ALGOMA — Before 6 a.m. on Aug. 15 I had a 15-pound king salmon netted and in the cooler!
This was a result of my decision to charter fish for the first time in my life. At around 5:30 a.m. we had departed from the docks of Fishiní Magicianís Charters in Algoma.
As we rode about five miles out into Lake Michigan, I explored the boat, a 1984 Trojan, and soaked in the awesome sunrise over Lake Michigan.
It was a cold morning for August. By 7 a.m. the temperature had reached 52 degrees in Algoma and the water temperature was 46 degrees at a depth of 50 feet. The surface temperature was 62.3 degrees.
After we reached our position I watched as rods were set at varying depths, not realizing at the time that I would be the first out of our group of five to catch a fish.
The guide watched the rods as we trolled for fish. Suddenly the guide called out that we had a bite and asked who would be first. Since I was up and near the cabin door I went out and grabbed the pole that he handed me and followed instructions.
I braced my knees against the boat, the rod anchored into my lower abs, Ďpumping the fish in,í meaning that I brought the tip of the rod high, keeping it tight, started reeling , then gradually lowered it as I continued reeling. Then I repeated that series of actions until the fish was in the net.
I was surprised at the amount of time it took to reel it in! I really worked for that fish. It seemed to take forever. But a look at the time stamps on the photos indicated that it took just over ten minutes from the time I started reeling the fish in to the time I held it up for display.
Later I was told, in answer to my question about bait, that my king salmon was caught using a dodger, flasher and fly.
Only one out of our group had ever gone charter fishing, and that was quite a while ago. We agreed with owner Captain Jimmie Sullivan that the beauty of charter fishing is that you can relax if you want, while the guides set up the rods and watch for strikes. Then you can bring in the fish. In our case, the guides netted the fish and showed us how to hold the fish up for photo ops without getting cuts on our fingers from the teeth.
Others in our group caught rainbow and steelhead trout.
We arrived back at the dock before 9 a.m., where our fish were displayed in a row on hooks and later filleted for us.
The only downside was my nausea. I was grateful that it set in after I caught my fish. I had used a natural remedy before boarding and chewed a motion sickness pill a little while into the trip. And it helped to follow the advice of the guide to stay as far back in the boat as I could and in the open air. He said that motion sickness pills should be taken the day before a fishing trip. But I barely remembered the pesky discomfort of the nausea I had until I started writing this blog.
Back home, Iíve been feasting on salmon and anticipate meals using the recipes suggested by friends. One suggestion was to use a brown sugar rub. Another was to top the salmon with raspberry vinaigrette and lemon slices.
Marilynn Nash writes about her exploration of the outdoors in Wisconsin -- a variety of outdoor experiences -- hiking, biking, snowshoeing, trailbuilding volunteer work, boating, ski hill tubing and more. She'll probably try a few things she hasn't done before.