3/31/10 Sayings like March
comes in like a lamb and goes out like a Lion are a
bunch of hooey. March came in the 50s and is going
out in the high 60s. In fact, this whole month has
been pleasant with above average temps, but no moisture
...which we sorely need!
I know everyone is
gnawing at the bit for any fishing info at this time of
the year. Word from Ludington is good on Brown
Trout according to resident dyed in the wool angler,
website member, and my UPS driver, Capn Kirk.
Manistee close to
the harbor has been slow for Browns. Manistee
anglers being adventurous and traveling further from
port are catching when the conditions are right.
Hope to do a wet
run and switch to my new boat trailer today. Then,
fish towards the end of the week in quest of shoreline
Browns ...weather permitting.
3/30/10 It's a great time to
be involved in Great Lakes big water fishing.
Advancements across the board in running gear,
electronics and tackle are amazing.
featured photo is disc brakes on a new boat trailer I
recently purchased. Drum brakes are next to
useless when they're are wet. No so with disc
brakes that are fully functional wet or dry. I
have some long distance promo fishing trips that require
a better boat trailer. The older 22' Sea Ray I
purchased came with a 1976 Pamco.
Progress in boat
trailer design is torsion axels that don't straighten
out until a boat sits on the trailer. Trailer
boats are wonderful in exploring new ports to fish.
Being anchored to a single port with a large boat's
seasonal dockage bill will get stale after a number of
seasons. The joy of a trailer boat is mobility.
3/29/10 The curtain is
beginning to come up on act 1 season 2010 with Coho
catching from St. Joe to East Chicago, IN and all ports
in between. This is good news!
Time to take
advantage on early preseason sales is drawing to a
close. On 4/1/10 all special sale pricing ends,
along with free flasher giveaway.
Thanks to all
that have patronized my webstore so far in 2010. I
know our brand new Leland Pukes, War-Frog Mambas and
Monkey Puke meat rigs will not disappoint.
3/28/10 Coho action off East
Chicago, IN is on the build. No easy limits yet,
but 14 to 18 inch spring Coho are being caught.
Look for this to get better & better.
photo showing the diameter difference in 200# test vs.
135# test planer board towline. Don't even mess
around with the 135 and 150 pound test line.
If you've ever
broken off a board? You already know the trouble
that causes! Chasing the board down, then
dropping several releases in the drink is costly, time
consuming, and a royal pain. Buy only 200# test
...it's much less apt to break.
Planer board line
is good for about 3 years, then UV gets to it. If
it's not in your budget to replace, just swap ends and
reverse the line.
3/27/10 We're looking at a
major warm-up in the coming week. Manistee will be
seeing temps in the 60s by next Friday. This will
build interest for our looming spring fishery.
Last couple of days in Manistee have been frigid, as old
man winter is dying a slow death.
Looking for a cheap
insurance policy against grief, if you use the larger
dual planer boards? I have a few 300' spools of
200# planer board towline test left at my webstore.
Most of the
time you'll see planer board towline in 150' spools in
the lighter pound tests of 135 to 150 for 12.95.
This is called marketing, so merchants can sell you 2
spools of 150' when one larger 300' spool could have
Click planer towline
If you've ever
broke a board off? Then, you'll appreciate the
Cortland 200# test planer towline that is next to
Click 200# test 300' towline only 17.95
3/26/10 Marine radar is a
piece of electronics you can live with out. That
is, ...if you've never owned one. Seeing in
restricted visibility is a safety issue. Seeing
the fog so thick
4 mph & radar was the only safe way to navigate.
Then there's being caught in T-storms where it rains so
hard seeing anything is an impossibility.
Click SR1979 new
Radar can spot rain
approaching and you'll get an idea of the track the rain
is moving. On charter vessels radar will mean less
lost days to weather, if used correctly.
I'm on my third
brand of radar. I've owned Apelco, Raymarine, and
Sky is pretty much the limit you can spend on radar, but
I purchased a frugal lower-end non-color unit that can
see out to 24 nautical miles, more like 27 in land
While many opt for the larger machines, you'll soon find
out ...usage of radar will be on a mile, or less the
vast majority of the time. Smaller-shorter range
settings means seeing a larger target (radar blip) that
might be on a collision course with your vessel.
some trivia concerning radar. Did you know your
common household microwave oven shares a lot of the same
technology? In fact, the first commercial
microwave ovens were made mostly for restaurants & were
called radar ranges.
3/25/10 We're in kinda a
limbo land where Great Lakes fishing hasn't hit full
stride. Sure, there's a few early season anglers,
but the fleet is still mostly in storage.
Salmon never stay
still. The only place you'll ever see a Salmon
stationary is in a river. Then the Salmon are
moving against the current to remain in the same place.
With that thought
in mind, let's say Salmon swim at a lowball slow 2 mph
pace. Based on 3 years in the Great Lakes a
typical Salmon would travel 55,000 miles. Can you
imagine all the ports, distances, & depths covered in
the lifetime of a wandering Salmon?
word from Michigan City, IN tells of a few Coho that
might be scouts for the main herd. Heavy emphasis
in the word few according to website member, "bigb."
Water temp off MI City was in the 36 to 37 degree range.
3/24/10 State of Michigan
lost another bout with the US Supreme Court in the fight
to close-off all IL and IN access to the Asian entering
the Great Lakes. I figure the deck is stacked
against us with the current leadership in Washington DC.
Michigan has taken a major hit with the Great Recession
almost wiping out the US auto industry. One of the
few hole cards MI still has left is the world class
sport fishing the Great Lakes offers. It would be
a travesty to see Asian Carp ruin it all!
East Chicago, IN is slow. Cold water is said to be
holding up this early Salmon fishery. According to
Frank at Calumet Marine, "we need a few days in the 70s
for our fishing to take off. Then ...we'll have 2
weeks of easy Salmon fishing."
3/23/10 Decided to extend
the spring pre-season sale to the end of this month.
Then the new 2010 War-Frog 12 inchers will go from 10.99
to 14.99. BTI 10" Flashers in the War-Frog pattern
currently 19.95 will go up to 24.95.
Factor in a
giveaway 10" BTI flasher on all purchases over 100
bucks, along with free shipping (5.95) pushes this sale
to close to 20% off without the War-Frog discounts.
Sale at my webstore
support this website and the effort put forth to keep it
fresh and interesting everyday. Click for:
3/22/10 Today's featured
photo shows sealing the nose area on F11 Rapalas.
If this nose piece do not have a good seal, the balsa
wood inside will suck up water. Rendering this
lure useless if it becomes water logged. A dab, or
two of clear nail polish is good insurance to stop
leaking before it happens. Click
polish sealing Rapalas
If you're interested in
the tactics I use to catch Brown Trout that's been in
development since 1983, here's full article on:
Brown Trout Program 7.0
Most of Rapalas I own are
from the early i2ks. Package on these say, "parts
made in Finland, assembled in Ireland." New ones I
bought last year says, "Made in Estonia."
Estonia is close to
Finland on the south shore Baltic Sea, east of Russia
and just north of Latvia. I am retracting all
comments about this bait being made in China.
3/21/10 Owning a boat
suitable for Great Lakes fishing is an expense deal.
Owning a boat and not using it much costs even more.
Idle time just runs up the cost per use.
With my first trip
4 days ago (3/17/10) & fishing into October is a
good 7 months of actual use. Spread over 7 months
cost to own looks bit more bearable.
Getting a jump on
the season can only happen if you store you vessel in
shipshape manner by performing all maintenance before
winter's long layup.
Even with all heavy
boat chores done last fall ...it still took me 6 hours
to prepare my boat & tackle to fish last Wednesday.
Click planer board rods in use
The joy of a
trailer boat is fishing different ports. Hope to
hit S Lk. MI soon when the early season Coho are on
a hard feed. Have some exciting brand new stuff to test!
3/20/10 First official day
of Spring 2010! Nicer weather is on the way, but
March has been very tolerable with temps in the high 50s
with plenty of sunny days.
Upgraded easy to
find links to NOAA Buoy data stations to include Big
Point Sable, Manistee's harbor and Algoma, WI's marina.
These links are now located in the left borders towards
the bottom of this page under "Conditions at."
photo yesterday with the mods I do to Rapalas. The
11 floater series comes with junk hooks to effectively
fish Browns in Lk. MI. The tiny stock #6 hooks on
Raps can cause a lot of missed fish.
Click modified Rapala with #5 VMC trebles
in the Rapala story is in 2003 these baits were made in
Finland for about 4 bucks. Now Rapalas are made in
China and the cost is the best part of a 10 dollar bill.
3/19/10 Friday is when I like to post
timely fish reports to increase your odds
of success for the coming weekend. No such luck today. Ice
piled up n the extreme southern end of Lk. MI has held up the early Salmon
action off East Chicago, IN. This is the first
place Salmon action gets hot and heavy. Should
have word on this fishery soon.
Published direct links to Manistee's new remote NOAA weather
station and the remote weather station that sits on Big
Point Sable on my: Great Lakes Page
Click conditions at Manistee's harbor
Click conditions at Big Point Sable
As not to overlook our
brothers in WI ...published a link to the Algoma's
24/7 weather conditions These 3 new links are on my
Great Lakes Page
If you're all geeked up
for a trip to Manistee, MI for spring Browns this
weekend? Perish that thought! There's just not
that many Browns to sustain heavy weekend fleet
pressure. Manistee's Brown Trout population is on
the mend, but it's a long ways from the spring Brown
bonanza of 1990s and early i2ks.
3/18/10 Fished S out of the
Port of Manistee, MI yesterday. We boxed 4 Brown
Trout in the 1 to 3 pound range on our maiden voyage
Click 1st fish of 2010
today's fishing report with what you do not want to see
when you're after early season shoreline, shallow water,
...Mr. Brown Trout.
shows the glassy flat-calm waters and the pier heads of
Manistee's harbor. If you look closely enough
towards the bottom of this image you can see the
wind-rows on the bottom in 17' of water.
Click harbor & bottom
shows exactly how clear the water is with a clear shot
at the bottom in 16' of water. Not conducent for
good Brown fishing!
Click 16' of gin clear water
I feel each
one of our 4 Browns was a gift from the fish gods, cuz
Brown Trout catching in flat-calm water is plain tough.
Granted none of our fish was large, but after a 5 month
layoff from the Great Lakes ...these Browns all
looked like 10 pounders to me.
To me fishing
is a series of long standing personal
accomplishments. Broke a record yesterday by
fishing Lk. MI on the 17th of March. Prior number was
thank Fred G from Bear Lake, MI for the help with the
photos, fish and general good company he always
provides. Fred never fished Browns before and went
home with his 3 fish limit of fine tasting Brown Trout
3/17/10 St. Patrick's Day
and the day when Chicago disrespects the waterways by
dumping green dye into the Chicago Drainage Canal.
1st dye they used in 1962 contained fluorescein that can
cause all kinds of evil stuff. Up to ...and
does Chicago, IL care? This city has a free
political hand to do as they wish with IL's favorite son
sitting in the White House. The bottom line is
this city and state doesn't have sense God gave a goose,
or they'd have long since closed access points for the
ecologically disastrous Asian Carp to enter our Great
We're finally caught up on the new deadly 2010
War-Frog flasher orders. Existing
backlog is being shipped today. Fired up my boat
yesterday & hope to water test soon.
3/16/10 Good news from the
Green Bay Gazette concerning Lk. MI's forage base.
Condensed version says Alewives are up 2 fold. Big
increases in Bloater Chubs and Rainbow Smelt were also
noted during the fall 2009. This data is per the
U.S. Geological Survey when they perform trawls in the
same areas, at the same dates, ...year after year.
ready for fishing this week. Riverboat is waiting
on the river flow to subside. Big Manistee River
is tough to fish when it's flowing at high water.
Need to test start my lake boat in the driveway.
Then, my boat SR1979 will be 100% water ready!
featured photo is counter rods loaded with new 15# test
Perlon Premium mono installed. 15# has the perfect
diameter to keep it in the strike zone. Tried
lighter mono & fluorocarbon, but 15# mono performs best.
Brown Trout Rods
3/15/10 Pulled the big lake
boat out of the barn yesterday. Zero boat chores
other than maybe a quick scrub and install 15# test
Perlon mono for shoreline trolling. All
maintenance was done last fall. After today for
all intents and purposes? I'm ready for Lk. MI
when the weather is on my side!
for my Yard Boat on 3/14/10
have ordered the new 2010 War-Frog Mamba tackle, please
be patient. Hope to have all War-Frog orders
cleared up and shipped by this Wed. 3/17/10.
Increased flow from the Big Manistee River is a godsend
for river Steelheading. Additional water flush
should help build stained water along the beach with any
grouping of onshore, N, or S wind. BMR flow is now
running at 3400 cubic feet per second.
3/14/10 New lethal 2010 War
Frog Mambas were introduced yesterday. There's
super lowball introductory pricing good for this week
only. Click for
matched set of BTI War Frogs is 19.95. The 12"
Reel Flasher in the War-Frog Mamba is 10.99. Glow
models are bit more.
10" BTI War-Frogs
pattern was a natural evolution of combining the top
selling deadly Mamba series with the devastating Green
12" RF War Frog Mamba
Manistee River flow is pushing 4000 cubic feet per
minute. Almost flood stage in my book. BMR temp has
risen nicely to 38 degrees up by Tippy Dam.
3/13/10 Lots of work lays in
front of me adding new tackle to the webstore today.
Tomorrow it's time to get my big lake boat prepared.
Tentative plans for next week is to hit the Big Manistee
at least one day, when time allows. Weather seems
shifted to more spring-like, but I figure Mr. Winter
will raise it's ugly head one more time.
week exactly from today, spring 2010 officially begins.
Spring your clocks forward one hour tonight for the
change to daylight savings time.
3/12/10 First true in-season
reel-fishing report of 2010!! Big Manistee River,
lower stretch & Manistee Lk. was producing Steelhead.
Shoreline Brown Trout in Manistee suck. Inshore
waters are clear as gin. To make matters worse, Lk. MI
is the same temp (38 degrees) all the way across to the
land of cheese (WI). Constant temp provides no
inducement to pile up the Browns and the out of season
Lake Trout on the beach.
Click 3/11/10 WI Brown
featured picture courtesy of website member, jlars
from Kewaunee, WI ...showing a fine looking river Brown
Trout. Algoma, WI launch was becoming ice free.
southern end of Lk. MI in IN & IL Salmon have yet to
take off. According to Frank & Ryan from Calumet
Marine, "the water was extremely muddy."
rumblings from the Saginaw River in and around Bay City,
MI on Walleye action. All Walleye reports had one
thing in common, crowd pressure was heavy.
3/11/10 Today's featured
photo is courtesy of Krijn who resides in the
Netherlands. Krijn caught a 25 pound Atlantic
Click for his 25 lb. Atlantic
The setup on
this fish begins with fishing the Baltic Sea off the
coast of Denmark. Surface water temp was 42
degrees and they were trolling over 180' of water.
This fish was
taken with a 12" Krystal Killer using a sprat for bait
during the highly popular
Bornholm Trolling Master competition. There
was a little over $22,000.00 at stake.
This event receives major TV coverage by TV2 in Denmark.
format is similar to a derby where the overall big fish
wins the lion's share of the pot.
Several smaller prizes are awarded too.
Click Danish TV2 in English
Money paid out is in Danish Kroners. Big fish is worth
50000 DKK = 9,166.49938 USD
3/10/10 Lampreys are plain
nasty. These eels are repulsive to touch and have a
face only their mother could love. Scientists have
developed a sexy lamprey perfume that draws breeding
females into traps in a few test streams/rivers in the
this is an artificial pheromone made with the intent on
helping control these dreaded pests. As an added
benefit this love potion draws adult males along with
the ready to breed females too.
mouth & stuck on a King
a few full adult giant lampreys by Tippy Dam on the Big
Manistee River that pushed 30 inches long in the spring
(when lampreys bred). One's we usually see that
are attached to our fish are a bunch smaller, ...like 12
to 18 inches.
3/9/10 I'm a give credit
where credit is due person. With that thought in
mind, George Richey (1932-2003) is the forefather of all
modern Mylar flies.
Click 1985 Crinkle Fly
George's first big
product was the Sparkler Fly predecessor to the Mirage
flies of nowadays that hit the market around 1977.
This was a smoking red-hot fly for Kings behind a "0"
dodger and coincided with me developing my skills as an
foundation of our Great Lakes tackle industry was built
on the shoulders of visionaries like George Richey and
I'm very proud to call him my friend.
the 50s today for Manistee, MI and rain predicted for
the next few days should shake up the Steelheading
picture on the Big Manistee River ASAP!
3/8/10 The conclusion of the
Flint Steelheaders brought to mind my dear departed
friend, George Richey who passed away in 2003.
George was a one man Salmon fishing resource to the
highest level. Plus, he was a founding father of
the Flint Steelheaders.
many hats including a book author and lure
inventor-innovator. He was an outdoor writer for Woods n
Waters and the Record Patriot in Benzie County, MI.
featured photo shows his trolling flies from the 1985 to
1989 era. How else can you explain the 2.39 price
tag on the Crinkle Fly?
Click for George's flies
3/7/10 Sun is out, temps in
the 40s and the snow is melting! If that don't
give you spring fever, nothing else will.
Extremely nice early March weather in Manistee, MI.
I applaud the
efforts of the all volunteer Flint Steelheaders for the
work they do in putting on a fishing show. Unlike
other shows this Flint group helps unload and load your
vehicle for a smooth and fast move-in, or move-out.
3/6/10 Probably some of the
nicest weather of 2010 is paying us a visit. Let's
hope this warming trend sticks around for a while.
Like into next May and June!
of the Flint Steelheaders Fishing and Boat the Expo
Center in Birch Run, MI. Weather is a blessing
today. This show ends tomorrow. Hope this event
has the best turnout it's seen since moving to Birch Run
from the IMA Arena in Flint, MI.
3/5/10 On 3/4/09 the main
body of Lk. MI off Manistee, MI was in the 34 to 36 degree
range. On 3/4/10 Lk. MI's main body was 37 to 38
degrees off the Port of Manistee.
This is a
good 3 degrees higher than last year at this same time.
movements are governed more by water temperature when
compared to dates on a calendar. If this current
trend of mild weather continues Spring salmon is gonna
come early this year!
Click 3/4/10 Lk. MI temp chart
Flint Steelheaders Show begins this afternoon and runs
Mar. 5, 6 & 7. Please attend if you're close to
the area. Monies generated from this show go for good
3/4/10 Flint Steelheaders
Boat and Fishing Show begins tomorrow at 4pm.
Those attending tomorrow (Friday) will be treated to a
buck off the normal gate fee of 7.00. Unheard of
free parking and children under 12 are free too.
show is put on by all volunteer help and proceeds are
cultivated back into our fishery. This is probably
a low-ball number, but I'd say over the years this Flint
club has donated over a quarter of a million dollars
($250k) in worthwhile charitable causes.
extend our Michigan hospitality to Calumet Marine at the
Birch Run show. Frank and Ryan concentrate on the
big water fishermen with some of the finest boats and
service known to Great Lakes anglers. Calumet
Marine is from IL and knows first hand how dangerous the
threat of Asian Carp is. Frank and Ryan know the
reel-inside Carp story!
3/3/10 One thing that
might be in our favor with the semi-mild winter we've
had is the main body of Lk. Michigan could warm up a
little quicker. This would extend the growing
season for Great Lakes with a tad larger Salmon and
Trout as a resulting benefit.
Might want to
adjust your spring Salmon clock a week, or 2 to the
early side if the current mild trend continues towards
May. Seen 2 week variations in the central and
southern Lk. MI ports for the hot "no-brainer" fishing
from Frankfort to South Haven.
our almost snowless winter in Manistee, MI is the amount
of water that flows into the Great Lakes.
2008-2009 winter we had 170 plus inches of snowfall in
Manistee Co, MI. Winter 2009-2010 might be 70
inches to the outside thus far.
3/2/10 Winter run Coho
Salmon in Manistee Co, MI? Yep, Andy M hooked into
a medium sized ready to spawn adult male Coho this past
weekend. Late Salmon arrivals are a fact of life.
While not common place, it does happen. Spawning
male Coho develop deep crimson red sides and are a
fine-looking fish to behold!
2/2710 male Coho
and April on the Big Manistee River I've had my guests
occasionally land full-blown adult Kings to 25 lbs.
Generally, these Salmon were hens that should have been in the
river last Sept./Oct. This was back in my river guide days
3/1/10 Just gonna leave well
enough alone on preseason specials, pricing and policies
until the Flint Steelheaders Boat and Fishing Show concludes
We have very
little snow on the ground in Manistee County, MI.
No snow means diminished run-off to draw in fresh spring
Steelhead from Lk. MI to the Manistee rivers. Look
for decent river Steelhead fishing soon ...if not right
range weather says possible temps in the low 40s for
next weekend. Great weather (hopefully) to attend
the Steelheaders show at the Birch Run, MI Expo Center.
2/28/10 Concerning the
migration of the Asian Carp into the Great Lakes it now
seems the shipping and barge operators are willing to
bargain. They want to use the Chicago Canal from
the Mississippi to Chicago ...even if Lk. MI is closed
big on the Mississippi and tons and tons of goods are
moved that way up to Chicago. Barges do not fare
so well on the Great Lakes, because of the unpredictable
huge seas. If it goes the barge operators way, bazillion
gallons of water will still be stolen from Lk. MI every
day to keep the downstream locks functioning.
2/27/10 Exactly 3 weeks from
today it will officially be the first day of spring
Wonderful things are in store for us this season
beginning with moderating weather. Temps pushing
the 40s look to be the daytime highs this coming week.
Please take advantage of our February webstore specials.
March prices on certain items will be going up.
Perlon line will going from 29.95 to 34.95.
In March our shipping rates must go up. Rarely,
can shipping costs be covered with the current low 4.95
rate. Need 2010 tackle?
The no-charge giveaway Leland Puke BTI with a 100.00
purchase will be ending soon. Thanks to all that
have purchased our pre-season specials ...it is much
2/26/10 Today's photo
pertains to ABU Amassadeur 7000s that once were the gold
standard in reels. 7k's had enough line capacity
to handle the needs of the big water fisherman.
Back in 1979 7000's were made in Sweden with the
craftsmanship of a fine watch and came with a lifetime
guarantee. Featuring fine-cut machined brass
reel in 2010 is now being made in Taiwan and comes with
plastic gears with a lousy reputation of being able to
withstand any sort of abuse.
I've been inside of Penn, Diawa, Okuma and Shimano
reels. All of these reels have cheap plastic
gears. Mostly driving the level wind and always
their line counters. It's a shame reels have to be
made so cut-rate.
1979-2010 7000 comparison
Reel companies can make shoddy goods, cuz the average
sport fishermen does not fish enough to put the reels
thru a torture-test like charter skippers do!
2/25/10 I list the content
of my flashers, meat rigs/meat heads and flies at my
webstore. Where my suppliers are located too.
Other than the German Perlon line (Perlon & Fluoro) and
VMC Hooks my products have NO Pacific rim content.
Specifically, no Chinese pieces and parts are used in my
shop. Click for
sorry that cannot be said for the other Great Lakes tackle
manufacturers that are using the Chinese/Pacific rim components to
than one unenlightened Great Lakes tackle company is wrongfully re-manufacturing
all-out Chinese chip flashers, or their stuff.
While the states of IL, IN, WI, MI, MN, OH, PA and NY
suffer from the some of the highest unemployment in the
becoming a partner in your own demise, as your Chinese
company gains market share. Gradually pushing
everyone else under! Not a smart move ...eh?
Chinese products is sowing the seeds of our own
destruction. All innovation with our big
water tackle has came from individuals. Not
multi-national corporations making cheapie stuff in chop suey land to
market here for the high dollar.
I challenge ALL my Great Lakes tackle
manufacturing competition to list their content on their
websites like I have. If they're not ...too
ashamed to do so?
stand we're forced to use a pile of stuff from China. Soon it might be all tackle,
as we possibly descend into the dark ages in the tackle
point? A $4 Made in Finland Rapala just a few
years ago is now the best part of a 10 buck China
special since Normark moved to China. Watch all
prices skyrocket if we lose control of our USA tackle
business to more Pacific rim predators!
2/24/10 I will not be doing
the Birch Run Fishing Show hosted by the Flint
Steelheaders. Retired from the show circuit
after 26 years. It's a big job getting ready for
just 1 event.
Hope you had a minute, or two to examine the two photos
posted yesterday about the success with the John J Rig
in 2008 and 2009. I'd have like to shown you all
25 pounders with this rig hanging from it's jaw, but
that's just not the way reel-fishing is!
Please keep in mind, all the fish in these photos were
caught after 9am thru early afternoon. My days of
going before daylight are history!
2/23/10 Like to fish, but
frustrated at trying to solve the perplexing Great Lakes
color puzzle? Want just one combination that will
produce fish from May well into October?
Then please consider the John J Rig combo deal recently
listed at my webstore. The JJ Rig is a X-Glow 12"
King Kryptonite flasher paired up with a 3 fly
Undertaker meat rig.
Click 2008 JJ
Click 2009 JJ
I've ran this combo for the past 2 years on my deepest
rigger religiously all season long. Today's
featured photos will go a long ways in proving that
My boat, SR1979 averages maybe 5 hours a week on the
water during season. I need something that works
right out of the gate with no experimentation. The
double J fits that requirement to a tee. Just put
it on your deepest rigger & you're good to go!
What's even better that a John J Rig combo deal? A
John J combo that's priced with 10% off discount at
25.95 instead of 28.95 "normal in season" pricing.
Brand new 2010 Leland Puke combo on sale too.
Leland Puke was a solid producer in 2009 from it's July
debut thru Oct. on Lk. MI.
Click for 2010 Combo Deals
2/22/10 Common sense in a
not a common virtue with the politicians handling
the Asian Carp debacle. Solution is to just throw
money at it. While the access routes for the Asian
Carp to swim in the Great Lakes remain open.
Ignorant government thinking reeks of using a spaghetti
strainer to carry water! Here's
a copy and paste from the EPA's website:
WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will unveil the Obama
Administration’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative
Action Plan at a press conference on Sunday, February
21. Administrator Jackson will be joined by Wisconsin
Governor Jim Doyle and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland,
co-chairs of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.
2009, President Obama proposed $475 million for a Great
Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Action Plan, which
covers the years 2010 through 2014, will outline the
goals and key actions the administration believes are
necessary to restore and protect this natural and
Steelheaders Fishing Show in Birch Run, MI begins a week
from this Friday.
2/21/10 Today's photo shows
the new 2010 combo deals. Combo deals are
specially priced 12 inch flashers and 3 fly meat rigs
that are purchased in a set.
New for this year
is the "John J Rig." The John J combo is a King
Kryptonite flasher and an Undertaker 3 fly meat rig.
The JJ rig is devastating on your deepest rigger and is
a proven deadly producer May thru October. This
12" Reel Flasher flasher has made photo of the day in
too many fish boxes to count.
Click 2010 Combo Deals
Second is the new 2010 Leland Puke with the devastating
brand new Monkey Puke 3 fly meat rig. I seen the
Monkey Puke meat rigs in kick butt in Sept. & Oct. 2009!
2/20/10 Up until now my
efforts in tackle manufacturing have been "make work"
stay busy projects. Not any longer, as we shifted
gears into full production to ramp up for the soon to be
here 2010 season.
We ran out of 12"
X-Glow flashers selections early last fall and we're in
the process of restocking this in-demand super 6 to 8
hour glow flasher. Granted our X-Glow tackle is
not cheap, cuz prices never are for the best!
Click 12" X-Glow Flashers
2/19/10 The Brown Trout 7.0
article mentioned yesterday is pretty comprehensive.
I tried to leave no stone unturned in what it takes to
do well on April Shoreline Browns.
couple of sticking points that needs to be brought to
First is too
many boats will shut these fish down. So, this is
not going to be a easy red hot fishery for the weekend
for Brown Trout 7.0
finding the right colored stained water with a brown to
olive tinge. Find that, & you've usually found the
mother lode of Brown Trout on your way Limit City.
2/18/10 Events this week
kinda steered us in the direction of Brown Troutville.
My knowledge of Brown Trout strains is lacking. We
got pros in the MDNR for that job.
My deal is catching them! With that in mind, ...I
wrote a full article 9 years ago focusing on how to
score big on shoreline April
Browns. Click for
Brown Trout 7.0
reel-information in this piece produces it's best
results in strained off-colored water where you cannot
clearly see the bottom in 8' to 10' of water.
Port of Manistee, MI is blessed to 2 rivers dumping in
heavy spring run-off every April. This run-off
water is warmer than the main body Lk. MI ...that's much
colder. Being of different densities warm and cold
water do not readily mix. So, this stained,
murkier, & warmer
water piles up along shoreline for miles N & S of
I've seen coffee-colored river water all the way down to
Big Point Sable. A distance every bit of 12 miles.
The darker water draws solar heat from the sun
...gaining a good 3 to 4 degrees during the day.
Warming water means increased fish activity!
Tomorrow I zero in on how stained shoreline water works to your
2/17/10 The crux of today's
topic is the MI DNR has developed a more hardy strain of
Brown Trout from the Surgeon River.
new Brown has been selected from the Cheboygan
watershed’s Sturgeon River in 2005. Greater
adaptability is the deal on the new Sturgeon River
Browns according to our DNR.
I think our
DNR is following WI's lead in developing an
Brown that returns from the lake in the fall to spawn in
the rivers. Just like our King & Coho Salmon.
Only fly in the
ointment? This opportunity has been squandered
with fall returning Brown Trout at the Little Manistee
Harvest Weir. In 2009 there were 86 fully
anadromous Browns that returned to this weir.
Granted 86 is a low number, but it's a place to start
raising a viable population of lake-run Browns.
Overall, the MDNR
deserves stellar marks, but they've missed the boat on
building a super strain of Brown Trout for quite a while.
Let's be happy this organization is taking steps to
improve the odds on catching more Great Lakes Browns.
As a side bar to today's update the world record 41 lb.
Brown caught last 9/9/09 was an lake-run Brown that
returned to the Big Manistee River. This fish
looked to me like a big hen. Just think of the
superior DNA in those eggs to raise giant Brown Trout!
2/16/10 Michigan's DNR is
looking to improve the Great Lakes Brown Trout situation
with the exception of 2009 has been lousy since 2003.
MI plants 1.5 million Browns in the species of
Seeforellen, Gilchrist Creek and Wild Rose.
Master Angler Brown
been known the Seeforellen and Wild Rose weak strains.
This has been public knowledge for
quite a while, as I read some reports on this
dated in the late 1990s.
A lot of
folks assign special status to fish. Often
prefixing Browns with the word German, as to imply some
kind of smart V2 Rocket scientist fish.
be further for the truth, cuz I caught several Browns in
April that were too ignorant to spawn. These were
adult females carrying eggs that were rotten and
dissolving in the skein that should have been dropped
the previous fall.
on the mistaken idea Browns are smart. If they
were? We wouldn't have caught 200 to 300 every
April. Limiting out 98% of our charter trips from
1995 thru 2002 ...back when I was a charter operator.
strain of Browns shows the best adaptability and are
being planted at several locations. Frankfort, MI
is the big winner when it comes to this new strain of
Brown Trout with approx 15,000 being planted in their
harbor in i210.
2/15/10 Lots of great
things in store for us in the not too distant future.
River Steelhead this spring should be decent. Why?
...cuz we've haven't had stages of high water this
winter to pull fish in early. Look for
Steelheading to build in the lower sections of Great
Lakes tributaries over the next couple, ...three weeks.
spring fever, as moderating temps later this week will
flirt with the 30s. Flint Steelheaders Boat and
Fishing Show in Birch Run, MI is about 2 weeks out.
Need to update my Manistee snowometer to an amazingly
low 60" since last Nov 09. This is the least snow
in Manistee in several seasons and a good 100"
less than 2009.
2/14/10 Valentines Day, as
time marches forward. You can see in today's photo
of the day, there's not much snow cover in Manistee
County, MI. I intentionally left my grass long
with the onset of fall and never cut the grass after
Labor Day 2009. Hoped the extra long grass under
the snow would deter the deer critters from eating my
shrubs & trees.
Deer seem be
having a lot easier time finding food this year.
They haven't been on a mission to destroy my pine trees
like last winter.
deer eating yard grass
We all know the DNR
has banned baiting, but deer dig in the same places and
exchange feeding areas. I see absolutely no change
in feeding behavior with the deer digging up natural
grass compared to when ...we were allowed to put corn &
2/13/10 The two states with
the least shoreline on the Lk. Michigan have banded
together against preventing the interchange of water
from the Mississippi and Great Lakes basins.
Experts have agreed there must have a barrier between
these 2 watersheds. This is the only for sure way
to prevent MORE Asian Carp from entering our Great
fed this Carp DNA info piecemeal. Kinda like
Hansel & Gretel leaving a trail of bread crumbs, as
we're led blindfolded down Primrose Lane in fairytale
(R-IN) has climbed in bed with Gov. Quinn (D-IL) & the
Obama Administration in keeping the locks open.
While wasting a 100 million hard earned US tax payer
dollars. Air bubbles, underwater noise and
electric barriers are piss poor excuses.
or IN have the vested interest similar to rest of the
affected Great Lakes shoreline states. Too bad IL
& IN is driving policy. This is just plain wrong
to the point of criminal neglect to the oath of office
these politicians swore to keep.
If I sound harsh ...so be it. My frontline
livelihood derived from tackle manufacturing is at
stake. Along billions of hours in Great Lakes
sport and recreation are in jeopardy!
2/12/10 Let's wind down the
week on a positive note by discussing if preferred
cycle back every 3, or 4 years? The Blue Doub L
Glo BTI was much in demand in 2006, then sales kinda
fell off. 2009 spelled a huge resurgence in need
for any flashers, or meat rigs colored blue at my
photo is an example of how thoroughly we test tackle
before it goes into production. This held
true on 5/17/06. This date is significant, cuz
it's the first time we used production BTIs and not
Click 1st 2006 BTI catch
2006 was a 3 King
limit per angler. John J and I took our 6 Kings on
BTIs & 2 Fly Meat Rigs in short order on our very first
trip of the season. Not bad for a shake down
cruise and just getting to know our new line of tackle
...known as the BTI 10" Flashers!
2/11/10 Here's the latest
Anti-Asian Carp meetings from MI AG Mike Cox's office:
1. Congressman Camp, Feb 17th, 11:00-12:00 Great Lakes
Maritime Academy, TC
2. Congressman Upton, Feb 18th, 11:00-12:00 St. Joseph
Public Library, St. Joe
3. Congressman Ehlers, Feb 22nd, 10:00-11:00 Gerald Ford
Museum Auditorium, GR
This does show our Michigan
politicians are in tune
with this passionate subject. This Carp problem
transcends party politics and we appreciate help from
any party ...Rs, or Ds.
Part II: Federal Government
taking over our Great Lakes?
Like Asian carp and other invasive species, the White
House has recently laid the groundwork for a federal
takeover of the Great Lakes and its tributaries.
The activities of a White
House task force have raised questions about state
sovereignty and federal control over natural resources.
It is imperative that Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the
Legislature get answers. Especially, since they
are discussing the threat of the Asian carp with the
"In my opinion, the report is
concerning in that the proposed activities seem to blur
the lines between the federal agency roles and the
management jurisdictions and responsibilities of Great
Lakes states," says Tammy Newcomb, research program
manager for the Fisheries Division in the state
Department of Natural Resources and Environment.
2/9/10 Yesterday the Feds
announced a $78.5M effort to stall the migration of the
Asian Carp. Gov. Grandholm (D-MI) was to meet with the
governors of WI and IL.
Going under the name of the Asian Carp
Control Strategy Framework. Parts of $78.5 million is
targeted at longer term strategies, like $5 million for
chemical treatments. There's $1.5 million for research
into Asian carp controls such as specie specific poisons
and a viable plan to prevent spawning and, ...or making
the eggs sterile.
From what I read, the scheduled White
House Asian Carp summit did not happen yesterday as
planned. Reason for the cancellation was the big
snowstorm that buried Washington, DC under 2 feet of
snow this past weekend.
Please remember when you support the efforts of the
Michigan Steelheaders, the monies earned are put back in
our fishery. Keep that in mind about the Detroit
Chapter's seminar and the upcoming Birch Run, MI Show
put on by the Flint Chapter!
2/8/10 The Detroit Area
Steelheaders are hosting a Super Salmon Seminar with 4
charter skippers are guest speakers. I'm 7 years
removed for the charter club scene, but can vouch for
speaker Capt. Jerry Lee who fishes Lake Erie Walleyes
and Ludington, MI for Salmon & Trout. The
other 3 skippers I do not know.
for more info
This is a all day seminar that costs 65 to 85 dollars to
attend. 65.00 if you are already a member of
the Detroit Steelheaders. Look to regain most of
the money in free tackle packs and the free food that
comes with this do.
The Flint Steelheaders 2010 Boat, Fishing & Outdoor Show
is a little over 3 weeks away. March 5th-7th at
the Birch Run Expo Center. More on this in the future.
2/7/10 In 2009
sport fishermen caught 2,641 Brown Trout according the
DNR catch data. Total number of Browns caught in
the State of Michigan, from Lk. MI was 5450. So,
in essence 1/2 the Browns from Lk. MI came from
Is this a
believable reel-fact? I have no way to dispute the
DNR data, but can explain Manistee's reputation as a
"hot" Brown Trout port. Manistee has 2 major river
systems draining 100s of square miles. This
drainage provides nutrient rich water to kick start the
basic food chain, or plankton.
Click 4/29/09 box of Browns
Then in 2008
Manistee got hit with a flood from a massive 8 to 10
inches of rainfall in short period of time. The
new rush of fresh water in 2008 contributed towards the
rebound in the Brown Trout population off the Port of
Manistee in 2009.
2/6/10 Rep. Pete Hoekstra
(R-Holland, MI) introduced a bill placing the burden of
controlling the Asian Carp on the Army Corp of
but this is like giving the fox keys to the hen house.
Hs bill mentioned poisons, fixing the locks, air bubbles
and sound barriers to disorientate these fish. All
weak and unproven remedies that will do little to stem
the advance to full fledged breeding colonies of the
Asian Carp coming to a river near you ...soon!
of closing the locks and sealing off the Mississippi
basin from the Great Lakes will cure this problem.
It a shame when our elected officials do not use sense
God gave a goose to fix the Carp crisis on the door step
of our fishery.
Then on the
other hand ...at least Pete Hoekstra is trying to help!
2/5/10 T.G.I.F. Hectic
week for me, hope yours was easier. We're entering
fishing season in earnest after this coming Super Bowl
Weekend. Plus, NASCAR's Bud Shoot-Out from Daytona
Beach, FL is Sat. evening. Sure signs spring is
not too far off!
The first rung of
in our Great Lakes Fishery ladder is the annual spring
Steelhead run in our rivers. By the end of
February, first part of March signals prime time is on
the way. For the Big Manistee River prime time depends
entirely on the weather. Seen the BigMan go gangbusters
into the 2nd week of April and seen it over by the 3rd
week of Mar.
2/4/10 Northern part of
Michigan's lower peninsula is having a fairly mild
winter. This does not help Manistee, MI's April
shoreline fishery. It seems a hard winter keeps
main body of Lk. MI colder ...longer. Then, the
Lakers and Brown Trout are attracted by the warming
inshore shallow waters during April.
Click 4/29/09 box of Browns
If the main
body of the lake warms too quickly ...early season
fishing suffers. This was not the case in 2009
when the Brown Trout catching was better in the later
part of April. In fact, 2009 was an improvement
over the previous 6 years for Browns.
2/3/10 Focus of today's
photo is on 4 boxes of fish caught from May into
September on the metal-flake Sparkler. You might
have to look hard, but each one of these boxes owes
it's success to the Sparkler pattern.
thru Sept. Sparkler fish boxes
historic photographic proof is a helluva lot more
convincing when compared to outlandish claims from those
just looking to hawk product.
Last year the
BTI Sparkler was part of a sales promotion where you
received a free flasher after a 100 purchase threshold
was met. Most manufacturer giveaways are not
normally based in their front line ...newly introduced
tackle like mine.
I have a
February sale going where the giveaway is 1 Leland Puke
10" BTI flasher that's brand new for 2010. Buy 100
dollars worth of my tackle and you'll received this hot
new flasher at no charge! For this deal click on:
Need to update my Manistee snowometer to an amazingly
low 52" since last November
2/1/10 News from the Asian
Carp Front says Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House
Council on Environmental Quality and Obama
administration officials will meet with MI Gov. Jennifer
M. Grandholm (D), WI Gov. Jim Doyle (D), and IL Gov. Pat
Quinn (D) on Feb. 8 to attempt to broker a resolution to
the Asian carp dispute.
numbers low is key," said Phil Moy, a fisheries and
invasive species specialist at the University of
Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. He said such steps as
electrical barriers buy time, "but it's not the end-all
solution. We've got to move towards this ecological, or
disappointed with Pres. Obama not attending this meeting
& sending his underlings to handle this vital issue.
Did he forget Michigan gave him one of his highest vote
percentage wins in the last election? I expected
better from our nation's leader.
be a lesson to those that put their faith in electric
barriers. Dating back to my river guiding days in
the later 1980s, I used to guide on the Pere Marquette
River. The PM empties into Lake Michigan at
Ludington, MI. This gem of a river had an electric
barrier that was supposed to stop upstream migration of
the dreaded Lamprey. This barrier is now scheduled to
be shut down, cuz it didn't work!
1/31/10 Today ends the
anniversary celebrations. With that in mind
...here's how I observe my 10 years on the web by
catching some of these: zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! Be back
1/30/10 Going to taper off
this week's celebration of our 10 year internet anniversary
celebration with a photo from 1982 taken at the public
launch in Frankfort, MI.
This image is
important, cuz it shows my boat the year before I became
a licensed charter operator. By then, my 17'
rig was decked out with electric riggers, outriggers & a
5 hp. kicker that rode on the main Mercrusier outdrive.
Betcha ain't seen that in a while!
In the early
1980s spring run King/Chinook Salmon were hog tunas, as
our featured picture
clearly shows. Sure you caught some younger Kings,
but when you tied into a 4 year old, ...it was a goodie.
Often exceeding 20lbs!
Click for 1982 Kings
worthy of note is the Big Jon downriggers that haven't
changed all that much in the past 28 years. Early Big
Jon riggers arms were made from 1/2" stainless steel
with a 4 inch cable spool. In 1984-1985 they
switched to 5/8" aluminum arms.
This spool size grew to
6 inches in about 1985. Increased spool diameter
meant a faster up-speed that went from 60' a minute to
around 90'-100' per minute. Factory installed 2
rod holders for BJ riggers were introduced in 1984.
1/29/10 Our featured photo
of the day shows the only Master Angler fish I took the
time to register for myself. It's an Atlantic
Salmon coming in at a few ounces over 12 pounds to make
the Master Angler (12lbs.). This picture was
snapped in front of the Frankfort Tackle Box right
across the street from the public boat launch in late
May of 1985.
1985 was a
phenomenal fishery for spring Kings off the pier heads
in Frankfort, MI. Had 2 charters the day I caught
the Atlantic. Morning group (5 persons) was boxed
out fast with 25 Salmon. Afternoon trip was done
early too with 20 Kings (4 persons).
Fishing was so good
my deckhand and I went back out towards evening and took
our limits. Being 9 Kings & the Atlantic Salmon I
1985 12# Atlantic
Reason this port
was lousy with Kings? Spawning alewives were
thicker than bugs on a bumper & the Kings were eating
like a herd of fat people at a free smorgasbord.
I learned a good
lesson on this very day we caught 55 fish that served me
well the rest of my charter career. It was the
fish, not me, or any inflated charter ego that made
these Salmon attack our baits like zombies from a "Day
of the Dead" movie!
1/28/10 The setup on today's
featured photo is from 1975 and shows my wife hoisting a
trophy for it's time, a 21 pound plus Lake Trout.
This fish was huge for this era, as the feds and state
had just begun a Lake Trout restoration program in, or
around the mid 1960s. This jumbo Laker was caught
close to the now removed Big Rock nuke plant just north
of Charlevoix, MI in Little Traverse Bay. The 21
pounder fell prey to a big flashy ancient LG Johnson
spoon fished on 500-600 feet of monel wire to get to the
back at the antique Portage and Mac Jac downriggers of the late
1960s into the early 1970s. These commercial
riggers were little more than washing machine pulleys
and a 5/8" nut and bolt. Line counter was 2' a turn,
cuz you counted turns to figure depth.
Sounds primitive ....eh? Click
1975 21lb. pig Lk. MI Lake Trout
image there's an old Mac Jac rigger painted red
on the stern of the boat. It was functional and
reasonably priced. Portage riggers were even less fancy,
as there was no fiberglass rod with a roller end for
cable. Only a pulley on a flat wood board with an
upright aluminum stanchion to hold the washing machine vee belt pulley.
Neither rigger included a rod holder. You were on
your own to figure that one out!
1/27/10 Need to get off
memory lane today and announce Manistee's new weather
station. This station sits towards the S pier
inside the harbor.
It's plenty open enough to give us a good reading on the
wind concerning how hard it's blowing. This is a
godsend for the trailer boat fleet who can access this
info at home.
In the past
...Manistee anglers had to use the remote station down
by Big Point Sable. A good 12 miles to the south
of Manistee proper. This new station is active now and
here's what it's said last evening. Manistee, MI
conditions at MEEM4 as of (6:40 pm EST) on evening of
1/26/09 For today's update
let's look at the rarest fish I've caught in 4 score and
one year on the Great Lakes. That fish would be a
Splake. If you interbreed a Lake Trout with a
Brook Trout ...the outcome up is a Splake.
Click 1990 Lk.
In 41 years
and thousands of hours with lines in the water ...my
tally on Splake is only one! That uncommon fish
was caught off Alaskan Bay out of Port Austin, MI on
Lake Huron on 7/26/90. Splake have a squarer tail
than a Laker and tend to be more rotund. Not too
mention how scrappy they are and the reel-fact Splake
readily jump out of the water. Jumping out of the
water is not normally in Mr. Lake Trout's bag of tricks.
interesting fact about today's photo it proves I was
into pulling wire divers back on 7/26/90. So, do
not think wire divers are all that new to our fishery.
Actually, I starting using wire for diver line, cuz back
then Spectra Fiber lines were not out yet. Braid
didn't happen on a wide spread scale basis until about
Tomorrow's update will take a look
at Manistee's brand new weather station
1/25/10 All you're gonna get
from me this week is fish stories during my anniversary
celebration of 41 years on the Great Lakes. Plus,
10 years on the on the internet!
featured photo is from 1979. Making this image 31
years old. It was taken off the north tip of North
Manitou Island on Lk. MI in early August. It shows
Paul holding a brace of Coho and Lester with a decent
King. We doubled on the Coho right away then
wandered around and lucked into the King later that
wandered around, ...cuz GPS was a distant idea and Loran
C's were in the 3k range. In 1979 three grand was
a reel-healthy chuck of change, probably the equivalent
of the best part $9,000.00 today.
Click 1979 N Manitou Island Salmon
notice the el-cheapo Luhr Jensen manual downriggers that
left a lot to be desired. In 1979 diver rods were
not even being made yet. Lead core and copper were
years off in the future before these two old time
methods were resurrected again.
fishing then, 4 rods, 4 riggers. Some 1970s era
charter boats used divers, but they used Deep Sixes, or
drop weights on outriggers. Dipsy Divers never
took off until about 1985-86. Just about the same
time 10' diver rods hit the market.
1/24/10 Starting today and
this coming week let's celebrate the 10 anniversary of
this website being on the web. Jan. 2000 signaled
the beginning of daily updates covering a wide range of
topics. Everything from charter customer catches
to timely subjects in the news. Like the plague of
Asian Carp have graced the pages of this website.
At this point in
time approx. 3672 daily updates have been published and
more coming everyday! Not to mention the 70 some
fishing articles I've written.
OK, now for the
setup on the big King in the old Polaroid photo.
It was taken in Oct. of 1976. This huge King was
caught in the Betsie River & would have released it, but
the Salmon eggs brought a $1.00 to a $1.50 a lb.
Back then it was legal to sell eggs.
I positioned the
King on the cleaning table, because there was no way my
wife could hold this massive fish. To keep the fish from
sliding ...she got her a hand around the tail, then
hoisted it's giant head.
Click 1976 Betsie River King Salmon
Back then, most all
Kings were 25 pounds & better. I called this fish
a Tyee, cuz on the west coast Kings that exceed 30
pounds earn that rank.
1/23/10 From the bottom of
my heart ...thanks to all who took the time to sign anti
Asian Carp petition. According to Rachel Hurley
from MI's AG's office there were 17,000 signers before
their website was fully endorsed and listed here.
Last I knew the 17,000 number had grown to about 28,000
signatories and that was a good 2 days ago!
on that number even more for the upcoming Asian Carp
summit. Leaders of the Great Lakes States have
meeting scheduled with the Obama White House during 1st
week of February concerning the imminent threat of the
nasty Asian Carp.
& Governor can hand our petition to Chicago's number 1
homeboy, Pres. Barack ...proof there's 1000s of us
pissed off at his ill-advised policy in backing his
home-state & hometown. To sign? click:
1/22/10 Original intent was to use today's topic
a couple of days ago, but important breaking news on the impending
invasion of the Asian Carp keep delaying the below:
slipped my mind as my 41st anniversary catching Salmon from our Great
Lakes. 10/1/68 caught my first Coho out of Frankfort, MI. 41
years later to the exact day we took 5 Lk. Michigan Kings off the Port of
Manistee, MI. Click
this played out, cuz it wasn't planned. Getting involved with big
lake Salmon fishing has defined my life. First, as a sport fisherman
from 1968 thru 1982. Then as a fulltime, year around
river-guide/charter skipper from 1983 thru 2003.
In 2004 I
went into tackle manufacturing. I count myself
blessed ...having made a living from 1983 until today
with industries directly associated with our the Great
The last 41 years, going on 42
have been a heck of a ride!
1/21/10 US Rep. Dave
Camp (R-MI) introduced H.R. 4472, the CARP ACT
legislation seal off access to the Big Head and Silver
Asian Carp thru IL and IN waterways. The Obama
administration has a meeting scheduled for the first
week of February with the states arguing for immediate
closure of the Chicago Drain's access points to Lk. MI.
Personally, I feel cheated with Obama's ill advised
reckless backing of IL in keeping their canals open
...in spite of the clear danger it presents! It's
overtly wrong to show favoritism to any one certain
Click H.R. 4472 Carp Act
saga Asian Carp continues with the US Supreme Court was
not privy to the latest DNA evidence confirming the
presence of these fish in Lk. Michigan's Calumet Harbor.
It's my most sincere belief we're being fed the DNA
evidence piece meal.
Carp are confirmed breaching the electric barrier (back
in Nov. 2009). Then DNA is confirmed at the Wilmette
Pumping Station adjacent to Lk. Michigan (1/11/10)Now,
Asian Carp DNA is confirmed in IL's Calumet Harbor with
direct contact and into Lake Michigan (1/20/10).
Whatever is going on smells like a fish story and not
100% the truth.
1/20/10 As you've probably
already heard, the US Supreme Court did not rule in
favor of Michigan yesterday. The plea from MI, NY,
OH, MN, and the Province of Ontario to close off access
of the dreaded Asian Carp into Lk. MI/Great Lakes fell
on deaf ears.
The US Army Corp of
Engineers has disclosed recent DNA test results from
Lake Michigan's Calumet Harbor confirming the presence
of Asian Carp DNA.
Director of Legislative Relations from Office of
Michigan's Attorney General Mike Cox
called and asked me personally to support their efforts
with their petition. Rachel said they had 17,000
Please, let's move
that number to at least 18,000 today. Michigan's
AG has been on point to save our Great Lakes fishery and
the 7 billion dollar industry it supports ...including
my tackle business. There's too much on the line
not to sign!
1/19/10 Referring back to
yesterday's photo the yellow boat in the image is going
across what the locals call, "the meat hole."
Right off the end of the Manistee's south pier there's a
hole to almost 40'. While the rest of the harbor
depth ranges from 22' to 25'. This 38' to 40'
"meat hole" stays dug out by river current. Hard
north blows push the water towards the south pier.
Flowage from the Little & Big Manistee Rivers does the
Incidentally, water depth off Manistee's north pier
...where the big light house sits ...can come up on 12'
sand bar in a big hurry.
Manistee's "meat hole"
years past it's been my pleasure to come thru the "meat
hole" and double up on brutal rampaging adult Kings in
the 20-30 pound bracket ...back in my charter days.
Supreme Court has ruled against Michigan's lawsuit to close IL Asian
Carp access today.
1/18/10 Let's go with a two
part update that will carry into tomorrow. Today's
featured photo is Manistee's south pier head. On
top of what I call the candy cane (red & white
lighthouse) sits a red light for navigation in
restricted visibility, or in the dark.
There's a red
light on the top on this mini-lighthouse. If you
and keep this red light to the right of your vessel when
returning from a evening fish, you'll never pile your
boat up on top of the break-wall.
Manistee's S pier
of this photo shows a person with limited navigational
skills not paying attention to the
"red-right-return" rule that has served me well
for 4 decades on Lk. MI.
a number of dufusses drive their boats up on break-walls
with injury to themselves and passengers from not being
update will focus on local Manistee flora, fauna, and
1/17/10 Working in the
product design arena in the USA is very rewarding for
me. A phone call, 2 emails from the design
engineer and the final revision put my new tool for
cutting 12" lure tape to bed. Half-lure tapes are
used in flashers like the Black Mamba.
computer aided drawing (CAD .dwg file) is now the hands of
the company in IL that will build the rotary die cutting
tool for WTP (Witch Craft Lure Tape) in Coloma, MI.
CAD is how everything is built nowadays.
designing new die
right to thank lead CAD design engineer "Getaway" Bob K.
for his genius and ability to come to a meeting of the
minds so quickly. Stuff like this amazes me!
1/16/10 Need to thank the
weather gods for the plus 30 degree heat wave besieging
Manistee County, MI as of lately. It's wonderful
to see water melt ...even a little bit.
(knock on wood) has been a lot more mild then what we
experienced just a year ago. Let's all hope it
1/15/10 Something you don't
hear a lot about in this day and age is a 5 species
"Grand Slam." To qualify for a slam you need a
Steelhead/Rainbow, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, King and
Coho Salmon. A multi-species fishery is a healthy
several Grand Slams over the years with Port Austin, MI
on Lk. Huron in the late 1980s and early 1990s as being
one of the best multi species fisheries in our state.
Times have sure changed with a slam nowadays probably a
uneducated eye ... all 5 species might look alike, but
there's enough subtle details to discern each type of
fish at a glance. Click 5
species Grand Slam
1/14/10 One year ago to the
day, the high temp was 14 degrees and the low was 6
degrees. Last year we got hammered by snow and
received 102 inches by this same date.
Today's high is
supposed to be 38 and the low is predicted to be 30.
Best news is snowfall is less than 1/2 of last year
during this same time span (45" vs. 102").
tidbit of good weather news is this year we'll have a
January thaw with temps in the low 40s by next Monday.
A luxury we never saw in January 2009.
Please send a
minute or two checking out the correct slight bend put
in whole bait. I've got 6 photo "how-to" decoupage
that locks you in on how be successful when using whole
bait. Try it ...you'll like it!
Click rigging whole bait
1/13/10 Think it's just
about time to throw in the towel and admit the Asian
Carp have entered the Great Lakes. Most recent DNA
tests have all, ...but said so.
the Army Corp of Engineers acknowledged a fresh batch of
DNA test evidence from the Wilmette Pumping Station
confirming Asian Carp DNA. Worst possible news in
times of flooding? ...water flows into Lk. MI from this
is impossible to oppose. DNA can put people on
death row, or clear them of a crime. Crime in this
case is? ...the locks weren't closed years ago!
I've came to
the conclusion all we're seeing is political posturing,
as it's time play, "cover your ~ss." Better known in
this day & age as CYA!
Click Carp DNA
1/12/10 Yesterday's update
laid the foundation of the public's low perception of
the Carp. Therein is the problem, just name Carp
implies undesirable. Anything associated with it
is trash fish and unfit for human consumption.
The State of
Louisiana really thinks their citizens are ignorant.
Louisiana's plan is to rename the Asian Carp to Sliver
Fin elevating it's status. I cannot believe
descendents from a population who soundly whipped the
British in the War of 1812 is stupid to buy into the
Sliver Fin as a more desirable fish, or something other
than a nasty old Carp.
1/11/10 According to what I
read, the common Carp was brought to our shores in the
1830s. This fish was set free on the east coast in
the 1870s. Back then unenlightened Carp supporters
were proclaiming it was a wonder fish.
never caught on with the American public, cuz they are
boney and have an overpowering strong, fishy flavor.
Sewer bass and bugle-nosed trout are a couple of the not
so pleasant nicknames for Carp that are often used.
The rest is
history, as the lowly common Carp spread to most every
body of water in the USA with limited help from mankind.
Carp rank on the bottom rung of all fish.
Freshwater Drum/Sheephead and Suckers in my book.
In fact, the trashy common Carp is ranked so low
...these fish need a step ladder to crawl over a dime!
side notes to my Carp investigation is the Romans raised
them, along with the monks in Europe all thru the middle
ages. As you probably already know our present day
common Carp have their roots in the far east. Like
the impending Asian Carp fiasco that threatens the
entire Great Lakes and connecting waters.
1/10/10 Posted a photo
showing the 3 snip method I use to prepare whole Red
Label sized bait on the boat. This eliminates all
processing beforehand. It's easy, quick, and
proven highly productive.
visual "how to" prepare bait
with Red" article in the Tips and Tricks section in
the will be updated near future. For now, I'm sure
you get the drift from the 6 in 1 image.
necessity being the mother of invention came up with the
3 step scissor snip method, cuz I forgot to do meat the
night before. Had to grab some unthawed bait out
of the freezer in the morning for immediate usage.
I tossed the hard frozen bait on the motor box as we
headed towards Manistee, MI's boat launch. By the
time we got to the launch ...a trip of 12 miles it had
thawed enough for 3 snips and use in the water!
My Manistee winter snowometer now stands at 45" since
kinda weighted down with negative issues surrounding the
IL Asian Carp deal. So, it's time for an upbeat
positive outlook on the new 2010 season. What
promised does 2010 hold for us? Will it be better
than 2009? Only time will tell!
Gonna go out on a
limb and predict the 2010 Monkey Puke Meat Rig will be
number 1, or 2 in overall sales for this season. I
witnessed the results and seen the preference displayed
by Mr. King Salmon last season. This was my number
one producer, followed closely by the Sparkler Red.
Which was devastating too!
Illinois on 1/5/09 filed a counter lawsuit to foil
Michigan's attempt at closing the Chicago Drainage
Canal/System. Let the word, "drainage" stick large
in your mind, as untold bazillions of gallons have been
siphoned off the Great Lakes by the State of Illinois.
Let alone the urgent peril of Asian Carp setting up
house keeping at your favorite port.
It seems the City
of Chicago used propaganda to spin a story about
dying from endemic water-born diseases back in the 1880s.
Most historians are now disputing this as hogwash. Population numbers
from back then ...just don't add up.
It's time for the
State of Illinois to man-up and admit they took the easy
cheap fix to cure their sewage treatment problems.
Plus, illegal by all of today's standards.
Illinois needs to
quit hiding behind a bunch of fast talking lawyers and
President Barack Obama's misguided influence.
Click Chicago River warning sign!
instead of being wasted should be brought to bear on
reconstructing Chicago's sewage treatment and storm water
run off. Projects that pay long term rewards are
better than repaving Stronach Road, off M55 in Manistee
Co. This road was in far better shape than most
roads in Manistee, got repaved and ...didn't need it?
While signs proudly proclaimed this un-needed project
was funded by the stimulus bill.
My Manistee winter snowometer now stands at 44" since
five important questions for you today:
1. Does your current line of tackle produce in the off peak hours?
2. Problems catching after the early and late bite?
3. Do you feel the party is over after 9am in full bright sun?
4. When you leave the dock are you lacking confidence?
5. Can you take doubles in the middle of the day hours?
6. Having problems getting your attractor program work
all season long?
7. Not sure if your flashers, meat rigs, or flies are made in the
8. When you order tackle would you like to speak
directly with the owner?
9. Does your flasher company supply you with an
Encyclopedia of Tips &
10. Has your flasher company been a source of daily
fishing news for the last 10 years?
Click 4 doubleheaders 2007 thru 2009
Click 4 doubleheaders 2005 thru 2007
If your answer is not a quick easy yes? Please consider my line of tackle
The Obama White House Solicitor General Elena
Kagan asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a request by Michigan and
several other states to order the locks closed. Kagan said doing so
would endanger public safety and disrupt the flow of cargo.
administration has made a tragic
mistake by filing a motion with the US Supreme Court to dismiss the
lawsuit filed by Michigan to close the Chicago Canal.
beyond ignorant. cuz absolutely nothing can be gained by supporting the
environmental abortion known as the Chicago Drainage Canal.
doing so, you assume all responsibility if the Asian Carp to take over
the Great Lakes and all adjoining waters. Bad-bad move considering
the states of NY, MI, WI, IN, and OH all voted Obama in during the last
and the court does not intervene on our behalf, these Asian Carp will
now become known as the Obama Carp ...if they infest our Great Lakes as
to take issue with an article in the New York Times
penned by Monica Davey. Her title of "Fight
Against Asian Carp Threatens Fragile Great Lakes
Unity" is the furthest thing from the truth. It
shows Ontario, MI, WI, MN, NY & OH onboard for closing
the Chicago Drainage Canal. Indiana is said to
be filing a brief on behalf of MI and joining the
movement to close this canal too.
Click for this The New York Times article
As a mater of
fact several states and Canada are agreeing on canal
honest. If Chicago attempted to build a reverse
flow river into the Mississippi River from the Great
Lakes this project would never get off the ground in
is the Supreme Court will rule in favor of canal
closure with speed seldom associated with the our
highest court in the land, as the Asian Carp are an
immediate threat to colonize our Great Lakes
Posted a photo of the first and last Salmon of the
2009 season. We took a Coho on 5/5/09 and our
last King was 10/1/09. This shows my BTI 10"
flashers are proven to work all season long.
Click for 1st and last Salmon of 2009
As the photo
shows, BTI's perform equally well with flies, or meat
Here's a fact
that needs mentioning, the color red works all season
side note to the first and last fish of 2009?
Both fish came on divers. Are you looking to
gain a little more insight into diver fishing
techniques? For today only, I've opened up our
private message board where hot diver topic is located
for public access. If you'd like to see the
quality of our inside private info:
My Manistee winter snowometer now stands at 40" since November 2009
It was déjà vu all over again concerning yesterday's
update about additional states joining Michigan's bid
to shut the Chicago Canal down. My 12/23/09
update was along that same line without the use of a
crystal ball. Need to thank website members
SteveO and Flat Rate for the leads that went into
Just in: Ontario has filed a supporting motion
concerning Michigan's lawsuit to close the Chicago
Canal to stop the Asian Carp. This was done last
Thursday and info to verify this was supplied by
website member fishdodger.
My Manistee winter snowometer now
stands at 38" since November 2009
lawsuit started by Michigan to close the Chicago Canal
has been joined by WI, MN, and OH. Closure is to
prevent more Asian Carp (Silver & Bighead) from
entering Lk. MI. I said more, cuz DNA tests
already confirmed the Asian Carp were above the sham
of the poorly designed multimillion dollar electric
barrier ...that at best only works to 98% effectiveness.
Having MI, OH, WI and MN onboard adds credence to this
Supreme Court has already ruled against the Chicago
Drainage Canal in 1930. Stating it was illegal.
Good thing is the mid-term elections are on the way
and political pressure will surely bring action, as
foot dragging will cost votes. Unless I miss my
guess, look for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of
closing this canal. Keeping the Great Lakes
Basin and the Mississippi watershed separate is
is on our side look for this lawsuit resolved quickly.
Reason? ...our EPA brought these fish here in the
first place in 1973 and again around 1980.
word about the Asian Carp is out, but the full story
on who's responsible for bringing them here is still
hush-hush! Question is ....who's is gonna
protect us from our "dumber than a stump"
Environmental Protection Agency?
My Manistee winter snowometer now
stands at 35"
Happy New Year! May 2010 be a banner year
for you in all your endeavors!
Have a wonderful New Years present for you.
Wisconsin's Att. General, J.B.
Van Hollen has filed a brief
with the US Supreme Court supporting Michigan's
lawsuit to close the Chicago Canal system to prevent
more Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes Basin.
Also, Minnesota & Ohio have filed a supportive briefs.
More tomorrow on this...