Article 1 – Name and Purpose
Section 1: Name
This Chapter shall be called the Rod Benders Bass Club of Atlanta, Georgia.
Section 2: Purpose
To stimulate public awareness of bass fishing as a major sport. To offer our State Conservation Department our organized moral and political support and encouragement. To promote full adherence to all conservation codes and to demand adequate water standards. To detect and report any polluter and call public and political attention to his crime. To improve our skills as bass anglers through a fellowship of friendly exchange of expert bass catching techniques and ideas. To promote and encourage youth fishing and a love for this great recreational sport.
Article II – Membership
Section 1: Qualifications for Membership
Any person who is interested in the objective goals of Rod Benders Bass Club shall be considered a candidate for membership if:
a. voluntarily expresses a genuine interest in membership
b. recommended by one member at a regular monthly meeting
c. a resident of the State of Georgia and sixteen (16) years of age (minimum)
Section 2: Orientation
a. The prospective member shall fish with any club member that is not a relative of the candidate. The member has to be in good standing with the club to help determine the candidate’s sportsmanship, conduct and prowess. This action may take place prior to or during any of the club’s regular tournaments.
Section 3: Probation Period
a. The probationary period for a new member (even those joining from another club) shall be 180 days from the first meeting he attends.
b. At the completion of probation period, full membership may be awarded to new member by a show of hands from the members present. Full membership will not be awarded if two (2) no votes are received. An explanation of a no vote is required.
Section 4: Membership Dues
a. The membership dues shall be $480.00 annually or $40.00 per month minimum. Membership dues shall be paid prior to fishing any tournaments.
b. As a new candidate for membership, you are required to pay $150.00 initiation fees which covers jacket and cap.
Section 5: Duties
a. All members shall take part in the program as assigned, voted or volunteered to help promote and encourage fellowship among ourselves and others.
Section 6: Uniforms
a. All members will be required to wear their uniform to all meetings and tournament events. A uniform will be described as a pair of black pants or shorts, the official Rod Benders Bass Club tournament shirt, and a red/yellow Rod Benders Bass Club cap. A red, yellow or black sponsor’s cap will also be accepted
b. Please be advised that wearing the Rod Bender Logo is a privilege not a right. All members must be in good standing, agree to be governed by the by-laws, and embody the philosophy of the Rod Benders Bass club. Consequently, members that no longer wish to be a part of the Rod Benders Bass Club and those members whom are dismissed will be required to return their shirts and jacket. You further agree to accept $60 for each shirt/jacket as payment in full. You will be allowed to keep your caps. In the event you are allowed to rejoin the club you will be required to purchase your original paraphernalia at the rate of $60 per shirt/jacket before new items can be ordered.
Section 7: Honorary Members
a. An honorary member will be defined as follows; a member in good standing that has been in the Rod Benders Bass Club for 10 consecutive years. This member must but be current on all dues and embody the philosophy of the Rod Benders Bass Club. Honorary members will be exempt from all rules and policies as it relates to the return of club paraphernalia.
Article III – Meetings
Section 1: Procedures
a. The business of the club shall be transacted according to parliamentary law, as stated in Robert’s Rules of Order, on the first Sunday of every month at 5:00 p.m. unless notified otherwise (per President discretion).
1. Call to order
2. Reading of the minutes of the previous meeting
3. Treasurers report
4. Roll call/fifteen minutes after call to order
5. Introduction of guests
6. Report of permanent committees
7. Report of special committees
8. Unfinished business
9. New business
Section 2: Location
a. One regular meeting shall be held each month beginning in January and ending in November (optional). The location of our meeting will be announced prior to adjournment.
Section 3: Special Meetings
a. Special meetings shall be called by the President or by the four remaining officers of the Executive Board.
b. Seven members shall constitute a quorum for the transaction of the club’s business as stated in Article III, Section 1.
Section 4: Pairing
a. The pairing of partners shall be done at the meeting prior to the tournament by placing boater’s name in a hat and having non-boaters draw.
b. The same two members shall not fish together on two consecutive club tournaments.
c. A club member must either be at the meeting or inform the Tournament Director or an officer prior to the meeting to be allowed to pair for the following tournament.
d. If he is not present or has not contacted the Tournament Director, or an officer, he will not be paired. If he does show up for the tournament, he will be allowed to fish but he will not be eligible for the prize fund, points and weigh-in, unless authorization is given by the Tournament Director, or officers in the absence of the Tournament Director.
Section 5: Voting
a. The government of this club shall be autonomous in form, and the right of administration shall be in the body itself. A majority vote of those present and voting during the business session shall be sufficient to pass any motion or resolution, unless otherwise specified in Article IX, Section 2.
Article IV – Officers
Section 1: Elections
a. The election of officers shall be held annually at the regular meeting during the month of November. Election should be by simple majority of members present casting secret ballots. Election for each officer shall be held separately in order listed in Article IV, Section 2. All officers shall take office immediately at the close of the session in which they are elected. All of the officers as described under Article IV, Section 2 shall constitute the Executive Board.
Section 2: Duties
1. Preside at all meetings.
2. Call special meetings at his discretion.
3. Appoint special committees that are not provided for.
4. Oversee the rules, regulations and By-Laws of the club.
5. Perform other such duties that are customary to the office of President.
b. The Vice-President shall be an aide to the President, and in the absence or disability of the President, shall perform the duties of President. The Vice-President will assume the duties of the Secretary in the absence of the Secretary.
c. The Secretary shall keep a record of the proceedings of all meetings. Minutes shall be maintained for all regular and special meetings accurately.
d.The Treasurer shall collect and disburse all moneys. Maintain accurate financial records and present a current income and expense summary at each regular meeting, and sign checks for the expenditures of the club with other signatures required.
e. The Assistant Treasurer shall take over the duties of the treasurer in his/her absence.
f. The Tournament Director shall coordinate all fishing trips. Appoint two (2) weigh-in officials from club membership. He shall maintain a complete record of all points for tournaments and give the results at each meeting. See that each member abides by the basic tournament rules and see that fish which are to be released are handled properly and released quickly. Stress Catch and Release Program.
Section 3: Vacancies
a. In the event an office becomes vacant, nominations shall be required, and an election held to fill the unexpired term of the vacant office. The member elected shall immediately assume responsibility for those duties, and hold office until the next regular election. The election will be determine using a secret ballot
Section 4: Term of Office
a. The term of office is for one year, which shall begin on November 30th and end November 30th the following year.
Article V – Committees
Section 1: Standing Committees
These are specifically named in the By-Laws and are elected or appointed for a defined term to perform particular assignments of a permanent nature.
A Tournament Committee
The tournament director shall appoint a committee composed of six members, to help prepare the upcoming year’s tournament schedule. They will be responsible for gathering information, providing input to the tournament director and other duties as specified by the tournament director. Once the schedule is complete, it will be the responsibility of the tournament director to present the schedule to the body of the club at the January meeting.
Section 2: Special Committees
Those which, when need arises, are elected (or appointed) in accordance with the vote of an assembly to render a particular service of temporary character. The committee may be selected for deliberation or investigation in the organization. The committee shall consist of odd numbers to prevent tie votes.
Article VI – Travel Expenses
Section 1: Late Withdrawal
The necessary preparation shall be made so that we start our tournaments on time. A member shall have 48 hours prior to date of a tournament to inform the Executive Board (officer) or Tournament Director and, if at all possible, his partner that he will not fish. Otherwise, the non-boater fee will be imposed as a penalty, except in the case of an emergency as defined by the Executive Board. The Treasurer will be responsible for paying the affected member. The treasurer will also be responsible for collecting the penalty fees from the member in violation of the late withdrawal policy.
Section 2: Expenses
Per Diem rates for participants as non-boat owners and guest shall be as follows:
1. All trips – $40.00
On the second day of a two day event the non-boater shall pay the boater $10.00 for expenses. In the event that gas prices exceed $3.50 per gallon for 87 octane gasoline the non-boater fee will increase as follows; $50 for a one day event. The expenses for the second day of a two day event will remain unchanged at $10. The non-boater fee will decrease to the afore-mentioned amount of $40 when the price of one gallon of 87 octane gasoline decreases below $3.50 per gallon. Fees will not be valid if the non-boat owner pulls the boat to and from the lake.
In the event of mechanical failure the following fees shall apply;
1. The boater will be paired with another member, per the tournament director, and will be required to pay the standard non-boater fees
2. If the boat owner was paired with a non-boater on day one of tournament both the boat owner and his non-boater will be paired with another member, per the tournament director, and be required to pay the standard non-boater fee.
3. If a boat is disabled on the second day of a two day event. The person’s whom boat failed shall return $10 of the non-boater’s money. Then both members will be paired with another member, per the tournament director, and be required to pay that boater $10 for the second day of a two day event.
Article VII – Tournament Rules
Any boat in the water at starting time will be allowed to start, per the Tournament Director’s direction. It is the responsibility of the boater and his partner to be at the ramp and ready to fish 15 minutes before starting time. There is no penalty for a late start if paired boater and non-boater are together. If a boater is left without a partner at starting time, he is not required to wait. The boater may check the ramp later, but this is not required. Should a non-boater be left without a partner at starting time, the Tournament Director will contact the boaters and arrange for the non-boater to fish three in a boat. No one leaves the lake unless everybody is accounted for. A $30.00 tournament fee shall be paid prior to launching boat per individual.
b. The Rod Benders “Tony Leslie” Classic
The Rod Bender Classic will consist of the top 16 members in the point standings. The top 8 members will be allowed to take their boats. Members in 9th through 16th place will be non-boaters (standard non-boater fees still apply). The member in 1st place will be paired with 16thplace, 2nd place will be paired with 15th place so on and so forth. In the event a member in the top 16 cannot fish, the next member with the next highest points will be offered an opportunity to fish in the classic. The tournament director will continue to go down the list until the 16 man roster is filled. The tournament director will make the appropriate changes concerning pairing. Club members not eligible to participate in the classic are encouraged to come show their support for the top 16, fish, and fellowship, but will not be eligible to win the prize money.
Section 2: Safety
Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times by all tournament competitors. Each competitor is required to wear a coast guard approved chest-type life preserver. This preserver must be worn any time the boat is above idle speed (5 mph). The preserver must be strapped, snapped, or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until competitor reaches his fishing location. Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification.
Section 3: Sportsmanship
Competitors in our 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 disqualification and/or suspension. Drunkenness by any competitor during the tournament will not be tolerated. This shall be cause for automatic disqualification for this and all future tournaments. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regards to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act of a competitor which reflects unfavorably upon the club’s effort to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters, and courtesy shall be reason for disqualification.
Section 4: Tackle and Equipment
Only artificial lures may be used. No “live bait” will be permitted. The participant can use pork rinds, strips, etc. Only one casting, spin-casting or spinning rod and reel may be used at one time. All bass must be caught alive in a conventional fishing manner.
Section 5: Fishing Restrictions
No participant shall fish within 50 yards of a marina gas pump or dock defined as start point. No boat shall fish within 50 yards of an anchored tournament boat. All fishing must be done from the boat. Contestant must not depart boat to land fish.
Section 6: Penalties
a. Late penalty
Any member arriving late for weigh-in will be penalized 10 ounces of his total weight for each minute he is late. Fish will not be weighed after 15 minutes.
b. Over allowed limit penalty
Any member checking into the weigh-in station with more than the allowed lake limit of fish will be disqualified.
c. Undersize fish penalty
Undersize fish will be determined by placing fish on an official measuring board, with mouth closed, sliding hand from head to tail. The tail may be twisted to the fisherman’s best advantage. The fish will be disallowed if the tail does not reach the mark. The penalty for bringing an undersized fish to the weigh-in will be disqualification of your largest fish, or tournament points if the contestant has no other fish. Tournament Director cannot check fish prior to official weigh-in. Largest size limit on the lake applies to all species. If a lake has a slot limit or limit less than 12 inches, we will use the high number for minimum length.
This applies to all species of fish to be weighed in.
d. Dead fish penalty
A contestant that brings a dead fish to the weight-in station shall be penalized 8 ounces. The 8 ounces will be deducted from the dead fish and applied at the weigh-in station and before calculation of total weigh and points.
e. Out of Uniform Penalty
If a member is not in his full uniform he will be penalized 5 points. The president will impose this uniform penalty at our regular monthly meetings. The tournament director will be responsible for imposing this penalty at a tournament event.
e. Ties will be resolved by:
1. Most fish
2. Most fish alive
3. Big fish
4. Cutting card (high card wins)
Section 7: Culling
a. Each competitor is expected to keep his catch alive if possible, by use of properly aerated live wells. A member is not allowed to cull dead fish.
b. For each legal bass weighed in and released alive, the competitor shall be awarded two additional ounces per fish to be scored as ordinary weight.
Section 8: Disqualifications
Members whom are disqualified for a rule infraction must be notified at the weight in. The specific reason for disqualification must be given in writing by the tournament director. The member will still be allowed to weight his fish. However, his points will be held until the appeal process is completed. If the affected member chooses he may appeal the disqualification with the tournament committee. There must be at least three members of the tournament committee (the tournament director and two other members) present to prevent ties.
Section 9: Rule Infractions
The decision of the tournament committee will be final on any rule infraction having a penalty disqualification. All protests (dead fish, short fish, number of fish, bag weight, or big fish) are to be lodged directly to the tournament director, before leaving the scales, during his/her turn to weigh-in.
Section 10: Guests
Guests will be allowed to fish if there is a vacancy with a boat owner. Advance notice must be given to the Tournament Director or an officer of the Executive Board. A three (3) day notice is required for acceptance. If the guest is a boat owner, he will be expected to follow rules and regulations of Rod Benders Bass Club. He is also required to give a three (3) day notice for acceptance. Pairing will be done per Tournament Director.
Article VIII – Scoring
Section 1: Point System
a. 5 points for attending each meeting.
b. 2 points for fishing tournament as a registered competitor; per Article VII, Section 1.
c. Points will be rewarded to all members that participate in the following events. The point for these events will be;
Kid’s Derby 100 points
Homecoming 100 points
Banquet 200 points
Lake Lanier Open 100 points
One ounce of fish weigh will equal one point. Bonus points will be added as indicated in Article VII, Section 7(b).
Section 2: Trophies
a. Big Fish: The largest fish caught for the year weighing over five pounds.
b. First Place: Total number of points accumulated throughout the season. This includes meeting points, tournament points, and fish points.
c. Second Place: The second highest number of points as described above in Article VIII, Section 2(b).
d. Third Place: The third highest number of points as described above in Article VIII, Section 2(b).
e. Four additional trophy categories will be distributed at the discretion of the standing committee in charge of the program.
Article IX – Dismissal
Section 1: Inactiveness
Membership dues shall be kept current. If dues are not paid,
a. prior to the tournament, the member will not be eligible to fish in the tournament.
b. sixty (60) days after they become due he shall be declared suspended . If he remains delinquent at the end of ninety (90) days, his name shall be removed from the roll as a member. A thirty (30) day advance notice shall be sent to the suspended member prior to ninety (90) day grace period.
c. A payment plan can be made with the treasurer to maintain eligibility, prevent suspension and/or removal. If a member wins a club tournament while his dues are delinquent, his winnings will be applied towards his delinquent dues.
d. The afore-mentioned stipulations do not apply to club sponsored events that are open to the public
e. Leave of Absence
Leave time is granted to any member in good standing. All dues must be current prior to leave. Leave time may not exceed six (6) months or till end of year in which leave was granted, whichever comes first. Exception to this rule will be approved by the Executive Board. Leave of absence must be submitted to the Executive Board in writing.
Section 2: Removal
A member shall be dropped from the membership role for the following:
a. Failure to pay dues as outlined in Article II, Section 4(a).
b. Cheating in a club tournament.
c. Any action which would reflect dishonor and disgrace on the Rod Benders Bass Club.
d. Failure to attend 50% of the club’s meetings and 50% of the club’s functions, if the absentees are not work related.
e. All other reasons require 2/3 vote of the club members present at a regular meeting.
f. In the event a member is dismissed, the executive board will notify the member in writing via a certified letter. The reason for dismissal will be clearly stated in the letter. The dismissed member will then have 30 days to return his shirts and jackets as specified in Article 2 section 6 of the Rod Benders Bass Club By laws. This exchange may take place with any member of the executive board or via certified mail. Upon receipt of the afore-mentioned articles the executive board will send a letter acknowledging receipt of said paraphernalia along with a check as indicated in Article 2 Section 6. Failure to abide by this rule may result in legal action. In the event the member does not return his paraphernalia and suit is instituted for the collection thereof, the undersigned promises to pay to the Rod Benders Bass Club all reasonable costs and expenses of suit, including but not limited to; all reasonable attorney’s fees, to be determined by the court in which such action may be brought.
a. If a member chooses to voluntarily leave the club, we ask that he surrenders all of his shirts and jackets. The executive board will send a certified letter acknowledging this member’s resignation along with a check for the surrendered paraphernalia. If the member is not able to surrender his paraphernalia, specified in Article 2 section 6, at the time his resignation is tendered we ask that he do so within 30 days. This exchange may take place with any member of the executive board or via certified mail. If the member fails to abide by this rule it may result in legal action. In the event the member does not return his paraphernalia and suit is instituted for the collection thereof, the undersigned promises to pay to the Rod Benders Bass Club all reasonable costs and expenses of suit, including but not limited to; all reasonable attorney’s fees, to be determined by the court in which such action may be brought.
Section 1: Reinstatement
a. A previous member may be voted back into the club by a show of hands from the members present. The member must bring all past due monies up to date prior to being eligible for full membership. He will also be required to go through the probationary period as described in Section 3. Members whom were removed for cheating will not be allowed back into the club.
Article XI – Amending the Constitution
Section 1: Method of Amending
The Constitution may be amended at a regular meeting if discussion takes place at the present meeting and voting occurs on the proposed amendment at the next regular meeting. A 2/3 vote of the voting members present will be required to change the By-Laws.
All boat owners using their boats in any Rod Benders Bass Club tournament event must be insured and carry at least the minimum liability coverage of $300,000. Boat owners will also be required to provide quarterly proof of insurance in the months of January, March, June, and September
Article XI – Waiver of Liability
I the undersigned, acknowledge, appreciate and agree: The risk of injury from the activities involved in this club and its tournaments is significant, including the potential for permanent paralysis and death, and while particular rules, equipment and personal discipline may reduce this risk, the risk of serious injury does exist: and I knowingly and freely assume all such risk both known and unknown, even if arising from the negligence of others, and assume full responsibility for my participation in the event and its associated onshore activities holding blameless the rod benders bass club, its sponsors, supporters and other participants in this club and its tournaments. I have received a copy of the Rod Benders Bass Club By-laws. I understand that I am to become familiar with its contents. The current version of the by-laws supersedes all previous versions and all previously issued policies, guidelines, or procedures, both written and unwritten.
February 10th, 2013