NYS Winter Classic Tournament
Rules & Regulations 
Updated on: 11/28/18

All registrants are encouraged to print a copy of the rules and read them in their entirety. Slight modifications may be made through November. Starting Dec. 1st any modifications will be listed here.

1. Dates: January 1 – February 28
2. Tournament Registration Options: 
  Full General Tournament = $25/angler 
  Lunker Pool (optional) = $10/angler
  General Tournament 1-Day Pass = $10/angler

**All anglers must register by 7am for that day’s catch to count**

3. Cash payout based on number of anglers entered (see prize structure/payout grid on 
        website for full details, prize levels, and additional promotional awards). 
4. Additional prizes to be awarded (when available - see website for details):
    a. Grand Prize: Random draw from all (7) 1st place winners drawn at the awards 
         ceremony. If a 1st place angler is disqualified, that species category is eliminated from 
        the drawing.
    b. Overall Prizes for largest fish caught on a specific product (picture or video may be 
         required) or during a specific time period.
    c. Monthly Prizes for overall largest fish entered each month during the event (when 
    d. Weekly Prizes and Awards: (when available)
            1. Walleye, Pike and Trout Categories:
                 a. Week 1 will be awarded to the largest fish in these categories weighed-in.
                 b. Weeks 2 through 8 will be awarded to the largest fish in each category weighed-
                     in that takes over 1st place for that category. (i.e. will be the new category 
            2. Pickerel, Crappie, Yellow Perch, Panfish Categories:
                 a. Each week will be awarded to the largest fish in each category weighed-in. 
    e. Fish Mounts & additional cash awards at higher attendance levels. Mounts may be 
        substituted with equivalent gift certificates.
    f. Tournament Angler Achievement Awards (Pike and Trout over 20 lbs, Walleye over 15 
        lbs, Pickerel over 6 lbs, Crappie over 2.5 lbs, Yellow Perch over 2.25 lbs, and Panfish 
        over 1.50 lbs).
    g. Product specific awards - requires either a picture or video clearly showing the product 
        being used. Picture/video must be submitted on the same day the fish is entered.
5. Lunker Pool pays out 100% of money taken in, top (3) largest fish in all (7) categories 
        place, 21 places total in a 50%-30%-20% split per category.
    a. Lunker Pool must be entered at time of Registration or before January 1st. 
    b. If no 2nd or 3rd place winners, 1st place takes all three places.
    c. If no 3rd Place, money will be split between 1st Place and 2nd Place in that category.
6. No minimum or maximum age, all anglers are considered equal. Youth anglers (16 & 
        under) must have an adult to sign-off and fill out a w-9 form for any award valued at 
        $600 or greater.
7. Fish from other derbies and tournaments can be entered into the Classic pending 
        other Tournament’s rules and regulations.
8. Ceremony & Awards Dinner: In Mid-March following the conclusion of the Winter 
       Classic Event at Batavia Downs Casino:
        a. All first, second & third place winners in the Tournament must be present at Batavia 
            Downs by 3pm with their fish, else be disqualified. Leniency may be granted for 
            special circumstances per the tournament committee's discretion. 
        b. Top (3) placing fish in every category must be kept and brought to the 
           awards ceremony for inspection, verification, pictures, and possible mounting. If any 
           Top 3 fish is not kept, the placement in the main tournament and Lunker Pool will be 
        c. Door prizes will be drawn at various times from early registration through the awards 
           ceremony. Any prize won prior to the awards ceremony will be available for pick-up at 
            the awards ceremony, otherwise will be delivered to the winner's nearest weigh-in. 
            Any prize once delivered if not picked up after 30 days will become the property of 
            the weigh-in station. All door prizes drawn at the awards ceremony must be picked up 
            that night by the winners. 
        d. When overnight accommodations are offered to the Top-3 anglers in each category, 
            each angler may only receive a maximum of one room, even if they placed in the 
            Top-3 of multiple categories. 
9. Main Categories: 7 (Trout (Lakers/Browns/Steelhead/Rainbows), Northern Pike, Walleye, 
    Pickerel, Yellow Perch, Crappie, Panfish (SunFish/BlueGill)).
        a. Enter any fish caught in New York State, any place, on any waterway (ice, 
            open water, rivers, tributaries, etc.) by legal angling methods per NYS DEC 
            regulations. Each fish entered must be registered by the angler who caught the 
            fish – no sharing between anglers. 
        b. Fish must be fresh and cannot be frozen.
        c. Fish must be free from foreign objects: lures, hooks, and anything in it's mouth (bait, 
          minnows, weeds, ice/snow, etc.).
        d. Anglers can place in more than one category, but can place only once in each 
            category. If an angler catches a larger fish by weight in the same category, the lesser 
            of the two is omitted.
        e. Fish must be weighed-in and entered on the day it was caught, unless caught 
            between 4pm and 11:59pm with no weigh-in station available:
            After Hours Protocol:
            1. If caught between 4pm and 11:59pm, angler must take a photo at the time the fish 
                is caught and immediately send to headquarters via cell phone to (585) 330-0494 
                and include angler’s name, time and location of catch, and approximate weight. 
                The fish must then be weighed in the following morning.
            2. Angler must let the weigh-in know the fish was caught the previous evening to be 
               paired with the photo information sent.
        f. Minimum fish sizes are as follows:
            Northern Pike = 8.00 lbs
            Trout = 8.00 lbs
            Walleye = 4.00 lbs
            Pickerel = 3.00 lbs
            Yellow Perch = 1.00 lbs
            Crappie = 1.00 lbs
            Panfish = 0.50 lbs
        g. All fish must be entered with a Driver’s license name & number (others will 
            use their name & birth date).
        h. If a witness to catch was present, their name is to be entered along with the fish.
        i. Tournament ends at 11:59pm on February 28th (even during leap years). Angler and 
            fish must be in weigh-in line at any weigh-in station by 11:59pm, February 28 to be 
        j. No use of gaffs on any fish. Using a gaff will invalidate the catch.
       k. Hybrid species will not be allowed with the exception of Panfish (sunfish & bluegill)(i.e. 
           cross between pickerel and muskie). If a Top 3 placing fish is presumed to be a hybrid 
           specimen, the fish will be taken to the NYS DEC for final clarification. Their judgement 
           will be considered final.
10. Opening of online and weigh-in registration varies. All Early Bird promotions (when 
        available) are on a first come first served basis while supplies last and vary by station. 
11. Fish must be entered at official NYS Winter Classic weigh-in stations. Contact 
       weigh-ins for hours of operation. A leaderboard of current winning fish will be 
       posted daily and updated multiple times per day when possible. For an up-to-date list 
       of tackle shops & leading fish, go to: http://www.nyswinterclassic.com
12. Weight determines winner, in case of a tie earliest entry takes the higher place unless 
        entered on the same day, then higher seed is determined by length.
13. Tournament recommends fishing with a witness in case of a dispute, but not required.
14. Owners of weigh-in locations may not enter fish for themselves at their own shop. If a fish 
        is caught by the owner of a weigh-in location who is entered in the event, they must 
        weigh-in their fish at a different location than their own shop. 
15. Any angler may be subject to lie detector testing. If angler fails test, all prizes 
        and/or all money will be forfeited and name submitted to all other tournament directors. 
16. In the event of a disqualification, all monies from the main event and Lunker Pool will be 
        reallocated and mailed out after all disqualifications have been verified, reported, and all 
        funds have been redeposited for distribution.
17. Any individual questioning an entry, will be required to submit a dispute form 
        and pay a $500 deposit for a lie detector test to be given. If the accused angler 
        fails the lie detector test, the $500 deposit is refunded, and the accused angler is
        placed on the blacklist of anglers who will not be allowed to enter any future event. 
        Otherwise the $500 will have been used to verify the catch.
18. Any angler dispute must be presented in writing to the tournament director prior to 
        the start of the ceremony in March.
19. All pictures and videos submitted to the tournament become the sole property of the 
        tournament and can be used in any way deemed appropriate by the Tournament 
20. All decisions by the Tournament Officials will be final.
21. All participants agree to enter at their own risk and with full knowledge of these rules 
        and agree to abide by them in their entirety, and likewise agree not to hold any entity in 
        association with the Winter Classic Tournament liable for any mishap or misfortune. 
22. Questions? Email: info@fksportfishing.com or call Tim Thomas at (585) 330-0494.