Major League Fishing has added more stringent guidelines on how their anglers must handle their caught bass in their bass fishing tournaments. The new rules now state that not only are there penalties for letting a bass touch the carpet, but also if the bass touches the anglers clothing. In fact anything other than a hand or forearm is considered a violation and the anglers will be penalized.
Here is how the rule reads exactly:
While landing fish, the fish cannot touch the carpet at any time during the process. If the fish comes unhooked from the bait and falls to the carpet it will be assessed as a violation. Excepted from this rule will be laying the fish on the carpet to remove a deep-set hook, “only after it has been properly landed without it touching the carpet”. Additionally, the angler is not allowed to cradle fish or allow fish that he is landing to touch his body. An angler cannot allow a fish to touch any part of his body other than his hands or forearms. From a rules standpoint, the body is to be treated the same as the carpet.
For a look at all Major League Fishing rules, please visit: http://www.majorleaguefishing.com/news_details.aspx?id=2128
“We made a conscious decision early on that we would focus on two distinct goals. First, we want to be as careful as possible in the way our anglers handle fish, because we believe this is the right thing to do. To put it in simple terms, we want to take care of the fish as much as possible,” said Commissioner Don Rucks. “Second, since Major League Fishing features the best anglers in the world, we have no problem asking that they abide by rules that are much tougher than rules enforced at traditional bass tournaments.”