Fishigan wins Salmon Slam in Northport
But the half dozen teams that did fish on Sunday still had a good time.
Organizers, who had to delay fishing one day due to inclement weather and had to settle for a reduced field, hope to make the event a two-dayer next year and much bigger.
“We’re going to try and pick a weekend and make it a two-day deal,” said Rick Herman, co-tournament director and a member of the winning Fishigan team. “And we’re going to make our best effort to have 40 boats and make it a $10,000 tournament.”
Fishigan beat out two other teams that brought fish to the scale at the recently renovated Northport G. Marsten Dame Marina, which will be dedicated Sunday at 1 p.m. The winning team weighed 33 lbs., 4 oz. of salmon. Team Doriat was second at 31 lbs.
Team Deering, which was third overall, had the biggest salmon — 14 lbs. 4 oz. Northport’s Tom Deering, who fished with Hank DeYoung and captain Jeannie Peacock, said Peacock landed the big fish by 8 a.m.
“The salmon just weren’t in the bay like they are off Leland,” Deering said. “But the fishing business has been phenomenal this year.”
Deering said they were fishing near the Grand Traverse County Lighthouse, using spoons.
“The temperature was very cold, 54 degrees on the surface and it was rough out there,” Deering said. “They just didn’t hook up well today.
“And we lost lots of fish right at the boat.”
“It was just too rough, 5-7 footers out there,” he said.
Brian Doriot, captain of Team Doriot, agreed. Even Day 2 wasn’t easy fishing.
“It was a little bumpy if you went too far out,” Doriot said. “But if you stayed close to Northport, it was nice.
“The weather was fine, the fishing was tough, however. The fish weren’t very big and it wasn’t real exciting.”
Mount Pleasant’s Jeff Brown, who served as a tournament official at the weigh-in, did not participate in the fishing because of the high seas.
The winning team, which featured a group of youngsters and adults, had a big fish that weighed 14 lbs.
Youths on the team were Northport’s Corey Kesler, Ian Mackintosh, Jack Welsh, Jake Jones and Danny Brown. Mackintosh, Welsh and Jones were from the Dayton, Ohio area. Brown is from Mount Pleasant, but has grandparents in Omena.
Adult team members were Ian MackIntosh, Jeff Lecklider, Russell Jones, Al Flees of Omena, and Herman, who lives in Springborough, Ohio.
“It didn’t sink in until we walked away from it,” Herman said of the winning basket. “It just went by awfully fast.
“But we had a fun group and the kids really enjoyed it.”
Herman said at least a dozen boats had signed up for Saturday’s event, but some withdrew and went home that same day.
“This tournament is a lot of local guys and when the winds blow and you don’t have to pay until the night before, you don’t know how many teams will show up,” Herman said.
Herman said some of the teams wanted to reschedule for another Saturday.
“But the majority that showed up wanted to do it on Sunday,” he said.