July, August, & September 2009

7/12/09 Manistee, MI
Flasher & Fly

Manistee, MI 8/5/09

Steve's 20 pounder

9/2/09 Manistee, MI
Fred's "HRP" King!

9/17/09 Manistee, MI
John J's Salmon


Archived Results from Capt. John King's Log

9/30/09  Surf's up is a great title for today's featured photo of gale force winds to over 40 knots pounding Manistee, MI's north pier & light house.  Estimated wave heights were 10' and above since yesterday.  Click for battering 10' seas
         Need to lay a big thank you to Mother Nature for the splendid and glorious September as we say arrivederci
to our 9th month of the year.  Sept. 2009 was the best one we've had in recent memory.  When I say best, most of this is pointed at the extended 3 weeks of lovely calm seas.  Making Lk. Michigan a superlative joy to fish on!

9/29/09  October 1st is the start of bow season for MI whitetails.  A new law says anyone over 50 years old can hunt with a crossbow in 2009.  
         You'll need to buy a special cross bow stamp.  Unless you're disabled with a doctor's verification. Regulations are semi complicated about areas & season lengths.  So, it's better if you read them for yourself at Michigan's DNR website: Click crossbow regulations
         Personally, I'm for cross bows that will provide the older hunter more access to the outdoors.  Contrary to what you've heard, crossbows are only good out to about 35 yards.  If you're concerned about overkill, harvest rates have only jumped a few percentage points in Ohio where crossbows have been legal for a number of years.

9/28/09   As the sun sets on the 2009 Great Lakes Fishery it's only fitting that I thank all who bought, or used my line of tackle in 2009.  I take it as an honor every time you access this website & invite me into your personal space.  I'm truly humbled by your patronage.
           News from the Little Manistee River is all good.  Returning King Salmon are outpacing last year's return at the harvest weir thus far.  Let's hope this keeps up!
           At 11am this morning there was a 42 knot wind gust recorded at the Big Point Sable according to the National Buoy Center.  A knot is .15 larger than a mph.  So, the wind is starting to push up towards the 50 mph bracket.  Barometer is steady at 29.28.
           With the high winds, don't be surprised if there's no update tomorrow.  My electrical service line run thru miles of the Manistee National Forest's woods.

9/26/09  Wind is supposed to build tomorrow afternoon.  Then go to gale force by Sunday evening.  35 to 40 knot winds are in the picture with waves exceeding 12 feet thru Tuesday.  Look for diminishing winds on Wednesday.  Thursday the bow opener for whitetails trees will be OK to climb with lighter wind.  Full foliage in Manistee for now.

9/25/09  Today's featured photo is my first and quite possibly the last fish of the 2009 big lake trolling season.  Wind is predicted for early next week.  Looks like September's love affair with 3 weeks of calm water is about to come to an end. Click 1st & last photo
         Used my boat a grand total of 15 times from April 13 thru Sept. 22 which was a bunch more than last season.  Hopefully, I can get out a few more times.
         Started on a new article that's a summary for the 2009 season that will debut later this fall.  Bow season is a week away and the public's eye is not on fishing right now.

9/24/09  Please check out today's featured split photo of double snelled treble hooks in action.  Both of these fish are welded to the line with zero chance of escape.  I wasn't the first to string 2 trebles together, but I was the first to do it with special hand crafted turned-up eye hooks.  Having the line snelled directly to the hook shank means a straight line pull for maximum penetration. Click double trebles in action!

9/23/09  Fished Manistee yesterday from 9am until we pulled at 2pm.  Predictions of fog delayed our starting time about an hour.  Didn't find a whole helluva lot after we trolled north towards Manistee from the Guerney Creek area.  Hindsight is always 20/20.        
          Temp was excellent; 54 degrees at 70' and 49 degrees at 100'.  Just wasn't seeing fish marks in 150'-300' after we left the 11s.  In our short cruise finding fish over the deeper depths of 350' to 600' would have been a needle in the haystack hunt.
          Good news is the new and unseen 2010 Monkey Puke meat rig out fished everything on my boat.  Finally, came up with the right combination that suits those who swear by the puke color.  We teamed the Monkey Puke 2 fly meat rig with the new 2010 and (again) unseen Leland Puke.  Already having photos of the Leland Puke catching with flies, proving this new tackle works with meat too is a must! Click Fred's Monkey Puke Salmon
   More vitals tomorrow on our 9/22/09 first day of fall fishing trip with John J & Fred G.

9/22/09  Summer 2009 has left town and today we welcome the onset of fall.  Continuing yesterday's update about the hook in the finger.  The first thing is to do is yell, swearing loudly when you get stuck with a hook.  This alerts your crew in short order that's something's way wrong, you're nuts, or you're having bout with Tourettes.
          Then gain control of the fish and peel back the net.  With the sharpest set of wire cutters you have snip off the hook if it's went clean thru.  If the barb is not out the other side, push the hook thru to expose the barb, then cut it off.  You'll acquire reel-respect for how tough human hide is ...if you ever have to do this self-surgery. 
          The "push the barb" thru is the same thing a doc will do, only they'll use a local anesthetic and the shot will hurt about as much as you pushing the barb thru yourself.  After the barb is cut off, pulling the rest of the hook shank out is easy.  This saves a trip to the emergency room & bypasses the no mercy death panels.
          Oh, by the way, we did safely land the second half of the double with the same net that was welded to my paw and boxed the 2nd fish with a minimum of delay.
Pseudomonas aeruginosa kinda falls inline with the hook update about and need to talk about this infectious bacteria that makes fish cuts slow to heal in the future.

9/21/09  What do you do when a fish moves at the wrong time and sticks you with a hook?  Needless to say, it's unpleasant as hell.  Especially, if you've lost control of the fish.  This leads to the fish flopping around wildly on the deck with your paw going along for the ride.  Making matters worse ...the hooked fish is all tangled up in the net with my finger still firmly implanted in a mess. Click hook thru my little finger
          Please let me set the stage in the moment ...I decided to become a pincushion. 
We just landed the 1st part of a double & had a fish coming to the boat, maybe 50' back.  I rushed to remove the fish we just netted, less our fish holder I'm sure you've all seen.
          By now the fish had flipped around enough to tangle the hooks up in the net big-time.  Being in a hurry to do anything can cause lapses in good sound brain function and that's what happen to me!  I'll finish this fish tale up in tomorrow's update.

9/20/09  Good topics on-deck for this coming week's updates.  From saving a little money on reel repair/maintenance tips to handling an onboard crisis are scheduled for this week.
           Word from the middle stretch of the Big Manistee River says not many Kings are in the system for this time of the season.  Normally, the big river is loaded by now, but blue bird weather might be holding some of the Salmon back.

9/19/09  A staple of my rigger program is what's called the "John J Rig."  It's named in honor of John J ...who's a regular aboard my boat.  John crewed for me back in my charter skipper days in the early i2ks too.  Plus, he put together this Salmon slaying combo first.
           A 12" King Kryptonite Flasher w/3 Fly Undertaker Meat Rig is the John J Rig. This fatal concoction works April thru October & works best on your deepest rigger.  In New Buffalo, MI this flasher/meat rig caught on 5/2/09 and on our last trip out on the Port of Manistee, MI on 9/17/09.  Plus, all trips in between! Click deadly John J Rig

How many weapons in your arsenal produce every trip all season long?   The John J Rig is our fish finder.  If this combo isn't going off, there's no fish ...there to find!

9/18/09  Fished Manistee yesterday morning ...8am thru 1:30pm with John J and Fred G.
Goofy best describes our morning, cuz no pattern at-all could established.  We had hits at scattered depths, like from 185' out to 360'.  We did venture out to past 425, finding  nothing out deeper, except a vacant sonar screen.  Click 9/17/09 Fish Box
          We boated 5 fish for maybe 7 bites.  The fish were not color choosy & gnawed on different stuff most every time, with only  the John J rig taking 2 nibbles (for 1 fish).  Black Mamba Glow/new 2010 Sparkler-Clear Red continues it's long running streak of taking fish every time out since it's inception back in the early part of this past August. 
          New & yet undisclosed 2010 Leland Puke BTI flasher & X-Glow BTI Fly scored again too.  We ended up with 3 juvenile Kings (6 to 10lbs), a plump hen Coho, along with a mint dime silver bullet Steelhead.  Click Fred's 9/17/09 Steelhead

9/17/09  Here's a little known fact that hasn't raised too many eyebrows concerning numbers of fish returning to the harvest weirs.  According to our MDNR's website the 2008 return was less than half the amount in 1988 during the height of BKD disease crisis. 
          In 1988 there was 12,512 returning Kings at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir.  In 2008 the number of Kings returning was a diminutive-scant 5169.  Yet, in 2008 no one squealed about no Kings like we all did back in 1988! Click harvest data LMR weir 
          Reason? ...it's been 20 some years since BKD knocked King/Chinook Salmon fishing to it knees.  Our nowadays fleet is to be congratulated on improved tactics/tackle to take fish.  Especially, considering the alarming downturn in overall numbers of available fish. 
          I know exactly what big schools of Salmon look like on sonar & didn't see big wads either in 08, or 09.  Still catching enough ...to stave off the black kitty w/white stripes!
         To help make sense of the above info, in 1988 12.5k return was down by 1/2 to a 2/3 of what we came to expect.  Thinking back then was 20 to over 30k was "normal."

9/16/09  Word from the Little Manistee River Harvest Weir says there's only a couple of hundred fish there ...so far.  This info comes via website member, "Miller Time."
         MDNR last year didn't have piles of King Salmon LMR weir and met their quota by gathering eggs from Lake Huron to fulfill demand.  Click Little Manistee Weir
         Lots of dependent factors on fish numbers being at the weir.  First and most important is when they closed the gates that prevent fish from migrating upstream.  October is the time frame when the MDNR starts their egg take in earnest.

9/15/09   Today's featured photo is courtesy of Steve S in Green Bay, WI.  Their inshore action was slow, so they ran out to the deep water (600'-700') & put together a halfway decent day ...fishing meat down 120' to 150'.  Click for immature Kewaunee King
          Hope to get out later this week and check out the depths of 350'-600' myself.  Manistee's adult King Salmon are done for the most part & have scooted up the rivers.  Lk. MI juvenile Kings will be the ballgame now, along adult Steelhead until the snow flies.

9/14/09  Results from ports of St. Joe to Manistee last weekend were nothing to write home about. Heard a lot mediocre reports of 3 to 5 fish per boat.  Not great, but this extended period of calm seas at least the conditions were enjoyable.
         Had a decent deep water Steelhead report from Manistee (350'-600') and a good news on adult Kings from Boardman River area in Traverse City, MI. 
         TC info said 90' down and 12" Black Mamba/new 2010 Sparkler Clear Red was hot even after the early bite shut down.  This new Sparkler-Red meat rig has been my most consistent since it's inception. Click Sparkler/Clear Red Meat Rig proof

9/13/09  Since before the Labor Day Weekend Lake Michigan has been behaving itself quite nicely with seas 1' or less.  Click for dead-still calm Lk. Michigan
          About 2 weeks in a row of flat water has to be some kind of record.  Especially, after the rough water and high winds ruining the plans of many weekend warriors back in August.  Most all of last August's weekends were blow days.

9/12/09  Some people assign special status to different fish species.  Brown Trout fall into the category with many calling this fish a German Brown that has extra smarts like the scientists that built ME262 (1st jet WWII fighter).  To those that elevate Browns to mythical prominence? ...it's mostly due to the fact they just don't catch many. 
         The sad truth is a large portion of Lk. Michigan fleet are fair weather fishermen that do not brave the cold of April to troll the shoreline in quest of these fish. 
          If they did?  Then used the tactics described in Tips and Trick Section ...they'd see this fish is as easy to catch as any other fish.  Providing the Browns are there in good numbers like they used to be thru 2002. Click "how-to" Brown Trout 7.0 article

9/11/09  Yesterday's update about the looming world record Brown for Manistee County, MI is a tough act to follow.  Anything I say today pales in comparison.
          Fished Manistee, MI yesterday afternoon thru early evening from about 4pm until we pulled lines kinda early at 7:40pm so we could put the boat on the trailer in daylight.
          Our event was no big deal, except for a double header we boxed around 6pm.  Missed a bite and a half-hearted tug on a diver and that was the total sum of our action.
Didn't mark many fish in the flat glassy seas.  Click for John & Fred's double 
          Posted a photo of our fish box from this past Tuesday (9/8/09) with our hot flashers and meat rigs available at my webstore: www.michiganangler.com

9/10/09  Yesterday was a momentous day for Manistee, MI when a Brown Trout exceeding 41 pounds was pulled from the Big Manistee River.  Tom Healy was fishing with Tim Roller's guide service on the Big Manistee downstream from where the Bear Creek tributary flows into the main river.   Click Healy's State Record Brown Trout
          Seen river photos of this fish and it looks to have been caught in what the locals call, "Cemetery Run."  This section of the river is mostly all gravel and is bordered on the N side by a high bank covered in oak and pine trees, just upstream from Potters Landing.
          This new Michigan State Record Brown of 41 lb. 7.25 oz has a good a pound on the current world record.  Our old state record of 36 pounds and change was held by Casey Richey & he caught his giant Brown in Benzie County.
           Manistee County is the home of the last 4 state record Brown Trout, discounting Casey's fish.  Reason for Manistee's production in huge Browns goes into the vast drainages of the Big and Little Manistee River watersheds that dump nutrient rich water into Lk. Michigan.  This provides the basic building blocks of an extra healthy food chain.
           There's a lengthy process of certification before the Healy Brown can be declared a world record. Current world record belongs to deceased Harold "Rip" Collins of Heber Springs, Arkansas.  Rip's recognized record Brown Trout weighs 40 pounds & 4 ounces.
           Up until now, Michigan state record Brown Trout were caught mostly in April from E. Platte Bay to Manistee and were not completely full-out adult spawning fish. 
           Gonna speculate the Manistee River-Healy Brown is an adult female even though it has a kiped jaw.  A kiped jaw, or hooked jaw is a mainstay on male Brown Trout, but large hen Browns will develop this very same feature, only in a lesser extent.
           Yesterday proves what goes around, comes around ...when Manistee took it on the chin with over 20 trap nets in 2007 that drove many anglers to other ports.  This pending world record fish makes up for the negative publicity we endured in 2007!

9/9/09  You can't fix stupid! Today's featured photo clearly shows boat that tried jumping Manistee, MI's south pier. This is a yearly occurrence for all ports with long extended break walls.  A needless accident to say the least! Click for boat piled up on pier
         Fished Manistee yesterday morning from 8am until 1pm.  Did OK, but not great by boxing 6 Kings, 1 Coho and a Steelhead.  The new 2010 yet to be debuted Leland Puke BTI Flasher was as good as anything we had in the water, taking 3 of the 8 fish. The hush-hush top secret Leland Puke was towing my X-Glow BTI Fly. Click secret Leland Puke
         This combo held it's own against my very ultra best meat rig/flasher combos!  HRP BTI meat combo took one & the 12" King Kryptonite/3Fly Undertaker (John J Rig) took 3 fish.  The Black Mamba BTI with the new 2010 Sparkler/Clear Red 2 Fly dinged a good sized adult off a diver too.  Click 1pm double header
    Please notice in the photos we had Lake Michigan mostly to ourselves!

9/8/09  Hope your Labor Day Weekend went off well.  Jury's still out on Manistee, MI fishing over the past 3 days.  I have an inkling fishing was on the tough side, cuz flat water and pressure from tons of boats is not conducent in building big fish boxes.
          While yesterday is known as the unofficial end of summer, we'll still have decent chances at Lk. MI Salmon fishing until at least the third week of this month.
          Need to do a photo shoot of the new 2010 Leland Puke BTI 10" flasher that I couldn't make enough of back in August.  I've been sitting on the new color and dared not show it until the season slowed down ...like it has now.

9/7/09  Labor Day as a national holiday has been around since the late 1800s.  It's a holiday built to honor our work force in the USA, as it well should.  If you look at many of the major accomplishments over the past 100 years, most of these are a direct result of USA labor.  In 1969 the American astronaut Neil Armstrong put the first foot prints on the moon and didn't drive a Honda, or a Toyota to get there.  To the fifth column inside our borders spewing negative statements about our workers, products and industry, please buy a ticket to Bongo Bongo, BFE, and move wherever you think it's better!

9/6/09  Day 2 of our 3 day 2009 Labor Day Weekend.  Look for lighter traffic by this afternoon, as many will be returning home today.  Reports I've heard said fishing was OK.
         Temperature inversion is gone, cuz the inshore on-the-beach water has finally reached the same temp as the main body of Lk. MI.  No longer is there a pile of cold water on the beach calling the Salmon home in droves to their river and streams.  This will help stabilize the deep water structure (80'-300') depths.  Click 9/5/09 temp chart

9/5/09  We've got about 2 weeks and a couple of days of actual summer left before Autumn 2009 begins on the 22nd of this month.  The 2009 season has flew by for me & it seems like only a couple of weeks ago we were chasing April Brown Trout in Manistee, MI.
          Please remember a little courtesy goes a long ways in dealing with the Labor Day multitudes.  May the fish gods be with you today & steer you towards a big box of fish!

9/4/09  Good luck this weekend!  From what I saw in Manistee last evening, you're going to need it to survive the Labor Day crowd of neophyte Salmon fishermen. 
         Harsh words like reckless and stupid must be used to the ignorant few that run planer boards in the harbor.  Then, there's the "against the grain" crowd that troll at right angles, or opposite to the main flow of the fleet's accepted direction.
         For these reasons ...I will not consider fishing again until next Tuesday when the occasional Salmon fishermen are gone.  It's one thing not to be experienced & that's OK.  We all had our first few times.  It's not OK to disrupt water traffic, be rude & discourteous!

9/3/09  Fished Manistee last evening from about 5pm until 8pm (lines in the water).  We had 4 hits.  2 Bites on 300' of copper with the new HRP 2 Fly Meat Rig and matching BTI.  Took a juvenile King down 111' on a rigger with a 12" King Kryptonite & Undertaker 3 Fly Meat Rig (John J rig) in tow.  Boated a Laker down 60' on a rigger that was pulling a BTI Black Mamba Glow with a Clear Red 2 Fly Meat Rig.  Click HRP Comb King Salmon
         Took temp over 300' of water and found zilch for 50 degree Salmon comfort zone.  The water was 64 on the surface.  Then broke into the high 40s 30' down.  Until we get a decent band of 50 degree water that will improve the thermocline ...it's gonna be tough fishing on the shelf.  Down temp was 42 degrees at 100' down over 300' fow.
     Harbor was ultra crowded with a large flotilla boats fishing and not many catching!

9/2/09  Long range weather for Manistee, MI continues to hold at sunny skies and stable high temps in the mid 70s thru this coming Labor Day Weekend. 
        NOAA open waters beyond 5 miles from shore forecast is quite favorable with seas mostly from the S at 1' or less thru this coming Monday (Labor Day 2009).
        Didn't hear a lot of good about fishing in Manistee yesterday, but did not search out a lot of sources.  Hope get out soon and give you a first person "hands on" reel-report.

9/1/09  Manistee's big fish derby is being led by Capt. Larry Scharich with a 30.65 lb. King.  In fact, the top 3 money fish are all over 30 pounds and only being separated by ounces.  Larry and his crew (mostly Pam) runs Shipwatch Marina in Manistee, MI too. 
         Capt. Scharich ranks in the top 5% of all skippers I know.  He flies under the radar, never beats his own drum, & has an uncanny knack to adjust way quicker that most.
         Heard the water on the inside of 250' did not offer up many big catches yesterday.  While there's cold water on the beach, it's not holding big scads of Kings.  Neither did Manistee's pier heads after the early easy bite shut down.
         Down temp is a tad more stable over the plus 300' depths. The Salmon were said to coming from 40' to 110' down.  By any means, fishing the deep stuff was not red hot.  But for those that put their time in ...ended up in double figures.

8/31/09  We bid adieu to August 2009 ...as another chapter in our Great Lakes Fishery goes down in history.  With me, the jury is still out on how to rate this month that made it hard on weekend fishermen with mostly rough water on Saturdays and Sundays.
         32 degrees this morning in Cadillac, MI.  36 degrees at my place with scattered frost in several northern MI counties.  This early frost is about 2-3 weeks ahead of the "norm."
         Rest of this week is fine with high temps in the 70s & fairly light winds for Lk. MI.  Outlook for Labor Day 2009 this coming weekend says no rain and stable weather.  Let's hope this long range prediction holds true, cuz stable weather means lighter winds.
         With the recent N blow you can count on the reel-fact a pile of fish that ran into the rivers.  It might take a day, or two for the deep water fishery to reload with fish.
For sheer numbers of Salmon this week & next rates among the very best of the season!

8/30/09  Highest wind recorded yesterday at the Big Pt. Sable weather station was 29.9 knots from the north.  Which is pushing 35mph.  Click Big Pt. Sable info
        Energy stored in this kind wind builds menacing seas and makes Lk. Michigan way too rough to fish ...no matter what size boat you have.
        Today 3 to 6 foot seas from the north (15 to 25 knots) will curtail fishing activities.  This much north wind will surely bring the cold water onshore and around the pier heads.  Right along with good numbers of Salmon seeking their parental waters.

8/29/09  Read 'em and weep as another prime time August weekend goes down the tubes for the trailer boat crowd: 

8/28/09  Had the grand pleasure to introduce Fred from Bear Lake, MI into the sport of big water Salmon fishing last evening.  We had lines in the water from 6:00pm until 7:30pm.  In this short time frame we boated 3 fatso Coho and 2 Kings in the mid-teens.
         X-Glow Green Frog BTI with matching 2 fly meat rig had the most customers and an honorable mention goes out to the Black Mamba Glow BTI with the new test version of the 2010 Sparkler Red 2 fly meat rig.   Click 8/27/09 hot rigs
         Temp was 55' to 60' down where it broke into the 40s down to 100'.  Best rigger was the one set at 70', but 85' and 65' pulled hits. Click Fred's 1st Coho
          I have no doubt we could have killed another 5 (for my license).  We cut this trip short, cuz Fred's first time experience produced his first limit catch too.
          No reel-pattern to speak of, except for the glow stuff.  We fished south off Guerney Creek in 200' to 250' feet of water.  Fred's 1st King Salmon

8/27/09  There's been a positive perfect storm brewing in 2009 for the big lake fishermen.
Several factors come into play, but the 2 biggest are the price of gas and increase from 3 to 5 Kings, or Coho Salmon in MI daily limits.  Having larger fish is helping too. This season there's a reel-chance at a bonafided 30 pound King every time you head out fishing!
          Port towns that depend on the Salmon fisherman's dollar are all seeing substantial growth compared to 2008.  This upsurge of business is exactly what all Great Lakes States need in these less than perfect economic times.

8/26/09  Today, may I suggest you rummage thru my tips and trick section?  There's a wealth of knowledge and all you have to do is click here.
          Most common question I deal with at the webstore: www.michiganangler.com
is about how fast we ship and order transit time.  When UPS option is chosen and if you live in Michigan's lower peninsula?  You can expect your order the next day. If you live a little further away? ...in about 2 days.  Our standard $4.95 shipping is USPS Priority Mail and it's almost as fast, but they do not grant package tracking and firm delivery dates.

8/25/09  Lumpy today (S to 30 knots) and diminishing winds NE wind tomorrow at 10 to 20 knots is what's in store for central Lk. MI.  Thursday even looks better.  This weekend is to far out to make a call, but it would be reel-nice if both Sat. & Sun. were fishable.  This coming weekend is usually the most crowed of the entire season.
          If it can be trusted? ...long range open waters forecast for Lk. MI this coming Saturday says
SW 5 to 10 knots, chance of showers.  Waves 1' or less.  When translating knots to mph, just keep in mind a knot is about 1/7, or .15 larger/more than a mph.
          I deal with a double edged sword when it comes to fishing.  The better the fishing, the more orders & less time there is for me to hit the lake.  Dating back to April, my 9 fishing days on the water speaks volumes on how terribly busy we've been during 2009.

8/24/09  History has taught us the last week of August and the first week of September is the absolute best time of the season for big boxes of Salmon. 
         Yesterday's early fish reports from Ludington, Manistee and Frankfort were all decent.  Especially, considering the big north blow that began last Friday and lasted well into late Saturday night.  Good to see the weekenders got out at least one day.
         Today's featured photo is Basia with her first King Salmon caught with her grandfather and website member, Ralph K ...aka Polewalker.  Click Basia's King

8/23/09  No fishing was the story from Manistee, as even the largest 30 some footers cancelled their charters.  Hopefully, Lk. MI will lay down towards daybreak.  All be it may, the wind was puffing at 22 knots from the north when I hit the sack around midnight.
Poor weather with rough seas during August 2009 weekends have been plain miserable for the big water anglers just limited just  to weekends.

8/22/09  Wind was brutal last night when I went to bed around 1pm.  It was from the N at 22 to 29 knots.  Today is not going to be a bed of roses either, with 3 to 5 footers making things uncomfortable for all boats under 30 footers.  Tomorrow is supposed to be better (1 to 3s).   Mad at myself from not being able to pry a few hours to fish last week.  In the process of taking steps to cure this nonstop constant treadmill monotony soon.

8/21/09  Looks like Mother Nature is in cahoots with the wind gods to conspire against the weekend angler.  Here's the NOAA near shore Manistee weather for today & Saturday:
          According to Capt. Tom Rasmussen from Sue Lee Charters in Manistee, MI fishing this week has been good with catches ranging from 8 to 12 fish.  140' to 160' down with meat over 200 to 350 fow has been the program.  Early morning low light bite has been slow, then increases as the sun comes up.

8/20/09  In concluding this week's deep fishing discussion ...it's extremely important when using super braid lines for rigger rods a shock tippet of 30# quality mono MUST be used on the business end.  The mono absorbs the abuse from rigger releases and is stiffer than braid when it comes to resisting line twist from all rotators.
          To join the uneven diameter of lines together Albright knot can be used, but is tricky to tie compared to a Blood knot.  I favor the Blood knot.  Mostly, cuz I've used this line-to-line connecting knot for the past 40 years.
           Should have a weekend wave & fishing forecast for you tomorrow.

8/19/09   Hope you weren't too broke to pay attention to yesterday's important update about downsizing the diameter of what you're towing thru the water on your downriggers. 
          By going to thinner rigger cable and using Spectra braid line on your rigger rods amounts to overall 37% savings in what you're pulling in the water vertically.
          There's other added benefits too, like eliminating rigger wire hum and having your cables behave themselves better when there's strong undercurrents.  Spectron Super Braid on the rigger rods/reels aids in hooking deep fish where often it's a race to wind-tight on Salmon that has bit at depths of 100' and greater.
          Braid when used on downriggers doesn't have near the line belly of 25#-30# test mono.  Hence, less line to retrieve when a fish does whack you.  Lesser pound tests than 25# & 30# test on your rigger rods will cost you broken lines, lost fish, big buck$ in lo$t tackle, & reel frustration.  Causing you to manufacture reel-excuses no one will believe.
    Factoring in this year's larger crop of adult King Salmon are reel-tackle busters too!

8/18/09  To fish riggers down to 200' comfortably there's 2 ways to do it.  First is a costly super powerful rigger that can hoist 15# to 20# cannonballs. 
         Second is a wiser and cheaper way, cuz it cuts the water drag with thinner diameter rigger cable & Cortland's thin Super Braid Spectron on your rigger reels.
         Most riggers come w/150# test 7 strand rigger cable that measures out about
.032".  If you use 30# mono for mainline on rigger rods, that's about a .027" thick.
         With the help of our website member, Getaway he found a special 7 strand rigger cable that is: .027 (listed) & is 125# test.  Click my digital caliper measurements
         In 2008 ...I snagged a king anchor rope from a trap net (my fault).  This rated 125 pound test cable opened up a 225# Roscoe Coast Lock swivel without breaking.  So, this thinner rigger cable is plenty strong and very durable.
         By cutting the water resistance on rigger cables .005" & saving .017" with Cortland's Spectron (.010" thick) compared to mono ...my program drags .022" less inches vertical and that's a lot less blow back when going down 200' with standard 12# cannonballs. 
         Most of this info came from our "way too smart" website members.  I'll wrap this up this week w/further clarification & more tips to make deep fishing easier for you.

8/17/09   Mediocre is the word that probably best describes last weekend.  Some fish were caught on Saturday in lumpy Lk. MI seas.  More rough water was on tap for Sunday with winds gusting over 20 knots.  Tough weekend wind-wise for the trailer boat crowd.
        Late summer S, W, and SW winds have pushed the temp deep on the Michigan side of our big pond.  This is a more traditional wind direction than the N and E we had during June and July 09.  Also, this is a departure from 2007 and 2008 when we had cold water on right on the beach with boats trolling for Kings in 10' to 30' of water
        Tomorrow, I'll share a tip that's made my deep program more productive. Fishing depths to 200' down w/12lb. cannonballs & very little blow-back on the rigger cables

8/16/09  Do not have an across the board consensus on how to rate fishing.  The fish are deep (100' to 170' down) and there's a raft of anglers uncomfortable fishing this deep.  Deep fishing exposes holes in your program if you're lax in the area of sharpening hooks and rigger releases not set hard enough to stick fish at depths exceeding 100'.
        Those that haven't figured out the thinnest diver line possible, ...like having 35# test Spectron braid, or by using 7 strand stainless steel wire line divers will pay a sizeable toll in slow action when the temp pushes the fish down in the triple digits.

8/15/09  Today is supposed to be plenty fishable in Manistee, MI with seas predicted at 1' to 2' with south winds 10 to 20 knots.  Tomorrow is gonna be lumpy in the morning.
        Here's NOAA seas for Sunday ...S winds 15-25 knots. Mostly sunny. Waves 2'-4' subsiding to 1 to 3 footers later in the day.
         More south wind is on deck for the first part of next week too.  Look to depths greater than 100' to score on King Salmon.  This is attractor/meat territory 4-sure!

8/14/09  Here's Bill K's welcomed testimonial & Lk. MI port report from Milwaukee, WI:
"Just wanted to send you a proof of usage photo from Saturday night here in Milwaukee. My brother and I made it out for less than 2 hours and could not manage to keep our four meat rods in the water ending the night with 6 Kings and a Laker we tossed back. We've only been running meat for a month now and the Blue Bubble has been red hot. All these fish came on Blue Bubble Reel Flashers or BTI's with a few on the Black Ice Reel Flasher.
To note we ran 2 leadcore lines with spoons which only took 1 of 11 hits, and this used to be out most productive setup."
  Click for Bill's WI box of Lk. MI Kings
              Thanks for the great product!    Bill K, Captain of the "Reel Addiction"

Fished Manistee last evening from about 4:30pm and had all rods out of the water by 8:30pm.  We had 8 bites, fought 6.  Including heartbreaker came unplugged 50' from the boat.  5 were boxed and all were good sized adults to & over 20 pounds.  Our 5 Kings filled a 100 quart cooler approx. 2/3s full.  Click John J's Hogasaur King
         How do you make one of your best selling meat rigs (Clear Red) even better?
         By combining it with the new Sparkler base material.  This 2010 Clear Red 2 Fly Meat Rig took 3 of our hits and our largest King.  X-Glow BTI Frog with matching 2 fly meat rig took one hit,  Sparkler BTI took 2 nibbles and the King Kryptonite w/Undertaker 3 fly on the chute rigger at 125' down had 2 smacks. Click for Clear Red Sparkler meat rig
         Temp has came up since my last trip and was 54 degrees 70' down.  80' was 46 degrees and 125' was 42 degrees.  Action on our riggers came spread out, like 125' to 65'.
         We made one long north bound troll from the 8s to the high 13s. 
         Knowing what I know now, ...I'd have worked the water in the 8s to the 11s, cuz there was more fish there.  Click 8/12/09 fine example of a Manistee King
         Big blank spot for us once we got north of the 11 line and never touched a fish until the high 13s when we doubled down on 2 good sized adult Kings right at 8pm.
         Fishing last evening was a joy for a couple of reasons.  First the pond was all but deserted with very few boats.  Second is fishing with John J.  He crewed from me back in 2000 thru 2003 when I used to run charters. It's always a joy & a gift to have JJ aboard!

8/12/09  This is unconfirmed, but very believable ...Shipwatch Marina in Manistee, MI weighed in 2 certified 30 pound Kings yesterday.  Shipwatch is located on the north side of the channel that leads to Lk. MI downstream from the Washington St. drawbridge. 
         Shipwatch carries my line of tackle & has few X-Glow Frog 12 inchers left.  Along with the in-demand new 2009 Sparkler BTIs & 2 Fly meat rigs.
         Everything I've heard about fishing in Ludington, Manistee, and Frankfort all says it's game on for plus 20 Kings and a lot of fish in the higher teens.  Far different than past seasons of 2005 thru 2008 when our Salmon seemed to shrink every year.  This is good news and says a lot about the health of our King Salmon Fishery!

8/11/09  Capt. Chris from Ludington stopped by my shop this past Saturday to pick up some of the new 2009 Sparkler flashers with matching meat rigs. 
         Here's exactly what Chris S. had to say:
"New BTI sparkler blades, one on a low diver and one on a corner rigger, took 9 bites 7 fish! One was a 20lb 12oz king. All rigger bites where between 140' to 160' down. Lows set at 275 with a mag diver. Caught 13 fish Sat night ...all but one on meat." Thanks, Chris S
         The moral of Capt. Chris's report is 2 Sparkler patterns passed up his other 6 rods.  Now, that's a worthy fish-tale for you to note! Click 8/8/09 Ludington Kings

         Fresh news from Manistee yesterday is everyone seems to be catching fish.  Heard a lot of 5 to double figures and 5 was the lowest number.  So, fishing is respectable!

8/10/09  Weekend warriors that made the trek to their favorite Lk. MI Salmon ports last weekend got burned, if they hoped the prediction for rough water was going to be wrong.
          NOAA marine sea predictions have been running spot on with heavy weather for a number of years now.  NOAA might misjudge flat seas (0-1') and have those turn out to be 1' to 3's, but never on the large seas like we had ...most of last weekend.  I have a link to NOAA on my Great Lakes Info Page & use it religiously. Click for NOAA website

        Only have one port report to share with you and that's from last Friday evening.  Website member ,"Jerryriggin" got into double figures fishing south of Manistee.  As to be expected with strong south winds, all his fish came deep, ...down 140' to 160'.
          Today's a good time to share a secret to cut down on tangles when fishing deep.  If you're of the mindset more rods in the water means more fish you're gonna suffer from "Terminal Tackle Tangleitis" (TTT) forever.  Cut down on the rods in the drink and your tackle won't be snarled together in big wads that cost big bucks to set right again!

8/9/09  Today's featured photo is a close-up of the silver metal flakes inside the new 2009 Sparkler material.  Having the flash specks molded inside the base plastic eliminates cost and provides the consumer a vastly superior product.  This is another world first!
Cuz, no other manufacturer has ever made bullet, or meat heads like this before.
         Reason this hasn't been done before?  Their choice of the base material isn't strong enough.  Then, there's the Scrooge factor as they (other manufacturers) skinflint the cost down to the cheapest product and pawning it off on the public. 

        My last 2 trips off the dock ...since we received the new Sparkler BTIs and 2 Fly Meat Rigs have produced best.  Accounting for the overwhelming majority of our bites and King Salmon to 22 pounds!
   Click close-up of the Sparkler material
       To give credit where credit is due, the Sparkler is the brainchild of Capt. Chris S who fishes Ludington, MI.  Click for Capt Chris (2nd from right) and Ludville Kings!

8/8/09  For the second weekend in a row the weekend warrior is gonna find rough seas (3' to 5') for Saturday fishing with 15 to 25 knot stout winds from the south.  Sunday is a tad better with SW 10 to 20 knots with waves in the 1' to 3' variety.
         Here's a word to the wise.  There's a strong possibility inside of 200' of water it will be 70 degree bath water piled top to bottom.  If this is the case, move out deeper and look for down temps of 54 to 38 degree water over the 300' to 400' depths if you fish the central Lk. MI ports of Ludington, Manistee and Frankfort.

8/7/09  Good luck to all fishing the Great Lakes this weekend.  It's safe to say all ports are catching fish ...as our 2009 run of adult Kings is here.  A few Kings have already scooted up the Little Manistee River in Stronach, MI as of lately.
          My thanks to Nick L for today's featured photo from fishing the K-D tournament last week at Washington Island, WI.  According to Nick this port offers sheltered waters to fish.
                              Click Washington Island, WI King Salmon

8/6/09  Roscoe, aka Steve B and I fished Manistee, MI last evening.  We launched at around 6pm and didn't see any rodular activity until after 8pm. 
          We missed our first diver fish ...that diver rod was rigged with the new 2009 Sparkler BTI flasher and a matching Sparkler 2 Fly Meat Rig. Click 8/5/09 hot rigs
          As the evening progressed we had 7 nibbles and 4 of them came on the new Sparkler BTI w/meat rigs.  Death toll was 6 Kings to 22 pounds.  Not too shabby for a short evening voyage with a 5 fish flurry coming between 8:30pm-9:30pm.
          Reel proud of this new Sparkler pattern, cuz it's cost effective and more importantly produces.  Rigger bites were 100' and 140' down, but most of our action was on our divers with good quality Kings. Click Roscoe's hogasaur King on new Sparkler BTI/meat rig!
          Our magnum divers were dialed on 3 with 200' to 222' of wire off the reel.  Temp break was right at 115'  We stayed in 150'-175' fow on a long N troll.  Most of the bites came in the 19s up towards Onekama  Click Roscoe's last King around 9pm

8/5/09  4 fishermen left Manistee MI's harbor the evening of 8/3/09.  It's been said they hit something like a triple header and all moved to the back of their 20' Crestliner.  A wave from the seas running at a good solid 4' came over the stern, swamping this vessel and quickly capsizing the 20 footer.  Ojan Aryanford the only person unable to get a life jacket that were being stowed in the bow is presumed drowned by the Manistee Sheriffs Dept.
        Kenneth Baker of Clinton Twsp. Richard Ellison, 53 (boat's owner), of New Baltimore, & Richard Vanneste, 39, of St. Clair Shores.  All survived by clinging to their overturned boat until Baker swam to shore for help at around 2am.  By then ...the seas and wind had washed the overturned boat about 20 miles north off the Port of Arcadia, MI.
        According to highly trusted sources (Steve S in Kewaunee, WI) a certified 30 pounder was weighed in after the K/D Derby closed.  Here's Steve had to say,
        "Algoma had a certified-scale 30.73-pounder this morning, only 38 inches but like the giants of long ago, small head with a tank for a body, caught by Jeff Heidelberger of Zimmerman, MN aboard "Midnight" captained by Todd Kinn."

/4/09  Here's a report from Kewaunee Steve S: "Caught again on Monkey Puke (x-glow this time) w/red glow off dipsy ...water in Kewaunee hit 38 degrees 20 feet down, 43 on surface. I have never caught such a nice colored Lake Trout before & ...no lamprey scar."
Click for this WI Laker    
Click 7/31/09 Kewaunee pigasaur King
Many thanks to all that have emailed me their photos.  I have on-deck great pictures from Washington Island, WI, Chicago & Ludington!  These images will be shared with you soon!

8/3/09  My 12" flashers are better known for towing meat rigs.  However, use of trolling flies produce excellent catches too.  Approx. 30" leader length is recommended.  
                        Here's proof the 12 inchers work with trolling flies

        More wind & rain to today, but the good news is? ...it's from the south!

8/2/09  Yesterday, a strong S blow to almost 30 knots cut short a lot of plans to fish central Lk. MI.  Huge seas from the south is exactly what we need to stabilize our fishery.  Look for a more consistent results this week as the thermocline sinks deeper into the land of attractor territory.  Attractors come into their own the deeper the fish are.
         If you've ordered the new colors of King Pearl, HRPs, or Sparkler that are in the process of being introduced to the world, please be patient.  We're working 7 days a week to keep up with demand.  Click productive 2010 new colors: King Pearl  HRP  Sparkler

8/1/09   Hit the pond for a couple of hours last evening & we got off to a strong start.  Chute rigger went off before I had the port outdown set.  Unfortunately, this fish did not stay pegged for long.  Then, just as I set the starboard diver w/new Sparkler 2 Fly Meat Rig ...that rod loaded immediately with a 10 pound King. Click Sparkler Meat Rig King
        This happened between 6:00-6:30pm and then no-biteitus set in we couldn't buy another strike.  Feeling negative vibes ...pulled lines a little early at 8:00pm and headed for Manistee's First Street Public Launch to load the boat while it was still daylight.

        Seen a pile of boats fishing, but not many catching ...as the summer crowd is on the build in Manistee.  Boat launch was fairly full for a Friday evening.  I imagine it's gonna be a zoo today.  Heard several good reports from Ludington on numbers and size!

7/31/09  Good luck to all fortunate enough to have time available to fish the Great Lakes this weekend.  Work has kept pretty much shop bound 24/7 this July.
       News from the WI 2009 Kewaunee/Door County Salmon Tournament Wednesday, July 29 (Day Five) shows a 26.43 pound King from Kewaunee looking at the 10k first prize.  In the 9 days of last year's event there were 54 Kings over 20 pounds registered.  In the first 5 days this year 134 have been weighed in already!

7/30/09  Let's take a look at the Kewaunee/Door County Salmon Tournament.  This is a 9 day WI contest with the ports of Algoma, Baileys Harbor, Kewaunee, Sturgeon Bay and Washington Island all competing for the big Salmon award.  Presently, the largest King is over 26 pounds and there's a raft of over 20s chasing this leader.  As of this past Monday there were over 25 Kings weighed-in over the 20# mark. Click Kewaunee Kings
          While this story will never make the national news, more info became available to me about the Black Bear killed on M55.  As luck would have it, or lack thereof, popular Manistee Charter Skipper Jay F from Strike Zone Charters hit this Bear at 3:45am. 
          Capt Jay was on his way to met his am charter when this critter did major damage to his F250 Super Duty Ford Pickup.  Jay said, "I was heading to Manistee to run a morning charter.  When the bear crossed the road in front of me and then turned and ran directly in front of me.  Estimated weight on the bear is between 300 -350 lbs, and it was a mature male.  I hit him with a F250 Super duty at approximately 45 mph, the impact turned the truck side ways. Total damage has not been totaled as of yet.   Estimates to repair the  truck are between $4000.00 & $4500.00.   Damage was to the Bumper, Fender, Door, and unknown suspension parts.  Thank god, I was driving a full size piece of Detroit steel & not some compact junk from another country." Click Capt. Jay's Bear

          Capt. Jay went on to say this animal was butchered and the undamaged meat did not go to waste. Just found out yesterday, the MDNR does have a very limited season Black Bear for Manistee, Mason, Benzie, Leelanau, Oceana & Grand Traverse Counties.

7/29/09  For a change of pace I posted a photo of a Black Bear killed on M55 and Warfield Road about a week ago.  You can tell by the photo this is no small cub, but a full grown adult.  This animal was hit about 10 miles from where I live and had rubbed most of the hair off it's hind quarters.  Click dead Manistee County Black Bear
         Most all the people I know in Manistee County have spotted Bears in their backyards, bird feeders, or crossing roads, as this population grows more and more.  In the not too distant future, ...I predict Manistee will have a limited Bear season. 
       Thanks to City of Manistee Police Officer Jeff P for sending me the bear photos.

7/28/09  Fleet-wide results in Ludington last weekend were a tough go.  Manistee wasn't a bed of roses, with several tourney boats traveling long distances to find better fishing. 
         Need to thank Jason F from Team Rawhide for the Manistee tournament photos he emailed to me.  Jason is 6'4" tall, but his 23 pounder still looks huge against the backdrop of his large frame.  Team Rawhide's day one catch of 10 fish (no cull) was 126lbs for a 12.6lb average put them high on the leader board. Click 7/24/09 tournament catch
Their day 2 catch was 8 Kings with tougher and much rougher waters to fish.  Pretty sure they ended up in the top 5, but this isn't confirmed.  Click Jason's 23 pounder
         Muskegon numbers-wise was good with mixed bag catches. 
         Leland has lit up.  Although, marina/public ramp construction has this port all messed up.  Perfectly good docks were tore out to be replaced with floating docks, as government wastes our tax dollar$.  Pretty sure this Leland construction job was bid on time & materials, cuz they've been working on it since last April. Click 7/24/09 Leland 20lbs.

7/27/09  Since late last week fishing has been mediocre in Manistee, MI until yesterday (Sunday).  Then, it slid rapidly downhill about noon yesterday as NW winds built to 30mph, running a lot of cold water in along the drop-off, or "shelf."  Making the Sunday catching tough for my home town's sports fleet with skunkolas to 3 fish being common place.  NW has been the wind of absolute dread so far in 2009 with a cold main body of Lk. MI for this time of the season.  More fishing news, covering more ports will be forthcoming soon after the dust from last weekend settles and our website members report in with their results.
        If the current long range forecast for the open waters of Lk. MI hold true, this week's winds are quite favorable.  Other than for Tuesday's NW at 10 to 15 knots, the rest of the week is all SW and W.  These winds should push the biomass back on the shores of central Lk. MI ports like Ludington, Manistee, and Frankfort.

7/26/09   Much has been made of meat pulling larger fish, if compared to other methods.  Meat, or fishing with bait is only part of it.  Let's not overlook the quality of the angler and the ability to adapt to newer ways of catching fish.  Even though, Salmon fishing with natural bait precedes artificial lures by several years.  It's just that no one focused attention to fishing with bait on Lk. MI until I did in 2003 on this very website!
         I brought this up as a topic today, cuz in this weekend's tournaments in Manistee, meat was being disallowed until a broad-based mutiny of outraged competitive tourney fishermen forced the promoter to back-off their anti-reel bait stance.
         Fishing with reel-bait is woven into the fabric of our nowadays Great Lakes Salmon fishery and a few "dyed in the wool" artificial only lure users complaining is not going to change this reel-fact.  Disallowing meat does a great disservice to artificial lure manufacturers ...strongly implying meat has an unfair advantage in tournaments.
             Whether it does, or does not ...I'll let history decide that fact!

7/25/09  Predicted wind from the W & SW should help set up a deeper discernable thermocline over the next 3, or 4 days.  Temp break has been mostly in the top 50' and higher making consistent results hard to come by with the fish scattered.  Much of this is due to a extra cool July where we've seen daytime high temperatures not reach 60 degrees and night time lows in the 30s occasionally. 

7/24/09  Good luck to all hitting the Great Lakes this weekend.  May the seas cooperate and your coolers be full hog King Salmon.
         It's nice to be involved in a project when the outcome is as close to human perfection as possible.  This was the case when Tony C from Eyefull Custom Rods and I embarked on a journey to design & build the very best wire diver roller rod made so far.
         Ultimate quality with a reel seat that is suited for Great White Sharks and roller guides rated at twice the capacity of 30# 7 strand stainless wire line is the reel-deal.
         These are the only rods I know that can easily pull a magnum dipsy diver with a large flasher at 3mph without bending over like the light duty cheapie ones.  I'm proud to have been in on the test phase with Tony!  Click Eyefull Wire Roller Diver Rod

7/23/09  Website member, Mark W fished Manistee, MI Thursday thru Sunday last week and took 54 fish, mostly Kings to past 23 pounds.  Mark worked 80'-120' water depths with a simple limited meat program.  Taking most of his fish on divers fishing about 60' down.
        Mark's success was above average.  So, don't think Manistee is standing in tall cotton yet, as far as fish numbers go.  Click Mark's 6 Kings in 45 minutes.
        Ended the Deadly Duo Sale.  We're short on X-Glow Sea Green trolling flies being the main reason.  Hope to offer this deal again in the future.  My take on these package deals is: it's a firm place to start if you're an occasional fishermen like me nowadays.

7/22/09  Here's a 7/21/09 Manistee mid-day fish from website member, Polewalker:
"Great Day today on Lake Michigan. Left the Manistee at 9:00AM, had our first hit 10 am. 4 hits in 1 hour, boated 3 kings. 10#; 17#; 23#. Not another hit until 1:30PM. 2 small kings & 1 laker.  All on the Deadly Duos. Pulled lines at 2:00PM. Straight out from Manistee, 80' to 150' fow. Riggers 90' to 110' down. 1 hit on lead, lost him." ...Polewalker aka Ralph K.

If you can hit the right day at the Port of Manistee, MI it been hot-hot-hot for big fish. As this 4 banger photo (all on meat) from Mark W attests too! Click 7/18/09 4 banger

7/21/09   Escaped from tackle shop duties to maintain my sanity for a short evening on the pond with my wife & wife's sister, LeAnn yesterday.  We fished from about 6pm until 9:40pm to get LeAnn into a decent King Salmon.  Which she landed with great joy after a long and lengthy struggle on a diver rod.  Click LeAnn's King pushing 20#
        We fished straight out of Manistee in 120' to 300' of water and never found much.  We had 2 bites and lady luck said both would stick and make it to the net. 
        If I measured this trip in LeAnn's smiles and all too kind thank u's, it would rank with a 20 fish limit from back in my charter days. Click our 1st King about 8 pounds

Best piece of new fishing news is there's a few Kings showing up in Traverse City, MI outer east and west bays.  Kings got semi-hammered of the west side of Leland's west side of South Manitou Island.  This was the best report to date from Leland, MI.

7/20/09  Hats off to website member, Tokenfinn for taking 1st place with the largest fish in the Manistique, MI tournament with a huge 22.5 King.  Tokenfinn took this winner on King Emerald Green BTI & X-Glow BTI Fly.  Click for this winning 22.5 King Salmon
        Congrats to
youth angler Hunter Grinstern of Grand Rapids with his first place 20.80 pound King (Chinook) Salmon in the recent Ludington Youth Angler Tournament.  Hunter caught this almost 21 pound fish on one of my flashers and a meat rig.  The reel-winners were all the youth anglers who participated in this big event!
        My thanks goes to the wise Ludington Tournament officials for not over looking our future big water fisher-people and the women who fished in the Ladies Day tourney.
Hope to re-list the highly successful Deadly Duo that sold out in 2 days last week soon.  The King Purple Glow and Monkey Puke BTI are part of the Deadly Duo.  Along with the X-Glow Sea Green and BTI fly.  These 4 products all rank at the top of my sales list in their respective categories.  Click for the Deadly Duo

7/19/09  Denis U, fishing out of the Port of Vladivostok, Russia caught 3 Masu Salmon.  Even though the rest of the fleet struggled with 0s to 2 fish.  Denis said most of their Salmon have entered the rivers to spawn.  Click for X-Green Frog Russian Salmon
        I admire Denis's flexibility
and willingness to adapt to new methods to catch fish using the world's ultimate resource of the internet.  Shipping tackle to Russia requires a long wait to pass thru customs and it took almost 3 weeks for Denis to receive his shipment from me.  It's a banner day for my line of tackle conquering a fishery almost 1/2 around the world.  To me this fascinating when all things are considered!

7/18/09  A commonly asked question is about how fast we ship from our webstore, www.michiganangler.com  Answer is: we try for same day on all orders received by 10am, sometimes later still works.  We know ...you want your tackle yesterday & ship ASAP!

7/17/09  If you're fishing this weekend good luck.  Sunday looks best with sunny conditions, temps in low 70s and most importantly ...calmer seas.
        Today's featured photo was sent in by Tom M who fishes the IN & IL waters on the southern end of Lk. Michigan.  He was on vacation last week & boated close to 100 Salmon (Coho past 12lbs. & Kings) fishing bankers hours with meat. Click Tom's results.
        Tom M, aka Black Ice is a firm believer in meat and has been since we first met in 2004.  The meat board in the photo is from last year, that why it reads Manistee 2008.

7/16/09  With this being tournament week in Ludington, MI, my information pipeline has dried up.  Dick Cheney and water-boarding couldn't pry loose lips from these serious tourney anglers.  I do have a local Ludville contact and the world's best UPS delivery driver, Kirk C, aka Capn. Kirk on our message board.  He said, "the bite window is to the outside an hour long ...when the Salmon go on a hard fed.  Then, it's ride around and hope for another hit, that might not come for hours."  This is dated info from last weekend.
         Much of this "could" be due to the Salmon suspending for a limited time.  Then, going back tight to the bottom in a safe zone.  I said safe zone, cuz bazillions of mussels on the deck makes pounding the bottom like we use to for Kings ...past history.  Due to having your hooks fouled with mussels stuck on every hook.  Never, ever, caught a fish from Lk. MI when we had our bait/lure fouled with Zebra, or Quagga mussels.
         Tomorrow, attention will shift back to southern Lk. MI and focus today's featured photo from Tom M, aka "Black Ice."  Click for heavy rack of Tom's Salmon

7/15/09  According to my calendar compiled over the last 41 season, prime time for Salmon begins today.  S wind predicted for this week is bound to shake things up for the better.  I know we're sitting on the verge of one helluva fishery in the next 2 months.
         Kings are a lot better sized as evidenced in my sneak preview last Sunday evening when we boated a 20.8 pounder and that fish was weighed the next day, being too late to clean fish when I got home.  In 2008, on my boat we never boated anything my over the 16 to 18 range.  Yes, good things are in store for us!
         I know a lot has been made over big fish being taken with meat by my line of tackle winning large fish awards in major contests MI and WI.  Just remember, it's just not the meat.  My flashers swim as they roll and flip.  Thusly, attracting big fish as happened last Sunday evening with the pounder that hit a BTI & trolling fly.  So, it's not always the meat.
         I have about 10 deadly duos featured below.  These are the exact, precise colors of flashers and flies we used on the short evening adventure on 7/12/09.

Deadly Duo Website Special!

2 BTI flashers & 2 flies
Only 29.95!

Monkey Puke & King Purple BTI 10" flashers teamed up with X-Glow BTI Fly & X-Glow Sea Green Fly.  Pre-tied leader lengths that work! This is a rock-solid plus 36 dollar value for only ...29.95?   No one in tackle industry offers your fluorocarbon leaders, multi-choice hook options, 2 flashers with superior Sampo Ball Bearing Swivels at any price.  Let alone at a lowball recession busting 29.95!
      Need this Fish Catchin' Tackle?  
          Click here for limited time specially priced combo deal

7/14/09  Here's a testimonial from last weekend's Kewaunee, WI fishing:
"Just wanted to say thanks John. First year using Meat and second year fishing. Have learned a lot from your website. Enclosed is a picture from Sat evening, Biggest fish we have ever caught on my boat! 25lb 4oz King on Secret One flasher & meat rig"
Thank you again,
Don H. from the Reely HaLL'n Click 25.4 lb WI King 7/11/09
        Next featured photo is from website member, Jeremy aka Jerryriggin'.  Jeremy is extremely dedicated and kinda reminds me of myself back 30 years ago with his passion for the sport of big water fishing. Click Jeremy on 7/11/09 am Manistee fish

 Recent word from Manistee, MI yesterday morning after the early bite was slow, plagued with more NW wind.  Last night's near record low temps in the 30s is not helping build a better fishery in the central Lk. MI ports of Manistee, Ludington and Frankfort.

7/13/09  Fished Manistee, MI yesterday evening from 6:30pm until 9:30pm with BTIs and flies.  Had 5 hits, boated 4 ...releasing a little guy.  Size was impressive, cuz in the 3 Kings we kept, I'd say we had good 50 pounds of Salmon.  Click King Purple BTI
         Forgot the meat at home.  So, flies and 10" BTI flashers were used as backup.  King Purple BTI-BTI Fly was "king stud" taking a 20 pounder and a good honest 16.  Monkey Puke BTI and X-Glow Sea Green trolling fly caught the skipper & one topping out 15 pounds. I have the utmost confidence in my 10" BTI flashers and flies.  Rating them at 90% of what a meat program can accomplish. Click for 7/12/09 Manistee King

         Largest King came 70' down on a rigger.  Depth of water we took bites was 300' to 130'  So, widely scattered, as a description truly fits! Click 7/12/09 Monkey Puke King
         For a welcome change, I have a fairly large backlog of website members catch photos that will be featured as this week progresses.

7/12/09  Action over the deeper water in Manistee, MI is on the slow side for now.  Yesterday, there were some fish caught in and around the pier heads.  A good bunch of bait piled in Manistee's harbor ...as of yesterday afternoon.
         Today's featured photo is from Steve S who hit the pond on the WI side of Lk. Michigan out of Kewaunee.  Terry W and Steve took 4 good Kings on a short evening trip this past Friday on meat with my products.  Click for 7/10/09 Kewaunee King

7/11/09  Today's featured photo is from website member, "Just Hook It" taken last Sunday while fishing out of Michigan City, IN.  Once again, this shows extreme southern Lk. Michigan has a bunch of fish we in Manistee, MI can only dream of for now.
         "Just Hook It's" catch was comprised of a few large Lake Trout, big Steelhead, Coho, and Kings caught in 60' to 80' of water.  My most sincere thanks to Cal for sharing his great photo & awesome catch with us! Click 7/5/09 MI City catch

7/10/09  We're entering the part of the season in Ludington and Manistee, MI that makes reliable fish reports all that much harder to come by (due to tournaments).  Next week is Ludington's big events in what has to be one of the most attended on our Great Lakes.
          Capt. Chucks Tackle Store in Ludington is well stocked with bait.  They have strips, Red Label (5"-6") and Green Label (6"-7") Herring that is completely acceptable to all  guidelines set forth by the Michigan's DNR.  I can vouch for the bait quality and the service Capt. Chucks offers.  This is the number 1 big lake tackle store in my area.
          Something you might want to consider is the Sabiki Rigs currently in stock at Capt. Chucks.  Sabiki Rigs will catch harbor Alewives and kinda resemble a perch rig, but have more hooks with tiny flies.  To be 100% legal you can only use 2 hooks.
         Only reel-fishing news I have is from a couple of days ago.  There were some fish caught right outside Manistee's pier heads and our harbor "was" loaded with bait.

7/9/09  Three days ago on the 6th, website member Bad Medicine put together a good program and boxed out with a 3 person 15 fish limit while fishing the Port of Sheboygan, WI.  Not sure on the exact weapons Bad Medicine used, but know he was happy with the Mini Flies we sell at the webstore: www.michiganangler.com  Click for 7/6/09 WI catch
          Fish pictures I posted the last 3 days has me a little envious and only blame myself for not making time hit the pond.  Those of us who are self-employed are our own worst enemies.  We often neglect much needed personal time to renew our dedication.

7/8/09  Today's update and photos is courtesy of Frank Martin, owner of Calumet Marine who caters to the big water fishermen.  Frank fishes the waters off extreme south end of Lake Michigan by Chicago, IL.  Click 7/4/09 limit catch off Chicago, IL
          Frank and his buddy Coho Harry fished the middle of the day, off hours on the 4th of July, ran all meat and my products and boxed out early.  Much of this is due to the warmer water that N wind has piled up off their port.  Click surface temp in 70s
          East Chicago, IN has had a better Salmon fishery all this season thus far, if compared to the central Lk. MI ports of Frankfort, Manistee and Ludington ...reel fact!
          Rogers City on Lake Huron offered up a some great Steelhead opportunities last weekend according to website member and MDNR creel census employee, Julie. 

7/7/09  Report from WI website members fishing out of the Port of Kewaunee is fair to good, as today's featured photos clearly show.  Click 7/5/09 Kewaunee fish
         King Salmon along with some nice Steelhead, or Rainbows is the WI reel-deal.  My thanks goes out to Terry W & Steve S for the photos. Click 7/3/09 Kewaunee King
         Both Terry & Steve shared a smaller trimmed down presentation of reel-meat was key to their success.  Forage/baitfish the WI fish were eating was in the 3" to 4" range.
         Manistee, MI is anybody's guess with not many fishing.  Yesterday morning there was less than 10 boat trailers parked at the First Street Public Launch.
         Denis U from Vladivostok, Russia fished last weekend and took a couple of chunky football shaped Masu Salmon.  Masu Salmon closely resemble our Coho, or Silver Salmon, but have a lot more girth.  Denis's said his fish were chowing on Anchovies.  Anchovies are a preferred bait on our west coast too.  Click 7/4/09 Russian Masu Salmon

       Saving a good King report along with several photos from Frank M who owns Calumet Marine about their fishery off East Chicago, IN for tomorrow's update

7/6/09  More NW and N wind is in store for us in Manistee this week.  After cool 4th of July Weekend with night-time low temp in the 40s at my place?  ...kinda makes one wonder what's going on with the weather.  Must be global warming  ...eh?
          Misuse of aft deck lights is a pet peeve of mine & counter to USCG maritime laws.  Having bright halogen blinding you when you're trying to exit the harbor in the early am is dangerous, against the law, & just not courteous. Click aft deck lights on SR1979
          Leaving your vehicle's headlights on when you're launching your boat makes it hard for others trying to do the same.  Ramp etiquette says parking lights work just as well when you're looking backwards anyways.  This becomes more a tad complicated than it should over-riding the auto-headlight features in nowaday's autos and trucks.
      Be sure to tune in tomorrow's for the report on this past weekend's fish action!

7/5/09  Spent most of yesterday replacing the Mercruiser outdrive on my boat, SR1979.
The old drive was 30 years old with a bent spline/prop shaft and a cracked lower right angle drive.  A lot of people might think, "that's what you get for buying an older/used boat."  Wrong mindset, cuz I've purchased at least 6 new boats and they all had issues sooner, or later.  I look at the brand new outdrive as something that won't be causing me grief anytime in the near future.   Click bent spline   Click new SEI outdrive
         One of the saving graces of an older rig is no boat payments, amen.  Hence, there's money in the budget to do upgrades.  With the new outdrive and 15 hp. 4 stroke kicker trolling system I still do not have 14k wrapped up in my 1979 Sea Ray 22' fully rigged with topnotch equipment.  14 grand nowadays might buy you a new 16 footer at the dealer.

Hope you have an outstanding Reel-Holiday on this 4th of July 2009!

7/3/09  Have a safe and great 4th of July Weekend.  We're still about 2 weeks out on prime time summer Salmon fishing.  So, look for fishing in the central MI ports of Ludington, Manistee and Frankfort to gradually gain more and more fish.
         I rate July 15th thru September 15th as the big deal when it comes to pursuing Mr. King Salmon on our Great Lakes.  Question is: are you ready for the next 2 months?
         Today's featured photo is from Capt. Chris who fishes out the Port of Ludington, MI.  This was the best early July catch seen on this website from about a year ago.  It's a tease of what's in store for us over the next 2 months. Click 7/6/08 Ludington Salmon

7/2/09  First order of business today is to apologize to Cole for misstating his age as being 10.  Come to find out Cole is 8 years old, not 10.  Click for Cole's 17# Salmon
          Next on the list is to put rhyme to reason why a unnamed promoter shot himself in the foot and ruled against using completely legal bait in Manistee's upcoming July tournament, or tournaments.  It's just not too bright to alienate part of the contestant list when tourney participation is already dwindling for several reasons. 
         Could this be a hidden secret agenda, cuz reel-meat has an unfair advantage over strictly artificial/fake offerings when it comes to catching larger fish?  Is there sums of contingency monies at stake from the larger artificial lure manufacturers involved?
         The 3 big fish tourney in question was taken on meat in 2008 and I never made mention of this, or used it as a promotion in any way.  I only draw attention on my product line when our website members are involved in tournaments, because we are a community.
          My online tackle store uses no such cheap tactics on it's shopping cart pages to sell product.  This can be verified by viewing all pages at: www.michiganangler.com 

7/1/09  Haven't been fishing in a while?  If you need a visual fix to get over not being on the pond?  Then I have a link to a short video that should help. 
         This is not a smooth glossy edited work, but it's exactly raw footage like most of us would shoot under the same circumstances.  That being a 10 year old Cole doing battle with a diver rod on a 17 King with slight assistance from his dad, Bob.  Also, the videographer (Nick L) was the net man doing double duty and let me add, ...a fine job!
         Stuff like this and photos emailed IN makes this website, cuz it's not about me, or the tackle I make.  It's about our fishery first & foremost.  Be sure to run the video to the end & see the excited grin on Cole's face.
Click cute video from Kewaunee, WI

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