Wisdom from the Great Lakes: HangryOutdoors (Interview #2)

Wisdom from the Great Lakes: HangryOutdoors (Interview #2)

HangryBrand had the good fortune recently to be able to ask Captain John Milbourne a few questions. If you’ve ever met a work-aholic then you already know that they’re laser focused and never minch words. With more than 25 years on the water, we found Captain John to be a committed straight talker who means business…luckily, he’s in the business of providing great family experiences.

Here’s our interview with Captain John (Manistee, MI) this past month:


     John, tell us a little bit about your background, where did you grow up?

  • “I was born and raised in Southern Michigan.”

What did you do before getting your Captain’s license? How’s you make a living before this?

  • “I worked as a CNC programmer and toolmaker for 35 years. I retired from the shop in the winter of 2022. I now run charters exclusively from the port of Manistee, Michigan.”

Sandwiched between Ludington and Traverse City, Manistee is a great town. How was Michigan Sportfishing Co. LLC born? How did you get your start in the industry?

  • “In 1997 I was working as a deckhand for a charter company and I simply thought I could offer a better experience. I started Michigan Sport Fishing Company, LLC in 2000.”

Gotcha. So, based on your experiences in the industry, what would your advice be to others who may be considering starting their own sportfishing endeavor?

  • “Most young people don't realize the commitment the charter business takes, my advice is don't.”

     Final question/s. What are your target species and how can folks find you?

  • “I can be found at www.michigansportfishing.com, We fish for salmon and trout. We are a full-time charter company focusing on a family experience.”

For anyone planning a vacation to Manistee, MI this summer you should contact Captain John. There’s something special about taking your family on a trip over lake Michigan…catching your own dinner while you’re at it is pretty great too.

Captain John Milbourne

Shipwatch Marina
297 6th Ave, Manistee, MI 49660


Mike Hiller




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