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

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7/31/08 Kewaunee, WI

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7/28/08 Manistee, MI
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8/31/08 Manistee
9.1.08_Manistee.jpg (75424 bytes)
9/1/08 Manistee, MI

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

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

Archived Daily Log 
(Dating back to the year 2000)

1/16/19  Went back in my archived Daily Logs from 2016, 2017 and 2018 to gather data on when Kings can be caught at central LK. MI ports (Ludington, Manistee & Frankfort.  It seems the last week of April into the first 10 days of May was best.
              2017 and 2018 inshore shallow water Kings (30'-50') are gaining prominence by the end of April.  Meaning by then the lake had warmed up enough to bring bait in from the main body along with some spring Kings.
              Have set this time frame aside to do some serious fishing in 2019 with a new untested spread that should multi-purpose rods and eliminate having to pull cores and half cores.  I will revisit today's chat in May with the outcome from this year.  Fun part will be proving my hunch will change the way I fish for the better.

1/15/19  Sharing with you my favorite fish photo I took on May, 7, 2018.  This respectable King was caught around 4pm in full sun conditions on 4.0 XG Bluetail Salmon Buster™ spoon.
              This productive pattern was designed by Chip Cartwright from Silver Streak spoons.  I believe in giving credit, where credit is do. Click for this photo
              Having this pic as a close-up shows the grain in the skin on this big guy's head.  Note the eye looking down, these eyes will move to watch you, which is kind of eerie.
              This fish was caught in about 35' of water at 2.5 mph troll speed on our 20# test mono Slide Diver rod 70' ....behind the s diver.

1/14/19  Today and tomorrow will be above freezing and that's about as warm as you can expect for Manistee, MI at this time of the year.
               Task at hand is to Mamba-ize (paint) a couple of 100 Salmon Buster™ spoons before the weather turns bitter towards this weekend.
               Thus far, this winter has not been particularly harsh with several days above freezing.  Hopefully, it will stay mild and keep some spring Kings at reach of the early (April-May) fleet at central Lk. MI ports. Dealing with spring Kings at or, over 20 pounds in close to the beach (waters 30'-40' deep) is enough to peak anyone's interest.

1/13/19  Been looking at drones to capture the way we fish in the spring with planer boards.  Seeing the wide cut of our trolling pattern would enhance any video.
              Then, slept on it and realized this is a nightmare waiting to happen.  Launch would be no big deal.  Retrieving a quadcopter with spinning blades could sure raise hell with your fishing buddy when you tell him to catch it.
              Why put your fishing buddy in charge of the dangerous one-hand in mid air landing?  Reel reason is I'm not that stupid, but I'd tell him somebody has to drive it.

1/12/19  Today's topic is the plan.  All of our major sports have a plan.  Catcher goes to the mound, football they huddle before each play and basketball time outs are called.
              Same goes for fishing, because without a plan that can be adjusted on the fly you're hoping for luck to save you.  I have a plan for new tackle that will work. 
             Used this method before with great success.  Now, I have to fine tune-it for central Lk. MI shallow spring Kings.  Keeping in mind, we don't have all that many in the first place.  So, this means a more stealthy approach that will help.  New products on the way!

1/11/19  Took a picture of the new 2019 X-Glow 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoons.  The top shows under normal shop lights.  Bottom is charged up with normal shop lights. 
               Bottom pic was not enhanced in anyway, including the use of a black light.  Which would have glowed even more.  Why? ...I didn't have to. Click 4.0 spoons
               Great thing about having glow molded into your tackle?  It will never wear off, or lose it's glow properties.  Making this a grand bargain for at least the next 10 years!

1/10/19  Good news is 1/3 of our longest, darkest, coldest month January 2019 is done.   Been extra busy with new tackle.  So, this time has went by like a flash.
              Please note in the rods and reels photo each reel has a stirrup/reel clamp.  This takes negates the pressure of the reel seat that extends the life of the rod. 
              The white rods in this photo were purchased in the mid 1990s when I ran spring charters out of Saugatuck, MI in the month of May. Click rods & reels
              These are one piece 7' fiberglass rods that have caught tons of fish.  Tons is not an exaggeration when you're catching 150-200 pounds of fish on each charter!

1/9/19  There's some kind of evolution of our Great lakes Kings going on.  I've caught 1000s of King Salmon over the years and see a stronger far more picky fish.
             Brought this up, because the best thing we have going for an early season fishery in central Lk. MI has been Kings with very few Browns in April and May.
             This I do know: the past few years have not caught a big early season King in Manistee, of Ludington without a long lead from the boat.  I figure 80' from the boat in 30' to 40' of water is the closest I can remember.
             There's a wide disparity going back to the 1970s, when even in shallow water 25' to 30' ...Kings were not shy about hitting baits there were a lot closer to the boat.
             Do have some ideas/products that will be tested this spring to deal with nowadays spooky spring Kings in a few months.   

1/8/19  In today's featured photo please note how full I fill my reels with line.  Full spools means more line-in per turn of the handle.  Leave about a skinny 1/8" between the pawl, level wind mechanism to allow for line swell once mono gets wet. Click rods & reels
            It's not necessary to strip the reel down to the axel of the spool.  I leave some line on, then bloodknot new line on top.  Make sure the spool revolves off  the top, to wind in on top of the reel.  This way the line is already trained to lay flat.
            One thing about fishing line? ...sooner, or later you're definitely going to need more.  It's inexcusable to use worn out line that cost you lost tackle and lost fish!

1/7/19  New line for 2019 is ready to go at my online tackle store.  Triple Fish mono in 15, 20, 25, and 30# test is a steal at 24.99 a 1 pound spool.  Know this price will be going up 5 bucks in the near future according to AFW who now owns Triple Fish.
             I've used 50# test Triple Fish mono for the last 10 years to make our meat rigs and trolling flies with no complaints.  Used 30, 25, 20, and 15# test on my boat with no breakage.  So, know this is first-rate line from using it aboard. 
Click to Purchase

1/6/19  Whirlwind of activity for 2019 in the tackle shop this weekend.  Everything in today's photo I've used for at least the last 10 years.  Click line, line & more line
             Please note the coffee colored 7 strand 30# stainless steel wire in this pic.  7 strand provides the ultimate best depth performance compared to the woven 49 strand.  Coffee, or camo color SS wire is slightly thinner (.012-.010") than the bright finish.

1/5/19  New 2019 Magnum Meat Heads and replacement 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoons will be in-house today.  This late arriving inventory was ordered last November.
             Have several new 2019 items for this season, as we expand the tackle selection at my webstore.  Today will be spent sorting/organizing the new 2019 tackle.

1/4/19  Today's chat is about a quick change knot.  Let's say you're lucky enough to get out for the Lk. MI early season shoreline fishery for Brown Trout, or spring Kings.
             You've been tight to the beach for 3 hours and the only you have is a great boat ride with beautiful scenery and knowing you're not cooped up inside.  5' to 10' of water on the beach is where my 1/2 oz bead chain sinkers shine.  Click loop knot on keel weight
             Now, you're faced with the dilemma to slide offshore a little deeper in the 15' to 30' depths in hopes of a salvaging the trip with a few bites. Click how to tie loop knot
             Deeper water requires more weight to get your lure down deeper and this is where the 1, 1 1/2, and 2 ounce weights come into play.  By using a double overhand loop that threads over the weights you can easily swap out both ends of the knots in a hurry.

1/3/19  Your rod and reel is the driveline to the fish and requires to be in top notch shape.  Rods spend over 90% of their time is some form of storage.  Rod tips take a beating when stowed and at some point in their life rod tips will need to be replaced.
            A must have is ferrule cement (red tube in photo).  This is a hot melt glue that's used in archery too.  Melt this glue with a match, then slip your replacement rod tip on. This glue sets as it cools.  Dousing glued area in cold water speeds up this process.
            It best to have spare rod tips aboard for instant fixes.  There are no tackle store floating on Lk. MI.  So, have this gear on the boat. Click rod work fixes
            Multi use ferrule cement was used to glue down the clear line counter lens on the Diawa SG 47 too.  These are very serviceable reels I've had since the 1990s.

1/2/19 2019 is the year of the pig according to the Chinese calendar.  Hopefully, this foretells even bigger Kings in this brand new season!
           Yesterday's project was to rig planer board rods with 15# test mono.  15# is a good trade off for stained inshore waters with strength to land 20# spring Kings ...if needed.
           Many things going on in today's photo as 15# test mono planer board rods are being rigged.  Doing this job well before season means it's done right.  Click rod work fixes

1/1/19  Happy New Years Day!  Hoping for a great 2019 season for all!!

12/31/18  2018 was fraught with boat gremlins that began with the surge brakes in my boat's trailer not functioning.  Then, the double seal on the prop shaft of my kicker/trolling motor began leaking water into the gear lube.
               Worst was my bilge pump's auto switch didn't kick on.  Resulting in submerging the starter motor on the GM V8, rendering it useless.  After the starter was replaced, found out the Merc outdrive had water in it from a failed 1/4" oil plug "O" ring. 
               For 2 years in a row have not able to fish Lk. MI for the late season Steelhead run.  Hoping 2019 will be a great season for everyone!

12/30/18  Goodbye 2018!  This year was fraught with boat gremlins that began with the surge brakes in my boat's trailer failing.  Then, the seal on the prop shaft of my kicker/trolling motor began leaking water into the gear lube.
               Worst was my bilge pump's auto switch didn't kick on.  Resulting in submerging the starter motor, rendering it useless.  After the starter was replaced, found out the outdrive had water in it too from a failed "O" ring.  So, for 2 years in a row was not able to fish Lk. MI for the late season Steelhead run.  Hoping 2019 will be a lot kinder!

12/29/18  50° yesterday morning at 7am was time to cease the moment and get some work done on my boat.  There was a mess left from this fall's mechanical issues.
                My New Years Day project is changing my rods over to 15# test for the early season shallow water program.  Need 6 rods in top notch condition for this fishery.
                Accomplishing tasks now takes the heat off you when season does roll around.  It's entirely feasible to being fishing Lk. MI out of Manistee in 12 weeks, or less.

12/28/18  I'm on point to expand the line of tackle we offer at my webstore at factory direct prices that whip the big box stores hands down and going away.  In 2019 look for mono on 1 lb. spools in 15, 20, 25, and 30 pound test.  Will be adding 300' and 600' spools of 45 pound test copper.  Along with 7 strand stainless steel trolling 30# wire for Dipsys.
                Best part? ...I use what I sell.  Eliminating the guess work on your part!

12/27/18  Some of our 2019 meat heads are in-house and being machined.  Sold out of mag heads in pearl, SUV and glow base colors this year.
                Making plans on adding new items to my webstore for 2019.  Adding 1 pound spools of mono is high on this list.  Will be contacting supplier soon.
               Have a few other irons in the fire that will be revealed in due time.

12/26/18  We need more days like Christmas where there's no daily pressure that amount to a complete day off.  Gave myself a Christmas present yesterday by not turning on any computers, or smart phones.  Pausing technical/electronic slavery at least for a day!
          Hope you had a great Christmas and wishing you a very happy New Year!

12/25/18  Merry Christmas to all.  My Christmas present came directly from Santa as a seasonal Manistee, MI launch ramp pass.  What makes this pass/decal unique?'s the number 1 pass for the 2019 season: 1001. Click number 1 ramp permit
               While this might be the number one pass my fish catching skills nowadays are probably in the bottom third.  Catching fish requires water time and that's something I don't have.  My job 1 is to make tackle that catches fish.  Know just about everyone who uses my spoons catch more fish than I do and that's perfectly OK with me.
                     I certainly wouldn't want it the other way around!

12/24/18  Merry Christmas video debuts today.  Click for this new video

12/23/18  Have a great Sunday.  New video update for tomorrow.

12/22/18  Finally the MDNR posted the dismal King return at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir at 1300 fish.  Down from 1768 last year.  According to what I was able to verify online, WI's Strawberry Creek Lk. MI facilities process about 5000 Kings each season.  This is a wide disparity we MI fishermen should be aware of. Click Little Manistee Weir numbers
                 Rightly, or wrongly, our MDNR touts natural reproduction on our side of Lk. MI to sustain the King Salmon fishery.  How's this working out for you?

12/21/18  First day of winter 2018-2019 ...good!  Now the days will gradually get longer.  Short days just throw off my internal clock and being able to accomplish anything outdoors.  Lost almost all of our snow cover and that's good news too.  Have yet to plow snow and that's more good news for yours truly.  It's amazing how warm 40° feels in late December.

12/20/18  Funny how things work out.  My spoon side by side comparison where I show the wiggle, wobble and darting motion of our Salmon Buster™ spoons against other brands is my most popular You Tube video with over 75,000 views.  Not too shabby for a video that I never intended to publish until I seen how plastic versus metal performed better!

12/19/18  Sorting thru my 2018 videos, ran across excellent footage on 4 big spring Kings in the 36" and above class.  Seeing these large silver Kings up close and personal to share with you is what fishing is about.  Probably start editing after the new year.

12/18/18  Time put into the new video and updates, including the shopping cart code at the webstore was well over 4 hours.  Editing video is an intensive process that eats up a lot of time.  Still not happy with most of the video's sound track.  Been working on improving audio.  Have a new passive Rode mic for my GoPro that seems a lot better.

12/17/18  Today is the world debut of our 2019 White Lightning tackle.  To herald this event there's a special 2 for 1 Salmon Buster™ spoon reel-deal. Click for spoon deal
                For 9.95 you'll receive a SB 4.65 and 4.0 spoons.  Retail on one 4.65 spoon is 9.95 after this deal ends.  Our 2 for 1 is a limited time offer.  Only 25 are available.  Here's a video showing the attributes of this 21st century tackle: Click for this video

12/16/18  Productive weekend thus far.  Trying something new to save time on my dual boat battery setup.  Just disconnected the positive terminals to install the trickle chargers.  Autopilot always drawing juice and a few other power vampires being the reason.
                New page to debut the 2019 White Lightning spoon special is coming along nicely.  Doing the layout today and posting a new video too.

12/15/18  Michigan Sea Grant's Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop takes place on January 19, 2019 from 8:45 am thru 2:45 pm.  Doors open at 8:00 am at:
West Shore Community College
Administration and Conference Building
3000 North Stiles Road, Scottville, MI 49454

                         Click here for webpage info and full agenda

12/14/18  2 tasks for today.  Put trickle chargers on my boat's batteries is up 1st.  Since using trickle chargers battery service life has doubled.
                Next is to get off my duff and complete the 2019 White Lightening spoon special at the webstore.  Been holding back enjoying a slower pace on sales.  I've adopted the run my business attitude and not my business running me.  Have a great weekend!

12/13/18  Santa stopped by to check on my early Christmas present, Scruffy the dog.  Santa has dogs at the North Pole too!  Click Santa & Scruffy the Labradoodle
                Was kinda surprised Santa liked to Salmon fish during the Arctic's short summer season.  It was wonderful to be visited by Mr. S. Claus and the reel-meaning of Christmas!

12/12/18  New 2019 White Lightening spoon special will debut in the very near future.  Working on completing a large international order.  Don't want to have more irons in the fire than we can handle comfortably.  Besides, the 2019 season is still a long ways off.
                Do know this new lure tape must to been seen to be appreciated.  Good thing?  This tape was tested last season on 3 boats and proved to be a winner!

12/11/18  Posted a photo of the GoPro Hero 6 used in filming the new 2019 White Lightening video.  Please note the handle that a battery too. Click Hero 6
                These small action cams have a limited battery life.  I'm guessing about 30 minutes to the outside.  Having more juice stored with a handle used to point is very handy.  This accessory battery handle was around 10 bucks on Amazon.

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2018 Results
January, February & March
April, May, & June

July, August & September
October, November & December

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

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

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

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

July, August, & September

2013 Results
January, February, & March

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

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

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

July, August & September
 October, November, & December

2010 Results
January, February, & March

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

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


2008 Results
October, November & December

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

2007 Results
October November & December
July, August & September

April, May & June
January, February & March

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

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

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

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

Nov & Dec

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

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

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


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

Past Results

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