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River Results from fall 2001 and Winter-Spring 2002
The "Jim & Don Show" was on today. Jim wanted to
fish the river for Steelhead even after I informed him, it might be a
tough go. High water was a problem, with plenty of debris that
kept fouling our lures. However, the biggest problem from what I
saw today was, the spring run of Steelhead is over. While there'll
be some available at Tippy Dam until the end of the month, take it from
me the "parties over." Last week's warm spell cause a
premature end to good fishing.
I'll be readying the riverboat on the for tomorrow's BMR adventure with
Jim H. A day off from the lake is maybe what I need, because I
haven't been able to put together a reel good day on the Brown Trout
thing yet. Murphy's law has been in effect all during March and
April thus far, I'm hoping for an improvement.
Gene and Tom came back today for a second helping after yesterday's
success on Lake Michigan. In spite of my warnings about the high
water on the BMR, they wanted to fish for Steelhead. Well, the
outcome as I expected wasn't so hot, because we caught 1 fairly decent
Steelhead and had a micro Trout interested. I explained in great
detail that our chances were sparse before heading down river in the
morning, but it fell on deaf ears. Click
here for Gene's fish
4/8/02 Dan and Len were my illustrious anglers for today's expedition on the BMR. We fished from about 8am to 1pm and hit 4 Steelhead, boating 2 fish in the process. Dan scored both fish, while Len's 2 strikes were evil, nasty critters and managed to escape unharmed. Dan did a masterful job on both fish, by handling his rod like a seasoned pro. All in all, for the time we spent in pursuit of Steelhead, I'd say our action was reel OK! Click here for Dan & Len's catch
10:00am update Snow! is falling at 10:00am, snowy and a driving wind
is the conditions right now, here in Manistee County. It's just
plain miserable outside, old man winter is dying a slow agonizing death
and just won't let go!
Larry Lisicki and his most excellent son, Russ were my anglers for
today's undertaking on the BMR. We had a better than expected day,
boating 3 Steelhead from 8 to plus 10 pounds, for 5 strikes and 4
"hooked up." Our day started about 7:30am and we headed
for the boat launch by 1:00pm, so for the amount of time fished, we did
pretty darn good! The Friday crowd was just starting to build up
as we left, and this Friday's multitude were a bunch more courteous,
than the neophytes of last Friday's chaos. Both Larry and Russ
displayed an undemanding temperament and were really enjoyable to fish
4/4/02 Today was not my day! Although, we had 2 line ripping strikes, neither one stayed hooked up for very long. My guests were Pontiac Fireman, Kelly O'Brien and his 10 year son, Patrick. Kelly was more than nice enough to bring his "famous" pineapple upside down cake, but the Steelhead weren't benevolent to us at all. We fished from about 8am until noon, and slow fishing meant, I wasn't going to push Patrick's patience switch to the limit. Then my brakes let go at the boat ramp, just to make my day even more miserable, not to mention the $$ repair bill.
The father-son team of Rod and Jason were my guests for today's do
on the BMR. We had 6 very hard strikes and 4 Steelhead found their
way into our net. The "reel deal" was the monster Jason
got "hooked up." This fish was a gritty ruffian that
tested all 3 of us to the max. Patience was the key ingredient in
landing this brute after a extensive hostilities, Rod expertly ran the
anchor in a controlled drift, so I could net this "bad boy."
I had better than a great time today with Bishop Foley's leading
algebra and physics teacher, Mr. David Stacknic. Dave is a rare
treat for me, because we both share the excitement of the strike, even
if the fish escapes! During the course of the 8 hours we spent on
the Big Manistee River we had 6 especially explosive bites, and boated 3
Steelhead for his limit catch. Dave never lost a hooked up fish,
and handled all duties beyond pro-caliber, which I came to
appreciate fully. Click for Dave's
2 striper male Click
for Dave's large hen
3:00pm The father-son team of Roger and Paul B. were my fishing partners
for today's voyage on the BMR and did I enjoy their easy going
company. While it was kind of a chilly morning, but we got off to
a respectable start with Paul nailing a 7 pound hen in our second
"hole." We then tried a few more areas until Roger
caught another Steelhead, due to his quick reactions to a very soft
5:00pm Long time friends of Kings Charter, Andy and Char
Grendes were my esteemed guests for today's passage on the BMR.
Even with Good Friday's traffic congestion we still had a successful
outing, boating 3 Steelhead to 12 pounds.
Had the opportunity to spend the day with two accomplished anglers
named Don and Kevin Pipe. This father- son twosome knew how to
fish as a team. Kevin's alertness, coupled with Don's patience
meant we landed 3 respectable hens and in the last "hole" of
the today Don boated a hefty- sized male between the 10 to 12 pound
mark. Click here for catch photo
Click here for Kevin's female
I'll be fishing the BMR tomorrow Don Pipe and company and the
weather forecast is on our side for a good chance at a respectable
outcome. Plus, the water temperature has risen to almost 37
degrees. By the looks of things we're finally starting to develop
a spring pattern to our weather. Click
here for my electronics array
I had the opportunity today to fish with two "Top-Notch"
anglers named Bob and Scott Kietzman. Bob won the photo contest
and was here to claim his prize. While Bob got the free trip, he
also landed his largest River Steelhead thus far, it was a evil male
exceeding 13 pounds, full of all-out aggression. This was a
tremendous slugfest for the 3 of us to contend with, with Scott earning
the title "Ultra Pro" for the expertly maneuvering boat, so I
could scoop up Bob's trophy Steelhead with the net. Click
here for catch photo Click
here for Bob's super trophy
3/26/02am I'm fishing today with Bob, the winner of the photo contest who won this trip. We're not gonna start fishing until at least 9am, because of the recent cold spell. While I'm not going the serve any cheese with this whine, I'm at the end of my rope when it comes to this prolonged wintry weather we're experiencing this March. I'm not going get snow blindness, or willing suffer from hypothermia in quest of Steelhead on the Big Manistee River anymore this year. I hope my sentiments echo yours, because this winter stuff has lasted way too long!
2:00pm The bottom fell out of the thermometer this morning
with lows in the single digits. Well, this didn't exactly help the
activity level of Mr. S. Head, although we did have 2 strikes and boated
a decent hen. Sylvia and Gene have fished with me for many
seasons, and we decided to call it a day at around 11am. It was
just plain cold! Good thing we did, because I broke the forward shift
cable, then got a soaker of a wet foot, when I got out of the boat to
jury rig the flap-gate valve on the jet-pump.
3/25/02am Woke up the Cherokee from it's very long winter's sleep. I took it home from the heated storage building in Wellston I use. I'm on the river everyday this week, so check back later for results. My guest today is Gene Commire and I'm hoping the brutal butt whipping the Steelhead took over the weekend don't completely shut the fish down. We need a few Steelhead to strike.....reel fact!
3/24/02 I went to the zoo at the High Bridge boat launch on the BMR today, at about 3:30pm. There was at least 25 boat trailers with no place to park. The word "heavy traffic" doesn't describe what I saw. Mailed several lure and snubber packs in Manistee also. Let all hope, the winter-like conditions we've been experiencing will break towards spring reel soon!
3/23/02 Catching up on this weeks tackle orders and a trip to the Post Office is in store for me today. My 28 foot Cherokee comes out of it's winter storages long nap. Next weeks weather in Manistee County looks much better that what we've experienced this week. They're calling for temps approaching 50 by next Saturday.
Hockey's former 5 time NFL Super Star, Al Iafrate wisely chose not
to fish today. Falling water temperatures, poor weather and not an
overabundance of Steelhead were good enough reasons not to go.
I was on the BMR with father and son duo of Barry and Tim Farr today
in some of the worst conditions imaginable. The weather was beyond
pathetic, with wind chill readings hovering in the single digits, gusts
to 25 mph and snow squalls. Normal people would have thrown in the
towel, but Tim is a Steelhead fishermen's, fisherman. By the
sounds of things, Tim was very conversant and has been fishing the
complete Manistee River system for least the last 30 years. Click
here for Barry's Steelhead
On the first day of Spring 2002, the father-son team of
Alf and John Colvin were my well-regarded company for today. We
hit a couple of fish early in the morning, but unfortunately neither
rascal stayed stuck for very long. The word struggle best
describes our day thus far, when the outside rod doubled over with a 8
pound hen on it. Alf showed the proficiency with a fishing rod
that runs in the Colvin family and whipped the hard fighting Steelhead
after a dogged fracas. Click here for
Alf's Steelhead that saved our day!
SPRING IS SPRUNG TODAY AT 2:00PM........................AT LAST!
Cindy and Roger Hicks were my honored guests today for a Big
Manistee River Steelhead adventure. Man, we had a heck of a
magnificent time on the BMR, boating 3 Steelhead to the 12 pound range
and only missing one bite. Let me add, the weather was more than
respectable too, with temps in the low 40's.
Finished up the Novi Boat Show in a grand fashion by personally
meeting with over 50 members of the E-mail Updates List. Thanks to
all of you who took time out of your very busy schedule to drop by and
say hello.......I appreciate it!
3/14/02 I'll be at the Novi Boat Show starting today (the 14th) and running thru this Sunday, March the 17th. Come on by if you live in SE Michigan. I'll have the "Dirty Dozen" Streak deal and Stealth Snubbers available to E-mail Updates Members. Plus, it's good to met folks on the other side of this computer screen.
I was supposed today fish with Ted Hensen, however car problems
prevented him from making it. Mr. Henson was more than decent
enough to call and make sure I had received the deposit for today's
date. In a case of "tough luck" unlike most other
charter operations, I'll forward the deposit to another trip.
"Gone Catchin' Today" the sign reads here at World
Headquarters of Kings Charter. I had the honor to fish with Bob
Ladd and his long time friend, Walt. We had an excellent time,
boating 5 large Steelhead to the 12 pound mark in about the 7 hours we
spent on the Big Manistee River. Plus, Bob and Walt landed every
"hooked up" fish and only missed 2 strikes for pretty darn
good average. Click here for Bob
& Walt's awesome catch
3/11/02 Tippy Dam is at full bore, and the river is flowing around 4000 cubic feet of water per second and that means the water is over the banks, especially in the lower river. For that reason I cancelled today's event with Len Mitchell, because the waters just to high for a successful trip. I'm not going to fight with the debris and super high water. Hopefully, the water will subside somewhat before tomorrow's trip with Bob Ladd, or more simply put, I'm not into exercises in futility. Click here for recent flow data on the Big Manistee River
Tippy Dam is at full-tilt boogie, flowing at better than 2620 cubic
feet of water per second. Also, the water temp has risen slightly
to 35.06 degrees. High water means more fish, as the river enters
into Lake Michigan calling more Steelhead home to visit with me, and my
guests. Monday should be pretty decent and most of the debris will
be rinsed by then, but I'll need to add more anchor.
3/9/02 The river temperature is holding stable at 34.7° and they haven't went to high water yet. I do believe they'll be turning up the flow from 1,680 to 1,870 cubic feet per second water soon. I'll be on the river with guests Monday thru Wednesday until I have to leave for the Novi Boat Show. So, look for a "hands on" updated fishing reports soon and photos of the, "big one that didn't get away."
We're getting hit with a gully washer today! More water in the
BMR means more fish and this is just what we needed to sustain the
improved Steelheading. Prospects for this coming week look
I was my honor and privilege to fish the BMR today with Jim Pena and his
father Hector. Hector was the "Champion Fisherman
Supreme," because he fought and landed a reel trophy Steelhead in
the 36 inch range and I estimated the fish at 16 pounds! The was a
large male, worthy of a great photo, but my camera died and no photo was
possible. Jim landed a hard hitting Steelhead in the 10 pound
class earlier in the morning before the camera quit. Click
here for Jim's Steelhead
I'll be fishing the river tomorrow with Jim P. At first it looked
like he weather would be too nasty, but now the forecast for today and
tomorrow is temperatures in the 30's. Steelheading should be
decent on Wednesday.
To anyone thinking it was gonna be an early Great Lakes Trolling
Season, you'd better think again, it's still winter outside and not much
improvement is in sight until next weekend when they're calling for much
3/02/02 Pete Dwan and Mark were my respected fishing team for today. To best describe what happened on the trip, all I can say is it was one of those days that tries your soul. We had 5 of the tenacious critters hooked and not one of them made it to the net. These were evil fish who knew exactly how to put a butt whipping on us. I don't know what the deal was, but Pete, Mark, or myself understood why we were on such a run bad luck! A major snow storm throughout the day might have caused our problems (being desperate for an excuse), or let's try this one: "that's why they call it fishin' and not catchin'!" Hey, at least we had 5 fish hooked up, and experienced decent action on a very snowy day.
Man, did we have a great time on the river with "Walleye
Bruce" and Jim Baron, who booked the do. Today's tag team
both "limited out" in a grand fashion, going 6 for 6
on hooked up fish. We fished from 9am to 1pm and had 7 extremely
hard "Slam Dunk" strikes. Click
here for "WB" & Jim's catch photo
I'll be getting ready for the pleasure of fishing to Big Manistee River
with Jim Baron tomorrow. Also, I checked out my dock at Solberg's
Marina today. I was not happy to see the water level has dropped
least one foot since Oct. of 2001.
2/27/02 Disturbing reports from Ludington concerning commercial nets being set in shallow water, close to shore have been filtering in. At this time, I'd say it's just rumors, but we don't know for sure. Click here for dialog at the message board about this very important subject that concerns all of us.
Starting this Friday, I'll be fishing the Big Manistee River on a pretty
regular basis. March signals building interest to all Steelhead
fishermen and I have about 5 open dates I'm willing to accept. If
you're interested in a river trip, now is the time to let me know.
I'll try to get a March and April calendar posted on the web soon, in
case you want to see if something might fit into your schedule.
I had a great time at the Flint Steelheaders Show, which I completed
this past weekend. I had the distinguished honor of meeting many
of the members of the E-mail Updates List, including "Big Bob"
who signs his messages "Sara Ann" (his boat name).
While some might have thought the "Sara Ann" member of the
message board might be a highly eligible women with a well-rigged Salmon
fishing boat (a perfect mate for marriage?). Let me tell
you, "Big Bob" is giant of a man and at least 6 foot 6 inches
tall and sports a very thick beard.
2/22/02 Hi ho, hi ho, it's off the Flint I go. I'll be at the Flint Steelheaders Sport Show at the IMA Area from February 22nd thru the 24th. To quote the "Price is Right," "come on down!" Hope to see some you dedicated Salmon fishermen there!
I fished the BMR today with a couple of grand sportsman named Ed and
George. Ed came all the way from Florida to experience winter
Steelheading, all be it may, it was kinda the slow side for us today.
2/20/02 Packing, counting spoons and addressing packages took up a bunch of my time today. Wanted to get my first shipment in the mail yesterday, but needed to get US Priority tape and boxes. First shipment is already addressed and ready to go now and will be in the mail before 5pm today. Post Office being closed Monday slowed the process somewhat. It will be a relief fishing the BMR tomorrow, compared to sorting spoons. Hopefully, the light rain we got last night will help.
I'll be mailing via US Priority Mail some of the "Dirty
Dozen" spoon packs today. Pre-orders are being filled first.
Also, on the agenda is getting my "dog and pony show" ready
for the Flint Steelheaders IMA deal this coming Friday.
I fished the Big Manistee River yesterday with Rob Tacey and Capt.
Mark. This outstanding team almost has a perennial hold on
"Captain of the Year" honors with the Saginaw Steelheaders.
This conversant duo came to fish and were more than a sheer pleasure to
be with. Click here for Capt.
2/17/02 I'm fishing the Big Manistee River today with Rob Tacey. The truth is after a very hectic week, I'm looking forward to it in a big way. We'll be fishing the lower end in quest of the mighty Steelhead, possibly Michigan's greatest gamefish. Check back later this evening for updated fishing report and fresh photos.
Capt. John's Dirty Dozen: I just received my special
order from Silver Streak, some of the spoons featured help win the
"Big Boys Only" Tournament in July 2001. The new
"Glow Blue Tail" is only to be found in Capt. John's
"Dirty Dozen" Streaks. These 12 spoons are mostly new
for 2002 and I wouldn't leave the dock without this fish generating
mixture. The price is $50 shipped to your door, tax included.
Please send a check to the address under "Hook Up Info" to
purchase, or call (800) 552-2009 in the evening.
Nothing but grief from Microsoft's bCentral
E-mailing program caused me to lose much of the morning. Microsoft
is the only company in the world that makes you pay for their mistakes,
then charges you big $$$$ to fix them.
2/13/02 Today is report is a "Special Warning" that Valentines Day is tomorrow. So, get flowers or candy for that extraordinary person in your life. If you don't, they think you don't like them anymore and start squealing about you going fishing all the time. An sound investment in a gift might be in order if you want to save yourself some grief later this season. Don't say I didn't warn you, if you forget.
2/12/02 Yesterday's nasty weather was enough to have me wish winter was never invented. It only prolongs my yearning to be on the big water chasing Browns this coming April. Wind is howling at plus 50 mph at my house right now.
2/11/02 Wow, it's colder than a mother-in-law's kiss this morning in Manistee County. Frigid below zero temperatures to the low teens, and factor in the 25 to 50 mph winds they're predicting, makes for reel vicious day you don't even want to consider being on the BMR!
It was my pleasure to spend the yesterday with Steve, Doug and Corey
on the BMR. We started off great, having 4 strikes before
straight-up noon. Doug masterfully landed a pre-spawn, hard
fighting male Steelhead in the 8 pound class.
2/8/02 I'll be on the BMR tomorrow with Corey Shaw and company. Not much to report other than that. In fact, it's the lull before the storm here in Manistee County, things will pick up, both for fishing and business before we know it.
I'll be ordering the rest of "Capt. John's Dirty Dozen,"
from Silver Streak today. I should have product in hand by early
next week and be ready to ship.
2/6/02 Sent a letter out to the members of the Updates Lists. It has information on the July 6th, 2002 tournament, work shop and picnic. My "Show" schedule and special lure offers were mentioned. The new season is here and underway!
2/5/03 Almost ready to put the finishing touches on an in-depth article about hooks, sharpening and care of this important piece of terminal tackle. I'll be fishing the BMR towards the end of the week, but busy with taxes and office stuff for the time being.
2/4/03 Interest is starting to build for the 2002 season, as I've received many inquiries in the past few days concerning several types of charters I offer. This is a "good thing," because I'm in the charter business, along with taking care of this mega-website, which eats up a whole bunch of my time.
2/2/02 I posted a picture of myself and the very first Coho I caught in West Platte Bay, about 10 miles north of Frankfort, Michigan on October 1, 1968. The '67 Olds Cutlass was new car then and my vessel was a highly vaulted 14 foot runabout with a 40 hp Johnson outboard. The 14 footer was considered mid-size in the fleet then, and many boats were much smaller. Click here for Capt. John's 1st Coho 34 years ago
Ted and Stefan (who hails from Hamburg Germany) were brave enough to
be my guests for today. In spite of the poor Steelheading reports
on the BMR they decided to "go for it." Lady Luck smiled
on us, because we had 2 strikes and both stayed hooked up. Both
anglers expertly adapted quickly to plug fishing and handled
everything flawlessly. Click
for Ted's Steelhead
Click for Stefan's fish
2/1/02 Gonna try the BMR with Stefan E. and I hope some Steelhead have decided to come home to the big river. Luck is needed to be successful, because the past 3 or 4 weeks have been very slow pickings. "Maybe" I'll have a new fish photos and updated the fishing report this evening with better results, I hope!
1/30/02 Due to a request from the message board, I did a page on using the supplied swivel that comes with the Bechhold Flasher to attach your offering. The new page is at the members area of this website and online and available now!
1/29/02 Steelheading is slow on all the rivers that empty into Lake Michigan from the reports I'll been receiving, including the Muskegon and St. Joe. It just means, when the runs begin, it will just last longer, because our winter-run Steelhead have not been entering the rivers in large numbers yet. Gonna try it again this Friday with Stefan E. so, we'll see if any improvement has taken place.
1/28/02 Rob, Capt. Mark and myself attacked the BMR today and took no prisoners. Translation: we fished until about a little after 1pm and then decided to re-book the trip, because of extremely slow fishing. Nice day, great conditions and the Steelhead weren't in any mood to take our lures. Although, we did see 2 other boats towing one fish a piece. Sluggish, describes the stretch we were on.
1/27/02 Rob Tacey and friend will be my guests for today's reel adventure on the Big Manistee River. Gonna launch at High Bridge, spot a vehicle at Bear Creek and fish the to Farm house. That's a lot of river to cover (est. 16 miles), so we should encounter a Steelhead, or two. Today's 50 degree weather should be a plus!
I've come to the conclusion the Steelhead in the Big Manistee
River are of the genius level, or escape artists. Kevin and I
tried several well known fish producing areas, and when we'd just
about given up, much to our total surprise the #3 rod took a hard
yank, of course being unprepared, we missed the
1/25/02 I'll be trying to catch some fish today on the BMR with Kevin Herman from Traverse City. Hopefully, we'll be successful, besides this is a fishing website and I desperately need a Steelhead willing to star in a new photograph, just for this site! My feelings going in, are good, because another angler had cancelled today's date (slow fishing reports might have scared him off). Tune in later this evening to see if Kevin and I accept the thrill of victory, or suffer the terrible agony of defeat!
be fishing the BMR tomorrow to see if the recent unseasonably warm
weather has brought a fresh run of "stupid" fish in from
Lake Michigan. I say "stupid," because it seems like
I can't catch the smart ones or holdovers from last fall. I
need a decent day on the river as a confidence builder, and I've
turned down a few trips lately, as I've considered it to slow to
take paying guests.
1/22/01am When I had Chip Cartwright on the phone yesterday I ordered the first 36 of Capt. John's "Dirty Dozen" Tackle Packs. The packs will have at least a dozen of my best Streaks from last season in painted custom colors, only available from me. I'm accepting pre-orders at $50, which includes tax, shipping & a very detailed instruction sheet just like last season.
New Product Info: I recently spoke with Mr. Chip
Cartwright from Wolverine Tackle, the
Silver Streak folks and I'll be débuting a brand new product
for them. I'm pretty excited about this new product item
myself, so you'll just have to wait for me to post the photos of
this new revolutionary item, we'll all soon be using!........reel
fact, beyond a doubt! Hint, I can't wait to see it myself.
1/18/01 The below link is of my best fly during the 2001 season, I featured both the Seaweed Horse Fly (used) and Capt. Len's "King Fly." Upon close and careful examination (Click here for a visual comparison) you'll see there both made out of the same material. Capt. Len's fly will be made with betters hooks, choice of hook set-ups and a 50 pound test leader. Possibly, Capt. Len will be looking for field testers from various ports, for an honest evaluations for the best colors.
Great News today! Brown Trout season on lake Michigan is only
a little over 2 months away. Before you know it, the 2002
season will be in full swing.
Patience is what's needed to improve the Steelheading on the BMR.
I've been paying the price for the more than decent fall fishing we
experienced. I suspect that many of our winter run fish came
in, during late November and December, or the winter-run Steelhead
haven't made their way in from Lake Michigan yet. This has
been evidenced in the many darker fish I've seen caught.
1/15/02 Dan, Capt.
Len Mitchell and myself tried out the lower end of the BMR for
Steelhead and had a tough go of it. We hit numerous good spots
with no luck, then towards the end of day, we had two lethargic
bites in the same hole. The reel problem was neither fish ever
got a hook stuck in their face, so we missed our only opportunities
of the voyage. High point of the day was many Bald Eagle
sightings, but I run fishing business and not sight-seeing tours.
Capt. Bud Raskey today and started the research for a new article
called, "Capt. Bud's Story." Everything went very
well, as I interviewed Bud about methods and techniques use to catch
Steelhead back in the 1930's. His knowledge and cordial
company was a welcome change of pace from my hectic schedule.
I took some photos of Bud's ultra professional fish cleaning station
deer cam is back online and working like a well oiled Swiss
watch. I had to move the website to a new hosting company to
have a working web cam,
because my former web host Epro.net locked me and my ftp protocols
1/12/02 Spent most of yesterday dealing with Verisign, the former Network Solutions people, who handle assigning web addresses. After much runaround and several calls to tech support, the dns server number are changed, meaning the site will be down for a period of time over the weekend as the network propagates the new address This computer stuff is major, big time heartache!
1/10/02 My guests for
the BMR today were Jeff Gunther and our Muskegon
River Reporter, Michael Kirchner. While we didn't set the
world on fire with the amount of action experienced, the company was
warm and friendly. We held a Steelhead party and almost got
stood-up, then at about 2pm we finally, had one show up.
here for Jeff's fish
1/10/02 My guests for
the BMR today is a Manistee native, Jeff Gunther and our Muskegon
River Reporter, Michael Kirchner. We'll be on a scouting
mission to determine if this warm spell has improved the
fishing. Check back later this evening for new photos and
fishing report. We'll need some luck for a good day.
1/9/02 Wow, it was 40 degrees in my front yard yesterday, could be just what the doctor ordered to improve the BMR Steelhead fishery. I should be on the river Thursday to see if this recent warming trend is helping bring a fresh run in from Lake Michigan.
The temperature of the BMR
is 33.8 degrees at the dam and the flow is 1580 cubic feet of water
per second. Look for Steelheading opportunities to improve
soon, should be a few fresh run fish in the lower end by M-55
1/7/02 The semi balmy weather for Manistee County with daytime highs in the 30's this week should improve the Steelheading in the BMR. Plans for the week include, sending out a "State of the Fishery" report in my E-mail Updates Letter. A trip the Capt. Bud Raskey's house to photograph antique lures used and get the reel story on the Steelhead fishing in the 1930's till now, for a new article. I'll be on the river also, towards the end of the week for a "hands on" updated fishing info.
All my "hot
plugs" have been shut down. Any fast, wiggly wide action
baits have been of no use. I've hit a very few fish on warts,
but it's been "no big deal." Water
temperature is 34 degrees at the dam and colder further down
stream. Fishing will improve, but your guess is as good as
mine when it's going to happen.
It's was my honor the fish the BMR
today with Capt. Harold "Bud" Raskey. We started
about 11am and fished until 3pm and found one bright, silver bullet
hen will to accept our offering. Capt. Bud put a masterful
whipping on the fish in short order, in spite of my urgings on how
badly I needed a new photo to update the website. Click here for Capt. Bud
Raskey's Steelhead photo
It's my honor the fish the
BMR today with Capt. Harold "Bud" Raskey, his fishing
accomplishments are beyond legendary. He's a true pioneer in
the annuals of Michigan Fishing History. I believe he caught
his first Steelhead in the BMR in the 1930's. Now, that's reel
experience. Today, I consider it my privilege to fish with
Capt. Bud. If you're interested, check back this evening to
see how we did.
1/2/02 Need to get some more bales of hay today, because the critters (deer) have chewed it all up. Tomorrow I'll be research fishing on the BMR with Capt. Bud Raskey, hopefully the weather will be decent. Capt. Bud has over 35 years to his credit as a charter operator and is the very respected father of the Manistee Fleet.
1/1/02 The promise of the newly arrived 2002 season is upon us and from what I witnessed last September and October our King fishery should be a vast step up over the 2001 (east wind) fishery. In my next E-mail Updates letter I'll have my "State of the Fishery Report" available to the members only.
Fall 2001 Results
12/31/01 Deer have been hitting the feed pile regularly during daylight hours now. As long as I keep the hay out there, the deer will stick around. I had 7 or 8 critters on camera at 8:30am this morning. Click here for deer viewing today.
Spent most of yesterday
digging out from the 2 foot of snow we got. Went into Manistee
on M-55 in white-out blizzard conditions. It's winter up here!
My lack luster performance as a
guide on the Big Manistee River failed to impress me, and I'm sure my clientele
this past week. Reasons? What Steelhead that are in the
river now, for the most part are dark winter holders and fresh run fish
are not moving into the system. The forecast for next week is even
worse than last weeks, so I'm going to take some time to prepare my tax
returns and get "Capt. John's Online Tackle Sales" shopping
cart technology up and running in preparation for the 2002 Great Lakes
I fished today with Bill King and company and had a very difficult
time again, in getting Steelhead to strike. My first-rate
guests were Corky and Tom, while Bill and his buddy fished with
Capt. Mike Cnudde. My entire day consisted of one hooked-up
fish, which managed to pull free, almost within netting range of the
boat! It's been a severe struggle for me ever since
last weekend when this snowy Eskimo weather started to settled in,
ruining my long streak of productive river fishing
adventures. Click here for
Bill King group photo
Dale and Robby Hagan our my
guests for today event, which was colder than a mother-in-law's kiss
barometer was a dreadful 29.43, but we still ended up with 3
fish. Dale battled it out with a brilliantly colored 12 pound rogue
male, that put up a heck of a brawl before it was vanquished to the
net. Click here for a nasty big
headed Lake trout.
Fished the BMR today with Kevin and his friend Gary. The
fishing was absolutely phenomenal, but the catching was
nonexistent. We had one decent strike and boiled 2 or 3 fish
and that was it! Both Gary and Kevin were very understanding
anglers and deserved much better than I was able to show them.
3:00 pm I had a
magnificent time today with Dale Brown and his good-natured son,
John. We found 3 Steelhead willing to attack our lures (in spite of a very low barometer
29.59 inches), boating 2 of them in very winter-like weather on
the BMR. Both Dale and John landed their Steelhead with no
difficulty, although both fish were very determined scoundrels who
gallantly. Click here for
12/24/01am Dale Brown is my guest for today's exploit on the Big Manistee River. Dale has fished me several times before and I'm looking forward to trying out the new colors of Flatfish. Weather could be a slight problem, with 3 to 6 inches of the white stuff forecast. Look for new photos and an updated fishing report tonight.
12/22/01 Winter snuck in like a lamb, the temperature at 3pm in my front yard was 42 degrees. I'll be fishing Monday with Mr. Dale Brown from Tennessee.
12/21/01 Joy, joy joy! My order that I placed at Yakima (Flatfish folks) came today. I ordered off their website at: http://www.yakimabait.com special winter colors that have produced for me over the past many seasons. If you're looking for some of lures, the size to order is T-4 and I spoke with Barb at: (509) 854-1311. Please mention you got the info off this website. The spreader bars and extra hooks are an option you'll have to order separate if you want to the tremendous hook setting power of the 4 treble hook model I've been using. These baits got here just in time, because tomorrow heralds the first day of winter.
Paul Beilfuss and I
concluded our two day exploration of the Big Manistee River
today. We fished the lower river hard, and only had 2 strikes.
I was lucky enough have as
my guest, angler beyond compare, Paul Beilfuss aboard today.
While we were supposed to cover all aspects of Steelhead tactics,
Paul is already an accomplished spawn and wiggler fisherman.
So, we concentrated on pulling plugs and the places to use them in
the upper river. Click here for
12/18/01 Temperatures in 40's is a blessing for Steelhead fishermen at this time of the year. Reports coming in are decent and I'll be fishing tomorrow and the next day for a "hands on" updated commentary on the Big Manistee River.
Interest is building in
January Steelheading from the number of phone calls I've received
the week. My overall attitude has improved about the Big
Manistee River, because the numbers of Steelhead are up, re-doing
the riverboat and using the more productive T-4 Flatfish. Yes,
life is more than good!
12/13/01 I took my number 1 deckhand and
longtime good fishing buddy, Capt. Mark Pefley fishing on the Big
Manistee River today. We fished only 8 runs or holes and had
strikes in 5 of them. 3 of the fish were hooked-up (1 briefly)
and we shared the duties wrestling a exquisitely colored double
striped male. This Steelhead took us at least 15 minutes to
subdue after it viciously slammed, like a ferocious 30 lb. King pounding
a diver rod.
12/12/01 Yesterday's guest was reel fisherman.
He went 3 for 3 and caught his limit in a big
hurry. I think he had prior experience, because he listened
and took directions very well.
12/11/01 Because there's been about as much
interest in the charter
business lately as climbing aboard a plane filled with Iranians and Iraqis,
I gonna take myself fishing today. Nobody else, just me......go
ahead and be extremely jealous now!
light winter snow settled over western Manistee County this
morning. Voting at Capt. John's Poll is in full tilt for your
favorite photo. I didn't lock down the over-voting from the same IP (your
computer address), because it would provide a way for someone
other than yourself to
disqualify your photo.
12/8/01 The lower river from M-55 to the "Farm House" just above the "Mile Run" is producing a few fresh run Steelhead on spawn bags. Look for the weekend crowds to diminish as winter sets in. Next week's weather is forecast is decent.
12/7/01 Pearl Harbor Day, I'll be building the page for the 10 photos chosen as the "Top 10" to vote on at: Capt. John's Poll. Voting will be a no holds barred, off the top rope and free for all "toughman" contest. The highest count on Dec. 31st (New Years Eve Midnight Eastern Time) wins. Hope to have the poll up by this evening. I'm choosing only 3 of the photos and the other 7 will be drawn out of the hat. This way everyone has a fair chance to make the final draw, because I think every photo is a winner. Click for: Contest Photos
12/6/01 Unseasonable warm weather was deal here in Manistee County. While it's not improving the Steelhead Fishery, it's sure nice outside, so enjoy it! The inshore waters of Lake Michigan are 47 degrees, unheard of for this time of year.
The Mitchells ended their 2 day episode
with me today, we hit 4 Steelhead and boated 3 of the villains before
10:30am. Then blue skies and unseasonable warm weather (56
degrees) shut down the fish (we quit by 2pm).
I had a superb time today, enjoying Len and Anita's exceptionally
good company. Even though it was a busy weekend day on the
river, we still managed to entice 5 Steelhead with our T-4
Flatfish. 3 leaping Steelhead to the 9 pound mark, stayed
stuck as Capt. Len Mitchell expertly landed his limit. While
Len had the "hot hand," Anita was snake bit and
missed her only strike when she was being kind enough to help me
re-line a reel.
12/1/01 Getting ready for tomorrow's 2 day river event with Anita and Capt. Len Mitchell is the deal for today. The Mitchells are a great fishing couple who more than enjoy the "art of angling." We will have fun and catch fish, promise! Hey, I've got 2 days to accomplish the "catch fish" part of the last statement.
More rain today is just
what the doctor ordered to keep improving an already awesome
Steelhead Fishery on the Big Manistee River at a record pace.
Yesterday's 3 fish we boated does not reflect the amount of action
we experienced in just a few hours on the river. The entire
river is holding Steelhead now!
We bent the rod today with long time friend and Mr. Nice Guy, Gary
Allen. He is a supreme Steelhead angler and his limit catch
today speaks for itself. We had a fantastic day on the
Big Manistee River with 5 Steelhead hooked up and 3 landed by
1:30pm. Plus, we fished in a very leisurely fashion and never
beat up on any one "hole."
11/28/01 Wet, rainy and damp best describes the weather here in Manistee County. Be fishing tomorrow, so look for new pictures and fishing report on Thursday.
11/26/01 Plans for this week include taking Mike from Manistee Auto Electric fishing this Thursday. Dec. 2 and 3 Capt. Len Mitchell from Lucky Charm Charters will be my fishing partner, along with his wife Anita. Reports from the river remain rock-solid.
11/25/01 Fishing for Steelhead in the Big Manistee River is fairly decent, depending on the crowd. As far as I can see, we have more fish available at this time of year, since 1996. To see the reel inside story on the lures I've been using and how to tune them click on: Flatfish Tuning. Fishing should be "Hot" this week with the recent rainfall. Life is good in Manistee County.
Gary Bishop and his son,
Berto were my respected fishing guests for today. Gary is a
long time veteran of the "Steelhead Wars" with Kings
Charter on the Big Manistee River, also he's a retired Army Colonel.
We hit 5 Steelhead and landed 3 mean, acrobatic daredevils to 9
pounds during the course of the trip. Click
here for Berto & Gary's catch photo
From a hero to a zero best describes my day on the Big
Manistee River. Barry Pines and I hit 3 Steelhead before 11:15am
and none of them stayed hooked, then the fish went on strike as boating
pressure put them off the bite.
Today was the 10th annual "Thanksgiving Steelhead
Fest" with Barry Pines and his son, Rich. Overall, we had a
decent day, hitting 6 fish and landing 4 Steelhead to probably 12
here for Barry and Rich's most excellent mug shots
11/21/01 Getting ready for the annual Thanksgiving fishing with Barry Pines is at the forefront today. Tying up loose ends on the Cherokee winter storage project is what I plan to accomplish. Steelhead fishing in the river should be good.
11/20/01 I've been on a 2 day downstate quest searching tackle outlets for the 4 hook model of the T-4 Flatfish. I found some new colors that should work fine in the Big Manistee River. I'll be returning to Manistee County early tomorrow morning. Angler supreme Barry Pines and friends will be my esteemed guests for the next 3 days of the Thanksgiving weekend.
Today's trip was a 2
boat team effort with Capt. Mike Knudde. Our guest list
included Dominic, Andy, Dan and Tony Samurkas, who booked the
do. The Steelhead in the Big Manistee River were not "on
the bite" as bluebird conditions contributed to a very slow
fishery. Mike and I ended up with only a couple
I made up for yesterday's fiasco in a big way! Fished the Big
Manistee River today with my guests, Warren Knapp (aka
"Dottie Kay") and long time patron of Kings Charter,
John Milbourne. We spent 6 hours on the river and had 5 hits
and boated 4 wild, mean and thrashing Steelhead from 8 to plus
Tried to fish the Big Manistee River today with my guests, Mark
Wasniak and his friend Eugene. Launched down by the M55 bridge
and there was enough boats to make an "Invasion of Normandy
Movie," the fleet was out in force. We finally found some
decent water (not crowded) about 2 miles up from the "farm
house" and the action was non-existent. So, we cut our
loses early and put the boat back on the trailer before noon.
Today's guests were the "Mickley Clan" and
river trip was a surprise
gift to their father, Ray. His sons, Phil, John and Steve made
up the rest of the "Clan."
I'll be fishing and testing the riverboat for tomorrow's
guests, the Steve Mickley Crew. It's going to be a 2 boat
extravaganza with Capt. Mike Knudde.
11/6/01 Pulled the Cherokee yesterday afternoon and it's now being readied for new engines and a thorough cleaning before going into inside winter storage in Wellston, MI. Should be testing out the riverboat for it's maiden voyage this fall on the Big Manistee River this afternoon. I've been rebuilding the interior for the past 2 weeks, bringing it back to a "new condition."
The weather over the weekend was great, being sunny and
11/3/01 Joy, joy, joy, I finished the new floor for the riverboat. It was a pain in the butt job and I glad it's over. Wiring and installing the new winch is on the agenda next. I'll be fishing the river soon when the Cherokee comes home.
It rained almost all afternoon, preventing the
installation of the seats and the floor in the riverboat. So,
I worked on the new winch wiring and I should be done with this week
long project tomorrow.