April, May & June 2009
4/13/09 Brown Trout
4/16/09 Lk. Huron Salmon
Port Sanilac, MI
5/5/09 New Buffalo, MI
Spring Kings & Coho
5/22/09 Spring Kings
6/30/09 After reading several port reports from many locations on Lk. MI and speaking to trustworthy sources on the phone, came to the conclusion Manistee, MI is lagging behind most ports. This assumption is warranted by the slow fishing for several topnotch teams that struggled in last weekend's Manistee Bud Pro-Am Tournament.
While fishing/catching in WI and southern Lk. MI is not gangbusters by any means, it still out paces my home port when it comes to a inshore fishery for suspended Salmon. Heard a lot of 4 to 6 fish catches, but 20 pounders were mentioned in most every case.
Something worthy to note is how the same colors work in both sides of the big pond. X-Glow Super Puke BTI 10" Flasher is seeing a lot of water time from our website members into pulling meat. This flasher it is pulling honest 20 pound June Kings in MI ports of Manistee, St. Joe from those I've had contact with. Click 6/26/09 King St. Joe, MI
This X-Glow Puke blade is working in Kewaunee, WI too. Click Kewaunee, WI King 22#
My most sincere thanks to Nick L and Mark T for use of today's great photos!
Just about all of the month of June I've been
shore-bound for one reason, or another. Most
important one is we're giving same day shipping on
orders received as late as 2pm. Service and fast
shipping is where we smoke our competition.
Long range forecast for our upcoming 4th of July
Weekend looks OK with temps in the mid to higher 70s
for Manistee, MI. If we can believe this far-out
prediction, no rain is on the agenda for the 4th
6/27/09 Heard from sources in Manistee and Ludington, MI the inshore shelf fishing left a lot to be desired yesterday. Most of the fishermen are turning to the deeper stuff over depths of 400' or more. Then, working the top 30' for Steelhead in hopes of a decent catch. If you're fishing the big water this weekend? Good luck and be safe!
Fishing off Manistee, MI is OK right now. But
finding fish weighing over 8 pounds can be hard to do.
Deepwater fishing is being done on the other side of
the 30 to 33 west with the top 30' being targeted over
depths of 400' to 600' of water. From what's
been told to me, the shelf/drop-off bite wanes quickly
after the sun comes up.
Finally, summer is here. Temps in the 80s and
90s are like manna from heaven for my line of tackle,
cuz the deeper fish are ....the better my stuff works!
Most important thing on the front burner is a floating
yellow poly line up in the 19s, about 4 miles N of
Manistee, MI's harbor. This was supposed to be
pulled yesterday by the commercial fishermen, but
haven't got a confirmation on this yet.
Just too busy yesterday to do justice to Team Getaway
i.e. the father-son that fished together on Lake Huron
on Fathers Day weekend. You might think I'd be
more apt to brag up my product's tournament
performance, but that's not where I'm coming from.
6/22/09 Later this morning this will be expanded on. The crux will be the great Fathers Day Bob K Jr. and Bob K Sr. had capturing 3rd place in last weekend's Off Shore Challenge held in the Port Austin/Grindstone City, MI area of Lake Huron. Also, they took the 3 largest fish award, all coming on meat and my products. Click for Team Getaway
6/21/09 Have a great Fathers Day!
With the onset of Fathers Day tomorrow, today's
featured Pike photo of Austin and Jeff Pefley is a
great fit. By the looks of the background in this
image, I'd say it's off the coal docks in Manistee
Lake by Filer City, MI.
Click Austin & Jeff
Glad to see this week come to an end. T.G.I.F.
is exactly how I feel. Too hectic to even grab a
few hours to hit the pond since last week. Have
a great weekend and do something I seem not able to
accomplish and that is ...going fishing!
People I know getting the new strips are in Indiana
and they can only get 10 cases at a time. I
haven't seen this yet, cuz the sample strips shipped
to me were frozen solid in brine. It's been said
the production version is in a dry brine and requires
only refrigeration, not freezing. I'll try to
verify this soon.
Click 2009 Fish On strips
6/17/09 Brief on Manistee?
Confused, never the same report and next to impossible
to build a consensus. One reports says 130' to
210' down, then the next says all in the top 60'.
Hot and cold mixed results are the deal I'm hearing
and everything in between. Deep water bite over
450' to 650' on the 30 to 35 west lines echoes the
hot-cold results. The only certain word about
Manistee-Ludington is total uncertainty with
prevailing N & E winds
Today's update is coming to you from Vladivostok,
Russia regarding their Masu Salmon. Denis U. was
kind enough to send photos of the Masu Salmon that
shares several traits of our Coho Salmon. It's a
Pacific Salmon that is found in Japan, Korea and
Russia. There's even a landlocked specie in
Taiwan. Masu's are nicknamed the Cherry Salmon
and develop red vertical bars when they reach full
adulthood ready to run the rivers.
Let's debut the new 2009 Herring Strips from Fish On
Bait Company today. The new strips are a step up
from the product they introduced back in 2004.
These new strips are firm being about 3/8" thick and
around 6" long.
Click new 2009 Herring Strips
bear population in Manistee County, MI is definitely
on the increase. The U.S. Bear population more
than doubled between 1989 and 2006, rising from
165,000 to over 350,000, according to The
International Association of Bear Research and
Management. Everyone that I have close personal
contact with ...has seen bears crossing the highway,
or run into these critters in the woods.
inspect the newer Chinese version of Luhr Jensen Dipsy
Divers. The looped arm weld/solder points leave
a lot to be desired. I'm not picking on the
Chinese workers, cuz they need to make a living too.
But by not shipping more junk to the USA.
June is a tough month on fishing with
family business. Finding open times, and having
the weather cooperate ...as our spring changes to
summer can hinder days afloat. Then, there's
questions about where the fish are, as they often seem
to scatter from the easy inshore fishing we had back
in May. If you're one of the lucky ones able to
get on the Great Lakes this weekend, good luck and be
Today's safety update is courtesy of highly popular &
experienced Manistee, MI charter skipper, Capt. Mel
Gaw from "I Dee Ho" Sport Fishing Charters.
Favorable winds for this time of the season on our
side of the pond (Manistee, MI area) is SW, or S.
West is OK, but combinations of east and anything from
the north severely detracts success when fishing ports
in central and northern Lk. MI.
Weather was a bummer for our second annual Saginaw Bay
Challenge held in the Bay City, MI area. Rough
seas from a strong east winds made it a tough go.
Cool, easterly wind, damp and rainy is the headline
from last weekend would could live without in
Manistee, MI. Especially, the part about east
wind. Then, to make matters worse today thru
Wednesday some form of east wind is in the NOAA open
Super good luck today to all our website members
fishing our second annual Saginaw Bay tournament out
Linwood Beach Marina (formerly Hoyles), in Linwood
for Walleyes. This outing was a grand super
success last year.
6/6/09 If you're fishing today, good luck! Walleyes are good on Saginaw Bay and probably all ports on Lk. Erie. Salmon action is decent and holding up well at most Lk. MI ports in the Michigan side. We have some excellent WI website members the fish Algoma and Kewaunee, but results over there have been lackluster so far.
Changed the access to my product support forum.
Prior to a few days ago, the public at large could
read the topics and see all replies. This forum
is now locked down for our members only, as I have
several irons in the fire. Hush-hush long term
projects means my competition needs to know not
...what I'm up to!
Today's featured photo of Lake Erie Walleyes brings
back fond memories of my earlier days in the charter
business. Late May thru mid-July I ran trips
mostly in Michigan waters off Monroe and La Salle, MI
...close to Luna Pier. We had a MI 10 fish limit
back then. Unless, we had to fish Ohio waters,
then the limit dropped to 6 per person.
Sunday, June 7, 2009 marks our second annual Saginaw Bay Event
being held in the Bay City, MI area. Our website
tournament will be going out of
Marina (formerly Hoyles), Linwood Michigan. Plan
is to have all the fish weighed-in and serve a late
lunch around 2pm. This was grand fun last year &
everyone caught lots of Walleyes.
Spoke with Steve B. aka "Roscoe" on our message board.
He's been fishing Saginaw Bay out of Quanicassee, MI
(just east of Bay City, MI). He contradicted my
yesterday's report by saying most of his Walleyes were
in the 20 inch class and fishing was slightly better
than 2008. I guess this boils down to ...who you
talk to about the bay?
Normally, at this time of the year, many of our
message board members turn their efforts towards
Walleye. We have several members in the Bay
City, MI area. They've reported that Saginaw Bay
is not as hot as last year at this time.
Undersize fish are said to be the problem. Along
with more off-colored and stirred-up muddier waters.
2009 was a blessing to Lk. MI big water fishermen
after the disastrous 2008 version of this same month.
Last year was a tough spring for Kings in MI.
Filled up my boat yesterday with 24.5 gallons of gas.
This is fuel usage for 4, maybe 5 trips on Lake
Michigan dating back to April Browns in Manistee, MI.
New 4 stoke kicker motors are expensive, but over the
long haul you will get most of that money back in fuel
savings. Then, there's the issue of less wear
and tear on the main power plant.
you're hitting the Great Lakes this weekend, good
luck! If the current surface temp chart is to be
believed, we're all going to need it. Gone are
the inshore warmer waters that fence the fish along
Click for 5/28/09 temp chart
know ...if you're a big water Salmon fisherman the
2009 season is off to great start. May 2008 the
best we could muster was 3 Kings on 5/24/08.
MI website members caught Kings over the past holiday
weekend out of Manistee & Ludington, MI.
Wisconsin website members struggled that fished the
Algoma-Kewaunee waters. W winds have stacked up
a the King Salmon to the MI shore for now.
Memorial Day Weekend 2009 turned out alright.
Perhaps a little more wind that was predicted, but
many fished thru it. Manistee, MI was a story
some did (got into double figures) and most did not.
Fishing is decent on a pace that far exceeds last year
no matter how you shake the stick. Isn't that
Memorial Day 2009 is set aside for those who've served
our country with valor since 1776. Their
sacrifices have made our nation and kept us free to
Had the grand honor to fish again with the Legendary
Freshwater Hall of Fame member, Capt. Bud Raskey and
John N. on 5/22/09.
Click for Capt. Bud Raskey
Have good news for you today, if you fish out of the
Port of Manistee, MI. The way it looks we have
might ONLY 6 trap nets to contend with in 2009.
Not the two dozen in 2007, or the dozen in 2008.
Printable Net Locations Page
Here's where we stand on the info for current trap net
locations as of yesterday according to Tribal Law
Enforcement's Lt. Deforest: "Sgt. Szynski and Cpl.
Huff have been out since 1630 hrs. They are
doing a net survey from Ludington to Arcadia. I
will let you know the coordinates probably tomorrow as
they won't be in until late."
According to the surface temperature chart, there's a
10 to 12 degree temp fence (break) running N & S along
Manistee, MI's drop-off, or as the locals call it,
"the shelf". For May fishing this is the best
temp chart I've seen in a long, long time.
Updated the printable version of the Net Locations
Page. This info is 3 weeks old. So, keep
this in mind when fishing out of the Port of Manistee,
MI. This page is condensed and fits on one piece
of paper nicely.
Memorial Day Weekend 2009 is looking better and better
if the predictions for wave heights prove to be
accurate for Manistee, Ludington & Frankfort, MI
Ludington and Manistee are both producing decent
fishing for Kings. Especially, if you compare it
to this time last year. My thanks to Capt. Ken
Lutz from Ludington, MI for emailing today's featured
photo of the day:
Click for 5/17/09 King Salmon
you're looking for high quality Interstate Marine
Batteries at the best prices around check out North
Shore Marine and RV Supply. Call Cathy at: (231)723-5288
who runs this business. Believe it, or not North
Shore is ranked among the top of Interstate retail
dealers with numbers of batteries sold.
On 5/17/06 we had decent fishing off the Port of
Manistee, MI. I posted a combined photo of the
surface temp chart and what we caught a day later on
Good luck to all lucky enough to fish the big water
this weekend. Open waters beyond 5 nautical
miles from shore are not that promising until early
next week. I use the open waters Lk. MI NOAA,
because it goes 4 to 5 days into the future.
Near shore wave forecasts are only good for a day, or
Click NOAA open waters forecast
water temp off the Port of Manistee, Mi is looking
better and better. Seen high 40s and low 50s
inshore and out on the drop-off the water was 44 to 42
degrees. We will have fishing in my home town
soon, if not already.
Today's photo of the day says mountains of words.
So, I'll save you a long drawn out explanation.
Having an attractor & fly match exactly is way ahead
of it's time. No more figuring out tricky color
Click for matching flashers & flies
Lake Michigan continues to get rave reviews.
Courtesy of Capt. Rob Presson here's what he had to
say about Muskegon, MI: "Took
a couple out for Mother's Day and wow what a treat!
Ended up 6 for 10 in a short window....
Fresh news from Lk. MI this past weekend? For
the most part, Saturday was too lumpy and Mother's Day
held back fishing reports from yesterday (as well it
Mother's Day, a special date set aside to honor your
Cool, rainy and wind is what's happening in Manistee.
35 knot gale force winds predicted for this
afternoon will keep the fleet shore bound today.
Fishing reports from S. Lk. MI continue to rock and
the reports from Lk. Huron are decent too. Good
luck this weekend and hope the seas are with you.
Posted brand new photos of our fish box (fish catchin'
tools included) and our largest King caught a couple
of days ago at New Buffalo, MI. King never made
it to the scale, but higher teens is an honest
Click for goodie 5/5/09 King Salmon
John J and I fished out of New Buffalo, MI yesterday morning and
did quite well with a very non traditional all BTI
attractor program. I'm pretty well spent from the 420
miles to and from this port in a little over 24 hours.
Southern Lk. Michigan is off to a great start for
early May. Coho and Kings in St. Joe and New
Buffalo, MI. Michigan City, IN has been hot too.
Manistee is even producing an odd-occasional King once
in a while.
Fishing is good on all southern Lake Michigan ports
from St. Joe to East Chicago, IN. In fact,
catches are smoking anything that was done at this
same time in 2008. May 2009 is off to a great
start. Kings and Coho are the majority of the
Don't you love it when a plan comes together?
This is the case with the modifications I made to my
vertical rod holders used for the larger dual planer
boards, or inline planers. Added another rod
holder ...going from 3 to 4. Had to take a long
hard look at how to do this. Finally decided in
3 different angles and 14" clearance between the
bottom 2 rod holders.
for SR 1979 Bird Holder spacing
5/1/09 The vitals on our 4/29/09
Brown Trout trip out of the Port of Manistee, MI
include: Speed was 2.2 to 2.5 mph, any slower
...no bites, any faster ...no bites. Temp ranged
from 45 to 46 degrees and we stayed in the stained
water north of the piers to Blood Creek. Best
was off the Orchard Beach State Park in 8' to 12' of
4/30/09 Fished out of the Port of Manistee, MI yesterday with John J and legendary Hall of Fame skipper, Capt. Bud Raskey. We took 10 fish, 7 being browns (2 to 5 pounds) and 3 Lake Trout we released. Hours fished? Set lines 8:30am and pulled rods at not quite 1:30pm. More on this current event tomorrow when I have more time to stitch this fishin' tale together about 3 anglers with 12 decades of experience on the Great Lakes. Until then, enjoy the 6 brand new photos from yesterday's voyage in the left border.
Sometime in the not too distant future we will be test
marketing BTI Flasher/Fly combos. Catching
Great Lakes fish isn't all that hard if you have the
"right stuff." Like my flasher/meat rigs all on
my products are made to match. This is a supreme
4/28/09 We all have inner feelings.
Call it gut, intuition, or how our 6th sense feels
about how events might play out. Then, there's
indicators to confirm, or deny hunches we might have.
These are all important tools for people who make
their living from fishing (in my case this goes back
to 1983), or just likes to fish our Great Lakes.
Lots of Salmon photos from Lake Huron last weekend.
Seems this lake is finally gaining a little steam
after the horrendous Salmon crash in 2002, or there
abouts. Harbor Beach and Port Sanilac north
produced the best catches on southern Lake Huron.
Wet, windy and cool is the
deal from Manistee County, MI. Rough seas have
kept most of our home fleet shore bound. Did see
a near shore area of 52 degree surface temps from S of
Michigan City, IN to N of New Buffalo, MI.
Starting to hear of Walleye action on Saginaw Bay and
4/25/09 Just about had to pinch
myself yesterday to make sure I wasn't dreaming, cuz
it was above 80 degrees!!! Last 80 degree day we had
was ...probably September 2008.
4/24/09 While the temps look to be in
the 70s the next two days the prediction for wind
leaves a lot to be desired. Here's Manistee,
MI's marine near-shore forecast:
Archived temps dating back to 2004 shows southern Lk.
MI is several degrees colder in 2008 and so far in
2009. 4 to 8 degrees is a helluva lot, or maybe
better said: Salmon are a lot easier to catch when the
surface temp is 48 to 50 degrees, compared to the high
30s and low 40s like it is now.
Click archived Lk. MI surface temps
Spoke with Mark C who belongs to the Salmon Unlimited Club and fishes
mostly out of East Chicago, IN. Got an encouraging report on early
season King Salmon. Mark said they were catching some Kings
pushing the high teens & all were over 10 lbs. I was left with the
impression 09 is way ahead of what played out in 08 in this very same
4/21/09 Today's update and photos are
courtesy Chris S, skipper of the Fray'd Knot:
a great time to be a consumer as companies have to
push harder to maintain customer loyalty.
This plays out in reel-facts with my efforts.
Since the first of the year I've written 9 easy to
understand articles formatted for web usage with photo
explanations in great detail. With that thought
in mind, today I'll debut a new piece directed at at
correct meat rigging techniques with 5 to 6 inch Red
Label Herring. There's a couple of EZ ways to do
this. Here's the new work:
Click Rigging with Red
4/19/09 Don't have a lot to go on,
but Lk. Huron's Port Sanilac, MI sounds like it out
produced St. Joe, South Haven and Holland. Port
Sanilac catch was mostly Coho and some Kings, as Lk.
Huron continues to inch back to it's former self.
4/18/09 Should be able to piece
together a better idea of what's happening on southern
Lk. MI by this coming Monday. Reason behind this
line of thought? There's more of our message
board members fishing and their reports will tell.
Played hookie from work yesterday morning.
Fished Lk. MI out of the Port of Manistee, MI from
8:30am until about noon.
4/16/09 Thought you might enjoy
seeing the first reel line counter I know of ...used
on the Great Lakes. In the 1970s Olympic Fishing
Tackle Company had a series of reels, but the one
you're seeing was used for monel wire to pound the
bottom for Lake Trout.
Tax day. There's a pile of things wrong with the
government nowadays, but there is a bright spot.
That being the City of Manistee, MI that has
forestalled charging to use the First Street Public
Launch. In plain terms, it's free to launch your
boat for now!
4/14/09 Had a great opener to my big
lake 2009 season with the fine company of John J &
Capt. Tom Rasmussen from Sue Lee Charters in Manistee,
MI. From the bottom of my heart, it's a blessing
to know and fish with the class of these two excellent
Lake Huron's Port Sanilac, MI was a tough go last
weekend. Cold water was thought to be the
culprit according to website member, Getaway.
4/12/09 Easter Sunday
4/11/09 Good luck to the early season
fishermen competing today in St. Joe, MI's Brown
Blast. Hope the weather in the south end of Lk.
MI is better then the N wind 15 to 25 knots predicted
for Manistee for the first part of today.
4/10/09 A few of the local fishermen
in Manistee, MI got a chance to take a whack at the
Lk. MI Brown Trout yesterday. Action was very
spotty, pressure was light and the seas cooperated for
a change. I do not want to overestimate numbers,
but 1 to 3 per boat is what was told to me for those
that put their time in. Please let me stress, do
not look for success on Browns during more crowded
4/9/09 Finally dug up some late
season 2008 good news from charter skipper, Capt. Bob
Smith who runs the Sportsman Shop in Glen Arbor, MI.
This area and Leland is close to N. & S. Manitou
Islands. Capt. Bob reported good catches of 3
year juvenile Kings into very late September.
Let's hope this is a prognosticator of how Kings will
play out in 2009.
4/8/09 Today's update is entirely
thru the gracious courtesy of Einar F from Norway.
Here's what Einar had to say about the tackle he
purchased from me:
Today's update will be most helpful to those newer to
the sport of big water trolling. The focus is on
the Double Loop Knot when using trolling flies.
This knot is used to attach the fly to the flasher.
Click for photo "how-to" article
4/6/09 First off, we're sitting on a
fair number of herring orders at our webstore.
All herring orders will ship tomorrow on Tuesday
Click if you need
Decent weather in Manistee, MI yesterday, then it's
supposed to be more winter-like until mid week.
Improving weather will mean more fishermen including
myself. My lake boat is ready to go and with the
right seas ...should be fishing Lk. MI later this
week. Boats are an immense amount of preparation
work for the first splash of the season.
4/4/09 Since last fall John J my ace
number 1 fishin' bud has let me impose on his good
nature and loaned me the use of one of his freezers.
John is returning home from wintering over in Arizona
and common courtesy dictates I must clean out his
4/3/09 Big Manistee River Steelhead
fishing? Tough to tell on this, but there's
still bright silver fresh-run Steelhead entering this
watershed. Heard below Bear Creek was decent
last Wednesday and it's safe to assume those fish
Got a special update for you today sharing my King
Family Photo Album with you. All of today's
photos are the first King boated during the start of a
new season dating back to 2004. 04 is when I
embarked on the highway of tackle manufacturing.
4/1/09 It's official today with the
MDNR. Five Salmon (Kings & Coho) limit
increased from 3 per species over the past many
seasons. This is especially good news for the
sport fishermen who hit the early season Coho in
southern Lk. MI. 5 Chinooks per license will
help extend fishing trips for those that fish 2, or 3
persons to a boat.