ESCANABA - Tim Steinmetz of Escanaba recently got to experience a dream weekend of fishing on Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City. After winning a Berkley sweepstakes, Steinmetz, a fourth year student at Bay College, received an all-expenses paid charter fishing trip with renowned angler Hank Parker on June 4.
"It was really cool. I was between classes at Bay and I got a call from a Berkley rep telling me that I'd won. Then, they put Hank Parker on the phone," Steinmetz said.
Parker, a Hall of Fame Legendary Angler is a now-retired bass tournament fisherman and is the host of the Hank Parker Outdoor Hunting Show and HP 3-D. Both shows are broadcast on NBC Sports (formerly Versus).
Photo courtesy of Tim Steinmetz
Tim Steinmetz, center, Escanaba, fishes with?Hall of Fame angler Hank?Parker, right, June 4 on Grand Traverse Bay in Traverse City. Steinmetz won an all-expenses paid charter fishing trip after winning a Berkley sweepstakes.
"Hank is really cool, he's an easy person to get to know," said Steinmetz.
Just how down to Earth was Parker?
"It was like talking to an old friend," Steinmetz said. "After a few minutes I forgot that there was a huge camera there."
Steinmetz received prepaid credit cards to finance his trip to Traverse City where a paid for and booked hotel awaited him. He fished with a guide the first day he was there and was picked up at the hotel. Later that night, Steinmetz had dinner with Parker and discussed the next day.
The charter trip with Parker was hugely successful in all aspects.
"We fished for 12 hours, from 7 until 7 and caught 111 smallmouth bass," said Steinmetz. "Hank said it was the most he'd ever caught on a single day.
"The weather was gorgeous. There was calm winds, the sun was out, temperatures were cool, but not too cool."
Steinmetz said he used mostly Berkley power tubes and Fenwick rods to catch his fish.
"Hank also had several GPS units. One was small at the console and one was at the bow. Hank actually forgot the $4,000 unit his sponsor's supply him with," Steinmetz said.
All the fish were released with Steinmetz estimating the largest one caught was about 5 1/4 pounds.
Aside from the camaraderie, Steinmetz learned a new technique for catching bass.
"We fished mostly in shallow sand flats where the water was crystal clear. We were looking for a dark spot like a patch of grass or gravel and we'd throw the tubes over that spot and the bass would pick them up," he explained.
"I've never really fished like that in the past. Usually I'll fish in the weeds or a dropoff. I usually fish on Little Bay de Noc on the northern part of the Bay.
"I'm a troller and usually use planer boards and crawler harnesses. I'll also do some inland fishing and throw the canoe on the truck and go out to some lake off the beaten path."
Steinmetz said one of the most interesting aspects of the day was being able to experience the production of Parker's TV show.
"I watch Hank's shows all the time and the biggest thing was seeing behind the scenes. It was nice to see how it's all constructed. They shot 3-and-a-half hours of video and they'll only use 22 minutes of that for the show. As a percentage, it's not much," he said.
Steinmetz was appreciative of the opportunity and wanted to thank "Hank Parker, Pure Fishing Company, Wes the cameraman and my guides Marty and Blake."
The show will be televised on NBC Sports during the 2013 lineup of Parker's show.