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Tournament Rules:





January 21, 2020, Revised 2021


Section 1.   Interpretation and Enforcement. 3

Section 2.   Participation and Eligibility. 3

Section 2.   Amendment .3

Section 3.   Purchasing of Information / Captain Solicitation. 4

Section 4.   Boat Captain Limitations. 4

Section 5.   Conservation. 4

Section 6.   Practice Fishing / Off-Limits on Tournament Waters. 4

Section 7.   Boat Draw.. 4

Section 8.   Sportsmanship. 5

Section 9.   Safety Requirements. 5

Section 10.  Boat and Horsepower Regulations / Loading and Unloading / Trolling Motor Operation. 6

Section 11.  Permitted Methods of Fishing. 6

Section 12.  Boundaries and Permitted Locations. 6

Section 13.  Checkpoints. 7

Section 14.  Late Penalty. 7

Section 15.  Live Fish. 7

Section 16.  Scoring / Acceptable Species. 8

Section 17.  Event of a Tie. 8

Section 18.  Insurance Requirements. 8

Section 19.  Release of Liability. 8

Section 20.  Final Say. 8

Section 1.  Interpretation and Enforcement

These rules will remain unchanged during each tournament year, unless otherwise amended by the Board of Directors; in which such rule changes will be amended in a regularly scheduled board meeting and changed only in the year in which such amendments apply.  Decisions of the tournament Board of Directors are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal.  In any case that a member of the Board of Directors is related to an individual for rules enforcement, such member will recuse themselves from the rules decision.  Each participating angler and boat captain agrees to report any rule violation to the Tournament Board of Directors immediately upon discovery of the violation.  Such reporting may be done in the form of electronic messaging or direct transmission by cell phone.  Failure to report violations may be cause for disqualification from the tournament forfeiting any winnings.

The violation of tournament rules may result in weight loss (late penalty, dead fish penalty and short fish penalty), the loss of weight for the entire day, disqualification from the entire tournament, or in an extreme circumstance, ineligibility to participate in any future tournaments held by the CCFCSP.  Protests of a rules violation must be submitted to the Tournament Board of Directors before weigh-in results are final, in which all results will be “frozen” until such protests are ruled on by the Tournament Board of Directors.

Section 2.  Participation and Eligibility

Every team must register and have all necessary forms signed by launch time on tournament morning. Any team Registration fee is $50 per team, and is acceptable in the form of cash, check, or credit or debit cards if paying online or on site.  All checks must be made out to the Cleburne County 18 and Under Fishing Championship/Scholarship Program or The Willie Stone Cup.

Participation is open to any youth that is 18 years of age or younger at the time of the Tournament.  Proof of age is required in the form of photo identification, birth certificate, or any other licensing document recognized by the State of Arkansas.  A school transcript is acceptable as long as it identifies the individuals date of birth.  At least one Angler per team must be a resident of the following counties in order to compete:  Cleburne, White, Independence, Van Buren, Faulkner, and Stone.

Participants must have completed the registration form (including boat captains), and all participants under the age of 18 must have the signature of a parent/guardian.  All participants are required to follow all applicable federal, state, and local regulations and laws.  Therefore, any participant (including boat captains) must possess a valid Arkansas Fishing License if the age of such participant is required by State Law.  Violation of such laws will result in immediate disqualification and forfeiture of any awards.  The Tournament Board of Directors reserves the right to reject any application for any reason whatsoever.  Eligible participants (anglers) includes any youth who meets the age requirements and at least one Angler can prove residency in any of the counties listed above.

This is a team event. In order to participate in this event,  all anglers must have a two-person team with a boat captain that meets all qualifications described in this rules document. The only persons allowed in a vessel that is competing in this tournament include: (2) eligible anglers and (1) boat captain.  Any violation of this rule will result in immediate disqualification.


Section 2 (Amendment I) - as determined by the Board of Directors, a competing angler may fish alone.  A single competitor must have an eligible boat captain and pay the total registration fee of a team.  In the event a single competitor does place 2nd, 3rd, or win the tournament, the angler will receive a scholarship award in the amount of 1/2 the total winnings for a 2-person team.  For example, a single competitor is not allowed to collect a scholarship award in the amount of a total team award.

Section 3.  Purchasing of Information / Captain Solicitation

The purchasing of, or bartering for, information about locating or catching a fish on tournament waters, including but not limited to GPS way points (other than through commercially available sources), and the hiring of fishing guide services or a coach is not permitted by participants in this tournament.  Violation of this rule will result in an immediate disqualification.

Section 4.  Boat Captain Limitations

Boat captains are not only there to perform what is necessary for the anglers to compete, he/she is also expected to perform with the highest integrity.  There will be absolutely no tolerance for a boat captain that is involved with teaching our young men and women how to bend the rules.  If this is a boat captain’s intention, this tournament is not for you.

Soliciting information from the boat captain on where to fish and what to fish with is not allowed once the team's boat number has been called.  Anglers are expected to choose their own fishing locations and types of lures independent of the boat captain’s knowledge of the tournament waters once the vessel has been launched.  Violation of this rule will result in immediate disqualification and result in the angler being eliminated from any further tournaments sponsored by the CCFCSP (which includes the boat captain).

Anglers are allowed to use devices such as fish finders and other graphing devices as long as the Anglers only are discussing the data provided by such devices.  The boat captain may not offer any advice based on information provided by such devices, however, instruction on how to operate the electronics is permitted. 

The boat captain is there to drive the boat only.  The boat captain may not fish at any time during this event.  If the boat captain is observed with “rod in hand” the team is immediately disqualified. 

What the boat captain may do:  tie on a lure, drive the boat, net a fish, release cull fish, attach cull tags, and run the trolling motor.  If the boat captain desires to offer any fishing advice for this tournament, do so before the team's boat number has been called.  The boat captain may offer any advice he chooses before the boat number has been called.

Section 5. Conservation

All bass to be weighed-in must be presented to the weigh-in station official in a bag filled with enough water to sustain the health of the fish until the weigh-in process is complete.  No team may possess more than 5 legal bass at any time (you may cull fish from the live well to meet this number).  Possession of more than 5 legal bass will result in immediate disqualification from the tournament.

Switching or sharing of fish is absolutely not allowed.  Violation of this rule will result in not only immediate disqualification, but also the removal from the approval to fish in any other tournaments sponsored by the CCFCSP.  This includes boat captains.  A sixth fish may be added to the live well to compete for "Willie's Hybrid Award", however, this fish (hybrid) is not part of the weigh-in for the tournament championship.

Section 6.  Practice Fishing / Off-Limits on Tournament Waters

Any competing angler may fish or navigate tournament waters (Greers Ferry Lake) and its tributaries up until 5 days before the tournament date.  Any fishing done on Greer's Ferry Lake and its tributaries by the anglers from then till the morning of the tournament will result in immediate disqualification. During the time period for practice fishing, the boat captain has no limitations on offering any form of advice (example: where to fish, what to fish with, captain may fish).  Violation of this rule will result in forfeiture of any registration fees and elimination from the tournament.  This particular section of the rules gives the boat captains a chance to offer any advice they choose to the Anglers during the practice period.

Section 7.  Boat Draw

Boat numbers will be randomly drawn as participants arrive.  Officials will be available by 5:15 a.m., tournament day to complete registration, complete payment (if necessary), and offer the random draw for boat number. 

Depending on the number of boats registered for the tournament, it may be necessary to divide the boats into separate flights.  In such case, later flights will be given an extra 15 minutes to return to the tournament launch site by flight.  Example:  flight one returns by 3 p.m., flight two returns by 3:15, flight three returns by 3:30.  A separation of flights (if necessary) will be announced.

All boats leaving the launch will be required to pass by the rules official stationed on the dock with all live wells open for visual inspection by the official.

Section 8.  Sportsmanship

All anglers and boat captains are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship.  This is a youth tournament, and sportsmanship, courtesy, and polite conduct are very necessary.  Any angler or boat captain that violates this code of conduct will not be allowed to fish in future tournaments sponsored by the CCFCSP. 

Boat captains may use electronic communication devices such as cell phones, but not for the purposes of sharing fishing information during the tournament.  Live feeds on social media are permitted as long as the location of the vessel, or any other information that would reveal characteristics that would aid another angler in locating and catching fish are mentioned.

Violation of the following conduct rules will result in immediate disqualification:

  1. Violation or failure to comply with any of the rules presented in this document

  2. Consumption and/or possession of alcoholic beverages or any other kind of mind-altering substance at any time during this event.  (Including weigh-in)

  3. Conviction of a felony within the past 36 months.

  4. Previous suspension/disqualification, probation or ban from any tournament or fishing organization.

Section 9.  Safety Requirements

All state and federal boating laws and regulations apply.  Each participant (including boat captain) is required to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard approved and state approved personal flotation device anytime the combustion engine is in operation from boat check until weigh-in.  All boats must be equipped with an emergency ignition shut off device and it must be attached to the driver’s body whenever the combustion engine is in operation.  Sitting on pedestal seats while the combustion engine is in operation is not permitted.

At the discretion of the CCFCSP board of directors, fishing may be suspended due to inclement weather conditions including but not limited to:  national weather service warnings, lake wind advisories, and lightning.  If weather conditions suspend fishing, it will be up to the board of directors to determine if the tournament is to be rescheduled or if at the time of suspension due to weather conditions an immediate weigh-in will determine placing.  The board of directors reserves the right to shorten, suspend, or re-schedule the event at their discretion due to inclement weather conditions that would endanger the participants.

Section 10.  Boat and Horsepower Regulations / Loading and Unloading / Trolling Motor Operation

Anglers or Boat Captains may operate the trolling motor during the tournament.

Anglers may assist in loading and unloading the boats inside the “No Wake” zone identified at the launch ramp.

All boats must be propeller-driven and a minimum of 15 feet in length.  Each boat must have all required U.S. Coast Guard Safety equipment.  Boats must contain a properly aerated live well space to maintain alive a limit of caught bass.  Maximum horsepower for all outboards is 250 horsepower, not to exceed the horsepower capacity set forth on the “Maximum Capacities” placard described below.  Each boat must have a clearly legible “Maximum Capacities” placard that includes a maximum horsepower rating affixed to the boat by the manufacturer.  The horsepower of the outboard engine must not exceed the maximum horsepower capacity specified on this placard or the 250-horsepower maximum set by these rules.

By signing the application to compete in this tournament, anglers and boat captains agree to submit their boat and/or motor to an inspection by any of the tournament officials.  Falsifying information on the application to compete in this tournament or altering the horsepower placards on the outboard motor will be cause for immediate disqualification from this event and could likely result in the anglers and the boat captain from entering any future tournaments sponsored by the CCFCSP. 

Fishing platforms must be of a design created by the manufacturer.  No portable platforms may be used during this tournament.

Section 11.  Permitted Methods of Fishing

Fishing is defined as having a lure attached to a line and a rod and reel with a lure in the water.  All bass must be caught in a conventional sporting manner.  Only artificial lures may be used, with the exception of pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits.  No live bait in any form is allowed.  If any form of live bait is found on the vessel, it will result in immediate disqualification and possible elimination from entering any future tournaments sponsored by the CCFCSP.  Only one fishing rod per angler may be used at a time.  Anglers must initiate and complete every cast in order for a catch to be considered legal.  Trolling as a method of fishing is strictly prohibited.  All bass caught by sight fishing must be hooked inside the mouth and immediately presented to the boat captain for verification of a legal landing. 

Section 12.  Boundaries and Permitted Locations

All teams may fish anywhere on Greers Ferry Lake and its tributaries except locations that are clearly identified by signage that do not permit fishing.  Such areas include:  Marinas (with signage indicating “no fishing”), and areas indicating “no boats”.  Participants may not leave Greers Ferry Lake or any connecting tributaries at any time during the tournament.

A participant may not fish within 50 yards of another participant that is anchored (anchored meaning a line attached to a weight in the water, or by a power pole or similar shallow water anchoring device with the trolling motor in the “up” position).  All fishing must be conducted from the vessel, and at no time are participants allowed to leave the vessel to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to tournament waters. 

The boat must remain in the tournament waters during the competition.  The boat may be loaded onto the trailer before the weigh-in.  In the event of a motor or boat failure, there are three permitted methods of returning to the check-in. 

  1. Both participants must remain in the vessel and be towed by water to the check-in.

  2. One participant may enter the boat of another team and return to the check-in legally.

  3. Both participants may enter a rescue boat approved by the CCFCSP board of directors.

By utilizing these three conditions in the event of boat failure, the teams catch may be counted without a penalty (except for late return penalties or other penalties that pertain to other tournament rules).  Any team returning to the check-in other than using the methods stated above will forfeit their catch for the day to that point and time in the tournament day.  Any team returning to the check-in point will be eligible to restart or resume competition under the supervision of a designated board of director member or a designated tournament official. 

In such an event, it is the responsibility of the anglers to contact a member of the board of directors in order to request a restart or resume tournament competition without penalty. 

Anglers may leave the vessel only if it is necessary for a rest room break, at which time all rods must remain in the vessel.  Violation of this rule will result in immediate disqualification from the event.

Section 13.  Checkpoints

A checkpoint is defined as the location in which the anglers begin the tournament on the water and return in the designated time for weigh-in.  This checkpoint will be located on the water inside the “no wake” buoys near the launch site.  The anglers will be required to provide their boat number to the official by verbally speaking or signaling their number..  Once the number has been identified to the official, the team will be recorded as returned to checkpoint.  This constitutes a legal return to the checkpoint.  As long as the team has returned by the designated return time, there is no risk of a penalty and the team may record their actual catch weight in total. 

Section 14.  Late Penalty

Teams that are not at the designated afternoon checkpoint at the designated return time will be penalized ½ pound per minute, deducted from the total scoreable weight.  Teams returning more than 15 minutes late will forfeit their weight of catch.

Section 15.  Live Fish

Properly aerated live wells will help ensure the health of a fish caught.  ½ pound will be deducted from the total weight for each dead bass presented at the weigh-in.  The maximum allowable weight recorded for dead fish is limited to 2 fish.  No more than 2 dead fish can be weighed.  If a team presents 3 dead fish at weigh-in, the team is disqualified from the event.  If a fish is caught and dies in possession of a team, the fish is not allowed to be culled.  Ice chests as live wells are not permitted.  Any team caught returning a dead fish to the tournament waters that measures as a legal fish will be disqualified from the event. 

Section 16.  Scoring / Acceptable Species

Scoring for this tournament is recorded by the total weight caught by each team.  The only acceptable species that will be considered at weigh-in include:  largemouth bass, spotted bass, and smallmouth bass are considered legal species.  The tournament limit is five bass per team.  Teams possessing more than the tournament limit will have their catch to that point in the day disqualified, and time permitting will be allowed to restart from the takeoff location.  If the team is in the process of “culling” this rule does not apply.  If a team "wells" a hybrid bass for the purposes of competing for "Willie's Hybrid Award", there is absolutely no penalty for exceeding the fish total of 5.

Bass presented for weigh-in that fail to meet the measurements lengths identified for Greers Ferry Lake will be thrown out and the angler could be subject to further penalties by state regulations.  The winning team is determined by the day’s heaviest catch. 

Random polygraph/voice stress analysis may be utilized if the Board of Directors deem it necessary.

Section 17.  Event of a Tie

If two or more teams record total weights that result in a “tie”, the tie will be broken by weighing the largest fish caught by the teams.  Whichever team has the largest bass will be declared the winner.  If a tie remains unbroken, 1 rules official will be placed in each team's boat.  The first team to land a legal bass as recorded by the rules official, is declared the winner.

Section 18.  Insurance Requirements

Liability insurance with coverage that satisfies state law is required on all boats used in this tournament.  Proof of insurance must be in the boat used in competition and must cover all passengers in the boat.  Random checks may be conducted.  Failure to provide proof of insurance upon request will result in immediate disqualification.

Section 19. Release of Liability

Before an Angler or Boat Captain is allowed to compete in this event, they must each have completed all required registration forms and provided all necessary signatures for the Cleburne County 18 and Under Fishing Championship / Scholarship Program, Inc.  This also includes verification on the registration form that the angler and boat captain have read and agree to all the rules and regulations of this event.  The Cleburne County 18 and Under Fishing Championship / Scholarship Program, Inc. is not responsible for any injuries or accidents during this event.   



Section 20. Final Say

The Board of Directors for the Cleburne County 18 and Under Fishing Championship / Scholarship Program, Inc., will have the final say in all matters concerning rules interpretation or any other extenuating or unforeseen circumstances which may arise during the tournament. 

A special thank you to Mr. Scott Stoll (President of the Arkansas High School Bassers) for providing us with information that aided in the creation of this tournament rule format.



President – Sean Blackburn

Vice President – Gwynne Golden

Secretary / Treasurer – Linda Fletcher

Greg Verser

Trent Whitehead

Evangeline Stone Churchwell

Cody Smith

Brian Crawford

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