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2024 Angler of the Year Rules

0.) If you are not familiar with NWKA AOTY, please see this forum post: https://www.northwestkayakanglers.com/index.php?topic=23483.0

1.) All fish entered must be caught by hook and line (i.e. hooked, fought, and landed) from a human power kayak, canoe, SUP/boards of no greater than 42" wide. The watercraft must be powered by a double bladed paddle (kayak style), leg drive system (Mirage or others), or single bladed paddle (canoe or SUP). Double/tandem paddlers are allowed. The use of amas/outriggers is allowed. Inflatible vessels paddled kayak or canoe style meeting the maximum width restrictions are allowed. Float tubes, belly boats, kick boats, and the like are NOT allowed. Vessels paddled rowing style are NOT allowed.

2.) No mothershipping (defined in more detail in rule #11) allowed, the kayak must be under human powered control from launch until landing. Motors are not allowed onboard even if they are not used.

3.) All entries must be caught without aid from anyone else and using methods deemed legal according to the body of water from which they are caught.

4.) Photographic evidence of fish size (total length) against a measuring device must be provided. Photographs must be clear, with measurements easily read. It is recommended to use a sharpie on measuring devices that are not clearly marked. All entries must be rounded down to the nearest quarter inch. The ENTIRE fish must show on the measuring device in at least 1 picture. Missing portions of the head or tail will result in a disqualification of the fish. Any fish that has the appearance of possibly being not qualified for entry (such as the appearance of an adipose fin from a non native retention body of water) will be disqualified. Participants are responsible for ensuring the pictures are of sufficient quality to demonstrate the legality of the catch as defined by the laws of the respective state. Fish may NOT be gutted, have their throat cut or ripped through, or manipulated in any way prior to photographs being taken. Cutting of gills is permitted. Tails may be pressed together or tilted. All entries this year will have admin approval before appearing as official entries. There may be a few days lag between the time you post a picture and the time it appears on the AOTY site.

5.) All fish entered must be caught in Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, British Columbia, or Alaska. Fish caught from waterways with restricted access to the public, such as members only or private waterways or aquaculture operations, are not allowed. Fish caught from waters where anglers have to pay on a per fish basis, such as trout farms, are not allowed.

6.) The pool covers the following 28 species/groups: Walleye, Kokanee, Greenling, Lake Trout, Steelhead, Cabazon, Panfish, Rockfish, Smallmouth, Chum, Surf Perch, Cutthroat, Largemouth, Lingcod, Rainbow Trout, Halibut, Flounder, Chinook, Coho, Pink Salmon, Sockeye Salmon, Grayling, Catfish, Dolly Varden / Bull Trout / Arctic Char, Yellow Perch, striped bass (including wiper hybrids), shad, and brown trout.

7.) Only fish that you can normally keep and eat (per the regulations pertaining to the waters you are fishing in) are eligible.

8.) The biggest fish from each angler's top ten species will be used towards the angler’s total points.

9.) Panfish are defined as the following common names (freshwater sunfish, crappie). As of 2016 yellow perch are a separate category.

10.) Entries must be posted within 2 weeks of being caught and photographed. No "hoarding" of entries.

11.) Use of motherships is prohibited. "Mothership" is defined as arriving by and launching from a boat. Use of a vessel(e.g. water taxi, ferry, or privately owned boat) to travel to a destination for overnight or multi-day trips is not considered mothershipping. Camping on boats is permitted and kayaks may be launched from the boat, as long as the vessel was moored overnight and the kayaks are launched from the overnight mooring location.

12.) Fish caught while participating in, or in conjunction with, a paid and/or guided trip may not be entered. This includes guides, comped participants, and paid clients.

13.) Use of wind power by sail is allowed only if all other craft restrictions (see rule #1) are followed.

14.) For fish submissions that are marked "on the fly", photographic evidence of the fish must include the fly reel, fly line, or fly rod in at least one photo with the fish.

15.) Side challenges exist which apply to all AOTY fish species, such as the On The Fly challenge and the Tiny Fish challenge. Prize distribution for side challenges is based on many factors including prize availability, angler's rank in the Main Event, and overall participation in the side challenge. Prize distribution is ultimately up to the discretion of the judges.

16.) The youth division is for children who are not required to buy an adult angling license in their state of residence. One youth division spot is free with a paid adult's AOTY registration. The youth division has it's own leader board and prizes. Rules for the youth division are slightly more relaxed, for example, and adult can assist in netting a youth's fish. As a general rule of thumb.. "as a parent would you be proud to say your child caught this fish from a kayak".. if so feel free to enter it.

17.) All fish entered must be caught after the donation has been made. An exception to this rule may be granted at the Admins' discretion in January if the payment mechanism is not available.

Scoring Scale
Lingcod thumb Lingcod 5.0 pts/in
Vermillion thumb Rockfish 8.0 pts/in
Halibut thumb Halibut 4.25 pts/in
Cabezon thumb Cabezon 8.0 pts/in
Coho thumb Coho 6.0 pts/in
King thumb Chinook 5.0 pts/in
Steelhead thumb Steelhead 6.0 pts/in
Trout thumb Rainbow Trout 8.0 pts/in
Smallmouth bass thumb Smallmouth Bass 10.0 pts/in
Largemouth bass thumb Largemouth Bass 9.5 pts/in
Panfish thumb Panfish 14.0 pts/in
Chum thumb Chum 6.0 pts/in
Greenling thumb Greenling 11.0 pts/in
Surfperch thumb Surf Perch 13.0 pts/in
Flounder thumb Flounder 8.0 pts/in
Cutthroat thumb Cutthroat Trout 8.5 pts/in
Walleye thumb Walleye 7.5 pts/in
Kokanee thumb Kokanee 11.0 pts/in
Laketrout thumb Lake Trout 6.0 pts/in
Catfish thumb Catfish 6.5 pts/in
Pink thumb Pink Salmon 7.5 pts/in
Grayling thumb Grayling 10.5 pts/in
Dolly varden thumb Dolly/Bull/Char 7.5 pts/in
Sockeye thumb Sockeye 7.0 pts/in
Yellowperch thumb Yellow Perch 13.5 pts/in
American shad thumb American Shad 7.0 pts/in
Brown trout thumb Brown Trout 8.0 pts/in
Striped bass medium thumb Striper/Wiper 5.25 pts/in