Monday, March 29, 2010

Out and about locally

Here in southeast Michigan there is always something to do. With the many park systems-from state parks to Huron-Clinton Metroparks, right down to the well maintained county parks-there is a park and activity to meet every ones needs or desires.
And we haven't even begun to mention all of the lakes with plenty of public access for fishing, pleasure boating, water skiing, sailing, diving, well you name it and you'll find it in Oakland County.
Right now and for the next couple of weeks, Kensington Metropark is the home of maple sugaring.
The park is host to many school groups during this time who come to learn how things were done in the past and in the case of maple syrup, still utilized today.
While being entertained, these groups, even some with adults, are being educated. Perhaps they leave the park with a better understanding of what it takes to make a bottle of syrup and why it's important to be good stewards of the land.
These days we need programs such as this to teach about all forms of conservations, but more importantly respect for the environment we have been given.
Hey, don't forget fishing licenses expire at the end of March.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Maple sugaring

Besides the backyard cleanup, turning the garden over and listening to the birds sing their precious hearts out, March is the month trees are tapped for maple syrup. The process has a few more steps than just tapping, but this is the month when that all happens and can run into April.
Come to think of it, maple syrup time is weather based like so many other things we assume happen just because it's that time of the year.
Coincidentally, steelhead, a really great fighting fish, are plentiful in the rivers during this same time.
And gathering at river mouths all over are walleye waiting to move in and upstream to spawn. This time of the year is just full of things new. New life, new hope, and of course new maple syrup.
You can check out how sap becomes syrup at Kensington Metropark or Indian Springs Metropark. If you've not been around the process, it's very interesting and makes for a good day outdoors.
This weekend, park the rake and shovel and head to one of the Metroparks for a demonstration on how sap becomes maple syrup. And pass the pancakes while you're at it.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Fishing tournament for paddlers

For kayak owners both new and experienced, a fun fishing tournament to kick off the season is just the thing after being cooped up over the winter.
The event is open to rowboats, canoes; anthing that uses paddles for power. This would be a good time to experience kayak fishing first-hand and see up close what others are doing to make their boats more fishable while attending the weigh-in.
The No-Mo (for no motors) Kayak Fishing Challenge is the first fishing tournament for kayakers in Michigan.
The tournament date is May 8 from safe light until 3p.m. Tournament headquarters and all related activities will be held at Riverside Kayak Connection (RKC), 4016 Biddle Ave., Wyandotte, 734-285-2925.
This will be a CPR event: Catch, photograph, and release. Tournament waters include a 10-mile radius around Wyandotte and include Wayne and Monroe Counties. Launch locations must be publicly accessible.
All Michigan fishing laws and regulations must be followed including possession of a current license.
Prize for first place is a Wilderness Systems Tarpon 120 kayak, 2nd place-$1-- gift certificate, 3rd place-kayak fishing rigging package, largest single fish-custom made kayak fishing rod by Tietge Fishing.
All participants registering prior to April 15 will receive an RKC swag bag with commemorative t-shirt, raffle ticket, and tackle.
Registration fee is $20 and includes refreshments following the weigh-in. To register or for further information call RKC at 734-285-2925 or visit, or call Chris LeMesssurier, 248-980-6158 or visit

Sunday, March 21, 2010

"Tween Seasons"

This time of the year I refer to as "Tween Seasons," for being in between ice fishing-not cold enough anymore-to launch day and soft water fishing; too9 much ice and cold weather hanging around to not make it comfortable.
This last week has spoiled many of us with warm temperatures and sunny days. The weekend brought things back to reality. Cold, wind, rain, and even reports of wet snow were being reported. This week that is all supposed to change and bring us the warm weather the arrival of spring usually ushers in.
While trying to figure out if it's a good time to store the snow blower and hang up the cross country skies, it is a good time to sort the tackle, clean the reels and re- spool line.
Fishing Friday on Lake St. Clair brought that home. My reels look like they have been drug through the mud.
Tackle is all over the garage and not in any sort of order to be grabbed at a moments notice and loaded for a kayak trip.
I'm getting a handle on it though. Think I'll put some "Kayak Fish The Great Lakes" stickers on a couple of trays; sort of designate them for kayak use.
That way I'll have some stuff organized. More specific items for bass, panfish, etc, can go into trays or trays marked for particular lakes so I don't have to search for things.
That's the plan anyway. Oh, I intend on designating a couple of rods just for kayak use. Probably a spin and one baitcast. I've been taking far too many on the water when I go.
After all, you can only fish with so many rods at one time.
The important thing is we're looking at new seasons that include boats, fly rods, and a whole host of tackle.
Let s be ready for it once the weather truly breaks and the seasons are officially here.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Feds take over fishing? Not so fast!

If it's not zebra mussels, Gobi's or Asian carp it's an alleged move by the federal government to take away our fishing rights.
Last week, messages were being received by email about a plan for a federal takeover of sport and commercial fishing not only in salt water, but the Great Lakes and possible inland waters as well.
Thoughts of needing a federal fishing license weren't far behind not to mention the loss of dollars in an already strapped economy.
While there was some outrage, there wasn't as much as I would have anticipated. That could be due to the story, written by BASS senior writer Robert Montgomery, was a little under the radar.
Doing some, checking first with representative Mike Roger's office in Washington, D.C. the with BASS, it came to light that this entire story was false. One truly blown way out of proportion.
As ESPN communications chief Doug Grassin said, "It (the story) was a mistake. It was Montgomery's opinion and was not a balanced piece of writing."
Indeed. It goes without saying Montgomery should have checked sources, or done a more thorough job of fact checking before writing something as inflammatory as this.
Stories that have to do with hunting and fishing and have just a sniff of taking a small part of one of our outdoor sports away, make their way straight from inside the beltway to Michigan and other states that offer these sports in beautiful surrounds like we enjoy.
"Any way you look at it, this sure did a job of rallying people," Grassin said. No doubt, but to what cause?
BASS and ESPN were correct in issuing an apology as soon as the story broke. Now we must try to trust these sources on other topics. Will they be truthful and well investigated or just another opinion piece?
Some are going to say where there is smoke there is fire. That could be. But without facts and actual sources that are willing to be identified, this story should be left to wither away.
Someone from BASS should be writing a formal apology to the White House. It's time to own up when one is in the wrong.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

ayak fishing tournament

If you own a kayak and like to fish, you're invited to fish the first Michigan touranment for kayaks.
Called the "No-Mo Kayak Fishing Challenge," the event will be held May 8 with a mandatory captains meeting May 7, 7p.m. at Riverside Kayak Connection (RKC) 4015 Billde Ave, Wyandotte, 7340285-2925 or No-Mo means no motors are allowed on competing kayaks.
Tournament hours and waters are as follows: From safe light until 3p.m. on water within a 10-mile radius of RKS. Waters fished must be open to the public.
This is a no bait CPR tournament. CPR stands for catch, photograph, and release. Anglers competing have the chance to win a brand new Wilderness Systems fishing kayak.
For more information or to register contact RKS or tournament director Chris LeMessurier,
This is a fun tournemant. All events including weigh-in, prizes and refreshments will take place at RKC.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Quiet Water Wrap

Last Saturday Chris LeMessurier and I spent the day in Lansing at the Quiet Water Symposium promoting kayak fishing at our booth, Kayak Fish The Great Lakes.
The response was overwhelming. People, not only from Michigan, but other states as well stopped by to inquire about fishing from a kayak.
Questions ranged from what type of boat to buy, where to go to try them out, what equipment should go on them, and where and how to fish.
Chris brought two boats and I brought one. They were all different models and manufacturers and were laid out differently.
The big think I came away with was the many people that buy boats that don't fit them or worse yet, aren't suitable for the activity they intended it for.
Try before you buy. That's key. And let you kayak dealer know what you plan on doing with the boat.
If you are into tripping on one of the Great Lakes and camping from your kayak, you'll want a sea kayak with plenty of storage.
If you are looking to fish from your boat, you'll want a sit-on-top or a boat made to fish from. Where you fish will be important. If it's Cass Lake here in Oakland County, you can get a way with a shorter boat. If it's Lake St. Clair, a bigger boat is preferable.
Once you make the purchase, find out about taking a class before you venture out. And lastly, this isn't s solo sport. Get a buddy and fish together. Good luck.
For more information visit

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Asian carp meeting

Today's story-March 4-dealt with a pnanel disccussion with some experts and people knowledgeable about the Asian carp problem.
Over the past month or so I've written weekly stories about Asian carp, the problems they could cause if they are allowed into the Great lakes, the monetary concerns, and some suggested solutions.
Someone beore me said, "this is like peeling an onion. There are layers and layers." It's true in this case. every day brings more information, new technology, and additional learning. One can only imagine what scientists and biologists must go through as they attempt to come up with a workable solution that will satisfy all parties concerned.
There is no quick fix. This is going to take some time. But time doesn't seem to be one thing we have in our favor. Not with Asian carp knocking at the door into the Great Lakes.
Someone, the U.S. Supreme Court who has a suit before it, the Army Corp of Engineers, the people that have the say on closing the locks in Chicago thereby keeping this invasive species out, and the President, who controls the purse strings and ultimately decided when and how dollars will be spent.
This is no longer a Michigan issue. Nor is it a political issue. But it is an issue of safeguarding our valuable sportfishing and recreation industry. So much is at stake not only in terms of the loss of the best sportfishing in the country, but the devastating affect such an introduction would have on jobs and Michigan economy, already at a low point.
Whether you fish or not, please take the time to email, write a postcard, or call your representative or legislature asking them to support action to control Asian carp. Your kids and grandchildren will think you.