Happy New Year! Here's a great deer
hunting story for you:
"Me and Scott were on an evening muzzleloader hunt on
railroad land that we found and scouted 3 years ago and never hunter it till yesterday.
Walking in I left my gun in its soft Case till we got away from the
tracks. We started seeing some nice buck tracks in the
snow and I got my gun capped and ready. Click
for Tom's Monster IN Buck
I hid my "gun
case" along the trail and we continued to walk in the
woods. After 3 hours of seeing nothing and the wind being all wrong.
We decided to walk out early and see if we could see anything sneaking out.
With Scott on point we headed back to the truck.
We were half way back when Scott saw this buck.
We got down and after glassing him I told Scott he was a nice 8 point and he
should shoot him. He wanted me to take the shot since
we could get in no closer than 113 yards. My muzzleloader shooting great at 100 yards, I got ready
for the shot. I set up the camouflage chair that I had
hunted out of and took the shot. This buck dropped in
We thought the buck was feeding the whole
time we were watching him, but when we got to him he
was standing over my "gun case" smelling it
...the whole time we were watching him. He is going on my wall and
this will be a hunt I will never
Tom M ....aka pcoaltrain on our message board
Today's update is for the do-it-yourself
anglers. If you've been thinking about
building your own meat rigs, with kits offered at: www.michiganangler.com
Now is the time. End of January, meat
rig kits will no longer be offered until November
Need a mid-winter activity
and you're good with your hands? Then build
your own rigs for about 5 bucks each. Instead
of 11 to 15 dollars! Click
for 2008 meat rig kits
The kits I offer,
...have the Mylar (fringe) to build the exact same
rigs we make. To sweeten up the deal for kits
for 2008, there'll be 4 bead chains, 4 barrel
swivels & 12 line crimps! Please keep in
mind, this is a limited time offer, that will close
Looking forward to
1/1/08 and the new season.
Big time snow storm in Manistee. Around where I live, 14 miles
from Lake Michigan we got about a foot of the white stuff in 4
hours. With winter in the north country, you can either fight it
with dread, or take an outdoor winter sport.
Snowmobiling and cross country skiing are
great ways to enjoy the beautiful deep woods as today's featured photo
shows. Click for
snow-machine on 12/28/07
New Years Day update will
explain why the larger fish hit meat, according to the experts on the olfactory
(sense of smell). This will put rhyme to the reason of the success
with my products in taking the winning fish in several tourneys &
get up and go, ...got up and went! We're stuck in the La-La
Land between two major holidays. Trying to do business at this
time of the year?
Well, ...like Pres. Bush says, "we're working on it hard."
Rumors of better Steelheading on the Big
Manistee River are starting to filter down. Lower section, from
M55 Bridge up to the farm house is said to be best. This figures,
cuz the recent mild weather has probably caused the fish to move in.
Looking forward to 1/1/08 and the new
Best selling 10" BTI flasher was King Krimson,
which surprised even me. So, much for the myth
fish can't see red ...eh? I'd have thought the
Black Mambas, either glow, or regular would have
been at the top of the heap.
Best selling 3 Fly
Meat Rig was the X-Glow Yellowtail. This
figures in with my best spoon when I was still in
the charter business (1983 thru 2003).
The Yellowtail spoon
I'm speaking of is a Silver Streak Yellowtail made
by my friends, the Cartwright family of Wolverine
Tomorrow, photos of
the King Krimson BTI and Yellowtail Meat Rig will be
posted. With Christmas being a Tuesday deal,
getting excited about a lot of extra work this week
just don't fit in with my frame of mind.
For our Swedish and Norwegian visitors, Gott Nytt År.
Which in English is Happy New Year. In 6 days
the doors will open to a brand new season big water
fishing season. My new year's resolution is to
fish a bunch more. This works for me!
Christmas went well. Personally, I feel we
need more days like Christmas when everything mostly
comes to a screeching halt. Giving everyone a
break from our ever increasing fast paced, pressure
cooker society. Nice to have a break ...eh?
will give you an idea about the best selling
products at the webstore located at: www.michiganangler.com.
There consumer votes with his billfold on what's the
most popular colors in flashers and meat
to all at this
of the year!
Good news, as we've
passed the point of days getting shorter.
December 22nd was the Winter Solstice and tomorrow
will be 9 seconds longer then today. 9 seconds
might not sound like much, but it's a small step in
the right direction. By 5:20pm in Manistee
County, MI it's pretty dark and look forward to more
daylight as winter progresses.
Taking tomorrow off
from regular updates. If you access this
website on 12/25/07 get ready to hear the Christmassy
tune "Jingle Bells," to put you in a
update will feature a listing 2007's most popular
products by sales at the webstore. Some of the
top sellers were surprising! Stay tuned for
Installed a forum on our message board dedicated
to the Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show in Birch Run,
MI. This 3 day show and runs from Feb. 29 thru
Mar. 2, 2008. This new forum will better serve
our members who might have questions.
January 1.2008, the Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show is only 9 weeks
out. This do starts on Feb. 29, 2008. In the process of
setting up the seminar schedule with Greg G. Lots to get done
before the trip to Birch Run, MI.
Post it note to self: can get you in the
Parlberg Room on Saturday at 5:30pm to whatever time you end and on
Sunday in the new room at 10-11:30. These are not 100% firmed up,
and Greg G will have the final say.
Today's featured photo is the new Gold and Silver Super Bullet
attractor flies soon to be installed on meat rigs. The gold and
silver plated heads on the flies add a high quality touch never before
seen. This is another world debut of trick products we've been
working on since last August. Click
for trick flies
The reflective power of the plated heads
goes without saying and the Mylar from WTP is indestructible and will
retain it's brand new look for a long, long time. There's
prototype meat rigs we built in 2004 and flies still look like the day
we made them.
Over this coming weekend, the new Super
Bullet tackle will be installed at the webstore: www.michiganangler.com
Soon, we'll have meat rigs, along with meat rigs kits for those that
prefer to build their own tackle and save. There's even silver and
gold plated beads to take the new stuff to a higher plain in kit form,
or complete meat rigs.
To those leaving early on holiday
vacation: Merry Christmas and many thanks for stopping by. Your
visits to this website thru-out the year are much appreciated!
ask yourself why you fish the Great Lakes? Are to trying to
impress people in competitive events? Is it a one on one test
against the fish? Is it the food value of several meals and
canning fish? The list of "whys" is one of the philosophic
fixations stuck in the gray matter of our brains, ...when you come right
down to it.
For me, a major part of the why is
the friends I choose to fish with. This is a luxury you'll never
have in the charter business and still run enough trips to support
Buddies make the whole deal more
enjoyable, even when they blow fish that should have been caught.
Like who cares if some fish are lost, that's no big thing.
Enjoying the camaraderie, light conversation and some time on the water
is! Click for
Count your blessings ever
time you climb aboard any boat with fishermen of your choosing, cuz from
the git-go, ...there's gonna be some big fun along the line.
Today's featured photo is fishing
bud, "Roscoe" holding up an OK King, but you can tell by the
authentic grin, something special produced that kind of elation!
Too bad the season is so short, cuz I could sure go for some more
reel-grins right about now!
Procrastinators beware, you're
running out of time for Christmas shopping!
Received an email from our fishing brothers in
Sweden, Team Extreme. Ove J. was kind enough
to inform me that their team member Dan caught the
new lake record for Lake Trout on Lake Storsjön.
He was using a Blue-Dolphin BTI with a clean bait
fish rigged above the flasher, if I read his post
While I do not
speak Swedish, the international language of fishing
can and will break down verbal barriers. It
has to do with that wondrous mythical bond that that
ties all fishermen together on this planet with a
common thread called, "catching."
update will focus on what do you like more?
The fishing and catching or the friends we choose do
it with? Check
out this reel-grin
Silver Bullet attractively priced combo deal with a
green meat rig at the webstore yesterday. Click
for Silver Bullet combo deal
As the conclusion of 2007 draws near, here's my
mental replay of the most memorable events in 2007's
recap: 1. seeing about a 100 plus message
board members at the Flint Steelheaders show in
Birch Run last March was big time fun.
2. 2007 was the
beginning of boat ownership for yours truly
again. The first fish aboard SR1979 with
fishing buddy, John J back on July 2nd, 2007 was a
big, big deal.
3. Enjoyed a
few more trips as the summer progressed, but fishing
with Roscoe on the evening 8/10/07 ranks up there
too! We had many become un-pegged on that
fateful evening and still ended up with one helluva
box of fish.
4. The trip to
Leland on 8/30/07 with Capt. Jim "Spanker"
Munoz was sheer amazement with another fishing
buddy, Capt. Dave Deforest. We boxed 15 Kings,
filled every license on the boat with lines in the
water from 1:30pm, until we pulled at 4pm. Two
1/2 hours during mid-day bite for 15 Kings?
Yep, that's how the reel-story went, but we used
only BTIs and flies for another shocking aspect of
The BTI is a
tremendous flasher with meat and in a league of it's
own, ...for those that prefer to pull flies!
Just go and see what's hung on most every rod in
Leland, MI's charter boat fleet Click
for archived proof, cuz talk is useless without
to the news, the 2008 MI fishing licenses will be the same price as what
we paid in 2007. There was a movement afoot to increase in early
2007 to hike fees that went down to defeat before the 2007 licenses went
on sale. I know this sound convoluted, but all things with
government agencies always are.
Seems like several State of Michigan
legislators are accusing the big dogs of MDNR of overstating budgetary
shortfalls by misrepresenting
the money situation.
Imagine that ...a government bureaucracy
fibbing to get more money? Could this be the first time in the
world something like this has happened
...or is it all too common?
Be sure to check out all the metalized
products at the www.michiganangler.com
webstore. Photos posted do not come close to doing these
ultra-fine quality products justice. Ever tried taking a picture
of a mirror? I think you'll get my point.
Today, it's my great pleasure to introduce
the 12" Gold Bullet Reel Flashers, gold meat
heads and gold bullet heads at the webstore.
For fit, finish and durability these products rank
off the scale, all be it may, ...you can decide for
The metalized gold
and silver product lines are some of the finest, if
not the finest pieces of tackle you'll ever lay paws
on. In fact, it's like handling a superbly
polished mirror where you don't want to leave smeary
finger prints behind! If you're interested in
these exceptional pieces of fish catching technology
Silver Bullet 2
and 3 Fly Meat Rigs with reel-silver bullets fly
heads are ready to go. Granted metalized silver/gold fly heads are a small thing, but small things
are what adds up to large fish boxes. Factor
in perfectly matching fly heads, meat heads, and
flashers for a total attack that no one in the
industry offers, ....except me! Click
for meat rigs
This coming Monday, all the new 2008 gold plated
products will be available at the webstore.
The Gold Bullets will mirror (that's a pun)
the same line as the Silver Bullets. Meaning:
meat heads, fly/squid bullet heads, 10" &
12" flashers. The gold plated stuff
compares to the already introduced Silver
Bullets. Looking as good, if not better.
Metalizing company did a fantastic flex-finish job
with a fairly short turn around time.
This is another world
first for any fish-shaped flasher and a total
overall world first in fly, or squid bullet
here for sneak peek at 2008 Gold Bullets
Opening day of muzzleloader begin today.
Not many of my friends have taken deer this past
rifle season. Venison steaks are starting to
sound pretty good and got a couple of small bucks
scouted on federal land close to Pine
Both of the bucks
seen are quite spooky. Neither animal is a
trophy, unless tender venison steaks on the grill
ranks high on your award list.
Passed on several
darn good bucks last season, but won't pass on meat
this year. Let's see if my prediction of
butchering a deer next week comes true.
Muzzleloader season for deer in Zone 2 begins
tomorrow (12/14/07) and runs thru the 23rd of
December. The second Friday in December might
be an easier way to remember this every year.
Zone 2 is the northern half of the lower peninsula,
Zone 1 is the southern half and Zone 3 is the
for deer on 12/12/07
Dates for each zone
is kinda different, as Zone 1 goes from Dec.7th thru
the 16th, and Zone 3 runs from the Dec. 7th thru the
Dec. 23rd, if I understand the regulations
correctly. Sounds complicated to me &
finding this info on the MDNR website was hard.
The US Government has a long history in curing injustices, pertaining
civil rights. Sooner, or later this status of super citizenship
will end for many tribal people.
Are they sowing the seeds of
their own destruction? By all accounts of anything to do with fair
above board play hasn't been the tribal netter's modus operandi.
The tribal netters that
plagued in Manistee 2007 are their own worst enemies. They
overtly misrepresented everything they said, did, or planned to do
...while nodding yes like a bobble head in a low-rider's rear
window. Their dirty tactics included pushing out the Battice nets
by Big Point Sable, who was there first.
Untold vast sums of money
from the State of Michigan's Consent Decree has been spent. If I
was a member of the Little River Tribe? ...I'd sure would want to know
how was spent and by who. Audits never hurt those that abide by
If they do not want to abide
by the laws the rest of us do, then let's push this sovereign nation
stuff to the next level where you need a passport to enter tribal
casinos, cuz you're leaving US soil behind when you set foot on tribal
Tomorrow's update: why do the tribes
push their hunting and fishing rights?
board member and all around good guy, Kevin E. known aka FBD was nice
enough to send us a photo from this past Saturday's Steelheading
adventure on the Kalamazoo River. His guests were Rev. Steve and
son, and from the warm grins on their faces, the 19 degree temps didn't
seem to put a chill on the trip! Anytime time you catch a winter
Steelhead, consider it a victory! Click
for FBD's Steelie photo
Another world first for my manufacturing
company today, as the new 2008 Gold Bullet BTI Flashers are no longer a
secret. Look for the gold color to produce best in stained
harbor/river waters, or on cloudy dark days. Click
for 2008 Gold BTIs
be shipping orders again today, seeing the new Silver Bullet products
are back in stock. Hope to have a fairly large backlog of orders
cleared up by the end of this week.
update: sowing seeds of destruction for tribal net fishers!
Posted a photo of the 2008 Silver Bullet
fly/squid heads, so you could see a truly strikingly
hand crafted trolling fly. Silver plated
bullet heads are another world first for our product
endeavors. Plus, at this point in time, ...the
only place in the world these sliver fly/squid heads
are available is at: www.michiganangler.com
Some tackle just
looks fishy from the git-go and that's the case with
the with the featured fly with the new silver bullet
heads This deadly fly was made by one of
our message board members. Click
for silver bullet trolling fly
standards of the tackle we fish with is an ongoing
process and I'm glad to be part of it, bringing you
the latest advancements in the gear we use.
I'm proud to break new ground, cuz world firsts are
something no one ...can ever take away!
Some people stay awake all night dreaming up
ways to cause trouble for other folks. Where
I'm going with this is, some ill meaning person turned
me in for having too large a bait pile for deer in
February 2007 to the MDNR. Having Conservation Officers at you
place is not gonna be a reason to hold a joyous
celebration by any means!
tilly-tattletail knows who he is and that's the
reason, deer photos haven't been posted on this
website since. Getting back to the CO thing, ...they
carefully inspected what we had laid out for the
deer critters and bade us ado with no tickets
Setting out corn everyday
is expensive, and we use a large coffee can to disperse
the corn over a wide area. Well within the
guidelines set forth by the MDNR.
12/7/07 December 7th, 1941, always to be remembered to
our present day armed forces. Let's make sure
a no future president will never have to say again,
to coin the words of Pres. FDR, "a date that
will live in infamy." Meaning the Pearl Harbor
Today's photo of the days
is turkeys looking for food beneath the snow covered
tundra of Manistee County, MI. This picture
was snapped not far away from my house as a fair
sized flock was just starting to disperse. Click
for 12/7/07 snowy turkeys
A while back, I mentioned
other states could have designs on the water from
the Great Lakes. Seems like lobbyists are
laying the ground work for pipe lines to steal our
water right now. If you'd like more info on this all
important subject, please
This coming Monday will debut another brand new
product launch for 2008!
The largest officially weighed King caught in
the State of Michigan was weighed at 26.90 pounds,
taken by the boat "Sloppy Joe" in the
Detroit Steelheaders Ladies Day Tournament on
8/4/07. Capt. Joe V.G. missed a master angler
on this fish by a mere 1/10 of a pound.
Further verification for this King was gained, cuz
it weighed on certified scales at Capt. Chucks
Tackle Store (if my memory serves me correctly).
Now, for tackle
that took this fish & the overall winning big
fish in the July Ludington Gander Mountain
for Ludington tourney winner Both fish
were caught with my tackle on the bubble
patterns. Joe's hit the green bubble
combo/meat and the Gander Mountain fish whacked a
blue bubble combo/meat. Click
for largest King in 2007
Bragging up my
product's accomplishments really don't sit well with
me, but if I don't tell you ...nobody else is
gonna! In fact, my stuff won the ever prestigious
KD Salmon Tournament in Wisconsin with a overall
24.9# winner at the end of July 2007.
there's still a few nay-sayers out there, but they
can not argue with the above reel-facts. If
you're after big fish and not into relying on a one-dimensional
early bite program, a wise move would be considering
what I offer!
largest King caught in Manistee County was 26.20 pounds, taken by Capt.
Tom Rasmussen of Sue Lee Charters. Every year the Manistee County
Sport Fishing Association has a big fish derby requiring all fish
entered to be weighed on certified scales. Second place was 25.5
(approx). The winning fish was caught on a J-Plug type lure, not
very far from Manistee's harbor area.
From info Tom Rozich supplied there were
no Master Angler Kings by weight in the entire State of Michigan.
Master Angler awards in the King, or Chinook Salmon division begin at 27
pounds. There were 2 catch and release Master Angler awards, for a
40 and a 42 incher. So, the bottom line is no Kings were
registered that weighed 27 pounds.
If you've placed an order at: www.michiganangler.com
for tackle, we will not be shipping until next Monday. We need
this time to rebuild inventory. Silver Bullet 12" Reel
Flashers will be re-stocked soon and will be available again at the
webstore by tomorrow.
Been sitting on the info for the largest King
weighed-in during 2007, who caught it, where it was
caught, and what type of lure it was caught
on. This fish was weighed on a certified
scale. I know the person that took this fish
and his honor is beyond question. So, there's
be no disputes on this fish, cuz he had witnesses.
Also, I know the
reel-weights on the largest Kings caught in Manistee
and Ludington, along with the anglers names who took
the largest fish on the mentioned ports.
All good things
come to those that wait, ...and maybe later this
week, or possibly tomorrow this info will be part of
the public record. Patience, all will be divulged
On the 11/30/07 update I mentioned a late season
angler that's cut from a tough piece of cloth, cuz
Ludington's Capn Kirk is still fishing. He
went this past Saturday in cold, bitter weather and
fished around Ludville's harbor. Racking up 6
fish for 12 bites, after thawing out his outboard
and breaking ice to launch.
tough Ludington Mano
e Mano "Ironman,"
being Chris B. He accomplishes his mission
solo with 2 rods, playing catch and release most of
the time. He even uses the timer on his camera
to shoot pictures of his fish by his lonesome.
You can tell by the decoupage of 4 photos Chris is
having one helluva big time!
off to any late season diehard that will brave the
harsh conditions. Just the thought of extreme
Lk. Michigan fishing in November/December is enough
to make me cozy up to the fireplace and put another
log on the fire! Click
for "Ironman" Chris!
Please note the "Ironman" Chris B. pursues
the fish from an open boat!
has hit Manistee County ...big time! Tow below zero readings (-2)
in Cadillac, MI and snow driven by high winds reminds me of my total
distain for winter. There's not much relief in sight until next
for temp on 12/1/07
Plowing snow to clear the driveways is my
big joy for this afternoon. If and when the snow stops? Put the
plow on last week when the first major storm of the season was first was
predicted. Me and Mr. Snow Plow will get to be good buddies until
Looks like another 4 inches last night,
13 inches for total snowfall thus far.
Tomorrow's update will be about
another last season big water fishermen that goes Mano
e Mano (solo) against Ludington's late season fish with just a
couple of rods!
Low water? Yep, that's the topic for today
and it's at epic lows for Manistee. We've lost
better that a 1' of water since last summer and seem
to lose more everyday.
some experts the St. Clair River channel keeps
digging it's self deeper, cuz most of it's bottom
has a softer variety of silty blue clay. This
means zero resistance to underwater erosion.
Lake Erie has risen or it's holding it's own for
water, while the Great Lakes of Huron and Michigan
keep losing more water everyday.
winter 2007/2008 snow gauge for Manistee
County. We got 4 inches yesterday and probably
about 5" prior. 9" for a total thus
far. More snow coming today!
In closing November 2007 out, isn't it lousy on
how winter just sneaks up on us? It's deep
winter in Manistee for now and never seen 25 degrees
photo is from Capt. Kirk, resident Ludington big
water fishermen. Kirk is cut from one tough
piece of cloth, cuz he's still fishing Lake
Michigan. He's been working the bath-house
north of Ludington and has been pulling limits like
kinda befuddling about the fish taken aboard his
ship, "Enterprise." His catch has
been mostly comprised of Steelhead and all the
Steelies are good sized. Not shrinking violets
like our Kings have become over the past 5
We all tend to
shy away from questions that can't be easily
answered, but why have our King Salmon shrunk?
...while Steelhead remained relatively stable
size-wise during the same 5 year time span? Click
for Kirk's late season 11/18/07 catch
sincere thank you to all who've purchased the new
2008 Silver Bullet stuff, but I have some bad news
for about the next 2 weeks. We're out of the
12" flashers & squid/fly/bullet
heads. Hope to be restocked by 12/15/07 (if
Here's a fairly fresh Manistee, MI report from
Capt. Jason Bialik:
"The lower end of the Big Manistee (Below the Farm) has been "Red Hot". All fish are being taken on Spawn. In addition the North End of Manistee Lake has been very good as well. Two man limits were taken on Friday and Saturday within 2 hours. All fish were taken on J11 Jointed Rapalas
Orange/White. (Yes not Flatfish). We were pulling a few lines early with X5's and never had a sniff while we could not keep the Rapalas in the water. Also all but one fish was taken on in-line
boards." Jason Bialik,
If you're looking
for a fishing trip on the Big Manistee, or possibly
Manistee Lake why not contact Jason?
He's good at what he does and knows how to use both
plugs and spawn with equal success. His rates
are very reasonable for the extra effort he puts
into guiding his guests into fish. Call 231-723-6493
for Bialik Charters, ask for Jason.
Finally dug up the promised photo of the
extremely rare Golden Trout of Wisconsin. The
highly sought after specie is a reel-prize winner
for Wisconsin Cheeseheads (said with the greatest
for rare WI Golden Trout
I didn't have the heart
to really tell the happy fishermen (you can see his
face beaming with pride) holding this fish what it
was. Needless to say, Michigan, Illinois and
Indiana big water anglers do not hold the esteem
that Wisconsin fishermen do for their favored Golden
Trout with fins matching the same hue of cheddar
However, here in MI we do
not have a pro quarterback near the caliber of Brett
Favre who recently threw 20 consecutive completed
passes. This happened when Green Bay Packers
soundly whipped the Detroit Lions this past
will feature favorite recipes from WI anglers for
Golden Trout! Yummy Plank Cured Golden Cheese
Trout Fricassee should be a big hit with everyone!
Gonna have to wait until later today for the
photo promised from yesterday's update.
Correction is need on the Musky photo, as this fish
was taken in the Fox River, right near downtown
Green Bay, WI. Awesome to have a fishery like
that in a big city!
Stay tuned, as
we try retrieve the rare perfectly composed photo
for the pleasure of your viewing, if all goes as
planned later today!
Posted a new
photo of the 2008 Silver Bullet stuff, cuz the new 2
and 3 Fly Meat Rigs deserve a front page
display. It was no small miracle to take this
photo, cuz the reflection from the flash drove the
camera nutso. Click
for new 2008 Meat Rigs
Having perfectly matching
flashers and meat heads is a benefit no one can
Sales of the newly debuted 2008 Silver Bullet products are
beyond any of my expectations. The way it looks,
we'll probably have to send off another batch for plating prior
to the Flint Steelheaders Spring Show held at the
Expo Center in Birch Run, MI.
for this show in 2008 are Feb. 29th thru March 2nd
in case you want to circle that on your calendar
now. If you'd like to see what the Flint
Steelheaders have planned for their 2008 show click
here (it's a pretty lengthy list of
A while back,
the possibility of selling my websites/tackle
business was mentioned. After deep thought,
considering full retirement? ...that idea didn't set
well with me.
decided to stay the course in 2008 and continue with
a journey started on October 1, 1968 when I caught
my first Coho Salmon in West Platte Bay, north of
Frankfort, MI. It's easy to stay working if
you have a passion for what you do!
Where's the direction of the internet headed in the
future? A tough question for sure, but since
it bloomed in the late 1990s, not much has
changed. Spam, which is an estimated 70% of
all web traffic goes unchecked, because of ISPs
(internet service providers) seem unconscious to the
obnoxious garbage that goes in our email box!
Next subject with the
internet is advertising, advertising, and more
advertising that plague us with more ads when we
frequent many websites, like the weather.
Some where's down the
road, paying for services/info will come into
play. If anyone thinks the internet is free,
you'd better check your next billing statement from
Inside sources say, seems the Little
River Band's tribal council does not trust the
tactics of the new tribal fishers that used a Blitzkrieg
mentality in setting 18 trap nets during the
spring/summer of 2007 off the Port of Manistee,
The Little River
tribe recently has set aside $50,000.00 of the 2000
Consent Decree monies from the State of Michigan to
pull abandoned nets.
They (the tribe)
should know how expensive it is, cuz they (the
tribe) had to hire outside contractors to pull nets
in Ludington abandoned a few years back.
Let's go with a bunch of different topics for today's update:
1. Now is the time to consider new electronics, cuz the
devaluation of our dollar means the 2008 imported products will take a
price jump. New sonar and GPS is light years ahead of the products
just a few years back.
2. The flex finish on the 2008 Silver Bullet products is the most
thoroughly tested of any tackle I've introduced to the public so
for an example of the flex plating
3. The Silver Bullet fly/squid heads sold out in about 3 days
at the webstore. Along with the flex finish on my flashers this is
another world first. I hope to re-stocked by the first of the year
on this ground breaking upgrade. Click
for Reel-Silver Bullets
Maybe there is something to validate the global
warming we've all heard about. On 11/21/07
petunias leftover from summer landscaping are still
growing with a couple of flowers to prove it.
For the climate in Manistee, MI this is highly
Have a Great Thanksgiving!
Falling water levels is a worthy topic for
today's update. This past Monday we used the
public launch at Stronach, MI to fish Manistee
Lake. Using this launch ramp back in early
July presented no problems for my 22' boat.
By the looks of
things, our water level has dropped around foot
since then. The lowered water level in
Manistee Lake caused major problems when we went to
put the boat back on the trailer, as the ramp
offered less area to float the boat on the
trailer. If we hadn't had a set waders along,
the retrieving the boat would have been a lot
worse. Asking someone to wade without waders
in 40 some degree water would have likely caused my
crew to mutiny! Have a great turkey
11/20/07 Steelhead catching on Manistee Lake is at a dead
standstill from what I seen firsthand yesterday
morning. Seems like the lake needs to reload
with some fresh run fish, cuz for now...the
Steelhead there are on the endangered species list!
Many thanks for the
warm reception given to the 2008 Silver Bullet
products! I appreciate your vote of confidence
and promise you will not be disappointed.
There's several world firsts involved, but we can
discuss this at a later date.
To those that
ordered: we'll be shipping product early next week
via UPS, unless specified otherwise. www.michiganangler.com
has the new products listed.
Today is the world debut of the 2008 line of
Silver Bullet flashers and meat heads. These are the most
thoroughly tested/proven products to date!
Rigorous testing was
to make sure the flex polished mirror finish on the flashers and meat
heads would exceed anyone's expectations for durability,
fish-catchability, fit, and 100% reflect-ability of available
light (at any depth).
There's brand new 2
pages explaining the whole testing procedure started
on 8/17/07 thru early September. Click
for page 1
here for page 2 which is a timeline and several
more photos showing you exactly how these products
shined pulling fish in even the most crowed
I'm proud to say 2008
Silver Bullet flashers (both 10" &
12") and meat heads (magnums & super mags)
are available now at: www.michiganangler.com
Steelhead fishing in Manistee Lake is still
decent, as late season fishermen extend their
season. Today's featured photo is from message
board member, Educator. He took some fair
sized Steelhead on 11/14/07 with a few helpful hints
gleaned from our message board. Click
for his Steelhead photo
Word from Lake
Michigan off Ludington's bath-house is fairly easy
limits of Steelhead, along with next year's Kings in
the top 30' of water. Be forewarned, only
highly experienced anglers should tackle this late
season fishery on Lake Michigan.
You could be the only
boat out there and assistance of any kind is always
quite a distance away. Not to mention the
heavy seas most of the time.
Kinda shot myself in the foot with our poll.
Southern Lake Michigan ports in Indiana don't have
150' of water close to shore, like the ports leading
to the north have. So, any results gained for
our poll are gonna be semi-tainted.
were the deal around Manistee. Most consistent
action I seen during 2007 was 150' to 250'.
Then again ...this is tainted info, cuz the trap
nets prevented working 50' to 160' depths on
2007 I felt handcuffed ever time I left the dock, or
launch (in Manistee) not being able to fish tighter
to structure. Then what fish that were on the
inside, between the net depths of 50' to 160'
couldn't be touched anyways!
Will 2008 be
a carbon copy of the antics by the fanatical tribal
I highly doubt it, as a large portion of 2000
Consent Decree monies from the State of Michigan
doled out to the LRB HAS BEEN SPENT! Look for
these netters to go broke, or siphon more money from
the tribe to finance an ongoing money losing proposition.
One thing I
keep forgetting to mention: there's a
trap net fairly close to the pier heads in
Manistee. I do not know the exact
location. Talk was slightly south off the
First Street Beach in 30' to 40' of water.
Late season anglers beware!
T.G.I.F. is good way to melt into the upcoming
Thanksgiving and Christmas Holiday seasons.
Lots to look forward to in next week's updates
including the largest verifiable King Salmon caught
in 2007 & who caught it!
On next week's
agenda is the world debut of Prototype 2008.
This project has been under-wraps since
8/17/07. I've built 2 new pages with many
photos attesting to the success seen in the Michigan
ports of Ludington, Manistee, Arcadia and Leland
last summer. This product/prototypes went thru
extreme durability tests.
Prototype 2008 was made possible mostly thru efforts
of message board member, Getaway (aka Bob K.) and I
thank him for his wise engineering expertise!
Michigan's unofficial statewide holiday for firearm deer
season begins today. Keeping with this tradition, my
plan is to take the day off too. While the
deer have been skimpy around my place, sitting in
the woods, being away from phones, computers, and
work of any sort is a mind clearing reprieve from
the daily grind.
As Paul Harvey might say, ........."click
here for the rest of the stories
11/14/07 Bunch going on
this week! Headline maker is
the start of firearms whitetail deer season
tomorrow. Deer are hard critters to figure out, at
least for me they are.
At this time
last year we had several good bucks frequenting my
property and adjoining federal land. This year
it's out-n-out slim picking with not many to be found.
What will this coming Thurs. bring? ...a good possibility
of snow that will help!
Semi delayed this
week's topic of the many different types of line
used for big lake fishing and plan on reverting back
to this all important topic when time allows.
Those newer to big water trolling will benefit most
in the explanations in the
usages of each line listed. Understanding whys
& wherefores leads to consistent success.
Went fishing yesterday afternoon for a few hours
on Manistee Lake by the Little Manistee River.
Capt. Tom Rasmussen was kind enough to invite
me. We did about 3 laps around the south end
where the river enters the lake.
On the second lap we hit a
decent Steelhead that was part bird, cuz it kept
flying out the water. After about 5 skyward
leaps and patient/gentle coaxing by me, Capt. Tom
slid the net under this villainess in one fell
for 7# hen Steelie
Big fun to get away
from the office and shop for a short afternoon (been
working on new 2008 stuff), where even a one fish
catch was appreciated ...as much, if not more then 10
limits would have on Lk. MI during last summer. Click
for X-5 Flatfish the Steelhead ate!
always in the eye of the beholder, and one fish
looked pretty darn good to me!
Took a micrometer and measure the various diameters of the line I
use aboard my boat. All lines have been used, stretched and went
thru cycles of wet and drying. So, these numbers might not be
spot-on when the line first comes off the spool. You'll get a
better idea of the point I'm trying to make in this week's updates.
Click for photo showing
the all the fishing lines used
Test of each line
of lines commonly used
||7 strand S.S. Wire
Proposed changes to any charter regulations, or
service taxes are not need by this industry.
Charter customers drive the economy in towns like
Frankfort, Manistee and Ludington during the later
part of the summer. Their money gets spread
around to motels, gas stations and
restaurants. Saddling charter operators with
anything detrimental in Michigan's shaky business
climate is plain outright stupid!
32 years ago today the Great Lakes freighter, the
Edmund Fitzgerald sank in a severe storm on Lake
Superior with 29 hands aboard. There were no survivors.
non-conclusive reasons have been offered for why
this ship went down. Some said the 732' ship
scraped bottom at Caribou Shoals and began to
leak. This happed when the Ed. Fitz. took a
more northerly route to avoid the huge 35' seas.
official opinion said the hatches were not fastened
do not believe either reason.
To me? ....the
biggest clue to the sinking lies in the underwater
images of this proud sunken ore freighter. Click
for the Edmund Fitzgerald
The wheel house
was blown out when the taconite pellets crashed
forward as a gigantic rouge wave pitch-poled this
ship, throwing the freighter like a dart ...bow
first to a watery grave 530' beneath the cold
surface of Lake Superior.
The Fitz was
further immortalized in a song by Gordon Lightfoot
called, "The Wreck of the Edmund
Fitzgerald." This tune was favorite with
me back in my charter days (1983 thru 2003). I
played this tune on charters when the seas were
nasty (like 6 to 10 footers) to add extra thrills
& drama for my guests!
was carrying about 26,000 tons of iron ore/taconite
when it sank.
view taconite pellets
In case your gray matter has more room for
semi-useful knowledge, read on. Taconite is a
low grade iron ore mixed with bentonite clay and
limestone prior to being processed into steel for
the auto factories in Detroit, MI and Cleveland,
OH. This was back in olden times when most of
our cars were still being built in the USA!
use government stupidity for today's topic. There's all kinds of
new regulations that might be in the works for charter operators.
One of the most ignorant is a Transportation
Worker Identification Credential for maritime workers. Cost of
this card is $139 to $159 for their first TWIC. Charter skippers
are licensed now by the Merchant Marine, do not need stupid stuff like
The Michigan Dept. of Natural Resources
wants out of the charter boat inspection business. Back in 1983 my
first charter boat inspection was 25 bucks. This figure escalated
to $250.00 for first time boat inspections in about 1987. Then
every other year is was $125.00 (if you were renewing the same
Other this long duration of time
the MDNR has built nearly a spotless record with only one charter boat
every sinking (that I know of). That occurred in the later 1980s
off Port Austin, MI, but all passengers were rescued and did not spend
more then 3 minutes in the water. I urge the DNR to continue their
fine record and reconsider the proposed changes to a policy that served
us well for 30 some years!
More on other things pertaining to
charter operators tomorrow.....
At all costs, like the plague, I try to avoid
any political commentary. Visitors of this
website do not come here for spewing propaganda for
the Rs or Ds.
Then, if you do say
something not agreeable to both Republicans and
Democrats, you're running the risk of alienating of
goodly part of your audience.
In this case,
24% of you who are in lockstep with Bush &
Cheney are probably gonna get a little ticked
for Reuter's poll ratings verification
veto of the popular $23 billion water bill could be
soon overturned. House Republicans
joined with Democrats for the 361-54 vote, far
greater than the two-thirds majority needed to prevail.
for Detroit Free article
What makes this bill of great consequence to Great Lakes
anglers? ...funding for an important permanent Asian carp barrier in
Chicago, IL, new locks for Great Lakes shipping, and
20 million for Lake St. Clair sewage treatment is
included in it.
If, and when this
veto is overturned, it will be the first time
congress has squashed a Bush veto. Click
here for real-time cost of the Iraq war
Solution to make up
the 23 billion is to pull our troops out of Iraq 2
P.S. I owe no allegiance to
any political party, so do not email me either way!
You've heard this one before: "You
never know what you got, until it's
gone." The recent nasty weather with
winds to 50 mph brought back grim memories of my
guiding days (1985 thru 2003) on the Big Manistee
Back in those days,
bad weather was endured to get your clients into
fish. We dealt with winds to and past 50 mph, grudgingly
fished in below zero temps to -20, and seen 15
inches of snowfall during a 8 hour trip.
Needless to say,
glad ...what I had ...is gone!"
Here's just of few of the meanings of the word
and frustration that comes with the
Intensity building before the first bite
in the morning.
Simple pleasures in life are often
the most rewarding.
Humiliating experiences that levels
the playing field for all anglers.
Investing in our peace of mind.
Never being pessimistic, cuz
fishermen are born optimists.
Grandiose for the plans we have
before leaving the dock/launch.
boats were trolling off the mouth of the Little Manistee River on
Manistee Lake. Only 1 fish was caught, so we postponed our trip
until sometime later this week. Fishing seems to be better after a
NW blow for Stronach, MI fishermen.
Spent most of yesterday finishing the
first phase of Prototype 2008. Still a bunch to do before the
world premiere this coming turkey day (11/22/07).
The size of Lake Ontario's Kings are
shrinking too. 40 some pounders used to win the big fish
derbies. In 2007, I heard a 32 pounder was the contest winner.
What is fishing about? Under any
circumstances that's not an easy question to
answer. Here's a partial answer: a big part of
any fishing trip is time spent with likeable people
on the same wave length.
By 3pm this
afternoon Capt. Tom Rasmussen, John J (former
deckhand), and myself will be floating around on
Manistee Lake come hell, or high water.
Our grand expedition
into the unknown won't be asking for much. A
nibble, or two would be just fine. Fishing
trips with buds are a great way to put daily
pressure cooker of life on the rear burner.
If we luck into
a fish or two, releasing it (to fight another day)
will rank high on the list. To me? ....fishing
is not about the numbers of fish killed, it's the
camaraderie of the other fishermen aboard.
Let's not overlook the enlightening "on the
water" conversations that always seem on the
fast track to curing the world's many
ills! Besides, the tools aboard are not
for nasty 8 letter word: work-work!
Hope you adjusted your
clocks back one hour to standard time last night.
Shop duties working on Prototype 2008 is today's
agenda. These new products will debut
soon. Thanksgiving Day 11/22/07 is the target
date for the world announcement. Hope to find
time some time this weekend to wet a line.
Tonight (early Sunday
morning 11/4/07)) at 2:00am we fall back one hour as
daylight savings time ends. On 11/4/07 at 2am
changes to 1am local standard time.
Let's just go with a couple of links for today's
update. First one is about controlling cormorants
in Wisconsin. Click
for WI cormorant control
Here's a link
to CERA, a group organizing to uphold our
Constitution with equal rights for all. I was
on this site for good 30 minutes. Kinda
surprising to learn not many tribe members get to
share in the wealth of their casinos. There's
lots of good behind the scenes info we usually don't
get a chance to see. Click
for more info
To anyone misguided individual that thinks
Indian gaming casinos are the road to panacea, you'd
better wake up and smell the coffee!
In the year
2000, median income in Manistee, MI (before the
casino took hold) was $30,351. In 2005, median
income in Manistee backslid to $30,200.
Factoring inflation a lot
has been lost by the residents of Manistee, MI.
Seeing the Michigan statewide income average is
here to verify info
Factoids: Manistee held a referendum
(prior to the casino being built), or none-binding
vote in a general election. Casino lost by a
In the 1980s
& 1990s Joyce Waitner and family enlisted
support of the non-Indian townspeople in Manistee
for getting the Little River Band
back then said, "they wouldn't allow the
netting in waters off Manistee."
Local non-Indian townsfolk went to bat and wrote
letters to Congress, believing netting wasn't on the
LRB agenda. Joyce Waitner now works at the
casino and either has a hard time sleeping, or is
suffering from acute amnesia.
Jim La Port
General Manager for the Little River Casino has been
fired. Could the casino be feeling the boycott
from Manistee County residents? The summer
travel season is over and lack of local support
might be starting to make a difference.
Halloween Update: The WI big water fishermen are still going.
Message board members fished this past Saturday with OK results out of
Kewaunee, WI. Today's photo of the day is a plump well fed juvenile
King. I can't say it's as fat as a pumpkin, but it shows good
belly girth. Click
for 10/27/07 WI King
Inside word says, many of the adult 2007
Kings were only 3 year old fish, with some maturing at 2 years.
I'm sure there were enough micro tagged fished returning to the harvest
weirs to verify, or dispel this info.
Michigan's DNR has dropped the ball on
supplying us any kind of statistics which could be easily added to their
website. Standard policy seems to be hiding everything under a
bushel basket. Our MDNR ranks in the top 10 with revenue collected
from hunters and fishermen for license fees.
Last Saturday's Detroit News in an article written
by Frank Donnelly titled,
"Anglers, tribe clash of fish: Conflict has led
to boycotts, charges of racism."
This led to a
direct quote from my 7/17/07 daily update saying,
"this ain't the OJ trial and Johnnie Cockran is
dead." Concerning the race card being
played in a response directly from the casino. Click
for the 10/27/07 Detroit News article
Racism is not
any part of the netting controversy.
Commercial and sport fishing goals are, and have
been two diametrically opposed forces from the git
nets are the issue of who controls our fishery,
as the Native American fishermen have made all to
clear. They suffocated Manistee with 18 nets
in the prime areas where the sports fleet caught
most of their fish. Rendering 75% of inshore
waters off the Port of Manistee, MI inaccessible to
the hook and line anglers.
Readying my riverboat for November Steelheading
on the Big Manistee River discovered a problem with
the anchor winch. Disassembling the faulty
winch, showed a Chinese made winch motor. This
is a prime example Chinese junk and I'm not talking
about a Chinese sailboat. Click
for proof of Chinese junk
To the outside, this
$150 marvel was used maybe 10 times. So, this
wasn't beat on over a long period of time, or ever
saw hard usage.
exported to our country are shoddy, with lead paint
in children's toys, and whatever cheap products they
can pawn off on us. For now China's
craftsmanship is behind in our in many areas.
Much like the imported stuff from Japan during the
1950s, when "Made in Japan" was laughed
at. China will certainly raise their
manufacturing standards, as we continue to finance
their technologies to do so.
Good deal for
them, but it sucks to be us!
update will focus on the ever growing sandbars in
Manistee Lake and how constant flow policy (started
in the early 1990s) a contributing factor.
Leaves in the Big Manistee River often dictate
the way you can fish. When there's a lot of
leaves coming down the river, generally ...plugs, or
crankbaits are totally 100% out of the
question. Constantly dealing with fouled plugs
from leaf debris gets old in a big hurry!
Presently, in my neck
of the woods the trees are still holding about 40%
of their leaves. Maple trees are clean, but
the oaks are still shedding big time.
The flow of the Big
Manistee River is about average for this time of the
year. The stats from Tippy Dam says 1500 cubic
feet of water per second.
These stats are
gathered from a link on the "Great Lakes
Info" page. If you're a river angler,
you'll want to check this page out. Click
for Manistee River flow data
Late season trollers on Manistee Lake are
catching some fish. The catch seems to be mostly
comprised of Coho. Heard the Coho were running
small, like 1.5 to 5 pounds. Some Steelhead
starting to show up. Crowded is another word
that should be brought into the conversation, cuz 12
boats doing laps around the Little Manistee River
mouth is a pretty good sized pack for a small 1/3
fixing the anchor winch on my riverboat. Fishing the
Big Manistee River is a definite for the not to far
off future. The big river could use a 3 day
gulley washer to make it prime for this
November. Although, the water flow has been
weather turns nasty and keeps the open, or tin boat
fishermen home, SR 1779 will prowl Manistee Lake,
during mid-week in less traffic conditions.
The Flint Steelheaders website is number one in my book. It's
packed with info on all fronts. I found the tournament results
The largest overall King taken in 2007
during 8 events pointed towards Salmon and Trout, the biggest King for
the entire season was 19.1 pounds.
I spotted another trend with more
tournaments closer to home in 2008. Their calendar has 4 dates on
Lake Huron, not too far from the Flint, MI area. It's a fact the
price gas is cutting into fishing budgets as our last poll plainly
My hats off to webmaster Greg G for the
fine job he's done in assembling great info in a easy to use
manner Click for
Flint Steelheaders website
Installed a new poll concerning where you had your best luck in 2007.
This idea came from popular discussion on our message board, many members did there best over deeper water, working mostly suspended
fish last summer.
This is almost the
exact opposite from 1990s & early i2ks, when you
had to fish tight to structure, within 10 of the
bottom to consistently score limit catches.
Personally, my best
action was in 125' to 250' of water. In
hindsight, abandoning my habit of working the
inshore, 50' to 70' drop-off might have been a
better program. Then again, less time on the
water is not what I'm after at this stage of my
Great Lakes fishing career. Savoring every
minute on the water is!
I'm willing to bet,
every viewer of this website wished they have fished
more last summer when the opportunity was there.
With the bow season for whitetails well underway
and the firearm season about 3 weeks out, here's
what's going on in my neck of the woods:
Since just after
Labor Day it's been slim pickins around my
place. While there was a fair mix of buck (6
pointers) and does in August, since the acorns
dropped, the whitetails have not made their presence
known to me.
2007 racks are on the
scrawny side, when compared to the trophies I seen
last year. I figured we'd be in hog-heaven
this season with monster horns, after passing
several times on a decent 10 pointer last
season. There were bigger deer about as the
archived photo from 2006 proves. Click
for 2006 bucks
did I gain from viewing the five years of polls? Fan based
popularity have remained the about same, fluctuations in spoons rose
slightly. The big news is 51% of the fishermen polled used some
kind of an attractor.
The great news for me is 49% of
those questioned pulled the clean stuff like spoons and J-Plugs.
Half a market is still untapped!
It's my concrete belief the crowd
of non-users of attractors are more successful with spoons/J-Plugs,
because they're not under full control of boat their boat's speed.
Controlling your vessel's trolling momentum is critical after the easy,
dumb first light bite is over. Full, well-fed fish, not looking
for a meal will not run down a lure traveling too fast. If you're
action is mostly over after after the sun comes up, take a good hard
look at how fast you're trolling.
If you walk down any charter dock
in Ludington, Manistee, Leland, or Frankfort, MI during late July,
August, or September you'll see mostly attractors hung on the rods
resting dockside. This is reel-fact can be verified with a quick
stroll down the charter docks. Seeing first hand what the pros use
might cause you to rethink your program for the better! Click
for poll verification (you do the math)
For the fifth consecutive season our annual poll
with the asking the question
of what was your best
method for adult Salmon? Computers are
excellent at complying data and this is a fine
example of that.
After holding the top
spot in 2004. 2005, and 2006 meat fishing relinquished
the top spot to spoons by about 3 percentage
points. Click here for
our poll page
I'm kinda surprised
the margin was so slim in the poll comparing
methods. I say, "surprised," cuz of
the dirty underhanded rumors spread during this
year's spring show season. I know of a few unscrupulous
vendors selling some off-brand spoons at the Flint
Steelheaders show ...they said, "bait killed
fish." Then tried to reinforce this falsehood/rumor
on message boards when Lk. MI got off to a slow
start in May.
low-class ne'er-do-wells were proved wrong by June.
July, August, and September 2007 went on to be
another banner year for Salmon!
"The bigger the lie,
the more people will believe it." Joseph Paul
Goebbels, Minister of Propaganda for the National
Socialist Workers Party, more infamously known as
the Nazi party. More on the reel facts of
our poll tomorrow....
In mentioning the biomass of Lake Michigan, this
fact came to mind: most of the fish I caught last
summer were over depths of 150 to 225
Always starting in the
shallow stuff first, still most the bites tended to
be suspended hits over the deeper water. This
is contrary to what I remember in the earlier i2ks
when I fished most ever day as a charter skipper.
Then, I put 2 and 2
together. Zebra mussels have expanded into
large colonies. Using shallower depths, limiting the
availability of plankton (food for bait
Same deal with the October
Lake Michigan fishing, cuz according to the last I
heard, the best action was over 500' plus of
water. Zebra mussels can not filter out the
plankton over this deep water, cuz they anchor
themselves to the bottom.
Zebra mussels have
spread to many states east of the Mississippi River
and are now traveling westward. Click
for zebra mussels
What makes the Port of Ludington, MI so good?
Just saying Ludville is a hot port does little in
understanding the whys & wherefores. Let's
dig a little deeper to the bathymetry (bottom
features) chart. Click
here for depth Lk. MI chart
The Two Rivers Ridge
runs east to west across Lk. MI. The deep
water structure called the Ludington Basin is fed
from the south by the Muskegon Basin. Currents
are constantly reloading from the northern deeper
part, keeping the biomass alive with plankton that
attracts bait fish. No big deal if you look at
the big picture!
Some Steelhead are in the Manistee River
system. For now, it's a spawn dunker's
paradise, cuz the water has been low and clear for
this time of the year.
deep in Lk. Michigan? That's a story of good
catching on the second 450' to 500' drop off, or at least it
had been. The biomass on the first drop off,
Manistee's shelf (about 3 miles off shore) has not
been all that hot in October.
the bathometry (bottom features) and how it effects
underlying current movement is an unproven
science. Currents freshen up the food source
(plankton), attracting bait. Find the bait and
you'll always find the predatory fish.
annual poll, running since 2003. Some shifts
are noteworthy. 51% of the fishing public
remain firmly entrenched as attractor users of some sort. 49% of angler viewing this website are
into clean stuff (spoons/J-Plugs). More on
this Monday, or click here for a sneak
peek 5 seasons of poll stats is pretty
Today's big news is the poll that's pointed at
your best method for catching adult Salmon.
This is the exact same poll I've ran every year
since 2003. There's four years of archived
records that will be shared once our 2007 poll has a
fair sampling number of voters. Please vote
for your favorite method.
featured photo is a Pacific Ocean Silver Salmon
(Coho) caught in the Skagit River in the State of
Washington (out on the west coast). It's kinda
amazing, all Salmon anglers share the same passion
in the pursuit of our sport. Many of the
techniques we use are very close, cuz the Coho was
caught on a plug (Kwikfish) similar to the Flatfish
used on the Big Manistee River. Click
for WA Coho
Today's featured photo is from last Monday when
I was making movies of the yet unannounced Prototype
2008s. It's far easier to show, then trying
explain product characteristics. Click
for 10/15/07 harbor bait photo
There was a large
amount of bait present in Manistee's harbor, but not
many fish. Any fish that were there, only had
to open their mouth to eat and wouldn't chase a meal
down. My graph clearly shows too much bait for
Kinda amazes me how
far the quality of color sonar has come. From
an under 500 dollar economical graph, it does a good
job This graph can be clearly read in full
sun. Depth, speed, temp, voltage are being
displayed in the customizable left border.
Message Board Members: Click
here to access discussion board
It's that time of the year again to run our
annual poll page directed at your most productive
method of catching adult Kings. Was it spoons,
J-Plugs, flasher/fly, dodger squid, meat, etcetera?
This poll will be posted later today.
Thanks to message
board member SteveO (Photodynamix) we have a new
photo of a freshly caught Kewaunee, WI
Steelhead. It was a long run to the
fish, like 17 miles to get to 600' of water.
Their better fish were caught deep on meat.
for 10/14/07 WI Steelhead
Are you into the
complete life cycle of Michigan's freshwater
Salmon? Then, there's a special treat for you
today, as the 10/6/07 Pine Creek article has reached
completion. Added another large file size
movie too. Along with some never seen before
photos taken at Pine Creek recently.
Just by a
click, you can be magically transported (via
internet), experiencing what it's like to get up
close and personal. Capture the
essence of the fall Salmon spawning ritual and the
best part is: you
never have leave your chair!
It was a total
pleasure to slosh around, with the waders on, taking
these photos and movies for you. Click
for the new Pine Creek page
May I suggest,
visiting my Encyclopedia
of Tips and Tricks? It's loaded many articles at
improving you skills, or provide a better
understanding to a full-framed landscape of Great
Lakes fishing knowledge. Click
for Encyclopedia Page
like most everything today is being directed at blatant
commercialism. Case in point: we pay for satellite,
or cable TV only to be rewarded with 25% of
programming to be saturated with commercials.
So, we even pay for the advertising air time that
invades our homes. Good for deal for them
reason many of my articles contain no product
advertising whatsoever. If your stuff's is
state of the art, you don't have to!
Ever wonder why your hook-up vs. landing ratio
on Steelhead isn't like with Salmon? Please
closely examine today's featured photo. You'll
see what almost looks like a second row of teeth,
just inside the obvious jaw teeth. Then,
further down the throat there's another boney
patch. Trying to get a hook into these areas
is next to impossible! That's why after a
couple of jumps your much respected adversary
for a Steelhead's boney jaw areas
Hooking and holding fish is
a baffling science, cuz what penetrates best is a
thinner diameter hook. Lighter wire hooks work
better, but if you're into Bill Joe Bob, or Roland
Martin hook-sets ...you're gonna straighten
It's a delicate
balance when choosing the right hook, cuz they do
not come on stock "off the shelf lures."
Round bend VMC 9649 is what I used in the number 2
& 4 sizes when I used to be in the river guide
business. Number 2s in the same number were
good to go on Lk. Michigan anytime we were targeting
10/13/07 Continuing our mini-series on Steelhead, let's
discuss length vs. weight issues. It's takes
32 inches for 12 pounds, and 36 inches to make a
legit 16 pounder. Michigan's master angler for
Steelhead is 17 lbs. So, master angler
Steelies are hard to come. Over the years in
my career both as a charter boat skipper and a river
guide, I seen a lot of 16s caught, but very few over
Largest caught Big
Manistee Steelhead I saw was 19 lbs. (taken by
another guide). Click
for 16 lbs of Steelhead we caught on 11/01/01
Steelhead ever boated on my vessel was a 20 pounder
taken many years ago, spring fishing out of
Saugatuck, MI on Lk. Michigan.
Steelhead I seen caught was on the Betsie River's
Homestead Dam on 2/14/85. That fish weighed a
whopping 24 pounds and change (not far off
Michigan's state record). I remember that fish
well, cuz, a photo I took made it, ....in the then
Michigan Fisherman magazine.
will key in on why Steelhead are hard to hook
There's been enough talk of fall Steelhead over 12
pounds, it kinda makes you wonder why our Kings are
shrinking away like they did with 2007 crop?
Robertson, the head MDNR's fisheries in the late
1980s ...he said Steelhead used a different part of
Lake Michigan's forage base.
Steelhead over 12
pounds might prove this point. A 12 lb. Iron
Noggin equates to an over 20 lb. King in my
book. Average size on the Steelies I've seen
over the last 20 some years probably tilts the scale
some where's around 8 lbs. So, when you do
catch a honest 12 pounder, you can claim bragging
rights to a worthy fish!
photo is from 12/10/01 when I was still in the guide
business on the Big Manistee River. This fish
weighed right at 12 pounds and looks bigger to most
people. Steelhead as a rule do not carry a
wide girth like Kings. Hence the reason they
all look a heavier than they are. Click
for archived Steelie pic
economics is way beyond my understanding. With
the our US dollar being devalued, we're shipping
more tackle (from my company) to Sweden and Norway
lately. I guess the products we produce in the USA
are starting to look like a bargain overseas anglers
who don't mind paying the international shipping
Not much to go on for a fishing update, except
broad generalities learned thru guiding experience
on the Big Manistee River for close 20 years.
River Steelheading will be the big game from now
until the end of March 2008. Fall Steelhead
start trickling in the river by mid-September.
In October the run builds and we seemed to get a
good push of fish by the 3rd week of October, with a
bigger run at the end of the month going into weeks
1 & 2 of November.
Cold weather and rain (like
we've had) can act like a magnet to draw fresh fish
into the system. Manistee Lake and the lower
section of the big river will soon be producing
great fishing opportunities for fall silver-bullet
Next week I'll
give Manistee Lake a closer look with my boat, SR
1979. Late season fishing in comfort was one
of the ideas behind the purchase. New backdrop
to keep the wind off us will be a pleasure &
extend fishing time. Click
the water safety involves more than just life jackets. It means
protecting yourself from long term exposure to the sun. As our
first generation big water fishermen age (those that started in the late
1960s), several things are worthy of note. Like taking extremely
good care of your eyes while afloat!
15 to 20 per cent of anglers that are
over 55 are now having to deal with macular degeneration. This
condition effects the macula located behind your retina and controls
blood flow. Beginning symptoms are tiny black spots that grow
larger with time, as you slowly lose your vision. Especially, the
Make sure you have a good set of
polarized sunglasses that offer first-rate UV protection. Sunlight
bouncing off the waves at weird angles can go directly into the
retina. Almost like staring into the sun. I'm sure you've
all seen that twinkling.
With all things in life, there's the
obvious reason, then the reason real reason. With the potential
sale of my websites/tackle manufacturing the obvious reason was
retirement. The real reason is I've been diagnosed with the early
stages of the dry type macular degeneration, but still have sound 20/20
At first, I was hesitant to
mention this. Thinking this would provide leverage to a potential
buyer, but it's far more important that you learn about taking the best
care of your vision, both on the water and onshore....NOW!
10/9/07 From the movies I took this past Saturday, up
close and personal I seen no fish that were near 20
pounds, or better. Seen several spawning
Kings on 10/6/07 that would have a hard time going
12 pounds. This is an alarming situation!
Scads of Kings,
kinda looking like stunted bluegills ....in a farm
pond could be a likely comparison. Naturally
reproduced fish, like what Pine Creek contributes to
Lk. Michigan is unknown factor with increased
numbers that seems to lessen overall size.
Will we ever see 30 pound Kings again? Click
for 31 pounder taken in 02
reproduction? Well, our fish have had close to
40 generations to refine their skills at adapting
procreation in our Great Lakes watershed. My
take is, natural fish start off smaller due to
availability of a limited food source.
Hatchery fish do not suffer from this problem and
have plenty of feed 24/7.
worthy of mention, is cross breeding between species
(Coho & Kings). This was semi verified in
Honor, MI's Coho Tournament several years ago when
Capt. Del Parson had a fish disallowed when they
counted the fin anal rays, the count didn't match
either specie. This fish appeared to be 100% Coho
for all intents
and purposes. There was talk back then of
inter-specie breeding. Could the fish we catch
today be mixed breed of 3 year old Kinghos?
I'd say it's
Michigan DNR gives back what it took away in 1989
and reinstitute the 5 King daily creel limit, just
like we used to have. All other states that
border Lk. Michigan allows a 5 King daily
our we short changed?
Internet connection problems prevents work on
the new page about spawning Kings in Pine
Creek. Managed to get another movie uploaded
for high speed users. Click to download:
3 about spawning salmon (16.3 megs).
Until my satellite
internet is back up and running the new Pine Creek
page is on hold. I did get some great photos
and look forward to sharing them with you.
Capt. Len Mitchell
from Lucky Charm Charters posted a good report on
our message board about Kings and Steelhead in 500'
fow off Manistee, MI. Capt. Len said the fish
were feeding in tiny alewives about 2 inches long.
presents good fishing when the weather
cooperates. SR 1979 is not winterized and I
plan on using my boat several times this
month. Manistee Lake should be good in another
week, or so for Steelhead/Salmon
Today's update is mostly deferred. I took
several photos and 4 movies of Salmon spawning in
Pine Creek yesterday and have enough material to do
a new article on the spawning process.
Hopefully, this new piece will debut tomorrow.
Click to download: Movie
1 (5.6 megs) Movie
2 (8.5 megs)
We all have different notions that spark our
interest. One of mine is watching Salmon spawn
in the fall. To me? ...it's just plain fascinating
to seeing nature go full circle with the life cycle
of our much cherished freshwater Salmon.
We all spend
thousands of dollars in pursuit of Coho and
Kings! Spurred on by the thrill of having a
rod, or several rods going off at once. For some
reason this is a mystical connection none of us will
probably never fully understand.
photo is from Pine Creek, a major tributary of the
Big Manistee River. Pine Creek enters the Big
Manistee about 12 miles downstream of Tippy Dam and
flushes into the big river from the south
If you're looking
for directions to the Pine? Take M55 five or six
miles west of Wellston, MI. Turn north on Huff
Road and drive until you hit a bridge that crosses
the Pine Creek. My plan is to do some more
photo/movie work there today.
about giving directions, as Pine Creek is a listed
trout stream and presently closed to fishing until
the last Saturday in April 2008. Beware if
you're a snagger, or a poacher, cuz the tribal
police and the DNR guard this place like it's Fort
for spawning Salmon in Pine Creek on 10/5/07
It's impossible to encapsulate the 2007 big lake trolling season in 4
days in about 16 paragraphs. Simple things did stand out, like
bait was not in abundance from what I seen in Manistee, Arcadia and
Leland, MI. Small isolated pockets of what were probably alewives,
but no huge massive schools.
Also, the bait was smaller, when compared
to size in 2006. This took me a while to catch onto. Green
Label (6 to 7 inches) whole bait was not near as productive in 2007, as
it was in 2006. Once we downsized to whole Orange Label (4 to 5
inches) bait our meat program really took off like a rocket.
There's a lesson to be learned from this,
cuz what worked in the past has not one single thing to do with what
works in the here and now. Stay opened minded and adjust is sound
advice! Hopefully, MDNR with take this into account when the total
the catch numbers over the past 3 seasons. The fleet has improved,
along with the tackle and better, more productive fishermen means more
fish will be caught!
To continue the recap of the 2007, late May was not good
news for Manistee fishermen. Tribal netters came to
this port with little regard for the sport fishing
public. Between the last part of May into July, they
plastered 18 trap nets from Big Point Sable to
Onekama. This left little room for structure fishing,
as the nets run from 50' to 70' out to 140' to 160'. Click
for 7/2/07 Manistee King
netters promised to do, never came to fruition. Having
this amount of trap nets, caused grief and severely
restricted where you could fish.
There was an opening in the
15.5 to 19.5 numbers (approx. 4miles), but fishing this zone
in August became a nightmare. Never in my almost 40
years of fishing Lake Michigan did I see the amount of boats
concentrated in such a small area, with the exception of
trolling around the harbor. This was a joke!
I remember 8/31/07 when
we pulled lines at 9am, preferring not to keep fishing due
to traffic jam boat pressure. Fishing is supposed to
be fun, but tangling gear with other boats is not. So,
we quit early and headed in after a few fish photos.
Let's change the pace from reviewing the 2007 season to
the many different options offered with divers. There's 4
ways to fish divers, without a ring for high fish, like June
deep-water Steelhead. Then there's a small stock ring,
a magnum ring, and a jumbo mag ring to add extra depth to reach
plus 100'. Learn what works best for you and when you
need what size to reach the targeted depth.
Depths reached? A
very common question with no absolute answer that's 100%
satisfactory. Line diameter and what kind of line,
such as 7 stand wire, Spectra, Fireline and mono all dive
differently. You need to make you own depth chart
with varied offerings, cuz clean spoons and attractors
effect how deep you're gonna get.
Do this where there's a
stable bottom and let line out until you hit bottom, then
write this info down. Use different settings from 1 to
3 and you'll soon be able to formulate your own accurate
diver depth chart. There's plenty of time for
this. Slow days are reel-fact. So, why not use
this water time to your benefit?
With directional divers
like Luhr Jensen's Dipsy Diver, making sure the divers are
dialed properly is a must. Learn starboard and port,
cuz right and left does not work on a boat. Steering
wheel on nowadays vessels is almost always on the starboard.
Color coding rod
holders and your divers can
help from making mistakes. Divers dialed wrong tangle
stuff up (big time), cutting into your lure time efficiency.
Mark the rod holders with tape if needed. Click
for marked starboard/port rod holders
The continuing saga of season 2007 continues with almost non
existent April Brown Trout fishing in the central to northern Lk.
Michigan ports (Lud. to Frankfort). The only bright spot in
the Brown picture is that Casey Richey caught a new state record in
Frankfort, MI. This record Brown Trout came in at over 35 lbs.
Manistee's normally good spring King
catches never started to happen until almost Memorial Day, then it
wasn't all that consistent due to cold water. The alarming
thing is: not many alewives ever showed up in Manistee's harbor
during May. This is a radical departure from what's considered
normal when compared to the past 30, or 40 years. Some bait did finally
come in, but not until into June.
Lake Huron showed promise in late April and
May with silver fish being caught. Port Sanilac to Harbor
Beach is where the best reports were listed on our message
for early 2007 season Lake Huron silver fish (non-Lake
Trout). Early fishing in Lake Huron was better than what most
Michigan anglers experienced.
This week, I thought a recap of the 2007 season would be in
order. After looking at April & May, focus will shift to
Manistee for the rest of the season.
Late April into mid May 2007 will not go
down as a barn burner for spring Salmon in southern Lake Michigan and
had many scratching their heads. Ports like St. Joe, MI did not
have much going. Tournament boats ran to IL in search of
I'm of the opinion the miserable cold/snowy
April 2007 held the temperature of Lake Michigan back. This
would effect the rest of the season no matter what port you
fished. According to archived port reports from our message
board, it wasn't until 5/5/07 when the Kings in St. Joe were starting to
be caught in fair, but not great numbers.
5/5/07 spring Kings in St. Joe. MI
Tomorrow we'll take a look at Lk. Huron in May, which actually had some
good early fishing from Harbor Beach to Port Sanilac and then the
reel-deal in Manistee.
Good luck to all bow hunters in quest of whitetails.
Their season starts today.