In 1998, Captain Mike Schoonveld pioneered operating “limited-load,” relatively small boat charters on the Great Lakes. Prior to this almost all charter operations on the Great Lakes were conducted on six-passenger or larger, cabin cruisers.
Schoonveld’s Brother Nature Fishing Adventures, catering to couples, families and small groups on a 21-foot open boat, proved to be a successful business model. Dozens of other captains around the Great Lakes now provide affordable access to exciting fishing action on these inland seas on smaller-sized boats at affordable rates.
Capt. Mike is also one of the most prolific writers in the Great Lakes region, having penned hundreds of feature articles, columns and blogs about Great Lakes fishing and the Great Lakes environment. He’s now the Associate Editor of Great Lakes Angler Magazine, the Great Lakes columnist for Michigan Outdoor News and a frequent contributor to numerous other publications.
Schoonveld’s work and advocacy for the Great Lakes lead him to being elected to the Board of Directors of the National Association of Charterboat Operators in 2015 and induction into the National Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame in 2018.
Capt. Mike says, “Being safe isn’t the same as being comfortable when facing the wave conditions often present on these open lakes. The ride in the driver's seat is significantly smoother than in the passenger seat. 'Significantly,' in this case means money well spent to make my days on the lake more comfortable and save wear and tear on my spine and other joints in the long run."