Nothing beats a friendly fishing competition on a beautiful northern Michigan lake, and its that idea draws dozens of people to Manistee County every Wednesday, June through August.
The Manistee County Sport Fishing Association has been hosting Fun Fish night competitions, once a week, since 2017. It started after hearing about a bass tournament downstate.
“We thought, man, what a great idea. But why limit it to bass? Let’s fish everything,” says MCSFA board member, Phil Sedelmaier. “We have a lot of charter boats and a lot of big lake fishermen that come to Manistee County. And part of the Association’s mission is to help protect and promote the sport fishery in Manistee County.”
Sedelmaier says not many people have charter boats that allow them to fish on a large lake. But you don’t have to be on a boat in order to join in on the weekly competitions.
The events not only promote fishing but promote tourism in the county.
“Part of our mission is support the tourism and Manistee County,” says Sedelmaier.
While promoting sport fishing in the county, MCSFA also looks to conserve the fish population in the area.
“That’s one of the things we harp on is keep your fish in good shape so that after we weigh them we can release them. We don’t want a bunch of dead fish laying there after we leave and we’ll actually check to make sure that isn’t happening,” Sedelmaier says.
Fun Fish is open to any angler – any age and any stage. You can visit the for dates and locations.
“People get the impression you’ve got to be a really good fisherman and you’ve got to know what you’re doing,” says Sedelmaier. “If you’re going to do this, you don’t, because you never know what’s going to win.”
Members pay $5 to participate, non-members pay $10. It all goes towards the cost to put on the events and towards the grand prize in each category of fish.
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