2010 Results for Capt. John's Log
Last Monday, 9/27/010 marked my last trip of the 2010
season. It was not the utopian full-box, action
packed outing we hoped for, but every year is different.
Fluctuations in fish numbers & movements always present a never ending challenge.
This year even more-so with
plenty of wind that kept us shore-side way, way too
much. Change is the only constant!
last ride to the dock in 2010
Tomorrow I'll share with you some of the interesting stats collected
aboard my boat during the full-run of this season with
my unscientific fishing log.
What's the difference between thinking and knowing?
Thinking leads to knowing is probably one of the correct
answers. In my case there was no thinking about
the new Firedot pattern officially introduced after our
8/9/10 trip to Leland, MI's N. Manitou Island.
Already knew about this color's deadly effect on August
Salmon from past experience.
wanting to add this vibrant color since I retired from
chartering in 2003 and went into tackle manufacturing in
2004. Other projects took precedence and the
Firedot got pushed to the back burner until this season.
Firedot fish box
there's the ever important issue of performance vs. cost
which my Sparkler, HRP and Firedot are proven winners on
both sides of this issue.
savings on these 3 flashers reflects the base color of
the flasher is the reel-deal. No costly lure tape,
pricey labor, or complicated painted art work is
topic will be continued tomorrow with my personal
thoughts and proven track record of these 3 flasher
patterns I'm very, very proud of. note: old is
Fished Manistee, MI yesterday from about 9am until we
pulled lines around 11am. Setup in 45' of
water and found temp at 30' to be 54. At 40' down it
was in the mid 40s. Made one long troll northwest out
to 200'. Then, threw in the towel from the total
lack of any rodular activity. Marked a lot of
biomass inside of 60', but once we made it out to
....and past the 100' depths Mother Hubbard's cupboard was
have taught me the most reliable fishing at this time of
the season is on the other side of the 35 west line and
to the north of Manistee. The 35W line is 12-13 miles
west of the Port of Manistee, MI. 13 miles
offshore with very few boats to lend assistance at this
time of the season makes long runs like that a bit out
of reach for my 22 footer. Besides, I'd rather err
on the side of safety, not risk.
to put some bookends on big lake season 2010 before I
winterize and store my boat. One final grand
hurray would be the icing on the cake.
season got off to a sound start on 4/1/10 with 8 Browns
and 2 Lakers. Not bad for the first trip of the
dock. Considering we only fished a short day.
honesty, I'm going to call 2010 a trying season.
Trying is for "trying" to get off the dock when the wind
and seas were tolerable. Tried to get some late
season testing in the week before and week after Labor
Day to no avail. Gale force winds going full
circle kept the lake stirred up and fish hard to locate
for the occasional angler.
water means big seas and wind, but usually not what we
grudgingly tolerated this year. With most
fishermen being eternal optimists, "there's always next
few leaves are coming down, but there's no parade of
fall colors yet. Surprisingly enough, Manistee,
MI has not a tinge of frost for this late into
Days are growing noticeably shorter as
official autumn 2010 arrived last week.
the DNR making the rules on deer baiting, or not ...lest
not forget the rules of Mother Nature supersedes
mankind's futile attempts. Every time man has
tried to manage nature's laws the outcome is similar to
the present day Asian Carp fiasco.
genie has been let out of the bottle with these Asian
Carp and I fear it's only a matter of time until they
spread like the common Carp we're used to seeing.
by the conclusion of natural transmigration of fish with
our last ice age ending about 10,000 years ago.
How else can you explain all fish species native to our
temperature zone being evident in all lakes and puddles?
MI is supposed to be 1 to 3s today and even nicer
days and counting to the opening of bow season for
whitetails. Last winter was easier then 2008 with
less snow. The no baiting issues still draws
plenty of debate.
the DNR has made big brother rules telling me what I can
do on my own property ...I no longer even consider deer
truth about baiting deer with corn is very expensive.
During that worst part of deep winter I'd bust open
parts of a hay bale. This kept the deer critters
from gnawing my young pine trees I raised from sprigs.
Since no baiting is policy now there's huge voids in my
pine trees where the branches have been destroyed.
I will be removing 3 rows of damaged trees planted as a
wind and sound break soon.
too many topics for me to settle on just one.
1. More trips
to the weir & Pine Creek to see if the fall run of
2. Set aside
a 1/2 day for a photo shoot at the Platte River Hatchery
3. Need to
update an article about Manistee's bonafided legend,
Capt. Bud Raskey without over eulogizing his recent
laying the foundation for an article on night time full
moon fishing we did in late July which turned out to be
my best trip out of Manistee so far this season.
5. Explain in
better detail why we took mercy on the Salmon after
boxing 7 fish (could have killed 15) in the absolute
worst possible timeframe. Being full sun during
the hours of 1pm-3:30pm. Waters we fished was Leland's N Manitou Island on
together an update about the importance of who we fish
with ...is a bunch more rewarding than the actual
numbers of fish caught!
never ceases to amaze me there's so many worthy topics
every time this website is updated around midnight of
last night. For those dyed in the wool big water
trollers who appreciate the after Labor Day fishing the
seas look mint for this Sun-Mon.
70% equals a "C" the 2010 Lk. MI Salmon season was a
huge disappointment according to our recent poll. Our
largest group, 27% ...rated 2010 at number 3 (poor) on a
scale from 1 to 10. Only 30% voted for the season
being above mediocre to excellent.
poll can be skewed good, or bad by the time frame most
fishermen hit the pond. Then, how many times they
fished this season. Those that pursued Salmon from
last April thru now would probably be voting on the
This poll was
configured where you could only vote once to help it's
fairness. With almost 300 visitors voting, 70% cast
their votes for: 5. mediocre to 1. stinky poor.
1% voted this
past season a 10. While 10% said it was the
pits/worst at #1.
motivation behind this poll was to show all who
struggled lack of big boxes of Salmon was not their
fault. Pure and simple, Great Lakes Salmon are eating machines and
not all that hard to catch. If, and when fish are
port in sufficient numbers?
2010 passes into history as the 1st day of autumn falls
upon us today. From the looks of our poll 2010
will not go down in times gone by as a highly rated
7 out of 10
of you rated this past summer Salmon season as mediocre
to poor. With almost 10% giving the lowest basement
rating of 1. stinky poor.
Unless I miss
my guess, there has to be at least one DNR employee
seeing the vast majority of visitors to this website
don't think too much of their single minded King Salmon
focused fishery. Having all of our eggs in one
basket is beyond stupid.
Speaking angrily about DNR is not in our best interest.
In defense of this agency is strapped for funds from
less fishing license revenues.
know there's a army of retired big lake fishermen that
would volunteer their time to babysit hatcheries, clean
raceways, or stack food pellets. As our new
Michigan learns to reinvent itself ...let's hope the DNR
considers free volunteer help.
According to a very trusted source in Manistee, MI the
offshore deepwater fishery for Steelhead is going gang
busters. 38 west line is said to be good, but it's
a hike to get there if you're used to fishing Manistee's
shelf in the 100' to 250' depths.
featured photo is from website member, SteveO.
Steve was fishing out of Kewaunee, WI and racked up a 12
fish mixed bag of Salmon, Lakers, & Rainbows.
Rainbows is WI speak for what we in MI call Steelhead.
Click for SteveO's 9/18/10 trip
poll where you can rate the 2010 season. The same
exact poll is installed on our private message board.
74% of our members are rating the 2010 Salmon season at
mediocre, or less. I've watched my fish per hour
output decline since 2007 & rated 2010 at number 3.
poor! Please share your thoughts on 2010.
Yesterday took a short road trip to Manistee, MI's Pine
Creek for a Salmon seeing excursion. Much to
my surprise there was nary fish to be found. The
not pleasant nagging question of "where's the fish"
Click for Salmon-less Pine Creek
mentioning anything about locations of spawning Salmon
is a big no-no. It's just inviting the
snaggers/violators to wreck havoc upon the fish trying
to procreate future generations of fish for us to catch.
Pine Creek is
a designated Trout stream with seasonal restrictions.
MI's regular Trout season runs from the last Saturday in
April thru the end of September.
I have an
archived photo of Pine Creek Salmon spawning on 9/21/07
from exactly the same location showing at least 6
Salmon. This historical image will be posted later
this week with a 2010 vs. 2007 comparison.
is the last Sunday in summer 2010. This coming
Thursday marks the official beginning of autumn.
Too bad winters cannot fly by as quick as summertime.
Firedot gave a respectable account of itself be being
introduced well into the first week of this August.
Coupled with the UV Squid Meat Rig was quite impressive
this first time I put this team in the water.
Click Firedot's deadly debut on 8/9/10
This pattern is
ageless and dates back to the late 1960s. There
was a short bent funny spoon known and the Manistee
Wobbler that found fleet favor in school bus yellow &
fluorescent red dots. This pattern was then
transferred to dodgers in the 1980s.
It was a no
brainer for me to include the Firedot on my tackle
lineup. It's not a sophisticated color, but it's
success on August-September speaks for itself.
like this weekend is going to be fishable off central
Lk. MI ports like Manistee, MI. 1 to 3s today and
light NE wind with 1 footers for tomorrow.
Need to clarify
yesterday's update about tribal commercial fishing.
Presently there are no net fishers working out of
Manistee. Ludington still has tribal trap nets,
but nothing compared to the fiasco Manistee suffered
thru back in 2007.
Click 2007 head line
Many thanks to all
who expressed their condolences about the loss of our
dog mentioned in yesterday's update. All who knew
me and spent anytime at my place got to know Spotty too.
Whoever coined the phrase about dogs being man's best
friend hit the nail on the head. Pets enrich our
lives with their unconditional devotion!
The grand experiment in tribal trap net fishing from
Manistee's Little River Native Americans is over.
Gone is the millions of dollars the State of Michigan
paid this tribe (with our money) for trap nets, boats,
gear, and startup costs.
Plain and simple
the 2000 Consent Decree monies given to this tribe have
been siphoned off. This whole affair has taken 10
years to play out. Showing a money grab was the
deal, not the bargaining chip of tribal fishing rights.
At this time
there are no tribal net fishers off Manistee waters.
The remaining nets that were in the 11s and 12s have
been pulled recently. Manistee for the time being
is 100% net free from the scourge of 21 trap nets we
endured in 2007!
For the first
time in close to 25 years there are no Black Labs in my
household. My companion of 12 years, Spotty was
euthanized at 3pm yesterday afternoon. He was a
blessing that cannot be put into words. I know
calling a all black dog Spot is a little odd, but he had
black spots on his tongue.
Click for my
sweetheart Spotty Dog
Caught myself reminiscing about my most exciting fishing
time so far this season. Hands down and going
away, 7/26/10 ranks at the top of the list.
26, 2010 was the night of the full moon and my boat
SR1979 racked up it's first four-banger since I bought
this vessel in 2007. Today's featured photo
captures 75% of the mayhem (3 Kings boated) while we
were still dealing with the 4th fish of the quad.
bangers rarely get landed by just a 2 person crew, but
Matt B and I got lucky and all 4 made it to the net!
of our quad on 7/26/10
only was this trip exciting ...it was highly memorable
too. We fished a late afternoon set to midnight.
Boxing 8 fish in the process. Our last 2 Kings
were caught in eerie pitch black full night conditions.
Tallied up the season's sales in 12 inch flashers to see
what pattern is leading the hit parade. 1st in the
regular non-glow category is Black Mamba. No earth
shattering surprise with the Black Mamba, as it's held
the number sales rank 1 since 2004.
place was earned by the 2011 hush-hush Stimulus Flasher. 3rd
trailing by only 4 flashers is the Leland Puke
introduced newly introduced for the 2010 season.
Interesting reel-factoid about the 2011 Stimulus Flasher
is that it wasn't introduced until the last half of
August. Then caught fire with fish and the
fishermen. Mr. Stimulus has not been formally
introduced with a photo on this website either ...yet.
Rocketing to second place in a few weeks is from the
fishermen choice at 3 tackle stores. Ludington's
Capt. Chucks, Manistee's Tangled Tackle, and Shipwatch
Marina are the 3 outlets where you can buy this flasher
to bailout your program after 9am.
To watch my brain child gain fleet favor & catapult up
the popularity ladder is amazing!
The deal on banning lead stems
from PETITIONERS: CENTER FOR BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
AMERICAN BIRD CONSERVANCY ASSOCIATION OF AVIAN
VETERINARIANS PROJECT GUTPILE PUBLIC EMPLOYEES FOR
long winded group petitioned the EPA on August 3, 2010
to have lead put on the toxic substances list.
Over 80% of the research they cited pertained to lead
shot ammunition and the rest was pointed at fishing
Click for this document
OK, we all know lead is harmful, but birds will not be
swallowing cannonballs and divers. Yep, diver
prices will be skyrocketing too! If, and when a
lead ban goes in effect?
is only be accepting feedback on this proposed ban on
lead thru tomorrow, 9/15/10. You can make your
opinion known to the EPA by
MI residents can fire off a easy to do ...click thru
form letter to Senators Levin & Stabenow. Along
with your local district congressional representative by
Being able to contact many in a short period of time
might be one of the finest uses for this new technology
we've yet to fully understand called, the internet!
water Salmon and Trout fishermen are a resilient group,
but we don't need the EPA raining on our parade with a
ban on lead cannonballs. Lead weighs 710 pounds
per cubic foot and can be purchased new for 3 bucks a
pound. Salvaged lead is cheaper.
looks to be the next alternative coming in at 1205
pounds per cubic foot. 1205 pounds is exactly what
a cubic foot of gold weighs too. Tungsten is very
expensive, like 12 to 14 bucks a pound.
I'm trying to make is: less production costs to pour
tungsten ...the lowball base number is 150 dollars for a
12 pound cannonball. Not counting manufacturing
costs and dealer markup. $200 per 12 pound
cannonball is a distinct reel-possibility.
For many years our government thought nothing of using
leaded gas in the Great Lakes. In the process
dispersing tons and tons of lead to raise the octane
level of gas. Now the EPA want to pick on us
little people to make up for their past mistakes.
If you're apt to pitch a bitch like I did about costly
non-lead cannonballs, please use this link:
Click to send in your comments about the EPA's misguided
Michigan residents can get another anti-lead ban form
letter off to our
Fleet-wide consensus on Friday's Manistee, MI's fishing
results were lackluster. Not numbers we've
accustomed to for the week after Labor Day. Granted
recent gale force winds have kept the fish scattered.
Before I rank the 2010 season ...the numbers of Salmon
returning to the Little Manistee Weir this fall must be
taken into account.
the DNR boosts the Coho plant for Manistee County, cuz
this business of relying on just Kings/Chinook Salmon
must come to an end. Heard a DNR representative
doing a presentation on our MI Great Lakes fishery
saying, Coho cost about a buck a piece to raise.
License fees my wife and I pay push 60 bucks.
You'd think some of that money could be earmarked for
major Coho plants in the Little Manistee River.
failures of the MDNR like slot limits for Lakers & a 25%
cut in Chinook plants that ended up being 66% less fish
returning (08 weir numbers) is not my goal.
I figure the
complexities of trying to manage/predict what the Great
Lakes are capable of is a crap shoot with loaded dice on
top of a Ouija
curtain is coming down on the final chapter of Capt. Bud
Raskey's life at Guardian Angels
Church, 371 5th St. here in Manistee, MI at 10am this
myself as blessed having fished with Capt. Bud on
several occasions covering all parts of the season both on Lk. MI and
the Big Manistee River.
knowledge put me on the right path when lead core was
just starting to catch on in about 1994. He was
the one who told me to remove the inner piece of lead
and then treat it like regular line to tie on a leader,
featured photo is 2 titans from our MI fishing history
with Wolverine Tackle's (Silver Streak Spoons) Chuck
Cartwright & Capt. Bud (back to camera). They were
visiting at a spring sport show in about 01. Both
Bud & Chuck are no longer among the living, but continue
to live on in my heart.
Click 2001 Bud & Chuck
the not too distant future ...I'll be updating pages
associated with the recently deceased Capt. Bud Raskey.
I had a general bio and a photo "how to" on pulling
sewn minnows and cowbells. Granted you might not
never use this tactic, but you'll be able to do it
correctly if the situation arises.
Sewn minnows are
just as deadly on Lake Trout with frozen minnows
(spot-tails are best) as this method is on Brown Trout.
There was an intentional omission per Bud's request that
will be revealed when I get around to updating the sewn
Please consider the
sewn minnows page a work in progress and in need of
updating. The minnows piece was wrote in i2k, or
01. Bud's bio article:
Click Bud's Bio
was done in 01 & will be re-written to bring it up to
Summer's official end is not until the 23rd of this
month, but it's beginning to feel like fall already.
Cool daytime temps in the low 60s is a big step down
from about a week ago when some areas of northern MI
were pushing 90.
Tomorrow looks very
favorable with wind SE blowing from shore out to sea.
10 to 15 knots, then diminishing to 10 knots or less is
the wind and wave forecast.
over 2 weeks since I went fishing. Hope to rectify
this situation shortly. Need photos for a planned
major article debuting in early winter. Testing of new 2011
tackle is definitely in order as soon the lake
Capt. Bud Raskey's secret on pulling sewn minnows will
be revealed soon. All be it may, I already did an
article under his tutelage on this ageless technique.
Bud asked me not to reveal one important step.
With Bud being part of the lore and woven into the
fabric of Great Lakes fishing for well over 60 years,
I'm sure he wouldn't mind.
Today's featured photo is Super Mag Meat Head
that I've been using all this season. This meat
head has taken close 2 dozen fish in 2010.
I'm proud to share
with you the scratches and dents had to be earned from fish chewing on
this Super Magnum Meat Head.
Click gnawed up meat
Beginning tomorrow the wind is finally supposed to lay
down. We've had about a week of what seems like
gale force blows everyday. This Friday looks
reel-good with predicted 1 footers and so does this
Saturday. Sunday is tolerable at 1 to 3s.
Capt. Bud Raskey
|9/8/10 Supplemental: There's a
brand new star shining in the fish god's heaven
today. This bright star signifies our
former living legend and my friend, Capt. Bud Raskey
successfully completed life's journey at 7am on
Tuesday, September 7, 2010.
There's way too many wonderful things
to say about this great man and I'm too grief
stricken to even try right now. Bud was in his
84th year and a member of the Freshwater Fishing
Hall of Fame. Funeral plans are below about
visitation at Herbert Funeral Home here in
Visitation will be held this Friday
from 2 to 4pm, then again at 7 to 9 pm at Herbert
Funeral Home on 706 Kosciusko, Manistee, MI.
Funeral will be held this Saturday at 10am with a one
hour visitation from 9am to 10am at Guardian Angels
Church, 371 5th St.
Capt. Bud is survived by 2
daughters and 2 sons, along with his life companion
9/7/10 It's no secret
Labor Day signals the unofficial end of summer, but we
still have plenty of good fishing for adult Salmon left
on the 2010 September calendar.
Gone is the summer
hoard of bumper boats, lines at the launch ramp, & long
delays at the fish cleaning tables. For the
flexible fisherman now is the time to go.
featured photo is a double header from one year ago.
Proving there's a good fishery for the anglers who want
to get more days on the big pond. Just your
fishing trips based on a favorable forecast.
9/8/09 double header
had their hopes up for big Salmon catching shindig this
past holiday weekend to close out the season? ...went
home discouraged by high winds & heavy seas.
9/6/10 Factoring in the
recent blow days prior to this Labor Day this has to be
some kind of record for extreme rough water.
Here's the NOAA offshore wave forecast:
MONDAY...SW WINDS 15 TO 25 KT. CHANCE OF SHOWERS.
WAVES 4' TO 7'
MONDAY NIGHT...S WINDS 15 TO 25 KT INCREASING TO
GALES TO 35 KT. WAVES 3' TO 5' BUILDING TO 5' TO
TUESDAY...SW GALES TO 35 KT INCREASING TO GALES
TO 40 KT.
CHANCE OF SHOWERS. WAVES 10' TO 14' FT.
TUESDAY NIGHT...W GALES TO 40 KT BECOMING NW TO
30 KT. WAVES 10' TO 14'.
WEDNESDAY...NW WINDS TO 30 KT DIMINISHING TO 10
TO 15 KT. WAVES 4' TO 7' SUBSIDING TO 3' TO 5' IN THE
9/5/10 After yesterday's
high winds, rain, with temps in the 40, 50s, and the low
60s ...came to the conclusion this might be one of the
most miserable Labor Day
Weekends in several years. Fleet might get a
chance to fish today. Waves are supposed to
subside by later this afternoon. Seas are
diminishing from 3' to 5' to a more tolerable 2' to 3'.
9/4/10 After checking out
the NOAA wind and wave forecast it's gonna be a crap
shoot when the fleet finally does get a chance to fish.
Today's N gale
force wind will be followed by Sunday's W (15-20 knots)
switching to Monday's SW (15-25, then increasing to 30
knots towards midnight).
If there is a
silver lining to this bigtime crazy, mixed-up all
compass-points blow we're experiencing now? ...2 things
that come to mind:
1. It's the
reel-fact Lk. MI is staying so stirred up, reel-cold
surface temps for prolonged periods might not happen.
N wind makes surface temps in the 50s, or lower meaning
adult Salmon will be migrating up the rivers and streams
in full force!
2. The fleet is not
decimating the fish population and our ports are
reloading with fish. Making better odds when the
fleet gets their next shot at the fish.
back on August 2010 my fishing trips was limited to 3
times due to several factors. Being on the pond
lots of days and prompt shipping of tackle orders
associated with my tackle business do not go hand in
hand. Instead of being bummed about not fishing
much, it's a bunch better to appreciate the times I did
get to go. Enjoying the fishing memories & who I
fished is a good mind cure that cannot be bought!
9/3/10 Sustained wind
exceeding 30 mph has been pummeling Ludington's Big
Point Sable since 2am last night. This equates to
5' to 8' seas. At 2pm this afternoon a gale
warning will come into effect with west wind increasing
to plus 40mph ...waves 9' to 14'!
Turning blow days
into useful fishing days can be done by fishing
alternative bodies of water. Grand Traverse Bay in
Traverse City is protected from E, W, & S winds.
Only a hard N blow will make this long sliver of water a
challenge to fish.
Most all deep water
inland lakes in northern MI have Lake Trout populations.
14'-16' boats can easily fish the larger rivers like the
St. Joe, Grand, Muskegon, & Manistee.
South blows make
Glen Arbor and excellent choice for the trailer boats
under 25'. Frankfort's E & W Platte Bays offer shelter
from hard south blow if you can get past Point Betsie,
...then be willing to fight huge seas on your return
trip back towards Frankfort.
cleaning your boat making sure everything is ultra ready
when the wind does lay down is a helluva lot better than
fishing out of an ill prepared vessel.
Just sitting on
shore watching the wind blow sucks. Do something
creative to add days to your fishing season.
Anglers get so focused on one port ...they lose sight of
the many choices in places to fish around our freshwater
seas, the majestic Great Lakes!!!!
9/2/10 Email testimonial about the new 2011 stimulus 12"
"John, Used your new
Stimulus flasher today out of Manistee. Ran it on
the center rigger at 115 down. All I can say is hail to
the chief....we caught 9 fish and missed a few others on
that flasher between 9 and 11am.
outpaced the Black Mamba which has been the best on our
boat. Just Awesome!!! Thanks, Jason Decker First
First Class Charters"
Starting tomorrow the wind is gonna blow hard and come
full circle by Monday. Labor Day is east wind
preceded by NW ...making the harbors magnets for Salmon
and hoards Salmon fishermen. This is known as
harbor patrol, aka combat fishing with many boats in a
small area. Patience and courtesy go a long ways
for this style of fishing.
website member, Chaos aka Steve E was wrecking havoc on
the fish population off the Port of Pentwater, MI.
Steve took a nice mix of fish, 17 on one trip to be
exact using my flashers & flies exclusively. Steve
uses the 12 inchers and flies on his riggers. The
BTI 10" flashers are standard equipment on his divers.
you're not familiar with Pentwater, it's about 10 miles
south of the highly popular Port of Ludington, MI.
for 8/31/10 Pentwater catch
9/1/10 Wind is the largest
concern for this coming Labor Day Holiday 2010.
Lk. MI open waters forecast for Friday and Saturday is
not good. This coming Sunday is looking tolerable.
There is E wind predicted to swing to NW. This
means if the lake cools down enough there will be Kings
in Manistee's harbor in the not too distant future.
Manistee Charter boat the Sue Lee fished yesterday in 6
footers at his customers request. Capt. Tom R
called me to report holding speed was tough and he
caught fish with the new 2011 stimulus flasher pulling
the new UV 3 squid meat rig.
Tom said he took fish at 100', 110', and a 120 down'.
His down-speed was approaching almost 3 mph in wind
gusts exceeding 20 knots. He had good words for
the new 12" Firedot flasher and meat rigs too.
Sometime today, Capt. Chucks Tackle in Ludington, MI will have the new
hot selling 2011 4 color 12 inch pearl flashers in stock. Fish it
deep in 38 to 48 degree water and after 9am to give your mid-morning
program reel-stimulus. While the actual reel-nickname implies
novelty, it's fish production rivals, ...or exceeds any flasher we have.
8/31/10 Today's featured
photo is courtesy of website member, Larry M. It's
a heck of a nice rack of Lakers and a couple of
Steelhead from Grindstone City, MI.
impresses me about Larry's photograph is these Lake
Huron Lake Trout are nice filled-out plump chunky fish.
Click for Larry's 8/29/10 Lk. Huron catch
like the skinny Lakers I saw in 2004 with large
over-grown heads and slender tapering bodies.
Looks like the forage base in Lk. Huron is on the build.
official ...the hot selling semi secret
stimulus flasher is a huge hit. Since it's
introduction about 10 days ago, it's outsold our Black
Mamba in the month of August. To clarify: the new
flasher surpassed the Black Mamba's 4 weeks of sales in
only 10 days!
Yesterday morning Manistee charter vessel, "Reel
Pleasure" took 5 Kings on this new 12" flasher during
the late morning time span of 9am-10am. The base
of this flasher blade is our expensive industry leading
pearl colorant. As a whole ...the tackle industry
seems to ignore pearl due to cost issues. Broadly
used plain-Jane white colorant is 1/3 to 1/2 expense of
pearl when it comes to injection molded tackle.
a kaleidoscope of 4 contrasting air brushed colors on this deadly highly UV sensitive
flasher. Restocked Shipwatch Marina and Tangled
Tackle stores yesterday and will be restocking their
supplies again today. Yes, there's that much
The new and unseen 2011 stimulus flasher is on it's way
to Capt. Chuck's in Ludington, MI today and will be on
their tackle shelves tomorrow.
8/30/10 Visited the Little
Manistee River Harvest Weir yesterday around 6pm.
This was to check-out the numbers of adult Kings that
have ran the river. Much to my surprise there was
less than 100 Salmon at this Salmon capture/egg taking
This is excellent
news, cuz 99% of the 2010 crop of adult Kings is still
in Lake Michigan waiting to be caught.
Click for 8/29/10 Salmon at the harvest weir
Checked out 6 Mile
Bridge on the Little Manistee River above the weir and
there were no Kings to be seen. So, it's not like
a early big run entered this river undetected.
The dark shadows in
today's photo shows the sparse number of Salmon in the
river. This means an extended fishery well past
Labor Day and beyond.
Generally, the 1st
cold gulley washer in Sept. draws the Salmon into the
rivers by the droves. Needless to say, this ends
the open water Lk. MI adult King Salmon fishery.
Little Manistee Harvest Weir from Stronach, MI cannot be
done. There's a bridge out. Other routes
involve many miles of bumpy washboard dirt roads.
8/29/10 Yesterday's report:
South of Big Point Sable wind was a slightly less than
what the Manistee fleet had to contend with. S
wind started pushing 20 knots by 10am & laid down a
little by sunset. As of 12am last night wind off
Manistee has picked back up.
Frankfort's Benzie Frenzy
Tournament concludes today. We have at least 4
website members fishing this event and I should have the
reel-story on how this tourney went soon..
Frankfort. MI is only out done with bottom structure by
Leland, MI with 5 distinctive place to fish. Lower
Herring Lake Hole, "the bank" towards Point Betsie, 6
mile hole, East, and West Platte Bay are all places for
the Port of Frankfort anglers.
8/28/10 NOAA wind and wave
forecast is not good for the trailer boat fleet:
PENTWATER TO MANISTEE MI- 339
PM EDT FRI AUG 27 2010
SMALL CRAFT ADVISORY IN EFFECT THROUGH SATURDAY
TONIGHT...SW WINDS 15 TO 25 KNOTS. CLEAR. WAVES 3 TO 5
SATURDAY...SW WINDS 15 TO 20 KNOTS. SUNNY. WAVES 2 TO 4
SATURDAY NIGHT...S WINDS 10 TO 20 KNOTS. CLEAR. WAVES 2
TO 4 FEET.
SUNDAY...SOUTH WINDS 10 TO 15 KNOTS. SUNNY. WAVES 1 TO 3
8/27/10 Fishing news from
Manistee is encouraging. This past Tuesday ...day
of the full moon was a toughie for the Manistee fleet
for the most part. Wednesday was lumpy with wind
from the north and temp break (thermocline) came up to
only 20' to 30' down.
catch numbers from yesterday? From a handful to
low double figures.
...best describes the fleet's action yesterday.
caught in the harbor out to past the 300 foot depths.
50' to 60' of water on Manistee's shelf was decent
too with a few adult Coho making their presence known.
Look for temp to be driven much deeper with the stiff
breezes from the S and SW predicted thru next Monday.
photo of the box of fish we took fishing off N Manitou
last Monday morning. The new Firedot in the 10 and
12 inch sizes is earning it keep. The UV Squid Rig
in 2 & 3 fly versions teams with the Firedots extremely
Click our Manitou fish box
the QT stimulus flasher I was speaking of yesterday?
This new one works with the Undertaker 3 Fly Meat Rig.
It's best put to use around, or after 9am on a deep
rigger set. Therefore, adding another tool to your
arsenal of off-peak bite weapons.
8/26/10 Have a new flasher
pattern that is showing signs of going viral. I
dare not show a photo, cuz demand is already wearing me
out. This new color can be purchased at Tangled
Tackle and Shipwatch Marina here in Manistee. If
you're Salmon program needs bailing out, or some
stimulus? ...then send this new one down at 9am.
afternoon the wind is switching to the S, or SW for the
next several days. Be prepared to fish reel-deep,
as wind from this direction will really stack up the
warm water along the eastern shore of Lake Michigan.
featured photo is from St. Joe taken 2 days ago on
8/24/10. It shows a mixed bag catch that includes
a 20 lb. Lake Trout. Our next generation of big
water anglers, Anthony and Tyler were fishing with their
Click for this catch
8/25/10 One of the
greatest advantages of owning a trailerable boat is
visiting different ports of call. Seeing fresh
places & testing yourself to conquer a new port has it's
own rewards. With that thought in mind, fishing
Leland last Monday was an excellent way for me to refill
my internal self-happiness tank to the brim.
Click W side of N & S Manitou
Hindsight is always 20/20 and mine kicks in well after
the fact. Putting 2 & 2 together on the 8/23/10
Leland event our west troll ...while not red hot, was
productive with a bite about every 15 minutes and even a
chance at a double.
when I turned east things went to hell in a hand basket.
If I'd have been more on the ball? After 30 minutes of no Bitesville on the east troll?
It would have been far more time efficient for us to pull
lines and run E to our point of beginning. Then
retrace the W productive troll. Instead of beating
on a dead horse (east troll) for better than 90 minutes
with zero action.
Click Roger C holding a John J Rig
this pull lines and run tactic had not worked? It
would have been better than stuck in the morass of
indecision with a rapidly declining patience meter.
8/24/10 Yesterday, Roger,
Jerry & I fished N Manitou Island off Leland, MI.
We began fishing around 9am and boxed our first King
shortly thereafter. Action was acceptable thru
11am (boxed 6) when the wind shifted to due east and we
lost the bite entirely. Besides, E wind is always
darn good excuse when skills at staying on top of fish
...is sorely lacking.
was to launch out of Glen Arbor and fish the west side
of the reef off south end of S Manitou Island, but
predicted wind from the north cheesed this idea. N wind
makes retrieving your boat at the Glen Arbor's
unprotected ramp a reel-risky deal.
Our best bait
was the John J Rig down the chute triple aces (111')
over 150' to 250' feet of water. We fished this
very same area about 2 weeks ago and maintained a 5 bite
an hour average from 1:15pm thru 3:30pm.
Click Jerry's 9am King off N Manitou
middle of the day Kings off Leland will hit, if you can
find them? When compared to our 8/9/10 event we
marked a whole lot less fish off the north island.
To be continued tomorrow with photos of our the hot rigs & the W
side of N Manitou.
8/23/10 Labor Day is 2 weeks
away. Regretfully, my August Lk. MI fishing trip
meter is stuck on twice. That's downright pitiful.
Especially, seeing I live about 15 miles from the
Manistee, MI boat launch. Just where in the heck
did this summer go?
is next weekend. Frankfort, MI has always been a
leader and is carrying that tradition forward with no
complex multi-specie tournament formulas. It weigh
your best 2 daily MDNR license limits. So, 10
Kings is OK. I applaud Frankfort's wisdom and
creating a level playing field.
8/22/10 Seems the fishing
improved over the course of last week for Manistee, MI.
Early and late bite is going strong as of lately and
that's good news!
forgetting to mention this, but the hot selling Leland
Puke 12" flashers has had a product upgrade. This flasher is
now being built on a Sparkler blade with the added
The backside is taped with same style tape, as the
glitter in the Sparkler flasher does not allow enough
transparency. Added cost of the pricey glitter
colorant and second backside piece of lure tape from WTP
was done with no price hike.
If you look
reel-closely on the flashers laying on top of a box of
fish, the first one on the furthest left is the upgraded
Leland Puke 12" flasher.
Click for this photo
8/21/10 When I update this
website at 4:40am the wind was gusting from the SSE, or
S at 16-19 knots. Transposed into mph is approx.
18 to 22. NOAA's forecast is 10-15 knots which
means the difference of 1 to 3 footers growing to
uncomfortable 2 to 4 foot seas.
With all the
aids modern day big water anglers have, reliable wind
and wave forecasts are sorely lacking. Granted the
wave forecast are dead-on part of the time. But
what about a fisherman trailering his boat a 100 miles
only to find out the waves are too miserable to fish?
You'd think in this day and age there'd be more accurate
wave predictions. Instead of the crap shoot it is
8/20/10 Good luck to all
fishing this weekend. Bring extra patience with
you and apply it with care when the boat ramp zoo starts
driving you nuts.
(Sat.) looks like a blow day until late afternoon for
Manistee, MI. Sun. might be OK if it lays down to 1 to 3 footers.
1 to 2s predicted for this coming Monday.
new UV Squid in 2 & 3 fly versions at:
The UV gathering properties in these new squids is off
the scale. They seem to glow with a bizarre purple to
bluish tint once they hit the water!
new Squid Rig
introductory pricing makes this ground breaking Squid
Rig even more attractive. Granted there are no
squid in the Great Lakes, but evolution over the eons in
the Pacific Ocean has ingrained squid as a basic food
source for Salmon.
the late 1990s and early i2ks I experimented with tiny
squids in building meat rigs. These proved not to
have the mass needed to perform consistently like the
larger ones we're using now on the brand new 2011 UV
8/19/10 You know ...we've
just scratched the surface on running mini attracting
flies, or squids ahead of a meat head 3 Fly Meat
Rigs have only been around for a little over 10 years.
What makes these rigs work is a irresistible moving mass
of commotion that entices lazy negative and neutral fish
to bite. Plus, nature's natural scent of bait
Created a new
squid rig that showed great promise on our 8/9/10 trip
to Leland, MI's N Manitou Island. We had 2 diver
bites and at least 3 rigger hits during our early
afternoon off-peak bite hours of 1:15pm until 3:30pm.
purchase the exact Firedot flasher & 3 Squid UV Rig as a
Combo Deal at my webstore at a lowball introductory
price of 25.99.
Click for new Combo Deal
properties in these new squids must be seen to be fully
appreciated. These new UV squids are made in the
Click un-retouched UV squid photo
experiencing a welcome respite from the heat wave with
temps at, or pushing 90 degrees at my place.
Factor in the high humidity and it's been too muggy to
really enjoy outside activities.
For the past
3, or 4 days west wind has dominated the waters off
Manistee, MI. As long as there's not a lot of N in
it, ...west wind is very favorable for our side of the
pond. West wind reloads the biomass with bait.
Where there's bait, the predatory fish will be found.
The recent blows off central Lk. Michigan ports is just
what the doctor ordered to improve our fishery for adult
Today's featured photo was made possible by website member,
This image shows a stocky King with a large
girth according to his hand held scale over 22 pounds. Do not have
all the vitals on this fish, but it came deep (over 100' down) off the
Port of Onekama, MI this past Sat. 8/14/10.
Click for 22
size used to be a common occurrance thru 2003. Not so anymore, as
any King Salmon over 20 pounds nowadays is considered a good fish.
Is a depleted
gene pool, or the amount of bait driving the size of today's Kings?
That question is better answered by those with more knowledge on this
subject than me!
One thing I
have noticed over the 5 plus decades I've been in quest of Great Lakes
Salmon and Trout is ...heat shock is no longer killing many adult
Kings as they enter the harbors and rivers. Our strain
transplanted Pacific Ocean Salmon have adapted to the warm summer bath
water. There are a few Kings at the Little Manistee Weir now.
sophisticated big water angler likes choices. What
that reel-fact in mind, our trolling flies have 3 hook
style options and 2 different types of leader material.
Mono or fluorocarbon with fluoro being a dollar upgrade
due to it's cost.
As far as I
know, this is another world first where you can create
your own tackle and have it your way!
Click for webstore trolling fly page
Manistee, MI was a tough nut to crack this past weekend.
The trailer boat fleet really struggled. Adult
Kings off Manistee were as scarce as hen's teeth.
While I know
not ...what the problem is, this I know for sure.
Out of temperature adult Kings get reel-stubborn as the
water climbs much above 70 degrees.
With the trap
netting fiasco of 2007 behind Manistee many have
returned to fish this port. Additional extremely
heavy boat traffic is not helping the situation either.
8/15/10 To those
unfamiliar with my product line, today's photo shows
what I discussed yesterday, a John J Combo Rig. To be
exact it's an Undertaker 3 Fly Meat Rig being towed by a
12" X-Glow King Kryptonite flasher. This
combination is deadly on your deepest rigger and you've
probably seen this team of fish killers shown on
this website before.
The setup on this
photo shows website member, Bob K. aka Getaway
displaying a King that photographed larger than it
actually is on 8/9/10. This fish is only a few
ounces over 16 pounds. All be it may ...it looks
Bob K with John J Rig
8/14/10 Kinda got a kick
out of today's featured photo showing John J doing a net
job with a John J Combo Rig named in his honor. JJ
has netted a pile of fish for me on his namesake rig,
but usually I can't take a photo with a fishing stick in
interesting reel-fact for those newer to big water
fishing. Once the fish is firmly planted in the
bag of the net, hoist the net straight up in the air by
the handle. This saves bending, or breaking a good
net. Always keeping in
mind, most nets have a long handle and are made from thin-wall light aluminum.
Click John J net job
An added benefit by
lifting the net straight up in the air is the net handle does not become
a weapon. Like it does if the net handle points horizontal instead of
8/13/10 Fished Manistee for a couple of hours yesterday
morning before shipping webstore orders. Our
results were lackluster at best. We had lines in
the water from around 7:30am until a little after 10pm.
The total sum of our action was a small King boated and
losing another fish at the net due to a rare equipment
Water temp was 52
degrees at 80' down ...and in the high 40s at 100' down
over 150' fow. John J and I went N to the 19 to 22
numbers & worked 125'-275' of water. We seen
exactly 3 other fish caught in a situation where the
boats outnumbered the Salmon!
flotilla is out in full-force. Please exercise
ramp courtesy by having your vessel ready to launch when
you get an open dock. Click
8/12/10 Stymied by the lack of a decent internet connection.
This is coming to you via a very slow 26.4 dialup
connection. My satellite internet access is down again.
Word from Manistee
is good and seems to be improving every day. Heard
of a lot of excellent catches in double figures so far ...this
a more thorough fishing report from Manistee by
8/11/10 As promised, ...today's featured photo helps explain
what makes Leland, MI a excellent port to fish for the
experienced Great Lakes angler. It's the one
single boat ramp and lack of parking that holds the
located N of Frankfort and S of Charlevoix on Lk. MI's E
shore. It's my gut feeling this port has no more
fish than the better known MI ports further S.
Lack of boat pressure keeps the Leland King Salmon far
less spooky when compared to the zoo off Points Sable,
Click Leland's single boat ramp
meaning natural fish fences abound off this port with
numerous underwater hills and valleys due to the
proximity of N & S Manitou Islands. This is not a
port for the smaller boat fisherman. Even in my 22
footer ...I felt way under-gunned running the best part
of 20 miles out to the tip of N Manitou Is on 8/9/10.
a fish about every 15 minutes in the worst possible
off-peak time frame of 1pm to 3:30pm last Monday
involving 3 hours of travel each way. 2 hours to
Leland pulling a boat. Then about hour out to N
new Firedot 10" & 12" flashers
for this short fishing trip? We got the
photographic proof needed for the newly débuted and
resurrected deadly Firedots. During my charter
skipper days of 1980s and 1990s ...I caught more Salmon
on this lethal pattern, than all the rest combined.
It's only natural for me to want this fish whacker
supreme, as part of my tackle lineup!
8/10/10 Today's update actually began at 5am Sunday morning
with me building tackle. So, I could free up part
of yesterday. John J, Bob K and I fished Leland,
MI's North Manitou Island from 1pm until we hit our last
fish at 3:30pm.
Click 2011 Firedot, or Bozo
Our goal was
get photos of the new 2011 Firedot color in action.
This new color was King stud both on the riggers and
port diver. Accounting for 5 of our 10 bites.
Our hits came
at 80, 90, & 110 feet down on the riggers. Port
mag wire diver was hot with 150' of line out dialed on 1
1/2 with a Firedot BTI & new 2011 UV meat rig.
We boxed 8
fish in our 2 1/2 hour mid-day adventure.
Obviously, there's a lot more to this flasher world debut
& reel-story that will be discussed in greater detail
Tomorrow's update reveals the secret of what makes
Leland, MI a great port.
8/9/10 Need to postpone this morning's update until I
research some worthy info. Everything I have it
just bits and pieces ...awaiting confirmation from
suggest, a click to my tips and tricks section that
cover a wide variety of topics. All
pertinent to this time of the season.
Click for Tips & Tricks
I promise you
a far better update tomorrow when all my ducks are in a
row! Tomorrow's topic? Hard work is said to
have never killed anyone, ...but why risk it?
to tune in tomorrow of how our afternoon went out of
Leland today. 3 new products will be introduced to
the world too!
Click 8/9/10 Leland Kings
Yesterday's fishing news from Manistee is mediocre
from the trailer boat fleet. Word was ...it was
not easy and increased fleet pressure did not enhance
At this time
of the season longer boat runs from port will mean less
fished waters. Problem with August this is the
where greenhorns with a bad case of "Salmon Fever" pull
some incredible stupid stunts trying to maintain a
dictates long distance programs like copper and lead
core lines should never be used until the fleet has
spread out after 9 to 10am.
to make constant course corrections to keep other boats
from sawing off your full cores, or a 300' of copper is
not worth the hassle. Greif arises from the boats
in 250' or water not catching wanting to move in
shallower. Then, the boats in the 100' depths with
little action wanting to go out deeper looking for
8/7/10 From the looks of the main feeder highways into
Manistee, MI ...it's gonna be a busy weekend. Had
to run some errands yesterday and it seemed like every
10th vehicle was pulling a boat rigged for Salmon
trolling. Prime time for
adult Kings is now!
Good luck to
all fortunate enough to be fishing this weekend. This
morning sounded like it was gonna be a tad lumpy, but
Sunday into next week looks very tolerable.
Website member, chaos aka Steve E has been putting
the hurt on the Kings off Leland, MI. On 8/4/10
they boxed 15 King Salmon. 13 of their fish came
off a 2 rigger spread. Weapons deployed were
12" flashers towing the BTI Fly and X-Glow Sea Green
trolling flies. Undertaker 12 incher got an
honorable mention too.
Team chaos borrowed
the hang hooks from Fish Town's Manitou Charter Fleet
brag board to show off their catch.
Click 8/4/10 Leland 15 Kings
came fairly deep, like 145' to 160' down.
Back a few
days ago I said Steve does an awesome job with my
flashers and flies. Today's update proves this
reel-fact. On my count, Steve E has had his new
boat out 3 times. 7, 7, and 15 fish are
respectable numbers learning the quirks of a new
weekend we're stocking the Leland Puke, X-Glow Frogs,
Monkey Puke, King Purple ...etc. in both the 12 inchers
and BTIs at Manistee's new tackle shop.
Brandon at the Tangled Tackle store can be reached at
(231) 887-4242. This new tackle store is N of
Manistee's US 31 drawbridge on the W side of US 31.
8/5/10 Today's topic pertains to the many
choices we have in color selections. Which ones are best?
What colors produce all season long? How in the heck do I put the
right stuff down for maximum fish output?
Click 2008 vs. 2009 tackle comparisons
My basic "go
to" colors are shown on this website time and time again. I do not
try to confuse the issue, or make things more complicated with a new set
of colors every time I go. Sticking with the tried and true:
Mambas, X-Glow Frog, King Kryptonite, King Purple and Monkey Puke will
rack up a lot of fish fatalities. Providing there's fish under
your vessel. Most look to colors as the reason for not catching.
When in reality it is your boat's location, speed, or targeted depths
where reel-problem lays!
8/4/10 Today's photo is from Jim R aka Blue Rhino who
fishes out of Algoma, WI. Here's what Jim had to
say, "Just thought I'd relay a picture of my
daughter's first salmon trip. Three of us boated 21
kings in 3 days. 16.60 being the biggest.
Our biggest contributor
was the BTI Blue Bubble 2 fly rig on a dipsy. Couldn't
keep it in the water at times.
Click for Jim's
daughter Kim & her King
The night of August
24th (Tuesday), 2010 is our next full moon. I plan
on pulling the night shift again and hope to duplicate
the results we had on 7/26/10. It was fun fishing
in the dark and zero traffic makes night-time ...my
A 26 lb. King Salmon graces the home page of this
website thru the courtesy of website member, Mike R.
Recently Mike and his Team Fishigan competed in a
tournament held in Bluffers Park, Ont. on Lake Ontario.
Click Mike's 26 lb. Lk. Ontario King
the central Lk. MI ports of Ludington, Manistee and
Frankfort depends on who you talk to. Some had
fine catches while others struggled. Sunset bite
9:30pm leading into full night has produced the best
importance of today's featured photo cannot be stressed enough.
Introducing our younger generation to the sport of big water fishing and
putting reel-grins on their young faces goes way beyond wonderful.
The future of
our sport lays in the hands of the fine looking young men in the 3 part
image proudly displaying their catch like seasoned veterans.
The setup on
this photo begins on the first bank or drop-off about 2 miles W of
Leland, MI. Knowledgeable skipper Steve E. aka website member,
Chaos boxed 7 Kings in the middle of the day. Mostly by fishing to
depths pushing 200' down. Steve does an awesome job with my
flashers and flies.
Click for Team
fly on the wall, I'm willing to bet it was a party watching this future
generation of dedicated Great Lakes anglers wrestle their fish to the
8/1/10 There's a new tackle
store in Manistee, MI. Tangled Tackle Company is now
carrying my tackle. In business
location-location-location is everything. TTC wins
the location contest with large parking lot that can
accommodate trailer boats. They open early &
carrying herring. If you need more info from this
tackle shop call (231) 887-4242.
Shipwatch Marina on the river/channel across, or north
from the Riverside Motel has a selection of my product
line and sells herring too.
photo is from the underbelly of MI's UP. Fairport,
MI is semi-close to the WI state line and borders the N
end of Lk. MI.
Fairport, MI Kings
thanks to Mike S. for sending his photos. His
larger fish are very chunky with a thick girth.
Fairport has best fed fish Lk. MI Kings I've seen all
Good bye July as the 2010 season is just zooming by!
Scary thought is we've only got about a good six weeks
left for adult Salmon.
Yesterday, I mentioned about how charter skippers run
big numbers of fish. The reason is more obvious
than most people think. It's because they have a
larger crew (paying customers) that can handle 2, or 3
fish at a time ...easily!
deckhand unhooks, sets lines, and boxes fish. This
leave time for the wheelman (usually the charter
skipper) to concentrate on where the fish are (depths)
on the sonar/graph. Also, the wheelman notes the
lat/lons, or marks fish on the GPS.
During the evening of 7/26/10 we went thru a spell
dealing with 4 Kings almost at once. 2 people
handling this kind of action is a major handicap.
We lost time untangling rods & resetting. It would
have been far better if we'd have hit 2 doubles.
close the last week in July by wishing everyone a double
helping of good luck if you're fishing the big water
a whole lot more to fishing than just sticking hooks
into a fish, ...then cranking him in. It's ALL
about FUN and enjoying the moment!
a bunch easier to do if your mesh with your fishing
partners. This was the case with me last Monday
when I had a chance to meet and fish with Matt B from
the heat is on ...and with my years in the charter
business I tend to get short and direct about what needs
to be done. Especially, when dealing with multiple
fish and fast paced action. There's a way to do
this without being overly offensive.
fishin' buddy, Matt B aka Bushleaguer on our message board
understood exactly where I was coming from and was a joy
to fish with.
Wonder how charter skippers run big numbers of fish?
This secret revealed tomorrow!
know what Bacterial Kidney Disease looks like?
Then check out today's featured photo from last Monday
night. Our smallest King, a 5 pounder had white
goobers (for lack of a better word) in it's kidney.
A Salmon kidney is dark blood-red and kinda liver
colored running the length of the backbone up inside the
almost wiped out our King Salmon fishery back in the
later 1980s leading into the early 1990s. The MDNR
finally got a handle on this fish killing plague by
sterilizing their hatcheries & mass inoculations of
young Salmon. Click
The particulars of the 7/26/10 midnight run begins with
the Salmon were north up towards Onekama from Manistee
(20 to 23 N numbers).
Set up in 250' with
good temp in the low 50s in the 60' to 70' range in the
high 19s. Trolled NW for one hour. This
brought us out to 370 fow, as I was lining up to put the
sun behind our baits on a long eastward troll towards pier
heads of Onekama.
Soon as we
turned eastward, we dinged a single. Then another
single before all hell broke loose with an onslaught of
4 rampaging Kings on a hard bite!
With extra luck
on our side all 4 made it to the boat somehow? A
pair of fishermen
dealing with 4 fish at dark-time while thrilling ...is no easy matter!!!
Depth on the
riggers transposed to normal readings were probably 125'
to 60'. I have 350' of a special no-hum 125# test
cable & my readings will differ from most of you.
Noteworthy is the bite tapered off after we boxed our
last fish at around 11pm. Made several
observations about night fishing I'll share with you in
Tomorrow's update will cover how fast we make new
fishin' buddies when you're put to the test of a hectic
new fishin' buddy Matt B's teener King
7/27/10 Got a heck of an
interesting update in store for you about our full moon
night fishing adventure out of Manistee, MI last
It went much
better ...than I ever could have hoped for! We pulled
the plug around midnight with a decent box of 8 kings
that almost filled a 100 quart fish box.
going to have to wait until tomorrow for the vitals on
our sneak attack night assault on Mr. King Salmon.
for our twilight 4 banger
with work right now, but find time to post a photo of
our 7/26/10 hot rigs. All old tried and true
Click 7/26/10 night box of Kings
7/26/10 Fishing is a matter
of strong contradictions. Try as I may, not to
think about the probably unsolvable ...this came to
mind: our best selling meat rig (Monkey Puke) exhibits
zero UV properties. Top selling flies (X-Glow Sea
Green & BTI Fly) light up instantly like a Christmas
tree when a black light hits them.
it be that the scent from a natural bait/meat rig bait
overrides a Salmon draw to a highly visually activated
UV artificial bait/lure? Does this indicate
the eyesight of fish takes a backseat to their sense of
kind of conjecture, but do our Great Lakes fish feed
more from natural scent trail and their lateral line
perception ...than they do from sight? Guess we'll
never know. Proving some things in our universe
are meant to be an eternal mystery.
7/25/10 The most reactive to
black lighting is my X-Glow BTI and Sea Green trolling
flies. Now, there's no reason to wonder why both
of these flies are the most popular.
While these 2
patterns have glow Mylar in them, the black light lit
these up instantly, ...as today's remarkable photo
Click and see for yourself
This image is
100% reel, not tampered with in any way, or by any
computer photo enhancing program. All my glow in
the dark images are never retouched!
7/24/10 Used a mini black
light to see which color reacted most in an un-retouched
photo with NO color manipulation. Black light goes
by ultraviolet, or UV.
To quote Wikipedia:
"Ultraviolet (UV) light is electromagnetic radiation
with a wavelength shorter than that of visible light,
but longer than x-rays."
conditions UV is undetectable. The only thing UV
has to do with fishing is UV light will penetrate the
water deeper. Glow and X-Glow benefit most from
UV, as this kind of light will charge up the glow in any
Click UV lit meat heads
In my test
our fluorescent chartreuse & blue colorants reacted most favorable to
black light. Surprisingly, HRP & red tiger took on an eerie glow and
stood out too.
black lights can make lures looking interesting.
However, in the reel-world we do not have disco black
lighting focused on our lures a 100' down.
outlandish claims to what a fish can, or cannot see is
better left to the ignorant, cuz a honest man will tell
you ...we just don't know!
7/23/10 Good luck to all fishing
today and those getting ready for this weekend. Wind
and Wave forecast is a mixed up deal between winds from
5-10 knots up to 25 knots.
Possibility of thunderstorms on Saturday.
This Sunday looks like the best day this coming weekend
with favorable winds light winds from the N switching NE
at 5-10 knots.
One of the hottest topics on our message
board concerns last weekend's Ludington, MI tournament.
Under threat of protest the supposed winning boat was
allowed to withdraw instead of facing a stronger penalty
of being banned from all future competition. Granted,
tough choices face tournament committees.
In 1987, or 1988 I fished the Lowrance
Ludington big deal tournament and finished 9, or 10th.
Winning boat was allowed to weigh their catch without
any penalty in spite of being inside the pier heads way
past the allotted time on day II.
My solution was never to fish another
Ludington tournament again! Accusations run rampant in
all competitive fishing events. Could this be the
reason Great Lakes contests are stuck in limbo and not
moving forward with better payouts?
To clarify my point in 1987-1988 the pro
winner was awarded 10 grand for the Ludington Lowrance
tourney. In 2010 first in this event paid a shrinking &
reel-story for you today. Greg C lives in IL, but
has been fishing Lk. Ontario off Toronto. His
results have been stellar on Kings. Huge by our
Lk. MI standards. Half his total is over 25 lbs. per
fish & Greg's largest so far ...is around 37 pounds.
more fascinating is a goodly percentage of Greg's hog
Kings are coming on a new and yet undisclosed
secret meat rig.
Click King way over 30 lbs.
get out soon to confirm these new tackle improvements
planned for 2011 are not a flash in the pan by rigorous
testing this month and next.
try night fishing this weekend if the pond's wind gods
cooperate. Full moon is on the 26th, next Monday.
Midnight sleepy-time Salmon should be fun!
7/21/10 Today's featured
photo is from the Port of Pentwater, MI. This port
is fairly close to Little Point Sable with great bottom
structure and fishing. Chris has been doing well
on the larger Salmon with my flashers and flies.
Chris's Pentwater fish
pretty good and Ludington's Big Point Sable too.
Light weekday boat traffic is helping the catch numbers,
but the fish are coming deep.
The pro boat
Z-1 won the Ludington Division I tournament after
skipper Dave Engle withdrew his team Best Chance Too's
boat from this tournament.
Engle's wise move keeps the integrity of this tournament
intact and he is to be congratulated for doing so.
Avoiding a messy protest procedure.
7/20/10 When weather
allowed, fishing was decent out of the Port of Manistee,
MI last weekend. Double figures was not out of
reach with the trailer boat fleet. The common
denominator was 90' down and deeper!
10 Manistee Kings on 7/18/10
Last week and
weekend was Ludington, MI's big tournament week.
Ludington always does things with a little more panache
than Manistee. This town always attracts more anglers
and has a lot to offer. It's said to be the number
1 port in Michigan.
Winner in the pro
division is still undeclared due to a protest for
knocking off fish with the net in a no-cull tournament.
Best Chance Too is the boat under protest.
is a rule designed to eliminate throwing back smaller,
less desirable fish and in some cases fish that are
hooked too deeply to survive. Tossing back Seagull
food for the sake of winning is what no-cull is supposed
or indifferent rules in tournament fishing need to be
re-examined. Cuz proving somebody intentionally speared
a fish off with a net is an awkward, if not an
impossible matter to prove beyond a reasonable doubt.
like this stains competitive fishing. Think not?
...then go to the rules in the pro division where
everyone is considered a cheater. All pro tourney contestants
are required to carry an impartial observer to keep the
lid on dishonesty.
7/19/10 Today's featured
photo is from Mike G taken while fishing out of
Kewaunee, WI. He results with the John J Combo
meat rig/flasher prove results from my tackle easily
transpose from boat to boat with no long learning curve.
Today is one of the
rare occasions featured photos match at the top and
bottom. If you closely examine Mike G's picture
you'll see the skirts on the attractor flies are not
bloused out for maximum effect.
for Mike's box of fish
In case you missed my
7/7/10 update concerning flaring out the flies for an
even more deadly presentation?
Clicking here will retrieve that info
7/18/10 Took a break from
the big lake and went Bass fishing. Mother
Nature had colored my largest Bass with beautiful gold
and green tones. On a ultra-light 5' rod with 6#
test a 2 pound Largemouth can flat out get with the
to taking on Great Lakes fishing in 1968 my big deal was
Bass. Fished several of the southern impoundments,
and TVA waters. With Bass in most cases you have
to set the hook hard ...unlike our big water stuff.
darn exciting to do a Billy Joe-Bob hook set.
Watching this fish dig sideways to me was just like a
Salmon. Proving a fish is a fish, no matter what
kind it is! All fish species share several of the same
Click for Gold-Green Bucketmouth
lead a charmed existence. Years of TV has taught
the public catch and release is the norm with our
country's most popular game fish.
7/17/10 Took yesterday's
update to heart about recreational activities making
life a lot more tolerable. So, I'm taking most of
the weekend off. Regular updates will resume by
Monday, if not sooner. May I suggest the
Encyclopedia of Tips and Tricks section if you're
looking to polish old skills, or gain new ones:
Click for Tips and Tricks
meant to be broken and in that case Manistee, MI's claim
to fame with the world record Brown Trout might be short
fishing out of Racine, WI landed a monster 41.5 pound
Brown Trout yesterday. Hellen was competing in the
Salmon-A-Rama put on by Salmon Unlimited of Wisconsin,
Click potential new world record WI Brown
7/16/10 Good luck to all
fishing this weekend. Recreational activities make
dealing with life's pressures one helluva lot more
tolerable. Getting a way for a few days refreshes
the soul. Temps for the coming weekend are in the low
80s. Lk. MI seas are predicted at 1 to 3s.
Sunday forecast says 50% chance of showers and
thunderstorms. After this Monday thunderstorms are
on the menu thru next Thursday.
Wish I had concrete
fishing info where I could set your boat down on a large
herd of Kings. Truth is fishing has been up and
down off Manistee. Charters with their inside
network are doing decent, but this info is never made
public on the marine radio. All charter vessel
fishing hotspot communications has switched over to cell
7/15/10 According to my
personal calendar we've officially entered into prime
time for King Salmon on our Great Lakes (7/15/10 thru
photo is website member, John J hoisting a King we
caught on a rig named in his honor. The John J Rig
is 12" X-Glow King Kryptonite flasher sporting a 3 fly
Undertaker meat rig. This combo is lethal on deep
for John J Rig
fish photographed larger, it's slightly shy of 12
pounds. From where the mouth hinges the King
Salmon says it's a female.
for this 7/14/10 King
scales and the size of eggs say this fish is an adult.
Could this be a 3 year old spawner the WI DNR has done
confirmed studies on? Click for this fish
7/14/10 Gonna be pushing 90
degrees today in Manistee, MI. Mid season hot
spell is raising the water temp in Lk. Michigan.
Moving the fish to ever great depths. If predicted
above average temps stay the course, Aug-Sept
thermocline is going to reel-deep.
Salmon get reel-stupid at 100 plus feet down.
Dialing in on these fish requires 12 pound cannonballs
and very stiff rigger releases. What worked at 50'
and 70' will not perform when you're towing an attractor
pound cannon balls, because a lot of riggers cannot
handle heavier. To keep my Big Jon Juniors in the
game, I downsized the rigger cable from 150# test to
125# test. My rigger rods are spooled with
Cortland Spectron 35# test that's .010 in diameter.
With these 2 steps reaching 180' to 200' with 12# balls
is within reason.
7/13/10 Let's discuss the
serious problem of extremely high surface temps at this
early date in July. We're way ahead of anything
previously with the surface of Lk. Michigan pushing 80
degrees 2 to 3 miles from shore (seen 78.8 degrees on
The warmest summer
on record was 1988 in central Michigan. I
chartered out of Frankfort, MI back then and we had
surface temperatures in the 80s a lot of the time in
August. Driving the fish deeper and deeper, as we
struggled to catch Kings during the height of the
Bacterial Kidney Disease that ruined the King Salmon
I first used
wire divers that summer, but this history lesson can
wait until the off season. The subject of warm
water is growing the "sea fleas" that stick to your
lines. Especially, the Spectra Braid Super Lines.
The fleas (zooplankton) have not reached epidemic
portions yet where they jam up the line guides.
a form of green mossy algae I have yet to deal with.
This stuff is in the deep water to the shore at
Manistee's Orchard Beach State Park. When I see
some of this algae? ...a photo will be forth coming.
More on warm lake concerns tomorrow.
7/12/10 Sporadic is the best
word to describe what's going on at my home Port of
Manistee, MI. Trailer boat results from last
weekend looked to be around a handful on a morning set.
Afternoon's were semi-lackluster compared to morning
say, I do not get to fish very much. Start out
each season promising myself to fish more. Then
harsh reality sets in, and that says work.
Each order we
receive at the webstore is our chance to impress with
same day shipping and get your package on the way ASAP!
transom's deck and gunnels, but that story is better
saved for tomorrow. I did learn a lot working with
pickup bedliner. This will come in handy at the
end of this season when I redo the floor of my boat.
Click transom upgrade
7/11/10 Fished yesterday
afternoon from 4:30pm until lines up at 9pm. We
had 4 bites boating a small King along with a Steelhead
in the 5-6 lb. bracket. The 2 hits missed were
more like half hearted tugs from fish not on a hard
Click X-Glow Sea Green Fly
glowing reports about Friday morning things sure changed
in a hurry. We ran down to the 4s off Big Point
Sable and trolled N to the 10s in 130 to 200 feet of
water. Never seen one good clump of bait and
marked darn few fish.
is better than no action seeing the last time I was
afloat was a good 2 weeks ago. Spent some of that
time coating the trolling board and transom pieces with
pickup bed liner. You'll see the Steelhead Chuck
aka CBull is holding ...look to the lower-middle right
to see the hard-wearing liner stuff.
Click Chuck's fish & tan bed-liner
7/10/10 Don't have
much for you today, but what I do have is good news!
Yesterday Manistee, MI had it's best day of the year (so
far) on King Salmon. Early fish were tight to the
shelf in 110'-130'. As the morning progressed,
the action shifted more to suspended fish 90'-125' down
on Manistee's shelf (drop-off) in the 150'-250'
How do you
know you're on what the locals call the "shelf?"
From straight out of Manistee S towards Big Point Sable
once you hit 55' fow ...you're on the shelf, or
The super hot
setup for Manistee fleet's was meat. 5 fish limits
were semi-common place. Action at Ludington, MI
is just as good, if not better off Big Point Sable.
7/9/10 Details, details,
details amount to fish tails. Not tales of what
could have been.
This is the case with fluffing out the Mylar skirts on
our 2 and 3 fly meat rigs. Spidering these strands
out adds more mass making meat rigs even more deadly.
cannot hurt the Mylar in our meat rigs. So, bend
them hard against the grain. I've got attractor
flies we first made in 2004 that still look almost brand
Today's featured photo shows an attractor fly being
pulled backwards thru a close hand bending back all
strands in one swift motion. Opening said fly for
an enhanced presentation. The "mass" thing I was
referring to is even more important this season as above
average temperatures drive the fish deeper & deeper.
Reel-facts say deep is in the wheelhouse of attractors
and meat rigs.
Yesterday morning left a lot to be desired
weather-wise for those who tried to fish out of
Manistee, MI. Rain and fog was the deal.
There's been very few boats fishing out of Manistee
during the week. With tackle production keeping me
shore-side ...coming up with anything close to Manistee
fish report has been a task.
7/8/10 Latest word on the
fishing from Manistee is reel-decent. Fish are
coming semi-deep, like 90' to 120' down over 150' to
200'. Expect about a handful per pm trip.
Let's go with Part I
of tech tip to enhance results when using 2 & 3 fly meat
rigs. By fluffing out the Mylar skirts ...more
mass is added increasing visibility.
the easiest way to do this was run the attractor flies
backwards thru a closed hand. This spiders out the
skirt for larger profile and a better presentation.
a lot quicker when compared to flaring out each
individual strand of Mylar. Picky-pick bending back
each individual strand is time consuming.
times when the only thing we did was blouse/flare out
the skirts and the fish went right back to biting after
a lull in the action.
Today's featured photo is from John R who did just fine
with his first trip out New Buffalo, MI with meat.
Click John R's King & flies that need flaring
he didn't blouse out the skirts he still had the best
part of 50 pounds in 4 fish. Meat rigs will work
with the flies laying flat, ...it's just they work
better flared out.
Tomorrow "detailed" demonstration photos how to correctly spider out
7/7/10 Those who fished Great Lakes last weekend all caught some fish.
From less than a handful to double digits. Best
numbers came in from our friends WI.
Thermocline off Manistee is said to be deep. Like
...at least 90'. This is good news, cuz 90' of
warm 65 degree water grows the food chain i.e. plankton
these bottom rungs on the Great Lakes food chain have
short life spans. Within 2 to 3 weeks most plankton and
zooplankton species die off.
these microscopic creatures sink down in the warmer water
above the thermocline until they hit the denser cold
water at the temp break. This dead sinking biomass
suspends at the cold temp break. Providing the bait fish
with a food source. That's what usually makes the
thermocline such a productive place to fish.
and counting our government knew the Asian Carp would
sooner or later be on the doorstep of the Great Lakes
and have did nothing. The Great Lakes basin is
still connected to the Mississippi River drainage with
little hope for a fast resolve to this easy to fix
a 90 lb. IL record Big Head.
7/6/10 To better understand
the Asian Carp issue today's featured image is a
drainage chart of the State of Arkansas. You can
see all the avenues to the Mississippi River.
Silver & Big Head Asian Carp were imported from Taiwan
in 1973 by a Arkansas fish famer looking to use his own
stock of Grass Carp to control weeds.
marks Arkansas stocking 380k Grass Carp. This
state embarks full fledged into raising the species of
Big Head, Silver and Black Asian Carp.
Arkansas working with a grant from our US EPA goes to a
Carp instead of chemicals animal engineering project for
waste treatment retention basins.
wild Asian Carp are first observed in the Mississippi
River and the migration march towards our cherished
Great Lakes was on!
waterways of Arkansas
update is not tainted by personal feelings. Only
the reel facts on how our political system has clouded
the issue on a animal engineering project gone astray.
hear zilch about the federal grant by EPA funding the
Arkansas's Asian Carp animal engineering project.
Instead, the media always lays this on the shoulders of
fish farmers, not ignorant government bureaucrats with
less sense than God gave a Goose.
Tomorrow a shocker about the 30 year march of the Asian
7/5/10 For Manistee, MI it
was hot yesterday. Near record 91 degree high temp
for Manistee and surrounding communities. 90s is
not normal for this area. In 2009 ...all summer
long ...I doubt we had 3 days in the 90s.
Be sure to be
here tomorrow, as I expose the cruel hoax being laid on
the fishing public about Asian Carp. Eye opening
reel-facts will be brought to your attention in a
verifiable timeline and EXACTLY who is responsible for
these fish entering the Great Lakes!
7/4/10 4th of July Holiday
2010 as our season moves towards prime time King Salmon.
A couple of sleeper
ports, or places to fish as of lately has been East
Traverse Bay (close to Traverse City, MI) and Rogers
City, MI. East Traverse Bay is Laker heaven and
Rogers City is a mixed bag.
7/2/10 Rogers City fish
The wind gods are doing
nobody a favor today off central Lk. Michigan ports with
winds to 30 knots and waves to 5 footer, maybe larger.
Trailer boat fleet will probably stay on the trailer.
Tomorrow looks a lot better with 1s & 2s with wind from
the S & SW.
Blows like this are
good for our region with the warm temps piling up
plankton for the bait to eat on the eastern shore of Lk.
MI. Also, this drives the temp down. The
deeper fish are? ...that's when attractor/fly, or meat
programs rule the roost!
7/3/10 Hope you hear, or see
fish-on! Re-doing the back panels to my boat.
When that project is completed? ...a fishing I will go.
Have a great day and enjoy yourself.
Yesterday, the 2
main feeder trunk lines (M55 & US31) into Manistee were
loaded with RVs and vehicles towing boats. Looks
to be a very busy 4th in Manistee, MI.
7/2/10 Like to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable 4th of July
Holiday. Best ports to fish? Pretty much all of them are doing
about the same. Only worthwhile tip I have is do not look for look 5
mile trolls loaded with piles fish. Concentrate on the small pockets
when you find them.
Especially, if any bait whatsoever is present.
is going to be reel-nice with highs in the 80s.
There's a 30% chance of thunderstorm on Monday, but
that's to be expected with the high temps. Seas
look to a bearable 2 to 4 footers and 1 to 3 footers
Dug up some
more info on website member, SteveO's nighttime fishing
tactics. According to Steve dead-slow on the
speed. Another key ingredient? ...all the action
in the dark was on high, out of temp warm-water fish (in
temp fish? ...38-54 degrees).
35' to 60'
down was the hot zone with 10 colors of lead core being
hot rods. Riggers were set at 40' and 60'.
His divers worked best with 2 fly meat rigs.
7/1/01 Still fascinated with
WI website member, SteveO and his 16 fish from 8:30pm
thru 2:30am. He proved fish do feed at night
during the full moon cycle beyond a doubt.
verified the Salmon use sight, sound and scent to feed.
His meat rod results were 50% on the plus side when
compared to artificials on 6/28/10.
right weather presents itself ...I will try to duplicate
his results on our side of the pond. Besides,
entering the busiest time of the season for tackle sales
and night offers me another alternative to get on
the pond. I have twin aft deck lights that should
make things go fairly easy even in the dark. Next
full moon will be July 26th.
More on this very noteworthy & seldom heard topic of nighttime
fishing the future!