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Indiana Slab Masters Rules

1). Entries

A.) REGULAR TOURNAMENT FEES: $75.00 per team ($150.00 for a two day event) which does include big fish ($70.00 entry fee + $5.00 big fish). Only one (1) fish will be allowed to be weighed for Big Fish. This fish must be chosen before the team reaches the scale. Only one (1) "Big Fish" will be paid out on a two (2) day event. You must be a paid member of Indiana Slab Masters prior to entering any IN Slab Masters event of the season. All competitors under the age of 18 will require a youth membership for the IN Slab Masters.

B.) MEMBERSHIP FEES: Season Membership runs from January 1 to December 31 of the same calendar year that dues are paid. Individual new and renewal memberships will be $40.00 a person and will be due prior to the first tournament member fishes of season. Total annual membership dues for a Team (of 2) is $80.00. Under the age of 18 membership is free for all youths. A parent or guardian must sign a membership release form for each youth fishing. After a member fishes (1) event during the regular season, they may have a guest for a single tournament for a $20.00 guest membership. If the guest fishes additional events, they can convert the guest membership into a season membership at any point during the year by paying the additional $20.00.

C.) You may enter tournaments alone. No more than (2) team members are allowed in participating boats during tournament hours. Exception: Unlimited number of youth(s) under the age of 18 (not requiring a fishing license, but still only 6 poles per boat may be used) No other persons are allowed in competing boats during tournament hours. IN Slab Masters reserves the right to place a spotter and/or observer with any participant, and/or to board and inspect any and all boats entered in any IN Slab Masters events at any time. All members must sign entry forms to enter into tournaments and must fish from the same boat during all tournament hours. If one or more participants exit the boat during tournament hours, all lines must be removed from the water and fishing must cease until all participants are back in the boat.

D.) All persons entering any IN Slab Masters tournament or event are subject to a polygraph tests at any point, at the request of IN Slab Masters Officials. Refusal/failure of a polygraph will result in disqualification in any IN Slab Masters event, revocation of membership, forfeiture of any money and/or prize(s). No refund of any kind will be made to any person(s) who refuse or fail a polygraph. All test results and decisions made by IN Slab Masters Officials are final.

E.) CLASSIC ENTRY FEE: $150.00 per team, which does include Big Fish ($140.00 entry + $10.00 big fish) 100% payback for the classic.

F.) IN SLAB MASTERS CLASSIC QUALIFICATIONS: You will be eligible for the IN Slab Masters Classic if you physically compete in (4) regular current season tournaments and check-in with one of the IN Slab Masters Tournament Officials at each weigh-in.

G.) In case of extreme weather/water conditions, Tournament officials reserve the right to cancel, postpone and/or to reschedule any tournament or event. All entry fees will be refunded , in the case of tournament cancellation.

2.) On the Water Rules:

A.) Fish-able waters are defined as areas on tournament lakes/reservoirs that can be accessed by all boats. Bank fishing is not allowed & teams must fish from a boat. All ramp, launch and license fees are the responsibility of participants & are not included in any entry fees. All boats must stay a minimum distance of 25 feet from other tournament boats while fishing and maintain good sportsmanlike conduct at all times.

B.) All Participants must use rod & reel combos or hand held poles. A maximum of 3 rod & reel combos or hand held poles can be used per person and a maximum of 2 hooks per rod/pole. There is a maximum use of (6) poles at one time per boat (even with (2) members and youth(s) fishing together), although you may have as many poles in the boat as needed. The use of rod holders is allowed. Artificial and/or live bait may be used. All crappie must be hooked in the mouth or lips. A landing net may be used and no other types of nets for catching fish are allowed.

C.) The use of alcohol or non-prescribed drugs during tournament hours is strictly prohibited and failure to comply will result in immediate disqualification. All competitors must follow all state boating laws, including recognizing idle zone and speed limits. If you receive a ticket for a boating law violation, you are disqualified from that event. All competitors are expected to practice safe boating practices and be respectful of all other boats on the water. If a member files a complaint about unsafe or unlawful boating practices of a team the following consequences will occur:

  • 1st offense - Warning

  • 2nd offense in same season - Disqualification for that event

  • 3rd offense in same season - Revocation of membership

D.) No one shall be hired or compensated in a professional capacity to fish with or for you, spot for you, or physically mark spots for you 30-days prior to or during any tournament hours. Spot sitting by competitors or non competitors boats will not be allowed and be considered unsportsmanlike.

E.) Binoculars/sight magnifying devices are not allowed for the purpose of spying on other competitors during tournament hours. No communication devices of any kind shall be used to communicate to or receive fishing information to or from anyone during tournament hours.

F.) All live wells will be empty at the start of all tournaments and no loose live bait of any kind shall be put in any livewell holding crappie to be weighed in at any tournament. Weight enhancement of any kind is not permitted and is grounds for immediate disqualification. Pre tournament livewell inspections and disciplines will be at the discretion of the Indiana Slab Masters Tournament Director. All judgements are final.

G.) Every angler will be required to wear a PFD (Personal Flotation Device) while under the power of the running motor between the time a team signs into the tournament until the team weighs in. If a member files a complaint about the PFD Rule the complaint must be addressed with in ten minutes of the last team to weigh in. The violation of the Rule will be subject to the condition of the Rule 5-F polygraph rule only. If the accused admits guilt, the polygraph will not be performed. The following consequences will occur if the accused member is determined guilty:

· 1st offense ? Warning

· 2nd offense in same season ? Disqualification for that event

· 3rd offense in same season ? Discipline action determined by the Board of Directors that could result in revocation of membership.

If an acting board member or advisory board member is the angler that witness the violation, Rule 5-F will be bypassed and the guilty member will be disciplined by the above consequences


A.) NEW Rule Amendment for 2024: All Tournament Lakes and Rivers will be off limits from Monday thru Thursday before any given tournament. Friday morning (the day before the tournament) practice is open from first light until dusk.

IMPORTANT NOTE: This amended rule will be strictly enforced and treated just like cheating. If a team (1 or both members) fishes a tournament lake on the Monday thru Thursday off limits time before a tournament, you will not be eligible to fish that tournament. If you do fish during the Monday-Thursday off limits period before a tournament and attempt to fish in the tournament, disciplinary action, including expulsion from the club, and possible banning a team for life, could result.

All references to tournament times by IN Slab Masters are understood to be EASTERN STANDARD TIME (EST) no matter what time zone the tournament waters are in. Pre-fishing cut off time is 9:00 PM the day before any tournament. You must be off the water BY 9:00 PM and tournament waters are off limits except during tournament hours until released after check-in on final tournament day. Tournament Registration will begin at 5:30AM and end at 6:00AM You are expected to be at the sign up area prior to 6:00am unless an unanticipated emergency arises and a Tournament Official has been contacted by phone. A livewell check may be performed by an IN Slab Masters Official prior to the start of competition.

B.) After Tournament Registration is finished, you may leave by land or water with the Tournament Officials release. Start fishing time for all Regular Season Tournaments will be 7:00AM. This means you cannot be fishing or have any type of lines or baits in the water before this time, any way, shape, or form. Stop fishing time for all Regular Season Tournaments is 3:00PM. This means you must stop fishing and have all lines and baits out of the water by this time. You must be in the weigh-in line and acknowledged by the Tournament Officials by 4:30PM according to official time to weigh your crappie. (IN Slab Masters early year tournament, and fall tournament, along with Classic times will be announced prior to the events).

C.) Official time for all events will be Eastern Standard Time (EST). The official time will be via GPS or accurate cellular based telephone time.


A.) Regular Season Tournament pay outs will be based on 80% of total entry fees, and 100% of the big fish, plus prizes and bonuses if available.

There will be one spot paid back for every 5 teams for over 30 teams

  • 1st - 5th place + Big Fish will be paid if 25 or more teams/boats enter

  • 1st - 4th place + Big Fish will be paid if 20 - 24 teams/boats enter

          1st - 3rd place + Big Fish will be paid if 13 - 19 teams/boats enter

  • 1st & 2nd place + Big Fish will be paid if 7 - 12 teams/boats enter

  • 1st & Big Fish will be paid if less than 6 or less teams/boats enter

 B.) The IN Slab Masters Classic pay outs will be based on 100% of total entry fees including Big Fish, plus prizes and bonuses if available. Pay out schedule will be the same as regular season tournaments as per number of teams/boats entered

 C.) In case of a tie on the seven (7) crappie total weight for any places, the tie will be broken by the team with the single heaviest weighing crappie in the 7 crappie limit. It is important for each team to weigh their heaviest crappie in case this occurs. There is no tie breaker in the big crappie pot and a split pot will be awarded to tied competitors if this occurs.

D.) Winners of any IN Slab Masters event agree to provide Officials with any requested info or verification in writing or verbally at any time. Payouts may be in the form of (or a combination of) cash, prizes, or checks. Teams must be present to claim winnings or prizes of any kind.

5.) WEIGH - IN:

A.) Teams can weigh a maximum of (7) seven crappie and all crappie must be alive. All crappie brought to the scales must be in a covered aerated container. All crappie presented at weigh-in must have been caught during tournament hours by the team weighing them. The only fish accepted for weigh-in are crappie and any references made by IN Slab Masters to "fish" or "Slabs" is understood to be crappie. If more than seven (7) crappie are brought to the weigh-in fish check-in station, you will be disqualified for that event.

B.) The Scales will open after 3:30PM and the weigh-in line will close at 4:30PM. You must be in line by 4:30 PM and you must be acknowledged by Officials in order to weigh your crappie. Tournament Officials reserve the right to adjust scale set up and closure times in case of extreme weather conditions and/or any other reasons. In the event this should occur, participating member will be notified at the appropriate time using the information provided by the member's registration form.

Important Note: In the event that you or your team have an emergency and/or need to leave the tournament early and want to have your fishing day count towards 1 of the 4 IN Slab Masters Classic qualifications, it is YOUR responsibility to contact one of the Tournament Officials prior to the closing of the scales.

C.) Upon arrival at the weigh-in line, Teams will present an IN Slab Masters weigh-in voucher to a Tournament Official at the checking station. Once the number of crappie and whether any crappie are dead are verified and entered on the weigh-in voucher, you will proceed to the weigh-in scales, when the tournament director is ready for you. After your crappie have been verified by Officials, you can still weigh those crappie, even if one or more die while waiting in line to weigh-in. Any crappie brought to the check-in that are determined dead by Officials will be removed and will not be allowed to be weighed. Determining whether a crappie is dead or alive is the sole responsibility of IN Slab Master Officials and all decisions are final.

D.) All competitors bear the responsibility to weigh their biggest crappie in case of a tie. Any jig heads left in crappie must be declared to the Tournament Director at the weigh-in/check-in station. All crappie brought to weigh-in scales for weigh-in must be alive and must be released. We follow the state law on minimum size, all crappie as long as alive regardless of size can be weighed. IN Slab Masters does require catch and release of all fish weighed in (Trophy fish may be kept). If more than seven (7) crappie are brought to the scale, the team will be disqualified for that event.

E.) Pictures, etc. will/may be taken by IN Slab Masters during the tournaments and weigh-in for miscellaneous purposes and all competitors will be expected to be available for them.

F.) Protests must be made in writing to Tournament Officials within 10 minutes after the official weigh-in has concluded. All protests must cite the Rule number/letter(s) that were allegedly broken. One half of a polygraph fee ($200.00) must accompany the written protest. Whoever is wrong based on the outcome of the polygraph test, whether it is the accuser or the accused, will be responsible for the full polygraph fee ($400.00) Once again, if refusal to take or failure of a polygraph, that competitors' membership will be terminated with no refund, also the individual(s) will be banned from any future IN Slab Masters events and forfeit the right to any cash, bonus, and/or prizes allegedly won. Anyone caught in the wrong may be subject to criminal charges. (Cheating in any event is the same as stealing) We also reserve the right to make this information available to the public. We do not tolerate any type of cheating and are very serious about this.

6.) OTHER:

A.) By your participation in these tournaments or events, you agree to comply with and uphold the rules set forth by IN Slab Masters and any State regulations that apply to fish-able waters and anyone is subject to disqualification for violations. The interpretation of these rules will be solely at the discretion of IN Slab Masters Officials. Decisions of the Tournament Officials are final in all matters concerning these tournaments & are not subject to appeal. IN Slab Masters is not liable or responsible in any way for injury, death, or damages of any kind that might occur to persons or real property that engage in any IN Slab Masters tournaments or events. It is highly recommended that each participant have boat insurance to cover their personal property and belongings, along with any liability that would occur during the IN Slab Masters events.

7.) Teams:

A.) Teams and the use of the term team in the rules is defined

as the following:

  • Two members fishing together

  • One member fishing alone

  • An unlimited number of youths under the age of 18 and not required to have a fishing license may fish at anytime with a team (Only 6 poles per boat can be used)

B.) Each member will qualify for IN Slab Masters Classic qualifications. Exception:Youths may fish with a two person team as long as they are under the age of 18

C.) Each Member must physically fish in 4 tournaments throughout the regular season in order to qualify for the Indiana Slab Masters Classic. NO EXCEPTIONS!

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