Douglas Opens Rules and Regulations

* Pre-registered anglers have blast-off priority in sequence of registration. Participants signing up the morning of the event will have an additional $20 (late signup fee) and flight numbers following all pre-registrants. (More info under Launch Sequence).

  • Tournaments are open to all individuals over the age of 18 at the time of registration. Juniors (under 18) may fish under immediate parental supervision.
  • All Open Tournaments have competitor limits, depending on the event.
  • All participants must sign the “Release of Liability/Agreement” form at the time of registration to become eligible to compete in any Douglas Opens tournament series. This document is available on our site and will be available the day of the event.
  • St. Lawrence River Canadian waters are off limits.
  • All enclosed/operational Marinas are off limits to all participating anglers.
  • Fishing within 100 yards of the launch point will be off limits to all participating anglers.
  • Certain events may have increased off-limit areas which will be announced before any given tournament begins.
  • It is the angler’s responsibility to check with an official to clarify any restrictions.
  • Violation of any of these rules will result in a disqualification.

Tournament hours will be from first light, rounded up to the closest hour, and will run for 8 hours. Tournament directors reserve the right to assign flights and change hours if necessary.


Launch times are 15 minutes before sunrise.
We want to incentivize pre-registering over the morning of signups. Anglers who pre-register online will have blast-off priority over day-of registrations. First 10 boats receive a free event tee-shirt and will receive a flight number determined by the time/day they registered (first paid, first off). *Those who wait to sign up the day-of will accrue an additional $20 fee and will not receive a complimentary event tee-shirt. Day-of registrations will also be put into the next available flight after all of the pre-registered anglers. Each flight will be a maximum of 10 boats (30 boats = 3 separate flights). Flights will be separated by 2-minute intervals. Each flight will slowly idle out in order to create space between the committee boat and the rest of the boats waiting to blast off.

  • All boating laws and safety procedures apply during Douglas Opens tournaments, and violation of these laws and procedures will result in a penalty of ejection from the tournament.
  • 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 when in accordance with the law. Each competitor’s boat must be equipped with a live well system capable of keeping a tournament limit of bass alive. Any boat equipped with a motor that exceeds the horsepower rating of the boat according to the manufacturer is prohibited from being used. All auxiliary gas tanks and bladder tanks that are not installed by the boat manufacturer are prohibited. Additional gas tanks that are factory options and installed by a manufacturer’s authorized dealer are legal. Boats that do not have factory installed gas tanks are restricted to a maximum of 18 gallons of gasoline in tanks that meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations. Gas tanks must be properly secured or strapped in the boat. During the tournament, no portable gas tanks or containers capable of holding gasoline can be placed anywhere on the tournament waters or shoreline for use by any tournament competitor.

Each contestant is expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, and most importantly, 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 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.


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 and/or electronic motor is not permitted. No competitor may leave the boat to land or catch fish.


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 tournament function will have their catch disqualified. (Prescribed medications taken per doctor’s instructions are excluded).


A limit of 5 bass (largemouth, smallmouth) may be weighed in. Minimum lengths will be set at the discretion of the division director but at no time will be less than the legal limit. Lengths will be measured with mouth closed and tail pinched. No culling of dead fish.  A short fish brought to the scales will not be weighed and will result in a 1 pound penalty and potential disqualification from the event and potential future events. Dead fish must be presented to tournament director if a dead fish is identified by the tournament director and the fish has not been presented as dead or for review, the fish will be disqualified and will not be weighed. Dead fish presented to tournament director will be penalized .5 (1/2 pound). The dead fish penalty will also apply to any fish weighed as a lunker if that fish is dead. In the event of a tie, the team with larger lunker will take higher placement, it is the team(s) responsibility to choose to have lunker weighted.


Competitors are to 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 conditions, or other such hazards. It is permitted for Competitors 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. (Infalling water conditions, a team may leave the boat to advance it only to return from the 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 should bear full responsibility for notifying a tournament director. 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 or a Douglas Opens staff boat while the other partner is permitted to stay with the disabled boat.


Weigh-in will be on a first come first serve basis. Once fish have been presented to a tournament director to be weighed-in all fish become the property of Douglas Opens and no additional fish may be brought to the scales. Teams not weighing any fish are still required to check in with tournament officials in order to account for all teams. Once a team member has checked in or left the boat for the purpose of checking in, neither team member may fish or continue fishing.


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. Late penalties will be deducted from lunker weight as well as total weight.


All Tournaments will be fished in an open fashion with any partner or solo.


Any protest must be submitted in writing to the tournament director within 15 minutes of the close of the weigh-in. Douglas Opens reserves the right to give a polygraph or other truth verification 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 or other truth verification test administered. In the event of a protest and an off-site polygraph or other truth verification test the tournament director will have the option of mailing all the checks to the teams in the money pending the outcome of the test.


All participants must carry a minimum of $300,000 of liability insurance on any boat they might use during any Douglas Opens tournament. Failure to do so, or reporting of false information will result in disqualification of catch.


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 Douglas Opens events. 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.


Interpretation of these rules will be left to the tournament directors. Infractions of any rule may result in disqualification of catch.


All images and video we capture during tournament hours are subject to usage on our website, social media pages and any other platform Douglas Outdoors utilizes.


The link below brings you to our Release of Liability Agreement form. Please thoroughly read all of terms and conditions included within as you will be asked to electronically sign this document upon registering for the event. We will also have hard copies on site for all day of sign ups.

Release of Liability Agreement