RULES for 2020

  • RULE & CHANGES:  Decisions of the Tournament Director are final. Protests must be made in writing within 15 minutes of the announcement “scales are officially closed”. Each angler must report to the Tournament Director any violation or infraction of any tournament rule. Failure to report rule violations or unsportsmanlike conduct will also be cause for disqualification.

  • PARTICIPATION; The Illini Team Trail will have 12 one day events. Entry fee for each event will be $200 per team which includes Big Bass. Each team may weigh one Big Bass to count towards the Big Bass pot. Participation is at the discretion of the Tournament Director. Membership is $25 per angler per year, substitutes must be members, NO EXCEPTIONS. One partner must be 18 years of age or older. No angler shall be eligible if found to have been caught cheating in any fishing contest.

  • CLASSIC QUALIFIERS; after the conclusion of the 12 qualifying events in the ITT season, any team who has participated in 7 of the events will be eligible to compete in the Mike James Memorial Classic. No substitutes for the Classic. There will be a mandatory $200 per team Classic fee that includes Big Bass and will pay back 100%. The Classic will be a two day cumulative weight event. All qualified teams will fish both days. Season points leader will be first to take off on both days. The field will revert on day two.                  

  • REGISTRATION: Shall be at the boat launch location the morning of each scheduled event. NO Pre Pay registration will be accepted. Boat launch number's will be assigned the morning of the event in the order registrations are completed.

  • SUBSTITUTES; Use as many substitutes as you would like, but your Classic partners (who you signed up with on your registration form)  must have fished at least 3 of the necessary 7events. Best 7 events will be applied. SUBS MUST BE identified at sign-in the morning of each event for point's credit to your team, (otherwise a new team will be formed and point's will start new). A team member may fish alone to gain points for the team. Director has right to make decision on emergency situations.

  • PRACTICE AND OFF LIMITS:  During regular season events there will be no official practice days or off limits periods.

  • *For  ITT Classic, off-limit time begins at 12:01am Monday October 19, 2020 through Friday October 23, 2020. Official practice will begin at 12:01am  Saturday October 24, 2020 on the Classic body of water. 

  • *When fishing on a river system,(except Kentucky/Barkley Lakes) competitors will be allowed to enter a lock to access a different pool of the river. Competitors will be allowed one lock, up or down. Therefore any and all fishable water is off limits during the off limit time period.             *During Official practice a contestant may practice alone, with another competitor or with a member of their immediate family (mother, mother-in-law, father, father-in-law, brother, brother-in-law, sister, sister-in-law, son, son-in-law, daughter, daughter-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or spouse), approved domestic partner, or an approved youth age 18 or younger, provided the practice companion has also observed the off-limits period and procedures. No other practice companions are allowed. Official competition days for the Classic will be Thursday October 29, 2020 and Friday October 30, 2020 at their respective location. The No Information rule applies to all qualified teams beginning 12:01am  Monday  October 19, 2020 before the Classic, thru the conclusion of the ITT Classic on  October 30, 2020. During the off-limits, competitors may not receive any fishing, lake, location or other information from any non-competitor. During the off-limits, there will be no hiring of guides or no purchasing or bartering of any fishing locations or information. These questions will be addressed in the polygraph concluding the ITT Classic.

  • SPORTSMANSHIP: All contestants are required to follow and maintain the highest standards of conservation, courtesy and sportsmanship. Consumption of alcohol during the tournament, during and before the weighing of your fish is not allowed. Use or possession of illegal drugs during an event will be grounds for disqualification. No Smoking while waiting to weigh your fish.

Fighting, disorderly conduct, poor  sportsmanship,suspension or  disqualification from any other  tournament event, or failing to comply with the Illini Team Trail Rules will not be tolerated. Tournament Director shall have the right to refuse any application, or to deny any confirmed application, by returning the entry fee of a previously accepted application, or to disqualify a contestant.

  • SAFETY: Safe boating must be observed at all times. Each contestant is required to wear a Coast Guard approved P.F.D. anytime the combustion engine is being used. The Tournament Director may shorten, suspend, postpone, or cancel a day's event in the event of unsafe weather or unsafe water conditions. In the event of an emergency contestants should call 911 immediately and then notify the Tournament Director.

  • BOAT OPERATION; During tournament hours, a team may not obtain or receive assistance from non-competitors, follow a non-competitors boat or participate in the practice of “hole sitting”, or the placing of markers by anyone. The use of electronic devices including but not limited to CB’s, marine radios, two way radios, cell phones\, etc., during tournament hours is prohibited except in the event of an emergency, or to contact the Tournament Director. All boats must be equipped with an “ignition shut off device” and must attached to the boat operators body anytime the boat is in operation.

  • BOAT AND HORSEPOWER REGULATIONS; Boats must have all U.S. Coast Guard safety equipment and must be 16’ or more in length with a functional bilge pump. All boats must have an adequate livewell and aerators to maintain a limit of fish alive. Maximum horsepower for all outboards used in tournament competition will be 300HP. Horsepower can not exceed the limitation capacity set forth on the “Max Capacities” placard.Fuel may be carried only in factory-installed (built-in) fuel tanks.Any additional fuel used during the tournament days must be purchased from a retail facility opened to the public and pumped through a hose and nozzel.

  • PERMITTED FISHING METHODS: Only artificial lures may be used with the exception of pork trailers. ONLY one rod (8’ maximum length) and reel may be used at any one time. Baits or lures on two separate rods in the water at the same time is not allowed. All bass must be caught alive and in a conventional sporting manner. When sight fishing, to have a bass counted as a legal catch, all fish must be hooked on the inside of the mouth and verified by partner before being unhooked. No equipment may be used to gain a height advantage for sight fishing that is not a permanent structure of the boat. Trolling is not allowed. A-Rigs are allowed and must be used according to the rules of the lake being fished.

  • PERMITTED FISHING LOCATIONS; Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by boat, except areas designated as “off limits” or “no fishing” by local, state, or federal officials or within 50 yards of a competitors boat that was first anchored ( an anchored boat shall consist of a tethered line attached to a weight to hold the boat stable, a Power-Pole or Talon deployed and trolling motor in the stowed position).  All fishing must be conducted from the boat. At no time may a contestant leave the boat to land a fish or to make the boat more accessible to fishing waters.

  • Contestants must leave and return to the official checkpoint by boat. In the event of equipment failure or an emergency, there will be only two methods of returning to the check in point; both partners remaining in their boat and being towed by water, or by one partner entering the boat of a fellow competitor with their catch clearly marked. Under these two conditions the contestants catch will be weighed and counted. MECHANICAL FAILURE DOES NOT EXTEND YOUR CHECK IN TIME. Contestants that return to the official check in by any other method, will forfeit their days catch to that point and time.

  • OFFFICIAL CHECKPOINT; There will be only one official checkpoint for boat inspection in the morning. Failure to go through morning boat check or to report to check-in point at designated time will result in penalties or disqualification. All fishing will cease upon check-in.

  • LATE PENALTY; Contestants who are not at the official check-in area at the appointed time will be penalized 1 pound per minute deducted from their total weight including any weight to be counted toward the Big Bass award. Any contestant more than 15 minutes late will be disqualified for that day.

  • SCORING; Scoring will be determined by pounds and ounces of each team's catch. Only largemouth, smallmouth, spotted and redeye bass will be weighed. The limit will be 5 fish (unless local or state rules prohibit) measured on a Golden Rule with mouth closed. At no time shall a team possess more than a tournament limit. Upon landing a 6th fish, the team must cull to stay within a tournament limit. If a team brings more than a limit of fish to the weigh in, the largest fish will be culled first until the prescribed limit is met. A penalty of 8 ounces per dead fish will be deducted. If the teams Big Bass is dead, 8oz will be deducted from the Big Bass weight. Bass presented for weighin that fail to measure the prescribed length limit, will be thrown out and the team penalized at the rate of 1 pound for each non- legal bass presented. Each team shall weigh their fish in a provided official ITT weigh-in bag.

  • POINT SYSTEM;    Points will be awarded as follows: 1st place receives 100 points , 2nd place receiving 99 points and so on until all teams weighing fish receive points. If a team weighs no fish, then they will receive 10 less points than the last team weighing fish.Disqualification will yield zero points for the day/ event.

  • TIEBREAKERS; Ties for events will be broken using the following criteria. If the tie is not broken by applying these procedures, prize money will be split evenly, and points awarded accordingly.

       Greatest number of fish weighed.

       Greatest number of live fish weighed.

       Most weight on current point standings.

       If first event, a coin toss will decide .

  • POLYGRAPH;  Each contestant agrees to submit, by their signature on the official tournament entry form, to a polygraph examination and abide by its conclusion. Failure to take, or failure to pass the examination will result in disqualification.

  • INSURANCE; Liability insurance is required on all boats at a minimum of $100,000.

  • Payouts ; Payouts posted on website are based on a 50 boat field. 3 Ranger Cup places will be paid out at all 12 qualify event .