Mike Schoonveld, Indiana North Coast Charter Assoc.
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Capt. Mike Schoonveld, Indiana North Coast Charter Assoc.

Capt. Mike Schoonveld has decades of experience fishing for Lake Michigan trout and salmon and trailers Brother Nature to where the fish are biting best.

Big Groups, Big Fish, Big Fun on Lake Michigan

Going fishing is many things to many people. That’s one of the allures of the sport. For some, the solitude of the game is what’s important. It’s man against the fish. The angler chooses when, where and how to fish and success is a quiet joy. For others, fishing is quality time with family. It could be father and son, brother and sister or generational, with Grandpa, parents and children involved. Catching a fish is a sidelight to just being together and enjoying the outdoors together.  But occasionally, fishing can be the star of the party and become the party. It could be a corporate outing designed as a team-building event or a reward for a job well done. It could be a family reunion, involving brothers, uncles, sisters and nieces. How about bachelor parties, graduations – you name it and with a little work and planning – a summer fishing outing on Lake Michigan can be a memory maker! …

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Lake Michigan Provides “Unnaturally” Good Fishing Every Year

As a lifelong fisherman, I’ve seen lakes cycle from boom to bust or bust to boom many times. Fish populations naturally go through cycles in almost all lakes for many reasons. Among these reasons is the reproductive or spawning success of native fish. A few years after a couple of good spawns, the lakes may team with catchable fish. A few years after a poor spawn, often due to weather issues, the number of fish can decline. It’s nature’s way.... It’s natural. I’ve been fishing for Lake Michigan salmon for most of my adult life and operating a charter fishing business on Lake Michigan for half my adult life. Why is it the fishing on Lake Michigan, season after season, remains consistently good? Is it unnatural…

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Northwest Indiana for birding or just bird enjoying

Photo:More than 15 thousand cranes stop in NW Indiana on their migrations north and south each year.  Wild birds are an important part of almost every outdoor person’s enjoyment of the natural world. Whether a person is hiking, picnicking, fishing or just sitting on a Lake Michigan beach, birds will be encountered. For some, the bird will just be a flitting glimpse, a bit of color. For others, perhaps spotting wedge of geese or a storm of swarming gulls is a momentary diversion. Birds are just a part of the overall mix which makes an outdoor activity enjoyable…

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Clay Games Build Shooting Skills

Photo: Shooters at Oakwood Gun Club break clay targets for fun and to hone hunting skills. It’s surprising how many hunters put down their guns at the end of the season and don’t load them again until they are uncased and ready to be carried on opening day the following year. Perhaps in the good ol’ days when rabbits, quail and pheasants were far more abundant a hunter only needed to walk far enough and shoot often enough to eventually bring home some game. Those good ol’ days must have occurred before I started hunting…

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Honk is the Call of the Wild | Canada Geese

When I was a youngster, few things brought thoughts of wild lands and far off places into my head than hearing and seeing a Vee-shaped skein of Canada geese winging their way south in the fall or heading back to their summering area in the springtime. If I was lucky, I’d witness this majesty two or three times each year. Nowadays, seeing a Canada goose is almost as common as seeing robins in a yard or gulls along the lakefront…

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The Fish Are "IN" - Lake Michigan Fishing

Every year in late winter and early spring the words "the fish are in" spreads among the fishermen who love catching coho salmon in Lake Michigan. What "in" means is the fish are in the shallows, often a stone's throw from the beaches and breakwaters. The "in" also stands for IN or Indiana because it's along Indiana's Lake Michigan shoreline the fish show up first and hang around the longest. Here's why…

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