Message board member, Jeff C....aka "Uncle Rich" showed
how to get the job done while fishing out of the Port of St. Joe on
3/29/06! Rich and Kevin had a 2 person 10 fish limit
consisting of Coho, Kings and a Brown Trout. Plus, they caught and
released a number of Lake Trout in their fish-fest.
Click for Jeff's catch
Here's some observations on the Big Manistee
River I noticed a couple of days ago. Steelhead in the stretch from High
Bridge to Bear Creek were not there in big numbers. I seen a lot
of fishing (being in eyeshot) of other boats most of the day.
Boats we spoke with?......most had nary a fish and very darn few
opportunities to report. We gave a tow to two stranded fishermen
when the motor broke down around Pine Creek tributary area of the big
river 3 miles from the launch. Click
for tow photo
After seeing last weekend's fish pictures, I just couldn't stand
it any longer and went FISHING yesterday. By some standards
the two Steelhead Steve "Roscoe" Burns and I boated on the
Big Manistee River might not look like a big deal!
To us? .......it was a wonderful way to
spend a splendiferous day outdoors on the Big Manistee River.
Sure, I stared at idle rods more then I would have liked too, but staring
at any fishing rod, beats the hours I spend staring into a computer
Seeing the pleasure on Mr. Roscoe's mug, as
he won two hard earned battles with the dogged, determined, and high
flying (7 big jumps in 2 fish) Mr./Ms. Steelhead was way beyond
for 1st fish Click
for trophy male Click
for hot lures
Tomorrow's update will feature a timely
report and limit catch photo from one of our highly regarded message
board members about St. Joe, MI on 3/31/06. I'll also add some
interesting observations about fishing the BMR on 3/29/06.
All is extremely well in Manistee County with spring-like
weather. If yesterday and today don't make you think of
getting the boat out of storage, you haven't been outside
much. It's simply great to see the happy smiley faces with
fresh caught fish from our Great Lakes, rivers and streams! Click
for Andy's Steelhead
BTI Update: Received my first
shipment of clear 10 inchers yesterday. The fit and finish is
plain beautiful! The Michigan company that built the tooling
and is making the flasher blades did themselves proud! WTP has
my lure tape order in process and that scheduled to ship early next
week. The plan is to be shipping BTIs by mid-April. Just
in time for our action packed spring King Salmon season, which
takes off in early May.
Coho catching in Indiana's is good, with limits
commonplace. Early Coho are chunky 2 to 3 pounders, which
shows they've been eating good. I know we're all concerned
about the forage base of Lk. MI and that's the reason I brought this
Ports like St. Joe are starting, some Lk.
MI Browns are being taken along Michigan's coast. Late March
Steelheading opportunities are fair to decent on the Pere Marquette
and Big Manistee Rivers, if you can stand the crowds?
Lake Huron is off to a slower start for it's
inshore fishery, because of lingering cold water in the mid 30
degree ranges. Thus, delaying Lake Huron's awaited smelt run.
Inshore waters of Lake Michigan in Ludington and Manistee is hovering around the 38 degree mark. 38 degrees and above
always signaled decent shoreline Brown Trout trolling. Same
thing goes for the Manistee River when 38 degrees showed best
Steelhead results with high action wobbling plugs, like the T4
With the approach of April only a few days off,
look for the Season 2006 to starting rolling big time.
Southern-most ports will light up first, then the action moves
northward during the month of May. Manistee's peak spring bite
for Kings seems to coincide with Memorial Day Weekend thru the first
week of June for fairly easy limits.
Capn Kirk's Ludington Brown Trout Report: "Great fun on
the big lake today (3/25/06). Were 4 for 6. Had 3 on
boards, 1 on rigger 4' down, 2 on dipsys set as high as
you can 20' back. Will be right back out there Sunday."
Installed the new auto feed rivet
machine yesterday to speed up production.
This new riveting tool will soon earn it's keep with 10,000 of the
new 10 inch flashers
arriving this week. Click
here for a riveting experience!
Guide just listed a 22' Starcraft Islander for under 7k.
This boat has been stored indoors and comes with riggers and
sonar. Click here for more info
Spring has been slow in coming to the north country in Manistee
County. In fact, it's been more like winter-like. This
is a good thing for the sought after Steelhead on the many rivers
and streams that enter from our Great Lakes. Cooler weather
holds the rivers back from warming to the said prime Steelhead
spawning temp of 40 to 44 degrees. Which in turn, lengthens
the spring Steelie season.
Installing a new automatic rivet
press is the main thing that needs accomplishing today. This
is a much needed tool to speed up production for the soon to be here
10 inch flashers. The first all-out production run of 10,000
BTI flasher blanks starts on 3/27/06 (this coming Monday) and be
in-house by 3/31/06, or sooner.
Yesterday and today is devoted to more chores associated with
the new Big 10 in. project. The BTI project was made possible
by our community of message board members and their expertise!
Brandy's nephew, Pat is part and parcel of Kruger Plastics in SW
Michigan, made the tooling and is producing the flasher
Getaway and Ted H. are the top-notch CAD
design engineers who made the die prototypes and tooling for WTP die
cuts. Capn Kirk delivers products to my house via his brown
truck from UPS. Reed S has worked on trade-marking issues and
DBartlett is doing a logo for Kingfish Products. Click
here to preview 10 inchers
Our entire flasher production team is from
our message board too! Ben, Take 5, Megan Ann and Roscoe will
all be making flashers in the very near future.
Most Important: With the
displayed complete cooperation of our membership in lending helping hands on the 10 incher project, my most sincere thank you
all! Now, wouldn't you think, that joining this great group of
anglers is in your best interest too?
This past Tuesday, I spoke with Craig from Capt. Chuck's in
Ludington about the ins and outs of running copper line. Craig's
mini seminar on copper showed what not to buy, as 30# test copper could
be stretched and broke by hand (without a whole lot of
Then he showed me the right stuff and
recommended 7 strand copper line in 45# test with a .037 diameter.
Click for Captain Chuck's website
A customer was at the counter and tried hard to
break the 45# by twisting, bending and a good hard stout pull that never
caused the line to part.
My next question was knot do you use to attach
stranded copper line to the business end and to the backing? Craig
shared the fact, a Albright Knot was recommended by the
here for an Albright Knot
The sink rate on 45# test copper line is 7
to 9 feet per 30 feet of line let out, making it sink about twice as
fast as 27# lead core.
This was reported back to me from those who
ran copper during 2005. On turns, copper would occasionally
tangle with high Dipsy Divers on the 3 setting. There were some
issues when running copper & lead core, because of the differing
sink rates too.
Angela and John emailed in a great photo of one of the largest
Steelhead I seen, thus far in the 2006 season. The big male was a
few ounces short of 13 pounds and was caught on 3/11/06. Click
Frank's Great Outdoors in Linwood, MI is
now an authorized dealer for my product line. Click
for more info on Frank's Frank's has been in business for 60
years serving the areas of Bay City, Saginaw, Midland, Flint and the
northbound traveler from SE Michigan. Frank's Great Outdoors is
located just off I75 on M13, a few minutes north of US10 and I75
junction near Bay City.
Tomorrow's update will be courtesy of Craig
from Captain Chuck's in Ludington, MI. Craig set me straight on
what works and more importantly what DON'T, when is comes to running 7
strand braided copper line. Copper line features about twice the
sink rate of lead core. Click
for Captain Chuck's website
Our message board member, 2-Shot drew first blood this past weekend
on Lake Huron's outer perimeter of Saginaw Bay. He landed 3
respectable Browns (his limit) to plus 10 pounds and released 3
Lakers. All in all, a pretty incredible feat when you figure Mr.
2-Shot was fishing the near-shore waters all by his lonesome. The
bite was in balsa stick baits with inline planers in depths from 6' to
10'. Click for
Want to know the correct place and exact lures
used? Well, you'll have to join our message board, cuz that kind
of sensitive inside info is reserved for our members only!
Spring officially arrives today at 1:26 P.M. EST, as
the Sun will cross directly over the Earth's equator. This moment is known as the vernal equinox in
our Northern Hemisphere. Equinox translates to: "Equal
Night," as our days and night will be approximately the same
length. The next time this will happen is Sept. 22, 2006
signaling the beginning of fall 2006. OK, enough with the
technical jargon, I know it's spring, cuz I seen my first Mr. Robin
Redbreast of 06 in the backyard yesterday!
Today is the last day for Mr. Winter 2006, and his passing will
be greatly appreciated by all eager big water anglers. Spring
arrives tomorrow, along with gradually increasing predicted temperatures
all this week for Manistee County.
From the webstore orders at www.michiganangler.com
I can see the Indiana and Illinois fishery starting to pick up, as
their Lk. MI season has probably already started.
More northerly Michigan/Wisconsin
ports will see all-out action in about a month from now. Ludington
and Manistee's spring King season seems to start in the last half of
May, with the Memorial Day Weekend being the best bet for limits of
All continues to be well on the Big Manistee River, considering
the high water. Steelhead during the past week have been
caught from the M55 Bridge to Tippy Dam in respectable
numbers. The recent high water has been cleaner then what
you'd expect from the usual March high water. The water is
carrying far less debris than normal, cuz the high water stages in
December & January already rinsed the big river a couple of
St. Patrick's Day means we're just that much closer to
spring, which officially starts this coming Monday.
Good news from the Big Manistee River from
Capt. Paul Schlafley. On 3/15/05 they boated 6 Steelhead (all on
plugs). Now, 6 Steelhead is a good day in anyone's book, but the
best part is; all the fish ranged from 8 to 10 pounds. This shows
our spring run Steelies to be a pound, or two heavier than the November
05 thru February fish 06. Which in turn, also indicates last
January's record warmth provided a longer growing season, resulting in
bigger fish. Click for
contact info for Capt. Paul
If this trend stays true, the baitfish
population in Lk. MI might in better shape then many thought. Only
time will tell, and there's a whole season in front of us.
Want to add a foot to the width of your existing boat?
Need a couple of extra feet in the length too? Then you
might need to seriously consider having a custom built
radar-arch/rocket launcher for your vessel. You'll pick up
extra room, as your boat will become more organized in a big
for close-up of arch
Plus, you'll have dedicated rodholders for
a lead core, and surface bird program. If you're in the market
for an arch, consider placing overhead work lights to shine down on
the deck and adding net holders. Click
here to email the custom arch-smith
Since returning from the Birch Run Steelheader's show, my entire
focus has been on bringing the new 10 inch flasher into existence.
All pieces, parts, colorants, lure tape, paint and hardware have
The tool or die that makes the 10" is
nearing the stage of final completion, once the port and starboard
lettering are etched into the tool. There's still a little
left on the table, but all the minor issues will be a done deal by
the end of today.
It's exciting to work within the
structure of American industry and see the USA "can-do"
spirit in action. I'm proud of this fact and don't mind saying
Click here for link
to a timely article concerning pre-preparation It is
especially important to have all your ducks in a row, before the
2006 season begins.
full fledged production of the new 10 inch flasher looming in the
near future, my time for researching daily updates fresh will be
hard to come by.
If you have noteworthy news, recent fish photos
or current fishing reports, by all means email them to me at: email@example.com
The Manistee River is at flood stage in Sherman, MI. If
you're a river Steelhead fisherman?..... get prepared for the first
major flush of debris
with high water. High water is a double edged sword, drawing
more fish in the Manistee River system and a bunch of grass, weeds
and leaves to constantly foul your lines.
Finished the article about installing
crimps on the business end of your wire line, along with a small
history lesson about braided 30# test stainless wire. Also,
there's a couple bonus links to pages formerly reserved for private
message board members only. Interested in seeing the new
60 degrees in Manistee County yesterday! With the official
advent of spring only 8 days away, the big lake fishing season will
soon be here. Those who ply the waters of southern Lake
Michigan in Indiana and Illinois are probably already getting a few
days in on the "big pond."
There is a major shortage of dockage at all
ports that I'm familiar with. The main reason is condo developers have gobbled up
most of the smaller mom and pop marinas. If
you're planning to slip your boat for a season or a weekend, look
for this problem to worsen over time. Even Solberg's in
Manistee was running at full capacity during August of 2005.
That's never happened since I moved to Manistee in 1992.
According to our Ludington port reporter and my UPS driver,
Capt. Kirk says work has already began dredging out the Loomis boat launch. Here's his
"It's the man in brown with something possible for your
report. The City of Ludington has already (3-10-06) started dredging the boat ramp in Ludington!
That's like 6 weeks early! They are really catering to the
fisherman. Especially the ones that troll in January & March.
KUDOS to Shawn McDonald in charge of Ludington D.P.W. !!!!
I wouldn't be surprised, if they put the ramps in about a week."
My thanks to Capt. Kirk for the timely news! Click
watch progress on harbor cam
60 degrees in Manistee County yesterday! With the official
advent of spring only 8 days away, the big lake fishing season will soon
be here. Those who ply the waters of southern Lake Michigan in
Indiana and Illinois are probably already getting a few days in on the
There is a major shortage of dockage at all
ports that I'm familiar with. Condo developers have gobbled up
most the smaller mom and pop marinas, being main reason. If you're
planning to slip your boat for a season or a weekend, look for this
problem to worsen over time. Even Solberg's in Manistee was
running at full capacity during August of 2005. That's never
happened since I moved to Manistee in 1992.
According to our Ludington port reporter and my UPS driver,
Capt. Kirk says work has already began dredging out the Loomis
boat launch. Here's his exact words:
"It's the man in brown with something possible for your
report. The City of Ludington has already (3-10-06) started dredging the boat ramp in Ludington!
That's like 6 weeks early! They are really catering to the
fisherman. Especially the ones that troll in January & March.
KUDOS to Shawn McDonald in charge of Ludington D.P.W. !!!!
I wouldn't be surprised, if they put the ramps in about a week."
My thanks to Capt. Kirk for the timely news! Click
watch progress on harbor cam
Good news from the Big Manistee River and Capt. Paul Schlafley.
As of yesterday at 11:30am (Thurs. morning), his guests had boated a
total of 17 Steelhead since Monday. Here's Paul's big river
report, "the water has came up slightly and it has clouded up
slightly since last weekend." Capt. Paul generally keys
in on the lower 15 miles of the Big Manistee at this time of the
More on the BTIs starting next week, cuz
this project is now moving pretty fast, but there's still a few
loose ends. Click
for stack of BTIs Click
1st BTI Black Mamba
Capt. Randy Even, inventor of the Slide Diver and operates
"Sorry Charlie Charters" in Sheboygan, WI has introduced a
product to fine tune your diver program. It's series of
weights used in the nose of Slide Divers and Dipsys that come in 2,
3 and 4 ounce sizes. 3 oz. is the standard size, 4 oz. will
add more depth and the one I was most interested in was the 2
ouncer. This lightest size will help keep your divers more controllable
in shallow water applications like inside of 20 feet of water, or on
harbor patrol for August/September Kings. Click
here for photo of new weight system
From 2000 to 2003 during May and June, per
hours run, my 2 high Slide Divers set on 4 with monofilament line,
had a highest fish per hour ratio boated. Please do not
overlook is valuable fish catching tool if you're looking to improve
your diver program.
As promised, today's photo of the day shows Capt. Joe's storage
bag for organizing his many 3 fly meat rigs in a neat way.
This bag is available at Bass Pro and you can purchase extra pouches
for tackle storage photo
Here's a method of storing herring fillets that needs
to be mentioned. Joe uses a pint sized Mason jar (w/lid) and a
tiny lunch sized cooler. He packs the small cooler full of ice, then
stores it in his larger cooler. This eliminates any chance of
spillage, or having your meat go bad. My thanks to Capt. Joe
von Grabe for sharing his wisdom.
Tomorrow's update will focus on fine tuning a
diver presentation in shallow water by Capt. Randy Even, the
inventor of the lethal Slide Diver. Stay tuned, more good
stuff is on the way. The official start of spring is only
about 2 weeks away!!!!!
Sometimes the simplest things get overlooked when it comers to
solving storage problems, as demonstrated in today's photo. Click
for trick storage device
When you're done fishing and plan on fishing
again (like the next morning) use a small bucket to lay your diver,
flasher and meat rig in. With slight care on how you lay the
diver/flasher/meat rig in a bucket, your diver program will be in
attack mode in short order. I think Joe's bucket
idea is the slickest invention since sliced bread!
Tomorrow, I'll feature Capt. Joe Von Grabe's
pouch for 3 fly meat rig storage and his answer for keeping herring
fillets/strips cold without making a mess in your cooler.
Wednesday's update will focus on fine tuning your
diver program in shallow water.
Let's start today's update with me thanking my 2006 Birch Run
seminar team of Dave, Joe, Roscoe and Paul who did one helluva
job! Their efforts far surpassed anything done
for my best seminar team so far!
While I already knew Dave, Paul and Roscoe like
family, getting to know Joe was a special hit with me. His
part of our presentation even taught me a thing, or two! Especially,
in the areas of solving simple problems like diver/flasher/meat rig
My three days at the show were plain
wonderful, as I got to meet, or speak with approx. 200 members from
our message board. I super appreciate their support and
turning out for the show. Plus, I signed up several new
members at the show.
There's far too much for me to share with
you concerning last weekend's great event put on by the Flint
Chapter of the Michigan Steelheaders in just one update.
So, during the course of this week, I'll
try to bring all up to speed I what I picked up at the show.
I'll have updates pointing at fine tuning your diver program,
storage devices and other interesting factoids.
My seminar team did a outstanding job in our first one last
night. Today seminar 2 happens at 1pm. Show hours today
are from 10am to 5pm. Full report on the show and the behind the
scenes reel-story tomorrow. Click
for seminar 1
Attend and Support the Flint Steelheaders Show. By doing so,
you're supporting our fishery, because all monies made off
this show are reinvested back into it thru various projects that
benefit all of us!
Opening day of the Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI went
very well. Magnum Meat Heads were a huge hit, with about half
of my show stock being sold!
At 6pm today our first reel-meat seminar
happens. I have 4 guest speakers that will be helping with a
far superior slide show presentation, when compared to anything
we've done previously. Hope to see many of you there! Click
for show booth
Dropped anchor in Birch Run, MI yesterday about 2pm. This
morning's task is setting the booth up before the show is open to
the public today at 3pm.
The 2006 Flint Steelheader's Boat, Sport and
Fishing Show begins this afternoon and runs thru Sunday, March
5th. If you're tired of winter and looking forward to spring,
then attending this show might be right up your alley.
Most Michigan's tackle manufacturers will be at
this show to answer and assist with product questions, including
myself. Look for me in the North Hall at booths 7 & 8.
Traveling to Birch Run is the task at hand for today. The
plan is to drop the larger stuff off inside the building late this
afternoon and complete setting up the booth early on Friday.
I'm located in the North Hall (booths 8 & 9) at the Birch Run
Expo Center. Hope to see many of you at the show Click
complete for show info
This evening I will be going over our slide
presentation and making triple sure there will not be any computer glitches.
This year's seminar is intended to surpass anything I've done
This year's seminar team is comprised of, Dave S from Fish On Bait
Company, Ludington's Capt. Paul Vantol, Detroit Steelheader Capt. Joe
Von Grabe, and the ever popular Steve "Roscoe" Burns from the
There's around 30 slides in my presentation with
computer aided imagery to get my point across. This year's seminar
is brand new and packed all the information that can be mustered inside
the 60 minutes of allotted stage time.
I will have all flashers, meat heads, and 3 fly meat
rigs available at special show prices for cash sales and volume
purchases exceeding $100.00.
The smaller misc. items such as bullet
heads, hooks, bead chains, and crimps will not be offered at the show.
Let's cover a couple of important issues, as we say goodbye to Feb
With the advent of March, Spring Steelheading will soon become the
big deal. If you're looking to book a trip on the Big Manistee River
with a guide I recommend, consider
Capt. Paul Schlafley. $350 for 2 persons and $400 for 3 people
makes this a great value when you consider Paul throws in free accommodations.
Click for Paul's info
Any orders for tackle received at www.michiganangler.com
the rest of this week will be delayed until I return from the Flint
Steelheaders Show. I will be shipping orders again by
3/7/06. Your credit card will not be billed until I ship your
Today's featured photo is from Sweden. They call this fish
a Char and I will not dispute this fact. However, the fish
reminded me of a fish we have in the Great Lakes called,
a Splake. Splake are a hybrid cross between a Lake Trout and
Brook Trout. I've caught a few
Splake in Lake Huron back in the 1980s and while they
strongly resemble a Laker, the squarer tail signals the
I will be in further contact with Ove from Team Extreme
is Sweden to get a more definite & thorough handle of what
exactly this fish is. I just about forgot to add, the fish was
caught with a King Kobra Reel Flasher/meat. Click
for Swedish Char
Shipping products via Steve "Roscoe" Burn's courtesy
for the upcoming Birch Run Show, starting the Friday is the task for
New for this year's Flint Steelheader's Fishing
& Boat Show at the Birch Run Expo Center is free
parking! Gate fee to get in is also almost free, well
under 10 bucks. No where on this planet will you find a better
show for the price.
Also, rest assured your entrance fee will be
donated back into our fishery thru the good works the Flint
Steelheaders have done!
The Flint Steelheader's Show starts in the Birch Run, MI Expo Center
this coming Friday (Mar. 3rd, 2006) at 3pm. For
complete show info click here
I'm scheduled for 2 seminars in Birch Run.
The first is on Saturday (Mar. 4th) begins at 6:00pm and the second one
is on Sunday (Mar 5th) at 1:00pm. I'll be spending today fine
tuning my Power Point presentation.
Our private message board's tournament war chest now stands at
$210. This covers the Michigan City IN, May 5-6 and St. Joseph MI,
May 12-13, 2006. One of our members will be awarded a $100 each to
help cover his expenses while competing in these upcoming events.
To choose which 2 lucky teams will receive the financial aid, we'll have
a drawing at the Flint Steelheader's Show being held on March 4 thru 6,
2006 in Birch Run, MI at the Expo Center. This drawing will be
held when there's several board members present, making sure a fair draw
Have you've been kicking around the idea of
joining? Your 10 dollar membership fee will go into supporting our
member's tourney efforts. Click
here to join board
Member's receiving the C-note will be
reporting back to our membership with the inside info from the
tournament they competed in, so it's not exactly a free ride. The
reel-time tourney information to be gained by our membership will be
Got lucky with my camera late yesterday afternoon and captured
the nice buck who's been eating my groceries. Like I said
yesterday, I never have seen a buck carry their horns this
long. I've seen and fed 100s of deer during the hard times of
winter, seeing antlers this late in February is a first for
me. While you never can be sure, I suspect this big guy was a
6 pointer I kept a pretty close eye on in 2004.
for head view 10 pt. on 2/22/06 Click
for side view of 10 pt. on 2/22/06
Having wildlife in your backyard is one of the wonderful perks
from living in the north country, along with lessened traffic.
Being able to share this with you, is another.
Whitetails are finally shopping at one of my bait piles. I had
a lot of leftover shelled corn and sugar beets from last fall and feeing
what few we have has become a priority with me. I seen something, I
never saw before. There was a 8 to 10 point and a spike dining at
King's restaurant a few evenings ago. I have never seen buck carry
their racks for that long before! Click
here for deer on 2/21/06
Started work on a pictorial of how
I've been attach a swivel/cross lock to the business end on my wire rods
for 18 years. Click here to
view a work in progress
As we enter into the last part of February is good to know the
official start of spring is only about a month away. Click
for conditions on 2/21/06 The dreaded cabin fever has overtaken
me lately, as you can tell from today's photos.
My thoughts are definitely pointed towards
2006 season and the promise it holds.
here to see what I'm really thinking of. As you can tell,
it's not more winter!
This is the time of the year when all probably over-think way
too much. I've received several emails about doing funny
things to the Fish On Bait we use. Likely mentions were dyeing
the meat funny colors and adding extra scent ingredients like anise
oil. Most of the inquires came from those who haven't used
I have never dyed a chunk of fish meat yet, and
average around 3 fish per hour boated in non-peak, mid-day
conditions. So, I see no need to improve on a program that has
already proven itself beyond a doubt.
Today's photo clearly shows what the
reel-advantages are to making your own.
for meat photo If you're looking for step-by-step
instructions to make your own cut bait for this upcoming season click
here for a complete pictorial.
Installed a customer support page for www.michiganangler.com.
Being in the charter business for 21 years, you learn how important
one on one contact is to your customers. I guess it's a habit
I can't break. Click
for new support page
This probably is another industry leading
solution where you speak directly to the manager in charge of
scheduling, research, design, manufacturing, warehousing, bookkeeping,
advertising, shipping, technical and hands on support.......aka, me!
Readying products for the upcoming Birch Run fishing show today
leaves little time for a meaningful update. Besides, with below
zero temps in Manistee County indoor work seems far more pleasurable
then plowing the foot snow that was just dumped on us. While most
of the 2005/2006 winter has been pretty mild, Mr. Winter wanted to
remind us, he's not done yet.
The situation on the Big Manistee is tolerable, but you'll have
to rely on winter hold-overs. The spring run of fresh
fish is a long ways off. Especially, with the nasty wintry
weather we've been having the past few days.
Fishing rivers in winter storms with a
falling/low-front barometer presents unique challenges, like how do
I get a bite? When this scenario happened to me, I fish the
holes extra slow, if it was a top 3 on my list of known
producers. Long pauses, in good water often meant the
difference in getting Mr. Steel Head to hit. Cold water
strikes are not bone jarring bites, many times the rod will just lethargically
pull down when you're fishing with diving crankbaits.
In case you're new to this website, I
guided on the Big Manistee River from 1985 until I retired in 2003. Click
for the reel-story on the last guide trip I ran in 2003
Winter has returned to Manistee County with a heck of predicted a
snow storm for the north country for today and tomorrow.
Packing up my dog and pony show for the upcoming
Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI (Mar. 3rd thru 5th) has all my
focus. I'll be toting about 100 assorted products packed in lots
of dozens. Needless to say, this isn't a job that can be easily
accomplished in a day or two and requires a lot of work.
Where do you find fish? The short terse, answer
is: shallow, deep, or some where's in between. However, that
answer is far too simplistic to do anyone a lick of good. So,
let me explain what I've learned from the school of hard bytes.
Never overlook the inshore shallow stuff
(less then 50' of water) this spring, or summer. The close to
shore water warms up first and promotes phytoplankton, which in turn
zooplankton chows down on. Thusly, attracting bait fish that eat
zooplankton, acting like a magnet for the predatory Salmon and
Trout. Some of my heaviest catches (all season long) have came
from far inside the main pack. And at times far to the outside
of where the main fleet was working structure, like Manistee's
Now, if the inshore fishery is a dud, just
keep heading towards the deeper stuff in a search and destroy
mission. Even if the shallow, to mid-depths program offered little
in the line of results, at least you've eliminated the water on the
inside of your boat.
Countless times I watched the fleet zoom by
my close-to-shore program while we whacked fish after fish.
Even in the summer do not overdrive your vessel directly to the deep
stuff over 100' depths......just, because that's what you're used to
By setting up short, you'll have plenty of
time to get all your lines set. It's easy to drop a 25' to 40'
program once you're attained more depth and located
With the looming tax season not too far off, here's some info on
a great tax man that set-up my LLC and S-Corp. Without the
services of Richard Hartwick my butt would be up the creek without a
paddle. Click here for
He teaches accounting in college and
has a MBA from Michigan State. Rich knows the tax law inside
and out. I highly recommend his services from filing simple
returns, to the very complex tax issues I deal with. He has
traveled at his own expense 3 times to my place to make sure all my
ducks are in a row.
His rates are reasonable, especially
considering his qualifications. When compared to my past tax
service, he's a joy to work with, no matter where you live.
With the onset of the 2006 season about 2 months away, I thought
I'd share my experiences with how the barometer affected what we
While I am no scientist, simple
observations compiled over the past thirty some seasons on the Great
Lakes has lead to some interesting general insights.
Spring and summer means fast moving weather
systems with thunderstorms. Try as we may, avoiding all of
them is impossible. I've learned with the approach of a storm,
the barometer falls and slows does the bite. While you can
catch some of the front side of a system (a falling barometer), the
reel-bite doesn't happen until the barometer starts to rise again after
the storm passes through. That's when all hell breaks loose
and fish go on the fierce attack looking for chow.
No matter what the barometer is on the big
water, a low barometer doesn't seem top affect it too much.
It's a far different story if you're a river fisherman.
Anything lower then 29.5 meant a tough-go trying to pry strikes out
of Steelhead, especially if the barometer was falling too. A
low barometer moving upwards seemed to put the river fish bite back
on the back on the normal scale.
So, if it's stormy looking in the morning, stay
dockside and let the dangerous weather pass, the good bite generally
occurs after a thunderstorm anyways.
My deal for today is getting a good firm start on my presentation
for the seminars at the Flint Steelheaders show in Birch Run in
about 3 weeks.
The title of my seminars will be:
S.W.A.T. Meaning "Salmon Weapons and Tactics" for
our fishery. My plan is to have 3 other speakers fill-up the
hour who fished far me then me in the 2005 season. Unbeknownst
to my "yet to contacted" speakers are "Sloppy
Joe" from the Detroit Area Steelheaders, "Burns Unit"
from the Flint Steelheaders and highly successful Capt. Paul Vantol
from the Port of Ludington.
For S.W.A.T. message to go over big, having
both amateur and pro's giving insights into both sides of the coin,
looks like the way to fly to me. I'll be the master of ceremonies
and conclude our hour together with advanced methods with meat.
As I've said before, the passion for fishing is a universal language onto
itself. This is proven once again with today's featured photo
of Flemming's big water trolling boat. His well-rigged Swedish
machine from Ystad, Sweden is not much different from what's launched everyday on our
Great Lakes. Click
for Flemming's boat
Sweden offers both freshwater trolling in
large lakes and the option to fish saltwater for Atlantic, or the
Baltic variety of same fish. In their inland (freshwater)
seas, the target species is Landlocked Atlantics and Brown Trout
from what I've been able to discern. Many Europeans are
multi-lingual and are able to break the spoken language
barrier. In fishing?..........it's worldwide, and there is no
I installed a open to the public support forum for products I
manufacture. You need not be a message board member to read,
post or ask questions. The numbers of fishermen into using
cut-bait is growing every season. If you have questions
pertaining to running a meat program click
Also, this is a good test bed in
case you're considering joining our message board group.
You'll see for yourself the free exchange of quality info
offered. Ask yourself this question: how many people do you
have that care if you catch a fish, or not?
By joining,......the answer
to the above question will soon explain itself!
Since I made it clear that 10 dollar fee to join our message
board goes into our tournament war chest for members, the best part
of $150.00 has been collected. I'm pretty sure by the time the
tourney season gets here, we'll be able to donate $100 to our teams
in each major Salmon Tournament during 2006. Click
for form to join
This hundred bucks given to competing teams
comes with strings attached, like all things in life. We do
request a thorough report and what went right and what went wrong
with our supported teams efforts. This will bolster our
"inside info" to the next level, helping those that do,
and do not fish tournaments.
All members and this means, even new
members will be eligible to receive financial help. Look for
our war chest to grow by leaps and bounds, once we start accepting
donations from our general membership sometime in early April.
In our travels thru life we meet several characters and some
with character. The latter describes Capt. Bud Raskey, a throw
back to the age of the old school of strictly professional
fishermen, of whom .......we all can learn from!
Capt. Bud has long since made my list of
all time greats and his induction into the Freshwater Hall of Fall
only confirms what I already knew. Bud made it into the hall
by guiding since the early 1940s and skippering on Lake Michigan
since of Salmon Fishery began in 1967. He has never been one
to grab personal publicity and assumes a quiet, but praiseworthy demeanor.
I know of no one that has been on the ground floor of our Great
Lakes Fishery like Mr. Raskey has. I'm glad he's now
officially recognized one of the finest fishermen to come down the
pike in Manistee County.
Part of the knowledge base passed down
thru my Encyclopedia of Tips and Tricks came from Capt. Bud,
especially fishing sewn minnows for Brown Trout & Lakers
As we all gain knowledge from those who
came before us, Bud has pioneered too many parts of our techniques
to mention here. Click for
an article on Capt. Bud
After many, many requests for crimping sleeves used on the meat
rigs, I now offer crimping sleeves at: www.michiganangler.com
If you're looking for right hardware to build your own meat rigs,
then it's worth a click.
In just 2 short seasons MichiganAngler.Com
has become the world's leader in offering a total package dedicated
to fishing meat, and or cut-bait all under one roof. More will
be added this season, mainly the BTI (10" flashers) before this
This phenomenal growth rate would not have
been possible without the greatly appreciated support of the fishing
public which covers several states and countries.
Captain's Scott Miller & Shane Ruboyianes are what I
consider second generation with firm
roots in the first generation have an online tackle webstore at: www.gloutdoors.com
They handle my product line and offer several things I do not.
Both are highly knowledgeable in all areas
covering Michigan's varied Great Lakes Fishery and provide "after
the sale" support. There's a permanent link to their
store on my Great Lakes Info page.
Was going to take the day off like many of you. Then
thought of all the big gun commercials that are debuted at the Super
For those of you who haven't used
my product before, the regular series Black Mamba and Krystal Killer
are my 2 best selling flashers. Making this dynamic duo in the
X-Glow material that lasts for 4 to 8 hours will raise the bar to a
for X-Glow Black Mamba Click
for X-Glow Klear Krystal Killer
I see no need of a "wardrobe malfunction" to sell more
of product that sells itself.
Have a great Super Bowl Weekend. Production demands and
catching up on a large backlog of orders means regular updates will resume
Monday, if not sooner.
According to the weatherman, January 2006 was the warmest on
record. Couple that with several stage of high water on the Big
Manistee means the river Steelheading has been good in December and
early January. Recently, I haven't heard much, taking the lack of
reports as a sign of slowed action.
The chief of the Manistee's Native Americans has been
fired to alleged mismanagement in matters of a financial audit of their
cash cow at M22 and US31 (casino). Monies created there are beyond
my comprehension and shows no need for them to be involved in commercial
fishing that endangers the public safety.
Much like you, when I'm not fishing the thought processes are
always rolling. Here's a question that stuck in my mind: how
do fish find food? After days of ponderous thinking, I came to
the conclusion there's no one answer.
Rather it's a combination of what's been
mentioned before, being sight, sound and scent. Sight and
sound work together when the fish are aggressive, like the early and
late bite. By simple reasoning combining all three factors
will make you a more productive Great Lakes
for a bloody mid-day double
It's scent that over-rides the
negative and neutral mid-day fish, that continues to amaze me.
Much like Sharks, our Great Lakes Salmon and Trout follow a scent
trail to their prey. It's been said a Salmon can smell parts
per billion and suspected of detecting parts per trillion to home in
our their parenting streams, so finding a chunk of meat is no
for Kings that followed their nose to a cut-bait program
second month of 2006 already? Just where in the heck did
Since last September my off-season has been busier then August
2005. Now is the time to seize the moment and take care of all
the secondary issues.
In keeping with that thought, www.michiganangler.com
has under gone a complete face lift. Only products directly
associated with my manufacturing business are listed. Mainly,
made in the USA products to fish cut-bait for Salmon and Trout.
The recently remodeled webstore has 20
combo flasher/meat rigs, 29 variations of 3 Fly Meat Rigs, 26 select
colors of meat heads, and flashers that come in 38 models.
Most the products offered are in distinctive, mostly exclusive
colors that no one else in the meat fishing business offers. Click
to take a tour of the webstore
Please let me point out, no other
tackle manufacturer has a totally committed approach of matching
flashers and 3 fly meat rigs to fish cut-bait. This was the
goal in mind when I started down this road in 2004.
Got sidetracked with closing-out the 4th quarter from 2005
dealing with the federal 10% tax on all fishing tackle. Today
is the due date for this tax.
These special tax monies are supposed to be
earmarked for improvement to public facilities for the
boater/fisherman, so I do not mind paying this tax at all. This 10%
is paid from manufacturers end, which in turn, is a silent passed
down tax to the consumer.
Today's marks the 2006 World Premier of the 4 to 8 hour X-Glow
Klear series of Krystal Killer and Black Mamba flashers. These new
flashers came into being out of last season's Frankfort, MI GLPAA
for 2005 GLPAA hot rigs
Most of the heavier-weight tourney fish were
being taken at depths from 175' to 200' down on the riggers. At
depths of this range, there's little light
Especially, during the summer when both zoo/phytoplankton
can filtering out the much of light in the upper reaches of the water
While the fish found the regular Black Mamba
and Krystal Killers down deep, the fact of the adding X-Glow
to these flashers will raise the visibility aspect even more.
Presently, I am swamped with orders for these
new highly popular flashers. So, if you plan on ordering, please
be patient. I hope to be caught up on all orders by the second
week of February. Click
to order X-Glow Black Mamba & Krystal Killer
The GLPAA is having the Frankfort, MI Tournament again this
year. It will take place on August 12th & 13th,
2006. Their popular weigh-ins are similar in style to the Pro
Bass & Redfish tournaments and do draw a crowd. Our
message board members captured 10 of the top 20 spots, a feat that
will be hard to duplicate this year. Hard, but not impossible
with their boat-to-boat shared communication.
If you're team fishes from a trailerable
boat and you want to be on equal ground with the larger 30 some foot
battle-cruisers, this event is tailor made for you. You weigh
you best 6 Kings and there is ca$h prizes for the largest
trout. Almost 80 crews competed last year and this year's
field promises to be larger.
Today's update concerns a rule 4 in our message board
application form: (4.) I understand the $10.00 membership fee is donated back to our
members for help with tournament entry fees. click
for membership form
All members will be eligible for help
in IN, IL, NY, WI and MI. Our goal is to donate 100 bucks in
every major tournament back to at least one team in every major
tourney in the 2006. Trying top explain the help network our
members have established goes well beyond my feeble
How do you make your best selling and most deadly meat heads
better? You make 'em glow and not with the cheapie glow stuff
offered by the competition. You make 'em in extended titanium
glow that will last for 4 to 8 hours.
Don't have to get to long in the lip here
about the attributes of the X-Glow
Magnum Meat Heads, as top-notch quality always speaks volumes for
Being one not easily impressed,....I am
impressed with the NEW 2006 X-Glows
in Klear Krystal Killer, Klear Krome and Klear Red. Throw
these brand new deadly weapons in your arsenal and become an
unstoppable force to be reckoned with at the fish cleaning tables in
here to see the X-Glow Klear Meat Heads
Give a man a fish and he'll eat
for a day, help a man catch more fish and you'll have a friend for
life. Often, there's just a small piece of the puzzle missing
for consistent success. Think about your strong points and
areas you're weak in. Then take a long hard look at those
issues, being careful not to blame yourself.
On no account, think anyone is God's gift
to Salmon fishing. Never-ever think you have a lock on the
program. That's when things will turn around and bite
This goes hand-in-hand in not over-rating
estimating your abilities. Hey, we all suck at catching from
time to time, especially if there's no fish under your boat!
If you're out to gain knowledge and at
least partially cure frustrations, Capt. Paul Vantol is offering two
"on the water seminars" on May 27th and July 15th,
2006. The place is Ludington, Michigan. Cost to attend
is $150 per individual. You can contact me at (800) 552-2009,
or call Capt. Paul at: (989) 860-2932 for further details. These
sessions are tailored at of groups of 4, for more one on one
Today's archived photo is from mid-May 2003 during a spring
Salmon Clinic out of the Port of South Haven, MI. Like I said
in yesterday's update, Spring Kings are aggressive and dumber then a
stump. On this particular Salmon Seminar we had a hold of at
least 30 fish, during 3 1/2 hours of lines in the water. Click
for 03 photo
Seminars will be offered again in 2006, but
my participation is in question. Capt. Paul Vantol will be
doing most of the honors. I chose Capt. Paul to carry on my
legacy of to offering "on the water seminars," cuz he's considerate,
knowledgeable, and exceptionally easy to fish with. Plus,
above all, he can his point across.
Capt. Paul has served as my personal ambassador
to Ludington, spreading the word on fishing with meat/my
products.....and I thank him for his efforts.
Stay tuned for the coming dates and times for
2006 "on the water" seminars.
I picked up a spring catalog from Cabelas and was amazed at some of
the prices. Side, or inline planers (birds) at almost 30
bucks. Not too many seasons ago, inline planers were a lot closer
to a 10 spot.
Since sonar went color, premium machines are in
neighborhood of 800 to plus 2000 dollars, ouch! Look for some
these color units to become more affordable in the next few years.
Unless, the companies making sonar go to 360 degree scanning function,
it's my belief fish/depth finders can't evolve much further.
Start making plans soon for the 2006 season
now. With Lake Huron's slowing Salmon fishery, the pressure on
motels, marinas and campgrounds on all Lake Michigan Salmon Port has
You now have the option to purchase exactly the same
bead chains used in my meat rigs. The cost for 30 bead chains
is $9.95. Click
There's free seminar at Wolf's Marine in Benton Harbor, MI this coming
Saturday, January, 28th, 2006. According to what I heard, this
event has been organized by Dave Mull, editor
and chief of the Great Lake Angler Magazine. The seminar
starts at 10am and ends at 4pm and features several different guest
How is the charter fleet going to survive in 2006? Oil
prices are between 60 and 70 dollars a barrel, so don't look for
marina gas to be much under 3 bucks and quite possibly a lot
more! When I retired from running charters after the 2003
season, marina gas was around 2 bucks a gallon. Now, three
seasons later, I see the going rate for a 1/2 day trip in 2006 is
$400.00 (for a 1/2 day), being the same price I charged 3 years
ago. No doubt, chartering is becoming tougher all the time!
The increased fuel costs have inflated
dock, tackle and insurance costs, so needless to say, the charter
fleet is being pushed towards bankruptcy, if they do not raise their
charter rates. Raising prices is a double edged sword, meaning
more profit, but a loss of business when your existing customers (on
a budget) go shopping for another captain with cheaper rates.
When I started in the charter business in
1983, the going rate was $180.00 for a half day and marina gas was
slightly below 75 cents. With simple math, based on the price
of marina fuel nowadays, a half day should be worth $720.00 (4 x
$180). Kinda a scary to see how the charter rates have not
kept pace the times. What once was, and what now is, are facts
most charter operators do not want to face. Hence, the
reason.... I am no longer in that unduly glorified occupation.
Been in contact with our area's herring distributor, Dave S. about
availability issues concerning whole herring in the red, green and
blue label sizes. Good new for us! He will have whole
herring in various sizes and strips at the upcoming Steelheaders
Show being held in Birch Run, MI (first part of Mar. '06.)
Also, Dave has been added to the list of
guest speakers at Wolfe's Marine towards the end of the month down
towards St. Joe. This fishing seminar is being hosted by Dave
Mull from the Great Lakes Angler Magazine. Dates and times
will follow as soon as I know more, but I think it's next Saturday.
Today marks another addition to my meat rig and meat head
for the the X-Glow Super Puke While I never
been a huge fan of the "monkey puke," never the less, this
highly popular color pattern does have it's following.
There's something floating around on the
message boards concerning myself and Fred MacDonald. I must
set this record straight. My differences with Fred are
strictly over the casino sponsored events in Manistee.
Fred does what's in his power to run a
clean tournament. He's been part of the Gander Mountain
tourney in Ludington and does a good job. Like I said in the
past, Mr. Fred MacDonald might be the only true visionary in
Manistee, having won Manistee's Chamber of Commerce, Man of the Year
There's good news on the commercial netting
situation. More and more fish farms, or aquacultures are
coming online, raising various species of fish. This has
driven down the world price of fish, making commercial netting even
less profitable. While I do not expect the LRB of
commercial fishers to give up, I do know facing any sort profitably
will get harder and harder for them ever year.
The costly 2006 tournament season is getting closer
everyday. I thought it would be a good idea to build a war
chest and donate back to our message board members. Every 10
dollar message board membership application received from now, thru
the rest of the season will go into this tourney war chest.
Your 10 dollar personal check request
to join was never intended to make money, but insure that those
inside our community would remain focused on fishing issues, not on
personal attacks and portray common courtesy. There's no
right, or wrong way to do "fishing" and getting bogged
down in useless issues is plain stupid and extremely
Guaranteeing this war chest will be
fair to all our members is in the works now. In the case of
multiple entries in the same tournament, a fair draw will determine
which team, or teams will receive financial help. It's our
targeted goal to donate at least a 100 bucks to one of our member's
teams in every major salmon tournament. Knowing the generosity
of our membership, this will easily be accomplished.
This is probably another idea who's time
has come. If you've considered joining and haven't, quite
possibly you should re-think your position now.
Here's a photo of our message board member,
Mr. "Hawkeye" leading day 1 of the 2005 Ludington Gander
Mountain Pro/Am Click
for Hawkeye's day one catch.
Winter finally paid a return visit to the north country
yesterday with about 4 inches of snow, after the freezing rain in
The flasher/meat rig combos seem to be
going over big, as I received several phone calls from Wisconsin and
a few from New York yesterday. Click
If you have product questions, I am always
reachable, especially at this time of the year. Personal
contact is something we all can use more of in this day and
Gonna have to almost skip today's update. Since late 1999,
in a little better then 6 years, I've done approx. 2190 daily
My archived Captain's Log started long
before, the popular term "blog" we use nowadays.
Besides, I'm up past my neck in web-work and trying to tie up the
loose ends for the coming dreaded tax season. Click
for the past 6 seasons
Action on the Big Manistee River was pitiful yesterday to those
I spoke with. It was a tough go from High Bridge to past Bear
Creek was the story I got.
Spent the entire weekend working on www.michiganangler.com
in an effort to get everything nice and tidy for the soon to be
here, 2006 season.
New to the webstore for 2006 is Doub L Red
Glow, Black & Purple, Red & Black Tiger, King Kobra and King
Krimson meat rigs. There's new Doub L Red Glow, Black &
Purple, Red & Black Tiger, King Kobra, and King Krimson Mag Meat
Let's carry yesterday's update one step further and explain my reasoning
behind the new combo page. Let's face it, most of the fleet is
made up of weekend warriors with very little time to experiment with
what works and what don't. The featured combos can, and will get
you dialed in on a full box of fish. Blending a super recipe of
1000s of flashers and meat rigs is not gonna be accomplished in a
New 2006 Mag Meat Heads in King Kobra and King
Krimson will soon be available at: www.michiganangler.com
These new meat heads are a direct result from the input of our private
message board members who fish a lot more then I do nowadays.
There's a whole wad of folks in the tackle sales business that will
gladly sell you product. Then leave you on your lonesome to figure
out how to use it.
That is not the line of thought at Kingfish Products, where support is
With input from our 300 plus message board
members, I recently built a new page for my webstore, where 16 of the
best of the best can be purchased in a combo deal. Meaning, the
flasher and a 3 Fly Meat Rig priced as one. Click
Manufacturing both the meat heads and flashers
affords a major advantage in bringing you the ultimate, tailor-made
presentations to whack limit,.....after limit on Lake
Michigan....reel-fact! There's a built in savings on each combo
Even if you don't pull my stuff yet,
the color combinations are worthy of note in anyone's book.
Especially, if you plan on an effective meat program in 2006.
Please let me add, I'm pretty sure this is another world first and will
probably be copied by the less inspired. Some say, imitation is
the most sincere form of flattery. I say, people copy other
people, because their next original thought will be their first!
Friday the 13th eh? While I'm superstitious
about fueling a boat (just before fishing), bananas (on a boat) and
greasy donut smells on your paws during the early am set. This
13th thing doesn't shake my cookie one bit. Negative smells
can be controlled, the date,.......on which a Friday falls can't!
Yesterday in Manistee looked more like
March then January. No snow, temps in the high 40s and a bright
sunny spring-like day, was just a peek at what's to come.
Let's not rush this spring-thing! There's still a ton of
production stuff that needs done, seeing the Flint Steelheaders Show
(in Birch Run) is only
about 7 weeks away!
Last week I sent a package of 3 Fly Meat Rig supplies to
Sweden. Our friend in Sweden, Mr. Lars S. did a professional job
on is first homemade meat rig. Fishing is a universal language
spoken in all countries. Click
for Lars 1st rig
They pull a lot of meat in Sweden, but most of
it is fished clean (no attractor flies) on a long leader. So, it's
my belief, the 3 Fly Meat Rig is still pretty new across the reel-big
pond, namely the Atlantic Ocean.
Was gonna start a mini series on the
"charter captain mentality" today, but due to constraints of
time, that will be saved for a topic of discussion until next week.
Our new poll is very interesting. It shows a far different
approach, then just 3 short years ago. Close to 70% of those
voting are fishing with a lot smaller spread (6 rods, or less in the
A while back, I mentioned the "charterboat
mentality." Let's take that subject one step further over the
explore the "charter captain mentality" over the next few
days. Using myself as an example, we'll dig deep into the mindset
and how it evolves over a span of 21 years/seasons of running charters.
pm Edition: Presenting the Mountain Dew Laser
Steelheading on the big river is good. Hardly any snow on
the ground, as January continues to be very mild. Normally, we
would have snow drifts to plus 3'.
Gonna introduce another product
improvement later this morning. It will be directed at making
one of the best selling Reel Flashers even better. Fans of the
ever popular Mountain Dew RF rejoice, there's a low light version on
World debut of the Laser-Glo Mountain Dew is scheduled for this
1. Looking for a great product enhancement that won't break the
2. Are you an Alpha-angler and out to prove it in tournament
3. Do you like a customized presentation separating you from the
rest of the fleet?
4. Is spending $9.95 to have a leg-up on your fishing buddies part
of your forte?
5. Might you be looking for a great project to cure a bad case of
winter cabin fever?
Then installing mini lure eyes on your 3 Fly Meat Rigs could loom
in your future!
Install the 1/8 inch mini eyes with
teasers, after thoroughly cleaning the bullet head of the attractor
fly with rubbing alcohol. WTP uses topnotch adhesives, but
removing any oils, or last season's fish scum for a clean surface is
Remember to carefully clean the your hands,
especially your finger tips with a clean paper towel and alcohol
before starting this project. After the lure eyes are where
you want them, then roll the bullet head firmly between your thumb
and index finger, to further press the mini eyes in place. Click
for mini eyes installed
In today's feature photo, you can plainly
see how the installed mini eyes take an already first-class looking
product to the next level! Click
for info on this upgrade
The tension level continues to builds on tomorrow's special announcement
concerning raising your 3 fly meat rigs to a new level. To go where no
fisherman has went before might be a good parallel.
Will this improvement be
necessary? At this stage, truthfully,....I can not answer that
question. This I do know, with fishermen having something
nobody else has is important, especially concerning proper lure
It's the age-old story of having a
leg-up on the competition, trolling in the same vicinity of your
boat, or your buddies back at the launch/dock. Meticulous
craftsmanship will be required on your part to complete this worthy
and cost effective upgrade to all your 3 fly meat rigs.
The big question is, are you ready?
Yep, it's getting closer to that time of year again! In
about 8 weeks the Flint Steelheader's Spring Fishing Show will take
place at the Expo Center in Birch Run, Michigan. The show
stars on March 3rd, 2006 at 3pm (ending at 9pm). Then
continues on March 4th, with the show hours being 10am to 9pm.
The final day of this event is Sunday, March 5th and the show hours
are 10am to 4pm.
I have two seminars scheduled.
The first one is on Saturday, March 4th at 6:00pm and the second one
is on Sunday, March 5th at 1pm. I will have a Power Point
presentation and several guest speakers to get our message across on
fishing with meat. I haven't settled on who will help me with
the speaking deal yet.
This I can say, my seminars are known for
being straight forward, emphasizing a easy, highly productive, grief
free, and consistent meat program all season long!
More about the location of the show and
pertinent stuff tomorrow.
Today's topic?.....the charter boat mentality. Many think
more rods in the water equate to more fish. This is a mistaken
theory, 'cuz the only time a big spread is called for, is for the
May/June deepwater surface fishery for Steelhead. Then 8
birds, 4 divers, 3 riggers and a core down the chute will pay
When I was in the charter business, even before I shifted to a "all meat"
program (which requires even fewer rods), seldom if even did I run
more then 8 rods, being a 3 rigger set, 4 divers and a core down the
"chute" (when traffic allowed). If fact, too many
rods can cause lost fish and of course, messy tangled lines and
frayed tempers, especially with inexperienced charter
I changed our new poll to reflect what the
majority of the readers of this website carry for a big lake Salmon trolling spread (from 6 to
Always remember this: it's not the amount
of rods that's in the water, it the number of active rods getting
strikes that count!
The results of the last poll about the best
port on Lake Michigan was narrowly won by one percentage point, with
Ludington winning. Manistee took second and the biggest
surprise was Algoma/Waukegan coming in a rock solid third!
Word from the Big Manistee River is respectable. Temps
considered warm for this time of year, melting snow run-off and
recent rain is the reason. Factor in, Consumers Power at Tippy
Dam has turned up the river flow to 2000 cubic feet per second
yesterday. So, look for continued success if you're going to
hit the Manistee in the next week. Click
for a fine example of BMR winter fresh-run Steelhead
There's a downside to good January
Steelheading, as it robs from the spring fish that would normally
come with the annual March migration.
Here's the big question for today, "do you suck at
fishing?" Are your results more random than the
Michigan Lottery numbers? Do you avoid the fish cleaning
tables, 'cuz your catch of 1, 2, or 3 fish is almost embarrassing,
when compared to what the other boats have? Do you have
fishing buddy that always talks big and blows smoke on you, 'cuz his
catches always seem bigger than yours? Do you plan for
alternative activities before leaving the pier-heads on your
boat? If the answer is yes to any of these questions,
please read on.......
It's your lucky day my friend, as I can offer you a
reel-cure! Suffer no more from the dreaded affliction called, "Lack
of Rodular Activity." Recommended LORA rehabilitation
starts with joining our private message board. You'll find out, you're not alone on a
journey to acquire big water knowledge.
A great New Years resolution would be get
total immunity from LORA. Rid yourself of this malady
once and forever in 2006 by joining our community of accomplished
fishermen, willing to share their wisdom with all.
The cost to join our message board is
ten bucks paid in the form of a personal check to confirm identify.
Then mailing in a signed form, agreeing to some pretty darn simple
rules, mostly concerning common courtesy. Cost to join is
$10.00. Cost of shutting up the local big mouth?...........Priceless! Click
here for the paper work
The only forum weighted towards my products
is the reel meat forum. The other seven forums are pretty much
wide open to all topics, discussions and products. You'll
notice the total lack of spamming links and a far better code of
conduct than at any other message board on the internet. Click
here for a sneak peak
Today's featured announcement is aimed at the do-it-yourself
fisherman that prefers to make their own tackle and $ave. I
have a limited number of special offers that were formerly reserved
just for our private message board members.
The cost savings to you by building your
own meat rigs is over a 100% when compared to purchasing
manufactured 3 Fly Meat Rigs with retail price tags.
All my best color combinations are included
with the first-rate materials used in my commercial grade 3 Fly Meat
Rigs. Complete instructions are furnished with a special
"how to" step-by-step guide (webpage), so here's your
chance to build your own high-quality 3 Fly Meat Rigs at huge
for more detailed info
Also, there's a few deals left on bulk meat
heads and the hard to get "die-cuts" we use. If
you're looking for a great winter project that will reap huge
rewards later this season, then these special offers might merit
your further consideration. These fly kits will not be
in-stocked all season long and my when existing inventory is gone,
so are these offers
until November 2006.
Captain's Log Supplemental: Our friends across
the reel-big pond in Sweden were kind enough to share a photo of a
huge Atlantic Salmon caught recently on 12/31/05. It never
ceases to amaze me the connectivity the internet offers and how it
has made a world without any borders. And it goes to show you,
fishing is a common language spoken in all countries, on all
Now, before you get involved in the never-ending
"the photo is a Brown Trout" argument, you'd better
here and count the rays in the anal fin! I've caught 1000s
of Browns and maybe 30 Atlantic Salmon from the Great Lakes, and
while they resemble one another, there's enough subtle differences
to classify each specie.
Several new products will be announced during the next few
coming weeks. Items like 4 packs of 3 fly Meat Rigs you can
build yourself and save at least 50% of pre-built rigs. These
custom 4 packs will be all inclusive with red treble hooks, bead
chains, crimps, fringed Mylar, Magnum Meat Heads & beads to make
your own rigs. These new offerings for the do-it-your-self
crowd will be in all my very best colors. Besides, with about
3 months to prepare for Season 2006, it's a great winter project!
Before the end of January there will be a
new base color added to the line of Mag Meat Heads, further
cementing the best fish producing selections available to the big
lake angler in 2006. Magnum Meat Heads are far more durable
and versatile when compared to the foreign products that used to
have a stranglehold on this market!
Let's make today the day we serve notice to a brand new flasher
that rotates in a both a clockwise and counter clockwise direction
will go swimming in 2006. This pioneering rotator has approx.
40% reduced mass then it's larger brother and therefore will create
much LESS water drag. I'm absolutely 1000% positive the BTI
will become a huge asset for divers and lead core! Click
for size comparison
Someone asked me if the
multi-directional spin was necessary? I thought a bit, then
answered, "power windows, air conditioning and 4 doors
on a pickup might not be necessary, but it's sure nice to have these
options once you get used to them!"
Also, it says I'm darn serious about
designing a flasher wholly dedicated to a meat program. Creating a
flasher with an exacting roll rate that has to haul 3 flies & a
meat head that spins thru the water is no easy task. While the
BTI might resemble a scaled down version, much revamping was in
order. Kingfish Products Design Team worked on at several
different prototypes until we nailed the correct size and curvatures, thus insuring excellent catchability that rivals the
larger Reel Flasher.
Look to have this new lethal
Salmon weapon ready for your arsenal well before Salmon Season 2006
begins in April and early May. The new Big Ten Inch will
feature the exact same top-notch hardware and will come in the same
deadly fish catching colors and patterns of it's larger brother. Click
here for more detailed info
Even with all the 2006 passed down manufacturing costs to me on
lure tape (5%), shipping (15%), Sampo's rate hike and a 30% rise in
the base material in 2006, most colors should go out the door for
hopefully, for under 10 bucks. Combo deals for twin port and
starboard flashers at even greater cost savings should be anticipated.
In closing out 2005 and looking towards the future, several
possible new innovations come to mind. I predict sonar will
become much more directionally orientated. Being able to see
forward, aft, port and starboard is the next logical step, seeing sonar
units have broken the horizon of color, readable in full sun.
Forward directional scanning sonar with distances and depths will be
one helluva tool!
Also, I predict a downrigger manufacturer
will design a rigger that reflects the needs of the i2ks. All
the units on the market have seen little in the way of design
advancements since the 1970s. In the future, look for a more
compact rigger with a laydown spool that could be optioned to
operate from below deck, from inside the gunnels. Thusly,
eliminating dangerous exposed moving parts.
I'd like to thank everyone who visits this
website on a regular basis. To those that use and believe in
my products, my eternal gratitude for your patronage.
Happy New Year to ALL.....see ya, next year!
results of all fishing trips, fishing reports & general info
and a peek into my archived log for the past seasons since 2000,
click the below link: