CBF Tournament Info

General Information

The California Bass Federation (CBF) has multiple regional tournaments throughout the State of California, 24 adult and 3-6 youth events per year.  The tournaments are a low key tournament format for both the novice and experienced angler.  Anglers at all levels can enjoy the competition and camaraderie at a CBF event.

We have 6 Adult regions and a Youth group with their own tournaments in multiple areas as well.

There are three goals for the California Bass Federation events:

  1. Gain new friends – The camaraderie is what the CBF is known for throughout the state!  Many long term friendships have been started at a CBF tournament event.
  2. Learn and improve your fishing skills – Some of best anglers in the country started at the federation level.  Everyone is always learning and the CBF is the best way to hone your skills regardless of the level of your skills today.
  3. Win some money along the way to Angler of the Year for your region – The CBF provides good payouts for the entry fee required ($120 all in).  We want it to be affordable, competitive, but still be fun for everyone!
Road to Living the Dream

The TBF Living the Dream package is the dream for every angler.  All you have to do is win the TBF National Championship!

The Living the Dream package includes:

  • Wrapped tow vehicle and Ranger Boat for 1 year
  • All entries paid in the FLW circuit of your choice, including the FLW Tour
  • Expense money while fishing

How do you get there you ask?  It is a bit of a long haul, but there are two ways to start: either by fishing the California Bass Federation regional events and qualify for the California Bass Federation State Championship OR qualify for the California Bass Federation Club Championship.  Once you make the championship, you will need to qualify for the TBF National Semi-Finals.  Do well enough and you can qualify to the TBF National Championship Finals.  Qualify as a boater, win the TBF National Finals and you will receive the TBF Living the Dream package.

Living the Dream img

What do you need to do to fish a tournament?

So what do you need to do?  Follow these easy steps:

  1. Join a California Bass Federation club.  To learn more about clubs, click here.
  2. Identify a region you want to fish by looking at the schedule here.
  3. Download the entry form here.
  4. Send your entry and payment to the Tournament Director for your chosen region by the Monday prior to the tournament.  This is very important, no payments are accepted at the lake on the day of the tournament. Each Tournament Director has their own rules/policies/process for collecting entries/payments.
  5. Verify the start day/time of the tournament and be at the location identified on the website by the time listed.  Do not be late, there is a penalty for being late for the pre-tournament meeting.
  6. If you have questions, contact your Tournament Director.
Adult Regions

All adult regions are a boater/non-boater format. This means all anglers compete against one another.  Boaters and non-boaters will be randomly paired just before the tournament and the pairings are announced at the pre-tournament meeting the morning of the event. You must be at least 16 years old to fish an adult region.


The CBF has 6 regions in the state, each having 4 regional events per year. There are 4 regions in the northern part of California including the Delta, Shasta/Oroville area, Motherlode and Clear Lake.  We have 2 regions in Southern California, Los Angeles and San Diego.

Your goal is to earn the most points over the course of 4 events within one region.  Your lowest score of the season will be dropped.  The person with the highest score will be the Angler of the Year for the region.  See the Rules for details on the scoring.

Travelers Region

We also have a Travelers Region for those who like to fish more than one region in the state.  You must fish six tournaments in at least two different regions to qualify for the travelers circuit. For dual tournaments you must enter both to be qualified for the travelers results.  The Angler of the Year is awarded to the person with the highest number of points for their best 6 regional events fished.

Dual Events

Occasionally we will have Dual Events.  Pay your normal tournament fees and options for each region separately, but fish one single event as a boater or non-boater. Your weigh-in counts in both regions. For travelers, this gives you the opportunity with one fishing time to get points in each, you also have the chance to win in either or both regions.

For Non-boaters

Non-boaters are also entitled to control the front of the boat, via the trolling motor, for half the day provided you have your own water to fish. For newer non-boaters, it is an opportunity to learn how to gain confidence in fishing your own water with the assistance/guidance of a more skilled boater. For experienced non-boaters, it is the opportunity to level the playing field during the tournament.


Anglers Points - New for 2017

What is new for 2017 is the introduction of Anglers Points.

You will earn points throughout the season.  For the regional tournaments, it will remain the same; namely, you earn up to 100 points plus 5 participation points for a total of 105 possible points.  For the California State Championships you earn DOUBLE the points; namely, you earn up to 200 points plus 5 participation points per day for a total possible of 210 points.  After the State Championships, we will total up your points to determine your final standings and whether you make it to the TBF National Semi-Finals.

An angler’s final standings for the year will be determined by adding their top 3 Regional points (including Travelers Region) and CBF State Championship points.  The top 12 boaters and 12 co-anglers (24 total) will qualify for the TBF National Semi-Finals.  The top 6 boaters and 6 co-anglers will receive make the CBF State Team and receive the CBF Benefits for that year.  The second 6 boaters and 6 co-anglers will have their TBF National Semi-Final entry fees paid by the CBF.

CBF State Championship - New for 2017

Your ultimate goal is to make it to the State Championship and earn a spot on the CBF State Team of 12 members.

The next step is to qualify for the CBF State Championship event in the fall of each year.  In each region, the top qualifying 50% will qualify as boaters.  The bottom qualifying 50% will qualify as co-anglers.  It is required to have a minimum number of points to qualify, see the Tournament Rules for details.

The CBF State Championship is a Boater/Co-Angler event.  All anglers will compete for all prize money within their group (boaters against boaters and co-anglers against co-anglers).
CBF State Team.  The CBF State Team are the top 12 anglers with the most Anglers Points at the completion of the CBF State Championships.  See the CBF State Team tab to learn more.
The CBF State Championship tournament is more than just a tournament of champions, but the California Bass Federation has an Angler of the Year awards banquet, HUGE raffle and an opportunity to see all your friends across the entire state.
Visit this link for more details on the CBF State Championship.
CBF Club Championship

CBF Club Championship 

Club members can make it to the TBF National Semi-Finals too!  If your club is in good standing with the California Bass Federation, you can send your top 2 anglers to the California Bass Federation State Championship event and fish for to be the CBF Club Champion!  Additionally, you get to fish the TBF National Semi-Final event later in the year.    Go to the CBF Club Championship link to learn more!

Club Qualifications (Good Standing) 

A club may qualify their two top anglers to the California Bass Federation Club Championship provided they earn Participation Points.  It is easy – just participate and/or help out the California Bass Federation and your club gets a shot! Go to the CBF Club Championship link to learn more!

Entry Fees & Payouts

The basic entry fee is $70. Payback is 1 in 5 anglers and is about 60%.

There are 3 options: Big Fish ($10), Top 3 ($20) and 1 in 5 ($20). All options are paid back 100%.

Big Fish is paid out to the angler who has entered the option with the largest weighed fish (see rules for details). The Top 3 option is for every angler who has entered the option, the payback is 50% for 1st, 30% for 2nd and 20% for 3rd. The 1 in 5 option is for every 5 anglers who have entered the option, there will be one place paid out. The percentages vary depending on how many people enter the option.

Total all in is $120.

Make the CBF State Team - IT PAYS

Making the CBF State Team is the ultimate goal.  The CBF State Team are the top 12 anglers with the most Anglers Points at the completion of the CBF State Championships.

Benefits include:

  • CBF expense compensation for the TBF championship events. The dollar amount will vary year to year and will be determined by the CBF Executive Board of Directors.
  • All CBF State Team sponsor benefits for that year.

The Youth program is critical to the California Bass Federation.  It is the future of fishing!

Visit the Youth link for details.


Frequently Asked Questions

1.  Is reaching the TBF National Semi-Finals the same from the CBF State Championship vs. Club Championship?

No.  By fishing the CBF State Championship, you can make the CBF State Team.  The CBF State Team benefits includes expense reimbursement for the TBF National Semi-Finals.  The expense reimbursement varies from year to year but ranges from $500-1000 per team member for the TBF National Semi-Finals (funds can be used for whatever the member wants).  The Club Championship winners only get their TBF National Semi-Final entry fee reimbursed by the CBF.

2.  Do the club members who compete in the Club Championship compete in the CBF State Championship event to make the CBF State Team?

No.  While these events are held concurrently at the same lake and at the same time, they are two separate events as it relates to the making the CBF State Team.  All competitors (club and regional qualifiers) compete together in the CBF State Championships as it relates to their finish and money winnings.  All club member qualifiers are also able to attend the awards banquet, raffle, etc.  However, club members cannot make the CBF State Team unless they have also qualified through the CBF regional events and compete at the same level (boater or non-boater) during the State Championship.

3.  What if I qualify for the CBF State Championship as a co-angler for the CBF State Championship (via the CBF Regional Events) and as a boater through my club, how do I fish the Championship?  

You will have to make a choice when you register for the CBF State Championship event.  You can fish as a co-angler for a shot to make the CBF State Team or as a boater for the Club Championship.  

4.  What if I qualify for the CBF State Championship as a boater for the CBF State Championship (via the CBF regional events) and as a boater through my club, how do I fish the Championship?  

You get to compete as a boater for both events!  You might be both the CBF State Champion and the CBF Club Champion!  The same will apply for co-anglers.

5.  If I qualify for the CBF Club Championship, do I automatically get to go the TBF National Semi-Final event?

Yes, provided you actually compete in the CBF Club Championship.  Qualifying is the first criteria and competing is the second.  Additionally, you will have to pay your own way for the TBF National Semi-Finals, unless you win the CBF Club Championship.  If you win the CBF Club Championship, the CBF will pay your entry fee for the TBF National Semi-Finals. 

6.  Do I have to be a member of the CBF to fish a CBF Regional Event?

No.  We allow a new prospective member to fish your first CBF regional event in any region of your choice without membership.  To continue fishing the CBF regional events, you will have to get your CBF membership.  The Tournament Director will be checking your membership after your first event.  To learn more, visit the Join Us page.

Sign up today by finding the region in your area.  Click here for more details.

For TBF Divisional Championship schedule information, click here.

Still have questions…

If you have questions, feel free to contact your local Tournament Director, CBF State Tournament Director or the CBF President, our contact info is listed HERE

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