Fishing tournaments in Kentucky are suspended through May 31 because of the COVID-19 outbreak. On May 15, the Governor announced fishing tournaments may resume on June 1 with new guidelines. Continue checking this page and the Kentucky Healthy at Work page for the latest information.
Tournament Scheduling Requirements
Congestion at boat ramps across Kentucky is on the rise with the increased participation in competitive bass tournaments. Concerns from both recreational and tournament anglers stresses the importance of the Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources’ online Tournament Fishing Schedule site. This voluntary fishing tournament scheduling system was developed in 2005 to help solve congestion problems both at boat ramps and on the water. Use of this site has fluctuated over the years, but remains low. It is becoming critical that tournament organizers use this system to help ensure a better day on the water. Tournament organizers can use it to tell if a ramp is over capacity on a certain day, and then shift elsewhere if necessary to avoid the frustration of a traffic jam at a ramp. In addition, recreational anglers can also use the site to locate ramps that may be less crowed during tournament hours.
Tournament Organizers – Please spread the word about this helpful scheduling system.
Large Tournament Registration Requirements
All tournaments with more than 100 boats are required to register with the Division of Law Enforcement at least 15 days prior to the event. For information and application materials, contact the Division of Law Enforcement at 1-800-858-1549.
Kentucky State Parks Registration Requirements
In addition to the requirements from the Department of Fish and Wildlife, there are requirements for tournaments held at Kentucky State Parks. If you are planning a tournament out of a State Park ramp, click here for important information.
Proper Bass Handling
Tournament anglers and organizers participating in summer bass tournaments should be extra aware of proper bass handling needs. KDFWR recommends that all bass anglers and tournament organizers review the B.A.S.S. sponsored manual, "Keeping Bass Alive", at the link below. KDFWR Fisheries Division endorses these procedures and recommends that all bass tournament sponsors and anglers adopt these as standard practices in their June – August tournaments when water temperatures are high.
Keeping Bass Alive
These simple procedures can significantly increase the survival of tournament caught and released bass and will keep next year’s winning sack alive.