2023 Tournament Rules

Tournament Rules and Agreements


A Kayak Fishing Tournament – Begins at first light – SATURDAY APRIL 15, 2023

CAPTAINS’ MEETING – FRIDAY April 14, 2023 7:00 PM


22 59th Street, Yankeetown, Florida 34498

Mailing Address: P.O. Box 314, Inglis, Florida 34449

After Reading the following Tournament Rules and Agreements and

signing the Application and Liability Waiver, please retain the Tournament

Rules and Agreements for your records.

Tournament Rules and Agreements

IMPORTANT: This document is part of the Nature Coast Challenge Application and Liability Waiver. Your signature on the application is your acknowledgment that you have read, understand and agree to abide by these rules.

TOURNAMENT HOST: The Inglis Yankeetown Lions Foundation, hereinafter known as IYL, is the host of the 12th Annual Nature Coast Challenge.  Net profit from this event will be used to support the charitable endeavors of the Inglis Yankeetown Lions Foundation.  Primary among these is eyesight assistance – exams, glasses, & surgery for those who cannot otherwise afford them. (No IYL Lions receive any compensation for their time or efforts, nor does IYL ever use compensated fund raisers.) The Tournament Committee wishes you good luck and good fishing! These rules have been created to help ensure a safe, fun and well-run tournament.  If we can be of help, please ask. Any suggestions for improvement for next year’s tournament will be seriously considered.  IYL reserves the right to amend these rules or make exceptions at any time.

TOURNAMENT DESCRIPTION:  The intent of this tournament is to catch, photograph and release fish caught during official tournament hours. IYL supports marine life conservation efforts and hopes that you will release all captured fish and other marine life.  If you keep all or a portion of your catch you will not be disqualified from the tournament but please understand it is your responsibility to abide by all current State of Florida fishing rules and regulations including but not limited to species, size, slot, limits, etc.  IYL assumes no responsibility for your failure to do so. One of the advantages of a photo tournament is that you can win with fish outside any slot limits for their species which you could not legally land for a physical weigh-in.

PARTICIPATION AND ELIGIBILITY:   Participants must be at least 18 years of age or be accompanied by a parent or guardian.  A minor must have the signature of his/her parent or legal guardian on the entry form. Participants must have a current Florida Fishing License as required by state law.

REGISTRATION, FEES and SIGN-IN:  Each participant must register and pay before the tournament by submitting an Application and Liability Waiver, with the required fee of $50.00 (Fifty dollars) online or postmarked on or before March 26, 2023, or include $60.00 (Sixty dollars) online or postmarked on or after March 26, 2023 to Inglis Yankeetown Lions Club, P.O. Box 314, Inglis, Florida. Only personal checks and money orders will be accepted with paper applications. Do not send cash. For ONLINE REGISTRATION please see the tournament website (www.naturecoastchallenge.com) for further details. Your electronic signature shall be considered legal and for all reasons and purposes the same as a “written” signature, and all rules, regulations, and enforcements related to electronic signature in the State of Florida will apply. The entry fee is due when the tournament application is submitted. You may also register at the Captains’ Meeting but you may not receive a free t-shirt, based on availability because shirt orders must be sent to our supplier in advance. This also applies to late entries. There is no embedded value in the free t-shirt and no change in tournament fees will be made. No registrations will be accepted after the close of the Captains’ Meeting. All participants must sign-in with Tournament Staff prior to fishing in the Tournament.

CAPTAINS’ MEETING: Attendance at the entire Captains’ Meeting is not mandatory; however, all participants must be checked-in prior to the close of the Captains’ Meeting.

The Captains’ Meeting will be held at the Inglis Yankeetown Lions Club, 22 59th Street, Yankeetown, Florida 34498, beginning at 7:00 pm on Friday, April 14, 2023. If you will be arriving late please discuss it with us in advance! We will do our best to accommodate you. Dinner will be available for tournament participants. Guests are welcome and are requested to make a $20.00 donation for dinner. Accompanied children, under 12, may have dinner for a $7.50 donation.

NON-MOTORIZED PADDLECRAFT:  This tournament is for kayaks, canoes and other non-motorized boats. All participants must fish out of a non-motorized boat (paddle-craft).  The rules for all boats will be the same.  Regardless of type, each must carry a paddle and use this as a primary form of movement on the water.  Use of pedals, push poles, and stake-off poles is acceptable but the paddle-craft must have a functional paddle on board. A pedal-propulsion system is acceptable.  No motors, electric or otherwise, will be allowed for movement, at any time, during official fishing hours.  Because angler safety is our primary concern, a trolling motor may be onboard during fishing hours for emergency situations only, and any other use will be grounds for disqualification. Hereinafter for simplicity, the term kayak will be used to represent all non-motorized boats used in this tournament.

SHARING KAYAKS, ADULTS ACCOMPANYING MINORS, and OBSERVERS: 1) Sharing kayaks, by participants, is permitted if the kayak is safely designed for more than one person.  Each participant in a tandem must be registered and is scored separately. Fish may NEVER be shared among entrants. Each participant must photograph his/her own fish without assistance. Use of an extra person strictly as an observer or paddler accompanying an adult participant is not permitted. 2)  Adults not entered in the Tournament, who are accompanying minors who are entered in the Tournament, must be on the water with the minor.  The adult may be in their own kayak or can be in a tandem kayak with a Jr. Angler and may paddle. 3)Observers, in their own kayak, not entered in the tournament, are not prohibited by these rules. However, any interference with or assistance to a participant may cause participant disqualification. Exception: If the tournament participant is handicapped and requires assistance in order to participate, Inglis Yankeetown Lions Club will work in advance of the tournament with the angler to accommodate special needs. Please communicate your needs, in writing, prior to the tournament. Final decision on special accommodation will be the Tournament Director’s discretion.

LEGAL FISHING METHODS:  All fish must be caught from the participant’s kayak, or by the participant while wade fishing pulling a tethered kayak. All fish must be caught on light tackle, hook and line, from open waters. If you have any question or concern that your tackle is acceptable please consult with the Tournament Judge at the Captains’ Meeting or prior to official fishing time. Live bait, frozen bait and all artificial lures will be allowed. Only standard conventional, spin, or fly tackle may be used. Snagged or foul hooked fish are not eligible and must be released.

TARGET FISH and FISHING HOURS: The primary target prize fish are redfish and trout. Fishing begins at first safe light on the day of the tournament – Saturday April 15th, 2023.   Exact fishing start time and official fishing hours will be announced at the Captains’ Meeting by the Tournament Director. (Also see “Scoring” and “Mixed Bag.”)

LAUNCH SITES:  Final launch site locations and maps will be provided at the Captains’ Meeting.  Tentative launch sites are the County Park at the west end of State Road 40 and any of the surrounding areas where a safe launch is possible. Please note that in very low tide some of the more commonly used launch sites may be muddy – plan accordingly.

MEASUREMENTS:  You must supply your own measuring device.  Fish measurement will be rounded DOWN to the nearest quarter inch.  Bungee cords or other devices, typically used to assist in holding the fish on a measuring device, are allowed. Many anglers already possess an acceptable measuring device. Below is a list of acceptable devices.  If you wish to use another measuring device, it’s very possible it will be acceptable but please have that device approved by the Tournament Judge prior to fishing. When deciding which measuring device to use, please keep in mind the maximum fish size is the length of the fish that can be measured and clearly photographed on your measuring device. (i.e. If you have a 30″ measuring device and your fish is 36″ long, it will be checked in at the maximum length shown on your devise e.g. 30 inches.)  Examples of acceptable measuring devices.

321Fish.com Ruler

Catch-and-Release Ruler (Must be affixed to a rigid backboard)

Rapala Folding Ruler
Float-N-Stick Fish Ruler

PREFISHING:  Participants are welcome and encouraged to come to the area to pre-fish prior to the Tournament’s official fishing hours. This can help you locate primo fishing areas, the closest launch sites for where you want to be, and estimate how much paddling and drive time to allow to ensure you are back at the check-in location before the deadline.

SAFETY:  Each contestant must possess a Coast Guard Approved Type III personal flotation device, whistle, timepiece (watch or otherwise) and follow all State of Florida and U.S. Coast Guard regulations. If a participant decides after sign-in not to complete the tournament he/she is REQUIRED to contact Tournament Staff so that all participants may be accounted for to the best of our ability within reasonable expectations at the end of the tournament. As a courtesy to participants IYL may have a safety power boat available on the water during the tournament with communications equipment on board. The safety boat may be staffed by one or more persons familiar with the local waters and may be staffed with one or more persons trained in first aid.  If a safety boat is on the water, a cell phone number to communicate with the boat will be given out at the Captains’ meeting. The participants assumption of responsibility and liability in the Application and Liability Waiver take precedent over any stated or assumed construes of this paragraph.

COMMUNICATIONS:  It is highly recommended that each participant have emergency communication devices, such as cell phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, or CB’s on board for emergencies. Reporting an emergency should be done by the most expeditious method available to authorized emergency response personnel and then reported to Tournament Staff. e.g. Call 911 first and then call Tournament staff.

DIGITAL PHOTO EQUIPMENT:  All participants must supply their own digital camera. Sharing of cameras is not allowed unless it is between a parent/guardian and minor who are both entered in the tournament.   Participants will bring the memory card (storage chip) and their camera to check-in. The Tournament Scorekeeper will download photos onto the official computer.  Most standard memory cards can be read. However, participants should bring the USB cable for their camera to ensure downloading.  IYL will not be responsible for camera, memory card, equipment failure, system incompatibility or any other photograph, software or hardware related issue that causes the angler to be unable to submit photos of their catch. At the sole discretion of the Tournament Scorekeeper, a participant may be asked to assist with retrieval of photographs. It is highly recommended that, prior to the tournament, you familiarize yourself with how to transfer photos from your particular camera to a computer. Memory cards / cameras will be returned to participant after photographs are downloaded. IYL will not be responsible for any lost photographs. It is highly recommended that a NEW unused memory card be used for this tournament for each angler. The camera on a cell phone will be allowed but it your responsibility to ensure before the tournament that computer download is possible and if extra equipment is needed you must bring it.

TOURNAMENT TOKENS:  All participants will be provided with a Tournament Token in their registration packet at the Captains’ Meeting.  If lost during fishing, the safety boat may have additional tokens.

PHOTOS – GENERAL:  The Tournament Committee would appreciate the first photo, in the  NCC Fishing Tournament sequence of photos on the digital device/memory card, being of you.  This photo can be taken by anyone or can be a “selfie”. However, this is optional.  The first MANDATORY photo in the NCC Fishing Tournament Sequence on the camera /memory card must be of your rigged kayak at the launch site. The TOURNAMENT TOKEN and MEASURING DEVICE must be visible in this first photo. Thereafter in subsequent photos the whole fish, measuring device and the Tournament Token must be clearly visible in each checked-in photograph. More than one photo of a fish may be taken to ensure a usable photo.  Printed photographs will not be accepted. No altered photos may be entered.  Photographs of the winning fish and/or anglers become the property of IYL. Signing the tournament application grants full permission to IYL and any and all sponsors of this event or their representatives to use any photograph, video, or any other records of this event for any purpose whatsoever.  

PHOTOS – MEASUREMENTS AND PENALTIES:  Fish measurement will be rounded DOWN to the nearest quarter inch.  Length is determined from the forward-most point of the mouth of the fish to the tail. Fish are to be measured mouth closed with the mouth touching the 0 (zero) mark, in a natural position (i.e. on its side with no bending of the fish body to extend length with the exception of flounder or similar species which are to be measured laying on their belly), with pinched tail for measurement.  If you fail to pinch the tail the judges will use the measurement shown. Judges will not estimate how long the fish could have been with the tail pinched.

Based on the number of  “mouth not touching the end of the measuring device” photos seen in prior tournaments it appears at times, depending on experience, wind, etc. to be difficult  for humans to wrangle a kayak, lay a live fish flat,  display the tournament token and take a “mouth touching the zero mark” photo unassisted.  Rather than disqualify participants who obviously made a ‘best effort’ attempt with less than perfect results, the following penalties will apply:

a) The tip of the mouth does not touch the end of the measuring device but clearly lies on or before the 1/2″ (one half inch) mark.  A 1/2″(one half inch) penalty will be deducted from fish length.  If the 1/2″ (one half inch) mark cannot clearly be seen in the photo, as determined by scorekeeper, a 1″ penalty will be deducted from fish length.

b) The tip of the mouth does not touch the end of the measuring device but lies past the 1/2″ (one half inch) mark, as shown in the photo or determined by the scorekeeper, and on or before the 1″ (one inch) mark.  A 1″ (one inch) penalty will be deducted from fish length.

c) If the gap between the end of the measuring device and the tip of the mouth exceeds 1″ (one inch), as shown in the photo or determined by the scorekeeper, the photo will be disqualified.

 Fish under or over the slot limit size may be photographed and entered but MUST be released. The maximum fish size is the length of the fish that can be measured and clearly photographed on your measuring device. i.e. if your fish is 39” and your measuring board is 36” , the fish will be checked in at 36”.  The judging committee will review photos to verify and determine place winners. In the event of a tie, the first fish checked-in will win.

CHECK-IN: Check-in of your catch will begin at 1:00 p.m. and end at 3:00 PM on Saturday April 15, 2023 at the official tournament site which is the IYL, 22nd 59th Street, Yankeetown, Fl 34498 unless otherwise communicated.  All participants must be checked-in or be in the check-in line with their cameras/memory cards by 3 p.m. to be eligible for prizes and awards.  Post tournament ceremonies will begin at 4:00 pm, or earlier if all participants are checked in and the scorekeeper has determined the winners. The awards ceremony will be at the Inglis Yankeetown Lions Club unless another location is announced at the Captain’s Meeting.

SCORING: The objective of this tournament is to photograph fish caught in hopes of photographing the winners for longest redfish, longest trout, longest combined length redfish / trout grand slam and longest combined length “mixed bag” (see Target Fish and Mixed Bag for more detail). If desired, you may checkin two redfish and two trout. If your longest redfish or trout is a First Place winner in an individual category or the redfish/trout grand slam (i.e. a cash prize winner), that fish is disqualified from all other competition including the Mixed Bag. First place winners may use their second longest trout and or second longest redfish as a Mixed Bag entry. Any 2nd or 3rd place winning fish in the individual categories may also be entered into the “Mixed Bag “competition.

MIXED BAG: award for “mixed bag.” Included in the mixed bag may be any legal game fish as defined by the rules of the State of Florida including redfish and trout. Up to three fish may be entered for the “mixed bag”. Only one fish of any one species may be entered in the “Mixed Bag”. Winner will be determined by the longest total (combined) length of the fish entered. Fish which are first place winners in the individual redfish, individual trout or redfish/trout grand slam are not eligible to be entered in the “mixed bag” competition. Second and third place fish in these categories may be entered into the Mixed Bag competition. You are not required to enter a trout or redfish in the “Mixed Bag”. You may enter the mixed bag with less than 3 fish. Scoring will be determined by the length of each fish. Winner will be determined by the total length of fish entered into the mixed bag.

AWARDS AND PRIZES:  Fishing awards will be given out the day of the tournament at the Awards Ceremony.   Anglers must be present at the Awards Ceremony to win.  The MINIMUM fishing awards for the tournament are $200 each for (1) the longest redfish, (2) the longest sea trout, (3) the combined length “slam” of one redfish and one sea trout, and (4) the “Mixed Bag”.  Second and third places for individual categories, the grand slam and the mixed bag will also be recognized.  All advertised minimum awards and donated prizes will be given out before the official close of the tournament unless an insufficient number of fish are caught to award these prizes. All awards and prizes may be subject to federal and/ or state taxes. You must report your own winnings.  IYL assumes no responsibility for your failure to report awarded prizes.  Non-participants are welcome to attend the awards ceremony.

            JR ANGLER INCENTIVE AWARD:  As an incentive to attract Jr. Angler’s to the sport of Kayak         Fishing a $50.00 cash award may be presented. Fish checked in by a participant 18 years of age   and younger will be entered into and are eligible to win the regular contests. In addition, the       longest fish of up to three species, that do not win any amount of cash in the regular contests, will            be entered into the Jr. Angler Competition. Winner will be determined by the longest total (combined) length of the eligible fish.

SPORTSMANSHIP & COURTESY:  All contestants are required to follow high standards of sportsmanship and courtesy to other tournament participants, the public in general, and tournament staff. Solely at the discretion of the Tournament Director or the President of IYL (or designee), any application may be rejected or any participant may be disqualified for any reason, including but not limited to those listed here: intoxication, violation of the rules, actions taken to secure a unfair advantage over other anglers, or any other action that reflects unfavorable upon IYL’s effort to host an exceptional tournament experience for all involved.  Any participant disqualified from this tournament will be ineligible to participate in future Nature Coast Challenge Tournaments for a period of no less than five years and longer, including permanent disqualification, if deemed appropriate by the current year’s tournament director.

T-SHIRTS:  Each participant who registers prior to the placing of our Tournament T-Shirt order will be given a free tournament t-shirt.  Available sizes are Small, Medium, Large, X-Large, 2X, 3X and 4X.  Additional shirts may be purchased if ordered by March 15, 2023.  Prices for additional t-shirts are: Small – X Large $20.00, 2x -4x $22.00. 

PROTESTS:  The Tournament Director is responsible for the final call in all matters except protests.  All protests must be submitted in writing 15 minutes before the announcement of awards to the Tournament Director or Tournament Judge.  The decision of the Protest Committee, which will be comprised of the President and two Vice Presidents of IYL, the Tournament Director and the Tournament Judge, or their designated representatives if they cannot be present, will be final.

REFUNDS AND CANCELLATION:  IYL will refund total fees paid by an applicant if a written cancellation is done online or received by IYL postmarked before midnight March 1, 2023.  IYL will refund 1/2 of total fees paid by an applicant if a written cancellation is received by IYL online or postmarked before midnight March 25, 2023. No refunds will be given for cancellations on or after March 25. 2023. The “rain date” for this event is Sunday April 16th, 2023. All rules for the regular date will apply to the rain out date.  The telephone number to call for recorded up-to-date tournament status regarding weather, etc. will be 352-505-7936. IYL reserves the right to cancel the Annual Nature Coast Challenge at any time. Should IYL cancel the tournament entry fees will be refunded except in the event a natural emergency or disaster forces the cancellation of the Tournament in which case IYL will refund fees minus prorated expenses that IYL cannot recover. In the case of a cancellation no awards will be given out.  For all tournament purposes, four hours (4) will constitute one full day of fishing and the tournament day will be deemed completed. The four hours will begin at first safe light or the start time announced by the Tournament Committee in which case the start time will not be after 10:00 am.


Inglis Yankeetown Lions Club – Attn: NCC Director

Physical Address:  22 59th Street, Yankeetown, Florida 34498 (Do not send mail to this address!)

Mailing Address:  P.O. Box 314, Inglis, Florida 34449

Phone: 352 505-7936 (FOR EMERGENCIES ONLY – 817-253-4144)

Website: www.naturecoastchallenge.com

email address: inglis.ytownlions@gmail.com

RELEASE OF LIABILITY AND COVENANT NOT TO SUE: a waiver, release of liability, and covenant not to sue are part of the Nature Coast Challenge entry form. It is required that all contestants sign this release of liability and covenant not to sue and take full responsibility for themselves and their minors while participating in event activities.