Fishing Tournaments & Events in West Michigan
Photo by Abdelhamid Azoui on Unsplash.com
There are Many Popular Fishing Tournaments in West Michigan
Whether it’s fishing for salmon on Lake Michigan, trout in the PM River or Manistee River, or walleye in Hamlin Lake, West Michigan has the best variety of fishing. And local tournaments give anglers a chance to add a little money to their pocket in addition to the fish in their bucket. No matter what time of year you want to cast a line, the West Michigan area provides great fishing opportunities and plenty of fishing tournaments!
Ice Fishing Tournaments
Pentwater Lake Perch Fishing Tournament
The Ryan Williams Perch Derby is part of Winterfest in Pentwater each February. The event is from 7am-4pm and participants register at the Pentwater Convenience Center. Winners from 2021 were:
- Kids Division- Brooke Willis, first place; Draven Scobel, second place; and Caden Vangeldren, third place.
- Adult Division- Mark Willis, first place; Brad Briggs, second place; and Gabe Johnson, third place.
- Biggest Fish: Jason Reinbold with a 10.5″ fish.
Osborn’s Big Ice Fishing Contest
Osborn’s Sport Shop– 8929 Chippewa Hwy. in Bear Lake, sponsors its annual Big Ice Fishing Tournament each year in February. Prizes are awarded to adults and to children, in separate categories, for pike, walleye, perch, smelt, bluegill and crappie. There is also a biggest fish prize, and several door prize drawings.
There are three prominent ice fishing tournaments held in Ludington each winter, and all are sponsored by Pere Marquette Expeditions. Contact them for more information on the following events.
Monster Pike Ice Fishing Tournament on Pere Marquette Lake, February
All DNR rules apply and any Michigan lake may be fished. Entry fee is $10 and registration must be completed before the 7am start time. Registration opens at 5:30am. There will be a 100% payout for the longest pike. This tournament is only for pike- no other fish will be included. Participants must be in line for measuring at Suttons Landing by 5pm.
- Winners from 2021 were: Josh Quinn-first place with a 33″ pike, Mason Caspersen took second with a 32″ pike, and Tim Keith was 3rd with a 32″ pike.
Gettin’ Jiggy Ice Fishing Tournament, February
The Gettin’ Jiggy Tournament coincides with Michigan’s Free Fishing Weekend. Entry fee is $10 and there is a 100% payout for the longest fish in each category: Bluegill, Crappie, and Perch. You must be in line for measuring by 6pm. At the end of the tournament, free hot dogs will be served at Sutton’s Landing down at the river and is included in the entry fee.
- First place winners in 2021 were: William O’Brien with a 12.5″ perch, and Aric Miller with a 13 5/8″ crappie and a 10 7/8″ blue gill.
Finny Slam Fishing Tournament, March
Named for local fisherman, Ray Finholm, who passed away in a boating accident. All DNR rules apply and any Michigan lake may be fished. Prize includes a 100% payout for the longest fish in each category: Pike, Steelhead and Perch. You must be in line for measuring by 6pm. The $10 entry fee includes sloppy joes down by the river at Sutton’s Landing following the tournament.
- Winners for 2021 were: Aric Miller with a 13 5/8″ Crappie and a 10 7/8″ Blue Gill, and William O’Brien with a 12 1/2″ Perch.
Summer Fishing Tournaments
Ludington Offshore Fishing Classic
The Ludington Offshore Fishing Classic on Lake Michigan is the biggest tournament of the summer, with cash and prizes given away. This year’s event will be held July 12th-18th and includes a Ladies Pro/Am, Youth Classic, a Big Fish Contest, and the Classic Big Boys Contest. In the afternoon as the boats make their way in, hundreds head to Ludington’s Waterfront Park to watch the weigh-in. The size of some of the fish are quite incredible.
Citizen’s Sportsmen’s Club Fishing Tournament
This year’s event is scheduled for Saturday, June 12th from 7am-6pm. Fish any lake in Sherman, Sheridan, or Free Soil Townships. $10 entry fee; 16 & under free. All entries measured by 5:45pm, prizes at 6pm. Sign up at club from 7am-11am. Raffles, Chinese auction, and sack lunches available for $4. Citizen’s Sportsmen’s Club- 5586 E. Fountain Road, Fountain.