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Vanselena

Manistee Lake Michigan Fishing with Mark Chmura

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I have been blessed to fish with many great fishermen. However nothing prepared me for my most recent fishing experience. On Monday I had the opportunity to fish with Captain Mark Chmura who is in a league of his own. Captain Mark has won more fishing derbies than any other Captain on the Lake Michigan circuit and is the only Captain to win back to back years in the Budweiser Salmon Derby, the most participated derby on the Michigan tour.

 

At 5:00 Monday morning we arrived at the dock and went down to the boat called Pier Pressure. We noticed a strong wind coming down the Manistee River as Captain John (first mate on this trip) arrived. I pondered “how many Captains I know that are first mates? Hmmm this is going to be an educational day”. A short time later Captain Mark arrived. We spent an hour talking about different programs to use the Torpedo Divers, other fishing programs currently being used and other fishing tackle being developed. Incidentally the cabin of Pier Pressure is loaded with fishing rods already set up for different types of fishing programs. There are 6 rods per program and at least 8 programs ready to go. On the sides of the cabin are 10,000 foot spools of different types of fishing line. On the other side of the cabin are tackle box after tackle box full of baits, there are well over 20 boxes in the open. Captain Mark mentioned that most of his clients are Charter boat Captains.

 

The winds seem to be abating and the Captain made the call to go fishing. Pier Pressure is a 33’ Tiara and cruised effortlessly down the Manistee River. When we approached Lake Michigan the waves were crashing into the pier and few boats ventured into the angry lake. You could tell, as Captain Mark smiled and from the look in his eyes that he was in his element. As we entered the lake with six to eight foot waves crashing in from the north west Captain Mark brought the boat on plane and headed north.

 

The plan was to ride the sides of the waves for a smoother ride. About a mile from port Captain Mark set out the largest planer boards I have ever seen. Captain Mark explained that he does not want the board to drag back when he runs 6 lines off the boards, I could also see the benefits of the large boards in eight foot breakers as they ran very nicely out to the sides. Once the lines were all set up we trolled for about an hour without success, this didn’t seem to bother the Captain as the conversation switched to yesterdays trip where Pier Pressure had seven fish on at the same time in this very location. Captain Mark was on the radio talking to other Captains that had some success and a heading was set to the south side of port. When we approached port we picked up a Steelhead, and passing port two rods fired and we landed a double of kings. We drove past port and again the rods went silent. The Captain swung Pier Pressure back towards port and when we were on the north side of port a rod fired, then three more rods fired and we had a quad on, all fish were landed. The rods were being reset when we had two more rods fire but the self release came into effect and so once again the first mate, Captain John, reset the lines with the crews help. I asked Captain Mark if he planned on going back through the area where we had the quad and his answer floored me, he said “we already know those fish are there, lets learn something new.” Quite honestly I don’t know of any other fisherman that wouldn’t have gone back through those fish but Captain Mark’s answer is the reason he is the most successful tournament winner on the Michigan Tour and why so many tournament winning Charter Captains book time on Pier Pressure.

 

We easily landed our limit of Salmon using the Torpedo's and after fishing with Captain Mark, I realized that a limit of fish is not what Captain Mark fishes for. Captain Mark challenges the fish, searching out the most active fish and when the Captain finds the fish a program is tailored to that species.

 

 

 

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Edited by Vanselena

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nice report, sounds like fun..

 

isnt mark chmura a former tight end for the green bay packers

 

ya dont let him near your 16 yr old baby sitter and a hot tub..

Edited by Bitsmith2k

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Sounds like an amazing time and amazing company! Thanks for the report, I betcha learned alot from the Captains.

 

I used to think I was a pretty good fisherman but now realize how wrong that thinking was. So much to learn, so little time.

 

I agree that I'm learning tons from the Captains. Next week will be in Rochester, should be more humiliation but a good type of humiliation.

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Yep, I've heard of the dude, he's very well respected.

 

Thanks for the report! I love the Manistee and will be fishing it upriver in mid nov for steelhead..

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