January, February & March 2012
Archived Results-Fishing Reports




25# Brown


3/31/12  Last day for my special 9.5% discount promo code: 950-FISH on purchases over 50 bucks.  4G introductory pricing will be over tomorrow too. Click for my webstore
               New 4G tackle is my first entry into color shifting custom paint (black to metallic green) with our in-house invisible green UV process.
               In fact, the RGB UV tackle we offer is exclusive & industry leading.
               Website member, Take Five (Wayne) was kind enough to share a photo of is buddy's 25 lb. Brown Trout caught about a week ago out of Benton Harbor, MI.
               Having this fish pic taken inside a fish box doesn't do it justice.  Hard to gauge size of this worthy fish without somebody holding it. Click Benton Harbor 25# Brown

My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 56 + 2 = 58" of total accumulation

3/30/12  Predicted weather for South Haven to Benton Harbor, MI looks favorable for this weekend.  E, S & SSE wind and waves around one foot.  Wind and wave forecasts are always iffy.  For safety's sake confirm your local forecast be heading out.
              The S ends of Lk. MI & Lk. Huron are already producing Kings and Coho.
              The 2012 big lake season is running ahead of schedule with warmer than normal Great Lakes temps.  It's a wait and see game on how things will play out.
               If you've ordered any of the new ground breaking 2012 4G SUV tackle please be patient.  It's a 2 step process to make the 4Gs that takes 2 days to complete.
               Snow, then rain with temps in the 30s changed my mind about fishing Lk. MI today.  Next week says better days are on the horizon. Click Manistee 3/30/12 snow

3/29/12  Need to shake up my Brown Trout program by going back to the past.  Cowbells and sewn minnows will produce Browns when stickbaits are dead.   Hall of Fame charter skipper, Bud Raskey taught me how to do it.  While Bud is no longer with with us the knowledge he passed on to the fleet always will be with us.
               Plan is to shoot a tutorial of the method Bud was kind enough to share with me.  There are secrets to sewn minnows that will be shared in the video.  Today's quest is to find out who has the best live minnows and when they open in the morning.

3/28/12   Yesterday I mentioned to day I'd share with you ...what I know about fish being able to see UV light.  Click G4, Smurf, & Rage Red UV reaction
                News for you? ...I ain't got a clue about what fish can actually see.
                I would never be so foolish to make blanket statements that can be neither proved, or disproved.  Experts speculate yes from what I read, but that's not proof.
                Mr. Spock from Star Trek could do a Vulcan mind meld if he was reel.  But of course he's not. Until we can directly wire into a fish brain? ...it's all conjecture!
                Know the UV reaction process we use is dreadfully expensive to buy and it's made from rare earth elements above my pay grade to explain.
                Do know if the fish can see UV? ...it's one helluva major extreme benefit!

3/27/12  Yesterday while filling orders building the new 4G flashers there was a eerie green reflection on the ceiling.  Light was being reflected off either the special UV green process, or the green metallic light shifting paint.  Click for this reflection.
               Thought this was very unique and wanted to share to with you.  Having cutting edge exclusive tackle has been going on since the first ancient hook was invented.
               To the best of my knowledge no tackle manufacturer offers the 21st century advancements in red, blue, and green UV reactive colors like we do!
   Tomorrow's update will focus on what I know about fish vision connected to UV colors.

3/26/12  My first attempt at putting a netcam movie together was a task.  Learning technical aspects editing  is a major challenge. Click for my 1st netcam movie
              Introduced the G4 meat rigs yesterday and installed them at my webstore.  There's a buck off until 4/1/12 and 9.5% on top of that if your purchase goes over 50.00.
              With the Great Lakes warming at a record pace benefits down the road this summer is worthy food for thought.  Maybe, ...even bigger Kings in store for us in 2012?

3/25/12  Today is the world debut of the new 4G meat rigs.  Companions to the G4 flashers introduced last week.  The photo has 4 light sources & is not retouched in anyway to enhance the color properties, cuz I don't have to! Click new 4G meat rig
              Reports from the more southerly end of Lk. MI are a hodgepodge of some fish here, some fish there ....and no certain depths.  Kings are already being mentioned.  This is about a month of ahead of schedule according to past history.
               Manistee, MI woes for shoreline Browns will continue.  At least for a while.  I seen no favorable wind reports for my home port.  Predicted NE, SE, & E does not stack up fish on the beach.  E combinations of wind only makes the inshore waters clearer.

3/24/12  There's only a week left with my special 9.5% promo discount to familiarize all with my new (855) 950-3474 toll free phone number.  Enter promo code 950-FISH during checkout at my webstore for this discount on all purchases over 50.00.
               Added another demonstration video to my YouTube channel.  This one clarifies how trolling bags should be used.  Learning by visuals is quick and easy.  Video "how-to" instructions saves a lot of words and gets right to the point. Click for my videos
               Still in awe of this past Thursday's weather having never fished Browns on Lk. MI wearing a tee shirt in March before.  This weather is a game changer to be explained!

3/23/12  Fished Manistee, MI yesterday morning from about 8am till 1:30pm in splendid T shirt weather.  This is major news for March with the thermometer hitting 81 degrees!
              Trolled for 3 hours without a bite.  Hit a fish at 11:00am, then at 11:30am we boxed another small sub 3 pound Brown.  Missed our largest Brown at 1:15pm when it became unpegged 30' from the boat. Click 3/22/12 netcam Brown
               The reel-deal with Manistee's shoreline Brown Trout fishery is too much gin clear water.  There is a pocket of green tinged water from the 5th Avenue beach to Orchard Beach State Park, ...then it's too clear to be prime water.
               My team aboard yesterday were website members Capt. Dick D from Adventure 1 Charters and Minnies Money's Jack F.  EZ and excellent people to fish with.
               Need to do some editing work & will post my first POV (point of view) net cam videos.  This net-camcorder is still a reel-work in progress while I learn the ropes.

3/22/12  High temp yesterday at my place hit a sweltering 87-88 degrees.  To me this is too hot to work comfortably outdoors!  Click 86 proof at my place!
              Spring 2012 is a once in a lifetime event with former record highs being smashed by 15 to 20 degrees.  Be glad to see next week's return to temperatures in the mid-50s!
              Fished Manistee, MI today till 1:30pm. Click 3/22/12 netcam Brown 
Still learning to operate the POV net cam, but do have OK videos. Full report tomorrow!

3/21/12  85 degrees at my place yesterday in Manistee, MI is way too hot.  But we can count our blessings the Great Lakes States are seeing such warm and gorgeous weather!
               For about 2 weeks now, we're witnessing a milestone warm weather event.
               Kings being caught last weekend mentioned by our website members is a sure sign of an early spring too.  Lk. MI history says March is usually Coho, or Browns.
               Browns in Manistee depends on who you talk to.  A few boats are getting into double figures.  Consensus fleet report 1 to 4 Browns per boat.

3/20/12  Today ...official spring 2012 has sprung!  Winter is over!  We have a brand new Great Lakes season to look forward to with all the reel-challenges it has to offer.
              Went with a 4 in 1 group photo to better explain Manistee, MI's newly revamped 2012 launch ramp.  Click to familiarize with Manistee's launch

3/19/12  One more day to official spring 2012, but it feels more like summer already in Manistee, MI.  I do appreciate this kind of warm weather after a long winter.
              Made my maiden voyage last Friday afternoon.  Fished from about 3pm until around 6pm and caught one eater 3 pound Brown Trout.
              Seen the new layout of Manistee's redone First Street project.  The sharp right turn into the launch had my trailer jumping over the curb. 
              This flaw needs to be fixed with a wider arc.  What I noticed most? ...is we've lost a good foot of water since last fall.  Click lower water launch ramp
              Be careful to check the end of the concrete ramp so your trailer axels do not fall off & become hooked on the spring shackles when you try drive out.  This happened to me once in 1992 in Grindstone City, MI and it was a nightmare retrieving my trailer!

3/18/12  Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest.  With that thought in mind, this website deserves to be vacation until tomorrow. 
              Monday's update will focus on Manistee, MI's high zuit newly redone First Street on the way to the public launch.  All docks are in.  Water is low.  I'll have a picture of that for you tomorrow.  Along with my season opener 3/16/12  Lk. MI trip reel-report.

3/17/12  St. Patrick's Day luck of the Irish is was us for the debut of the 4G Mamba SUV.
Mamba spots are a light shifting metallic green to black.  Glow tape is laser on both sides.
               Besides, it's more than fitting to intro a green flasher on St. Patty's Day.
               Pièce de résistance is the special UV green process that reacts to long wave length UV, meaning a black light.  Click to purchase at lowball introductory prices
               By far this is my most technologically advanced flasher to date.  There is absolutely no doubt this will best my best selling flasher in 2012. Click 4G Mamba SUV
               Original plan was to call it 3G Mamba, but after seeing the F/X an upgrade to 4G was in order!  2 sides green glow tape, green color shifting metallic dots, and green UV adds up to 4 anyways.  State of the art technology is jam packed into this flasher.
               Do know for a reel-fact we raised the bar far above all other tackle manufacturers.  I am truly proud to bring you 21st century special effects tackle like this!

3/16/12  Intentionally posted a not so good photo of the 2012 G series new flasher.  This is just a sneak peek to see what I've been talking up.  Click sneak peek G-SUV
              By sure to tune into tomorrow for some amazing photos of this new flasher.  
St. Patrick's Day
is very appropriate date too! ...this will better explain itself tomorrow.
              Might set a record today for the earliest I ever fished Lk. MI.  Previous early bird start was on March 23rd, 2001.  All depends on how much I get done today.

3/15/12  Front and center the weather grabs the headlines today.  80 degrees at my place along with Traverse City, MI that set a new record high temp of 80 yesterday.
              The unspoken joy of washing your vehicle in the backyard wearing just a tee shirt is not typical March fare.  Official spring is still 5 days away.  Click for 80 proof!!
              Phase III on the 2012 3G Mamba turned out awesome.  World debut of the ground breaking new 3G SUV flasher will happen this Saturday on St. Patrick's Day.  Spent a lot of time in development to guarantee I knocked the new 3G out of the park!

3/14/12  Among other various duties found the time to test start my boat.  This is all part of the process for the first shake down cruise of the season.  Today's feature photo shows the smoke from last fall's fogging oil being burnt off.  Ear muffs on the motor provide water for home testing.  Which is necessary!  Click 2012 motor test
              Plan is to get my boat wet before this week ends. 
              Hope you took my "most important thing you can do" to heart.  The answer photo was not to show you a boat plug, but instill a safety reminder that should last all thru 2012.  Being a boat operator on the Great Lakes carries a lot of responsibility.
              Test session 3 was delayed for the 3G Mamba SUV by Murphy's law until today.
              Last report I had on Browns came from Ludington about a week ago.  Website member and resident early and late season expert, Capn Kirk said it was hit and miss.
             Capn Kirk doubles as the world's best UPS driver when he's not fishing!

3/13/12  Yesterday I posted a photo of the 2012 3G Mamba SUV.  The was the second design change as this new flasher evolves.  Third try is on tap for today.
               Be sure to check out fishing reports and do not take anything for gospel. 
The fleet is primed, ready, & waiting, but no need to jump the gun on expectations yet!
               What's the most important thing you can do before heading off to your favorite springtime Great Lakes port?  Click here to find out!

3/12/12  If yesterday's weather didn't put the thought of holding a fishing rod, then you were indoors.  Mid to high 60s for the 11th of March was not hard to take.
               Spring like weather had me cleaning the yard from fallen limbs from last weekend's snow and ice storm that had many in Manistee, MI without electricity for days.
                Tomorrow's update will zero in on the most important thing you can do before you hit the Great Lakes.  This will be revealed in greater detail tomorrow!
10am Latest News:  Lk. MI Coho fishing is limitsville from MI City, IN to Chicago now!

3/11/12   Finished installing boat batteries and electronics yesterday.  But that's not what today's update is about. Click free sunlight illuminating ing my pole barn
              It's about the free light coming from the sun thru the translucent light panels designed into my pole barn.  Most pole barns I've been in? ...well, dark and hard to light is what I noticed.  That's why there's a 2' zone of lighting panels on the E & W walls in my pole building.  This is a natural alignment to take max advantage of the sun's movement.
              An oft used word is going green.  My generation would say,  "it's using your head for something other than a hat rack."  No brainer is another word that comes mind!

3/10/12  Manistee, MI's launch ramp has been revamped.  The exit on the east end is non existent.  Entrance and exit will be where it always was.  Tow vehicles with boat trailers will go into parking directly instead of circling back around the old way.
              Today's featured photo explains this change that has many dark-thirty fishermen concerned about traffic jams.  News for them? ...there's always a traffic jam at every good summer Salmon port anyways and has been going back to the 1960s.
              As of yesterday there was one lone launch dock.  I'm sure there will be more docks soon.  Click Manistee's new idea on how to funnel traffic flow?        

3/9/12  The exact hooks used on our meat rigs are now available at my webstore.  Competitively priced at 8.95 for 30 VMC 9650TR number 1 X-Strong round bend trebles.  9650 VMCs are a fleet standard and been around for a long time in bronze, nickel and perma-steel, but tin reds trebles debuted in 2005. Click to purchase VMC trebles
            Been working on developing a SUV pattern similar to my 2012 Smurf SUV lineup, but instead of SUV Blue it will be Green SUV.  New flasher will go by 3G Mamba SUV.  The 3G is short for Gangrene Glow, cuz there's 3 "g"s in it.  Not quite final and will reveal a more successful test version very soon. Click for 3G Mamba SUV first test version

3/8/12  Finally making progress on all fronts and that feels good!  It hit a wonderful 62 degrees at my place yesterday.  This is a far cry from last weekend's blizzard.
             Installed my boat batteries and juggled stuff around in the pole barn to wake up my boat.  Turned the key on for kicker and main motor.  Both turned over just fine.
             Need to install the electronics along with a few other easy tasks. 
             Maiden voyage for Manistee's shoreline Brown Trout is not that far off now.  Next Tuesday is a reel-possibility with favorable spring-like weather, but there's no docks in at Manistee, MI's world class First Street Launch yet.  Click 2012 boat awakening!
             Only issue is the weather now and how cold it might still get.  Once the boat is launched I'll have to watch low temps to prevent motor freeze up.  If it gets reel-cold? ...hanging a trouble light in the bilge will eliminate all problems.

3/7/12  The mega phone company Sprint wrecked my 800 number I had dating back to 1985.  Sprint's last 4 digits are 2099, while mine was 2009.  Being just one number off caused 50 to 100 errant misdialed calls a week at all hours ...everyday of the week.
             I have a brand new toll-free number.  (855) 950-3474, or (855) 950-FISH is my new toll-free phone number.  Changing numbers is a pain, but it had to be done.
             First secret test paint project looked very promising.  Then we lost electricity at 11am.  Leaving us stalled until today when we start the first production on Project X.
             Project X is truly a 21st century innovation beyond ANY shadow of a doubt!

3/6/12  Gaining traction after being stuck in limbo last week.  I'm behind on a new ...never seen before, or attempted project.  Fine tuning the formula and test painting will happen today.  If all goes as planned? ...a world debut is gonna happen soon!
             Dealing with computer issues last week I ran into an important tip after having corrupted data on one of my mass storage devices.  USB thumb drives, SD, and compact flash cards are highly popular.  These amazing cards and drives need a complete format every so often to ensure your files & pictures stays safe.  Click storage devices

3/5/12  Finally got the juice turned back on after living like Neanderthal since Friday night when the big snow storm hit.  Big turnabout in the weather for Manistee with temps in the 50s on the way by mid week.  Hope your weekend went better than mine!
            "Into each life a little rain must fall."  In my case the dire circumstances of no electricity for 2 days over the weekend?  Then, a cantankerous computer meltdown first part of last week tested every inch of patience I have.  Good news? ...I passed the test!

3/3/12  Massive storm with snow, rain, and thunder has my satellite connection running very slow.  Heard conflicting snow fall for my area, but 12 to 15 inches is a possibility.
If this is March coming in as a lion?  The end of this month should more spring-like.
             Daily updates are cancelled until we get electricity back on.  Consumers says this Monday in the pm.  Wet heavy snow laden branches to 8" in diameter are being snapped like toothpicks.  Click to see my yard covered with proof!

3/2/12  A sure sign of spring is the opening of the Flint Steelheaders Fishing Show at Birch Run, MI beginning this afternoon.  Click for today's show dates and times
            This fishing club?  Well, there's not enough room on this page to spotlight all the good they do.  All show proceeds goes back into our fishery too!
            Mid 40s for early next week are predicted is another sure sign of spring.  Batteries will go back in my boat reel-soon as I prepare to end my land lubber status!
            Tomorrow?  ....a simple computer tip that save you grief & preserve your files.

3/1/12  Extending my February specials thru this coming Sunday when the Flint Steelheaders Show at Birch Run, MI concludes.  This extension is a must, because I've been put behind the 8 ball with computer issues this week. 
             Migrating my entire computer/network system from Windows XP Pro to Windows 7 Home Premium then to Windows 7 Pro has been a daunting task that will last well into next week.  Patience is the key here and one step at a time.
             We have been able to keep up with orders, but just barely.  The silver lining to my computers woes? ...it happened in the offseason, not July, August, or September!

2/29/12  Just about have a new system up and running after losing my main computer on Monday.  Hopefully, I will be able to work with images reel-soon to post new photos like normal.
                Time is running out on my February web special for bonus line.  I quite figured out a March bonus offer yet, but I will.
                On the home stretch of having my new PC configured courtesy of website member, Todd B.  He had a returned Christmas present that I was able to purchase yesterday at a fair price.  Todd lives close to me and I thank him for helping me out a ton.  Today's update in coming to you via my new computer.

2/28/12  Catastrophic computer failure has me on my backup box today.  Lost most of yesterday going around in circles.  Hope to have all problems resolved by next week.
              My number 2 box is the oldest in my system, but it never let's me down.  Rock solid for a dated bargain basement T5026 Emachine purchased back in 2002.

2/27/12  This Thursday the month of March begins.  According to folk lore, the description of March ranks between lion (bad weather) & lamb (good weather), or visa versa ....depending on how the month begins.  March 2012 will come in like a lamb with sun and temps above freezing in the mid to low 30s later this week.
              Long range weather looks decent for Flint Steelheaders fishing show being held Birch Run, MI this coming weekend.  Daytime temps are predicted from high 30s-low 40s.

2/26/12  NASCAR Sundays are back with the 53rd running of the "Great American Race," the Daytona 500 on FOX TV.  In car cameras to bring us inside the action will be featured.  Much like my new waterproof mini HD net cam that provide us close-up views when the important stuff goes down. Click mini 4.5" HD camera
              2012 nowadays technology is truly amazing.  All we have to do is embrace it, spend a few hours learning the ropes on how to use it! 
             Then, the ultimate very best part ...sharing it with those who are addicted to Great Lakes fishing & all activities associated with it.
  My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 48 inches of total accumulation

2/25/12  A rare event in Manistee, MI occurred yesterday when we got about 2" of snow.  Last measureable snowfall was 10 days ago on 2/15/12.
              Hard winter has been a no-show, but it's still winter.  Just a little warmer and a lot less snow at my place in Manistee County.  Official spring is around 3 weeks away and that seems around 3 months away with winter getting a bit long in the tooth.
              Normal snowfall for Manistee where I live? ...inland 12 miles from Lk. MI could be around 150" right about now for the 2011/2012 season.
  My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 46 inches of total accumulation

2/24/12  How about a fresh report for Steelhead in the Big Manistee River today?  Been neglecting river fishing long enough.  Click 2/28/01 later winter Steelhead
              According to my sources who fished the lower end of the big river yesterday was good depending who was throwing fresh spawn on bobbers.  Fresh spawn does make a huge difference.  Just ask any surf, pier, or river fisherman who's in the know.
              Plans for my video fell thru yesterday.  New camcorder issues were the problem that was entirely self inflicted.  Made the tragic mistake of buying price instead of quality.
So, my first purchase of a fully dedicated HD camcorder is being sent back today.

2/23/12  Plan for today? ...to shoot another video that shows the ins and outs of the floating F11 Rapalas I've used since the early 1960s.
              The popularity of the F11 was aided by spinning reels like the Mitchell 300s & Shakespeare 2052 series that debuted in the early 60s.  You needed a spinning reel to cast the light floater F11 series Rapalas that weigh about 1/5 of an ounce.
              This original floater was the precursor of ALL modern day stickbaits.  This one lure built an tackle empire we know as Normark nowadays.
              This multinational company owns VMC, Storm, Luhr Jensen, etc.  So, an in-depth soup to nuts study is in order to share all I've learned about this bait.
              Shot about 15 videos and each one shows improvement.  Today's Rapala narrative will be published on YouTube before the day is over with no commercials!

2/22/12  In the not too distant future my toll free 800 552-2009 number will be changed.  Sprint and T1 Mobil have moved in next door and are using the last four numbers of 2099.  Mine is 2009.  I'm receiving too many misplaced calls a day and my patience has worn thin.  My new toll free number will come with plenty of advance notice.
               Just 7 days left in the February promo for the bonus 12 buck 1/4 lb. spool of mono.  Rage Red UV flashers will no longer be offered on 3/1/12. 
               Those who purchase Rage Red UV flashers before the deadline will have access to more.  The plan is to keep a small inventory on-hand during the 2012 season.

2/21/12  Exactly 4 weeks from today is the official beginning of spring 2012.  Looking forward to the end of winter, longer days, and times afloat.
              Flint Steelheaders fishing show held at Birch Run, MI begins a week from this coming Friday on 3/2/12 & runs thru Sunday March 4th. Click for more show info
    To the best of my knowledge I introduced my 2012 net cam and said world's first.  Seems somebody else did it first ...sponsored Manistee's casino.  The tribe that opened old wounds with their 2007-2008 trap netting fiasco in Manistee.
              So, I have the world's first unsponsored net cam instead.  My future net cam videos will be posted open to the public on YouTube.  You will not have to wade through high budget propagandized commercials for Manistee's gambling institution to view mine!

2/20/12  It's my great pleasure to introduce the 2012 reel-net cam mounted on the handle a few feet up from the net's hoop.  You'll have a gun sight view of our action.
              This marvelous piece of technology (mini HD camcorder) will video capture in reel-time ...us capturing fish in our net.  Click our planet's 1st reel net cam
              As an added bonus, time and date stamp will show our later morning to mid day results, cuz we start a lot later then the 5am fleet. Click for 1st test net cam video
              Big fun is a wonderful description for the soon to be here 2012 season. 
              I know you'll get a few grins from the world's 1st bonafided "net cam."  Implying a brand new meaning to the everyday vocabulary of "net cam" has happened!

2/19/12  There's 2 words that should not be spoken any fishing conversation.  These words are always and never.  Do you use always and never when talking about fishing? 
               If so, it shows you're set in your ways not seeing the big picture.
               Clearly defined words do not apply to fishing, cuz there's absolutely no rules.  Fish have no time tables and react to circumstances.  Question is ...do you?

2/18/12  Posted a couple of new short preview videos on my: YouTube channel
              For obvious reasons both movies will be redone on the water.  To those newer to the sport of Great Lakes fishing using trolling bags is always hard for me to explain over the phone.  Having a learning video of the simple process is a must.
              Second video shows my remote planer board system running along the railing to the bow.  This is EZ way to not go cross-eyed staring at a hard to operate planer mast.
              All orders for 2012 Rage Red have been cleared out as of yesterday.

2/17/12  Today's chat is on hold for now.  Maybe later I can show you my new secret weapon that will bring new meaning to common words. 
               To the very best of my knowledge what I'm about to attempt has NEVER been done in ancient, or modern fishdom.  That's right ...NEVER!
               Will this new original brainstorm propel this "thing" beyond legendary status? 
I'll let you be the judge when hush-hush Project X is finally unveiled in the near future.

2/16/12  Long range forecast for Manistee, MI says most days in the mid to high 30s well into next week.  Official spring (3/20/12) is not all that far way.
              March 1st the batteries go in my boat and there's a reel-possibility to hit Lk. MI's shoreline for Brown Trout within the next 3 to 4 weeks. Click Manistee's S pier
              My start to the 2011 season began late.  Loose fill sand in my unfinished pole barn had my boat trailer stuck.  Not so this year.  New concrete floor poured last September means I'm ready as soon as the weather breaks towards spring.
              City of Manistee's boat First St. Public Boat Launch is free for the early season fishermen up until sometime in May.  The city will have a few launch docks in early.

2/15/12  You can increase your odds of success with F11 Rapalas by not overloading the tow point with heavy swivels, or tight knots that can be knocked out of alignment.
               There's 2 options that's worked for me: 1. a small compact Rapala knot and 2. small coast lock snap with my preference being the Rap knot.  F11's swim much better when the nose of this lure is allowed to wobble side to side as intended. 
               Most mistakenly overate Brown Trout.  Giving them an undeserved smart cunning reputation.  This is not the case a-at-all.. Click Rapala tow options
               Early season (March-April) shoreline MI Browns are dumber than a stump being 100% DNR hatchery reared fish.  EZ to catch when you have your program fine tuned!
   My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 44 inches of total accumulation

2/14/12  Valentine's Day update is about knowing your lure and how to fine tune it for the most lifelike presentation.   Manistee, MI's first season begins around mid March and runs thru April for shoreline Brown Trout.  This close quarters fishing is done in 5' to 15' of water with many boats trolling along the beach. Deconstructed F11 Rapala
               I'd guesstimate most of the boats are using Rapalas and weekday crowds are around 25 boats.  Mainly with a couple of fishermen towing 6 lines.  6 times 25 adds up to 125 Rapalas swimming up and down the beach at the same time. How do you make your baits perform better & stand out from the fleet? ...to be continued tomorrow.
          Last day for lowball introductory pricing on the 2012 Rage Red UV flashers!

2/13/12  Rage Red UV flashers are only being offered during the month of February.  So, these ground breaking red UV flashers are not for procrastinators.  Those who purchase now can order replacements ...if, and when needed. Click Rage Red UV 4 in 1 photo
              2 and 3 fly Rage Red UV meat rigs will be stocked all season.
              Without giving the less inspired competition a blueprint to copy them, let it suffice ...it's a very labor intensive 2 person job to get the right red UV glow effect. 
              Then, there's the issue of cost.  The red UV is bought by the gram and costly to say the least.  This 2 person job is fine for now, but during July and August would burden my 3 person operation (Bob, my wife & I) to the breaking point. 
               Honestly, hiring more help is entirely out of the question. I'm looking at turning 66 this year.  Drama from new shop help is way-way beyond my tolerance level. 
               Piece workers ...when needed who build tackle at home have been angels to deal with.  Regular hours in-house shop employees has never worked out for me.
      My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 43 inches of total accumulation

2/12/12  Did a follow-up photo to show the hooks being inserted in the interior corrugated part of my cheapie storage cardboard box for stick baits.
              Both hook shanks should be inside these voids to eliminate potential snags when handling this cost effective way to keep your stick baits organized. 
              If you're in a totally open boat subject to weather? ...cheese this whole idea for obvious reasons.  Click treble hooks safely hanging inside the voids
              Looking forward to clearing up ALL back logged orders for the Rage Red UV flashers and meat rigs by this Tuesday, or sooner.  Being behind on orders is contrary to our established longstanding policy of prompt same day shipping.
   Tomorrow? ...the reason why Rage Red flashers will not being offered after 2/29/12!

2/11/12  Winter has made a brief return to Manistee County, MI.  Temps took a nose dive and we got 2 whole inches of the white stuff.  Not to fear ...temps in the mid to high 30s are predicted to return next week.  Last time we got snow was 2 weeks ago.
               Yesterday WTP came thru with their promised delivery date for the die cuts we ordered a while back.  Being out the red Mylar die cuts for the Rage Red UV meat heads kinda put us behind.  Look for us to clear up all back logged orders by early next week.
               It's about time for a waning winter rah-rah cheer ...to fend off even a small dose of cabin fever.  Spring 2012 is on the way & will be here very-very soon!
  My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 42 inches of total accumulation.

2/10/12  Plan for the near future is to do a video explaining Rapala hook mods that will improve the performance of this lure.  Like I said a few days ago, Raps are a touchy finesse lure to fish for maximum effectiveness.  Raps & tools to swap hooks
              Stock hooks that come on F11 Rapalas are Carlisle sproated style #6 trebles.  Swapping these out for #5, or #4 VMC 9649 light wire round-bend hooks will not impede the swimming action and increase the hookup ratio vs. boated fish by quite a bit.
              The front treble on F11? ...get rid of that one immediately, cuz it causes more lure breakage in the net on an already soft easy to destroy bait.
      Standby for the video, I think you'll find it interesting to see more F11 trick & tips!

2/9/12  Today's featured photo is courtesy of website member, Steve B who does everyone a favor by killing WI coyotes.  Steve hunts them at night.
             This smaller cousin to the wolf  have trimmed my mice-control yard cat population from 4 down to one.  So, I have absolutely no use for these animals that are thick around my place.  Yet seldom seen. Click shot dead as a doornail male coyote

2/8/12  Today's update is cancelled due technical difficulties.  Regular updates will resume tomorrow.

2/7/12  We're behind on orders for Rage Red UV tackle at: www.michiganangler.com
The holdup is the red Mylar used on the meat heads.  New die cuts were ordered in about mid January and should be on their way from WTP very soon.
            When time allows I'll explain the idea behind the Rapala hook mods for Manistee, MI's early season shoreline Brown Trout fishery. Click F11 Rapala mods
            First time I used this lure dates back to around 1963.  It's a touchy lure to fish and worked better for Browns back when we had large runs of Smelt on Lakes MI, and Huron. F11s are still highly effective, but the stock hooks leave a lot to be desired.

2/6/12  I'm sure you've heard the sayings; "it's about as exciting, as watching the refrigerator defrost," or "as exciting, as watching paint dry."
            Got a new one for you today with my recent 4 day time lapse Manistee, MI photo recording the snow melt on Feb. 2nd thru 5th.  Now you can add, "watching snow melt" to this list of American jargon. Click 4 day time lapse Manistee snow melt
             Old snow ...frozen, then defrosted and refroze several times is more like ice than snow.  Icy frozen snow takes a longtime to dissipate as my 4 in 1 photo proves.
             It's a rare event to see bare ground during February in my neck of the woods! 

2/5/12  Super Bowl Sunday is when we tie up all the loose ends left over from 2011 and seriously look towards spring.  The official start of spring is now about 6 weeks away.
             Introducing our new Super UV Rage Red flashers and combo deals today at 15% off introductory pricing.  My February special is a bonus 1/4 lb. spool of Triple Fish mono in 15, 20, 25 & 30# test on purchases over 100.00. Click 2012 Rage Red Specials

2/4/12  Keeping your boat batteries charged during winter layup will save you big bucks in the long run.  Batteries are expensive like everything else nowadays.
            Batteries need charging during the offseason to make sure you when turn the key in the spring the motor starts ...being plan 1.  Make sure if it's a lead acid battery there's enough water/electrolyte in the cells.  Click 2/3/12 winter battery charge
            Plan 2 is a trip to the auto parts to buy new a battery, if have the lead plates have became sulfated & can no longer accept, or hold a charge.

2/3/12  Livingston County, MI has their own version of the better known ground hog Punxsutawney Phil who hails from a PA town with the same name.
            Our MI ground hog is a female named Woody.  She has a better track record than the PA's highly regarded world famous ground hog, Punxsutawney Phil.
            Miss Woody's folklore prediction of an early spring came from not seeing her shadow due to socked-in cloud cover blanketing MI yesterday.
            Believe it, or not, ...the official start of spring 2012 is 3/20/12 and that's only a about 7 weeks away ...to the outside. Click 2/3/12 MI's Miss Woody Chuck
            Do you believe in this passed down ancient German superstition about animals not seeing their shadow, or is this a bunch of groundless hog wash?

2/2/12  Ground Hog Day where folklore steps in to predicted how much more winter we can expect.  See Mr. G. Hog says about what's in store for Manistee, MI tomorrow!
             Added a couple more basic "how to" videos to my YouTube channel.  Those that are new to Great Lakes fishing will benefit most from the basics.  It's important not to forget we were all new to this kind of fishing once.
             Knowledge is meant to be shared and YouTube is an excellent place to do it.  Seeing cuts to the chase.  Besides, it's far easier to show somebody, compared to reading instructions in any kind of a print medium.  New videos are listed above.

2/1/12  If yesterday's high temps in the 50s didn't taint you with a early dose of spring fishing fever? ...nothing will!  Wonderful best describes Manistee, MI's weather that's been downright balmy for central to northern MI thus far! Click 1/31/12 Manistee
             Made good use of the 50s we were blessed with yesterday by doing boat interior prep cleaning.  Today part of the plan is to clean the inside of my boat's windows and get my Brown Trout stickbaits in top notch order.  Earliest I ever fished Lk. MI was March 23 in about 1999.  Probably sooner this season the way it's going.
             So geeked about the recent warmer temps almost forget to mention the "in the dark" picture capturing the amazing blue glow Smurf lure tape. Click Smurf Glow tackle

1/31/12  Thanks to all who took advantage of the January bonus meat rig offer by purchasing tackle at my webstore.  Our January bonus officially ends tonight.
               Closing out January will make this winter fly by now and shorten the time to spring.  Hard to predict the weather, but as nice as this winter has been so far, an early spring is not out of the question.  More highs in the 40s today for Manistee, MI

1/30/12  My entry into YouTube was spurred on while web searching for some DIY projects late last year.  I soon learned YouTube in many cases ...is a how-to video search engine for hard to come by knowledge by watching instructions instead of reading them.
              YouTube's proprietary technology to compress large video files and quickly stream video far exceeds anything I can do on my own. 
              This past weekend I shot another video to better show you the UV color shifting properties of my 2012 lineup of Smurf & SUV tackle. Click for UV demo video
              The camera did all the focus work internally going from lights on, to lights off.
              To me? ...it's between fascinating & hypnotizing to watch this happen!

1/29/12  The technical advances in our Great Lakes fishing tackle just wows me.  The ground breaking UV colorants I use in manufacturing are truly 21st century products.
              Never in my wildest dreams when I began fishing Salmon 44 years ago the technology in all aspects would have came so far ...wow & double wow!
               Just between me & you ...I'm gonna let you in on a big secret.  So, keep this hush-hush and don't tell anyone about the new 2012 test Rage Red UV Mamba.  This flasher is for your eyes only never to be spoken about again. Click Rage Red Mamba

1/28/12  Since the official announcement of my videos posted at YouTube this past Thursday they have been viewed over a 1100 times.  That's at, or over 550 views per day showing I'm on the right track.  Thanks for watching my short "how to" movies.
               Hope to have a couple-three more videos done & published by this Monday.
               A rare event occurred last night in Manistee, MI.  We got 4 inches of wet heavy snow.  January temps have been kind.  10-15 degrees above normal highs too.
 My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 40 inches of total accumulation.

1/27/12  I'm on schedule to a early start for this season.  I have 8 rods ready with new 15# Triple Fish mono.  Batteries will be going into my boat about a month from now.  Then it's all up to March weather for my first Manistee, MI shoreline Brown Trout trip of 2012.
              When will the weather break toward full spring?  Don't have a clue, but you can take this to the bank: ..."I will be 110% ready long before it does!"
              Had a very productive week by completing and publishing 7 "how-to" videos on my own YouTube channel.  More videos will be done, ...as this season progresses!

Direct links to each of my videos, or see all 7 at my: YouTube channel

1/26/12  Today is about how the internet has grown up with faster connection speeds in our featured photo of my homemade line stripper.  Click for my line stripper
               The photo is great to explain this stripper, but to see it in action adds another dimension all together.  You can see it in action streamed from my You Tube account.
Videos make a great way to pass on tips & tricks. Click for line stripper video

1/25/12  Decided to do some pull tests with my handheld scale to look at the knot and breaking strength of the Triple Fish German mono I'm selling.
              This came about, cuz I'm extra touchy about the 15# test I use for spring Browns here in Manistee, MI during March & April. 
              There's been several state record Brown Trout caught in Manistee Country & even a world record 42 pound plus monster Brown from the Manistee River a few years back.  So, you see my reasoning about having the ultra best strongest 15# mono possible.
               I do not strip reels all the way down.  Instead I bloodknot a 150' to 200' section of 15# test mono on the top of the spool. 
               Brown season is short and this line will soon be discarded by May. 
               My major worry is always the bloodknot when I'm splicing 15# mono to my 35# Cortland Spectron (0.010" diameter) braid deep-downrigger rods.  I've yet to have a bloodknot fail in 40 some years, but there's always a first time for everything.
               Tech report on my 4 pull tests revealed Triple Fish knots do not break! 
Knots used was the overhand loop to a fixed point and blood-knotted to the Spectron. 
               The 3Fish 15# mono (0.016" diameter) broke at over 18 pounds pull on a straight section.  NEVER at any of the knots!!  Click pull test line & knots
         Superior knot strength of Triple Fish mono & value is a reel-understatement!

 1/24/12  When carrying fishing rods you can bet ...they will get tangled up.  Line up thru the guides always behaves itself.  Line from the tip down to the reel causes issues.  I know you can twist and twirl, but that leaves a hard U-turn bend at the rod tip.  Lines testing over 20 pounds this is no big deal.  Click stopper beads
              My problem is I've spent years fine tuning my Brown Trout 7.0 program that uses 11 series Rapalas.  These baits do not swim good on heavy string.  Manistee's early season Brown Trout fishing is all about finesse.  15# test mono is a balance between strength & diameter that does not allow the baits to dive too deeply, down past the fish.
              Back to the stopper beads ...for the rods in waiting to get strung with Brown Trout 11 raps.  No return line from the tip down to the reel means no tangles.
              In short order I can tie 8, or 9 rods with Raps and Rapala knots for a free swimming lifelike presentation patrolling the shallows to hoodwink Mr. B. Trout.
              To clarify my point the stopper beads keep the rods strung ready for knots.
    My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 36 inches of total accumulation.

1/23/12  While it's not exactly suntan weather ...January temps in the mid 40s is a gift for Manistee County, MI today.  Spring fever is a lot easier to catch too!
              Spring fever can be the forerunner to a strong dose fishing fever.  Fishing fever is a mystical malady infecting one for life ...that's impossible to rid yourself of!
              Self diagnoses to see you if have fishing fever? 
              Happily waking up before the chickens to go fishing is one sure symptom.  Along with gazing endlessly at tackle, daydreaming of 30 pounders, & adopting your boat as a member of the family are sure signs of this incurable illness.
              Relax, there is no cure.  Only thoughts of future contentment when you're on the Great Lakes can stave off withdrawal symptoms until the season begins!

1/22/12  First month of official winter has came and gone ....as of today!  Warmer temps this coming week for Manistee, MI is welcome news after last week's frigid weather.
               Today's featured photo is a DIY project to make putting your boat back on the trailer a little easier.  Click for cost effective DIY trailer mod
               2 x 8s in pressured treated wood for a wider walkway and a cross brace step behind the winch bolted down with 1/2" threaded rod turned into U-bolts. 
              After the planking was installed, took a sawz-all with a metal blade to trim the extra threaded rod sticking up.  Cost to do this project was around 25 bucks and makes keeping your feet dry a done deal.  Plus, it's a heck of a lot safer!
 My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 34 inches of total accumulation.

1/21/12  Big news from this past week is the hard winter that took up residence in Manistee County, MI.  A good foot of snow fell and the thermometer took a plunge into the single digits.  Last Thursday the high was a stingy 11 degrees. 
               If you live in the Great Lakes States you learn to expect these kind of conditions, but the "here to point" nice weather kinda pulled the wool over our eyes.
               No big deal, next week winter is going to be a lot more tolerable with temps in the 30s and this coming ...Monday 40 is the forecast. Click 3 degrees on 1/21/12
               I take solace in around 2 months ...it's a reel-strong possibility Manistee's harbor will open and shoreline Brown Trout on the beach will be on tap!
   My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 32 inches of total accumulation.

1/20/12  Ice fishing season is here.  Cold temps to single digits are building ice providing a hard water highway to catch some dinner.  Perch with Walleye a close second are the best table fishing we have in MI.  Click 1/18/12 fresh caught perch
              My thanks to website member, Jay O for sharing his catch in today's featured photo with perch up to 14 inches caught on small spoons.

1/19/12  Posted a photo from a few days ago with good looking plump deer.  Seen January deer look kinda scrawny before, but not this mild winter thus far.  Snow cover at my place now is about 6 inches when normally it would be around a foot and a half.
              Been neglecting the subject of winter Steelheading, but got a gift pic from Tom M in my email box this morning.  His son, Andy caught some gorgeous Steelies last weekend in the Manistee River.  Today's featured photo shows a richly colored male fish in his crimson glory that is a eye feast for any fisherman!  Click Andy's buck Ironhead

  My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 24 inches of total accumulation.

1/18/12  Posted a couple of new pics of the Rage Red UV and Smurf 2 Fly Meat Rigs.  These were the top sellers in 2011 even though the Smurf meat rigs was introduced in mid-August.  Both meat rigs are very impressive under a black light in unretouched photos.  To date, this is the best black light reaction captured.  Click for this photo
              Making tackle no one else does ensures my leader status in the meat market.  Having cutting edge tackle is a confidence builder in the mental aspect of fishing. 
              We're running about a day behind on orders.  Winter shipping will be done on Tuesdays and Fridays where rush same day shipping is not needed.  Once the season gets rolling you can expect our customer friendly same day rush shipping service like usual.
    My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 20 inches of total accumulation.

1/16/12  Hump day in the month of January ...our longest-darkest winter month of the year.  Tomorrow we'll be on the downhill side January goes (past halfway).
             "Not Made In China" plain & simple ...is a matter of pure greed and total lack morals.  In a price driven market cheap stuff wins, but when it comes to China they play by a set of rules that is economic warfare. Click "Not Made In China" eagle & US flag
              In my case, I could reduce manufacturing costs greatly by using Chinese swivels, coast locks, hooks, line etc.  The result would be more money in my pocket, but a tremendous loss in USA pride that cannot be swept under the rug.
               I challenge all my competitors to be transparent and list where the supplies to build their tackle ...exactly comes from like I have, ...do, and always will!

1/15/12  The key to unlocking trolling success on the Great Lakes is your line spread.  Having riggers, divers and your long distance (long distance = copper/lead core) program all working in unison.  In other words, all methods producing equally.
               While I'm probably behind the times, swapping out 300' 27# test lead core for 150' of 45# test copper was a helluva reel-leap forward for my top 50' program.
               Both get to about the same depth, but the copper gets there with 1/2 the line.  150' coppers are often referred to 1/2 coppers.  Click EZ copper splice
               Beauty of the 1/2 coppers (150') is they fit on any reel 300', or 10 colors of 27# test lead core will.  As an added benefit, 1/2 coppers pull easier than 10 colors of lead core. With less line behind your boat? ...maneuvering around other vessels is a heck of a lot less wear and tear on your wheel man's constant vigil.
               Another advantage is a regular downrigger rod with a line capacity similar to a Penn GTI 330 will suffice for 150', or 1/2 coppers in 45# test. Click for 1/2 coppers

1/14/12  I have a pretty full plate this weekend building and revamping shopping cart pages at my webstore.  We're restocked with everything that sold out last season.
              Black's Downrigger Releases will be a value added product with 1/4 lb. of box industrial biodegradable rubber bands thrown in. 
              We do have limited quantity 1 lb. spools of the hard to get Triple Fish mono in 30, 25, 20, and 15 pound test.  Have 1/4 spools of Triple Fish in the same pound tests too.  The highly popular Smelly Jelly kits are back for the 5th season.
              There will a special bonus 2 Fly Smurf Meat Rig on all purchases over 100.00.  This was my number 1 selling meat rig in 2011 with the exclusive ground breaking Rage Red UV 2 Fly a close 2nd.  Might do an option for your choice on the checkout page.
  My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 15 inches of total accumulation.

1/13/12   A $10,000 top prize will be up for grabs in the 38th annual Hoosier Coho Club Classic to be held in Michigan City, Ind., on May 5-6, 2012.

              The granddaddy of all Lake Michigan tournaments features fun competition, wide-open fishing and first-class facilities. In addition to the $10,000 Pro division first place cash, $2,500 will be awarded to the Amateur division champ and $1,250 for the 24U division winner.  Payouts are based on 30 boats per division.
               Thousands more in cash and merchandise will be up for grabs in Big Fish, 2nd Day/2nd Chance and 333 events within the Classic. www.hoosiercohoclub.org
               Entry fees are $475 (Pro), $225 (Am) and $100 (24U). The Hoosier Coho Club also hosts a three-division tune-up tournament on Apr. 28.
  My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 10 inches of total accumulation.

1/12/12  Yesterday in Manistee County, MI was one of those kinda days to mark on the calendar and remember.   Click to see yesterday's conditions
               I suspect this was the nicest day we're going to see until this coming March.  A pleasant 54 degrees and sunny skies doesn't happen often during January in Manistee.
               Mr. Winter will be open back for business tomorrow with a lot colder temperatures.  Snowfall is predicted for today, tomorrow and Friday. 
               Having a new current photo with a super imposed thermometer to work from sure makes my job a lot easier when comes to telling the entire story.

1/11/12  The eternal unanswered mythical question of what and where fish can see is an excellent subject for today.  Click for 6 separate fish eyeballs
               It's hard for me to understand, or explain fish eyesight.  Fish have a highly complex field of view.  Fish focus way different than us humanoids. 
               Lens inside a fish eyeball a lot more rounded compared to a human lens.  We all know about fisheye camera lens is similar to a carnival funhouse mirror with big in the middle & small on the edges.  Click fish eye vs. human eye
               Field of view for a fish on the horizontal plane is 165 degrees and their vertical plane comes in at 134 degrees.  Making a plus 30 degree visible downward angle.
               We homo sapiens have about 150 degrees on both planes mentioned before.  This kinda exposes another myth about fish not seeing, looking, or feeding downward.
               Posted a decoupage of 6 different fish eyeball images.  You can clearly see some of the live fresh caught fish looking downward to further prove my point.
               While this is kind of spooky and almost reel-unsettling ...if you watch a fish you just boated? ...their eyeball will move around, cuz it's looking at you.

1/10/12  I've got a bright outlook for you today.  Tomorrow will add about 90 seconds of daylight when compared to today.  Days are getting longer exponentially.  Soon every new day will add 2 minutes and more.  Over time, minutes turn into hours.
              I can tolerate Manistee winters.  Snow and cold in my neck of the woods are a fact of life.  Getting dark & full night at 5:30pm with the time shift is what I dislike most about the early part of MI winters.  More temps in 40s for Manistee today ...too!

1/9/12  There's something on the front burner to important to overlook weather related.  We all know MI and surrounding Great Lakes states are having a very mild winter. 
             This spills over to the water temps too.  The main body of Lk. MI off Manistee, MI on 1/5/12 was 40.5 degrees.  Click 1/5/12 Manistee water temp chart
              Had to go back a few days for a temp chart with no cloud cover.
              Surface temps in the 30s for this time of the season would be more normal for my area.  Big deal was Lk. MI surface temp in the southern end was in the mid 40s.
              One of the reasons for the larger over 20 pound bruiser 2011 Kings last season is these fish were more orientated to 48-56 degree water temps at the thermocline.  54 degrees is supposed to be the prime base metabolic rate for the growth of Salmon.  It stands to reason Chinooks will attain better size in 54 degree water then 40 degree water.
               In 2011 most of the Salmon caught aboard my boat came from 48 to 58 degrees, just above, at, ...or below the thermocline.  This was a huge departure from the 38 to 44 degree water temp Salmon I caught in years prior dating back to i2k.

1/8/12  The photo named "Boat Project Done!" with the marine band radio in the left border brought to mind how all forms of communication has evolved like nowadays electronics.  Today it's called networking.  In 1968 I called learning.
              In the late 1960s and early 1970s fishing info among the sports fleet was spread in person ...by talking.  Early MI Salmon fishermen were less stand offish then today's crowd.  Boat ramps, tackle shops, restaurants, and campgrounds is where info was spread.  Anyplace anglers gathered we spoke to one another like long lost friends.
              Back in the beginning there was a wide desparity with the sports fleet catching skills compared to the charter boats.  This is not true today with sports anglers on equal footing with charter skippers, but that's stone better left unturned for the time being.
              Boat to boat communication began in about 1974 with CB radio and taking a firm foothold by 1976.  You met friends on the CB and knew where ...and where not to fish.
              This rise of CB was a cost issue versus early VHF marine band radios that had 12 channels and were way more expensive.  Marine band radios expanded to many more channels by the late 1970s.  You'd shell out about 300 bucks for a quality marine radio in 1978.  Quite a sum back then when you figure that's close to $900 in today's money.
                              Part II in the future of a multi part series.

1/7/12  The good news is 2012 season is here & all the promise it brings!  The unknown factor is the most mesmerizing part of fishing.  Fishing and therapy have a lot more in common then the 7 letters each word contains.
             Been ordering inventory and made great progress this week.  By the middle of this month all items sold that out in 2011 will be restocked.  New Black's Downrigger Releases, Triple Fish Line, Smelly Jelly kits, Dive Bombs, etc. will be soon finding new homes.  Webstore will be reopening soon. Click restocking the shelves
             Like I said before, it's easy to have your enthusiasm level pegged on 10 if you're around a lot of first-rate tackle 24/7.  Everything we sell, has been fully tested on my boat and by our website members for top-notch performance over long haul.
     Tomorrow? ...part 1 of the complete history of Great Lakes fishing networking.

1/6/12  The offseason is the time to do easy boat mods.  Consol in my boat is small and installed a piece of plywood to mount electronics more to me liking. This was done in 2007 and the bare plywood wasn't looking all that good.  Click boat dashboard mod
             Never intended to leave this chunk of wood unfinished, but it was one of those kinds of projects that kept getting shoved to the back burner.
             Fixed this eyesore by covering it tan upholstery material for a brand new spiffy appearance.  Fun thing about rigging boats? ...is you can do it exactly the way you want.
             This job was made possible by our mild winter (yesterday temps in the 40s) and the Mr. Heater inside the fully enclosed cabin when the backdrop is on.
             Teak Tip: trim in the "after" pic looks discolored & needs to be wiped down with regular auto tranny fluid.  ATF is a lot cheaper than teak oil & does the same job.
             Plan is to be completely ready and waiting for the first decent day in this coming March in Manistee, MI for shoreline Brown Trout when the harbor clears from ice.
             It's entirely possible I could be fishing Lk. MI 10 weeks from now, or sooner!
                     What kind of boat projects have you been putting off?

1/5/12  Here's an email/testimonial from Capt. Steve in Kewaunee, WI:
                Hi John,  "Another great year on Lake Michigan over here on the Wisconsin side! Attached are a few photos of the Black Mamba in action during the 2011 season. 
             Black Mamba is by far my favorite pattern of all your flashers! Hopefully you can share these photos on your website." ...Capt. Steve Grose  Click for Steve's photo
            Slam Dunk Sportfishing Charters LLC  www.slamdunksportfishing.com

1/4/12  ZOV to the best of my knowledge this has never been written, or spoke about when it comes to fishing.  Even more specific, for Great Lakes trolling for Salmon & Trout.
             A complete ZOV article is in the works and will debut before winter is over.
Bringing this this key part of our fishing technology to light is no easy task.  However, I'm driven to do what hasn't been done before and strive to break new ground.
             Our Great Lakes Fishery is only about 50 years old.  There's still plenty of virgin topics left to be revealed and ZOV is definitely one of them!
             What is ZOV? ...guess you'll have to stick around to find out.

1/3/12   You know, ...another easy to keep New Years resolution is to join the "Occupy" movements.  Then, occupy your boat as much as possible to protest anything not directly connected to fishing!  Occupying my boat off Manistee in 2012 ...works for me!
             First reel-business day of 2012 and I'm glad to see it.  Been handcuffed since Dec. 23rd trying to order tackle and much needed supplies for this season.
             Something I've never touched on before is the effective underwater visible range of my flashers to the fish.  Coupled with 3 pronged 6 rod attack pulling my flashers to targeted fish in the top 50' will be further explained this week in greater detail.
             That means 2 diver rods, 2 riggers and 2 150' lengths of 45# test copper rigs all pulling about the same amount of action makes this a deadly tripartite team.
             Blizzard warnings for Manistee, MI were wrong.  The bands of lake effect snow stayed more to the north.  Some areas of northern MI got plus a foot, at my place 3".
   My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 8 inches of total accumulation.

1/2/12  Here's an easy New Years resolution not predestined to fail.  Mine is to fish as much as I did in 2011, ...if not more.  Making reel-resolutions you can keep is the deal!
             From the amount of fish off Manistee, MI last October the future of 2012 is bright.  Late season Great Lakes fishing can be a preview of what to expect the following spring.  Fall Coho (October) were at 2 to 2 1/2 pounds off Manistee.  Caught many spring Coho that had all winter to grow ...smaller then what we took on 10/12/11.
             Need to thank Frank M. and his skilled team at Calumet Marine for doing my boat motor swap last June.  Motor changeover was flawless.  Meaning zero grief for me.
             Tomorrow? ...sharing a easy tri-part deadly 6 rod program for geared for the smaller boat anglers.  I'll reveal a negative turned into a positive that took 3 years

1/1/12  First day of the New Year and it's starting off with blizzard warnings for Manistee, MI.  10 to 20 inches of snow with winds to 50 mph is forecast!
             High point for me in 2011 was repowering my 1979 Sea Ray with a new 4 bolt main GM 350 V8.  This is a honey of a power plant and cost was below some re-mans. 
             My boat now cruises at what top end used to be.  You can cover a lot of water at a 26 mph and still have the luxury of pushing 40 at wide open throttle.
             Older Sea Rays have stronger bullet proof hulls.  Fiberglass gel is actually polyester made from oil.  Oil was a helluva lot cheaper in the 1970s then it is now.

12/31/11  Out with the old and in with the new?  The 2011 chapter of Great Lakes fishing is about to pass into the history book of Great Lakes fishing. 
                What will 2012 bring? ...who knows, but it will be big fun to see how our new season unfolds.  It would be perfectly OK with me ...if 2012 was a rerun of 2011!
                 Today's featured photo is 8 point antler sheds that match.  This is a rare find seeing each side was found a few weeks apart.  Click 8 pt antler sheds
                 May the 2012 New Year bring you health, wealth, and wisdom.

12/30/11  T.G.I.F. for the last time this year.  2011 presented the Great Lakes fleet with overall calmer waters and less blow days.  September and October were not the constant barrage of wind ...as we've come to expect.  The return of larger Kings is another strong point for 2011, but May, June & early July Salmon fishing was no bed of roses.
                 It's been a pleasure to spend this year with you.  2012 will be my 12th year updating this website everyday.  That's close to 4000 daily entries in my Captain's Log since the birth of this site in late 1999.  This same devotion applies to the tackle I make.
  Thank you for tuning in to share my passion for Great Lakes fishing and the outdoors!

12/29/11  The days are winding down for 2011.  This season was very kind to us Lk. MI fishermen.  My memories start with developing a killer program for the top 50' fish during the middle of the day in ultra flat calm conditions. Click 10/12/11 mirror glass water
               This accomplishment is not to be taken lightly.  By far, bright sun and mirror glass waters are the toughest circumstance to deal with on the Great Lakes when the fish are up high.  Turning these negatives into a positive was in the works for the last 3 years.
                So far, 2011 is high water mark for my webstore with a close to 20% sales increase.  Although, I failed miserably with my efforts to sell my tackle/website business. 
                Internet sales are the least understood asset of my tackle business.  This is due the reel-fact public web based sales are still in their infancy, but growing every year!
                The begin 2012 on a solid footing my tackle manufacturing operation is no longer for sale.  I'm looking forward to the future of our Great Lakes Fishery.

12/28/11  Big news from my neck of the woods is still the weather.  Posted a top-bottom photo comparing Decembers 2010 vs. 2011.  Click 2010 vs. 2011 snows
                 Courtesy of website member, Rick B ...we now have all the details on the Ludington, MI Sea Grant Regional Workshop being held on 1/7/12.  This is a full day event that runs from 8:30am thru 3:30pm and now costs 30 dollars for those that are registering after 12/10/11.  Lunch is being provided along with a raffle sponsored by the Ludington Charter Boat Association.  Click for more details & PDF registration form

12/27/11  Yesterday the perch fishing was good on the Saginaw River out of Bay City, MI.  Late season anglers willing to brave the elements are being rewarded with some mighty fine eating.  Plus, bonus days on the water. Click 12/26/11 Bay City, MI perch
                Lower 40s yesterday in Manistee, MI as winter continues to be a no show so far.  I suspect Mr. Winter is laying low for an all-out sneak attack soon.
                Manistee normally has a 5 month snow season (Nov.-Mar.) that can overlap a few weeks on both ends.  Lack of Nov.-Dec. snowfall means this year our snow season has been cut from a lengthy 5 months to only 3.
                Last year at this time snowfall at my place in Manistee County, MI was already pushing around 40 inches.  This year it's a skimpy 4 inches.

12/26/11  Yesterday was one of the few times during a year when this website goes over the top with jazzy jingle bells music, flashing Christmas lights and falling snow.
                 My favorite Christmas gift was an upgraded trouble light ready to face the onslaught of 2012's future unknown mechanical gremlins.
                     Limbo week between the holidays is here again.  Hard to accomplish anything meaningful if you're running a business.  2012 will be here in 5 days and it's a must to be ready.  Winter lays the foundation for the summer rush tackle season.

/25/11  Merry Christmas to All!

12/24/11  Best wishes to all for 2012 and Merry Christmas!
                    Shuffled the lineup of featured photos back to the 1985 Frankfort, MI photo.  There's a lot more to this picture then just a gal in daisy duke shorts. 
                 You can see how committed I was to attractors pushing 30 years ago with a selection of dodgers stored under the gunnels.  Plus, the fish in the pic was caught on a custom taped attractor.  The Great Lakes attractor market was evolving at this point. 
                 If you wanted fancy-dancy lure tape to dress up your attractor? ...it was a DIY arts and crafts project in most cases.  Click 1985 attractor evolving       

12/23/11  Took a look at the effort put into this year's updates.  As of yesterday 48,267 words, comprising 360 paragraphs, amounting to 85 pages (Microsoft Word data), & over 700 full-size images has been published on this website since January 1, 2011. 
               Winter paid a light visit yesterday morning to Manistee Co, MI by dropping a season opening inch of snow for act 1.  Click 1st full inch of Manistee snowfall
               Usually, it's hard winter for Manistee at, or around Thanksgiving, but this year has been quite balmy when you consider the lack of snow and warmer temps.
               Full range of temperatures for 2011 at my place is 101 to 6 below.  2010-2011 snow season came in at 133 inches.  Well be below the norm of 150 to 200 inches.
    My 2011-2012 Manistee snowometer now stands at 2 inches of total accumulation.

12/22/11  First day of winter 2011-2012.  Days will gradually start getting longer now as we are about to pass the winter solstice and shortest day of the year.
                Thanks to all who have bought my tackle this year.  Christmas sales season was up 10-15% over last year.  This is due in part to the big turnaround of Lk. MI towards larger King/Chinook Salmon.  Plus, a very oh-slight uptick in the economy.
                Whitetail bucks are beginning to drop their antlers as today's featured picture shows.  If the weather continues to be mild? ...bucks can carry horns well into February.
                Winter continues to be a no-show in Manistee County, MI.  No measureable snow at my place other then a few light dustings.  Click young buck losing horns

12/21/11  In keeping with this week's theme about taking pictures ...posted my favorite happy snappy taken in 2011.  This photo shows my ace double number on fishin' bud, John J fast into a King on a diver rod.  Click for my favorite photo taken in 2011
                 There's a lot going on in this photo to the trained eye.  The warm orange glow of the morning sun lights this picture radiantly.  Early morn fog clouds lifting off Lk. MI makes the grey and blue puffy sky a sight to behold.
                  On the fishing end you can see we're just setting up by noticing the Penn 330 GTI 1/2 copper rod unset in the bird tree rod holder.  Down rigger angle slows we've slowed the boat to deal with this King, or there'd be more blowback on the rigger cable.

12/20/11  My storyline about preserving past memories with photos needs to be postponed until I get a better handle on this vast subject.  Photos are a great way to record history of events that are important to you.  One picture is worth a 1000 words!
                The technical aspect of photos for web use dictate fairly low resolution compressed images for a short download time to display.  Another reason for low-res is computer monitor settings are below a 4000 x 3000 pixel count 2.6 meg image.
                Digital cameras?  The sky is the limit on what can be spent.  I use a point and shoot camera which eliminates the hassle and cost of carrying around extra lens like in my 35mm film SLR days.  High end digital SLR cameras are better left for the pros.  Not for somebody like me with slimy fish paws taking pictures aboard a boat.
                Webstore will be closing tomorrow at midnight.  Unsure of when the 2012 relaunch will happen.  Right now, first part of February 2012 is tentative.  Upon reopening my tackle manufacturing company and Mich-Angler website will no longer be for sale.

12/19/11  The setup on today's featured photo of a table full of spring Kings caught in 1979 out of Frankfort, MI begins with the top photo showing outriggers.
                The 1979 meat table catch of Paul, myself & my wife Merlene came mostly on outriggers towing small Deep Six divers close to the pier heads in Frankfort MI. 
                After finishing a successful April-May on lower Lk. Huron's spring King fishery, we decided to hit Frankfort.  Bait was packed in the harbor and so were the Kings.  Some to and past 20 pounds.  Not too shabby for early season reel-screamer King Salmon!
                Click 1979 meat table catch    Click 1985 outrigger photo
                Tomorrow? ...the top 3 photos will be stitched together in a common thread. 
                Answer to yesterday's question about what my camera collection photo has in common?  Every camera was less costly then it's predecessor.  The evolution of digital cameras? ...every one of them has more bells & whistles with a smaller tag price!

12/18/11  Photographs of your fishing trips will be cherished long after the season is over.  My fish photo collection is easy to get lost in ...when I post one for this website. 
Memories can fade overtime, but recalled immediately when a picture is viewed.  Pictures are magical and capture only a fleeting instant in time that can never be relived!
                I've owned Nikon Cameras since the mid-later 1970s, but in no way see today's collection of my Nikons an endorsement to rush out and buy one.
                Nikons take great images ...no doubt, but from my experience they are very fragile and do not withstand anything close to abuse.  Click my Nikon collection
                My Nikon late 1980s 8008 film SLR 35mm has internal off-on issues. 
                Nikon's first attempt into digital was their Coolpix 950 debuting on i2k and still takes good pictures for a 1 megapixel camera.  Nikon's next attempt in about 2002 is the Coolpix 995 at 3.3 mega.  That camera no longer focuses clearly, is obsolete, and has been retired.  Next digital Coolpix Nikon I bought is an upgrade from the 995 is the Cool-Pix 8700 at 8 megapixels.  The 8700 camera has been a workhorse for this website and still functions like brand new.  Excluding name ...what do all this cameras have in common?

12/17/11  With the evolution of the internet connections speeds for most have increased.  High speed connections makes video as a learning medium very feasible. 
                Signed up for a You Tube account and plan on posting "how to" short movies directed at the tackle we sell.  This will raise the bar even higher for product support.
                Shooting videos is a risk.  Done right? ...a tremendous tool.  Done wrong? ...it's reel chance to make yourself dumber than a box of rocks. 
                Striving for the done right part is the goal.  This is a huge undertaking and the next logical step to provide the best customer support on this planet.  Presently, my customer support ranks second to none and plan on keeping it that way!

12/16/11  One of my favorite things is turning the lights off in the our tackle shop when a day's work is done.  That's when I get to see all the glowy tackle saying goodnight.  Decided to reveal this "glow in the dark" experience with you and snapped a pic.
                 It's my great pleasure to share today's featured photo shot entirely in natural no light conditions.  Except from the all-night mercury yard light coming thru a window.
                 Making tackle keeps me in the switched on mode, during season, ...or not.  It's easy to show what separates my lineup from the rest: Click X-Glows in blue & green
                 This marks the first time both the blue & green X-Glow flashers and lure tape were photographed side by side for a true reel-impressive comparison. 
 Lot's of people will tell you how good their tackle is.  Me? ...I prefer to prove it!

12/15/11  Calendar of preseason events for 2012 begins on 1/7/12 with the Michigan Sea Grant Meeting being held at the Ramada Inn in Ludington, MI.
                The Ludington Charter Boat Association will be holding a raffle during intermission.  My apologies to this fine organization for missing my chance to donate tackle to their event in 2010.  I know how tough the charter business is firsthand with lessons learned over a span of 20 years. Click my 2012 Ludington tackle donation
                Not privy to all the Sea Grant meeting details like starting time, who's scheduled to speak, and what the topics are.  Tried a web search for specifics and that came up empty. Hope to have all the Sea Grant info listed soon.  Events Page will return with a schedule for activities directed at all Great Lakes anglers. Click 2011 Events Page
                My kudos to the Ludington Charter Boat Association for their dedication to our Great Lakes.  This fine organization is leading the area fight against nesting cormorants. 

12/14/11  Being in any business requires the wearing of several hats.  One of which is advertizing guru.  To be effective at advertizing you need to think of appealing names & slogans that become catch phrases to showcase your products.  Click Smurf & Turf
                An inspired idea came to me yesterday ...one, so easy I couldn't pass it up.   A virtuoso already ingrained modern terminology with a slight twist to the words. 
               "Smurf and Turf" has been embraced describe our lineup of Smurf glow blue and daylight blue glow UV tackle.  Smurf to designate the color pattern and turf to relay the message of meat.  Having reel-monikers speeds up the process of identification too!

12/13/11  In my travels around Manistee County, MI last week on 12/5/11 the High Bridge Public Access between Wellston and Brethren, MI.  It was shocking to see only 3 boat trailers in the parking lot setup to handle 40 some boat trailers and tow vehicles.
                This stretch of the Big Manistee River down to the Bear Creek access has striking scenery thru valleys punctuated with steep high banks.  This section of the BMR offers a vast mix of fast and slow water, all attractive to one of the greatest, if not the greatest game fish, our Michigan Steelhead. Click High Bridge Launch on 12/5/11

12/12/11  1. How do fish see things?  2. What colors can fish see?  Much has been said and written about these 2 mysterious questions.  None it to my satisfaction, because simply put ...nobody knows and at the best offer conjecture. Click fish eye view
                 One thing everyone agrees is fish have an oval eye lens.  Known in the camera world terms, as a fisheye lens.  To bring a better understanding of what a fish sees ...I used a fisheye lens to photograph the same meat head with the rubber fish in the toothpick photo.  If that's how a fish sees it's prey?  Their vision system is way beyond my comprehension and proves what an eternal mystery fishing really is!

12/11/11  Yesterday's photo showing the rubber fish rear toothpick is strictly a demo for when I hold meat school in my shop.  Meat school is for those new to fishing meat and is done by appointment only.  In less then 5 minutes all can be explained.  This aids my customer's confidence level and gives them a leg up.  Showing them first hand there is absolutely no learning curve. Click for toothpick & rubber fish demo
                In spite of claims about how fantastic phony bait is? ...I've pulled it and never had a bite on it.  If it works for you great.  The more alternatives the better.  
                If you're wanting to raise you meat program to an art form please take the time to click on these 2 articles: Rigging with Red  Fine Tuning Whole Reel-Bait

12/10/11  Christmas 10% off sale will be extended for a few days.  Ludington Ford dealer is having issues fixing my RV's cruise control.  Was hoping to be on the road headed south by the first of next week.  But, when hoping meets the reality of doing? ...it's a whole different unreel-world.  Snow has held off so far at my place.  Knock on wood:)!
                 The low tech toothpick is all important to fishing meat.  The rear toothpick is actually a tensioning device that holds and controls the bend for the proper spin rate when using whole herring.  Tip: Insert the toothpick firmly. Click pegging rear line hole
                  Equally important for herring strip users too, because it pegs the hook towards the tail of the meat strip eliminating short striking, or missed fish.

12/9/11  My tackle webstore will be closing soon for winter vacation.  Not sure when we'll reopen, but around Super Bowl Sunday is tentative for now.
               Our Christmas sale 10% off 100 dollar purchases has been a huge success.  This is the last discount offered until the 2012 Christmas season rolls around next year.  Thanks to all everyone for purchasing my tackle during the course of 2011. 
               The reason behind new re-engineered tapered rim shape in the rear line holder hole in our meat heads? ...that came from my bifocal equipped aging eyes that need all the help they can get.  This epiphany came to me while fumbling around last August in low light conditions in a hurry to get lines in the water.
                Tomorrow? ...the great importance behind the multiuse toothpick.

12/8/11  Perfected a new machining process for the rear line-holder hole in the back of our meat heads.  This re-engineered hole now has a tapering countersunk rim to make it easier to peg the toothpick at right distance for desired hook drop.  Granted, this is a small, but necessary tweak that will make hook spacing a lot easier.
               Ongoing improvements keeps the Magnum and Super Magnum Meat Heads leading the competition.  I'm proud of the added structural material incasing the rear line holder hole in the recently updated 2005 Magnum Heads.  New 2012 Magnum Heads in HRP, Sparkler, Firedot, X-Glow, Clear have this upgrade.  The other colors when existing old stock is depleted will have this feature too.  Click taper fit new rear line hole
                If you're not using my heads yet?  I have a question for you: what do the outdated flimsy foreign heads have slated for upgrading in 2012?  Short answer: nothing!
                Tomorrow? ...the reel-reason behind the new tapering fit hole!