2013 Elite Series Toyota All-Star Week and Evan Williams Bourbon Championship
Muskegon Lake and White Lake - Muskegon, MI, Sep 27 - 29, 2013

2013 Toyota All-Star Week blog

Palaniuk's giant Muskegon salmon

9:46 am EDT, Oct 2, 2013

Pepsi Sweepstakes winner Randy Marnich with a GIANT salmon he caught on Muskegon Lake on a spoon. Guess it pays to grow up in Idaho. Be one with the salmon! 

Elvis has left the building

3:19 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2013

Mike Elkins and I had put the boat on the trailer and were headed back to Muskegon. We looked down on the water as we crossed the White Lake bridge in Whitehall, and there was Hank Cherry, fishing a shallow area covered in lily pads next to a city park. He was throwing a frog. So we stopped and had one more visit with him today.

"What's the matter, you get tired of catching those smallmouth?," I asked.

"Just thought I'd  come up here and see if I could catch a big green one," Cherry said.

We didn't see him do that. He's obviously confident in what he's already caught. The launch/takeout site is within trolling motor distance of where Cherry was fishing.

He confirmed that he was catching those smallmouth in the deep water off the breakline at Dowie Point. Most were suspended. He said he caught one over 50 feet deep.

Quite a capper of a day for the 2013 Rookie of the Year.

Local support

3:17 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2013

Photo by Jesse Wener

Folds of Honor fishing with the pros

3:14 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2013

Keith Combs and Ret. Sgt. David Yager landed a nice lake salmon during the Folds of Honor fishing day sponsored by A.R.E. accessories.

Photos by Davis Yager

KVD works a windy weed bed

3:06 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2013

Cherry's tactics on White Lake

2:39 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2013

Our boat driver Mike Elkins has spent a lot of time on White Lake and he's never seen anyone attack it like Hank Cherry is today. He's fishing off Dowies Point, where a 4- or 5-foot deep sand flat runs quite a distance offshore, then drops sharply into 20 feet of water. There's some vegetation on the sandbar.

Cherry is positioning his boat in the deep water off the breakline, but close enough that he can hit the edge of the flat. Then he reels a Damiki swimbait off the edge into the depths. He's working a stretch of the breakline that's about 200 yards long.

Cherry just caught another smallmouth that allowed him to cull up a bit. He's probably getting close to 18 pounds now.

Big crowd on Cherry

2:20 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2013

Hank Cherry's big day is drawing a big crowd, including a kayaker who
made his way down to check out the action.

Cherry takes a break

2:19 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2013

Hank Cherry just set his rod down on the boat deck, took a couple slugs on a soft drink, then reached down to touch his toes and stretch his back.
"Man, this is wearing me out," he said.
Cherry picked his rod back up and went to work, catching another 2 1/2-pound smallmouth. It weighed exactly 2 1/2 pounds because Cherry put it on the scales. And it didn't help him.
Cherry's standards for another keeper are pretty high right now, obviously. He's only got one fish in the livewell weighing less than 3 pounds.

Evers is scrambling

2:10 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2013

Evers is scrambling. Or at least it looks that way.
He just picked up and headed back up the lake. Prior to that he was rushing down the bank, chunking and winding.  All he needs to do is trip up on a school like the one Cherry has been on. He could get well quick. That goes for all these guys.
We are accustomed to seeing Evers pull off magical things. Come to think of it. We've seen that kind of magic from KVD and Pace as well.
Cherry is surely hoping these three don't start jerking rabbits from the hat. But would anybody be surprised if they did?

Cherry culling up

1:44 pm EDT, Sep 29, 2013

If Hank Cherry knew what was going on today, he  would pay Mike Elkins, Darren Jacobson and me to stay away.

We just got back on him after having to make another "administrative boat run" and found out that Cherry added another 3 1/2-pounder to his livewell while we were gone. That's three 3 1/2s and a 4 that we've missed - almost all of the 17-plus-pounds he's got swimming  in his livewells now.

Several men in the flotilla Cherry has following him, which numbers 20 boats now, are beginning to enjoy filling  us in on the show we've missed. Elkins is awarding the best informants with Twinkies from the case he's carrying today.

And Cherry is putting on a show. He's caught a couple of more small fish since we've gotten back.