Bow season begins tomorrow as we close out a still rainy
September 2006. Rain, damp and cold is this past week's
story. Predicted weather for the bow opener is good with
partly cloudy conditions.
Something that rarely ever happens, a cancellation of today's
Cold, damp and rainy is the deal here in Manistee, MI.
Rain does help the river fishermen and keeps fresh fish migrating
The timeless subject of charter boats
vs. the sport fleet continues again today. Boats under 25 feet
are generally highly trailerable and this means the good ports at
the right time. No one port is good all season and ALL PORTS
have their strengths. Staying mobile with an eye on weather is
one of the biggest allies trailer boats have.
Also, the cost to own and maintain a
18 to 24 footer is peanuts, when compared to vessels in the 30 foot
class. My former Cherokee 28' with twin 350 GMs got 1.1 miles
a gallon on plane. Yearly static costs to own that rig pushed
well over the 10 grand mark with payments, dockage insurance...etc!
Trailerable boats of the i2ks are
equipped far better than any charter boat circa late 1980s thru the
1990s. Nowadays advancements in electronics means any boat
(under 25') can fish at the same fish production levels of the
larger charter boats.
Best thing about the sports
fleet?......you can chose who you fish with and not put up with
obnoxious charter passengers that should have went to the tavern,
instead of fishing. Dealing with the public under any
circumstances can be taxing.
Tomorrow's update will wrap up
this week's topic of the charter vs. sport fleet.
A few Steelhead, adult and immature Kings are still being caught
off the Port of Manistee, MI, when Lake Michigan is calm enough to
off the dock. Late September, into October offers some the
best fishing of the season, but windy conditions will keep you
dockside 5 days out of 7.
Continuing on the charter vs. sports
fleet topic, many might think the charter game is a pretty easy
one. This is line of thought is tremendously wrong!
While 400 to 600 dollars in revenue per day might look like a
windfall to the non-charter angler, the truth is: expenses eat up
90% plus of charter rates. The crux of short 3 to 4 month
charter season is 12 months of boat payments, storage,
Tomorrow's update will bring front
and center, the advantages the sports fleet has over the charter
boats, which are many!
Hummmm.....charter vs. sport fleet? Let's expand on what a 11
foot beam charter vessel can do and that is; run a larger spread with
less tangles. Factor in more room to handle rods, fight fish
and maneuver the fish into the best netting position, cuz,.... there's
no motor box, or an outboard motor in the way.
here for a fine example of an excellently rigged charter boat
The boat in the featured photo is Capt. Paul Vantol's
"Kickin' Back" has 48 rod holders (most showing) and this
means rods can be shuffled to and fro in a heart beat to clear areas for
fighting/landing fish. Plus, the flat rear deck aids in moving the
angler to the fish and not the other way around. Capt. Paul's boat
could easily accommodate 6 lead cores/copper rigs, 4 divers and a
perfect 3 downrigger set for a total of 13 rods.
But...you, know what? Capt. Vantol
generally only runs 5 rods (3 riggers/2 divers) & concentrates on
getting the 5 rods cooking in the most productive zones.
In saying that,......the "Kickin
Back" pulled limits of Kings on every charter trip out of
Ludington, MI during July and August 2006!
Charter boats vs. the sport fishing fleet? Does it sound to
you,....like the headline of the war of the worlds? The short
answer is not, but there are several differences, but the goal of both
sides of this fence are directed at catching.
Charter boats in most cases are painted
into a corner, having to produce more fish, mainly because of the number
of anglers aboard. Hence, this is where a wide disparity of a
mind-set begins. Tune in tomorrow, as I expand on this issue.
Regular updates will resume tomorrow.
Today is the official start of the Fall 2006, as this summer of
Great Lakes fishing has passed into the history books. Salmon are
starting to pile up in the holding pens at the Little Manistee River
here in Manistee County, MI. Soon the DNR will be harvesting eggs
and milt to raise another generation of Salmon.
I'm of the hopes the Little River Band will
refrain from spearing the river spawners this year. Their past
militant antics just causes more hard feelings and does not show the
Native Americans as caretakers of our environment.
Do you have a favorite "go to" lure, or a meat rig
combo? Does this rig see more water time than anything else?
If the answer is yes to both of the above questions, you're setting
yourself up for a one dimensional assault on your adversary, namely,
"Mr. Fish." Being flexible/open minded will serve you
In the course of a season, I speak
frankly with hundreds of some pretty darn good fishermen and most, if
not all, have a favorite pet lure/rig. In telling me about their
success with said rig, there's one thing that gets overlooked.
Almost 100% of the time their trick "go to" special rig is
always fished on the deepest rigger!
This says a very important thing; like,
moving the entire spread deeper will pay even greater rewards!
Often it's not the color, and it's more than likely the
So, keep that in mind, before
congratulating yourself on conjuring up the ultimate, most productive
color to even get wet in the big pond.
Since about 1996, Lake Michigan Salmon
have not keyed in on the so-called magic water temp of 54 degrees and
dwell quite comfortably in 38 to 44 degree layers.
Today's feature photo is from last July's Ludington, MI Youth
Tournament. My thanks to Team Hawkeye for sending this photo
of our budding next generation of big lake Salmon fishermen.
It's great to see family involvement! Click
It's been 40 years since the initial
planting of west coast Salmon in our Great Lakes in Bear Creek and
the Platte River. Little did we know then, that 3 generations
would make Great Lakes fishing a mainstay of their summertime
The tools nowadays big water fishermen have at hand, are vast.
The internet in itself is a great conduit for reel-time information
that used to take weeks for the public to hear about. Word in
our Great Lakes fishing community always filtered down, but not with
the speed of same-day reports on what hot, and what's not!
Many harbor feature webcams, so you can even view the conditions
Tackle has made huge advancements, raising
the standard of the sports fleet comparable to the charter
fleet. Once, only "in the know" charter operators
could produce limit catches with regularity. Now, most of our
message board members are on the same fish output as the pros.
Sure, meat has helped, but the wide diffusion of cutting-edge
mainstream techniques is major part of this equation too!
Tying up a loose ends from last week, when I mentioned color
progression. Here's the short version: the lower the angle of
the sun, such as dawn's breaking light,....the darker the
color. When the sun was at high-noon, lighter colored lures
were employed. This worked like a charm "back in the
day," like in 1989 and 1990 during the summer King Salmon
Season on Lake Huron in ultra, gin-clear waters. After
running several weeks of consecutive charter trips, you'd see
exactly what time a
certain color would stop working, and when next color in line would
All in all, this is useless knowledge for
me now, as a sound meat program has made has made playing tricks
like this obsolete. Meat
is a lot more forgiving when it come to colors. This summer, I
had more people visit my shop than you could shake a fishin' rod
at,....and they all had their own pet colors of my products.
Colors/patterns they mentioned were diverse and across the board, limit
after limit was still the outcome!
When calm seas permit, the fishing off the Port of Manistee, MI
remains rock solid. Fairly quick limit catches are still being
reported with good-sized juvenile Salmon and some adults Kings still
Dyed in the wool Lake Michigan
trollers know, from now, thru October offers some of the very finest
fishing of the season. The crowds have went home, so you'll
have the pond mostly to yourself. By the end of this month,
Steelhead will take center stage, with that season peaking the
second week of October on the big lake.
Big Manistee has been jam packed with
river fishermen on the weekends seeking adult river-run King Salmon.
According to Lew T. in Benzie County, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife
Service was treating the Betsie River for Lampreys and many nesting
adult Kings were killed. While I sympathize for the Frankfort
fishermen, letting the lampreys live, or killing Salmon is like being
between a rock and a hard place. Neither choice is good.
The above news took president over the planned
update on color progression specifically tuned to the time of day.
This subject will appeal to those using artificial lures, more than meat
users, but never the less, it's a reel-fact in need of sharing.
Gonna take the weekend off, regular
updates will resume this coming Monday.
Continuing yesterday's thought about colors and how light is
refracted by water is one helluva daunting subject, as far as explaining
something that has no firm explanation. Case in point: the myth
about fish not seeing red? .....red is the first color to disappear?
.......red looks black to fish? Click
for Clear Red
Well, who ever perpetrated this crock of
BS, didn't have a clue! Red is by far, my number one selling color
in meat rigs, especially from May thru July.
Now, trying to apply logic to
colors/patterns we use.....ain't gonna work! There is not one bait
fish that is yellow/green that lives in our Great Lakes, but my X-Glow
Yellowtail pattern is another leader in sales. Tomorrow's update?
Today's feature photo is of light being refracted thru a window
on my old, soon to be replace wood burning stove. Upon seeing
the distinct bands of red, green and blue, I captured phenomenon on
camera with no artificial lights, or lighting.
Water does the same thing, depending on the
angle of the sun, as light penetrates the surface. Red, green
and blue are the colors we can see, along with shades of black and
white. Fish on the other hand see things far differently in a
mystery that will never be fully understood, although the less enlightened
claim otherwise. In all cases, claims as to invisible, or what
fish can, or can not see is...total conjecture!
The why and wherefore of fish hitting
certain colors, certain depths and what hues/colors appeals during
the course of a full season? I gave up a long time ago
trying to figure out colors.....explanation tomorrow.....
Click for prism effect
Season 2007 for adult Kings is just about over. While there
still be a few stragglers still on the way, as majority of the adults
have made their way into the rivers. Ports further north, like Charlevoix
and Traverse City might have another week of two left before the sin
sets on their season too.
2006 was a better year for size, with
average weights about 2 pounds better then 2005's Kings. I'd say
numbers wise, this year will have the same catch per angler hour, as
last season's results. Look for the Salmon in 2007 to get even
bigger, if the bait fish situation stays the same and we have a normal
winter. The only thing that would prevent a size improvement is an
especially frigid winter, thusly keeping the Lk. MI waters colder longer
then normal. Click
for sun setting on 2006
There's still plenty of open water trolling
left for next year's Salmon. Surf and river fishing is heating up
and around the first of October, Steelhead will be front & center.
Fish are being caught in Manistee, but it's not the glory road
of a couple of weeks ago. North and east wind does not bode
well for Salmon angler, especially at this time of the season.
Way too much east wind in the past 3 weeks!
Almost a full moon,.....is slowing
the early morning action. Best time for the bite has been
later, more like time frames pushing mid-day. Last I heard,
the fish were still coming deep (70' to 100' down) over 150' to 200'
depths off Manistee's shelf.
Yesterday's 4 to 6 footers pretty much cancelled the open water
fishery. So, many boats opted for harbor patrol and from what
I heard, not many Kings were caught in the harbor, or in the channel
leading in to Manistee Lake.
Day before yesterday (last Friday), fishing
in Manistee was decent, with the fish coming deep, like 85 to 100
feet down on the rigger counters. Adult Kings were on the
skimpy side, and the majority of fish taken were non-adults.
Best news and a good forecast for the 2007
season is the juveniles, or next year's crop of Kings are in the 10
to 12lb. bracket, which is better sized, then the 2005 herd.
Here's probably the SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT TIP that will improve your
catch rate vs. ratio of hits. This reel-fact that CAN NEVER be
stressed enough!!!! Sharpen your hooks religiously! Have a sharpening
device within a arms reach at all times. No one can put more fish
under your boat. No one can make more fish hit, but common sense
dictates extra sticky-sharp hooks for high percentage hook-ups.
On of the biggest scam I've seen come
down the pike, is sharp "out of the package" hooks. This
melts into the mindset of hooks do not need sharpening, which is incorrect
thinking! Even if hooks are sharp "out of the package,"
hooks are not gonna stay that way long....after being buried in the jaw
bone of a good-sized 20lb. King! There hard bones in the facial
skeletal structure of Salmon to dull hooks!
Common tragic mistake: after
missing a hit/strike, the offering is shipped back in the water, without
sharpening, or seeing what's wrong with the hook? Once the bite is
missed and the failed rod is on the way back to the boat, grab your hook
file. Then closely inspect the hook for bent points, or crushed
barbs.....re-sharpening is a necessity. Making the most of your
opportunities is what catching is about!
It's gonna be fairly lumpy (2 to 4 footers) on Lake
Michigan today, with a stout 20 knot wind from the north.
Tomorrow's wind direction is "supposed" to be from the
northeast. If this holds true, cold water just outside the
pier heads should spell some pretty decent odds on scoring adult
Kings in waters less than 40' deep.
North breezes followed by any east
wind generally loads the Manistee harbor at this time of the season
with Salmon. Good luck to all today making the trek to Salmon ports
all across our Great Lakes. Often asked to me: how long will
the season on adult Kings last? Hard to nail the answer down, but
the first cold rain signals the end of the big guys, but plenty of juveniles
will be left out in the deeper waters into Dec.
Michigan's DNR has drastically cut the Coho Salmon plants.
Poor return on dollars invested was the reason given to us.
Michigan anglers are no longer catching many Coho, as Indiana &
Illinois was receiving most of the benefit from the Michigan
plants. It's too bad this happened and will effect the 2007
southern Lake Michigan Fishery in a huge way. In my opinion, it's
plain stupid why the states bordering Lk. MI haven't worked together
with uniform limits and goals that insure a good fishery for all!
over Lake Michigan should take a backseat to what's best for our
fisheries. Only time will tell, if there's enough Coho natural
reproduction to fill the void of an otherwise hatchery supported
More decent weather is predicted for Manistee, as Lake Michigan
is on it's best behavior. It's been fairly flat for about a
week now. Which, is not the norm we've come to expect.
Generally, wind and waves is a big problem with Sept. fishing.
Fishing is still respectable on Lk. MI off
Manistee and should be thru the next few weeks. There are King
Salmon migrating thru Manistee Lake into the Little & Big
Manistee Rivers. The river season on Salmon should begin to
peak about mid-Sept.
Labor Day Weekend 2006 was a good one, with light offshore winds
that meant very fishable seas. Reported depths on where the
fish were coming, are pretty much across the board. I heard
Kings were coming 15' to 135' feet down, as the temp break was up
unusually high, unlike most Labor Day Weekends. Normal for
this time of the season could mean fishing to depths exceeding 120'
plus in the rigger counters.
With the fish having a wide latitude on a
comfort zone, catches were decent for the most part. Boat
traffic, while heavy was lighter than the previous week. To
the outside, we have maybe 2 weeks left, if adult Kings are on your
menu. Then from mid-September on, the majority of the catch
taken will be sub-adult Kings to 12lbs.
Here's an eye opening account on last week's action in Manistee:
"John, We fished out of Manistee from 8/27 to 9/01.
The people talking on the radio, (some in the same location we were)
and the people we talked to said, the action had slowed down from last week.
When we asked them if they were running meat rigs?....almost everyone of them said,
no. That was all we ran day in, day out, and we could hardly
ever get four poles in the water! Click
for limit of hogs 8/31/06
We boated some where's around 90 kings, with the biggest being 24lb
12oz. after sitting in the cooler for 6 hours. We caught 4 over 20lbs. and I lost track of how many were
in the strong teens. Our best color was the Green Bubble in the BTI and the 12" three fly, with the
Green Frog BTI coming in a close second. It didn't matter how we ran them, as long as we got the depth was
close. It was almost non-stop action when we were on the
for Capt. Tom's largest King
When the east wind brought the 4 year olds in close, we gave up on trying to run anymore
than 2 rods, because we'd get ready to set the third pole ready, we'd
have a fish on.....it was insane! Can't wait for next year.
Thanks for making our trip to Manistee this year, a trip of a life time!"........Capt. Tom M.
boat name: Black Ice.
Worthy to note is: Team Black Ice, released
more fish then kept, and never exceeded daily, or possession creel
limits according to the MDNR laws.
The catching in Manistee remains excellent! I spoke with the
skippers of the "Black Ice" & "Sea Wolf."
They both reached easy 6 to 9 fish limits on Kings by about 8am
yesterday, then played catch and release to stretch out the morning.
This website is gonna be on autopilot for the
rest of the Labor Weekend and regular daily update will resume on
9/4/06, or sooner. Good luck to all and have a great holiday
weekend, as summer 2006 winds down.
Fish reports from yesterday said a few Coho in the 5 to 8 pound category
were being caught, mixed in with the Kings. Combinations of
east winds has brought the temp up pretty high the last few
days. Although, I did hear some fish were being taken deeper,
in water depths to almost 200' deep (fishing to top 50').
Here's a 8/29/06 product review of
the new Grn Bubbles introduced last week:
"John, This is the pictures of the 21b. 9oz. king that was caught by
Dr. Harbert on your new green bubble BTI combo. We couldn't keep that
meat rig in the water. We wish we would have bought more than one of
those, and will be placing an order for more of them tomorrow.
for this plus 20 pound King
Thanks again for all your help." ........from Capt. Tom M,
skipper of the "Black Ice."
Fishing along Manistee's "shelf" slowed a little, as north
winds pulled more fish into the harbor. I heard the harbor patrol
fleet was still catching at 10:30am.
Here's recent Lake Huron report with some good sized
"John, Fished St. Ignace last week and wanted to let you know that your products did very well. The hot colors were 12" crystal killer and frog meat rig, black mamba with clear red rig, BTI'S double glow red and rig, Mt. Dew and rig and last but not least blue bubble rig....... kings are going about 18 lbs. The photo attached was the first day of fishing.
Thank You," ......message board member greybeard536
Thru this coming weekend, a lot of easterly winds are
predicted. This does not bode well for the Wisconsin anglers,
as east wind just stacks up more warm water. East winds cool
the Michigan side and keep the fish up pretty high.
Cold water laying just outside
the pier heads of central to northern Lake Michigan
ports?....this draws the Kings in the harbor/rivers.
Easterly winds is kinda a mixed blessing, being good for the smaller
boat angler's harbor patrol, but it tends shorten the season on
adult Salmon for the open water fishery.
Overall, the Labor Day forecast
is fairly stable, which is good for those making the trek to your
state's Salmon hotspots. Stable weather, generally means no
big blows, meaning manageable seas for those in 18'/26' boats. Click
for 5 day forecast
Manistee: yesterday's action was excellent for most, with Kings to
25 pounds being reported and enough over 20s to keep things
interesting. Majority of the King Salmon caught were more like
10 to 15 pounders.
Fishermen doing harbor patrol off the
Manistee's pier heads, did OK, up until 9am. Best catching was
done about 3 miles out, in water depths from 55' to 200'. Some
said the best trolling direction was on a south troll along,
"the shelf." 30' to 50' down seemed to be the best
depth to key in on, although fish were caught to 85' down. Right
now, 3 fish Michigan limits on Kings are common place in my neck of
Our Great Lakes freshwater Salmon fishery has grown up and is
now pushing 40 years old. At one time we had to look to the
west coast and products associated with Pacific Ocean Salmon Fishery
to take fish. Not so, any longer!
Since 1968 (in a very
conservative estimate), I've spent some where between 2500
& 3500 days on our Great Lakes. Mostly in quest of silver
fish like Salmon. Most all of my experience learned, came thru
trial and error, as there were not many methods, or guidelines in
the early days of the late 1960s and early 1970s.
First-hand, I've witnessed what
works and what does not! Keeping with that line of thought,
today is the official debut of the Green Bubble pattern in the
12" flashers, along with the 2 and 3 fly meat rigs. Click
for Green Bubble Combo Deal The Green Bubble is currently
out-fishing the popular Blue Bubble by a 3 to 2 margin.
Knowing it's kinda late in the
season, never the less, the Green Bubble will anchor my product line
going into 2007. With the amount of traffic going in and out
of my production facility, keeping this under wraps until
"07" was gonna be an impossibility.
Click for Green Bubble BTI Click
for 3 fly Green Bubble Click
for 2 fly Green Bubble
In Manistee, rain and thunderstorms keep many dockside
from about noon thru 6pm (morning bite was decent for adults).
Good luck to everyone today.
Here's a fresh update from Frankfort's Benzie Frenzie Tournament:
"Hey John- My crew wanted to me to send you a "high five" and say "thanks" for producing a great product! The "fishergals" are super excited about their 5th place finish. I have to admit I'm quite proud too, when considering this is only
their 2nd tourney, howling winds and over all minimal rods/boat experience. By the end of the day I had them setting
their own dipseys and even "re-meating" the bait heads... all I had to do was sit back and watch them giggle! ;) I think I even caught one of them kissing the Krystal Killer
here for Cathy & Nicole's catch
Ladies tourney format requires the "fishergals' to remove rods from holder, set hooks, fight and land/net fish. They may weigh a 1 man legal michigan limit.
The women fished like the champs they are!
THANKS! WE LOVE YOUR CUT BAIT STUFF! <<< (from Cathy and Nicole)
3 kings and a Steelie totaling 55lbs. - largest king 19.2
Keep up the good work! .......Capt. Matt (EPINEPHRINE)"
The brand new Green Bubble pattern introduced yesterday was a
no-brainer to design. Combining X-Glow properties with the
very popular green bubble tape made sense. Especially, after
the success of the light blue bubble lure taped flashers and meat
rigs. The test Green Bubble (in 10" & 12"
flashers) and existing Blue Bubble models fished on 8/23/06 teamed
up to take about 20 hits in less than 2 hours of actual lines in the
for proof of the Green Bubble's effectiveness
Keeping 4 rods set,.....was almost an impossibility is another thing
worthy of mention!
What makes this even more interesting
is; we were only running 2 of models of each in a small 4 rod
spread. Our first 2 fish, doubled down on the Green Bubble
With results like this, the Green Bubble earned it's way into my
2007 product line-up.
Email me at: email@example.com
if you're interested in the new Green Bubbles.
Epic proportions of King Salmon have laid siege to central &
northern Lake Michigan ports from Ludington to Leland! Right
now, it's a war having to deal with these nasty mean critters.
Having escaped from house arrest (shop duties), I witnessed first
hand, how blazing hot the action is, yesterday morning. Stuff
like, not being able to keep 2 downriggers set, or,....if dare to
throw a diver in the mix, be forewarned, you're gonna get bit!
for our morning's starter fish
We set up slightly north of the
harbor and with a favorable wind, trolled with the seas, towards
Manistee's Orchard Beach State Park. Example: we set 2 riggers
and one diver and once the sonar read 70 feet, all hell broke loose
with our scant 3 rod spread, getting whacked in short order.
From 7:30am until 9am we under a severe Salmon assault and being
challenged to keep 1 or 2, rods in the water!
Fishing is as good as I've ever seen
it in my almost 40 year span of fishing the Great Lakes. My
product line excelled, demonstrating....just how super lethal a
simple meat program is! My most heart felt thanks to Capt.
Johnny J. for taking me aboard his boat, the "Megan
Ann." Click for
hot rigs Click
for product debut
Supplemental: Manistee catching continues to be astounding!
John J. and I couldn't get 3 rods in the water from 7:30am until
almost 9am. Yes,....it's that good! Full report tomorrow
on how our morning unfolded with John J on our AM fish quest. I took
the morning off to go fishing & you know what?.....it sure beats
Action in Manistee is a lot better than any words I can put in
describing the fast catching. Main herd of Kings are up higher
in the water column, with the best depths down, on the riggers from
30' to 50'. Tight to structure for the early bite is producing
quick 3 fish limits for the fishermen using meat,.....with
Today's featured photo is from Seneca Lake,
New York. The fish is a inland lake Rainbow Trout, and from
what limited experience I have in the area,....hard to catch.
Thanks to Capt. Ed C. for sharing his photo with us. Click
for his Rainbow
Here's what happened in Manistee last Saturday & Sunday.
Saturday was large full-grown adults from 15, to plus 20, and a few at
25 pounds. The early bite was a fire drill, with some boats
reporting 10 hits an hour, until limit catches were reached.
Sunday was another story, as it was lumpy with seas building to 5
footers. The numbers of hits per hour were approximately the same,
but the action came from sub-adult juvenile Kings from 7 to 12
pounds. I guess the biggest problem some of our message board
members had,......was trying to keep lines in the water!
My products/meat are capable of
massacring some pretty impressive numbers of Salmon. Which, brings
to the subject of tossing the little guys back, ensuring a future
fishery with larger fish. Please keep in mind, the DNR cut the
plant on Kings by 25%. This Salmon bonanza will only last as long
there is care given to this resource.
Gonna keep things on the short side until more port reports come in
from our message board members on this past weekend's outcome.
This I do know, the size factor in Frankfort/Ludington/Manistee rivals
the 2003 season with enough above 20s and some Kings are breaking 25
pounds. Healthier bait population and a 25% cut in plants
should mean some 30 pounders in 2007.
A strong northerly wind curtailed fishing in Manistee yesterday
afternoon. Blows from the north, cool the lake and offer
excellent harbor fishing in most cases. While trolling the
harbor with a pile of boats isn't fun for the boat driver, never the
less, it is highly productive on adult Kings looking to run the
Here's a report from Capt. Ed R who
fished meat during the mid-day hours last Friday: "We
got to Manistee about 10:30am, as everyone was pulling out. Lot's of
advice as to not bothering in the middle of day come back for the
evening bite. The guy pulling out beside us even offered us 2 fish,
claiming it was better than getting skunked in the middle of the
day. Wish he was there at 3:30pm when we pulled out with our
limit.....Pretty good for first time out this year considering we
fished from 11:30 am to 3:30pm had the lake basically to
Full boxes, sharp hooks, tight lines and calm seas to all
Fishing around my region is flat-out, beyond good! In my
home port of Manistee, reports from Onekama to Big Point Sable are
all excellent. Everyone, everywhere that are pulling meat are catching
The word from Ludington says, there's long
lines of boats waiting to launch even during mid-week at
5:30am. If you're determined to be on the water for the
"crack of light" first bite, plan on splashing your boat
around 4am on the weekends.
Catching remains good in neighborhood with stable weather for
the time being. There's a front predicted for this coming
weekend, which will probably come from the north, or
northwest. Winds of this nature require the ability to adjust
your tactics to keep your fish box full. Often moving either
closer to shore, or moving to deeper water will spell the difference
between success and failure.
Congrats to John S. and the entire
team that fished aboard the "Kiva" who finished 6th in
last weekend's GLPAA Frankfort contest. I just found out
yesterday, .......they were pulling my meat stuff too!
There's new stuff at the webstore located at: www.michiganangler.com
X-Glow Blue Bubbles & Green Frogs are now offered in combo
deals. X-Glow Blue Bubble 3 Fly Meat rigs can also be
purchased separately by clicking
here. There's a limit of 2 per order on the in-demand 3
Fly Blue Bubbles Meat Rigs.
Here's what a first time meat user had to
say: "John we bought one of your meat rigs for the first time , We have never used any thing like this
before , and we had a fantastic day!.....more fun on the boat, than I
can ever imagine. Thanks from all of us." Capt. Jeff
here for Capt. Jeff's King
Here's Capt. Adam's exact words from Milwaukee, WI:
"Hey Capt John, this is my summary from this weekend's Brew City
Fished straight east of the north gap in
Milwaukee. Setup in 125' trolling SE and NW between 130 and 150 fow.
15 for 20. Best rods were riggers between 100 and 135' with 125' riggers being the best......
for a terrific catch & team
225 fol out mag dipsey on 2 Mamba
BTIs, red flies and 325' regular dipsey with green BTI on 2 also took a fair
number of bites. Had ~46 degrees or so down 110....approx 50ish degrees at 95ish. 1 rainbow hit on a 5 color meat
bird and one on a 200' pound ball.
We pulled the pound ball and ran 2 dipseys, 2 riggers, left the meat
bird out for GP the rest of the day. Most all fish were between 6:30 ish and 8:00am. Had a lull for about an hour
then got our last 2 by 9:30 am. had a bunch of doubles and triples go,
so thanks to the crew everything went real efficiently.
185.10 pounds with 15 fish. 3rd place Brew City Tournament
meat continues to work well for us."...........Thanks,
There's some serious catches happening now. Lake
Michigan's central to northern ports are on fire. Here's what one of
our message board members had to say:
"John the fishing was the best I have ever seen. We had four boats and twenty people,
fishing mornings and evenings.....whenever we could get out. The 4 boat totals for the week was 185
Kings & 1 Coho. Meat ruled the game, with the largest
Kings coming 110' down over 140fow on the Black Mamba. Click
for a serious catch
Could not even find the Black Mamba in Manistee, so everyone must have been having the same
luck. Can't wait till next year to come back!
Thanks for all the info on the site."
Capt. Darren H. Darren, aka Snagglepuss
Tomorrow's update will focus recent on last weekend's tournament
Best news for my product line came from yesterday's Flint
Steelheaders contest. Message board member Brian G's 27 pounder
was the largest King weighed in. This Master Angler King was
caught with my 12" Monkey Puke flasher and Brian's homemade gold 3
Fly Meat Rig.
News from day one of the GLPAA in Frankfort, MI
is kinda sketchy. 3rd thru 11th place is only separated by 6
pounds,....talk about a tight tournament....eh?
Man, there's a whole bunch of stuff going on in my neck of the
Detroit Steelheaders are having a tourney in Ludington. Metro West
and the Flint Steelheaders are having contests in Manistee.
Frankfort is hosting the first day of the GLPAA tournament. Nice
weather and predicted calm seas for this weekend will add to the
success, along with good boxes of fish for everyone. 3 fish
Michigan limits on Kings are common place, with the August fishing about
as good, as.....it's gonna get!
Tomorrow marks the second annual GLPAA tournament in Frankfort,
MI. Last year in 2005, our message board members took 10 of
the top twenty spots. The GLPAA's format is a no-holds barred,
weight your best 6 fish event and this means a equal playing field
where trailerable boats can compete against the larger boats.
Fishing in Manistee was decent
yesterday for the ladies team aboard Roscoe's boat, "Burns
Unit." The newly introduced X-Glow 12" Green Frog
& Blue Bubble were the good guys on the divers and riggers. Click
for the hot rigs Today's featured catch was a 9am to 1pm
deal over deeper water, with the fish coming from 100' to 160' down
on the riggers, over 250' to 450' feet of water. Click
for 8/10/06 catch photo
On the drawing board there's a proposed ethanol plant in the
works for Filer City, MI. Filer City hugs the shoreline of
Manistee Lake on the opposite side of where the renowned
Little Manistee River enters Manistee Lake. The Little
Manistee is the major egg taking station for our Michigan King
(Chinook) Salmon, along with Steelhead.
Filer City is already treated like a
red-headed, bastard step-child in Manistee County, with an
electrical power generating plant that burns refuse, like old
Plus, there's sour gas wells in the
area that give you an instant headache when the wind is in the right
direction. Back in the 60s and 70s this part of Manistee Lake
was known, as the "stink hole" from smelly air pollution
from a major pulp factory, manufacturing cardboard for boxes.
hope, there's three sets of redundant safe guards in place to
protect our Michigan Salmon fishery, which depends heavily on the
Little Manistee River egg take, if this ethanol plant goes
through. Tomorrow's update: Frankfort MI GLPAA tourney
Today's featured photos show a good 29 pound King caught in a recent
Lake Ontario tournament. The big King photo is courtesy of message
board Mike M. Mike's a huge asset to our board and probably the
best cross platform fisherman I know. Muskies on Lake St. Clair,
or Sturgeon in the St. Clair River pose no problem for this well
accomplished angler. Click
for Mike's 29 pound King
Our second photo is about angler ingenuity
and shows how another message board members stows his selections of
flashers/meat rigs in a Rubber Maid tub. What makes this unique,
is there's a black light affixed to the lid to charge up the glow for
the early morning bite. My line of X-Glow flashers charge up
quicker with UV black light.
Click for black light
& container My thanks to No Fish Nick for the picture
Here's some info you might find useful and it all ties
together. The moon is in
Waxing Gibbous, mean 98% of the moon is illuminated. When, it's
a clear evening, light penetration from a full moon (almost) can
slow the morning bite, with many saying, the fish can feed during the
night. Then, factor in,.....the fish are coming deep, like 100
to 120 feet down, so the first light bite hasn't been all that
hot. It seems like the fish turn on after 8am and the action
continues into later morning for those towing meat.
Manistee's Sue Lee Charters had a box of 12
Kings consisting of one ten pounder, and the rest of the catch went
from 16 to almost 24 pounds. The skipper of the Sue Lee, Capt.
Tom Rasmussen (who keeps meticulous records) said, "the overall
weight of my catch was over 220 pounds in the 12 Kings."
Capt. Tom also relayed, "we only had taken one fish, until
8:45am when the bite really turned on."
Gonna let the dust settle from last weekend's action and then
give you the rundown. Until then, here's a heck of a report
from Michigan City, IN:
"John, This is a picture of the fish we caught in the tournament on
8/5/06. They were good for 4th place and were all caught on
meat! We end up 15 for 17 and the two lost were in the strong teens.
Our biggest fish was 17lb 8oz, also it was the biggest fish caught that day.
for a reel-meat catch photo from Indiana
We were running 7 BTIs/meat rigs for a very brief time
with 4 on the down riggers 2 on dipseys and one on 10 colors of
lead, but after the first fish was reeled in on the lead core it was put away,
cause it was hard enough to keep 4 poles in the water. We'll be up
in Manistee on the 8-27, see you then." ........Capt. Tom
So far, August 2006 is on a record pace with better sized Kings and
in good numbers. Manistee is going full bore with limits being
common place on Salmon. Look for catch rates to build thru Labor
Day and remain strong thru 9/10/06.
Be prepared to fish depths to and exceeding 100
feet if you plan on fishing Ludington, or Manistee......everything I've
heard is the fish are still coming deep. During weekend traffic,
look to outside the main pack intent on working the structure of
Manistee's drop-off, or "shelf" as it better known. The
shelf is about 3 miles straight out of Manistee. In some places
deep water (100' to 200') is about 2 miles from the beach. 4 miles
straight out of Manistee will put you in about 350' feet as far a depth
goes, so no costly long boat runs to get to the fish.
Yesterday, Leland's Capt. Jim Munoz boxed 17 fish, a few day ago
Capt. Mark Dilts took 24 fish in Frankfort. Manistee's Capt. Tom
Rasmussen landed 9 super-sized Kings on a 3 person charter and they
couldn't close the lid of 120 quart fish box.
What did these 3 charter skippers all have in
common? .....they were all pulling my products in one way, shape, or
form,.....no brag, just fact!
Heard the 14s to the 16s (straight out of Manistee) was good a
day or two ago, but that's about all I have for info from my home
town. Keeping product built
and shipping in a timely manner is my main focus now. I do
know Glen Arbor and Leland are red hot for big fish along with most
other Lake Michigan ports.
In continuing the subject about deep fishing featured in yesterday's
update, even factoring cable sway/blow back 330 foot on a downrigger
counter would still equate to plus 280 actual feet down. From what
little information I've been able to dig up from scuba divers that dive
the Great Lakes, summertime visibility is like about 3' feet with
natural light at a 100 feet down. Early springtime visibility is
somewhat better, cuz there's not as much plankton growing to filter out
This is a clue that fish do not see, as we do,
and their vision has it's own set of rules that remain a mystery to
us. This I can say, getting back to the deep fish, the smell of
reel-food being pulled thru the water (herring), in all likelihood
enhances the chances of getting a salmon to strike. Sight, sound
and scent is the reel-deal!
Yesterday's thunderstorms have knocked
out on phones again, but I can be contacted by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
for the time being.
Today's update is beyond interesting and shows new frontiers on
our Great Lakes have been conquered. Wisconsin fishermen face
different challenges with their fishery and have adapted new methods
we ALL can become skilled at.
Capt. Dick P has been kind enough to share
his experiences in taking deep Salmon that were once thought of as
uncatchable. If you're up to learning about how Salmon can be
caught with 330 feet of wire off the riggers, click
here for more info!
If you're a Lake Michigan Salmon fisherman?..... you gotta be in
hog heaven as far as the catching goes. Central Lk. MI ports
on the Michigan side are doing phenomenal from Muskegon to Leland
with a good portion of the Kings in the high teens to the low 20
pound range. This is a welcomed improvement over last season.
I have a report from Algoma, WI that should
rock your world on how deep you can catch Kings. Message board
member Dickie P wrote a heck of an account of taking fish at and
below 300 feet on the riggers, while the majority of the fleet kinda
struggled and never matched his numbers. Dick's information
deserves it's own page which will be featured in tomorrow's update.
The large schools 2 to 4 inch alewives we had just a couple of
months ago have grown into fat healthy bait of 5 to 6 inches. In
turn, better sized bait, means better sized predator fish, like Trout
From Muskegon northward, all ports are
experiencing good fishing, larger Kings and a better overall fishery,
when compared to this time last year.
Today marks the introduction of the new
12" Reel Flashers in X-Glow Blue Bubble and Green Frog. The
Green Frog pattern has blossomed into my best selling 10" BTI and
demand called from it to be made in the 12 inch size too. Glow
stuff is, especially effective on August's adult Kings. These new
12 inch flashers will be a wise addition to your arsenal of Salmon
weapons and help target those fish below 100'.
Incidentally, this hot spell has driven fish
deeper in most ports, with the norm reported from yesterday being 120'
down off the big point in Ludington.
From what little I did hear from Manistee anglers today,
anything close to port was pretty beat up by the tourney
fishermen. While everyone I spoke with caught, many reported
in with their action coming deep, like 110' to 180' down.
Last night in closing the my shop, I
snapped a photo of the yet to be announced new flashers to be
introduced tomorrow. You can plainly see the power of the
X-Glow in an un-retouched photo. Click
here to see the new stuff glowing
With August knocking on the door, the
glow stuff will soon come into it's own. Adult Kings seem to
go with the glow, whether early, late......or mid-day.
Heavy duty production schedule for today and tomorrow means I'll
have to skip today's update, but not entirely. Fishing in
Manistee remained good close to port as of yesterday.
Fishing is decent in Manistee straight out and slightly to the
south has produced limit catches of Kings for the sports
fleet. The early bite is slow, but the action remains steady
throughout the morning. Look for this to change as heavy tournament
pressure takes is toll on the close to home,.....easy fish.
Today's featured photo is from Lake Vänern in
Sweden. This lake is the third largest lake in Europe and
hosts a variety of fish species. The whopper Brown was taken
with my deadly 12" Black Mamba flasher and meat on 7/26/06. Lars from Sweden sent
10500 grams for weight, equaling 23.1 lbs. Click
for Swedish Brown
This coming weekend Manistee hosts the Budweiser Tournament,
hosted by Fred MacDonald. Fred's brought a semblance of order
to most all fishing events held in Michigan with continuity of rules
and numbers of fish allowed to be weighed in.
Haven't heard much on how the
Manistee sports fleet is doing for a day or two, but the last word
was fairly decent. The last week of July and the first 10 days
of August is always good for big Kings. In fact, when I was in
the charter business, most over 30 pounders were taken in this time
frame. Bigger numbers towards the end of Aug/Labor Day time
frame, but not size is another reel-fact you might find interesting.
Think they don't have some serious Kings, or Chinook Salmon in
the landlocked State of South Dakota? Guess again my fellow
angler, cuz today's featured photo shows a good double digit King
caught from Lake Oahe, SD! This is another example of what works in
our Great Lakes can be easily transposed to other areas and
countries like Sweden. Click
for a recently caught South Dakota King
Yes, there is an universal appeal to
the meat fishin' products I offer. Biggest difference between
myself and my competition? I've spent almost 40 years on the
Great Lakes and 21 seasons as a full time, year-around guide and
So, I didn't fall off the turnip truck last night to become a tackle
Yes, I know thrill of victory, and
sometimes....the agony of defeat in more years of Salmon wars than I
care to remember. In 2003, there was JUST ME pulling meat in
Manistee. Fast forward 3 years and the meat program is becoming
widely accepted in ports like Manistee, Ludington, Frankfort,
Algoma, Sheboygan, Milwaukee, Kewaunee, Waukegan, Michigan City, St.
Joe, Grand Haven, Muskegon, South Haven, Pentwater, Leland, Charlevoix
and all points across our Great Lakes. Why?.....cuz it works!
Lake Michigan is prime time for Kings. Isn't this what
you've been waiting for all season? Leland to St. Joe in
Michigan and Algoma to Sheboygan in Wisconsin have all reported in
with excellent catches of Kings to......and plus 25 pounds.
Last weekend, the biggest King was 26 plus
in the highly attended Ludington Offshore tourney and this was on
certified scales. While this 26 pounder taken in 2006, it's
still a pound, or two shy of the big King in this event in 2004,
which was 28 pounds, and shows we're headed in the right
direction. With the continuing rebound of our bait fish
population, I think we all know 07 season's fish should be even
Let's close out today's update with a quote
from Frankfort, Michigan. Here's what was said, "Here is a pic of our Sat morning
catch. Two of the kings were 20 pounders. Love the 10" BTI flashers, they have been taking most of my
Great product." Capt. Kurt K. Click
for Kurt's Team and catch photo
Today's update is courtesy of Enforcer Charters here in
Here's what Capt. Dave Deforest had to say:
"Manistee was HOT this weekend. You would think it was August. We had the pleasure of chartering for
Ray and Tammy on Sunday the 23rd. Ray is a member of the message board and veteran of Capt John's on the water seminars."
We had our limit 7:30am and while trying to pull
lines, then caught three more, including this 22 lb. King. Every meat rig was hot,
2 Fly Frog and BTI, Mean Green and King Kryptonite, to name just a
few. Predominate north winds this week, set up the break at 40 feet and fish came from 40 down to 55 down over 90 to 120 FOW...."
Capt. Dave Click
for Ray and his 22 lb. King
I haven't heard a peep about Manistee's fishing, so I'm in the
dark on how the fleet is doing. I suspect good, as there's
been plenty of fish at the big point.
Today the big deal tournament in Ludington
concludes. From what was relayed to me, there's around 275
boats competing the amateur & pro divisions. Day one
leaders in the pros is Pier Pressure and second place is Riverside,
both Manistee boats.
It's easy in my case,....to forget those newer to the sport of big
water trolling. Longevity over the past many seasons, might
cause me to overlook there's new people entering the sport of Great
Lakes fishing every year. The vernacular, or pet names of
places and lures has to sound confusing, with the less experienced
often thinking charters speak in some kind of secret undistinguishable
My answer to this is most of
the time, not, .....but unless you're familiar with the port, specific
geographical terms can sound like Greek. Major landmarks all
have nicknames like: the green, the saddle, the three sisters, the
outlet, State Park, the PCA discharge, first clay bank, the second (clay bank),
Cooper Creek, Magoon, Blood Creek, the hook, shelf, steeples-even,
the onion, Barr Lake, Guerney, three bears, the lumps, and the stick (Big Point
Sable) are all reference points to locations along Manistee's varied
shoreline from the point to Onekama.
What brought today's update to mind,
is a new big water angler named Joshua L, who has started down the
highway of Great Lakes fishing this year. He fishes from a 17 footer
and his efforts are starting to show rewards. Click
for Josh's Ludington King While the fish in our featured
photo isn't the largest King I published this year, I'm willing to
bet Josh had big fun in landing it!
The Port of Ludington, MI is showing why it's ranked at
the top of the State of Michigan's hit parade of places to
fish. I've heard stories about how good the catching is from
reliable sources, or I wouldn't believe them.
Things like a dozen fish in less than
2 hours during in off-peak periods even in the middle of the
day. Here's another good one: fishermen not being able to run
more then 2 riggers, cuz of constant non-stop action,...as the early
bite prevents getting more rods set! Click
here for a short evening Ludville catch on 7/18/06
More reel facts? On the beginning of
the Ludington tournament festivities, yesterday's winning 5 fish
catch was 93 pounds. If we re-wind back to the 2005 season, it
would have taken 6 fish to come up with this very same tonnage.
In November of 2005 one of my daily updates mentioned bigger King
look to be in store for the 2006. Well, that prognostication has
came true with Salmon in the high teens to over 20 pounds. A day
or two ago, Craig from Capt. Chucks took one that pegged the scale at 24
pounds 10 ounces. This is one helluva improvement, with the puny
year class of Kings in 2005 is taken into account.
Now, I'm gonna go out on
another limb and fast forward to the 2007 season where, with the amount
of bait we available this season, bigger and better things are in store
for us down the road. Incidentally, a plus 24 pounder is a no big
deal fish up to about the 2003 season, when in 2004 & 2005 the Kings
should have been called, pretenders to the throne.
Here's a tip that might save you
some dough: re-spool your attractor rods with 30# test to avoid
break-offs on your rigger attractor rods. 40# test makes good
diver leaders too, and saves a trip to the store to replace costly
tackle. Gear-up and go with goat rope, or get ready to hit the hip
and spend presidents might be a better way to get my point across if
you're into lines testing lighter than 25# test.
Right now, most all Lake Michigan ports in IN, IL, WI and MI
seem to be bursting at the seams with good fishing from the reports
on our message board.
Ludington is reel-hot for those pre-fishing
the upcoming tournament....there this weekend. In the amateur
division pulling the Kings is fairly simple, but finding the
"bonus" points fish like Lakers, Steelies, or Browns,
taint so easy from what I heard.
Capt. Chucks in Ludington has been
re-stocked twice since last Friday and has hanging on the racks,
what's hot in my product line. Let's hope for good weather,
decent seas and a safe contest for all tourney participants in
Fishing is flat-out good in Ludington with Kings in the 16 to 21
pound bracket for those pulling meat. Manistee is good, but not
quite as hot. Frankfort is decent, with many Steelhead being
caught, while running Salmon programs. Leland is red-hot with
charter boats producing limit catch action for their guests.
We're entering into some of the best Salmon
action of the year and things should only get better from
here. The downside is the gas thing, with marina gas in the
3.60 range for on the water fuel at the gas dock.
Here's a report from Manistee:
"Capt John, here is a picture (click
for mentioned photo) from Manistee on 7/14/06 Me and Jeff C (uncle rich) took my daughter out fishing for a night fish Friday. This fish came on the full core with the Blue Bubble glow.
My Daughter reeled this fish in on the full core all by herself. It was a
awesome day fishing when you watch your kids reel in fish like this. This fish also cost me and Jeff 15 bucks we bet my daughter she could not reel in the full core all by herself. Thanks for the great products again."
..........Capt. Mike Z. aka.....Zoobydoo
Updated the webstore page on the 2006
X-Glow 12 inch Reel Flashers where there's 8 specialty colors to
cover all light situations. Click
here X-Glow 12" flashers
Here's a report from the Offshore Challenge tourney held in Kewuanee,
"John, Fished in the Kewaunee Off Shore Challenge today. There were 49 boats
with a 6 am shot gun start ( perfect for running meat!) With calm water and
skies some came in with 0 fish ( weigh your best 10). Click
for their winning King
We finished 4th overall (10 fish) and won the heaviest salmon. Black
deep, Krystal Killer on a wire dipsey and a pearl BTI were all good.
Thanks again for a great product! And thank my lucky stars for having
30 pound test mono on ...it come in handy!".........Capt.
Steve S, Green Bay, WI
About the only thing I have for you today, which is kinda
is the evening bite is out pacing the morning's action. There's
been a lot of moon
showing and many suspect the fish tend to put on a heavy feed during the
The moon is in waning globis now and there'll be less moon showing until
we get the
August's full moon. I've caught plenty of fish in pitch black
conditions, so I know for a reel-fact they do eat at night.
I was furloughed from the shop and manufacturing duties to go
wet a line last evening with John J (Kingfish Products right-hand
man). We had lines in the water from about 5:30pm, until we
pulled rods at 8:45pm.
Here's the reel story; missed our first 3
pokes on the divers equipped with Green Frog BTI combos. Then,
the next 6 Kings stuck, with the best being the Black Mamba Glow
12" Reel Flasher/Clear Red fished 70 to 80 feet down over 180
to 220 feet of water. New prototype test version Pearl
Squirrel 2 Fly Meat Rig/Pearl Squirrel BTI showed promise on a full
core, taking 2 of our 6 Kings. Click
for John J's 35" King
Highlight of the evening (our last fish)
was a plus 20 pounder that John J and I tag teamed, cuz it was a
tricky critter that swam catawampus into one of our core rods.
Meaning we had to do some quick untangling to bring this good-sized
Tuna to the net.
6 Kings is no big deal, but in flat calm
tabletop slick water for me,... it is! I always struggle to
catch when there's not any hint of a breeze and the Lk. MI is flat.
My most sincere thanks to the skipper
of the "Megan Ann" who gave me a super evening away from
the toil of shop duties. It was big fun! Click
for 7/13/06 hot rigs
What little I've heard about Manistee's fishery sounded
decent. One of our message board members is camping at my
place, so I should have a trustworthy update soon. Predicted
hot weather means the fish will soon be going deep from southerly
wind patterns. Use 12 pound cannon balls when going deeper
Wanted to get out yesterday
afternoon for a peaceful evening afloat on the big pond.
Wanting, and doing are two different things,.... as filling fairly
large store orders for Capt. Chucks in Ludington, MI and Mik Lurch
Tackle Outlet in Hammond, IN took up a lot of my time and kept me
The 2006 saga of the adult Kings is growing with fish past 20
pounds and to 24 coming from Ludington. All be it may, it's
still a hit and miss situation as far as consistent results go, our
fishery are much larger fish then 2005. 2007 should be
even better, with the overabundance of small, baby Lk. MI
alewives this year.
If anyone is in wonderment of how
Great Lakes cold water species like Salmon and Trout grow so
here for an post mortem photo of stomach contents.
Hope to get out on Lk. Michigan soon
to do some testing with the newer flashers/meat rigs, recently
introduced. Prototype work on new test bed products for 2007
is in the works too!
Here's last weekend's condensed fishing report from Manistee.
Those that got an early start were on there way to building some pretty
decent boxes of fish. Then the wind came up and 5 to 6 footers
ceased even trying to fish. My experience with big seas
says you're gonna lose a lot of fish, due to wave surges erratically
shoving on the boat. Controlling trolling speed is next to
I have a new retail outlet for my
line of "meat fishin' products" in Jenison, MI. The
Outdoorsman Pro Shop has my BTIs and 12" flashers in stock.
Please patronize tackle local stores like this that offer personalized
service and care about you catching fish! Here's link to their
It's no secret the big tackle outlets are
hurting the smaller stores in some areas, like with reels and
electronics. However, mega chains do not carry specialty port
tackle. Our Great Lakes Tackle Industry was built by mom and pop
operations that existed well before Bass Pro, Cabelas and Gander
Mountain ever came into the picture!
At 7:30pm last evening I spoke with the DNR census taker at
Manistee's First St. Public Launch. She reported not many were
fishing (thunderstorms) and the catches ranged from 2 to 5 fish per
boat. So, I'm gonna let the dust settle and boil down the
weekend reports from our message board members for tomorrow's
This I do know, at Grand Haven
(click see photo)
on this past Saturday evening (7/8/06) the new X-Glow Blue Bubble
Mag Meat Heads did-in a dozen of Kings in only 3 hours of fishing.
Examine the photo closely and you'll see the new lethal meat head!
From those I know in the charter business, this season will not
go down as a banner year for most charter operators. Charters
are stuck between a rock and a hard place as boat size continues to
grow from a fleet of boats under 30 feet, to even larger
vessels. A 30 foot boat might get a mile a gallon at cruise
speed, if they're lucky. Many nowadays get a 1/2 mile per
gallon (marina priced @ 3.50 a gal.).
When I started in the
charter business in 1983 the going rate was $180.00 for a 1/2 day minimum
for a party of 1 to 4 persons. Gas was about .77 cents a
gallon (marina price) back then. Gas has since went up 4
times, hence a charter, if keeping the rate vs. gas ratio issue in
hand, should cost 4 x $180.00 equaling 720 bucks for a half day 6
hour trip. Most charter operators in Manistee are under-priced
at $400.00 for a 1/2 day deal and that should explain why I'm no
longer in the charter business.
Hire a boat in Alaska, or any
ocean type charter and you'll see a wide pricing
disparity between Great Lakes operations. Things like free
fishing cleaning, as most all Michigan Salmon charters do is unheard of
when you move to salt water.
of the story? A Great Lakes charter is a bargain if you look
at the big picture. Be sure to tip the captain/crew a few
extra bucks, so they can drive to the poor house instead of being
forced to thumb a ride.
The word from Ludington is the fishing improved, when compared to
last weekend. Same goes for Manistee and that's about all I
have for you today in the line of current info for the time being.
If the schedule allows, next week, I'm going to
try to get away from the shop for an afternoon on Lake Michigan to
maintain any semblance of sanity. Fishing to me is an all encompassing
sport where my mind (or what's left of it) does not wander to
work issues. Fish is the focus, plain and simple and what a
wonderful way to escape from the world for at least a few hours!
303 feet down is the new record for the deepest fish with my
products. Capt. Dick P from Algoma, WI set this record during
the 4th of July weekend. I do know they were using 16 pound
cannonballs to reach this undiscovered territory. Even if you
factor in cable sway, this fish was a good solid, plus 250 feet
Capt. Steve S who fishes the waters off
Kewaunee, WI sent in a dandy photo of a 18 pounder. This fish is
already starting to get the brown tinge our Great Lakes Kings get
when they start turning into full fledged adults. Click
for Bill's WI 18 pounder
Weekend fishing forecast in
Manistee looks to be mediocre, but the anglers who fished yesterday
(7/6/06) seemed to do a little better then those that fished this
past weekend. Roger City is showing sporadic signs of well fed
Kings to plus 10 pounds as northern Lake Huron is making a gradual
Every now and then you run into a story that absolutely needs to
Last week, Kurt K and his son Kyle stopped
by my place to pick up some products to fish meat, along with a few
general tips. Click
for an awesome catch photo
Well, on 7/2/06 this father-son trio got
into, from what I seen, the best catch from last weekend. Now,
to make this story even better Kurt's two sons did double duty
crewing & put a nasty spanking on the Kings during the evening
I highly doubt if any charters in Frankfort
did as well on their afternoon trips, as Kurt and his 2 sons
did! Better yet? considering the boys handled the rods and
helped out is the reel-fact; this was only the second time they ever
stuck meat in the water!
To further clarify, there was only Kurt and his
two sons aboard! With Kyle being 11 and Evan at 6 years, I'd
say this young budding team out-fished many of the big guys, out
that afternoon. Their biggest King was 22lbs. A
reel-good fish for this season!
Trying to catch up on the backlog of orders from the long
weekend, means time is at a premium. I updated the Boaters
Guide Page (click) with a couple of new boats, including an
older sweetheart of a Sea Ray, priced right. I even considered
this hardtop myself, but lack of time to use it.....changed my mind.
The BTI Report Card
Page (click) has recent comments from those using my
stuff. Michigan City, Indiana's Capt. Andy S. has been putting
a wax job on the fish for the last 2 weeks & new meat user,
Capt. Kurt K from Frankfort, MI had good things to say.
Fishing story from Manistee for the most part, isn't all that
hot. While "some" did OK, the majority of the sports
fleet struggled. One well-known fisherman I know, known for
catching good numbers, said to me, "it's ugly out
there!" His statement came about after taken nary a bite
after 8 hours of plowing the waters from straight out of Manistee to
Big Point Sable. Manistee's better results came from the
north, up towards Onekama. Word from Ludington was
"slow" from a couple of fishermen I spoke with yesterday.
Message board member, Mike Z....aka Zooby Doo spanked the fish
off Manistee 7/1/06. His box was in double figures and had 4
Kings over 15 pounds.
Michigan City, IN is wrecking carnage upon
Southern Lake Michigan's fish population. A mixed bag fishery
with Kings, Coho and Steelhead is the deal there.
Limit catches seem to be the norm from this port at the present
time. Both of today's feature photos: Andy's
triple header and brag
board catch are from this area.
Presently?.....I can only reminisce
about the big fun in puttin' a hurtin' to the fish, as production's
never-ending tread mill always awaits me.......7 days a
I have a 1000% commitment to make sure
everything is in always stock and all orders are shipped the same
day, if received before 10am.
Most that fished out of Manistee yesterday dealt with lumpy seas
as the morning progressed. Many quit early, rather than
tolerate uncomfortable conditions.
What I did hear,....wasn't all that great either. Today, the
wind seems down. So, we can probably look forward to a more
favorable report for tomorrow's update.
Delivered another order of BTIs and 2
Fly Rigs to Capt. Chucks in Ludington yesterday. Including the
in-demand X-Glows in Frog (flashers and 2 fly meat rigs) and Blue
Bubble BTIs. Re-stocked the X-Glow 12 inchers in King Kobra
and Yellowtail too.
Gas in Manistee crossed over the 3 bucks a
gallon line briefly, then fell to the $2.90 range. Tourist
traffic in Manistee was kinda light, while Ludington's was high.
Manistee's Little River Casino
hosted Showtime's "Show Box" boxing events last
night. Maybe with the world exposure Showtime TV offers, the
LRB casino will come to their senses and yank the BS nets that piss
off everyone and contribute a extreme navigational hazard to Lake
Today's update is postponed until tomorrow.
This I can share with you for now: early
word off Manistee at 9am from a boat that got a late start had only
one 14 lb. King after an hour of fishing.