2013-05-02 / Front Page

Smith wins $1,000 ‘Catch Us’ prize

By Cheryl Holladay


$1,000 WINNER Mark Smith of St. Helen (left) drew a $1,000 prize ($500 in cash and $500 in prizes) in the seventh annual Catch Us If You Can fishing contest April 27 at Spicer’s Boat City. Also pictured is Houghton Lake Area Tourism Bureau Vice-president Dave Clouse. (CHP) $1,000 WINNER Mark Smith of St. Helen (left) drew a $1,000 prize ($500 in cash and $500 in prizes) in the seventh annual Catch Us If You Can fishing contest April 27 at Spicer’s Boat City. Also pictured is Houghton Lake Area Tourism Bureau Vice-president Dave Clouse. (CHP) There may not have been a $100,000 winner at the Catch Us If You Can drawing at Spicer’s Boat City April 27, but finalist Mark Smith of St. Helen seemed pleased with the $1,000 award in cash and prizes he won after catching a tagged fish in the contest last year.

Smith, along with Daniel Carnell, also of St. Helen, and Steven Miles of Houghton Lake, were the three finalists in the drawing, having caught fish tagged by the Houghton Lake Area Tourism Bureau.

Smith had caught a bluegill June 20, 2012, in Lake St. Helen while fishing with his wife, Ellen.

“It was keeper size,” he said of his catch. “We were catching so many. We were just trying to keep count.”


THREE FINALISTS Houghton Lake Area Tourism Board members (front, left to right) Director Sandy Arendt, Director Christina Pinch-Rubino and Vice-president Dave Clouse, pause for a moment with Catch Us If You Can finalists (back row, left to right) Mark Smith of St. Helen, who caught a bluegill in Lake St. Helen in June, 2012, Steven Miles of Houghton Lake, who caught a 17-inch walleye in Houghton Lake in January of this year, and Daniel Carnell of St. Helen, who caught a 9-inch perch in Lake St. Helen July 4, 2012. The specially-tagged fish qualified the anglers for the HLATB drawing. Not pictured are HLATB President Matt Grover and Treasurer Anita Shepherd. (CHP) THREE FINALISTS Houghton Lake Area Tourism Board members (front, left to right) Director Sandy Arendt, Director Christina Pinch-Rubino and Vice-president Dave Clouse, pause for a moment with Catch Us If You Can finalists (back row, left to right) Mark Smith of St. Helen, who caught a bluegill in Lake St. Helen in June, 2012, Steven Miles of Houghton Lake, who caught a 17-inch walleye in Houghton Lake in January of this year, and Daniel Carnell of St. Helen, who caught a 9-inch perch in Lake St. Helen July 4, 2012. The specially-tagged fish qualified the anglers for the HLATB drawing. Not pictured are HLATB President Matt Grover and Treasurer Anita Shepherd. (CHP) Smith said he discovered the tag when he went to fillet the fish.

Carnell caught a 9-inch perch in Lake St. Helen July 4, 2012, while fishing with his friend, Don Thompson.

“It was 90 degrees out and I was headed back toward the dock,” he said.

Before the drawing Saturday, Carnell said if he were to win any money, he would “probably go out to dinner first” and then “buy more fishing gear.”

Miles said he was fishing with his cousin, Scott Miles, in the East Bay of Houghton Lake when he caught his tagged fish. He said if he were to win the big prize, he would split the use of the Smokercraft boat (part of the $100,000 package) with his uncle, Gary Johnston, and split the money with his cousin.

“There’d be enough left for that [fishing gear]!,” Miles said.

Overseeing the seventh annual drawing – held promptly at 2 p.m. – HLATB Vice-president Dave Clouse had the three men draw keys from a hat, one of which opened a “treasure chest” drawing barrel.

Smith was the first to try his key and when it opened the door, the other men knew they would not be winning a big prize. Smith then pulled one of 20 envelopes in hopes it contained a $100,000 prize notification. If that had been the case, he would have needed to pull another one. As it was, the first envelope contained the $1,000 prize.

“I’m kind of overwhelmed right now,” Smith said.

He thought about how he could get his prize past his wife when he got home. That might be a difficult task, as he won not only $500 in cash, but $500 worth of prizes and was given a large commemorative check to take with him.

The prizes included a Shell gift card, Lakeland Recreation passes, a one-night stay at the Super 8 Hotel, an Arnie’s custom license plate, dinner at the Springbrook Inn’s East Bay Grill, a one-year subscription for the Resorter and a certificate for a one-night stay and meal at the Riviera Resort, Restaurant and Lounge.

Major sponsors of the contest were the bureau, Spicer’s and Lyman’s on the Lake. Other sponsors were Arnie’s Arts and Crafts, Bart’s Fruit Market, Beachfront Hotel, Lakeland Recreation, Lee’s South Shore Resort, Northwestern Bank, Poplars Resort and Campground, Reflections on the Lake and Sands Beachfront Resort.

Carnell and Miles were awarded consolation prizes from the HLATB, the Riviera Resort, Restaurant and Lounge and Super 8 Motel.

In addition, donations were provided for a “freebie” table, children’s games and prize giveaways from the Roscommon County Sheriff’s Posse, McDonald’s and Big Boy of Houghton Lake.

HLATB Office Coordinator Adele Woskobojnik, Directors Christina Pinch- Rubino and Sandy Arendt were also in attendance. President Matt Grover and Treasurer Anita Shepherd could not attend.

Miles said he planned on going fishing again right away.

“I’m glad for him,” he said of Smith. “It’s pretty neat.”

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