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 “11th Annual Tight Lines for Troops Fishing Tournament for Michigan Veterans” on May 15th and 16th, 2020.

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

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 / Win a Polaris ATV


Raffle Poster

Get your raffle tickets online here, or by completing the Raffle Order Form, include your check for payment and mail to the address on the form.

Ticket sales end 5/10/2020 to allow time for processing.

Drawing is 5/16/2020, 5PM and will be streamed live on Facebook.**


Peacock, LTD.
276 S. M 37
Baldwin, MI  49304
231 745 4606
2019 Quad 2
2019 Quad 1

Any questions regarding raffle tickets or to have tickets mailed to them contact Judy Ball at 231-690-1910 or email info@tightlinesfortroops.com.

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.

2020 Event Hosts

Fishing Boats from Manistee and  Northern Michigan Area

Little River Casino Resort

The City of Manistee

Sengs Marina

Click here for previous year’s sponsors.

Platinum Sponsor


Gold Sponsor

Consumers Energy
Little River Casino Resort
International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local # 876

Silver Sponsor

Bronze Sponsor

Ted and Pam Arens
Filer Credit Union

Copper Sponsor

Onekama Marine
Richards & McDougall
Microtel Inn and Suites
West Michigan Credit Union

Top Line Electric LLC

Veteran Sponsor

Martin Marietta
Joseph Gabelsberger
Boyer Agency
Bobs Roofing Co
Merskin & Merskin
Surgical Associates PLC
Kendra Thompson Architects, PC
Hardman Construction
Great Lakes Marketing Group Inc.
G.E. Insulation Co.

Other Sponsors/Donors



Memorial for Philip Hecker
Douglas & Nancy Summers
High Tech Dental
Thomas & Sandra Youngblood
Ronald Gardin DDS

 Memorial for Joseph B. Come Jr.

Memorial for Wayne Smith
Marketing Research Group Inc.
Brooks Roofing Co.
Virginia Allison
G.E. Werner Post 3733 VFW

Become A Sponsor / Support Tight Lines for Troops

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

Application Process / The application period for 2020 is closed. Please come back after 11/1/2020 to apply for the 2021 event.

Volunteers / Volunteers are key to a successful event.

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!

Location / First Street Boat Launch, Manistee, MI 49660

Click map for directions.

First Street Boat Launch


Lodging / Special Pricing

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 | sandi@portagepointresort.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

Single (one Queen bed) $75 plus tax per night
Double (two Queen beds) $80 plus tax per night
Double walk out (two Queen beds, river view, slider) $85 plus tax per night
Suite (3 rooms, 2 Queen beds, 1 Twin bed) $150 plus tax per night
To reserve a room please have people call the motel at 231-723-3554 and mention Tight Lines discount.


Contact Us / Need to ask us something?

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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

2020 Captains / Meet the Fleet

Welcome Flag Locations / Come Show Your Support From Shore