Original B.A.S.S. Tournament rules as published in the Spring 1968 issue of Bass Master Magazine.

Here’s a little piece of history I thought you all would like to see – the Official 1968 B.A.S.S. Tournament Rules. To be a little more exact, they are the actual rules used for the ’68 Seminole Lunker Tournament. This set of rules wasn’t penned solely by Ray Scott, though. Harold Sharp, who would soon become the first B.A.S.S. Tournament Director also played a major role in the development of these rules.  As time would go on, the rules would be amended. 

There are a few interesting rules that I’ll make note of. First off, under “Participants and Eligibility,” they make a note that sponsors may pay your entry fee. I wonder how many anglers had sponsorships back in those days? The only angler I can think of that might possibly had been sponsored at this time would be Bill Dance as he was fishing for a number of companies at this time. I know for a fact that Rip Nunnery’s tournament entry fees and expenses were paid by General Motors for the 1969 Lake Eufaula event.

Second, and probably one of the most interesting was the ineligibility of Georgia and South Carolina guides from the contest. Not only that, if you’d been a guide within the last four years, you couldn’t play.  How ‘bout them apples? I guess professional fishermen didn’t want to compete against professionals?

But that’s not all.

If you lived in the counties around the lake you couldn’t fish either.  Huh?

From there on the rest of the rules are pretty straight forward and made sense. In fact, a lot of them are still valid today. It may sound like I’m making a joke out of this but it seriously amazes me that the eligibility rules were on the books. What do you think? Do you find these rules a little too strict too?