2021 NAKA Tournament Trail Rules

2021 North Alabama Kayak Anglers Tournament Trail Format and Rules

Version: 2021 Revised: 02/01/2021


A series of tournaments will be held which will constitute the NAKA Tournament Trail. The Tournaments are open to all anglers provided they meet the requirements and honor all rules and regulations stated.



Table of Contents

1..... Participation, Eligibility, and Entry Fees. 2

2..... Watercraft. 2

3..... Safety. 3

4..... Eligible Water. 3

5..... General Rules. 4

6..... Tackle and Equipment. 4

7..... Qualifying Fish. 4

8..... Weigh-in. 5

9..... Judging/Scoring. 6

10... Photo Criteria. 6

11... Measuring Devices. 7

12... Rules, Interpretations, and Protests. 8



1.Participation, Eligibility, and Entry Fees


  1. Sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, and fish conservation are required from every entrant.

  2. Fishing and navigating water are each a risky activity which could result in the loss of life or property. All participants must have signed a liability release before the start of each event.  One waiver per year covers all events for that year.

  3. All participants under the age of 18 must provide a liability release before the start of the event signed by a parent or guardian who is present or has previously met with the Tournament Director.

  4. All participants must have a valid fishing license for that body of water and for the targeted species of fish.

  5. All entrants must follow all federal, state, and local governed rules and boating and fishing regulations.

  6. The Tournament Director reserves the right to refuse any entry for any reason.

  7. The possession or use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs is prohibited. Any possession or use of alcoholic beverages or illegal drugs, participation in criminal activity, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon the tournament will be subject to disqualification.

  8. Entry fees must be paid prior to the event.

  9. It is the responsibility of each participant to report and pay taxes on any winnings.

  10. Prizes will be paid out via PayPal the Monday following an event.  Other arrangements will be made if a participant cannot received PayPal payments.




  1. Only man-powered vessels will be allowed (canoes, kayaks, SUP, float tubes, etc.). Participants using vessels that do not fall within the canoe, kayak, SUP, or float tube categories must get clearance with the Tournament Director before participation.

  2. No electric or gas motors permitted. However, accommodations will be made for special needs anglers on a case-by-case basis. Arrangements must be made prior to the tournament.

  3. All fish must be caught from your vessel or by wading.  Wading is allowed as long as your kayak is with you and was used to reach your fishing location.  The kayak must be visible in the fish picture.  

  4. Only one paid entrant per vessel unless approved by TD prior to Tournament




  1. Safe boating shall be observed at all times.

  2. During competition, each contestant is required to comply with all local, state, and federal boating and fishing laws.

  3. Events may be canceled due to unsafe weather or water conditions.

  4. Entrants may not fish within 25 yards of another angler.

  5. Each participant must wear a US Coast Guard-approve chest-type life preserver anytime on the water during the event. This preserver must be strapped, snapped or zippered securely, and maintained in that condition while the entrant is in the water on the kayak. Inflatable life vest indicators should be checked daily. Violation of this rule may be reason for disqualification.

  6. When kayaking in low visibility situations (e.g. fog, heavy rain, prior to safe light) competitors must operate their kayaks in a safe manner and ensure they can be seen by other boaters.


4.Eligible Water


  1. All NAKA Tournament Trail stops will operate as “Radius launches”. The size of the radius may be adjusted by the Tournament Director.

  2. All anglers must launch from public land.  Launch sites that require a fee are eligible as long as they are open to the public. (ie: Ditto Landing)

  3. Water must be navigable from the main body of water without crossing man-made dividers.  Natural obstacles such as beaver damns and rock shoals are ok to navigate.  Exceptions may be made by the Tournament Director on a case by case basis. 

  4. ”Mothershipping” your kayak via another watercraft after the launch time is not allowed unless otherwise allowed by the Tournament Director.  Multiple launch locations may be used by moving the watercraft via land vehicle. 

  5. The Tournament Director may declare some waters off-limits prior to the competition.


5.General Rules


  1. First Cast Time will be announced at the Captains meeting.  Anglers must follow all state and federal laws for lights and navigation in the dark.

  2. Do not cause undue harm to the fish.

  3. All fish will be immediately released unharmed after photo has been taken.

  4. No fish will be kept in ice chests, baskets, stringers, etc.  Fish may be held in water with fish grips (or similar device) while the angler is preparing to take the photo.

  5. Each fish can only be submitted once.

6.Tackle and Equipment


  1. Only artificial lures and biodegradable artificial lures may be used.

  2. No “live bait” or “prepared bait” may be used with the exception of pork strips or rinds.

  3. Only one rod and reel may be used at a time. Trolling lures, even if the rod is not being held by the angler, is considered “in use”.

  4. The use of depth finders, temperature gauges, sonar, and sound attractants are allowed.

  5. A landing net may be used to land a fish.

  6. Fish grippers or stringers may be used to retain a fish.

  7. All activities will be performed by the individual angler. No help shall be given landing, measuring, photographing, or releasing the fish.


7.Qualifying Fish


  1. Fish must be caught from the tournament waters during the official tournament hours. No angler may score a fish they did not catch during tournament hours.

  2. Fish must be caught using a rod and reel or flyrod in a sporting manner.

  3. Targeting injured, sick, dying, or dead fish is not a sporting manner.  Any fish that appears to be sick or dead may be disqualified by the judges.

  4. No electronic tracking devices (implanted microchips) may be used to locate fish.

  5. Moving fish or using methods to contain fish (cages, aquariums, stringers, etc.) prior to a tournament is not permitted.

  6. Black bass (largemouth, smallmouth, spotted) must be 8” in length unless laws state otherwise.

  7. Fish will be caught, measured, photographed, and released.

  8. Fish will be photographed using a smartphone or digital camera. See Photo Criteria.

  9. There will be a 3 fish limit unless otherwise noted.

  10. You may not score the same fish more than once.




  1. A weigh in will occur in which all the winners are announced.  This may be in person or virtual.  The weigh in time will be given during the captains meeting.  

  2. TourneyX will be used for submitting photos.  Photos must be submitted in the event using the TourneyX Pro App. 

  3. TourneyX has an automatic culling system.  It is advised that more than the designated limit be submitted in the event that a fish is disqualified, the next fish will be used.  

  4. There will be "lines in", "lines out", and last submission times provided during the captains meeting.  Even though submissions may be made after the lines out time no fish caught after the lines out time will be allowed.  This time between the lines out time and submission end time is there to allow anglers get to an area with cell service and submit their catch.  

  5. Anglers must use the check-in and check-out features in TourneyX. 





  1. Entrants’ photos will be viewed and scored by a designated tournament committee. By default, the tournament committee will be the Tournament Director, Assistant Tournament Directors, and attending NAKA Board of Directors Members.

  2. A unique 3 character identifier will be announced prior to the start of the event.

  3. The unique identifier (announced at the Captains Meeting) must be clearly written in the bump sticker boxes and be visible in each photo.

  4. Fish will be measured to the nearest ¼-inch, rounding down.

  5. The 3 longest fish (lengths) added together will be the total score unless otherwise noted.

  6. In the event of a tie in total length of stringer, the first tie brake will be biggest fish, if still tied, it will go to next biggest. If all fish are the same, the two spots payouts will be combined and each angler will receive 50% of the combined total of the two spots.

  7. Photos that do not meet the requirements will be disqualified.


10.Photo Criteria


  1. The kayak must be visible in the photo.  

  2. Photo must include the entire fish. View of the mouth and tail of the fish must be unobstructed. No part of the fish should be obstructed, meaning nothing should be covering any part of the fish!

  3. Fish grippers or fish stringers may be used to help retain your fish during the photographing process as long as the view of the lip, board and bump sticker is unobstructed.

  4. All fish must face the left with some part of the fish touching the “bump sticker.”  There will be a 1-inch penalty if the judge cannot clearly determine that the lip is touching the bump. If the fish is clearly not touching the bump (off by ½-inch or greater) the fish will be disqualified.

  5. The dorsal fin must be facing upward. Upside down fish will not be scored.

  6. Get the most length out of your fish without harming the fish. You may not harm, mangle, mash, or maul the fish for any reason. Fish whose jaws appear to be damaged for any reason may be disqualified.

  7. Mouth may be open or closed as long as some part is touching the bump sticker.

  8. You may pinch the tail prior to capturing photo provided it does not harm the fish. However, the tail must be freely lying on the board in the photo. So, you may not use your hand or, say, tape to pinch the tail during the photographing of the fish.

  9. Fish must visibly unharmed. Any fish that appears to be sick or dead may be disqualified by the judges.

  10. Markings on the measuring device must be clear and legible to the ¼”.

  11. Photos must be taken directly from above, not at an angle.

  12. Each tournament’s assigned identifier must be visible in each photo.

  13. The photo must be taken by same angler who caught fish.

  14. All photos must be submitted in the event via the TourneyX pro app.


11.Measuring Devices


  1. For the NAKA Tournament Trail events, Hawg Troughs and the Ketch** measuring boards are the only approved measuring devices.  ** A note on Ketch boards:  All colors are allowed in NAKA tournaments, however it is recommended that the lighter colors ( green, red, orange, or pink) be used.  It has been found that the very tip of the tail can sometimes be hard to make out on the darker boards.  It is the angler's responsibility that the entire length of the fish can be seen.  

  2. This may be different for other events like the NAKA Big Bass and NAKA Throwdowns and is at the discretion of the Tournament Director.

  3. No sharing of measuring devices during tournaments.

  4. Measuring device may be checked at any time.

  5. If measure device cannot be read by the judges, measurement will be rounded down to nearest legible mark. Please take a marker or paint pen to color the raised graduations on the Hawg Trough to add contrast.

  6. Anglers are encouraged to wet your measuring device prior to placing a fish on the device.

  7. Modifying the method in which a fish is measured on the measuring device is considered cheating.

12.Rules, Interpretations, and Protests


  1. All rules and their interpretations are decided by Tournament Director.

  2. Tournament Director’s decisions are final.

  3. Any protest shall be immediately directed to the Tournament Director. This should be done during the judging/scoring process and before the awards process begins.

  4. Once prizes have been awarded, tournament results are declared final.

  5. Each angler may be required to submit to a polygraph examination at a time and location determined by the Tournament Director following the end of the competition in each tournament and abides by its conclusion. Failure to pass the polygraph will result in disqualification and may to an angler’s inability to compete in future events.

  6. Cheating on this trail may constitute a ban from other events hosted by other organizations. Tampering with a sports contest is a Class A misdemeanor in the State of Alabama.