January, February & March 2006

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Horns in Feb?

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BTI Color Match

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Hot Lures 3/39/06

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Steve's Trophy

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

3/31/06   Message board member, Jeff C....aka "Uncle Rich" showed how to get the job done while fishing out of the Port of St. Joe on 3/29/06!   Rich and Kevin had a 2 person 10 fish limit consisting of Coho, Kings and a Brown Trout.  Plus, they caught and released a number of Lake Trout in their fish-fest.  Click for Jeff's catch
     Here's some observations on the Big Manistee River I noticed a couple of days ago. Steelhead in the stretch from High Bridge to Bear Creek were not there in big numbers.  I seen a lot of fishing (being in eyeshot) of other boats most of the day.  Boats we spoke with?......most had nary a fish and very darn few opportunities to report.  We gave a tow to two stranded fishermen when the motor broke down around Pine Creek tributary area of the big river 3 miles from the launch. Click for tow photo

3/30/06  After seeing last weekend's fish pictures, I just couldn't stand it any longer and went FISHING yesterday.  By some standards the two Steelhead Steve "Roscoe" Burns and I boated on the Big Manistee River might not look like a big deal!  
     To us? .......it was a wonderful way to spend a splendiferous day outdoors on the Big Manistee River.  Sure, I stared at idle rods more then I would have liked too, but staring at any fishing rod, beats the hours I spend staring into a computer monitor.
     Seeing the pleasure on Mr. Roscoe's mug, as he won two hard earned battles with the dogged, determined, and high flying (7 big jumps in 2 fish) Mr./Ms. Steelhead was way beyond priceless. Click for 1st fish  Click for trophy male  Click for hot lures
     Tomorrow's update will feature a timely report and limit catch photo from one of our highly regarded message board members about St. Joe, MI on 3/31/06.  I'll also add some interesting observations about fishing the BMR on 3/29/06.

3/29/06  All is extremely well in Manistee County with spring-like weather.  If yesterday and today don't make you think of getting the boat out of storage, you haven't been outside much.  It's simply great to see the happy smiley faces with fresh caught fish from our Great Lakes, rivers and streams!  Click for Andy's Steelhead
    BTI Update:  Received my first shipment of clear 10 inchers yesterday.  The fit and finish is plain beautiful!  The Michigan company that built the tooling and is making the flasher blades did themselves proud!  WTP has my lure tape order in process and that scheduled to ship early next week.  The plan is to be shipping BTIs by mid-April.  Just in time for our action packed spring King Salmon season, which takes off in early May.

3/28/06  Coho catching in Indiana's is good, with limits commonplace.  Early Coho are chunky 2 to 3 pounders, which shows they've been eating good.  I know we're all concerned about the forage base of Lk. MI and that's the reason I brought this up.
     Ports like St. Joe are starting, some Lk. MI Browns are being taken along Michigan's coast. Late March Steelheading opportunities are fair to decent on the Pere Marquette and Big Manistee Rivers, if you can stand the crowds? 
    Lake Huron is off to a slower start for it's inshore fishery, because of lingering cold water in the mid 30 degree ranges.  Thus, delaying Lake Huron's awaited smelt run.

3/27/06  Inshore waters of Lake Michigan in Ludington and Manistee is hovering around the 38 degree mark.  38 degrees and above always signaled decent shoreline Brown Trout trolling.  Same thing goes for the Manistee River when 38 degrees showed best Steelhead results with high action wobbling plugs, like the T4 Flatfish.
    With the approach of April only a few days off, look for the Season 2006 to starting rolling big time.  Southern-most ports will light up first, then the action moves northward during the month of May.  Manistee's peak spring bite for Kings seems to coincide with Memorial Day Weekend thru the first week of June for fairly easy limits.

3/26/06  Capn Kirk's Ludington Brown Trout Report: "Great fun on the big lake today (3/25/06).  Were 4 for 6.  Had 3 on boards, 1 on rigger 4' down, 2 on dipsys set as high as you can 20' back.  Will be right back out there Sunday."
Installed the new auto feed rivet machine yesterday to speed up production.  
This new riveting tool will soon earn it's keep with 10,000 of the new 10 inch flashers arriving this week.  Click here for a riveting experience!
     The Boaters Guide just listed a 22' Starcraft Islander for under 7k.  This boat has been stored indoors and comes with riggers and sonar.  Click here for more info

3/25/06  Spring has been slow in coming to the north country in Manistee County.  In fact, it's been more like winter-like.  This is a good thing for the sought after Steelhead on the many rivers and streams that enter from our Great Lakes.  Cooler weather holds the rivers back from warming to the said prime Steelhead spawning temp of 40 to 44 degrees.  Which in turn, lengthens the spring Steelie season.  
      Installing a new automatic rivet press is the main thing that needs accomplishing today.  This is a much needed tool to speed up production for the soon to be here 10 inch flashers.  The first all-out production run of 10,000 BTI flasher blanks starts on 3/27/06 (this coming Monday) and be in-house by 3/31/06, or sooner.

3/24/06  Yesterday and today is devoted to more chores associated with the new Big 10 in. project.  The BTI project was made possible by our community of message board members and their expertise!  Brandy's nephew, Pat is part and parcel of Kruger Plastics in SW Michigan, made the tooling and is producing the flasher blades.  
     Getaway and Ted H. are the top-notch CAD design engineers who made the die prototypes and tooling for WTP die cuts.  Capn Kirk delivers products to my house via his brown truck from UPS.  Reed S has worked on trade-marking issues and DBartlett is doing a logo for Kingfish Products.  Click here to preview 10 inchers
     Our entire flasher production team is from our message board too!  Ben, Take 5, Megan Ann and Roscoe will all be making flashers in the very near future.
     Most Important:  With the displayed complete cooperation of our membership in lending helping hands on the 10 incher project, my most sincere thank you all!  Now, wouldn't you think, that joining this great group of anglers is in your best interest too?

3/23/06  This past Tuesday, I spoke with Craig from Capt. Chuck's in Ludington about the ins and outs of running copper line.  Craig's mini seminar on copper showed what not to buy, as 30# test copper could be stretched and broke by hand (without a whole lot of effort).   
     Then he showed me the right stuff and recommended 7 strand copper line in 45# test with a .037 diameter.  Click for Captain Chuck's website
     A customer was at the counter and tried hard to break the 45# by twisting, bending and a good hard stout pull that never caused the line to part.
    My next question was knot do you use to attach stranded copper line to the business end and to the backing?  Craig shared the fact, a Albright Knot was recommended by the manufacturer.   Click here for an Albright Knot
     The sink rate on 45# test copper line is 7 to 9 feet per 30 feet of line let out, making it sink about twice as fast as 27# lead core.
     This was reported back to me from those who ran copper during 2005.  On turns,  copper would occasionally tangle with high Dipsy Divers on the 3 setting.  There were some issues when running copper & lead core, because of the differing sink rates too.

3/22/06  Angela and John emailed in a great photo of one of the largest Steelhead I seen, thus far in the 2006 season.  The big male was a few ounces short of 13 pounds and was caught on 3/11/06.  Click for Steelhead
     Frank's Great Outdoors in Linwood, MI is now an authorized dealer for my product line.  Click for more info on Frank's  Frank's has been in business for 60 years serving the areas of Bay City, Saginaw, Midland, Flint and the northbound traveler from SE Michigan.  Frank's Great Outdoors is located just off I75 on M13, a few minutes north of US10 and I75 junction near Bay City. 
     Tomorrow's update will be courtesy of Craig from Captain Chuck's in Ludington, MI.  Craig set me straight on what works and more importantly what DON'T, when is comes to running 7 strand braided copper line.  Copper line features about twice the sink rate of lead core.  Click for Captain Chuck's website

3/21/06  Our message board member, 2-Shot drew first blood this past weekend on Lake Huron's outer perimeter of Saginaw Bay.  He landed 3 respectable Browns (his limit) to plus 10 pounds and released 3 Lakers.  All in all, a pretty incredible feat when you figure Mr. 2-Shot was fishing the near-shore waters all by his lonesome.  The bite was in balsa stick baits with inline planers in depths from 6' to 10'. Click for Brown
     Want to know the correct place and exact lures used?  Well, you'll have to join our message board, cuz that kind of sensitive inside info is reserved for our members only! 

3/20/06  Spring officially arrives today at  1:26 P.M. EST, as the Sun will cross directly over the Earth's equator. This moment is known as the vernal equinox in our Northern Hemisphere.  Equinox translates to: "Equal Night," as our days and night will be approximately the same length.  The next time this will happen is Sept. 22, 2006 signaling the beginning of fall 2006.  OK, enough with the technical jargon, I know it's spring, cuz I seen my first Mr. Robin Redbreast of 06 in the backyard yesterday!

3/19/06   Today is the last day for Mr. Winter 2006, and his passing will be greatly appreciated by all eager big water anglers.  Spring arrives tomorrow, along with gradually increasing predicted temperatures all this week for Manistee County.
      From the webstore orders at www.michiganangler.com I can see the Indiana and Illinois fishery starting to pick up, as their Lk. MI season has probably already started.  
      More northerly Michigan/Wisconsin ports will see all-out action in about a month from now. Ludington and Manistee's spring King season seems to start in the last half of May, with the Memorial Day Weekend being the best bet for limits of silvery Kings.

3/18/06  All continues to be well on the Big Manistee River, considering the high water.  Steelhead during the past week have been caught from the M55 Bridge to Tippy Dam in respectable numbers.  The recent high water has been cleaner then what you'd expect from the usual March high water.  The water is carrying far less debris than normal, cuz the high water stages in December & January already rinsed the big river a couple of times.

3/17/06  St. Patrick's Day  means we're just that much closer to spring, which officially starts this coming Monday.
     Good news from the Big Manistee River from Capt. Paul Schlafley.  On 3/15/05 they boated 6 Steelhead (all on plugs).  Now, 6 Steelhead is a good day in anyone's book, but the best part is; all the fish ranged from 8 to 10 pounds.  This shows our spring run Steelies to be a pound, or two heavier than the November 05 thru February fish 06.  Which in turn, also indicates last January's record warmth provided a longer growing season, resulting in bigger fish.  Click for contact info for Capt. Paul
     If this trend stays true, the baitfish population in Lk. MI might in better shape then many thought.  Only time will tell, and there's a whole season in front of us.

3/16/06  Want to add a foot to the width of your existing boat?  Need a couple of extra feet in the length too?  Then you might need to seriously consider having  a custom built radar-arch/rocket launcher for your vessel.  You'll pick up extra room, as your boat will become more organized in a big hurry.  Click for close-up of arch
     Plus, you'll have dedicated rodholders for a lead core, and surface bird program.  If you're in the market for an arch, consider placing overhead work lights to shine down on the deck and adding net holders.  Click here to email the custom arch-smith

3/15/06  Since returning from the Birch Run Steelheader's show, my entire focus has been on bringing the new 10 inch flasher into existence.  All pieces, parts, colorants, lure tape, paint and hardware have been ordered.  
     The tool or die that makes the 10" is nearing the stage of final completion, once the port and starboard lettering are etched into the tool.  There's still a little left on the table, but all the minor issues will be a done deal by the end of today.
      It's exciting to work within the structure of American industry and see the USA "can-do" spirit in action.  I'm proud of this fact and don't mind saying so!

3/14/06   Click here for link to a timely article concerning pre-preparation  It is especially important to have all your ducks in a row, before the 2006 season begins.   
    With full fledged production of the new 10 inch flasher looming in the near future, my time for researching daily updates fresh will be hard to come by.  
    If you have noteworthy news, recent fish photos or current fishing reports, by all means email them to me at: kingscharter@yahoo.com 

3/13/06  The Manistee River is at flood stage in Sherman, MI.  If you're a river Steelhead fisherman?..... get prepared for the first major flush of debris with high water.  High water is a double edged sword, drawing more fish in the Manistee River system and a bunch of grass, weeds and leaves to constantly foul your lines.
     Finished the article about installing crimps on the business end of your wire line, along with a small history lesson about braided 30# test stainless wire.  Also, there's a couple bonus links to pages formerly reserved for private message board members only.  Interested in seeing the new article?......then click here!

3/12/06  60 degrees in Manistee County yesterday!  With the official advent of spring only 8 days away, the big lake fishing season will soon be here.  Those who ply the waters of southern Lake Michigan in Indiana and Illinois are probably already getting a few days in on the "big pond."  
     There is a major shortage of dockage at all ports that I'm familiar with.  The main reason is condo developers have gobbled up most of the smaller mom and pop marinas.   If you're planning to slip your boat for a season or a weekend, look for this problem to worsen over time.  Even Solberg's in Manistee was running at full capacity during August of 2005.  That's never happened since I moved to Manistee in 1992.

3/11/06  According to our Ludington port reporter and my UPS driver, Capt. Kirk says work has already began dredging out the Loomis boat launch.  Here's his exact words:
"It's the man in brown with something possible for your report. The City of Ludington has already (3-10-06) started dredging the boat ramp in Ludington!  That's like 6 weeks early! They are really catering to the fisherman. Especially the ones that troll in January & March. KUDOS to Shawn McDonald in charge of Ludington D.P.W. !!!! 
I wouldn't be surprised, if they put the ramps in about a week." 
My thanks to Capt. Kirk for the timely news!  Click watch progress on harbor cam

3/10/06  60 degrees in Manistee County yesterday!  With the official advent of spring only 8 days away, the big lake fishing season will soon be here.  Those who ply the waters of southern Lake Michigan in Indiana and Illinois are probably already getting a few days in on the "big pond."  
     There is a major shortage of dockage at all ports that I'm familiar with.  Condo developers have gobbled up most the smaller mom and pop marinas, being main reason.  If you're planning to slip your boat for a season or a weekend, look for this problem to worsen over time.   Even Solberg's in Manistee was running at full capacity during August of 2005.  That's never happened since I moved to Manistee in 1992.

3/11/06  According to our Ludington port reporter and my UPS driver, Capt. Kirk says work has already began dredging out the Loomis boat launch.  Here's his exact words:
"It's the man in brown with something possible for your report. The City of Ludington has already (3-10-06) started dredging the boat ramp in Ludington!  That's like 6 weeks early! They are really catering to the fisherman. Especially the ones that troll in January & March. KUDOS to Shawn McDonald in charge of Ludington D.P.W. !!!! 
I wouldn't be surprised, if they put the ramps in about a week." 
My thanks to Capt. Kirk for the timely news!  Click watch progress on harbor cam

3/10/06  Good news from the Big Manistee River and Capt. Paul Schlafley.  As of yesterday at 11:30am (Thurs. morning), his guests had boated a total of 17 Steelhead since Monday.  Here's Paul's big river report, "the water has came up slightly and it has clouded up slightly since last weekend."  Capt. Paul generally keys in on the lower 15 miles of the Big Manistee at this time of the year.
     More on the BTIs starting next week, cuz this project is now moving pretty fast, but there's still a few loose ends.  Click for stack of BTIs  Click 1st BTI Black Mamba

3/9/06  Capt. Randy Even, inventor of the Slide Diver and operates "Sorry Charlie Charters" in Sheboygan, WI has introduced a product to fine tune your diver program.  It's series of weights used in the nose of Slide Divers and Dipsys that come in 2, 3 and 4 ounce sizes.  3 oz. is the standard size, 4 oz. will add more depth and the one I was most interested in was the 2 ouncer.  This lightest size will help keep your divers more controllable in shallow water applications like inside of 20 feet of water, or on harbor patrol for August/September Kings.  Click here for photo of new weight system
    From 2000 to 2003 during May and June, per hours run, my 2 high Slide Divers set on 4 with monofilament line, had a highest fish per hour ratio boated.  Please do not overlook is valuable fish catching tool if you're looking to improve your diver program.

3/8/06  As promised, today's photo of the day shows Capt. Joe's storage bag for organizing his many 3 fly meat rigs in a neat way.  This bag is available at Bass Pro and you can purchase extra pouches (cards).  Click for tackle storage photo
   Here's a method of storing herring fillets that needs to be mentioned.  Joe uses a pint sized Mason jar (w/lid) and a tiny lunch sized cooler. He packs the small cooler full of ice, then stores it in his larger cooler.  This eliminates any chance of spillage, or having your meat go bad.  My thanks to Capt. Joe von Grabe for sharing his wisdom.
    Tomorrow's update will focus on fine tuning a diver presentation in shallow water by Capt. Randy Even, the inventor of the lethal Slide Diver.  Stay tuned, more good stuff is on the way.  The official start of spring is only about 2 weeks away!!!!!

3/7/06   Sometimes the simplest things get overlooked when it comers to solving storage problems, as demonstrated in today's photo.  Click for trick storage device
    When you're done fishing and plan on fishing again (like the next morning) use a small bucket to lay your diver, flasher and meat rig in.  With slight care on how you lay the diver/flasher/meat rig in a bucket, your diver program will be in attack mode in short order.   I think Joe's bucket idea is the slickest invention since sliced bread! 
    Tomorrow, I'll feature Capt. Joe Von Grabe's pouch for 3 fly meat rig storage and his answer for keeping herring fillets/strips cold without making a mess in your cooler.
    Wednesday's update will focus on fine tuning your diver program in shallow water.

3/6/06   Let's start today's update with me thanking my 2006 Birch Run seminar team of Dave, Joe, Roscoe and Paul who did one helluva job!  Their efforts far surpassed anything done previously.  Click for my best seminar team so far!
    While I already knew Dave, Paul and Roscoe like family, getting to know Joe was a special hit with me.  His part of our presentation even taught me a thing, or two! Especially, in the areas of solving simple problems like diver/flasher/meat rig storage.
     My three days at the show were plain wonderful, as I got to meet, or speak with approx. 200 members from our message board.  I super appreciate their support and turning out for the show.  Plus, I signed up several new members at the show.
     There's far too much for me to share with you concerning last weekend's great event put on by the Flint Chapter of the Michigan Steelheaders in just one update.
     So, during the course of this week, I'll try to bring all up to speed I what I picked up at the show.  I'll have updates pointing at fine tuning your diver program, storage devices and other interesting factoids. 

3/5/06  My seminar team did a outstanding job in our first one last night.  Today seminar 2 happens at 1pm.  Show hours today are from 10am to 5pm. Full report on the show and the behind the scenes reel-story tomorrow. Click for seminar 1

3/4/06  Attend and Support the Flint Steelheaders Show.  By doing so, you're  supporting our fishery, because all monies made off this show are reinvested back into it thru various projects that benefit all of us!
Opening day of the Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI went very well.  Magnum Meat Heads were a huge hit, with about half of my show stock being sold!
    At 6pm today our first reel-meat seminar happens.  I have 4 guest speakers that will be helping with a far superior slide show presentation, when compared to anything we've done previously.  Hope to see many of you there!  Click for show booth

3/3/06  Dropped anchor in Birch Run, MI yesterday about 2pm.  This morning's task is setting the booth up before the show is open to the public today at 3pm. 
    The 2006 Flint Steelheader's Boat, Sport and Fishing Show begins this afternoon and runs thru Sunday, March 5th.  If you're tired of winter and looking forward to spring, then attending this show might be right up your alley.
    Most Michigan's tackle manufacturers will be at this show to answer and assist with product questions, including myself.  Look for me in the North Hall at booths 7 & 8.

3/2/06  Traveling to Birch Run is the task at hand for today.  The plan is to drop the larger stuff off inside the building late this afternoon and complete setting up the booth early on Friday.  I'm located in the North Hall (booths 8 & 9) at the Birch Run Expo Center.  Hope to see many of you at the show  Click complete for show info
    This evening I will be going over our slide presentation and making triple sure there will not be any computer glitches.  This year's seminar is intended to surpass anything I've done previously. 

3/1/06  This year's seminar team is comprised of, Dave S from Fish On Bait Company, Ludington's Capt. Paul Vantol, Detroit Steelheader Capt. Joe Von Grabe, and the ever popular Steve "Roscoe" Burns from the Flint Steelheaders.
    There's around 30 slides in my presentation with computer aided imagery to get my point across.  This year's seminar is brand new and packed all the information that can be mustered inside the 60 minutes of allotted stage time.
    I will have all flashers, meat heads, and 3 fly meat rigs available at special show prices for cash sales and volume purchases exceeding $100.00.
     The smaller misc. items such as bullet heads, hooks, bead chains, and crimps will not be offered at the show.

2/28/06   Let's cover a couple of important issues, as we say goodbye to Feb 06.
With the advent of March, Spring Steelheading will soon become the big deal. If you're looking to book a trip on the Big Manistee River with a guide I recommend, consider 
Capt. Paul Schlafley.  $350 for 2 persons and $400 for 3 people makes this a great value when you consider Paul throws in free accommodations. Click for Paul's info
      Any orders for tackle received at www.michiganangler.com the rest of this week will be delayed until I return from the Flint Steelheaders Show.  I will be shipping orders again by 3/7/06.  Your credit card will not be billed until I ship your order.

2/27/06  Today's featured photo is from Sweden.  They call this fish a Char and I will not dispute this fact.  However, the fish reminded me of a fish we have in the Great Lakes called, a Splake.  Splake are a hybrid cross between a Lake Trout and Brook Trout.  I've caught a few Splake in Lake Huron back in the 1980s and while they strongly resemble a Laker, the squarer tail signals the difference.  
     I will be in further contact with Ove from Team Extreme is Sweden to get a more definite & thorough handle of what exactly this fish is. I just about forgot to add, the fish was caught with a King Kobra Reel Flasher/meat.  Click for Swedish Char

2/26/06  Shipping products via Steve "Roscoe" Burn's courtesy for the upcoming Birch Run Show, starting the Friday is the task for today.
    New for this year's Flint Steelheader's Fishing & Boat Show at the Birch Run Expo Center is free parking!  Gate fee to get in is also almost free, well under 10 bucks.  No where on this planet will you find a better show for the price.  
    Also, rest assured your entrance fee will be donated back into our fishery thru the good works the Flint Steelheaders have done!

2/25/06  The Flint Steelheader's Show starts in the Birch Run, MI Expo Center this coming Friday (Mar. 3rd, 2006) at 3pm.  For complete show info click here
    I'm scheduled for 2 seminars in Birch Run.  The first is on Saturday (Mar. 4th) begins at 6:00pm and the second one is on Sunday (Mar 5th) at 1:00pm.  I'll be spending today fine tuning my Power Point presentation.

2/24/06  Our private message board's tournament war chest now stands at $210.  This covers the Michigan City IN, May 5-6 and St. Joseph MI, May 12-13, 2006.  One of our members will be awarded a $100 each to help cover his expenses while competing in these upcoming events.  To choose which 2 lucky teams will receive the financial aid, we'll have a drawing at the Flint Steelheader's Show being held on March 4 thru 6, 2006 in Birch Run, MI at the Expo Center.  This drawing will be held when there's several board members present, making sure a fair draw happens.
     Have you've been kicking around the idea of joining?  Your 10 dollar membership fee will go into supporting our member's tourney efforts.  Click here to join board
     Member's receiving the C-note will be reporting back to our membership with the inside info from the tournament they competed in, so it's not exactly a free ride. The reel-time tourney information to be gained by our membership will be intense!

2/23/06  Got lucky with my camera late yesterday afternoon and captured the nice buck who's been eating my groceries.  Like I said yesterday, I never have seen a buck carry their horns this long.  I've seen and fed 100s of deer during the hard times of winter, seeing antlers this late in February is a first for me.  While you never can be sure, I suspect this big guy was a 6 pointer I kept a pretty close eye on in 2004.
     Click for head view 10 pt. on 2/22/06  Click for side view of 10 pt. on 2/22/06
Having wildlife in your backyard is one of the wonderful perks from living in the north country, along with lessened traffic.  Being able to share this with you, is another.

2/22/06  Whitetails are finally shopping at one of my bait piles.  I had a lot of leftover shelled corn and sugar beets from last fall and feeing what few we have has become a priority with me. I seen something, I never saw before.  There was a 8 to 10 point and a spike dining at King's restaurant a few evenings ago.  I have never seen buck carry their racks for that long before!  Click here for deer on 2/21/06
      Started work on a pictorial of how I've been attach a swivel/cross lock to the business end on my wire rods for 18 years. Click here to view a work in progress

2/21/06  As we enter into the last part of February is good to know the official start of spring is only about a month away. Click for conditions on 2/21/06 The dreaded cabin fever has overtaken me lately, as you can tell from today's photos.  
    My thoughts are definitely pointed towards 2006 season and the promise it holds.
Click here to see what I'm really thinking of.  As you can tell, it's not more winter!

2/20/06  This is the time of the year when all probably over-think way too much.  I've received several emails about doing funny things to the Fish On Bait we use.  Likely mentions were dyeing the meat funny colors and adding extra scent ingredients like anise oil.  Most of the inquires came from those who haven't used meat yet.
    I have never dyed a chunk of fish meat yet, and average around 3 fish per hour boated in non-peak, mid-day conditions.  So, I see no need to improve on a program that has already proven itself beyond a doubt.  
    Today's photo clearly shows what the reel-advantages are to making your own. 
Click for meat photo
  If you're looking for step-by-step instructions to make your own cut bait for this upcoming season click here for a complete pictorial.

2/19/06  Installed a customer support page for www.michiganangler.com.  Being in the charter business for 21 years, you learn how important one on one contact is to your customers.  I guess it's a habit I can't break.  Click for new support page
     This probably is another industry leading solution where you speak directly to the manager in charge of scheduling, research, design, manufacturing, warehousing, bookkeeping, advertising, shipping, technical and hands on support.......aka, me!

2/18/06  Readying products for the upcoming Birch Run fishing show today leaves little time for a meaningful update.  Besides, with below zero temps in Manistee County indoor work seems far more pleasurable then plowing the foot snow that was just dumped on us.  While most of the 2005/2006 winter has been pretty mild, Mr. Winter wanted to remind us, he's not done yet.

2/17/06  The situation on the Big Manistee is tolerable, but you'll have to rely on winter hold-overs.   The spring run of fresh fish is a long ways off.  Especially, with the nasty wintry weather we've been having the past few days.
     Fishing rivers in winter storms with a falling/low-front barometer presents unique challenges, like how do I get a bite?  When this scenario happened to me, I fish the holes extra slow, if it was a top 3 on my list of known producers.  Long pauses, in good water often meant the difference in getting Mr. Steel Head to hit.  Cold water strikes are not bone jarring bites, many times the rod will just lethargically pull down when you're fishing with diving crankbaits.
     In case you're new to this website, I guided on the Big Manistee River from 1985 until I retired in 2003. Click for the reel-story on the last guide trip I ran in 2003

2/16/05  Winter has returned to Manistee County with a heck of predicted a snow storm for the north country for today and tomorrow.
    Packing up my dog and pony show for the upcoming Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI (Mar. 3rd thru 5th) has all my focus.  I'll be toting about 100 assorted products packed in lots of dozens.  Needless to say, this isn't a job that can be easily accomplished in a day or two and requires a lot of work.

2/15/05  Where do you find fish?  The short terse, answer is: shallow, deep, or some where's in between.  However, that answer is far too simplistic to do anyone a lick of good.  So, let me explain what I've learned from the school of hard bytes.
     Never overlook the inshore shallow stuff (less then 50' of water) this spring, or summer.  The close to shore water warms up first and promotes phytoplankton, which in turn zooplankton chows down on. Thusly, attracting bait fish that eat zooplankton, acting like a magnet for the predatory Salmon and Trout.  Some of my heaviest catches (all season long) have came from far inside the main pack.  And at times far to the outside of where the main fleet was working structure, like Manistee's shelf.
     Now, if the inshore fishery is a dud, just keep heading towards the deeper stuff in a search and destroy mission. Even if the shallow, to mid-depths program offered little in the line of results, at least you've eliminated the water on the inside of your boat.
     Countless times I watched the fleet zoom by my close-to-shore program while we whacked fish after fish.  Even in the summer do not overdrive your vessel directly to the deep stuff over 100' depths......just, because that's what you're used to doing.
     By setting up short, you'll have plenty of time to get all your lines set.  It's easy to drop a 25' to 40' program once you're attained more depth and located fish.  

2/14/06  With the looming tax season not too far off, here's some info on a great tax man that set-up my LLC and S-Corp.  Without the services of Richard Hartwick my butt would be up the creek without a paddle.  Click here for Rich's website
     He teaches accounting in college and has a MBA from Michigan State.  Rich knows the tax law inside and out.  I highly recommend his services from filing simple returns, to the very complex tax issues I deal with.  He has traveled at his own expense 3 times to my place to make sure all my ducks are in a row.
     His rates are reasonable, especially considering his qualifications.  When compared to my past tax service, he's a joy to work with, no matter where you live.

2/13/06  With the onset of the 2006 season about 2 months away, I thought I'd share my experiences with how the barometer affected what we caught.  
     While I am no scientist, simple observations compiled over the past thirty some seasons on the Great Lakes has lead to some interesting general insights.
     Spring and summer means fast moving weather systems with thunderstorms.  Try as we may, avoiding all of them is impossible.  I've learned with the approach of a storm, the barometer falls and slows does the bite.  While you can catch some of the front side of a system (a falling barometer), the reel-bite doesn't happen until the barometer starts to rise again after the storm passes through.  That's when all hell breaks loose and fish go on the fierce attack looking for chow.
     No matter what the barometer is on the big water, a low barometer doesn't seem top affect it too much.  It's a far different story if you're a river fisherman.  Anything lower then 29.5 meant a tough-go trying to pry strikes out of Steelhead, especially if the barometer was falling too.  A low barometer moving upwards seemed to put the river fish bite back on the back on the normal scale.
    So, if it's stormy looking in the morning, stay dockside and let the dangerous weather pass, the good bite generally occurs after a thunderstorm anyways.

2/12/06  My deal for today is getting a good firm start on my presentation for the seminars at the Flint Steelheaders show in Birch Run in about 3 weeks.  
     The title of my seminars will be: S.W.A.T.  Meaning "Salmon Weapons and Tactics" for our fishery.  My plan is to have 3 other speakers fill-up the hour who fished far me then me in the 2005 season.  Unbeknownst to my "yet to contacted" speakers are "Sloppy Joe" from the Detroit Area Steelheaders, "Burns Unit" from the Flint Steelheaders and highly successful Capt. Paul Vantol from the Port of Ludington.
     For S.W.A.T. message to go over big, having both amateur and pro's giving insights into both sides of the coin, looks like the way to fly to me.  I'll be the master of ceremonies and conclude our hour together with advanced methods with meat.

2/11/06  As I've said before, the passion for fishing is a universal language onto itself.  This is proven once again with today's featured photo of Flemming's big water trolling boat.  His well-rigged Swedish fishing machine from Ystad, Sweden is not much different from what's launched everyday on our Great Lakes. Click for Flemming's boat
     Sweden offers both freshwater trolling in large lakes and the option to fish saltwater for Atlantic, or the Baltic variety of same fish.  In their inland (freshwater) seas, the target species is Landlocked Atlantics and Brown Trout from what I've been able to discern.  Many Europeans are multi-lingual and are able to break the spoken language barrier.  In fishing?..........it's worldwide, and there is no language barrier!

2/10/06  I installed a open to the public support forum for products I manufacture.  You need not be a message board member to read, post or ask questions.  The numbers of fishermen into using cut-bait is growing every season.  If you have questions pertaining to running a meat program click here
      Also, this is a good test bed in case you're considering joining our message board group.  You'll see for yourself the free exchange of quality info offered.  Ask yourself this question: how many people do you have that care if you catch a fish, or not?
       By joining,......the answer to the above question will soon explain itself!

2/9/06  Since I made it clear that 10 dollar fee to join our message board goes into our tournament war chest for members, the best part of $150.00 has been collected.  I'm pretty sure by the time the tourney season gets here, we'll be able to donate $100 to our teams in each major Salmon Tournament during 2006.  Click for form to join 
     This hundred bucks given to competing teams comes with strings attached, like all things in life.  We do request a thorough report and what went right and what went wrong with our supported teams efforts.  This will bolster our "inside info" to the next level, helping those that do, and do not fish tournaments. 
     All members and this means, even new members will be eligible to receive financial help.  Look for our war chest to grow by leaps and bounds, once we start accepting donations from our general membership sometime in early April.

2/8/06   In our travels thru life we meet several characters and some with character.  The latter describes Capt. Bud Raskey, a throw back to the age of the old school of strictly professional fishermen, of whom .......we all can learn from!
     Capt. Bud has long since made my list of all time greats and his induction into the Freshwater Hall of Fall only confirms what I already knew.  Bud made it into the hall by guiding since the early 1940s and skippering on Lake Michigan since of Salmon Fishery began in 1967.  He has never been one to grab personal publicity and assumes a quiet, but praiseworthy demeanor.  I know of no one that has been on the ground floor of our Great Lakes Fishery like Mr. Raskey has.  I'm glad he's now officially recognized one of the finest fishermen to come down the pike in Manistee County.
     Part of the knowledge base passed down thru my Encyclopedia of Tips and Tricks came from Capt. Bud, especially fishing sewn minnows for Brown Trout & Lakers too.  
     As we all gain knowledge from those who came before us, Bud has pioneered too many parts of our techniques to mention here.  Click for an article on Capt. Bud

2/7/06  After many, many requests for crimping sleeves used on the meat rigs, I now offer crimping sleeves at: www.michiganangler.com  If you're looking for right hardware to build your own meat rigs, then it's worth a click.
     In just 2 short seasons MichiganAngler.Com has become the world's leader in offering a total package dedicated to fishing meat, and or cut-bait all under one roof.  More will be added this season, mainly the BTI (10" flashers) before this May.
     This phenomenal growth rate would not have been possible without the greatly appreciated support of the fishing public which covers several states and countries.

2/6/06  Captain's Scott Miller & Shane Ruboyianes are what I consider second generation with firm roots in the first generation have an online tackle webstore at: www.gloutdoors.com  They handle my product line and offer several things I do not. 
     Both are highly knowledgeable in all areas covering Michigan's varied Great Lakes Fishery and provide "after the sale" support.  There's a permanent link to their store on my Great Lakes Info page.

2/5/06  Was going to take the day off like many of you.  Then thought of all the big gun commercials that are debuted at the Super Bowl. 
      For those of you who haven't used my product before, the regular series Black Mamba and Krystal Killer are my 2 best selling flashers.  Making this dynamic duo in the X-Glow material that lasts for 4 to 8 hours will raise the bar to a higher standard!
         Click for X-Glow Black Mamba      Click for X-Glow Klear Krystal Killer 
I see no need of a "wardrobe malfunction" to sell more of product that sells itself.

2/4/06  Have a great Super Bowl Weekend.  Production demands and catching up on a large backlog of orders means regular updates will resume Monday, if not sooner.

2/3/06  According to the weatherman, January 2006 was the warmest on record.  Couple that with several stage of high water on the Big Manistee means the river Steelheading has been good in December and early January.  Recently, I haven't heard much, taking the lack of reports as a sign of slowed action.
    The chief of the Manistee's Native Americans has been fired to alleged mismanagement in matters of a financial audit of their cash cow at M22 and US31 (casino).  Monies created there are beyond my comprehension and shows no need for them to be involved in commercial fishing that endangers the public safety.

2/2/06  Much like you, when I'm not fishing the thought processes are always rolling.  Here's a question that stuck in my mind: how do fish find food?  After days of ponderous thinking, I came to the conclusion there's no one answer.  
     Rather it's a combination of what's been mentioned before, being sight, sound and scent.  Sight and sound work together when the fish are aggressive, like the early and late bite.  By simple reasoning combining all three factors will make you a more productive Great Lakes fisherman.      Click for a bloody mid-day double
      It's scent that over-rides the negative and neutral mid-day fish, that continues to amaze me.  Much like Sharks, our Great Lakes Salmon and Trout follow a scent trail to their prey.  It's been said a Salmon can smell parts per billion and suspected of detecting parts per trillion to home in our their parenting streams, so finding a chunk of meat is no problem. Click for Kings that followed their nose to a cut-bait program  

The second month of 2006 already?  Just where in the heck did January go?
Since last September my off-season has been busier then August 2005.  Now is the time to seize the moment and take care of all the secondary issues. 
     In keeping with that thought, www.michiganangler.com has under gone a complete face lift.  Only products directly associated with my manufacturing business are listed.  Mainly, made in the USA products to fish cut-bait for Salmon and Trout.
     The recently remodeled webstore has 20 combo flasher/meat rigs, 29 variations of 3 Fly Meat Rigs, 26 select colors of meat heads, and flashers that come in 38 models.  Most the products offered are in distinctive, mostly exclusive colors that no one else in the meat fishing business offers.  Click to take a tour of the webstore
     Please let me point out, no other tackle manufacturer has a totally committed approach of matching flashers and 3 fly meat rigs to fish cut-bait.  This was the goal in mind when I started down this road in 2004.  

1/31/06  Got sidetracked with closing-out the 4th quarter from 2005 dealing with the federal 10% tax on all fishing tackle.  Today is the due date for this tax.
    These special tax monies are supposed to be earmarked for improvement to public facilities for the boater/fisherman, so I do not mind paying this tax at all. This 10% is paid from manufacturers end, which in turn, is a silent passed down tax to the consumer.

1/30/06  Today's marks the 2006 World Premier of the 4 to 8 hour X-Glow Klear series of Krystal Killer and Black Mamba flashers.  These new flashers came into being out of last season's Frankfort, MI GLPAA Tournament.  Click for 2005 GLPAA hot rigs
     Most of the heavier-weight tourney fish were being taken at depths from 175' to 200' down on the riggers.  At depths of this range, there's little light penetration.    
     Especially, during the summer when both zoo/phytoplankton can filtering out the much of light in the upper reaches of the water column.
     While the fish found the regular Black Mamba and Krystal Killers down deep, the fact of the adding X-Glow to these flashers will raise the visibility aspect even more.
     Presently, I am swamped with orders for these new highly popular flashers.  So, if you plan on ordering, please be patient.  I hope to be caught up on all orders by the second week of February. Click to order X-Glow Black Mamba & Krystal Killer

1/29/06  The GLPAA is having the Frankfort, MI Tournament again this year.  It will take place on August 12th & 13th, 2006.  Their popular weigh-ins are similar in style to the Pro Bass & Redfish tournaments and do draw a crowd.  Our message board members captured 10 of the top 20 spots, a feat that will be hard to duplicate this year.  Hard, but not impossible with their boat-to-boat shared communication.
     If you're team fishes from a trailerable boat and you want to be on equal ground with the larger 30 some foot battle-cruisers, this event is tailor made for you.  You weigh you best 6 Kings and there is ca$h prizes for the largest trout.  Almost 80 crews competed last year and this year's field promises to be larger.

1/28/06  Today's update concerns a rule 4 in our message board application form: (4.)  I understand the $10.00 membership fee  is donated back to our members for help with tournament entry fees.  click for membership form
     All members will be eligible for help in IN, IL, NY, WI and MI.  Our goal is to donate 100 bucks in every major tournament back to at least one team in every major tourney in the 2006.  Trying top explain the help network our members have established goes well beyond my feeble wordsmithing.  

1/27/06  How do you make your best selling and most deadly meat heads better?  You make 'em glow and not with the cheapie glow stuff offered by the competition.  You make 'em in extended titanium glow that will last for 4 to 8 hours.
     Don't have to get to long in the lip here about the attributes of the X-Glow Magnum Meat Heads, as top-notch quality always speaks volumes for it's self!
     Being one not easily impressed,....I am impressed with the NEW 2006 X-Glows in Klear Krystal Killer, Klear Krome and Klear Red.  Throw these brand new deadly weapons in your arsenal and become an unstoppable force to be reckoned with at the fish cleaning tables in 2006!  Click here to see the X-Glow Klear Meat Heads

1/26/06  Give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day, help a man catch more fish and you'll have a friend for life.  Often, there's just a small piece of the puzzle missing for consistent success.  Think about your strong points and areas you're weak in.  Then take a long hard look at those issues, being careful not to blame yourself.
     On no account, think anyone is God's gift to Salmon fishing.  Never-ever think you have a lock on the program.  That's when things will turn around and bite you.   
     This goes hand-in-hand in not over-rating estimating your abilities.  Hey, we all suck at catching from time to time, especially if there's no fish under your boat!
     If you're out to gain knowledge and at least partially cure frustrations, Capt. Paul Vantol is offering two "on the water seminars" on May 27th and July 15th, 2006.  The place is Ludington, Michigan.  Cost to attend is $150 per individual.  You can contact me at (800) 552-2009, or call Capt. Paul at: (989) 860-2932 for further details. These sessions are tailored at of groups of 4, for more one on one contact.

1/25/06  Today's archived photo is from mid-May 2003 during a spring Salmon Clinic out of the Port of South Haven, MI.  Like I said in yesterday's update, Spring Kings are aggressive and dumber then a stump.  On this particular Salmon Seminar we had a hold of at least 30 fish, during 3 1/2 hours of lines in the water. Click for 03 photo
     Seminars will be offered again in 2006, but my participation is in question.  Capt. Paul Vantol will be doing most of the honors.  I chose Capt. Paul to carry on my legacy of to offering "on the water seminars," cuz he's considerate, knowledgeable, and exceptionally easy to fish with.  Plus, above all, he can his point across.
    Capt. Paul has served as my personal ambassador to Ludington, spreading the word on fishing with meat/my products.....and I thank him for his efforts.
    Stay tuned for the coming dates and times for 2006 "on the water" seminars.

1/24/06  I picked up a spring catalog from Cabelas and was amazed at some of the prices.  Side, or inline planers (birds) at almost 30 bucks.  Not too many seasons ago, inline planers were a lot closer to a 10 spot.
     Since sonar went color, premium machines are in neighborhood of 800 to plus 2000 dollars, ouch!  Look for some these color units to become more affordable in the next few years.  Unless, the companies making sonar go to 360 degree scanning function, it's my belief fish/depth finders can't evolve much further.
     Start making plans soon for the 2006 season now.  With Lake Huron's slowing Salmon fishery, the pressure on motels, marinas and campgrounds on all Lake Michigan Salmon Port has become intense.

1/23/06  You now have the option to purchase exactly the same bead chains used in my meat rigs. The cost for 30 bead chains is $9.95. Click to purchase 
There's free seminar at Wolf's Marine in Benton Harbor, MI this coming Saturday, January, 28th, 2006.  According to what I heard, this event has been organized by Dave Mull, editor and chief of the Great Lake Angler Magazine.  The seminar starts at 10am and ends at 4pm and features several different guest speakers.

1/22/06  How is the charter fleet going to survive in 2006?  Oil prices are between 60 and 70 dollars a barrel, so don't look for marina gas to be much under 3 bucks and quite possibly a lot more!  When I retired from running charters after the 2003 season, marina gas was around 2 bucks a gallon.  Now, three seasons later, I see the going rate for a 1/2 day trip in 2006 is $400.00 (for a 1/2 day), being the same price I charged 3 years ago.  No doubt, chartering is becoming tougher all the time!
     The increased fuel costs have inflated dock, tackle and insurance costs, so needless to say, the charter fleet is being pushed towards bankruptcy, if they do not raise their charter rates.  Raising prices is a double edged sword, meaning more profit, but a loss of business when your existing customers (on a budget) go shopping for another captain with cheaper rates.
     When I started in the charter business in 1983, the going rate was $180.00 for a half day and marina gas was slightly below 75 cents.  With simple math, based on the price of marina fuel nowadays, a half day should be worth $720.00 (4 x $180).  Kinda a scary to see how the charter rates have not kept pace the times.  What once was, and what now is, are facts most charter operators do not want to face.  Hence, the reason.... I am no longer in that unduly glorified occupation.

1/21/06  Been in contact with our area's herring distributor, Dave S. about availability issues concerning whole herring in the red, green and blue label sizes.  Good new for us!  He will have whole herring in various sizes and strips at the upcoming Steelheaders Show being held in Birch Run, MI (first part of Mar. '06.)
     Also, Dave has been added to the list of guest speakers at Wolfe's Marine towards the end of the month down towards St. Joe.  This fishing seminar is being hosted by Dave Mull from the Great Lakes Angler Magazine.  Dates and times will follow as soon as I know more, but I think it's next Saturday.

1/20/06  Today marks another addition to my meat rig and meat head line. 
 Click for the the X-Glow Super Puke  While I never been a huge fan of the "monkey puke," never the less, this highly popular color pattern does have it's following.
     There's something floating around on the message boards concerning myself and Fred MacDonald.  I must set this record straight.  My differences with Fred are strictly over the casino sponsored events in Manistee.  
     Fred does what's in his power to run a clean tournament.  He's been part of the Gander Mountain tourney in Ludington and does a good job.  Like I said in the past, Mr. Fred MacDonald might be the only true visionary in Manistee, having won Manistee's Chamber of Commerce, Man of the Year Award before.
     There's good news on the commercial netting situation.  More and more fish farms, or aquacultures are coming online, raising various species of fish.   This has driven down the world price of fish, making commercial netting even less profitable.   While I do not expect the LRB of commercial fishers to give up, I do know facing any sort profitably will get harder and harder for them ever year. 

1/19/06  The costly 2006 tournament season is getting closer everyday.  I thought it would be a good idea to build a war chest and donate back to our message board members.  Every 10 dollar message board membership application received from now, thru the rest of the season will go into this tourney war chest.
      Your 10 dollar personal check request to join was never intended to make money, but insure that those inside our community would remain focused on fishing issues, not on personal attacks and portray common courtesy.  There's no right, or wrong way to do "fishing" and getting bogged down in useless issues is plain stupid and extremely counterproductive.
      Guaranteeing this war chest will be fair to all our members is in the works now.  In the case of multiple entries in the same tournament, a fair draw will determine which team, or teams will receive financial help.  It's our targeted goal to donate at least a 100 bucks to one of our member's teams in every major salmon tournament.  Knowing the generosity of our membership, this will easily be accomplished. 
     This is probably another idea who's time has come.  If you've considered joining and haven't, quite possibly you should re-think your position now.
     Here's a photo of our message board member, Mr. "Hawkeye" leading day 1 of the 2005 Ludington Gander Mountain Pro/Am  Click for Hawkeye's day one catch. 

1/18/06  Winter finally paid a return visit to the north country yesterday with about 4 inches of snow, after the freezing rain in the am.
     The flasher/meat rig combos seem to be going over big, as I received several phone calls from Wisconsin and a few from New York yesterday.  Click for combos 
    If you have product questions, I am always reachable, especially at this time of the year.  Personal contact is something we all can use more of in this day and age. 

1/17/06  Gonna have to almost skip today's update.  Since late 1999, in a little better then 6 years, I've done approx. 2190 daily updates, religiously!
    My archived Captain's Log  started long before, the popular term "blog" we use nowadays.  Besides, I'm up past my neck in web-work and trying to tie up the loose ends for the coming dreaded tax season.  Click for the past 6 seasons

1/16/06  Action on the Big Manistee River was pitiful yesterday to those I spoke with.  It was a tough go from High Bridge to past Bear Creek was the story I got.
     Spent the entire weekend working on www.michiganangler.com in an effort to get everything nice and tidy for the soon to be here, 2006 season.
     New to the webstore for 2006 is Doub L Red Glow, Black & Purple, Red & Black Tiger, King Kobra and King Krimson meat rigs.  There's new Doub L Red Glow, Black & Purple, Red & Black Tiger, King Kobra, and King Krimson Mag Meat Heads too.

1/15/06   Let's carry yesterday's update one step further and explain my reasoning behind the new combo page.  Let's face it, most of the fleet is made up of weekend warriors with very little time to experiment with what works and what don't.  The featured combos can, and will get you dialed in on a full box of fish.  Blending a super recipe of 1000s of flashers and meat rigs is not gonna be accomplished in a weekend!
     New 2006 Mag Meat Heads in King Kobra and King Krimson will soon be available at: www.michiganangler.com  These new meat heads are a direct result from the input of our private message board members who fish a lot more then I do nowadays.

1/14/06  There's a whole wad of folks in the tackle sales business that will gladly sell you product.  Then leave you on your lonesome to figure out how to use it. 
That is not the line of thought at Kingfish Products, where support is job one!
     With input from our 300 plus message board members, I recently built a new page for my webstore, where 16 of the best of the best can be purchased in a combo deal.  Meaning, the flasher and a 3 Fly Meat Rig priced as one.  Click for combos
     Manufacturing both the meat heads and flashers affords a major advantage in bringing you the ultimate, tailor-made presentations to whack limit,.....after limit on Lake Michigan....reel-fact!  There's a built in savings on each combo set too.
      Even if you don't pull my stuff yet, the color combinations are worthy of note in anyone's book.  Especially, if you plan on an effective meat program in 2006.  Please let me add, I'm pretty sure this is another world first and will probably be copied by the less inspired.  Some say, imitation is the most sincere form of flattery.  I say, people copy other people, because their next original thought will be their first!

1/13/06  Friday the 13th eh?  While I'm superstitious about fueling a boat (just before fishing), bananas (on a boat) and greasy donut smells on your paws during the early am set.  This 13th thing doesn't shake my cookie one bit.  Negative smells can be controlled, the date,.......on which a Friday falls can't!
     Yesterday in Manistee looked more like March then January.  No snow, temps in the high 40s and a bright sunny spring-like day, was just a peek at what's to come.  Let's not rush this spring-thing!  There's still a ton of production stuff that needs done, seeing the Flint Steelheaders Show (in Birch Run) is only about 7 weeks away!

1/12/06   Last week I sent a package of 3 Fly Meat Rig supplies to Sweden.  Our friend in Sweden, Mr. Lars S. did a professional job on is first homemade meat rig.  Fishing is a universal language spoken in all countries.  Click for Lars 1st rig
     They pull a lot of meat in Sweden, but most of it is fished clean (no attractor flies) on a long leader.  So, it's my belief, the 3 Fly Meat Rig is still pretty new across the reel-big pond, namely the Atlantic Ocean.
     Was gonna start a mini series on the "charter captain mentality" today, but due to constraints of time, that will be saved for a topic of discussion until next week.

1/11/06  Our new poll is very interesting.  It shows a far different approach, then just 3 short years ago.  Close to 70% of those voting are fishing with a lot smaller spread (6 rods, or less in the water) nowadays.
     A while back, I mentioned the "charterboat mentality."  Let's take that subject one step further over the explore the "charter captain mentality" over the next few days.  Using myself as an example, we'll dig deep into the mindset and how it evolves over a span of 21 years/seasons of running charters.

1/10/06 pm Edition: Presenting the Mountain Dew Laser Glo click here

1/10/06  Steelheading on the big river is good.  Hardly any snow on the ground, as January continues to be very mild.  Normally, we would have snow drifts to plus 3'. 
      Gonna introduce another product improvement later this morning.  It will be directed at making one of the best selling Reel Flashers even better.  Fans of the ever popular Mountain Dew RF rejoice, there's a low light version on the way!  
World debut of the Laser-Glo Mountain Dew is scheduled for this afternoon, today!   

1/9/06  1. Looking for a great product enhancement that won't break the bank?  
2. Are you an Alpha-angler and out to prove it in tournament competition?
3. Do you like a customized presentation separating you from the rest of the fleet?
4. Is spending $9.95 to have a leg-up on your fishing buddies part of your forte?
5. Might you be looking for a great project to cure a bad case of winter cabin fever?
Then installing mini lure eyes on your 3 Fly Meat Rigs could loom in your future!
     Install the 1/8 inch mini eyes with teasers, after thoroughly cleaning the bullet head of the attractor fly with rubbing alcohol.  WTP uses topnotch adhesives, but removing any oils, or last season's fish scum for a clean surface is a must!   
     Remember to carefully clean the your hands, especially your finger tips with a clean paper towel and alcohol before starting this project.  After the lure eyes are where you want them, then roll the bullet head firmly between your thumb and index finger, to further press the mini eyes in place. Click for mini eyes installed 
     In today's feature photo, you can plainly see how the installed mini eyes take an already first-class looking product to the next level! Click for info on this upgrade

1/8/06  The tension level continues to builds on tomorrow's special announcement concerning raising your 3 fly meat rigs to a new level.  To go where no fisherman has went before might be a good parallel. 
     Will this improvement be necessary?  At this stage, truthfully,....I can not answer that question.  This I do know, with fishermen having something nobody else has is important, especially concerning proper lure presentation.  
      It's the age-old story of having a leg-up on the competition, trolling in the same vicinity of your boat, or your buddies back at the launch/dock.  Meticulous craftsmanship will be required on your part to complete this worthy and cost effective upgrade to all your 3 fly meat rigs.  The big question is, are you ready?

1/7/06  Yep, it's getting closer to that time of year again!  In about 8 weeks the Flint Steelheader's Spring Fishing Show will take place at the Expo Center in Birch Run, Michigan.  The show stars on March 3rd, 2006 at 3pm (ending at 9pm).  Then continues on March 4th, with the show hours being 10am to 9pm.  The final day of this event is Sunday, March 5th and the show hours are 10am to 4pm.
      I have two seminars scheduled.  The first one is on Saturday, March 4th at 6:00pm and the second one is on Sunday, March 5th at 1pm.  I will have a Power Point presentation and several guest speakers to get our message across on fishing with meat.  I haven't settled on who will help me with the speaking deal yet.   
     This I can say, my seminars are known for being straight forward, emphasizing a easy, highly productive, grief free, and consistent meat program all season long!
     More about the location of the show and pertinent stuff tomorrow.

1/6/06  Today's topic?.....the charter boat mentality.  Many think more rods in the water equate to more fish.  This is a mistaken theory, 'cuz the only time a big spread is called for, is for the May/June deepwater surface fishery for Steelhead.  Then 8 birds, 4 divers, 3 riggers and a core down the chute will pay dividends!
    When I was in the charter business, even before I shifted to a "all meat" program (which requires even fewer rods), seldom if even did I run more then 8 rods, being a 3 rigger set, 4 divers and a core down the "chute" (when traffic allowed).  If fact, too many rods can cause lost fish and of course, messy tangled lines and frayed tempers, especially with inexperienced charter customers!  
       I changed our new poll to reflect what the majority of the readers of this website carry for a big lake Salmon trolling spread (from 6 to 12 rods). 
    Always remember this:  it's not the amount of rods that's in the water, it the number of active rods getting strikes that count!
   The results of the last poll about the best port on Lake Michigan was narrowly won by one percentage point, with Ludington winning.  Manistee took second and the biggest surprise was Algoma/Waukegan coming in a rock solid third!

1/5/06  Word from the Big Manistee River is respectable.  Temps considered warm for this time of year, melting snow run-off and recent rain is the reason.  Factor in, Consumers Power at Tippy Dam has turned up the river flow to 2000 cubic feet per second yesterday.  So, look for continued success if you're going to hit the Manistee in the next week.  Click for a fine example of BMR winter fresh-run Steelhead
     There's a downside to good January Steelheading, as it robs from the spring fish that would normally come with the annual March migration.

1/4/06  Here's the big question for today, "do you suck at fishing?"  Are your results more random than the Michigan Lottery numbers?  Do you avoid the fish cleaning tables, 'cuz your catch of 1, 2, or 3 fish is almost embarrassing, when compared to what the other boats have?  Do you have fishing buddy that always talks big and blows smoke on you, 'cuz his catches always seem bigger than yours?  Do you plan for alternative activities before leaving the pier-heads on your boat?  If the answer is yes to any of these questions, please read on.......
      It's your lucky day my friend, as I can offer you a reel-cure!  Suffer no more from the dreaded affliction called, "Lack of Rodular Activity."  Recommended LORA rehabilitation starts with joining our private message board.  You'll find out, you're not alone on a journey to acquire big water knowledge.  
     A great New Years resolution would be get total immunity from LORA.  Rid yourself of this malady once and forever in 2006 by joining our community of accomplished fishermen, willing to share their wisdom with all. 
      The cost to join our message board is ten bucks paid in the form of a personal check to confirm identify.  Then mailing in a signed form, agreeing to some pretty darn simple rules, mostly concerning common courtesy.  Cost to join is $10.00.  Cost of shutting up the local big mouth?...........Priceless!  Click here for the paper work
     The only forum weighted towards my products is the reel meat forum.  The other seven forums are pretty much wide open to all topics, discussions and products.  You'll notice the total lack of spamming links and a far better code of conduct than at any other message board on the internet.  Click here for a sneak peak

1/3/06  Today's featured announcement is aimed at the do-it-yourself fisherman that prefers to make their own tackle and $ave.  I have a limited number of special offers that were formerly reserved just for our private message board members.
     The cost savings to you by building your own meat rigs is over a 100% when compared to purchasing manufactured 3 Fly Meat Rigs with retail price tags.  
     All my best color combinations are included with the first-rate materials used in my commercial grade 3 Fly Meat Rigs.  Complete instructions are furnished with a special "how to" step-by-step guide (webpage), so here's your chance to build your own high-quality 3 Fly Meat Rigs at huge $$avings!  Click for more detailed info 
     Also, there's a few deals left on bulk meat heads and the hard to get "die-cuts" we use.  If you're looking for a great winter project that will reap huge rewards later this season, then these special offers might merit your further consideration.  These fly kits will not be in-stocked all season long and my when existing inventory is gone, so are these offers until November 2006.

1/2/06  Captain's Log Supplemental:  Our friends across the reel-big pond in Sweden were kind enough to share a photo of a huge Atlantic Salmon caught recently on 12/31/05.  It never ceases to amaze me the connectivity the internet offers and how it has made a world without any borders.  And it goes to show you, fishing is a common language spoken in all countries, on all continents!
     Now, before you get involved in the never-ending "the photo is a Brown Trout" argument, you'd better click here and count the rays in the anal fin!  I've caught 1000s of Browns and maybe 30 Atlantic Salmon from the Great Lakes, and while they resemble one another, there's enough subtle differences to classify each specie.

1/2/06  Several new products will be announced during the next few coming weeks.  Items like 4 packs of 3 fly Meat Rigs you can build yourself and save at least 50% of pre-built rigs.  These custom 4 packs will be all inclusive with red treble hooks, bead chains, crimps, fringed Mylar, Magnum Meat Heads & beads to make your own rigs.  These new offerings for the do-it-your-self crowd will be in all my very best colors.  Besides, with about 3 months to prepare for Season 2006, it's a great winter project!
     Before the end of January there will be a new base color added to the line of Mag Meat Heads, further cementing the best fish producing selections available to the big lake angler in 2006.  Magnum Meat Heads are far more durable and versatile when compared to the foreign products that used to have a stranglehold on this market!

1/1/06  Let's make today the day we serve notice to a brand new flasher that rotates in a both a clockwise and counter clockwise direction will go swimming in 2006.  This pioneering rotator has approx. 40% reduced mass then it's larger brother and therefore will create much LESS water drag.  I'm absolutely 1000% positive the BTI will become a huge asset for divers and lead core!  Click for size comparison  
      Someone asked me if the multi-directional spin was necessary?  I thought a bit, then answered,  "power windows, air conditioning and 4 doors on a pickup might not be necessary, but it's sure nice to have these options once you get used to them!"
      Also, it says I'm darn serious about designing a flasher wholly dedicated to a meat program.  Creating a flasher with an exacting roll rate that has to haul 3 flies & a meat head that spins thru the water is no easy task.  While the BTI might resemble a scaled down version, much revamping was in order.  Kingfish Products Design Team worked on at several different prototypes until we nailed the correct size and curvatures, thus insuring excellent catchability that rivals the larger Reel Flasher.
       Look to have this new lethal Salmon weapon ready for your arsenal well before Salmon Season 2006 begins in April and early May.  The new Big Ten Inch will feature the exact same top-notch hardware and will come in the same deadly fish catching colors and patterns of it's larger brother. Click here for more detailed info 
Even with all the 2006 passed down manufacturing costs to me on lure tape (5%), shipping (15%), Sampo's rate hike and a 30% rise in the base material in 2006, most colors should go out the door for hopefully, for under 10 bucks.  Combo deals for twin port and starboard flashers at even greater cost savings should be anticipated.

12/31/05  In closing out 2005 and looking towards the future, several possible new innovations come to mind.  I predict sonar will become much more directionally orientated.  Being able to see forward, aft, port and starboard is the next logical step, seeing sonar units have broken the horizon of color, readable in full sun.  Forward directional scanning sonar with distances and depths will be one helluva tool!
     Also, I predict a downrigger manufacturer will design a rigger that reflects the needs of the i2ks.  All the units on the market have seen little in the way of design advancements since the 1970s.  In the future, look for a more compact rigger with a laydown spool that could be optioned to operate from below deck, from inside the gunnels.  Thusly, eliminating dangerous exposed moving parts.
     I'd like to thank everyone who visits this website on a regular basis.  To those that use and believe in my products, my eternal gratitude for your patronage.  
         Lastly, Happy New Year to ALL.....see ya, next year!

For complete results of all fishing trips, fishing reports & general info
and a peek into my archived log for the past seasons since 2000, 
click the below link:

Past Results