The second annual Minnow Fund Muskie Outing was held on May 3rd and 4th, 2014. On Friday afternoon, the campground started showing signs of the upcoming event by 2:00 as the early birds set up tents and various cooking apparatus’s. Good food would be a theme for the weekend. Upon entry to the park it was immediately apparent that the flood warning which was still active had not been overly cautious. The lake was up about 5 feet and the water in the shallow areas was a witch’s brew of debris, silt, and choppy waves. The spawn, having arrived later than usual, was now over. This was the perfect storm of poor fishing conditions.
Even with such a poor opportunity, we still had 47 anglers sign up for the event and 29 of those anglers chose to participate in the big fish pool. We had persons sign up from OHMC and from MI chapters 16, 18, 19, 23, 41, & 56. We had persons sign up that had never fished an outing of any type and had no club affiliations whatsoever. Door prizes were assigned to random registrations numbers and our winners of those prizes were Bryan Mellon, Dakota Bechter, Mike Reed, Kevin Proffit, and Jen Martinez.
The campground came to life as the deep fryers and burners roared to life. Tim Smith cooked so much good food at the campground that nobody could possibly have left hungry. A few cold beverages washed down the fare for the evening as laughter and good camaraderie filled the air.
Saturday morning seemed to arrive just a touch early for some of us, but soon the griddles were burning and the coffee pot was singing my favorite song. Some fantastic pancakes soothed the crisp morning air as the registration was completed.
Now it was time to attempt to launch the boats and that was no easy chore. The parking lot at the old marina had water in it and the concrete walkways by the ramps were completely submerged. Most anglers traveled to Cabin Bay and to my knowledge, nobody had too many problems getting launched. The casters casted and the trollers trolled and the muskies rejected most of our offerings. The radio silence meant that either we were all catching fish or nobody had anything to report. Unfortunately it was the later.
By 1:00 it was time for a shore lunch and as the anglers filed in, the rain started falling. Fortunately, we had the shelter house and a wonderful group tent that had been brought and set up by Kevin Proffit and Rich Daniels. The raffle table opened up as we sold tickets for a lure board, rod & reel combination, 50/50, and a general raffle. Everyone seemed to enjoy the food and break from the harsh conditions that were present on the water. Greg Them of Xtreme Muskie Lures had baits for sale and offered them at a price of two for $25 with $5 from each sale being donated to the Minnow Fund.
We chased fish for the balance of the day and for the first half of Sunday and most of us loaded the boats up with our tails between our legs. The raffle table opened up for the final sales as the fish that had been caught were reported. The tally sheet showed that a total of 5 fish were caught, although I’m fairly sure that there was at least one fish that was caught but not reported.
In fourth place with one fish caught was Rich Newman with a 36.75” fish worth 10.75 points. In third place was Gabe Rosplock with a 34.50” fish worth 8.5 points and a 31.25” fish worth 5.25 points for a total of 13.75 points. In second place was Mike Money with a 40.00” fish worth 14 points. In first place was Jack Whyde with a 44.50” fish worth 18.50 points. Jack also won $290.00 for having the big fish for the event.
Next we drew raffle ticket winners. The winner of the rod & reel combination was Paul Anderson. The winner of the 50/50 was Chuck Kuhlman. The winner of the lure board was Tim Smith. Every person that purchased a general raffle ticket won a prize.
My heartfelt thanks goes out to all those persons that donated, helped, or both. Those include, Alicia Anderson, John Ringenbach, Phil Ringenbach, Tim Smith, Rick Simpson, Jeff Ferjutz, Mike Reed, Kevin Proffit, Rich Daniels, Elmer Heyob, Greg Them, Jimmy Struznickle, Josh Marshall, Eli Trimmer, Cliff Honeycut, Ray McMaster, Ziggie Obidzinski, Mark Smith, Fred Pearson, Rich Newman, Guy Bechter, Tackle Industries, and anyone else that I may have overlooked.
Check out the pictures in the Photo section of our site.