EVART — Mark Sochocki always hopes the fish are biting. But the Evart resident and director of the Big Rapids Housing Commission was hoping the fish would especially be biting last weekend.

An active outdoorsman, Sochocki and friends competed in the Tournament Trail event at Ludington.

The Ludington Offshore Classic was set for Saturday and Sunday with a $10,000 payout for first place.

Sochocki, who coached the Reed City-Evart Little League baseball traveling team, is now focusing on fishing.

“I try to do as much as I can,” he said, noting that his schedule this weekend put him at Ludington Thursday through Sunday. “We’re going to fish a bunch coming up here, hopefully.”

Sochocki has partners that he’s fished with in the tournament the last several years from different parts of the state. A tournament for youngsters was scheduled for Friday.

Sochocki had two sons fishing in that tourney: Ty, 13, and Nate, 11. Nate also fished last season at Ludington.

“We caught some fish,” Sochocki recalled. “They finished 28th, 29th, something like that. They fish with adults and we weigh our fish after the time frame ends.”

Tournament Trail events on Lake Michigan started in May and continue through early September with weekend stops at places like Ludington, Manistee, Muskegon, Grand Haven, Frankfort, Onekama and Traverse City.

“We do some other ones, it depends on what’s going on in the summertime,” Sochocki said. 

This would be his first Tournament Trail event of the summer, although he may do a few more before the season ends. Sochocki’s team took sixth place at Ludington last season.

This year, he was 15th out of 75 boats.