Tournament Rules

Great Lakes Bowfishing Championship

2023 Official Rules

  1. REGISTRATION AND CHECK IN: All pre-registered teams must check-in in person with tournament officials to receive their Team Packets either on the preceding Friday from 12:00-9:00 p.m. at Wooded Island Sports Grill Tent (headquarters) in Caseville; or on Saturday morning after 7:00 a.m. and prior to start of tournament at Wallace Stone Quarry (weigh-in) in Bayport. All contestants must check in prior to shooting both Saturday and Sunday, preferably prior to the official starting time. No check in = no weigh in.
  2. ALL CONTESTANTS MUST HAVE A VALID STATE OF MICHIGAN FISHING LICENSE IN THEIR POSSESSION AND ABIDE BY ALL APPLICABLE MICHIGAN DNR LAWS AND REGULATIONS. It is unlawful to block off any waterways (ditches, streams, canals, etc.) utilizing netting, fencing, etc. to artificially impede the natural movement, ingress or egress of fish.
  3. SHOOTING TIME: Shooting hours are from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Saturday and 7:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Sunday. All teams must either be in the weigh-in line or within the quarry gates by the end of shooting hours. No exceptions, no leeway! The shooting of fish by tournament contestants is not permitted during the weekend outside of tournament hours.
  4. 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.
  5. QUALIFYING FISH: Carp, Gold Carp, Goldfish, Gar, Dogfish (bowfin) and Suckers (including buffalo & quillback) ONLY count in this event. All of these rough fish will count towards total weight. Anyone with game fish or other species not legal for bowfishing 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.
  6. FLIGHTS: All contestants must first check in at the weigh-in site prior to departing for the morning send-off. The provided team number stickers must be displayed on the boat and vehicle prior to departure from the check-in area. Teams will be released in random order via team number drawings each morning.
  7. 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 (1) youth participant age 14 or under at time of tournament, will be allowed to accompany a team of two and participate in the tournament. The youth must be registered prior to the start of the tournament.
  8. EQUIPMENT: All standard and accepted bowfishing equipment may be used, including crossbows. Spears or spear fishing gear are not allowed. Fishing arrows must be attached to a line fed from a reel or spool mounted on the bow (no free-flight arrows).
  9. BOUNDARIES: Shooting will be limited to Saginaw Bay and its tributaries. Tournament boundaries will include the southeast shoreline of Saginaw Bay from the Pigeon River in Caseville to the Saginaw River in Bay City. Shooting is permitted up to, but no more than, three (3) miles inland on any of the tributaries, and three (3) miles off shore.
  10. BOATS: Each team may use one boat. All boats must meet the requirements of local, state, and federal regulations. Only one team per boat. Only one boat per team. Wading and/or shooting from the banks is permitted.
  11. 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.
  12. 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 both private & public property.
  13. ENCROACHMENT: All teams will remain a distance of at least 25 yards from another team while competing on the water.
  14. 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.
  15. INSPECTION: Contestants must submit to the inspection of their boat & fish whenever asked by tournament officials. 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.
  16. SUBMISSION OF THE CATCH TO THE WEIGHMASTER: All fish must be brought to the scales prior to the end of shooting hours each day. Contestants will assist the weighmaster by placing their catch on the scales. The stated weight will be the decision of the weighmaster. The weight will be recorded on an official weigh-in slip. Each slip must be initialed by an inspector and by one member of the team. A copy will be provided to each team at that time. All fish will remain in 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.
  17. WEIGH-IN DEADLINES: There is NO EXCUSE for being late for the weigh in. Failure to be inside the facility gate (or end of line if longer) at the posted weigh-in deadline (5 pm Saturday, 2 pm Sunday) will result in automatic disqualification of fish for that day.
  18. 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.
  19. ENTRY FEE: Entry for this event is $90.00 per team. Entries submitted must be accompanied by an official entry blank. Checks, money orders or credit cards are acceptable. Mail to: Wildlife Education Foundation, 32045 Dequindre Rd., Madison Heights, MI 48071. Call (248) 583-4863 with questions. Entries must be received 8 days prior to the tournament. 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.
  20. REFUNDS: Entry fees may be refunded under the following conditions only:
    1. The contestant requests in writing that his/her entry is refunded at least 8 days prior to start of the tournament.
    2. The entire event is cancelled due to unsafe weather or other unforeseen conditions.
  21. Falsifying of pertinent information, cheating or violations of tournament rules may cause disqualification and/or prosecution. Polygraph tests may be used to ensure fair and equal competition for the benefit of all entries. If your team elects to shoot "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.