Purchase your tickets now. Limited number of holes to be drilled.
1. The tournament is scheduled for February 25, 2023, from 12:00 noon until 3:00 p.m. on Grand Lake off the DNR launch at Metzeloar Bay on the south end of the lake. Contestants are discouraged inside fishing area prior to 9:00 a.m.
2. Should inclement weather cause cancellation on February 25, 2023, official cancellation notices will be posted at https://reelfunfishing-alpenamichigan
3. The top 30 place prizes are determined by largest weight and time registered. In the event of a tie, the first fish registered takes priority. Any size fish may place in the Top 30. Any open species of fish may be registered, the prizes place are determined by weight.
4. Each person will be allowed to fish one hole per ticket, three holes maximum. You may register as many fish as you want, but only the heaviest fish per contestant will qualify for a competition prize. No contestant will be eligible for more than one competition prize. There is no age requirement on tournament participation. All laws of the State of Michigan must be followed. Contestants must fish in the contest area and use the holes provided.
5. Contestants may select their hole or holes no earlier than 9:00 a.m. on the day of the tournament. Selection is first come, first served.
6. All fish entered must be brought to the weigh-in station immediately and be alive. Please bring a bag or bucket, as the tournament is live release. Dead or frozen fish are ineligible. Judges shall have the right to verify that fish were legally caught. The decision of the judge is final. Contestants are responsible for verification of weight of fish at time of weigh in.
7. All fish must be caught and the contestant in route to the weigh-in station by 3:00 p.m. on the day of the contest.
8. Contestants must fish in the area designated for the contest and will be required to have their tickets visible at all times. Ticket checks as well as container inspections will be required.
9. Contestants will be allowed to move to other unoccupied holes in the contest area. You are allowed to bring as many poles as desired, but cannot use more than one pole per hole at a time. Contestants must use holes provided. Contestants who leave the contest area between 12:00–3:00 p.m. must re-enter through the inspection point.
10. Entry fee for the tournament is $25.00 for tickets. No refunds or exchanges will be given for any reason.
11. Contestants are responsible for their own safety, actions, and property at all times. Contestants and holes must be in plain view from all sides at all times. No shelters will be allowed.
12. All contestants MUST have Michigan Fishing License and observe all fishing rules and regulations.
13. Contest prizes are the responsibility of the winners. Licensing, registration, transportation, taxes, and all incidental or consequential expenses incurred are the responsibility of the winners. Prizes must be claimed within 30 days of notification.
14. No motorized vehicles are allowed in the contest area other than those of contest officials and event personnel. Any contestant bringing a motor vehicle within 100 yards of the contestant perimeter will be disqualified.
15. Contestants are encouraged to park in the areas provided. Watch for signs. Contestants are encouraged to carpool and use the buddy system. There will be limited parking available at the DNR launch. Parking on the ice is at YOUR OWN RISK.
16. All bait fish must be six inches or smaller. Any bait fish over six inches will not be allowed on the ice.
17. Coolers and large containers are discouraged. No spears allowed. Heaters, chairs, and bait pails are allowed. Ice chisels are recommended as holes are drilled the day before. The use of augers is not allowed. Weighted lines without hooks or bait can be used to check depth prior to 11:45 a.m. No electronics are allowed. No lines are allowed in the water from 11:45 a.m. to the start of the contest.
18. Anyone pre-fishing 24 hours before the contest must register with contest officials on-site.
19. Failure to comply with any contest rules subjects contestants to disqualification and removal from competition site, as determined by contest officials. Right to refuse to sell and/or revoke a competition ticket to anyone is hereby reserved.
20. There will be a leader board located in the contest area. All efforts will be made to keep the board up to date and accurate. Tournament results remain unofficial until verified by the head judge.
21. Members of the Wildlife Sanctuary Board and River Center Board are ineligible to fish the tournament.
22. All contestants and other spectators hereby consent to the use of any names, photographs or likenesses of themselves to be used in the promotion of our contest, including but not limited to print, radio, television, or any other media.
23. All fish registered have been legally gifted to the Thunder Bay River Center.
24. The Thunder Bay River Center would like thank you for supporting our efforts to protect the environment and request that you remove refuse—including cigarette butts—from the ice when you leave. Glass containers are not allowed in contest area and will be confiscated by and forfeited to tournament officials. Waste containers are provided.
25. All contest updates available and valid only from https://reelfunfishing-alpenamichigan
Q: WHO IS RUNNING THE CONTEST?
A: The River Center Fundraising Committee.
Q: WHAT TIME CAN I START FISHING?
A: 12:00 noon, when the starter flare goes off.
Q: CAN I CHECK THE DEPTH?
A: Yes, BUT only using a line without a hook. All lines must be out of the water by 11:45 AM until the start of the official start.
Q: WHEN DOES THE CONTEST END?
A: 3:00 PM the starter flare ends the contest. You will have until 3:03 PM to get in line with a fish to have it registered. REMEMBER: fish must be brought to the judges' stand immediately when caught and alive. Dead or frozen fish will be ineligible.
Q: WHEN CAN I ENTER THE CONTEST AREA?
A: You can enter the area at 9:00 AM. All people entering the contest area must go through security check.
Q: CAN I PRE-FISH?
A: NO. You will be disqualified..
Q: CAN I FISH USING A WINDBREAK?
A: NO. Windbreaks and shanties are NOT allowed.
Q: CAN I PULL CANVAS OVER MY HEAD FOR PROTECTION?
A: NO. All Contestants must remain completely visible while fishing.
Q: I CAN'T FIND MY TICKET, CAN I STILL FISH?
A: NO! All contestants must have a legal ticket in plain view on their person. Please see tournament director for help in locating your ticket. Additional tickets can be picked up at the "Info Booth" located at the entrance area of the contest.
Q: CAN I FISH THREE HOLES?
A: Yes, if three tickets are bought. All tickets must be displayed in plain view.
Q: CAN I BRING MY OWN BEER OR POP INTO THE CONTEST AREA?
A: YES. Glass bottles are not allowed, but plastic bottle are. We encourage you, however to patronize our concessions providers Cookin' for a Cause and Hilltop Concessions
Q: CAN WE BRING OUR OWN FOOD?
A: YES, However food will be available for purchase at the event - Cookin' for a Cause and Hilltop Concessions
Q: CAN MY FRIEND WATCH MY LINE WHILE I GO TO THE BATHROOM OR TO REGISTER MY FISH?
A: NO! Please take your line out of the water. Leaving your line unattended is against Michigan Law.
Q: DO I NEED A FISHING LICENSE?
A: YES, Fishing during the contest is regulated by all Michigan Fishing Laws. To participate and win any tournament prizes you must have a Michigan fishing license. We do NOT sell licenses on the ice; you must purchase one ahead of time.
Q: CAN I BRING A COOLER ONTO THE ICE?
A: YES, coolers will be allowed; all coolers will be subject to mandatory search or will not be allowed in the contest area.
Q: I CAUGHT TWO FISH. SHOULD I REGISTER BOTH?
A: You may register as many fish as you like. However, only the largest fish you register will count.
Q: DO YOU HAVE BAIT FOR SALE?
A: NO! But we encourage you to purchase from local shops such as Gonzos as well as Clem's Live Bait & Tackle.
Q: CAN I LEAVE EARLY?
Q: ARE TICKETS STILL AVAILABLE THE DAY OF THE CONTEST?
A: Only if we have not sold the 1000 tickets for the event. Any additional tickets will be available at the information booth as you enter the fishing area.
Q: WHAT ARE YOU GOING TO DO WITH THE MONEY?
A: The primary beneficiary of the Reel Fun Ice Fishing Tournament is the Thunder Bay River Center.
Q: WHO IS RUNNING THE CONTEST?
A: The River Center Fundraising Committee.
Q: CAN I TAKE MY PRIZE HOME WITH ME?
A: YES, Your prize is now your responsibility. COLLECT ALL PRIZES THE DAY OF THE TOURNAMENT.
PLEASE USE WASTE RECEPTACLES FOR YOUR GARBAGE.
We fish off of the public access of Metzelaar Bay on beautiful Grand Lake in Presque Isle.
From the South:
Travel North on Hwy 23
Turn Right on East Grand Lake Road (3.5 Miles)
Turn Right and stay on East Grand Lake Road (about 2 miles)Public access is on the left
From the North:
Travel South on Hwy 23
Turn left on E. Co Road 638 (2.2 miles)Slight right onto Highland Plains Road (1.6miles)Turn left to stay on Highland Pines Road (1.8 miles)Turn Right onto E. Grand Lake Road (3.9 miles)Watch for Public Access Signs - access on the left
Thunder Bay River Center (TBRC) is pictured as an interpretive center of the Thunder Bay River Watershed. Located within the unique 444 acre Alpena Wildlife Sanctuary, TBRC will serve as the thermometer of the watershed's health. It will operate year-round as an interpretive resource for all. The TBRC studies center is focused on the 1,250 square miles of the Thunder Bay River Watershed's resources. Its programs will interpret these natural resources for schools, the local community and tourists to show how the protection/destruction of resources impact the water and coastline of Lake Huron.
Together with its community partners, the TBRC will help people restore/preserve the healthy ecosystem of the Thunder Bay River Watershed. To do this, large in-wall aquariums will showcase the 81 species of native river fish and their supporting food sources. Interactive exhibits involving water quality, dam placement/removal, invasive species control, will lead the participant into the outdoor laboratory, Island Park and the Thunder Bay River. Many of TBRC's programs are guided by educational standards for science, technology, engineering, arts and math (S.T.E.A.M) tools desired by employers and needed by everyone in order to work and function.
The TBRC, with its multiple partnerships of people, businesses and industries, will be an attraction to the more than 400,000 tourists who visit the area each year. Its unique combination of ADA compliant indoor-outdoor experience-based activities will make the River Center a destination for tourists and entrepreneurs who seek not only to learn more about the water, woods and communities of Northeast Michigan but how a collaborative effort benefits the entire community.