Tournament fishing around the Great Lakes draws top anglers. These anglers and those who travel with them spend an average of $1,463 per team (that doesn’t include entry fees) to fish a tournament. A recent study by Michigan Sea Grant and Michigan State University’s Center for Economic Analysis found that team spending at the 16 events on the 2009 Lake Michigan Tournament Trail generated $852,113 and 21,386 employment hours in tournament ports.
The Grand Haven Salmon Festival was a different type of event that included a fishing contest among other activities such as wine and salmon tasting, live music, and a fishing pond for children. The Salmon Festival brought more than $611,366 into the Grand Haven area in one weekend, and 95 percent of it was generated by tourists who did not fish in the contest, but who came to enjoy the festival atmosphere. Tournament organizers and local leaders can leverage interest in tournament fishing, creating successful events that appeal to anglers and non-anglers alike.