CONSTITUTION AND BY-LAWS  

MIRACLE STRIP BASS CLUB

OF

FORT WALTON BEACH, FLORIDA

JANUARY 2018 

ARTICLE I – NAME AND PURPOSE 

Section 1: Name – This organization shall be known as the Miracle Strip Bass Club (MSBC). 

Section 2: Purpose – To provide an organization for devoted bass fishermen who enjoy fellowship and competition. To promote an awareness and adherence to all fish and conservation laws. To respond to civic responsibilities and promote and encourage participation by the youth of this area. 

ARTICLE II – MEMBERSHIP 

Section 1: This organization has an open membership. However, if the addition of a new non-boater member to the club would cause the total percentage of non-boaters to exceed 35% of the total membership, that potential member will be placed on a waiting list until such time that the 35% will not be exceeded. 

Section 2: Membership Requirements 

A. Must be at least eighteen years old. 

B. Must attend one meeting and fish one tournament as a guest. This is a one-time requirement and only applies to new or rejoining members. Members in good standing at the end of the fishing year are exempt from this requirement. 

C. Must be a member of the Bass Anglers Sportsman’s Society (B.A.S.S.). Current year membership cost is $25.00. 

D. New or Rejoining Members: it is a requirement that new or rejoining members of the club become members of the B.A.S.S. Nation ($30.00) as well as the Florida B.A.S.S. Nation ($25.00). At the time of joining the MSBC, the new member will be required to remit to the MSBC Secretary, the amount necessary to join these two organizations (currently $55.00). 

E. The MSBC Secretary will submit the new member’s fees along with the annual submittal of B.A.S.S. Nation dues in December for the following year. If the new or rejoining member is already a B.A.S.S. Nation member through another club, the requirement to remit the annual fees for the B.A.S.S. Nation and Florida B.A.S.S. Nation as a member of the MSBC does not apply. 

F. Current Club Members: Current MSBC members who belong to the B.A.S.S. Nation and Florida B.A.S.S. Nation must maintain their membership in these organizations. Members who claim the MSBC as their “mother club”, must remit their dues prior to the due date for annual renewal. As stated above, if a MSBC member claims another bass club as his/her “mother club”, he/she does not need to pay B.A.S.S. Nation dues through the MSBC. 

Section 3: Membership dues and Fees 

A. Each member will be assessed dues of $100 per year or to be paid semi-annually ($50) or annually ($100). Member’s dues must be paid and current prior to participation in ant club tournament. If it is determined that a member is not in good standing after already having participated in a club tournament, that member’s results will be disqualified. A $10 discount will be applied if paid in full. 

ARTICLE III – OFFICERS, ELECTION, VACANCIES AND ELIGIBILITY 

Section 1: Officers and Their Duties 

A. President – Presides over all meetings and directs all official business. Supervises all club functions. Appoints and directs all committee functions, and serves as head of the executive committee. Authorized to sign checks for the club. 

B. Vice-President – Assists the President in all his activities and presides in the absence of the President. 

C. Secretary – Maintains an accurate written record (minutes) of the business activities of the club. Accomplishes roll call of all meetings, maintains records, and publishes membership rosters and newsletters as appropriate. Tracks points awarded toward Fisherman of the Year for club meeting attendance. 

D. Treasurer – Maintains an accurate record of the club’s finances, collects all moneys and pays all bills. Authorized to sign checks and spend up to $25.00 without club approval. 

E. Tournament Director – Supervises and directs all tournament activities in accordance with the club’s by-laws and tournament rules. Procures and presents all awards (trophies, plaques, etc.), maintains and accurate record of membership participation and standings for each tournament and presents the results at each meeting. Obtains required waivers in advance for tournaments held in Florida waters. 

F. Weigh Master – Assists the Tournament Director in his responsibilities. Accomplishes and controls weigh-in activities at each tournament. Acts as Tournament Director in the absence of the Tournament Director. 

Section 2: Executive Committee 

A. The Executive Committee shall consist of the five officers listed in Article III, Section 1. 

Section 3: Elections 

A. Officers will be elected annually at the December regular meeting. 

Section 4: Term of Office 

A. The term of office shall be one year beginning January 1 and ending December 31.

Section 5: Vacancies 

A. In the event an office becomes vacant, nominations shall be made from the floor and an election held to fill the unexpired term of the individual vacation office at the next regular monthly meeting. 

Section 6: Eligibility to Vote 

A. Each member is entitled to one vote, in person, at the designated meeting. Proxy votes are not permitted. 

ARTICLE IV – METHOD OF AMENDING CONSTITUTION, BY-LAWS AND TOURNAMENT RULES 

Section 1: Constitution and By-Laws. May be amended at any regular meeting by a majority vote of 2/3 of the membership present, provided notice of the proposed amendment is presented to the regular membership, in writing, at least one month prior to being acted upon. 

Section 2: Tournament Rules. May be amended by a motion from the floor at a meeting, if approved by a 2/3 majority of the members present at the same meeting. 

Section 3: Review. The Constitution, By-Laws and Tournament Rules will be review annually by the incoming officers and republished as necessary to be in accordance with changes made by the membership during the preceding year. 

ARTICLE V – MEETINGS 

Section 1: Regular meetings will, as a general rule, be held on the second Tuesday of each month at 7:00PM. Special meetings may be called by the President at his discretion. 

Section 2: Executive Committee Meetings may be called by the President without notice. 

Section 3: Members may earn points for attending regular monthly club meetings. These points will be applied toward the Fisherman of the Year award. 1 point will be awarded per meeting attended with a maximum of 10 points earned annually. 

ARTICLE VI – REVOCATION OF MEMBERSHIP 

Section 1: An individual’s membership will be reviewed by the executive committee with action as indicated for the following: 

A. Any reported or observed act of personal misconduct, unsportsmanlike conduct, or acts which result in public criticism of the club. 

B. The Executive Committee will report findings and recommendations of all investigations to the membership. A membership revocation under paragraph A, above, requires a motion from the floor, a second, followed by a secret ballot with at least 85% of those present voting to revoke the individual’s membership. 

Section 2: Membership will be terminated automatically if a member fails to attend at least one of the monthly functions (meeting or tournament) for more than two consecutive months, while not in good club standing (meaning dues paid). Members who have prepaid their dues, or are exempt from payment, are not affected by this rule.

ARTICLE VII – TOURNAMENTS 

Section 1: Tournaments will be conducted in accordance with a current publication of rules and regulations that define policy and procedures for conduct of club tournaments. 

ARTICLE VIII – GEORGE TAYLOR AWARD 

Section 1: The George Taylor Award is a perpetual trophy, and is presented once a year in January to the club member, who, in the opinion of the majority of the membership, has contributed the most to the club during the previous year. The Club will select the awardee by secret written ballot at the December meeting. 

Section 2: The awardees name will be engraved on the perpetual trophy, which he may hold and display for a year, provided he remains a member of the Club. If the award winner leaves the club for any reason, he must return the trophy immediately. In any case, the awardee will also receive a smaller individual trophy which recognizes the achievement, and which he may keep. 

CERTIFICATION – The above Constitution and By-Laws were presented to the membership for adoption, 

and were approved in its entirely by a 2/3 majority vote. This document supersedes all previously approved written or verbal rules and By-Laws. 


MIRACLE STRIP BASS CLUB 

TOURNAMENT RULES AND REGULATIONS 

Last updated: January 1, 2018 

GENERAL 

Al. The purpose of the MIRACLE STRIP BASS CLUB is to enjoy the sport, promote friendly competition among the members, learn from each other, and above all – have a good time. Since no set of rules can possibly cover all situations, certain elected officers. have the responsibility to make on the spot changes to accommodate unanticipated situations. When all else fails, the general philosophy of all MSBC Tournaments is ”the majority rules.” 

A2. A member must be in good standing to be eligible to fish any club tournament (i.e., dues must be paid to date). 

A3. The Club year runs from January to December. One tournament will be held each month unless otherwise announced. 

A4. The location of the site for each Tournament will be determined at the monthly meeting by a vote of only those attending the meeting that plan to be fishing the Tournament. Members who do not plan to fish should not vote on the site location. For planning purposes, and advanced, yearly pre-schedule is always subject to change at the monthly meeting(s), prior to the tournament in accordance with normally established procedures. 

A5. The Tournament Director or his substitute if the Tournament Director is not available will exercise authority and control over each tournament. Whatever the duties of the tournament Director are discussed in this set of rules and regulations, it is assumed that if the tournament Director is not available, his substitute (normally the Weigh Master, the Secretary/Treasurer, the Vice-President, or the President, in that order), has the same authority. 

A6. The tournament director may change the selected site when he determines the original site to be undesirable or unsafe. He may solicit the opinions and fishing reports of other members, but is not required to. However, the site may not be changed unless all members who declared their intention to fish can be notified. 

A7. In addition the specific safety equipment listed in boat must be equipped with a functional live well. 

SELECTING PARTNERS 

Bl. If enough non-boats are available, tournaments will be “Draw Tournaments,” with the exception of the Semi-annual and Annual tournaments which will be “Pick Your Own Partner” tournaments.

B2. If there are only a limited number of non-boaters, club members can choose their own partner. Members can also elect to fish without a partner, assuming no non-boater members are left without a ride. 

B3. For a draw tournament, partners will be selected by having a declared non-boaters, draw from a list of declared boaters until all non-boaters have a partner. If the remaining fishermen are all boaters they may fish alone or pair up with another boater. 

B4. Guests are welcome to fish with the club, provided their prospective partners at the monthly meeting prior to the tournament announce their names, and meet the following restrictive criteria: 

Generally, only guests who are potential new members, should be invited to fish. However, there are exceptions. For instance: a previous member who is visiting after departing the area and wants to fish with the club; a fishing dignitary or a sports writer; a family member; house guest, etc. The guest should be announced, named, discussed and approved by the members attending the monthly meeting. 

The same guest may not fish with the club more than once in a single club year. Family members may fish at any time, providing that there are enough boaters to accommodate non-boater club members. 

A member may not invite a guest if that action would result in a non-boating member being left without a boat to fish in. 

Guests are expected to observe all tournament rules, however, they are not eligible to score weight for club awards. 

B5. Non-boater fishermen must not fish with the same partner for more than two consecutive draw tournaments. This does not include buddy tournaments. 

B6. Any member that plans to fish a tournament, but cannot attend the club meeting, must tell another member who is attending the meeting to enter their names into the draw for partners. 

SAFETY 

Cl. Boats used in MSBC tournaments must be equipped with, at minimum, the safety equipment required by the State of Florida. At the current time, this includes: one lifejacket for each person on board, one throwable life preserver, a fire extinguisher, and a suitable audible warning device. Members should refer to the appropriate Florida Boating Laws for details on these requirements. 

C2. During the tournaments fishing period, each contestant on board must be wearing a lifejacket any time the big engine is cranked and/or running. And any time the big engine is running, the motor kill switch lanyard must be tied to the boat operator. It is the passenger’s responsibility to check the operator’s compliance with this rule.

C3. During the tournament-fishing period, no alcoholic beverages are allowed on a boat involved in a MSBC Tournament. 

C4. Any violation of the above safety rules, as reported by a competing boat, may be cause for disqualification for the offending boat. A formal protest must be filed in accordance with the procedures outlined in Paragraph 11. Below. 

TIMES AND DATES 

Dl. All MSBC Tournaments will normally be conducted on weekend following the 2nd Tuesday of each month (the day of the MSBC meeting). One-day Tournaments will be held on Sundays and two-day Tournaments will be held on Saturday and Sunday. 

D2. All MSBC Tournament hours are from safe daylight until 3:30 PM thought the entire calendar year. The MSBC will always adhere to a “Central Time Zone” clock, regardless of which time zone the Tournament is being held in. Unless the Tournament time period is specifically changed by vote at the monthly meeting or otherwise, or by the Tournament Director in accordance with Paragraph D3 below, contestants should assume that the normal time period is in effect. 

D3. The Tournament Director has the authority to change the time period of the Tournament using the following general guidelines. 

Tournament starts can be delayed as long as necessary for safety considerations, such as coordinating departure times with other clubs using the same launch site, or adverse weather, such as fog or wind, etc. 

Tournament ending times can be shortened at the sole direction of the Tournament Director. 

Extending the termination time beyond the normal hours requires a unanimous vote by the members present at the Tournament site. 

D4. Night tournament start and stop times will be decided on a case-by-case basis at the meeting before the tournament. Also, the stop time for the second day of any two-day tournament may be changed by a vote of the membership at the meeting before the tournament. Both cases are subject to modification by the Tournament Director using the procedure in D3 above. 

BLAST-OFF 

El. The Tournament Director will provide a time check before blast-off and announce the quitting time. If the Tournament Director has determined any fishing waters “off limits,” other than those defined in F6 below, this will also be announced with the time check. After all appropriate announcements, the Tournament Director will signal blast-of£ 

E2. At the start of the Tournament, boats will blast-off from the launch site in a staggered, orderly manner, spaced approximately 30 seconds apart. The order of departure will be determined at the preceding monthly meeting by having a drawing conducted by the Tournament Director to select the order of blast-off. The boat with the highest number (last to go) will act as a controller for the spacing between boats. Anyone departing the launch site early is subject to disqualification. 

E3. Red/Green running lights and a White anchor light will be installed and working at blastoff for all MSBC Tournaments based on local state laws. Boats with malfunctioning lights will be the last to leave the launch site, regardless of their previously drawn sequence number, and will assume the task of ‘controller boat’. 

FISHING 

Fl. Only Bass are eligible for score for all waters normally fished during MSBC Tournaments. Stripers and Hybrid Bass are specifically not eligible for score. Smallmouth and other species may be eligible on a case-by-case basis. This issue should normally be discussed and settled at the monthly meeting prior to any Tournament where a catch of those species is possible. 

F2. Only standard bait casting, spin casting or spinning tackle is authorized. The maximum length of rods cannot exceed 10 feet in length. Only artificial lures can be used. No live bait or prepared bait can be used. Pork strips or rinds can be used. Trolling with either motor is prohibited. Only one fishing rod and bait can be used at a time for each angler. (Only one bait can be in the water at a time.) Other fishing rods may be ready for use in the boat. 

F3. Fish may be landed by hand, hauled aboard, or with the assistance of a landing net. 

F4. Contestants may catch and hold an individual daily limit of five (5) fish, unless local rules of the tournament site require a smaller limit. In that case, the local limit will prevail. Any culling will be done at the fishing site and not at weigh-in or landing. 

F5. All fish must measure a minimum of 12 inches on a Golden Rule (Mouth Closed tail pinched). In cases where the fishing water of the Tournament site has a larger minimum length limit, that limit will prevail. 

F6. Fishing is “off-limits” 50 yards from the launch site. Contestants should also maintain a 50-yard separation from other boats in the same tournament that are anchored or fixed in position. 

WEIGH-IN 

G1. Reporting to weigh-in is mandatory to score. Contestants must return to the landing site at or before the tournament stop time. Each contestant in a boat that is late for weigh-in will be penalized one pound of his or her scorable fish for each minute late. The penalty will be applied to total weight. A contestant’s lunker fish will always be the last fish to be impacted by any late penalty. For example, if a contestant catches 8 lbs of smaller fish, plus a 5 lb lunker for a total of 13 lbs, he can be up to eight minutes late before the lunker weight begins to be penalized at a rate of 1lb per minute. After fifteen minutes late, the contestants are disqualified, and cannot score any weight. 

G2. In the event of a boat malfunction that will prevent making weigh-in on time, a contestant may come aboard another boat with his and his partner’s catch to make weigh-in on time. A boat hailed to make such a pick-up, may, at his sole discretion, decide that there is not sufficient time to make the pick-up and return to the landing site by the required quitting time. In this case, the contestants in the failed boat will have to wait until after the weighin for rescue assistance. 

G3. Every attempt will be made to maintain a good healthy environment for fish waiting to be weighed-in to ensure an effective “live release” program. This includes a requirement to have certain minimum equipment to store landed fish, as well as careful handling of landed fish 

Any boat used in a MCBC tournament must have a live well, equipped with an aerating water pump. The tank does not have to be built-in. Boats without this basic equipment will not be allowed, but an unforeseen pump failure at the time of the tournament will not preclude use of the boat. Use of stringers to hold landed fish are specifically prohibited, even after a pump failure. 

A 0.25 lb penalty will be levied against the contestant for each dead fish brought to the scales. If dead fish also happens to be contestant’s lunker, the 0.25-lb penalty will be assessed to the total weight as well as any lunker award, if applicable. Boats may be removed from the water prior to weigh in but must not leave the ramp area until weigh in has concluded. 

G4. A contestant presenting a fish for weigh-in that is found to be outside the length limits authorized for that site will not be able to score the weight for that fish, and will be assessed an additional penalty of one pound and loss of the lunker fish from the total weight. The Weigh Master will select the penalty lunker fish to cull from the catch. Penalties could be imposed for either a short fish or too many long fish in cases where the latest Florida Law on Bass length is in effect. 

G5. From time to time, the Weigh Master may select any fish from a contestants catch to check the length on the “Golden Rule”. This is not intended to challenge any member’s integrity, but only to demonstrate to all participants that the fish presented for score are within limits. Contestants should not take offense when the Weigh Master selects one of their fish for verification. A contestant may ask the Weigh Master to check the length of any other contestant’s catch. The Weigh Master will be obligated to perform this verification. 

G6. In case of a tie on total weight, the largest fish will be used to break the tie. The Weigh Master is the final authority on this issue. 

G7. A contestant, who leaves the tournament site without good cause prior to completion of the club weigh-in, will be disqualified. 

TROPHIES &AWARDS 

Hl. A member’s competitive standing for Fisherman of the Year will be determined by points awarded for place finishes. 100 points will be awarded for first place, 95 points for second, 90 for third, and so forth until all members that weigh fish are assigned points. All members that do not weigh in fish will be given 5 points less than the member with the lowest fish total. The top 10 tournament points for each individual will determine the Fisherman of the year. The Weigh Master or Tournament Director will be responsible to record all weigh-in data. The Weigh Master or the Secretary will keep the permanent record for the club. 

H2. A “First Place” trophy or plaque will be awarded to the winner of each tournament; If the winners also catches the lunker for a given Tournament, and that lunker weighed at least four pounds (after any penalty, if applicable), the words “and Lunker” can be added to the First place trophy, but a separate trophy for Lunker will not be awarded for the monthly tournaments. A single Lunker Trophy will be awarded at the completion of the club year in January to the member who weighed in the heaviest fish for the year. The fisherman with the highest club awarded points in the standings at the end of the year will be declared the “Fisherman of the Year,” and will have their name added to the Fisherman of the Year trophy and be entitled to hold the trophy for one year. The fisherman of the year will also be awarded a smaller individual trophy, recognizing their achievement, and which they can keep permanently. 

H3. If the winner of any monthly tournament trophy declines award of the trophy, or accepts a simple engraving plate in lieu of the full trophy, he will receive credit for one month’s dues. Maybe applied to the next year’s dues if member has paid in full for the current year. 

H4. At the Semi-Annual and Annual tournaments, additional awards may be given depending on the treasury funds available and the desire of the majority, as voted on at the appropriate monthly meetings. 

PROTESTS 

Notice of intent to lodge tournament protest must be announced by the protester to the Tournament Director, at the tournament site, before the completion of weigh-in. The protest must be in writing, submitted not later than 10 minutes after the weigh-in. The write-up can be on any scrap of paper, does not have to be elaborate, but should state the nature of the protest and the rule(s) violated. A protest committee, consisting of those executive committee members present, who are not party to the protest, will resolve the protest. Parties involved in the protest must remain on site during deliberations of the protest committee and be available for consultation or clarification. The ruling of the protest committee will be final unless: 

There is not at least one executive committee member available to serve as the Committee, who is not party to the protest. 

The protest committee fails to come to a decision and desires resolution by the Majority of the membership. 

In either of the above cases, the protest will be discussed and voted on at the Next membership meeting. Resolution will require agreement by the majority of the members present at the meeting. The results will become part of the Permanent club records, and 

may result in a change to the rules in cases of Ambiguities or difficulty interpretation. 

J. MISCELLANEOUS 

The following are not specific rules, but are provided as recommended standards for certain tournament activities. 

JI. The MSBC is very supportive of all efforts to protect our fishing environment. Members should ensure that no trash of any kind is thrown overboard, or is blown out while running. Contestants should collect trash generated during fishing and disposed of properly back at the Landing site. 

J2. If you plan to fish in some out of the way place, it is advisable to let someone in the club know of your intent so that in case you have boat problem, a suitable rescue operation can be focused on your planned location. 

J3. Fishing expenses should be shared on a pre-agreed basis between partners. A 50-50 split on gas for the towing vehicle and boat, plus $10.00 payment to the partner who furnishes the vehicle and boat is the usual arrangement. Variations of this may be required when the partners cannot get together on for travel or pre-fishing. Partners should make every attempt to stick together for all tournament activities or work it out before hand to make sure there is an equitable sharing costs. 

J4. Many times advanced motel arrangements are made and guaranteed on a charge card by a member for several rooms, based on the stated desires of the respective partner teams. Members are responsible for commitments made, and should pay for their room whether they are used or not, if the person who made the reservation is charged. 

CERTIFICATION: The above tournament rules and regulations were presented to the membership for review and were adopted for use by a Board vote on 5 December 2017. These Tournament Rules rescind and superseded all previously approved rules verbal tournament policies.