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Black Bass Tournament Guidance

Fishing Tournaments & Derbies


The Pennsylvania Fish and Boat Commission welcomes fishing event sponsors to apply for a permit (see above application) to host a fishing tournament or contest on public waterways in Pennsylvania. Permits are required for events involving 10 or more participants, and encouraged for all events. Receipt of an approved permit insures that conflicts with other activities on the same day and at the same site are avoided. Responsibly orchestrated fishing events recognize the importance of safe boat operation, respect of other anglers, and respect of other boaters and their property. Every Pennsylvania tournament angler represents the national community of all tournament anglers, we compliment Pennsylvania tournament anglers for their professionalism as role-models for all conscientious anglers. 

The following guidelines apply to black bass tournament participants and organizers who have received an approved permit from the PFBC (and other agencies, as required) to conduct a tournament, at a Public Waterway or Access site. Guidelines, below are useful to event participants and sponsors who engage in pursuit of species other than black bass, since guidance is provided that describes how to clean gear and boats to prevent spread of Aquatic Invasive Species (AIS) and maximize survival of release fish.

Sponsor or organizer guidelines for events that involve participant weigh-in at the end of the event and subsequent live release of checked-in fish:

Black Bass Live Release Tournament Director/Sponsor Checklist (PDF)

Participant or angler guidelines for events that involve participant weigh-in at the end of the event and subsequent live release of checked-in fish:

Black Bass Live Release Tournament Participant Check List (PDF)

On the Susquehanna River (downstream of Sunbury, PA) and portions of the Juniata River (downstream of Port Royal, PA) tournament fishing is restricted to catch and immediate release events only. The guidelines below aid anglers and organizers in conduct of those events:

Black Bass Catch and Immediate Release Permit Conditions (PDF)