Good anglers don't often tell their secrets, but Captain Ken Clark of Fishmas Charters in Whitehall is willing to share tips garnered from years of successful fishing. Join him as he shares his knowledge on how to reel in the "big ones" during an Intro to Walleye Fishing in Michigan clinic taking place from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 5, at the Ludington State Park Boat Launch.
Captain Clark has been catching walleye in Michigan waters for over 25 years and will reveal his secrets to beginners through advanced walleye fishermen. Participants should bring a lawn chair and something for taking notes. At the end of the course, names will be drawn for three lucky individuals to go out on Hamlin Lake for an hour of fishing with the captain. Ludington State Park is located at 8800 W. M-116 in Ludington in Mason County. For details or to register, call the park at 231-843-2423.
The walleye fishing clinic is being offered as part of the Department of Natural Resources' Recreation 101 program. Recreation 101 offers year-round programs that recruit top instructors and sports equipment vendors to provide free or inexpensive hands-on lessons with the goal of giving the novice sportsman enough skill and knowledge to begin a new activity.
Program offerings, ranging from fishing, birding and geocaching to hiking, biking and paddling, are set to take place in numerous state parks and recreation areas across Michigan.
"Don't just watch other people have fun. Use the Recreation 101 demo clinics to try the many wonderful outdoor activities to be enjoyed in Michigan's woods and waters," said Ron Olson, chief of the DNR's Parks and Recreation Division.
The following programs are available in August, and pre-registration is recommended:
DNR Park Interpreter Ed Shaw will offer beginning archery classes from 3 to 5 p.m., Friday, Aug. 5, 19, and 26 at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center at Mitchell State Park, 6093 M-115 in Cadillac in Wexford County. Learn bow safety, the different types of bows and how to use them, as well as the different types of accessories and arrows. At the completion of the class participants will shoot archery at the bow range. The class is for ages 8 and older. Children under 15 years old should be accompanied by a parent. For details or to register, call the park, 231-775-7911.
Jake Whelpley of the Woodshed Bike Shop will be at the Hart-Montague Trail State Park at 4 p.m. Monday, Aug. 15, to explain different types of bikes and offer an overview of maintenance and pre-ride checks. Whelpley will also offer answer questions and offer tips on safe riding and accessories for biking. The clinic will take place at the Polk Road Trailhead (from US-31 exit take the Hart exit for Polk Road, go east one-quarter mile to parking lot on left). For details, call Silver Lake State Park at 231-873-3083.
Boater Safety 101
Members of the Birmingham Power Squadron will offer a Boater Safety Class from 3 to 5 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Dodge #4 State Park's boat launch area. The class will teach boating safety for a variety of ages and will cover life jacket sizing and use, what to do in emergencies, boat handling, knot tying, visual distress signals, and other general boating safety information. The park is located at 4250 Parkway Dr. in Waterford in Oakland County. For details or to register, call the park, 248-682-7323.
Disc Golf 101
An Intro to Disc Golf clinic from 1 to 4 p.m. Friday, Aug. 19, at Newaygo State Park, 2793 Beech St. in Newaygo in Newaygo County will provide an overview of the rules of the game and instruction into the basic skills necessary to play. After receiving instructions on a variety of putting and throwing techniques, participants will be paired with an experienced player and compete in a round of doubles on the course. For details, call the park at 231-856-4452.
Fishing 101 at Dodge #4 State Park
Two Fishing 101 programs are scheduled for Dodge #4 State Park in August. Learn the basics of fishing during a class from 5 to 8 p.m. Friday, Aug. 12, at the park's fishing dock. The course will be offered again from 5 to 8 p.m. on Tuesday, Aug. 23. The park is at 4250 Parkway Dr. in Waterford in Oakland County. For details, call the park at 248-682-7323.
Fishing 101 at Interlochen State Park
John Griffin will offer the basics of fishing at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Interlochen State Park, located on M-137 in Interlochen in Grand Traverse County. Griffin will explain the different types of tackle, lures, baits, suggest where to fish, and how to clean and cook your catch. Participants may bring their own equipment and, if they have one, their own boat. Fishing rods will be provided if needed. Instruction should last about an hour, followed by a fish fry and, of course, fishing. For details, call the park at 231-386-5422.
Fishing 101 at Mitchell State Park
Mitchell State Park Interpreter Ed Shaw will offer several Fishing 101 classes during August. Shaw will teach participants how to rig and use different lures, tie a variety of fishing knots to hooks, and identify minnows to purchase and use for fishing. Classes will take place from 10 a.m. to noon on Sunday, Aug. 7, and from 1-3 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 4, 11, 18 and 25 at the park, 6093 M-115 in Cadillac in Wexford County. The class can be taken alone or with friends or family. The class meets at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center. All equipment will be provided. Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by a parent. To register, call the park at 231-775-7911.
Learn what may or may not be a good food source in the wilderness. Representatives from Wild West Michigan will offer a free introduction to foraging from noon to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 6, at Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 2104 S. Briggs Rd. in Middleville in Barry County. Guides will focus on introducing participants to edible plants such as berries, fruit and nuts. Bring a pair of hiking shoes and insect spray. Meet up at 10060 Gun Lake Rd. Pre-registration is recommended. To register, call 269-795-9081.
Great Lakes and Inland Kayak Safety 101
Learn the basics in kayak design, equipment and safety considerations when venturing out on the water during a free, in-depth training session from 4 to 8 p.m. Thursday, Aug. 11, at Straits State Park, 720 Church St., St. Ignace in Mackinac County. Sessions led by certified kayak instructors from Woods & Water Ecotours include on-land training from 4 to 5:30 p.m., and on-water demonstrations from 6 to 8:30 p.m. Class size for the on-land portion is unlimited and does not require an RSVP. Class size is limited for the on-water portion and reservations are required. For reservations, call 906-484-4157. For details call the park at 906-643-8620.
On Saturday, Aug. 13, join in an easy stroll through the lowland trails of the North Unit of Bald Mountain Recreation Area, 1330 E. Greenshield Rd. in Lake Orion in Oakland County. Nature subjects will be discussed along the way as well as hiking safety. For details including time, call the recreation area at 248-693-6767.
Kayaking 101 at Baraga State Park
Steve Koski, owner of Indian Country Sports, will be at Baraga State Park from 9 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Aug. 6, to offer the basics of kayaking. Learn the different types of kayaks and try out kayaking on Keewenaw Bay. The park is located at 1300 US-41 South in Baraga in Baraga County. For details, call the park at 906-353-6558.
Kayaking 101 at Mitchell State Park
DNR Park Interpreter Ed Shaw will present the ins and outs of kayaking safety during four Kayaking 101 courses being offered from noon to 3 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 7, 14, 21, and 28 at the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center at Mitchell State Park, 6093 M-115 in Cadillac in Wexford County. Learn the difference between kayaks, the different paddle strokes, and how to move your kayak sideways, how to stop your kayak and what to do if your kayak rolls. Participants will take a tour of one of the lakes. All equipment will be provided. Children under 10 years old should be accompanied by an adult. For details, call the park at 231-775-7911.
Kayaking 101 at Tippy Dam Recreation Area
Ryan Baldwin of Manistee Paddlesport Adventures will offer a Kayaking 101 class starting at 4 p.m., Saturday, Aug. 20, at the Tippy Dam Recreation Area, 1500 Dilling Rd. in Brethren in Manistee County. Baldwin will offer basic instructions in how to paddle, steer, turn and exit a kayak. Participants should bring a swimsuit. The class is expected to take two hours and will take place in the backwaters behind the dam. For details, call the recreation area at 231-848-4880.
Kite Making 101
Mike and Susan Castor of Air Fun Kites will show kids of all ages how to build and decorate a simple sled kite and fly it on the beach. The Castors will be at Charles Mears State Park Beach Pavilion on West Lowell Street in Pentwater in Oceana County, at 7 p.m. Monday, Aug. 8 and Aug. 22. To register, call the park, 231-869-2051.
The Castors will also offer the same class at 7 p.m., Monday, Aug. 1 and Aug. 15, at Ludington State Park, 8800 W. M-116 in Ludington in Mason County. To register, call the park at 231-843-2423.
Model Airplane Flight 101
Members of the Holly Cloudhoppers Model Airplane Club will hold an open house on Saturday, Aug. 6, at Holly Recreation Area, 8100 Grange Hall Rd. in Holly in Oakland County. For details, including time, call the recreation area at 248-634-8811.
Representatives from Apex Outdoor Gear will offer a free introduction to orienteering from 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Aug. 6, at Yankee Springs Recreation Area, 2104 S. Briggs Rd. in Middleville in Barry County. Master the use of a map and compass to navigate through a designated course with checkpoints. Bring hiking footwear, insect spray, a compass (some will be provided), water, snacks, as well as long pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Meet at 10060 Gun Lake Rd. near the corner of Hastings Point Road and Gun Lake Road. Pre-registration is recommended. To register, call 269-795-9081.
Outdoor Photography 101
Photographer Mark Hicks will be at Highland Recreation Area from 3 to 7 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 3, to offer tips on how to capture those great outdoor shots. The program will offer hands-on techniques and live demonstrations. The class will meet at the Lakeside Picnic area in the park, 5200 Highland Rd. in White Lake in Oakland County. For details, call the recreation area at 248-889-3750.
Snorkeling provides incredible vantage views of lakes and oceans, some of nature's most marvelous realms. Visit Holland State Park, 2215 Ottawa Beach Rd. in Holland in Ottawa County for Snorkeling 101 at 10 a.m. Monday, Aug. 15. Equipment will be available, but bring any wet suits, swim fins or masks you may have, as well as a bag lunch. Pre-registration is recommended. For details, call the park at 616-399-9390.
Barbara Sims of Storybook Village will demonstrate storytelling techniques using puppets during Storytelling 101 set to take place at 6:30 p.m., Friday, Aug. 19, at Charles Mears State Park's Friendship Circle. Allen Hunt, an Eagle Scout and a student at the University of Michigan-Flint, will tell African stories. Mears State Park is on West Lowell Street in Pentwater in Oceana County. For details or to register, call the park at 231-843-2423.
Get on board the exciting sport of windsurfing presented by Great Lakes Demo Tour. Instruction and gear will be provided at the following locations:
Aug. 9-10, Aloha State Park, 4347 Third St., Cheboygan (Cheboygan County). For details, call the park at 231-625-2522.
Aug. 16-17, Petoskey State Park, 2475 Highway M-119, Petoskey (Emmet County). For details, call the park at 231-347-2311.
The Recreation 101 programs are free of charge, however, a Recreation Passport is required for vehicles entering the parks. The Recreation Passport has replaced motor vehicle permits for entry into Michigan state parks, recreation areas and state-administered boating access fee sites. This new way to fund Michigan's outdoor recreation opportunities also helps to preserve state forest campgrounds, trails and historic and cultural sites in state parks, and provides park development grants to local communities.
Michigan residents can purchase the Recreation Passport ($10 for motor vehicles; $5 for motorcycles) by checking "YES" on their license plate renewal forms, or at any state park or recreation area. To learn more about the Recreation Passport, visit www.michigan.gov/recreationpassport or call 517-241-7275.
Non-resident motor vehicles must still display a valid non-resident Recreation Passport ($29 annual; $8 daily) to enter a Michigan state park, recreation area or state-administered boating access fee site, which can be purchased at any state park or recreation area, or through the Michigan e-Store at www.michigan.gov/estore.
The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state's natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.