April, May and June


Salmon Busters™ Great Lakes Info Tips and Trix Capt. John's Log

6/30/05  Overall June has been a pretty good month for Kings, all be it may they're running a smaller average size then a few years back.  Just being to catch Salmon in June on a regular basis in Manistee is a radical departure from what was the norm in the 1990s.  Lake Michigan's Salmon population is booming and that a reel-fact plain and simple.  As we enter into the month of July things look pretty good for the inshore fisherman's quest for the mighty King Salmon.
    Production of  Magnum Meat Heads, Flashers and 3 Fly Meat Rigs has meant a continued string of 13 to 15 hour days for our team at Kingfish Products.  We were able to build around 4000 attractor flies for meat rigs in just the past week.  With the Fourth of July approaching a few days of well earned rest is in order.

6/29/05  One of my joys is the people I meet as I meander thru this thing called life.  Getting to know fine individuals like Gene M is one of these delights.  Gene retired recently and just started fishing the big water.  He's became pretty accomplished seeing he's only been at it for a little over a year.  Gene has gained  knowledge from the private tips and trix section.  Plus, being a member of our message board has kept him on top of the latest methods and tactics.
      Gen wrote me a heck of a nice Email a few days back and I'd like to share it with everyone. Click here to read his words and observations. Click for his hot setups

6/28/05  The scoop on the top 3 boats in the pro division from last weekend's Manistee Pro-Am was 1. Happy Go Lucky, 2. Polecat and 3. Dreamwaever.  Amateur Division: 1. Fishin Machine, 2. Doc's Holiday and 3. Fish Byte.  Largest King was plus 23 pounds taken by Reel Teaser aka.....Capt. Mitch
    To busy with production issues to get any further info for today's update. When I hear something worthy, so will you.  This I can share with you, sometime the week, I'll introduce a totally new color & another world first for my line of Mag Meat Heads.

6/27/05  As soon as I get the results on the Manistee Pro-Am from this past weekend, you'll hear it here.  I did hear Sunday was a tougher go then Saturday.
     There's 3 new pages, all pertaining to the world debut of my new 3Fly Meat Rig.  This means all ties to any former suppliers from the State of New York has been irrevocably broken.  The meat rig pages can be viewed at: www.michiganangler.com 
    The overall superiority of my 3 Fly Meat Rigs will speak for themselves with changeable leaders, 50# ANDE Clear mono, hand-crafted double snelled VMC treble hooks and the absolute finest meat head on the market.  Raising the standard to what I'd fish with and can be proud of...........is a first-class reel-deal!  

6/26/05  Spent all of yesterday dealing with orders for the new custom meat heads.  The word from those pre-fishing for today's Manistee Pro-Am, yesterday was rougher then a cob on the big pond.  Results were mixed across the board and from what I could discern, pods of Kings were kinda spotty, but when you found a group of active fish?......the catching began.  Good luck to all teams in the Pro-Am today! 
      The only thing I know for sure is Capt. Len Mitchell from Lucky Charm Charters weighed in 3 Kings for a total weight of 46 pounds in yesterday's ladies day event. The rules for the ladies day tourney is you can weigh in a one license legal limit, meaning a 5 fish, of which only 3 can be Kings.  He was pulling my mag heads and flashers in today's featured photo.  Overall Len's lineup landed 7 Kings and lost a fair amount due to the big lumps with white on top. If Len's ladies could have boxed a few LTs or Steelhead, 7th could have turned into first. Click for photo of Capt. Len's box 

6/24/05  Finally completed building the new page at the webstore last night. There's 6 new mag meat heads with WTP lure tape.  To fully appreciate the appearance of these heads, they must be seen in person, cuz my camera does not do them justice.  If you're interested in seeing some pretty darn slick meat heads, that outclass the competition by a extremely wide margin click here for the custom Mag Meat Heads
    Good luck to all participants in the upcoming Manistee Pro-Am this weekend.  While the payout isn't all that great, the monies generated by this event make it one of the more worthwhile tournaments on the Great Lakes.  The money goes for supporting the net-pen project and several good causes like the privately funded Orsini Hatchery.

6/23/05  Great news from Manistee if you start fishing before rooster crows, cuz it's a King early bite, with most of that damage being done before 6am.  As soon as the sun clears the horizon, the action has been slowing to a snail's pace.
     The forecast for the upcoming Manistee Pro-Am for this weekend is a good one, with highs in the 80s and a stable weather pattern.  Steady weather generally means Lk. Michigan won't get out of hand with 6 footers like when a cold front blows in.
     Had a reel-long 16 hour day (plus) yesterday and didn't get time to do the photos for the new products being installed at my webstore: www.michiganangler.com  Come hell, or high water today these new products will be listed by this afternoon. Running reel-short of Mag Meat Heads for the time being, but a large shipment is on order and should have a ton more soon.  Acceptance of the Magnum Meat Heads have exceeded any expectations 10 fold.  Many thanks to those that have purchased.

6/22/05  Next month, if all goes according to plan, I'll be speaking at the Detroit Area Steelheader's meeting.  This will be the 5th time I've taken my dog and pony show on the road in 2005.  While catching Salmon with herring long pre-dates artificial lures, never the less, it's viewed by many..............as a new style of fishing.
     I should have some new stuff coming online today at: www.michiganangler.com  
I need to finish the photo work to complete another world debut.  The new product's appearance will speak for it's self, as you will plainly see.  Having the flashers, bait heads, bullet/fly heads and professional grade 3 fly rigs all under the same roof means perfectly matched tackle in an approach my foreign competitors can only dream of.

6/21/05  Heard a from a lot of boats over the weekend that fished Manistee and Ludington.  The norm was 5 to 8 fish for the mornings.  It seems there's an decent early inshore bite for Kings, but it don't last much past 9am.
    Roger C took a 21 pounder on the hot blue double glow flasher with a clear blue mag meat head yesterday morning out of Manistee.  This is the largest Lk. MI King I've heard of so far taken with my products in 2005 (to the best of my recollection).
    Chris B, who's now guiding in Alaska caught a 43 King that hit one of my mag meat heads.  I hope down the road to get a photo of that fish and total weight verification.
    This coming Friday the Manistee Pro-Am begins with the Ladies Day tourney, then Saturday and Sunday about 150 boats will compete in a two day, weight your best 10 fish each day tournament.  The festivities will take place at the Manistee Armory a few blocks away from the First Street public boat launch.  The proceeds from this contest go to the Manistee County Sport Fishing Association, which in-turn, is invested back in our Great Lakes Fishery.

6/20/05  Kinda stuck for an update today, until I received a good report from across the pond in the land of cheese.  Here's what's happening in Algoma, WI:
 "John, Just a short note I had to fish alone on Saturday morning so this is how it went. I left the dock at 4 AM and proceeded to head south out of the harbor to get away from all the boats I had baited up three rods to put into the water upon reaching 70 FOW. I had two lines in at 4:30 AM and immediately had a double on. I grabbed one rod and loosen up the drag a little while fighting the first fish. I was able to net the first one before the second rod ran out of line.  Proceeded to bring in the second fish and accomplished this with no problems. Boxed these two fish and put my two rods back into the water.  Click here for Capt. Terry's 1 hr. catch
     Then the fishing got better!  They came one at a time and I was able to keep one rod in the water until I netted the third fish. Before I set the rod out again I had another on the second rod. I gave this one a hook set and loosen up the drag for it to get further away from the boat so I could get one rod in the water again. Boxed the 3rd fish and this procedure occurred again.  
     Boxed the 4th fish and still had no rods in the water.  I finally got two rods in the water and was looking at the third rod which was never in the water yet, and one rod went off with the number 5 fish. This fish pulled out over 500 feet of line before I slowed her down.  This gave me time to remove the rod in the water and fight the last fish which weighed in at 19.2 lbs. Five fish in the box and I looked at my watch it was only 5:30am!"
...Capt. Terry W. (the legal limit for Kings in WI is 5 per person)

6/19/05  We celebrate Fathers Day today, which was made possible by your father (or you wouldn't be here), be sure to remember him throughout the year and not just today.  Paying homage to your parents is a wonderful thing.  Both of mine have long since passed away & this opportunity is no longer available to me......I wish is it was!
     Busy with behind the scenes work that's not ready for full disclosure yet.  This week, several new products, exceeding what's out there now by a wide margin will announced soon at: www.michiganangler.com  Like always, my products will be far more fish appealing, durable, Made in the USA and a bargain for professional grade premium tackle.

6/18/05  While the fishing off Manistee remains good for deepwater Steelhead, not many are taking advantage of this bonanza. Manistee's charter fleet has been pretty much dockside suffering from a severe shortage of charter patrons.
     While driving home after my talk with the Grand Haven Steelheaders (a few nights ago), as the miles rolled on, I could see how Ludington has left Manistee in the dust!  Since the casino opened it seems to me more businesses in Manistee have closed up and not many new businesses are opening. 
     Now, let's factor in Glicks Department Store and the Manistee Inn on the channel to Lake Michigan are gonna turn into condovilles (both of these places of business are on Manistee's main street thru downtown).  Condo owners usually are not year around residents, further exacerbating more population and services lost to those in Manistee County. If anyone thinks casinos are the universal remedy for the local economies, please take a long hard look at Manistee before subscribing to that line of thought.  Speaking the truth is better then denying cold, hard facts.

6/17/05   I keep hearing the deep water program is still working for Steelhead and a few Lake Trout as of lately.  The inshore break has temporally moved in closer now on the 27 to 29 line, which might be 3 miles west of Manistee's shelf.  A few Steelies in the 10 to 12 pound class are being reported.  Double digit S.Heads are reel-nice fish!
     I look for the well of information to dry up pretty soon, as the Manistee Pro-Am takes place next weekend.  Wise tourney jockeys are always tight lipped.  I do know the fish concentrations are spotty, in a area a quarter mile wide & about 2 miles long.
As of yesterday, the fish catching neighborhood was almost straight out of Manistee.

6/16/05  Wow, what a difference a year makes, as many of the Grand Haven Steelheaders are now into towing meat.  Last year when I spoke there, I could sense some light resistance to anything to do with cut-bait.  Not so this year!  
     Ken K (GH Steelheader member) did my introduction in a grand fashion, with complete verification of how effective meat and my products were for him in 2004.  
     I'd like to express gratitude all who attended last night's Steelheaders meeting.  Especially to Steve B. aka "Roscoe" for furnishing the projector and driving all the way from Lapeer to lend a helping hand!  His assistance made this event a huge success in my eyes (public speaking is a bunch easier when you can work off of photos).
    Also, it was my great pleasure to see many of our message board members attend last evening's event.  I do appreciate their support more ways then words can say.

6/15/05  The word from Manistee is that the 32 to 34 west line has been showing limit catch action on Steelhead, or 'bows as this fish is known in Wisconsin.  The fish can be seen cruising the surface, slurping bugs.  The top 30 feet, with the surface program accounting for most of the Steelie's final epitaph.  Kings to high teens have been taken mixed in with S-Heads, right off the surface on "birds."  These fish are jam-packed with bugs according to the post mortem autopsy of stomach contents.  The average Iron Noggin is running 5 to 7lbs, with 9 pounders considered large.
    Today I'll be in Grand Haven to address the GH Steelheaders with a photo display concerning the proper methodology of cut-meat basics for Great Lakes fish.  Portobello's at 7pm is the start, with a social hour beginning a hour prior at 6pm.  The public is invited to attend and the best part?........ it's absolutely free to attend!

6/14/05  Today's update is courtesy of Capt. Terry W who fishes out of the Port of Algoma in Wisconsin.  Here's what he had to say, 
    "Took out two people who never fished salmon before. Set lines in 100 feet of water,....first two fish came on dipsies 150 feet out, so I raised my riggers to 45 ,55 & 60 feet, before I could get one dipsy back into the water, we had a double on!  I was able to get 1 dipsy back into the water while they were working on the double.
    We netted the two fish and before the hooks were out of the net the dipsy went off again leaving us with only one rod in the water. I decided to lower the downrigger 20 feet to get it out of the zone because we still had 5 fish laying on the bottom of the boat.   Check for the banzai flurry photo    Check for the entire death count
    This did not help for a fish followed the smell down and wanted the mag bait head with the meat on it. Here's what the bottom of my boat looked like after the flurry.

6/14/05  Today's update is courtesy of Capt Terry W who fishes out of the Port of Algoma in Wisconsin.  Here's what he had to say, 
    "Took out two people who never fished salmon before. Set lines in 100 feet of water,....first two fish came on dipsies 150 feet out, so I raised my riggers to 45 ,55 & 60 feet, before I could get one dipsy back into the water, we had a double on! Was able to get one dipsy back into the water while they were working on the double.
    We netted the two fish and before the hooks were out of the net the dipsy went off again leaving us with only one rod in the water. I decided to lower the downrigger 20 feet to get it out of the zone because we still had 5 fish laying on the bottom of the boat.   Check for the flurry photo     Check for the entire death count
    This did not help for a fish followed the smell down and wanted the mag bait head with the meat on it. Here's what the bottom of my boat looked like after the flurry.

6/13/05  My highest praise goes to Team Fishigan for hanging tough against the home town charter boats that target Lake Trout on a daily basis.  Having chartered out of PA & Grindstone during the late 80s/early 90s, I can attest to how the local charters key in on Lake Trout (their bread and butter fish) with a vengeance.
    While my Reel Flasher gets credit for the largest fish in the 2 days of the tourney, the highly-honed skill level of Team Fishigan deserves most of it! 
            GLPAA Port Austin/Grindstone City Final Standings: 
1-Pretzel Bender 96.38, 2-Osprey 95.50, 3-Cookie Man 94.94, 4-Gone Bad 93.78
5-Blue Streak 92.94, 6-Halftime 92.20, 7-Fishigan 91.62, 8-Little-Red 88.52
9-Riptide 86.72, 10-Fish On 86.62
Biggest fish award 12.70 ......Fishigan w/Reel Flasher (Lake Trout)
Biggest King award 6.54.........Getaway (finished 23rd)
Approx. 48 boats in the weight your best 6 fish each day (2 day tournament). 
    This was mainly a Lake Trout tournament, as Lake Huron's Salmon fishery is just a faint glimmer of what it once was.  Alewife (bait-fish) decline has been blamed, but the sunrise side's smelt (another bait-fish) is on a major increase.  Let's hope this helps the Lk. Huron Salmon rebounds to previous levels of a few of seasons ago.

6/12/05  We have fishing in Manistee, but catching has drastically tapered off since last weekend.  Anglers that journeyed offshore for deep water Steelhead fared slightly better number wise, then the inshore fishermen.  A few Kings to 15lbs. were boxed off Manistee's shelf, with heavy emphasis on the word "few."
    The 2 day GLPAA tournament in Grindstone City/Port Austin concludes today.  As the word was relayed to me by Mike R, my product, the Reel Flasher took the biggest fish (12lb. Laker) on day one off their boat.  A full report on the GLPAA tourney will be forthcoming tomorrow.

6/11/05  Just not hearing too much about easy fishing from the Port of Manistee.  Generally, when the fishermen are doing good, info is easy to come by.  When fishing slows many are reluctant to report a slow day.  No one is Godzilla everyday on the big ponds, so never hold yourself responsible for not being able to locate fish.
    Today's featured photo is from another first time user of my Mag Meat Heads and Reel Flashers.  Here's what Steve S. had to say, "After reading your site for 2 years and slowly putting the pieces together, I got out last night for a quick trip. Got a late start ... on the water at 6:30pm.  I only had one meat set-up ready to go so down it went.  We got 9 fish total, 3 were on meat, 3 were bows off the boards and one off a full core was pretty scrappy yet so we let it go. I'm sold!  Can't wait to run 3 rigs this weekend!  Thank You, Steve from Green Bay, WI Click for photo

6/10/05  Rumors are rampant about where the best spot to fish Manistee is.  I've heard the 27 north line and in the 7s closer to the big point.  I know of one boat that took a dozen fish yesterday, but all of his catch was guppies.
    Here's a report from a first time user of my products, "I made up 10 cut bait rigs and had a good catch on Saturday. When everyone else was just catching small ones, I was catching 10-14 pounders. Click here for attached photo, showing the best colors of the day - blue and red. I went 4 for 6 on Sunday. Both days everything came on magnum meat rigs only. My tried and true early morning lures did not work, but the herring rigs came through........Capt Ed
    Finally into full production on my bullet heads that will exactly match the Magnum Meat Heads and Reel Flashers.  We now have American made alternatives to the Chinese bullet heads & foreign made meat heads.  Color equivalents in the attractor flies, Magnum Meat heads (w/WTP die cuts) and Reel Flashers means another world first for Kingfish Products.  Click to view the chartreuse heads and bullets  

6/9/05  When will this insanity of have nets in highly trafficked areas end? Tuesday, two fishermen almost lost their lives when their downriggers became ensnarled in unmarked net, or at the best.....a poorly marked net off the bathhouse in Ludington, Michigan.  Joe Frontiera and his brother Sam were in dire straights when their 17 foot Crestliner started taking on water.  Only the bow remained above water as these two anglers came close to death.  Ludington's Coast Guard was on the scene, rescuing the brothers after they were in 55 degree water for 25 minutes.
    Joe said, “I lost everything,” he said, adding that there were thousands of dollars worth of tackle on the boat and a slew of fishing equipment he’s collected over the years. “And I have no way of replacing it."
     "Those nets are a big hazard. It’s just wrong the way they are placed out there,” he said. “I really think they have no right to put nets out there without proper markers."
Now, with the millions of dollars generated by the Little River Casino why would this enterprise even consider causing hazards to safe navigation?  It's not like they need the revenue from commercial fishing to survive.  Remember this with the upcoming Manistee Tournaments sponsored by this organization.  Do not participate, or purchase products from those that do.  We all know this is a big crock of BS!

6/8/05  Dealing with production took up most of yesterday.  Lack of time to snoop around for fishing info means no trustworthy reel fishing report today.
     Here's a E-mail from a satisfied fishermen with products purchased during the Memorial Day Weekend.  Here's what John F. had to say:  "Fished the Pentwater Memorial Weekend Tourney and did quite well! Running the 6 rod spread with 3 of those being meat rigs, we were one of 3 boats to place fish in two categories at the end of the show. 6th king at 13.9, and 5th steely 8.75. Meat rigs constituted for about 80% of our catch, with most off dipsies on the double glow. We must of boated 50 fish during the weekend and lost????? but did not even fish Monday (boat problems). Your product produced 7 fish from 11-13.9 lbs. and got us on the board a total of 4 times in the two days! Not bad for a 2 man team!"  
This was the first time they had ever used my Reel Flashers, Magnum Meat Heads & hand-filleted Fish On's Green Label Herring.  Those of you who haven't migrated to making your own meat?.....please consider the cost savings & improved catch rates!

6/7/05  Iffy is the word that I got on the word from those in Manistee who fished recently.  A few did well, while the majority struggled.  West wind has been the predominate direction, piling up a lot of warmer water on our shoreline.  In the interim, this warm water temporarily puts the hurt on fishery for a while, but in the natural stages of things, it promotes plankton growth.  A large bloom of plankton will soon form a well stocked buffet for the baitfish (alewives).  When the bait shows up to chow on the plankton biomass, hence the Salmon will return the favor and munch on the alewives.  It's just part of the natural cycle we go thru at this time of year.
      Finally re-stocked on the double blue glow Reel Flasher.  The demand in May for this flasher was intense.  This flasher was my best one too!  Considering the limited time I now spend on the water.  The 3 times I was off the dock in May, the double blue glow scored the largest fish of each trip.  Click here for the double glow blue

6/6/05  The story from Manistee is some did and some did not.  As the today wears on I should be able to get more details from my area, look for more info tomorrow.
     Our message board members had a pretty darn good weekend tournament wise.  Codfish took a 3rd in the Harbor Beach (Pro King Spoon) tourney, Roscoe took a 4th in the Flint Steelheaders, 2 day Port Austin tournament & Fishwhore garnered 7th place in the Grand Haven Tournament.  A pat on the back for job well done goes to all!  A top 10 is not easy to come by in any fishing tournaments.
     This coming weekend marks the GLPAA contest in Grindstone/Port Austin thumb area.  I'm shipping Kerm Filion, who owns Harbor Marina in Grindstone Reel Flashers, so he can have these on-hand for the tourney competitors.  Kerm also has Fish On Bait and should have Magnum Meat Heads too.  I'm gonna go out on a limb, and say 77 to 83 pounds will be the winning 2 day total for 12 fish from what I've heard.

6/5/05  Posted a excellent photo of a father and sons team with some pretty darn decent Salmon caught last weekend.  Dad, Sty is a member of our message board and won the contest to name the deadly, "Undertaker." Click for team Spoontang
    Here's his exact words, ".....took these 7 nice kings in about 3 hours off Manistee  with my 6 & 10 yr old boys on Friday, May 27 off Manistee. Each boy reeled in 3 fish & dad got to reel in number 7, before we quit. Don't know how to post a picture  on the message board so I'm e-mailing it to you. The two big fish went 16 & 18 lbs,  both on meat, the 16 pounder hit the Undertaker and the 18 pounder hit the King  Kobra.  Since you introduced the King Kobra last year, its been my top producer!".....Capt. "STY" skipper of the "Spoontang."  
What makes this great story is his sons did most of the catching and Capt. Sty limited the amount of time on the water (as not to burn them out).  I'm sure both his sons will remember this fishing trip for a long, long time.  The young men featured in the photo are our next generation of Salmon anglers, which are sorely needed.

6/4/05  Capt. Ken B, who skippers the "Sea Wolf" out of Manistee found some inshore salmon by fishing deeper then everyone else.  He hit his Salmon for the most part at 135' down on the riggers over 225 feet of water.  
     What makes Capt. Ken's feat even better he took 6 Kings, while fishing by his lonesome.  He released 3 Salmon and kept 3.  Ken showed up around my house at my house early (around 9am) for today's featured photo.  Being in charge of running the boat, fighting and netting your own fish being solo......is a daunting task!  
    The X-Glow Flashers in Mean Green and Silver Ghost with the Undertaker Magnum Meat Head doing most of the damage. The Black Mamba Glow and red Mag Meat Head producing also.  I knew the X-Glow Series would come into their own once deep trolling became a necessity.  Reel Flashers and Magnum Meat Heads are breaking new ground in the ability to target deep Kings.  Click for Ken's box
    Wisconsin anglers are scoring big down deep also!  The 2005 record for the deepest King caught is already at 222' down (this early in this season).  While I'm sure everyone's preference would be catch shallower, going deep sure beats going back in with a skimpy, or even worse.......a empty cooler.

6/3/05  The charter boats are starting to run to the deep water to produce fish.  The inshore water on the Manistee's shelf has warmed and not holding many fish and even less bait The 32 west line out of Manistee did yield some catches in the mid to low double figures.  Look to the surface for Steelhead and Lake Trout is gonna be the ball game in my home town for a while.

6/2/05  Here's recent fishing report from Algoma, Wisconsin:  
        "My Captain aboard the Sea Dog was very skeptical of the money I spent this winter preparing for fishing with meat. On Memorial Day, he picked up the mic, and called for "Terry's Toy,".... and said, "I'm a Believer!"  This picture is from our first day fishing with meat. The "Undertaker" along with the X-Glo Magnum meat head scored 3 with the largest reaching 17LBS! The "Glo King Kobra" again with the X-Glo Magnum meat head  scored the other two. Tuesday we went 10 for 14, six kings and 4 rainbows. Same regiment with the Mt. Dew contributing a fish as well.  I will post an article as soon as I can on the message board with this information and a thank you. Just wanted to get this picture to you ASAP. I do not have a digital of Tuesdays catch".....Jim R aka "Blue Rhino" on the message board. Click for photo

6/1/05  Posted a photo of Andy M's 18 pounder caught on Memorial Day morning.  So far, this spring I've only had two pictures Emailed to me of Kings, just slightly over 18 pounds.  Numbers on our side of Lake Michigan.....yes.  Size?......no.
    Gonna take most of today off, as a well earned rest is in order for me.  After shipping my orders in the morning, I'm gonna spend my time doing something enjoyable.  That means; fishing this afternoon aboard John J's "Megan Ann."  Mid-week, with no traffic is gonna be beyond plain wonderful.  Click for 18#er  

5/31/05  Weather was beautiful in my area over the past holiday weekend.  To make matters even better, Lake Michigan behaved itself quite nicely with calm seas.
     Report from Five Orr's Charters in Indiana stated large 17 to 20 pound Lake Trout were being caught in good numbers.  Big Salmon were reported in from Illinois and Wisconsin.  The Wisconsin anglers were keying in on deep fish, meaning a 160 to 220 feet of wire off their downriggers.  Flasher/meat was their flavor of the day.
     My hat's off to Andy M for catching a 18 pounder just slightly south of Onekama, as he and his dad are finally gaining confidence in my flasher/meat head program.  
     Roscoe and Jason fished south of Guerney Creek and almost to Big Point Sable.  They had plenty of action, but it was a soft bite and too many opportunities were missed.  Lk. Michigan is producing good numbers of Kings, but finding fish over 10 to 12 pounds is not coming easy. Click for Roscoe's 5/30/05 box w/hot flasher-heads.

5/30/05  Memorial Day:  Please take a minute or two in silent prayer to remember those who served, those who gave all, and those in the military right now.  Thanks to them, Japanese and German is not our second language.  Our Korean, Vietnam, and Iraq war veterans deserve our deepest gratitude too,.....for serving our country.
      Let's finish the holiday update with yesterday's report from Illinois: 
"Here's a photo from today. We got off the dock around 7 am and had lines set by about 7:30. We had a three man limit by 11:00 am with 7 Kings from 8 pounds up to 16 pounds and the rest Coho....... Click here for their catch photo
      The Double Blue flasher with new magnum meat head with blue flies was "red hot" today. It was 125 down on the rigger over 150-180 fow water. The Black Mamba Glow with the black magnum head and glow tape was also very good off the wire Dipsey back 175 on the counter.  The green King Kobra has also been very consistent, but blue is far and away the best color so far this spring."
.....Capt. Cliff

5/29/05  Met with Capt. Paul Vantol (he purchased my Cherokee last December) in Ludington yesterday afternoon.  We had a scheduled on the water seminar to complete.  We set lines probably around 3pm and I explained various parts and "to-do's" of trolling for Great Lakes fish.  The word was south was the place to be, which turned out to being led in the wrong direction.  Click for my seminar team
      We trolled north in 110 to 150 feet of water and finally got into some decent a couple of miles north of the Ludville harbor.  We boated 8 fish before pulling lines at 6:35pm, so I could explain knots & do photos dockside.  Click for our hot set-ups
      I am extremely disturbed at the size of our spring Kings, having only boated one 10 pounder, with meat by far producing our larger fish.  We took a couple of micro sub 4 pound salmon on a spoon running on a half core, before retiring that rod.  
      I have no crystal ball to say where our fishery is headed.  However, from what I've seen, heard, or read about, our Chinook, i.e. Kings are downsizing at a alarming rate.  Let's hope the DNR steps in and does something non-political (for a change) & takes the right course of action immediately.  The future of our fishery is at stake!

5/28/05  Good luck on the big ponds today.  I'll be in Ludington this afternoon.
Look for a thorough "hands on" report tomorrow.  Kinda got smacked with a bunch orders yesterday, which is a good thing.  
     Thus far, I've been overwhelmed by the acceptance of the Magnum Meat Heads.  My deepest gratitude for supporting made in America fishing tackle.

5/27/05  Received my new die cuts from WitchCraft Tape.  They handled the tooling and brought this project into being in less then 2 weeks.  My hat is off to the whole crew at WTP for a job well done.  Now, factor in.....this is their busiest time of the year, filling orders from everyone in the tackle manufacturing business.
     Raising the standards in meat heads is job one with me.  I'm absolutely positive lure tape is the way to go in enhancing meat heads.  Just look at most spoons and you'll understand what I mean. The new die cuts can retro fit the lesser quality foreign heads that used to have a monopoly on bait head market.  I'm hoping in about 2 weeks to offer a dress-up kit with these die cuts for sale to the public.
Click for Magnum Meat Heads all decked out and ready to catch! 

5/26/05  Plenty of Kings still being caught on Lake Michigan, but it looks like the larger Salmon are Muskegon and north.  Heard of limits on 4 to 6 pounders from South Haven to Grand Haven again yesterday.  It seems a 12 pounder in these boundaries is considered a good fish. I know of one charter boat running meat and my flashers for the first time out of Whitehall took 13 Kings to 15 pounds from 9am to a little past noon. We'll just have to see what this weekend brings.  
    I predict Pentwater to Frankfort to report in with a better size average then the southern Lake Michigan ports.  I'll be doing a on the water seminar in Ludington this coming Saturday afternoon.  I'm looking forward to this and not doing office stuff.

5/25/05  Way too busy is my deal!  Since the Salmon fishing exploded in the central/northern Lake Michigan ports, trying to keep up with orders has been nearly impossible.  Ludington is on fire according to my UPS driver.  He also reported this is the best it's been in May, maybe ever.  Hopefully, more fishin' news later today......

5/24/05  What's going on in Lake Michigan right now is borderline insane.  Limits catches are the rule and not the exception.  Kings to almost 20 pounds, while not common place are being caught with some regularity. Click for 18#er on 5/21/05
     Here's a port report from  Manistee: "we were catching a lot of small fish on spoons (early), then switched to a pretty much a all meat program and took our larger fish that put us in second place for the day, without running to the Big Point Sable & spending an extra 100 bucks in fuel."....Capt. Craig of Killin' Time Charters. 
     Craig was speaking of the Bungalow Tournament held last Saturday 5/21/05 in Manistee where he had the second largest King at 18.55 taken on Blue Double Glow Reel Flasher and a Magnum Meat Head.  His overall second place in this best 3 fish event was 46 lbs. Capt. Craig boxed 18 fish in the Bungalow 6 hr. tourney.  So, he wasn't out there all day long to make this (click) meat catch from hell photo  

5/23/05  Kings on Lake Michigan were awesome over this past weekend.  Reports from South Haven to Frankfort all mentioned limit catches.  Here's report from a dedicated & darn good two man Salmon fishing team that often fishes Manistee:
"Hi John, Thought you would like to see how all your hard work is paying off.  We went 9 for 10 in 3 short hours, releasing three Saturday evening (5/21/05). Blue, with the blue reel flasher and the white glow attractor flies with the glow yellow tail was the knock out punch.".............Thanks, Capt. Ken B. Click for Sea Wolf's catch
.S. Thanks for the bonus Magnum Meat Heads the other night. I doctored up a blue one with what I had built from one of your fly kits & it worked exceptionally well!

5/22/05  First off, many, many thanks to Capt. Len Mitchell and his wife, Anita for inviting me on his shake down cruise yesterday.  Just being on the big pond conjured many enjoyable memories from the past 30 some seasons.  It was plain thrilling to watch the Manistee's lighthouse shrink as we motored to the fishing grounds.
    Our efforts (6 for 6) in a short period of time, showed my new Magnum Meats Heads are a product to be reckoned with.  We caught and didn't have to get up in the middle of the night, cuz we never cleared the pier heads until past 7:30am.
        Click for hot rig #1       Click for our best fish        Click for hot rig #2
I'm sure we could have boxed 4 limits of Kings, if we didn't release fish (put 4 back) and trolled for another hour.  However, this was strictly a shakedown cruise and not an all-out assault to devastate the Salmon population of Lake Michigan.
      Yesterday morning, between 9:00am and 10:15am was another firm testament to the tackle I produce.  Ecstatic best describes my feelings about the deadliness of the new Magnum Meat Heads.  Unlike my competition's lackluster products, all my heads have a uniform systematic snap-roll.  This means Magnum Meat Heads do not require constant close attention to re-tuning the thinner, soft plastic tail section the foreign bait head makers have chose to build into their product.  
      I hope to have my heads widely available to the public by sometime in June.  I have a backlog of 50 some orders going to our message board members first.  Then I'll install the Magnum Meat Heads at www.michiganangler.com  I am running a special to the end of this month when you buy a flasher, a free head is included.

5/21/05  I gonna put off today's update until I return from fishing out of the Port of Manistee.  First hand knowledge is what I'll offer.  It was great for Capt. Len to invite me on his first run of 2005 on his new ride, a 31 foot Sea Ray Amberjack.
12pm (noon update) Found the Salmon around 9am, took 6 kings in about the next hour and fifteen minutes.  Released 4, including our largest King (around 14lbs).
Just because, we could have killed a 4 person limit does not mean we have too!  Besides this was a shake down cruise.  Capt. Len's Amberjack is one helluva fishing rig bar none! This vessel impressed me with it's overall top notch quality.
Click for our hot rig          Click here for Anita's Salmon
New bait heads performed flawlessly, as a new legend is being built one fish at a time with a product called, Capt. John's Magnum Meat Heads.  I've designed an exceptional/superior product the kicks the foreign made bait head's butt...reel-fact!  More on this in tomorrow and Monday's update. 

5/20/05  TGIF, what a week!  For the first time in about 4 weeks, it looks like the weekend fishermen are finally gonna get a break and have a gorgeous Saturday.
Even in Manistee, tomorrow's temps are supposed to reach to and past the 70 degrees.  Manistee's famed "shelf" is finally starting to sign some signs of life with some (not a lot) fish being caught.  Look for Manistee's spring fishery to drastically improve over the next two weeks.
     I was supposed to fish the Bungalow Tournament in Manistee tomorrow, but both of my fishing buddies rigs are down.  One has a steering problem and the other has bad seals in his outdrive.  There's a captain's meeting tonight at the Bungalow located on US 31 and Red Apple Road, just south of Manistee at 8pm.  You can register at this meeting to participate in this 1 day, best 3 fish tourney.

5/19/05  Everything went well yesterday evening during the Flint Steelheaders meeting.  This organization is well known for supporting worthy causes.  They've built various public fish cleaning stations, or donated to many around our state.  They support the privately funded Orsini Hatchery Steelhead in Benzie County by recently purchasing a new aerator.  Their annual Spring Sport and Fishing Show in Birch Run, Michigan is one of the best in the state.
     Another recent project of their works is; the "take a kid fishing day," put on my the Parks and Recreation Department where their monies purchased the fishing rods and reels (the kids will get to keep & take home).  Actually, this powerhouse chapter the Michigan Steelheaders has done far good more then I can list here.
     I guess my biggest surprise was the number of fishermen that attended last night's event the did not know how to snell hooks.  There 3 knots you must know to fish the Great Lakes, the snell, blood knot (joining lines together) and Trilene (or Palomar).  There's a link on my Great Lakes Page to knots.

5/18/05  This evening I'll be in Flint, Michigan as the speaker at the Flint River Valley Steelheaders.  This is an honor for me.  About 30 years ago, I sat in the audience, eager to gather knowledge in a newly developing sport called, Great Lakes Salmon and Trout fishing.  Many improvements in the advance of technology and much has changed since I started fishing for these critters in 1968.  
     However, one thing remains absolutely 100% the same, as we were all new to the methodology & procedures when we first decided to become Salmon fishermen.
     Spent about 4 hours yesterday editing photos for the presentation (cuz one picture is worth a 1000 words).  Images help us absorb facts better.  Plus, I have no storage of relevant issue-related photos.  It's my supreme goal to put on one of the best fishing presentations you've ever seen, but you can be the judge of that.  
     I hope to see many of you there and yes, the Flint Steelheaders meeting is entirely 100% open to the public. Click for directions to Walli's East in Flint, MI 

5/17/05  The way it looks, Lake Michigan has finally exploded with good fishing for Kings according to the fishing reports I received yesterday.  Mint-silver spring Kings offer some of best fishing of the year and the good part is, they're not that hard to catch.  These fish are on the feed, having awoke from long winter's semi-dormancy.
     Now's the time to check tackle and install new line.  Inspect every rod, because all new fishing rods have agate, or glass eyelets.  These eyes can chip and if there's a sharp spot exposed to the monofilament, when the rod bends.....it will slice thru the line like a razor.   Yes, this has happened to me on more then one occasion.
     Oil all the worm gears on the levelwind mechanism, this will extend the life of the pawl that runs on the worm gear.  The pawl is responsible for moving the line back and forth across the spool.  If this jams when you have a fish-on, all the line bunches up and wedges the line in one spot, rendering the reel totally useless.  Treat your tackle with forethought and be rewarded with far fewer problems when dealing with gone wild, rampaging spring King Salmon!

5/16/05  This past weekend's tournament in South Haven, Michigan was a pretty good deal for most who fished it.  As the info was relayed to me, the juvenile 6 to 9 pound Kings were numerous and the largest King caught was plus 19 pounds. 
    Limits of Kings are being caught from St. Joe to Grand Haven.  Reel Flashers and a cut-meat program is working, taking the larger Kings in Lk. MI.  Most reported best action in 90 to 130 feet of water (20' to 90' down on the riggers).
    Grindstone City and Harbor Beach had good catches of Kings this past weekend.  I heard 5 to 9 Kings a boat, and 7 to 10 pounders were the norm.  It's good to hear Lake Huron continues on the road to recovery from a slow 2004 season.

5/15/05  Not much to report from Manistee as frigid water keeps the action on the slow side.  Look for improving conditions as the water warms.  
    Torture testing was done on my new meat heads yesterday to insure the finest possible product on the market.  I stood on one of my heads, on one foot, with all my weight on the meat head.  The head did not break, warp, crack, fracture, split, scratch, become bent, or loose it shape. I have 4 people that will verify this event.  Now, I dare you.......to try that with the lesser quality foreign made heads! 
          Click for Green Magnum Meat Head in a Shure Strike configuration

5/14/05  The weekend warriors can not catch a break with anything close to decent weather.  Wind, rain and just plain cold has been the problem of lately.  
     The open waters on Manistee's famed "shelf" are chilly by anyone's standards!  The "shelf" is about 3 miles on a due west course straight out of the harbor.  34.6 degrees is what I seen when I checked the link to the surface temp chart located on my Great Lakes Info Page. We need at least 44 degrees on the surface before the Manistee fishery takes off, and 46 to 50 degrees for prime time spring Kings.

5/13/05  Oh, no, it's Friday the 13th?  For those who tend to be superstitious, today's supposed bad luck for reasons never explained to me.  I'm far more spooked by bananas on a boat, then a Friday that happens to fall on a 13th.  Bananas have always meant a slow bite and a struggle to catch aboard my boat.  If we were having a slow go, my first question would be to the charter guests, "who brought the bananas?"  Once the customers get rid of their nanners, we started catching!
    This week, Saugatuck has been producing good catches of Kings from 9 to 15 pounds, as the word from southern Lake Michigan perks up.  I chartered out of Saugatuck in May for several seasons in the 1990s.  When the spring Kings show up this port catches on fire.  I've had many half day charter when 15 to 20 some fish were pretty easy to come by.  Be forewarned this port has the worst public facilities for those who trailer their vessels.  So, crowded conditions with many boats just ain't gonna happen at this port.......ever!

5/12/05  I heard this from a couple of good sources, Ludington way south was producing good catches of Kings, before this most recent north blow settled in. Little Point Sable was mentioned the likely area.  
     My time for the last 10 days has been tied up with production issues concerning my new meat heads.  Now, that I have a handle on that, more time will be devoted to digging up the latest word on what's happening with the fishies.  Lilacs are just starting to show signs of flowering at my place.  Once the Lilacs are in full flower, if we're gonna have spring Kings, that's when we'll get a early season shot at them.  I've yet to hear of any spring Kings over 18 lbs, with 14s considered large.  In the past, I taken several 25 lb. May Tunas, but I guess those days are over with.

5/11/05  Special Offer: starting today (5/11/05), for every flasher purchased during the month of May, a free meat head is thrown in.  This is a valued packed deal, especially when you consider X-Glow Magnum Meat Heads will retail for around 3 bucks apiece.  The free heads will be in the same base colored material as the flasher bought.  This deal starts today and runs until the end of the month.
  I think it's very attention-grabbing to seeing these meat heads being born!
Click to order Reel Flashers with free Magnum Meat Heads 
I've been invited back to be the guest speaker at the Grand Haven Steelheaders on June 15th, 2005.  I was there last year, but interest was so, so on fishin' with meat, but several of the members are now believers in quest of more info.  I've learned a lot since last season on which flasher tends to perform better at certain ports from orders received and at our message board's port reports page.
      Also, since 2004 we found out by cutting our own strips from Fish On's Green Label Herring, performance has soared and it far less expensive then pre-cut strips.
I will be demonstrating how to fillet your own bait at this meeting and willing to answer any and all questions pertaining to my products, or cut bait tactics.  This meeting is also open to the public.  More info on this meeting will be coming soon.

5/10/05 Special Update:  It gives me great pleasure and I'm extremely proud to announce the first production run of Magnum Meat Heads has almost completed.  Bringing this project from conception to completion has taken about 2 years.  Once the injection molding process is done today the heads will go to Jonesville, MI.
    The meat heads require extremely small diameter holes and at the proper angle.  Needless to say, without the sophisticated support from the members of our message board, this project would have not been possible. The Magnum Meat Head is a totally American made product, engineered in the USA and produced by the best workforce in the world: Americans!
    Tomorrow another major announcement will be forth coming concerning adding even more value to my Reel Flashers.  Cuz, for every flasher purchased during May, you'll receive a free meat head.  Yep, FREE!...(you heard right), with free being the best word in the American language!

5/10/05  The 1st Annual Bungalow Fishing Tournament will take place on May 21, 2005 in Manistee, MI.  Call Jeremy at (231) 510-8311, Dave at (231) 723-8000, or register at the Bungalow.  The Bungalow is located at Red Apple Rd. and US31, just south of Manistee proper.  The rules are: weigh your best 3 fish, leave port at 6:30am and be back in by 12:30pm (1/2 hour past noon).  I view this as a fun deal.  The food at the Bungalow bonus, having chowed down there several times.
     I have thrown my hat in this ring and will have Ben J, John J as my highly vaulted team members.  The entry fee is 65 bucks, as $50 goes into the (100% payback) tourney purse, with 15 bucks covering dinner at the Bungalow for 2 people, additional people are charged a 10 spot for the grunts.  This event has nothing to do with the firm that runs the (dangerous to the public) privileged commercial netting operations that seem to plague Manistee and Ludington.
     The reports from last weekend on Lake Michigan showed fish were being caught from St. Joe north, but the Kings were not coming easy.  I heard of no easy limits in double figures, like in the past 5 seasons.  The water is still cold all the way to Saugatuck, with surface temps in the low 40s, except for the inshore waters.

5/9/05  I should have a major announcement sometime later today.  Until then, I'm postponing what I have to say in today's update.
     There's a tournament in Manistee on 5/21/05.  You can only weigh-in your best 3 fish and it's costs 65 dollars to enter.   The details relayed to me were kinda sketchy, but it sounds like there's no limit on rods.  15 bucks of the entry fee is going towards dinner at the Bungalow after the tourney festivities conclude.  I hope to have more info contact person for those of you wanting to be a tournament participant soon. 
     While my personal feelings are; Manistee already shoulders far too much tourney pressure with 3 major summer events, not counting the several Steelheaders contests.  Killing huge amounts of fish that otherwise would be here for the average sport fishermen is not in the best interest of the Port of Manistee and never has been.  However, this 65 dollar, best 3 fish challenge might be a OK idea.

5/8/05  Just not much going on in Manistee, according to the few fishermen I spoke with about yesterday's results.  As the weekend fishing reports trickle in, I should be able to supply a more meaningful catching update sometime later today.
    I posted a photo of my new bullet head and showed how the tapering shank of the Chinese product causes problems when laying the Mylar fringe tape.  This is gonna happen, cuz you can't roll tape on a cone and expect it to lay flat.  Were the old style Chinese bullet heads OK to use?......yes, but the new one's offer superior performance.  I will have my bullet heads in green, clear, red, blue, black, chartreuse and X-Glow in bulk by mid-June.  Click here for comparison photo  Retail pricing will be about the same as the foreign import too, except for the X-Glow.

Special Update:  The tool to produce the Magnum Meat Head is in finished condition.  Final test meat heads are on the way to me and I should be giving the go ahead for the first production run sometime later today.  Designing this new head has been 2 years in the research and development stage.  Being fussy and taking my time with this project means a far improved meat head.  Especially,  when you compare what I'm offering to my foreign competition's mediocre standards.  The uniform action, durability, strength and appearance will speak for it's self on the newly born Capt. John's Magnum Meat Head! 

5/8/05  Just not much going on is Manistee, according to the few fishermen I spoke with about yesterday's results.  As reports trickle in, I should be able to supply a meaningful update later this afternoon.

5/7/05  An often overlooked component of today's flies is the bullet heads several manufacturers use.  I've designed a new bullet head that does not taper at the rear shank, as severely as the current made in China bullet heads.  This means the Mylar lays on a much flatter surface and does not bunch up underneath.  I know, many would consider this a small thing, but an overall superior product line is my never ending quest. Click for new bullet heads, now PROUDLY made in the USA!
       Good luck to all fishing this weekend.  May the fish gods be with each and everyone of you now and in the future!

5/6/05  Cliff from Waukegan, IL is supplying today's update with his fishing report from yesterday.  Here's what Cliff had to say, "Hey John, The fishing continues very strong and I posted a report on the ports post. here is a picture to go along with the text. The Kings are deep and continue to have a great appetite for the lemon lime and King Cobra."........Cliff  Click for his brag-board catch on 5/5/05
Cliff attended one of my seminars in summer 2004 and knows first-hand how  deadly Reel Flashers and a simple meat program is.  He also wrote a season long breakdown of his results, before and after learning the flasher/meat program. 
                              Click for his 2004 season-long report   
I have one opening left for the May 28th, 2005 on-the-water seminar in Ludington, MI.  While you'll see 4 registered at: the seminar info page, as one of the persons was a last minute cancellation from last year and I didn't want to see him lose is dough to a harsh cancellation policy.  So, 5 persons will be going on 5/28/05.

5/5/05  I have to cover two things today.  First, those who have called Walli's East, the date of May the 11th, 2005 is the Flint River Valley Steelheaders Directors meeting.  The general membership meeting is May 18th, 2005 and that the one where I'll be doing my presentation.  I hope this clears up any confusion. 
    Like many of you, lack of fishing much has caused a major attack of fishing fever, so I spent last evening making a few attractor flies for meat rigs.  If you haven't bought a fly kit, let me recommend you do so now.  Click to purchase fly kit  It's a great way to vent some frustration and save some dough while you do.  Everything is done with adhesive and it's already installed.  Scissors is all that's needed.
            Click for arts and craft project on the Magnum Meat Heads

5/4/05  A warming trend starting today should spell better success as our inshore waters need to warm to the 44 to 50 degree range for a decent Salmon bite.  The water temperature off Manistee is 37 degrees according to the coast watch temp chart.  This chilly water runs all the way to Holland before waters within a couple of miles of shore hit the 40 degree mark.  Look for everything to bust loose and soon!

5/3/05    Reports are filtering in from Michigan City, IN, Waukegan, IL and South Haven, MI Reel Flashers are starting to produce Kings this early in the season.
Black Mamba, King Krimson and Lemon Lime Reel-Flashers were mentioned as the good guys doing the damage.  Fish 'em deeper then you're used to and catch!
   I have a photo of the largest King taken the recent 21st Annual  Salmon Stakes Tournament.  This fish was 35 inches long and weighed just 10.75 pounds.  The sad part about this Lake Huron King is that it looks like it's suffering from anorexia, showing a large head and a long skinny Pike-like body.  
        Click for Team Rymar with the largest King in a 102 boat tournament
Spent most of yesterday resolving technical issues pertaining to my new products. Made good headway, as we're almost ready to start a 30,000 meat head production run.  It's been a lengthy journey, but the finish line is almost in sight.  

5/2/05  Let's take yesterday's update one step further for today's main topic.  Back in the early to mid 1970 I attended Steelheaders meetings when I lived in the Detroit area.  If I came away with one or two pieces of useful knowledge, thus considering it was time well spent and a step positive in the right direction.  
    Most every charter operator I know started off as a member of the Michigan Steelheaders.  Making these meetings a highway to the road of improving your skills.
    I view my presence at this meeting as conducting a work shop where every person will be handed the knowledge that was passed down to me by others.  Plus, what I learned on thru the "school of hard-knocks" over the past 37 years.  
    A clinic on knots, proper mindset, photo presentations and is gonna make this one helluva a meeting you surely do not want to miss.  Especially, with the advent of the 2005 season being upon us and, yes....the public is invited to attend!

5/1/05  On Wednesday, May 18th, 2005 it will be my great pleasure to be the
key note speaker at the Flint Steelheader's monthly meeting.  My address will be titled "What Not & Knot to Do!"  My focus will be on correct nots & knots. 
1. Meaning the proper knot, suited to it's particular application and what I learned from the Trilene knot testing machine several years ago. 
2. Then, shifting gears, I will speak of what mistakes that must be absolutely avoided to make your time on the water more productive.
3. This is not gonna be an ram-it-down-your-throat infomercial for my products.  However, toward the end of my allotted time I will be answering any and all questions pertaining to putting together a winning meat program that proven it's self in all three Flint River Valley Steelheaders summer tournaments on Lk. MI during 04.
Location:  Walli's East, located just south of I-69 (exit 139) on Center Rd. 
Hospitality hour usually begins at 6:30p.m.(unless otherwise noted) with the 
meeting starting at 7:30. The public is invited to attend (no need to be a 
member).   Click here for a map

4/30/05  If you have a fishing report you'd like to share with the viewers of this website, please Email them, along with photos to: kingscharter@yahoo.com
I'm pretty much home bound, getting everything in place for my new meat heads and would enjoy hearing a good fishing tale, or seeing a fish tails.  Good luck to all who are getting on the big ponds this weekend!

4/29/05  Today's featured photo is from a legally caught open water Lk. Michigan trophy Walleye from the Port of Manistee.  It's always hard to guesstimate weight from a photo, but I'd say this 'eye is in the neighborhood of 11 lbs. Click for big 'eye
    Still not much to report from Manistee concerning the fishing scene.  Brown Trout fishing remains at about one bite per hour during the week and weekends are not offering much of anything.  The word from southern Lake Michigan is the inshore waters are mixed up and cloudy, hampering success with not much lure visibility.  
    The smelt ran a few days back at the Whitney Drain on Lake Huron and Walleyes are being caught in the Saginaw Bay.  On the inside of Saginaw Bay means most of the fish are coming after dark.  There's a daytime bite at Augres for Wally-Gators.

4/28/05  Spent yesterday running down issues pertaining to my meat heads and bullet/squid heads.  Packaging has been ordered and a top card similar to what I have for hanging my Reel Flashers is in the works.  I should have the final test shot pieces in hand by this weekend, with production starting next week.  
     More work is required on the CAD file I have for the lure tape inserts on my Magnum Meat Heads.  Click here to get an idea of what the die-cuts will look like.
     I'm getting kinda spooked, cuz I haven't heard much yet for the anglers I know in St. Joe.  It's time for this port to catch fire for spring Kings.  Hopefully, the coming weekend reports from southern Lake Michigan will speak of good catching.

4/27/05   A complete computer meltdown meant I spent all of last night and until 5am this morning piecing my system and office network back together.  I lost no data, because of a strong regimen of backing up all important files on daily basis.
     The rest of today will be devoted to getting a die to cut the WTP lure tape for my meat heads.  The plan is to have matching heads similar to my flashers.  The meat heads, flasher and bullet/squid heads will all be made from exactly the same colored plastic for a trio of heretofore never seen dynamic products.  I'm sure this continuity of color is gonna be another world first for Kingfish Products, LLC.
     The first production run of my new Magnum Meat Heads is slated for the first part of next week.  So, packaging issues must be dealt with this week.  Mid-May looks like a firm date to have my Magnum Meat Heads readily available for sale at the online web store: www.michiganangler.com 

4/26/05  Spent a goodly portion of yesterday on the Big Manistee River water testing my new Magnum Meat Heads.  The test was a colossal success with the test shot meat heads.  I ran my stuff against the current products on the market, being the foreign made Challenger and Rys Davis heads.  I had to re-bend every RD head to get them to even spin and never got enough bend in the Challenger head for a decent roll in 2 mph of water flow.  Each and all of my heads performed uniformly without any "tuning" whatsoever and had a far superior perpetual sweeping roll with a larger chunk of herring.
                           Click here to view the various numbered test heads 
Now, I know you expect any manufacturer to brag up his product and condemn his competition, but this is a reel-fact many of you will soon see first-hand.  
Tech Tip:  If your results have been skimpy towing meat, look for a constant, methodical roll from the bait head holder.  If your meat head does not rotate, put a more of a bend in the tail section of product you're using. Yes, the older style heads will still catch.  Just don't be to broke to pay attention to the roll rate of the bait head holder at all times to be successful.                       Click here to see rotation of my heads 
My new Magnum Meat Heads do not require this constant re-tuning procedure.

4/25/05  Last week I was at the Riviera production facility in Port Austin, MI during my travels around the state after Warren Knapp's funeral.  I helped make my newly introduced Tri Boards.  Reason I had to pitch in?....demand, because of a two week backlog of orders.  While at a 150 bucks a set, (some might consider pricey) after seeing the machining and construction first hand, the Tri Board is worth every penny.  Last July in Harbor Beach this board was tested in a good 4 foot head sea and performed beyond anything I used or seen. Click here a board being machined
     Today's featured photo is from this past Saturday, showing Team Rymar fishing the 1st Muskrat Blizzard Classic on the St. Clair River.  This tournament was aptly named, because the cold, snowy conditions the participants endured.  This team finished tied for second place. Click for Team Rymar on the St. Clair River 4/23/05

4/24/05 Here's Manistee's Marine Forecast:  Gale Warning in effect
Sunday: North gales to 35 knots. Snow likely. Waves 12 to 16 feet.
Sunday Night:
NW winds to 30 knots. Chance of snow. Waves 10' to 14' subsiding to 6' to 10' after midnight.
Monday: W winds 10 to 20 knots. Chance of rain and snow showers. Waves 3' to 6'
I suspect by the time the seas settle down mid-week, Manistee should be set up for some pretty decent fishing.  North wind, followed by west wind always seems to help us.  I'll go out on a limb and predict our harbor will be jam-packed with Alewives by this coming Wed. Only time will tell if my crystal ball is telling the truth!

4/23/05  I found out the reason fishing took a slight turn for the better in the Port of Manistee.  The NW blow last Wednesday piled the bait up in and around the pier heads. Traditionally, this is the time of the year alewives spawn in our harbor, thus providing bountiful table for hungry predators with scales and tails.  
    The dumpster ducks (seagulls) could be seen diving and working the Manistee's basin for an easy meal too, which is another unmistakable signal the bait is in.
    I have noticed most large flocks of cormorants have bypassed our area and kept flying due north.  They must be in a hurry to nest, because the early warm weather in April.  In 2005 I have seen no large floating black rafts of cormorants in Manistee Lake like in the previous 3 or 4 years.  This could spell better Brown fishing in 2006.

4/22/05  Wednesday's blow in Manistee seemed to help our ailing Brown Trout Fishery in a very positive manner.  Some of the boats that fished yesterday had good amounts of Browns in the 3 to 4 pound range, but we're still missing last years plant.  I have heard of no 1.5 to 2 pound Browns whatsoever.  I did hear of a 17 pound King taken in Frankfort a few days back and a 18 pound spring whopper King caught in Manistee yesterday.  So, all in all, a optimistic report of better things to come is our theme for today's update!

2/21/05  Water testing for correct whole placement in my new meat heads is going well.  Spin rate is governed by where the fishing line (monofilament) enters thru the top hole on the meat head.  I will personally guarantee you, my heads will all have a uniform rate of roll without the constant re-tuning factor we've became accustomed to with the older style foreign heads.

4/20/05  3 men of the cloth presided over Mr. Warren Knapp's funeral yesterday in Grand Rapids.  All 3 of the ministers personally knew Warren and spoke the good word in way seldom heard in this day and age.
    Water testing is my main concern to absolutely make sure the Magnum Meat Heads perform up to the standards I demand.  I did have successful prototype tests, but the part that comes out of the new injection molding tool needs to be re-tested.
     I posted some photos of last weekend's second annual get together in Augres.  Obvious circumstances prevented me from attending, but none the less everyone caught fish and was blessed with a gorgeous day on Lake Huron. Click for lures used

4/19/05  Warren Knapp's funeral dictates my presence in Grand Rapids this morning.  Then, the next few days will be strictly 100% devoted to water testing the new meat heads before they're ready to hit the marketplace.
    Providing daily updates this week might be questionable, because the extreme importance of the water testing project.  So, if you don't see this website updated everyday, you'll know precisely why.
    Haven't heard much from St. Joe about the Kings starting yet, and from the latest word, fishing this past weekend was on the tough side for many.  Augres is producing Walleyes and a very few silver fish in gin clear water.  
    Ludington, Frankfort and Manistee results on Browns have been mixed from day to day.  Some have done OK, but most are struggling to put a fish or two in the boat.

4/18/05   It gives me a great amount pleasure to announce the world debut of Capt. John's Magnum Meat Head.  This product has been two years in the research, design and development stage.  I made sure my bait head meat holder is far superior to the halfheartedly made foreign goods we've been accustomed to using. 
    There's a brand new dawn in quality, made in the USA meat heads that will be available in bulk pricing to American dealers with sale tax numbers, EINs, or proof of a 720 form filed.  Click here to see the enhanced value offered
    I've went to great lengths to insure the durability of my Magnum Meat Head is beyond compare.  Click here for side-by-side comparisons with the foreign brands.
    The Magnum Meat Heads feature far more options on the type, size and thickness of bait you can use.  Whole herring (Red Label), pre-made strips and home-made Fish-On Green Label strips are all useable solutions. Click here to see more on this
  I'm still about 3 weeks away from full production and product availability.  

4/17/05  Manistee County has lost a dear friend.  Mr. Warren Knapp passed away early yesterday morning.  Warren spent the last 23 years fishing out of the Port of Manistee and became a well-liked, local icon.  As I mourn the loss a treasured fishing buddy, I also celebrate the reel-fact Warren remained in good health thru '04.  Even at 80 years young, he was able to launch, fish most of the day and retrieve his boat the "Dotti K" by entirely himself.  Click here for Manistee's friend, Mr. Warren Knapp
      Warren was responsible for several of the past updates and was a tremendous asset to this website  He saw things from thru the eyes of a true sport fisherman in a 18 foot boat with basic equipment.  His reports better reflected the reel-action in Manistee, without ever being inflated.  Click to see Warren's reel-action
    The Zaagman Funeral Home located at 2800 Burton Ave. SE in Kentwood, MI is handling part of the arrangements.  Viewing times are 2 to 4pm and 7 to 9pm on Monday, April 18, 2005.  His funeral will take place at Home Acres Reform Church located at 21 Murray SE in Kentwood, MI at 11am, Tuesday, April  19, 2005.  

4/16/05  Some things take precedence over fishing.  Warren Knapp has slipped into a coma and hasn't let go yet.  I must travel to Grand Rapids today to show my support to his family.  This will be my final goodbye to a friend I fished with a bunch of times.  So, my presence, regretfully in Augres will not happen.  I kinda knew all week this was going to happen.  I'd have felt guilty for fishing in Augres, even though I know Warren would give me hell for not going to our 2nd annual get together in Augres.  I wish everyone well in Augres and catch a few for me.

4/15/05  Tomorrow (Sat. April 16, 2005) will mark our second annual spring outing at Augres, MI.  If the catching is even half as good as last year's, I'm sure everyone will go home happy.  Heck, just to be back on the water is good enough for me!
Here's my report from yesterday on the situation with the Browns in Manistee:
Port of Manistee, Fished from 8:45am to 11am.
     We had one hit and boated a chunky 3.5 pound brown on a gold and black S11 Rapala. There was 100 feet of line off the regular dual planer board tag line. Speed was slow, less then 2 mph.  I seen 3, maybe 4 other fish caught and there were about 12 boats trolling.
Click for our solo Brown
     Every fish was taken either in the basin, or dark colored river water. The water is kinda clear both north and south of the harbor. Seeing bottom in 10 to 12 feet of water was possible.
     A long ways from good, is my opinion and I would not consider traveling to Manistee from what I seen, unless you live close to this port. 
Click here for lure used
May I suggest you join our message board if you like reading the reel-truth?  The above report was copied and pasted directly from our port reports forum.

4/14/05  I've committed to fish the Great Lakes Professional Angler Association's tournament in Frankfort, MI this August 13th & 14th, 2005.  I'll be in this contest with Capt. "Getaway" Bob Kietzman aboard his well-rigged 22 foot Islander.
    The GLPAA upholds the highest standards in tourneys with guaranteed pay-outs. They are known for a clean, well run event with media coverage  If you're looking to avoid the Manistee tournaments sponsored by the parent organization of the commercial net fishermen, this is a super alternative. Click for more GLPAA info
    Gonna try to make it out this morning with Capt. Tom Rasmussen to see if the sad reports of late on Manistee's ailing Brown fishery are true.  This will be a pleasant break from my daily routine even if the Brown Trout catching sucks!

4/13/05  The second annual outing of message board members will happen this coming Saturday, April 16th, 2005 at Augres, MI.  We had to set this do back a week to make sure the ice was gone and the launching docks were in.  The starting time is anytime you wish and an after the catch get-together is gonna be at Dunleavy's Pub, also in Augres around 3pm.  
     My dear friend, Warren Knapp is gravelly ill.  I wish his wife Dotti and the entire Knapp family strength to endure the ultimate crisis they're going thru.  The way it looks, Warren's about ready to pull lines for the final time within the next few days.

4/12/05  From the sound of things, Ludington is producing a better fishery for Brown Trout, when compared to Manistee.  There's a bunch of Steelhead at Tippy Dam on the Big Manistee River and bank fishermen are catching.
      I re-formatted the trolling bag page at the MichiganAngler website to include the 24", 30", 36" and 42" sizes and current pricing.  These are premium sea bags that will give many seasons of usage with minimal care.  To view the custom pouches that are included with every bag click here.
     Spoke with my injection molding company yesterday and it looks like they're gonna test run the tool today.  The test run is to guarantee all pieces are the same.  Then after my inspection and OK, we'll swing into a full production run before the end of this month.  Perfect timing for the Kings of May when the lilacs bloom!

4/11/05  The new tool to produce my Magnum Meat Head is nearing completion.  I suppose there will be test pieces in-hand before long.  I had to blue out the sensitive areas of this 2 stage die, as it makes 8 bullet heads for flies/squids and two meat heads at a time. Click here for an idea of what this new tool looks like
    No longer will we have to use bullet heads from China and meat heads from foreign countries.  In keeping with my philosophy, made in America is far better!
    Having the flashers, bullet heads and Magnum Meat Heads under the same roof means adaptation to a far superior product line then the hodge-podge of current mismatched products.  Thus, providing a tremendous advantage over the competition.  Foreign domination of bait-head market is about to come to an end!

4/10/05   Being politically correct on the issue of commercial netting means taking the middle road and acting like the problem does not exist.  Taking a firm stand against something we all know is not right is far from easy.  
     I charge collusion to any company that participates in any event sponsored by the parent company of the commercial netters that endangers safe navigation.  By taking part in these events, they're validating principles that are contrary to the US Constitution.  I will be watching closely the tourney entrants and which name they register with.  By doing so, we'll have a course of direction concerning the companies that sell us tackle are headed for the rest of this season and next.
     We all know where the weigh-in of these events takes place at the Little River Casino located at M22 and US31.  Perhaps, a more befitting spot could be the commercial netters boat yard in East Lake, Michigan where they store their nets and gear.  East Lake is closer to Manistee anyways, being just across Manistee Lake!

4/9/05  Rumor is: there will be 3 commercial fishing vessels working out of Manistee during 2005.  Their parent organization which is pushing for unlimited hunting and fishing rights is taking another major step to piss off a bunch of people, including me!
     Please remember, those who failed to let me know on which side of the fence they stand are now being shown "red-lined" on our No Nets page.  This list includes those who have participated in tournaments sponsored by said parent organization.  The new red lined list includes companies close to my area well aware of this problem.  By contacting me in writing, they can have their status changed ASAP.  Click here for the No Nets! page  It's high time these companies either poop, or get of the pot!  There is no two sides to this unfair and very immoral issue! 
     This whole net deal is a bunch of crap and has been from the get-go.  Factor in, the other side has been adjudicated to take illegal species contrary the laughable 2000 Consent Agreement.  Please show on which side you stand, by voting with your dollars!  I beg you not become complacent over this issue!

4/8/05  As a lately, sea or trolling bags are gaining popularity in a big way.  Being able to control your speed for maximum lure efficiency is an often overlooked factor by those new to the Great Lakes trolling game.  If you have no way to govern trolling speed?.....you're destined to have sporadic and skimpy results at best.
    The benefits of bags, besides giving your vessel precision speed control, is they
plant your boat in the water more firmly and take a lot of the echo (rock) when you have to turn and run beam seas.   With bags, your spread can straighten out better without a huge mess of tangled lines.  As a rule with my "bags in" I could catch fish in both directions (with and against the waves).  Click for more on boat speed
   The trolling bags I sell at: www.michiganangler.com are top notch and will last many seasons, unlike a some of the junk on the market now.  This product is made by Dick Boyajian here in Manistee County.  Dick is a WWII vet and flew combat missions in the Pacific Theater during 1944 & 1945, making him 80 years young!  Put his vast experience to work in the canvas industry for you.  His bags range in size from 24 inches to 40 inches, with 36 inchers being the most popular and versatile. 

4/7/05  Our planned outing for this coming this Saturday at Augres, MI has been canceled for a about a week now and felt I should mention it again.  We have postponed this event and it will take place on Saturday, April 16th, 2005.  Word from that area is the most of the ice is gone and walleyes are being caught now.
Click for 14# Brown caught on 4/9/04     Click for the 4/9/04 meat catch photo
The fishing here was superb in 04 and I'm looking forward to 4/16/05 in a huge way!

4/6/05  The spring fever epidemic heightened yesterday in Manistee County with temps in the lower 70s.  I found myself wanting to hit the big pond, just 12 miles down the road from my house even if Brown Trout fishing sucks.  Getting away for a few hours will be a welcome event and help relieve the pressure from daily flasher production.  Making time for ourselves is something we all need to do more often.    
     When fishing, I am totally unencumbered with anything related to any type stress.  Focusing 100% on the clues and patterns our Great Lakes offer when we're trying to catch is a full time job and the daily worries of life seem to melt away!

4/5/05  High water has slowed the Steelhead action temporally on in the Big Manistee.  Those who are catching Browns on Lake Michigan are being pretty tight lipped, or not catching many.
      I guess the biggest news from my area is the continuing upward spiral of the price of gas.  $2.30 is our current price, but north and south of us, I've head $2.40 for regular was being charged.  60 years ago President Harry Truman stated that our country must maintain and supply it's own fuel needs.  Now, President Truman was a man of the people and did not come from the elite families groomed for the highest office in our land.  He saw things thru the eyes of the common man and knew total energy independence was needed for the American People over six decades ago!
     The funny thing about gas is at one time is was considered a useless byproduct during the refining of oil, with most homes being lit by oil lamps (gasoline was far too volatile).  That all changed in a hurry with the advent of the internal combustion engine, of which we still depend on about 125 years later. 
     Necessity is the mother of all invention and with the multi-national oil conglomerates raising prices to intolerable levels, they'll drive themselves out of business, as alternative forms of powering vehicles and boats will be sought.

4/4/05  Here's a report for Strike Zone Charters on the status of the Big Manistee:
"The fishing is very tough right now, with most boats struggling to put one fish a day in the boat. The water is very high and very dirty. The good news is that everyday conditions are improving and it should be in good shape by mid week. The Steelhead are just starting to move unto the gravel so it looks like we can expect fish for a few more weeks."   Happy Fishing....Capt. Jay Frolenko
    Doug Samsal said just about the same thing, but with the exception of the bank fishermen at, or just below the coffer at Tippy Dam who did quite well.  Look for improving conditions once this first flush of high, debris-filled water rinses the system.  While high water can be a pain, the large flowing plume of water from the Manistee watershed emptying into Lake Michigan will help draw many more fish in.

4/3/05   Lk. Michigan was a little on the lumpy side yesterday.  So, the smaller boat fishermen I spoke with, did not fair so well.  Most hung it up early, and from the consensus was not a whole lot of fish were caught by the small boat fleet.
     Work and preparation on my brand new battle-cruiser continues today and tomorrow.  Targeted launch date is this coming Tuesday.  Mid-week fishing for Browns generally means less crowded conditions and more fish boated per hour.  
      In case you haven't read my article on April tactics for Brown Trout click here.  The tips and trix discussed in that piece helped me boat 334 fish (mostly all Browns) in April of 1999.  This is one of the item specific and very detailed articles all of our private message board members have access to once they join. 
     All of my works used to be open to the public, but plagiarism from unscrupulous  internet pirates forced me to protect my original content and go to a private format.
     I hoped you remembered to set your clocks ahead one hour last night, cuz  I forgot as usual.  Daylight savings time is now in effect.

4/2/05  Word on the April Brown Trout fishing seems to be a tad little better then what's I've heard, or saw in the past two seasons.  I'm not ready to say, the Browns in Manistee have returned to the same level as the 1990s, but there have been
a few encouraging reports.  Small boat fishermen are doing best from the pier heads to the "onion" (water tower), slightly north of Manistee's harbor on S11 Rapalas.
     I hope to get a hands on report when I make the maiden voyage on the new battle cruiser I recent purchased.  Seeing first hand is a whole lot better then relying on updates from others.  I look to hit the big pond this coming Tuesday afternoon if conditions are favorable.

4/1/05  Doug Samsal, one of the most experienced/productive guides on the Big Manistee River called me today with report of what's happening on the big river.  While Doug had been fishing on the lower end of the river, ......he said, "lack of run-off and clear water conditions kept the lower end red-hot for the first 3 weeks of March.  Now, with the rain as of late you can expect the upper stretch by Tippy Dam to break wide open in a day or two."  Click here for Doug's website
     Also, according to TV news last night the Manistee River above Mesick, MI was at flood stage and expected to be overflowing it's banks from the rain we had the last 2 days.  With this surge of new water, more fish will be entering the system from Lk. Michigan and looking for gravel to spawn on.  Fish the faster water with a gravel bottom for the best action.