October, November, & December
Salmon Buster™ 4.65
Lead core Steelhead
Last quarter of 2014 was spent shifting gears towards manufacturing the new 2015 Salmon Buster spoons. This project began in May 2014 with 2000 hours of testing, on the water, below the water, and in the shop. This was a tough nut to crack. I'm extremely confident in end result!
12/31/14 Time for New Year's
resolutions. Mine will be easy to keep. Unless
tackle stores are close to my area, COD, or prepaid is the only
way I'll ever ship tackle to stores again.
12/30/14 Today's featured pic shows
the 5 hook options for the new Salmon Buster spoons. My
favorites are the Black and Red.
Click 5 hook options
12/29/14 Task for today is to take
photos of the 5 hook options for the new 2015 Salmon Buster™
spoons. Trebles in black nickel, red, permasteel, chrome, and
the just added west coast single hook. Fishermen now have a
choice, instead of zero option stock hooks.
12/27-28/14 Time is running out on the
special intro offer for Salmon Buster™ spoons where you can save
a buck per spoon. Take an additional 15% off, if you
purchase $125 in all tackle. Bringing the end cost to a 4.0
Buster to a lowball 4.20 per spoon. Considering the fit,
finish, design, and durability this is one helluva bargain never
to be repeated again!
12/26/14 No snow in Manistee, MI for
Christmas. This does not happen very often and a large
departure from the past.
Click my brown Christmas
12/24/14 Merry, Merry Christmas ...ho ...ho ...ho!
12/23/14 Great time to cut back a
little. Week between Christmas and New Years is limbo land
when accomplishing anything in the business world, almost comes to a
12/22/14 Never before in the history
of Great Lakes fishing has there been a spoon in the XG White
Mamba pattern. That is? ...until today!
Click XG White
12/20/14 About this time last year I
was in Florida having serious regrets trying to adapt to the RV
park lifestyle of retired folk. This just didn't work out
for me. It did renew my drive and passion to "get on the
ball" to reach higher.
12/19/14 Great thing about fishing?
Nobody can prove you wrong with certainty. Case in point,
my matching rings in the same shade that matches the lure.
Blue was a good color for me in 2014 and having more blue makes
sense. Click color
12/18/14 My dream for the future
became a reel-reality today. Having matching tackle sure
takes the guess work out of picking colors.
Click Team Mamba in 4
12/17/14 Ironing out preproduction
chores for the new spoons. Fine tuned the master files for
cutting lure tape for a perfect fit. Dialing in the
technique for painting mambas is on deck for today. Want
everything in place well before the new Salmon Busters™ arrive.
12/16/14 Is one picture is worth a
1000 words? You can judge for yourself by clicking on the
thumbnail, or this link:
quality clear Salmon Buster™ spoons
12/15/14 This warm spell is a "cease
the moment" opportunity. Painting low in stock Mambas will
be accomplished today. Might hit 50 degrees for the
12/14/14 Buttoned up the rebuild job
on my 15 hp. kicker. All new seals and gaskets have been
installed in the lower end. Shift linkage was tested and
works like it should.
12/13/14 1st test run of the new
injection molding tools that make the Salmon Busters™ spoons was
completed yesterday. Should have these test pieces in-hand by
12/12/14 There's a bunch of bad
journalism being coughed up by some outdoor writers who do not
write in the first person. Rather than researching,
they're either too dumb, or too lazy and write from pure
hearsay. In turn, perpetuating myths that were never true
in the first place. Case in point was a recent article, by
Dan Egan for jsonline.com who don't know his ass from a hole in
the ground when it comes to Chinook/King Salmon:
Going back to 1968 I've caught 1000s of Salmon off the bottom. In fact during the 1980s in the St. Clair River bottom bouncers would out-produce riggers 4 to 1. In the 1990s prior to the mussels dragging a lead ball on the bottom was a preferred way to fish summer Kings off the Port of Manistee, MI.
12/11/14 One thing that got
overlooked during last season's video spoon tests was the way my
cupped diver rings attack the water. The angle is perfect
as these rings glide thru the water with more efficiency that
the flat oversized rings can't come close to.
12/10/14 Reel excited about the
upcoming 2015 season. Tool work has been completed on my
new injection molds for the Salmon Buster™ spoons. Should
have the test run parts in-hand by the first part of next week.
Test runs are proofs to make sure the spoons meet design specs.
The spoon road began last May. Soon this project comes
full circle towards all out production. My patent pending
spoon design/concept of being cloned into meat rig™ and flasher
colors is one helluva world leading tackle industry first!
12/9/14 New color for 2015 is the
X-Glow UFO. This was the winning name chosen off my
Facebook page entered by Capt. Garry G, from Fishful Thinking
Charters in Manistee, MI. He won a free combo deal for his
entry of "UFO."
Click paint-booth sneak peek
12/8/14 Hunting seasons is winding
down. Soon the pendulum of outdoor interests will swing
back towards fishing. The 2015 season is on the way and
the promise it holds. Most fishermen are eternal
optimists. Those who suffer from pessimism never make it
in the art of fishing.
12/7/14 Are kicker trolling motors
worth the initial purchase price? I'd say yes, but it
takes several seasons to recoup the cost. My average fuel
usage is about 5-6 gallons a trip. Longer boat runs to Big
Point Sable (12-14 miles), or to Onekama (6 miles) from Manistee
12/6/14 My 2008 Johnson 4-stroke
kicker motor had traces of water in the lower end gear lube.
Water turns the gear lube grey, in case you didn't know.
Owned this motor for 6 years and it was time to replace the
lower end seals. Discovered water pump's impeller was
badly worn with tears in the vanes, but already planned on
rebuilding the water pump. Ordered the pump kit when I
ordered the seals. Click worn
and new impeller comparison.
12/5/14 My Thingiverse account now
has the first of 4 jaye-plug styles, diver ring in 2 versions
and the nifty slide spoon I designed last June.
my Thingiverse account
12/4/14 By tomorrow, my Thingiverse account where I share free 3D models, i.e. fishing tackle will be updated. Jay-Plugs will be shared along with another invention of mine tested during the 2014. While the files can be downloaded for free, it does take time and the cost of filament to print tackle. Been putting this job off long enough and it's time to clear this slate.
12/3/14 Forgot to mention a very important feature in yesterday's chat about the split rings on the 2015 Salmon Buster™ spoons. My split rings, besides being stainless steel are made in the Rome, NY, USA. Just couldn't fathom the idea of Chinese plated steel rings even though split ring cost could have been cut by 2/3rds. Only cheapskates with no conscience trying to squeeze every penny of profit would use the plated steel China specials!
12/2/14 Tech data for the the new
Salmon Buster™ spoons is the reel story for today. My SB
4.0 spoons use a 100 lb. test stainless steel split ring wire
that's .047" thick. The 4.65s have a 120 lb. test ring in
a .055" diameter wire in stainless.
Click split ring
11/30/14 Installed the new for 2015
Icy Blue and Manistee Mojo patterns/colors on the meat rig™,
flasher, and combo deal pages at my webstore:
11/29/14 Hope to add the Icy Blue
and Manistee Mojo patterns to the meat rigs™ and flasher pages
at my webstore soon. These were spoon test colors
transferred into flashers and meat rigs™ last August and caught
fish! Proving cloned designs work both ways!!
11/28/14 Finished the shopping cart
page for my new spoons. Introductory price is a dollar off
planned retail. You can order Salmon Buster™ spoons in 4
extra strong VMC hook preferences.
Black, Chrome, PermaSteel (salt water hooks), & Red.
Click preview spoon options
11/26-27/14 Today, it's great pleasure to introduce my trademarked, patented, ground breaking, and totally new concept: 2015 Salmon Buster™ Lexan™ spoons. Had to move up the reveal for Salmon Buster™ spoons by a day. We had some ice buildup, then 6 inches of wet snow that have tree branches laying on our electric lines. Not sure how much longer I'll have power & had brief outages already. Click for the reel story on Salmon Busters™
11/25/14 2 days and counting to a
the big announcement that will lift a ton of weight off my
shoulders. There will be no disruption of my products
availability, or this website.
11/24/14 Yesterday, received input
from 3 different Manistee charter boat skippers to discuss catch
rates pointed at how many Kings they averaged during 2014.
All shared May & June was decent & July was OK. But the
bottom fell out and it was a reel struggle during the last 3
weeks of August. All said, 1 to 3 fish charters did
11/23/14 Rough math says a 5 person charter would need to boat .825 Kings an hour multiplied for let's say, a 6 hour trip and would need approximately 5 Kings/Chinooks based on a season long charter boat average to stay above the .165 threshold. This would keep the 5 King limit in place for 2015, if I read FAQ 16 correctly. Today, I plan on calling a few skippers local to my area for their catch data and report more on this later.
11/22/14 Unless I miss my guess, and
there's ports doing a lot better than Manistee, MI the charter
catch rate of .165 Chinooks per hour, per person is not going to be met.
11/21/14 "3. Chinook salmon
stocking was cut by 50% lakewide (67% in Michigan waters) in
2013. Will further Chinook salmon stocking cuts take place in
11/20/14 About 80% are voting to
replace the current leadership in the MDNR. That means 4
out of 5 you ...say it's time for a change. When you agree
to become the front man in the fisheries division, it's a given,
you're gonna take some heat.
11/19/14 Installed a new poll with
the question, "does the leadership in MI's DNR Fisheries
Division need to be replaced?" Please vote and share your
11/18/14 It's hard winter in my neck
of the woods. High yesterday was 21 degrees. It's in the
teens now with possible record lows for tonight. More snow
is on the way.
11/17/14 Recently, I've had several
inquire about 3D printers and what kind to buy. So, let's
start at the beginning. 3D printing was started by
hobbyists in the open source community. When, after you
have a printer, your printer can make another.
11/16/14 Awoke to the first measureable snow at my place in Manistee, County, MI. Looks 4" fell overnight with more on the way for this week. My deer report is not too good. Seeing about 1/2 the deer as normal and only one decent buck this fall. And he was on a dead git going someplace fast. To me, deer numbers are down, but the whitetail population can recover quickly, if this winter plays nice. Click 11/16/14 morning snow
11/15/14 To those hitting the woods today: have a safe, enjoyable & successful hunt.
11/14/14 Yesterday's light dusting
of snow in Manistee, MI will certainly be helpful for tomorrow's
firearm deer opener. Last winter's record snowfall in
Manistee did take it's toll on the herd. All property
owners local to my area reported winter killed whitetails.
11/13/14 Winter has started a month
early in Manistee County, MI. Below freezing temps and
building snow depth is the forecast thru Thanksgiving Day.
Snow will be a plus for the firearm deer opener this coming
Saturday (Nov. 15th).
11/12/14 No such thing as an
offseason on the tackle business. Put in a good 12 hours
yesterday readying meat heads for 2014. Finished a YouTube
video that will debut soon.
11/11/14 Veterans Day that holds a special meaning for everyone. My father served in WWII and so did all my uncles in the navy. When I was a little tike, I asked my dad, "why did you have to go into the navy? He said, "I went so you don't have to." Enough said!
11/10/14 Think I have a plausible
reason the return was so low at Manistee's harvest weir this
year and will investigate my hunch further before running my
11/9/14 Public perception is a hard
thing to change with 1 in 7 visitors to this website grading the
Lk. MI Salmon fishery at rock bottom. Trust me, I seen
worse in the summer of 1988 at the Port of Frankfort when 2
Kings made you the fleet's hot hand for a 1/2 day charter.
Back then we were not good at catching fish below 120'.
And this pre-dates meat fishing that helps reluctant fish pull
the trigger and strike.
11/8/14 After the depressing number
of only 2871 King/Chinook Salmon returning to Manistee's weir on
the little river, there is a bright spot. Being WI's
Strawberry Creek's egg taking facility with 5992 Kings that were
11/7/14 Received this email received yesterday. Everyone has the right to be heard:
My name is Wayne R. and I live down in Windsor. I just, along
with some buddies returned from a trip to Wellston where we
stayed at Northwoods cabins and fish the big river. We got
skunked and never saw a fall run steelhead caught. We pulled the
plug and came home early. It was the worse fishing I have ever
seen up there and I go back to the early nineties. We are good
fisherman we know what we are doing. Where have all the
fish gone? I called the DNR yesterday and talked to a lady
and she said that someone in fishery would call me. I called
Dexter's number but he was in a meeting.
11/6/14 Manistee, MI has been my
home port since 1992. I've seen the bitter and sweet, but
this year takes the cake. 2014 is the worst ever when you
go by the return of ONLY 2,781 Kings being harvested at the
Little Manistee Weir this fall. This is pitiful!
11/5/14 Tech glitch delayed my
planned topic of: "What's Up with Lk. MI for 2015?"
11/4/14 Election day 2014 means
tomorrow we will not be bothered with telephone solicitation
phone calls. What gives these people the right to
interrupt our lives to further their own agenda at our expense?
11/3/14 On this coming Thanksgiving
Day there will be a special announcement concerning the future
of my tackle company. As many of you know, I've had my
tackle business for sale and will fill you in on the details on
11/2/14 The MDNR has yet to post the
numbers of this year's return of King Salmon at the Little
Manistee Harvest Weir. These numbers are hard facts that
can not be disputed.
11/1/14 First signs of winter is the story from Manistee, MI yesterday with snow flurries. High temp was only in the 30s too. Tonight, or tomorrow morning at 2am is when we fall back an hour from Daylight Saving Time (DST), adjusting our clocks to Eastern Standard Time (EST) Next DST time jump is on March 8, 2015.
10/31/14 WSW wind pushing 20 mph kept me shore bound yesterday. WSW would be seas coming from Milwaukee, WI I did not want to deal with. Long range wind and wave forecast does not look good for the next 5 to 6 days. We're at the time of the year when freezing temperatures must be considered. Really, don't want to winterize my boat and will hold off as long as possible with a light in the bilge.
10/30/14 Today: Variable winds less than 5 kt becoming WSW 5 to 10 kt in the afternoon. A chance of showers. Waves around 1 ft. This should work for a good Lk. MI diver ring test session. If we catch a fish? ...that would be a big-big bonus!
10/29/14 P15 cupped diver rings come
in the colors of red, black, green and whitish opaque.
Considering this is the offseason? ...sales are going reel-good!
Purchased 100 truss screws with each ring taking 4 screws.
I'm out of screws and had to ordered more.
10/28/14 Marked yesterday on my
calendar, cuz it's probably the last 70 degree day Manistee, MI
will see for the next 5 to 6 months.
10/27/14 Diving planers are an
extremely important part of your Great Lakes trolling program.
Adjusting divers to depth in the top 40', running them
with a ring on, is not the best way to go. You're looking
for distance away from the boat, not depth.
10/26/14 Gorgeous late October weekend says it all, enjoy!
10/25/14 Offseason limited time offer: 2 cupped 2015 diver rings with rotating tabs and 2 black Super Snubbers™ for 19.95. Photo on the way. Click to purchase
10/24/14 Modified diver ring with
moveable hold-down tabs turned out better then expected on the
first try. Haven't tested the cupped diver ring vs. a mag
ring, but did hit bottom on 105' of water with 175' of line off
the reel. This needs further testing to verify you get the
same performance with less rod strain resulting in a lighter
drag. This transposes into more fish hooked-up and in the
10/23/14 Lk. MI fishing at the Port
of Manistee, MI yesterday was nippy with highs in the 40s.
In-shore surface water was 46 degrees on the shelf (3 miles W of
port) and 52 over 600'. Best band of next year's Kings was
in 200' to 320' with the bites coming deeper than expected at:
70' to 100' down. If anything can be consider normal when
it comes to fishing at this time of the season? ...it's usually
in the top 50'. Not so this year, as this season continues
to be out of the ordinary.
10/22/14 Redesigned diver ring is
moving along nicely. Will soon have a few prototypes
printed out. 3D printing means tackle models can be made
to test in the reel-world. This is a super, almost
instantaneous leg up when you can fish with tackle, then makes
edits as necessary in-house, without a budget that breaks the
Click diver ring in
10/21/14 Here's results of last
week's poll about rating your 2014 Lk. MI season:
10/20/14 Predicted Lk. MI conditions
look good the last half of this week. Waves at 1' or less
is hard too pass up. Not going to winterize my boat until
10/19/14 Great things for this
coming week. P15 diver ring will be redesigned with
moveable tabs and 4 #6 stainless steel truss screws. I know this
is a small part, but it plays a huge part in how your divers
perform. Rings will test marketed soon.
10/18/14 Stable weather by middle of
the coming week should mean calmer seas and a window to fish Lk.
MI again, as this season winds down.
10/17/14 Hope by this coming Monday to have the lure tape page back up and running. New for this fall will be ladder backs in the regular size and magnum for refurbishing spoons. Along the die cuts for most all popular spoons. Materials to rebuild meat rigs is another area that's worth you considering. Now is the time to work on tackle to have everything ready for the 2015 season.
10/16/14 The rate your 2014 Lk. MI
season poll is mostly reel-low scores. 86% of those voting
were in the 5s, or less. 52% rated the fishing at a 3, or
10/15/14 Please rate your 2014 Lk. MI season on a scale from 1 to 10. I rated 2013 at a 3 and this year a generously at 4. This 4 rating was only came about, because of a good late season going into September and October.
10/13/14 When you think of Steelhead
fishing on the Great Lakes the top 30-40 feet come to mind.
Not so this past Saturday. Fish and the action was deep.
Like 55' to 90' down over 150' to 250' of water. Fish were
hitting glow baits too.
10/12/14 Left Manistee, MI's public
launch dock at 8:35am yesterday morning. Upon we arriving
on the shelf we were greeted by 3s, possibly 4 footers in short,
crisscrossing choppy seas. My 22' deep vee Sea Ray is
wretched to fish out when it's bumpy.
10/11/14 This morning was the first
time this fall the temp dipped below freezing. Fishing
bud and all around nice guy, John J took a nice thick bodied 8
10/10/14 Been having issues with my
underwater action cams fogging up. Rain-X has a product
that looks promising. Warm camera, cold water leads to
condensation inside the cam's waterproof case blurring the
video. Have some anti-fog felt strips that go inside the
housing that should help cure this problem.
Click action cam's
anti fog products
10/9/14 Asian Carp eDNA has been
found in MI's Kalamazoo River by the MDNR and USFWS.
How it got there is a horse of another color. eDNA can
transmitted in a vareity of ways. Including bird
droppings, or hitch hiking on water birds like, gulls and ducks.
So, your guess is as good as mine.
Click 10/7/14 MDNR Asian Carp Bulletin
10/8/14 Big story that broke
yesterday? ...Asian Carp DNA was found in the Kalamazoo, River.
The Kazoo is the river that empties into Lk. MI at the Port of
Saugatuck, MI. This late breaking news will be expanded on
10/7/14 Archived the recent 2014
poll data about your best method for adult Kings on my Poll Page
that goes back to 2003. Spoons were the biggest mover up
from 30% in 2013 to 42% for this year. Lumped together,
all styles of attractor fishing came in first at 43% for first
Click 2003-2014 archived Poll Page results
10/6/14 For the first time, spoons
are leading by a small margin in my long running poll.
This doesn't surprise me. Seeing the Lk. MI was cold and
the fish were high in the 50' & above zone. Deeper spoons
go, the more they lose their effectiveness. After 70'
down, that's mostly attractor territory.
Click 2003-2013 archived Poll Page results
10/5/14 It's the time of the year
for my annual Poll Page that began in 2003. You can vote
for your best method for adult Kings. I say adult Kings,
because that's when the fleet is out in full force that leads to
a broader sampling.
10/4/14 Business stuff has me all tied up today. Looking forward to later this coming week when the rain goes away and it warms up. Lk. MI should calm down after a long siege of 4 to 8 footers. Next calm day I will be afloat!
10/3/14 In collecting data the Sea
Grant's Salmon Ambassador Program learned a good 75% of the fish
boated so far in 2014, aboard my boat were non fin clipped,
naturally reproduced fish. In a roundabout way, this
means the Lk. MI DNRs would have to increase the plant numbers 4
to 5 times to reach half stocked vs. half naturals parity.
For complete results of all fishing trips, fishing reports & general info