Big Bass Rules

Inverness Big Bass Rules PDF

Tournament Rules

Howdy Anglers! Here’s the rules, and if you have questions please email or call (352) 341-7820.

• Rain or shine event

• Captain’s Meeting: same day at 7 a.m. at Wallace Brooks Park on the water. Tournament Director will announce from boat.

• Entry Fee: $85.00 per angler

• Payable online, phone, mail or in-person at the Inverness Visitor Center, 203 E. Dampier Street, Inverness.

• All Local, State and Federal laws shall apply at all times

• All Local, State, Coast Guard, and Federal boating regulations shall apply at all times

• This tournament series is for all anglers

• Professional anglers are eligible

• One fish limit per person, per hour

• Big Bass will be weighed and will count towards Big Bag

• All bass must be at least 12 inches in length

• Short fish penalty: loss of short fish and loss of biggest fish

• Each person in boat must be a paid contestant of the tournament and abide by all tournament rules and regulations. It is the contestant’s sole responsibility to review the official rules prior to the start of the tournament. Paid entry into the event via mail, online or in person represents contestant’s acceptance of all tournament rules and regulations

• Non-contestants are NOT allowed in paid contestants' boats at any time during official tournament hours. The only exception to this rule would be an official observer, tournament staff and/or a cameraman assigned by tournament officials

• Contestants may fish alone but tournament staff reserves the right to assign an official observer to the contestants’ boat. The maximum number of contestants in one boat will be limited to two (2).

• All bass caught by contestants fishing together will be disqualified if either contestant is found to be in violation of any tournament rules and regulations.

• Contestants under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or an adult that has registered and paid the entry fee.

• Contestants under 18 years of age may NOT fish alone.

• Tournament officials reserve the right to refuse any entry for any reason. This is not subject to appeal.

• Entry Fee(s) are $85.00. (per contestant) and must be paid before fishing.


• You are competing against the other Angler on your boat

• Registration for the event: Contestants may register online prior to the tournament or by mail prior to the event.

• No refunds of entry fee(s).

• During tournament hours no alcoholic beverages are to be consumed by tournament contestant or allowed in contestant's boat until the tournament is over.

• Must be present to win


• All boats must be equipped with some type of emergency ignition cut-off device (kill switch) on any remote steered outboard while main engine is in use. Ignition cut-off device (kill switch) must operate properly, which means when the kill switch is activated the outboard main engine must stop running immediately. The ignition cut-off device (kill switch) must be attached to boat operator at all times while the outboard main engine is in use. (b) U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets are required for each person on board. Life jackets must be worn and fastened while boat is on plane

• No boat shall have a motor of higher horsepower than the approved Coast Guard maximum

Permitted Fishing Areas and Hours:

• Fish must be caught on the permitted tournament lake during official tournament hours, which is on Lake Henderson and connecting waters.

• Tournament off limits begins at 6:00 PM the day before the tournament event. Contestants must be off the water on or before 6:00 p.m. Friday and may not begin fishing until official tournament start time on Saturday.

• All Contestants must meet Saturday Morning at the Wallace Brooks Park Pavilion at 7:00 a.m. prior to start of the tournament via boat.

• Official start time will be determined by the Tournament Director

• No fishing within 50 yards of a marina gas pump.

• No one may leave his or her boat to fish or land a fish.

• Contestants are limited to use of a primary boat only. No canoes, rafts, kayaks or flotation apparatuses.

• No fishing allowed within 25 yards of a non-anchored boat or 50 yards of an anchored boat without that boat's permission

• Hourly weigh-ins: 9:00-10:00 AM, 10:00-11:00 AM, 11:00 AM -12:00 PM, 12:00-1:00 PM, 1:00-2:00 PM and 2:00-3:00 PM. The 2:00pm to 3:00PM weigh in will be the Big Bag weigh in.

• Your biggest Five (5) fish of the day will be your Big Bag. Example: You weigh in Two (2) fish during the day you can only weigh in three (3) more between the 2:00PM and three (3:00 Pm weigh in. this will comprise your 5 fish Big Bag limit. If you weigh in Five (5) fish during the day they will be added up to be your Big Bag.

• Contestants must be in line at the bump tanks before the end of the respective hour for their weight to count.

Tackle And Equipment:

• All bass must be caught on artificial bait by casting only, no foul hooking. No trolling with big motor. Only one rod may be used at any one time by contestant. Other rods may be in the boat for substitute purposes.

• All bass must be caught from a legal motorized boat.

• No electronic tracking devices (implanted microchips) may be used to locate fish for tournament purposes (depth-finders and graph charts are the only exception.)

Weigh-In - Sportsmanship And Conservation:

• Sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and bass conservation are required from every participant.

• All bass weighed in will become the property of the tournament and will be released back into the lake alive if possible.

• All contestants are required to bring their boat and respective partner or partners, if any, with them to the official weigh in site for a boat inspection when weighing bass in any respective hour.

• For conservation reasons, all bass brought to official weigh-in station must be in a weigh-in bag with adequate water. If a contestant does not have a weigh bag one will be provided by tournament staff. Your biggest bass is registered into the final overall standings.

• Bass must be weighed in by the contestant who originally caught the bass and it must be in said contestant's actual physical possession at the weigh-in line.

• Any artificially weighted or preserved bass will result in immediate disqualification and the contestant may be subject to prosecution under federal law.

• Any questionable fish may be subject to inspection by a marine biologist or similarly qualified expert.

• This is a big bass tournament. Only largemouth will be weighed in. Specific lake minimums and/or slot requirements must be followed and it is the responsibility of the contestant to abide by all local, state, and federal rules for the host event lake(s).

• No contestant may have more than five bass (per contestant) in their possession at any time during official tournament hours. All live bass will be released back into water immediately after they have been officially weighed by tournament staff.

• In event there is a tie for the overall big bass; the winner will be the contestant that weighs in his/her fish first.


• Polygraph tests may be administered on a random basis and must be passed. A failed polygraph will result in immediate disqualification from this and all future tournaments.

• Each contestant, by signing the entry form or entering online, agrees to submit to a polygraph examination. Refusing a polygraph for any reason will result in immediate disqualification from this and all future tournaments.

• Anyone taking medication should notify polygraph examiner prior to examination.

• Any contestant determined by the polygraph examiner, law enforcement or tournament officials to be intoxicated or on any type of illegal drugs at the time said contestant is required to take the polygraph examination, will be disqualified from this and all future tournaments.

• Any contestant found to be in possession of any illegal substance will be disqualified.

• Any contestant attempting to manipulate the outcome of a tournament(s) or defraud will be disqualified.

Boat Inspection and Launch Procedures

• All boats may be launched at any Lake Henderson ramp, but must be brought to Wallace Brooks Park area Via Water for Inspection and live well check prior to the start of the tournament.

• All contestants, by entering this tournament(s), hereby agree to allow their boats to be boarded and inspected by tournament officials at any time during the tournament(s), to include, but not limited to, their boat registration, Coast Guard horsepower rating plate, live well, rod boxes, closed storage compartments, tackle boxes, life jackets, PFD’s and safety equipment.

• Inverness cooperates with local law enforcement, park rangers and fish/wildlife officers during our tournament events. If any contestant is found to be in violation of local, state or federal law during tournament hours, they will immediately be disqualified and subject to possible prosecution from law enforcement officials.


• Your entry into an event via mail, fax, online or onsite is your expressed written consent to receive email, phone, and text communication, during and after an event. Contestants who remain in our database after an event understand that they will be subject to ongoing event updates throughout the year. In order to discontinue communication, it is your responsibility to notify us in writing to opt out of our mail, email and/or text databases.

• Contestants may use their cell phones during an event for hourly updates, emergency and event communication purposes ONLY. Cell phones and other communication devices may NOT be used for the purposes of locating fish.


• Each contestant by entering the tournament(s) agrees that they have read and understand all rules and agrees to be bound by all.

• Any protests must be registered in writing with the Tournament Director within fifteen (15) minutes of the designated weigh-in.

• The interpretation and enforcement of these rules will be the sole responsibility of the Tournament Director. Decisions of the Tournament Director, Tournament Staff are final in all matters and are not subject to appeal.

• If you have any questions and/or need further clarification regarding these rules please visit the contact us page here on our website and send us an email with your question.


• Payouts will be processed the next City business day, once the completed paperwork is submitted. The City will have a ceremonial check there the day of the event and have the payout paperwork available for completion.

• The City doesn’t guarantee text messages for every weigh-n. The City will do its best to provide text updates when possible.

• To enter into the Apopka/Skeeter payout program, anglers should see rules and register online at Skeeter