Archives for October 2014

Pingree statue Grand Circus Park, Detroit, Michigan

According to his statue in Grand Circus Park in Detroit, Michigan, Hazen S. Pingree is the Idol of the People with a long political career. He served as Mayor of Detroit from 1889-1897 and as Governor of Michigan from 1897-1901. If Pingree had had his way, however, none of that would have happened. When approached with the Republican nomination for Mayor of Detroit, Pingree said, “Mayor? Why?” He claimed to be “too busy making shoes” to know anything about politics.

Hazen Pingree in a photo patch, circa 1893-1894

Hazen Pingree in a photo patch, circa 1893-1894

Humble Beginnings

Hazen Pingree was born on August 30, 1840 in Denmark, Maine. He worked for shoemakers in Maine and then Massachusetts until he enlisted in the First Massachusetts Heavy Artillery following the First Battle of Bull Run in 1861. Pingree heard about the business opportunities available in Detroit from homesick Michiganders while imprisoned in Andersonville. Following the end of the war, he moved to Detroit, and in 1866, he formed the Pingree and Smith Shoe Company. Pingree and Smith became the second largest shoe manufacturer in the United States by 1886.

Pingree’s Political Career

Pingree was a successful businessman but not politically active until his friends in the Republican Party nominated him for mayor in 1889. He initially turned down the nomination. However, he was convinced by former Governor John Bagley to run, and he won. Pingree’s popularity continued to grow, and he was reelected as mayor three times. As mayor, he fought corruption and monopolies, and helped the poor during the 1893 depression. He initiated public works programs similar to the Works Progress Administration and the Civilian Conservation Corps that were formed during the Great Depression over thirty years later. One such program, known as the Potato Patch Plan, allowed poor people to grow crops on vacant land and gained Pingree the nickname “Potato Patch Pingree.” While campaigning for one of his many reelection campaigns, he had a potato flask made either for himself or one of his supporters, as a play on his nickname.

In 1897, while still mayor, Pingree was elected governor and intended to hold both offices simultaneously. The Michigan Supreme Court, however, ruled against him and he resigned as mayor.

Death of an Idol

After two terms Pingree left office and traveled to Africa for a safari and to study the Boer War. He fell sick and died in London before he could return home. Twenty-five thousand people attended his funeral in Detroit, and the aforementioned Pingree statue in Grand Circus Park was dedicated three years later. To many of his contemporaries, this early Progressive reformer was indeed an “idol of the people.”

2015 Lake Erie Perch Fishing Forecast

Jeff Tyson, head of Lake Erie fisheries management for the Ohio Division of Wildlife stated –

“This year’s Western Basin perch hatch is the fourth best since we began keeping records in 1987.”  With two back-to-back good perch hatches, the perch fishing should keep getting better over the  next couple of years.”

Lake Erie perch fishing charter trip

Lake Erie perch fishing

There were lots of yellow perch being caught during the 2014 season, but most were on the small size. With another year of growth on them, the 2015 season should be a successful one for anglers in the Western Basin of Lake Erie.

Lake Erie has successful 2014 walleye hatch

Walleye fishing Lake Erie Monroe, Michigan

Lake Erie Walleye fishing charter

2014 Lake Erie walleye hatch was the best in the last four years according to the Ohio DNR.

“I’d rate this year’s walleye hatch as pretty decent,” said Jeff Tyson, head of Lake Erie fisheries management for the ODOW. “Ontario is completing their surveys, and they’ve had pretty decent reports of walleye, as well.”

Trawl nets are used to collect small 3- to 4-inch walleye that had hatched during the spawning season March and April. The young walleye initially feed on plankton, switching to small fish as they grow larger.

Tyson emphasized this year’s hatch couldn’t come close to the amazing walleye reproduction in 2003, which still drives Ohio’s sport fishing on Lake Erie. The monstrous 2003 hatch pushed the lake-wide walleye population over the 100 million mark. The walleye population estimate last spring was about 20 million walleye.

This year’s walleye hatch was similar to 2010 and 2007, said Tyson. A steady string of decent hatches in recent years has resulted in a broad range of ages and sizes making up the Lake Erie walleye population.


Lake Erie Perch Fishing Report 10-16-2014 Monroe Michigan

Perch fishing has been good around Stoney Point in 25 ft of water with some really nice fish. The trick is finding them! One day you catch them, then go back to the same area and they are gone only to be found again a 1/2 mile away. Up off the Raisin River has been holding it’s own as far as catch rates. Turtle Island in about 13 ft of water has been a sure bet to fill the cooler but your going to deal with lots and I mean lots of 6 and 7 inch perch. I’ve caught some true Jumbo Perch in the dumping grounds, the problem is you will only catch from 12 to 20 – then it’s back to the 6 in fish or they just quit biting.

Lake Erie Perch Stray Cat Charter Fishing Monroe Michigan

Trevor with a Lake Erie perch caught aboard the Stray Cat, Monroe Michigan