The Sticks Nebraska Kayak Anglers Information and Rules
A couple important updates we started in 2022, although if you haven’t read them before please read the linked document at the bottom of this page. The first update is we are moving to a 12″ fish minimum. Second, we are moving to Ketch boards only (karbonate or metal), Hawg Troughs will no longer be allowed. Please note the additional changes in RED below.
Lastly, we want to reiterate that you do NOT need to be a member to fish ANY of our events. Memberships are only for anglers chasing Angler of the Year, and for receiving tournament prize drawings.
Membership: Only members that pay their membership fee on or before March 12th, 2023 will be guaranteed to receive the membership swag pack. Anglers may still purchase a membership after that date, but will not be guaranteed a swag pack. Only members will be eligible for Angler of the Year points and prize drawings. See item 9 under the tournament rules.
Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to tournament officials whose decisions are final. These set of rules are strictly for the live series. The Sticks will be hosting other events Kayakapalooza, Tuesday/Thursday Night Leagues, etc. which will have their own set of rules published by the directors.
- Registration: Registration location and times for each tournament will be posted on our Facebook page. There will be a different identifier given out at each tournament during registration and it is to only be used for that day’s tournament. Anglers will need to register in person for live events at the designated time. A liability waiver must be signed prior to competing. Entry fee for a single day tournament is $40.00. Entry fee for a two-day tournament is $75.00. There is an optional $5.00 big fish pot on each Tournament Day ($10 for two day). Tournament registration fees will be done exclusively through TourneyX. We will no longer be taking cash at the tournaments; membership fees may be paid online via PayPal: PayPal.Me/thestickskayakangler. Tournament fees do not include launch fees that may be incurred at a particular body of water. Tournament fees are non-refundable. Each angler must have a valid Nebraska fishing license. Licenses can be purchased online prior to a tournament at: https://ngpc-home.ne.gov/ps/faces/index.xhtml
- Identifier: After registering and paying entry fee, the angler will receive an “identifier” that must appear in each photo of a measurable fish. Before the start of the tournament, the Tournament Official or his designee will give out a unique “tournament number”. The tournament number should be written on the identifier. The identifier shall be considered “visible” in a photograph as long as the entire “tournament number” can be seen on the portion of the identifier that is in the photograph.
- Start and Finish Times: Tournaments will be posted on our Facebook page and TourneyX event page. The Official Time is determined by the Tournament Official or his designee. Any angler not in line by the established time for that tournament’s Check-In shall be disqualified. Anglers may only check in their own fish.
- Watercraft: Fish must be caught from “man powered” fishing watercraft. “Man powered” watercraft shall include only kayaks, canoes and SUP’s. If you have a question as to the legality of your watercraft for these tournaments please contact us prior to the day of the tournament. “Mothershipping” i.e. the towing or transporting of a kayak by a gasoline or electric powered boat is strictly prohibited. Anglers may not receive any assistance from anyone in a gasoline or electric powered boat unless it is of an emergency nature, in which case the anglers catch for the day will be disqualified. Only one angler may fish from a vessel; participants may not fish from the same vessel. Sharing of catches is strictly prohibited— an angler may only count the fish he/she has caught
- Launch: All anglers must launch and take-out from the designated launch areas. In the case of a “road runner” style launch you may only launch from public access points. The use of private property that is not open to the public, even with the permission from the landowner, is strictly prohibited. Trespassing on any property to launch or take-out is strictly prohibited. Private properties that charge a launch fee or day use fee are allowable access points, as long as the properties are open to the public and accessible to any angler. Any angler who launches or takes-out from a location prohibited by this section is subject to disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any prizes. Any angler who launches or begins fishing before the approved time is subject to disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any prizes.
- Tournament Format: All Sticks tournaments are to operate as CPR -Catch, Photograph and Release. Fish are not to be brought to Check In – doing so will result in disqualification.
All fish must be taken with a fishing rod, line and hook on the day of the tournament during tournament hours. Absolutely no other method will be permitted. Snagging is not permitted. Anglers can only have one line in the water at any time. Trolling is permitted with the rod being hand held or in a rod holder as long as only 1 line is in the water. Anglers cannot cast while trolling. The use of Umbrella, schooling, and tandem rigs is permitted as long as the number of lures is in compliance with state laws. An angler found to be fishing with multiple lines in the water at one time may be subject to disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any prizes.
Artificial lures only – NO LIVE BAIT. Any angler found to be using live bait during a tournament is subject to not only disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any prizes, but a lifetime ban of membership and any Sticks events.
All fish caught and photographed must be alive. Any angler who submits a picture of a dead fish is subject to not only disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any prizes, but a lifetime ban of membership and any Sticks event.
All fish must be photographed on a “Ketch” board (karbonate or metal). These are the only measuring devices approved for the Sticks tournaments. If measurement lines aren’t clearly visible it could result in loss of length. You may only submit pictures where the board is laying flat on the bottom of your kayak (length wise is ok if your picture orientation is correct) or the board is on your lap. If you have a Ketch board that extends from one side of your kayak to the other, you may lay your Ketch board across and take your photo. You may NOT prop the board at an angle on either side of your kayak walls. You may not attempt to flex or bend the board in anyway. Failure to follow these rules will result in your fish being disqualified. If multiple infractions happen further penalization could happen based on the severity, which will be left to the discretion of the directors. The measuring board may not be broken, snapped, or cut apart and the reassembled at any point between the two ends.
- Every picture of a fish must have the unique identifier for that particular tournament, with the “tournament number” showing on the identifier, and the angler’s watercraft visible in the photograph.
All pictures must be taken with the upright vertical end of the measuring board on the left-hand side of the picture frame, with the fish facing to the left, the belly of the fish facing the bottom of the picture frame. Photographs of fish in an improper orientation will not be scored.
The fish’s lip must be touching the upright vertical end of the measuring board, with the mouth closed. If a judge is unable to ascertain with certainty that fish’s lip or mouth is touching the measuring board fence, a 1” penalty will be assessed. Photographs of fish with the lip not touching the vertical end of the measuring board will not be scored. Photographs of fish with the mouth not closed shall be penalized up to 1 inch.
The fish’s tail may be either pinched or laying naturally on the measuring board, but the tail must be laying flat against the measuring board. Photographs of fish with the tail not laying flat on the measuring board will not be scored.
Photographs must be taken with your digital phone and submitted through the TourneyX app. It is the angler’s sole responsibility to turn in a clear photograph for each fish being considered. Photos that are blurry, overexposed, dark or taken at a bad angle will be judged as accurately as possible, but may result in less than optimal results due to the quality of the photo, as the official measurements are at the discretion of the Tournament Official or his designee.
The angler’s hand may appear on the fish in the photograph, as long as the mouth, tail, and eye are clearly visible and the hand is not excessively covering markings of the fish. If the fish has an eye injury, dead looking eye, or it’s glossed over. The angler will need to flip the fish and take a photo of the good eye (full fish), in addition to the regular photo. Securing the fish with any portion of a hand under the fish’s gill flap is prohibited.
No device other than the anglers hand shall be used to secure the fish to the measuring board. Anglers may not use “clips”, “stringers”, or “fish grips”; no device of any kind can be touching the fish or in the fish’s mouth while taking photographs on the measuring board. Lures may not be in the fish’s mouth in the photograph. Photographs of fish secured to the measuring board with a device other than the angler’s hand, or with a lure in its mouth will not be scored.
An angler may only submit one picture per fish.
All rulings by the Tournament Official or his designee will be final.
Example of correct and incorrect photos:
- RELEASE: We strongly believe in maintaining our precious resources, so care is to be exercised at all times in handling fish to ensure they are released unharmed into the water. Intentional mistreatment of fish in any manner will result in disqualification. Anglers are expected to photograph fish as quickly as possible and then release fish. No fish are to be kept for personal reasons while participating in a Sticks tournament. Failure to release all fish will result in disqualification.
- Scoring: Tournaments will be scored by using the aggregate length of each angler’s longest 5 fish, minus any penalties incurred. Fish will be measured by the judge(s) and rounded down to the nearest ¼-inch. The highest total in inches will be the winner. If two anglers should have the same total length, the angler with the longest big fish will win the tie breaker. Should both anglers have the same length big fish, the anglers second largest fish will determine the tie breaker. If both anglers have 5 fish that are all the same length, the tie breaker shall be determined by the angler that weighed in first. Fish that will be eligible for measurement in each tournament will be: Largemouth Bass or Smallmouth Bass. Angler may catch and count any combination of the eligible fish to count toward their total. No other species will count toward an angler’s total. Minimum size is 12 inches.
Penalties: An angler’s tournament score shall be subject to the following penalties:
Any angler not in line by the established time for that tournament’s Check-In will be disqualified.
Photographs of fish with the mouth cracked or open slightly shall be penalized ½”. Photographs of fish with the mouth clearly open shall be penalized 1 inch.
Photographs of fish in an improper orientation will not be scored.
Photographs of fish with the lip not touching the vertical end of the measuring board will not be scored.
Photographs of fish with the tail not laying flat on the measuring board will not be scored.
Photographs of fish secured to the measuring board with a device other than the anglers hand will not be scored. If any portion of a hand or fingers are under the fish’s operculum (hard gill flap), the photograph will not be scored.
Photographs of fish with clips”, “stringers”, “fish grips”, “lures” or any other device in the fish’s mouth will not be scored.
Any angler found to be fishing with multiple lines in the water during a tournament is subject to disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any prizes.
Any angler found to be using live bait during a tournament is subject to not only disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any prizes, but a lifetime ban of membership and any Sticks event.
Any angler who submits a picture of a dead fish is subject to not only disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any prizes, but a lifetime ban of membership and any Sticks event.
Any angler who launches or takes-out from a prohibited location is subject to disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any prizes.
Any angler who launches or begins fishing before the approved time is subject to disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any prizes.
- Sticks Membership: Anglers do not have to be a member to fish in the tournaments and compete for cash prizes. However, anglers must be a member of The Sticks to be eligible for prize drawings at the conclusion of each tournament, and to participate in the Angler of the Year race. Points for Angler of the Year will only count after the angler has become a member (I.E. an angler cannot fish in a tournament and then decide to join after that event is over and have that days points count toward AOY).
- Prize Drawings: Anglers must be a Sticks member to be eligible for the prize drawings, which will be held at the conclusion of each tournament. Drawings will be determined by tickets given out at each event. Anglers must be present in order to participate in the drawings.
- Angler of the Year: Angler of the Year: Angler of the Year will be determined by the club member who has the highest point total after the final event of the year. Anglers will count their best 5 finishes only toward Angler of the Year. Two day tournaments shall be scored as two separate tournament days. Scoring for AOY title will be: 100 points/1st, 99 points /2nd, 98 points/3rd etc. An angler must catch a fish to score points – if an angler is skunked or does not check in a fish at a tournament, the angler will receive 10 points for that tournament. Tie breakers for AOY shall be determined by comparing the anglers’ highest tournament finishes over course of the year. If the anglers are tied for their highest finish, the tie breaker will be their second highest finish, third highest finish, fourth highest finish, etc., until the tie is broken. Should two anglers still be tied after comparing all tournament days for the year, the anglers’ largest fish of the year will be the tie breaker. *NEW FOR 2020* Rookie of the Year (ROTY): ROTY is someone who is a new member and it’s their first year of fishing with the club. ROTY points will be accrued the same as AOY, same tie breaker as AOY as well. The rookie with the most points at the end of the year will receive the ROTY trophy.
- Safety: A PFD must be worn at all times during the tournament. Before sunrise, each angler must carry aboard and have immediately available for use a white light of sufficient intensity to illuminate the vessel 360 light. Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times. The consumption of alcohol or any other substance which impairs one’s driving ability during tournaments is strictly prohibited. Any angler found to be in violation of this rule during the tournament will be disqualified immediately.
- Sportsmanship: Sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation are expected from each angler. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be cause for disqualification. A determination of unsportsmanlike conduct will be up to the Tournament Official or his designee.
- Fishing Boundaries: Each tournament may have restrictions concerning where anglers will be permitted to fish. If restrictions apply, information concerning boundaries will be given to anglers at registration of each particular tournament. Only fish caught in designated bodies of water are to be eligible; fish caught in unauthorized areas will result in disqualification.
- Weather: Anglers are to exercise their own best judgment for safety when considering whether to fish in a tournament or not. The Sticks retains the exclusive right to decide on cancelling or postponing an event due to inclement weather. If an event is canceled or postponed, the Tournament Official or his designee will announce the decision at the earliest possible time.
- Judging Inquiries: Any judging inquiries or protests must be submitted in writing by midnight of the following day. Tournament director(s) will investigate in a timely manner and respond accordingly.
- Cheating Inquiries: Any inquiries of cheating will be handled by the Tournament Official or his designee. Any angler found cheating during a tournament is subject to disqualification from the tournament, forfeiture of any and all prizes, and a lifetime ban of membership and participation in any Sticks events.
- Prizes: All prizes awarded by The Sticks or any of its sponsors are final. They cannot be transferred or exchanged for other prizes or cash/credit. Prizes awarded for each tournament are subject to change at the discretion of The Sticks or its sponsors. Product and/or Cash prizes will only be awarded to the individual that won the prize. Anyone found violating any of The Sticks guidelines and rules are subject to forfeit any prizes that are due to them.
- Waiver: A waiver releasing The Sticks, tournament officials, tournament members, tournament participants, sponsors, etc. from all liability must be signed during the registration process; otherwise the angler is ineligible to participate.
- In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director or board may impose such penalties as deemed appropriate by them, including without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of entry fee and prizes, and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments.