Tournament Rules, Fees, and Payout Info
Effective 9/1/20 (supersedes all previous versions)
The Santee Lakes Catfish Club tournament rules are to provide a fair and equal playing field for all participants. Participants are expected to follow all tournament rules. Rule infractions are subject to disqualifications or permanent ban from club tournaments and events. All decisions regarding compliance with and interpretation of these rules will be made by the tournament directors.
Entry Fees & Payouts
A club membership fee of $15 will be required for each angler 18 thru 64 years of age and is good for one (1) season. Seasons run Sept 1 – Aug 31 each year. Anglers aged 65 or older are granted honorary membership.
Tournament Entry Fee: $125 ($100 allocated to tournament pool, $25 allocated to Big Fish Pot)
Tournament Winners Payout:
Under 25 boats Payout: 1st 60%, 2nd 30%, 3rd 10%*
25+ boats Payout: 1st 55%, 2nd 25%, 3rd 15%, 4th 5%*
Big Fish Winners Payout: 1st 100%**
*In case of a tie, the tournament winner will be based on higher weight of the Big Fish. If a tie still remains, the 1st and 2nd place winners will split the combined prize money.
**In case of a tie, the big fish winner will be based on the higher total weight.
NOTE: The tournament directors will allocate 5% from the tournament pool to support tournament operations, 10% of remaining tournament pool will be allocated to Season Points Championship prizes and 10% of total Big Fish Pot will be allocated to Big Fish of the Season prize(s).
- Santee Lakes Catfish Club (SLCC) tournaments are team events. Each team consists of members aboard a single boat. There is a limit of 4 team members per boat during a single tournament, however, fish limits are based on a 2 person team. (Youths ages 17 and younger are not included in the team count.)
- Teams must compete from a boat. If a team member must exit the boat during tournament hours for any reason, fishing must be suspended.
- A captains meeting may be called prior to start of the tournament if required.
- Chumming prior to a tournament or fishing in a known baited or chummed hole is strictly prohibited.
- Livewells, bait tanks, and coolers will be checked at tournament registration. Failure to comply will result in disqualification from the tournament. Catfish under 10” intended as bait is allowed.
- Daytime Tournaments: Teams must register in person between 5:00 am and 5:45 am and have boat present for livewell check. All boats will leave at 6:00 am (“blast off”). Weigh in will begin at 2:15 pm. You must be visible at the designated weigh area by 2:30 pm in order to weigh in. (The Cooper River tournament schedule is adjusted by 30 minutes.)
- Night Tournaments: Teams must register in person between 4:30 pm and 5:15 pm and have boat present for livewell check. All boats will leave at 5:30 pm (“blast off”). Weigh in will begin at 2:15 am. You must be visible at the designated weigh area by 2:30 am in order to weigh in.
- Teams are allowed to trailer their boat, if desired. However, teams are not allowed to leave the registration area until the posted “blast off” time.
- Participants may not fish within 150 feet of another participant’s anchored boat.
- A maximum of ten (10) rods per boat may be used at one time. (You may carry more rods as back up but no more than ten are allowed in the water at one time.)
- All fish must be caught on rod and reel. No catfish may be taken by jugs, limb-lines, or trotlines.
- Any commercial or natural bait will be allowed. The use of natural bait must comply with state and local fishing regulations.
- Club members are required to follow CPR during tournaments. The use of stringers, ropes, or bags for keeping catfish alive is strictly prohibited. No exceptions. No fish that has been stringered will be weighed. It is the responsibility of the team to ensure their boat is properly equipped to keep fish alive and healthy throughout the event. Fish must be alive at weigh-in.
- The following species of catfish may be weighed; blue, channel, flathead, white, or bullhead. Three fish limit consisting of two (2) Blues over 36", third fish must be under 36" with the EXCEPTION of a Flathead that CAN be of any length as allowed by law. Single person can only weigh in one (1) Blue over 36", three man or four man can only weigh in two (2) Blues over 36". Any team that weighs in 3 blues over 36” will be disqualified from the tournament. There is NO size limit during our Cooper River tournaments in accordance with current DNR rules.
- No more than three fish and no fish less than 10” in length are to be brought to the scale. No culling is allowed at the dock or weigh-in area.
- Teams deciding not to weigh-in for any reason must contact a SLCC tournament director and so advise. This will assist in ensuring that everyone has left the water safely at the completion of the tournament.
- Teams must comply with all local and state fishing and boating regulations. Use of PFDs and kill-switches are strongly encouraged by all competitors. Proper fishing and boating licenses are the responsibility of tournament participants.
- Anyone caught or seen discarding expired fish at the launch or weigh-in site will be disqualified from the tournament and suspended for one (1) year from club events on the 1st offense. 2nd offense will result in permanent ban from Santee Lakes Catfish Club events.
- In case of a tie for total weight, the team with the biggest fish will earn the higher place. If a tie still remains, the 1st and 2nd place winners will split the combined prize money.
- Any protest must be submitted in writing within fifteen (15) minutes of the announcement of the final results. The submission must include the team and the rule that was broken. Rulings will be made by the Santee Lakes Catfish Club directors, and their decisions are final.
- In case of extreme weather conditions, the Santee Lakes Catfish Club reserves the right to postpone or cancel the event.
- The Santee Lakes Catfish Club, its directors, or entrants are not and will not be responsible for any accidents or injuries at any SLCC tournament or event.
- By participating in tournaments and events, you agree to have your name and photo on our website or other publications and media.
- Teams may be required to take a polygraph test before the tournament results are final. Any team having a member who fails or refuses to take a polygraph test or whose condition does not permit administration of a test due to the use alcohol or drugs will be disqualified from the tournament. Tournament directors have the authority to select any number of tournaments during the season to conduct a polygraph. The tournament directors will allocate $400 from the tournament entry fees to pay for the polygraph tests.
- The Santee Lakes Catfish Club promotes friendly competition between its members during our tournaments, and it’s important that each participant be respectful toward your fellow competitors and display proper conduct throughout the event. Tournament directors have the discretion to ban any club member from participation in club events for improper, hostile and/or volatile behavior during tournaments or other club activities.