Tennessee Team Trail – 2023 Rules
Tournament directors reserve the right to make any changes to the following rules to protect the integrity of the TTT and our anglers. When changes are made, they will be posted to the TTT website and an email will be sent to all anglers.
- Official 2023 Tennessee Team Trail Event Rules:
Decisions of the Tournament Directors are final and are not subject to appeal. Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the Tournament Directors in their sole and absolute discretion. Each competitor agrees to report any rule violation to one of the Tournament Directors immediately upon discovery of the violation. The violation of the tournament rule may result in weight loss, the loss of weight up to a specific time during the tournament day, total loss of weight of the particular day, the ineligibility to participate in future TTT events, or any other penalty deemed appropriate by the Tournament Directors in their sole discretion. Protests must be made in writing within 15 minutes of the official closing of scales at each tournament.
- Participation and Eligibility:
TTT tournaments are open to anglers, male and female, regardless of race, sex, religion, or national origin with the exception of MLF Bass Pro Tour and the Tackle Warehouse Pro Circuit, Bassmaster Elite Series, and NPFLA anglers. This includes all anglers who have fished or are registered for these respective tournament trails in 2022 or 2023. Any angler entering a TTT event who is under 18 years of age must also have a signature of a parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the official entry form. Each contestant that voluntarily participates in any TTT event voluntarily agrees to abide by TTT rules and all state and federal laws, and any violation of the said Rules and/or laws will subject the contestant to disqualification and/or other disciplinary action at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament directors.
- COVID 19:
There will be certain rules that will apply until Covid 19 is no longer an issue. These rules over-ride any rule that follows unless otherwise notified by the Tournament Directors. ALL anglers are required to wear a mask unless they are in their boat or a safe distance from the weigh in. Only one angler will be allowed to weigh in fish. The other angler must stay at a safe distance from the weigh in. No anglers will be allowed on stage at anytime. Anglers should not congregate around the weigh in location before or after the tournament for any reason. Weigh ins can be seen on Facebook live. If the boater or co-angler are required to miss any tournament due to state or local regulations for quarantining; a buy-in for that particular tournament will be allowed. If the boater or co-angler have Covid and are required to miss the tournament for quarantining; you will be allowed a buy-in or additional alternate. A test result must be supplied to the tournament directors within 5 days of date of tournament.
- All TTT tournaments are team events:
Teams for the TTT will be established at the first event. The Boater and Co-angler are also established at the first event. In the event one of the team members can’t make an event; including the classic, one(1) alternate will be allowed. A registered guide CANNOT be a team’s alternate. That alternate must become a member of the TTT if he/she is not already. Only one alternate is allowed per team each season.
- Boat and Horsepower Regulation:
NO JET BOATS ALLOWED. Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain properly aerated live well space to maintain a live limit of bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition may not exceed the horsepower limitation set by the U.S. Coast Guard in such vessel. Falsifying information on entry forms or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor or rating the plate to conceal such limitations will be cause for disqualification from the tournament.
- Pre-tournament Practice:
All TTT Divisional Qualifying tournaments and the Championship will not be subject to an off-limits period. The Thursday and Friday prior to the tournament are considered official practice days. During official practice days, ALL tournament rules apply.
All teams must register online. No in-person signups will be allowed. Registration will close on the Thursday before the tournament at 8:00 p.m. Registration entry fees are $150 per team per tournament. Late registration will begin at 8:00 on the Thursday before the tournament and will continue until blast off ends the morning of the tournament with a $200 entry fee. Boat numbers will be randomly selected using Taysas software. These boat numbers will be posted on the website and Facebook by 9:00 p.m. Late registrants will receive the next boat number in numerical order and will come in with the last flight. No additional flights will be added. An Optional $10.00 lunker per team per tournament that will be paid out 100% to the largest lunker. There will be a TTT membership fee of $50 per person for the 2021 season. $10 of the membership fee is designated to the Bassmaster Team Championship registration. A $5.00 service fee will be added for credit card use for any amount above $10.00. A $25.00 service charge will be assessed for returned checks.
Safety is our first priority. It is the tournament director’s decision to postpone or delay a tournament due to fog or other weather conditions. 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 from boat check to weigh in. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition shut-off device, which must be securely attached to the driver’s body any time the combustion engine is in operation. The operator must be seated in the driver’s seat anytime the combustion engine is engaged in gear. In the event of inclement weather, the tournament will be held the next day, weather permitting. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek shelter in bad weather, at which time no fishing may occur. In the event of equipment failure or emergency, a tournament director must be notified as soon as it is safe to do so. There are then two permitted methods of returning to check-in: (1) by both anglers remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or (2) by one or both 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 each team’s fish are adequately marked so as to provide clear distinction to the Tournament Directors. Contestants who elect to return to check-in by any means other than cited 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.
- Permitted Fishing Methods:
Umbrella Rigs (A-rigs) are allowed and will follow state regulation. TN State regulation allows a maximum of three hooks. There is no limit on the number of arms, dummy baits or blades allowed.
NO LONG LINING.
During practice and competition no more than one artificial or biodegradable artificial lure may be attached to a line at one time. One lure is defined as a single man made device designed to attract and/or catch one fish at a time. Adding trailer hooks, plastic trailers, blades, etc., to a single lure is acceptable. If multiple fish are caught on a single man made lure, on a single cast, all fish are considered legal and may be added to the daily catch subject to scoring rules. No “live bait”, “dead bait”, or “prepared bait” will be permitted during practice and competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds. Only one fishing rod per angler may be used at any one time. Additional rods may be in the boat and ready for use; however, each cast and retrieve must be completed before another cast is attempted or rod is used. Trolling with the combustion engine as a method of fishing is prohibited. Switching or sharing fish with other teams or individuals is a violation of these rules and will result in immediate disqualification. All bass must be caught alive, in a conventional and sporting manner. When sight fishing, all fish must be hooked inside the mouth to be counted as a legal fish. All angling must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to catch and/or land a fish, nor to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.
To protect the integrity of the Tennessee Team Trail LLC (TTT) and our anglers, all winners will be subject to a polygraph exam before the prizes are distributed at each event. Contestants must pass the polygraph exam at the tournament site to receive prize money, awards, and points for the event. The Tournament Directors reserves the right to waive any violation of these rules that are disclosed to him before the polygraph exam, in their sole and absolute discretion. There will also be a polygraph exam for a pre-determined place in the top 10. Tournament directors reserve the right to polygraph any contestant to protect the integrity of the TTT.
- Sportsmanship and Conduct:
All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. All contestants must comply with all applicable state and federal laws, and any contestants’ failure to comply with all applicable state and federal laws are subject to disqualification and/or other disciplinary action that is at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament directors. Examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or mind-altering substance during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure.
- Any previous conviction, charge or arrest, or investigation for a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime related to, arising out of, or involving any fishing tournament or event, except with full, prior written disclosure to the Tournament Directors under oath and by affidavit of all facts and circumstances surrounding such conviction, charge, arrest, or investigation does not result in the contestant’s honesty, integrity, character or qualifications to enter the event being unreasonable questionable.
- Actions or words that reflect unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, and fair competition.
- Chemical or substance abuse.
- Disqualification from any TTT or other fishing organization’s tournament that resulted from unexplained rule violations that result in a contestant’s honesty, integrity, character, and qualifications for entry into a TTT event being questionable in the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion.
Upon review of the circumstances by TTT and the Tournament Directors, the Tournament Directors shall have the right to refuse any application or to deny a confirmed application, by returning the entry fee of a previously accepted application, or disqualifying a contestant. TTT reserves the right to place an official observer in a contestant’s boat at any time during competition hours.
During hours of competition, contestants may not receive fishing information from non-competitors or participate in the practice of “hole-sitting.” The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc. to communicate fishing information during tournament hours is strictly prohibited. In the event of an emergency situation, competitors should first dial 911 and then notify the tournament director Shane Frazier.
Contestants certify that s/he has or will obtain prior to the tournament series, Boat Owners Liability Insurance (including coverage for third party property damage and bodily injury) with no Tournament Exclusion, having a minimum limit of at least $100,000.00 per occurrence.
- Permitted Fishing Locations:
Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off-limits” or “no fishing” by state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a competitor’s boat which was first anchored (an anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by an anchor or power poles and the trolling motor in the up position), or within 25 yards of a non-anchored competitor’s boat unless otherwise agreed upon by the other tournament angler. The act of moving bass from one area of the lake to another confined area of the same lake at any time, whether or not during official practice days or competition days, is not permitted. Locking is not allowed.
- Off-limits Areas:
Such areas established and announced at the briefing meeting for each TTT events. Contestants may not fish inside the established “off-limits” area. Violation of the rule will result in immediate disqualification. Contestants’ boats must remain in the tournament waters during the event.
- Classic Qualifiers:
Those teams that fish all at least two tournaments and buy-in for the other three to qualify for the Championship Tournament. Buyins must be done before the tournament.
All boats will be checked prior to blast off to check live wells and safety equipment. After pre-check is complete, boats will be marked accordingly by tournament directors. If a boat attempts to blastoff without pre-check, they will forfeit their position and be delayed until all other boats have launched. All boats must leave the official checkpoint by boat in the order designated at registration. Contestants may launch their boat at a ramp other than the designated take-off location, but all contestants must come through the official checkpoint location before leaving to fish. In the event of severe weather, alternate take-off instructions will be given at the registration site, at the sole discretion of the Tournament Director.
- Morning Checkpoint:
There will be only one official checkpoint for boat inspection in the morning. Failure to go through the check-out in the morning will result in disqualification from such event. During morning check-out, all teams are required to idle a safe distance before putting the boat on plane.
- Afternoon Checkpoint:
There will be only one official checkpoint in the afternoon. Failure to check in at the check-in-point will result in disqualification from the next event. If a team has put in at a different location, the team is required to contact a tournament director via text or phone to check in. It is the sole responsibility of each contestant to arrive at the designated check-in location on time. Regardless of what you are told or understand, it is the angler’s responsibility to verify their provided flight card time. All fishing must cease upon check-in, or upon such other time as may be designated by the Tournament Director.
Scoring will be determined by the pounds and hundredths of a pound of each team’s catch during the tournament. ONLY Largemouth, Spotted and Smallmouth bass are accepted species. The limit will be five (5) per team. Upon catching a sixth (6th) fish, the angler must cull back to five (5) fish before making another cast. Any contestant who possesses more than the tournament limit will have his/her catch for the day disqualified. All culling must be completed before official check-in. The minimum official length limit for all species for the 2021 TTT Qualifying Team event will be provided at each event, (Golden Rule is official measuring board). Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit, will result in loss of that fish and a half–pound penalty to the weight of the remaining fish. A courtesy measure will be provided upon request. Each contestant’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag and verified immediately upon receiving weight receipt by at least one team member. Discrepancies displayed on the receipt will need to be brought to tournament director’s attention immediately. Any discrepancies that are not brought up immediately will not be taken into account. Bass will be measured with mouth closed, tail compressed and swiped to achieve overall greatest length.
- Late Penalty:
Contestants who are not at the official check-in point at the appointed time will be assessed a one-pound-per-minute penalty from their total weight, including any weight to be counted toward a big bass award. Any contestant more than 15 minutes late will forfeit that day’s catch. In the event of a mechanical breakdown, a contestant may return to check-in location with their catch by receiving a ride from another registered contestant or tournament official only. The contestants must return to the official check-in location by the methods set forth above by their assigned check-in time to avoid late penalty.
- Catch and Release:
You may weigh one dead fish as a part of your five-fish total; an 8 oz. penalty will be assessed to your total weight. No dead fish will be weighed for big fish. Culling of dead bass is prohibited. Non-penetrating culling clips are required. Any clip or device that penetrates the skin or mouth of a fish will not be allowed in the BASS Team Trail Championship.
- Closing of the Scales:
Scales will close 30 minutes after the last flight is due in. Due to certain weigh-in locations, this time may be lengthened or shortened at the Tournament Director’s sole and absolute discretion. Any change to the above stated official scale closing time will be announced during registration, during boat check-out, or during weigh-in. It is the angler’s responsibility to verify the official scale closing time and to be in the weigh-in line by such time.
- Big Fish:
Each regular season tournament will pay largest lunker for the day. The 2 day Classic will have a lunker for each day.
A tie for 1st place in all 2021 TTT events will be broken by a one-hour fish-off. All other ties will be resolved by splitting that place and the next place’s money.
Points will be maintained for the purpose of those teams that are attempting to qualify for the Bassmaster Team Championship and determine the points champion. Points champions listed as angler #1 will have regular season tournament entry fees paid for the following season. Points champions will be responsible for membership fees, lunker, Bassmaster membership and the following season classic entry fee.
The only payout that will be handed out directly following the tournament will be first place as well as bigfish. All other places will be automatically rolled over to the following tournament unless tournament directors are notified within 5 business days following the tournament. Non-rollover checks will be mailed within 7 business days following the tournament. If the roll-over check is not requested with-in the given time, if requested the check will be mailed out with the following tournament’s checks.
By becoming a member of the TTT, I acknowledge and agree that the TTT has the unconditional, royalty-free, perpetual right and license to use my name, voice, and photographic likeness in connection with any and all TTT promotions (including but not limited to tournaments, meetings, and all TTT-sponsored events), in all formats including but not limited to written article(s), video(s), photograph(s), and/or audio recording(s). I further agree that any and all personal/contact information collected to populate the TTT Member Database is the sole property of the TTT and may be used, at its sole discretion, for any purpose deemed necessary by the TTT. Name, address, phone number and email information may be shared with all of our sponsors as well as boat information.
- Income Tax:
Contestants will receive a 1099 form and will be responsible for the income tax on any prize money over $600 ($1200 per team). If anglers are going to claim all of the team’s winnings, then the tournament staff must be notified prior to the first event. In this event, all checks will be written to this angler.
- Registration paperwork:
All contestants must fill out all paperwork before being able to register for any TTT events. This includes rules, entry form/liability waiver, equipment registration form, and W-9.