Team Fishnet wins Ladies Classic ’14

ALPENA – Team Fishnet of Alpena won the 23rd Annual Jack Daniels Ladies Classic as a family event on Thursday with a total weight of 45 pounds.

After placing third at last year’s event, team captain Jamie Smigelski and teammates Kate Dupuis and Sarah Dupuis shouted in excitement as their names were announced as this year’s winners.

“The weather was great and they are an awesome team to be with,” Capt. Phil Smigelski said.

Kate Dupuis said the team is all about family, and even their sponsor, Jimmie Garant’s Party Store, is part of the family and this year’s victory.

Prior to the weigh-in, spectator Dan Hudnut predicted that lake trout would be the main fish brought in.

“That’s what gets big so that’s what (the women) will go with,” he said.

Hudnut was right on target. While years back the fish brought in were mainly salmon, lake trout have increased in numbers.

“Most will have a fin clip,” Hudnut said of the salmon.

This is due to many of the fish having been planted into the lake.

The largest fish of the day, a 15.45 pound lake trout, was brought in by the third place team led by team captain Ashley Werda.

Team Captain Cherokee Hubert said it was a great fishing day and her team had fun.

“We kept throwing fish back in and were waiting all afternoon for the last big one,” she continued. “If we got it we could have won.”

Doug Niergarth, tournament vice president, said it has been many years since the Ladies Classic had a good fishing day.

This year resulted in 20 coolers being brought in out of 24 boats that were in the water.