1. This is a team event. Each team will consist of 2 fishermen.
2. All teams will be given 4 tags with team numbers on them, 2 to be displayed at all times on the fishermen, and the other 2 to be displayed on the portable fish shelter or shelters used by the fishermen. This rule is to help identify any and all participants on the ice by the officials at anytime.
3. Participants may fish with or without a portable shelter. When fishing in a shelter team numbers must be visible at all times. When not fishing in a shelter it must be kept in the open position as not to hole block. No wheeled houses or hard-sided houses allowed. Shelters may be set up prior to the 8am start but the fishermen may not enter shelter until 8am start. (you will not be Disqualified when setting a cabin style shelter up before the 8:00 am start)
4. No third-party fishing during the event. Each team must fish alone. Family members, friends, or others known to Midwest Open Ice Tournament contestants, but not in the competition, MAY NOT fish within established tournament boundaries during the hours of competition, or on the morning of the competition before competition begins. Non fishermen other than officials, and press will be asked to watch from outside of the core fishing groups as not to disturb the fishermen.
5. Participants can fish with only one line at a time.
6. All other Michigan angling, snowmobiling, and ATV rules must be obeyed. Citations may result in disqualification. No ALCOHOL WILL BE ALLOWED
7. Each team will be given a 3 gallon Bucket and Lid. The Bucket and Lid will be marked with the team number on it. This bucket and lid must be kept with one of the 2 fishermen at all times while on the ice. The buckets should be kept ½ full of water to keep fish as fresh as possible. When handing over tournament catch to officials at finish line be sure to place one of the team numbers inside bucket before it is sealed. All fish brought to the finish line and weigh in must be caught on the day of the tournament, during tournament hours.
8. Teams may not fish closer than 10 ft from another team. But no more than 30 steps away from their teammate from the time of inspection to the time their bucket is sealed.
9. Participants may drill as many holes as they wish, Competitors can fish any open hole as long as they maintain the 10ft rule.
10. Hole Blocking is prohibited, Definition –the use of unattended shelter or other equipment to block the ice from other competitors whether there is a hole near said equipment or not.
11. All equipment brought onto the ice at bucket check must be with the team at all times, you may not leave fishing equipment in one location of the lake and go to another location to fish without said equipment. As this would constitute hole Blocking.
12. Participants must fish and travel within the designated tournament area.
13. Pre-fishing or “practice” fishing on the lake the day of the tournament is prohibited.
14. At least one (1) team member must attend the Midwest Open Ice Tournament rules meeting and registration on Saturday night- times and location will be posted in the schedule.
15. There will be mandatory fish shelter and equipment inspections before participants are allowed to proceed onto the ice. Inspections begin between 6:00 am and 7:00 am, (have everything open and ready for the inspectors.)
16. This is a one day – total weight tournament – designated species are Crappie and Sunfish/Bluegill. Each team can weigh up to 8 Crappie and 8 Sunfish/Bluegill (no Rock Bass) for a Total of 16 fish. 1st tie-breaker will be the number of total fish caught. 2nd tie-breaker will be coin flip.
17. Teams must return to the official tournament finish line by 1:00 pm on Sunday, with all fish culled and big fish marked with Pins given at rules meeting, in order to have Official buckets sealed. All sealed buckets will be left in the hands of the tournament officials to be transported to the weigh-in location. All of the team’s fish must be in your possession at all times during tournament hours. Weigh-in time will be posted in the schedule. If you have not passed the weigh in line by 1:00 pm your team will be disqualified.
18. Cars and Trucks WILL NOT be permitted inside the tournament area during the event. Snowmobiles and ATV’s Can be used when possible. Tournament officials will make the final decision if ice conditions are satisfactory for Snowmobile and ATV use during the event. (If you have transportation break down, mark it with a team number so officials know which teams equipment it is.) You will not be disqualified for leaving broken ATV or snowmobile on ice to Fish. Officials will help to have equipment taken to shore after tournament.
19. Unsportsmanlike or unethical behavior is grounds for disqualification.
20. All winners may be subject to a mandatory polygraph test at the tournament director’s discretion.
21. Any entrant who has been disqualified in any Ice Fishing Tournament whether it is the Midwest Open or similar event must contact the tournament director prior to entry, to verify if that entrant will be allowed to fish. If you have been disqualified for the intent to defraud the tournament or any of the fisherman you will not be allowed to fish the Midwest Open.
22. If a team witnesses a violation to any of the above rules, it is the obligation of that team to notify a Midwest Open Tournament official immediately of said violation.
23. The decision of Midwest Open Tournament officials is final.Remember this is about fun, enjoy and be safe.