Up the Coast

One of the benefits of living toward the south end of Lake
Michigan is how our fishing gets started earlier in the year than
“up the coast.” Okay, maybe when our fishing peps up we catch
2-pound cohos and when the northern ports start popping, they do it
with double-digit kings. In my book, a 2-pounder now, is better
than the hope for a 10-pounder later.

Still, I look forward to heading up the coast as spring transitions
to summer. There’s a flavor, there’s a feeling, a goal (and some 10
pound kings and more.)

Recently, I attended the Second Annual, Saugatuck/Douglas area
“Salmon in the Classroom” fishing outing, where local charter
skippers and sportfishermen take the entire class of 5th or 6th
graders from the middle school for a morning on the lake. These
kids grow chinooks from eggs to stocking-size smolts in their
classroom “fish hatcheries” (and learn valuable biology lessons
along the way).

The fishing trip shows them what their project can produce.

My “team” of anglers consisted of Clair Conley, Jada Mitchell
and Zoie Driy, on board Capt. Dave Engel’s boat, the Best Chance
Too. It was cold, it was slightly choppy and exciting enough that
the fisher-gals didn’t much mind. We drew straws to see who would
go first, but that didn’t much matter either, because all shared
nearly equal amounts of rod time.

Did we make some future fishermen? Does the Salmon in the Schools
program make future fish biologists? Only time will tell. I do
know, it makes for a great chance for me to get “up the coast” for
some meaningful time on the water.

Categories: Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

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