July, August & September 2013


9/30/13  Discovered actual events can be stranger then fiction when I looked up the best selling tackle in 2013.  The only double aboard my boat in 2013 came on the Kevorkian and SSB.  Both of these patterns are world exclusives to my tackle lineup.
              Low and behold, when I checked the overall sales numbers Kevorkian Glo was number 1 in the 10" BTI flashers & Meat Rigs
®.  SSB aka Super Silver Bullet was the best seller in combo deals.  So, as luck would have it, my only 2013 2-fer was on these 2 very popular selections.  Believe it, or not?  Click for photo verification
            P.S.  Photo taken show the SSB combo as white due to overexposure in a rush to box these fish & get lines back in the water ASAP. Tomorrow? ...more best sellers.

9/29/13  A technical web server glitch delayed today's topic.  All is better now ...finally. I'll catch up with you tomorrow with our best selling tackle during 2013.

9/28/13 A good weekend to take care of the yard and garden before the weather turns cold. Last October it got cold early with no Indian summer. This made the Manistee winter seen like it would never end, cuz it never warmed up until May. Then, it was like flipping a light switch in more summerlike weather with no spring gradual warm up.
Tomorrow? ...our best selling flasher during 2013 will be revealed.

9/27/13  5 days into the fall season and the leaves are beginning to fall.  Most trees at my place have yet to show any color yet.  With the bow season open right around the corner lack of any leaf drop will hamper visibility.
               Either today, or tomorrow my plan is to go check at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir to see how many fish are stacked up for the fall Salmon egg take.  Hope to shoot some underwater video of full mature adult Kings while I'm visiting the weir.
             Have a great weekend and enjoy the nice weather this fall is offering!

9/26/13  Michigan has a tackle history rich with iconic manufacturers.  Helin became famous for the banana shaped Flatfish that came out in 1936 based in Detroit, MI.
              Daredevil's the red and white casting spoon has sold millions.  Lou Eppinger began design work on the prototype of this spoon in 1906.  Production stated in 1912.
              Heddon began in 1894 making wooden lures such as the Zara Spook.  Then Heddon expanded into making some of the finest rods ever built.  Heddon's top of the line rod was sold with a partial walnut inlayed cork handle, a cloth bag, stainless steel rod wrapping, and a hard aluminum case for secure storage.  I used to own one.
               Michigan ranks number 1 with 3,288 miles of freshwater shoreline  So, it's a natural fit for the Wolverine State to be a major tackle manufacturing state.

9/25/13  Stuck in the too much to do mode to do anything meaningful for today's get together.  Busy is OK and sure beats the alternative of nothing to do.
   Tomorrow will be about Mi's rich tradition in the tackle industry and it's a goodie!

9/24/13  Closing date for my webstore is 10/7/13.  Extended planned close date a few days to accommodate today's news.  Business has many paths.  The one I've chosen is not to reorder any base product for our existing lineup for 2014.  Reason behind this is to make room to work on new tackle for 2014, or 2015.  I have a proven track record for making tackle that works.  This only happens thru a long drawn out design process.
              Our Magnum Meat Heads went thru many design/prototype changes that began in 2004.  So, the heads would be ready for the 2005 season.  Injection molding tools cost 1000s of dollars.  You must KNOW beyond any shadow of doubt the CAD file that makes the tool be 1000% correct.  You don't risk 30-50k on sloppy design/test work.
              Besides, not ordering more inventory for our existing tackle lineup frees up the financial situation to bring new tackle to the market place that makes the existing tackle obsolete.  Yes, it can be done, but it takes a lot of work.  It took 6 to 12 months to come out with first, the 12" flasher.  A year for the meat heads & 6 months for the 10" BTIs.  Which, incidentally, ...the BTIs produced 2 to 1 over the 12s in 2013 aboard my boat.

9/23/13  A fish is a fish, is a fish.  What appears as likely food to one specie pretty much applies to all species of all finned predators.  Case in point is today's featured photo by Larry showing a walleye that hit a Meat Rig™ and one of my 12" flashers.  Plus, Larry's 'eye was taken down fairy deep on a rigger. Click Harbor Beach, MI Walleye
              Your pictures keep this website current.  Thanks all that sent their 2913 pics in.  Still have several on deck to post as time goes on.

9/22/13  Lk. MI is predicted to have 1 to 2 footers tomorrow.  Need to ready boat from summer mode with the enclosure off (side curtains-backdrop) to fully enclosed.  No matter what the shore temperature is, temp on aboard boat is governed by surface temp of the water.  2 footers are on the high end of what I can shoot video on.  Movies are meant to move.  Not the camera jerking all around, causing jitter.  Which is amateurish to watch.  Have 2 downrigger cams now and plan on using them next time off the dock.

9/21/13  A big thanks goes to SteveO for passing along the info from WI's Strawberry Creek egg harvest facility.  According to the WDNR the average weight of Chinooks, of King Salmon captured last year (2012) was 11.5 pounds.  With most fish being rated as 3 year olds.  It will be interesting to see how much the average weight will be this year.
              DNR records are a fascinating treasure trove of historical hard facts for those of us addicted to big water fishing.  Plus, history helps predict the future!
              Looks like on this coming Monday the wind will lay down for a few days.  Still have more side by side tests to run on meat rigs with flies vs. no fly rigged plain Jane heads.  Hope to be able to share the outcome with you soon.  When you get right down to it, ...fishing with meat is a fairly new phenomenon that's still in it's infancy.

9/20/13  10 days and counting before we close up shop.  This will allow time to do a new photo gallery page of the 2013 Lk. MI Kings.  The 2013 season is best explained explain with ...less is more?  Meaning less King Salmon available with more size.
              This time last year the major concern was the low water in Lk. MI & Lk. Huron.  September 2012 going into October 2012 the water level dropped a good foot.  Lk. MI water level has risen since last fall with 2013 being a wetter year.

9/19/13  Probably, I don't give myself enough credit.  Preferring to have my tackle speak for itself.  Today, that's gonna change, because after replaying my few August trips one thing was clearly evident.  My original Diver Diggers™ and Super Snubbers™ work together flawlessly.  Digger equipped divers with my snubbers turned 80 plus percent of ALL diver hits aboard my boat into landed fish! Click to purchase before I close up
             The weighted digger divers held hooks fast into hard mouthed adult Kings even when the rod was unattended during a August doubleheader ...with only my wife and I aboard.  Digger divers get more depth quicker, hold fish better, and with less line off the diver reel.  Allowing for tight turns in traffic with absolutely ZERO tangles!
             There is no product/tackle on this planet that will improve your diver program as much as these 2 revolutionary game changers.  On sale now thru the end of this month.
              Think I'm blowing smoke?  I do have a video with on that will backup everything said.  Hope to debut this footage and more down the road later this year!

9/18/13  Last Saturday was decent for those that fished off of Manistee, MI as I'm coming to learn.  Best news is the small immature King in Derek L's catch.  Small Kings where in short supply at this time last year.  I probably won't be able to fish until I close the tackle store and shut down on Oct. 1st. Click for Derek's 9/14/13 catch
            Still having Kings in the big lake is welcome news for the October egg harvest.  Take this with a grain of salt, cuz I "heard" this was not many fish at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir ...yet.  I will make a trip over there to verify soon.

9/17/13  Seems things are looking up with Lk. MI's late season fishery.  Here's a good report from Onekama, MI's charter boat, Sandpiper III this past Saturday:

"John, Caught 8 fish last Saturday morning off Onekama and had 12 bites. We took fish from 120-420 feet of water and all the fish were in the top 50 feet. The best action was mid morning over 400 feet of water. The good news was that our catch was made up of one dandy adult Coho (14#), 1 small coho, 5 kings from 2-14 pounds (next years) and a steelhead.  I love fishing this time of year when the weather permits as the fish are actively feeding and they are great eating.  Capt. Kevin H."

9/16/13  Below are the MDNR Chinook/King Salmon plants for Manistee, MI in a year by year format from 2009 thru 2013.  Please note the major reduction in the 2013 plant. 
              Added 1996 so you can see how the stocking levels have decreased over the years.  You can make your own mind up over what the numbers are about.  This information was gathered from the MDNR records.  Click here for verification













9/15/13  To dispel any rumors to the contrary, rivers and streams in Manistee County, MI are not loaded with Salmon.  The rumor mill was churning out reports the fish ran early.  This is strictly conjecture from those wanting to sound like an authority trying to reason out why the summer Salmon herd of 2013 was a lot thinner then in previous years.
               Sure, there are some Kings up the rivers, but hardly any are in Pine Creek, a stream I've been documenting for several years as today's pic proves.
               Overall, the not many Kings in Pine Creek report bodes well for us and the MDNR by meaning there are still fish to come for the October egg take ...we hope!
Not much to go on, but the fishing word from Manistee is a few fish over deep water.

9/14/13  94 degrees in Troy, MI to 33 degrees  this past Wednesday to scattered frost in today in Manistee, MI shows the wide variance of temps we have in MI.
              Although, I hate to admit it, age will catch up to all of us.  Getting older might be OK for fine wines and renaissance paintings.  But not for us homo sapiens.  While age might have caught up with me ...it has not diminished my passion for fishing.
              Age is the reason I'm closing my webstore soon.  My plans are for 2014 are in flux.  Thanks to everyone for making the 2014 season a big success for us.  Without you, there'd be no me ...and for that ...I'm eternally grateful for!

9/13/13  Over the weekend I will compile the number of Kings/Chinook Salmon planted over the past 4 and 5 years in Manistee Co, MI.  Then, share this number with you this coming Monday. Sometime in late October the MDNR lists the number of Kings taken at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir.  It will be interesting to see the percentage return rate.
               Possibility of me fishing this weekend ...if the wind lays down.

9/12/13  My condolences to the Butterfield family for their loss when MI State Trooper, Paul Butterfield was shot and killed about 15 miles from where I live in Manistee County, MI.  And all us for that matter for living in a society where we cuddle criminals that use firearms to commit senseless acts of murder with 3 hots & a cot for life.  Whatever happened to an eye for an eye for justice? Click here for more info
              Alleged cop killer,
Eric Knysz was shot, then taken into custody at the gas station in Dublin, MI only an 1/8 of a mile from where Todd B, aka Todd the Rod lives.  Sickening crimes like this really hits home when it's in your backyard.

9/11/13  As this season winds down ...it's time offer a yearend sale before I close the webstore in October not to open again this year.  Plans for 2014 depend on a lot of things.  Presently, I have more ideas then workable solutions.  Have had feelers concerning selling my tackle company again.  But that's happened before ...only to lead to a dead-end after I invested a lot of time and effort.
              Just enter promo code: 2013 at checkout for a 13% price reduction on all orders over 100 bucks.  Dropped the free shipping threshold to a 100 too.  Making this fall stock liquidation sale close to a 20% off deal.  Click for my tackle store 
              Bright spot is: I will soon have a tow vehicle to see what Lk. Mi has to offer.  Forecast for wind and waves look very favorable this coming Saturday.

9/10/13  Still lots of fishing left as today's featured WI pic proves.  Steelhead will be the big deal now and juvenile Salmon until it's gets to miserable to fish into November.  Drawback to fall fishing is wind, wind, and more wind.  Click WI Steelhead
              This year's adult Salmon has pretty much run it's course according to the grapevine.  Will there be late run fish? ...only time will tell.
              Too early to tell, but encouraging news on juvi Kings/Chinooks.  There are some Salmon in the lower 20 inch range being caught off central Lk. MI ports now.
              My plan for today was foiled when my truck sold so fast.  Original idea was to go out of Frankfort, MI.  Then, run up to E Platte Bay to pick a few fights with Mr. Coho.  Now, I'm without a tow vehicle until later this week.  It's one thing not being able to go due to work, or wind.  It's a horse of a different color when you can't go a-at-all!

9/9/13  Salmon fishing during 2013 was hit and miss for the most part.  Seen this coming when Kings were scarce and hen's teeth off Manistee, MI in October 2012.  Generally, fall fishing is harbinger what will take place the following year.
             Selling my mint 2005 Ford F150 with only 25,000 miles on it.  Need a larger truck to pull a 5th wheel, or larger trailer.  I'm not gonna sit in Manistee this winter counting snowflakes waiting for the spring to roll around.  Click for more truck info

9/8/13  Looks like there's going to be a window, or 2 this coming week for me to get off the dock.  I vastly underestimated the amount of work and time that goes into shooting video with mini action cams.  This year has been spent mostly conquering a steep learning curve.  Then, there's issues of battery life and how many minutes that will fit on a micro SD card.  Got that stuff figured out.  Now ...I just need calm seas to put it all to use.

9/7/13  Wind and wave forecasts at best are sketchy.  Before leaving to fish Manistee, MI you can check the Station BSBM4 at Big Sable Point, MI for real-time data.  Then compare real-time wind data from Station MEEM4 in Manistee's harbor.   These are great tools that can be accessed anytime on the internet.
Station BSBM4 - Big Sable Point, MI    Station MEEM4 - Manistee Harbor, MI
             If you fish Frankfort, MI there is no such luxury (data) coming from Point Betsie even though this is federal property.  There's about a 80 mile void on Lk. MI's east shore with the next accessible real-time wind data coming from Northport, MI.  Billions of our of federal tax dollars have been wasted in every feasible way ...you'd think the feds would pony up a few bucks & install a weather station at Point Betsie.

9/6/13  Here's a great family story from Port Austin, MI:

Craig R, his Son-in-law and Grandson caught this Hog Laker along with 5 others, one 14 lb. also and a walleye. Fishing North of P.A. (Port Austin, MI) in 120-150 ft. Caught on John Kings paddle (flasher) and meat rig! 125-135' down.  Ray S Click 22# Laker

Had planned on fishing today.  Maybe to lumpy to shoot video is my major concern.  This year has been difficult trying to capture video.  3 elements have fall in place.
1.  Need have fish under my boat.
2.  It has to be fairly calm.
3.  Workload in my shop has to be light, but that hardly ever happens.  I know exactly what I want to do, but aligning that above 3 conditions is hard.  Number 3 usually cancels out number 1, because when fishing is good we're extra busy in the shop.

9/5/13  Considering many options for next year:
1. Find a buyer that wants an established business with a loyal customer following.  So, for the 3rd year, my tackle manufacturing and webstore is for sale.
2. Take a year off for new tackle development.  All the obsolete tackle is already on the market providing roadmaps to build a better product.  Spoons, divers, rigger releases, and inline planer boards are all ripe areas that haven't been improved in a long, long time. 
3. Any new tackle I come out with require expanding my current shop with an addition.  Big task for anyone that's in their later 60s.
4. Liquidate all of my stock that would give me just about my asking price and would eliminate the hefty capital gains tax I would have to pay if someone bought my outfit.
5. The perfect solution that I haven't thought of yet?

9/4/13  Let's go with one of my recent emails for today's chat:

"Hi John, Just thought I would send you a picture of my first 25 lbs. king. I was in Manistee on Sunday.  It was caught on your new green mamba BTI on a wire Dipsy. I bought it at Tangled Tackle in Manistee.  Have a great day, Mike"
              This is one best examples of a good solid 25 lb. King & a proud fisherman to go along with it.  Personal "bests" to do not come around all that often.  Having a good-clear well defined photo is worth's weight in gold.  Capturing moments in time is a wonderful thing, if you have a decent camera. Click Mike's 25 lb. King
              Wind was semi cooperative for the Manistee, MI's Labor Day fleet until this past Monday when stout N seas keep the wise shorebound.  Results were mixed with those fishing more to the S doing OK while those who went N struggled. 
9/3/13  Today's leadoff photo is from dedicated Salmon fisherman, Roger C.  He took 5 Kings 20 pounds and bigger this past Sunday morning by 8:30am out of Manistee, MI. 
             Roger's weapons were Black Mamba SUV (Super UV) and a special Pink Mamba 12" RFs I made for Roger's wife, who is a cancer survivor.  Click for Roger's catch
             Reaching a major crossroads in life about my future in the tackle business as I look towards my later 60s and the workload I carry.  In 2011 and 2012 I offered my tackle business and mich-angler website for at a reasonable 2.5 times my gross.  Issue is, I do not carry many retail tackle store outlets.  Mostly due to the demands* of making lots of tackle when I should be fishing more.  Not working more!
             Idea popped in my head about making a new photo gallery of the Kings of 2013 when time allows.  Impact will hit home when you see all the big fish on one page.
                             Labor Day Weekend fishing recap tomorrow.

9/2/13 Have a great Labor Day 2013!

9/1/13  Recent wind shift from the N to the NE, then E, then back to the N again has for sure moved the down-temp higher.  Adult Kings that were staging off Manistee, Mi's Orchard beach State Park could have a easy road to run the river.  Today will probably be "yell at everyone" harbor combat fishing, if my hunch is correct.
             Turn the page on your calendar, August 2013 Salmon season is now in the history books.  What will September bring?  This falls into the "who knows?" category depending on how many more Salmon are still out in the big lake.  I do see another week, or two, maybe more before all is said and done on this year's Salmon run.  Hard to factor in what this year's cold delayed spring did to the fish.
              If this year's big fish are a throw back to the era of 1970s-early 80s? ...best fishing did not occur until September.  If my recall is right? ...1981 off Frankfort, MI the best Coho Salmon fishing took place during the first week of October in E & W Platte Bays.  Seen about the same deal in October off Oscoda, MI's harbor in 1978-79 for Kings.

8/31/13  Loose notes: the late bite did not exist.  Big pods of bait came off the bottom around 8pm that was the end of us catching fish on the evening 8/39/13.
              Mechanics of fishing required upsizing to size 32 rubber bands for this year's jumbos after missing rigger bites. 50' to 80' down is where our hits were coming.
              Clean meat rigs® (sans flies) are a brand new technique for me.  With the fleet-wide popularity of 3 fly meat rigs® at central Lk. MI ports ...it's time for a change.  The rush to meat craze started in Manistee, MI 10 years ago back in 2003 by me.
              This idea got flowing after watching several fish in the spread following, but not latching on.  Marks that stay on the sonar for 5 to 10 minutes out for just a "swim along" with the meat rigs® ...means it's time to change things up a little. 
              My 2 BTI Kevorkian clean rigs out-fished the other 3 rods by a 2 to 1 margin.  This has not gone unnoticed.  Time will tell about clean rigs?  More on this soon as more testing needs to be done before I rush to judgment. Click 8/29/13 pm fish box

8/30/13  Finally! ...had the chance to spend 9 hours on the water & assemble a few notes.  Yes, there are Kings to be caught in Manistee.  Yes, they are giants compared to past years.  The truth is: these big guys only got big by less competition for the food source.  Meaning NOT the double digit limit catches we've became accustomed to.
              At the boat ramp you can learn a lot.  Spoke with more then a few fellow Salmon fishermen.  Evening trip catches for the trailer boat fleet ranged from skunk city to 3, or 4 like we had last night.  In fact, from what I personally witnessed it's more a fact of being lucky, than good.  Drive over the right fish and you will get bit.  Problem is the "right" fish can be few and far between ...if your not in the right area?
               I will expand on this tomorrow.  A clean Kevorkian Meat Rig® on a 36" leader behind a 10" BTI Kevorkian flasher pulled most of our hits & fish. Click 45 lb. 2-fer
Weekend Location Tip:  1 to 3 miles N of Manistee's harbor (16s-19s) in a 100' to 180' of water seemed best.  Several charter vessels were working this water also.  Normally, I don't tip off where the charter fleet is working, but you need all the help you can get!!

8/29/13  Fueled by a heavy workload, today is the opportune time to put this website on autopilot and take a break from the normal routine.  Normal is work and too much work is no good.  We all deserve a day off every now and then ...right?
               OK, I got caught playing hooky this morning by posting a new photo of John J hoisting a respectable 20 lb. King caught off Manistee this morning.
                I don't care how tired you are from work, there's always enough energy left to go wet a line and enjoy all that Lk. MI has to offer.  Click JJ's 20 pounder

8/28/13  "Hi Captain John,  Here is a picture of my big fish of the year caught last Friday night 8/23 just off Silver Lake Sand Dunes in 65 FOW  40' down at sunset.  |
              This 24 lb 6 oz female hit on a Gold Sea Green Glow fly with a 10 inch (BTI) King Purple Glow flasher combination to make my night. Click for this fish
              It has just been in the last couple of weeks that flashers & flies have been working well for me and bringing in the four year old kings." Chris C 

              Fishing off the Port of Manistee, MI has really picked up the past few days.  Kings are coming at 75' to 100' down close to structure.  S blow did reload the inshore waters as I mentioned yesterday.  This is a fresh run of Kings, all fairly bright fish! 
Don't think for an instant Ludington & Frankfort aren't benefiting from the S blow too.  My guess is all of the big 3 central Lk. MI ports are hot, if N wind doesn't goof it up again!

8/27/13  Congratulations to Team Sandpiper III anchored by skipper, Kevin Hughes for winning last weekend's Pro Division in Frankfort, Mi's Benzie Frenzy Tournament.  Their 10 weighable fish came in at 165 pounds for a healthy 16.5 pound average.
               This event was shortened to the first day being last Saturday.  Strong wind from the S approaching 30 knots cancelled day 2.
               We've had S wind for going on 4 days now.  Question is: just how deep will the thermocline be for this weekend?  Hopefully, the S wind will reload inshore waters!

8/26/13  Results from this past weekend says most of the fleet did not fish yesterday. There's a S blow that's still in progress reshuffling where the fish are going to be. 
              This past Saturday boats that jumped a few fish early ...in close to structure, then moved to deep water took better numbers.  There were huge stretches of dead water in the 100' to 250' depths holding no bait, or fish after the sun came up.
              Unless, there's a drastic change in the long range wind and wave forecast the upcoming Labor Day Weekend looks to be very fishable.  Predicted daytime highs for this coming weekend look to be in the high 70's to low 80s with no heavy N wind.  If holds true? ...we could be dealing with deepest thermocline of this season.

8/25/13  Here's what Derek L had to say about fishing Manistee on 8/24/13:
Capt. King, Fished 200-400 fow down 40-120. Early bite was slow but just picked away. Thanks again for all the great products and awesome service." Click Derek's catch

8/23/13  NOAA wind and wave forecast for today and tomorrow is decent.  Sunday the wind builds to 15 to 25 knots and stays brisk thru this coming Monday.  Last week of August-first week of September usually offers good numbers of Salmon.  Heavy on the word "usually," cuz this year nothing has been usual when it comes to weather.
               Got my ducks in a row for our soon to happen solo adventure where just me and you go fishing.  4 action cams are on the ready, cell phone, back deck mirror, life preserver and kill switch line to my trolling motor are ready to go.  While you can't eliminate all danger when it come to fishing, but steps can be taken to minimumize it!

8/22/13  Yesterday was the first warm wind we've had in Manistee County, MI in a long time.  August 2013 has been cool for the most part with a lot of N wind.
              Good news on the trap nets off Ludington, MI.  Battice's nets should be gone in the next 7 to 10 days weather permitting according to law enforcement.
              Wind will, or already has swung N for the next couple of days that looks highly fishable.  First part of next week a big SW blow is predicted.  SW is normal for this time of the season, as are deep fish.  Some struggle with deep fish.  Attractor fishermen do not.
              This is where our new 2013 Diver Diggers™ come in, cuz they were designed to deal with deep 100' plus down fish!  Greatest benefit from diggers? ...you get your divers lot deeper, much quicker.  This a major plus when manuvering your boat in traffic!
    Latest word from Frankfort, MI is good on Coho.  Kings are a lot harder to come by.

8/21/13  Situation with the commercial trap nets off Ludington, MI is not good.  Little River Band tribal fisher, Thomas Brattice 47 was sentenced to prison for 5 to 15 years for 2nd degree CSC.  Brattice's operation has several trap nets around Ludington.
              Although, some of the Ludington nets had been removed, the net markers have not been maintained very well.  So, beware.  Click Ludington newspaper article
              For now, this could signal the end of all LRB of native American trap nets off Frankfort, Manistee, Whitehall, and Ludington, because the consent agreement money the State of MI gave them for startup has been wiped out in a shady money grab.
              Wind & waves for today: South winds 15 to 25 knots increasing to 30 knots late in the day. Mostly sunny. Waves 3 to 5 feet. S blow happening now will help the fishing off central Lk. MI with a defined deeper thermocline.  Temp at 25-30' down make if tough to catch mature Kings when they're up this high.  While the tackle I sell can catch fish at any given depth, my stuff comes into it's own when the fish go deep. 

8/20/13  Port reports I'm privy this past weekend's results were mediocre at best.   Some pulled the black kitty aka Mr. Skunk to 7 fish per day.  Please keep in mind, I report what the trailer fleet is catching, not what the charter boats are doing.  Charters are on the water everyday and that's where they have the upper hand to more fish.
               Warm spell is upon central Lk. MI ports.  Question is will the water fleas come back to epidemic proportions like they were in later July?  Time will answer this question!
               Need to remind all we get our orders out from www.michiganangler.com
the same day they come in.  Time is of the essence is realized, because I'm a fisherman too.  We do not mess around getting your order out the door.  Delivery times vary from 1 day to 3 days to all surrounding Great Lakes States.

8/19/13  Last week's N blow made catching tough off Manistee's shelf last weekend.  Harbor was producing some hog-sized Kings during first and last light.  Manistee's staging Kings that were, or are holding? ...have migrated up the Big & Little Manistee Rivers. 
              Temp off this port was 54 degrees was down 25', then it did taper to the high 40s at 50'.  After 50' down the water remained at 44 degrees to 125'.  Manistee should reload with a fresh batch of fish and bait on the next S blow.  If, or when the 50 degree water gets stacked below 70-80 feet depths? ...this port will probably be on fire.
              Today's featured  pic is from Tim M.  He and his 2 fishing buddies were fishing aboard Manistee charter boat, Reel Pleasure skippered by Capt. Larry S.  Their 11 fish in this photo weighed whopping 237 pounds.  Click for Tim's 8/9/13 Manistee catch

8/18/13  Happy Sunday!  Enjoy the big King Salmon photos.  It might be years before we ever see Lk. MI produce this many large Salmon.  And? ...the best has yet to come.  Last week of August-1st part of September should be icing on the cake for this season's hogs!
                  Have a great day off, because you more than deserve it!!!!

8/17/13  In case you don't know it? ...the 2013 season is making big King Salmon history.  Never in the 13-14 years of this website has so many photo Kings over 27 pounds have been sent in (emailed) to me.  Seeing Lk. MI 30 pounders and above used to be a rare occurrance with maybe 1, or 2 a season being posted on this site.  Think the count this year is 3 with plenty of time left for more to be caught!  Click Adam's King
               Thanks to website member, Adam M for today's featured pic of a 31 pound Master Angler King (over 27 lbs.).  His massive fish was caught on a Smurf Mamba BTI with a Smurf 2 fly Meat Rig
® back about a week ago. Click 31# King & what it hit

8/16/13  Warm spell is on the way with temps to the mid-80s for central Lk. MI.  Warmer only comes with S wind.  S wind shoves warm water in and drives the fish deeper.  For knowledgeable attractor fishermen having a deep thermocline puts the odds in their favor.  Adult Kings get reel-stupid when they're congregated at depths of 90', or more.
               With the prospect of temp down around a 100' innovative Diver Diggers™ will come into their own.  There is no piece of tackle that you can buy for 6.95 that will do so much for your diver program in reaching deep fish!  Click Diver Diggers™  
               Today's featured photo is from courtesy of Steve L. and Team Knotty Girl.  Steve fished Ludington last weekend, took 9 kings, with weights of 18 to 26 pounds.  This year's jumbos are putting many a grin on anglers faces!  Click Steve's Ludington Kings

8/15/13  Tuesday's N blow ran a lot of cold water inshore off the Port of Manistee, MI.  I have no doubt the harbor was the place to be yesterday morning.  Then, after the lake rolls the harbor becomes a diminishing return when all the easy fish as pick off.
              Our personal trip where just me and you go fishing is on hold until there's a thermocline forms at 50' down.  Fishing solo is gonna be hard enough, doing it in tough conditions will only make it worse.  Installed a ski mirror to see behind me to watch all corners of the back-deck.  So, I've put a lot of thought into going it alone.
              Today's feature photo of from Steve S and the crew of "Might as Well."  Steve's holding a solid 28 lb. Manistee King and an imposed pic of their catch.  Team Might as Well caught these fish last Saturday. Click Steve's 28 pounder
              Here's what Steve was kind enough to write:
"Your meat rigs seem to be the key, year after year after year.  Thank you for your quality American product.  Oh, and 28lb was the big one."  Steve S.

8/14/13  Personal shout out and thanks to Derek L for today's 22 lb. King pic taken off Manistee, MI yesterday.  This fish is 10 pounds lighter then a 32 pounder he caught a couple of days ago on Traverse City's E Bay.  Have a photo of his 32 that will be posted down the road.  Readers have been keeping this website well supplied with current big fish photos that I appreciate very-very much. Click Derek's 22 lb. Manistee King
             On deck for tomorrow an awesome catch by Steve S with Kings to and past the 28 pound mark, as the saga of 2013 Master Angler Salmon keeps rolling on.
             Today's planned event where just me and you go fishing has been postponed.  Mostly due to the recent N blow.  Figure I'd be better off letting the pond stabilize until tomorrow afternoon and the lake is predicted to be calmer too.  This will be fun!!

8/13/13  Here's yesterday's fishing report from Arcadia, MI:
             "Hi Capt. John, wanted to let you know that we caught 3 kings to 24 lbs and one steelhead off Arcadia this morning. I don't have access to the message board so thought I'd send you an e-mail.  100-120 FOW straight out and about 2 miles north.  All 4 fish came on meat rigs off Dipsys w/braided line, 150-170 feet back.
              Undertaker with red 3FMR and green with green 3FMR.  I am now convinced your snubbers improve the diver catch rate. The trip before this we took 1 king and 2 lakers a week ago, again all on Dipsys with meat rigs and your snubbers.
              So the last 7 hits I've had on my boat were on meat rigs on Dipsys with your new snubbers and all 7 fish were landed. I've never had this high of a catch rate with my Dipsys, so I think your snubbers are the ticket."  Thanks, Steve T ...aka "SpoonTang"

8/12/13  Have positive news about catching King Salmon at Traverse City, Leland, South Fox Island, Frankfort and Arcadia, MI.  Still waiting for Manistee and Ludington reports.  But have no doubt these 2 ports are producing as well. More info when this website is updated with more fishing news as it becomes available.
              Came up with an interesting theme for my next You Tube movie.  Just me and you will be going fishing.  Plan is a solo outing with my company aboard being 3 action camcorders.  Shot along the lines of Les Stroud's, Survivorman TV series. 
               Fishing alone can and be dangerous.  Made an extended shutoff tether for safety reasons.  In 45 some years of Great Lakes fishing never fell out of a boat and I'm not going to test my luck now.  Fall out of a boat ...and the boat keeps going is how unaccompanied fishermen are lost at sea!  Next afternoon with calm water is my goal.

8/11/13  Posted a prime example of this year's Kings courtesy of longtime website member, SpoonTang.  His fish weighed 26 and change.  All packed in a girthy bluegill styled short frame.  This fatso jumbo Salmon hit a BTI 10" flasher pulling a green fly caught out of the Port of Onekama, MI not too long ago. Click for this awesome fish
              Fish like this shows the Great Lakes DNRs yak on a Lk. MI shrinking Alewife population needs to be readdressed.  Along with their plans to further reduce Chinook, i.e. King Salmon stocking levels.  Hope they have enough courage to admit they were dead wrong about mistaken projections that do not fly in the face of conventional wisdom.

8/10/13  The flat oval Cortland Flea Flicker 30# line tracks with less blow-back than regular round 30# test mono.  Made it a point to see how this line performed on our recent 8/8/13 am trip.  I was skeptical about this until I seen it for myself.  We trolled 100' to a 150' down with minimal blow-back behind the cannonball.  Far less than conventional 30# round mono.  This was a pleasant surprise for me.
               Water flea issues have slowed a lot in the past couple of weeks off Manistee, MI, as Lk. MI has cooled into the mid 60s for surface temp.  So, it's not like you absolutely have to use FF now, but it's nice to see additional benefits from this line.
               Need to work on my webstore's new message board today.  Old board will be discontinued on 10/1/13.  Reason behind this move?  The code/features on the old board is 10-12 years old and must be updated to current standards that offer a lot more design, flexibility, and administrator control.  More on this soon.  Still learning how to operate it.

8/9/13  Please take note of the Salmon stomachs photo today.  Hungry, growing Salmon engulf a bait and are easier to get a hook into.  Full blown adult Kings? ...these fish are in the hit, nip & rip mode and cannot swallow a bait ...due to their stomachs being shrunken and displaced by a large reproductive system.  Click stomach comparisons
             Idea behind today's update about eaters vs. biters?  It's a whole lot easier to hook a hungry eating King with a hard mouth then a full adult King that just hits & spits.  Spend a few extra moments for hook inspection & sharpening.  You'll be glad you did!
             Had a grand time yesterday with John J & Todd the Rod.  Went just S of Gurney Creek to the 7s.  Lines were in the water from 7am until we pulled just before 11am.  We caught a decent King at, or near 20 pounds, down 120' over 150' of water.  From what I was able to piece together? ...a few miles N of Manistee was better & so was Big Point Sable for those that hit the early bite. Click John J's first King of the year

8/8/13  Planned topic of eaters vs. biters is postponed until tomorrow.  Around 4am yesterday morning we had a thunderstorm with winds in excess of 60 mph come thru Manistee, MI.  This storm knocked down our power lines.  We were without electricity for most of the day.  The juice finally is back on now, but I have a backlog of orders that did not get shipped.  By this afternoon all orders will be shipped.
            Eaters vs. biters is from an article I wrote in 2009 about Kings, as they mature with general observations of the quirky way they hit.  Click Eaters vs. Biters

8/7/13  Posted a screen capture photo from the Aviation Wind and Weather link on my Great Lakes Info Page.  This is the page I rely on before fishing. Click for this page
            Photo shows and proves what I said about the wind on a constant 360 degree spin of the compass.  In turn, reshuffling the fish daily. Click screen capture pic
            Notes that might help you catch fish?  Without me being on the water for a week best reports are coming from those targeting 48-54 degree down temp.  The deeper 38-44 degree fish I've relied on for the past 10 years is not working aboard my boat.
            Sure numbers are way down, but your next hit could be the fish of a lifetime.
I highly doubt we'll see mostly all 20 pound Kings and better in future seasons.
         Tomorrow's focus will be on eaters vs. biters and the reasoning behind it.   

8/6/13  Thanks to everyone for emailing in their photos of their King Salmon to almost 30 pounds.  If you haven't seen your photo?  It's because I have a backlog of huge fish pics!
             2013 is definitely the year of big Kings, but not in big numbers ...yet?  Salmon numbers will build off my homeport of Manistee, MI ...as August rolls on. 
             So, we could be seeing just the tip of the iceberg of what's in store for us a few weeks down the road.  At least I hope so! Click 40" 8/5/13 Leland, MI King
             The Salmon are scattered hither, dither and there.  Fish are all over hell's half acre in 40' of water out to 700'.  Probably due to constantly shifting winds from all points on the compass.  There is no depth of water, or area head and shoulders above the rest.
             Cool nights with temps in the 40s and daytime highs in the low 70s has slowed the water fleas.   Lk. MI has lost about 7 degrees of surface temp in the past 2 weeks.
  By the way, BTI 10" flashers pulling flies have been doing almost as good as the meat!

8/5/13  Recently discharged (3 days ago), Iraq veteran,  Army SPC 2 Brian L fished Manistee, MI's Small Boat/Big Fish Tournament this past Saturday with TTR, aka Todd the Rod.  Todd's boat is a 27 footer and this event was for boats under 25' in length. 
            So, I loaned TTR my 22' boat for the day.  Best part? ...they caught the 6th place King weighing 20.5 lbs.  This fish hit a 2013 White Mamba Combo close to the bottom in 60' feet of water.  Winning an Ugly Stick rigger rod and a Diawa LC reel.
            I won by meeting Brian and thanking him for his service to our country.  I was glad he had a chance to go fishing to celebrate his transition into civilian life after 4 years in the Army.  We all win when are service people are appreciated!  Click TTR & Brian

8/4/13  Catching a Master Angler King (over 27 lbs.) is quite an accomplishment.  Doing it mano-a-mano is a feat that raises it to the next level.  That's what website member, Craig C did by his lonesome yesterday morning!  Click Craig's hogasaur King
             He was using a X-Glow Green Bubble BTI 10" flasher towing a fly to catch his MI Master Angler King pushing 29 pounds on his solo trip out of Manistee, MI.
             More congrats are in order for website members, SteveO and Terry's Toy by taking 2nd place in WI's big deal K-D Tournament with a 29 and change King.
             Same goes to member, Roscoe aka Steve B for 3rd place in yesterday's Steelheaders tournament held in Manistee, MI ...after winning 2 weeks ago.
             Got a reel "feel good" story on deck for tomorrow.  Iraq veteran, Army SPC 2, Brian L took 6th place in Manistee's Small Boat-Big Fish event held yesterday too.  Brian caught his fish aboard my boat, SR 1979 skippered by TTR aka Todd the Rod!!!

8/3/13  Shifting strong winds in late July has slowed the catching for my home boys in Manistee, MI.  The trailer boat fleet struggled this past week targeting King Salmon.  Over 20 pound King Salmon are common place, but numbers are not!
             Do not let slow fishing throw you off your game with goofy "Hail-Mary" unproven oddball tackle.  Tough it out, stay the course, when there's fish under your boat? ...the tried and true tackle will produce.  Slow fishing is not the time to become overly creative!
             You can put the odds in your favor with our world exclusive snelled double trebles that do not miss bites.  No brag, just fact!  Click stuck double trebles
             Diver snubbers that work, like our Super Snubbers™ are proven to increase hook-ups to fish boxed.  The simple piece of shock cord technology?  Well, ...I've had several tell me, they haven't missed a diver hit all year. Click for Super Snubbers™

8/2/13  Fished out of the scenic Frankfort, MI on 7/31/13.  Lk. MI was kind enough to reward us with a eater King for our morning effort.  Fished N to Pt. Betsie.  Then, N around the corner into W Platte Bay.  Finally ending up in E Platte Bay before returning to port around noon.  This was a lot of water to cover in just 6 hours (plus 30 miles).
             Lk. MI bug report:  Water fleas were semi bad in Frankfort until we got into E Platte Bay.  This bay was loaded with bugs ...even with a cooler surface temp of 66 degrees.  Water fleas explode in warmer waters (over 70 degrees) ...as today's featured pic verifying 12 inches of fleas on a wire diver.  Click 7/31/13 wire diver fleas
             Normally, fleas do not collect on wire line to this extent.  Then, factor in: this rod was only in the water for about an hour.  We had 0 bugs on our Flea Flicker rods!
             Water fleas out of Manistee, MI were bad until you reached the 500' depths, where it was much cleaner.  Usually, fleas lighten-up towards the end of August.

8/1/13  Let's start off August on the right foot with a heck of Lk. Ontario port report from Capt. Chris S:
"7/26/12 We went to Bluffers Park on Lake Ontario and had a great trip. Lots of big fish with lots of big bites. Forwarding you some of the pics. Sorry, I didn't take a pic of the hot bait which was a green frog RF on a high diver.  Had 16 bites on that bait alone.   Biggest fish was a 32lber with lots of fish between 21-27 lbs." Click 32 lb. Lk. O King!

7/31/13  August is tomorrow.  The month all Great Lakes Salmon fishermen anxiously await.  Get ready for the 2013 crop of larger Kings then we've seen in several years.  The deal is there's not huge numbers available, but when you hang one it's gonna be goodie!  You might want to consider spooling up with 30# test if you use lighter string.  20# test gets sliced on a rigger wire pretty easily when a big guy gets spunky behind the boat.

7/30/13  Happy Tuesday!  Mixed up winds to and past 20 knots this past weekend makes me glad I'm no longer in the charter business.  Bait and down temperature shift with the wind.  So do the fish you're after.  Making it a game of hide and seek!
                30 pounds and change was the big fish in last weekend's Manistee big deal tournament.  Yes, it was caught on meat.
                Now is the time to pour the glow to the Kings.  Glow works all year, but comes into it's own during August as Salmon mature.

7/29/13  Manistee County Sport Fishing Association putting on a small boat (25' & under) big fish tournament for the amateur fishermen this coming Saturday, August 3, 2013.  Weigh your best 5 fish in one day deal that doesn't cost an arm and a leg in fees. 
             60 bucks to get in.  Rules say at least one person on the boat must be a MCSFA member.  Click MCSFA's entry form Small Boat Big Fish Event
             This organization does a lot of good by putting their funds into stream restoration, sponsoring Kids Fishing Day and the season long Manistee, MI big fish derby.

7/28/13  Did some thinking about the big Kings to and past 30 that are being caught in Lk. MI now.  Recalled 2002 in my charter days and that year we had a lot of adult Kings that broke 30 pounds.  Correlation is: that was when the water fleas were nasty thick and Flea Flicker mono was a must.  Do water fleas contribute towards growing larger fish? 
That's a question above my pay-grade for someone smarty pants person to figure out.
             Looked at the wind and temp buoy off Ludington.  Lots of territory for a prime comfort zone for Salmon to 72' down.  This port is well on the way to getting hot!

7/27/13  Installed a navigation button at the top of this page to the Indian commercial trap net locations off Ludington, MI.  This is a printable page for those who troll the water from Big Point Sable to Pentwater.  Stay clear & be safe! Click Ludington nets
              This week started with a big N blow and is ending with a big S blow.  Look for warmer water to move back in off Manistee, MI and probably the water fleas.  This year's crop of the spiny and fish hook water fleas is plain terrible.  Let's hope this problem cures itself as we get into later August.
Click cure for water fleas: Flea Flicker mono
             Yesterday's S blow pushed the prime 50 degree zone water from the 25' deep to 72' down.  This should improve your odds.  If the wind doesn't mess it up again?

7/26/13  N blow ran brought a lot of cold water inshore and slowed the fishing off Manistee, MI.  They're still catching fish at this port everyday with Kings over 20. 
32 pounds is leading the Manistee Sport fishing derby.  So, the big guys have returned.
              From what I've seen in the photos this year's crop of Kings are squat stubby well fed critters with big filled out girths.  Click 7/25/13 S. Haven, MI example
             Two 29 lb. plus Kings were weighed-in at the recent Ludington Classic tournament.  3 fish pot was won at 75 pounds showing a healthy 25 lb. per fish average!
             Cold water surface temps in the 50s on Lk. MI has slowed the fish hook and spiny water flea problem at central Lk. MI ports pushing them S.  These bugs will be back in force once the surface temps climb into the 70s again on the next S blow.
                  2013 Ludington Nets test link to printable page

7/25/13  Ordered more Flea Flicker, first load went out the door in 2 days.  Talk to anyone who's fished LK. MI lately and they'll tell you how bad the bugs have been.  Lk. MI ports from Chicago to Frankfort have jumped on this line to cure the bug problem!
              Recent N wind has probably shifted the big infestations of water fleas down towards the S end of Lk. MI.  Next S blow will push them right back up to the central
LK. MI ports again.  Usually, water fleas diminish the later in August we get, but this year who knows when fish hook and spiny water fleas will go away?
              Sale price is over on Flea Flicker.  Go fishing, deal with the bugs jamming the line guides on regular mono and you'll soon see what a reel-bargain Cortland's FF is.  This year's bug problem ranks among the worst seen since 2001 when you had to have FF.
              Extra busy in my shop right now.  Even with the summer rush upon us, we're still able to do same day shipping ...if orders are received by 10am. Click busy shop

7/24/13  N wind to 30 knots off Big Point Sable more, or less cancelled yesterday's fishing.  The few that did fish out of Manistee, MI yesterday am hit the fish between Guerney Creek and the big point before big seas made fishing miserable.
              Congrats to Team Terry's Toy for landing a 29.66 King Salmon that currently holds 2nd place in WI's prestigious KD Tournament/Derby/Big Fish event.  Still a lot of days left in this contest.  Hope their fish holds up for a prize. Click 29.66# King

7/23/13  Manistee, MI's shelf about 3 miles due W of the harbor was good yesterday.
              We now have Cortland's Flea Flicker mono in 20 & 30 pound test.  This line eliminates & prevents the fish hook & spiny water fleas from clogging up your rods.  Stocking this line was 100% necessary due current Lk. MI conditions with too many fleas!
               Introductory priced at 49.95 until midnight tomorrow.  Then, the price increases to 59.95.  Even at 60 bucks a spool for 2500 yards?  This stuff is a godsend for the grief it saves!  We have 300 yard spools in 20-30# for 14.95 
Click to purchase

Here's my new HD video with tips and tricks for avoiding line cooties:

7/22/13  It's game on at Manistee, MI.  Deep water 350'-600' was decent yesterday!
               Manistee, MI's new fish cleaning could be aptly named St. Manistee's Cathedral.  This is no small time grungy facility with only barely adequate amenities. 
               This fish station is second to none on the Great Lakes that makes me proud to live in Manistee County, MI.  Seeing anything that benefits all fishermen and those with trailer boats is a very-very rare occurrance.  Click St. Manistee's cleaning station
               Scheduled grand opening is by the end of July.  Looks like they're right on target with only the soffit (ceiling) and final trim work.  Lighting looks awesome!!
               Manistee's First Street Public Launch Ramp is the best I've ever used too.  Correct ramp angle and almost instant access to Lk. MI verifies my "best" comment!

7/21/13  On the 7/1/13 update mentioned prime time for adult Kings at my home port of Manistee, MI begins around the 20th of July.  Like on cue, Kings did return to their throne off Big Point Sable.  Yesterday, the fishing made a dramatic improvement!
               Congrats to Capt. Steve B and his Burns Unit fishing team for winning the Flint River Valley Steelheaders Tournament held in Manistee yesterday. 
                Their 10 weighable fish came in at 95 pounds for a 9.5 pound average.  Seen 7.5 pound fish averages win big money before.  Click event winning box!
                Capt. Steve fished a little S of Manistee out in 400' to 550' of water.  Oh, 'bout forgot to mention, he won the big fish kitty in Kings, Steelhead and Lake Trout.  His fish hit best in 50-52 degree water.  Smurf & Black Mamba combos were the hot rigs.

7/20/13  Fishing was cancelled yesterday by Mr. Stout Wind.  He decided to huff and puff at 20 to pushing 30 knots ....making huge seas that kept the fleet dockside.
              Don't know about you?  But Salmon fever is in the air.  Seeing the plus 20 pounders emailed to me ...has infected with this malady.  Only known cure is to go to bed early, wake up early ...then, go catch some tackle testing bruisers.  Salmon fever cannot be cured by looking at King Salmon photos.  That only makes it worse!
             Everything I hear about the King bite says it's slowly improving.  It will be interesting to see what yesterday's S & SW blow did for our fishing.
             Due to the extreme infestation of water fleas I dealt with a week ago at Pentwater, I have Cortland's Flea Flicker mono in stock.  This cures the bug problem entirely.  FF will be available at the webstore soon with a new "how-to" install video.

7/19/13  What's wrong with Manistee MI's shelf (drop off)?  How come it's not producing up to it's past standards?  Simple answer, it's all water temperature related.  The shelf is warm water then it's a sharp break to cold water with little comfort zone for fish and bait.
              Most Manistee charter vessels are starting on the shelf at first light.  Hoping to get into a King, or two.  Then, trolling W and fishing over 350' to 500' where there's a band of decent sized Coho (to 9 lbs.) and juvenile Steelhead.  These deeper water fish are coming 30'-90' down'.  Manistee charter catches are in the low to mid double figures.
              The above info is dated from earlier this week. Conditions can spin on a dime with S wind pushing warm water in.  Resulting in driving the inshore thermocline deeper.
              Today's sustained S and SW should change things for the better next week.
 P.S. 82 degrees at last night at 12am is not anything close to normal for Manistee!

7/18/13  Hot spell with temps in the 90s loaded with humidity is a good reason to take the day off from normal duties.  Welcomed cool down for this weekend is on the way.
              Posted a photo of my plotter screen with red circles and minus signs only to find out these symbols are warning signs ...probably the wind farm inland from Pentwater.
Initially, had nightmares my new machine was going bad,  Tech support message board much like I have ...helped explain what was going on. Click for warning symbols

7/17/13  Recently, spoke with Capt. Craig from Capt. Chuck's Tackle Store in Ludington, MI. about the amount of water fleas going back to my last Friday's Pentwater fishing trip.
              Craig shared, "last Monday, the bugs were terrible (off Ludington). We had to clean the lines every 15 minutes." 
              Water fleas can present all kinds of issues jamming rod guides with brown gook.  This brown stuff which is a wad of fish hook water fleas can and will stain fiberglass with a purplish smudge.  So, do not leave this stuff lay on the gunnels.  There are ways to avoid this mess that will be a topic again soon.
              This is Ludington's big tournament weekend.  This port's inshore waters have been a tough go for Kings.  One day there's a few King Salmon on the inside of 250'/300' of water, next day there's zilch.  It will be interesting to see tourney results.           

7/16/13  Installed the option for Diver Diggers™ modified to fit Slide Divers at my web based tackle store.  For Diggers that fit Dipsys and Slide Divers click here
             This past weekend's results say Kings are scarce as joint legislation from the Washington, DC ...Republicans and Democrats!
              Heard a lot more about Coho and Steelhead.  Coho are good sized for July fish. Averaging 6 to 8 pounds.  Where are the swarms of naturally reproduced Kings the MDNR say exist?  Hopefully, hordes of Kings will soon arrive to inshore waters near you soon!

7/15/13  Beneficial offshoot to my recent trip to fish out of the Port of Pentwater. MI once again taught me about sea fleas to clogging line guides. 
              Also, was overlooking another use of our new Diver Diggers˜.  Please let me tie this together.  Water fleas generally do not do not stick to mono in the 30# test bracket.  Diggers were made to fit the Jensen Dipsy Diver and lost sight of the uses for Slide Divers when straight mono can fill the bill.  Click modifying Diver Digger™
              So, I enlarged the center pin hole to 9/16ths to accomodate the Slide Divers.  In turn, this makes diving sinker that weighs 15.4 ounces.  Slide Divers trip a lot easier than mono Dipsys and with 30# test mono ...any bugs shouldn't be problem.
              Now, I'm reel-geeked to test what the Slide Divers on mono with Diver Diggers™ can do.  70' to 80' down was the deal last Friday evening and have no doubt can get that deep and deeper with modified Diggers made to work with mono Slide Divers.

7/14/13  Fishing out of Pentwater, MI last Friday evening was decent for this year.  We hit 4 fish from 6pm until we pulled lines after 9pm. Click TTR with a sun downer King
               Water temp on the surface was 70 degrees, broke in the mid 50s down 30'.  It stayed in the mid to high 40s and was 43 at 100' down.  This gave the fish at least a 70' comfort zone from 30' down to the 100' depths, or ...plenty of room to roam for a meal.
              Our most active depth was 70' to 80' down (3 hits) and one dastardly Houdini King that escaped down at around 100'.  With the warmer water temps mentioned in the above comes a living-viable lake loaded with scads and scads fish hook water fleas.
              Don't even think of using super braid lines off Pentwater for now!  Your rods line guides will become hopelessly crammed with bugs making line retrieval impossible.
                More on Pentwater tomorrow and a new use for Diver Digger™ device! Notes: fussy-persnickety, beneficial offshoot, 15.4, enthusiasm builds, secret diver mod?

7/13/13  Fished for about 4 hours out of the Port of Pentwater, MI.  This is one of the few Lk. MI ports I hadn't fished out of until yesterday.  Click Pentwater pier heads
               Pentwater is kinda a Saugatuck-ish busy little tourist town.  Launch was OK, but no absolutely no lights presented a challenge when we came back in around 10pm.  Todd the Rod and I found the ramp more by accident then on purpose in complete total darkness.  This is a 100% unlit boat launch with a 10pm curfew, or so it said.
               How was the fishing?  Any Kings there? ...tune in tomorrow to find out.

7/12/13  If the wind stays down? ...could get out on the big pond this afternoon.  Even if the fishing isn't all that hot? ...time spent aiming the rigger cams can be accomplished.  Having the meat rig/flasher centered in the frame is a must.
              Word from my home port of Manistee, MI is still slow with Kings hard to come by.  The 20th of this month is when primetime for summer Salmon begins according to my past history.  So, 7 days from now we should be on a big upswing for Mr. King Salmon.
              It's no big secret Salmon fishing, or lack thereof has sucked at Michigan's northerly ports.  Hard to put a finger on why, but in 2012 during the 4th of July weekend surface temps off Manistee were in the 70-75 degree range.  This year (2013) is was more in the low to mid 50s.  Is cold water holding the fish back? ...Let's ALL HOPE SO!

7/11/13  Here's a clever story in the form of a customer review/testimonial:

"Got on Lake Michigan (Manistee) for the first time this year. Frank and I have fished to 25 years and my side of the boat is the R & D and Frank stays with his own process. It took him two months of false releases and bad hook ups to convert to the Black's releases and rubber bands a few years back. As I am heading out on Wednesday morning he is setting up and yells "Where's my Dipsy" I said that's it in your hand and he said that is not my snubber where is the one I use? ...I said I got rid of the old ones.
             They lost to many fish and some tackle. Frank said I had screwed up everything! We set lines and 30 minutes later his Dipsy rod is bouncing and line peeling off. He is yelling we are going to lose this fish, it is big. After 10 minutes we netted a 10 -12 pound steelhead. Everything was fine and then Frank says "Why did you let us lose all those fish over the years using all those other snubbers ? I told him it was Captain John's fault for waiting so long to bring it to market. Anyway, Thanks the snubbers work great and are a major improvement over the other 3 brands I had."  Bob

7/10/13  Featured photo is a 38 pound King on our W coast caught using Super Mag Heads.  It's interesting to hear from anglers from all parts of this world sharing the common denominator of ...the passion fishing.  Click saltwater W coast King
              Yesterday, spoke with Bob B from the State of Oregon about his order for meat heads.  The reel-fact is? ...it was like I was talking to another fishing buddy in Manistee, of Ludington close to my home.  Showing we all, ...belong to the same club of fishermen!

7/9/13  As this season zooms towards primetime for big adult King Salmon be prepared for fish in the 20 pound class and above.  Heard of more than a few over 26 already being caught off my home port of Manistee, MI.  These jumbo tackle busting Kings are big fun.
            Looking back on the video posted last week ...I marvel at how technology has moved us forward.  We can now share live action in close to full HD that was a only a  distant dream when this website began in 2000.  The options we have now are mind boggling predicated on learning to use it.  Which in itself? ...is a feat ...I struggle with!

7/8/13  Last day for the new digger video before it's moved to Capt. John's Log.  Fishing improved a tiny bit off Manistee, MI recently.  Fish slid up the shelf in the 120' to 75' depths.  1 to 3 a boat is what I'm hearing from the trailer boat fleet for a 1/2 day.  The few fish that are being taken are early/late low light biters.  Reports say lots of bait.

7/6 & 7/13  Have a great weekend.  Weather is on our side to enjoy the outdoors

7/5/13  Yesterday, had a great time putting the new Diver Digger™ video together:

7/4/13  The stars lined up correctly and was able to get on the pond (Lk. MI) out of the Port of Manistee, MI for a few hours last evening. 
            Goal was more "depth vs. line off the reel" testing for the new 2013 game changing, innovative, and incredible Diver Diggers™.  Yes, they're that good! 
             Dialed on 2, mag ring, regular size 1 Dipsy, 180' of line off the reel will hit bottom at 2 mph at 90'.  240' off reel in the above will get down to 110'.
             These numbers are approximate due to the varying speed, line type/diameter & lures used.  This data should be used only as a rough guideline.  Not as gospel!
             In the process of reviewing the digger test video this morning.  Hopefully, there's enough useable footage to post another You Tube video by early next week.

7/3/13  OK, it's official now with TV channel 7 in Traverse City, MI reporting  fishing sucks on Lk. MI so far in 2013.  Well, they didn't say, "sucks".  Their words were, "slow."  Which in essence ...means the same thing.  Then, channel 7 interviewed a few fishermen that gave opinions, reasons, or excuses why the catching is lagging behind.
            Truth is: Lk. MI Salmon fishing is a series of cycles.  Fish population goes down and the bait population increases.  Setting up future year classes of Salmon and Trout with good survival & growth rates.  Boom, or bust for 2013?  It's way too early to tell!

7/2/13  Back a couple of weeks ago, the W MI Fishing League held a tournament out of Holland, MI with big bonus points for Brown Trout.  Click Kevin's box of Browns
             Website member Kevin E. aka FBD had a few tricks up his sleeves for the competition.  He took his 14' tin boat and went sneaking down the shoreline in the skinny water.  In turn, building an unbeatable box of Browns.  While the rest of the larger rigs went out deep and struggled.  Proving in this case, ...size did not matter!
             Better yet, he fished this event with his 2 young daughters, Andrea (I think) and Lauren.  Reel fact: his youngest daughter, Lauren aged 5 snapped today's featured photo.  She has quite an eye and knows exactly how to photograph subject matter.
             Moral of this story?  When you fish like everyone else, you're results will be like everyone else.  When you do something entirely different? ...you can end up better!

7/1/14  First half of 2013 will not go down as a banner year for Lk. MI.  Look for a dramatic improvement in the second half.  Don't judge a book by it's cover, as this season has yet to unfold.  Adult Kings available in the 3rd-4th week of July is the benchmark.
             Been a land lubber way-too much lately.  This must change ...and soon!  It's a lot easier to write fishing stories/port reports with 1st hand "on the water" knowledge.
             On tap for tomorrow? ...a great David vs. Goliath family tale with a moral to the story we all can take a lesson from!!


Continued below back to the year 2000:

2013 Results
January, February, & March

April, May, & June

July, August & September

2012 Results
January, February, & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2011 Results
January, February, & March
April, May, & June

July, August & September
 October, November, & December

2010 Results
January, February, & March

April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2009 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August, & September
October, November, & December

2008 Results
October, November & December

July, August, & September
April, May & June
January, February & March

2007 Results
October November & December
July, August & September

April, May & June
January, February & March

2006 Results
October, November & December
July, August & September
April, May & June
January, February & March

2005 Results
October, November & December
July August & September
April May & June
January February & March

2004 Results
October, November & December
August & September 
June & July  April & May
January, February & March

2003 Results
Jan Feb  Mar  April & May
June & July  Aug & Sept

Nov & Dec

2002 Results
Nov & Dec  Oct  Sept  
Aug   July   June  May  
April  March  Feb  Jan


2001 Results
April Brown Trout  
May & June
July Salmon
Aug. Tuna Time

2000 Results
Dec. Nov.
   Oct.  Sept.
July   June
May  March & April
January  February