The Essentials

The more popular kayak fishing becomes, the more we get asked one question: How do I get involved in kayak tournaments?

The answer to that question will vary depending on what trail you’re fishing (though they’re all similar), so let’s just focus on what you need to fish Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ events.

The rules and our rules addendums are the most important things you should focus on. We never want to disqualify an angler, deduct length from a fish, or deny a fish, but it happens. Invariably, it happens when there is a misunderstanding of the rules or someone doesn’t know the rules at all.

Beyond that, every event has a description with all the info you need to know about that particular event, including links to all of the things mentioned here.

There is a learning curve, especially if you’ve never fished a kayak tournament before, but if you take the time to read everything on this page, including the rules and rules addendums, the rest will come in time.

Here are the essentials…


This is the most important thing every tournament angler needs to pay attention to, and yet it’s probably the one aspect of our sport that anglers pay the least attention to.

To help promote consistency in kayak bass fishing competition nationwide, Massachusetts Kayak Bassin’ adopted Kayak Bass Fishing’s Competition Rules Standards. You can find those rules here.

However, there are a few things that we do differently, so we have our own rules addendum, which you can find here. In addition, some events may have its own rules addendum, further restrictions or less. Those details will be provided in the event description on Fishing Chaos.

All anglers wishing to compete in our tournaments are required to understand and comply with these rules. Failure to do so could result in deductions or disqualification.


To fish our events, you need to have an active MAKB membership. Our memberships are annual and can be purchased here through Fishing Chaos, which is what we use for our tournament management system.

We have four divisions—Eastern, Western, Central, and Northern—plus an online division. With an annual membership, you can fish events in any division and our online events. When choosing any of the four other divisions, the division you choose will be the only division in which you will receive divisional Angler of the Year points. For overall Angler of the Year, any regular-season live event counts toward your yearly total.

Non-Angler of the Year live events and online events do not count toward Angler of the Year.


We use Fishing Chaos as our tournament management system, which means we run our events through their website and app, as well as control our memberships, communicate with our members, etc.

You will need a Fishing Chaos account and the app on your phone. They have subscription plans—monthly and annual—or you can pay an additional fee per event. The choice is yours. You can read more details about their plans here, but at a minimum, you will need to create an account with them and have the app on your phone in order to fish our events.

The app requires certain permissions in order for it to work correctly. In particular, granting the app access to your submitted photos’ EXIF data. To ensure these settings are correct, please read our Using the Fishing Chaos App article.

If your phone uses the Android operating system (essentially everything but iPhones), please then read this article, which details how to properly submit photos to the app.

All Android phones are different, however, so it may take some additional steps depending on what type of phone you have.


All anglers fishing MAKB events must use a Ketch Products measuring board, any version of their aluminum board or their plastic Karbonate board.

Ketch boards are the industry standard.


This is detailed in the rules, but emphasizing it doesn’t hurt. All anglers are required to wear a PFD (i.e. life vest) at all times during our events. The one exception is when you are adding or removing closing (specific details on that can be found in the rules, section 15).

There are many other things that will help you on your journey into competitive kayak fishing, but all of that comes in time, comes with experience, engaging with your fellow anglers, etc. Everything listed above is the essentials, the stuff you must have to fish our events.

There are some more obvious essentials, of course, like a phone, an approved vessel (kayak, canoe, etc.), but everything above should cover all of the less obvious requirements.

If you have any questions, please contact us here.