October, November & December 2018
12/31/18 2018 was
fraught with boat gremlins that began with the surge
brakes in my boat's trailer not functioning.
Then, the double seal on the prop shaft of my
kicker/trolling motor began leaking water into the
12/30/18 Goodbye 2018!
This year was fraught with boat gremlins that began
with the surge brakes in my boat's trailer failing.
Then, the seal on the prop shaft of my
kicker/trolling motor began leaking water into the
12/29/18 50° yesterday
morning at 7am was time to cease the moment and get
some work done on my boat. There was a mess
left from this fall's mechanical issues.
12/28/18 I'm on point to
expand the line of tackle we offer at my webstore at
factory direct prices that whip the big box stores
hands down and going away. In 2019 look for
mono on 1 lb. spools in 15, 20, 25, and 30 pound
test. Will be adding 300' and 600' spools of
45 pound test copper. Along with 7 strand
stainless steel trolling 30# wire for Dipsys.
12/27/18 Some of our
2019 meat heads are in-house and being machined.
Sold out of mag heads in pearl, SUV and glow base
colors this year.
12/26/18 We need more
days like Christmas where there's no daily pressure
that amount to a complete day off. Gave myself
a Christmas present yesterday by not turning on any
computers, or smart phones. Pausing
technical/electronic slavery at least for a day!
12/25/18 Merry Christmas
to all. My Christmas present came directly
from Santa as a seasonal Manistee, MI launch ramp
pass. What makes this pass/decal unique?
...it's the number 1 pass for the 2019 season: 1001.
number 1 ramp permit
12/24/18 Merry Christmas video debuts today. Click for this new video
12/23/18 Have a great Sunday. New video update for tomorrow.
12/22/18 Finally the
MDNR posted the dismal King return at the Little
Manistee Harvest Weir at 1300 fish. Down from
1768 last year. According to what I was able
to verify online, WI's Strawberry Creek Lk. MI
facilities process about 5000 Kings each season.
This is a wide disparity we MI fishermen should be
Click Little Manistee Weir numbers
12/21/18 First day of winter 2018-2019 ...good! Now the days will gradually get longer. Short days just throw off my internal clock and being able to accomplish anything outdoors. Lost almost all of our snow cover and that's good news too. Have yet to plow snow and that's more good news for yours truly. It's amazing how warm 40° feels in late December.
12/20/18 Funny how things work out. My spoon side by side comparison where I show the wiggle, wobble and darting motion of our Salmon Buster™ spoons against other brands is my most popular You Tube video with over 75,000 views. Not too shabby for a video that I never intended to publish until I seen how plastic versus metal performed better!
12/19/18 Sorting thru my 2018 videos, ran across excellent footage on 4 big spring Kings in the 36" and above class. Seeing these large silver Kings up close and personal to share with you is what fishing is about. Probably start editing after the new year.
12/18/18 Time put into the new video and updates, including the shopping cart code at the webstore was well over 4 hours. Editing video is an intensive process that eats up a lot of time. Still not happy with most of the video's sound track. Been working on improving audio. Have a new passive Rode mic for my GoPro that seems a lot better.
12/17/18 Today is the
world debut of our 2019 White Lightning tackle.
To herald this event there's a special 2 for 1
Salmon Buster™ spoon reel-deal. Click
for spoon deal
weekend thus far. Trying something new to save
time on my dual boat battery setup. Just
disconnected the positive terminals to install the
trickle chargers. Autopilot always drawing
juice and a few other power vampires being the
12/15/18 Michigan Sea
Fishery Workshop takes place on
January 19, 2019 from
8:45 am thru 2:45 pm. Doors open at 8:00 am
12/14/18 2 tasks for
today. Put trickle chargers on my boat's
batteries is up 1st. Since using trickle
chargers battery service life has doubled.
12/13/18 Santa stopped
by to check on my early Christmas present, Scruffy
the dog. Santa has dogs at the North Pole too!
Santa & Scruffy the Labradoodle
12/12/18 New 2019 White
Lightening spoon special will debut in the very near
future. Working on completing a large
international order. Don't want to have more
irons in the fire than we can handle comfortably.
Besides, the 2019 season is still a long ways off.
12/11/18 Posted a photo
of the GoPro Hero 6 used in filming the new 2019
White Lightening video. Please note the handle
that a battery too.
12/10/18 The sun came
out for 5 minutes at my place today in Manistee, MI.
Rushed outside to get the 3rd leg of the yet to
debut 2019 White Lightening tackle video.
12/9/18 Shot Part II of
the new video showing the attributes of the 2019
White Lightening lineup under LED shop lights.
Coming up with some new and better is the story of
the Salmon tackle industry. This new lure tape
can only be seen to be appreciated.
12/8/18 My guestimeter
snow gauge stands at 25" thus far for the 2018-2019
snow season for Manistee County, MI. We just
had about 7" of the white stuff dumped on my place.
Being inland for Lk. MI about 12-13 miles, this
distance allows for the lake effect to kick in while
the City of Manistee proper might get just a
12/7/18 Today's photo
has been hanging around my desk for a while.
Decided to share a photo of a cute gal with a decent
King off Frankfort, MI's Point Betsie from mid 1980s
when I was a newbie charter skipper just learning
Click cute gal & decent King
12/6/18 Working on
cleaning up my boat 2019 that begins with
straightening out tackle messes from last season.
Had a jumble of spoons all tangled together in
plastic tubs screwed to the rigger board. This
saves dropping tackle overboard.
12/5/18 Finally my
boat's outdrive is good to go for the 2019 season.
A series of cascading mechanical events are all in
shipshape for our early March-April fishery.
12/4/18 Ludington, MI's
Capn Kirk sent in a recent photo of a very worthy
Steelhead. New fish pictures that grace this
website keeps it fun and interesting.
12/3/18 The passing of
our 41st President has effected me deeply.
George HW Bush was a member of our greatest
generation. The same one my parents belonged
12/1/18 Hello December 2018! My early season is about 3 1/2 months away if I can get to Southern Lk. MI for spring Coho fest.
11/30/18 Have a great weekend as November 2018 enters the history books in Manistee, MI as one of the most devoid of sunshine on record. We've had only 4 days of sunshine lasting more then an hour. So, my 3 part video on the new White Lightening pattern that shows cloudy, shop light and full sun conditions might not happen, as hoped for.
11/29/18 Made the spoons
for the soon to debut White Lightening Salmon
Buster™ spoon special. In the process of
shooting a video in cloudy, inside shop lights and
outdoor full sun to capture the dramatic color shift
of this light reflecting pearl lure tape.
11/28/18 The color pearl
has been around for long time in fishing lures.
Know mother of pearl and even clam shells were
around in the late 1800s. Posted a photo of
the made in MI Paw Paw Pearl Wobbler that goes back
11/27/18 Spoons won our
recent poll with 35% of the vote. Meat and
flasher/fly tied for second at 25% a piece.
Combined the whole and cut to generalize the meat
category at a fair sample size of a 100 votes.
To keep the poll fair, one 1 vote per day would be
counted. So, the sample size wasn't
compromised by over voting.
Click poll page results
11/26/18 Day 2 of the
poll asking about your best method for adult Salmon.
Be sure to keep in mind this pertains to adult
(July/August) fish. Should have reworded this
question long ago, but decided to stick with the
original question for continuity.
11/25/18 This is the
15th year for the poll in the top left border asking
you what your best method for adult Salmon is?
Click for long running Poll
11/24/18 Have a great post Thanksgiving weekend.
11/23/18 Planning stage
for 2019 is over and done with. Now is the
time to shift gears into production. Been
working on the new 2019 White Lightening Salmon
Buster™ spoons as part of a 2019 tackle special that
will debut soon.
2019 White Lightening proof
11/22/18 Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!
11/21/18 Replacing the
impeller in my spare Mercruiser outdrive is front
and center today. This is an under 20 dollar
part that will save you loads of grief during
11/20/18 Not exactly
thrilled about having to remove the outdrive from my
1979 Sea Ray yesterday. Working in a cold pole
barn is not my idea of fun!
11/19/18 Preparation for
the 2019 season begins at the end of the 2018
season. Getting your boat in shipshape should
be done before winter's long nap.
11/17/18 Have great Saturday and Sunday. Winter in Manistee means snow. Lately wet sticky snow on my satellite dish have prevented early morning updates.
The 9" Simrad I have does a fair job on 455 kHz side
scan (with nothing previous to compare it to).
Side scan vertical slashes are supposed to be fish,
reinforced with a double echo behind the 1st slash
from what I learned on YouTube.
11/15/18 MI firearms deer season begins today. Have a safe hunt and good luck!
side scan sonar has been a game of guesses for me.
Knowing fish we're after are not stationary targets
and constantly on the move is part of the reason.
Keep waiting for the MDNR to post the number of this
year's run Kings at the Little Manistee Harvest
Weir. Approaching mid-November and no report
11/12/18 My season's end came way too early this year around
Labor Day due to a bad starter on the GM 350 V8.
Our Labradoodle pups came on 9/9/18 and raising this
litter ate up a lot of time. Reward was the
beautiful smart puppies that went to good homes.
11/11/18 Winter has given us a sneak peek of what's to come. About 4 inches of wet snow has fell in Manistee, MI. Weather looks like there will be some snow left on the opener of firearms deer season that begins this Thursday. Click 1st snow of 2018-2019
11/10/18 1st snow of the 2018-2019 season for Manistee County, MI. There's about 3" on the ground and a lot more in front of us before spring 2019 breaks.
11/9/18 Submitted my
order for more meat heads and 4.0 Salmon Buster™
spoons. There's 12 base injection molded-in
spoon colors that must be kept track of to make sure
everything is ready to go for 2019. This is
where continuity plays a big part to make sure
there's a perfect color match. Factoring in
...you only get one chance to do it.
11/8/18 Ordering more
meat heads and 4.0 spoons for 2019 from my injection
molding company is on tap for today. This
requires a full inventory search to make sure
nothing is overlooked. Sounds easier than it
is with the many base colors that's in my product
11/7/18 Bill Schuette (R) was defeated in the MI governor's
race. Schuette put a lot of effort into
fighting the Chicago pathway of Asian Carp on behalf
of all MI fishermen. He would have made a good
MI governor, but the Flint water crisis was too much
11/6/18 Please go vote if you've yet to cast your ballot!
Changing the clock to fall back is easy.
Changing your internal clock is not, if you're an
early riser. Woke up at 3:30am this morning
out of sync.
Fall back time switch happened last night as we
transitioned from Daylight Saving Time to Eastern
Standard Time. Gained back the hour we lost
11/3/18 Have a great weekend!
11/2/18 With the
firearms MI deer season a couple of weeks away,
posted a link to our MDNR's recent informational
webpage on CWD.
Click for this info laden article
11/1/18 John J took a
decent 8 point with his cross bow not too long ago.
This is great news for boat snacks next season.
Venison salami is excellent with cheese and
should always be one of your strong suits.
Watched 1000s of Kings come to the boat over the
years. Direction fish go depends on which side
of the mouth they got the hooks stuck in.
Salmon that run starboard almost always have the
hook in the right side of the jaw. Same goes
for fish that scoots off to the portside.
10/30/18 A surge of late season business had me in the shop
building tackle and shipping orders till late last
evening. So, today's planned update is
postponed until tomorrow.
10/29/18 I've resigned
myself to the reel-fact the possibility of getting
20-30 hits/bites per trip like we used to, does not
reflect the current state of our Lk. MI King Salmon
10/28/18 Have a great Sunday. Tomorrow's topic is my biggest disappoints in 2018 and a course of action on how to cure them.
10/27/18 For the last 2
weeks, October 2018 has been cold chilly with
daytime high temps running about 10°-15° below
what's considered normal. This makes it
increasing difficult to get fired up about trying to
squeeze another day, or two on Lk. MI.
10/26/18 In August 2003,
well before the fleet was clued in on how effective
meat was, I was laying the ground work from my
transition from a charter boast skipper to a tackle
manufacturer. My catch rates per hour with
meat rigs™ had skyrocketed well beyond the fleet
norm. But there was still room for
Click 2003 log with pics
10/25/18 Technical issues today in computerville has postponed today's mini history lesson on how I came up with snelled trebles back in 2003. Reel story tomorrow.
10/24/18 Training help today and going over the fine points
to ensure product continuity. Sounds easier
then it is, because we all work a little different.
With this being skilled hand work, there's no
affordable machine to snell our popular double
trebles for meat rigs™.
Posted a photo of my fix to the bilge pump auto-on
float switch ever being stuck again. This
forever MacGyver fix is tape, Scotch Brite pad, and
a zip tie that will act as a strainer. Keeping
out dirt, oil and gunk that lives in the bilge.
for this fix
10/22/18 Came up with a fix for the issue that were responsible for my engine starter woes. This makes sure the auto switch will always work with a piece of Scotch Brite that will act like a strainer to keep dirt and gunk from jamming that float switch. Will post a photo of my unique contraption soon.
Looks like a brief window to fish Lk. MI out of
Manistee this coming Thursday. If this
forecast holds? I'm going for it!
10/19/18 Here's a direct quote from our MDNR about CWD being found in Michigan's UP:
"Deer tests positive for CWD in Dickinson County
A 4-year-old doe killed on a deer
damage shooting permit in Dickinson County’s
Waucedah Township has tested positive for chronic
wasting disease, marking the first confirmation of
the incurable deer disease within Michigan’s Upper
10/18/18 Brrrrr, 25°
last night in Manistee, MI where I live. So
far, October has been below normal for average
temperatures. May I add, wet and rainy too!
10/17/18 Next up will be
reporting on how many Kings returned to the Little
Manistee Harvest Weir. This is hard data that
goes back to the late 1960s. From my
estimation which is probably totally wrong, less
than last year is my prediction.
Filled out the forms and sent in my data gathered
during the 2017 season for the Salmon Ambassador
program. My results were lackluster to say the
least. Averaging about .7 Kings per hour based
on a 3 hour trip with lines in the water from April
10/15/18 Election 2018
my wife and I voted by absentee ballot. I do
not discuss, or tell my wife how to vote and we
really don't discuss what went into our envelopes.
Being married for over 50 years, one thing you never
do, is to tell any women what to do!! This is
easily understood if you put the shoe on other foot
with her telling you how to vote.
Fall's spectacular colors are close to their peak in
This year's acorn crop around my place in Manistee
County, MI is very heavy. Both the white and
red oaks have dropped enough to cover the ground in
10/10/18 80° days in
October are few & far between. This made my
annual trip to Pine Creek to check out the Salmon
spawning ritual extra appreciated.
Click Pine Creek pic
10/9/18 Nice weather
side tracked me yesterday. Moved my puppies
from their whelping box to a larger pen inside my
pole barn. These are really nice well mannered
docile puppies. In the process of cage
training them to make potty training easier for the
10/8/18 In October of 2007 began a photo time study of Pine Creek. Been shooting the same section of a gravel bar on the E side of the bridge every year since. Plan for today is to make a quick trip to revisit this Salmon Spawning stream. Click Pine Creek Article
10/6-7/18 Interesting video update
for this weekend on Great Lakes spawning
10/5/18 Gearing up for fall Steelhead fishing on LK. MI.
Need to re-spool some of my reels with 15 pound test
for surface lines (off the boards).
10/4/18 Looking for a
window for my next Lk. MI trip. After today,
rain is predicted until next Friday. So, I'll
keep looking and be ready when weather improves.
10/3/18 Inventory day for what's left in-stock for meat heads. Know we're dreadfully low on most colors. Need to do this in the very near future, because it takes about 3 weeks after I submit my order for heads to the injection molding company. Then, machining the heads will take weeks at a reasonable pace to make sure we have heads for 2019. Heads are a large portion of our yearly sales. So, this must be dealt with expeditiously.
10/2/18 Fixing boat
issues begins with the root cause. I'm
speaking of my starter on a GM V8 that was submerged
due to high water in the bilge.
1/10/18 October starts the last quarter of 2018. This means website maintenance for the archived past results section that dates back to 2000. Having logged 18 years of daily updates is an excellent source of reference material. Can read what happened years ago and compare it to the current state of our fishery. This keeps postings accurate when I need to look back in time and come up with another reel-story! Click for Past Results
9/30/18 The MDNR is trying to reestablish Arctic Grayling in MI. MI and Montana are the only 2 states in the lower 48 to have this specie. The MI strain of Grayling went extinct in the 1930s for a number of reasons. Probably mostly deforestation and the introduction of other species of river/stream trout. Click for the MDNR article
9/29/18 Self inflicted wounds when it comes to owning a boat are the hardest to take. Knew my auto float bilge pump switch was iffy. Neglected this when my boat was at Pier 1 Marina in August. Heavy rains toward the end on the month flooded the bilge. Submerging the starter and ruining it. So, now have to deal with replacing it this weekend.
Spent most of yesterday afternoon doing a thorough
scrub on the hull. It's been the best part of
2 years since this was last done. Used the
toilet bowl cleaner "Works" remove the waterline
built up crude and water spots. Be sure to
wear rubber gloves when using this chemical toilet
bowl cleaner that contains 9.5% hydrochloric acid.
Walleyes in the extreme south end of Lk. MI is
something you don't hear about very often.
Local E Chicago, IN angler, Tom M took a 8 lb. plus
Walleye on the Frog Meat Rig™ combo while fishing
out of Pastrick Marina.
Click S Lk. MI Walleye
to Wikipedia: Lake Michigan is 22,404 sq. mi.
Wisconsin has 7,358 square miles.
Michigan has 13,237 square miles of Lk. MI (almost
twice as much as WI).
Steve S who fishes out of Kewaunee, WI got into some
decent fishing yesterday. They caught 5 fish
over 400' feet of water 3 Steelhead, a King and a
jumbo Coho that went 14 pounds.
Steve's personal best Coho
2 weeks ago our female AKC/CKC Chocolate Lab, Kat
gave birth to 10 Chocolate Labradoodle puppies.
The sire/father was from our CKC Chocolate Standard
Poodle, Buster. These are CKC registered dogs and
have their litter registration in-hand.
Mentioned back on the 19th about the changing of the
guard in MDNR that will probably happen after this
November's election when a new governor is sworn in.
Potential incoming new fisheries chief will have his
own course of action that might bode well for us.
Summer 2018 officially ends tonight as Fall 2018
will be here tomorrow. Why does summer go by
so fast and winter last so long? This is an
unanswerable question, because in Manistee, MI we
get 6-7 months of pretty decent weather. Rest
no so much!
Finished a 10 page website that will debut this
coming Monday. While it's on the web now, know
more re-writes and proof reading is in order.
This fall's election will usher in a new governor in
the State of MI. This probably means a shake
up at MDNR with new leadership. I'm in the
hopes a new fishery chief will look more favorably
on Lk. MI Salmon fishery and increase the stocking
East Chicago, IN is still producing a few Kings
according to website member, Tom M. Know
exactly where he fishing and that has to be all warm
water. Catching adult Kings on meat in warm water and
Pike is a skill set I've yet to master.
Click for Tom's fish
Communication comes in many forms nowadays.
Back in the days of 1968 when I began fishing the
Great Lakes, we were all learning how to catch
Salmon. There was no baseline established.
We got our information face to face from fishermen
that were successful. And it was shared openly
with great camaraderie.
9/17/18 Postponed until later today if time allows... Lost most of this day with a visit t my eye doctor here in Manistee.
9/15/18 Have a beautiful weekend. Don't have many like this left with temps in the 80s. Be back Monday with the interesting history of communication that goes back to 1968.
Hectic week, lots going on as we look forward to the
2019 season. Long list of things to do.
Restocking meat heads is the 1st priority.
We're almost out of stock on most colors, so this
has to be dealt with between now and Christmas.
Let's see, in the left border Montana to Canada and
points in between are covered with catch photos.
This shows how universal fishing is. Fishing
transcends race, religion, politics, language and
gender. This is a great common denominator for
Today's featured photo is from Ludington, MI's Capn.
Kirk with a respectable morning catch of 3 Kings and
2 very chunky Coho. He caught these fish
towards Big Point Sable & the bathhouse in a small
pocket of cold water down 40'. His flavor of
the day was my 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoons in the Icy
Click Capn. Kirk's catch
Counted the photos sent in from website viewers.
There's 12 pics that tell us their reel-story.
Having viewership share their results is what keeps
this website fresh.
Here's the reel-story about trophy
Lake Trout. We pickup the conversation from
Darin when he wanted to know what hooks and sizes
used on Salmon Buster™ spoons:
Best part? ...all the photos today in the left border were sent in by viewers of this website!
9/9/18 Yesterday's strong E wind curtailed a lot of the Manistee fleet's activity to around the pier heads. Seen a good number of boats on harbor patrol at 10am, but no nets going down. Hope they had a good morning bite, cause what I seen wasn't much.
9/8/18 Have a great weekend. Did speak with Ludington, MI's Capn. Kirk. He fished N and found a pocket of cold 41° water at 40' down and boxed a nice mixed bag of Coho and Kings. This is a big improvement over last year's Lk. MI September production.
9/7/18 Finishing out this week with another guest fish report Tom M who was featured yesterday. He had this to say about his 9/5/18 solo trip out of E Chicago, IN:
"John, Got out this morning by myself picked up these three on your green frog meat rig. Lost 3 too ...at the back of the boat trying to net them by myself. Pretty tough to do for me when they're decent fish!" Click for his jumbo Kings
Truth is stranger than fiction is born out in
today's reel-story from Tom M. Tom fishes out
of E Chicago, IN on the S end of Lk. MI. Known
Tom since 2004 when he was the 1st to introduce meat
fishing to his port and was a ahead of the rest of
his home boys.
Longtime message board member, going back to the
early 2000s, Steve T is an asset to all. He
always shares the straight skinny on his success, or
Whew! Almost made it thru my 35th primetime season
in the fishing business that dates back to 1983.
20 years as a Great Lakes and rivers guide/charter
skipper and 15 years as a tackle manufacturer has
whizzed by way too fast!
Last day of our less than perfect Labor Day Weekend.
If the wind didn't keep you dockside? ...the
thunderstorms did. Wettest Labor Day in my
9/2/18 Customer testimonials are always good to hear. Today's is from Montana' Fort Peck Reservoir part of the Missouri River system. Montana plants about 300,000 Kings that are landlocked. Their main feed supply is ciscoes. Here's what Levi P. had to say:
"It's been a tough fishing year here in Fort Peck Reservoir in Montana but the 2017 special spoon pack I bought has saved the trip!! Just wanted to say thanks again, it was great buying from you guys. I tell everyone I can about the spoons!" Click Montana Kings
Continued below back to the year 2000: