here for my first Salmon I caught on Oct. 1, 1968
(Dating back to the year 2000)
8/14/17 Port of Arcadia,
MI looked like place to be yesterday morning.
Here's a hand-on report from resident charter
skipper, Capt. Steve B:
"17 boats out here this morning john.
All but 1 boat caught between 2 and 5 Kings.
One fish went 32 lb and another went 30.2 lb and
most fish were in the 18 to 25lb range.
update is the big kings have arrived and are much
bigger this year than the last several year
averages. Both meat and spoons seemed to be working
on these fish that were 100ft down in 150'."
More new tomorrow on big Kings to past and 41
8/13/17 Have a great
Sunday. Go fishing and enjoy yourself!
8/12/17 Lk. MI showing it's
very best behavior beginning tomorrow:
Saturday NNW wind 15 to 20 kt. Mostly sunny.
Waves 4 to 6 ft.
Saturday Night Variable winds 5 kt or less.
Mostly clear. Waves 1 to 2 ft.
Sunday Variable winds 5 kt or less. Sunny.
Waves around 1 ft.
Monday Variable winds 5 kt or less. Mostly
sunny. Waves around 1 ft.
Tuesday Variable winds 5 kt or less. Sunny.
Waves around 1 ft.
Wednesday S wind around 10 kt.
Mostly sunny. Waves 1 to 2 ft.
8/11/17 Lk. MI is having
another big temp swing where the thermocline is
going to be down around 100' from SW winds to 30
knots last night. Wind is supposed to calm
down, making today tolerable for fleet to get
another day in search of Mr. King Salmon.
By tomorrow N wind to 20 knots will bring in colder
water. How much remains to be seen as we
contend with a down temp yoyo that has nothing to do
All the reports I've heard from Big Point Sable to
Frankfort, MI is saying pretty decent King fishing
for the most part. This is great news for all!
8/10/17 The reel story
behind today's featured photo of middle of the day
Kings began last December. Kelly S contacted
me by email about fishing Lk. MI Kings around my
Kelly lives in northern Kentucky has fished Lk. Erie
Walleyes. So, I know he had the concept of big
water trolling. Now, being able to transpose
that experience towards summer fishing for Kings was
my challenge without breaking the bank for Salmon
Then, it's up to me to share/teach what I preach...into practice. Spoons in the top 40'?
...Kelly got that working. Meat deep and slow,
with me telling Kelly, "meat will take fish in the
middle of the day." Kelly proved me right once
again with today's middle of the day catch that took
3 Kings and a released lake trout.
Click Kelly's high sun Kings
It's a daunting task to be an ambassador for my area
and Salmon fishing in general. One I welcome,
but feel like the weight has be lifted with Kelly
getting into fish!
8/9/17 Spoke with a
Frankfort, MI charter boat this morning.
Intimidator Charters needed meat heads and I
needed info. They had a handful in and were
building a nice box.
When it comes to my
home port of Manistee, MI I'm in a holding pattern. Putting in extra
hours to make sure I've banked enough time to free
up a morning, or a pm trip.
Same day shipping
is a tall order that keeps me shop-bound on days I'd like to go fishing. Same day shipping
is what built my tackle business. Amazon don't
delay, neither do I. Fishin' folks know I
don't sit on their orders and get their tackle out the door
8/8/17 Good news, the
wind switched last evening from the N to the W, then
SW. This has pushed in the warm water and
started forming a deeper thermocline.
Finally, conditions are setting up for a
attractor/meat program. I'm in a holding
pattern until later this week ...when there's a
chance take some meat rigs swimming!
are great for the top 50'. Once the Kings go
deeper, spoons tend to lose their effectiveness.
Adult Kings are suckers for meat down deep!
8/7/17 Fished out of the
Port of Manistee, MI yesterday morning from 6am
until about 8:30am. Knew this trip was headed
south when we did not take a hit in the 1st 30
minutes of daylight. Set up in the 12s 3 miles
south of port in 60' of water and seen no marks and
no fish being caught by other boats within eyeshot.
Traffic was moderate.
N in 50' to 110' of water to no great avail.
Took 1 small 3-4 pound King on the GhostBuster SB
4.0 on our Slide Diver rod and that was it.
break was 30' down. Guess the best area was in
and around the harbor if you can tolerate combat
trolling doing circles in the harbor.
Salvaged this morning learning how to operate new
sonar that's a major work in progress. Do
know, I'm way behind the times and needed fishfinder
the Manistee fishing. Have no fear the fishing
will pick up this week when W & S wind pushes warm
water back in and this port's deep water reloads
8/6/17 Perplexing to
me? ...even with all the warm days, the the temp
break has remained fairly high up in the water
column. Deepest fish caught on my boat recently
was only 40' down. Just didn't see any deeper
marks to go after.
fish can be touchy, but will hit if you can get over
them at the right time and place. Alewives the
Kings have been chowing down on are about 3" long.
Fished for a
couple, three hours this morning and that will be
learning curve on how to operate my new 9" Simrad
with CHIRP (high & medium) sonar. Impressive
machine that leaves nothing to the imagination.
Was able to compare the Simrad against my C127 12"
Raymarine 50kz machine.
sonar gives your a good idea of what's there.
Medium setting CHIRP is precision picture with
ultra, unbelievably clear marks and bait piles.
8/5/17 Most recent fish
report I have is from this past Thursday evening
after the morning action in the harbor.
Website members Todd B and Dimitri fished straight
out of Manistee in a 100-200' of water. They
hit 6 Kings in the last hour of daylight.
Boating 3 Kings to 19 pounds from 20' to 60' down.
Their hot spoon was the Ghostbuster Salmon Buster™
in the 4.0 size on long leads of the riggers.
Slide divers with long leads took fish too.
8/4/17 Yesterday morning
a N wind followed by E wind stacked up bait and
adult Kings off Manistee, MI's harbor. This
was combat patrol with tackle busting, line ripping,
big nasty Kings on the prowl to test your rod
handling skills and wear you out!
Downside to a big run entering the harbor, going up
river cuts into the herd in the deep water until it
reloads. Time will tell how this unfolds.
sonar tech? ...well, ...honestly some of this stuff
is over my head. But I'm trying to get a
handle on it. Medium CHIRP is the wide beam
and high CHIRP is a smaller narrower cone.
What I'm learning is CHIRP (compressed
high-intensity radar pulse) sonar sends out more
pulses/signals than the traditional 50kz and 200kz
units I'm familiar with.
CHIRP technology is a lot expensive and happened
when the price of DSP (digital signal processors)
chips fell to below $30 to offer this tech to the
was reel-expensive when it came out in 2011.
I've waited for the price to become reasonable and
purchased a Simrad with the total scan transducer.
This transducer is a 21st century 10.250" long
salami looking thing that should help my woes in the
electronics when it comes to sonar is breaking new
horizons. Sonar is our most useful tool when
it comes to locating fish.
my biggest bugaboos is catching Kings that are in
the top 30'. These fish do not mark.
Instead, they scoot off to the side of your troll
path escaping even wide coned 50 kz transducers.
So, it looks like there's no fish there.
issue cost me 90 minutes of precious water time last
Saturday when I left the shallower depths (50' to
60') where the fish were to join/sight-see/boat ride
with the fleet over deep water (200' plus) for no
Side scan sonar would have been a help which I do
not have. Garmin's Panoptix is the probably
leader in this field with a pricey $1500 LiveVü
Forward and FrontVü transducer, not counting the
head unit, or display.
Interphase was the company that pioneered small boat
forward scanning sonar. After careful
research, Interphase is now being serviced by
Simrad. So, it looks like Simrad bought out
Interphase. More on this tomorrow....
8/2/17 Need to make
mention, on our UP trip out of Munising, MI on the
way back, fished out of Manistique, MI on 7/19/17.
Hopes were to have the same success at this UP port
we had in 2016. Water temp was all warm and
the massive schools of bait we marked last year were
not there. This port does not have deepwater
close in, I'd say the boat run is good 5 miles to
where we hit the fish back in 2016. Fished for
3 hours, no hits and came home.
In 49 year
career fishing Lk. MI this is the 1st time I fished
both the extreme S end, by Chicago back in March &
the northern end up by Manistique in the same
trailer boats I know of had 1 to 5 fish yesterday
morning with some in 100' and less ...out to the
300' depths. Scattered is the best way to sum
8/1/17 Still learning
the nuances of my Salmon Buster™ spoons. The
short game is to blab a bunch of unverified facts to
The long game
is to put the time on the water and report
reel-facts I see with my own eyes. Then, share
this info with you, as industry leading product
Do know my
spoons on lead leads (60'-100') off the riggers will
catch high spooky fish pressured my the fleet in all
depths of water. Proved this on 7/19/16 &
Busters kick and wobble is not diminished (loss of
action) on longer leads. This is contrary to
my experiences with metal spoons used ...back when I
good spoon reef-fact is? ...in areas of spare
fish populations you can cruise at a 3 mph troll
speed to cover more water. Still a lot to
learn & that's the fun part!
7/31/17 We're closing
out July 2017 with a vastly improved Salmon fishery
for central Lk. MI ports that began last April.
Kinda think this caught everyone off guard.
Especially, the tackle stores that did not stock up
before demand shot up like a rocket. Now,
retail tackle outlets are scrambling for product in
a pressed market. Know our tackle production
and web sales has been way-way busier then we want,
One of the hardest things with Great Lakes trolling
is staying the course and not getting pulled off
your program with the "grass is always greener
Learned this lesson again on this past Saturday's
trip when the fleet was concentrated in deeper water
over 100' deep. This pulled us off the 50-60'
depths where we had our 1st action. Went out
to join this party with the majority of the fleet to
discover the Salmon forgot to show up and all the
boats were just riding with no nets going down.
Please check out today's featured pic of a glassy
Lk. MI with the fleet in the background over plus
100' while we were inside of 50' catching fish.
Click for this pic
Tomorrow's chat will be fine tuning the long and
7/30/17 Fished yesterday
morning from about 6am till about 9:15am.
Fished S of Guerney Creek to the 6s N of Big Point
Sable. Got suckered into wandering around in a
100' to 250' depths with a lot of boats, nobody was
catching that we could see.
If I was fishing the same area today/conditions
today? ...my boat would never see water deeper than
70'. 50-60 foot depth is where we had 5 Kings
hits, none deeper than 35'. Inside water temp
was 56 on the surface with it breaking to 52 degrees
So, these were high skittish adult Kings (14-19
pounds) in flat calm/slick glass water that I've
always struggled to catch in.
Click for our hot spoons on this trip
Long leads on the riggers (17'-30' down) 80 to 100
feet back at 2.7 mph is what worked for us.
Our 5 bites all came on the Ghostbuster pattern,
enough though tried other colors, even a J-Plug that
was a flop.
Click King that choked the GhostBuster SB 4.0
The water that held fish for Todd B and myself was a
milky green that turned clear once you hit the 70
foot depth. Elite boats, dialed-in did a heck
of a lot better.
7/29/17 Have a grand and
glorious Saturday. It's summer in MI, go enjoy
7/28/17 Keeping tackle
in stock is like throwing darts blindfolded, because
you never know how things are going to end up.
Stock storages I take personal. Even
though, you really can never predict what sales are
going to be.
Magnum Meat Heads got hit hard when Lk. Ontario
rediscovered meat fishing. Reason? ...new
players in the bait supply business stepped in with
This I can fix, my 3D printed cupped rings were
almost out of stock. I've been making more
everyday till midnight to replenish the supply.
Fishing out of Manistee, MI has been hit and miss.
Those hitting the right stretch of Lk. MI are coming
back in with some pretty heavy boxes of Kings to 25
7/27/17 Sold out on
several 4 packs of Magnum Meat Heads. Since
their introduction in 2005, this is a new one for
me. Demand has been off the chain this season.
Any mags heads in the base color of green,
chartreuse, and X-Glow are out off stock in 2-4
packs, but still available in the super mags and
meat rigs. Some things you just can't plan for
and this is one of them.
7/26/17 It's O-Fish-all
the adult big King Salmon season is upon us.
Kings over 20 pounds test tackle to the limit.
Patience becomes your best friend when dealing with
these massive fish. Here's another Arcadia, MI
report from longtime website member, Wayne N:
"John caught ...at 7
this morning (7/25/17) on your Mountain Dew spoon.
He measured exactly 36 inches. Caught him down 70 in
100 ft of water straight out from harbor. Water temp
at surface was 59 and ran 30 degree angle on cable.
Was a beautiful morning "
7/25/17 Here's a brand
new report from yesterday:
"Hi John, Steve here from Arcadia,
Had a good night (Monday) fishing from my home port
Arcadia using meat rigs.
Temp from few days ago changed a lot as surface was
55 deg ( 3 days ago it was 68) so temp was hard to
gauge. Persevered with rigger set at 30 ft in 100
for and landed 2 nice fish. Big one was 25 lb 6 plz
on certified scales other went 18 lb.
Caught on 3 fly meat rig ( orange/ red) and the
green/ white 3 fly 12 in flasher
Meat seemed to thing that worked best once we
figured out where the fish were cruising about. Both
the fish were males and in very good condition (
well fed) and we were marking lots of nice baitfish
Click 25 pound King Arcadia, MI
This year is definitely turning out better than last
year. I've caught salmon every trip so far this year
(7 times) and they are running bigger
Last Thursday caught the first Coho this year (10lb)
on 6 colors of lead ore using the prototype red
plastic spoon you gave me to try with the gold tape
on the side.
I actually put it out expecting a steelhead but
nailed the big fat Coho instead.
Almost lost one fish last week when the treble bent
open but was lucky enough that it fell out when the
fish was landed.
Of the last 12 fish caught we never lost a single
fish but sure came close.
I make a habit of replacing the hooks you showed me
how to tie regularly as I learnt that lesson the
hard way over the years.
Thanks for making great tackle and passing some of
your knowledge to me over the past several years.
When I started meat fishing I was a complete novice
but now I feel I have all the nuances dialed in and
I enjoy seeing other people catch the biggest fish
of their lives which has occurred several times this
year...all thanks to the meat program."
Capt. Steve B Arcadia, MI
7/24/17 Must defer
today's fishing report until I have some news on
central Lk. MI ports. Got hit with a slew of
orders and my face has been glued to a computer
Trends from my webstore say meat fishermen are
coming out in full force. WI and NY is where
the bulk of these orders are coming from. Need
to find time this week to checkout Manistee, MI.
This will provide a hands on reel story to share
7/23/17 Recent trip to
MI's U.P. reminded me what a beautiful state this is
to reside in. MI has to have the most
shoreline miles of freshwater coastline in the USA.
Great Lakes shoreline is majestic with everything
from rock walls to sand dunes several hundred feet
Munising, MI on Lk. Superior is where the
Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore
is located E towards Grand Marais. This area
is a stunningly gorgeous backdrop to a part of MI I
never seen before. Pictures do not do this
Click for photos
Munising is MI's capital for tour boats.
There's 5, or 6 good sized vessels running tours
every 2 hours that are filled to capacity. A
head count of 250,000 visitors travel on these boats
during the course of the season.
7/22/17 Have a great
Saturday. Hope to dig up some fresh fishing
info on my home port of Manistee, MI by Monday.
Busy making and shipping tackle makes it difficult
to find the time to do so. Do know according
to the last MDNR fishing report, some Kings are
showing up and being caught. Then, find some
time this coming week to squeeze a trip in.
Tomorrow's chat topic? ...what a
wonderful state MI is to live in!
7/21/17 Traveled 302
miles to fish Lk. Superior out of Munising, MI to
complete my quest to catch Salmon & Trout out of all
5 Great Lakes beginning on 10/1/1968 (1st Coho).
Doubt if this can be accomplished nowadays. Because
Salmon in Lk. Eire are in short supply. In
1986 caught an adult King pushing 19 pounds off
Stoney Point that's the N entrance to Brest Bay
close to Monroe, MI. This is anomaly happened
while running a Walleye charters back then in early
July. Caught several Lk. Erie Steelhead too.
My 1st Lk. MI King in 1971. 1st Lk. Huron
Salmon happened in 1976 out of Oscoda, MI. 1st
Lk. O Salmon & Trout took place in May of 2015 out
of Wilson, NY.
Conquering all 5 Great Lakes has to be a pretty
exclusive club that I'm proud to be in ...spanning
49 years and counting. The challenges Great
Lakes fishing presents guarantees a rich lifetime of
fishing fun! Heck, for that goes, ...several
Need to thank Todd B and his son Dylan for their
help and wonderful company during our recent journey
to beautiful Munising, MI!
Click Todd B Lk. S Pink Salmon
7/20/17 Heavy work load
this morning from the webstore has my time spoken
for. Will update you tomorrow on my mini
vacation to MI's U.P. While restocking
continued in my tackle shop. Meat heads were
the holdup, providing a few days to get away.
To me my fishing career is about personal
accomplishments. 1st to other fisher men and
women. Then to myself. Was able to catch
a Lk. Trout and a Salmon from Lk. Superior to
complete my quest to catch in ALL 5 Great Lakes.
Only took me 49 years since Oct. 1, 1968 when I
caught my 1st Great Lakes Salmon to add this
7/19/17 As of 5pm today,
my webstore located at:
Has reopened and is accepting orders
Have NOW caught
Salmon and Trout from all 5 Great Lakes!
Click 7/17/17 Lk. Superior Salmon
continues with progress. Tackle sales
will begin again before this week is over.
7/15/17 Have a great
Saturday. My webstore
www.michiganangler.com is closed for sales until
7/20/17, or this coming Thursday. We were
running out of certain items and need time to
regroup. This is a great time for a mini
vacation that starts tomorrow. Details on my
looming adventure will be discussed tomorrow......
7/14/17 Almost the
halfway point in July as intensity of the 2017
builds. In fact, set a new sales record for the
number of Canadian orders accepted and shipped.
King Kryptonite meat heads have been removed from my
website temporarily. Ran out of the WTP clear
crushed ice tape this head uses. Should have
these meat heads back in-stock towards the end of
next week, if not sooner.
7/13/17 Picking up on
yesterday's chat, one thing, leads to another.
It is absolutely necessary for me to take a few days
off and search for that "one thing" that turns into
beneficial info down the road. This is called
moving my product line forward from what I see with
my own eyes and not gross exaggerations.
If you've ordered meat heads? ...we're running about
a day behind as we battle to keep up with demand.
Hope to have backlog cleared up soon. Patience
7/12/17 An idea in the
making has a starting point that everything grows
from. Then, it's like a tree growing branches.
If the initial concept had merit?
Point I'm trying to make? ...my 2016 season
was based on learning that came from my out of town
trip to Manistique, MI in the UP last July.
Here, it was more more by accident, than intention,
learned how deadly the Ghostbuster pattern was.
Then, this spoon color was transposed to flashers &
meat rigs that produced my best box of Kings (to 28
lbs.) on 8/10/16 in a very-very long time.
This 2016 evening trip grew into a written article
For this reason alone, need to get out of my comfort
zone and fish a new port/area before summer is over.
This can only be accomplished by taking a few days
7/11/17 In a couple 3
weeks adult Kings will start making their appearance
known at all Lk. MI ports. End of July, 1st
part of August is a safe bet to get into the fish we
wait all season for. You know, the bruisers
that test your tackle to the limit.
Now is the time to get your rig shipshape for the
coming onslaught. Most important other than
sharp hooks is the condition of your leaders and
mainlines. Even the smallest nick can cost you
both a lost fish and a hit in your billfold to
7/10/17 One thing that I
noticed and have not made mention of? ...Lk.
MI water level is up about a foot since last
April-May. This is good news to all.
Going back to my last trip, signs of a water flea
bloom were left on my braid rods. This is both
good and bad news. It's great to see Lk. MI
producing zooplankton, but the knots of biomass
fleas leave on our lines is nasty to deal with.
7/9/17 Every boat needs
one. Most boats have one. I'm speaking
of a lure that always comes thru no matter how tough
the bite it. In my case, it's the Salmon
Buster™ 4.0 in the Gold Crushed Orange pattern.
Click 7/3/17 Steelhead jaw ornament
This spoon is
what we call our anti-skunk device, or never failer.
Because it always comes up with a fish when all the
other rod combinations don't.
I'm not on
the water enough to mount a serious threat to the
fish. Having a go-to lure sure helps.
There's a big difference between 1 fish & swallowing
your pride with no fish!
In the midst
of trying to schedule a Lk. Superior trip in the
next week, or 2. This is the only Great Lake
I've yet to fish. Would like to accomplish
this before summer is over. Thinking of
fishing off Munising (Pictured Rocks shoreline),
then dropping down to Manistique's part of Lk. MI in
the UP in a 3 day escape.
7/8/17 Have a great
7/7/17 Waiting and
waiting is where I'm at now, to make another trip to
MI's UP like I did last summer to Manistique, MI.
No consistency is what I'm hearing from the UP
message board that was great help last year.
Both Fairport and Manistique have been hit & miss.
We're about 3
weeks away from when prime time for adult Kings.
This is the big deal at my home port of Manistee,
MI. So, I do have a window for an out of town
Think we all
need a break from daily chores and fresh change of
scenery. Getting away puts everything in
perspective and clears the mind for new ideas.
7/6/17 Colder weather is
on the way for Manistee, MI. Mid/upper 80s is
hot for N country where I live. 70s predicted
tomorrow look a lot better.
cooler weather comes in central Lk. MI ports will
see stable weather and calm seas. My next trip
looks to be next week after my boat has a thorough
7/5/17 Unless I miss my
guess, Lk. MI summer prime time fishing is going to
be deeper then we've seen in the last few seasons.
Warm winters have kept the main body of Lk. MI warm.
Add in the heating days in front of us? ...this
bodes well for attractor fishermen.
holiday was Manistee, MI's Forest Festival where a
carnival with a bunch of rides takes up most of the
boat trailer parking lot at the 1st Street public
This was part
of the reason of my short fishing trip this past
Tuesday, or risk being blocked in by cars.
Seen more deep fish off Manistee in a longtime.
Downside? ....these fish were not biters on anything
we threw in the water. Area we fished was
slightly N in the 16s to 17s in 55' to 250' of
water. Marks were heaviest in 120' to 150'.
Know these fish would sooner, or later turned on
(hopefully), but did not have all day to wait them
7/4/17 Happy birthday to
the USA! In 1776 the forefathers of our
country approved the Declaration of Independence
from our mother country of England & King George
III. This effectively put a hangman's noose on
every person that signed this document for treason.
It took courage from all the signees to break away
from the, then world's strongest power.
it's fitting to to wish happy birthday to my Salmon
Buster™ spoons that were born with a double header
off Onekama, MI on this day 3 years ago (7/4/14).
Manistee, MI yesterday morning from about 7am till
10am. It felt good to be on the big pond again
after a 4 week absence. Took a 8-9 lb.
Steelhead on my boat's never-failer, aka Gold Orange
Crush SB 4.0.
Click this happy birthday Steelie
of suspended marks, but could not unlock the
combination to get the 80' to 140' down fish to
bite. Lots of bait in 50'-60' of water.
I thank our founders for all
of our rights to life, liberty and pursuit of
7/3/17 Mini series on
spoons part 3 continues today. Reel fact: once
a spoon reaches market saturation, the revenue
stream for the builders of said product ...ends.
Then, a new model/shape comes into vogue that has
less to do with fish catching ability. But
more to do with catching customers. This has
been played out, time and time again!
Reasoning behind my efforts in the spoon market are
entirely different with a spoon that's going to last
and never become obsolete. The action of a
spoon and the speed tolerance do not change over 10
years down the road.
My mindset on
spoon manufacturing is based on longevity and
reel-worth well into the future. And staying
out of the tackle store spoons wars that never end.
7/2/17 Great weather
continues for Manistee, MI during our 4th of July
Weekend. Seas look good for the next few days
that means I could get off the dock ...finally.
continue my mini series on the history of my spoons
begins with making a plastic spoon for it's obvious
advantages. Lexan spoons can flex and return
to it's original shape. Having the color
imbedded makes a spoon that will last decades, not
Great Lakes spoon market has long been predicated on
selling millions of metal spoons with planned
obsolescence built in. Saying the paint will
sooner, or later fade, chip, peel, fall off, and the
silver will tarnish. So, a constant influx of
new models that flood the market is the way it's
been ...since I began fishing the Great Lakes in 1968.
has been no spoon that's held heavy sway over the
spoon market. Only new models/manufacturers
that promote different brands that fall out of
the fleet's favor over time. Duration of most
spoon companies do not make it in the long haul.
Proof is there is no relevant spoon manufacturer
from the 1970s around today.
7/1/17 This is the
weekend 3 years ago when the prototype version 4
printed 3D spoon took a double on Kings, off the
Port of Onekama, MI. This said I was on the
right track. But still several minor tweaks
had to be accomplished.
Click for this double
making 3D test spoons way back in April 2014, so
this was no over night success. I made 100s of
3D test spoons in this hard fought journey.
batch I made were made out of ABS, a fairly low
strength plastic. Meaning, when the fish hit
the ABS 3D printed spoon, it ripped out the nose
hole, escaping with spoon and all. This was
not good, a major setback that made me rethink my
material/filament I could print with called PET,
this is the same plastic throw away bottles are made
with. PET is a lot more durable than ABS.
all along, Lexan, the world's strongest plastic
would be the material production versions would be
made from, but this material is not suited for 3D
6/30/17 Have a safe and
great 4th of July Weekend, because you deserve it!
So, looking forward to July after this week's blitz
of business and personal appointments that ate up
every day. Time during the summer is always in
short supply! Good news is we were able to
ship all orders without delay that met our 7am
This is history weekend about my Salmon Buster™
spoons that will be shared with you as this weekend
progresses. 3 years ago is when this project
started to came together. This was the time
frame in 2004 when the final SB design leaped
6/29/17 Don't know what
the fishing will be like. But the seas looks very
favorable for the central Lk. MI fleet over the 4th
of July Weekend.
Light winds and temperatures in the 70s will be
enjoyable for 4th. This Saturday morning there
is a slight chance of thunderstorms for Manistee,
Personal commitments might delay shipping today
6/28/17 After the
devastating 2015 season, Lk. MI's outlook for a
decent King fishery was downright pretty bleak!
2016 was a slight uptick and this year shows a
rebound beyond what many of us could have never
During 2016, in my home port of Manistee, MI, hardly
ever marked any bait pods until October. Yes,
MI ports this year are producing Kings better after
2 mild winters.
Question is? ...how will the big months of July and
August end up. Being an eternal optimist, I'd
hope/say we will have a respectable King fishery.
Now, we have to wait for history to verify the rest
of this yet to be told ...reel-story!
6/27/17 "Many fish were
caught this weekend in the MCSFA tournament week. On
Wednesday we had a great turnout at Kids Fish at man
made, on Friday the Ladies classic had many boats
coming in with nice boxes of fish. On Saturday and
Sunday many fish were caught despite some sloppy
conditions on Sunday.
fished all three days and caught 15 plus fish each
day. The majority were lake trout but did catch 6
kings and 1 steelhead. My biggest King was 14.95 and
did catch a lake trout 17.75 pounds. I fished from
Onekama to Arcadia in 110 to 115 feet of water. I
have charters the remainder of the week."
Click Capt. Kevin Hughes & Sandpiper Charters
The above is first hand fishing news
from well respected, Capt. Kevin Hughes who charters
out of Onekama, MI. I can add, Kings to 25
lbs. were boated in this same event.
6/26/17 Today's update
is delayed until tomorrow. Extra busy in the
shop and have not had the time to boil down the
fishing info from this past weekend's results.
I'd rather postpone then just throw out info that's
not had careful thought to verify.
Shipping orders is job one, and as fast and
possible. Amazon's success is based entirely
on getting product out the door and into the
shipper's hands ASAP. Guess what?
...this is a easy no brainer lesson I've stuck to
since I went into the tackle business in 2004.
6/25/17 Have a great
Sunday! Latest fishing reports from our
message board members say, it's Lakerville from
Onekama to Arcadia, MI. More info on the Lake
Trout is these fish are hitting clean/non attractors
rods. So, it's not like these fishermen are
targeting LTs. Salmon for now, are hard to come by
in that area.
6/24/17 This is the
weekend Manistee, MI hosts the Bud Pro/Am
Tournament. This event dates back to the 1980s
and helps generate monies for the Manistee County
Sport Fishing Association. Added boat traffic
means I'm staying onshore until next week.
6/23/17 Cannot recall
from recent memory, when we've had a stretch of rain
and thunderstorms like the last few weeks in
Manistee, MI. This has kept me dockside, when
you throw in the wind that comes with unsettled
It is essential for me to fish where "on the spot
decisions" provide a true testing platform for my
tackle. Feeling the pressure last July out of
Manistique, MI is when we put the GhostBuster
pattern to work. Reason? ...we were down to
our last couple hours of daylight and our fish take
wouldn't feed a hungry yard cat.
these 2 hours we turned a slow fishing trip into a
highly successful event. Because we needed a glow
spoon and took a chance on Mr. Ghostbuster.
The rest is history that led to this pattern being
transposed to flashers/meat rigs™ that are deadly!
6/22/17 Hooked up the
boat and headed to the boat ramp around 4pm
yesterday to no avail. A plus 20 mph
wind was pushing 3 footers with plenty of white
Learned there was a wide disparity in wind velocity
(8-10 mph) from the Ludington data buoy that's about
14 miles S of Manistee that I relied on for info.
Once the S breeze cleared the Big Point Sable, wind
gained strength from Lk. MI's coast that slopes to
the E slightly like a funnel. So, after seeing
in person what the seas were, it was a no brainer to
leave the boat on the trailer and head home.
Click Ludington Data Buoy
Manistee does have a weather station on the beach
off the S 1st. Street pier. Problem is is sits
in a semi sheltered location that does not give an
good reading unless the breeze has some SW, W, or NW
Click Manistee Harbor Weather
6/21/17 Safety with our
boats and trailers should never be overlooked.
Boat trailers must be top-notch to eliminate grief
before it happens. That's one of the reason I
upgraded to LED tail/marker lights. I'm on the
road in the dark a lot and want to been seen.
If my work load allows? ...might be able to get a
Lk. MI test session this afternoon/evening.
Been a couple of weeks and feel the urge!
First official day of summer 2017 is here
6/20/17 Good news is
this website has posted more photos of King Salmon
then all of last year from Michigan ports.
It's amazing what a difference a year makes.
Trailer boat owners are keenly aware trailer lights
are a weak link. Submerging 12 volt lights on
launching is bound to cause issues sooner, or later.
Even if your trailer lights were made to do this.
Mine were fine the first 5 years on my new trailer,
then age caught up. Replacing them with LED
lights seemed to be the way to go, but the first 2
sets of China made lights purchased were junk.
So, I've been dealing this issue for 2 weeks.
Please keep in mind, tail-lights on boat trailers over 80" wide require
side marker lights too.
6/19/17 Father's Day
weekend was good to those who had weather on their
side and could get out on Lk. MI. Heard good
reports, some in double figures for both Coho &
Big deal was the amount of baitfish reported in
multiple year classes. This is good news for
all of us who chase fish on Lk. MI!
Click 6/15/17 box of IL Salmon
Please note in this box of fish the Salmon Buster™
spoons that caught at slow dodger speed. This
shows the wide speed latitude my spoons can perform
Also, the 4.0 SUV Alewife SB spoon that continues to
produce. The roots of this spoons came from
the Striper anglers in southern impoundments.
I just upgraded the photo and had the stickers made,
taking the chance this pattern would be a goodie.
Now you know the reel-story behind my creation like
no other spoon I've ever seen!
6/18/17 Happy Father's
6/17/17 Have a great
Father's day Weekend! Looking forward to
sharing this weekend's fishing reports the 1st part
of the new week. Best part of this season has
yet to come!
6/16/17 This stuff about
"thank god it's Friday" don't work for me
I need 9 days in a week to accomplish what I want to
do. Designing tackle can eat thru 100s of
hours. Like it did in the design, then test
phase of my Salmon Buster™ spoons.
I have several more good ideas for improving the
tackle we use. Case in point: is my Super
Snubbers™ and moveable tab diver rings that are a
huge leap forward in functionality. Both these
products began with original thought and time to
6/15/17 Taking a pass on
today's chat. Summer means time off for those
who work for me. So, for the rest of this
week, I'm a one man show taking care of all orders
myself. Good thing is how much you learn to
appreciate your help when you don't have it.
about fishing this afternoon that's totally weather
6/14/17 This morning,
according to down-temp info gathered from the
Ludington data there's a 2° break at 55' down
Click temp Ludington data buoy
This is the territory where spoons are still
effective and an attractor-meat program starts to
come into play. Most of my meat program fish
come out of 44° to 38° Taken some in 36° water
too. But the afore mentioned temps are in my
wheelhouse when it comes to catching meat fish
aboard my boat.
If I were fishing today (wish I was), I'd run as
mixed program with my spoons down in the 50'-55'
zone. Then, get a firm temp reading and fish
meat in the colder water on my deepest rigger.
Plus, at least 1 meat setup on a wire diver.
This worked for me the last time I was out on
6/2/17. Which seems like ages ago with most of
my time being spent in the shop.
Truth is I'm holding back with the threat of
thunderstorms, because I never do well before a
storm rolls thru. Know this is defeatist
attitude I can't shake. Then, there's the
safety issues of being a lighting rod 3 miles from
thunderstorms today means no fishing this afternoon
after diligently working all weekend to free up time.
Warm water returned to Manistee, MI again and I'm stuck
dockside filling far too many orders than we can
There's no happy medium in the tackle business,
either there's not enough, or too much. Sales
are governed by how the fish are biting, or so it
seems. I'm trying hard to squeeze a Lk. MI
trip in this week. Just don't know when the
weather will cooperate?
6/12/17 This weekend's S
and SW blow stacked warm water along the coast of
central LK. MI ports like I mentioned in this past
Click at depth temp chart
Spring Kings can be tough when these fish are up
high. Warm water pushes them to deeper parts
of the water column where the fishermen have
Deeper fish from a formed thermocline and structure
comes into play, like a fence. Warm water
promotes plankton growth to attract baitfish
Issue is for big lake anglers like me ...who want
another crack at these feisty spring Kings?
This is the traditional time of the season when
Kings are known to scatter. Then, return towards the
end of July. It remains be seen, if this
happens again this season?
Because there wasn't enough spring Kings around
Manistee, MI in 2014 thru 2016 to form any
prognostications. In 3 years a lot can change!
6/11/17 Last day to fish
for free. Which is kind of a non issue for
central Lk. MI with yesterday's gale warnings and
Wind took down my power grid too. Was without
electrical power for most of the day and part of the
night. This happening on the warmest day in
2017 was not good. Spent a good portion of my
time making sure my freezers kept running on
6/10/17 Day one of
Michigan's DNR Free Fishing Weekend. This is a
great way to expose more people to fishing.
Real fishing is a hands on sport that dates back to
the prehistory of mankind when we depended on fish
for a rich source protein that provided sustenance.
This afternoon's big blow from the SW should bring
the Kings back to Manistee, MI. Warm water is
on the way. This will be a big help to improve catch
6/9/17 Here today, gone
tomorrow. Hear today and it's no use for
tomorrow. Both of these statements equally
apply to the once EZ King fishing out of Manistee,
inshore Kings have left the building and are not in
the inshore depths of 100' to 250' like they once
were. Recent N blow really set this fishery
why they left is as important. The Kings were
here in the 1st place, cuz there was a wide band of
50° water from like 10' to 70'-80' down. 50s
are in the comfort zone of the Kings. 50s also
promote plankton. Which in-turn draws the
watched this pocket of water slide to the S that now
looks like it's located off Pentwater, MI. For
info source for this water movement:
Click animated chart
what my Wednesday hero had to say about yesterday's
results when he tried to go back to back on 2 trips:
"I fished again this
morning. All the fish were gone. I washed baits
for 3 hours and then gave up. It was like a barren
desert out there looking for fish. Fished 90 feet
to 220 feet. One boat fishing close. Never saw a
net come out from them. They quit when I did..."
because Wayne T struggled does not make him a zero.
It shows he's still a
hero with an honest fishing report we ALL can learn
reel-fishing story is courtesy of Manistee, MI
local, Wayne J:
Had a pretty good morning. Lines in the water at
5:30 and out at 9:30. Fishing alone with a rigger,
a 10 core and a braid diver. I fished south of the
harbor, mostly in 125' of water. Saw evidence of a
thermocline forming once I got into the 12's.
Click Wayne's fish box
foot down was 46 degrees. Thermocline looked like
it was forming above that. Saw some bait but not
much. I ran a X-glo BTI with a fly behind it
and that took my biggest King. I had another shaker
on at the same time. Glad it wasn't a big one.
big fish tend to overwork me. Next two that I
caught were on the 10 color on a Grey Ghost Salmon
Buster™ spoon. Love that spoon this time of year.
three kings in the box, one shaker released and a
hit on the rigger that did not hook up. And...one
tired fisherman. Wayne J skipper of Take
6/7/17 If the Lk. MI
cooperates? ...might be able to get out this
evening. Have some new common sense ideas for
tackle that needs testing.
steady diet of N wind has pushed the warmer water S
in central Lk. MI. Seen 44° on the surface
from the Ludington data buoy. This is a major
game changer for sure. With cold water inshore
running out deep might be the plan. Harbor
might work too.
6/6/17 During the course
of any workday, can speak on the phone with
several fishermen seeking info. This is one of the
best parts of my job. Here's feedback from direct contact:
I spoke with you and ordered a
few flashers and meat rigs two weeks ago. Thank
you for your insight and help picking out the
right colors for Olcott NY. We had a pretty
decent trip this past weekend, and the meat rigs
were a huge help to the success. I wanted to
just reach out and say thank you for your help
and quick work to get my order out and to me
within days. -Mark C-"
Click for Mark's recent Lk. Ontario spring King
6/5/17 Only issue I see
fishing out of my home port of Manistee, MI for
Kings it water temp lacks a definable thermocline to
concentrate fish. This leads to the Salmon
being scattered up and down the water column.
Our highest fish came around 40', deepest was a 100'
to add credence to the point I just made.
featured photo is from last week's trip with
longtime fishing friends, Todd B & John J holding
fine examples of spring Kings.
Click for this photo
6/4/17 Part 2 of
yesterday morning trip out of Manistee, MI begins
with the statement, "you don't know what you have,
until it's gone." That's what most of us were
thinking about the almost total collapse of King
Salmon fishery in 2015. 2016 was a little
not the case in 2017 when the Kings showed up in
Manistee in April, hung around in May, and are still
here in June.
Click for my 1st 2017 King on meat
than 4 hours of lines in the water, we boated 4
Kings to the mid-teens and missed 2 drive bys.
Todd B, John J, & I fished S of Guerney Creek
towards the big point.
temp was 54°-55° that dropped to 51° at 15' and
stayed that way to 70'. Surface current was
running N at a fair clip from sustained S winds.
we fished in was stained, not like the gin clear Lk.
MI main body of water. Did mark occasional
bait on the bottom and a good amount of suspended
fish that developed lockjaw as the sun rose and the
lake calmed down.
6/3/17 The Salmon
Buster™ SUV Alewife pattern is no joke. This
spoon is as absolutely as reel as it gets. We
had 4 exciting rips on the Alewife SUV in the 4.0
and 4.65 sizes from 6:30am thru about 7:45am off
riggers 45' to 60' down, over 100' of water.
Then, the bite died which could be attributed we
turn from the S troll to the N. Once we headed
N it was pitiful slow until we boated a double digit
King on the John J combo around 9:30am. Plus,
we had a meat thief we missed off a diver on the
Super Silver Bullet BTI combo. It was my pleasure to
have long time fishin' buds aboard, John J & Todd B.
don't have to be a smarty pants to see the merit of
reel Alewife image transplanted on a spoon.
Common sense told me this would work during the
design phase. It was wonderful to confirm my
idea and see 1st hand this spoon cqatch!
what I know from intel gathered on the water during
yesterday morning's trip: There are enough
Kings sprinkled from Big Point Sable to the 16s,
just N of Manistee, MI to keep it interesting!
Click 6/2/17 SUV SB 4.0 spoon caught King
To be explained tomorrow: water temp, area
fished, death toll & current direction.
6/2/17 Going to a head
start on this weekend by taking this morning off to
go ...you know where. In mental prep for
today's trip, mulled over the zillion choices
fishermen face after not being on the water for
days. It's stone flat-out amazing how
complicated we've remade the once simple process of fishing. Have a great weekend!
this morning. Tune in tomorrow for the rest of
6/1/17 Been trying to
bank some hours. So, when I do get a chance to
go fishing, won't feel guilty about neglecting my
tackle business. Know tomorrow, Friday and
Saturday look OK. Hope the weather forecast is
right and get a chance to drown some lures.
Meat bite is
starting. Heard this mentioned more than once.
5/31/17 Good fishing
news from the central Lk. MI Port of Manistee from
well known and respected, Capt. Kevin Hughes.
Here's what Capt. Kevin was kind enough to share
"We caught 27 fish in the two days of
the Onekama Shakedown. We fished from the 10s to the
5s south of Manistee. We caught fish from 125 to 250
feet of water.
The big fish came on meat and the majority of fish
came on spoons. Divers, both high and low. down
riggers, copper and lead all caught fish.
Of the 27 fish the majority were Kings, Coho and 1
lake trout. We caught one King around 18 pounds. The
fish were filled with bait and we saw bait surfacing
during the day. Things are looking up this
Click Capt. Kevin's website
5/30/17 In a holding
pattern until I get more Manistee fish info.
There's a wide disparity in the fish reports I've
5/29/17 Memorial Day is
when we honor our fallen service men & women going
back to Bunker Hill in 1775. In my 70 year
lifetime major wars have been fought in Korea, Viet
Nam, Cambodia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and lesser
military actions in Panama, Granada, Somalia, and
Syria. Please remember the ultimate sacrifice
many have made.
5/28/17 Today's chat
pertains to recent photos posted about the success
of Gold Crushed Orange Salmon Buster™ 4.0 spoon that
proves I'm not blowing smoke.
"You weren't kidding about that gold and orange one
being awesome. Got a really nice Laker and a bunch
of Coho today. Coho are thick off St Joe right
now. Laker was 13#. Went 8 for 10 in the end."
...from Capt. Ray C.
Click for Ray's photo
5/27/17 Today's topic is
about the gunk cottonwood trees float onto Lk. MI.
This fibrous stuff accumulates on your lines and
ends up at the swivel.
It is hard to pick off
and rid yourself of. Never figured it out, if
it was better to pick this wad of fiber off the
lines when it was wet, or dry. I do not have a
visual, but will try to post picture soon the next
time off the dock.
Southern Lk. MI has a lot of cottonwoods.
According to the Saugatuck fleet when I chartered
there in the 1990s, the local skippers said, it
slowed the fishing down.
5/26/17 Home projects
are going keep me off the water until next week.
Have a safe and enjoyable weekend as we get ready
for full fledged summer.
5/25/17 The MDNR's free
fishing weekend happens on June 10 & 11, 2017.
That's 2 weeks out. Anything that adds to the
base of fishermen, I'm totally for.
Going to start my Memorial Day weekend a little
early and wish all of you a safe and happy holiday.
We all need a break. So, enjoy the unofficial
kickoff of summer!
5/24/17 We all need a
place to start trolling. At this time of the
year NOAA surface temp charts can point you in the
Click Manistee surface temp chart
Central Lk. MI ports light up when there's a 8° to
10° surface temp differential that sets up close to
the dropoff. Over the years, this break/temp
change used to occur within about a distance of 2
miles, or less. Then, the fish are
fenced/concentrated by cold water and structure.
Increasing your odds of success by a huge margin.
Issue is the NOAA surface temp charts have not been
worth a darn for the last month. Erroneous
readings during cloud cover can be understood.
However, during clear conditions we should get a
representative chart. That's not the way it is
now. Current satellite temp chart readings are
totally worthless. Maybe this satellite is
5/23/17 Decided not to
go fishing today. Plan is to build tackle and
try to have a better cushion. Then, fish the
Memorial Day Weekend a couple of times.
Know Manistee, MI results from last weekend were
lackluster at best. Boats that did reach
double figures did so by targeting Lake Trout.
3, or 4 Salmon was a good box.
5/22/17 After an E wind
Kings showed up at Wilson, NY on Lk. Ontario.
If I wasn't so busy in the shop with tackle ...I'd
be on my way there for a few days.
It's going to be a wait and see on fishing reports
from this past weekend. Wind has shifted to
the SW and predicted to blow at 30 mph today.
This push of warmer water should help stack some
Kings at central Lk. MI ports (Ludington, Manistee,
Tomorrow morning looks fishable, if there's a rare
chance to get away from the shop for a few hours.
The coming Memorial Day Weekend is shaping up nicely
with temps in the mid-70s. Might have to wait
5/21/17 In 2015 spring
King fishing and summer Kings were almost non
existent in MI's slice of Lk. MI. 2016 MI seen
a small uptick with the better fishing in WI.
2017 is on track to be one heck of an improvement
with a lot more Kings off MI's coast.
King Salmon/Chinook are vital to sustain our Great
Lakes sport fishery. Millions of dollars are
spent every year on boats and tackle to pursue this
hard fighting fish. Adding to the overall
economy of all Great Lake states.
5/20/17 Have a great
weekend. My time is being devoted to build
more inventory. So, when I do get a decent
day, going fishing will happen.
5/19/17 T.G.I.F. is the
way I feel about this week's workload. There
have been some Kings caught out of Manistee in water
from 100' to 250' deep. But it's not the big
deal, like it was, when the fish were closer to the
harbor. Once the bait that's in southern Lk.
MI move N things will drastically improve for my
home port. Find bait and you'll find Kings.
Bright note on the horizon is the large amount of
small shaker Kings that have been caught in more
southerly Lk. MI ports. These are our future
5/18/17 Wilson, NY as of
last weekend, Kings were on the Canadian side of the
Niagara Bar, by St. Catherine's Ontario. Coho
was good out of Wilson averaging around 5 lbs. per.
Kewaunee, WI's spring King fishery is off to a slow
Rogers City, MI on Lk. Huron was Lakerville with
good sized LTs being caught in 40' to 50' of water N
of the harbor.
Southern Lk. MI was the place to be last weekend.
We had website members fishing out of South Haven,
MI with respectable numbers of fish on spoons.
Most of the fish caught had several year classes of
Alewives in their tummies.
5/17/17 Early am
thunderstorms knocked out my satellite internet.
Then, when I finally got a net connection, shipping
orders have delayed my planned chat for today.
Without the internet there's no way I make make
mailing labels to ship product.
Time constraints has delayed
today's update about port reports until tomorrow.
evening around 5pm, went on an exploratory mission
to Manistee, MI's shelf, or drop off about 3 miles
out. Harbor water temp was 60 degrees that
transitioned slowly to 50° on the surface over 125'
This contradicts NOAA surface temp charts by a good
10 degrees. Down water temp was 46°-44° and
decent down to 70' when it broke to from 43-42 over
150' of water. Spring Kings can be caught at 38°
with no problem.
Bait that was in and around the pier heads, marked
on 5/4/17 has long since flew the coop. Marked
2 fish around 60' down over 150' in 2 hours of
trolling, before calling it quits. Just didn't
see enough to warrant hanging around till dark.
Central Lk. MI is on the cusp of our spring King
season once the fish move N from the more southerly
Lk. MI ports that are reel-hot right now.
Tomorrow scattershot fish reports from Rogers City, MI,
Kewaunee, WI, & Wilson, NY.
5/15/17 Today's chat is
from Team Extra Credit who fished South Haven, MI on
"Good morning Captain,
I am happy to report that the Salmon Buster Gold
with Orange Crush tape and Ghostbusters spoons were
hot for use yesterday too. We were able to catch
seven of our fish with these spoons off either
5-color led core or our high wire Dipsy. Equally
exciting to us was seeing many of our fish spitting
out alewives as we netted them. We caught a mixed
bag of kings and Coho along with one trout and are
hopeful for a continued successful season.
Thank you for sharing you fish catching knowledge
with everyone. We are looking forward to August and
our annual two weeks of fishing in the heavens of
5/14/17 Have a great
Sunday! Looks like a pretty decent week with
temps in the 70s for Manistee, MI. Predicted S
winds later this week should setup next weekend with
surface temp break along Manistee's shelf, or drop
off for good fishing.
thread I'm hearing is most fish caught had Alewives
in them. This is good news for central Lk. MI
fishermen. Do know, I've posted a lot more
photos of Kings caught off Manistee and Ludington
this season when compared to 2015 & 2016.
means is fishing off Manistee the glory years of
easy pickings, but it's a lot better than I
expected. Let's ALL hope this keeps up!!!
5/13/17 Having lures
that are proven to work all season long is beyond
priceless. Today's featured photo shows last
summer's big hit, the GhostBuster Salmon Buster™
back on point early this May. Click 5/10/17 GhostBuster SB 4.0 King
This spoon took
our 1st 2 hits on a Slide Diver (no ring) 50/50
count on my recent Ludington trip. Meaning 50'
behind the diver and 50' of line out, dialed on 2
Reason for the 50' lead
explained when you look at the photo carefully &
see it's next to flat calm going to glass.
While this is not the biggest King my boat has taken
this year, it certainly did photograph well.
Factoring in the semi
I used fill flash to capture Todd hoisting a
lb. bright silver spring King!
real expense in tackle is worthless stuff that don't
catch, or just occasionally.
Reel spoons like my original GhostBuster pattern are now proven produce
all season long!
5/12/17 The idea behind
my fishing trip to Ludington 2 days ago was
motivated with the firm knowledge (from Capn. Kirk),
this port had fish from his results a day prior.
This afforded me the great opportunity to test
spoons against the red hot SB 4.0 Gold Crushed
Orange. So, I did not load the spread with the
color. Knowing full well, there has to be
other patterns that will produce.
Click test spoon free slider
With that in mind, tested a new, not in production,
copper crushed orange SB 4.0. This newbie
spoon accounted for 2 of my 5 bites. This new
test spoon was riding as a slider, not in a prime
position for wary spring Kings in flat calm glassy
My first 2 hits were on the Ghostbuster 4.0 that we
hit with a black light, because it was just cracking
daylight and still semi dark. I'll post this
fish pic tomorrow.
We did take 1 fish on the Super Gold Bullet 4.0 on a
rigger 38' down over close to 60' feet of water with
the surface temp reading 44 degrees around 8am.
baaaaack!" was confirmed again today by Ludington
local legend, Capn. Kirk! Kirk and his crew
fished from 6:30am till about 11am and took an
outstanding catch of 10 spring Kings. Plus, he
smoked me in the process, because I was there too!
Meaning I had to deliver some tackle to Ludington,
or at least that's the excuse I used to sneak out of
the shop for the morning. My results were a
1/3 of Capn. Kirk's good ship, "Enterprise" who was
on warp drive and my boat was on impulse power!
BTW, the majority of Capn. Kirk's Kings came on half
cores on the temp break in 46 to 43 degree water on
the Gold Crushed Orange 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoon.
And that's what I had to deliver. He bought 10
more of these spoons.
Click for this reel meat pole!
baaaaack!" This reel story comes to us courtesy of
Ludington, MI, local legend, Capn Kirk. He had
very respectable box of Kings and a few Brown Trout.
Flavor of the day, was the Gold Crushed Orange
Salmon Buster™ 4.0. Kirk had 5 of these in his
6 rod spread and ordered 10 more of this pattern
Click for Kirk's spring Kings!
Oh, ye of little faith, that gave up on Lk. MI after
a tough season in 2015. Been around this
fishery since 1968 and this I can guarantee; you
never know what's gonna happen. This is like
Christmas for me, seeing happy fishermen, with big
5/9/17 Lk. MI off my
home port of Manistee, MI is predicted to be fairly
calm for the next few days. This affords me
the opportunity to going fishing.
weekend's strong N blow is not working in my favor.
So, my expectations is not going to outpace reality.
N and NW at this time of the season just brings in
more cold water and can scatter fish. The way
I look at it? ...even slow fishing, beats no
will be finding out if the bait marked on 5/4/17 is
5/8/17 With good sized
Kings being caught off Manistee, MI, it's going to
be interesting as water temp builds in the main body
of Lk. MI towards the end of this month.
my memory, I have go back to about April of 1995 to
say, I caught Kings within a mile, or 2 of the pier
heads off this port. Back when I was charter
could be many why fair to good numbers of King
Salmon have been caught off Manistee. I can
only offer an educated thoughts. Such as, a
warm winter kept the bigger Kings from migrating S.
Bait could be another possibility. Where's
there's bait? ...there's going to be predator fish
sitting at the dinner table ready to chow down!
5/7/17 Took a photo of
biomass 100 yards from Manistee, MI's pier heads
around 10am on 5/4/17. Marked this cloud at
8am about a mile S and by 10am it moved to the
This is the
same way my graph marked the small Alewives when I
was at Manistique, MI last July. Do know this
is the time of the year when Alewives spawn.
Time will tell of our harbor loads up with bait.
for 5/4/127 sonar image
I was one of
the last to know Kings were hitting off Manistee.
Know now, after the fact, this began in mid-later
April and mum was the word. As desperately as
we need good news about the state of Lk. MI's King
fishery keeping info on the QT is not helping
Some of this
is my fault, because I never seek fishing info from
known contacts. Usually, when good catches are
coming in the word spreads fast. Not so,
5/6/17 Today's chat will
be expanded tomorrow about bait off Manistee, MI.
We did mark bait and a Brown we caught was loaded
with large Alewives.
Click stomach contents
5/5/17 Fished for 3
hours yesterday morning out of Manistee, MI in
almost flat calm seas from about 7am till 10am
Tried the inshore 10' to 15' depths for the 1st half
hour S of pier heads to the clay-bank without any
bites. Moved to the deeper 30' to 40' depths
in a mile wide sweeping loop out from the harbor.
Staying in the dark river water.
and I just missed a hit off 1/2 oz bead chain keel
weight board rod around 8am when the port Slide
Diver rod took a hard slam. This feisty King
took close to 200' line off the reel headed towards
Orchard Beach State Park. Fought this fish up
to 80' from the back of the boat 3 times, only to
have it peel drag in a hard fight. The 3rd
time this King's power waned and we finally got a
Click for yesterday's King
Had to scurry back to the shop to build and ship
orders before 2pm keeping with my same day shipping
policy. Water temps were about the same as the
day previous. While this trip did not echo the
same success rate as the day before, I'd get out of
bed at 4:45am any day of the week to catch a King
pushing 3' long.
To be continued tomorrow with more interesting
reel-facts about bait!
5/4/17 Fished my home
Port of Manistee, MI yesterday morning from 7am till
noon with decent results for nowadays. Boated
3 Kings at 7, 10, & 12 lbs. Plus, a 4 lb.
a 1 to 2 mile wide arc around the harbor a good ways
out from the pier heads. Surface temp ranged
for 50° to 44° out to the color line.
Click hot spoons
speed was 2.5 mph in a churned up sea with waves
coming from all directions in 2 rollers. Best
was our riggers from 7' to 20' down over 25' to 40'
of water with 80' to 100' leads. Took 3 of 4
on the riggers. Our board program sucked, only
the small Brown.
came on the Gold Orange Crush & Gold Bullet 4.0
Salmon Buster™ spoons. The
Kings are mean as ever. Ready to cut crossways
thru the board lines. Making a mess, as
today's featured pic of our biggest King shows.
Click 5/3/17 tangled King Salmon
This morning's fishing report is on tap for
Click for today's biggest King
5/3/17 Calm seas are
predicted for today and tomorrow. Depending on
work load, hope to get afloat soon. Have a new
mic for my action cams that needs testing,
Capturing a decent sound track is the hardest this I
deal with on shoots.
what's said and when adds to video. When Todd
and I first saw our 1st King of the year pushing 20
pounds the yak was priceless. Think you know
what I talking about after not seeing a King of this
size since last August!
Update tomorrow about today's
reel-action out of Manistee.
Click 5/3/17 King Salmon
5/2/15 34" King weighing 17.8 pounds is
packing a lot of fish in short frame.
Negating MDNR's the claim there's not enough
baitfish, at least partially. I'm referring to
the King that we caught on 4/25/17. This was a
thick fish too.
Click 4/25/17 17.8 lb. King
In my 2
trips, 1 out of Ludington and 1 out of Manistee, MI
figure I'm averaging 1 fish every 2 hours.
While I've not caught many, when I do ...it's a good
there is the ongoing question about the Lk. MI
Alewife population where there is no clearly defined
answer about what the future holds.
5/1/17 May is the month
for spring Kings. Last year, at this time,
hardly any were caught in S Lk. MI. This year
a few Kings are making their presence known.
While it's way-early to predict even a few kings is
a reason for hope.
this week, looks like there's a window on Wednesday
and Thursday where the conditions our on the side of
the fleet. Do know, there's been many more
early season Kings caught out of Manistee, MI.
Another good reason for hope!
4/30/17 Spring Kings are
beginning at Lk. MI's more southerly ports.
Today's feature pic is from last Friday out of the
Port of South Haven, MI. There's 3 well fed
juvenile Kings that had Alewives in their stomachs.
Capt. Dan reported seeing lumps of bait too.
This is good news for all, with our spring fishery
being off to a great start compared to the past few
4/28/17 spring catch
4/29/17 Have a great
weekend and enjoy your time off. Rules for
this season's "Beat the King" contest need to be
adjusted to keep it a level playing field. To
prevent new members just signing up because they
caught a worthy fish after the fact. There's
must be a time delay before new members can enter
their fish. Thinking of 2 to 4 weeks before
eligibility kicks in. Haven't made my mind up
yet, but without rules this would be a mess.
4/28/17 Fishing contest
for message board members and it's FREE to enter for
members. Just beat my 34" and change (4/25/17)
King and you'll win 25 bucks in tackle. If you
caught it on my tackle? ...prize doubles to 50
Click to join board
Brown Trout will also be eligible. Beat my 33"
Ludington Brown and same winnings as posted above.
Each time length is exceeded, that's the new
benchmark that must be beat. Winning fish must
have a clear photo with a ruler/tape measure to
PROVE, or qualify to be a winner. I'm relying
on your honor about what you caught it on.
So, please let's be on the up and up and not fib to
double your prize. Tackle will be my choice,
guaranteed to satisfy. Season winning big King
will get a bonus $100 prize that will be decided on
10/1/17. In case of a tie, first to enter is
the winning fish.
This is a fun contest for FREE tackle that don't
cost you a dime! Rules will be adjusted as
needed. Winning fish must be an inch better.
So, hard to read fractions of an inch don't come
into play. Beat the King to be the King of
4/27/17 Part II:
Inshore water on 4/25/17 was 48° in 5' to 10' of
water. Once you moved out a little deeper,
surface temp was 46°. Long 80'-90' lead
lengths off the riggers produced both fish at 2.5
mph. Water color was stained with NO weeds in
This has to be experienced, cuz no amount of words
can ever describe what a surging double digit King
peeling line transmitting their power up a rod and
reel feels like!
For me, it's a magical event of Lk. MI baddest fish
living up to it's reputation.
The sheer strength and majesty King Salmon have
...is what fish tales are made of.
Icing on the cake is what something totally
unexpected happens, like it did a few days ago when
we boated a King Salmon pushing 18 pounds.
This is my best/biggest April King since I left the
charter business in 2003. So, we're off to a
4/26/17 Part I: Escaped
from the shop yesterday morning to wet some lines and it
felt good! Just being on the boat, wandering
around in hopes of a fish, or 2 was energizing.
With zero confidence, trolled N up the shoreline
searching for Browns with 6 rods off the big boards.
OK, after the best part of a hour with not hits,
...on the beach Browns were a no show. Seen this
movie before and changed tactics. Set a rigger
down 7' over 12'-15' of water & looped towards the
the S. Still had 4 lines off the boards.
Soon after the 1st rigger was set, a 5 lb. Laker
fell victim to the lethal SB 4.0 in the Gold Crushed
Click for this LT & Salmon Buster™ spoon
This was a positive clue a another rigger needed to
be added into our 6 rod spread. Then, swapped
out 2 of the surface board lines for 2 Slide Divers.
Headed S to the 1st clay bank with no action.
Changed direction to the N and that's when our 2017
King season officially began with a bruiser pushing
18 lbs. ripping into the deadly SB 4.0 Gold Crushed
Click for our season opening King Salmon
Part II tomorrow with more reel-info &
4/25/17 Breaking News:
Big deal for Todd B and myself about 9:30am
this morning. Boated our 1st King of 2017.
This bruiser pulled the scale down to 17.8 pounds.
Flavor of the day was the killer Gold Orange Crush
4.0 Salmon Buster spoon.
Click for this bad boy!
For the rest of this reel-story, tune in
4/25/17 11 days have
went by since my last fishing trip and that's
way-way too long. Between the weather and
being busy in the shop ...has kept me dockside.
It's my own fault for not making time to steal a few
hours on Lk. MI for a needed mental adjustment.
Fishing puts everything in perspective for me that
been a steadying influence on my life since I got my
1st fishing rod & reel in the mid 1950s.
Back then, the USA made fishing reels here. My
1st reel was a
Pflueger Akron that came out in about 1925.
The Akron was manufactured in Akron, Ohio ...not
4/23/17 Reports on
spring Coho have been good from grand have to New
Buffalo and points south. This could be good
news for Kings on the Michigan side down the road.
These Coho would not be on east shore of Lk. MI
(Michigan side) unless there was bait. Last
year in 2016 the Coho were not here in the numbers
we have now.
If bait is anchored on our side this well bode well
for spring Kings when mother nature gives them a
wakeup call. May is the month associated with
4/22/17 Have a great
Heavy workload for me this week as the 2017 season
moves forward. Biggest accomplishment was
maintenance was completed on my 1979 22' Sea Ray.
Only thing remaining is to pull and grease the top
U-joint in the Mercruiser outdrive.
Cold, wet and rainy has held my enthusiasm for
fishing in check for the past few days. More
rain beginning next Tuesday with showers predicted
thru next weekend.
4/20/17 There seems to
be more Coho being caught this year by our website
members that fish southern Lk. MI. That's the
good news, but fish over 10 pounds have been hard to
come by thus far for members. So, I guess
we're all waiting for the Kings to show up.
I'm in limbo about where and when to fish next.
There's is a weather window this weekend.
Seeing there's no huge amount of inshore central Lk.
MI Brown Trout ...means I'm not to keen on fishing
Saturdays, or Sundays.
4/19/17 Lubricants are
the cheapest thing you can buy for your boat. Having
a rigorous maintenance schedule will coax years of
extra life out of your vessel.
Even inexperienced mechanics can change oil, lower
end lube and pick up a grease gun. Owner
manuals tell you how to do this and how often.
In the charter business having a broke boat means no
revenue and lost days you can never recover.
That's why staying on top of lubricants is so
important to me. With this mindset I was able
to get 8000 hours out of my 2nd charter boat's
motors from 1987-2003.
4/18/17 Day off sounds
good. So, that's exactly what I'm gonna do!
Plan was to go fishing out of Manistee, MI. 17
knot wind out of the SE at 5am morning blew that
off. Angle of SE can funnel right up the
coast, making it too lumpy for me.
Honestly, I'm spooked at Manistee's early season
fishing. After 2 years of less than mediocre
results due to weeds, I'm just not excited at
When trolled lure is fouled with debris on a
constant basis, you have to know when to throw in
the towel and hope for better times ahead.
Do not let me deter you from fishing Manistee with
my less than spectacular outlook.
Reports this year say the weeds don't seem to be
that much of a problem.
is? ...haven't seen it for myself yet!
4/17/17 Installed a
polarizing lens filter on my GoPro action cam.
Video I shot on 4/13/17 came out excellent with
clear views of Browns battling underwater. New
filter allowed better underwater view. Hope to piece this
Ludington movie together when time allows.
Maintenance day for my 1979 22' Sea Ray.
Already changed the oil in the 4 stroke kicker and
drained/replaced the outdrive lube. By the end
of today oil and filter for my 350 GM V8.
Lower end lube in the kicker will be changed by the
end of today too.
4/16/17 Here's some
reel-facts that didn't get mentioned from my 4/13/17
1. troll speed was plus, or minus 2.5 mph.
2. once you left the beach to make a turn, main body
of Lk. MI in 20' of water was 40°.
3. wasted a good hour towing weeds on all 3 of our
4. fished experimental 3 rods on port side that
didn't take a bite.
5. actually marked a few fish on the bottom in 10'
of water (seen this happen before).
6. area inside the Ludington pier heads is 3 times
as large, when compared to Manistee.
7. it was free to launch, no kiosk was not installed
8. all of the launch docks were new pressure treated
9. zero boat traffic, 1 boat trailer in the launch's
parking lot (sign of tough fishing).
10. 1st time I fished out of Ludington, MI was late
4/15/17 The winner of my
most productive spoon in the top 20' of water is the
Gold Orange Crush Salmon Buster™ 4.0. This was
proven in April thru October in 2016 and this spoon
is off to a great start again in 2017.
Gold Orange Crush 4.0
If you like working the top of the water column for
Steelhead & Browns this awesome spoon is a no
brainer buy. Coupled with a bead chain keel
weight, 5' of 15# test leader with a Roscoe Duolok
snap for an ultra-slick trick presentation.
I, as a tackle manufacturer ...want to sell you the
best of the best, so you catch. This mindset
is what's kept me in business since 2004.
Click to Purchase
Ludington, MI yesterday afternoon from 3:30pm to a
little after 7pm. Trolled N of the harbor to
the bath house in water I never fished Browns
before. Water was greenish clear in 5' to 15'
of water. Surface temp ranged from 45° to 47°.
dark water we found was off the Lincoln River.
This is where we took 2 Browns, being a 5 & a 10
pounder. The 10 was a feisty long lean Brown
that put up an exciting bare knuckles brawl that did
not want to come to the net.
Click 4/13/17 Brown
our bites came on the Gold Orange Crush Salmon
Buster™ 4.0 spoon. I now see why Ludington
local, Capn. Kirk runs 6 of these off this boat.
springtime nemesis, Mr. Nasty Weeds dwells past the
bath house. So, for now, avoid this area if
you're targeting inshore? ...off the beach fish.
Todd B and I did not load the boat with fish, I rate
this trip as a 10. Just because it provided a
perfect transition from making tackle to using it!
Plus, anytime you gain experience on new water, it's
winner in my book. That will not be soon
4/13/17 Yesterday, Ludington, MI's
Capn. Kirk fished a short evening.
His tally was 2 double digit Lakers and a 14.2 pound
Brown Trout. These fish came on my Salmon
Buster™ spoon in the Gold Crushed pattern.
Kirk was using inline planers with 3/8 oz bead chain
keel sinkers at 2.5 mph It's excellent to see there some fish
for central Lk. MI angler to work on. Hope to
get out soon when work and conditions allow.
Click Capn Kirk's catch
4/12/17 And so ...it
begins! This is a fitting title of today's
chat with Kings from E Chicago, IN making their
Click 4/11/17 E Chicago, IN Kings
Today's feature pic is via Capt. John W from King
Seeker Charters, forwarded to me by dedicated Lk. MI
fisherman, Tom M. 7 Coho and 4 Kings with a
couple Salmon pushing 20 pounds is a wonderful start to the
King Seeker Charters
tomorrow the wind is favorable for shoreline fishing
off my home port of Manistee, MI. Grapevine
says there has been a few fish caught.
Early season Brown Trout fishing takes place in
water from 15' to 5' deep. That means, at
times ...you're only a 100 yards from the beach.
Requiring fairly calm seas. Surf
crashing on the beach makes this a no-go for yours
and when I'll be able to go fishing this week,
depends on workload.
4/10/17 Spoon stickers,
or die cuts can be purchased in quantities in 10
counts for 9.95. My ground breaking Alewife, Bite me
and Kissy Face Salmon Buster™ spoons are in huge
demand. So, it was a no brainer to offer these
die cuts as a stand alone purchase. This is a
cost effective way to breathe new life into old
Click for Spoon Stickers
Did some investigation on the S end of Lk. MI Coho
where I fished the Sunday before last. Seems
when these big schools of Coho leave, they never
come back in force.
The Friday before I left is when this fishing
started to go downhill and get progressively slower.
Do know I've fished the extreme N (Manistique) and S
(Portage, IN) ends of Lk. MI, gaining knowledge
along the way.
Click our 4/2/17 Indiana Coho
4/9/17 Have a great
Sunday with temps pushing 70° ...finally!
Lk. MI is predicted to be pretty lumpy until
mid-week. Looking at checking Manistee, MI's
shoreline fishery when conditions become tolerable.
Heard of some fish being caught.
4/8/17 Weak satellite
internet connection is now a 3 day ongoing problem.
The Chicago fish die-off would be a major story if
this happened in central Lk. MI. Down in the S
end of Lk. MI not so much, because info is very
4/7/17 Issues with my
satellite internet is once again problematic.
Story I wanted to concentrate on was a huge fish die off
in the S end of Lk. MI down by Chicago.
close to the same place we were fishing last Sunday.
4/6/17 Opened up the
entire Encyclopedia of Tips and Tricks section.
Parts of this was formerly reserved for website
members only. There's about 100 different item
specific articles that cover a lot of ground dating
back 17 years. Click Tips
review, this a very impressive repository/knowledge
base across a wide spectrum. Going deeply into
topics overlooked by the mainstream fishing media.
said before, there's
a pile of people in the fishing business that will
gladly take your money. But how many of them
put the work into actually earning it? I know of no
other website, or tackle manufacturer that puts
forth the personal effort I do.
No brag, just one
maintenance is adding another page of archived daily
updates in the Past Results. This
page is for timeline reference when needed.
Jan, Feb & Mar 2017
This section of this website has at least 6000 daily
log entries going back to January, 1,
2000. It's hard to fathom this site is 17
years old. Lots has transpired since then, as
our Great lakes fishery continues to evolve.
Click Past Results
4/4/17 Wind and weather
for Manistee, MI is not looking good this
week. So, my time will be devoted to making
tackle. So, when the right conditions present
themselves, I can go fishing. Hopefully, the
weeds I've dealt with 2015 & 2016 will not be there.
Seems St. Joe
and points to the N had at least some fish
this last weekend. Good news is the fleet was
out in force taking advantage of Sunday's calm seas.
4/3 /17 Word from MDNR
Manistee, MI says this spring's shoreline fishery is
better then 2016. Really, that don't say a
lot. Because 2015 and 2016 were downright
yesterday chasing week old fishing reports that said
E Chicago and Portage, IN were producing EZ limit
catches of Coho. Plus, bonus species like
Steelhead and Browns in certain areas. Seems
about the middle of last week these fish started to
knowledge and insights in the extreme S end of Lk.
MI. Fished off Portage, then the "rock wall"
and the Gary light. Pastrick Marina to the
"hole in the wall" and points north out to 50'.
Net gain was a Coho in 6 hours and tons of
A super huge
thank you goes out to the "Greek" for getting up
early to drive 3 hours and meeting Todd, Dylan, and
I at 6am. Then, sharing his expertise with
4/1 & 2 /2017 Taking this
3/31/17 T.G.I.F! Heavy
work week for me with the Lk. MI fleet starting up.
Yes, there will be a 2017 season and it's here now!!
3/30/17 Plan was to go
fishing yesterday afternoon. This fine idea got
overruled with orders and trying to keep tackle in
stock. What goes out the door, must be replaced.
It's a reel good thing ...I like my job almost, as much,
as I do going fishing!
New plan is to reclaim this lost fishing trip soon, if
the weather cooperates.
3/29/17 Yesterday, Mike M
was kind enough to call in a fish report from East
Chicago, IN and answered the question my hanging
question about bait. He shared the some of the
Coho he cleaned, had 5" Alewives in the them.
Plus, while not a lot, did mark some bait on his
way to limiting out. So, this is good news for all
3/28/17 Mustering up the
courage to try the early season shoreline fishing off my
home Port of Manistee, MI after the last 2 disappointing
seasons. Weeds, root systems and gunk in the water
has made this once EZ limits of Brown Trout a tough nut
Know there are 2 docks in at the 1st Street Public
Launch and plenty of off-colored water around the
harbor. So far, the grapevine has been amazingly
quiet about catching. Guess I just have to go and
find out for myself what I'm up against.
3/27/17 March-April southern
Lk. MI is the opening curtain for the 2017 season.
It's mostly jack Coho in the 2 to 3 pound range in
March. By later April these fish will gain more
weight depending on the amount of bait available to
around 4 lbs.
While I've heard the Coho bite is fantastic, yet to hear
about how much bait S. Lk. MI fishermen are marking.
This is the important part. Click
XGB Smurf Coho SB 4.0
3/26/17 According to my
early season contacts in southern LK. MI, the Coho bite
is the best it's been in several years. Time will
tell if this holds up.
3/21/17 Coho catch
3/25/17 Have a great
3/24/17 Before leaving to
fish southern waters, last fall, put antifreeze thru the
main and trolling motors. 50/50 mix of antifreeze
should kill any organisms. Know it's a poison,
because it can kill pets. There's no way I could
forgive myself for transporting mussels, or any invasive
specie to previously uncontaminated water.
Do know there's several places outside the Great Lakes
watershed that host zebra mussels. Zebras are in
northern Alabama's Wheeler Reservoir on the Tennessee
3/23/17 Results from the
2016 Salmon Ambassador program came out today.
Several interesting facts backed up by data that is beyond
Ratio of naturally reproduced vs. planted is only semi
correct. Skewed by the reduced King Salmon plants.
Click for this port by port info
3/22/17 Committed long
distant plans are fraught with issues. Knowing
what I know now, would have delayed my Striper trip to
Alabama. We got hit with a severe cold front with
nighttime temps down to 20 degrees and days in the low
40s to high 30s.
Southern impoundment fish get tough when there's a loss
of water temp. This meant big live bait to pry a
bite from fish more interested in spawning than eating.
Stripers are fascinating to me. These fish are
beautiful & share the same radiant blue-purplish hues
that our King Salmon have. Cameras struggle to
capture a true likeness.
look at my first venture into the realm of southern
Striped Bass as a winner from the amount of knowledge
lb. sucker used as Striper bait
3/21/17 Beginning this
Friday afternoon east wind will prevail for a good 5
days off the Port of Manistee, MI. This is in my
window for my first Lk. MI trip trip of 2017.
E wind should push any weeds/debris away from the our
shoreline. Been fighting junk in the water
for the past 2 seasons that makes shoreline trolling off
Manistee an exercise in futility. I will not fight
this junk in the water (looks like root systems) fouling
lures. Never seen these weeds/roots until about to
2 years ago.
3/20/17 First day of spring
2017 is making it's grand entrance in
Daytime highs temps are
looking decent at 32-50 degree range for the next 7 days.
Still suffering F-250 travel lag from the 14 hour trip
Alabama. Never pushed it hard, averaging 56 mph for the
almost 800 mile trip with my boat in tow.
Learned staying my pickup camper is tolerable for 3-4
days. After that, you become keenly aware of how
small it is. This is part of the reason I came
By cutting my vacation short I have a few days in the
for a possible trip to southern Lk. MI for early season
Coho and Browns. Next week, this window opens.
3/19/17 Arrived home from
Alabama at 4am this morning. We were fishing close
to Cullman, AL that's a distant 780 miles from my home
in Manistee, MI. Learning a bunch that will be
shared with you in the future.
3/18/17 There's no place
like home and that's the reason I'm cutting my vacation
short to head my home in Manistee, MI today.
www.michiganangler.com has reopened.
3/17/17 Happy St. Patrick's
Day! Striper fishing in Alabama is awesome!!
Being able to do this on a working/fishing vacation is
Looking at turning 71 this year. Some might say
events like this go on a bucket list. I say the stuff I
want to do? ...ain't gonna fit in any bucket!!
There too many ways and places to fish that can be
accomplished in any 1 lifetime. Click 3/16/17
Finally found a net connection!!
3/12/17 Nasty and cold as
Mr. Winter has revisited Manistee, MI. There's
only 8 days to the official start of spring 2017.
My long awaited vacation begins today. This place
I'm going is so secret the fish ...don't know about it
Daily updates depend on what I can find for a internet
connection. So, if I miss a day or two with an
entirely new reel-story, you know why.
3/11/17 Spring forward 1 hour
tonight. It's time to play clock yoyo game again. DST,
Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2am on
3/12/17. Finished shipping our last tackle order at
10am for about 2 weeks and it felt good. Knowing
everything is handled first, before going vacation is
spelled: r e l i e f! test
3/10/17 Just about ready to
head out to parts unknown. Stay tuned for further
info about my long overdue secret vacation that begins
If I miss a few daily updates, that's because I'm
without an internet connection. You'll know more
when I do. I'm absolutely sure, you'll find this new
Webstore will be closing at midnight tonight and reopen
on, or before 3/24/27. This way there will be no
backlog of orders I do not want to deal with.
It's demanding enough dealing with day to day
transactions to ship quickly on the same day.
Let alone, being behind the 8-ball playing catch up.
3/9/17 Have a great day!
Rushing to clear up all duties before going on vacation
for the best part of 2 weeks. Last vacation was in
2014 when I went south for the winter and absolutely
hated it. 4 months of warm weather did not
compensate me with a feeling of being productive.
The good that that came from Florida in the 2013-2014
winter was to lay the ground work for my Salmon Buster™
3/8/17 Came to the
conclusion there a good amount of redneck way back in my
DNA. How else can you explain I'm actually looking
forward to living on top of my pickup truck?
the years I'm had several types of RVs. First one
was a regular high profile pickup camper. Wind
resistance was horrible and it was top heavy. No
such problems with the low profile crank-up one
purchased last September.
vacation begins in 4 days. Will be closing my web
based tackle store in 2 days, or on Friday.
Reopening is scheduled for 3/24/17. Work will
continue at my shop.
Plan on fishing new ports I have never visited
3/7/17 The early season Coho
are biting in East Chicago, IN. These are good
sized Silvers for this early in the season.
Today's photo is courtesy of Capt. John Warren's catch
on 3/5/17 with number to prove it!
Seeker's limit catch
million bucks is being offered as a prize to anyone who
can come up with an idea to stop Asian Carp from
entering the Great Lakes. Good luck with this one.
The solution does not exist while the Chicago Canal is
still connected to Lk. MI.
Click for details
3/6/17 Another step closer
to my vacation that begins on 3/12/17. Camper is
on the pickup. Today's focus is to make sure the
boat is ready to fish with all tackle shipshape.
Then, as this week progresses loading the camper with
food & personal items.
be closing this Friday, or Saturday morning.
Reopening is scheduled for 3/24/17 (approx). Still
lots to do before leaving.
camper & boat
3/5/17 Big deal today!
Boat will see daylight for the first time in the 2017.
Need to re-shuffle things around in my storage building
to install slide-in pickup camper.
camper is bare essentials to get by. With little
wind resistance mileage is OK at 12-14 miles a gallon
without the boat. With the boat in tow, not so
good, but tolerable with today's cheap prices for gas.
Click truck and
go to an extended hitch for more camper clearance to
boat trailer. In my opinion, for me, this is a
perfect rig for traveling that beats staying in pricy
this camper on Craig's List. It was in pristine
condition for 25 cents on the dollar compared to new.
Store RVs inside and they'll will stay like-new for a
3/4/17 Have a great weekend.
Mine will be devoted to boat prep. Stuff like
putting the batteries back in and the massive job of
making sure all tackle needed is aboard. This is a
be prepared for anything trip for me with many different
rods and line types. Such as copper, lead core,
mono and braid rods for my riggers.
Down to 7 days and counting till I escape into the reel world for ...a
very reel vacation!
3/3/17 Today is the
world/galactic debut of new 2017 Salmon Buster™ you can
have fun with. These are serious high quality
works of art with excellent UV properties.
Alewife pattern was spurred on by the success of the BBS
selection. It's a no brainer to have reel-alewife
spoons in the lineup too!
Click for 4 new 2017 spoons
The "Bite Me"
and "Kissy Face" are bound to become fleet favorites in
today's landscape. Individual photos of all the
new reel-image spoons have been added to the webstore
and are available by
Clicking Here to Purchase
Manistee, MI was nasty with falling temps, high winds
and about 5 inches of snow. So, according to the
old proverb: "March comes in like a lion, goes out
like a lamb," ...we should be in for some decent weather
at the end of this month.
Know we won't have to wait that long. Beginning
this coming Saturday we're in for a long stretch with
daytime temps about freezing. This Sunday and
Monday they're calling for 50° to 55°. Then, mild
temps in the 40s for the rest of next week.
conditions to get loaded up and ready for travel on the
following Sunday, March 12, 2017. Tackle store
will be closing on 3/10/17 and will reopen upon my
How long I'll
be gone depends on how much fun we'll be having.
So, don't look for this to be a quick turn around.
Been looking forward to this vacation this since last
3/1/17 Hello March 2017.
Official spring is less then 3 weeks away. While
this winter in Manistee has been mild, it's nice to turn
the page and look forward to warmer weather.
cannot be stressed enough: ...we all need breaks and
time off from our chosen professions/line of work.
That's why my spring vacation is less then 2 weeks out.
a pic of my emergency roadside repair tool box.
Spare bearings, a complete hub/brake disc, jack, wood
lagging and tire changing tools are in there.
never have to use it, cuz finding parts on the road in a
timely manner is impossible. This is just roadside
trailer tools & box
helpful hint from my fishing bud, John J. Lightly
touch hubs when you stop for gas, or at a rest area.
If it's hot to the touch? ...you have a problem
2/28/17 The You Tube spoon
video that graced this page yesterday was shot in the
fall of 2014 with printed 3D prototypes. The
location was close to the beach in 10' of water.
Learned light bouncing off the bottom in shallow water
made the movie better from a previous shoot. For
me? ...it's totally amazing to use this state of the art
technology and share it with you!
Click for this
spoon comparison movie
Biggest lesson gained is most metal spoons rode
tail heavy in a weird looking unnatural 30-45 degree
tilted angle downwards at the slower speeds of 1.8 to
My vacation starts in about 10 days and the webstore
will be closing on, or about 3/10/17. How long
we'll be shut down has yet to be determined.
2/27/17 Rerun of a video
update that ran 2 years ago. When shot this movie,
had no idea it would be such a revealing underwater action:
spoon comparison movie
2/26/17 2 weeks from today,
will be heading south for my the inaugural wetting of the lines
ceremony for 2017. Been looking forward to this
event since last fall.
Learning a new port and areas to fish is what keep my
interest on point. Let's face it, There's have nothing
to prove out of my home port of Manistee, MI. Demonstrated time and time again, when there's fish
around my boat, we'll catch 'em!
And done so, with new and innovative methods going back
to 2003 when I showed the Lk. MI fleet what a dedicated
meat program is capable of.
Now, I've shifted gears to my new Lexan™ Salmon Buster™
spoons with action and movement no metal spoon can
match. No brag, just fact!
Click here for
If anyone thinks these are special accomplishments?
...guess again. I don't see it that way. I
see this as a survivalist's guide on how to make it in the
2/25/17 Have a great
weekend! My plan is to button-up all loose ends
before leaving in a couple of weeks for the 2017 season
Long range weather for Manistee, MI breaks to mostly 50s
and 60s around March 20th. This is a good 20°
above the norm. If long range projections can be
By the end of next week hope to have my boat completely
ready to fish.
2/24/17 Boat trailer is
ready and passed all system checks. It's important
to mention all my tires were about 10 lbs. low on air
pressure. This hurts gas mileage and low air
pressure builds heat, causing tires to blowout.
When greasing your hubs, if you see milky grease seeping
out? This is sign you have bad wheel bearing seals
that's allowing water entry.
If you're towing you boat a long ways? ...tape the speed
sensor wheels on transducers. Spun these off
before. So, I know first hand this happens.
In your rush to the lake, do not overlook boat trailer
maintenance. This will save you a lot of grief.
Rather than broken down, on the side of the road, with
cars zooming by.
Click: my secret
trick not to overlook what needs to be done!
2/23/17 Fishing as a
business in our Great Lakes States you can
charter/guide, or become a tackle manufacturer.
I've been both. Making me qualified to share with
observations since I went into charter/guide business in 1983.
Then, in 2004 I shifted gears, gave up the charter end
and became a tackle manufacturer. If anyone thinks
the fishing business in general is a bed of roses?
...guess again. Huge swings in Lk. MI fish
availability are the gas pedal in this industry.
Future topics will focus on what learned in the
2/23/17 Fishing as a
business in our Great Lakes States you can
charter/guide, or become a tackle manufacturer.
I've been both. Making me qualified to share with
observations since I went into charter/guide business in 1983.
Then, in 2004 I shifted gears, gave up the charter end
and became a tackle manufacturer. If anyone thinks
the fishing business in general is a bed of roses?
...guess again. Huge swings in Lk. MI fish
availability are the gas pedal in this industry.
Future topics will focus on what learned in the
2/22/17 Record warm
temperatures is today's big story. This February
free spring preview will taper off some
towards the weekend. Good news is predicted
daytime high temps will the 37° to 48° range for
Manistee, MI everyday next week too!
Should have my boat trailer in top-notch road
readiness by the end of today. Trailer boats offer
many different places to fish and that's the reason I
have one. Mine has been to Leland, MI several
times. Along with the MI ports of New Buffalo,
Ludington, Traverse City (E Bay), Pentwater, Frankfort,
Onekama, Arcadia. Made it to Wilson, NY in 2015.
Last July's trip to MI UP Port of Manistique was another
Guess you can see why I'm a stickler for boat trailer prep.
It's a lot easier to grease the wheel bearings at home,
compared to having fix-it issues on the road.
Please take this to heart, never-ever buy a cut-rate trailer
tires. You're just asking for trouble when
you risk an expensive boat riding on cheapie China
2/21/17 Tentative departure
date of my 1st big water adventure is March 12, 2017.
Hope to piggy-back 2 big time out of town events
Just about done with mounting the service/tool box on my
boat trailer. Box will have all the necessary
parts, tools and jack for emergency roadside repairs.
There's no excuse for not being prepared for equipment
failure. Especially, when you're more than 25 miles away from home.
trailer mounted service box
I live only 11-12 miles from the home port's Manistee
boat launch. This situation totally changes for
out town long distance trips.
Manistee, MI to Wilson, NY is a 1000 mile round trip.
Manistique in MI's UP was about 500 miles there and
2/20/17 Happy Monday! 4
weeks from today is the official start of spring.
This warm weather has me thinking a lot about the almost
here, 2017 season. Plans are in the works for my
first big lake trip barely 3 weeks away. Stay
tuned, it's a goodie!
Best thing I like about fishing? ...as soon as I step on
the boat, life's wearisome issues seems to melt away.
Not to resurface until my boat is on the trailer, headed
For me, it's an ultimate escape that provides a reset to
life's ups and downs. Especially, adrenalin rush
when we hear the words, "fish-on" that sets everything
2/19/17 Have a great Sunday.
2/18/17 Hit 50° in Manistee,
MI yesterday. More of the same is in store for us
Mr. O. M. Winter is being nice to us and is on vacation
thru most of next week!
Was in Traverse City, MI yesterday afternoon. Lk.
MI's West Traverse Bay is completely open water with no
ice. I have no doubt boats will be on the prowl
Cease the moment and take advantage of this warm spell
that going to last for the best part of a week. I
will be working on my boat trailer later today after
shipping orders. Presidents Day is this
Monday and that means next USPS ship date is Tuesday.
2/17/17 Temps in the mid 40s
this weekend opens up a lot of opportunities. My
days will be dedicated getting my boat trailer in
super-ready long haul mode.
Trouble free towing means tire air pressures must be up
to snuff. Both for safety and fuel mileage.
Wheel bearings will get a light tap of grease, careful
not to over-pressure that can take out bearing seals.
Checking torque on the wheel lugs will not be
overlooked. Surge brake fluid will get checked and
topped off too. Then, mount a tool box on the boat
trailer to carry tools/parts necessary for tire changes
and wheel bearing swaps.
matter how much you plan, breakdowns are always a
possibility. Being prepared for any eventuality
saves times and days that will be spent on the water.
2/16/17 MDNR's free fishing
weekend is this Saturday and Sunday. Reel good
news for Steelhead river fishermen with the forecast
highs in the 40s for my neck of the woods. Ice
fishermen? ...please use extra caution to make sure the
ice is safe.
Any orders received after 5am will not be shipped today.
Bookkeeper has a hold on the special accountant's file
in QuickBooks to resolve things I do not fully
understand. That's why I have a hired accountant
to keep the books on the up and up.
2/15/17 Started on the part
2 video editing process that I hope to debut soon.
Did see a more light would have helped when we finished
up after 10 pm. Thinking about upgrading the hard
top halogens to LED lights. LEDs seems not overly
Lack of sufficient lighting makes netting a big King in
the dark, an almost impossible task. Discovered
this in the 8/10/16 Salmon video. Video is a
valuable multi use tool when tweaks become obvious to
in the dark net job?
Big warm up on the way. Suspect we'll lose all of
our snow cover by next week.
2/14/17 Valentine's Day
update: Best thing about posting videos for a
daily topic? It's reel action that cannot be faked
unless you have a super huge budget for CGI (computer
generated graphics). Like in the Star Wars, or
Posted a pic of my 2 year old lab for my Valentine's Day
sweetheart. This is the only dog I had that never
has a stinky "dog odor" ...even when wet.
2/13/17 Today is a wonderful time to
see a fish caught from last weekend. Rick M was
kind enough to grab a short video about landing a Lewis
Smith Striped Bass in Alabama. His fish hit the
hot, "all areas producing" ...4.65
GhostBuster Salmon Buster™ spoon.
Rick is semi new to trolling and I recommended Slide
Divers should be added to his arsenal.
Reel-facts on this fish? ...it hit the Slide Diver on a 50'
lead length about 25' down.
Click here for short video from
2/12/17 Have a great Sunday!
2/11/17 If you haven't read
my new article, or watched my new Salmon fishing video,
here's a link to do so:
Click for article &
720P HD video
While there's still a week of official winter left, was
surprised to hear certain parts of Crystal Lk. (Benzie
County, MI) and parts of Traverse Bay (TC MI) have not
froze over. So, we are having a mild winter.
Let's hope it stays that way!
Predicted above freezing temps for today, means work in
the pole barn to install my boat trailer's storage box
for long distance trips.
Trying to muster up the effort to complete the Part II
video. Editing video is intense and very time
consuming to make a finished product I can be proud of.
Making a movie out of a passive "run all the time" cam
requires many cuts to transitions scenes.
2/10/17 Lots to do this
weekend to get ready for my 1st trip that's only 4 weeks
away. Pulling a trailer long distance means being
prepared for any eventuality. Blowing a tire, or
losing a wheel bearing is catastrophic when you're 100s
of miles away from home.
Having replacement spare tire/parts on hand to quick fix
on the side of the road. Being stranded with a
boat loaded with thousands of dollars worth of gear says
dropping your trailer/boat it to go chase parts is very
risky and time consuming.
Especially, if you're in an rough urban area where
roadside pirates abound. My solution is to install
a storage box on the trailer with everything needed to
for worst case scenarios. I will carry a spare
hub/tire, mini air compressor, bearings, a jack & tools
2/9/17 First off, many
thanks to all that took the time to read my new article
and video. I'm honored every time you visit this
Click for article &
720P HD video
careful review on my part, my new written article and
video leaves no stone unturned when it comes to covering
the reel-facts behind any fishing trip.
far beyond anything print media can do. Showing,
when used correctly what a valuable tool the internet
can be for fisher men and women.
The webstore based tackle store where my tackle is sold
will be closed for at least a week in March and May.
My tackle store:
This allows for fishing events I live for.
Looking forward to fun times in about month!
2/8/17 Going to take today
off from web work after a marathon session to finish the
video and polish/rewrites on the new article.
Click for article &
720P HD video
2/7/17 Today is the
intergalactic roll out of my new article, Do I Stay, or
Do I go? Part 1 of the action packed video from
8/10/16 is done ...finally!!
Click for good
to scroll to the very bottom of the article for 720P,
which is the highest resolution YouTube lets me post.
Use the YouTube settings/gear for 720P HD option.
starting on video part 2 very soon and conclusion of
this trip soon after my eyes and head recuperates.
The best has been saved for last in an awesome Part 2
reel-thrill for me being able to share crystal clear
720P video of what exactly happens on onboard my boat
with you ...I kid you not!!
2/6/17 Almost done with part
1 of video from last August. The action shows with
several Kings boated and more to come. Counted 30
scene edits to show the only best parts.
do more voice-over narration, video overlays, adjust
sound volume and install a few text subtitles.
Then, if all goes OK? ...post it on YouTube tonight.
thing that's kind of amazing is how the last computer I
built can handle and edit multiple 4 gig video files
pieced together without a stumble.
Starting on part 2 as soon and part 1 is on YouTube.
2/5/17 Message board members
can get a sneak peek at my new, unreleased article about
the evening King-fest last August 10, 2016.
Click to join board
retrospect this trip revealed how concerned I was on
balancing my time knowing getting home at past midnight
and full workload in the morning do not mix.
to scrap all the video editing and begin anew.
There's close to good 10 hours of raw footage, when the
hat cam and hardtop cam are added together.
solution I see it to break this video up in 2 parts to
do justice to the action the fish gods bestowed upon us.
This is the best way to tell this awesome reel tale!
make this my best movie to date. To have a top
notch end product and tell this story, I will be going
in deep cover and not updating this website till it's
2/4/17 Capturing onboard
action makes great TV. Video allows adjustments
that needs to be addressed. It's not overly
expensive, if you go the eBay route like I have.
Hero 3 Black Edition was once a 400 buck camera.
Now, on eBay this 3 year old camera is in the
neighborhood of 150 for the bare cam, or 200 for one
with lot of accessories. These cams are built to
take a beating and are very robust. There's a
variety of different mounting system to accommodate any
Just do not buy any cam that has scratched, or beat-up
...indicating a hard fall. There's no moving parts
inside these cameras. So, they will last for a
You'll need to upgrade to an extended battery (about 15
bucks) for a 3 to 4 hour shoot. 64GB Micro SD will
hold about 5 hours of video. You can add an
external mic for under 20 bucks and a lens cover for
less then 5. The case was less than 20.
piggy back accessory LED light was $15 on sale at
Amazon. Making the point this amazing technology
is at least semi-affordable.
2/3/17 Video for 8/10/16 is
giving me fits. There's so much good footage,
cutting any of it to fit in the allowed 30 minute HD
YouTube policy is difficult.
at the end is in total darkness and is slightly
degraded. Light provided by the hardtop work
lights is just barely adequate.
in all light conditions is a learn, as you go process
for me. Did manage to upgrade to a 600 lumens
piggyback lighting system for my GoPros.
Will explain this a little better in tomorrow's
2/2/17 Ground Hog Day.
Cloudy and cold today for Manistee, MI that probably
won't cast a shadow for any resident rodents. Sign of an early spring?
...think we all hope so!
year's 17 for 2017 Spoon Deal is close to selling out
and never be duplicated again. Thanks to all that
purchased these ground breaking fish catchers.
an absolute must. I have to take a few days off
and devote many hours to editing the 8/10/16 video
shoot. There's a good 4 hours or raw video footage
that needs to condensed. Superimposing titles,
scene transitions and voice-over narration takes a lot of time
to make a fishing movie to my standards. I only
get one chance to do this right.
a written companion 8/10/16 article in the final stages
of proofreading. This new work will not debut
until the new video is posted on YouTube.
2/1/17 According to
Wikipedia tomorrow's Groundhog Day celebration goes back
to 1841. Lore says if Mr. Hog does not see it's
shadow, we'll have an early spring. Bright and
sunny means 6 more weeks of winter says Mr. Boss G. Hog.
No matter the
outcome, official spring begins in 48 days on Monday,
March 20, 2017. Winter has been decent up till
now, but there's still a lot of days on the calendar.
1/31/17 Goodbye January 2017
and I'm happy to see it go. January is my busiest
month in the tackle business. Machined, or in the
process of completing 15k meat heads, both mag and super
mag. Ordering stock with all the bits, pieces and
support parts to keep my tackle shop running consumes
almost as much time as final assembly.
Been making rigs, flashers and spoons
since last October. Utilizing the offseason months
to push production is the carrot and stick with me being
the donkey. Knowing this, frees up time for
fishing trips ...is an incentive like no other!
1/30/17 In 6 weeks I will be
on big water fishing ...depending on weather. The
Chicago Lk. MI fleet can, or will be starting in 4
weeks. If there's no ice to contend with.
Will it be a grand and glorious season? ...don't know.
Do know it will be big fun finding out what the fish
have in store for us. This year marks my 49th year
on the Great Lakes, and the 17th year anniversary of
1/29/17 Days are gradually
getting longer with about 7 weeks of official winter
left. Thus far, this winter has been moderate.
The 2017 big water season is getting closer everyday.
Once we hit February, the onset of the season picks up
I'm optimistic about what's in store for Lk. MI is a big
way. Certain ports, with bait, had a lot of
smaller Kings. Let's hope these fish survive and
Know there's been a lot of things said about the
baitfish-alewife population that I'm not qualified to
judge. Do know the biggest King (28 lbs.) to come
into my boat since 2004 last year. Jumbos don't
grow this large unless there is a good food source!
1/28/17 Flasher production
is on the front burner now that I'm caught up with meat
heads and spoons. This is all part of the creation
process in making fishing tackle. There's nothing
boring about making tackle that catches fish for me.
At times my mind will wander when making tackle to the
fun stuff. I daydream about what, when and how
many fish will chomp down on what I have in my paws.
1/27/17 Giving credit where
credit is due promotes long time fishing friends.
In my case, John J who's fished with me since about
2001. Todd B. and his son Dylan have been aboard
for the last 10 years. Any good catches I had are
direct results from those onboard.
It's foolish for anyone to think a heavy box happened
without help. Having long term fishing fishing
friends is cherished by me. It's just easier to
accomplish a goal when you have trusted buds making you
look good. This is a blessing never to forget!
1/26/17 Yesterday was spent
chasing the bits, piece and parts to make tackle.
Ordering supplies is my least favorite thing about being
a tackle manufacturer.
Came up with the bright idea to add a storage box to the
front of my boat trailer to store spare hub, bearings,
grease gun, jack, tools and wood lagging to support a
jack in case the bad stuff happens ...like losing a
tire. This is called being prepared for a 1000
miles round trip from Manistee, Mi to Wilson, NY.
Like I did back in May of 2015.
Since I bought a slider in camper for my truck, storage
space is at a premium. Camper makes it very doable
for quick hitter getaway trips for load and go!
1/25/17 Big water fishing is
not logical. For instance, we've all heard, "match
the hatch." This turned out to be a fairy tale on
my July trip to MI's UP back last July.
There were massive schools of Alewives in the 2 to 3
inch sizes. Logic says my smaller 4.0 Salmon
Buster™ spoons would be the hot ticket ...wrong!
All the big adult Kings wanted the larger 4.65
Busters. So much for the "match the hatch" theory.
Using logic delayed us getting on the right program.
Trial and error put us onto a pretty decent box of Kings
Click for proven spoons
A lot of this year's spoon deal came from what was
learned on this trip. Taking the experimentation out of
the equation for you ...about what's proven to work!
1/24/17 Need to defer
today's chat until later, maybe tomorrow. Got hit
with a pile of orders last night. Busy making
tackle don't leave time for much else. This is a
1/23/17 As mentioned
yesterday, getting out of your comfort zone leads to
better things. During my UP trip last July got a
firm grip on how to fish my larger 4.65 spoons.
We were dealing with Kings up high (top 40') in the warm
side of temp in the low 60s to high 50s. Oh,
contraire to my bread and butter program of Kings in 38
to 50 degree water in a highly tuned meat program did
not work on these fish.
Never seen juveniles mixed in with adult Kings up in
warm 60 degree water. But that's where the bait
was, and so were the fish!
This is major part the reason behind this year's spoon
deal. A variety of deadly spoons proven to work in
Click 17 spoons for 2017 reel-deal
Tomorrow? ...no rules, & does size matter?
1/22/17 1st month of
official winter is done. With January on the way
out, this extended warm spell has allowed me to catch up
on painted spoons. These were in short supply.
My job is all about time management and planning.
Having time freed up allows for out of town fishing
events that I'm looking forward to.
Going to new areas presents reel-knowledge to be filed
away for future reference. Getting out of your
comfort zone always leads to better things!
1/21/17 Best part of 50
degrees for Manistee, MI today! This is exactly
what we need to stave off a complete freeze over in Lk.
MI. Open water provides more sunlight penetration
that keeps the whole food chain going.
My season begins in about 7 weeks when I head to the S
end of Lk. MI for the early season Coho fishery down by
Chicago. Lots to do so I can take a few days off!
1/20/17 Happy Friday!
Above freezing temps for the most part continue in
Today's featured pic is good news from the N end of Lk.
MI at Escanaba. Seems there's a lot of Alewives
around according to ice fishermen. The girth shows
a fat healthy Alewife ready to provide a meal for Salmon
& Trout. Click for
1/19/17 It goes without
saying anything to do with ice fishing is going to be
very questionable with this extended warm up. Be
Should have the new die cuts of the reel-minnow image
in-hand by Friday, according to the tracking number.
Will be shipping the in-demand BBS spoons next week.
1/18/17 The new 2017 Blue
Back Shiner (BBS) reel-image Salmon Buster™ spoons are
in the process of being restocked. I will have a
limited supply available for shipping by the first part
of next week.
Click to purchase these new BBS spoons
Time expenditure on
my new article is a lot. Putting thoughts down in
print is only one part of this effort. Working
with the 13 photos in this new work requires captions to
tie things together is another part of the time
invested. Formatting is the fun part any article,
but it's time consuming. Getting to chose the
layout is what I like best!
Here's where the internet pays dividends when compared
to paper magazine print articles. Having info at
your finger tips with a click can't be beat!
1/17/17 Putting the
finishing touches on a 3000 word written article about
the dilemma we all face when it comes to where to fish.
There will be a companion video that provides
verification. I like to provide proof for my
articles. This way you know it's not BS.
Past the hump in January.
Once January is over, the 2017 season speeds up a lot.
1/16/17 This week's major
January thaw is very good news. This extended warm
spell will probably melt most of the snow cover.
There's maybe 6" of snow in Manistee, MI now.
Low on several items that require airbrushing.
Warm weather helps with the heating bill. Because
the exhaust fan sucks all the paint fumes/heat out of
Best part of this warming trend it will help hold back
some of the ice cover on Lk. MI. We want open
water for oxygen content and sun penetration to help the
1/15/17 Have a great Sunday.
A warming trend is on the way!
1/14/17 Lots going on this
weekend for the looming 2017 season. Fishing show
at Novi, MI and the Sea Grant Workshop in Ludington, MI
are major events.
Did the spring sport show circuit from 1983 thru 2008
that take a major commitment in time, energy, and money.
Something I no longer have the desire to do.
Getting a booth at a 4 day sport show is not cheap.
I'd estimate it would be the best part of 2 grand for
20' of floor space. More if it's a prime corner 2
Then, add another 300, or more for electric and a phone
line to run a credit card machine. Add in
motel, help, travel expenses, and you're over 4k before
you enter into the black. Like I said, doing shows
requires a big outlay of dough.
1/13/17 Friday the 13th
could be reason to skip today's chat. After 13
days, finally over the year 2016 that was stuck in my
mind when I write checks, or fill out forms.
This is a good thing, because it signals the time to
move forward with great anticipation for the 2017
season. Last year turned out better then expected.
Let's hope 2017 does the same, as we look towards the
1/12/17 Looks like a
welcomed January thaw for Manistee, MI beginning this
coming Monday. Busy restocking Salmon Buster™
spoons. 75% of my spoon business are orders from
repeat customers that have purchased my SBs before.
Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop will
happen this Saturday. Registration to attend for
the event is closed according to their webpage. Last year
there were videos posted online of the MDNR/Sea Grant
presentations. If this happens again, links will
be posted to this all important information.
About 60 days to my first fishing event of 2017.
In the mean time, building inventory will be job 1.
So, I can take a week off in mid-March. Time off
is a good thing. Time off to go fishing is even
1/10/17 Added October,
November and December 2016 to the past results archive.
Now there's 17 seasons with daily copies of my Captain's
Log. I prefer log over blog which sounds like a
creature from a B movie. Besides, my January 2000
log predates the word blog by 3 years. So, I've
earned the right to call it what I want.
Click all Past Results
Past results are valuable resource for me when I need
research from years gone by. Verifying information
is another plus from my log.
Nov & Dec 2016
1/9/17 Almost a third thru
January. Our darkest and longest month of winter.
Once we get thru January, the rest of the winter is a
piece of cake.
out my mental notes from my July trip to Manistique in
MI's UP to the most northernmost part of Lk. MI.
It took me a while to catch on to the program.
fact, it was more like fishing Lk. Huron in the 1980s,
when being hot on speed was the reel deal (2.5-3.0 mph).
7/19/16 MI UP King Salmon
Do know, it
pays to be versatile and not get locked into any one
certain program. Wasted the best part of a morning before
the key to the lock was found.
retrospect, this trip set the plate for the rest of my
summer fishing trips with the discovery of the
effectiveness of blue-green glow Ghostbuster pattern
Plan on going
back to this port in 2017, but as little earlier before
tournament boats practice fish for an end of July event.
If you wrongfully think like I did? ...the UP didn't have a
lot of big water boats, guess again. Because it
was more crowded than Manistee.
1/8/17 The new 2017 BBS, or
Blue Back Shiner has sold out. Trying to get more
reel-photo die cuts to make more. In the dead of
winter? ...this is reely-amazing!
1/7/17 Have a great weekend!
1/6/17 Many things in the
tackle business are befuddling. I've yet to figure
out why most other spoon manufacturers use chrome plated
steel split rings.
in such a teeny-tiny size that inhibits slow speed
action. Not to mention, most do not use nose split
rings. So, you have to fumble around trying to run snap swivel thru a very small hole in
spoon when it's dark.
rusty steel split rings
lay no claim to the sharpest tool in the shed, but know
common sense things like stainless steel never rusts and
holds up better over the long haul.
For just a few pennies more stainless steel split rings
makes a better spoon and that's what I use all Salmon
Buster™ spoons. Along with good sized nose split rings
for your snap swivels. Also, size matters and
that's only one of the reasons my split rings are
1/5/17 Introduced a lot of
new tackle over the many seasons since the year 2000.
Never has there been an offseason response/demand for
the reel minnow spoon. This Salmon Buster™ spoon
features a live image of a Blue Back Herring, a cousin
to our Great Lakes Alewives. This spoon was
recently tested on Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama and
caught stripers. Adhesive on the vinyl image held
up well during the testing phase.
things stand, until I can get more herring die cuts,
this is a limited time offer.
These new 2017 Salmon Buster™ spoons are available now by:
1/4/17 My season starts in
about 70 days with a trip S to East Chicago, IN on, or
about 3/15/17. Tried to squeeze this in last year.
Too busy in the shop prevented this.
about the "offseason" is that it allows reflection on
the past. One of the best parts is the planning
the new reel stories to happen in the
I'm a lot more geeked up about chasing big water fish
than many of you. Please
keep in mind, I work with fishing tackle everyday.
So, it's easy for me to stay on point about fishing 24/7!
1/3/17 First reel work day
of the new 2017 season. Right now this year is an
unwritten book full of blank pages. It will be
interesting to see how it plays out.
was the year of the Ghostbuster pattern for me.
This was not planned. This hot lure selection was
born out of sheer desperation. We were running out
of daylight and needed fish in the worst way to top off
a decent box on 7/1916 on my trip to MI's UP.
Now, I have a proven
"go to" weapon that will serve me well in the future!
1/2/17 First day of 2017
greeted Manistee, MI with temps in the low 40 degree
range. We've got about 7-8 weeks of hard winter on
the horizon before weather turns toward spring.
Figure total fall-winter snowfall at my place in
Manistee is around 40" thus far.
are are finally getting longer. Hoping for a
moderate winter and Lk. MI does not freeze completely
over. Time will tell the reel story as we march to
1/1/17 Happy New Year
Continued below back to the year 2000:
February & March
April, May & June
July, August &
October, November &
April, May & June
July, August &
November, & December
April, May, & June
August, & September
February, & March
April, May, & June
July, August &
October, November &
February, & March
April, May & June
July, August &
October, November &
February, & March
April, May, & June
July, August &
November, & December
February, & March
April, May & June
August & September
October, November & December
February & March
April, May & June
July, August, &
October, November, &
November & December
July, August, &
April, May & June
February & March
November & December
July, August & September
May & June
February & March
November & December
July, August &
April, May &
February & March
October, November & December
July August & September
April May & June
January February & March
October, November &
August & September
June & July
April & May
January, February & March
Feb Mar April
June & July
Aug & Sept
Nov & Dec
April Brown Trout
May & June
Aug. Tuna Time
March & April
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: