Shebandowan Smallmouth Showdown


Since there is no longer a formal rules meeting for the SSS Bass Tournament, the SSSBT Organizing Committee cannot stress this enough: KNOW THE RULES!


Starting time is 8:00am EDT both days.  Ending time is 4:00pm  EDT on Day One and 3:00pm EDT on Day Two.


There will be no time in the morning before takeoff for questions or rule clarification, so all teams should:

  1. Learn the rules
  2. Check the SSSBT website often for rule amendments (especially the week before the event)
  3. E-mail any questions or rule clarifications to

On your registration form you will see that your signature is for waiver indemnification as well as acknowledgement that you have read and understand the rules and will abide by them.


  1. SSSBT format is a two person team, fishing for two days, total weight, live release tournament.
  2. The Tournament Director has the right to delay or shorten the Tournament, subject to weather and/or safety considerations.
  3. All Competitors and Officials will conduct themselves in a true sportsmanlike, courteous, safe and ethical manner. As competitors, each person represents not only their Team and Sponsors, but also the SSSBT and other Teams.
  4. The Shebandowan Smallmouth Showdown Bass Tournament, its promoters, employees, sponsors, organizers, hosts, Directors, Officers and affiliated organizations assisting in the operation of any aspect of the Tournament, their agencies and/or agents and assigns are not responsible for any death, injury, damage, liability, fire, theft or loss that may result prior to, during or after the Tournament howsoever caused.
  5. All references to monies are in Canadian Dollars.
  6. All time references are EDT (Thunder Bay time).


  1. Competitors must be a minimum of eighteen (18) years of age as of February 26th, 2020, unless they have the written permission of their parent(s) or guardian(s).
  2. All participants will require a WAIVER OF CLAIM, RELEASE AND INDEMNIFICATION AGREEMENT AND PHOTO AND VIDEO RELEASE signed by them or by their parent(s) or guardian(s) if applicable.
  3. All anglers must possess and be able to show upon request, a valid Ontario Sport Fishing License, except those exempt by the Fisheries Act. Failure to do so will result in tournament disqualification of the team.
  4. The SSSBT reserves the right to refuse entry to any Individual or Team for any reason that the Tournament Committee may deem appropriate.
  5. There will be a limited field of 75 paid teams for the Tournament.
  6. If, after competition has been started, a team captain or partner is unable to continue for medical, family or other justified reasons, the remaining team member will be given the option of continuing as a single angler. In the event that the remaining team member elects not to continue in the tournament, the team’s entry fee will not be refunded.


  1. Fees
    i. The entry fee for the tournament is $350.00 per team.
    ii. Teams must submit a fully completed entry form with a payment of $350.00
  2. Dates
    i. Registration Opens: February 1st, 2020
    ii. The positioning draw will be held: Wednesday, February 26th, 2020 at 7:00 pm at North Country Cycle & Sports in Thunder Bay.
    iii. Subsequent positioning will be based on first-come, first-serve.
    iv. Entry fees must be paid in full when entry form is submitted.
    v. In the event of proper notice of cancellation in writing, received twenty-one (21) days prior to the first day of the tournament, the entry fee, shall be returned to the Team Captain. After 21 days, the Team Entries are finalized, and any cancellation will result in a scratch and the entry fee will not be refunded.
  3. Positioning
    i. Starting positions for the tournament is based on a random draw of the first 75 paid entries (Draw date and time as above), followed by first-come, first-serve.
    ii. If two individual Captains enter the tournament separately, and then later decide to amalgamate and become one Team, the newly created single Team will receive the LOWER of the two spots initially held by each Captain. There will also be a $50.00 surcharge for issuing a refund of one of the entry fees.


  1. Unlimited pre-tournament practice is allowed.
  2. Moving fish from one location to another during pre-tournament practice is prohibited, unless specifically requested by the Tournament Director for special purposes. Violations could result in tournament disqualification.
  3. All Competitors must cease pre-tournament practice and be off the water by 2:00 pm on the day, immediately prior to the event.


  1. Teams’ starting position number will be available to registered teams at boat inspection each morning.


  1. Fixed or portable aerated live-wells capable of supporting life are mandatory and every effort must be made to keep Bass alive.
  2. Under no circumstances can a fish be purposely altered.
  3. Any fish mauled, mashed, frozen, stringered, injected with water or other fluids, containing foreign matter to add weight or showing white gills or soft flesh, will result in disqualification of the Team.
  4. Under no circumstances are dead fish to be released. See sections 10.8. and 10.9..


  1. Contestants who are late crossing the finish line at the end of each day for whatever reason, including breakdown, will be disqualified for the day.  An audible alarm (ie siren) will indicate end of each day’s tournament hours.


  1. All waters accessible by boat on Shebandowan Lakes are deemed eligible tournament waters.
  2. During the “take off time” at the beginning of the tournament, between 8:00am-8:30am, the Shelter Bay East entrance “No Wake Zone” is off limits.
  3. The Tournament Operations Director has the right to alter or restrict tournament waters with prompt notice to all registered Teams.


  1. Only Smallmouth Bass legally caught on a tournament day by angling qualify for weigh-in. Violation of this rule is tournament disqualification.
  2. A daily limit of five (5) Smallmouth Bass per Team will be weighed. A team may possess the daily current Ontario Fishing Regulations limit while angling only. While under main engine only a total of five (5) bass may be retained in the live- well(s). The penalty for failure to comply is disqualification of the days weight.
  3. The official minimum length is twelve (12) inches measured from the tip of the nose with mouth closed to the end of the tail with the tail compressed (pinched). A commercially purchased bump (measuring) board, will be used by the Tournament Weigh Master/ and or assistant, and will be used for all tournament minimum-length measurements.
  4. Bass presented for weigh-in which fail to meet the official minimum length will not be weighed, and therefore the short- fish’s weight disqualified from the day’s total catch weight.
  5. Each Team’s fish must be presented to the Weigh Master or his/her Assistants in the official containers supplied by the Tournament Organizers.
  6. All weights, upon verbal acceptance by the Team Captain, and then publicly called by the Weigh Master, are immediately official and are not thereafter contestable.
  7. One Team Member must sign the official weigh-in form recording the weight of the catch.
  8. Dead smallmouth bass presented for weigh-in will be weighed. Four (4) ounces will be deducted from the total daily weight for each dead or non-releasable fish that is weighed. Tournament Anglers are responsible for their dead fish. Failure to do so will result in immediate tournament disqualification.
  9. Species caught other than Smallmouth Bass must be returned to tournament waters with the exception of damaged fish as per provincial fishing regulations. All legal fish of any species caught and damaged must be reported to the Tournament Committee before weigh-in, and must be kept by competitors.
  10. No fish will be weighed in before 3:00 pm on day one and 2:00 pm on day two of the tournament.


  1. All boats must be a minimum of fourteen (14) feet in length.
  2. No canoes, barges, houseboats, or similar cumbersome craft will be allowed.
  3. All boats, motors and their equipment must meet Canadian Coast Guard standards.
  4. The Tournament Director reserves the right to disallow the use of any boat, motor and/or equipment deemed unsafe, inappropriate or unsuitable.
  5. All boats equipped with an emergency kill switch mechanism must have the kill switch tether securely attached to the operator whenever the boat is on plane.
  6. Team numbers must be affixed to the port (left) side ONLY of the main combustion engine so that they are clearly and plainly visible.


  1. Boats, not being trailered but are travelling by water, are to be pulled up on the beach at the Public Launch for each morning’s boat inspection.
  2. Teams are required to have their equipment ready and be on the water thirty (30) minutes prior to the scheduled departure time. Late arrivals will be penalized and forfeit their take off spot, placing them as the last to take off.
  3. Boat inspections will take place in the morning commencing one and one half hours prior to departure time.
  4. Boats will be inspected for, but not limited to: Team Numbers properly affixed; operation of live well; kill switch operation; no live, dead, frozen, or freeze-dried bait, no underwater cameras and required safety equipment.
  5. Teams must have all tackle boxes, hatches and live wells open for easy inspection prior to the arrival of the Tournament Officials.
  6. Upon completion of the daily morning inspection, signatures on entry forms must be completed at this time where none existed before. Starting position number will be written on the team number tag by an inspection official to indicate that the boat has completed inspection.
  7. Failure to report for daily boat inspection will result in disqualification of that day’s catch.


  1. It is strictly prohibited for any Competitor to give, offer, accept or suggest the exchange of any weighable fish to, from or with any other Competitor.
  2. Use of cellular phones, texting devices, walkie talkies and CB’s and VHF radios are prohibited for communicating, unless it is being used for a proven emergency.
  3. Competitors will strive to maintain a minimum distance of 50 meters from other competitors’ boats while angling.


  1. All Competitors must practice safe boating at all times during practice and tournament fishing.
  2. Every competitor must wear a fully secured Coast Guard approved life jacket or floatation device while traveling from one location to another at other than trolling or drifting speed, and where so equipped tethered kill switches must be attached to the drivers body.
  3. No alcoholic beverages, cannabis or illicit drugs may be possessed, used and/or consumed by the Competitors during tournament fishing hours up to and including the weighing of their catch. Failure to comply to this rule will result in immediate tournament disqualification of the team.
  4. In the event of a thunderstorm, lightning, or severe weather, Teams may pull onto the nearest shoreline until it is safe to continue fishing. Competitor(s) may not leave their boats during the tournament except at the Official Weigh-In Station at the MNR Public Launch, except in the case of a proven emergency.
  5. Every Team, whether weighing fish or not, must, at the end of the day, report to the Official Tournament Check-In Station.


  1. In the case of an emergency, cellular phones may be used to notify for safety reason only. Spotter boats will be patrolling the lake during tournament hours, and should be flagged to report any breakdowns.
  2. Committee patrol boats are prohibited from towing any Competitors boat during tournament fishing hours.
  3. In the event of mechanical breakdown the fish from the disabled boat may be transferred to another competitor’s boat provided they are accompanied by a member of the disabled team and they are kept in a separate live well. Upon reaching the weigh-in site, the member of the team from the disabled boat must report directly to the tournament director.


  1. Competitors are personally responsible for knowing all Tournament Rules, as well as the current Ontario Sport Fishing Regulations and Canadian Coast Guard regulations. Penalty: Teams found to have violated federal or provincial fishing and boating regulations during the tournament may be disqualified when this information is confirmed by tournament officials. This judgment could also apply to eligibility to participate in future tournaments.
  2. Competitors are not allowed to toss or pass any item(s) to another boat or to receive any item(s) from another boat.
  3. All Teams and their equipment are subject to inspection at any time during the Tournament. Committee patrol boats may come alongside, following proper identification, and if necessary, board to check for adherence to all Tournament Rules. No other boat may come in contact with a Competitor’s boat at any time.
  4. No fishing information may be given to or exchanged with Competitors during the Tournament fishing hours by Tournament or Non-Tournament anglers.
  5. Competitors are expected to co-operate as much as possible with official video and still photography personnel.
  6. There are three “No Wake Zones”.
  • The Wolseley Point and Munro Point openings to SHELTER BAY.
  • The waterway North of TEAPOT ISLAND, use courtesy and common sense when motoring through waterway South of Teapot Island if other boats are present.
  • The entirety of AMBUSH NARROWS.

Shelter Bay Map

Teapot Island Map

Ambush Narrows Map

  • Shelter Bay East entrance: The entrance to Shelter Bay at Munro Point (red circle) will be CLOSED to all WESTBOUND traffic from 8:00am – 8:30am. Those wishing to fish Shelter Bay during the initial restricted half-hour must access it from the backside at Wolseley Point (yellow circle). After the 8:30am time restriction has passed, Shelter Bay may be accessed at no-wake speeds from either the Wolseley Point or Munro Point openings. Similarly, the Wolseley Point entrance to Shelter Bay will be closed to all EASTBOUND boat traffic from 3:30pm – 4:00pm on the Saturday (day one) and from 2:30pm – 3:00pm on the Sunday (day two). Spotter boats will be posted to ensure these restrictions are adhered to.

Steamer Channel Map


  1. Only artificial lures, manufactured baits, pork rind, and commercially available liquid attractants may be used by competitors. Landing nets may be used.
  2. No live bait, frozen or freeze-dried bait of any kind may be used or possessed by any Competitor at any time during the Tournament.
  3. The use, in live wells, of commercially available fish care chemicals is permitted.
  4. The use of underwater cameras is not allowed during the tournament. If such equipment is found in a competitors boat during boat checks or during tournament fishing hours the offending team will be immediately disqualified.


  1. Where a team is charged with a rule infraction by an authorized Tournament Official which could result in disqualification of the daily catch or tournament disqualification, the team has the right to appeal the decision to the Tournament Protest and Appeals Committee. Appeals must be submitted to Tournament Director at the weigh-in site within 10 minutes after weigh-in, on the day of notice of the rules infraction.
  2. An infraction witnessed by a competitor can be reported to the Tournament Protest and Appeal Committee at the weigh-in site. In the event that an infraction is reported or a protest is lodged, a three person Protest Committee, appointed prior to the Tournament, shall convene.
  3. Each Team Captain has the right to file a Protest when they have firsthand knowledge that a rule or rules may have been broken or violated by another Team. A Protest must be filed within ten (10) Minutes of weigh-in at the weigh-in site to be considered.
  4. A $200.00 fee must accompany all protests.
  5. Witness(es) may be called to appear before the Protest Committee to provide evidence relating to the alleged rule infraction. At the discretion of the Committee, a polygraph test may be administered to any Competitor directly or indirectly involved or affected by the protest under consideration.
  6. The Protest and Appeals Committee will interpret the rules according to their spirit and intent. The decision of the Protest Committee is final and not subject to review of any kind.
  7. If the Protest is found to be valid, the protest fee will be returned forthwith and the team protested against must pay the protest fee, plus any polygraph costs, and any penalties imposed if applicable.
  8. If the Protest is determined to be invalid, the protest fee will not be returned and the protesting Team must pay any and all investigation expenses including, if applicable, polygraph costs.
  9. General Penalties: Teams may be disqualified from the tournament for frequent or major infractions of the rules and will not receive a refund of their entry fee . Examples of major infractions include unsafe boating practices, gross angling ethics violations and violations that clearly give the competitor an unfair or illegal advantage over other competitors, such as; movement of fish, use of live bait, fishing out of bounds, caged fish, violation of provincial and federal fishing and boating regulations, exchanging fish between teams and unauthorized use of underwater cameras, drug and alcohol violations.


  1. A tie for the Grand-Aggregate prize will be determined by the team which has the largest single day catch of the tournament.
  2. Ties for all other positions, including daily prizes (ie: daily big fish award), will be settled by combining the prize money for the positions in question and dividing it equally amongst all affected Teams.
  3. In the event for a tie for the overall big fish, the prize will be split between the winning teams.
  4. Should a team(s) from B side advance to the top 15 after day two, the said team(s) will only be awarded the monetary prize of higher value.


  1. SSSBT retains the right to change or amend any or all of these preceding rules at their sole discretion without prior notification or consultation with the Competitors.


  1. Please report to an official when you are finished competing for the day.

2014 SSS Handout Map


  • On Shelter Bay Road there will be NO PARKING along the sides of the road
  • As you travel along Shelter Bay Road to the entrance to the public launch site, you will be met by a volunteer traffic marshall who’s duty is to keep the intersection area clear and the lane way from Shelter Bay Road to the open area of the launch site clear of stopped traffic to ensure not only a clear passage for safety reasons.
  • Once you have launched your boat, the driver of the vehicle will then exit the launch site area and proceed to the off-site participant parking area.  Keep the vehicle and trailer parking in an orderly fashion so that the vehicles and trailers  are not boxed in and unable to exit later in the day
  •   After the vehicle and trailer are parked, the driver will walk down to the  fire base dock and the boat operator will come around and pick up the vehicle driver at the fire base dock and then proceed by boat back to the staging area in front of the launch site or pull up onto the beach, however, keep in mind, we have many teams that will be coming by water and they will be required to pull up at the beach for boat inspection, as well our ‘on water’ crews will need to have a place to park their boats at the beach
  • Out in front of the launch site you will note there are two white marker buoys.  These markers will serve as the takeoff gate each morning.  The area on the shore side of these markers will be an idle speed only.
  • In the mornings you will travel through these markers in starting position order.  A large number will be displayed by take off volunteers which indicates which team number is to be going through the take off gage.
  • Once you pass through the gate then you can Wide Open Throttle and head out to the lake
  • You will also notice two orange marker buoys, you must be past them and on the inside shore side by 4:00 pm EDT on Saturday (day one) and by 3:00 pm EDT on Sunday (day two).
  • Upon return at the end of the day for weigh-in, you will travel to the fire base dock what volunteers will pass to you at the end of a long pole, your weigh-in number, you will then proceed to the staging area out from the launch site and wait for your weigh-in number to be called (NOT your team number)
  • When your weigh-in number is called you will acknowledge the on-shore caller (a mega phone will be used to call out the numbers) with a wave of your hand and then proceed to the designated spot on the beach to have your fish inspected.  All fish must already be removed from “glory bags”  or similar, prior to arriving to the beach for fish inspection or you will be told to pull away from the beach and wait till all other teams have been inspected.  If you have stressed or dead fish, it will be noted on your weigh-in number slip and appropriate penalty will be assessed once you have been weighed-in.  You will then put your own fish in the provided weigh-in bag(S).  A second weigh-in bag which is black mesh,  will be provided if you feel you have a fish worthy of winning the big fish award that day, it is up to you to identify that fish and put it in the black mesh fish bag before leaving your boat.
  • You will then both proceed to the fish holding tank at the end of the stage with your fish and place them in the basket provided.  The big fish remains in the black mesh bag and is placed in the holding tank.   Fresh water will be continuously pumped into the holding tank, it will be your responsibility to keep your basket of fish in the holding tank till one of the weigh masters/mistresses takes the basket, if you have a potential big fish then it will remain in the black mesh fish bag in the holding tank until it is weighed prior to weighing the rest of your fish.  You will be asked your TEAM number and it will be recorded on a weigh slip.  When your fish are about to be taken from the holding tank, you will proceed up onto the stage.  The MC will have you say a few words while your fish are being weighed in.  A big thank you to the sponsors and the volunteers would be nice.  Once your fish have been weighed the weight will be recorded on your weigh slip, just prior exiting the stage you will be asked to sign off on the weigh slip and you will hand it to the tabulation volunteer who will enter the weight in the computer, you will then exit the stage and take the weigh slip over to the score board where the score board volunteer will record the weight on the score board.
  • Once you exit off the stage one of the team members will need to go to your boat and move it out of the designated weigh-in spot on the beach.    While you are doing this, the boat operator can park the boat further down the beach or proceed to pull your boat out, it is up to you then.  You can boat over to the fire base dock and be dropped off and go get your vehicle and trailer so you can take your boat out at the launch site.  Keep in mind, there will be no parking of participants’ unattended vehicles with trailers at the launch site, and beach front property for parking your boat will be at a premium for space.
  • Again, full cooperation is required to make this as efficient as possible.  The weigh in procedure is much the same as previous years.  Together we will make this work.