Annual free fishing seminar scheduled for June 19

Linda Gallagher, Contributing Writer

Courtesy photo

How to clean and prepare your fish for the table is just one of the tops being offered at this year's free fishing seminar, scheduled for Thursday, June 19 in Elk Rapids.


ELK RAPIDS – Don Reynolds has been fishing for most of his life, and enjoys sharing his knowledge of the sport with others. And, he's been doing just that publicly each year since 2016 – along with other top enthusiasts – through a free fishing seminar held to spark and maintain interest in the activity. 

The annual seminar began, Reynolds said, after he and other local fishermen and women began to notice those who stopped by the Elk Rapids Dam, one of Elk Rapids' most popular fishing locations.

"We started noticing that a lot of them, most of them younger and probably just visiting the area, just didn’t seem to know what they were doing,” Reynolds said. “They didn’t have the right equipment, or the right bait, or didn’t seem to know anything at all about casting and other fishing techniques. They didn’t know anything about what type of rod and reel to use, what kind of line, what baits, what weights – nothing. We’d see people out there fishing with what looked like deep sea fishing stuff.

“It was pretty obvious that they probably had never done much fishing and probably never had anybody at all to show them how,” he continued.

Often, Reynolds and his fishing buddies would see those anglers depart in what looked like a fit of frustration.

“And we wondered if they’d ever go fishing again,” he said.

So, the small group decided to offer free public fishing lessons during a short seminar held that summer. The first seminar drew 60 people, when the group had only had hopes for 20, at best. In 2017, more than 130 people showed up for the event at the Jack Blesma Harbor Pavilion in Elk Rapids.

And it's been like that ever since.

This year's event, planned for Wednesday, June 19 at the pavilion, will again show aspiring anglers simple techniques such as how and when to use a bobber, and what type of sinker to use in specific types of fishing, as well as how to make a presentation or cast. In addition to hearing about the various species of fish available in the Grand Traverse area, organizers will discuss where to find them, and the legal seasons for those fish.

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