2017 Tournament Rules

2017 Participants and Eligibility

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. Priority Automotive James River Bass Series reserves the right to reject any entries, which we feel are not in the best interest of the tournament.

All participants must sign the release of liability form to be eligible to compete.


Each participant will pay a $30 annual membership fee and will receive the B.A.S.S. Times subscription, hat and shirt.

Entry Fees

Pre-registration entry fees shall be $100 per team, per tournament, which includes Big Fish. Pre-entry Tournament Fees need to be received by the Tournament Director by the Wednesday preceding the scheduled tournament. Entries will be accepted CASH ONLY the morning of the tournament and will be charged a $25 late fee.

Classic Entry is $150.

There will be a $50 fee charged on all checks returned for insufficient funds.


Teams will register themselves as a “team” at the first tournament of the year fished together as Boater/Non-boater. That team will accrue End of the Year points in the Priority Automotive James River Series as long as at least one member of that team fishes in the tournament under the registered team name. A team member may fish alone, but will pay the full entry fee OR the team may use a substitute for two tournaments and retain End of the Year points. Registered teams must fish in at least four of the six Priority Automotive James River Series for the year for their points to count for annual standings and to gain entry to the Priority Automotive Classic. If both members of a team fish a tournament they must fish together in order for their points to count. Otherwise, the two new pairings would be treated as new teams and neither new team would carry forward any points from the original team.

B.A.S.S. Team Tournament Championship

We are pleased to announce that we are one of the Charter Members of the B.A.S.S. Team Trail.  What does this mean? It means that at the end of the year, the top finishing teams in points will be eligible to travel to the BassMaster Team Championship to compete for a chance to compete in the 2017 Bassmaster Classic. Qualification: Each participating team trail will be able to send at least one (1) team per fifty participating teams. (If we average 100 boats we will send 2 teams, if we average 150 will we send 3 teams, etc… Dates:  The Bassmaster Team Championship will be held in later November/December (2017)

Back for 2017!  2 Big Fish Pots

Two big fish pots will be paid at each tournament.  First Big Fish- $1000, Second Big Fish- $500.    The 1 st and 2 nd  place big fish will be awarded to 2 different teams.  A team can only win one big fish award per event.

Back for 2017!  Adult/Junior and Guy/Gal Teams

We are pleased to continue these categories for the 2017 season.  At the end of the year, the highest ranking team in both the Adult/Junior category and the Guy/Gal category will receive trophies and sponsor provided prize packs.  In order to be eligible, you must declare you team status at the beginning of the year and must compete in at least 4 tournaments as that team.  An Adult/Junior team is defined as a team with one member who has reached his/her nineteenth birthday on or before October 31, 2017, and another member who has not reached his/her nineteenth birthday on or before October 31, 2017


Prize money will be awarded following the weigh in at each tournament. One place will be paid out per five teams entered. Winners are responsible for any and all taxes on any moneys or prizes won. Guaranteed Payout- 1st Place $2000, 2nd Place $1000 and 2 Big Fish payouts 1st Big fish $1000 and 2nd Big fish $500.

Launch Sequence

Starting positions will be determined by the order the entry is received.


Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times. Each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved personal floatation device, securely fastened, at all times while the boat is being propelled by the combustion engine. Furthermore, a kill switch must be fastened to the driver any time the combustion engine is propelling the boat. Failure to do so is grounds for disqualification of the offending team’s catch. Running lights must be operational and turned on at the blast-off of each tournament. Each competitor’s boat must be equipped with a livewell system capable of keeping a tournament limit of bass alive. Any boat equipped with a motor that exceeds the horse power rating of the boat according to the manufacturer is prohibited from being used in a Priority Automotive James River Tournament Series.


Each contestant is expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and conservation. NO TEAM MAY FISH WITHIN 50 YARDS OF ANY OTHER BOAT WHICH IS ANCHORED WITH THE TROLLING MOTOR UP, FURTHERMORE NO TEAM MAY FISH WITHIN 25 YARDS OF ANY OTHER BOAT WITHOUT THE OTHER BOATER’S PERMISSION. PERMISSION MAY NOT BE GRANTED TO ANY TEAM AT THE EXCLUSION OF ANY OTHER TEAM. 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.

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 1 rod at a time. No more than 1 line in the water at a time per angler. Trolling with the combustion motor is not permitted. No competitor may leave the boat to land or catch fish.

State and Federal Regulations

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. Any participant who consumes, or is under the influence of alcoholic beverages, stimulants or depressants during any Priority Toyota James River Series function will have their catch disqualified. (Prescribed medications taken per doctor’s instructions are excluded.)


A limit of five bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass) may be weighed in. 12” minimum length. Lengths will be measured with mouth closed. A short fish brought to the scales will not be weighed, and will result in a 1-pound penalty. Dead fish will be penalized .5 (1/2) pound. The dead fish penalty will also apply to any fish weighed as a Big Fish if that fish is dead. All culling must be done at the time the 6th fish is caught; no team may continue fishing with more than the tournament limit in the livewell at any time during the tournament. You may not cull a dead fish.

TIES: In case of a tie, the prize or points will be divided between the participants equally.


Competitors shall remain with their partners in the boat at all times during the tournament, except in the event of sickness or brief excursions for “nature calling”, severe storm or other such hazard. It is permitted for a competitor to leave the boat for marina services. Competitors may leave the boat to dislodge it, but only to return the boat in the direction it came from. Leaving the boat to advance it is not permitted. (In falling water conditions, a team may leave the boat to advance it only to return from water they accessed without leaving the boat.) If for any reason either or both team members decide to leave the tournament waters early, both members shall bear full responsibility for notifying a tournament official. If one team member leaves the water early, he/she must notify the director before returning to fish and the other team member may continue fishing in his/her absence. In the event that he/she does not intend to return, his/her partner may continue fishing alone for the remainder of the tournament hours. In case of a breakdown, one partner may return with fish by another tournament boat while the other partner is permitted to stay with the disabled boat.

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. The contestants will retain their participation points for their yearly total. Late penalties will be deducted from “Big Fish” weight as well as total weight.

Protest and Polygraph Test

Any protest must be submitted in writing to the tournament director within 15 minutes of the close of the weigh-in. The Priority Automotive James River Series reserves the right to give a polygraph test to any participant at any time. This test does not have to be administered on site and may be set up by the tournament director at his discretion. All participants agree to abide by the results of any polygraph.

Liability Insurance

All members must carry a minimum of $100,000 of liability insurance on any boat they use during any Priority Automotive James River Series. Failure to do so or reporting of false information will result in disqualification of catch.

Violation of Rules and Disqualifications

The violation of a tournament rule by either team member may result in weight loss, the loss of weight up to a particular time in the tournament day (eligible for a restart), loss of weight for the entire day, disqualification for the entire tournament or, in an extreme circumstance, ineligibility to participate in future Priority Automotive James River Series events. If a team is disqualified from a tournament their weight will be recorded as 0 lb. However they will still receive tournament points as if they had just caught no fish. If the director feels that their violation was a willful attempt to gain an unfair advantage or to intentionally cheat, then the director has the right to refuse entry from that team or team members in the future.

Rules Interpretation

Interpretation of these rules will be left to the Tournament Director. 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 violate these rules, may be cause for disqualification. OFFICIAL PROTESTS MUST BE FILED IN WRITING.

PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS: Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered waters. Waters deemed off limits by authorities or tournament officials should be treated like a wall. No boats or casting behind that boundary while fishing. All angling must be done from the boat. The Curles Neck Ponds and Pits in the back of Chippokes are off limits.