January, February and March

5/23/04 South Haven, MI

5/21/05 Manistee, MI

5/17/06 Manistee, MI

7/2/07 Manistee, MI

5/24/08 Manistee, MI

Above photos are the first Salmon of the season taken over the last 5 years

Captain's Log

3/31/09   Reminders will make a good update.  As of tomorrow, you will need the new 2009 MI all species licenses if you fish salmon and Trout.
        You might want to check your boat registrations.  They expire today too.  Look on you sticker by you "MC" numbers, or check your billfold for the registration.  Money is tight, no need to waste it on costly tickets from oversight.
         Watch out for pre-April Fools absurd stories.  I generally get sucked in even though I know better.  Be alert tomorrow, or be a April Fool?

3/30/09  Last Friday, what looks like another net marker buoy was found approximately a mile south of the Manistee, MI pier-heads.  There was line attached buried in the sand.  Surf action washing onshore prevented further investigation. Click 3/28/09 net buoy
        Random finds like this and the net floats found last week are hard to pin down on who they belong to.  Sure I suspect they came from the 7 trap nets off Manistee, but proving this is impossible without identifiable markings. Click last week's find
        At this point nobody has reliable information concerning anything to do with the trap nets off the Port of Manistee, MI.  I do know boats have trolled for Browns 5 miles south of Manistee on the shoreline and encountered zero problems.
        Reporting anything with the nets off Manistee is a no win situation for me and has been from the git-go.  However, public safety takes precedence.  Let me be the first to remind all parties concerned there was 3 Lake Huron sport fishermen that lost their lives when their 22' Starcraft boat got tangled up in a gill net and capsized back in 1993. 
        Also, a couple of years back we had a Ludington boat keel over after hanging their trolling gear in a mystery abandoned net up towards Big Point Sable.  It was a miracle these early season Ludington anglers were pulled quickly from the water before they died from hypothermia.  You see, this whole deal isn't about winning, or losing ...it's all about the public safety focused on the brotherhood of all Great Lakes sports fishermen!

3/29/09  Sporadic attempts from our message board members fishing Lake Michigan have not yielded not much to show for their efforts ...yet!  This weekend's gale force winds will keep the early season anglers off the big pond.  March is proving at wild as ever.  At midnight last night, it was snowing at a good clip at my place in Manistee, MI.
         Need to bring up another point about having tackle that works in any light conditions.  It saves buying tackle by covering all bases of full sun to dark overcast days. 
         This thought went into my "Doub L Glo" series with glow laser tape and cracked ice tape on opposite sides.  Came across this idea in the early i2ks when I sold Jerry Bechhold's flashers.  Splitting hairs in my charter program back then, we found out cracked ice would work better at first light.   Laser tape glow tape proved to perform better once the sun came up later in the morning with Jerry Bechhold's product. 
         There is need to eliminate having a separate set of flashers for bright and dark that were both basically the same, just taped slightly different.  To cover all the bases cracked ice glow & laser glow are designed into all my "Doub L Glo" lineup on the same flasher!
                 I'll cover this worthy topic in more detail later this week.
My estimated Manistee snow gauge has moved another 4" to 176" since last November.

3/28/09  There's little really true information concerning our sport of big water trolling.  We grab onto any info in the hopes it will make our time on the water more productive.  One of the fairy tales I fell for big time was dark days, means dark lures.
         This false myth has been disproved by my number 1 selling BTI 10" flasher, the King Purple Glo.  The King Purple is on a black flasher bade with purple and glow tape on opposing sides.  This contrast is featured on all my products for the ultra simple reason all fish have contrasting colors on their backs and bellies.
         The King Purple pattern works as well, ...if not better on bright days as it does in darker conditions with overcast skies.  Today's featured photo proves this point with a double of Kings in one net.  The chronicle of this photo is full bright sun around 3pm in the early afternoon off Leland, MI in 2007.  Click for 2 Kings in one net

        The ongoing saga on net markers being washed ashore continues.  There was another buoy found off 12th Street, or about end of the golf course about 1 mile south of the Manistee pier heads.  More on this story next Monday, or Tuesday!

3/27/09  I measure success in small steps and accomplished another goal yesterday by reinstalling my Mercruiser outdrive. Test fired the motor in the driveway with water to the engine via a hose and earmuffs.  It ran just fine!  Click freshly greased u-joint
         I'd be a lot more eager on hitting Lk. Michigan ...even if our Brown Trout are an endangered specie on life support, but the weather next week looks too cold.  Low 40s on a breezy lake that's maybe all of 36 degrees means a chilly day on the pond.
         We've had some of our website members walking the beach south of Manistee.  So far, the only debris found on shore is south by the PCA outlet ...as initially reported back a few days ago.  MDNR officer contacted one of our website members and said the 7 nets left out last winter have the DNR's highest priority to locate and make safe for all.

3/26/09   Like many of you, I'm getting antsy and readying my lake boat for service.  Charging the batteries and general maintenance tasks have been accomplished.  Taking time to do it 100% right the first time means less grief down the road.
Getting the most out of your fishing dollars is probably even more important in a sluggish economy.  Saved at least 25 bucks by changing the oil in my 2007 4-stroke 15 hp Johnson.  Last time I bought a oil filter kit from the dealer, it was 30 bucks.  Found the same filter online for 5 dollars by shopping around.  Click for this filter

          Hopefully, my boat, SR1979 will get it's Mercruiser Outdrive greased and re-attached today.  This is one piece of serious maintenance you can not put off!  If you haven't greased the top knuckle double U-joint? ...quite possibly I just saved you a ton of dough.  Even worse, you rig being down during the prime time of season 2009!  Those days are unrecoverable!  Click Mercruiser Outdrive U-Joint

3/25/09  Is there such a thing as free press?   In Manistee, MI it does not exist.  Local TV stations do not report both sides of the story about the Manistee LRB trap netting fiasco in fear of losing advertising revenue/i.e. big dollars from Indian casinos.
         Manistee's newspaper, the News Advocate is second rate butt wipe for a 2 seater  outdoor toilet when it comes to anything that shines a bad light on the LRB casino.  This paper reaps advertising dollars from the local casino weekly.  Bias reporting in favor of tribe has been their sugar coated mantra with anything concerning the commercial netting.
         We have the federal authority of the USCG, our state's local DNR and the so-called Tribal Law Enforcement that see their efforts all go for naught.  It's like everyone is afraid to enforce the laws that protect the US citizens right to navigate our waterways safely!
         Commercial and sports fishermen are eternal foes due to opposing goals.  My beef is our tax dollars support the USCG, MDNR and even the Tribal Law Enforcement.  It's time these organizations get off their duff and start earning the money we pay them by making our waters of Lake Michigan safe and trouble free.
Commercial fishing contributes nothing for Manistee's local economy, sports fishing does!
It's time we got our house in order on this issue and move forward.  I find it distasteful editorializing for a daily update, much preferring catching fish subjects by a wide margin.

3/24/09  Going to try real hard not to vent, but I must issue a stern warning for all waters north and south of Manistee, MI.  Buoys and line from nets have washed ashore! 
         3 buoys and 300' of yellow poly line were found south of Manistee approx 2 miles by the PCA outlet.  The PCA outlet, or pipe line is from the box board (cardboard) factory on south end of Manistee Lake in Filer City.  They use lake water in their industrial processes for cooling.  This debris surely looks like it came from the nets the renegade Little River Tribal netters abandoned last fall. Click buoys on beach  Click line washed ashore
         The word renegade fits, because their parent company, the Little River Casino is responsible for the actions of their tribal members and let NO one say otherwise.  Plain & simple this is a supreme crock of bull~hit, along with the kangaroo LRB tribal court, & all policies of the Little River Band of Native Americans towards public safety!
         What brings this to the utmost disturbing level is where are the remaining parts and pieces of a trap net that can be 1/2 mile long? 
           Guess the Tribe of Native Americans in Manistee just don't care, cuz if they did? ...dangerous situations like this wouldn't be allowed to happen in the 1st place!

3/23/09  Since the first of this year, I've completed 7 new pages.  6 of them are brand new fishing articles that are connected to our fishery.  Please use the below links:

Thinking Inside the Box
Eaters, or Biters part I  
Mid Day Mayhem
6 Pack Stickers
Storing Flies & Meat Rigs
Spectra Super Lines

Member's Services

We're very grateful to everyone who purchased during our early preseason sale. 
Your business is much appreciated and a big thank you from www.michiganangler.com

3/22/09  All spring promotional sales ends tonight at midnight. We will be shipping herring
orders the first part of this week.  You will receive shipping confirmation Emails.
       Put the finishing touches on my new article: "Thinking Inside the Box"

      There's a lot more going on with our mindset when we score big and the rest struggle, or vice-versa.  Intuition is often overlooked valuable tool.  My worst days on the water have come from not listening to my thoughts when I took a wrong turn at the pier heads!

3/21/09  Just one day left to take advantage spring tackle sale on flies, bait, line and storage cases for flies, or meat rigs.  Click for michigan angler webstore
        Please keep in mind, ALL ORDERS receive a 2009 free 9.95 Sparkler BTI 10" Flasher until 3/22/09, or tomorrow night.  Thanks to all that have already ordered!
        If anyone thinks there's a lot of bait stocked up already for the 2009 season, you're dead wrong.  Inventory for Herring in Manistee?   Shipwatch Marina has 26 trays of Green Label and 38 trays of Red Label.  Other tackle stores in our area are low too.  The only retail outlet that has a decent supply of good bait is Capt. Chucks in Ludington. 
       I have about 150 trays of red and green label Herring left before I'm out.  Then it will be decision time ...if I have the time, resources, or the manpower to keep selling bait for the rest 2009. This coming Monday all pre-season sale prices will be a thing of the past.
       Have a new article to unveil today. Click for "Thinking Inside the Box"

It's not quite completely finished and is in need of proof reading and few minor rewrites.

3/20/09  Hallelujah!  Spring 2009 has finally arrived.  Mr. Winter 2008-2009 was one mean sucker and died a dreadful slow death yesterday spitting snow and temps in to 20s in Manistee, MI.  Temp last night was chilly too, in the mid teens!
       Two important things come to mind you cannot over look.  First is 2008 fishing licenses will soon be expiring.  Michigan boat registration stickers are only good the 3/31/09 if your boat is up for renewal this year. Click WI 3/19/09 lunker Brown Trout
        Our WI website buddy, jlars was raising cane with the fish in the Kewaunee River again.   jlars and his 3 fishing partners landed 20 fish, a good mix of Steelhead and Browns on spawn.  WI seems to have developed a strain of Brown Trout that gravitate more to the rivers than our genetically weakened MI strains that are more, or less cormorant food for now.  For the numbers of Brown Trout the MDNR is planting, catch rates are a disaster.

3/19/09  Today's featured photo shows a modification to the protector sleeve that helps keep the Mylar strands under control with snelled double trebles. Click for this photo
         In this day and age it makes more sense then ever to prolong the life of your tackle.  Tackle sits in storage the vast majority of the time.  Keeping everything neat accomplishes a couple of things. First storing flies/meat rigs correctly extends the life. 
         Second is all of your tackle is accessed very easily with everything right at your finger tips for quick changes on the water.  The storage cases we offer are the very best solution and will prove itself as a valuable weapons locker on your boat!
         To top off all spring sales, I've dropped the price 10% on the flies/meat rig storage cases normally priced at 24.95 to 22.46 until 3/22/09. Click sale priced Storage Cases
          Let's make some "cents" by not being pennywise and pound foolish.  24 meat rigs push 300 bucks.  24 trolling flies, even the cheapest variety will cost you at least 125.  Spending a little over 20 bucks to protect your tackle investments makes good sense!
          As the day wears on, I'll be working on a new page with step by step photos showing correct usage of the storage cases. Click for this work in progress
          Plus, how to use the extra slots in the patented foam inserts for the ultimate in managing your tackle, keeping it under control, and ready for immediate use!

3/18/09  Took full advantage of yesterday's sneak peek of soon to be here: spring weather! Fished the upper section Big Manistee River (High Bridge down) with Capt. Tom Rasmussen from Sue Lee Charters in Manistee, MI.  Click for T-4 Flatfish
        Our time frame was 9am thru 2pm.  We missed a half-hearted bite, boiled a fish out of a run, and took a gorgeous shiny, bright fresh-run 9 lb. hen Steelie.
        River temp at 9am was 35 degrees at Blacksmith Bayou.  Kinda semi too-cold for high action plugs we were using, but T-4 flatfish were all we had aboard.  We used a less than perfect lure for these colder water conditions.  T-4s never come into their own until it's 38 pushing 40 degrees.  By noon the water had warmed to 37 and that's when we stuck the silver hen in today's featured photo.  Click 3/17/09 hen Steelie

       In retrospect, if I was fishing the BMR today? ...I'd work the waters further downstream below Bear Creek, Rainbow Bend, Cemetery Run, Coho Bend, farm house, etc.  Water temp should be better downstream with more fish.  We just did not see any boats with enough action yesterday, to warrant the High Bridge area for another try today.
   Gonna postpone the story behind the special fly protectors for double snelled hooks.  Besides, today's Steelhead fishing rundown on the BMR better suited this time of the year.

3/17/09  St. Patrick's Day:  Last week WI website member jlars and his buddy, Ham went hardwater Steelhead fishing.  After boring thru 2' of ice with they set lines and were soon rewarded with the chunky Steelhead that ate a spawn sack. Click for this stocky fish
       Then, they took a dandy bright chromer fresh-run hen from the Kewaunee River and missed another fish that fell off coming up the 2' of hole.  Tip-ups for Steelhead is kinda unusual to say the least, but looks like big fun! Click 3/13/09 WI chromer hen Steelie
       Tomorrow, I'll explain the story on improving the protector sleeves in our meat rig cases to better fit the double-snelled flies we offer at: www.michiganangler.com
Posted the steps in 3 how-to photos to modify the sleeves and make your stuff last and be better organized.  Fishing tackle sits 99% of the time & should be taken care of!      

3/16/09  It's Steelheading time on the Big Manistee River.  Recent warming temps for Manistee County have been pushing 50 degrees lately and will go higher this week. Yep, the 2009 fishing season is finally here and don't let no one tell you differently!
        Got my river cruiser out of storage yesterday and will be charging the battery and pre-testing water the motor before leaving the yard to pick a fight with Mr. Steelhead.
        Conditions on the Big M are so-so for water temp registering about 35 degrees up towards Tippy Dam.  River temp is artificially held back by the 2 large impoundments, or backwaters of Hoodenpyle & Tippy Dams.  38 degrees is the magic temp for higher action plugs like T-4 Flatfish to hit full stride.  Flow is gauged at high water, 2000 cubic feet per second, but this is the 2nd, or 3rd late winter flush.  The BMR should be fairly clean.
        Thanks to website member jlars, aka John L from WI for sharing his river ice fishing Steelhead adventure photos from last week.  More on this unique story tomorrow.

3/15/09  When we're born, we don't pick our names.  Our parents get do that job.  I learned early on in grade school with the last name of King my classmates had an open door to razz me.  Especially, if I didn't exceed the going standard.  This has carried over thru all my adult life where the ultimate best is sacrosanct in all my endeavors. 
       This shows in the tackle we make in Manistee, MI USA with no one touching the overall quality of our stuff.  Nobody making flies, meat rigs, or flashers goes to the extreme detail we do.  Granted our products in some cases might cost a buck, or two more, but that's cheap to know you're going first class.
        33% off sale on the 2009 King Purple Glo and the X-Glow Sea Green trolling flies for only 3.95 ends tonight at midnight.  Monday the cost will revert to the normal 5.95 & still be worth every penny of the 6 bucks.  No one offers 3 hook options, a protector sleeve & a protection tube.  We are the first in the world to ever market flies in this manner!

3/14/09  Let's look at the advantages of using the internet to buy tackle from me.  First is the selection in all colors and sizes that no tackle store can afford to stock.  Second is easy button part that involves no driving and the webstore is open 24/7.
         Third and probably most important is you get what you want, ...the way you want it!  This is exactly the case when you order trolling flies in 3 different hook configurations.
         Some people prefer double snelled turned up eye, large 5/0 single hooks.  Others like a good sturdy quality single treble for their flies.  Many opt for the snelled double trebles that offer 6 points and barbs to stick and hold fish. Click for these 3 styles
         All are good and each hook setup has it's advantages.  Tandem single 5/0 hooks driven deep into a fish will seldom ever let go on the way to the boat.  Single trebles means less problems/faster unhooking.  Snelled double trebles are specialty hooks that cut down on diver misses, but requires more care/time when unhooking a fish. 
         Today and tomorrow the new 2009 King Purple Glo and X-Glow Sea Green trolling flies are 33% off and going for only 3.95 each
Click for sale priced flies
          As I've said before, "there's no wrong way to fish."  Meaning if it works for you, that's the most vital factor.  We all fish differently and what works for one fisherman, might not for another.  It's all a matter of personal preferences plain & simple.

3/13/09  Today, thru this Sunday you can buy my number 1 selling X-Glow Sea Green fly. Plus, the newly introduced 2009 King Purple Glo Fly that's clone to the hot selling number one in BTI 10" flasher sales, the King Purple Glo.  Click for flies on sale
         When is a sale actually a sale? ...or is someone camouflaging unpopular products there's little to no demand for.  A sale is a sale, when the best selling, or new products are marked down.  33% off my best seller and new 2009 King Purple fly at 3.95 is a reel-sale and not a repackaged hidden effort just to move slow selling tackle gathering dust.
         No one, no where offers the supreme quality components in these flies, or 3 optional hook setups.  Let alone a storage tube and a protection sleeve to prevent a tangled up strands of Mylar.  Preserving your tackle and getting your hard-earned  money's worth out of what you buy makes sense to me.  To other outfits ...it just means less sales!
         Click mess without protector sleeves    Click for the sleeve solution
Current marked down 33% sale on the 2 hot selling 3.95 trolling flies ends this Sunday (3/15/09).  After that, the price will be 5.95 and still worth every cent of the 6 bucks!

3/12/09  If you live in deer country, you probably know this already.  The edges of the highways are packed with deer in the early and late hours of daylight.  So, be careful!
         Had to pick up bait last Monday and drove to the storage facility around 8am.  Counted 2 that were hit cars on the way and when we made the return trip we seen another freshly hit deer.  Beware if you're traveling on M55 between Wellston and Manistee, MI, cuz the deer are everywhere.
         Manistee County 3 bumper crop seasons of acorns 3 out of the last 5 years and the deer population obviously benefited from this.  With the snowy December 2008 and the frigid January 2009 the herd is in tough shape.  Today's photo of the day show a gaunt young buck eating dead moss on my property.  You can plainly see the sunken hip bones and the fuzzy heads which are clear signs of starvation.  Click for this deer

3/11/09  Today, I come to you with a heavy heart with a reprehensible announcement concerning the Port of Manistee, MI.  It seems like the Little River Band tribal netters pulled the same crap they did last season by leaving their nets in all winter. 
         In 2008 this led to floating nets, unsafe to navigation & many boats got entangled before they knew it!  Then the tribe hired outside contractors to pull the perilous nets.  While the offending LRB tribal netters went on their merry way dropping more nets.
         The worst part of the current situation is a late season net that was set front of Barr Lake, slightly north of Manistee's Orchard Beach State Park.  What makes this net so dangerous is ...it was originally set in 40' of water in close and fairly shallow. 
         Early season Brown Trout shoreline trollers should exercise extra care when fishing by keeping a sharp lookout.  Reason for the extra care? ...as things stand nobody knows where last season's 2008 trap nets are presently.  Click 2008 floating net
         The CG and other law enforcement agencies will be out next week trying to locate these nets.  This clearly shows when our government bestows the rank of super citizen on a select few, respect for laws the rest of us have to abide by gets lost in the shuffle.
         As soon as more info becomes available to me, you'll be the first to know.  I will post any and all news about the nets concerning public safety ASAP.

3/10/09  Esteemed website member, Mike R found this is link to the MDNR trying to develop a new strain of Brown Trout:  Click for this article  Click 17# 2002 Brown
        Overall time span will be about 10 years since the crash of Brown Trout in the Great Lakes for DNR to get a handle on improving this fishery.  In 2007 the MDNR planted 1.1 million Browns at 370 sites across the State of Michigan for practically naught in return. 
        Especially, if we look at the big lake picture.  Being critical of the DNR is not going to accomplish anything.  The new brood stock of Sturgeon River Browns scheduled for release in 2012 & 2013 might.  It's in our best interest to certainly hope ...that it does!

3/9/09   Today let's focus on the vanished Lk. MI Brown Trout Fishery in Manistee, MI.  From the early 1990s thru 2001 my charter guests would boat between 200 to 300 Browns in the month of April alone.  In 2001 I wrote a "tell all" exclusive article for instant success on shoreline hugging April Brown trout.  Click Brown Trout 7.0
         2002 the numbers slowed, but we had a lot of Browns in the 10 pound range and some monster 18-25 pound master angler sized fish.

        The Browns in today's featured photo from 2001 would be considered OK for the size of Kings we catch nowadays  
My charter catch in April 2003 was to the outside 20 fish as the Brown fishing went down the tubes.  Reasons for the downturn could be many, but the going consensus is the increase in cormorants.  Click for 2001 Brown Trout
        I'm not of the opinion any one thing is at fault, but a combination of factors with less alewives coming on the beach and pier heads to spawn.  Not to overlook the current strain of Brown Trout that the MDNR is planting might weakened and have lost it's ability to survive.  Whatever it is? ...this problem has many scratching their heads longing for the good old days when Manistee was known as limit city for April Brown Trout fishing!  

3/8/09  Looks like the Jordon River National Fish Hatchery might get 2.5 mil from the federal stimulus fund.  This facility raises about 2 million Lake Trout annually. 
       This hatchery is located on the Jordan River in Antrim County (East Jordan, MI) and is responsible for planting Lake Trout in the Great Lakes of Michigan & Huron. 
        Reason for this hatchery goes back a long time with the crash of Lake Trout in the late 1940s-early 1950s.  Due to what many thought was from the lampreys let in thru the Welland Canal.  This canal skirts around Niagara Falls with several locks.  So, ships can travel Lake Erie to Lake Ontario & visa versa. 

3/7/09  A couple of important things on today's agenda.  First is we spring forward one hour as we adjust for Daylight Saving Time tonight.
         Next is the Flint Steelheaders Spring Fishing Show in Birch Run, MI enters it's second day.  Saturday is the big turnout day.  If you live within a reasonable drive from Birch Run, please attend this worthwhile event.  Click Birch Run show info
         Flint Steelheaders show staff all donate their time in setting up the show and lending helping hands at move-in and move-out for venders.  Donated time means every cent from their show gets re-invested back into our fishery in one way, shape, or form.  Congratulations to this fine charitable club and the good they do!

3/6/09  Today's update is about saving major cash by cleaning the inside of your computer at least once a year.  I clean mine with compressed air in my shop, but you can buy canned air at any office supply that will do the job just as well.  Computer fans move massive amounts of air to cool the case, CPU, and power supply. 
        Did some figuring on the CFM (cubic feet per minute) going thru one of my computers and came up with 3600 CFM per hour.  Times 8 hours a day, that's whopping 28,800 CFM per day.  Meaning a lot of traveling dust and dirt that can accumulate over time.
        Today's speedy processors run hot, with AMD running a tad hotter than Intel based CPUs.  Keeping the dust off aids in heat dissipation big time. Thusly, making for a more stable computer and one that will last a heck of a lot longer! Click dust on CPU fan
Please take heed of today's tip & save the price of a costly new replacement computer.

3/5/09  Incredible temps in the 50s for Manistee County are predicted for tomorrow.  If this doesn't give you a case of severe spring fever, not much else will.  Posted a couple archived photos from back in my charter and river guide days as temporary fix.
      Top photo is a good chunky spring Steelhead that was an angry critter to deal in snag infest waters.  Had to motor cross the river to pull this fish away from massive underwater log jams that would have cost us this fine specimen of a fish.  Click spring Steelie
       Next question is what will Brown Trout 2009 be like in Manistee, arguable the best Brown Trout fishing in the state with 3 record Browns in the 1990s and early i2ks.  This fishery has since fallen on hard times and the outlook is bleak.  Click 2002 Browns

/4/09  Updated the page for show info on the upcoming Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run starting this Friday at 3pm.   The Flint chapter is a non profit organization, where all monies collected at the show, after bills are paid goes directly back into out fishery.  All show personal from the club donate their time and put on one a helluva good event!
       It's been my supreme pleasure to know and fish with many of the members of the Flint Chapter of the Michigan Steelheaders.  There's a dollar off coupon for this Friday, Mar.6 at this link that contains directions and info: Click Birch Run show info

3/3/09  March comes in as a Lion and goes out like a Lamb?  Not quite sure how to interpret that saying for this March, cuz that Lion needs replacing with frost-bit Siberian Tiger.  Probably, like many of you ...for the past few nights we've had a steady diet of zero and below zero low temperatures. Click 3/1/09 temp at 10am in Manistee
       Long term weather looks good for the upcoming Flint Steelheaders do in Birch Run, MI starting this Friday.  In fact, it's the best we've seen in the past 3 years with predicted temps in the 40s.  Hopefully, this will draw a good crowd for the fine Flint organization!
        Gas is almost 2 bucks cheaper when compared to this time last year.  Cost to attend the Birch Run Show (3/6, 3/7, & 3/8) is a bargain with a low admission fee and free parking.  Something unheard of at other shows.  Just to attend to look, browse, buy a drink, and a few snacks you'd be hard pressed to spend a whole 20 dollar bill.  That is, ...if you're not there to purchase tackle for the soon "to be here" 2009 big water season!

3/2/09  Lot's of great things in store for us this month.  Next Friday, the Flint Steelheaders Show at Birch Run, MI begins.  I'll post exact times and dates later this week.  In a departure from the past in 2009 I will not be doing this event.
        March 20th is official start of the spring 2009.  Spoke with some of my Indiana southern Lake Michigan contacts and they'll be in search of Coho around the same time.
        No matter how things change, we as fishermen stay the same.  This is proven by a mid-1940 meat pole brag photo of a nice catch of Lake Trout from Lake Charlevoix.  Photos similar to this have been taken since the camera was invented. Fishing is a hands-
on sport that knows no international borders, or is shackled by any language barriers.  Our mindset has not changed since the first hook was made! Click 1940 brag photo

3/1/09  This Sunday's edition is cancelled due to technical difficulties.

2/28/09  Following up on yesterday's monel wire line rod photo from the 1940s ..is my pleasure.  Monel wire has been around a long time, dating back to the 1930s at least.  Monel is a way to fish deep.  The wire takes your lure down, but it's done with extreme amounts of line.  To hazard a guess, I'd say you need 500' off the reel to get down to the 100' range with an unweighted straight monel rig.  Click 1940s monel caught Laker
         In the photo with the homemade rod you'll noting a large spool that will take up over 30 inches of line in one turn.  Necessary when 500' to 600' is the norm to let out.  Incidentally, the spool on this rod was turned on a lathe and made out of solid wood, as was the rest of the rod too.  Only the line guides and handle piece were metal.
         I used to fish a lot of monel in the later 1960s thru the early 1970s for Lake Trout.   Little Grand Traverse Bay between towns Petoskey and Charlevoix at the site of the now removed Big Rock nuke plant was area we fished.  Click homemade monel rod

2/27/09   Whitefish are the species targeted most by commercial net fishermen.  More than like you'll never catch on when you're trolling for Salmon and Trout.  In four decades of fishing the Great Lakes I've only boated 3 Whitefish that struck lures.  So, these fish are few and far between for the average troller. Click Whitefish catch
      Green Bay, WI has a good thru the ice fishery for Whitefish with a liberal daily bag limit of 10 "whiteys."  Whitefish are bottom feeders and been known to consume zebra and guagga mussels, along with the booming population of gobies.  Thanks to website member jlars for sharing his great photos from the ice. Click Whitefish gut check

2/26/09  Need to change focus today to the new King Purple Glo trolling fly introduced this past Monday was made to match the flashers.  In case you don't know the story behind this pattern, it was originally requested by one of our WI website members. 
        In the 10" BTI Flashers the King Purple earned it's way to the top of the list thru retail sales at tackle stores, being much in demand at my webstore too.
        There was a time I'd have said black and purple would work on dark days.  However, when run in tandem with the bright shiny Monkey Puke design during test sessions in high full-sun conditions, the King Purple produced equal, ...if not more hits.  Kinda blows the "dark-days, dark lures" myth right out of the water. Making this multi-use King Purple Glo color in a trolling fly just made good sense!  Click new King Purple Glo trolling fly

2/25/09   Flat calm water in the middle of the day is a hidden resource not many choose to that advantage of.  That's the good news, cuz you'll have this water and time frame mostly to yourself.  The big morning rush is gone and fishing pressure will not increase until later in the afternoon.  Most of the fleet relies on the early/late low light periods to produce.  This is for those that lack confidence pulling an all attractor program.
         Attractors are called attractors, cuz they attract fish (duh?) and will do so at all hours of the day and will do so all season long.
         If you click on today's featured photo taken early last September at 1pm you'll see almost flat calm table top water. Click 9/2/08 calm water conditions
         Tranquil seas present challenges due to greater light penetration where a heavy overloaded spread will kill the bite.  Less is more is the prerequisite for turning on negative to neutral mid-day fish.  If you like bankers hours and still respectable catches maintain a 15' to 20' depth separation on your riggers.  Crowding one zone is not gonna work.  No more than 3 riggers should ever be used on a boat with a 8' beam to score at high noon.  2 might even be better.  Part 3 tomorrow in this ongoing series.

2/24/09  Today's featured dual photo shows the 2 boats I've fished out of most since 2004, after leaving the charter business in 2003.  John J's, "Megan Ann" is a 23' 4-Winns and mine is below, an older 1979 22' Sea Ray.  There are differences in these 2 boats.
The 4-Winns fishes rougher water better with less weight above the water line, compared to the 1979 Sea Ray.  In the years 2004 thru 2006 the 4 Winns ...on every trip (I can remember) produced at least our 2 person limit of Kings. 
         Mostly due to the fact fish bite better when it's lumpy, as we regularly fished any seas up to and pushing the 4' range.   Sea Ray vs. 4-Winns comparison photo
         In 2007 I bought the SR 1979 and after an extensive re-fit had more opportunities and fished calmer seas 3', ...or less.  Mostly during the less crowded weekdays.
         Churning out respectable catches on flat water?  The fish are more skittish due to greater light penetration.  Calm water presents it's own special set of problems. 
         Flatter water in 2007 and 2008 taught valuable lessons in fine tuning our program.  Relying on archived data accrued from 2004-2008....  Tune in tomorrow for the 2nd installment in this ongoing series of updates that will help your middle of the day tactics! 
        My Manistee snow gauge has moved another 4" to 172" since last November.

2/23/09  It's about time for a fresh caught fish photo and thanks to Nick L, aka No fish Nick website member we have one.  Last week Nick was casting off the Milwaukee pier when his buddy CT hooked into a colorful Brown Trout.  Nick's best is small jigs tied with marabou & hackle just like flies.  Kinda non traditional, but it works!  Click WI Brown        
        You might want to stick around this week's updates.  Cross referenced my 2004 thru 2008 test session data and found some trends that increase your success on the water.  Best part is fishing in less than ideal conditions and pounding out respectable catches during the off-peak mid-day hours.  The enlightening why's and wherefores will be included in this fascinating series of installments this week. 

2/22/09  Haven't adjusted my snow gauge in quite a while.  February 2009 has been tame compared to frigid January and last December's record snowfalls.
       Those I know that have larger acreage than me are say dead starved deer are becoming more numerous as of lately.  The onset of the deep snow last December has stressed the deer.  My snow gauge is now at 168 inches since last November.

2/21/09  Mentioned the king anchor on trap nets yesterday that warrants further explanation.  King anchor is further west by as much as a 1/4 mile from the flag on the trap net pot.  I lost a cannon ball to the line to a king anchor last summer down towards Big Sable from a next to impossible to see milk jug.  Until we were right on it.
        There's rumor floating around Moonlight Marina where the Tribal netters from the Little River Casino keep their commercial net boats moored at.  The rumor mill has be grinding out a story that the netters have not secured dockage for 2009.  Hard to tell if this is true, or not.  The off season is generally always filled with fairy tales.
        This I do know, the trap nets in Manistee, MI marked with as little as effort possible.  The state licensed trap netting operation in Muskegon marks their trap nets a 200% better for public safety.  Click for trap net king anchor diagram

2/20/09  Good news on the net deal in Manistee.  The hard to see deep-side King anchor on trap nets will now be marked with more than a floating milk jug.  Here's an email from  Lt. Dave Deforest explaining the situation:

Evening Capt. John:

We, the NRC and I, presented the Tribal Council with a new regulation on marking trap nets. The markings were agreed on late last year by the Tribal fishers and the other anglers (charter and sport), thru numerous meetings. The new markings are as follows:

1. Lead, shore side, 4 foot staff buoy with orange and black flags
2. Pot, 4 foot staff buoy with orange flag
3. orange gallon jug on each wing end
4. King anchor, 2 foot staff buoy with orange flag
5. Each flag must be 12" x 12"

RE your King and Zebra mussels, the whitefish are full of adult Zebra mussels.

Lt. Dave Deforest, Tribal Law Enforcement

2/19/09   Southern Lake Michigan (IN & IL) anglers have been fed misinformation and mistakenly think commercially prepared strips are the only way to go.  I've haven used a store bought prepared piece of meat since 2005.  I've ran both and had a bunch better fish production with either hand-cuts or whole bait.  Click & judge for yourself
         It's hard to change false myths that morph into narrow minded attitudes.  It's in my best interest for you to be as successful as possible with the line of tackle I offer.  So, you can take my word making your own is one helluva lot better.  Costs less too!
         Today's update came to mind when I re-worked an article completed in the fall of 2006 getting ready to debut the Super Mag Heads.  Click 2006 Meat Me in Manistee

        It was good for my head to reminisce about a great fishing trip a 2-3 years ago.  The icing on the cake was to have the prototype Super Mag Heads using whole bait kicked maximum butt the first time they went in the drink!  No brag, just reel-facts!

2/18/09  Took a photo on 7/5/08 that's fascinated me ever since.  We caught a OK rogue 12# King about 3 miles north of Big Point Sable.  This was a deep fish that hit a rigger 180' down over 200 FOW.  Wanted to see exactly what this "Nemo" Salmon was eating down deep and opened it up to examine the stomach contents.
        Then promptly snapped a couple of photos. What I initially saw was only two partially digested large 6" Alewives in the pre-poop stage. Click for the gut check
        Didn't think to much more about it ...until I re-examined the photo and a few
tinny-tiny mussel looking things showed up.  My sexagenarian (over 60) eyesight didn't spot this at the time, or I'd have done more investigation during the unscientific autopsy.
        This has been bugging ever since.  In rare circumstances are Salmon eating mussels?  Did these by accident end up in the belly in pursuit of bait tight to the bottom?
Were the alewives eating the mussels that came out of their gut during the Salmon's digestion processes?  Guess this is a topic that has more questions than answers.
        Thought this info would go hand in-hand with the article on Spectron braid for rigger rods that debuted yesterday.  Without braid, fishing deep is a helluva lot harder to reach.  Requiring cannon balls in the 16# class. We reached the fish spoken in the above with 12 pounders.  Minimal rigger blow back at, or slightly below 2 mph 180' down.

2/17/09  Finished a new article about the Spectra fiber so-called, super lines.  Those newer to big water fishing will probably benefit most.  Fishermen from all skill levels and years of experience on the water visit this website. 
        With the infinite amount of variables effecting our fishery ...directing board based creditable info to everyone is my goal.  Click Super Braid Lines article

2/16/09  In 1923 upon opening King Tut's 3000 year old tomb Lord Carnarvon asked, "do you see anything thing?" Seeing by the flicker of candle light Howard Carter replied, "yes, wonderful things."  That pretty much sums up the same way I feel about 2009.
        Lot's of wonderful things are in store for us this season.  The 2009 Cobo Hall Boat Show is already underway in Detroit, MI.  The 2009 Bassmaster Classic being held
on the Red River out of Shreveport-Bossier City, LA is game on next weekend too.
        In 3 weeks the Flint Annual Steelheaders Fishing Show Mar.
6th thru 8th will take place in Birch Run, MI.  These are sure signs that spring is on the way.
       Be sure check back in tomorrow for a timely new article that's set to debut!

2/15/09  Daytona 500 later this afternoon is one of the few places you can see fully USA made cars.  All be it may, they're hand built.  You can't show me one other place in the world where any country races versions similar to their highway passenger cars at close to 190 mph for 500 miles.  Then do it on a oval track with 30 some degree banking racing bumper to bumper with 168,00 fans in the stands and many millions watching on TV.  The USA is one helluva grand country when you get down to it!
      You can now purchase BTI 10" Flashers at the webstore
www.michiganangler.com in singles, or matched starboard and port versions.  Starting to sell out on the meat rig kits, X-Glow Blue Bubble kits are history until next fall.

2/14/09   Spectra braided lines have been in vogue since the early to mid 1990s.  The thin diameter works wonders for attaining depth with divers, but there's another use as line for downrigger rods.  I have 3 rigger rods set with braid and 3 rigger sticks with mono.
         The mono works OK until you're in the nationhood 125' to 140', then blow back becomes a factor with the 12 pound cannon balls.  Once it's established the fishing is best between 140' to 200' depths, Spectra braid sticks we have onboard go into action. 
         Last summer we were able to target and catch the "Nemo" fish dwelling between 150' to 200' with no problem using Cortland Spectron 35# test & 12 pound cannonballs.
         Cortland's 35# Spectron braid is about .010 thick, when compared to 30# test monofilament which runs about .022, or there abouts.  Thinner means less water drag.
         I highly recommend a 30' to 40' leader section of mono spliced to braid to take the wear and tear of putting fishing lines thru the abuse of any downrigger release.
         The use Cortland Spectron 35# test for the deep-deep fishing was pioneered by our WI website members back in 2006.  So, this is nothing new to our message board members that get this kind of info long before the general fishing public gets the word.

2/13/09   Please take a long hard look at today's featured photo of the three Diawa 47 reels.  These reels were spooled all the way to the bottom with spectra braid line.  You can plainly see the progressive tension on the top of the spool has cause the line beneath to get crushed, look wavy, and become entangled.  Click compressed braid
        Filling a reel from top to bottom with pricey super braid is waste of money.   My webstore prices super braid sells for is 8 cents a yard and 30# mono is not quite 2 cents.
        It's far more cost effective to partially fill a reel with mono as an underlayment to cushion/absorb the tension.  Besides, that bottom section of braid? ...why use an extra 100 yards of expensive braid, that can be substituted with cheaper mono.
        It's impossible to blurt out a few paragraphs to do this subject justice.  Look for a new photo "how-to" article in the very near future.  Slicing mono to braid can be done with a double uniknot, Albright knot, but I prefer the easy to tie blood knot.
       Click learn how to tie blood knot      Blood Knot Spectra Braid to Mono

2/12/09  MDNR quote, "Since adult deer have few natural predators, harvesting deer through hunting helps to keep the herd in balance. A deer herd can increase rapidly, therefore, it is necessary to remove at least 1/4 of the deer herd each year to maintain a healthy and stable population. In most cases, half of these deer are antlerless."
         This has not been the case in Manistee County, MI.  South side of the City of Manistee proper is over-run with deer and has made the local TV stations about this growing problem.  Home owner's yards are getting mowed down by the deer.
         I realize the MDNR is in a damned if you do and damned if you don't situation.  Also, I know hunting and fishing issues raises the passion levels to the sportsmen participating in these sports like no other.  Click for MDNR quote source

        The deer that destroyed my pine trees looked to be more interested in the branches, rather that the pine needles they left laying on the ground. Click 4 Proof

2/11/09  Last fall the MDNR came out with a ban on deer baiting, or where I live prohibit feeding the deer thru-out the winter.  Winter feeding is done so the deer don't maw down everything in sight, like all your evergreen trees, shrubbery and blueberry bushes. 
         This was our first winter we did not put out hay and corn and paid a hefty price in destruction of 40 six foot tall blue spruce trees and 12 costly blue berry bushes.  I'd value a live 6' evergreen tree conservatively at 40 bucks.  I figure we lost at least $2,000.00 due to deer damage from the hard winter that set-in back in early Dec. 2008.
          Here's the part that's the hardest to accept, we raised the pine trees from tiny 8 to 12 inch sprigs in a specially prepared 12' x 12' planting bed back some years ago.  Then, these baby pines were planted along the front edge of my property to curtail road noise, wind protection and provide privacy.  Click my chewed up pine trees
          In my book the MDNR runs the herd, tells us what to do regarding deer.  This shows they accept responsibility for managing whitetail deer population.  However, do they fully accept the damages done to my personal property from their deer?

2/10/09   Water temp by Tippy Dam on the Big Manistee is 33 degrees according to the info supplied on the USGS website.  Click to explore this link.
        Temp on the big river is a very complex subject, because the lakes behind the Tippy and
Hoodenplye Dams.  Vast amounts of water are being held in these two backwaters.
        The upper river temp can be colder then downstream by 2 to 4 degrees.  Runoff further downriver is generally a lot warmer at this time of the year.
         Rising water temp and the surge of water running at Tippy Dam is 2000 cubic feet per second will attract more Steelhead into the system & increase your odds at success.
         To further put things in perspective, add in all the tributaries flowing out of the Manistee watershed into Lake Michigan at a lowball estimated 5000 cubic feet per second.   That's a whopping wall of water in the tune of 300,000 cubic feet per minute. 
          Flow numbers like this will definitely pull fish in from the big lake.  One cubic foot is 7.48 gallons, multiplied by 300,000 equals a massive flow of 2,244,000 gallons per minute.  Just about forgot to mention the awaiting to spawn winter holdover Steelhead already in the rivers and Manistee Lake that love high water to migrate.

2/9/09  The media has used several terms to describe the state of our economy.  Terms fishermen know darn well!  Re-session?  ...to a fisherman that means going back out to catch the evening bite, after being on the pond in the morning.  Depression? ...well ,the fishing public gets lots of practice dealing with this word.  It's the sinking feeling in your gut from a skimpy box when you grand plan goes down the tubes!
        Was gonna come out with a killer sales promotion this week, but recent warm weather and predicted temps in the 50s has changed my focus to hitting the river. 
        In 1977 I quit a good job as a supervisor when the big boss asked me, "what do you want to do ..work, or fish?"  That was the wrong question to ask me.  Especially, after a few beers and listening to the Johnny Paycheck song about "take this job and shove it."
         To continue my employment with this outfit have meant lying to them and myself.  That just wasn't gonna happen.  So, I went fishing!  (true story by the way)

2/8/09  Big Manistee River, 'bout time to think Steelhead.  The big river up by High Bridge Public Access had some shelf ice last Friday.  I expect these chunks have broke loose from shore and the river down to Bear Creek will soon be clear of all ice flows.
       The Big M beneath the M55 Bridge last Friday was still frozen across, but channels were being washed along shore and there were a few spots of open water showing.
       Big melt we had on 2/7 will add some color to the water.  Looks like almost high water from Tippy Dam.  Running 1800 cubic feet per second.  The first big flush will mean the water will carrying a lot of debris, but by next weekend the river should be cleaner & prime to fish. Especially, if the current long range forecast holds true (30s & 40s all week).

2/7/09   Noticed something I didn't see the last couple of times when ordering Ande line from Bass Pro and Cabalas.  Seen this when we restocked our new supply of Premium Triple Fish mono.  That being: Triple Fish line was shrink-wrapped to guarantee freshness.  The line received from the big box stores wasn't!  Click fresh wrapped mono
        Had problems with Ande during 2008 with line that broke, for no apparent abusive reasons, or I wouldn't have changed out to Triple Fish mono. Triple Fish 50# is what we build our meat rigs and snelled double trebles with.  We had zero complaints on this quality with the first-class Triple Fish monofilament line.  If it wasn't good? ...I wouldn't sell it!
        Fresh good line is your cheapest insurance policy against costly break-offs.  German made Triple Fish is top-notch stuff and I ask you to consider it, or the next time you break off with another lesser brand?  ...maybe you'll remember to. Click for pricing info
        Joy, joy, joy ...looks like temps in the 30s and low 40s in the coming week.  Is the worst of winter over?  Won't know that until official spring 2009 begins this coming March 20th.  Good part is winter is 2/3 over and it's 41 days to 3/20/09!
             NASCAR's Bud Shoot-Out at Daytona is tonight at 8pm on Fox TV.

2/6/09  Wanted to continue with more info about the shocking rise in cases of triple S, but it's far more important to debut a page supporting the members of this website. 
        Started on a new page that lists the various talents, skills and trades of what our members can offer to everyone.  Click new Members Services Page
        In doing business with those listed you can rest assured you're dealing with another big water angler that shares the same passion you do. 
Links to this page are permanently installed in the top and left borders of this website!

2/5/09  The CDC (Centers for Disease Control) is closely monitoring a building tidal wave of Salmon Serebellum Syndrome outbreaks.  The most effected areas of our nation is the Great Lakes region and the Pacific Northwest from California to Alaska. 
        This virulent pestilence changes the brain's normal cerebellum into the SSS affliction  ...of which, there is no known vaccine.  Symptoms can be somewhat alleviated with the onset of spring going into summer.  Being on the water is one of the remedies that shows great promise in treating this acute non-curable lifelong malady. 

        When a brain becomes contaminated with SSS, a normal cerebellum warms to a Salmon-like pinkish orange color. Clearly shown in today's photo:
Click SSS example
    This is an extremely complex disorder that warrants further exploration tomorrow!

2/4/09  The eternal proverb: "necessity is the mother of invention." is credited by many to the famed Athenian Greek author and philosopher, Plato back in about 400 BC.  While I didn't invent insulated shipping cartons, we've been able to keep costs low by making our own boxes for around 5 bucks.  Click building insulated shipping carton
        There are pricey alternatives like: purchasing a large pallet full of Styrofoam shippers, but that would only drive up costs in our less then perfect economy.
        If you live in the one day UPS zone from my place of business in Manistee County you can buy 8 trays of red, or green label Herring for 68 dollars and change.  This includes the shipping container, MI sales tax and all freight charges.  Click wrapping bait
        Considering this bait retailed last summer for the ballpark figure of 8 bucks a tray in Manistee and Ludington, MI (higher by Traverse City), this deal is attractively priced.  Most importantly, there was practically no bait to be had ...in Manistee and Frankfort until the 3rd week of July 2008.  Like I've said before, "bait is always in good supply until you need it!"  Click for bait ready to be shipped

2/3/09  All backlogged bait orders will be shipped today.  Normally, we ship bait on Mondays, but a delay in shipping boxes being delivered ...put us behind a day.
        We might be reaching a warming trend that will complicate shipped frozen bait. 
I secured a source for dry ice at a reasonable cost to make sure all bait orders arrive at their destination frozen.  The only catch is, the dry ice is a 80 mile round trip away!
           Tomorrow's topic: "are all big water, or Great Lakes fishermen nuts?"

2/2/09  This past Saturday I held a free workshop for our website members. Capt. Ken, Reed S, George B, Buckeye 2, & Dreamer honored me with their presence from about noon to 4:30pm.  We covered many aspects of tactics for Great Lakes fishing.  Our members practiced on a few of the most effective knots.  Plus, the way we snell (tie) our deadly double treble hooks a.k.a. as 6 Pack Stickers.  Click for 1/31/09 workshop
     The first week of February looks a heck of a lot better than this past January.  Seen mostly high temps later this week, at, ...or, above 30 degrees.  Yesterday, it was 59 degrees warmer when compared to a week, or so ago: -19 vs. 40 degrees. 
                  Let's all hope Mr. G. Hog sees his shadow today!

2/1/09  Super Bowl Sunday and one of the slowest days for web traffic there is.  So, I'll save my comments about our recent workshop for website members until tomorrow.
    Yesterday's bright spot was a heat wave of 30 degrees around 5pm, ...remarkable!

1/31/09  Holding a in-house workshop today for some of our website members. 
Looking forward to the predicted warmer weather too.  Have a great weekend!

1/30/09  As we prepare to say goodbye to January 2009, I say, "good riddance!"  The "inconvenient truth" is: this January is one of the top 5 coldest since they began keeping records.  I can not recall one single day at my place where the temp was above 32 degrees this month.  Weeks of zero and below zero for lows is how this frigid month played out.  Coldest recorded this month at my place was 19 below at 6am last week.
        Snow slacked off some this month.  The local Manistee and Cadillac, MI newspapers are saying 160 to 180 inches thus far this winter.  Lot's of talk about December 2008 as the snowiest on record.  Guess problems associated global warming causes stuff like this?
      Haven't updated my snow gauge in 10 days, but 152" is a conservative estimate.

1/29/09  It's about time I turned into a cheerleader for the 2009 season.  Several good things are on the horizon.  The new 3 rod rule will now apply to places like Saginaw Bay. 
         5 Salmon of one specie is a major plus for southern Lk. Michigan ports that get loaded with Coho in early April, increasing the creel daily limit from 3 to 5.  Same thing deal King Salmon, but this will help the smaller boat ...2 fishermen outings more, where they don't have to quit after 6 Kings ...if they're in need of fillets to stock the freezer.
         Gas prices look not to be the burden they were last season!! Less foreign goods are reaching our shores is taking a huge bite out of our massive trade imbalances with China, Taiwan, Japan, Korea and other emerging economies looking to cash in at our expense!

1/28/09  Need to pay the bills with an informative commercial today about bait and the products offered at my webstore: www.michiganangler.com
       We've got maybe about a month left where I can ship bait to the one day UPS zone from my place of business.  After that, dry ice will be need to ensure the bait arrives still frozen.  This will add cost that can be avoided by ordering now.
       Please factor in the free promotional flasher, a good 10 buck over the counter value on all tackle, or bait purchased.  Our free flasher giveaway will end around Mar. 1st.
       In our present business climate do not expect massive supplies of bait, or tackle when summer rolls around.  No one in business is overstocking for the 2009 season with large standing costly inventories, including myself!

1/27/09  It's my firm contention later August and early September Salmon fall into 2 categories.  One being fish fully intent on eating.  The other is fully adult Salmon that have the urge to just strike out at a lure, but have lost the ability to swallow a meal due to a shrunken belly/stomach.  Much like fully mature river Salmon known for not eating.
        It's my great pleasure to present: Eaters, or Biters with photos to anchor my point.  There is a major difference in temp, with eater Salmon in the 52 to 38 degrees & the slap happy just biters up higher in the water column in 63 to 55 degree range.  Differentiating the water zones mean we could box out using several depth settings from 50' to 125' down.  Making use of a large 75' vertical section of water productive and catching fish in the very wide range temps from 38 to 63 degrees.  Now, that's one helluva a program!
  More on this intriguing observable reel-fact as we move forward to the 2009 season!

1/26/09  Need to expand a little on yesterday's update concerning how important good line is to Great Lakes fishing.  All mono lines on rigger rods take a tremendous amount of abuse from being pulled thru the water vertically, then subjected to wear & tear from any rigger release mechanism.  That's why it's in your best interest to use 25, or 30# test when towing expensive attractor rigs.  Click if you need line or need bait for 09
Tomorrow, a brand new article will debut, with the why's and where-fore's discussed.  I'm postponing resurrecting years old frozen bait discussion until Wednesday, or Thursday when there's time available for "how to" photos to make this task self explanatory.

1/25/09  There's a lot of new things you can get by without to fish the 2009 season.  You don't need a new boat and loads of new tackle.  However, you'll need good fresh line to ensure costly attractors and meat rigs/flies don't break off for little or no reason. 
       Most mono lines are shot after one season due to UV and wet and dry cycles that can weaken line.  For a little over 2 cents a yard, new 30# line can be purchased in 1700 yard one pound bulk spools.  Brand new 25# in 2100 yard one pound bulk spools runs 1.8 cents per yard.  This is cost effective insurance. 
Click here if you need good line
      Keeping in mind the pennies a yard is for fresh premium line, not the cheapie stuff.  Reason I'm so behind the Triple Fish Perlon Mono is we used 50# clear on our 3 fly meat rigs and 50# snelled hooks in 2008 with zero complaints.  This is a highly abrasion resistant line w/exceptional knot strength withstanding all abuse meat rigs/snelled hooks go thru.  

      Tomorrow's update (Monday) will be resurrecting years old frozen bait into at least semi useable condition.  Tuesday's update will focus on a new article by yours truly.  The new promised work is finally done and in the final stages of proof reading.

1/24/09  Just not a lot of fishing orientated news out there right now.  Big story from this past week is Gander Mountain is no longer a sponsor of the July Ludington, MI tournament in any way, shape or form.  Ludington tournament is still on for July 2009.

1/24/09  Just not a lot of fishing orientated news out there right now.  Big story for this past week is Gander Mountain is no longer a major sponsor of the July Ludington, MI tournament in any way, shape or form.  Ludington tournament is till on for July 2009.

1/23/09  Let's close out the week on a high note.  Semi fostered by recent more normal temps in the 20s.  We've gained more that a half an hour of daylight since a month ago.  This shows winter is shrinking, all-be-it may ...ever so slowly!
       Plans to debut a new article have been postponed until next week.  While the formatting, photos and content is done, I'm just not happy with the piece.  I will be re-writing some parts this weekend to make it at least acceptable by me.  Most fishing articles are splinters, or twigs of the tree of Great Lakes fishing knowledge.  The new article I'm trying to bring forth is more like a a main branch.  Just hope don't saw off the limb behind me with a substandard presentation!

1/22/09  Kinda didn't give credit where credit was due in yesterday's update about Capt. Paul Vantol.  The rectify this situation I need to make it clear I fished with savvy Capt. Larry Buckle from Fish Patrol Charters.   Larry did a heck of a job on the Saginaw Bay Walleyes and was a sheer pleasure to fish with.  Plus, Larry is one of the finest taxidermists in the State of Michigan. Click for Capt. Larry's website
Been by the Big Manistee River at the High Bridge Public Access/Launch a couple of times in the not too distant past.  Both times there was nary a boat fishing. 
      This is to be expected during a severe cold snap, cuz everything like steering, gear shifts, and reels need constant attention to prevent problems with freezing.  Also, the big river is froze up tight as a drum down in the lower end by the M55 Bridge.

1/21/09  Looking for free trustworthy fishing knowledge?  If you live in the Tri Cities area, or SE Michigan Capt. Paul Vantol will be the guest speaker this evening for the Flint Steelheaders monthly meeting.  Click for Capt. Vantol
        Popular Ludington and Saginaw Bay charter skipper Vantol is partly responsible for pioneering the use of diver disks and Silver Steak Junior spoons for Walleyes on Lake Huron's awesome Saginaw Bay.  Click for disks & spoons used
        I seen Paul's method churn out 6 easy limits of Walleyes in about 3 hours last June.
The simple beauty of the diver disks and spoons method is light biting smaller walleyes do not spin up, or twist the line like big lipped crankbaits often do.
       Capt. Vantol comes highly recommended as a speaker.  He doesn't have his head stuck in the clouds just because he's USCG licensed for hire.  Paul's down to earth, grass roots approach will be appreciated in your quest for improving techniques.
        The Flint Steelheader's monthly meetings are held on the 3rd Wednesday at Walli's East (upstairs), located just south of I-69 (exit 139) on Center Rd in Burton, MI. Hospitality hour usually begins at 6:30pm (unless otherwise noted) with the meeting starting at 7:30.  It's free to attend and the public is welcomed! Click for Map

1/20/09  Today history will be made as OUR USA swears in the soon to be 44th President, Barack Obama at noon today.  This is a man did not come from the politically elite and rose to the highest office in OUR land.  In spite of being black and raised by a single mother and his working class grandparents. 
        I wish him well (as should we all) in solving the mismanaged mess he inherited, but hype will soon be separated by what he can actually accomplish in righting our ship of state & sagging economy.
        USA's political stature is being raised among all the other nations that inhabit our planet.  Exporting OUR country's ideology, where there is no ceiling ...on what you can be,
no matter who you are ...just got a helluva lot easier for the rest of the world to buy into.

1/19/08  A minor heat wave overtook Manistee County, MI yesterday.  For the first time in close to a week, daytime temps broke 20 degrees.  Today's featured photo was taken around 4:30pm and read 20 degrees.  It was a few degrees warmer around 2pm.
       I have a new 2 page article waiting in the wings that will debut later this week and focus on a never before discussed topic.  Stand by for more info on this soon!
 My Manistee front yard snowometer now stands at 120 inches since last November!

1/18/09  Extended periods of sub-normal winter temperatures effect the entire biomass of Lake Michigan.  This has been evidenced by larger amounts of cold water waiting to come ashore, like it has during the past couple, three Augusts.  Successful Manistee anglers have adapted and learned to work inside of 30' to right on the beach to catch.
       Look for no big warm up this week, except for next Thursday where we might see temps in the 20 to 30 degree range for one day, then back to the glacial conditions.
 My Manistee front yard snowometer now stands at 118 inches since last November!

1/17/09  Just looking forward to it warming up today.  Cold weather means cold water, and that says seasonal adjusted temperatures for Lake Michigan could be on slide.  This is in part from the ever clearing waters that absorb less sunlight.  The other part is from how winter temps cools down the Great Lakes.  Salmon that live in extended periods of water below their base metabolism restricts growth.  Common sense says this.  More on this topic tomorrow and included temp effects on bait and active Salmon temps.

1/16/09  T.G.I.F!  Some weeks are better left forgotten and this week is a prime example of that.  Pushed about another 1' snow that had built up in my driveway since the past Monday.  Thermometer at my place never rose above 4 degrees yesterday.  Tomorrow's update will look at how severely colder winters can mean smaller fish.
   My Manistee front yard snowometer now stands at 112 inches since last November!

1/15/09  This bitter cold snap has me appreciating the extra fishing day John J and I took last 9/2/08.  This was an unplanned adventure, but the lake was supposed to behave itself and there were fish waiting to be caught!  Click for a warm 9/2/08 fish pic
        Warm recollections like this help fend off Michigan's nippy-nasty winter conditions.  Especially, during this current frigid artic express that won't let up until early next week.
        While I'll never know, I'm just wondering how many of you don't regret taking at least one extra unplanned fishing trip last summer?  I'm willing to bet, a bunch will say yes!

1/14/09  Let's focus on some tackle that works in today's featured twin photos:
8/31/08 Box and 9/1/08 box.  Both catches are very respectable.  Caught one day apart by different skippers using my flashers in 7 miscellaneous colors/patterns.  This pair of fish coolers came from the same port too!  That being the Lk. Michigan's Port of Manistee, MI.
        Is color important?  Yes, to a point, but being over good amounts of fish is necessary for any color to work.  The complete tackle system we offer is not "once in a while" streaky.  Producing great catches May thru September with the only prerequisite of having fish under your vessel. Click here for a May catch photo that proves my point.
    My Manistee front yard snowometer now stands at 102 inches since last November!

1/13/09  Installed 1 lb. bulk spools of Triple Fish Premium Perlon mono line in 25 and 30 lb. test at the webstore. Special introductory pricing at 29.95 a spool, 9 bucks below retail for the first 5 spools sold. We learned in 2008 this line is far superior both Big Game & Ande.  This excellent line is worth every cent of 38.95 a spool. More on this in the future.
        As promised, another new article is ready for it's first public showing today.  My goal is to Debut at least one new work every week thru mid February.  Then, you'll see how all 5 or 6 pieces tie together.  Looking for a new slant on how to add fish to your box during the mid-day, off-peak bite times?  Then click here for Mid Day Mayhem

1/12/09  After some final proof reading, a new slant on catching fish in the middle of the day called "Mid Day Mayhem" will debut ...hopefully, later today.
       Need to install a new product at my webstore of www.michiganangler.com too.  We'll be soon offering Triple Fish Premium Perlon clear mono in 1 lb. spools in 25 and 30# test.

1/11/09 Getting ready for some very important announcements this week.  Fresh news on bait shipping policies and a brand new article will debut early this week.  Please be sure to check back tomorrow for an important message concerning the future of this website.

1/10/09  Need to update my Manistee snowometer to 97 inches since last Nov.  Got about 5 inches total last week.  Generally, the first week or two we'll get a January thaw.
Not so this year and that's not the bad news.  An artic express with double digit lows below zero and daytime highs in the single digit range is on tap for us by next Tuesday!

1/9/09  In doing research for a future article I ran across several archived photos of the past seasons since I went into tackle manufacturing in 2004.  Reminiscing these images brought to mind the disparities between the seasons since i2k.  Ever mindful of tougher one's like the 2008 season played out to be. Click decent 2006 fish box
        2004 thru 2006 you could have just fell off the turnip truck and still caught a helluva box of fish during the early May spring romp for Kings.  2007 things tightened up a little and in 2008 was downright work to end up OK in May. Click John J's Kings 2006
       What will fishing 2009 bring?  Unless, you have a crystal ball and are part gypsy there's no way to tell.  Just remember the word fishing applies to risk, not a sure thing!

1/8/09  Today's to-do list begins starting on our new 2009 Members Services Page.  This is for our message board members to show case their companies, or what they do.  We have a vast talent pool of members the world should know about.
       The 2009 sport, or fishing trades shows will soon be here.  At today's prices for me to do the Grand Rapids show in March, cost for a 20' booth space with insurance, electricity and phone would be in the neighborhood of 2 grand.  Then out of town/travel expense for 2 people for 4 days, ...tack on another grand.  You've got to sell one helluva lot of tackle to cover this 3k and bunch more to make the effort profitable.
       In 2009 with the less than perfect economic times in Michigan, I've taken a different road by giving away a free 2009 Sparkler BTI flasher with every purchase thru March 20. 

1/7/09  My prediction for the 2009 will be a rerun of the 2008 season.  We will have some OK fishing for Kings, but you'll need to be spot on.  Gone are the easy-easy days like 2003 thru 2007 for now.  I expect Kings will be more plentiful in 2010 evidenced by the large number of juveniles fitting the 2 year bracket we caught in 2008.
        When the Salmon cycle enters a downturn, Lk. Michigan has a chance to rebuild the forage base (mostly Alewives).  More bait, bigger bait means larger fish down the road.
        Sound advice for 2009: if possible avoid making long range protracted plans, or reservations.  Hit the pond when the fish are there.  In 2008 this was the last couple weeks of July, the last week in August and the first week of September.

 1/6/09  If you liked the new article, "6 Pack Stickers" sometime next week another new article will debut.  The new work is directed at increasing productivity levels during the middle of the day.  It's focus is on smart tactics to gain the upper hand during off-peak high-sun hours and is titled, "Mid-Day Mayhem." 
       Turning the tide in your favor from 9am thru 3pm is a topic that needs a long hard look.  So, you do not have to reply on the early/late bite just to build a box of fish! 
    So, be sure to check back often when this worthy information will be made public.

1/5/09  Let's start off the first Monday in our new year of 2009 with a world debut of a brand new article about hooking up on fish.  This work is called 6 Pack Stickers, referring to 6 sticking points on two treble hooks.  Click for new 6 Pack Stickers 
        It's my firm contention utilization of the internet is still in it's infancy.  Up until now, my written works looked more like hard paper print magazine articles.  This is a complete waste of the web, where photo journalism can be blended into a far superior product. 
        No hard print fishing magazine has the room to feature 10-15 full size color images that shows even the most minor details per article.  Not to mention the high cost of printing large full-size color photos and the space required to do so!
         Then, there's the question of the best way to relay information?  Long drawn out text explanations, or visual acuity that can sort the wheat form the chaff.
        Articles like the new 6 Pack Stickers are hardly ever shown on the net. Reason for this?  It's nearly impossible to generate revenue for fishing articles on the web, but it can help pull advertiser's dollars towards the printed paper publications format.

1/4/09  Ove from Sweden's Team Extreme emailed me a New Years greeting, along with a photo of a huge Atlantic Salmon.  Ove said this fish was over 20 pounds, but it looks more like over 30 to me.  Not sure if Team Extreme caught this Salmon in the Baltic Sea, or in Sweden's largest lake, Lake Vättern.  Click for this fish
      Traditional wisdom says interest fishing picks up after the Super Bowl is over.  Unless, you're a Michigan resident suffering thru the ill-perfect season the Detroit Lions had.  If that applies to you?  You're already thinking about the future 2009 fishing season.

1/3/09  Here's a good ideaPre-dating some of the checks you have to the last two digits "09" saves scribbling over "08."  Al least it does for me until embedding 2009 is firmly in my head.  Lots of great things in store for next week.  Including a brand new article that will be announced this coming Monday. More new fishing works will debut about one a week during this month of January, 2009.

1/2/09  While to 2009 big water season is a good 3 to 4 months away, the promise of what awaits us is a mystery.  Mystery is good, cuz I view 2008 as a horror story with gas prices that kept many away from fishing the Great Lakes.  In the best case fishing scenario pressure was down as much as 50% from what I saw with my own eyes.
      In preparation for 2009, may I suggest you make no long term commitments to a set  certain timeframe.  Best King Salmon fishing in Manistee, MI was the later part of July, not August like usual.  What's this year going to be like?   Stick around and I'll be able to give you a complete rundown on 2009 results 'bout this time next year .

1/1/09  Happy New Year!