Tournament Rules

Strike King/Lews Big Bass Challenge Info

Read the Info below, or download a printable version here:


Banquet/Check In: Killeen Convention Center

Date: 09/22/23

Time: 1730 – 2200

Tournament: Lake Belton, Texas

Date: 09/23/23

Lines in: 7:00am or time established by Tournament Director during Captains Mtg.

Weigh Site: Blora Ramp, Lake Belton

Weigh Periods:
7am – 8:59am
9am – 10:59am
11pm – 12:59pm
1pm – 2:59pm

Guaranteed Payout Each Pay Period

  • 1st RS117 Kayak
  • 2nd $500
  • 3rd $400
  • 4th $300
  • 5th $200
  • 6th 100
  • 7th place and beyond Sk/Lews prize packs.

Non-Boater (Soldier) Overall Big Bass Grand Prize $2,500

Boater (Civilian Volunteer) Overall Big Bass Grand Prize $2,500

1st (100) Civilian Boater Volunteers registered (FREE) pair of Wiley X Sunglasses.

Fishing for Freedom/Strike King Big Bass Challenge Official Rules

Read the rules below, or download a printable version here:

Section 1: Rules and Regulations

1-1 These Rules and Regulations (“Rules”) apply to Rather Outdoors Corporation’s (“we”, “us” or “our” as the context may require) Strike King Big Bass Challenge or Fishing for Freedom (“Event”).

1-2 Participant(s) acknowledge and agree that they have reviewed, understand, and will abide by the Rules. Participants willingly agree to comply with the Rules for participation in the Event.

1-3 All local, State & federal laws shall apply to all Participants at all times including, without limitation, the penal code.

1-4 All local, State, U.S. Coast Guard, Parks & Wildlife, and federal boating and fishing regulations or off limits, shall also apply to all Participants at all times.

1-5 In the event of a discrepancy between any printed version and any digital version of the Rules, the Rules posted on our website at the time of the Event shall prevail. Digital version of the Rules, the Rules posted on our website at the time of the Event shall prevail.

Section 2: Event Participation and Eligibility

2-1 Each person in the boat must be a registered contestant of the Event and abide by the Rules. Maximum of three (3) anglers per boat.

2-2 Participants less than 18 years of age must be accompanied by a parent or adult with written parental permission. (Written parental permission must be provided to Event staff prior to the start of the Event) Participants under the age of 18 years may not fish alone in the Event.

2-3 Event officials reserve the right to refuse entry to anyone in their sole discretion, including anyone who has failed a polygraph examination and/or been disqualified for fraudulent actions in connection with any fishing tournament.

2-4 The Event is an “open” amateur event for active duty and reserve soldiers, retired Veterans, and civilian boater volunteers.

Section 3: Registration and Entry Fee

3-1 Each Participant shall thru the ArmyBassAnglers Foundation/Fishing for Freedom website. This is a no entry fee required (free) event to Veterans and Civlian Boater Volunteers.

3-2 Pre-Registration for the Event closes at 11:59pm 2 days prior to the event banquet. Participants may not register the day of the Event at the weigh site prior to takeoff.

3-3 If we elect to reschedule the Event, including due to floods, drought, closures and/or other “acts of God” or circumstances beyond our control, we may provide a reschedule date and move all entries forward to the new date. For anyone unable to attend the rescheduled Event, please notify Fishing for Freedom Tournament Director as soon as possible by email.

3-4 Representation by each Participant that he/she has read and understands the Rules and the Participant will abide by such Rules and also all the decisions of the Event Director and/or Event Staff.

3-6 Chemical substance use, conviction of a felony or other crimes including those involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with the Rules, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for registration and/or for disqualification, suspension from the Event, and/or other disciplinary action.

Section 4: Interpretation and Discipline

4-1 Participants agree to abide by the Rules and all decisions of the Event Director and Event Staff.

4-2 Participants who provide the boat for Fishing For Freedom must have Insurance Liability Coverage on their boat. Proof of Insurance Coverage must be made available immediately on request of the event staff.

4-3 Interpretation and enforcement of the Rules shall be left to the sole and exclusive discretion of the Event Director and/or his/her designee at the Event. In the event a Participant(s) violates any part of in the Rules or, at the discretion of the Event Director, any other rule not specifically codified herein, the Event Director may impose a penalty and/or sanction on the Participant (including but not limited to any other Participant competing from the same boat). Such penalties and sanctions may include disqualification from the Event and future events. Penalties and sanctions for violation of any part of the Rules or, at the discretion of the Event Director, any other rule not specifically codified herein may include, but are not limited to, 1) reduction of competition hours; 2) loss of one or more fish; 3) loss of catch for an hour or the day; 4) disqualification from the Event; 5) disqualification from future events which may include a specific number of events, a specific time period, or a lifetime disqualification; 6) loss of Entry Fee; 7) forfeiture of Event winnings and/or prizes; and 8) any other penalty determined by the Event Director or his/her designee and/or the Event Staff.

4-4 Each Participant agrees to report to the Event Director immediately any violation or infraction of the Rules. Failure to report violations, unfounded suggestions that another Participant violated the Rules, or false verification of documents, may be cause for disqualification. All anglers are subject to a lie detector test if the event director deems such actions are necessary at any time.

Section 5: Safety

5-1 Participants are aware he/she/they are participating in a physical activity in the sport of fishing that may be dangerous and can cause injury. These activities may involve severe cardiovascular stress and possible violent contact. Participants understand and acknowledge the activities involve numerous risks including, but not limited to, death, serious neck and spinal injuries resulting in complete or partial paralysis, brain damage, and/or serious injury to bones, joints, muscles and internal organs, and property damage. Although particular Rules, equipment, and personal
discipline may reduce the risks associated with participating in the Event, the risk of serious injury does exist and cannot be completely eliminated. Each Participant releases Take a Soldier Fishing, Inc, ArmyBassAnglers Foundation, Blora, Killeen Convention Center and any of its participating partners from liability while participating in this event.

5-2 During Event hours no alcoholic beverages or drugs (other than those purchased over the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) are to be consumed by Participants or allowed in Participants’ boat until the final hourly weigh-in is complete and/or polygraph examinations are complete.

5-3 All boats must be equipped with some type of emergency ignition cut-off device (kill switch) on any remote steered outboard while main engine is in use. Ignition cut-off device (kill switch) must operate properly, which means when the kill switch is activated the outboard main engine must stop running immediately. The ignition cut-off device (kill switch) must be attached to the boat operator at all times while the outboard main engine is in use.

5-4 U.S. Coast Guard approved life jackets are required for each person on board a boat during competition. Life jackets must be worn and strapped, snapped, or zippered securely, and maintained in that condition until the combustion engine is out of gear or shut off. Participants shall check inflatable life vest indicators daily during the Event.

5-5 If Participants observe any significant hazard, condition or activity during his/her presence or participation in the Event, Participant should remove himself/herself from participation and bring it to the attention of a representative of the Event immediately.

5-6 Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by all Participants.

5-7 No boat shall have a motor of higher horsepower than approved by the U.S. Coast Guard and/or the lake authority, however we require that each vessel have at least a five (5) horsepower outboard motor. Each competitor’s vessel must also be equipped with a livewell system capable of keeping Bass alive.

5-8 Currently firearms are NOT allowed (even with concealed carry permit) on Corp of Engineers Lakes. It is the participants responsibility to follow all local, State and Federal laws applicable as referenced in Rule 1-3 and 1-4.

5-9 In the event of significant weather conditions during competition, the Event Director will advise via text message or other method selected by the Event Director regarding any change, delay, suspension and/or cancellation of one or more hours or day(s). In such event, the day(s) payouts will be allocated against all completed hours of competition and paid places for the day(s).

Section 6: Permitted Fishing Areas, Practice, Off Limits, and Hours

6-1 All fish must be caught on and within the official designated Event waters during official Event hours. (See individual event pages for lake specific off limits) Participants may fish anywhere on Event waters accessible to the public by boat, except areas designated as “off limits” or “no fishing” by private
ownership or local, state and federal officials. Jumping dikes, landmasses or any other object, natural or manmade to enter an area is prohibited.

6-2 The Event off limits time begins at sunset the day prior to the Event. Participants must be off the water on or before this time the day prior to the Event and may not begin fishing until the official Event start time on the day of the Event. Participants may return to their respective launch site by boat but are not allowed to fish or use electronics and/or other devices (including lights) or attempt to locate or mark, for the purposes of finding fish, after the off-limits time.

6-3 There is no formal takeoff site for the Event. Participants may leave from any takeoff site on the Event day at any time; however, the Participants may not begin casting and are not allowed to fish or use electronics and/or other devices including lights or locate for the purposes of finding fish until the Event has officially started. Official start times will be determined by the Event Director and Participants will be notified the night prior at the Fishing for Freedom Banquet/Captains Meeting when to commence fishing.

6-4 No fishing shall occur within fifty (50) yards of a marina gas pump.

6-5 No one may leave his or her boat to fish or land a fish.

6-6 Participants are limited to use of a primary motorized boat only. No personal watercraft, canoes, kayaks, rafts, or flotation apparatuses.

6-7 No fishing is allowed within twenty-five (25) yards of a non-anchored boat or fifty (50) yards of an anchored boat without that boat’s permission.

6-8 No Participant may buy, barter or hold a fishing location for any other Participant or nonparticipant for use during any Event day or during off-limits prior to start of the Event.

6-9 Participants must be in line at the bump tanks and declared to Event personnel before the end of the respective weigh period for their fish weight to be tallied and counted in the results of the Event. You may leave the weigh-in tanks and return to your boat if you decide not to weigh in a respective weigh period. Once a fish has been bumped by Event personnel at the weigh-in bump tanks, that fish is officially entered in the current weigh period and may not be weighed at a later weigh period.

Section 7: Methods, Tackle and Equipment

7-1 All bass must be caught on artificial bait by casting only, no foul hooking of bedding fish. A foul hooked “bedding” fish is defined as a fish that does not have at least one hook in its mouth, and it must be released. No trolling for fish with big motor and/or trolling motor. Participants may use only one rod at any one time. Other rods may be in the boat for substitute purposes.

7-2 No electronic tracking devices (implanted microchips) may be used to locate fish for Event purposes (depth-finders, sound mimicking devices (such as Hydrowave) and graph charts are the only exception).

Section 8: Sportsmanship

8-1 Sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and bass conservation are required from every Participant. Participants shall demonstrate professionalism and integrity in support of the sport of fishing. This includes any and all social media content that may be shared now or in the future. Any Participant found compromising the integrity of the sport or the Event may be subject to disciplinary action, including disqualification.

8-2 The favorable public reputation of the Event, the sport of fishing, the Event Director, the Event Staff, sponsors, partners and officials is of paramount importance. Accordingly, Participants shall refrain from making attacks, accusations, and comments that disparage the integrity of the Event, the sport of fishing, the Event Director, the Event Staff, sponsors, partners and officials. This includes but is not limited to the Participants social media accounts and digital sites.

8-3 Participants shall act in a courteous manner at all times, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-participants who may be on Event waters.

8-4 Any Participants attempting to manipulate the outcome of the Event or defraud the Event may be disqualified and may be subject to prosecution.

Section 9: Weigh-in, Points, and Penalties

9-1 All bass weighed-in will become the property of the Event and will be released back into the lake alive, if possible.

9-2 Trailering a bass to the official weigh-in station during Event hours is not permissible.

9-3 For reasons of conservation, all bass brought to the official weigh-in station must be in a weigh bag with adequate water. If a Participant does not have a weigh bag, one will be provided by Event Staff. Bass must be alive to be weighed in.

9-4 No Participant may weigh more than one (1) bass per official Event weigh period. Bass entered as a part of big bass of the weigh period does not carry forward from period to period. Participant’s biggest bass is registered into the final overall standings.

9-5 Bass must be weighed-in by the Participant who originally caught the bass and it must be in said Participant’s actual physical possession in the weigh-in line. (The only exception to this rule would be if one of the tournament participants is disabled, in this case we will allow another Participant to bring the fish to the scales for the disabled Participant.)

9-6 Any artificially weighted bass will be disqualified, and the Participants may be subject to prosecution and may be disqualified from all future events. Any questionable fish will be subject to inspection by event staff, marine biologist or similarly qualified expert.

9-7 Only largemouth, smallmouth, Kentucky spotted bass and meanmouth bass will be weighed in. Specific lake minimums and/or slot requirements must be followed, and it is the responsibility of the Participant to abide by all local, state, and federal Rules for the Event lake(s).

9-8 No Participant may have more than three (3) bass (per Participant) in his/her possession at any time during official Event hours.

9-9 In the event of a tie for the overall big bass, the winner will be the Participant that weighs-in his/her fish first.

9-10 Every effort must be made to keep bass alive including proper livewell aeration, treatment and temperature management. Participants may not weigh a dead fish.

9-11 Any alteration of length or weight of bass is prohibited, and the Participant may be banned from any future events and may be subject to prosecution.

Section 10: Communications

10-1 Participant’s entry into an Event via online or onsite represents your express consent to receive email, phone, and text message communication from the us and any of our successors, directors, members, officers, agents, contractors, affiliates, employees, sponsoring agencies, sponsors, and/or advertisers before, during, and after an Event. Participants who remain in our database after an Event understand and acknowledge that they will receive ongoing communication. In order to discontinue communication, it is the Participant’s responsibility to notify us in writing to opt out of our mail, email, text message, and other databases.

10-2 Text message updates and Event communication may be provided by the Event. The Event and the Event Staff can NOT guarantee delivery of any text messages or communications.

10-3 Cell phones and other communication devices may NOT be used for the purposes of locating or finding fish and/or communicating with other Participants or Non-Participants regarding such. Cell phone is ONLY to be used for emergency assistance and contacting the event director or staff. Section

11: Polygraph Examination

11-1 Participant agrees to submit for a third-party administered polygraph examination and agrees to provide truthful and honest responses as to be determined by the third-party polygraph examiner.

11-2 Refusing to take a polygraph examination for any reason will result in immediate disqualification.

11-3 Any Participant taking medication should notify the polygraph examiner prior to examination.

11-4 Any Participant determined by the polygraph examination and/or other Event Officials to be intoxicated and/or under the influence of any type of illegal drug(s) at the time said Participant is required to take the polygraph examination or in violation of the Rules, may be disqualified from this Event and all future events.

11-5 Participants acknowledge and agree that we may disclose the results of the polygraph exam. Whether disclosure occurs is in our sole discretion.

11-6 By his/her signature on the Event entry form and/or other required documents or entering the Event online, each Participant agrees to submit for a third-party administered polygraph examination. Each Participant shall abide by the conclusion reached by the third-party administrator administering the polygraph examination and, specifically, whether the Participant provided honest and truthful responses. Participants must successfully pass the polygraph examination or be removed from competition.

11-7 At the sole discretion of the Event Director or his/her designee, random third-party administered polygraph examinations may be administered on site during the Event.

Section 12: Boat Inspection

12-1 All Participants, by entering this Event, hereby agree to allow their boat to be boarded and inspected by Event Officials at any time prior to, during, or following the Event, to include, but not limited to, their boat registration, U.S. Coast Guard horsepower rating plate, livewell, rod boxes, closed storage compartments, tackle boxes, life jackets, personal floatation devices, and safety equipment.

12-2 The Event will cooperate with local law enforcement, park rangers and fish/wildlife officers during the Event. If any Participant is found to be in violation of local, state or federal law during Event hours, he/she/they may immediately be disqualified and unable to compete in future tournaments.

Section 13: Protests and Disputes

13-1 All protests or disputes relating to any matter involving the Rules or the Event must be registered in writing with the Event Director within fifteen (15) minutes of the designated weigh-in and prior to delivery of any prizes or winnings. Protests made after the deadline will be disregarded and the protesting Participant may be subject to disqualification. Failed polygraph examinations are nondisputable and the results are final.

13-2 Any protest filed by a Participant shall be heard by the Event Staff. After reviewing the protest submitted, the Event Director shall inform the protesting Participant of the Event Staff’s decision. The Event Staff’s decision, shall be in their sole discretion and shall be final and not subject to further appeal.

13-3 The interpretation and enforcement of the Rules will be the sole responsibility of the Event Director and, if protested, the Event Staff, and in their sole discretion.

Section 14: Miscellaneous

14-1 The headings, captions, titles, and numbering system are inserted only as a matter of convenience and may under no circumstances be considered in interpreting the provisions of the Rules.

14-2 The Rules shall be governed by and construed in accordance with the laws of the State of Texas in all respects, including matters of construction, interpretation, validity, and enforcement.

14-3 We may amend these Rules at any time, in our sole discretion, including during the Event.