Kevin Hughes, Owner, Sandpiper III Sportfishing Charters



KEVIN HUGHES: For 38 years.

MNA: What inspired you to open your business?

HUGHES: My dad (Howard Hughes) was keen on fishing and we came to Manistee in 1966 and caught our first coho. We have since become addicted.

MNA: What makes Manistee such a great place to own a business?

HUGHES: Manistee County has some of the most fertile fishing waters you can find – all rivers, lakes and streams and the deep waters off the coast. We certainly have the best salmon and trout fishing on any of the Great Lakes.

MNA: In what ways is your business active in the local community?

HUGHES: We donate charter trips to many causes, like the Portage Lake Association fireworks fund, the Manistee Catholic Central Fall Fling fundraiser. We help by donating trips to causes.

Along with the other charter captains, I am passionate about helping with Tight Lines for Troops. That sums up our reason for being – taking people, in this case veterans, out to the big lake for a lot of fun.

MNA: What are your personal interests and hobbies?

HUGHES: Fishing, of course, and I also love hunting, and I have a farm. I like agriculture.

MNA: What local businesses do you work with that make your business successful?

HUGHES: I hate choosing any in particular because there are so many that help me. But definitely Onekama Marine – they’ve kept my boat running for all these years and I couldn’t do what I do without them.

I also work with all the other charter boats. For over 25 years, I was president of the Manistee County Sportfishing Association. I am passionate about it. We have up to 225 members and we champion fishing and tourism in Manistee County.

I sit on the Citizen’s Advisory Committee for the Great Lakes Fishery, so we have a place at the Lansing table when decisions are made about the fishery.

MNA: What are your favorite local businesses?

HUGHES: I hate to choose a few. I love going to my wife’s (Patricia Acker) store, Townline Bargain Barn. She has been very supportive of my charter business. I love all Onekama businesses – EZ Market and others have been good to us, and we love to eat at Glenwood.

MNA: Any other thoughts?

HUGHES: I love my current boat, the Sandpiper III. I’ve had it for over 23 years. It’s a 3600 tiara. It’s just a well appointed charter boat. I just put new engines on it because I intend to stay with it for a long time.

I have worked with Glen Haglund for over 35 years. He’s one of my captains. When I was superintendent of Onekama schools, he was a substitute when I couldn’t charter. He does a lot of evening trips so I don’t have to do double trips in one day.

Glen runs a guiding service up the river so he takes many of our clients there as well.

We are fortunate to have some of the best salmon and trout fisheries not only in Michigan but in the country. Many people don’t realize how good the fishing is in this area.

I’ve fished all over the country and other places the fishing is good, but when it comes to freshwater fishing – salmon and trout, rainbows – it’s hard to beat what we have in Manistee County.

Sandpiper III Sport Fishing Charters

Onekama Marine Yard, 14378 Cerscent Beach Road, Onekama

(231) 633-9631 or (231) 889-4258

[email protected]

Year of creation: 1982

Number of employees: 1 full time, 4 part time



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