Some seem to be very confused about the B.A.S.S.rules covering tackle and equipment. I've seen comments that the rule says only one rod, one reel, one lure and one cast can be used at one time. Maybe this will help clear some of that confusion.
On a very cold day in January 1968, Ray Scott came to Chattanooga to attend the meeting to organize the Chattanooga Bass Club. He was also here to announce the organization of the Bass Anglers Sportsman's Society (B.A.S.S.) for the first time.
Ray and I sat in his motel room and wrote the first set of B.A.S.S. tournament rules. Later we announced them at the meeting to organize the Chattanooga Bass Club and B.A.S.S.
Plastic-worm fishing was just being introduced to bass fishing and a very popular method in the lakes around Chattanooga was to cast one out and let it sink to the bottom, then lay the rod down and cast out another one. Some fished four rods at a time. You watched until a bass picked up the worm, then you picked up the rod, kicked the reel out of gear and fed the bass line until it stopped to swallow the worm. As soon as it took the slack out, you set the hook.
Ray and I did not believe this method should be allowed in B.A.S.S. tournaments. In the early days two contestants were paired in each boat and they were required to work out a plan to allow each angler to fish his water and operate the boat for half the day. We did not want to force one angler to sit half the day and watch the other angler fish four rods at a time, so we installed a rule stating: Only one casting, spincasting or spinning rod and reel may be used at any one time.
A few years later, after flipping was introduced to tournaments, we saw rods up to 10, 12 or 15 feet showing up, so we decided to limit the rod length to 8 feet. We did that to keep one angler with a 15-foot rod who wanted to flip from having an advantage over his partner who was trying to cast.
We never had any rules governing lures except a rule stating only artificial lures were to be used and defined pork rinds and strips as artificial. We never mentioned anything about one cast. In fact, I don't see how anyone could make more than one cast at a time.
These rule were written when two contestants were in the same boat sharing fishing time. Today one angler has control over the boat and fishing water, so new rules only need to consider one angler, not two like we did in 1968.
B.A.S.S. was organized to create the professional sport of bass fishing. It was also to teach members how to fish for bass and it was to be supported by the fishing industry that would reap the benefits. I fail to see why any tournament organization or state agency should get involved in controlling what you catch fish on catching is the part that makes the sport enjoyable. Creel limits will always control how many you can remove from the water. The state agencies are very good at controlling how many fish are available and it always seems to be more than anglers can catch.
B.A.S.S. stated the ban on the A-rig was because: "Rules committee members believe the rig eliminates some of the skill that should be required in tournament competition at the highest level. Tournament director Weldon states: "The Elite Series Rules Committee members unanimously asked to be held to a higher standard. We have decided to honor their recommendations."
The ban only applies to the Classic and 2012 Elite events, so does this mean that an Elite angler fishing a Bassmaster Open or other events will not use the A-Rig in that event and lower his higher standard?