Tournament Rules

Notice: All anglers entering a tournament are subjected to the rules and by entering the tournament you are agreeing that you have read the rules, accept the rules and will abide by the rules.



By your participation in this Tournament, you agree to comply with the following rules, and agree to submit to and pass a POLYGRAPH TEST or similar truth test in order to qualify for the receipt of any prize. Tests will be given to teams at Crappie Masters discretion.

1. TEAMS: You may enter alone or with a partner of your choice. You may have one additional youth member 14 years of age or younger on your team. (Youth Members must notify  the Tournament director as the Registration meeting.)

2. RULES MEETING: One team member must be present at Rules Meeting and remain until the Rules Meeting is dismissed unless approved by Tournament Director for emergency reasons.

3. WEATHER: In the case of extreme weather/water conditions or National emergencies, Crappie Masters shall have the right to postpone or cancel any tournaments with the return of entry fees by mail.

4. FISHING HOURS: Fishing hours will be posted on the Tournament Information Page and will be announced at the Rules Meeting.

5. ENTRY FEES/REFUNDS: Tournament entry can be done by mail, phone or internet. Crappie Masters will not refund or forward entry fees for lake conditions, fishing condition or bite. Team must request forward/ refund for personal, family or work emergencies in writing or electronic mail stating the reason for the request. A $25.00 admin fee for refunds and forwarding entries will be charged.

6. STATE LAW: Teams must comply with all State and boating regulations throughout the entire year, including the use of P.F.D.’s and kill switches. Fishing, boating regulations, and licenses are the responsibility of team members. State fishing laws and boating regulations supersede tournament rules. Violation of State or Lake laws is grounds for disqualification.

7. MINORS: Any minor (under 18) who participates, must make arrangements to have a parent or guardian present at the weigh-in to sign a release form or have the release on the entry form signed prior to the tournament, to allow a polygraph examination if required by the tournament director.

8. BIG FISH: Big fish entries are included in the tournament entry. Only one (1) Big Fish entry per team. Only one (1) big fish will be weighed in. Teams will have that fish marked and designated as their big fish at weigh-in.

9. MEMBERSHIP: Crappie Masters membership is required to fish all Crappie Masters events. Failure to have an active/paid membership is grounds for disqualification. Crappie Masters reserves the right to refuse and/or revoke memberships without cause, reason and/or explanation and without recourse at our own discretion. Membership does not guarantee the ability to enter a tournament. Crappie Masters may deny tournament entry to a member without cause, reason, explanation or recourse.

10. PRIZES: Prizes will be given after the tournament. Teams must be present to receive prize. Both team members in the Adult/Youth and Male/Female group must have fished the tournament to qualify for the Adult/Youth and Male/Female prize in all National tournaments. A team member fishing alone can qualify for the championship, for points, and for placement in the overall tournament.

11. OFF LIMITS: Tournament waters are off limits at 4:00 pm the day prior to the start of the competition unless otherwise stated on the Tournament Information page. Anglers must stop fishing at 4:00 pm the day prior to the start of competition, then exit the tournament waters immediately.

12. FISHABLE WATERS: Fishing within 50 feet of a Marina gas pump or within 50 feet of a competitor’s boat, which is first anchored, is prohibited (Trolling motors must be in up position and anchor rope visible or any shallow water anchoring device must be deployed to be considered anchored). A safe and courteous distance (50 feet) should be maintained when trolling motors are in use. Fishable waters are areas that tournament officials can access the fishing team via a John boat with a gasoline propelled tiller handle with lower unit. Boats may fish anywhere except areas designated as “off limits” or “no fishing” by Local, State or Federal officials or as posted on the Tournament Information page or announced at the Seminar. Any violation of off-limits water will result in disqualification. Participants are not allowed to exit the boat to gain access to fishable waters. Teams may enter fishable waters at any designated boat ramp listed on the Tournament Information Page or as announced in the Rules Meeting. Trailering is allowed but must be communicated with the Tournament Director prior to trailering.

13. ALCOHOL: Alcohol beverages are not allowed during the tournaments or during the weigh-in. Use of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs during tournament hours is prohibited and could result in disqualification.

14. COMPENSATION: No one can be hired, compensated, or offered compensation in any way to fish with you, mark fishing spots for you, or help you gain a competitive advantage in anyway 30 days prior to any tournament.

15. BOATS: You must fish from a boat. Rubber Rafts, Canoes and Go-Devils are not allowed. Two-person teams (one boat per team) must stay within 25 feet of each other while fishing. If one team member needs to exit the boat, the other team member may continue fishing as long as the exiting team member does not return to the boat that day. If a team member begins the day fishing solo, they must finish out the day fishing solo.

16. POLES: Limit of eight (8) poles per team during tournament applies except where a state limit is set at a lesser number. Teams may use rod and reel combos, hand-held pole and reel combos or hand-held poles.

17. BAITS: A maximum of two baits per pole may be used during tournament hours if in accordance with Local and State laws. Live and artificial bait may be used unless announced differently on the Tournament Information Page or at the Rules Meeting.

18. MOTORS: All tournament boats are required to have a minimum 6 HP or greater motor.

19. OTHER EQUIPMENT: Binoculars and other magnifying devices are not allowed during tournament hours or within 30 day prior to the tournament. Under water cameras during competition is not allowed. The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CB’S, etc. to communicate fishing information during tournament hours is prohibited.

20. SPOTTING: During tournament hours no one may spot fish for you or mark fishing spots for you.

21. LANDING FISH: Crappie must be hooked and landed with a rod or pole by team member(s). Crappie must be hooked through the lip or in the mouth. Landing nets may be used.

22. HOLE- SITTING: No hole sitting by a competitor or non-competitor boat during the tournament will be allowed.

23. LIFE JACKETS: Life jackets or personal flotation devices must be worn at all times while your combustion engine is operating. Life jackets must be properly secured and maintained secured until the combustion engine is turned off. Kill switches must be properly attached at all times the combustion engine is on. All State and Local rules and regulations supersede tournament rules.

24. VOUCHER: A weigh-in voucher will be issued to each registered team at the Registration/ Rules Meeting sign-up. That voucher must be presented back to the tournament official at the weigh-in.

25. SCALES: Scales will be set up and open two hours before the end of the official fishing hours for all tournaments.

26. LIVE WELL CHECKS: Live Well checks will take place on each tournament morning at the designated Live Well Checkpoint area listed on the Tournament Information Page and as announced at the Rules Meeting. Boat # cards will be issued at the Live Well Checkpoint and must be returned at the Official Weigh-In Line. All boat # cards must be returned to a tournament official, even if you will not be weighing in, to ensure all teams are accounted for.

27. EARLY WEIGH-IN: Teams are allowed one (1) weigh-in on tournament day. Scales will open two hours before the end of the official fishing hours for teams to weigh in early if needed.

28. FISH: All fish must be brought to the official weigh-in line in a cooler. Coolers must be a minimum of 25 quarts. Failure to bring your fish to the weigh-in line in a cooler will result in disqualification. Fish bags or buckets are prohibited. Teams may weigh in five (5), live crappie on tournament day. Teams five (5) crappie must be alive when entering the official weigh-in line. Teams presenting more than five crappie will be disqualified. Once you have entered the weigh-in line, your fish will be counted and be verified dead or alive by the tournament official. Dead fish will be removed and you may then continue to the scales for your official weigh-in. Once your fish have been verified alive, and entered on the weigh-in voucher, you will then be allowed to weigh those fish, even if one or more die before reaching the scales. The tournament official has sole responsibility for the declaration of dead or alive crappie. No mutilated fish may be weighed. Mutilation is defined as any damage that impairs the fish’s fighting ability. All decisions regarding mutilation will be made by Crappie Masters tournament officials. Crappie Masters has the right to keep weighed in fish for further evaluation at our own discretion without explanation or cause.

29. WEIGH-IN SITE: Crappie must be weighed at the official Crappie Masters tournament Weigh-In site. You must check in at the official Weigh-In Line by the announced time on the Tournament Information Page or as announced at the Rules Meeting and present your Weigh-In Voucher with Boat # Card. Example: Must be in the Weigh-In Line by 4:00pm; You must be in the Weigh-In Line by 4:00:59pm. If you make it to the official Weigh-In Line at 4:01:00 or later, then you will be disqualified. The Tournament Director will make the announcement when the Weigh-In Line is closed and the last team in line will have their voucher marked.

30. TOURNAMENT HOURS: All crappie brought to the scales for weigh-in must have been caught during the tournament hours from tournament waters by the team bringing them to the scales. Tournament hours are posted on the Tournament Information Page and announced at the Rules Meeting. Teams will be allowed to be on the tournament waters following the Live Well Check. Trailering is allowed from the Live Well Check. Any additional trailering must be communicated with and approved by the Tournament Director

31. LENGTH: All crappie brought to the scales for weigh-in must meet State length requirements for the State in which they are being weighed and may not have any weight enhancements. Any team bringing in illegal crappie to the weigh-in line will be disqualified. A 9” length limit will be enforced on lakes without a length limit.

32. FINAL WEIGHT: Combined weight of the days of competition will determine winner on all two day tournaments.

33. TIES: In the case of a tie for all paying positions at all National Tournaments, big fish from each team will break all ties. All ties for all places in the Angler Team of the Year points, Rookie points, Male/Female points and Adult/Youth points will be broken by the teams finish in the National Championship, highest placing team in the National Championship will break the tie. Big Fish of each team at the National Championship will be second tie breaker.

34. AWARDS: Team members must be present at the official weigh-in to be eligible for prizes.

35. ROOKIE: Defined as: Any member that has three years or less of Crappie Masters national tournament experience; any member that has competed in no more than three regular season point tournaments in any one year; any member that has not won a Crappie Masters tournament. Rookie status is declared at the beginning of the season. Tournament Director’s decision is final on status.


36. QUALIFYING: A team can automatically qualify for the National Championship by placing in the top 20 at a National Qualifier, fishing two (2) National Qualifiers, winning the Male/Female Division at any National Qualifier, winning the Adult/Youth Division at any National Qualifier, accumulating 350 points in the National Points Race, or earning a bump down spot from the National Points Race. Teams will also be able to qualify through Crappie Masters Clubs by finishing in the top 5 of a Crappie Masters Club points race, finishing in the top 3 in a Crappie Masters Club Championship, or by the Points Accumulation Qualification, accumulating 350 points in which you must use the points from one Crappie Masters National Qualifier combined with the points from your Crappie Masters Club(s). You must submit your point total to Crappie Masters for verification in order to receive your Points Accumulation Qualification

37. PRE FISHING: No one can be hired or compensated in any way to fish with you or mark fishing spots for you 30 Days prior to the National Championship on the Championship Lake.

38. TEAM CHANGE: If a qualified team member has sickness, loss of death or other reasonable personal tragedy, they may fish the Championship with another Championship qualified Crappie Masters member. This must be approved by the Tournament Director.

39. DIVISIONS: Any Adult/Youth team that qualifies for both the Adult/Youth and Male/Female divisions and/or age changes during that tournament year, therefore changing their status, shall declare prior to the Championship which division they are competing in. These teams are competing for the overall championship prizes regardless of declared division they are competing in.


Team members/Crappie Masters members are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship, honesty, courtesy, safety, conservation and to conduct themselves in a manner that will be a credit to themselves, Crappie Masters, Crappie Masters sponsors, the sport of fishing, and Crappie Masters efforts to promote the sport. Examples of conduct not complying with those standards include, but are not limited to, the following: • Violation of or failure to comply with any of the official rules. • Consumption of alcoholic beverages or any kind of mind-altering substance during registration or during tournament hours. • Conviction of a felony. • Suspension/disqualification from any tournament or fishing organization for cheating, refusing or failing a polygraph. • Any other words, conduct or actions (including and not limited to discussion forums and internet sites) reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with the tournament rules, or which fail to comply with these standards set forth in the first sentence of this paragraph.

40. CONDUCT: In case of any conduct not complying with the standards, Crappie Masters shall have the right to refuse any entry application, deny a paid entry application, or revoke a membership by returning the entry fee/membership fee of a previously accepted application, or to disqualify a team. Unsportsmanlike conduct can be grounds for disqualification if circumstances require and will be at the discretion of the Tournament Director. Unsportsmanlike conduct could result in membership revocation.

41. PROTEST: Protest must be made in writing to the Tournament Director within 30 minutes following the end of the Official Weigh-In. Protests must cite the rule allegedly broken. Protests must be given to the Tournament Director. Protest must be deemed a legitimate protest by Tournament Director. Both parties may be subjected to a polygraph. All parties involved and all grievances, protests, and complaints shall be handled in house with confidentiality. The Tournament Director’s decision is final in all matters.

42. COMPLAINTS: Complaints about teams outside of protest times should be made directly to Crappie Masters, Inc. Board of Directors. Complaints must be in written format. Crappie Masters decisions in handling complaints is final in all matters.

43. SPOTTERS/OBSERVERS: Crappie Masters shall have the right to place a spotter boat/and/or an observer in the boat with any competitive team at any time during the competition, from the start of competition to the finish. Any refusal will be grounds for disqualification.

44. BOAT/LIVEWELL/STORAGE: Crappie Masters tournament officials shall have the right to at random, board and inspect the boat of any competing members, at any time from Registration until the end of the tournament. Refusal to allow inspection is grounds for disqualification.

45. POLYGRAPH: By your participation in a Crappie Masters tournament, you agree to comply with the rules, and agree to submit to and pass a polygraph test or similar truth test in order to qualify for the receipt of any prize. Crappie Masters shall have the right to polygraph any competing team, at Crappie Masters discretion. Any team having a member who has failed or refused to take a polygraph test or was a team that was disqualified or denied a prize because either member of that team failed or refused to take a polygraph or who has ever been denied a prize because he or she misrepresented compliance with a tournament rule or because of unsportsmanlike conduct may be disqualified and/or have their membership revoked. A team member who failed to pass a polygraph or whose condition does not permit the administration of a test because of team member’s use of alcohol or drugs will be disqualified. The use of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs during tournament hours is prohibited.


At the request of Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail, one member of each team that qualified for a prize must submit to and pass a polygraph test and/or any other test deemed necessary to determine compliance with tournament rules. Contestants agree to release Crappie Masters All American Tournament Trail, its staff and all sponsors from any liability arising from the administration of the test and/or the decisions made in result of the test. All decisions regarding compliance with these rules and the interpretation of these rules will be made by the Tournament Director and Crappie Masters, which reserves the right to make additional reasonable rules for the conduct of its tournaments if circumstances require. All decisions are final and all matters are not subject to appeal. A pre-tournament Seminar is held for the review of the rules. You are liable to abide by the rule changes made during the Seminar, therefore, one team member is required to attend unless absence is pre-approved by Tournament Director.  Crappie Masters does not discriminate for reasons of race, creed, color or national origin. Updated 1/10/24