2-DAY EVENT, Tuesday & Wednesday, JULY 16-17, 2024

No fishing after 2 p.m. July 17

Captains’ meeting at 6:00 p.m. Monday, July 15 at Waterfront Park.

See General Rules page for further clarification – Failure to be familiar with rules may result in disqualification.

1 DIVISIONS – Big Boys – See entry form for details.  All entries must fish from minimum 18 foot boat outside Ludington Harbor entrance.

RULES – When you submit your registration fee, you are required to read and understand completely all rules pertaining to this tournament.  Ignorance is no excuse! Questions, call Capt. Shane at (231) 794-7626.  Captains’ Meeting is held specifically to ensure all participants are clear on rules and their interpretation.

ELIGIBILITY: The Tournament Committee reserves the right to decline entry or participation by any person, team or boat, as deemed necessary, to ensure such things as integrity, image, reputation, financial performance and community relationships with sponsors, participants and supporting groups.

Every effort must be made to net and land each fish.  Any intentional act such as, but not limited to, shaking off, breaking off, or burning off, etc. a fish will subject team to disqualification. At the discretion of the Tournament Committee. Protests must be submitted to Tournament Control by no later than 1 hour after tournament ends for that day to be considered. 

TOURNAMENT TIME – 6am to 2pm each day. Boats will leave from just outside the Ludington pier heads at 6 am and be inside the pier heads by 2pm each day.  No fishing after 2 pm on July 17, unless tournament has been cancelled for the day before minimum 4 hours of fishing.  Spotters will be in place on the pier heads to check for boats returning late.  Any late boats will be disqualified from the tournament. When directed, listen to Channel 68 for exact countdown to 2 pm each day.

COMMUNICATION – All participants must monitor Channel 68 at all times. Important tournament information will be broadcast on this channel. Please restrict communication to vital tournament communication only. Participants who miss these announcements will still be held liable.

  1. We will use an opt-in texting app to send official notifications from tournament control.  
  2. Big Boys Tournament will have open radio communications.

LOCATION – Weigh-in at Ludington Waterfront Park – parking lot

CAPTAIN & CREW – A Captain for each team must be designated and identified on registration form.  The number of fishermen may vary.  The same fishermen do not have to fish both days.  

BOAT SIZE – Boats must be at least 18’ long and have a marine radio.

WEIGH-IN – New for 2024: Weigh in begins at 10 am.  Please drain coolers before weigh-in; excess water or loose ice may result in a 5 pound deduction from overall weight.  After the weigh in, you cannot fish for the remainder of the day.  

Weigh in: 2:00 p.m. (do we want to add a note about the duration of the scales being open?)

Weigh in on Tuesday, July 16 will be held at Betten Baker Ford of Ludington, 3045 US-10, Ludington, MI. When you return with your catch, proceed immediately to Betten Baker Ford. Boats with observers aboard must bring their cooler to the transport truck located in the Waterfront Park parking lot. Observers MUST remain with the cooler until the cooler has been checked in and secured by a tournament official. Coolers will then be transported to the Betten Baker Ford weigh-in station by a tournament official. Team representation will need to meet the cooler at Betten Baker Ford for weigh-in. 

Weigh in on Wednesday, July 17 – You may choose to walk your cooler to the weigh station which is located at the Waterfront Park Pavilion and follow the pathway to the scales, or you may drive through the parking lot at Waterfront Park and drop your cooler off with a crew member. The driver MUST remain in the vehicle and once the cooler has been unloaded, your vehicle MUST exit the parking lot. NO TRAILERS please. 

LIMITS FOR TEAMS – Catch 20, weigh best 12; maximum 9 per species.  The boat limit of fish shall not exceed the limits for the number of fish in possession allowed by the legal anglers onboard as established by the Michigan DNR. In the event there are four  (4) or more licensed fisherman on a boat the tournament limit shall be a maximum of 20 fish each day in the proportions defined by the tournament rules.

The boat limit of 20 cannot contain more than 17 salmon or 9 others of one species (lake trout, brown trout, or steelhead).  Any salmon taken in excess of 17 must be released. The maximum number of others in possession as part of the maximum of 20 shall be 9. Any “others” taken in excess of 9 of the same species must be released.

When the 20th allowed legal fish is landed, the boat limit is reached, fishing must cease and the boat must return to port.   

All legal fish must be retained until the stated tournament limits are reached.  For example, the maximum of 20 might consist of 17 salmon and 3 others; or 11 salmon and 9 others or some combination of not more than 17 salmon and not more than 9 others (9 of each species) but in no case more than a total of 20 fish maximum. (At the weigh-in, no more than 9 of 12 fish can be of the same species.)

Fish must be released if DNR size limit of 10 inches for salmon, brown trout and steelhead or 15 inches for lake trout is not met. Captains have the discretion to keep or release a salmon, brown trout, or steelhead measuring between 10 inches and 10 ½ inches; or lake trout measuring between 15 inches and 15 ½ inches, allowing the captain to determine if the fish will still meet DNR minimum size requirements at the official weigh station. Salmon, brown trout, and steelhead over 10 ½ inches and lake trout over 15½ inches must be kept. Once a fish is measured, determination must be made immediately to keep or release the fish.

TOURNAMENT COOLERS – Please drain excess water from coolers. 

Two team members will accompany the tournament cooler to weigh station. Enter the parking lot of Waterfront Park and stay in your vehicle to await your turn at the scale. Do not bring your boat trailer through the parking lot due to size constraints. Please follow the directions of parking lot attendants.

Team members will unload their cooler and place own fish in the bucket for weighing. No more than your weighable catch may be in tournament cooler at the weigh station.  Extra fish or undersized fish will be disallowed, PLUS a penalty of your big fish in that day’s catch will be deducted from your catch for each extra or under size fish you have in your cooler at the weigh-in Station.  Questionable sized fish will be measured at weigh station.  Weigh Station measurement will supersede team measurement.  Marginally sized fish must be measured. Stretching fish, squashing fish, breaking their neck or any manipulation to alter the length of the fish will disqualify team.  Captain and weigh-master, will sign weigh-slips.  Once weigh-slip is signed by all, there can be no change.  Re-weighing is not allowed after weigh slip has been signed.  Drop fish at weigh station immediately upon return.

TOURNAMENT SCORES – 1 Point per pound, 10 Points per fish using our certified tournament scales.  Our scales weigh in increments of 5/100’s of a pound.  For Big Fish contest, exact weight of fish will be used.

TIE BREAKERS – When points and pounds are used, total weight will break ties.  If still tied, biggest fish will be used if that weight is available for all boats involved.  If not, prize will be split. Place prizes will be added together (ex 2nd & 3rd) and then split.

OBSERVERS – Observers will be assigned as follows: Day 1: The Top 5 boats from the previous year’s Big Boys Tournament standings. Day 2: The Top 5 boats from the Day 1 standings. Two additional observers will be assigned at-large, based upon availability. 

An “Official Observer Log Sheet” will be provided for each fishing period. Only the observer shall enter data into the log sheet. The observer shall enter the time of each “hook-up” and the corresponding result. For each fish landed, the observer shall record the species and approximate weight. For each fish lost, the observer shall record a description of the event. At the conclusion of each fishing period, the log sheet must be signed by both the observer and the Captain prior to presenting the log sheet and the day’s catch at the official weigh-in station. Failure to submit a log sheet with all signatures will result in a disqualification for that fishing period. The Ludington Offshore Committee reserves the right to assign observers to vessels as it sees fit.

If you have any other questions, please call the Chamber office at 231-845-0324.