ALPENA, MI – It’s summertime in Alpena which means it’s time for the 49th Annual Michigan Brown Trout Festival. Anglers from all over are heading for Alpena’s waters to compete in some of the festival’s many tournaments which begin on Saturday, July 15.
The Thunder Bay Bass Classic is the first tournament to start on Brown Trout’s jam-packed schedule. As anglers prepare for their respective tournaments, one question tends to linger on everyone’s mind… How is the water looking? Tournament director Brad MacNeill is the man who tends to have all the answers on all things fishing. “The fishing has been really good here for the last two months,” he said. “If that holds for the week, we’ll be good.”
Everyone seems to have their eyes peeled on one $4,000 catch which has been named “Big Brownie”. The fish was planted earlier in the week, and has only been caught once in 2017 by one lucky angler. “Hopefully this year we can see another one caught,” he said. “If nobody catches Brownie, we will just make it a progressive pot.”
Another question that tournament competitors may have relates to the weather. MacNeill hopes for clear skies but is ultimately prepared for any weather delays to come. “We would definitely postpone,” he said. “I like to give at least six hours of fishing to consider it a tournament.”
You can expect to see some tough competition at this year’s festival. Anglers are ready to hit the water, catch big and have a good time. “It’s not so much the money,” he said. “Everybody wants the bragging rights of catching Big Brownie or the largest of the tournament.”
The 49th Annual Brown Trout Festival’s tournament schedule kicks off on July 15 and wraps up on July 23.