Kyle Chouinard shows off his tagged bass he caught in Houghton Lake while pre-fishing for a tournament.
Kyle Chouinard shows off his tagged bass he caught in Houghton Lake while pre-fishing for a tournament.

Anglers land tagged fish in contest

HOUGHTON LAKE—Three tagged fish have been caught so far this year in the Houghton Lake Ara Tourism Bureau’s “Catch me if you can” contest.

In March, when the Covid 19 crisis first shut everything down, Gary Newman was ice fishing on Higgins Lake. Newman, of Stanton, had caught a couple of pike before hooking his 35” Lake Trout. While taking pictures of the fish, he noticed the tag.

In 2008, Dan Browder of Jackson won first prize in the Houghton Lake Area Tourism Bureau’s Catch Us If You Can fishing contest. In April 2021 he has a chance to repeat that feat.

Browder was fishing Higgins Lake June 18 when he caught a tagged lake trout measuring 28” and weighing 8 pounds, 7 ounces.

While Metamora angler Kyle Chouinard didn’t win the Michigan BASS National Youth Division – High School Tournament Trail #3 in Houghton Lake in July, he did come home with a prize from the Houghton Lake Area Tourism Bureau’s 2020-2021 Catch Us If You Can fishing contest, and an opportunity to win additional prizes.

While pre-fishing July 17 for the tournament, Chouinard caught a 16”, 2-pound tagged bass which he released. His catch was verified at contest sponsor Lyman’s on the Lake.

Kyle didn’t notice the tag on the fish, his dad did. Luckily, they took a photo of the fish and tag before releasing it. Afterwards, Kyle’s fishing partner was talking with a local who told him about the contest. The photo was enough proof to become verified for the contest.

Each was given a $50 gas card for bringing the tag in and is now a contestant in April 2021 grand prize drawing at Spicer’s Boat City. The grand prize for adult anglers is $100,000 and Lund boat from Spicer’s. There is a guaranteed major prize of $1000 cash.

The second-place prize is a Mark Martin Ice Fishing School valued at $500.

Youth anglers (17 and under) catching a tagged fish are eligible to win a $250 cash prize and a new kayak.

More than 100 tagged fish are swimming in Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, and Lake St. Helen. Anglers can bring their tagged fish in for verification at Lyman’s on the Lake in Houghton Lake, Korbinski’s Marine in Prudenville; or Trail’s End Motel in St. Helen.

The contest is year-around, ending on March 15 each year, and beginning again March 16. For more information call 989-422-2002 or email Contest rules are found on


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