The captain recommended warm clothes and Dramamine for those prone to seasickness. I
’d called him on Saturday morning to confirm our afternoon charter out of Port Washington on Lake Michigan. I emailed the rest of the guys and was waiting for the cancellations to start rolling in. Fortunately, none came. Everyone was dockside by 1PM.
We left the harbor on 2 boats with coolers full of drinks and snacks, extra layers of clothing and ten guys who were optimistic about fishing and anxious about seasickness. The weather was as advertised; high 50s, overcast with a steady wind at about 10mph with 3 to 6 foot waves on the lake.
After about a 10-15 minute ride, the boat slowed and our First Mate, Zach, started putting lines in the water. We weren’t really prepared when the first one hit. It was gone before Ryun even got his hands on the reel. Shortly after that, however, he had landed our boat’s first fish (we caught king salmon, rainbow trout and lake trout throughout the day but it was hard to keep track of who got what).
I was up next and landed a medium-sized salmon. Reeling them in took some effort. I was fortunate that my line wasn’t far out and it didn’t take a lot of effort to get it to the boat.
Scott pulled in the next fish and announced, “First fish ever… 40 years.” None of us realized Scott had never fished before. There were many congratulations and Scott wore a big grin for quite a while afterwards. Wayde (husband of Kristen, our web design and internet marketing guru) got the next one. He was less fortunate than I and got one that was about 200 yards out…a long haul. It looked like he would give up a couple of times but, despite the burning forearms, hauled in his first fish. Dan was last in the order and made quick work of his. The fish cooler was filling up and everyone was on the board with their first.
During the first couple of hours, texts with fish pictures were being traded between boats. The crew on the other boat consisted of Mark, Kevin, Matt, Morgan and Fischer. Morgan got their first fish which looked like bait compared to the rest of them. We scored that as .5 for the fish count. Shortly thereafter, we received a picture of Kevin. Although he’d heeded the captain’s warning and took Dramamine before we left, Kevin was sleeping soundly with a pale-green hue to his skin before they even started fishing. The caption read, “…down 1.” Pictures of fish started coming in with Matt, Mark, Fisch and Morgan (with a normal-sized fish this time) all on the board.
The afternoon continued in that fashion with a few lulls in the action. Captains Bryant and Buzz of Van’s Catch (www.vanscatch.com) did a great job keeping us on the fish. The first mates worked the lines and were great with the net preventing last a couple of fish from a last second escape.
Those of us who remained conscious all afternoon caught two or three each. Kevin even made a late-day comeback and got on the board with a nice fish less than an hour before we headed in. The ride back to the harbor was quiet. The final fish count was 23. Ours edged out the other boat 10-13…. Bragging rights until the next time!
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