Rules Update: Tournament Measuring Boards

This post is an update/reminder concerning approved measuring devices, but it also contains an explanation of how those devices may affect scoring when a photo is unclear.

We have received several messages about which measuring devices are permissible in CKA events. The following rule applies to CKA events, per section 7c. of the KBF Rules standard:

“Acceptable measuring boards include the “Hawg Trough” manufactured by Hagen’s…., a FishStik Version 2 (with Bump Board Arrows and Lock Slide) and the Ketch Co Measuring Board.”

Anglers Denny Romero & Chris Ferguson (Chris is TD of the Plastic Pirates Trail) recently convened the directors of the 3 North Carolina Bass Kayak Fishing Trails to review how Denny and Chris compared the Hawg trough with a Ketch Board. After a careful discussion, CKA has renewed its commitment to allowing the Ketch board. The other Trails will follow different rules, so if you fish their events, contact them and ask about permitted boards (for example, Chris will only allow Hawg Troughs this season).

Pursuant to that discussion, the CKA directors want to remind anglers of a relevant rule regarding the scoring of fish, and what role a board plays in it. That rule is 10.f in the KBF Standard, and it is as follows:

“Blurry Photo/Length Unclear: Scored at the highest mark at which there is no doubt.”

In reviewing the Ketch board with a black design, we noticed low contrast between the fish tail and board.  As you can see in Figure 1 below (courtesy of Denny Romero), the tail appears to be touching the 11” line, but a judge may have doubt (is that a piece of dirt?) and the rule clearly states there can be no doubt. Because the tail loses contrast between lines where there is shadow on the board, a judge could not be  able to clearly determine where the tail ends. Therefore the “highest mark” applies, and the fish would be scored an 10.75″. By contrast, the fish in Figure 2 below is absolutely clear, there is no shadow and there cannot be any doubt about the length.

Figure 1: Ketch w shadow


Figure 2: Ketch without shadow.

In short, judges cannot score on faith: they have to clearly see the entire tail/caudal fin.

Some people might note that the dark colors of the Ketch board are setting up anglers for inaccurate judging. That is incorrect. In several photos we saw, the tail was clear. We would also add that the red Ketch board appears to have the best contrast in terms of the available colors so we advise anglers who are considering the board to purchase the red color.

Additionally, poor photos/unclear lines are common also on Hawg Troughs. See, for example, the fish below. In this case sun glare rather than a shadow triggered the “highest mark” ruling. This big LM Bass was caught this past Saturday at the KBF Trail event at Lake Camanche. As you can see, the angler colored the fence of the board on the left (as the Ketch board, above, has a white vinyl added to the fence). Excellent. But sun glare and worn lines made it impossible to determine where the tail ends. Is it a 22.25”? A 22.50”? There is no doubt that it is a 22”. Therefore, it was correctly scored as a 22″.

Tourneyx Camanche bass

In sum, we balanced several factors. The Ketch board is more durable and less prone to tampering, while the Hawg Trough is relatively inexpensive, less prone to sinking and most anglers already have them. In the end, we came back to square one: anglers largely determine photo quality. Be patient taking photos, take several photos at high angles above the fish and check the photos for clarity. Catch-Photo–Release (CPR) tournaments ask anglers to submit clear shots because the approved measuring devices are only as clear as the angler photographs them to be.

We appreciate your attention to the finer points and your feedback helps us run a great series. Indeed, this post began with an angler’s questions and extended through a productive discussion that helped us make a final decision.

We look forward to seeing everyone at Hyco on Saturday. The sign up link is:


Larry, Ralph, Hank, Wayne and Ron

CKA at the 2018 KBF National Championship

Every year for the past three seasons, CKA anglers compete to be invited to the KBF National Championship. Some qualify by finishing in the top 5 of CKA’s AOY standings while others battle on-line, at KBF Trail events  and at regional KBF Open tournaments.

We take many roads but we have one destination: Kentucky Lake.

And so it is that in March of every year our qualified anglers begin a new kayak fishing season by fishing for two days against a large field of nation’s top kayak anglers. The stakes are high, the days are long, but the rewards are many. Two CKA anglers (Cory Dreyer and Rick Rowland), came within inches of bringing the trophy to North Carolina in 2017, placing 5th and 3rd, respectively, and Shelly Efird and Jim Lor nearly did the same in 2016 (placing 5th and 7th). In sum, CKA has had two anglers in the top 10 every year. Will this be the breakthrough event we are all waiting for?

As anglers begin the journey to Tennessee, the CKA tournament staff, our sponsors friends and fellow anglers wish this season’s competitors the best of luck!

Looking ahead, remember also that CKA will host 2 KBF Trail events in 2018 (Harris in early June and Gate City Classic in September), and we will also help Boonedox with their Trail event at High Rock in April. A KBF Open is scheduled for Santee Cooper in early May – all are National Championship qualifier events.

The TourneyX profiles of qualified CKA anglers headed to Nationals are listed below. And don’t forget to follow live tournament results at this link on March 23-24:

Drew Blair  Bob Dainton  Jamie Denison  Cory Dreyer  Shelly Efird  Brian Falbe  Matt Hawj

Brandon Jessup  Calvin Keller  Jim Lor  Shoua Lor  Jacob Miles  Joshua Miles  Aaron Miller

Arlie Minton  Nathan Naturile  Eric Nelson  Ralph Nolan  Ed Parrish  Ricky Rowland

Marcus Smith Joey Sullivan  Austin Vang  Henry Veggian  Tommy Xiong  Melvin Yang




CKA Rookie of the Year Standings Update

Hi everyone,

As we announced a few months ago, CKA will honor the Rookie of the Year in 2018. This award will go to the highest ranked 1st year angler in the series based on the aggregate of his or her 4 best event scores. In addition to other prizes the CKA 2018 Rookie of the Year will also receive an invite to the 2-day Tournament of Champions in mid-October.

We were very excited to see so many 1st time anglers sign up for the tournament at Hyco. It was great to meet so many new people interested in the sport and the CKA series. We hope to see more new folks in the mix as the season unfolds, too.

We will periodically update and publish the ROY standings. Here are the current Rookie Of The Year standings after Hyco. If you had a tough 1st event, remember that if you fish 5 events your bottom score is automatically dropped!

We’ll see you at Lake Hickory on March 31st!


NAME Total Score
Graham Reay ( R ) 89
Mark Wilkins ( R ) 71
John Stone ( R ) 67
Anthony Brinkley ( R ) 65
Mike Wimmer ( R ) 64
Keith McGee ( R ) 55
Terry Wheeler Jr ( R ) 54
Bernie Garrett ( R ) 52
Ker Xiong ( R ) 47
Ryan Freeman ( R ) 45
Lee Payne ( R ) 44
Brandon Bertovich ( R ) 10
Travis Bevill ( R ) 10
James Blackburn ( R ) 10
Brad Clayton ( R ) 10
Eric Garcia-Ochoa ( R ) 10
Kayla Ingram ( R ) 10
Matt Kaufmann ( R ) 10
Josh Lewis ( R ) 10
Chris Morris ( R ) 10
Tony Tant ( R ) 10
David Truban ( R ) 10


CKA Tournament 2: Lake Hickory (March 31st)

CKA Tournament #2
March 31, 2018
Lake Hickory


Welcome anglers to the 2nd CKA tournament of the 2018 season and thanks again to all who participated at Lake Hyco last month!

Our 2nd tournament of the season will be held on March  31st on Lake Hickory, a 4200 acre lake on the Catawba River chain. Hickory proved to be a surprise last season when we fished it for the first time on our tournament trail. The lake gave up several large limits during the post-spawn period and many anglers expressed an interest in fishing it again. So let’s see how it fishes during the pre-spawn/early spawn phase of the season. Let’s also see if CKA Tournament Director Wayne Butler – the only CKA staff member to ever win a single angler event – can defend his Hickory crown from last season or top the 58.5” limit he posted!

  • This is a Multi Launch event (the 5 ramps listed below are the only legal launches).
  • Anglers are to remain within 30 yards of the launch area prior to the 6:45am start time. Anglers may have kayaks in the water but will not be permitted to leave early to get to fishing areas.
  • Blank identifiers will be available for print approximately one week prior to the event (we recommend printing a few extras).
  • Unique identifier CODE will be released Friday 3/30 after 9:00pm EST. We will provide instructions at that time how to populate the identifier.
  • TourneyX sign up will be cutoff on Friday 3/30 at 10:00pm EST.
  • This will be the season’s first multi-launch event, so budget time for travel from your launch to check in. Remember you must be present at the Wittenburg check in by 3:15 pm.
  • Photographs will not be uploaded after that time, manually or otherwise.

TourneyX Sign Up:

                                               Event Info

Sign up Tourneyx
Fee $50.00 Entry (includes H.O.W, TourneyX, Big Fish fees)
Event Date March 31st 2018
Format 3 fish (8” minimum). Hawg Trough measure required.     
Lines in 6:45 am
Lines Out 2:45 pm
Check in/Photo upload ends 3:15 pm
  Check in Address:             Wittenburg Landing  193-229 Wildlife Access Rd. Hickory, NC 28601


Approved Launches
1. Gunpowder
5450 Hurricane Hill Road
Granite Falls, NC 28630

2. Lovelady
5682 Rocky Mount Rd
Granite Falls, NC 28630

3. Wittenburg Landing
175 Wildlife Access Rd
Hickory, NC 28601

4. Dusty Ridge
508 Dusty Ridge Access Rd
Taylorsville, NC 28681

5. Oxford
1874 Claude Rd
Claremont, NC 28610

March Newsletter: CKA & KBS in 2018

Hi everyone,

While our Lake Hickory event (March 31) is next on the Trail schedule, the CKA Directors are always looking at opportunities for anglers to participate in additional events. This year we are excited to announce that we have paired with Kayak Bass Series (KBS) to offer (1) live event that will coincide with the CKA Event at High Rock Lake in April and (6) online events throughout 2018. If you pay the membership fee (not required for participation), you can enter the KBS AOY standings for the chance to fish the year end KBS Classic on the infamous Lake Fork in Texas.


  • KBS events will be judged using TourneyX and you can cross submit CKA fish at High Rock to the KBS board
  • Online events are $25 and the High Rock Live Event is $50.
  • There is a membership fee of $50 if you choose to compete for the Classic invite but it is not required.
  • AOY Score will consist of one KBS Qualifying event and your best 3 Online events (Membership Required).
  • Sign Up for events can be found at

Events schedule

  • 3/24 – ONLINE #1 SPRING BASS BLUES (KBF National Contenders can also participate)
  • 4/14 – LIVE EVENT / HIGH ROCK LAKE (this is concurrent with the CKA event)
  • 8/11 – ONLINE #5 ONE PLUS ONE = TWO

Remember that Manley Fishing, a company affiliated with KBS, has also provided eight certificates for rods for us to give away at each CKA Event this season, so please sign up and thank them for their generosity! For more info, see the links below:

Looking ahead, our anglers are preparing for the KBF National Championship and pre-fishing for CKA on Lake Hickory. We will post more on these events soon.


Larry, Henry, Wayne, Ralph and Ron








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