Tournament Rules

GENERAL

  • No drinking of alcoholic beverages or use of illegal drugs is permitted before or during event hours.
  • All fish must be legally caught by rod and reel casting. Only one casting, spin casting or spinning rod and reel may be used at any one time. Other rigs, as specified above, may be in the boat ready for use; however, only one is permitted in use at any given time. All fish must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will have their catch disqualified. When visually fishing a bed or for bedding bass, to be counted as a legal fish all bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by your partner before being unhooked. Violation of applicable state or federal regulations by contestants is grounds for removal of current event and debarment from future events.
  • Volunteer Boaters and Wounded Heroes for a given event are paired by the Lead Volunteer prior to the launch on the day of the event.
  • During event, the Volunteer Boater will fish from the front deck and the Wounded Heroes from the center and rear deck.  Exceptions are allowed if mutually agreed upon by the boater and Wounded Heroes.
  • Volunteer Boater is responsible for covering the expense involved in operating and maintaining their boat.  This includes the cost of gas and oil, park entrance and/or launch fees for the event day.
  • All boats should be equipped with an inboard method of sustaining fish.
  • All boats will depart from the same location and at the same approximate time.
  • Departure will be, with a safe distance between boats.
  • All spot rulings on rules, potential violations and safety matters, including cancellation due to weather or water conditions, are at the sole discretion of the Lead Volunteer.
  • All Volunteers are responsible for having a valid fishing license.
  • Bolling AFB Marina (inside of gas pumps) is off limits. No other specific area on the Tidal Potomac is designated off limits—provided that a team is considered off limits if it is cited or served in writing (e.g., ticketed) by enforcement officials during event hours because of fishing in an area illegally. Other restrictions or off limits may be announced at the briefing prior to each event.
  • An anchored boat has the right to deny other boats fishing rights within 50 yards, provided its trolling motor is out of the water.
  • It is unsportsmanlike to pull in front of another boats fishing in a given direction or to move into a limited area being fished constantly by another boat.  Any person who repeatedly demonstrates bad manners by customary tournament standards or so violates these rules will not be allowed to volunteer for future events at the judgment of the Founder.

WEIGH-IN PROCEDURES (if requested by Wounded Heroes)

  • The Tidal Potomac has size limits for the various types of fish found in its waters  http://www.prfc.state.va.us/sports/BLUE%20SHEET.pdf.  No fish may be held that does not meet these requirements.  Fish are measured with mouth closed; tail may be fanned or squeezed.
  • All live fish must be released; exception is made for trophy fish which may be kept if appropriate.

SAFETY, BOAT AND MOTOR

  • It is the Volunteer Boaters’ responsibility that boats meet horsepower and other Coast Guard requirements for their class and particular boat.
  • A Coast Guard approved flotation device must be worn when the combustion engine is running and boat is underway over 6 mph.
  • Boating and water safety training courses by the Coast Guard or Power Squadrons are recommended for all.  Completion of such course is required by D.C. law when operating a boat in D.C. water.
  • Boats equipped with engines smaller than 35 HP will not be allowed. No maximum horsepower limit is imposed.  Any boat which appears to be unsafe will not be allowed.
  • Each boat have a working cell phone or other two-way electronic communications equipment for use in case of emergency.

INSURANCE

  • Boat owners are required to present proof of current insurance showing watercraft liability coverage not less than $300,000 bodily injury and property damage.
  • Unsportsmanlike conduct will not be tolerated.