JULY 22 & 23, 2023



1) Tournament Format

a) The Bronzeback Classic – Bob Stapleton Memorial Tournament is a two-person team, fishing for two days, daily and total combined weight, live release tournament.

b) The Tournament Board of Directors have the right to delay or shorten the tournament, subject to weather and/or safety considerations.

c) The Bronzeback Classic – Bob Stapleton Memorial Tournament, its promoters, employees, sponsors, organizers, hosts, directors, officers, and affiliated organizations assisting the operations of any aspect of the Tournament; their agents and/or agents and assigns are not responsible for any death, injury, damage, liability, fire, theft or loss that may result prior to, during or after the Tournament howsoever caused.



2) Participation and Eligibility

 a) Competitors must be a minimum of eighteen (18) years of age as of the tournament weekend unless they have the permission of their parents or guardians.

 b) All Youth Anglers competing in the Adult/Youth division, must be UNDER the age of 18 as of July 22, 2023

 c) All participants will require a WAIVER OF CLAIM, RELEASE AND INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENT signed by them or their parents or guardians if applicable.

 d) All anglers must possess the required license as per the Ontario Sport Fishing Regulations.

 e) The Bronze Back Classic Tournament committee reserves the right to refuse entry to any individual or team for any reason that the committee may deem appropriate.

 f) The Tournament is limited to the first 110 paid teams.

 g) Up to an additional 10 paid teams will be allotted to out of town anglers

 h) Full Payment is required at the time of registration from all teams.


3) Entry Fees and Registration

 a) Entry fee per team is $400.00 (Canadian)

 b) Team registrations and release of team numbers will take place on Sunday, March 5 at the Kenora Curling Club – Doors open at 10:00am

 c) One angler from each team MUST be present to register their team


 e) In case of cancellations, Full Refunds will be issued up to June 1, 2023, at which point their spot will be filled from the waiting list.


4) Waiting List

 a) Once the field of 120 teams are filled, entries will be placed on a waiting list in the order the entries are received

 b) In the event of a scratch or cancellation, waiting list anglers will be contacted in the order that their entry was received to fill the newly created vacancy

 c) Once contacted regarding the opportunity to fill a newly created vacancy, the anglers will have 24 hours to confirm participation, partner and arrange payment before the next angler on the waiting list is contacted.


5) Angler replacement provisions

 a) If after the competition has started, a team’s captain or partner is unable to compete because of a medical, family or other justified reason, the remaining team member will be given the option to replace the leaving team member with another angler as long as it’s in the same division

 b) The replacement angler must not have been on tournament waters during the competition.

 c) The tournament officials must be notified and must approve any angler replacement



 a) The Rules Meeting will be held on Friday, July 21, 2023 at the Kenora Curling Club

 b) At least one (and preferably both) members of each team must attend the entire Rules Meeting.

 c) Angler bags and motor tags will be available for pick up prior to the rules meeting from 6:00pm – 7:00pm.

 d) The Rules meeting will start at 7:00pm sharp


7) Pre-Tournament Practice

 a) Unlimited pre-tournament practice is allowed

 b) Moving fish from one location to another during pre-tournament practice is prohibited. Violations will result in tournament disqualification 

 c) All competitors must be off the water by 3:00pm on Friday, July 21, 2023.

 d) No contestant may enter the tournament waters for the purpose of catching or locating bass or locating locations after tournament hours. Violations will result in tournament disqualification


8) Live Release of Fish

 a) Fixed or portable aerated live wells capable of supporting life are mandatory and every effort must be made to keep bass alive

 b) Under no circumstances can a fish be purposely altered

 c) Any fish mauled, mashed, frozen, stringered, injected with water or other fluids, containing foreign matter to add weight, or showing white gills or soft flesh, will result in immediate disqualification of the team.

 d) Under no circumstances are dead fish to be released


9) Penalty for Late Check In

 a) Contestants who are late crossing the finish line at the end of either day will be penalized ¼ lb. per minute late up to 5 minutes after their appointed return time. Fish brought in after the 5-minute period will not be weighed.

b) The teams finishing time will be determined as the time their boat completely passes the finish line. Boats must be off plane and must cross the finish line in single file


10) Scoring

a) Only Smallmouth Bass legally caught on a tournament day by angling qualify for weigh-in.

b) A daily limit of FIVE (5) bass per team may be weighed. A team may possess the daily Ministry of Natural Resources limit while angling only. While under main engine power the 5 fish rule is in effect. The penalty for failure to comply is disqualification of the day’s weight.

c) The official minimum length is twelve (12) inches. Bass will be measured with the mouth closed and the tail pinched. Bass presented for weigh-in which fail to meet the minimum length will not be weighted and the team will be penalized at a rate of one (1) pound for each short fish. In the event that assessing weight penalties result in a negative total weight for the day, the negative weight shall be carried forward to the next day or subtracted from the existing teams total, whichever if appropriate.

d) All teams are required to have their own proper weigh bags. Each team’s fish are to be presented to the Weigh Master in proper weigh bags that the angler is responsible to supply.

e) All weights, upon verbal acceptance of the team member bringing up the fish, and then publicly called by the Weighmaster are immediately official and are not thereafter contestable

f) One team member must sign the weigh-in slip recording the weight of the catch.

g) Dead or non-releasable fish presented for weigh-in will be weighed. Four (4) ounces will be deducted from the daily weight for each dead or non-releasable fish that is weighed. A resulting negative daily weight will be handled as per the second sentence of Rule 9(c)


11) Boats and Motors

a) The Tournament Director reserves the right to disallow the use of any boat, motor and/or equipment deemed unsafe, inappropriate, or unsuitable.

b) All boats must be a minimum of fourteen (14) feet in length

c) All boats, motors and their equipment must meet Canadian Coast Guard Standards

d) All boats equipped with any emergency kill switch must have the kill switch securely attached to the operator whenever the boat is on plane.

e) Boats and Motors must not exceed recommended maximum horsepower for their size

f) Team Number and Motor Tags will be assigned based on date and time of paid entry fee and will be given out at the Rules Meeting. The Numbers must be affixed to the cowl of the main combustion engine so that they are clearly and plainly visible.


12) Daily Launching and Morning Equipment Inspections

a) Teams are required to have their equipment ready and on the water thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled departure time of their flight. Late arrivals will be penalized and leave at the end of the takeoff that day.

b) Boat inspection will take place each morning commencing at 6:30am

c) Teams must have their Boat Numbers properly affixed, and their kill switches, tackle boxes, hatches and live wells open and ready for inspection.

d) Failure to report for daily boat inspection will result in disqualification of that days catch


13) Trickle Start

Day Team Numbers  Start Times  Return Times 
Day 1 - Saturday  #1 to #60  7:00 AM  3:00 PM
   #61 to #120  7:15 AM  3:30 PM
Day 2 - Sunday  #120 to #61 (reverse order)  7:00 AM  3:00 PM
   #60 to #1 (reverse order)  7:15 AM  3:30 PM


a) On Day 1, teams will start in order of their assigned boat number issued at registration.

b) On Day 2, teams will start in reverse order (starting at Team 120).

c) Official Start times for both days will be 7:00 am and return time will be 3:30. Teams will be called and released every few seconds using a signal flag and blow horn. Each team must acknowledge by waving at the Official Starter. Boats MUST idle past the starter boat and then can accelerate.

d) Any team starting or attempting to start out of order will be held back by the Official Starter until the balance of both flights have departed.

e) Returning through Devils Gap is permitted, speed limits must be observed.


14) Sportsmanship and Courtesy

a) It is strictly prohibited for any competitor to give, offer, accept or suggest the exchange of any weighable fish to, from or with any other competitor or non-competitor.

b) All competitors must remain fifty (50) yards from another competitor’s boat.

c) Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, particularly with regards to boating and fishing in the vicinity of a non-competitor.

d) Use of cellular phones is prohibited unless for emergency situations only.


15) Safety

a) All competitors must practice safe boating at all times during practice and tournament fishing hours.

b) Every competitor must wear a fully secured Coast Guard approved life jacket or flotation device whenever the main combustion engine is in operation, and where so equipped tethered kill switches must be attached to the driver’s body.

c) No alcoholic beverages or uncontrolled substances may be possessed or consumed by competitors during the tournament fishing hours up to and including the weighing of their catch.

d) Any Team charged with an offense by any law enforcement agency during the tournament fishing hours will be disqualified.

e) Competitors may not leave their boats except in the event of a thunderstorm, lightening or severe weather, and emergencies. Anglers may. in these situations, pull onto the nearest shoreline until it is safe to continue fishing.

f) Every team, whether weighing fish or not, must check in at the Check in Boat located at the starting location. The penalty for failing to report will be disqualification of the team and forfeit of any prizes won during the tournament.

g) The Check in Boat will be ready for check ins at 2:30pm each day. If breakdowns force a team in early, they must check in at the designated weigh station or call # TBD **** NO EARLIER THAN 2:30pm EACH DAY.


16) Mechanical Breakdowns or Emergencies

a) Committee boats are prohibited from towing any competitor’s boat during the tournament hours.

b) A team that has a mechanical problem may use a different boat to finish that tournament day as long as the team checks in for a boat inspection BEFORE THEY RESUME FISHING.

c) Teams must notify a tournament official if an emergency or breakdown has occurred d) Anglers may step on shore if required to aid in rectifying a mechanical problem or emergency

e) In the event of a break down the competitor must call the following phone number - TBD and get clearance from the tournament official to either transfer their catch to another competitor’s boat or wait for the official tournament boat to come and pick up the competitor. The transfer of fish can only be done if there are two live wells and one competitor from the broken-down boat must accompany the catch back to the check in.

f) Both catches must arrive prior to the earliest return time deadline for the flights that the teams are competing in,


17) On the Water

a) Competitors are personally responsible for knowing all the Tournament rules, as well as the current Ontario Sports Fishing Regulations and Canadian Coast Guard Regulations. Teams found to have violated federal or provincial fishing and boating regulations during the tournament may be disqualified when this information is confirmed by tournament officials. This judgement could also apply to eligibility to participate in future tournaments.

b) All teams and their equipment are subject to inspection at any time during the tournament. Official Tournament boats may come alongside and come aboard to inspect the competitor’s boat at any time. No other boat may come in contact with a competitor’s boat at any time.

c) Competitors are not allowed to pass any item to another boat or receive items from another boat during tournament hours.

d) No fish or fishing information may be given to, or exchanged with, competitors during tournament hours by tournament or non-tournament anglers


18) Tackle and Equipment

a) Only artificial lures, manufactured baits, pork rind and commercially available liquid attractants may be used. Landing nets may be used.

b) No live bait, frozen or freeze-dried bait of any kind may be used or possessed by any competitor at any time during the tournament

c) The use, in live wells, of commercially available fish care chemicals is permitted.

d) The use of the “Fisheye” underwater camera or any similar device is prohibited during the tournament time frame.


19) Rule(s) Violations and Protests

a) Each team captain has the right to file a protest when they have first-hand knowledge that a rule has been broken or violated by another team. Protest must be filed within fifteen minutes of weigh in to be considered. A $100.00 fee must accompany all protest.

b) The “violations” committee will be comprised of the top 5 team captains of the previous day, and they will interpret the rules according to their ‘spirit and intent’. The decisions of the Committee are final, and not subject to review at any time.

c) If the protest is found to be valid, the protest fee will be returned forthwith, and the penalized team will be dealt with as the committee sees fit.

d) If the protest is found invalid, the protest fee will not be returned.

e) Competitors may not allow boat or angler to hold a spot for them.


20) Boundaries







21) Tie Breakers

a) In the event of a tie for First Place Overall, the team which has the largest single day catch of the tournament will be awarded first place.

b) In the event of a tie for any position for which a trophy or plaque is presented, the team with the largest single catch of the tournament will be awarded the higher-ranking trophy or plaque

c) Ties for all other positions will be decided by combining the prize money for the two positions in question and dividing it equally amongst all affected teams.


22) Changes and amendments

a) The Bronzeback Classic – Bob Stapleton Memorial Board of Directors retains the right to change or amend any or all of these preceding rules at their sole discretion without prior notification or consultation with the competitors

b) Final Approved Official Rules of the 2023 Bronzeback Classic – Bob Stapleton Memorial Live Release Tournament on Lake of the Woods will be posted on the website and a copy given to all teams as part of their Registration Package, subject only to clarification(s) arising from the Official Rules meeting held on the Friday immediately prior to Day 1 of the tournament.

Emergency number