Club By-Laws

Constitution and Bylaws of theNorthport Bass ClubAmended 10/016/14

Contents:

ARTICLE I
ARTICLE II
ARTICLE III
ARTICLE IV
ARTICLE V
ARTICLE VI
ARTICLE VII
ARTICLE VIII
ARTICLE IX
ARTICLE X
ARTICLE XI

Name and Purpose
Membership
Official Code Of Conduct
Club Officers
Board of Directors
Standing Committees
Meetings
Official Tournaments
Angler of the Year
End of Season “Classic”
Changes to Constitution and Bylaws


ARTICLE I – Name and Purpose

SECTION 1: Name

This organization shall be called the Northport Bass Club, hereafter referred to as NBC or the Club. The club will be affiliated with The Bass Federation, Inc. , Alabama Chapter, hereafter referred to as ABF, or The ABF.

SECTION 2: Purpose

1. Provide a forum where anglers can engage in the organized support, protection, education, conservation and encouragement of the sport of tournament bass fishing, and

2. Provide a means for visiting many of the premiere fishing locations located in Western Alabama, and

3. Provide a means by which club members can improve their angling skills and knowledge, and

4. Provide a forum to meet fellow anglers, and

5. Provide a family safe / family friendly environment for all anglers and their families at all club events and gatherings. See Article III.

ARTICLE II – Membership

SECTION 1: Eligibility

1. Prospective members should have the organizational skills necessary to host and officiate a tournament. See Article VII.

2. Membership to the club is open to all who have completed the necessary applications, paid required dues, and are approved by a majority vote of the Club’s Board of Directors, with the exceptions noted in Section 1.3. Applicants over the age of 18 must be regular members, under the age of 16 must become Junior Members, Those of the age of 16 and 17 have the option of regular or junior membership.

3. In keeping with the founding philosophy of the Club, membership is not open to: 1) anglers that are currently or have some time in the past been professional or semi-professional bass anglers. This includes individuals that have fished any of the professional or semi-professional bass circuits, been sponsored to fish in bass tournaments or that have guided for fee, and 2) any individual or group of individuals that have lost membership privileges from other bass clubs for tournament rule violations.

SECTION 2: Requirements of Membership

To remain a member in good standing, a person shall:

1. Pay annual membership dues as determined by the Board of Directors. New members will pay dues upon being accepted for membership, and current members will pay dues prior to or at the annual organization meeting at the beginning of each tournament year.

2. Abide by all Club rules, official code of conduct and conduct themselves in a sportsman-like manner at all Club functions.

3. Regular club members are required to become a member of The Bass Federation, Alabama Chapter (ABF).

4. Junior members under the age of 18 are permitted, but must fish with an active adult member, preferable with a parent or guardian. Junior members are eligible for the Angler of the Year and can qualify for the Classic.

Junior members are required to pay ABF dues. Individual junior members are covered by the accidental death and dismemberment policy. Junior members may not hold any office nor can they be voting members. At age 16, junior members may choose to continue membership as an individual junior member or as a regular member. All junior membership cease at the end of a tournament season in the year of the  juniors members 18th birthday.

SECTION 3: Membership Dues

1. The membership dues shall be $70.00 annually for regular membership, $15.00 of which shall be for TBF National Federation Dues, $35.00 FLW Membership, and $20.00 club dues. The cost for junior members will be $5.00.

SECTION 4: Removal of Membership

Members failing to meet the requirements of membership may be recommended, by any member, for a judgment of “not in good standing”. Upon such recommendation, the Board of Directors will vote on whether the member’s status should be changed to “not in good standing”.  Members will be notified by a member of the board of his/her change in status. After a period of thirty days as a member “not in good standing” the Board of Directors may vote to dismiss the member in question. If a member is dismissed no refunds of club dues will be issued and will be forfeited to the club.

SECTION 5: Guest

3. Members are limited to hosting two guest per season, members must inform the tournament host prior to the tournament of their intention to fish with a guest and the guest must fill out a guest registration form. Failure to fill out a guest registration form will result in an automatic disqualification for the member and their guest.  Guests will be limited to fishing three tournaments as a guest. To continue to fish they must become a member. In the event a guest becomes a member all points received while fishing as a guest will be applied retroactively to their total Angler of the Year points and toward qualification for the Classic. Regardless of points standings, Angler of the Year and Classic eligibility can only be awarded to an official club member.

ARTICLE III – Official Code Of Conduct

SECTION 1: Membership Code of Conduct

Club Members are required to follow this Code at ANY club-sponsored event:

1. Any action by a member, which would reflect dishonor and disgrace on the club, State Federation, or TBF, will result in immediate recommendation to the Board of Directors for termination of membership. No refunds of club dues will be issued in the event of termination of membership.

2. There will be NO swearing or use of foul or otherwise offensive language allowed under ANY circumstance. The club is a co-ed club and a family structured organization. Use of such language is strictly prohibited.

3. Alcoholic Beverages and illegal drugs will not be allowed at ANY club-sponsored event.

4. Tobacco use (e.g. “dipping”, “chewing” and Smoking) is not permitted at any indoor function such as meetings or awards ceremonies. Members may use tobacco products outdoors or while fishing but MUST keep the environment safe and litter free while doing so.

5. Heated arguments, fighting and scuffling will not be tolerated under any circumstance. Such acts will result in a review of standings and possible termination of club membership.

6. All Club sponsored functions will be scheduled for weekdays/nights and Saturdays.

7. Respect for fishing resources, including fish and their environment, is a hallmark of the club and all members are to make all reasonable efforts to maintain fish health during practice and tournaments. Failure to do so will result in a review of standings and possible termination of club membership.

Violation of any aspect of the official code of conduct will result in the Board of Directors reviewing membership status as outlined in Article II, Section 4.

ARTICLE IV– Club Officers

SECTION 1: Officers

Officers of the Club shall be:

1. President — Shall preside over club at meetings, set the agenda, maintain order, and direct all official business. He shall appoint members to any unelected positions and committees and serve as an ex officio member of all committees.

2. Vice President – Shall assist the President in all of his duties and act for the president in his absence. VP shall also be responsible for setting up and acquiring meeting guest and guest speakers if applicable.

3. Secretary – Shall maintain and distribute complete and accurate records including meeting minutes and tournament records as well as procure any needed tournament permits or meeting reservations.

4. Treasurer – Shall maintain club’s finances and checking account, and will be responsible for obtaining any tournament or Angler of the year trophies, plaques, etc. At the end of season year, the Treasurer will make available a financial statement to all members.

SECTION 2: Elections

1. Election of Officers will occur annually at the beginning of the tournament year. Forty-five days prior to elections the Board of Directors will accept nominations and confirm that nominees are willing to serve if elected.

2. Any member may accept and fill any two positions with the exception of President and Vice President.

3. Only Members in good standing from the previous year are allowed to vote.

4. The Board of Directors will determine which method of elections is most appropriate in a given year based on club circumstances:

a. Live Vote: If a well-attended organizational meeting is held at the beginning of the tournament year then a live vote may be conducted and Officers will be elected using a simple majority vote of the members present. Written and signed proxy votes will be permitted.
b. Web Based Vote: This can be conducted through email or a poll on the Club’s official website.

5. In the event an elected office becomes vacant the President will appoint a replacement to fulfill the remainder of the term. If the President position is the one vacated, then the Vice-President will assume all Presidential duties and appoint a new Vice-President.

SECTION 3: Terms of Office

All elected officers will serve a term of one year. Newly elected officers will assume duties of their respective positions immediately following the annual elections. There is no limitation on the number of times a member can be elected to an office.

ARTICLE V—Board of Directors

SECTION 1: Purpose

The Purpose of the Board of Directors (the Board) is to lay the necessary groundwork to establish the Club, ensure the longevity of the Club, ensure that the actions of members and officers of the Club are in line with the founding purpose of the Club, oversee all club business, including club finances, serve as a grievance committee, update, modify and approve changes to Club Bylaws as necessary, determine (with input from the membership during the annual organizational meeting) the tournament schedule, and determine annual dues and tournament fees.

SECTION 2: Members, Terms and Elections

Five members of the club shall sit on the Board, four that are appointed and one this is elected. There is no term limit for appointed members. When replacing appointed Board members, the remaining appointed members of the board shall elect a replacement member. The elected member is elected by vote of the membership following procedures used for electing officers. Elected member serves a one-year term. There is no limit to the number of terms a member can serve.

SECTION 3: Grievance Committee

The grievance committee shall resolve all disputes or conflicts arising because of interpretation of these bylaws by means of a simple majority vote. Additionally, the grievance committee shall accept petitions for specific exceptions to these bylaws on a case-by-case basis. The grievance committee shall review all recommendations for termination of membership. The ruling of the grievance committee is final and without appeal or recourse.

SECTION 4: Termination of Board of Directors Membership

Membership to the Board of Directors will terminate: 1) upon resignation by the board member, 2) upon failure to attend two or more required meetings in a calendar year, 3) upon recommendation of failure to meet the requirements for membership and 4) upon the Board receiving a request for a judgment of “not in good standing”. In the case of conditions 3 or 4, the removal is temporary while the remaining board members consider the case. If the board member is judged to have failed to meet the requirements for membership or to be “not in good standing”, then the removal from the Board becomes permanent; however, if the case is deemed without merit the member is reinstated to the Board of Directors.

ARTICLE VI– Standing Committees

1. The president will appoint annually from volunteers a Tournament Weigh-In Committee.

Volunteers must be returning members who fished enough tournaments to be eligible for the Angler of the Year award. Four committee members will be appointed, with one designated as chair; terms will be one tournament season. There is no limitation on the number of times a member can be appointed to this committee.

The role of this committee is to assist tournament hosts in weighing fish and minimize the handling of fish. At any tournament one committee member will operate the “sink” and call out the angler(s) name, the number of fish and the number of fish alive. Another will be responsible for transferring fish from the sink to the scale and then back to the anglers’ bag. A third committee member will operate the scale and call out the weight of the fish.

If anglers have a fish that might compete for big fish for that tournament or big Largemouth or Spotted Bass for the season, this committee member will weigh that fish or fishes and call out these weights as well.

The committee will also be responsible for transporting the weigh table, sink, basket and scale to and from tournaments.

 

ARTICLE VII – Meetings

Section 1: Annual Organizational Meetings

Annual Organizational Meetings The club president, in cooperation with the Board, will conduct an organizational meeting for the upcoming season concurrent with the annual awards meeting/pre-Classic meeting. This meeting will be held during week of the classic. All current members and all members accepted for membership in the Club for the upcoming season are encouraged to attend.

Section 2: Attendance

Attendance at club meetings shall not be mandatory for the membership at large. When necessary, attendance may be mandatory for Officers and the Board.

ARTICLE VIII – Official Tournaments

SECTION 1: Schedule

There shall be a series of Official Tournaments (AKA “Hosted Tournaments”) per year followed by a grand finale or “classic” style tournament. The Board will determine, with the input from the general membership, and post the official schedule no later than January 30th or 5 business days after the current year’s organizational meeting (if the Annual Organizational Meetings cannot be held before January 30th).

A “Host” Member will be selected for each tournament and is responsible for determining specifics of the tournament.

Members may propose unofficial or “fun” tournament; these tournaments have no bearing on the Angler of the Year race or Classic eligibility. In so doing the member agrees to host. These tournaments must be approved by the board and proposed with sufficient time so that the secretary can obtain any need permits. Entry fees should be minimal.

Section 2: Hosts

Subsection A: How Hosts are Chosen

1. The President of the club will host the first tournament of the season and the Classic (as described in Article IX). The President will, if possible, be the only member to host more than one tournament per season.

2. During the annual organizational meeting and after the tournament schedule has been set, the president will request that 8 returning members volunteer to host one tournament each. These members will have maintained their eligibility for the Angler of the Year award. If possible, standing teams will be limited to hosting one tournament.

3. If sufficient volunteers cannot be found, the remaining tournament hosts will be determined by random drawing.

a. Every returning member in good standing and not a member of a standing team already assigned to host a tournament must participate in the drawing.
b. Names will be put into a hat or similar container.
c. Members whose names are drawn from the hat will be assigned to host a tournament. until all tournaments have a club host.

Subsection B: Responsibilities of the Hosts:

Tournament Organization:

1. The club will provide to each host, upon their request, a detailed written plan on how to host a tournament. Hosts can, but are not obligated to, follow this plan. The Host is responsible for planning the particulars of his/her assigned Official Tournament including:

Launch: The launch site will be chosen at the time of schedule. If launch site becomes unusable or inaccessible then the host will determine an alternate launch site.

Rules Enforcement: Tournament Director will ensure all rules are enforced. In the event of a rule violation the Tournament Director will bring the violation to the attention of the Grievance Committee for final interpretation and decision.

2. Rules Variations: Certain variables are set by the Host of Official tournaments, including:

a. Size Limits: The Host determines the minimum size limit that will be accepted at his particular tournament. Size limits must be consistent with size and slot limit regulations of the tournament site.

b. Tournament Time: Tournaments are scheduled for safe light until 3 PM, except for those schedule on or before March 15th, which are scheduled from 8AM until 4 PM.  Beginning from US Naval projected Civil Twilight Time the host determines safe light and may delay blast off for fog or other weather conditions delaying safe light. The Tournament Host may shorten a tournament by up to 1 hour (i.e. end between 2 and 3 PM) to accommodate other tournaments or extreme hot or cold weather conditions, except for the months of July and August when the tournament may be shortened by up to 2 hours. Host initiated shortening of tournaments can be announced prior to blast off but no earlier than 18 hours in advance. The Board of Directors may postpone a scheduled tournament 12 hours in advance for NOAA lake wind advisories, NOAA forecast of river flooding or NOAA forecast of severe weather conditions (Moderate – Severe Risk). Any tournament postponed due to severe weather will be scheduled for the following Saturday, unless that weekend is a holiday weekend. In cases involving holiday weekends, the tournament will be rescheduled for the Saturday of the first non-holiday weekend following the original tournament date.  The Board of Directors may issue an amnesty to all members missing a tournament that the Board either postponed or seriously considered postponing due to severe weather.  This amnesty affects classic entry fee but not classic eligibility or the angler of the year race.

c. Safe Light/ Safe Blast off: The host will determine when Safe Daylight has been reached and when blast off will occur in the event of bad weather (such as fog).

d. Start Format: BLAST OFF: Members may launch at other sites and motor to the official launch site, but must inform the tournament director in advance of their intention. Any member launching at a remote site will be subject to a mandatory live well check. All members must start from the same location and may not leave until their draw number is called. Numbers will be drawn prior to the launch. The member drawing the highest number will call all other numbers in ascending order starting with the host, who will be automatically awarded a draw number of 1. ALTERNATE TAKE OFF: The host may request to use an alternate blast off format if there is another tournament scheduled to use the landing. Under the alternate blast off procedure one team member waits in line to launch, and the other team member registers, pays for the tournament and is given the official tournament times. The host’s partner accompanies the team member back to their boat and livewells are checked. Once signed in and having completed the livewell check, teams may proceed to their first fishing spot. Members may trailer to an alternate ramp, but must weigh-in at the designated official ramp. Fishing will begins at the designated time. Fishing prior to official start will result in an automatic DQ. Registration closes 30 minutes prior to the official start time. The club will strictly enforce a 30 mph speed limit for boat operation prior to official civilian twilight. The non-boater of each team is responsible for this enforcement, as well as compliance with personal flotation device and kill switch use regulations.

e. On-time return: Before blast off the host will designate a position or marker (usually a buoy or landmark) that all boats must be within to avoid being late.

f. Weigh-in versus trailering: The host will determine if contestants must weigh in fish prior to trailering their boat. If sufficient dock space is not available, boats may be trailered prior to weighing of fish.

Section 3: Hosted Tournament Format

1. Tournaments will be one day in duration.

2. Tournaments are partner format.
a. Singles are allowed.
b. Teams may not consist of no more than two persons.
c. Partners may be changed at any time in-between tournaments.
d. Partner shuffling during a tournament is not allowed.
e. All team members within a boat contribute to the boat’s total catch.

3. Guests are invited and welcome to participate. The club recommends that members wishing to fish with a guest first check to see if any non-boater members need a seat. Guest must be teamed with an active member.

4. To support openness and professionalism, winners MUST specifically share with the rest of the club the techniques used to win. This includes presenting specific lures for the club to visually inspect.

5. Creel Limits, Size Limits and Tournament times will be set by the Tournament Hosts on a tournament-by-tournament basis (see above).

6. Artificial Lures Only

7. Trolling and jigger-poling (aka doodle-socking) are prohibited.

8. Only one rod per contestant may be used at a time (i.e., you can have more than one rod in your boat, but can not use them simultaneously).

9. Tournament Fees must be paid prior to fishing the tournament

10. Every member has the right to inspect the live well of fellow members prior to blast off.

11. Safety: Each team is responsible for their own safety. Participants must wear personal flotation devices and use their kill switch whenever the boat’s gas motor is in operation. The non-boater member of each team is required to check that the boat’s kill switch is operational prior to the start of each tournament. Failure to follow any aspect of this rule will result in an automatic disqualification for the tournament

12. The Club, Club Officers, or Club Board of Directors shall not be held liable for any property damage and/or personal injury or loss, to include death, which may occur during a club tournament or function.

13. If a team quits early, a note must be left on another contestant’s vehicle, or if phone service is available should contact the tournament host or another member. One member of the team may leave a tournament early for legitimate reasons (work obligations, etc) without penalty to the team. Teams with junior members are particularly encouraged to take advantage of this rule and allow junior members to leave when it is no longer fun.  If a one-person team must leave early for legitimate reasons (funerals, weddings, etc) they should request permission from the Board of Directors as soon as the obligation is known.  This arrangement will be announced during the pre-blast off announcements.

14. Penalties:

a. 4 oz penalty for dead fish.
b. 1 lb per minute penalty for being late to weigh in.
c. Automatic disqualification occurs when a team is 15 minutes late to weigh in.
d. Size Limit infraction will result in a penalty equal to the weight of the largest fish in your stringer. Teams are allowed to ask the tournament director for a courtesy check (length measurement of one fish before weighing in) without penalty, except on waters where state law sets legal size limits. However if you do not ask and a short fish is detected during weigh in you will be assessed the penalty. Limit one courtesy fish check per team per tournament. In cases where state law sets legal size limits, any fish that might not be in compliance with state wildlife regulation MUST be returned to the water immediately.

15. Only black bass species will be considered for weigh in. This includes largemouth, smallmouth, spotted bass, red-eye bass, and shoal bass.

16. Creel Limits — Typically 5 fish per boat but may differ depending on tourney host (See par. 5 above)

17. All live wells must be fitted with recirculation aerators. This may be portable or “drop in” aerators. Aerated coolers may also be utilized for boats that do not possess a life-sustaining live well. Live wells and aerated coolers must sustain the lives of the bass until weigh in and assure live release back into the wild.  Teams are strongly encouraged to cull fish as they are caught and all culling must be completed prior to entering the “on-time arrival” area. Tournament hosts and/or the Board may conduct inspections to insure proper working order of re-circulation aerators and/or sufficient ice when water temperatures are >75 F.

18. Fish can be contained in life-sustaining “fish bags” filled with adequate water during weigh ins. Fish may not be placed on a stringer and kept outside of water for any amount of time that would harm their chances of survival.

19. Each “of age” angler must show proof of a valid fishing license in order to participate and each boat operator must show proof of a boater’s driving license upon membership. There are no exceptions!

20. All boats must comply with existing State and Federal operation and safety laws and regulations. All anglers must comply with all existing State and Federal Fish and Game laws and regulations. Violation of this article may result in a member’s disqualification from the tournament during which the violation occurred. Disqualification will result in a forfeiture of all prize moneys and AOY points for that tournament. Any member may lodge a protest suggesting that another member has violated ARTICLE VII section 3: 21, however, the protest must be logged prior to the conclusion of that tournament’s weight in. Protests can be lodged with the tournament host or any member of the executive committee present at the tournament.

21. In the event of a boat break down or being disabled one contestant may enter the boat of another competitor and proceed directly to the weigh-in. The other contestant may remain with the boat without penalty.

22. In the event of a Tie in weight, the largest “big fish” will determine the winner. If after big fish there is still a tie, winner will be determined by a flip of a coin.

34. Due to the fact that we consider certain lakes on river systems unique places to fish, we will not allow locking through to other lakes or other bodies of water.

Section 4: Tournament Fees and Prizes

1. Fees: $50 per boat. (Even if fishing solo).  See Appendix 1 for payout.

2. Tournament Payouts will be set by the Board of Directors and appear as an appendix to the bylaws (Appendix 1).

Appendix 1

3. All prizes will be awarded as a team and paid to the winning team.

ARTICLE IX – Angler of the Year

Section 1: Points System

1. Angler of the Year will be awarded based on the Club’s points system. All points will be awarded equally to all team members.

2. Points will be awarded based on the results of each tournament (excluding the “Classic”) as follows:

a. Winning Stringer: 100-points. All other points to be based on the percentage of winning stringer rounded to the nearest point. (example: Winning stringer was 10 lbs and get 100 points, 2nd place was 8 lbs, so therefore will receive 80 points, 3rd place 6.36 lbs, will receive 64 points., 4th place 3.23 lbs will receive 32 points, etc. etc.)
b. Each club member will receive 10 points for attending each club event regardless if fish are caught or not.
c. Points will be awarded to club members only. The following two scenarios will be used as guidelines for awarding points. If a club member has a guest, the full points will only be applied to the club member’s record. In the event that 2 club members fish the same boat, equal amounts of points will be awarded to the pair (i.e. if a pair of members win, they both are awarded 100 points to their record).

3. The lowest point total from one tournament will be dropped for each angler.

4. The angler(s) who finish the year (excluding the classic) with the most points wins the coveted Angler of the Year title and braggin’ rights for entire year.

5. Club members can miss no more than 1 scheduled tournament to remain eligible for Angler of the Year.

Section 2: Ties

1. In the event of a tie, the applicable members have the option of declaring a tie if all parties mutually agree, otherwise

2. A member who is tied in points at the end of a year has the right to challenge other applicable members to a fish-off.

a. The fish-off will be conducted in Wildcat format at Lake Tuscaloosa. Lake Tuscaloosa is chosen due to its central location to West Alabama.
b. Applicable members can choose a member of the club as his partner for the tournament.
c. Fishing Solo is also allowed.

Section 3: Prizes and Awards

The Board will decide at the beginning of the year what prizes, if any, will be awarded Angler of the Year.

ARTICLE X – End of Season “Classic”

At the end of the season a “Classic” tournament will be held to reward the top anglers of the year.

Section 1: Eligibility

1. All members in good standings that fished at least 6 tournaments during the season are eligible to participate in the Classic. Members must confirm their intention to fish the Classic with the host by the annual organizational meeting to maintain eligibility. If an odd number of members qualify, then the lowest qualifying member [qualification ranking determined by AOY points] fishes as a team with the 1st alternate for the Classic.  Classic entry fee is set by the following scale:  Members fishing all 9 regular tournaments (or 8 and receiving an amnesty) – $0; Members fishing 8 regular tournaments (or 7 and receiving an amnesty) – $15; Members fishing 7 regular tournaments (or 6 and receiving an amnesty) – $30; Members fishing 6 regular tournaments – $45; Alternate (if required) – $45.

Section 2: Format

1. The Classic will be team/partner format.  Teams may consist of either one or two members.  However, standing two-member teams may not split to form two one-member teams for the classic.  A standing two-member team is defined as a team that has fished together for 50% or more of the regular tournaments that qualified them for the classic.

2. The Board of Directors will make every effort to facilitate team formation for any non-boater members who are classic eligible and any 1 member teams are strongly recommended to fish with non-boater members who are classic eligible.

3. Payout: Payout: The remaining money in the bank account after all expenses are paid plus entry fees minus $50 for big fish and $150 paid to places 6-10 ($30 each) will paid out as following: 1st – 50%, 2nd- 20%, 3rd- 15%, 4th- 10%, 5th- 5%, rounded to the nearest $5. The treasurer will provide the host with the payout structure prior to the start of the tournament.

4. Guest are not allowed to fish in the Classic.

5. The site of classic will be determined by random draw from lakes fished during the regular tournament season except that our one or two distant lakes per tournament season will not be included in the drawing. Each lake name will be entered once. The drawing will be conducted during the annual awards meeting, which is to be held the Saturday evening prior to the Classic. The secretary will seal the drawn name, without determining or announcing the name of the lake, in an envelope which will remain sealed until 5 PM of the Friday before the Classic at which time the secretary or their designate will open the envelope and announce the classic site to all members.”

ARTICLE XI – Changes to Constitution and Bylaws

Any changes to the Constitution and Bylaws will be coordinated and approved by the Board of Directors and will remain in effect throughout the following tournament year. All changes must be presented to the membership at the annual organization meeting, if applicable, and posted on the club’s website.