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What is the American Fishing Tour

ABA is frequently asked about this tour and how it works.  Here are some of the basics:

First, the Ram American Fishing Tour is a draw format. What does that mean? Boaters and non-boaters complete equally and randomly drawn to fish together for the day.  Ray Scott said it best, “To learn how to fish competitively it is important to fish with as many good anglers as you can”.

The draw format is the best way for beginning anglers to learn the sport of competitive bass fishing. With a low entry fee of $70, it is a very inexpensive way to learn a lot of different styles of fishing techniques for both boaters and non-boaters.

Since boaters and non-boaters are paired together one of the greatest parts of the Ram American Fishing Tour is how the points are structured. It provides several benefits that some might miss by not understanding how the point system works. 

You can fish as many events as you would like, however, only your four best one-day events plus your best two-day event will count toward your total national points. First place points with a minimum field of just 20 is worth 200 points with a one-point separation per place. So, second place is 199, third is 198 and so on. With your best four, one-day events total the most possible points is 800. 

Each division will hold at least 6 one-day events, however, you can fish any one-day event anywhere in the country for your personal national points standing. If you’re in Florida on vacation and there is an ABA tournament, just show up, pay your entry fee, and go fish. ABA has many members that fish a lot of events in a single year doing just this. When anglers are traveling on business, or with family, and find a local ABA event they know they are welcome to fish these events.

At the end of each division’s season, there will be a two-day divisional championship held. First place points, with a minimum field of just 20, is worth 400 points with a two-point separation per place. So, second place is 398, third is 396 and so on. With your best four one-day event points total plus your two-day championship, the best possible points are 1,200. To fish a two-day championship, you must have fished at least four one-day qualifying events. 

So how do the points impact you as an angler? 

National points connect you to the National Championship. Divisional points connect you to divisional Angler of the Year, and ultimately the Angler of the Year competition at the National Championship.

Points track you both divisionally and nationally. All the points you earn within a division are counted as divisional points. If these results are you best four one-day events and your best two-day event this is also your national points.

If you fish multiple division’s the points from your best four one-day events and your best two-day event nationally will be counted towards your national points.

National points are also used to track the top anglers in each Service Team. Originally set up to recognize the top anglers of each military service branch, this also now includes non-military, Homeland Security, and Lady Anglers. 

Not only for bragging rights, but special awards and recognition are given to the top 5 anglers from each service team at the national championship awards banquet.

How does the National Championship work?

Anglers from all over the country compete in qualifying events from which the top 500 anglers nationally are invited to the National Championship. The top 250 in points are invited to fish as boaters and 251-500 are invited to compete as non-boaters.

For many members, this is a seasonal trip to see old friends and they all come to compete. There is a lot available for anglers at this championship.

The ABA Angler of the Year competition is the most unique in the fishing industry. Here is how it works; Anglers compete in their home division for a minimum of four one-day events and the divisional two-day Championship. The top angler, by points, in each division at the end of the season is the divisional AOY. Each of these AOY’s is invited to compete in the National Championship. At the Championship, the top finishing divisional AOY after three days of competition will be crowned Angler of the Year. 

There are several competitions going on simultaneously within the Championship. Angler of the Year might be the most notable, but there are several others competitions going on. The top 5 from each service team will be recognized. These service teams are; Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Coast Guard, Homeland Security, Non-Military and Lady Anglers.

There is also a four-man team competition always ran by the local ABA director as a side pot. Anglers form a 4-man team, their combined weight for the week is tracked, and the top teams receive a side pot payout. It might be for the payout, but it is also for bragging rights.

Big Bass at the Championship historically pays out more than any big bass pot in the country. As a side pot at $10 a day, it has paid well over $5,000 each day of competition and Lake Eufaula has some giant bass.

While competitors may not win the championship, they can still win sizable cash payouts and great Sponsor draw prizes. Even if you choose to fish as a non-boater you can still compete in all of these other competitions plus finish as the top non-boater and receive a 2017 Triton Boat TRX 19 with a Mercury Marine 150ProXS. That is almost a 40k prize before sponsor products are added to it.

How does ABA keep the competition fair as possible? 

There is a 30 day off-limits period before the championship to keep all anglers off the water and create an even playing field. ABA also polygraphs heavily at this event to make sure the event is clean. If you finish in the money it is very likely you will get the honor of taking a polygraph. 

How do you get started with the Ram American Fishing Tour? 

First, become a member. It is $35 a year and you will receive a lot of benefits for your annual membership. Second, find a local division which is easy to do on the web. Here is a good link that shows all divisions and you can search by state to make the list easier to use. 

The website drawtrail.com is loaded with information such as Tournament Schedules, Results, Points and lots of news and items for you to explore. 

Once you have found a division close to home you can register online or at the ramp the morning of the event. ABA believes that this part should be easy, show up, sign up and go fishing. It’s always good to contact your local director to assist you even further.

Also, the national office of American Bass Anglers has a fully staffed Member Services group that are here to assist you in any way you might need. Simply call the office at (256)232-0406 and you can choose the option for tournament registration or membership and be connected to a live person.

Divisional One-Day Qualifying Events 

    • Low Entry Fee - $70 Does Not Include Big Bass 
    • Close to Home - One-Day Events
    • Bring Your Boat, Use Your Boat
    • Fish Any Division Anywhere in the Country
    • Draw Format (Boaters and Non-Boaters)
    • No Meetings the Night Before
    • $1,000 First Place with Field of 100 + 
    • Up to $7,000 Triton Gold
    • Top 15% of The Field Get a Check
    • No Pros - No Guides Allowed
    • Simple Point System - Best 4 One-days Count for 
       Points Total

Divisional Championships 

    • $140 Entry Fee Does Not Include Big Bass
    • Two-Day Saturday/Sunday Event
    • $2,000 First Place with Field of 100
    • Up To $7,000 Triton Gold
    • Fish 4 One-day Divisional Events to Qualify 
    • Top 500 by Points Advance to Series Championship
    • Best Two-Day Counts for Points Total
    • Division’s Top Angler Advances to the AOY Final Round

National Championship 

    • October 17, 18, and 19 Lake Hartwell - Anderson, SC
    • The Top 250 anglers by points are invited as 
        guaranteed boaters 
    • First Place
        - Triton/Mercury Boat Package
        + Up to $7,000 Triton Gold

    • Top Placing Non-Boater 
        - Triton/Mercury Boat Package

    • Off Limits (TBA)
    • $170 Entry fee does not include Big Bass Option
    • Up to $5,000 per day Big Bass Award
    • 3 Days practice, 3 Days tournament
    • Competition Team Awards, Draw Prizes, Special 
        Awards
    • 4 advance to the Ray Scott Championship
        - Champion, Angler of the Year, Top Non-Boater, 
                2nd place Non-Boater 

Angler of the Year - The Final Round

    •The top angler by points from each division can qualify 
    • Highest finishing AOY Angler at championship wins!    
    • *AOY Award: 
        - Triton 21TrX, Mercury Motor package 
    • AOY Final Round held during the National   
        Championship

 

American Bass Anglers - American Fishing Tour

Entry Fees:
Divisional Qualifier: $70.00 - Big Bass Optional
Divisional Championship: $140.00 - Big Bass Optional
National Championship: $170.00 (does not include big bass)

What you need to get started:
An ABA membership and find a tournament you want to compete in and just show up the morning of the tournament at least 1.5 hours before sunrise. Check with your local director for local times.

ABA Membership (Become a member now)

Payback:

Divisional Qualifier
Place
 

*First place with 100 entries: $1,000 for a Divisional Qualifying Events and $2,000 for a Divisional Championship + Up to $7,000 Triton Gold if contingency guidelines are met. Payout shown above is based on 100 entries + Triton Gold Bonus. Visit www.tritonboats.com for details on Triton Gold bonus programs.

Triton Gold offers up to $7,000 and Triton Gold for first place to any AFT tournament with 60 or more boats or up to $500 for 30 or more boats. See your Triton Dealer for the Triton Gold Details.

 

1
$1,000
2
$625
3
$400
4
$350
5
$325
6
$300
7
$250
8
$220
9
$185
10
$180
11
$160
12
$140
13
$110
14
$90
15
$65
   
   
BigBass $500.00
Divisional Championship
Place
 

See Triton for the Triton Gold Details

 

*payout based on 100 anglers

1
$2,000
2
$1250
3
$800
4
$700
5
$650
6
600
7
$500
8
$370
9
$376
10
$360
11
$320
12
$280
13
$220
14
$180
15
$130
   
   
Big Bass $1,000

Format: Draw

Partners are paired the morning of the event. Boaters that bring their boats will be able to use them. Boater and non-boaters share locations for the day and expenses but the boaters do not give up operation of the boat.

See rules on format questions Click Here:

Divisional Qualifying events

Divisional Qualifying events first place is worth 200 points at 1 point increments. For example: 1st Place 200-points, 2nd Place 199-points and so on. With a full field, (20 anglers or more) you will receive maximum points.

Divisional Championships

Divisional Championships first place is worth 400 points at 2 point increment.) For example: 1st Place 400-points, 2nd Place 398-points and so on. With a full field, (20 anglers or more) you will receive maximum points.

National Championship:

The top 500 national point holders plus 30 Active Duty Military will be invited to compete in the National Championship.  If one or more of the top 500 do not accept the invitation, the remaining slots will be filled from a list of qualified anglers by points.  Contestants must meet the minimum qualification requirements which is; the successful completion of four (4) one-day tournaments and one two-day tournament within their division.  

a. There will be three winning positions in the National Championship, one for the overall winner of the event, one for the highest placing non-boater and one for Angler of the Year.
b. The top 250 anglers by points will have the opportunity to register as a boater and be guaranteed use of their boat. If one or more of the top 250 do not accept the invitation, the remaining slots will be filled from a list of qualified and pre-registered anglers by points. The top 250 boaters may or may not have a partner during the event. In the event a boater draws a non-boater, Rule 16 applies, including the non-boater being entitled to an equal number of hours to fish his/her selected waters. 
c. ABA will take registrations for non-boaters slots from qualified anglers by points, until all 250 boater slots have been filled. Those anglers registering as a non-boater will be paired with a boater and be entitled to their equal number of hours to fish his/her selected waters, see Rule 16. 
d. Divisional Anglers of the Year will compete within the National Championship tournament event. 

National Championship Format:

American Fishing Tour National Championship Payout
Place
 
Place
 
Place
 

Championship payout is based on field of 500 entries. *First place is a new Triton/Mercury Boat and Motor package + up to $7,000 Triton Gold if contingency guidelines are met. Triton's decisions will be final in all matters for their contingency programs.

Big Bass - $10 per day per angler - Big Bass can be worth as much as $5,000 per day.

1
*Boat/Motor
26
$500
51
$175
2
$10,000
27
$450
52
$175
3
$6,000
28
$400
53
$175
4
$5,000
29
$350
54
$175
5
$4,500
30
$350
55
$175
6
$4,000
31
$350
56
$150
7
$3,500
32
$350
57
$150
8
$3,000
33
$350
58
$150
9
$2,500
34
$350
59
$150
10
$1,750
35
$350
60
$150
11
$1,500
36
$300
61
$150
12
$1,250
37
$300
62
$150
13
$1,200
38
$300
63
$150
14
$1,150
39
$300
64
$150
15
$1,000
40
$300
65
$150
16
$1,000
41
$250
66
$150
17
$975
42
$250
67
$150
18
$900
43
$250
68
$150
19
$850
44
$250
69
$150
20
$750
45
$200
70
$150
21
$700
46
$200
71
$150
22
$650
47
$200
72
$150
23
$600
48
$200
73
$150
24
$575
49
$200
74
$150
25
$550
50
$175
75
$150
 

Angler of the Year

The 2017 Angler of the Year program will be held during the 2017 championship with each divisional AOY having a shot to win a 21TRX Triton boat with a 200hp Mercury Pro XS Motor, also loaded with sponsor products. The Angler of the Year will be determined by highest total weight during the three-day Championship tournament among the registered Divisional Anglers of the Year.. See more info on the AOY Final Round

How the Points will work

Competition Teams

The top Competition Team members will be determined after the National Championship by points. Any ties in Competition Team AOY will split any awards. Competition Teams are made up of Military and Non-Military Service teams of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Homeland Security, Eagle, and Lady Anglers.

Active Competition Teams

Non-Military Competition Teams

Requirements: Competition teams must have a minimum of 50 Active members of American Bass Anglers to be recognized with any year-end awards and or points pages on the ABA website.

Angler of the Year:

National Champion:

Competition Teams :

The top Competition Team members will be determined after the National Championship by points. Any ties in Competition Team AOY will split any awards. Competition Teams are made up of Military and Non-Military Service teams of Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, Homeland Security, Eagle, and Lady Anglers.

Questions:

The changes will be exciting for the weekend anglers that fish American Bass Anglers and we know it will create a buzz and a lot of questions. Here are a few of the questions and answers.

Q. Can I still fish any divisional qualifying event or divisional championship anywhere in the country?

A. Yes, ABA members will be able to compete in any qualifying event nationwide but their points will be counted for their national point standings.

Q. How will the points structure work?

A. Here is an example of an ABA angler that fishes 7 divisional qualifying events, 1 divisional championship, and the National Championship. The Angler's 4 best divisional qualifying tournaments + the angler's best divisional championship + National Champion finished is used to determine the angler's points. In this example case the angler fished 6 divisional qualifying events. The anglers was given credit for the 4 divisional qualifying tournament best finishes which totaled 788 total points of the best possible being 800 points. The angler finished second at his divisional championship and was awarded 398 points out of a possible 400. At the National Championship, the angler placed 3 and received 1,990 points out of a possible 2,000 points.

You add together the 4 best divisional qualifying tournaments point total of 788 to the points from the divisional championship of 398 and the 1,990 from the National Championship and the anglers end of the year points totaled 3,176 out of possible 3,200 points.

Example Anglers Points (Region)
Event Type
Place
Points Awarded
Best Possible
Point separation per place
One-Day
1
200*
200
1
One-Day
5
196*
200
1
One-Day
Show
50
200
1
One-Day
20
180
200
1
One-Day
1
200*
200
1
One-Day
9
192*
200
1
One-Day
Show
50
200
1
Total of Best 4 One-day
 
788
800
 
Two-Day
2
398
400
2
Total Before National
 
1,186
1,200
 
 
 
 
 
 
National
3
1,990
2,000
5
 
 
 
 
 
Total
 
3,176
3,200
 
* indicates the anglers best 4 one-day finishes

Q. What is the easiest way to track my current point standings?

A. The ABA website is the quickest way to track your current point standings. Each angler that fishes in ABA events have their own page that shows all their results, points and even events they have registered for.

Q. Will there be an entry fee for the National Championship?

A. Yes, the National Championship will have an entry fee of $170

Q. When will the National Championships be held?

A. The National Championships will be held in late October

Q. Will active duty military serving overseas still be able to qualify for the end of the year events?

A. Yes, ABA has a long-standing tradition that allows for active duty military ABA members that have served overseas which caused them not to be able to qualify for the championship by points to automatically qualify for the ABA championship. Slots are held in reserve for active duty military serving overseas will be for the National Championships.

More questions or comments email American Bass Anglers at info@americanbassanglers.com