Boat Division - 2022 Gulf Coast Sweetwater Classic

Saturday, March 12, 2022

2021Gulf Coast Sweetwater Classic Tournament Rules and Regulations

The purpose of the Gulf Coast Sweetwater Tournament is to promote friendly competition in an effort to improve skills and knowledge of fly fishing for bass and sunfish. The experiences and results of the tournament will provide contestants – and others – with the tackle, techniques, and strategies to becoming more successful fly anglers.

This is a FUN and SIMPLE tournament. While the rules are many, the vast majority are just plain common sense. They are there to insure a safe event, and to insure that fish are handled and released properly. If you have any questions, please submit to the Tournament Director.
These rules will be reviewed at the Captains meeting the evening before the tournament. 1. ENTRY. $30 (+ $1.25 via PayPal)

2. FISHING HOURS: 6:30am – 12:30pm Saturday. Contestants in the boat divisions may launch no earlier than 6:00am. Photo entries must be submitted no later than 12:45pm.

3. REGISTRATION. Open to the public until 8:00pm on Friday, Saturday 17th, 2021. See below for details.

4. CHECK-IN. All participants will be required to check in Friday afternoon or Saturday morning prior to fishing. You will be assigned your id number and asked to submit/sign the waiver of liability. Also bring your measuring board with you for verification.

5. WAIVER. By registering for this event you agree to the Fly Fishers International – Gulf Coast Council (FFI-GCC) waiver/release of liability waiver. You will be asked to sign this waiver at check-in time.

6. WEIGH-IN. Because this is a CPR tournament, there is no physical weighing in of fish. Rather, this will be where contestants can submit entries that were -not- entered via the Tournament APP. It will also be the location where final results will be tallied, and where any protests must be registered.

7. TACKLE: Only rods, reels, line and flies designed exclusively for fly fishing may be used. No soft plastic baits, or other types of baits customarily used for other tackle may be used. No live bait or liquid attractants may be used. No other types of rods and reels – other than fly tackle – are permitted in the boat during the tournament. Only one (1) fly rod may be used at any one time per angler.

8. BOAT REGULATIONS: Due to the small size of Lake Tangipahoa and Lake Okhissa, all watercraft will be considered boats. Boats with combustible engines are considered “powerboats” by our definition. Kayaks and canoes can use trolling motors, but must still obey rules for non-powerboats. Powerboats must meet U.S. Coast Guard regulations and have an emergency kill switch. Anglers in powerboats are required to wear a USCG-approved life preserver (PFD) when operative. All anglers NOT in powerboats must wear a USCG approved life preserver at all times on the water.

Boat – (powerboat, kayak, canoe, etc) – longest bass
Bank – longest bass
Slabmaster – longest crappie

At registration time, each angler must register either as BOAT (powerboat, kayak, canoe, float tube, etc.) or BANK. No angler can register for both. This is a big (longest) bass tournament with one exception.

The Slabmaster Award will go to the angler in either BOAT or BANK who submits the longest crappie caught during the tournament.

10. BOUNDARIES: BOUNDARIES: All fish must be caught in either of two waters:

11. ENTRIES: This is a CPR (catch-photo-release) tournament. Any fish registered should be handled with care and quickly released. Fish are to be placed on a measuring board, with the angler id number and fly in the photograph. Take the photo using a smartphone, and enter the fish and photo through the tournament app. If using a digital camera, be sure to bring camera to the weigh-in location prior to weigh-in deadline.

12. SCORING. Each angler’s longest fish will be used for placement.

– The longest BASS among boaters will be awarded 1st place.
– The longest BASS among bank fishermen will be awarded 1st place.
– The longest CRAPPIE among all anglers will be awarded the Slabmaster Award.

13. TIES: In event of a tie, first fish caught gets higher rank. The metadata of the photo will be used to determine time of catch. In event there is no fish submitted in one division, there will be a drawing among all entrants for the prize pot.

14. PAYOUTS: As the purpose of this event is to raise funds for the FFI Gulf Coast Council’s education and conservation initiatives, at least 40% of entry fees will be considered donation. Donated items may be awarded in lieu of cash. Here are the awards per each division (BOAT, BANK) based on participation.

Slabmaster (longest crappie) - $100 gift card

15. CONSOLATION DRAWING: All participants who registered for the Sweetwater Classic who did -not- place in the tournament will be eligible for a special prize drawing to be held after tournament winners announced.

15. REGULATIONS: All anglers must have a current Mississippi fishing license. Daily or annual freshwater licenses for residents and non-residents can be purchased at the State Park office, or at several local businesses such as Walmart. Contestants must be familiar with regulations for Lake Tangipahoa and Okhissa Lake.

16. SPORTSMANSHIP: All contestants are expected to follow state and federal regulations, and demonstrate high standards of sportsmanship, courtesy, safety and conservation. Any contestant who fails to do so, or brings unfavorable publicity to the sport of fly fishing will be disqualified.

17. ALCOHOLIC BEVERAGES AND DRUGS: At no time during tournament hours are any alcoholic beverages or drugs, other than prescription, allowed in the boat or to be consumed while on the water. Violation of this rule will result in immediate disqualification and forfeiture of all entry fees.

18. WEATHER: The tournament will be held regardless of weather conditions UNLESS deemed hazardous by the Tournament Director. In such case, the director reserves the right to alter fishing times, or even to cancel the tournament. If the tournament is cancelled, there will be no refunds of entry fees (consider it a donation to the FFI-GCC which most of the entry fee is anyway).

19. RULE ENFORCEMENT: Interpretation and enforcement of these rules shall be left exclusively to the Tournament Director. The decision of the Tournament Director and tournament officials will be FINAL IN ALL MATTERS. Any attempts at cheating is punishable by law and will also result in permanent ban.


1. Prior to fishing, individual must check-in at the registration desk for their tournament ID. Each contestant will be issued one identification tag and hands numbered at check-in.

2. The measuring board must be a hard ruler, either metal, wood or plastic, which clearly shows the numbers and lines for inch and half-inch markings. Homemade, retractable tape, paper, or other “soft” measuring devices are NOT acceptable.

3. A fish photograph should show the fish with mouth closed touching the left end of the ruler with tail in a natural position. Any deviation from this may result in a minimum of 1/4′′ penalty by the Tournament Director.

4. The photos must also show the ID tag or numbered hand.

5. The photos must be taken with the fish facing left and the dorsal fin up. No fish will be recorded which does not comply with the prescribed photo requirements. Fish length will be rounded to the next higher quarter-inch.

6. Only fish at least 8 inches in length are to be submitted.

7. Make EVERY effort to minimize handling of the fish and time out of water. No photos of duplicate, dead, mutilated, or otherwise damaged fish will be accepted.

8. If using a digital camera, or your smartphone doesn’t have a cell connection, bring your camera/phone to registration to have photos checked BEFORE 12:45 p.m.

9. Examples of Acceptable and Unacceptable photographs: