Rules & Regulations: Central Ohio Crappie Circuit

There are a good amount of rules however they are all common sense that 99% of us would do any time we were on the water.

1. Spring tournament hours are from 7:30am-3:30pm. Check-in is from 6:30am-7:00am. If you are not at the ramp to check in 30 minutes prior to the start of the tournament you may not have the ability to participate.

2. All times for the fall tournaments will be 30 minutes later than the spring. The fall tournament hours will begin in September with Paint Creek.

3. Fall tournament hours are 8:00am-4:00pm. Check-in is from 7:00am-7:30am.

4. No fishing lines may be in the water, regardless of if there is bait on the end of the lines, until the start of the tournament. Spring-7:30am - Fall-8am. Likewise all lines must be out of the water at the end of the tournament. Spring-3:30pm – Fall-4pm.


5. Teams must check in for the weigh-in no later than 45 minutes after the end of the tournament by turning in their boat number tag. For spring that would be 4:15pm and at least one team member must be present during the weigh-in. A 1lb/16oz penalty will be enforced and deducted from any team checking in between 4:16-4:30pm. If you are not checked in by 4:31pm, your team will not be able to weigh-in.


6. Timing will be done using a GPS enabled device by the Tournament Director to ensure you stay within the rules please refer to the time on your cell phone as that will give you a much more accurate time. Your watch or clock in your boat may not be accurate.


7. Check-in and weigh-in will be at a specific ramp for each tournament. Please visit the tournament website to find out which ramp we will be at on each lake. After check-in boats can launch from any ramp at each tournament location unless otherwise noted.

8. You can launch at any ramp once you check in at the designated ramp in the morning however if you are launching from another ramp you must stay within 100 yards of the boat ramp until 15 minutes before the start of the tournament (7:15am-spring and 7:45am-fall). All anglers who launch their boats from the designated check-in/weigh-in ramp must also follow the 100 yard rule until 15 minutes before the start of the tournament.

9. No COCC Member may fish another lake on the tournament schedule the same day as a scheduled tournament.

10. No boats may be in the water prior to check-in or you will be disqualified.

11. You may fish in any part of the lake/reservoir that is fully accessible and connected to the main part of the lake/reservoir. If you can get there floating in your boat, without getting out, that is permitted. If you have questions regarding a fishing location please consult the rules committee.

12. Punt boats are permitted as well as the use of a pole or oars when in shallow water. Please see rule above about legal fishing areas on a lake. 

13a. As a member you can fish any of the 11 Central Ohio Crappie Circuit Tournaments. If you fish 7 of the first 10 tournaments you are automatically qualified for the Reel Big Crappie Classic however the points race takes your 8 highest finish totals into account. 

13b. Only members who have fished at least 7 tournaments are eligible to fish the Classic.

14. The member fee is due by each person prior to fishing your first tournament. Membership is a one time $40 fee that can be paid at the dock before your first tournament. If you are a substitute partner membership is $20 for one tournament however if you fish a second tournament another $20 is due and then you are a full member.

15. At any time you may be asked to show proof of membership.

16. There is NO member fee at any tournament for anyone 17 or younger.

17. Anglers 17 & under are free of charge at any tournament. Any child that is 17 or younger can be on a boat free of charge regardless of if there are 1 or 2 adults on the boat however there is a 4 pole maximum per team. If an angler that is 17 or under is fishing with 1 adult only 2 poles may be in the water if the adult pays the individual registration fee of $30 however if the adult pays $60 that team may use 4 poles.

18. The tournaments may be fished individually ($30) or as a team of two ($60). 

19. Teams must declare at the first tournament of the year whether they are fishing individually or as a team and include who their partner for the year will be. At the first tournament of the year that the individual or teams fish you will assigned a boat number. Points always stay with the boat. If one person on the team is unable to fish there will be an exception for 2 tournaments every year where you can use a substitute partner for your boat.

20. Your partner for the Classic cannot be a substitute and must be the person you declared your partner at the beginning of the season and fished with the most during the season. If you know that your partner cannot make the Classic before the first fall tournament on September 15 please contact the rules committee to see if an exception can be made.

21. The only way to register for a COCC Fishing Tournament is in person at the ramp the morning of the tournament. Cash only, no checks or credit cards. No online registration.

22a. 100% of tournament registration fees will be paid back to the anglers. 85% will be paid back at each tournament to 20% of the field, with the remaining 15% from each tournament going into the pot for the Classic. The Classic pot will be split into a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall payout 65% for the season points champion as well as a 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall payout 35% for the Classic champion. The 1st, 2nd and 3rd place overall payouts from the money held at each tournament (65% season/35% Classic) will be paid out to 1st place 50%, 2nd place 30% and 3rd place 20%.

22b. In addition to the 35% bonus Classic payout, the tournament will payout 100% of the tournament day registration to 20% of the field.

23. In the event two teams end up tied at the end of the year in the points race the heaviest bag (single tournament) of crappie caught during the year between the two teams tied will be the tie breaker. The same follows if 3, 4, 5, teams etc… are tied for the year end points race.

24. Payout are as follows: 19 boats or less 50%, 30%, 20%; 20-24 boats 40%, 30%, 20%, 10%; 25-29 boats 30%, 25%, 20%, 15%, 10%; 30-34 boats 29%, 23%, 18%, 12%, 10%, 8%; 35-39 boats 28%, 22%, 17%, 10%, 9%, 8%, 6%

40-44 boats 27%, 21%, 16%, 10%, 8%, 7%, 6% 5%; 45-49 boats 26%, 20%, 15%, 9%, 8%, 7%, 6% 5% 4%

Optional Side Pots:

25. $10 Big Fish will pay out 70%/30% to the two heaviest crappies. You can only weigh-in 1 fish for the big fish pot.


26. $5 Non-Crappie is a winner takes all and will pay out 100% to the heaviest non-crappie weighed. Any fish caught during the tournament that is not a crappie qualifies for the Non-Crappie pot. Turtles do not count, only fish.


27. Tournament winners will be decided by the weight of their 8 heaviest crappies. Teams must determine which fish they are going to weigh prior to checking in for the weigh-in.

28. Once your fish are weighed that is your official weight for the tournament. We will not re-weigh any fish at any time.

29a. In the case of all ties, participants will split the prize money 50-50. If 2 teams tie for 1st, they will split 1st and 2nd place money. If 2 teams tie for 2nd, they will split 2nd and 3rd place money, etc... Same is true for each tournaments points, they will be split following the same rules. 

29b. To further explain 29a for example if 5 teams are to be paid out at a tournament (25-29 boats) and there is a tie for 1st place. 1st and 2nd would COMBINE the money from 1st and 2nd place and then split that money 50-50. 3rd, 4th and 5th place would be paid out as normal. The same is true for all places. In the case of 2 teams tying for 5th place then 6 total teams would be paid (the 2 teams tying for 5th place would split that money 50-50).

30. The tournament can be cancelled by the tournament director and/or rules committee due to weather. Tournament may be rescheduled however if it is not rescheduled, registration can be transferred to another COCC event in the same calendar year. It is the responsibility of each participant to know if the tournament is cancelled, so please check the Facebook group: for updates and to see if the tournament has been cancelled.


31. All fish must be alive in order to be weighed. Any dead fish will be removed prior to official weigh-in. Rules committee has final judgment on whether a fish is deemed dead or alive. If you have fish that are struggling please ask a rules committee member to check your fish immediately.


32. No refunds will be permitted for any tournament.

The following bold paragraphs refer specifically to the Hoover Reservoir Youth/Adult Cookout Tournament. The Hoover Tournament will payout like any other tournament. We will have prizes for all of the Youth/Adult teams (one member must be 17 or younger to qualify as an Adult/Youth team). 

33. This tournament will allow any team to fish with up to 4 team members however 2 of the team members must be 17 years of age or younger and ONLY 4 poles TOTAL (2 poles per adult entry paid so $30 is 2 poles total and $60 is 4 poles total) may be used whether you have 2, 3 or 4 individuals in your boat. We also understand that an 8 hour tournament is a long time for the younger kids so if they want to start with you it is ok to drop them off with a guardian prior to the tournament ending or if you would like to pick them up anywhere along Hoover later into the tournament that is permitted.

34. During the Youth/Adult Cookout Tournament at Hoover Reservoir you can fish from a boat, kayak, canoe, wade or fish from shore as long it is public fishing property and you obey posted signs and/or warnings. If you plan to wade or shore fish you must register individually for the Hoover Tournament.


35. Fishing from a kayak or canoe is permitted at any tournament however you must register individually unless both team members are in the same kayak/canoe.

36. Personal flotation devices must be worn at all times while the vessel's motor is running.

37. All fish must be of legal size. Any fish brought to weigh-in that is under the legal limit will result in automatic disqualification and forfeiture of any and all money paid into and for the COCC. It is the angler’s responsibility to find out the fish size limits for each lake/reservoir however most are 9”.

38. All participants must have a valid Ohio fishing license and may be asked to show proof of license at any time during the tournament. All ODNR, State of Ohio, local and site specific fishing laws and regulations must be followed. Anyone found breaking any laws or regulations will be disqualified and will forfeit any and all money paid into and for the COCC.

39. All vessel/boating regulations must be followed according to site-specific regulations.

40. Anyone found cheating in any way during the tournament will be disqualified by the rules committee and will forfeit any and all money paid into and for the COCC.

41. No participant may pay or compensate another person for their fish or to fish with/for you during the tournament. Fish caught for weigh-in at the tournament must be caught yourself or caught by your team member. Anyone found to break that rule will be disqualified, membership revoked and will forfeit any and all money paid into and for the COCC.

42. There will be no "hole sitting" or "spot saving" by anyone before or during the tournament.

43. Each lake/reservoir, where there is a COCC event, is off limits to all participants the evening before the tournament starting at 8:00pm until the morning of tournament. Anyone caught still in the water at 8:00pm will be disqualified from the next day’s tournament.

44. Each participant may use up to 2 fishing rods at one time and can use artificial or live bait.

45. Fish may only be hooked in the mouth. Any fish snagged, netted or caught in any way other than by a hook in the mouth will result in disqualification and forfeiture of any and all money paid into and for the COCC.

46. The use of alcohol and/or drugs will result in automatic disqualification and forfeiture of any and all money paid into and for the COCC.

47. Every participant must be paid in full and sign a waiver before they will be granted permission to participate in the COCC.


48. Be respectful of your competitors and keep a safe and courteous distance from each other (50 ft minimum).

49. All anglers are subject to a polygraph exam and any failure or refusal to take the test will result in disqualification and forfeiture of any and all money paid into and for the COCC. Protests must be made in writing to any member of the rules committee within 10 minutes after the official weigh-in has concluded. 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 COCC 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.

50. Any members who are disqualified at a tournament for a minor infraction will be given a warning. A second minor infraction or any major infractions or cheating will be automatic revocation of membership and forfeiture of any and all money paid for previous or future tournaments. Any disqualified member of a tournament in any of the COCC’s previous years is subject to a one strike and you’re out membership ban. Anyone found to break any rules and receive a disqualification from any tournament will be subject to a membership ban from the rules committee.

51. The rules committee has final say in all matters and reserves the right to accompany or follow any team during the tournament. In the case of a tie vote by the rules committee a coin will be flipped to determine the outcome.

52. Once the season starts the rules cannot be changed or altered however and amendment can be made, see below:

53. If there are any issues that come up during the season where a specific situation is not written in the rules the rules committee members that are present at the tournament when the issue arises will determine the outcome and the decision will be added to the rules as an amendment that way if it comes up again the situation will be handled in the exact same manner each time.


54. If any participant suspects or sees another participant cheating in any way, it must be reported to the rules committee in person or by calling (937) 403-5121 or any other number at the bottom of the rules sheet no later than the weigh-in time (45 minutes after tournament fishing hours end). 

55. The season long point’s race will be awarded as follows:

·       1st place - 50 points     

·       2nd - 48 points 

·       3rd - 46 points

·       4th - 44 points

·       5th - 43 points

·       6th - 42 points

·       7th - 41 points

·       8th - 40 points

·       9th - 39 points

·       10th - 38 points

·       11th - 37 points

·       12th - 36 points

·       13th - 35 points

·       14th - 34 points

·       15th - 33 points

·       16th - 32 points

·       17th - 31 points

·       18th - 30 points

·       19th - 29 points

·       20th - 28 points

·       21st - 27 points

·       22nd - 26 points

·       23rd - 25 points

·       24th - 24 points

·       25th - 23 points

·       26th - 22 points

·       27th - 21 points

·       28th & below - 20 points for each team

·       If you show up to a tournament but do not weigh fish you will be awarded 15 points

56. End of year bonus points (these are the only bonus points for the current season):

Fish 10 tournaments - 10 points

Fish 9 tournaments - 8 points

Fish 8 tournaments - 5 points

57. 8 total tournaments will count towards the point’s race. This means that if you fish 10 tournaments you can drop your 2 lowest tournaments or fish 9 tournaments you can drop your lowest tournament.

58. Professional guiding service may not be used on a lake within 2 weeks of an event date. Guides may fish the circuit but are not allowed to be utilized by any members within 2 weeks of an event date. Utilized means paying a guide with cash or goods for their services on the water.

59. Please present extenuating circumstances to the rules committee prior to weigh in. If you’re unable to locate anyone on the rules committee please call any of the numbers below.

60. Using cell phones or other communication devices to gain an advantage by alerting other members to a fishing location is strictly prohibited and will result in disqualification by both the party making and the party receiving the call.

The rules committee has the final say regarding enforcement of rules and disqualifications during the tournament.


Tournament Day Contact Information 

Call: (937) 403-5121 or 614-260-5090 or 740-877-9330 or 937-728-1106