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July Results 2000

Photos are thumbnails click for full size
Kip Carey Trip                 Matt Matthews              Tom

7/31/00pm  Molly Dickinson booked this afternoon's Charter for her husband Brian and friends Marilyn and Bill.  It was a slow evening trip with ultra calm waters on Lake Michigan and we managed to boated 3 Adult Kings to 23 pounds and 1 Laker. 
Click here for photo of Marilyn and Molly.

Kip Carey booked today's outing to get his friends Steve, Jan and Jeff to get them hooked on Salmon fishing, which I know he did.  We started lines just south of Manistee when an ornery 26.5 lb. King ripped into the number 5 downrigger and the seasoned veteran Jeff sprang in action, then the number 1 downrigger rod started to scream line out towards Ludington with Steve on his first Salmon.  If that wasn't enough while the 2 man were doing battle the low diver took a hard whack and Jan was struggling to control her fish between the 2 man, for a triple header on Adult King Salmon.  After a long and arduous tussle all 3 Kings meet their fate proudly and ended up in the fish box.  Click here for Trophy Board Photo  
    The rest of the charter was anticlimactic after the initial morning triple header, but we boated another 8 fish including 2 more Adult Kings, 1 Coho and 4 Lake Trout for an 11 fish death toll.  Today's group did a wonderful job on the rod and never lost a hooked up fish.  Also, Capt. Kip Carey has joined the Kings Charter Team and will be helping out in the future.

7/28/00 Kelly O'Brien cancelled this charter on real short notice.  So, it looks like I'll have a couple of days off which are badly needed to catch up on long neglected book keeping and web work, I watched rain and storm all day from indoors. 

7/27/00  Doug Haslett wasn't wild about going fishing in the rainy, dreary conditions we're experiencing today after morning thunderstorms.  He upgraded his date of August 30th to a full day and we'll be fishing then.

The second day of the Big Boys Tournament began with a bad sign by missing our 1st hit of the morning, then it only got worse.  The bait fish we were working yesterday disappeared and were not to be found the rest of the day.  We only had 7 hits and boated 4 fish......pitiful performance on my part, maybe the pressure of being number 1 yesterday got to me!  We slid from number 1 to 10th and still were in the money.  I'd like to thank my team for an outstanding job and I'm sorry I let them down on the 2nd day.  It won't happen again!

7/25/00 Fished the Big Boys Salmon Slash 2000 with my Tournament Team consisting of Ed Evans, Jeff and Mark Pefley.  Somebody must have wished us good luck on today's Big Boys Salmon Splash 2000 Tournament.  We're number 1 on the first day's leader board with one more day to go.  We boated 9 Brown Trout to 20 lbs., 1 Steelhead and 4 Kings to 24 lbs. for a total of 14 fish (needed 15) for a total weight of 130 lbs. plus! 

7/24/00  Frank Schachter, Bill Finzel, Panama Ed Ford and John went salmon fishing today on the calmest Lake Michigan I've seen in a long time.  We headed south hoping to encounter some of the hot action we've been experiencing and found limited success.  After losing 2 King hits I'm driving to boat at 8:30am thinking is the day my streak since 1988 will be broken as far as catching fish on every charter?  Then the center rigger jumped to life and Panama Ed got into a 12 to 14 King, landing it with grace and form that's impossible to explain.  A long deep water troll put us into 6 smaller Lake Trout in pool table flat calm blue bird conditions.
     The main story here is; small fish, big time!  This group was out to enjoy themselves and I hope they did because, I did everything in power possible to increase the catch.  I thoroughly enjoyed today's guests company, I just wished we had more fish willing to strike our lures.  We ended the charter with 7 fish (1 King & 6 lakers).
Karl and Bill Swonger hit the lake for their first time Salmon fishing expedition.  The conditions were really against us with a light east breeze.  On the first strike of the morning Karl Sr. was slugging it out with a wicked and mean 10 pound King, when the center rigger got smacked by a large King in the plus 20 pound bracket (Double Header!).  This fish was headed towards Wisconsin until expert rod handling by Bill put the brakes on.  Karl patiently gained line as Bill was slowly cranking in lost line on his bad boy.  The Swonger's expertly landed both Kings and we were off to a great start.
    Then Lake Michigan went flat calm and the east wind took it's toll on fish willing to strike a lure.  While we only had 5 more hits in the 6 hour charter and boated 1 brown Trout, 1 Laker and 1 smaller King, add in the doubleheader for a 5 fish catch total.  I started thinking "I just didn't have my A-Game today," then I went to the cleaning table and found out most boats out of Solberg's Marina either got skunked or caught only 1 fish.  
    Bill and Carl Swonger are both from Toledo, OH and if you need some very highly technical electrical engineering done check out Bill's website by clicking here. 

I had the gracious honor to take Brittany and Erin Salmon fishing.  The were accompanied by their fathers, Tom Gilio and Tom Whipple.  Let me tell you, we had a big time!  Brittany early into the charter found out why Chinooks are called Kings by whipping a 23 pounder with minor assistance from her dad.  Erin was on the ball when a 20 pounder hit the center rigger and she took up the slack like a seasoned veteran.  Both Tom's caught big fish too, including a 12 lb. Steelhead that was part Tarpon and wouldn't stay in the water. 
     They landed 4 Kings from 17 to 23 pounds, 3 steelhead and 3 Lake Trout for a 10 fish total weight of at least a 125 pounds which would have been second place today's Casino Tournament's first leg today. This report should make to Ripley's Believe or not, while we only had 12 hits, we hooked up on 12 fish, had one break the line and one pulled free!!
Click here for trophy board photo. 

Gordon Arnold, Bob Pyciak and Craig were at the boat at 5:15am rearing to catch the mighty King Salmon.  As we left the pier heads we had a gentle sea about 2' from the northwest, so headed south to clear the pack of boats and started setting lines.  Before the trap was set Bob boated a small Salmon.  Then Craig got into a 25 pound King that tested his endurance.  Also, Gordon the boxed a 6 to 7 pound Steelie just as the seas were building to an uncomfortable level and we decided to quit at about 8:00am.  After waiting for the lake to lay down at 5:00pm (which it didn't) they agreed on rebooking for August 27th.  

7/20/00 The conditions today in Manistee can be described a cool with light breezes and very pleasant. Today is one of my last days off for about in the next 6 or 7 weeks.  So, I'm catching up on my neglected office work and honey do's.
7/19/00 Nate Emory, Craig Torrey, Rev. Jay Kendall, Doug and Justin Kellogg meet me dockside at 5:30am for some Lake Michigan Salmon fishing.  We had a terrible start by missing our first 5 strikes and to make matters worse 3 on them were lost just behind the boat.  I started thinking it was my day to be in the barrel or snake bit!!!  Then things took a turn for the positive and Nate on his second try landed a 8 lb. Steelhead that put on an acrobatic show for us then landed a 10 lb. King.  Rev. Jay who is Pastor at Merritt Methodist landed 2 nice sized Brown Trout.  Nate caught a couple of deep diving Lake Trout while Doug slept. 
     Now here's a story in a story; Craig Torrey how is about the best Deer Hunter in Michigan and has made the Fred Trout TV Show with his trophy racks, also boated the largest King of the day a fish around 16 Lbs. Plus, his wife makes about the best blueberry pie I've ever eaten.  My assessment of today's outing is after an outright terrible beginning we still came back to the dock with a respectable cooler of fish.

7/18/00 Today was cool, windy and slightly rainy in the pm.  I changed the carburetor gaskets and wedge plate and was glad I had no charter scheduled.

7/17/00am Matt Matthews and Judy Matthews Long time patrons of Kings Charter since 1988 decided to once again hit Lake Michigan.  We started off real slow with not much action just slightly south of Manistee, it wasn't until about 8:00am we got into the fish.  Then all hell broke lose on Giant King Salmon to 22 pounds, mean Nasty Bad Boy Kings  began attacking our boat with reckless abandon.  The action was furious as adult Salmon hit like freight trains and fought like the devil.  We boxed King after King until the fish cooler was almost full.
  Incidentally, in the course of today's fish wars Matt and Judy never lost a hooked up fish, incredible skill for 2 people who only fish Salmon occasionally!  Hat's off to the Matthews for making me look good at the fish cleaning table.......!!!!!  Real heavy box for only 10 fish.  Oh, I just about forgot to mention the Matthews Limited out today!!!!!!!!!!!

We put a hold on the Frank Estrada Charter until 5:00pm, because at 6:00am Lake Michigan is running 5' seas.  The charter group consisted of Bill "Roland Martin" Miller, Mike "Bad  Bull" Durham,  "Super Jane" and Frank Estrada.   We left the dock a little after 5 and Lake michigan was decent to fish.  We set lines in 200' of water, hoping for the best.  It wasn't long before Bill "Roland Martin" Miller tied into a 10 lb. King that was full of spunk, but the fish didn't stand a chance with "Roland" Miller on the rod and he whipping on it in short order.  "Super Jane" was a natural when it came to Great Lakes fishing and did a great job.   

"Bad Bull" Durham was a savvy on the stick fishermen and earned the position of Honorary First Mate for his immense help.  Frank was the leader of one of the best parties I've had the privilege to take this year.  These folks worked with me and didn't get discouraged when the morning fell through.
  Oh yes, we ended up catching 3 Salmon & limited out on Lake Trout for a total of 11 fish on a short PM trip!

Rick and Sandy Horn were booked for the afternoon charter. We left the dock around 3:30pm with confidence they'd catch fish.  We started out in the 200 to 400 foot range with mixed results, but Rick had the same luck as the morning trip when he landed 2 fish in the same rod and Sandy lost a wall hanger behind the boat.  We then hit the shelf late in the evening for some tuna action when Capt. Irish Mike of Coldwater Charters knocked off a trophy sized Brown Trout with the net which needless to say I'll never let him forget.  We struggled at first to get a hit then the fish started to strike with constant fast paced action.  Rick and Sandy were a wonderful couple to spend a great evening on Lake Michigan with and we finally end up with 1 Brown Trout, 2 Steelhead, 2 Lake Trout, 1 Coho and 6 Kings to 18 pounds for a 5 species Grand Slam! 

7/14/00am  I met Ricky and Ladonna Wilson for a 6:00am start.  Ricky over the years was convinced by the  misinformation that Salmon fishing had declined point the point where it wasn't worth going when I met him at the Palace Sport Fishing Expo In early March.  I told him; "you come to Manistee and I'll show you just how great the fishing was,"  In fact I proved it him early on in the half day charter when he landed 2 double headers on the same rod twice.   Ladonna caught couple of decent fish, but Ricky landed a 21 pound King Salmon.   The Wilson's limited out with 4 lake Trout,  1 Coho and 7  Kings!

Thunderstorms chased us back to port on the Mike Brodie Charter after we landed 1 small King.  Safe than sorry is the motto of Kings Charter Service.  Also Mike, Bob and George rebooked for 8/25/00 and will return.

7/12/00 Jerry Halfhill, Scott Brown and Rick Sloan decided to tackle Lake Michigan's King Salmon fishery.  All being long time friends were at the dock at 5:30am sharp and ready to go.  We fished shallow water at first and wasn't very productive for us with a stiff south east wind blowing.  Then we moved to deeper water and boated 6 fish in including the biggest King of the morning a dandy 12 pounder landed with expert rodsmanship by Jerry.  Being windy and lumpy with seas to a past 3 feet we decided as a group to spilt the full day trip, regroup and hit the lake in the evening when it normally calms down.
  6:00pm we began setting lines in search of giant Salmon and it wasn't very long before Jerry got into a screamer in the over 20 pound class, but that fish got away.  Scott being up next, tied into a hard fighting King in the 25 pound range that hit 65 feet down and shot straight to the surface and jumped like a Steelhead.  Scott who is a Pere Marquette River Steelhead specialist from way back and skillfully wore down the big tuna and we landed the largest fish of the day.  The death toll on today's fish were 2 Cohos, 1 Brown Trout, 3 Lake Trout and 5 Kings on a full day trip (11 fish). 
Rick who is also known as the Mancelona Sportsman, caught a 7 to 8 pound Brown and was a super hand to have on board assisting in boat duties like an experienced and professional First Mate.  I'd like to add this group were a pleasure to have spent the day with! Click here to see Scott's trophy King  

Light offshore winds today have meant pleasurable conditions for those fishing out of Manistee.  Fishing is good on the shelf for Onekama to Big Point Sable, deep water is producing excellent catching when the early morning bite is over on Kings, try 250 to 500 feet for a mixed bag.  Spoons pulled slow over the deep water has been best for me.  

7/9/00 Today's Report is thru the courtesy of Capt. Craig Kent:  Friday fishing was good for Salmon on the shelf again and the hottest setup on the lake right now is a Luhr Jensen "Grey Ghost" dodger and Horsefly combo pulled behind a rigger, dipsey or leadcore.  These were taking fish all weekend in 55-120 feet of water with good success in 200-400 feet on Friday.  Other hot setups have been the new Yellowtail dodger and Horsefly which has taken 3 big Kings for me this week.  Spoons are also being used with good success on the same setups.  Saturday the wind blew and Sunday started out windy and then foggy and then the flies were terrible only for it to get windy again.  We sure would like some calm days without flies.  I will be fishing a lot this week and if anyone would like updated info you can e-mail me at although this site has about as updated and honest information as you are going to get.  GOOD FISHIN!  Craig

7/8/00 on the Tom Whipple Charter rain and thunderstorms in the morning dictated no fishing today.  Lightening on Lake Michigan is nothing to mess with and with safety in mind it was wiser to lose today's trip rather than temp fate.  Tom will return in the next two weeks to sample the outstanding Salmon and Trout catching we've been experiencing.  It's foolish to have your Guests get soaked and white knuckled from lighting.  Also, most thunderstorms have accompanying high winds.

7/7/00 Mike Kraft, Todd "The Flash" Murthum, and Terry Fillmore wanted in on the spectacular Lake Michigan fishing we've been experiencing.  We hit the big lake around 6:30am and began setting lines.  After a brief tutorial on what to do when a fish strikes, and then bad luck set in, the first 5 fish that hit got away much to my dissatisfaction.  Here it is about 8:30am and we didn't have a single fish in the Box!
    Then our fortunes changed drastically as we gelled as a unit.  Todd "The Flash" got onto the idea of how to hook up on these big game fish by hurriedly taking up the slack line to get a "Fish On" for the team.  From about 9:00am until 12:00am we started smacking the fish hard with Mike and Todd picking up the routine fast.  When we pulled lines on the half day charter, we had landed a 10 pound Steelhead, 4 Cohos, 4 Lake Trout and 7 kings to 15 pounds for a total of 16 fish and a limit catch!  We lost 3 big Kings with one being well over the 20 pound mark and missed several strikes also.  For the record this trio was great folks to be around who knew how perform like a pro level team......Fact!
    Incidentally, this group had been on  two charters before, one out of Leland plus one trip out of  Ludington and their catch today exceeded the two previous charter total of 5 fish on each trip by 6 fish.  Today's Captains Report just goes to show how fast your fishing destiny can change once everything starts clicking right.   This report was a sheer pleasure to write because it was a fun time for all and the "Catching was Awesome!!"

7/6/00am  John Chase, Todd Spoelma, Randy and Glenn Richardson decided to explore Lake Michigan's fishing out of Manistee.  Being first timers for Salmon fishing the group experienced just what King Salmon were all about when an almost 22 pound King or Chinook hit the diver rod and took a 100 yards of line off the reel.  Todd was on the rod and after a long struggle patiently wore out the King like an expert as I slid the net underneath his Bad boy!  Next up was John when an 18 pounder hit the center rigger and John who is an authority on salt water Bluefish, skillfully handled that Big King with the greatest of ease.       
         Glenn patriarch of the Richardson Family landed a couple of decent Lakers and Randy was snake bit with only smaller sized Kings.  The co-operation of today's Charter Guests was tremendous and that sure made my job easy.  If there was a downside this morning trip is that the fish were not on a hard bite and we lost more than we landed.  The body count was 4 Lakers and 5 Kings.

7/5/00 Today the fish moved off the shelf and made fishing tough for the Fleet.

7/4/00 Light winds today made fishing on Lake Michigan a sheer pleasure.  Most boats came in with healthy boxes of Kings to and over 20 pounds.  Right now what's happening isn't called fishing it's called catching.  We're way ahead of last years pace and let's hope it stays that way.

7/3/00  Todays report is courtesy of Craig Kent: Fishing in Manistee is great so far this year.  We have topped the 200 fish mark with only my wife and I fishing most of the time.  Our most recent trips were Sunday 7-2 and Monday 7-3.  Sunday was a little slow with fish coming  best around 130 feet of water and riggers set 100' down.  We were able to take a couple of beautiful Browns 2 nice steelhead and a couple Kings, Best baits were PK Green Hornets, DW translucent green with glow Ladderback , and Dodgers with green Horseflies.  
      Monday morning was incredible with my wife an I filling up by 8:30AM and she landed 20 and 22# Kings and had two more break the line.  Hot baits today were the Stinger magnum Dr K, PK Green Hornet, Dodgers and Flies, Silver Streak inverted Dr K, and the DW Ladderback above.  Hits today came as high as a free slider on a 50' primary and as far down as 75' on the rigger with good action at 60'.  We worked 65-150 feet of water straight out with all the other boats.  Generally I like to find my own spot but when the fish are there you have to stay. 

7/2/00 Yesterdays fishing report was good from all the boats that I spoke with.  A last minute cancellation prevented me from witnessing it first hand by keeping me dock bound.  All the boats from the Big Point to Onekama are taking Salmon in good numbers too!  The recent west and southwest winds have warmed the surface water temperature and drove the fish towards structure with the bait.  The best catch reported on 7/1/00 was taken by Capt. Glen Hagland on the Sand Piper 2.  I'm uncertain as to the numbers, but he had the biggest box of Salmon caught in our area by working the waters off Onekama.


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