PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY
Participation is open to all individuals, male or female. Those under 18 years of age, not fishing with a parent, must have written permission from a parent or guardian. RLOS reserves the right to reject any entries.
All participants must sign the accident waiver & release of liability form to be eligible to compete.
All participants must have a valid Virginia freshwater fishing license.
ENTRY FEES & MEMBERSHIP DUES
Entry fees for all tournaments will be $60 per team/boat. If you are fishing as an individual, the entry fee is still $60. Entry fee structure is $50/$10 (big fish). Entry fee must be paid in cash prior to registration cut off on the morning of each tournament. Once entry fee is received by the tournament director or tournament director’s assignee, it will be non-refundable unless a reasonable circumstance prevents the team from participating in that particular event. Decisions regarding refunds will be at the sole discretion of the tournament director.
An annual membership fee of $40 per person will be collected on the first event fished during any regular season event. The $40 fee will cover the individual for all tournaments of the 2023 season, including the classic should you qualify and choose to fish.
Classic Entry fee is $120 ($60 for Saturday and $60 for Sunday) per boat.
Prize money will be awarded following the weigh-in at each tournament. One place will be paid out per 5 teams entered. Winners are responsible for any and all taxes on any moneys or prizes won.
Only the use of electric motors will be permitted. The maximum voltage allowed on any single motor will be thirty six (36) volts. All boaters will be asked to remove any motor over 36 volts from their vessel if planning to participate in an RLOS event. No exceptions.
A working live well is required. Live wells must have either functioning flow through systems or functioning aerators and must be capable of sustaining the anticipated number and size of fish in good condition. Ropes, stringers, or other devices are prohibited. RLOS strongly recommends equipping your vessel with a back up aerator.
Tournament waters will remain off limits from 12:01AM the Monday preceding the tournament until the designated launch time on Saturday morning. This is a change from previous years. The intent is to relieve undue pressure on tournament waters prior each event. Conservation is key.
Teams or individuals may not solicit information for the purpose of locating or catching fish from anyone who has been on the tournament waters during the off limit period. Any competitor found to be in voilation of the off-limits period will have their catch disqualified.
Beaverdam Reservoir has a marked area of off limits which will be adhered to during all RLOS events. Please see the tournament directors for clarification on this area. Information is also available at the Beaverdam Ranger Station at the ramp.
Chickahominy Lake - the area from the 156 bridge to the pits in the back of Chippokes are off limits (Gravel Pits).
TACKLE AND FISHING METHODS
Only artificial baits may be used. No live or cut bait is permitted (pork baits are permitted). All bass must be caught alive in a legal and sporting manner. No snagging. Each competitor may only use one rod at a time. No more than one line in the water at a time per angler. Trolling for fish is not permitted. No competitor may leave the boat to land or catch fish.
Each contestant is expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and conservation. NO TEAM MAY FISH WITHIN 30 YARDS OF ANY OTHER BOAT. A distance of 30 yards (90 feet) of any boat anchored with its trolling motor in the stored position must be maintained by all boaters/teams for the duration of the tournament. The 30 yard limit can be waived only by consent of both teams involved. No hole sitting by a non-competitor or by another competitor, to aid a tournament participant will be allowed. Violators will have their catch disqualified.
STATE AND FEDERAL REGULATIONS/SAFETY
All participants are expected to abide by all state and federal laws and game regulations. Any team who intentionally violates a law or regulation in an attempt to gain an unfair advantage will have their catch disqualified. In the case of multiple governing authorities, the strictest law is applicable. Boat must be equipped with the basic safety equipment required by the State of Virginia, U.S. Coast Guard, and local reservoirs.
A limit of 5 bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass) may be weighed in. 12" minimum length. Lengths will be measured the mouth closed.
Tournament standings and final winners shall be determined by the total combined weight (pounds and ounces) of each team. In the event of a tie, standings will be determined by the team with the single heaviest fish.
Only bass caught on the day of the tournament may be presented for weigh-in. Except as otherwise directed by the tournament director or required by law, the daily “creel” limit shall be five (5) bass per team which measure 12 inches or longer in length on the longest straight line.
All fish must be caught on a hook and line in a conventional sporting manner. Each participant may fish with only one rod, however, you may carry more than one rod on your boat.
Tie Breakers: In the event of a tie between two teams, the format for a tie breaker will be as follows.
Five fish limit
Largest fish in the creel
Number of live fish presented at weigh in
Flip of a coin (The winning team will be encouraged to split the pot with the contending team. Although this will not be enforced, it will be suggested and implied as the right thing to do)
CLASSIC: A boater/team must fish at least 5 qualifying tournaments to be eligible to fish the Classic tournament. Qualifying tournaments are considered any regularly scheduled tournaments.
1. A four (4) ounce penalty (.25/lb) shall be deducted from the total weight for each dead fish presented for weigh in.
2. A short fish brought to the scales will not be weighed and will result in a 1 pound penalty on overall weight.
3. Any fish altered (after being caught) which enhances the weight or circumvents tournament slot limits will not be allowed and will be grounds for immediate team or boater disqualification as decided by the tournament director.
4. A contestant may not allow any bass caught by him/her to be counted on the score of a different team, nor may a team present for weigh in any bass caught by a person not a part of that team.
5. Any violation of the rules or regulations of Rippin’ Lips Open Series, except those where penalties are assessed, are grounds for immediate disqualification as determined by the tournament director. All local, state, and federal regulations are to be observed at all times and are expected to be understood by each boater/team who chooses to participate in this series. Violation of any prevailing statute or regulation will result in immediate disqualification as determined by the tournament directors.
Late Penalty: Competitors who are not checked in by the check in deadline will be penalized at a rate of 1 pound per minute, up to 15 minutes, at which time their catch will be disqualified. Late penalties will be deducted from Big Fish weight as well as total weight.
Any protest must be submitted in writing to the tournament directors within 15 minutes of the close of weigh-in. RLOS reserves the right to establish an impromptu committee of (5) members at random to assess a protest and collectively decide on an outcome, depending on circumstance. RLOS will make every effort to fairly delegate all protests.
TOURNAMENT DATES AND PROCEDURE
The tournament dates will be decided by the tournament directors. All tournaments will start at the pre-scheduled times unless there is sufficient reason to delay the tournament. Examples of sufficient reasons would be: lighting, thunder, fog, congestion at the boat ramp. The tournament directors reserves the right to delay, shorten, or cancel the start of the tournament due to dangerous weather conditions. The tournament may be cancelled (even after the tournament has started) because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of participants. All entry fees paid will be returned to participants if a tournament is cancelled due to weather after launch, and the weigh in cannot be completed.
Allow ample time to launch your boat into the water on tournament mornings. Do not expect the ramp to be empty when you arrive. The tournament director will not delay the start of the tournament if a boater arrives less than 10 minutes before the launch and cannot get his boat in the water before takeoff. If you are running late, check in with the tournament director as soon as you arrive.
Prior to launch, the tournament director or assignee will check the live well in each boat that will be entering the tournament. Please leave your live well lid open to signal that your boat needs to be checked. You will receive a colored tie to be wrapped around your trolling motor signifying your live well has been checked. This will also signify that you are participating in the tournament. Do not remove this tie until after the completion of the event.
The blast-off and check-in point will generally be the same, and will be decided by the tournament director prior to each tournament. Please listen for this announcement on tournament day.
All teams shall leave and return to the official tournament site dock by boat. In the event of a boat breakdown, either one or both partners may take their fish, get into a boat operated by another team, and return to check-in. Trailering of boats during tournament hours and re-launch prior to check-in is prohibited unless prior approval of the tournament director is obtained. Any penalties for arriving late to check-in as a result of assisting a broken-down boater will be determined solely by the tournament directors. All circumstances will be taken into consideration when rendering a decision of penalty in this situation. Every effort will be made to enable every team to weigh-in their fish.
Competitors shall remain with their partners in the boat all times during the tournament, except in the event of sickness or brief excursions for "nature calling", severe storm, or other such hazard.
Interpretation of these rules will be left to the tournament directors. Infractions of any rule may result in disqualification of catch. Each competitor agrees to report to the tournament director immediately any violation or infraction of any tournament rules. Failure to report violations, or suggestions to another competitor that they violated these rules, may cause for disqualification.