October 2003

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          11/17/03                     8/14/03                        5/26/03                     4/21/03    Home Salmon Busters™ Great Lakes Info Tips and Trix Capt. John's Log

October 2003

10/31/03   I wish the sand blaster guy would finish the sand blasting, because in less then a week I need to be on the river.  He's had my trailer for a complete week now, and I haven't heard a single word from him.  If you ever move north, don't expect anything to get done with the tempo of down-state.  I'm rebuilding my original boat motors (from the Cherokee), as to have a spare set and shipped off the long blocks to have them bored out.  Now is the time for projects like this. 
    I haven't heard any rave reviews coming from the big river.  If anyone is catching fish, they're playing their cards pretty close to their chest.

10/30/03  I went to pay my last respects to Pete Ruboyianes last evening in Ludington.  The funeral parlor was jam packed with all the luminaries in the Salmon fishing industry that I knew, and many I didn't know. The legend of Pete will surely transcend his 54 years on this earth.  The next time you pick-up a lead core outfit, remember he was instrumental in developing it to it's present day's prominence.  For those of you who like to set elevated goals for yourselves?......Pete has given you a reel-mark to take aim at.  His exceptional tournament winning record over the many years speaks decisively for it's self, and will in the years yet to come!
    Today means a bunch of home duties and hopefully, I'll be able to get my riverboat trailer back from the sand blaster.  Then painting will be next in line.
    The new message board is up and running like a well-oiled Swiss watch.
  The integration of the regular users from the old board seems to be picture perfect so far.

10/29/03   A trip to Ludington this evening is in store for me to pay my last respects to Capt. Pete Ruboyianes.  Bud Raskey, Dick Boyajian, Tom Rasummen and myself are going to meet-up at Bud's place around 5:30pm, then travel to the funeral parlor.  I hate this kind of stuff with a passion and I'm not very good at it. 
    Spent most of the yesterday configuring the new message board, because the old one at aimoo.com seems to have went the way of the dot. bombs. I'm having trouble adjusting for "our" correct time zone, but have many of the administrator functions, I now have under control like posting images. Click here for new board

New Message Board:
  Our old message board has been down for the past couple of days.  I've tried to contact the host server without any luck. So. I've started a new one that was an unused feature with the MichiganAngler.Com Tackle Store.
Please help out by starting some new topics and like you.....it's gonna be a learning experience for me too!  I'm sure within a couple of weeks we'll all be comfortable with the new board.  For the time being, everyone can view and post messages, because I haven't blocked access to this new board for the general public.
                Click here to access your brand new message board

Captain's Log Supplemental:   It's been said, bad things come in threes.  In the past little bit, I've lost 3 friends that all broke new ground and were leaders in their own right.  Capt. Sam Ciaramitaro showed the world how to run a highly successful charter business out of Grindstone City.  George Richey showed Great Lakes fishermen what a quality trolling fly was made of.  Capt. Pete Ruboyianes brought a standard to the tournament fishing that will be hard, if not impossible to ever match.  Each of the afore mentioned fishermen enriched my life and gave me insights into the sport of fishing I might never have had.  Our Great Lakes fishing community is a small one and we've lost enough leaders as of lately.  So, I hope I'm done with "threes thing" for a goodly long time!

10/28/03  Capt. Pete Ruboyianes Passes Away:  We've lost probably the best tournament fishermen that ever set foot in a boat on the Great Lakes.  I knew Pete personally and always counted him as a friend.  Pete never read, or believed in all the press hype about him.  He lived as Pete, a man who loved and pursued Trout and Salmon in a first class manner. "Pedro" won just about every big money tournament and will be remembered as the best, as far as I'm concerned.  I used him as a reference point and he's mentioned several times in the many articles I've written. Pete's home and home port was Ludington for over the past 3 decades.  He died from cancer and was 54 years old at the time of his passing.
    Visitation will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) from 6pm to 8pm, and Thursday from 9:30am to 11am. The Alexander-Rye Funeral Home is located at 309 South Washington Ave in Ludington, MI.  Pete's funeral will be held on Thursday an 11am.  Words can't describe my most sincere condolences I wish to give to his friends and family. 

10/27/03   I changed to poll along with my clocks.  If I do decide to do a couple of winter presentations, the poll will be instrumental in making any decisions.  The last poll showed general interest in all the topics that need to be covered.
     I spread some apples to go with my shelled corn.  I still haven't seen heads, or tails of those varmints called whitetail deer.  Scarce is the word when it comes to the deer herd around my house.

10/26/03   *** Daylight Savings Time ***  Be sure to turn your clocks back an hour, because of the fall-back time shift.  Sure, we'll get back the hours sleep we lost last spring, it never seems like it to me.
    The poll about seminar subjects continues to amaze me.  Interest is across the board in all the subjects.  In reality all the subjects I mentioned (in the poll) are directly correlated to each other for a full box of fish................REEL-FACT!

10/25/03  Gonna try to make time in the next few days to finish up an article on getting maximum results from boats in the 18 to 24 foot range.  I started this piece last June and it just needs a few finishing touches.  I'm replacing the anchor winch cable on the riverboat and the trailer is finally getting sandblasted.  I hope to start painting on the boat trailer sometime by the first of next week.  General home duties will take most of time today and tomorrow.

10/24/03  Damp, rainy and chilly is what's the deal is here in Manistee County.  Rain, or snow is predicted for the next 5 days. I haven't heard anyone expounding the praises of the Steelhead in the big river.  So, make take on the fishery is that's it's on the slow side still.  Need a break in the rainy weather to complete my project on the riverboat trailer.  I blocked up the riverboat (click here to see) and I'll be taking the trailer to the sandblaster today.  Progress is slow, but steady on this project.

10/23/03   I sent out an E-mail contact letter and went to Bear Lake to pick-up my riverboat.  As soon as I get a window of good weather, sandblasting the trailer will be done.  The new shifter cables and control box was a 400 dollar hit in my billfold, but it needed to be done.  I hate working with things that are only half right.

10/22/03  Word from the surf, is that's it's on the slow side, a few fish have been taken off the beach north of Manistee, but not loads.  While things on Steelhead remain on the slower side, it's still better then it was a year ago at this time.
   If lucks on my side, I should get my riverboat back from Bear Lake Marine today.  If so, a quick trip to Bear Lake is in order.  I plan I leaving my riverboat in the big river for a couple days, while I paint and re-fit the riverboat trailer.

10/21/03  Manistee guide, Jason Bialik reported a fish, or two per boat on what I call the lower end (farm house to M-55) of the big river.  He also added, the run seemed to be improving.  Joe Knight fished from Bear creek to the rollaways and he told of about the same results (a fish, or two per boat).  Capt. Len Mitchell fished up by High Bridge and took a fish in that area.  While the big river is not "red hot," yet.  It is showing more promise then at this time last year.  And please remember, it's still quite early in the fall Steelhead season.
   If you've been fishing the AuSable, St. Joe, Muskegon or P.M. and could update us as to the conditions and fish take, we'd all sure appreciate hearing from you.
   I'm getting the itch, but still without a ride, as Bear Lake Marine is taking their good old time with my boat repairs.  The shifter box should be a straight forward deal for them.  Then when I do get my riverboat back, the trailer needs painting

10/20/03  I'm kinda in limbo as far as fishing goes.  Bear Lake Marine has my riverboat to install a new shifter-control box ands my side curtains are being redone.  So, I boat-less for the rest of this week at least.  I haven't heard to many encouraging words from the surf guys and desperately need a reliable river report.

10/19/03  Spent most of yesterday making sure no one would steal my couch.  Rumors of a band of malicious couch thieves roaming Manistee County prompted this drastic action.  If they were gonna take my sofa, they'd have to wake me!  Just couldn't get motivated, because a case of being lazy plagued me.
   I did manage to add another 1500 words to my long-winded interpretation on Salmon fishing with cut-bait.  Much proof reading needs to be done and I finished most of the instructional photos, so yesterday wasn't a total waste.

10/18/03  The current poll that I'm running has surprised me big-time.  The interest is pretty much across to board on all the topics.  No one certain piece of knowledge is in more demand then another, or at least by very much.
   I received my new oars in this year's face-lift for my river rig.  I'm have two brand new side curtains be made also.  I hoping to be painting the riverboat trailer very soon.  The leaves about 50% gone at my house now, and soon it will be time to go Steelheading on the big river.

10/17/03  Right now at my house, I'm experiencing a heavy acorn drop and I'm not seeing the numbers of deer varmints in the backyard like normal.  With nature's bounty feeding the whitetails it will be awhile before they start munching on my shelled corn.  I transplanted about 15 pine trees in an effort to make a wind break around my house.  The word "Manistee" in the native Chippewa tongue means, "whispering wind" or so I been told.  News flash for the Native Americans: the wind don't whisper where I live, it yells from the robust winds across Lake Michigan (12 miles away). 

10/16/03  I received a favorable report from resident guide, Brian Bialik on the lower end of the big river.  He said, there were fish being caught on both spawn and plugs.  I suspect the run is improving and look forward to good fishing.
     Last night marked the beginning of running my air-tight wood burning stove.  I enjoy the constant heat burning wood provides, besides wood is a renewable resource, especially, in northern Michigan.   And yes, burning wood is messy when compared to running the thermostat to the furnace on the wall, but it's worth it.
     My article on using cut-bait in Michigan has turned into a 5000 word dissertation and I'm still not even close to being done with it.  So, far I think it's pretty darn good, because I'm not leaving any stones unturned.  I've had to split the essay into 2 separate pages to keep the load time within reason for us dial-up users.  I want this to be the most complete, concise and most informative article that you've ever read!  The unveiling will be sometime after the first of 2004.

10/15/03  After an unbelievable string of good weather, it turned rainy and cold today, hindering any outdoor activities. This rain should help improve the Steelhead situation in the big river.  Rain draws more fish into the system, if Consumers Power (who controls Tipp Dam) releases enough flow into the Big Manistee River.
   If the weather cooperates today I have several pine trees to transplant and a bunch of stuff to do on this website.  Finishing uncompleted articles must be done.

10/14/03  Like I said on Friday, I had a legal matter attend to in Manistee.  Well, the legal matter was a person suing me, because he showed up late for his charter and I wasn't there.  Then he ran up his motel bill to the tune of $177, charged me around $200 for his baby sitter and a couple of hundred bucks for mileage.  The Honorable B. Danielson of the 85th District Court here in Manistee dismissed the case against me, as the plaintiff lost his case to recover his exorbitant expenses. 
     What bothers me most about this case is that I have lost faith in fair play, because I offered several monetary charter options to the said person, before he pursued his flimsy small claims case based on no sound legal advice.  This whole deal could have been a gift from God, because if he sued me over his being late, what would he have done with a slip and fall on my boat, or a rough ride back to the dock?  I've kinda lost a little more faith in humanity as a whole over this entire insubstantial issue, or is that what the world?...........is really coming to!
     I deeply debated with myself whether to post this story, or not.   I'm left with a empty feeling over trials and tribulations like this, as the saga of a charter operator continues.  If chartering was easy, then everyone would do it......eh?

10/13/03  I pretty much took yesterday off, other then working on getting my backyard Deer Cam back online.  Then I put a coat of fresh paint on my riverboat floor while the weather is still decent.  My efforts this week will be devoted to giving the riverboat mucho TLC.  New tires for the trailer, then a quick trip to Bear Lake Marine to have the shifting box replaced and a shift cable is on my to-do list.
     This time of the year for me is dedicated to storing boats and readying my house for winter.   Tasks like cutting wood for the wood stove, cleaning the chimney and storing outside yard paraphernalia must be done, because old man winter is on his way.  Also, until the leaf drop is over, I don't get very excited about fishing the Big Manistee River.  The way I look at it is, I have about 2 weeks of decent weather facing me before the snow starts to fly!

10/12/03  I was busier then a bee yesterday.  I filled the corn spreader for the Deer Cam and found I had a problem with one of the cat 5 cables that needs to be replaced.   So for now, it's the driveway cam until the cable repairs are completed.  I cleaned and washed the riverboat in an effort to get it ready, because the leaf drop will be over in about 2 weeks and it will be time for some serious Steelhead river fishing.  My plans for this week include a sand blasting job on the riverboat trailer and a new paint job.  I'll be replacing the shift-box, along shift cable too.
    Today we might see some rain, so indoor web projects will take center stage.  My cut-bait article page is coming along nicely and it's well over 3000 words.  I can see I'm gonna have to split the article in a couple of pages due to it's complexity.

10/11/03  I got the reel-word on what's been happening both on Lake Michigan and how the surf fishermen are doing.  I both cases it's very extremely slow on the beach and up until about yesterday Lake Michigan was producing excellent fishing for juvenile Kings.  However, the recent rash of wind for the south has hurt the few big lake fishermen.  The disturbing word is that not many Steelhead are around.
I'm desperately hoping for a better fall metal-head season, but initial reports are very disheartening.  Let's all hope for some Steelhead and soon! 

10/10/03  What I had been thinking was lady bugs turned out to be Asian beetles and these little critters will bite.  Thanks to Mark D. (for the info), they were planted in Wisconsin to control aphids on the soybean crops.  It was thought that our cold winters would kill them, but the word thought equates to think.  Me?....I know how the word "think" works, and thinking....is a far cry from knowing!  I have seen huge slicks of these bugs floating on Lake Michigan before.  At least now I KNOW what they're called.  Also, I have to be in Manistee this morning to attend to a legal matter.

10/09/03  Finished winterizing my lake boat, while being attacked by swarms of lady bugs and I mean swarms!  I don't know where these pesky nuisances came from, but for about the past 7 or 8 years...fall means huge numbers lady bugs!
   I should be able to haul the Cherokee to the factory in Kaleva today, after I pull the batteries.  It's a far larger task putting that boat to sleep for the winter then I want to mention here.  At least it's just about done now!

10/08/03  What a wonderful fall day we had here in Manistee County yesterday and they're predicting more of the same today.  I'll be spending most of the day outside completing what needs to be done on the Cherokee.  A serious cleaning is in order for the riverboat.  The riverboat trailer needs sandblasting and new paint job too.  I've heard some sketchy reports about Steelhead in the big river lately.

10/07/03  After a quick trip into town this morning, I plan on completing the winterization of the Cherokee.  I pulled out the river yesterday and plan on readying it for service very soon.  I pretty much spent most of yesterday doing paperwork and sorting categories in preparation for the 2003 taxes.

10/06/03  I sorted and removed my considerable collection of big-lake tackle from my Cherokee yesterday.  This job lasted for about 3 hours and I took a photo to show you how much stuff I carry. Click for tackle assortment photo.  I have to admit keeping all that gear organized and at a moments reach, is a reel-task!  After a few more details are worked out, my boat will be going to the factory in Kaleva.
Also, I'm dragging the riverboat out tomorrow for general upkeep and cleaning.
    Hey, I've got a question for you.  Why does 45 degrees feel so cold in October, when 45 degrees in January feels like a blistering heat wave?  While we're on this subject, it was only 27 degrees at my house this morning at 6am.

10/05/03  Yesterday, I worked on the website for a goodly amount of time fixing glitches on several pages.  My cut-bait article is up to 2800 words and I'm only about 2/3rds done.  I hope to pack up the lake tackle today and start readying the riverboat.  It's been about 2 weeks since I last fished and I'm in need of a fishing fix to stave off big-time withdrawal symptoms.  While it's kinda a in-between season on the Big Manistee River, I'm sure there's a few victims willing to yank on my line.

10/04/03  Snow is predicted today, as it seems like I just can't catch a break in the weather to tie up the loose ends on the Cherokee's winterization project.  The outlook for tomorrow is much improved and I plan on making a healthy dent in what needs to be done.  On the weather scene, next week looks pretty darn good and I should be fishing the river by mid-week.

10/03/03   Where did the 2003 big lake season go?  It seems reality has hit home with the onset of October's chilly beginning.  It might be kinda good that our Great Lakes season only lasts about 6 months, because that way we don't have time to get bored with it.  Inside word is that Manistee's beach and north pier has been producing decent Steelhead fishing, but these reports are only semi-confirmed.

10/02/03    30 degrees is what I awakened to this morning.  Hey, it's a little too early for this stuff, as winter is giving me a sneak preview of what's to come.  I have 3 unfinished articles that are waiting for completion,  I'd say today would be a good time to focus on this website.  This weekend looks a little more tolerable to work on the Cherokee's winterization.  I've heard a few semi-decent reports about a few Steelhead being picked up from Manistee's Harbor to Barr Lake on the beach from surf fishermen.  Hopefully, the surf guys will have a better season then 2002.

10/01/03   Cold, rain with occasional snow flakes is what Manistee is about today.  So, needless to say outside activities like winterizing my lake boat will not be on my hot list.  I just might take the day off from all duties, because I can.

Constant Flow is ruining the BMR Eco System!

It's time to re-examine the constant flow issue of the Big Manistee River from Tippy Dam to Manistee Lake.  I've seen the water clear to an unhealthy state.  I also have seen no Northern Pike, Walleye or the runs of Lake Trout in the past few years. The marshy flood-plain along the BMR has dried up, and no rearing basins for rich aquatic marine life means; a sterile river. Carrying little, if and phytoplankton (the beginning of the food chain).

Over the past 5, or 6 seasons I've seen less and less fish productivity, as more bureaucracy dictates what's good for the system.  Consumers Power hoards water reel-fact.  The calculated flow of the big river is around 1700 cubic feet of water a second.  What we've been dealt with this fall is a sub-standard flow hovering at, or below 1400 cubic feet.  This is not the same river system I fished in 1967, when the river was allowed to periodically flush it self out.  Like a natural river system would. 

The constant slow current of the meandering river is sanding over gravel bars, as the river gets wider, weedier and shallower.  Sand does not get rinsed out of the gravel beds, as siltation becomes a problem.  Factor in the outright lies in natural reproduction we're supposed to get too.  I've never seen a smolt (baby Salmon,) or immature Steelhead ever caught in the BMR.  But, I have in the Jordan and Little Manistee Rivers.  By 1998 the Consumer Power Company was "supposed to" have installed a cold water, bottom intake for their turbines that produce electricity and maintain a river temperature of 68 degrees.  This has not been done, as summer river temps regularly approach the mid 70's mark.

I've watched this whole deal for the best part of 10 years now and none of it is good.   Depending on rain for high water?  Well, don't get your hopes up, because of the constant flow the rising waters are being detained at the discretion of Consumers Power.  A 24 hour hard rain producing a 3 inches of rain, should mean a gully washer and should not be to a slowed trickle, as our DNR and Consumers Power have the heads where the sun don't shine!

Plus, we all know what a great job the State did with the recent treaty settlement with the Little River Band of Ottawa's and Chippewa's.  We the fishermen, are getting screwed again!

Capt. John