Sunday, October 12, 2014

11th annual Monster Quest to benefit Neeley family

October 18 is the date for the 11th annual Monster Quest. The event will take place at Harley Ensign boat launch on Lake St. Clair. Launch is at first light with fishing going for eight hours.
Ken Neeley was the owner of KD Outdoors in Waterford. He passed away suddenly a few weeks ago.   Neeley was a familiar face at Cash for Bass tournaments and other bass fishing events. For more information on this event call (248) 240-5245.
Monies raised will be donated to the Neeley family. Prizes, drawings, food and of course the weigh-in will take place at Harley Ensign.
In the future this event will be known as the Ken Neeley Memorial fall MQ. Neeley was a source of information, help and encouragement for all sportsmen.
Even if you don't fish, get over to Harley Ensign, participate and make a donation or take a shot at a raffle item. It's for a great cause.


Sunday, October 5, 2014

Michigan walleye professional selected for Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame

Mark Martin, the original champ in the walleye world has been elected to the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame located in Hayward, WI. He will go in with the 2015 class.
As a youngster growing up on the west side of the state in Twin Lakes near Muskegon, Martin seemed to begin his younger years attached to a fishing rod.
Martin was even asked to help establish a curriculum at Spring Lake High School for fishing. "It as a pretty cool school. We even had scuba diving," he said.
Located on the shores of the Grand River, kids were bringing fishing rods to school so they could fish dying school breaks. Fishing was a natural subject for school students.
I've had the pleasure of knowing Martin and his family for a number of years. I was invited to his fist ice fishing school on Little Bay de Noc. Since then, he's had many more and showed a lot of anglers how to fish hard water.
Martin is a rarity among the fishing crowd in that he's willing to share where he catches fish, where you should fish, what you should use to make you successful and how to use that equipment.
Mark Martin's selection to the Fresh Water Fishing Hall of Fame is well deserved.
Mark Martin holding a nice walleye

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Ken Neeley, friend, family man, teacher gone at 47

If the name Ken Neeley doesn't ring a bell certainly his business will.  He was the owner of KD Outdoors on M-59 in Waterford.
Last week Neeley died suddenly. He was just 47 and leaves behind his wife Rhonda, sons Jonathon and Benjamin and a host of nieces, nephews and grandchildren.
Today, Sept. 23, Neeley was eulogized at Lakecrest Baptist church in Waterford. The parking lot was full of vehicle and the church packed with those that had done business or fished with Neeley, or otherwise were the recipient of his advice and teaching.
"If you wanted to know where the fish were blighting and what the bait and color were all you had to do was stop in KD and Ken would give you the answer. He was in touch with Lake St. Clair and what was going on there anytime," Bill McElroy creator of Scales N' Tales cartoons said.
His longtime fishing companions John "Mini" Maniaci, Virginia residents Scott Hammer and Carlos Hathcock along with McElroy were in attendance at today's memorial.
Read this Sunday's Oakland Press for more on Ken Neeley.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Fall is one of my favorite seasons

The one thing bad about fall is what comes after it. That Old Man winter that likes to hang on long after it should have left.
Fall is a season that comes along with lots of activities. Snooze and you'll miss them while you stand outside with a snow shovel in your hand.
Fall signals a time to get ready for a big change ahead. Get those outside chores done before the snow flies.
Gardens need turning, weeds plucked and some pruning can take place. Unless you plan on fishing, get your boat winterized and covered.
Fishing in the fall gives you another season to figure out. And you won't be rushed because most people have put away fishing stuff for hunting gear.
Grouse, woodcock-later pheasants-now squirrels and soon rabbits will be ready to be hunted. Bow hunters are plunking arrows into back yard targets. Firearms hunters are at the range getting zeroed in.
Then there are those luscious fall colors to enjoy on the way to your favorite cider mill. Don't forget a cinnamon donut!
Get outside and enjoy the fall. Soon enough, we'll be cooped up waiting for the spring thaw.

Photo from DNR of fall colors in a state forest.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

9-11, an important date to remember

It's hard to believe 13 years ago commercial airplanes carrying hundreds of passengers were intentionally flown into the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center, the Pentagon and crashing outside of Washington, D.C.
Significant life changing events are painful to remember, but often remind us of what we were doing when we first learned of these tragedies.
Fresh out of the Navy, I was bowling with a friend in Hollywood, California. After our game we walked outside to a different world.
There were absolutely no sounds. People were walking as if they were in shock and indeed some were. Stores that sold TVs with displays in storefront windows were lined up with pedestrians watching the events unfold about President Kennedy.
Early reports indicated he had been wounded, some said he hadn't been shot, then later, the news that he had died was broadcast.
No one around us could believe such a thing had happened. After all, this is America. That doesn't happen here.
On 9-11 I was fishing for perch on a calm Lake St. Clair near the area known as the dumping grounds. The sky was sunny and blue.
All of a sudden it felt like the world stood still. There were no planes flying overhead nor were there any other boats near us. A couple of helicopters probably from Selfridge flew over then it was quiet again.
We headed into shore, tied the boat up and left for home. My car radio was tuned to WOMC. When it came on, I was already nearly out of the parking lot when I heard an unfamiliar voice say "America is under attack. Two commercial airliners have intentionally been flown into the twin towers of the World Trade Center.
The news about the remaining two aircraft wasn't broadcast at that time. The streets were quiet during the drive home. People driving looked stunned.
Today, reading and watching the news, those events come back as if they happened yesterday. The slogan, "Never Forget" applies to all of these tragic events.
9-11 has changed life in America forever.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Summer, where have you gone?

I can't believe it's the end of August already. Seems like we just rolled up April and were getting ready for the various fishing openers.
Spring and summer both have passed right by us. We went from winter directly into a chilly summer. Hex bugs were set back knocked out of whack. Not many stories about large trout being tangled with using the hexegina limbata or better known at the hex.
My fishing began early in the year with a trip to Bergland and Lake Gogebic this past January. Since that time I haven't had  a line in the water unit this past Friday evening when I managed to get out with the long rod for a couple of hours on fly water.
I've seen more doctors and hospital emergency rooms than I have lakes or rivers.  I can almost memorize hospital menus, knowing what each institution offers better than I know what is in my fly vest.
Back in the real world for a few days now, my arms are covered with bruises the result of IV's, blown IV's and numerous blood draws.
I look like I was in a hatchet fight without the hatchet. Hopefully I'm on the mend and can eventually get into some fishing before the hard water settles in for another season.
Those of fortunate to enjoy good health should take advantage of it and enjoy every moment to the fullest.
Others, me included, should be thankful we are back and on track to enjoy the outdoor life and all that the fall seasons have to offer.

Monday, August 4, 2014

You've got the perfect excercise tools, so use them

The perfect exercise tool are you feet and legs with walking being the best all-around exercise for most of us.
This weeks column had to do with getting older, slower and perhaps taking the attitude that there wasn't anything left to do once old age has set it.
Doctors keep preaching it. Keep moving. Get off the couch, out of the Lazy Boy, leave the remote home and get outside.
You can begin your exercise as soon as you walk out the door. No special equipment is needed. An old pair of sweats, something to keep your head warm, a pair of athletic shoes and you're ready to go.
Many doctors are saying just 20 minutes of walking a day is sufficient to keep muscles loose and joints working pain-free.
Balance is another important part of our life as we age. So many people fall and break a hip which sometimes leads to pneumonia and possible death.
Actually, getting your balance back is easier than walking. Grab the back of a sturdy chair then raise one leg slightly off the floor and stand that way for a little while. Change sides and hands then do the other foot.
Try balancing on one foot while brushing your teeth. Half way through, change feet. Stand on alternate feet while waiting in the checkout lane. Hang onto the shopping cart for balance.
You don't have to give up the things you enjoy doing as you age. Just remember to keep those muscles and joints in good working order.
Begin now and you'll have the legs, energy and stamina for the upcoming hunting seasons.