January, February & March 2007

2.21.07_Port_of_Michigan_City.JPG (38286 bytes)
MI. City, IN

Super_Mag_Head_Red_Label.jpg (80289 bytes)
Super Mag Heads

Steelhead_Winter_Fish.jpg (51663 bytes)
Winter Steelhead

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

3/31/07  Starting on 4/2/07, this coming Monday UPS will be my default shipping method with products ordered from: www.michiganangler.com.  This means one day service if you live in Michigan.  I'm not sure about the upper peninsula of MI being one day, but this....will soon be found out.   UPS has a far superior tracking where you can watch the progress of your order, as it travels thru their system.
       I do not mark up shipping rates as a hidden passed down cost to you, like the mega mail order stores do.  It will cost only 8 bucks on all orders less then $125 and shipping is free once you've passed the 125 threshold.  One day service for 8 bucks is a deal for Michigan residents.  It looks look 2 days to IN, NY, IL & WI.  
       We had been using U.S. Priority Mail, but no guaranteed delivery date and problems tracing too may packages caused this shift to Brown. 

3/30/07  Had an interesting conversation to Mark C. who fishes the Indiana waters of Lake Michigan.  In a nut shell, he was do catching the larger 20 to 24 inch Cohos on clean meat rigs (no flasher), when compared to his fellow anglers using just artificial lures. He said this only works for the first few weeks, then the meat rigs with flashers taking center stage for the remainder of the season.
      Here's one even better, Mark's first introduction to my meat products is when the netted a still alive fish floating with one of my flashers and meat rig stuck in this King's jaw.  He promptly put it down on a rigger and caught two more Kings pushing 20lbs, before the meat (hand-filleted herring) was totally destroyed!

3/29/07  Project 2007 Super Magnum Meat Heads moves forward.   Here's where we stand.   Kruger Plastics in Bridgman, MI has shipped me the following colors: X-Glow, Pearl, Clear, Green and Chartreuse.  Most of a 1000 in each of the mentioned colors have been machined, inspected and readied for shipping during the last 3 days. 
      In today's featured photo, you'll notice the eye catching "edge glow" effect in the fluorescent green & chartreuse super mag heads under natural lighting.  First-class details like this separate my product line from the rest of the field! Click for this photo 
      In the photo, you can clearly see the brilliant luminosity of the natural color Pearl. 
This image says it all, about why I'm so big on this brand new color to my product line.

3/28/07  A while back, I was semi in favor of the DNR's proposed fishing license increase.  I took some heat on this issue with several emails to the contrary.
      Low and behold, now it's crunch time and you ain't gonna like what you're going to hear!!!  It seems our state's legislature cut 900k from the DNR's revenue.  New programs were the first to be axed.  So, unless something changes in a big hurry, there will be no cormorant control at Ludington's breakwall in front of the project.  
     The Ludington Charter Association worked hand in hand with the DNR to bring this control program into being.  Now it could be all for naught.
      The DNR's funds have been dipped into by our state's "general fund" in the past.  It looks like this shortfall will derail good intentions and a program that "should" have came into being.....won't.  Please with-hold all negative emails, cuz unlike the last time, I will not answer them!  Protecting our fishery does not come cheaply!!!!!!!

3/27/07  The new 2007 Super Mag Meat Head hit full stride in our production schedule yesterday.  During the course of the next week, or so.....we've got about 20,000 heads that will be drilled, inspected and finished with die cuts. 
      From what I seen yesterday, you can place all of your weight, on one heel, with hard soled shoes and not hurt these Super Mag Heads.  I knew this already about the Mag Meat Heads introduced in 2005, but wasn't sure the additional rounded front section would withstand this test of tests.  Just try that with one of my competitors heads, then decide for yourself which is best.  Click for drilling process
      In the limited contact I have with other tackle manufacturers, I hear how they're always looking to increase sales.  Where as,.... I'm always looking to make a better product, figuring the cream always rises to the top.

3/26/07  Today marks another milestone in my tackle manufacturing business when the first shipment of the new 2007 Super Mag Meat Heads arrived via UPS.  Capt. Kirk, my UPS driver came thru and promptly delivered the first load around 1:30pm this afternoon.  We're now busy machining the heads and will be well into next week.
It's taken about 7 months from inception to conception, as a new weapon has been born for your Great Lakes arsenal.  Click for 1st shipment of heads  
    Had a couple of semi young tom (or jakes) turkeys pay me a visit too.  These are some of the first turkeys I've seen on my property this year.  So, today marked a couple of firsts!    Click for turkeys on 3/26/07

3/25/07  Today's a good day to put this website on autopilot.  May I suggest the vast knowledge bank at our tips and tricks section?  Click for more info

3/24/07  The hot new pearl BTI Flashers are on sale at the webstore.  Pearl is a lethal selection that mixes well in a sound,.... season-long program.  While, the brighter "bozo" colors (fluorescents) tend to produce better in the early part of the season and glow stuff in August.  Click for sale priced BTIs
      Do not under estimate the power of Mother Nature's genuine, true presentation and that's exactly what pearl is!  I delayed the introduction of this color, preferring to stay away from a plain cheapie white colorant, until I could afford the good stuff.  
      To the best of my knowledge, there is no injection molded flasher (other than mine) that went the more expensive route of pearl.  The sale I mentioned earlier will save you 4 bucks per set of pearl BTIs.  This offering will only last thru 3/31/07.  
You can take this to the bank, pearl will be a top 5,... best selling color in 2007! 

Here's an interesting fact, that needs sharing with you.  There will be 200 cormorants shot and 500 nests where the eggs will be oiled (to prevent hatching) on the breakwall for Ludington's Pumped Storage Facility, or known locally as the "project."  Oiling the eggs in cormorant colonies works better then simply destroying and disturbing nests, where re-nesting could occur.  
      There's a proven direct link between high cormorants densities and decreasing fish populations.  It's good to know, something is finally being done to control the damage by these voracious fish predators!

3/22/07  Flint Steelheaders Talk:  Here's a link to download the Power Point slides I used for last evening's Flint presentation.  You MUST have a Microsoft's Power Point, Power Point Viewer, or Corel's WordPerfect Office to view these images.  This is a 3.5 meg download and not recommended for dialup users.  Click to download 
      A very special thank you to our message board members that attended this event and especially, to "Roscoe" for his help in setting up and running the projector.

3/21/07  Here's some fairly fresh news (last weekend) on the early season action in extreme southern Lk. Michigan.  Good numbers of small coho (under 14 inches for the most part) being caught along with a few Brown Trout out of Michigan City, IN.  Those fishing out Pastrick Marina in East Chicago, IN are seeing better sized Coho and few Browns from 5 to 10lbs.  This information was gleaned from trusted sources off our Port Reports section on our private message board.  
     Off to Flint early this morning for the Steelheaders meeting scheduled for 7pm this evening.  Hope to see some of your friendly faces at Wallis East tonight.  I haven't settled on a title of my presentation, but it will be directed at underwater structure, current flow patterns, & how to make your days afloat a little easier if you fish out of the ports of Manistee, or Ludington, MI.  Basically the stuff I learned from 1992-2003.

3/20/07  Spring is finally here today at 8pm, but you'd never know it...if you lived in Manistee, MI.  We awoke to a good 3 inches of wet heavy snow yesterday morning.
      Today's featured photo is a close-up of good size (22#+) Brown Trout.  All male Browns will develop a "kipe," or a pronounced hooked-jaw once they get over 10 lbs.  I've seen this same feature, but in a lot smaller version on female Browns over 15 lbs.  This hooked jaw features a socket at the top of the snout. Click for a Brown's Kipe
Total accumulated snowfall for my place in Manistee since Oct 2006 is 136 inches

3/19/07 Spring 2007 officially begins tomorrow.  The season change ushers in the normal questions about fishing.  Like, will the action be as good as last years?  Will the Kings be larger?  Is our bait fish population in good shape? 
     As 2007 season unfolds, the above mentioned questions be answered over the course of the next 6 months.  Simply put, "only time,.... will tell!"
      I'll be putting the finishing touches on my Power Point Presentation for the upcoming do for the Flint River Valley Steelheaders later today.
Spring begins on 3/21/07!

3/18/07  Spring starts in a just few days!  Today's update shows a plus 22 lb. Brown Trout recently caught in Indiana.  Brown like this used to be semi-commonplace in Manistee thru the 1990s in about 2002.  Then the bottom dropped out on Manistee's once world class April Brown Trout Fishery.  Click for IN Brown Trout taken on 3/2/07
      In fact, Michigan's entire fishery for Browns is on hard times!  From April thru Oct. 2006, according to the 2006 Lk. MI charter boat catch report data there were only about 450 Brown caught by the charter fleet in the afore mentioned time span.  Keep in mind, this is all the charters from Michigan City up to and past Charlevoix MI.  Pretty slim pickins nowadays if you're a early season MI Brown Trout aficionado....eh?

3/17/06  Today's update is directed towards comparison issues with the 2007 Super Mag Meat Head I manufacture and the big differences with my competition's product. The thickness of their head for whole bait is 0.044 with an overall length of 2.425.  Competition's deck height of rear line holder is 0.146  Click for comparison photo
     The thickness of my heads is 0.54 (.010" thicker, or 20% more structural integrity) Overall length of 2.526 and deck height of rear line holder 0.186 (.040 thicker).
     One other thing needs to be mentioned.  The quality of the material used in the actual injection molding  process.  I suspect the competition uses a cheapie plastic, like Polypropylene, or Polystyrene.  Then there's the higher priced, stronger material I use.  It's the same stuff in bullet proof security windows (like at banks), jet fighter canopies, safety helmets, medical instruments, CD/DVDs, eyeglasses....etc.  
  Total accumulated snowfall for my place in Manistee since Oct 2006 is 133 inches

3/16/07  Next Wednesday, March 21st, 2007 I've been invited to speak at the Flint Steelheaders monthly meeting.  This meeting is entirely open to the public, so being a member is not a prerequisite to attend.  If my memory serves me correctly, this meeting is upstairs at Wallis East on Pierson Rd in Flint, MI. This will be confirmed soon.
      Preparing a slide show for this event, I ran across a interesting photo of the glacial movements over our Great Lakes.  Much to my surprise, according to those who know a heck of a lot more than I do, present day Lake Michigan is only about 4,000 years old.  Another interesting factoid is Lake Erie used to drain into Lake Michigan via cross country thru mid-Michigan.  Click for a glacier photo explanation

3/15/07  Today's update is gonna be right to the point.  If a half a bait fish, herring, or a strip is good?  Wouldn't a whole herring with both sides on the bait work better?  Simple, deductive reasoning says....YES!  Enhanced presentation and more options is what the 2007 Super Mag Meat Heads are about. Click for reel-proof on 8/23/06  

3/14/07  Received the first test run Super Magnum Meat Heads (for whole herring) yesterday from Kruger Plastics in Bridgeman, MI.  Test runs are for cycle (how may parts per minute) and to see if the heads eject OK from the tool.  Then the final lens quality polish is put on and we're ready to make finished parts/meat heads.
      This is another major milestone with my manufacturing business, because it adds choices.  Whole herring requires no prior preparation like brining and can be used right from the package.  These new heads eliminate a choke point with my product line.  No longer are we at the mercy of the companies that make strips at a buck a pop.  Also, whole herring offers a more natural lifelike presentation and is a lot easier to come by.  
     Here's something that needs to be mentioned, a properly rigged whole herring spins better at slower speeds.  This is especially important for the deep, colder water more negative to neutral non-aggressive fish that won't run a bait down.
   Total accumulated snowfall for my place in Manistee since Oct 2006 is 133 inches

3/13/07  To take yesterday's update a step further, Manistee's inshore waters (50' to 180') can get locked in with all warm water from mid-August thru the weekend past Labor Day.  This is when Lake Michigan is at is warmest all season.  Going deep could save your day on the water by adding fish, otherwise not caught!
50 degrees today for Manistee is long awaited welcome news.  Spring is in the air for the time being, but I don't trust Mr. Winter to totally give up yet.
     We've had 133 inches at my place and this is an extremely conservative estimate.  I'd rank the snowfall total as medium, having seen far worse winters in Manistee.

3/12/07  With the advent of the big lake season not all that far away, let's look towards the future 2007 season.  It's in your best interest to know how to fish in various conditions and being prepared for what's thrown at you during the course of seasonal changes.  There's a new enlightening article covering deep, deep fishing and the ability to regularly take fish at depths exceeding 250 feet down!
      Who wants to fish this deep?  The simple answer is nobody, but hauling up fish from the depths is a lot better than going back to the dock with your tail between your legs.  Many thanks to our message board member, "Dickie P" and the all crews that fish in Algoma, WI for knowing no boundaries by staying open minded and flexible.
      Here's the link to the new article named the
The Deep Bite of which we all can learn from.  Thanks again to "Dickie P" for a darn good read!

3/11/07  Fairly mild weather continues in Manistee County.  Daytime temps in the 40s and predicted to reach almost 50 degrees next week.  This warm spell will help the river fishermen chasing Steelhead.  Run off and warming water will speed things up.
     New article on catching fish from 250' to 300' down will debut tomorrow.  Before this piece gets posted, I need to thank message board member, "Dickie P" for the work he devoted to the often neglected/unexplored territory of deep fishing!
Total accumulated snowfall for my place in Manistee since Oct 2006 is 133 inches  

3/10/07  Biggest news today?  Setting your clock ahead one hour as daylight savings time begins tonight.  The official start of spring is only 10 day away too!
     Introduced a middle color between the highly popular green and blue bubbles.  The Pink Bubble BTI and matching 2 Fly Meat Rig was in the secret developmental stage last August and this pattern showed enough promise to earn a spot on the roster of products for 2007.  Click for Pink Bubble BTI   Click for Pink Bubble 2 Fly Meat Rig

3/9/07  Finally caught back up with all orders and office duties yesterday, after being gone for 4 days last week.  Even managed to get my 2007 personal and business tax forms filed.  Glad this time consuming stuff is behind me!
     On 3/21/07 I've been invited to speak at Flint Steelheaders meeting again.  In getting prepared for responsibility, I requested some timely data from the DNR's Mr. Tom Rozich.  I need to thank Tom for sending me the 2006 charter boat reports on catch data, which will be part of an entirely new presentation specially prepared for my Flint speaking deal.  I was last there in 2005 and consider it an honor to be invited back.  My slide show will not be an infomercial for a hard product push, but rather useful knowledge in answering the age old question of, "how do I find the fish?"
This Flint Steelheaders meeting is open to the public and is free to attend.  More info on time (7pm) and location in a future update.

3/8/07  The BTI best sellers at last weekend's fishing show were: 1. Blue Bubble, 2. Green Bubble, 3. Green Frog, 4. Black Mamba.  The top four finished in virtually a dead heat, with only a 6 count separating this group.  The big surprise was number 5, which turned out to be the 2007 BTI Pearl Squirrel.  Click for the squirrel
      It seems I'm not the only one that recognizes nature's color pearl is superior to plain white.  To compliment the BTI Pearl Squirrel BTI, there's now a 2 Fly Meat Rig in the same pattern, which will be available soon at: www.michiganangler.com
Total accumulated snowfall for my place in Manistee Co. since Oct 2006 is 133 inches  

3/7/07  If the old saying pertaining to March coming in like a lion, it goes out like a lamb, and visa versa, we should all be in for some good weather soon.  Upon my return from the Birch Run deal, we got over a foot of new snow in Manistee, and low temps down in the single digits!  Weather is supposed to break for the better tomorrow!
      Today's featured photo shows a fresh run Steelhead caught last Saturday by Mike Z.  This silver beauty is a sign of what's on the horizon for river fishermen, as the main run is still a ways off.  Click for a 3/3/07 sliver bullet Steelhead
      Tomorrow's update will the answer the poll question of which was the best selling flasher at the recent Steelheaders fishing show.

3/6/07  Finally got my feet back under me after the nonstop doings at the recent fishing show.  Fast spreading false rumors were rampant.  Like the Big Manistee was at flood stage and unfishable....totally untrue, as the melt has yet to happen.  Then erroneous rumors of a 34 lb. Steelhead recently caught in the Big Manistee. This would have been on the news, cuz it breaks our current state record by several pounds. 
     Here's what I did hear (that was true), Capt. Paul Vantol's presentation on likely places to do well off Ludington and avoid the hoards.  Then his explanation on the drastic water deep changes and how it effects the under currents by compression.
     Capt. Joe, skipper of Sloppy Joe" 4th place finish last summer in Ludington intrigued a lot, cuz he was only sitting on one fish at 9am.  While the "Sloppy Joe" won several tournaments, the major recovery in the Ludington tourney to 4th takes the cake!

3/5/07  Wow...the past 3 days at the Flint Steelheaders Boat, Sport & Fishing Show in Birch Run, MI went like a blur!  Full update later this morning when there's time to condense show happenings.
Total accumulated snowfall for my place in Manistee Co. since Oct 2006 is 130 inches 

3/4/07  My hat is off to the Flint Steelheaders for their 30th annual fishing show!  This entire organization has done themselves proud with the way this show is run.
     Yesterday's show was busy from the opening bell until we left last night at 9pm.  There's been pretty close to 100 message board members to attend the show and our turn out for our first seminar we about the same number. Click for seminar crowd
      We have another seminar today scheduled at 12:30pm.
3/21/07 I'll be in Flint, MI as the Flint River Valley Steelheaders featured speaker.  More on this as the date draws closer.

3/3/07  The show got off to a great start yesterday.  Met with a pile of our message board members and enjoyed every minute of it.  
    My most sincere gratitude to the excellent skippers of "Finding Nemo," "Zoobydo," "Keep em Wet," "Burns Unit," "Take Five," and "UF Gator" for their assistance with help in setting up our massive display.  They sure made the job go ......a heck of a lot easier!

3/2/07  It's showtime this afternoon.  The Flint Steelheaders Boat, Sport & Fishing Show in Birch Run, MI today when the show opens at 3pm.  The location is in the Expo Center right off I75 and the Birch run exit.  Look for the Starbucks sign and turn north into the Expo complex.
      A special thank you to the crew of Flint Steelheaders who helped in unloading our stock and display.  You will not find this kind of assistance at any other show!
Total accumulated snowfall for Manistee since October 2006 stands 124 inches

3/1/07pm  Trip to Birch Run was a test of courage in nearly white out conditions.  I'm in Birch Run now and look forward to the onset of the show!  Thanks to the higher powers this storm was today and shouldn't effect the turnout tomorrow!
3/1/07am   Leaving in the early am for Birch Run.  I am looking forward to this show in a huge way after being stuck in Manistee all winter.  Seeing and meeting with our message board members always is the high point of this downstate event.
      Our 2007 seminar team includes Joe V.G., Capt. Paul Vantol and Steve B. being the jack of all trades with tech support in running the projector.
      Look for photos of our booth display which is located in the North Hall of Birch Run's Expo Center sometime tomorrow evening, or in this coming Saturday's update

2/28/07  Proposed rate hike for Michigan fishing licenses is a tough sell in our state's capital (Lansing).  It seems not many want to push the almost 50% increase (from 27 to 40 bucks) and this might not happen.  Michigan's fishing licenses are already the most expensive in the Great Lakes states.  No matter what happens, I hope the one day fishing licenses will not go up.  The charter industry does not need this!
      Tomorrow's update will probably be skipped.  The reason is travel to Birch Run, MI.  I will update this page again on Friday evening (3/2/07) once the booth is set up.  Photos will be included of our show display of approx. 200 products.

2/27/07  There's not enough room on this page to list all the good that has been done by the Flint River Valley Steelheaders.   This brings me to the subject of their upcoming fishing show, starting this Friday afternoon.
     All monies made by this event are put back into our fishery.  You're not gouged at the door to get in, nor are the exhibitors paying a extreme high dollar for booth space.  This is due to the all-volunteer efforts by the Flint Steelheaders who put this massive undertaking together.  I truly appreciate the opportunity to be part in the 2007 Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show.
       Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 120 inches 

2/26/07  All the stock for the Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show is packed and ready to go.  Additional work on new panels for booth is completed, along with a new heading signboard.  Last year's booth needed to be expanded to make room for the BTI 10" flashers and 2 fly rigs.  My product line has increased by around 100% since 2006.
      Incidental do-dads like bullet/squid heads, hooks, bead chains, crimps, hardware etc. and seas bags will not be going.  So, order the incidental stuff off the internet.
      The first 100 message board members (in good standing) attending the Birch Run, MI show starting this coming Friday, March 3rd, 2007 will receive a free set of King Kobra, or King Krimson BTIs for showing up, with absolutely no strings attached!
Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 117 inches

2/25/07  Here's some good news for everyone!  The official beginning of spring 2007 is 3 weeks away from this coming Tuesday.  Another name used in conjunction with spring is vernal equinox, meaning there equal time of daylight and dark (12 hours).
     Today's featured photo is from message board member, "Tom" from Oswego, NY.  So, if you think we've had a bad winter in Michigan, Oswego, NY got hit by about 10 feet of snow in less than 2 weeks.  Yes, I said 10 feet!  Click for Oswego snows
        Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 still stands 111 inches

2/24/07  Worked on the show booth for the upcoming Flint Steelheads Fishing Show in Birch Run, MI to start on Mar. 2nd, 2007 all of yesterday.  Tying up loose ends well before leaving next Thursday is foremost on my "must do" list.  We will have 200 (or more) separate products dedicated to fishing meat for Salmon & Trout on display!

2/23/07  Today's update will save you over 10 bucks with no strings attached, if you're a Michigan resident.  The DNR and the Michigan Legislature hasn't worked out the proposed 2007 price hike in Michigan Fishing licenses (going from $27 to $40).  
     The 2007 DNR E-Fishing licenses for Michigan residents go on sale March 1, 2007.  If you purchase online you could save the 13 dollars by getting your license early.
     2006 was the first time I bought an online fishing license and it was pretty easy and intend on doing the same in 2007.  I did save the print-out files in case I lost the first copies I printed out.  You can print out spares to keep in your boat and on person, making sure you've got all bases covered.  Click for online licenses
     All you'll need is a drivers license and a credit card to do the online purchase.  
Important:  You must to wait until March 1,2007 for this year's online fishing license!

2/22/07  As of about noon yesterday, the lower section (M55 Bridge) of the Big Manistee River was still frozen over.  I suspect the river will open up pretty soon.  Especially, when you factor in last night's rain and temps in the high 30s.
      When the ice does finally clear, the Steelhead holding in Manistee Lake should begin migrating upstream to get ready for their spring spawning ritual.  Steelhead start nesting on gravel (called redds) in earnest when the temp is 38 degrees.  All be it may, I've caught hens with loose eggs and males dripping milt in colder waters.
      Depending on how the ice breaks up and how thick it is, watch out for the snags, stumps and trees to be moved to new places.  Thusly, making formerly clean runs into jumbled up, snaggy places to fish. 
   Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 still stands 111 inches

2/21/07  Let's talk about a subject today, I've only lightly touched on before.   That being, the color pearl.  Back in the 1920s & 1930s there was lures actually made out of pearl shells.  The name abalone sticks in my mind for some reason.  Pearl is a more natural color and closely resembles the bellies of bait fish. Click pearl stickers
       In developing my product line, I knew it wouldn't be complete until the color pearl was encompassed the into it.  While other manufacturers making flashers went down the highway of a regular basic white.  This is partly in reason: that a white colorant for injection molding is 1/3 the cost of pearl.  Last year, I introduced the Pearl Doub L Glo flashers (both 10" & 12"), meat rigs (both 2 & 3 fly) and meat heads.
       Yesterday, new product stickers arrived from WTP.  This is to dress up packaging and let everyone know it's pearl, not just plain cheapie white!!!!      
       Is this a big thing? .....to me it definitely is!  It shows, I spare no expense in building a premium product for those that demand more from their tackle.  Especially, when it's time to hit the fish cleaning tables with full boxes!

2/20/07  Pushed 40 degrees in Manistee County, MI!  This was the first time in almost 6 weeks I didn't have to go outside bundled up to withstand a polar bear attack.  All be it may, there's still 4 weeks of official winter left, there's signs on the horizon spring is definitively on the way.
      Our current poll on the predicting the best selling 10" BTI flasher at the Birch Run show does not reflect what the deal was in 2006.  The X-Glow Frog was number one and a strong second was the Black Mamba Glow.  This was brought up, cuz the last time I looked,..... the regular Black Mamba was leading a very close race.

2/19/07  Not much to report on the Steelhead in the Big Manistee River.  Much of the lower river has been frozen rock solid during the last 5 weeks with artic temps.  I did see 5 or 6 boat trailers in the High Bridge Public Access this last Saturday.
      Today's supposed to be 30 degrees in Manistee County with even warmer temperatures predicted later this week.  This looming warm front will get rid of the ice on the lower section and make river reports easier to come by.
     Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 111 inches

2/18/07  Daytona 500 today is a good enough reason for me to skip the normal, daily update routine.  Besides, a day off every now and then good for all of us!

2/17/07  Predicted high for next Thursday is supposed to be around 40 degrees.  The last time we seen temps close to the freezing mark in Manistee was January 12th, 2007.  Now, I know, 40 degrees doesn't sound like a lot, but it means a 52 degree improvement from the 12 below deal we recently endured.
      Warmer weather is good news for the deer.  I've seen this year's fawns, dreadfully skinny as of lately.  There's a hierarchy with the deer at my food pile, where the larger deer chase the smaller ones away.  If a small yearling approaches the food pile, the larger deer will raise up on it's rear haunches and paw at them with their front hoofs.  Then the little guys scurry back in the woods, waiting for the larger deer to get their fill and move off to parts unknown.  Click for food pile on 2/15/07

2/16/07  Let's end the week on a high note with next week's predicted mini thaw!  If you live in one of the Great Lakes states, we've all had enough of the deep freeze and snow.  Soon, winter-like weather this will only be a distant memory.  
       Indiana/Illinois fishermen will get the first crack at big water fishing in about 4 weeks.  It will be interesting to see what kind of early season fishing they have with Michigan not planting many Coho.  Will there be enough naturally produced Coho to pick up the slack and provide a viable early season Coho fishery?
      How will the early season play out on Kings?  Will St. Joe get "hot" for Kings before the end of April?  Only time will answer these questions as we approach the promise of the 2007 Lake Michigan season!

2/15/07  You know, sometimes the simplest of ideas get buried in the explanation, like what makes my stuff work?  Drag a flasher with light dispersion/water pressure creating sound waves, 2 or 3 flies and a chunk of actual reel-fish food, something's just gotta happen.  It's a dinner bell, appetizers, and a main course all rolled into one!
      I've featured a photo for most of this week showing the lens quality polish on a clear flasher blade.  Click for this flasher photo  Attention to details, like what was mentioned in the 2/13/07 update pales in comparison to designing the 10" BTI flashers.  This project went thru several test designs and as many trips to the lake to get this product right thru what the fish preferred.
            Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 stands 107 inches

2/14/07  One week from today, we're gonna see temps above freezing for the first time in about 6 weeks (at least).  Improving weather is just in time to heat things up for the Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show in Birch Run, MI. (Mar 2 thru 4).  Let's all hope for good weather for this event.
      Working on my Power Point presentation is in the rough note stage and needs to be organized with appropriate photos.  So, that is the immediate task at hand.

2/13/07  Making a better product?  How do you do it?  Well, I'll try to answer that important question today.  Let's start of with the bullet/squid heads I designed.
     First, the nose is designed with what's known in the shipping industry as a bulbous nose, meaning a rounded cap going into a slanted angle.  This frees up the movement with lessened water drag.  Is this a big deal designed into the bullet head? Truthfully, I don't know, but it could spell the difference on the tougher days we all have.
     Second in mind with the bullet/squid heads was to straighten out the tapered shank where the fly material goes.  Winding Mylar on the strongly tapered imported heads causes the material to bunch up in spots for less grip of the Mylar fly material. 
      Third was to leave the shank area unpolished so the material would have something to grab hold of.  Thusly, insuring a better bond thru adhesives, or pressure.
      Fourth was to design in a sloped .001 inside hole where fishing line goes thru.  This eliminates the inside hole from clogging up when it's ejected from the molding machine.  If you've ever used the Chinese jobbies be prepared to ream out the line hole with a drill, as on 10% of them,....this hole doesn't go all the way thru.  
      Fifth improvement was to make the bullet/squid heads out of a material that wouldn't melt like my Chinese counterparts do when you stick the head inside of the rubber squids we've all seen.  Click for side by side photo of the heads

2/12/07  Was gonna use what goes into making a superior product for today's info session, but I'm gonna save that creditable topic for tomorrow.  
      It's more important to put out a special Valentines Day alert for 2 days from now (2/14/07).  Women like being remembered and a good deed done now,.....can lighten your wifely burden when the big lake fishing season comes around.
      Yesterday's update might seem a little redundant about seminar time slots, but no matter how many times I post this info, there's always more inquires.
      Long range weather forecast for northern Michigan says the next time we see temps at the 32 degree mark, or above will be 2/25/07.  This is good news for the Steelheaders Birch Run Fishing Show being held the first weekend in March!
        Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 still stands 105 inches

2/11/07  Reel Bait 101, Sight, Sound & Scent is the title of our planned seminars during the upcoming Flint Steelheads Fishing Show.  This will happen at the Expo Center in Birch Run, MI (Mar. 2dn thru 4th, 2007).  I have 2 guest speakers and I'm working on a third spokesperson.  Getting multiple ideas from different points of view is something I've always strived for.  Besides, it can get kinda monotonous just to listen to one person yack for an hour or more.
     Seminar times are Saturday, March 3rd at 6:30pm and Sunday, March 4th at 12:30pm.  The Saturday 6:30 presentation (Power Point) will be the most in depth and will last as long as we need.  No one scheduled to go one after us on the Saturday time slot. We will have a short people break, where you can stretch legs after 30 minutes.

2/10/07  According to the long range weather forecast, we're gonna stay locked in the deep freeze for next week.  However, there are sign posts clearly pointing towards spring.  Football is over, the Birch Run Show is in 3 weeks and NASCAR is back TV tonight at 8pm (on Fox) with the Budweiser Shootout from Daytona Beach, FL.  Spring will soon be here, evidenced by our today offering 11.25 hours of light.

2/9/07  Let's finish the week off with a photo of Manistee's harbor.  Possibly, many of you have only seen it when it was open water during warmer times of the year.  Right now, the harbor is frozen shut.  Click for Manistee's harbor on 2/8/07
  Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 103 inches

Sometime, during the night of 2/7/07 a deer died close to my bedroom window.  I discovered the dead deer the next morning, first thinking poachers shot this deer.  Upon closer examination, there was a large wound showing the deer had been chewed on. Click for dead deer    Click for large gaping wound   
      To spare you the graphic details, let me suffice to say, the male reproductive organs had been ripped from the animal in no uncertain terms!
      I'm no deer specialist, but this was a young buck, possibly a spike, or with a slightly larger rack.  I called the DNR in Cadillac, MI to report this to Manistee County's Conservation Officer, Carla Soper.  Her partner got word back to me, to just dispose of the critter by dragging it back into the woods.  I wanted no part of keeping this carcass, not knowing if it was sick before the attack, or what? 
     I highly suspect, this young buck was the victim of a coyote attack, or even worse a wolf.  I seen 2.....what I suspect were wolves cross High Bridge Road chasing a couple of does on a trip back home from Brethren, MI, last fall.  The tip off was the legs were way to long to be coyotes! Click for a close up of the young buck's head

2/7/07  The major highways leading into Manistee are treacherous.  Salt doesn't work as cold as it's been, but Manistee does spread combination of sand and fine gravel to provide traction.  This falls in line with today's update concerning an all out torture test of my flashers.  Click for 2/7/07 flasher torture test
      If you look closely in today's featured photo, you'll see the snow packed in and around the flashers, causing the blade to be bent out of shape.  Once the snow melts, the flasher blades will return to their original shape.  This is due the material used in the injection molding process, when the temperature exceeds 600 degrees.  This high-temp thermo sets the blade, no matter how the blade is contorted.
      Below zero temps, packed with snow and getting sand blasted by snow plows at 45 mph is one heck of a test and shows my confidence in what I build.
      This coming May, the flashers currently under assault by Mother Nature will be removed from the mailbox post and go catching on Lk. MI.  I will have 2 signed affidavits by message board members on file to verify the the "06-07" torture test!
        Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 102 inches

2/6/07  There's a reel race going on in our current poll.  For all intents and purposes, the Click for Grn Frog  Click for Blue Bubble  Click for Grn Bubble are in a dead heat!
     Please keep in mind, what I offer is a total system, not a patchwork quilt.  Having perfectly matching meat rigs and flashers, not only makes sense....it works!  Long gone are the days when you had to piece stuff together to come up with a working program.  This held back fishing meat on our Great Lakes, with many manufacturers want to tip-toe between the land artificial lures and recommending just running meat.
     Looks like we're gonna gradually climb out of the deep freeze in the next week.  We haven't seen a day above the freezing mark (32 degrees) in at least a month!  
       Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 100 inches

2/5/07  Yesterday, 5 below zero was the big-time sweltering high temperature around my part of the woods in Manistee County, MI.  Click for proof  These ice age temperatures have put undue stress on our deer.  Plus, there's 2 1/2 to 3 feet of snow in the woods (at least).  I've been putting out extra rations of groceries (corn & hay) in my feed pile to help out my hungry white-tailed buddies.
     One thing worthy of note, is how well the deer's hair insulate them from cold.  This is evidenced by the snow on their backs not melting.  Take a close look in today's feature "Feed Pile" deer photo and you'll see what I mean.  Click for 2/4/07 Deer
       Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 96 inches

2/4/07  It seems as if the artic circle has dropped down to cover the Great Lakes area.  Lots of below zero readings in Michigan's north country.  There was a blizzard warning in Ludington yesterday.  Have a safe & enjoyable Super Bowl Sunday!
       There's almost a dead heat with the top choices in our current poll concerning the predicted best selling BTI 10" flasher. More on this tomorrow, here's the top 3:
Click for Grn Frog  Click for Blue Bubble  Click for Grn Bubble in the poll.
       Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 90 inches

2/3/07  One short month from today, the action will be at the Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI.  I will have the world's largest selection of dedicated meat fishin' products ever debuted at any sport fishing show.  
      Look for around 200 highly specialized selections of proven fish catchin' equipment in the form of meat heads, 2 fly rigs, 3 fly rigs, 10" flashers & 12" inch flashers in 30 foot of booth space.  Hope to see you there!
      Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 86 inches

2/2/07  The theory behind Groundhog Day depends on a lot of hard to prove variables.  If the groundhog doesn't see it's shadow, spring is supposed to be right around the corner, if the animal does see it's shadow, then the deal is 6 more weeks of winter.  Click for a fishing rod shadow on 2/1/07
      Yesterday in Manistee was miserable and we got close to a foot of lake effect snow and only saw 20 degrees for the high temp.  No self-respecting groundhog that resides in Manistee County, MI would be stupid enough to leave it's burrow in those nasty conditions.  Plus, only 6 more weeks of winter in Manistee would be a godsend, cuz we never see warmer weather until at least mid-April!
       Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 82 inches

2/1/07  Here's some local folklore from Manistee that was turned into an official fact by the Lifestyles section in the Manistee News Advocate.  The first Salmon caught in Manistee was 16 inches long (2 1/4 lbs.) and certified to be a Coho Salmon by Conservation Officer, Joe Tighe in 1966.  The person given historical credit for catching Manistee, Michigan's first Salmon was, Mr. Walt Gauthier.  
      Walt then appeared on Mort Neff's TV Show, called Michigan Outdoors and the Salmon Bonanza in Michigan was off to the races.  Another little known fact is Walt began the Fishermen's Center on Manistee Lake and ran a successful big lake charter business for many seasons.  Back in the day, 15 bucks per person was the going rate for a Salmon charter when this all started a little over 4 decades ago!

1/31/07  Are your new to fishing Lake Michigan?  Would you like to get a feel for what last season was about?  May I suggest, you review last July, August and September results by clicking here.  The archived Captain's Log section (past results) of this website shares knowledge & the hot set-ups.  Seeing how the summer Salmon season unfolds is reel-fascinating event, plus informative!
      Posted photos of the top 3 choices in our current poll about which BTI will be the best seller for the upcoming Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI.  Plus, it's much more preferable to display my products with the fish still attached!  That way, nothing gets lost in the translation with the sales hype vs. actual fish production!!!
Click for Grn Frog  Click for Blue Bubble  Click for Grn Bubble (all are X-Glow)
     Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 72 inches

1/30/06   Saturday of Memorial Day Weekend we're having a message board outing in Manistee, MI.  Please let my invite you to attend, regardless if you're a message board member, or not.  If you're looking to learn how to run the meat fishin' products properly, this is a great opportunity to find out first-hand.  
      Best part?.....it's absolutely FREE to attend.  Several of our members will have room for you aboard their vessels, if you choose not to bring your boat.  Stand by for a whole bunch more info when this date draws closer.
Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 still stands 66 inches

1/29/07  Today's featured photo shows flashers in various stages of completion.  All flashers in the photo are going to Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show being held in Birch Run, MI, (Mar 2 thru 4).  Click for flasher photo
     I installed a new poll where you can vote for your favorite 10" BTI Flasher.  The X-Glow Green Frog BTI was the top seller in 2006, even though the Froggie was introduced well past the mid-point of the season.  Will the Green Frog BTI again rule the roost this year, or is another model going to overtake?  Please vote for your favorite, or what you think will be ranked number one on the water in 2007!

1/28/07  Cold, snow and more arctic weather is predicted for Manistee well into next weekend.  This is about the time of the year when the dreaded cabin fever starts to take hold.  Avoiding this winter malady is a must.  Remedies include planning future fishing trips and that's exactly what I came up with today.
       After a little research, I found out Oswego, New York is 628 miles from Manistee (a 10 hour trip) and come hell, or high water.....plan on fishing Lake Ontario this August.  Fishing there is not the big numbers game, it's bigger numbers on what the fish weigh.  Fish over 25 pounds are fairly common place and a reel-shot at over 30 some pound big Kings is a reachable goal.
       My fishing bud, "Roscoe" a.k.a. Steve B said he was up for this happening and tentatively placed on his 2007 summer schedule.  This as a grand opportunity to do something I never did, fish in the waters of Lake Ontario!

1/27/07  There's been a new disease that affects our fishery named VHS.  VHS has been spotted in both Lakes Huron and Michigan.
      Here's what JOHN FLESHER, Associated Press Write
r had to say:
"Originally a saltwater virus, VHS made its first known appearance in the Great Lakes in 2005, killing the likes of freshwater drum and muskellunge.
       Cheboygan-area whitefish were collected in 2005 during a survey for bacterial kidney disease, Smith said. They were examined again more recently and found to have carried VHS.
      How VHS arrived in the lakes is uncertain. But fishery managers say a likely culprit is ballast water dumped by ocean freighters, widely considered a leading source of exotic species in the lakes."
DNR Director Rebecca Humphries said: "these new discoveries are extremely unfortunate and further highlight the problems created by the constant introductions of new diseases from outside the Great Lakes region." 

1/26/07  Winter Steelheaders are cut from a tough piece of cloth!  Braving the elements in winter is exactly what's today's featured photos are about.
     Fishing in freezing weather presents it's own special challenges.  The worst is the line freezing up in the line guides.  Next, would be putting the boat back on the trailer.  Ramps are always covered with ice. This happens from boat trailers being pulled from the water and draining water all the way up the ramp.  Ice flows caused by shelf ice is another major pain in the butt.  
     Ah, yes these are some of the joys to contend with if you're a winter Steelheader!

1/25/07  Work continues on getting all my "ducks in a row" for the 2007 Birch Run Steelheaders Fishing Show (Mar. 2nd thru 4th).  The lineup for our display is indubitably remarkable.  At the upcoming fishing show, we'll have 44 varieties of 12" Reel Flashers, 43 patterns of 10" BTI Flashers, 32 colors of Three Fly Meat Rigs, 32 colors Two Fly Meat Rigs, 31 Magnum Meat Heads to chose from, plus 16 selections in Meat Rig Kits.  This totals out to close to 200 (198 actual) unique products of fish catchin' tackle dedicated fishing meat on our Great Lakes.
      This should further cement my claim to the "World's Largest Selection" of tackle designed entirely  to fish herring/cut bait/whole herring......'nough said!
        Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 still stands 61 inches

1/24/07  As a group, voting in the poll about how many deer critters were in the photo, over 1/2 of you got it right.  There's 7 deer in the photo.  The one hardest to see, only had the rump exposed.....the rest of that deer was behind the tree.
      With no acorns what-so-ever and a large fawn drop last spring of 2006, it's important to keep these animals fed.  Every evening, 10 to 15 deer come snooping around looking for their free groceries.   Click for deer answer photo
      Since embarking on a year-around feeding program, the number of deer seen on my property has increased 5 fold.  I passed on several bucks and let a good 10 pointer go.  Reason being?.... many of my friends had already gave me plenty of venison.  It will be interesting to see the quality of bucks in fall of 2007.
      Tomorrow's update?....the world record hunt I'm on.

1/23/07  January 2007 is a lot more winter-like, if you turn the page back a year.  The 2006 balmy winter (by northern MI standards) kinda threw everything out of sync on Manistee's spring King season for May.  By the time Memorial Day '06 was here, most of the easy limit catch action was over and fishing was on the tough side.
      With fishing, nothing is written in stone affecting year to year forecasts, but I suspect a more normal winter will extend Manistee, MI's spring Salmon season a heck of a lot longer.  Besides, later May offers a chance at warmer weather!
      It been cold now for about 2 weeks and for next week?....the daily high temps are supposed to be in the single digits.  This is more normal for my neck of the woods.
      The answer to our poll question of, "how many deer do you see?" will posted in tomorrow's update with an key color photo showing the correct number of deer.

1/22/07  Posted a photo from a couple of days ago showing deer in my backyard.  Now for big question of: "how many deer do you see?"  Click for 1/20/07 deer photo
     I installed a poll right below today's photo of the day where you can show your deer acuity aptitude.  Please vote, answer photo will be posted in a day, or 2.
         Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 61 inches

1/21/07  Finished 100 free sets of complimentary BTIs (10" flashers) for our message board members yesterday.  Magnum Meat Heads (introduced in 2005) are packed and almost ready for the Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI.  I still have to pack 2 & 3 fly meat rigs, along with a complete stock of 12" and 10" flashers.  

1/20/07  I need to amend my commentary on yesterday's update concerning fishing license rate hikes.  It seems to me if the DNR can raise our licenses by about 1/3, they should be able to give us back at least 1/2 of the almost discontinued Coho plants.  Ports in southern Lake Michigan and Frankfort, MI depend on these fish.
      Spent a goodly portion of the morning building the 100 sets of free-bee BTIs to be passed out at the Birch Run Show (held 1st weekend in March) to our message board members.  No matter how you throw the dice, this perk is worth more than 20 bucks.  The free stuff will more than compensate for the door charge, as the parking is said to be free.  Click for a pile of King Kobra & King Krimson BTIs
       Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 57 inches

1/19/07  The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is requesting a 13 dollar hike in all-species fishing license prices (for 27 to 40 dollars).  Normally, I'd take a swipe at the DNR, but in the case, there's a good reason not to.  In the past, the DNR coffers were raided and put into Michigan's "general fund."  There's a new law on the books that keeps license and fees collected staying in the DNR's wallet.  I whole heartily agree with their need for money to keep our fishery sound and viable.  
       Michigan will continue to have the highest fishing license costs in the Great Lakes region, but they also have more coastline with 4 Great Lakes (Superior, Huron, Michigan & Erie) to manage/plant.  If you attached a dollar value to the fish you catch, your 40 bucks can be recovered on your first trip off the dock or trailer.

1/18/07   Highlighted topics for the Birch Run Fishing Show hosted by the Flint Steelheaders (Mar. 2 thru 4) are "Meat in May" by Capt. Joe V.G.  I'm thrilled about having Capt. Joe back on board for this year's seminar again.  I'm a big fan of his easy going style and the way he can pack in a lot of info, without tons of words.  Capt. Joe skippered his boat the "Sloppy Joe" to "Captain of the Year" in Detroit Chapter of Steelheaders in 2006 with help from his team.
      I'm requesting charter boat operator Capt. Paul V focus his presentation on "Ludington Lingo" to inform us on basic port strategies from Michigan's most popular port.  Capt. Paul uses a laid-back approach that carries a straight forward message.
      I'm honored to have these 2 knowledgeable skippers onboard again for this year.  I will be adding at least one more speaker to the mix for the 6:30pm Saturday evening mega-meat seminar/talk.  The Birch Run show begins in 5 weeks from tomorrow.

1/17/07   Just plain good news  today.  Plans for the 2007 season are coming together quite nicely.  Kruger Plastics (my injection molding production company) said they were beginning work on the tooling for new Super Magnum Meat Heads this coming Monday, or Tuesday.  Getting this project on their schedule so quickly is much appreciated.  I expect 2 to 3 weeks of actual time to cut the tool.  Then the first test heads are run for inspection and my final go-ahead is last on the list.
      An expensive see-thru "lens quality" mirror-like polish job is added before the first true production pieces (Super Magnum Meat Heads) come out of the new tool, or injection mold.  It's impossible to make claims, or insert a deadline when this project completed.  I do know it will be before the 2007 season kicks off in May on Lk. MI.
   Tomorrow's update will point to our planned seminars for the Mar. Birch Run Show
       Total accumulated snowfall since October 2006 now stands 53 inches

1/16/07  Greg G from the Flint Steelheaders was kind enough to grant us two seminar time slots for their upcoming show in Birch Run, MI.  The first one is on Saturday, March 3rd at 6:30pm and this one will be most in depth, as we are not constrained by any time limit (no one is going on after us).  The second one is Sunday, March 4th and starts at 12:30am and must end by 1:30pm.  If possible attend the Saturday 6:30pm seminar, that's where most of our efforts will be.
      Capt. Paul from Kickin Back Charters, based in Ludington, MI will be assisting with our talks.  I'm hoping for 2 Captain of the Year award winners from various Steelheaders Chapters to share their "on the water" experiences.  Notably, concerning southern Lake Michigan's May fishery for King Salmon.  The huge success of early season attractor/meat program is something never expected when I entered into making tackle in 2004.  This subject needs to be addressed in greater detail.

1/15/07   The Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI starts on Mar. 2 and concludes on the 4th of Mar. 2007.  In a contact email from Greg G from the Flint Steelheaders staff I have committed to take the last seminar spot on March the 3rd (Saturday).  I suspect the time to be 6:30pm, but nothing rock-solid back from Greg G. yet on the time allotted to us.  
       Here's what I have lined up at our booth so far:  Bob K will have a custom built radar arch/rocket (built for a 26' Tiara) in our 30 foot display.  Dave S, our bait supplier will have frozen herring in various sizes, & still has a few boxes of strips left.
       All active message board members in good standing (as of 1/15/07) will get a FREE set of 10" BTIs in King Krimson, or King Kobra to help defray cost to attend show.  This is 24 dollar perk for our esteemed private message board members.  Click for 2006 seminar team
       Seminar guest speakers will be announced tomorrow........

1/14/07  Lower stretch of the Big Manistee River is producing some mint silver bullet Steelhead.  Look to the Lake Hole, Railroad Bridge, M55 Bridge, Mile Run up to the Farm House for a chance at a few fish.  Until the mid part of February, the BMR will get sporadic spurts of fresh-run Steelhead.  Best action will be late February into March depending on how the weather warms up.  I've have seen the first 2 weeks in April firecracker, red-hot below Bear Creek/Rainbow Bend to a little south of Matson's Campground.  Later in the season, that 1/8 mile stretch of gravel right below Matson's can load up with fish if the river isn't hit with too many stages of high water.

1/13/07  This coming Monday's update will concern plans for the upcoming Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI (Mar 2nd thru 4th).
      It's reel fact January Steelheading on the Big Manistee River is pretty slow, as I drove by the High Bridge Public Access around 8:30am.  Much to my surprise the parking lot was empty.  So, the higher stretch of the big river is not very productive, or there would have been a couple of Wellston based guide boats working this area.

1/12/07  Just gonna put this website on autopilot today.  May I suggest, checking out my Captain's Log  Click for this log dating back to 2000.  My idea for this log pre-dates the nowadays word descriptions of "blog, blogging, or bloggers," which did not become firmly implanted into the American vernacular until around 2003.  
      Some reason, I just can't swallow that ill sounding word (blog).  It doesn't seem to do justice to one's efforts and to me sounds like something you get your 4 wheel drive pickup stuck in (like, "I got stuck in that nasty, swampy bog").

1/11/07  It's a like more like winter for the time being in Manistee County, MI.  Lows at night in the mid-teen and we got a couple inches of snow a few days ago.
       Building stock for the upcoming Flint Steelheaders Show being held in Birch Run, MI on Mar 2nd thru 4th, 2007 is going well.  Can you believe the Birch Run Show is only about 7 weeks away after this week is over?  Talk about time flying....eh!
      Overall snow meter now reads 48 inches at my place.....since Oct. 2006

1/10/07  Re-formatted the video file of the new Super Magnum Meat Heads that was taken last week (on the Big Manistee River, Manistee MI).  This video is Windows friendly for those that do not have a QuickTime Movie Player.  The file size is a little less than 4 megs, or 4 mega bytes.  
       After clicking, patience and the movie will begin after it's downloaded from this website.  On dial-up connections the download time will be at least 15 minutes.  You'll see the exact/correct spin & know what a meat head should look like in the water!   
                       Click here for a Windows friendly meat head video
In my humble opinion, this video ranks up there on the "most important info list" ever put forth by this website in the past 7 years.  Sometimes things are better seen in person, when words alone can not fully do the job. Click for QuickTime Movie  if you have this player installed on your computer.

1/9/07  Please spend a minute, or two to see the subtle differences in herring sizing that's pretty much standard across the bait industry.  Green Label size is said to be 6 to 7 inches, while the Red Label size is 5 to 6 inches.  From what I seen over the many years, 5 to 7 inches best falls inline with the normal size of our bait fish.
      The new Super Magnum Meat Heads was rigorously last August by several members of our message board, including myself.  The 2006 prototype test heads performed beyond expectations with whole herring, in both the Green and Red sizes.
      The sizing, or grading of herring is done by hand, so there's bound to be some overlap with only a 2 inch window between Red and Green.  Click here for sizes
      Work continues on formatting a Windows friendly video file that will be completed later today.  Knowing the sizes and the proper fish catching action of your bait should look like, will show big dividends for those newer to using a reel-bait program.  I can not stress the importance of correctly spinning herring enough!

1/8/07  Nice weather for Manistee County, that's for sure!  Due to turn cold next week with daytime highs only breaking into the low 20s.  This will mean lake effect snow and maybe build some ice for the inland lakes hard-water fishermen.
      Today's duties means a little more editing work and changing the video file into a format for Windows Media Player.  It is crucial for all to see a exact action a meat head should have!  Some of the viewers of this website do not have a QuickTime Media Player.  Soon we'll have both the dial-up and high speed in dual formats.
     Even if you do not use my products, make sure your "off-brand" heads have the same rotation.  This is accomplished by bending the long side in a curve.  The "off-brand" heads will not have as wide of looping roll like mine, but they can still work if the herring rolls, or spins.  My heads do not require bending, or tuning!
     Tomorrow's update will focus on the fundamental differences in herring sizing.
      The new Super Magnum Meat Heads was rigorously last August by several members of our message board, including myself.  The 2006 prototype test heads performed beyond expectations with whole herring, in both the Green and Red sizes.
      The sizing, or grading of herring is done by hand, so there's bound to be some overlap with only a 2 inch window between Red and Green.  Click here for sizes
      Work continues on formatting a Windows friendly video file that will be completed later today.  Knowing the sizes and the proper fish catching action of your bait should look like, will show big dividends for those newer to using a reel-bait program.  I can not stress the importance of correctly spinning herring enough!

1/8/07  Nice weather for Manistee County, that's for sure!  Due to turn cold next week with daytime highs only breaking into the low 20s.  This will mean lake effect snow and maybe build some ice for the inland lakes hard-water fishermen.
      Today's duties means a little more editing work and changing the video file into a format for Windows Media Player.  It is crucial for all to see a exact action a meat head should have!  Some of the viewers of this website do not have a QuickTime Media Player.  Soon we'll have both the dial-up and high speed in dual formats.
     Even if you do not use my products, make sure your "off-brand" heads have the same rotation.  This is accomplished by bending the long side in a curve.  The "off-brand" heads will not have as wide of looping roll like mine, but they can still work if the herring rolls, or spins.  My heads do not require bending, or tuning!
     Tomorrow's update will focus on the fundamental differences in herring sizing.

1/7/07  Last Friday, when we shot the video, there was some fishing for Steelhead involved.  We tried 3 holes, normal transitional-migration routes of where the fish were likely to be.  Area we targeted was slightly below the High Bridge Public Access.
The score was no hits, no runs, no errors and nary a fish for a 2 hour effort.
      If you're going to try the Big Manistee River in the near future?... in my opinion you'd be better off working the lower sections of the big river.  In the years from 1985 thru 2003 Pine Creek has always treated me well in January.  As did the water immediately below Bear Creek down thru Cemetery Run.

1/6/07  Here's a preview of the new 2007 Super Mag Meat Heads in a tantalizing downloadable media file.  Seeing is believing what these new heads are capable of!
Instructions: to play the 14 second previews of the new heads, just click the links, (depending on which type of connection you have) and wait for the movie to begin. Super Mag Meat Head movie for dialup  This format requires a QuickTime Movie Player to view. Super Mag Head movie for high speed connections  These short movies were taken yesterday with the help of Capt. Tom Rasmussen on the Big Manistee River.
      After viewing the sneak peak videos, I'm sure you'll agree these heads are absolutely 100% winners!  Put the looping, erratic arcing and wobbly spin of whole herring (featured in the preview) to work for you.  Available by 5/1/07, or sooner.

1/5/06  Off to the Big Manistee River this morning for some winter Steelheading and to capture a movie of the new Super Magnum Meat Heads that use whole herring.
      I checked the flow and temperature of the big river and much to my surprise the water is 37 degrees.  The flow is 2000 cubic feet per second, which is good for the higher part of the river.  Incidentally, there's only about 20 miles of river below Tippy Dam before the Manistee River empties into Manistee Lake.  My sources of temp and flow can be accessed by clicking here.
      If all goes well, look to next week to see the Super Mag Heads in a tantalizing downloadable media file.  Seeing is believing what these new heads are capable of.

1/4/06  Tomorrow (Friday), a trip to the Big Manistee River, hopefully,... will happen.  A movie showing the fish alluring, wobbly spin of the brand new Super Magnum Meat Heads has to be seen, not explained.  These new heads will open the field to all players supplying herring to our Great Lakes market, not just the companies making strips.  I fished whole herring with 2007 prototype heads last August and we went thru sheer hell trying to keep rods in the water...no brag, just a reel-fact!
      Back to tomorrow's river fishing: it's supposed to be windy, so there's at least one good excuse in our favor,...if we do not boat a winter bad boy, aka... Mr. Steelhead.  Then, there's a whole litany of other reasons like: water is too dirty, water is too clean, water is too cold, water too warm, too much pressure on the fish, the barometer is too high, the barometer is too low, etcetera, etcetera and etcetera!  Being a former Manistee River guide for 18 years, I have a massive repertoire of ready made excuses why the fishing might be poor and the catching pitiful.Rolling Eyes
      Why I address Steelhead as Mr. is great topic for a update down the road.

1/3/07  Just not much to say, except the lack of winter like weather in Manistee, MI is OK with me.  Daytime temps in the mid 40s, no snow to plow, or shovel is a welcome respite from what we could be facing.
      If booking keeping, shop and production duties can be handled today, it looks like tomorrow a quick trip to the Big Manistee River is in order.  Not so much to fish Steelies, but to get a short movie showing to the new 2007 Super Magnum Meat Heads in action.  The internet is a great place to grab written info, but seeing how something in the water works is a bunch better!
     My intended update on the tackle business in 2007 slipped away from me.  The complexities is far beyond what I was able to put into words.

1/2/07  Better use of my time today is to postpone today's update and combine it with tomorrow.  We the show season almost here, there's some fairly large orders I must get out the door ASAP and some business in Manistee that needs attending.

New Years Day 2007 Special Update:

1/1/07  Let me start off the New Year by wishing you good health, wisdom, prosperity, calm seas, and many enjoyable days afloat fishing in 2007!
     Today's update from Capt. Chris B, began last August when he sent me some photos of my flashers he used in Alaska.  Capt. Chris is a savvy charter operator that works the southern Lake Michigan ports too.  Here's what he shared in his email:

"Just thought I would drop you a line and give you an update on how your flashers worked in Alaska. I worked in Ninilchik and Seward Alaska from May till August. I fished primarily for halibut, but trolled occasionally for Silvers (Coho) and Kings. I had good luck on your flasher on downriggers and diver setups. I normally only ran one rig and it would always produce fish.  Even caught some halibut and ling cod on your flashers, .... The biggest king caught on your flasher was about 27 lbs or so."  Capt. Chris B   
Click for Alaska King Salmon
   Click for Alaska charter catch

The second part of today's update crosses the Atlantic Ocean and is from Europe's largest inland body of water, Lake Vänern.  On Christmas Day 2006, our friend from Sweden, Lars S took a trophy Landlocked Atlantic Salmon.  This huge Atlantic pulled the scales past 21 pounds and is considered a large Salmon by Lake Vänern anglers!
Click for 12/25/06 21lb Atlantic Salmon   Click for the flasher that caught it

From the Pacific Ocean to the Baltic Sea my line of tackle is steadily proving it's merit for salt water fishermen.  Freshwater trollers in Lake Oahe (in South Dakota), Sweden's Lake Vänern and the Great Lakes of Ontario, Superior, Huron and Michigan have found phenomenal  success with tackle from Kingfish Inc.

One proudest accomplishments in 2006 is the three skippers that won "Captain of the Year" awards by using my product line almost exclusively,...in their club competitions!  Tourney fishermen are always looking for an edge and seem to accept new concepts in tackle more willingly.  Sincere congratulations to the tournament winning, hard working teams on the boats named: Sloppy Joe, Becky Sue & Small Craft Warning (SMC). 
      None of the above would have been possible without your support.  I am truly thankful your patronage and buying my American Made Products!  
Tomorrow's update will strictly focus on the direction tackle business in 07 & beyond.