CADILLAC – The beauty of many of the outdoor activities available in Northern Michigan is that they can be enjoyed by anyone, regardless of skill level or underlying technical knowledge.
For those who wish to gain a little of both, however, the Carl T. Johnson Hunting and Fishing Center in Cadillac West is ready to serve.
Mitchell State Park interpreter Ed Shaw said the center will host a number of Outdoor Skills Academy classes during the winter and spring months.
The center will host a hard water school (ice fishing) on March 5 and 6, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 9 a.m. to noon, respectively.
Learn to ice fish from the pros in this two-day course covering everything including how to set up equipment, how and where to fish, when to go out on the ice, ice safety, rules and regulations. The focus of this course will be on pot, walleye and pike fishing techniques.
“We’ll spend the first day getting ready, rigging rods and teaching you what you need to know about ice this year,” reads a course description on Carl T. Johnson’s website. “The second day will be optional and we will spend the day fishing. There will be a heated hut, augers and a few huts (available on a first-come, first-served basis), but we encourage you to bring your own gear if possible. We also encourage the whole family to come.
The cost is $40, which includes one-on-one instruction from a pro, lunch, bait, and a goody bag.
On March 19 and 20, Steelhead clinics will be held at the center from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday and 8 a.m. to noon Sunday.
The professional staff of the Outdoor Skills Academy will present various strategies and techniques for hunting Michigan’s “chrome torpedoes”. Feel free to bring your own gear, if possible, or if you’re new to steelheading, some gear is available on a first-come, first-served basis. Sunday morning the class will get in the water and demonstrate how to fish and what to look for on the Manistee River.
The cost of the course is $30, which includes lunch on Saturday. Participation is limited to 30 students. The clinic will be held a second time on April 2 and 3.
Also in April, the center will host a walleye clinic.
On April 9 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Professional Walleye Tournament Angler Dan Miller and Professional Angler Randy Cornell will go through the A-Z of walleye fishing in this class on how Professional Outdoor Employees Skills Academy, Pure Fishing Pros, and others hang around. walleye trophy hunting day.
This course will cover seasonal activities, how to set up your boat and more. Department of Natural Resources staff will be on hand to cover all rules and answer questions about regulations. Plus, tips from a master taxidermist on how to care for your trophy fish when you catch it and want to bring it up.
The cost of the course is $35, which includes lunch and lessons.
On April 10 starting at 10 a.m., the center will host a wild mushroom clinic.
Join outdoor enthusiasts Jill and Aaron Grenchik as they explain how to identify a variety of wild edible Michigan mushrooms and share some tips on where to start looking. Additionally, you will learn proper handling techniques for transport, cleaning, consumption (including some sampling), and home storage.
The cost of this course is $40 and will include lunch. The course will take place again on May 29.
On April 23 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., experts will present a turkey hunting clinic.
Learn how to hunt turkeys in this course, which will cover law, habitat, equipment, calling and more. Students will walk away with the knowledge they need to hunt turkeys on their own. The course will include indoor and outdoor sessions. Dress according to the weather.
The cost of the course is $30, which includes lunch and door prizes.
On May 28 and 29, the center will close the spring with a fly fishing clinic for beginners.
From 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on both days, the course will cover the basics of fly fishing, including demonstrations and instruction for various fly castings and instructions on selecting flies based on target species. The classroom session will last from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and after that the class will move outside the canal for the practical part of the class. Sunday’s class will be on the Manistee River below the Tippy Dam.
The cost for the class is $40.
To enroll in one of these courses, go to Michigan.gov/DNRLicenses and click the “Buy a License” button. Log in (using username and password or your username and date of birth) and find the course under the Outdoor Skills Academy tab.
For more information, contact Shaw at (231) 779-1321 or ShawE@Michigan.gov.