Michigan – Mike Schoonveld

Road harvest

It’s deer season and once again people are blaming hunters “chasing the deer” for the spike in vehicle/deer collisions occurring along Michigan highways and roads. ‘Taint so, of course. There are many reasons deer are more active in the fall and being chased by hunters is far down the list. In researching a few bits of data I found some…

Predicting record lows

Will Lakes Michigan and Huron set a new (modern day) record for low water level this winter?  All signs point to yes. For the past decade the levels in these lakes have fluctuated up and down annually a foot or more but always lingering on the down side of normal. Now, last winter's relative warmth and last summer's drought and…

IJC kicks the can

Each of the Great Lakes comes with its own set of problems. That’s been the case for over a century and that’s why the governments of Canada and the U.S. banded together to create an organization called the International Joint Commission more than a century ago – to handle the problems. Along the way, the IJC has done some great…

Salmon are the symptom

Lake Michigan salmon fans are all abuzz with the recent announcement that beginning next spring 68 percent fewer king salmon will be stocked in Lake Michigan. Why? Because the best science says there are so many salmon in the lake they are going to eat all the alewives. (Alewives are the small baitfish king salmon depend on for food.) There…

Woman solos on Lake Michigan

If you see a strange looking, yellow boat being rowed south along Michigan’s Lake Michigan shoreline in the next few weeks or shored up in one of the harbors, don't be surprised. In fact, cheer Jenn Gibbons on to finish her quest. She’s attempting to become the first person to row a boat around Lake Michigan. Gibbons is a rowing…

Single or treble?

Some Great Lakes fishermen prefer lures with single hooks. Other prefer treble hooks. Which group is right? Obviously, if one kind was demonstrably better than the other, the argument would be finished. Almost all of us would be fishing with one style or the other. One could surmise treble hooks would be three times as effective in hooking and catching…

Rule No. 2

My purpose here isn’t to keep rule No. 1 a secret, it’s a takeoff on the saying my high school football coach often eschewed. Odd though it may seem, he’d find a way to fit it into pep talks, chew-outs and general conversation time and again. He’d say, “Watermelon is the second best thing in the world. Everyone has their…

Butt Out

I gave up smoking 30-some years ago but I’ll admit that before I did, I often tossed my cigarette butts into the lake when I was fishing. I didn’t consider myself a litterbug and would never have tossed empty bottles or cans, plastic bags or any other non-biodegradable refuse, overboard. But butts were small, and I thought the remnants of…

Boat trailer corrosion

Several years ago the pressure treated lumber industry changed from infusing boards with chemicals with an arsenic base to salts with a copper base. Both types do a good job of keeping teated lumber from rotting when exposed to the outside elements. After the change-over, carpenters learned they couldn’t continue using galvanized or plain steel nails or screws with this…

Ride my train

It’s called a train of thought when one thought or idea leads to another and another. You start thinking about orange juice and end up thinking about book shelves. What’s up with that? Let me share a thought train I had recently, which started with invasive species in the Great Lakes then veered off on a track of it’s own….

Lake Michigan’s other fish

I’m often asked by newcomers to Great Lakes fishing if fish other than salmon or trout are ever caught. Though I’m tempted to say things like “why would you want to,” I bite my tongue and tell them the truth. There aren’t many occasions when anything else besides salmon or trout are caught.But it happens. (Perhaps it happens more on…

Adrift off Ludington

When the wind is blowing and the waves are rolling, it’s not a time to worry about money. Especially if your motor has just revved up and your propeller has stopped turning. Especially if you are 6 miles offshore of Ludington and the forecast is for the 3-foot waves to become 4-, 5- or 6-footers as the morning progresses. Worry…

King rules

This is the time of the year most Great Lakes fishermen anticipate the most. The time of year when mature king salmon, also called chinook salmon, make their way back to the streams they left as tiny fingerlings three-and-a-half years ago. They are back as the biggest, meanest, toughest-to-catch fish that swim in the Great Lakes.Many articles have been written…

Summer weather gets Sirius

“It’s summer time and the livin’ is easy. Fish are jumpin’ and the cotton is high….” Those words are from one of my favorite oldies tunes and these hazy humid days, quiet mornings and glass-calm waters covered by cottonwood fluff make me recall it every day.But when I clicked on my computer to check my usual weather sites before heading…

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…

Coho crazy

Back in the late 1960s, Michigan stocked the first salmon in Lake Michigan as an experiment. The experiment was a bright success. Those initial coho salmon were followed by brown trout, king salmon, steelhead and Atlantics. Those programs proved successful, as well.But cohos started it all and for many Michiganders, cohos remain their favorite.Sure, the kings are bigger, the browns…