If we were to go back to when Travis was in highschool, we would find him on his Dad's fishing boat guiding on the St.Mary's River on the east end of the U.P. in Sault Ste. Marie. If we were to meet Travis when he was in college, he would be fishing in a kayak on Houghton County's rivers while also studying mechanical engineering. Where is he now? He owns his own fishing charter business, captains the Great Lakes Research Vessel, and owns ProNav a smart, GPS-guided autopilot system that connects to the shaft of a boat bow mount trolling motor. Talk about a trifecta of cool jobs!
Swinging by Roy's Pasties and Bakery to grab some delicious blueberry muffins sure did the trick for getting our conversation started out on the right foot. If there is one thing that we've have learned in the process of interviewing people, it's that most won't turn down the chance to snack on a local delicacy (whether it's freshly brewed coffee or a perfectly baked pasty).
It's was early May and our plans were to meet Travis White, from Keweenaw Fishing Charters, at 2:15 p.m. for the interview and then head out on the Big Lake around 3:30-4 ish. When meeting with individuals we've never met before we are somehow always pleasantly surprised with how the day and conversation unfolds (usually a little different then what we've planned which we take as a positive thing). Travis has a kind and approachable demeanor which is a huge benefit to making inexperienced fishermen and fisherwomen, like us, feel less intimated on his charter.
Once the interview was over we bought our yearly fishing licenses, quickly layered up on the 45°day and headed out to the South Entry near Chassell. After some much needed casting practice in the middle of the entry, we were ready to go. We headed back near the tug boat docked at the boat launch to grab Travis' wife Jane (her story is also really cool and deserves whole other podcast interview).
Being on Lake Superior really does add a new dimension to experiencing the area. There is something about seeing the shoreline in all its curves that gives a greater appreciation for the wild essence of Keweenaw. Coasting past the red sand stone cliffs off of U.S. 41 we sent out our lines and hoped for the best. No, we didn't catch a fish but that really didn't matter to us. The water was cold and the fish weren't rising. That's the beauty of the Keweenaw and nature in general; it can't be controlled. We couldn't control the wind, the temperature or beautiful sunset we witnessed. We can't control how our story will unfold either. After meeting Travis, the biggest take away we gained was that by centering your life around what truly makes you happy, you can open the door for really awesome opportunities if you are willing to notice them.
Special thanks to our sponsor for this episode the Keweenaw Convention and Visitors Bureau!
Listen to our interview with Travis White ⤵️