Lakes Tournament Trail Rules 2024

  1. The organization called The Lakes Tournament Trail, which constitutes the owners, management and the members, shall hereinafter be referred to as LTT.
  2. In order to keep integrity and fair play first and foremost, a polygraph test can be administered at any time, for any given reason deemed necessary by the committee. Secondly, should a protest arise, it must be submitted in writing to the tournament director or staff member before the end of the weigh in. Director or his committee may/can decide outcome.  Should a poly-graph be required, accusing party will assume financial responsibility for the test.  If accused party fails test or refuses the polygraph, the team will be disqualified and financial responsibility then shifts to them.  All boats are subject to an entire inspection of vessel at any time. LTT reserves the right to refuse any entry for any reason.
  3. You can pre-register for the full season, or individual events through PayPal or the mail in registration form. Mail in entries must be post marked 6 days in advance of tournament date to ensure ample delivery time. Ramp pay is accepted but will include a $20 fee. Visit to submit PayPal payments. Teams that pay for the full season prior to April 1st will receive a double ball draw the morning of each regular season tournament. There will be a 65 team limit for this trail and payouts/places are pro-rated based on 65 teams. LTT is not for profit, however there is some expense for trophies, equipment, website, insurance, etc. that needs to be covered. Pending sponsorship support (to cover aforementioned expenses) the trail will be 100%+ payout. 
  4. Entry fees are $250 per event including the championship. There will also be a circuit initiation fee of $80. The full season cost per team is $1,580. To be eligible for the Chautauqua Championship each team must fish at least 2 regular season events, and must be fully paid for the season no later than the last regular season event (Mosquito – 8/18/2024). NO RAMP PAY FOR CHAMPIONSHIP. Big Bass is included with entry.
  5. There will be no refund or transfer of any entry fees for no-shows, DQ’s, or mishap (breakdown).  Any ramp fees, license costs, etc; will be the responsibility of your team. There will be an alternate provision, 1 per team.  Alt fee is $20 and alt must fish at least (1) qualifier to fish the championship.
  6. Only complete, legible entry forms will be accepted. Upon receiving your complete team entry form, the roster on the website will be updated (for each event). Please review website for roster a few days prior to each event. If pre-paid and your team is not listed, please call the tournament director (information is on the website) to resolve prior to tournament day.
  7. Boat numbers will be drawn at registration for each regular season event. Utilize this number to officially check in at the end of the day. 1lb per minute late will be deducted from the total weight of a teams’ catch if not officially checked in by fight deadline. Any late penalty will also go towards teams’ Big Bass for the day. OFFICIAL CHECK IN POINT WILL BE MADE VERY CLEAR THE MORNING OF EACH EVENT. It is the  angler’s responsibility to adhere to the rules. 
  8. All teams must be registered at least 20 minutes before the official start time. At 5 minutes before official start time, an on the water meeting will take place.  Have your boats launched and ready by this meeting. Meeting will cover things like, official time, fish limits, off limits, special rules pertaining to that lake, flights and pm check-in times.  Official check in point will be covered at this meeting (typically we will have a check in boat floating in front of the launch location).
  9. All contestants must have an official Coast Guard approved life vest (PFD) on board. It must be worn anytime the boat is on plane.  Other times, out of compartment and in plain sight.  Tournament boats must have all the safety equipment as required by the State of Ohio.  Boats must have a working live well, capable of keeping a limit of fish alive all day.  It must also have a working kill switch that is attached to the drivers PFD.  Motor size must not exceed Coast Guard rating plate on the boat.  Operation and safety are the boat owner’s responsibility.
  10. A team limit will be 5 bass, 12” or larger, unless lake regulations are different. It is your job to keep your fish alive. “Please Release Me” brand and “G- Juice” are the recommended brands and are available at FC. No more than 6 fish may be in your live well. If 6 fish are brought to the scales a 2lb penalty will be enforced, and then team will weigh biggest 5. Culling of fish is not permitted within sight of the ramp and must be done prior to check in. Culling of dead fish is prohibited. You may use your own weigh bag unless specified at pre-tournament meeting that you will be using our bags only that day.  Aeration tanks must be used by all contestants that are in line to weigh their fish.  Remember, a limit of bass has about 5 minutes of oxygen in a good size bag of water before stress sets in.  Even less on a hot day.  So it’s imperative to get them in fresh water asap when transporting from your boat to the weigh site.   LTT is going to be real sticklers when it comes to fish handling and care.  Mesh top bags will work best for our fish handling system.   All fish to be weighed will be measured and inspected by tournament officials. It is their sole discretion whether or not to accept your fish. After acceptance, the fish become property of LTT and will be released after being weighed. If your fish are not accepted you may be subjected to Disqualification without refund of your entry fee. Bass will be measured mouth closed, tail pointed.  One courtesy measurement allowed per bag of fish.  A .50lb penalty for each short fish and short fish will not be weighed.  A .50lb penalty for each dead fish or deemed dead fish by bump board operator or weigh master. It is also suggested that you use non-piercing cull tags to mark your fish with (these are available at FC).   Big Bass must be alive to collect Big Bass prize.
  11. We will operate on a 65 point system. 65 for 1st place, 64 for 2nd etc; until all fish are weighed.  All teams that actually fished, not teams who paid but didn’t fish, will receive 20 show up points.   So for example, if you win, you will receive 85 points total.  The points from each qualifier will be added together with your previous score to determine the end of season point champs or Anglers of the Year.  Winners will be determined by the highest total weight, minus any deductions or penalties.  Ties can be split checks or flip of coin if both teams agree.  Season point’s champions will pay $500 for 1st, $300 for 2nd, and $200 for 3rd, plus plaques.  Plaques will also be given for first three places and big bass for each qualifier and championship.
  12. No live bait or trolling.  Drifting permitted.  Only 1 rod at a time may be used. No Cell Phone communication - between anglers during tournament hours unless it is an emergency situation. No alcoholic beverages permitted during tournament hours and weigh-in.  Please be courteous and observe sportsman like conduct when fishing around others. Polite communication about who’s fishing what is required in order to make these events successful. Again, sportsman like conduct is expected and un-sportsman like conduct will not be tolerated.  Again courtesy is expected.  With this day and age of video phones, proof for a DQ is easy to come by.  Fighting over spots and not being courteous WILL NOT BE TOLERATED, and that includes other users who are not in the tournament.  Image is huge.
  13. For the initial start of any tournament, there will be no passing of other contestants in any and all no-wake zones. This is grounds for a DQ.  Goes back to image.  There are no official off-limits times for any qualifier or the championship.
  14. We will collect SSN for 1099 at year end.
  15. Any information not covered here will revert back to what is usual and customary in bass tournaments in our area and default rules will revert back to State rules. Director with consultation of LTT team has the right to DQ any team for violation of deemed “unsportsmanlike” activities. This is to protect trail competitors against any egregious activities that aren’t reasonable in the sport of bass fishing, that aren’t specifically defined in the above rules. 

Note   Only 1 signed entry form is required for the year.  At the first tournament, you will have to sign a comprehensive liability waiver form that is different than your entry form.  Both forms will need to be complete.  There will be an online roster to see who has entered an event.  Once 65 teams have committed and signed up, there will be no other entries taken.  Any specific questions will gladly be answered, preferably by email or text.