Rules and Code of Conduct 2020

The following are the rules that all anglers participating in From The Depths (FTD) events are expected to adhere to. Participation in FTD events is on a voluntary basis; by participating in FTD events, anglers acknowledge that they have read, understood, and agree to abide by these rules:

PARTICIPATION
1. Prior to each FTD event, anglers wishing to participate must RSVP to the event online via the FTD website www.fromthedepthsfishing.com . Anglers must create a FTD profile which will be used to reserve a place in that given event. Participants have until 6:00pm on the day prior to the event to register.
2. Participation is limited to a maximum of 50 anglers per event unless otherwise stated. In the case that there are more than 50 anglers wishing to participate, eligibility will be determined based on a points system based on prior participation. Anglers are given “seniority points” based on past participation in FTD events. With exception to the first ever FTD event (3 points), participation in each FTD will score anglers a total of 1 seniority point per event. Anglers who are registered to participate but cancel after the 6:00pm cutoff or do not show up to the event will lose 3 seniority points along with any TourneyX Deposit. A log of seniority points will be kept by the Tournament Director(s) for FTD.

COST/PAYMENT PER EVENT
3. Cost of participating in each FTD will be determined after the 6:00pm registration cutoff and prior to 10:00pm on the night before the scheduled event. Entry fees fluctuate based on the total number of anglers and cannot be determined until a final count of participants has been established. Typically, entry fees for FTD events are between $20-40.
4. Entry fees will be paid in CASH on the morning of the event. No checks or electronic forms of payment of any kind will be accepted.
5. Final entry fee amount per angler will be posted on the FTD Facebook page prior to 10:00pm the night before each scheduled event.
6. Side pots such as “Big Fish” will be coordinated amongst anglers and will not be collected or organized by FTD Tournament Directors.

SAFETY & REQUIRED EQUIPMENT
7. All anglers participating in FTD events are required to wear a Coast Guard approved Personal Floatation Device (PFD) that meets the size and weight specifications for each angler. Anglers MAY NOT use PFDs that do not meet Coast Guard specifications or that do not satisfy the size/weight restrictions for each given PFD.
8. Anglers are required to properly wear their PFD at all times during the competition period for each FTD event. The competition period is defined as the point at which a competitor launches their kayak until the kayak is beached or removed from the water at the end of the day.
9. Anglers may remove their PFD only to remove clothing or if beaching their kayak for purposes of using the restroom. If removing a PFD for purposes of removing clothing, anglers must stop all fishing activities and be within 30 YARDS of the nearest shoreline before removing the PFD. The PFD must be properly zipped and worn again before fishing may resume.
10. If launching prior to safe light (generally defined as 30 minutes before sunrise), anglers are required to use a 360° safety light visible from up to 2 miles away, in accordance with Coast Guard Regulations. If no 360° is available, the angler must wait until safe light to launch.
11. Kayaks must be in safe condition and within weight specifications for each specific make/model.
12. ELECTRIC OR GAS POWERED PROPULSION IS NOT PERMITTED IN FTD EVENTS. Any propulsion equipment other than paddles or foot-powered pedals must be removed from the kayak prior to launch.

SCORING OF FISH
13. Anglers can submit a maximum of 3 bass, including largemouth, smallmouth, spotted, and hybrid smallmouth/spotted bass.
14. Scorable fish must be a minimum of 12” in length with the mouth closed and against the fence of the measuring board. Submitted fish that are found to be less than 12” in proper length will be disqualified (DQ).
15. Photographs must be taken from inside the kayak. Taking a fish to shore to photograph is not permitted.
16. Photographs must include the FTD identifier including the unique code for each given event. Submissions missing the identifier will result in a DQ.
17. GPS data must be available for submissions should a dispute arise or at the request of Tournament Directors.
18. Identifiers must not be placed on any part of the fish. This will result in a DQ.
19. Please allow enough space between the fish and the identifier to allow for the measuring lines to be easily read.
20. When photographing fish, the fish must be placed so that the left eye is up. The mouth must be closed and against the fence of the board. A slightly open mouth will result in a ¼” deduction in length. A completely open mouth will be a DQ. If a mouth will not close properly due to a deformity, close mouth as much as possible and take an additional picture of deformity for judges to consider. The use of any grips or restraining device in the mouth of the fish is not permitted during the photographing process. Tails may be in a natural pinched position, but the tail may not be touched by any part of the angler’s hand. Acceptable hand placement will be from the gill plate (NOT UNDER GILL PLATE) to the beginning of the tail. The mouth and eye of the fish cannot be covered.
21. MEASURING BOARDS MUST BE PLACED ON A FLAT SURFACE UNLESS KAYAK SIZE RESTRICTS, OR IF ASSISTANCE IS NEEDED TO KEEP MOUTH CLOSED AGAINST FENCE. IF ANGLING OF BOARD IS NECESSARY, THE FENCE (TOP) PORTION OF THE BOARD MAY BE PLACED BELOW THE END OF THE BOARD TO ALLOW GRAVITY TO ASSIST IN KEEPING FISH AGAINST THE FENCE. SUBMISSIONS WITH FENCE PORTION OF BOARD RAISED WILL RESULT IN A DQ.

APPROVED MEASURING DEVICES
22. Approved measuring devices for FTD events include all measuring boards from Ketch Products as well as Hawg Troughs. All boards must be in good condition and free of breaks, excessive bends, or missing units of measure. Broken boards cannot be glued or otherwise fastened together. Measuring boards may be subject to inspection by Tournament Directors if a dispute or discrepancy arises.
23. Lines must be clearly marked. If highlighting the raised lines on a Hawg Trough, do not extend the mark to before/after the raised unit of measure.
24. If a measuring board is lost, forgotten, etc, anglers may borrow/use another competitor’s board to submit a picture, as long as their own identifier is used.

COMPETITOR CHECK-IN
25. Competitors will be required to physically check-in at both the morning meetup as well as prior to leaving at the end of the event. Each angler will sign in on the official roster next to their name for the start and end of the day. Anglers who fail to sign next to their name before leaving or do not make contact with Tournament Directors will be assessed -2 seniority points.
26. Tournament Directors will provide a briefing of event hours and a review of necessary rules or information at the morning meetup prior to the start of each event. Meeting time and location will be available in the event details on the FTD Facebook page as well as on the FTD website.
27. Anglers who are late to the morning check-in will be assessed a 1” deduction in total length for the day.
28. Anglers will have 30 minutes from the end of competition (lines out) to sign the check-in roster. Anglers who are up to 15 minutes late to check-in will be assessed a 1” deduction in total length. Anglers who are more than 15 minutes late will be assessed a DQ for all fish.

JUDGING OF FISH
29. Unless specified by Tournament Directors, judging will consist of 3 judges who are randomly picked from all anglers who participate in the event. Fish will be submitted to 2 judges for consideration, with the 3rd judge being used for disputes or for the judging of fish submitted by the randomly selected judges.
30. Judges will determine the compliance, length, and species of each fish for the purpose of side pots.
31. In the event that the 3 judge panel cannot come to a clear determination on a fish or dispute, the Tournament Director(s) will have final determination.
32. Tournament Directors cannot be selected as random judges in order to serve as a final determination if needed.
33. A Tournament Director cannot have final decision if their own fish is disputed.
DETERMINING OF WINNERS
34. Winners will be decided by the longest total length for a maximum of 3 fish, minus any infractions or deductions if applicable. Side pot winners will be determined by the parameters of that specific side pot.
35. In the event of a tie in total length, the tiebreaker will be the longest fish from each competitor involved in the tie. If the first longest fish is also a tie, the next longest fish will be used for each, until all 3 fish from each angler have been compared.
36. If there is not a clear winner after all tiebreakers have been considered, a coin toss will be used to determine a final winner.

DISPUTES AND PROTESTS
37. Anglers have until the start of the awards ceremony to raise disputes to judges and/or Tournament Directors. Once the awards ceremony begins, all results will be considered final.

SPORTSMANSHIP AND CONDUCT
38. Anglers are expected to maintain a high level of sportsmanship and respect towards other competitors at all times. Disputes that cannot be settled amongst anglers involved should be addressed to Tournament Directors.
39. By participating in FTD events, anglers are representing the FTD organization as well as the sport of kayak fishing and should not project FTD or the sport in a negative manner.
40. Anglers should provide at least 50 yards of space between themselves and another competitor at all times, unless consent is given amongst the anglers to allow for closer proximity to each other.
41. Anglers are expected to comply with all State and local regulations, including areas that have been marked as off-limits from boaters and fishing.

THE DECISION OF THE TOURNAMENT DIRECTORS IS FINAL