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DPS Kayak Fishing Rules


Official Rules  

Delaware Paddlesports/B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series   

Effective September 01, 2020

1.Rules and Penalties 

Except for very serious rules violations, as determined by DPS/B.A.S.S., and any rules that might lead to disqualification of an angler from participation in the DPS/B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series tournaments, rule violations must be reported to tournament officials within 24 hours of the final check-in on the day of the alleged violation. 

Penalties for rules violations may include the following: 

(a) Reduction of competition hours as determined by the Tournament Director

(b) Loss of one or more fish caught in potential violation of rules or regulations. 

(c) Disqualification from the tournament in question 

(d) Disqualification from future DPS/B.A.S.S. events, which may be from a specific number of events, a specific period of time, or may be a lifetime disqualification. 

(e) Any different or additional penalties determined by the Tournament Director including but not limited to monetary fines and/or reduction of points towards championship qualification.

•        All Federal, State, and Local laws, rules, markings, orders, and warnings must be followed.  Violation of any laws may be cause for disqualification.

•        All violations of laws will be turned over to the proper authorities for investigation and possible prosecution.  This includes, but is not limited to, cheating, harassment, wildlife violations, illegal drug use, and any other illegal activity.

2.Participants and Eligibility

       Participation in this tournament is open only to current members of DPS/B.A.S.S. who are 16 years of age or older. Proof of age to the satisfaction of tournament officials is the responsibility of potential competitor. 

•       All Competitions are conducted using TourneyX®. Each angler who wishes to participate in such an event must create a free, TourneyX user account and then register and pay on TourneyX for the event by 11:59 pm on the day before the first day of competition.

•       Tournament entry fee will $35.00 and $5.00 big bass (optional). Payouts will be 100% (minus TourneyX costs).

▪    Up to 9 participants will pay out first and second place. Payout is 70% for first place and 30% for second place.

▪    10 to 39 participants will pay first, second, and third place. Payout is 65% for first, 20% for second, and 15% for third.

▪    40 to 49 participants will pay first, second, third, and fourth place. Payout is 50% for first, 25% for second, 15% for third, and 10% for fourth.

▪    50 to 59 participants will pay first, second, third, fourth, and fifth place. Payout is 50% for first, 25% for second, 15% for third, 7% for fourth, and 3% for fifth.

▪    60 to 69 participants will pay first, second, third, fourth, fifth, and sixth place. Payout is 50% for first, 20% for second, 15% for third, 7% for fourth, 5% for fifth, and 3% for sixth.

•       Any person under the age of 18 entering a tournament must also have permission and a signed release of a parent or legal guardian. The signed release form is the responsibility of the angler to get and to deliver to the Tournament Director on/or before the day of the tournament

•       All contestants must have a valid fishing license for the waters they fish.



        There will be NO designated off-limits period.

•        Official Practice will begin at 12:00am the Monday before the competition.

•        All practice during official practice time can be done in any vessel.


•        The purchasing of, or bartering for, information, from anyone, for the purpose of locating or catching fish on tournament waters, including, but not limited to, GPS waypoints (other than through commercially available sources) and the hiring of fishing guide services is not permitted during OFFICIAL PRACTICE period through the conclusion of the tournament. 

•        Hiring or using a guide for tournament waters within 21 days of the event is prohibited. 

•        During official competition, contestants may not solicit information about locating or catching fish on tournament waters from anyone except other anglers confirmed in the tournament and through publicly available sources. Quasi-public websites, blogs and/or social media pages set up for the specific purpose of sharing information with individuals or a small group of individuals are NOT publicly available sources.

•        For multi day events, once tournament officials determine daily cuts, competitors not making the cut are no longer considered in the tournament, and my not be solicited for information.     

       5. SAFETY

•        Safe boating must always be observed. 

•        Each contestant is REQUIRED to wear a fastened U.S. Coast Guard-approved personal flotation device while fishing from or maneuvering their kayak during tournament hours. Inflatable BELT type PFDs are not allowed.

•        All Kayaks must be equipped with an emergency whistle, and a 360-degree light or installed LEDs that are visible from all angles at night.  

•        At the discretion of the tournament director, tournament days may be shortened, postponed or canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions.

•        Competitors may leave their boat and seek shelter in bad weather or when danger is eminent.

•        Competitors are expected to use sound judgement and are accountable for his/her own actions when faced with a potentially dangerous situation. (i.e. Lightning, excessive wind, pleasure boaters, hunters, etc.)



•       Competitors in DPS/B.A.S.S. tournaments are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. 

•       Use of alcohol or the use of drugs (other than those drugs purchased over-the counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor, during the official practice or during the tournament, will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future DPS/B.A.S.S. tournaments.  No alcoholic beverages or prohibited drugs shall be allowed in the boats during the official practice or competition days.

•       Maximum courtesy must always be practiced, especially with regard to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters. Any act of a competitor, which reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters and courtesy, may be reason for disqualification.   

•       All competitors are bound by the prevailing statutes and regulations of the various states in which they fish. Some regulations may differ from these rules resulting in fines, citations or other penalties at the discretion of law enforcement and may or may not result in tournament penalties. Competitors are responsible for research of fishing and boating regulations.

•       Following are examples of unacceptable behavior by competitors or family members of competitors in DPS/B.A.S.S. events that will be cause for penalties as outlined in this document. 

o      Abuse (physical, verbal, threatening or slanderous) of tournament officials, volunteers, fellow competitors or others connected with a DPS/B.A.S.S. event, including comments on social media.

o      Offensive or slanderous comments with racial, cultural or sexual overtones regarding event officials, event personnel or fellow anglers. 

o      Intentionally interfering with a fellow angler’s ability to compete, for example, working with a non-competitor to block other anglers or hold spots before or during tournament hours.

•       Any disqualification, suspension or other disciplinary action imposed by any tournament or fishing organization may result in disqualification from competition and rejection of an application for participation in a DPS/B.A.S.S. tournament. 


•       Watercraft propulsion is restricted to paddle, pedal, pole, or electric motor. (See electric motor restrictions, below.)  

•       Unless specifically prohibited, use of electric motors in competition is approved with the following restrictions:  

o   Electric motor must be attached to the kayak in a safe manner for operation.

o   An electric motor used to propel a watercraft may not exceed the lesser of (a.) manufacturer’s labeled Maximum HP/Thrust Capacity, (b.) 3 HP, or (c.) 155 foot-pound thrust.  

o   Competitors must comply with all boating regulations pertaining to motorized kayak/electric-propulsion watercraft registration, use, and operating restrictions for the designated fishing area.  

o   No more than one electric motor may be attached to a kayak regardless of combined horsepower/thrust/power rating.  

o   Motors with dual props operated by a single power source are permissible if the unit is manufactured and sold as a single unit.

•       Vessel must be 9’ minimum and shorter than 18’.

•       Vessel that the manufacturer identifies and sells as a kayak, including inflatable kayaks and modular kayaks, Stand-up paddleboards (SUP) and Canoes.

•       Other watercraft specifically approved as exceptions in advance of competition by DPS/B.A.S.S. Management

•       Catamaran style personal fishing vessels complying with all other regulations will be eligible.

•       No "Homemade" Kayaks, Sailboats, Jon boats, pirogues, coracles, rowboats, dinghies, skiffs, float tubes, inflatable rafts, or rigid inflatable boats (e.g., Zodiac), pontoon boats, pontoon-style pond boats, twin-hull watercraft, or similar.

•       The use of manual or motorized anchor system is permitted.

•       Mothershipping, tethering/holding or any transportation coordination with a non-competitor is strictly prohibited unless approved by DPS/B.A.S.S. officials due to an emergency.

•       By officially entering, contestants agree to submit their kayak to an inspection by DPS/B.A.S.S. personnel.


•        All bass must be caught alive in a conventional sporting manner by the angler out of their vessel.

•        All lures must adhere to state regulations.

•        Only artificial lures may be used, except for pork trailers and biodegradable soft baits.

•        Alabama rigs and similar umbrella-type rigs are allowed and are only limited by the laws within the state they are fishing.

•        Only ONE fishing rod may be used at a time.

•        Each cast must be completed before another cast is allowed and there can never be more than one lure from one rod actively fishing in the water at any time.

•        Trolling as a method of fishing is allowed. Long-lining and drifting with current/wind are allowed.

•        All bass caught while sight-fishing must be hooked inside the mouth.

•        No fish are to be kept on stringers. Fish gripping devices are acceptable to temporarily hold fish in the water.


•        Restrictions, designated launch points, official tournament waters, and other location mandates may be issued for individual events.

•        Contestants may fish anywhere on tournament waters available to the public and accessible by kayak except areas posted or otherwise designated as “off-limits,” “no boats,” “keep out,” “restricted,” “no trespassing” or “no fishing” (or similar language or markings intended to restrict public access) by B.A.S.S., commercial property owners and/or local, state or federal officials.

•        All fishing must be conducted from inside the kayak unless otherwise stated by tournament officials.

•        At no time may a contestant leave the kayak to land a fish, photograph/submit a fish or to make the kayak more accessible to fishing waters.

•        The cutting of trees, bushes and/or logs after official practice begins and/or the removal of official local, state or federal barricades at any time to make an area more accessible by kayak is strictly prohibited and may result in disqualification from the tournament.

•        Kayaks may never be tethered to buoys or safety signs.

•        The use of cables, ropes, chains or any type of block and tackle system to maneuver a kayak into fishing waters is strictly prohibited.

•        Using any items including the kayak or fishing line to block an area off to other competitors or anglers is strictly prohibited.

       10. SCORING 

•        Scoring is determined by length using 1/4-inch increments of each contestant’s catch during each tournament day via the Catch, Photograph, and Release (CPR) method.

•        Each competitor will be provided with a unique identifier for the tournament. The identifier will be available the night before the tournament on the event page on Facebook. 

•        The five longest verified lengths will be totaled for the anglers score.

•        Officials will round down and to the nearest ¼ inch.

•        Only the Black Bass Species consisting of the following: Largemouth, Spotted, Guadalupe, Shoal and Smallmouth bass and any hybrid of the above are accepted species.

•        The best five (5) fish make up a daily limit.

•        All fish must measure a minimum of 12”. Bass submitted that fail to measure 12” with mouth completely closed will not be scored.

•        A submitted fish will only count once to an angler’s aggregate score for all days of the tournament.  


•        The Hawg Trough and aluminum Ketch Board are the official, mandatory, measuring devices for the DPS/B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series events and its subsidiaries.



•        Contestants must bring their own measuring device.

•        Your measuring device may be inspected by DPS/B.A.S.S. staff at any time before, during, or after the tournament.

•        Anyone found to be using a measuring device that is determined to be not legal will be disqualified from the tournament.

• Ensure the markings on your measuring device are clearly marked and can be seen by the scoring official. Consider marking the lines on your Hawg Trough with a black marker.  However, excessive marking may result in a penalty.

 Hawg Troughs and Ketch Boards are available for purchase at Delaware Paddlesports.


  • Each fish photo must include all the following criteria to avoid penalties or disqualification:
  • The entire Bass, from the tip of the lip to the end of the tail, on an approved measuring device, while in a tournament legal vessel.
  • Lying with the tip of the lip against the fence end of the measuring device.
  • The mouth of the Bass must be CLOSED COMPLETELY.
  • The tail of the Bass must be lying flat on the board and will be measured to the longest point.
  • Pinching the tail is NOT permitted.
  • Bass must be facing to the left, tail to the right, belly toward the angler.
  • Measuring device markings must be clearly visible. Including the actual numbers.
  • Assigned DPS unique identifier must be visible.



  • One overhead photo shot frame (not shot at an angle).
  • Fish must be clear of any holding devices including fishing lure or hook.
  • Lip, eye, and tail cannot be obstructed in the photo, even by your hand or identifier.
  • Hand or fingers must not be under the gill plate.
  • If fish has a visible glossy eye or odd markings it is suggested the angler take video of that fish going from the board, and actively swimming away.
  • Any questionable issues with a fish should be immediately brought to the DPS/B.A.S.S. official’s attention.
  • Quality of the photo submitted is the responsibility of the angler.



**All criteria above must be met, or the photo may not be scored**


•        Mouth open - 1” deduction

•        Lip or tail not touching board: No score 

•        Excessive Marking of Hawg Trough: Rounded down to next ¼ inch mark (No Score if below minimum.)


•       If there is more than one Delaware B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak Series Club there will be a state championship.

•       A single state club may send the top 10% or five (5) anglers (whichever is greater) in AOY points to the BNKSC.


•       B.A.S.S. Nation Kayak series state championship may send the top 10% or five (5) anglers (whichever is greater) from their state championship to the BNKSC.

15. Delaware Paddlesports/B.A.S.S. AOY/Angler of the Year.

  • An angler must fish a minimum of (4) tournaments to qualify for DPS AOY.
  • An angler must fish a minimum of (3) tournaments to qualify for B.A.S.S. AOY
  • The angler with the most accumulative points for (5) tournaments at the end of the year will be DPS AOY.
  • The angler with the most accumulative points for (4) tournaments at the end of the year will be B.A.S.S. AOY.
  • Online month-long tournaments do not count for AOY points.
  • If there is tie between anglers for AOY. The tie breaker will be the anglers biggest fish caught during the season.
  • The points will be on a curve scale. See Below.



16. TIES 

•       In one-day events, ties will be broken by longest fish, followed by next longest fish until all fish have been accounted.  If a tie still exists, the winner will be determined by earliest photo submitted of their largest fish.

•       In multi-day events, the largest single day catch will be the first tie breaker. If the tie remains, the tie breaker above goes into effect.

•       Big Bass ties will be broken by next legal largest fish over all days of the tournament, and so on, until the tie has been resolved.  If a tie still exists, the winner will be determined by earliest photo submitted of their largest fish.