Bass Tournament Trails React To Coronavirus Pandemic

American Bass Anglers recently published a new set of guidelines to keep from anglers spreading the coronavirus.

ABA Press Release | March 19, 2020

Editor’s Note: American Bass Anglers released the below statement on their website in regards to the coronavirus pandemic. They are continuing all events but with new rules to protect anglers. In other tournament trail news, the Fishers of Men trail has postponed all of their events until April 10. FLW has canceled all of their events until after April 4. GON has not learned of any other postponements or cancellations, but call ahead to verify the tournament you are fishing is still taking place. If you hear of other tournament changes, please email [email protected].

American Bass Anglers is being proactive in providing guidance on all ABA tournaments scheduled between March 20 to May 2. First and foremost, the safety of our anglers is of the utmost importance and concern. and we are taking steps to ensure their safety at all upcoming events. As a result of national and local guidelines, all ABA one- and two-day tournaments will continue as normal with on-site modification to procedures to reduce and mitigate anglers being within proximity of each other.

Some larger events may be postponed and rescheduled as needed or as required by local governments where anglers must travel large distances and could be separated from their families for a period of more than two days. When these postponements are made, we will notify all anglers affected.

ABA is providing guidance to our tournament directors and managers on how to properly operate our events to eliminate the need for large gatherings. These new procedures will be in effect until rescinded. An example of this would be briefings for all events will be done with anglers in their boats, on the water the morning of the event instead of standing in the registration area. Weigh-ins will be altered slightly to provide appropriate distances among anglers. It will make our weigh-ins a bit longer but distancing personal contact will be greater than CDC guidelines.

We are asking members to take seriously the following guidelines for all events.

  1. All persons should follow the CDC guidelines on everyday prevention of viral infections.
  2. We encourage anglers to register online for all events (to reduce registration at the ramp).
  3. Anglers wishing to register on-site (paying by credit card or cash) will be accomplished during published times.
  4. Anglers desiring to register on site by credit card should call their tournament director during the registration time and register by phone.
  5. The Friday evening mandatory meeting will be moved to Saturday morning with all boats in the water.
  6. Arrive early to the ramp for launch, it will take more time since you will need to launch your rig on your own. Do not ask someone to launch you.
  7. If you are a co-angler, meet your boater partner at the ramp instead of offsite.
  8. Maintain a minimum of 6 feet of distance from any other angler during registration and weigh-in with no more than 10 anglers in a group.
  9. Follow all directions from your tournament director.
  10. Be patient with other anglers and the tournament directors
  11. Wash your hands or use sanitizer frequently! Don’t shake hands
  12. Anglers should wear gloves while handling any object that is not your own or has been in the possession of others.
  13. We will remove the restriction of only using ABA weigh bags. We will have ABA weigh bags available; however you are encouraged to use your personal weigh bags when possible. At weigh-in, we will use baskets to handle your fish from fish check through weighin

Top anglers from the ABA-AFT Division 72 event on Lake Oconee on March 15.

Ray Scott Championship (multi-day event)

  1. Due to the length of the Rays Scott Championship and the distances anglers would have to travel, this event is being postponed until Nov. 1-7. We have coordinated with Neil Paul at Visit Anderson, and he has confirmed the rescheduled dates for the event. This action is in keeping with national and local government guidelines and will enable all angers who qualified to attend the new date.
  2. Anglers who are registered for the event will receive a personal email or phone call with additional instructions.

Bass Pro Shops Open Series and Bass Pro Shops Team events

  1. Registration and weigh-in for Bass Pro Shops Open Series and Bass Pro Shops Team events will be held outdoors at the weigh-in site on the stage trailer.
  2. Communications such as boat numbers and launch positions will be accomplished through SMS messaging.

All events (changes to tournament procedures):

Mandatory Briefings for all events will be held the morning of the event with boats on the water and engines off. Less weigh bags will be put out for weigh in, and anglers will be called by boat number to get a bag to weigh fish with.

ABA is continuing to monitor all situations closely through the CDC website and local and state sources and will issue additional guidance if the need becomes necessary. Again, fishing is the best way to get away from the crowds and ABA will operate events in the best way to mitigate gathering of anglers in one location. We ask each our members to be safe and recognize the importance of distancing during this time.

If you have questions contact your local tournament director or email [email protected]

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