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2018 AOTY/DOTY Entry

Topic: 2017 AOTY Stats and 2018 Submission Tips & Tricks  (Read 219 times)

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  • Deputy, Integrated Community Communications (D.I.C.C)
  • AOTY Committee
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  • Location: Livermoron
  • Date Registered: Aug 2008
  • Posts: 7122
Hi All,

Just wanted to give you a bit of data about 2017 AOTY, so you can get started on 2018 knowing some of the primary hangups competitors have:

54 competitors submitted fish
568 fish submitted
560 Verified (each one receiving a ticket for drawing towards a Wilderness Tarpon 120 + Dotards)
8 Rejected - Primarily for throat cut and under legal size limit
21 Mouth open reductions - 1.5" for mouth open
15 downgrades for length - primarily due to not being clearly visible on hash mark

A few fish I know were voluntarily deleted by competitors as they would have been rejected otherwise, if I recall, a couple were due to the retention rule, meaning fish could not be legally kept.

Summary -
1. Mark your Hawg Troughs.  We try our best to give people the benefit of the doubt, but if we can't clearly see the hash mark, we downgrade to the closest clearly visible hash mark. 
2. Glare is your enemy - put some contrast on the picture where the tail crosses the line. A shadow from an arm or something would work.  This is especially difficult on metal rulers or light colored rulers.
3. Angle of picture - this is a difficult one for us, as the angle that a picture is taken can affect how the fish looks. We do the best we can but try to be conservative on these when approving.  The best thing for you to do is to try and take a picture of the fish from straight up, with focus slightly towards the back half of the fish so we can see where the tail crosses the hash, but still being able to tell mouth is closed.  This is where multiple pictures can help us, from different reference points. 
4. Tail only shots don't count - we can't verify based upon tail only shots unfortunately, but can use them as a reference if the full length picture isn't entirely clear.  So there's no point in taking picture of a tail only while you're holding the tail down at a certain angle or something, as that would look different than the full length picture.
5. Please do your best to close those mouths so you don't get your fish reduced.  We understand some fish are especially difficult to close mouths, and have seen it empirically through the last year, so we may be softening on a couple of fish species as long as everyone makes an effort.
6. Make sure you have an adequate extension for larger fish!  There are a few options out there besides the Hawg Trough now for larger fish, and we accept those things.  One I bought recently was the Rapala 60" folding fish ruler - I haven't used it on any fish yet but it looks like it would be a small, foldable ruler that can be easily stored just about anywhere.  probably not great to use to measure while on the water due to its 60" size, but would be great on shore. $18 from Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Rapala-RMFR-Magnum-Folding-Ruler/dp/B001QJPQ12/

Happy fishing!
« Last Edit: January 05, 2018, 05:13:34 PM by Sin Coast »


  • Sand Dab
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  • Date Registered: Apr 2017
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Awesome, I registered yesterday and looking forward to loggin in my first catch🤙🏽

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  • Deputy, Integrated Community Communications (D.I.C.C)
  • AOTY Committee
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  • Location: Livermoron
  • Date Registered: Aug 2008
  • Posts: 7122
Awesome, I registered yesterday and looking forward to loggin in my first catch🤙🏽

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
Have fun Javier!  Don't let some of the negative nancy's get ya, most of us aren't as mean as people say. 


  • Sea Lion
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  • Date Registered: Jun 2016
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Thanks for the whole committee for taking the time from their busy schedules to organize this, your times are very much appreciated.

Santa Cruz Raptor G2 <--- Simply awesome (www.santacruzkayaks.com)



  • AOTY Committee
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  • Location: Newport, OR (formerly Lake Almanor, CA)
  • Date Registered: Apr 2010
  • Posts: 3092
This is a great summary of tips for AOTY submissions.  Thanks Ben.

I'll stress the importance of taking more than one photo of your fish on the board.  Sometimes our cameras go wonky and the auto-focus doesn't function properly, resulting in a blurry photo.  The Committee can use some very basic photo manipulation software to brighten and sharpen photos, but we ain't crime scene investigators.  Taking a few extra seconds for another couple photos can make the difference between a quickly-approved entry and a potentially downgraded one.

For CnR enthusiasts concerned with the well-being of the fish during photos, I highly recommend having a net in the water at the time of measurement.  That way, you can quickly place the fish into the net and allow it to rest and respire in between photos.  This would be most important for the most oxygen-sensitive species, such as trout.

Best of luck to everyone who participates in AOTY 2018, and have fun out there!
aMayesing Bros.