Capt. John's Log
16 Seasons of Archived Daily Great Lakes News
Below images are thumbnails

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7/31/08 Kewaunee, WI

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7/28/08 Manistee, MI
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8/31/08 Manistee
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9/1/08 Manistee, MI

Home Salmon Busters™ Great Lakes Info Tips and Trix Capt. John's Log

Click here for my first Salmon I caught on Oct. 1, 1968

Archived Daily Log 
(Dating back to the year 2000)

5/15/18  Focus today will not be on me in the form of a fish report.  Focus will be on a program that works in difficult situations on inshore Kings in water less than 50' deep.
              We all know Kings get touchy after the sun comes up.  Factor in high sun, tabletop flat calm water with Mr. K Salmon in the top 25' in the water column.  Sun penetration makes very Kings wary on presentation that slows the bite a lot after the 1st hour of daylight.  Check out the flat-calm water on 5/13/18 trip
             Found that stretching the rigger leads to 80' to 100' back that big guy Kings will hit my Salmon Buster™ in tough conditions at 2.5 mph (plus, or minus .3 tenths).
             In 6 hours of lines in the water we've caught 4 Kings from 15 to over 20 pounds while marking hardly any bait and very-very few fish marks. 
             So, this program does work on the small numbers of spooky Kings I've been able to drive over in central Lk. MI not noted for a good early May spring King fishery.
              Tomorrow?'s Icy Blue spoon pic explained: Click 5/13/18 Icy Blue

5/14/18   It was  my great pleasure to fish out of Ludington, MI yesterday morning with longtime fishing bud, John J.  Had lines in the water from around 8am until we pulled at 11:30am.  This reel story will conclude tomorrow after we clear out our workload crush of orders that came in after the weekend.

5/12/18  Have a great Mothers Day Weekend!

5/11/18  Like flipping a switch, the weather warmed up and so did the fishing.  Lk. MI reports from MI City, IN to South Haven have all been more than decent.  These ports are the ones I have info for.  I expected Saugatuck and Holland will be next on the hit parade.
              Icy Blue Salmon Buster™ 4.0 has proven itself to be a winner in Ludington for Capn. Kirk and myself.  The power blue over ice chips is a custom tape done in-house.
              Did get some excellent video of both of the Kings Todd B and I caught.  Each of our jumbo Kings took better then 20 minutes to land.  So, there's a lot of great action shots that will be shared with you down the road.  Click Icy Blue Salmon Buster™ 4.0

5/10/18  Another fresh on-the-water report from Ludington skipper, Capn Kirk that came in yesterday afternoon.  He had a mixed bag that chowed on the Icy Blue and Gold Crushed Orange (GOC).  Last I spoke to him he was around the harbor and getting ready to pull lines.
              Now, for part II of my 5/8/18 Ludington event.  We had lines in the water from 4:00pm until we pulled at 6:30pm.  Quitting early yes, it was building to 2 and 3 footers and our 2 Slide Diver rods needed to be redone.  Slide Divers are a great tool, but a pain to re-thread in a bouncy-rocking boat going N in a SW cross beam sea.  Click Todd's 38" King
              Total sum output was 2 Kings for the 2 1/2 hours.  Reel-story is size.  A 36" and 38" jumbo spring Kings are quality hard fighting fish that will test you and your tackle.  Do know, we were geared too light.  Upgrading the 15# test mono to 20#!

5/9/18  Part 2 of yesterday's special delivery update is my fish report for Ludington, MI.  Afternoon started off great around 4pm with calm seas our 1st King of the 2018 season. 
            This fish came not too long after lines-in around 5pm.  This was a line ripping devil fish off our 25' down rigger over 40' of water.  This 36" King liked to cross track and tangle into our bird 1/2 cores.  20 minutes was run off the clock to defeat this spunky King.
            Flavor of the day on this fish was Capn Kirk's Icy Blue 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoon.  Reel easy for me to figure out to run after Kirk's glowing report.  Click for this King
            Much to my surprise we did find surface temp in the low 50s not that far from the harbor.  This was missed by the satellite map.  Tomorrow? 2 ...a 38" monster

5/8/18  Yesterday, it was game-on for Ludington's early & late season specialist, Capn. Kirk.  He boated 2 Browns, 2 Kings and 3 Lakers during his morning trip.  Kirk said, "most of my fish came on the Salmon Buster™ 4.0 in the Icy Blue pattern." Click Kirk's catch
             Today's reel story began with a phone call from Capn. Kirk around noon.  He was catching fish on the Icy Blue pattern and needed more.  Seeing I was going to fish Lk. MI, shifted my plan from Manistee to Ludington to make a special delivery to my longtime friend and UPS driver (he's now retired) for over 10 years. Click Capn. Kirk's special delivery

5/7/18  This past weekend's Coho Classic Tournament held in MI City, IN had some very impressive catches of spring Kings to 23 pounds.  Most all pro boats weighed-in their 10 Kings.  This is the good news we've all been waiting for!
             Fishing this afternoon for yours truly.  I see this as a scouting mission with low expectations on fish.  Seeing the main body of Lk. MI off Manistee still stuck in the chilly high 30s.  Plan is to drive around as fast as we can to get a good sonar bounce off bait.  Then, go from there.  Will check out the shelf if the weather plays nice.

5/5/18  Rumblings that spring Kings are beginning to show up in S Lk. MI. 
                                    Have a great weekend!

5/4/18  Gulley washer last night. has predicted calm seas for most of next week.  Their link to Manistee no longer exists and have to use the forecast for Big Point Sable.  5 days of flat water, count me in!  Click Windfinder info

5/3/18  Reports on spring Kings are hard to come by.  Heard a few were caught out of St. Joe on Lk. MI, but that report was dated.  Good news is wind and weather is going to be greatly improved thru next week.
            Traditionally, the 3rd week of May in June is when spring Kings become available in good numbers in central Lk. MI.  History awaits to tell this story.

5/2/18  Limbo land for my fishing plans until next week.  We're supposed to get abut 2" of rain by this weekend with enough wind to keep me off the pond.  Forecast for next week looks a lot better.  Still searching for a good report on Kings from trusted sources.
             April weather, failed trailer brakes and  non functioning electric choke have burned up about a month of my season.  Recent warm weather should help improve fishing.

5/1/18  Today's chat is focused on a tech tip that can save you major boat grief.

Case in Point: Four years ago upgraded my boat to an Edelbrock carburetor with an electric choke wired to a terminal in the keyed ignition.  4 years later the blade fuse in the fuse holder corroded just enough to prevent electric contact.  Making the motor run extremely rich and funky.  The choke was not opening.  Trouble shooting led to the blade inline fuse.
             If I had been smart enough to pay heed to today's tech tip: Dielectric Silicon Compound (a waxy grease) should have been used during fuse holder installation.
             12 volt DC current electrical issues are a pain in the butt we can all live without.  Religiously using Dielectric can prevent a lot of them.  Click Dielectric tube/fuses

Date color codes: red above 32°  blue below 32°

4/30/18  Good riddance to April 2018 that was an extension of winter.  Tomorrow, hello May and all the promise of the 2018 big lake season.  Long range sea and wind forecast is looking very favorable towards the end of this week.
               May is usually the Kings show up.  First, in S Lk. MI.  Then, the action moves N at a pace nobody can predict.  Should have all my boat issues taken care of today.  Ready to hit the pond ASAP depending on workload and weather.
               One piece of news I forgot to share about Manistee, MI? ...this year weeds have not been a problem like the past 2, or 3.  Yet to reel in a fouled lure in 5 hrs of troll time. 

4/29/18  The outlook to fish Manistee's part of  Lk. MI this week is not good.  Best day to go is this coming Thursday, but there's predicted thunderstorms & rain to contend with.
              Been looking at a trip to S Lk. Huron.  This is a wind sheltered coast (mostly).  Port Sanilac and Lexington still have decent opportunities for spring fishing.  Until my boat is in perfect mechanical condition? ...long cross-state road trips are out of the question.

4/28/18  This season is off to a slow start.  Winter extending into April has been a big setback.  This should change quick with Lk. MI gaining water temp.  Wide ranging reports on spring Kings has been almost non existent ...yet?  Lots of questions only time will answer.
              My deal is to be 100% ready by conquering all boat issues this week.  So, when the Kings finally do show up I won't be missing days on the drink.  Great Lakes fishing boats have a lot of complex systems to keep in tip top shape.  Ignoring them is not an option!

4/27/18   Boat issues are to be expected and always unwelcomed.  Electric choke on my boat's GM small block's carburetor needs some major adjustment.  So far, this spring had trailer brake's surge master cylinder fail.  Now, the carburetor is acting goofy?  Guess this is one of the many reasons carburetors are no longer used in the auto industry.
              There are some fish to be caught in Manistee, MI.  This will only get better as our weather has finally warmed up.  70s next week has been a long time in coming.
               Know my 4/24/18 program missed the mark.  5 colors of lead core (5 x 30' =150') should have been in the program.  3 hits, 2 at 19' down and 1 at 15' down off our riggers on long 100' leads at 2.5 mph troll speed is right in the zone of 1/2 cores.
                                      Have a great weekend!

4/26/18  When fishing is tough, the cream rises to the top.  Once again the Gold Crushed Orange Salmon Buster 4.0 proved to be our anti-skunk devise.  Click for LT & spoon
              All 3 of our bites on this past Tuesday's Manistee trip came on this deadly spoon.  Had 4 other patterns in the mix with our 6 rod spread, but the fish only want to hit this one certain color.  Need to try harder to find more colors/patterns when time allows.
              Several new boat upgrades were tested and refined.  New operating system in my Raymarine C127 is spectacular with more options in sonar, radar and GPS.  I'd rank this is one of my best marine electronics purchases ever.  To have a machine that's 6 years old brought up to present day standards without costing a dime is wonderful!

4/25/18  Yesterday, Todd B and I did not get skunked out of the Port of Manistee, MI.  That in itself is a victory considering the small amount of fish and bait we marked.  A Lone Ranger Lake Trout saved us from the dreaded black kitty!
               Did have 2 other nibbles, but you can't count swings and misses!
               Water temp inside the harbor was 46°.  Main body of Lk. MI was 39° once you cleared the stained harbor water.  Did not fish on the beach.  Opted for 30'-50' depths and stayed fairly close to the harbor.  Had lines in the water from 8:15am thru 11:30am.  Would have fished a little longer, but only marked 2 very small pockets of bait in 30' of water.
                Knew when we launched the boat is was going to be a tough go.  There were zero sea gulls about.  Usually, if the harbor is loaded with bait? ...gulls are there in force.
                Today's featured pic of Todd B holding a lake trout that can be improved with fill flash on a cloudy day.  Photo on the left is auto setting.  Photo on the right has fill flash to get rid of dark shadows and enhance said picture.  Click side by side LT photo

4/24/18  Gone Fishin' sign is back up today.  Several video systems and boat upgrades will be tested.  Foresee a tough trip and hope for a fish, or 2.  Even no fish can be tolerated after 4 weeks of cold snowy April that kept the fleet off the water.

4/23/18  Finally hit over 60° at may place in Manistee, MI.  Yesterday was the warmest we've seen since late last October (6 months).  My warm stuff ahead too.
              Holding back until tomorrow to fish Lk. MI out of Manistee.  Cloud cover, calm seas and rest from the weekenders makes waiting an extra day a safe bet.  I have no illusions of grandeur of easy, fast fishing.  I foresee a struggle till we get warmer water.
             This will be a month since my last trip.  New boat upgrades and fixing boat trailer brakes has been the holdup.  Better to have issues now and not primetime summer!  

4/22/18   Not quite tee-shirt weather for Manistee, MI (58°).  Playing the waiting game and letting Lk. MI's temp build.  Last year we had some decent sized schools of Alewives come close to the pier heads in Manistee and Ludington.  This bait brought fair numbers of hungry Kings with them last April and May.  Hoping this happens again this year.
               New Raymarine operating system is like having a brand new machine.  Lot's of new features and adjustability the 2012 OS did not have.  Minor downside is having to learn how to use all the new settings and configure them.  Upgrade was more than worth it considering this multi function display (MFD) was 6 years old.  Being able to extend the service life of our marine electronics is a technologic marvel for all.

4/21/18  2018 boat upgrades seem to be done for now.  Tested the Fish Hawk probe to transducer connection and it passed the test on dry land.
               Installing the Raymarine's new V 19.03 Light House operating system in my C127 MFD came off without a hitch.  Rewriting any OS can be scary.
               Ok, now it's time to bear down on fishing.  Checked Manistee's harbor cams yesterday.  Seen zero boats trolling in the vicinity of the pier heads.  You could surmise fishing is slow, or the home town fleet would have been out in force.
               My deal with fishing is waiting on the water temp to come up.  Even checked the S end of Lk. Huron and the main body came in at 36°.  Lk. MI. is 37°-38°.
               Will be fishing soon now that all the boat gremlins have been chased off.

4/20/18  Today is the unofficial reboot of Spring Part II 2018.  1st month of spring part I was an extension of winter weather.  So, let's look forward to warmer days ahead.
               Going to try updating my C127 Raymarine multi function display today.  Been researching the dos and don'ts, including 2 calls to tech support.
               Being able to bring a 2012 machine to current day standards shows Raymarine is not playing the planned obsolescence game.  Making this a wise purchase by sheer luck.
               If the Lk. MI fishing wasn't so touchy, I'd have left well enough alone and not bothering to go down the road of updating/rewriting Raymarine's operating code.

4/19/18  Up until the 2015 season a shotgun approach to your Salmon program was probably going to work OK.  By "shotgun" I mean to spray everything in sight in a broad pattern.  That all changed in the dreadful 2015 season on Lk. MI with diminished numbers of Kings available.  Nowadays, you need a focused clear sniper program with precision targeting in depth and trolling speed.
               Eliminating reliance on luck to fill your box with every advantage that comes with awareness of the clues you have to work it.  Sonar/fish finders require constant monitoring.
               That's why this season I'm working to update my 2012 Raymarine C127 12" multi function display with the latest updates.  My 12" C127 is running version 3.15 and does not support the Raymarine newest apps for Bluetooth.  Updating will be done in 2 steps.  1st is to update to version 13.  Then to step it up to V19 in another update.  I've never done this before and very concerned about the outcome.
              If I can get the updates successfully installed, there will be a tablet for the crew to monitor at arms reach so they can see what I see (in case something in missed).  Besides, this brings the crew into total participation at at all times as it should.
              Know this is a great idea for charter operations, because customers always want to see the sonar and have it explained to them.  With Bluetooth connectivity  they can have their own display and feel more in the loop.

4/18/18  Today's featured photo is Blue Tooth connection of my Android cell photo to Fish Hawk's X4D depth, down-temp and speed unit. Click side by side Bluetooth photo
               This was the easiest device to date to hookup BT with.  No passwords, or usernames to enter.  Just download the app from Fish Hawk to your tablet, or cell phone and it's a done deal.  Presto-amazo, no muss, no fuss!
               Having a display in your pocket makes finding temp a stay in place and run the rigger until you find the temp you're looking for.  What a tremendous advantage this is to be done right at the rigger and not having to look forward to read the main display!
               I can foresee in the future a heads-up display info transferring all fishing info into wearable eyeglasses.  Thusly, eliminating for cell phone and tablet displays.  It took me a while to catch on to how valuable Bluetooth remote functioning is.

4/17/18  Last Friday a 5' to 8' storm surge, or seiche pushed the water over the breakwalls in Manistee and Ludington, MI.  This seiche was a reverse water (mini sunami) flow that did a lot of damage during the onset of last Friday's thunderstorm.
              Manistee's City Marina lost a lot of their docks.  Manistee's Riverwalk was closed too.  Traverse City's Channel 7 news said the MDOT was inspecting Manistee's US31 and Washington Street drawbridges for damage.  Click more Manistee Marina info
             Will find out today if Manistee's 1st Street Launch is in full operation.  During the storm the U.S.C.G closed Manistee's harbor to all navigation. Click seiche explained

4/16/18  Lots to look forward to with the delayed start of the 2018 season for central MI ports.  Colder than normal water temps has put fishing on hold.  The future is bright for this year, because whatever fish are there, haven't been beat on yet.
              Nasty snow, sleet, rain and ice storm missed Manistee, MI for the most part.  Snow accumulation was several inches N of M72.  Heard Green Bay, WI got close to 2' of snow as this winter-like storm threw the last punch will have to take from Mr. Winter.
             Best news is towards the end of this week we'll actually see temps in the 50s.  My first trip in March (3 weeks ago) exposed failed boat upgrades that are fixed now.  So, I'm more then ready and look forward to get fishing again.

4/15/18  Railing against lousy tech support from manufacturers doesn't solve any problems.  Sharing with you an item to check before purchasing any boat trailer is a much better road.  Search engines will pick this and help others in the future.
               Safety on the road begins with your trailer's braking system in an emergency accident avoiding panic stop.  Click PDF of discontinued LP 80 actuator
               My Trailmaster boat trailer used an actuator from Tiedown to activate the dual axel disk brakes.  This master cylinder blew out and was informed by tech support from both companys there was no replacement .  Tech support at Tiedown used Google to say as much ...with zero hands-on experience, or complete mastery of what they sold.
               Was able to cross reference a replacement master cylinder and do a fix after I was told to cut the old one off and weld a new one on from Trailermaster, or J. Q. Tex Inc.
              Welding a new nose on would have meant I'd have a painted trailer.  Exactly, what was avoided when I paid extra for a galvanized trailer.  Painted trailers look fine for a year, or 2.  Then, road chips from gravel dings the paint off and starts a constant cycle
of repainting.  Guess it a matter of pride with me not having a rusty weather beaten trailer.

4/14/18  Rain changing to freezing rain, then 3" of snow is on tap for Manistee, MI today. 
               Been battling surge brake issues with poor advice from Trailmaster, the manufacturer of my trailer and TieDown the company that made the brake actuator, then discontinued it when Tiedown was purchased by another outfit.
               Their solution was to cut the broken system off and re-weld a brand new hydraulic disk brake actuator back on.  This is pure total BS, because I have a galvanized trailer and it's going to stay that way.  Photos & full story tomorrow....

4/13/18  Friday the 13th update is about the onslaught of an April winter storm.  Rain, freezing rain, snow and high winds are on the way for this weekend.  This storm will likely disable my satellite internet connection.  So, this could be my last chat until Monday.
              Thanks to all that purchased the 2018 reel-deals with 18% off.  Both flasher deals are very close to being sold out.  There are more spoon deals left.  Click 2018 specials

4/12/18  Fishing out of Manistee has been no big deal when boats can get out.  Weather and wind has kept the local fleet dockside for the most part.  I'm hearing maybe a fish for every 2-3 hours of trolling time.  This should improve when the water warms up even a little.  Bright spot is few reports of King Salmon being caught around the harbor with rarity.

4/11/18  On April 19, 2018  Sea Grant is hosting a meeting at 7:00pm till 9:20pm at the Moose Lodge in South Haven, MI.  The Moose Lodge is located at 1025 Wells Street, South Haven, MI 49090.  Know several of our website members fish this part of Lk. MI.  Being held on a Thursday evening makes this event easy to attend.  Lake-wide management plan and stocking options are topics to be covered.  Click Sea Grant Meeting info

4/10/18  Going to muster the courage today to work on my boat.  It's sat since 3/28 when the weather got nasty.  Temperature for Manistee is running 20°-25° below the norm.
              Keep looking without success for a window to fish Lk. MI again.  Issue is when the wind's not blowing, there's rain, freezing rain and snow in the forecast.
              Expanding on yesterday's talk on temp for Kings.  Wrote a 2 part article in 2008 more, or less dedicated to this subject.  Click Eaters, or Biters
             In the later 1970s, thru the 1980s, until the mid-later 1990s the fleet keyed in on 54° religiously.  Then, more and more catches of Kings came in colder water as these fish adapted.  Now, it's no big deal to pull Kings out of 38° water.  Prior to the mid 1990s this  was unheard of.  A few years back, in April caught Kings 150'-200' down in 36° water out of the Port of Manistee, MI.  These deep fish were very lethargic, but still hit meat.

4/9/18  7° at my place in Manistee at daybreak this past Sunday shows the chokehold the extended version of winter has on MI.  Maybe, spring 2018 will really happen this week?
             Speaking of temp I see Fish Hawk's X4D's preferred temperature for Kings is now 44°.  This is a 10° lower then their old handheld temp gauge said.
              The round circular gauge in today's featured photo was introduced in the later 1970s.  This old style is probe is on a 200' cable with rock solid in performance & longevity.
                            Click old vs. new Fish Hawk recommend temp guides
             It cannot be overstated on the importance of down-temp and how Salmon relate to it.  My findings? ...cold water (38°-44°) is best for a dedicated meat program.  Salmon hanging around 54° water are more apt to hit flasher/fly and all types of artificial lures.

4/8/18  Marine electronic manufacturers who stand behind their products are to be judged by the way warranty issues are handled with no muss, no fuss.
            My 1st trip of 2018 was a test run on the new XD4 purchased last winter.  Upon start the unit flashed, then shut off and restarted on it's own.  Came to find out display ser. #8282 was defective from the factory by running tech support tests dockside.
            Karen from Fish Hawk said she'd have a replacement X4D (ser. #13405) out the door ASAP with a return label to their company address in Brainerd, MN. 
           Making this the best tech/replace marine electronics dealer I've ever dealt! 
           Hope this later model head/display 5000 units later will work as supposed to.  
           It's not necessary to have rigger down temp and speed the catch Great lakes fish.  Caught 1000s without a probe.  It's is worthy if you lack confidence, or experienced enough to read the angle of your rigger cables. Click replacement X4D (D is for depth)
           My main reason and only reason was to see the depth at the ball where the temp is compared to where the break shows up on the sonar.  Sonar readings only mark accurate distance from the transducer and do not allow for rigger angle, carry-back, or sway.
                                (tomorrow 54 to 44 degree Kings?)

4/7/18  Salmon Ambassadors program data from 2014 to 2017 in a brief report has been made available to the public.  Over 8000 Kings have been tallied.  Naturally reproduced Kings is skewed against planted Kings, because of the very low stocking numbers.
             Do know we have fewer Kings.  But the size is larger.  Also, the run is mostly over by Labor Day.  That's a good 2 weeks earlier then is used to be.  Click S-A data

4/6/18  Good news for next week as a gradual warming trend begins mid week 
                                      Have a great weekend!

4/5/18   Donating to a good cause for the Great Lakes fishing public doesn't come around very often.  In my Sea Grant's Fish Notes page found that MSU was recruiting college students to analyze stomach contents from Great Lakes fish and need $8500 for this study.  Presently, this study is about only about 1/2 funded.  Click for more info
             This is a huge win-win situation by helping our fishery and college students. 
If everyone that visits this website donates 10 bucks we can help meet their goal. 
I donated 10 bucks and believe many of you will after reading the MSU info page. 
        Results from this study will directly help our fishery with more knowledge gained!

4/4/18  The 2018 season has hit the pause button in Manistee, MI from a return of Mr. Winter who refuses to fade away into the sunset.  Do know whatever the temperature of LK. MI is, wind blowing across makes daytime highs more, or less meaningless.
             Next window I see that presents an opportunity to fish again is about a week from today when the wind shift to the south and conditions improve.
             Tomorrow a good story about a marine electronics manufacturer that stands behind their product with no questions asked.

4/3/18   Bright spot on my trip last week?  Being able to record video for up to 8 hours with a 128 Micro SD card continuously.  Camera never runs out of power, because it's on a direct feed from a USB outlet installed some weeks back. Click radar dome angle
              Radar angle has to be tweaked slightly.  I do not want to shoot over smaller, low profile vessels.   Radar allows for fishing in the fog.  This is good due to the low light that helps  keep the fish active.  Radar is a must for fishing in restricted visibility.  If you fish out of a port that has freighters, or a car ferry like Ludington?  Radar lets you know how to stay safely out of the way of large ships.  Fog can roll in anytime, but it's most likely in May and June when warm weather meets a cold lake, causing advection fog.

4/2/18  Yesterday's cruel April Fools joke on Manistee, MI was a return to hard winter and snow.  Forecast for this week is miserable too.  More snow and cold is on the way.
             Without failure there is no success.  Had 4 system failures on my 1st trip of 2018 last week.  Newly installed Fish Hawk down temp and speed was a bust with a faulty readout, or head unit.  More on this soon, ...hopefully, there is a happy ending.
             Remote dual channel wireless sound system didn't work.  Learned both mics cannot be on the same channel due to cross talk interference.  This was not mentioned in the user manual.  Sound tests ran yesterday sound tests and this might be fixed.
             Worst fail was a diver rod in the rocket launcher kept bumping the camera in short choppy 2'-3' seas.  Making the video of our 1st fish in 2018 a reel-test in motion sickness.
             Minor fail was the angle of the new Raymarine that needs less angle.  All fails will be fixed and topics for this week's chat sessions.  Click radar dome angle fail

3/31/18  Have a great Easter Weekend.

3/30/18  Admittedly, I'm behind the times when it comes to marine electronics.  Not for the lack of want, but being able to read and decipher info without a lot of time invested.
              Side scan sonar was added to my boat last season.  Never really had a chance to fish with it, or gain knowledge how to understand this leap forward in electronics.
               That all changed when side scan was used for my season opener a couple of days ago.  Was able to see the patches rocky bottom of Orchard Beach State Park a couple of miles N of Manistee, MI.  It even showed the sand ripples. Click side scan screen
               Side scan told me not to waste time in shallow (no fish marks) and move out a little deeper when the odds might be a little better.  If it wasn't for this type of sonar we could of wasted more time in-close and questioned our lure color selections?

3/29/18  Yesterday's Manistee, MI fishing trip was huge success!  Not by numbers of fish boated, but by the new systems tested.  Managed to shoot a short video on how I set my boat up for "on the beach" trolling that turned out so-so and needs to be redone.
              Vitals on yesterday's short pm trip showed the river water inside the harbor at 42°.  Temp just off the beach was 40°.  Trolled N in 2' to 3' following seas with a little white on top.  Side scan sonar showed no bait on the beach in water depths from 7' to 12'.  Did mark a few deeper fish ...just off the piers when we started.
              On our S return troll we came back in the 20' depths.  Right where we originally marked a few fish my fishin' buds, Todd & Dylan B tag-teamed a small Brown 17' down over 20' of water on a rigger 100' behind the ball.  Click our 1st fish of 2018

3/28/18  Been waiting to hang a "gone fishing" sign on this website since last fall.  Sometime this afternoon my 50th season on the Great Lakes will begin!
                      Future update: 200k payout to stop Asian Carp?

3/27/18  On autopilot for today.  In a rush with boat prep.  There's one good window this week and that does leave much room for delay.  Conditions needed to shoot quality video require fairly calm seas and a few willing fish.
              While the 1st three days of this week are decent, snow and 30s return for this weekend.  Researched when average high temp hits 50 and that doesn't happen till April 5.

3/26/18  50s today in Manistee, Mi will be appreciated by all.  It's been about a month since we've seen weather this warm at my place.
               Hoped to finish boat projects (radar swap) yesterday, but we got hit with a boatload of orders that keep me busy in the shop most of the weekend.  Least I won't feel guilty when I take a few days off for you know what.
               Know I will be fishing soon.  Biggest question is will we have spring Kings again this early at our central Lk. MI ports?  History will answer that question soon enough!

3/24/18  And then there were 3.  The City of Manistee, MI ramps up for the 2018 season by raising the number of "docks in" to 3.  Manistee has the best public launch and most numerous docks I've ever launched at.  Click 3 docks in on 3/23/18

3/23/18  Great news for the coming week when we will finally see the daytime high temps reach into the 50s for my part of Manistee County, MI.  It's been better then a month (2/20/18) since 50° mark was last broken.  Still haven't seen Mr. Robin Redbreasts yet.
              Going to take this weekend off from this website and work on the boat.  Swapping the radar and other recently discovered boat fixes have my time spoken for.  Good to get this stuff done now, and not lose days later this season.
              Fishing reports from the extreme S end of Lk. MI down by Chicago are excellent for spring Coho.  Word from Manistee-Ludington is some Browns and Coho being caught on the beach in 10'-15' of water.  No word on central Lk. MI kings yet.

3/22/18  Selling my radar doesn't mean I've opted to fish the Great Lakes without it.  Swapping the 24 mile Furuno 1715 for a 18 mile Raymarine that plugs into my C127 multi-function display.  Long range radar will shoot over the horizon and see storm cells.  You'll find most of the time your radar is set on 1 mile or less during times restricted visibly. 
              Most brands on short range radar settings spins at 48 rpm, long range like 18 to 24 miles out, the spin rate slows to 24 rpms. Click Furuno Radar Craig's List ad
              48 rpms provides greater definition for close in targets.  When it's foggy radar is a godsend.  Showing how to avoid boats that are in your troll path.

3/21/18  Boat radar is electronic security.  If you've ever had radar? ...this is one piece of marine equipment you won't go without. Click Craig's list ad
              I'm selling my Furuno 1715 24 mile all in one radar unit display, dome, manual, dust cover and cables.  Seen this unit mark sea gulls on the water 200' away from my boat.
              I just don't have room for it on my small dashboard and don't use it as much as I should.  Reason? limits my visibility.  This radar was fine until I upgraded to a C127 Raymarine multi-functional display about 5 seasons ago.  The 12" C127takes up the room on the inside of the hardtop where the 1715 was once mounted.

3/20/18  Spring 2018 begins today at 12:30 pm.  Possibility of fishing Lk. MI this Thursday afternoon if the weather plays nice.  Been watching the S end of Lk. MI and that's a crap shoot too with brisk N winds and temps not much better than here in Manistee, MI.
              Really can't decide with predicted temps in the 30s and N wind predicted.  Next week looks much better with highs in mid 40s to splash the boat.

3/19/18  1st week in March when this week's daytime high temp is above freezing, but not by much.  This causes major issues at launch ramps for morning fishermen when the temp is in the teens.  First boat, or 2 is OK, ...then, the water in the ramp freeze and your vehicle must climb the icy incline after launching to park.
               Ever-so-slow warm up this week, as we wait for spring to break. Tomorrow Mr. Winter is facing retirement by Mr. Spring 2018.  Let's hope Mr. Winter takes the hint ASAP!

3/18/18  Have a great Sunday!

3/17/18  St. Patrick's Day hopefully will transition to a lucky season for all of us.  Luck is defined as where opportunity meets preparation.  So, I'm prepared and waiting to get lucky!
               We all have different things that turn our crank.  Mine lately has been focused on raising the quality of my videos.  This season will have 2 hat cams, a net cam and a stationary hardtop cam to cover what the other ones miss.
              I enjoy the fact of being a movie producer in control of my own destiny.  Know what I want to see and how to set up better videos that's a work in progress for 2018.

3/16/18  Added a new link on the Great Lakes info page.  This new link is 24/7 webcams that cover the 5th Avenue beach N of Manistee, MI's harbor and the harbor's S pier's dog leg along the 1st Street Beach.  Click Great Lake page with webcam link
              Now, you can see how Lk. MI is behaving before planning your fishing trip.  Better yet? can expand the image by clicking the section you're interested in.
              I built this page for myself, because it has all the pertinent fishing data needed to research conditions including Lk. MI's surface temp, and 3 different ways to collect wind & wave reports.  This is the page I rely on and use most often during season.

3/15/18  With the season getting closer, decided to dial in my new hardtop cam for 2018, a GoPro Hero5.  To me? ...this all in one camera and video recorder is remarkable.
              In fact, today's photo was snapped by me via Blue Tooth remote control.  You can see me in the pic adjusting the angle and field of view (narrow, linear, wide and super wide) for the Hero5 video camcorder.  Before it was hit and miss.
              Now, with an Android tablet that sees exactly what the cam sees, the wide angle rear deck shot is close to perfection!  Click GoPro remote photo via Blue Tooth
              Newly installed extra bright LED rear deck work lights helped with illumination.

3/14/18  Above freezing for today in Manistee, MI.  March high temps are running a good 10-12 degree below average.  Brief warm up for this weekend is presenting a possibility to splash my boat in Lk. MI.  First trip of the 2018 season sure sounds good!
             Target specie at this time of the year is Brown Trout.  Did see a lot of 36° water on the beach if the satellite chart is to be believed.  Never did well in 36°, seems 38-40° is when catching spring Browns becomes a little easier.  Prime on the beach for me is 44°.

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2018 Results
January, February & March

2017 Results
January, February & March
April, June & June
July, August, & September
October, November & December

2016 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2015 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September

2014 Results
October, November, & December
January, February, & March
April, May, & June

July, August, & September

2013 Results
January, February, & March

April, May, & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2012 Results
January, February, & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2011 Results
January, February, & March
April, May, & June

July, August & September
 October, November, & December

2010 Results
January, February, & March

April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2009 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August, & September
October, November, & December


2008 Results
October, November & December

July, August, & September
April, May & June
January, February & March

2007 Results
October November & December
July, August & September

April, May & June
January, February & March

2006 Results
October, November & December
July, August & September
April, May & June
January, February & March

2005 Results
October, November & December
July August & September
April May & June
January February & March

2004 Results
October, November & December
August & September 
June & July  April & May
January, February & March

2003 Results
Jan Feb  Mar  April & May
June & July  Aug & Sept

Nov & Dec

2002 Results
Nov & Dec  Oct  Sept  
Aug   July   June  May  
April  March  Feb  Jan

2001 Results
April Brown Trout  
May & June
July Salmon
Aug. Tuna Time

2000 Results
Dec. Nov.
   Oct.  Sept.
July   June
May  March & April
January  February


For complete results of all fishing trips, fishing reports & general info
and a peek into my archived log for the past seasons, 
click the below link:

Past Results

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