Adult Derby Rules

  1. Contestants must check in at Derby headquarters and pick up their registration package and wristband before starting to fish. Contestants must present their wristband when weighing fish and accepting prizes. Check-in and registration start at 12 noon on Thursday and end at 11PM on Friday.
  2. Fishing starts at 12 noon on Friday and ends at 12 noon on Sunday. Fish must be caught during these hours to be eligible for prizes.
  3. Fish must be caught within the boundaries of Clear Lake, its tributaries and its outflow (Cache Creek to dam). Fishing is allowed in waterbodies, harbors, canals, etc. abutting Clear Lake.
  4. Fish must be caught by hook and line only. Contestants must catch and retrieve their own fish. Landing nets that conform to CDFW regulations are allowed. Assistance by others with nets is allowed.
  5. All fish will be weighed at Derby headquarters, Friday 12 noon-11PM, Saturday 7AM-11PM, and Sunday 7AM-12 noon.
  6. Fish must be brought to weigh-in within eight hours of being caught.  Only live catfish will be weighed and counted. All fish weighed will have a hole punched in their dorsal fin and cannot be weighed a second time. Contestants are encouraged to release their fish back to the lake after weigh-in.
  7. Contestants must possess a current California Sport Fishing License (with Second Rod Stamp if fishing with two rods). Fishing is conducted under current California Department of Fish and Wildlife (CDFW) Freshwater Sport Fishing Regulations (copies available at the Derby). Any contestant cited for a regulation violation during the Derby will be disqualified.
  8. Prizes will be awarded based on the weight of an individual contestant’s heaviest fish. The heaviest fish wins 1st prize, the next heaviest 2nd prize, and so on. In the event of ties, the prize money for each place will be added and divided equally. Contestants may catch and weigh more than one fish, but only their heaviest fish will be counted.
  9. Top finishers may be required to successfully pass a polygraph (lie detector) test before claiming their prizes. Contestants requiring polygraph tests will be notified by the Derby committee and must be available to take the test at 12 noon Sunday or will be disqualified.
  10. Kids under 16 years may enter the Derby as an adult, but must pay the adult entry fee. They must also be fishing with an adult sponsor who will take a polygraph test if requested.
  11. Winners of prize awards of $600 or more must complete an IRS form W-9 before claiming their prize, or will be disqualified.


Kids Derby Rules

1The Kids Derby is open to individuals 15 years of age and under.  Age for entry purposes is as of Friday of the Derby.

2. Kids contestants do not require a California state fishing license.  However, if a kids contestant reaches their 16th birthday during the Derby, he/she would require a license for those days.

3. Kid contestants must have an adult co-signer.

4.  Every kids contestant will receive a free Derby T-Shirt.

5.  Kids contestants are not eligible for prizes from the adult Derby.

6.  Kids contestants must be accompanied by an adult when weighing a fish and the adult must co-sign the weigh-in sheet.

7.  Kids must fish with their own rod and catch their own fish.

8.  Adult assistance is limited to:

  • Baiting hooks
  • Casting 
  • Supporting the child while he/she reels in the fish 
  • Bringing the fish on board or shore by hand or with a landing net  

9.  Adults may not: 

  • Set the hook  
  • Reel in the fish

10.  Adult co-signer for the kid's 1st prize winners must be prepared to take a polygraph test if requested.

Prizes must be picked up by Sunday between 9:00 AM - 2:00 PM.
All gifts not picked up will go to the next derby.

Decisions of the judges are final