January, February and March
3/31/04 I subscribe to the Ludington newspaper by mail. I find I miss too much that is important to me if I do not. One recent headline was "Pressures continue on the Pere Marquette River" talking about the varied uses and problems on the river. A huge number of people enjoy the river for canoeing and kayaking, Steelhead and Salmon fishing. In addition, in many places there are homes and cottages along the river. Just as back in the lumbering days, the river continues to be a source of income for a great many people.
Of course, people being people, there are conflicts. The fishermen think the boaters should go away, the boaters think the fishermen should go away and the homeowners wish we would all go away. Even the Steelhead and King fishermen can't seem to get along.
It is hard to be a fisherman and not be a conservationist. I imagine that it is much more pleasurable to kayak in a clean, healthy river. It interests me to see groups with such obvious common goals at odds with each other instead of viewing the other
group as more "people power" to protect the river. - Bob Hicks
I would also like to thank all the people who made the symposium a success, the speakers and the helpers, and of course, the attendees. I especially enjoyed meeting some guys who are brand new to this sport. Keep your chin up guys, because if I can learn it, you can learn it. My first year was DISMAL. Fortunately, on practically the last day of the year to fish I hooked a Big Harbor King, which got me coming back for more. Looking back, It's no wonder I struggled so much. My first conversation with John King, I told him I was only going to fish with spoons because attractors don't work!
3/28/04 Thanks to all that attended my Salmon Symposium yesterday in Stronach, Michigan. I feel like I'm the luckiest person in the world to have some many wonderful fishermen to show up. Never in my life, have I EVER seen such a well informed audience! I'm totally overwhelmed with the outcome of our event.
3/27/04 Yep, it's our long awaited symposium day. Today is the day when I get the wonderful opportunity meet many of you in person. I have a great line-up of guest speakers willing to share their knowledge with the fishermen attending our do. I'd like to thank all who lent a hand and helped us set-up tables and chairs for our guests.
I've been way too busy with getting everything together for tomorrow's
Whew...what a day! I spent all of yesterday with duties associated with this coming Saturday's Salmon Symposium. Building stage props took most of the day. Contacting all the guest speakers and laying down a flexible schedule is almost done. Please plan on being there between 9 and 9:30am Speakers start at 9:45am.
The best news in the world for our symposium this Saturday, March 27, 2004 is gonna be warm, sunny and very spring-like with temperatures in the 50s. I was reel-worried about bad weather. So, that's no longer a major concern.
Today's update is gonna be devoted to Lake Michigan's charter fleet catch reports for 2003. The ramification is that we no longer have a balanced fishery if you compare it to 1996. Steelhead is off by about 60%, Coho is down by at least 50%, and the Brown Trout population is down by 90-some percent. Lakers have slipped about 50% too. Kings
are the big deal now and the catch rate on Kings is up about 100%. Please keep in mind, I compared the figures of 1996 to 2003 in the above tabulations. I suspect the reasons are many for the decline of some species such as lampreys, cormorants, reduced plants and commercial netting operations that all directly impact and deplete a resource
Registration for our symposium will be closed after Wednesday, March 23. 2004. I have way too much to do this week to OK tardy registrations. Yes, if you're already registered, bringing a guest is OK. Please, don't waste my time, or yours by asking for last minute for admissions. Time for me this week is at a premium,
so I hope you understand my reasoning about the deadline registration.
Jeff and Denny stopped my house today with a dandy Big Manistee River Steelhead. This was perfect for me, because in all honesty, I was hurting for a timely update. The weather in the first part of the day was perfect for Jeff and Denny with temperatures pushing 50 degrees. Then around 3pm it turned windy and got cold in a
hurry. Click here for Jeff & Denny Click here for their hot lure
Spring has sprung, as we officially enter into the Spring of 2004. Guess what?....with snow and temps below freezing predicted for today, someone forgot to tell Mother Nature it's time to lighten up a bit. I am absolutely positive, we're all looking forward to the 2004 big lake trolling season that will be here soon.
3/19/04 In my travels around northern Michigan a few days ago, I stopped by the Platte River Hatchery. I knew the hub-bub of the 500,000 dead Salmon would be over and want to pay my little buddies in the rearing pens a social call. This place always amazes me. Millions of fish, most named after me. So, this is kinda
like a large family reunion. Click here for a photo of a bunch of young Salmon, or parr
I've received some glowing reports on the St. Joe River. The guide boats are catching between 5 to 9 Steelhead a trip. Spawn and plugs have been the flavor of the day according to what's been passed on to me. The St. Joe generally is about 2 weeks ahead of our Big Manistee River when it comes to action.
3/17/04 Happy St. Patrick's Day!
I have some impressive news about a world class sportsman and outdoor writer that will be a featured guest at our seminar.
3/16/04 Some monster Walleyes are being caught in Muskegon Lake now. Reports of fish in the 10 to 12 pound bracket are filtering in. I'd like to thank Joel O. for the photo and update from the Muskegon area. Click here for 12 lb. Muskegon Walleye
It's my great honor and privilege to announce Dave Richey's new website today. Dave is the standard all other outdoor writers are measured by. Way back when?...... I had the grand opportunity to take Dave fishing a few times. He featured me on the Sunday Detroit News Outdoor Page a couple of times during the
1980s, making me look far better then I actually did! To access Dave's website click here.
3/14/04 I'll be spending most of the day working on stage props and my sermon for our upcoming deal on 3/27/04. It seems to me that everyone wants to over complicate the fishing process with words like mono-chromatic and replicate. My emphasis will be strictly devoted to simplicity and the basic premise,..... "what we're doin' ain't all that hard!" Fishing the Great Lakes is not rocket science, building a thermonuclear device or carving on someone's brain. Rass-ma-tas and fancy sounding words has little to do with a full box of fish.......reel-fact number 1!
Kinda pressed for a meaningful fishing update for today. The recent winter storm pretty much has kept the fishermen I know at home for the time being.
I guess the biggest news from Manistee County is that we got whacked with a late season winter storm. Looks like about 4 to 6 inches at my house.
Tried of playing games with fish and missing strikes? I now have in stock the exact hooks I use for April Browns, Spring Kings, Summer Steelhead, Mag Spoons, Meat-Rigs, Trolling Flies, etc. VMC came thru and received my order from them yesterday. While I can't make more fish bite for you, I can make sure your hook-up ratio improves by a
100%. Not missing fish is the reel-deal, not how many you can sore mouth! Pricing is incomplete at this time and I only have a limited amount of these deadly hog stickers. Click here for the VMC hooks photo
Close to 500,000 young Coho Salmon were lost on 3/8/04 at the Platte River hatchery in Honor, Michigan. According the hatchery manager, Dave Eisch, a pump failed, bypassing some needed safety alarms not in place. The lack of flowing water caused oxygen depletion. No oxygen in the water means the fish can't breath and suffocate within 15 to 20
minutes. This hatchery has lost fish like this before!
3/9/04 The "big buzz" at the Flint Steelheaders Show was the new under-slung level wind reels from Walker. This reel has a special trigger to apply additional drag if needed. Be care when you torque down on any fish, because line breakage can always occur. I'll
probably have a few of these reels for demonstration purposes at our symposium which is only about 3 weeks away. Click here for the Walker Reel
Out of town business prevents me from doing a daily update for today.
The Flint Steelheaders Show concludes today at Birch Run. If you plan on attending today, please get there no later then 1pm, because most exhibiters have started dismantling their displays by 3pm. Show hours today are 10pm to 4pm.
The Flint Steelheaders show continues today at the Birch Run Expo Center.
The Flint Steelheaders Show begins at Birch Run today at 4pm. They've moved their show to the new Expo-Center close to the Birch Run exit off I75. I think this was wise on their part, because the IMA Arena was showing it's age. The IMA Arena's heating system
could barely bring warmth to the old building. Capt. Bob Hicks will be there with a general line of tackle, representing our online tackle store. An important out-of-state meeting scheduled for Monday, means travel for me this weekend. So, I will not be able to attend this year's Flint shindig.
My UPS driver said Ludington's harbor is open and within a few days, you'll be able to launch a boat. He mentioned, "the Copeian boat launch was almost clear, but no docks were in the water yet." So, bring waders if you plan on launching a small boat and chasing those feisty early season Browns.
The lower stretches of the Muskegon, White, Kalamazoo, Pentwater and Pere Marquette Rivers were all at the high water stage. The Muskegon and the Kazoo looked like chocolate milk, is what I seen on my return trip north to Manistee County yesterday. The water has not came up the high on the Big Manistee
yet, but is will. This additional flow draws the Steelhead upstream like a magnet to spawn.
A business trip took me to SW corner of Michigan today, by Benton Harbor. The Muskegon, White and Kalamazoo all had a good flow, looking like high water conditions. I'm sure these rivers have to be producing some Steelhead. However, river fishermen as a group can be a tight lipped bunch making info hard to come by.
I'm offering a dozen Mini-Streaks in my "go to" colors. 12 minis and 20 special replacement hooks will cost $50 shipped to you door, instructions included.
2/29/04 I was at Tippy Dam this morning as an observer. Fishing pressure was light and a few Steelhead had been out smarted. Best action on the Big Manistee River still lies in the future. The water temp up by the dam was 35.2 degrees and it looked like all 3 turbines were running, because the flow was over 2200 cubic feet per second. If I get some free time over the weekend, I'll do some snooping around on the lower river to see how the the downstream anglers are faring.
2/28/04 Something that I just noticed is that February 2004 is a leap year, cuz this month has has 29 days. Isn't February only supposed to have 28 days?
The Flint Steelheaders Show at Birch Run starts a week from today. The show starts 4pm on 3/5/04 and runs thru 3/7/04. I will not be able to attend, an important out-of-state business meeting needs my complete, focused attention. I've been doing "sport shows" for over two decades. I've done the show scene for
myself and as a representative for many too tackle manufacturers to mention. This will be the first time in 23 years I haven't manned a show booth. I will miss meeting many of you in person, but there's no way to can cancel this ultra-necessary conference.
2/26/04 Manistee is starting to free up from winter's grip. The harbor and the entire river system up to Wellston, Michigan is ice free. Thank God............the ice is gone!
I was at the High Bridge launch ramp yesterday afternoon to greet Capt. Jay and his guests at 4pm. Larry and Dave fished the river with Jay and ended up with a Steelhead and lost a dandy right before quitting time. I spoke with Mark, the DNR's catch-reporter and he said, it was maybe a fish per boat and no Steelhead at all were caught, or recorded at
Tippy Dam. Click here for Larry, Bud & Dave
2/24/04pm I have a late season, ice fishing report from Lake St. Clair from Scott O. Here's his exact words: "Many of my friends are lucky enough to get out on almost a daily basis right now. The action on the U.S. side is slowing down fishing is pretty much even from the spillway (Jefferson between Shook and Crocker south of Metro Beach) all the way up to Fair Haven. The large schools of fish we were seeing earlier this year are thinning out. Still schools of nice sized fish, just not as large as they were before. With all the ice jams all over too, getting out to deeper water has been dangerous. The good news is if your willing to move around a lot you can find fish in real close (4ft of water). The best advice I can give is one, take a decoy and use it to bring the schools in (it also prevents you from having to move around as much). Two take jigging spoons as well as wigglers, and three if you have perch below you and they won't bite either a jigging spoon or your teardrop/wiggler jigged? DROP THE WIGGLER TO THE BOTTOM!!! There is a 99 percent chance they'll pick it up. If I make it out anytime soon, I'll be sure to send an updated report. Good luck to all! I can't wait to get back on the big water!.........Scott O."
The weather got kinda nasty up here again yesterday, but it stayed at, or around freezing. I'm gonna be snooping around at the High Bridge Public Access this
afternoon for an exact report on what's up? As hectic as it's been around my house for the past week, it will do me good to see the velvety course of the Big Manistee River. Capt. Bud Raskey and I are both involved in this adventure around 4pm today. Also, I'm gonna see if the lower river has cleared from being frozen across around the M-55 Bridge. Late
breaking word is that the lower river is open!
2/23/04 Ken the manufacturer of the KRW Trolling Fly sent me a sample pack of his new products for 2004. I guess the biggest news is that he's now selling 3 packs of his great fly. I know his new colors for 04 will be hot too. KRW's Aqua-Bold is Manistee's number 1 selling trolling fly color. Click here for the new KRW stuff
The mouth of the Little Manistee River is open and Steelhead anglers there are reporting fair success. Typical statements like, some days being better then others are being spoken. I haven't heard much from Manistee Lake on how the guys on the ice are fairing on Steelies thru the ice yet. Temps slightly above freezing
for most of next week are predicted. This should help thaw the lower end of the Big Manistee. Once we have open water on the lower end of the big river, I expect the fishing pressure and action to pick up in a large way.
2/21/04 The simple things in life continue fascinate me. Things like no snow in my driveway's entrance just makes me filled with glee! Look for this recent melt to start adding flow to the big river in a few days. Things are starting to look good for those dedicated Steelhead chasers that experience their reel "right of passage" every spring.
2/20/04 I don't have much an update that concerns fishing today. It's the dull, mundane behind the scenes stuff that I do with this website. I spent 14 actual fulltime hours reformatting the navigation structure and enclosing all the articles in a private folder. Passwords will be required for the tips and tricks section, or as it's also known, "Capt. John's Encyclopedia of Tips and Trix." Passwords will be posted at our private message. My security had to be tightened up, because of plagiarism issues.
/19/04 Holy Socks, Batman! It got all the way to 37 degrees yesterday in Manistee County, marking our first reel-day above freezing since 1/4/04. I can almost see bare ground on my drive's entrance way. Maybe?...we'll have a spring after all!
Today's update is courtesy of Capt. Jay Frolenko. Here are his exact words on a 2/17/04 excursion-research mission on the Big Manistee River:
Zikes!.....It was 12 degrees below zero at my house yesterday morning at 6am. Just about the time I figured I had it bad, and the world was just picking on me?......I seen that Cadillac tied a record at 16 below and Houghton Lake crashed into the 20 below range. Improving weather for the rest week is forecast.
2/16/04 Buying or selling your boat in the 2004? Please consider using the service I provide at: Boaters
Guide. I'm pretty sure every boat I listed less then 10 years old, sold in a timely manner. Small boats move quick and please share the word when you see someone selling their rig. Used boats offer tremendous value, compared to purchasing new. Click here for the late model 18 foot Lund I just listed
2/15/04 The weather according to the past history of Manistee County should be changing for the better. While we haven't broke freezing officially since the first of the year, it supposed to this week a couple of days. I look forward to better things ahead. Trying to do daily updates concerning fishing has been next to impossible. Using tip-ups for Steelhead isn't a area I've conquered yet! I did see the lower end of the Little Manistee River has thawed and opened up today and that's a good sign!
2/14/04 This is gonna hit home with many of you fishing the waters in the southern part of our state. The Miami Native Americans inhabited the areas around the Maumee River, St. Joe, Michigan and northern Indiana. Their descendents are seeking restoration of their tribal recognition that was terminated in 1897 by our federal
government. The Miami's were one of the most powerful tribes in the late 1700s and early 1800s. If you're interested in this issue? For a complete historical record on the Miami Native Americans from 1846 to the present day Click here.
T.G.I.F! Just as I was flapping my gums about the old stuff being better, Murphy's Law entered the picture and burnt me. My "new" upright freezer of 5 years, 3 months and 2 weeks took a puke! Freezers used to last long enough to be used for cryogenics, nope....not anymore! Now, factor in my last course,
or row of shingles being torn off, as the ice came down off the roof and you'll see yesterday was not a good day in the King household. Lucky me?...I get to deal with the insurance adjuster this coming Tuesday. I've already prepared myself for the "Act of God Clause."
The topic for today's update is the question; "were things really better in the good old days?" Personally?....I think they were, because all things were made with a little more heft. Back then, the cheap stuff was made in Japan. In the 50s and 60s most overseas products were junk, compared to what the USA
2/11/4 There's a full-page ad in the Steelheader's state-wide newspaper advertising the commercial fishing events to be held in Manistee this July 2004. There is not one tackle manufacture listed as a sponsor either! So, don't think popular opinion, our letters and the No-Nets Page does not have an
impact! Archie Martell issuing spearing licenses might have been the wake-up call everyone needed.
Yesterday was reel-busy.....whew! I just fished processing and packing most of the orders I received. After picking up my latest shipment of twink rigs at around 4pm, I stayed on the job until about midnight last night.
I missed my delivery of my shipment of the Twinkie 3 fly cut-bait rigs last Thursday. So, I'll be hightailing it into Manistee early this morning. Registered members of the private message board get first shot on what I have in stock. Now, to compound matters, this shipment isn't that
large, but I took what he had in the colors that I know produce. According to George Metzler (the pioneer in this field), he won't have anymore rigs available for shipment until late May, or June.
The Big Manistee River has only one public access launch ramp open and that's the one at High Bridge. All the rest are un-useable (except Tippy public access), being iced in. I also heard Tippy Dam, is starting to become skinny on Steelhead, because of all the ice. Factor in the water temperature is hovering at, or around 32.5, almost
freezing! So, the fish don't seem to be moving upstream in any noticeable numbers. The large run in the fall of 2003 could mean the spring-run fish might be in smaller numbers. Only time will tell, is the way I look at it!
2/7/04 The Boat show starts at Cobo Hall in Detroit, Michigan today. I did the boat show as an exhibitor for close to 20 years and don't miss downtown Detroit one iota! Some of my most "unpleasantly cold moments" in Michigan came from here. The cold wind off the Detroit River and never knowing how close to an entrance you'd be able to park, usually meant you'd halfway freeze to death on the way to, and from your vehicle. If your looking for more info click on this link: Detroit Boat Show 2004.
I spent a major portion of yesterday fine tuning my public address system for our upcoming symposium on 3/27/04 in Stronach, MI. The sound quality from the wireless microphones is first-rate and my 300 watt amp should be adequate. I worked on solving feed-back issues, as the mic's pick up their own signal from the speakers. The
Stronach Twsp. hall is a fairly good-sized building and there's no way someone can do a presentation and be easily heard without some kind of voice amplification.
Yeah buddy!, back to the low single digits and lots of snow in our forecast thru this Saturday. It's impossible for me to get a report on the big river, when hardly anyone is fishing. I suspect the river is frozen up to Bear Creek at least. I know the lower end is frozen up tighter than a drum by the M-55 bridge.
2/4/04 Capt. John Milbourne (click here for John's website) and "Purple Taco" Curt will be lending a hand at our 3/27/04 symposium in Stronach, Michigan. I know both these informed anglers very well, they will be a definite asset at our do! If you're considering attending, be sure to fill out and mail the registration form. There is a limit to what the building's seating arrangement can hold comfortably Click for info!
2/3/04 According to Punxsutawney Phil , America's official groundhog saw his shadow yesterday and we have only 6 more weeks of winter left. Ol' Phil would have seen his shadow in Manistee County this morning too, because it was partly sunny. And if wonders will never cease?.....it reached 34 degrees and my place yesterday! Could it be there will be a spring in 2004 after all? Maybe, winter's grip is gonna loosen slightly, because I see long range temps in at least the 20s for the rest of this week. While I know January 2004 is past history, the white-outs, blizzards and dreadful below zero cold still haunt me. May the fish-gods bring us an early spring!
The list of luminaries grows for Capt. John's Salmon Symposium being held in Stronach, MI on 3/27/04. Tom Rozich for the DNR in Cadillac has consented to doing a talk on our fishery. Tom is on the inside and has all the details on what's up and we'll all learn the exact facts and figures from him. Click
here for symposium info!
2/1/04 Finished up my Michigan 6% Sales Tax stuff yesterday. Today work continues on my federal returns. Also, a note worthy fact is that today it's supposed to be the warmest day we've had in about 28 days, a whopping 27 degrees! Tomorrow it might hit 32. Yep, we're experiencing a torrid heat wave in Manistee county. Bitterly cold and a very harsh winter is what we've dealt with!
Today is a reel-special update, because tomorrow begins my 5th year with this website. I've done 1440 daily updates and never even had a clue this site would become so well accepted. For the number crunchers, since Feb. 14, 2003 we've had 7,875,973 "hits," 894,790 html page requests, served to 98,211 different computers and shipped
52,761,542,309 bytes of information (that last number boggles my mind).
I figured we all needed a light hearted update after yesterday's shocking revelation. Mike D. supplied me with a outstanding photo of a big-pig, super-hog Brown Trout a friend of his landed in the Milwaukee Harbor. Wisconsin is a known producer of Browns, but the fish defies description. 32 pounds, and over 41 inches, this trophy male
"spawned out" Brown Trout that was photographed by someone who knew what they were doing with a camera too. Click here for a reel-trophy Brown.
Friends, I come to you with a very somber heart. This is something that is gonna piss all of us off....BIG TIME! It's confirmed by Archie Martell, the biologist for
While it slipped my mind for a while, the first freighter of the 2004 season entered the channel in Manistee on 1/23/04. I've never seen one this early and a tug must have broken the ice, because for a while, the "Ralph Tucker" looked to be stuck in the ice
out by the Coast Guard Station. The ice this ship broke loose, is not gonna do any good for the marinas in the channel, or the ice fishermen on Manistee Lake.
1/27/04 Winter is damn rough in Manistee County! There is no improvement on the long term horizon either. It's been a struggle to see 20 degrees and night-time lows are single digits, or below zero. This what we don't need, if we expect to maintain a decent deer herd. Snow in my backyard is up to my crotch and I have a 30 inch inseam. I'd be spreading hay, but snow depth has been preventing lugging a bale of hay to my deer feeder area. For the next 6 days, there are no temps predicted to be much above 20 degrees. So, 2004 has not offered us a January thaw up here in the North Country!
1/26/04 I have a small boat article that Capt. Grant Fry contributed most of the content. It's under construction for now, but can be accessed by clicking here.
1/25/04 I don't have much of an update for you today, because yesterday, I just kicked-back and took it easy. Several long days this past week took it's toll and a rest was necessitated. I have to sequester myself today and devote total attention to getting a firm start on the 2003 taxes. I'll have a far better update for tomorrow.
At the risk of life and limb, did manage to get a photo of the Big Manistee River yesterday. The roads were just plain terrible and just as I snapped this photo, a car spun out of control on the other side of the M-55 Bridge. Yep, the roads up here are that bad, so
don't even think of traveling north, unless you have too!
Since I finished and published the update for yesterday, we got hit with better then a foot of new snow. So, my trip into Manistee had to be cancelled as I dug out from the blizzard that besieged me yesterday. Maybe today?....I'll get the promised photo of the iced over and very frozen Big Manistee River at M-55.
I turned on Capt. John's Blizzard Cam so you could see who nasty it is in the "Great White North," called Manistee County! Click here for my blizzard cam
Website work was my endeavor for yesterday. I'm in the process of opening a "new private members only" board. Click here for printable form to join
1/20/04 I spent a goodly portion of yesterday
re-formatting the Site Map page. This
page hadn't been updated for about 2 years and was in sad shape for
the standards I demand. The page looks a helluva lot better then it
We have gained more support from a couple
of great tackle manufacturers named, Jerry Bechhold and Randy Even
for our No-Nets! page. Jerry makes
the ever popular Bechhold
Randy manufactures the fish catching diver called the
Diver. Both of these
excellent products are a mainstay of my Great Lakes trolling program
throughout the entire season.
Yesterday, I spent time working on the website, concentrating the who's supporting the commercial netting in the area from Frankfort to past Ludington, MI. I've installed a updated color code and added a
YELLOW WARNING BACKGROUND
to companies who are, have or might be sustaining the netting enterprise in Manistee. Getting someone to commit that they're going to be
in collaboration with the netting outfit has been next to impossible.
Click for our updated No-Nets! page
1/17/03 I'm in the process of deleted all gambling banners off my website. These gaming banners advertised for internet gaming. In return I got a free stats program
1/16/04 Yesterday was one of those days you just dread. I built and published 4 new pages for the website. Nov & Dec 2003 results, Symposium & Message Board Info, Symposium Sign-Up Form, and Message Board Registration Form were my website efforts on 1/15/04. The hard part was making sure the sign-up forms would be very printer friendly. These pages had to be done, because they concern our free Salmon Symposium on March 27, 2004 in Stronach, Michigan. Also, an open to the public message board is something that I will no longer tolerate. Registration and complete verification of identity is something that I will require from now on. Click here to access to both sign-up pages I posted yesterday
On my trip into Manistee yesterday afternoon I noticed the lower Big Manistee River is almost unfishable. Ice flows jammed the river and if this cold spell
Special Update concerning Tom Rozich: I installed the poll wrongfully believing he was gonna recommend cutting King Salmon plant. Being out of town and not privy to exactly what was said, I goofed-up by
misnaming the poll (which I have deleted). His position is, if BKD continues to build, cutting the planting levels "MIGHT" have to be considered. My most humble apologies to Tom for not being completely aware of all the facts. I will install another poll later today.
1/14/2004 I see they were Ice fishing Lake St. Claire today. The reports showed several fishermen being rescued, but they failed to get the important stuff, like what they were catching and what they were catching them on! For those of you not familiar with it, Lake St. Clair is a part of the Great Lakes Chain and is close to urban Detroit. Because it is relatively shallow, it ices over easily and it is a popular ice fishing spot. Unfortunately today some recent warm weather and a change in wind direction sent some of our fishermen toward Canada on an ice flow. This happens enough that the Coast Guard has a special hovercraft just for this job.
I think this is my last update for a while, John should be back tomorrow. I have a new appreciation for how hard it is to keep this site fresh and interesting. From now on, if I have anything of interest I will email it to John. If any of you have a fishing report, or if you got rescued today by the Coast Guard today, drop John a line so we all can read about it. - Captain Bob
1/13/2004 I read today in the Ludington Daily News some items of interest.
First, “A recent study revealed that each charter trip results in about $700 in ancillary monies being spent in the local community”. Second, DNR Fisheries Biologist Manager Tom Rozich recommends that Chinook plantings be cut in response to increased numbers of fish testing positive for BKD (bacterial kidney disease).
I was supposed to move the oldest update off of the site today, but I will leave the names of those companies who have pledged to support our no nets cause. I think they deserve a little more "Front Page" time for stepping right up for us. Next time you are at the store, vote with your wallet and let these guys know you appreciate it.- Captain Bob
1/12/2004 I spent most of Sunday trying once again to configure a network with the computers in my house. Sounds easy, but I’ll tell you it’s not. Have to put it down again and get working on organizing for taxes.
I am making my list of winter improvements to my boat. A canvas aft curtain to cover back deck and new rocket launchers (at least 9 across the top, not 5) are on the menu. The canvas is needed because the steamship "Badger" is turning my white boat black. The historic coal-fired "Badger" is the last remaining car-ferry on the Great Lakes and runs out of Ludington, Michigan to Wisconsin. The nasty coal dust washes off of the rest of the boat OK, but tends to collect and get ground in the deck. Less work for the bilge pumps won’t hurt either. - Captain Bob
I have the reins today and John does not even have a computer to
check up on me! How tempting it is to set the record straight
about cannonballs and Lake Trout and going 6 for 6.
If you don’t already know, the Flint Steelheader’s Spring Show will NOT be in the IMA in Flint as in past years, but will be held in the Birch Run Expo Center, just off I-75. I have not been inside, but the outside looks real nice. I will be at the membership meeting there next week and I will give a preview on the facilities. It looks to be a vast improvement.
Today’s picture is the first King I ever caught on my very own, not on a Charter and in my own boat. That 26 lb fish was reel close to more than I could handle at the time. I pulled that fish in the harbor in Ludington by following precisely a program laid out by Captain Brian Schlaack of the Outdoorsman, a reel fine gentleman out of Pentwater where I was on a charter the week before. I still owe him a big one. I was one happy camper that night!................Captain Bob
Our Plan of Action Gains Support:
I was personally contacted by Clarence White who represents
Walker and Luhr Jensen
and they would not support commercial fishing. Larry Hartwick from
has made their intentions perfectly clear, they're not doing business with the netters. Chip Cartwright from
is on our side too.
Click here for our Concerned Citizens page
We've entered into what I call, "limbo land" when it comes to fishing any type of open water. The Big Manistee during this week's cold-snap with single digit temperatures has brought slush, shelf and flow ice into the picture. This almost renders the river unfishable, especially from High Bridge down. Factor in
water temperatures barely above freezing, activities levels of Steelhead will be next to dormant. So, you've got your work cut out for you if plan on being successful.
1/8/04 Most of yesterday was spent dealing with the initial 30 companies contacted about sponsoring events connected to the commercial fishing operations. The letters were sent US Priority Mail with confirmation of delivery. If I'd have sent certified, or registered (11 bucks) they can decline to accept delivery. Click here to read the letters that went out today
Ah, yes...6 inches of snow everyday and temperatures in the single digits, or below zero. Welcome to beautiful Manistee County in the blustery month January!
I've had several inquiries about ice conditions on the lakes around Manistee. Here's what I know. Manistee Lake is not frozen yet. Hamlin Lake was producing limits of good-sized bluegills. Portage lake (good for perch) might be a toss-up for safe ice. I think by next weekend all the inland lakes will have at least 4 inches of
good ice, with maybe the exception being Manistee Lake.
1/5/04 The Holidays are over and it's back to the daily grind of making a living. I'm loaded with projects that must be completed and starting on the 2003 federal tax returns looms large on my horizon. Plans for 2004 must be looked at closely, because in about 100 days the 2004 big lake season will be here!
1/4/04 "Getaway" Bob and his wife "got-away" for some Steelhead fishing on the Au Gres River recently. He managed to "hook" two birds with one stone, by catching Steelhead and getting his wife hooked on river fishing too! Bob is a highly
1/3/04 The Boaters
Guide sold another boat and I need more boat listings.
1/2/04 Capt. Jay Frolenko was kind enough to invite me to hit the Big Manistee River today in a downstream research mission. Full update on my return home this afternoon. And if lucks on our side?......the first fish photos of 2004 season.
I was kinda scratchin' my "you-know-where" for an update that would be worthy of your interest and I wanted to kick off the 2004 season in a big way! Well, a trip to Dick Boyajian's house brought my wishes into action when he showed me one of the few existing photos of the World Record Coho. Yep, that's
correct....the World Record and you heard it right! This fish was taken at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir on 10/27/73. Mort Neff the original host of Michigan Outdoors TV Show back in the 60s and 70s was there to snap this photo for Dick: Click here for World Record Coho