October, November, & December 2009
About 365 days ago we entered into the new 2009
season with high hopes and great anticipation.
Same will happen tomorrow as 2010 and a brand new
decade bursts onto the scene. Let's hope 2010
will treat the Great Lakes right.
Looking back at the last decade, tackle advancements
come to mind. Glow has came a long ways from
when the charge would last 15 minutes, or less.
My X-Glow series tackle can glow easily for 8 hours,
it's charged with a UV black light. Normal
light, or camera flash will give you a good solid 4 to
Right about now with the advent of a new winter season
the extra trips to Lake Michigan last September and
October are bright shining memories.
According to a study done by the WDNR at the
Strawberry Creek Weir close to 97% of returning Salmon
are 3 year old fish. This weir is located east
of Sturgeon Bay, WI. 1% was 5 year olds and 1%
were 4 year old King Salmon. This fully explains
the large amount of 9 to 12 pound adults we see.
Seems the barge operators on the Chicago Canal are
claiming foul by the loss of 400 jobs to the potential
closure of this waterway. This is a crock of BS
and a small price to pay to keep Asian Carp from
colonizing the entire Great Lakes watershed.
Limbo time between Christmas and New Years is a major
hindrance if you're trying to conduct business like I
am ...ordering products for the 2010 season.
12/25/09 Merry Christmas and may your holiday season be a safe one!
Tomorrow, Christmas Day will be 8 seconds longer than
today. We have finally turned the corner on
these short winter days as we look forward to 2010.
Kinda funny since the invasion of Asian Carp made
the national news we're finally seeing some action
being taken. Politically motivated is my take on
Yesterday, Michigan Att. General Mike Cox filed a
lawsuit with Supreme Court over Asian Carp entering
Lk. Michigan. This is a belated effort by a good
10 years behind the times. The State of Illinois
created the Chicago Drain Canal about a 100 years ago
to wash effluent/sewage down the Mississippi River.
Prior to this canal ...disease was rampant due to raw
sewage in Lake Michigan off the shores of Chicago, IL.
season 2009-2010 is formally upon us. Our fall
season has been tolerable with only 24" of the white
stuff. Shocker is at this time last we had 64
inches of snowfall. Building to 92 inches by
year's end on 12/31/08.
Officially the winter season of 2009/2010 begins
tomorrow. Daylight for today is said to be 8h
52m. Tomorrow will be 2 seconds shorter than
today. Then the days will start getting
gradually longer, as we build towards spring.
Less than 9 hours of usable daylight is what I detest
most about this time of the year!
Today's featured photo has a caption saying, "why do
we fish?" I think the grins on my fishing bud,
"Roscoe" aka Steve S. face answer this question fully.
Smaller returns of Salmon at our weirs, BKD, VHS, trap
nets, high gas prices, windfarms, rough water, fog,
Asian Carp, Zebra, Quagga Mussels ...etc.
lip might have shot from my hip about the windmills in
the planning stages for Mason and Oceana Counties.
Upon closer investigation I found these power
generating wind powered turbines can float.
Distance above the water to the hub of the blades on
the windmill would be about 260'. Rotor diameter
pegs out close to 400'.
There's a storm brewing on the horizon for Great Lakes
anglers. In the planning stages, ...there's
planned aquatic theme park of 100 to 200 power
generating windmills planned for the waters of Mason
and Oceana Counties.
Today's a good day to put this website on autopilot
and recommend visiting the vast Encyclopedia of Tip
and Tricks. Most of the Tips and Tricks section
is built on the back of my 4 decades of fishing the
for Tips and Tricks
Here's some enlightening reel-facts from my
2009 fishing log:
Only 12 days left until Christmas as 2009
continues to zoom by. Looking forward to the
first day of winter on the 21st. Not for the joy
of season, but the winter solstice when the days will
finally start getting gradually longer. The dark
stuff at 5:30pm makes our days seem way too short!
The official start of winter is exactly 10 days
away, beginning on Dec. 21st. Mother Nature was
behaving herself quite nicely up until 2 days ago, but
Dating back to 5/12/09 our MDNR planted 444,401
King/Chinook Salmon in Manistee County, MI. Of
that number 69,300 King Salmon went to the local net
pen project. The remaining 375,101 King Salmon
were planted in the Little Manistee River at the 8
Mile Bridge & 9 Mile Bridge crossings.
Crunched some more numbers for the years of
1999-2007 concerning the King return to the Little
Manistee weir. That average figured out to be
fish per year.
The below table is the return
numbers of Chinook Salmon with info supplied by our
MDNR. It shows the last 11 seasons of Salmon
captured at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir. If
you average the 11 years, it comes 13,417 per year
Average Chinook/King Salmon return over the past 11 seasons is 13,417 per year
With me, seeing is believing. That's the reason
I posted a side by side ...3 year comparison
time-delayed photo of Salmon spawning in Manistee
Need to thank Mother Nature for her kind behavior.
Last year at this time we were locked into a major
blizzard as today's featured comparison photo clearly
This is about the time of the year I starting looking
back and recalling the memorable episodes of the year
slipping by. One of my fondest 2009
recollections was a spur of the moment trip to New
Buffalo, MI back on 5/5/09.
Poisoning the Chicago Canal below the electrical
barrier has begun. So far, only one Asian Carp
has been captured dead on the surface. This
electric barrier is a lot of smoke and mirrors, cuz at
best it's only rated at 95 to 98 percent effective.
Kinda like to finish Carp College today, but there's
more and more info I've ran across in my research
about these Asian invaders. So, let's dig
deeper into these members of the minnow family, the
Grass Carp & Black Carp.
Figured I'd better hold Asian Carp Class today.
So, we'd all would gain a little knowledge of this
threat to our Great Lakes ...being the Silver
and Bighead Carp.
Please don't view today's update with a knee jerk "sky
is falling" overreaction, cuz it was bound to happen.
It's been proven undesirable Asian Carp have breached
the electrical barrier in the Chicago Sanitary & Ship
Click Bighead Carp
Probably like some of you, I did most the major
Christmas shopping online. Living in Manistee
County, MI leave you with very few choices, or
24.95 Meat Rig Storage Cases are on sale for 18.70
...a price slashing 25% discount! As much as
flies & meat
rigs cost? It's wise & cost effective to
Thanksgiving night Manistee County, MI received is
first trace amounts of snow this fall. All be in
may, official winter doesn't begin on Dec. 21, 2009.
the new article about fish and the color red yet?
I know it's not a fleet-wide accepted color, but that
actually works in your favor.
Click new article part 1
11/26/09 Wanted come up with a catchy preface to a Thanksgiving
greeting. Have a Happy Thanksgiving, or have
Great Thanksgiving just don't have the right fit.
King Puke Glow BTI is officially introduced today.
This is a spin-off of the hot Leland Puke (copper-red)
pattern combined with #1 selling BTI, King Purple
Today, it's my great pleasure to introduce the 2010
lethal Leland Puke BTI 10" flasher. In this
Click Leland Puke BTI it's the red and copper one.
week in store for this website. Have a new
article that might debut later today, or tomorrow for
sure. It's in the final stages and just needs
Today's update was partially supplied by Tom LB with a
nice catch of Saginaw Bay Walleyes. Great way to
extend the season and catch some yummy fillets.
Congrats to John J on his respectable 8 point Manistee
County, MI buck. John is a dedicated deer hunter
who puts his time in. He hunts his property
that's close to state/fed land. This area sees a
lot of pressure from mostly local hunters.
Need to thank Saginaw River Walleye guru, Steve E for
his kindness in sharing his catch photo with us.
Click 11/18/09 Saginaw River 'eyes
Thanksgiving is one week away and that's when the new
deadly 2010 Leland Puke BTI and Monkey Puke meat rigs
will be unveiled.
featured photo is on the cutting edge of instant
onboard bait usage. 4 scissor snips and you're
good to go. This eliminates bait prep at home,
but you will need brine aboard for used hand-cut
filets when you're done.
4 snip meat method
Dyed in the wool Lk. Michigan fishermen, Steve and
Terry hit the big pond yesterday. These late
season WI anglers took 5 hits and one of the most
handsome male Steelhead, or 'bow shown on this website
Click 11/16/09 WI Silver Bullet!
Hunting pressure is medium to light around where I
live and hunt. While there seems to be an
abundance of does with this year's fawn crop, horns
11/15/09 Good luck to all taking to the woods today in search of the elusive whitetail deer. Have a safe and enjoyable Michigan firearms deer season.
11/14/09 Count down is at 1 for Michigan's firearm season for whitetail deer. With that thought in mind, today's featured photo of John M's monster buck fits right in. John took his deer in Carson City, MI that's located NW of St. Johns, MI. Click John's trophy buck
Fished the Big Manistee River with Fred G from Bear
Lake, MI yesterday. Wanted to show him a decent
day and that didn't happen. Our time frame on
the river was from 8am thru 1pm, just like a couple of
days ago. That being last Tuesday.
Today's photo of the day is courtesy of Rob H ...aka
Steelhead Stalker fishing out of
Goulais River on the E
end of Lk. Superior near Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario,
Fished the Big Manistee River from about 8am thru 1pm
with John J yesterday. Our chosen stretch of
water was the upper section of the big river.
With the advent of firearms deer season only 5 days
away, today's photo is a perfect fit. Last
Saturday, Tom M took a moose of a deer with his bow.
Unless I miss my guess, this huge deer is from SE
Michigan down towards Brighton, MI ...where Tom lives.
Today's featured photo is a time-lapse image stated on
9/20/09 thru 11/2/09
have no regrets about anything to do with this
website. Except in the early years when everyone
was on dialup internet connections. Most of the
early digital photos shown on this website were in the
640x480 pixel range. This was to facilitate load
Last Week's Monday thru Friday regular daily updates lightly
touched on good 15 different topics. All
pertinent to the hunters and fishermen that live
around the Great Lakes. 884 words were
used in this Mon.-Fri. time span to relay information.
Without the internet ...breaking sportsmen news would
have never been shared with the public.
are moving up the Saginaw River from the bay according
to website member, Chaos aka Steve E. He's been
beating up on the Walleyes with a late afternoon and
night bite. Steve said the fish he's been
working are a good 20 miles upstream from Saginaw Bay
in the Saginaw River.
Click Saginaw River Walleyes
Revamped an article about Michigan ports and landmarks
first completed back in 2003. This page has most of
the State of Michigan's side of Lk. MI ports. Other
points of interest included; the "spark plug" in
Saginaw Bay and North Manitou Island off Leland.
lake boat SR1979 is finally 100% winterized & is put
to bed for winter's long 5 month, 150 some days of
boat sleep. Here's my check list used to
Hats off to "Getaway" Bob K for scoring on a 4 point
with an amphibious tactic. He kayaked across a
river, hunted and took his deer with a bow. Then
had to load the carcass in a spare kayak to transport
it back across the river to where he started.
In my travels yesterday, seen the High Bridge Public
Access to the Big Manistee River. To the
outside, there were maybe 10 boat trailers.
Surprisingly light for this time of the fall Steelhead
season. Factoring in most of the recent reports
have been decent.
Should have my lake boat fully winterized today.
Changing the oil in the 4 stroke OMC 15 hp. and 305 V8
GM is all that remains. SR 1979 is 100% shipshape and
is ultra ready for the big lake trolling season in
Click fogging GM V8
Halloween themed question: Was the 2009 season a
trick, or a treat in your book? Mine was a
little of both and learned I need more time on the
Been haunted by an article I read a long time ago.
It was about some off the wall environmental group
that were pushing for only native fish to the Great
Been dragging my feet about winterizing my big lake
boat. Hoping to get out a time, or two more
until mechanical failure shut me down for the last 2
King Salmon catch rates aboard charter boats in 2009
was .256 per man hour. Kinda convoluted to
explain. But, a party of 4 fishermen off the
dock for 6 hours amounts to 24 man hours of effort
...equaling 4 hours per boated fish. So, average
was 6 Kings per a 6 hour charter excursion with 4
Recent scuttlebutt from our MDNR points to 2010 being
a continuation of 5 Salmon of the same species.
Like 5 Kings, or Coho per license. Not the 3 of
each specie rule from 1990 thru 2008. Hard to
tell exactly what the DNR's actions are until the 2010
MI fishing regulation book comes out. All the
other sates surrounding the Lk. MI have a 5 King, or
Coho limit. So, why should we the residents of
MI ...be dealt less?
Looking back on the 2009 season Sparkler and HRP Super
Mag Meat Heads came to mind. These new colors
earned their way into my program. Towards the
end of this season these productive selections stayed
welded on certain rods. Going into the water
every time out.
Click 2009 Super Mag HRP & Sparkler Meat Heads
You know it's easy to overlook things. Like my
time on the waters relating to this website. To
clarify, caught my first Coho Salmon on 10/1/68.
As an avid sport fisherman thru 1982 up to
500 Salmon & Trout were caught a season as a non pro.
some trivia about this website that wowed me.
Since January 2000 11,203 photos have been published
in the last 3590 days (approx). I highly doubt
that any fishing website on this planet has a Great
Lakes fish photo library that comes close!
Even with cross bow usage for deer for 2009, not many
are bow hunting in Manistee County. DNR's ban on
baiting has taken it's toll. Granted areas that
have fields and patches of woods, runways can bring a
deer within bow range. Most of Manistee County
is all dense woods with little topography funnel deer
in any one direction.
Cooler water than normal for October has chilled the
Musky action on Lake St. Clair according to website
Mike R. I've said this before, but it warrants
saying again, Mike is probably our very best cross
platform fisherman on our message board. Salmon,
Trout, Sturgeon and Musky are all on his target specie
recent 27# LSC Musky
Steve E aka Chaos on our message board has been doing
well on Saginaw Bay Walleyes as of lately. Steve
shared about Bay City, MI, "working
the flats off the channel jigging twisters tipped w/
crawlers." has been his method of choice.
Today's featured photo
is courtesy of Rob H aka Steelhead Stalker. Rob
lives about 20 miles from Sault Ste Marie in Goulais
Bay, Ontario and got into some good late season action
on Lake Superior for fall Coho.
Click for Rob's Coho
photo of the day is a dead female King Salmon taken
about a week ago on the banks of Pine Creek. If
you look closely you'll notice a caved-in, shrunken
belly that was once bulging and ripe with eggs.
Click for expired hen King Salmon
Realized the need for personal bio page after posting
website accomplishments yesterday. Look for the
reel-story about me in the near future.
Did a little average word checking since I began
archiving all daily updates dating back to January
2000. According to my rough Jethro Bodine math, there's close to
a 1/2 million words pertaining to our Great Lakes
Yesterday the Michigan DNR certified a 50.5 pound Great
Lakes Musky as the official new state record.
This 55 inch behemoth was caught on Torch Lake by Kyle
Anderson from Rapid City, MI on Sept. 27, 2009.
Click new MDNR
After being spoiled by a balmy September that was one
of the best ever, October is another story.
We've been locked into daytime highs in the 40s and
won't see the 50s again until next week.
Contrary to September, October has been very windy.
Last Saturday a couple of our website members got in a
brief morning of fishing in before the waves got too
bad off the Port of Manistee. Mike C and Tom M
boated an mix of juvenile Kings to 9 pounds and
Steelhead for a total of 7 fish by 10am. Depths
targeted was 60' to the surface. The water temp
was in the mid to low 50s down to 60'.
One of the rising stars in the custom rod building
business is website member Tony C who specializes in
boat trolling rods for Walleye & Salmon.
The setup on today's photo is from my annual October
Salmon watching trip to Pine Creek. This stream is a
tributary of the Big Manistee River our Salmon spawn
most successful upgrades to my boat, SR1979 in 2009
was in 3 stages. 1st was reorganizing my planer
board rod holders from 3 to 4 to chase April Browns.
Spacing was wrong, along with the angles to prevent
tangles when a fish hits. Adjusting the angles
in the clamp-on rod holders made it a pleasure to
pursue Brown Trout last April.
Today's featured photo is probably the last Salmon of
my season. Long range open waters forecast
for Lk. MI is for strong winds thru Tuesday
of next week. Later September
and October are great months to fish the open water on
About a week ago I snapped a photo of Manistee's world
class Public Launch Facilities at the end of First
Street. Manistee's city fathers did the sport
fishermen a favor when they built this launch. I
know at least 14 boats can be launched and retrieved
at one time with 7 docks. Then, it's only
minutes from Lk. Michigan's open waters.
Looking into yesterday's poll results warrants
discussion. I'll try to
break down some of the data. 37% prefer clean
lines, meaning J-Plugs (12%) and spoons (25%). This
group opts for the lures that are extremely easy to pull
2009 Poll about your favorite method is now complete
after a fair sampling of 156 votes. I ran this
poll without notice to prevent pile-on voting that
would skew the results for, or against any one certain
way to catch adult Salmon
Computer are great for compiling data and that's what
I'm doing with today's poll that first ran back in
2003. In 2003 meat fishing had yet to show it's
do you measure the success of a fishing trip? If
it's by the sheer number of fish killed, your thinking
is flawed. To me, rating a fishing trip starts
with a personal grief scale of what minor problems
were endured. Here's my rating system
Tomorrow, my personal grief meter answers for the 10/1/09 trip.
Fished out of the Port of Manistee, MI yesterday and it was extra nice for a
late season trip. Conditions were gorgeous with
flat seas and high temps in the low 60s.
More than 1/2 of the docks at Manistee, MI's 1st
Street Public Launch have been pulled. There was
still 3 docks left in the water for the late season
Lk. MI fishermen.