Fishing and Michigan’s Great Lakes are an inseparable combination. The joy of sitting on the lake with a pole in hand is a memory many Michiganders can share. Maybe it’s one of your first fishing trips as a child or a more recent one when you caught the biggest fish EVER! Whatever the story might be, the sport of fishing has a home in everyone’s heart.
Personally, I am not a fisherman, though I do have many memories of it. I don’t have the patience for it or want to get up at the wee hours to sit in the cold on a boat waiting for a fish to bite. Maybe it’s the loss of control that gets me? My first memory of fishing was at a community fishing day on a local pond. They would throw a bunch of fish into this small body of water and have everyone attempt to get the biggest one. I never caught a fish. It seemed like such a frustrating sport. “I can’t win at this!” I would whisper to my father as he smiled and sipped on some pop. I guess you could say the stars never aligned for me.
My father enjoys fishing. Not in the sense that he had to have all the newest tech gear or was the one who knew ever fish that their particulars. He was the guy who just enjoyed fishing, the connection to nature and her beauty and probably the “goddamn peace and quiet” this sport required. I remember when we would go to our cottage, he would head to Bear Lake to fish. The night before he would pack the gear with a huge grin on his face. The same look of a child knowing that tomorrow would be Christmas. The next morning, at an ungodly hour, he would sneak out of the house, grab the family dog, tow his metal pop can of a boat to the lake, and wait. Very rarely would he bring home anything but the satisfaction of sitting on the lake all morning with his favorite child, the dog, was enough to keep him going back time and time again.
These are the memories Tim Allen tries to transcend in the Pure Michigan commercials. The smile that comes to everyone’s face when they think of a pole in your hand and the soft waves of the water. For me, this is Northern Michigan, fishing memories.