Tournament Rules

Mo-Yak tournament rules.  Please read through them completely.  All participants must acknowledge they have read and understand these rules before they can participate in any tournaments.

2016 MO-Yak Fishing Series Rule Ammendments


  1. Media Personnel
    1. Credentialed Media Personnel are permitted to be on the water with anglers, for the purpose of obtaining photography and videography of tournament participants during tournament hours, with 24 hours advance notice to Show Me Kayak Fishing Association and current Tournament Director of the Mo-Yak Fishing Series. Credentialed Media Personnel is prohibited to include family and or friends of participants and is reserved for news, magazine, and or TV media personnel. Media personnel are required to complete all event liability waivers and complete media application. Media personnel shall not help or aid any angler during tournament hours, this includes but is not limited to unloading, loading, or launching kayak and/or gear, advising on fishing condidtions and/or other angler standings and/or catches, landing fish, holding and/or aiding in the CPR process. This rule does not apply to practice days before event start time.
  2. Competition Area
    1. Competitive fishing is allowed only on public waters within the geographic area designated by the Tournament Event details as “Eligible Waters.”
    2. Competitors may launch from any public-access shore or boat ramp. Crossing private property to reach public water and/or where other anglers are not permitted to launch is not permitted.
    3. Areas posted “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing” by state or federal agencies are excluded from “Eligible Waters” and will be identified at the pre-tournament Captains Meeting.
    4. Competitors are not restricted to fishing where they start out each day but are permitted to paddle, pedal, motor, drag, carry, or transport boats on vehicles or trailers to other eligible water area during tournament hours. “Mothershipping” or towing by powerboats is prohibited.
    5. Kayaks must not be anchored in such a position as to prevent or block access for other kayaks or powerboats.
  3. CPR Permitted Equipment
    1. Hawg Tough measuring devices are the preferred measuring board of the Mo-Yak Fishing Series, other measuring devices “bump boards” are permitted if inspected during pre-tournament captains meeting. All CPR equipment will be inspected and approved for use during registration and pre-tournament captains meeting. At time of angler check-in at the end of the event and during the submission of photos, measuring devices will again be inspected by tournament officials and or the Tournament Director prior to the submission of any photos.
  4. Restraining Devices
    1. 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. Stringers, leashes, straps, or other holding devices are strictly prohibited and must not be attached to the fish in the photos.


See Open Series tournament schedule.


A points system based on event participation will be used for the Mo-Yak Fishing Series. Participants will be competing for points which will result in prizes and awards including but not limited too; Cash, Sponsorship Merchandise, Angler of the Year and Qualifications for National Tournaments.


To gain birth into the Mo-Yak Fishing Classic, an angler must be an active SMKFA member in good standing and must compete in a minimum of three Mo-Yak Open Series Tournaments, or unless stated otherwise during the active season by the SMKFA Board or Tournament Director.


The winner of each Mo-Yak Open Series Tournament will receive 300 points. The scoring will decrease in five-point increments to fifth place, four-point increments through 10th place, three-point increments through 15th place, two-point increments to 99th place and one-point increments for the remainder of the field. A ten point bonus will be awarded to biggest bass for each Open Series tournament. The point leader at the conclusion of the Mo-Yak Open Series will be crowned Angler of the Year for the entire Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament Trail.

MO-Yak Fishing Tournament Trail


All Mo-Yak Fishing Series tournaments and events are open to members and non-members alike unless otherwise stated in this section. Membership registration deadlines will be announced at the beginning of each year. SMKFA Memberships are required for the following.

  1. Qualify for Angler of the Year
  2. Qualify for Classic Championship
  3. Qualify for Nationally Sanctioned Tournaments through the Mo-Yak Fishing Series
  4. Qualify for discounted tournament fees
  5. Qualify for participating sponsorship discounts


Rules for special tournaments may differ from those contained herein and these rules may be changed by Show Me Kayak Fishing Association (SMKFA) immediately upon notice to the general public, notice is to be published on the SMKFA internet site at Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director or his/her designee at a tournament. In the event of a rule violation, the Tournament Director or a rules committee may impose such sanctions as deemed appropriate by them, including without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes, entry fee and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments. Subject to the appeal process set forth in paragraph 22 below, the decision of the Tournament Director, his/her designee, or the rules committee, shall be final in all matters.

Penalties for rules violations may include the following:

  1. Reduction of competition hours as determined by the Tournament Director
  2. Loss of one or more fish in question. All such fish must be marked and verified by either your partner/observer/camera operator. If not verified the entire catch may be disqualified
  3. Loss of catch for the day of the violation
  4. Disqualification from the tournament in question
  5. Disqualification from future Mo-Yak Fishing Series events, which may be from a specific number of events, a specific period of time, or may be a lifetime disqualification.
  6. Any different or additional penalties determined by the Tournament Director including but not limited to monetary fines and/or reduction of Angler of Year points.


  1. This tournament is open to the general public who are 18 years of age or older, with a signed waiver. Competitors who will turn 18 years of age in the same calendar year which the tournament is held, will be eligible to enter those tournaments with parental consent. Proof of age to the satisfaction of tournament officials is the responsibility of the potential competitor. Any candidate for competition who, in the judgment of the Tournament Director, is disabled in such a manner as to endanger the safety and well-being of themselves or others may not be eligible.
  2. A properly completed pre-printed and signed official entry form (attached to these rules) must be provided to the Mo-Yak Fishing tournament administrative team prior to the first day of competition. All competitors must complete a W-9 and when required a Form 590, or W-8 BEN provided by SMKFA (one time). Tournament entry fees must be received by the Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament Department on or before the balance due date. BALANCE DUE DATE WILL BE DAY OF TOURNAMENT. The Tournament Director reserves the right to discontinue acceptance of applications prior to deadline. TOURNAMENT ENTRY FEE OR ANY BALANCE OF THE ENTRY FEE PAID WILL ONLY BE REFUNDED IF PROPER NOTIFICATION IS MADE TO THE MO-YAK FISHING TOURNAMENT DEPARTMENT. While a sponsor may pay the entry fee, competitors agree to use any and all official tournament products provided by SMKFA/Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament in Open Series events and the MYFC.
  3. The preferred method for tournament registration is online at


Anglers participating in any Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament event shall observe this code of conduct and the applicable rules for the specific event in which they are participating. Anglers shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a manner becoming professional anglers that will not reflect unfavorably on SMKFA, Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament, its officers, representatives, members, tournaments or sponsors.

To this end, anglers shall use their best efforts to demonstrate professionalism and integrity in support of the sport of professional kayak fishing. Any angler who violates any of the provisions of the Angler Code of Conduct may be subject to fines, reduction of points, forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competing in individual Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament events, permanent ban from competition, or any combination thereof deemed appropriate by SMKFA.


  1. Off limits period for each event will be specified by the Tournament Director. Special off limits and practice periods for the each event will be announced by SMKFA.
  2. There will be an official practice period immediately prior to the first day of competition. Three official practice days will begin at 12:01 a.m. three days prior to the start of competition. Unless otherwise specified, all official times are Central Standard Time. The competitor must know and observe these dates. During practice and competition a competitor can only have the assistance or advice of another competitor for the purposes of locating or catching bass on tournament waters. Competitors may only fish with other competitors during practice and competition. Flying over tournament waters, other than a ticketed commercial airline, is prohibited during official practice and competition unless approved by the tournament director.
  3. No competitor may buy or barter a fishing location from any other competitor for use during any competition day.
  4. Each competitor agrees to report to the Tournament Director immediately any violation or infraction of any tournament rules. Failure to report violations, or suggestions to another competitor that they violate these rules, or false verification of length forms, may be cause for disqualification. OFFICIAL PROTESTS MUST BE FILED IN WRITING AND ALL PARTIES OF INTEREST WILL BE PROVIDED A COPY.


  1. Each competitor must preregister online at or register in person with official Mo-Yak Fishing staff prior to the start time on the day of the event. Failure to register in person during the prescribed hours will result in a $10 dollar fine. Any competitor, who has not contacted the Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament Staff 15 minutes after the closing of the posted on-site registration period, will be disqualified from participating in the tournament. It shall be each competitor’s responsibility to either check the schedule of events for registration time and location or obtain times from the Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament Department.
  2. Entry fee refunds shall be issued when requested by a competitor at least 48 hours prior to the tournament start time. Refund requests inside 48 hours prior to the tournament start time will be at the discretion of the Tournament Director.


  1. Safe paddling conduct must be observed at all times by competitors. During the official practice and competition, each competitor must have a Coast Guard-approved chest- type life preserver on their person while in their kayak, as well as an approved whistle. Inflatable life vest indicators should be checked daily. VIOLATION OF THIS RULE WILL RESULT IN IMMEDIATE DISQUALIFICATION AND FORFEITURE OF ENTRY FEES.
  2. When boating in low visibility situations i.e. fog, heavy rain, during both practice and competition, competitors must operate their boats in a safe manner as determined by tournament officials.
  3. Radar units permanently mounted in the boat, are subject to approval by Tournament Director. It is suggested that competitors perform a safety check each day prior to launch to familiarize the location of all safety equipment.
  4. Tournament officials have the right to delay, shorten or cancel the start of an official tournament day because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors. Tournament waters may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather. Weather delays on full field days, resulting in half of the tournament hours being lost, shall result in cancellation. Tournaments that are cancelled may be rescheduled at the discretion of SMKFA.


Competitors in Mo-Yak Fishing Tournaments are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification.

  1. Use of alcohol or drugs (other than those purchased over-the-counter or prescribed by a licensed physician) by any competitor, during the official practice or during the tournament, will not be tolerated and shall be cause for automatic disqualification from this and all future Mo-Yak Fishing tournaments. No alcoholic beverages, other non-prescription stimulants or depressants shall be allowed in the boats during the official practice or competition days, or when in the weigh-in area.
  2. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regard to kayaking and angling in the vicinity of non-competitors who may be on tournament waters for other recreational activities. All competitors must keep a distance of 50 feet at a minimum from other anglers or boaters unless mutual consent has been verbally agreed upon. If for any reason a passage area does not allow a 50 foot buffer to allow one angler to pass another, common courtesy should be extended to the angler to pass but not to commence fishing until the 50 foot distance has been re-established. Any act of a competitor, which reflects unfavorably upon efforts to promote fisheries conservation, clean waters and courtesy, may be reason for disqualification.
  3. All competitors are bound by all prevailing statutes and regulations of Missouri. Competitors are responsible for research of fishing and boating regulations.
  4. Chemical substance addiction or abuse, conviction of a felony or other crimes involving moral turpitude, or other conduct reflecting unfavorably upon efforts to promote safety, sportsmanship, fair competition and compliance with tournament rules, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation and/or for disqualification after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director. Any disqualification, suspension from, or other disciplinary action regarding any tournament or fishing organization, shall be grounds for rejecting any application for participation in a Mo-Yak Fishing tournament, and/or disqualification from a Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament, after circumstances are reviewed by the Tournament Director.


Only artificial lures and biodegradable artificial lures may be used. No “live bait” or “prepared bait” will be permitted during official practice and competition, with the exception of pork strips or rinds. Only ONE casting, spin casting or spinning rod (8 foot maximum length from butt of handle to rod tip) and reel may be used at any one time. A hung lure that is not in or on the water is not considered in use and may be set aside while another is in use. Other rigs as specified above may be in boat ready for use; however, only ONE is permitted in use at any given time. All bass must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner. If a competitor breaks their line while setting the hook or retrieving a fish, they are 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. They may NOT hook the line with another lure, rod and reel, or other device. If a competitor loses their rod and reel while landing a bass they MAY use another rod and reel to retrieve the lost outfit. If that rod and reel is verified to be the lost outfit that bass may be landed and counted as a legal fish. Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging visible fish will have their catch disqualified. When visually fishing a bed or for bedding bass, to be counted as a legal fish, all bass must be hooked inside the mouth. With the mouth closed naturally, you must not be able to see where the hook point enters the fish to be considered hooked inside the mouth.  Competitors are allowed to share baits and tackle at all times. Mo-Yak Fishing tournaments are based primarily on the honor system; however tournament staff may patrol tournament waters to ensure compliance of tournament regulations.


Kayaks that can be paddled, peddled, or propelled by wind or self are the only acceptable forms of mobility. GASOLINE AND ELECTRIC ENGINES ARE STRICTLY PROHIBITED. No canoes, pontoon boats, and float tubes are allowed to be entered into the tournament.


Tournament waters shall be established by the Tournament Director for each tournament. Each competitor must obtain this information from the Mo-yak Fishing Tournament Department. Any water within these boundaries posted “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing” by state or federal agencies as well as areas established by the Tournament Director will be OFF- LIMITS and will be announced at the Tournament’s Captains Meeting . Only that water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters. All angling must be done from the kayak. Competitors wishing to change fish habitat by placing any object in the tournament waters may do so if such action does not violate state or federal regulations. Prior to the tournament registration, any questionable areas must be brought to the attention of tournament officials to be considered tournament waters and may be announced in the briefing for all to hear unless determined otherwise by tournament officials. Tournament officials reserve the right to restrict or enhance tournament waters based on conversations with local authorities.


During the competition days, competitors must not depart the kayak to land fish. Kayak must remain in tournament waters during tournament day. Competitors must leave from and return to official checkpoints by kayak unless specifically addressed by tournament director. Competitors must remain in the kayak at all times, except in case of dire emergency, or with permission from the Tournament Director. Exceptions spelled out in rule 5. In such an emergency, or with permission of the Tournament Director, competitors may be removed from their kayak, either to a kayak operated by other competitors, or a rescue boat designated by the Tournament Director. In the event of a needed restroom break, contestants are allowed to leave the boat, at which time all fishing must cease until competitors are back in the boat. If a competitor violates any of the above conditions (to contact a tournament official by phone or other means, or to report an emergency or breakdown), competitor must cease fishing at this point and their catch must be verified by a tournament official in order to be counted in the tournament. If, after the emergency situation is resolved by tournament officials, and enough time is left for the competitor to resume fishing, a restart will be allowed, the competitor will continue, and their catch will be counted. This applies only to dire emergency situations as determined by the Tournament Director or his/her designee. Towing boats on trailers during tournament hours is prohibited, except by the direction of tournament officials.

Competitors are allowed to leave the boat to retrieve a lure. All fishing by that competitor must cease until back in the boat before making another cast.


There shall be only one official check point for check-out in the morning, and one official check-in point in the afternoon, which points shall be designated at the tournament’s captain’s meeting. Failure to go through kayak check-out in the morning or failure to check-in at the check- in point in the afternoon will result in disqualification. At the time of check-out, all competitors and their kayaks shall be in full conformity with all rules set forth by the Tournament Director. At check-in, all competitors shall identify themselves by means of unique identifiers and proceed immediately to the designated judging area. Once photos are submitted for judging, anglers that are not submitting photos do not need to go through the judging process.


Tournament points and standings, contingency awards and final winners shall be determined by the Inch and quarter inch length of each competitor’s catch during the competition days of the tournament. Only Hybrid, Largemouth, Smallmouth, and Spotted bass will be judged. The Pro limit shall be 5 of the above species and varieties per day, unless otherwise specified by tournament officials. At no time shall a competitor have in his or her possession more than one fish. Once a competitor checks in they must submit all culled photos to tournament officials at the verification table or through the designated online application. The official length for bass shall be determined by the Tournament Director and announced at the Tournament Captains Meeting. In most cases it will be the longest state limit covering the tournament waters. Only bass as described above which measure the official length or more on the longest straight line, shall be submitted. Photos submitted for judging, which fail to measure the official length shall result in a penalty of 1 inch for each such bass, which penalty shall be deducted from the total inch score of the competitor. Any bass that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled or otherwise altered in the photo will be judged and credited only at the discretion of tournament officials.


Measuring device must be presented at time of check in if requested by Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament to determine acceptability. Rulers may not be drawn, hand written or stenciled. Measuring devices must be clear, unmodified official rulers. RETRACTABLE TAPE MEASURE DEVICES ARE NOT ACCEPTABLE AT ANY TIME. Any questionable submissions will result in termination of submission if angler fails to comply with requests for verification from tournament director. If there is any question about the validity or acceptance of your measuring device, send a photo of it to SMKFA prior to start of tournament and validity will be determined. Acceptance of additional measuring device must be determined prior to use for the tournament. Acceptable measuring devices include the following:

EXCEPTION OF ALTERATION: Hawg Troughs may be shortened only by removing inches from the upper end opposite the fence. For instance, one may be shortened by cutting it off at the 26 inch mark in order to fit crossways between the kayak 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 Hawg Trough into pieces and does not affect the accuracy of the Hawg Trough may be repaired and reinforced for use.

  • Hagen Hawg Trough (available through,, or
  • BPS folding ruler
  • Plano expandable bump board
  • Golden Rule (bluewater rule is acceptable too)
  • Rapala folding ruler
  • Check-it Stik

Competitor will cull all but 5 photos. The competitor will number the 5 photos and write them on a cull sheet or enter into the designated online application. Once the 5 photos have been submitted they will be that competitors 5 official photos.

Photo Standards

  1. A clear photograph of the fish with mouth completely closed, head to the left, belly down, and tail in a natural, un-pinched position (tail must also be CENTERED on measuring device).
    1. Mouth Open – from one quarter of an inch up to a one full inch deduction
    2. Pinched tail – one quarter of an inch deduction
    3. Tail not centered – one quarter of an inch deduction
  2. Unique Identifier must be present and legible in the picture.
  3. Do not cover the EYE. To confirm that the fish is alive, the bass’ eye must be uncovered in the photo. Photos of bass that appear to be dead, mutilated, frozen or similarly damaged will be subject to disqualification.
  4. No restraining device, clip, or band may be used to secure the fish being photographed. Securing the fish with any portion of a hand under the fish’s gill flap is prohibited.
  5. Competitors Kayak must be clearly visible in the picture.

Each infraction will result in the disqualification of that fish unless stated otherwise. Only digital photography will be accepted. Photos must be originals, untouched, unaltered. Do not resize or edit your photo in anyway.


Competitors who are not at the official check-in point, as described in Rule 11, at the appointed time, shall be penalized at the rate of one inch per minute late; to be deducted from the total length of his/her catch that day, including any length to be counted toward a “big bass award”. Any competitor more than 15 minutes late shall lose all credit for that day’s catch to include points. There shall be no excuse for tardiness, and in no case, shall a competitor be allowed to make up “lost time.” After proper recognition at the check-in point, competitors will be allowed ample time to proceed to the photo turn in site; however, all fishing must cease upon check-in. After the tournament begins, fishing the tournament waters is prohibited except during tournament hours. Exact starting and check-in times will be announced at the Tournament Captains Meeting. It is each competitor’s responsibility to confirm check-in times each day on the daily pairings.

15. TIES:

All ties will be broken with longest fish length. First longest fish, second longest fish and so on until the tie is broken. If after all fish lengths are exhausted and tie is still not broken then the Tournament Director will decide on the tie breaker.


Anglers with a grievance will present said grievance to the tournament director. Tournament director will make all decisions on said grievance the day of tournament. Angler may make an appeal to the appeals committee. Appeals committee will be the existing SMKFA board. Appeals for penalties must be presented in writing 48 hours from the time and date of the ruling by the Tournament Director. Appeals hearings shall take place within seven (7) business days from the date of receipt of the written appeal and all parties must make themselves available at prescribed time of hearing. If competitors admit to a rules violation, they may not file an appeal of either the finding that they have violated the rules or the penalty imposed for the violation. Decisions of the appeals committee shall be final.

Competitors are allowed to compete under appeal for penalties assessed under until final ruling by Appeals Committee.

Appeals of non-competition rulings must be presented in writing to the Tournament Director within 48 hours from the time and date of ruling for review


Anglers are encouraged to wear their own clothing which may bear patches, logos and other signage promoting the angler’s sponsors. SMKFA may however, restrict the use of patches, logos, signage, etc. that promote or advertise products which are, in SMKFA’s opinion, in competition with the products or services of official Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament sponsors, or which are, in SMKFA’s sole judgment, in poor taste. SMKFA will provide as much advance notice as possible to the competitors in such instances.

18. TAXES:

Where and when state laws require income taxes be paid on cash awards to non-residents, the taxes will be automatically deducted prior to the awards being presented to the winners. Anglers/Observers are responsible for all applicable taxes on both cash and merchandise awards. Various States require withholding tax on merchandise be paid upon the awarding of certificates and anglers awarded merchandise certificates in these States are responsible for remitting their tax to SMKFA. Failure to meet those obligations may result in reduction of Angler of Year Points, fines, and/or disqualification from all future Mo-Yak Fishing Tournament events.


As a condition of participation in each tournament, each competitor must execute a waiver and release of liability, and a name and likeness release for each event.


Any updates regarding tournament information will be posted on our website and social media sites (Facebook, Instagram, etc..). Updates may include but are not limited to: rule changes, tournament time adjustments, tournament location change and cancellations due to inclement weather. Final updates for an upcoming tournament will be posted via website and social media no later than 10:00PM Central Standard Time the night before the day of the tournament. The Tournament Directory may also announce any updates during registration the morning of the tournament.