Make sure all dues are paid and you’ve indicated to the judge if you will be participating in the side pot prior to. You can arrive at the lake early to get to your fishing spot but you cannot start fishing until the stated tournament starting time.
You are not required to launch from the weigh-in ramp but need to appear at the designated ramp for weigh-in. Allow enough time so you do not arrive to weigh-in late.
You must be within sight of the ramp by the weigh-in time or may be assessed a penalty. You cannot continue to fish after the stated weigh-in time even if you are waiting at the ramp.
After everyone weighs-in the results will be announced. This includes the standings for each team, big bass, and heavy stringer winners. Afterwards photos will be taken for the website/social media.
At the next meeting engraved plates to go on your TCBC wall trophy will be handed out for top 3 teams, heavy stringer, and big bass.
Big Bass / Heavy Stringer Side Pot
Anglers have the option of paying an extra $20 per tournament as a side pot. This is split 60/40 between heavy stringer (angler with highest weight of 5 fish limit) and big bass (heaviest single bass).
You must declare you are in the side pot to the tournament judge PRIOR to the tournament. Otherwise your heavy stringer or big bass will not count. This is different from the big trophy bass pot paid at the beginning of the season.
Weighing & Papering Fish / Slot Lakes
Typically fish meeting the state requirements will be placed in the livewell and weighed at the end of the tournament. Be aware of dead fish penalties and lake specific requirements.
Some lakes employ slot limits to improve growth rates of fish. In this case if your bass falls within the slot range of a given lake the fish must be “papered”. This means recording the length of the fish on paper instead of retaining the fish in the livewell for weigh-in.
The tournament judge can decide if papering alone is sufficient or if a photo of the fish on the measuring board is required.
Papered fish will be given a predefined weight as set forth by the TPWD.
Note on Spotted / Alabama / Guadalupe Bass
Some lakes may contain spotted bass which do not follow the state minimum guidelines. These fish count but sometimes are hard to identify.
A spotted bass can be identified by:
1. A single tooth patch on the tongue (not always the case but a good indicator)
2. The upper jaw does not extend beyond the back of the eye
3. A shallow notch between the dorsal fin (fin on the top of the fish)
4. Rows of dark spots below the lateral nines
5. Lateral lines have dark spots
Alabama bass also have some of these same characteristics.
How to measure a fish
1. Lay fish down on a ruler/bump board; mouth closed
2. Keep a hand on the bass to keep it from moving
3. Pinch the ends of the tail and measure total length; be sure to measure nearest 8th inch
4. Record on paper the length to the nearest 8th inch
Example of measuring: https://youtu.be/AJ77IvezJvA