Tight Lines For Troops Free Fishing Tournament for Michigan Veterans MAY 17-18, 2024 Tight Lines For Troops MAY 17-18, 2024

About / What is it all about?

This annual fishing tournament began with Manistee County charter Captain Bob Guenthardt. Bob is a former Ogema of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and a proud Army veteran. His idea and desire to show appreciation to members of the military for their dedication and sacrifice provided the foundation for this unique event. In the fall of 2009, Captain Bob, the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians and the Little River Casino Resort created a “Host Committee”, which later reached out to the Paralyzed Veterans of America, Michigan Chapter and the Brain Injury Association of Michigan and the entire Manistee area community. Captain Bob’s fleet of volunteer fishing boat captains, local organizations such as Little River Band of Ottawa Indians Warrior Society, United Veterans Council, Rolling Thunder Michigan Chapter 1, National Guard and U.S. Coast Guard, and many private businesses, and hundreds of volunteer individuals throughout the state of Michigan joined together and successfully executed this outstanding event.

Ten years later, Tight Lines for Troops (a federally recognized nonprofit organization) proudly announced its 10th Annual Charity Fishing Tournament for Michigan Veterans. In 2019 the fleet included over 50 Captains and their boats, and delivered another memorable experience for 300 Michigan Veterans. Those who received “boarding priority” were WWII and Korean War Vets, Purple Heart recipients, veterans disabled, POWs, and then any Veteran of any branch of service. In addition to the Big Lake boat fishing, the Pier/Shore Divisions included opportunities for Veterans to fish from land.

Though the fishing tournament and meal is limited to registered participants, the public is invited to join the “Welcome Back Celebration” as the boats return to the City Marina, traveling up the river channel. The riverwalk along the river channel is lined with patriotic and appreciative fans, waving their flags to cheer and welcome the fishermen back “home”. In expressing his gratitude for the event a previous participant said, “When I came home from duty, we were told not to wear our uniforms. The people were tired of Southeast Asia. Thank you for honoring these great men and women for their service. I was honored to be part of the day.” Another participant shared these feelings: “This is the Welcome Home I never received. After all these years, I cried because I didn’t realize how much it meant to me. I was proud to take part.” Don’t miss this amazing sight – be a part of it!

The success of this program is a result of the collective efforts of over 500 sponsors and volunteers. Veterans pay no charter fees or entry fees. It is with great pleasure and honor that we all look forward to hosting the “2024 Tight Lines for Troops Fishing Tournament for Michigan Veterans” on May 17th and 18th, 2024.

Click here to watch a fantastic new video that does a great job of showing you our event


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Mission Statement / Why we are here

Our mission is to unite organizations, businesses, sponsors and communities to help provide a free fishing tournament open to all Michigan Veterans from all eras, wartime and peacetime.  By bringing our Heroes together, we endeavor to build and foster new relationships, share their experiences and enjoy fishing in the great outdoors of Michigan.

Our all-volunteer, not-for-profit efforts will improve the quality of life for many Veterans, reinforce patriotism, educate and bring awareness that we must continue to support and honor those who have defended our country and our freedoms.

Donation / Donate through Paypal

Donate Now (PayPal)

Itinerary / Don't be late!

Staging and Boarding

Arrive at MANISTEE IRON WORKS, 254 RIVER STREET, MANISTEE, MI 49660. Shuttles will take you to the marina for boarding.  Boarding of boats commences.  Coffee, donuts and restrooms available. Once boats are boarded, shuttles will take any Pier/Shore participants to the fishing locations.

Tournament Ends

Boats stage in harbor for procession up the river to the Marina.  Transportation will be provided for return to the Event Area (Manistee Iron Works) and activities by dial-a-ride bus.  Weigh-in will be at the fish cleaning station at the first street boat launch.

Weigh-In, Event Dinner, Awards

Weigh-in begins, event meal ready.  Awards and other activities immediately following.

Raffle /

There will be 50/50 drawings at the event.  More information to come.

This Year's Sponsors / The following Businesses and individuals are the reason this great event can take place. Please take any opportunity to thank them for their generous donation to our event.

2024 Event Hosts

Fishing Boats from Manistee and  Northern Michigan Area

Little River Casino Resort

Manistee Iron Works

Sengs Marina

The City of Manistee

Click here for previous year’s sponsors.

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsor

Ted and Pam Arens

Consumers Energy

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor



Manistee BPO Elks Lodge 250

Filer City Mill Community Club

D&W Mechanical

Filer Credit Union

Copper Sponsor

Goodman’s Market LLC

Sunny’s Bar and Grill

Linke’s Body Shop

Morton Salt, Inc.

Top Line Electric LLC

Manistee Ford

Onekama Marine

Veteran Sponsor

Richards & McDougall

Swidorski Brothers Excavating LLC

Sports Ink

TES Filer City Station

Waters Edge Dentistry

Kendra C Thompson Architects, PC

Martin Marietta

Dale Kennedy

Jeffrey Liesch

Michigan Charter Boat Association

Manistee Moose Lodge

Other Sponsors/Donors

Manistee Community Foundation

Alice Towne-Meyn

Ami Peterson

Gerald A Gauthier

James LoTempio

Marion Gerald Daviskiba

Michael Nowak

Nicole Leydet

Patrick Potter

Thomas Smith


In memory of Rick Witherspoon

Eric Musum

Paul Smith

Become A Sponsor / Support Tight Lines for Troops

To become a sponsor, simply download the Sponsorship Form by clicking here and mail your check or money order to Tight Lines For Troops.  You can also donate with PayPal or a credit card by clicking the button below.

Donate Now (PayPal)

Application Process /

Volunteers / Volunteers are key to a successful event.

We couldn’t make this event happen without our volunteers.  Volunteers may sign up for the 2024 event here.

If interested in volunteering your boat for the event, click here.

Location / LOCATION: Manistee Iron Works, 254 River Street, Manistee, MI 49660

Click map for directions.

Iron Works Building

Iron Works Master-Map

Lodging / Special Pricing

Manistee Inn and Marina
378 River Street
Manistee, MI 49660
(231) 723-4000


Little River Casino Resort
2400 Orchard Hwy
Manistee MI, 49660


226 E Parkdale Ave
Manistee MI, 49660
Single – $85 + tax
Double – $95 + tax


Hampton Inn
101 S. Lakeshore
Manistee, MI 49660
(231) 299-1096
$156.75 + tax


Rally Point Veteran’s Campground
2486 Skocelas Road, North
Manistee, MI 49660
Inn at Alpine
8127 Chippewa Hwy.
Bear Lake MI, 49614
(231) 889-4281


Manistee Hotel

200 Arthur St.
Manistee, MI 49660


Super 8
220 Arthur St.
Manistee MI 49660
Single – $93.41 includes tax
Double – $102.84 includes tax


1462 Manistee Hwy
Manistee, MI 49660
Single – $117.21 includes tax
Double – $126.97 includes tax


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General Info / Logo use and Guidlines

Those interested in using the Tight Lines for Troops Logo/name for any purpose please complete refer to the Logo Usage Guidelines, complete the Logo Usage Request Form and return by mail to the address provided on the form.

Logo Usage Request Form

Logo Usage Guidelines

Welcome Flag Locations / Come Show Your Support From Shore