April and May Results 2003
"Hot Lures" 4/13/03
Henry, Larry, Cliff & Joel
Larry, Ed & Capt. John's Catch on 5/26/03
Outstanding Spring Salmon in May 2003!
5/31/03 The weekend's gale
force wind on Lake Michigan is the big headline. Original
weather report had SW in it, now that's most changed to wind for the
north and northwest. This is a double edged sword for us Lake
5/30/03 Predicted gales is gonna
screw up the weekend fishing, according to what I have seen on the
weather forecast. How do I find all the necessary info?
5/29/03 You never know what need's to
be done at home, until you're a away for a while. So, I tried to
catch up on the home front yesterday without much headway.
Mailed long overdue orders and sent a E-mail Updates
5/28/03 A very lumpy Lake Michigan turned a 5 hour trip into a 6 1/2 hour ordeal yesterday. At Little Point Sable the lake finally behaved itself and the rest of the trip was a joy. Also, anglers gave the fish the day off. I seen no boats fishing out of South Haven, Saugatuck and White Hall. A few Port Sheldon to Muskegon anglers reported spotty success on channel 68. Some boats had as many as 8 fish, while others had only 1, or 2. I now have port entrance photos of Port Sheldon, Grand Haven and White Hall. I will be updating the Lake Michigan Ports page sometime later today, when time allows.
5/27/03 North bound tomorrow by water
to Manistee. Plan on stopping in Grand Haven for fuel. I
had a successful May in South Haven. Averaged almost 13
fish per trip off the dock. Not that numbers mean all that much to
me, we could have easily exceeded that number, but early limits on
Kings caused many short outings. The good thing about the
fishing in southern Lk, Michigan is all the heat was off me.
If guests farmed a fish, not to worry, there'd be another one biting
in a few.
5/25/03pm Wow, what a day! My first
annual Spring Salmon Clinic was a motivating success for Tim, Larry,
Joel, Henry, Roscoe and Cliff. We boated a 6 man limit of Kings, a
decent Steelhead and a Laker. That meant the death toll on the
outing was 20 fish. We easily had some where's between 35 and 40
strikes! All aspects of my spring program were covered. We
caught fish on lead core rigs, surface side-planers, Slide Divers, drop weights
and the downriggers. So, everything at times was producing
5/24/03pm A light, chilly drizzle and 2
to 4 foot sloppy seas greeted us when we left the pier heads this
morning at 6:45am. After a short discussion Steve decided to
re-book his date for August in Manistee. Fine with me! I don't
like trying to fish in the slop, because too many fish are lost when the
boat surges from a wave.
5/23/03pm Had another easy morning
out of the Port of South Haven on Lake Michigan. Syl and Gene
were my guests for this mornings do and they had expertly landed
their 10 fish limit by about 10am. In the process of pulling
lines we boxed another 3 fish before all the lines could be
here for our catch photo.
5/23/03am My guests for today's six
hour event are Syl and Gene. They've fished with me many times
over the past seasons. I haven't been off the dock since last
Sunday morning, so I'll be searching for the best lures and
areas. Tune in later this evening for a complete fishing
update and the new hot lures of the day.
5/22/03 Gassing up the boat and that means a trip to the gas dock today. Looks like I'll be fishing throughout the Memorial Day Weekend, starting tomorrow. So, my efforts will be directed towards making everything ship-shape for the next 4 days. The fishing part is the easiest of my chosen career as a charter operator. It's the behind the scenes stuff that is the hard part.
5/21/03 E-mail update goes out today. I checked the surface temp chart of South Haven and a good temperature break isn't too far offshore. Things look good for this coming weekend. Other then that, I'm going to try to spend an uneventful and relaxing day. The wiring is back to perfect on my Cherokee again, because I spent the time yesterday to do it right. Weekly report needs updating too.
5/20/03 Posting the new Port Reports kept me very busy yesterday. I started on a new in-depth article about my exact mindset and game plan when I leave the dock every morning. Weekly Reports Page and a E-mail Letter is in store for me today. Need to do a thorough scrub on my Cherokee, because the 35 fish we took in the past few days has made a mess out of my aft deck. I'd say that's a wonderful problem to have after the lousy start on April Browns in Manistee.
5/19/03 Lots to do today! Fixed
a bothersome "pain in the neck" wiring problem yesterday
and need to re-wire neatly, the temporary jumble that was
made. Worst part of the problem is that is was purely
self-inflected, because I didn't connect a ground wire from the
battery on the re-install motor job.
5/18/03 This morning was utter mayhem
on Lake Michigan out of the Port of South Haven. On our first
west troll of the morning we had 9 hits in about an hour, only
boxing 4 fish! Wild, hell-bent for leather, spring Kings
caused many tangles. My guests for the outing named,
Kevin, Bob and Chris learned how to control these feisty fish in a
big hurry and not have the fish control them. Then these guys
went to work expertly and boxed every fish thereafter with
absolutely no problems. In fact, they had their limit of 9
Kings (to 18 pounds) by 10:30am, plus 2 Steelhead, a Brown Trout and
one Coho. So, the death toll was 13 fish on a short trip off
the dock for us!
5/17/03 Today, I had the grand
opportunity to take three generations of the Campbell Family.
The Honorable Timothy Campbell was the patriarch of this fine
group. Our catch was more then adequate to satisfy anyone, as
we laid 15 silver fish on the lawn, dockside. We had 3 Cohos, 2
Steelhead and 10 Kings to, oh? ...maybe 17 pounds. This was
action packed event with several doubles and even one triple
header! The entire easy going clan, handled all duties well
and were a sheer joy to spend the day with. They had never
dealt with Mr. King Salmon on a spring rampage and only missed one
fish during the course of their charter. Even with Joseph
being only 5 years young, he behaved himself remarkably well and
boated couple of fish too!
5/16/03pm We had a decent morning
trip today with Dustin, Jordan and their Dad, Ernie. We
boated 5 Kings to maybe 14 pounds and 2 Steelhead to 8 pounds.
5/16/03am I'll be off the dock this
morning around 6:30am. We're going to see what Lake Michigan
is willing to show us off South Haven. Check back later this
evening for a complete report and fresh photos of the new hot lures.
5/14/03 Still burning logs in my woodstove in Manistee County. Last night's temperatures were in the very low thirties. Finished Capt. Len's King Fly Page for the Tackle Store, so you can see in great detail what his product is about. Yesterday, I spent a pretty uneventful day cleaning winter's clutter off my lawn. I'm getting ready to travel to South Haven soon. It's been since Saturday I was last on Lake Michigan and I'm getting antsy to get back out fishing! I came the grand conclusion fishing is a lot more fun then mowing two acres of grass. \
5/13/03 The response to the Port
Reports Page has been tremendous, almost all ports covered with the
exception of Muskegon, Oscoda, Whitehall, and Grindstone City. I
spent most of yesterday trying to keep up with the large amount info
being sent in. Thanks to all......who share their information to
help others out!
5/12/03 Publishing the new port reports coming in from the weekend is first and foremost on today's duty roster. The port reports benefit everyone one, so please help out. Catching up on long overlooked orders and the dreaded cleaning up the yard is on tap also (sounds exciting eh?). I've been away from my house for 8 days and a bunch of stuff at home needs to be done, before I leave for South Haven later this week. I finally have grass beginning to grow and that needs immediate attention too, before it turns into a wheat field.
5/11/03 Yesterday, I had the remarkable
occasion to fish with Rachel, Vickie, Roy and Capt. Gary. Once
we found out what the fish wanted, we put a fairly decent program
together and boated 13 fish. The death toll was 1 Coho, 2 Lake
Trout to plus 17 pounds, 9 Steelhead and a small King we tossed
back. Overall, we had about 20 hits from about 8:30am to
5/10/03 Gonna be off the dock this
morning with Capt. Gary and his wife Vickie.
5/9/03 Gassing up the boat and a
research trip is in order for this Saturday morning.
Hopefully, I can hook-up with Capt. Gary and his splendid wife,
5/8/03 Fished with Jeff, Andrew
and Derek on today's first charter off the dock in South
Haven. While Kings continue to be scarcer then hen's teeth we
did manage to finally find some fish willing to take a lures over a
100 feet of water. This was just peachy with me, because we
never had a strike until about 10pm. We had about 10 hits and
boated 3 Lakers and 3 Steelhead. My guests were super to be
with and the most helpful anglers on my boat in a long
here for the catch photo and the great crew
5/7/03 Seamless integration best describes
my evening test-run with Captain's Bill and Dan from the "Wind
Drift." Capt. Kevin aka FBD on the message board was with
us too. My crew was beyond smooth, rigging rods and setting up
the boat like the seasoned veterans they are. I was amazed to
see the 4 of us on a mission and work together so well.
5/6/03 Rain in the early morning
prevented working on the boat. Truthfully, I was
suffering from some "boat burn-out" and more or less took
the day off from the marina duties. I did re-finish and
re-spool 3 diver rods with 20# Flea Flicker.
5/5/03 Spent most of the day sorting
tackle and fixing little things on the boat that have been
neglected. Gearing up for spring tuna time requires much work if
you want to do it right. Installing things like new fishing
line and new hooks can be a lengthy, but needed process if you pan on
5/4/03 Success! I'm in
South Haven now after a awe-inspiring journey down Lk. Michigan's
Gold Coast. I made the 150 mile trip in just about 5 hours, not
counting the hour I spent inside Muskegon's harbor taking on
gas. As an added bonus, I got to speak (channel 68) with boats
Obsession and Windrift who frequent the message board on a regular
basis. I have photos of the Big and Little Point Sable
Lighthouses, a cute gas-dock attendant and more pictures of the
5/3/03 "South bound and down, loaded up and trucking" is a song from the 1977 movie called, Smokey and the Bandit. It is appropriate, because that's my deal for today, head south and get to South Haven, Michigan. I figure it's about 150 miles, by the "way the crow" flies. So, I'll clear the Manistee pier heads by 9am and plan on doing a complete photographic journal of the outstanding landmarks on my way south. Tune in tomorrow evening to see what I saw, and a complete update.
5/2/03 Tomorrow is the day for the long boat ride to South Haven, predicted northeast winds from 5 to 10 knots should make it a pretty pleasant trip. I'll spend to day fine tuning everything for the cruise and packing up everything thing shipshape. A full load of fuel (150 gallon) is in order and I should be able to make to at least Saugatuck then refuel if needed. Initial reports from South Haven is that there is fish available, but the Kings aren't there in big numbers yet. This is fine with me, and just,......maybe?..... my timing will be perfect upon arrival!
5/1/03 May's warming waters and
success on Kings is improving on southern Lake Michigan. The
St. Clair River has also produced some of the best Salmon fishing in
20 years downstream from the Marysville Power Plant. Brown
Trout reports are encouraging from East Tawas, Au Gres, Rogers
City and Harbor Beach. The weekend is coming up and port
reports are needed to help fellow anglers.
A Slow April Brown Trout Season in Manistee
4/30/03 Located my dock and driving my boat by water to South Haven is next. I figure it's about 150 miles by water from Manistee and should be able to make the trip in about 6 hours in fairly flat seas. Streaks should be here and shipping back ordered items is in my future.
4/29/03 Finally, I have the
correct results from last Saturday's Icebreaker Tournament held in
Ludington. The top five boats were Fireline (largest
Brown too), Jamie Lynn, Riverside,
4/28/03 Manistee's once proud
Brown Trout Fishery has fallen on hard times. From 11 fish
boated per trip in the year 2000 to 2.5 Browns boated in 2003 is a
hell of a drop. Reasons?...... I suspect the population boom
in the double crested cormorant is one of the culprits. Last
season the Browns were planted when huge flocks of these black birds
were in Manistee. Please keep in mind, I'm no expert on the
subject and the problem is not with the DNR. And in the same
vein, I try to watch my statements very carefully, because of the fact
4/27/03 Sometimes in the
charter business you just run into the right sort of people and
that's exactly what happened yesterday. My performance as a
charter operator was terrible! We only had one strike, and as
luck you have it, it didn't stick. While I could complain
about the total lack of fish off Manistee, it ain't gonna do any
good!!! The bottom line is, "you can't catch what's not
for Brad's hooked paw
4/26/03 I super-stunk at catching fish
yesterday! I gave up and threw in the towel at around 10am.
Some tournament plan eh? Go to your best producing areas and catch
zilch? Well, anyway today is another day and the Icebreaker
Tournament will be underway at 6:15am this morning. This is a
bi-port deal, pitting the Ludington fishermen vs. the Manistee boys for
a traveling port trophy.
4/25/03 Fished long and hard
yesterday for 2 hits and two Browns to 14 pounds. The lake was
flat calm and not many fish were caught by the fleet. Most
boats that went north got skunked and my two fish was the "hot
hand" for yesterday's struggle. Click
here for Don's trophy Brown Trout on 4/24/03
4/24/03 Don Van Stoyk is my guest for the
next two morning. Do has fished with me for about the last 8 years
and always brings his luck when he shows up. Our target will be
only large Brown Trout as the Ludington-Manistee Icebreaker Tourney is
on the not to distant horizon. Click here
for Don's lucky streak photo in 01
4/23/03 Fished the big river
yesterday with Carrie and Joe for about 4 hours before I threw the
towel in. Other then one hard wallop on
the number 3 rod, just above Pine Creek, there's not much to
report. I was hoping against my better judgment there would be
a few fresh Steelhead making their way upstream. Well, this
wasn't so, and I can't catch what's not there. We need to
start thinking about a closed season on Steelhead, because of the
severe decline over the past few years. From a very reliable
source, I heard they only passed 1500 Steelhead above the Custer barrier
this year on the Pere Marquette. I don't think the numbers are
any better for the Little Manistee. Click
here for 7am conditions
4/22/03 Yesterday, we successfully
completed the first on the water "hands on" seminar this
season. John, Joel, Tim, Jim and Cody were my guests for this
event. By 8:30am these fishermen had everything under control
and for the most part, I never touched a fishing rod for the rest of
the day. They boated 5 Browns and never lost a hooked up
fish......incredible ratio! We missed only 2 strikes (one on a
sewn minnow rig) during our sojourn. Action was exactly like
my port rating of "fair." We endured rain most of
the day and a fairly solid breeze from the SW. Inshore water
temperature on the beach ranged from 38 to 42 degrees and not many
active Browns were dwelling in our stretch of shoreline. Click
here for crew
4/21/03 Had a no-show for yesterday's charter. This was fine with me, because I didn't feel like working on Easter anyways. The Icebreaker Tournament is a go-down of the show-down between the Manistee and Ludington boats this coming Saturday 4/26/03. Tourney starts at 6am and all boats must be within the either the Manistee, or Ludington pier heads by 12 noon. Weigh-in is at Capt. Chucks in Ludington and our Manistee coolers must be inline before 2pm.
4/20/03 Yesterday morning, we had
a decent action on the Keitha, Char, Burt and Andy event. We
had around 10 hits, 8 fish hooked up and boated 5. The body
count was 4 browns to about 12 pounds, plus a small Laker we tossed
4/18/03 The first Brown Trout of the
season was caught by another Brown, with the first name of
Dale. Our action was fair considering the all the stories of
doom and gloom that were being spread. We has 7 strikes, 5
fish up to the back of the boat and 3 landed. Dale fought and
won on a good sized Laker pushing 12 pounds. Dennis boated a chunky
football Brown around 7 pounds, but bad luck struck him and he had 2
"nice" Browns become unhooked almost within reach of the net!
4/18/03 If the weather allows, I'll
be fishing Lake Michigan today with Mr. Dale Brown. Our target
species will be Brown Trout. This is my first lake trip of the
year and I'm more than R-E-A-D-Y for this adventure! Spent
about 5 hours taking care of business on the Cherokee
yesterday. The boat is prepared to a superlative condition and
I'm all set. Check later for my first charter
report from Lk. MI in 2003.
4/17/03 Caught up on a bunch of home
duties yesterday. Nasty weather prevailed once again here in
Manistee County. Gail force winds, temps in the 30's and scattered
rain showers is not the making of a nice day.
4/16/03 Mission completed! My 28
foot Cherokee is wet on the bottom part now and resting in it's slip in
Solberg's Marina! Spent most of yesterday day slowly breaking-in
my new motors and cruising Manistee Lake. The boat runs at least
as good as new, because the new engines are extremely smooth, especially
4/15/03 (Tax Day!) It's beginning to
sound like a broken record, or stuck CD, but the Cherokee didn't get
wet yesterday. Solberg's hoist was tied up with a bottom paint
job, plus the wind was horrendous (to at least 35mph). So, I
wisely chose to launch this morning. I positively know the
boat will go in today, because the lift is already parked over the
trailer. Received my shipment from VMC containing the #5 round
bend hooks that I use and strongly recommend. Click
here to see hooks
4/14/03 Today is the day the Cherokee
gets splashed. After too many trials and tribulations, finally
decent weather permitted us to put the finishing touches on the lake
boat yesterday. An extraordinary show of gratitude goes to
Capt. John J. for donating his time for about the past 5 days to
help out. Without his assistance I would have never been able
to complete the re-power 2003 project this soon.
4/13/03 The traffic around the pier heads
in Manistee this morning was exceptionally crowed. Lot's of boats
and not many Browns were taken before rough seas put a end to the day
for most fishermen with good sense.
4/12/03 Picked up my boat in Kaleva,
Michigan yesterday after Cherokee refinished the bottom and
installed the epoxy bottom paint. Finished some small details
and fired up both engines! Yes, there in new life in my GM
4/11/03 Disappointment best describes
my feelings of not being able to launch the Cherokee
yesterday. One problem after another caused the delay, mostly
to the fact the redone epoxy bottom paint wasn't ready at
Cherokee. 16 seasons of bottom paint was removed and the
bottom was sanded to silky smooth before the new paint was
applied. No promises, but today I might feel the thrill of
victory, instead of the agony of defeat in getting the lake boat
chasing Browns on Lk. MI.
4/10/03 I enjoyed the grand company
of Paul, Don and Davis on yesterday's river adventure. Our
catch total doesn't match the quality of our experience. We
ended up with one fish for five hard, line-ripping strikes and one
half hearted semi-poke. These fish were vile contemptuous
creatures that were part Houdini and managed every filthy ploy that
a Steelhead is famous for. David had a hold of couple of especially
nasty villains that put on a exciting aerial display, only to throw
the hook. Never the less, it was a bright sunny bluebird day with
temps in the 40s. I was just happy to see a few fish hit,
because we're almost back clear low-water again. Click
here for Paul's shiny as a newly minted dime, chrome hen.
4/9/03 Paul B. and company is my guests for today's event on the big river. Initial plans called for a Lake Michigan Brown Trout deal, but my Cherokee is not ready yet. I paid a visit to the Cherokee Factory yesterday and work on the bottom is progressing nicely. Thursday should be the big day to fire the new motors and if God's on my side, we could
then splash the big lake boat too!
4/8/03 Batteries go into the Cherokee today. I'll be working inside at the Cherokee building in Kaleva, Michigan (10 miles from my house). Some chores in Manistee need attending to. Winter has set me back about a week, but I plan on fishing Browns on Lake Michigan by this weekend. River fishing tomorrow and a complete report will be forth coming. Weather since last Thurs. has been awful.
4/7/03 I have reordered new
shipments of Streaks, Flea Flicker Line, Kerplunk 27 pound test lead
core and number 5 VMC hooks for Brown Trout fishing. All these
products should be in hand very soon and ready for shipping.
Winter kinda set me back since last Thursday, but improving
conditions later this week are predicted.
4/6/03 The severe winter weather kept
me indoors yesterday, so there's just not much to report. I
did a bunch of web and paper work, taxes due soon.
4/5/03 I got backed into a corner
(because of extremely nasty weather) and had to play my "trump
card" and call Dick Staley over at Cherokee Boats Inc. to
finish bolting down the motors. Also, he's gonna blast off 15
seasons of bottom paint and install the 3 step process of the new
water-tight sprayed on epoxy bottom paint. This style of
bottom paint lasts about 3 years from what I've heard.
4/4/03 Cancelled today's BMR deal,
because of terrible traveling weather. Almost have the starboard
motor ready to fire. I would have been able to accomplish more
yesterday, but thunder-sleet and freezing rain caused a halt to all work
outside around 2:30pm. Initial plans were plans were to splash the
Cherokee tomorrow, however with low temps around 10 degrees cancelled
that idea. Should be able to launch safely by sometime early next
4/3/03 4 for 9 strikes on the big river yesterday with
Mike and Roger for a pretty decent day action wise. In fact,
Mike who hails from West Virginia (along with Roger) caught his 3
fish limit of Ironheads in a grand fashion. Patience was
Mike's key to success, because all the fish he boated were in at
least the 10 pound class. The reel-story on this trip were the
two extremely hard battling males he dealt with, steering them
around obstructions (logs and branches). Roger was snake bit
compared to Mike's "hot-hand," with only few strikes on
his side of the boat. Never the less, Roger still landed a
respectable male. Click
for catch photo
4/2/03 It was my great honor
to fish and spend the yesterday with a very enjoyable couple named,
Tammy and Jim. We didn't set the world on fire with tons of
action, but we had 4 good hard strikes. Tammy did the honors by
expertly landing to large hens to 10 pounds. Jim was snake bit,
and his only chance ended when the line parted on a equally large
fish. Overall it was an enjoyable time on the river, because the
inside humor was rampant.
4/1/03 April's Fool? Well, I hope it ain't me
today! Please Mr. Steelhead cooperate on my trip with Jim K,
because I'm unsure going in about today's results. The fish I
hit last Thurs. & Fri. were all migrating fish, so where they're
at now is anybody's guess. Check back later for a new report. Click
for pre-installed motors