Team Fish Hawk Wins Steelheaders Fishing Tournament

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Pier 33 played host to the 2012 Schu's Summer Challenge, Presented by the Southwest Michigan Steelheaders.

Big Fish at Pier 33

Originator's 21-lb Laker

Lake Michigan fishing excitiement took hold of St. Joseph, Michigan last weekend.

Pier 33 Marina was the host facility for the 2012 Schu’s Summer Challenge, presented by the Southwest Michigan Steelheaders May 9 thru 11. This exciting fishing tournament brought anglers together from a wide region surrounding Lake Michigan, with a total of 52 boats competing in Pro and Amateur Divisions.

Tournament events began with a Registration and the Captains’ Meeting, held at Pier 33’s showroom on Thursday, including a welcome from Tournament Director Jim Marohn and sponsor Larry Schuler of Schu’s Grill & Bar. Marohn reviewed rules for the tournament and captains and crews prepared for an early start the next morning.

Friday’s weather and lake conditions were outstanding. The first boats began arriving for Friday’s weigh-in at 11 AM and all boats pulled lines by 1 PM. Pier 33 provided live results from the weigh-in location via feeds to Facebook and Twitter and At the conclusion of Friday’s fishing Utopia led all Amateurs, followed closely by Reelbucks and Nail Bender Too and Utopia’s 15.16 lb. fish led for Big Fish Am. As the pros checked-in, Phoenix held an early lead over Team Fish Hawk and Win-n-Angel. Jerry Link & Originator boated the Pro Big Fish, an impressive 21.11 pound Lake Trout – a catch that held up for Big Fish honors thru the close of the event.

Saturday began with a line of thunderstorms that rolled through the fishing fleet with drenching rains, but all boats remained on the lake and continued fishing. To add to the tournament excitement, Friday’s top five Pro finishers bypassed the weigh-in station and their coolers were sealed, awaiting live weigh-in at the awards ceremony. Best Chance Too took over the “clubhouse” lead among the Pros.

Captains and crews returned to the Pier 33 showroom to be greeted by a luxurious prime rib buffet & beverages provided courtesy of Schu’s Grill & Bar. The awards ceremony got underway with the Amateur results announced first. Utopia, captained by Tom Petersen, made the Day 1 lead hold up and won the Amateur Division, followed by Shore-Hugger, Reelbucks, Nail Bender Too and King Fever. Utopia also took home prizes for First and Second Place in the Amateur Big Fish competition.

The crowd of 300 fishermen eagerly anticipated the Pro results. A strong Saturday performance allowed Best Chance Too to take the stage as the Day 2 leader and each of Day 1’s top five Pro finishers proceeded to the stage to weigh Saturday’s catch. Sea Flea and Mi-Hi fell short, but then Captain Jack Gillen and crew unveiled Team Fish Hawk’s impressive cooler load of Lake Michigan’s finest. The twelve-fish limit weighed-in at 118.97 pounds, for a day 2 point total of 238.97 points for Team Fish Hawk and a $7,500 First Place prize. Phoenix placed second, followed by Best Chance Too, Sea Flea, Mi-Hi and Pelagic.

Complete Pro & Amateur Division results can be found on-line at

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Tighe Curran
Pier 33
(800) 886-0493
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