All entrants should conduct themselves in a sportsman-like manner. This tournament is run on the honor system and we expect that all anglers will adhere to the system. Please be respectful of the denizens of our tournament locale as we are fishing waters that surround a sensitive ecosystem that is a federally designated wildlife refuge. Most importantly take care of the fish you catch. We are lucky to be fishing one of the best bass lakes in the country, treat the fish as the precious resource they are.
The Basics :
Catch-Photo-Release – The catch-photo-release format of the Ditch Pickle Classic utilizes tournament supplied rulers and an angler supplied digital camera to document and score catches before safely returning fish to the water. **Each fish caught during the Ditch Pickle Classic must be returned to the water. **Anglers keeping fish will be disqualified.
Fly tackle only – Flies must be presented with typical fly tackle using a typical fly cast with a single fly per line. Anglers determined to be using inappropriate methods will be disqualified.
- Fly rods – in the interest of landing fish quickly we recommend 6wt and above fly rods however, anglers are permitted to use any rod weight they wish.
- Flies – flies made of natural and synthetic material are permitted. Packaged soft plastics attached to fly hooks are not permitted. Only flies with a single hook are permitted, this means no stinger or treble hooks. Scenting of flies or chumming will not be permitted.
- Lines – anglers must use lines that provide the necessary weight to allow a fly cast to me made. Only one line per angler may be used at a time
Landing nets – The use of landing nets is permitted. Team members are permitted to aid individuals in landing fish that are on the line.
Individual anglers and teams – Anglers will be competing for individual and team prizes
- Individual anglers – individual anglers may fish the tournament, they will not be eligible for team prizes, and there must be a second individual present to take photos
- Teams – Teams will be composed of two anglers. Members of teams are eligible for team and individual prizes. A “grip and grin” photo is required for each fish caught so that it can be attributed to the individual for scoring purposes
- Non-boaters - As a non-boater you may still register for the event and we will make every effort to pair you up with someone. If we cannot find you a partner, your entrance fee will be refunded in full
- Captains - Teams may have a captain to pilot the vessel for them. The "captain" is strictly there to drive the boat and may not assist the team with anything other than photographs. *Captains/Charter Guides for hire are not permitted under any circumstances*
Registration – There is a $30 registration fee per angler. Each angler's $30 ($60 team) registration fee will translate in part into materials and labor required to build and install our mono bins. The remaining $10 will get each angler an official Ditch Pickle Classic t-shirt! Registrations are non-refundable. **All anglers must sign the Annual Ditch Pickle Classic fishing tournament waiver and release prior to participating.
- Pre-registering – It is strongly encouraged that anglers pre-register. To register, anglers should send an email with team name, team member’s names, and contact information to firstname.lastname@example.org. The tournament committee will then respond with payment options. Pre-registration will be allowed until 7pm on June 29th.
- Late registration – Registration the day of the tournament is permitted however, late registering teams or individuals will be charged a $10 late registration fee.
- "Big Pickle Pool" – Individuals may contribute $10 to the Big Pickle Pool. The individual that catches the largest bass will win the entirety of lunker pool contributions. Lunker pool registration, payable in cash only, may be made the day of the tournament with no penalty.
Watercraft – All anglers may fish from legally registered motorized watercraft or paddle powered personal craft. Teams fishing from motorized crafts or canoes must be fishing from the same vessel. Teams may be composed of 2 anglers fishing from individual kayaks. All vessels must conform to Vermont Boating Laws. All anglers must wear personal floatation devices while the vessel is under power.
Licenses - All entrants must hold a valid Vermont State Fishing License that is to be presented to tournament officials prior to launching. Sporting licenses may be purchased ahead of time via an Authorized Licensing Agent or on the Vermont Dept. of Fish & Wildlife website.
Documenting Catch - Prior to launch, each team will be given an official tournament ruler and scorecard to be kept on board their vessel for the duration of the tournament. To qualify for points a bass, largemouth (Micropterus salmoides) or smallmouth (Micropterus dolomieu) must be 12" or larger. Angler must record details of catch, including Species, Length, Point Value & Time on official tournament scorecard. 2 digital photos must be taken of each qualifying fish. Note: There may be prizes for fish species that do not qualify for tournament points so you should document those as well!
- Photo #1 - Lay fish out along tournament ruler so that entire length of fish is clearly visible
- Photo #2 - Have your team mate take a "Grip'n'Grin" photo of you holding your fish. Make sure the entire fish is showing as well as the angler from the waist up. These photos will be used for promotional material as well, so make every effort to take a good photo!
Digital Cameras – You can’t document your catch without one. In order to accrue points each team/individual angler must have a digital camera to document their catches. The Ditch Pickle Classic is not responsible for lost or damaged cameras. Cameras don’t like water, take precautions.
The Specifics :
Tournament – The 2013 Ditch Pickle Classic will take place on June 29th & 30th, 2013. Anglers may fish waters surrounding the tournament location however, please note that failure to check in prior to the tournament or at the end of the tournament day will result in disqualification!!
- Check-in Location – The tournament check-in site will be the Missisquoi National Wildlife Refuge Headquarters on Tabor Road in Swanton, Vermont. Click Here for directions. Check-in hours will be from 9am-12pm on 6/29. In addition to tournament information, we will have select items for sale such as leaders, tippets, flies, Buffs, sunscreen, hats, etc.
**If you do not make it to check-in by 12pm on 6/29, your team will be disqualified!
- Tournament Hours – The tournament will take place between the hours of 12pm-8:30pm on 6/29 and 5:20am-12pm on 6/30.
- Boundaries – Qualifying fish may be caught from Lake Champlain and Lake Champlain tributaries. Our official tournament launch is at the Larry Greene Access Area on Rte 78 in Swanton. **Please note: you may launch from the access of your choice. However, you must report to the check-in site/tournament officials at the times indicated on your scorecard.
Scoring – Scoring in the Ditch Pickle Classic is determined by fish length. In order to qualify documentation must be supplied as described in rule 6, and the fish must be released alive. There will be 5 categories for scoring as follows, fish will be rounded down i.e a 13.9” fish will fall into the 12-13” category.
- 12-13” – 1 point
- 14-15” – 2 points
- 16-17” – 3 points
- 18-19” – 4 points
- 20”+ - 5 points
Tiebreakers - In the event of a tie in points, the winning determination will go to the angler with the largest fish. In the event of a tie in the Lunker pool, the winning determination will go to the angler with the most overall points.
Scoring and Tiebreaker Rulings - All rulings by the tournament committee are final
Weather / Cancellations - The Ditch Pickle Classic will take place rain or shine! The tournament directors reserve the right to cancel or postpone the event at any time due to hazardus weather conditions such as lightning or high winds