April, May & June 2004

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5/31/04  I guess the biggest news from yesterday is that this website was down for about 6 hours yesterday evening.  My web server is generally pretty reliable.
Rushed to take care of home duties before we got hit with another series of thunderstorms late yesterday afternoon and last night.  What surprised me about Saturday of the Memorial Day Weekend is how light the boat traffic was out of Manistee and especially Ludington.  I have never fished out of Ludington and seen less than 7 boats.  Something is not right, because the Salmon fishing there was a solid 10. Maybe, it was the gas price $2.05.9 bucks that kept the crowds home?
     Please give silent moment's thought to all of those who have gave the supreme sacrifice for our country today.

5/30/04  Success, at long last success!  We left Ludington's harbor around 5pm, only to find that the boat had fouled spark plugs and was running extremely sickly.  I thought?....OH NO, not again!....more boat problems?  After about 20 minutes of messing with the throttle, we started happily cooking on all 8 cylinders.
    We drove out to the 37 line straight out of Ludville.  Soon after dropping lines in the water the starboard rigger took a whack and we swung and missed.  Well, we got our stuff together and in less then 3 hours were able to box a 3 man, 9 fish limit of gleaming, silvery spring Kings.  Capt. John's "On-Line Reel-Flasher" was in tow and managed to fool 12 fish to striking.   Click for our box and the reel-hot flashers
    The most remarkable part of our triumph is that we fished out of a boat with an 8 foot beam that only has 2 downriggers mounted on it.  We also pulled 2 diver rods for a complete total of 4 rods in the water.  All the hits came on my flasher, with the Mamba being best.  The new Tri-Color produced some action, but not at the pace of the black dude.  All 12 hits were on meat, or herring strips with Twink rigs.  
   Once again I need to give a huge thank you to John J for being along, knowing he wouldn't get back to Manistee until reel-late (almost 11pm). Click for catch photo

5/29/04 9am  The trolling was "red hot" this morning!  When I mean hot, I mean hot.   Once we slowed John J's vessel to trolling speed we found the water temp gauge had shot up way past 200 degrees.  So, after setting one rigger, we pulled lines and put his boat on the trailer.  In my quest to fish Lake Michigan, the my last 4 times has been very frustrating to say the least.  I can't seem to get a break from the weather.  When I do?....major equipment failure and the boat over heats!
Plan 2:
  Means fishing out of the Port of Ludington this evening.  Stay tuned to see if the trials and tribulations of John King continue, or we actually get to wet a line in reasonable conditions and catch a few!

If at first you don't succeed? try, try again...is my attitude about not fishing yesterday.  We're gonna launch today around 6:00am.  On a positive note, yesterday was a like practice run, so we're ultra ready today.  All the little do-dads, odds & ends are loaded waiting for their chance to be used on Lk. MI.  I'll update this site ASAP when I return home this afternoon.  Stay tuned for more info reel-soon!
   I'd like to share something with you that is important concerning my conception to production on my flasher project.  Without the internet, I could have NEVER tracked down all the varied resources needed to build what I consider the best piece of fishing tackle you can buy that is 100% completely AMERICAN MADE!  You'll notice I haven't been posting a daily link to my product.  I have a complete page built too.  However, at this point in time....demand exceeds our ability to manufacture product.
    Manistee Gas Prices : At the Wesco pump the price was $2.09.9, Shipwatch Marina is $2.30 (a bargin for on the water fuel) until they re-supply next week.

5/28/04  I'll be on the water around 9am this morning as we give John J's ship, the "Megan Ann" a shake down cruise.  Capt. Tom Rasmussen will be along also.  I'll be posting our results this afternoon, so stay tuned for the latest fishing news.
    Good news for Ludington-Manistee angler as decent to very good reports have filtered into me as of lately.  Looks good for spring Kings, if you're in the right spot.
Fish have been hitting early and late excellent, mid-days have been slow.

5/27/04  Manistee is supposed to have decent fishing for Kings. The weather this weekend after Saturday is predicted to be more thunder storms and rain.  I'll be fishing tomorrow with John J & Tom Rasmussen aboard the "Megan Ann" if the seas are at of less then 1 to 3 footers.  Price of gas as of Wednesday in Manistee was $210.9.  Here's the Memorial Day Weekend forecast for Manistee:
Partly sunny. Highs around 68. South winds 5 to 10 mph.  (seas look good too!)
Mostly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs around 73.
Memorial Day
Mostly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of showers and thunderstorms. Highs around 68

5/26/04  Spent the entire day shipping or building flashers.  I'm starting to get caught up finally.  There will be a public debut of my complete line of colors of my flashers sometime around mid to late June.  Just filling the orders from our private message board members has kept me overly busy.
    I'm gonna help John J (Kingfish Products LLC's right-hand man) pull and grease his upper gimbal bearing on his outdrive either today, or tomorrow.  This is a must do for outdrive owners.  If you haven't done this?......it cost cost you some heavy dough.  Looks like fishing for me this Friday aboard John J's "Megan Ann."

5/25/04  I returned from South Haven yesterday to my home in Manistee County.  
I got hit with several orders and re-orders from successful anglers who used my  product for the first time over this past weekend.  Response to the On-Line Reel-Flashers."  has been far beyond anything I could ever have hoped for!
    It was far to windy yesterday for much in the way of a fishing report from the Port of Manistee.  Hopefully, I'll get the word on how the Manistee guys are doing today.

5/24/04  Manistee has tuned into the reel-deal this past weekend, with several anglers reporting easy limits of Kings.  Capt. Jay was the first one that clued me in and was kind enough to send this photo Click here to view his catch  In around an hour and a half they boated a 3 person limit of 9 Kings using a meat program identical to mine.  I'll be fishing Manistee later this week and hope to have a "hands on" fishing report for you before you spend $2.20 at the pump for the long and costly drive.  I'll go out on a limb, and say, "things look good for the upcoming weekend, because my lilacs have hit full bloom."  Stay tuned for the latest word from Manistee & Ludville.

5/24/04  Manistee has tuned into the reel-deal this past weekend, with several anglers reporting easy limits of Kings.  Capt. Jay was the first one that clued me in and was kind enough to send this photo Click here to view his catch  In around an hour and a half they boated a 3 person limit of 9 Kings using a meat program identical to mine.  I'll be fishing Manistee later this week and hope to have a "hands on" fishing report for you before you spend $2.20 at the pump for the long and costly drive.  I'll go out on a limb, and say, "things look good for the upcoming weekend, because my lilacs have hit full bloom."  Stay tuned for the latest word from Manistee & Ludville.

5/23/04  2:00pm  Our day started out under wild skies and a squall 8 miles to the south of South Haven.  Then Capt. Ed Born's ship lost power in the channel.  We towed his 36 footer to the Municipal Marina before departing for Lake Michigan's wide open expanse.  Seeing the weather was "iffy" when we left, it proved to be a smarter idea to set lines in 60 feet of water and stay closer to home.  
    Jason was first up,....and single handedly put a butt whipping on a Brown in the 8, maybe 9# range. In a 128 feet of water, the starboard wire diver went off with a meat-rig being towed by one of my "On-Line Reel-Flashers."  This was our largest fish of the weekend and the King was probably around 11 pounds.  Adam turned in a super major league performance on the wire rod and looked like a seasoned veteran pro.  We then landed a small King and that was "all-she-wrote" before 6 footers chased us back into port a little early.  From what I seen, the easy catching is over in the Southern Lake Michigan, and kinda reel-early, if compared to 2003.  
Click for 36 footer we towed    Click here for  the Neon-Green Fish Killin' Machine
 Jason and Adam are the fine sons of Mike Brown and were a pleasure to spend the morning with.  Jim accompanied them and the same goes for him! Click for our hard earned catch Boats that took a beating and went further out fared a tad better.  6 was the best I heard today, with complaints of all being small.  Many, many thanks to Capt. Gary and Vickie being kind enough to volunteer their boat and services!

5/23/04  Gonna be search of Salmon today with Adam, Jason, Mike and Jim in South Haven today.  I sure hope for better conditions and fish-take then yesterday's poor showing. I heard that Manistee is producing Kings and catching there had made a marked improvement. I'll find out more upon my return to Manistee soon.

5/22/04  Today's on the water seminar in South Haven would have been fine, if there'd have been something to put your hands on!  We had 3 hits and ended up with 2 Kings that were nothing to brag about.  Reasons for so a poor output?  They could be many, but the previous afternoon and last night we got hit with severe T-storms.  If fact, we got chased off the lake early today by thunder boomers.  I heard that South Haven got almost 5 inches of rain in the last 24 hours. One year ago, exactly to this day we boated 20 fish, but that wasn't in the cards for us today.

5/21/04  After a hectic past couple of days, I'm more then looking forward to being on the big pond this weekend.  On this past Wednesday and Thursday I mailed out about 60 orders of the "On-Line Reel-Flashers!"   I finally have a break and can enjoy being away.  Now, that I have a small working inventory of product this stuff of 120 hours a week plus, should come to an abrupt halt.
     Plain and simple, I'm gonna be overjoyed to be back on the water this weekend aboard the "Miss Vickie."  I'm part of a tag-team spring Salmon seminar with Capt. Gary Nickels aboard his ship this coming weekend.  I hope to have a net connection to update the website over the time span while I'm in South Haven.
   I'm looking forward to seeing many of you at the bowling alley a little south of town at 4pm.  I think it's called Lakeside Lanes, but I won't swear to it.  We'll meet for a before dinner drink around 4pm.  Oh, yeah....If you think you'd be interested in buying some "On-Line Reel-Flashers!" ?......I'll bet,....I know a guy that can fix you right up!

5/20/04  I spoke with Terry W. from the port of Algoma, Wisconsin late last night.  He said the fishing was reel-tough over there with the surface temperature right at 40 degrees.  For now, Lake Michigan's warmer water is stacked up off our coast.
   I processed orders all day (7am to 10pm) and made product.  I think we either shipped, or will be by tomorrow.....around 600 flashers.  The initial response has me swamped with little time for anything else.  My most heart felt appreciation goes to all who have purchased Capt. John's "On-Line Reel-Flashers!" 
Look for updated Port Reports sometime later today.  I will have some free time this afternoon, as completion flashers orders takes some of heat off of me.

5/19/04 I spent the last 6 months of my life in high gear in the tackle manufacturing business.  I have a finished product....finally!  I'll be shipping Capt. John's "On-Line Reel-Flashers!"  today and tomorrow to the members of our private message board. 
   My never ending gratitude to the many persons that have purchased a totally American Great Lakes fishing product!  I'm way beyond..........totally overcome with the show of support from the members of 

I have an "On the Water Salmon Seminar" in South Haven, Michigan on the Sat, May 22nd, 2004. Chris J, Dave S, Pat Z, Jim Z are my guests for this learning event.

5/18/04  I heard the Blue Water Classic was a BUST as far as Kings go. It set a record for the lightest winning catch ever.  The "Fishwhore" skippered by Russ Pilette took the event with a 60 pound total for 2 days of fishing.  The largest King weighed in was around the 10 pound mark.  My congrats to Capt. Russ, as tough as the fishing was, he earned this victory in spades.
    The Steelheaders Tournament sponsored by Big Jon was won by a couple of local South Haven teams.  I heard the "Lazy K" won the amateur side and had the heaviest winning catch.  The pro division was won by the boat "Strong Performance."  My report was kinda sketchy and if it needs updating let me know. 
    Thanks to those of you who sent in
Port Reports from this past weekend.  I'm gonna try reel hard to have them all published in tomorrow's update.  My flasher project has been demanding my full attention, so find free time is been reel-hard.

5/17/04  Kings are being caught on Lake Michigan as far north as Pentwater and south of the "project" in Ludville.  It's gang-busters catching for Spring Kings on Lake Michigan so far this season.
    Lake Huron has earned the title of the "Lake Trout Capital of the World."  Reports of 15 to 30 Lakers a day is what I'm hearing.  Spring Kings continue to be as scarce as "hen's teeth" on the Sunrise Side so far this year.

5/16/04  This weekend is the Blue Water Classic on Lake Huron and the Big Jon, Steelheaders Tournament in South Haven on Lake Michigan.  I had an early report from Bob Hicks who skippers the "Sarah Ann" (he's in the South Haven tourney).  He was sitting on 9 Kings around noon yesterday when he called me from his boat.  Hopefully, I'll be able to list the top ten of the afore mentioned tourneys.

5/15/04  A few Kings were taken off Manistee's famed "shelf" yesterday.  Capt. Jay Frolenko was kind enough to stop by my house with his soon to be wife, Misty and let me snap a couple of photos.  Misty looks to be a better catch then if you had a stringer of all 30 pound plus tunas.  Click here for Misty with a brace of Salmon
    If you're fishing this weekend?  Please consider sharing your success, or lack of, by E-mailing them to at: kingscharter@yahoo.com Inquiring minds, want to know.
Photos are be welcomed too, especially if the file size is under 1/2 a megabyte.

5/14/04  I made time last night to post the Port Reports I've been neglecting all week.    Port reports from Port Sanilac, Whitehall, Harbor Beach and Rogers City are fairly current.  Please remember to limit your catch.....rather then catching your limit. You might need those fish....... on down the road some day!  
    Kinda beyond reel-busy, so I can ship my first set of flasher orders by Monday.  I've been swamped and I'm on my third reorder from Witchcraft Tape Products.  I'm almost out of my initial supplies of flasher tape and looking forward to my new shipment due to arrive any day. Have a great, safe and highly productive weekend!

5/13/04  I spoke with Capt. Dennis Bowlby who runs the charter boat in South Haven called the "Margie B."  He mentioned they had a tremendous charter today, boating 25 Kings and one Coho.  10 of the Kings were released, but they kept a 5 person limit which would amount to 16 fish in the box.  I'd say, from the results so far this May, South Haven is ahead of 2003 by a wide margin.  The scary part is no Steelhead, or Lakers were caught.  Me?....I'd rather have a balanced fishery, because there's always something to fall back on.
    The first 10 boats participating in our fun get-together is South Haven will receive a free flasher from me.  E-mail me at kingscharter@yahoo.com to register for our event.  You'll be able to collect your free gift at the bowling alley in South Haven after our do.  Cocktail hour will start at 4pm.  I'll be posting links to area info on South Haven and where the boat launch and bowling alley is located very soon.
This is the place where you can meet fishing friends and catch a boat load of Kings!

5/12/04  We're having a port get-together at South Haven on 5/22/04.  This is gonna be a loosely knit affair for those wanting to catch Kings.  I figure by 5pm we'll gather at the bowling alley for supper.  Looking to sharpen your skills, meet new friends and catch a pile of fish?  Well, then this deal is for you!  Our last port get together was a huge success on 4/9/04 in Augres on Lake Huron.  The cost to attend is the best word in the American language?.......FREE!  More info is forthcoming soon!
Finally attaining some speed in the flasher production.  John J and I did over gross, almost to the point of final completion yesterday.  Quality was not forfeited for the sake speed either!  While everyone would like to drive a Lincoln, or a Caddy....most of us can afford a Chevy, or a Ford.  In the case of my product, you can enjoying knowing you have the very best at prices the competition have overlooked?  So, they're a luxury flasher at prices everyone can afford?  Hummmm...a totally American made 1st-class product priced below the imports?  This sounds to me as one the principals this country was founded upon, and most major American corporations are failing to remember!

5/11/04  Big Lake fishing in Michigan is a tale of two cities!  Southern Lk. Michigan is smoking red-hot for Spring Kings to about 17 pounds.  Traditional ports that are known fish producers are St. Joe, South Haven, Saugatuck, Holland, Port Sheldon and Grand Haven at this time of the season.
    Lake Huron is lagging behind, because the weather there won't give the fishermen a break.  Rain, high winds and rough waters have hampered full scale investigations.
This I do know, "spring Salmon over 10 pounds are rare, and the millions of Lake Trout planted there over the past 10 years have munched down the forage base!"  This is inside info from charter operators the who have the planting records.  So, Laker action is outpacing anything remotely to do with Spring Kings.
   Here's a tip , worthy of note,  "last summer, 50% to 70% of all the Kings harvested by Kings Charter Service were wearing hickies from the dreaded lamprey.  So, these Salmon have been hanging close to the bottom for a goodly part of last season.  If your action shuts down, lower at least one rigger close the bottom.  Another secret I can now share with you is that 80% of the Kings I piled on the dock in August and September were caught within 10 feet of the bottom.  Suspending fish, while there?........did not bite as well as the bottom dwellers!" This is our secret, so don't let anyone else know. Click for meat-catch example from 2003

5/10/04  Good reports on Lake Michigan spring Kings are filtering in.  The action is good as far north as Grand Haven.  We look to be in good shape for the summer when the tunas arrive.  I have not heard of any early season Kings at the 20 pound mark yet, so size on our summer fish, might be running a little smaller then 2 years ago.
   Lake Huron guys haven't reported in on the status of their fishery.  I suspect the Blue Water Classic has my most reliable port reporters tight lipped for the time being.
   I spent the weekend pushing in to full-speed ahead production on my long awaited new flasher.  John J's help has made this possible.  I have more orders then I have tape for, so ordering more tape today is on the agenda.  Orders will be filled on a first come, first serve basis.  Once I fill all the orders from the message board members, I'll be listing a special introductory offer to the general viewers of this website.

5/9/04  Tremendous strides forward were made with my flasher production as we're now building a small inventory.  More on this coming in Monday's update.  You can see three anchors of my basic lineup by clicking here.
   Lots of thunderstorms rolled through Manistee yesterday and last night.  I suspect this kept wise fishermen shore bound.  Good luck if you're attacking the ponds today!

5/8/04  Good luck to all fishermen today! Here's the weather forecast for Manistee.
Saturday: Southeast winds 10 to 20 knots backing North 5 to 10 knots late in the afternoon. Showers and thunderstorms likely. Waves 1 to 2 feet.
Sunday : Southeast winds 10 to 20 knots veering South in the afternoon. Chance of showers and thunderstorms. Waves 1 to 2 feet. Waves will be higher in and near thunderstorms.......It looks like Manistee's inshore Brown Trout shoreline trollers will have a sheltered shoreline.  Open offshore waters are gonna be a tad lumpy.

5/7/04   Best bets for this coming weekend look to be St. Joe, South Haven and Saugatuck on Lake Michigan.  I've had reports Kings to 18 pounds from these ports.  Manistee's Brown fishery is showing a few good sized fish, according to Capt. Jay Frolenko.  Manistee is a crap shoot, with some days producing. Click for Jay's Brown
    Lake Huron ports of Harbor Beach, Port Austin, Grindstone City and Port Sanilac should have good opportunities on Kings and Lake Trout.  I have not heard much this season from Lexington, so I'm not aware of the deal there.  Indiana is still producing good numbers of Coho and the fish look large for this early in the season.
     Here's a DNR report by Mark Tonello from our Cadillac Office.  The focus of Mark's paper is the status of the Big Manistee River below Tippy Dam.  I like the fact he included past planting numbers and a slight historical review.  My hat is off to Mr. Tonello for volunteering to share this link to his article. Click here for his perspective

5/6/04  I know a very accomplished fisherman that fished Manistee this morning for about 5 hours.  He took 19 pounds of Brown Trout, but this also means he had a 7 and a 11 pounder in the 2 fish.  He had 2 bites and both stuck, with luck being on his side.  Anyplace other then the Great Lakes would an 11 pound Brown be "no big deal!"  Any dyed in the wool stream fishermen would consider any Brown Trout over 10 pounds a fish of a lifetime.  So, maybe we're a spoiled by our fishery.

5/5/04  South Haven has reported in with decent catches of Kings in the deeper waters from 50 to 100 feet.  Some Kings are hitting in the shallow stuff, but the better action seems to be out deeper for now.  Manistee's harbor has been a hot to cold iffy deal with some hitting Browns and many that are not.  Warming weather this weekend should be a definite plus, as the spring catching mode is on the increase.
     Let's take a look at a fish that doesn't receive a lot of billing from this website.  Walleyes in Saginaw Bay this season have shown a marked come back. 2 Shot aka Andy from the message board whacked his limit between 9 and 10pm on 5/3/04 on the waters off Linwood, Michigan. Click 2 Shot's catch  He finally found his fish in the shallower water from 6' to 9' deep. Click for hot baits  Walleyes are great table fare. 
     I regret to inform you Jeff Smith's body was recovered in the Big Manistee River.  Jeff was in a boat fishing by himself and had fallen overboard in the area on the river called "Devil's Elbow."  It is surmised, "he looked like he might have been netting a fish when this occurred," because his net was missing.  His body was recovered from deep within a log jam after 4 days.  My condolences to the friends and family of our lost Steelhead fisherman, Jeff Smith.  This tragedy happened last month.

5/4/04  I got the straight skinny with what's up with Lake Huron this past weekend.  The Fish-On Harbor Beach Tourney was won with 60 pounds in 9 fish, so good sized Kings in Lake Huron looks to be a problem again this season.  Fishing was good from Port Hope to Port Austin, although it was severe Lakerville.  I heard you caught 6 Lakers for every Salmon.  Rough water canceled fishing on Sunday, so the "Fish-On" was a 1 day deal.  Getaway finished a solid 4th and had the largest fish (12# Brown).
    Last Saturday's deal in Manistee's harbor was a flash in the pan.  I know 2 exceptional fishermen that fished both Manistee and Frankfort today and never lifted a rod.  The word from Frankfort was 1000's of cormorants are blackening the skies.
    I'd like to thank Ron, Jennifer and Debbie for the very prompt delivery of my flasher tape. Click here for my potpourri of flasher tape and lure eyes.  WTP was held up by the machine shop that was making a custom rotary die to cut the flasher tape.  Their staff were easy to deal with and showed effective support throughout the design to completion phases. Click here for WPT's website  WTP has been around for over 30 years and has built a company that is synonymous with excellent customer service!   I have more then enough tape to get into full production ASAP.  Let me jokingly add, "you just gotta love it when your plan finally starts coming together!".........whew!

5/3/04  Unconfirmed reports are saying, "the colored water off the Port of Manistee is producing some Kings."  I'll have confirmed info on this tomorrow.  Saugatuck has Kings being caught around the depths of 100 feet.  St. Joe looks like it still the best producing port on Lake Michigan.
    My friends on Lake Huron haven't reported in as of the publishing of today's update.  I expect to have good info on the "Sunrise Side" today and it will be posted in tomorrow's info.  I heard Linwood-Bay City was a safe bet for post spawn 'eyes.
   Today's featured photo is from Tom Allen.  Tom is a tackle manufacturer from New York.  He make 3 fly meat rigs, dodgers and trolling flies.  Click for Tom's website

5/2/04  May's opening weekend didn't offer much in the area of a comfort zone for those that harassed the ponds yesterday.  Chilly windy weather with some rain and high winds is what the anglers had to endure. 
     Mark G, a member of our message board that frequently trades trips with other members and fished southern Lk. Michigan yesterday. Click for catch photo  Mark's guest was the ever popular Dave S (also a message board member) that traveled to Indiana to wet a line with him. To view a report of how their day went click here.
     Our private message board is free from the personal attacks and meaningless debates that seem plague open to the public boards.  If you're looking to meet new fishing friends in Indiana, Wisconsin and New York you might want to consider joining.  Another plus we have going for our private message board is that Lake Huron and Lake Michigan get equal treatment.  The inside info there is top notch and beyond reproach.  Having all members on file with signed forms means trust can be formed.  Going to this personal format has benefited all members of our board!

5/1/04  Congrats on a job well done to Team Lucky Bucket caught 8 Kings and 2 Coho's north of Port Sanilac Harbor in 21-24 feet of water. All fish came on Bombers and Rapala's 120'-150' behind boards.  They won the Sanilac tournament last weekend and are members of our message board.

4/30/04  Today closes out the month of April.  May is known on both sides of our state for the spring King Salmon fishery that generally is pretty decent, if you hit the right port at the right time.  Just key in on the southern ports of Lake Huron and Michigan for action.  Remember to keep me informed of your success, or lack thereof by posting them on our private message board in the "Port and Date" forum. E-mailing me your report is another venue to share info with others at our port reports page.
   My congrats to the folks that helped make a difficult die to cut the lure tape with the exacting requirements I desired.  This was no small effort and took longer then expected, however it's a done deal.  I have the lure tape on the way.

4/29/04 10am Hallelujah, Sweet Jesus!  My flasher tape is now being cut and I'll either pick it up tomorrow, or have it shipped from southern Michigan.   Soon I'll have all the pieces to get my flasher production into full swing.  This is a major victory!

4/29/04  Handcuffed is what I am.  I cannot make progress on my flashers a-at-all.
The lure tape company has given me ever possible excuse at this point in time and no die, means no die-cut pieces of lure tape.  I've called there everyday for about the past two weeks without much luck.  Let's hope today is the day I get good news from them.  Other then their facility burning down, they're kinda out of excuses.
    Not much word about the fishing in Manistee.  Wind and high seas have prevented the diehards from getting off the dock.  We had 50 to 60mph winds in Manistee County yesterday.  Let's all hope for calmer weather for this coming weekend.

4/28/04  Let's make the focus of today's update Julie D from the Rogers City area.
She's a DNR Creel Census Taker and is dedicated to her job.  This lady fishes from the beach, piers & boats when possible.  She knows methods for surf fishing the fall Steelhead better then most men.  Julie recently caught her limit of browns, casting from shore with spoons.....now that's perseverance!   Factor in her great port reports and belonging to our message board means she is an asset to this website.  Now, when Julie D buys that 44 foot Tiara, my plan is to propose marriage! Click for Julie
     I haven't had a reply from Mr. Tom Rozich about the DNR's idea to fix Manistee's ailing April Brown fishery.  Could it be the Cadillac Office of the DNR don't have one?

4/27/04   As of lately I've heard a lot about Manistee's former Brown Trout Fishery.  Unfortunately, absolutely none of it is good!  I'm posting an open letter today addressed to Tom Rozich, leader of our area's DNR.  Hopefully, he won't duck the issues and post his plan to bring back Manistee's once famed, "World Class" Brown Trout population.  I know he's been a guest speaker before, in front of large crowds.  So, now's his chance to inform us of the problems that need to be corrected.
    What pisses off us fishermen is being kept in the dark about intended policies, or lack thereof.  My plea to Mr. Rozich is to tell us what the reel-deal is and not a bunch of double talk.  I'll provide equal time and not edit is words, or content one single bit.  I think this is a tremendous opportunity for Tom to wins friends in the sport fishing arena with the 1500, or so anglers that visit this website everyday.  We need just want to know,....what's up with the show?  Click here for a Brown catch in 2001

4/26/04  Sounds like St. Joe is the state's hot spot for now!  The size on spring Kings there is running from 10 to 17 pounds, with fish averaging 10 to 13 pounds.  Northern Indiana has returned to a strong Coho bite and limit catch action.
    Latest word from Harbor beach is that for now it's Lake Trout heaven and the main body Kings seems to be located further south on Lake Huron.  A monster 23 pound Steelhead was landed a few days ago off Oscoda. Click for 23 lb. Steelie
    Depending on where you live, if the Lilacs art blooming?...the King action should be pretty decent.  I've used the Lilac bloom as a good gauge for the past 25 years, and this greenery never lies.  We're about a month away from seeing the flowers on the Lilacs here in Manistee  When they do?... you can bet....we'll be fishing Kings here!

4/25/04  I met Capt. Jay at 5:40am this morning.  I was feeling poorly with a runny nose, watery eyes and intestinal flue.  I baled out after apologizing to the Grendes charter and went home to bed.
    Great news from St. Joe on Lake Michigan!  Many boats are reporting limits of spring Kings in waters from 40 to 60 foot deep, south of the harbor.  From what I hear it's mainly a spoon bite.  I haven't had a report from Harbor Beach to Lexington yet.  I'm hoping the Lake Huron anglers will be willing to share their info too.

4/24/04  I'm gonna be a deckhand today for Capt. Jay Frolenko.  Longtime friends Andy and Char Grendes have chartered him for an excursion into the unknown.  Manistee's Brown Trout Fishery has hit rock-bottom, but we're hoping for the best.
    Completed a new color in my own line of flashers, I'm sure you'll recognize how deadly the cracked-ice glow over a green blade will be.  To be one of the first in the world to view this fish killing machine click here.  I debuted the new flasher with George Metzler's New Twinkie-Twinkie Cut-Bait Rigs for 2004.  If you look reel-hard, you'll see the new line protector between the bait head and hook.
    I'm deeply in debt in the gratitude department to Capt. John J.  He has worked hard, non-stop for the 7 days helping me complete all projects in my production facility.  Without his help, I'd never be as far along, as I am.  I'm waiting for lure tape now. All Glow tapes are in short supply, but I was a promised enough to get to started. I should be shipping my new flashers by about the 1st, or 2nd week of May.

4/23/04  I'm getting a little spooked with the lack of a strong report from St. Joe yet.  Generally, it's rip-city at Salmonville in the southern end of Lake Michigan by this time in April.  Hopefully, we'll hear of better news from down there after this weekend's fishermen hit the pond.  The situation on Browns in Manistee has worsened from a few to none, so save your gas money and try elsewhere if you're looking to catch fish.  Harbor Beach has shown a marked improvement, as a lately. In fact, Lake Huron looks to be producing more fish per outing then Lake Michigan!  Let's hope both lakes will mean full boxes of fish for those wetting a line this weekend. Good luck to all who are gonna be harassing the waters tomorrow.  Just remember, even if the catching sucks this weekend, you could be at home working on the garage like me.

4/22/04  After spending the entire day on the production facility (garage), I relaxed and finished a very complex article on my Great Lakes season opener aboard the "Getaway" with Capt. Bob K and Dave S on 4/9/04.  I'm gonna leave this article open to the public for just today.  Normally, all the inside stuff is reserved for the members of our private message.  If you like the complete reel-story and not just bits and pieces, maybe you to will consider joining our group of about 300 members. There's over 50 articles waiting in Capt. John's Encyclopedia when you join.

4/21/04  Timely Port Reports have been a little slow coming in.  The pace will pick-up when fishing improves with warming waters.  I'm hearing 3 to 6 fish per trip up and down our state's coast of Lk. Michigan. St. Joe is showing some good sized Kings to 20lbs.  Lake Huron is producing off Linwood, Augres and action is building in Lexington and Port Sanilac.  The St. Clair River is showing a few Kings being taken downstream from the Marysville Power Plant.  If you have a report to share with us?.....
then by all means consider E-mailing me them at: kingscharter@yahoo.com 

4/20/04  A few weeks ago, Benzie County angler Don Harrison was lucky enough to snap some pictures of a reel-wild Bob Cat.  He seen this critter while Steelhead fishing on the Betsie River.  This cat weighed every bit of 50 pounds and was munching on a fresh road killed deer.  The large Bob Cat managed to drag a deer carcass of plus a 100 pounds 20 feet and further into the brush. Click for Bob Cat
    Don is an avid fishermen, antique lure and photo collector. His collection is called Up-North Memories.  I'd like to thank Don for letting me use one of his great photos!

4/19/04  The Temperature Charts for which we rely on for May and June fishing have lost the port detail we've become accustomed too.  Instead of sections of the Great Lakes from what I've seen.......the image is a general view of both sides of our ponds.  Unless I missed a link to click on, the new temp charts are pretty worthless!
    Work is progressing on my flasher project nicely.  I can't really tip my hand and give my competition a leg up.  However, within about 2 weeks I'll debut my super productive color selections for the 2004 season and you'll be able to purchase product sometime in early May.

4/18/04  While, hopefully most of you were out fishing yesterday, I had to bear down and boogie on the production facility.  'Nough said on how my day went!  The late breaking word from St. Joe is pretty decent for spring Kings on Lake Michigan.

4/17/04  I have yet to receive a strong report on the situation with Manistee's once famed Brown Trout Fishery.  Are they catching fish?  Yes, but I keep hearing of 2 to 4 Browns a trip and some are getting skunked.  So, for the time being it's no big shake in Manistee County if you're a April Brown Trout aficionado.
   More progress on the flasher front.  Took care of my messed up swivel order and all should be cured within about a week.  I'm about done with the "Bob Vila stuff" in my production facility (garage).  2 new entry doors, 3 new windows, new garage door, new wiring, insulation, drywall, painting, wood trim, and lighting is getting pretty close to completion.  My former garage is now the nicest room in my house......well, almost!

4/16/04  I received my die-cut prototypes from the lure tape company.  I was very fussy about the reveal (edge) and the shape of the contour.  The folks got it ultra right now and work on my rotary die to produce vast numbers a custom cut pieces of lure has begun.  Click here to see the "World Premiere" of Kingfish Products die-cuts
   I messed up big time by ordering the wrong ball bearing swivels.  I'm down in the dumps over this, because of the added shipping expense and the re-stocking charges I faced with.  Not to mention another week of delay while they ship me the right product.  200 pound test Sampo ball bearing swivels will come standard, instead of the 10,000 @ 150 pound test one's I now have, and must ship back. The larger swivels will provide a larger surface for the ball bearing area, hence less friction means.... less line twist.  This is my quest to build the finest product I can.  I've went way too far to be satisfied with nothing, but the premium..........ultimate best!

4/15/04  4:30pm  Tax day!  Finished mine a couple of weeks ago, so I didn't have to deal with that stuff.  Just returned from another lengthy road trip downstate to handle more business pertaining to the new Kingfish Products, LLC Flashers. 
     Kinda killed two birds with one stone, because I was invited to speak at the Grand Haven Steelheaders on 4/14/04.  I'd guess the crowd at about....oh?...maybe 80 people.  I was more then surprised that only a few of their members had ever run cut-bait and not too many of them seemed too enthused about it either.  Let's see what they have to say about it in 2005 after they run it for a full season!

4/14/04  My apologies to those that faithfully sent in their port reports, but I was tied up all day working my production facility for the new flashers.  14 hours of painting, wiring and finish carpentry does not allow for much else.
    I'll be at the Grand Haven Steelheaders (see directions above) this evening.  Before I leave for Grand Haven, new memberships for the message board must be OK'd and come hell, or high water.....the port reports from last weekend will be published before noon today.  I've got a drift boat to list on the
Boaters Guide too.

4/13/04  Most of the morning was spent trying to tie up loose ends on my flasher project.  I ordered some paint in mother of pearl, glow, fancy stencil material and the rest of the rainbow that should be here in a few days.
    I called my company that's supplying me the lure tape for my flashers again.  I ordered about 3000 pieces of tape, hoping they'll want to fill a large order ASAP.  The problem is, the company making the special order die to cut the tape has been slow to work with.  From here on out, I will be calling the tape company at least every two days, because the squeaking wheel always gets the grease.  I've used up all my patience, seeing I started on procuring the tape last January.
   I'm reel-behind on all fronts with this website.  I have a drift boat ad and the new port reports to post from last weekend.  I beckon to be back at Au Gres like last Friday.  Sometimes this home office stuff just plain gets to me!

4/12/04  Action is building on Lake Huron.  Lexington and Sanilac are starting to show decent catches of Kings.  The late breaking word from St. Joe is fairly decent too, with surface water temps around the low to mid-forty mark.  Yeah, buddy!....the 2004 big lake trolling season seems to be off to a good start.  
   On 4/8/04 successful paint tests were completed on my new flasher.  Being a type plastic, means a flexible paint that actually bonds to the surface was in order.  I was reel happy with the results and will have in my first production run of flashers painted soon.  I will be ordering tape (5000 pieces of die cuts) later this week......if my custom die is ready?  I ordered this die back in late January Click here for paint test.
    I'm fast at work trying to complete an article about the tips and trix we used on 4/9/04.  It looks like it will be another day, or two before the debut of "April_9_2004." This article will be for the 300 plus members of our private message board only.

4/11/04  Have a safe and blessed Easter today.

4/10/04  I have a firm start on a complete article with the methodology used yesterday to produce our catch.  It's my ultra-firm belief that technique can be taught and learned by you to produce the same kinda numbers and action.  No one has an absolute lock on the knowledge market.  I'm willing to share what little I know with everyone. 
              Click for catch on 4/9/04                  Click for hot lures on 4/9/04
The title of the new article is April_9_2004.  I completed about 25% of the text and 10 image files are done.  I hope to have the new article available for the members of our private message board by Monday 4/12/04. If you haven't yet joined our group of 300 fishermen, please do.  I don't think you can find the quality of the current information posted at our message board anyplace on the internet.  To join? Click on this link to print out the form and a check for 10 bucks is required

4/9/04 9pm.  I'm really tried from being on the water and a cross state drive from Manistee to Augres.  I'll update our successful trip on Lake Huron once I grab a good nights rest.  Death Toll: 1 Laker, 1 Coho, 1 Steelhead, 3 Browns, 4 Kings and 8 Wally-Gators equals: 18 fish in 4 hours!  We got dialed in and caught these rascals between from 10am to 2pm.  I'll do a complete page on our exact tactics used by "Team Getaway" on 4/10/04.  The team consisted of Dave S, Bob K and yours truly!

4/8/04  All the reports that have been filtering in, have been from 1 to around 4 fish per boat.  Big Manistee River, Lake Michigan and Lake Huron all reflect limited success as the big lake fishermen wait for a little more water temperature.  The guys that are fishing in the afternoons out of Manistee are catching a good bite towards evening.  2004 Manistee Brown Trout are ranging from 5-10 lbs, meaning all good quality fish.
    I have to see a lure paint supplier-specialist today at 2pm.  When you, "need to know, always ask a pro" is my philosophy.  I'm not just trying to make a flasher.  I will make a superior American product that will smoke my competition in side by side visual comparisons.  It's reel-good for you, I can't do any project without devotion & passion.  Need an example?............just look at this website, then compare the rest!

4/7/04  Word on the Manistee River Steelhead and Lake Michigan's Brown Trout Fishery in and around the Manistee County continues to be "some."  Most Steelhead are up high in the big river by Tippy Dam, or on gravel.  Brown Trout opportunities on Lk. MI are slightly better then 2003, but not by much.  So far, the normally crowded conditions on the Manistee's shoreline haven't materialized for Browns.  Last April's skimpy results have caused many fishermen to seek prospects at alternative ports.
     On April the 14th, 2004 I've been invited to be the guest speaker at the Grand Haven Steelheaders.  The public is invited, so being a member is not a prerequisite to be present.  The meeting will be held at the Portobello Restaurant in Grand Haven. Informally we start at 6:15pm. There will be "swap tables" munchies and cash bar.
Here's directions from Manistee:
Take US-31 to Grand Haven. You will cross the draw-bridge over the Grand River.
Turn right at the first light after crossing the bridge. (Walgreens will be on the left)
Follow that street (it follows the river/channel) past Chinook Pier. That is a small shopping center, and that is where the Grand Haven Charter boats dock. You will also see an old locomotive on the right.  Just a little beyond that, you will see the Municipal Marina building on the river. Portabello Restaurant is on the left in the old building. It has a green awning I believe. We meet upstairs in that building. There should be a sign inside the front door.
    Progress on all fronts!  I'm restocked with Streaks, including this year's Whopper Stopper Pack.  10 Mag Streaks, for $50 shipped with tax included is a good deal, especially when you figure in the custom and exclusive colors only I'm offering.  New for 2004 is an extended Blue-glow. Click to view "Whopper Stoppers 2004"
    I made an appointment with a specialized lure paint company and will be meeting with them this Thursday afternoon for some test shots with various types of paint on my new flasher.  Plus, I'll be able to buy the recommended stuff when I'm there

4/7/04  Progress on all fronts!  I'm restocked with Streaks, including this year's Whopper Stopper Pack.  10 Mag Streaks, shipped with tax included is a good deal, especially when you figure in the custom and exclusive colors I'm offering.  New for 2004 is an extended Blue-glow.  Click here to view Whopper Stoppers 2004
    I made an appointment with a specialized lure paint company and will be meeting with them this Thursday afternoon for some test shots with various types of paint on my new flasher.  Plus, I'll be able to buy the right stuff when I'm there.

4/6/04  "Getway" Bob Kietzman is offering his first prototype radar arch for soft top boats at $950.00.  This low price is available, because the first arch was built with donated materials and labor to get Bob started.  This arch has 8 rodholders on top and 3 bird rod holders installed on per side now. Click for 1st arch under construction 
To contact Bob?.......E-mail him at: bobkietzman@hotmail.com
   I have 2 new Port Reports for you.  One is about not much action at South Haven yet, and a goodie from Au Gres on monster 'eyes and a few fatso lunker Browns.

4/5/04  OK, it's that time of the season when our Port Reports Page garners the center stage..  Port Reports are, and always will be a mainstay of this website.  Keeping informed on what's happening is what this medium of the internet is about.  Please send catch and hot lures photos in files less then 200k per.  Web resolution is not the same as printing out photos.  I welcome the chance to make the 2004 Port Reports even more of a success then the past 3 seasons.
    As new reports come in, I'll be deleting the 2003 archived reports.  So, there's still a wealth of information still available for your memory banks.  Please send your port report to: kingscharter@yahoo.com  Also, keep in mind your commentary needs to reflect the truth and suckie report is as important as a rave review. 

4/4/04  Indiana's piece of Lake Michigan is said to be producing some of the best Brown Trout fishing in quite awhile.  The far southern end of Lake Michigan is showing it's traditionally good early season Coho too.  Reports from Lexington on Lake Huron is a few Kings, but it hasn't broke loose yet.  Soon the 2004 Port Reports Page will back up and online. If you have a fresh report, please send it to: kingscharter@yahoo.com 

4/3/04  A few to some?......is what I've been able to discern on the Manistee River Steelhead and the Lake Michigan Brown Fishery in Manistee.  While it's kinda early for traditional "best" of the best Brown Trout trolling, and river would be producing better, but the crowds have been super-immense according to Capt. Jay Frolenko.
    On April 9th (Good Friday), 2004.....I will be fishing for Brown Trout.  However, for me it's back to my roots and I'm bound for Lake Huron near East Tawas.  My highly talented skipper will be the legendary Capt. Bob Kietzman, of the "Getaway" fishing team fame. Capt. Bob K. has assured me the fish would be jumping in the boat.  I was also told to go down below in the cabin to change lures for safety's sake, because the fish off this area have been known to make flying attacks on unwary anglers once they see a lure.  If you have the day off?  Maybe,.....you'd like to join in on our early season Lake Huron do?  Let me know and leave a post on our new private message board to that effect, or send me a E-mail at: kingscharter@yahoo.com 

4/2/04  My eternal gratitude to Mr. Stuart Anderson for bringing my flasher project into complete production.  An American company built the die, did the injection molding on schedule and within budget.  My many thanks to the entire staff that took my idea and turned it a total reality.  Click here for Mr. Stuart Anderson
     My report on Brown fishing off Manistee begins with "some" Browns being caught.
I've heard numbers of 7 to a couple per boat and around the pier-heads ....seems to be the deal for now.  Brown Trout fishing in Betsie Bay in Frankfort has produced Browns from 5 to 7 lbs. on Rapalas as of just lately (like on 4/1/04).
    Great Lakes surface temperature charts will resume on 4/7/04 according to their website at: http://www.coastwatch.msu.edu/  I've had several ask me about this, because the website has been offline for an extended period of time.

4/1/04  Whew.......I'm back from a 4 day journey that covered 3 states, 1400 miles and 4 business meetings about the new flasher.  Bringing a product from conception into production in 6 months has kept me beyond busy.  The quality of my finished flasher blade even better then anything I could have hoped for....more on this in the future.  The first production run is complete and 5000 brand new flasher blanks are now Michigan residents and will be sleeping at my house tonight!
        Click for Capt. John's new flasher      Click for a photo of a reel-mold