Big fun & big fish

Parker Dietrich was having a pretty good summer for a 10-year-old.  

However, fifth grade would be starting soon and so would soccer practice.  

So, Parker was mighty tickled when his grandpa, Glen Roux, called to see if he wanted to go fishing the week before school started.  

Grandpa and Parker live several hundred miles apart and had not seen each other all summer.

Things really got exciting when Parker found out that this fishing trip would be taking him to Lake Michigan for two days.  

Both Parker and Grandpa Glen had been there before. Both had caught some very good trout and salmon.  

But they had never been there together, and neither had ever caught a Lake Michigan fish over 10 pounds. This was going to be a great way for both of them to end the summer.

I mention the 10-pound fish situation only because it is very important to Parker. A few years ago, when I took my whole family to Lake Michigan, I made a deal with all my boys.

I told them that any fish they caught, all by themselves, that weighed over 10 pounds, I would have mounted for them.

Luckily, Spencer was the only one who cost me on that trip. His 13-pound brown trout now hangs proudly on his bedroom wall.

As you can imagine, Parker wanted one, too, only bigger.

Having had great success on Lake Michigan aboard “The Challenger,” a charter boat captained by Bob Jenkins, Grandpa decided that was the boat that he and Parker should fish on again.  

Captain Bob welcomed the two anglers aboard, but not aboard “The Challenger.” You see, Bob Jenkins has a new boat now, “The Challenger II.”

This new fishing vessel is a 40-foot cruiser with twin 454-cubic inch diesel engines. It has every comfort of home, including a full bath and a full kitchen.  

This boat is rigged to fish and Bob Jenkins can really put you on those trophy Lake Michigan trout and salmon.  

You should check-out his website at to find out more about his charters and to schedule your own trip.

The best way that Grandpa Glen has found to make this trip both fun and economical is to drive to Winthrop Harbor, Illinois, on the morning of the first day.

Bob Jenkins has the license right on the boat, and a $6.00, 24-hour Lake Michigan fishing permit is all you need. That way you can fish the afternoon of day one and the morning of day two.  

This gives you a chance at two limits of fish and you only have to stay one night. Captain Bob can also make your motel reservations for you. It is a sweet deal.

Parker and Grandpa boarded “The Challenger II” about 2 p.m. on Monday, August 19th. After a quick tour of the new boat, Captain Bob shoved off and headed out of the harbor.

A strong storm had blown through that morning as the anglers were driving. The swells on the lake were averaging between 2 and 4 feet, with an occasional 6-footer.  

The good news was that “The Challenger II” is big enough and heavy enough to take on a rough lake with no problems.  

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