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Playin Hooky

2013 Fowler High School Charter Trip Report

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"When the cotton comes, the kings go" said Dan, the mate on captain Chris Johnson's charter boat "Hillbilly." I wouldn't say the kings were gone, but they sure were hard to come by last Thursday when my environmental science class fished out of Grand Haven for our annual Great Lakes fishery unit finale.

After postponing on two previous dates due to storms, the kids elected to head for the west shore at 3:45 AM and give up an easy last 1/2 day of school for the chance to see and fish Lake Michigan for the species they had studied. A stiff east breeze greeted us when we got aboard the boats at Chinook Pier. Reports after the multiple fronts that rolled through the previous few days were not optimistic--but we were FISHING! A quick trip down the channel to a fairly calm lake and a short drive to 70 fow and lines were soon in the water.

Success was mixed over the next 3+hours. Catches ranged from 2-7 fish per boat, with several fish over 15# and the big fish pushing 20. Only one laker was mixed in with the 16 kings. Most productive water was the 120-140 range where the water cleared slightly. Paddle/fly combos and spoons with chrome were the best presentations from 40 to 105 down.

Everyone had a great time even if they didn't get a chance to have a big one on the line! It was awesome to experience the lake, the chartering operation and see the speed and skill of the captains and mates in the fish cleaning station!

Special thanks to the captains and mates of our charter group this year-- Reel Action, Catch-A-Bunch, Hot Spot and Hillbilly--all worked their tails off to put the kids on fish in really tough catching conditions!

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