rules

Membership 
Participation in any of The Bago Walleye Club tournaments (BWC) will require a membership fee. This fee will be $20.00 per person or $40.00 per team and $20.00 for each additional alternate. Memberships will need to be paid at the pre-tournament meeting at Woodeyes along with alternate fees.

I. PARTICIPATION AND ENTRY 

A. Teams may sign up for any tournament date they choose on the FishDonkey app. Each team must be entered in all 4 BWC Tournaments on or before the first tournament’s entry deadline in order to qualify for this season’s Championship. Teams may sign up for single tournaments but priority will go to teams paying for all 4 tournaments first. If the series fills with all 65 teams fishing all 4 events money will be returned to any team that signed up for individual events. If openings still exist after the second Saturday in April teams may sign up for single tournaments on a first come first serve basis. These entries must be paid for by the Monday prior to the tournament. Once 65 teams are reached the tournament will be closed.

B. Participants must enter as two-person teams (no "Partner TBD" or unknown partner names on the entry forms). Any person 17 years of age or younger must be teamed with a parent or guardian. 

C. Each team will consist of two Captains. If one of the two Captains cannot fish a tournament, then the other Captain must fish with an alternate partner in any of the four tournaments without losing any team points. All alternate partners must be recognized and paid for at the first BWC meeting and accompanied with a $20 membership fee per alternate partner prior to the start of the tournament series. 

D. BWC does not discriminate based on race, creed, color or gender. BWC is not required to accept all applications and retains sole discretion on acceptance or rejection of any application. 

E. The entry fee for each team per tournament is $175, which includes the $10 big fish pot. Payment must be made on the Fishdonkey app where each tournament will be paid for separately. 

II. REFUNDS & CREDIT 

A. No refunds apply at any time. No refunds will be made nor will credit be extended for any cancellations. Disqualification from a tournament for any reason will result in forfeiture of entry fee. No refunds or credits are extended to teams that choose not to fish due to inclement weather or unforeseen circumstances. If you are caught cheating you will be banned from all future BWC events and all other local events will be notified! 

III. PRE-TOURNAMENT PRACTICE, REGISTRATION & RULES MEETING 

A. Pre-tournament practice is allowed up until 8pm the day before the tournament. You must be OFF the water by 8pm that Saturday. 

B. Each competitor must register in person at tournament headquarters by 6:45 AM on the tournament day. If you show up late you will be disqualified. If an emergency presents itself you must call Sean Freund to explain the situation and will be addressed on a case-by-case basis. 

C. Boat numbers for the first tournament will be decided by your paid entry on the FishDonkey app. Boat numbers for remaining tournaments will be decided by how you placed the tournament prior. Teams entering single events may enter after the second Saturday in April and their boat number will be based on entry date. All rules and information will be done via email, Facebook and on the FishDonkey app. You must have a valid email address to enter this tournament and be entered on the FishDonkey app along with your phone number. There will be no meeting the day before the tournament other than before the first event; we will however answer any questions the morning of the tournament. 

D. There will be a Mandatory meeting that at least one captain must attend at Woodeyes Bar and Grill. Time will be announced via Facebook and Email. Remember all alternates, memberships and W9 will need to be taken care of at Woodeyes.

IV. TOURNAMENT INTEGRITY, POLICY & SAFETY 

A. Participants will conduct themselves in a true sportsmanlike, courteous, safe and ethical manner at all times maintaining professional demeanor in public and in communication with tournament officials. Any unfavorable conduct, speech or action by a participant could be grounds for disqualification or rejection of entry application. Every competitor is expected to participate in the marshaling of the field in order to maintain the highest integrity to the competition. Any incidents observed during tournament hours should be reported to tournament officials for further investigation. 

B. Any tournament angler has a right to protest another team. A written protest must be made with a Bago Walleye Club board member within 1⁄2 hour of tournament end time. A $200 protest fee must accompany the protest. A polygraph or CVS Voice Stress Analyzer may be utilized after the tournament date. If the protest is valid the disqualified party must pay the protest fee and all investigative costs. 

C. The Bago Walleye Club Inc. may, in a random manner, periodically select a first or second place team member for a CVS voice stress analyzer. Failure to participate in this procedure will result in forfeiture of the prize for the team. 

D. The board members will interpret these rules according to the spirit and intent of the rule and their decision in any dispute is final. 

E. Boat operators must have boater’s liability insurance.

F. All BWC tournaments will be conducted as catch-photo-video-and-release events. 

G. All tournament boats will be inspected to have all the Coast Guard required safety equipment. Tournament boats will also be inspected for empty live-wells. 

H. All teams are subject to official inspection during the tournament and agree to an inspection at any time. No fishing information may be given to participants during tournament fishing hours by anyone in any fashion.. We will enforce these rules if needed. Any cheating in this tournament circuit is grounds for criminal charges and banned for life from the BWC. All other tournament organizations will also be notified.

I. Participants agree to wear a Coast Guard approved personal floatation device anytime the main engine is running and the boat is on plane. 

J. Each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer. The horsepower rating of the outboard engine must not exceed the rating specified on this plate. 

K. In the event of a thunderstorm, lightning and/or severe weather, participants may pull into the nearest shoreline until it is safe to continue fishing. Participants may not leave their boats during tournament hours except at a commercial gas dock, the official weigh-in site or if severe weather forces them ashore. Tournament hours may be shortened at the discretion of the tournament director due to unsafe weather conditions. 

L. No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs may be possessed or consumed during tournament hours, if you are found to have alcohol or drugs in the boat during tournament hours this will be grounds for disqualification for the rest of the season. 

M. Tournament boundaries or restricted fishing zones will be discussed via email and may be further restricted if needed. Participants must abide by all local navigation laws and avoid restricted areas at all times. 

N. There will be no late penalties. The FishDonkey tournament will end at 3PM. BWC participants must possess all necessary fishing licenses and commit to following regulations. All state rules regarding fishing will be observed unless more stringent regulations are specified at the rules meeting. 

O. Any team that receives a written citation for any violation during the tournament hours will be disqualified. 

V. FISHING SPECIFICS 

A. Each contestant may use up to 3 rods per person with 1 lure per rod or 3 baits presented total at one time. Trolling is permitted. 

B. Livewells must be empty and remain empty for the tournament. NO FILLING OF THE LIVEWELL, THIS WILL BE GROUNDS FOR DISQUALIFICATION.

C. Competitors are restricted from impeding another competitor’s immediate water. No anchored boat shall permit selected competitors to fish within the 10-yard circle claimed by him. Anchored position means trolling motor out of the water and boat is holding position due to some kind of anchoring system. A Power Pole/Talon will qualify for an anchoring system. Tied to an obstruction, like a pier, is not anchoring 

D. All teams will be allowed to submit a 5 fish limit for all tournaments on the FishDonkey app.

E. Saugers may be included in 5 fish limit

F. The FishDonkey app will auto-cull the largest 5 fish entered on the app.

G. Minimum size limit for all walleye, sauger, and saugeye will be 14 inches as measured on the official tournament bump board. 

H. If equipment failure occurs please notify the tournament director. The FishDonkey app will not allow entries after 3PM

VI. WINNING 

A. Each team's total weight minus deductions will determine the final tournament standings. The team with the most weight in a tournament will win that tournament. 

VII. BWC CATCH-PICTURE-RELEASE BY FISHDONKEY APP:

A. BWC events are designed for “weigh-in” through FishDonkey app , referred to as Catch-Picture-Release™ (CPR). No fish will be brought to the “weigh-in stage”.

B. Only a UNIQUE Walleye, Sauger, or Saugeye may be processed and scored. A UNIQUE fish by BWC definition is one that has just been caught using legal fishing methods, recorded, and released. Any discrepancies in the UNIQUENESS of a fish will cause a team to be subject to a voice analysis or polygraph test. Failure of this test will result in disqualification, as well as, a lifetime ban from BWC events.

C. BWC requires a complete photographic record of each fish scored. Boat partners will work together to measure, photograph, and record their catch using the official BWC Ruler and BOTH sides of the fish must be clearly photographed along with a video release and documented on the FishDonkey app. 


VIII. BWC CATCH-PICTURE-RELEASE™ PROCEDURES:

A. The Catch-Picture-Release™ procedures will be reviewed at the first and only rules meeting.

B. One partner holds the fish on the official BWC Ruler. The belly of the fish will face the person measuring the fish. The mouth of the fish MUST touch the bump plate on the ruler to the LEFT (Head to Left), and the tail is extended back to its maximum length on the RIGHT end of the ruler (Tail to the Right).

C. The partners agree on the length of the fish to 1/4th inch accuracy. If the tail fin touches or crosses a graduation line on the ruler, the official length of the fish for scoring purposes may be lengthened to the next one quarter (1/4th) of an inch line on the ruler.

D. While the fish is being held on the ruler, a “scoring” photo must be taken of the fish using the FishDonkey app, which clearly shows the overall length of the fish. The HEAD and TAIL of the fish must be included and show clearly. The photograph must be taken of the LEFT side of the fish ONLY (belly towards the angler holding the fish, head to the left). A photo that does not clearly show the overall length of the fish, including head and tail, and the left side of the fish on the ruler WILL NOT BE SCORED. More than one attempt to get a valid scoring photo is allowed.

E. Another photo MUST be taken of the fish being held up by a partner. This “hero shot” photo MUST show the entire RIGHT side of the fish. These photos will be used for technical evaluation and may be used on stage during the awards ceremony or posted to BWC media outlets (web, Facebook, etc.)

F. The fish then must be videoed on the FishDonkey app and released back into the water by the partner holding the fish.

G. Record the length of the fish on the FishDonkey app and both partners should validate the length recorded for accuracy.

H. In the instance when two or more fish are caught at the same time, the CPR process requires that one fish must be measured, photographed, and released as quickly as possible before the next fish can be processed.

I. NO fish are to be placed in the live well. It is NOT permissible to hold fish in water using nets, lines, stringers, etc. Delays in releasing fish may be grounds for disqualification.

J. In order to speed up the CPR process, while a fish is in the boat, anglers will NOT be allowed to reset or place any fishing lines in the water. After all fish are processed and released, normal angling may resume.

IX. SCORING:

A. Throughout the tournament day the FishDonkey app will auto-cull for you. It will take your largest fish and put them at the top of the screen and throw out the smaller fish. Top 5 will be weighed.

B. It is the team's responsibility to double check pictures and lengths. If a fish is entered wrong it will be thrown out.

C. At the afternoon check-in, the BWC provided ruler is all that needs to be turned in. 

D. In the event a photo that designates a fish to be scored is judged to be un-scoreable, a replacement fish will not be allowed.

E. In the event that TWO (or more) photos that designate fish to be scored are judged to be un-scoreable, the team will lose all weight for the day.

F. Tournament standings and final results shall be determined by the converted weight of each Teams daily “limit”

G. The official minimum length will be 14.25 inches; the tail MUST touch at least the 14-inch mark on the ruler. If a fish recorded on the Official Scorecard has an associated fish photo that does not meet the minimum length, it shall result in the entire daily weight being disqualified.

H. Any fish that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered will be credited only at the discretion of BWC Officials and Tournament Director. Any fish that are deemed altered by an angler may result in Team disqualification for the day or event.

I. Loss of official ruler will require a $40 payment to avoid series disqualification.  

X. TIES:

A. In the case of a TIE or TIES between Teams in converted weights, all ties will be broken in the following manner: First Tiebreaker by the heaviest converted weight of an individual fish in the FishDonkey app. Second Tiebreaker (if necessary) by the second heaviest converted weight fish in the FishDonkey app. Third Tiebreaker (if necessary) by the third heaviest converted weight fish in the FishDonkey app. Fourth Tiebreaker (if necessary) by the fourth heaviest converted weight fish in the FishDonkey app.

XI. TOURNAMENT CANCELLATIONS

In the event of a tournament cancellation, BWC, at its sole discretion, may reschedule the event, hold a random drawing for the event purse, or transfer the entry fee to another event. NO refunds will be given.

XII. SERIES FINALS AND POINTS 

A. There will be 4 tournaments on the Lake Winnebago System to make a tournament series. Anglers will fish each tournament as an individual tournament but will gain points based on how they perform at each tournament. The team with the most points after the final tournament will be the series winners or Team of the Year. 

B. The first place team will receive 65 points, second place 64 and so on. The teams that zero will all be tied and receive half the point value available for their place in the tournament. An example of this scoring will come from a tournament of 65 boats with 55 teams catching at least 1 fish and 10 teams with zero fish: The 10 teams with zero fish will all be in 56th place which would normally earn the team 10 points for that place; the zero fish teams will all earn half of the 10 points which equals 5 points (10÷2). 

C. The last tournament of the year will have two payouts. One payout will be for the tournament and the other for the top teams in the entire series. 

XIII. PAYOUT 

A. Tournament payout will be 80% of Tournament entry fees. 10% of the entry fee money will go towards the series finals and 10% will go towards club expenses. Individual tournaments will pay the top 20% of the field. Series finals will pay the top 20% of teams fishing all 4 tournaments that signed up by the deadline. 100% of the Big Fish pot will be paid out: largest fish approximately 2/3 of pot and 2nd largest fish approximately 1/3 of pot. In the event of a tie for first place big fish the entire 1st and 2nd place pots will be split evenly. In the event of a tie for 2nd place big fish, the pot for 2nd place will be split evenly. Plaques or awards are donated by the BWC and are in addition to the payout. The top team will have the most points accumulated over the series. If a tie occurs in any position of the Championship we will break the tie first by the number of fish each team scored throughout the 4 tournaments and second by total weight of all the team’s fish caught in the 4 tournaments. Tournament awards/prizes will only be presented to participating teams on the day of the tournament during its award ceremony and at least one team member must be present at the tournament awards ceremony to be eligible to receive a designated award/awards. Note: All Tournament/Championship Payout Checks Will Be Void After 60 Days Of Set/Tournament Date. 

XIV. CONTINGENCIES 

A. The Boat Doc Tournament Rewards pay up to $500 per event, see www.theboatdoc.com

B. Triton Gold and Ranger Cup will apply to any anglers running a Triton or Ranger boat and are signed up for Triton Gold or Ranger Cup. Win up to $7000 per tournament with a 60-boat field! 

C. The BWC is a NTC (National Team Championship) qualifying series. The BWC is allotted a certain amount of spots each year for the NTC tournament. The number of spots received is based on how many BWC members are federation members. Each BWC member interested in fishing the NTC the following year must be a member of the Walleye Federation this tournament season and must sign up for the federation under the Bago Walleye Club. The NTC also offers side pots for each BWC event and must have 10 teams signed up for those side pots to be valid. If your team qualifies for the NTC through the BWC you must fish with your partner or alternate partner listed in your initial application. More info about the NTC can be found at http://walleyefederation.com/cabelas-ntc/.