Lake Michigan Salmon Fishing Charters plus Big Manistee River for Steelhead, Coho or Chinook Salmon, Lake Trout and Brown Trout
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Results for Nov, Dec, & Jan.

1/28/01  Fished with a great couple today, Andrea and Vaughn Siler.  We hit 2 decent Steelhead and landed a 5 lb. male and a 8 lb. hen during the outing.  Luck and the talented  persistence of the of the Siler's brought both fish to the net. 
    Vaughn got with the program with urging from his wife Andrea, when Steelhead pounded down on the number 2 rod.  Vaughn who had never landed a Steelhead before show skill and patience of a seasoned veteran.  After a lengthy struggle in close quarters, I slid the net under a hard battling 8 pound female.  I thoroughly enjoyed the company of the Silers on the Big Manistee River today.

1/27/01  I was supposed to be fishing with Bruce C. today.  A last minute cancellation on his part left me "all dressed up with no place to go," but with temperatures in mid 20's and a driving wind, I'm sure I didn't miss a heavy bite.  

1/20 & 21/01  Tried to get Jason Carlton and his fishing buddy Ted into some Steelhead on the Big Manistee River.  Cold temperatures had the deck stacked against us with slush, ice and conditions not fit for man or beast.  Jason's trip will be rescheduled to more favorable conditions when we don't have to fight the weather.

1/16/01  Rick Pritchard again was my esteemed guest today.  We had 9 strikes and boated a 3 fish limit in 5 hours because we didn't hit the river until almost 11:30am.  Rick did an extremely masterful job landing a wild, trophy sized 12 to 14 lb. hen!  After limiting out Rick said, "These fish are feisty as hell!
   Rick is an avid angler how has spent the time to gain knowledge and I've seen his skills to improve to a pro level over the past 5 years.  Rick never lost a hooked up fish today and very seldom does, because he knows how to controls fish with a soft touch and patience.  

1/15/01  Today's trip on the Big Manistee River included Capt. Bud Raskey and Rick Pritchard.  We hit 7 Steelhead, had 3 hooked up and landed 2 hard fighting fish.  
I'll be doing an in-depth article soon about the legendary Capt. Bud Raskey who caught his first Steelhead in 1932 in the Manistee River, now that's reel experience!  

1/12/01  I fished today with Jeff Jones and Brendan Coyle on the Manistee River.  We hit 2 Steelhead in the same hole and landed both of them with lady luck on our side.  Jeff's reaction time was incredible on his response to a hit.  
     First fish landed was by Brendan, and it was on the small side coming in under 5 pounds, within 15 minutes Jeff landed a decent hen (about 7 pounds) after a tremendous slam dunk hit.  Even though fishing was on the slower side we still boated 2 Steelhead.

1/7/01  I fished today with the grand outstanding team of Tom Gorguze and Kurt Noft.  The morning was reel slow and we didn't hit a fish until just after straight up noon.  The pace picked up as my determined crew stayed alert and ready to pounce.  During the next 2 and a half hours we had 5 fish go, hooking and playing 3.  
     "Kwick Kurt" had the line part and maybe the nicest fish of the day after he found traction with his boots.  Tom boated the largest, a beautifully colored male and Kurt landed a decent 7 pounder.  All in all we boated 2 fish, had 5 strikes and had a large Steelhead break the line.  I had a great time with these avid fishermen!

I fished today Dan Monahan crew, consisting of Bill, Edgar, George, Ed and Willie.  It was uneventful to say the least after fishing the waters from Pine Creek to Suicide Bend.  We cut our looses early and will regroup this coming Friday.  We'll get 'em then!

12/28/00  I've cancelled several river trips during December because of weather that wasn't fit for man nor beast.  Most trips were moved to a time when better weather should prevail.  If it's not going to be fun we'll reschedule your date.

12/15/00  "Tournament Mark" Pefley and myself hit the river today for a short morning outing.  In 4 holes, we hit 1 fish which didn't hook-up.  The river is very low, ultra clear and the water temperature is hovering just above 33 degrees.  There's just not many fish holding down river. We need some run-off or a thaw to improve the fishing. 

12/2/00  I fished today with a great couple, Anita and Capt. Len Mitchell.  Capt. Len has recently moved his charter operation, "Lucky Charm" from Harrisville to Manistee.  We hit 2 fish and Len caught richly colored male after a determined struggle in gin clear water.  This was a fish that was briefly tangled up in a tree and Capt. Len's patience won out.  
    What made today's outing for me was the warm and friendly company of my guests.  Also, I took one of the best Steelhead photos of the this season.  I'm sure I'll be seeing more of the Mitchell's this season at Solberg's Marina and will be recommending his charter service when I'm booked.  These are nice folks to fish with! 
Click here to see Len's Steelie.

11/24/00  We had a splendid outing today with Barry Pines and his son Rich Doran. We had 4 hits and boated 2 decent Steelies on the Manistee River.  On certain trips you can't measure the fun by the amount of fish boated and this was one of them.  The inside humor and harmless banter was fantastic.  Plus, the weather was sunny with a temp in high 30's 
   Rich caught the first fish of the day, a decent hen after we missed a couple of strikes.  The we hit many holes with no success and lots of miles of river traveled.  Then as luck would have it, in the last hole of the day and me praying to God  ("hey, in the charter business you do what you gotta do") for another bite the number 2 rod took a slam dunk hit.  Angler supreme Barry sprang into action and masterfully handled a wild 8 pound buck (male Steelhead) in a close quarters slug fest, near a log jam.  After the ensuing battle was over we all rejoiced in a major league way.  Click for Barry's Buck.  Click here for Rich's hen.

11/23/00  Barry Pines and Gary Bishop were my guests today on the Manistee River.  The day started out cold (17 degrees) and never broke freezing.  The bite was not "on," and we only managed a 3 solids hits, 2 Steelhead hooked up and landed a hen about 6 lbs.  
   Gary had a hold of a hen pushing to 10 pound mark and after a long struggle the fish got away as the hook pulled free.  Plus, this fish was almost in netting range once.  As hard as this Steelhead fought nobody was disappointed when it swam away.  
   Trying various hot spots produced very few interested fish, The Steelhead, I believe are there, but getting one to hit is another story.  Although, it was cold day, the company of two devoted fishermen made a slow day on the river seem pleasurable to me.  This duo has fished with me since 1991 and seen better action than today's results. Click for Barry's Pic. 

11/19/00  Today I fished with the distinguished team of Joe Pellatt and Dave Christenson. We had 5 strikes and boated 2 decent Steelhead on the Big Manistee River.  These fishermen did an outstanding job considering the snowy and cold conditions.  Joe who is one of the leading pilots at Northwest Airlines did a masterful job on a 7 pound male that wouldn't stay in the water.  After several jumps and Joe's prowess I slid the net under a dandy male Steelhead after a determined struggle.
    After missing 3 half hearted hits through no fault of my guests.  Dave had his chance on respectable sized hen that got tangled in an overhanging limb.  But, this fish didn't stand a chance with the skill and patience displayed by the seasoned angler called Dave.  Although, it was very cold, windy and snowy, Joe and Dave's lighthearted humor and warm company made it a pleasure to be on the river today with 2 Excellent Sportsman. Click for Joe's Pic.

11/17/00 Joy, Joy, Joy, we finally got some Steelhead in the Big Manistee River.  Today I fished with 3 fantastic sportsman, Michael, Patrick and Dad, Richard Adams.  This family knew how to fish whether with a guide or on their own.  They landed 3 large Steelhead and a 17 inch skipper.
   In the second hole of the day Michael had a gorgeous colored 9 pound male put on a flashy show with two outstanding leaps.  After missing a hit and a fish breaking our 10 test leader Patrick landed a small skipper.  Then it was dads turn to boat a large hen (female) in the 10 to 12 pound range after a determined struggle.
  As luck would have it, in the very last fishing spot of the day Patrick who was kind of brooding over the others success had  a very large Steelhead to probably, oh let's say about the 15 pound class that put up an unbelievable spectacular fight.  This large male jumped right at the boat, hitting the boat, then bouncing off an oar on another leap.  Patrick calmly showed patience and steered the fish away from danger and into the net eventually. 
All of the fish caught today were released unharmedThis was the second time the Adams chose to fish with Kings Charter.  They limited out on Brown Trout earlier this spring. 
 Click here Richard's Pic.
Click here for Michael's Pic. Click here for Patrick's Pic. 

11/11/00 Dave Bryan and Jim Horlocker long time friends of mine and Kings Charter since at least 1988, wisely chose to rebook today's event for a more favorable outing on the 3rd Saturday in February.  We visited and rehashed the terrific fishing trips over the last 13 or 14 years until 12:30am we've experienced together.
     This was a wise decision on everyone's part because of the 3 days of struggle I experienced this week on the Manistee River.  Fishing for me was much better last year at this time.  While we be getting more fish in the system it's anybodies guess when they show up in good numbers.

November 9th & 10th, 2000  Rick Pritchard and myself hit the Manistee River for a couple of short days of Steelhead fishing.  On the 9th it rained all day and only managed one strike didn't it hook up. 
     On the 10th the water came up about a foot and we landed  a 5 lb. male Steelhead.  It's been a tough go for plug fishermen and spawn dunkers are doing slightly better.  Thus far it's been a lack luster event as far as plug fishing goes for Steelhead.  We're way over due for some decent fishing.

11/6/00  I fished today with Derrick Rettell, Mike and John Walters.  This was a magnificent group to spend the day with.  These anglers were a rare breed who enjoyed the outdoors and the pursuit of fish.  We landed a small Steelhead and lost a fish in the 10 to 12 lb. range right at the end of the day.  
   The Steelhead that broke off was an indignant rascal and jumped several times right at the boat showing us who the reel boss was.  The recent rain we just got will improve the fishing.......guaranteed!

11/3/00  Fished with two great sportsmen today, Bob and Ryan Perry.  We fished both spawn and plugs and only managed to interest 2 Steelhead in our offerings.  Bob landed a small Steelhead (about a 18 incher).  Ryan who is the leading Attorney at Cox, Hodman and Giarmariga had a hold of a decent Steelhead around 7 lbs. that was "on" briefly and came off through no fault of Ryan.      
     The Perry's were wonderful company on a very slow day fishing on the Manistee River.  In fact, Bobs attitude summed up the morning when he said you could as for a nicer morning than what we had.  Bob is a veteran with Kings Charter over the years and has seen more productive outings than what I was able to show him today.

11/2/00  I'm ready for the fall Steelhead season on the Big Manistee River.  I'm almost done with the storage duties of the lake boat.  I'm hoping this fall will be as good as last year.  Friday I'll be in quest of Steelhead with Bob Perry.


Report of Conditions

1/3/01  Fished down river again today in god awful conditions, because I don't think it ever broke 20 degrees.  Found the fish not willing to strike until noon.   Had 5 hits and landed 3 Steelhead.  Water level is low.

1/30/01  Fished a reel short outing today and couldn't find many Steelhead willing to strike.  I hit 2 fish just like the last trip, but neither one stayed stuck.  Warm for January with a high temperature approaching 40 degrees didn't help.  The barometer was low at 29.3, and I believe that kept down fish activity.  The river is on the edge of some tremendous fishing, once they turn loose of some water Tippy Dam.

1/28/01  Not many fish were available today on the river.  I covered a lot of water from Bear Creek to the Mile run and found only 2 Steelhead willing to hit a plug.  The river was clear of ice and the flow is back to a trickle or sub-normal in my book.  This week's fishing will improve it the weather warms and we get the rain they're predicting.  The other guides that I spoke with, hadn't touched a fish.

1/20 & 21/01  The recent single digits, with lows in the Manistee area to 5 degrees has put a damper on the Steelhead action in the Manistee River.  It's just been plain to cold to fish with any chance of success.  The river temperature has fell from 35 to just over 32 degrees.  A warm spell is on the way and by mid-week we should be back on track to some outstanding Steelheading.

1/19/01  Tried to hit the river today with Capt. Bud Raskey and Mark Pefley, but the trailer winch hook broke and needed repair for tomorrow's Jason Carlton trip.

1/16/01  When 3 for 9 in less than 5 hours on the Big River today.  Steelhead were moving up from Manistee Lake and the action was hot on a chilly January day.  I've been concentrating on the slower water off the sides of the main flow.  It's beginning to feel like we'll have a excellent spring season after such a cruddy fall fishery.  The water temp is around 34 degrees with a sub normal to normal flow.  

1/15/01  Fishing picked up today as more fish have recently entered to Manistee River system.  Had 7 reel decent hits form 11:00am until 3:00pm when the fish shut off.  The recent rains and snow melt has helped improve fishing drastically.  Water temp is 35 degrees. 

1/14/01  They've turned the flow of the Manistee River up to 1500 cubic feet per second.  This also increases the dissolved oxygen content slightly.  The weather today again broke freezing and was decent for this time of year, quite a relief from the severe December!

1/12/01  The flow in the Manistee River is very slow and the water has dropped 8 inches since last Saturday.  Compound the low water and gin clear conditions and it's been on the tougher side for plug fishermen like me.  They haven't released and water at Tippy Dam yet, but when they do, look for an improved fishery.  Spawn dunkers are catching some Steelhead from Bear Creek to Rainbow Bend and I can't buy a hit on plugs in that area.

1/9/01  A cold snap has packed the lower Big Manistee River with flow ice and slush.  Temperatures in the 30's are going to be with us for a few days and the fishing should be on a continuous upswing through March.  Look for some tremendous angling in the future. 

1/7/01  The fishing in the river has picked up recently to a slight warming spell.  Had 5 hits today in short order (about 2 hours) after we located the Steelhead.  The signs of improvement are there.

1/5/01  Joy, Joy, Joy!  It broke freezing the freezing mark in Manistee County today!  Let's hope this is the beginning of some run off and the January Thaw. 

1/3/01  The lower end of the Manistee River has frozen over at the M-55 Bridge.

1/1/01   Fished the Bear Creek to Rainbow Bend area today.  We missed a strike and a minor slap just below Bear Creek on an abbreviated Carl Chase outing.  I had gravel stuck in the jet pump from yesterday's sand bars.   I had trouble in the morning with an ill running motor.  I'll be working on the pump tomorrow, although when I quit about 3:00pm everything seemed to be OK with the engine.  Action continues to be slow.  Look for the fishing to pick up when warming weather gets here on Wednesday or Thursday or at least let's hope so!  It can't stay this slow forever!!!!!!!!!!!

I fished today Dan Monahan crew, consisting of Bill, Edgar, George, Ed and Willie.  It was uneventful to say the least after fishing the waters from Pine Creek to Suicide Bend.  We cut our looses early and will regroup this coming Friday.  Hopefully the predicted warming trend causes some run-off.  I got stuck twice today on sandbars because the water is ultra low, we need some flow!

12/29/00  Severe winter weather has put a damper on most scheduled Dec. river charters.  Improving weather and the New Year should spell some outstanding Steelhead opportunities. 

Dale Brown's trip was cancelled on account of poor weather for our outing.  There's no sense fighting extremely cold conditions.  Hey, we'll get a break in the weather soon and the January thaw will soon be here with awesome fishing.
10:00am Update:  Frigid Temperature of 9 below zero made it a wise call not to hit the river today.  I knew that slush and shelf ice has made it unfishable.  
I've posted a photo of what conditions are like in the upper left hand corner. 

12/27/00  I cancelled today's Clay Polander trip on the Manistee River because since Saturday we've got at least an additional 2 feet of snow.  I had to shovel off the garage roof because I had almost 4 feet of a very heavy snow load.  Launch ramps are questionable. 

Snow, snow and more snow is the story of Manistee County.  I've got at least 30 inches on the ground at my house.  This is great if you like snowmobiling or shovel snow.  I've have some trips booked for next week and I'm hoping this artic blast we're receiving right now subsides.  It's reel cold also, single digits ant night, and won't warm up until next week.

12/21/00  I pulled the river boat today.  Shelf ice is just beginning to form.  It was a scenic 12 mile ride upriver from Matson's (below Rainbow Bend) to High Bridge.  I only seen one boat fishing below Bear Creek on the way up.

12/20/00   The cold conditions and the possibility of getting "froze in" dictates that I'm pulling the river boat from it's dockage.  Shelf ice will be a major problem soon, making the lower river unfishable.  Better safe than sorry, so river boat comes to my yard to today.   Incidentally, I generally don't have to pull the river boat until mid-January but winter is way ahead of schedule.  I'll be concentrating my efforts from Pine Creek to Tippy Dam.

12/18/00  Winter has set in early on "up north" and it's been a brutal, old fashioned cold, snowy and unpleasant affair so far.  Throw in the fact that a large fall run of Steelhead never happened on the Manistee and you'll see I have my work cut out to produce fish for my guests.  We do have some fish in the river right now, but it's a long way from being normal.
The next thaw should produce outstanding fishing, when we'll get it is anybodies guess.
    Look for the spring Steelhead season on the river and April Brown Trout fishing to surpass even last seasons success.

12/15/00  Mark Pefley and myself hit the Big "M" for about 3 hours this morning.  In the first hole the 3 rod took a hard smashing strike, which we missed because we just barely finished setting rods.  We then proceeded to the Bear Creek area and fished 3 more spots without a hit.  So, we cut our day short and I pulled some maintenance on the riverboat.  The water is very low, ultra clear and just above 33 degrees.

12/12/00  I just received a report from Jason Carlton who fished near Tippy Dam this last weekend.  He said the fishing was decent and everyone had fish that he spoke to or seen.  The Steelhead were in the 6 to 8 pound range.  Good News!

12/10/00  On Dec. 6th, 2000 my Mother Pauline Rybak of Lebanon, OH passed away.  Regular reports are resuming as of today.  We've got lots of snow here in Manistee.  

12/5/00  The water flow in the Manistee River is down.  It's flowing at 1,350 cubic feet per second, normal is around 1600.  The dropping water level will definitely not improve the fishing.

12/2/00  I fished today around Pine Creek and only found 2 fish willing to hit a plug.  The clarity of the water continues to amaze me.  You can see the bottom clearly to 7 feet.  Also you can see every inch of the fish's fight.  There's just not many fish in the upstream part of the Manistee River.  Being Saturday I had the opportunity to watch several boats fishing and I never seen another Steelhead hooked.  The fishing will improve, but when is anybodies guess. 

12/1/00  The water level has some what stabilized to normal low water condition.  While there is some fish available, this fall has been half the action of the previous 2 years.  There's a cloud with a silver lining here though, a slow fall generally means a fantastic spring or at least hope so!  The zebra mussel infestation of both the Hoodenplye and Tippy Backwaters have caused the Manistee to turn into a clear water fishery.




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