April, May & June 2008
Sometimes the truth is stranger than fiction as
today's featured photo clearly shows. Message
board member "Jerryriggin" was off Port
Austin in quest of fish. After setting up
originally for Salmon/Trout they switched over to
crawler harnesses to beat up on the Walleyes.
Much to their surprise a King at, or over 10 lbs.
decided to munch on a large juicy
nightcrawler. Moral of the story?
There's isn't one, cuz fishing defies
A series of fast moving thunderstorms since Friday
has made things tough for the Manistee crowd.
The only consistent thing about our central Michigan
fishery is lack of consistency. One day it's
diamonds, the next day it's coal!
6/28/08 According to Capt. Dick Donovan the hot setup for Manistee's shelf has been the lead core outfits. He took a dozen fish last Saturday and 10 of the fish came of core. He said 5, 7 and 10 colors were working. Also, Capt. Dick said the fish were tightly grouped around a couple of pods of bait in 90' to 100' water, slightly south of the harbor. Let's hope Manistee's shelf reloads for this weekend's fishermen. We're getting to that time of the season when the offshore temp breaks no longer exist. This should draw some bait inshore, along structure where currents reload the food chain.
Up to date net locations for Manistee, Ludington and
Whitehall have been published. Battice's trap
net's in Ludington are marked a lot better, then the
Stone's nets off Manistee. The deal in
Whitehall is a tragedy in the highest form with dangerous
conditions! Word is the LRB is getting the
heat from other tribes for their commercial netters
total lack of regard for public safety. Click
updated printable net page
It's no secret money is tight due to the fact of
getting robbed the pump. This has filtered
down to fewer boats fishing,
unless there's an outstanding report to draw them to
the Great Lakes. The recent Bud Pro-Am
in Manistee was a victim of costly gas too.
Participation was down to around 55 amateur and 30
pro entries. Back in the 1990s this tournament
had up to 150 amateur contestants. It's good
to see they had the turnout they did. There's a
lot more tournaments when compared to 10 years ago
and entry fees of $200-$500 is gonna hold a bunch of
Installed a link to the satellite image on the Great Lakes Info page
for detecting area where Lake Michigan has the more active food
chain. Two Rivers, WI out produced both Algoma and Kewaunee with
the stained greenish water last weekend. The active biomass
probably explained why. Satellite
Color View of Lk. MI
Had the chance to review several port reports
from our message board. The condensed version
is Michigan fishermen are catching at several ports,
but numbers of fish vary greatly. Our best
report came from WI member, "No Fish Nick"
who boxed 14 Kings to plus 17 lbs. Nick was
using mostly my stuff & meat. Click
"No Fish" King
Let's go with a hodgepodge of subjects for today's
There's a lot of ingrained mistruths with our
big water fishery pertaining to the color red.
According to Dr. Keith Jones who works for Berkley
products in Spirit Lake, Iowa the 2 colors most
visible to a fish are red and green. While the
myth of fish can't see red stays with us. When
Dr. Jones was asked about how this deep rooted fable
got started he said, "I don't know, all I
can say is it's wrong!" Click
for new red products
2 days ago, Manistee's fish cleaning station at
the First Street Public Launch
Today's update is courtesy if Bill F. who in charge cleaning up the
mess left by the unscrupulous LRB tribal net fishers, the Stones.
Bill was kind enough to inform, "Here's a better update from me. I'm the one hired to pull the nets. On your "hazardous" list; we pulled the net off 44'20.471 on Monday 6-16. I thoroughly grappled the area @ 44'05.570 and there is no net
there, we did mark very dense schools of fish on the bottom. I removed the net from 44'05.018 on Wednesday 6-4. There is
one for sure, maybe 2 more nets to pull north of Big Sable, one is about 44'05.222 (#'s 601,602,+603 on photo)."
chart plotter Click
abandoned Stone net
Trap net locations have been updated as of
yesterday. Talley for nets closer to Manistee,
MI is a heck of a lot less then last year's
blockade. The nets are not marked well, which
is noted in the: Printable
Net Locations Page I do recommend you
print out this page if you're fishing from Big Point
Sable to Onekama, MI.
US31 between Ludington and Manistee is open as
of sometime yesterday afternoon. Awaiting the
word on how long the public launches in Ludington
will be closed. Recent household waste water
emptying into Pere Marquette Lake while undesirable
is not anything to get to worried about. The
Pere Marquette River will flush the water in the
basin waters of Ludington's harbor several times a
This weekend marks the 2008 Manistee County
Sport Fishing Association's Budweiser Pro/Am
Tournament being held this coming Saturday and
Sunday. There is a Ladies Day Tournament on
the Friday prior. Entry fees range from $250
in the amateur to $350. Take 50 bucks off the
listed amounts ...if you're a member of the MCSFA.
All the dangerous unattended nets listed on the Net
Info Page has been cleaned up with the exception
of the net in the 20 numbers off Onekama. Use
this page as a guideline only, ...due to possible
new net placements at any time.
Fathers Day Update: Heard a lot of 6 to 10 fish catch totals for
yesterday morning out of the Port of Manistee,
MI. From the shelf out to 350' of water was
mentioned. Now, if I could figure out why the
evenings are not reloading with fish, I'd be all
set. For me? ....trying to get out of the shop
in the mornings is next to impossible.
Satellite temp chart has not been updated since
6/10 for Manistee. Not much news on
fishing, but morning catches are a bunch better than
what the afternoons are giving up. South of
Manistee was said to be best (9s to the 13s).
Friday the 13th made things tough for Manistee
and Mason Counties (Ludington), as they bore the
brunt of dangerous major thunderstorms. US31
between Scottville and Manistee is closed, cuz of
washed out roads/bridges. Where I live we
received over 7 inches of rain in less then 6
hours. Flash flood warning are in effect.
6/12/08 Just not much happening according to the info I'm privy too. Morning bite in Manistee has to be better than what I saw last evening. Made a short run to trouble shoot sonar problems. Trolled from the high 16s to the high 14s and never lifted a rod. Angle of the 3 foot rollers from the northwest kinda locked us into an uncomfortable ride in the 170' -120' depths. Did see one boat wave a net, but no others ...including ours!
6/11/08 Fathers Day is this coming Sunday (6/15/08). Busy with store orders. So, no time to get the word on the latest fishing info. Temp chart for Ludington looks reel-good and the surface temps off Manistee, MI finally looks decent. Gonna try to get out this evening check out what's up with my namesakes. Click for temp charts
Fishing in Manistee, MI was said to have
improved over the weekend for those that braved the
weather. Heard Manistee reports say the fish
higher up in the water column too. Like from
just below the surface to 70', or 80' down.
Just getting my feet back underneath me after a hectic, but fun
filled weekend. Today's featured photo is Capt. Larry Buckle from
Fish Patroll Charters unhooking one of the many Saginaw Bay Walleyes we
caught last Saturday.
Yesterday morning I had the opportunity to gain
"hands on" knowledge aboard Capt. Larry
Buckle's Fish Patrol charter boat on Bay City's
Saginaw Bay Walleyes.
Full update tomorrow about our journey to Bay
City, MI's Saginaw Bay. Lot's of 'eyes and a
good time will have to suffice for now. Check
out today's featured photos:
Tomorrow morning if all goes to plan, I'll be
fishing Saginaw Bay as a charter customer aboard
Capt. Larry Buckle's boat. Figuring in the cost
savings and the local knowledge gained, I came up
with this conclusion, "it's one heck of a
South wind finally for central Lake
Michigan! After suffering many weeks thru
chilly northern breezes, a predicted warm blow from
the south is welcomed. This should help the MI
ports of Ludington, Manistee, Frankfort and possibly
Fishing took a slight turn for the better in
Manistee, MI yesterday. Fresh Water Hall of
Fame inductee, Capt. Bud Raskey was aboard Capt.
Jack D's "Joanna." They took 7 fish,
including Kings to plus 17 pounds. Let's hope
these were the scouts for the main herd, soon to
stampede upon the waters of Central Lake Michigan.
All ports from St. Joe to Muskegon have reported
in with good to excellent fishing.
Manistee/Ludington haven't shown a consistent
fishery yet, as cold water continues to plague these
highly popular ports. A few days SW, or S wind
would help the situation immensely for central Lake
Michigan. For every day of south wind we get 3
days of north, or northwest, pushing the warmer
waters southward. Then there's the worse
combinations of east wind that shoves any warm water
St. Joe continues to be a strong port with double digit
catches. Kewaunee, WI has some monstrous hog Kings to contend
with. Click for
WI King 17 lbs +
6/1/08 Updated the printable net locations page Use this page only as a rough reference and not gospel. Hope to wet a line this morning and test some new ideas. Manistee now has a new automated boat ramp fee machine, instead of a person.
5/31/08 On cruise control until I get a worthy update from Manistee, or Ludington.
Updated the trap net locations page for
Manistee. Supposed to blow today and tomorrow
out of the south. Hopefully, this will improve
the fishing in the central to more northerly Lk. MI
My next trip will be this Sunday if the
forecast holds true.
Been a tad nippy in Manistee County pretty much all
May. On the May 28th, (yesterday) the low was
27 degrees at my place. When this website was
updated last night around midnight, 35 degrees and
falling. This does not improve our fishing, as
cold translates the winds are out of the
north. This prevents the pond from warming up.
A picture can pass on a lot of things to
you. Today's featured photo courtesy from
Steve at Photodynamix in Green Bay, WI shows 6
chunky fish with a good girth. Plump, rotund
fish tells us the bait situation might not be as
bad, as we've been led to believe ...or at least
let's hope so! Click
chunky WI fish Click
Silver Bullet WI King
of good fishing news from the past holiday weekend! St. Joe has
lit up like a firecracker with easy 5 specie limits. Grand Haven
reported good catches and expect Ludington reports to be the same.
Action in Manistee should be rated fair by fleet consensus. (1 to
5 fish for a morning fish). Click
5/24/08 Manistee King
5/26/08 Memorial Day 2008, honoring our heroic service men and women from Bunker Hill to Baghdad. Full recount of this weekend's statewide fishing news tomorrow.
Yesterday, our first water trial of the season
came off without a hitch aboard SR 1979. For now,
I'm gonna enjoy this holiday weekend, like you!
5/24/08 Just gonna put this website on autopilot for today. Good reports from Grand Haven, Ludington and fair action in Manistee is the latest fish news. Got a respite planned with the welcomed company of John J aboard our first trip of 2008 today.
Updated the printable net locations for safety's
sake. All the working nets are listed and the
nets considered dangerous. Please pay heed to
this important page. The locations were made
possible by LRB Tribal Officer, Dave Deforest.
I thank him for making our waters safer, and so
should we all! Click
for current net info
Best fishing report this season thus far comes
from Michigan City, IN. According to one of
our message board members:
Retrieving the nets abandoned by Manistee LRB tribal
netters has begun in earnest. Yesterday, the
net in the 15s was yanked and more nets will be
pulled until the mess in Manistee, MI is cleaned
up. A firm from Traverse City, MI has been
contracted to do the work. The Stones are
entirely responsible and while paying lip service to
pulling nets, never did squat! The Little
River Tribe's leadership is being very proactive in
making sure the waters off Manistee are made safe! Click
5/20/08 net hauled ashore
Not many fishing reports from last weekend.
Rough water was a problem in many areas. Best
I heard? ...was 14 fish taken by Capt. Steve
Hamilton who skippers the First Class charter boat,
here in Manistee. Troutsville (LTs) for the
most part, but they did have a couple of
Salmon. I have a lot of respect for Capt.
Steve's skills and rank him with some of the top
captains in central Lake Michigan.
Had a couple of small kinks in my copper line
rig. Copper is touchy stuff. Any kinks
can break the line during a hard pull. Needed
to redo the leader connection and thought a soldered
a tiny loop might make a smother snag-free
transition from copper to mono. Trying to eliminate
the splice from getting those annoying hung-ups
in the line guides. Seems to work just fine, ...so
loop, mono to copper
AS OF 16 MAY 2008
2008 season's inaugural was ill fated last Thursday. 1st problem
was the forecast, said waves 1', or less. Reel story was 1' of
whitewater on growing 3 footers. 2nd was wheel bearing issues,
along with dragging brake shoes on the 1st axel to the truck.
Fishing at times seems as a side show to maintaining a boat! Click
Put the finishing touches on Capt. Craig's
excellent article about hooks titled, "Getting
to the Point" Craig's work has raised the
bar and offered a scientific magnified view of
hooks. His work was added to the "open to
the public" section in our tips and tricks
section, or better known as Capt. John's Encyclopedia.
Information like this helps keep this website a step, or two above the rest. Tips
& Trix section
Saved lot's of money today at the pump by
filling up before the gas crossed over the 4 buck
threshold in Manistee, MI. It's some kind of
fun watching a 50 dollar bill evaporate into a
little over 12 gallons of gasoline! Pump
price on 5/15/08
Season 2008 is gaining steam, as today's
featured photo clearly shows. Capt. Terry
fishing solo out of Kewaunee, WI took a King right
at 21 pounds. Flavor of the day was the new
2008 Silver Bullet 12" flasher combo, just in
case you didn't notice the incredibly tempting
flasher/rig in the image! 5/12/08
WI King 21+ lbs
Today's featured timely photo is from exactly 4
years ago & goes hand in hand with good
news! Fishing is getting off to a fair start
in Manistee. While the numbers aren't great,
it's a sign of better things to come. 2 to 3
fish per boat in a mixed bag, mostly Kings to 12
pounds for a morning session. Manistee
fish are coming over water depths of 250' to 300'
while working the top 30' with 1/2 cores, divers and
riggers. This is well outside the problem
areas of unattended nets. Click
for archived photo
Just not too keen about posting anything
negative concerning Manistee. Like yesterday's
net location's fiasco. Manistee took it on the
chin in 2007 and survived. We will do so again
this season. Look at the present net problem
as serious, but fixable!
Today's special safety update takes precedence
over all else. With Memorial Day only two
weeks away, there are extreme hazards to navigation
off the port of Manistee, MI. Areas listed in
red are dangerous. Avoid and give a wide berth
The above info will be posed on the Net Locations Page sometime later today. I do not like what's going on any more than you. However, the tribal fish cops, DNR and the USCG are doing what they can to remedy the situation. More on this tomorrow.....!
Mothers Day, a special holiday for the person
that brought us into the world.
Last weekend's tournament in Harbor Beach, MI
once again proved the effectiveness of BTIs and
flies. Capt. Larry Buckle from Fish Patrol
Charters did very well on the Gold Bullet BTI and
the matching Gold Bullet trolling fly. He was
running this combo 10' down and 10' behind the
cannonball over 25 to 30 feet of water.
Let's look at the timely subject making first
contact with your quarry, Mr. Fish. You've
probably heard you only get one chance to make a
first impression and that does holds true with
ultra-sticky sharp hooks. Sharp digs in, while
dull causes missed fish!
Let's go with an important safety announcement for
the MI ports of Manistee and Whitehall. Both of these ports
are suffering from abandoned nets, never pulled last
winter. Trap nets come up off the bottom 40'
and are hazards to fishermen with trolling gear
down, or navigation in general. Tribal fish
cops are working to remedy the situation, along with
the USCG. The 1st of June is the target date
to have everything cleaned up.
The ancient fish tug Mercury was re-floated on
5/5/08 after it's sinking weeks ago. The
Mercury is an old tub dating back to a bygone era of
the 1930s gill net boats. Not sure of how old
this vessel is, but it was an unsafe boat that
leaked like a sieve in the first place. This
boat was sunk from inattention and not having
automatic bilge pump switches. Vandalism, or conspiracy
as originally claimed was not part of the equation.
It's a great
pleasure to announce the 2008 Brew City Salmon
Tournament being held August 9, 2008 at McKinley
Marina. August 10th is a weather backup
date. To the uninformed, Brew City is
Milwaukee, WI. There's already 47 boats
entered in this contest according to Todd Pollesch
who can be reached at 414 899-5959. Entry fee
King season will be upon us soon and today's
update will go a long ways in extending the serviceability
and life of your rods. Most of the strain on
the rod is put on the reel seat. Just
tightening down the seat down is not
enough. If you reels came equipped with reel
clamps, use them. Reel
Clamps in Use
Made a set of solid, one piece 5' out-downs, or
long arms for my Big John downriggers from stainless
steel. The stock, supposedly 4' booms, only
hang 3'6" away from the side my boat. I
do not like any sectioned, screw tighten, or pieced
together rigger arms. All manufacturers are
doing this to cut down on shipping charges in
dealing with big box outlets, like Cabelas, or Bass
made BJ 5' rigger arms
Ludington's Capn Kirk and message board member
drew first blood on a verified King in double digits
at 7pm last evening. I said verified, cuz this
is not a rumor, but a trusted source who does not
BS. This fish was caught around the harbor.
Let's take a look at diver reels, so necessary
to our Great Lakes Fishery! Winding in a
magnum diver and what's behind can weigh a pound, or
more. Then factor in the water drag on the
lure/attractor you're towing. Fleet standard
on reels is around the size of the Diawa
47LCs. The small framed Diawa SG 47 LC
features 5 to 1 retrieve and does not provide enough
umph, as far as I'm concerned. Click
reel size comparisons
Let's close out April 2008 with a midweek
fishing report. Lake Erie from Turtle Island
to Fermi is producing Walleyes. Action is said
to be steady, not fast and the 'eyes are all fair
sized. We know Saginaw Bay, MI has decent
action from the featured Getaway tourney photos from
a few days ago. Getaway's
Today, congratulations are in order to message
board members Getaway (6th) and mwittbrodt
(9th) for top 10 finishes in last weekend's Freeland
Walleye Tournament held Saginaw Bay. There
were 126 boats entered in this event, along with
several top "pro" Walleye anglers who did
not produce what our members did.
Too windy for any reports from Manistee, or most
Michigan ports this past Saturday. I did see
the Lake Huron fishermen had decent weather and good
catches from Port Sanilac, MI up towards White
Rock. More results today, or tomorrow.
I was sickened by the opinionated rational in
yesterday's update. Generally, in the
government employment system you keep getting
promoted until you reach a level of
incompetence. Jim Dexter has proven this point
and I'm willing to bet, he regrets saying something
so blatantly ignorant! Our DNR has pulled some
less enlightened stuff lately, but Dexter's
shell-game explanation on shortchanging Michigan
anglers takes the cake.
4/26/08 Friday, April 25,
2008, The Grand Rapids Press in an article by Howard Meyerson speaking
about increasing the MI limit. Basically moving to a 5 King limit to
match the other states bordering Lake. Michigan. Here's an excerpt:
Kicker motors are a worthy subject for today's
update. With gas prices reaching higher and
higher everyday, kicker motors will save fuel.
I know for a fact the small block GM V8 on my boat
will burn at, or over 2 gallons an hour at trolling
There's a lot more to Great Lakes fishing than
meets the eye. Owning a boat is a
prerequisite. That goes without saying, but owning
your our ride means maintenance chores that should
not be neglected! Click
for draining the lube
Today's topic focuses on Lake Huron's spring Salmon opportunities.
Last weekend saw catches that included Kings to plus 13 pounds, chunky
Coho to 4 pounds and catch numbers that ranged from 10 to 20 fish a
boat. Click for proof
4/22/08 The details from last
weekend continue to spell good fishing on the Great Lakes of Erie, Huron
and Michigan. It seems like all the weekend warriors who wetted a
line caught and some caught very big numbers. Click
for a gut check
Good fortune smiled on those who fished the
Great Lakes of Huron and Michigan this past
weekend. Heard of some 20 fish catches from
Lake Huron at Port Sanilac! Mostly Coho, some
Lakers, and a few Kings from the "sunrise
4/20/08 Reports from Lake Huron's Port Sanilac, MI continue to be encouraging. Limits of 3 Coho per MI license, with some Lake Trout thrown in. Lake Huron's Kings have been tougher to locate. Look for more information on this tomorrow, as more of our message board members report in with the full scoop.
Good reports from the southern ends of Lk. Huron
and Lk. Michigan abound as the 08 season gains
steam. It's darn good to see freshly caught
fish grace this website.
news for you today on two fronts!!. MC Sports in Traverse City, MI
will be stocking the 10" BTI flashers very soon. I appreciate
this major company finding work arounds, as my products do not have bar
codes. Public demand was the reason. I've never paid sales
calls to any tackle store, but that doesn't mean I won't in the future.
Want to put things in perspective in a
hurry? Have the woods catch on fire a 1/4 mile
from your house! Yesterday's high 50 to 60 mph
winds knocked down a tree. Tree falls
against the power lines and starts a fire in the dry
undergrowth. Then the 50-60 mph gusts whip
this into a major ground fire that burned many acres
I received trap net info from Tribal Law
Enforcement Officer, Dave Deforest.
is a procrastinator's worst nightmare, tax day! Gonna make preparations
to haul my boat out storage sometime later today, if all goes.
Predicted temps (later this week) to plus 60 degrees is giving me a case
of reel-bad fishing fever.
Let's look at how stuff holds up over the long
haul. Today's featured photo shows some older
sized "0" dodgers from the 1980s and
1990s. It shows over time, the painted
surfaces gets chipped, fades, cracks, or falls
for this photo
In Manistee, MI we're around 4 weeks away from
any vestiges of a reliable fishery for Kings.
By Memorial Day there should be good
opportunities. Might be sooner, if we get a
warm May with lots of south wind, but don't count on
4/12/08 The trap net that was washed up around the piers/shore of Whitehall, MI has been removed. This is good news for all of us. It shows the MDNR, USCG, NRC and the Little River Tribal Law Enforcement is serious about making our waters safe. The status of nets in Manistee remains uncertain, but rest assured the our waters will be safe by Memorial Day 2008. Look for more news on this as info becomes available to me.
Weather looks a longs ways from tolerable until
next Tuesday. So, there won't be much in the
line of reports from the Manistee area. Last I
heard Brown Trout were scarce. Even though the
DNR has been planting them, we're getting a poor
return on the cost to raise Browns for the central
According to our message board members, there's
some good reports coming from southern Lake Huron
(Lexington, MI) of good catches of Coho. This
is great news for those who live live in
southeastern, Michigan when we throw in the high
cost of fuel.
Yesterday's update about the whistle-blower website
concerning the inner workings of the tribal netters
was pulled off the internet by the early
afternoon. Never the less there was hundreds
of our viewers got to see the truth.
Today's update is extremely important, but first
I have to issue a strong warning to all Lake
Michigan fishermen. Within 3 to 5 weeks there
will be boats venturing out of Ludington to
Frankfort (if not sooner). Beware, as the nets
tribal fishermen set last summer were not pulled and
winter storms have possibly moved them. I hate
the word "possibly," but there's net
markers washed up on shore.
what I know about the past weekend's results: Brown Trout fishing in
Manistee, MI is stupendous, but the catching is almost zilch!
Along the beach south was a 2 1/2 hour boat ride towards Guerney Creek
according the Capt. Tom Rasmussen. Pier fishermen putting their
time in are taking a few, with heavy emphasis on few off Manistee's
north wall. Temp on the beach is 37 to 38 degrees.
4/6/08 Need proof it's spring in Manistee County? Well, so do I! After a long arduous snowy winter, it hard to believe the seasons are changing. Yesterday, it was close to 60 degrees and more of the same is on order for today. Took a conglomeration of 3 photos merged into one image as proof it's spring. Should have some fresh fishing info by tomorrow, along with new photos on Monday. Click for proof of spring
Had our warmest day in Manistee County in a long
time. Temp approached 50 degrees yesterday and
the warming trend is predicted to continue this
Good luck to our members fishing the Brown Blast
tournament in St. Joe tomorrow. We have at
least 3 members that will be there. As far, as
I know ...this is the first tourney of 2008.
Let's hope the lake behaves itself and it's a
success for all.
The Anacortes Salmon Derby held last weekend in the State of Washington on the west coast.
This is truly a remarkable event where a lot of good
is done. The Pacific Ocean Salmon fishermen
are looking to their future by giving away college scholarships
to students going into fishery academics.
They're raising to their own potential allies in the
DNR. This is a prime example of the
"greater good for all" thinking.
another inch of the white stuff this morning to my snowometer.
Which now stands at 140 inches, dating back to Nov. 2007.
Fools Day, watch out for harmless and unbelievable stories I always get
sucked in by. Pre-updated the website yesterday afternoon, cuz
we're getting smacked with 2 to 3 inch total rainfall gulley
washer. My satellite internet does not work in heavy rain.
In the mean time, check out our excellent photo of the day. The
Steelhead from the Kewuanee River in WI is truly a well composed photo! Click
for this photo