Strong Day 1 helps Shrimpboat take Offshore Challenge title

A little luck on Saturday morning went a long ways for captain Bob Swantek and the crew aboard Shrimpboat. Swantek and his fellow anglers caught several big king salmon early Saturday morning, and they rode that momentum all the way to victory in the Grand Haven Offshore Challenge fishing tournament, which wrapped up on Sunday.
Matt DeYoung
Jun 6, 2011

“We got lucky the first day,” said Swantek, who lives in Grand Rapids but operates his charter services out of Chinook Pier in Grand Haven. “We banged some nice fish right off the bat, and that gave us a pretty good cushion after the first day.”

Shrimpboat’s Day 1 catch totaled a tournament-high 92.05 pounds, 18 pounds better than the next-closest competitor. That total was helped by the biggest lake trout weighed in by a pro boat, a 11.5-pounder.

Going into Sunday’s second day of fishing, the tournament was Shrimpboat’s to win or lose.

“It’s scary,” Swantek said. “It’s the hardest position to hold. I’ve been there before and it didn’t work out like it did today. We came in second 4-5 years ago, when we lost out by one-hundredth of a pound. That was brutal.”

There were no close calls on Sunday. Shrimpboat again caught its limit of 12 fish, which weighed in 76.85 pounds of fish. Only Grand Haven’s Ken Melvin and his crew aboard Tammy Too (83.7) and Winn N Angel out of St. Joseph (78.35) brought in bigger catches.

Shrimpboat’s total of 408.9 points easily outdistanced Sportsmen, a boat out of Pentwater that finished with 369.6 points. Reel Action, captained by Mark Veurink, placed third at 351.75, followed by Winn N Angel (335.7), Hitman (322.45) and Tammy Too (318.6).

To read more of this story, see today's print edition of the Grand Haven Tribune.

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