Skip to content

Official Tournament Rules

Last updated: 6/11/24


Date of Tournament: Saturday, June 29th 2024 – Leech Lake, MN
Date of Rules Meeting: Friday, June 28th 2024 – Walker Area Community Center

General

This tournament will be targeting Largemouth and Smallmouth Bass. The tournament will be a CPR (catch photo release)Tournament in which a length to weight conversion of up to EIGHT(8) bass will determine the winners. Bass must be measured and photographed with the Reel LiveWell app, on the official bump boards (Ketch Karbonite 26), that will be provided to teams and immediately released. The payouts for this tournament will depend on the number of participants. In the event of a tie, the tie breaker will be determined by the single largest fish between the two anglers. If the largest fish are equal, the tie breaker will be determined by the second largest fish between the two anglers. If the second largest fish are equal, the process repeats for each of the remaining fish until a winner is determined. In the unlikely event that all fish are equal a coin toss will be the tie breaker where in the team with the earlier sign up will have the option of heads, tails, or defer.

Promoters, sponsors, tournament directors, and organizations assisting in the tournament operation, their agencies, agents, etc. are not responsible for deaths, injuries, damages, liability, theft, fire, or any loss of any kind to entrants. Each entrant upon signing the entry form will in effect be signing the waiver form. The tournament will carry its own policy for off-water activities and venues. Entry fee refunds will only be awarded to special circumstances as defined by the tournament director. You will forfeit 75% of the total entry fee for early termination up to June 17th and 100% thereafter. This includes the biggest bass pot. Failure to sign in at the rules meeting will also result in a nonrefundable disqualification.

Participation & Eligibility

Contestants must enter as a one or two-person team fishing out of one vessel. Any person 18 years of age or younger must be teamed with their parent, legal guardian, or provide a signed release from that person’s parent or legal guardian. 

Each contestant must have in his or her possession, a valid Minnesota fishing license. Current registration and Liability Insurance for the boat being used in the tournament.

All boats will be inspected by a tournament marshal prior to the launch to ensure empty live wells, proper safety equipment, and be checked in. Procedure of this will be discussed at the rules meeting and be in order of the launch numbers predetermined by random selection at the rules meeting.

Orientation 

The orientation/rules meeting will be held on Friday, June 28th 2024 at 6:00 p.m. at the Walker Area Community Center. This meeting is mandatory for at least one member of each team. Food and beverages will be available during the orientation/rules meeting, as well as prizes and industry reps.

Safety

Safety in the tournament and during practice is paramount. Anglers in this tournament will be held to a high standard of vigilance. We have big water with remote and uninhabited shore lines.  

All tournament anglers, officials, and marshals are required to wear a PFD when in a boat on the water.  Acceptable forms of a wearable PFD jackets of either zip or buckle fashion, inflatable or standard type l, ll, lll, or V, belt style are not accepted. A throwable type lV must be in the vessel and readily accessible at all times.  

All boats will be required to meet US Coast Guard safety regulations as well as those of Minnesota and local water law enforcements. All boats must be properly registered and enroll in the Minnesota AIS pledge program. Get your sticker!

https://www.dnr.state.mn.us/data/ais-pledge

Failure to observe Slow and No Wake Zones is grounds for automatic disqualification. No alcoholic beverages may be consumed by the contestants during or prior to practice or tournament hours. In the event of a thunderstorm, lightning, or excessive high winds, contestants are allowed to pull into the nearest shoreline or safe harbor until it is safe to continue fishing.

Tackle and Equipment 

Minnesota regulations and Leech Lake Special Regulations shall apply to all fishing methods and equipment. NO LIVE BAIT. NO CURED BAIT. (pork products are acceptable)

Permitted Fishing & Waters 

Participants may fish prior to official practice on the tournament waters. WAHOO tournament rules will only apply to official practice and competition. Fishing is permitted by boat on Leech Lake and its bays, as defined by the official Tournament Boundaries and MAP available here and on the website. All boats will be inspected prior to the start of competition by a tournament official. All contestants must start and return from the take off point. Walker City Park. Only artificial lures may be used. No “live bait” or “prepared bait” is permitted during official practice and competition.  Only one rod and reel combination per angler may be used at one time. All bass must be caught live and in a conventional sporting manner.  All angling must be done from the boat, anglers are not permitted to leave the boat to land a fish or to gain access to secluded waters.  Competitors must leave and return to the official checkpoint by boat.  Both competitors must always remain in the boat except in case of emergency. Pooping is not considered an emergency.

Flying over tournament waters, other than on a ticketed commercial airline, is prohibited and off-limits, during official practice and competition unless approved by the Tournament Officials. The use of drones for the purposes of locating or catching fish or otherwise gaining a competitive advantage is prohibited in both official practice and competition. During the official practice and competition, competitors are not allowed to live well or keep any bass unless they have permission from tournament officials.

Tournament Boundaries

Tournament waters include all navigable waters of Leech Lake proper, with an eastern boundary of Highway 8, and a western boundary of county road 38 and its bridges. Steamboat Lake, Kabekona Lake, Boy Lake, and Benedict Lake are OFF LIMITS. Fishing in Steamboat Bay, Kabekona Bay, Boy Bay, Shingobee Bay and all other BAYS of Leech Lake is permitted. 

Wild Rice is a precious resource, please respect it! Please refrain from motoring through, or damaging wild rice and other vegetation.

Sportsmanship & Ethics

A Sportsmanship violation is defined as an aggressive behavior or hostile action directed at a fellow angler, Boat Official, non-competitor, or a representative of the tournament. Use of profanity directed at these individuals, will not be tolerated. 

A bedded bass may only be caught and recorded once per team! This will be enforced by photography.  If it is deemed by the tournament officials that a fish has been recorded multiple times by a team that entry will be disqualified. 

No Littering! Keep the lake and landings clean. If a report of littering is brought to the attention of the tournament committee it will be investigated and may result in disqualification. 

It’s a big lake! A minimum of 50 yds of boat separation when angling will be our standard. Violation can be reported to the tournament officials. When operating the main motor for running at speed, a minimum distance of 100 yds should be observed. If determined by an official that a violation of this nature occurred intentionally or with malus. It will result in a DQ and the Sheriff’s Water Patrol involvement.

Other than going to shore for adverse weather; no two contestant’s boats may pull up to each other during tournament hours unless aiding in an emergency situation.

Fishing Hours

Official practice for any tournament registered participant will begin Tuesday June 25th at 6am and stop at 4pm on June 28th. No competitors will be allowed to fish on tournament waters after 4pm June 28th. And must be at the takeoff at Walker City Park by 6:45 am June 29th or risk Disqualification. A docked or moored tournament vessel overnight is acceptable with no active fishing or scouting.

Tournament fishing hours are from 7:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. Saturday, June 29th 2024

The Reel LiveWell app will serve as the official clock for competition. 

During official practice, no practicing at night, defined as beginning 30 minutes after local sunset to 30 minutes before local sunrise. This includes running to and from a fishing location. In practice and competition, when running in low light conditions, fog, or rain navigation lights will be in operation. 

Any team that fails to report in after completion of the day of competition fishing will be disqualified. This is a safety issue. Contestants who return late will be penalized 1lb per minute and disqualified after 30 mins. No exceptions and no excuses.

Communication

In case of emergencies, severe weather conditions, or event instructions. Staff will text instructions to the Competitors phones, with the details or via the app.  It is the Competitors responsibility to be aware of incoming text or app messages on their phone.

Competitors shall be prohibited from using cell phones, pagers, text messaging, emails, or radios to contact or communicate with other anglers, non-competing anglers, family or media staff, other than for emergency reasons. In which case the only call placed should be to the Tournament Director for permission to proceed.

NO team fishing or sharing of information or strategy between Competitors.  This goes into effect at 4pm June 28th until the end of competition 4pm June 29th.

Any communication between anglers for the purpose of assisting another competitor returning to the “weigh in” due to a mechanical failure will first need to be approved by the tournament director.

Enforcement & Violation

In the event of a rule violation, WAHOO may impose such sanctions, as deemed appropriate, including, without limitation, disqualification, forfeiture of prizes and/or entry fee, probation, and prohibition from participation in subsequent tournaments.

The decision of the WAHOO tournament committee shall be final in all matters.  Each competitor agrees to report to the Tournament Director any violation or infraction of any Tournament Rules.  Failure to report violations, or suggestions to another competitor that an angler violated a rule will be cause for disqualification.  Rules violations must be reported to the Tournament Director in writing within 15 minutes after the announcement of “Final Check In.” 

Patrol and safety boats may pull up and inspect contestants at any time. Anyone found cheating or in violation will be immediately disqualified and the reasons for that disqualification announced at the weigh-in. Contestants must allow official observer and safety boats to come alongside and check boats during fishing hours. Disqualification of any kind will result in forfeiture of entry fee. All rules have “loopholes.” 

It is the intention of the sponsors to provide an honest, sportsmanlike tournament. In the interest of good sportsmanship, contestants are reminded that the “spirit of the rule” will prevail in all judgment cases. The Tournament Director or Committee reserves the right to refuse entry to any individual. 

Protests

The Tournament Committee or any contestant has the right to protest another team or contestant. The protest must be filed in writing with the Tournament Director no later than one (1) hour after the end of scheduled tournament fishing hours. A three (3) person protest committee shall be appointed by the Tournament Committee prior to the tournament and will convene to hear both sides of any protest. The decision of the protest committee shall be final in all cases. 

Polygraph

By his/her signature on the official entry form, each competitor agrees to submit to a polygraph examination as determined by the WAHOO committee and abide by its conclusion.  The Tournament Director and tournament officials will have the discretion to determine the need for a polygraph examination.  In the event tournament officials determine that a polygraph is required, the angler(s) will make themselves available at a predetermined time and place.  In the event a competitor refuses to take or fails to pass the examination, he/she will be disqualified forfeit any entry fee or awards and be subject to legal prosecution.    

Payouts & Awards

Payouts will be awarded 1st place through 5th place. The cash prizes will be on a percentage scale deemed by the number of participating teams. Trophies will be awarded to 1st-5th place to both anglers. Also receiving trophies and prizes will be a ladies and youth division. Current numbers are based off of a full field of 100 teams. The Big Bass Pot total is based on a 50/50 of 100 teams participating. 20% of entry fees will be going directly to Walker Youth Hockey Association as a nonprofit fundraising event.

PlacePayout
1st$18,000 (45%)
2nd$10,000 (25%)
3rd$6,000 (15%)
4th$4,000 (10%)
5th$2,000 (5%)
Big Bass 50/50 Pot$5,000 (full pot)

How to Register

  1. Read the tournament rules & Schedule of Events
  2. Register as a team or individual using the form on our Registration page.