As March 2008 closes out, the new 2008 big lake
season is starting to roll. What was a distant
dream last January is turning into a reality
now. Southern Lake Michigan is coming alive
with limits of early season Coho. Granted
spring Cohos are small, but what they lack in size
is made up by their sheer willingness to attack with
non stop action. Lots of reports on Coho from
1 and 2 pounds, with an occasional 3 pounder is the
deal for now. We still might be 3 to 4 weeks
out from dealing with Mr. King Salmon.
Look for some early
season reports from Lake Huron soon. Spring
2008 was decent for the eastsiders with respectable
catches inshore shallow water Steelhead & Kings.
While I have a lot on
my plate this week, the 1979 Sea Ray I purchased
last May will probably come out of storage this
week. While Manistee's once great April
Brown season has fell in hard times, there's still a
chance to catch a fish or two.
Encouraging reports from esteemed message board
members Capn Kirk and FBD, aka Kevin E makes a good
subject for today's update. According to
Ludington, MI's very own and my UPS driver, Capn
Kirk was able to get into few fish yesterday (Browns
and released Lake Trout), while fishing close to the
for Kirk's Brown
St. Joe was lousy
with Coho, along with a few Browns according to
FBD. It took Kevin and his partner about 10
minutes to boat two Michigan Coho limits (6 Cohos).
Then, they searched for Browns and by the sound of
things, took 3 Browns too!
I have the
highest respect for both of these fishermen.
Weather does not detour their fishing. No
matter if it warm, cold, or in between.
weather next week show weather more in what they try to feed us as
normal. Normal based on averages is a myth.
Much like fish cannot see red after 50'
down. If the fish can't see red after 50', why is the Clear Red
meat rig ranked in the top three in sales? Why is the King Krimson
(red/black/glow flasher pattern) a top five best seller in the flasher
Here's the reason why: myths once perpetrated
on the public gain a foothold and are impossible to dispel. The
truth is: no human knows what a fish can, or cannot see.
I would never be so foolish to tell you what fish vision is capable
of. I've seen way too many things associated with fishing that
defy any sort of logic!
3/28/08 Indiana message board member, "mixednuts"
drew first blood while fishing two days ago on the
26th. They had a respectable catch and boated
Brown Trout, Coho and Lake Trout. Indiana's
section of Lake Michigan warms up first and has a
season that starts a good 2 weeks to a month before
the ports laying further up the coast of Lk.
MI. Many thanks for his timely photo showing
winter is almost gone! Click
for IN Brown
to make bullet proof line-stays for meat rigs:
1. Buy a cheap ($10) wire clipper-stripper, multi uses for stripping
boat wire too.
2. Insulation from 18 gauge wire should fit inside a rigger crimp from
3. Insert a piece of wire insulation inside the rigger crimp
4. 11" spacing between all flies (2 or 3 fly rigs), drop the head
back to 14 to 16 inches.
5. Use a stiff leader material, not cheapie mono line.
6. Moisten knots before cinching them. You'll avoid the curled
line in front of knots.
7. Take your time, preparation and planning is part of the fun of
8. Do not wrap meat rigs around flashers for storage.
9. Blouse out the flies to look like spiders before sending them down.
Click these links for a photo how-to: line-stays
for meat rigs How
not to store rigs
Wire strippers/18 gauge
Even if you do not use my products,
...no problem! If I can save you one lost fish with with my
knowledge? Then, let's mark this mission accomplished.
Today, I'll start a two part series on care of your
meat rigs and an inside company trade secret most
other tackle manufacturers probably wouldn't
share. Please keep in mind, I'm not an
"other" manufacturer and this tip is
better off being part of the public domain for the
benefit of all. Click
for incorrect meat rig storage
First off, please do
not wrap meat rigs around flashers when you
done. Funny things happen to wet monofilament,
like kinks you're never fully rid of. Getting
technical, thoroughly saturated wet mono line can
swell 3 to 5%. Then, when the line dries,
loops and kinks can form. This is bad news for
those in a hurry at the end of a fishing session and
wrap their meat rigs around flashers. The line
dries, shrinks 3 to 5% tightening the loops around
the flasher (if it's winded tightly). Then
this stresses the line-stays. Which in most
cases are just bare metal crimps against mono.
The sharp inside lip of the crimp, or sleeve is
where problems start. Part II tomorrow.......
My Manistee snowometer has moved to 139"
(plus 4" yesterday) since last November!
a mess in Ludington. Rack up another black eye for the commercial
netters licensed by the Little River Band of Native Americans! One
of their net boats sunk in Ludington's harbor recently. Spilling
untold gallons of fuel & oil in PM Lake. The Coast Guard has booms
up to contain the spill. The tribe/commercial netters are 100%
responsible for this spill and will cost them many thousands of dollars
before it's over.
This clearly demonstrates LRB lack of
experience. In my opinion, lack of good sense. Why did the
boat sunk? Easy answer: the boat had water leaking in it!
This could have happened many ways. Like,
the boat was froze in and the hull cracked, or damage was done breaking
ice. I do not know the exact reason. I do know it makes the
LRB netters look as dim-witted as ever and shines a poor light on their
parent company, the Little River Tribal Casino. When will this
comedy of errors end?
Our spring sale continues to be a huge
success. Patience please, I will not have
additional help until 4/8/08 when John J returns
from wintering south. My fulltime employee is
off for the next couple of weeks too. So, for
now, I'm a one man army doing all orders and
production. Look to have most of the backlog
cleared up tomorrow.
To those purchasing
the Climax Fluorocarbon Leader Material, use a palomer
knot. The Climax Fluoro is a stiffer material
made to take abuse. Stiffer needs a easy to
tie knot that's strong, which a palomer is. Pull
testing palomer knot
Palomer knots are
recommended for the super braid lines too. So,
if you don't know this knot yet? Now's the
time to learn. Click
for instructions on how to tie
tips not in the instructions: moisten line, use
needle nose pliers to cinch up the tag-end good and
tight, have nail, or a screw to do a hard pull
test. Tying 50 pound test line is a lot harder
than the lighter pound tests versions. Knot
failure is not an option, cuz it costs money &
more importantly fish that should have been boxed!
Special spring sale continues at my webstore: www.michiganangler.com
We have the best 4 BTIs for flies, combo deals for
flashers/flies and the new X-Glow BTI Fly.
Stock allotted for this sale is about 1/2 gone and
when current supplies run out, our special spring
kickoff sale will be over. Thanks to all
who've purchased so far!
Enjoy the Easter Holiday and let's hope spring-like
weather comes soon!
Did a test with 100% un-retouched photos showing
the differences in our X-Glow Bullets heads vs.
China specials. This test was demonstrated
with the highly popular "Riverside,"
against our X-Glow BTI Fly. The series of 3
photos speak volumes on glow properties of our
superior line, the X-Glow bullet heads, flies, meat
heads & flashers.
products might cost a buck, or two more, but the
best always does. I'm proud to point out
differences between our stuff and products made
The photos were
taken in 3 steps: Click
photo I charging then moving on to:
II photo 30 sec. after lights out Click
photo III 20 min. of darkness
Is this amount
a glow a small thing? Yes, but ask yourself
this question: how many small things go into a large
box of fish, or how many small things turn a tough
day into a good one? Installed some spring
specials at the webstore, more on that tomorrow.
Today is as good a day, as any to introduce the new X-Glow BTI
Fly. Also, known as the "Riverside Fly" in Manistee,
MI. Ken Warren (KRW) the man who originated the flies in the tube
deal has tied me up a limited amount on my X-Glow bullet heads for
superior performance. Click
for new 2008 X-Glow BTI Fly
This in demand pattern was nearly
impossible to find in Ludington/Manistee last August. The BTI Fly
with the new X-Glow head is a step up and deadly change for the better.
Constant improvement has been going on with our trolling flies.
We've increased the diameter of the storage tube from 1.25" to
1.50" to make the storage tube even more versatile for a multitude
of other uses, if you chose not to keep the flies in them.
Tomorrow, I post a photo of the
glow properties with our new X-Glow BTI Fly vs. the regular BTI Fly
bullet head after 15 minutes. This difference is amazing!
Easter Holidays are upon us. Have a great weekend!
First supposed day of spring in 2008 in Manistee
MI, but spring is dressed up in a disguise,
looking a lot more like mean old man winter.
yesterday's photo of the day, where five limits of
Salmon are hanging on a brag board. I did not
post this photo to proclaim I'm a Joe Hero and turn
fish. Hey, lot of charter skippers can do the
same job. What's the job? Using dodgers
as a deadly tool. The 8/25/1993 catch came on
Fire Dot Dodgers and Richey's Green Glow Squids.
is an art form onto itself where there's a .2 of mph
window for maximum effectiveness. Then,
there's a science in lead length from the cannonball
to adjust for the .2 speed window. 42"
to 60" comes to mind, depending on the seas.
flashers, flies, or meat program better then
dodger/flies/squids? I'll let history answer
that question. This I can say, " the stuff we
make has no learning curve, works out of the box and
most importantly my products are NOT speed sensitive
like other forms of attractor fishing."
...Such as dodger-squid, or dodger-fly combinations.
It's no big secret the MDNR has all but shut down
our Coho program, with only a token plant for the
Platte River, north of Frankfort, MI. The
State of MI said cost vs. return was the
reason, like MI Coho were being caught in early
spring off IN & IL.
to a Great Lakes Fishery said to be a 4 to 5.5
billion dollar industry, depending on which website
your read? Click
for Aug. 25, 1993 Coho catch
featured photo is from August 25, 1993 when the DNR
had planted 200,000 Coho in Manistee County, long
since discontinued. It shows my 5 charter
guests with a 25 fish limit of Coho & Kings during 1/2 day pm charter. It would seem
to me, our DNR got it's money's worth from a small
and much appreciated Manistee plant.
Is the DNR
being penny-wise and pound foolish?
Truthfully, I can not answer that, but a
multi-species is beneficial the overall
health/safety of our fishery. Having all of
our eggs in one basket, relying on just Kings is
beyond ignorant. Here's what I know, our once
great MI April Brown Trout is a thing of the
past. Steelhead harvest is maybe 30% of what
it was in 1996 & the pursuit for a viable
multi-species fishery has fell by the wayside.
More on this tomorrow, the Vernal Equinox ....or
the first day of Spring 2008.
Got a special treat for you today. Julie
S, aka fishsqueezer on our message
board has written an informative article on fishing
northern Lake Huron. While the more populous
ports like Ludington, Manistee, Frankfort, etcetera
always get more attention, there is other ports with
dedicated, dyed in the wool big water fisherpeople,
Julie works for the
MDNR as a fish clerk, or fish census taker that
meets you at the dock, then gather valuable data for
the DNR. Julie, along with her husband have a
boat and fish Lake Huron as much as practicality
for Julie's article
If you're a
Lake Michigan fisherman, never think for an instant
Lake Huron had to take a backseat to any Great
Lake. That is, before the bait fish crash in
about 03. I ran spring charters out of Port
Austin, Grindstone City & Harbor Beach
(1983-1995) that produced boxes, all anglers would drool
over nowadays. Click
for 1990 charter catch
take a trip back in time and see when Kings were truly King, not the paltry
pretenders to the throne we have nowadays. Today's featured photo
is a scan of an old Polaroid taken in 1976. It shows a what a King
Salmon should look like!
This fish looks like it came from
the Kenai River in Alaska. It did not! It was caught in
Betsie Bay (Frankfort, MI), as this fish was homing in on the Betsie
I set this photo up with the
fish partially laying on the cleaning table at M22 and the Platte River,
then talked my lovely wife into heading up it's giant head.
Will we see fish like this
again in our Great Lakes? I highly doubt, cuz most of the i2k
Kings never reach 4 years, with most spawning at 3. Really large Kings
live 5, or even 6 years before entering the rivers to procreate, then
perish. Click for 1976 King
Here's reel-story on the super hog Stanndard
Rock U.P. Lake Trout:
"The fish was 35 lbs. It was a good fight,
as these natives are a lot different than the stocked
Lakers. We usually fish them with jigs and light tackle,
using a white twister tail 6 inch and a small piece of sucker
when they move up on the reef in early
Catch quite a few in the 20s and when they suspend, we go to your stuff,
Gives us a good way to target them!" Thanks,
question for you: how many Michigan based tackle
manufacturers caught a Michigan fish weighing over
35 pounds last season? I'm willing to bet,
darn few, if any!
been wrongfully maligned by many and left out of
tournaments, until recently. If the Indian's
gill nets hadn't wiped out the Lk. MI Lake Trout
fishery back in later 1970s, we'd have tackle busters
in the 50 pound plus range swimming around in Lake
Michigan today. Lake Trout are our only native
big game fish, discounting Sturgeon.
Today's featured photo of the day is a giant pig
Lake Trout caught off Stanndard Rock. Standard
Rock is located 40 some miles north of the UP's
Marquette, MI area. It's a dangerous Lk.
Superior rock reef rising up from 560' of water in a
big hurry. This rock outcropping has claimed
many ships and lives dating way back to the
1800s. Before they finished constructing a
lighthouse in the mid-1880s, many crews referred to
this shoal as the "Sailors
for Stanndard Rock Giant Lake Trout
Accepted methods to
fish this place are lead-head jigs (up to 3 oz)
tipped with a big chunks of cut bait.
Although, many opt for trolling tactics, as did Mike
S when he caught the whopper Trout with a Pearl
Squirrel BTI 10" flasher.
I've had a trip
to Stanndard Rock on my list of "must
do's" for a long time. This is the best
Lake Trout fishing in probably the world, with fish
over 30 lbs. if you get lucky. Lk. Superior's
Stanndard Rock Lake Trout population are said to
wrap the week up with a weather report from Manistee County, MI. I
have several friends that winter in a warmer climate and they should
know we've had around 5 days in a row where the high temps was over
freezing. Snow is starting to melt, but there's still a good foot
of the white stuff in the woods.
This March, unlike last year has been cold, up
to last weekend below zero or single digits for night time lows.
The way it's looking we're slowing warming and with the official start
of spring only 6 days away, spring looks to be on schedule.
Hopefully, April 2008 will be an improvement of
2007, where April was a worst month then March. In a week or two,
my lake boat will be waking up from it's long winter's nap. So,
the 2008 season is slowly creeping up on all of us.
Direct quote from the 2008/2009 MI Fishing
Guide, page 6 - paragraph 2:
fishing, you must carry your license and the
identification used to purchase that license and
exhibit both upon demand of a Michigan Conservation
Officer, a Tribal Conservation Officer or any law
ATE BILL 406, AS INTRODUCED
Quote: "Over the past 20 years, the number of licensed anglers in our state has dropped 21.7 percent. The number of hunters has dropped 14.3 percent in the same period. There are many reasons people stop participating in hunting and fishing, and the DNR is launching new efforts to retain current hunters and anglers and recruit new ones."
After the first
two disheartening paragraphs in today's update,
thought it would be wise to shift gears back to
catching. Today's featured photo is from the
waters of Arcadia to Frankfort. Click
for a possible preview of 2008
don't have the whole story yet, bear with me until I ferret this out for
myself. According to a message board member, the 2008 Michigan
fishing license says you can be stopped by tribal DNR personal. If
this is so, we've been sold out again, as our former rights are being
flushed down the toilet.
If this is the case, tribal law from a
tribes that do not abide by the fishing rules of the Michigan Department
of Natural Resources has no right to stop me for any reason.
I dislike using hearsay for an update and
will dig deeper when I purchase my 2008 MI all-species fishing
license. The business about being stopped by tribal DNR did come
from a reliable source. If this is true? ...look for more on this
Today's photos of the day are courtesy of Gene M
and Kevin E, aka FBD on our message board.
They got into the Steelhead fairly decent on the
Kalamazoo River, near Saugatuck, MI on 3/8/08.
Both of these fishermen are a joy to be
around. They share a warm dedication for a
cold sport called, Steelheading. Click
for Gene M's fish
I'm out of the loop
on river guides, seeing I no longer guide on the Big
Manistee. River guides have always been
extremely tight lipped group. Reason
being? ...it's hard to dig fish out of the
river, cuz of crowded conditions. It
seems like there's a boat setting in every good hole
on the river. Compounded by the fact of
there's not that many prime, good producing runs in
the first place. Click
for Kevin's Steelhead
snowometer has moved to 135 inches since last
featured photo is from the west coast Pacific Ocean. One of our
message board members was fishing the recent Ironman Derby when a 40
some pound Halibut took a BTI and spoon combination. Click
for DJFISHS2XS's Halibut
Here's a list of fish our products have
caught: Kings, Coho, Lake Trout, Brown Trout, Steelhead, Catfish, Musky,
Walleyes, Sheephead, Swedish Char, and Atlantic Salmon. Probably
forgetting a species, or two, but the point is what appears as food to
one specie is gonna be food to many species. Fish are not all that
different might be a better way to say this. All fish are
constantly on the prowl for chow.
Want to catch more fish? Limit out more
often? Have a much better strike vs. fish in
the box ratio? By now, you're probably
thinking this is a sales pitch by me pointing out
the high merit by buying a wad of my flashers,
flies, or meat rigs.
You're 1000% wrong,
if you think any lure/method is more important as
proper boat speed. Hence, ultra-precision boat
control. I've heard a bunch say, "my boat
trolls down to 2 mph on it's own (no devices to slow
the boat)." This is a bunch phoney
baloney, cuz even a small following sea with a light
breeze can easily add over 1 mph.
If you can not
get you boat down to 1.5 with seas and the wind
behind you? You are not controlling
speed. Speed is controlling you!
By slowing your
boat with the fish on? You're gonna lose less
fish too. Plus, make it a helluva lot easier
on the person with the rod fighting fish!
If you opt for
sea, or trolling bags instead of trolling plates,
there's a hidden added benefit. This benefit
is smoother troll when it's lumpy. Click
for sea bag photo
Sea bags plant
any boat more firmly in the waves. Especially,
when you're doing a turn and rough beam seas are
hitting your vessel sideways. Do yourself a
favor by concentrating on speed issues, instead of
the conditions dictating what you can and cannot do.
You'll end up with more fish, if you do! Click
for article on boat speed
important thing going on today is we set our clocks forward one hour to
adjust for Daylight Savings Time. This is a prelude to longer days
and more time in the evening to for outdoor activities, like fishing!
We're caught up on all orders as of
now. All international orders went out this past Thursday.
Used a new program for international shipping that should make things
easier in the future for overseas orders from my end. Many thanks
for your patience.
If you closely examine the photo of the Splake
we talked about yesterday, you'll plainly see the
coffee colored 7 strand stainless steel wire line
diver rod. The date imprinted by the camera
(7/23/90) shows proof of using this method a long
time ago. Back in the later 1980s there were
no super braid ultra-thin diameter
my first season with wire dipseys, although this was
a spin off from then Frankfort Charter Captain Mel
Wantz who used wire and the largest Deep Six to
reach the depths during the record hot summer of
1988. 1988 was the height of the BKD
(bacterial kidney disease) that took it's toll on
our King Salmon fishery.
the mid-1980s, when the fish went deep, many put
away their divers, or opted for 1 to 2 pound drop
weights. Here's a Ludington trick back then:
they'd use a 1 pound drop weight on a sinker release
in front of a mono dipsy diver to attain depth.
think wire divers are new to the Great Lakes,
they've only been in vogue since the later 1990s, as
the word spread about wire's effectiveness.
is the new super braids and magnum dipseys work
probably as good and do not kink up and cause the
grief 7 strand wire does. Click
for 1990 wire proof
If you'll go back a long ways with me, in the late
1960s when our Lake Trout fishery was just being
reestablished, I used monel & 7 strand wire for
Lakers. I guess with our fishery, there's not
much new, only recycled proven methods that catch
Let's change the pace from this week's trap net
focus, to the rarest fish I ever caught during my 20
years as a full-time charter operator. I'd
guesstimate since 1968 there's been over 25,000
Salmon and Trout caught aboard my charter, and
personal vessels. This figure would be much
higher if Walleyes were included from Lake Erie.
In all these
many years fishing, the rarest fish we took was
Master Angler Splake on 7/23/90. Closing in on
40 years fishing the Great Lakes, we only boated one
Splake and that fish came on Lake Huron off
Michigan's thumb, Port Austin. Today's photo of the
day is a scan of an old 35mm film camera of that
very same fish. Click
for 1990s Splake
a hybrid cross between a Lake Trout (member of the
Char family) and a Brook Trout. These fish are
said not to have the ability to reproduce naturally.
You can identify a Splake, cuz their tail is not as
deeper forked like a Laker, they're generally more
rotund and their white spots over a silver-gray body
are round. Lake Trout's white molted spots
over their silver-gray are elongated & more
Don't count on ever
seeing one in your net, cuz I don't think the DNR is
planting them any more in the Great Lakes of Huron
During Capt. Deforest's lecture on fishing safe
around trap nets the biggest thing I learned was the
lead, or king anchor can be set several hundred feet
away from the pot where the fish are trapped.
There's a line running directly from this main anchor
to the surface,
marked only with a floating white jug. There
can be a lot of scope in this marker/line to the lead
anchor. Scope in anchor terms refers to
Another learned fact was give
a trap net area a wide berth, if you see commercial
fishers pulling a net. This is the most dangerous
time when all the gear is coming up
from the bottom, with lead anchor lines become
taught a long ways away from said trap nets.
commercial fishers are required by tribal law to
pull their nets ever 4 days, or be subject to a
costly ticket ...if they don't empty the pot. Click
for trap net diagram
from what I read, were developed for the Great Lakes
to target Whitefish. There's a byproduct
catch of mostly Lake Trout, where the tribal fishers
can keep a 100 pounds. These Lake Trout are
next to worthless money-wise, bringing only about
.20 cents pound in the round (meaning un-cleaned, or
The majority of
all Lake Trout get released. Not many Salmon
get caught in trap nets. I've heard this from
at least 3 very reliable, trusted sources.
I know you want to hear more about the talk given by
Tribal Law Enforcement Officer, Capt Dave
Deforest. That will be posted in the last part
of today's update.
First off, I have to
take care of business at my webstore, cuz that pays
the bills to keep this website going. We have
a large backlog of orders and the majority of those
will be shipped today. The 2008 trolling flies
have been re-installed at the webstore, as there
were a few left from stock reserved for the
for the webstore
I'd be amiss if I
did not thank the Flint Steelheaders for the great
show they put on with ALL volunteer help. This
show requires a ton of effort. All proceeds
from the gate and booth space goes to charitable
places that pertain to our fishery. Things
like a kid's first fishing rod, building fish
cleaning stations and supporting hatcheries.
Now back to the
respect the LRB tribe gained thru Dave Deforest's
presentation: Deforest has written tickets for
nonconformity in laws set forth by the LRB tribe.
Their Tribal Judge Bailey, has upheld all trials
were fines were involved. These fines can be
steep, ranging from 250 to 2500 bucks. Their
court is serious about containing what can and
cannot be done. Please keep in mind, we'd be a
helluva lot worse off if gill nets were in
usage. So, look at the trap nets as a blessing
for the time being.
things I did not know: Tribal Officer, Dave Deforest
is employed by our federal government. The LRB
does not make out his paycheck. Trap nets can
rise 40' up from the bottom. When they pull
the trap, the pot, or the last part ....the entire
net comes up. The king anchor holds the trap,
or pot is the worse part of the deal, as they well
out from the staff flag over the pot. Trap
nets are very long, like up to, or over 2600'.
Wings, or the vee leads can be 600' or more.
Deep water small mesh gill nets for bloater chubs
rise only 36" up from the bottom and are set in
waters 240' and deeper and can be several miles
long. More on this stuff tomorrow.
finished putting in three long 12 hours days in a row and I'll have be
better able to explain the recent happenings at the fishing by tomorrow.
show and seminars went very well. Even though I know Tribal
Law Enforcement Officer, Capt. Dave Deforest, I learned a lot about the
commercial fishing operations in the entire State of Michigan. Full
report will happen tomorrow.
it's March! The same month spring starts and in only 20 days from
Report from the Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI is good.
Crowd was a little down yesterday due to a snow storm, but seen many of
our message board members.
There's was 1001 things to bring to
the show, but I forgot the USB download cable for my camera. So,
unless I can borrow one today, you'll have to wait for Monday's update
to see photos from this important event.
Many thanks to John B,
Gatorman, Skilletman, Phil, John O, and Tony "Soprano" ...aka
Eyeful for helping and efficiently setting up the booth in about 2
Adjusting my Manistee front yard snowometer to 128
inches, since last November.
in Birch Run, MI about 4pm yesterday and dropped the booth off at the
show. Helpers to assist with setup? ...we'll meet at Tony's
Restaurant at 8:00am this morning, then proceed to the North Building of
the Expo Center by 9am. Steelheaders Fishing Show begins today at
3pm. ...just hope we're completely setup by then.
LRB Tribal Enforcement, Dave Deforest will only be available the Sat.
Word of note about the Flint Steelheaders Show:
All proceeds from this show are reinvested back into our fishery in some
way, shape or form by the Flint Chapter. Money made from this
event are not lining some promoters pockets.
Today's featured photo show the 2 heads for the
same price deal will have at the Flint Steelheaders
Show in Birch Run, MI tomorrow. This same deal
is available at my webstore: www.michiganangler.com
In both cases, there's a 10% discount until 3/2/08.
Birch Run today to get a head start on being there
early for tomorrow's booth setup. I'm
pre-thanking message board members who are helping
Need to do
another thank you to Captain's Joe Von Grabe, Paul
Vantol and Dave Deforest for help with our
seminars. It's a lot of work and I truly appreciate
you're sitting down when you read this, cuz it's
something you probably thought, ...you'd never hear from
me. I need to thank the Little River Band of
Indians for sending Tribal Law Enforcement Officer,
Dave Deforest in an official capacity to explain on
how to avoid and fish safe around commercial tribal
this season's snowometer to 125 inches, since last
Today's topic is a good one if you're considering on
purchasing tackle at my webstore: www.michiganangler.com
for the 2008 season.
From now until
midnight March 2nd, 2008 everyone will get a 10%
discount on all items ordered from the webstore to
keep pace with special show pricing.
Also, we have a
value-added special on 2 and 3 fly meat rigs.
At no extra cost, you'll be able to get a Super Mag
and a bonus Magnum Head, just like we're offering at
this upcoming fishing show. 2 heads and 10%
off is a good deal by anyone's standards!
This policy of
offering the same show prices/specials at the
webstore came about as not to penalize anyone, just
...because you cannot attend this weekend's do.
I will not
insult your intelligence by laying it on thick about
how much money you'll save, cuz the only way to save
is not to spend any money in the first place.
This I will
say: this is the only price break you'll see on my
products this year. Since 2006 some of my
suppliers have raised cost to me, by as much as 30%
in some cases. Sooner, or later there will be
passed down price increases on all products we make,
or stock. Please keep in mind, since 2006
we've had no major price increases to keep up with
the parts and pieces we buy to make
2/27/08 Today's topic is a
good one if you're considering on purchasing tackle at my webstore: www.michiganangler.com
for the 2008 season. From now until midnight March 3rd, 2008
everyone will get a 10% discount on all items ordered from the webstore.
Also, we have a value-added special
on 2 and 3 fly meat rigs. At no extra cost, you'll be able to get
a Super Mag and a bonus Magnum Head, just like we're offering at this
upcoming fishing show. 2 heads and 10% off is a good deal by
This policy of offering the same
show prices/specials at the webstore came about as not to penalize
anyone, just ...because you cannot attend this weekend's do.
I will not insult your intelligence
by laying it on thick about how much money you'll save, cuz the only way
to save is not to spend any money in the first place.
This I will say: this is the
only price break you'll see on my products this year. Since 2006
some of my suppliers have raised cost to me, by as much as 30% in some
cases. Sooner, or later there will be passed down price increases
on all products we make, or stock. Please keep in mind, since 2006
we've had no major price increases to keep up with the parts and pieces
we buy to make product.
Packed up most of the tackle for Flint
Steelheaders Fishing the starting this coming Friday
afternoon at the Birch Run, MI's Expo Center.
To better give you an
idea of this major undertaking, it takes one pickup
and a van to carry the booth and tackle hauled to
We have the very best
seminar speakers lined up, ever. This is my
forth season in the tackle business and I've got a
good handle on what needs to be said.
Nowadays, my fishing
is limited and I fully understand what the sport
fisherman goes thru. That's one of the reasons
behind last summer's project boat SR1979. Your
time is limited and how important it is to have
stuff work out of the package with absolutely no
trail and error. Click
for last year's SR1979 project boat
One of the
beauties of a trailerable vessel is not being locked
down at one port all season long. During 2007,
even with a mid-season July start, we were able to
fish the Michigan ports of Manistee, Arcadia and
Leland. More to be added to this list in 2008.
A few days ago our topic was water being
diverted from Lake Michigan thru the Chicago
River. In 1900 they reversed the flow of this
river that used to drain into Lk. MI. Typhoid
fever and cholera was a problem for Chicago, IL in
the later 1800s.
in the later 1800s was another reason, as sewage
treatment plants were still 60, or 70 years in the
future. Originally, they called this the
Chicago Drain, with another thought of using their
newly dug trench for shipping.
Here's the point, I'm trying to make: 3200 cubic feet of water per
second is being drained by IL thru the Chicago River.
This is approximately to what the Big Manistee,
Little Manistee and Pere Marquette River pour into
Lake Michigan every year. Today's featured photo
shows the Chicago River is a major waterway. Click
for Chicago River
Here's something else that needs reiteration: the
states laying downstream thru the entire Mississippi
River system are not pitching much of a bitch about
invasive species, or VHS. Is our water be more
valuable than the nasties contained in it?
a goodly part of yesterday birthing the new 2008 12" Gold Bullets
for the upcoming Steelheaders Show. It's like their a part of me
know, and potential new parents will need to sign adoption papers if
they want one ...just kidding!
We all heard according to folklore
silver bullets can kill Werewolves and Vampires. Here's something
else that need to be added to that list: Gold Bullets KILL FISH!
Undoubtedly, the 2008 Gold Bullets
are some of the finest looking extreme-quality products we've ever
produced. We're very proud to bring you this class of tackle.
Click for the stunning
upscale new 12" Gold Bullets
BASS Master Classic has started and has excellent coverage on
ESPN2. Busy getting all our ducks in a row for the upcoming show
in Birch Run, MI means not much time for anything close meaningful
Could you be suffering from SDD (Seasonal Dysfunctional
Disorder)? This malady has many other names
including: Cabin Fever (CF), Winter Bla's (WA), or
Premature Spring Fever (PSF). If you might be
coming down with SDD, CF, WA, or PSF today's
featured photo might be a breath of fresh air. Click
for SDD medicine
shows how deadly a meat program is off the Port of
Manistee, MI during August. 3 fishermen
getting the ball rolling during sunset with an
exciting triple header is tough to top! Thanks
to Mike D for this welcomed wonderful change of pace
One week from
today, the Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show at Birch
Run, MI can provide a welcome respite from this
long, tiresome winter of 2008. I'm looking
forward to this event in a big way, doing seminars
and seeing many of my fishing buds.
For me fishing is a full contact sport, contact with
friends that is!
Let's look at the alarming spread of Zebra
Mussels since 1988 thru-out our United States.
It's far reaching!! Zebras are in the entire Mississippi
drainage basin down to New Orleans, LA.
This pandemic is not a problem to just the states
surrounding the Great Lakes, it's a problem, or a
potential problem effecting all states in the lower
If you're into
conspiracy theories, it's easy to see the Zebras
have cleaned up the Great Lakes. Heavy
contaminates are absorbed by these mussels, that die
off and become firmly implanted to the bottom.
Building underwater colonies on top of one another,
as the straining of the H2o continues. Thusly,
making Lk. MI far cleaner than it would have been
before the mussels! Click
for year, by year infestation
3200 cubic feet of water per
second is being drained by IL thru the Chicago River
navigation on the Illinois River, hence into the
Mississippi system. Kinda funny the southern
states laying downstream are not bitching about the
Zebras and VHS-B virus proven to be in Lake
Michigan. Could it be, ...this is just part of
the grander scheme to steal water from the Great
Lakes Basin? Click
to see more about drainage
cubic feet per second is at least twice the average
flow of the Big Manistee River. That's one helluva
bunch of water being diverted 24/7 and 365 days a
My estimated Manistee, MI snow gauge has moved
to 122 inches, since our first snow in November
2007. 2008 is definitively more snowy then
2007. Last winter (I think) we closed the
estimated snowfall at 125 inches for the whole
We've had almost
that much now and snow will continue into
April. February has been our harshest month
with plenty of frigid single digit temps to below
Right now, the
turkey and deer are under extreme stress. The
deer are having a hard time digging thru the frozen
crusty snow searching for last fall's
to the Cooperative Observer, Wellston, MI has
22" on the level. This is the most snow
laying on the ground in Michigan's Lower
Peninsula. Wellston is only a few miles from
the world headquarters of this website. Click
for observer facts
Next week looks
a little better. I will be leaving for the
Birch Run Fishing Show in 8 days. Hopefully,
it will not be the blizzard-like conditions we drove
thru last year!
in store for
Manistee/Ludington MI fishermen with trap nets this
season? Nobody knows, but in Manistee's case ....it can't be any
worse then 2007!
Fish wise, the fleet adjusted pretty
well. Some skippers fished in between the void in the 13 to 14
nets, where there was a mile piece of prime structure. Some fished
over the top of them on the deep water side. I recommend neither
of these tactics!
Myself? I just avoided them like
the plague and fished south in the blank spot in the 8s to the
10s. How did the trap nets effect the fishing? ... this is tough
Lack of bait close to Manistee's shelf
keep most of the Salmon suspended over deep water, like 160' to 250',
well outside of the inshore trap nets. This worked in our favor.
this season's snow gauge to 118 inches, since last
Ever wonder what goes on aboard the commercial
boats targeting Whitefish? Well, wonder no
more as I have a couple of photos showing the LRB
tribal fishers pulling the business end, or pot of
their trap nets. Click
for trap netted Whitefish
and savvy Capt. Kevin Hughes was nice enough to
furnish today's featured photos. He was out
last summer aboard one of the tribal net boats and
photographed the event. According to Capt.
Hughes, all incidental Lake Trout swam off unharmed,
but undersized Whitefish did not survive. Pulling
More on this
tomorrow. Snow and freezing rain has my
satellite dish all messed up and need luck just to
publish this short update with text and images.
I'm sure by this time, we're all getting a little weary of winter.
There's is good news, in about 4 weeks the official start of spring
(3/20/08) will happen! Southern big fishermen working the
Indiana's part of Lake Michigan will be stacking up limits of Coho as
soon as the ice clears. One of our message board members, "PCoaltrain"
he strives to have his boat in the marina by 3/15/08 in East Chicago,
New MI fishing licenses will be coming
out with the advent of March. It will be interesting to see of the
MDNR has increased the daily bag the limit to 5 Kings. This would
bring Michigan in step with IN, IL and WI. Removing more Kings
from Lake MI might help take the stress of the bait fish
population. Past history shows the DNR acts generally after the
fact. Let's hope in this case they do not let Lake Michigan's
Kings go down the tubes, like what's happened to the once great Lake
Huron Salmon population.
While we can not completely fault the MDNR for
the Lake Huron debacle, but it did happen on their watch.
President Harry S. Truman had a placard on his desk. It
"the buck stops here." Meaning the leader and chief
Let me remind everyone here, Lake Huron saw
lots of Kings, then lots of King to 12 pounds, then hardly any Kings,
...as the bait fish (alewife) population disappeared!
Need to adjust
this season's snow gauge to 112 inches, since last
About 11 days left before we leave for the Flint
Steelheaders Birch Run, MI Show. We're on
schedule with production, all be it may it's a
massive job. Most of our standing inventory is
never in fully completed form, like what we're
taking to the show.
Need to adjust
this season's snow gauge to 110 inches, since last
More snow for Manistee County, MI. My
front yard snow gauge is now at 106 inches, so
far. This is only a minor inconvenience,
other than having to plow today. Winter
equates snow in Manistee. Just wish there was
more time to enjoy the white stuff, as the
snowmobile trails are in super prime
for 2/14/08 snow
Had a couple of
well meaning website visitors said who invented
what, or when ...pertaining to trolling flies.
Please let me set the record straight on
modern day flies made out of Mylar are take-offs of
what George Richey started in the later 1970s.
George introduced the Green Sparkle Fly in
1977. The Sparkle Fly was the "go
to" hot setup Kings 31 years ago and still
works to this day.
before George broke ground, the big deal was the
Allie Fly, made from some kind of natural hair, by
Larry Crosby from Traverse City, MI. Larry
started the Traverse Bay Tackle Store in the 1980s,
which has since merged into MC Sports in TC.
Valentines Day Update: We all name things for different
reasons. I chose "BTI Fly" when I asked the viewers of
this website to come up with name.
This pattern was the first fly-caught BTI
Silver Bullet back on Aug. 30th, 2007 out of Leland, MI. BTI Fly
was a natural, cuz it was a world first. Click
for BTI Fly
Something, I probably haven't stressed
enough the quality of the skipper I fished with back last August, Capt.
Jim Munoz. I've known a lot of good fishermen over the past 40
seasons and Capt. Jim is one of the very, very best, of my top
Please let me explain why.
Many nowadays skippers try to blind you with rass ma tass, running
overly complicated setups like 5 cores, 4 divers, etc. Click
for Capt. Jim
Not Capt. Jim, he's knows his
spread and works hard on correct depth and speed. Constantly
adjusting, until his 3 riggers, 2 divers until it's running full tilt (5
The mark of a true professional is
how easy they can make something look. In Jim's case we had a full
box of fish, before I had a chance to look. Yes, he is that skilled!
Several doubles, one triple and not one
tangle, or a raised voice, cuz Capt. Jim Munoz's 30 some years as a
skipper made things go as smooth as silk! If you're up for a trip
aboard Jim's boat the, "Carol Dee," here's his phone number: (231)
256-9639. Tell him I recommended his charters and what's the best
time to see BTIs/flies in action.
Lots of thanks for all the entries in our
"Name that Fly" contest. All were
worthy and some very notable. Amazing
describes the imagination that went into your
thought processes. Overall, there were well
over 100 entries.
Here's few of the
memorable names the audience of this website came up
Khloros King Killer (KKK) Khloros is green in Greek. GREEN MANALISHI to
me...from an old Fleetwood Mac song. King's Salmonfly,
Coffinfly, GREEN DRAG-N FLY, Brunhilda AKA Witchee Woman,
Kato from Bruce Lee’s character in The Green Hornet,
Mossy River, KW's Green Bullet, Kingside, Green Hornet,
King Kong, & Emerald King's Ransom.
I have chosen a winner, Tim
J that had the most simple, to the point name for
the new fly. The new fly name will be
announced tomorrow, with the reel-reason why!
My Manistee front-yard snow gauge has
moved to a 100 inches for this season.
Let's play "Name that Fly" for today's
update. The fly featured in the photo of the
day is from by Ken Warren's KRW flies in
Manistee. He calls this fly the
"Riverside" named after popular Manistee,
MI charter skipper, Paul Schlafley.
Ken from KRW
makes this fly, as we're swapping some of my meat
fishin' products for some of his highly productive
trolling flies. Now, it wouldn't be quite
kosher for me to call this fly the
"Riverside" too. Click
for KRW's Riverside Fly
So, put your thinking
cap on and help me name this fly. Truthfully,
this pattern has been around since before 2002, as
you can see in the old hot lures of the day
photo. This was back before I was a
manufacturer, but the image is accurate Click
for 02 fly
important thing is the fly we're trying to name is,
it's a deadly fish killer in Manistee and Ken Warren
was kind enough to supply me with some of his
product. If you have something in mind, click
here to send me a Email If
the name you conjure up with is used, ...some free
tackle will be coming your way.
featured photo is titled, "R we having fun yet?" It's a
picture of the thermometer on my front porch showing slightly less than
zero for yesterday's high temperature in Manistee County, MI.
While winter is about two-thirds over, extreme bitter cold seems like
Mr. Winter is letting us know, ...he not done yet.
For further bliss, here's the forecast
from last night for Manistee:
Snow showers. Blowing snow. Windy. Total nighttime snow accumulation up to 2 inches. Lows around 3 below. Northwest winds 15 to 30 mph with gusts to around 45 mph becoming around 20 mph with gusts to around 35 mph after midnight. Wind chill readings 20 below to 30 below zero.
1/10/08 zero degree reading
My Manistee front-yard snow gauge has
moved to a 97 inches for this season
Northeastern Wisconsin Great Lakes Sport
Fishermen (NEWGLSF) has 827 members and 129 Business
sponsors. This group is pro-active with
political issues for the WI fisherman. I
support their efforts wholeheartedly and advertise
in their brochure. Today's feature photo is a
exact copy of the ad to be displayed. Click
for 2008 ad
Shoot-Out last night and the Super Bowl was over
last Sunday. These events are a sure sign the
official start spring (3/20/08) is about 5 weeks
My Manistee front-yard snow gauge has
moved to a 94 inches for the season. I rate
this winter as a 6, if we used a 1 to 10 scale, with
10 being worst. While we've had a lot of snow,
it's melted off 4 or 5 times, or we'd be in deep
Buy Lubricants, not expensive parts is a good
title for today's update. I got close to 8000
hours out the original GM 350 small block V8s that
were in my 28' Cherokee. How was so much life
coaxed out of these twin engines? I divided
the service schedule, where every 50 hours the oil
was changed. Then at a 100 hours the oil
filters were replaced with more fresh oil. A
regular maintenance schedule will save you lots of
dough in the long run. Click
for engines hoisted from Cherokee
the original blocks/crankshaft from the 1987
Cherokee I used to own are still in service today
with about 10,000 hours. Motors were rebuilt
at 8000 hours.
Here's a good
tip, lower end lube in outboards and I/Os need to be
changed every season. Myself? I own a
Mercruiser outdrive now and if it was my main source
of propulsion? ...the lower end grease would be
changed twice a season.
little over a month from now, my boat will be coming out of
storage. Being ready can not be stressed enough. It's a
major job having a boat and keeping it in top condition with timely
maintenance. Every day you're down is down in season? Well,
those are the days you'll never recover! When we get perfect
weather, a trip to southern Lake Michigan out of Waukegan, IL, or East
Chicago, IN is in my future. Getting off on the right foot carries
into the season. How do you get off on the right foot? Catch
a pile of fish! Pretty simple ...eh? Click
for early April Coho & Kings
Now, is a good time to go over your rods and
reels for the upcoming 2008 season. I've had a
page setting around for a year, not totally
finished. Put the finishing touches on it
for new page on Rod
n Reel Tips
we're introducing 3 brand new products at the
webstore. The 2008 Gold Bullet Trolling Fly,
50# Climax Fluoro leader material (26 yards) and
double snelled single hooks on 50# Fluoro. If
you'd like to check out the new stuff? click
line of trolling flies is all exclusive. No
flies in the world are made/tied with enhanced
metalized gold, or silver bullet heads like what we
offer. Many of my fly building competitors
use rubber insulation stripped from wires.
Some hack off a piece of plastic tubing to keep
manufacturing costs dirt cheap. Then sell it
to you for about the same price. Personally,
I've never seen a cheap way to a full box of fish
Snow gauge has
moved to a conservative 90 inches for the season!
Let's look at a topic mentioned last week.
Finding spring Kings? Easy answer is,
"fish are where you find them!" Contrary
to many previous seasons depths like 50' to 150' and
close in shore was not the deal in May of
2007. All Michigan ports suffered from major
lack of inshore Salmon, if there is such a thing,
follow, or try to stay with their food source, that
being mostly alewives. In the port I'm most familiar
with (Manistee) we saw no massive amounts of
spawning alewives close to our pier heads. May
Kings were caught, but for the most part deeper
waters from 150' out to 400'. Could this be
from the zebra mussels sterilizing the shallower
depths? I surely do not know, or even feel
close to qualified to answer.
Let's all hope
2008 May fishing for the semi-EZ to catch line
ripping spring King Salmon, is not a repeat of the
slow start in 2007.
The big news for today? The new trolling
flies are installed and ready to go at: www.michiganangler.com
For now, there's 7 selections that might be expanded
fine, top of the heap flies can be purchased for a
special introductory price of $5.49. After
3/3/08 the price will then be increased to $6.49 per
trolling flies will not be stocked thru-out the
entire 08 season. We have about 60 of each in
the colors listed at the webstore left. We
started with 100 per color, but the first private
offering for our message board members took a goodly
pile. When these trolling flies sell out,
they're gone! Not be offered again until
purchase any flies before we're out of stock, you
can get replacements all season long by calling
me. So, no need to worry about not having your
favorite weapons aboard. My trolling flies
will not be in any stores in 2008, as supply is
have 450 and some members at our message board and
the plan is to spend a lot more time fishing with
them in 2008. Besides, meat heads, meat rigs
and flashers are a full time job. It's plain
foolish to bite off more than we can chew!
a longs ways from an expert with fluorocarbon lines, but here's a few
things worth sharing with you. I first purchased this kind of line
back in the later 1990s and paid thru the nose for an invisible weapon
to catch of Manistee's then, ...big deal April Brown Trout. Soon
finding out, knot strength left a lot to be desired (back
Cortland Line Company, based in NY spent
a lot of time and money solving the fluoro knot strength issues.
Cortland touts at least 95% of pound test vs. knot strength.
When we decided to build trolling flies,
the absolute hand-down best leader material was a must. Choosing
Cortland's Climax 50# Bite Guard leader material, cuz it's
Stiff imparts more darting action to
flies, cuz the roll/snap action of the attractor is not supposed be
absorbed by a too-soft flimsy leader. Click
for fluoro leader/knot
Here's reel-factoid: the 50#
Climax Fluoro is .028", the same thickness as most 40# test
lines. We left no stone unturned with our recently introduced
flies, and use a palomer knot to attach the hook. This knot
ensures excellent strength characteristics. Plus, the hook hangs
straight, not cockeyed! Click
for palomer knot lesson
Could have purchased about
20 times the amount of 50# Berkley Big Game for what we're paying for
this top of line & best leader material going, the Climax Fluoro!
Even if some of my competition the fly manufacturing arena is using
fluoro, more than likely it's plain fluorocarbon fishing line & not
built to handle abrasive teeth, like Climax!
Snow gauge has
moved to a conservative 84 inches for the season,
see no need to compete against the Super Bowl and will defer today's
topic of what I know about fluorocarbon line until tomorrow.
time for the world debut for my new line of trolling flies. The
Radiant Ripper and Kobalt Killer are featured in today's photo.
Both of these top notch flies have iridescent light gathering material
and refracts in the water with a purplish/blue hue. I know first
hand what this glittering material can do. Witnessing that on
8/30/07 aboard the charter vessel, Carol D with Capt. Jim Munoz in
Leland, MI. Click
for new flies
This past Wednesday's arctic snow storm goofed up
the scheduled topics. No problem, we'll carry
them forward into next week. While we only got
about 5 inches, the sustained 40mph winds made
blowing snow and white-outs a big deal. Major
storms shut down my satellite, meaning no access to
internet to publish daily updates.
Monday will herald new product launch for
2008. There's a growing army of fishermen
using BTI/flies and the wise move is to cater to
this market. If you're looking for the best
quality trolling fly available, then check back next
With the Super
Bowl going down this Sunday, spring moves closer
Snow gauge has
moved to a conservative 79 inches for the season,
Today is the last day to purchase meat rig kits
This is a great winter project where you can save
some bucks, compared to purchasing over the counter
complete meat rigs. There is no other
manufacturer of heads, or meat rigs that offer kits
to make your own stuff (as far as I know)!
photo is a ongoing torture test of my flashers
nailed to my mailbox post. These flashers have
endured rain, full sun, temps past 90 for well over
a year, being exposed to the elements.
Snowplows blast the flashers with sand, grit and
gravel traveling 50 mph. The 2 1/2"
aluminum siding nails that were holding the bottom
of the flashers were destroyed by the snow plow, but
the flashers are still there! I am surprised
the WTP Lure Tape has held up so well. Click
for ongoing product torture test
Big storm is brewing for Manistee and all of the
north country. Blizzard warnings for the
UP. When we get storms like this my satellite internet
dish goes on the blink. I'll pick up the
updates tomorrow about the new 2008 crop of newbie
skippers, when I have internet access again.
Lost the net 3 times so far, just trying to get this
out! If you ever get satellite internet? Hope
your luck's a lot better than my service.
take a good, hard long look at hooks today. What makes some hooks
have a better ratio at hooking up? Keeping in mind, your
"first contact" with Mr. Fish aka your adversary is your
hook. It might behoove you to give this some major thought.
Hooks come in all kinds of shapes,
thicknesses and colors, but the sticking point (pun) is how the point
goes thru the hide of a tough August adult. Thinner hooks
penetrate better, as the force to bury deep is less. Then, there's
a trade-off in strength, if the wire in the hook bends too easy. Click
for full article on hooks
In today's photo there's 2 hooks, the red
one is a round bend. Allowing the barb to bury deeper.
The other hook is what I refer to as a sprooted, or Carlyle styled monstrosity
that might be OK for Batman to climb buildings with, but not for high
percentage fish to the box ratio. Click
for these hooks side by side
Sticky sharp is the answer.
Use a hook file, and when it doubt? ...use it again! After one, or
two fish, sharp hooks can become dull from rubbing on jaw/head bones.
Lots of things in store for us, as we close out
January 2008 this week. But, first I have to
pay some bills by introducing the 2008 King Emerald
Green flasher. Like all my products, this new
color/pattern was thoroughly tested in late August
featured photo shows what kind of devastation this
subdued darker Green Black and Glow can do in the
middle of the afternoon. Click
for 100% total proof
Here's what on deck for the rest of this week:
1. Let's get serious about penetration
(the hook kind)
2. Advice for the 2008 crop of newbie charter
3. Finding early Spring Kings titled, "to
be, or not to be?"
4. Why are attractors so deadly in the early
part of the season?
Snow gauge has moved to 74 inches since November
Take a few seconds to study today's featured
photo of the day. The photo was taken on the
high bluff overlooking the area where Pine Creek
empties into the Big Manistee River. This
bluff is on the south bank of the river (BMR runs
east to west).
You can peer thru the
forest, clearly seeing the river meandering in a
wide sweeping bend, just below the Pine Creek hole.
If you look way towards the west, the distant
horizon shows a glimpse of Manistee proper, and Lake
for awesome photo
This section of the
big river afforded me most of the double headers we
had, back in my guiding days. Doubles are
extremely rare when river fishing, cuz the rods have
to be cleared ASAP/immediately once we have a fish
hooked up. So, what we're talking about here
is 2 fish, ....hitting almost simultaneously.
Today's photo reminds
me of how truly I'm blessed to live in Manistee
County, MI. Winter? ...you can either fight
it, or abide by the picturesque magnificence it
.032 is the diameter of the VMC,
Gamakatsu is .030. So, the VMC was tiny bit
thicker. Needed to mention this as a follow-up
to yesterday's hook test.
If you're having
problems straightening out hooks? Remember to
set you drag properly. 25 to 30% the breaking
strength of your fishing, or lighter. Let that
fish run, the longer you can hold a fish, chances
are it will get more points and barbs buried.
This needs to be said
for a better understanding: as the fish runs away
from you, the hook has a tendency to roll backward,
...out of a fishes chops. This is more
pronounced with attractors. I can remember the
dodger actual chattering the rod on violent runs
from big Kings, when they ALL were over 20 pounds
back in olden times.
tuckered out the fish, you can snug up on the drag
(ever so slightly) for tad bit more control at the
moment of truth, ...net time!
the VMC 9650BN against the Gamakatsu 47111. Both of these hooks
are trebles and very comparable. Being in the manufacturing end of
fishing now, testing of any sort is a absolute must. Then, you
know what the reel facts are!
There's only one way to test stuff
like this, clamp the hooks in a vise and bend them. Much to my
surprise, the Gamakatsu was a slightly softer hook and took just a
little less pressure to bend. My tests was purely unscientific,
with no exact gauges to get a 100% accurate measure, but I know what my
hand and wrist felt.
Both of these hooks offer the
same meticulous "out of the package sharpness." Both of
the hooks tested are world class and that goes without saying.
For the buck, VMCs costs a
tad less and get my nod (cuz of price) as a better value. If you
doubt my results, do the test yourself! Click
for tested hooks
Our seminar/presentation will be titled, "Lake
Michigan Reel-Facts & Bitin' the Bullet"
for the Flint Steelheader Show at Birch Run, MI (Feb
29 thru Mar 2). This show is a little over a
month out, as I need to be in Birch Run by Feb. 28th
for booth set-up.
The first part, Lake
Michigan Reel-Facts will be covered by Ludington's
Capt. Paul Vantol. Capt. Dave Deforest will
handle BTIs/Flies and inform us on how to steer
clear of the many trap nets planned for
Manistee/Ludington in 2008. Capt. Joe Von
Grabe is a personal favorite with me and I'm sure
his topic will be as informative as his past
My deal is,
"Bitin' the Bullet," cuz I have the most
water time with the new 2008 metalized product
line. Every trip off the dock, after
mid-August ...all I used was the
"bullets." In know for a
"reel-fact" you'll be able to walk away
from this show with: 1. new knowledge, 2. insights, 3. several worthy tips to make your time on the
water more productive. Cost to attend?
The paramount word in our American language: FREE!
do you do when your program falls apart? Your high hopes have went
down the tube and that's not a good feeling. First thing to do is
not blame yourself!
In this case excuses are a good thing and
will often explain the lack of rodular activity. Seldom, by
staying on the water and beating on a dead horse is gonna help.
Location, troll speed and depth are the
factors that turn fishing into catching. Most of the time,
location is the culprit. No fish under your boat equates to no
fish in the box.
While you can control depth, lure
selections and speed, location of fish is something none of us can
control. If it looks like a bust, get back to shore, take a break,
re-group and take a new approach/area the next time out.
Are you always having problems
pulling fish? Then, look at boat speed control and issues
associated within. If you can not get down to 1.5 mph in a fairly
large following sea, then get some kind of trolling device, or learning
to use trolling bags.
1/22/08 Today's featured photo is from Larry M. He
titled his photo a "meat catch," being a 4
man MI limit caught off Pentwater last summer.
I think we all can agree by the size of the box
& what took the fish is truly an awesome meat
number 2 on this week's list of topics: why do fish
always seem prefer whatever we have in least supply
on our boats?
Case in point:
last July on my first shake-down fishing trip on SR
1979, the only rod we had working was a BTI Black
Mamba Glow w/a 2 fly Clear Red meat rig. While
we had plenty of the Clear Reds in the 2 & 3 fly
meat rigs, in my haste no inventory was taken before
we rushed off towards the pond. So, to make a
long story short, we soon discovered that was the
ONLY BTI Black Mamba Glow we had aboard!
Some might theorize
the fish are trained by the tackle industry to be
super selective on a daily basis. However, in
my case ...I'm part of the tackle industry and the
fish were still choosy enough to ignore ALL the
other stuff we had in the drink!!
It seems the Little River Band of Native
Americans have their own worst public relation
nightmares. Israel and Levi Stone protested
the Tribal Police for some kind of investigative
work. Only those with something to hide, fear
investigations. The Stone's are the netters
that blitzed Manistee in 2007. Click
for Ludington newspaper article
Some topics for this week's
1. What to do when your program falls
2. Why do fish always chose the lure/presentation
you have the least of?
3. My subject for the Flint Steelheaders Birch
Run, MI show will be, "Bitin' the
4. Well done to Traverse City, MI, they made
Field & Stream's top 10 list for fishing.
Snow meter has moved to 64 inches since last
entered into the coldest weather of winter, so far. Zero reading
in Manistee are not that big a deal. In the 1990s when I was
guiding on the Big Manistee River in January, it was 25 below in
Tomorrow's lead story will concern
picketing at the LRB of Native Americans. I think you'll be
surprised by who was doing the picketing!
1/19/08 Finally caught back up on all orders. Many
of you took advantage of the no cost hardware deal
for meat rigs and we were swamped. Then, we
ran out of the gold plated stuff. This was the
third time we had our inventory drained of the new
2008 metalized products. Many thanks for your
support during the early January special!
Today's featured photo is from the first time I
used fully finished BTI Flashers and not the
pre-production prototypes. The BTI flasher
picture says it all ....'nuff said.
for 5/17/06 limit catch Besides,
it's good to visualize what's in store for us in
Is there an exclusive charter captain's
clique? I'd say yes, cuz at the Flint
Steelheaders Show when you see charter skippers
talking, they're generally speaking with another
captain. I brought this up to explain all do
not fit into this upper echelon, elitist group, or
lost their roots as a sport fisherman ...as soon as
The person I'm
speaking of is Capt. Paul Vantol, who does not have
his head stuck in the clouds, because he has a
charter license. Capt. Paul will be part of
the seminar team at the upcoming Birch Run spring
Vantol runs his
a highly successful Salmon & Trout charters out
of Ludington, MI and sometimes for Walleye on
Saginaw Bay. If you're wanting to listen to a
savvy pro angler who knows his fishing, Capt. Paul
Vantol is the man in my book!
Wanted to focus on another member of our seminar
team for today's updated. However, we have a
good sized stack of back logged orders awaiting for
the new 2008 metalized products. If you've
ordered any gold metalized tackle? Please be
Tackle was sent
in about 2 weeks ago for plating. Our
metalizing company is running slightly behind.
We expect to have the gold metalized tackle back in
stock before the end of this week. Then, we'll
take care of the outstanding orders ASAP!
Many thanks to
all you purchased the 2008 meat rig kits with the
special no-charge hardware deal. Meat rigs are
very time consuming to build. I appreciate
those that build their own. This takes the
heat off of us and frees up some time to hit the big
County snow gauge has moved to 56 inches since last
the Michigan DNR follows policy with FO 245, they have to know there
were scattered reports of VHS-B in Lake Michigan in the states of IL and
WI. So, it's very likely Pacific Herring (non-tested) won't be the
big buga-boo like it was last year.
VHS has been known to be in the Great
Lakes watershed is 2003 and probably longer then that. It has
effected Musky populations Lake St. Clair & in Green Bay, WI.
VHS was documented in Pacific Ocean Coho
Salmon in 1964 out on the west coast and that didn't prevent the 1966
first plantings in Lake Michigan.
The world wide bait supplying industry is
vast, mostly going to commercial operations. An example of that is
the multi-billion dollar captured Blue Fin Tuna net pens shown 60
Minutes on CBS last Sunday. They feed the nutrient rich Herring to
raise the fat content for the Sushi. ...more on this in another
Tonight at midnight the offer for complimentary hardware
for meat rig kits ends!
1/14/08 Today's featured photo is from last August 30th,
2007. Capt. Dave Deforest is netting a decent
King for Capt. Bill Wright (Leland charter
skipper). This photo reminded of the fun we
had in Leland, MI that day, and what we have to look
forward to in 2008!
using this photo? ...cuz, Capt. Dave Deforest will
be one of my guest speakers for the upcoming Flint
Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI (Feb 29-Mar 2).
I'm very proud
to welcome Capt. Dave as a respected member of our
seminar team. So, get ready to meet one of my
favorite fishin' buddies. Click
for Dave's net job
efforts made sure you had the latest, up to the
minute, on the spot info on where the trap nets were
located in the waters off Manistee, MI during
Also, Dave is
the Tribal Law Enforcement Office for the Little
River tribe making sure all is up to snuff on the
laws the tribe has put forth! Dave's subject
will be how the nets are marked and how to avoid
getting tangled in a trap nets. Please, have a high regard for
Dave, without his dedicated help in 2007, things
could have been a lot worse!!!!
Dave has a lot
of experience with BTIs & trolling flies.
Look for inside fly info too!
P.S. Today's photo was like a breath of fresh air
for me, seeing the blue skies & water!
My tackle company will be sponsoring a club
tournament for Salmon Unlimited some during
2008. SU fishermen work the waters of IL, MI
and IN, cuz the south end of Lake Michigan borders 3
states. They haven't posted the exact date
yet. Hope to drag my boat to this event and
fish some new waters.
Only 2 days left,
for the giveaway hardware deal. In about 3
weeks, meat rigs kits will no longer be available
until November of this year. Need to closeout
the kits out early this year to devote time to a new
secret project & get ready for upcoming show!
Today just got away from me. Only
worthwhile thing is the snow gauge has
moved a couple of more inches to 54" since last
just got away from me. Only worthwhile thing is the snow gauge has
move a couple of more inches to 54" since last November.
hit with more snow, which is perfectly OK with me. Winter looks a
lot nicer all white, instead of drab, brownish and muddy. We're
out of Gold Metalized products for the time being. We should be
re-stocked with more gold stuff by Monday.
Snow gauge moved to 52 inches, cuz we got at least 4" of wet,
heavy snow last night.
1/10/08 This so-called off season is going by much too
quickly for me. In 7 weeks, I'll be at the
Birch Run Show put on by the Flint
Steelheaders. Getting ready for this event is
a major task. I know for a fact, there's over
200 combinations of products I offer at the
webstore. That's a lot of production to take
my dog and pony show on the road. Item counts
in the 1000s are needed to haul to the show.
Got all our ducks in
a row for the seminar speakers. There's 3
speakers I know you'll want to hear. Guest
speakers will be formally introduced in a future
Here's a plain and simple fact: there too many
Kings in Lake Michigan for the forage base to
support. According to the recent Sea Grant
meeting held in Ludington last weekend, the
biologists reported the forage base was at an all
the MDNR will raise the limit on Kings to 5 fish per
day in 2008, instead of the 3 we have now.
Removing more fish from the system is needed now!
Zebra & quaga
mussels are depleting the natural nutrients and are
the most damaging specie to invade Lk. MI!
These tiny clams attack the base of the food chain.
In 1985 I first
seen zebra mussels in Lake Erie. 23 years
later no solution to this problem has been found and
grows worse ever year. 20 years after the fact
the MDNR want to limit, or treat ballast discharge
water from ocean going freighters traveling
the Great Lakes. I say, this is like
trying to stick your finger in the hole in the dam,
after the dam has been washed away 20 some years
out of satellite internet service yesterday due to heavy rain/fog.
Phone was out too! Could not ship orders, so we're playing catch
up today. With my internet down, the UPS labels couldn't be
Super Gold Red/Grn meat rig kits
Today's featured photo is the metalized 2008
Super Gold Red/Green meat rig kits. I'm running a super special on
meat rig kits for another 7 days (special ends 1/15/08). You'll
receive at no charge the hardware: 4 bead chains, 4 barrel swivels,
& 12 crimps. I'll still have the hardware package after
January 15, 2008, but it will be a $5.00 add-on option.
The prelude to the 2008 season is growing
shorter everyday! After this week the Steelheader's show in Birch
Run Show is only a little over 6 weeks away!
Indiana's Salmon Unlimited members
have been fishing Browns by the Gary Light and in the shipping channel
and doing quite well. So the 08 season is already here for them!
1/7/08 Last year at this time, VHS fish virus was the
topic on the front burner for all Great Lakes
anglers. VHS was first recorded in the Great
Lakes in 2003 (if my memory from last year's
updates serves me well). So, this disease
has been around for a while.
November 2007 I contacted Mr. Tom Rozich who's the
DNR's front man in the Cadillac, MI office. I
asked him, "how many fish returning to the
Little Manistee Harvest Weir had VHS?"
According to his reply email, there were around 200
randomly sampled fish that were tested. The
good news is: no King Salmon came back positive for
is the meat fishing's home port. Manistee is
where fishing with herring, meat, or cut bait first
took hold big time in 2003. Myself, ...I used
herring dating back to the mid to late 1990s and
there's still no VHS in Manistee?
kinda shoots holes in the weak mistaken idea of
herring ever posing a threat to our Great Lakes King
Salmon. Mr. Rozich needs to be thanked for
replying to my email.
More this important subject as this week wears on.
There's far too much that needs to be said, ...to be
covered in only one update with about 12 lines of
continues, first time I've seen patches of ground that's not covered by
the white stuff in better then a month. Light drizzle helped the
Be sure to tune in tomorrow, as there's breaking news
I'm sure you'll want to hear.
thaw is the deal from the north country. Warm temps 'til this
coming Wednesday should help those in quest of Steelhead in the rivers
that empty into the Great Lakes water shed. Last time I seen the
lower end of the big river a few days ago it still looked kinda clear,
with the water up a tad.
Snow gauge for my area of Manistee County is
at 48 inches since last November!
1/4/08 End of the year is file transferring time for
backup and getting ready for tax season.
Update past results page that's beginning it's 9th
season as a running commentary of things all pointed
at things effecting our Great Lakes Fishery.
There's 2990 plus daily log entries. Please
never call this a blog, cuz the word blog was
invented in 2003, 3 years after my idea to keep a
public daily log. Click
for Past Results Page
the photo work for the new Silver and Gold Bullet meat rig kits at the
These kits are on special right now with a special no cost hardware
package. This complimentary hardware package has 4 bead chains, 4
barrel swivels and 12 crimps to make rigs. Click
for hardware package
N/C hardware page will be
discontinued after 1/15/08. After that date, it will be a 5 dollar
option. Meat rig kits will close out on 1/31/08, to be offered
again on 11/1/08.
I've got 7 weeks left to get all my
ducks in a row for the start of the Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show held
in Birch Run, MI 2/29/08 thru 3/2/08. Lots to do!
Let's put hard reason to the facts, rather than
me just running my lip about how meat catches larger
fish. This has been proven in several major
tournaments and derbies. If you look closely
at today's photo, you'll see a close-up of a
nostril you'll notice the tiny receptors, or striations
of the olfactory canal organ inside the nose of a
Salmon. The larger a Salmon grows, this sense
of smell becomes even more highly developed as the
fish matures. Click
to see for yourself
Dogs are said
to smell 1000 times better than us humans. So,
a Salmon's olfactory organ (nose/smell) can be about
1000 times more powerful than a dog.
have put forth a firm assumption Salmon can
whiff-out parts per trillion & almost everyone
agrees, ....these fish can easily detect parts per
Meat/my products have
taken the largest fish in the Ludington Gander
Mountain Tournament held in late July, two of the
last four years.
This is a
truly amazing feat, considering there's not that
many tourney anglers pulling my stuff. I
mentioned the Ludington tourney, cuz it's the leading
event around my area, if not on all of Lake
Michigan. WI 2008 KD Derby was took by my
close today's update with this statement, "the
Snow gauge for my area of Manistee County is now
at 45 inches since last November!
Just gonna wish you Happy New Year today.
There's a whole year in front of us. What will
the promise of the 2008 season bring? Who
knows? What I do know is the season will be
upon us before we know it. Flint Steelheaders
Show in Birch Run, MI is about 8 weeks out and
counting. Man, time moves too quick after you
My plan today was to
explain the proven attributes of meat taking bigger
fish, but that can wait until tomorrow. Enjoy
your holiday, you deserve it!
Happy New Year! Here's a great deer
hunting story for you:
"Me and Scott were on an evening muzzleloader hunt on
railroad land that we found and scouted 3 years ago and never hunter it till yesterday.
Walking in I left my gun in its soft Case till we got away from the
tracks. We started seeing some nice buck tracks in the
snow and I got my gun capped and ready. Click
for Tom's Monster IN Buck
I hid my "gun
case" along the trail and we continued to walk in the
woods. After 3 hours of seeing nothing and the wind being all wrong.
We decided to walk out early and see if we could see anything sneaking out.
With Scott on point we headed back to the truck.
We were half way back when Scott saw this buck.
We got down and after glassing him I told Scott he was a nice 8 point and he
should shoot him. He wanted me to take the shot since
we could get in no closer than 113 yards. My muzzleloader shooting great at 100 yards, I got ready
for the shot. I set up the camouflage chair that I had
hunted out of and took the shot. This buck dropped in
We thought the buck was feeding the whole
time we were watching him, but when we got to him he
was standing over my "gun case" smelling it
...the whole time we were watching him. He is going on my wall and
this will be a hunt I will never
Tom M ....aka pcoaltrain on our message board
Today's update is for the do-it-yourself
anglers. If you've been thinking about
building your own meat rigs, with kits offered at: www.michiganangler.com
Now is the time. End of January, meat
rig kits will no longer be offered until November
Need a mid-winter activity
and you're good with your hands? Then build
your own rigs for about 5 bucks each. Instead
of 11 to 15 dollars! Click
for 2008 meat rig kits
The kits I offer,
...have the Mylar (fringe) to build the exact same
rigs we make. To sweeten up the deal for kits
for 2008, there'll be 4 bead chains, 4 barrel
swivels & 12 line crimps! Please keep in
mind, this is a limited time offer, that will close
Looking forward to
1/1/08 and the new season.
Big time snow storm in Manistee. Around where I live, 14 miles
from Lake Michigan we got about a foot of the white stuff in 4
hours. With winter in the north country, you can either fight it
with dread, or take an outdoor winter sport.
Snowmobiling and cross country skiing are
great ways to enjoy the beautiful deep woods as today's featured photo
shows. Click for
snow-machine on 12/28/07
New Years Day update will
explain why the larger fish hit meat, according to the experts on the olfactory
(sense of smell). This will put rhyme to the reason of the success
with my products in taking the winning fish in several tourneys &
get up and go, ...got up and went! We're stuck in the La-La
Land between two major holidays. Trying to do business at this
time of the year?
Well, ...like Pres. Bush says, "we're working on it hard."
Rumors of better Steelheading on the Big
Manistee River are starting to filter down. Lower section, from
M55 Bridge up to the farm house is said to be best. This figures,
cuz the recent mild weather has probably caused the fish to move in.
Looking forward to 1/1/08 and the new
Best selling 10" BTI flasher was King Krimson,
which surprised even me. So, much for the myth
fish can't see red ...eh? I'd have thought the
Black Mambas, either glow, or regular would have
been at the top of the heap.
Best selling 3 Fly
Meat Rig was the X-Glow Yellowtail. This
figures in with my best spoon when I was still in
the charter business (1983 thru 2003).
The Yellowtail spoon
I'm speaking of is a Silver Streak Yellowtail made
by my friends, the Cartwright family of Wolverine
Tomorrow, photos of
the King Krimson BTI and Yellowtail Meat Rig will be
posted. With Christmas being a Tuesday deal,
getting excited about a lot of extra work this week
just don't fit in with my frame of mind.
For our Swedish and Norwegian visitors, Gott Nytt År.
Which in English is Happy New Year. In 6 days
the doors will open to a brand new season big water
fishing season. My new year's resolution is to
fish a bunch more. This works for me!
Christmas went well. Personally, I feel we
need more days like Christmas when everything mostly
comes to a screeching halt. Giving everyone a
break from our ever increasing fast paced, pressure
cooker society. Nice to have a break ...eh?
will give you an idea about the best selling
products at the webstore located at: www.michiganangler.com.
There consumer votes with his billfold on what's the
most popular colors in flashers and meat
to all at this
of the year!
Good news, as we've
passed the point of days getting shorter.
December 22nd was the Winter Solstice and tomorrow
will be 9 seconds longer then today. 9 seconds
might not sound like much, but it's a small step in
the right direction. By 5:20pm in Manistee
County, MI it's pretty dark and look forward to more
daylight as winter progresses.
Taking tomorrow off
from regular updates. If you access this
website on 12/25/07 get ready to hear the Christmassy
tune "Jingle Bells," to put you in a
update will feature a listing 2007's most popular
products by sales at the webstore. Some of the
top sellers were surprising! Stay tuned for