2017 Angler of the Year Rules
1. AOTY runs from January 1, 2017 to December 31, 2017. Fish caught prior to payment of entry fees are ineligible.
2. The pool covers the following twenty-one categories: Lingcod, Rockfish, Cabezon, Greenling, California Halibut, Pacific Halibut, Flatfish, White Seabass, Surf Perch, Salmon, Sturgeon, Striped Bass, Steelhead, Trout, Brown Trout, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and Spotted Bass, Lake Trout, Kokanee, Catfish, and Panfish.
3. Waterway Rule - All fish entered must be caught within the northern and eastern California borders (the entire waters of Lake Tahoe and Topaz Lake are allowed) and north of the southern borders of the following counties: Monterey, Kings, Tulare and Inyo. Fish caught from waterways with restricted access to the public, such as members-only or private waterways or aquaculture operations are not allowed. Fish caught from waters where anglers have to pay on a per fish basis, such as trout farms, are not allowed.
4. Watercraft Rule - Eligible watercraft for the competition include kayaks, kayak/canoe hybrids, and Standup Paddle Boards (SUPs). The watercraft must be under human powered control from launch until landing, and no mothershipping is allowed. Sails will be allowed in the Sail division but no motors may be used or attached to the watercraft while fishing.
5. Take Rule - All fish entered must be caught by hook and line (i.e. hooked, fought, and landed) from an eligible watercraft without aid from anyone else and using methods deemed legal by the California Department of Fish and Wildlife.
6. Retention Rule - Only fish that you can legally keep and eat (per CA DFW regulations) are eligible. Any fish that has the appearance of possibly being not qualified for entry (such as the appearance of an adipose fin from a non-native retention body of water) will be disqualified. Competitors should include comments with AOTY submission if there may be any questions regarding the fish's legality.
7. Photograph Rule - Photographic evidence of fish size (total length, except for Sturgeon which shall be measured according to fork length as per CDFW regulations) against a measuring device must be provided. Photographs must be clear, with measurements easily read. Only pictures that show the ENTIRE fish will be used in judging submissions. Missing portions of the head or tail in the photograph will result in a disqualification of the submission. “Tail only” shots may be used to clarify full length pictures, but will not be used as the sole factor in determining length. Committee recommends competitors take pictures of fish from “straight up” with fish's belly facing towards the competitor, as this assists the committee in determining the accurate length of the fish and determine whether the mouth is closed.
8. Posing Rule -All fish should be posed in a manner that allows the committee to easily determine the length, mouth open/closed status and legality. All fish must be measured on their side, with the exception of sturgeon, catfish, and cabezon which may be measured with their belly facing down. Submissions should show the mouth of the fish completely closed. If the mouth is not completely closed, the committee will deduct 1.5 inches from the measured length (unless the mouth cannot be completely closed due to a natural deformity or kype/hookjaw). Participants should make a good faith effort to close the fish’s mouth and egregious “mouth-open” submissions will be rejected at the discretion of the committee. Fish may NOT be gutted, have their throat cut or ripped through, or manipulated in any way prior to photographs being taken. Cutting of gills is permitted. Tails may be pressed together or tilted. You are not allowed to stretch, pinch or pull the lips to gain extra length. No lip grippers, game clips or stringers can be in the mouth when photograph is taken. Continued violations of the posing rule may result in the disqualification of the competitor.
9. Measurement Rule - All submissions should include accurate, full length measurements of the fish, and be measured on a hawg trough, measuring board or similar measuring device. All entries must be rounded down to the nearest hash mark that can be visibly seen, using quarter inch increments. For any submissions where an extender or similar device is used, the competitor must submit photographic evidence verifying the length of the extension. The committee strongly recommends competitors use a sharpie on measuring devices that have hash marks which are not clearly marked. All submissions will be subject to committee approval before appearing as official entries. There may be a few days lag between the time you post a submission and the time it appears on the AOTY site.
10. The biggest fish from each angler's top ten species will be used towards the angler's total points.
11. The “Trout” category includes fish generally referred to by the following common names: brook trout, cutthroat trout, rainbow trout, golden trout, and dolly varden.
12. The “Panfish” category includes fish generally referred to by the following common names: crappie, members of the Lepomis genus (bluegill, red ear, pumpkinseed, etc), Sacramento perch, and yellow perch.
13. The “Flatfish” category includes all non-halibut flatfish species, including all species of flounder, sole, turbot, sanddabs and tonguefish.
14. Entries must be posted within 2 weeks of being caught and photographed. No "hoarding" of entries.
15. Participant complaints should be submitted to the committee (bmb, Cen Coast, Clayman, RacinRob and/or Sailfish). No bashing of other competitors on the NCKA forums will be tolerated. Such posts will be deleted by the Admins/Mods, and a warning will be issued. A second violation of this rule will result in a disqualification of the offender from participating in AOTY.