Team Tournament Circuits

By-Laws/Rules and Regulations

Amended on February 8, 2023




                  Section 1: Name


This chapter shall be called Northeast Bassmasters LLC (a.k.a. Northeast).


Section 2: Purpose


To stimulate awareness of bass fishing as a major sport

To offer our state conservation department our organized, moral, political support and


To promote full adherence to all conservation codes

To improve skill as a bass angler through a fellowship of friendly exchange of expert bass

              catching techniques and ideas

To promote sportsmen-like behavior of its members both on and off the water

To function as a dynamic and effective link with other bass clubs and embrace the

              principles and purposes of bass anglers nationwide

To work to improve access to public bodies of water where now public access does not exist




Section 1: Executive Committee


a.  The chapter shall maintain an executive committee made up of:

     President (Thursday and Saturday) Paul Schmidt

     Vice-President (Thursday) Ed Kerr

     Vice-President (Saturday) Skip Lerman

     Tournament Director (Thursday) Dave Ward

     Tournament Director (Saturday) John Stanley

     Weigh Master (Thursday) Vinnie Farrell

     Weigh Master (Saturday) Pete Mancuso


b.  Hereafter, throughout this document, the words I/me/my refer to the President of

     Northeast Bassmasters, Paul Schmidt.



 Section 2: Duties of the Executive Committee


PRESIDENT: Preside over all meetings and direct official business and be ex-officio member of all committees; supervise all club functions; collect and disperse all money for the club; maintain accurate financial records; be responsible for all club correspondence; coordinate the annual tournament schedule


VICE-PRESIDENT: Assist the President in duties; preside as the chief executive officer in the absence of the president


TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR: Oversee all tournament activities; uphold the tournament rules; assist the weigh master during the weigh-in; conduct onshore captains’ meeting before blast-off


WEIGH MASTER: Set up the weigh station; zero out the scale; conduct all tournament weigh-ins; record weights on the official weigh-in sheet; assist the tournament director during the registration period


Section 3: Standing Committees


THURSDAY GRIEVENCE COMMITTEE – This committee will consist of the Thursday vice-president, the weigh master and the tournament director for all Thursday events. The committee will hear all grievances, and their decision on each matter will be final and uncontestable. In the absence of one of the committee members, the president can assume the role.


SATURDAY GRIEVENCE COMMITTEE - This committee will consist of the Saturday vice-president, the weigh master and the tournament director for all Saturday events. The committee will hear all grievances, and their decision on each matter will be final and uncontestable. In the absence of one of the committee members, the president can assume the role.




The general membership will be composed of all those who participate in at least one of the scheduled events and have paid the annual membership dues.


Section 1: Fees


a.  There will be an annual membership fee of $30.00 per tournament trail to participate in

     tournaments sponsored by Northeast Bassmasters. Once you become a member you

     may fish one or all of the tournaments scheduled for that trail for the entire season. Of

     the $30.00 membership fee, $5.00 goes to the “Big Bass Pool” for the season in each

     tournament trail.


b.  We are a “pay as you go” club. Northeast tournaments are $110.00 per boat except for

     the Candlewood series which is $120.00 per boat and the Fall Finale which has not yet

     been finalized. The entrance fee for each event includes a $10.00 daily lunker pool fee

     per boat for that tournament.


c.  To make it fair for all concerned, there will be no refunds for Thursday tournaments if

     you cancel after 6 p.m. on Wednesday prior to the event and no refunds for Saturday

     tournaments if you cancel after 6 p.m. on Friday prior to the event.







                             Section 1: Forms


a.  Before you fish your first tournament of the year, every angler must first fill out

     completely and legibly sign a Northeast Membership form.


b.  Each angler must sign and submit a waiver/release of liability form.


c.  Each boater must submit a copy of the cover page of his/her current boat insurance.


d.  If these forms are not submitted before your first tournament, you will not be able

     to fish an event until they are in my possession.


e.  By becoming a member of Northeast Bassmasters, you willingly agree by your signature

     to follow all the rules and regulations of Northeast Bassmasters as set forth in this



                             Section 2: Registration


a.  Registration for all tournaments will be done by check or Venmo payments prior to an


b.  Checks or Venmo payments must be received by 6 p.m. on Wednesday for a Thursday

     event and by 6 p.m. on Friday for a Saturday event.

c.  Should the pandemic be resolved; on-site registration might be resumed.





Section 1: Arrival


a.  In the event of severe weather, a tournament may be cancelled at the discretion of the

     executive committee. A text message will be sent to all participants regarding the



b.  Please plan your arrival times accordingly. It is understood that even the best plans

     may go awry (traffic, flat tire etc.). If you are going to be late, please call to let someone

     know that you are on the way.

     Thursday—Dave Ward 973-945-7048 or Vinnie Farrell 973-229-8932

     Saturday—John Stanley 201-572-0314 or Pete Mancuso 973-420-3168

     Thursday & Saturday—Paul Schmidt 973-865-9347


c.  Penalties may be incurred if this problem becomes habitual. Each angler will have two

     free passes. After that, a 4-ounce penalty will be imposed and deducted from your total

     weight and an additional four ounces will be deducted each time the angler is late

     thereafter (4 lates would equal a 1-pound penalty).


d.  When you arrive at the launch ramp early in the morning, please be reminded that

     there are property owners and their families nearby who are still sleeping. Please keep

     the conversations and the noise as low as possible. I realize that we are all excited

     about getting out on the water, but not everyone shares our passion.


e.  Registration/check-in will end 15 minutes prior to the official blast-off time.


Section 2: Boat Qualifications


In order to qualify for use in a tournament, a boat must meet the following requirements:


a.  Live well or wells are empty and in good working order

b.  Must be at least 16 ft. long

c.  Must not be powered by an engine exceeding the maximum rating for boat size

d.  Have a working trolling motor

e.  Coast Guard approved life vest for each angler

f.  A throwable floatation device and rope 

g.  Functional kill switch and lanyard must be connected to the driver’s life vest and worn

     at all times when the big engine is running. (State law)

h.  Working running lights

i.   A valid license for the state where the tournament is being held. All anglers must follow

     the rules, statutes, and regulations prevailing within the states fished, and it is the

      responsibility of each angler to research those fishing and boating regulations.

j.  Liability insurance and documentation of such insurance must be on the boat at all



Section 3: Boat Inspection


All boats may be subject at any time to a complete boat inspection. All compartments may be opened by a Northeast executive committee member to inspect their contents and to ensure that all safety equipment is on board.


                             Section 4: Official Tournament Times


a.  The official Verizon time will be announced prior to blast-off.

b.  The tournament end time will be announced prior to blast-off.


                             Section 5: Blast-off Position


a.  Starting with the first tournament in June 2022 and thereafter, blast-off positions will

     be drawn at the ramp prior to blast-off thereby giving no angler an advantage over


b.   There will be an onshore captains’ meeting prior to each blast-off at which time the

      blast-off positions will be randomly drawn.


                             Section 6:  On the Water


a.  No fishing within 150 ft. of an anchored tournament boat.

     If power poles are used as an anchor, the trolling motor must be out of the water to be

     at anchor. 

b.  No fishing within 75 ft. of another tournament angler’s boat unless permission is

     granted by the angler first on site.

c.  All fishing must be done from the boat. You may not leave the boat to land or catch

     a fish. Anglers are only allowed to leave the boat in the event of imminent danger to seek

     safe harbor, in the event of a bathroom emergency, or to retrieve a lure that is stuck on

     a homeowner’s property.

d.  Only one rod may be used at a time. Maximum rod length can be no more than 10 feet

     in length.

e.  No natural or live baits are permitted or allowed in possession during any tournament

    except for pork baits used as trailers.

f.  Trolling is not permitted.

g.  No fishing in waters deemed off limits by the Tournament Director.

     Off limits on the lakes we fish may change during the season and will be announced as

     the need arises.

h.  Life vests must be worn by all anglers on the boat and the driver must have the kill

     switch lanyard attached to his/her vest at all times whenever the big motor is started

     and in gear. Failure to do so will result in the disqualification for the team. (State law)

i.  Speed limits…Lake Hopatcong 30 MPH on weekends and holidays and on Greenwood

    Lake and Candlewood Lake 45 MPH at all times. Speed limit at night or low light or

    visibility conditions such as fog will be 5 MPH no wake on all lakes Northeast fishes.

    Speed limits must be observed regardless of the placements of buoys on the water i.e., if

    the “no wake buoys” have been removed from a lake, Northeast Bassmasters will follow

    the speed limits as indicated on official lake navigation maps. Northeast has adopted the

    Hot Spots Maps as the official map of the club. Violations of speed limits will result in an

    automatic tournament disqualification. Ignorance of the law is no exception or excuse.

    Northeast Bassmasters reserves the right to impose speed limits on any or all

    tournaments regardless of the speed limits of the lake. Safety is our main concern for all.

j.  Five fish limit per team.

k. Fish must be 12 inches long.

l.  Be considerate of the property owner’s docks and boats. However, the water belongs to

    the state and harassment of an angler in pursuit of his fish by a landowner is illegal.

m. All boats must pass the call boat when your boat number has been called before you


n.  If you must leave before the end of an event, please let someone know

     that you are going. Call the weigh master, tournament director, or Paul Schmidt before


     Weigh master: Thursday, Vinnie Farrell ( 973-229-8932 )

     Weigh master: Saturday, Pete Mancuso ( 973-420-3168 )

     Tournament Director: Thursday, Dave Ward ( 973-945-7048 )

     Tournament Director: Saturday, John Stanley ( 201-572-0314 )

     President: Paul Schmidt ( 973-865-9347 )

o.  No alcohol or drugs, other than prescription meds, may be used on the water.

p.  Culling must be done on the water after the 6th fish has been boated. When you pull

     your boat out prior to the weigh-in, there should only be 5 fish in the live well. Culling

     on shore will result in the team being disqualified.

q.  Culling of a dead fish will result in disqualification of the team. You lose .2 pounds per

     dead fish that is weighed-in, however, a 2.2 pound dead large-mouth still adds 2.0

     pounds to your total weight. A dead fish my not be weighed in for the lunker/big fish of

     the day/big fish for the year/tie breaker. The weight of a dead fish may only be used to

     add its weight less the penalty of .2 pounds to the creel limit of the day and may not be

     used for any other purpose whatsoever. All dead fish will be given to whomever wants

     them. If no one wants to take the fish, it is your responsibility to dispose of it in a

     sportsman like manner.





Section 1: Late to Weigh-in


a.  Official time will be announced prior to blast off. Check in time will be sharp according

     to the official time. Lateness to check in will be rounded up to the next minute and

     penalty applied.

b.  Late penalty will be 1-pound per minute late.

c.  Lateness of more than 10 minutes is an automatic disqualification.

d.  Once all boats have been trailered and out of the water, the weigh-in will begin in the

     order of blast-off positions starting with boats 1-3, then 4-6, etc. Hopefully this will

     speed up the weigh-in and decrease the mortality rate of the fish.


Section 2: Procedure


a.  Scoring will be determined by total creel weight.

b.  Weight will be recorded in pounds, tenths, and hundredths of a pound.

c.  Minimum length is 12 in. mouth closed; tail pinched.

d.  All legal fish must be weighed in at end of the event on the official club scale.

e.  A person with a fish in question of 12 in. MUST ASK FOR A COURTESY CHECK PRIOR

     to handing his weigh bag to the weigh master. A short fish will be returned to the water

     with no penalty. Failure to announce a potentially short fish prior to handing over your

     weigh-in bag will result in a 1-pound penalty.

f.  A 0.2-pound penalty will result for each fish unable to be released alive.

g.  Culling of a dead fish is an automatic disqualification.

h.  Each fish caught by an angler is considered to be in possession. Culling of fish is to be

     done immediately upon catching the sixth fish. If at any time other than culling, an

     angler is in possession of more than the legal limit, he will be disqualified.

i.  There will be no culling of fish at the ramp or after the boat has been removed from the

     water. Doing so will result in disqualification.

j.  Once your fish have been transferred from your bag to the weigh master’s tub, the fish

    become the property of the weigh master and you are not to touch the fish until they are

    returned to your bag by him.

k. In the event of a tie for any position, the team with the most live fish in their creel wins.

    Should both teams have the same weight and 5 live fish in the creel, the money won will

    be split and their position will be shared (2nd $300 and 3rd $200 total $500 each receive

    $250 plus second place position, third place will be eliminated from the standings). If

    3rd place and 4th place tie, the third-place payout will be split and the third place

    position will be shared by the winners and 4th place will be eliminated from the

    standings. If non-paying positions tie, both teams will share the higher position.


Section 3: Payouts


Pay outs are based on 80% of the tournament fees collected less the $10.00 lunker fee per boat which is a separate pool. Three places will be paid if there is a field of nine or more boats in the event, two places for five to eight boats, and if there are less than 5 boats, the tournament will be cancelled.


a.  First Place                  50%    

b.  Second Place                          30%

c.  Third Place               20%

d.  One Lunker award 100% of the lunker fees collected for event


Should there be a tournament that exceeds 20 boats, a fourth place will be awarded.




                             Section 1: Conduct


a.  Membership in Northeast Bassmasters is a privilege and not a right. Membership to

     Northeast Bassmasters may be revoked at any time by a majority vote of the

     standing Grievance Committee.

b. All Northeast members must conduct themselves in a professional manner both on and

    off the water. Competitors are expected to follow a high standard of sportsmanship,

    conservation, courtesy, and safety. We want our code of conduct to reflect favorably on

    Northeast as a club, as well as its members and its sponsors. Anglers who violate the

    code may be subject to forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspended from fishing one or

    more scheduled events, or permanently banned from fishing Northeast Bassmasters

    tournaments in the future as determined by the Grievance Committee.

c.  Any member’s action on or off the water before, during, or after a tournament that

    jeopardizes the reputation of Northeast Bassmasters or any other un-sportsman like

    behavior may be grounds for expulsion.

d.  An angler who has been banned from fishing in another organization’s tournaments

     (local, district, regional, etc.) regardless of the reason will not be granted membership to

     Northeast Bassmasters. Since it is impossible to know the background of every

     member, should incriminating evidence regarding a member being banned from another

     organization be brought to the attention of the tournament director, said angler’s

     membership will be revoked, membership fees will not be returned, and the angler will

     be banned from all future Northeast Bassmasters tournaments. Should the banning

     organization rescind the banning of said angler, and the angler is once again in good

     standing with the banning organization and is allowed to fish their events and can prove

     they have fished one or more events with the banning organization, the angler may then

     re-apply for membership with Northeast Bassmasters. The angler must present a

     signed letter from the president of the banning organization on its official stationery

     stating that the angler is now in good standing and no longer banned from fishing all

     events sponsored by that organization. Membership to Northeast will not be granted

     without this letter. If a banned member is exonerated within the same season, and

     wishes to rejoin Northeast, the membership fees that were withheld will be reapplied.

e.  Failure to abide by the rules of sportsmanship will be reviewed by the Grievance

     Committee and may result in a warning, weight penalty, tournament

     disqualification, disqualification for the season, and worst-case scenario a life

     time disqualification from Northeast Bassmasters.

f.   The decision of the Grievance Committee is the final word in all matters regarding the

     dismissal of a member from Northeast.




a.  It is every team’s responsibility to report infractions or violations of any tournament

     rules to the tournament director.

b.  All protests must be submitted in writing immediately BEFORE the official weigh-in


c.  All protests must be documented and witnessed by more than one person.

d.  The identity of the protesting member will be confidential.

e.  The accused party will be invited to state his case.

f.  The Grievance Committee will review the protest, make all judgments, and apply any

     penalties. The Grievance Committee’s judgment will be uncontestable and the final word

     in all matters.

g.   Should an angler or team have three substantiated and verified written complaints

     submitted against them to the officials of Northeast Bassmasters within one season, the

     team in question will have their membership revoked and will no longer be welcome to

     fish with Northeast Bassmasters.

h.  It is to be understood by all Northeast members that by signing the official Northeast

     membership and release forms prior to your first event, you and your partner and/or

     substitute agree to submit to a truth verification test, should the need arise, and agree

     to abide by its results. Said test may be administered at any time randomly during or

     after an official Northeast tournament. Should an angler refuse to take a truth/

     verification test when asked, this action shall then be considered an admission of guilt

     on the part of the angler in question. All prize money will be withheld and the angler’s

     membership to Northeast will be revoked until the test is administered and the angler is

     either exonerated or proven guilty of the violation or protest in question. If exonerated,

     Northeast will absorb the cost of the test, however if found guilty, the angler will be

     responsible for paying for the test.

i.   Northeast is a club designed to promote friendly competition between its members. We

     are not looking to disqualify anyone. However, the rules of sportsmanship, safety and

     fair competition will be enforced.

j.   Northeast Bassmasters reserves the right to place a marshal/observer on any angler’s

     boat who fishes a Northeast event alone to guarantee that all fish are caught by the

     angler legally and in accordance with the rules of Northeast Bassmasters.


ARTICLE 9:  FALL FINALE--To be determined . . . a work in progress




These rules and regulations will be updated as needed, and members will be notified that changes were made. It is then the member’s responsibility to check the website for the changes made to the By Laws/Rules and Regulations.


The Northeast Bassmasters By-laws/Rules and Regulations have been amended on this day, February 8, 2023, and are currently in effect. This document negates and replaces all other versions of Northeast Bassmasters By-laws/Rules and Regulations and past practices. What is found in the pages of this document and only this document are the official rules of Northeast Bassmasters from this day forward.

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