Rat-L-Trap Open Tournament Rules

  1. Only lures currently manufactured by Bill Lewis Lures and publicly offered for sale may be used.  No form of an umbrella rig may be used.  Custom painting of lures is permitted.  Changing of hooks is permitted.  Modifying internal weight of a lure is not allowed.  Adding or attaching soft plastic baits to any lure is not permitted.  If your modification is in question, contact the tournament director prior to the tournament.
  2. All State, Coast Guard, Federal Parks & Wildlife regulations shall apply at all times.
  3. ONLY paid team members, designated Boat Captains for junior high/high school aged teams and/or tournament officials are permitted in a team’s boat during tournament hours.
  4. Any person who has been disqualified from any prior tournament may be subject to being refused entry into tournament.
  5. Tournament director may refuse any entry.
  6. Entry form (online or handwritten) with complete entry fee must be received before tournament hours begin.
  7. All bass weighed in will become the property of the tournament director and will be released back into the tournament waters.
  8. Minors Competing:   Boat Captains are allowed for junior high and high school aged teams.  At no time may the captain be allowed to fish.  Boat Captain is the only person permitted to operate the combustible engine during tournament hours.  Boat Captain is allowed to verbally instruct minors.  Boat Captain is allowed to net fish.  Boat Captain may tie on, retie, re-spool or perform any usual duties that occur with tackle throughout the course of the tournament day.  Boat Captain is not allowed to have a rod & reel in hand while a lure is in the water and attached to said rod & reel. 
  9. Minor’s Release: Team Members under 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult and a signed minor’s release is required. (See Form Section for on Website Minor’s Release) If a team consist of two minors (no captain permitted in boat), both minors MUST have completed the Texas Boaters Safety Course and submitted a minor’s release for both minors.
  10. Refunds: No refund of entry fees will be allowed nor will entry fees be transferred to a future tournament.
  11. Alcoholic Beverages: No alcoholic beverages are to be consumed by any team member during tournament hours or until team required to polygraph has been selected; nor are alcoholic beverages allowed in a team’s boat during official tournament hours. Violation of any of the above will result in disqualification of said team.
  12. PFD & Kill Switch: All boats must be equipped with emergency kill switch. Kill switch must be attached to boat operator at all times while boat is on plane. Kill switch must operate properly. US Coast Guard approved life jackets are required for each person in boat. Life jackets must be worn and fastened while boat is on plane. All boats must have a functioning live well that is adequate to keep the tournament limit of fish alive.
  13. Trailering: Trailering IS allowed.
  14. Method of Fishing: All bass must be caught on artificial bait by casting in the waters of Sam Rayburn. No trolling with main outboard motor. Contestant may use only one rod at any one time.
  15. Dead Fish Penalty: Any dead bass weighed in will result in a deduction of 1 pound per dead fish applied to their daily weight.  Any fish that has been on ice will not be allowed to be weighed in.
  16. Big Bass must be alive to be eligible for Big Bass Prize.
  17. Minimum Length: Minimum length of bass to be weighed in is 14 inches. Official measuring board is the CHECK-IT-STIK. Only Largemouth and Kentucky Spotted Bass will be weighed in. Bass presented for weigh-in, which fail to measure the prescribed length limit, will result in loss of that particular fish and a one pound penalty applied to their daily catch including any weight to be counted towards the big bass award.
  18. Culling: No team may have more than five fish in their possession at any time during official tournament hours, except during the culling process whereas six fish are allowed. While one team member is culling the other team member may fish, however both anglers cannot resume fishing until culling has been completed and team possesses only five fish.
  19. Polygraph Exam: Each team member, by signing the entry form, agrees to submit to a polygraph test and agrees to accept the results. Should a team member fail to pass a polygraph test, team will be disqualified. No alcohol or mind-altering drugs may be consumed prior to a team’s polygraph exam.
  20. Protests: Any protest must be submitted to the tournament director in writing within 15 minutes of the completion of tournament weigh in.
  21. Check In Time: Any team wishing to weigh fish must be in line with their fish by 4:00pm under Cassels Boykin Pavilion.  Contestants who are late will receive a one pound penalty for each minute they are late.  This penalty will be applied to their daily catch including any weight to be counted towards the big bass award.
  22. Culling Of Dead Fish: Culling of dead fish is NOT PERMITTED.
  23. Outlaw Outdoors reserves the right to place an official observer in a team’s boat at any time during competition hours, and/or have an observation boat follow a team any time during competition hours.
  24. Off Limits: There is no off-limits period.
  25. All decisions of the tournament director are final.
  26. Violation of any of the aforementioned rules will result in an automatic surrender of a team’s catch for the day and disqualification from the tournament.

updated November 2018