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 “11th Annual Tight Lines for Troops Fishing Tournament for Michigan Veterans” on May 15th and 16th, 2020.
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.
Get your raffle tickets at the following locations!
Little River Casino Resort
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local # 876
Ted and Pam Arens
Filer Credit Union
Richards & McDougall
Microtel Inn and Suites
Bobs Roofing Co
Merskin & Merskin
Surgical Associates PLC
Memorial for Phillip Heckers
Douglas & Nancy Summers
High Tech Dental
Thomas & Sandra Youngblood
Ronald Gardin DDS
To become a sponsor, simply download the ‘Sponsorship Form’ below and mail your check or money order to Tight Lines For Troops. To Donate using your credit card, press the donate button above. Sponsorship Form
We couldn’t make this event happen without our volunteers. Please check back closer to next year’s event to sign up for great opportunities!
Click map for directions.
Insta Launch Campground & Marina
We are offering two nights free camping or 50% off a trailer rental for the event.
Portage Point Resort
8567 Portage Point Dr
Onekama, MI 49675
Sandi Sovereign 231-889-7500 | email@example.com
One-bedroom lakeside condo with fireplace that accommodates 4 people: rates start at $215 nightly
Two-bedroom condo with fireplace that accommodates 6 people: rates start at $260 nightly
Three-bedroom condo that accommodates 9 people: rates start at $325 nightly
Hot tub will be available for that duration for all guests.
As an incentive for Tight Lines for Troops participants, if they mention the event when reserving a one-night stay, they will receive a 10% discount on their reservation. If they are staying two or more nights, they will receive a 20% discount on their reservations. Interested parties contact Sandi at above phone number or email and mention the Tight Lines for Troops.
Microtel Inn & Suites
Friday May 15th:
1 queen. 65 + tax
2 queen. 75 + tax
Saturday May 16th:
1 queen 75 + tax
2 queen 85 + tax
Riverside Motel & Marina
520 Water Street
Manistee, MI 49660
FOR ADDITIONAL LODGING OPTIONS GO THE MANISTEE COUNTY VISITORS BUREAU http://www.visitmanisteecounty.com/