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I. Participants & Eligibility:
A. Each contestant must correctly complete, sign and submit an official entry form along with the
correct deposit or entry fee to the Professional Walleye Trail credentials committee. Upon
acceptance, contestants will be entered in their respective professional or amateur fields or placed
on an alternate list.
B. Contestants must be 18 years of age or older, and in good physical and mental condition, capable
of understanding and performing safety functions described in section VI and a current subscriber
to Walleye In-Sider magazine, the official publication of the PWT.
C. Each contestant must possess a valid fishing license(s). Daily boat weight will not be allowed if
contestant is ticketed for not possessing a valid license.
D. The PWT reserves the right to refuse entry to any individual who has been disciplined for rules
violations from other tournaments.
E. All contestants will be eligible for daily Bass Pro Shops big fish prizes; one big fish per boat per
day; amateurs and pros split big fish awards.
F. All touring pros and amateurs must provide a credit card account number to the PWT. The
appropriate balances will automatically be charged on the deadline. Do not use debit cards. Fees
may be paid with certified checks or money orders for those who do not use credit cards.
G. The Professional field will be filled as follows: Anglers who completed all 6 qualifiers in 2001 will
automatically be seeded in order of finish for 2002. Past PWT Championship winners and Anglers of
the Year who fished a division (or did not fish in 2001) will be seeded following the 2001 6-time pros
if they enter all qualifying events in 2002 followed by the pros who fished the Dee Zee East division
and the Dee Zee West division and qualified applicants.
H. The Dee Zee East & West divisions will be filled by the most-qualified rookie and veteran anglers
who apply to fish the 3-tournament divisions.
I. Touring or Division Pro entry forms must be received by the selection committee along with a
$1,075 deposit or a credit card authorization form before January 11, 2002 for priority seeding.
Applications received after January 11, will be considered if pro spots are available.The
non-refundable deposit will be applied to the final tournament in the division or the circuit, and is
non-transferable, and will be forfeited if the pro misses a tournament. Successful applicants will be
notified by January 31, 2002. Pro entry fee balances will be paid by Visa or Mastercard on the
deadline, 21 days prior to the tournament.
J. Pros applying to fish one or two tournaments must submit the $1,075 entry fee per tournament.
Early applicants receive priority consideration.
K. Once a pro is accepted into the tournament field, no refunds will be granted except in the case of
death in the immediate family.
L. All PWT Professional contestants must submit a certificate of insurance prior to the season
naming the In-Fisherman Professional Walleye Trail a certificate holder and indicating a boating
liability policy with a minimum coverage of $300,000, and carry a copy with them for display at
M. Amateurs may enter one or both divisions (3 or 6 tournaments) by submitting a $575
non-refundable deposit (cashiers check or credit card number) and a credit card authorization form
prior to January 11, 2002. The non-refundable deposit will be applied to the final tournament in the
division and will be forfeited if the amateur misses a tournament. Entry fees, due 21 days prior to
each tournament, will be paid by charging the amateur’s credit card. Divisional amateurs will be
guaranteed of fishing if entries are received prior to January 11.
N. Amateurs may apply to fish individual tournaments. Amateur entries for individual events are
$575 per tournament. Amateurs will be charged the $575 per tournament fee upon acceptance into
the field. Group entries may be submitted in one envelope. Once an amateur is accepted into the
tournament field, no refunds will be granted except in the case of death in the immediate family.
When all slots are filled, alternate lists will be maintained for each tournament, the top 10 alternates
will be charged when added to the list; other alternates will be charged as they move into the top 10.
Contestants on the alternate list who do not make it into the tournament will receive a full refund
less credit card service fees.
O. If there is pro attrition once an event has started, the last entered amateurs will be withdrawn to
equalize the field if pro alternates do not fill the field. Any amateurs removed due to this situation
will receive a full refund.
A. This is a competitive Pro-Am educational fishing format. Pros will work together with their daily
amateur partners teaching and sharing walleye tactics. In a trolling scenario, amateurs must have an
equal opportunity to set rods and land fish. Pros and amateurs will fish together for the maximum
boat weight. Each partner will carry the combined daily "boat" weight into the following competition
day. Each contestant's weight in pounds will determine final tournament standings.
B. Payout will be on a pro rata basis on a field average of 135 pro and 135 amateur contestants per
C. In case of a first place pro tie, the first tie-breaker will be the heaviest one-day weight; followed by
the second heaviest daily weight. Ties for other places will split awards. Amateur ties will be
determined by a coin toss.
D. All awards will be made on the final competition day.
E. At the conclusion of the final qualifying event, the heaviest total weight for the entire circuit
(must fish 6 tournaments) will determine the In-Fisherman Angler of the Year. The Angler of the Year
will be seeded #1 in the 2002 Championship.
III. Contestant Pairing:
A. Contestants will be paired for all three days by tournament officials in an open draw at the
mandatory rules meeting.
B. The control of the boat will be granted to the Professional. In the case of pros drawn with pros,
which may occur if the amateur field is reduced (and sufficient amateur alternates are not available),
the highest seeded pro will be in control of the boat. Pros will be drawn together for only one
tournament day. The pros drawn together may share fishing information and gear.
C. Partners are responsible for locating and meeting each other. Partner information cards will be
distributed at the rules meeting.
IV. Tournament Format:
A. All PWT tournaments will be three days, unless delayed or shortened due to weather or
unforeseen circumstances. Tournament boundaries will be announced prior to each event and may
be restricted in the event of severe weather or for other reasons. Restricted zones will be announced
B. Once a tournament day begins, a weigh-in will occur unless the day is canceled by tournament
officials prior to noon. In the event of cancellation prior to noon, contestants will be notified via
marine band radio. All pros must contact tournament headquarters as soon as they are safely off the
water. Pros may do this by phone, by marine band radio or in person.
C. Contestants will check out each morning, and check in each afternoon at designated locations
with official time-keepers. At check-in, contestants will be issued a number, and then proceed to the
dock and through the weigh-in line in numerical order. PWT officials will hold back leaders on the
final day. Contestants who return late will forfeit their fish weight for the day. If break-down occurs,
contestants may transfer fish only to another contestant’s boat, but must return on time. They may
also opt to be towed in by a contestant or non-contestant, but must return on time.
D. When a contestant assists a boat in distress (tournament or non-tournament), contestant must
note time and position and notify PWT headquarters as soon as possible. Tournament Director may
weigh fish late for the pro contestant lending assistance if it is determined that the pro could have
made the weigh-in on time.
E. Contestants must stay in contact with their boats, but may leave their boats for emergencies, to
participate in rescue operations or to get gas. Contestants may not pass or request bait or tackle
from other boats. A contestant may transfer a gas can to a contestant out of gas.
F. On tournament days, pros and amateurs must stay off tournament waters before and after
tournament hours except to navigate in a straight line to a launch ramp, marina or lodging facilities.
G. No pets are permitted in boats during competition.
V. Equipment & Tackle:
A. Artificial lures and live bait will be allowed.
B. All walleyes must be caught on hook and line while using a conventional rod and reel. Rod length
must be longer than four feet, 10 inches.
C. Each Professional will provide a boat with all Coast Guard required safety equipment (including a
type IV throw cushion, flare kit, distress flag, horn or whistle and fire extinguisher). In addition, each
boat is required to have a fully functional marine band base radio and adequate fixed antenna (hand
held radios are allowed only as back-up units), an operable bilge pump, a fixed or hand-held
compass, an anchor with 100 feet of rope and a flow-through live-well system that will keep walleyes
D. The professional will provide amateur partner with all tackle. Amateurs are not permitted to bring
any tackle into the pro's boat.
E. A maximum of two lines per contestant will be allowed where legal.
F. All contestants must continuously monitor the prescribed marine band radio frequency. A
non-working radio will keep the pro in the harbor until the radio is replaced or repaired. Except for
emergency or safety reasons, all radio and phone communications are prohibited. Cellular phones
are encouraged for safety calls to headquarters.
A. Each competitor must observe safe boat conduct, no wake zones, local navigation rules and
demonstrate the utmost boating courtesy at all times.
B. Each competitor is required to wear a Coast Guard approved chest-type life preserver (or
equivalent) which must be fully secured whenever running above trolling speed.
C. Instant stop switches must be operable and in use when contestants are using the main
combustion engine above trolling speed.
D. Main combustion engine horsepower may not exceed the manufacturers original horsepower
rating plate on the boat.
E. All boats (tiller and console) must be equipped with a seat and at least one handle device for the
amateur to grip while underway.
F. Only factory installed (built-in) gas tanks and a marine certified fuel tank up to a 6 gallon maximum
may be used. Auxiliary tank must be secured.
G. Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those prescribed by a licensed physician) during tournament
hours is prohibited.
H. Tournament officials reserve the right at any time to disallow the use of any boat and/or motor
they deem unsafe, inappropriate, or unsuitable for use in a PWT competition. Failure to notify PWT
officials of damaged equipment or safety gear and make necessary repairs will result in
disqualification. The Tournament Director's decision in this matter is final.
I. The Tournament Director may declare any entrant or participant ineligible to compete who may
hinder or endanger the safety and well being of any contestant or be unable to perform safety
functions. Contestants must be able to freely move about the boat. All contestants must be able to
start and drive a boat (at least at low speed), navigate by being able to follow a compass heading,
recognize prominent landmarks and be able to assist with a man-overboard rescue effort from any
point in the boat. The starting and driving procedures will be part of the tournament instruction each
morning before departure. Training regarding the other aspects of safety, operation of a marine band
radio and boat control will be an integral element of the day's fishing.
J. In the event that lightning is visible, pros MUST immediately cease fishing and move away from
the lightning towards a safe harbor or shore. When the lightning is no longer visible, anglers may
return to their fishing spots.
A. All PWT professional anglers are expected to act in a sportsmanlike manner at all times towards
other pros, amateurs and non-contestants. This shall include the areas of safety, conservation,
civility and courtesy.
B. Any contestant’s conduct or action which negatively reflects on the PWT, other contestants,
sponsors or the host community at any time will be subject to disqualification.
C. Each boat will be given an official tournament marker. The pro in control of the boat also has
control of the marker. When the marker is placed in the water, it will establish a 75 foot diameter
fishing circle which may not be fished or navigated through by another contestant (a marker may
not be placed in water currently being used by contestant or non-contestant). Once a marker has
been placed to establish a fishing circle, that contestant must remain within the 75-foot circle (not be
more than 2 boat lengths from the marker) and may leave only when playing a fish. Upon landing the
fish, the contestant must immediately return to the 75 foot fishing circle. The marker is only for
fishing. When "limited-out" or not fishing, marker buoy must be picked up. Official markers are the
designated Northland buoys; no other Northland markers may be used.
D. During tournament fishing hours, contestants will not solicit, share or receive fishing information
from other contestants or seek information from anyone. Amateurs may not recommend or share
fishing spots or other “how to” information with their pro partners. Amateurs who share their pro
partner’s fishing spots with any other contestant (pro or amateur) will be disqualified along with the
person utilizing this information. Non-contestants will not be allowed to anchor or hold spots for
PWT contestants. Binoculars may only be used in emergencies or for navigation during tournament
VIII. Rules & Interpretation:
A. Contestants will be responsible for knowing and abiding by PWT, state and local rules and
regulations which pertain to the tournament waters. Specific local rules will be highlighted at the
mandatory rules meeting.
B. All protests must be made in writing with the Tournament Director within 30 minutes of
completion of daily weigh-in. Following interviews with concerned parties, a ruling will be made. In
the event rules infractions are brought to the Tournament Director's
attention at any time, and it is determined a violation occurred; daily and/or tournament weight may
be forfeited as well as cash, prizes and awards. The Tournament Director will interpret rules
according to the spirit and intent of the rule and his decision in all disputes is final.
C. Tournament officials reserve the right to utilize polygraph tests. Contestants agree to submit to a
polygraph test and abide by the results when signing the PWT tournament waiver. Winnings will be
withheld pending polygraph results.
IX. Weigh-In & Live-Release:
A. All Professional Walleye Trail tournaments will be managed to maximize the number of fish
released. A 3/10-pound penalty will be assessed for each fish determined to be non-releasable.
B. Only walleye, sauger and saugeye will be weighed. Each set of daily boat partners may weigh the
tournament designated number of fish. Minimum sizes and limits will be announced at each event.
Walleyes will be measured in accordance with American Fisheries Society standards; mouth closed,
tail fanned and/or squeezed. The official PWT ruler will be "The Judge."
C. If any contestant brings one more than the specified tournament daily limit to the scale, the
largest fish in the bag will be thrown out. The remaining fish will be weighed. If two or more
additional fish are brought to the scale, the entire catch will be disqualified for the day.
D. The designated tournament release site will be off limits.
E. Any fish altered (before or after being caught) which enhances the weight or circumvents
tournament slot limits will result in loss of total weight for the day. Altering fish penalty: angler will
be banned from PWT events.
X. Pre-Tournament Practice & Registration:
A. All PWT tournament waters will be closed to pro contestants for a four (4) day period (Monday,
Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday) before tournament week. Then, a five day practice period (Friday
through Tuesday noon) will commence.
B. Pro contestants must complete at least two practice days during the official practice period,
unless they receive prior PWT authorization.
C. Pro contestants must register in person on the official registration night from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday before each tournament at the PWT tent. Penalty for failure to register during this time
period: pro will be seeded last on all three competition days or pay a $100 fine. Exceptions must be
approved in advance with PWT directors. Amateurs are encouraged to register at this time, also.
D. All contestants must be off the water by noon the day before each qualifying tournament. The
rules meeting begins at 6 p.m. the day before each tournament. All pros must be in attendance by 6
p.m. Penalty: Contestant will be seeded last on all three competition days or pay a $100 fine.
E. Amateur contestants should register at PWT headquarters when they arrive, but must check in no
later than 3 p.m. the day before each qualifying tournament. Late amateur registrants may be
replaced by alternates.
XI. Professional Walleye Trail Championship:
A. The top 30 Pro anglers by total weight of those who fish all six events (unless excused by PWT)
along with Mike Gofron, the 2001 PWT Champion, and the Mercury Top Amateur (best “place”
finish of amateurs fishing either the East or West Divisions) will be invited to fish the 2002
Championship. In addition, the top ten pro anglers from the East division and the top ten pro anglers
from the West division by weight will also be invited. And, tournament winners who fish all six
events, but do not make the top 30, will be invited. Championship contestants will compete
individually with an observer present. All boats and equipment used in the Championship must meet
all safety and insurance requirements. Championship contestants will be towed through the indoor
weigh-in by official Dodge vehicles. Unless previously authorized, only pro anglers will be allowed
on stage during weigh-in; the winner may celebrate on stage with family members present. The
Championship winner will take a victory lap in the Lund prize boat.
B. Championship tournament waters will be closed from August 12 thru September 5, 2002. During
the designated Navigation Day (Sept. 6), practice period (Sept. 7-11) and competition days (Sept.
12-14), contestants may only fish with PWT approved partners. All boat partners must be approved
in advance. Sunday is VIP day; only one designated VIP will ride and fish with each pro that day.
C. See rules VII.A, VII.B and VII D.
D. The Championship schedule supersedes regular qualifying tournament practice times, off-water
requirements, meetings and other activities.
NOTE: The PWT reserves the right to revise rules prior to the start
of the 2002 season. Violation of any PWT rules may be cause for penalty or disqualification.
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