By Neil Moran
For several years, Al Socia traveled up north from Mt. Clemens to go fishing in Munuscong Bay. He usually launched at what was formerly called Beall’s Resort. In 1972, he heard the 40-acre property and fishing resort, located east of Pickford, was for sale and decided to buy it. His wife thought he was crazy. However, with the passion of a fisherman and an entrepreneurial spirit, Socia envisioned what would later become a popular year-round fishing resort. Socia changed the name to Dan’s Resort, naming it after his son Daniel. It’s now celebrating its 50th anniversary after officially opening in 1973. Today, Dan’s Resort is one of the most popular fishing resorts and launches for local fishermen and women. It attracts anglers from across the state and into Ohio and Indiana. Anglers flock to the popular resort seeking to hook into a big walleye, pike, perch and the occasional muskie.
Winter is our busiest season (with ice fishing) and then in the spring, mid-May into June, is the walleye run,” says Dan’s daughter, Kristie Socia, who takes care of the day-to-day operations of this family-owned business. Dan’s Resort has a full-service tackle shop that supplies everything anglers need when they hit the bay in their boat, snowmobile, four-wheeler – and when the ice is thick enough, pickup truck. In addition to the tackle shop and deep boat launch, they offer four cabin rentals, 25 campsites, a fish cleaning house and a place to park your snowmobile and fish house (free of charge) during the winter season.
THE MUNUSCONG MINUTE
One thing that put Dan’s Resort on the map is its annual fishing tournament, the Munuscong Minute. Each year, between 400 and 600 people sign up for the tournament which offers prizes for the largest fish and door prizes to those who register for the tournament. All proceeds from the event go to local charities, says Kristie Socia.
The whole basis of Munuscon Minute is to donate money to local charities," she says. "We’ve donated approximately $23,000 in the past five years.” She says over 30 local businesses help to make the charity event possible by donating numerous door prizes. Dan’s Resort hosts other events throughout the year to draw folks to this little corner of the world, including fundraising events to help LSSU’s Ducks Unlimited, and a women’s sorority event for St. Judes. They’ve also supported the Perch Princess, an end-of-the-winter day-long event for women and girls where Kristie Socia says, “girls rule the Bay.”
MORE THAN A RESORT
It’s not all about selling minnows and tackle out of the tiny store, though. Often, says Kristie Socia, they’re called upon to help out the anguished fisherman whose vehicle breaks down on the ice or the occasional angler in need of medical attention.
“We’re like a first aid station here, too. People come in like with a fishing hook stuck on their lips and ask if we have needle nose pliers. It’s like they want us to operate on them in the tackle shop,” she says with a chuckle. an’s also offers an ecotourism experience with opportunities for summer biking and kayaking with like-minded individuals. These are mostly informal events where participants can enjoy camaraderie, exercise, and learn more about the area’s natural features.
For more information on Dan’s Resort, visit https://www.dans-resort.com/ or check them out on Facebook.