January, February and March 2003 Results
This page is a slow loader for those of us stuck with a dial-up 
internet connection and there's 90 days of the log book to load
Home Salmon Busters™ Great Lakes Info Tips and Trix Capt. John's Log

Excerpts from Capt. John's Log

3/31/03   Today is the day my 1987 Cherokee gets fresh motors installed and the 2003 re-power project is almost over.  Spent most of yesterday charging batteries and readying the boat to drop the motor in.  I rented Manistee Welding's boom truck to do the lift job in my driveway.
    Starting tomorrow, I'll be on the Big Manistee River most every day this week.  So, you will have fresh reports form me.  Haven't heard much about any rousing success on Brown Trout yet.  I believe the water is still too cold to produce the good catches of Browns Manistee is known for.  Check back later for photos of the motors being installed and any other fishing news I might have ran across.

3/30/03   The best news about yesterday, is that I received my 5 year charter license from the USCG Station in Toledo, Ohio.  After a threatened delay until mid-April, because of homeland security issues they processed my paper work even before my old license lapsed 3/31/03.  Click here to see a reel-charter license
    Also, my 28 foot Cherokee got it's seasonal parole for good behavior from winter storage and now sits in my driveway waiting for 2 new fresh motors to be installed tomorrow.  I gave the old gal called, the "King Fish" a thorough scrub at the Wellston Power Wash and it's ready for a fresh coat of bottom paint soon.  Today the batteries get installed.  And I'm more then happy to report, I'll be readying the lake tackle this week.  Manistee's Brown Trout Season is just around the corner!

3/29/03  Andy, Dan and Mark were my esteemed guests for yesterday's event on the Big Manistee River.  This was special trip for me, because it represented a three generation family fishing trip out to have fun.  The fish kinda cooperated with Andy landing his first Steelhead, which was our largest of the morning.  Dan then did the honors on a smaller fish before Andy did a job on his second fish.  Mark was content to see his son do battle and ran the anchor like a expert for me.   Click for Dan's fish     Click for Andy's fish    
    The best deal about this voyage on the big river was the excellent company and the great conversation I enjoyed with Dan and Mark.  We quit a little after 12 noon, because of a hard driving rain that didn't let up.  Also, we didn't want to push Andy's (aged 12) attention span beyond it's limit.  Good trip and good guys to fish with!      Click for catch photo

3/28/03  Things kinda improved somewhat for us yesterday, 4 Steelhead, 1 Carp-Sucker and at least 9 good solid strikes.  I think we finally rode on a lucky streak with the first three holes we fished all had Steelhead in the them.  Boxed 3 fish by 10am and a then Carp-Sucker put a curse on us, because misitius set in.  We finally boated our fourth fish of the day in the last hole we fished around 2:30pm.  It was good thing to see a few fish cooperate instead of sitting there all day long making excuses for fish that just didn't exist, or plain wouldn't hit!  
  Click for their catch photo    Click here for soup photo   Click for Stefan's hen
Stefan and Ted were a sheer joy to fish with and displayed youthful exuberance throughout the morning.  Both were quick to the rod and stayed alert. Kelly, Ted's wonderful wife made my day when we heated up her now, world famous broccoli potato soup.  Ted took the honors of "World Champion Carp-Sucker  Fisherman."  I guess the rain we experienced kept most fishermen off the creek, because the crowd wasn't a problem. 
                     Click here for Ted's World Class Trophy Carp-Sucker

3/27/03  Gonna be on the Big Manistee River today with Ted and Stefan.  While fishing continues on the slow side, even a stopped clock is right twice a day.  Check back later for a complete report on how our day went.
    Re-power project 2003 is almost done, with both motors ready to be installed.  I've been chasing down a boom truck, so I can install both motors in my driveway.  This simplifies the process when all my tools are available and I can test fire, or start both engines before leaving for Manistee's Public Launch.  With the water level down, extreme care must be taken in choosing the right ramp.  Some ramps are washed out at the end of the concrete and have a drop off to hook your axel shackles.  I'm about two long days away before the 2003 lake season becomes a reality.  Additional pressure to launch soon, because of the slow river situation.

3/26/03  I was put between a rock and a hard place first thing yesterday morning with a non-functioning 140 hp. Johnson outboard motor.  Murphy's Law, "if it ain't broke don't fix it" applies here, because in changing the fuel filter yesterday, it allowed dirt into the carburetors.  So, after several attempts, the motor was a no go.  Then I got the anchor hung up, so I'm off to a terrible start right of the bat.
    I asked my guests if they could re-schedule and that was out of the question, because Charlie had driven from Cleveland Ohio to fish with his Dad, Wes.  So, I rowed 2000 pounds of boat from Bear Creek to Rainbow Bend, at times against the wind.  I was trying to save their fishing trip at all costs, because of the distance traveled.  Needless to say it wasn't gonna be my day, as the Steelhead were non-existent for us.  We seen two fish caught in 7 hours on our very slow journey downriver.  We heard another boat had one for a grand total of 3 fish caught in our 3 1/2 miles of river.  The only good thing about yesterday was the patience and tolerance level of my gracious guests.  I posted a picture of last year's result (3/26/02) on this day, just to remember what a 17# trophy Steelhead looked like.  There's just not many fish in the river, as of yet,  It's a dog eat dog world out there and I had Milkbone underwear on yesterday.  Thank God I have today off!

3/25/03  I've got a better plan for today then yesterday's non-program.  Gonna hit the river below the belt and fish the bottom end, because the top and middle ain't producing for me.  Wes Edington is my guest for today's do.
    As I said on Saturday, Manistee Lake is open by the big river and the channel is completely clear of ice.  Some pockets floating ice on Lake Michigan still remains off both Ludington and Manistee, but that should be gone in a few days.  Check back later for the complete low-down on today's BMR event, maybe I found a dumb one!

3/24/03  Fished today with Greg B. and his extremely well-behaved son, Mitch.  We fished prime water until about noon then called it a day.  We hooked one small fish about 10am and it didn't stay hooked.  It was tough for us even to get a hit!
     Pitiful best describes the action on the Big Manistee River, as this season continues be dismal and almost non-existent.  If things got any slower, time would be running backwards.  At this point in time I haven't seen one redd, or a place where Steelhead spawn on gravel.  Fly guides, who are notorious for pounding the gravel up by Tippy Dam are downriver looking for fish.  Spawn is out producing plugs, because most of the fish take were caught today were below 5 pounds.  In 14 miles of river I know of maybe 8 Steelhead that were boated by the entire fleet!

3/23/03  Manistee Lake and the channel to Lake Michigan is clear from ice.  I seen some where's between 15 and 20 boats anchored on the sand bar off the mouth of the big river fishing spawn yesterday.  To say it was crowded would be a understatement!  The river is flowing at 1710 cubic feet a second and the initial flush of the highest water of this year is over for now.  The water temp up by Tippy Dam is a stable 36.32 degrees.  The outcome of my river trips for this coming week looks a lot better then last week's struggle, I'm optimistic to say the least.

3/22/03  Tracey and Steve were my guests for yesterday's abbreviated sojourn  on the Big Manistee River.  I met this splendid couple at the agreed upon time, even though they had a semi-lengthy drive in very foggy conditions.  Tracey's bright, warm smile assured me these were nice folks and a good day lay ahead of us.  Then the conditions turned for the worst with a cold driving rain with temps in the 30's.  To make matters worse, Consumers turned-up the flow at Tippy Dam to full bore at over 2400 cubic feet per second, sending a large amount debris downriver.  We fished maybe 5 spots, before throwing in the towel around 11am and rescheduling their event.  Next week looks good once the river cleans up!

3/21/03   I had to say good bye yesterday some of the finest company a charter operator could ever ask for named, Dan and Dan Noerr.  We finished up their 3 day journey on the Big Manistee River with Don expertly landing a stout hook-jawed male in the 10 pound neighborhood and Dan caught a smaller fish later in the day.  No many fish were available to us, or anyone else on the river from what I could see.  But, a couple is better then none! Click here for Don's Dandy Steelhead
   On-deck for today's event is Steve Haver and his wife, Mrs. Haver.  Need to come up with a viable new plan, because the traffic downriver was horrendous, especially around Bear Creek to Rainbow Bend areas. 

3/20/03  After I threw in the towel at straight-up noon we finally boated Don and Dan Noerr's first fish in two days.  I had just finished informing them that I couldn't turn a fish and I sucked as a guide, when the number two rod took a hard yank!  We were in business with Don doing the honors on a bright 6 to 7 pound hen.  In the next three hours we had 4 more hits and Dan boated a smaller, but hard fighting male.     
   Overall our action ended up OK, considering we never touched a fish until noon. I'd like to thank Dan and Don for the extreme patience both conversant anglers showed me, as I struggled all morning long.  There's just not that many Steelhead in the system.  Counting our fish, there was only 5 fish caught in the 12 miles of river we covered that I was aware of.     Click here for Don's bright hen        Click here for Dan's Steelhead

3/19/03  Fishing sucked big time yesterday on the Big Manistee River.  In my 8 hour trek with Dan and Don we managed one nibble at 9:45am.  We then had a fish briefly hooked-up about 3pm and that was the total sum outcome of this non-event.  A complete lack of Steelhead continues like it has since last fall, no matter what the any representative of the DNR says.  
     Sometimes, certain year classes of fish do not survive well, and that's what we're faced with now.  No blame can be pushed on the DNR, but their "pie in the sky" figures of natural reproduction are way out of whack and are a totally unproven farce.  We seen a couple of boats that were dunking spawn that had a fish, or two.  Tough days like this, do not help my attitude a-at-all!  Check back later this evening to see if we found a Steelhead, or two with a death wish, but don't bet on it!  Plus, Tippy is at it's highest level since last March, or April so we'll be contending with debris filled river.  Good news is the temp came up a whole degree.

3/18/03  Dan N. and company is going to be my guest for the next three days on the Big Manistee River.  So with this deal, time is on my side to get these anglers into a few fish.  Biggest concern is the very cold water temperature of barely 33 degrees.  Downriver should be a degree, or two warmer during mid-day.  Please wish us luck, because from what I've heard....we're going to need it!  Check back later this evening for some new Steelhead photos (I hope) since in early Feb.
    Does it feel beyond wonderful to gaze out into my backyard and see a few bare spots of ground sticking through the melting snow pack?....YES!  We've had snow on the ground since last Dec.  The high here today's was around 60 according to my thermometer in the front yard.............simply fantastic!

3/17/03   Worked my fingers to the bone at the Novi Boat show to bring you some of the finest photos I've taken in quite a while.  Just remember, I'm more than willing to go the extra mile to keep you the best informed group of fishermen on the web.  It could be also said, "it's a dirty job, but somebody's gotta do it!"  Click here for light-blue bathing suit
Initial word from the big river is not good!   One guide I know, fished for 3 days this past week to put one fish in the net.  I'll find out first hand on this coming Tuesday, with the first flush of high dirty water, this I will say, "it don't look good at this time!"  I can't exactly predict the outcome of our efforts until we try.  Either way, I'll glad to be back on the river and fishing in decent spring-like weather.  The river is flowing at manageable 1540 cubic feet per second and the water temp is 33.26 degrees.  Click here for red bathing suit  

3/16/03  All's well in Southeastern Michigan, because the weather is simply wonderful with temps in the high 50's.  Novi Boat Show concludes today, but not before I get some photos of the live swimsuit models at the show.  I should have some great photos for Monday's update.  A long trip back to Manistee awaits me once the show is over.  Thanks to the many members of this website for stopping by my booth and saying hello.
Received another nice thank you note from another boat sold at the Boater Guide.
Here's what Jim had to say,
Just to let you know, John, that we have sold our 1992 Thompson by using your website. We had several inquiries. We thank you very much for your service, and enjoy your website. Keep up the good work! We'll see you out on the big lake very soon! SPRING IS HERE!!! Yeah! Jim Mrozik

3/15/03   It's gonna better then 50 degrees today.......unbelievable!  Fishing season is here for me.  I'll be on the Big Manistee fairly regularly during the rest of March.  Everything is going well at the Novi Boat and I look forward to my return to Manistee County tomorrow evening.  3/15/03   It's gonna better then 50 degrees today.......unbelievable!  Fishing season is here for me.  I'll be on the Big Manistee fairly regularly during the rest of March.  Everything is going well at the Novi Boat and I look forward to my return to Manistee County tomorrow evening.  

3/14/03  It was a harrowing journey to see my homies in the Southeastern Michigan hood.  I'm going thru extreme culture shock since I left my crib with the lunatic traffic down here.  Running late, I was hooked up in 80 mph+ draft in the show-off lane, when 2 cars ahead of me decided to spun out on I-96 eastbound.  Needless to say, I made it Novi in good shape, compared to the 15, or so cars I seen in the ditch.  The treacherous roads were caused by less then 4" of snow? 
In Manistee we'd call that a light dusting!
   I you are planning a trip to The Novi Boat Show my booth number is 70 & 71 and it's conveniently located close the north, or western most entrance by the large water tower. 

3/13/03  The Big Manistee River is still mostly frozen over by the M-55 Bridge.  The way I see it is, we're about a week away from the good Steelhead fishing.  Predicted warm temperatures and rain on the Monday will really shake things up.
After the river is rinsed from the first flush of dirty high water, it will be Steelhead City into early April.  Please remember, the water temperature in the BMR is only    
32.9 degrees now.  The fall and winter fish were never hurt by angling pressure, so when the fish do arrive in mass, the action should be outstanding!
    I'll be in Novi starting today thru this coming Sunday and should be able to keep daily updates coming your way from Southeastern Michigan and from the show.

3/12/03  I'll probably be cutting a trail for the Motor City later today for the Novi Show which starts tomorrow.  Not much to report from the Manistee fishing scene, but there a some Steelhead at Tippy Dam being caught.  A trip into Manistee is called for and I'll see if the lower end has cleared from ice.  The weatherman is calling for temps in the 50's for this coming weekend, maybe we will have a spring after all.......eh?

3/11/03   I'm in the process of preparing for the next show at the Novi Expo Center this coming Thursday thru Sunday.  The weather up here has been very cold with lows in the single digits and highs that never seen 20 degrees yesterday. 
   Well, all that's supposed to change starting today with the temps above the freezing mark for a change.  Much to do in the next few days and Mike from Manistee Auto should be there with me on Saturday and Sunday in Novi with his TrollMaster Alternator.  This is an extremely good product and should be considered if you have a lot of electronics.  Especially, if your vessel is a single screw.

3/10/03   Returned home to the frozen north country in Manistee County last evening.  With winds to 35mph and blowing snow, the trip was no pleasure.  This brutal, never ending winter continues to pick on me.  The weather (ice storm) was the handicap at the show in Flint, Michigan.  The usually heavy crowd on Saturday was non-existent and Sunday's crowd was very small too.  Never the less, it was a joy to met many of you, because we all share the addiction of Great Lakes fishing.
    I'll be announcing the winner of the "Rodsmanship Contest" later today, or in tomorrow's update with a story that belongs in "Ripley's Believe It, or Not."  I presented show director, Joe Pilara from the Flint River Valley Steelheaders with a donation check for $135.00 upon the conclusion of the show.  About 30 anglers tested their skill against the fishing machine and donated 5 bucks each to compete.  Thanks to all who participated, because you were all winners in my book.

3/9/03  Had a great time at the  Flint Steelheaders Show today, until an ice and snow storm curtailed the crowd in the early afternoon.  Met many of the website viewers, as about 30 of them challenged the fishing machine in our friendly tournament, so far.  Show concludes today, and thanks to all who braved the roads to attend the event. 
                              Check out Karen on the fishing machine

3/8/03  Stayed pretty busy on the opening evening of the Flint Steelheaders Show at the IMA Arena yesterday.  Looking forward with greater anticipation to see what today brings.  Thanks to those of you who took the time to stop by my booth and say hello.  Rodsmanship contest is in full swing, with at least ten members testing their skill against the fishing rod machine.  More updates tomorrow with more photos almost live from the show.

3/7/03  Live from Flint, Michigan.......this is your man on the ground, Capt. John reporting.  Yeah, I got the mobile net connection to work from the motel.  I'll be able to keep this site updated thru-out the run of show.  Gotta set up the display this morning, then let the show begin.  Predicted to push 35 degrees here today, wow! 

3/6/03  I posted a chart of the supposed constant flow deal on the Big Manistee River, even though I probably catch some major flack over it.  It just goes to show there is no such thing as constant flow and let the river run, as it would naturally.
                 Click here for the yoyo chart of the supposed natural flow
Ok, now for more pleasant things, I'm leaving the sanctity of Manistee County for the 3 hour trip to Flint, Michigan.  The Flint Steelheaders Show is where I'm going to be at from Friday, until the show closes on Sunday.  I now have Earthlink as a ISP and should be able to find a local number to get on the web with.  If so, and I get thru the motel switchboard, I'll re-publish this site with the latest and greatest from Flint this coming Friday.

3/5/03  Spent most of the day loading my pick-up truck with the dog and pony show I'll soon be hauling to the Flint Steelheaders Show at the IMA Arena.  
    I'm holding a special rodsmanship tournament against their Salmon fishing machine.  Best score wins a custom engraved plaque and all of our respect.  It costs 5 bucks enter and all proceeds will be handed back to the Flint Steelheaders at the conclusion of the show less the cost of the award.  Let's show our support for this group, they put on one of the best sport fishing shows in Michigan.  Unlike other shows, this one doesn't cost a arm and a leg to attend. Live Manistee Weather-Deer Cam:  Click here for real time images

3/4/03  OK, this weather better break soon, because I'm running out of subject matter to report on.  Here's the latest and greatest from Manistee County.  The ice in Portage Lake has built to at least 21 inches and micro 4 to 6 inch perch are being caught.  Manistee Lake is windswept and bare, building thicker ice daily.      
   Some Steelhead are being caught at Tippy Dam, but from what I heard, let's go heavy on the word "some," because it's not red-hot.  The Big Manistee River is trying to cut a channel of open water on the south bank by the M-55 Bridge, as Consumers had raised the water slightly to 1500 cubic feet, but now, they've almost completely shut off the flow at 930 cubic feet. This is the lowest I've seen.   Click here for the frozen solid Big Manistee River
    I'm looking forward to getting out of Manistee this weekend and going to a much warmer Flint, Michigan. Oh, yeah...it was about 18 below at my house last night. 

3/3/03  Reporting from the frigid and frozen tundra here in Manistee County the big news is the way below zero temperatures experienced last night.  This delayed all projects yesterday, because it was to cold to work in my garage (even with a heater) and put the finishing touches on the re-power project.  This delays any thoughts of hitting the Big Manistee River, as the ice is a major problem. 
   I looked into the long range forecast for Flint, Michigan for this weekend and the upcoming Steelheader's Show at the IMA.  All I can say, it's going akin to me traveling to a much warmer climate, with low temps in the high 20's and mid-day highs in the mid-30's at least! 

3/2/03  "Almost" have the starboard motor completed, other then for installing transmission, I'm pretty much done with the re-power 2003 project.  Loading the "show display" for the Flint Steelheader's Show at the IMA is on today's hot list.
Although, the Show starts on afternoon of the 7th of March, I don't want to deal with this task at very the last minute.  Hope to see many of you there.  
    This I did not want to say, "we're once again getting whacked by a semi-major snow fall, and it's going to be colder than you ex-mother-in-laws kiss too!"  See this crap:
  Wind Chill Advisory For Sunday: 
Cold air will infiltrate the area Sunday morning... accompanied by northwest winds 20 to 30 mph gusting to 35 mph. These winds combined with sub zero temperatures will result in wind chills in the -20 to -30 degree range.
  A Wind Chill Advisory is issued when a strong wind will combine with cold temperatures to create dangerously cold conditions for exposed skin. Those planning to venture outdoors should use common sense and dress warmly... making sure that all exposed skin is covered.......
Sounds like fun........eh?  

3/1/03  March is stepping in day in a pretty mild manner (like a lamb), with highs today predicted in the mid-30's.  Watch out towards the end of the month when it leaves like a lion!  The below zero thing is supposed to visit us once again, starting on this coming Monday.  This was knocked the wind out of my sails, thinking spring was only  3 weeks away.
    All reports I received on ice said the action was slow on Crystal Lake for Lake Trout, but some nice sized perch are being taken (on Crystal Lk.)....when located.  Steelhead are still schooled up off the mouth of the iced-up Big Manistee under the ice.  I'll be spending the weekend readying for the Flint Show and finishing up the re-power 2003 project completely. 

2/28/03  And Thank God this is the last day in February!  Reports of good ice fishing for Steelhead off the mouth of the big river have been dribbling in.  The inside word is the ice dams has jammed the mouth and not many fish are able to make it up river.  This is a great indicator of what's on the horizon.
    The response to all tackle offers has been tremendous.  I spent the day catching up on most back logged orders.  All products are in hand with the exception of the trolling bags, so I'm a little behind on them.  Thanks to all of you who have trusted me with your tackle purchasing dollar.  I think it's a little easier to buy from someone who uses exactly what he sells....................reel-fact!

2/27/03  We have entered into Streakville today, because the 2003 line-up of custom painted, or taped Silver Streaks is now in hand and ready to ship.  The packs I've put together for the upcoming season contains all my "hot lures" from 2002.  Capt. John's Dirty Dozen is laden with the deadly, glow-in-the-dark  hammered finishes.  New for this year's agenda is the Whopper Stopper Pack which is geared towards this summer's "tuna time."  It has doubles of the 5 best magnum sized spoons known to mankind, if your quarry is Mr. King Salmon in 2003? click here to see how the early & late fish see this selection of Streaks
    Stopped on the M-55 Bridge and snapped a photo of the frozen Big Manistee River.  The ice on Manistee Lake is better than a foot thick, if you plan on ice fishing inland lakes most of the ice is over 2 foot thick, requiring a power auger.    

2/26/03  Joy, joy, joy everything I did yesterday was a huge success! The high quality stainless coast-lock snap swivels (American Made) have been ordered, and a direct account is in the process of being set-up with Luhr Jensen in Hood River, Oregon.  As an added bonus a deal was struck between myself and Capt. Steve from the "Spanish Fly" trolling flies. So, I'll soon be offering his product for sale.
   After me whining about delayed delivery of my custom painted products from Silver Streak yesterday, I was informed by Mr. Chip Cartwright, all products ordered are in transit.  The delay is, because almost EVERY Silver Streak is a custom ordered, taped or painted spoon.  A big thank you goes to the folks at Streak for even considering my much involved and pain in the butt order.  This year's line up of Streaks is awesome and photos will be posted when the guy that drives the brown bomber (UPS) truck shows up.  Need to deal with VMC Hooks today too.   
    Also, plans call for some fresh photos of the Manistee River on the way into town today.  I'll be posting the frigid looking pictures in tomorrow's update. 

2/25/03  It's been a long journey to get to Streakville this winter, because I'm still waiting on the special order spoons to be shipped.  Not having the Silver Streaks in stock, means delayed shipping and double postage for me when they do arrive.  I got tried of waiting and shipped all orders minus the snubbers and Streak spoons.  In case you didn't know, I get the snubbers from Streak too.  Ordering VMC hooks and American made high quality coast-lock snap swivels and hook files from Luhr Jensen will be accomplished today.
    More frigid weather means the good Steelhead fishing is still ahead of us.  As long as the big river stays frozen shut in the lower end (M-55) don't look for the mother load of spring Steelhead to appear.  Once the lower end is clear from the fishing should be super. It looks to be a late run this season compared to last year.
Paul  Harvey would say, "click here for the rest of the stories

2/24/03  Starting to feel extremely positive about the completion of the re-power project for the tried and true 1987 Cherokee that I've owned since it new.  17 seasons and 8000 hours later, means countless successful charter outings in that old gal.  The winter weather here has worsened again to single digits again.  
    I simply refuse to let this cold snap ruin my warm outlook towards the March Steelhead season on the Big Manistee River.   In April, "World Class Brown Trout" starts on Lake Michigan's stunningly beautiful shoreline, right here in Manistee.  
    I look forward with great zest in meeting with several of the old and new friends from this website.  I'll at the Flint Steelheaders Show at the IMA Arena March 7th thru 9th.  The following week I'll be at the Novi Boat Show in the Novi Expo Center March 13th thru 16th.  Winter is almost done, and soon we'll "ALL" be having fun!

2/23/03  It's back to the deep freeze here in Manistee County, until a mid-week warming trend is supposed set in.  Lower end of the Manistee River is still frozen solid at the M-55 bridge. Re-power project is almost whipped and both motors almost done. Need to install transmission, cushion plate and bell housing on the starboard.  I should have the new motors installed by the third week of March.  Then we're on our way to "Fish City" to outwit the wily Brn. Trout on Lk. Michigan.

2/22/03  Pressure on the Big Manistee River is intensifying, as the river is clearing from ice.  Mixed results are being reported, because the river is running at 1360 cubic feet per second at Tippy Dam.  Run-off from below Tippy is helping somewhat, but Consumers has yet to turn on the high water.
    Work goes on with finishing the starboard motor with help from "SecondWind" John. He was nice enough to come up and lend another set of paws to the project.

2/21/03  Here's a E-mail reply from a very satisfied advertiser from his boat listing:

Capt. John, I just wanted to thank you for advertising my 1989 Bayliner Trophy on
the Boaters GuideAs of today, it's Sold!  I received an incredible amount of interest.  If anyone I know decides to sell their boat in the future, I will definitely point them your way.  Thank you so much!...............Tim P.

I've listed a couple of new boats at the
Boaters Guide and a set of Vector riggers.
Weather is better, work is progressing smoothly on the starboard engine.  Yes, life is good in Manistee County today, as we all look forward to spring 2003!
Paul  Harvey would say, "click here for the rest of the stories

2/20/03  Made tremendous strides forward in buttoning up the port motor yesterday.  Work begins in earnest on the starboard motor today and should see competition of the re-power project sometime this weekend.  Barring any unforeseen Murphy's Law problems?
   OK, now for the bad news, the U.S.C.G. is running way behind in issuing licenses.  Even with a 8 week head start to keep my license current, I was informed by mail, my new charter license might not be issued until April 13, 2003.  Meaning two weeks with no license, because current issue expires 3/31/03.  Homeland security was the reason given, I guess.  The news was they're not even considering new licenses yet, which will cause added delays for our nubie captains. 
   Then to make matters even more fun, I got the 2003 bump in prices for the Bechholds Rotating Flasher.  Jerry let my first order go thru with 2002 pricing.  
So, I'm not complaining, because the way the new flashers are taped makes it more than worth it to me.  All petroleum based products are on the way up.  Plastic used in the flasher is petroleum based.  Part of the secret of this flasher is it's light weight, as it twists itself thru the water in a slow spinning wide arc.

2/19/03  Work on the starboard motor starts today, as the port motor gets a drink of 30 weight break-in oil and a new filter.  Restocked on the flashers and Streaks have been promised sometime this week.  Plan is to work in "King's Marine Garage" today and tomorrow, then hit the BMR this Friday.  I'll be posting comparison photos of the recommended TrollMaster alternator on tomorrow's update. 
                 Click here for info on the old alternator vs. the new TrollMaster

2/18/03   Heaven has descended upon Manistee County with predicted balmy above freezing temperatures at last!  While I kinda hate to load this page with commercialism about products at the tackle store.  I haven't been able to chase Steelhead all winter, because of the very frigid and harsh weather.  So, the reel-truth is, there's not been many opportunities to fish the big river.  Hopefully, towards the end of the week, the ice will clear enough to turn this back into a fishing website.  I'm getting a bad case of spring fever and feel the need to fish.

2/17/03  A big weather improvement is on the way, maybe towards the end of the week, the big river might be fishable.  Starboard motor heads the "to do" list this week, because spring is only 5 weeks away!  Busy with orders for now.
   A big special "thank you" goes out to Capt. Bob Hicks, one of GM's leading mechanical engineers for his added wisdom and toil this past Saturday on the port boat motor re-assembly project. 

2/16/03  Victory can almost be claimed on the port motor project.  Other than for installing the TrollMaster alternator and fuel filter and line, this motor is done!  Work begins in earnest this week on the starboard motor.  By this coming weekend I should be able to call the re-power project......over!  Soon re-installation in the boat begins.  Below zero temperatures once again prevent any chance of fishing the iced-over Big Manistee until the "predicted" warm-up for this week comes in.

2/15/03  Today's is the day I muster the courage to wrestle the port transmission onto the bell housing.  American Express and Discover credit cards have been added to Capt. John's  Tackle Store.  Not overly thrilled about the 15 below predicted for Sunday night, but hey.....we've all lived through worse!  Short update again, as continuing problems with my phone line have made dealing with the internet a reel nightmare.

2/14/03   The Fishlander spoons are here for 2003 and ready to ship.  Every spoon in this pack is a winner on both Lakes Huron and Michigan.  These spoons mix well with attractors and will produce excellent results on all species of Trout and Salmon in our Great Lakes.  If you go into the archives, you'll see these spoons featured many times as the "Hot Lures" of the day.  I am proud of this year's selections!  I have several orders to ship, so please be patient.  Most will go out in today's mail.
    It looks like about Wednesday of next week, the big river might be fishable again.  Warm temperatures are needed to rid he river of ice.  This last cold snap has thickened the ice, keeping any chance of hitting the river out of the question.

2/13/03    I spent way too much time dealing with very unsavory message board issues yesterday.  I'm in the firm belief, all problems have been rectified and they won't reoccur.  Having real trouble up here with the phone lines, due the high winds and frigid weather.   So, I hope today's shortened update gets published, because my internet connection has been marginal at best.

2/12/03   I'll concentrating my efforts in putting together more tackle deals today.
A call to Luhr Jensen is in order to put together a diver pack.  Slide Divers, Dipsy and snubbers would all be included if everything works out.  A terminal tackle pack will have 1/4# spool of Ande 50# test (Fly leader material), Luhr Jensen hook files, coast lock snap swivels (30# and 50# test) and 4 sizes in 2 styles of the special, hard to find VMC hooks (that I use) will be included in each terminal package deal.  
    Let's get to the straight skinny on why I'm doing the terminal tackle pack.  While I can't never put more fish under your boat, I'm positive, I can cut your loss rate on strikes.  Even with inexperienced charter anglers my loss per hit rate is extremely low.  I learned a long ago going 90% on strikes makes filling the box a lot easier job.  The hand picked products in the terminal pack will come with complete, very intense instructions that will immensely benefit your strike to landed fish ratio! 

2/11/03  All's white and very snowy in Manistee County, like usual!  Brutal winds  yesterday to 35 mph made it even seem worse than it was.  I've got plowed drifts about 6 foot high.  The fact is I'm running out of room to pile up the snow.
     The Big Manistee is frozen up to about Bear Creek, so bring tip-ups, snowshoes and hire "Nanook of the North" for a guide, if you're planning to fish the big river anytime soon.  The word "reel-winter" best describes what's happening up here.  The best news is we only have 38 days until spring is "supposed" arrive.  The payment for the wonderful summers in the north country is called, winter.

2/10/03  I wanted to introduce 2003 line-up of Capt. Len's King Fly today.  This is a premium product and was a mainstay of my attractor program during 2002.  All of his flies are patiently hand-tied in a fly vise with meticulous care.  A slight delay means, these fine trolling flies won't be ready to go until sometime early next week.
      Accomplished many goals in King's Marine Repair Garage yesterday.  Port motor is ready for transmission, starter and new TrollMaster alternator, then it's done!  Doing the first motor has been a exercise in, order this and wait, because Manistee does not have the major part suppliers like the motor city does.  During this project was one of the few times I missed living downstate, ordering parts is pain!

2/9/03  Spent a major portion of my time yesterday shipping orders.  The response to the custom taped Bechhold Flashers has been extremely well received and I'll need to order more soon. Tomorrow is the debut of Capt. Len's Fly 2003.  
     On the home front, I just couldn't get going on my motor rebuild project, due to a complete lack of enthusiasm.  Lack of sunlight and snow up the quazoo in Manistee County can be a disheartening sight, especially when that's all you've seen.  Today's another story, so I'll bear down and do what needs to be done. 

2/8/03   Frigid, artic-like temperatures and deep snow have curtailed any chance of whipping a few Steelhead on the Big Manistee River.  It's going to be a while before this weather improves enough to hit the big creek too.  It's hard for me to keep focused on the fact, this is a fishing website, when we're experiencing near blizzard conditions everyday.  Oh well, it will be summer sometime............I hope!
     I accomplished a bunch on the port motor project yesterday.  I installed the water pump, fuel pump, harmonic balance wheel and the carb.  It's finally starting to look like a motor once again.  I'm hoping to install the flywheel, new cushion plate, exhaust manifolds, bellhousing and most of the electrical system today.

2/7/03  My order of custom taped Bechhold Flashers arrived today and they're ready to ship now.  These are special order, non-regular stock models with laser glow tape on one side, and crushed ice glow tape on the other.  I'd like the thank Jerry Bechhold for allowing this very special order go through.  It's not like they need my business.  This unique 50/50 taping pattern will provide an edge over the rest of the fleet and they're only available through 
     You won't see any of these models at your local tackle store either!   Black, green and white are the basic blade colors.  The only way you can't catch fish with this selection is, if you don't put 'em in the water!  $55 for two 11-inchers and four 8-inchers.  Tax, US Priority Mail shipping and complete in-depth instructions are included. Capt. John's Tackle Store.

2/6/02  The lower end of Big Manistee River is frozen solid by the M-55 bridge.  Steelhead and what looks like fat chunky rainbows are being caught thru the ice on Manistee Lake.  If you're interested in learning how to fish Steelhead thru the ice E-mail me at kingscharter@yahoo.com and long friend and deckhand, Mark Pefley will show you the ropes at an all too reasonable rate.
     Spent most of the yesterday running errands in Manistee.  Dropped off my alternators at Manistee Auto Electric to have Mike turn them into what's called a TrollMaster.  The TrollMaster puts out at least twice the amperage of a normal boat alternator. This is the first-rate way to fly when it comes to your improving your elect. system. I'm leaving no stone unturned when it comes to the rebuild project. 

2/5/03   I need to take a trip to Wellston and Ludington to tie up some loose ends today, if the weather is decent?  As of now, the full force of February's fury is dumping a bunch of the white stuff again, plus it's too windy and reel-cold.   
     Tackle ordering this year's selections took up most of my time yesterday along with the dreaded paperwork.  I should have the Fishlander and Silver Streaks lure packs in hand ready to ship by the first of next week........hopefully!  The special Bechholds I ordered should be arriving any day too.  Capt. Len's King Fly for 2003 is scheduled to be debuted any day, once the photos are in.  
      Yep, it's almost fishing season once again, because my phone has been busy with several new charter bookings, or inquiries as of late.

2/4/03  Yesterday was a good day and everything went too well.  In fact, things are moving along so smoothly, I'm waiting for the hammer to fall and everything to go haywire ( like it usually does)! Click for here Bruce, Ludington's Master Wrench 
    Bruce B from Ludington donated about 3 hours of his time to put me on the right track with the rebuild project.  The intake manifold, timing chain cover and oil pan all went on with a very professional touch.......thanks to Bruce.  Also, I passed all aspects of the required Coast Guard physical for another 5 yr. stint as Capt. King.   
Paul  Harvey would say, "click here for the rest of the stories

2/3/03  Way too many irons in the fire today!  As the interest in the 2003 big lake trolling season gets underway, several tackle offerings are in the works.  If all goes well, I'll introduce this year's package deal on Capt. Len's Fly tomorrow.  At this point in time, I'm at least 2 days behind schedule and working hard to catch up. 
    A reel-mechanic from Ludington is coming over this morning to help insure proper installing of the new oil pump, intake manifold and the oil pan gasket.  Oil leakage is one problem I want to avoid at all costs.  I hope to have port engine completely assembled towards the of the week.  Then work on the starboard motor will begin.

2/2/03pm  Did "OK" Big Manistee River today with Vickie and Capt. Brian.  We boated 3 Steelhead, with the largest in the 9 pound category. Vickie with her alert, lightening-fast reflexes and persistence, whipped the largest Steelhead of the day.  Not to be left out, Capt. Brian expertly reeled in two smaller fish too!  There was no death toll on today's event, as all the fish were released in good shape to battle again. Click here for one of Brian's hens
    Capt. Brian will be chartering out of the Port of Muskegon in 2003 and has sent in many first-rate port reports over the past season, or two.  Both Vickie and Brian have a shared passion for fishing and were a terrific couple to spent the day with, displaying welcomed, easy going demeanor.    Click for Vickie's victory photo of a good-sized silver male            
I've upgraded the forecast to "Fair" Steelheading on the big river, because we seen only one other boat during the course of our outing, and missed only one very soft hit.  So, don't jump to the wild conclusion the BMR is jam-packed with fish yet!

2/2/03  Brian H. has today booked for a Steelhead in the Big Manistee River.  I have no idea of what to expect.  Gonna have to play this one by ear.  The river is flowing at 1400 cubic feet a second, which is still below normal flow.  I guess we'll just have to wish for the best and fish hard.  Check back this evening for update.

2/1/03  Well, we've drawn another month closer to where interest is building in the 2003.  With any luck, the custom colors of the Bechhold Fishcatchers should be here soon and I'm putting together Capt. Len's King Fly pack for 2003.  January in Manistee was fiercely bitter with snow and cold.  I'm glad to see it go!
    Oh yeah, I'm going to attempt another try on the Big Manistee tomorrow with Brian H, in hopes of a decent event.  A brief warming trend with above freezing temps should mean shore ice won't be a major problem, like this past Thursday.
Click here for this month's First Mate, she's a reel-hottie that likes to fish! 

1/31/03  Tried to fish the big river yesterday, but all the shore ice was broken loose by hot shot who ran his boat upriver full tilt, making it impossible to fish.  Incidentally, I know the doer of this no-good was one of those who's been fooled into the fact that "chuck and duck" is fly-fishing.  The tip-off was the proudly displayed yuppyish Patagonia Clothing sticker on his rear window of his new SUV.  I've never felt the need to advertise overpriced clothing on my pick-up truck, nor ever will! Click for winter's scenic view from my riverboat  3/30/03

1/30/03  Spent most of the day wrenching on the new port engine and everything went well.  I've reached the point where the accessories are being installed on the newly rebuilt blocks I purchased.  This is a major job, with future of many trouble-free days fishing at stake, so I'm being painstakingly meticulous.
    A break from the rigors of daily toil is in store for me today, because I'm hitting the BMR with John J. in hopes of bending the rod a few times.  With the cold snap, I'm not sure if we'll even be able to fish (shore and flow ice), but we're gonna try.
Tune in later for a brand new "hands-on" fishing report and new photos.......I hope!

1/29/03  Readying the riverboat for tomorrow's exploratory venture on the BMR is on the front burner today.  I'll be on the big river again this coming Sunday too.
    One of the new motors will be uncrated today and installed on a engine stand, in the process of re-powering my Cherokee for 03.  The engine stand makes rotating the engine for access, a easy deal.  The stand was loaned to me by "Sarah Ann."

1/28/03  24 degrees BELOW zero yesterday morning in Cadillac Michigan at 3:30am.  Now, that's beyond a reel serious Brrrrrrrr!  The weather up here is akin to living at the North Pole, except there's none of them darned elves, reindeer or Santa.  OK, enough whining about winter, because warmer weather is on the way!
   Made tremendous progress yesterday on all fronts.  The roof my got shoveled, my new motors were delivered by truck and I finished the instruction sheet for using the new "Killer Pack" of Ken's KRW Flies& Squids.  Sent a fax yesterday to Petaluma, CA to order up this year's custom set of Bechholds Rotating Flashers too.  So, got a bunch got done and plan on hitting the BMR very soon.

1/27/03  OK, the football season has drawn to a close with the Tampa Bay Bucs winning the Super Bowl.  So, now's the time to start making firm plans for the 2003 Great Lakes trolling season.  Yes, we will have a summer once again, even though I'm going snow blind in Manistee County with even more snow.  You haven't lived until you've used a roof rake to prevent "ice damming" under your lower shingles.
    Keeping in the spirit of looking towards summer, I've added a new product line to Capt. John's Tackle Store.  I'm now offering the highly productive and very popular KRW Flies and Squids.  I've got a specially packaged deal I call, Ken's KRW Killers," or you can chose from the selection at: KRW Great Lakes Trolling Flies.
   I'll be calling Jerry Bechhold later today to order specially taped Fish Catchers.  My new engines are scheduled for delivery this morning, so as usual, I'm gonna be a busy boy this week.  Steelheading on the BMR this week is on the agenda too!

1/26/03  A few Steelhead are being caught thru the ice in front of the Little and Big Manistee Rivers.  "Beware," best describes the precautions necessary to do this safely.  Coho spawn is working best and there's a few fresh-run Coho still migrating up the Little Manistee.  Manistee Lake is hard frozen, except by the river mouths.
  Spent the day finishing my guide reports for the Forrest Service and working on a new page to be unveiled tomorrow. Hint: it's a new line of great fish catching stuff.
   Snow up to a small giraffes butt is what we have on the ground from mother nature's ruthless attack.  About 18 inches on the level in the backyard is the making of a snowmobiler's dream, but not mine.  Shoveled 3 times yesterday

1/25/03  We got our butt kicked by at least a foot of snow at my house in the last two days.  On a trip up the western coast of Michigan yesterday, I noticed the Kalamazoo, Grand, Muskegon, White, Pere Marquette and Manistee Rivers we're all frozen shut in their lower stretches.  Not much attention can be given to the Steelhead with the all the snow and extremely brutal weather lately.

1/24/03  Finishing long overdue paper work is my deal for today.  Several tackle packs are in the works, and that needs attention too.  I'm looking forward to next Tuesday when the temperature is "supposed" to be 35 degrees.  
    The plan for next Tuesday is to hit the Big Manistee River in quest of Mr. S. Head with John J. for an exploratory, research adventure, besides I haven't been on the big creek in about month.  The lower end being iced up will raise the water level to a more acceptable standard and hopefully.....we'll luck into a fish, or two.

1/23/03  I received a E-mail from the man (himself) who revolutionized the way we now fish the Great Lakes, Mr. Jerry Bechhold.  He is the inventor-manufacturer of the rotating flasher.  I was informed he would do doing seminars at Cabelas in Dundee, Michigan this March on the 7th, 8th, and 9th.  Click here to see Jerry w/ a 35# cut-bait King
    Also, we discussed a special, custom-taped flashers I'll be ordering the first part of next week.  These flashers will be in the exact same colors, as the one's I used last August to fill the box every day.  This order is not the regular stock, off the tackle store shelf items, but specially taped to give you an edge over the "pack."  More on this next week and I'll be posting the correct time schedule Jerry will doing his free seminars.  I'll be at the Flint Steelheader's Show at the same time (darn it), or I'd attend one of his talks myself.  

1/22/03  Below zero temperatures are predicted, as artic-like conditions mean bone-freezing, teeth-chattering cold.  This is the coldest weather we've had in a long time.  The weatherman says, this frigid weather is supposed to last well into February.  Any plans to fish the Big Manistee River?  Well, bring your tip-ups, because the lower end is frozen over.  This glacial weather will improve the odds for a banner year on Browns off Manistee, if you're looking for the cloud with a silver lining.  If it stays like this, Lake Michigan will freeze over all the way across.

1/21/03  Got held up at the doctor's office, because a man walked in complaining about a sore left arm and pressure in his chest.  Needless to say, his needs took precedence over mine and I spent over an hour there. 
   Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day and I couldn't take care of banking business.  So, today I have to fax back the purchase orders to insure delivery on my long blocks sometime next week.  Truck freight means in 3, or 4 days I'll be getting busy with the rebuild project when the new motors arrive.
   This winter's intense grip is starting to get the best of me.  Most of the time the Big Manistee River produces a decent January fishery, but not this year.  Lack of fishing on the BIG Manistee River has made the time go by ever-so-slowly. The next break in the weather I'm gonna hit the river, even if there's no fish in it!    

1/20/02  I trip to the doctor's office is in store for me today.  I have to have a complete physical for renewing my U.S.C.G Charter License.  2003 marks my 21st season in the  charter business and I'm still semi-sane...............remarkable!  
     Winds to 35mph and blowing snow made it a good day to keep stuffing logs into my wood stove.  It's just downright nasty, as winter's full force is in effect. 
Sometime later today the first E-mailer of '03 will grace your inbox, if I don't get held up at the doc's office for too long.

1/19/02  We're getting hit pretty hard right now with the dreaded "lake effect snow," and there's not any relief in sight.  It's plain cold and snowy here in Manistee County.  Any thought of fishing the big river right now is on hold, until we get some warmer weather.  The river is full of slush and what I call, "flow ice," because the ice just keeps flowing downriver, making it unfishable.
   I'm going to make a concerted effort to send out the first E-mail Updates Letter of 2003.  I haven't sent a contact mailer in about a month.  There's been nothing to report, except squealing about no Steelhead in the river.  That's changed now, because I have set the deadline of voting in the Photo Contest (2/2/03).  
Also, I need pictures of your Fishing Machine to post on the web.

1/18/02  I stopped procrastinating and started the tear-down on my boat engines.  First it had to be determined what year the motors when manufactured.  So, that meant removing the transmission, bell-housing and flywheel to see what style rear main seal it was (1986 engines).  Then I ordered a new long-block for $1,799.00 the port, or counter rotation engine from a place in North Carolina.  Shipping by truck was around 180 bucks too!  
                                 Click here for before the tear-down
                         Click for after tear-down and the style of the rear main seal
The worst thing about the tear-down was using an impact gun to remove the bolts that held the flywheel on.  I'll need new bolts, because of the torque, some of them got very distorted.  Also, if you'll look hard, you'll see the rear main seal was leaking ever-so lightly.  Oil dry was a must too, cause the trans keep dripping fluid.

1/17/03  I just couldn't get going yesterday, so I called in sick (even though I wasn't).  Had had the feeling I was talking to myself, when my boss relayed to me, what a splendid job I'd been doing and go ahead and take the day off.  The he told me I was his favored number one employee and deserved the time off. 
   Flow ice has shut down any chance of fishing the big river, and the river is almost completely frozen over by the M-55 Bridge.  Also, Manistee Lake is finally starting to freeze over, because of the frigid single digit temperatures at night.

1/16/02  I'll be installing a poll at the message board to start voting on 2002 Photo contest winner sometime later today.  Members of the message board will decide the winner.  I chose the message board route, because each member can only vote only once.  So, this year's outcome should be fairer to all.
   Got caught up in a bunch of paper work yesterday.  Yes, charter operators face loads of paper work and it's not all fun and games by a long-shot!  This delayed my start on the rebuild project, but I did a major clean job for a tidy work area in the garage.  Hopefully, I can remove the tranny and bell housing today.

1/15/03  Today marks the first step into the journey of rebuilding my 350 Crusader engines.  I got 15 seasons from them, but it's a wise move to put refreshed power back into my Cherokee, besides the lake season is about 10 weeks away.  First thing is to pull the bell housing and transmission to see what style rear main seals I have, before ordering two new "crate" long blocks.
    Reports from the BMR continue to be disheartening and I'm in no hurry to guide anglers into Steelhead-less events.  The plan is to ride out the slow fishing and hit it hard when we finally get some high water.  Cold, snowy and reel-winter is the deal from Manistee County for now.

1/14/03  Started the ball rolling on this year's Silver Streak deals, as per my conversation with Chip Cartwright.  The Black-Tail was ordered along with several other custom colors.  I'll be starting on the engine project tomorrow.  Ordering rebuilt long blocks is the way I'm going, but with an entirely new valve train.
   Might, and let's stress the word "might," hit the river with longtime friend and deckhand, Mark Pefley this Friday.  It all depends on the weather if we'll go.

1/13/03  I'll be concentrating my efforts on setting up a poll to vote for the best photo from the 2002 Contest at the message board.  Also, I'm expecting a call from Chip Cartwright from Silver Streak to order-up this years "Dirty Dozen" spoon offer.  Plus, I'm offering a "Whopper Stopper" dozen too, which will be all my best Magnum Spoons in custom painted colors only available through this website.

1/12/03  The north end of Manistee Lake is almost frozen all the way over, but the southern end appears to be open by the little river.  7 inches of snow yesterday and more today, means I'll be getting aquatinted with Mr. Snow Shovel.
   The boat selling season is upon us now.  Sticker shock from new, makes a used watercraft a wise choice.  Check out the newly listed boats at the
Boaters Guide  

1/11/03  Wind, cold and more wind is story from Manistee County.  It was wise not to endure harsh conditions and cancel today's do.  Most of the guides I know have reported to me a lack of Steelhead, so I'm not in this boat alone.  Many, like myself have called off many trips, hoping things will improve in the near future.  The big question is, will the Steelhead be moved to the endangered species list before this happens?

1/10/03  "Supposed" to be fishing the big river tomorrow.  However, with a balmy high temperature of a predicted 18 degrees, it would be plain foolishness.  So, I'm canceling that tragic deal before it starts.  If the high doesn't at least hit 25, the ice that builds on the boat, shift and steering cables, makes life miserable for me.
   I added a line to the above request for boat photos, saying that if you only have photos, mail them to me and I'll do the scan.  If you enclose a self-addressed, stamped envelope I can return your cherished photo in the land based mail.

1/9/03   Like a gift from God, unseasonably warm temperatures graced Manistee County yesterday in a big way. Today?  It's like having nasty old man winter back and snow is in our forecast again.  Aren't we lucky?
   OK, much needs to be done to kick off the 2003 season.  Guide Reports for my dear friends at the Forrest Service must be filled out today and taxes for 2002 must be started on.  Now, factor in rebuilding 2 Chevy 350's (from my 1987 Cherokee lake boat) and I'd say I gonna be a busy boy for quite a while.  Opps, I forgot to mention running a Big Manistee River events occasionally until late February, when the river kicks into high gear and so does my bookings.
    No water, no Steelhead continues to be the story from the Big Manistee River, but I did see 3 boats trolling off the mouth of the Little Manistee River yesterday. 

1/8/03  The page called Great_Lakes_Fishing Machines has been a resounding success thus far.  In fact, it ranks for the most popular page for the week.  
   Warm, windy weather means our January thaw is here.  However, there's no snow to melt and no run-off to enhance our ailing Big Manistee River Steelhead Fishery.

1/7/03  High winds and very cold conditions greeted the few brave souls who chose to fish the lower end of the BMR yesterday.  Slow best describes their action, as low and extremely clear water continues to hinder success. 
   I'll be starting on the boaters page today and keep your boat photos coming in.  
The address to the new page is Great_Lakes_Fishing Machines.  
   The message board was down last night and this morning due to server upgrades.  The board should be back online later this morning. 

1/6/03  From a suggestion on the message board, I've decided to start a photo gallery of our members fishing rigs.  With all the money and time we've invested into our boats, this will be a great place for others to get a glimpse of your ride.  Small boater?  Hey, don't worry about it, because I fished the Great Lakes for over 10 years in boats ranging in size for 14 to 18 feet.  So, we all started in a smaller boat.  E-mail me your photos to: kingscharter@yahoo.com and I'll be posting them, as they come in.  The ideas to be gained from the way others have rigged their craft is immense and should benefit everyone.  I think this page will go over big!

1/5/03  Skim ice covers Manistee Lake in most areas, but both river-mouths are producing a few Steelhead for the "dyed in the wool" January lake trollers.  Scattered reports of limited success in the lower Big Manistee down toward the M-55 Bridge.  The weather so far has been better at this time of year, than in recent memory.  By now, we generally have more than a foot of snow on the ground. 

1/4/03  No Saturday update was available.

1/3/03   Today marks the joyous occasion of starting on 2002's taxes to give the devil it's do.  Also, the lower end of the BMR is showing signs of a few Steelhead being caught.  In fact, I heard one boat took 4 fish a few days ago.  

1/2/03   Just not much to report from Manistee County today.  I'll be going into the City of Manistee later today and should have a hear-say fishing report for you by tonight.  The best way to describe everything is to say, it's like suspended animation until the Steelhead start a stronger migration into the Big Manistee River.

1/1/03  Happy New Year!  2003 is here and it won't be long before our thoughts turn towards the big lake trolling season.  In less than 90 days, I'll be launching the lake boat for Lake Michigan Brown Trout.  Reports of better Steelhead fishing off the piers and trollers in Manistee Lake were taking some fish.  River fishing will be awesome, when we get our first reel-flush of high water.

For complete results of all charters, fishing reports & general info
and a peek into my archived log for 2002, click the below links:

Dec Nov  Oct  Sept  August  July   June  May  April  March  February  January