2013 Fall Report

From the Helm . . .

As this is written in early September, the fall conference planning is essentially complete. Only a couple of “tweaks” remain. (A tentative agenda is included in this newsletter.) Chuck Pistis, who has retired after 30-some years with Michigan Sea Grant, will be our honored dinner speaker. His wit and knowledge make him a most engaging speaker, and I encourage all of you to make a special effort to be on hand to bid a happy retirement to one of the finest partners MCBA has ever had.

From talking with a number of our captains around the Great Lakes this summer, fishing has been good to excellent and business has been respectable. If Pure Michigan would promote fishing like they do golf and other recreational pursuits, it would be even better. For whatever reason, fishing is not a high priority with the state’s marketing gurus. Even the Detroit Free Press outdoor writer has called them out on their lack of promoting Michigan’s outstanding fisheries.

Something that really concerns me is the email complaints and personal contacts I’ve had from unhappy charter clients this past month. The fact that they would contact the President indicates the extent of their dissatisfaction. When people lay down $500 to $800 (actually, the amount doesn’t matter) for a charter, they have a right to expect the captain and mate to do all they can to provide an enjoyable experience, and, hopefully, land a few fish. We are going to address this matter in one of the conference workshops by having a panel of experienced captains weigh in on a captain’s responsibilities to his clients.

Enjoy the rest of the fine fall fishing that lies ahead, and make an effort to attend the Annual Conference October 25-27 at the Crown Plaza Hotel in Grand Rapids. Saturday’s workshops will provide some new and refreshing information to help you become more successful in growing your business. I’m sure you’ll find something of interest as you look at the agenda included in this issue of the CANNONBALL.

Captain Terry Walsh

President – MCBA