January, February & March 2010

Asian Carp Map

BTI War-Frog
Debuted 3/3/10

1st fish of 2010

Rapala Mods


3/31/10  Sayings like March comes in like a lamb and goes out like a Lion are a bunch of hooey.  March came in the 50s and is going out in the high 60s.  In fact, this whole month has been pleasant with above average temps, but no moisture ...which we sorely need!
           I know everyone is gnawing at the bit for any fishing info at this time of the year.  Word from Ludington is good on Brown Trout according to resident dyed in the wool angler, website member, and my UPS driver, Capn Kirk. 
           Manistee close to the harbor has been slow for Browns.  Manistee anglers being adventurous and traveling further from port are catching when the conditions are right.
           Hope to do a wet run and switch to my new boat trailer today.  Then, fish towards the end of the week in quest of shoreline Browns ...weather permitting.

3/30/10  It's a great time to be involved in Great Lakes big water fishing.  Advancements across the board in running gear, electronics and tackle are amazing.
            Today's featured photo is disc brakes on a new boat trailer I recently purchased.  Drum brakes are next to useless when they're are wet.  No so with disc brakes that are fully functional wet or dry.  I have some long distance promo fishing trips that require a better boat trailer.  The older 22' Sea Ray I purchased came with a 1976 Pamco.
           Progress in boat trailer design is torsion axels that don't straighten out until a boat sits on the trailer.  Trailer boats are wonderful in exploring new ports to fish.  Being anchored to a single port with a large boat's seasonal dockage bill will get stale after a number of seasons.  The joy of a trailer boat is mobility. Click disc trailer brakes

3/29/10  The curtain is beginning to come up on act 1 season 2010 with Coho catching from St. Joe to East Chicago, IN and all ports in between.  This is good news!
            Time to take advantage on early preseason sales is drawing to a close.  On 4/1/10 all special sale pricing ends, along with free flasher giveaway.
            Thanks to all that have patronized my webstore so far in 2010.  I know our brand new Leland Pukes, War-Frog Mambas and Monkey Puke meat rigs will not disappoint.
3/28/10  Coho action off East Chicago, IN is on the build.  No easy limits yet, but 14 to 18 inch spring Coho are being caught.  Look for this to get better & better.
            Posted a photo showing the diameter difference in 200# test vs. 135# test planer board towline.  Don't even mess around with the 135 and 150 pound test line. 
           If you've ever broken off a board?  You already know the trouble that causes!   Chasing the board down, then dropping several releases in the drink is costly, time consuming, and a royal pain.  Buy only 200# test ...it's much less apt to break.
           Planer board line is good for about 3 years, then UV gets to it.  If it's not in your budget to replace, just swap ends and reverse the line. Click diameter difference

3/27/10  We're looking at a major warm-up in the coming week.  Manistee will be seeing temps in the 60s by next Friday.  This will build interest for our looming spring fishery.  Last couple of days in Manistee have been frigid, as old man winter is dying a slow death.
           Looking for a cheap insurance policy against grief, if you use the larger dual planer boards?  I have a few 300' spools of 200# planer board towline test left at my webstore. 
            Most of the time you'll see planer board towline in 150' spools in the lighter pound tests of 135 to 150 for 12.95.  This is called marketing, so merchants can sell you 2 spools of 150' when one larger 300' spool could have sufficed.  Click planer towline
           If you've ever broke a board off?  Then, you'll appreciate the Cortland 200# test planer towline that is next to indestructible. Click 200# test 300' towline only 17.95

3/26/10  Marine radar is a piece of electronics you can live with out.  That is, ...if you've never owned one.  Seeing in restricted visibility is a safety issue.  Seeing the fog so thick
4 mph & radar was the only safe way to navigate.  Then there's being caught in T-storms where it rains so hard seeing anything is an impossibility. Click SR1979 new Radar
           Radar can spot rain approaching and you'll get an idea of the track the rain is moving.  On charter vessels radar will mean less lost days to weather, if used correctly.
           I'm on my third brand of radar.  I've owned Apelco, Raymarine, and now Furuno.
Sky is pretty much the limit you can spend on radar, but I purchased a frugal lower-end non-color unit that can see out to 24 nautical miles, more like 27 in land miles.
                While many opt for the larger machines, you'll soon find out ...usage of radar will be on a mile, or less the vast majority of the time.  Smaller-shorter range settings means seeing a larger target (radar blip) that might be on a collision course with your vessel.
            Here's some trivia concerning radar.  Did you know your common household microwave oven shares a lot of the same technology?  In fact, the first commercial microwave ovens were made mostly for restaurants & were called radar ranges.

3/25/10  We're in kinda a limbo land where Great Lakes fishing hasn't hit full stride.  Sure, there's a few early season anglers, but the fleet is still mostly in storage.
           Salmon never stay still.  The only place you'll ever see a Salmon stationary is in a river.  Then the Salmon are moving against the current to remain in the same place.
           With that thought in mind, let's say Salmon swim at a lowball slow 2 mph pace.  Based on 3 years in the Great Lakes a typical Salmon would travel 55,000 miles.  Can you imagine all the ports, distances, & depths covered in the lifetime of a wandering Salmon?
           Late breaking word from Michigan City, IN tells of a few Coho that might be scouts for the main herd.  Heavy emphasis in the word few according to website member, "bigb."  Water temp off MI City was in the 36 to 37 degree range.

3/24/10  State of Michigan lost another bout with the US Supreme Court in the fight to close-off all IL and IN access to the Asian entering the Great Lakes.  I figure the deck is stacked against us with the current leadership in Washington DC.
           Admittedly, Michigan has taken a major hit with the Great Recession almost wiping out the US auto industry.  One of the few hole cards MI still has left is the world class sport fishing the Great Lakes offers.  It would be a travesty to see Asian Carp ruin it all!
            Word from East Chicago, IN is slow.  Cold water is said to be holding up this early Salmon fishery.  According to Frank at Calumet Marine, "we need a few days in the 70s for our fishing to take off.  Then ...we'll have 2 weeks of easy Salmon fishing."

3/23/10  Decided to extend the spring pre-season sale to the end of this month.  Then the new 2010 War-Frog 12 inchers will go from 10.99 to 14.99.  BTI 10" Flashers in the War-Frog pattern currently 19.95 will go up to 24.95.
           Factor in a giveaway 10" BTI flasher on all purchases over 100 bucks, along with free shipping (5.95) pushes this sale to close to 20% off without the War-Frog discounts.
           Sale at my webstore support this website and the effort put forth to keep it fresh and interesting everyday. Click for: www.michiganangler.com
Today's featured photo shows sealing the nose area on F11 Rapalas.  If this nose piece do not have a good seal, the balsa wood inside will suck up water.  Rendering this lure useless if it becomes water logged.  A dab, or two of clear nail polish is good insurance to stop leaking before it happens. Click clear nail polish sealing Rapalas
          If you're interested in the tactics I use to catch Brown Trout that's been in development since 1983, here's full article on: Click Brown Trout Program 7.0
          Most of Rapalas I own are from the early i2ks.  Package on these say, "parts made in Finland, assembled in Ireland."  New ones I bought last year says, "Made in Estonia."
          Estonia is close to Finland on the south shore Baltic Sea, east of Russia and just north of Latvia.  I am retracting all comments about this bait being made in China.

3/21/10  Owning a boat suitable for Great Lakes fishing is an expense deal.  Owning a boat and not using it much costs even more.  Idle time just runs up the cost per use.
           With my first trip 4 days ago (3/17/10) & fishing into October is a good 7 months of actual use.  Spread over 7 months cost to own looks bit more bearable.
           Getting a jump on the season can only happen if you store you vessel in shipshape manner by performing all maintenance before winter's long layup. 
           Even with all heavy boat chores done last fall ...it still took me 6 hours to prepare my boat & tackle to fish last Wednesday.  Click planer board rods in use
           The joy of a trailer boat is fishing different ports.  Hope to hit S Lk. MI soon when the early season Coho are on a hard feed.  Have some exciting brand new stuff to test!

3/20/10  First official day of Spring 2010!  Nicer weather is on the way, but March has been very tolerable with temps in the high 50s with plenty of sunny days.
           Upgraded easy to find links to NOAA Buoy data stations to include Big Point Sable, Manistee's harbor and Algoma, WI's marina.  These links are now located in the left borders towards the bottom of this page under "Conditions at."
            Posted a photo yesterday with the mods I do to Rapalas.  The 11 floater series comes with junk hooks to effectively fish Browns in Lk. MI.  The tiny stock #6 hooks on Raps can cause a lot of missed fish. Click modified Rapala with #5 VMC trebles
             Crime in the Rapala story is in 2003 these baits were made in Finland for about 4 bucks.  Now Rapalas are made in China and the cost is the best part of a 10 dollar bill.

3/19/10  Friday is when I like to post timely fish reports to increase your odds of success for the coming weekend.  No such luck today.  Ice piled up n the extreme southern end of Lk. MI has held up the early Salmon action off East Chicago, IN.  This is the first place Salmon action gets hot and heavy.  Should have word on this fishery soon.
            Published direct links to Manistee's new remote NOAA weather station and the remote weather station that sits on Big Point Sable on my: Great Lakes Page
       Click conditions at Manistee's harbor     Click conditions at Big Point Sable
          As not to overlook our brothers in WI ...published a link to the Algoma's marina at: 24/7 weather conditions These 3 new links are on my Great Lakes Page  
          If you're all geeked up for a trip to Manistee, MI for spring Browns this weekend? Perish that thought!  There's just not that many Browns to sustain heavy weekend fleet pressure.  Manistee's Brown Trout population is on the mend, but it's a long ways from the spring Brown bonanza of 1990s and early i2ks.

3/18/10  Fished S out of the Port of Manistee, MI yesterday.  We boxed 4 Brown Trout in the 1 to 3 pound range on our maiden voyage of 2010.  Click 1st fish of 2010
            I'm starting today's fishing report with what you do not want to see when you're after early season shoreline, shallow water, ...Mr. Brown Trout. 
            1st photo shows the glassy flat-calm waters and the pier heads of Manistee's harbor.  If you look closely enough towards the bottom of this image you can see the wind-rows on the bottom in 17' of water.  Click harbor & bottom
            Second pic shows exactly how clear the water is with a clear shot at the bottom in 16' of water.  Not conducent for good Brown fishing! Click 16' of gin clear water
            I feel each one of our 4 Browns was a gift from the fish gods, cuz Brown Trout catching in flat-calm water is plain tough.  Granted none of our fish was large, but after a 5 month layoff from the Great Lakes  ...these Browns all looked like 10 pounders to me.
            To me fishing is a series of long standing personal accomplishments.  Broke a record yesterday by fishing Lk. MI on the 17th of March. Prior number was March 20th.
            Need to thank Fred G from Bear Lake, MI for the help with the photos, fish and general good company he always provides.  Fred never fished Browns before and went home with his 3 fish limit of fine tasting Brown Trout fillets.

3/17/10  St. Patrick's Day and the day when Chicago disrespects the waterways by dumping green dye into the Chicago Drainage Canal.  1st dye they used in 1962 contained fluorescein that can cause all kinds of evil stuff.  Up to ...and including death. 
            Hey, what does Chicago, IL care?  This city has a free political hand to do as they wish with IL's favorite son sitting in the White House.  The bottom line is this city and state doesn't have sense God gave a goose, or they'd have long since closed access points for the ecologically disastrous Asian Carp to enter our Great Lakes.
           We're finally caught up on the new deadly 2010 War-Frog flasher orders. Existing
backlog is being shipped today.  Fired up my boat yesterday & hope to water test soon.

3/16/10  Good news from the Green Bay Gazette concerning Lk. MI's forage base. Condensed version says Alewives are up 2 fold.  Big increases in Bloater Chubs and Rainbow Smelt were also noted during the fall 2009.  This data is per the U.S. Geological Survey when they perform trawls in the same areas, at the same dates, ...year after year.
             90% ready for fishing this week.  Riverboat is waiting on the river flow to subside.  Big Manistee River is tough to fish when it's flowing at high water.  Need to test start my lake boat in the driveway.  Then, my boat SR1979 will be 100% water ready!
             Today's featured photo is counter rods loaded with new 15# test Perlon Premium mono installed.  15# has the perfect diameter to keep it in the strike zone.  Tried lighter mono & fluorocarbon, but 15# mono performs best. Click Brown Trout Rods

3/15/10  Pulled the big lake boat out of the barn yesterday.  Zero boat chores other than maybe a quick scrub and install 15# test Perlon mono for shoreline trolling.  All maintenance was done last fall.  After today for all intents and purposes?  I'm ready for Lk. MI when the weather is on my side! Click for my Yard Boat on 3/14/10
             If you have ordered the new 2010 War-Frog Mamba tackle, please be patient.  Hope to have all War-Frog orders cleared up and shipped by this Wed. 3/17/10.
             Increased flow from the Big Manistee River is a godsend for river Steelheading.  Additional water flush should help build stained water along the beach with any grouping of onshore, N, or S wind. BMR flow is now running at 3400 cubic feet per second.

3/14/10  New lethal 2010 War Frog Mambas were introduced yesterday.  There's super lowball introductory pricing good for this week only. Click for webstore
             A matched set of BTI War Frogs is 19.95.  The 12" Reel Flasher in the War-Frog Mamba is 10.99.  Glow models are bit more. Click 10" BTI War-Frogs 
             This pattern was a natural evolution of combining the top selling deadly Mamba series with the devastating Green Frog. Click 12" RF War Frog Mamba
             Big Manistee River flow is pushing 4000 cubic feet per minute. Almost flood stage in my book. BMR temp has risen nicely to 38 degrees up by Tippy Dam.

3/13/10  Lots of work lays in front of me adding new tackle to the webstore today.
             Tomorrow it's time to get my big lake boat prepared.  Tentative plans for next week is to hit the Big Manistee at least one day, when time allows.  Weather seems shifted to more spring-like, but I figure Mr. Winter will raise it's ugly head one more time. 
             One week exactly from today, spring 2010 officially begins.  Spring your clocks forward one hour tonight for the change to daylight savings time.

3/12/10  First true in-season reel-fishing report of 2010!!  Big Manistee River, lower stretch & Manistee Lk. was producing Steelhead.
             Shoreline Brown Trout in Manistee suck.  Inshore waters are clear as gin. To make matters worse, Lk. MI is the same temp (38 degrees) all the way across to the land of cheese (WI).  Constant temp provides no inducement to pile up the Browns and the out of season Lake Trout on the beach. Click 3/11/10 WI Brown
             Today's featured picture courtesy of website member, jlars from Kewaunee, WI ...showing a fine looking river Brown Trout.  Algoma, WI launch was becoming ice free.
             Extreme southern end of Lk. MI in IN & IL Salmon have yet to take off.  According to Frank & Ryan from Calumet Marine, "the water was extremely muddy."
             Lots of rumblings from the Saginaw River in and around Bay City, MI on Walleye action.  All Walleye reports had one thing in common, crowd pressure was heavy.

3/11/10  Today's featured photo is courtesy of Krijn who resides in the Netherlands.  Krijn caught a 25 pound Atlantic Salmon.  Click for his 25 lb. Atlantic
            The setup on this fish begins with fishing the Baltic Sea off the coast of Denmark.  Surface water temp was 42 degrees and they were trolling over 180' of water.
            This fish was taken with a 12" Krystal Killer using a sprat for bait during the highly popular 300 boat Bornholm Trolling Master competition.  There was a little over $22,000.00 at stake.  This event receives major TV coverage by TV2 in Denmark. 
             Tourney format is similar to a derby where the overall big fish wins the lion's share of the pot.  Several smaller prizes are awarded too. Click Danish TV2 in English
   Money paid out is in Danish Kroners.  Big fish is worth
50000 DKK = 9,166.49938 USD

3/10/10  Lampreys are plain nasty.  These eels are repulsive to touch and have a face only their mother could love.  Scientists have developed a sexy lamprey perfume that draws breeding females into traps in a few test streams/rivers in the U.P.
            Actually, this is an artificial pheromone made with the intent on helping control these dreaded pests.  As an added benefit this love potion draws adult males along with the ready to breed females too.  Click Lamprey mouth & stuck on a King
            I've snagged a few full adult giant lampreys by Tippy Dam on the Big Manistee River that pushed 30 inches long in the spring (when lampreys bred).  One's we usually see that are attached to our fish are a bunch smaller, ...like 12 to 18 inches.

3/9/10  I'm a give credit where credit is due person.  With that thought in mind, George Richey (1932-2003) is the forefather of all modern Mylar flies. Click 1985 Crinkle Fly
           George's first big product was the Sparkler Fly predecessor to the Mirage flies of nowadays that hit the market around 1977.  This was a smoking red-hot fly for Kings behind a "0" dodger and coincided with me developing my skills as an attractor fisherman.
            The foundation of our Great Lakes tackle industry was built on the shoulders of visionaries like George Richey and I'm very proud to call him my friend.
            Temps in the 50s today for Manistee, MI and rain predicted for the next few days should shake up the Steelheading picture on the Big Manistee River ASAP!

3/8/10  The conclusion of the Flint Steelheaders brought to mind my dear departed friend, George Richey who passed away in 2003.  George was a one man Salmon fishing resource to the highest level.  Plus, he was a founding father of the Flint Steelheaders.
            George wore many hats including a book author and lure inventor-innovator. He was an outdoor writer for Woods n Waters and the Record Patriot in Benzie County, MI.
             Today's featured photo shows his trolling flies from the 1985 to 1989 era.  How else can you explain the 2.39 price tag on the Crinkle Fly?  Click for George's flies

3/7/10  Sun is out, temps in the 40s and the snow is melting!  If that don't give you spring fever, nothing else will.  Extremely nice early March weather in Manistee, MI.
            I applaud the efforts of the all volunteer Flint Steelheaders for the work they do in putting on a fishing show.  Unlike other shows this Flint group helps unload and load your vehicle for a smooth and fast move-in, or move-out.

3/6/10  Probably some of the nicest weather of 2010 is paying us a visit.  Let's hope this warming trend sticks around for a while.  Like into next May and June!
             Day 2 of the Flint Steelheaders Fishing and Boat the Expo Center in Birch Run, MI.  Weather is a blessing today.  This show ends tomorrow. Hope this event has the best turnout it's seen since moving to Birch Run from the IMA Arena in Flint, MI.

3/5/10  On 3/4/09 the main body of Lk. MI off Manistee, MI was in the 34 to 36 degree range.  On 3/4/10 Lk. MI's main body was 37 to 38 degrees off the Port of Manistee. 
This is a good 3 degrees higher than last year at this same time. 
            Fish movements are governed more by water temperature when compared to dates on a calendar.  If this current trend of mild weather continues Spring salmon is gonna come early this year! Click 3/4/10 Lk. MI temp chart
             Flint Steelheaders Show begins this afternoon and runs Mar. 5, 6 & 7.  Please attend if you're close to the area. Monies generated from this show go for good causes!

3/4/10  Flint Steelheaders Boat and Fishing Show begins tomorrow at 4pm.  Those attending tomorrow (Friday) will be treated to a buck off the normal gate fee of 7.00.  Unheard of free parking and children under 12 are free too.
             This show is put on by all volunteer help and proceeds are cultivated back into our fishery.  This is probably a low-ball number, but I'd say over the years this Flint club has donated over a quarter of a million dollars ($250k) in worthwhile charitable causes.
             Please extend our Michigan hospitality to Calumet Marine at the Birch Run show.  Frank and Ryan concentrate on the big water fishermen with some of the finest boats and service known to Great Lakes anglers.  Calumet Marine is from IL and knows first hand how dangerous the threat of Asian Carp is.  Frank and Ryan know the reel-inside Carp story!

3/3/10   One thing that might be in our favor with the semi-mild winter we've had is the main body of Lk. Michigan could warm up a little quicker.  This would extend the growing season for Great Lakes with a tad larger Salmon and Trout as a resulting benefit.
            Might want to adjust your spring Salmon clock a week, or 2 to the early side if the current mild trend continues towards May.  Seen 2 week variations in the central and southern Lk. MI ports for the hot "no-brainer" fishing from Frankfort to South Haven.
            Downside to our almost snowless winter in Manistee, MI is the amount of water that flows into the Great Lakes.  2008-2009 winter we had 170 plus inches of snowfall in Manistee Co, MI.  Winter 2009-2010 might be 70 inches to the outside thus far.

3/2/10  Winter run Coho Salmon in Manistee Co, MI?  Yep, Andy M hooked into a medium sized ready to spawn adult male Coho this past weekend.  Late Salmon arrivals are a fact of life.  While not common place, it does happen.  Spawning male Coho develop deep crimson red sides and are a fine-looking fish to behold!  Click 2/2710 male Coho
            During March and April on the Big Manistee River I've had my guests occasionally land full-blown adult Kings to 25 lbs.  Generally, these Salmon were hens that should have been in the river last Sept./Oct. This was back in my river guide days circa 1985-2003.

3/1/10  Just gonna leave well enough alone on preseason specials, pricing and policies until the Flint Steelheaders Boat and Fishing Show concludes next weekend.
            We have very little snow on the ground in Manistee County, MI.  No snow means diminished run-off to draw in fresh spring Steelhead from Lk. MI to the Manistee rivers.  Look for decent river Steelhead fishing soon ...if not right now.
             Long range weather says possible temps in the low 40s for next weekend.  Great weather (hopefully) to attend the Steelheaders show at the Birch Run, MI Expo Center.

2/28/10  Concerning the migration of the Asian Carp into the Great Lakes it now seems the shipping and barge operators are willing to bargain.  They want to use the Chicago Canal from the Mississippi to Chicago ...even if Lk. MI is closed off. 
            Barges are big on the Mississippi and tons and tons of goods are moved that way up to Chicago.  Barges do not fare so well on the Great Lakes, because of the unpredictable huge seas. If it goes the barge operators way, bazillion gallons of water will still be stolen from Lk. MI every day to keep the downstream locks functioning.

2/27/10  Exactly 3 weeks from today it will officially be the first day of spring 2010. 
Wonderful things are in store for us this season beginning with moderating weather.  Temps pushing the 40s look to be the daytime highs this coming week.
              Please take advantage of our February webstore specials.  March prices on certain items will be going up.  Perlon line will going from 29.95 to 34.95. 
              In March our shipping rates must go up.  Rarely, can shipping costs be covered with the current low 4.95 rate.  Need 2010 tackle?  www.michiganangler.com
The no-charge giveaway Leland Puke BTI with a 100.00 purchase will be ending soon.  Thanks to all that have purchased our pre-season specials ...it is much appreciated!

2/26/10  Today's photo pertains to ABU Amassadeur 7000s that once were the gold standard in reels.  7k's had enough line capacity to handle the needs of the big water fisherman.  Back in 1979 7000's were made in Sweden with the craftsmanship of a fine watch and came with a lifetime guarantee.  Featuring fine-cut machined brass gears.
             This reel in 2010 is now being made in Taiwan and comes with plastic gears with a lousy reputation of being able to withstand any sort of abuse.
              I've been inside of Penn, Diawa, Okuma and Shimano reels.  All of these reels have cheap plastic gears.  Mostly driving the level wind and always their line counters.  It's a shame reels have to be made so cut-rate. Click 1979-2010 7000 comparison
              Reel companies can make shoddy goods, cuz the average sport fishermen does not fish enough to put the reels thru a torture-test like charter skippers do!

2/25/10  I list the content of my flashers, meat rigs/meat heads and flies at my webstore.  Where my suppliers are located too.  Other than the German Perlon line (Perlon & Fluoro) and VMC Hooks my products have NO Pacific rim content.  Specifically, no Chinese pieces and parts are used in my shop. Click for webstore
             I'm sorry that cannot be said for the other Great Lakes tackle manufacturers that are using the Chinese/Pacific rim components to make tackle. 
             More than one unenlightened Great Lakes tackle company is wrongfully re-manufacturing all-out Chinese chip flashers, or their stuff.  While the states of IL, IN, WI, MI, MN, OH, PA and NY suffer from the some of the highest unemployment in the US. 
             This is becoming a partner in your own demise, as your Chinese company gains market share.  Gradually pushing everyone else under!  Not a smart move ...eh?
             Using Chinese products is sowing the seeds of our own destruction.  All  innovation with our big water tackle has came from individuals.  Not multi-national corporations making cheapie stuff in chop suey land to market here for the high dollar.
             I challenge ALL my Great Lakes tackle manufacturing competition to list their content on their websites like I have.  If they're not ...too ashamed to do so?
             As things stand we're forced to use a pile of stuff from China.  Soon it might be all tackle, as we possibly descend into the dark ages in the tackle industry! 
             Case in point?  A $4 Made in Finland Rapala just a few years ago is now the best part of a 10 buck China special since Normark moved to China.  Watch all prices skyrocket if we lose control of our USA tackle business to more Pacific rim predators!

2/24/10  I will not be doing the Birch Run Fishing Show hosted by the Flint Steelheaders.  Retired from the show circuit  after 26 years.  It's a big job getting ready for just 1 event.
              Hope you had a minute, or two to examine the two photos posted yesterday about the success with the John J Rig in 2008 and 2009.  I'd have like to shown you all 25 pounders with this rig hanging from it's jaw, but that's just not the way reel-fishing is!
              Please keep in mind, all the fish in these photos were caught after 9am thru early afternoon.  My days of going before daylight are history!

2/23/10  Like to fish, but frustrated at trying to solve the perplexing Great Lakes color puzzle?  Want just one combination that will produce fish from May well into October? 
               Then please consider the John J Rig combo deal recently listed at my webstore.  The JJ Rig is a X-Glow 12" King Kryptonite flasher paired up with a 3 fly Undertaker meat rig.   Click 2008 JJ proof   Click 2009 JJ proof
               I've ran this combo for the past 2 years on my deepest rigger religiously all season long.  Today's featured photos will go a long ways in proving that point!
               My boat, SR1979 averages maybe 5 hours a week on the water during season.  I need something that works right out of the gate with no experimentation.  The double J fits that requirement to a tee.  Just put it on your deepest rigger & you're good to go!
              What's even better that a John J Rig combo deal?  A John J combo that's priced with 10% off discount at 25.95 instead of 28.95 "normal in season" pricing.
               Brand new 2010 Leland Puke combo on sale too.  Leland Puke was a solid producer in 2009 from it's July debut thru Oct. on Lk. MI. Click for 2010 Combo Deals

2/22/10  Common sense in a not a common virtue with the politicians handling the Asian Carp debacle. Solution is to just throw money at it.  While the access routes for the Asian Carp to swim in the Great Lakes remain open.  Ignorant government thinking reeks of using a spaghetti strainer to carry water!   Here's a copy and paste from the EPA's website:

WASHINGTON – U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will unveil the Obama Administration’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative Action Plan at a press conference on Sunday, February 21. Administrator Jackson will be joined by Wisconsin Governor Jim Doyle and Ohio Governor Ted Strickland, co-chairs of the Council of Great Lakes Governors.
            In February 2009, President Obama proposed $475 million for a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative. The Action Plan, which covers the years 2010 through 2014, will outline the goals and key actions the administration believes are necessary to restore and protect this natural and economic treasure.
Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show in Birch Run, MI begins a week from this Friday.

2/21/10  Today's photo shows the new 2010 combo deals.  Combo deals are specially priced 12 inch flashers and 3 fly meat rigs that are purchased in a set.
           New for this year is the "John J Rig."  The John J combo is a King Kryptonite flasher and an Undertaker 3 fly meat rig.  The JJ rig is devastating on your deepest rigger and is a proven deadly producer May thru October.  This 12" Reel Flasher flasher has made photo of the day in too many fish boxes to count.
Click 2010 Combo Deals
           Second is the new 2010 Leland Puke with the devastating brand new Monkey Puke 3 fly meat rig.  I seen the Monkey Puke meat rigs in kick butt in Sept. & Oct. 2009!

2/20/10  Up until now my efforts in tackle manufacturing have been "make work" stay busy projects.  Not any longer, as we shifted gears into full production to ramp up for the soon to be here 2010 season.   Click X-Glow production blades
           We ran out of 12" X-Glow flashers selections early last fall and we're in the process of restocking this in-demand super 6 to 8 hour glow flasher.  Granted our X-Glow tackle is not cheap, cuz prices never are for the best!  Click 12" X-Glow Flashers

2/19/10  The Brown Trout 7.0 article mentioned yesterday is pretty comprehensive.  I tried to leave no stone unturned in what it takes to do well on April Shoreline Browns.
            There's a couple of sticking points that needs to be brought to light. 
            First is too many boats will shut these fish down.  So, this is not going to be a easy red hot fishery for the weekend warrior.  Click for Brown Trout 7.0
            Second is finding the right colored stained water with a brown to olive tinge.  Find that, & you've usually found the mother lode of Brown Trout on your way Limit City.

2/18/10  Events this week kinda steered us in the direction of Brown Troutville.  My knowledge of Brown Trout strains is lacking.  We got pros in the MDNR for that job. 
              My deal is catching them!  With that in mind, ...I wrote a full article 9 years ago focusing on how to score big on shoreline April Browns. Click for Brown Trout 7.0
             The reel-information in this piece produces it's best results in strained off-colored water where you cannot clearly see the bottom in 8' to 10' of water.
             The Port of Manistee, MI is blessed to 2 rivers dumping in heavy spring run-off every April.  This run-off water is warmer than the main body Lk. MI ...that's much colder.  Being of different densities warm and cold water do not readily mix.  So, this stained, murkier, & warmer water piles up along shoreline for miles N & S of Manistee.
              I've seen coffee-colored river water all the way down to Big Point Sable.  A distance every bit of 12 miles.  The darker water draws solar heat from the sun ...gaining a good 3 to 4 degrees during the day.  Warming water means increased fish activity!
  Tomorrow I zero in on how stained shoreline water works to your advantage!

2/17/10  The crux of today's topic is the MI DNR has developed a more hardy strain of Brown Trout from the Surgeon River.  This new Brown has been selected from the Cheboygan watershed’s Sturgeon River in 2005.  Greater adaptability is the deal on the new Sturgeon River Browns according to our DNR. 
            I think our DNR is following WI's lead in developing an
anadromous Brown that returns from the lake in the fall to spawn in the rivers.  Just like our King & Coho Salmon. 
           Only fly in the ointment?  This opportunity has been squandered with fall returning Brown Trout at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir.  In 2009 there were 86 fully anadromous Browns that returned to this weir.  Granted 86 is a low number, but it's a place to start raising a viable population of lake-run Browns.
           Overall, the MDNR deserves stellar marks, but they've missed the boat on building a super strain of Brown Trout for quite a while.  Let's be happy this organization is taking steps to improve the odds on catching more Great Lakes Browns.
           As a side bar to today's update the world record 41 lb. Brown caught last 9/9/09 was an lake-run Brown that returned to the Big Manistee River.  This fish looked to me like a big hen.  Just think of the superior DNA in those eggs to raise giant Brown Trout!

2/16/10  Michigan's DNR is looking to improve the Great Lakes Brown Trout situation with the exception of 2009 has been lousy since 2003.  MI plants 1.5 million Browns in the species of Seeforellen, Gilchrist Creek and Wild Rose.  Click Master Angler Brown
            It's long been known the Seeforellen and Wild Rose weak strains.  This has been public knowledge for quite a while, as I read some reports on this  dated in the late 1990s.
            A lot of folks assign special status to fish.  Often prefixing Browns with the word German, as to imply some kind of smart V2 Rocket scientist fish.
            Nothing could be further for the truth, cuz I caught several Browns in April that were too ignorant to spawn.  These were adult females carrying eggs that were rotten and dissolving in the skein that should have been dropped the previous fall.
            Another word on the mistaken idea Browns are smart.  If they were?  We wouldn't have caught 200 to 300 every April.  Limiting out 98% of our charter trips from 1995 thru 2002 ...back when I was a charter operator.
newer Sturgeon River strain of Browns shows the best adaptability and are being planted at several locations.  Frankfort, MI is the big winner when it comes to this new strain of Brown Trout with approx 15,000 being planted in their harbor in i210.

2/15/10   Lots of great things in store for us in the not too distant future.  River Steelhead this spring should be decent.  Why? ...cuz we've haven't had stages of high water this winter to pull fish in early.  Look for Steelheading to build in the lower sections of Great Lakes tributaries over the next couple, ...three weeks.
            Kinda getting spring fever, as moderating temps later this week will flirt with the 30s.  Flint Steelheaders Boat and Fishing Show in Birch Run, MI is about 2 weeks out.
Need to update my Manistee snowometer to an amazingly low 60" since last Nov 09.  This is the least snow in Manistee in several seasons and a good 100" less than 2009.
Valentines Day, as time marches forward.  You can see in today's photo of the day, there's not much snow cover in Manistee County, MI.  I intentionally left my grass long with the onset of fall and never cut the grass after Labor Day 2009.  Hoped the extra long grass under the snow would deter the deer critters from eating my shrubs & trees.
            Deer seem be having a lot easier time finding food this year.  They haven't been on a mission to destroy my pine trees like last winter. Click deer eating yard grass
           We all know the DNR has banned baiting, but deer dig in the same places and exchange feeding areas.  I see absolutely no change in feeding behavior with the deer digging up natural grass compared to when ...we were allowed to put corn & hay out.

2/13/10  The two states with the least shoreline on the Lk. Michigan have banded together against preventing the interchange of water from the Mississippi and Great Lakes basins.   Experts have agreed there must have a barrier between these 2 watersheds.  This is the only for sure way to prevent MORE Asian Carp from entering our Great Lakes.
            We've been fed this Carp DNA info piecemeal.  Kinda like Hansel & Gretel leaving a trail of bread crumbs, as we're led blindfolded down Primrose Lane in fairytale land.
            Now Gov.
Daniels (R-IN) has climbed in bed with Gov. Quinn (D-IL) & the Obama Administration in keeping the locks open.  While wasting a 100 million hard earned US tax payer dollars.  Air bubbles, underwater noise and electric barriers are piss poor excuses.
            Neither IL, or IN have the vested interest similar to rest of the affected Great Lakes shoreline states.  Too bad IL & IN is driving policy.  This is just plain wrong to the point of criminal neglect to the oath of office these politicians swore to keep.
If I sound harsh ...so be it.  My frontline livelihood derived from tackle manufacturing is at stake.  Along billions of hours in Great Lakes sport and recreation are in jeopardy!

2/12/10  Let's wind down the week on a positive note by discussing if preferred colors
cycle back every 3, or 4 years?  The Blue Doub L Glo BTI was much in demand in 2006, then sales kinda fell off.  2009 spelled a huge resurgence in need for any flashers, or meat rigs colored blue at my webstore: www.michiganangler.com
           Today's featured photo is an example of how thoroughly we test tackle before it  goes into production.  This held true on 5/17/06.  This date is significant, cuz it's the first time we used production BTIs and not prototypes. Click 1st 2006 BTI catch
           2006 was a 3 King limit per angler.  John J and I took our 6 Kings on BTIs & 2 Fly Meat Rigs in short order on our very first trip of the season.  Not bad for a shake down cruise and just getting to know our new line of tackle  ...known as the BTI 10" Flashers!

2/11/10  Here's the latest Anti-Asian Carp meetings from MI AG Mike Cox's office:

1. Congressman Camp, Feb 17th, 11:00-12:00 Great Lakes Maritime Academy, TC
2. Congressman Upton, Feb 18th, 11:00-12:00 St. Joseph Public Library, St. Joe
3. Congressman Ehlers, Feb 22nd, 10:00-11:00 Gerald Ford Museum Auditorium, GR

This does show our Michigan
politicians are in tune with this passionate subject.  This Carp problem transcends party politics and we appreciate help from any party ...Rs, or Ds.

Part II:  Federal Government taking over our Great Lakes?

Like Asian carp and other invasive species, the White House has recently laid the groundwork for a federal takeover of the Great Lakes and its tributaries.
          The activities of a White House task force have raised questions about state sovereignty and federal control over natural resources. It is imperative that Gov. Jennifer Granholm and the Legislature get answers.  Especially, since they are discussing the threat of the Asian carp with the Obama administration.
         "In my opinion, the report is concerning in that the proposed activities seem to blur the lines between the federal agency roles and the management jurisdictions and responsibilities of Great Lakes states,
" says Tammy Newcomb, research program manager for the Fisheries Division in the state Department of Natural Resources and Environment.

2/9/10  Yesterday the Feds announced a $78.5M effort to stall the migration of the Asian Carp.  Gov. Grandholm (D-MI) was to meet with the governors of WI and IL.
              Going under the name of the Asian Carp Control Strategy Framework.  Parts of $78.5 million is targeted at longer term strategies, like $5 million for chemical treatments. There's $1.5 million for research into Asian carp controls such as specie specific poisons and a viable plan to prevent spawning and, ...or making the eggs sterile.
              From what I read, the scheduled White House Asian Carp summit did not happen yesterday as planned.  Reason for the cancellation was the big snowstorm that buried Washington, DC under 2 feet of snow this past weekend.
             Please remember when you support the efforts of the Michigan Steelheaders, the monies earned are put back in our fishery.  Keep that in mind about the Detroit Chapter's seminar and the upcoming Birch Run, MI Show put on by the Flint Chapter!

2/8/10  The Detroit Area Steelheaders are hosting a Super Salmon Seminar with 4 charter skippers are guest speakers.  I'm 7 years removed for the charter club scene, but can vouch for speaker Capt. Jerry Lee who fishes Lake Erie Walleyes and Ludington, MI for Salmon & Trout.   The other 3 skippers I do not know.  Click here for more info
            This is a all day seminar that costs 65 to 85 dollars to attend.  65.00 if you are already a  member of the Detroit Steelheaders.  Look to regain most of the money in free tackle packs and the free food that comes with this do.
             The Flint Steelheaders 2010 Boat, Fishing & Outdoor Show is a little over 3 weeks away.  March 5th-7th at the Birch Run Expo Center. More on this in the future.

2/7/10  In 2009 Manistee, MI sport fishermen caught 2,641 Brown Trout according the DNR catch data.  Total number of Browns caught in the State of Michigan, from Lk. MI was 5450.  So, in essence 1/2 the Browns from Lk. MI came from Manistee. 
            Is this a believable reel-fact?  I have no way to dispute the DNR data, but can explain Manistee's reputation as a "hot" Brown Trout port.  Manistee has 2 major river systems draining 100s of square miles.  This drainage provides nutrient rich water to kick start the basic food chain, or plankton. 
Click 4/29/09 box of Browns
            Then in 2008 Manistee got hit with a flood from a massive 8 to 10 inches of rainfall in short period of time.  The new rush of fresh water in 2008 contributed towards the rebound in the Brown Trout population off the Port of Manistee in 2009.

2/6/10  Rep. Pete Hoekstra (R-Holland, MI) introduced a bill placing the burden of controlling the Asian Carp on the Army Corp of Engineers. 
            Sorry Pete, but this is like giving the fox keys to the hen house.  Hs bill mentioned poisons, fixing the locks, air bubbles and sound barriers to disorientate these fish.  All weak and unproven remedies that will do little to stem the advance to full fledged breeding colonies of the Asian Carp coming to a river near you ...soon!
            Nothing short of closing the locks and sealing off the Mississippi basin from the Great Lakes will cure this problem.  It a shame when our elected officials do not use sense God gave a goose to fix the Carp crisis on the door step of our fishery.
            Then on the other hand ...at least Pete Hoekstra is trying to help!

2/5/10  T.G.I.F.  Hectic week for me, hope yours was easier.  We're entering the 2010
fishing season in earnest after this coming Super Bowl Weekend.  Plus, NASCAR's Bud Shoot-Out from Daytona Beach, FL is Sat. evening.  Sure signs spring is not too far off!
           The first rung of in our Great Lakes Fishery ladder is the annual spring Steelhead run in our rivers.  By the end of February, first part of March signals prime time is on the way.  For the Big Manistee River prime time depends entirely on the weather.  Seen the BigMan go gangbusters into the 2nd week of April and seen it over by the 3rd week of Mar.

2/4/10  Northern part of Michigan's lower peninsula is having a fairly mild winter.  This does not help Manistee, MI's April shoreline fishery.  It seems a hard winter keeps main body of Lk. MI colder ...longer.  Then, the Lakers and Brown Trout are attracted by the warming inshore shallow waters during April.  Click 4/29/09 box of Browns
            If the main body of the lake warms too quickly ...early season fishing suffers.  This was not the case in 2009 when the Brown Trout catching was better in the later part of April.  In fact, 2009 was an improvement over the previous 6 years for Browns.

2/3/10  Focus of today's photo is on 4 boxes of fish caught from May into September on the metal-flake Sparkler.  You might have to look hard, but each one of these boxes owes  it's success to the Sparkler pattern.  Click May thru Sept. Sparkler fish boxes
            Having historic photographic proof is a helluva lot more convincing when compared to outlandish claims from those just looking to hawk product.
            Last year the BTI Sparkler was part of a sales promotion where you received a free flasher after a 100 purchase threshold was met.  Most manufacturer giveaways are not normally based in their front line ...newly introduced tackle like mine.
            I have a February sale going where the giveaway is 1 Leland Puke 10" BTI flasher that's brand new for 2010.  Buy 100 dollars worth of my tackle and you'll received this hot new flasher at no charge!  For this deal click on: www.michiganangler.com
 Need to update my Manistee snowometer to an amazingly low 52" since last November

2/1/10  News from the Asian Carp Front says Nancy Sutley, chair of the White House Council on Environmental Quality and Obama administration officials will meet with MI Gov. Jennifer M. Grandholm (D), WI Gov. Jim Doyle (D), and IL Gov. Pat Quinn (D) on Feb. 8 to attempt to broker a resolution to the Asian carp dispute.   
           "Keeping the numbers low is key," said Phil Moy, a fisheries and invasive species specialist at the University of Wisconsin Sea Grant Institute. He said such steps as electrical barriers buy time, "but it's not the end-all solution. We've got to move towards this ecological, or hydrological separation."
            I'm very disappointed with Pres. Obama not attending this meeting & sending his underlings to handle this vital issue.  Did he forget Michigan gave him one of his highest vote percentage wins in the last election?  I expected better from our nation's leader.
            Let this be a lesson to those that put their faith in electric barriers.  Dating back to my river guiding days in the later 1980s, I used to guide on the Pere Marquette River.  The PM empties into Lake Michigan at Ludington, MI.  This gem of a river had an electric barrier that was supposed to stop upstream migration of the dreaded Lamprey. This barrier is now scheduled to be shut down, cuz it didn't work!

1/31/10  Today ends the anniversary celebrations.  With that in mind ...here's how I observe my 10 years on the web by catching some of these:  zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz!  Be back tomorrow......

1/30/10  Going to taper off this week's celebration of our 10 year internet anniversary celebration with a photo from 1982 taken at the public launch in Frankfort, MI. 
           This image is important, cuz it shows my boat the year before I became a licensed charter operator.  By then, my 17' rig was decked out with electric riggers, outriggers & a 5 hp. kicker that rode on the main Mercrusier outdrive.  Betcha ain't seen that in a while!
            In the early 1980s spring run King/Chinook Salmon were hog tunas, as our featured picture clearly shows.  Sure you caught some younger Kings, but when you tied into a 4 year old, ...it was a goodie.  Often exceeding 20lbs! Click for 1982 Kings
            Another thing worthy of note is the Big Jon downriggers that haven't changed all that much in the past 28 years. Early Big Jon riggers arms were made from 1/2" stainless steel with a 4 inch cable spool.  In 1984-1985 they switched to 5/8" aluminum arms.
            This spool size grew to 6 inches in about 1985.  Increased spool diameter meant a faster up-speed that went from 60' a minute to around 90'-100' per minute.  Factory installed 2 rod holders for BJ riggers were introduced in 1984.

1/29/10  Our featured photo of the day shows the only Master Angler fish I took the time to register for myself.  It's an Atlantic Salmon coming in at a few ounces over 12 pounds to make the Master Angler (12lbs.).  This picture was snapped in front of the Frankfort Tackle Box right across the street from the public boat launch in late May of 1985.
           1985 was a phenomenal fishery for spring Kings off the pier heads in Frankfort, MI.  Had 2 charters the day I caught the Atlantic.  Morning group (5 persons) was boxed out fast with 25 Salmon.  Afternoon trip was done early too with 20 Kings (4 persons). 
           Fishing was so good my deckhand and I went back out towards evening and took our limits.  Being 9 Kings & the Atlantic Salmon I caught. Click 1985 12# Atlantic           
           Reason this port was lousy with Kings?  Spawning alewives were thicker than bugs on a bumper & the Kings were eating like a herd of fat people at a free smorgasbord. 
           I learned a good lesson on this very day we caught 55 fish that served me well the rest of my charter career.  It was the fish, not me, or any inflated charter ego that made these Salmon attack our baits like zombies from a "Day of the Dead" movie!

1/28/10  The setup on today's featured photo is from 1975 and shows my wife hoisting a trophy for it's time, a 21 pound plus Lake Trout.  This fish was huge for this era, as the feds and state had just begun a Lake Trout restoration program in, or around the mid 1960s.  This jumbo Laker was caught close to the now removed Big Rock nuke plant just north of Charlevoix, MI in Little Traverse Bay.  The 21 pounder fell prey to a big flashy ancient LG Johnson spoon fished on 500-600 feet of monel wire to get to the bottom.
            Let's look back at the antique Portage and Mac Jac downriggers of the late 1960s into the early 1970s.  These commercial riggers were little more than washing machine pulleys and a 5/8" nut and bolt.  Line counter was 2' a turn, cuz you counted turns to figure depth. Sounds primitive ....eh?  Click 1975 21lb. pig Lk. MI Lake Trout
            In today's image there's an old Mac Jac rigger painted red on the stern of the boat.  It was functional and reasonably priced.  Portage riggers were even less fancy, as there was no fiberglass rod with a roller end for cable.  Only a pulley on a flat wood board with an upright aluminum stanchion to hold the washing machine vee belt pulley.  Neither rigger included a rod holder.  You were on your own to figure that one out!

1/27/10  Need to get off memory lane today and announce Manistee's new weather station.  This station sits towards the S pier inside the harbor. Click Manistee Station
It's plenty open enough to give us a good reading on the wind concerning how hard it's blowing.  This is a godsend for the trailer boat fleet who can access this info at home.
           In the past ...Manistee anglers had to use the remote station down by Big Point Sable.  A good 12 miles to the south of Manistee proper. This new station is active now and here's what it's said last evening.  Manistee, MI conditions at MEEM4 as of (6:40 pm EST) on evening of 01/26/2010:

  Wind Direction (WDIR): W ( 260 deg true )
  Wind Speed (WSPD): 17.1 kts
  Wind Gust (GST): 20.0 kts
  Atmospheric Pressure (PRES): 29.85 in
  Air Temperature (ATMP): 26.4 °F
  Wind Chill (CHILL): 12.7 °F

I will have a direct link posted on my Great Lakes Info page with this wealth of info by
the time the early season Brown Fishery is upon us.  For now you have to go the Big Point Sable station, then this one will pop up.  Click here for Big Point Sable Station
Here's a direct link: http://www.ndbc.noaa.gov/station_page.php?station=meem4

1/26/09  For today's update let's look at the rarest fish I've caught in 4 score and one year on the Great Lakes.  That fish would be a Splake.  If you interbreed a Lake Trout with a Brook Trout ...the outcome up is a Splake. Click 1990 Lk. Huron Splake
            In 41 years and thousands of hours with lines in the water ...my tally on Splake is only one!  That uncommon fish was caught off Alaskan Bay out of Port Austin, MI on Lake Huron on 7/26/90.  Splake have a squarer tail than a Laker and tend to be more rotund.  Not too mention how scrappy they are and the reel-fact Splake readily jump out of the water.  Jumping out of the water is not normally in Mr. Lake Trout's bag of tricks. 
            Another interesting fact about today's photo it proves I was into pulling wire divers back on 7/26/90.  So, do not think wire divers are all that new to our fishery.  Actually, I starting using wire for diver line, cuz back then Spectra Fiber lines were not out yet.  Braid didn't happen on a wide spread scale basis until about 1992-1994.
        Tomorrow's update will take a look at Manistee's brand new weather station

1/25/10  All you're gonna get from me this week is fish stories during my anniversary celebration of 41 years on the Great Lakes.  Plus, 10 years on the on the internet!
            Today's featured photo is from 1979.  Making this image 31 years old.  It was taken off the north tip of North Manitou Island on Lk. MI in early August.  It shows Paul holding a brace of Coho and Lester with a decent King.  We doubled on the Coho right away then wandered around and lucked into the King later that morning. 
             I say wandered around, ...cuz GPS was a distant idea and Loran C's were in the 3k range.  In 1979 three grand was a reel-healthy chuck of change, probably the equivalent of the best part $9,000.00 today. Click 1979 N Manitou Island Salmon
             You'll notice the el-cheapo Luhr Jensen manual downriggers that left a lot to be desired.  In 1979 diver rods were not even being made yet.  Lead core and copper were years off in the future before these two old time methods were resurrected again. 
             Simple fishing then, 4 rods, 4 riggers.  Some 1970s era charter boats used divers, but they used Deep Sixes, or drop weights on outriggers.  Dipsy Divers never took off until about 1985-86.  Just about the same time 10' diver rods hit the market.

1/24/10  Starting today and this coming week let's celebrate the 10 anniversary of this website being on the web.  Jan. 2000 signaled the beginning of daily updates covering a wide range of topics.  Everything from charter customer catches to timely subjects in the news.  Like the plague of Asian Carp have graced the pages of this website. 
           At this point in time approx. 3672 daily updates have been published and more coming everyday!  Not to mention the 70 some fishing articles I've written. 
           OK, now for the setup on the big King in the old Polaroid photo.  It was taken in Oct. of 1976.  This huge King was caught in the Betsie River & would have released it, but the Salmon eggs brought a $1.00 to a $1.50 a lb.  Back then it was legal to sell eggs.
           I positioned the King on the cleaning table, because there was no way my wife could hold this massive fish. To keep the fish from sliding ...she got her a hand around the tail, then hoisted it's giant head.  Click 1976 Betsie River King Salmon
           Back then, most all Kings were 25 pounds & better.  I called this fish a Tyee, cuz on the west coast Kings that exceed 30 pounds earn that rank.

1/23/10  From the bottom of my heart ...thanks to all who took the time to sign anti Asian Carp petition.  According to Rachel Hurley from MI's AG's office there were 17,000 signers before their website was fully endorsed and listed here.  Last I knew the 17,000 number had grown to about 28,000 signatories and that was a good 2 days ago!
            Let's build on that number even more for the upcoming Asian Carp summit.  Leaders of the Great Lakes States have meeting scheduled with the Obama White House during 1st week of February concerning the imminent threat of the nasty Asian Carp.
            Michigan's AG & Governor can hand our petition to Chicago's number 1 homeboy, Pres. Barack ...proof there's 1000s of us pissed off at his ill-advised policy in backing his home-state & hometown.  To sign? click: www.stopasiancarp.com

1/22/10  Original intent was to use today's topic a couple of days ago, but important breaking news on the impending  invasion of the Asian Carp keep delaying the below:
            10/1/09 slipped my mind as my 41st anniversary catching Salmon from our Great Lakes.  10/1/68 caught my first Coho out of Frankfort, MI.  41 years later to the exact day we took 5 Lk. Michigan Kings off the Port of Manistee, MI.  Click 1968-2009 Salmon
            Ironic how this played out, cuz it wasn't planned.  Getting involved with big lake Salmon fishing has defined my life.  First, as a sport fisherman from 1968 thru 1982.  Then as a fulltime, year around river-guide/charter skipper from 1983 thru 2003. 
            In 2004 I went into tackle manufacturing.  I count myself blessed ...having made a living from 1983 until today with industries directly associated with our the Great Lakes. 
                     The last 41 years, going on 42 have been a heck of a ride!

1/21/10  US Rep. Dave Camp (R-MI) introduced H.R. 4472, the CARP ACT legislation seal off access to the Big Head and Silver Asian Carp thru IL and IN waterways.  The Obama administration has a meeting scheduled for the first week of February with the states arguing for immediate closure of the Chicago Drain's access points to Lk. MI.
               Personally, I feel cheated with Obama's ill advised reckless backing of IL in keeping their canals open ...in spite of the clear danger it presents!  It's overtly wrong to show favoritism to any one certain state. Click H.R. 4472 Carp Act
            This ongoing saga Asian Carp continues with the US Supreme Court was not privy to the latest DNA evidence confirming the presence of these fish in Lk. Michigan's Calumet Harbor.  It's my most sincere belief we're being fed the DNA evidence piece meal.
            First these Carp are confirmed breaching the electric barrier (back in Nov. 2009). Then DNA is confirmed at the Wilmette Pumping Station adjacent to Lk. Michigan (1/11/10)Now, Asian Carp DNA is confirmed in IL's Calumet Harbor with direct contact and into Lake Michigan (1/20/10).  Whatever is going on smells like a fish story and not 100% the truth.

1/20/10  As you've probably already heard, the US Supreme Court did not rule in favor of Michigan yesterday.  The plea from MI, NY, OH, MN, and the Province of Ontario to close off access of the dreaded Asian Carp into Lk. MI/Great Lakes fell on deaf ears. 
           The US Army Corp of Engineers has disclosed recent DNA test results from Lake Michigan's Calumet Harbor confirming the presence of Asian Carp DNA.
           Rachel Hurley, Director of Legislative Relations from Office of
Michigan's Attorney General Mike Cox called and asked me personally to support their efforts with their petition.  Rachel said they had 17,000 signatures.  Click here petition info
           Please, let's move that number to at least 18,000 today.  Michigan's AG has been on point to save our Great Lakes fishery and the 7 billion dollar industry it supports ...including my tackle business.  There's too much on the line not to sign!

1/19/10  Referring back to yesterday's photo the yellow boat in the image is going across what the locals call, "the meat hole."  Right off the end of the Manistee's south pier there's a hole to almost 40'.  While the rest of the harbor depth ranges from 22' to 25'.  This 38' to 40' "meat hole" stays dug out by river current.  Hard north blows push the water towards the south pier.  Flowage from the Little & Big Manistee Rivers does the rest. 
             Incidentally, water depth off Manistee's north pier ...where the big light house sits ...can come up on 12' sand bar in a big hurry. Click Manistee's "meat hole"
             In years past it's been my pleasure to come thru the "meat hole" and double up on brutal rampaging adult Kings in the 20-30 pound bracket ...back in my charter days.
 Supreme Court has ruled against Michigan's lawsuit to close IL Asian Carp access today.

1/18/10  Let's go with a two part update that will carry into tomorrow.  Today's featured photo is Manistee's south pier head.  On top of what I call the candy cane (red & white lighthouse) sits a red light for navigation in restricted visibility, or in the dark. 
            There's a red light on the top on this mini-lighthouse.  If you remember "red-right-return" and keep this red light to the right of your vessel when returning from a evening fish, you'll never pile your boat up on top of the break-wall. Click Manistee's S pier
            Bottom half of this photo shows a person with limited navigational skills not paying attention to the "red-right-return" rule that has served me well for 4 decades on Lk. MI.
            Every season a number of dufusses drive their boats up on break-walls with injury to themselves and passengers from not being knowledgeable seaman. 
            Tomorrow's update will focus on local Manistee flora, fauna, and folk lore!

1/17/10  Working in the product design arena in the USA is very rewarding for me.  A phone call, 2 emails from the design engineer and the final revision put my new tool for cutting 12" lure tape to bed.  Half-lure tapes are used in flashers like the Black Mamba.
            Final computer aided drawing (CAD .dwg file) is now the hands of the company in IL that will build the rotary die cutting tool for WTP (Witch Craft Lure Tape) in Coloma, MI.  CAD is how everything is built nowadays.  Click designing new die
            It's only right to thank lead CAD design engineer "Getaway" Bob K. for his genius and ability to come to a meeting of the minds so quickly.  Stuff like this amazes me!

1/16/10  Need to thank the weather gods for the plus 30 degree heat wave besieging Manistee County, MI as of lately.  It's wonderful to see water melt ...even a little bit.
            This winter (knock on wood) has been a lot more mild then what we experienced just a year ago.  Let's all hope it keeps up!

1/15/10  Something you don't hear a lot about in this day and age is a 5 species "Grand Slam."  To qualify for a slam you need a Steelhead/Rainbow, Brown Trout, Lake Trout, King and Coho Salmon.  A multi-species fishery is a healthy fishery!
            I've had several Grand Slams over the years with Port Austin, MI on Lk. Huron in the late 1980s and early 1990s as being one of the best multi species fisheries in our state.  Times have sure changed with a slam nowadays probably a rarity.
            To the uneducated eye ... all 5 species might look alike, but there's enough subtle details to discern each type of fish at a glance.  Click 5 species Grand Slam

1/14/10  One year ago to the day, the high temp was 14 degrees and the low was 6 degrees.  Last year we got hammered by snow and received 102 inches by this same date.
           Today's high is supposed to be 38 and the low is predicted to be 30.  Best news is snowfall is less than 1/2 of last year during this same time span (45" vs. 102").
            Another tidbit of good weather news is this year we'll have a January thaw with temps in the low 40s by next Monday.  A luxury we never saw in January 2009.
            Please send a minute or two checking out the correct slight bend put in whole bait.  I've got 6 photo "how-to" decoupage that locks you in on how be successful when using whole bait.  Try it ...you'll like it!  Click rigging whole bait

1/13/10  Think it's just about time to throw in the towel and admit the Asian Carp have entered the Great Lakes.  Most recent DNA tests have all, ...but said so.
            On 1/11/10 the Army Corp of Engineers acknowledged a fresh batch of DNA test evidence from the Wilmette Pumping Station confirming Asian Carp DNA.  Worst possible news in times of flooding? ...water flows into Lk. MI from this pumping station.
            DNA evidence is impossible to oppose.  DNA can put people on death row, or clear them of a crime.  Crime in this case is? ...the locks weren't closed years ago!
            I've came to the conclusion all we're seeing is political posturing, as it's time play, "cover your ~ss." Better known in this day & age as CYA! Click Carp DNA Chart

1/12/10  Yesterday's update laid the foundation of the public's low perception of the Carp.  Therein is the problem, just name Carp implies undesirable.  Anything associated with it is trash fish and unfit for human consumption.
            The State of Louisiana really thinks their citizens are ignorant.  Louisiana's plan is to rename the Asian Carp to Sliver Fin elevating it's status.  I cannot believe descendents from a population who soundly whipped the British in the War of 1812 is stupid to buy into the Sliver Fin as a more desirable fish, or something other than a nasty old Carp.

1/11/10  According to what I read, the common Carp was brought to our shores in the 1830s.  This fish was set free on the east coast in the 1870s.  Back then unenlightened Carp supporters were proclaiming it was a wonder fish. 
            These fish never caught on with the American public, cuz they are boney and have an overpowering strong, fishy flavor.  Sewer bass and bugle-nosed trout are a couple of the not so pleasant nicknames for Carp that are often used.
            The rest is history, as the lowly common Carp spread to most every body of water in the USA with limited help from mankind.  Carp rank on the bottom rung of all fish.
            Below Freshwater Drum/Sheephead and Suckers in my book.  In fact, the trashy common Carp is ranked so low ...these fish need a step ladder to crawl over a dime!
            Interested side notes to my Carp investigation is the Romans raised them, along with the monks in Europe all thru the middle ages.  As you probably already know our present day common Carp have their roots in the far east.  Like the impending Asian Carp fiasco that threatens the entire Great Lakes and connecting waters.

1/10/10  Posted a photo showing the 3 snip method I use to prepare whole Red Label sized bait on the boat.  This eliminates all processing beforehand.  It's easy, quick, and proven highly productive.  Click visual "how to" prepare bait
            Existing "Rigging with Red" article in the Tips and Tricks section in the will be updated near future.  For now, I'm sure you get the drift from the 6 in 1 image.
            With necessity being the mother of invention came up with the 3 step scissor snip method, cuz I forgot to do meat the night before.  Had to grab some unthawed bait out of the freezer in the morning for immediate usage.  I tossed the hard frozen bait on the motor box as we headed towards Manistee, MI's boat launch.  By the time we got to the launch ...a trip of 12 miles it had thawed enough for 3 snips and use in the water!

          My Manistee winter snowometer now stands at 45" since November 2009!

1/9/10  Been kinda weighted down with negative issues surrounding the IL Asian Carp deal.  So, it's time for an upbeat positive outlook on the new 2010 season.  What promised does 2010 hold for us?  Will it be better than 2009?  Only time will tell!
           Gonna go out on a limb and predict the 2010 Monkey Puke Meat Rig will be number 1, or 2 in overall sales for this season.  I witnessed the results and seen the preference displayed by Mr. King Salmon last season.  This was my number one producer, followed closely by the Sparkler Red.  Which was devastating too!

1/8/10  Illinois on 1/5/09 filed a counter lawsuit to foil Michigan's attempt at closing the Chicago Drainage Canal/System.  Let the word, "drainage" stick large in your mind, as untold bazillions of gallons have been siphoned off the Great Lakes by the State of Illinois.  Let alone the urgent peril of Asian Carp setting up house keeping at your favorite port.
           It seems the City of Chicago used propaganda to spin a story about thousands dying from endemic water-born diseases back in the 1880s.  Most historians are now disputing this as hogwash. Population numbers from back then ...just don't add up. 
           It's time for the State of Illinois to man-up and admit they took the easy cheap fix to cure their sewage treatment problems.  Plus, illegal by all of today's standards.
           Illinois needs to quit hiding behind a bunch of fast talking lawyers and President Barack Obama's misguided influence. Click Chicago River warning sign!
           Stimulus money instead of being wasted should be brought to bear on reconstructing Chicago's sewage treatment and storm water run off.  Projects that pay long term rewards are better than repaving Stronach Road, off M55 in Manistee Co.  This road was in far better shape than most roads in Manistee, got repaved and ...didn't need it?  While signs proudly proclaimed this un-needed project was funded by the stimulus bill.
          My Manistee winter snowometer now stands at 44" since November 2009!

1/7/10  Here's five important questions for you today:
1. Does your current line of tackle produce in the off peak hours? 
2. Problems catching after the early and late bite? 
3. Do you feel the party is over after 9am in full bright sun? 
4. When you leave the dock are you lacking confidence? 
5. Can you take doubles in the middle of the day hours?
6. Having problems getting your attractor program work all season long?
7. Not sure if your flashers, meat rigs, or flies are made in the USA?
8. When you order tackle would you like to speak directly with the owner?
9. Does your flasher company supply you with an Encyclopedia of Tips & Tricks?
10. Has your flasher company been a source of daily fishing news for the last 10 years?
   Click 4 doubleheaders 2007 thru 2009   Click 4 doubleheaders 2005 thru 2007
If your answer is not a quick easy yes?  Please consider my line of tackle ...'nough said! 

1/6/10  The Obama White House Solicitor General Elena Kagan asked the U.S. Supreme Court to reject a request by Michigan and several other states to order the locks closed. Kagan said doing so would endanger public safety and disrupt the flow of cargo.
            The Obama administration has
made a tragic mistake by filing a motion with the US Supreme Court to dismiss the lawsuit filed by Michigan to close the Chicago Canal. 
            This is beyond ignorant. cuz absolutely nothing can be gained by supporting the environmental abortion known as the Chicago Drainage Canal. 
             By doing so, you assume all responsibility if the Asian Carp to take over the Great Lakes and all adjoining waters.  Bad-bad move considering the states of NY, MI, WI, IN, and OH all voted Obama in during the last election. 
             If fate and the court does not intervene on our behalf, these Asian Carp will now become known as the Obama Carp ...if they infest our Great Lakes as predicted!

1/5/10  Need to take issue with an article in the New York Times penned by Monica Davey.  Her title of "Fight Against Asian Carp Threatens Fragile Great Lakes Unity" is the furthest thing from the truth.  It shows Ontario, MI, WI, MN, NY & OH onboard for closing the Chicago Drainage Canal.  Indiana is said to be filing a brief on behalf of MI and joining the movement to close this canal too. Click for this The New York Times article
            As a mater of fact several states and Canada are agreeing on canal closure now!
            Let's be honest.  If Chicago attempted to build a reverse flow river into the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes this project would never get off the ground in 2010!
            My prediction is the Supreme Court will rule in favor of canal closure with speed seldom associated with the our highest court in the land, as the Asian Carp are an immediate threat to colonize our Great Lakes Watershed. 

1/4/10  Posted a photo of the first and last Salmon of the 2009 season.  We took a Coho on 5/5/09 and our last King was 10/1/09.  This shows my BTI 10" flashers are proven to work all season long.  Click for 1st and last Salmon of 2009
            As the photo shows, BTI's perform equally well with flies, or meat rigs. 
            Here's a fact that needs mentioning, the color red works all season long too.
            Interesting side note to the first and last fish of 2009?  Both fish came on divers.  Are you looking to gain a little more insight into diver fishing techniques?  For today only, I've opened up our private message board where hot diver topic is located for public access.  If you'd like to see the quality of our inside private info: click here

          My Manistee winter snowometer now stands at 40" since November 2009

1/3/10  It was déjà vu all over again concerning yesterday's update about additional states joining Michigan's bid to shut the Chicago Canal down.  My 12/23/09 update was along that same line without the use of a crystal ball.  Need to thank website members SteveO and Flat Rate for the leads that went into yesterday's story.
         Just in:  Ontario has filed a supporting motion concerning Michigan's lawsuit to close the Chicago Canal to stop the Asian Carp.  This was done last Thursday and info to verify this was supplied by website member fishdodger.
My Manistee winter snowometer now stands at 38" since November 2009

1/2/09  The lawsuit started by Michigan to close the Chicago Canal has been joined by WI, MN, and OH.  Closure is to prevent more Asian Carp (Silver & Bighead) from entering Lk. MI.  I said more, cuz DNA tests already confirmed the Asian Carp were above the sham of the poorly designed multimillion dollar electric barrier ...that at best only works to 98% effectiveness.  Having MI, OH, WI and MN onboard adds credence to this lawsuit.
             Our US Supreme Court has already ruled against the Chicago Drainage Canal in 1930.  Stating it was illegal.  Good thing is the mid-term elections are on the way and political pressure will surely bring action, as foot dragging will cost votes.  Unless I miss my guess, look for the Supreme Court to rule in favor of closing this canal.  Keeping the Great Lakes Basin and the Mississippi watershed separate is paramount!
             If luck is on our side look for this lawsuit resolved quickly.  Reason? ...our EPA brought these fish here in the first place in 1973 and again around 1980. 
             The word about the Asian Carp is out, but the full story on who's responsible for bringing them here is still hush-hush!  Question is ....who's is gonna protect us from our "dumber than a stump" Environmental Protection Agency? 
My Manistee winter snowometer now stands at 35"

1/1/10   Happy New Year!  May 2010 be a banner year for you in all your endeavors!
Have a wonderful New Years present for you.  Wisconsin's Att. General,
J.B. Van Hollen has filed a brief with the US Supreme Court supporting Michigan's lawsuit to close the Chicago Canal system to prevent more Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes Basin.   Also, Minnesota & Ohio have filed a supportive briefs.  More tomorrow on this...