Team members must be members in good standing of NCL to fish an NCL event.


You are eligible to enter a Division I Tournament if you have NOT earned $5,000.00 per individual or $10,000.00 per team in the previous two (2) years with any major recognized trails (such as Crappie Masters, Crappie USA, Midwest Crappie Alliance, Crappie Elite, or Crappie Expo). You may NOT enter a Division I event if you are a fishing guide.  A fishing guide is anyone who has derived income from taking people fishing on a part-time or full-time basis in the last two (2) years.

A. There will be a Guides Division in Division I events.  The entry fee will be $500 for the ‘King of the Lake’ title.

B. Teams fishing Division I may launch from any public ramp available to all other anglers.

C. Teams may launch their boat on the day of competition thirty (30) minutes prior to safe light (posted

sunrise), but may NOT leave the boat ramp area until safe light (posted sunrise).  The Posted Sunrise Time

will be announced at the Pre-Tournament Meeting.

D. Off-Limits Notice:  Water is off-limits at 4:00 PM on the day of the Pre-Tournament Meeting.

E. Teams must enter the tournament no later than midnight the Sunday prior to the tournament start date to avoid a $25 late fee.

F. Teams may enter as late at the Pre-Tournament Meeting, however, a $25.00 late fee will apply.

G. The Tournament Director may, at his discretion, change the start time due to weather and/or safety issues.


Open Division Tournaments are open to all anglers/teams, regardless of previous earnings/placement.

A.  Open Division teams may launch from any public ramp available to all other anglers.

B.  Open Division teams may launch their boat on the day of competition thirty (30) minutes prior to safe

light (posted sunrise), but may NOT leave the boat ramp area until safe light (posted sunrise).  The Posted

Sunrise Time will be announced at the Pre-Tournament Meeting.

C.  Off Limits Notice:  Waters are off limits at 4:00 PM on the day of the Pre-Tournament Meeting.

D.  During practice, teams may only have immediate family or sponsors in their boat and must notify the

Tournament Director of such.

E.  Teams must enter the tournament no later than midnight the Sunday prior to the tournament start date

to avoid a $50 late fee.  Teams may enter as late as the Pre-Tournament Meeting, however, a $50.00 late

fee will apply.


At the Classic, Division I teams will compete against other Division I teams.  Open Division teams will compete against other Open Division teams.  The top five (5) teams of each tournament will qualify for the Classic, bump downs will occur if the team is already qualified.

Fishing 3 events or accumulating 300 Points qualifies the team for the championship.  The points system will determine the remaining classic qualifications, up to seventy-five teams per division, which will be determined by points. Angler of the Year will be determined by the best five (5) qualifying finishes, not including the championship.


The Pre-Tournament Meetings begin at 6 PM with late registration and/or voucher/wristband/boat number pick-up from 5 PM to 6 PM. The Pre-Tournament Meeting will be held the evening prior to Tournament Day. One team member MUST be present at the meeting.  The angles are responsible for knowing any changes announced at the Pre-Tournament Meeting.

6.   TEAMS

A team may consist of one (1) or two (2) anglers.  A team may have a third (3rd) angler IF that angler is under the age of 16. Pole limits for a team with a youth third (3rd) member are the same as a two (2) partner team.  Spectators are NOT allowed in the boat with a team during tournament hours.  A team may use one (1) substitute angler during the season, AFTER their first tournament.  The substitute must be fishing “their first”  tournament of the season and must be a member of the NCL.  NO substitutes are allowed in any team’s first tournament of the year.

7.  FISH

Teams may weigh in up to five (5) LIVE CRAPPIE.   The fish will be checked when an angler enters the weigh-in line.  A team entering the weigh-in line with more the five (5) crappie will be disqualified.  Teams must bring fish to the weigh-in line in an official NCL fish bag.  Teams may only have seven (7) fish in their live well during competition and only five (5) fish in the weigh-in line.  Crappie must be caught during tournament hours, on the legal tournament waters, by the team presenting the crappie.

Crappie must be legal in length as stated in the State Regulations.  Violation results in NCL Rules disqualification.

Dead fish:  If a team presents dead fish, all dead fish will be removed and the team may weigh the remaining fish. If fish have been checked by the tournament official and any fish dies after the check, the dead fish will be weighed.


Tournament waters shall be defined as areas open to all event participants and accessible by normal navigational means only.  Fishing within fifty (50) feet of a marina gas pump or fifty (50) feet of a competitor’s boat is prohibited.  Any violation of off-limits water will result in disqualification.   All boats will be issued a ribbon at the Pre-Tournament Meeting to be placed on their trolling motor, identifying them as a tournament participant.


In the case of extreme weather/water conditions, NCL reserves the right to postpone or delay the start of a tournament.  Tournaments canceled due to weather will result in the Teams’ entry fee being returned by mail.


Tournament Start/Stop times will be listed on the tournament information page on the website and announced at the Pre-Tournament Meeting.  No team will be able to enter the weigh-in line after the weigh-in line “closed” time.


Teams must comply with ALL state fishing and boating regulations.  Teams must wear life jackets,  while the big motor is running. Fishing and boating licenses are the responsibility of the team members.


Scales will be set up and open two (2) hours before the announced “stop time” of each tournament.  NCL reserves the right to open the scales earlier if conditions are such that fish are stressed.


Prizes will be awarded after the tournament.  Both Team Members must be present at the time of the weigh-in to be eligible for prizes unless previously excused by the Tournament Director, (i.e. Emergency has occurred.)

Big Fish entry is included in the tournament entry fee.  In the case of a Big Fish tie, the pot will be split 50/50.

A tournament tie for first (1st) place will be decided by Big Fish.  Ties for other places will split the purse for those respective places.



For the safety of all contestants, all boats must be a minimum of sixteen (16) feet in length, propeller-driven, and equipped with an operable ignition kill switch.  Rubber rafts, canoes, and Go-Devils are not allowed in practice or during official competition.  Two-person teams (one boat per team) must stay within twenty-five (25) feet of each other while fishing.

15.  POLES

A limit of eight (8) poles per team during the tournament applies EXCEPT when a respective state limit is set at a lesser number.  Teams may use rod and reel combos, hand-held pole and reel combos, or hand-held poles.

16.   BAITS

A maximum of two baits per pole may be used during tournament hours, If in accordance with Local and State laws.  Live and/or artificial bait may be used.  Stinger hooks and trailer hooks are prohibited. Crankbaits with treble hooks are allowed.


Binoculars and other magnifying devices are NOT allowed at any time during pre-fishing or tournament fishing.  The use of mobile communication devices, such as cellular phones, marine radios, walkie-talkies, CBs, etc. to communicate fishing information during tournament hours is PROHIBITED.  Any team that violates this rule will be subject to disqualification and being banned from future events.


NO ONE can be hired or compensated in any way to fish with you or mark fishing spots for you, sixty (60) days prior to any tournament.


During tournament hours NO ONE may spot fish for you or mark fishing spots for you. During Open Tournaments there is to be NO sharing of information in any way, including, but not limited to the sharing of waypoints, coordinates, or any other method for locating fish during tournament hours.  Any team that violates this rule will be subject to disqualification and being banned from future events.


A team may transfer fish to another boat to get to the weigh-in on time, ONLY in the case of boat or motor damage.


Beverages, drugs, or substances that can impair anglers are NOT allowed in the boat or during NCL competition hours until polygraphs are given.  Anglers on medical prescriptions must notify the Tournament Director.


Refunds shall only be made in a life-threatening emergency or death in the family.  Entry fees may be moved and credited to another event with two (2) full weeks’ notice and payment of a $25.00 transfer fee and with approval of the tournament director.  (NO transfer or refund within fourteen (14) days of an event for any reason. No exceptions.)   


NCL reserves the right to have a spotter and/or observer and/or a Tournament Film Crew Staff Member on any team’s boat at any time during the tournament phases.


All protests must be made in writing to the Tournament Director within thirty (30) minutes following the end of the official weigh-in.  All protests must cite the rule number(s) allegedly broken.


Instances of poor sportsmanship during the tournament or using social media posts in a negative way towards the trail, its competitors, or its sponsors, may be grounds for disqualification or being banned from competition, if circumstances require.


Any team having a member who has failed or has refused to take a polygraph test or was on a team that was disqualified or denied a prize because either member of that team failed or refused to take a polygraph or who has ever been denied a prize because he or she misrepresented compliance with a tournament rule will be disqualified.  The team member who takes the polygraph must inform the Tournament Director if there are any medications or substances that may affect the polygraph reading.


By your participation in this tournament, you agree to comply with the rules and agree to submit to and pass a polygraph test or similar truth test to qualify for the receipt of any prize.  Tests may be given to teams at random at any/all events.  A contestant who fails to pass a polygraph test or whose condition does not permit the administration of a test because of the contestant’s use of alcohol/drugs will be disqualified and the team will not be allowed to participate in any future NCL events.  At the request of NCL officials, one member of each team that qualified for a prize must submit to and pass a polygraph test and/or any other test deemed necessary to determine compliance with tournament rules.  Polygraph tests will be given at random at all events. Only one member of the team selected by the Tournament Director will be tested.  If that member passes the test, the prizes earned by the team will be awarded.  If that member fails the test, the team will be disqualified and neither member of the team will be awarded a prize.  The test will be given only once and no contestant will be eligible for a second test under any circumstance.  The decision of the test examiner as to the contestant’s compliance with tournament rules will be the final decision as to eligibility for any prize.  Contestants agree to release National Crappie League LLC, NCL, and all sponsors of these events from any liability arising from the administration of the test and/or the decision of the test examiner.   

Participants in NCL events agree to release NCL and its sponsors from any obligation for using names and photo likenesses in promotional materials and/or video productions.

All decisions regarding compliance with these rules and the interpretation of these rules will be made by the Tournament Director and NCL, which reserves the right to make additional rules for the conduct of its tournaments, if circumstances require, including placing spotters in a team’s boat during completion. NCL tournaments do not discriminate for reasons of race, creed, color, or national origin and we abide by all rules set forth in the American Disabilities Act.