7th Annual Elephant Butte Lake Kayak Fishing Tournament. [POSTPONED]


7th Annual Elephant Butte Lake Kayak Fishing Tournament. [POSTPONED]

Saturday, May 16, 2020
| Fishing Tournament
Target Sub-species: 
Bass - Large Mouth Bass
Bass - Small Mouth Bass
Bass - White Bass

Tournament Director
Matt Ramey

Zia Kayak Outfitters Owner

Russ Trager


Tournament Director
Matt Ramey

Zia Kayak Outfitters, Owner

Russ Trager

Need Help? Contact Us

7th Annual Elephant Butte Lake Kayak Fishing Tournament

Elephant Butte Lake
Elephant Butte, New Mexico 87935

After more than two months of the State Park being closed, the Governor was expected to announce that State Parks would re-open on May 1st for day use only. While this was to have been wonderful news, Elephant Butte State Park is remaining closed until further notice. Of course, our Kayak Fishing Tournament scheduled for May 16th had to be POSTPONED. Sorry, we do not have a new date yet.

7th Annual Kayak Fishing Tournament that is CPR (catch-photo-release) accepting Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, and White Bass. Best 5 fish combined length = your score. Top 10 participants win money and prizes. 1st prize is your choice of a 2020 Hobie Pro Angler 12 180 or 2020 Hobie Pro Angler 14 180 fishing kayak.

$85 USD
Individual Angler


Tournament is over

Website: www.ziakayakoutfitters.com/


"Logging Your Catch" Instructional Video
5 months 5 days ago
Welcome to iAngler Tournament - Adding Your Photo to the Leaderboard
5 months 5 days ago

Events & Schedule

Captain's Meeting

05/15/2020 07:00 PM

Elephant Butte Community Center

Morning check-in

05/16/2020 06:00 AM

Upper parking lot of Marina del Sur at Elephant Butte Lake State Park

Lines in the water allowed after checking in

05/16/2020 06:30 AM

Lines out of water

05/16/2020 03:30 PM

All participants must be checked in at Zia Kayak Outfitters no later than 4:30pm. (This is a safety issue to be sure we have everyone accounted for...)

05/16/2020 04:30 PM

Zia Kayak Outfitters 310 Rock Canyon Road, Elephant Butte (across from the Fire Department; watch for the overhead lights).

Awards Meeting

05/17/2020 11:00 AM

Sierra Del Rio Golf Course located in Elephant Butte, off Warm Springs Blvd., in the Club Restaurant outside patio area.



Russ Trager
Matthew Ramey


Rules and RegulationsClick to Read



Participation and Eligibility:
Participation is open to anyone that will fish from a “no-motor” watercraft, such as a Kayak, Paddleboard, Canoe, Rowboat, or any other human propelled vessel (hereafter referred to as “kayak”). Minors are eligible with a parent or legal guardian signature on the Entry Form. All participants must have a valid New Mexico Fishing License and adhere to all New Mexico Department of Game and Fish rules and regulations.


Pre-Registration and Captain’s Meeting:
Each participant must complete the Entry Form) and pay fee before the Captain's Meeting at 7pm Friday, May 15, 2020. However, by waiting until the last moment to turn in your Entry Form keeps us from ordering the proper sizes and number of t- shirts. To avoid not being able to get your size t-shirt, if for whatever reason you can’t submit your Entry Form by April 1st, please call us and let us know both your t-shirt size and your intent to be in the tournament. Entry Forms will be accepted as late as 6:59pm on May 15, which is 1 minute before the starting time of the Captain’s Meeting at 7:00pm at the Elephant Butte Community Center, 313 Rio Grande Circle, Elephant Butte, NM 87935 (off Rock Canyon Road – behind Fire Department- watch for the overhead lights) across the street from Zia Kayak Outfitters.

Attendance at the Captain’s Meeting is MANDATORY for all participants. If a participant is unable to attend, they must prearrange their eligibility with the Tournament Director before being allowed to take part in this tournament. Uniform measuring devices will be distributed to those who need one at the Captain’s Meeting along with a Captain’s Bag containing t-shirt(s), a State Park Day Pass (if needed), and sponsor giveaways. All entry fees are NONTRANSFERABLE and NONREFUNDABLE unless event is canceled. At this meeting the Tournament Director will go over the following:

  • Review of the rules
  • Potential hazards when on the water
  • Medical emergencies, communications and safety explanation of C-P-R and scoring
  • Demonstration of measuring device usage
  • Demonstration of uploading your photos to iAngler (more about this to follow)
  • The tournament clock will be synchronized
  • Participants must have their own boat, bait, tackle & SmartPhone Camera.

Morning Check-in:
Saturday, May 16th, between 6:00am & 6:30am, all participants MUST meet with the Tournament Director at the right side, upper parking lot area inside the Main Entrance of the Elephant Butte Lake State Park at Marina del Sur. After ‘head count’, participants will be released to launch their kayaks at any Elephant Butte Lake location of their choosing and begin fishing.

  • Purpose of head count is to know exactly who is on the water so that at day’s end all participants can be accounted for; thus, resulting in no need of Park Rangers searching for missing participants.
  • Participants fishing in tandem kayaks must so indicate to the Tournament Director that two participants are competing in one boat.
  • The tournament will be conducted rain or shine. But in the case of dangerous conditions, the tournament will be postponed to the following day or to a later date.
    • The decision to shorten or cancel will be left totally to the discretion of the Tournament Director. If cancelled or rescheduled, participants have the choice to be refunded or have their fee applied to a future scheduled event.
    • Should there be a decision to shorten the event, a 4-hour period shall constitute a day of fishing.

Start Time & Ending Time:
Starting time of the Elephant Butte Lake Kayak Fishing Tournament is scheduled to begin after Morning Check-in at 6:30am. The Ending time for fishing is 3:30pm exactly. The Official Time is determined by the timepiece of the Tournament Director. No other watch or cellphone time will be treated as a valid time for this tournament. All participants may fish as late as they wish, just so long as they are able to get to shore and travel to Zia Kayak Outfitters at 310 Rock Canyon Road, Elephant Butte (across from the Fire Department; watch for the overhead lights) in time to be checked in and receive assistance uploading their photo files to iAngler, if needed, no later than 4:30pm.

Participants, at their choosing, are allowed to bring their photo files in at any time during the day prior to the 4:30pm final deadline for assistance in uploading to iAngler.

  • Participants must gauge their own Ending Time to allow for returning to shore, getting kayak out of the water, onto their vehicle or trailer and driving to Zia Kayak Outfitters in time to be clocked in by the Tournament Director no later than 4:30pm.
  • If a participant has not checked in with the Tournament Director at Zia Kayak Outfitters by 4:30pm, that participant will be disqualified. No exceptions! This is a safety issue....

Tournament Format:
Elephant Butte Lake Kayak Fishing Tournament is operating in C-P-R (Catch - Photo – Release) format. Fish are not to be brought to Final Check-in. Participants must use their own Smart Phone cameras to document the overall length of the fish caught. The ruler showing length (aka Hawg Trough) will be provided at the Captain’s Meeting, if you do not already have one, must be clearly visible in every picture. Length is measured to the nearest quarter of an inch from tip of lower jaw to the tip of the un- pinched tail. Each participant will be marked with a black Sharpie on their fish-holding hand or be provided a unique visual item that will be attached to their Hawg Trough. While holding the fish when taking a photo, the Sharpie mark or the unique visual item will be photographed along with the fish to prove photo was taken on this day. All photos not showing the Sharpie mark or unique visual item will be disqualified.

Permitted Fishing Methods:
Participants should make every effort to release their fish alive after catching and photographing. Participants may not fish more than one rod at a time, and a cast must be fully retrieved before the angler may pick up another rod. All fish must be caught via a fishing rod, line and hook using live or dead bait or an artificial lure on the day of the tournament during tournament hours. All fish must be caught via kayak. Wade/shore fishing is allowed provided the kayak was the sole means of transportation to the fishing location and provided that the kayak is within sight and a safely reachable distance of the angler at all times. Participants may not catch fish that have been caught, caged or confined in a given area prior to the tournament day. During the tournament, a participant may not obtain assistance from a non-participant, including, but not limited to the non-participant placing markers, or providing electronic, voice or data communication helpful to the participant in locating fish.

Fishing Locations:
Elephant Butte Lake has over 200 miles of shoreline. The tournament boundaries are Elephant Butte Dam/Ash Canyon in the south and the area called Chalk Bluffs in the north. All fishing locations must be in waters accessible to the public at all times.

No Ferrying (i.e. the use of a boat or motorized vehicle to transport your kayak while on the water is prohibited). All motors of any power, electric or combustion are prohibited. Kayaks designed to be paddled, pedaled or sailed are permitted.

Safe boating conduct must be observed at all times. Participants must wear a PFD when on the water and be in possession of a sounding device to be in compliance with state laws.

Plan ahead and come prepared. Be certain to have food, snacks and water/beverages. It is advisable to bring sun protection/sunscreen. And dry bag/boxes for anything that shouldn’t get wet.

Tandems / Sharing:
Two participants are allowed to fish in the same boat if notice is given to the Tournament Director at Morning Check-in. The boat must be the type of boat that is generally recognized as being safely capable of carrying two participants. In this situation, all people in said boat must be registered participants (no non-participants are allowed in the boat). Participants fishing in the same boat must score their fish individually using their own measuring device and upload photos to their own account with iAngler.

All types of communication between participants are allowed. Participants may even share information of where the fish are biting with the other participants, if they wish. Should there be a need of an Emergency call, when possible, also contact the Tournament Director. The Tournament Director’s phone number will be given out at the Captain’s Meeting and again at the Morning Check-in.

Participants are expected to follow high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any infraction of these fundamental sporting principles may be deemed cause for disqualification. Maximum courtesy must be practiced at all times, especially with regards to boating and angling in the vicinity of non-participants who may be on the tournament waters. Any act of a participant deemed by the Tournament Director that gives an angler an unfair advantage not specifically covered under this set of rules, shall be grounds for disqualification.

Elephant Butte Lake has many species of fish. In no special order, there are Walleye, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass, Striped Bass, White Bass, Crappie, Bluegill, White Drum, Catfish, and Carp. Plus, while very rare, some have caught Northern Pike and Trout. For the sake of this tournament, Largemouth Bass, Smallmouth Bass and White Bass are eligible and may be submitted/uploaded to iAngler. While your bag limit is 5 fish, you will be able to upload every fish you catch and want to submit. iAngler will automatically keep track of your 5 best fish!

Catch - Photo - Release:
Tournament is a Catch-Measure-Photo-Release event using the length of the fish in inches to determine a score. Participants’ 5 best fish will be tracked by iAngler from all the fish you upload. Fish must be photographed in or on the boat, on the provided measuring device (Hawg Trough). The fish’s lip must be touching the upright vertical end of the Hawg Trough. Participant’s Sharpie marked hand must be placed on top of the fish when taking the picture or the unique visual item must be in the photo. All pictures must be taken with the upright vertical end of the Hawg Trough on the left- hand side of the picture frame. This is to ensure all photographs are done in a standardized manner for judging and to keep the same fish from being submitted twice. The participant’s hand must be in photo securing the fish and displaying the Sharpie marking or unique visual item while shooting the photo as long as the mouth and the tail are visible and hand does not excessively cover the markings of the fish. No devices other than a hand should be needed to secure the fish to the Hawg Trough, some anglers use a rubber band to help keep the fish tail from curling up.

The event uses Catch-Photo-Release scoring determined by the length of each fish. Length is determined from the forward most point of the fish (fish must be facing to the left) to the natural un-pinched top of the tail. Participants will have a score generated by a maximum of 5 fish that were uploaded for scoring. Prizes will be awarded to the top 10 participants:

  • Participants must understand that a single fish length, or a combined length of 2 fish, that is longer than the combined length of any other participant’s 5 fish will win the “aggregate” prize.

Big Fish:
In addition to iAngler tracking everyone’s aggregate score, iAngler will also track the LARGEST fish uploaded in order to determine a “Big Fish” winner for this tournament. Zia Kayak Outfitters will collect $10.00 from each participant who wishes to be part of the Big Fish competition. After the awards from the tournament have been handed out at the Awards Meeting, the winner of the Big Fish competition will be announced and be given all the cash collected from those who provided $10.00 to compete.

  • Should there be a tie for the “Big Fish,” the participant’s second largest fish will be used as the tie breaker and if needed, the participant’s third submitted fish will be used to break the tie.

iAngler Tournament:
The iAngler Tournament System (www.ianglertournament.com) is a comprehensive system for the operation and management of fishing tournaments. The iAngler mobile application allows anglers participating to log their catch data while still on the water. This means data is collected all day long and everyone will have a Live Leaderboard to view giving them encouragement to keep casting to catch “one” more fish!

  • During the tournament, participants will use the mobile app to photograph their catch and record basic information while on the water. The catch is immediately transmitted to the iAngler web portal for review by the Tournament Director. The transmission takes seconds. If an internet connection is not available, the catch record is saved for transmission later.
    • The Tournament Director is immediately notified when an angler logs a catch. He/she can review the catch photo and information, then accept or reject the submission. Accepted catch records are immediately scored and posted to the Live Leaderboard. Anglers are immediately, via email and within the app, when a catch record is rejected. The rejection notice contains a message from the Tournament Director on why the record was rejected. If possible, the catch record can be corrected and resubmitted.
      • Example: catch was 19 1/2” and submitted as 21”. Tournament Director would see this and reject. Angler would be able to correct and resubmit.
  • The mobile app is available for free downloading in the iTunes, Verizon Play Store and Google Apps app stores.
  • While participants of tournaments are supposed to pay $5 to gain access, Zia Kayak Outfitters will pass out a CODE at the Captain’s Meeting enabling you to have access when you register. Registering will be an important topic at the Captain’s Meeting.

Understand that while a Leadboard is Live and visible, fish that are uploaded by the app later when the angler’s phone gets a signal or when uploading is done at Check In, means some fish were not uploaded and may change expected rankings.

Final Check-in:
Final Check-in is located at Zia Kayak Outfitters 310 Rock Canyon Road, Elephant Butte (across from the Fire Department; watch for the overhead lights). All participants must physically Check-in with the Tournament Director and be clocked in no later than 4:30pm. The Tournament Director will be in front of Zia Kayak Outfitters wanting to be assured all participants are safely off the water.

Submission of your fish should have taken place while you were on the water; however, if you require assistance, we will help you upload your fish to iAngler. Be certain you have read the iAngler requirements of fish information we will need in order to upload properly on your behalf.

  • The deadline for arriving at the Final Check-in is 4:30pm. If a participant has not checked in with the Tournament Director at Zia Kayak Outfitters by 4:30pm, that participant will be disqualified.

Prize Structure:
Bragging rights and a big picture of you on several websites and Facebook pages (for at least a week) is priceless, but in addition.....

iAngler will be seeking the event’s largest “virtual” stringer of fish. Using aggregate scoring of a total of 5 fish, there will be 10 prize winners plus the Big Fish competition winner.

  • Should there be a tie, the Tournament Director will review the photos and choose the winner based on the fish photos that are the visually larger and/or heavier.

1st Prize: Your choice of a Hobie Pro Angler 180 12 or a Hobie Pro Angler 180 14. 2nd Prize: $500 Cash and $100 Zia Kayak Outfitters store credit
3rd Prize: $400 Cash and $75 Zia Kayak Outfitters store credit
4th Prize: $250 Cash
5th Prize: $200 Cash
6th Prize: $150 Cash
7th Prize: $125 Cash
8th Prize: $100 Cash
9th Prize: $50 Zia Kayak Outfitters store credit 10th Prize: $50 Zia Kayak Outfitters store credit

Sponsors may provide additional awards to participants fishing using their product(s) at their own discretion.

Big Fish competition payout... if 100 compete at $10 each, payout is $1,000

Awards Meeting:
Sunday, May 17th, at 11:00am, all participants expecting to take home prizes and everyone who wants to view the final, final results are to meet at Sierra Del Rio Golf Course located in Elephant Butte, off Warm Springs Blvd., in the Club Restaurant outside patio area. Treats will be provided.
It is expected that in addition to you, family members of participants, the Tournament Director, Russ & Edna (Zia Kayak Outfitters), sponsors and media may be in attendance. Prizes will be given out and pictures will be taken.

All protests must be submitted in writing along with a $100 cash deposit, within 30 minutes of Final Check-in time to the Tournament Director. If the Tournament Director, who has sole discretion in deciding the validity of the protests, upholds the protest, the cash deposit shall be returned to the participant submitting the protest. Protests may be made with regards to the fairness of the rules or enforcement of the rules. Scoring of photos is subject to the discretion of the Tournament Director, or his/her assigns, and not subject to protest. Allegations of cheating by other participants are not protests, but should be reported to the Tournament Director.

Cheating & Bans:
Cheating is a disgrace to the fun-spirited purposes for which the Elephant Butte Lake Kayak Fishing Tournament is organized. Any participant found cheating will face punishment, as determined by the Tournament Director. Punishment is likely to include a lifetime ban from Elephant Butte Lake fishing events and the names of cheater(s) prominently displayed in public. There is no appeals process for bans or other punishment and the Tournament Director has final discretion on these matters. Any participant who sees or suspects another participant of cheating should attempt to photograph said actions. Whether or not the participant is able to photograph the alleged cheating, it should be reported to the Tournament Director at Final Check-in, or via phone during tournament hours so that justice may be served. Alleging cheating is not a protest and does not require a $100 deposit.

Release of Liability:
A waiver, release of liability, and covenant not to sue is required to participate. It is required that all participants take responsibility for themselves while participating in the varied Elephant Butte Lake Kayak Fishing Tournament activities. Participants must accept that kayak, canoe, etc. fishing is inherently dangerous - safety and individual responsibility must be exercised at all times.

Photo Releases:
Scoring photos and other photos downloaded to the official tournament computer remain the sole ownership of Zia Kayak Outfitters and its sponsors. Participants grant Zia Kayak Outfitters and sponsors the unconditional right to use their name, voice, photographic likeness and biographical information in connection with the Elephant Butte Lake Kayak Fishing Tournament and production, promotion, and/or articles and press releases, and shall not be entitled to receive any royalties or other compensation in connection with such use. This includes photographs taken by Zia Kayak Outfitters and the sponsors or media.

Rule Changes:
These written rules become finalized at the end of the Captain’s Meeting. Rules interpretation is exclusively left to the Tournament Director. Rules can be changed and will be left exclusively to the Tournament Director.

Zia Kayak Outfitters wants to conduct a Kayak Fishing Tournament annually and desires ever increasing numbers of participants. Please take a moment to send an email to EBkayakT@gmail.com offering your suggestions of how we might make improvements. Compliments are also acceptable!

General Information:
Contact the Elephant Butte Chamber of Commerce to learn of places to stay, eat and area attractions. www.elephantbuttechamberofcommerce.com (575) 744-4708

Entrance to State Park requires a Day Pass costing $5.00 per vehicle, or $40 for an annual pass. Tournament participants will be provided a Day Pass in their Captain’s Bag at the Captain’s Meeting.

Fishing licenses can be obtained online using this web address http://www.wildlife.state.nm.us/ . Zia Kayak Outfitters is a New Mexico Fishing

License Vendor.
Tournament quality fishing tackle is available at Zia Kayak Outfitters 310 Rock Canyon Rd., Elephant Butte.

Maps of Elephant Butte Lake are available online at:
http://www.emnrd.state.nm.us/SPD/BOATINGWeb/documents/ElephantButteLakeMap_ 000.pdf

and viewing Google Maps at https://maps.google.com/maps?ie=UTF8&q=elephant+butte+lake+state+park&fb... s&hq=elephant+butte+lake+map&cid= 4554388603399255697&ei=KoyiUoiTBITM2AXZ5IDIBw&sqi=2&ved=0COEBEPwS

Printed maps are available at the Guest Office at the State Park Main Entrance of Marina del Sur.

Kayak launching spots include Marina del Sur, Rock Canyon, Dam Site Marina and shoreline areas known as Dirt Dam, Lions Beach, Rattlesnake Island, Hot Springs Landing Cove, Long Point, Lost Canyon, Three Sisters and Monticello South Point. Be aware of soft sand areas to avoid getting stuck even with 4-wheel drive.


Disclaimer Click to Read

Release of Liability:

A waiver, release of liability, and covenant not to sue is required to participate. It is required that all participants take responsibility for themselves while participating in the varied Elephant Butte Lake Kayak Fishing Tournament activities. Participants must accept that kayak, canoe, etc. fishing is inherently dangerous - safety and individual responsibility must be exercised at all times.

The Release of Liability is included in your registration form.