January, February, and March 2015


2015 Salmon Busters

3/13/15 Manistee

3/29/15 Brown

Daily Captain's from January, February, & March 2015

3/31/15  Yesterday, my boat seen the sun for the first time in 6 months when I pulled it out of the pole barn.  Primed and ready to hit the pond once I'm totally sure all the ice has vacated Manistee, MI.  Need to get afloat and begin developing a spoon program for early season shoreline Brown Trout.  Click my rig in the light of day
              Second pic of the day is from last Sunday when Dylan B hooked and landed a 28 inch Brown in the Big Manistee River on 6 pound test line.  The fish he took was a spawned-out hook jawed male holdover.  Click Dylan's river prize

3/30/15  Taking the day off from my normal routine of our daily chat.  Time saved will be spent finalizing boat preparation honed to a razor's edge.  I want to go fishing ...and soon!

3/29/15  Most recent satellite view of Lk. Michigan is starting to look promising.  Ice has vacated the main body of the lake, but there's still lots of ice on the extreme northern end.
              Need to rearrange my pole barn to pull my boat out.  There's a decent window coming this week that might work to kickoff the 2015 season.  Depending on shore ice and if Manistee, MI's harbor is finally open?  Click LK. MI satellite view
             Area of concern is future freezing nighttime temperatures from my boat being no longer winterized.  Light bulb in the bilge might become a reel-necessity for my GM V8.

3/28/15  Finally finished up work on the Super Snubbers™ for this season.  Blue is the new color for 2015.  Now, there's 4 colors to chose from being black, blue, green and red.
               New for this year is 2 diver rings and 2 snubbers priced at 19.95 thru Friday of the coming week.  Then, certain colors will be going up.  There is no 20 bucks you can spend this season that will do so much ...for so little. 
Click for rings & snubbers

3/27/15  Began work extra early yesterday morning at 6am.  Filled the day's orders and found several little things that needed doing.  By the afternoon, had too much time on my hands that led to brainstorming 2 new experimental patterns for 2015. 
              Top spoon is the today's featured photo is a medium green-black spots Mamba.  Bottom one is chartreuse tape with lime pearl Mamba spots.  Both new colors are eye catching, look promising, and need to get wet soon.  Click 2 new test spoons
               Hope to be restocked by this afternoon with my exclusive Super Snubbers™.  Including a new blue snubbers for 2015.  Blue was my overall best spoon color in 2014.

3/26/15  My boat is 95% ready and waiting for the ice to clear from Manistee, MI's harbor and shoreline.  Haven't been this eager and prepared in a longtime.  Been nibbling at the prep work an hour, or two at a time ...spread over several days.
              Lk. MI's main body is 34 degrees where it's open water.  I'm hoping for 38 degrees on the beach for my first trip of 2015.  Never did well in anything below 38° and would prefer to water temp in the 40s, but mother nature just hasn't been doing her part lately.

3/25/15  This year's maiden voyage to kickoff the 2015 big lake trolling season is my 47th year doing so.  During this time span I've made every imaginable mistake.  Rush to launch is the biggest enemy.  That's when important all the stuff gets overlooked. 
               Here's what I deem essential to splash your rig:
1. check boat registration so it's up to date. 
2. have your fishing license. 
3. make sure your flares are up to date.  All boats over 16' are required to carry them
    according to the way I read the U.S.C.G. rules. 
4. don't forget your landing nets.
5. boat plug is in 
6. make your you have a cast-off or dock-lines. 
7. trailer tire air pressure to replace the air lost over the winter.
            Everything I've listed, I forgot to do at least once in the last 46 seasons.

3/24/15  Presently, Lk. MI's shoreline off Manistee, MI has a lot of flow ice.  The harbor is still jam packed with ice too.  Hopefully, in a week, the ice will be gone.  Looking forward to the challenge of fine tuning an early season "skinny water" program with my new spoons that will be a major work in progress for sure.  Please keep in mind, I'm starting from ground zero when it comes to pulling spoons at this time of the year.
                Manistee's early season April Brown Trout fishery is no long the gravy train like it was in the 1990s and early 12ks when limits were the rule, rather than the exception.
               Before putting the cart in front of the horse, tomorrow's focus could save you money, big time grief, and put your rig on the straight and narrow for the 2015 season.

3/23/15  Today's featured pic is 3 divers that were designed by Randy Even who's no longer with us.  It was my great pleasure to do the Grand Rapids, MI show in 1997 with Randy's booth next to mine.  Randy clued me in on the "internet" when he told me he was booking trips online.  Knew then, had to learn about the net that was fairly new at the time.
                While it's still a work in progress, my cupped rings to fit Randy's diver are coming along nicely.  Please note the black latex tubing with a 1/4" OD and an 1/8" ID.  This material outlasts the natural surgical tubing that comes stock with the Slide Ds.  This can be used as stops for the spring wire too.  This spring apparatus is there to prevent line wear that can cost you a diver.  Click 3 divers, my cupped rings, & tubing
                 My rings are going to compliment this style of diver that's oversize .100" compared to a Dipsy.  This means rings off Dipsy Divers do not fit the S Diver.

3/22/15  Spent the better part of yesterday making prototype cupped rings to fit the sliding diver.  These divers have an approx. diameter of 0.100" larger than the Dipsy Diver.
              Designing rings is not a perfect science that amounts to trial and error for me.  There's a lot of wear on injection molds, that overtime high pressure and heat erodes or grows the tool progressively bigger.  Albeit may, ever so slightly.  You're in a window of 0.015" (or less) tolerances/clearance to get a decent fit. Click sliding diver rings
              ABS, the material used to 3D printout these rings has a shrink factor that compounds the allowable tolerance too.  ABS is used for strength and cost effectiveness.

3/21/15  Close-out bargain pricing on fishing line continues.  Today, I'm working on a new project that will be explained in greater detail tomorrow. Click reel deal on line

3/20/15  To welcome the 1st day of Spring 2015, I'm closing out my of mono and super braid fishing lines and will no longer be carrying it.  I have one pound spools of Trik Fish mono in 15, 25, and 30 lb. test priced at, or below cost for the low price of 29.95. 
               This premium grade of mono retails at 49.95 at some outlets.  I sold this brand since 2008 for 39.95 with zero complaints.  This is the exact line used on our meat rigs that's practically indestructible and offers years of use.  Click for this reel deal!
               There's just too much going on with my new spoons, snubbers and diver rings.  This will free up a few sorely need shelves in my shop.  I have a three 600 yard spools of Cortland's Spectron formerly priced at 59.95 marked down to 49.95.     

3/19/15  Last full day of winter 2015 sounds good ...doesn't it?  Days are longer now and the promise of a new Great Lakes season awaits us all.  I'm optimistic, as always, about what Lk. MI has in store for us all.  Last season out of Manistee, MI was OK until August rolled around.  Then, catching became difficult with just not that many Kings available.  Bright spot was WI side fishing where they did not see the downturn MI did.

3/18/15  2 days left before official spring 2015!  This winter was kinda mild until February, then the snows came to Manistee, MI and very cold sub-zero temps set in.  My biggest hindrance delaying my first trip of the year is saturated topsoil that's a muddy mess at right now at my place.  It's gonna be a wait and see deal until the ground is firm enough to pull my boat of my pole barn.  Currently, I have my drive blocked off to any kind of delivery truck (UPS-FEDEX) traffic so they don't get stuck trying to turn around.
               New Super Snubbers™ will be available soon.  New for 2015 is the color blue.  Blue was my best spoon color last season.  It makes sense to have blue snubbers matched up to my exclusive cupped blue glow ABS diver rings for Dipsy Divers made in-house on my 3D printer.  Cupped diver rings offer excellent dive-depth performance with lessened rod strain.  These ground breaking rings have moveable hold-down tabs that will never break off like the cheapie stock rings.  Underwater signature on my rings is a lot more stealthy too!

3/17/15  Worked on my boat yesterday afternoon.  Batteries are in and so is the boat plug.  Fixed a couple of minor items, cleaned the windows, and checked out the electrical system.  Trolling motor and main power plant (GM350 V8) both turn over.
               Boat trailer needs new tires before my planned trip to Lk. Ontario in May weather permitting.  Being prepared for the worst case scenario keeps the grief meter on low.

3/16/15  63° today is predicted for Manistee, MI.  We haven't seen temps like that since, probably last October.  Boat prep is on the front burner this afternoon. 
              Making a pre-launch list prevents important tasks like: putting the boat plug in being overlooked.  Having all your tackle organized is a must for the first trip of your season.
              Success is not an after-thought.  It begins with all the simple tasks and builds from there.  My tentative launch date a week from tomorrow on 3/24/15.

3/15/15  Looks like a week from tomorrow, my 2015 Lk. MI season will begin.  Snow is going fast and should have a clear drive from the pole barn to the road.
              So, today it's all about getting my ducks in a row for the maiden voyage.  Batteries have to go back in, air pressure in the trailer tires will be checked.  Along making sure the the trolling and main motors will start before I get to the ramp.
              Biggest deal is making sure I have top-notch tackle.  New line is in the process of being installed and building my personal assortment of my 2015 Salmon Buster™spoons that should appeal to Mr. Brown Trout in various shades of gold, black and silver.
              Here's a worthy tip:  My 200 lb. test planer board line will be reversed on each spool.  This doubles the life of my planer board string.

3/14/15  Manistee, MI's harbor is open and free from ice.  On the horizon, some miles offshore there was what looked like ice on Lk. MI.  3/13/15 satellite image shows patches of ice on the MI side. Click 3/13/15 Manistee Harbor   3/13/15 Lk. MI satellite image
             Been putting some ideas together to develop a dedicated spoon program for the early season Brown Trout shoreline fishery.  Up until now, before the advent of my new Salmon Buster™ spoons, ran mostly stickbaits in the "skinny on the beach" water. 
            It took me several years to fine tune my Brown Trout 7.0 stickbait program that produced 200 to 300 Browns every April.  Click for my 2001 article: Brown Trout 7.0

3/13/15  50 some degrees in mid-March has been a godsend for Manistee, MI.  Warm temps are melting the 2 plus feet of snow cover down to less than a foot.
               Was able to open up the road to my storage building where my boat is stored and started prepping my boat for the coming big lake season.  Batteries go back in next.
               There's still some deep snow drifts left that need another week of warm weather before I can get my boat out and on the way to the big pond.         

3/12/15  Total Kings captured at the Little Manistee River Weir was a dire 2781 in 2014 & 6427 in 2013 that comes out to 9208 Kings for both years.  This a reason for major concern.
               In 2012 the count of Kings captured on the LMHW was a more normal 12,327.  From what I've seen since I moved to Manistee in 1992, ...around 10k for a return that offers up some pretty good fishing for Kings for the entire fleet.  Not just the dialed in charter boats that are on the water everyday tracking fish depths & movements.
    Sport fishing boats that only fish occasionally deserve a decent shot at the fish too!

3/11/15  Yesterday's weights, dates, numbers, & age say volumes about growth rates of Kings.  Growing Kings to 12 pounds in 2 years didn't happen, because of a lack of baitfish.
               The MDNR has a lot more data than my small sample size.  There's something way wrong with the MDNR's policy of relying on naturally reproduced Kings to sustain a viable fishery.  MI took a 60% cut in King plants.  With other Lk. MI surrounding states took a smaller 40% stocking reduction in the mistaken mindset of MI rivers being fish factories.
                If MI's rivers were such an vast force in natural reproduction?  How come this just came to light in the past few years?  Evolution doesn't move that fast, or we have been overrun with stunted Kings ...like scads of mini Bluegills in most lakes and ponds.
                I cannot argue there's not as much bait as there once was.  But how come at dark-evening time my graph still shows more bait then you can shake a stick at?
                There's just no excuse, nor should it be brushed aside when all time pitiful record low of 2781 Kings were captured at the Little Manistee River Weir last fall.

3/10/15  Thanks to one our message board members came up with Lk. Huron data from the time when Kings were on a serious decline in Lk. Huron.  Please note the growth rates:

#1 King, 30.5", 11.1# was 3 years old - Caught in 1997 - planted Swan River Lake Huron
#2 King, 35.5", 15.2# was 3 years old - Caught in 1997 - planted in Oscoda Lake Huron -  
            Caught in Harbor Beach
#3 King, 32.0", 10.4# was 3 years old - Caught in 1997 - planted in Swan River Lake Huron
#4 King, 28.0", 8.6# was 3 years old - Caught in 1997 - planted in Swan River Lake Huron
#5 King, 27.0", 7.5# was 3 years old - Caught in 1997 - planted in Swan River Lake Huron
#6 King, 33.0", 11.9# was 3 years old - Caught in 1999 - planted in Harbor Beach Lake
             Huron - Caught in Harbor Beach too.
#7 King, 31.5", 10.5# was 3 years old - Caught in 1999 - planted in Swan River Lake Huron
#8 King, 35.0", 14.8# was 4 years old - Caught in 1999 - planted in Harbor Beach Lake
             Huron - Caught in Harbor Beach too.

Here's more recent eye opening data that prove Lk. MI Kings are not starving:

#1 King, 30.5 inches, 10.25#, 2 years old, caught 07/07/13 planted in Wisconsin waters.
#2 King, 30.0 inches, 11.60#, 2 years old, caught 07/14/13 planted in Lake Huron waters.
#3 King, 20.5 inches, 3.07#, 1 years old, caught 08/04/13 planted in Two Rivers Wisconsin.
#4 King, 30.3 inches, 9.50#, 2 years old, caught 08/16/13 planted in Swan River Lk. Huron.
#5 King, 31.5 inches, 11.60#, 2 years old, caught 08/02/14 planted in McKinley Marina    
     Milwaukee Pen Wisconsin.
#6 King, Unknown length, 19.3#, 3 years, caught 08/16/14 planted in Lake Huron waters.
#7 King, 33.0 inches, 13.00#, 2 years old, caught 08/23/14 planted in Medusa Creek imprint
     pond Charlevoix, MI.

3/9/15  Weather continues to be a blessing with temps approaching 50° tomorrow.  This year is more "normal."  If there is such a thing weather-wise?  Last year it remained hard winter thru the 1st part of April in Manistee, MI.
            Warmer means we can paint tackle without all the heat getting sucked out of my shop by an exhaust fan to clear paint fumes.  Plan is to replenish the Mamba Salmon Buster™ spoons that were beginning to run low.  These are a pain in the butt to make, but the finished product is stunning.  Tomorrow? ...stats on Kings with poor growth rates.

3/8/15  Broke the freezing mark yesterday when the thermometer climbed to 34° at my place in Manistee County, MI (1st time in a month).  Long range outlook is decent with highs in the mid 40s soon.  It's a slow slog uphill battle, but we are gradually gaining ground on spring 2015.     Hope you turned your clocks ahead last night.

3/7/15  Halleluiah, the next 7-8 days are going to be above the freezing mark for Manistee, MI.  After being locked in a arctic front for the last weeks, 40° is mare then welcomed.
Looks like we turned the corner towards spring. 
                       Something I've been wait to say since last fall!

3/6/15  This weekend we get to play yoyo with our clocks, as we spring forward to Daylight Saving Time (DST).  While I'm not a fan of messing around with clocks, this does allow me to fish evenings during the summer.
             Web special on the 2 diver rings & 2 snubbers is a heck of a bargain for you get.  There's 28 parts (8 moving) & pieces involved, all hand assembled that goes into making 2 rings/2 snubbers.  Not to mention cutting your lost fish ratio ...which is priceless!
             If your diver program sucks? ...this gear will put it on the road to recovery.

3/5/15  Tomorrow afternoon the long running Flint Steelheaders Show in Birch Run, MI begins.   This show is a 3 day event that concludes this Sunday.  All proceeds from this show is invested back into fishing.  This is made possible by an all volunteer staff who put in a lot of hard work to pull this do off.  Click for more show info
            Weather for this show is predicted to be in the 40s for the weekend.

3/4/15  Parts and pieces are ordered for my exclusive Super Snubbers™.  2015 snubbers will come in red, green, black and my best color in 2014, blue.  There is no snubber on the market that provides you with the cushioning effect of these shock cord/bungee snubbers.  
            Fish were hard to come by last August off Manistee, MI when an all time low of record of only 2871 Kings were harvested at the Little Manistee River Weir.  
            With that in mind, doesn't it make sense to cut your lost diver bites as much as possible?  Should have all the colors of snubbers in-stock in about 2 weeks.  So, hold off on ordering snubs if you want them in green (currently out of stock), or new 2015 color, blue.
            Your wisest investment in 2015 tackle is my state of the art cupped black diver rings deal that comes with 2 snubbers for a lowball 19.95. Click to purchase

3/3/15  My focus today will be restocking Black's downrigger releases.  Need to order more Super Snubbers™ too.  Hope to have a new blue, red, green, and black snubs within the next 2 weeks.  Ordering tackle and supplies is my least favorite job.
             Looks like a drastic improvement in the weather will begin this coming Saturday.  Next week at this time we could see the thermometer pushing 40°, maybe more.
            That's 60 degrees warmer than just a few short weeks ago when it was minus 21 at my house.  40 is a start, but we're going need that ...and a lot more to melt to 2 plus feet of snow cover on the ground in Manistee, MI.

3/2/15  3 of the next 6 days are forecast to be above freezing at my place in Manistee County, MI.  Could it be ...spring is showing signs of life?
             The table is set as far as spoons selections go for 2015.  This is the last chapter in Project 2015 (Salmon Buster™ Spoons) that began about this time last year ...when I ordered my 3D printer.  Without countless prototypes this never would have happened!

2/28/15  Goodbye February and good riddance.  This winter was behaving itself quite nicely till this long stretch of an arctic subzero weather pattern moved in.  15 to 20 some below is stout 20 degrees below average.  Good news for us is Lk. MI has maintained the most open water of all the Great Lakes.
              There's a good 2' of snow cover at my place that has to melt before I entertain any ideas about going shoreline trolling for Browns.  Spring 2015 is a short 3 weeks away.

2/27/15  Growth rates listed below blows holes in the DNR's theory bait is in short supply:
#1 King, 30.5 inches, 10.25#, 2 years old, caught 07/07/13 planted in Wisconsin waters.
#2 King, 30.0 inches, 11.60#, 2 years old, caught 07/14/13 planted in Lake Huron waters.
#3 King, 20.5 inches, 3.07#, 1 years old, caught 08/04/13 planted in Two Rivers Wisconsin.
#4 King, 30.3 inches, 9.50#, 2 years old, caught 08/16/13 planted in Swan River Lk. Huron.
#5 King, 31.5 inches, 11.60#, 2 years old, caught 08/02/14 planted in McKinley Marina    
     Milwaukee Pen Wisconsin.
#6 King, Unknown length, 19.3#, 3 years, caught 08/16/14 planted in Lake Huron waters.
#7 King, 33.0 inches, 13.00#, 2 years old, caught 08/23/14 planted in Medusa Creek imprint
     pond Charlevoix, MI.
 These fish were caught in Arcadia, MI & shared with you courtesy of our message board.

2/26/15  Polar deep freeze that's had the Great Lakes states in a choke hold for the last 15 days will loosen it's grip next week.  March is showing moderating weather.
              Began 3D printing ABS red glow cupped diver rings that left a lot to be desired.  Red glow properties are very weak and will not be sold as such. 
              My exclusive cupped design is the greatest single improvement you can do for your Dipsy Diver program.  Less rod strain and excellent dive depth make this a purchase you should seriously consider.
Click to purchase this upgrade
              2015 is going to be another product development year for me.  Have 3, or 4 tackle projects in the planning stages. 

2/25/15  Getting ready for Manistee, MI's early spring shoreline fishery for Brown Trout is in the works.  Up until this year, mostly used floater 11 Rapalas, with the best colors being black-silver, black-gold, and red-gold.  In the process of making Salmon Buster™ test spoons in the same colors.  Have new metallic lure Mylar ordered and it's on the way.
               My intuition says best spoon for April Browns is probably the 4.0s in Black Mamba, Blue Mamba and HRP 2.  Click to view, or purchase these Busters
               Manistee's once famed April Brown fishery has been on hard times since 2003.  Will this be the year it turns around?  Don't have a clue, but it will be big fun finding out!     

2/24/15  February is running out of time.  Being extra busy has made this month fly by.  Now is the time to lay the foundation for the 2015 season and make tackle.
              Ordered some red glow ABS filament to make cupped diver rings with my 3D printer.  Stay tuned to see how this new filament works out.
              MI fishing legend, Dick Swan (1930-2015) has passed away.  Dick was known for many things.  He was an outdoor writer, charter skipper, river guide, inventor of the noodle rod, and an advocate for all MI fishermen.  Dick was constantly holding the MDNR's feet to the fire for transparency, honesty and truth.  He was kind enough to write a 3 articles for this website.  A couple written in 2006 & one 2008 concerning his struggles with the MI DNR hierarchy concerning their policies titled: They Must Go and Dick Swan vs. the MDNR
             My favorite Swan article on this website is: Steelhead Heaven and Hell

2/23/15  Arctic 20-30 below zero temps for northern MI will be out of here towards this weekend.  March 1st is predicted to come in roaring like a lion with 5" to 8" of snow.  Let's hope by the end of March we'll have tolerable spring-like weather.
               Still working on completing the 2015 Salmon Buster™ lineup.  Most of my patterns/colors are from my recollections of the best of the best during my chartering days (1983-2003). The fun part will be testing.  That means sitting behind the wheel of a boat, instead of a chair facing a computer and pounding on a keyboard!

2/22/15  For the 2nd year in a row ice cover on the Great Lakes is approaching the record set in 1974 that was above 90%.  Ice cover means chilly spring for MI residents that live close to the Lk. MI shoreline.  Large bodies of water create micro climates.
              It's common sense the longer the lake stays cold, fish do not reach their normal metabolic seasonal growth rates.  Click 2/21/15 Lk. MI satellite pic
              Cold water effects the thermocline.  In turn, effecting catch rates.  Adult King Salmon are dumber than a stump 100' down, but wary creatures (except in low light periods) when they're in the top 30' due to their said preferred temp in the mid 50° range.

2/21/15  Introducing the new X-Glo GhostBuster spoon today.  This Salmon Buster™ is a triple threat with the base of the spoon being XG, the oval insert is XG Blue Smurf, and the XG ladder is icing on the cake.  Bottom side is very active hyper holographic silver ice chip lure tape that needs to be seen ...to be appreciated.
              A plan is in the works to shoot a video showing holographic effects on all of my spoons.  Still camera shots do not do ...my spoons justice. Click XG GhostBuster™

2/20/15  Today's pic is from yesterday ...when the snow was removed from my internet satellite dish at 9am.  Temp was zero.  It was snowing sideways in a face stinging 20 mph wind.  Snow depth is up past your knees from lake effect snow for even more fun.
               One month from today spring begins with winter 2014-2015 passing into the history books.  This February could be the coldest ever for Manistee, MI.
                               Last night it was frigid -21 at my place!

2/20/15  Today's pic is from yesterday ...when the snow was removed from my internet satellite dish at 9am.  Temp was zero.  It was snowing sideways in a face stinging 20 mph wind.  Snow depth is up past your knees from lake effect snow for even more fun.
               One month from today spring begins with winter 2014-2015 passing into the history books.  This February could be the coldest ever for Manistee, MI.

2/19/15  Suspending operations  for today.  Roads are terrible to travel on.  It's safer if my help stays home.  High is forecast in the low single digits.  Tonight's low is supposed to push 20 below as a front originating in Siberia pushes thru.
              Designed a couple of new spoons that will be discussed tomorrow.

2/18/15  There's a slippery slope ahead for all MI hunters and fishermen that concerns the future of Native Americans rights vs. the general public.  This encompasses the Great Lakes, inland lakes, state lands, game harvest, mineral and hunting rights.
               Every dollar spent at Indian casinos makes the tribes stronger.  Their high priced attorneys will soon be fighting tooth and nail for a settlement that hinges on the almighty dollar.  This question remains ...how much will it cost us in the long run?

2/17/15  Mr. Winter has been flexing his muscles lately, because in about a month old man winter ceases to exist.  Click 12 below zero thermometer reading
               Little River Casino located here in Manistee, MI is hosting a sport show soon.
I strongly urge all to boycott this event, because of the Little River Tribe's commercial trap net fiasco that besieged Manistee & Ludington during 2007 & 2008 seasons.
              This was a pure money grab to divvy up the $2 mil the tribal fishers took from the MDNR to settle tribal fishing rights.  All netters who received money cut and ran soon after!
              The current consent decree will expire in a few years and will need to be re-negotiated.  How much money will these scammers try to extort from us again?

2/16/15  Been keeping track of fishermen's hook preferences with the 4 color hook options offered ...when you purchase my new Salmon Buster™ spoons.  It was an eye opener to learn, there is no head and shoulders favorite above the rest.  VMCs in red, black nickel, and even the old school perma-steel hooks all have their devoted fan base. 
              Least color ordered is the traditional chrome, or bright nickel plated that's come on most modern day spoons.  The way I see it? ...you layout your hard earned bucks for a spoon, you should be able to chose the hook that goes on it!

2/15/15  USPS did not pickup orders for shipping the last 2 days.  Please disregard recent shipping confirmations received.  This could work in our favor with Presidents Day (government holiday) tomorrow, meaning a 2 day delay for orders.  All orders received this weekend, thru Monday will ship on this coming Tuesday. Last time this happened (no mail delivery) the postman wrecked his car.
                       Tomorrow's lead story will focus on hook preferences.

2/14/15  Happy St. Valentine's Day signaling February is half gone.  Within a month my boat will be prepped ready for early season shoreline fishing.
              Today's featured pic is the Pearl Passion Salmon Buster™ spoon.  Red and pearl with a silver holographic bottom-side is a serious fish catching color that dates back to Eppinger's original DareDevil designed in 1906.  Click Pearl Passion spoon

2/13/15  Happy Friday the 13th!  Put together an experimental blue and green X-Glow combo spoon yesterday.  Base, or spoon blank is the normal X-Glow with XG Smurf blue tape on the top for an interesting 2 tone long duration glow pattern.
               I have a contest on my Facebook page to name this spoon.  Winner will get this test Salmon Buster™ spoon in the 4.0 & 4.65 sizes. Click 2 tone long glo spoon

2/12/15  Nanook weather with highs in the single digits to low teens is what's in store for Manistee, MI thru next Sunday.  This winter has been relatively mild and cold snaps are to be expected.  Not having Lk. MI freeze over like last year should provide a more stable, deeper thermocline once summer gets here.  Last winter's record cold was not beneficial!
             One of my fun projects for today is make a X-Glow spoon with blue glow Smurf tape.  Then, photograph and share the results in various forms of light.

2/11/15  Snelled double trebles in mono and fluoro have been restocked at my webstore.  Bead chains are once again available.  Code to order swivels for the spoons is fixed too.
          Free fishing weekend coming up.  MI DNR does this a couple of times a year.

2/10/15  Here's what a customer had to say about my new Salmon Busters™ spoons:

"John, just received my first order of your new Salmon Buster Spoons, wow!....these are truly revolutionary John ..you have reinvented the wheel…the finished product has far exceeded my expectations!"  Rob H.  Goulais Bay, Ontario

2/9/15  The glow in the dark photo of my Salmon Buster™ spoons showed the normal green glow and the X-Glow Blue Smurf.   Going to try a test spoon with the Smurf Tape over the XG green glow.  That would make a 2 tone glow pattern.  The surprise was the red that was noticeable from the XG HRP. Click X-Glow Salmon Busters™
              Reached the point with spoon production we're getting ahead building inventory for 2015.  This is a luxury we did not have 2 weeks ago!

2/8/15  Today's intriguing pic of the day is the industry leading X-Glow spoons I offer.  This was a world 1st in 2004 when offered extended long duration 8 hr. glow molded into my 12" RF flashers. Click a whole pile of various X-Glow Salmon Busters™
            Today's photo is another world 1st, because nobody makes a Lexan™ spoon with the colorant infused into the plastic during the injection molding process.  Having the glow as part of the plastic means no chipping, fading, flaking, or peeling ...ever!
            It's easy to be proud of state of the art tackle like this.  The reel-fact is NOTHING was left on the table during rigorous 2014 spoon development.

2/7/15  Good weekend to take a break?  Nope, that's not gonna happen.  Temp in the 30s means painting spoons in an effort to build more inventory.  This job is enjoyable and has it's own rewards as blank spoons morph into colors and patterns that work.
             Tackle inventory is not a chore.  It's the bits and pieces that goes into making the stuff in stock necessary to make and ship tackle that's a reel-pain. 
              I order from at least 20 different vendors for lure tape, split rings, swivels, hooks, paint, bags, labels, staples, tools, replacement parts, paper, razor knife blades, paper, ink, boxes, packing tape, etc. that wears on me the most.

2/6/15  T.G.I.F. doesn't do me much good, because orders come in at anytime with a higher volume on the weekend.  Internet, or mail order sales only get repeat business, if they ship with haste.  That's why our goal is always same day shipping.

2/5/15  The bright fluorescent colors we use today for Salmon fishing on the Great Lakes were not the norm for tackle when this fishery began in the later 1960s.  Fluorescent colors were known as day-glo back then.  Prior to the introduction of Salmon in Lk. MI in 1966, standard fare for all lures sold in MI were more muted natural colorations.
             OK, ...I'm all in on this Salmon deal in 1968, and buy a fluorescent red M2 Flatfish that looked like it belonged in a circus, rather then tied on a fishing rod.  This M2 brought me to glory when I caught my first Coho on October 1, 1968.  This was a reel-life changing experience for yours truly.  I knew then, my happiness was not going found in monetary gain, or possessions, but in chasing these critters for the rest of my life!

2/4/15  We've turned the calendar on January, the longest, darkest, and coldest month of winter.  Days are getting longer with close to 11 hours of visible light.  We should starting seeing a few decent days soon as we advance towards spring that begins on March 20th.  That's only 45 days from now.  Are you ready for the 2015 big lake season?  Now's the time to make plans.  Procrastination does not lead to successful fishing trips!

2/3/15  Cloudy yesterday at my place.  So, if there was a groundhog foolish enough to leave it's burrow? ...there'd be no shadow.  While this winter has been kind to Manistee, MI compared to last year, none the less, it's still winter.  Click XG HRP spoon
            All Salmon Buster™ photos have been updated on their webstore page.  This was no easy task.  Super imposing 3 views (UV, front, back, & glow properties), plus adding text over a main image takes time, but it does show you exactly what you're buying.
            I'm fascinated by lure reaction to various forms of light in a never ending search to find what makes a fish hit certain colors/patterns as the season goes full cycle.

2/2/15  Groundhog Day lore says, if this animal sees no shadow when it comes out of it's burrow, spring is not far off.  If Mr. G. Hog sees it's shadow, 6 more weeks of winter.  It's entirely possible we could be fishing the Lk. MI's beach for Browns out of Manistee, MI 2nd-3rd week of March.  While spring 2015 has not arrived yet, spring is not all that far off.

2/1/15  The backlog of orders for Salmon Buster™ spoons have been shipped.  Feels reel good to be caught up.  You can now order spoons again at: Salmon_Busters™
            Never in the history of tackle have you been able to chose 2 hook styles in 4 colors to custom design your own spoons with the hook colors you prefer.  SBs are clones of my flashers, meat rigs and meat heads.  So, you know all patterns offered are proven!

1/31/15  Shipped a pile of orders yesterday and will do the same today.  Hopefully, spoon sales will be available tomorrow on the: Salmon_Buster_Spoons_page
Most of the spoon photos have been redone and only new pics of the X-Glows remain.

1/30/15  The in demand X-Glow spoons are in-house as of 2pm yesterday and we're finally filling orders.  Painted selections of X-Glows in UFO, Bluetail, Yellowtail are flat-out gorgeous spoons made to last a lifetime.  Glow is molded in and will NEVER flake, or chip off.  Thanks to all for your patience and support.  Will be working the weekend to catch up.

1/29/15  Shipped some of the spoon orders yesterday.  First orders to go were for non X-Glow spoons.  This afternoon, we'll have the X-Glow spoons in-house and finishing them will immediately commence.  Hope to have the majority of the waiting spoon orders cleared up by the middle part of next week.  If enough progress in the next 2 days, spoon sales will resume on Super Bowl Sunday.  When a backlog for Salmon Buster™ spoons exceeds 20 orders, sales will be shut down again so we can provide the fast shipping we're known for.

1/28/15  Today's featured photo shows the work that goes into showing you what to expect when you purchase Salmon Buster™ spoons at my webstore.  It's a 3 in 1 show all example both sides of the spoon and glow in the dark properties of a Green DG spoon.
               In all cases, my spoons are highly detailed on both sides, can glow, and show UV effects when necessary, so you know what you're buying! Click 3 in 1 spoon pic
               By this weekend will be debuting an updated web store page with new photos of my spoon lineup for 2015.  Please bear with me on this, all existing orders are locked in at a special sale prices and cannot be changed.  There's only one way to get orders right, adding more last minute items will only make this job more difficult.          

1/27/15  The inmates are still running the asylum when Lk. MI King/Chinook Salmon policy by keeping a 5 per species daily limit.  When MI could have used 5 Kings per day, it wasn't allowed.  Based on the last 2 years, 5 Kings, per day, per angler seems like a pipe dream.
              For 2015 MDNR has backtracked a few bucks on their over priced non-resident fishing license fees.  To attract more anglers other states have cut non resident license fees, while the clueless MI DNR ignored the hand writing on the wall and hiked these fees by a substantial margin last year.

1/26/15  Yesterday, fine tuned final spoon assembly by keying in on spoon sizes (4.0 & 4.65) and 5 hook options.  We're filling orders minus X-Glow selections that will be in-house later this week.  Then, when the X-Glow spoons are ready, shipping orders will happen.
              Salmon Buster spoons are made out of Lexan™.  The worlds strongest thermoset plastic.  This is proven in today's torture test pic of 5 cannonballs, totaling almost 55 lbs. are being hoisted by a 4.0 Buster.  So, there's no need to ever doubt the structural integrity of my spoons.  Click 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoon hoisting 55 lbs. of cannonballs!

1/25/15  Task for today is to begin final spoon assembly to fill orders.  Minus the X-Glow spoon blanks that are not in-stock yet and will not be delivered until the end of this week.

1/24/15  Today, one week ago we had zero spoons made.  By tomorrow should have over 2200 Salmon Buster™ in stock, ready for final assembly to fill orders.
               Fly in the ointment? ...the X-Glow spoon blanks will not be delivered until next Thursday (I hope).  We must have these glow blades to complete and ship orders.  We have unfilled orders dating back to late last November. Click over 2000 spoons
               There was a 2 week delay was getting the ejector pins in the injection molds to function as they should without leaving minor indentations in the curved rear hole in the tail of spoon.  This was a vital structural integrity issue and could not be overlooked.
               Really don't know whether to rejoice for 2.2k number, or kick myself in the butt for not getting more done??  Best news is close to 1000 Mambas are in-stock.  Mambas are extremely time consuming with delicate double lure taping, masking, & painting involved!    

1/23/15  Today will be a progress report with a photo of the spoons built this week posted this afternoon around 3pm.  This afternoon marks a full week since we've had the Salmon Buster spoons in-house.  Check back later to see how many spoons are ready for final assembly split rings and hooks.  And T.G.I.F hell week is over for yours truly!
             4pm Supplemental Update: Click for over 2000 Salmon Buster spoons

1/22/15  Today's pic is Todd B lending a helping hand and learning what goes into making our highly popular Mamba series spoons and flashers.  Manufacturing Mamba spoons are a complex intricate process that's very labor intensive.  Click Todd airbrushing
                      How do we make Mambas?  ...one at a time!

1/21/15  Good news and bad news.  The missing spoon colors in HRP, Firedot Yellow, Blue, and Black are in house.  Bad news is the X-Glow Salmon Buster™ spoon blanks will not be delivered later next week.  In a way, this will make allow for more time to build a larger working inventory and start shipping orders. 
               In 3 full days of start-up production we've made 1050 spoons that will soon be finding new homes.  1050 is not too shabby considering training new workers on how to tape, prepare and start learning tricky airbrushing techniques.
               Plus, maintaining production on flashers and meat rigs in a timely fashion.

1/20/15  Spoon production is going good.  In the past 2 and a half days we've made close to 700 spoons. Our 1st run Mambas will be done sometime today.
               Initial focus was directed at the time consuming painted Mambas that came out simply flat-out gorgeous.  Rest of my spoons in the missing base colors of glow, black, HRP, and blue should be delivered today.  Then, by the end of the week building spoons to order specifications will be on the front burner.  Click approx 700 Salmon Buster™ spoons
               Hoping to be able to open up Salmon Buster™ spoon sales again by Super Bowl Sunday, if we can clear up the waiting backlog of existing orders!

1/19/15  Spoon production? ...we have to make  a good 1000 spoons before the end of this week.  That will give us a starter inventory so we can start shipping orders ASAP.

1/18/15  Yesterday was the first day of Salmon Buster™ spoon production.  Concentrated on the mambas, because they're the most time consuming to make. 
               More Mambaville today, as we get a move on to build spoons.  SUV, Smurfs, Black Mamba SUV, Smurf Mamba SUV are all made with daylight blue glow colorant that makes a beautimous piece of tackle that I'm very proud of! Click Blk Mamba SUV spoon

1/17/15  Mambaville is today's destination.  Busy with spoon production.

1/16/15  Big day, should have a partial shipment of Salmon Buster™ spoon in-house by this afternoon.  Then, we'll be bustin' ___ all weekend to complete the first run of Mambas by Monday.  I'm reel-enthused to get production going ASAP!
        Supplemental Update: partial order of spoons were delivered today at 2:15pm!

1/15/15  Planning for 2015 is on.  I have scheduled 2 trips to Lk. Ontario.  First one will be 2nd-3rd in May and another one around the 3rd week July depending on weather windows. 
               Fly in the ointment is getting an enhanced driver license to travel thru Canada.  Which will be handled shortly as I assemble the necessary required documents.
              Going thru at Port Huron's Blue Water Bridge into Sarnia saves a good 100 miles compared to taking the long route around Lk. Erie and thru Ohio. 
              440 miles is what the trip/map planner came up with.  Compared to 600 and some taking US highways.  Click enhance driver's license form to enter Canada

1/14/15  Just the right kind of day to put this website on autopilot.  Planning for spoon production has the rest of the week spoken for.
               Starting tomorrow this cold snap with below zero temps ends.  Weather is predicted to be more normal and that's forecast to last thru next Thursday.  Warmer temps will help out the job of air brushing the new Salmon Buster™ spoons.

1/13/15  My injection molding company said they'd try hard this week to start on the 1st production run of the new Salmon Buster™ spoons.  Warm spell is coming towards this weekend, presenting an excellent window to paint Mambas, or at least get a firm start. 
              Even hired more help to get the spoon production going.  Most of the Mylar die cuts for color coordinating spoons is done too!  Spoon production has to start before I move on to Project 2016 that's on the drawing board.  Click Salmon Buster die cuts
              Production goal is to make 800 spoons in 3 days before shipping our 1st orders.  Having a workable small inventory is a must. Then, everything else falls in place. 
              Good news is: spoons are just smaller versions of flashers/meat heads that I've been making for the past 10 years.  So, it's not like we're starting from ground up.
              Even better news any and all minor production issues will be solved long before the 2015 season is underway. Stayed tuned for further updates on spoon production.

1/12/15  There's an important feature to my new 2015 Salmon Buster™ spoons that's been overlooked.  My Lexan™ spoons bend, but do not break, or kink like traditional metal spoons.  Today's pic, with considerable force on my part ...shows a SB 4.65 being bent hard and still retaining it shape like nothing happened at all!  Click bending Salmon Buster 4.65

1/11/15  Posted a pic of the recent snow for the snowbirds that flew S for the winter.  46 inches is my estimated total for this winter thus far.  Click recent Manistee snow

1/10/15  Mr. Winter is not playing nice.  12-14 inches of snow from the recent storm will be plowed today.  Stayed indoors during the big snow and did prep work for the 2015 season. 
              Accomplishing the odds and ends jobs now loosens up time for Project 2016 testing.  It's a great time to be in the tackle business, because just about everything we fish with is dated and needs to be modernized.  Will have 2016 prototypes completed by the end of March.
This puts me way ahead of 2014 season when working prototype spoons didn't happen till May.

1/9/15  T.G.I.F!  Good to have this week over and done.  Highs in the single digits, snow and, at times, wind to over 30 mph is not my idea of fun.  Looking forward to next week with moderating temps.  Plowed snow yesterday for only the 2nd this winter 2014-2015.  Weather was tolerable up until this week.  My front yard snow gauge is at 34" going back to last Nov.

1/8/15  The weather for the Great Lakes States is just plain nasty now.  Let's go back to last season's tee shirt weather and review Salmon Buster™ test spoons in 2014:

    For 14 year continuous run of archived daily updates & fish reports please click here

1/7/15  Fixtures to install lure tape on spoons is done.  Today's pic shows a clear spoon blank with Blue Mamba spoon underneath.  Having the outline of the lure tape on the completed bottom spoon makes installing decorative lure tape a helluva lot easier!
            Salmon Buster™ spoons are not a easy high volume production lure.  Involving paint masks and adding lure tape are steps ...just painted spoons don't have to contend with, but the final product is more than worth it!  Click finished spoon fixture 

1/6/15  First full workweek of 2015 and major progress is being made.  First delivery of spoon blanks to make the new Salmon Buster™ spoons is around the middle month. 
            Spoon sales have been temporarily suspended, until we have finished product in-house and begin clearing up the backlog of orders.
            Finished the 3D printed spoon fixtures yesterday by installing the centering pins.  Going from an idea to a custom made hard-part in around a week is amazing.  The reason why I embraced this technology? ...it's tailor made for small businesses like mine.
            Having the ability to make custom parts is a reel advantage.  The stickler was the learning curve for me.  I learned every way how NOT to do it, before becoming proficient!

1/5/15  15 years and counting as this website continues on.  That's at least 5400 daily updates archived back to the year 2000 with more on the way.  When you take on fishing, as a passion, turned into profession, showing dedication is a piece of cake.
            Designed and 3D printed out spoon fixtures need to lay lure tape straight.  Even .010" off kilter is noticeable.  Hand work to do this right is not EZ!  Click 3D fixtures
            Best news about today?  ..there's only 26 days left in January.  The short month of February always goes by quickly.  Meaning fishing in March-April is not far off!
            15% off sale ends tonight at midnight and thanks for the response!

1/4/15  Today and tomorrow are the last 2 days to get in on the 15% discount on all tackle at my webstore when your purchase goes over 125.  Extended this sale for the way this year's holidays fell on Thursdays.  Click for webstore
             I've been shipping partial orders of flashers, meat rigs, heads, and terminal tackle when spoon are ordered.  This means less to do and shift focus entirely to spoon production.  Tooling is done, all parts and pieces needed to complete spoons are in-house ready to go.  Now, it's up to my plastic injection molding company to get me parts.

1/3/15  With 2015 here, it's time I look at new secret projects for 2016.  Looking at several forms of tackle drastically in need of updating.  Project 2015 that debuted the Salmon Buster™ spoons was very difficult.  Difficult test one's skills, ideas, and problem solving abilities.  And guess what? ...I'm ready for more challenges surely to present themselves this year.  Designing tackle is a all-consuming, mental, and immersive task I find fascinating.

1/2/15  Beginning this coming Tuesday, orders for Salmon Buster™ spoons will not be accepted until we've caught up on the backlog.  We're already in a hole and the wise choice, says not to dig it any deeper.  Click for more reel info
             Unlike the past, do not expect same day shipping on the new spoons during 2015.  There's just too much fastidious, highly detailed hand work.  Factor in, the added front split ring and hook options that takes time to complete a quality product that no other manufacturer offers!  My favorite part of today's chat?  "no other manufacturer offers!" 

1/1/15  Happy New Year! Reset the promo to code to expire this coming Monday by request.  Procrastinators this is your last chance to get in on the 15% off.

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2015 Results
January, February & March

2014 Results
October, November, & December
January, February, & March
April, May, & June

July, August, & September

2013 Results
January, February, & March

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

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