Outdoor Wanderings by Mike Schoonveld

Bright fishing lines

High visibility fishing line helps avoid tangles and manage rods on Great Lakes fishing trips.

‘Springerizing’ your boat

Everyone knows they need to winterize their boats each fall to keep them from suffering from ice damage during the winter months. But what about this time of year?

Captains pass the test

When you get on a bus, airplane or travel busy highways loaded with commercial trucks, you expect the operators of these conveyances to be alert, sober and not under the influence of dangerous drugs

Salmon stocking cuts frustrate most

When the Michigan DNR announced how it plans to reapportion the chinook stocking next spring, a paraphrase of Honest Abe’s maxim came to mind

I resolve to...

I gave up on making New Year’s Resolutions decades ago.

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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.…

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…

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…

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…

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…

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,…

Great Lakes ‘Eddies'

Those of you enamored of all things Great Lakes might want to check out the online magazine called Eddies, a quarterly publication of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service's Division of Fisheries and Aquatic Resource Conservation: www. fws.gov/eddies. The current…

About This Blog


Mike Schoonveld has been a freelance outdoor writer for 25 years and has been a columnist for Michigan Outdoor News since the paper’s inception in 2000. Mike’s first love in the out-of-doors is Great Lakes salmon fishing, but he enjoys all kinds of fishing, is an avid hunter and trapper, and frequently participates in a variety of other outdoor activities.

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