Inaugural Kayak Bass Classic



7:00 -7:15 AM: Registration and Check-In at Richard Simpson or Bowman Springs Boat Launch.
7:30 AM: Tournament Starts
12:00 PM: Tournament Ends-boats must be inside bouys
12:30 PM: Tournament winners announced at Richard Simpson Park
Reminder: A current 2018 boat permit is required and can be purchased at the Richard Simpson Lake House or Online at Lake Arlington Boat Permit You will need to creation an online account.


Mandatory pre-tournament meeting is at 7:15 am. Tournament begins at 7:30 am.

Participation and Eligibility

Professional Fishing Guides may register and compete in events providing they do not guide-for-pay on Eligible Water within 30 days prior to the Event’s start-of-competition date.

Pre-Tournament Check-in —Each competitor must check in with staff at the time and place designated in the Schedules of Event for verification of eligibility, signing of waivers, if required, and rules acknowledgement.

Fish Eligibility —

Species— Only largemouth Bass are eligible for scoring.

Length—The minimum length of bass scored in competition is 14 inches.

Condition—Bass must be hooked in the mouth or jaw. It may not appear to have snagged, snatched, or hooked in the body or a fin. Bass must appear to be alive. If bass appears to be dead, mutilated, frozen, mangled, or otherwise damage, or it appears to have been mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered, the photo will be denied.

Caudal (Tail) Fin—The tail fin must be contact with the measuring board. If the entire tail fin is lifted away from the measuring board so that the tip is no longer in contact, the photo will be denied.

Eye—The left eye must be visible in photo. Violation will result in denial of the photo.

Competition Period-7:30am-12:00 noon.

Any competitor who begins fishing before the official Competition Start Time on any day of competition will be disqualified from the event. Under no circumstance will a fish photographed outside of the official Competition Start and End times be considered for scoring.

Pre-fishing-There is not off limits for pre-fishing.

Competition Area

Competitive fishing is allowed only on publicly-accessible waters within the geographic area of Lake Arlington.

Competitors may launch from either Richard Simpson or Bowman Springs Park. Crossing restricted property to reach eligible water is not permitted. Violation will result in disqualification from the event.

Competitors are not restricted to fishing where they start, but are permitted to relocate to other eligible water during tournament hours.

Watercraft must not be anchored in such a position as to prevent or block access for other watercraft or powerboats. Violation will result in disqualification from the event.

Wade fishing is permitted provided the competitor uses his watercraft to access the fishing location. Bass caught while wading or walking the shoreline ARE eligible for submission; however, each competitor must be within sight of his watercraft while fishing, and the watercraft must appear in every bass photo submitted. Competitors may depart the watercraft to catch and land fish. If a competitor must go out of sight of his watercraft for any reason (e.g., for a restroom break or to contact a tournament official by phone or other means, or to report an emergency), he must cease fishing until he returns to his watercraft, at which time he may resume fishing. Violation will result in disqualification from the event.

Photos that competitors submit for scoring must be of fish caught from eligible water. To be “Eligible,” the body of water must be inside the competition area boundary, during public-access hours, be accessible to the public, and be where fishing is permitted by regulations.

Cooperation and Assistance

Before and during the event, competitors may (a.) share gear, tackle and equipment, (b.) assist in photographing a fish for submission, and (c.) communicate with and fish in proximity to other people, including other competitors; however, then may not receive assistance in catching fish, including boat positioning, casting, retrieving, hooking, playing, or landing a fish. Violation will result in competitor’s disqualification from the event.

Fishing Tackle, Equipment, and Methods

All bass must be caught live, the competitor using only equipment and legal methods that comply with all sportfishing statutes and regulations of the states and body of water in which they are taken. Competitors are responsible for research of and compliance with all applicable fishing and boating regulations. Snatching or snagging fish is not permitted. When visually fishing a bed for spawning bass, to be admissible all bass must be hooked inside the mouth. Violation will result in disqualification from the event.

All bass must be caught on rod, reel, line and hook with artificial lures only. No traps, snares, set lines or other methods of fishing other than rod, reel and line are permissible, even if legal under state game laws. Violation will result in disqualification from the event.

Acceptable measuring boards include the “Hawg Trough” manufactured by Hagen’s (pictured below), a FishStik Version 2 (with Bump Board Arrows and Lock Slide) and the Ketch Co Measuring Board. Measuring boards may be shortened by removing inches from the upper end (opposite the fence). For example, one may cut a measuring board off at the 26-inch mark in order to fit crossways between a watercraft’s gunwales. However, it may not be broken, snapped, or cut apart and then reassembled at any point between the two ends. A crack that does not separate the measuring board into pieces and does not affect the measuring board’s accuracy may be repaired and reinforced for use. Violation will result in denial of photo.

Competitors may share measuring boards.

Each competitor must use a mobile phone with camera capable of producing still photos to submit digital photographs. When a Competitor’s smart phone becomes inoperable or is lost, he may share smart phones with other competitors.

Only artificial lures and biodegradable artificial lures may be used. No live bait, preserved bait, or prepared bait will be permitted during competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds. Violation will result in disqualification from the event.

Only ONE casting, spin-casting, spinning, or fly rod and reel may be in use at any one time. A rod and reel is considered to be “in use” when a lure attached to it by a line and is in or on the water. A hung lure (one snagged in an overhanging tree) that is not in or on the water is not considered in use and the attached rod and reel may be set aside while another is in use.

Nets and grippers (e.g., Fish Grip, Boga-Grip) may be used for landing bass during tournament competition, but grippers must not remain attached to the fish in photos. Violation will result in denial or disqualification of the photo.

If a competitor breaks his line while setting the hook or retrieving a fish, he is allowed to make an attempt with the rod being used or by hand to secure the line and land the fish to be counted as legal. He may NOT hook the line with another lure, rod and reel, or other device. If a competitor loses his rod and reel while landing a bass, he MAY use another rod and reel to retrieve the lost outfit. If after retrieval, the bass is still hooked, it may be landed, photographed, and submitted as a legal fish. Violation will result in disqualification from the event.

Watercraft & Propulsion

Watercraft acceptable for use in Competition are:

Small, narrow, single-hull watercraft not exceeding 44 inches in hull width and 17 feet in hull length, or 18 feet in combined hull length plus attachments, and…

that the manufacturer identifies and sells as a kayak, including inflatable kayaks and modular kayaks

iii. Stand-up paddleboards (SUP)


Under no circumstance will the following watercraft be approved for use in competition:

Gas – or liquid-fueled motorized or hybrid fuel/electric powerboats or personal watercraft
b. Sailboats
c. Jon boats
d. Pirogues, coracles, and rowboats
e. Dinghies and skiffs
f. Float tubes, inflatable rafts, and rigid inflatable boats (e.g., Zodiac)
g. Pontoon boats, pontoon-style pond boats, twin-hull watercraft, or similar.

Use of watercraft in competition other than those listed above will result in disqualification from the event.

Watercraft propulsion is restricted to paddle, pedal, pole, or electric motor.

Use of a single electric propulsion unit per watercraft is approved with the following restrictions:

Competitors must comply with all boating regulations pertaining to motorized kayak/electric-propulsion watercraft registration, use, and operating restrictions for the designated fishing area. Violation will result in disqualification from the event.

Electric motor used to propel a watercraft:

must be attached to the kayak in a safe manner for operation, and

may not exceed the lesser of (a.) manufacturer’s labeled Maximum HP/Thrust Capacity, (b.) 3 HP, or (c.) 155 foot-pound thrust. Violation of either condition will result in disqualification from the event.

Towing, transport or relocation assistance from another watercraft, including “mothershipping,” is NOT permitted except in cases of emergency, as when pulling a kayak from a danger zone or restricted area. Once the emergency has ended, the competitor may resume fishing only if the watercraft was pulled no more than 100 yards from the danger zone. Violation will result in disqualification from the event.

Trolling (i.e., lure(s) attached to a single rod and towed behind a watercraft while underway) is permitted.

Photo Standards—Digital photographs of each bass submitted to judges for scoring must meet these criteria:

Unique—Each digital photo submitted by the same competitor must be of a different bass. Subsequent digital photos of the same bass submitted by the competitor will be denied.

Legible—Each photo must be sharply focused and clear enough for a judge to:

Verify the correct Identifier and angler ID Code. Inability of the judge to verify will result in denial of photo.

Verify the bass’ condition. Violation will result in denial of photo.

iii. Verify the bass’ length. Judge will score fish at the greatest length of which he/she is certain.

Verify whether its jaw or lip is in contact with the measuring board fence. Inability of the judge to verify will result in a penalty of 1 inch.

Centered—Camera lens positioned directly over the center of the bass’ body, which contributes to accurate measurement by judges. Photos taken at a low angle in order obscure an open mouth may be denied or penalized at the Tournament Director’s discretion.

First-generation—Each digital photo must be a first-generation image (not a photo or screen-shot of another photo). Violation will result in denial of photo.

E Identifiable—Official Identifier above, below, or beside that bass (not covering any portion of the bass, unless attached to the Competitor’s hand or arm). Neither a hand-drawn form nor an image of the Identifier on a smart phone are permissible. Violation will result in denial of photo.

Background—Competitor’s watercraft clearly visible in the photograph. Violation will result in denial of photo.

Hand Position.

Hand or finger(s) may be in contact with the caudal peduncle (fleshy, scaled part of the bass’ body at the base of the caudal fin) but not touching any portion of the caudal fin (tail fin). Violation will result in a 1-inch deduction in score.

No portion of a hand or finger may be under the fish’s operculum (hard gill flap). Violation will result in denial of photo.


Bass’ lip or jaw must be in contact with measuring board fence (bump board, upright). Violation will result in denial of photo.

Mouth is preferred closed for uniformity of measurement. If mouth is clearly open less than 1/4 inch, no penalty will be assessed. If judge considers the mouth to be open 1/4 inch or more, even if it is structurally unable to close, a one-inch penalty will be assessed.


Bass length is determined by its caudal fin (tail fin) touching or crossing the quarter-inch ridge/line on the measuring board. If it falls short of a 1/4-inch mark, the length is rounded down to the next lower 1/4-inch mark that the bass’ caudal fin actually touches or crosses.

If a bass’ caudal fin extends off the measuring board, the length will be determined as the highest 1/4-inch measurement touched or crossed by the caudal fin on the measuring board. Any portion of the caudal fin extending off the measuring board is not considered in scoring.

The five longest bass on the Leader Board when judging is complete will be combined to determine the aggregate score.

If a competitor’s photo is denied by a judge after end-of-competition, it may be automatically replaced by a previously submitted and auto-culled photo; however, no competitor may submit a replacement photo after end-of-competition time.

In the event of a tie in score, the tied competitors’ longest (highest-scored) bass are compared, and the tie breaks in favor of the competitor with the longest (highest-scoring) bass. If the longest bass are equal, the second-longest bass are compared and determine which competitor wins the tie. If the second-longest are identical, the third bass is compared, and if they, too, are identical, then the fourth bass breaks the tie. If all four of the tied competitors’ highest scoring bass are identical, then the tie breaks in favor of the competitor whose last Leader Board photo was uploaded earliest.

Judges apply the following scoring criteria to adjust measurements, approve or deny photos, and to penalize photos by deducting points (length) or disqualifying a competitor.

Item Photo Scoring Criteria Penalty
Photo Blurry photo/length unclear: scored at the highest mark of which there is no doubt n/a
Photo Blurry photo; completely unable to judge Deny
Photo Appears to be second-generation (screen shot, photo of photo) Deny
Photo EXIF data and other evidence substantiates photo taken outside of eligible water boundaries Deny
Photo EXIF data, other evidence substantiates photo was taken outside of competition hours Deny
Photo Multiple digital photos submitted of the same bass; unintentional violation Deny
Photo Multiple digital photos submitted of the same bass; evidence indicates intentionally Ban
Photo Competitor’s watercraft not visible in photo background Deny
Orientation Bass positioned with right side of body toward camera; head pointing right, and caudal fin left Deny
Orientation Bass positioned with dorsal fins at bottom of photo, pelvic and anal fins upward Deny
Identifier Official identifier missing, counterfeit, or incorrect for event Deny
Identifier Identifier is lying on or covering any portion of the bass Deny
Identifier Incorrect event ID Code for event Deny
Fish Secured by restraining device (e.g., stringer, tape, or clip attached to bass) Deny
Fish Photo violates state regulations regarding possession Deny
Species Photo of any other than the species or varieties approved for the competition Deny
Body Any portion of a hand or fingers under the fish’s operculum (hard gill flap) Deny
Body Finger(s) or hand touching the caudal (tail) fin 1.00″
Body Entire caudal (tail) fin entirely lifted away and out of contact with the measuring board Deny
Body Eye covered; not visible in photo Deny
Body Bass appears to have been snagged, snatched, or hooked in the body rather than mouth Deny
Body Bass appears to be dead, mutilated, frozen, mangled, or otherwise damaged Deny
Body Bass appears to have been mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered to increase its length Deny
Mouth Bass lip or jaw clearly not touching measuring board fence (upright end plate) Deny
Mouth Unable to ascertain with certainty that bass lip or jaw is touching measuring board fence 1.00″
Mouth Mouth slightly open, but clearly less than 1/4 inch 0.00″
Mouth Mouth open 1/4 inch or more, even if it appears to be structurally unable to close completely. 1.00″


In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director may impose such penalties as deemed appropriate, including without limitation, the following:

Reduction of score (length) as described above or determined by the Tournament Director

Loss of catch for the day or up until the violation has been remedied

iii. Disqualification from the tournament

Awarding of Prizes

Awards will be given out at 12:30 at Richard Simpson Lake House. Angler must be in attendance to claim their prize. Awards will be given to the top 5 anglers.


During competition, every competitor must have all required Coast Guard safety equipment, (e.g., light source, whistle or other audible signal device, Coast Guard-approved chest-type life preserver [PFD]). See

PFD Usage — At all times, except as described below (Rule 15.C. PFD Wear Exception) while on the water during competition hours, competitors must wear either an inherent-flotation or inflatable USCG-certified PFD, either vest-style or float jacket. A belt-style PFD, even one that deploys as a vest, is not permitted during Competition. The PFD must be properly positioned and adjusted to conform with USGC and manufacturers’ instructions. When an infraction, as described above, is verified by the Tournament Director, the competitor is disqualified from participation in the event.

The Tournament Director has the right to postpone or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would jeopardize competitors’ safety. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather.

In the event of weather emergencies that pose an imminent threat to competitors, the Tournament Director may terminate competition before the scheduled end-of-competition time. An Early Termination Announcement with an adjusted end-of-competition time will be broadcast to competitors via email and group text messaging. The announcement will also specify an adjusted report-in time and location. If safe to do so, upon receiving the announcement, competitor should make his way to the specified location at that time.

Competitor is required to stop fishing as soon as he receives the Early Termination Announcement. No photos of fish caught after the adjusted end-of-competition time may be submitted for scoring; however, to accommodate those seeking shelter immediately, competitor has up to 15 minutes after the Adjusted End Time to submit a photo of any bass caught before the adjusted end-of-competition time/photo submission deadline.

In the event of an emergency situation, competitor should call 911 first and then notify tournament officials as soon as possible.

Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor during the event will not be tolerated and will be cause for automatic disqualification from this tournament. No alcoholic beverages or other non-prescription stimulants or depressants shall be allowed in watercraft during competition days.

The tournament director shall have on hand the contact information for emergency rescue and medical services and must maintain the ability to make contact at all times during the tournament.

Disputes and Appeals

If a competitor wishes to dispute a rules violation penalty, a judge’s scoring decision, or other action that materially affected the competitor’s ranking or prize eligibility, he/she must contact the tournament director with a dispute by 12:30pm (CST) on tournament day.

Waivers and Releases

Name and Likeness Release — By registering for this kayak bass fishing event, the competitor grants to the City of Arlington the right to use all photographs, likenesses, stories, accounts, details of competitor contributions, exploits, interviews, bloopers, and information pertinent to the tournament, as well as any video footage, photographs gathered at the Event, for marketing and promotional purposes. This release is granted without expectation for additional compensation upon submission of Event Registration.

Waiver and Release of Liability — As a condition of participation in a competition, and by virtue of registering for the competition, each competitor agrees to accept the terms and condition of the City of Arlington and Release of Liability Agreement. This agreement absolves the City of Arlington its officers, staff, and volunteers from responsibility and threat of litigation in the case of injury, loss, or death sustained by a competitor in the event. Registrants under the age of 18 must have their waiver/release form signed by the parent or adult guardian who will accompany them throughout competition. A printed copy of the Waiver and Release Form is available upon registration and must be signed/acknowledged and on file before a registrant is eligible to compete.