Indian River Bass Anglers
INDIAN RIVER BASS ANGLERS CLUB
By-Laws: 2022 (Voted on December 2021)
The INDIAN RIVER BASS ANGLERS CLUB, hereinafter referred to as “The Club”, is a non-profit organization formed to provide a social setting for bass fishermen to meet on a monthly basis and fish together in friendly tournament competition.
The club is open to all applicants over the age of fourteen (14) and children fishing with their parents, regardless of race, creed, color, religion, gender, or national origin.
It is the philosophy of the club to promote the enjoyment of bass fishing through reasonable rules and by enlisting members who want to fish competitively with friends and not suffer the stress of fishing with competitors who have the “win at all cost” mentality.
The club is a strict catch-and-release organization and encourages members to take all measures to ensure the safe, healthy release of all bass caught.
Any boat used during a Club tournament must maintain a minimum of $300,000 liability insurance.
The club officers will consist of a president, a vice-president, a secretary, treasurer, and a tournament director nominated in November and elected by the members during the December meeting. The club year is from January through December of the calendar year.
The duties of the club officers are as follows:
President: Presides over all meetings, directs all official business, appoints and directs committee functions and oversees all club functions.
Vice-President: Assists the president in his duties and presides in the absence of the president. Works with the tournament director helping at weigh-in and assisting as needed.
Secretary: Maintains accurate minutes of all club meetings, maintains all club correspondence, and gives monthly reports to members.
Treasurer: Maintains accurate financial records and gives a financial report at each monthly meeting. Must have records up-to-date and be available for audit at any time. Disburse and collect monies when required.
It will be the tournament director’s responsibility to determine safe light at all club tournaments, supervise weigh-in procedures, record the weighing-in and measuring of fish and report that information to the club officer who is disbursing payouts. It is also his responsibility to resolve any question(s) or dispute(s) that arise during a club tournament by applying club by-laws and tournament rules or in his/her best judgment. The tournament director has the authority and responsibility to make any changes based on safety considerations or weather related conditions to change the tournament format if necessary. This also includes lake and launch location for safety. The Tournament Director or his designee shall apply for a Bass Tournament Permit through the FWC for every tournament.
The club will maintain a checking account and the treasurer is responsible for the maintenance of the account and will provide an accounting of the credits and debits at each meeting. The signature of a club officer is required to issue a check from the account. The club financial records are open to inspection of any member during meetings.
All monies remaining in the club’s operating account at the end of the club year, less the Lunker Fund (i.e. the General Fund), will be disbursed as specified in the year-end section of these rules.
The club will meet once a month on the first Tuesday of each month starting at 7 PM at Marsh Landing in Fellsmere. In the event that falls on a holiday, the presiding club officer will set an alternate date and every effort will be made to notify all members of the new date.
The club will conduct a tournament each month except for December for members and guests. The date and location of each tournament will be decided by the Tournament Director and announced at the December's meeting for the next year.
Any changes or amendments to the club by-laws may only be made once a year with the following exceptions:
As required by the National and/or State Federation or any serious safety concerns. All amendments, nominations for officers or rule changes must be presented at the November club meeting and any motions for change or amendment will be voted on at the December meeting.
ORGANIZATION AND MEMBERSHIP
The club is affiliated with the B.A.S.S and BASS Nation. Members of the club will be required to join both the Bass Nation as well as Florida BASS. Members will join B.A.S.S. on their own and submit their B.A.S.S. membership number to the Treasurer.
The club shall and will maintain at least six members at all times. In order to become a member of the Indian River Bass Anglers, prospective new members must attend a regular monthly meeting.
A prospective member or guest may fish two (2) tournaments per annual calendar year with the club without becoming a member of the club. Non-members are not eligible to win the Lunker Fund or the Big Bass of the Year monies. The guest fee is $5.
REMOVAL OF MEMBERSHIP
A club member can be removed from membership after a vote for removal by a majority of the members in attendance
at any regularly scheduled meeting.
Possible reasons for removal include the following: Failure to pay annual membership dues by the December meeting. ANY action that would reflect dishonor and/or disgrace to the club. Two or more warnings from the club officers for any problem-causing incident that would negatively impact the club or any of its members. Warnings will be handed out and noted during the monthly meetings after approval by a majority of the officers of the club.
Yearly club membership dues are $20 in addition to the $55 for the following required memberships: $30 – B.A.S.S. Nation and $25 – Florida B.A.S.S. $15 – B.A.S.S. will be paid separately by each individual . This totals to $90 per year per member. These fees may vary with each organization due to inflation and costs to run their organization. These dues are payable at the time of joining the club. The dues are not pro-rated if joining during the year. Dues for the following year are to be paid by the December meeting. The $20 club dues will be deposited in the general fund for normal expenses of the club. Trophies paid from the General Fund will include a trophy for each member of the top team for the year, the top big bass for the year, and each member of the winning team for the Classic.
The entry fee for the monthly tournament for each Team is $60 dollars. This includes the $35 for the tournament payout, $10 for Big Bass, $2 dollars to the Lunker Fund, $2 to the annual Big Bass fund, $5 to the General Fund, and $6 to the year-end classic. The entry fee must be paid to the club treasurer or the tournament director prior to the cast-off of the tournament.
There will be an additional fee of five dollars for a non-member to fish as a guest (see Guests). That money is not part of the tournament payout and will be deposited into the club’s checking account and will be used to augment the yearly Classic Tournament payout. The total fee for a guest is $35 dollars per tournament which $30 is part of the $60 and $5 guest fee. Total entry fee per tournament with a guest is $65 not counting the Calcutta for big bass.
The club treasurer or other club officer will make payouts at the first club meeting after the tournament.
A guest can only fish two (2) tournaments either as a boater or co-angler per annual calendar year with the club without becoming a member of the club.
All tournaments conducted by the club will be Team competitions, with a boater and non-boater partner combining their
catch for total weight results. The limit for fish for the team will be 5, unless specific rules require a lower number. If any team during a tournament has only one member fishing and no guest, then the creel limit for all teams will be the maximum allowed for an individual per state regulation for that lake, not to exceed five. A member can fish alone, but the entire $60 entry fee is required. (Example: FWC sets limit for lake improvement and may set a three fish per angler, then a single team member without Co-Angler, the limit per boat is then set to three fish per team.)
The club will sponsor a tournament each month for the first eleven (11) months which includes the Classic to be held in late October, November or early December. The tournament director will pick the location for the Classic. The new year tournaments and sites of each month’s tournament will be chosen by the current tournament director and presented at November meeting for a discussion and December vote. Tournament lakes are not restricted which means the same lake and ramp can be used more than once in the same year.
The monthly tournaments will be held on one Saturday of every month and a complete new year schedule voted on at the November meeting. A change of the date will happen only if the majority of the members present at the monthly meeting vote to change the date. The members may change a lake with another chosen lake for the safety of the members and a majority vote or by the tournament director. (Example: A lake may be changed with another chosen lake for the safety of the members and a majority vote by the members.)
Payouts will be made at the first club meeting after the tournament by the secretary-treasurer or another officer of the club.
The number of boats participating determines the number of places paid. Five or fewer boats pay only ONE place. Six boats through nine boats pay first (60%) and second (40%). Ten boats and over will pay first (60%), second (30%), and third (10%), In the event of a tie in total weight between boats, the shares of the positions that would be awarded will be combined and divided equally among the teams.
In the event that only one participating boat in a tournament catches an eligible fish, that boat will be paid for the first place based on the number of boats and Big Bass. The remaining payout money will be maintained in the operating account. If only two participating boats weigh eligible fish in a tournament that would pay three places, they will be awarded first and second place and the Big Bass prize based upon their weights. The third place payout (10%) will be maintained in the operating account.
Big Bass is a fund to be paid to the boat weighing in the largest bass for that tournament. In the event that there is a tie for big bass, the big bass fund will be divided equally among them.
The Lunker Fund is a cumulative fund to be paid to the first member who weighs a bass eight pounds or over at a tournament. The Lunker Fund payout will be paid by check at the next meeting. Guests will not be eligible for the Lunker Fund. If no Lunker Fund payout occurs during a club year, the Fund is rolled over to the next year.
No one is permitted to cast-off before being directed to do so by the tournament director or his/her representative. The tournament director will get a permit from the FWC for every tournament to allow the creel size to be 12 inches or greater per fish. The club will follow all creel limits set by the FWC. This change may allow more than one fish over 16 inches per angler per FWC restrictions for the tournament lake.
If, for any reason, any angler(s) is/are late for the launch time on the tournament date they may still fish that tournament providing he/she:
If a boat is late the member(s) must find another boat fishing the club tournament BEFORE they start fishing. (I.e. there must NOT be
any fish in the live well(s)). Find a club member fishing the tournament and pay their entry fee to that member. It will then be the club member’s responsibility to collect the entry fee; to check the live well(s), and give all collected monies to the treasurer or club officer at the weigh - in.
If the tournament is pre - paid then the late member must find a club member to report he is present and fishing in the tournament. The
reporting boat must have the club member check the live well(s).
Weigh-in time will be called by the tournament director and will be strictly adhered to. Members must be at the weigh-in site either
beached or at the dock at the designated weigh-in time to be eligible to weigh in without penalty. There will be a one-pound per minute late penalty assessed for up to five minutes. Any tournament boat over five minutes late will be disqualified. It is recommended during June, July and August the weigh-in times to be changed from the standard 2 PM weigh-in to 1 PM. This is for the safety of the teams during the hot summer months and afternoon storms.
There will be a penalty of eight ounces assessed for each dead fish weighed in. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered will not be weighed.
If a fish is brought to the weigh-in and is less than twelve (12") inches in length, the boat presenting the fish will be assessed a penalty of disqualification of the short fish AND the largest fish, by weight, in their creel. The disqualified largest fish will also not be eligible for Big Bass or Lunker Fund consideration. The length is measured by laying the fish flat,mouth closed, pinching the tail and measured on a standard Golden Rule.
The tournament director will determine the weights and measurements and his/her decision is final. The tournament director may enlist the help of other members to assist in the recording of weights and the releasing of fish in order to facilitate the weigh-in procedure. The weigh-in order will be in the same order of the boat launch. The tournament director will provide a fish bag to the participants to bring the fish to the scales. Three fish bags will be maintained by and distributed by the tournament director and all bags will be returned to him/her at the conclusion of the tournament.
Safety: Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by tournament competitors. During the official practice and the tournament, each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved chest-type life preserver, which must be worn anytime the combustion engine is operating. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zipped securely and maintained in that condition until the
competitor reaches his fishing location and the combustion engine is shut off. Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification.
Sportsmanship: Competitors in the Indian River Bass Angler club sponsored tournaments and are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during the tournament will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future Indian River Bass Angler tournaments.
Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act of a competitor which reflects unfavorably upon the club’s effort to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy shall be reason for disqualification.
No alcoholic beverages or other stimulants or otherwise, shall be allowed in the boats during the official competition day(s) and mini-tournament competition days(s) or until completion of weigh-in by all tournament participants when in the weigh-in area. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other crimes involving moral turpitude or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon the club’s efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship and compliance with tournament rules shall be grounds for disqualification from the tournament and removal from the club. The first time offense will result in the removal for the period of one year. Second offense will result in at least a two-year suspension. The third offense will result in permanent removal from the club.
Tackle and Equipment: Only artificial lures may be used. No “live bait” will be permitted, with the exception of pork strips, rinds,etc. Only ONE casting, spin-casting or spinning rod and reel may be used at any one time. All other types are prohibited. Other rigs as specified above may be in the boat and ready for use, however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. All bass must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging fish on spawning beds will have their day’s catch disqualified. When visually fishing for bedding bass, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth and must be verified by your partner before unhooked to be counted as a legal fish. The use of grippers in landing bass is prohibited.
Boat and Motor: For the safety of all contestants, all boats must be equipped with some type of operable ignition kill switch that must be securely attached to the driver at any time the combustion engine is in operation. Anytime the combustion engine is operating and in gear, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat. An electric trolling motor may be used for slow maneuvering. However, trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited with the combustion engine. The only vessel type restriction is that no air boats will be allowed to participate in a club tournament.
Basic Boat Equipment: Every boat must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment. In addition, it must have a functional bilge pump and LIVE WELL SPACE, PROPERLY AERATED TO ADEQUATELY MAINTAIN ALIVE, A LIMIT CATCH OF BASS BY BOTH FISHERMEN USING THE BOAT. The Tournament Director shall have the sole responsibility for determining whether aeration and capacity is “proper and adequate.”
Permitted Fishing Locations: The Tournament Director for each tournament shall establish Tournament waters. Fishing on
the tournament waters is permitted anywhere except: Within 50 yards of any marina gas pump or with 50 yards (150 feet) of another competitor’s boat which was first anchored or secured in a fixed position and trolling motor is out of the water and stowed. No such boat shall permit selected competitors to fish within the 50-yard circle claimed by him to the exclusion of any other competitor. Any water within these boundaries posted Off-Limits or NO fishing by state or federal agencies will be OFF LIMITS. Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. Any waters closed to public fishing will be closed to this tournament’s contestants. All angling must be done from the boat. Competitors wishing to change fish habitat by placing any object in the tournament waters may do so if such action does not violate state or federal regulations.
Other Rules - Contestants Must Remain in Boat: Contestants must not depart the boat to land fish. Boats must remain in tournament waters during tournament days. In an emergency, a competitor or competitors may be removed from their boat, to a boat operated by another competitor, for immediate return to the weigh-in site, along with his own catch, under the scrutiny of the rescue boat occupants. The competitor, who remains with his/her boat for rescue, waives his right to protest his weight should this election be made. All competitors involved in the rescue must cease fishing at this point, and a club member must verify their catch in order to be counted in the tournament. If after the emergency situation is resolved by and enough time is left for the competitors to resume fishing, the competitors will continue and their catch will be counted. This applies only to dire emergency situations. Failure to render assistance, when requested in an emergency situation is cause for immediate disqualification.
All contestants are expected to obey all applicable Florida Boating or Fishing and Wildlife Statutes or Rules. Violation of such rules may result in your disqualification from the tournament. Repeated or flagrant violations will result in said contestants being banned from future participation in tournaments.
Each tournament’s weights shall be added throughout the year to determine year-end standings. Winning teams, based upon total weight, will be paid from funds remaining in the General Fund. Payouts will be made for first through fifth, at 35%, 25%, 20%, 10% and 10%, respectively. Year-end big bass will be paid based upon the largest bass weighed during the year.
The Classic Tournament:
The qualifications to be able to fish in the annual club sponsored “Classic” are as follows:
Team Captains must fish at least five tournaments during the year.
At least one member of the Team must attend at least five monthly meetings during the year.
In the event that only three tournaments and/or meetings are attended, the fourth and fifth tournament and/or fourth and fifth meeting may be purchased for the cost of $60 apiece. This money will be placed into the Classic Fund.
The Classic Tournament is to be held in late October, November, or early December. The exact weekend will be voted on by club members as to when most members are available. The location and date is to be determined by the Tournament Director. The total entry fee will be $120 per boat plus an additional Calcutta fee of $20 for $10 each day for a daily Big Bass. The entry fees plus the amount in the Classic Fund at the end of the year will be paid out in the same manner as a regular tournament, based upon number of boats participating. Pay out will be three places: 1st - 50%, 2nd - 30% and 3rd - 20%.
In a “Classic” tournament, the designated lake will be off-limits from Monday through Thursday prior to the tournament. Club members can pre-fish the Friday before on the “Classic” designated lake. As a matter of safety, members are encouraged to pre-fish a lake, especially if the member has never boated that lake before.