Call of the river attracts Hersey fisherman to area

HERSEY — Jerry Antor of Hersey explains very simply why he’s living in the area: “the river.”

He’s bought a place locally and moved to the rural Hersey area in 1991. He’s originally from Grand Rapids. His home is along the Muskegon River.

“I was looking for a cottage at one time. There was a place on the river. I loved it and bought it,” he said.

Antor is a self-employed mechanical contractor.

He said he does “a lot of fishing. I average probably four days a week. I fish mostly for bass. I go all over. I tournament fish so I go down south in the winter a lot. Around here in the summer, I fish pretty much all over Michigan.”

Antor partakes in several bass tournaments.

“I’ve never won a big one but I’ve won some smaller ones,” he said. “It’s real enjoyable. If you happen to win one, it’s good. A lot of them are 200 boats. To beat 199 guys on a given day is pretty hard.”

Antor competes in a Castaway Bass Club from Hersey and a Split Shot Bass Club out of Lakeview.

“A lot of guys fish with their wives now, like I do,” Antor said. “There’s more couples doing it and it’s a lot of fun.”

In the Muskegon, Antor notes there’s mostly bass with a few trout and some walleyes in the river. His proudest catch in Michigan was an 8-pound bass at Cranberry Lake near Coral.

He also enjoys ice fishing and notes that he has “state of the art equipment” for the sport.

“Most of the time, we like to go to Saginaw Bay for walleyes, go on the bay,” he said. “There’s a lot of fun out there.”

Antor is an active bow hunter.

“But the fishing is so good in the fall that I have a hard time getting myself to hunt,” he said. “I usually don’t put my boat away until it’s just ready to freeze up.”

A 9-point buck is the largest one he’s shot with a bow.

“I was hunting from the ground,” he said. “I was pretty proud of that buck.”

At one time, Antor went to Idaho to bow hunt for elk.

“Guys I went with were younger than me and they started having kids,” he said. “They no longer go. I wouldn’t mind going back there one more time. That’s a lot of fun.”

Antor hopes to see more youngsters get involved in fishing.

“I’d hate to see it die out,” he said. “It’s a good way to spend time.”

Around the area, Antor finds plenty to do.

”The lakes are full of fish around here,” he said. “This river is one of the most underrated there is. It’s full of fish. But nobody fishes it.

“The fish are always moving so it’s a challenge to find them. Then you have to figure out what will make them bite. It’s always a thrill when you get one on. It’s just as challenging and satisfying as it was when I started.”