Tournament Rules

Great Lakes Bowfishing Championship

2012 Official Rules

1. SPORTSMANSHIP: All contestants will adhere to the basic rules of sportsmanship while competing in the contest. The use of belligerent or vulgar language will not be tolerated at any time. Excessive drinking or the actions as a result of drinking will result in disqualification. Respect private property.

2. REGISTRATION AND CHECK IN: All participants who wish to check in and register with tournament headquarters on Friday, May 18, 2012 may do so between the hours of noon and 9:00 p.m. at Sleeper State Park Outdoor Center, 4 miles east of Caseville. All contestants will check in on Saturday and Sunday one half hour prior to the official starting time. No check in, no weigh in.

3. TEAMS: Two people per team. All phases of the tournament competition must be accomplished by only the two team members. All participants must visibly wear team badges. One exception, one (1) youth participant age 13 or under will be allowed to accompany a team of two and participate in the tournament. The youth must be registered prior to the start.

4. EQUIPMENT: All standard and accepted bowfishing equipment may be used. Firearms, crossbows, pellet guns or spear fishing gear are not allowed. Free flight arrows must not be used. Fishing arrows must be attached to a line fed from a reel or spool mounted on the bow.

5. BOATS: Each team may use a boat. Such boats must meet the requirements of local, state, and federal rules. Only two people (exception: See Rule #3) to a boat. Only one boat per team.

6. WADING: Wading and the use of ladders is permitted.

7. ENCROACHMENT: All teams will remain a distance of at least 25 yards from another team while competing on the water.

8. INSPECTION: Contestants must submit to the inspection of their boat & fish whenever asked by tournament authorities. If it is determined that the fish inspected is not a fresh kill, the team will be disqualified. Inspection teams will be on the water.

9. VEHICLES: Cars, trucks, boats and trailers only may be used during the tournament. The use of All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs, cycles, 3-wheelers, 4-wheelers, etc.) is prohibited during the tournament.

10. FLIGHTS: The contestants will first check in at the checking station, then depart at 8:00 a.m. at the judge’s signal. The provided team number stickers must be displayed on the boat and/or vehicle prior to departure from the check-in area.

11. WEIGH SLIPS: Each team will be provided an official weigh-in slip. Each slip must be initialed by an inspector and by one member of the team at the weigh in.

12. LATE PENALTIES: There is NO EXCUSE for being late for the weigh in. Failure to be inside the designated area at the posted weigh-in time will result in automatic disqualification of fish.

13. EMERGENCIES: Should a contestant’s boat break down or the water become too rough to return with the boat, the contestants can accept a ride from another boat to bring their fish with them to the dock. However, at least one member of the team must present the catch to the weighmaster. Under no circumstances may either team continue to shoot while sharing the ride back.

14. SUBMISSION OF THE CATCH TO THE WEIGHMASTER: All fish must be brought to the scales. Contestants will assist the weighmaster by placing their catch on the scales. The stated weight will be the decision of the weighmaster. The weighmaster will make the weight entry on the official card and provide the contestants with a copy at that time. All fish will remain the weighmaster’s possession until all weigh-ins are completed. All fish that are shot must be turned in the same day they are shot. If you elect not to have them weighed, you must still turn in your fish and get a receipt from a staff member. Decisions of the weighmaster are final.

15. QUALIFYING FISH: Carp, Gold Carp, Goldfish, Gar and Dogfish ONLY count in this event. All of these rough fish will count towards total weight. Anyone caught with game fish or other species in his/her possession will be disqualified. All fish must be shot while alive. Washed up dead fish will not be included in the total weight and should not be in the possession of a contestant.

16. BOUNDARIES: Shooting will be limited to Saginaw Bay and its tributaries. Tournament boundaries will include the southeast shoreline of Saginaw Bay from Caseville to the mouth of the Saginaw River. Shooting is also permitted up to, but no more than, three (3) miles inland on any of the tributaries.

17. PRE-TOURNAMENT SHOOTING: There will be absolutely no shooting permitted by tournament contestants in the Saginaw Bay area on the day prior to the tournament (Friday). Scouting is permitted on this day; however, contestants may not have bows or rough fish in their immediate possession.

18. ENTRY FEE: For this event is $80.00 per team. Entries submitted must be accompanied by an official entry form. Check or money order acceptable. Mail to: Wildlife Education Foundation, 32045 Dequindre Rd., Madison Heights, MI 48071 (248) 583-4863. Entries must be received no later than May 11, 2012. Organizers reserve the right to refuse any entries and to limit the number of teams as deemed necessary. Entries will be accepted on a first-come, first-serve basis.

19. REFUNDS: An entry fee may be refunded under the following conditions only: 
A. The contestant requests in writing that his/her entry is refunded. (Such requests must be received by May 11, 2012.) 
B. The tournament authority reserves the right to adjust the purse or cancel the tournament due to lack of entries by May 11, 2012. 
C. The event is cancelled due to unsafe weather conditions.


Starting time both days is 8:00 a.m. Saturday deadline is 5:00 p.m. Sunday deadline is 3:00 p.m. No shooting by tournament contestants is allowed during the weekend outside of the tournament hours.

22. PRIZE DETERMINATION: Prizes given on a two-day total weight per team. In the case of a tie involving total weight or individual fish weight, the winner will be determined by a random drawing.

23. Falsifying of pertinent information, cheating or violations of tournament rules may cause disqualification and/or prosecution.

24. If your team will be shooting “just for the fun of it” and you plan on deviating from these rules, you must notify an official prior to the start of the tournament. Those caught deviating from these rules without giving prior notice will be asked not to return again.

25. Polygraph tests may be used to ensure fair and equal competition for the benefit of all entries



Sanctioned tournament of:

The Bowfishing
Association of America