Tournament Rules, Fees, & Payback Info
The Southeastern 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.  Club tournaments are open to anyone that wants to compete, so consider yourself a member when participating in your first tournament.  Our only requirement is that your boat is properly equipped to keep fish alive and healthy throughout the event.  Even though tournaments are a major part of the club’s function, the promotion and education of Catch, Photo, Release (CPR) is a critical part of our mission.  Club members are required to follow CPR during tournaments and encouraged to preach it to others in our community.  It’s the only way to sustain our fisheries for future generations to enjoy many years to come.

Family and friends are encouraged to participate at our tournament weigh-ins.  Thank you for your cooperation with the tournament rules, and we look forward to seeing you at the next event!

Brian Snipes & Josh Coggins

Tournament Rules

The Southeastern 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.


  1. Southeastern Catfish Club tournaments are team events.  Each team consists of members aboard a single boat.  There is no limit to the number of team members a boat can have during a single tournament.  The points system as it relates to team members will be described in the section below.
  2. A membership fee of $20 will be required for each angler above 18 year of age and is good for one (1) season.
  3. No one is allowed on tournament waters eight (8) hours prior to tournament start time except to catch bait with a cast net or ultra light tackle.
  4. Chumming prior to a tournament or fishing in a known baited or chummed hole is strictly prohibited.
  5. A captains meeting may be called prior to start of the tournament if required.
  6. Livewells, bait tanks, and coolers will be checked at registration and random launch points.  Failure to comply will result in disqualification from the tournament.
  7. Teams must compete from a boat.  Any circumstances that require a team member to enter or exit the boat during tournament hours, fishing must be suspended.
  8. All boats will leave the launch site or sites at the designated launch time. No saving of spots will be allowed. Please refer to the Tournament Launch & Start section below for specific details.
  9. Participants must remain at least 150 feet away from another participant’s boat during tournament hours unless providing distress assistance. In such cases of providing distress assistance, the tournament directors must be contacted immediately.
  10. A maximum of ten (10) rods per boat may be used at one time.
  11. All fish must be caught on rod and reel.  No catfish may be taken by jugs, limb-lines, or trotlines.
  12. Any commercial or natural bait will be allowed.  The use of natural bait must comply with state and local fishing regulations.
  13. 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.  All fish caught must be kept in the team’s livewell, shall only be transferred from the livewell into the totes provided by the tournament directors, and taken directly to the weigh-in scales. The team’s livewell must be equipped with a functional aeration system that includes components such as fresh water pumps, re-circulation pumps, bubblers, agitators, or an oxygen system.
  14. All boats must be in the weigh-in line thirty (30) minutes after the tournament end time.
  15. The following species of catfish may be weighed; blue, channel, flathead, white, or bullhead.
  16. A team limit of three (3) fish per boat must be weighed in alive on Lake Wateree and Fishing Creek.  Lake Wylie will have a 2-fish weigh-in.
  17. Due to the new North Carolina blue catfish state law effective August 1st, 2016, tournaments on Lake Wylie will have blue catfish restrictions.  Teams with 2 or more anglers can weigh-in 2 blues over 32 inches. Single man teams can only weigh-in 1 blue over 32 inches.  This rule does not apply to flatheads or channels.
  18. 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 Southeastern Catfish Club events.
  19. Club members are required to follow Catch, Photo, Release (CPR) of trophy fish outside of club events.  Tournament directors have the discretion to ban any club member from participation in club events if a member does not follow CPR.
  20. Only containers and totes provided by the Southeastern Catfish Club at the weigh-in may be used to transport catfish from the livewell to the scales.  No nets, coolers, bags, or buckets are allowed.
  21. In case of a tie for total weight at a tournament, the team with the biggest fish will earn the higher place.  If a tie remains, the pot will be split evenly.
  22. 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 Southeastern Catfish Club directors, and their decisions are final.
  23. In case of extreme weather conditions, the Southeastern Catfish Club reserves the right to postpone or cancel the event.
  24. 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.
  25. The Southeastern Catfish Club, its directors, or entrants are not and will not be responsible for any accidents or injuries at any Southeastern Catfish Club tournament or event. Each entrant is required to sign the WAIVER, RELEASE OF LIABILITY, AND ASSUMPTION OF THE RISK AGREEMENT prior to participating in any club event. Signing and submitting the agreement will be good for one (1) season. The official agreement can be found and downloaded here.
  26. By participating in tournaments and events, you agree to have your name and photo on our website or other publications and media.
  27. Team 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.
  28. Tournament registration is explained in detail in the Club Membership & Tournament Registration section below.
  29. Tournament blast-off at a single location will not occur for safety purposes. Please refer to the Tournament Launch and Start section below for additional details.
  30. Weigh-ins for tournaments held on Fishing Creek, Lake Wateree, Lake Murray, and Santee Cooper will remain a 3-fish tournament. Single man teams can only weigh-in 2 blues over 32 inches.  This rule does not apply to flatheads or channels.
  31. Membership with the Southeastern Catfish Club includes displaying the highest form of professional conduct before, during, and after Southeastern Catfish Club events as well as during non-Southeastern Catfish Club events and on social media. Good Sportsmanship is an integral characteristic each member must possess to build and sustain the integrity of the club. Failure of a club member to adhere to Good Sportsmanship conduct will be reviewed by the Southeastern Catfish Club directors and committee and assessment of a penalty will be determined based on the severity of the offense. The club member will have the opportunity to submit an objection to the offense through the tournament director prior to the vote. One of the following penalties can be applied:
     a. Revocation of all points up to the time of the offense
     b. Revocation of club membership for 1-year

    c. Lifetime revocation of club member

Club Membership & Tournament Registration

The new registration procedures are designed to streamline tournament day operations and will go into effect at the beginning of the 2022-2023 season.

Club Membership

All anglers must establish a club membership prior to fishing their first tournament of the season. Membership is good for the entire tournament season. New teams or anglers can be join at any point throughout the season. Dues of $20 are required for all anglers above the age of 18. Waivers are required for all anglers including minors. Dues and signed waivers must be enclosed in an envelope at registration described below.


Teams will be allowed to pre-register up to one month prior to the start of the tournament. Drop-boxes will be located at Jamie K Outdoors and Sutton’s Landing and will be open from the Sunday following the previous tournament to Thursday, 12pm of the tournament week. Please follow the guidelines below when pre-registering:

1. Team’s tournament entry fee of $120 must be enclosed in a sealed envelope.
2. Your team name and members clearly printed on the front of the envelope.
3. If your team is fishing for the first time in the season, please refer to the Club Membership section above.

As an added bonus, teams that pre-register will be randomly drawn from a hat and will receive free-entry to the next tournament.

Same-day Registration

Teams will be allowed to register for the tournament on the same day of the event. The registration table will be held at the designated weigh-in location outlined on the Schedule page and will be open from 5:15am to 6:00am the morning of the tournament. Guidelines listed above in the Pre-registration section should be followed.

American Catfishing Association (ACA) Affiliation

In addition to the registration procedures above, each team is solely responsible for ensuring your team and official ACA members register on the Southeastern Catfish Club’s tournament page within the ACA site. Each tournament will have its own registration page, and detailed instructions will be provided each month. The Southeastern Catfish Club will not be responsible for ensuring your team and team members are correctly registered on the ACA site. Any discrepancies with ACA points allocation will need to be addressed directly with the ACA support staff.

Tournament Launch & Start

The new tournament launch and start procedures are designed to protect the safety of the teams and participants of our tournaments and will go into effect at the beginning of the 2022-2023 season.


Teams may launch their boat from public ramps, private ramps, or private docks. Team can board their boat at 6:00am and safely navigate to their first spot. Restricted launch points and lake boundaries will be sent the week of the tournament and communicated through our Facebook page.

Tournament Start
Teams can begin fishing at 6:30am.

Teams failing to comply with any of the launch and start procedures will be subject to the following offenses.

First offense: Teams will be docked 10lbs at the tournament weigh-in.

Second offense: Teams will be banded from all remaining tournaments of the season.


Tournament Fees & Payback Info

Entry Fees & Payouts
Entry Fee & Big Fish: $120 (10% set aside for Points Championship & Big Fish of the Year Fund)
Tournament Winners Payout (< 50 teams): 1st 60%, 2nd 30%, 3rd 10%*
Tournament Winners Payout (>= 50 teams): 1st 45%, 2nd 25%, 3rd 15%, 4th 10%, 5th 5%*
Big Fish Winners Payout: 1st 70%, 2nd 30%**

*In case of a tie, the higher place will be determined by the higher weight of the team’s Big Fish.  If a tie still remains, the payout will be combined and split evenly.
**In case of a tie, the big fish winner will be based on the higher total weight. If a tie still remains, the payout will be combined and split evenly.

1st & 2nd finishing teams will receive two plaques each, and Big Fish of the Tournament will receive one plaque. Teams can purchase additional plaques if desired.

Points Champion & Big Fish of the Year Payouts
Points: 1st 60%, 2nd 30%, 3rd 10%*
Big Fish:1st 100%**

*In case of a tie, the Points Champion will be determined by the highest average finish throughout the season. 
**In case of a tie, the Big Fish of the Year winner will split the prize money.

Season's Championship Points System

The season’s points championship race will be determined by the total points accumulated per team throughout the year.  A team can be created at any point during the season.  A team must create a unique team name, be limited to a maximum of four (4) core members, and designate a captain.  Any core team member can participant in a tournament and score points for their team.  Additional, non-core team members can be added to the team throughout the year.  An angler can fish with another team, but no points will be awarded to the team for that angler.

Points will be rewarded to teams based on finishing position and are awarded to each team that enters a tournament and weighs in at least one fish.  The points system is based on a 100-point scale with a 2-point differential between each place through the top 50. Each team outside the top 50 will receive 1 point.

Bonus Points:

– 1st place team will receive an additional 5 bonus points for winning the tournament.
– Team with the Big Fish of the Tournament will receive 5 bonus points.
– Team with the 2nd Big Fish of the Tournament will receive 2 bonus points.

The breakdown for each tournament by finishing position are:

Finish Points
1st 105
2nd 98
3rd 96
4th 94
5th 92
6th 90
7th 88
8th 86
9th 84
10th 82
11th 80
12th 78
13th 76
14th 74
15th 72
16th 70
17th 68
18th 66
19th 64
20th 62
21st 60
22nd 58
23rd 56
24th 54
25th 52
26th 50
27th 48
28th 46
29th 44
30th 42
31st 40
32nd 38
33rd 36
34th 34
35th 32
36th 30
37th 28
38th 26
39th 24
40th 22
41st 20
42nd 18
43rd 16
44th 14
45th 12
46th 10
47th 8
48th 6
49th 4
50th 2