Black (Largemouth) Bass Tournament Exemption

FW_TCBannerSmall.pngAny tournament bass over eight pounds that are documented and released are eligible for rewards at


  • To provide Bass Clubs holding tournaments a temporary exemption to bass size limits.
  • To ensure the health of Florida freshwater resources and positive interactions with the general fishing public, Tournament Organizers and Sponsors need to emphasize the proper handling and care of fish to their participants.
  • Tournaments also need to closely adhere to live release guidelines stipulated in tournament exemption permits.
  • The future of our freshwater fisheries depends on our being good custodians of our resources.

What This Permit Allows:

  • An exemption to bass size limits, when the requirements and conditions of the permit are met.

What This Permit Does NOT Allow:

  • Fishing without a Freshwater Fishing License unless you are exempt by law from needing one.
  • Exceeding the daily bag limit.
  • Culling dead fish. All dead fish are a part of your bag and must be part of the weigh-in.
  • Keeping any of the fish after the weigh-in.

Requirements and Conditions:

  • Application for an exemption permit must be made at least 6 (but no more than 365) days in advance of the scheduled tournament date.
  • The number of registered anglers fishing during the tournament shall not be less than 10 or the permit will be null and void.
  • All tournament anglers must have a valid Florida fishing license or be exempt by law from needing one.
  • All fish caught in the tournament are to be handled as stipulated by the permit and are to be live released or disposed of as specified in the application for the permit. Dead fish are not to be culled by a participant and must be a part of the weigh-in.
  • Participant Black Bass Exemption Permits must be provided to each tournament participant. The names of the participants shall be filled in by the permittee or a tournament official. Any participant in a tournament for which an exemption permit has been issued is required to have a valid participant permit or a copy of the original permit which has been signed by the permittee in his or her possession at all times during the tournament.
  • The permittee shall maintain a registration list that includes the name, address, and phone number of all participants provided a participant permit for the tournament.
  • The permittee or a tournament official shall be present at the weigh-in.
  • Each boat will have one or more functioning aerated live well(s). Each live well shall be inspected by the permittee or a tournament official, prior to the tournament's starting time, to ensure live well(s) are operating properly.
  • Tournament participants may not possess or weigh-in more than the total daily bag limit for black bass, regardless of the number of weigh-ins. The daily bag limit allowed per angler is five bass per day, unless otherwise restricted by Commission rules or the conditions of the permit.
  • All bass will be transported from boats to the weigh-in site in water-filled containers, such as plastic bags. No more than five bass may be transported in one water-filled container. Bass shall not be kept in water-filled containers longer than five minutes prior to and after weigh-in without supplemental aeration and/or water exchange.
  • A penalty of at least 0.25 pounds (four ounces) must be imposed on a competitor for each dead fish weighed in.
  • The permittee and tournament participants shall not keep or transport to an unpermitted site any black bass caught during the tournament.
  • Live and/or dead fish may be retained by Commission biologists for research purposes.
  • Fish are to be live released in open water, unless otherwise stipulated in the permit.
  • If fish are not immediately released following the weigh-in procedure, weigh-in holding tanks shall meet the following criteria and permittee will conform to the following management practices:
    • Each tank shall hold a minimum of 100 gallons of water.
    • Each tank shall be equipped with an aeration or air injection system.
    • Uniodized salt (rock salt or artificial sea salt) shall be used at a rate of 0.7 oz./gallon of water to provide a concentration of 0.5% as a prophylactic.
    • Holding tank water temperature shall be maintained at the ambient water body temperature. Ambient water body temperature will be determined as measured at a depth of three feet within the water body proper on the day of the tournament.
    • The number of bass confined shall not exceed a pound of bass per gallon of water.
    • Within 30 days following the tournament, the permittee shall submit a completed tournament activity report.

How to Apply for this Permit:

  • Application for an exemption permit must be made at least 6 (but no more than 365) days in advance of the scheduled tournament date. Applications not made 6 days in advance will NOT be processed.
  • Black Bass Exemption Permits are good for 1 day, multiple day, or overnight tournaments. A separate permit is required for multiple day tournaments not on consecutive days. A separate permit is required for each night for multiple over night tournaments.
  • A Permittee (Tournament Director) cannot have multiple permits for the same day.
  • Click on the "Bass Tournament Application" button below.
  • This will take you to a login screen. If you have not applied for a Fish and Wildlife Commission permit before, click on "Register Here" at the top of the login screen. Enter the requested information to open an account and create your username and password.
  • Enter your username and password. You may also use your date of birth and one of the following: your permit number, driver license number or social security number to open your account
  • Enter the requested information. Print the Permit and Participant Permits.
  • If you cannot locate the water body or ramp/landing that is to be used for your tournament contact the appropriate Regional Office to have it added.

Completing the Tournament After Action Activity Report:

  • The Tournament After Action Activity Report needs to be completed within 30 days after the tournament date.
  • Click on the "Bass Tournament Application" button below.
  • Select the Tournament Permit the After Action Report will be for. It will have a Status of "Report Due".
  • Click on the "After Action Report" button. The After Action Activity Report button will not be active until the day after the tournament date.
  • Fill in the required information.
  • Click on the "Save" button.
  • The Permit Status will change to "Completed" when all the after action report information is entered correctly. If the status remains "Report Due" you have not filled in all the required information.
  • Having any Permit in "Report Due" status 30 days after the tournament date will prevent you from getting another Permit.

Apply for Bass Tournament Application Now

Additional Information on Stipulations Adobe PDF

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