Manistee’s Annual Tight Lines for Troops Event

The 4th Annual Tight Lines for Troops event is happening in Manistee, Michigan on May 18th. Today, guest blogger Maralee Cook fills us in on what the day will entail.

Veterans from 165 communities across the state of Michigan will have the opportunity to land a record catch during Manistee’s 4th Annual Tight Lines for Troops on Armed Forces Day, May 18. Take part in saluting them as they return to port, as well as enjoying a day of special events in downtown Manistee.

Sixty private and charter boat captains will donate their boats, crew and time to host 240 Vets for a day of fishing on Lake Michigan.  Manistee County’s Explore the Shores program makes many of the fishing piers, beaches and the city’s Riverwalk universally accessible as well, for those additional 60 Vets who fish the Shore Division. Veterans of WWII, Korea, Vietnam, Panama, the Cold War, plus Vets from conflicts in Bosnia, Kosovo and Somalia, Iraq and Afghanistan are expected to join in the fun. 

The boats, crew and Vets will head out on Lake Michigan from the Manistee River basin at dawn.  While the Vets are fishing, downtown shopkeepers and business people will host a variety of activities and specials for the Vets’ families, including the Farmers Market, entertainment, SOS Cook-Off, Customs ‘N Classics Car Show, Art of the Military Art Exhibit, and more.  At noon the fishing teams will return to the channel to make the two-mile trip upriver to Seng’s Marina on Manistee Lake, saluted by the welcoming cheers of thousands of flag-waving onlookers from the piers, Riverwalk and drawbridges. 

Charter boat captain and event founder Bob Guenthardt, with the help of Manistee’s Little River Casino Resort, created Tight Lines for Troops to produce an event that would show appreciation and offer an entertaining day of fishing, fish tales and life stories.  Manistee area boat captains and crews also have the chance to share their passion for fishing Lake Michigan’s premier fishing destination with Vets who might not otherwise have the opportunity to enjoy the experience.

Over 500 sponsors and volunteers contribute to the success of the program. Veterans pay no charter fees or entry fees. Residual proceeds from donations benefit the Michigan Paralyzed Veterans of America, the Manistee County Veterans Endowment Fund and the Veterans Program at Brain Injury Association of Michigan.  For more information, call the Manistee County Visitors Bureau at 877.626.4783 or visit

Maralee Cook is a freelance writer living in Manistee, Michigan.

Fall Colors in Manistee County Have Peaked!

Fall colors in areas across Michigan have begun to peak, and Manistee County is no exception! Today, guest blogger Maralee Cook, a Manistee resident, fills us in on how you can still enjoy fall in its prime during a visit to her hometown.

Manistee County’s gloriously hot and sunny summer has become a brilliant, colorful autumn.  The Great Lake Michigan is a deeper blue, the air is cool and crisp, and from the Manistee Pierhead light you can see north up the coast to Frankfort and south to the Point Sable Light.  The trees are topped with leaves in hues you find on an artist’s palette:  lemon yellow, gamboge, scarlet, vermilion, crimson, burnt sienna and more.  They line the shores of Lake Michigan, the banks of over 270 miles of county rivers, and highways and back roads that carry us past miles of charming towns, farmland and orchards on gently rolling hills.  Farm markets and Manistee’s Saturday Farmer’s Market offer bushel baskets overflowing with fall fruits and vegetables.  Colorful mums and bright orange pumpkins wait by the hundreds to come home with you and decorate your front porch for Halloween.  Come for an autumn drive, bike ride, canoe trip or to play golf or fish.  And there are lots of festivals and events during the rest of October, to round out your stay. 

Check out with paper and pencil in hand, ready to mark on your calendar some of our special events.

  • West Michigan Juried Art Show at Hardy Hall in Manistee’s Ramsdell Theatre through Oct. 21.
  • “25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee” performed at the Ramsdell Theatre through Oct. 21
  • Josh White Jr. live at the Ramsdell Theatre Oct. 26
  • Metropolitan Opera’s performance live in HD of Verdi’s “Otello” Oct. 27 at the Ramsdell Theatre
  • Manistee’s Ghost Ship each weekend in October
  • Scarecrow conventions in Onekama and Arcadia all month
  • Twisted Trails Off Road Park Pumpkin Run and Team Kamikaze
  • Salmon running at the Little Manistee River Weir
  • Fishing continues (always!) in the rivers and lakes

Maralee Cook is a freelance writer living in Manistee, Michigan.

Have you visited Manistee County this year? Share with us in the comments section below!