Ed Watkins Marine Tournament Trail

Registration FormSign Waiver Form

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1. RULES: The following rules will be interpreted by the tournament director and/or committee and all decisions are final. Tournament director reserves the right to refuse entries from teams practicing dishonest methods.
2. TEAM MEMBERSHIP REGISTRATION AND ELIGIBILITY: Membership fee is $20 per person (one-time fee). All entrants must sign a one-time waiver. At least one member of a participating team must be a minimum of 18 years of age. Entrants under the age of 18 must submit signature of his or her parent or legal guardian on entry waiver form. Tournament director reserves the right to refuse entries from teams practicing dishonest methods. All state and local laws will be observed and obeyed. NC Wildlife Fishing permit required.
3. ENTRY FEES: The following entry fees are required: $60 tournament fee, $10 big fish fee. ONE spot paid for every 5 boats. Entry fees are non-refundable once takeoff positions have been established at the pre-tournament meeting. Boat numbers are assigned in the order of registrations received. Entrants will be charged $25.00 for any returned or stopped checks, and if not made good within ten (10) days notice, such entrants may be banned from all future events. All other entries will be accepted at the ramp the day of the pre-tournament meeting.
4. PRE-TOURNAMENT MEETING and ENTRY DEADLINE: Pre-tournament meeting is non-mandatory, however teams are responsible for any late announcements made. Late entries will not be accepted beyond one hour of the deadline. Late entries will take off last and weigh in with first flight.
5. ADDITIONAL ELIGIBILITIES: For those eligible, all RANGER CUP rules apply for each event.
6. TAKE-OFF: Safelight. Teams will be directed out in numerical order. As teams are announced, they must wave to be recognized by the director and may depart only after the director acknowledges them by waving them out. Any team not present when their assigned takeoff was announced, must confirm with the starter boat for permission to depart.
7. SCORING: 5-fish limit, 14-inch minimum, measured on the Golden Rule. Only largemouth, spotted and smallmouth bass will be credited. Total weight determines placing. Ties will be broken by number of fish. Any bass not within legal limits will result in a two (2) pound penalty deduction, plus loss of said fish. Frozen or iced fish presented for weigh in will result in immediate disqualification. Any dead fish will be weighed upon discretion of officials. There will be a 4 oz. deduction for each dead fish. Rulings will be final. All fish must be caught during tournament hours.
8. PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Fishing from boat only, cannot leave boat in order to enter shallow areas or to retrieve a hooked fish. Fishing is confined to waters specified in the tournament. No fishing within 50 yards of another contestants anchored boat with trolling motor in up position, without permission of the first boat to arrive. At no time may a contestant cast a lure, closer than 25 ft., of another competitor’s boat. Partners must remain in sight of each other during tournament hours. In case of emergency, one or both contestants may return to weigh-in by means of another boat, provided it has an operating live well and the director must be notified of such prior to weighing. Return by any other means than by water is prohibited without approval and direction from the tournament director. There will be no over the skimmer wall fishing or over the State Park damn allowed.
9. RESTRICTING, SEEDING, OR BAITING: No restricting bass by any method which disallows natural movement throughout the entire impoundment, seeding bass from one impoundment to the tournament impoundment, or any coordinated effort in the use of live bait, in baiting holes for the means of attracting or maintaining bass.
10. SAFETY & SPORTSMANSHIP: Safe boating and fishing practices must be observed always. Coastguard approved floatation device and kill switch must be worn anytime boat is on plane. Ed Watkins Marine may delay/cancel and reschedule the tournament based on severe weather predictions on the tournament days and other factors that might endanger the safety of the contestants on the tournament days. Contestants will be notified about tournament rescheduling our Facebook page by noon on the Friday before the tournament.
11. TACKLE & EQUIPMENT: Only artificial bait or lures may be used. No trolling, or snagging, and fish must be caught on rod and reel with one (1) line per angler in the water at a time. All boats must have an adequate and working livewell.
12. BOAT & MOTOR REQUIREMENTS. Allowed are any brand of boats provided it has a working aerated live well and meets U.S. Coast Guard and State regulations. Contestants’ boats must have all required safety equipment. In addition, it must have a functional bilge pump and live well space, properly aerated, to adequately maintain a limit catch of bass.
13. MORNING CHECK-IN: Prior to fishing, each team must have their live well checked by a tournament official.
14. WEIGH-IN: The official weigh-in will begin at 3:00 PM at each tournament. Teams without fish need not check in. Fish will only be accepted in the tournament provided bags. Accepting fish in any other bag would result in disqualification.
15. LATE PENALTY: One (1) pound per minute up to five (5) minutes will be deducted, then disqualification. No exceptions.
16. CULLING FISH: No team may maintain more than five (5) fish in the livewell at any time. One member must attend to culling immediately, anytime any additional fish have entered the boat.
17. TELECOMMUNICATIONS & GUIDE ASSISTANCE RESTRICTION: During tournament hours, contestants are restricted from acquiring any fishing information by means of telecommunication or assistance of a guide (professional or non).
18. NO ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES: No alcoholic beverages allowed in possession during tournament.
19. NO DEAD WATER TIME: There is no restriction for time on water before all events.
20. PROTEST: Any protest must be in writing and filed with tournament officials prior to closing of the scales.
21. POLYGRAPH: By signature on entry form/waiver form, contestants agree to a polygraph test by a qualified examiner. Refusal to or failure of a polygraph test will result in disqualification and banishment from all future Nichols Marine sponsored events. First, second, and Big Bass award winners must be present at conclusion of weigh-in for polygraph administration, unless prior arrangements are approved directly from the tournament director. Any contestants not present for a requested polygraph will not receive winnings until test has been administered, at the next scheduled tournament. Any other arrangement for a polygraph will be at the contestant’s own expense of $300.
22. AWARD/PAY-OUT: First Place winner $1,000 by RANGER BOATS if you’re RANGER CUP compliant. And 100% entry fee payback every tournament.
23. AWARD TIES: Tie breaker, will be determined by the next largest fish in bag. If a tie still exists, the two (2) or more positions will be added together, divided by the number of ties, with the amount of payback awarded equally. Ties involving boat awards, may be given the option for a fish-off, provided both teams agree to such.
24. PAYOUT DEFINITION: All payout cash/checks will be made out in the name of the registered Designated Captain. Teams will be responsible for handling the division of payment concerning 1099’s. For those eligible and qualified for RANGER CUP, Ed Watkins Marine will provide proof to Ranger and the winning proceeds will come directly from RANGER BOATS to the winner.

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*February 10 – Lake Norman – Pinnacle Access – College Bass Clash

March 2 – Lake Wylie – South Point

March 16 – Lake Norman – Pinnacle Access

March 30 – Lake Norman – Pinnacle Access

April 20 – Lake Wylie – South Point

*May 11 – Lake Wylie – South Point – Angler’s For Athletes

*May 18 – Badin Lake – Cast For a Cure

June 22 – Championship – Lake Norman – Pinnacle Access


Entry Fee


Big Fish Entry


Membership – Per Person



*Must fish 3 of the 7 qualifiers to be eligible to fish the Championship.

*Tournaments with a * are benefit tournaments and will have different entry fees.  They will count towards the Championship.

Make sure and check out all our tournaments and more by logging on to AnglersChannel.com and checking out the tournament results and their Tournament Calendar, the largest on the web. Also make sure and click on the logo below to sign up for their weekly newsletter to keep you up to date on all things tournament bass fishing!



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