Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Sunday, December 10th, 2023

Breaking News for

Sportsmen Since 1967

Mike Schoonveld

Winterizing your boat means more than just focusing on mechanical parts

A spring “shakedown cruise,” is normal practice for many boaters. This is when they go to the lake specifically to check to make sure everything is working as it should be after a winter of hibernation.
Usually, if the proper winterizing steps were taken, the mechanical parts of the boat will be perfect. If there are problems, it’s usually something that unexpectedly didn’t weather the winter. That’s why the word “winterize” is important to Michigan boaters.

Strategic (devious) plan nets big fish while on family vacation

My wife says our vacations are always fishing trips. Wrong!
Obviously, she forgot the times our fall vacations took us to South Dakota for ducks and pheasants, or the time we went down to the Rio Grande where I went quail hunting every day. Just saying. It’s not my fault two of my brothers and I owned boats and that family vacations on my side of the family were often planned around fishing and boating.

Best management practices for winterizing boat batteries

There are dozens of opinions about how a boat battery should be treated in the offseason. Some say just top off the charge and pull the tarp on Ol’ Wavewacker.
“A fully charged battery is freeze-proof to about 90 below zero,” they say. “Even the U.P. doesn’t get that cold.”
Some people say, “Just hook a trickle charger to it and come back in the spring.” I’m sure it works for some, but certainly not for everyone.

Belly contents of fish can brew contentions among anglers

I showed up at a fish cleaning station one day just in time to hear a friendly argument between a couple of fishermen, each claiming to have caught a bigger fish than the other. They’d been fishing together and the first fish of the day was a large lake trout. Both agreed the laker was a great specimen as it was placed in the cooler.
The second fish of the day, caught by angler number two, was another substantially heavy laker, almost identical to fish number one. Or was it?

Changing water levels of the Great Lakes: Understanding tides, tsunamis and seiches

I was sitting on a Lake Michigan beach with my daughter, granddaughter, and other family members when my son-in-law asked if Lake Michigan had tides that raised or lowered the water level on a regular basis. 
Jeff isn’t from Michigan and hasn’t spent much time on any of the Great Lakes, so the question wasn’t illogical. He’s been to the ocean several times and experienced tidal flows there. The view from the beach looking across the lake is very ocean-like.
Most people familiar with the Michigan’s Great Lakes would answer Jeff’s question with a simple, “no.” That would be the wrong answer.

Try this orange test for sticking fish hooks

What seemed to be half my “off-season” free time used to focus on sharpening my fishing hooks.
I sharpened all my old hooks and as I stocked up with new lures for the next season. Each of the hook points on each of the fresh-from-the-factory hooks got a few strokes on my whetstone to get their points finely tuned and ready for spring. The technology used to manufacture fishing hooks that were “sharper than a tack” didn’t exist, at least for the stock hooks many lure makers used to finish their products.

Tribal gill netting bad news for Michigan fisheries

Several years ago, I was fishing for walleyes on an inland lake with a well-seasoned guide (meaning he was probably 20 years older than me) and in casual conversation I learned he’d come from a family with a long history of commercial fishing in Lake Superior.

He told me he’d started accompanying his dad, uncles and cousins on the netting boats in the 1950s. One sentence in our conversation stayed with me through the years.
He said, “Once we switched to nylon gill nets, our catches were incredible. If they (the Michigan DNR, then Conservation Department) hadn’t shut us down, we could have caught the last fish in Lake Superior – they were that effective.”

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