Official Elkhorn Creek Fishing Series Tournament Rules
Interpretation of these rules will be left exclusively to tournament officials whose decisions are final.
1. Registration: Registration location and times for each tournament will be posted on our Facebook page found HERE and here on our website. To register; contact Canoe Kentucky directly no later than close of business the Friday before the tournament. You can pay via credit card over the phone. If you do not wish to give your credit card number, then you must contact Canoe Kentucky before close of business on the Friday before and let us know that you plan to pay cash. Then, you must come to Canoe Ky and register BEFORE 11:00am on the day of the tournament. Saturday tournaments have an entry fee of $30.00. Tournament fees are non-refundable. Each angler must have a valid Kentucky fishing license. Licenses can be purchased online prior to a tournament at: https://fw.ky.gov/license/waonlinefront.aspx.
2. Token: Tokens for Saturday tournaments will be mass emailed to anglers at midnight on the Friday before the tournament. That token must appear in each photo of a measurable fish. Failure to include the token in a picture WILL result in the picture being ineligible for measurement.
3. Start and Finish Times: Saturday tournaments will begin at daylight and end at 4:00pm. There is a Check-in grace period of 20 minutes - anyone not checked in by 4:20pm will be penalized 1 inch per minute after 4:20pm. Check in will be held at Canoe Kentucky. There will be an informal cookout after each tournament. Food, soft drinks, and water will be provided; any other beverages are to provided by individuals. The Official Time is determined by the timepiece of the Tournament Official. No other watch or cell phone times will be accepted as a valid time. Any angler not in line by the established time for that tournament’s Check-In will have 1-inch deducted from their total of measurable fish for every minute late. Anglers may only check in their own fish.
4. Tournament Format: All ECFS tournaments are to operate with a CPR - Catch, Photograph and Release - format. Fish are not to be brought to Check In - doing so will result in disqualification. Anglers must take a photo of their watercraft the morning of each event. This photo will be submitted at the weigh in along with photos of the angler’s best 3 bass.
Catch: 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. 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 from any ECFS event. Snagging is not permitted. 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. Two or more anglers may fish from the same vessel; however each must be a paid entrant. Sharing of catches is strictly prohibited— you may only count the fish you caught.
Photograph: All fish must be photographed on an official “Hawg Trough”measuring device in order to be considered. Every picture of a fish must have the unique token for that particular tournament visible in the photograph and the anglers watercraft must also appear in the photo, NO EXCEPTIONS. The fish’s lip must be touching the upright vertical end of the Hawg Trough, with the mouth closed; the fish’s tail may be either pinched or laying naturally on the trough. All pictures must be taken with the upright vertical end of the Hawg Trough 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. This is to ensure that all photographs are done in a standardized manner for judging, and to keep the same fish from being submitted twice. Photographs can be taken by either digital phone or camera. 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 Tournament Official’s discretion. Angler’s hand may appear on the fish in the photograph as long as the mouth and tail are clearly visible and hand is not excessively covering markings of the fish. No device other than a hand shall be used to secure the fish to the Hawg Trough. Anglers will be penalized for securing fish to Hawg Trough with any other means than the anglers hand.Angler must “cull” all unwanted photos of fish other than the three fish that are to count toward scoring, and angler may only submit one picture per fish. Each angler’s device must contain only up to 3 different fish to be scored for that days tournament. This must be done PRIOR to handing your device to the judge for measurement. Remember – you must take a photo prior to putting in for each tournament that somehow will identify the access you are using (eg. sign, parking area, particular bank, etc.) along with angler’s watercraft. All judge’s rulings will be final.
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 ECFS tournament. Failure to release all fish will result in disqualification.
5. Scoring: Tournaments will be scored by using the aggregate length of each angler’s best 3 fish. The highest total in inches will be the winner. Fish will be measured by the judge(s) to the nearest ¼-inch. Fish that will be eligible for measurement in each tournament will be: Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Kentucky or Spotted 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 8 in.
6. Safety: A PFD must be either worn or on board each watercraft in accordance with KDFW regulations. Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times. No alcoholic beverages may be consumed during the competition. Any competitor receiving a citation from a KDFW official during the tournament will be disqualified immediately.
7. Sportsmanship: Sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation are expected from each angler. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be cause for disqualification.
8. Fishing Boundaries: Anglers are permitted to fish anywhere on the Elkhorn Creek. This includes the North and South Forks. Canoe Ky operates on the19 mile stretch from Forks of Elkhorn to the 127 Bridge. They can only provide shuttles in this area. Only fish caught in designated bodies of water are to be eligible; fish caught in unauthorized areas will result in disqualification.
9. Weather: Anglers are to exercise their own best judgment for safety when considering whether to fish in a tournament or not. ECFS retains the exclusive right to decide on cancelling/postponing an event due to inclement weather.
10. Judging Inquiries: Any judging inquiries or protests must be made in writing, accompanied with $75 cash within one hour of the designated Check-In time to be considered.
11. Cheating Inquiries: Any inquiries of cheating will be handled by Tournament Officials, and polygraph tests may be used to settle any cheating disputes, at the cost of the anglers in question. Any angler found cheating during a tournament is subject to not only disqualification from the tournament and forfeiture of any and all prizes, but a lifetime ban of membership and participation in any ECFS event.
12. Prizes: All prizes awarded by the ECFS 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 ECFS 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 ECFS guidelines and rules are subject to forfeit any prizes that are due to them.