Bright and early Saturday, the Hoosier Coho Club will kick off its first contest of the year, the Pro/Am Tournament at Washington Park Marina.
This event is the first in a series of salmon fishing competitions. It begins the tournament trail of the Salmon Showdown, a 13-part series of fishing contests held across Indiana and Michigan.
The Hoosier Coho Club is a nonprofit fishing organization that encourages people to fish more often and “to have a good time doing it,” said Club President Mike McKee.
Prizes for the Pro/Am Tournament will be awarded in both the professional division and the amateur division. Top award to a professional will be $1,000 for first place; first place prize in the amateur division will be $500.
Although the Hoosier Coho Club Pro/Am event can be quite spirited, it isn’t only about winning, McKee said.
“It’s competitive, but it’s a gentlemen’s game,” he said. “Everyone tries hard and loves to win, but at the end of the day, we still shake hands and have a beer.”
The ProAm event is also about community building. McKee said, “Spectators can see some fish, like 10-15 pound salmon and trout, which not many people know that they can catch in Lake Michigan.”
Hoosier Coho Club also works with youth to inspire a new generation of fishermen. Among the teams participating in the competition is the Michigan City High School fishing club, McKee said.
Registration to participate for the event is still open. For those interested in competing, last-minute sign up will also be available the morning of the competition from 5:30 to 6:30 a.m. A mandatory Captain’s meeting will be held at 6:30 a.m. and then the contest will being.
Beth Casey is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.
Hoosier Coho Club Pro/Am Tournament
When: 7 a.m. April 25
Where: Washington Park Marina, 200 Heisman Harbor, Michigan City
Information: 219-872-1712; Hoosiercohoclub.org