Although derby format fishing contests have remained popular in the other states around the Great Lakes, Michigan has not seen one in many years. Lake Ontario has the LOC Derby and the Great Ontario Salmon Derby while Wisconsin has Salmon-A-Rama and Kewaunee/Door County Salmon Derby. All of them have been held anually for 20+ years.. Michigan is going to have its own big derby in 2013. The Michigan Salmon Spectacular inaugural derby will be the week prior to Labor Day.
Coinciding with the annual staging of Chinook (King) salmon off of most Lake Michigan ports, the Michigan Salmon Spectacular will be held from Saturday, August 24 at 5:00 AM EDT through Monday, September 2 at 3 pm. (Labor Day). Fish caught in Michigan's waters of Lake Michigan can be weighed and entered during this period with the biggest of those entered vieing for $33,000+ in cash with $5,000 going to the person that enters the biggest fish.
Entry fees for the Michigan Salmon Spectacular are only $30 per person ($15 for a youth entry) with all ports from New Buffalo to Frankfort setup with registration/weigh station sites at the local tackle shops. Boat entries and daily entries are also offered. The salmon have been bigger this year than in many years. Most avid salmon anglers will be out fishing at sometime that week. For less than the cost of a few lures of gallons of gasoline that big fish could be worth over $5,000. Unlike the other tournaments held in Michigan, you only need to catch one nice fish to enter... not a box full.