3/31/11 Couple of things to
beware of before fresh news on what's up with Lk. MI
Brown Trout off Manistee, MI. First is tomorrow:
you'll need a new 2011 All Species fishing license from
the MDNR. This can be purchased online by
Second is tomorrow is: April Fool's Day. So, be on
alert for jokesters to telling bodacious lies.
Then, ...roar, "April Fool's" once you've swallowed
their story hook, line & sinker. Never found this
humor amusing, ...having been the brunt of it too many
Situation on Manistee's shoreline Brown Trout fishing is
slow. Extra cold water in the mid-30s has the fish
in a dormant pattern. Any surface water heating
gained from the day has been lost with frigid nights in
the single digits.
3/29/11 temp chart
Today is the last day you'll receive a X-Glow Yellowtail
10" BTI flasher and matching fly on all purchases
exceeding 100.00 at:
Tomorrow the reel-story on water temp &
how it effects April inshore Brown Trout.
3/30/31 A few weeks ago I
photographed bait fish with the aid of a black light.
In their natural state the herring used produced no
reaction for the most part.
With low ambient light a faint green color, akin the
green glow in my X-Glow series of tackle. The
greenish color detected did not glow on it's own, or was
noticeable once the light source was removed.
Click bait fish
What does this lead us to believe about what fish can,
or cannot see? Short answer is absolutely nothing.
The only thing I know fish can see is when I close the
lid on the fish box and it fades to black. Claims
to otherwise are a bunch of hogwash!
3/29/11 State of Michigan
made an unwise move when they no longer required ethanol
content in gasoline to be listed at the pump.
Click state by state labeling laws
Ethanol is damaging to systems not set up to use it.
Especially, when the E content reaches toward 15%.
This is a major concern for marine use when boats can
have a very long service life.
Click E-10 precautions & tips
Beware of octane boosters and "dry-gas." Which only add
more alcohol to your fuel system. In turn, making
an already bad situation ...worse!
Looking forward to better weather. I'm plain tired
about writing about fishing ...then not doing it.
In it's purest form fishing is a "hand-on" participation
sport that does not translate well into words, TV shows,
or on websites!
3/28/11 Gradually warming
temps this week will jump start our 2011 big water
season bigtime. My start to Manistee, MI's early
shoreline Brown Trout fishing was wisely delayed.
Manistee temps at night have been the single digits (3
to 7 degrees). Much too cold to prevent possible
freezing of the GM 305 V8 in my boat even with a drop
light in the bilge. Predicted moderating weather
is good news!
featured photo is a gas receipt from 4/14/10. I
paid 3.18 for premium to raise the octane of the gas
left over from the previous fall. So, gas prices
from this time last year were no bargain compared to the
3.55 a gallon now.
Click gas receipt
consumption is around 3.5 gallons per Brown Trout trip
that generally is 6 hours long. Made possible with
a 4 stroke 15 hp kicker motor that runs on fumes.
3/27/11 Best news with the
early Lk. MI season is Coho (Silver Salmon) are being
caught from New Buffalo, St. Joe and South Haven.
No easy "fall off a log" Coho limits, but the situation
with our MI spring Coho is vastly improved over last
has rectified their mistake by cutting the Coho plants &
are back to providing decent numbers again. I've
been on the Coho bandwagon ever since the crash BKD
crash of Kings in 1988. Kings populations tend to
cycle up and down. Coho numbers tend to remain
more stable and not fluctuate wildly like Kings.
Click chunky spring
there a connection between Kings and Coho? Can't
answer that, but it seems like when less numbers of Coho
are stocked ...King Salmon are harder to come by.
is the last day to purchase some of our more complex 4 &
5 color trolling flies in 3 packs. Special
introductory pricing on 12 oz Dive Bombs & in 4 packs
3/26/11 Looks like Mr.
Winter has punched himself out with the last snow storm
& cold temps we've endured this past week. Temps
in the 50s next Saturday is a reel-possibility!
New 12 oz Dive Bombs are installed and ready to go at my
webstore. There's 4 sizes of these ground-breaking
diving sinkers that will help any program.
No Copper, no lead core? No problem, cuz the bombs
can sub for both. Plus, work on any kind of line
associated with Great Lakes trolling!
This weekend only ...new 12 ounce diving weights are on sale. Pricing includes the added expense to
ship heavy packages. It's a bonafided reel-deal when you buy
all 4 sizes (4, 6, 8, & 12 oz) for only 22.99.
3/25/11 To say I'm old
school when it comes to the tackle we sell is an obvious
understatement. Reason? ....please let me explain:
We get about one month of prime time for King Salmon
every season. Take my 42 years going on 43 of
chasing these critters and that amounts to about 3 3/4
years of actual "time on the water" experience.
It takes quite a few years for a color to prove itself.
That's why I stick with classic winners with a long
established history of building heavy fish boxes.
I'm not out to reinvent the wheel. That's why the
HRP, Firedot, green glows, silvers, purple and blacks
are deadly weapons. Fleet favorites year-in, &
This coming Sunday marks the end of the 4 & 5 trolling
flies offered in 3 packs. After Sunday the several
of the flies will be going up a buck.
Click for 3 packs
3/24/11 Last Sunday Team Red
Dog racked up a couple of Lk. MI Browns caught off
Manistee, MI. Weather was brutal, but these dyed
in the wool anglers toughed it out. My thanks to
Steve E for sharing his fish with us!
Please note in Steve's photo the 40 hp outboard in the
background. OBs make early season fishing a lot
easier. Outboards are instantly winterized, cuz
the water drains out of it. A big leg up compared
to those of us who run I/Os, or inboards!
Waning days of March is not being kind to the north
country. Accumulated recent snowfall is another 8
inches. That makes 133" since last November. Still
way below what I consider normal for my neck of the
Click 3/23/11 snows
3/23/11 When I put this
website to bed last night around midnight ...the
was dropping like a rock and we already had about 2
inches of the dreaded white stuff.
So, if this is the worst this winter can do before it
passes into the history books, no big deal! Old
man winter only wins if you let him bother you.
Today, I'm making a final list of all the loose ends I
need to tie up before my maiden 2011 fishing trip for
Manistee, MI's shoreline Brown Trout.
Not going off half cocked and forgetting important items
is just not gonna happen. I'm entering my 43rd
season in pursuit of Salmon and Trout on our Great
Lakes. Time has taught me to get it right, or
don't do it at all.
3/22/11 Calendar says
spring, weather says winter. There's 6 to 7 inch snowstorm
predicted for Manistee, MI & further north. Next
chance for decent weather looks like at least a week
from today. I'm ready for shoreline Browns, but
under extreme conditions!
Renamed the new UV flashers, meat rigs, and meat
heads to SUV. These 3 letters are very recognizable
and a better fit than the former name of Super K.K. UV.
Besides, with SUV the marketing slogan of "take one for
a spin today" is both catchy and self-explanatory with our
new 2011 tackle.
Click renamed SUV BTI 10" Flasher
3/21/11 Water levels in Lk.
MI & Huron are predicted to be 2' lower than last
summer. Water is down right now, but by how much
is hard to get a number on. Since 1935 the Great
Lakes have risen and fell a swing of 6'. Water
being lost down the St. Clair River shoulders most of
the blame from dredging causing bottom erosion
Please use extra care on your maiden launch of 2011.
Water might be shallow at your ramp and normal access
routes to open water.
First glimmer of hope for Lk. MI ports at St. Joe & New
Buffalo with reports of early spring Coho being caught.
No big numbers of limit catches so far
3/20/11 The 1st official
day of spring is finally here! Stats on winter
2010-2011 for Manistee, MI seen the low temp at -6 and a high
of 60 degrees ...from a few days ago. Accumulated
snowfall is running a 1/3 below the norm around 125
To celebrate spring I've upgraded the bonus giveaway
flasher/fly deal to an X-Glow Yellowtail 10" BTI Flasher
and a newly created matching rigged 5 color fly.
All tackle purchases over 100.00 qualify for this fish
To kickoff spring on the right foot all fly bodies are
priced at 8.95 from now thru next Sunday. This
includes all X-Glow and all multi 3 to 5 color flies
such as the Yellowtail, Bluetail, Monkey Puke, Super
Mamba, HRP and Black Mamba Glow trolling flies.
This is your only week to purchase the Yellowtail and
Bluetail flies in a bargain 3 packs ...due to the time
involved to make them.
Click for sale on fly bodies
3/19/11 We're right on the
cusp of great things for big water fishermen.
Early season southern Lk. Huron anglers do well on
spring Coho, Steelhead and even a few Kings.
S. Lk. MI from MI City, IN to Chicago limits of spring
Coho is knocking on their doorsteps. Ludington to
Frankfort will offer decent chances at April shoreline
Brown Trout. Our Great Lakes fishery will be
busting loose at the seams before long.
fever ...means fishing fever and reviewing my article on
Rod & Reel Tips might be in order. Those newer to
Great Lakes fishing will reap the most benefits, but
there's plenty of advanced info worthy for all!
Click Rod & Reel Tips
3/18/11 Problems with
Ludington, MI's city launch. Launch area needs to
be dredged and the city is seeking bids now.
Launch dock is setting in only 2' of water.
Yesterday Manistee, MI received 4500 fingerling Lake
Trout planted at the city launch. Not many sea
gulls present should enhance survival rate. Rip
rap around the piers can provide spawning habitat.
During the 1980s poachers would have a field day
snagging Lake Trout from the jetties and piers during
Click Manistee, MI's Laker plant
You can see in one of today's photos there's 2 docks in
at Manistee City Public Launch at the end of First St.
This is a world class boat launch!
Click 3/16/11 docks
Debuting our new 4 color Bluetail Trolling Fly today.
This fly is composed of UV blue, X-Glow green, Silver, &
a touch of UV chartreuse.
Click 3-part Bluetail Fly image
It's a perfect clone to our line of X-Glow Bluetail
Flashers. To leave no stone unturned,
...photographed this new fly 3 ways with camera flash,
black light & in the dark.
Base price our 3, 4, & 5 color detailed flies will
increase from 4.99 to 5.49 on 4/1/11. It's a
meticulous labor of love to make these new generation
3/17/11 One year ago on
today (St. Patrick's Day) I was trolling Lk. MI the
shoreline for Brown Trout off the Port of
Click 3/17/10 Brown
making our new 4 and 5 color detailed trolling flies
takes precedence. These new flies are a giant leap
forward in the evolution of big water tackle. I
thank all for purchasing our new 2011 flies & making
this project a big success!
yesterday's satellite photo of Lk. MI. There's a
lot going on in this image that needs further
elaboration. Disturbing thing to be is what looks
like the clear water flowing thru the cloudy-murky
water. Is this be evidence of the water IL is
diverting from Lk. MI to provide a pathway for the Asian
Carp? You be the judge by
3/16/11 Balmy weather for
Manistee continues after a long arduous winter that's
probably not thrown it's last punch yet. Long
range still says 40s & 50s!
Ludington, MI has a dock or two in. Story is kinda
sketchy and believe this info pertains to the launch at
the end of US10. This dock is in very shallow
water. So, use extremely good judgment before
launching in Ludington.
to wet a line in Lk. MI this week, but the acceptance of
our new detailed trolling flies ....means dealing with
production. Which is a good thing!
Posted a photo from 1996 when the Brown Trout population
off Manistee, MI was beyond compare. Double digit
Browns and limits were the norm, not the exception.
Hopefully, this kind of catching will return!
1996 April Browns
3/15/11 As of noon yesterday
there were no docks in at the Manistee City Boat Launch
at the end of First St. No docks means launching a
larger boat impossible. Look for the City of
Manistee to have the docks in ASAP.
Steelheading on the Big Manistee River took a turn for
the better in the lower part of the river. With
this warming trend, the BMR should be reel-good ...and
Reintroducing my Super Mamba UV and new SUV (super UV) flashers.
This tackle has a built in bluish to purple glow
activated by natural sunlight and UV. There's a lot
of things that glow, like 3 Mile Island and Chernobyl.
Finding a safe nontoxic colorant with no
haz-mat warnings is another story. Knew of this
colorant for the past 3 to 4 years, but the safe version
is fairly recent.
Went to great lengths to photograph the Super Mamba with
3 different kinds of lighting sources. So, you'd
see the iridescent light shifting characteristics of
these deadly new flashers.
tri-part photos of the new Super
3/14/11 Today is the reveal
for our new 2011 Yellowtail Trolling Fly. There's
5 colors involved to make this outstanding fly. As
you can plainly see, it matches our Yellowtail BTI 10"
flasher precisely. Like it should!
new 2011 Yellowtail trolling fly
First news of
limits of Lk. MI Coho coming from East Chicago, IN are
These young Coho are going from 13 to 20 inches, but
will grow fast. In another month, or 2 look for
this crop to be solid 3 ...to maybe pushing 5 pounds.
holding public meetings on the ins and outs of deer
baiting. Hope to chase down the locations of some
of these meetings for you soon.
Tuesday, Manistee, MI is in for an extended run of daily
high temperatures in the 40s. Looks like we might
have a spring after all!!
3/13/11 For about the past
month and a 1/2 been seeing a few deer that have lost
their hair. Seen this on the necks, sides and
faces. Otherwise these deer appear to be healthy.
Did a web search and a parasite could be causing this.
Yesterday morning finally got a picture of the
malady to share with you.
you got your clocks adjusted forward 1 hour for Daylight
3/12/11 Winter is supposed
to loosen it's grip toward the middle of the coming week
with the possibility of high temps reaching 50 in
Manistee treats early season March-April Brown Trout
fishermen right. It's free to launch, park and
retrieve your boat until sometime in early May.
Daylight Savings Time begins in the wee hours of
tomorrow, or Sunday morning 3/13/11 around 2am. Be
sure to move your clocks ahead one hour tonight.
3/11/11 Today's featured combined
images of the brand new 2011 Stimulus Trolling Fly
speaks volumes about a flasher & fly working as a team.
I guarantee this new Stimulus (OCS) Fly will do a
helluva lot more for you than the gov's version. If
photo says a 1000 words, this a 2000 word dissertation. Click
images of new Stimulus (OCS) Fly!
not heard any rave reviews about Steelhead on the Big
Manistee River yet. No doubt, they are catching
some, but we need a warm spell to improve things.
the next couple of weeks several local Steelheader
chapters are holding events. Their efforts raise
money that is reinvested back into our sport. Fishing
clubs are at the roots of our fishery & deserve your
support. Click club
3/10/11 Photos of boat prep
this week focus on me being ready when the weather
finally does improve. Hopefully, soon too,
...because we had 4 inches of the white stuff yesterday.
My 2010-2011 winter's snow gauge now stands at 119
designing entirely new trolling fly patterns that are
far from the status quo. Some of our brand new
2011 flies feature 4, or 5 different color changes of
Mylar. Sure it's more work, but going extra mile
is what keeps us in business! Besides, if the
tackle business was easy? Everyone would be doing
Click new 2011 fly selections
3/9/11 Posted a 4 part
instructional photo that shows a cost effective way to
fix a broken rod tip. Ferrule cement must be used.
Super Glue does not hold over the long haul.
EZ do it
yourself projects makes reel-cents in savings!
Click rod tip repair
the bar higher on trolling flies. Time has come
for having a cloned set working in total harmony for
improved performance. A meat program is very
forgiving and makes up for a lot of mistakes.
Running an all artificial program requires being
spot-on, because then ...it's all about color that
nudges the fish into striking.
behind my efforts in the trolling fly market is ...meat
might be hard to come by in May and June.
Grapevine/rumor-mill says Fish On Bait Company won't
start taking herring for 2 months. Add another
month for processing & transportation. That takes
us into June. If there's a supply of 2010 whole
bait handy, ...buy it now!
3/8/11 In this day and age
it's hard to get everyone to agree on anything. I
do think you'll agree when is cold, hot, or wet out
...none of these things matter when you're trying to
land a decent fish. Hot, or cold is never felt
until after the battle is over.
your internal battery is getting a natural trickle
charge for the soon to be here 2011 big water season,
your boat batteries need extra help.
Checking the water levels before charge helps extend
battery life. I have a 12 amp (6+6) onboard
charger 110 ac that maintains my batteries for me, but
the water levels still need checking to prevent damage
to the cell plates.
remember, the solution inside most marine wet batteries
is 35% sulfuric acid that eats holes in clothes & burns
in minor skin scraps.
Click battery charging system
3/7/11 Ready, set, go?
The 3 stage stages of boat preparation before the first
big water trip of the season. Yesterday began the
getting ready part. Took the tarp off the boat,
inventoried tackle, & located the rods used for early
season Brown Trout fishing.
week's long range weather is supposed to be better then
what's in store for us this week. Warmer
temperatures have to happen sooner, or later.
Official start of spring is less then 2 weeks away.
Click boat's annual spring wake-up call
Tomorrow starts the "set" part of chores to make sure
everything is shipshape for early season Lk. Michigan
shoreline Brown Trout Fishery. subsequent
3/6/11 About this time of
the year winter gets a bit long in the tooth.
We're starting the 5th month we've dealt with snow in
Manistee County, MI. This has been a long tedious
winter with less snow than normal, but constant more of
the same cold temps.
Good news is
the long range forecast says temps in the 40s the last
couple weeks of this month. In turn, the bad news
is this coming week will be just like last week, cold.
Spring has definitely not sprung in Manistee ...yet!
Click 3/5/11 snow
My Manistee snowometer now stands at 115 inches for
3/5/11 Feng Yank a live-haul
fish importer got caught by
Ministry of Natural Resources
at the Amassadeur Bridge
(Detroit-Windsor) trying to smuggle 4000 lbs of live
Asian Carp across the US-Canada border. Ontario
fined him 50K. This was second time Yank got
nabbed for the same offence. The 1st occurred in
lies the problem with trying to turn Asian Carp into
accepted table fare. Creating a market for this
plague will only spread the problem
cultural issues with the Chinese who consider these Carp
a delicacy. Chinese custom is to buy 2 Carp.
Kill and eat one, then release the 2nd one alive.
Yang purchased live A-Carps from southern fish farms
that should have been banned a long time ago. Why
are domestic populations of A-Carps tolerated?
3/4/11 Steelhead fishing on
the Big Manistee River? No info on the river, but
boats fishing on the drop-off where the BMR river enters
Manistee Lake? ...boats are catching 2 to 3 fish for about
6 hours of effort. Click
spawn caught Steelhead.
news says you must have fresh spawn, or you're wasting
your time. Those that fish the piers, surf and
river know how valuable fresh spawn is. Tying up
fresh untreated spawn has a limited shelf life.
Freeze your left over bags before the spawn spoils and
you'll have something to fall back on the next time you
don't have fresh.
Fresh frozen spawn will get mushy as it thaws and tends
to work better when it's cold out. That way ...it
doesn't have a chance to completely defrost before
3/3/11 Manistee, MI has
received about 112 inches of snow since last November.
This is only 2/3rds of what I considered the norm for
this time of the year.
a satellite image of Lk. MI and it shows rows of float
ice from Pentwater northwards. What's interesting
is the shaded greenish areas that are hopefully plankton
blooms. Long range says 50s are in our future.
Click Lk. MI satellite photo
news for the Steelheaders Birch Run, MI fishing show
starting tomorrow afternoon, because there's no storms
predicted to impede travel.
Click show info
3/2/11 Other than for the
wind, March came in like a lamb with yesterday's high
temp in Manistee hitting 39 degrees. Let's hope
March doesn't go out like a lion.
Introduced our new 2011 Monkey Puke Trolling Fly.
This pattern matches up perfectly with our popular Puke
flashers. Having a flasher/meat/fly team up as a
complete system just makes reel-sense in no uncertain
Monkey Puke Fly
Tomorrow afternoon the Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show
begins in Birch Run, MI. Free parking and
reasonable price to attend makes this a cost effective
way to get out of the house and kick-off the 2011
Click for Birch Run show info
3/1/11 Chalk up
another world first for my tackle manufacturing company
in the our quest to stay a leader in the fishing
Click Super Clear Red UV-R
Developed in-house a
secret nontoxic clear formula that fluoresces a bright
red under a black light tube. Black light tubes makes UV at
the lower end of the UV spectrum, but all wave lengths of
are totally invisible to our eyes.
"Black light fluorescent tubes? The purple glow
of a black light is not the UV light itself, which is
invisible, but visible light which escapes being
filtered out by the filter material in the glass
Wikipedia article on black lights
My pet peeve is dimwits claiming what a fish can, or
cannot see that's pure speculative BS and not any thing
close to a science that can ever be proved! So,
you'll never hear a lot of hype, or a marketing campaign
based solely on conjecture from me!
2/28/11 It's my great
pleasure to introduce the new 2011 Black Mamba Trolling
Fly. Having your flasher and fly work as a matched
set just makes reel-sense.
Black was a mainstay of my charter program back in the
1980s and 1990s. I've built many a good fish box
based on black flies, or squids.
This new fly is a clone to the best selling Black Mamba
Glow flashers. Look for more new flies that match
our flashers in the future.
Click deadly Black Mamba Fly
The idea behind the BMG fly is the highly popular combo
deals. Matched tackle eliminates trial and error and
puts you on a fast track to a decent box of fish.
Up until now I never had a fly worthy to carry the Mamba
name. Recipe on this killer fly is 70% black, 25%
x-glow and 5% red. I am proud of this inspired
Last day to get in on the free
bonus flasher at:
2/27/11 Time to get
reel-serious if you're a "dyed in the wool" river rat
Steelhead fisherman. The zenith of spring river
Steelheading is not all that far away.
35' to 40' of line from the tip of the rod is ample to
back-troll, or slide downriver on the Big Manistee.
Most any kind of floater big billed diving crank-bait
Best fishing will occur first on the lower end of the
BMR, but there's a gauntlet of very savvy anglers.
Lower end pressure takes a toll on these fish before
fresh-runs have time to migrate up river. Staying
below Bear Creek on the Big-Man will put odds in your
favor, but this section is often the most crowed too.
Click striking silver steel
2/26/11 Self inflicted
financial wounds for lack of maintenance are the hardest
to suffer thru. Buying proper lubricants is a lot
cheaper than buying parts, or paying a mechanic to fix
your problems. Simple things like pulling your
prop at least once a season is wise.
fishing gets inside the prop hub it can destroy the seal
that holds the gear lube in the lower end, or jam water
lubricated strut bearings on inboards.
The Great Lakes is a target rich environment for umpteen
million miles of fishing line that has been lost for
various reasons. Anyplace there's a concentration
of boats? There's fishing line waiting to cause
Especially, in rivers where getting snagged and breaking
off is a lot more likely to happen. With just a
few tools, prop removal is a snap and greasing it
eliminates frozen/stuck-on propellers. Making
removal difficult more difficult as the seasons pile up.
2/25/11 Just a good day to
enjoy the fact this winter is losing ground to onset
spring this coming March 20th. No signs of a
warming trend for next week.
reel-possibility that in 3 weeks Manistee, MI's harbor
will open and that means early season Brown Trout
fishing. My boat is prepped and ready to go ASAP!
fishing out of Manistee is a deal. It's free to
launch, park and retrieve your boat. Free is a
darn good word we all could use more of!
Here's a tip
I've been saving since last fall when I winterized my
boat's motors. Pull the prop at least once a
season ...then check for fishing line in behind it.
More on this subject tomorrow that might just save you
big time buck$!
Last weekend to get in on the free
bonus flasher at:
2/24/11 Salmon fishing on
Lk. MI took off in the later 1960s. Promises of
even bigger fish to come set a burning fire inside of me
that hasn't diminished over the years.
and 1970 the buzz was the 100 pound Kings yet to come.
With the fast growth rate of the Coho Salmon back then
...triple digit Kings looked like a possibility.
fleet geared up with 40-50# test line and stiff broom
stick rods dreaming of future wars with King Salmon in
the over 50 pound class for sure.
with as much fun as I had with early years 10-15# Coho,
the idea monster Kings blew me away by the early 1970s.
decoupage of 30 pounders
lot of 30 pounders since come over the back of my boat.
I'm glad to have went "all in" back in the early days.
It's a great ride that's not over yet!
2/23/11 Let's travel back
almost 5 decades to when our Great Lakes Salmon Fishery
began. Most reels back in the late 1960s were too
light to handle the rigors that Salmon fishing. The key
here? ...all this was new. Nobody had a grasp of
what lay ahead.
fleet choice was: the then made in USA Penn 209.
This reel was stout, priced reasonable and had an OK
drag system. This reel is now made in China, but
early models have made in USA molded on their side
vintage Penn 2009
rim manufacturing came with a big push in the early
1980s with Diawa debuting a 47H that was cheaply priced
and suited to our inland sea Salmon fishery.
Tomorrow will focus on what caused me to go "all in"
for Salmon fishing in 1968!
2/22/11 Wanted to continue
the storyline on the evolution of reels, but that will
be subject postponed until tomorrow as I research the
Reposted a photo of the new X-Glow flies for 2011.
Unretouched & natural glow effect produced a fine photo
I'm proud of. Zero assist light exposure in the
dark images are hard to capture, but the green & blue
glow is clearly visible.
Time is running out on the bonus 12" Super Mambas and
will expire on 2/28/11. 12" Mambas are a labor
intensive costly flasher to produce and will never again
will featured in a sales promotion as a give-way bonus
with a 100 dollar purchase.
2/21/11 What do Shakespeare,
Pflueger, Winchester, J. C. Higgins, Oreno, South Bend,
Great Lakes, Heddon, Ocean City, Johnson, etc. all have
in common? These are all "Made in the USA" reels
that went belly-up, once Japan captured the reel market.
starting dumping reels here in the later 1960s below
cost to make and ship. It's called buying market
share to the uninformed.
Vintage USA reels
result is almost all USA reel makers went the way of the
dinosaur. Penn held on the longest and not sure if
their reels are still being make in our country, or not.
Vintage USA reels were made beautifully, like a fine
watch with engraved scroll work and jeweled end caps.
Even the firearms company Winchester made fishing reels
for a time. Unfortunately, the heyday of US reels
was over by the early 1970s even though history says
bait casting reels and level wind mechanisms were
invented in the USA.
The first modern reel I seen was in 1963 and that was a
Swedish Amassadeur 5000. This ahead of its time
reel featured a free spool, anti-reverse, and a star
Manistee, MI snowometer has
risen to 110" thus far for winter 2010-2011!
2/20/11 A good day to remind
all the Flint Steelheaders Birch Run Show is less than 2
weeks away. As an exhibitor the show help is
beyond anything offered at any other do. Extra
free helpers unloading your vehicle and moving items to
your booth is unheard of.
temporarily loosened is grip last week, but the near
future weather-wise says more snow is on the way.
February thaw before & after photo
Dave Camp's (MI-R) bill to close the Chicago Locks and
prevent further migration of the Asian Carp into the
Great Lakes was soundly defeated in a vote
292-137 in the US House of Representatives.
bad news to contain and stop the spread of A-Carps.
stupid well. In fact, you could consider me an
expert on the subject. Trial and error can fix the
stupid part, but there's a huge difference between
stupid and total blind ignorance. Here's proof
from those in our employ:
Rep. Judy Biggert (IL-R): "Its passage would have
been devastating to Chicago's economy and cost thousands
of jobs in our region. Worse, it would have been an
empty gesture against the carp, doing more to kill jobs
than slow down fish."
Mike Pence (IN-R): "This is a serious but manageable
threat to the Great Lakes region," Pence said.
Pence failed to recognize evidence that says otherwise.
& IL have the least vested interest Lk. MI with
shoreline owned, but continue to set policy for the
entire Great Lakes region. This is wrong!
with science, common sense, and what's right on their
side are climbing stairs uphill on a the dumb escalator
that's endlessly going down. Net gain? ...nothing!
2/18/11 Made in the USA are
powerful words. When you do not see a tackle
manufacturer pushing this great marketing feature?
You can make a firm bet this company is importing tackle
to our United States of America from who knows where?
The chain of people that goes into helping me make
tackle in our country would fill a fair sized
auditorium. Granted, my small manufacturing
operation is only a fraction of what they do, but basic
arithmetic says enough fractions make a whole.
Today's featured image is the company logo from the
Sampo Inc. who makes the ball bearing swivels we use in
Click Made in USA Sampo logo
Too many useless laws invade our society. One law
that we do need on all "over the counter sales" is truth
where these products are being made!
Making tackle out of country for less, then passing down
absolutely no cost savings to the consumer is pure BS in
it's highest form!
2/17/11 Welcomed respite
from winter sent website member, Jlars ice fishing for
Brown Trout in Kewaunee, MI. They caught one on a
ice rod and one on a tip-up. Note the recycled
arrow to lift fish from the hole.
Click 2/16/11 Kewaunee, WI Brown
Big news from Manistee County, MI is temps in the lower
50s. Snow is melting, but there's still plenty of
the white stuff on the ground.
Click 2/16/11 Manistee, MI
Linux is a free stand alone live CD operating system,
but it's major time & grief to download large files from
Click eBay 2.99 Ubuntu Linux OS
purchased my copy on eBay with shipping included for
2.99. Having a total backup system to retrieve
otherwise lost data is wise & cheap insurance. Run Ubuntu in demo mode
off the CD. You'll still be able to access your
documents in demo mode.
Do not install it on your
hard drive unless you're a highly skilled computer
user that understands partitions and the risks of adding
another OS to your "C" drive.
2/16/11 On the legislative
front it looks like progress is being made on issues
with ballast water controls. In 1987 we fished up
a stick from the bottom of Lk. Erie on a Walleye
charter. This stick was covered with zebra
mussels. So, 24 years after this fact that has
changed the ecology of the Great Lakes steps are in the
finally in works to stop further foreign water born
invasions. Opening the Great Lakes to the world
was a huge mistake!
part is only for highly experienced computer users who
have all files backed up. Ubuntu is a free Linux
open source operating system that runs off an USB memory
stick drive, or CD. Your box will boot from a
selfcontained OS without Windows running.
Reasoning behind this is all about file retrieval if
your system crashes. XP Windows and newer are very
robust, not subject to failure unless you have major
problems with corrupted files, or a nasty virus.
Click download free OS to a thumb drive
Universal-USB-Installer-22.214.171.124.exe – February 7, 2011
download link. Once this installer is on your USB
stick, you'll see drop down menu to download Ubuntu.
2/15/11 USCG in a new bill
has the power to require all pleasure boats more than 3
miles from shore be made to carry a EPIRB, or PLB
(personal locator beacon). Devices like this do
aid in search and rescue, but at the cost of 200 to 800
Great Lakes boating season I've been on scene of 4 boats
that capsized. In 3 of these events we pulled
people aboard my boat. Victims of these accidents
were in the water 15 minutes, or less before being
rescued. Long before the CG ever could have
arrived to render assistance.
Click for article on this subject
in mind, I've spent a lot of water time on Lakes Erie,
Huron & Michigan from late 1960s thru 2010 (like 5 decades).
Question is? ...if, or when the CG decides to take this
step that's gonna cost all who ply the waters of the
Great Lakes long green.
for today's topic was courtesy of website member, Rick
2/14/11 Valentine's Day
update: With the onset of a warming trend it's
time to get reel-serious about spring river
Steelheading. "When the water is on the way up, so
are the Steelhead" to quote a very old saying.
assortment of Steelie lures
seen a crank-bait for river fishing can't be improved by
changing the hooks, or hook system. Bronze VMC
9649s trebles are the gold standard for river guides.
photo of the snow piles before the thaw has had much an
effect. Plan is a time lapse image toward the end
of this week for comparison.
Sweetened the deal for our pre-season special offers.
For the rest of February a bonus 12" Super Mamba UV is
included with ever 100 dollar purchase. Add
in the free shipping and the bonus flasher for solid 20%
discount for non-procrastinators.
2/13/11 Good news on the
Asian Carp blight for Michigan. From mid September
thru early October 2011 the
collected over a 100 samples from the St. Joe, Galion
and Paw Paw rivers in SW Michigan for E-DNA testing.
All samples came back negative for Big Head and Silver
Carp DNA. Is this a clean bill of health for our
water ways? I'm not versant enough to comment on
E-DNA testing. That's for the experts to answer.
A-Carp Watch Poster
This I can say, our fight against the A-Carp plague is a
long ways from over with too much foot dragging and
political delays to make sure we're rid of this menace.
Please note in today's Asian Carp watch poster how very
similar juvenile Silver A-Carp is to a gizzard shad.
In fact, small A-Carps look a lot like alewives too.
2/12/11 Take today's update
very seriously, please! E15, flex fuel, or what
ever they want to call it ...presents issues in marine
motors not specifically designed to use it.
Ethanol blended fuels can act as a solvent capable of
dissolving gas lines & gaskets used in the fuel system.
This stuff is double danger with a capital "D."
Inboard and I/Os used traditional motors like the GM
small blocks have a long service life in sports fishing
boats. Making modern day fuels out of the question. My
1979 GM 305 V8 is a good example of this & is not set up
to run with any gas containing ethanol. Beware of
the peril E10, or E15 gas presents!
Click 1979 GM V8
2/11/11 Looks like above
freezing temperatures for the next 7 days for Manistee,
MI. Good news and just in the nick of time for our
Modern day tackle is a bargain and is below inflationary
costs. If we compare a 1980s dollar in today's
money, net worth to a 2011 buck has fell to 39 cents.
In the 1980s there were many major players in the
attractor/dodger market. Companies like Luhr
Jensen, Les Davis and Gold Star charged 7-8 bucks for a
sized "O" dodger. These products we made from
metal with no costly ball bearing swivels.
more important is old style painted attractors i.e. dodgers &
rotators lasted 10 years to the outside before the paint
cracked and peeled off. Nullifying your hard
earned invested tackle dollars in a few short years.
Most attractors today are made from plastic and will
last many, many seasons. Possibly generations when put
side by side tackle of yesteryear.
My math says a 1980s attractor would cost about 18
dollars in today's money when adjusted for inflation.
Keeping in mind, the 1980s tackle was far cheaper to
produce with a better profit margin for manufacturers,
cuz metal is cheaper than petroleum based plastic!
Not to mention to ball bearing swivels, custom colors,
and lure tape in tackle we could dream of only 30 years
old style vs. new 2011 tackle
Our 2011 tackle industry is to be
congratulated for the ongoing evolution of products
vastly superior to anything made back in the 80s & I'm
proud to be part of it!
2/10/11 You know, it's pretty hard
to get excited about open water fishing when the daytime
high is 15 degrees. That's all about to change
with a warming trend starting tomorrow and thru the
middle of next with temps to the higher 30s, maybe more.
photo of the day is the largest Steelhead boated when
I guided on the Big Manistee River (1985-2003).
The exact weight has been lost to time, but know it was
over 20 lbs. & change. Trophies like this are an
anomaly over the usual 5 to 9 lb. Steelhead that are
more representative of the norm.
Click 1996 over 20# Steelhead
Big fish are more luck than skill, but if you fish
enough? ...odds are put in your favor.
Caught a fair amount in the 16 lb. range. Over 17s
are reel-hard to come by!
2/9/11 We've reached the
stage of winter where piling up snow depth is making it
difficult for deer to find food. There's been a
good 50" of snow since the late Dec. thaw. 50" of
snow equates to the 16"-18" in actual snow depth.
Each new layer compresses the snow thinner, but at the
expense of turning it into hard-pack.
Click deer eating pines
Up until last
week, the deer were digging in the snow eating ground
cover. This has since ceased and they eating pine
trees now. Today's featured photo show a yearling
ripping needles off low slung pine limbs pulled closer
to the ground by snow.
image does not show is the other 2 deer munching on the
same branches that moved out of camera range.
Proving there is a natural exchange of saliva between
all social species including deer occurs. The ban
baiting is not going to stop this!
2/8/11 Line damage from
crimps is a reel-fact. Especially, if the crimper
is on steroids. Even with line damage from deformity, the
heavy gauge/thickness/# test of the leader material
still usually exceeds normal fishing line strength in the 25-30# test
eliminated all leader line breaking issues in 2008 when
I designed a simple fix. That being cushioned crimps with
a plastic/rubberized liner inserted inside the crimps.
rigs cost a lot and no manufacturer is going to make a
ton of money selling them. There's just too much
labor cost involved. First generation meat rigs
had 2 knots.
2011 high tech state of the art meat rigs require 3 regular knots
and 2 sets of custom snelled knots no other
manufacturer has yet to conquer.
Are you looking to save some dough? Then recycle your old
beat up meat rigs. There's newly installed 2011 updated rebuild kits and cushioned crimps
are available now at my webstore:
Click cushioned crimps & rebuild kits for meat
2/7/11 In 2005 we came out
with our own brand of 3 fly meat rigs. The concept
was improved over what the competition offered with an
interchangeable hook system.
to our product, the entire string, or leader section
where the flies went had to be replaced when the section
of line by the hook took wear and tear.
was the same year we introduced the state of art double
snelled turned-up eye treble hooks. This was a
tremendous improvement over single trebles.
began making the 3rd generation meat rigs with custom
cushioned crimps to eliminate deformity to the leader
string from stock crimps mashed on the line.
More that needs to explained with my ground breaking
original designs put into our 2 & 3 fly meat rigs over
anything my competition had previously done before.
The early meat rigs bear little resemblance to what we
Click crimp/line damage
2/6/11 Today's featured
photo is a crimp commonly used as line stays while
keeping the flies separated by 11". The
machine that builds these crimps shears them off at
blazing speed, making a sharp small indent, or burr on the inside
of each and everyone of them. No matter what the
material, there is an inbuilt problem using them with
Used in the
stock form crimps have a 1% failure rate
depending on how firmly the crimps is being mashed down
on the leader material used to build meat rigs.
Over time this 1% failure rate increases exponentially.
Click stock crimp
designed to be used on wire leaders, not mono, or fluorocarbon
line. During this week I'll explain the 3 generations of
meat rigs from original Metzler 3 fly cut-bait rig in
1999 (approx) creation to my present modern day 2011 meat rigs.
2/5/11 As the Great Lakes
season progresses toward the end of May to July world
class Walleye fishing in Michigan's Saginaw Bay and Lk.
Erie grabs center stage. Walleyes rank in the top
echelon of table fish and are sought after for this
reason. Proper presentation and being over
fish is the key. Walleyes are not known for being
fussy biters and will take a wide variety of live
bait and lures.
Click box full of Saginaw Bay Walleyes
Today's featured photo is a spring Big Manistee River
Steelhead recycled from the days when I guided
(1985-2003). This fish was over 16 lbs. &
caught downstream about a 100 yards from the High
Bridge Launch on a T4 Flatfish.
Click 16 lb.
2/4/11 I counted about 6 more weeks until
the first day of spring, March 20, 2011. A
mid-winter scheduling pep talk is in order before
this season begins in full swing.
end of February we should start seeing some fresh run
river Steelhead. This river fishery builds all thru
March into early April.
Click 16# plus
Depending how the weather breaks, early season Brown
Trout for the central Lk. MI ports takes off and can
last the better part of April at Manistee, MI.
the middle ...to the end of April there's a helluva
spring Coho fishery in S Lk. MI that's easy to love.
Even Lk. Huron is showing a decent early season Coho
never tire of the plethora fishing opportunities the
Great Lakes watershed has to offer. Each part of
the season shifts to another specie grabbing limelight.
To be continued tomorrow.....
2/3/11 Great news,
Punxsutawney PA's world famous paranormal psychic
Groundhog Phil didn't see his shadow upon emerging from
his den yesterday morning.
According to folklore this means we're supposed to have
an early spring. Since 1897 Punxsutawney Phil has
seen his shadow 98 times & hasn't seen it just 16 times.
most will dismiss this as strictly hogwash :) or as a
I viewed it as a mini-mental vacation dreaming of spring
while plowing snow.
My Manistee snowometer total for
winter 2010-2011 now stands at 98 inches with the 10
inches we got early yesterday morning. Seasonal
snow average for my area since I began keeping records
is around 160".
free Manistee snow!
2/2/11 Today at the Days Inn
of Manistee, 1462 US 31 South, Manistee, MI from 4-7pm
the Forest Service is holding public meeting on closing
off sections of federal lands to hunting.
Exclusivity is the goal behind this, but at what user
know the Forest Service wants to set aside lands for
campers, hikers and the like. Fine, then they need
to set aside equal areas for just the hunters and
& fishing are huge revenue sources for northern Michigan
counties. Anything that hinders these activities
is a detriment to already struggling local economies.
2/1/11 Considering listing
tournaments if they have a separate under 24' and under
division like the Hoosier Classic this April 30 and May
1. Tournaments are loosing ground every year with
less and less boats competing and it's time promoters
took a long hard look at what's holding back
Click 2011 Events page
sponsoring tackle manufacturer spends major bucks to
assist in promotional fees, but the question is how much
of this revenue is going out in prize money?
I had a
charter boat approaching 30' with an 11' beam.
This boat fully loaded with fuel and passengers had a
gross weight of around 12,000 pounds. Now I fish
from a 22" boat that has less than half of that tonnage.
point I'm trying to make is waves have a harder time
moving 12k, then 6k. It's mass against mass.
Larger boats troll better in rougher seas and all
tournaments should consider the pro vs. amateur
divisions being based on vessel size.
look at the fleet in the big picture, 75% (at least) is
under 24' and that's where the future of our sport lies.
Not with the well heeled who can afford larger boats.
For every 25' boat there's another 20 vessels under that
size that fish the Great Lakes.
1/31/11 Self-diagnosis says
I have the fishing reel-fever bad. Going into my
43rd year of Great Lakes fishing you'd think the
anticipation would diminish over the years. Not
It seems like every new season is loaded with more and
a great new year in front of us. Increased Coho
plants, Walleyes being raised in the millions, & the
trap net fiasco off Manistee ending are definite pluses.
Sport/Fishing Shows, seminars and club dinners are here
now, or soon will be.
blessed to live in a Great Lakes area that offers
waterborne recreation right on our doorstep. The
momentous joys and agonies of season 2011 await us all!
Just go easy on the agony part and you're good to go!
Last day for the bonus
rubber bands in my Black's Rigger Releases deal. This
amounts to a 20% discount with the "right" rubber bands!
Click for my
1/30/11 Glad to say good bye
to January early next week. Jan. is our a longest
winter month with short days, cold temps and plenty
snow. Better days loom in the future.
page is off to a grand start. Plenty of things on
the calendar to look forward to. My policy is to
list big fish derbies, but not tournaments.
Tournament are a slippery slope due to the large numbers
of tourneys that run every weekend in several states.
You can call, or Email me to get your event listed ASAP!
read your listing to guarantee everything is correct.
My Manistee snowometer total for winter 2010-2011 now
stands at 86 inches!
1/29/11 Off to a good start
on a new page listing the upcoming events that are here,
or right around the corner. Listing fishing clubs
is my pleasure. In most every case, every dime
they make on any undertaking ...is reinvested back into
the future of our Great Lakes Fishery. I found 11
happenings, most of which I am familiar with.
Now it's up
to the viewers of this website to clue me in on what's
in store in the near future. Please help me grow
the 11 number either by phone, or Email. I'm more
than happy to provide this free service.
Click upcoming 2011
1/28/11 As January draws to
a close this coming Monday, the deal on Black's Releases
with no charge rubber bands will end too. This is
a total system during the course of a season that will
mean more boated fish without changing anything else.
Full instructions are included if you want rid of
Click for articles on Black's & Bands
the weekend plan on getting a firm start on the 2011
calendar of upcoming events. Fishing shows,
seminars and club dinners will be listed if the public
at large is invited. Contact me on the link on the
bottom of this page to list your event.
1/27/11 Today from 2 to 3pm
MI Att. Gen. Bill Schuette will address the Federal
Asian Carp meeting being held at the Hagerty Center, 715
Front St, Traverse City. MI.
Schuette has picked up torch right where former MI AG
Mike Cox left off. Let's hope our legal pit bulls
draw enough blood to get noticed.
has been a long drawn-out legal battle where common
sense has yet to prevail. Stopping the Asian Carp
threat to our Great Lakes and connecting waterways could
be approaching the point of no return. Let's all
behind the Chicago political machine is a tough nut to
crack. Relief from the "powers that be" in our
nation's capital is needed to win the fight against the
1/26/11 Spent a fair amount
of the time trying to photograph natural
iridescence of some of our tackle yesterday.
This light shifting phenomenon occurs in Mother Nature's
grand plan in bubbles, opals, clam shells, oil sheens,
fish scales etc.
mostly web based business it's extremely important
portray actual images you can expect to see for
yourself. That's why I share my photos of exactly
what happens when the planets line up and I get to spend
some time on the pond.
Personally, I think a lot of tackle is being advertised
and UV when it's iridescent. Iridescence is a lot
easier to grasp, cuz it's what we see. Not a
forced artificial image taken with a UV Black Light.
1/25/11 United States Army
Corps of Engineers is holding meetings in our Great
Lakes area about a variety of issues, including the
separating the Mississippi Basin from the Great Lakes.
Today in Green Bay, WI from2-8pm at the NW WI Technical
College, Center for Business & Industry, 2740 W. Mason
St. Public is invited.
This coming Thursday, Jan. 27 from 2-8pm at the Hagerty
Center, 715 Front St, Traverse City, MI is another
meeting close to our area. Public is invited.
The above dates and times take precedence over my
planned update about glow effects and capturing a
reel-natural image you can expect to see for yourself.
1/24/11 A week from today on
1/31/11 the USDA Forest Service will be holding meetings
about the planned closure of sections of federal lands
at Hilton Inn Express of Birch Run, 12150 Dixie Highway,
Birch Run, 4 to 8pm. There's another meeting on
the same day at the Huron Shores Ranger Station, 5761
North Skeel Road, Oscoda, 4 to 7pm 1/31/11. Is
this just the invisible tip of sharp spear to eliminate
all hunting on all federal lands in the future?
featured photo captures the glow effect of our new 2011
X-Glow trolling flies. X-Glow Blue Bubble has an
interesting light blue glow.
Click lineup of new flies
the new flies & effort involved in the photography
1/23/11 Winter 2010-2011 is
medium. Seen worse and this one is semi tolerable. High this winter was 54 degrees around
the 1st of the year when we lost all our snow cover.
The low from a couple of weeks ago at -3. Broke the -3 number last night,
when the thermometer dropped to 6 below.
1/22/11 temp verification
Guesstimate 80" of snow so far. About 1/2 our
averaged annual snowfall.
silver lining to the deep freeze the Great Lakes States
are locked in. Colder the winter ...the better early
season Brown Trout fishing usually ends up. Last
season my 1st shoreline Brown Trout quest was on
3/17/10. That's less than 2 months from now.
My plan is to be ready once the ice is clear from the
launch ramp & harbor!
My Manistee snowometer total for winter 2010-2011 now
stands at 80 inches!
1/22/11 Interesting effects
of black lighting is carried over to today's featured
photo of the 2011 Stimulus flasher that caught fire late
last August. I made just a few of these flashers
more on a lark than being serious, as to their
effectiveness. 4 flashers led to 8, then 8
blossomed to 16 and the race was on to keep up with
seldom speculate about what tackle looks like to fish,
cuz we just don't know. If I was to venture a
guess, the multicolored Stimulus must look like a ball
of confusion if the UV light at depth actually lights
this flasher up.
Black Light Stimulus flasher
1/21/11 Today we have 2
featured photos. Top one is natural full sun where
the iridescence reacts in a reel-light manner.
natural light Ultra Violet fly photo
The other is
forced artificial black light that shows a weird UV glow
on the flasher blades with interesting effects towards
the edge of the base material.
with forced UV black light can be deceptive, cuz no one
trolls with a black light on their cannonballs 100'-120'
forced black light image
preference is what I see in normal light. The top
photo is a more honest depiction with our new Ultra
Violet Fly in the water & in a fish box around mid-day.
I've seen the new UV tackle and it looks multi-colored &
blue in the water. Guess a natural light photo is
less complicated and makes it easier to grasp the color
1/20/11 The hours I
get to fish is after the morning primetime bite is done
and over. It is not from getting up early enough,
but from processing morning orders and having shipping
labels made. This usually takes place from 5-7am
during the height of season. I know fishermen who
order tackle want it yesterday. So, we try to rush
to deal with the off-peak bite makes tools like the Dive
Bombs even more helpful. After 10am the fleet has
scattered and there's room for long distance programs
like copper and core. My normal mid-day scenario
with the fish my boat can catch is 80' down and deeper.
Probably, nearer to 90' to 140' depths for negative
biters that are not aggressive. Having 2
copper rigs trailing the best part of 400' behind the
boat fishing at 90' down is a helluva lot better than
riding them at 60' to 70' down unweighted.
This is extra important when you're fishing from 10am
thru 7pm for fish that will not rise up to take your
long distance offerings.
6 & 8 oz Dive Bombs
According to Terry from Michigan Stinger water force
almost doubles the weight of his Dive Bombs.
Come May, ...when the Salmon just aren't doing divers,
an 8 oz Dive Bomb on braid will attain, or exceed what a
fixed 1 pound lead ball can do. Never been a fan
of lead ball dropping & fished them as fixed out of
respect of the Great Lakes.
1/19/11 Today let's look at
a product so good I wish I designed it. Michigan
Stinger's Dive Bombs is that product. Dive Bombs
are weighted diving planers that use water force and
weight to take your lead core and copper outfits deeper.
Today's featured instructional photo explains how simple
they are to use.
Click for this
the 4 oz version with a 30' leader to my flasher & fly
on the end on of 300' 45# test copper rod vs. a non Dive
Bomb copper rod on my last few trips in 2010. In
every case the Dive Bomb copper caught fish, while the
clean copper pulled zilch.
was a fair head to head comparison. Figure the 4
oz Bomb added 15'-20' to the copper, taking a 60'-70'
rated depth for 300' of 45# copper to 80' to 90' and
closer to the zone the riggers were working. The
Bombs were not all that hard to wind in either.
class 45# 300' copper outfit with rod and a Penn 345 GTI
is around 300 bucks. To have a $300 rig not
pulling at least some fish is a crime. Especially,
when 4 to 6 dollars can and will turn a useless dead rod
into one that producing.
More info on the reel-Dive Bomb story tomorrow!
1/18/11 Re-shot the photos
on how to install rubber bands for a rigger release.
The old outdated images were clear as mud and needed to
simple task of 3, maybe 4 loops, then half hitch a band
thru the loops is a lot more easier to understand.
Click for this new "how" to image
an article with several full size color photos to relay
your talking points cannot be done in a book for cost
reasons, or a magazine for space reasons.
those seeking knowledge my new "how to" piece is the
very highest version of the internet super highway.
I both proud and humbled by the opportunity to share
this kind of reel-information with you.
Click Black's & Bands article
My Manistee snowometer total for winter 2010-2011 has
risen to 72 inches!
1/17/11 Good day to put this
site on autopilot and concentrate on building tackle for
the upcoming 2011 season. Need to get a start on
use of the new Dive Bombs with a photo "how-to" article.
I've heard several ways to place them on your line.
So, I guess there's no wrong way to use them ...if the
diamond with the lip if pointed forward.
special on Black's Downrigger Release feature bonus/NC
rubber bands at 9.95 good thru 2/1/11. After that
date you can still get the right bands from our website
for an additional 1.95. Releases are the simplest
thing to fix. Often overlooked when you hear, "we
had 12 hits, but only boxed 5 fish." Bands would
have stuck 10 of those.
to switch to bands in the early i2ks to satisfy the
needs of a meat program. Salmon will nibble on a
meat rig like a perch maybe 3 or 4 times before they eat
it. Band keep the riggers in the fish zone and not
Click for the Science of Black's & Bands
tackle at the webstore
My Manistee snowometer total for winter 2010-2011 has
risen to 70 inches!
1/16/11 The theme of today's
update is there's a ton of people that will gladly sell you
tackle, but how many will furnish detailed proven
instructions in a photo journal?
that thought in mind, there's a new article on the
rigger release system used on my boat. We're
averaging 90% on rigger hits during the course of a season.
Nowadays, I must rely on superior technology to fill the void left by lack of
time on the water. Only spending 70 hours on Lake
Michigan spread over 5 months during the 2010 season.
Which figures out to a very meager 47 minutes a week.
want to increase your ratio on rigger hits? ...check out
the new "how-to" article that will surely raise your game.
Click for the Science of Black's & Bands
1/15/11 New Michigan
Attorney General has picked up the fight where former MI
AG Mike Cox left off against further migration of the
Asian Carp. Even if we're only a thorn in their
sides on this issue, the possibility of wearing down the
State of Michigan is pushing another federal court
battle by the end of this month to separate the
Mississippi and Great Lakes watersheds.
poll on preserving Claybank Creek ...a natural Trout
stream was 97% in favor. I'm of the opinion the 3%
negative vote was due to clicking the wrong choice.
Unless I miss my guess, nobody who likes to fish would
be that ignorant!
1/14/11 Performed a pull
test on what it took to stick a hook thru a piece of
round steak gristle. Hook used was a standard out of the
box VMC black nickel hooks used on our flies and meat
rigs. At 13 ounces the number 1 hook punctured
completely past the barb thru this tough piece of meat
with no problem. 13 ounces concentrated on a hook
point probably figures out to a lot of pounds, but that
kind of stuff is for people way smarter than me in the
check out pull test confirmation
plan is to redo this test when I have an actual
reel-specimen. This reel pull check will be done
with 2 hook points and the pressure recorded with bone
experiment was done as research for a new article, "The
Science of Rigger Releases." This the 3rd time
this topic as been revisited in my Encyclopedia of Tip
and Tricks. They say, the 3rd time is a charm.
So, this article will be the definitive answer on rigger
releases that perform for everybody in the 80 to 90%
bracket. Hope to have this new piece completed and
debut it next Monday, 1/17/11.
1/13/11 There's talk of
shutting down, or curtailing areas to hunt in the Manistee
National Forest, Huron National forest and other places
with federal lands involved. I'm not up on this
issue enough to comment.
Click this MUCC link can tell your more
The plot thickens in the erasing of Claybank Creek.
Seems back 30 some years ago an oil-gas rig filled in 2
acres of ground and rerouted this creek even more
easterly. This is a mess with what looks like a
bad outcome unless common sense prevails. This
drain thing? ...which is not a drain, but a rerouted
Trout Stream thru a natural flood plain. Let's
hope this creek is left as is, and does not become a sin
against the environment!
1/12/11 Let's look at the
some options when it's a blow day and you're shore
bound. Rather than sitting around "wishin' you
were fishin" pack a small rod with 4 pound test and
explore the creeks, rivers and streams is search of
Brook Trout. Even small step across creeks will
more than likely have Brookies, ...if the water is
clean and moving.
Count the first few times as scouting missions rather
than fishing to load your creel with stream Trout.
Finding least accessible places is the key to success!
Let your offering drift by undercut banks that provide
shelter for wary small stream Trout. Small pieces
of leaf worms will out-fish a large chunk of night
Tiny 3 egg spawn bags, a small number 8, or 10 hook
produced many Brook Trout in the 10" to 14" range for me
on sections of the Jordon River. Use as little
split shot as possible to keep your bait on the bottom.
Make sure to puncture one of the eggs before casting to
mask the human scent. Look to the water below fast
As with any fishing, timing is everything. On a
larger rivers during the summer months stream trout
become very active around dusk and you'll often see
them. Some of my honey holes on the Jordon River
are probably more closely guarded than my social
security number. Many of my fishing trips have
been saved by stream fishing. Best part of Brook
Trout is the way they eat with a mild fish flavor and
have very firm flesh. There's no wrong way to cook
a Brookie & they eat as good, if not better than Perch,
Manistee snowometer total for winter 2010-2011 has risen
to 62 inches!
1/11/11 Let's cover a
special Trout this website has never mentioned before in
depth. Our MI state fish, painted by Mother
Nature's own special brush, the Brook Trout.
Deforestation and the spring running of logs down rivers
and streams had impacted Michigan's once plentiful
Grayling population the early 1880s. Grayling spawn in
the spring during the peak of moving logs downstream.
By then, Brook Trout were moving into the rivers systems
filling the void left by the rapidly disappearing
Grayling. 1879 is the date Brook Trout were
planted by the forerunner of the DNR, the Michigan
for Brook Trout
By the later 1880s Brook Trout had adapted well and
spreading to the Pere Marquette, Manistee, Betsie,
Ausable, Muskegon Rivers, etc. ...and so-on and
Modern day Brook Trout have mostly retreated from the
larger rivers living up to their name, inhabiting small
streams and creeks aka "brooks."
Brook Trout are a direct indicator on the health of a
watershed and our legacy to future generations ...if we
can preserve water quality?
Brookies are not a large fish. A 8 incher is a
legal fish in some waters.
Current recognized Michigan State Record Brook Trout
weighed 9 lbs 4 ozs.
I do have mention of a larger Brook Trout caught taken
from Ausable in 1909 that weighed 9 lbs and 12 ozs with
a length of 31 1/2". Harold Hinsdale Smedley is my
reference source for today's update. He published
his "Trout of Michigan" book in 1938. Smedley's
now historical book is one of my most valued personal
1/10/11 There's good news on
the home front for MI fishermen. Our DNR is
boosting the stocking program for Walleyes.
Stocking Walleyes was curtailed due to VHS a few years
ago. 50,000,000 Walleye eggs are slated for
hatchery rearing in 2011.
On the not-so-good news front, I'm stuck in a whirlwind
of dog-doo over Claybank Creek being turning into a
drain by Snidely Whiplash aka Drain Commissioner
Dibenedetto (D). He has grandiose plans to drain
private and public wetlands.
He has been misrepresenting many facts and calling
Claybank Creek a drain. I have state documents and
a old survey that prove otherwise.
DiBenedetto's yearly salary is meager 3k a year and his
department has an operating budget of 9k. I have
proof he's spending money like a drunken sailor.
Leaving Manistee County tax payers liable to the tune of
12k he's already poured out.
Under no circumstances figure I'm a member of a
political party with an ax to grind. I'm a
fiercely independent voter not aligned with anybody.
So, this is not a vendetta for the R's against the D
Click the dastardly Snidely Whiplash
My involvement is to strictly publish the facts with the
proof I have in hand and spread the word to save the
headwaters of Claybank Creek from Snidely Dibenedetto!
1/9/11 Today's featured
photo is part of the headwaters on Manistee, MI's
Claybank Creek. In 1932 the MDOT rerouted
this section Claybank
Creek to suit their purposes. This would never be
allowed in this day and age of environmental awareness,
For last 80 years this part of the headwaters has seen
natural stream bank stabilization and is home to the
flora and fauna that thrive in wetlands.
Sand Hill Cranes, waterfowl and various other wildlife
all use this watershed. Plus, it's cherished
tributary to the lower section of Big Manistee River.
Claybank Creek headwaters
Claybank Creek is noted for Brook Trout fishing and
naturally reproducing Steelhead populations according to
Mark Tonello at the Cadillac DNR.
There's a plan in the works to replace this stream bed
with about a 1/4 mile of a 10' open trench that would surely send
silt, and contamination downstream.
This plan is
being put forth by the worst example of a "tax and spend"
(D), Manistee Drain Commissioner Mark Dibenedetto.
He has absolutely no respect, nor the concept of the complex
hydrology that contributes to overall health of a
Wanted to keep the name of this creek private for those
who fish Brookies in it, but that would just make
bringing attention to
this priceless treasure that much harder.
Please vote and make add your voice in our Claybank
1/8/11 Placed a call to the
Cadillac, MI DNR office about environmental issues in an
effort to protect an unnamed Brook Trout stream in
Manistee County, MI. Used the word unnamed to keep
pressure off this stream and preserve it for generations
Fisheries Biologist Mark Tonello was kind enough to let
me explain was going on. Much to my surprise, he
had been on this creek before and told me this stream
not only held Brookies, but had Steelhead smolts in it
too. Even more surprising, he was already aware of
this issue and was looking into it long before I called
I am a
fan of Mark Tonello having read some of his reports and
papers directed at our fisheries. Whatever the DNR
is paying him ....he's worth every cent of it!
Trout are members of the Char family and related to the
Lake Trout that inhabit our Great Lakes. Brook
Trout populations in small creeks and streams that feed
the Great Lakes watershed are a key indicator of our
Manistee snowometer total for winter 2010-2011 has risen
to 60 inches!
1/7/11 The eternal
merry-go-round continues in the Asian Carp fight.
E-DNA testing has became an accepted science proving the
A-Carps have breached the electric barrier on the
Chicago Drainage Canal. Several areas adjacent to
Lk. MI have confirmed samples containing E-DNA from the
A-Carp species of Silver and Bighead.
Those against A-Carp have common sense and science on
their side. Shipping companies and parties
determined to keep this waterway open have high powered
attorneys trumping common sense and science at every
I won't say money can buy justice depending on which
side of the issue you stand on, but it can sure ...make
a firm down payment on it!
1/6/11 Self proclaimed nerd
and Michigan's new Governor Rick Snyder has dismantled
the DNRE fiasco, splitting it back into the DNR and DEQ
...like it was in the first place.
If you look back over the time since DNRE was created, I
never used this abbreviation on this website, cuz I
thought it was bunch malarkey.
MDNR needs to stand on sound science for the Michigan
hunters and fishermen. DNR managers need to focus
on things related to fish and game.
laws are good and some laws are bad. Law that said
3 rods per person is a good law. Banning hunting
over "spilt grain" (Ted Nugent quote) is a bad law that
had it basis in diseased penned deer being raised for
Not free ranging natural deer that gnawed my pine trees
into ugly stems, cuz I could not feed the winter deer a
bale of hay, or 2. I witnessed deer after deer eat
from the same pine branches, on the same trees only
The deer were after the young wood part, not the pine
needles. Once a deer had stripped needles off a
branch, another deer would eat on the same twig.
In the wild there is a natural exchange of saliva among
all social animals. Outlawing deer baiting is not
gonna stop this not matter what any armchair desk expert
who lives in a city pretends to know!
my damaged pines deer ate to a nub!
Yesterday's tip about extending the life of your boat's
battery/batteries did spark interest on our message
board with helpful replies. One of today's
featured photo is a battery charging system that was
installed in 2007 when I first purchased SR 1979.
For less than 100 bucks this Guest charger has performed
flawlessly in keeping my batteries topped off with no
muss/no fuss 24/7.
Click Guest Battery Charger
the constant draw of the TR1 Gold autopilot, sonar and
GPS. Then, there's occasional use of running
lights, wipers, aft-deck lights, riggers, and radar that
draw juice too. It's necessary to pay attention to
having batteries fully charged while afloat. This
is even more challenging if you troll on a kicker with
only a 15 amp alternator like I do.
entering the boat buying season. If you're not
into dumping 50/100k in new boat, high payments, and the
interest that goes with a brand new ride? You
might want to consider buying a sound surveyed older
sold some equipment that came with SR 1979 my purchase
end-cost in the beginning was only frugal 4k.
SR 1979 on new trailer
it may, I've spent another 10k in serious upgrades, but
when I break down yearly cost it's only $3000 per year
for a first class 22' fishing rig. Best part of 3k
yearly cost? This too ...will come down over time.
Click for SR 1979's refit
Manistee snowometer total for winter 2010-2011 has risen
to 46 inches!
1/4/11 One of the reel-bright spots on the
2011 season is the plant has doubled on Coho. Up
from 800k to 1.6 million according to what I read.
Add this 1.6m in with the IL & IN Coho plants,
...producing a highly favorable outlook for southern Lk.
MI this April.
St. Joe and New Buffalo are probably the best known MI
ports for spring Coho. Granted these early spring
fish are not large (3-4lbs.), but sheer numbers and an
very aggressive bite means fast action & big fun.
Click archived 5/5/09 spring triple
a cost saving winter tip to put on your "to-do" list.
Boat batteries need a charge during the offseason.
You can extend the life of your marine battery.
Saving big bucks when it comes time to hit the pond for
the first trip of the season.
1/3/11 First reel-work day of the new year
and what a great thing we have to look forward to.
A whole new season has descended upon us with the
possible agony of defeat, or the future thrill of
victory looming in 2011.
Click sunrise on
season is a grand and glorious event to be played out of
the next many months. In 70 days, or less ...early
season ice-out Lk. MI Brown Trout is already on my
schedule. Granted we have a bunch more snow and
cold days, but the warm thoughts of our new season will
tide us over until better weather arrives.
I'm very proud to say 2011 marks the 11th consecutive
year running of daily updates. By default making
this website the long standing leader of current fishing
reports and worthy news pertaining to the Great Lakes
Fishery. Looking forward to the promises and
challenges of this ...the brand new season we'll soon
all be sharing together!
1/2/11 In my wide ranging travels on the
internet ...ran across a rare MI fish heretofore that
was unknown to me. This was a hybrid fish caught
in Lk. Huron back in 1994 called a Pinook Salmon.
Common sense says this is a cross between a Chinook/King
Salmon and a Pink Salmon. Master Anger Pinooks
were sized at 10 to a little over 12 pounds.
Our MDNR recognized these as a separate species & gave
out 3 Master Angler awards. Qualifying winning
Pinooks were caught in waters off Alpena County, MI.
Two awards went out in 1994 and one award was given in
fake Pinook Salmon
So, you know I'm not trying to pull your leg, or lay an
early Aprils Fools joke on you, ...scroll down the
species menu, then click:
This MDNR search link will provide verification.
Kinda weird this fish was with us so briefly and
presents more questions than answers? If you have
more info, or photos of this very rare hybrid fish,
please contact me.
1/1/11 Happy New Years to
all. My best wishes for a safe and successful new
My New Years Resolution is to use my boat at least 20
times in 2011. Instead
of the measly 13 trips like during all of 2010.
Last season my late Aug into mid-Sept fishing plans were
destroyed by high winds that built heavy seas ...way too
rough for me.
Living in Manistee County, MI and taking advantage of
close access to several great Salmon/Trout ports more
often is my number 1 goal for 2011.