image Follow Us:


 Auto Owners


Big Boys Rules

 2 DAY EVENT, Tuesday & Wed, July 23rd & 24th 

No fishing after 2 pm Tuesday, July 23rd

Captains’ meeting at 5:30 p.m. Monday, July 22, at Ludington 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.

OBSERVERS - Observers are mandatory in this tournament. Each team must supply an observer over 17 years old each day. Captains, please plan ahead and find responsible and knowledgeable observers. The Tournament Committee will not provide any observers for teams. Strict rules will apply to observers and their responsibilities.  Observers must attend Captains’ Meeting.  Observers will be required to be aboard assigned boats at 5:15 AM on tournament days.  Failure to do so may result in the disqualification of the OBSERVER’S TEAM for that day.  There will be no exceptions and no refunds for disqualified teams. Observers will be required to log each legal fish caught.  Observers will ensure compliance of all tournament rules.  You may send a different observer each day, but all observers need to be at the Captains’ Meeting.  We will assign, as close as possible, observers on similar sized boats; however, observers may or may not be aboard the same boat both days.  Some leeway must be allowed.  Observers must have a watch synchronized to Tournament Control time.  Observers will be required to log START and RETURN times (inside pier heads) for team assigned.  Observers are responsible for logging every fish brought on board (caught) and must verify the exact length of all undersized fish returned to the lake. Returning fish without measuring is cheating and you will be disqualified with no refund. Once a fish is kept, it cannot be released at a later time.

Observers note that 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.  Observers on Team boats will be required to log exact times.  No fishing after 2 pm on Tuesday, July 23rd  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 the Remind App to Send Official Notifications from Tournament Control.  
  2. Big Boy Tournament Only - Boat to boat communications will not be allowed including radio and cellular phones. All cell phones, smart phones and portable electronic devices with the ability to communicate must be powered down and placed in the observer’s quarantined bag during official tournament fishing periods. Failure to comply will result in disqualification from the tournament. The tournament committee members are exempt from this restriction for emergencies or weather decisions. In this case, all communication will be made in the presence of the observer.

LOCATION – Captains’ Meeting and Weigh-in at Ludington Waterfront Park Pavilion.

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. Team observer may be used as team member if necessary for 9 rod limit; however his license becomes that team’s responsibility.

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

WEIGH-IN – When you return with your catch proceed immediately to weigh station for weigh-in. Boats with mandatory observers may transport their coolers from their dock. Transported coolers must be at weigh station no later than 1 hour after tournament ends each day. After the weigh-in you cannot fish for the remainder of the day.  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.

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.   Observer must list the exact time on the observer log sheet and the Captain and Observer must sign the sheet.  

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.  Observer and one team member will accompany tournament cooler to weigh station and ensure weigh-in corresponds with Observer’s catch report data.  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.  Observers are required to measure marginally sized fish. Stretching fish, squashing fish, breaking their neck or any manipulation to alter the length of the fish will disqualify team.  Observer (when required) must record exact length of fish that need to be measured during tournament hours.  Captain, observer 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 COOLER – BIG FISH Division – Please drain excess water from cooler.  Weigh your heaviest fish only - Blocked or bagged ice. Bring immediately to weigh station.

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.

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