AP NEWS

Charter Boat Association hosts Sponsor Day Friday

May 25, 2019

Lake trout fishing was phenomenal, and king salmon added to a successful morning on the water for representatives of about a dozen businesses who were treated by members of the Ludington Charter Boat Association during its annual Sponsor Day on Friday.

It’s a way the association thanks businesses that support it.

By the end of the morning, the guests were thanking the hosts for, in some cases, limit catches of lake trout and for finding kings — including one 22-plus pounder and a couple in the 18-pound range — which are just arriving this spring.

Fishing mostly from the Ludington Pumped Storage Plant to a bit south of the Bass Lake outlet, often in 50 to 70 feet of water, lake trout action was steady. Spin doctors with whirligig bouncing off the bottom were a hot bait on Capt. Gary Smith’s Rodmaster II for lakers.

In just more than 90 minutes of fishing, the limit of three lakers per person on board was met. At times, two fish — a double — and once, three fish — a triple — were being fought simultaneously. It’s been that kind of spring for lake trout off Ludington the last couple weeks, mate Jay Funk said.

Capt. Smith was livestreaming the action. He’s been captaining out of Ludington for the past 19 years, he said, because of the combination found here of good offshore structure for fish, good support by local businesses, support of the community and the scenery.

Cory Hauser was aboard to fish as a representative of Capt. Chuck’s, but he spent as much time assisting Funk help others catch fish.

“I’m doing what I love to do,” he said.

Hauser serves as mate aboard George Freeman’s Freestyle.

“When the lilacs bloom, that’s when everything happens,” he said.

After the cooler was almost filled with lake trout and one king, the last part of the trip was given over to solely seeking kings. One boat, Miller Time, was targeting kings in 100 feet of water and had a triple going at one point.

Jason Grinnell of Grand Rapids landed an 18-pounder on Rodmaster II as Smith live-streamed the action.

“It was great,” he said. “You can’t beat a day on the lake and catching fish.”

Others felt the same way.

“It was fun,” Kandra Kwoka — KK — of Ludington Bay Brewing said of catching an 18-pound king onboard Capt. Rich Taylor’s Miller Time. “My shoulder about gave out.”

Other boats participating included Fish Ewes, Capt. Ron Caramango; Raptor, Capt. Glen Buehner; and Hit the Mark, Capt. Mark Szoboszlay.

After photos with the about 65 fish caught, the crews and guests enjoyed a fish boil lunch cooked by captains Shaw Pomorski, George Freeman, Doug Karakas and Billy Lemire.

Contact information for Ludington Area Charter Boat Association members, photos, fishing reports and more can be found online at https://charterludington.com/.

The action is just beginning.

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