2017 Series Rules and Regulations


Presented by Hobie Kayak Company

For our 3 bass only events, we will use a slightly modified version of the Kayak Bass Fishing Standard Rules.  The most important parts to be familiar with are the section on how to take a proper photo and the penalties for not taking a proper photo.  Generally all rule violations occur during the photo taking process so it is in your interest to be familiar with them.  Those rules can be found at the link below.


KBF Competition Rules Standards


The exceptions and modifications are as follows.

  1.  Minimum length is changed from 12 inches to 8 inches.
  2. We use ianglertournament.com instead of Tourneyx.
  3. The use of motors or sails is not allowed.
  4. Sections 2, 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 12, and 18 of the GLKFS rules below supersede the KBF Rules or are in addendum to the KBF Rules.


Below are the standard GLKFS Rules in effect for our non bass events.

1. Vessel – All participants must compete in a kayak.   (A kayak is a plastic single or tandem person cockpit vessel that is powered in most cases by a double bladed paddle and in some cases by a pedal drive system or small electric motor).  A kayak can also either be a sit-in or a sit upon style hull of various length and width.
Vessels not considered an acceptable kayak would include canoes, aluminum bass boats, 2 man pond hoppers or bass buggy, SUP (stand up paddleboards), and foldable or inflatable kayaks.   Two or more participants may be aboard the same vessel (tandem), however each person must be a registered participant and have paid to be at the event whether they are fishing or not.  Sharing of catches is strictly prohibited – you can only count the fish you caught. Participants are not allowed to obtain the assistance, tow or transport of a motorized boat, nor may an angler board a motorized boat (except in case of emergency, or by directors discretion) during the tournament hours.

2.State Laws – All participants must posses an Illinois (when fishing in Illinois) and/or Wisconsin (when fishing in Wisconsin) state fishing license whether you are a resident or non-resident of either state.  If you are competing in the Salmon Tournament, you must also have a Great Lake Salmon/Trout Stamp in addition to the Wisconsin Fishing License.  A daily parking pass may need to be purchased at certain venues.  We encourage each angler to check for this information on their own.

3. Illinois Water Usage Stamp – Per IDNR: “Canoes, kayaks and paddle boats are no longer required to be titled/registered in Illinois UNLESS they have a motor or sail; otherwise customers will be able to purchase a ‘Water Usage Stamp’ for $6.00 per calendar year for each of the first three vessels, and $3.00 each for any additional vessels.  Please note: an agent fee of $.50 will be charged per vessel.  All of the new Water Usage Stamps must be purchased at the same time to receive the discount.  When competing in the state of Illinois, Every participant must possess a 2017 Water Usage Stamp (Paddle Pass) to either be adhered to the outside of their kayak hull or carried with the kayak angler at all times. This is a requirement also for residents and non-residents, and can be bought at any Illinois fishing license kiosk.



Click here to purchase your Illinois fishing license

Click here for more information on Illinois Water Usage Stamp

Click here to purchase your Wisconsin fishing license (and Great Lake Salmon/Trout Stamp)

4. Flotation Aids – Every participant must wear a Type III US Coast Guard approved life vest at all times while on the water.  Anyone seen not wearing a life-jacket during tournament times will be automatically disqualified.  If you need to remove/put on clothing, you are allowed to take off your life jacket for as little time possible in order to do so.


5. Registration: Specific registration times, start times and locations for each tournament shall be posted on our Facebook Page (www.Facebook.com/GLKFS), on our website, and via the iAngler app which will provide information on each event as well as allowing participants to ask question and voice concerns well before a scheduled event.   Each Participant MUST register in person the day of the event, or they can use iAngler app to sign up/register for events.  Tournament Registration fees will be collected via Paypal on our website, or the day of the event.  Registration fees for 2017 will be $45 per event.

6. Special Rules for Younger Anglers: Youth under the age of 18 must have their parent or guardian’s signed consent to enter a tournament.  We encourage Youth to enter, but the Tournament Directors need a minimum of at least 1 week in advance notification before the tournament date so they can make any and all accommodations.

7. Token/Identifier – After registering and paying, each participant will receive a unique token/identifier which must be visible in each photo of a measured fish to qualify. Each Token/Identifier will also have a Personal ID Number.  Failure to include this in a photo shall result in the photo being ineligible and not counted towards your daily catch.

8. Tournament Schedules, Start and Finish Times, and Boundaries:  Each tournament will have a pre-determined start and finish time.  Detailed event schedules can be found on the Facebook Page, www.facebook.com/GLKFS, iAngler and on our website.  All participants must fish and stay within the designated fishing area during the event.  Each event will have restrictions concerning where participants may fish.  If such restrictions apply, information regarding boundaries will be given to participants before hand via Facebook, iAngler and website.  Fish caught in unauthorized regions will result in automatic disqualification.  Any angler who does not pre-register via iAngler app or the day of tournament by the specified dates and times will not be able to participate in the tournament.   A daily parking pass may need to be purchased at certain venues.  We encourage each angler to check for this information on their own.  GLKFS will attempt to provide all information relative to special permits and fees as applicable.

9. Tournament Format:  All events will be C-P-R, format (Catch-Photo-Release) except for the Salmon Tournament (Please see #17 for rules on Salmon Tournament.)  All fish must be caught, landed, and photographed while in your approved fishing vessel.

10. Catch-Photo-Release, CPR Rules and Guidelines: Every fish caught must be measured on a Hawg Trough bump board by taking a digital photo that shows the fish’s total length, and the fish immediately being released back to the water.  NO FISH will be held in a live-well or kept for the weigh in (except Salmon Tournament). You must have the measuring lines marked (with a sharpie) on your Hawg Trough board. Any boards not having the lines marked will automatically be disqualified for judging. Your Hawg Trough board cannot be altered, cracked, broken, or dirty to the point it is unreadable.   All fish must be caught with a fishing rod, any style or type, by line and hook during the approved day’s tournament fishing hours.  Participants will follow ALL state rules and regulations for number of pole/line limitations.  Participants are only allowed to use artificial lures, unless a specific tournament allows live bait.  Snagging is not permitted and any fish accidentally snagged must be released immediately. Participants must stay in their kayaks while they are fishing. Photos may be taken with either a digital camera or a cell phone, in which the participant must have their own to use.   Photos that are over-exposed, under-exposed, blurry etc will still be considered, but may result in penalties or not counting at all and will be at the Tournament Directors discretion to decide. Your hand may appear in the photo as long as the tail, mouth, token/identifier and ruler numbers are visible and your hand is not covering the fish’s eyes.  No device other than your hand may be used to secure the fish to the Hawg Trough while taking a photo.  No other gear or equipment may still be attached/on the fish.

The photo below is a good example of how the lines should be marked on a Hawg Trough Bump Board.


The board below is an unmarked Hawg Trough and if submitted with a fish, it will automatically be DQ’d (regardless if the Hawg trough color is yellow or white, all lines must be colored in)


How to properly measure your catch on a bump board:



12. Scoring: Fish are scored by length in inches and the longest combined length will win the tournament for that day.  The token/identifier for the specific tournament must be present in the photo.  Submitted fish measuring the same length must have distinct differences in appearance or the participant may be subject to disqualification.  The tournament committee will review all photos to verify validity of the catch and the length to determine place winners. Length is rounded to the nearest ¼ (quarter) of an inch. If a photo is submitted with a fish with an open mouth, there will be a 1/2″ penalty. If a fish has a hook, lure, grips, stringer or other object attached to its mouth or body, a deduction will occur as well at tournament directors discretion.   If there is a tie: The participant with the largest single fish will win. If the largest fish is also a tie, the second largest fish will win and so on if need be. If there is still a tie, then the participant who checked in first (by time) will be the winner.  For any director that is participating in any event, one director will use one random participant to verify any and all photos submitted.

11.Payouts:  A total of (3) places will be paid out guaranteed at each event and will be split 50%/30%/20% for 1st, 2nd and 3rd place.  If there is a tie, there will be an even split. Cash prizes will vary based on the number of entries. Winnings will be mailed to each of the winners a couple days after the tournament ends to allow proper time for final photo review and to determine legitimacy.

Big Fish Bounty:  New for 2017 will be a Big Bass/Big Fish Bounty.  Anglers can buy in to the bounty for just $10 ($20 for multi-species tournament) and if they catch the big fish of the tournament, they win the bounty with 100% payout.  In the event of a big fish tie, whoever caught the biggest fish first will win.  You will also have the option to pay the Big Fish Bounty with your entry fee for each tournament.

12. Door Prizes:  You must be present at time of door prize drawings.   Participants will automatically have a raffle ticket entered into a drawing for them.

13. Penalties, Disqualifications, Cheating and other Special Rules and Regulations


Any participant not wearing their lifejacket while on the water will be disqualified (If participant needs to put on or take off a coat, layer, etc it is acceptable to take lifejacket off for a moment to do so, and quickly put it back on)
Any participant that has a line in the water before the start time of the tournament will be disqualified
Any participant with more than state allotted pole/line limit in the water at a time will be disqualified
Any participant weighing in a fish that was not caught on their own will be disqualified and possibly banned from future events
Any participant using live bait during a no live bait allowed event will be disqualified
Any participant not having a valid state fishing license and/or Salmon/Trout Stamp will be disqualified and possibly banned from future events
Any participant seen fishing beyond the approved boundaries will be automatically disqualified
Any participant using any other means of catching fish will be automatically disqualified

If any cheating is seen or suspected during a tournament, GLKFS Directors must be notified immediately.  Once investigated and the accused is found guilty, the accused will immediately be banned from GLKFS and reported to proper authorities.
If any participant is accused of starting a fight at any point before, during or after an event, GLKFS Directors reserves the right to disqualify and/or ban any participant(s) involved.
If any participant is found to have damaged or sabotaged another participants kayak/vessel, fishing gear, etc they will be immediately banned from GLKFS and reported to the proper authorities

If any participant is seen damaging public/private property, littering, or other unacceptable behavior they will be immediately banned and reported to the proper authorities
If any participant is in possession of drugs or alcohol during an event, the participant will be immediately be banned from GLKFS and reported to the proper authorities

If any participant is found posting harmful or malicious content on any social media platform (Facebook, forums, blog, etc)  or is found/seen verbally abusing another member, partners or parties involved with GLKFS, they will be immediately banned from GLKFS

14.Salmon Tournament Special Rules/Regulations:  All Participants are required to have a radio in order to participate in this tournament. Participants are only allowed to keep a total of up to 3 fish for check-in and measuring.  Participants are allowed to keep fish on a stringer, in a cooler, or other means.  Participants can only use artificial lures. NO LIVE BAIT.  Participants will be required to have a Wisconsin state fishing license along with a Great Lakes Trout/Salmon Stamp.  Any participant found not having both requirements will be automatically disqualified and could also face fines by Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.  Tournaments are always subject to investigation/supervision by the state DNR Police and United States Coast Guard.  If any participant(s) is caught by any agency or by other participants to not be following state laws/regulations in any way, shape or form, not only will that participant(s) be automatically disqualified from the tournament, but they will also be disqualified from any and all future tournaments put on by Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Tournament Series.  If a participant is not properly dressed for weather conditions/water temperature, GLKFS has the right to deny the participant from the tournament. 

15. Safety: Safe boating and participation will be observed at all times. During competition, each participant is required to comply with all state boating and fishing laws. Tournament day may be canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions. The decision to cancel will be made by the tournament committee and all participants will be notified immediately as well as updated on the website and facebook page. Anglers must wear a PFD at all times during each event.  No alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs may be consumed during competition.  It is the responsibility of each participant to know and understand their own personal safety. If at any time the Tournament Directors feel that a participant is not being safe or is exhibiting unsafe behavior or activity, they have the right to remove that participant from the tournament.

16. Weather:  The weather cannot be controlled.  In the event of extreme, inclement, or un-safe weather or water conditions, the tournament may be postponed or cancelled.  This information shall be displayed/sent the day before an event on the Facebook page, website and via message for those who have registered via iANGLER app.  Participants should also use their own best judgment for safety when considering the decision to fish a tournament or not and if they are physically capable of handling any and all conditions (physical, environmental, natural) that could inhibit their participation and risk their own safety and well being.  If an event needs to be cancelled after a tournament has already begun,  Tournament directors will use all means of communication to notify participants of cancellation.  If the tournament is less than halfway over, the tournament will be re-scheduled as an online make up tournament.  If the tournament is more than half way over, the current standings for placement will be the final results of the tournament with no make-up tournament.

17. Communications: The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular telephones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, pagers or any electronic device to communicate fishing information during tournament hours is strictly prohibited, unless for an emergency. Communication among participants is allowed on the water only by non-electronic methods such as shouting, talking or hand signals. Radios may be used to listen to current weather conditions, to contact the Coast Guard if emergency assistance is needed or to communicate with the Tournament Official. One or more of the tournament directors will have a marine radio with them during the course of the tournament.  The channel in which they will be using will also be announced during the captains meeting.

18. Photo/Video Rights: All photos, video, data, audio and participant profile information shall be used by Hobie Cat Company indefinitely and may be used by any of its tournament partners in future projects, promotions, articles or media releases unless the participant(s) is under the age of 16. If the participant is under the age of 16, a photo release must be approved and signed by the participants parent and/or legal guardian, giving GLKFS permission to use any photos taken of that participant. There will be no compensation for such use of these photos, video, voice or data. Participants will be allowed to keep their photos/videos and use them how they please.

19Accommodations for those with disabilities:  Any participant who has any kind of disability who wishes to participate will be accommodated to the best means that Great Lakes Kayak Fishing Series can offer.  If any participant has any questions regarding special needs, accommodations, etc, we suggest they contact any director at least 1 week in advance so appropriate (if any) accommodations can be made.

20. Have Fun!!!