2024 Rules

To protect the integrity of the Alabama Bass Trail 100 (ABT 100) and our anglers, all winners shall be subject to a polygraph exam before the prizes are distributed at each event. Contestants must pass the polygraph exam at the tournament site to receive prize money, awards, and points for the event. The refusal of any winner to voluntarily submit to a polygraph exam before the prizes are distributed at each event automatically disqualifies any winner from being eligible to receive any prize money, awards, points for the event, and any other offered prize and/or award. All decisions regarding compliance with the ABT 100’s rules and the interpretation of these rules shall be made by the tournament director at his/her sole and absolute discretion, and ABT and the Tournament Director reserve the right to make additional reasonable rules for the conduct of its tournaments if circumstances require. The tournament director reserves the right to waive any violation of these rules disclosed to him/her before the polygraph exam, at his/her sole and absolute discretion. The ABT Director and the Tournament Director shall have the right to refuse any application or deny a confirmed application by returning the entry fee of a previously accepted application or disqualifying a contestant.

1. Official 2024 ABT 100 Event Rules:

Decisions of the tournament director are final and are not subject to appeal. Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to the tournament director in his/her sole and absolute discretion. Each competitor agrees to report any rule violation to the tournament director immediately upon discovery of the violation. The violation of the tournament rules may result in loss of weight, the loss of weight up to a specific time during the tournament day, total loss of weight of the particular day, the ineligibility to participate in future ABT 100 events, the ineligibility to participate in future ABT events, the ineligibility to participate in future Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series (ABTTS) events, or any other penalty deemed appropriate by the tournament director in his/her sole and absolute discretion. Protests must be made in writing within 15 minutes of the official closing of scales at each tournament, and any written protests must be provided to the tournament director in writing within said time period. If a protest is not made in writing within the required 15-minute time period, the contestant waives his/her right to submit a written protest.

2. Online Registration:

All teams must register online. Entry fees are $3,000 per team. All teams must register for all 3 (three) tournaments. No entries will be taken for individual tournaments. Online registrations begin June 1, 2023 at 6:00a.m. Registrations and changes to your registration will be accepted through Wednesday, December 1, 2023.

3. Priority Registration:

June 1 through June 10 is reserved for ABT 100 teams who fished the season immediately prior to registration. Teams who register during priority registration understand and agree to compete with the same partner they competed with in the prior season. In the event one of the partners can’t fish the season after they have registered, the other partner must fish solo or withdraw his/her registration. The only exceptions that may be considered are as follows:

  1. Death of a team member;
  2. Partial or total disability of a team member;
  3. Military Deployment.
  4. Hardship under pandemic or national emergency situations. If a team member requests a hardship exemption under this rule, he/she must provide documentation stating the reason(s) for the hardship application, such as prevention of travel, etc.; and
  5. Teams may request consideration of hardship. If a team makes a hardship request, a signed and dated hardship request must be submitted in writing to the ABT Tournament Director no later than 30 days prior to the date that all changes are due.

4. Paying a Deposit: 

Teams may register with a $1,500.00 NON-refundable deposit. The $1,500 balance must be paid by Wednesday, December 1, 2023. Payment of this balance can be done online using your Team ID and PIN assigned to you at registration.

5. Refund and Cancellation Policy:

All teams that register and pay the full $3,000 for all 3 (three) tournaments have until December 1, 2023 to request a refund. There will be a $25 fee assessed for ALL refunds. After December 1, 2023, there will be NO refunds.

6. Waiting List Policy:

Maximum capacity for each tournament is 100 boats. Teams that register after the 100-boat capacity has been reached will be put on a waiting list. You will be notified immediately via email if you have been added to the waiting list.

7. Participation and Eligibility:

ABT 100 tournaments are open to ALL anglers. Teams with a professional angler (Bassmaster Elite Series Anglers, FLW Tour Anglers, or Major League Fishing Anglers (Bass Pro Tour), and the National Professional Fishing League are allowed one professional angler and one amateur.

Any angler entering an ABT 100 event who is under 18 years of age must have the signature of a parent or legal guardian in the provided space on the official entry form.

Each contestant that voluntarily participates in any ABT 100 event voluntarily agrees to abide by the ABT 100’s rules and all applicable state and federal laws, and any violation of the said rules and/or laws will subject the contestant to disqualification and/or other disciplinary action at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director.

Each contestant that voluntarily participates in any ABT event or ABT 100 event voluntarily agrees to submit and subject himself/herself to a polygraph exam.

8. All ABT 100 tournaments are team events:

All ABT 100 events are team events, although a contestant may fish alone as a single person team. If a contestant chooses to fish as a single-person team, the ABT 100 reserves the right to place an observer in the boat at any given event, and further reserves the right to issue a polygraph exam at any given event. Any contestant who refuses to voluntarily submit to a polygraph exam shall be disqualified from said event at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director.

Only registered contestants or an approved observer may be in the boat during official tournament days.

9. Registration Times: 

Registration for all ABT 100 Qualifying Team events will be held on the Thursday prior to the tournament from 5:00 P.M. – 6:30 P.M. with the pre-tournament meeting beginning promptly at 6:30 P.M. Each team member must check-in, in person, at the designated site during official registration, and must present a valid fishing license, and driver’s license. Team members do not have to check in at the same time.

10. Pre-Tournament Practice:

All ABT 100 events will not be subject to an off-limits period. The Thursday and Friday prior to the tournament are considered the Official Practice Days. During Official Practice Days all tournament rules apply.

11. Assistance:

During Official Practice Days and hours of competition, contestants may not purchase, barter or solicit fishing information from any person or participate in the practice of “hole-sitting.” The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc. to communicate fishing information during tournament hours is strictly prohibited. In the event of an emergency situation, competitors should first dial 911 and then notify the Tournament Director. Official Practice Days consist of the Thursday and Friday immediately prior to the event. During Official Practice Days, all tournament rules apply.

No contestant shall, knowingly or unknowingly, allow or have at any time any person in their boat on tournament waters 30 days prior to the first Official Practice Day of an ABT 100 tournament that has been banned, agreed to not register for or participate in an ABT 100, ABTTS, or ABT sanctioned event, agreed not to perform guide services for anyone participating in an ABT 100, ABTTS, or ABT sanctioned event, or who is not in good standing with ABT 100, ABTTS, or ABT. Compliance with this rule is the sole responsibility of the contestant. Any contestant or team who violates this rule, knowingly or unknowingly, shall be subject to disqualification and/or other disciplinary action that is at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director. Further, by participating in an ABT 100 event the contestant understands and agrees by his/her participation in an ABT 100 event that the tournament director is only required to inform any contestant or team who violates this rule that they are in violation of this rule and that ABT 100, ABT, and the tournament director are not required to provide any additional information to the contestant or team. During Official Practice Days, all tournament rules apply.

12. Safety:

Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant is required to wear a fastened (fully zipped and/or all clips fastened), U.S. Coast Guard approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation from boat check to weigh in. All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition shut-off device, which must be securely attached to the driver’s body any time the combustion engine is in operation. The driver must be seated in the driver’s seat anytime the combustion engine is engaged in gear. In the event of inclement weather, the tournament will be held the next day, weather permitting. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek shelter in bad weather, at which time no fishing may occur.

In the event of equipment failure or emergency the tournament director must be notified as soon as it is safe to do so. There are then two permitted methods of returning to check-in: (1) by both anglers remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or (2) with permission from the tournament director, by one or both anglers entering the boat of another tournament contestant. Under these two conditions both contestants’ catches may be counted without a penalty (except for late penalties, dead-fish penalties or other penalties pertaining to other tournament rules) provided each team’s fish are adequately marked so as to provide clear distinction to the tournament director. Contestants who elect to return to check-in by any means other than those cited will forfeit their day’s catch to that point in time of the tournament day. Abandoning a boat and leaving it adrift without proper tie-off or anchoring after a mechanical failure may result in disqualification of that day’s weight. Whether or not contestants may be disqualified for improperly “abandoning” a boat is in the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director.

13. Permitted Fishing Methods:

Only artificial lures may be used. Only one fishing rod per angler may be used at any one time. Additional rods may be in the boat and ready for use; however, each cast and retrieve must be completed before another cast is attempted or rod is used. Trolling with the combustion engine as a method of fishing is prohibited. Switching or sharing fish with other teams or individuals is a violation of these rules and will result in immediate disqualification. All bass must be caught alive, in a conventional, sporting manner. When sight fishing for bass, all fish must be hooked inside the mouth to be counted as a legal fish. All angling must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish, or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters. No Alabama rigs, or any other umbrella rigs will be allowed in ABT 100 tournaments. All contestants must comply with all applicable state and federal laws, and any contestants’ failure to comply with all applicable state and federal laws are subject to disqualification and/or other disciplinary action that is at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director.

14. Permitted Fishing Locations:

Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off-limits” or “no fishing” by state or federal officials, or within 50 yards of a competitor’s boat which was first anchored (an anchored boat is a boat held in a stable position by a line attached to a weight with the trolling motor in the up position), or within 50 yards of a non-anchored competitor’s boat unless otherwise agreed upon by the other tournament angler. The act of moving bass from one area of the lake to another area of the same lake at any time is not permitted, regardless of whether or not it is during Official Practice or Competition Days. Locking through to another body of water is not permitted at any time during tournament hours

15. Off limits Areas:

Off-limits areas are such areas established and announced at the briefing meeting for each and every ABT 100 events. Contestants may not fish inside the established “off-limits” area. Violation of the rule will result in immediate disqualification. Contestants’ boats must remain in the tournament waters during the event.

16. Boat and Horsepower Regulation:

Each boat must have all the required U. S. Coast Guard safety equipment. Boats must contain properly aerated live well space to maintain alive the limit of catch of bass. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition may not exceed the horsepower limitation set by the U. S. Coast Guard in such vessel. Falsifying information on entry forms, or altering the horsepower numbers on the motor, or rating the plate to conceal such limitations will be cause for disqualification from the tournament. No contestant shall have a platform, raised deck, or ladder that is higher than the gunnel of the boat. Standing on the fishing seats or outboard motor will not be allowed in ABT 100 events. No air or jet boats are permitted during Official Practice or Competition Days. “Official Practice” days are those days, if any, designated by ABT 100 as such on its website with respect to a particular tournament. 

17. Sportsmanship and Conduct:

All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, and conservation. All contestants must comply with all applicable state and federal laws, and any contestants’ failure to comply with all applicable state and federal laws are subject to disqualification and/or other disciplinary action that is at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director. Examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following:

a. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or mind-altering substances during tournament hours extending through the weigh-in procedure.

b. Any previous conviction, arrest, or investigation for a felony, or crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime related to, arising out of, or involving any fishing tournament or event. Exception will be considered with full, prior written disclosure to the tournament director under oath and by affidavit of all facts and circumstances surrounding such conviction, arrest, or investigation so long as those facts and circumstances do not result in the continuing questionability of the contestant’s honesty, integrity, character or qualifications to enter the event.

c. Actions or words that reflect unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, and fair competition. The ABT 100 will not allow bullying by any ABT 100 competitors during practice, at meetings, or during tournament hours. ANY act of bullying will result in disqualification from the event and any future ABT 100 events, ABT events, and ABTTS events. ANY DOCUMENTED VIOLATION OF THE SPORTSMANSHIP RULE WILL RESULT IN DISQUALIFICATION OF ALL ABT 100 EVENTS, ABT EVENTS, AND ABTTS EVENTS.

d. Chemical or substance abuse.

e. Disqualification from any ABT 100, ABT event, ABTTS event, or other fishing organization’s tournament that resulted from unexplained rule violations that result in a contestant’s honesty, integrity, character, and qualifications for entry into an ABT 100 event being questionable is in the tournament director’s sole and absolute discretion.

18. Trailering Is Not Allowed:

All boats must leave the official checkpoint in the order designated at registration. Contestants may launch their boat at a ramp other than the designated take-off location, but all contestants must come through the official checkpoint location before leaving to fish. In the event of severe weather, alternate takeoff instructions will be given at the registration site at the sole and absolute discretion of the tournament director.

19. Official Checkpoints:

There will be only two official checkpoints for boat inspection in the morning and one official check-in point in the afternoon. Failure to go through the checkout in the morning or failure to officially check in at the check-in-point will result in disqualification from such event. During morning checkout, all teams are required to idle a minimum of 100 yards before putting the boat on plane. It is the sole responsibility of each contestant to arrive at the designated check-in location on time. Regardless of what you are told or understand, it is the angler’s responsibility to verify his/her provided flight card time. All fishing must cease upon check-in, or upon such other time as may be designated by the tournament director.

20. Scoring:

Scoring will be determined by the pounds and hundredths of a pound of each angler’s catch during the tournament. ONLY Largemouth, Spotted and Smallmouth Bass are accepted species. The limit is five (5) per team. Any contestant who possesses more than the tournament limit at any time will have his/her catch for the day disqualified. The minimum official length limit for all species for the ABT 100 Qualifying Team event will be provided at each event. Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to measure the prescribed length limit, will result in the loss of that fish and a half–pound penalty to the total weight of the remaining fish. Each contestant’s catch must be presented in an official weigh-in bag. The Pro-Rule measuring board is the official measuring board of ABT 100. Bass will be measured with mouth closed, tail compressed and swiped to achieve overall greatest length.

21. Live Fish:

You may weigh one dead fish as a part of your five-fish total; and a one-pound penalty will be assessed to your total weight for the day. No dead fish will be weighed for big fish. Culling a dead fish is prohibited and will result in disqualification. All dead fish must be brought to weigh in for sanitary disposal.

22. Late Penalty:

Contestants who are not at the official check-in point at the appointed time will be assessed a one-pound-per-minute penalty from their total weight, including any weight to be counted toward a big bass award. Any contestant more than 15 minutes late will forfeit that day’s catch. In the event of a mechanical breakdown, a contestant may return to the check-in location with their catch by receiving a ride from another registered contestant or tournament official only. The contestants must return to the official check-in location by the methods set forth above by their assigned check-in time to avoid late penalty.

23. Closing of the Scales:

Scales will close 30 minutes after the last flight is due in. Due to certain weigh-in locations, this time may be lengthened or shortened at the tournament director’s sole and absolute discretion. Any change to the above stated official scale closing time will be announced during registration, during boat checkout, or during weigh-in. It is the angler’s responsibility to verify the official scale closing time and to be in the weigh-in line by such time.

24. Ties:

A tie for 1st  place in all ABT 100 events will be broken by a one-hour fish off. All other ties will result in splitting that place and the next place’s money.

25. Points:

Points will be awarded as follows: Points will begin at 100 for 1st  Place, 99 for 2nd  Place, 98 for 3rd Place, and so on. All teams that do not weigh a bass will receive 10 points less than the last place team that weighed fish in that event. Points will be awarded only to teams that fish an event. If a team does not show up for that event, that team will not receive points.

26. Angler Team of the Year (AOY):

AOY will be awarded and those anglers will receive a prize pack. In the event of a tie in AOY points the AOY will be awarded to the team with the overall heaviest weight over the three tournaments. In the event that an AOY team is disqualified from the ABT 100, they agree to forfeit the prize pack and any and all other prizes they receive.

27. Photography & Video:

All photos and/or video taken at an ABT 100 event are the property of the ABT 100 and ABT and may be used for promotional purposes. If any form of the media approaches, you are expected to present yourself in a professional manner and accommodate them within reason. During weigh in you are expected to present yourself in a professional manner and answer the questions to the best of your ability. All video/camera or tracking equipment placed in a contestant’s boat shall not be tampered with or removed without permission from the ABT 100 tournament director. Any tampering with, powering off, or removing of this equipment will result in the team’s disqualification.

28. Insurance:

I represent and warrant that I now have or will obtain prior to the tournament series, boat owners liability insurance (including coverage for third party property damage and bodily injury) with no “tournament exclusion,” having a minimum limit of $100,000 per occurrence. The insurance must be issued by a reputable insurer rated A or better by A.M. Best and Company. Policy must include international waters, or a separate policy for international waters must be obtained if I choose to fish international waters during applicable Alabama Bass Trail events. I shall provide the Alabama Bass Trail with satisfactory evidence of that insurance prior to my participation in any tournament event or at any time requested by the Alabama Bass Trail Tournament Series.

29. Incorporation of 2024 ABT 100 Rules Overview:

The “2024 RULES OVERVIEW” stated above are adopted and incorporated into the ABT 100 2024 Rules, and the “2024 RULES OVERVIEW” are valid and enforceable rules that every angler must comply with like any other ABT rule.

30. Caption:

The captions at the beginning of each paragraph are intended to facilitate convenience in referring to the various rules. The captions are not part of the substance of the paragraph and should not be used in construction of any paragraph or of this overall set of rules.