New Competitor Guide

Gearing up for your first kayak fishing tournament can be a little intimidating. This guide will help you make sure you’re prepared, so you can focus on fishing. If you’re unsure about something, ask us. We’re happy to help, and we’ve all been in your shoes.

The first thing you need to do is head over to the YakNGrass Facebook page so you’ll have direct access to the tournament director, and other club members. Get in touch with the tournament director, and make sure you add them to the contacts in your phone in case you run into any issues on the water.

Let’s cover the basic gear you’ll need in order to be eligible to fish tournaments with YakNGrass.


Required Gear

USCG Approved Chest-Style Personal Flotation Device (PFD) – Must be worn at all times during the tournament. Must be in serviceable condition and rated for your body size.

Identification Card – You must have either a KBF or YakNGrass ID Card positioned above, below, or beside that bass (not covering any portion of the bass, nor attached to the Competitor’s hand or arm) in all photos for the judges to be able to score your fish submissions. Download the YakNGrass ID Card here. Tip: Keep multiple copies of the ID Card in your PFD pocket in case your ID Card gets lost or damaged.

Ketch board – Ketch boards are the only authorized measuring device for YakNGrass tournaments. Any size Ketch board with Ketch Kradle is allowed, including the Karbonate and Ketch X Models. If you don’t have a Ketch board, check with the tournament director, he may have some available for purchase.

Phone w/ Fishing Chaos app –  YakNGrass tournaments run on the Fishing Chaos app.

Flashlight/Headlight/Kayak Lights – YakNGrass tournament events normally allow you to launch your kayak prior to first light. The USCG requires that you have some type of light significant enough to alert approaching vessels of your position. This can be a flashlight, headlamp, or other lighting on your kayak. It’s a good idea to bring backup lights/batteries. There are additional lighting requirements if your vessel is powered by an electric motor.

Whistle or Other Audible Signaling Device – USCG requirement. Must be loud enough to be heard over an outboard engine.

Paddle – Even if you have a pedal-drive or electric powered kayak, it is advisable to carry some type of paddle in case of problems.

Note: The list above covers the required minimum gear you’ll need to be tournament eligible. Other items such as a first aid kit, spare clothing, and a dry bag are also highly recommended.


Before You Launch

  • Review all KBF and YakNGrass rules and regulations.
  • Print off spare KBF or YakNGrass Identifier Cards.
  • Print/write the Event ID Code onto the ID Cards. Event ID Codes are normally released at 7PM CST the night before the tournament.
  • Put the Tournament Director’s cell phone number in your contacts. His name and phone number are on the Fishing Chaos Event page. Text, call, PM, or email him to alert him to technological problems that may be systemic. Also, you can transmit photos to him for manual uploads if necessary.
  • Add flotation or a tether to your YakNGrass-approved measuring board and have your camera/phone tethered to your PFD.
  • Make sure to fully charge your cell phone before the tournament. If possible, carry a portable USB battery charger as a backup.
  • Make a list ahead of time of all the gear (rods, tackle, sunscreen, drinks, snacks, etc) you think you’ll need for the event. Start this early, so you have time to think of additional things.


Submitting Your Catch

  • Take multiple photos of each fish, ensure the tournament ID tag is clearly visible in each one, then upload to Fishing Chaos. It is always best to review the photo to make sure it’s correct, and having alternate images may provide a substitute in case the first photo you submitted is denied. Before releasing the fish, try to take one last photo of the fish without your hand on it. This is the best way to make sure there are no hand placement violations, just make sure the mouth of the fish stays fully closed. 
  • Be patient. Don’t release a fish before you have a clear photo. keep the fish in a net or on a clip attached to the kayak while you review photos to minimize stress to it.
  • Watch for upload speed. A weak signal can drain a phone battery. If it takes too long, cancel and then upload when you have a better signal.
  • Don’t miss the tournament upload deadline! Identify the closest place with wi-fi or a good data signal and bear in mind how many minutes you are from it.