April, May, & June 2011

Spring April Coho

5/14/11 Lk. Huron

6/5/11 E Chicago, IN

June  Walleyes


Archived Daily Updates

6/30/11  There were some fish caught in Manistee yesterday.  Not red-hot, but respectable catches of Kings.  Best I heard was 8 Salmon before 8am.
               Today's featured photos clearly shows making your own Herring strips, or fillets is not a messy job.  The trick is to fillet the bait while it's partially frozen.  A razor sharp knife is a must.  Use scissors to trim the belly to fit the meat head. Click filleting bait

6/29/11  With the fleet pressure intensifying every day, posting the locations for the trap nets off Ludington is a good idea.  Manistee currently has no nets whatsoever.
For Ludington, MI fishermen, here's the current trap net pot coordinates:

N43 56.325  W086 34.161  110 FOW
N43 51.205  W086 30.607  122 FOW
N43 51.855  W086 29.238  90 FOW
N43 52.582  W086 29.491  86 FOW

6/28/11  Biggest news is gas prices that are falling.  On my recent trip to Calumet City, IL to pick up my boat, Ludington, MI was at 3.62, further south at MI City, IN I paid 3.37.
              Upon returning to Manistee, MI gas hadn't budged & was holding at 3.65. 
              Just 3 weeks ago when the boat was dropped off for the motor swap ...gas prices around Manistee was at 4.19 & the cheapest was 3.99 south of Holland, MI.  Fuel prices are gradually coming down, but still need to fall faster. 
              Cost of gas is directly attached to the invisible "800 pound Gorilla in the room" nobody wants to talk about when it comes to dealing with our economy!
              After digesting reports from Lk. Huron and Lake Michigan fishing could be rated at semi OK for the State of Michigan's part of Lk. MI.  Very good off WI and fairly productive down to the extreme southern end around Chicago.
              On 7/5/11 the day after the 4th some of our tackle prices will be going up.  I've absorbed the last 2 passed down rate increases on WTP lure tape and the overall material base costs.  Prices on the popular Doub L Glow series need to be raised to keep pace with the manufacturing cost to produce issues I'm forced to deal with.

6/27/11  Recently 70 teams enter the 3rd Annual 2011 A-TOM-MIK Challenge on Lake Ontario.  This tournament is 100% payback event made possible by donations and volunteer help.  A Tom Mik tackle's Tom Allen organized this do. Click for results
              Long time website member "2-Shot" won the Ladies Day Tournament last Friday in Manistee's Bud Pro Am while competing against a tough field. My congrats to 2-Shot!
              From the sound of fishing reports posted on our message board Lk. MI fishing was holding it's own and on the improve as the fish are moving towards a summer pattern.
              Lk. Huron's Port Sanilac showed shades of it's former glory with a double digit silver fish catch from Team Nev-er Ending.  Click for their 6/26/11 catch
              Saginaw Bay's tremendous Walleye Fishery is going strong too!

6/26/11  Sunday ...a day of rest and that's exactly my plan!

Using this weekend to get caught up on outdoor chores and tackle production.  Rain and thunderstorms since last Monday has finally ended. 
               Late breaking word from Kewaunee, WI ...Salmon fishing was good according to website member, SteveO.  Hope to have more on this WI report soon. 
               After the 4th of July weekend introductory pricing on the new 2011 tackle will cease.  The SUV daylight blue glow colorant is pricey & a price increase is necessary.
               In 2002-2003 well before the fleet jumped on the meat bandwagon I paid retail 11 to 13 dollars for the 3 fly meat rigs purchased from New York. 
               Cost to manufacture has risen greatly since then.  Plus, the second generation meat rigs we make now are vastly superior over the early versions.  Featuring modern day colorants, replaceable leaders, snelled double trebles, and cushioned crimps!  These improvements are light years ahead of all early i2k generation 1 meat rigs.

6/24/11  New motor was installed in my 1979 Sea Ray a few days ago.  New long block, fuel pump, water pump, Delco ignition, rebuilt Quadrajet carburetor, rear motor mounts and new front motor mounting plates.  Original front mounting plates, or shims were toast.
               Motor has been test run and aligned ready to accept the outdrive, ...if it's not bolted on already?  Click new GM small block V8 motor being installed
               Next move is to sea trial the boat and then bring the boat home from IL.  Timing of this project coincides with the beginning of adult Salmon only 2 or 3 weeks away.  Granted I lost the entire month of June big lake fishing, but with the hit and miss fishing out of my home port of Manistee, MI the loss of June is seen as no big deal.
               Wondering about the overall cost to repower?  Close to what I paid for a pricey OMC electric start 15 hp long shaft 4 stroke kicker.

6/23/11  Yesterday, I tested regular unleaded for Ethanol content at the Wesco Gas Station N of Manistee ...close to the M55 & US31 junction.
               7% E content is what my test kit said.  This is about 1/2% lower than the BP Gas Station S of Manistee on US31. Click this gas test
               The Wesco N is open 24 hours a day and sees a lot of boats fueling up well before dawn every morning during season. Click 6/22/11 Manistee, MI gas prices
               It's nice to know Wesco sells E-gas at only 7%.  This is 3% less than the State of MI allows at 10%.  Buying the least Ethanol content in gas is wise.  Alcohol based E fuels can damage to fuel systems: carburetors, gas lines & gas tanks in older boats
                Disclaimer: I'm using a 30 dollar test kit.  So, my results are not going to be spot on like a chemist with a lab full of instruments.  Then, E content can vary from day to day depending on how much Ethanol is mixed in the tanker-truck before delivery.

6/22/11  Ludington, MI has a new ultra modern weather data buoy.  This buoy is located in 90' of water pretty much straight out of the Port of Ludington.  The lat/lons are close at 43 58' 57.1" N & 86  33'.57.1" W, but not confirmed. Click data buoy
               Not only does this new toy give wind and wave size reports, it has water temp recording sensors at the depths of 10', 20', 30', 36', 45', 55', 65' & 72' (approx). 
               I've installed a permanent link to this info on my Great Lakes Info Page

This page is the one I use to see aviation wind, Lk. MI wind, wave, and weather reports to cover all the applicable reel-facts needed in planning a safe trip on Lk. MI.
               To check out the info on Ludington's new data system: Click Here

6/21/11  Bay City, MI hosted the Walleyes for Warriors fishing event last weekend on world famous Saginaw Bay.  Over 80 fishing boats volunteered their services to take 160 some military veterans dating back WWII up until now. 
              This shows our Michigan Great Lakes sports fishing fleet cares enough to honor all who put on the uniform to proudly serve the USA. 
               We had at least 5 boats from website members take part.  All from this website managed to get our service men and women into at least a few Walleyes.  In spite of very rough sea conditions that made the fishing very difficult. Click event send-off
               There's a deeper meaning here, cuz fishermen for the most part are eternal optimists that are willing to lend a hand where and when it's needed.

6/20/11  Walleye fishing is the big deal now on Lk. Huron's Saginaw Bay.  Today's featured catch shows 3 person limit of Walleyes to 22 inches.  This is the perfect eating size if tasty Walleye fillets is on your menu. Click 6/18/11 bay Walleyes
               Several days of east wind made it a tough go out of Manistee, MI this past weekend.  Boats were spread out N to S from Arcadia to Big Point Sable in search of fish without much luck. Offshore deepwater fishery out to the 40 line (close to 20 miles W of Manistee) didn't fare much better.  Let's hope for a turn around soon.
               Yesterday, Walleyes for Warriors do shined a positive light on Michigan's fishing fleet.  More on this feel-good story tomorrow. Click spectators at Bay City event

6/19/11  Happy Father's Day to the 70 million dads in our country.
               Fishing reports for the WI side of Lk. MI are improving.  Yesterday, there was an honest 28 pound King caught.  I seen a photo of this fish ...it was very girthed out with a large fatso body & a small head.  All signs this chubby 28 was not having problems keeping his gut full.  Algoma reports mentioned tons of bait too.
              Today's featured image is from website member, jlars.  He is a very gifted photographer who has a knack for taking interesting shots.  He was fishing solo with his dog, Jake out of what looks to be 16' -18' open tin boat. Click jlar's WI King & 'bow

6/18/11  Project Repower 1979 is coming to a conclusion. The replacement motor has burned 5 gallons of gas during the test run phase.  No oil leaks & all appears to be well.
              I know the pro caliber work Calumet Marine is putting in this project ...having gone thru this before repowering my charter boat in 2003.  Frank and his two sons have left no stone unturned.  I have several step by step photos that will be turned into a heck of an interesting article someday.  Click new motor nears completion
              This weekend is the Walleyes for Warriors do being held in Bay City, MI.  The goal of this outing to to show gratitude to all who wore the uniform in military service.
              Should have an excellent report on this event from several of our website members who have donated there efforts and boats to this grand function.

6/17/11  Introducing a new combo deal today.  12" Black Mamba SUV and our industry leading Raging Red UV 3 Fly Meat Rig.  This costly special red UV colorant is purchased at 12 to 20 bucks gram depending on the amount. Click for this new combo
              Unlike others, I won't hard sell our UV lineup and tell you it's the best.  History will decide that.  I will say, breaking new ground & leading the competition is what I do!
              Not to over commercialize, but after seeing our new Raging Red UV bullet heads for the first time on attractor flies ...with the magnificent red UV reaction, I got excited and wanted to share this with you.  To paraphrase a quote from the original Star Trek TV series, "to go where no man has gone before" seems quite appropriate!
               Calumet Marine has my new replacement motor running before installation in my 1979 22' Sea Ray.  This is the best way to nip any problems in the bud ...prior to the motor going back in the boat.  Click breaking in the new motor

6/16/11  According the fishing reports from our website members nobody tore up the Trout, or Salmon last weekend.  Those who targeted Walleyes on Lk. Erie & Saginaw Bay fared much better overall.  Walleyes are a super June, early July fishery.
              While I haven't skippered a charter boat in 8 years, ...traditionally this time in June fishing was done offshore over 400' to 700' depths.  A mixed bag of Steelhead, some Lakers, and an occasional Salmon would be caught in the top 30' over deep water.
               June is a tough month for the Lk. MI Salmon & Trout charter fleet and it's not because the fishing isn't good.  Events like attending weddings, graduations and retirement parties held in June keep a lot of folks close to home.  That's the reason several charter operations move to Lk. Erie & Saginaw Bay to be closer to major metro areas that does not require the chartering public to be absent from home long.

6/15/11  Today's photo and testimonial comes from our friend who hails from Vladivostok, Russia, Denis U.  Here's what he had to say,
               "Photo from our last fishing trip. Minonoska Bay.  Anchovy come back to our coast, by this case your meat rigs works well."

               I've used Anchovies and prefer them over Herring.  Anchovies are a very hardy bait fish, have a more scent, and withstand the rigors of trolling much better than Herring.  Problem is getting pen starved bait quality flash frozen whole Anchovies.
               Another worthy point is what works in one part of the world ...works in another.  Fishing is a universal language that requires no translation. 
               You notice Russian Salmon boats are anchored off the beach to compensate for rising and falling tides of several feet.  Click Minonoska Bay Russia
               Walleye fishery on Bay City, MI's Saginaw Bay is close to hitting full stride.

6/14/11  If you're into UV tackle? ...there's a new combo deal at my webstore.  The new SUV 12" flasher with the proven UV 3 squid rig combo is introductory priced at a lowball 24.99.  This is a good 3 bucks below July-August retail. Click for SUV Combo Deal
             There is no tackle on this planet that has more reaction to UV light than this new combo.  This is a limited time offer that will end soon.
             Need to do some digging for the reel-story on the fishing out of Manistee, MI.  As an observation Thursdays & Fridays have been decent.  Then, as fleet pressure builds Sundays and Mondays can be a tough go.  Possible reason is Manistee's "shelf" is not in a hurry to reload with Salmon and resident herd is being trimmed back?

6/13/11  Mechanics of fishing means things under your direct control.  Over the years I've wrote several articles in this website's: Encyclopedia of Tips & Tricks
              Tips & Tricks is dedicated to the reel-facts of big water fishing.  This section is not about conjecture, or loaded with phony intangible opinions that cannot be proved. 
              Resources like this did not exist when I become a Great Lakes Salmon fisherman in 1968.  My knowledge bank is built on trial & error over 4 decades and counting!
              Today's featured photo is from our Rogers City, MI star port reporter, Julie aka fishsqueezer on our message board.  Julie is one of the lucky people in this world who has a job she truly loves.  That being a Fish Census Taker for the MDNR.
              Julie earned today's featured 8 pound Brown Trout by casting a body bait off the breakwall in a one on one light line fish battle.  Click for Julie's Brown

6/12/11  There's a new 2 pack option for Meat Heads at: www.michiganangler.com
Since 2005 heads were only sold in 4 counts.
  Click Super Mag Heads
              2 packs are a cost effective way to have a selection backup heads onboard in case you get chewed off.  Having spare meat heads in your "go to" favorite colors is wise insurance.  There are no tackle stores on the water. Click Mag Meat Heads
               Fishing was decent yesterday morning at the Port of Manistee, MI with some catches in making to the double figures in spite of a rainy damp cool morning.  The Salmon were said to be in the top 50' over 100' to 200' of water.  Downside was King Salmon in the teens were very scarce & the reel-action slowed to a crawl after 9am.

6/11/11  Progress on 2011 repowering my 1979 Sea Ray is moving along quite nicely.  Bought what's called a new long block.  Long blocks are motors with cylinder heads already installed.  Then you reuse the intake and exhaust manifolds from the old marine motor along with various other parts.  Click motor coupler installation
              Essentially, you end up with a brand new power plant ...if it's done right? 
Done wrong by a hack? ...this can turn into your worst nightmare reel-quick!
              I chose the guru/Godfather of all marine mechanics, Frank Martin at Calumet Marine.  His knowledge base on all brands of inboards, outboards, & I/Os speaks volumes!
              The reel story behind purchasing this older 1979 Sea Ray project boat in 2007 was to show what could be accomplished without a lot of long green involved.
              Probably could have nursed another season out of the antiquated 32 year old original GM small block, but it would have been a crap shoot on longevity issues.  Under no circumstances do I, or anyone else want to deal motor issues during July & August!

6/10/11  Deer baiting is legal again in Michigan's lower peninsula by a MDNR vote of 4 to 3.  You can now use 2 gallons of bait spread over a 10' by 10' area.
             The baiting ban was flawed science by those who do not live with the deer critters all year like I do.  I seen deer follow one another and eat off the same branches as they destroyed $2500 worth of my pine trees.  Click for 2007 deer feeding
             Lifting of the deer baiting ban news overshadowed my planned update concerning the mechanics of fishing ...which I'll touch on tomorrow.  Plus, a progress report on repowering my 1979 22' Sea Ray.  Click flywheel installation

6/9/11  Sea conditions for this coming weekend in Manistee, MI are tolerable.  Chance of thunderstorms on Saturday, but Sunday is predicted to be calm & partly sunny.
             Fishing info from my home port of Manistee is dated from 2 days ago.  Last I heard there were some respectable catches being taken 20' to 50' down over 60' to 100' of water.  Surface temp was in the 50s & down-temp fish were biting was mid-40s.
             Please keep in mind, old fishing info is sometimes worst than no info.  Thanks to Capt. Tom R for sending in today's featured catch. Click 6/7/11 Manistee catch

6/8/11  I have a very limited amount of Fish On Blue Label Herring for pick up at my shop in Manistee, MI.  As mentioned before, ...bait in short supply this season.
             There is NO red label (5-6" herring), or green label (6-7") herring that meets the criteria set forth by the MDNR's Fish Order 245 for usage in Michigan's section of Lk. MI.  This offering is not for procrastinators!  Click for Blue Label bait
             Blue label makes the best hand-cut fillets, or strips.  If you're a strip user?
Prepared strips I seen are far too thin to balance ANY bait heads for the correct roll.    
              Frankfort big water angler Jared R was kind enough to email in today's featured photo of a high teener King pushing 20 pounds.  Central Lk. MI ports of Ludington, Manistee & Frankfort are providing opportunities for Salmon.  Click Jared's King
             Size of the Kings is comparable to last year.  Maybe a little larger which is good news for all.  Light fleet pressure means the spring herd hasn't been whacked to hard.  

6/7/11  Report from Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay says lots of Walleyes, but finding legal sized 'eyes is another story.  Crawler harnesses and spoons were mentioned as doing most of the damage.  Haven't heard much from Lk. Erie yet. Click 6/5/11 Sag. Bay 'eyes
             Michigan is lucky to have these two world class Walleye fisheries right on it's doorstep.  Walleyes eat good and are not a boney fish. 
             Salmon & Trout when filleted have pin bones above the rib cage.  Good chefs remove these pin bones on larger fish with needle nose pliers.

6/6/11  Improved water temp is the big story.  Lake Huron's Saginaw Bay finally took with decent fishing for Walleyes.  Good to see this fishery back on track.
             Manistee, MI's King Salmon fishery was alive and well with surface temps reaching into the low 50s over last weekend.  A good 2 to 3 weeks behind what should be considered normal.  Fishing pressure out of this port continues to be very light.

6/5/11  Here's yesterday's on the water report from the Port of Manistee, MI.  Jason D is the deckhand on the 31' Silverton charter boat First Class skippered by Steve Hamilton. 
Here's what Jason's email had to say:

"Wow, Ran your new ...stimulus flasher today and did very well/ We took 7 Kings on the new flasher from 100 - 135 feet down over 150 - 200 FOW between 10am and noon. Did really give it a fair test... Stimulus flasher down at 90 only taking 2 fish in the same time frame. I will do more research and give you some more details as I get them. Fishing out of Manistee is really picking up. we boated 17 kings today. Thanks Jason"
9 Kings according to my math between 10am and noon proves what pearl can do! 
Plus, over their half the catch came in a off-peak bite more towards a mid-day time frame.

6/4/11  The spring King fishing evaluation of May in Manistee, MI is series peaks and valleys.  Lk. MI never warmed to anything close to normal.  The week before Memorial Day was decent for those trolling deep.  Like to depths of 250' down over 300' and deeper.
             The Stimulus pattern introduced last August was the "go-to" flasher on some Manistee charter boats.  The pearl base material is the reel-deal with the Stimulus. 
             Pearl will out fish white any day of the week.  Leland, MI's Capt. Jack Duffy taught me to benefits of using nature's natural pearl color back in 1979.
             In fact, if it wasn't for the hospitality and knowledge gained from the Leland charter fleet back in the later 1970s ...I probably would have never became a licensed charter operator in 1983.  Meaning my life might have taken another direction & this website would have never came into being. 
Click for Stimulus Combo Deal

6/3/11  Two long 12-15 mile boat rides out to N Manitou Island last August exposed motor issues.  Valve guides in my 32 year old GM 305 V8 are shot.  Gas was entering the motor oil.  Not a good case scenario to say the least.  Next part is decision time. 
            Do I spend dough rebuilding the top half of a 32 year motor and still have a 32 year old bottom end?  Or, put a new motor in and begin anew?
            Michigan Motorz had brand new surplus GM small block V8s priced right.  This made more sense than buying new heads to fit on a old engine.  Said new heads due to a high suspicion at least one cylinder head was cracked.  When this new power plant goes in, the tally amounts 8 marine small block GM V8 I've owned since 1968.  A well cared for small block can give up to 8000 hours of service, but they'll be pretty tired by 5000.
            I entrusted this motor swap to Frank Martin at Calumet Marine in IL. 
            Why? ...cuz he sells my tackle and has built a shining reputation with Great Lakes fishermen over the last 30 years and counting.  Patronizing those who patronize you just makes good business sense!  Click out with the old  Click in with the new 
            Another page will be added to the ongoing saga of SR1979 with the whys and wherefore's.  Subject is too complex to focus on in daily updates about motor swaps.      

6/2/11  Got to the bottom of the reel-story on who had the hot hand last week in the Port of Manistee, MI.  Deep-deep Kings being targeting in the 120' to 250' on the rigger counters.  12" pearl Stimulus flasher was the big deal.  I'll fill you in on this and more in tomorrow's update.  Pressed for time repowering my boat SR1979 with a new motor.  Original power plant is 30 some years old.  A testament to small block GM V8s!

6/1/11  Hat's off to Team Fray'd Knot for an awesome 3 spring tournaments in Lk. Huron this spring.  They won the Salmon Stakes, finished 5th at Harbor Beach and took second in last weekend's Port Austin event.  Click for Team Fray'd Knot
             3 tournament average finish is 2.66 while competing against 100s of boats at 3 different ports shows this team is dialed in to the max.  Fray'd Knot is skippered by Capt. Chris Siemen and he was nice enough to send today's featured photo in.

5/31/11  Hot weather and cold fishing was the reel-story from Manistee, MI's Memorial
Day 2011.  Surface temps in the low 40s does not grow the biomass that makes the food chain thing work.  Never seen the main body of Lk. MI this cold in late May.
              Recreational boaters and jet skis outnumbered the big water fishing rigs at Manistee's First Street Public Launch.  Counted a skimpy 15 boat trailers on Memorial Day morning at the launch, as 4.00 a gallon gas is taking it's toll on leisure activities.  A pitiful turnout for the unofficial start of the summer 2011 fishing season.

5/30/11  Less than stellar fishing and lots of fog might set a dubious record for a low turnout of trailer boats in Manistee, MI's 1st Street Launch for Memorial Day Weekend.
               Lake Michigan is just not warming up due to an insulating blanket of fog that prevents natural solar warming.  Let's hope this changes soon!

5/29/11  Cold and foggy was the reel-story from Manistee, MI yesterday morning.  Then, the seas built with 20 knots winds making it a tough go.  Fog is predicted thru Monday (Memorial Day).  So, be extra careful if venturing out on Lk. MI
              The unofficial start of summer is here.  Calendar summer begins in 3 weeks on 6/21/11.  Continued wishes for safe and enjoyable holiday weekend.

5/28/11  Surprisingly enough, there were some respectable catches taken in the icy cold waters off Manistee, MI yesterday.  2 to 10 fish catches showed it was more a matter of luck, than skill meant driving over the right pod of finicky spring King Salmon. 
             Depths fish were caught? ...in the deeper water off Manistee's "shelf" it was 85' and deeper.  Reported bottom depths of 150' to plus 300' showed the best action.  Although, there were some fish caught in and around the harbor. 
              Down temp off the shelf was 39 degrees where the Kings were biting. Surface temps were in the lower 40s in a brisk N wind that built 3-4' seas around noon.

5/27/11  First off, I want to wish everyone a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day Weekend.  This holiday is dedicated to those in our armed forced who gave all.  Which is one helluva heart wrenching statement when I think of all our fallen heroes!
              Everyone I've spoke with says the same thing.  Fishing is way behind, cuz water temp is so cold for this time in our season.  Manistee, Mi is 10 to 15 degrees behind what's consider normal.  This is effecting both the Walleye and Salmon/Trout big water anglers.
                   Reel news on the 2011 bait availability issues tomorrow!

5/26/11  Confirmed Capt. Chuck's in Ludington, MI has bait.  Their fishing report was some Kings being caught in the harbor.  2-4 fish, with a few boats dialed in doing better.
               Need to research bait availability issues and have a email into Tim Monroe owner of the Fish On Bait Company to see what's up?
               Weather for the upcoming Memorial Day Weekend looks to be on the calm side, but thunderstorms are predicted.  Weekend temps 60s building to the 70s by 5/30/11.

5/25/11  Sometime later this morning I'll be posting contact info for purchasing larger amounts of whole & strip herring that meets the criteria for use on Lk. MI by the MDNR.
              Capt. Chucks in Ludington, MI was said to have been restocked recently.  I will confirm this today.  Manistee, MI's Shipwatch Marina & Tangled Tackle has reel-bait too!

5/24/11  Think it's about time we all heard some positive news from Manistee, MI concerning our spring King Salmon fishery ...don't you?
               Spoke with Capt. Larry S who runs Shipwatch Marina and dug up some more details on the last Sunday's Tight Line Tournament for military veterans.  140 boats took 160 vets dating back to WWII from all four branches of our armed forces.
               Best news from skipper Larry was his mid morning triple on meat with my tackle.  His triple was taken on the riggers 120' to 160' down over plus 250' of water.  Weapons were the my 12 inchers, being 2 Stimulus patterns and 1 Yellowtail flasher.
              Water temp down at 160' was 39.2.   While the surface temps were above 46 degrees.  Once again ...it proves the tackle we sell will catch negative cold water Kings!!

5/23/11  Yesterday was the Tight Lines outing put on by the Manistee Area Charter association.  This is show of appreciation to our military vets with a free charter.
              Some Tight Lines boats did respectable, but a lot of excellent Manistee charters struggled to score 1 to 4 fish.  Best action was said to be out past the 300' depths.
              With the exception of St. Joe, the several MI side ports reported in as slow.
              Walleyes off Au Gres, Saginaw Bay, & Lk. Erie was no bed of roses either with 'eyes were hard to come by according to the info I'm privy to. Click 5/21/11 Au Gres

5/22/11  I feel it's safe to report; the world did not end at 6pm yesterday.  Seeing we'll have an entire 2011 season, now it's OK to order tackle at: www.michiganangler.com

5/21/11  Harold Camping, Christian radio broadcaster predicted end of the world i.e. Judgment Day is coming at 6pm today. I just wonder if the day of reckoning is gonna start in EST, Central, or Pacific time zones?
Good luck to all fishing the big water today.  Calmer seas is good news for weekend warriors.  May is not a very stable month weather-wise.
               Making a habit of keeping things simple just makes good sense!
               With that thought in mind, today's featured image on shows a EZ way to attach mono to copper line.  Been using this method since 2008 with zero problems.  Best thing about the soldered loop is that it flows thru the lines guides with minimal issues.  Drawback to my solder loop joint is it must be done dockside. Click soldered loop
              On the water an Albright knot will do just fine. Click for Albright knot

5/20/11  Shallow water Kings off Manistee, MI's harbor are still biting.  Tin boats are doing 2 to 4 fish and some charter boats are in low double figures.
               Been playing catch-up.  Not the fish kind of "catch" either.  We've diligently nose to grindstone to get our mom and pop tackle outlets stocked up for the Memorial Day Weekend that's just a scant week away.  Rain is in the forecast for most of next week.  So maybe, just maybe we'll have a clear warm sunny holiday weekend.

5/19/11  The great adventure of the 2011 big water Great Lakes season is in full force.  All early fishing news is much better then at this time last year.
              Only downside is the main body of Lk. MI in the central to more northerly ports is colder than usual, if there is such a thing as normal?
              Salmon reports from Manistee, MI have been centered around the harbor area where the water temp is in the 50 degree neighborhood.  You can bet if there's Kings around Manistee's harbor ...the same thing is going on at Ludington, MI.  Locals there do not spread the word much when the bait draws the Salmon to their harbor.

5/18/11  Rush nowadays is to compartmentalize fishing methods adjusted to certain times of season.  Fishing does not fit into a box.  Too many variables in a constant evolving fishery means those with an open mind do best. Metal vs. Meat
              Case in point, website member Tom M ran a 3 rod meat spread on one of the best tournament boats in IN last week.  His tally was close to the side with metal.  In spite of the fact boat trolling speed was hot for an effective attractor/meat program.
             All 3 of the meat rods caught.  Being a rigger rod, diver rod & a short 60' copper rod off a bird.  While the 3 rod metal side had one hot rigger doing most of the damage.
             We're approaching the time of the season central MI ports will be gathering steam.  Although, the main body of Lk. MI is still very cold off Manistee, MI it's only a matter of days before deeper waters at this port will be producing.
       Long range weather for this weekend looks good & let's hope it stays that way!

5/17/11  Today's update was supposed to be about no updates.  Seeing, I'm burnt out on anything to do with computers since 5/6/11 when a server crash broke this website.
               Then, I got an email from my fishing buddy, Denis from Vladivostok, Russia.  This was a pick-me-up to soldier-on with business as usual. Click Russian Salmon rigs
                Fish words from Manistee, MI continues to be good.  A few boats got into middle double figures on Kings, just S of the harbor in 30' of water yesterday.  Our 2011 early crop of Manistee Kings is way ahead of anything heard in about the last 3-4 years.
                Getting back to the burnt out part, I do need a few days off and away from anything to do with this potholed highway that leads to: "computerville!"

5/16/11  Big news is that a respectable number of Kings in the 15 to 20 pound bracket were caught in last Saturday's Can2Can Tournament held on Lk. Huron at Harbor Beach, MI.  This area is my old stomping grounds in the 1970s thru the first half 1990s.
               Team Getaway after a 3 fish practice day on the Friday preceding upped their game to a respectable 9th place finish.  Click Team Getaway's 5/14/11 catch
               More good reports continues with E Chicago, IN is back track after a slow start for spring Kings with limit catches of Salmon & Steelhead. Click E Chicago, In catch
               Educated guess from the extreme S end of Lk. MI says blue is a big deal.  Recent webstore orders from IN and IL are purchasing blue flashers, or the new SUVs.

5/15/11  Ludington, MI info: there's a temporary small orange & white buoy in 90 fow at: 43 58' 57.1" N & 86  33'.57.1" W  (+/-).  This short-term marker will be replaced
with a larger, easier to see yellow weather station buoy that will gather data on wind, wave, currents and water temperatures.  Click for this weather data station
              This interim buoy is slightly north of the harbor.  Exercise care when navigating this area.  When the new buoy goes in and becomes functional ...it will provide real time valuable reports on sea conditions for Ludington, MI big water fishermen.

5/14/11  This is dated news concerning spring Kings from a day, or two ago.  There were some Salmon being caught south to and past Manistee, MI's Gurney Creek over 60 fow.  This is the first deeper water report I heard.  Previous King action was in the harbor area.
              Posted a photo of a Sitex Koden CRT sonar/fish finder that was state of the art in the later 1980s.  Same with the Pelican trolling speed indicator that was a fleet standard in the late 1970s thru the mid 1980s.  Present modern day electronics have surpassed yesteryears by leaps and bounds  Click 1970s & 1980s electronics

5/13/11  Wind and wave forecast for tomorrow's weekend fleet is not stellar:
              In fact, the seas thru next Tuesday do not look very promising.
              Recent hot spell and 3" of warm rain for Manistee, MI will help raise Lk. MI's temperature and bring us that much closer to being able to target spring King Salmon.
              Good luck to all fishing in Harbor Beach, MI's Lk. Huron Can2Can Tournament.  Proceeds from this event goes towards the Mid-Eastern Chapter of MDA that serves over 400 patient families with Muscular Dystrophy with free services.
              Planned update about spring Kings back in 5/17/06 is postponed until tomorrow.   

5/12/11  After reviewing the results from the Lk. MI Coho Classic Tournament held in Michigan City, IN a couple weeks ago ...valuable insights into our 2011 fishery was gained.
              Nobody in MI City event caught 10 weighable fish both days in the Saturday-Sunday event.  Spring Kings were not overly abundant.  Same deal in last weekend's big deal tournament held in St. Joe, but the Salmon were on a uptick from the previous week.
              5 years ago in 2006 it was almost given most would have caught all the Kings they wanted.  Yes, our Lk. MI fishery for Kings is not what is once was, but it's still plenty decent.  We will all have chances at respectable catches before 2011 fades into history.
               You can put the odds in your favor for better catches by paying extra attention to your hooks.  Keep your hooks sticky sharp & check them after every fish. Reel-facts say the sharper hooks are?  The quicker hooks dull from rubbing on bone. 
              Make sure your rigger releases perform with at least a 80 to 90% hook-up ratio. If your releases do not?  Consider switching to Black's Releases & rubber bands that will make missing bites a thing of the past.  Click EZ catch of 2006 spring Kings
              Leave your ego at the dock and enjoy Great Lakes fishing, cuz it's all about the fun.  It's not about how heavy your fish box is, or ...is not!

5/11/11  Better news on the situation with bait in the red and green sizes of whole herring was forwarded to me today.  Looks like 2011 reel-bait will be available soon.
              Collette from Mik Lurch Tackle in Hammond, IN had good words about their improving fishery in the extreme southern end of Lk. MI.  She called to reorder the new 2011 SUV flashers that are building a solid reputation.  Mik Lurch will be restocked with these hot selling flashers by Friday of this week. Click SUV flasher
               Researched the results from a couple of early season 2011 Lk. MI tournaments and that info will be shared with you tomorrow.

5/10/11  After digesting last weekend's port reports posted on our message board, it seems like all caught some fish.  However, nobody was straining the back to hoist fish boxes off their boats.  There were favorable reviews on the new 2011 flashers & flies.
              Manistee, MI is slow with a few fish being caught in the stained harbor water color plume.  Brown Trout on the beach were shut down and probably done for 2011.
              After suffering thru a website meltdown last Friday ...the members access link was restored in the header navigation buttons.  While the website was online, all the navigational features were completely destroyed when my webhosting company updated their servers to the outside world.  At least this pain was not self inflicted, like a lot of computer problems are.  My hosting company was fully responsible.

5/9/11  Not a lot to report fish-wise, but MI's Sunrise Side on lower Lk. Huron is still showing signs of life with spring Kings to 16 pounds. Click 5/7/11 Lk. Huron fish
            Word from last Friday is on the Lk. MI side: action was slow at South Haven and not a whole bunch was happening at Muskegon.  Manistee is still producing with some fish being caught, but nothing to be considered red-hot ...yet!
             Please keep in mind, at this time of the year fishing can heat up in a hurry!

5/8/11  Just a perfect weekend for Mother's Day with some of the best weather of 2011.  Even Lk. MI is finally showing respect for the weekend fleet with calmer seas!
             I'm requesting all website members state the approximate water temp at the depths where they're catching their fish when posting port reports.
             In the 1980s you'd have to center your program in water temperatures in the mid to low 50s, or you were not going to score big.
             Most of the fish I'm catching nowadays are in 38 to 44 degree water.  A good 10 degrees cooler when compared to 30 years ago.

5/7/11  Due to my webhost server's malfunction yesterday, I spent several hours piecing this website back into working order.  Today's update is short and brief, because at times computers are nothing, ...but bigtime grief!
             Tomorrow's topic will be cold water Salmon in 38-44 water that seems to be the rule rather than the exception nowadays in Lk. Michigan.

5/6/11  Looks like Lk. MI is gonna play nice this weekend ...for a change.  Wave predictions are in the one foot, or less range.  Believe it ...or not?
            Posted a dual photo showing a the setup for planer board rods on my boat.  Rods are up & out of the way.  Opening up the back of the boat.  Click for this photo
            Is southern Lk. Michigan ready to give up a huge bonanza of spring King Salmon?  If so, then it traditionally happens at St. Joe, MI around this weekend.
            Lk. MI temps both in the main body and inshore waters off Manistee are running a few degrees behind this time last year.  This could extend the Brown fishing.
  Good luck to all this weekend and may the fish gods be with you!

5/5/11  New product intro today.  Added the 2 oz size in Dive Bombs to the existing lineup of 4, 6, 8, and 12 oz Dive Bombs.  This lighter size is exactly what's needed to easily reach the 10-15' depth range.  So vital in May springtime conditions.
              Presently, there's no piece of tackle on the market that can dramatically improve several parts of any program at such a low cost. Click 5 sizes of Dive Bombs
              Here's a few tidbits of info covering Manistee, MI.  No boat launching fees, or season passes were available as of 5/3/11.  Look for this to change soon.  Fish cleaning tables were not in on the afore mentioned date either.  Crowded Saturdays means a struggle for shallow water shoreline Brown Trout.  Avoid the weekends if you want fish!

5/4/11  Today's update confirms my 4/30/11 description about more early season shoreline Kings being caught out of Manistee in 2011.  4/19/11 update reported Manistee was producing about a fish an hour.  Yesterday's fishing trip proved ...I nailed correct info both times.  No small feat with all the variables considered!
             Vitals on our 2011 season opener?
1. Lines in the water from 8:30am thru not quite 12:30am. 
2. 3 Brown trout and 1 King was boated. 
3. We batted 100% by never missing a bite. 
4. Water temp ranged from 43.5 to 45 degrees. 
5. Water depths were typical shoreline trolling from 8' to 15'. 
6. No place was better than another, as we lucked into a few scattered fish willing to be tempted by our offerings.  Click 4 fish catch  Click for 5/3/11 King
             Thanks to my former deckhand John J and Capt. Dick Donovan from Adventure 1 Charters for making this trip a success.  Click for Capt. Dick's website

5/3/11  If your tackle order has Dive Bombs in it at: www.michiganangler.com 
we're waiting to be restocked.  This is a highly popular in item & we are trying hard to keep up with demand.  Thanks for your overwhelming response to this product.
             Tomorrow's full fishing report will focus on today's 1st fishing trip of the season for me ...out of the grand and glorious Port of Manistee, MI.  It was bigtime fun to be back on the pond.  Even though the wind was cutting cold & we never seen 45 degrees!

5/2/11  Need to make a revision to my 4/30/11 update and add more good news to our just beginning 2011 season.  Lower Lake Huron is experiencing some of the best fishing for King Salmon, Steelhead, Coho and Brown Trout in many seasons.
             With that thought in mind ...congrats to Team Fray'd Knot for winning the prestigious Lk. Huron Salmon Stakes Tournament.  Click for winning team
             Capt. Chris and crew boated 4 Kings, 5 Steelhead, 1 Brown, and 1 Coho for a event winning catch of almost 65 pounds.  A good 10 lb. cushion over second place!
            Team Fray'd Knot has finished in the top 3 for the last 3 years running.  They took the top spot out of 115 boats by fishing out of the Port of Lexington, MI.
             115 boats proves Lk. Huron still can draw a huge crowd of tournament anglers!

5/1/11  May the big deal month for spring Kings at all Lk. MI ports.  Sooner, or later each port will get hot for the most sought after bad boys of the spring.
               If our fishery evolved back towards more Coho, Mylar flies will be toast after about a dozen fish.  August adult Coho tend to spin and get their snout all tangled up in flies, or squids.  Squids being my rubber based ...will tolerate this abuse longer.
               In 1992 and 1993 Manistee had large plants of Coho and showed what a great port Manistee can be.  My 1/2 day charters could see 20, or more Salmon boated.  75% Coho and the other 25% was Kings.  There's no place for the most aggressive species of Salmon (Coho) to hide off Manistee.  They stack up on Manistee's drop-off, or shelf and are sitting ducks for savvy attractor fishermen. Click Mylar & Coho snout
              Extended the introductory sale on our new 2011 squids thru this coming Monday. Posted a construction photo of these proven fish killers.  Each squid has a costly X-Glow Mylar fly inside, an insert, nose spinner & a storage tube.  Like all my tackle ...our squids are overbuilt to outperform the competition!  Click Squid photo

4/30/11  You know, negative news affecting to our fishery is an big time attention grabber, while any encouraging news is unfairly swept under a rug.
               There's 2 optimistic bright spots about our 2011 season ...still in it's infancy.
               First is the the spring Coho catches that surpassed anything we've seen on Lk. MI in about the last 10 years.  Kudos to our respective DNRs for taking a proactive Coho stocking program after the bean counters said this fish was too expensive to raise.
               Second is the number of Kings caught while fishing the shoreline shallow water mainly for Brown Trout.  Not in huge numbers, but than I've heard in a long time!
                Tomorrow's chat will focus on Mylar, Manistee & Coho....

4/29/11  Ending this week on a high note with sunny conditions is far removed from the rain and chilly weather that's been with us since last Monday.
              Manistee's near shore weather forecast for tomorrow improved slightly to: SE winds 20-25 knots increasing to 30 knots. Partly sunny, waves 1'-2' building to 3'-5'.  Then, ...Sunday winds will be from the SW with waves increasing from 4' to 7'.
               My early season tackle sale ends tomorrow.  Thanks to all who are taking advantage of the special pricing on the new fish catchin' 2011 products.
              The reel-cost to tackle comes in when it does not perform up to snuff, or worse? ...not work at all.  Everything at my webstore? ...I use.  Every item is fully tested  to produce on the water with no learning curve. Click Made in USA Label
              The tackle I make like flashers, meat heads, flies and squids are built to last in the USA.  Construction quality on our trolling bags far surpass any of our competitors.
               Every one of our US Priority Mail shipping labels say, "Thanks for Buying Made in USA Tackle."  To remind all where it's made and how much we appreciate your business!

4/28/11  Hate to be the bearer of bad tidings, but this coming Saturday is another kick in the gut for Lk. MI fishermen!  Here's Manistee, MI predicted wind and wave report for this
Saturday ...S wind 21 to 26 knots. A chance of showers after 1pm. Waves 5 to 7 ft.
Don't be surprised if the DNRs from the states of IN, IL, MI, & WI surrounding Lk. MI all reduce King Salmon plants even further in an effort to avoid what happened to Lk. Huron.  Lake Huron in the 1970s, 1980s, and 1990s had a thriving King fishery.  This all ended abruptly in the early i2ks with the total collapse of the Alewife population.
              The clue is kinda on the wall with increased Coho plants, even from Wisconsin.  At one time WI had almost given up on Coho.  Switching their Salmon stocking efforts towards mostly Kings/Chinooks in the 1990s, while still stocking other species.
               Another clue was the returning 4 to 6 pound mini adult Chinooks last fall.  I'm not talking about the odd precocious early maturing Salmon, but a late run of mostly all small sub 6 pound adult spawners.  Early running Sept. fish were larger & in the teens.
               This Saturday the 30th of April 2011 the Hammond Bay Anglers Association is having their annual dinner in Rogers City, MI.  Click Rogers City dinner info

4/27/11  This season it's important then ever to have a firm idea about lake conditions before heading to your chosen port.  It's impossible to make the right call on the sea conditions 100% of the time, but here are tools to put the odds in your favor.
              My Great Lakes Info page is what I rely on.  There's sea forecasts from NOAA, searchable NOAA and aviation data on wind speed.  Plus, online data buoy systems with real-time wind speed and directions.  Bookmark: Click Great Lakes Info Page
               By popular demand the Salmon & Trout scents made by Smelly Jelly has been restocked.  This is the 5th season Smelly Jelly has been a mainstay at my webstore and it always sells out.  We have Smelly Jelly in the original Herring, Anise Herring, Alewife and my favorite, the powerful Sticky Liquid.
Click for more info & pricing

4/26/11  Trophy 30 pound State of Tennessee Striper is today's spotlight photo.  Strippers aka Striped Bass/Rockfish are native to saltwater just like our Great Lakes Salmon and adapted well to a freshwater environment.  Once again, just like our Pacific Salmon did.  Saltwater migratory species of Stripers return to a freshwater to spawn. Making the 3rd factor in common with Great Lakes Salmon. Click TN 30# Striper
              Striper plants were considered for the Great Lakes, but fell soon out of favor with the explosion of the Lake Michigan Salmon fishery in 1967.
               Gale warning is in effect for the open waters (5 miles offshore) of N. Lk. Michigan.  Closer to shore is 15-20 knots with gusts to 30 out of the E.  E wind is terrible for shoreline shallow water Brown Trout.  E blows the inshore warmer water out to sea

4/25/11  St. Joe, MI was the hot port on Lk. MI with the limited info I have to work.  St. Joe's Coho were still going strong.  As you'd expect in late April a few more Lk. MI Kings are being mentioned.  May is the month noted for spring Kings.
              Lexington, MI on southern Lk. Huron had decent action on Kings.  Not huge numbers, but 4 Kings at 45.5 pounds won the Bluewater Club Tournament on 4/23/11 (this past Saturday). Scotty B and team was the winner of this event.
              It's a reel-good to see Lake Huron slowly on the mend from the Salmon crash in the early i2ks.  I know for a fact how strong this spring fishery used to be!

4/24/11  Easter Holiday and a fine reason to take the day off posting daily updates.

4/23/11  Today's featured photo shows .175" thickness on last season's Herring strips that should be .250" ...at least!  Too thin to work properly with the balance my meat heads were designed to handle and still rotate properly. Click too thin strips!
               While easier to use, strips will never perform as well as whole herring.  The bonus to running whole herring is the cost factor, cuz it's less expensive than strips.
               Using commercial prepared Herring strips is like training wheels on a kid's bike.  Once you master the basics ...it's time to move onto whole reel-bait!
               Fishing in Manistee, MI took a turn for the better yesterday.  One thing in favor of all who fish the more northerly-central Lk. MI ports?  ...is April weather has been so lousy, the shoreline-shallow water fish haven't been beat on.
               Decent report from southern Lk. Huron from yesterday.  Some Kings to double digits and Coho were caught off Port Sanilac, MI in shallow, like 10' to 20' of water.
               If you're fortunate to get out fishing this weekend ....good luck!

4/22/11  Especially, T.G.I.F. to end this inhospitable week in Manistee County, MI.  Wind, snow, and cold is not favorable to any kind of outdoor activities.
              The plot thickens with the bait supply for 2011.  Adam Shepard who took over the strips & bait sales from Fish On Bait company is in the crowbar motel for hit & run on a 2nd degree murder charge.  Tim Monroe, owner of Fish On Bait Company has no whole herring that meets the criteria for Lake Michigan MDNR approved herring/bait "a-at-all!"
              The above is secondhand passed down info, but from a highly trusted source.
              If there's a supplier for whole bait in your area? ...like I warned before ...you'd better snatch it up now.  This bait mess probably won't get fixed until later this summer. 
I certainly hope it's resolved sooner, but wouldn't bet on it.
              Potential lack of bait (whole bait mostly) for 2011 is the driving force behind me raising the bar with a brand new era in upmarket trolling squids and flies!

4/21/11  Last evening it was my honor to be invited as one of the guest speakers for the Manistee County Sport Fishing Association fishing class.  Click for class members
              The MCSFA does a lot of good for all fishermen with the King/Chinook Salmon net pen project, Kids Fish Day, season long big fish derby & tournament sponsorship.
              It was a pleasure to spent time with local home town fishermen from Onekama, Arcadia and Manistee.  There's a kinship shared among all anglers regardless of boat size and experience levels.  Hey, who can't have fun when you're in a room full of fishermen?
              If you're interested in what the MCSFA does in detail, or want to join this fine long standing organization: Click here for more info

4/20/11 Old Man Winter's daughter by proxy, Snow White is to paying Manistee
County, MI a visit.  Average high temps for this area are in the mid-50s for this time of the year.  We'll be lucky to see the mid-30s today and tonight the low is mid-20s.  It's takes a lot of dreary winter weather to wear me down, but enough ...is enough!
              If there is a bright side to this very cold April? ...we won't lose too much.  Next week is predicted to be in the 60s. Hopefully, this cold spell will just delay the season until we all can get off the dock in better conditions. Click 4/20/11 weather
My Manistee snowometer now stands at 135" since Nov. 2010.

4/19/11  When you can get on the water out of the Port of Manistee, MI fishing is OK
(about a fish per hour).  There's been recent reports of fair sized Brown Trout clearing double digits, along a few Kings being caught along the shoreline too.
              I'm changing over the nose spinner on our new squids to a French spinner blade.  This shape of type spinner blade grabs the colder-thicker water better for a true fish attracting spin.  Especially, at slower trolling speeds.
              I'm a huge fan of a nose spinners on squids ...having seen the difference over non-nose spinner equipped plain-Jane squids. Click updated nose spinner
              If you have squids on order? ...patience please.  Should have the new blades in before the end of this week.  All backlogged squid orders should be shipped by Friday.

4/18/11  Preseason sales are a wise tool for both the seller and customer.  Saving a few bucks here, and a few bucks there, adds up over the course of a season.
               It's no secret my tackle manufacturing operation relies solely on word of mouth advertising.  There's no substitute for tackle that performs right out of the package without the pratfalls of long learning curve.  Click for tackle store
               Thanks all who've purchased our new tackle for 2011 and remind those that have not ...all preseason sales promotions ends on May 1, 2011. 

4/17/11  Other then for a handful of nice days this spring looks more like the continuation of winter.  Manistee, MI temps are averaging 6 to 15 degrees below normal.  When this website was updated around midnight we had a 1/2" of snow on the ground and thermometer was hovering right at, or slightly below freezing. Click 4/16/11 snow
              Weekends like this show how short our big water season is when nasty weather and big seas make the idea of fishing a distant postponed dream.  Kicker is? ...this week is predicted to be no shining path to warmer days with more snow in the forecast!

4/16/11  Today I'm very proud to debut our new 2011 Trolling Squids built to superior standards.  Each squid has a Mylar fly inside, or tinsel skirt.  The additional Mylar skirt material adds bulk, flash, and X-Glow (except in the Pearl Iridescent UV).
              All squids have a willow leaf nose spinner blade for enhanced flash.  Having fished squids from 1977-2003 ...I know the reel-value of this attention getting spinner.
              Are old school squids better than flies?  To me? ...it's a tie, but the life of a squid is bit longer than fly due to a
Plastisol overcoat. Click new squid selections
              Base squids on the new squids is 4.99 thru 5/1/11.  After May 1st squids will be 5.99 & worth every cent of it, cuz nobody offers the upgrades I do!
              Plus, my tackle industry ground breaking world 1st choices in 2 kinds of leader material, 3 hook setup options and a storage tube to extend the life of your tackle.

4/15/11  Was hoping to wish all the weekenders good luck fishing, but nasty weather with big seas predicted for tomorrow ...will keep the wise shore-bound.
              Just don't have a lot subject matter to work with today other than the United States Post Office has some kind of rate hike due to take effect on 4/17/11.
               Our webstore free shipping policy on orders over 100 dollars could be effected.  In most cases, US Priority Mail is the best deal on packages this side of 5 pounds.  UPS is the best on rates, service, & delivery times for larger heavy orders.
   From here on out, our season will gain speed.  The reel-question how ready are you?

MORNING.  Just what you don't want to hear if you're a weekend warrior.
             Today's featured photo is our HRP BTI catching Coho off E. Chicago, IN.  Deep fluorescent red is a time tested a proven Coho killer.  In fact, my 1st Coho Salmon was caught on this very same color, but on a M-2 Flatfish back in 1968. Click HRP 2011

4/13/11  Early season success is directly tied to water temperature.  Temp jump starts fish metabolism and causes them to feed (hit a bait) more often. 
              Surface temp off Manistee, MI is slightly behind this time last year with inshore off the beach water in the high 30s to the low 40s according to the charts.
              Early season Lk. MI Coho from St. Joe, MI to E. Chicago, IN is still on tear, far surpassing catches from last year at this time.  Southern Lk. MI Kings are not too far off and will be grabbing the very limelight soon.
              This coming weekend does not bode well for those planning a Lk. MI fishing trip.  Cooler weather and stout breezes is what's on deck for this coming Saturday.

4/12/11  Here's late breaking news on the electric Asian Carp barriers in the Chicago's drainage canal.  The Army Corp of Engineers now has 3 electric barriers working.  While this idea is flawed at best, 3 working electric underwater fences are better than 2!
              A surprise ally in our battle against the Asian Carp, Chicago, IL's new mayor elect Rahm Emanuel is trying to speed up the "A-Carp study."  This government smoke screen is slated to extend for several years, not days like it should be!
said, "invasive species are a significant and immediate threat, and separation of the watersheds is an important opportunity to invest in and improve the environment, our infrastructure and our economy. We cannot go slow or take a wait and see approach. The study must be expedited."  Click more info on this story

4/11/11  First warm weekend of the 2011 season.  Manistee, MI pushing 80 yesterday, but strong early storms with wind clocked at 79 mph tore up several local buildings.
               Had several message board members fish Lakes Huron and Michigan last weekend.  All caught at least some fish and a few had quite respectable boxes. 
               If this past weekend was the official kickoff of the new season? ...then we're off to a pretty darn good reel-start!  Click 4/9/11 Lk. Huron Coho
               Introducing new trolling squids that are priced right.  5 squids with 5 bullet heads for 4.95 is a reel-deal.  I've caught 1000s of fish on squids.
Click new squids
               It's no secret squids have fell out of favor being replaced by Mylar flies.  Lead core, copper, wire line all fell out of favor too.  Only to come back stronger than ever!

4/10/11  Limits on Coho from Chicago, IL to St. Joe, MI are still going strong.  Southern Lk. Huron off Lexington, MI had spring Coho 2-4 lbs. & respectable Kings past double digits.  More importantly the sunrise side (Lk. Huron) Kings are looking plump well fed.  This is good news and let's hope this trend continues.  Click 15.5 lb. Lk. Huron King
            70s are a reel-possibility for Manistee, MI today with thunderstorms.  Could it be that spring has finally sprung?  I certainly hope so!

4/9/11  Weather looks good for southern Lk. MI ports like St. Joe, MI. Temps about 60 and seas at around 1' with fog being the downside.
             Major concern for boat owners that dock is low water conditions.  Those that dock at Solberg's Marina in Manistee with larger boats might have a problem until dredging.
             A large die-off of gizzard shad in Milwaukee, WI's harbor was attributed to VHS last month.  Gizzard shad are plankton feeders and native to Great Lake region and many areas of North America.  When small a gizzard shad closely resembles younger Asian Carp.

4/8/11  Fishing for April Brown Trout off the Port of Manistee, MI is mediocre.  There were some Browns caught this past week.  Lack of stained water due to low water flows had the fish concentrated from the harbor south to the high bluffs before Gurney Creek.
            Size of the Manistee Browns was above average 4-6 pounds.  If this trend continues last year's plant didn't fare well.  This early in April we should be seeing good numbers  1 1/2 to 3 lb. Brownies.  Only time will tell this reel-story.
            My check list to ready my boat for 2011 is almost complete.  Fired the motor and did a check on all the electronics.  Plan hit the pond next week. Click readying boat
            Good luck to all fishing this weekend.  Weather looks to be on your side!

4/7/11  Today's featured photo has far more impact than words I can string together.  Here's what our dreams are made of: click rearing tank full of 2014 Kings/Chinooks!

4/6/11  Today we'll shine the light on Michigan's Platte River Hatchery located just north of Honor, MI.  This amazing facility is at the roots of our Great Lakes Salmon fishing heritage going back to the 1960s when it was first built.  Click Platte signage
             Our Michigan DNR's hatchery program is a reel-example on how government can get it right.  In turn, establishing one of the very best fisheries in the world.  Michigan became the leader that all other Great Lakes States have followed.
             The Platte River Hatchery is open to the public daily 8am-4pm with mounted fish & other exhibits.  The later 1960s introduction of Coho & Chinook/King Salmon transformed our Great Lakes and the art of deep water sport fishing forever! Click mounted fish
             It's beyond an awe inspiring moment when you visit the long fish rearing tanks where there's a bazillion tiny Salmon just waiting to be caught a few years down the road!

4/5/11  If the present Coho bonanza continues thru this season?  we're all in for a good time.  While a smaller cousin to the King Salmon, what Coho lack in size they make up for with sheer aggressiveness.  Plus, usually, they're not as light sensitive as Kings and will be on a constant bite all day long.  Last part of this coming August should be a reel-ball.
             Introduced my "Fly Flippers" yesterday.  These 2 lock snaps rotate the fly on the same turn rate of any rotating flasher.  This is very important with flies that have multiple contrast colors like several of our new 2011 trolling flies.  Click 2011 Fly Flippers
             This tip was shared to all by the owner of North Port Nailers during our 2004 Salmon Symposium held in March of 2004.  So, this pro tip has been around for a while.
             By opening up the snap you can spilt every Fly Flipper into to 2 cross locks for use on slanted vertical finned flashers manufacturers seem to have neglected

4/4/11  In a continuation of yesterday's reel story on ethanol content ...the gas station where the 8% E-gas was purchased was Glenn's south of Manistee by about 1 mile and on the east side of US31.  8% is good compared to the 10% outlets are permitted to sell.
I will be testing all gas stations and marinas in Manistee for E-content in their gas. 
             Message board members will have access to all my testing data with percentage numbers. This information will not be made public, cuz I want to show there's big advantages in joining our online community. Click testing ethanol content kit
             If our spring King season is 1/3 as good as the early 2011 Coho are?  Then, our May King fishery will outpace 2008, 2009, & 2010.  Only time will tell this reel-story.
             Breaking news says a few Kings are being caught towards Chicago's area of Lk. MI mixed in with the endless hoards of piranha-like Coho that are on a hard bite now.

4/3/11  Lots has been said about the ethanol content in the fuel we buy nowadays.  Understanding all the mumbo-jumbo is another story.  Especially, since the State of Michigan no longer requires E-content to be listed at the pump.
            To sort out all the reel-facts I bought a testing kit.  This kit has a device to measure alcohol i.e. ethanol in percentages.  Click testing ethanol content kit
             According to what I read it is illegal to sell over 10% E-content, because of the potential harm it can do to older vehicles and boats. 
             Ethanol is not added at the refineries and is done locally.  Reason? ...ethanol draws water like a magnet and is far to unstable to store very long. 
             Making a long story short ...in the future I will be testing all Manistee gas station pumps, including marinas and posting their E-content of the fuel they sell.
             Today's featured photo shows 7 to 8 percent is ethanol/alcohol.  Want to know which station this gas came from?  Then, check back tomorrow for this Manistee location.

4/2/11  There's a blanket of early Lk. MI Coho from Chicago, IL to South Haven, MI and probably ports further north.  Early season anglers are having a field day.
             Decided to add trolling squids to our tackle lineup for 2011.  Squids have more, or less fell out of favor with Great Lakes fishermen, but will rise again this year!
             Main reason is the China bullet heads, or beads were used fillers inside the squid heads.  This cheap acrylic soft plastic soon melted into goo ...rendering the squid next to useless.  This will not happen with my "Made in the USA" better quality heads that do not chemically react to the squid body material. Click for new 2011 Squids
             All of our squids will feature custom tied Mylar skirts/inserts in X-Glow and UV (black light) sensitive bodies.  Main advantage to squids is they last a bit longer than flies.

4/1/11  From our friends at Calumet Marine down by Chicago, IL, Frank said this is the very best the Coho fishing has been in a long time.  Catch rate is smoking red-hot 10 to 15 spring Coho per hour.  Interesting reel-fact is they're catching these fish in water that's more like chocolate milk with only 1' of visibility.  This is a good clue that Salmon use their lateral line's sensitivity to locate, attack and chow on bait.
             Word of note about the Brown Trout action, or lack thereof off Manistee, MI.  Water is cold, even for this time of the year.  From past experience I can catch a few Browns in water temps below 38 degrees, but a boat load in 44 to 46 degree water.
             I predict Manistee's Brown fishing will greatly improve with a few warm days and nights. Inshore stained water absorbs heat from the sun and warms up quickly.