Captain Brad Smyth
I was born to be a sportsman…
Fishing, hunting and exploring the outdoors has been my passion as long as I can remember. While growing up in Sterling Hts. MI I spent nearly every weekend and summer in the town of Port Hope on the shores of Lake Huron, specifically on Whiskey Harbor, where my family had a place and so my fishing career began…
Growing up my Grandparents had a farm house in Harbor Beach MI. This is where I began to learn the value of hard work, responsibility and dedication. In turn, back home I was involved in Scouting. From kindergarten until high school, I made my way thru the ranks from Tiger Cub to Eagle Scout. The Boy Scouts only furthered my passion for everything outdoors and helped me build character and values, such as trustworthiness, good citizenship, and outdoors skills.
Since I was old enough to hold a rod I have been enamored with fishing. Some of my earliest memories are Perch fishing on Lake St. Clair, and jigging or hand lining Walleye on the Detroit River. As I got older I wanted nothing more than to become a professional fisherman. I would read or watch anything that would feed my passion for the sport and all of it intricacies. By the time I was in 6th grade I had saved up all of my money and bought a 14’ boat and trailer. Plus, all the tackle you could imagine, to fish for every species I could target, even thru the ice. As the years went by I gained knowledge of the seasonal migrations and habits of nearly every species in the great lakes. What their preferred forage was depending on the time of year. And how the wind and weather affects their willingness to bite.
In High School I fished in a local bass club and won a few tournaments on local inland lakes, but never made a connection with tournament fishing. I did however, develop a passion for chasing walleye. Whether it be casting the shores of Lake St. Clair, the St. Clair River or Lake Erie. Or dragging bottom bouncers and crawlers out by the shipping channel. I couldn’t get enough walleye fishing. In time, the technique I truly fell in love with was vertical jigging. Especially on the Detroit River during their yearly spring migration. Still, my passion lies on the Detroit River where I grew up, from the head waters of Lake St. Clair to the mouth of Lake Erie. I have spent countless hours over the years looking for that addictive bite that you only get vertical jigging.
More than anything growing up, and to this day, I attribute all my successes to the Lord. I grew up being a Christian, my Mom was my Catechism teacher and I made all of my sacraments as a Catholic. My Dad was also my Sunday school teacher, at Ward Presbyterian. This taught to see the diversities in the Christian Faith and world religion. Having parents that led my classes and taught me about Faith helped me become the person I am today, and also helped develop my passion for education.
All in all, everything you experience in life makes you who you are. In my case early on I had the opportunity to fall in love with nature, and become a sportsman. Weather I’m in the woods or on the water, my motivation is to teach others what I’ve learned along the way and share my passion for the outdoors.