Ludington Offshore Classic this weekend

July 16, 2014

image-7For the Love of Fishing. A blog by Sean McDonald.

It is that special time of the year again for big lake fishermen in Ludington. Many fishermen look forward to this weekend all year. The Offshore Classic is taking place this weekend in Ludington. The Tournament Trail and the Ludington & Scottville Area Chamber of Commerce host the event, which is sponsored by local and out of town businesses.

It brings money to our town from fishermen from all over the state. Some of the best fishermen on Lake Michigan come to our town to fish in one of the largest freshwater salmon tournaments in the world. There are five different events to enter including a women’s and kids day plus the Rouboy Thursday.

Preparation for the tournament is key. Pre-fishing every day is not the only way to prepare for the events. Remember that fish swim and large kings are very seldom in the same place two days in a row.

Use what you have learned the rest of the year about where fishing has been best. Having a good crew and being able to pull lines and move spots quickly will put more fish in your boat. A tournament boat must work as a team, and there is only one captain.

Your boat needs to be addressed, making sure it is going to preform well. Changing the oil, water separator filters, cap and rotors and checking fluid levels are a few things. Tackle is another thing that should be in perfect working condition.  Change all of your leadcore and copper line leaders, retie your diver rods and replace the leaders. Change your downrigger reel lines and inspect your cables on your downriggers. Retie your slider rigs and sharpen every hook you plan on using. Inspect and replace leaders on flasher fly and meat rigs. Keep a special assortment of lures for the tournament and make sure every one of them is something you have caught a fish on this year.

Salmon have been harder to catch for the last couple of weeks- especially the big ones. We are focusing most of our efforts offshore in search of numbers of fish.

Steelhead and lake trout have made up for most of our catches. Amateur teams must weigh 10 fish a day with not more than seven salmon of their 10 fish and the pro teams can not weigh more than nine salmon and three others. Other fish are lake trout, brown trout and steelhead.

The maximum limit of other single species is nine for both divisions. Both divisions have a 20 fish maximum catch and any salmon after 17 must be released. Any other species in excess of nine other single species must be released. When your boat catches 20 legal sized fish you must return to port. Tournament hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., otherwise you will be deducted 10 points for every minute late.

To read about other rules and details, check out www.ludingtontournament.com. The weather and waves look promising for the weekend and I hope everyone enjoys the weekend on the water.

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