Amateur Anglers compete for the big fish

 

Brian Fogg/News Advocate The Sandpiper III fishing team (above) from Onekama won the professional end of the Budweiser Pro-Am in June. Amateur fishing teams will compete today in the Small Boat Big Fish tournament stretching from Arcadia to Manistee.

Brian Fogg/News Advocate
The Sandpiper III fishing team (above) from Onekama won the professional end of the Budweiser Pro-Am in June. Amateur fishing teams will compete today in the Small Boat Big Fish tournament stretching from Arcadia to Manistee.

Manistee County will host the Small Boat Big Fish amateur fishing tournament today with anglers from all over the area.

The event is for amateur fisherman and women, but every boat will have at least one member of the Manistee County Sport Fishing Association aboard.

Fishing begins at 6 a.m. and the one-day tournament will conclude at 1 p.m.

There will be 13 boats in the tournament and the anglers will be spread out across the Lake Michigan coast from Manistee Lake to about 20 miles north at Arcadia Lake.

“I think eight of the boats are coming out of Manistee, one out of Arcadia and the rest are out of Onekama,” MCSFA board member Dave Van Eerdan said. “They’re pretty much all from around here. There is one group from out of state. There are a few guys from other places, but they’re weekend kind of fisherman. This is kind of where they fish anyway.”

The number is down from a year ago, but not considerably with 16 boats a year ago.

“The fishing hasn’t been great this summer and that might have something to do with it,” Van Eerdan said.

Even though it is an amateur tournament Van Eerdan says there will be some quality fisherman out on the lake.

“There are some guys that are pretty serious about it,” Van Eerdman said.

Each boat may enter one fish only, which differs from some fishing tournaments and it adds some strategy to the preparation.

“If you’re just fishing for one big one it doesn’t pay to go out there and try to fill up your box,” Van Eerdman said. “You have to pick out the kind of lures that you think that one big fish will grab.”

The winning fish will likely be a king (chinook) salmon.

“I wouldn’t be a bit surprised if we got one that’s between 25 and 30 pounds. That would be a big one,” Van Eerdman said. “It will have to be at least 20 pounds.”

Weigh-in stations will be located at the Onekama Park Boat Launch, the Arcadia Municipal Marina Boat Launch and Shipwatch Marina in Manistee.

The first-place prize is $500 for the biggest, and second through fifth place will also earn prizes.

There will be two more local fishing tournaments in the coming weeks.  The Benzie Fishing Frenzy  in Frankfort will take place on Aug. 27-28 and the  LRCR Manistee Monster Mania will be on Sept. 10-11.

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Posted by Brian Fogg

Brian is the sports writer for the Manistee News Advocate. You can reach him at (231) 398-3110 or bfogg@pioneergroup.com.

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