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News Photo by Alyssa Ochss A look at all the things Spencer Grotto has ever fished out of the river, including an adjustable wrench and a bicycle saddle.

ALPENA — Ever since watching a YouTube magnet fishing video, Spencer Grotto has been hooked.

“I saw a guy do it on YouTube,” Grotto said. “He was fishing in his river, he found a lot of cool stuff and thought we lived near a body of water, I wanted to see what was in our river.”

Magnet fishing does not involve hooks or bait, but a huge magnet attached to a long rope. The fisherman throws the magnet into a body of water and drags the metal it attracts.

Grotto said one of the most interesting things he’s found while fishing the Thunder Bay River is a new stunt bike model.

“I actually put it on my Facebook and I think someone claimed it,” Grotto said. “It was a little stunt bike.”

News Photo by Alyssa Ochss A look at everything Spencer Grotto fished in the river on the day of the interview.

Grotto said he used magnet fishing as a hobby and did not see other people magnet fishing in the area.

It has two types of magnets. The one he said is double sided so an angler can pull anything out of the water. The other magnet has a single magnet on the front with a string attached to the top. He got his tools from eBay, but Grotto said magnets can be found online at Amazon.

He said anglers can also buy hooks, but he doesn’t want them because of the possibility of them getting stuck on a rock.

Recently, he and his former colleague fished out a planter in the river. Other things he has found over time include railroad spikes as well as other railroad parts, an old door latch – the oldest thing he has found – and a key.

“I found a huge, of the railroad, a really big piece of – like a big plate that you drive four pegs into – I found this just across the 2nd Avenue bridge straight up” , said Grotto. “Like in the middle of the water.”

News Photo by Alyssa Ochss Spencer Grotto looks over the edge of the water as he carefully guides his line.

Grotto said he sometimes cleans things he finds using products like CLR and vinegar.

You have to have some idea of ​​magnet fishing, Grotto said, to know what a rock or piece of metal is.

On a recent fishing trip, Grotto walked over to a group of metal objects on the ground. There was a bicycle saddle, a key he had cleaned, and another piece of metal.

“So that’s the one I dunked,” Grotto said, speaking of the key. “It was so cluttered. But I just soaked it in vinegar and got it working again. It’s not the prettiest of keys, but it works.

He does not use the key, but keeps it as a trophy. He said that if he ever had the chance, he would donate the things he finds to a museum.

News Photo by Alyssa Ochss Spencer Grotto shows off the small pieces of metal he usually fishes from the river.

Grotto said he encourages more people to try magnet fishing.

“Just not while I’m doing it,” he said jokingly.

There are a few safety precautions a person should take before going magnet fishing, Grotto said.

“Mostly wear gloves,” Grotto said. “Tie it all the way down so you don’t lose it, especially the gloves.

Grotto’s recent fishing trip included finding a flashlight in the river; a surprising find.

News Photo by Alyssa Ochss Spencer Grotto shows off a huge piece of metal he fished out of the water.

“Now that’s cool,” Grotto said.

News Photo by Alyssa Ochss Spencer Grotto throws her magnet over the edge of the rail into the water.

News Photo by Alyssa Ochss Spencer Grotto watches the water as he carefully hauls in his line.

News Photo by Alyssa Ochss Spencer Grotto shows off the flashlight he fished out of the river.


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