WOODS and WATER: Salmon fishing with family

Terri Legg, at left, with her father, Tim Wenzlick, salmon fishing in Traverse City.

By Terri Legg

Special to The Daily News

With the water as still as glass, a slight breeze brushing my face making it feel as though fall is fast approaching, I sit in the Daydreamer Charter boat with much anticipation waiting for the magic words  — “FISH ON!”

I am the luckiest mom ever to spend a day with my three favorite men — my dad and sons, Cameron, 17, and Ben, 13, all avid fishermen. I booked the trip as a gift for them hoping to experience pure joy on their faces, create memories, and catch salmon which is a first for the boys and me.

My family and I went salmon fishing on East Bay in Traverse City Sept. 7 and it was worth every hard-earned penny.

It was my first experience as well as Ben’s. Cameron went charter fishing for trout once.

Cameron Legg with his successful catch during his family’s salmon fishing trip in Traverse City.

Cameron, my dad and I all secretly agreed that Ben was the first to grab a pole. I put all my faith into our boat’s captain, Ben Orr — yes, there were two Bens on our boat — to lead us to the mother load.

In just 10 minutes, magic happened — “FISH ON!”

Our boat was sent into a whirlwind of excitement.

With mobile camera phones in hand to capture every moment, dad, Cameron, Captain Ben and I cheered and encouraged Ben as he landed that first fish – a pretty looker at 11 pounds.

Cameron won the lotto with a fighter. He fought and reeled and reeled more. His line would zing as that mad fish pulled out more line. The scene repeated over and over.

Breaking the water’s surface and clearing the water surface of about four feet and landing with a crash caused us all to erupt in cheers. Cameron landed a 17-pounder. He could not have been more proud.

More great excitement occurred in our boat when dad and I both had a fish on at the same time. I, personally, enjoyed this moment greatly as we fought our fish side by side. Dad’s fish was a tiny guy, but, hey, they all taste the same, right?

All in all, we landed five out of the seven fish that we hooked. Thankfully, Captain Ben is gifted with lightning speed, the art of untangling lines and netting trophies.

Getting outside and breathing fresh air is always good for my soul, but it doesn’t compare to a day of cheering and supporting my boys, who got to experience nature and the sport of fishing with their grandfather and mother.

13-year-old Ben Legg and his grandfather, Tim Wenzlick, with a fresh catch.

By the way, not to brag (O.K., I’m bragging), I landed the biggest salmon, which weighed in at almost 23 pounds. That’s right, boys, your mama can fish, and for once I didn’t land the smallest one.

All and all, the trip was a great success and I can easily say I am “hooked” on the sport of salmon fishing. The only question that remains from this wonderful experience is, “When’s the next trip?”

Terri Legg is a Belding resident and mother of four children — Cameron, Ben, Molly and Kate. She is an avid believer that the more kids are outdoors, the better stewards they will be to the land and better citizens of the world. Terri earned her bachelor of arts degree from Davenport University and works at Ross Medical Education as a career coordinator.

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