Salmon-A-Rama, one of Lake Michigan’s biggest annual fishing tournaments, opens at 12:01 a.m. Saturday and runs until 11 a.m. Sunday, July 17. This derby-style contest covers the entire lake and offers competition (and cash prizes) in nine divisions.
The tournament headquarters in the ReefPoint Marina parking lot, 2 Christopher Columbus Causeway, is an exciting place to be as a steady stream of contestants brings in fish to be weighed and measured. Meanwhile, results are tallied from remote Salmon-A-Rama weigh-in stations at Milwaukee, Port Washington, Kewaukee and Sturgeon Bay, Wis.; Winthop Harbor, Ill.; Michigan City, Ind.; and Benton Harbor, Muskegon and Ludington, Mich.
With competitions in nine divisions and daily prizes for the largest fish in five species categories, Salmon-A-Rama offers more than 100 ways for anglers to win cash and prizes.
Of course, all eyes will be on the leaderboard for the $20,000 grand prize that is awarded for the largest overall fish. Last year, the grand prize was claimed by 6-year-old Jace Hack of Bristol, Wis., who reeled in a 25.58-pound lake trout. In 2010, the Salmon-A-Rama grand prize was awarded for a world-record 41-pound, 8-ounce brown trout caught by Roger Hellen. Will history repeat itself? Time will tell!
The Salmon-A-Rama tent is also an entertainment hub. There are food and beverages plus free, live music on stage from Pat McCurdy at 8:30 p.m. Friday and Koltrane at 7 p.m. Saturday. Salmon-A-Rama Family Day is 1 to 5 p.m. Sunday. It includes face painting, a poster making contest, make-your-own t-shirt, casting lessons, performances by the Children’s Teh Choir and a meet-and-greet with Salmon-A-Rama Claus, Sparkles the Water Spaniel and the Texas Roadhouse Armadillo.
Next week’s Salmon-A-Rama entertainment lineup includes open mic on Tuesday, July 12; karaoke on Wednesday, July 13; Identity Crisis on Thursday, July 14; KatSass on Friday, July 15 at 7:30 p.m. and Bobby Friss on Saturday, July 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Salmon-A-Rama 2016 organizers are making it easy for everyone to get around. Parking is available at $5 per vehicle at the former We Energies site near Lake Avenue and State Street. All parking proceeds will go to local veterans groups and guests will receive a voucher for $5 off any purchase at Salmon-A-Rama or the ReefPoint Brewhouse. A golf cart limo will operate between the parking area and the festival site. A free shuttle on the weekends will operate on a loop that includes the Salmon-A-Rama tent, Harbourwalk Hotel Racine, Main Street, Pershing Park and Festival Hall.
Salmon-A-Rama is presented by Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin. For tournament registration and more information, visit www.salmon-a-rama.com