Overall June has been a pretty good month for Kings, all be it
may they're running a smaller average size then a few years
back. Just being to catch Salmon in June on a regular basis in
Manistee is a radical departure from what was the norm in the
1990s. Lake Michigan's Salmon population is booming and that a
reel-fact plain and simple. As we enter into the month of July
things look pretty good for the inshore fisherman's quest for the
mighty King Salmon.
Production of Magnum Meat Heads, Flashers
and 3 Fly Meat Rigs has meant a continued string of 13 to 15 hour
days for our team at Kingfish Products. We were able to build
around 4000 attractor flies for meat rigs in just the past
week. With the Fourth of July approaching a few days of well
earned rest is in order.
One of my joys is the people I meet as I meander thru this thing
called life. Getting to know fine individuals like Gene M is one
of these delights. Gene retired recently and just started fishing
the big water. He's became pretty accomplished seeing he's only
been at it for a little over a year. Gene has gained
knowledge from the private tips and trix section. Plus, being a
member of our message board has kept him on top of the latest methods
Gen wrote me a heck of a nice Email a few
days back and I'd like to share it with everyone. Click
here to read his words and observations. Click
for his hot setups
The scoop on the top 3 boats in the pro division from
last weekend's Manistee Pro-Am was 1. Happy Go Lucky, 2. Polecat and
3. Dreamwaever. Amateur Division: 1. Fishin Machine, 2. Doc's
Holiday and 3. Fish Byte. Largest King was plus 23 pounds
taken by Reel Teaser aka.....Capt. Mitch
To busy with production issues to get any further
info for today's update. When I hear something worthy, so will
you. This I can share with you, sometime the week, I'll
introduce a totally new color & another world first for my line
of Mag Meat Heads.
As soon as I get the results on the Manistee Pro-Am from this
past weekend, you'll hear it here. I did hear Sunday was a
tougher go then Saturday.
There's 3 new
pages, all pertaining to the world debut of my new 3Fly Meat
Rig. This means all ties to any former suppliers from the
State of New York has been irrevocably broken. The meat rig
pages can be viewed at: www.michiganangler.com
The overall superiority of my 3 Fly Meat Rigs
will speak for themselves with changeable leaders, 50# ANDE Clear
mono, hand-crafted double snelled VMC treble hooks and the absolute finest
meat head on the market. Raising the standard to what I'd fish
with and can be proud of...........is a first-class reel-deal!
Spent all of yesterday dealing with orders for the new custom
meat heads. The word from those pre-fishing for today's
Manistee Pro-Am, yesterday was rougher then a cob on the big
pond. Results were mixed across the board and from what I
could discern, pods of Kings were kinda spotty, but when you found a
group of active fish?......the catching began. Good luck to
all teams in the Pro-Am today!
The only thing I know for sure is
Capt. Len Mitchell from Lucky Charm Charters weighed in 3 Kings for
a total weight of 46 pounds in yesterday's ladies day event. The
rules for the ladies day tourney is you can weigh in a one license
legal limit, meaning a 5 fish, of which only 3 can be Kings.
He was pulling my mag heads and flashers in today's featured
photo. Overall Len's lineup landed 7 Kings and lost a fair
amount due to the big lumps with white on top. If Len's ladies could
have boxed a few LTs or Steelhead, 7th could have turned into first.
photo of Capt. Len's box
Finally completed building the new page at the webstore last
night. There's 6 new mag meat heads with WTP lure tape. To
fully appreciate the appearance of these heads, they must be seen in
person, cuz my camera does not do them justice. If you're
interested in seeing some pretty darn slick meat heads, that
outclass the competition by a extremely wide margin click
here for the custom Mag Meat Heads
Good luck to all participants in the upcoming
Manistee Pro-Am this weekend. While the payout isn't all that
great, the monies generated by this event make it one of the more
worthwhile tournaments on the Great Lakes. The money goes for
supporting the net-pen project and several good causes like the
privately funded Orsini Hatchery.
Great news from Manistee if you start fishing before rooster
crows, cuz it's a King early bite, with most of that damage being
done before 6am. As soon as the sun clears the horizon, the
action has been slowing to a snail's pace.
The forecast for the upcoming Manistee
Pro-Am for this weekend is a good one, with highs in the 80s and a
stable weather pattern. Steady weather generally means Lk.
Michigan won't get out of hand with 6 footers like when a cold front
Had a reel-long 16 hour day (plus)
yesterday and didn't get time to do the photos for the new products
being installed at my webstore: www.michiganangler.com
Come hell, or high water today these new products will be listed by
this afternoon. Running reel-short of Mag Meat Heads for the time
being, but a large shipment is on order and should have a ton more
soon. Acceptance of the Magnum Meat Heads have exceeded any
expectations 10 fold. Many thanks to those that have
Next month, if all goes according to plan, I'll be speaking at the
Detroit Area Steelheader's meeting. This will be the 5th time I've
taken my dog and pony show on the road in 2005. While catching
Salmon with herring long pre-dates artificial lures, never the less,
it's viewed by many..............as a new style of fishing.
I should have some new stuff coming online
today at: www.michiganangler.com
I need to finish the photo work to complete another world debut.
The new product's appearance will speak for it's self, as you will
plainly see. Having the flashers, bait heads, bullet/fly heads and
professional grade 3 fly rigs all under the same roof means perfectly
matched tackle in an approach my foreign competitors can only dream of.
Heard a from a lot of boats over the weekend that fished
Manistee and Ludington. The norm was 5 to 8 fish for the
mornings. It seems there's an decent early inshore bite for
Kings, but it don't last much past 9am.
Roger C took a 21 pounder on the hot blue double
glow flasher with a clear blue mag meat head yesterday morning out
of Manistee. This is the largest Lk. MI King I've heard of so
far taken with my products in 2005 (to the best of my recollection).
Chris B, who's now guiding in Alaska caught a 43
King that hit one of my mag meat heads. I hope down the road
to get a photo of that fish and total weight verification.
This coming Friday the Manistee Pro-Am begins
with the Ladies Day tourney, then Saturday and Sunday about 150
boats will compete in a two day, weight your best 10 fish each day
tournament. The festivities will take place at the Manistee
Armory a few blocks away from the First Street public boat
launch. The proceeds from this contest go to the Manistee
County Sport Fishing Association, which in-turn, is invested back in
our Great Lakes Fishery.
Kinda stuck for an update today, until I received a good report
from across the pond in the land of cheese. Here's what's
happening in Algoma, WI:
"John, Just a short note I had to fish alone on
Saturday morning so this is how it went. I left the dock at 4 AM and
proceeded to head south out of the harbor to get away from all the
boats I had baited up three rods to put into the water upon reaching
70 FOW. I had two lines in at 4:30 AM and immediately had a double
on. I grabbed one rod and loosen up the drag a little while fighting
the first fish. I was able to net the first one before the second
rod ran out of line. Proceeded to bring in the second fish and
accomplished this with no problems. Boxed these two fish and put my
two rods back into the water. Click
here for Capt. Terry's 1 hr. catch
Then the fishing got better! They
came one at a time and I was able to keep one rod in the water until
I netted the third fish. Before I set the rod out again I had
another on the second rod. I gave this one a hook set and loosen up
the drag for it to get further away from the boat so I could get one
rod in the water again. Boxed the 3rd fish and this procedure occurred
Boxed the 4th fish and still had no rods in
the water. I finally got two rods in the water and was looking
at the third rod which was never in the water yet, and one rod went
off with the number 5 fish. This fish pulled out over 500 feet of
line before I slowed her down. This gave me time to remove the
rod in the water and fight the last fish which weighed in at 19.2
lbs. Five fish in the box and I looked at my watch it was only 5:30am!"...Capt.
Terry W. (the legal limit for Kings in WI is 5 per person)
We celebrate Fathers Day today, which was made possible by your
father (or you wouldn't be here), be sure to remember him throughout
the year and not just today. Paying homage to your parents is
a wonderful thing. Both of mine have long since passed away
& this opportunity is no longer available to me......I wish is
behind the scenes work that's not ready for full disclosure
yet. This week, several new products, exceeding what's out
there now by a wide margin will announced soon at: www.michiganangler.com
Like always, my products will be far more fish appealing, durable,
Made in the USA and a bargain for professional grade premium tackle.
While the fishing off Manistee remains good for deepwater Steelhead, not many are taking advantage of this bonanza. Manistee's charter fleet has been pretty much dockside suffering from a severe shortage of charter patrons.
While driving home after my talk with the Grand Haven
Steelheaders (a few nights ago), as the miles rolled on, I could see how Ludington has left Manistee in the
dust! Since the casino opened it seems to me more businesses in Manistee have closed up and not many new businesses are opening.
Now, let's factor in Glicks Department Store and the Manistee Inn on the channel to Lake Michigan are gonna turn into
condovilles (both of these places of business are on Manistee's main
street thru downtown). Condo owners usually are not year
around residents, further exacerbating more population and services lost to those in Manistee County. If anyone thinks casinos
are the universal remedy for the local economies, please take a long hard look at Manistee before subscribing to that line of thought.
Speaking the truth is better then denying cold, hard facts.
I keep hearing the deep water program is still working for
Steelhead and a few Lake Trout as of lately. The inshore break
has temporally moved in closer now on the 27 to 29 line, which might
be 3 miles west of Manistee's shelf. A few Steelies in the 10
to 12 pound class are being reported. Double digit S.Heads are
I look for the well of information to dry
up pretty soon, as the Manistee Pro-Am takes place next
weekend. Wise tourney jockeys are always tight lipped. I
do know the fish concentrations are spotty, in a area a quarter mile
wide & about 2 miles long.
As of yesterday, the fish catching neighborhood was almost straight
out of Manistee.
Wow, what a difference a year makes, as many of the Grand
Haven Steelheaders are now into towing meat. Last year when I
spoke there, I could sense some light resistance to anything to do
with cut-bait. Not so this year!
Ken K (GH Steelheader member) did my
introduction in a grand fashion, with complete verification
of how effective meat and my products were for him in
I'd like to express gratitude all who
attended last night's Steelheaders meeting. Especially to
Steve B. aka "Roscoe" for furnishing the projector and
driving all the way from Lapeer to lend a helping hand! His
assistance made this event a huge success in my eyes (public
speaking is a bunch easier when you can work off of photos).
was my great pleasure to see many of our message board members
attend last evening's event. I do appreciate their support
more ways then words can say.
The word from Manistee is that the 32 to 34 west line has been
showing limit catch action on Steelhead, or 'bows as this fish is
known in Wisconsin. The fish can be seen cruising the surface,
slurping bugs. The top 30 feet, with the surface program
accounting for most of the Steelie's final epitaph. Kings to
high teens have been taken mixed in with S-Heads, right off the
surface on "birds." These fish are jam-packed with
bugs according to the post mortem autopsy of stomach contents.
The average Iron Noggin is running 5 to 7lbs, with 9 pounders
Today I'll be in Grand Haven to address the GH
Steelheaders with a photo display concerning the proper methodology
of cut-meat basics for Great Lakes fish. Portobello's at 7pm
is the start, with a social hour beginning a hour prior at
6pm. The public is invited to attend and the best
part?........ it's absolutely free to attend!
Today's update is courtesy of Capt. Terry W who fishes out of
the Port of Algoma in Wisconsin. Here's what he had to
"Took out two people who never fished salmon
before. Set lines in 100 feet of water,....first two fish came on dipsies
150 feet out, so I raised my riggers to 45 ,55 & 60 feet, before
I could get one dipsy back into the water, we had a double on!
I was able to get 1 dipsy back into the water while they were
working on the double.
We netted the two fish and before the hooks were
out of the net the dipsy went off again leaving us with only one rod
in the water. I decided to lower the downrigger 20 feet to get it
out of the zone because we still had 5 fish laying on the bottom of
the boat. Check
for the banzai flurry photo Check
for the entire death count
This did not help for a fish followed the smell
down and wanted the mag bait head with the meat on it. Here's what
the bottom of my boat looked like after the flurry.
Today's update is courtesy of Capt Terry W who fishes out of the
Port of Algoma in Wisconsin. Here's what he had to say,
"Took out two people who never fished salmon
before. Set lines in 100 feet of water,....first two fish came on dipsies
150 feet out, so I raised my riggers to 45 ,55 & 60 feet, before I
could get one dipsy back into the water, we had a double on! Was able to
get one dipsy back into the water while they were working on the double.
We netted the two fish and before the hooks were out
of the net the dipsy went off again leaving us with only one rod in the
water. I decided to lower the downrigger 20 feet to get it out of the
zone because we still had 5 fish laying on the bottom of the
for the flurry photo Check
for the entire death count
This did not help for a fish followed the smell down
and wanted the mag bait head with the meat on it. Here's what the bottom
of my boat looked like after the flurry.
My highest praise goes to Team Fishigan for hanging tough
against the home town charter boats that target Lake Trout on a
daily basis. Having chartered out of PA & Grindstone
during the late 80s/early 90s, I can attest to how the local
charters key in on Lake Trout (their bread and butter fish) with a vengeance.
While my Reel Flasher gets credit for the largest
fish in the 2 days of the tourney, the highly-honed skill level of
Team Fishigan deserves most of it!
GLPAA Port Austin/Grindstone City
1-Pretzel Bender 96.38, 2-Osprey 95.50, 3-Cookie Man 94.94, 4-Gone Bad 93.78
5-Blue Streak 92.94, 6-Halftime 92.20, 7-Fishigan 91.62,
9-Riptide 86.72, 10-Fish On 86.62
Biggest fish award 12.70 ......Fishigan w/Reel Flasher (Lake Trout)
Biggest King award 6.54.........Getaway (finished 23rd)
Approx. 48 boats in the weight your best 6 fish each day (2 day
This was mainly a Lake Trout tournament, as Lake
Huron's Salmon fishery is just a faint glimmer of what it once
was. Alewife (bait-fish) decline has been blamed, but the
sunrise side's smelt (another bait-fish) is on a major
increase. Let's hope this helps the Lk. Huron Salmon rebounds
to previous levels of a few of seasons ago.
We have fishing in Manistee, but catching has drastically
tapered off since last weekend. Anglers that journeyed
offshore for deep water Steelhead fared slightly better number wise,
then the inshore fishermen. A few Kings to 15lbs. were boxed
off Manistee's shelf, with heavy emphasis on the word
The 2 day GLPAA tournament in Grindstone
City/Port Austin concludes today. As the word was relayed to
me by Mike R, my product, the Reel Flasher took the biggest fish
(12lb. Laker) on day one off their boat. A full report on the
GLPAA tourney will be forthcoming tomorrow.
Just not hearing too much about easy fishing from the Port of
Manistee. Generally, when the fishermen are doing good, info is
easy to come by. When fishing slows many are reluctant to report a
slow day. No one is Godzilla everyday on the big ponds, so never
hold yourself responsible for not being able to locate fish.
photo is from another first time user of my Mag Meat Heads and Reel
Flashers. Here's what Steve S. had to say, "After reading your site for 2 years and slowly putting the pieces
together, I got out last night for a quick trip. Got a late start ... on the
water at 6:30pm. I only had one meat set-up ready to go so down it went. We got
9 fish total, 3 were on meat, 3 were bows off the boards and one off a full
core was pretty scrappy yet so we let it go. I'm sold! Can't wait to run 3 rigs this weekend!
Thank You, Steve from Green Bay, WI Click
Rumors are rampant about where the best spot to fish Manistee
is. I've heard the 27 north line and in the 7s closer to the
big point. I know of one boat that took a dozen fish
yesterday, but all of his catch was guppies.
Here's a report from a first time user of my
products, "I made up 10 cut bait rigs and had a good catch on Saturday. When everyone else was just catching small ones, I was catching 10-14 pounders.
Click here for attached
photo, showing the best colors of the day - blue and red. I went 4 for 6 on Sunday. Both days everything came on
magnum meat rigs only. My tried and true early morning lures did not work, but the herring rigs came through........Capt Ed
Finally into full production on my bullet heads
that will exactly match the Magnum Meat Heads and Reel
Flashers. We now have American made alternatives to the
Chinese bullet heads & foreign made meat heads. Color equivalents
in the attractor flies, Magnum Meat heads (w/WTP die cuts) and Reel
Flashers means another world
first for Kingfish Products. Click
to view the chartreuse heads and bullets
When will this insanity of have nets in highly trafficked areas end?
Tuesday, two fishermen almost lost their lives when their downriggers
became ensnarled in unmarked net, or at the best.....a poorly marked net
off the bathhouse in Ludington, Michigan. Joe Frontiera and his
brother Sam were in dire straights when their 17 foot Crestliner started
taking on water. Only the bow remained above water as these two
anglers came close to death. Ludington's Coast Guard was on the
scene, rescuing the brothers after they were in 55 degree water for 25
Joe said, “I lost everything,” he said, adding that there were thousands of dollars worth of tackle on the boat and a slew of fishing equipment he’s collected over the years. “And I have no way of replacing
"Those nets are a big hazard. It’s just wrong the way they are placed out there,” he said. “I really think they have no right to put nets out there without proper markers."
Now, with the millions of dollars generated by
the Little River Casino why would this enterprise even consider causing
hazards to safe navigation? It's not like they need the revenue
from commercial fishing to survive. Remember this with the
upcoming Manistee Tournaments sponsored by this organization. Do
not participate, or purchase products from those that do. We all
know this is a big crock of BS!
Dealing with production took up most of yesterday. Lack of
time to snoop around for fishing info means no trustworthy reel
fishing report today.
Here's a E-mail from a satisfied fishermen
with products purchased during the Memorial Day Weekend.
Here's what John F. had to say:
"Fished the Pentwater Memorial Weekend Tourney and did quite well! Running the 6 rod spread with 3 of those
being meat rigs, we were one of 3 boats to place fish in two categories
at the end of the show. 6th king at 13.9, and 5th steely 8.75. Meat rigs constituted
for about 80% of our catch, with most off dipsies on the double glow. We must of boated 50 fish during the
weekend and lost????? but did not even fish Monday (boat problems). Your product produced 7 fish
from 11-13.9 lbs. and got us on the board a total of 4 times in the two days! Not bad for a 2 man team!"
This was the first time they had ever used my
Reel Flashers, Magnum Meat Heads & hand-filleted Fish On's Green
Label Herring. Those of you who haven't migrated to making
your own meat?.....please consider the cost savings & improved
Iffy is the word that I got on the word from those in Manistee
who fished recently. A few did well, while the majority
struggled. West wind has been the predominate direction,
piling up a lot of warmer water on our shoreline. In the
interim, this warm water temporarily puts the hurt on fishery for a
while, but in the natural stages of things, it promotes plankton
growth. A large bloom of plankton will soon form a well
stocked buffet for the baitfish (alewives). When the bait
shows up to chow on the plankton biomass, hence the Salmon will
return the favor and munch on the alewives. It's just part of
the natural cycle we go thru at this time of year.
Finally re-stocked on the double blue
glow Reel Flasher. The demand in May for this flasher was intense.
This flasher was my best one too! Considering the limited time
I now spend on the water. The 3 times I was off the dock in
May, the double blue glow scored the largest fish of each
here for the double glow blue
The story from Manistee is some did and some did not. As
the today wears on I should be able to get more details from my
area, look for more info tomorrow.
Our message board members had a pretty darn
good weekend tournament wise. Codfish took a 3rd in the Harbor
Beach (Pro King Spoon) tourney, Roscoe took a 4th in the Flint
Steelheaders, 2 day Port Austin tournament & Fishwhore garnered
7th place in the Grand Haven Tournament. A
pat on the back for job well done goes to all! A top 10 is
not easy to come by in any fishing tournaments.
This coming weekend marks the GLPAA contest
in Grindstone/Port Austin thumb area. I'm shipping Kerm
Filion, who owns Harbor Marina in Grindstone Reel Flashers, so he
can have these on-hand for the tourney competitors. Kerm also
has Fish On Bait and should have Magnum Meat Heads too. I'm
gonna go out on a limb, and say 77 to 83 pounds will be the winning
2 day total for 12 fish from what I've heard.
Posted a excellent photo of a father and sons team with some
pretty darn decent Salmon caught last weekend. Dad, Sty is a
member of our message board and won the contest to name the deadly,
for team Spoontang
Here's his exact words, ".....took these 7 nice kings in about 3 hours off Manistee
with my 6 & 10 yr old boys on Friday, May 27 off Manistee. Each boy reeled in 3 fish
& dad got to reel in number 7, before we quit. Don't know how to post a
on the message board so I'm e-mailing it to you. The two big fish went 16 & 18 lbs,
both on meat, the 16 pounder hit the Undertaker and the 18 pounder hit the King
Kobra. Since you introduced the King Kobra last year, its been my top
producer!".....Capt. "STY" skipper of the
What makes this great story is his sons
did most of the catching and Capt. Sty limited the amount of time on
the water (as not to burn them out). I'm sure both his sons
will remember this fishing trip for a long, long time. The
young men featured in the photo are our next generation of Salmon
anglers, which are sorely needed.
Capt. Ken B, who skippers the "Sea Wolf" out of
Manistee found some inshore salmon by fishing deeper then everyone
else. He hit his Salmon for the most part at 135' down on the
riggers over 225 feet of water.
What makes Capt. Ken's feat even better he
took 6 Kings, while fishing by his lonesome. He released 3
Salmon and kept 3. Ken showed up around my house at my house
early (around 9am) for today's featured photo. Being in charge
of running the boat, fighting and netting your own fish being
solo......is a daunting task!
The X-Glow Flashers in Mean Green and Silver
Ghost with the Undertaker Magnum Meat Head doing most of the damage.
The Black Mamba Glow and red Mag Meat Head producing also. I
knew the X-Glow Series would come into their own once deep trolling
became a necessity. Reel Flashers and Magnum Meat Heads are
breaking new ground in the ability to target deep Kings. Click
for Ken's box
Wisconsin anglers are scoring big down deep
also! The 2005 record for the deepest King caught is already
at 222' down (this early in this season). While I'm sure
everyone's preference would be catch shallower, going deep sure
beats going back in with a skimpy, or even worse.......a empty
The charter boats are starting to run to the deep water to produce
fish. The inshore water on the Manistee's shelf has warmed and not
holding many fish and even less bait The 32 west line out of
Manistee did yield some catches in the mid to low double figures.
Look to the surface for Steelhead and Lake Trout is gonna be the ball
game in my home town for a while.
Here's recent fishing report from Algoma, Wisconsin:
"My Captain aboard the Sea Dog was very skeptical of the money I spent this winter preparing for fishing with meat. On Memorial Day, he picked
up the mic, and called for "Terry's Toy,".... and said, "I'm a
Believer!" This picture is from our first day fishing with meat. The "Undertaker" along
with the X-Glo Magnum meat head scored 3 with the largest reaching
17LBS! The "Glo King Kobra" again with the X-Glo Magnum meat head
scored the other two. Tuesday we went 10 for 14, six kings and 4 rainbows. Same regiment with the Mt. Dew contributing a fish as well.
I will post an article as soon as I can on the message board with this information and a thank you. Just wanted to get this picture to you ASAP.
I do not have a digital of Tuesdays catch".....Jim R aka "Blue Rhino"
on the message board. Click for
Posted a photo of Andy M's 18 pounder caught on Memorial Day
morning. So far, this spring I've only had two pictures
Emailed to me of Kings, just slightly over 18 pounds. Numbers
on our side of Lake Michigan.....yes. Size?......no.
Gonna take most of today off, as a well earned
rest is in order for me. After shipping my orders in the
morning, I'm gonna spend my time doing something enjoyable.
That means; fishing this afternoon aboard John J's "Megan
Ann." Mid-week, with no traffic is gonna be beyond plain
Weather was beautiful in my area over the past holiday
weekend. To make matters even better, Lake Michigan behaved
itself quite nicely with calm seas.
Report from Five Orr's Charters in Indiana
stated large 17 to 20 pound Lake Trout were being caught in good
numbers. Big Salmon were reported in from Illinois and
Wisconsin. The Wisconsin anglers were keying in on deep fish,
meaning a 160 to 220 feet of wire off their downriggers.
Flasher/meat was their flavor of the day.
My hat's off to Andy M for catching a 18
pounder just slightly south of Onekama, as he and his dad are
finally gaining confidence in my flasher/meat head
Roscoe and Jason fished south of Guerney
Creek and almost to Big Point Sable. They had plenty of
action, but it was a soft bite and too many opportunities were
missed. Lk. Michigan is producing good numbers of Kings, but
finding fish over 10 to 12 pounds is not coming easy. Click
for Roscoe's 5/30/05 box w/hot flasher-heads.
Memorial Day: Please take a minute or two in silent prayer
to remember those who served, those who gave all, and those in the
military right now. Thanks to them, Japanese and German is not
our second language. Our Korean, Vietnam, and Iraq war veterans
deserve our deepest gratitude too,.....for serving our country.
Let's finish the
holiday update with yesterday's report from Illinois:
"Here's a photo from today. We got off the dock around 7 am and had lines set by about 7:30. We had a three man limit by 11:00 am with 7 Kings from 8 pounds up to 16 pounds and the rest
here for their catch photo
The Double Blue flasher with new magnum meat head with blue flies was
"red hot" today. It was 125 down on the rigger over 150-180 fow water. The
Black Mamba Glow with the black magnum head and glow tape was also very good off the wire
Dipsey back 175 on the counter. The green King Kobra has also been very consistent, but blue is far and away the best color so far this spring.".....Capt.
Met with Capt. Paul Vantol (he purchased my Cherokee last
December) in Ludington yesterday afternoon. We had a scheduled
on the water seminar to complete. We set lines probably around 3pm
and I explained various parts and "to-do's" of trolling for
Great Lakes fish. The word was south was the place to be, which
turned out to being led in the wrong direction. Click
for my seminar team
We trolled north in 110 to 150 feet of
water and finally got into some decent a couple of miles north of the
Ludville harbor. We boated 8 fish before pulling lines at 6:35pm,
so I could explain knots & do photos dockside. Click
for our hot set-ups
I am extremely disturbed at the size of
our spring Kings, having only boated one 10 pounder, with meat by far
producing our larger fish. We took a couple of micro sub 4 pound
salmon on a spoon running on a half core, before retiring that
I have no crystal ball to say where our
fishery is headed. However, from what I've seen, heard, or read
about, our Chinook, i.e. Kings are downsizing at a alarming rate.
Let's hope the DNR steps in and does something non-political (for a
change) & takes the right course of action immediately. The
future of our fishery is at stake!
Good luck on the big ponds today. I'll be in Ludington
Look for a thorough "hands on" report tomorrow.
Kinda got smacked with a bunch orders yesterday, which is a good
Thus far, I've been overwhelmed by the
acceptance of the Magnum Meat Heads. My deepest gratitude for
supporting made in America fishing tackle.
Received my new die cuts from WitchCraft Tape. They
handled the tooling and brought this project into being in less then
2 weeks. My hat is off to the whole crew at WTP for a job well
done. Now, factor in.....this is their busiest time of the
year, filling orders from everyone in the tackle manufacturing
Raising the standards in meat heads is job
one with me. I'm absolutely positive lure tape is the way to
go in enhancing meat heads. Just look at most spoons and
you'll understand what I mean. The new die cuts can retro fit the
lesser quality foreign heads that used to have a monopoly on bait
head market. I'm hoping in about 2 weeks to offer a dress-up
kit with these die cuts for sale to the public.
Magnum Meat Heads all decked out and ready to catch!
Plenty of Kings still being caught on Lake Michigan, but it looks
like the larger Salmon are Muskegon and north. Heard of limits on
4 to 6 pounders from South Haven to Grand Haven again yesterday.
It seems a 12 pounder in these boundaries is considered a good fish. I
know of one charter boat running meat and my flashers for the first time
out of Whitehall took 13 Kings to 15 pounds from 9am to a little past
noon. We'll just have to see what this weekend brings.
I predict Pentwater to Frankfort to report in with a
better size average then the southern Lake Michigan ports. I'll be
doing a on the water seminar in Ludington this coming Saturday
afternoon. I'm looking forward to this and not doing office stuff.
Way too busy is my deal! Since the Salmon fishing exploded
in the central/northern Lake Michigan ports, trying to keep up with
orders has been nearly impossible. Ludington is on fire
according to my UPS driver. He also reported this is the best
it's been in May, maybe ever. Hopefully, more fishin' news
What's going on in Lake Michigan right now is borderline
insane. Limits catches are the rule and not the
exception. Kings to almost 20 pounds, while not common place
are being caught with some regularity. Click
for 18#er on 5/21/05
Here's a port report from Manistee: "we
were catching a lot of small fish on spoons (early), then switched
to a pretty much a all meat program and took our larger fish that
put us in second place for the day, without running to the Big Point
Sable & spending an extra 100 bucks in fuel."....Capt.
Craig of Killin' Time Charters.
Craig was speaking of the Bungalow
Tournament held last Saturday 5/21/05 in Manistee where he had the
second largest King at 18.55 taken on Blue Double Glow Reel Flasher
and a Magnum Meat Head. His overall second place in this best
3 fish event was 46 lbs. Capt. Craig boxed 18 fish in the Bungalow 6
hr. tourney. So, he wasn't out there all day long to make this
meat catch from hell photo
Kings on Lake Michigan were awesome over this past weekend.
Reports from South Haven to Frankfort all mentioned limit
catches. Here's report from a dedicated & darn good two
man Salmon fishing team that often fishes Manistee:
"Hi John, Thought you would like to see how all your hard
work is paying off. We went 9 for 10 in 3 short hours,
releasing three Saturday evening (5/21/05). Blue, with the blue reel
flasher and the white glow attractor flies with the glow yellow tail was the knock out
punch.".............Thanks, Capt. Ken B. Click
for Sea Wolf's catch
Thanks for the bonus Magnum Meat Heads the other night. I doctored up a blue one with what
I had built from one of your fly kits & it worked exceptionally
First off, many, many thanks to Capt. Len Mitchell and his wife,
Anita for inviting me on his shake down cruise yesterday. Just
being on the big pond conjured many enjoyable memories from the past 30
some seasons. It was plain thrilling to watch the Manistee's
lighthouse shrink as we motored to the fishing grounds.
Our efforts (6 for 6) in a short period of time,
showed my new Magnum Meats Heads are a product to be reckoned
with. We caught and didn't have to get up in the middle of the
night, cuz we never cleared the pier heads until past 7:30am.
for hot rig #1 Click
for our best fish Click
for hot rig #2
I'm sure we could have boxed 4 limits of Kings, if we didn't release
fish (put 4 back) and trolled for another hour. However, this was strictly
a shakedown cruise and not an all-out assault to devastate the Salmon
population of Lake Michigan.
Yesterday morning, between 9:00am and
10:15am was another firm testament to the tackle I produce. Ecstatic
best describes my feelings about the deadliness of the new Magnum Meat
Heads. Unlike my competition's lackluster products, all my heads
have a uniform systematic snap-roll. This means Magnum Meat Heads
do not require constant close attention to re-tuning the thinner, soft
plastic tail section the foreign bait head makers have chose to build
into their product.
I hope to have my heads widely available
to the public by sometime in June. I have a backlog of 50 some
orders going to our message board members first. Then I'll install
the Magnum Meat Heads at www.michiganangler.com
I am running a special to the end of this month when you buy a flasher,
a free head is included.
I gonna put off today's update until I return from fishing out
of the Port of Manistee. First hand knowledge is what I'll
offer. It was great for Capt. Len to invite me on his first
run of 2005 on his new ride, a 31 foot Sea Ray Amberjack.
12pm (noon update) Found the Salmon
around 9am, took 6 kings in about the next hour and fifteen
minutes. Released 4, including our largest King (around 14lbs).
Just because, we could have killed a 4 person limit does not mean we
have too! Besides this was a shake down cruise. Capt.
Len's Amberjack is one helluva fishing rig bar none! This vessel
impressed me with it's overall top notch quality.
for our hot rig
here for Anita's Salmon
New bait heads performed flawlessly, as a new legend is being built one
fish at a time with a product called, Capt. John's Magnum Meat
Heads. I've designed an exceptional/superior product the kicks the
foreign made bait head's butt...reel-fact! More on this in
tomorrow and Monday's update.
TGIF, what a week! For the first time in about 4 weeks, it
looks like the weekend fishermen are finally gonna get a break and have
a gorgeous Saturday.
Even in Manistee, tomorrow's temps are supposed to reach to and past the
70 degrees. Manistee's famed "shelf" is finally starting
to sign some signs of life with some (not a lot) fish being
caught. Look for Manistee's spring fishery to drastically improve
over the next two weeks.
I was supposed to fish the Bungalow Tournament
in Manistee tomorrow, but both of my fishing buddies rigs are
down. One has a steering problem and the other has bad seals in
his outdrive. There's a captain's meeting tonight at the Bungalow
located on US 31 and Red Apple Road, just south of Manistee at
8pm. You can register at this meeting to participate in this 1
day, best 3 fish tourney.
Everything went well yesterday evening during the Flint
Steelheaders meeting. This organization is well known for
supporting worthy causes. They've built various public fish
cleaning stations, or donated to many around our state. They
support the privately funded Orsini Hatchery Steelhead in Benzie County
by recently purchasing a new aerator. Their annual Spring Sport
and Fishing Show in Birch Run, Michigan is one of the best in the state.
Another recent project of their works is; the
"take a kid fishing day," put on my the Parks and Recreation
Department where their monies purchased the fishing rods and reels (the
kids will get to keep & take home). Actually, this
powerhouse chapter the Michigan Steelheaders has done far good more then
I can list here.
I guess my biggest surprise was the number of
fishermen that attended last night's event the did not know how to snell
hooks. There 3 knots you must know to fish the Great Lakes, the
snell, blood knot (joining lines together) and Trilene (or Palomar).
There's a link on my Great Lakes Page to
This evening I'll be in Flint, Michigan as the speaker at the
Flint River Valley Steelheaders. This is an honor for
me. About 30 years ago, I sat in the audience, eager to gather
knowledge in a newly developing sport called, Great Lakes Salmon and
Trout fishing. Many improvements in the advance of technology
and much has changed since I started fishing for these critters in
However, one thing remains absolutely 100%
the same, as we were all new to the methodology & procedures
when we first decided to become Salmon fishermen.
Spent about 4 hours yesterday editing
photos for the presentation (cuz one picture is worth a 1000
words). Images help us absorb facts better. Plus, I have
no storage of relevant issue-related photos. It's my supreme
goal to put on one of the best fishing presentations you've ever
seen, but you can be the judge of that.
I hope to see many of you there and yes,
the Flint Steelheaders meeting is entirely 100% open to the public. Click
for directions to Walli's East in Flint, MI
The way it looks, Lake Michigan has finally exploded with good
fishing for Kings according to the fishing reports I received
yesterday. Mint-silver spring Kings offer some of best fishing
of the year and the good part is, they're not that hard to
catch. These fish are on the feed, having awoke from long
Now's the time to check tackle and install
new line. Inspect every rod, because all new fishing rods have
agate, or glass eyelets. These eyes can chip and if there's a
sharp spot exposed to the monofilament, when the rod bends.....it
will slice thru the line like a razor. Yes, this has
happened to me on more then one occasion.
Oil all the worm gears on the levelwind
mechanism, this will extend the life of the pawl that runs on the
worm gear. The pawl is responsible for moving the line back
and forth across the spool. If this jams when you have a
fish-on, all the line bunches up and wedges the line in one spot,
rendering the reel totally useless. Treat your tackle with forethought
and be rewarded with far fewer problems when dealing with gone wild,
rampaging spring King Salmon!
This past weekend's tournament in South Haven, Michigan was a
pretty good deal for most who fished it. As the info was
relayed to me, the juvenile 6 to 9 pound Kings were numerous and the
largest King caught was plus 19 pounds.
Limits of Kings are being caught from St. Joe to
Grand Haven. Reel Flashers and a cut-meat program is working,
taking the larger Kings in Lk. MI. Most reported best action
in 90 to 130 feet of water (20' to 90' down on the riggers).
Grindstone City and Harbor Beach had good catches of
Kings this past weekend. I heard 5 to 9 Kings a boat, and 7 to 10
pounders were the norm. It's good to hear Lake Huron continues on
the road to recovery from a slow 2004 season.
Not much to report from Manistee as frigid water keeps the action on
the slow side. Look for improving conditions as the water
Torture testing was done on my new meat heads
yesterday to insure the finest possible product on the market. I
stood on one of my heads, on one foot, with all my weight on the meat
head. The head did not break, warp, crack, fracture, split,
scratch, become bent, or loose it shape. I have 4 people that will
verify this event. Now, I dare you.......to try that with the lesser
quality foreign made heads!
for Green Magnum Meat Head in a Shure Strike configuration
The weekend warriors can not catch a break with anything close to
decent weather. Wind, rain and just plain cold has been the
problem of lately.
The open waters on Manistee's famed
"shelf" are chilly by anyone's standards! The
"shelf" is about 3 miles on a due west course straight out of
the harbor. 34.6 degrees is what I seen when I checked the link to
the surface temp chart located on my Great
Lakes Info Page. We need at least 44 degrees on the surface before
the Manistee fishery takes off, and 46 to 50 degrees for prime time
Oh, no, it's Friday the 13th? For those who tend to be superstitious,
today's supposed bad luck for reasons never explained to me. I'm
far more spooked by bananas on a boat, then a Friday that happens to
fall on a 13th. Bananas have always meant a slow bite and a
struggle to catch aboard my boat. If we were having a slow go, my
first question would be to the charter guests, "who brought the
bananas?" Once the customers get rid of their nanners, we
This week, Saugatuck has been producing good catches
of Kings from 9 to 15 pounds, as the word from southern Lake Michigan perks up.
I chartered out of Saugatuck in May for several seasons in the
1990s. When the spring Kings show up this port catches on
fire. I've had many half day charter when 15 to 20 some fish were
pretty easy to come by. Be forewarned this port has the worst
public facilities for those who trailer their vessels. So, crowded
conditions with many boats just ain't gonna happen at this
I heard this from a couple of good sources, Ludington way south
was producing good catches of Kings, before this most recent north
blow settled in. Little Point Sable was mentioned the likely
My time for the last 10 days has been tied
up with production issues concerning my new meat heads. Now,
that I have a handle on that, more time will be devoted to digging
up the latest word on what's happening with the fishies.
Lilacs are just starting to show signs of flowering at my
place. Once the Lilacs are in full flower, if we're gonna have
spring Kings, that's when we'll get a early season shot at
them. I've yet to hear of any spring Kings over 18 lbs, with
14s considered large. In the past, I taken several 25 lb. May
Tunas, but I guess those days are over with.
Special Offer: starting
today (5/11/05), for every
flasher purchased during the month of May, a free meat head is
thrown in. This is a valued packed deal, especially when you
consider X-Glow Magnum Meat Heads will retail for around 3 bucks
apiece. The free heads will be in the same base colored
material as the flasher bought. This deal starts today and
runs until the end of the month.
I think it's very attention-grabbing to seeing these meat heads
to order Reel Flashers with free Magnum Meat Heads
invited back to be the guest speaker at the Grand Haven Steelheaders
on June 15th, 2005. I was there last year, but interest was
so, so on fishin' with meat, but several of the members are now
believers in quest of more info. I've learned a lot since last
season on which flasher tends to perform better at certain ports
from orders received and at our message board's port reports page.
Also, since 2004 we found out by
cutting our own strips from Fish On's Green Label Herring,
performance has soared and it far less expensive then pre-cut
I will be demonstrating how to fillet your own bait at this meeting
and willing to answer any and all questions pertaining to my
products, or cut bait tactics. This meeting is also open to
the public. More info on this meeting will be coming soon.
Special Update: It gives
me great pleasure and I'm extremely proud to announce the first
production run of Magnum Meat Heads has almost completed. Bringing
this project from conception to completion has taken about 2
years. Once the injection molding process is done today the heads
will go to Jonesville, MI.
The meat heads require extremely small diameter holes
and at the proper angle. Needless to say, without the sophisticated
support from the members of our message board, this project would have
not been possible. The Magnum Meat Head is a totally American made
product, engineered in the USA and produced by the best workforce in the
Tomorrow another major announcement will be forth
coming concerning adding even more value to my Reel Flashers. Cuz,
for every flasher purchased during May, you'll receive a free meat
head. Yep, FREE!...(you heard right), with free being the
best word in the American language!
The 1st Annual Bungalow Fishing Tournament will take
place on May 21, 2005 in Manistee, MI. Call Jeremy at (231) 510-8311,
Dave at (231) 723-8000, or register at the Bungalow. The
Bungalow is located at Red Apple Rd. and US31, just south of
Manistee proper. The rules are: weigh your best 3 fish, leave
port at 6:30am and be back in by 12:30pm (1/2 hour past noon).
I view this as a fun deal. The food at the Bungalow bonus,
having chowed down there several times.
I have thrown my hat in this ring and will
have Ben J, John J as my highly vaulted team members. The
entry fee is 65 bucks, as $50 goes into the (100% payback) tourney
purse, with 15 bucks covering dinner at the Bungalow for 2 people,
additional people are charged a 10 spot for the grunts. This
event has nothing to do with the firm that runs the (dangerous to
the public) privileged commercial netting operations that seem to
plague Manistee and Ludington.
The reports from last weekend on Lake
Michigan showed fish were being caught from St. Joe north, but the
Kings were not coming easy. I heard of no easy limits in
double figures, like in the past 5 seasons. The water is still
cold all the way to Saugatuck, with surface temps in the low 40s,
except for the inshore waters.
I should have a major announcement sometime later today.
Until then, I'm postponing what I have to say in today's update.
There's a tournament in Manistee on
5/21/05. You can only weigh-in your best 3 fish and it's costs
65 dollars to enter. The details relayed to me were
kinda sketchy, but it sounds like there's no limit on rods. 15
bucks of the entry fee is going towards dinner at the Bungalow after
the tourney festivities conclude. I hope to have more info
contact person for those of you wanting to be a tournament
While my personal feelings are; Manistee
already shoulders far too much tourney pressure with 3 major summer
events, not counting the several Steelheaders contests.
Killing huge amounts of fish that otherwise would be here for the
average sport fishermen is not in the best interest of the Port of
Manistee and never has been. However, this 65 dollar, best 3
fish challenge might be a OK idea.
Just not much going on in Manistee, according to the few
fishermen I spoke with about yesterday's results. As the
weekend fishing reports
trickle in, I should be able to supply a more meaningful catching update
sometime later today.
I posted a photo of my new bullet head and showed
how the tapering shank of the Chinese product causes problems when
laying the Mylar fringe tape. This is gonna happen, cuz you
can't roll tape on a cone and expect it to lay flat. Were the
old style Chinese bullet heads OK to use?......yes, but the new
one's offer superior performance. I will have my bullet heads
in green, clear, red, blue, black, chartreuse and X-Glow in bulk by
here for comparison photo Retail pricing will be about the
same as the foreign import too, except for the X-Glow.
Update: The tool to produce the Magnum Meat Head is
in finished condition. Final test meat heads are on the way to me
and I should be giving the go ahead for the first production run
sometime later today. Designing this new head has been 2 years in
the research and development stage. Being fussy and taking my time
with this project means a far improved meat head.
Especially, when you compare what I'm offering to my foreign
competition's mediocre standards. The uniform action, durability,
strength and appearance will speak for it's self on the newly born Capt.
John's Magnum Meat Head!
Just not much going on is Manistee, according to the few fishermen I
spoke with about yesterday's results. As reports trickle in, I
should be able to supply a meaningful update later this afternoon.
An often overlooked component of today's flies is the bullet
heads several manufacturers use. I've designed a new bullet
head that does not taper at the rear shank, as severely as the
current made in China bullet heads. This means the Mylar lays
on a much flatter surface and does not bunch up underneath. I
know, many would consider this a small thing, but an overall
superior product line is my never ending quest. Click
for new bullet heads, now PROUDLY made in the USA!
Good luck to all fishing this
weekend. May the fish gods be with each and everyone of you
now and in the future!
Cliff from Waukegan, IL is supplying today's update with his
fishing report from yesterday. Here's what Cliff had to say, "Hey John,
The fishing continues very strong and I posted a report on the ports post. here is a picture to go along with the text. The Kings are deep and continue to have a great appetite for the lemon lime and King Cobra."........Cliff
Click for his
brag-board catch on 5/5/05
Cliff attended one of my seminars in
summer 2004 and knows first-hand how deadly Reel Flashers and
a simple meat program is. He also wrote a season long
breakdown of his results, before and after learning the flasher/meat
for his 2004 season-long report
I have one opening left for the May 28th, 2005 on-the-water
seminar in Ludington, MI. While you'll see 4 registered at: the
seminar info page, as one of the persons was a last minute
cancellation from last year and I didn't want to see him lose is
dough to a harsh cancellation policy. So, 5 persons will be
going on 5/28/05.
I have to cover two things today. First, those who have called
Walli's East, the date of May the 11th, 2005 is the Flint River Valley
Steelheaders Directors meeting. The general membership meeting is
May 18th, 2005 and that the one where I'll be doing my
presentation. I hope this clears up any confusion.
Like many of you, lack of fishing much has caused a
major attack of fishing fever, so I spent last evening making a few
attractor flies for meat rigs. If you haven't bought a fly kit,
let me recommend you do so now. Click
to purchase fly kit It's a great way to vent some frustration
and save some dough while you do. Everything is done with adhesive
and it's already installed. Scissors is all that's needed.
for arts and craft project on the Magnum Meat Heads
A warming trend starting today should spell better success as
our inshore waters need to warm to the 44 to 50 degree range for a
decent Salmon bite. The water temperature off Manistee is 37
degrees according to the coast watch temp chart. This chilly
water runs all the way to Holland before waters within a couple of
miles of shore hit the 40 degree mark. Look for everything to
bust loose and soon!
Reports are filtering in from Michigan City, IN, Waukegan, IL
and South Haven, MI Reel Flashers are starting to produce Kings
this early in the season.
Black Mamba, King Krimson
and Lemon Lime
Reel-Flashers were mentioned as the good guys doing the
damage. Fish 'em deeper then you're used to and catch!
I have a photo of the largest King taken the recent 21st
Annual Salmon Stakes Tournament. This fish was 35 inches long and
weighed just 10.75 pounds. The sad part about this Lake Huron King
is that it looks like it's suffering from anorexia, showing a large
head and a long skinny Pike-like body.
Rymar with the largest King in a 102 boat tournament
Spent most of yesterday resolving technical
issues pertaining to my new products. Made good headway, as we're
almost ready to start a 30,000 meat head production run. It's
been a lengthy journey, but the finish line is almost in sight.
Let's take yesterday's update one step further for today's main
topic. Back in the early to mid 1970 I attended Steelheaders
meetings when I lived in the Detroit area. If I came away with one
or two pieces of useful knowledge, thus considering it was time well
spent and a step positive in the right direction.
Most every charter operator I know started off as a
member of the Michigan Steelheaders. Making these meetings a
highway to the road of improving your skills.
view my presence at this meeting as conducting a work shop where every
person will be handed the knowledge that was passed down to me by
others. Plus, what I learned on thru the "school of
hard-knocks" over the past 37 years.
A clinic on knots, proper mindset, photo
presentations and is gonna make this one helluva a meeting you surely do
not want to miss. Especially, with the advent of the 2005 season
being upon us and, yes....the public is invited to attend!
On Wednesday, May 18th, 2005 it will be my great pleasure to be the
key note speaker at the Flint Steelheader's monthly meeting. My address will be titled
"What Not & Knot to Do!"
My focus will be on correct nots & knots.
1. Meaning the proper knot, suited to it's particular
application and what I learned from the Trilene knot testing machine
several years ago.
2. Then, shifting gears, I will speak of what mistakes that must be
absolutely avoided to make your time on the water more productive.
3. This is not gonna be an ram-it-down-your-throat infomercial for my products.
However, toward the end of my allotted time I will be answering any and all
questions pertaining to putting together a winning meat program that
proven it's self in all three Flint River Valley Steelheaders summer
tournaments on Lk. MI during 04.
Location: Walli's East,
located just south of I-69 (exit 139) on Center Rd.
Hospitality hour usually begins at 6:30p.m.(unless otherwise noted)
meeting starting at 7:30. The public is invited to attend (no need
to be a
here for a map
If you have a fishing report you'd like to share with the
viewers of this website, please Email them, along with photos to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
I'm pretty much home bound, getting everything in place for my new
meat heads and would enjoy hearing a good fishing tale, or seeing a
fish tails. Good luck to all who are getting on the big ponds
Today's featured photo is from a legally caught open water Lk.
Michigan trophy Walleye from the Port of Manistee. It's always
hard to guesstimate weight from a photo, but I'd say this 'eye is in
the neighborhood of 11 lbs. Click
for big 'eye
Still not much to report from Manistee concerning
the fishing scene. Brown Trout fishing remains at about one
bite per hour during the week and weekends are not offering much of
anything. The word from southern Lake Michigan is the inshore
waters are mixed up and cloudy, hampering success with not much lure
The smelt ran a few days back at the Whitney
Drain on Lake Huron and Walleyes are being caught in the Saginaw
Bay. On the inside of Saginaw Bay means most of the fish are
coming after dark. There's a daytime bite at Augres for
Spent yesterday running down issues pertaining to my meat heads
and bullet/squid heads. Packaging has been ordered and a top
card similar to what I have for hanging my Reel Flashers is in the
works. I should have the final test shot pieces in hand by
this weekend, with production starting next week.
More work is required on the CAD file I
have for the lure tape inserts on my Magnum Meat Heads. Click
here to get an idea of what the die-cuts will look like.
I'm getting kinda spooked, cuz I haven't
heard much yet for the anglers I know in St. Joe. It's time
for this port to catch fire for spring Kings. Hopefully, the coming
weekend reports from southern Lake Michigan will speak of good
A complete computer meltdown meant I spent all of last night and until
5am this morning piecing my system and office network back together.
I lost no data, because of a strong regimen of backing up all important
files on daily basis.
The rest of today will be devoted to getting a
die to cut the WTP lure tape for my meat heads. The plan is to
have matching heads similar to my flashers. The meat heads,
flasher and bullet/squid heads will all be made from exactly the same
colored plastic for a trio of heretofore never seen dynamic products.
I'm sure this continuity of color is gonna be another world first for
Kingfish Products, LLC.
The first production run of my new Magnum Meat
Heads is slated for the first part of next week. So, packaging
issues must be dealt with this week. Mid-May looks like a firm
date to have my Magnum Meat Heads readily available for sale at the
online web store: www.michiganangler.com
Spent a goodly portion of yesterday on the Big Manistee River water
testing my new Magnum Meat Heads. The test was a colossal success
with the test shot meat heads. I ran my stuff against the current
products on the market, being the foreign made Challenger and Rys Davis
heads. I had to re-bend every RD head to get them to even spin and
never got enough bend in the Challenger head for a decent roll in 2 mph
of water flow. Each and all of my heads performed uniformly
without any "tuning" whatsoever and had a far superior
perpetual sweeping roll with a larger chunk of herring.
here to view the various numbered test heads
Now, I know you expect any manufacturer to brag up his product and
condemn his competition, but this is a reel-fact many of you will soon
Tech Tip: If your results have been skimpy towing meat,
look for a constant, methodical roll from the bait head holder. If
your meat head does not rotate, put a more of a bend in the tail section
of product you're using. Yes, the older style heads will still catch.
Just don't be to broke to pay attention to the roll rate of the bait
head holder at all times to be successful.
Click here to see
rotation of my heads
My new Magnum Meat Heads do not require this constant re-tuning
Last week I was at the Riviera production facility in Port Austin,
MI during my travels around the state after Warren Knapp's funeral.
I helped make my newly introduced Tri Boards. Reason I had to
pitch in?....demand, because of a two week backlog of orders.
While at a 150 bucks a set, (some might
consider pricey) after seeing the machining and construction first
hand, the Tri Board is worth every penny. Last July in Harbor
Beach this board was tested in a good 4 foot head sea and performed
beyond anything I used or seen. Click
here a board being machined
Today's featured photo is from this past
Saturday, showing Team Rymar fishing the 1st Muskrat Blizzard Classic on
the St. Clair River. This tournament was aptly named, because the
cold, snowy conditions the participants endured. This team
finished tied for second place. Click
for Team Rymar on the St. Clair River 4/23/05
Here's Manistee's Marine Forecast: Gale
Warning in effect
North gales to 35 knots. Snow likely. Waves 12 to 16 feet.
Sunday Night: NW winds to 30 knots.
Chance of snow. Waves 10' to 14' subsiding to 6' to 10' after midnight.
Monday: W winds 10 to 20 knots.
Chance of rain and snow showers. Waves 3' to 6'
I suspect by the time the seas settle down mid-week, Manistee should
be set up for some pretty decent fishing. North wind, followed by
west wind always seems to help us. I'll go out on a limb and
predict our harbor will be jam-packed with Alewives by this coming Wed.
Only time will tell if my crystal ball is telling the truth!
I found out the reason fishing took a slight turn for the better in
the Port of Manistee. The NW blow last Wednesday piled the bait up
in and around the pier heads. Traditionally, this is the time of the
year alewives spawn in our harbor, thus providing bountiful table for
hungry predators with scales and tails.
The dumpster ducks (seagulls) could be seen diving
and working the Manistee's basin for an easy meal too, which is another
unmistakable signal the bait is in.
I have noticed most large flocks of cormorants have
bypassed our area and kept flying due north. They must be in a
hurry to nest, because the early warm weather in April. In 2005 I
have seen no large floating black rafts of cormorants in Manistee Lake
like in the previous 3 or 4 years. This could spell better Brown
fishing in 2006.
Wednesday's blow in Manistee seemed to help our ailing Brown
Trout Fishery in a very positive manner. Some of the boats
that fished yesterday had good amounts of Browns in the 3 to 4 pound
range, but we're still missing last years plant. I have heard
of no 1.5 to 2 pound Browns whatsoever. I did hear of a 17
pound King taken in Frankfort a few days back and a 18 pound spring
whopper King caught in Manistee yesterday. So, all in all, a optimistic
report of better things to come is our theme for today's update!
Water testing for correct whole placement in my new meat heads
is going well. Spin rate is governed by where the fishing line
(monofilament) enters thru the top hole on the meat head. I
will personally guarantee you, my heads will all have a uniform rate
of roll without the constant re-tuning factor we've became
accustomed to with the older style foreign heads.
3 men of the cloth presided over Mr. Warren Knapp's funeral
yesterday in Grand Rapids. All 3 of the ministers personally
knew Warren and spoke the good word in way seldom heard in this day
Water testing is my main concern to absolutely
make sure the Magnum Meat Heads perform up to the standards I
demand. I did have successful prototype tests, but the part
that comes out of the new injection molding tool needs to be
I posted some photos of last weekend's
second annual get together in Augres. Obvious circumstances
prevented me from attending, but none the less everyone caught fish
and was blessed with a gorgeous day on Lake Huron. Click
for lures used
Warren Knapp's funeral dictates my presence in Grand Rapids this
morning. Then, the next few days will be strictly 100% devoted to
water testing the new meat heads before they're ready to hit the
Providing daily updates this week might be
questionable, because the extreme importance of the water testing
project. So, if you don't see this website updated everyday,
you'll know precisely why.
Haven't heard much from St. Joe about the Kings
starting yet, and from the latest word, fishing this past weekend
was on the tough side for many. Augres is producing Walleyes
and a very few silver fish in gin clear water.
Ludington, Frankfort and Manistee results on
Browns have been mixed from day to day. Some have done OK, but
most are struggling to put a fish or two in the boat.
It gives me a great amount pleasure to announce the world debut
of Capt. John's Magnum Meat Head. This product has been two
years in the research, design and development stage. I made
sure my bait head meat holder is far superior to the halfheartedly
made foreign goods we've been accustomed to using.
There's a brand new dawn in quality, made in the
USA meat heads that will be available in bulk pricing to American
dealers with sale tax numbers, EINs, or proof of a 720 form
here to see the enhanced value
I've went to great lengths to insure the
durability of my Magnum Meat Head is beyond compare. Click
here for side-by-side comparisons with the foreign brands.
The Magnum Meat Heads feature far more options on
the type, size and thickness of bait you can use. Whole
herring (Red Label), pre-made strips and home-made Fish-On Green
Label strips are all useable solutions. Click
here to see more on this
I'm still about 3 weeks away from full production
and product availability.
Manistee County has lost a dear friend. Mr. Warren Knapp
passed away early yesterday morning. Warren spent the last 23
years fishing out of the Port of Manistee and became a well-liked,
local icon. As I mourn the loss a treasured fishing buddy, I
also celebrate the reel-fact Warren remained in good health thru '04. Even at 80 years young, he was able to launch, fish most
of the day and retrieve his boat the "Dotti K" by entirely
here for Manistee's friend, Mr. Warren Knapp
Warren was responsible for several of
the past updates and was a tremendous asset to this website He saw things from thru the eyes of a true
sport fisherman in a 18 foot boat with basic equipment. His
reports better reflected the reel-action in Manistee, without
ever being inflated. Click
to see Warren's reel-action
The Zaagman Funeral Home located at 2800 Burton
Ave. SE in Kentwood, MI is handling part of the arrangements.
Viewing times are 2 to 4pm and 7 to 9pm on Monday, April 18,
2005. His funeral will take place at Home Acres Reform Church
located at 21 Murray SE in Kentwood, MI at 11am, Tuesday,
April 19, 2005.
Some things take precedence over fishing. Warren Knapp has
slipped into a coma and hasn't let go yet. I must travel to
Grand Rapids today to show my support to his family. This will
be my final goodbye to a friend I fished with a bunch of
times. So, my presence, regretfully in Augres will not
happen. I kinda knew all week this was going to happen.
I'd have felt guilty for fishing in Augres, even though I know
Warren would give me hell for not going to our 2nd annual get
together in Augres. I wish everyone well in Augres and catch a
few for me.
Tomorrow (Sat. April 16, 2005) will mark our second annual
spring outing at Augres, MI. If the catching is even half as
good as last year's, I'm sure everyone will go home happy.
Heck, just to be back on the water is good enough for me!
Here's my report from yesterday on the situation with the Browns in
of Manistee, Fished from 8:45am to 11am.
We had one hit and boated a chunky 3.5
pound brown on a gold and black S11 Rapala. There was 100 feet of
line off the regular dual planer board tag line. Speed was slow,
less then 2 mph. I seen 3, maybe 4 other fish caught and there
were about 12 boats trolling. Click
for our solo Brown
Every fish was taken either in the basin,
or dark colored river water. The water is kinda clear both north and
south of the harbor. Seeing bottom in 10 to 12 feet of water was
A long ways from good, is my opinion and I
would not consider traveling to Manistee from what I seen, unless
you live close to this port. Click
here for lure used
I suggest you join our message board if you like reading the
reel-truth? The above report was copied and pasted directly
from our port reports forum.
I've committed to fish the Great Lakes Professional Angler
Association's tournament in Frankfort, MI this August 13th &
14th, 2005. I'll be in this contest with Capt.
"Getaway" Bob Kietzman aboard his well-rigged 22 foot
The GLPAA upholds the highest standards in
tourneys with guaranteed pay-outs. They are known for a clean, well
run event with media coverage If you're looking to avoid the
Manistee tournaments sponsored by the parent organization of the
commercial net fishermen, this is a super alternative. Click
for more GLPAA info
Gonna try to make it out this morning with
Capt. Tom Rasmussen to see if the sad reports of late on Manistee's
ailing Brown fishery are true. This will be a pleasant break
from my daily routine even if the Brown Trout catching sucks!
The second annual outing of message board members will happen
this coming Saturday, April 16th, 2005 at Augres, MI. We had
to set this do back a week to make sure the ice was gone and the
launching docks were in. The starting time is anytime you wish
and an after the catch get-together is gonna be at Dunleavy's Pub,
also in Augres around 3pm.
My dear friend, Warren Knapp is gravelly
ill. I wish his wife Dotti and the entire Knapp family
strength to endure the ultimate crisis they're going thru. The
way it looks, Warren's about ready to pull lines for the final time
within the next few days.
From the sound of things, Ludington is producing a better fishery
for Brown Trout, when compared to Manistee. There's a bunch of
Steelhead at Tippy Dam on the Big Manistee River and bank fishermen are
I re-formatted the trolling
bag page at the MichiganAngler website to include the 24",
30", 36" and 42" sizes and current pricing. These
are premium sea bags that will give many seasons of usage with minimal
care. To view the custom pouches that are included with every bag
Spoke with my injection molding company
yesterday and it looks like they're gonna test run the tool today.
The test run is to guarantee all pieces are the same. Then after
my inspection and OK, we'll swing into a full production run before the
end of this month. Perfect timing for the Kings of May when the
The new tool to produce my Magnum Meat Head is nearing
completion. I suppose there will be test pieces in-hand before
long. I had to blue out the sensitive areas of this 2 stage
die, as it makes 8 bullet heads for flies/squids and two meat heads
at a time. Click here
for an idea of what this new tool looks like
No longer will we have to use bullet heads from
China and meat heads from foreign countries. In keeping with
my philosophy, made in America
is far better!
Having the flashers, bullet heads and Magnum Meat
Heads under the same roof means adaptation
to a far superior product line then the hodge-podge of current
mismatched products. Thus, providing a tremendous advantage
over the competition. Foreign domination of bait-head market
is about to come to an end!
Being politically correct on the issue of commercial netting
means taking the middle road and acting like the problem does not
exist. Taking a firm stand against something we all know is
not right is far from easy.
I charge collusion to any company that
participates in any event sponsored by the parent company of the
commercial netters that endangers safe navigation. By taking
part in these events, they're validating principles that are
contrary to the US Constitution. I will be watching closely
the tourney entrants and which name they register with. By
doing so, we'll have a course of direction concerning the companies
that sell us tackle are headed for the rest of this season and next.
We all know where the weigh-in of these
events takes place at the Little River Casino located at M22 and
US31. Perhaps, a more befitting spot could be the commercial
netters boat yard in East Lake, Michigan where they store their nets
and gear. East Lake is closer to Manistee anyways, being just
across Manistee Lake!
Rumor is: there will be 3 commercial fishing vessels working out
of Manistee during 2005. Their parent organization which is
pushing for unlimited hunting and fishing rights is taking another
major step to piss off a bunch of people, including me!
Please remember, those who
failed to let me know on which side of the fence they stand are now
being shown "red-lined" on our No Nets page. This list
includes those who have participated in tournaments sponsored by
said parent organization. The new red lined list includes
companies close to my area well aware of this problem. By
contacting me in writing, they can have their status changed
ASAP. Click here for the No Nets! page
It's high time these companies either poop, or get of the pot!
There is no two sides to this unfair and very immoral issue!
This whole net deal is a bunch of crap and
has been from the get-go. Factor in, the other side has been adjudicated
to take illegal species contrary the laughable 2000 Consent
Agreement. Please show on which side you stand, by voting with
your dollars! I beg you not become complacent over this issue!
As a lately, sea or trolling bags are gaining popularity in a
big way. Being able to control your speed for maximum lure efficiency
is an often overlooked factor by those new to the Great Lakes
trolling game. If you have no way to govern trolling
speed?.....you're destined to have sporadic and skimpy results at
The benefits of bags, besides giving your vessel
precision speed control, is they
plant your boat in the water more firmly and take a lot of the echo
(rock) when you have to turn and run beam seas. With
bags, your spread can straighten out better without a huge mess of
tangled lines. As a rule with my "bags in" I could
catch fish in both directions (with and against the waves). Click
for more on boat speed
bags I sell at: www.michiganangler.com
are top notch and will last many seasons, unlike a some of the junk
on the market now. This product is made by Dick Boyajian here
in Manistee County. Dick is a WWII vet and flew combat
missions in the Pacific Theater during 1944 & 1945, making him
80 years young! Put his vast experience to work in the canvas
industry for you. His bags range in size from 24 inches to 40
inches, with 36 inchers being the most popular and versatile.
Our planned outing for this coming this Saturday at Augres, MI
has been canceled for a about a week now and felt I should mention
it again. We have postponed this event and it will take place
on Saturday, April 16th, 2005. Word from that area is the most
of the ice is gone and walleyes are being caught now.
14# Brown caught on 4/9/04 Click
for the 4/9/04 meat catch photo
The fishing here was superb in 04 and I'm looking forward to
4/16/05 in a huge way!
The spring fever epidemic heightened yesterday in Manistee
County with temps in the lower 70s. I found myself wanting to
hit the big pond, just 12 miles down the road from my house even if
Brown Trout fishing sucks. Getting away for a few hours will
be a welcome event and help relieve the pressure from daily flasher
production. Making time for ourselves is something we all need
to do more often.
When fishing, I am totally unencumbered
with anything related to any type stress. Focusing 100% on the
clues and patterns our Great Lakes offer when we're trying to catch
is a full time job and the daily worries of life seem to melt away!
High water has slowed the Steelhead action temporally on in the Big
Manistee. Those who are catching Browns on Lake Michigan are being
pretty tight lipped, or not catching many.
I guess the biggest news from my area is
the continuing upward spiral of the price of gas. $2.30 is our
current price, but north and south of us, I've head $2.40 for regular
was being charged. 60 years ago President Harry Truman stated that
our country must maintain and supply it's own fuel needs. Now,
President Truman was a man of the people and did not come from the elite
families groomed for the highest office in our land. He saw things
thru the eyes of the common man and knew total energy independence was
needed for the American People over six decades ago!
The funny thing about gas is at one time is was
considered a useless byproduct during the refining of oil, with most
homes being lit by oil lamps (gasoline was far too volatile). That
all changed in a hurry with the advent of the internal combustion
engine, of which we still depend on about 125 years later.
Necessity is the mother of all invention and
with the multi-national oil conglomerates raising prices to intolerable
levels, they'll drive themselves out of business, as alternative forms
of powering vehicles and boats will be sought.
Here's a report for Strike Zone Charters on the status of the
"The fishing is very tough right now, with most boats struggling to put one fish a day in the boat. The water is very high and very dirty. The good news is that everyday conditions are improving and it should be in good shape by mid week. The Steelhead are just starting to move unto the gravel so it looks like we can expect fish for a few more weeks."
Happy Fishing....Capt. Jay Frolenko
Doug Samsal said just about the same thing, but
with the exception of the bank fishermen at, or just below the
coffer at Tippy Dam who did quite well. Look for improving
conditions once this first flush of high, debris-filled water rinses
the system. While high water can be a pain, the large flowing
plume of water from the Manistee watershed emptying into Lake
Michigan will help draw many more fish in.
Lk. Michigan was a little on the lumpy side yesterday. So, the
smaller boat fishermen I spoke with, did not fair so well.
Most hung it up early, and from the consensus was not a whole lot of
fish were caught by the small boat fleet.
Work and preparation on my brand new
battle-cruiser continues today and tomorrow. Targeted launch
date is this coming Tuesday. Mid-week fishing for Browns
generally means less crowded conditions and more fish boated per
In case you haven't read my article
on April tactics for Brown Trout click
here. The tips and trix discussed in that piece helped me
boat 334 fish (mostly all Browns) in April of 1999. This is
one of the item specific and very detailed articles all of our
private message board members have access to once they join.
All of my works used to be open to the
public, but plagiarism from unscrupulous internet pirates
forced me to protect my original content and go to a private format.
I hoped you
remembered to set your clocks ahead one hour last night, cuz I
forgot as usual. Daylight savings time is now in effect.
Word on the April Brown Trout fishing seems to be a tad little
better then what's I've heard, or saw in the past two seasons.
I'm not ready to say, the Browns in Manistee have returned to the
same level as the 1990s, but there have been
a few encouraging reports. Small boat fishermen are doing best
from the pier heads to the "onion" (water tower), slightly
north of Manistee's harbor on S11 Rapalas.
I hope to get a hands on report when I make
the maiden voyage on the new battle cruiser I recent
purchased. Seeing first hand is a whole lot better then
relying on updates from others. I look to hit the big pond
this coming Tuesday afternoon if conditions are favorable.
Doug Samsal, one of the most experienced/productive guides on
the Big Manistee River called me today with report of what's
happening on the big river. While Doug had been fishing on the
lower end of the river, ......he said, "lack of run-off and
clear water conditions kept the lower end red-hot for the first 3
weeks of March. Now, with the rain as of late you can expect
the upper stretch by Tippy Dam to break wide open in a day or
here for Doug's website
Also, according to TV news last night the
Manistee River above Mesick, MI was at flood stage and expected to
be overflowing it's banks from the rain we had the last 2
days. With this surge of new water, more fish will be entering
the system from Lk. Michigan and looking for gravel to spawn
on. Fish the faster water with a gravel bottom for the best