Major League Fishing Toughens Handling Rule

Jack Link's Major League Fishing" Show Page

2014 Summit Cup

Permitted use provided by: MajorLeagueFishing.com


TULSA, Okla. - In an effort to further tighten its already strict fish-handling rules, Jack Link’s Major League Fishing has updated its penalty governing how caught fish are landed. The league now insists that anglers not only keep fish off the carpet, but away from their bodies as well, Major League Fishing Commissioner Don Rucks announced today.

Under the new rule, an angler cannot allow a fish to touch any part of his body other than his hands or forearms.

In an initial effort at improving fish care, Major League Fishing in 2012 adopted a rule that penalized anglers any time a fish touched the bottom of their boats. The new rule is aimed at eliminating the cradling of fish.


“We made a conscious decision early on that we would focus on two distinct goals. First, we want to be as careful as possible in the way our anglers handle fish, because we believe this is the right thing to do. To put it in simple terms, we want to take care of the fish as much as possible,” Rucks said. “Second, since Major League Fishing features the best anglers in the world, we have no problem asking that they abide by rules that are much tougher than rules enforced at traditional bass tournaments.”

The full rule regarding fish handling now reads as follows:

While landing fish, the fish cannot touch the carpet at any time during the process. If the fish comes unhooked from the bait and falls to the carpet it will be assessed as a violation. Excepted from this rule will be laying the fish on the carpet to remove a deep-set hook, “only after it has been properly landed without it touching the carpet”. Additionally, the angler is not allowed to cradle fish or allow fish that he is landing to touch his body. An angler cannot allow a fish to touch any part of his body other than his hands or forearms. From a rules standpoint, the body is to be treated the same as the carpet.


For a look at all Major League Fishing rules, please click here.

“All of the MLF anglers understand that the rules are going to be tougher, and there’s no doubt that this will take some getting used to. But we adapted before, and we’ll do it again. We all understand that when it comes to MLF, we're going to be held to a higher standard,” said Major League Fishing angler Gary Klein.

Major League Fishing is scheduled to film two events during the coming months. The first of these events will air on Outdoor Channel, America’s Leader in Outdoor TV, beginning in January.

Major League Fishing features made-for-television bass fishing tournament designed to bring high-level challenges to participants and entertainment, as well as insight, to audiences.

About Jack Link’s Major League FishingMajor League Fishing is a partnership of 24 of the world’s most talented, influential professional bass anglers and Outdoor Channel. Jack Link’s is the organization’s title sponsor. Follow us on Twitter and on Facebook.

"Jack Link's Major League Fishing" Show Page

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