Saugatuck crew nets cool $10,000 at Challenge
Written by Grand Haven Tribune   
Tuesday, 06 June 2006 09:46

Anglers competing in this past weekend's Grand Haven Offshore Challenge had a lot of water to fish.  Boats could run as far south as South Haven, and as far north as Pentwater. But it was a 3-mile section of water between Grand Haven and Muskegon that helped the crew aboard Get Some to win the professional division of the event and take home the top payout of $10,000.

Get Some, out of Saugatuck, landed its 12-fish limit each day, and held off some serious competition from Bob Swantek and his crew aboard Shrimp Boat to get the victory. Get Some finished with 356 total points compared to 355.9 for Shrimp Boat. Points are given on a formula that rewards the total number fish caught and total weight of those fish.

 "We started out off Muskegon, then worked our way south and found a huge slick in about 350 feet of water," said Travis Bouwman. "We worked that 3- or 4-mile area and got a majority of our box right there on that slick. We caught steelhead, kings and lake trout, mostly 6-7 pound fish."

The hot bait for Get Some was the Magnum Silver Streak spoon, which caught a majority of their fish.

"We got our limit each day, fishing the same water each day," Bouwman said.

"The winds changed, and the water changes, so it made us a little nervous for the second day," added Brian Augustine.

This is the fifth year Get Some has competed in the Grand Haven Offshore Challenge. The crew won the amateur division in 2004, then moved up to the pro division, and the success has followed.

"We fish in a lot of tournaments, and this is one of the best-run tournaments we fish," Bouwman said.

While Get Some finished with the most points, it was Skeet Shooter that pulled in the largest fish of the weekend, a 19.15-pound king salmon. That fish helped Skeet Shooter claim the $2,000 George Hays Big Fish award.

"We set the line 140 down, and had just changed to a Dream Weaver and an action fly," said Jeff Jevrink of Allendale, who pulled in the big king salmon. "The pole started jerking, and right away, it screamed off a bunch of line. I fought it for about 20 minutes, then the boat stalled."

Jevrink said his line tangled with a leadcore line just as the fish was getting close to the boat.

"It was very exciting," he said. "We thought it was heavy, but you hate to guess how much it might weigh. You look in the cooler and think, 'That thing is just huge.'

"Fishing was slow today, but it was slow for everybody else, too."

Jevrink was fishing with Doug Schultze, Mark Kuyers and Dwayne Kneiper.

While big salmon were hard to come by, small lake trout were plentiful. Some boats landed and released 30-plus small lake trout. Lake trout must measure 20 inches to be kept.

"The fishing was tough," said Grand Haven's Carl Chappel, who fished with his father, Al Chappel, his brother, Bob Chappel, and Bill and Jeff Rogers aboard My Tiara II.

"The majority of the fish came 120 to 180 feet down. People either fished north of here at the nets or just north of Muskegon. Some boats dropped right inside (Sunday) morning at the end of the channel and caught some big kings."

As is typical for early June, Big Lake fishing goes through a month-long slump before heating up later in the summer. Chappel said the fishing has actually started to improve already.

"It's gradually getting better," he said. "We're not getting anything huge, but it's getting better. The bigger kings are down this year, but lake trout are up."

Sea Flea was third in the pro division with 339.3 points, followed by Black Betty II with 336.4 points and My Tiara II at 333.65. The top five boats out of the 45 competitors in the pro division received prize money.

A total of 92 boats competed in the amateur division, which was won by Reel Deal with a total of 354.85 points to win the $5,000 top prize. A close second was Fishigan at 353.6. Maatley Crew was third at 338.1, followed by Renegade V at 320.45 and Double Down at 315.35. The amateur division awarded cash prizes to the top 15 boats.

Sea Flea won the pro division of Friday's Kids and Ladies tournament with 86.1 points, just edging out Reel Action at 86. The amateur division winner in the Kids and Ladies event was Reel Obsession with 80.4 points, with Renegade IV (75.6) in second place.

The largest fish caught during the Kids and Ladies event was a 11.40-pound king salmon, pulled aboard by Sea Flea.

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