Feb 18

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Kayak Rules

Kayak Open Tournament Rules and Procedures (2023)

This preliminary posting of rules and procedures for the 2023 Hoodoo Elite Kayak Tour tournaments are in the review period in order for teams to submit questions, comments and clarification request. Review, adjustments or changing to any of the posted rules and procedures can take place up to Monday the week of the first event at which point they will become locked and enforce for the remainder of 2023.

Section 1 Overview of Tour

  1. The following is the rules, procedures, formats and notes for the 2023 Elite Fishing Series tournament competitions and productions but specific to the Hoodoo Elite Kayak Tour for the remainder of this document referred to as  HEKT. Additional event location, information, rules and procedures may be added or modified due to geographic, environmental, sponsor and or other tour considerations and delivered by updating to this page, email, verbally and or text message to the field of competitors.

  2. Headturners3, LLC. and the Elite Fishing Series ownership and HEKT officials reserve the right to deny entry to and or remove from any HEKT event or the entire series of events any participant(s) for any reason tour officials deem necessary in order to produce a safe, honest, fair and professional event with a focus on creating a level playing field for all.

  3. Headturners3, LLC ownership and HEKT officials have the exclusive right to interpret the following rules, procedures and directives as well as execute penalties as HEKT tour officials see fit based solely on their determination of the seriousness of the violation and/or rule infraction in question. Any breach of the letter and or spirit of the rules and procedures designed by HEKT officials and delivered to the field of participants will be grounds for penalty and could result in removal from an event and possible expulsion from the tour. Any participant(s) being removed from any HEKT competition will not be refunded any fees previously paid and will forfeit their right to winnings, awards or prizes previously won or anticipated. Participant(s) in a HEKT who for any reason cannot take and pass a polygraph test or have previously refused or failed a polygraph test with any other organization will not be eligible to compete and will be removed immediately at the time of discovery by tour and its official(s).

  4. A participant(s) in the HEKT tour and any HEKTevent must be in good physical health and can not have been prescribed or recommended by a physician to take any medication related to blackouts, seizures, fainting or other serious medical conditions that could place themselves or their fellow competitors as well as the tour in danger. A participant(s) having previously suffered from fainting, seizures or other serious medical conditions must be free from symptoms of same for a period of 365 days prior to signing up for a HEKT event in order to be considered for approval to compete.

  5. All participants must follow applicable federal, state and local regulations, laws and all tournament rules. Any violation of such regulations and laws and or other tournament rules may result in a penalty including but not limited to and any combination of the following. Dead fish(s) penalty, fishing time penalty, weight penalty against daily limit, disqualification from a tournament day, disqualification from the entire tournament, points deductions, disqualification from all future HEKT events, or any combination thereof as decided by HEKT officials.

  6. All federal, state and local required vessel insurance, titling, registration as well as a current fishing license must be enforce and current prior to participating in a HEKT event. 

  7. Participant(s) cannot consume or possess alcohol or drugs, other than their own current prescriptions (with exception of any medication for conditions listed in point 4 above which disqualifies the participant from participation) on a HEKT tournament day(s). Participant(s) cannot consume alcoholic beverages prior to a tournament day’s conclusion and prior to taking a requested polygraph or other truth verification test. Participant(s) being polygraphed will be notified immediately following the weigh in and should be close to the stage as conclusion of weigh in approaches. The HEKT tour officials will decide which participant(s) will be polygraphed without regard participant’s input or request as to who will be tested.

  8. The use of mobile communication devices such as cellular telephones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, pagers or any electronic device able to and for the purpose of disseminating and or receiving information pertaining to fishing or navigation with anyone other than the team mate paid and competing in the same HEKT event is prohibited. 

Section 2  Motors  - Waters - Weather

  1. All participant(s) in a HEKT event must paddle, peddle or use an electric motor (no gas motors permitted) similar in appearance to standard trolling motors, stock without modifications and a maximum factory rating of 3 HP or less. If an electric motor is used the participant(s) is responsible to ensure they comply with all state laws in regards to registration, titling, etc. prior to taking part in an HEKT event. Discovery of failure to properly register the kayak and motor in accordance with state law will result in disqualification of weight and forfeiture of winnings and awards from the event it was used.

  2. No tethering to multiple kayaks or mothershipping of kayaks permitted. 

  3. All kayaks must have a 360 degree navigational light in order to launch prior to official daylight time.

  4. Self inflatable life vest must be worn on the participant(s) at all times while they are on the kayak. While the tour recommends wearing any life vest at all times while on a kayak non self inflating life vest must be within reach at all times.

  5. All angling must be conducted from inside the kayak. No wading. 

  6. Participant(s) cannot leave their kayak to cast to, catch or land a fish. Participant(s) may and should leave their kayak and seek safe shelter in bad weather where danger may be imminent but must continue to follow all tournament rules and procedures during this period in regards to information sharing with non participants in the same HEKT event. Participant(s) may leave their kayak to pull it out of an area where tide has gone out but cannot pull or push their kayak into an area where the water has not come up enough to float the kayak.

  7. Participant(s) may not use any navigational or fish finder device that is not their own. 

  8. HEKT event participants must fish only waters open to public boating and fishing and must launch from public ramps and roadsides within the official boundaries without crossing or trespassing on private property not open to the general public. 

  9. HEKT events are scheduled to follow the Elite Team Open boaters one day event at the same weigh in location and on the same weekend (boaters weigh in on Saturday kayaks on Sunday). In the event a sufficient number of Kayak participants are not registered to compete and in an attempt to allow those registered to compete a HEKT event may be held the same day as the Elite Team Open event. The HEKT event will still have wiseparate entry fees and paybacks 

  10. Should a HEKT day of competition be cancelled due to extreme weather or the eminent threat of extreme weather on Sunday HEKT officials may postpone, move up to Saturday or re-schedule the event at their discretion. Notification to the field will go out as soon as the decision is made. If Sunday’s weather is forecasted to be acceptable but Saturday’s is forecasted to contain severe weather activities or the credible threat thereof the HEKT event weigh in on Sunday may precede or follow the Elite Team Open boater weigh in.

  11. If no days of a HEKT event can take place, the event will be rescheduled.

Section 3 Tournaments - Fish

  1. HEKT events are open to the first 25 two angler teams paying their entry fee for the event(s). Teams registering and paying for all 3 HEKT events will have priority and automatically qualify for the championship. Anglers can fish a HEKT event as a solo competitor only if they started the event that way and paid the full entry fee.

  2. Submitting your registration does not secure/guarantee your spot in an HEKT event, payment of entry fee does. A $465.00 entry fee per team, per event and must be paid as quickly as possible following registration to secure spot. No spots are held without full payment of entry fee, no exceptions. No membership or other mandatory fees will be charged.
  3. An optional $300.00 Brecknell Big Red Bounty side entry will be offered at each event and will pay 100% of the total collected to the heaviest qualifying redfish of the tournament. HEKT tournaments are 1 day events with a 2 fish limit per team measuring within the state size slot limit. All fish are officially measured when placed on the Elite measuring system with perfect pincher used for tail compression. Measurements only take place with the fish’s head to the left and its tail to the right on the Check-it-Stik measuring board. See short Video Here of the process. Teams can only possess redfish and no more than 2 total, per team can be held at any time, upon landing a 3rd fish 1 must be released immediately. 
  4. HEKT teams must stay within 200 yards of each other with the exception of a case where one team mate will launch on one side of a pond and the other on the opposite side so once they are finished fishing the can load both kayaks on one of the team mate’s vehicle and drive to the other team mate’s vehicle. However, in this case they must immediately make their way to one another after launch once conditions are safe and navigable light is present and prior to fishing.

  5. All events will have boundaries, once posted, emailed or made known to the field, usually Monday the week of the event, participant(s) cannot seek information pertaining to fish movements, locations, lure techniques, etc. from anyone not registered and paid to participate in the same event.

  6. Participants can practice as much as they like, during daylight hours the week of the event. 

  7. All teams must have at least 1 team member attend the captain’s briefing stageside the day prior to the kayak event, usually a Saturday at the conclusion of the team open tour weigh in. In some situations due to weather events a captain’s meeting may be moved to online, postponed or moved up a day or moved to a brief AM meeting prior to the release of the field.

  8. Participant(s) in a HEKT event can only use 1 rod with 1 line in the water at a time and must cast, flip or pitch their lure to the fish they catch. Only artificial lures and artificial scents may be used. A scent product using real fish, shrimp, or other actual creature parts or byproducts or oil is prohibited. Lures having been soaked in same or similar cannot be used in HEKT events.

  9. All fish must be caught in a sporting manner. No snagging of fish, netting of fish or scooping of distressed surface fish is allowed. Multi lure rigs, like the Alabama rig are prohibited. Trolling as a method of fishing is prohibited. 

  10. No attempt can be made to alter the length or weight of any fish and could possibly carry 1 count of felony fraud, per competitor in the field if an competitor or associate is found to have added weight in any way to a fish or altered the length of a fish by even slightly trimming or pinching off “hairs” at the end of the tail to help it measure or dropped the fish intentionally on its nose to flatten. Icing a fish and or shocking it with too much oxygen anytime prior to having the fish measured is also prohibited. ANY attempt to manipulate the weight or length of a fish will result immediately in expulsion from the tour and possible criminal prosecution. CLICK PIC OF FISH TAIL TO SEE MORE.

  11. Participant(s) are encouraged to take a picture and submit via text to HEKT officials for ruling during tournament day on a fish’s tail and overall condition prior to weigh in.

  12. A .50 pound penalty will be assessed for each dead fish. No culling of dead fish permitted. Icing fish even dead fish is prohibited. It is the participant(s) responsibility to keep control of their fish until it reaches the stage for weighing, any loss of control or intermixing of any fish with other participant(s) fish at tour staging tanks, etc. may result in all fish affected without control of the angler being deemed un-weighable.

  13. Only the participant(s) having a fish measured can be inside the 10′ x 10′ measuring tent or designated area with same space when their fish is being measured.

  14. Failure to notify official and having a fish weighed with a hook, lure, jig or other object in its mouth, gullet or belly during the weighing process may incur dead fish penalty. Re weighs of a fish’s weight are only executed by the weigh master (not at the request of any angler) and based solely on his judgment of conditions when the weigh scales automatically lock in and render the final locked weighed.

Section 4 Tour Championship - Team of the Year

  1. If participation (full 25 team field at each event) warrants the formation of a championship it will take place the same weekend as the Elite Team Open Championship (October 20-21, 2023) or as part of the Elite Solo Tour Championship (September 22-23). Either date will include an invited field of the top 10 finishers from each of 3 regular season tour stops plus wild cards. Wildcard: Any team fishing all 3 events receive automatic bye into the Championship.

  2. Team of the Year, same criteria as championship, with a full field team of the year will have following season entry fees paid in full.

  3. Points are 100 for 1st and 1 point less per place for each subsequent place. A team weighing in no fish will be given 5 points less than the last place points for teams having weighed in at least 1 fish to gain points.

Section 5 Sportsmanship - Penalties

  1. No pooling of or sharing of prize purse between 2 or more teams in any HEKT event.

  2. It is prohibited and against the law to enter any fish in a saltwater fishing tournament that have had the length or weight intentionally altered, that were taken unlawfully and or are fraudulently represented. Participant(s) doing such will be disqualified and may face prosecution.

  3. Participant(s) are required to display the highest level of sportsmanship to each other, recreational or commercial anglers, crabbers, etc. sharing the waters. 

  4. HEKT participants must at all times exhibit courtesy and professionalism to their fellow competitors, tour officials and staff.

  5. Participant(s) in any HEKT event displaying poor sportsmanship or violating fishing, game or other norms in regards to inshore sport fishing will be subject to penalty and or expulsion from the tour.

  6. Failing to disclose receiving a citation received for a HEKT participant(s) actions to tour officials may result in immediate disqualification from the event and may include expulsion from the tour.

  7. Participant(s) may not use their kayak to limit passage or access to waters that are beyond their position.

  8. Participant(s) knowingly attempting to circumvent state, federal or local law enforcement or similar in an attempt to avoid capture or issuance of a ticket either on land or water will be disqualified for the remainder of the season.

Section 6 Participant Code of Conduct

  1. Participants in a HEKT event are frequently in the public eye and are considered role models by young people; therefore, it is imperative that tournament competitors demonstrate good sportsmanship in fishing. Sportsmanship is defined as fair play, respect for opponents and polite behavior while competing in the event and sport. Below are examples of unacceptable behavior by participant(s) and their families or affiliates in any HEKT event will be cause for immediate removal from event and possible expulsion from the tour without refund of entry fees or delivery of expected winnings, prizes and awards.

  2. Participant(s) in a HEKT event shall, at all times, conduct themselves in a professional manner that demonstrates integrity, honor and respect toward fellow competitors, tournament staff, ownership and the general public and does not reflect unfavorably on HEKT ownership, officials or sponsors. 

  3. Heated and loud public disagreements with HEKT officials, staff, other competitors, fans or volunteers is unsportsmanlike and unprofessional conduct.

  4. Public attacks against HEKT tour officials, staff, sponsors or staff through media outlets including social media forums like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc. on the integrity of HEKT decisions, calls, rules, penalties, etc. will be penalized.

  5. Any disqualification, suspension or other disciplinary action imposed by any tournament and/or fishing organization may result in rejection of a HEKT registration for participation.

  6. Participant(s) agree by their participation to be filmed, photographed, quoted and share their likeness with all Elite Fishing Series websites, social pages and television production for any purpose(s) the tour deems necessary.

  7. Any Participant(s) in a HEKT event violating any of the provisions of the Sportsmanship Rules or the Angler Code of Conduct may be subject to fines, forfeiture of tournament winnings, suspension from competition and possibly a permanent ban from all HEKT events and social website pages.

Section 7 Polygraph - Truth Detection

  1. Participant(s) in a HEKT event that feel they cannot take or pass a truth detection test, for any reason can not fish a HEKT event. Any participant(s) that have failed or refused to take a polygraph test on any tour or in any tournament will not be eligible to compete in a HEKT event. Participant(s) being prosecuted and pleading no contest thus refusing to defend in a court of law any charge associated with fishing violations not be eligible to compete in any HEKT event.

  2. A written protest must be submitted in writing with 15 minutes of the scales closing the day in which the possible violation took place. Should a polygraph or other truth detection test be needed to settle a protest, the angler protesting and the angler being protested may both be required to render to the tour the fee for the polygraph test. The winning angler will be reimbursed the test fee.

  3. Should no polygraph test be available the day of the protest, the event will continue as normal, under protest with the results, tournament placement, prizes, points and awards being retained by the tour until a test can be administered to settle dispute.

  4. Headturners3, LLC. and the HEKT act as brokers when hiring the truth detection administrator and has no influence on procedures, type of test, the amount of time or the results of the testing. As such all participant(s) in a HEKT event agree without contestation that all determinations by the liscensed polygraph testing agent are just and final. 

Permanent link to this article: https://eliteredfishseries.com/kayak-rules/