2024 Tournament Rules

All boat Captains must be a member in good standing with the Eastern Michigan Sportsman Association (EMSA) at the start time of tournament.    YOU CANNOT JOIN ON THE WATER.  

As of 2024, Charter Captains may enter any club tournament provided they do not run a charter trip with customers on tournament day and any points earned during the tournament are not eligible for Captain of the Year Points.  All rules below apply. 

  1. The Captain can pick a 1st mate from his crew to represent him or her at the weigh-in. This person must also be a member in good standing prior start of the tournament. Captain will notify the Tournament Director of the person that will be that 1st mate.

  2. A $40.00 entry fee must be paid before the start of the tournament weigh-in. If a Captain doesn’t pay after entering the tournament then that Captain will not be able to enter any other EMSA tournaments and may jeopardize their club membership.

  3.  All tournaments will be pre-registration tournaments. Pre-registration can be done by mail, e-mail, the EMSA Web Site or phone call to the Tournament Director. Channel 68 is to be used for the start of all tournaments and to relay rule changes or information concerning the tournament.

 4.  ONLY the winning boat Captain must be a member of the EMSA prior to start of tournament to collect boat winnings. Prize money will be sent by mail or paid after the tournament results are announced after verifying Captains membership is in good standing. We encourage all boat crew’s to become members on their own to help us with the great fisheries that they just enjoyed. ( Note if the Captain is using a 1st mate to represent him or her then the Mate needs to be a member prior start of the tournament)

 5.  Points will be awarded as follows: 10 points per fish, 1 point per pound.

 6.  All fish must be 16 inches in length to be entered in the Salmon tournaments. Lake Trout size limits are determined by the Management Unit set by the Michigan DNR and EMSA. (The club suggests that fish less than 16 inches be returned to the water but it is not mandatory). Walleye is 15 inch/or legal size per our Walleye tournaments. See note 14a 

 7.  You may use 2 lures per rod and reel, and a maximum of (9) rods per boat during a tournament.

 8.  All boats must stay within the peirheads or in the designated area and may not begin fishing (no lines in the water) until the Chairman calls the start of the tournament on Channel 68.  Tournament Directors for each tournament, starting times and other information can be found on our Web Page and/or Face book page. 

 9.  The tournament chairman shall announce the official time of the weigh-in of the contest on the designated VHF Channel prior to the start of the tournament on Ch. 68.. Any Captain or 1st mate and cooler not present at this time shall be disqualified for the DAY, NO MORE than a one man limit of fish can be in the cooler at weigh-in or the line at weigh-in

 10.  All boats MUST depart from and return to BY WATER,  to the port where the tournament is being held.
11.  All boats are subject to inspection prior to start of tournament. If any boat has fish aboard prior to the start of tournament the fish must be marked and the tournament chairman must be notified for inspection of those fish 45 minutes prior to the start time of a tournament.  
12. Each boat is allowed to catch their daily limit of fish according to the rules set by the Michigan DNR.  NO CULLING OF ANY KIND ALLOWED… (Culling? a legal fish for the tournament being released to catch a bigger fish)  2 people on boat = 2 man limit, 3 people on boat = 3 man limit, and so on.

13. Boat crews will be allowed to weigh in their best 5 (five) fish at the weigh-in. Any payout for Big Fish must be part of the 5 (five) that is weighed-in (note: only 5 fish can be at the weigh-in per boat) (one person limit) Each boat’s biggest fish will be recorded for the Big Fish Contest.  

14.  If a boat has caught more than 5 fish, see note 14a …it is the Captain’s responsibility to sort through his/her catch and pick the best 5 fish for weigh-in.   It’s the Captain’s responsibility to determine the species of each fish weighed in from his/her cooler.  This must be done before the cooler is brought to the line at the weigh-in.  Any person’s cooler that contains more than 5 (one person limit) of fish will give up the biggest fish until only 4 fish remain and only those 4 fish will be weighed-in. Any Big Fish removed from the cooler will not be eligible for the Big Fish Contest.

  14a Walleye will be your best five (5) fish. All walleye weighed in must be 15 inches or bigger. You may return any fish under 15 inches back to the water and (they will not count as sorting fish).

15.  If you experience boat problems, you must notify the tournament chairman or another tournament boat. The Tournament Chairman needs to be notified if you leave the water for any reason.

16.  If you feel that present or impending weather conditions pose a threat to you or your crew, your entry fee will be reimbursed to you prior to the START OF THE TOURNAMENT. If during the tournament you deem it unsafe to continue fishing, you MUST RELAY THIS TO THE CHAIRMAN AND RETURN TO PORT.

17.  The tournament is valid if one or more LEGAL FISH are weighed in. Otherwise all entry fees will be returned.

18.  Fishing inside the pier heads and within rivers where the river bottom is dredged for freighter traffic is allowed. 

19.  It is the Captain's responsibility to make sure that all fish are free from foreign material, such as ice or water. Any questionable fish will be disqualified by a selected committee.


21.  Any protests or complaints must be made before final results are posted or announced.

22.  A copy of these rules will be made available to all participants.


24. The "Tournament Committee" may comprise of any number of the EMSA Board of Director's Members present or whatever number of Directors the Tournament Chairman sees fit to come to a conclusion.

                                                                         PRIZE AND SPECIAL AWARDS

1.  Prize money will be awarded as follows: All entry fees will be returned 100% in the form of prize money.

                                         There must be minimum of 3 boats to officially hold a tournament.

                                              Payout Table 1

# of Boats1st2nd3rd4th5th

3 Boats (minimum)








2. 15 boats and more we will payout the following percentages up to 6th place.


                                            Payout Table 2

# of Boats (15+)1st place (40%)2nd place (20%)3rd place (13%)4th place (10%5th place (9%)6th place (8%)

Payouts will be based on what’s listed above in Payout Table 1; 3-5 boats (2 payouts), 6-8 boats (3 payouts), 9-11 boats (4 payouts), 11-14 boats (5 payouts).  15 or more boats will be based on number of boats in Table 2.


Big Fish prizes are paid out as follows 

3-5 boats in tournament- 2 Big Fish Prizes

6 boats and above in tournament- 3 Big Fish Prizes

The EMSA will pay out a $50.00 prize for the 3 biggest fish of 3 different & heaviest species up to 3 separate boats.  This is based on at least 6 boats entered in the tournament. With 3-5 boats entered, two (2) Big Fish prizes at $50.00 each will be paid out for the two heaviest fish on separate boats. A boat can only be paid out for 1 big fish ($50.00).  A Big Fish entry must be part of your 5 fish being weighed in.

Species eligible for weigh in for salmon tournaments- King, coho, steelhead, lake trout, brown trout, atlantic.

Walleye Tournaments will pay out 2 places (3-5 boats) to 2 separate boats or 3 places (6+ boats) for the heaviest walleye’s to 3 different boats (1 prize per boat) and must be a part of your 5 fish being weighed in. 

Register for any Club or Open Tournament below.   Don't forget to either send it or bring the tournament Entry Form to the Capt's Meeting.  You can pay the Entry Fee as well at the Capt's Meeting.  Cash works best and saves time. 

​2024 Tournament Schedule

Pre-Register for any tournament below

Tournament Registration

Print out a Club Tournament Entry Form Here

Fill out the form and send to emsasportsmen@gmail.com 

or bring it with you to the Captain's Meeting the morning of the tournament.   Prepay below for the tournament you want to fish in. 

4/6/24Lexington (salmon)6:00am -2:00pmEMSA Tournament,  Capts. Meeting at 5:30am at the Boat Ramp.
4/20/24Saginaw River 7:00am-3:00pmEMSA Tournament, Captains Meeting at 6:15. Launch site TBD
5/18/24Al Smeaton Memorial TournamentTBDEMSA Tournament, Quanicassee State Launch
6/1& 6/2 /2024Linwood Walleye (2-day) 7:00-3:00pm EMSA Tournament, 2 day tournament, Capts Meeting Saturday morning at front pavilion.  Cook out on Saturday for Teams who are registered. 
6/15/24Linwood Ladies Shoot-Out7:00-3:00pmOpen Tournament- Capt's Meting at front pavilion at 7:00am.  Cookout after weigh in.
7/6/24Big Bob (Linwood)7:00-3:00pmOpen Tournament. Capt's Meeting Saturday morning at 7:00am at front pavilion. Cookout after weigh in.
7/20/24Augres (walleye)7:00am-3:00pmEMSA Tournament, Capt's Meeting at 7:00am at the Boat Ramp in Augres. 
8/9 & 8/10Ludington (salmon) (2-day)5:30-2:00pmEMSA Tournament,Capt's Meeting at 5:00am at the Boat Ramp. 
8/24 & 8/25Manistee (salmon) (2 day)6:00am-2:00pmEMSA Tournament,Capt's Meeting at 5:30am at the Boat Ramp.