Michigan club teams up with Big Brothers Big Sisters

TRAVERSE CITY, Mich. — For the past 26 years, members of the Cherry Capital Bass Anglers have taken kids from Big Brothers Big Sisters (BBBS) of Northwestern Michigan on a fishing outing.

The last event, held Aug. 24, 2013, on Spider Lake, drew 18 kids and five adults from BBBS of Northwestern Michigan, along with 10 club members who volunteered to take the kids and adults in their boats.

“Depending on the weather and whatever else is going on, we have had as few as nine kids and as many as 25,” said Gary Emerson, the club’s tournament director. “We try to keep it to three kids and two adults in a boat.”

Club members who served as boat captains in the latest event were Emerson, Mark Ayers, Wendell Castle, Butch Dickerson, Jerry Dingrando, Mike Ebach, Doug Goldsberry, Rich Hentschel, Bob Moss and Jeremy Schault.

The kids were allowed to bring more bass to the scales at Spider Lake because the Michigan Department of Natural Resources dropped the size limit to 10 inches in an effort to lower the population of stunted bass in the lake.

“In our efforts to help the DNR reach its goals for the lake, the anglers were allowed to take a limit of 10- to 14-inch bass home for consumption,” Emerson said. “All bass measuring 14 inches and above were released back into the lake. The kids were also allowed to bring any species to the scales that met legal-size requirements.

“The length-limit change is working because the number of bass we brought in was the worst we had ever done as far as numbers,” Emerson said. “The kids brought in more big bass, though.” 

The kids fished for four hours and then enjoyed a picnic. Plaques were awarded to the Top 3 contestants and the big fish winner.

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