Weiler runs fishing charters
BY DALE BALL SPORTS EDITOR
Terry Weiler (above) holds up a steelhead taken from the Manistee River during one of his charter fishing expeditions. Below is “No Problem”, the 18-foot Rivermaster sled Weiler pilots for customers during the fall spawning season. The former Sandusky man and his charter business will be featured in an upcoming TV segment on Michigan Out-of-Doors. Terry Weiler’s interest in the outdoors, starting in his childhood in the Sandusky area, has turned into a part-time business. Now, the 1980 Sandusky High School grad, will be featured on a segment of Michigan Out-of-Doors.
Weiler, who went on to graduate from Ferris State University in Big Rapids, remained in the western part of the state and currently is a purchasing agent for Spectrum Health in Grand Rapids. Just over 16 years ago, though, Weiler decided to take his interest in fishing to a part-time job.
As owner of 5-19 At Ease River Charters, Weiler, a licensed captain and a registered guide, has many days in the month of September booked for salmon and steelhead fishing on the Manistee and Muskegon Rivers. He also does fishing excursion, on weekends, for steelhead all the way from mid-October until mid-April. Terry is the son of Joe and Judy Weiler of Sandusky. Joe retired is retired as the administrator at McKenzie Memorial Hospital in Sandusky.
His success as a charter fishing business gained the attention of the producers of the Michigan Out-of-Doors television program, which airs on PBS channels statewide. Host Jimmy Gretzinger grabbed his camera and filmed a segment with Weiler early in September. The show will feature fishing on the Manistee River and will be aired on local cable, WFUM – Flint (Ch. 28) on Tuesday, November 10 at 9:30 p.m. and again on Wednesday, November 11 at 7:30 p.m. However, it will also be shown on many other PBS stations next Thursday, November 5 and can be viewed on the website – www.michiganoutofdoors.com on the morning of November 5.
Weiler said he takes his 18-foot Rivermaster sled up the Mainstee, as far as Tippy Dam, for the fall salmon run. The filming and the expedition of the trip for the popular outdoors show took seven hours.
“A couple of my customers were with me on this trip,” said Weiler on the filming. “Jimmy Gretzinger was here, by himself, with just his camera.
“(The trip) went good,” Weiler continued. “We landed six salmon and probably lost another 9 or 10. We were fishing with spawn.”
Weiler began his charter business in the spring of 1993 and built a faithful clientele.
“I do about 60-70 trips a year,” pointed out Weiler. “I take time off of all of September for fishing. I have some customers coming to back me for the last 10-15 years now.”
He added that he recently went up the Manistee with a couple of groups from Cass City, put together by his brother, David, who lives in the Cass City area.
While Weiler said he did do some fishing and hunting with his dad in his younger years, but his interest in salmon fishing took off after graduating from Ferris.
“I always begged my dad to take us (Terry and his brothers Steve and Dave) fishing, but he never took us,” smiled Terry. “Actually, we went to Sebewaing before and he’d take us to the break wall in Port Sanilac.
“But, I actually started salmon and steelhead fishing just after I got married. My wife’s family are all outdoors people.”
Terry, with his wife, Lisa, and children, Alicia and Brent, currently live in the Hardy Dam area, near Newaygo.
To learn more about Weiler’s charter fishing business, go online to 519atease.com.