Ludington Offshore Classic fishing begins Tuesday morning

July 10, 2023

Ludington Offshore Classic fishing begins Tuesday morning

LUDINGTON — The 2023 Ludington Offshore Classic//Big Boys Fishing Tournament officially kicks off today with fishing beginning at 6 a.m. Tuesday. Throughout the week-long event, there will be contests for professionals, amateurs, ladies and youth.

The Offshore Classic Pro Division will pay $20,000 to the winner, and the Amateur Division will pay $7,500*.  (*Payouts based on number of boat entries.)

In 2022, there were six fishable days during the tournament that went off without a hitch. There were no event delays or cancellations due to weather – and it was the largest event on the Tournament Trail in the last 8 years with 119 boats participating.

The Ludington tournament produced more 20-plus pound Kings than all of the previous 2022 events combined.

Big Boys competition winner, Fin Scout of St. Joseph, took home $19,100 after bringing in the biggest boxes over two days of fishing action. It was the second time the team has landed the top spot.

“I know our team looks forward to Ludington every year, and it is my favorite week of the season!” Fin Scout captain Joel DeVries said. “Ludington offers all the southern teams an opportunity to fish water and structure we don’t see in southern Lake Michigan. The tournament is well run, the community comes out to watch the events and support their favorite teams, and we get to catch up with friends we have made from the area. What’s not to love?”    

Last year’s pro tournament saw Pure Injection taking away the $18,000 top prize. Its five-member crew had two days of spectacular fishing during the event, bringing in the 12-fish limit both days, weighing a total of 230.35 pounds.

2023 Events

Following a captains’ meeting today, fishing begins at 6 a.m. July 11, with two days of competition in the Big Boys category. Big fish and big payouts are the name of the game during this high-stakes contest. 

The Ludington Legends Memorial Tournament  will be held Thursday, July 13. Boats at least 18-feet long are welcome to participate and weigh their five best fish for the day. This minimal-rules event is designed to pay homage to departed fishermen who have given much to the local fishing community.

The ladies and kids tournament is Friday, July 14. Cash awards and a trophy are up for grabs in the Ladies Pro/Am Tournament. Ladies will weigh their five best fish, with no more than three of any one species being weighed. The Ladies Big Fish will pay out $500 in each division. The youth tournament welcomes kids 16 and younger to participate and weigh their largest fish for prizes. New this year, youth will participate in teams.

Pro/Am anglers  will take to the lake on Saturday and Sunday, July 15-16.  The event has been revamped to  offer over and above our traditional 100% payouts. The logistics will be much like the 2022 tournament with weigh-ins conducted in a drive-through fashion, and secret cooler and awards ceremonies held under the pavilion at Waterfront Park.  

“This will be our 21st year of hosting this tournament in Ludington,” said Brandy Miller, president/CEO of the Chamber Alliance of Mason County. “This event never fails to bring a crowd to Ludington to enjoy our beautiful city. There’s a lot of excitement at weigh-in. Everyone wants to see the boxes open and crew grab their biggest fish to reveal to the audience. This is truly one of the best weeks of the summer.”

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