The 2010 Huntington Waypoint Big Lake Classic Fishing Tournament is scheduled for August 14th and 15th in Saugatuck, and is assured to be one of the best tournaments yet, with over $25,000 in payouts and over 60 boats participating!
In 2009 the tournament’s name was changed to the “Huntington Waypoint Big Lake Classic”. The new tournament committee is made up of the former tournament directors, Denny and Linda Allen, along with the local businesses Coral Gables and the Mermaid Restaurant, charter boat captains Dave Engel and Bill Bale, Tom Earley of Earley Construction Co., and members of the Allegan Ducks Unlimited Chapter, and our major sponsor Huntington Bank.
As in 2009, the Tournament Director is John Watson of Allegan Ducks Unlimited.
This year’s tournament will be similar to prior “Waypoint” tournaments that included prizes, fun and more payouts in both the pro and amateur divisions. Coral Gables will provide dock space for tournament boats to deliver their fish cooler and a fisherman directly to the weigh-in and all boats will be required to be in Saugatuck pier heads by 1:30 pm each day of fishing.
The beneficiaries of this year’s tournament include the Saugutuck Township Fire Department, the Net Pen Project, Fifth Grade Class of Douglas Elementary (Saugutuck Public Schools), and the Allegan Chapter of Ducks Unlimited.
5th Grade Fishing Trip
The Saugatuck/Holland Charter Boat Association along with the Huntington Big Lake Classic Fishing Tournament Committee, hosted the first annual Salmon in the Classroom outing.
Douglas elementary 5th graders have been participating in the Salmon in the Classroom program for the last couple years and this program is currently funded by the Charter Boat Association, donations and fishing tournament fundraisers. As a reward for this their dedication to this environmental project and study, the charter boat association decided to take the students fishing.
On May 18 the Saugatuck/Holland Charter Boat Association captains and associate fishing members took the 73 5th grade students on a big lake salmon fishing excursion. On boats, operated by eight charter boat members and twelve associate members, the students caught over 150 Coho salmon Chinook salmon and Lake Trout.
Along with the 73 students there were teachers, school administrators, the DNR and video crew, MUCC and video crew and a host of media representatives ranging from newspaper and magazine writers to local television stations. The day of fishing began at about 7 AM at Tower Marina in Douglas, Mi. and all boats returned to Tower Marina at 12 noon where pictures were taken and the fish cleaned.
The Tournament Fishing Committee then furnished all guests with a fresh fish dinner at the marina.
Net Pen Project
Saguatuck/Holland Area Charter Boat Association's (SACA) local "Net Pen" project is in the works! The pen (disassembled and stored all winter) was assembled and put into the water (Kalamazoo River, on the north end of the Coral Gables docks), and the fingerlings are scheduled to be delivered this coming week. The SACA "Net Pen" project is in conjunction with the MI DNR and the Battle Creek Steelheader's Association. Approximately 45,000 Chinook (King) salmon fingerlings will be put into the net pen, and held and fed for about 3 weeks while the fish mature and gain strength. Once the fish begin to smolt they will be released into the river. Net pen fish have a 80% survival rate, compared to 25% of fingerlings that are planted directly into the river. Net pen fish are also form an "imprint" to the river, further improving the Lake Michigan salmon fishing from the Saugatuck port. This is the 5th consecutive year that the DNR has planted salmon in the Saugatuck net pen. Pictured are Captains Robert (Bob) Engel and Roger (Rog) Bronkhorst, both long time Saugatuck port charter captains as well as charter members of SACA. Bob and Rog head up SACA's Net Pen project committee. Also we have arranged a fishing trip to take place on May 18 for the Douglas elementary 5th grade class.
Douglas Fifth Graders Get a Hands on Experience of the Circle of Life on May 18, 2010
Douglas Elementary Schools fifth grade students will experience the circle of life first-hand on Tuesday, May 18, thanks to the Salmon in the Classroom program offered by the Department of Natural Resources and Environment and a charter fishing trip sponsored in part by the Saugatuck/Holland Charter Boat Association.
Salmon in the Classroom is a program that enables students to learn the life cycle of the salmon, local preservation, and how be an active participant in the protecting of our natural resources. Classrooms who take part in this program receive Chinook salmon eggs in the fall and care for the fish throughout the school year, ending with a release of the fish in the spring. Over 100 classrooms throughout Michigan participated in the program this year and are planning to begin releasing their salmon within the next few weeks.
Seventy-three students from Douglas Elementary School will take their learning experience one step further by launching the first Chartered outing in partnership with the Salmon in the Classroom program. The Saugatuck/Holland Charter Boat Association captains and fishing members plan to take the students on a salmon fishing excursion on Lake Michigan on Tuesday May 18th. They will be joined by school administrators, teachers and media representatives.
The Huntington Big Lake Classic Fishing Tournament, as well as other various tournament fundraisers, are providing financial support for the outing.
The group will leave Tower Marina in Saugatuck around 7:00 in the morning and return at noon for a fish-fry!
To learn more about Salmon in the Classroom, visit www.michigan.gov/sic.
Join one of our Coast Guard-licensed Captains for a thrilling day fishing for King and Coho Salmon, Steelhead, Lake Trout and Brown Trout on Lake Michigan. You will enjoy being on one of their comfortable, safe and well-equipped fishing boats while you try to catch the trophy of a lifetime! And afterwards, the crew will fillet and bag your catch for the trip home. The Saugatuck/Holland Area Charterboat Association (SACA) is dedicated to promoting sportfishing in the Greater Saugatuck area, including Saugatuck, Douglas and Holland on the gorgeous sunset coast of Michigan. Why wait? Come to Saugatuck & Holland - enjoy our fantastic fishing and explore one of the most charming port cities in the world! Call 877-952-4554 or 877-777-7435 today to book a trip with one of our experienced captains! Enjoy the trip of a lifetime charter fishing Lake Michigan from the beautiful ports of Saugatuck and Holland.