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

2018 Kayak Bass Fishing National Championship TV Special

You’ve heard the stories of the huge bass and limits that CKA anglers catch at Kentucky Lake. You’ve seen the photos of CKA anglers with big checks, new kayaks and other prizes.

You’ve also heard of the pounding waves, brutal weather patterns and exhausting 20 hour days we endure to compete at the KBF National Championship every season.

This year, it’s going to be on television.

Tune in tomorrow to watch the KBF National Championship special on the Sportsman Channel (Saturday, June 23rd 9 pm) to watch the all-new KBF 1 hour special. It will be shown again also on Sunday and Wednesday.

For a complete schedule and also to watch the trailer featuring CKA anglers Cory Dreyer and Jamie Denison, click here:


AOY & ROY Updates

Hi everyone, and thanks again to all who braved the grind at Shearon Harris! The big news is that there are new points leaders across the board!

The top 50 in the AOY race, the top 20 in the ROY race, and also complete standings can be accessed at the links below.

Get ready for Jordan Lake on July 14th!

Link to AOY standings :

Link to ROY standings :

CKA Photo Gallery Update: Shearon Harris/KBF Trail

Hi everyone,

We are busy preparing for event #6 at Jordan Lake, the ToC prize package announcement, and the AOY/ROY updates. In the meantime, we updated our photo gallery with some unseen photographs from Harris, including a few of anglers on the water and folks socializing at the post-event check in. It was a tough bite but a fun day and CKA was grateful to host anglers from 6 different states who competed in both events. Thank you all again for attending.

Here is the link: 

KBF Big Bass Brawl at Harris Trail Event

Hi everyone,

As we gear up to compete on Harris this coming Saturday, we want to inform you of an opportunity to compete for additional prize money. KBF runs a Big Bass Brawl at every major Trail and Open event. Here is how it works:

  • Sign up at the KBF store for the Harris Trail Big Bass Brawl (see link below)
  • The biggest bass posted every hour wins $50 for the event.
  • $500 goes to the angler with the biggest bass in the tournament.
  • Up to $950 in Big bass money may be paid out over the course of the event

The cost to sign up is only $25. If you do not sign up, you are not eligible. Register at this link:







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