Let's take a tour of a typical tournament day!
1. check in
Anglers & captains will find the AHSBA stage/trailer (you can't miss it!) and check in with staff at the table. Be patient with us, please. We have grown tremendously and are constantly making adjustments to improve efficiency and to improve the anglers' experience. With the new technology, we're all kinda new here this season!
2. collect chip
When all 3 occupants of your boat have checked in, you will receive a numbered poker chip. This is NOT the same as your boat number - this is the order in which you will blast off for this specific tournament and was determined by the random launch order generator. Teams are responsible for keeping up with the chip at all times. Upon returning to the boat ramp, return the chip to the board. The location of the chip board will be announced at the safety meeting. You can always turn your chip early if you come off the water before the tournament ends, but you do not ever want to be late!
3. attend safety meeting
An announcement will be made for all participants to gather in a specific area. The tournament director will provide a refresher of policies, procedures, and expectations. Listen carefully and adhere to each of them. Your placement in the tournament results may be jeopardized if you do not abide by league policies.
4. gather 'round
The safety meeting will end with a word of prayer; sometimes a short devotional or testimony is also given. As with the safety meeting, participants are expected to be engaged and not behave in a way that distracts others.
5. motors on = life vests on
Before your boat goes anywhere near the water, a life vest should be buckled on and KEPT on.
6. hit the water
Some teams put in before the safety meeting if they arrive early enough; others wait and put in afterward. A word of caution - if you put in before the meeting, make sure you leave enough time to check in and get to the stage by 5!
7. have fun
This is where the fun really begins as boats begin to gather on the water to await safelight. There will be music, stories, and hype over the sound system. Just before blastoff, we will pause for the National Anthem. Prepare yourself for a sight to behold - dawn just breaking over the horizon, boats all around you on the water, over two hundred people within earshot, and yet the only sound you will hear is a beautiful tribute to this great country.
8. oh, would you look at the time
Keep up with how long you have been on the water and how long you have until your chip must be back on the chipboard at the boat ramp! Delayed returns will receive penalties at weigh-in.
9. show us what ya got
Anglers will gather near the trailer and wait for instructions before removing fish from live wells. Collect an official AHSBA chip from the bumping station before bringing fish to the scales. Juniors will weigh first before seniors come off the water. Seniors come in and weigh soon after. Questions are asked, sponsors are thanked, the occasional white lie is told about where a lunker was caught and on what kind of lure. Trade secrets!
10. bring home the goods
Points are tabulated immediately after weigh-in is finished and awards follow soon after. Placements are announced, trophies are awarded, and the most amazing prizes are given out. Lures, line, hats, apparel, rods and reels! Yes, you read that correctly...even rods and reels!