North Dakota EMS Association 

Official Rules 2018

1st Annual NDEMS Foundation

Fishing Tournament



The following rules shall apply to the North Dakota Emergency Medical Services Foundation Fishing Tournament (hereafter [The] Tournament).


A.   All participants in The Tournament will be required to fill out an official Tournament Participation Form which constitutes agreement to abide by the following Tournament Rules and local regulations.

B.    Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to The Tournament Director, and the decision of the Tournament Director shall be final in all matters.

C.    By entering into The Tournament, each competitor agrees to submit to a polygraph or voice-stress examination if necessary and abide by its conclusion.


        A.   All participants must possess valid fishing licenses for the tournament waters being fished.

        B.   All participants must sign the official Tournament Angler Participation Form which includes a Liability & Publicity Release.

        C.   Participants less than 18 years of age must provide a Tournament Angler Participation Form signed by his/her parent or legal guardian giving consent for the minor child to participate.

        D.  Participants less than 13 years of age must have explicit approval by the Tournament Director to participate and that team must have at least two (2) other members 18 years of age or older.

        E.   The Tournament does not discriminate based on race, creed, color or gender.  We specifically reserve the right to refuse participation or entry to anyone for any reason.


        A.   Tournament registration is available online at or by mail-in entry form

        B.   Each Team must designate at minimum a “Team Captain” and a “Partner”

        C.   Entry fees are non-refundable, and no fees will be returned for a missed event.

        D.  Field size will be limited to 150 boats.


        A.   Competitors in The Tournament are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety, and conservation.  Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for suspension or disqualification from The Tournament.

        B.   Competitors must comply with all prevailing federal, state and local statutes and regulations relevant to the tournament location.


        A.   At least one member of each team is required to attend the official Tournament Rules Meeting.


        A.   Tournament Anglers agree to use any and all official equipment provided by or required by The Tournament Director.  Any equipment provided by the Tournament Director MUST be returned at “weigh-in.”  Any team not providing provided equipment at “weigh-in” will be subject to disqualification.

        B.   Tournament Anglers must provide and use a camera during competition that utilizes Secure Digital (SD) format memory cards.  Additionally, the camera must feature a standard, rectilinear type lens (no “fisheye” type lenses allowed.)

        C.   After the start of the official pre-tournament Rules Meeting, contestants may not enter tournament waters to navigate, locate fish, or find potential fishing waters.  Tournament contestants are allowed to fish in tournament waters ONLY during tournament fishing hours.

        D.  If travel by water is allowed by the Tournament Director – anglers traveling by water to the official launch site must proceed directly to and from their lodging facilities, launch, or slip location.

        E.   On-the-water testing of engines or equipment after the pre-tournament rules meeting is allowed only with permission from the Tournament Director. No Exceptions.

        F.   Tournament water boundaries shall be established by the Tournament Director in advance of the event.  Any water within these boundaries posted “Off-Limits” or “No Fishing” by state or federal agencies will be OFF-LIMITS.  Only water open to ALL public fishing will be considered tournament waters.  All angling must be done from the boat.

        G.  Prior to take-off, each boat MUST be available for inspection by a Tournament Official.

        H.  Each boat must display a numbered “boat board” provided by The Tournament at take-off and check-in.

        I.    Competitors must leave from and return to the official Start/Finish checkpoint by boat. Towing a boat on a trailer during tournament hours is prohibited.

        J.    Prior to take-off, boat numbers are assigned by random drawing and all boats must be positioned in order by boat number as specified by the Tournament Director.  Take-off will occur on schedule.  Any boat that is out of order or delaying the start of the field will be held to the end of the line.

        K.   All competitors must remain in contact with the boat at all times.  Allowed exceptions to this rule are:  In case of an emergency, competitors may be removed from their boat to a rescue boat including any boat operated by non-competitors; and in case of a mechanical breakdown. (See Rule 7)

        L.   No one is allowed to “hold” a fishing location for a Tournament contestant under any circumstance.

       M.  The number of permitted fishing rods and lures is dependent on the local and state regulations.  In no instance will more than two lines per angler (maximum of four lines per boat) or two lures per angler be permitted.  A lure is defined as having one or more hooks, and does NOT include weights (snap weights, trolling weights, bottom bouncers, etc.) Unless state regulations are more restrictive, a lure can be no longer than 10 inches long.  ALL CURRENT NORTH DAKOTA GAME AND FISH DEPARTMENT REGULATIONS MUST BE FOLLOWED.  North Dakota Game and Fish Department Regulations Guides will be available upon request.

       N.   All fish must be caught live on a hook and line in a conventional sporting manner.  Anyone guilty of snatching or snagging fish (that is, not hooked per state regulations) will have their entire daily catch disqualified.

       O.   Exact check-in location and check-in times will be announced at the Rules Meeting.  Any boat which is not off-plane and in line at the official check-in point at the appointed time, shall forfeit all credit for that day’s catch.  There shall be no excuse for tardiness, and in no case shall a competitor be allowed to make up “lost time.”

        P.   All boats are required to check-in with Tournament Officials at the end of the day.  Boats shall be identified by means of their boat board.  After proper recognition at the check-in point, competitors will be allowed ample time to proceed to the “weigh-in” site.  All fishing must cease upon check-in.


        A.   In the event of a mechanical breakdown, the Anglers should attempt to make contact with Tournament Officials to inform them of the situation.

        B.   In the event of a mechanical breakdown, it is permissible for one Partner with the official scorecard, SD memory card, and boat board from the disabled boat to transfer to another competitor’s boat for transport to the check-in point.  The Partner and the assisting boat must still arrive at the check-in point on time, or face possible late penalty disqualification.

        C.   In an emergency situation, any boat that comes to the aid of a competitor or other boat may be exempted from late penalties at the discretion of the Tournament Director.  The assisting boat must note the time and GPS position where assistance was given.

        D.  Running out of gas is NOT considered a mechanical breakdown, and the boat will NOT be exempted from late penalty disqualification.


        A.   Safe boat conduct must be observed at all times by competitors.  During competition, each participant must wear a Coast Guard-approved chest-type personal flotation device (PFD) at all times the main combustion engine is operating above no-wake speed.  This PFD must be buckled, snapped, or zippered securely and maintained in that condition until the boat slows to no-wake speed.  Violation of this rule shall be reason for disqualification.

       B.    Tournament Officials have the right to delay, shorten, or cancel the start of the official tournament day due to dangerous weather conditions.  Tournament boundaries may also be restricted at any time because of bad weather.  A tournament day may be cancelled (even after that day has started) because of bad weather or other factors that would endanger the safety of the competitors.

       C.    Once a tournament day has started, if any part of it is cancelled, The Tournament Director will determine if there will be a weigh-in.  In the case of a cancellation, tournament days will not be rescheduled.

       D.   The Tournament reserves the right to impose boat speed limits during the tournament.  Whether or not to impose a speed limit, the area covered by the speed limit and/or the actual speed limit imposed shall be left exclusively to the discretion of the Tournament Director.


       F.    Competitors are allowed to leave the boat and seek safe shelter in bad weather when danger may be imminent.


       A.    All teams must provide on demand documented proof of boat owner’s liability insurance for a boat being used in The Tournament.  This insurance policy must provide coverage for watercraft liability at a minimum of $100,000 (per occurrence) in the event of an accident.

       B.    Maximum horsepower for all outboard motor boats used in tournament competition cannot exceed the limitations set by the U.S. Coast Guard.  Each boat must have a U.S. Coast Guard horsepower-rating plate attached to the boat by the manufacturer.

       C.    For the safety of all competitors, all boats must be equipped with an approved operable ignition kill switch and lanyard.  The lanyard must be attached to the driver’s body any time the main combustion engine is operating above no-wake speed.  Any time the main combustion engine is operating and in gear above no-wake speed, there must be a driver in the driver’s seat in full control of the boat.

       D.   During competition, every boat must have all U.S. Coast Guard-required safety equipment, including a functional bilge pump.  Each boat must be equipped with a functional marine band VHF two-way radio.  Handheld VHF radios are allowed, but recommended as back-ups.

       E.    Refueling during tournament hours is permitted ONLY at publicly-accessible, retail locations.  Refueling must be accomplished ONLY directly into an approved tank through a hose with a nozzle.  Refueling from loose cans is expressly prohibited.


       A.    The Tournament will utilize the length to weight “weigh-in” format.

       B.    The Tournament is designed for “weigh-in” through a photo and scorecard process, which we will refer to as Catch-Photo-Release (CPR).  No fish will be brought to the “weigh-in stage.”

       C.    Only a UNIQUE Walleye, Sauger, or Saugeye may be processed and scored.  A UNIQUE fish by Tournament definition is one that has just been caught using legal fishing methods, recorded, and released.  Any discrepancies in the UNIQUENESS of a fish will cause a team to be subject to a voice analysis or polygraph test.  Failure of this test will result in disqualification, as well as, a lifetime ban from NDEMS Foundation tournament events.

       D.   The Tournament will require a complete photographic record of each fish scored.  Boat partners will work together to measure, photograph, and record their catch using the official Tournament Ruler and BOTH sides of the fish must be clearly photographed.


       A.    The Catch-Photo-Release procedures will be reviewed at the Rules Meeting.

       B.    One partner holds the fish on the official Tournament Ruler.  The belly of the fish will face the person measuring the fish.  The mouth of the fish MUST touch the bump plate on the ruler to the LEFT (Head to Left), and the tail is extended back to its maximum length on the RIGHT end of the ruler (Tail to the Right).

       C.    The partners agree on the length of the fish to 1/4th inch accuracy.  If the tail fin touches or crosses a graduation line on the ruler, the official length of the fish for scoring purposes may be lengthened to the next one quarter (1/4th) of an inch line on the ruler.

       D.   While the fish is being held on the ruler, a “scoring” photo must be taken of the fish which clearly shows the overall length of the fish.  The HEAD and TAIL of the fish must be included and show clearly.  The photograph must be taken of the LEFT side of the fish ONLY (belly toward the angler holding the fish, head to the left).  A photo that does not clearly show the overall length of the fish, including head and tail, and the left side of the fish on the ruler WILL NOT BE SCORED.  More than one attempt to get a valid scoring photo is allowed.  Deletion of any photos by a team will cause the team to be disqualified.  The disqualification will be determined by the Tournament Director.

        E.   Another photo MUST be taken of the fish being held up by a partner.  This “hero shot” photo MUST show the entire RIGHT side of the fish.  These photos will be used for technical evaluation and may be used on stage during the awards ceremony or posted to The Tournament media outlets (web, Facebook, etc.)

       F.    The fish must then be immediately released back into the water by the partner holding the fish.

       G.   Record the length of the fish on the Official Scorecard and both partners should validate the length recorded for accuracy.

       H.   In the instance when two or more fish are caught at the same time, the CPR process requires that one fish must be measured, photographed, and released as quickly as possible before the next fish can be processed.

        I.    NO fish are to be placed in the livewell.  It is NOT permissible to hold fish in water using nets, lines, stringers, etc.  Delays in releasing fish may be grounds for disqualification.

        J.    In order to speed up the CPR process, while a fish is in the boat, anglers will NOT be allowed to reset or place any fishing lines in the water.  After all fish are processed and released, normal angling may resume.

        K.   One exception to subsection I of the above listed rules will be the possession of one (1) trophy fish per Angler.  For the purposes of this rule, the definition of “trophy fish” will be any Walleye, Sauger, or Saugeye caught using legal fishing methods that is of 28 inches or longer that the Angler desires to keep as a mountable trophy fish.  If this fish is to be used as one of the five (5) fish to be counted toward the team’s daily weight, the length to weight conversion weight will be the weight recorded.  NO ACTUAL WEIGHTS WILL BE USED DURING THE TOURNAMENT.


        A.   At the completion of the tournament day, each Team will select up to FIVE (5) fish to be counted toward their daily weight and designate these fish on the Tournament Official Scorecard.  These are the only fish that will be scored.  Then each Team will convert the lengths of each of the FIVE designated fish to weight using a standardized Tournament Length-to-Weight Conversion Chart.  The SUM of these FIVE fish will be the Team’s unofficial total weight for the day.

        B.   BOTH partners are REQUIRED to sign the Tournament Official Scorecard to certify their catch.

        C.   At the check-in, the Tournament provided equipment including the ruler, SD memory card, boat board (clipboard) and Tournament Official Scorecard will be turned in to a Tournament Official.  The photos of each fish will be used for confirmation of length and to validate the Tournament Official Scorecard.  NO validating PHOTOS or LOSS of the Tournament Official Scorecard will result in forfeiture of ALL WEIGHT that day.

        D.  In the event a photo that designates a fish to be scored is judged to be unscorable, a replacement fish will not be allowed.

        E.   In the event that TWO (or more) photos that designate fish to be scored are judged to be unscorable, the team will lose all weight for the day.

        F.   Tournament standings and final results shall be determined by the converted weight of each Teams’ daily “limit.”

        G.  The official minimum length will be 14 inches; the tail MUST touch at least the 14-inch mark on the ruler.  If a fish recorded on the Official Scorecard has an associated fish photo that does not meet the minimum length, it shall result in the entire daily weight being disqualified.

        H.  Any fish that appears to have been mangled, mashed, mauled, or otherwise altered will be credited only at the discretion of Tournament Officials and the Tournament Director.  Any fish that are deemed altered by an angler may result in Team disqualification for the event.

13. TIES:

        A.   In the case of a TIE or TIES between Teams in converted weights, all ties will be broken in the following manner:

1.           The two consecutive place payouts will be combined and split equally between the two teams.  The place below the tied teams payout will then disappear.


        A.   In the event of a tournament cancelation, The Tournament at its sole discretion, may reschedule the event, hold a random drawing for the event purse, or transfer the entry fee to another event.  NO refunds will be given.


        A.   Payouts are based on the number of Team entries.  The Tournament will provide a payment schedule based on the number of registered Teams at the Official Rules Meeting.  A minimum of 75% of the total fishing entry fees collected for The Tournament will be paid out to the top 15 Teams.

        B.   Results are NOT official until complete technical validation is done by Tournament Officials.  When this process is complete, the results will then be deemed official and published at  Any cash payouts and other awards will then be credited to Anglers.

        C.   Anglers are responsible for all applicable taxes on both cash and merchandise awards.


        A.   Anglers are encouraged to wear their own clothing which may bear patches, logos and other signage promoting each angler’s sponsors.  The Tournament may restrict the use of patches, logos, signage, etc. that promote or advertise products which are, in The Tournament’s sole judgment, in poor taste.


        A.   1st Place - $7,500.00

              2nd Place - $6,000.00

              3rd Place - $4,500.00

              4th Place - $2,500.00

              5th Place - $2,000.00

              6th Place - $1,500.00

              7th Place - $1,000.00

              8th Place - $750.00

              9th Place - $625.00

              10th Place - $500.00

              11th – 15th Place - $250.00 each

              Total Payout $28,125.00

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