Carolina Kayak Anglers Rules Standard

revised 03.23.2024

Carolina Kayak Anglers (CKA) follow the Kayak Bass Fishing Rules Standard with some slight modifications listed below that are specific to all CKA events (unless otherwise noted on the individual event page on Fishing Chaos).

Membership and Participation

All CKA event participation is open to the public. Membership is not required.

Membership in CKA includes:

  • 10% Discount from Get Outdoors Pedal and Paddle
  • Angler of the Year Points
  • Rookie of the Year Points (see Rookie of the Year eligibility)
  • Tournament of Champions Qualification (See TOC eligibility)

Kayak Bass Fishing (KBF) Membership is not required but it is encouraged so the top 25% of anglers can accept KBF National Championship Qualifications provided by CKA. 

Rookie of the Year Eligibility

Anglers who have fished no more than 1 event in the history of CKA are eligible to fish for the Rookie of the Year title. Anglers must be CKA members in good standing, accruing points through the year at multiple events. 

The Rookie of the Year is determined by total points from the best 3 regular season events plus the Gate City Classic. Ties will be broken by best finish, then second best finish and so on.

Angler of the Year Eligibility

All CKA members in good standing are eligible to fish for the Angler of the Year title accruing points through the year at multiple events. 

The Angler of the Year is determined by total points from the best 5 regular season events plus the Gate City Classic. Ties will be broken by best finish, then second best finish and so on.

Tournament of Champions Eligibility

Automatic qualifiers: The winner of the previous year’s Tournament of Champions and also the current season’s Rookie of the Year receive automatic bids.

All regular season tournament winners and the Gate City Classic champion are automatically eligible to fish the Tournament of Champions.

All CKA members are eligible to qualify for the Tournament of Champions by finishing in the top 20% of the club. Spots in the top 20% that are held by current year event champions, Rookie of the Year and previous Tournament of Champions winner will roll down. 

If an angler is not a member at the time of the win, the angler can pay the CKA membership fee plus penalty ($100 total) prior to the end of the Gate City Classic awards ceremony to be valid to participate in the TOC. 

Anglers will only accrue points after membership sign up. Signing up after the event will NOT award points for that event towards the anglers total for Angler or Rookie awards.


Anglers have the ability to request a refund up until the the Event ID Code is released, typically at 8:00 p.m. on the night before the tournament. Refund will subtract any transaction and / or administration fees. 

360° Lights

All anglers must display a white light that is visible 360 degrees between sunset and sunrise to ensure safety during tournament hours. (New Rule: Effective March 23, 2024)

Exception: Kerr Lake, Lake Wylie (see post on vessel lighting laws), where additional lighting is required for motor-powered vessels.

Minimum Fish Length

Minimum fish length: 10 inches (if a fish is less than 10″ after having a penalty assessed, it is denied).

Prefishing and Competition Periods

Prefishing will end at 4:00 PM the day before the event. Anglers must be OFF THE WATER at this time. There are no off limits periods for CKA events (except for the Tournament of Champions, as noted below).

Competition period is from lines in until lines out. All tournament rules must be followed during the competition period whether in the act of fishing or not. 

Tournament of Champions location will be off limits from time of draw until lines in on tournament day.

PFD Exception

The only exception to this rule is the clothing exception; in such cases, the angler can stop moving and fishing, take their line out of the water and proceed to remove PFD in order to remove or add clothing for comfort. The angler can only proceed when the PFD is put back on and fastened properly.

Inflatable PFDs are allowed; this however excludes the belt style inflatable which is NOT allowed. We also do not recommend anglers use manual only inflatable PFDs although they are permissible. Please consider automatic versions and please maintain and test your PFDs as recommended by the manufacturer. 


KBF rules stipulate that kayak anglers in KBF competition may only fish from “acceptable watercraft (refer to rule 8) within 7 days of the event.” CKA does not enforce this rule, as we recognize that some of our anglers fish in local boat tournaments, including weekday wild-cat events, with friends and family. There is no limit on watercraft during pre-fishing for CKA events.

On the Water/Off the Water

For safety, anglers are asked to use Fishing Chaos to indicate when they are “In the Water” at their launch area and to click the “Off the Water” button when they return. If you change ramp locations during an event, we ask that you they Check “On the Water” again before leaving the next launch area. In this way, CKA directors can help, too, in case of an emergency.

Post-Tournament Check In 

Check In at the event headquarters is mandatory after the tournament for all anglers who wish to retain their points. Anglers must sign in at the HQ location in order to receive points. You do not have to stay for the awards ( you can sign in and leave), although you must be present to receive prizes (we do not ship trophies).

An angler who checks in up to 10 minutes late will receive a 20 point penalty. After 10 minutes, all points are lost for the event.

Emergencies will be considered on an individual basis and voted on by all CKA directors. Directors ask that an angler provide advance notice if they know beforehand whether they must leave a tournament early for a prior engagement. One such exemption will be granted to an angler each season.

Communications During Competition

Verbal communication with anglers is allowed for anglers sharing the same water, and conversations are not restricted in this scenario. Electronic communications are however not permitted between anglers on the water, as stated in the KBF standard (6-C).

Big Bass Competition

CKA registration automatically includes a big bass registration. For big bass, CKA diverges from the KBF rules in deciding tie-breakers (see “scoring” in KBF Rules): our big bass tie-breaker is earliest submission time (not time caught/photographed). For example, if two 20″ bass are caught during an event, the fish that is uploaded first wins big bass.

Measuring Boards

Acceptable measuring boards for all KBF competitions are the aluminum Ketch Products Measuring Board, the Ketch Karbonate (plastic) and the Ketch X (as stated in KBF Rules).

Event Disputes and Questions

Questions regarding rules or reporting of the infraction of rules should be sent privately to the event’s listed Tournament Director or to other CKA Tournament Directors if necessary. 

It is encouraged to do video releases in order to provide evidence of a fish that may seem to be unhealthy or otherwise questionable in order to protect your catch being denied by the judge.

Public Comments

CKA reserves the right to disqualify or ban any angler from participating in future events if the angler uses any public platform(s) to denigrate the CKA organization, the Kayak Bass Fishing organization, any of either organizations directors/employees or fellow anglers.

CKA works hard to provide events for your enjoyment and our participation is completely voluntary, as is your participation. If CKA is not all you want it to be, by all means feel free to volunteer and/or help make it better with positive engagement.

Angler Responsibility

It is an angler’s responsibility to become familiar with and follow the rules as stated above and in the KBF updates. CKA judges and directors must enforce rules fairly. Anyone can make a mistake and if you make one and are penalized, the ruling isn’t personal. We want anglers to have fun, catch fish and compete. Conversely, you are welcome to make a reasonable challenge to a ruling; even when challenges are not successful, CKA makes a point of listening to anglers and modifying rules after a review at the end of each season. CKA will not however modify a rule within the course of a season.

KBF publishes rules addenda for individual events such as Trail Series and Challenge Series tournaments. An angler fishing in a KBF event that is co-hosted by CKA is expected to read and understand the additional rules. 

If you need clarification after reading the rules, contact a CKA director and ask for an official explanation. Our tournament directors contribute to KBF’s discussions of national rules standards, and your point might make a helpful difference in wording of a rule or a complete rule change.

For a full listing and explanation of all current KBF rules, please click here: 

4 thoughts on “Rules

  1. Daron Bill

    Ketch board only means any board made by ketch co?

    1. Yes, at the current time Ketch is the only measuring board manufacturer that applies consistent and accurate measurement markings to the boards, both plastic and metal. Processes and materials used by other manufactures have been found to be inconstant and easy to manipulate.

  2. Mike Jacques

    I saw something about first time fishers having to comment on the captains meeting- now I can’t find it, but what exactly do I have to do?

    1. Just comment on the live captain’s meeting for the event on Facebook or YouTube and if you have any questions please ask a CKA Director!

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