NORTHEAST BASSMASTERS LLC
Team Tournament Circuits
By-Laws/Rules and Regulations
Amended on February 8, 2023
ARTICLE 1: NAME AND PURPOSE
Section 1: Name
This chapter shall be called Northeast Bassmasters
LLC (a.k.a. Northeast).
To stimulate awareness of bass fishing as a major sport
To offer our state conservation department our organized, moral, political
To promote full adherence to all conservation codes
To improve skill as a bass angler through a fellowship
of friendly exchange of expert bass
catching techniques and ideas
sportsmen-like behavior of its members both on and off the water
To function as a dynamic and effective link with other bass clubs and embrace the
principles and purposes of bass anglers nationwide
To work to improve access to public bodies of water where now public access does not exist
ARTICLE 2: COMMITTEES
1: Executive Committee
a. The chapter shall maintain an executive
committee made up of:
President (Thursday and Saturday) Paul Schmidt
Vice-President (Thursday) Ed Kerr
Vice-President (Saturday) Skip Lerman
Tournament Director (Thursday) Dave Ward
Tournament Director (Saturday)
Weigh Master (Thursday) Vinnie Farrell
Weigh Master (Saturday) Pete Mancuso
b. Hereafter, throughout this document,
the words I/me/my refer to the President of
2: Duties of the Executive Committee
PRESIDENT: Preside over all meetings and direct
official business and be ex-officio member of all committees; supervise all club functions; collect and disperse all money
for the club; maintain accurate financial records; be responsible for all club correspondence; coordinate the annual tournament schedule
VICE-PRESIDENT: Assist the President in duties; preside as the chief executive
officer in the absence of the president
TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR: Oversee all tournament activities;
uphold the tournament rules; assist the weigh master during the weigh-in; conduct onshore captains’ meeting before blast-off
WEIGH MASTER: Set up the weigh station; zero out the scale; conduct all tournament
weigh-ins; record weights on the official weigh-in sheet; assist the tournament director during the registration period
Section 3: Standing Committees
THURSDAY GRIEVENCE COMMITTEE – This committee will consist of the Thursday vice-president, the weigh master and the tournament director for all Thursday
events. The committee will hear all grievances, and their decision on each matter will be final and uncontestable. In the
absence of one of the committee members, the president can assume the role.
GRIEVENCE COMMITTEE - This committee will consist of the Saturday vice-president, the weigh master and the tournament director
for all Saturday events. The committee will hear all grievances, and their decision on each matter will be final and uncontestable.
In the absence of one of the committee members, the president can assume the role.
ARTICLE 3: MEMBERSHIP
The general membership will be composed of all
those who participate in at least one of the scheduled events and have paid the annual membership dues.
Section 1: Fees
a. There will be an annual membership fee of $30.00 per tournament trail to participate
sponsored by Northeast Bassmasters. Once you become a member you
may fish one or all of the tournaments scheduled for that trail for
the entire season. Of
the $30.00 membership fee, $5.00 goes to the “Big Bass Pool” for the season in each
b. We are a “pay as you go” club.
Northeast tournaments are $110.00 per boat except for
the Candlewood series
which is $120.00 per boat and the Fall Finale which has not yet
been finalized. The entrance fee for each event includes a $10.00 daily lunker
boat for that tournament.
c. To make it fair for all concerned, there
will be no refunds for Thursday tournaments if
you cancel after 6 p.m. on Wednesday prior to the event and no refunds for Saturday
tournaments if you cancel
after 6 p.m. on Friday prior to the event.
ARTICLE 4: ENTRY RULES
Section 1: Forms
a. Before you fish your first tournament of the year, every angler must first fill out
completely and legibly sign a Northeast Membership
b. Each angler must sign and submit a waiver/release of liability form.
c. Each boater must submit a copy of the cover page of his/her current boat insurance.
d. If these forms are not submitted before your first tournament, you will not be able
to fish an event until
they are in my possession.
e. By becoming a member of Northeast Bassmasters,
you willingly agree by your signature
to follow all the rules and regulations of Northeast Bassmasters as set forth in this
Section 2: Registration
a. Registration for all tournaments will
be done by check or Venmo payments prior to an
Checks or Venmo payments must be received by 6 p.m. on Wednesday for a Thursday
event and by 6 p.m. on Friday for a Saturday event.
c. Should the pandemic be resolved; on-site
registration might be resumed.
ARTICLE 5: TOURNAMENT RULES
Section 1: Arrival
a. In the event
of severe weather, a tournament may be cancelled at the discretion of the
executive committee. A text message will be sent to all participants
plan your arrival times accordingly. It is understood that even the best plans
may go awry (traffic, flat tire etc.). If you are going to be late,
please call to let someone
know that you are on the way.
Thursday—Dave Ward 973-945-7048 or Vinnie Farrell 973-229-8932
Saturday—John Stanley 201-572-0314 or Pete Mancuso 973-420-3168
Thursday & Saturday—Paul
c. Penalties may be incurred if this problem
becomes habitual. Each angler will have two
free passes. After that, a 4-ounce penalty will be imposed and deducted from your total
weight and an additional four ounces will be deducted
each time the angler is late
thereafter (4 lates would equal a 1-pound penalty).
d. When you arrive at the launch ramp early in the morning, please be reminded
are property owners and their families nearby who are still sleeping. Please keep
the conversations and the noise as low as possible. I realize that
we are all excited
about getting out on the water, but not everyone shares our passion.
Registration/check-in will end 15 minutes prior to the official blast-off time.
Section 2: Boat Qualifications
In order to qualify for use in a tournament, a boat must meet the following
a. Live well or wells are empty and in good
b. Must be at least
16 ft. long
c. Must not be powered
by an engine exceeding the maximum rating for boat size
d. Have a working trolling motor
e. Coast Guard approved life vest for each angler
f. A throwable floatation device and rope
g. Functional kill switch and lanyard must be connected to the driver’s
life vest and worn
at all times when the big engine is running. (State law)
h. Working running lights
A valid license for the state where the tournament is being held. All anglers must follow
the rules, statutes, and regulations prevailing within
the states fished, and it is the
responsibility of each angler to research those fishing and boating regulations.
j. Liability insurance and documentation of such insurance must be on
the boat at all
Section 3: Boat Inspection
All boats may be subject at any time to a complete boat inspection. All compartments may be
opened by a Northeast executive committee member to inspect their contents and to ensure that all safety equipment is on board.
Section 4: Official Tournament Times
a. The official Verizon time will be announced
prior to blast-off.
b. The tournament
end time will be announced prior to blast-off.
Section 5: Blast-off Position
a. Starting with the first tournament in
June 2022 and thereafter, blast-off positions will
be drawn at the ramp prior to blast-off thereby giving no angler an advantage over
There will be an onshore captains’ meeting prior to each blast-off at which time the
blast-off positions will be randomly drawn.
Section 6: On the Water
a. No fishing within 150 ft. of an anchored tournament boat.
If power poles are used as an anchor, the trolling motor must be out of the water to be
b. No fishing within 75 ft. of another tournament angler’s
boat unless permission is
granted by the angler first on site.
c. All fishing must be done from the boat.
You may not leave the boat to land or catch
a fish. Anglers are only allowed to leave the boat in the event of imminent danger to seek
safe harbor, in the event of a bathroom emergency,
or to retrieve a lure that is stuck on
a homeowner’s property.
one rod may be used at a time. Maximum rod length can be no more than 10 feet
e. No natural or live baits are permitted or allowed in possession during any tournament
except for pork baits used as
f. Trolling is not
g. No fishing in waters
deemed off limits by the Tournament Director.
Off limits on the lakes we fish may change during the season and will be announced as
the need arises.
h. Life vests must be worn by all anglers
on the boat and the driver must have the kill
switch lanyard attached to his/her vest at all times whenever the big motor is started
and in gear. Failure to
do so will result in the disqualification for the team. (State law)
i. Speed limits…Lake Hopatcong 30 MPH on weekends and holidays and on Greenwood
Lake and Candlewood Lake 45
MPH at all times. Speed limit at night or low light or
visibility conditions such as fog will be 5 MPH no wake on all lakes Northeast fishes.
Speed limits must be observed
regardless of the placements of buoys on the water i.e., if
the “no wake buoys” have been removed from a lake, Northeast Bassmasters
speed limits as indicated on official lake navigation maps. Northeast has adopted the
Hot Spots Maps as the official map of the club. Violations
of speed limits will result in an
automatic tournament disqualification. Ignorance of the law is no exception or excuse.
Northeast Bassmasters reserves the right to impose speed
limits on any or all
regardless of the speed limits of the lake. Safety is our main concern for all.
j. Five fish limit per team.
k. Fish must be 12 inches long.
l. Be considerate of the property owner’s docks and boats. However, the water belongs
the state and
harassment of an angler in pursuit of his fish by a landowner is illegal.
m. All boats must pass the call boat when your boat number has been called before you
n. If you must leave before the end of an
event, please let someone know
that you are going. Call the weigh master, tournament director, or Paul Schmidt before
Weigh master: Thursday, Vinnie Farrell ( 973-229-8932 )
Weigh master: Saturday,
Pete Mancuso ( 973-420-3168 )
Tournament Director: Thursday, Dave Ward ( 973-945-7048 )
Tournament Director: Saturday, John Stanley ( 201-572-0314 )
President: Paul Schmidt
( 973-865-9347 )
o. No alcohol
or drugs, other than prescription meds, may be used on the water.
p. Culling must be done on the water after the 6th fish has been boated. When you pull
your boat out prior to
the weigh-in, there should only be 5 fish in the live well. Culling
on shore will result in the team being disqualified.
q. Culling of a dead fish will result in disqualification
of the team. You lose .2 pounds per
dead fish that is weighed-in, however, a 2.2 pound dead large-mouth still adds 2.0
pounds to your total weight. A dead fish my not be
weighed in for the lunker/big fish of
the day/big fish for the year/tie breaker. The weight of a dead fish may only be used to
add its weight less the penalty
of .2 pounds to the creel limit of the day and may not be
used for any other purpose whatsoever. All dead fish will be given to whomever wants
them. If no one wants
to take the fish, it is your responsibility to dispose of it in a
sportsman like manner.
ARTICLE 6: WEIGH-IN
Section 1: Late to Weigh-in
Official time will be announced prior to blast off. Check in time will be sharp according
to the official time. Lateness to check in will be
rounded up to the next minute and
b. Late penalty
will be 1-pound per minute late.
Lateness of more than 10 minutes is an automatic disqualification.
d. Once all boats have been trailered and out of the water, the weigh-in will begin in
of blast-off positions starting with boats 1-3, then 4-6, etc. Hopefully this will
speed up the weigh-in and decrease the mortality
rate of the fish.
Section 2: Procedure
Scoring will be determined by total creel weight.
b. Weight will be recorded in pounds, tenths, and hundredths of a pound.
c. Minimum length is 12 in. mouth closed; tail pinched.
d. All legal fish must be weighed in at end
of the event on the official club scale.
A person with a fish in question of 12 in. MUST ASK FOR A COURTESY CHECK PRIOR
to handing his weigh bag to the weigh master. A short fish will be
returned to the water
with no penalty. Failure to announce a potentially short fish prior to handing over your
weigh-in bag will result in a 1-pound penalty.
f. A 0.2-pound penalty will result for each
fish unable to be released alive.
Culling of a dead fish is an automatic disqualification.
h. Each fish caught by an angler is considered to be in possession. Culling of fish is to be
done immediately upon
catching the sixth fish. If at any time other than culling, an
angler is in possession of more than the legal limit, he will be disqualified.
i. There will be no culling
of fish at the ramp or after the boat has been removed from the
water. Doing so will result in disqualification.
j. Once your fish have been transferred from your bag to the weigh master’s
tub, the fish
the property of the weigh master and you are not to touch the fish until they are
returned to your bag by him.
k. In the event of a tie for any position, the team with the most live fish in their creel wins.
Should both teams have the same
weight and 5 live fish in the creel, the money won will
be split and their position will be shared (2nd $300 and 3rd $200 total $500 each receive
$250 plus second place position,
third place will be eliminated from the standings). If
3rd place and 4th place tie, the third-place payout will be split and the third place
position will be shared by the
winners and 4th place will be eliminated from the
standings. If non-paying positions tie, both teams will share the higher position.
Section 3: Payouts
Pay outs are based on 80% of the tournament fees collected less the $10.00 lunker fee per boat
which is a separate pool. Three places will be paid if there is a field of nine or more boats in the event, two places for
five to eight boats, and if there are less than 5 boats, the tournament will be cancelled.
a. First Place
c. Third Place
d. One Lunker award 100% of the lunker
fees collected for event
Should there be a tournament that exceeds 20 boats, a fourth place will be
ARTICLE 7: SPORTSMANSHIP
Section 1: Conduct
in Northeast Bassmasters is a privilege and not a right. Membership to
Northeast Bassmasters may be revoked at any time by a majority vote
b. All Northeast
members must conduct themselves in a professional manner both on and
off the water. Competitors are expected to follow a high standard of sportsmanship,
conservation, courtesy, and
safety. We want our code of conduct to reflect favorably on
Northeast as a club, as well as its members and its sponsors. Anglers who violate
code may be
subject to forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspended from fishing one or
more scheduled events, or permanently banned from fishing Northeast Bassmasters
tournaments in the future as
determined by the Grievance Committee.
Any member’s action on or off the water before, during, or after a tournament that
jeopardizes the reputation of Northeast Bassmasters or
any other un-sportsman like
behavior may be grounds for expulsion.
An angler who has been banned from fishing in another organization’s tournaments
(local, district, regional, etc.) regardless of the
reason will not be granted membership to
Northeast Bassmasters. Since it is impossible to know the background of every
member, should incriminating evidence regarding a
member being banned from another
organization be brought to the attention of the tournament director, said angler’s
membership will be revoked, membership fees will
not be returned, and the angler will
be banned from all future Northeast Bassmasters tournaments. Should the banning
organization rescind the banning of said angler, and the angler is
once again in good
standing with the banning organization and is allowed to fish their events and can prove
they have fished one or more events with the banning
organization, the angler may then
re-apply for membership with Northeast Bassmasters. The angler must present a
signed letter from the president of the banning organization
on its official stationery
stating that the angler is now in good standing and no longer banned from fishing all
events sponsored by that organization. Membership
to Northeast will not be granted
without this letter. If a banned member is exonerated within the same season, and
wishes to rejoin Northeast, the membership fees that were withheld
will be reapplied.
Failure to abide by the rules of sportsmanship will be reviewed by the Grievance
Committee and may result
in a warning, weight penalty, tournament
disqualification, disqualification for the season, and worst-case
scenario a life
time disqualification from Northeast Bassmasters.
f. The decision
of the Grievance Committee is the final word in all matters regarding the
dismissal of a member from Northeast.
ARTICLE 8: PROTEST
a. It is every team’s responsibility
to report infractions or violations of any tournament
rules to the tournament director.
b. All protests must be submitted in writing immediately BEFORE the official weigh-in
c. All protests must be documented and witnessed
by more than one person.
identity of the protesting member will be confidential.
e. The accused party will be invited to state his case.
f. The Grievance Committee will review the protest, make all judgments, and apply any
penalties. The Grievance
Committee’s judgment will be uncontestable and the final word
in all matters.
g. Should an angler or team have three substantiated and verified written complaints
submitted against them
to the officials of Northeast Bassmasters within one season, the
team in question will have their membership revoked and will no longer
be welcome to
with Northeast Bassmasters.
It is to be understood by all Northeast members that by signing the official Northeast
membership and release forms prior to your first
event, you and your partner and/or
substitute agree to submit to a truth verification test, should the need arise, and agree
to abide by its results. Said test may be administered
at any time randomly during or
after an official Northeast tournament. Should an angler refuse to take a truth/
verification test when asked, this action shall then be considered
an admission of guilt
on the part of the angler in question. All prize money will be withheld and the angler’s
membership to Northeast will
be revoked until the test is administered and the angler is
either exonerated or proven guilty of the violation or protest in question.
will absorb the cost of the test, however if found guilty, the angler will be
responsible for paying for the test.
i. Northeast is a club designed to promote friendly competition
between its members. We
are not looking to disqualify anyone. However, the rules of sportsmanship, safety and
fair competition will be enforced.
j. Northeast Bassmasters reserves the
right to place a marshal/observer on any angler’s
boat who fishes a Northeast event alone to guarantee that all fish are caught by the
angler legally and in
accordance with the rules of Northeast Bassmasters.
FALL FINALE--To be determined . . . a work in progress
ALL STATE AND FEDERAL
LAWS AND REGULATIONS REGARDING FISHING AND BOATING APPLY. THESE RULES APPLY TO ALL PARTICIPANTS IN NORTHEAST BASSMASTER TOURNAMENTS
REGARDLESS OF STATUS AND OR POSITION, AND THEY WILL BE STRICTLY ENFORCED.
rules and regulations will be updated as needed, and members will be notified that changes were made. It is then the member’s
responsibility to check the website for the changes made to the By Laws/Rules and Regulations.
The Northeast Bassmasters By-laws/Rules and Regulations have been amended on this day, February 8, 2023, and are
currently in effect. This document negates and replaces all other versions of Northeast Bassmasters By-laws/Rules and Regulations
and past practices. What is found in the pages of this document and only this document are the official rules of Northeast
Bassmasters from this day forward.