Ludington is considered the #1 Salmon fishing port in Michigan! With over 25 USCG licensed pros operating fully inspected boats that insures your safety. You are guaranteed to have an exciting fishing adventure. Booking a fishing charter trip is easy. (1) Pick a date (2) find boats under the fishing charters tab and contact captains by email or phone. You can also call 800-927-3470.
Ludington Charter Boat Association
Year after year, Ludington ranks as the #1 salmon fishing port in Michigan. If you want great action and big fish, a charter fishing trip in Ludington should be your #1 choice.
The Pere Marquette river is the major contributor of natural reproducing salmon in Lake Michigan. Salmon are also planted at the Ludington State Park. The mature salmon return to the Ludington waters each summer prior to their spawning runs. Ludington is also known for the reefs and drop-offs near the port. This unique structure around the port of Ludington attracts bait fish and huge salmon, steelhead, lake trout and brown trout.
In addition to fishing, there are many more family activities in and around Ludington.
FIRST ANNUAL LUDINGTON BIG KING BONANZA What: A Big King Tournament consisting of one division; with two different fishing periods. The first tournament spans from Thursday April 15th at 12:00 AM until Saturday July 3rd at 11:59 PM. The second tournament spans from Monday July 5th at 12:00 AM until 11:59 on the Saturday before Labor Day, September 4th, 2021. There will be an awards ceremony broadcasted on Facebook Live at Captain Chucks on Sunday July 4th at 2:00 in the afternoon for the first tournament winner(s)... as well as an awards ceremony also broadcasted on Sunday September 5th at 2:00 PM for the winner(s) of the second tournament. Where: Any fish caught out of the Port Cities of Ludington, Pentwater, Muskegon, Whitehall, Manistee, Onekama, or Frankfort… basically any port city falling in between the Ports of Muskegon and Frankfort. For those fishing rivers, tributaries, and Lakes connected to Lake Michigan, Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, Manistee, and Benzie counties are the decided fishing counties.
How to Register: Kindly stop at or mail your payment and registration form to Captain Chucks in Ludington. Cash only please! Let’s keep it simple!! If mailing, please write “CC: Big King Bonanza” on the envelope so it can get to the appropriate parties Registration Costs: You may register for this tournament via one of two methods… either individually or by the boat. Your registration fee will cover you or your entire boat (depending on how you decide to register) for the period in which you register. If registering individually the cost is $20 per person with the option to pay an extra $5 to register for a winner takes all big Lake Trout division. If registering by the boat the cost is $100 with the option to pay an extra $25 to enter in to a winner takes all Big Lake trout division. You may register for either or, or both Chinook Salmon and Lake trout divisions. The payout structure for big king will be as follows: -If $1,999 or less are received in registration fees the payout will be the winner takes all… -If $2,000-$3,499 are received in registration fees, the payout will be 70/30 for First and Second Places. For example, if we have exactly a $3,000 pot, $2,100 will be paid to the winner and $900 will be paid to the runner up... -If $3,500-$4,999 are received in registration fees the payout will be 70/20/10 for First, Second, and Third places. For example, if we have exactly $4,000 in our pot payouts will be… *First place-$2,800 *Second place-$800 *Third place-$400 -If $5,000-$7,999 are received in registration fees, the payout will be 45/25/15/10/5 for First through fifth places. For example payouts for a pot of exactly $5,000 would be… *First place-$2,250 *second place-$1,250 *Third place-$750 *Fourth place-$500 *Fifth place-$250 -If we receive $8,000 or more in registration fees, payouts will be 35/20/15/10/8/6/4/2 for the top 8 fish… for example, if we have $10,000 exactly in registration fees payout will be: *First place-$3,500 *Second place-$2,000 *Third place-$1,500 *Fourth place-$1,000 *Fifth place-$800 *Sixth place-$600 *Seventh place-$400 *Eighth place-$200 There will be an awards ceremony done at Captain Chucks on Sunday July 4th and again on Sunday September 5th at 2:00 PM for the trophy presentations and cash payouts. Both tournaments will have the same payout structures as listed above. If you cannot attend, they will also be broadcasted on Facebook Live. As mentioned before, the lake trout division will be winner takes all Questions? Contact Captain Chucks (75 N. Jebavy Dr. Ludington, MI 49431, (231) 843-4458) or Logan Wessendorf (firstname.lastname@example.org, (231) 224-3603). Once registered, you will receive a business card with Scott Keegstra’s personal cell phone on it in case you need to get a hold of him for after hours weigh in… You may also contact Logan Wessendorf (number listed above) if and when this situation arises... Rules and Regulations This is a tournament (or derby if you go by Wisconsin standards) intended to give every angler who registers a shot at winning. Many smaller boats and more novice anglers cannot win a regular tournament because they are unlikely to catch the ten or twelve fish needed to place, as is the standard for the tournaments up and down the Lake. Anyone can catch that one special fish to win this derby, so long as you are in the right place, at the right time, with the right bait. We will have a leaderboard at Captain Chucks. Additionally, a Facebook page (facebook.com/TBD) is in place where weekly rankings will be posted and friendly dialogue can take place. Tiebreaker rules: Captain Chucks’ scales are accurate to the one one-hundredth of a pound; however in the rare event of a tie, the overall length of the salmon, to the closest one-eighth of an inch wins. If both fish are exactly the same weight and length, the fish caught the earliest in the season wins. If both fish were caught on the same day, a simple coin toss will determine the winner. General Rules: As mentioned earlier, this fishing tournament spans from 12:00 AM on Thursday April 15th until 11:59 PM on Saturday July 3rd, and again from 12:00 AM on Monday July 5th until 11:59 PM on Saturday September 4th 2021. Any Chinook Salmon or Lake Trout caught in between this time period is eligible to be weighed. The physical fish must be present at Captain Chucks in Ludington to be weighed and counted. A picture of your monster fish, weighed and released will not be entered. It must be weighed on our official Tournament Scale at Captain Chucks. Scott at Captain Chucks has graciously agreed to have a staff member weigh fish Even if it is after hours… So if you are from out of town and catch that one special fish, and are willing to make the trip, rest assured, someone will be there to weigh it. If you catch a King, late in the day on July 3rd, or late in the day on September 4th, please keep in mind that it is your responsibility to get back to Captain Chucks before midnight to weigh your fish. We will have someone on stand by on both nights for this very scenario, however as previously stated, any angler attempting to weigh their fish on or after midnight will not be permitted to do so… Any legal rod and reel fishing method is acceptable, including but not limited to trolling, jigging, casting, dead sticking with live bait, fly fishing, center pin, etc. Fish must be caught legally in the mouth!! Remember, any lake or river connected to Lake Michigan in Muskegon, Oceana, Mason, Manistee, or Benzie counties as well as Lake Michigan itself from as far South as the Port of Muskegon to as far North as the Port of Frankfort constitutes as legal fishing waters… Be aware that the limitations of this tournament are classified by the Port City in which you depart, not by the exact location in which the fish was caught… so if you depart Frankfort and end up fishing North; in to waters of a neighboring County, you CAN weigh your fish because you departed from am eligible port...that being said, the fish must be caught in Michigan waters... This is a big king tournament only. There is a separate Big Lake Trout Division you may choose to enroll in… we will not accept any other species, including but not limited to Steelhead or rainbow trout, brown trout, or coho salmon... There is no cut off date for this tournament. If you would like to register the week before Labor Day weekend, you can. However, you must be registered beforehand to weigh in a fish. In our efforts to discourage cheating, you cannot weigh a fish until after 24 hour of registering for either tournament. In addition, fish must be weighed no more than twelve hours after the fish was landed There are no limits to the amount of fish you weigh, so if you weigh a 31 pounder, and the next day you upgrade to a 33 pounder, by all means, you are allowed to weigh that second fish. It is possible for one person or boat to win multiple places if they weigh multiple winning fish... This is a fun tournament, and is intended to be that way. Any angler caught cheating will be immediately disqualified, and a decision will have to be made about their future eligibility in this contest. We reserve the right to administer a polygraph test to any potential winners. Also, we reserve the right to check the stomach contents of any fish being weighed for foreign objects intended to increase the weight of the catch...Additionally, any harassment or foul language on the facebook page will not be tolerated. Have fun, and be safe on the water! Registration Form First Annual Ludington Big King Bonanza 2021 ____Check this box for an individual person registering for $20 (+$5?) ____Check this box for a boat registering for $100 (+$25?) Name (first and last): __________________________________________________ Address:_____________________________________________________________ City:_______________________ State:_______________ Zip Code:____________ Phone Number:________________________________________________________ Email Address:________________________________________________________
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Registration Form Proof of Enrollment for our Records Name (first and last): _______________________________ Address: __________________________________________ City:_____________State:______________Zip Code:_________ Phone Number:_______________________________________ Email Address:________________________________________ Check Box to Indicate the applicable divisions registered: ___Individual _____Boat Check species: ___Both ___King Salmon only ___Lake Trout only ... See MoreSee Less
Hi there guys,
I just printed off 200 registration forms and 200 rules pages... I’m dropping off a good chunk of these next Wednesday or Thursday at Chucks... I’m also getting a bunch together for bait shops in Muskegon, Whitehall, Manistee, and Frankfort... bear with me, I’m finally getting all my ducks in a row with this.... if you own a small business or have a forum where you would like to have a few forms to pass around, please lmk and I will mail some forms to you!!! Have a good weekend and think Spring!! 😁
UPDATE #2: Negotiations with Michigan’s Tribes- Issues facing Sport fishers-Allocation
This is the second in the series of updates that we will be posting to let those interested in the sport and commercial fisheries of the Great Lakes know what is happening in the negotiation of a new agreement between the State, the Federal government and the five Michigan tribes holding a Treaty right to fish in the Michigan portion of the Great Lakes. The first update gave you some background on the negotiations. This update addresses the issues facing sport fishers in the sharing of the Great Lakes fisheries with the Tribes.
Since 1985, the arrangement between the Tribes, the State of Michigan and the Federal government to share the fisheries of the Great Lakes has been contained in two agreements that were negotiated by the parties and then put in place by the Federal Court in west Michigan as a “Consent Decree.” The first Decree was implemented in 1985. It had a 15-year term. In 2000, a second Decree was put in place by the Court. It had a 20-year term. It expired last year but has been extended by the Court while the parties negotiate a new agreement.
A critical issue to the past two agreements, and one that will be critical to a new agreement, is the division of the Great Lakes fishery between the Tribes and those fishers who are licensed by the State. The 1985 agreement allocated the Great Lakes fishery among the parties by lake, zones, species, and catch limits. It was premised on a roughly 50-50 allocation of the fishery between the State and the Tribes. The Tribes were principally allocated whitefish stocks and the State was principally allocated salmon stocks. Lake trout stocks were shared with the allocation to each party differing based on the area of the Great Lakes at issue. Generally, the Tribes were allocated more lake trout in areas where they were pursuing whitefish and State licensed fishers were allocated more in traditional sportfishing areas. Overall, however, the fishery resources were generally shared equally. Further, the zones created for State and Tribally licensed fishers reduced gear conflict between commercial nets, particularly gill nets and traditional sport fishing gear.
The agreement reached in 2000 took a slightly different approach while maintaining the roughly equal division of the fishery between the State and the Tribes. The agreement created Commercial Fishing Zones where Tribal or State licensed commercial fishing was permitted. Within those zones certain areas had gear limitations, such as trap net only areas, closed areas, such as near harbor mouths or near refuges reserved for lake trout rehabilitation, and reserved areas designated for a particular Tribe, such as zone reserved for the Grand Traverse Band in the Grand Traverse Bay area and one reserved for small boat fishers of the Bay Mills Indian Community in the Hammond Bay area of Lake Huron.
Critical to this shared resource was the allocation of lake trout between the State and the Tribes. The lake trout available for catch by commercial or sport fishers in each lake trout management unit within the tribal waters of Lakes Michigan, Huron and Superior was divided and allocated. The table below, with a very general indication of where each management unit is located, shows the various allocations:
MANAGEMENT UNIT TRIBAL SHARE STATE SHARE MH-1 (Lk. Huron north of Rogers City) 88% 12% MH-2 (South of Rogers City to Alpena area) 5% 95% MM-1/2/3 (Northern Lake Michigan from Escanaba to Charlevoix) 90% 10% MM-4 (Grand Traverse Bay) 55% 45% MM-5 (Leland south to Arcadia) 40% 60% MM-6/7 (Arcadia south to Grand Haven) 10% 90% MI-5 (Lk. Superior from Marquette east 20 miles) 5% 95% MI-6 (Munising Bay area east to Au Sable Point) 50% 50% MI-7 (Au Sable Point east to Little Lake) 70% 30%
These allocations generally reserved more lake trout for sport fishing in those areas where Great Lakes sport fishing is more prevalent. In terms of the available lake trout stocks, these allocations shared the resource fairly equally.
Since 2000, the Great Lakes fishery has changed. Whitefish generally reserved to the Tribes and salmon reserved to the State are not as prevalent now. For whitefish, the harvest by both State and Tribal fishers in Lake Michigan is half what it was several years ago. For salmon, both State and Tribal harvests of chinook salmon are one quarter of what they were at its peak just a few years ago. Lake trout have experienced some natural reproduction in recent years but are under duress in some parts of the lakes. Preserving lake trout spawning stocks will be critical to the future of that fishery. Taken as a whole, the fisheries of the Treaty areas of the Great Lakes are producing far less than a few years ago. These changes present huge difficulties in negotiating a new agreement as there are simply not the stocks that were available a few years ago. Nevertheless, this is a shared resource that requires allocation on a roughly 50-50 basis. ... See MoreSee Less
Booking a charter trip is easy. The prime fishing season is May through September; with the peak season generally considered as July/August. Pick a date when you will be in the area. Then check our listing of of over 45 professional
Click on the link above and view the listings, then contact the captain by email or call them at their listed number. Most captains provide all of the equipment you need and will also filet and bag your fish. Always ask your captain what services are included. Rates can vary by boat. Most charter boat websites display rates. If you need more information such as arranging multiple boats, contact us at info@FishingChartersLudington.com Click on the "Pure Michigan" video below and find out what all the excitement is about! See you on the water - FISH ON!