day 4 anglers who make the final-day cut must use boats, marine electronics and camera equipment if supplied by FLW. No additional marine electronics, marine/automotive batteries or generators may be installed or used in FLW supplied boats. 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.
- Alcoholic beverages
- Automotive (vehicles, tires and oil)
- Batteries (household only)
- Cell phone service providers
- Marine electronics
- Outboard engines
- National retailer (outdoor or otherwise, including online retailers)
- Trolling motors
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 2015 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.