Frequently asked questions / Big Bass Challenge
What does “numbered starts” mean? Anglers who submit their 2012 Big Bass Challenge entry forms on April 1, 2012 and thereafter will receive starting positions at the front of the field in the order they are received. Entry forms may be mailed to Hays Bass Anglers Association, 2524 Haney Drive, Hays KS 67601. Entries can be hand-delivered to HBAA members and must include the completed form and a check for all fees.
What happens if I send in my entry form too early? Entries post-marked or received before April 1, 2012 will not be eligible for numbered starts and their starting position will be added to the end of the list of entries.
Do I have to have liability insurance for my boat? Liability insurance in the amount of $300,000.00 is mandatory, and proof of insurance is required at check-in on the day of the tournament.
What are the boat requirements? Boat must be 14-feet or longer and must meet BIA requirements. Boats must be equipped with an aerated livewell in good working order and shall contain Catch-N-Release or a similar electrolyte solution.
What is Catch-N-Release (electrolyte solution)? Catch-N-Release is basically a salt solution that promotes a healthy and protective slime coat on the skin of the fish. It helps fish better survive after being handled throughout the course of a tournament.
How close can I fish to another boat/angler during the tournament? The tournament rules coincide with BASS rules and state that you cannot fish within 50-feet of an anchored boat. For boats fishing while using a trolling motor, there are actually no rules on minimum distance, it is rather a choice of personal ethical conduct. Anglers with good common courtesy and sportsmanship will stay beyond that minimum distance.
Does anchored boat mean that a boat must have an anchor out? BASS rules interpretations for an anchored boat are: a boat that has an anchor out or deployed, or is tied up to a stationary object. In these instances, the boat’s trolling motor is required to be in its stowed position to be considered anchored. A “Power Pole” also could be considered an anchor.
Do I have to wear my PFD when fishing? Rules indicate you are required to wear a PFD (personal floatation device or life jacket) when your gasoline engine is running, but not when fishing with a trolling motor. However, it is a good idea to always wear your PFD when your boat is on the water.
Can I get disqualified if I don’t follow the rules? Yes. HBAA tournament officials may disqualify any angler who breaks the rules of the tournament. We ask all participants to report any incidents to HBAA tournament officials who will rule on any breach of rules or conduct.
Is sportsmanship really that important? Yes, tournament anglers are closely scrutinized by members of the public. It is important to be a good sportsman, on and off the water.
Why am I asked to handle bass with such care? It is important to be respectful of the resource we pursue — black bass. Remember, others are watching with critical eyes how you treat and handle fish. Be gentle! Black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted-bass) are our ultimate pursuit. The thrill of catching them is our livelihood. A single bass can provide the same thrills over-and-over again to numerous anglers over its lifetime. Show your respect for this ultimate resource and preserve the future of bass fishing for everyone.
How can I get hourly updates during the tournament? Tournament standings are posted at the weigh-in site. Also, You can get live Twitter updates in the form of text messages sent directly to your cell phone during the event. (Text this message: Follow HaysBass To this number: 40404.) If you have a smart phone use your Twitter application and simply follow HaysBass.