*Illinois Muskie Tournament Trail General Rules*

Click Here to Download the IMTT Rules

If there are any questions about these rules please contact any IMTT Officer or Director.

  1. A complete liability release form must be completed prior to participating in any events. 

  1. IMTT qualifying events are open equally to IMTT members and the general public. The entry fee is the same regardless of membership status. Membership in the IMTT is required to be eligible to qualify for the IMTT State Championship Tournament and to be eligible to win Angler of the Year, Runner-up Angler of the Year, Team of the Year, and/or Big Fish of the year. Memberships for those 16 years or younger at the time of membership application will be free. 

  1. No more than two people may be in a boat during an IMTT tournament. 

  1. All Lake, Site, Municipal, IDNR, State and Federal Laws will be enforced during IMTT events. Failure to do so will result in disqualification from that event and up to a lifetime ban from IMTT events. 

  1. Courtesy, conservation, sportsmanship, and safety are basic principles of fishing. Poor sportsmanship, drunkenness, excessive speed, or fishing in a no fishing or boating area will be grounds for disqualification for the tournament. 

  1. All Muskies must be caught with pole and line fishing only using artificial baits. (No live bait may be used). Trolling is permitted in IMTT tournaments. Two rods may be used for casting/trolling purposes per team (only one per entrant). If fishing alone (one person team) one rod may be used. 

  1. Minimum measuring length is 30 inches. Muskies must be measured on a flat surface with a bump board and the tail squeezed. Each Muskie must be photographed from nose to tail in the same photo with the nose against the end of the bump board along with a tournament/date identification marker. A photo of the angler holding the Muskie will also be required. Identification markers for each tournament date will be distributed before the start of each day of fishing. Bump boards will be available for check out before the tournament. The actual length is to be recorded on the release form. Muskies will be scored as follows: 4 points for each 30” muskie and 1 point (or fraction of) for each additional inch over 30”. Example a 42.5” fish would be worth 16.5 points. A boat that has caught a fish may not be moved for measuring/witness purposes. If a witness boat is utilized, the witness boat must come to the location of the boat with the fish.

Blurry photos and photos not clearly showing the entire fish on the bump board with the identification marker will not be accepted.

All IMTT tournament events will be conducted as a Catch, Photo & Release tournament.

  • Every tournament boat MUST have a digital camera with a SD Card or a smart phone that is capable of taking a clear photo operated by the contestants that catch a musky.

  • All teams MUST have an actual bump board for measuring the fish.


  • The photo of the fish must clearly see the nose is touching the front of the board and that the tail is pinched with the daily sticker issued by IMTT are ALL in clear view.

  • If the IMTT officials cannot clearly read the measurement or daily marker, they will make their best determination and that decision will be final.

  • A safe release of the fish immediately after photographing is of utmost importance.

  • All C.P.R. fish recorded on the Fish Release Form must be photo verified by an IMTT director. That director will sign off on your fish release form once the pictures have been verified. Photo verification will occur after Fish Release Forms are collected at the end of the tournament day.

If the photo cannot be seen clearly or is blurred or no picture at all is taken, the daily marker is not visible or the fish’s nose appears not to touch the front of the board, your fish will not be counted.

The IMTT, will have available several bump boards at the tournament events for use.  These are property of the IMTT and must be returned immediately after the event is completed.

  1. IDNR Green card must be turned in for each qualifying Muskie. 

  1. All participants must conform to the daily starting and stopping times. Fish Release forms will not be accepted after the announced ending time of the tournament. A participant may not start fishing until being released by the official starter to start. All starts must be from designated area and must be under the directives of the official starter. Boats not in proper place during starting time will be moved to the end of the starter’s line. 

  1. Boats wanting to start 15 minutes or later after all other boats have started will be disqualified. 

  1. IMTT equipment lost, stolen, or damaged are the responsibility of the participant and must be replaced. Checked out IMTT equipment must be returned to the check in point at the end of the tournament no later than 1⁄2 hour after tournament ending time. 

  1. If weather or safety prohibits the completion of the scheduled tournament, the tournament can be cancelled or postponed at the discretion of tournament officials. Participants are urged to make good safety decisions in regards to weather and fishing in the tournament. The IMTT strongly recommends that all participating boats have a working marine band radio on during fishing hours. 

  1. Tournament entrants are expected to respect the fishing area of other contestants. The “fishing area” is considered to be 100’ from their boat. Please use good judgment and good sportsmanship in participating. 

  1. Starting positions will be determined by order of completed entries received. 

  1. Entries accepted after registration closes on Friday evenings will be charged an additional $20.00 “Late Fee”. Tournament packets may be picked up on Saturday mornings without penalty. This rule does not apply to tournaments that have a set registration time the morning of the tournament. 

  1. Entrants wishing to withdraw (within 7 days of a scheduled tournament) from a previously paid event will be charged 20% of entry fee. 

  1. Point ties are to be broken in the following order: 1. Team with the largest (longest) fish, 2. Team with the most fish, 3. Team reaching point total earliest, 4. Coin flip 

  1. In the event a contestant’s position is challenged, a written and signed protest must be presented to the tournament committee immediately following tournament hours. 

  1. Anglers may be asked to take a polygraph test before cash payments are made. 

  1. All IMTT tournament entrants must wear a United States Coast Guard approved TYPE I, TYPE II, TYPE III or TYPE V personal flotation device (www.uscgboating.org) during designated IMTT tournament hours whenever their boat is “on plane”.


  1. Angler of the Year Scoring – Trail participation points will be awarded to all IMTT members fishing an IMTT or affiliated event (e.g. Shawnee Muskie Hunters Tournament). Points for fish caught will be awarded for any fish caught by an IMTT member during an IMTT event. Placement points will be awarded to any member on one of the top three finishing teams at an IMTT event. Points can only be earned if membership fees & forms are received prior to the start of a tournament. Only participation points will be counted for a member fishing an affiliated event.

  • 4 participation points will be awarded for IMTT events and 2 points for affiliated events

  • Placement points will be awarded for IMTT events: 1st = 3 points, 2nd = 2 points, 3rd = 1 point 

  1. Team of the Year Scoring: The team that earns the most collective points for the year will receive the Team of the Year award. These points will be collected and tracked when two members fish together. If a member fishes with a different partner at a different IMTT event, that team will be scored separately, as its own team.

  • 8 participation points will be awarded for IMTT events and 4 points for affiliated events

  • Placement points will be awarded for IMTT events: 1st = 3 points, 2nd = 2 points, 3rd = 1 point 

  1. IMTT State Championship Tournament Entry Fees and Qualification

***Must be an IMTT Member***

  • Tier 1 Qualifier – $150

    • Fish at least three Qualifying IMTT Events


  • Place 1st in an IMTT Qualifying Event

  • Tier 2 Qualifier – $175

    • Fish two Qualifying IMTT Events

  • Tier 3 Qualifier – $200

    • Fish one Qualifying IMTT Event

  • Non-Qualifier $255 ($225 for Tournament & $30 for Membership)

    • Must fish with a Tier 1,2, or 3 Qualifier 

  1. The tournament committee is the final judge of all tournament rules and the conducting of all tournaments. The tournament committee is composed of the board members present at the tournament. 

*Note: These rules specifically apply to Tournaments directly sponsored by the IMTT.

Rules for Club Tournaments will be made available by the sponsor of that Tournament.*