Captain John's Log 

October, November & December 2004

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12/31/04   As of yesterday at straight-up noon there lower end of the Big Manistee River by the M55 Bridge was completely frozen over.  Manistee Lake was ice covered, but the channel in front of the "sand docks" was open water and you could see clearly what ice there was, sure didn't look very safe.
    This is my last update for 2004 and I'm looking forward to the 2005 season in a big way.  Many thanks to all of you who made my first season a success in the tackle business.  In less then 70 days, the Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, Michigan will happen.  I have a very "special guest" speaker that will be assisting me with the one hour seminars I promised to do.  I know all of us can learn a bunch from him.  I will be announcing who it is tomorrow and appreciate his participation.

12/30/04   Sizeable amounts of rain for Manistee County is predicted for New Years Eve (tomorrow).  This will be a godsend for those who chase January Steelhead on the Big Manistee River.  Couple this with the warming trend we're now experiencing and there's gonna be some decent river action.  However, this will not enhance the traditional late March and April annual spawning times.  Holdover fall Steelhead can drop roe and milt as early as January, further robbing the spring run (Mar. & Apr.) 2005 fish availability.
      As this website will soon enter it's 6th year in 2005, even better things are on the horizon.  With well known contributing writers like Dave Richey and Dick Swan, plus our regulars from the message board to keep this website at the forefront of current late breaking news, info and techniques.  In my opinion within 10 years internet based fishing websites (like this one) will far outpace the magazines that sell you more pages of advertising then information at around 4 bucks a copy.
     With the advent of the internet the spread of information takes minutes instead of the months that it used to.  No longer do we have to wait for the tickle down flow news of facts, figures and new ways to catch fish.  No longer can anything be hid under the bushel basket of secrecy for very long.....which is a good thing for all!

12/29/04  Mr. River Rat himself, Dick Swan has contributed another piece on his trials and tribulations with our DNR concerning Steelhead planting numbers.  Dick has been involved at every level and has interesting facts and figures to enlighten us all.  Please be forewarned this is not a candy coated article, but more or less a scathing attack on the planting policies of northern Lake Michigan's Steelhead.  
    All mentioned parties are invited to respond and I will afford them the courtesy I did Dick Swan...meaning: they can state their case.  Steelhead provide a 7 month season for river anglers and are important to the overall health of Great Lakes fishery. 
            Click here for Dick Swan's blistering & thought provoking article
 Sure, the numbers of Kings caught seem to be up, but Lakers, Browns and Steelhead catch rates have fell off dramatically.  In the case of Brown Trout in my area?.... a total collapse!  I met and spoke with the leader of the fisheries division of the DNR, John Robertson back in 1988 and he stressed the need for a diverse muliti-specie fishery.  The simple truth is that Manistee does not have anything close to a balanced all-specie deal.  Factor in the illegal Lake Trout that the commercial fishermen netted off Ludington back in November and you'll see where some of the trouble lies.

12/28/04  Finally got my main desktop computer put together on a temporary desk in my new office.  The 3 new insulated double pane vinyl windows I installed kept the area nice and toasty even though it was almost -10 below yesterday morning..
    Heavy hitter in our Great Lakes fishery and pioneer of the noodle rod, Mr. Dick Swan sent me a article to share with you. 
Click here for Dick's article  Also, more from Dick will be on the way and bound to cause controversy in the Cadillac Office of the DNR.  Dick has some interesting facts soon to be announced here, so stand by for some enlightening information.

12/27/04  By the first of the year I should have a new product that will save you a bunch in the long run. I'm busy assembling kits for you to build your own flies. These  kits will come complete with everything needed for you to make your own 3 fly rigs for meat fishing. I expect you'll see a 60% savings compared to pre-made retail rigs. Plus, this will make a great  winter project and help burn up some time until the 05 season arrives.  
    Server problems that caused issues with our private message board are preventing me from being able to access my server for daily updates too. 

12/25/04   Seasons Greetings & Merry Christmas 

12/23/04  The Big Manistee River is full of slush and flow ice down by the M-55 Bridge.  So, reports from the big river are gonna be scarce at best. 
   Been busy trying to complete my office remodel job and with Christmas almost upon us even doing daily updates have been hard.  While I have a laptop, me and the laptop's keyboard don't get fingers are way to clumsy for typing.

12/22/04  A severe technical glitch has our private message board shut down.  I am at work trying to restore the service and find out what-the-heck went goofy in computerville.  The phbb code is a data base code, which means it's over my head.  I'm sure my web hosting company will have it back online soon.

12/21/04  Santa came yesterday afternoon for me.  My new furnace was hooked up to it's propane supply and it's now radiating warmth.  Ah, yes...the joys of the simple things in life are enough to make me being warm!  Many thanks for the ultra pro-installation job from Ben J. 
    If you're not looking to get depressed, then I recommend you don't take a peek at Manistee's weather forecast for the rest of this week by clicking here.   I guess today marks the official beginning of winter and that nasty forecast proves that to be all to true.  I see why many trek south to escape the frigid wintry conditions.

12/20/04  When I updated this website last night around midnight, it was -15 below zero in Cadillac, Michigan.  8 to 10 inches of snow is predicted tomorrow for Manistee, Mason and Benzie Counties.  Yep, it's long john weather in the north country......and this is only the opening curtain as the new winter begins?
    I listed Capt. Len Mitchell's 29 foot Cruisers bridge boat.  I've been aboard this vessel several times and it is a clean, well maintained ship with excellent fish-ability.  You can learn more about this craft by clicking here

12/19/04  The polar express has barreled into Manistee County!  Our high for the day is supposed to be single digits.  This is our first reel-blast of artic air this fall and this will NOT enhance any fishing here.  Look for the Steelhead to fall into a semi dormant state with any active fish hitting between 10am and 2pm. 
    Tomorrow, I will be listing a heck of a nice 29 foot Cruisers bridge vessel, as the owner has purchased a newer 31 foot Seas Ray Amberjack.  If you're looking to upgrade for 2005, this boat might fit what you have in mind.

12/18/04  Today's update is from Capt. Jay's results yesterday on the Big  Manistee River.  Here's his timely and informative report: 
"Fished today with Derek from Cadillac and the fish cooperated very well. We managed to boat five steelhead by 2:00 pm. Including a double, which is a first for me this year and since Derek was fishing alone I got to do battle with a Manistee Metal Head. The fish today where very aggressive and crushed our Willie Worms. These where not winter bites, the rods where bending and drags where screaming. The best part was, I only saw two other boats all day. I do love Winter Steelheading on the Big Manistee River."........... Capt. Jay 

12/17/05  Some where along the line, winter has snuck up on Manistee County!  Snow everyday and future low temps down in the single digits is what we have e to contend with.  While winter don't start officially for a few days, it's here now.
    As promised, Ben installed one dandy looking furnace in my flasher production facility former known as my garage yesterday.  Having heat during the cold months is gonna open up full scale production on the new colors of blades I have ordered for 2005.  Look for more super fish catchin' stuff on the way soon.
    Yesterday, I installed my 15th window in my house, so I've kinda been living in a construction zone for the last 2 months.  If you ever get into major home renovation don't fall into the trap of self imposed deadlines of when to job has to be done.  Even with the holidays fast approaching I refuse to do a hurry-up, rush to completion job.  It's my line of thinking: "it will get done, when it's done."  By adopting this theory it makes the whole burden far more bearable.  

12/16/04  Today is the day when message board member Ben J. installed my
long awaited heating system for my production facility.  Ben also builds flashers for me and does a top-notch job.  His help has been a godsend to me.
   Having heat means, soon after the first of the year, I can build product.  Demand for the King Kobras and King Krimson was huge last August and I hope to build a workable inventory ASAP. 

12/15/04  Plan was to launch Capt Tom Rasmussen's 18 footer and troll the area immediately adjacent to the mouth of the Little Manistee River.  However, there's no courtesy dock left in the water in Stronach.  No dock means no launch, so that idea went down the tubes.  This is a big time disappointment to me, cuz I wanted in on some of the late season mixed bag of Coho, Kings and Steelhead.

12/14/04  Bob Hicks, proprietor of is running a Christmas special.  Buy 6 twink rigs and the seventh one is free.  The fish killin' Dirty Dozen and Whopper Stopper Streak spoon packs come with 2 extra, or free spoons.  His deals amount to at least a 10% savings over the everyday reasonable prices.
           Click here for more info on Bob's money saving Christmas Specials
Greg G from the Flint Steelheaders assigned me 2 seminar spots for their show at the Birch Run Expo Center.  On Saturday, March 5, 2005 at 5pm and Sunday, March 6, 2005 at 11am are the times for our seminars.  I'll have about a hour to touch the surface of ins and outs of cut-bait fishing on our Great Lakes.  When the show draws closer I will be posting this schedule again.  It's a honor for me to be associated with the Flint River Valley Steelheaders Fishing Show this coming March.

12/13/04  As 2004 is drawing to close, I did some inner soul searching about what was my best accomplishment this year.  The candidates could be many, including our highly successful Salmon Symposium last March in Stronach, Michigan.  We had at, or over 200 people attend that do. Reorganizing my life from being a charter operator for 21 seasons, then becoming a tackle manufacturer who believes in all American made.  Rave reviews and acceptance of my flasher program was well beyond anything I expected.  I guess the best way to judge the flasher deal was those who purchased (even a few) kept coming back and buying many more.  
     Well, the above mentions are not it!  My single best accomplishment in 2004 (in my eyes) was coming up with the way to make and treat your own herring strips.  Fish On Bait Company's Green Label herring out-produced the existing stuff that had been on the market for many years by a wide margin.  Bringing the cost down from about a buck a strip to 25 cents is a huge savings!  Now, here's the kicker: the fillets I made last September have been stored in my mix in the refrigerator (in a pickle jar) and are still good.  This means we are no longer tied to freezing and thawing bait mess.  Just keep it stored in the brine and kept cold and you're good to go for many, many months. Click here to see 4 month old bait that is still reel-good!
    Future updates will include news about my seminar schedule for the Flint Steelheaders Show at Birch Run and new American made product debuts for 2005.

12/12/04  While this info is about a week old, the south end Manistee Lake by the Little Manistee was giving up a mixed catch of Kings, Coho and Steelhead.  The lure of choice is the older style of U20 and T4 Flatfish with the spreader bars and 4 nibbler hooks.  The best bite has been after 9am thru the early afternoon.  This fishery is for the diehard, hardcore fishermen.  The weather can be brutal with a stout north wind.  Choose you days wisely and this unpublicized and often kept secret fishing hole can produce heart warming catches..

12/11/04  Finally took some major steps forward with remodeling my office area. Click for progress photo  Building a new work station has been a daunting and all too necessary task.  Drywall is up, new windows are installed and most of the wiring is complete.  Now, that I can see the light at the end of the tunnel, good things for me this week are on the horizon.  With black-powder season upon us, some woods time is in order for yours truly.  Look for future updates about a recent late season Salmon run and what I consider my ultimate best accomplishment for 2004 was.

12/10/04  Inside word from some of the major harbors on Lake Huron is that the Brown Trout are hitting.  For those willing to brave the elements at this time of year, the reward is worth it.  Spawn fished on the bottom and casting Cleos seem to be on the Brown Trout's menu.  Look for sparse crowds and those in the know not willing to share  info about this late season bonanza.  I've heard the Browns ranging from 6 to 16 lbs.  Now, these are worthy adversaries  in anyone's book!

12/9/04  We got hit by a reel-gully washer a couple of days ago.  This means great catching opportunities for those who pursue Steelhead on the Big Manistee River.  The surge of water will bring up fish from Manistee Lake and Lake Michigan.  Look for the upper to mid-sections (my favorite: High Bridge to Bear Creek) to get hot.  I know these December Steelhead will be there and I miss not having my jet boat.  Steelhead are a wonderfully cooperative specie and will hit in 33 to 70 some degree water.  Yep, they're a helluva fish and have my never ending respect! 

12/8/04  I'm getting reel-negative feelings about the March GR show.  While I haven't said much about it, I hope to have to 2 brand new product lines soon and ready for the 05 season. Time is gonna become an issue with the new items I'm manufacturing.  GR would eat up at least 5 days.  I have committed to the Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run and will be there come hell, or high water.  The Birch Run Center offers far better options, especially in the way of seminar space. 
    Those newer to the sport of Salmon fishing accomplish the prodigious boxes of fish with my product.  Partly, because of our message board and the 50 some tips and tricks articles.  I'll never lay no claim to being a writer, but my 36 years in the pursuit of Salmon and 21 years in the charter business taught me what works and what does not.  

12/07/04  I ran into a reel-problem for doing the Grand Rapids Sport and Fishing Show in March.  While I was able to get 30 feet (3 @10' booths) for Fish-On Bait, Offshore Tackle, Riviera and my "Reel-Flashers," nothing in the seminar schedule was open.  Explaining how my flasher works is more important to me then just selling product (I can do that and not leave home).  I'm looking into alternatives in the area.  If you have any suggestions, E-mail me at 
     December 7th, 1941 Pearl Harbor Day! 63 years ago today we suffered a dastardly and unprovoked attack from the Empire of Japan.  We're still under attack, however, now it's in the form of denuding our country of it's financial power from Pacific Rim companies. that unfairly dump their products here.  That's why my product line will always be 100% totally American made.

12/6/04  Response to my Christmas Flasher Deal has been an overwhelming success thus far.  In fact, the demand has even surprised me.  While I don't have an office, I can still offer same day shipping (in most cases) and if you live in Michigan.....generally your order only spends one day in transit.  US Priority Mail has been a godsend to me, because of the daily pick-up my postman offers.
     Getting things in order for the show season is my vital task for today.  I plan on doing seminars in Flint and Grand Rapids, so shopping for a good quality projector that hooks up to my laptop is needed.  It's a heck of a lot easier to show someone in a picture (one picture is worth a 1000 words) then it is trying to verbalize.

12/5/04  According to what I've been able to discern from television reports the 2004 Whitetail firearms season was pretty crummy up here.  Several spots in the state offer far better hunting opportunities than my area and that's a fact!  One excellent deer hunter I know, hunted hard and sighted 2 does on opening day.  In fact, that was to be the only deer he would see in the 15 day season.  I hunted his property in 2003 and can attest it is prime deer country.
     Also, this week was a toughie for me.  I struggled to make progress on my full-blown office remodel job, but still haven't totally completed the re-wiring.  Windows are in and the doors are hung is my steps forward for the first week of December.  Hopefully, I'll be hanging new drywall by mid-week, at least I hope so!

12/4/04  In my travels around Manistee County, I stopped by the High Bridge Public Access on the Big Manistee River.  There was only 3 boat trailers in the parking lot, so I'd say the pressure was extremely light.  The water looked kinda low and was clear with a slight green tint.  From experience, what I just described does not bode well for good Steelheading.  I'd say the odds are better further downstream from Rainbow Bend to Manistee Lake. 

12/3/04  It's official now, because I'm now a boat-less, float-less and will likely suffer less headaches from not being a boat owner.  My former vessel cut a trail for Bay City at 10am yesterday morning behind Paul Vantol's tow vehicle.  This proud ship did not reflect it's age and was a fine looking craft put back into almost new condition by Dick Stahle, designer and builder of Cherokee Boats. 

12/2/04  I have to part with a cherished friend today.  This colleague has been with me since 1987.  During that course of time, my buddy helped box close to 20,000 Salmon and Trout on Lakes Huron and Michigan.  In 1987 thru 1990 this companion lent a hand in boating at least 7,000 Walleyes on Lake Erie.  My pal always made sure guests always made it back to the dock in a safe fashion. In spite of dangerous seas, often exceeding 10 footers, in "all of a sudden" surprise storms.
    Plus, my partner made me a fair living for a goodly period of time and was always a joy to see everyday.  It's gonna be difficult for me to watch the good ship, "Kingfish" leave for it's brand new home in Bay City, Michigan.  I enjoyed every inch of owning this 28' fishing machine for 16 seasons.  Seldom if ever, in one person's lifetime do you ever have a friend like I did.  The likelihood of this happening again is very remote!  I bid a extremely fond farewell to my former 28 foot Cherokee Sport Fisherman Hardtop at 10am today and I'll probably have a tear in my eye when do.  

12/1/04  In the spirit of the Christmas season I'm offering a special gift (good thru 12/24/04.  If you buy 6 flashers, the 7th one is free and on me.  The free flasher is a special new secret color for 2005 and will not be displayed, or shown until the show season of 2005.  Just order your favorite 6 and I'll gladly enclose your free 2005 model flasher.  If you'd like to take advantage of this money saving "Lucky Seven" offer, you can order at  Please do not even ask what the special new secret color is, because if I told wouldn't be a secret! 

11/30/04  Getting my former boat ready to leave for it's new home Thursday is gonna consume most of the day.  I need to go over the battery wiring for Capt. Paul and make sure everything is ship-shape.
    Not having a office is making even the simplest things like sending out faxes, or processing flashers a reel-pain!  I am very impatient about completing my office area remodeling project.  The  new improvements will be worth the grief, eventually!

11/29/04  Today is the day I handle business concerning the 2005 Sport Shows.
The Flint Steelheaders Show is at the Birch Run Expo Center.  This show starts on Friday, March 4th and runs to thru Sunday, March 6th, 2005.  I'm gonna try to get 20 feet at the 60th Annual Grand Rapids Sport Fishing and RV Show at De Voss Place.  The Grand Rapids do starts on March the 17th and concludes March 20th, 2005.  Hopefully, seminars will happen at these locations.  More info to come........

11/28/04  It was a dull, wet and dreary day in Manistee County yesterday until Dave S. showed up at my house.  Dave is the Michigan distributor for Fish On Bait.  We discussed the upcoming sport show schedule for 2005.  I know we'll be doing the Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run and the Grand Rapids Show in March.  Bob Hicks who runs the online tackle store will also be a part of our dog and pony show.  I will be trying to incorporate seminars at the shows I'll be doing.  It's an huge honor to me to share what knowledge I do possess with you.

11/27/04  Remodeling my office area is my task for the next couple of weeks.  Having room for 3 computers networked together needs to be in an organized work area, not the hodgepodged mess it was in.  This project must start now, because once the 2005 tackle season gets here I won't have the time.  If I'm a little slow in answering my E-mails it's because my office is tore up and I'm operating from my living room on my laptop.

11/26/04  Spent yesterday in the true spirit of Thanksgiving.  I counted my blessings in how well my flashers were received last summer.  I never had a clue that keeping up with orders was gonna mean a bunch of 18 hour days.  I did manage to almost get to the break-even point in the first year with a new start-up company.  Yep, that's a whole lot to be thankful for!  Thanks to all of you who purchased my product and had newfound success with limits of Kings on "Reel Flashers."  I'm extremely proud of the All-American production team that was able to bring you a super quality fish catchin' product at a reasonable price.

11/25/04  Stefan and Ted stopped by my house yesterday afternoon.  They had finished chasing Steelhead on the Big M and needed some flashers.  When I asked if they had caught, the reply was YES!  So, I grabbed my camera for some fresh photos.  Both of these gentlemen become infected with river fishing disease on a river trip with me in 2001.  I'd say they were rewarded with a nice 8 to 9 pound hen.
  From what I was able to ascertain, Stefan and Ted fished the mid point of the river and missed more then they caught. Click here for Stefan & Ted They also told me the Rainbow Bend Public Access was full of boat trailers and the river traffic was very heavy.  Their fish were chewing on Tots and Flatfish.  Click for their hot lures

11/24/04  Done deal!  My Cherokee now belongs to Capt. Paul Vantol and is moving to Ludington for the 05 season.  Paul is a likeable, knowledgeable and a very experienced captain.  I look forward to working with his charter business.  I know he got a helluva fishing killing machine when he bought my rig.  I more than appreciate Paul's trust in me, because a late season water test was not in the cards.
     Seminars in Ludington will happen again next year!  I enjoy every aspect of sharing whatever know-how I have to increase your skills.  Those who have attended my "on the water" deals have far better results then what our current poll is reflecting about average fish take.  Being open minded and not set in your ways about trolling the big water is your first step in the right direction.

11/23/04  I'm on my way to Midland, Michigan early this morning to finalize the pending sale of my the 28' Cherokee Sportfisherman.  If all goes according to plan, I'll be announcing the new owner tomorrow.  I think the deal we have worked out is beneficial to the both of us.  Click here for the boat looks like
    Initial plan is to have my former vessel berthed in Ludington for the 2005.  If this comes to pass, "on the water" seminars will happen again next season.  Let's see how today goes, then planning the seminar schedule for '05 is likely to begin.

11/22/04  The good word is from the surf fishermen in Manistee.  Superlative results are coming from beach boys around Manistee County.  Fresh untreated Steelhead spawn floated 4 to 12 inches off the bottom is turning the trick.  The Barr Lake Outlet and the water tower (onion) areas are best bets for good action!
     I haven't heard a peep from the fall river seekers with Steelhead on the brain.  I suspect rifle season for deer has kept the info from flowing.  Once rifle season ends, I expect more river tales then you can shake a fishing rod at.

11/21/04  Deer hunting in my area has a lot in common with 20 pound Kings in Lake Huron during the 2004 season.  Few and far between!
    My friend, Tom Rassumen of mine, has 80 acres of prime deer hunting ground.  He has planted food plots set aside just for whitetails.  So far, this season they haven't seen a buck on Tom's property.  Normally his land gives up a at least a couple of nice bucks during rifle season.  Once I thought we were overpopulated with deer in my vicinity.  No longer do I think such thoughts.  Let's hope for some mild winters.

11/20/04  The St. Joe River has been smokin’ hot for steelhead over the last week. I have heard the charters with as many as 15 fish per day on the center section of the river. Many fish have been moving through the fish ladder in Berrien Springs and it is shaping up to be a great winter with the number of fish already in the system. Three of us fish Saturday from 6:00 AM to 12:00 PM and boated five out of eight fish. Four of the eight fish came on gold colored Hot-N-Tots and Wiggle Warts back trolling in the upper river. Several hits casting spoons and one dropping skein through the deeper holes. I included pictures of the fish, but they are tough to see. Go get them before they all move to Indiana! ...........Capt. Mark T.  Click for photo

11/19/04  Let's talk about lead today.  A new bill is on Michigan's legislative agenda to ban lead use in the fishing industry.  At first, I thought no big deal (I was wrong).  Then Bob Hicks sent me the facts on the weight vs. mass issues.  Here's something to think about on the density pound/cubic inch topic: lead .4096,  zinc .254, cast Iron .254, steel .283, copper .310, bronze .317, silver .380, Gold .6969.
      By comparing the above figures, there's no economical substitute to replace the 10 to 12 lb. lead cannon balls we now use.  I urge you to contact your district's representative in Lansing and voice a strong nay to this ill advised bill. 

11/18/04  As promised, I formatted a new article from Dave Richey about trolling the inland lakes for fall Steelhead.  It's a big deal here in Manistee and you'll see boats trolling Manistee Lake everyday until the lake freezes.  Manistee Lake has 3 launches I'm aware of, so access is pretty easy. Click for Dave Richey's article
     I figured out the my deer hunting problem yesterday.  In my time to ponder where the deer critters came to me.  Cougars in Michigan have been eating them, cuz there's not many deer around my property.  Me, being of the theory there are cougars roaming about, I'm starting a dedicated cougar baiting program to prove my point. I have some old freezer burnt salmon and some cans of 9 Lives kitty food for bait.  I reckon shooting a big puddie cat shouldn't be against the law, cuz according to the authorities in the know they don't exist in Michigan.  If I do get arrested for cougar hunting?........I'll just deny everything and tell the Conservation Officer, "I was mountain lyin'!"

11/17/04  Deer hunting vastly improved for me yesterday.  I seen a huge buck with a thick neck, a 24 inch inside spread and far too many points to count.  Yeah buddy, a massive monster buck that any hunter would be proud to show off.  Only problem was, it was in the back of someone else's truck headed towards Manistee.  
    I did see a sizeable swamp doe that has been tearing up my bait pile and just in time......snapped a picture of this unlikely event. Click here for the doe in the wild 
    Later today, if time allows.....the well written Dave Richey article on small boat trolling for fall Steelhead will be forthcoming.  Tomorrow 4-sure!

11/16/04  No snow, no deer and a wet dizzily afternoon describes my firearms opening day 2004.  In fact, in my area I only heard one shot all day .  I'd say hunting pressure was up from the amount of vehicles I seen parked within a mile of my property too.  The possibility of snow is predicted by next weekend.
    Capt. Jay Frolenko was kind enough to send in guide report  from Big Manistee River  He can be reached by calling (231) 884-2198.  Here's Jay's own words:
"The fishing in the upper river has slowed a bite, with water temps into the lower 40's. The water is also very clear. The fishing should improve over the next week and is looking to be very good for December. The fish appear to all ready be moving into a winter pattern, I hope this doesn't mean an early winter. 
Good Luck Deer Hunting!"...........Capt. Jay 
Click for a 11/14/04 Steelie

11/15/04  Firearms season for deer start today.  I plan on spending most of the day in the woods.  While the whitetail population around where I live is only a mere shadow of what it was 2 or 3 years ago, I still plan on going.  Spending time in the north woods has it's own special rewards, regardless if you kill a deer, or not.  Hunt safely and I wish you lots of good luck.

11/13/04  There's a strong rumbling on the horizon, lead will be banned from use in Michigan's fishing industry.  While I'm not sure if the house bill has been voted into law yet, it's a given it will pass.  Cannonballs, lead core, drop weights and yes....... even diver keels will have to be made out of alternative materials.  I'm pretty sure zinc is the closest in the weight vs. mass issue.  Look for this to happen by 2008 with the selling ban to start in 2007.  Click here to see what's gonna be outlawed!
     As a side note, I've always known drop weights (lead balls from 8 to 32 oz.) were certain death to fish, but never felt quite right dropping lead balls all over the lake.  I have used scrap steel from old railroad tracks ties with equal success.

11/12/04  My apologies to Gary N and Jeff B for a delay in my shipping policy.  It's seems my shipping department has been far to lax.  I need to crack the whip and increase employee productivity.  Firing my shipping clerk is an option, but just don't have the heart to put her in the unemployment line.  Click here for my clerk
      Dave Richey sent me a article about small boat trolling for fall Steelhead.  The piece is very informative and if time allows.....I'll devote a whole page to this work.
      Miss November's thumbnail image is now working after receiving many inquiries from lots of viewers interested in seeing her rack. Click here for Miss November 04.

11/11/04  The LRB of commercial enterprises kinda shot themselves in the foot and destroyed the myth: Native Americans are caretakers of the environment.  They did this by netting spawning Lake Trout.  Let's factor in our MDNR has a long history of restricting the season on Lake Trout as far back as the 1920s in an effort to protect this at risk specie, especially vulnerable during spawning times.
     The LRB has done far more damage to themselves by letting this happen then we can imagine.  All TV stations in my area reported on their flagrant disregard to uphold their end of the consent agreement with the illegal fish being confiscated.
      It's a reel-fact the Lake Michigan Laker population is under severe duress.  Lake Trout have been in steep decline according to my charter boat catch reports sent to me by the  MDNR since 2000.  We all now know......why Lakers have been scarce as hen's teeth off Manistee and Ludington.

11/10/04  Once again the Little River Band of commercial netters in Ludington displayed absolutely no regard for the 2000 Federal Court consent agreement.  MDNR officers seized 3,857 pounds of lake trout, whitefish and chubs for violating the seasonal restriction. No fishing is supposed to take place between noon Nov. 6 to noon Nov. 29.  The fishery is closed during that time to protect spawning lake trout and whitefish.  The fine these lawbreakers would have to pay if they were treated the same as a Michigan resident would have been $38,570 ($10 per pound).  
     In their kangaroo tribal court the fine is $250.00.  So, this is just another example of how the citizenry of Michigan getting the shaft from LRB of Native Americans.  It's my personal belief that all parties involved who came up with the ill conceived consent agreement should be put on trial for crimes against the American People!  Lopsided rights ceded to one race of people other another is a direct assault on the Declaration of Independence and the principals of our U.S. Constitution.  Circumstances like this can lead to extreme prodigious and unwanted racial division.

11/9/04   Today's update is courtesy of Dave Richey, who I think of as the big gun of all outdoor writers.  Dave has penned over 20 books and a multitude of magazine articles for all the leading outdoor publications.  You can access his website at:   Here's what Dave has to say:
     "Deer season will start next Monday, and approximately 750,000 Hunter Orange-clad sportsmen will hunt during the Nov. 15-30 firearm season. That heavy hunter interest is reflected by the contents of this week’s website.
The "Outdoor Page" for the 2004 firearm deer season forecast. Learn which counties are hot and which are not. This is solid where-to-go information that hunters can use. One tip is to consider the southern counties for lots of deer and some big bucks.
     This week’s
"Featured Article" advises sportsmen to hunt the heaviest cover during the 16-day firearms season. Bucks start heading for heavy cover on Nov. 15 as soon as they hear car doors slamming, and they stay in the thick stuff under hunting pressure drops off.
"Personal Thoughts" column is a thought-provoking piece on choosing the proper firearm to match the terrain being hunted. I often have four firearms with me, and which one I pick is based on the type of cover being hunted. It makes sense to match the firearm to the terrain. 
Good luck hunting, and hunt safe.
" -- Dave 

11/8/04  Yesterday was one of the very few days I did not have time to do a daily update.  I was smothered by a huge remodeling project that had me pinned down for the better part of the weekend.
    Bow hunters in my area are reporting very little deer movement and not seeing very many deer.  I suspect the warm October delayed the rut.  Look for this to change in the next week or so, seeing we're getting some pretty cold weather now.
    If you'd like to contribute to this website with a daily update on breaking news from the outdoors, please do!  Since I'm no longer guiding on the Big Manistee River keeping fresh news from my area has become harder to accomplish.

11/6/04   Flasher production for 2004 is over.  I've built all my blades and now have a standing inventory to go into 2005 with.  This is a far cry from what went on in 2004, where catch-up was the name of the game.  
    2005 will bring a expanded product line of some of the finest all American made tackle in the world.  There will be some exciting new merchandise from Kingfish Products, LLC debuted some time in January.

11 /5/04  Capt. Jay Frolenko sent me report on his results yesterday from the Big Manistee River.  Here's Jay's own words:
"The fishing today was a little slower than it has been. The fish are there and we did managed to put five Steelhead in the boat, releasing one and losing two others. The fish we did hook exploded on the flatfish and immediately started acting like birds, spending more time in the air than in the water. What a great show! The river is in great shape very few leaves left, the water is stained and between 46 to 48 degrees."....Capt. Jay 
Here's another report from Capt. Bjorn who fished the Lk. Michigan with super results on 11/3/04 out of the Port of Manistee.  I'll let Bjorn fill you in on the details:
"Fished the big lake again on 11/3/04 and it was VERY! Good. Fish in the 18s and the 30 line right on the second drop off 480' to 680' of water. But on our last in troll of the day hit a spot in 270 to 240 fow in the 19s where we cleared all of the rods out of the water due to fish, and mostly larger steelhead. We probably had at least 50 hits through the day but had to sort through small fish. 
        We released 6 lake trout and probably at least ten 2 to 5 pound steelhead and a few nicer ones also. We kept 6 steelhead 2 kings and two coho (one a big adult male?). And, all of this on two riggers set at 20' and 27', two dipsys at 30' and 40' set on 3 1/2, and two inline boards with 1/2oz ten passes back. 
        The boards had stingers with diagonal orange crush tape and were hot, other spoons were orange lazer with red ladder proking (chrome divers), gold Xmas tree stinger, ruby red NKs with the black and pink tape, and a proking with silver tape and like a red squid taped on it (I don't even know were I got that one or if it's stock).   If you can still get out, the fish are there. Make sure that your not running to deep, the fish are high, we could see the dipseys right off the sides of the boat and they took a bunch of hits. Wish I didn't have to take the boat home. .......Capt. Bjorn Hoefflin, skipper of the "Sea Wolf."

11/4/04  It is an honor and a privilege to have my longtime friend and world renowned outdoor writer, Dave Richey on board for today's update.
    You Log on to, or click here for the Outdoor Page to read his piece titled “Firearm Deer Hunting: Up A Tree Or On The Ground.” This story offers convincing reasons why firearm deer hunting from an elevated position or from the ground must be a matter of personal choice. Both locations produce great deer hunting but some hunters would be best suited to a ground blind rather than 20 to 25 feet up a tree.
    Click here for his Weblog  It contains something new and fresh every day. His website offers six to eight fishing and hunting features every week. Log on to get the latest in fishing and hunting features from an outdoor writer with 37 years of writing experience in this great state of Michigan. Stop by, take a look and drop me a line."...........Dave Richey

11/3/04  Joe K reported in today with good Steelheading in the mid-point of the Big Manistee River (Bear Creek public access).  The method of the day on the fish he took was rolling spawn.  His Steelhead ranged between 6 to 8 pounds.  If my memory serves me correctly, a few years back I towed Joe's riverboat upstream to the Bear Creek launch.  To this date, it's my biggest river catch, a 15 footer!  Joe, also added,......the river by him was fairly clear of leaves.
    With the election over, I thought a straw poll concerning electing our DNR officers might be in order.  The new poll is located in the left border of this page.
    Today's photo is archived from last December on the big river when Bob Hicks caught 6 Steelhead for 6 strikes.  Which, to this day I can't believe happened!  Luck has to be on your side for perfect record to happen.  I suspect it was his guide.
Click here for Bob's Steelhead on 12/9/03     Click here for a genuine guide yarn!

11/2/04  GO VOTE! back to our regularly scheduled update, courtesy of Jason Bialik.  Jason runs a guide service on the Big Manistee and reports fairly decent Steelheading.  I believe Jason fishes the lower half most of the time.  He said the big river was at the high water stage, full of leaves and some debris.  Jason expects the river to rinse clean soon, as the dreaded leave drop is almost over.  
     The fish he took yesterday were on spawn, but a few days ago, silver Flatfish had been working.  Look to the rest of November for great opportunities at the fall bad-boy silver bullets, namely the Steelhead.  I recognize that Jason is one of the most experienced and dedicated guides on the Manistee River.  He can be reached by calling (231) 510-7443.

11/1/04  Tomorrow (11/2/04) we'll be focusing on our election and political affairs. 
     Don't let anyone kid you, this election is not about gay marriage, or stem cell research.  It's about jobs, the economy, soaring energy costs and global security.
     Voting is a privilege and should not to be taken for granted.  Unless you live in Florida,.....I believe your vote counts.  Normally, I would never mention politics, but it's very, very important that you cast your vote and partake in America's future!
     Fishing info of any kind has been hard for me to come by as of late.  Have you fished lately?  Please consider sending your report to: 

10/31/04   Like many of you, I forgot to set my clocks back an hour last night, as  Daylight Savings Time came into effect.
      Reports from the surf fishermen have been spotty, but if you're on the beach at the right day, 3 Steelhead limits have been the story.  Overall, this fall is looking a little bit better then the last 2 years.  I expect we'll have to wait to see what develops in the rivers for November.  Initial signs are good for the late season river anglers who chase the silver rockets of the fall called, Steelhead!  
     There is no fish in Michigan that can put on an aerial spectacle like Mr. Steel Head.  They can clear water by at least 4 feet and I've seen the same fish jump as many as 10 times.  Pound for pound, Iron Noggins are one tough customer!

10/30/04  Unseasonably warm weather for this time of the year as we approach the end of October and Halloween 2004.  Overall, October has been a warm and wet month and no snow so far!  The bow hunters I spoken with are not seeing big numbers of deer around Manistee.  Possibly, the warm weather has delayed the rut.

10/29/04  The leaf drop this week is nothing short amazing.  Trees that had leaves last week are now bare.  This is good news for the Big Manistee River, as the leaves get rinsed from the system.  Leaves can make the river almost unfishable even for the spawn dunkers and totally unfishable for those who like to pull plugs.
    More rain is predicted for this weekend, making this 3 wet weekends in a row for Manistee County.  Once again this is great news for the river fishing fan!  Fresh water, or high water means fresh-run Steelhead entering Manistee's watershed.
    The last recent word I got from the big pond was by Bjorn from the "Sea Wolf."  He reported limits on Steelhead ranging from 6 to 9 pounds, with a occasional 12 pounder.  3 year old Kings were still being caught mixed in with the Ironheads.

10/28/04  A popular catch phrase of the day is, "keep your friends close, and your enemies closer!"  This is what I'm trying to do concerning the cormorants.  Blindly saying, "these birds need to be wiped out" harbor no understanding of what these critters are about would be short sighted on my part.  I have learned is that the double crested cormorant is not native to the Great Lakes region and first nested in our area in 1913 according to the (US Fish & Wildlife Service) website.
     Google lists 18,300 as possible matches to Great Lakes cormorants.  I have studied the first 30 sites listed and under no circumstances did I find anything useful about these undesirable black fish ducks.  Their guano, or feces is highly acidic, destroying nesting habitat for other species.  West Sister Island on Lake Erie is a prime example of how damaging large breeding colonies of cormorants can be. 
     I was hoping to have a brand new article pertaining to how cormorants threaten our ecosystem, but the subject is very complex.  It will take me a few days to sort out the tons material and the resources to use for reference.

10/27/04   A pilot program in the Les Chenneaux Islands on Lake Huron was instituted last summer by the USDA to control the double-crested cormorants.  The USDA Wildlife Service has dominion over these black fish ducks, because of  federal edict, the Migratory Bird Treaty Act.....which covers hawks, owls, ducks, etc.
    The USDA shot 910 cormorants out of a targeted goal of 960.  3,220 nests were treated by coating the eggs with vegetable oil (which prevents the embryo from breathing).  By using the vegetable oil method only 41 young were hatched for a 99% effectiveness ratio.  This was a daunting task to treat the 2 to 5 eggs per nest by the USDA.  My hat is off to all who took part in this program.
    The USDA is now considering expanding this program in 2005.  On the table is the Beaver Islands and the Ludington Pumped Storage barrier.  I hope this is a step in the right direction to bring these predatory non-native birds under some kind of a control factor.  More info on the complete history of the double-crested  cormorants in the Great Lakes region tomorrow.

10/26/04  I received an E-mail today from Mr. Tom Rozich of the Cadillac Office of the DNR.  He explained that he only had 30 seconds to reply in his TV appearance and couldn't cover the ground in-depth about the Brown Trout Fishery.  His words to me were very informative on the facts he has on cormorants.  While I will not speak for him, the point was needed controls on the cormorants. I grasped a positive feeling Mr. Rozich is definitely on our side with this issue.  Stay tuned for more info on this hot-button topic tomorrow. 

10/25/04  I watched Mr. Tom Rozich on public television's "Ask the DNR" recently. Mr. Rozich is our DNR fisheries leader in Cadillac, Michigan.   He was asked the question, "how come the Brown Trout population in Frankfort was down and if there was anything wrong with the current strain of Brown Trout being used?"  
    Mr. Rozich replied, it's because the smelt and alewife numbers are down and nothing is wrong with the present strain of Browns the DNR is planting.  
    Not one mention of the huge flocks of cormorants when the Browns were being planted.  I believe this is looking at the lack of a Spring Brown Trout Fishery through rose-colored glasses.  I also believe it was his attempt at political correctness, not wanting to bring the PBS's tree-huggers to arms about harvesting cormorants!
    I can appreciate the reel-fact that Mr. Rozich is between a rock and a hard place and no matter what he says, or does not gonna displease someone.  Not mentioning cormorants as major small-fish predators, and these cormorants are big part of the problem was woefully neglectful on his my very honest opinion!
    In March and April of the year 2000 my customers boated 239 fish (mostly Browns) on 22 charters fishing the waters off the Port of Manistee.  In 2003 my charter guests took something like 14 Browns on 6 charters.  This downfall is beyond pitiful!  The biggest difference was there was no cormorants in the late 1990s. The large flocks of these black eating machines have been on the increase since 2001.

10/24/04  The way it looks, we've got over 2 inches of rain yesterday in Manistee County.  Thusly, a considerable improvement in population fresh-run Steelhead can be expected ASAP!  I've seen the stained inshore water from the Manistee River run all the way down to Big Point Sable before (when the north wind is just right).   This is a heck of a long 12 mile long scent trail for cruising Steelies to key in on.  I'm betting the first three weeks of November will be phenomenal river Steelheading!
    The drainage area of the Big Manistee River is over 1450 square miles and with over 2 inches of recent precipitation, high water is gonna be manna from heaven for the dedicated river fishing enthusiast.  More rain is predicted for this coming Wed.

10/23/04  More rain is predicted today and this is good news for those who ply their talents chasing Steelhead in the Big Manistee River.  Water flow is increased, causing a natural magnet for the chrome rockets of the fall.  If you've never caught a silver-bullet fall Steelhead, make sure to put that on your "must do" list. You'll gain respect for a river-run adversary with a long legacy for brutal rod and reel wars!

10/23/04  More rain is predicted today and this is good news for those who ply their talents chasing Steelhead in the Big Manistee River.  Water flow is increased, causing a natural magnet for the silver rockets of the fall.  If you ever caught a silver bullet fall Steelhead.....make sure to put that on your "must do" list.  You'll gain respect for a river-run adversary with a long legacy for brutal rod and reel wars!

10/22/04  Today's update features the answer of this week's poll.  The question was, "when was the first Coho planted in the Great Lakes?"   72% of voted for 1966, which was not the correct answer!  The first Coho were planted in 1933 and I'm pretty sure Lake Erie was the chosen spot.  1966 is when the Coho were introduced to Lake Michigan and propagated to the rest of the Great Lakes soon after. To verify my data click here to confirm the above dates.
     In 1873 the first Chinook Salmon were launched in the Great Lakes.  That was the same year alewives were first discovered in Lake Ontario too.  It's interesting to note that the Department of Fisheries way back in the 1800s was trying to enhance the Great Lakes fishing.  These were forward looking individuals in the 1800s.  Perhaps the present-day DNR managers could take a lesson from our past leaders.
    There's a new poll requires your opinion about whether there Cougars in Michigan.  Do you think we have these big predatory cats roaming about?

10/21/04  Good news could lay a couple of seasons down the road on the Steelhead scene from what I'm hearing.  The diehards that are still pounding the Lk. Michigan off Manistee are being plagued by huge numbers of skipper Steelhead.  Skippers are immature fish from 12 to 16 inches long and are about 2 years old. These baby Steelhead are called skippers, because the skip (leap, or jump) all over the surface in an effort to extricate the hook.  So, a couple of years down the pike, Steelheading might be on the major improve for the big water and river anglers.

10/20/04   My prediction of success on the Big Manistee river is well formed, because of all the rain we've had.  After almost drought conditions in August and September, lots of rain has been the story from Manistee County for about the last week.  Rain increases the flow and draws fresh Steelhead in from Lake Michigan.  These reel-fresh run fish are dumber then a stump and easy to catch.  Unlike spring spawners, fall iron-noggins are super aggressive.  These villainous creatures are ready to whack your offering hard.  In fact, fall spawn dunkers experience hard hits and can have their rod almost yanked from their paws.  This seldom, if ever happens during the spring run.  Spring fish as a rule won't go out of their way to hit and need to be bumped in the snout to trigger strikes.  Fall Steelheading is a favorite with me!

10/19/04   I've changed over from the Lake Michigan ratings forecast to the Big Manistee River.  It's time we call the big lake season over and look to the many rivers that provide a excellent Steelhead fishery from now thru April of 2005.  Prime time spawn tossing is right now (until the leaf drop is over) until the first week of November. Then back dropping plugs will, a rule produce better quality fish!
    The new poll that tests your historical knowledge of our Salmon Fishery continues to  gather a great deal of interest.  Almost a 100 of you have voted so far.  Have you voted yet?  The correct answer will come this Friday (10/22/04).

10/18/04  I've installed a new poll to test your historical facts of our the Great Lakes Salmon Fishery.  The question is, "do you know when the first Coho Salmon were planted in our Great Lakes?"  The answer is a toughie, so be forewarned!
     Capt. Jay Frolenko reports good fishing on the Big Manistee River.  Steelhead in good numbers are showing up in the lower half.  Look for Steelheading on the big river to continue to improve, especially once the leaf drop is over (1st of Nov).  If you're feeling home-bound, why not consider booking a trip with Jay?  He can be reached at (231) 884-2198 and does a first-rate job putting you on the fish!

10/17/04  If you're into extreme sports, yesterday would have been a grand day to fish Lake Michigan with 4 to 8 foot seas.  Now, for even more thrills Stannard Rock on Lake Superior had seas to, and exceeding 20 foot with wind of 45 knot gusts to 53 knots.  In case you don't know how to transpose knots into mph, multiply knots by 1.15.  Hence 53 times 1.15 equals 60.95 miles per hour. 
Here's some factiods about how Coast Guard wind and wave warnings work: 
1.  Small craft with wind from 23 to 38 mph, 20 to 33 knots, and/or seas of 7 feet 
     or  greater are expected........or are occurring.  

2.  Gale warnings are issued for sustained winds of 39 to 54 mph, 34 to 47 knots
3.  Storm warning are issued for sustained winds of at least 55 mph, 48 knots
4.  Hurricane force winds are defined as sustained winds of at least 74 mph, 63   
Another thing every good mariner needs to know is that a low barometer reading generally always means a heavy blow.  The closer the barometer gets to 29.0 means deteriorating weather.  If the barometer reading ever dips into the 28 numbers?....that's normally associated with hurricanes.  Today's lesson is concluded!

10/16/04  Just what we didn't need to hear!  A totally new foreign specie was recently caught by hook and line in Burnham Harbor.  This is a voracious feeder that looks like a cross between a dogfish, pike and a burbot.  It's called a northern snakehead fish.  This unwanted specie comes as a highly prized food fish from China and can grow to well over 3 feet long.  Click to view a northern snakehead fish 
      Here's more info from the Illinois DNR, “I'm hoping this is just a random fish dumped out of an aquarium by somebody who didn't know what to do with it,” said Tom Trudeau, head of the Lake Michigan fisheries program at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. “The fear is seeing their young in the lake. If that happens, we're in trouble.”  
 Click here to see their toothy mouth

10/15/04  Ya know, something came to me when I was searching for a interesting subject for the daily update. Then what I do everyday came to mind about how I use the internet on a daily basis.  With the advent of the www (world wide web) and the connectivity it offers, you can sure absorb a lot in a short period of time. What used to take many seasons can be accomplished with usage of search engines and visiting various websites. Scrutinizing the many message boards (most popular sites have) can instill knowledge, confidence and awareness in a New York minute. 
     When I started my Great Lakes Salmon career in 1968 the only avenue to learning was the "school of hard-knocks." Some trial, and lots of errors was the deal, if you wanted to catch fish on a regular basis. In the beginning, sharing of techniques was a matter of fact in the late 60s and early 70s. Then tournaments came into play and the info pipeline slowed to a drip. Well, that's all changed, as my "Encyclopedia of Tips and Tricks" will help shorten any beginner's learning curve!

10/14/04  The catching in Manistee remains excellent.  200 to 400 feet of water is showing limit catch action for 4 to 12 lb. Kings.  The inside word is the Kings are coming 70 to 90 feet down on the riggers.  Steelhead are being taken in good numbers and are coming anywhere's from 20 to 50 feet down over 400 to 600 feet of water.  Look for the terrific open water fishery to be inaccessible soon.  A cold front is predicted.  Cold fronts generally mean heavy seas and stiff winds from the NW, making for unfishable conditions. Things for the inshore surf fishermen are looking better everyday in Manistee.  Those surf anglers who have access to fresh spawn are doing well from Manistee's water tower to the Barr Lake Outlet.

10/13/04  The poll that I ran about increasing your success with my flashers was nothing short of remarkable.  Over half the fishermen surveyed reported at least 50% increase in their catch.  10% reported a 100% increase over their previous methods. This is no small potatoes gain.  This is called putting the odds in your favor by a superior piece of equipment.   Please let me add, the lethal Black Mamba produced limit catches of Salmon from May into Oct.  I'm surprised that anything could, or would work well all season long, because I never seen this happen before!
    Also, I installed a new poll about where to place the blame for Lake Huron's tough season for Kings. While I'm no fan of the DNR, I do not believe they should shoulder the complete blame.  I think too many complex factors came into play and no one thing is the total fault.  Let's hope Lake Huron rebounds in 2005 with more baitfish! 

10/12/04  Looking for a larger boat for a little bit of green?  I just listed a previously owned 24 foot Bayliner Trophy for $9,995.00 and it's 100% fully equipped!  This is a sound boat, having passed the rigorous DNR dry-dock hull inspection in 2003.  If you're looking to upsize for pennies on the dollar, this vessel could be worthy of your consideration.  The included equipment list will knock your socks off.  This is one heck of a deal for someone who's looking for a great buy on larger boat that's still trailerable.  Click here for more info on this Trophy.

10/11/04   Capt. Bob Hicks was sporting enough to invite me for a morning of catching yesterday.  We fished out of Bob's home port of Ludington, Michigan.  Ludville is known for extraordinary Salmon fishing and once again this popular port lived up to it's billing.  We had 12 strikes, boating 8 pubescent Kings (releasing 2) during our laid-back 4 hour voyage.    Click here for our catch on 10/10/04         Click here for the lures used on 10/10/04
    The area we fished was Big Point Sable to slightly south of the bath-house.  Our strikes came from 20 to 75 feet down and our best action came over 80 to 100 feet of water.  We marked huge schools of bait-fish and for their size, the juvenile Salmon were chunky, and well-fed critters.  This is a tremendously good omen for the 2005 season.  Look for these stocky fall fish to turn into brawny varmints in the coming spring of next year. 

10/10/04  Now is the time to either buy a boat, or seriously start shopping for one.  Owners and dealers looking sell, knowing this is not the prime time for boat sales. Sellers are willing to give ground on their bottom line price.  You'll save many thousands of dollars by purchasing that new ride for 2005 now. Always consider a previously owned vessel where the greatest savings can occur.  Granted you'll be responsible for winter storage, but you'll be able to rig and get the boat more to your liking, well before the 2005 season arrives.  Another plus?...... is that you'll be ready to fish as soon as the new season begins.  Yep, the determined, wise and prudent boat shopper is in the market now!  Click here for the used boats I've listed

10/9/04  With no recent fishing rumors, reports, hearsay or gossip concerning our fishery, today I'm gonna do some flag waving. This is my business philosophy: 
"I will NEVER move my tackle manufacturing operation overseas, nor procure supplies from overseas manufacturers.....even if there's tax incentives for me to do so! I believe the American worker comes first! I use at least 10 companies in the USA as my suppliers. I can't even imagine the amount of American workers involved in one way, or another producing pieces, parts and paints for Kingfish Products, LLC. My idea about going offshore is sending work to Wisconsin, or fishing deep-water Steelhead in June.. Granted mine is a very small operation for now, but it still means our jobs, our pride and our money stay in our country!"
....Capt. John King

10/8/04   Today's Manistee River update courtesy of Capt. Jay Frolenko from Strike Zone Charters. "The fishing today was about as good as I have seen in quite a while.  Definitely one of the best days,  I've had this year.   We had seven (7) fish in the boat and at least that many other fish on during the day.  
     The water temp is right around the 56 degree mark and the river is in good condition.  There are still a lot of fish that have not moved up on the gravel, but it won't be long until they do.  The next few weeks should provide the best Salmon fishing of the river season."  
Click for Capt. Jay's Manistee River King
       Click for the lures used on 10/7/04

10/7/04   I have an article posted on our "open to the public" part of our message board about the lack of Salmon in Lake Huron during the 2004 season.  If you want to read it and speak your peace click here.  You need not be a member of our private message board to use this one special "open to the public" forum.  The other 6 topic-specific forums are reserved for esteemed members only.
    The first full day of the new  poll about increased success with my product is simply astounding!  Over half of the voters increased their average catch by 50% or more.  This is phenomenal product verification and I appreciate all who voted.

10/6/04  In today's update, I'd like to focus your attention to the new poll I installed in the left column of this page.  If you've used my product in 2004? Please cast your vote.  After I get a good sampling number, I'll publish the current poll results on the Testimonial Page and do a carbon copy poll in 2005 for a comparison   
     I'd like to thank everyone who used my flashers in 2004.  I'm truly grateful for the amount support from you the viewers of this website, and the membership of our message board.  It's one thing for me to know the flashers work, but that's a far cry from the rest of the world knowing this fish-catchin' product works too!
     Today's featured photo is from Capt. Dave aka Enforcer Charters.  His picture shows next year's Kings.  All caught from 8:30am to 11:30am.  7 Kings during what many consider "off the bite" times is pretty darn good in my book. Click for photo

10/5/04  Fall was in definitely the air yesterday, as temperatures struggled to reach the mid-40s for a daytime high.  Most of my maple trees are in the process of turning beet-red.  Fall is probably my favorite time of the year.  Good Steelheading is just around the corner for the river aficionados.  Recent word from a Manistee surf-fishermen is, "that's it's kinda slow and expected to improve any day."
     Attraction to my Cherokee is building by the large amount of traffic the page received yesterday.  Towards the end of this week, the boat should be back in order and the new motors installed.  Thanks to those of you who've contacted me thus far.  Soon, I'll be able to show you a complete reel-boat!  Click for more info

10/4/04  Today's update is going to start the mental process flowing for the fisherman looking to upgrade their ride for next season.  At this time, I've had a handful of people express interest to purchasing my Cherokee.  This is a total fish killing machine, bar none!  This boat has underwent a total re-fit during 2004 to bring it up to the standard of a brand new boat. Click here to see what I'm selling

10/3/04  Leaves are beginning to turn and I haven't noticed any of the those "lady bug" looking beetles that have been a pain in the neck for the last 5 years up north.  We had a killing frost on 9/30/04 when the temperature dropped to 32 degrees and still none of those pesky bugs that invade every nook & cranny on the inside & outside of your home.  A new, special page on my boat will debut tomorrow.

10/2/04  Only 6 more months before the 2005 big lake season starts in earnest!  As time marches forward, now is the time to set the wheels in motion for a firm game plan for next year.  This starts by sorting and organizing tackle,  Storing your boat in a clean shipshape manner means a easier turn-key operation after a long winter's nap.  Completely backing off all the star-drags on your reels is a good idea too.  Success for 2005 begins in the fall of 2004. Unless, you're buying a new boat?

10/1/04   The opener of the archery season starts today.  Bow hunting has become extremely popular, compared to when I used a bow back in the later 60s.  With the long season offered and the new tack, bow hunting is a helluva sport.
Northwest winds to 30 knots is what I've hearing for the weather tomorrow.  This will bring the seas to 8 to 11 feet and bring the surface temps into the 40 degree range.  Look for the remaining Kings to thrust up the rivers that enter Lake Michigan in full force.  River-run Salmon will be improving in a hurry.
     I've had some of my best days ever on Lake Michigan during October.  If you can ever get of the dock?  October is an incredibly windy month. I'd say, "you'll only be able to fish Lake Michigan, maybe 2 days a week.  Great catching can be had for the diehard big lake devotee.  You gotta lucky and have favoring seas.