2021 Official Rules
Tom Nehring Memorial
ND EMS Foundation
Fishing Tournament Fee: $300.00
Banquet/Rules Meeting Fee (MANDATORY):
(One member of each team MUST be at the banquet)
The following rules shall apply to the North Dakota Emergency Medical Services Foundation Tom Nehring Memorial Fishing Tournament (hereafter [The] Tournament).
1. ENFORCEMENT OF RULES:
A. All participants in The Tournament will be required to fill out an official Tournament Participation Form which constitutes agreement to abide by the following Tournament Rules and local regulations.
B. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to The Tournament Director, and the decision of the Tournament Director shall be final in all matters.
C. By entering into The Tournament, each competitor agrees to submit to a polygraph or voice-stress examination if necessary and abide by its conclusion.
2. PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY:
A. All participants must possess valid fishing licenses for the tournament waters being fished.
B. All participants must sign the official Tournament Angler Participation Form which includes a Liability & Publicity Release.
C. Participants less than 18 years of age must provide a Tournament Angler Participation Form signed by his/her parent or legal guardian giving consent for the minor child to participate.
D. Participants less than 13 years of age must have explicit approval by the Tournament Director to participate and that team must have at least two (2) other members 18 years of age or older.
E. The Tournament does not discriminate based on race, creed, color or gender. We specifically reserve the right to refuse participation or entry to anyone for any reason.
3. TEAM ENTRY APPLICATION:
A. Tournament registration is available online at www.ndemsa.org or by mail-in entry form
B. Each Team must designate at minimum a “Team Captain” and a “Partner”
C. Entry fees are non-refundable, and no fees will be returned for a missed event.
D. Field size will be limited to 150 boats.
4. ANGLER CONDUCT AND SPORTSMANSHIP:
A. Competitors in The Tournament are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for suspension or disqualification from The Tournament.
B. Competitors must comply with all prevailing federal, state and local statutes and regulations relevant to the tournament location.
5. OFFICIAL RULES MEETING:
A. At least one member of each team is required to attend the official Tournament Rules Meeting.
A. Tournament Anglers agree to use any and all official equipment provided by or required by The Tournament Director. Any equipment provided by the Tournament Director MUST be returned at “weigh-in.” Any team not returning provided equipment at “weigh-in” will be subject to disqualification.
B. After the start of the official pre-tournament Rules Meeting/Banquet, contestants may not enter tournament waters to navigate, locate fish, or find potential fishing waters. Tournament contestants are allowed to fish in tournament waters ONLY during tournament fishing hours.
C. If travel by water is allowed by the Tournament Director – anglers traveling by water to the official launch site must proceed directly to and from their lodging facilities, launch, or slip location.
D. On-the-water testing of engines or equipment after the pre-tournament rules meeting is allowed only with permission from the Tournament Director. No Exceptions.
E. Tournament water boundaries shall be established by the Tournament Director in advance of the event and will be confirmed at the Rules Meeting/Banquet. Any water within these boundaries posted “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing” by state or federal agencies will be OFF-LIMITS. Only water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. All angling must be done from the boat.
F. Prior to take-off, each boat MUST be available for inspection by a Tournament Official.
G. Each boat must display a numbered “boat board” provided by The Tournament at take-off and check-in.
H. Competitors must leave from and return to the official Start/Finish checkpoint by boat. Towing a boat on a trailer during tournament hours is prohibited.
I. Prior to take-off, boat numbers are assigned by random drawing and all boats must be positioned in order by boat number as specified by the Tournament Director. Take-off will occur on schedule. Any boat that is out of order or delaying the start of the field will be held to the end of the line.
J. All competitors must remain in contact with the boat at all times. Allowed exceptions to this rule are: In case of an emergency, competitors may be removed from their boat to a rescue boat including any boat operated by non-competitors; and in case of a mechanical breakdown. (See Rule 7)
K. No one is allowed to “hold” a fishing location for a Tournament contestant under any circumstance.
L. The number of permitted fishing rods and lures is dependent on the local and state regulations. In no instance will more than two lines per angler (maximum of four lines per boat) or two lures per angler be permitted. A lure is defined as having one or more hooks, and does NOT include weights (snap weights, trolling weights, bottom bouncers, etc.) Unless state regulations are more restrictive, a lure can be no longer than 10 inches long. ALL CURRENT NORTH DAKOTA GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS MUST BE FOLLOWED. North Dakota Game and Fish Department Regulations Guides will be available upon request.
M. All fish must be caught live on a hook and line in a conventional sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging fish (that is, not hooked per state regulations) will have their entire daily catch disqualified.
N. High-grading or culling of fish is illegal. Fish may NOT be returned to the water after being held on a stringer or confined by or in any type of holding structure. Culling (high-grading) is the practice of selectively targeting fish – catching a fish, reducing it to creel (e.g. in a livewell), and then later releasing the fish after catching additional fish of a more preferable size.
O. “Party” fishing is illegal. Anglers may NOT take (harvest) more than THEIR daily limit.
P. Exact check-in location and check-in times will be announced at the Rules Meeting/Banquet. Any boat which is not off-plane and in line at the official check-in point at the appointed time, shall forfeit all credit for that day’s catch. There shall be no excuse for tardiness, and in no case shall a competitor be allowed to make up “lost time.”
Q. All boats are required to check-in with Tournament Officials at the end of the day. Boats shall be identified by means of their boat board. After proper recognition at the check-in point, competitors will be allowed ample time to proceed to the “weigh-in” site. All fishing must cease upon check-in.
7. MECHANICAL BREAKDOWNS:
A. In the event of a mechanical breakdown, the Anglers should attempt to make contact with Tournament Officials to inform them of the situation.
B. In the event of a mechanical breakdown, it is permissible for one Partner with the team’s catch for weigh-in and boat board from the disabled boat to transfer to another competitor’s boat for transport to the check-in point. The Partner and the assisting boat must still arrive at the check-in point on time, or face possible late penalty disqualification.
C. In an emergency situation, any boat that comes to the aid of a competitor or other boat may be exempted from late penalties at the discretion of the Tournament Director. The assisting boat must note the time and GPS position where assistance was given.
D. Running out of gas is NOT considered a mechanical breakdown, and the boat will NOT be exempted from late penalty disqualification.
A. Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by competitors. During competition, each participant must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type personal flotation device (PFD) at all times the main combustion engine is operating above no-wake speed. This PFD must be buckled, snapped, or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the boat slows to no-wake speed. Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification.
B. Tournament Officials have the right to delay, shorten, or cancel the start of the official tournament day due to dangerous weather conditions. Tournament boundaries may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. A tournament day may be cancelled (even after that day has started) because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors.
C. Once a tournament day has started, if any part of it is cancelled, The Tournament Director will determine if there will be a weigh-in. In the case of a cancellation, tournament days will not be rescheduled.
D. The Tournament reserves the right to impose boat speed limits during the tournament. Whether or not to impose a speed limit, the area covered by the speed limit and/or the actual speed limit imposed shall be left exclusively to the discretion of the Tournament Director.
E. IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, COMPETITORS SHOULD CALL 911 FIRST AND THEN NOTIFY TOURNAMENT OFFICIALS.
F. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek safe shelter in bad weather when danger may be imminent.
9. BOAT AND MOTOR:
A. All teams must provide on demand documented proof of boat owner’s liability insurance for a boat being used in The Tournament. This insurance policy must provide coverage for watercraft liability at a minimum of $250,000 (per occurrence) in the event of an accident.
B. Maximum horsepower for all outboard motor boats used in tournament competition cannot exceed the limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard. Each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard horsepower-rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer.
C. For the safety of all competitors, all boats must be equipped with an approved operable ignition kill switch and lanyard. The lanyard must be attached to the driver’s body any time the main combustion engine is operating above no-wake speed. Any time the main combustion engine is operating and in gear above no-wake speed, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat.
D. During competition, every boat must have all U.S. Coast Guard-required safety equipment, including a functional bilge pump. Each boat should be equipped with a functional marine band VHF two-way radio. Handheld VHF radios are allowed, but recommended as back-ups.
E. Refueling during tournament hours is permitted ONLY at publicly-accessible, retail locations. Refueling must be accomplished ONLY directly into an approved tank through a hose with a nozzle. Refueling from loose cans is expressly prohibited.
A. In The Tournament, only walleye, sauger and saugeye will be included in official totals.
B. Only those fish caught on a hook and line in formal and usual manner will be accepted.
C. Only a UNIQUE Walleye, Sauger, or Saugeye may be processed and scored. A UNIQUE fish by Tournament definition is one that has just been caught using legal fishing methods. 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 NDEMS Foundation tournament events.
D. Each angler will be allowed two (2) lines in the water at a time with a maximum of four (4) lines in the water at anytime from any boat, no matter how many additional anglers are on board.
E. Live bait and artificial lures are allowed. Electronic and electrical luring or attracting devices are prohibited.
F. Any fish mangled or altered in any way to either lengthen or shorten it, will be weighed and credited at the discretion of the weigh-in officials. Their decision is final. A team may not fish to replace a disqualified fish.
A. The scales for the weigh-in will be open throughout the fishing day.
B. Each team will be limited to presenting five (5) fish at weigh-in.
C. Each team will be responsible for their own catch. Under no circumstances may anyone other than the contestants handle or touch the catch until after it has been presented to the weigh-in officials at the scale.
D. A team member will accompany the catch to the scale. Each team will receive a copy of their scale ticket each time their team weighs in fish. The team member must check the weight ticket for accuracy before leaving the stage area.
E. An unloading area will be designated immediately in front of the weigh-in area and will be for unloading of fish only.
F. Once a team has weighed-in, that team will not be allowed to alter, add to, or continue to fish to increase their weight for The Tournament.
A. At the completion of the tournament day, each Team will select up to FIVE (5) fish to be counted toward their daily weight and present these fish to the weigh-in officials. These are the only fish that will be scored. The weight of these FIVE fish will be the Team’s unofficial total weight for the day.
B. BOTH partners are REQUIRED to sign the Tournament Official Scorecard to certify their catch.
C. At the weigh-in, the Tournament provided equipment including the boat board (clipboard) and Tournament Official Scorecard will be turned in to a Tournament Official even if no fish are weighed.
D. Tournament standings and final results shall be determined by the weight of each Teams’ daily “limit.”
E. The official minimum length will be 14 inches; the tail MUST touch at least the 14-inch mark on a ruler. If a fish weighed in does not meet the 14 inch minimum, it shall result in the entire daily weight being disqualified.
F. Any fish that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered will be credited only at the discretion of Tournament Officials and the Tournament Director. Any fish that are deemed altered by an angler may result in Team disqualification for the event.
A. In the case of a TIE or TIES between Teams in weights, all ties will be broken in the following manner:
1. The two consecutive place payouts will be combined and split equally between the two teams. The place below the tied teams payout will then disappear.
14. TOURNAMENT CANCELATIONS:
A. In the event of a tournament cancelation, The Tournament 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.
A. Payouts are based on the number of Team entries. The Tournament will provide a payment schedule based on the number of registered Teams at the Official Rules Meeting/Banquet. A minimum of 75% of the total fishing entry fees collected for The Tournament will be paid out to a maximum of the top 15 Teams.
B. Results are NOT official until complete technical validation is done by Tournament Officials. When this process is complete, the results will then be deemed official and published at www.ndemsa.org. Any cash payouts and other awards will then be credited to Anglers.
C. Anglers are responsible for all applicable taxes on both cash and merchandise awards.
16. UNIFORMS, WRAPPED BOATS, ETC.:
A. Anglers are encouraged to wear their own clothing which may bear patches, logos and other signage promoting each angler’s sponsors. The Tournament may restrict the use of patches, logos, signage, etc. that promote or advertise products which are, in The Tournament’s sole judgment, in poor taste.
17. PAYOUT SCHEDULE (BASED ON 150 TEAMS REGISTERING)
A. 1st Place - $10,000.00
2nd Place - $6,500.00
3rd Place - $4,000.00
4th Place - $2,000.00
5th Place - $1,000.00
6th Place - $850.00
7th Place - $725.00
8th Place - $625.00
9th Place - $525.00
10th Place - $400.00
11th – 15th Place - $300.00 each
Total Payout $28,125.00