2023 Official Rules
The following rules shall apply to all 2023 Anglers Insight Marketing, LLC™ (hereafter AIM) Weekend Walleye Series events.
1. ENFORCEMENT OF RULES:
A. All participants in AIM sanctioned tournaments will be required to fill out an official AIM Angler Participation Form which constitutes agreement to abide by the following AIM Rules and local regulations.
B. Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the AIM Tournament Director, and the decision of the Tournament Director shall be final in all matters.
C. By entering into an AIM Weekend Walleye Series event, each competitor agrees to submit to a polygraph or voice-stress examination if necessary and abide by its conclusion.
D. If fishing in North Dakota, All current North Dakota Game and Fish Department Regulations must be followed.
2. PARTICIPANTS AND ELIGIBILITY:
A. All participants must possess valid fishing licenses for the tournament waters being fished.
B. All participants must sign the official AIM Angler Participation Form which includes a Liability & Publicity Release.
C. Participants less than 18 years of age must provide an AIM Angler Participation Form signed by his/her parent or legal guardian giving consent for the minor child to participate.
D. Participants less than 12 years of age must have explicit approval by AIM to participate.
E. AIM does not discriminate based on race, creed, color or gender. We specifically reserve the right to refuse participation or entry to anyone for any reason.
3. TEAM ENTRY APPLICATION:
A. Tournament registration is available online at www.aimfishing.com or by mail-in entry form.
B. Each Team must designate a “Team Captain” and a “Partner”.
C. Team Captains may use a substitute Partner(s) in each AIM Qualifier, but must fish their AIM Divisional Championship with a Partner from a previous Qualifier event. AIM may, at its sole discretion, approve a partner replacement in case of an emergency.
D. All participants must be members of AIM and pay the yearly $40 AIM Membership Fee.
E. Entry fees and AIM Membership fees are non-refundable, and no fees will be returned for a missed event.
F. Field size will be limited to 100 boats.
4. ANGLER CONDUCT AND SPORTSMANSHIP:
A. Competitors in AIM tournaments are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for suspension or disqualification from tournament competition by AIM.
B. Competitors must comply with all prevailing federal, state and local statutes and regulations relevant to the tournament location.
C. There is a strict no alcohol in the boat rule. Furthermore there may be no Illegal drugs in the boat. If found in violation an immediate disqualification from this event will take place.
5. OFFICIAL RULES MEETING:
A. At least one member of each team is required to attend the official AIM Rules Meeting.
A. AIM Anglers agree to use any and all official equipment provided by or required by the AIM Weekend Walleye Series.
B. AIM Anglers must provide and use a camera during competition that utilizes Secure Digital (SD) format memory cards. Additionally, the camera must feature a standard, rectilinear type lens (no “fisheye” type lenses allowed.)
C. After the start of the official pre-tournament Rules Meeting, contestants may not enter tournament waters to navigate, locate fish, or find potential fishing waters. AIM contestants are allowed to fish in tournament waters ONLY during tournament fishing hours.
D. If travel by water is allowed by the Tournament Director- anglers traveling by water to the official launch site must proceed directly to and from their lodging facilities, launch, or slip location.
E. On-the-water testing of engines or equipment after the pre-tournament rules meeting is allowed only with permission from the Tournament Director. No Exceptions.
F. Tournament water boundaries shall be established by the Tournament Director in advance of each event. Any water within these boundaries posted “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing” by state or federal agencies will be OFF-LIMITS. Only water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. All angling must be done from the boat.
G. Prior to take-off, each boat MUST be available for inspection by an AIM Official.
H. Each boat must display a numbered “boat board” provided by AIM at take-off and check-in.
I. Competitors must leave from and return to the official Start/Finish checkpoint by boat. Towing a boat on a trailer during tournament hours is prohibited.
J. Prior to take-off, boat numbers are assigned by random drawing and all boats must be positioned in order by boat number as specified by the Tournament Director. Take-off will occur on schedule. Any boat that is out of order or delaying the start of the field will be held to the end of the line.
K. All competitors must remain in contact with the boat at all times. Allowed exceptions to this rule are: In case of an emergency, competitors may be removed from their boat to a rescue boat including any boat operated by non-competitors; and in case of a mechanical breakdown. (See Rule 7)
L. During tournament fishing hours, AIM contestants must not solicit, share, or receive fishing information pertaining to method or type of presentations being used, lure selection or color, and location of fish or type of water being fished, with other AIM contestants or non-contestants.
M. No one is allowed to “hold” a fishing location for an AIM contestant under any circumstance.
N. The number of permitted fishing rods and lures is dependent on the local and state regulations. In no instance will more than three lines or three lures per angler be permitted. A lure is defined as having one or more hooks, and does NOT include weights (snap weights, trolling weights, bottom bouncers, etc.) Unless state regulations are more restrictive, a lure can be no longer than 12 inches long.
O. All fish must be caught live on a hook and line in a conventional sporting manner. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging fish (that is, not hooked per state regulations) will have their entire daily catch disqualified.
P. During competition hours, a contestant may not use a CB radio, VHF marine-band radio, cellular phone, text messaging, instant messaging, Snap Chat or any other form of communication or boat tracking device for any reason (except in the case of emergency), and in particular for the purpose of locating or catching fish or locating other fishermen. Competitors are permitted to transmit by radio or telephone only in the event of an emergency. Contestants should monitor Channel 16 for weather updates and alerts. In the case of emergency, call 911 first, and then notify AIM Officials!
Q. Exact check-in location and check-in times will be announced at the Rules Meeting. Any boat which is not off-plane and in line at the official check-in point at the appointed time, shall forfeit all credit for that day’s catch. There shall be no excuse for tardiness, and in no case shall a competitor be allowed to make up “lost time.”
R. All boats are required to check-in with AIM officials at the end of each day. Boats shall be identified by means of their boat board. After proper recognition at the check-in point, competitors will be allowed ample time to proceed to the weigh-in site. All fishing must cease upon check-in.
S. Binoculars are strictly prohibited in any boat.
7. MECHANICAL BREAKDOWNS:
A. In the event of a mechanical breakdown, the Anglers should attempt to make contact with AIM Officials to inform them of the situation.
B. In the event of a mechanical breakdown, it is permissible for one Partner with the official scorecard, SD memory card, and boat board from the disabled boat to transfer to another competitor’s boat for transport to the check-in point. The Partner and the assisting boat must still arrive at the check-in point on time, or face late penalty disqualification.
C. In an emergency situation, any boat that comes to the aid of a competitor or other boat may be exempted from late penalties at the discretion of the Tournament Director. The assisting boat must note the time and GPS position where assistance was given.
D. Running out of gas is NOT considered a mechanical breakdown, and the boat will NOT be exempted from late penalty disqualification.
A. Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by competitors. During competition, each participant must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type personal flotation device (PFD) at all times the main combustion engine is operating above no-wake speed. This PFD must be buckled, snapped, or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the boat slows to no-wake speed. Violation of this rule shall be reason for daily disqualification.
B. Tournament Officials have the right to delay, shorten, or cancel the start of an official tournament day due to dangerous weather conditions. Tournament boundaries may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. A tournament day may be cancelled (even after that day has started) because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors.
C. Once a tournament day is started, if any part of it is cancelled, there will be no weigh-in. In the case of a cancellation, tournament days will not be rescheduled.
D. AIM reserves the right to impose boat speed limits during any or all tournaments. Whether or not to impose a speed limit, the area covered by the speed limit and/or the actual speed limit imposed shall be left exclusively to the discretion of the Tournament Director.
E. IN THE EVENT OF AN EMERGENCY SITUATION, COMPETITORS SHOULD CALL 911 FIRST AND THEN NOTIFY AIM OFFICIALS.
F. Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek safe shelter in bad weather when danger may be imminent.
9. BOAT AND MOTOR:
A. All teams must provide on demand documented proof of boat owner’s liability insurance for a boat being used in an AIM event. This insurance policy must provide coverage for watercraft liability at a minimum of $100,000 (per occurrence) in the event of an accident.
B. Maximum horsepower for all outboard motor boats used in tournament competition cannot exceed the limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard. Each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard horsepower-rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer.
C. Only boats that are 16 feet or more in length may be used in competition.
D. For the safety of all competitors, all boats must be equipped with an approved operable ignition kill switch and lanyard. The lanyard must be attached to the driver’s body any time the main combustion engine is operating above no wake speed. Any time the main combustion engine is operating and in gear above no-wake speed, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat.
E. During competition, every boat must have all U.S. Coast Guard-required safety equipment, including a functional bilge pump. Each boat must be equipped with a functional marine band VHF two-way radio. Handheld VHF radios are allowed, but recommended as back-ups.
F. Refueling during tournament hours is permitted ONLY at publicly-accessible, retail locations. Refueling must be accomplished ONLY directly into an approved tank through a hose with a nozzle. Refueling from loose cans is expressly prohibited.
10. AIM CATCH-RECORD-RELEASE™ FORMAT:
A. AIM events are designed for “weigh-in” through a photo and scorecard process, referred to as Catch-Record-Release™ (CRR). No fish will be brought to the “weigh-in stage”.
B. Only a UNIQUE Walleye, Sauger, or Saugeye may be processed and scored. A UNIQUE fish by AIM definition is one that has just been caught using legal fishing methods, recorded, and released. Any discrepancies in the UNIQUENESS of a fish will cause a team to be subject to a voice analysis or polygraph test. Failure of this test will result in disqualification, as well as, a lifetime ban from AIM events.
C. AIM requires a complete photographic record of each fish scored. Boat partners will work together to measure, photograph, and record their catch using the official AIM Ruler and BOTH sides of the fish must be clearly photographed.
11. AIM CATCH-RECORD-RELEASE™ PROCEDURES:
A. The Catch-Record-Release™ procedures will be reviewed at each Rules Meeting.
B. One partner holds the fish on the official AIM Ruler. The belly of the fish will face the person measuring the fish. The mouth of the fish may be opened or closed and MUST touch the bump plate on the ruler to the LEFT (Head to Left), and the tail is extended back to its maximum length on the RIGHT end of the ruler (Tail to the Right). You may not insert anything inside the gill plate of the fish while measiring.
C. The partners agree on the length of the fish to 1/4th inch accuracy. If the tail fin touches or crosses a graduation line on the ruler, the official length of the fish for scoring purposes may be lengthened to the next one quarter (1/4th) of an inch line on the ruler.
D. While the fish is being held on the ruler, a “scoring” photo must be taken of the fish which clearly shows the overall length of the fish. The HEAD and TAIL of the fish must be included and show clearly. The photograph must be taken of the LEFT side of the fish ONLY (belly towards the angler holding the fish, head to the left). A photo that does not clearly show the overall length of the fish, including head and tail, and the left side of the fish on the ruler WILL NOT BE SCORED. More than one attempt to get a valid scoring photo is allowed.
E. Another photo MUST be taken of the fish being held up by a partner. This “hero shot” photo MUST show the entire RIGHT side of the fish. These photos will be used for technical evaluation and may be used on stage during the awards ceremony or posted to AIM media outlets (web, Facebook, etc.)
F. The fish must then be immediately released back into the water by the partner holding the fish.
G. Record the length of the fish on the Official Scorecard and both partners should validate the length recorded for accuracy.
H. In the instance when two or more fish are caught at the same time, the CRR process requires that one fish must be measured, photographed, and released as quickly as possible before the next fish can be processed.
I. NO fish are to be placed in the livewell. It is NOT permissible to hold fish in water using nets, lines, stringers, etc. Delays in releasing fish may be grounds for disqualification.
J. In order to speed up the CRR process, while a fish is in the boat, anglers will NOT be allowed to reset or place any fishing lines in the water. After all fish are processed and released, normal angling may resume.
A. At the completion of the tournament day, each Team will select up to FIVE (5) fish to be counted towards their daily weight and designate these fish on the AIM Official Scorecard. These are the only fish that will be scored. Then each Team will convert the lengths of each of the FIVE designated fish to weight using a standardized AIM Length-to-Weight Conversion Chart. The SUM of these FIVE fish will be the Teams unofficial total weight for the day.
B. BOTH partners are REQUIRED to sign the AIM Official Scorecard to certify their catch.
C. At the daily check-in, the AIM provided equipment including the ruler, SD memory card, and AIM Official Scorecard will be turned in to a tournament official. The photos of each fish will be used for confirmation of length and to validate the AIM Official Scorecard. NO validating PHOTOS or LOSS of the AIM Official Scorecard will result in forfeiture of ALL WEIGHT that day.
D. In the event a photo that designates a fish to be scored is judged to be unscorable, a replacement fish will not be allowed.
E. In the event that TWO (or more) photos that designate fish to be scored are judged to be unscorable, the team will lose all weight for the day.
F. Tournament standings and final results shall be determined by the converted weight of each Teams daily “limit”, or the total cumulative weights in a multi-day event.
G. The official minimum length will be 12.25 inches; the tail MUST touch at least the 12-inch mark on the ruler. If a fish recorded on the Official Scorecard has an associated fish photo the does not meet the minimum length, it shall result in the entire daily weight being disqualified.
H. Any fish that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered will be credited only at the discretion of AIM Officials and Tournament Director. Any fish that are deemed altered by an angler may result in Team disqualification for the day or event.
A. In the case of a TIE or TIES between Teams in converted weights, all ties will be broken in the following manner:
B. First Tiebreaker by the heaviest converted weight individual fish on the AIM scorecard.
C. Second Tiebreaker (if necessary) by the second heaviest converted weight fish on the AIM scorecard.
D. Third Tiebreaker (if necessary) by the third heaviest converted weight fish on the AIM scorecard.
E. Fourth Tiebreaker (if necessary) by the fourth heaviest converted weight fish on the AIM scorecard.
14. TOURNAMENT CANCELATIONS
A. In the event of a tournament cancelation, AIM, will refund, to the credit card that was billed for the entry fee, 85% of the entry fee charged.
A. Payouts are based on the number of Team entries. AIM will provide a payment schedule based on the number of registered Teams at the Official Rules Meeting.
B. Results are NOT official until complete technical validation is done by AIM. When this process is complete, the results will then be deemed official and published at www.aimfishing.com. Any cash payouts and other awards will then be credited to Anglers.
C. Anglers are responsible for all applicable taxes on both cash and merchandise awards.
D. In North Dakota, a minimum of 75% of the entry fees will be paid back to the winning contestants.
16. QUALIFYING FOR DIVISIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS: MN – WI – ND
A. Team Captains must enter into at least THREE (3) Divisional Qualifiers to be eligible to enter their respective Divisional Championship.
17. DIVISIONAL “TEAM OF THE YEAR” AWARD:
A. The Divisional “Team of the Year” Award will be based on a cumulative point system derived from a Team’s performance relative to the rest of the tournament field in each event.
B. Team Captains accumulate points with one Partner and 1 sub ONLY. Points earned with the same SUBSTITUTE Partner will count. If 2 subs are used, only 1 may be used in the team of the year point’s race.
C. In the regular season Qualifiers, points will be totaled from only THREE (3) events. Teams entering all four regular season Qualifiers will be credited with their best three finishes.
D. Points earned in the Divisional Championship will be added to the best three finishes in the Qualifiers. The Team with the highest point total from all these events will win the Divisional “Team of the Year” Award.
E. In the case of a TIE or TIES between Teams, the tie breaker will be the lowest sum total of the 4 event placement finishes added together (based on a sequential order of finish).
18. QUALIFYING FOR AIM National Championship Shootout:
A. Ten Teams from each Division will participate in the Shootout.
B. Teams finishing in the “Top 5” in points in each Divisional “Team of the Year” Race will qualify.
C. Teams finishing in the “Top 5” in each Divisional Championship event will also qualify.
D. In the event that a team(s) qualifies in BOTH the “Team of the Year” Race and Divisional Championship, the team will be awarded the championship seat and the next highest scoring team in the “Team of the Year” standings will be invited to the Shootout.
E. In the event that a qualifying team declines to participate in the Shootout, the “Team of the Year” standings in each division will be used to fill the field.
F. Team Captains that qualify must fish this event with their Qualifying Partner.
G. Any and all decisions made by the National Tournament Director are final.
19. CONTINGENCY PROGRAMS:
A. Contingency programs are sponsor-based programs developed to reward competitors based on a predefined set of criteria per event and/or overall season performance. Participation in contingency programs is at the anglers’ discretion.
20. ANGLER DISPUTES:
A. If you see another angler doing what you believe is a rules violation follow these steps if possible:
– Take out your camera and take a picture or video of the offender
– Call the tournament director immediately and explain the situation.
– Upon return to the docks meet with the tournament director.
B. The tournament director will gather yours and any other info offered, and confront the accused as
he deems necessary.
C. If the tournament director’s judgement is no harm no foul, then the accuser will be given the chance to
enter an Official protest form with the associated fee attached.
D. The tournament director will have 48 hours to gather facts before making a final ruling.
20. UNIFORMS, WRAPPED BOATS, ETC.:
A. Anglers are encouraged to wear their own clothing which may bear patches, logos and other signage promoting each angler’s sponsors. AIM may restrict the use of patches, logos, signage, etc. that promote or advertise products which are, in AIM’s sole judgment, in poor taste.
©2022 Anglers Insight Marketing, LLC™
All rights reserved. Reproduction or use of any material in these rules prohibited except by written permission of AIM.
Anglers Insight Marketing, LLC™