Archived Log for April May and June 2012
A few days ago on 6/26/12 we shot an underwater meat
head video that had both the Magnum and Super Mags
heads. Both styles head marched in lockstep:
turn for turn. Mags had a Calumet Marine thick
King Strip. Super Mags were using A-side
filleted blue label herring with the backbone & tail.
Click sneak peek head vs. head pic
What I noticed most was the vivid Rage Red UV heads
Next obvious factor was the large amount reflection of
light off the herring, as it rolled.
Still more work to be done before I can call this
project finished. It's awkward pointing the
camera by instinct and keep both of heads in camera
Footage I already have is just OK, but not great.
So, I'm re-shooting the head vs. head movie in the
near future. I will not settle for just OK
...when I know a better job of capturing the head vs.
head action video can be done!
Central Lk. MI is offering up some of the best late
June fishing for King Salmon in a mighty long time.
Manistee, MI has Kings straight out of port, to the S,
and to the N. I have no doubt Ludington and
Frankfort have good fishing too.
mentioned these three ports, because they're the ones
most familiar to me & have trustworthy fishing reports
to back it up.
Click 6/26/12 Big Point Sable 2fer
Only fly in the ointment will this good ...early part
of season fishing subtract from later this summer, or
will it keep getting better and better?
Please keep in mind, this good fishing news is how
it's been up until now and it's impossible to predict
what it will be like tomorrow, next week, or next
Received a furlough from the funny farm yesterday for
some self-prescribed water therapy during the hours
6am thru 2pm. Cleared Manistee, MI's pier heads
around 7am and headed 10 miles S towards famous Big
Dropped lines on the fish about 8am and were fast into
a double shortly thereafter with the Smurf tackle on
duty. Hit another fish at 9am, another one at
10am, and almost a double at straight up noon.
We released 2 of the 6 fish we caught.
Area fished was the 7s to the 4s. After sorting
thru the trial and error process best action was in
120' to 135' tight to the sharp structure this area
offers. Deeper than 150' was a bust and spent a
good hour figuring this out. Temp was at 75' down off
the humps in the 6s and closer the point the temp
break came up to approx. 50'.
Featured photo of the day is my favorite fishin' bud,
11 year old Dillan proudly hoisting a good teener King
above 15 pounds while his dad, "Todd the Rod" looked
on. Sometimes you just press the shutter at the
right time and consider this photo one of the best
I've taken this year.
Click 11 year old Dillan hoisting a noontime King
Congratulations to website members, Old Paint aka Tom
M and jerryriggin aka Jeremy M for their winning
efforts in last weekend's Bud Pro Am Tournament in
Manistee, MI. Tom took the big fish prize with a
20 lb. King. The tonnage award event winning
catch went to Jeremy's Team Elsie K. Both
winners did it with my flashers & meat rigs!
Top notch tournament winning performance with the
tackle we make? This comes from my 20 years in
the trenches as a fulltime year-around charter skipper
and river guide. I just didn't wake up one
morning and decide to manufacture tackle.
My entry in the tackle business was a carefully
thought out process relying on my experience fishing
the Great Lakes since 1968.
Click Andy & Tom's trophy
There is NO tackle manufacturer based in the State of
Michigan that can touch my credentials. Nor does
anyone else provide the level of support, quality of
an USA product, and total dedication to customer
service like I do. No brag ...just fact!
Today's reel story is provided by website
member, CBull ...that's no bull!
CBull fishes Lk. MI from a kayak. Necessity was
the mother of invention when he conjured up some
homemade copper reels for hand lining ...made from pie
tins fastened together. He did the math and came
up with about 2' a turn for his line counter.
Then, he flippered his frog feet propulsion system out
to the 50' to 60' depths off the Port of Frankfort, MI
for CBull's kayak katch!
He boated a Steelhead first and got into a big time
tussle with a bad boy King that kept diving under his
kayak. Patience won out when ingenious kayaker
CBull grabbed the King by the tail & hoisted his hard
earned trophy aboard caught on a BTI & meat.
This is a fish tale worthy for Ripley's Believe it,
Sunday's are supposed to be day off for rest. In
my case making tackle today to free up some time to
keep my resolution to get off the dock at least once
this week. By working today? ...I will not feel
guilty by taking a day off later this week.
Have lots of ideas on the front burner for more
underwater video footage. Strips vs. whole bait,
or Magnum vs. Super Mag meat heads shot in the same
movie for a side by side fair comparison. It's
no big secret both types of the gold standard in our
industry leading meat heads catch fish, but seeing
both action at the same time is going to be
fascinating. This will be a fun shoot where I
get to see the differences too!
We're about one month away from primetime adult
bruiser Kings over 20 pounders. Last year was a
shocker for me in mid Aug. when I went fishing with
We took 5 Kings just a few pounds shy of 100 pounds.
Most tournament grade winning fish average 8 to 10
pounds. Having a box full of King/Chinook Salmon
around 20 lbs. will win every Great Lakes tournament
Click 8/16/11 fish box
Will we see
the big guys over 25 pushing 30 lbs this season?
Hard to tell, but you can bet my best fishing trips
for 2012 are still in the future!
Planned Friday edition is on hold.
It's no big secret this season's Salmon fishing is
better then the last 3, or 4 years. Better
fishing equates to more tackle demand and we are
swamped even with the addition of hiring more help.
Want and do are opposing ends of the same stick.
That's the reason I have not been able to shake loose
even a few hours to hit the pond for a "hands on"
fishing report this week. Being self employed
means work must come ...before play ...darn it!
Choke point is not our ability to make tackle.
It's the reel-fact our all of suppliers are running
way behind. I ordered more Mylar from WTP on
6/20, projected delivery is 7/7, as they rush to keep
up. Same deal with eyelets for flashers,
normally a 3 to 5 day turnaround is now 3 weeks.
This all stems from the economic downturn going back
to 2008 when it was necessary to cut inventories and
trim workforce to produce.
Weather Service has said to expect a warmer June, July
and August. Like we didn't know that already?
Guess it never hurts to be on the safe side.
This is a tournament weekend in Manistee with the Bud
Pro Am put on by the Manistee County Sport Fishing
Association. Seas look to be favorable for the
upcoming Bud Pro Am at 2 foot, or less. This
event dates back to the mid 1980s.
Yesterday was first day of official summer 2012 and
the longest day of the year. Summer will be with
us until Saturday, September 22. It hot 90
degrees and muggy at my place. Cooler more
normal weather in the 70s is predicted well into next
Tomorrow I'll touch on how we used to fish the Great
Lakes in 1988. For me 1988 is EZ to remember due
to the hot summer, lack of Kings and very deep fish.
Heat wave is the headline for today.
Yesterday afternoon it was over 92 degrees at Saginaw
Bay Light #1. This is hot seeing this light sits
miles from shore over water. Surface temps in
Lk. MI are building. N end at the mid lake buoy
is about 60 and the S mid lake buoy was around 65.
This is warm for this early in the season!
Posted a charter catch from 1988 when I ran my boat
out of Frankfort, MI. This was the height of the
BKD epidemic (Bacterial Kidney Disease) that was
affecting the King population back then. 5, or 6
Kings would be considered a good catch, but we had
plenty of Lk. Trout to fall back on in those days.
Now, imagine this ...record setting heat in 1988 and
the fish are holding at or below a thermocline 130'
down. You have no wire divers, no meat rigs,
thin super braid lines, no mag dipsy divers, or large
dipsy rings that add depth. How do you produce a
respectable catch for a party of 5 to 6 customers?
To be continued tomorrow.....
At 6am this morning it's already 77 degrees at the
Port of Frankfort, MI. High temps predicted for
all central Lk. MI ports is pushing 90 degrees.
90 might not be considered hot in some parts of our
country, but for N MI it is!
2012 has been warm and this effects the temperature of
the Great Lakes. While it's impossible to
predict the rest of this summer ...it makes sense to
think a month, or 2 ahead for the upcoming primetime
Seen a extra hot summer back in 1988 and it was hot at
all Lk. MI ports. This drove the thermocline
down to a steady diet of plus 100' down to temp.
In 1988 Great Lakes fishing was only a little over 20
years old and while the fleet tried to adapt to
fishing deep everyday ...the tools back then were not
in place like they are nowadays.
Modern day savvy skippers can now fish depths of 100 to
200 feet down and do well as they use a deep
thermocline to their advantage. Deeper
thermoclines means the more concentrated the fish will
be off structure ...once you locate them.
Manistee, MI is still producing OK action for
Kings. While not red-hot ...it's decent for the
3rd week of June when the inshore fishery off this
port can be a tough nut to crack. Not hearing
anything about Kings over 20 yet, but fish in the mid
to high teens.
Fishing on the WI side at Kewaunee sounds like they
have more fish on their side of the pond.
Website member, SteveO got into double figures fish
the non-peak bite from 7:30am till 1:30pm. WI
7:30am is 8:30am MI time.
Click 6/17/12 Kewaunee King
This week, as a backup topic I'll travel back to
1988. One of the hottest summers on record & how
ill prepared the fleet was to deal with deep summer
Back then there was no super braid, wire Dipsys, mag
diver rings, or thinner rigger cable.
Father's Day 2012 update is about renewing the
fiberglass hull on my 33 year old Sea Ray.
Nobody likes a ratty ride, if you have pride in
Taking a chance ...I bought a kit with the primer/wax
remover, applicators and polymer sealer. So far,
this renew kit has been a miracle compared to the work
involved power buffing an old faded out highly
oxidized gel coat.
I'm very happy with the results for the time invested.
Before sharing the brand name let's see how long this
product holds up. Kinda leery about endorsing
this kit I seen in one of those late night
shiny 1979 Sea Ray hull
hot weather is on the way! Tomorrow's update
will focus on what the Great Lakes fleet learned since
1988 when record heat drove the Kings deep. Lk.
MI was plus 80 degrees on the surface many miles from
shore back in 1988.
Salmon fever is a year around malady, but it doesn't
become acute until the latter part of July. Then
it becomes critical when August rolls around.
The only cure is to go fishing on the Great Lakes to
keep the symptoms at bay.
It's no secret 2012 has been a warm year. Unless
we get of lot of wind from the N to roll the lake over
...depths to and plus 100' could be steady fare as
summer progresses. That's OK with me, because
deep fish are not shy about biting.
Good luck to all fishing this Father's Day weekend.
Wave report for Manistee, MI thru next Monday is a
very favorable with seas to 2 feet.
I've been out on Lk. MI 7 times since last March.
This is far ahead of my 2011 pace. Getting away
for even a few hours my normal routine is blessing.
Hope to have news on when Leland, MI's launch ramp is
open again. The way I heard the story is this
public access launch has been upgraded from a single
ramp to 2.
Yesterday was my great pleasure to fish with John J,
Todd the Rod, and his 11 year old son ...alpha copper
specialist Dillan B. Dillan has favored status
on my boat. When he's on ...this young man eagle
eyes a fish bite long before the rest of us do.
We trolled N in 15s to the low 20 numbers and didn't
see much. 16s to the 18s was a fish desert in
the 100' to 150' depths. We did get into a few
fish N of the 19s up towards Onekama when it was lines
up time this side of 11am.
Assembled some hard reel-facts for a soon to debut
tech update focused on using herring strips in Super
Mag Heads. This inside info is for our website
I haven't used strips since 2007 and it made sense to
cover this type of bait to stay current for product
Click Smurf Herring strip caught King
Received my new logos back from the graphics company
yesterday. This logo project has been in the
works since last fall and glad to see it's done.
The decals/stickers are 14 by 8 inches with a white
background, a red crown, large blue letters for KINGS
and smaller black letters for MEAT FISHING TACKLE.
The font used is called Niamey. This is a true
font downloaded and installed in my fonts folder for a
Click for my new logo/boat decals
Haven't figured out a way to make these widely
available to all who use my tackle yet, but I will.
Shipping costs are an issue that needs to be solved.
Today's update is about fishing. Sounds kinda simplistic,
but there's many fascinating pages to this perpetual
sport. To be truly enjoyed fishing not a
spectator sport, but a hands on activity that knows no
age, gender, or tangible barriers.
Fishing is more mental than physical where trial and
error is a common denominator of mankind.
Part of fishing is making mistakes, then learning from
these mistakes so you don't repeat them again.
The days you struggle fall by the wayside when a
good day wipes the slate clean.
Click for a pic that explains all
Ready for some good news? Long range wind & wave
forecast thru this coming Sat. for the Port of
Manistee, MI is at 1' or less as the doldrums of June
Got bait for 2012? If not? ...the special order
thick-cut Herring Strips Calumet Marine is offering
will fill that need. We used these strips last
week and caught our 2 largest Kings of the trip after
10:00am in full sun and flat calm water.
These are tough conditions and prove whether a bait
works, or not.
The secret to using the dry packed salted Calumet
King strips is brining them a day, or two before fishing.
I purchased a case of this bait that catches with both
the Magnum, or Super Mag meat heads.
Click for my EZ
no brainer brine video
You can order these strips online. Best part is
Calumet Marine ships bait the first part of every week
to IN, IL, WI and MI.
Click to buy bait online
Posted a "how to photo" on installing crimps on rigger
cable. Inserting the cut end back into the
crimps eliminated jabbed fingers from the needlelike
Diameter of the Stealth rigger wire is about 15-20%
less then the standard issue original cable that came
with your riggers. Slightly smaller means a
tighter twist and less of the annoying harmonic rigger
Click crimping rigger wire process
fish about 100 hours a season (or less) on Lk. MI and
have never lost a cannonball with Stealth Rigger Cable
going back to 2007 when I switched over.
Make sure to inspect the attaching loop to the
coastlock swivel every so often and redo as necessary.
In my case? ...that's about once every 2 seasons.
Walleyes vs. Salmon fishing in the month of June?
Most of the time Salmon action wanes and Walleyes grab
all the attention. Not so this year, with
central Lk. MI ports still having decent numbers of
Tomorrow introductory pricing on the Stealth
Downrigger Cable will end. Price will go up 2
bucks to 19.95 with a 2 dollar option for attachment
still below the normal price charged for thick old
style noisy rigger replacement 200-150# test wire in
shorter lengths of 150' to 200'.
the perfect length to reach fish to 200' down with 12
pound cannonballs. Most downriggers are not
engineered to work with heavier loads.
exceeding 100' down it's pretty much standard practice
to use a super braid with a 20' to 40' leader of 30#
test mono on the business end. Mono can be
spliced into braid with a bloodknot and makes missing
deeper fish a thing of the past.
mono leader at the end of braid must be used for 3
reasons: 1. it acts like a shock absorber. 2.
30# mono will not twist up when using rotators.
3. mono holds up better to downrigger release
mechanism abuse issues.
The reel story about my 6/6/12 fishing trip says Manistee, MI
does have decent fishing for King Salmon. With
enough fish in the mid teens to keep it exciting.
past Wednesday we cleared the pier heads at the crack
10 minutes to 7am & were dropping lines down on the
fish around 7:30am.
the next 3 1/2 hours we took 5
fish on flat calm table top water. No
depth or certain area was a hot spot for us.
Action was about a fish every 45 minutes.
Salmon were scattered up & down the water column from 30' to 120' down. 3
of the fish were released. 2 of the Kings were
gill hooked, bleeding, and boxed.
Our 2 biggest
fish were caught and at 10am and 10:45am.
Confirming my late morning/mid day program results are
Click Herring Strip & Magnum Head
a combination of strips vs. hand cut fillets vs. whole
bait with no clear cut winner. Strips we used
were special thick cut Herring sold by Calumet Marine.
Today's focus is on Manistee, MI's fishing with a
genuine reel-fishermen, 11 year old Dilllan B.
Today's trip was a coming of age time for him in my
book. This was my second opportunity to fish
with Dillan. The first time was 4 years ago when
he was 7.
young man proved his worth by winning the mad scramble
to the chute rigger rod race ...beating both John J
and his dad.
Click a super reel fisherman
Dillan took care of business like a pro by getting the
hook tightened into a fish 120' down. He fought
a King around 10 pounds to the boat 100% unassisted
and was "all in" about releasing his solo effort King
Salmon unharmed back to Lk. MI.
is Todd the Rod's son and the apple didn't fall very
far from the tree with passion and skill to become an
accomplished Great Lakes fisherman ...just like his
There's a lot more to today's reel-story that will be
expanded on tomorrow.
Fishing is still decent on Manistee, MI for King
Salmon. Those targeting the early before dawn
bite are getting into double figures. Fishing
was said to best in the top 60' of water.
Gas had fell to 3.51 a gallon, 30 some cents cheaper
then last year.
policy has been adjusted to keep our heads above
water. We're shipping on Monday, Wednesday and
Friday. We are nose to the grindstone building
tackle in the off days to keep up with the increased
better King fishing on Lk. MI, and Lk. Huron are the
driving reasons behind our tackle sales being way
ahead of last year's pace.
Spring Salmon fishing this year so
far has been better at most ports compared to the last
4, or 5 seasons. Even Lk. Huron is showing a
remarkable recovery since the decline, or crash of
King Salmon population in 2003-2004. This is
featured photo is interesting, because it shows that
Great Lakes fish will eat what's available. On
6/3/12 a Harbor Beach, MI Lake Trout was chowing down
on Pink Salmon sushi. Pink Salmon are hard to
indentify when they're small, but large eyes and
splotches on deeply forked tail help tell the
Click partially digested Pinky
Considering adjusting my webstore's shipping policy
temporarily. Spring Salmon has been very good.
Good fishing increases the demand for tackle.
If we ship
only 2, or 3 days a week? Say on Monday,
Wednesday, and Friday that would leave Tuesday and
Thursday devoted to just manufacturing.
more help to build tackle, but we're a long ways from
having anything close to a comfortable inventory
cushion leading into the hectic months of July &
fighting to stay on schedule with same day shipping,
but at the grinding cost of burdened workload with too
many hours on my part.
alternative is to shut the webstore down until we have
more tackle built. This will eliminate playing
the "catch-up game" when you're always behind!
recent fish report I have is from Fairport, MI and
they're catching plenty of fish there. Fairport
is on the extreme N end of Lk. MI in MI's UP.
Sunday a day of rest. This website is now on
autopilot for the "rest" of today.
Created another video on You Tube. The new one
is something I take for granted, but always seems a
mystery to those new to fishing meat on the Great
is no big deal. It's a cheap easy way to preserve your
bait for long periods of time. Brine is a bunch
better then refreezing.
Click new EZ
Thawing-refreezing expands the bait fish flesh
rendering mushy over time. My recipe with Kosher
Salt and Borax 20 Mule Team Laundry Freshener in a
50/50 mix will save you reel dough, produce more fish,
and give you a well preserved firm bait.
Posted the largest King to be sent in by the viewers
of this website thus far. Gregg S and team took
a 24.1 lb. Kewaunee, WI King.
Click Gregg S WI
May fish in
this size range are probably Master Angler Kings (over
27#) come August. Last weekend's Onekama
Shakedown tournament largest King caught was over 17
pounds by website member, Lip Ripper aka Bob K who was
using a 12" Mamba and Rage Red 3 fly meat rig.
Ripper had the largest Laker too at over 15 pounds.
Today's endearing photo of young Ava M posing with her
first Lk. MI fish reminds me how lucky we are.
Manistee, MI's Salmon fishing has been good. Gas prices
broke tradition and actually went down over
Memorial Day Weekend. The outlook for Kings when they
mature fish return in July, August, and September is
2012 has been kind to us so far. Let's hope it
stays that way!
Let's look at the spring Salmon big picture in general
off the Port of Manistee, MI. Since March this
port has had Kings. Probably not as many as
ports like St. Joe, but it's been decent going back to
mid March with fish available. Never in all my
years of fishing Lk. MI have I seen the spring Salmon
season last this long consistently. This bodes
well for the upcoming later months of July, August, &
Posted photos with a time stamps from last Saturday.
My Sat. trip was a shot in the dark not having fished
for 11 days. Spent the first 2 hours in search
mode. Then found one lump of bait with active
Kings from 9:30am till about noon. Once again
showing my line of tackle works in the tougher off
peak bite timeframe.
Click for this proof
Cost effective Stealth Rigger Cable is now being
offered at my webstore. This industrial grade
stainless steel will outperform stock rigger cable
with little to no harmonic hum. This thinner
cable has been mentioned before on this website.
Finally found a source where I can offer it you at
Click for more info
This is the best favor you can do for your rigger
program and still fish comfortably at depths to 200'
with ease with 12# cannonballs. Been using this
very same cable since 2007 with zero issues.
Comes with attachment hardware too!
Memorial Day is the time set aside to honor and
remember our 2 million fallen war heroes. It's
hard to conceive the bravery our armed forced had when
they stood toe to toe with the British at short
distance to give withering musket fire at Cow Pens in
Trench warfare in WWI, or take Omaha Beach, and land
on Iwo Jima
takes true grit. Korea's fighting
withdrawal from the Chosin Reservoir where our
outnumbered & surrounded 30,000 troops inflicted
crippling loses to a 70,000 man Chinese army in 1950.
Our armed forced NEVER lost a battle a mostly hidden
enemy in Vietnam and they're still dealing with the
present day conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan.
We owe more than we can ever repay to our valiant
soldiers who fought and died for the USA.
Out of respect I postponed today's
planned topics will include a new product that will make your
time on the water a bunch more productive. Plus, the rundown on the 2012 Salmon Season from Manistee,
MI thus far.
Fished the Port of Manistee, MI with website member,
Roger C. Our mid morning bite was respectable up
until noon. Found a lump of bait with a
small pocket of Kings in the 19 to 20 N numbers in 100'-110'
of water up by Onekama.
Boated 5 (1 Coho & 4 Kings) from 9am till noon.
5 fish is no big deal, but 5 fish caught during an off
peak timeframe is.
Click 5/26/12 hot rigs & fish box
For us? ...the most active depths down was in the 55' to 85'
All the fish came on 10" BTI flashers and 2 fly meat
rigs. Smurf and Black Mambas in the SUV daylight
blue glow color were the flavor of the day.
Smurf and Rage Red 2 fly meat rigs were again my top
producers just like last season from July thru October
Click for our largest 5/26/12 King
Please take a moment, or two to remember what Memorial
Day is really about.
It's to honor our fallen heroes going back to the
Revolutionary War to the present and counting.
This ultimate bravery to give all will never be
Capt. Chucks (Ludington), Tangled Tackle and Shipwatch
Marina in Manistee, MI are now restocked with a fresh
supply of my
flashers and meat rigs.
Good news for this weekend is that a gallon of gas
costs less then at this time last year. Have a great
and safe Memorial Day Weekend.
The unofficial start of the summer season, Memorial
Day Weekend is almost upon us. My plan is to
take a few days off to complete an important mission.
have one of them gizmos that records depth by Fish
Hawk called a TD. This device will be used as I
take notes on diver depths with regular and mag divers
on different dial settings. Then, this precise
info with be shared on our message board.
Have a great Memorial Day Weekend, cuz
you deserve it!
Today's featured image is a bar graph with WI data
collected last February during trawls for chubs.
148 one year old Kings were caught and their planting sites
indentified. Big shocker is? ...only 14 Salmon
were said to be natural fish, or 9%!
This 9% is a far cry from estimates to the contrary
that claim 50% of the Chinooks/King Salmon are
naturally reproduced fish.
More hard reel-facts like this is needed to set the
record straight and eliminate the word estimate.
Estimate can mean guess. Guess & knowing are 2
Thanks to website member Steve S for passing on
this reel WI DNR info.
to do something I have not done in 27 years in the
fishing business. That being a short mini
vacation beginning 5/24/12 during a holiday weekend.
So, my shop is shutting down for a few days. Any
orders received on, or after 5/24/12 will be shipped
after Memorial Day Weekend. We all need a break
For about the past week we had a raccoon doing what
raccoons do. Like tipping over garbage cans
looking for chow. Captured this cute rascal &
released Rocky Raccoon about 3 miles from my place at
for Rocky Raccoon
A handful to 10 fish is considered good for the Port
of Manistee, MI now. Last Saturday's event Tight
Lines for Troops 3 to 6 fish per boat was the norm.
Seng's Marina in Manistee went all out and opened
their facilities with welcome mat for our armed forces
veterans. Close to 60 boats participated for
approximately 240 vets. Manistee did a great job
for deserving members from all branches of the
Been way too busy with production issues for the past
2 weeks. Looking forward to the upcoming
Memorial Day Weekend ...bigtime!
With the approaching Memorial Day Weekend gas prices
in Manistee, MI are just about they were at this time
last year. National news predictions said a lot
higher, cuz they need horror stories to sell commercials.
Still, 3.80 a gallon is
by no means a bargain.
Fuel prices are the single biggest cost associated
with Great Lakes fishing. My first 4 trips the
boat burned 5 gallons a trip. My last 2 outings
with boat runs to and back from almost Big Point Sable
averaged right at 6 gallons.
Click my boat's kicker
Frugal fishing in a 22' boat can only be accomplished
with a kicker motor. My 4 stroke 15 hp. Johnson
trolling motor cost close to 4k in 2007.
Justifying kicker expense can only be done by
spreading it over several seasons to equal out the
Summer like weather is returning to Manistee, Mi with
temps in the 80s. Last time we seen solid 80
degree temps was that weird warm spell last March.
Manistee's Tight Lines for Troops is happening today
where vets get to go fishing for aboard charter and
sport fleet vessels with no strings attached.
Interest for Walleyes on Saginaw Bay and Lake Erie is
gaining favor with our website members. Late May
into June the Walleye fleet comes out in force.
Then God said, "Let there
be light," and there was light.
Looks like the City of Manistee took a hint from the
bible and installed new lights at the First Street
Public Boat Launch. Plus, one over the
R2D2 machine that collects fees.
Plan was to fish yesterday afternoon, but when we got
to town around 4pm the wind was puffing from the SW
with too much white water for me. If the goal
was just fishing?...the seas were tolerable.
Just not suitable for shooting video. Keeping
the camera still enough to capture live action would
have been next to impossible.
As luck would have it, the crews just finished putting
up the new launch lights as Todd B, his son Dillon & I
Click 5/17/12 new Manistee ramp lights
luck to all fishing in Manistee, MI's Tight Lines for
Troops tomorrow. Yesterday's fish report from
Manistee said N was way-better then S. Kings
were still deep for the most part ...like a 150' down
and deeper over 200' to 250' of water. Keeping
in mind, this info will be 48 hours old when tomorrow
Ramp and parking lights for Manistee, MI's are on
backorder. So, it looks like there will be light
...eventually. Manistee's First Street Launch
ramp is now collecting launch fees by a machine
located as you pull in the entranceway.
Warmer temperatures are on the way for Manistee
this weekend. 80s for Saturday. Sunday is
the high 70s. Seas predicted are in the 2 to 3
foot range. This coming weekend looks like great opportunity
to wet a line for all central Lk. MI ports.
Two most popular videos we've completed and
published at You Tube are underwater web-movies.
Looks for more new subsurface action videos soon!
Got a tremendous lesson during the editing process
in my latest underwater movie. Fish hooked on
the far right corner of their mouth have a tendency to
run towards the starboard side of the boat during the
fish battle. I'm sure you've seen this.
Never noticed this before with cross coursing fish
before. Fish turn their full body to opposite of
where the hook is stuck in their chops.
Click underwater Action
Seeing this brought leader abuse into a new light.
The range on my underwater video camera is between 30'
to 40' in full sun about 1' to 2' below the surface.
The glint, reflection, or flash of a Salmon' s side is
noticeable well before the fish comes into view. Like
the reflection my flashers give off.
Plan is to capture more video on this subject with a
During editing I was able to slow-motion the action
frame by frame. Seeing a Salmon tail undulate
with power ripples going down thru it ...was truly
amazing to me!
Got a tremendous lesson during the editing process in
my latest underwater movie. Fish hooked on the
far right in the corner of their mouth have a tendency
to run towards the starboard side of the boat during
the fish battle. I'm sure you've seen this.
The range on my underwater video camera is some where
between 30' to 40' in full sun about 1' foot down.
The glint, reflection, or flash of a Salmon's side is
noticeable well before the fish comes into view.
Much like the reflection my flashers give off.
Plan is to capture more video on this subject with a
During editing I was able to slow-motion the action
frame by frame. Seeing a Salmon tail undulate
with power ripples going down thru it ...was truly
amazing to me!
Website member SteveO aka Steve S reported in with
a glowing review about the King catchin' out of
Kewaunee, WI. Deep fish, like 120' to 160' down
over 200 fow.
SteveO's King stud rig was the 2012 4G SUV combo deal
accounting for the majority of their 26 fish caught
during last weekend.
Click Kewanee, WI Kings
Another good report came from Sheboygan, WI with
website member Bad Medicine in double figures on a
short trip/maiden shake down cruise for 2012.
Manistee, MI the trailer boat fleet is averaging
around 3 to 8 fish per trip. Complaints are
building concerning the lack of lighting in the boat
Can you spare 5 minutes? Do you have a high
speed net connection too?
If so, ...then my new multi-scene underwater Salmon
movie is ready now at You Tube.
Main theme the King Salmon we caught and videoed
underwater on 5/10/12.
Ever wonder what a fish does before it goes in the net
from their point of view?
Ever wonder if a fish caught 170' down can be
released, then what it does?
Ever wonder how much underwater distance visibility
there is at high noon?
Ever seen exactly how a Salmon's tail propels in thru
The answer to the above questions and more will be
discussed this week.
Ready for my new underwater movie yet?
Click for subsurface Salmon action
Two topics on the front burner today of great
importance. First off, John J & Todd B aka "Todd
the Rod" made the new video of underwater Salmon
action possible. It takes all 3 of us in the
back of my 22' Sea Ray to capture live action
This is no small feat when you consider there's not
much room with a motor box on a boat with a 8' beam.
Major thanks JJ & Todd!
Click 2 great
Look for this new video we did last Thursday to debut
tomorrow. Gained new insights from
dissecting/editing the underwater footage that will be
discussed in detail.
Second is ...I finally got a chance to observe the SUV
flashers work down deep (150'-170') in full sun during
the middle of the day with 5 bites from 10am to 1pm.
Light known to penetrate that deep is UV. In
turn, lighting up the highly UV reactive daylight blue
glow SUV blades like a Christmas tree.
Click daylight blue glow
7 size sizes of Michigan Stinger's Dive Bombs are now
in stock at my webstore. These diving sinkers
are a cost effective way to go deeper. The 1
ounce size is, or soon will be a big hit with the
for 7 sizes of Dive Bombs
Been out of the charter business going on 9 years now.
Here's a hindsight observation to be shared with all
charter skippers. I pushed myself way too hard
to produce numbers when in the end it was not the
number of fish killed that kept customers coming back.
If folks like fishing with you? They'll like 4,
or 8 fish as much as 20. Meat hounds that demand
more? Well, ...you don't want them on your boat
It was my pleasure to fish out of the Port of
Manistee, MI with John J and "Todd the Rod" yesterday.
Our early morning program was a total exercise in
action from 10am thru
1pm was tolerable. We hit 5 fish willing to eat and boated 4
during high sun & very enjoyable fairly calm seas.
150' to 170' down on the riggers with the 12" Black
Mamba SUV/Rage Red 3 fly meat rig did most of the
damage S of Guerney in about 190' to 210' of water.
Side note to these deeper fish is how fast they come
up to the top from depths to, and plus 150' down.
Click 5/10/12 King & described tackle
Best news? ...we captured all 4 fish in a fascinating
underwater video. Seeing fish underwater
fighting, coming closer to the boat, & being netted is
All 4 of our starring video victims were treated for
kindly for hook-in-jaw disease and released back into
Click underwater King Salmon view
King action this spring is going strong to all I've
been in contact with in WI and MI. Manistee,
MI's Kings are there for the early bite, then vanish
Posted a photo yesterday of a rod rack I built.
It's cost effective and EZ to build. Some
screws, PVC 1.5" pipe, PVC 1.5" end caps, and a 2 by 6
is al, that's required.
Already had the pipe. Figure I have 20 bucks for
13 rod holders.
Underwater video of the meat head is being received
well. Over 600 views in the first three days
says more underwater videos will be forthcoming.
Here's the winning Harbor Beach, MI port report from
started the day in front of the wall at the harbor in
30fow and took a decent 10lb king and smaller 7lb
trout right away both on spoons at the south gap on
high 3 and 5 color cores. It was too crowded and the
bite shut off after the first hour.
So we worked our way straight out and slightly south
to in front of the cemetery (approx 2 miles S of
harbor). E-W troll from 60 to 50 fow took fish until
about 10:30 on Chrome-Gold John King flashers, gold
fly on the bottom (king & nice trout).
worked from 60fow out to 124 with silver bullet
BTI/meat for the rest of the day took kings & big
trout. The biggest king took a 300 copper rig with
Gold Bullet 12" flasher and gold meat rig. Always E/W
troll, N/S produced nothing. Riggers close to bottom,
wire dipseys back 250' to 300' and 300' copper all
loaded with meat took some great fish. It was nice to
get good kings & trout on flashers/meat in Lake Huron
Took 91.41lbs of
fish. Lost 2 fish & had 2 or 3 other thumps with
Team Getaway has 2 major tournament wins in a row.
Last August the Lk. MI Frankfort, MI event.
Then, this past weekend's Harbor Beach, MI Can-Can
yet? ...this Harbor Beach team is all pretty much
website members. They won over 7k for their
efforts on Lk. Huron this past Sunday.
Click HB 7k check
skipper, Bob K's input was instrumental in the final
design for my meat heads. Bob has done all CAD
work for the die cuts and many other favors too.
Team Getaway is comprised of Bob K Senior, 2-Shot &
Capt. Mad Jack.
Good to see a bunch of nice guys finish first!
More on this reel-story tomorrow...
Finished the underwater video of my Super Mag meat
heads we took last Tuesday. This was an eye
opening event for me. Seeing exactly what a fish
see from their point of view is totally reel-awesome.
Click Underwater Smurf Meat Rig Demo
Posted 20 videos on You Tube in the last 2 months and
crossed the 10,000 views threshold. Still
learning the ins and outs. Audio quality is a
lot harder than video.
You Tube uses their own proprietary program to
compress video that speed up the load time. This
causes a 30 to 40% loss of video quality. Even
though the meat rig demo was shot in full HD the end
result that you see? ...is far from the original
Streaming web videos do compromise movie detail, but
You Tube is still a wonderful media tool from me to
share passion for Great Lakes fishing with you!
Took a photo of the Super Moon event last night around
11pm. The moon was still kinda low and had to
shoot this pic thru the trees.
The next time the moon will be this close to our
planet will be in 2029.
5/5/12 Super Moon event
snapping a photo of website member, Todd B aka "Todd
the Rod." Todd mans the rear deck like a hawk.
He's 6 for 7 bites and that's especially good
considering all of these hits came deep. Like
155' to 120' feet down.
Todd's mighty minnow
know you like fishing with someone when you can hang a
nickname on them. In Todd's case for not missing hits "Todd the Rod" a was match made in heaven!
Super moon is the deal for tonight. This is when
the moon is closest to our earth. Super moon
will be 30% brighter then normal.
there's one thing the early King Salmon fishery in
Manistee, MI proves? ...it's that water temperature
means more then calendar dates. April's King
action off Manistee far surpasses anything in recent
Good luck to all hitting the Great Lakes this weekend.
Lk. MI is gonna play nice this weekend with 1 foot
seas for central area ports. Lk. Huron is at 4
to 5 footers for Harbor Beach, MI's Can-Can Tournament
on Saturday. Sunday at HB looks a lot better.
Don't have any current info for Manistee. Last
Tuesday the big deal was tighter to structure in the
100' to 150' depth ranges. S by Guerney to Big
Point Sable was where the better catches came from
back 3 days ago.
Click 5/1/12 Manistee meat catch
Twili Tips are now in stock and for sale at my
webstore. I've been using this product since
1989 and can vouch for it. Twilis take the
hassle out of fishing with wire divers and make
winding in long sections of copper easier.
You might ask, "how does it make reeling in copper
line easier?" Twili Tips do so by providing a
smooth easy flowing arc. Not a sharp hard-bend
like regular rod tips do.
Early this morning southern part of Manistee
County, MI is getting hit with a gulley washer.
Heard 4 to 5 inches on the local TV station.
This new water will eventually filter itself into the
Big and Little Manistee Rivers. Increase water
flow should draw bait to Manistee's harbor area within
the next 3, or 4 days.
a photo of the fish food used at the Platte River
Hatchery N of Honor, MI to rear young fish. This
fish food brownish & fine grained.
Task at hand is to finish my underwater videos that
are a game changer after seeing accurately how meat
rig looks to a fish. There's a bunch more going
on then can be viewed from the surface. Standby
for this eye opening amazing video event!
Escaped form the tackle business yesterday morning
to go fishing out of the Port of Manistee, MI for a
few hours and learned a ton of stuff.
learned? ...how robust double digit Kings are after
being dredged up from a 155' down. Myth says
deep fish can't be released, ...wrong! After a
short photo session this fish swam away from the boat
fast. Suffering from only a sore jaw.
E wind has slowed the Salmon action down off Manistee.
Look for this slowdown improve after some SW, or S
Click 155' down Manistee Salmon
Frayed Knot won last weekend's Lk. Huron Salmon Stakes
Tournament. This team has had a lock on these
events for the last 2 years.
some truly amazing underwater videos of my meat heads
and how the attractor flies work. Heretofore I
had no clue what a fish saw, now I know exactly.
Today's featured photo is a female King Salmon we
caught about a week ago out of Manistee, MI.
This was a dark fish. The gill plate tinged
brown just like an August adult. The scales were
tight ...unlike normal spring Kings that have loose
scales. Eggs still in skein were beginning to
Click for a dark April King Salmon
Anomalies do occur ...I've caught full blown adult
Kings in the Manistee River in March and April.
While these early arriving river fish are rare the
commonality is they were always all females coming to
spawn about 6 months early.
Preliminary catch reports from our message read are
good. S Lk. MI on the State of Michigan side is
leading the way. EZ limits have been reported.
Talk about an eye opening experience? ...last Monday I
held baby 3 to 4 inch Kings in my hand at the Platte
River Hatchery N of Honor Michigan. This was the
beginning cycle of Salmon's life. Then, 2 days
later on Lk. MI was handling King/Chinook Salmon on
the other side of 15 pounds.
Click baby Kings being tagged
Really don't know how to explain this experience and
do it justice. But my want to kill fish is
becoming more difficult over time. I released
about 20 fish in 2011 and plan on letting more go free
this year for others to enjoy as much as I have!
Word on the weather? ...this is the first time we've
had a warmer March then April. This month has
been chilly struggling to reach the 50s in Manistee,
On 4/23/12 part of the update was the Kmart rubber
mats installed in my boat. This mats make
excellent meat rig holders too.
homemade meat rig case
To make your own meat rig cases the dimensions of the
rubber inserts is 7.75 by 13.5 inches with a slot cut
about every inch for separation. The number on
the Plano box is 2-3731. Meat Rig cases were
in-demand hot selling items at my webstore. This
was before the company that made the inserts went
Worst part of this deal for me? Leader Pro (the
company) that went defunct never had the common
decency to return any of my calls. I see why
they went broke!
Wow ...what a week! Went to the hatchery on
Monday, came up with a new flasher on Tuesday, then
proved it worked the next day being Wednesday.
It was nice to steal a few hours on Lk. MI with an
outstanding crew this past Wednesday morning and still
be home in time to get rush orders out the door.
Posted two new videos on Thursday and another better
quality short movie on yesterday. Guess you can
say, ....I had a pretty full plate last week.
Website member Todd B took home the 5 Kings we caught
two days ago. I asked him, "please, ...check the stomachs
Click stomach inspection
Todd did an over the top job by removing all 5
stomachs for inspection and sent me a photo. 3
Kings were empty and 2 fish had 1 alewife in their
Plus, Todd indentified the sex and said all 5 were
hens. This is probably just coincidence
member, SteveO's 4/22/12 Kewaunee, WI catch ...had all
Getting the itch to go fishing? New
video I posted on You Tube should help
set the mood for what's in store for you this weekend.
Click new 2G
This video has a far better sound track. Most
due to a bunch better HD video camera. Still
learning the ins and outs of editing, but it's a
preview of progress.
out of my home port of Manistee, MI yesterday morning
with website members Todd B and John J. We had
lines in the water from about 8am until 11am.
Action was mediocre with 5 bites and 5 boxed.
Best depth on the riggers was 150' down. 3 of
our Mamba meat munching Kings came there. Took
one fish on a 120' downrigger. One fish on a mag
wire diver with 250' line off the reel dialed on 1.5.
Water was reel cold. Autopsy results showing 3
of the Salmon had empty bellies. 2 fish had bait
in it, ...one Alewife apiece.
Click for our 4/25/12 fish box
Slow was the troll speed, like 1.5 mph in water that
would be ice if it was 8 degrees colder. Kings
are lethargic coming up from that deep and fight more
like a Laker, but do peel the drag. Just don't
expect summer reel-screamers in 40 degree water.
Painted up a few test version G2 flashers. Just
like the 4G Mamba without the glow tape. Every
bite, every fish came on the new G2 Mambas.
Did capture 2 fish on video with the netcam.
Sound quality needs major help. The mic picks up every
noise the net makes banging into stuff. The
second King in the video was a cluster when it got
into the port rigger.
Spoke with owner Craig from Captain Chucks in
Ludington, MI recently. Their Brown fishery is
doing a lot better then Manistee. Spring browns
are great table fare with a mild fish flavor. He
did inform me Ludville Kings were on the slow side and
Videoed 20 scenes in full HD while I was at the Platte
River Hatchery on Monday. Task at hand is to
piece/edit all these together now. Posted a
photo of the inner workings of the tag and clip
Click for interior of fish trailer
The blue box machines insert the micro tags in the 2"
to 3" young Salmon.
most gracious thanks to Phil S, Maintenance Supervisor
at the Platte River State Fish Hatchery. He was
kind enough to give me a personally guided tour of the
Chinook/Salmon tagging and fin clipping operation
being done in $1.2 mil automated US Fish and Wildlife
trailers. More on this tomorrow.
for this trailer
Mambas and meat was the reel-deal for website member,
SteveO with a respectable catch from Kewaunee, WI.
Steve took 7 Kings and bow/Steelhead down deep.
150' to 115' on the riggers to be exact.
Click 4/22/14 Kewaunee Kings
There's a common thread running thru the Manistee and
Kewaunee port reports on our message board. None
of the Kings had baitfish in the stomachs.
Yesterday's fishing out of Manistee. MI was good to
fair depending on who you spoke to. Kings are
still deep off the "shelf" ...about 3 miles W of port.
Manistee's new 2012 combined entrance-exit traffic
flow at the boat ramp is not gaining any rave reviews.
Only complaints thus far from the weekend fleet.
Installed rubber mats on my boat's floor. Cost
for the 1/2" snap together mats was around 50 bucks
and took about 3 hours to complete. This is a
stop gap measure until time allows spraying in pickup
bed liner. Not sure how long these mats will
hold up, but they're nice and comfortable to walk on.
Click before &
after boat floor project
Note to self: define "nice fish" for a future
Good luck to all fishing today. Waiting for word
on Manistee's April King fishery that is pretty much
undiscovered territory until now. Reasons could
be many, but I'd point my finger at March's record
warmth that woke the fish up early.
Have an interesting week planned. Big deal is a
trip to the Platte River hatchery for photos and video
of the fin clipping/wire tagging operation slated to
last thru this coming Friday. Feds have two 1.6
million dollar automated trailers that fin clip and
wire tag the young Chinook/King Salmon. Stay
tuned for more info on this worthy subject.
Gas prices have fallen to about what we were paying
last year at this time.
Took a short field trip to check out Pine Creek's run
of April Steelhead. Pine Creek is always a
source of fascination to me when it loads up with
Salmon in the fall.
Recent rains made it difficult to do any Steelhead
snooping, but it's still a great experience when you
can hear the gentle muted gurgle of a reel-Trout
This is designated DNR Trout waters with no fishing
until the last Sat. in April.
Did manage a split combined photo with one image from
last October's stream conditions compared to
yesterday's rain runoff.
this split image
Shoreline Brown fishing in Manistee, MI continues to
be a nonissue. April Manistee Browns are a good
candidate for the endangered specie list.
Those that can get dialed in on deep cold water Kings
are doing good. This week I heard a lot of 100'
to 150' down out to 250' of water. Mambas and
meat had been the program from those who are
comfortable fishing down to and over 100'.
Sonar tip from what I experienced in deep cold water
requires turning the gain up to see what's down there
if your machine is anything like mine.
Seas for tomorrow looks lumpy off Manistee, but Sunday
I want to thank
Dan O'Keefe from Michigan Sea Grant for making the
Salmon Stocking Workshop available online. Adobe
Flash Player broadcast the speakers (left pane) live
in a 3 way split screen. Center screen was
online comments and the right 3rd pane was for Power
Point Presentations. It was a good as being
there in person.
My kudos to Dan O'Keefe for making this possible.
I hope all future Sea Grant meetings will follow suit.
One thing last Saturday's workshop showed is the
dedication from the fishery experts to keep the Lk. MI
Salmon Fishery alive & vibrant for a longtime!
Now thru 5/1/12 I'm offering the new 2012 4G meat
heads along with the top selling deadly Rage Reds in 4
Click to check it out
Scoured the world to find a less expensive source for
the red and green invisible colorant until a long wave
black light causes the pigment to fluoresce.
Truly I do not know if the fish can detect UV.
Experts have said yes, but to me it's a blurry
mystery? For a reef-fact ...I do know the Smurf
& Rage Red SUV heads took most of my fish in 2011
including a 5 King Salmon box that pushed a 100
2012 4G SUV pattern means an entire RGB (red, blue &
green) spectrum covering all the bases in useful
fish-weapons to be deployed this season.
Congratulations to Team Fray'd Knot skippered by Capt.
Chris Sieman for winning Lake Huron's Spring Fling
tournament. This event was put on by the Blue
Water Sport Fishing Association. Here's a copy &
paste email Capt. Chris sent to me:
"We finally put it all together. Here
is a few pics of the crew and our day 2 catch.
105lb total for 2 days, we weight 10 fish each
day. We have been doing well on a few 10 to 12 lb
kings and lots of steelhead and browns.
Also lots of
healthy 3-4 lb coho's. Fishing has been great lots
of silver fish. My crew is Tim C, Jeff T, Nick K,
& Scott T. This is a big one $5,000 for 1st plus
$1,000 in side bets. Thanks for all your help."
Click 4/15/12 Lk. Huron fish & Team Fray'd Knot
Looks like St. Joe/Benton Harbor, MI was the big deal
port last weekend from today's featured catch photo by
website member, Klev6.
for this photo
Report I have from Manistee. MI is from this past
Saturday. Deep cold water Kings were being
caught 100' to 180' down over 200' plus of water.
Mambas and meat were the flavor of the day according
to my sources.
Please review the 4/15/12 update about proposed future
stocking cuts to the Lk. MI King fishery. I will
revisit this significant topic soon with more info.
Did the online meeting for the Salmon Stocking
Workshop yesterday from about 2:30 until I ran out of
bandwidth around 4pm. Lots of drama we do not
Anything negative about our fishery effects the
public's perception of Great Lakes Salmon fishing in
general. In turn, our multi billion dollar sport
suffers from less people being drawn into it.
Charter interest wanes, less boats are sold, the
fishing tackle industry suffers, and more private marinas are
turned into condovilles.
spite of the largest Kings we seen in many years in
2011? ...the claim is the alewife (baitfish)
population is in jeopardy. There's a lot of
flawed science being drawn into the picture by
in charge of the decision making process.
today's society cuts backs are deemed a fashionable
trend. A 50% cutback in the Lk. MI King/Chinook
Salmon stocking program has been proposed by those
with no invested accountability for their actions.
You see, ...they make their decisions with total
impunity, because they still get a paycheck whether
they're right ...or wrong?
Plan is to postpone today's topic until I have a
chance to boil down what's being cooked up at the
Salmon Stocking Workshop. I will be attending
this meeting online this afternoon.
Click here to register for this online meeting
from today's meeting around 3pm: Roger Aho posted, "I
would ask that Michigan to make up a bigger portion of
the stocking cuts, as they have the bulk of the
natural reproduction on the many great trout and
salmon spawning streams like the Betsie, Manistee,
Pere Marquette and Grand Rivers. The slow moving, silt
filled rivers on the Wisconsin side just do not have
the good spawning beds, so we depend much more on
hatchery fish. Michigan has many more "native" fish
than we do in Wisconsin. I would support option 4,
with Michigan doing a larger portion of the stocking
cut than Wisconsin. It is so important that our
grandchildren be able to take their kids out fishing
on Lake Michigan, so we must protect the resource for
the long term, and make sure that the fishery does not
what I posted at 3:49pm: John King: "If cuts are in
the works? ...penalizing/favoring certain ports more
than other ports is not right.!
Cuts to be fair has to be equal and across the board."
Fished my home port of Manistee, MI yesterday.
Tried some experimental meat heads tuned to slow troll
at 1 mph behind cowbells in the harbor for about an
Moved to deeper water and set up in 150' of water and
fished from about 10am thru 2pm out to 230' of water.
Hit one fish on the new 4G BTI and same meat rig off a
diver. Unfortunately this fish pulled a Houdini
act and escaped.
Do not form an opinion about Manistee's "off the shelf
fish" from my lack of results. Surface temp was
40 degrees and I've never done well in cold water for
Yesterday pump price for regular gas in Manistee was
3.88 a gal. About 25 cents higher then this time
last year. Manistee always has high gas prices.
Big news from yesterday is when I found out the DNR is
proposing drastic stocking cutbacks in their cold
water species, i.e. Salmon, Lk. Trout, Browns, &
17 pounds was mentioned as a target weight for 3 year
Kings of 17 to 15 pound for 3 year old Chinooks/King
Salmon. This is a lofty goal seeing a 3 year
Coho is a MDNR Master Angler fish at 12 pounds.
My point of contention is using a computer simulation
to predict average weight for fish. There's too
many variables to compute when genetics are
overlooked in a 40 some year old strain of hatchery
fish to be accurate.
and more will be discussed at the Lake Michigan Salmon
Stocking Workshop, Lake Michigan College, Benton
Harbor, MI on Saturday, April 14, 2012 at 1:00 – 4:30
The silver lining to yesterday's chilly Manistee, MI
weather is that only the hardcore/diehard fishermen
would brave the elements. The temperature stayed in
the 30s with a light dusting of early morning snow.
It was more like winter, then spring weather.
With not many fishing ...this is Manistee's breathing
space to reload with fish. Inshore off the beach
trolling for Brown Trout needs all the help it can
Never paid much attention to barometer readings for
big lake fish. In the river a low bottomed out
stationary barometer shuts the fish down.
4/10/12 light snow
Part II: There's rumblings in the not too
distant future the MDNR is considering cutting the
Chinook/King Salmon Lk. MI stocking efforts by 50%.
This is predicated on if the average weight of Kings
is not over 17 pounds. 30% further reduction in
the other species like Browns, Coho, & Steelhead is a
Click for more info
What makes a great Great Lakes spring Salmon port?
It's water, or maybe better put the new water from
rivers being added to the watershed. This is new
water full of nutrients to kick start the biomass to
grow plankton for the bait fish.
the bait fish and everything else falls in place.
St. Joe/Benton Harbor, MI has the St. Joe River
dumping in mega gallons of rich fertile water that
acts as a magnet to the baitfish. Any port with
a major river system is excellent for spring Kings!
This past Saturday was kind to Manistee, MI's fleet.
King Salmon were caught off the shelf (about 3 miles
from shore) down about 100' over 200' of water.
about this fishery for about a week now, but it's
contrary to the norm for spring Kings. May
Kings? ...it can happen anytime during the month.
April Manistee Kings is new
territory from me to report on ...probably due to the record
setting warm March weather.
Click 4/7/12 Manistee Kings
Manistee Browns improved a tad around the Manistee's
harbor to N of Orchard Beach State Park.
Searching for a reason for the uptick in fishing
checked the barometer for this past Saturday and it
was high. Above 30.3 for most of the morning and
it never dropped below 30.1.
Sundays are supposed to be a day off. With
that thought in mind regular updates will resume
tomorrow. Focus will be on what separates an
average Lk. MI spring port from an outstanding one.
This answer will be revealed and more on the way...
Good luck to everyone fortunate enough to be
fishing today. Lk. MI seas are predicted
to play nice for the weekend warrior fleet.
problem leads to another when the first problem is
misdiagnosed. Throttle cable was broke on my
kicker motor. Carburetor return spring pushed
the throttle cable back, but not enough to cause full
idle. Fast idle meant hard shifting & even
...not being able to slow down to a crawl to
deal with feisty fish. Subtracting a good mph
from trolling speed works wonders & is a tremendous
help working fish to the net!
demand total control the speed of my boat and not the
other way around. Important part is everything
is fixed now and ready to hit the pond when time
Manistee, MI's inshore fishermen struggled
yesterday to buy a bite. One of Manistee's local
small boat experts, Take Five (Wayne J) only had one
hit before throwing in the towel. Same deal on
the other 3 boats Mr. Take Five spoke with.
this make me happy I'm no longer in the charter biz.
It's one thing for me now ...to fish the shoreline and
catch one, or two Browns on a fun outing.
thing altogether to have paying customers aboard while
action is lacking. It's hard to salvage a
charter trip when there's not many fish at your port!
reports I had from yesterday came from St. Joe/Benton
There are a few Kings being caught in and around
Manistee, MI's harbor. Deep water off the shelf
is showing a few signs of life too. Just keep in
mind these are only the scouts for the main herd. This
is about a good month ahead of schedule.
quarter business stuff has me tied up today with
building a new page for the past results (Captain's
Log) that dates back to i2k. Having an 12 year
daily running commentary helps me keep the reel-facts
straight for a reference source.
Introductory sale pricing in the new 4G tackle has
ended. Thanks to all who purchased my cutting
edge 21st century tackle.
Something that I'm is awe of is how the weekend
warrior fleet can pound out double digit catches with
no prior water time. Adjusting to what the lake
presents and on short notice surpasses even my
Click 3/31/12 Lk. Huron catch
website members FBD, Reelthing and msmcquire had some
pretty impressive boxes after being onshore all week.
Plus, they did it on Lakes Huron & MI.
Thanks to all
who purchased the tackle we offer during our early
season sale. Even at regular prices my tackle is
a bargain, cuz it works all season long. With my
own eyes I seen my same 2011 SUV tackle produce in
July, August, September & October!
Posted a lot better picture of the 25 pound hog
Brown Trout caught off Benton Harbor, MI not too long
ago. This fish is a fine reel-trophy!
Last day of
the 9.5% discount on all tackle at my webstore on
purchases over 50 bucks. Free shipping on all
orders over 100 makes this a bonafided reel-deal!
code: 950-Fish used by many is working with zero
issues. This shows how tech savvy today's
online shopper is.
day of early season sale
Reports from the southern end of Lk. MI continue
to be respectable. Mixed bags of Coho, Lk.
Trout, Kings and Browns are being caught.
heard much about my homeport of Manistee, MI lately
which is usually a sign of slow fishing. I was
lucky enough to fish Manistee twice in March.
Neither time did I mark any bait in, or around the
harbor. Nor were there any gulls present on the
breakwalls. No harbor gulls is a sure sign bait
fish are scarce.
Ludington is about the same too according to my
the expiration code: 950-Fish for a 9.5% discount at
my webstore to last thru tomorrow at midnight.
Click last 2
days for early season sale
April Fools Day, but this is not a Fools Day joke.
2011 fishing licenses expired and you now need a 2012
to be legal. MI fishing license fees are very
reasonable considering the tonnage of fish the Great
species license is $28.00. Purchased my first
senior (0ver 65) all species license for 11.20 online
which is one helluva bargain!
Click for online MI licenses
reports I've read from S Lk. MI are encouraging with
some double digit Kings being caught already.
This is ahead of the norm which is more like late
the promo code sale thru Monday until noon. It's
a semi chore to change pricing inside the java script
& the html codes that run the webstore.