Table of Contents
The 2021 Texas Kayak Angler Tournament Series will consist of 5 individual qualifying tournament events, and a two-day Classic Championship.
All anglers are invited to participate in the first 5 series events throughout the course of the season while a series-wide point system will be used to keep a running leaderboard based on individual event rankings.
The Texas KATS Classic will be the final showdown between the top 30 eligible anglers. The Angler of the Year Award will be given to the competitor with the most overall points from his/her best 4 out of 5 qualifying events (does not include Classic). Additionally, an award will be given to the King of the Fish, the angler with the 5 biggest fish scored over the entire series (including classic).
In past years, we have always had the Pro and Social division. This year, we are going to make it an equal opportunity for all and join the two forces — We will make every effort to keep the 2021 KATS season a competitive and fun series regardless of your angling experience. We’ve had great series over the last fifteen years and look forward to yet another one!
To stay up to date on anything related to the 2021 KATS or to ask questions, please visit www.fishkats.com and/or contact us via the information on the last page of this rules packet. We look forward to seeing you at the all of the events!
Kaden Pasawicz – Tournament Director KATS 2021 Series
**IMPORTANT CHANGES/INFORMATION FOR KATS 2021**
We strive to make KATS the best kayak fishing tournament available. Thanks to all of you that have provided feedback and suggestions over the years! While we try to accommodate as many wishes as we can, we are only able to enforce rules that make sense to promote the growth of this group and the sport as a whole. Below are some key changes for the 2021 season.
There will be no more Pro/Social division — everyone will have an equal opportunity to cash a check. Many of our newcomers have done a great job over the years, and we want to make sure that everyone gets a chance to grow as a competitive kayak bass angler!
Captains meetings will be held at 7 pm on Facebook live the Friday night before the event on the KATS Facebook page. Your Identifier code will be announced during the captain's meeting so please do your best to attend on Facebook. I will make sure to send out an email to everyone in case you did not make it.
Launch and lines-in will be at 6:00 am. You are allowed to start fishing the moment you launch. Lines-out will be at 3:00 pm sharp, photos must be submitted by 3:30 pm. If you do not have service while on the water, plan accordingly to make sure your photos are submitted on time. All photos submitted after 3:30 pm will not be accepted.
There will be some changes on how photos are judged during the course of this season; please see the Photo Criteria section to see the changes moving forward into 2021.
There will be changes made to the entry fees, payout, and side pots; please view the Entry Fees/Payout section to see the changes moving forward into 2021.
AOY/KOF: Over the years we have been offering prizes packs for 1st-3rd in the AOY race, given the uncertainty with delays in the supply chain, we are going to stick with just ONE winner for AOY, as well as King of the Fish. We will consider other options later in the year.
Rookie of the Year: We also want to start awarding the new guys on the scene! For anyone who has not placed in KATS, or someone who is brand new to the trail. You will be eligible to win ROY based on a separate point system. Stay tuned on the KATS Facebook page for more details as we move forward.
TOURNAMENT DIRECTOR’S NOTES:
First, we want to personally thank you for participating in this year’s KATS season! We are very thankful for the participation and support you have given us over the years and we hope you will love this season! Here are some things to keep in mind to ensure you have a smooth season this upcoming year:
The Series is open to ALL anglers provided they meet the Requirements and honor all Rules and Regulations listed below.
Registration will still be done online on fishKATS.com. Anglers will be given a code in their confirmation email that they can use to join the event on TourneyX. MAKE SURE to SIGN UP ONLINE by the deadline (Thursday prior to the tournament at 11:59 p.m.)! This includes the purchase of any merchandise and raffle tickets benefitting the selected charity.
Designated Launches are announced for non-roadrunner events at start of season. Maps will be provided prior to the event. For roadrunners, equal access, public launch points are the only acceptable launch locations. If your launch point is in question, please contact the tournament director.
If you are utilizing TourneyX, be sure to register for the event on the app via the code in your registration confirmation. Also plan ahead for possible technical or service issues. If you are unable to turn your fish in via TourneyX, you may still turn them in, in person at the weigh in site.
If you are turning in your pictures in person, please fill out the scorecard completely and correctly. Mark the length of each fish, the number of photos taken, have your unique identifier in the top corner, circle your top 5 fish and total your inches at the bottom. Turn in NO MORE than 2 pictures for each fish. Incomplete, lost, or blank scorecards make scoring take longer.
Please be meticulous with your CPR process. We have provided a comprehensive guide to doing this the proper way.
Be on time, bring what you need, and make sure you have registered online before the deadline.
Darken the ruler lines on your Hawg Trough with a sharpie.
Anglers can increase their payout by entering into the KATS Angler Advantage optional program.
As a KATS competitor you are eligible for a discount in all ACK stores, make sure to let them know when you checkout.
Complaints about free/donated prizes won in a tourney or in a raffle do not help our efforts in retaining and gaining sponsors. If a prize doesn’t suit your needs or you have no need for it, please return it to the staff so it can be raffled and donated to someone who will benefit from it.
Any prizes won during the tournaments or received in the raffles may not be returned to ACK.
Keep in mind that KATS wouldn’t be possible without the help of our sponsors, volunteer staff, and community members. Please help make KATS possible by supporting sponsors and ACK by choosing them for your outdoor gear needs.
Have fun, after all that’s why we are all here! Leave the profanities, drugs and alcohol, cheating and any other unsportsmanlike conduct elsewhere – it will not be tolerated!
-NO competitors are to be within 20 yards of each other during fish-time; except in the case of emergency when assistance is required.
-NO fish are to be kept on stringers.
-Any ONE fish can only be submitted ONCE.
-Angler is responsible for ensuring that no fish is submitted twice for scoring. (Even if the same fish is caught twice in one tournament)
-All fish submitted through TourneyX Pro and initially “accepted” by tournament manager/director are subject to final approval after official fishing time closes and before/after the award ceremony.
-Tournament manager/director reserves the right to deduct points/disqualify a fish after it was initially approved via TourneyX if they believe one or more of rules have been violated.
-In case a fish that was initially approved and it is then disqualified, and no foul play is suspected by the TD, the angler will have the opportunity to replace the fish with a “culled” fish, if available. THERE WILL BE NO DEDUCTION FOR THIS. Once again, this will be enforced on a case by case basis. It is encouraged that you submit more than 5 fish for insurance.
RULES INTERPRETATION and PROTESTS
-All rules are decided and interpreted by the Tournament Director.
-Any rule violations must be brought to the Tournament Director’s attention IMMEDIATELY after the tournament. Any scoring protests must be submitted within 48 hours of the conclusion of the tournament.
-The Tournament Director retains the right to make any changes at ANY time, and the FINAL decision.
-Not having read the rules is NOT an exception.
-Tournament Director may consult with the KGB members for any rulings as needed and determined by
LIABILITY RELEASE/LICENSE REQUIREMENTS
-ALL competitors must agree to a liability release prior to start of the event, this will be completed during your online registration.
-ALL competitors UNDER the age of 18 must provide a liability release signed by a parent or guardian before the start of the event. Parent or guardian must be present. This will be completed during your online registration.
-ALL competitors MUST have a valid Texas Freshwater Fishing License or be exempt under TPWD regulations.
-For current regulations and information on fishing licenses visit: http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/business/licenses/index.phtml
– Only ONE paid entrant per vessel.
– ONLY human-powered vessels will be allowed.
– Kayaks, canoes, rowboats, inflatable boats, paddleboats, stand-up paddleboards are acceptable.
– A “Blue Sky Boatworks Catamaran” is an approved vessel that can be used to participate in KATS.
– NO gasoline or electric motor propelled boats, sailboats, airboats, float tubes, or poled boats may be
used except as noted below:
**Disabled or Special Medical Needs: Competitors will be allowed to use kayaks or canoes with a maximum of 12V trolling motors, or Kayak Manufacturer Motors, for competitions with prior approval from Tournament Director. (Competitor must provide a medical athletic exemption note from licensed physician notifying that the competitor qualifies for a temporary exemption and may use a motorized kayak due to disability, health risks, and other medical situations that otherwise impair the ability to participate in a standard paddling event. Exemption note must include a time period of exemption not to exceed the current season (a new note will be required for subsequent seasons). Please contact the TD with ample time to make these arrangements.
-Exemption Form to be found on www.ackkats.com and must be submitted at least 2 business days prior to the event.
- ALL competitors must launch from shore at a designated launch point/time. If you are found launching OR fishing before the designated launch time, you will be DISQUALIFIED. You are allowed to be in the kayak within 2-3min before launch time, however, you cannot launch or start "drifting" away to get a head start.
- If a tournament is designated as “Roadrunner” event boats may be launched at any legal and public launch site on the boundary waters of that particular event.
- Legal and Public Launches are determined by equal access. All anglers must launch from
a PUBLIC launch. It is ACCEPTABLE if the launch site charges an entry fee that ANY other angler can pay to launch as well. If any person(s) are required to purchase/rent a campsite, cabin, airbnb, etc. then it is considered PRIVATE and NOT an equal access launch.
- If you have any questions about equal access launch sites, please contact the TD directly.
- Transporting vessels/competitors via power-driven boats (including towing) is strictly prohibited EXCEPT in the case of an emergency as determined by the tournament director. These cases will be reviewed individually to determine if DQ of fish will occur.
PRACTICE PERIOD/OFF LIMITS
-The lake where the current event will be held is strictly OFF LIMITS to any contestant participating in KATS starting 11:59 pm the Sunday BEFORE the tournament until the following Friday before the tournament.
-ANY angler caught and reported (with proof) on the lake during the off-limits period with or without fishing gear will be disqualified and forfeit their entry fee. NO exceptions.
Example: If the tournament is on Saturday, January 30th, 2021. You cannot fish/paddle/swim on that lake starting at 11:59 pm on Sunday, January 24th. The lake(s) will be entirely off-limits. You will then be allowed one practice day the following FRIDAY before the event starting at midnight. Note: The entire lake is off-limits to the anglers whether fishing or not. No scouting, paddling, or recreational use on the lake can take place during the off-limits period.
-Pre fishing or practice period from a POWER BOAT is PROHIBITED starting on Sunday 11:59 pm leading to the event.
-Fishing in OFF-LIMITS areas will result in disqualification.
– OFF LIMITS areas are defined as but not limited to any and all areas marked by buoys, signage, or barriers with the intent of keeping people out. Any posted, legal, private property, or otherwise off-limits areas plus any specific areas as determined by KATS staff are strictly OFF-LIMITS to anglers. Anglers may NOT fish, cast a line, or be in the off-limits areas.
-30 Day OFF limits of hiring guide services before the DAY OF the tournament. This includes on the water services and paid for verbal information. Ex: If the event takes place on 1/31, Guide Services are OFF limits after 12/31, 11:59 pm.
PERMITTED FISHING METHODS/BAIT/LURES
-NO pier/shoreline/wade/jug/trot line/hand line/cast or drag net/bow fishing allowed.
ONLY artificial baits/lures/flies and hand-tied flies will be permitted.
-NO live or dead bait may be used.
-Rod and Reel and Fly Rods are the only devices acceptable.
– NO downriggers allowed, trolling under human power is acceptable.
-Wade Fishing is PROHIBITED. You may exit the boat to land a fish, but you must maintain contact with the boat while in the water.
-ONLY 1 ROD ALLOWED IN THE WATER AT ALL TIMES.
-A 360 Light is REQUIRED under TPWD regulations when fishing 30 minutes before sunrise or 30 minutes after sunset or anytime in between and will be required when our launch times fall under these guidelines. Supernovas or LED light strips DO NOT meet these requirements. You will be held back for launch or DQ’ed if launching without a 360 light prior to safe light.
-PFD (lifejacket) MUST be worn at ALL times while on the water. NO exceptions. Violators will be immediately disqualified if spotted not wearing a PFD.
-Competitors must meet all TPWD regulations. http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us/fishboat/boat/laws/
-Competitors must meet all US Coast Guard Regulations. http://www.uscgboating.org/
-KATS official spotters will be present during competitions.
-The use of mobile communication devices such as mobile phones, marine radios, or walkie-talkies is strictly PROHIBITED during fishing hours. Communication between anglers without electronic devices is permitted. Emergency calls are permitted, and the Tournament Director is to be notified.
-Emergency, family, and employment related calls are allowed.
-This rule is in place to cancel out any “unfair advantages” and the sharing of information that may create
an unfair competitive advantage during the competition.
-The Hawg Trough/Ketch Karbonate/Ketch X are the ONLY acceptable measuring devices for all KATS events.
-Competitors must use their own measuring device (no sharing).
-Your device may be checked by KATS staff at any time.
-If the judge cannot clearly see the markings, that fish will not be scored. At a minimum, 1⁄4 inch increments need to be visible . Consider marking your lines with a black sharpie on the Hawg Trough. DO NOT MAKE THE LINES THICK.
-All anglers are responsible for submitting a quality/legal photo of each fish. Make sure your tournament ID is showing/legible or your photo submission will be DENIED.
-Fish are to be measured Mouth COMPLETELY CLOSED and touching the bump board, to Furthest Tip of Tail
-See “CPR How-to Guide” online and examples of acceptable photos
-INCLEMENT WEATHER: The Tournament Director may delay, reschedule, or cancel the event.
-The first option will be a delay to be determined by the tournament director.
-The reschedule date for any event is the following day (same time/place/launch).
-If both days are rescheduled, the following weekend will serve as make-up event.
-If canceled or rescheduled, entrants can be refunded or have fee applied to next event.
-If an angler must cancel prior to the tournament, they must do so 48 hours before the event. If an angler cancels within 48 hours of the tournament start time, they will not be refunded their entry. If deemed an emergency, this will be reviewed on a case by case basis with the administrators.
PHOTO RELEASE AGREEMENT
-Contestants grant KATS and ACK and the sponsors the unconditional right to use their name, voice,
photographic likeness and biographical information in connection with KATS and ACK tournaments, production, promotion, and/or articles and press releases, and shall not be entitled to receive any royalties or other compensation in connection with such use.
-DRUG and ALCOHOL use during the tournament is strictly PROHIBITED.
-ANY competitor found to be under the influence will be disqualified and will receive a score of ZERO.
-The KATS competition is intended and will be a competitive and professional event. It is also designed to be lots of fun. That being said, ALL anglers are encouraged to be good sportsmen throughout the series. Any disorderly conduct, violation of rules, illegal activity or disregard for the KATS Code of Conduct may result in your disqualification.
-Any report of cheating will be investigated. Any cheating reported with proof will result in immediate disqualification . Anglers found cheating will be barred from ALL future KATS events and the incident will be reported to both TPWD and the local law enforcement. KNOW THE RULES!
-We reserve the right to polygraph anyone entering in the KATS tournaments to determine foul play. We also reserve the right to disqualify anyone from the results of the tests including inconclusive test results.
ENTRY FEES/PAYOUT/BIG BASS/KATS CLASSIC
-ALL participants MUST have paid an entry fee prior to fishing.
-Entry will be paid online by deadline posted:
-Online Registration will end on Thursday night prior to the Tournament.
-Entry fees/side pots will be as follows:
Big Bass (optional) $15
KATS Advantage (optional) $30
TourneyX fees are included.
The cash prize pot will be divided as follows; please see the example below, this is based on 100 total entries at the entry fee posted above:
-Total cash pot will go to 1st-10th place, here’s an example for 100 total entries for each event.
Big Bass Rules
-Competitor with the biggest bass wins the entire prize. Ties are determined by the TIES rule stated below:
In the event of a TIE, the following criteria will decide the winner — biggest fish, 2nd biggest, and so on. If all fish are the same, the pot will be split.
If all 5 fish are the same, the pot will be split.
KATS Classic Payout Schedule/Rules
-Classic Championship eligibility will depend on the leaderboard, from best 4 out of 5 events
-The TOP 30 Anglers in points will be qualified for the KATS Classic Championship.
-1st, 2nd, and 3rd Places Payout 75-15-10% (view payout schedule in the chart below)
-4th and 5th will win vendor gear/ACK store credit
– Big Bass rules will remain the same as the regular season
-KOF/AOY/Rookie of the Year will receive their award at the Classic during the final award ceremony
-The KATS Classic Champion is automatically entered into the following years’ Classic. This angler
will take the 26th spot in the Classic by meeting minimum 3 qualifying event participation requirement.
Angler of the Year
- The 1st place winner for AOY will be awarded awarded either cash/vendor gift cards
-KATS Advantage is optional. Each competitor is able to put $30 into this additional payout program.
Entry Fee: $250 (Big Bass $25 included)
$30 KATS Advantage (optional)
KATS Advantage Payout formula for 2021
- For an extra $30 you are entered in an additional payout option in which the top 20% of the Advantage field will be paid out. See below for some estimated payouts based on a number of entries. 100% Payout.
KGB Mystery Tackle Bag
-Enter ($5) for your chance to win a gift card (value of all Mystery entries – 100% payout) to TackleWarehouse.com. Sign up is offered online during registration. One winner, take all, at the end of each tournament.
– ALL fish must be a minimum of 14” to be scored
-ALL fish must be caught within boundary waters during the tournament time.
-ONLY the following species will count towards your total.
-Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Spotted Bass and Guadalupe Bass.
-CPR : Catch, Photo, and Release alive only .
-Sharelunker Exception: a competitor may use a stringer or attachment system to temporarily hold a fish
that qualifies for the Texas Parks and Wildlife Sharelunker Program. It is the angler’s responsibility to decide whether they can continue to compete while meeting the TPWD guidelines or if it is wiser to concede and exit the tournament for that day. All decisions should be based on the safety, health, and capability to care for the fish in the best way possible.
-Proper care and handling of the fish must be employed (see link below for information on Sharelunker Program)
-TPWD Sharelunker Guidelines: Call (903) 681-0550 to report catch
SUBMISSION PROCESS/WEIGH IN
-Anglers will have the option of scoring their fish via TourneyX or turned in on a memory card at the weigh in site.
– LATE CHECK-IN will be permitted until 15 minutes after tournament ends; however, a penalty of 1” per minute will be deducted from the competitor’s total.
-All fish submitted through TourneyX and initially “accepted” by tournament manager/director are subject to final approval after official fishing time closes and before the award ceremony.
Tournament Director reserves the right to disqualify a fish after it was initially approved via TourneyX if they believe one or more of rules have been violated.
-All fishing must stop at 3:30 p.m. All photos must be submitted by 3:30 p.m. on TourneyX and manual submissions must be in line for submission by 3:00 p.m.
-ONLY the Tournament Director and KATS designated staff will be involved in the judging process.
-KATS is not responsible for any technology issues including lack of service. Plan ahead for submitting your fish, if you have issues uploading them to TourneyX you still have the option to submit them in person.
-KATS is not responsible for failed or corrupt files.
-You MUST provide whatever cables, cords, software, etc. required to download photos via a USB port to judge’s laptop.
-While we have a universal card reader, it is highly recommended that you bring a USB cord that is compatible with your camera. It is YOUR responsibility to make sure we can download your pictures.
-Anglers will have until 4:00 p.m. to appeal a disallowed photo to the Tournament Director. The Tournament Director has the sole discretion to allow an alternate photo to be submitted. If a scoring protest is submitted, each angler must provide a clear explanation and representation of evidence for the Tournament Director to make a final decision.
- Any rule violations must be brought to the Tournament Director’s attention IMMEDIATELY after the tournament.
-All anglers must check in, via phone or in person, after tournament, no matter if they are submitting fish or not. Anglers must check in by 4:00 p.m. Failure to do so may result in the disqualification from future events.
-TourneyX leaderboard will not be visible past 2:00PM
-Anglers who opt to submit fish via TourneyX Pro will need still need register for the tournament on www.ackkats.com; They will then be given a code to join the tournament on the TourneyX Pro app. Make SURE you register on the app after you pay your registration fee.
-See the info graphic on proper CPR process.
Each fish photo MUST include ALL of the following criteria:
-The whole fish, tip to tail.
-Laying with the tip of the lip at beginning of the measuring device. Lip MUST be touching the bump. Draw lines or add stickers to it to make it easier to see in photos.
-Mouth CLOSED to Furthest Tip of Tail - there will be a 1" deduction if the mouth is open or any hook/bait impeding the mouth against the board.
-Fish MUST be left side UP
-Measurement markings must be clearly visible. Do NOT make your lines thicker on the Hawg Trough to gain an advantage, you will be disqualified.
-Your assigned unique identifier must be COMPLETELY visible. The Tournament Director will provide you with this code during the Captain's Meeting on the KATS Facebook page.
-ONE OVERHEAD PHOTO SHOT FRAME (not at an angle) - If the submission angle makes it difficult to judge, there will be a deduction of 1" - If you cannot see measurement at all, the fish will be DQ unless a better photo is submitted.
-Any single fish must only be submitted ONCE. You cannot catch the same fish and submit it multiple times. These fish will be DQ. The TD has the right to review submissions and make any deductions/DQ prior to final payouts.
Hand MUST NOT be touching the tail in any way. Pinching/posing the tail to gain extra length will result in that fish being DISQUALIFIED. Please see below so you know where the cut-off point is. PRO TIP: Practice keeping your hand in the middle of the fish.
-Fish must be clear of any devices. Tail/head/mouth/eyes cannot be obstructed in the photo.
-Hand may NOT cover the eyes/mouth of the fish or it will be disqualified — see photo examples below
– Hand is ALLOWED to be on top of the gill plate as long as the mouth/eyes are not covered.
-Hand may NOT be under the gill plate to push fish to close the mouth, if your hand is UNDER the gill plate your photo will be disqualified — Please take care of your fish
-You MAY leave the hook in the mouth AS LONG AS IT DOES NOT IMPEDE MEASUREMENT
-ALL criteria must be met or the photo is subject to POINTS DEDUCTION of 1” or DISQUALIFIED. You may submit a different picture of the same fish that may meet the criteria.
**IMPORTANT: tail/head/mouth/eyes cannot be obstructed. The image below shows clearly where the hand should be placed when holding a fish.
Here are a couple of photos of what is expected from you in KATS 2021, followed by a submission subject to a 1" deduction for mouth open, a submission that will be DQ for wrong hand placement,
Now Acceptable – The hand is on the gill plate, but the eyes/mouth/tail are not covered, and the hand is NOT underneath the gill plate. This will be accepted moving forward. (Remember to use correct measuring device)
Also acceptable – This has been the standard for KATS over the years, and will still be allowed moving forward.
1” Deduction – This is an example of a photo that WILL be accepted, however there will be a 1” deduction for the open mouth. Hand on the gill plate is acceptable in this photo.
Disqualified Submissions – These photos below are examples of what photos will be DISQUALIFIED during the event. Including an example to show where the hand cannot touch the tail. Anything that can harm/manipulate the fish will be a Disqualification. Eyes/Mouth MUST be visible, and the hand MUST NOT be touching the tail anywhere in between the Caudal Fin (Tail Fin), or the Soft Dorsal Fin/Anal Fin where they touch the meat of the fish.
Please see examples below
Hand covering eyes
Hand crossing the line onto the tail
Finger underneath the gill plate
Hand cannot touch between red lines
-Your 5 (five) LONGEST verified lengths will be totaled for your score, fish must be at least 14” to qualify
-Rounding will be DOWN and to the nearest 1⁄4 (quarter) inch.
-In the event of a TIE, the following criteria will decide the winner:
Biggest Fish, 2nd biggest fish, so on.
If all 5 fish are the same, the pot will be split.
ANGLER OF THE YEAR/KATS CLASSIC/KING OF THE FISH TIE POLICY
-Ties will be decided by a 4-hour FISH-OFF at a later date.
-Total length, 5 fish limit, 14” minimum
-Time and place to be decided between involved competitors and Tournament Director.
-The winner takes 1s t place, the loser takes 2nd, pushing 2nd to 3rd, and so on.
POINTS ACCUMULATION/ KATS CLASSIC CHAMPIONSHIP
-A points system will be used to determine the overall SERIES RANKINGS.
-Each event will produce a ranking list scored as such:
1st place- 200points
2nd place- 199points
And so on for all competitors, however, you MUST catch at least one LEGAL fish to score any series points.
-Competitors who do not catch any legal fish or who do not turn in a scorecard will score 0
POLYGRAPH/LIE DETECTOR TESTING:
-KATS reserves the right to use polygraph test at any time throughout the season and reserves the right to disqualify an angler from that event based on a failed or inconclusive polygraph test. The runner up will either automatically take the win or be liable to also take and pass polygraph test. Points are forfeit for the event if disqualified. NO refunds or compensation of any kind will be provided as a result of a failed or inconclusive polygraph.
You may contact the KATS Staff of the Tournament Director for questions or concerns (please read all rules and postings on www.fishkats.com first).