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Fishing Tournaments & Events 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!

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Here's a List of Annual Fishing Tournaments in West Michigan:

Monster Pike Ice Fishing Tournament on Pere Marquette Lake

Saturday, January 28th, 2023

Sponsored by Pere Marquette Expeditions. 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 2022 were: Wesley Hodges-first place with a 36 3/4″ pike, Jeff Balkema took second with a 36 1/2″ pike, and Jim Rotta was 3rd with a 36″ pike. 

Gettin’ Jiggy Panfish Tournament

Saturday, February 18th, 2023

Sponsored by Pere Marquette Expeditions. 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 2022 were: Justin Morgan with 14 3/16″ Crappie, Steven Rickert with a 10 1/2″ Blue Gill, and with a 12 15/16″ Perch, Clive Seydell.

Pentwater Lake Perch Fishing Tournament

Saturday, February 18th, 2023

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- Breslyn Johnson, first place; Caden Vangeldren, second place; and Colton Jorissen, third place.
  • Adult Division- Aaron Cunningham took first place with a 11 3/8″ perch. Jim Six took second place and Brian Schlaack took third.

Osborn’s Big Ice Fishing Contest

February, 2023

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.

Old Hamlin Restaurant

Finny Slam Perch, Pike, & Steelhead Ice Fishing Tournament

Saturday, March 11th, 2023

Sponsored by Pere Marquette Expeditions. 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.

Memorial Weekend Amateur Salmon & Trout Fishing Derby

May, 2023

Sponsored by the Pentwater Sportfishing Association. Award Categories: One Grand Prize, Six Salmon Prizes, Six Lake Trout Prizes, Six Brown Trout Prizes, and Six Steelhead Prizes. All entrants must be current association members. Registration is on Friday, May 27th from 4-8pm at the Pentwater Marina Gazebo- 519 S. Hancock St., Pentwater. Early registration at Charlie’s Marina or on-line at pentwaterpsa.org/memorial-weekend-derby

Grand Haven Offshore Challenge

June, 2023

Top Cash Prizes are $15,000 for Pros, $5,000 for Amateurs (payouts subject to change based on participation). Am Division pays half the field guaranteed. For more information, visit tournamenttrail.net/tournament.

Manistee Tri-Port Challenge Pro/Am

June, 2023

Ladies/Kids fish Friday: $100 entry, weigh best 5. Muskegon’s Heritage Landing will serve as Tournament HQ for all events including Captain’s Meetings, Weigh-Ins and Awards. Capt. Meeting/ On-Site Registration 5-7pm on Thursday or Friday. Captain’s Meeting follows at 7pm on both days. For more information, visit tournamenttrail.net/tournament.

Muskegon Open Pro/Am

July, 2023

Pro/Am/333 event with a Ladies Prelim. Fish from Manistee, Onekama, or Arcadia. Side bets include $1,000 Big Fish and Day 2 Big Box. Captain’s Meetings and on site registrations will take place on Thursday and Friday evenings. For more information, visit tournamenttrail.net/tournament.

Ladies/Kids fish Friday: $100 entry, weigh best 5. Muskegon’s Heritage Landing will serve as Tournament HQ for all events including Captain’s Meetings, Weigh-Ins and Awards. Capt. Meeting/ On-Site Registration 5-7pm on Thursday or Friday. Captain’s Meeting follows at 7pm on both days. For more information, visit tournamenttrail.net/tournament.

Ludington Offshore Fishing Classic

July, 2023

The Ludington Offshore Fishing Classic on Lake Michigan is the biggest tournament of the summer, with cash and prizes given away. The event 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.

Big Red Classic Sportfishing Tournament

July, 2023

Doug & Shar Hekman Family Foundation tournament held in Holland. $10,000 1st Place Pro, $5,000 1st Place AM, $1,000 1st Place Big Fish *Payouts subject to change based on participation. For more information, visit bigredclassic.com.

Ladies Classic

July, 2023

Sponsored by the Pentwater Sportfishing Association. Prizes are as follows: 1st Place for Big Fish, 2nd Place for Most Fish (Tie Determined by Heaviest Ten-Fish Weight), 3rd Place for Mystery Weight (Random weight chosen at weigh in), and Big Species awards for Salmon, Coho, Steelhead and Lake Trout. For more information, call Lyn Snider at (616) 291-2568 or Patsy Gettings (231) 250-9737), or in person at Charlie’s Marina. For more information, visit  nebula.wsimg.com.

The Monster in Manistee

August, 2023

Monster Ladies/Kids prelim on Friday. Weigh your best 5. $100/team. $10,000 Cash Purse (30 boat min). All Big Checks Doubled. All 333 Choice & Combo Prizes Awarded. Additional Cash Payouts Based on Registration. Sequestered Weigh In Day 1. $400 Entry. For more information, visit tournamenttrail.net/tournaments.

Win & Bette Matteson Annual Big Fish Contest

May-August, 2023

Sponsored by the Pentwater Sportfishing Association. Cash prizes and plaques will be awarded for the biggest fish (weight) entered of the season for King Salmon, Coho Salmon, Steelhead, Lake Trout, and Brown Trout. Prizes Presented at PSA Annual Meeting in August. For registration or more information, visit pentwaterpsa.org/annual-big-fish-contest.

Benzie Fishing Frenzy Pro/Am Sportfishing Tournament

August, 2023

Tournament is held in Frankfort, MI and includes multiple divisions. The Lucky 7 Prelim is on Thursday, the Ladies Classic is Friday, and the Pro/Am/Big Fish/333 is Saturday and Sunday. For more information, visit tournamenttrail.net/tournaments#/frankfort.

PSA/Bannink’s End of Summer Salmon & Trout Lines Down Tournament

September, 2023

Sponsored by the Pentwater Sportfishing Association and Bannink’s. Prizes include 1st Place for biggest salmon, 2nd Place for biggest trout (Either lake trout, brown trout, or steelhead), 3rd Place for combo weight (Either two salmon/one trout or two trout/one salmon, 4th Place for mystery weight (closest fish weighing to the picked weight from three-six pounds- can be either under or over weight. All entry fees must be paid by 7pm on September 2nd. For more information, visit nebula.wsimg.com or call Rob Bannink at (231) 327-0841.

Stay tuned as we update the schedule of fishing tournaments for 2023!

  • Monthly Calendar of Events

  • Current Events in West Michigan