One of the biggest challenges each year with the Flathead Classic is managing people expectations, understanding and complaints about the competition boundaries and fellow angler etiquette. When it comes to boundaries no matter what organizers seem to do people always want to push them. Let’s remember we are not fishing for the world cup here but we do understand the passion out there amongst competitors. Above all we want people to have a safe, enjoyable and fair tournament experience.
• What we ask for is a common sense approach, please note the following in regards to boundaries competition etiquette and safety.
• Above all safety is a no 1 priority at all items be safe and sensible on the water.
• Anyone fishing East of Swan Bay is considered to be fishing in a bar crossing as such if boats are under 4.8m all passengers must be wearing a lifejacket.
• All Green Zones are strictly adhered to, you fish these areas at the peril of authorities! It is every boaters responsibility to know Green Zone boundaries.
• Anglers must fish within the stated tournament boundaries. This means even if the boat is within the boundary, no casting or drifting beyond the boundary is permitted whilst lines are in the water.
• Remember a boundary can look different from different perspectives and distances and unless you are in line with the boundary yourself it is very difficult to tell if someone is in or out of the boundary line. If in doubt go over and check it out!
• In the first instance, we recommend before lodging a complaint to have a conversation with the team concerned after all we are all adults. This conversation should be approached positively, no point going in all guns blazing! Maybe this is just a different interpretation? a misunderstanding? or people not being familiar with the area? or is it your perspective? are you in the best place to tell?
There is no point complaining about this to others over dinner without ever mentioning it to the team in the first place. If after your efforts to discuss the matter you genuinely believe the team are breaking the boundary rule take a photograph, and bring it to the attention of the Tournament Director for further investigation.
• Remember boundaries are put in place to adhere to Law, Safety and fairness of competition.
• When fishing deeper water it is accepted that boats do fish closer together but please be courteous.
• When fishing in shallower areas please keep a cast length away from the closest boat.
• Be careful not to drop in on someone’s drift, if they are already drifting the bank you should come in behind them rather than dropping in before.
• If you are motoring against the current either under electric or main motor you must give way to boats drifting with the current.
• Do not drift or motor between someone’s boat and the bank they are working.
• Please be respectful of the average fisho not fishing the tournament we did have a few complaints about behaviour and attitude last year. Your behaviour is a reflection of the whole tournament we would like the public to have a positive view of our tournament.