Fishing Tournaments and Derbies

Photo of bass tournament

Keeping Bass Alive is a publication from B.A.S.S to provide guidance and best practices to help anglers improve upon the survival rate of bass released post capture.

Apply online using:

Link to EZ File

What is ezFile?

An Inland Fisheries Tournament/Derby Permit is required:

  • For any tournament/derby on waters open for public fishing - participants age 16 or older.
  • For any tournament/derby using a state boat launch or state property - regardless of participant age.

Creel and length limit exemptions from special Bass Management Lake regulations for open water bass tournaments keeping bass in live wells (all fish must be released):

  • Available for Gardner Lake and Mansfield Hollow year-round.
  • Available for all other bass management lakes from September 1 through June 30.

Please refer to the Guidelines for Fishing Tournaments on Connecticut Public Waters for more detailed information regarding open water tournaments at most state waterbodies or the Guidelines for Fishing Tournaments at Candlewood Lake specifically for fishing tournaments held at Candlewood Lake. 

For ice fishing tournaments/derbies, please see Guidelines for Ice Fishing Tournaments on Connecticut Public Lakes.

Links to view fishing tournaments


NOTE: Zebra Mussel Alert!

zebra mussel

Non-native and invasive zebra mussels were found in both Lake Lillinonah and Lake Zoar in October 2010. Prior to this time, zebra mussels had only been known to occur in Connecticut at East Twin Lake (also West Twin Lake) in Salisbury. These waters are all popular fishing tournament locations.

The discovery of new zebra mussel locations has led to heightened awareness of the need to prevent the introduction of this highly invasive species into additional water bodies in Connecticut. Fortunately, most water bodies in Connecticut do not have suitable water chemistry to support the establishment of zebra mussel populations. However, certain water bodies that host open water fishing tournaments do have water quality characteristics (sufficient calcium concentrations) that may make them susceptible to colonization by zebra mussels. 

Lakes Susceptible to Zebra Mussel Colonization:
Ball Pond
Batterson Park Pond
Beseck Lake 
Candlewood Lake 
Hatch Pond
Lake Housatonic
Mudge Pond
Silver Lake
Squantz Pond
Lake Wononscopomuc

Beginning in 2011, there are several additional requirements for open water fishing tournaments fishing the water bodies susceptible to possible zebra mussel colonization. These requirements are listed in the tournament requirements zebra mussels protocol memo.

For tournaments conducted on water bodies susceptible to possible zebra mussel colonization there are two certification forms (Tournament/Derby Boater “Clean-Boat” Certification Record and Tournament/Derby Certification) that must be completed and available for review by DEEP staff at the time of the tournament/derby. Copies of the completed forms must be returned to DEEP Inland Fisheries within seven days of the event.

For additional information, please call the Inland Fisheries Division at 860-424-3474.

A Marine Fisheries Tournament/Derby Permit is required to conduct a marine fishing tournament or derby in Connecticut that is open to persons 16 years of age and older.

An online Marine Fisheries Tournament/Derby Permit application is available through:

Link to EZ File
What is ezFile?

For additional information, please call the Marine Fisheries Division at 860-434-6043.

instagram logo  facebook logo   youtube logo

Please contact the Fisheries Division with any questions. 

Phone: 860-424-FISH (3474)

Content last updated in January 2023