2008 Past Results
October, November, & December

Pine Creek

Oct. 08 Bow Season

Winterizing Motor

Dec. 2008 Blizzard

Achieved 2008 Log from
October, November and December 2008

12/31/08  Have a safe New Years Eve!  I still have no internet and been trying to get a service tech from Hughes Net out to my place.  This is the 8th day since this satellite connection went down.  It's been a nightmare dealing with these jokers.
My Manistee snowometer now stands at 92 inches for winter 2008-2009!

12/30/08  10 years ago this week my very first computer was ordered.  I didn't have a clue on how to run the darn contraption, but learned quickly.  If you'd have told me 10 years ago my entire business depended on the internet, I would have said you were nuts!
      The internet has leveled the playing field for small manufacturing operations like my tackle business.  In fact, in the Great Lakes markets my websites get more traffic than my much larger competitors that rely on mass retail market outlets to stay in business.
       If you're new to the sport of big water trolling for Salmon, Trout and Walleyes, the net will shorten your learning curve by years.  It's been exciting to see how fast the internet has blossomed during the last 10 years and look forward to what the future brings.

12/29/08  Connectivity issues continue to plague me.  I have no satellite internet and my slow 26.4 phone modem hookup is barely useable due to extreme phone line noise.  This probably was caused by recent heavy rains and flooding.
       We will not be shipping any orders until 1/5/09, the first Monday in the upcoming new year.  It's impossible to make mailing labels, or conduct any business until my main phone lines and satellite dish are in good working order again.
       Infrastructure of Manistee County leaves a lot to be desired.  Especially, if you live in the rural community where any type service/utility is marginal at best in good weather and downright unreliable in the winter.
          My Manistee snowometer now stands at 87 inches for winter 2008-2009!

12/27/08   Due to technical difficulties this website will not be updated daily until my satellite internet connection is repaired.  Hopefully, before the first of the New Year.  Presently, I'm struggling thru with an extremely slow 26.4 Kbps dialup connection. Even to do basic internet chores like retrieving emails takes forever and a day. 

12/25/08  Merry Christmas To All!

12/24/08  Merry-Merry Christmas to all!  This time of the year signals a new beginning.  A new hope and that's probably more important than ever, as we look towards the future.
        Great news!  Our days are finally starting to get longer and a slight warming trend is in store for the Great Lakes region, in spite of more of the white stuff predicted today.
        Photo posted yesterday shows slight traces of blood in the package on the right. Reasons for this could be many.  Click comparison bait photo
        Vacuum sealing when thawed can pull blood out of the bait.  In the thousands of package of bait produced, there's bound to be some packages where the vacuum seal gets broken, or a very few trays might have thawed during transport and distribution.  Reputable retailers will not pass on damaged bait to their customers.  I caulk up the occasional tray of questionable bait to the price of doing business and use it myself.
      My Manistee snowometer now stands at 85 inches for winter 2008-2009!

12/23/08   Hope to be restocked with bait soon after Christmas.  Should have both red and green label herring if all goes according to plan. Shipped most of our backlog of bait orders yesterday, along with tackle orders.  It felt good to be extra busy again with the holiday rush bearing down on us.  Today and tomorrow are the last 2 days left in our special holiday promotion of 10 to 20 percent off, free shipping $ a free Sparkler flasher.
       Posted another comparison photo on what to look for when purchasing bait.  Full explanation in tomorrow's update. Click for this new bait photo
       My Manistee snowometer now stands at 82 inches for winter 2008-2009!

12/22/08  Hit by 2 major system snows in Manistee County, MI since this last Friday.  I'd guess around 24" inches total when everything is all said and done.  Like many of you, we've been digging out, trying to keep the driveway plowed.
       If you live in a rural area, or as I call it, "the boonies" satellite internet is not reliable.  In simpler terms it's an overpriced piece of junk that will cost you 50 to 70 bucks a month that goes out when it snows, or rains.  Satellite internet is not near as reliable as satellite TV.  It's miserable trying to keep this website updated with junky Hughes Net. 
        Just a couple of days left in our mega-sale Christmas sale.  If you're a procrastinator time is running out to buy more tackle for less money and get a free 09 Sparkler flasher.

12/21/08   Today's featured photo is our 10 and 12 inch flashers we produce decorating a Christmas tree.  While the finery of these ornate the colors is worthy.  The reel beauty is when these flashers are coming to the boat with a fish in tow! Click flasher tree
        Many thanks to all the wonderful Christmas greeting emails I've received from viewers of this website.  Wish the time was available to answer each and every one of them with personal reply, but the work load from the holiday rush has us very busy.

12/20/08  Ever notice when the US gets hit by major winter storms we're not hearing a thing about global warming on the nightly news?   Is this a conspiracy to fill air time between the anchor desk and weatherman?  I know for a fact, our last 3 Decembers have been getting worse.  Colder than a X mother-in-law's kiss and snow up the ying-yang!
           Counting the total snowfall accumulation we received this week:
My Manistee snowometer now stands at 64 inches for this fall, winter is 2 days away!

12/19/08  Sold out on shipping bait at: www.michiganangler.com   Will be taking steps today and into early next week to secure more.  From what I've seen, bait is always plentiful until you need it.  Existing bait orders we have will be shipped on 12/22/08.  
        If you're in need of bait and placing a tackle order at my webstore, just make a note to that effect in the special comments section on the checkout page.  If you just need herring?  Send emails to: kingscharter@yahoo.com to get on our waiting list.

12/18/08  If you're not into missing fish?  ...upgrade your existing flies with the same double snelled trebles we use on our flies.  These new 6 pack stickers are tied on 50# test Triple Fish heavy duty fluorocarbon and a glow bead.  Click our deadly dual trebles
        Our handcrafted turned up eyelet snells pull directly straight on the main shank of the hook, thus insuring the ultimate best chance for a positive hookup.  This was and is a industry first and to the best of my knowledge, nobody else offers dual trebles like us!
        We'll be shipping more bait next Monday and holding all orders until then.  Presently we have about 8 free Styrofoam shipping containers left.  So, if you've been kicking around the idea of making sure you have meat to start the 2009 with, now is the time to order.

12/17/08   Today's photo is a comparison side by side images of Herring fillets being processed.  In the left photo the meat is beet red.  This could signal several freeze-thaw cycles in a vacuum sealed package.  The vacuum if not broken during thawing, blood can be drawn into the baitfish.  Any package with a extra amount of blood in the tray, do not purchase and ask the store for another tray.  Click comparison bait photos
        The photo on the right shows the flesh side of the bait has more of an opaque white color and this is what I prefer.  Bait in either photo can work if the fish are on a hard bite, but if the fish are being touchy, the bait on the right will out produce.

12/16/08  Some thing just make sense and with that in mind, now is the time to purchase bait online at: www.michiganangler.com   It's a lot easier to ship bait when it's cold and wintry like it is now.  Bait will arrive at your doorstep frozen rock hard! 
        For a limited time, until my supply of donated freezer shipping containers runs out, there's no charge for these expensive Styrofoam boxes.  You can purchase enough Green Label Herring from the Fish On Bait Company to make 140 pieces of prime fish bait.
        Cost is inline in today's less then perfect economy too.  You can buy 7 packages, packed 10 herring to a tray for the dirty-ball low price of 50.00.  During the 2008 season this bait retailed at most outlets for 7.95 a tray (8 bucks).  Click treating bait
        So, the actual retail base cost on the bait alone is 56 bucks according to my math.  Then factor in the no charge container and a low 4.95 shipping charge.  Free shipping if you buy over a 100.00 worth in a combined order with other tackle/products.
        In season (May thru September) this could easily amount to 80.00.  If you buy now, do not process the bait until you're ready to use it next April, or May.  It will keep just fine in the freezer.  I've used bait processed in October the following May, but do not recommend this length of time. Click for complete processing instructions 
 This offer on bait offer is not discounted at any sale pricing tier, the savings are included! 

12/15/08  Added another perk to our special Christmas sale.  Everyone who's placed an order retro-active to 11/25/08 (when the sale started) will receive the same discount thru 2009.  While others might just say, "thanks," ...I'll show it with a discount good for all of 2009!  Plan to announce this bonus was going to be after the sale ended on 12/24/08 anyways.  Click for our special webstore sale at: www.michiganangler.com   
        Posted a unique photo that bookends to my 2008 season out of the Port of Manistee, MI.  It shows the first fish we took in May and the last fish just past Labor Day 08.  After placing these 2 photos together the grand conclusion is my New Year's resolution.  That's to fish more often in the coming 2009 season. Click bookend photo

12/14/08  Here's a mini history lesson on the 2008 Lk. Michigan season thru my eyes out of the Port of Manistee, MI.  First off, it was a cool spring and summer.  To the outside we had maybe 5 days above 90 degrees.  Many days it struggled to get into the low 80s.
       The big lake stayed cold for the most part with a constant stream of wind from the north.  While 2008's overall success depends on you who speak with, the easy fall off the hay wagon limits did not happen like in the previous seasons of 2002 thru 2007.
      The point I'm trying to make, the experts talk a lot about global warming.  Something we've yet to see in Manistee, Michigan.  Our brutal December is not global warming!
My Manistee County front yard snowometer now stands at 47" for this fall.

12/13/08  Had to clear the snow off my guest trailer yesterday.  Depth was building towards 30 inches and that's too much weight for this early in the season.  So far this week, we've spent at least 8 hours removing snow.  Click for roof clearing

12/12/08   The promise of the 2009 season?  That predestined moment in time when a rod goes off, then 2 seconds later another rod springs to life for a double header.  It almost seems like you're being transported by an unknown force into a mystical zone of complete mental relaxation.  Fishing is a magical world that blocks out all other distractions in life.  Fishing is total escapism from a reality, that all-to-often needs escaping from.  Some call might this recreation?  I call it maintaining my sanity!
        Busy at work today building a new page at my webstore to offer Herring that meets and exceeds our MDNR's requirements.  While selling bait with the season a good 4 months away at it's earliest might be a little early, it the best time.  Why? ...cuz it's winter in the Great Lakes States, ensuring rock hard frozen product when it arrives at your door.
Many have sold and shipped frozen bait, but nobody has done it on a cost effective basis.
        That's all about to change now with help from some of our message board members donating the Styrofoam shipping containers.  These freezer boxes at cost are at least 10 bucks.  Look for 7 packages of Green Label Fish On Herring to be delivered to your door for 49.95.  Green Label retails at 7 to 8 bucks in most tackle shops.  Freezer container, 7 packages of green and free shipping is one helluva good deal!  Click for sneak peak    

12/11/08  Been hunkered down riding out the recent snow storms in Manistee.  Our main problem has been system snows gaining steam as the storms pass over Lk. MI.  Thusly, creating more lake effect snow and adding to blizzard-like whiteouts.  
       Deer are in a bad situation with 3'  in the woods already.  
       Situation on the Manistee River for fall/winter Steelhead has been pretty much unreported.  Trying to pull a boat out of the water on a snow covered icy boat ramp means you might need tire chains for retrieval.  Did here there was some fresh run silvery Steelhead being caught around the M55 bridge, but that info was from a week ago.
       Manistee County snowometer stands at 41" for this fall.  Winter begins on 12/21/08, which is our longest night, or shortest amount of daylight.  Incidentally, our word, "winter" comes from a Germanic term meaning "time of water." 

12/10/08  If you don't have 2' to 3' of snow in your front yard, then it's time to share this wonderful, grand and glorious experience by posting today's photo. click 12/9/08 snow!
       As of 12/9/08 according to a National Weather Service trained spotter there was 30" on level ground in Wellston, MI.  I live about 6 miles west of this small town and have that much at my place too.  Plowed 20" of snow 2 days ago and a good 1' yesterday.
       Recent memory dating back to 1985 when I started guiding on the Big Manistee River for fall, winter and spring Steelhead, ....this is the most snow seen, ...this early in the season.  Starting back up my yearly snowometer today at 40" ...so far this fall.  
    Estimated snow depth for Manistee County will be added daily, or whenever it snows.

12/9/08  In the near future there will be page at the webstore where you can order bait that's from this year's batch.  Winter's freezing cold temperatures will keep everything hard rock frozen until it reaches your place.  There will be no extra costly charges for the insulated shipping containers.  These were donated by a couple of our message board members and this savings should be passed on.  I've used bait that's been froze for 3 years and had terrific performance.  So, no need to worry about this stuff being fresh.

12/8/08   Posted a new photo taken on 9/2/08 to go hand in hand with last Thursday's debut of optional hook setups.  The 3 ways you can now purchase trolling flies with double snelled 5/0 single hooks, standard single 1/0 treble and double snelled #1 trebles.
       The snelled double trebles took 4, or 5 fish for us on 9/2/08.  All were hooked on the bottom chin up by the snout, but not inside the chops.  Our landing ratio per bite on that day was close to perfect and we missed no hits on the snelled double trebles.  Went to the 2 treble rigged flies after missing several strikes on 8/30/08. Click for sticker proof

12/7/08  Yesterday we got dumped with several inches of snow.  Can't say exactly how much.  Between 14 to 18 inches would be in the ball park.  There's 20 to 24 inches on the ground now. More is predicted most everyday this coming week too!  I'm setup to handle snow, but the receiver control module for my snow plow is on the blink and won't be able to get a replacement until early next week.  Click for 12/6/08 Snow Storm 
Pearl Harbor Day ...67 years ago today we lost approximately 2,400 American servicemen were killed ...including 1,177 permanently entombed in the battleship USS  Arizona.  Japan never paid restitution to the families that lost sons, or has accepted true historical fault.  Now, this nation is welcomed to build & sell their autos here?

12/6/08  Approximately 100 employees were laid off at the Little River Casino in Manistee, MI.  Maybe, if their policies about commercial netting were more on the up and up, they'd have more local support.  I for one? ....will not set foot in that place, or ever spent one dime in this casino.  Haven't heard if the nets were pulled for the winter, or we'll face another major catastrophe of a of a jumbled mess of floating nets like May of this year.

12/5/08  Our message board will be down from midnight tonight until early am this coming Monday for necessary upgrades. Normal service will resume this Monday before 7am.
        Hopefully, in the near future I'll have a new article done that will go hand in hand with the 3 new hook setups.  Click for 3 hook options with trolling flies
        I'm proud to offer you another world first, being 3 hook setups, or options when it comes to purchasing trolling flies at our webstore.  Being a small manufacturer does have it's advantages when it comes to fine tuning the needs of your customer base.

12/4/08  Today's update is going to be one you have to figure out yourself.  I've published 3 new photos that are your clues.  If you're not much of a Sherlock Holmes? 
              Click for the straight skinny on some more new stuff for 2009

12/3/08  Plan for 2009 is to have "Members Services" page where we list the various skills by our members.  We have members that are welders, marine mechanics, taxidermists and a few that build top notch aluminum rocket launchers/radar arches.
        Only 21 days are left in my special 2009 sale. Keep this in mind, cuz I will not be doing the Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show in Birch Run, MI coming in March 2009.  I know this is a radical departure from past policy, but it's necessary to lessen my work load.  
        2009 will mark the first time since 1983 I have not been a vendor in one way, shape, or form at spring fishing trade shows in the states of PA, OH, KY, IN and MI
        Now's a great time to cash in on the lowest prices ever offered with incentives like no-charge shipping and a free 2009 BTI 10" Sparkler flasher. Click special sale

12/2/08  Pier fishermen in Wisconsin are casting small 1/8 oz crappy jigs for Salmon and Trout with great success.  This info came to us by message board member, No Fish Nick,
who's supplied two photos of some dandy fish recently caught in the "land of cheese."
        No Fish Nick's black jig looks to me like it's made from marabou.  If you've never see marabou in the water, this downy feather tends to look alive.
        Click hook jawed 11/29/08 WI Brown    Click 11/29/08 jig & WI Steelie-'bow

12/1/08  Need to handle some business today and thank everyone that's placed an order during our special promotional "2009 Tackle Stimulus Deal."  There will never be another tackle special that includes no-charge shipping, a free 2009 BTI 10" Sparkler flasher, and 2 discounted pricing tiers.  First tier is 20.09% if the retail prices shown in your shopping cart exceed 100.00. Second tier is 10% for all orders below 100.00 and you'll still get the free Sparkler, but will be charged the low minimum shipping charge of 4.95.
       A special offer like this ...will never happen again at: www.michiganangler.com 
Shipping is another thing that needs covering.  All orders for this Christmas season will be shipped US Priority Mail (unless the UPS option is noted).  Priority Mail does not guarantee a delivery date like UPS.  So, patience is needed with the US Mail system ...please.  
       Using priority mail for us means making a special a trip to the post office.  We'll be shipping orders only a couple of days a week.  Rather than everyday, like "in-season," where expediency is absolutely necessary and expected.

11/30/08  Last Wednesday upon the introduction of the new color patterns for 2009, Sparkler and HRP were the leading story.
       The Sparkler has been in development since 2004 with the RF's came into being, then in 2006 when the 10" BTIs were born and introduced.  I figure a little picture verification on the silver flecked Sparkler is in order with today's featured photo.
        Capt. Chris, second from the left has been using a version, very similar to the "Sparkler" dating back to 2004 with a special request product Chris picked up at my shop.  This pattern has been on the QT for a long time.  Click for Capt. Chris 7/5/08  

11/29/08  Hope the holiday weekend is going well for you.  I'll rouse up some ambition for a more meaningful update tomorrow. 

11/28/08  Reformatted all the pages at the webstore: www.michiganangler.com  Went to a wider screen format, more like 10 by 7, which is a highly popular setting for today's larger monitors.  This allows a wider screen to display more products and less scrolling downward.
      Our shipping policy has changed to US Priority Mail for now.  There's a couple of reasons.  One it's cheaper at 4.95.  It is slower than UPS with no guaranteed date delivery, but during the off-season speed of package arrival is not like July, or August.

11/27/08  Thanksgiving Day 2008, have a wonderful holiday!

11/26/08  Time to show the world the new tackle for 2009.  Value and extreme durability is the theme that started back during Labor Day 2008.  New flashers are a bargain, as no lure tape was used.  This helped cut costs a bunch.  New BTIs in the Sparkler and HRP patterns sell well below the existing line up.  Both of the new flasher designs will provide many years of service.  Comes in the 10 and 12 inch sizes too.  Click new HRP BTI  
       The Sparkler is injection molded with thousands of micro silver metal-flakes, never to wear off.  This flasher was a direct offshoot from testing in Ludington since 2004 by Capt. Chris S.  Chris told me his best success was mid-day with a very similar test version.  During high sun and off-peak hours this flasher is a winner and very cost efficient when compared it's closest cousin, the Krystal Killer pattern.  Click new Sparkler BTI
       The HRP was been requested for a long time by southern Lk. Michigan charter operators.  Having the color molded in, the finish will never fade, chip, crack or peel like all painted dodgers do, ...sooner or later.  You can plainly see what I'm talking about in the photo. The HRP will be hot for spring Coho, June deepwater Steelhead.  I just wish we had this color aboard last Labor Day when we got into the Coho & Kings off Manistee, MI.
        When you purchase tackle from me there's a cast of 1000s that are involved. Meaning the USA work force my suppliers have.  There's long chain of custody in raw materials, shipping, pieces & parts that goes into my products.  All built with USA links, to US workers.  Rest assured any revenues generated will stay in OUR USA!

11/25/08  More high level meetings are on the table today with my top level advisors at Kingfish Products Inc.  I'll be in conference with the leaders of my shipping, sales, promo, inventory, & booking keeping departments to come up with your 2009 Tackle Stimulus Package.  Details of our package will be announced later this week.
      Bail-outs?  Hey, no big deal!  We had a bail-out last February when one of my employees was put in jail on bench warrants for delinquent traffic fines.  We handled this crisis with bold strokes, we did not hesitate, ...cuz he's the one that snells the hooks!

11/24/08  Almost a 100% sure we will not doing the Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI, this Mar. 6 thru 8, 2009.  Getting ready for shows is a massive undertaking.  Been doing sport, or trade shows since 1983 and the Flint Steelheaders Show since the early to mid 1990s.  Just going to take a break and reassess the options for 2010.  
    I truly appreciate the past support of the Flint River Valley Chapter of Steelheaders! 

11/23/08  Busy, busy with production for now.  My 2009 season has already started.  The more I can do in the off months, the more free time when next season begins in earnest.  Been going back and forth with my decision to do the Flint Steelheaders Boat & Fishing Show in March of 2009.  Find out tomorrow what the tentative plans are.

11/22/08  As close November draws nearer and nearer, it's getting closer to time to lay out the new 2009 products.  I have not been deterred by the poor Wall St. and industry news.  I have one direction and that's 100% straight forward.
        In rating the new 2009 stuff it begins with performance, overall durability, and what the reel-cost is.  I've built in value and kept that as my theme in this tougher economic climate.  Look for the rest of the details some time next week.  My only drawback is, there's a ton of web-work on my plate until the debut is finalized.  
        Hope to get it all done by next Thursday, Thanksgiving Day, Nov. 27, 2008!

11/21/08  If the weatherman's heavy snow prediction holds true, Manistee and Ludington will be getting 2 feet of snow by this afternoon.  I hope for less.
        T.G.I.F. and have a great weekend.  Remember the things in life we have to be thankful for, cuz next Thursday is turkey day, our national Day of Thanksgiving.

11/20/08  Early winter-like weather still has a firm grip on Manistee County, MI. Next week looks better where daytime highs will at least be above freezing.  With 10 days remaining in November, it's a wonder we didn't see snow a lot sooner than we did.
       Got early word from one of Santa's helpers the new 2009 product, or should I say products will be arriving in my shop soon.  I haven't been deterred on my march to bring you the most productive fishing products we can make in the USA.  
      Stay tuned for more on the yet to be announced brand new lineup for 2009.  
                  There will be some groundbreaking news in a week, or two!

11/19/08  My Dish Network satellite HD programming has a 24/7 fishing show called, WFN channel 394.  This station has it's normal smattering of Bass and saltwater programs.  
       The two programs that interest me most are Nice Fish and Fishing Canada.   Both of these programs have featured Salmon fishing in British Columbia, Canada several times.
       The bait of choice in the BC programs is some form of natural bait, 10 to 1 over artificial lures.  Whole and slice herring with meat heads similar to what I produce.  Then, there's larger 8 inch herring used in a cut plug manner, just rigged with bare hooks.
        I watched like a hawk and saw Kings to over 40 pounds bite the same meat stuff we use in the Great Lakes States with success.  Critically, most of these TV shows in BC are directed promos for lodges, or guide services.  Leaving out any how-to stuff entirely.
       Watching a angler turning a handle on the reel does not transpose well into the actual feeling we get fighting fish.  So, watching handle cranking can get pretty boring, along with the put-on giddy laughter. Seeing what methods work and catches is not boring.

11/18/08  It's a major burrrr in Manistee County for now with night time temps in the low 20s to the high teens.  4 inches of the white stuff fell yesterday, making for wonderful conditions to hit the woods.  Been seeing deer at my place.  All does so far.
       Last report from the Big Manistee for fall Steelhead was pitiful, but river Steelhead seekers are used to adversity.  Fall river Steelheading has never been a numbers game.  Fall river fishing teaches us all a good life lesson in how to stay humble and appreciate the chase, not numbers of fish killed.
                              Kinda sounds like deer hunting ...eh?

11/17/08  Manistee County around where I live received it's first snow that stuck and not melted off.  Yesterday, there was enough snow to light up the dark shadows in the woods, making spotting deer a bunch more easy.  Conditions were prime for seeing deer, but hunting pressure is next to nil.  Normally, we'd have maybe 5 or 6 sets of hunters in my mile section.  This year is way down as far as hunters go.  Seeing a few does with this year's fawns, but no horns on my property yet.

11/16/08  Day 2 of firearms deer season in Michigan.  Communing with the woods is a grand and glorious way to recharge your internal batteries, dead deer, or not.
       Have several good news ground breaking announcements that will air on, or around Thanksgiving Day ...maybe shortly thereafter.

11/15/08  Michigan's official unofficial holiday, meaning the start of the firearms whitetail deer season.  Good Luck and have most importantly ....a safe & rewarding hunt!

11/14/08  Ever get a hook beyond the barb stuck thru your skin?  If you fish long enough this is bound to happen no matter how careful your are.  In almost every case you can push the barb out the other side, then snip off the hook with good side cutters.  If you opt for the emergency room the shot to numb the area will hurt about as much.
       I've have several hooks stuck in my head, hands and arms, mostly from charter combat fishing when inexperienced anglers get excited and reef on the rod at the wrong time.  Hooks fly with a great force as the stress is being relieved.  Click hook in paw
      One thing is: you'll be amazed about how tough your hide is, when you're shoving the hook thru to expose the barb.  Like shoe leather wouldn't be a big stretch!

11/13/08  Unless you've been living under a rock, it's no small secret several sectors of our economy are in deep do.  Please let me take this chance to defend our besieged US auto industry that's in dire need of help.  The Big 3 are the best chance we have to dig ourselves out of the hole greedy Washington bureaucrats dug for us.  
       Driving around in an electric rickshaw is not very attractive to me.  The US economy is built on excess, that's why many of us have trucks to haul what we deem necessary.  Hence the reason to work hard, putting long hours in.  Ford, GM and Chrysler did not push gas prices way past 4 bucks a gallon.  The Wall St. crooks did that all by themselves!

11/12/08  In my 20 years as a charter skipper on our Great Lakes, there's 2 season's that stick out.  1985 and 1996 were the only 2 seasons I can say with confidence, my full day charters averaged at, or over 20 fish a day.  1985 was a glut of Salmon and 1996 was pure Steelheadville in the best sense.  If we're to believe the MDNR's data collected from the Little Manistee Weir, the numbers in the years mentioned ...bear this out. 
        Now, on fast forward we look at the more recent years of 2003 to 2008 the data is just not there to add credence of the DNR's claim to record seasons. Click for data
        We all know 2008 was struggle at times.  We had to work smaller pockets and be in the absolutely right area to maintain respectable catch rates.
        Monetary constraints are a problem for all the Great Lakes DNRs.  There has to be a solution where we get a more balanced fishery that doesn't depend wholeheartedly on just Kings.  Let's hope things get fixed soon to stem the tide of less and less anglers.
     Heard thru the grapevine 5 Salmon of one specie is a reel-possibility for MI in 2009.

11/11/08   I stand corrected on the issue of how many rods are going to be allowed in 2009.  One of our message board members found a link on the MDNR's website saying next year 3 rods a person will be a set policy.  Click MDNR's 2009 3 rod rule
        While I haven't checked this regulation in a long time, on rivers a net with a total length of 36" (hoop to handle).  This law has been largely ignored if you're fishing from a boat according to my personal conversations with CO's in the past.  River boat fishermen need a longer net.  This facilitates less stress on the fish for those that release Steelhead like I do on occasion.  If this is still law, it ignores the reel-facts!

11/10/08  Stupid, hard to enforce rules are a daunting task for MDNR Conservation Officers.  Gray areas in unenforceable laws for the Great Lakes is the 2, or 3 rods per person when your fishing for Salmon (3 rods), or let's say Walleyes (2 rods).  This comes into play, with a perfect example being Saginaw Bay, where I've caught both species.  
        Now, ...who's to say, or dispute your mindset when you go to court fighting a ticket for too many lines/rods in the water?  Mind-reading doesn't exist and neither should stupid, next to impossible fishing laws for our already overburdened CO's!
        Here's another example: you're trolling the Lake Michigan off Manistee's harbor, as soon ...as you enter the zone between the piers, technically you're no longer on Lk. MI.  Does this mean 3 rods legal on Lk. MI are now instantly cut to 2 rods a person once you're inside the harbor?  I think you get my drift.  Click for rods photo
        Will there be a blanket law change in 2009 to eliminate the "how many rods confusion?"  We'll have to wait and see, cuz governmental agencies tend to be a higher power onto themselves, often ignoring anything to do with common sense!

11/9/08  Firearm deer season starts next Saturday is the only positive news I have for now.  Look to be Steelheading on the Manistee River this Tuesday, or Wednesday.  This weekend's rainfall might help move some fish upriver.

11/8/08  Congrats to John J for adapting to the no deer bait rule and still taking a decent 7 pointer.    Some of the keys to John's success is he doesn't hunting mornings, having spooked to many deer on the way to his stand in the hours before daylight.  He changes times and locations with his tree stand, as not to alert the deer to a fixed schedule.  I'd say the area where John hunts is a strip of woods, some open land of about 15 acres.  Granted this is a small plot of land, but it lends to his intimate and proven tactics.
       It's worthy to note John J spends a lot of scouting and puts his time in.  He has persistent patience that only comes with years of knowledge.  Click John's 7 pointer

11/7/08  85 pound King found in Battle Creek is the truth according to Fox News.  This fish was found dead, estimated live weight would have exceeded 90 lbs.  While the headline is misleading, this whopper found was actually found in Battle Creek, but that's a creek in the State of California.  I dispute this photo as a hoax, cuz holding a fish that large on one knee goes against mechanical laws of leverage. Click 85 lb. King Salmon
         Stick with me on this ...as we turn the page to yesteryear, but we actually believed this was within reason back in the late 1960s when Salmon were first introduced to Michigan.  Us first generation of Great Lakes Salmon fishermen were actually gearing up for fish like this.  We thought there was a reel-possibility of Salmon going over 50 and some tipping the scales at 100.  Our dreams never materialized, with the MI State Record on Kings being anchored around 47 pounds.  Overall world record is 126 pounds for Chinook Salmon.  Kings, or Chinooks caught on a rod and reel? ...the best ever is 96 pounds.

11/6/08  Weather in Manistee has not been cooperating to pull more Steelhead into the rivers.  Warm and no rain will tend to hold back the fall fish.  There's some in the river, but not in huge numbers.  A good hard 2, or 3 day gulley washer is what's needed.  My riverboat is ready and waiting for the right conditions.  Traffic report from the Manistee River is light during the week.  Not many cars in the High Bridge access at all.

11/5/08   Up late last night watching the election results on CNN, probably like many of you.  The medium of TV has been raised to a much higher level.  So, I'll spare you any political commentary, as I completely lack any qualifications to do so.
      Fishing update about the low numbers of Kings at the Little Manistee weir is not the doom and gloom the 5169 count represents.  Even though that number is the lowest on record.   The disparity between the sports and charter fleet has closed.  When I figure out the rest of the reel-story, that story will be shared with you.  There's a lot more than meets the eye in trying to hash-out ...the way the 2008 season unfolded in Manistee, MI.

11/4/08  Election Day, please go vote!  Unlike most presidential elections, both major candidates I deeply admire.  No matter who wins, we can't lose with either!
       Yesterday, I began a dialog about the data collected from the Little Manistee Weir from 1968 thru 2008.   While the numbers are down for the 2008 run of Kings, the fleet is a lot better at catching what's available for several reasons.  Click '68-'08 weir data
This is a complex subject and will be touched on later this week. 
       Big Point Sable is limit city for Steelhead and has been for the past 2 weeks.  Top 30 to 35 feet of water when the weather permits for fast action.
       Manistee River is producing some Steelhead.  Received a pretty comprehensive report from the lower end to Tippy Dam from a diehard river fishermen.  Bill said the lower end below the M55 Bridge in not seeing any fresh run fish as of lately.  The area around Bear Creek has been OK.  Tippy to the sawdust hole is OK.  All fish between 7 and 10 pounds are darker holdover fish.  Majority of fresher silver fish are averaging 4 to 5 pounds.

11/3/08 Today's Update:  The data from the Little Manistee Harvest weir is easy to understand.  The alarming fact is only 5169 Kings in 2008 if that number stands.  That would make 2008 season the very bottom rung on the Chinook ladder totals since 1968!


Spring Steelhead



Fall Steelhead

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11/2/08  Hope you set your clocks back a hour last night.  I forgot ....as usual.

11/1/08  Fishing is slow in Manistee Lake off the mouth the Little Manistee River as there's no Coho, or Steelhead to speak of.  Results thus far are 2 outings for maybe 1 fish.  Let's hope this improves now that we can finally afford to buy gas again.

10/31/08  This coming Monday I will post all data collected by the MDNR since 1968 at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir. This spread sheet has the records Chinooks, Coho, Browns, spring and fall Steelhead accrued over the past 40 years.
       5169 Salmon were captured at this weir in 2008 according to the latest info.  The DNR is pulling the aluminum gates and closing this facility by the end of next week.
       You will be enlightened with the exact fish counts and not projected speculation that have little to do with the reel-facts!  ...more coming soon.

10/30/08  Let's talk about the happening of late concerning the Little Manistee Harvest, not too far from where I reside.  In 2008 there were only 2 holding pens with Salmon.  2 to 3 times ever week we had website members checking to see what was at this weir.  All reported 2 pens with fish and I seen this with my own eyes.
      Now, let's take a trip back in time to 2001 when every pen was full of Salmon.  Today's photo from 2001 clearly shows a massive amount of fish, with every pen full.  Not counting the early fish that were said to be trucked away. Click 2001 pens
      Hope to soon have the numbers of fish that returned in 2007 and will be contacting Mark Tonello from the Cadillac DNR for the 2008 overall harvest count.  There is a story here and I will get to the stark reality of it, in the very near future. Click 2008 pens

10/29/08  Let's hope Mark Tonello is the permanent replacement for now retired Tom Rozich.  Mark is a fisherman and understands the situation from a fisherman's point of view.  Although, personally I have never met Mark, my contacts made over several decades speak very highly of him.  To clear up any fuzzy edges, Tom Rozich was the man in charge of the Cadillac DNR, or (I think) the Central District that has a direct impact of ports like Ludington, Manistee and Frankfort.
        Deer hunting around my neck of the woods is on a slow pace.  The DNR has permanently banned baiting and that's threw a monkey wrench into how these animals are hunted.  There are area's where natural deer movements can be planned out.  This is not so with the vast tracts of woods that surround most of Manistee County.

10/28/08  Fall river fishing for Steelhead is here.  My personal favorite is pulling plugs, cause the strike is a jolt of lightening bolt beyond explanation.  Slam dunk has been used too, but whatever you call it, ...it is vicious.  Seeing a Steelhead pound a rod will warm the inner soul of any angler, making it perfectly clear, ...why you like to fish!
       Big lake trolling for Steelhead is only 1/3 of the experience.  Doing battle in closed quarters where rocks, weeds, branches and tree trunks are ready to snag your trophy.  Plus, I forgot to mention the unseen constant of current helping the fish avoid the net.
       Today's photo is from a couple of years ago.  Like all photos, it shows the size of the fish and who caught it.  It does not show the big jump this rascal made at the boat, and very close to the net.  3' of air between this fish and the water is no exaggeration.
        This photo does not show how large Steve's eyes became when he hollered, "holy
poop," but in far stronger language.  I think this fish cleared water 5 times and that's not unusual when river water is 38 degrees, or warmer.  Click Manistee River Steelhead
        January Steelies, due to the colder water don't jump as much, but the winter fish are still a handful.  October, November, March and April iron-noggins are the most brutal.
        I think any fish that jumps a lot garners extra respect, cuz Steelhead are the closest thing we have in the Great Lakes basin that skies like a feisty Tarpon!

10/27/08  Let's start the week off on a positive note.  That being the price of gas is falling like a rock.  I paid $4.20 last August.  Now it's well under 3 bucks.  
        Another positive tone is from Capt. Dick Donovan who fished off Big Point Sable on 10/24/08.  Here's his late season Lake Michigan report:
"Made the trip to Ludington today to put the boat in storage for the winter took a couple friends, ended up fishing down by the point in the 4-5's in 170-190 fow. Caught 1 brown, 2 coho, 10 steelhead 3 lakers that were sent back to freedom.  Lost 4 other fish everything came in the top 25 feet on orange and pink spoons not a bad day, but it rained all day.  We only fished for 3 hours.  It was a great way to end the season."
Capt. Dick from Adventure One Charters posts photos of his charter catches, much like I used.  To see what he caught in 2008 click here

10/26/08  One of the largest questions facing Manistee is the status trap nets for the reminder of this year.  Heard a lot of yak about seasonal restrictions, but nothing concrete.  Last winter the LRB tribal netters left the nets in.  Only to face a large mess of lost, or tangled nets when this spring rolled around.
      Capt. Dave Deforest, Tribal Law Enforcement has been promoted and will not be involved in the process like he was for the past 2 seasons.  Dave has assured me his counterpart will be handling business in a professional manner in meticulously marking the net locations he like did.  Plain and simple, Dave Deforest did one helluva job, of which we all should appreciate!  Without him marking the nets, we'd have been in deep doo.

10/25/08  As October winds down I'm starting to get the itch to fish Steelhead on the Big Manistee River.  Worked on my river boat getting everything shipshape.  Should be good to go by the first week in November when the leaves are done.
        Here's a story worth sharing: in 2007 took my 9.9 Johnson to a dealer in my area to fix the water pump and possibly adjust the carburetor to help slow speed idle.  When I picked up the motor I was hit with a 200 buck plus bill for rebuilding the carb and water pump.  This motor was never run since the work was done.
        Much to my dismay, when testing motor in a large garbage can filled with water, no water was pumping out the small tube.  The motor wouldn't idle either!  
        Disassembled the lower end to get at the water pump.  The entire pump was never changed, like I was billed for.  Looks like they just replaced the impeller.  
        The tube at the top of the water pump that runs into the block of the motor was not connected.  That being reason no water going thru the motor.
        The not idling thing was the main jet at 5 turns out from seat.  Essentially, flooding the motor at slow speed.  Needless to say the OMC dealer that worked on this motor will never-ever see one dime of my money again.  Could have mentioned this marine dealer's name, but that would have portrayed me as a vindictive person.  Which I am not.
       Moral of this story?  If you want something done right, do it yourself!

10/24/08  T.G.I.F.  Have a nice weekend!

10/23/08  Here's a honest assessment from Capt. Chris Bronner about reel story of Manistee County's Tippy Dam at this time of the year:

"Thank you for all the info regarding the Big Man. Well we made it out late Friday night and Sat morning. Fri night waded just downstream from the DNR ramp on the north side. We managed 1 fair hooked king in 3 hours of fishing floating spawn and egg sucking leeches. The hen was spawned out and in half way decent shape believe it or not. 
      Sat morning headed downstream about a 1/4 mile and set up on a nice deep hole with shallow gravel in front and in back of the hole. We floated spawn, egg sucking leeches and skein in the deeper holes while a couple of guys cast Mepps number 4s to fish on gravel. Ended up landing 5 fair hooked kings, 2 steelhead from the dark water and countless fish foul hooked that were released or broke off in 9 hours of fishin. 75 percent of the kings were in bad to poor shape.  Click Capt. Chris's website
        We did however land a few kings that were in pretty good shape for this late in the run and that far upstream but had zero table fare in my eyes. Tippy was a zoo, probably about 15 plus boats out with countless shore fisherman. Spoke to a DNR CO and he claimed that another fresh small wave of kings was headed upstream, how accurate that is? I don't know? Saw over a half dozen steelhead that were caught on Sat. I will upload you some pics sometime this week. Thanks again!"

Tight Lines and Straight Shootin,   Chris Bronner

10/22/08  Here's a heads up on what served me well in my 20 year career as a charter boat operator.  Get done, ...what needs to be done, when you store your boat.  Don't leave it, or put off necessary maintenance tasks for spring. Click double u-joint
       To me? ...the weakest link in a Mercruiser outdrive of the double u-joint yoke that runs from the motor into the top of the drive.  This double u-joint needs to be religiously greased about every 100 hours of usage.  For most boaters this is once a season.
       The only way to get grease into the double yoke is to pull the drive and do it with a grease gun.  Pulling the drive is easy.  Aligning the shifter mechanism when reassembling is a toughie, unless you have some mechanical aptitude.
      Anyway, to make a long story short, the u-joints in my outdrive were not accepting grease like they should.  I deemed it better to replace these parts now, rather then next spring.  Even worse? ...an untimely breakdown when the fishing is good. 
Cost to replace lost fishing time? Well, that figure is priceless, cuz it can't be done!


10/21/08  Haven't said much about the Boaters Guide Page lately.  If you're in the market to buy? ...now's the time.  I have 2 boats listed that are both fuel efficient for  their size.  One is a 24' Thompson and the other is 27' SportCraft.  There's a lot of bang for the buck in used boats.  Click Boaters Guide Page
       Word of note about yesterday's theme on fogging the internal part of the valve train and combustion chamber.  There is a risk of fouling a spark plug.  This problem tends to happen with older boats that do not have electronic ignition.

10/20/08  Wanted to fish Lk. Mi this past Saturday, but the wind was from the east and kind of breezy.  This would have put a short miserable chop on Manistee's shelf and even worse further out.  So, winterizing my boat was yesterday's task.
       Today's featured photos is the fog created by pouring a small amount of Marvel Mystery Oil down the throat of the carburetor.  This provides extra lubricant to the valve train and cylinder walls for winter's long nap.  Click motor fogging
       Next year my boat will turn 30 years old and the original small block GM V8 is still fresh as a daisy with good oil pressure and no weird knocks, or noises.  Outdrive's have several advantages over outboards.  One being a longer service life. 
       Please don't take offence MoPar and Ford fans, but the small block GM could possibly be the best push-rod V8 motor ever made. Click GM 305 small block V8

Today's update is courtesy of Bob J. aka "Bobby's Toy" on our message board.  Bob was kind enough to put together a spread sheet from the Detroit Area Steelhead's tournament results comparing the 2007 to the 2008 seasons.  While the figures might look alarming, a lot of the downturn can be explained with less boats.
        While it no secret 2008 wasn't a banner year, the 47% off in angler participation and the 84% decline in Coho are most worry-some.

2008 compared to 2007

2008 down by:

Fishing Days 36%
Boat Participation 47%
Number of Fish Caught 64%
Total Weight 62%
# of Kings Caught 61%
# of Coho Caught 84%
# of Steelhead Caught 65%
# of Lake Trout Caught 67%
# of Browns Caught 67%

10/18/08  5 months ago in May I fished for the first time in the 2008 season.  Hope to bookend 2008 with my last big lake trip of year out of Manistee, MI today.
       Sometime in the near future Dick Boyajian, Bud Raskey, and I will have a sit-down for an interview of what went on in the late 1960s thru the 1980s.  Bud is in the Freshwater Fishing Hall of Fame and Dick belongs there too.  Both of these retired charter skippers have a combined 80 years in the charter business. Stay tuned for their insights, wisdom and recollections of the "early days!"

10/17/08  Today, let's look at one of the true pioneers in the evolution of our Great Lakes Salmon Fishery.  Dick Boyajian was one of the first charter skippers in Manistee, MI, being licensed and running trips way back in 1968.  Click Dick Boyajian
       Dick and I took a trip down memory lane about the early days of the charter boats and the booming fishery that took Michigan by storm in the later 1960s.  This all came up when Dick was finishing an aft curtain for my boat.  So, we had plenty of time for light conversation.   Dick shared a bunch of his old stories, more than likely unknown to many of you.  One of my favorites was about when Luhr Jensen Sr. came to Manistee and these two fishermen first got acquainted at Fishermen's Center in Manistee in 1968.
        Luhr Jensen Sr. traveled to Michigan from Hood River, Oregon with the tackle they made to catch Salmon on the west coast.  Stuff that hadn't been seen in Michigan yet.  I'll hold this story right here until next week and Dick long involvement with Luhr Jensen.
        News from the Big Manistee is a lot of leaves, the maple trees dropped about 90% of their leaves this week.  Water in the lower end was up slightly and a few Steelhead have been caught.  Haven't heard of any big numbers yet, like 1 to 3 fish per trip.

10/16/08  Today's chat is for Pete B that will show a short learning curve.  Matt, Pete's brother contacted me last August and wanted Salmon tackle.  After a couple phone calls and a few Emails, he ordered some tackle.  Now, Pete and Matt are from Ohio and are experienced on the waters of Lk. Erie for Walleyes, probably Steelhead too.
I went over a few tips to shorten the learning curve, nothing lengthy, just the important stuff.  Then, about a week later Matt emailed today's photo of his brother holding a 30 pound King.   Click for Pete's 30 lb. Lake Ontario King 
       The incidentals are: they bought about 150 bucks worth of tackle from me and most importantly this brother duo never fished Salmon before!  Pete more or less requested today's update, cuz for some reason ...he didn't have a photo of his trophy.

In the 1970s the bread and butter fish for the Lk. MI charter boats was Lake Trout, Coho ranked second and Kings came in third.  I brought this up to show you the Chinook fishery never took off until the early and middle 1980s.  Then the King fishery crashed in 1988 from BKD.  In the later 1980s we had big numbers of Lake Trout and fair numbers of Coho to fall back on, if you were a charter operator.  No such luck in the i2ks, due to darn few Coho and Lakers.  Bringing balanced fishery is a good idea!
        With the lower numbers of Kings returning this season, it's a wonder we caught as many fish as we did.  Attribute that to the advancements in Salmon tackle.
        Posted a photo to show the protector sleeve that now comes with every fly. Granted it's a small thing and not costly for me to add, but name one other manufacturer that tries to prolong the life of your tackle? Click for fly with sleeve   
       Best news for today is there's plenty of young 2" alewives according to Capt. Dick Donovan who fishes Lk. MI well into October.  Dick said the fish they caught were just gorged with these small baitfish.  This bodes well for us next season.  About time for good news ...eh?

10/14/08  Every problem has a solution.  Think long enough and it will explain itself.  This is how the protector sleeves came to mind, after struggling to untangle wad of fly Mylar all intertwined in a jumble.  Fast, smooth access was nearly impossible.  Go heavy on the "was" word, cuz the sleeves have made organization a heck of a lot easier!
        From now on, every fly/meat rig storage case and every trolling fly sold as singles in the tube will have protector sleeves included to keep things straight.  This simple idea should add years of service from your flies. Click protector tubes 
I just wish I'd have came up with this idea when flies tied with Mylar first became popular.  George Richey introduced the Mylar styled flies to the world with his original
"Sparkle Fly" back in about 1977.  There were others making trolling flies out of Mylar back then, but the big deal was the flies made from polar bear and deer hair.

Storage boxes I sell to store meat rigs are a neat solution to keeping expensive tackle in order.  Unfortunately, this is not the case with trolling flies where loose strands of Mylar get chaotic like Don King's hairdo. Click tangled mess
       Making things better is a never ending process.  I found a far superior way store your trolling flies in the boxes available at: www.michiganangler.com 
       Even if you don't have one of the storage boxes I sell, you'll find this new idea worthy in case you just wrap your flies around a piece of Styrofoam like I used to.
       Sometime in the very near future I'll share this new idea with you ...with the best word in the American language, that being the word: FREE!  Click for sneak peek

10/12/08  Biggest news is the 2500 Salmon that have returned to Lake Huron's Swan Creek, including a few Kings to over 26 pounds.  This is the first time since 2005 noticeable numbers of fish has made their presence known at this location.  This is wonderful news for the Lake Huron.  Let's hope this rebound of Salmon stays on course.
       Credit for the goings on at Swan Creek is courtesy of Julie S who works for the MDNR as a creel census taker and other capacities.
       Summer-like weather continues in Manistee County making an opportunity to care of outside yard projects before the leaves come down.  By the first week of November the leaf drop is over and it's time to turn my attention to Steelheading on the Big Manistee River.  Good numbers of Steelhead are generally available in the rivers by the third week of October, but you'll have to deal with tons of leaves.

10/11/08  Great weather for Manistee County is predicted for the nest few days.  Time to tie up some loose ends in production for 2009.
        Left a couple of topics hanging from intended updates.  It was more important to post the news about the egg take.  Click for holding tanks, or pens
         Especially, after we're used to seeing all the pens full at the Little Manistee River Harvest Weir.  This has not been the case this fall with smaller numbers of Salmon returning.  Just knowing we have enough for the 2009 plants is reassuring

10/10/08  Yesterday's update about the egg take was made for the internet.  Info like this will never make the local, or national news markets.  It's mainly important to those that fish the Great Lakes and the tributaries that flow to it.  That's where this website fills the bill and keeps you informed on what's up to the best of my ability.
Recent 10/9/08 update from Wisconsin's Strawberry Creek Weir:

Good Afternoon, 

The fish continue to come into the pond at a good clip. We processed 878 chinooks today and left at least 100 in the pond for the next harvest. The daily egg take for Wild Rose was collected in very short order.
      Next harvest is planned for Monday, October 13th (which is Columbus Day, Observed and Thanksgiving Day in Canada for those of you playing along). 

P Scott Hansen 
Lake Michigan Fisheries Biologist 
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource

10/9/08   Here's a reassuring email reply from Mark Tonello about my inquiry of the low numbers of Kings returning to the Little Manistee River Harvest Weir:
"We'll be alright. We haven't seen a ton of fish, but we've had enough to do three days at the Little Manistee.  Plus, we have enough fish to go again tomorrow. We actually had some fish show up at Swan Creek, ...we've done several days there as well. So, we should be able to get what we need. ...it's still early October. We've had good numbers of kings show up at the Little Man weir even into early November ...we're confident that we'll be able to get the eggs we need. Hope that update helps!"

Mark Tonello
Fisheries Management Biologist
Central Lake Michigan Management Unit

More good news from Wisconsin's Strawberry Creek Weir:

"The second harvest at SCW resulted in the processing of 565 chinooks with at least 100 being held over. The remainder of the eggs needed for Kettle Moraine Springs Hatchery were collected and approximately 450k eggs went to Wild Rose. The number of fish to date is ahead of last year's.
       Yesterday was a particularly busy day at SCW with three concurrent tour groups and a contingent of researchers from the University of Washington collecting research samples. There have also been some new local food pantry destinations added which is always good to see. Thanks once again to all the continued hard work and cooperation. Despite the complexity, things went extremely well I believe.
       The next harvest is scheduled for Thursday, Oct 9. A good deal of fish were making there way in yesterday so there should be a pond full."


P Scott Hansen 
Lake Michigan Fisheries Biologist 
Wisconsin Department of Natural Resource

I thank both Mark Tonello and Scott Hansen and their respective DNR's for letting me share this info with you.  It's good to know the DNRs have enough eggs for 2009 plants!

10/8/08  Big lake fishing in Manistee is good!  Capt. Dick from Adventure One Charters hung up 15 fish taken during a morning trip a couple of days ago.  The catch was pretty evenly split between Steelhead and Kings.  Click for Capt. Dick's 10/6/08 catch
       There's a ton of importance in Dick's photo.  It's the immature Salmon that are the future of 2009 when the fleet returns to the waterways next spring.  October continues to be an overlooked month for big water trollers, but for the "dyed in the wool" late season anglers there's a bonanza of great fishing that lasts into November!
       Tomorrow's update will be about problem solving and protecting your tackle

10/7/08   Biggest news I came by yesterday is the Tom Rozich of the Cadillac DNR retired a couple of weeks ago.  Tom was helpful to me with info and went out of his way to return my phone calls.  Rozich, like all public figures had a few detractors, but when you're on point, you're always going to get shot at more.  Good Luck Tom on retiring!
       This news came about when I emailed to Tom concerning the low numbers of Kings and "if" there was enough Kings for the annual fall egg take at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir.  As of a few days ago, there were only two holding pens at the LMHW that were full, the other six, or eight holding tanks appeared to be empty.
        Looks like Mark Tonello might be Tom's replacement at the Cadillac Office of the MDNR.  Hope to hear from him soon with an update concerning the status of the egg take.  I've read some of the detailed studies Tonello has completed and it looks like we got a good man on our side (us MI fishermen) in the DNR!

10/6/08  During the 2008 I fielded phone calls every week from those using my products with questions concerning, ...in simple terms: "they weren't catching like in the previous seasons."  Those who called were looking to place the blame on themselves, or other factors, ...never fully understanding where the "reel-problem" was!
       Hopefully, today's featured photos will shine the light on where the "reel-problem" lays.  Top photo in today's left border is from 10/3/08 (last Friday).  Bottom photo is was taken on 10/5/08 about a year ago of the exact ...same gravel bar where the fish nest.  This time lapse photo record speaks volumes: Pine Creek 10/3/08  Pine Creek 10/5/07
       You can judge for yourself comparing the numbers of Salmon in 2007 to a year later (2008).  Our MDNR has based our fishery on Chinooks, or Kings.  They've invested a lot of money and time into perfecting a good fishery this specie.  This I can not fault.
       However, Chinooks are the least adaptable Salmon to a freshwater environment and it's in the cards there will be peaks and valleys with a King fishery.  History has proven this point and will do so again.  What will 2009 bring? ...no one can answer that!

10/5/08  Added July, August and September 2008 to the ever growing archives from my Captain's Log.  Nowadays, this section would be called probably a blog.  However, I started down the path of recording daily updates 3 years before the word "blog" was ever coined, or spoken.  Click for archived updates dating back to 1/1/2000

10/4/08  Let's look at the minority group of slobs that give river Salmon fishermen a bad name.  Yesterday, I went on a photo shoot to check on a tributary of the Big Manistee River known as Pine Creek.  Low and behold, as soon as I stepped out of my truck there were freshly cleaned Salmon carcasses strewn on the shoulder of the road.
       It would have been less offending to this waste thrown back into the river.  In fact, some regulations on the west coast want the offal deposited back in the rivers and streams.  This provides nutrients for the fish already in the water system and the soon to hatch baby Salmon, as the cycle of life continues.  Click 10/3/08 Salmon litter

10/3/08  Never seen 50 degrees at my place yesterday.  Cold and rainy has kept many of the bow hunters I know from climbing the trees.  Reports say the doe population is up slightly, but bucks are scarce for now.  Trees are still in full foliage.
       Busy setting laying the foundation for the 2009 season.  Conquering tackle production issues now, means more time for me to fish when next year rolls around.
       Haven't stored my boat yet and hope to make it out a time, or two before winterizing SR 1979.  October is iffy, cuz of breezy weather.  
       Have a great weekend and thanks for allowing this website to visit your computer!

10/2/08  Wanted to follow-up yesterday's update about my 40th anniversary in Salmon fishing with the single most important step forward in big water Salmon and Trout fishing.  Fought with myself all day trying to come up with one complete, defining all encompassing answer and could not.  Our fishery is too complex trying to pick a single subject.  Given a choice of few things?  These are my picks: 
       1. electronics that have moved light years. 
       2. resourceful fishermen that still pursue our Great Lakes fish with a blazing passion that hasn't diminished since the onset of the first run of adult Coho in 1967. 
       3. the internet loaded with all kinds of info and the connectivity it offers.
       The single most important thing I learned?  ...is not to blame myself when there's no fish under my boat.  I do not look for excuses, knowing full well, you can't catch what's not there.  2008 reinforced this with on-again, ....off-again numbers of fish.
       The greatest gift the Great Lakes Fishery has bestowed upon me is the personal relationships built over the past many seasons that have enriched my life.

10/1/08   On this day: 40 years ago, 4 decades, or 14,610 days ago I caught my first Salmon.  It was a hen Coho pushing 10 pounds taken in W. Platte Bay, north of the Port of Frankfort, MI.  My inaugural Coho hit a fluorescent red M2 Flatfish with 14 ounces of lead strung in front as a sinker to get down to the fish.  This was a big deal in my life!  
        My 1st big water rig was a 14' Rinker with a 40 hp Big Twin Evinrude towed by a 1967 Oldsmobile Cutlass.  The rod was a Heddon Muskie Special equipped with a Plueger Reel spooled with 25# test Berkley Trilene.  EVERYTHING used to catch this Salmon was made in the USA back then.  Well before the politicians and Wall Street villains shipped our manufacturing capacities out of OUR country for the sake of a snake oil bottom line!
        My bitch with imports is: the consumer pays the same price if the stuff was USA produced.  The extra profit margin is gained by huge multinational companies and the consumer does not see passed down cost savings in over the counter retail prices.
        In 1968 you could send a letter for 5 cents, gas was about 33 cents a gallon and almost everything was made with pride ... in the good ole USA! Click my 1st Salmon