20th annual Ontonagon Lake Trout Classic kicks off with Powder Puff fishing tourney

The event is a three-day fishing tournament broken up into two tourneys, a powder puff and a classic.
Published: May. 19, 2023 at 8:02 PM EDT
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ONTONAGON, Mich. (WLUC) - Despite fog, rain and choppy waves, the Lake Trout Classic in Ontonagon has kicked off its 20th iteration.

Located at the town’s marina, the classic is a three-day fishing tournament.

It started off with a powder puff tourney Friday and the lake trout classic tourney will be Saturday and Sunday.

For the powder puff tournament, the three heaviest fish a team catches determines their ranking.

The event’s founder, Larry Grieg, said the weather made fishing difficult for the powder puff competition.

“The smaller boats had to come in early, and it was rough for the big boats, so it was a tough day on the lake,” said Grieg. “The weather is part of the lake trout classic. Usually, one day is bad weather. "

However, that did stop participants in the tourney from winning.

The fishing team of Sonnie Schatz and Melissa Price won first place in the tourney, winning $500 with a combined weight of 16.4 oz.

Schatz would also win the largest lake trout prize for the tourney, earning her $100.

“The fishing is good out there,” said Schatz. “Don’t risk your life doing it, either, but have fun, enjoy yourselves, and try to win first like we did.”

During the classic tourney over the weekend, participants will weigh the six heaviest fish they catch, the three heaviest caught each day being used.

The first-place winner will win $2,000, second place $1,000, and cash prizes for the next eight placings.

There will also be $200 prizes for the largest fish in different fish categories, such as coho and chinook salmons, and steelheads.

Even though registration is now closed, Grieg encourages others to drop by for other activities.

“They are more than welcome to come to the weigh-ins on Saturday and Sunday,” added Grieg. “And then there’s a big fish fry on Saturday. It starts at 5 o’clock and goes on till 8 o’clock, and that’s all fish that the fishermen have caught.”

The fish fry will be at the Ontonagon VFW.

Admission is $12.

All proceeds from the classic go to the Ontonagon County Cancer Association.