Revision: November 13, 2023

NBSFA members are compelled to follow the rules in all tournaments, promoting safety, sportsmanship and conservation, leading the way by example.

1. Rules and Ethics:
  1. The NBSFA members, through the annual general meeting, make and vote on the rules.
  2. Rules and ethics committee may advise on the rules.
  3. The Chairman or designate shall administer and enforce the rules.
  4. Tournament Protest Committee shall interpret if the rules were violated.
  5. It is the intention of the NBSFA to provide honest, sportsmen like tournaments. Contestants are reminded that the spirit of the rules will prevail in all judgment cases.
  6. Unless otherwise noted, failure to abide by the rules will result in disqualification.
  7. Disqualification means for that tournament no points or prizes will be given and entry fees will not be returned.
2. Eligibility
  1. The NBSFA is a team based series depicting that during registration, members must register as a team identifying the Captain and Partner angler;

  2. To qualify for TOTY points and NBSFA awards, all participants with the exception of Observers, must become a member of the NBSFA.   

  3.  Memberships for the season shall be offered after the Annual General Meeting (AGM) and until the beginning of the last regular season tournament; and

  4. All kids fishing events are OPEN events and do not require memberships.

3. Regulations
  1. All federal, provincial, state and coast guard, angling and boating regulations must be adhered to.
  2. It is the responsibility of the angler to know all the regulations and to obtain all angling licenses, related permits and boat insurance.
4. Team Registration
  1. To be considered a pre-registered team you must be registered by midnight of the Wednesday immediately prior to the tournament.
  2. Pre-registered teams will be entered into a draw for their start numbers.
  3. In a two-day tournament the first day will be conducted as a one-day event. On the second day all participants will enter into a draw to determine their take off starting number.
  4. A team that is registered for a tournament and does not show up tournament morning can request their application fee be refunded.
  5. Each team must register with the NBSFA giving each partner’s full name.
  6. Each team must declare a Captain at registration; upon termination of a team, the captain determines where any accumulated points go.
  7. Each team will be assigned a team number for the NBSFA.
  8. One member of the team must be present at the tournament to use the team number.
  9. If members of the same team fish in separate boats no points will be awarded to either member.
5. Safety Equipment
  1. Each contestant is required to have a lawfully approved personal flotation device (PFD) and it must be worn and fastened when the gas engine is running above trolling speed.
  2. If so equipped, kill switch must be hooked to the driver of the boat any time the gas engine is operating above trolling speed. An inoperative kill switch will result in removal from the tournament until such time as it is repaired.
6. Boat Inspection
  1. All boats must be inspected by tournament officials prior to the tournament.
  2. After boat checks nothing shall be added to the boat unless checked by a tournament official.
7. Leaving the Boat
  1. All fishing must be done from a tournament inspected boat, leaving the boat to catch fish is prohibited.
  2. You may only leave the boat in the case of an emergency (lightning, storm, sinking), a nature call, or to obtain fuel.
  3. A departure from the boat should be reported as soon as possible to a tournament official or a NBSFA member in another boat.
8. Alcohol and Cannabis
  1. Consumption of alcohol or cannabis prior to or during the tournament will not be tolerated.
  2. Alcohol or cannabis found in the possession of a contestant or in the boat prior or during a tournament will result in disqualification.
  3. Anyone deemed “under the influence” during a tournament will be disqualified.
9. Electronics
  1. CB’s, marine radios and cellular phones are allowed for emergency use only.
  2. Transmitting information concerning the aspect of taking fish during a tournament is prohibited.
  3. Carrying an underwater video camera during a tournament is prohibited.
10. Rods
  1. Each contestant will be allowed a maximum of one line in the water at any time.
  2. Additional rods may be rigged and ready in the boat.
11. Baits
  1. Only artificial lures and baits are permissible during a tournament.
  2. Pork strips are classified as artificial baits.
  3. Possession of baits other than artificial will result in disqualification.
12. Live Wells
  1. All fish must be kept in aerated live wells or an aerated cooler system.
  2. Where possible your system must have water in it and pumps operating when you pass through an official inspection line.
  3. The use of fish stringers, wire baskets, or non-aerated containers of any kind is prohibited.
  4. Only non-piercing tags are to be used to mark fish in livewells and weigh-in.
13. Culling
  1. A limit is 6 fish.
  2. Culling must take place immediately after a limit is reached.
  3. Any team caught with more than six smallmouth in their possession will be disqualified.
  4. At the close of Tournament timings or prior to weighing in fish early that all teams shall have culled their sixth fish.
14. Angling Hours
  1. Tournament hours are 7:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m. unless otherwise specified by the BOD and or the tournament organizers.
  2. A one-pound penalty will be assessed for each minute late. No exceptions.
  3. Angling hours will be advertised in writing by the tournament organizers.
  4. In the event of fog, take off may be delayed at the discretion of the BOD. If start is delayed, extra time may be added to a maximum of 30 minutes at the discretion of the BOD.
15. Take Offs
  1. Take offs will consist of a trickle start for safety reasons. In all events, eligible participants will draw a take-off number in one draw.
  2. Taking off out of turn will result in disqualification from that tournament.
  3. If you miss your assigned take-off position you may proceed carefully to the head of the line, gain the attention of the start official, show him and all of the participants your take-off number and when it is safe the start official shall allow you to take-off.
 16. Pre-fishing & Off-Limits
  1. 1-Day Tournament Pre-fishing Rule: At sunset of the Sunday immediately prior to a tournament, fishing by all NBSFA Members must cease on that body of water, whether competing in the event or not. Members may use the body of water for other recreational activities (boating, waterskiing, etc.) during the off-limits period. Members will then be permitted to prefish on the Thursday prior to the event. The use of sonar units and underwater cameras are permitted during the off limits period.
  2. 2-Day Tournament Pre-fishing Rule: Pre-fishing rule for regular season 2-Day tournaments is the same as the rule for 1-Day tournaments. 
  3. NBSFA Classic Pre-fishing Rule: No NBSFA member will be allowed on the chosen NBSFA Classic Waters after sunset of the Sunday immediately prior to the NBSFA Classic tournament. This means members may NOT use the NBSFA Classic bodies of water for other recreational activities during the off-limits period and the use of sonar units and underwater cameras are NOT permitted during this off-limits period. Violators will be disqualified from the NBSFA Classic or their next paid tournament.
  4. Exception to Pre-fish Rules: Any member can fish off their primary residential property at any time from shore when fishing waters are closed but may not fish out of any watercraft during this time.
  5. Violation of pre-fishing or off-limit rules will result in your team not being allowed to fish your next tournament in your series.
  6. Only members that are registered to fish that days tournament may fish the tournament waters [boundaries as described in the permit].
17. Eligibility of Fish for Weigh-in
  1. All NBSFA tournaments are catch and release.
  2. Fish must be twelve inches or longer. Less than 12 inches will be penalized six ounces (.38 lbs) and will not be weighed.
  3. Big fish (lunker) must be alive and must be marked to qualify for lunker award.
  4. Only fish contending for lunker award will be weighed. Current top lunker weight will be posted and updated constantly.
  5. Dead fish and fish not deemed returnable will result in a 6 ounce penalty (.38 Lbs).
  6. At least one team member must pass through the weigh in line.
  7. Any fish that is not freshly caught, showing evidence of having been on a stringer, caged, mauled, mashed, frozen, injected with fluids, stuffed with foreign matter, or showing extreme loss of gill color will result in disqualification and possible cancellation of NBSFA membership.
  8. Jigs or hooks deemed “not removable” are exceptions.
18. Weigh-in
  1. All teams fishing a NBSFA Qualifier event may weigh in up to 3 stressed fish after 1300hrs at the discretion of the weighmaster. Tournament Transport bags are to be provided by the contestants.
  2. In the event of a team weighing in more than once; no more than 5 fish in total will be weighed. No more than 6 fish in your possession, which includes previously weighed fish, (i.e.: 3 weighed- in and no more than 3 in the boat.)
  3. Once a lunker has been weighed no upgrading will be permitted.
  4. Reviving an injured or stressed fish is the responsibility of the contestants.
19. Encroachment
  1. Boat and or lure is not permitted within 75-feet or another boat that was at a location first.
  2. You may not crowd another team of their location.
  3. You may only control water that is within 75-feet of your boat.
  4. You may not block access to fishable water and the team passing must reel in if with-in 75-feet.
  5. The 75-foot encroachment rule applies to trolling as well.
  6. Teams are expected to exhibit high levels of “sportsmen like conduct” in situations such as these.
  7. The 75-foot encroachment rule is suspended for Eel River and Meduxnekeag River in the spring tournament only.
20. Ties
  1. In the event of a tie at a regular-season Tournament or at the NBSFA Classic each team will be awarded that placing and;
    • Each team will receive the same points;
    • Prizes and monies will be added together and divided equally;
    • The void placings will be eliminated, (i.e. tied for 2nd, 3rd is eliminated, next placing is 4th).
1. Breakdown Rule
  1. Situation 1 – in the event of breakdown, teams may transfer their fish to another contestant’s boat for transport to the weigh-in, with the following conditions:
    • 1. fish must be marked or placed in a segregated live well.
    • 2. one member of the “broken down” team must accompany these fish at all times to the weigh-in.
    • 3. the “broken down” team must stop fishing from the time of transfer to the weigh-in.
    • 4. the transporting team may continue to fish out the rest of the day.
  2. Situation 2 – in the event of a breakdown, a team will be allowed to exchange boats, if another boat is available. The team may transfer their catch to the new boat only under the supervision of the tournament director.
  3. Situation 3 – Under no circumstances, shall a team be authorized to transport their fish from an assigned waterway by vehicle (road) to a weight in or for any other reason.

22. Alternates and Observers
  1. Although the NBSFA is a team based series (rule 2A), on the odd occasion a team member cannot make a scheduled tournament for one reason or another, the other team member may fish with: An Alternate, An Observer or fish alone for that particular tournament; 

  2.  Alternate’s are permitted to fish and assist the angler as a regular partner during that event;
  3. To use an alternate in the NBSFA Classic, that Alternate must have fished in at least one of the team’s four qualifying tournaments;
  4.  If for any reason a team member must leave the tournament part way through, An Alternate; An Observer may be used; or the remaining team member may fish the remainder of the tournament alone;
  5. Observers being used in any tournament must be sanctioned by a member of the NBSFA BOD. An Observer can accompany an angler in a tournament however cannot fish but may assist the angler as a regular partner.
23. Series Point System – Team of Year, Classic Champions & Lunker of the Year
  1. NBSFA Team of the Year (TOTY) – The NBSFA Team of the Year shall be determined at the end of the regular season tournament schedule and will be awarded to the team with the lowest points total based on their best 4 of 7 events where only the overall finish can be used for 2-Day events.
  2. NBSFA Classic Qualification – Any team who fishes 4 of the 7 Qualifier Events will be eligible to fish the NBSFA Classic.
  3. NBSFA Jackets shall be determined at the end of the regular season tournament schedule and awarded to the team of the year. The NBSFA Classic Champions shall be awarded Jackets following the completion of the Classic Tournament. The NBSFA will purchase jackets for the top 10 teams based on TOTY points.
  4. Team of the Year Ties: In the event of a tie for the Team of the year (TOTY), the tie will be broken based on placement in the NBSFA Classic.
  5. Points are awarded as follows: first-place 1 point, second-place 2 points and so on.
  6. Team of the Year points will be determined by overall finishes only.
  7. Lunker of the Year – The NBSFA Lunker of the Year shall be determined at the end of the regular season tournament schedule. Only big fish caught during qualifier tournaments count toward the Lunker of the Year. In the event of a tie for the Lunker of the Year each team will be awarded the Lunker of the Year and monies will be divided equally.
24. Protest Committee
  1. Any contestant has the right to protest another team if they feel the rules may have been broken. The protest must be filed in writing with the tournament director no later than 30 minutes after the close of tournament fishing hours. If possible get verification, (picture, witness, etc.).
  2. Any team that has been disqualified by the BOD has the right to file a protest. The protest must be filed in writing no later than 30 minutes after being notified of the disqualification.
  3. A three-person protest committee shall be appointed by the Chairman or designate at the tournament unless the protest is against the Chairman, in which case, the vice-chairman or designate will appoint the protest committee. The Protest Committee will convene to hear both sides of any protest. The decision of the protest committee shall be final in all cases.