January, February and March 2016

3 Docks in 3/8/16
Manistee, MI

Fiber Optic Glow
Salmon Buster™ spoon

3/14/16 Coho
E Chicago, IN

Bead Chain Keel Sinkers
Stops Line Twist Forever!


Archived Daily Updates

3/31/16  It's important to remind you, today your 2015 MI fishing license expires.  Buying a new license is easy and can be done online.  Click online fishing license
              "It sucks" best describes Manistee, MI's early season shoreline fishery. 
Greenish tinged cloudy water is fishless when it comes to a trolled lure.  I've never seen conditions like this before both N and S of the harbor.
               I want something to yank on my rod.  So, I can feel surge of a fish.  The only way that's going to happen is to travel to S Lk. MI.  Trying for next week seriously.

3/30/16  Sea Grant of MI has really stepped up to the plate.  They involve the Great Lakes fishing public in their Salmon Ambassadors program.  Now, MI Sea Grant is trying to get a better handle on the bait fish population in Lk. MI. Click Sea Grant info & data
               Lk. MI fishermen can share fish finder images of bait balls with Scientist Dr. David Warner with the USGS.  You'll need to supply: date, time, location (like what port?), depth, and lat/lons.  Email your info to: dmwarner@usgs.gov 
              I will post this info again in May when there's more boats fishing.  Enlisting public input is a far cry from anything the MDNR does!
              Trying very hard to find a weather window for a trip to E Chicago, IN for spring Coho.  That means no rain for a couple of days and the wind to cooperate.

3/29/16  A new heater and parts have arrived for my boat.  The heater works on the same principle as your car, or truck using the warm water created in your motor.
              New enclosed cooling system has made this possible.  Best part? ...I will have defroster vents on the windshield.  Boat owners know what a problem fogged up windows are.  Rain-X has a anti-fog product that helps a little bit, but not like defrosters.

3/28/16  Next Monday, April 4th, 2016 the MDNR is celebrating the 50th anniversary of the stocking of Coho Salmon at the Platte River State Hatchery.  This facility is located just a few miles N of Honor, MI on the W side of US31.  Time of the event is 10am till noon.
              Commemorating the success story of our Great Lakes Salmon Fishery is a great idea.  Since their introduction, Coho have been a shining light in our Lk. MI fishery that don't suffer from the huge ups and downs, like the King/Chinook fishery does!
              I hope to show my appreciation by being in E Chicago, IN catching early season Coho during this time frame ...if the weather stays good.
              Need to thank Don H. for bringing this event to my attention.  Don runs an outfit dedicated to the history of MI called, Up North Memories. Click Don's Facebook page

3/27/16  Happy Easter.  According to an article written for Benzie County newspaper, the Record Patriot by Colin Merry, the Lk. MI Alewife population may be stabilizing. 
             Our district MDNR leader, Mark Tonello said, 2015 produced an average spawn of Alewives.  While average might not sound like much of an improvement.  Take in account the hard record cold winters of 2014 and 2013 that produced hardly any.  This is definitely welcomed good news.  Something the Lk. MI King Salmon fishery has been sorely lacking!

3/26/16  Last season my best and most consistent flasher was the Super Silver Bullet 10" BTI.  This flasher worked great with flies and the SSB 2 Fly Meat Rig™ from June into early September.  It's rare to have a pattern to dominate for 4 months.  Click 4 proof
              The SSB plated series are a safe, generic middle of the road color that goes with everything like salt and pepper.  75% of Kings I caught in 2015 ...came on the SSB BTIs.   Especially, deadly effective on my divers.  Click to purchase
               Presently, can only imagine what the SSB Salmon Buster™ spoons can do until we get further along in 2016.  But know the outcome will be beyond expectations.
               What makes this pattern so good? ...it's the super active hyper-holographic lure tape that exclusive to my tackle lineup. Click SSB 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoon
              Out of all the deep video I shot to a 150' down, this was the only holographic lure tape (silver ice chips) that provided noticeable sparkle the GoPro could record.
     If you have money in your budget for new Salmon tackle? ...this is a wise purchase!

3/25/16  Big snow storm turned into mostly ice.  Expect to be without power before this is over.  That's why Friday's update is early. Have a great weekend. 
                      Next week the weather looks a heck of a lot better!

3/24/16  Yesterday, my 1st trip on Lk. MI of 2016 refreshed my memory of the gentle rhythm in following seas that lull me into pure relaxation.  It felt extra good to be afloat!
               Inshore water is pretty cloudy, moving out to the color line a 1/2 to a mile offshore might be worth exploring.  Cowbells & minnows warrants a try too.
               Getting hit with a big-time late season heavy wet snow storm.  Guess 10 inches, or more by the time this last gasp of winter moves thru late tomorrow.

3/23/16  Started my 2016 season yesterday out of Manistee, MI.  Had lines in the water from 4pm thru 6pm.  We fished in unproductive green milky water with 2' of visibility. 
              Water N of the pier-heads was 42.5°.  The water S of port was a little colder at 41°.  Shoreline Browns are primarily a sight feeding fish that respond well trolled lure.  But if the fish can't see it, they're certainly not going to hit it!
              Until we get 3, or 4 days of E wind that will push the green silty water offshore, there no sense in fishing out of my home port.  Click green milky water
              Good news is my new cooling system passed the water trials with flying colors.  Exhaust manifolds never exceed 179°.  That good, because there's 160° thermostat in it.

3/22/16  Great news, seen 2 robins yesterday and next week starts a warming trend.  Downgraded snowfall a bit from a winter storm that's due to hit tomorrow.
               If you like drilling down data? ...have the 2015 report from the Salmon Ambassadors program that focuses on Lk. MI King/Chinook Salmon.  Studied this report for a good amount of time.  Let it suffice to say, no one rated last season very high.  The wild vs. stocked fish is biased, because stocked Kings survival rate is way below 1%.  Then, factor in the 60% MDNR cut in planted/stocked Kings in MI waters.  Click for this report
   If, and "if" is a mighty big word, but might get a chance to splash my boat later today!

3/21/16  Hard pressed for motivation seeing there's a foot of snow predicted for Manistee, MI this Wednesday and Thursday.  While last winter is in the rear view mirror, somebody forgot to tell Mr. Winter, enough ...is enough!
               S MI Coho bite is on.  These vicious critters are there for the taking.  Being stuck is a rut for week with boat mods is not how I wanted to start this season off.
              Now, the weather has taken a turn for the worse.  Further delaying my plans to drive to E Chicago, IN to get in on the happening Cohofest.
           Tomorrow's topic will focus on Manistee's early season shoreline conditions!

3/20/16  First official day of Spring 2016.  23° this morning at 7am is not considered very spring-like.  Yet to see a robin that's always good sign of improving weather.
              Today's featured photo is not what I want to show you.  Rather show you a box of fresh caught fish.  Hopefully, that happens sooner, then later.
              1 week ago yesterday did tested the new enclosed cooling system.  It was a fail with exhaust manifolds too hot at 200°.  This signaled a major water flow issue.
              Considering where I live, a week in not bad to get new manifolds installed with most of the time waiting on shipping.  This Tuesday should be able to water test again.
              Both of my charter boats had heaters like in your car, or truck.  There's plenty of heat in inboards and outdrive (I/O) motors that can be tapped into.  That's the biggest reason behind an enclosed cooling system. Click new manifold install
              My time to fish is the early and late season when we're not ultra busy making tackle and shipping orders.  Having a nice warm & cozy boat sure ranks high on my list.

3/19/16  Good day to take off and work on boat projects.  Up until now it was about taking things apart.  Today is all about putting thing back together again so I can go fishing!

3/18/16 T.G.I.F! Seen my first signs of spring with the grass greening up.  Below average temps in the near term is something we're not accustomed to.  Seems this mild winter winter has fooled Mr. Groundhog that should be sued for malpratice!
              New exhaust manifolds are ready for installation.  Hold up is the cheap Mickey Mouse fiber gaskets that came with the cooling kit.  These could not be reused after the failed driveway water test on the muffs.  Should have the new manifolds installed soon.
             One of the best safety inventions is infrared-laser heat guns.  These impressive devices tell you in a second what the temperature of objects are.  For under 20 bucks you know instantly how hot something is.  Click new exhaust manifold

3/17/16  On this St. Patrick's Day just happy to have the lights come back on after yesterday's strong winds knocked out the power last evening. 
              25 to 30 knot from the S and SW that only stirred up Lk. MI waters off Manistee, MI more.  While the first part of March 2016 was nice, forecast says winter-like weather is predicted.  Highs only in the 30s are supposed to last well into next week.
              So, I'm in no big rush to going fishing until the weather improves.  Waiting on a special gasket to install the new exhaust manifolds for my boat that arrived yesterday.

3/16/16  The southern Lk. MI Port of St. Joe, MI is beginning to produce fair numbers of fish.  Our 2016 season is about 2 weeks ahead of 2015.
               Know where to go to catch fish.  But I'm in limbo waiting for parts to finish up the enclosed cooling system on my 1979 22' Sea Ray's GM V8.  This has turned into a project from hell.  Not the 2 hour job promised by the outfit selling these systems.
              Good thing I had the common sense to get laser temp readings from the exhaust manifolds before there was an epic fail that could have cause major damage.
              I'm in too deep to turn back and need to get this job done.  Then, I can head a couple of hundred miles S from Manistee to where they are catching fish!

3/15/16  Shoreline fishing in Manistee, MI has been very difficult for the fleet.  Reports from trusted sources say fish are scarcer than hen's teeth. 
               No fish can be attributed to lack of water clarity.  Water on the beach is 39-40°. This means the water very dense and keeps the sediment suspended.  2-3 feet of milky visibility is what I'm hearing from the waters S of Manistee's harbor.
               Changing over to an enclosed cooling system has exposed a clogged port exhaust manifold that runs 75 degrees hotter than it should.  While my motor is only a few years old, this 35 year manifold is very calcified and rusty.  Replacement will be here tomorrow and my boat should ready for on-the-water testing by later this week.
               Don't figure I'm missing much with the current slow reports from Manistee.  Look for this to turn around with a few warm days and the right wind.

3/14/16  Coho fest continues on S Lk. MI.  Today's featured pic was forwarded to me by Tom M and shows fat and sassy March Coho that are in the attack mode.  Coho are aggressive by nature and have a lot in common with Steelhead, that will bite all day too.
              Hope to get down there the week of March 21st thru the 25th top sample some of this outstanding Coho action for myself.  Click 3/13/16 S Lk. MI Coho

3/13/16  Spring clocks forward 1 hour to adjust for the new time is today's headline.  Not a fan of the bi-yearly yo-yo the clocks ritual that's forced upon us.
               A variety of aggravating circumstances conspired to prevent my 1st trip of the year.  Next window of opportunity is this coming Tuesday.  If everything falls into place?

3/12/16  Today is the big day I've been waiting for since my last trip that happened back on October 26, 2015.  It's my first trip of our shiny brand new 2016 season. 
               Today is the day I can be a hero, or heaven forbid ...a zero?  Both both over the last 47 years.  Granted, it's easier to be a hero and catch.  But, if I'm a zero today, that leaves plenty of room for improvement.  Look hard enough and there's always a silver lining!

3/11/16  T.G.I.F.  It's a monumental task to get a boat fully prepared to fish big water.  Today was supposed to be focused on testing the new enclosed cooling system.  25° this morning was a good reason to postpone the maiden voyage of 2016 until tomorrow.
               Heard the water around Manistee MI's harbor is chilly 40 degrees.  By no means this is considered prime.  From past experience 44° on the surface is prime. 
               Recent cold snap has done little to heat the inshore, on the beach water.  Sunny skies and warming temps should improve things by this weekend for the early season anglers eager to wet a line like me!

3/10/16  Fishing can be about personal records, as much anything else.  Soon, I will set another personal milestone by fishing Lk. MI a week earlier then ever before.  This winter has been mild, to say the least.  Last year on 4/1/15 there was a lot floe ice floating on the surface of Lk. MI.  Know this, because it was my 1st trip of 2015.
              OK, finished the job with Todd B's expert mechanical skills changing over to an enclosed cooling system on my small block GM V8.  Now, this system needs to be tested before I'm comfortable enough to say, "it's completely done." Click install completed
              Company selling these units said it was about 2 hour job.  This is a big lie to get you to buy one.  Start to finish it was closer to 6 hours with the absolute worst installation instructions in this universe.  Click for awful instructions
              Total cost my new freshwater cooling system including 7 new Mercruiser water distribution hoses was around 1100.  I should be able to extend my Lk. MI fall season well into November, because you just drain the raw water to winterize.
              Today will be spent completing the check list to make sure when we do hit Lk. MI, we're ultra ready for our first reel-adventure in the 2016 season!

3/9/16  City of Manistee has put in 3 docks at the 1st Street Public Launch.  This town is known for being nice to all fishermen.  Especially, the early season big lake anglers that get a free pass until the kiosk gets activated. Click 3/8/16 Manistee Docks
             Began in earnest to install a closed cooling system on my 1979 22' Sea Ray's GM V8.  Pulling the 35 year old exhaust risers was a difficult job and a half.  Risers are on your exhaust manifold to prevent water from entering the cylinders. Click manifold riser
            Should have the new cooling systems installed by the end of today.  Enclosed cooling makes winterizing a heck of a lot easier.  There's only one fitting to pull.
            Fishing looms large after the boat mod is complete.  This weekend is looking reel-good.  Tomorrow is the worst day of the week with rain and highs in the low 4os.

3/8/16  Wow ...63° at my place in Manistee County, MI yesterday!  Snow is almost gone.
             There's only six Sweet 16 deals left.  Couple these spoons with the knowledge in my last work that spells out how to target surface fish at:
Top Tier Tactics
             Colors included can with will work at all depths.  When I put this deal together the goal was to give you my very best from 2015 and 2016 spoons that were tested last season.  This is a multi-tackle offer with everything needed to catch. 
Click to Purchase

3/7/16  Today's high temp for Manistee, MI is supposed to hit 50°.  Tomorrow 57, Tuesday 52, Thursday is the coolest day of the week at 47°.  More 50s leading into next weekend.  It's encouraging to finally see reel-signs spring is here!
             Best days for fishing Manistee look to be later this week when there's no rain.
             Installed my boat's radar yesterday.  Radar is handy to have when it's foggy out. Cold surface water makes advection fog.  This happens when warmer air passes over cooler surface water.  Don't know if it's "game on" yet, but spring 2016 is definitely on the way.

3/6/16  Soon, we'll be expanding our bead-chain keel weights to include 1.5 and 2 oz.  Today is about organizing.  Started on the list where all boat tasks can be checked off upon completion.  Lists combat neglected jobs to maintain a top-notch boat.  20 years in the charter business taught me how important to be thorough and avoid rookie mistakes.
            Here's something that will make you think.  Did you know my best selling spoon, the Gold HRP had NO silver on it?  Did you know my 2nd best selling spoon, the HRP1 is entirely fluorescent red (both sides) with no reflective surfaces on it?
            Posted a pic of the first 6 spoons that will go into the drink on my first trip.  As you can see, golds, reds and fluorescent orange dominate.  Click 1st spread of 2016
            Latest word said there were NO docks in at Manistee, MI's 1st Street Public Launch yet.  Bet they will be going in very soon with spring breaking this week!
                            Great news about the weather tomorrow!

3/5/16  It's a great life if you know how to lead it?  Had a bunch of stuff in life disappoint me.  People head the list, issues with vehicles, lying politicians, economy in the tubes, etc.
             One thing in life that's NEVER disappointed me? ...is fishing.  Fishing is what it is, with the bitter and sweet.  Deceptive curve balls are always being thrown at us. 
             We're constantly trying to adjust to fresh challenges in an effort to conquer our unconquerable foe, Mr. Fish.  There's no way to out smart a fish.  Nothing is that easy.
             Fishing allows for a plan, team work, and time well spent with friends!  Now, that's a thing of pure beauty beyond my word-smithing skills to describe adequately!

3/4/16  Today begins a major warm-up that will last thru next week for Manistee, MI.  Weekday temps will are predicted to be in the mid to high 50s.  Only one day in the high 40s.  Has 2016 spring sprung? ...too early to tell, but it sure looks like it!
            Batteries are in and my boat is almost ready.  All that's left is to install electronics and put the rods back on the boat.  In the process of making a list, so absolutely nothing is overlooked.  When the city docks go in my boat does too!

3/3/16  Using the 5° last night that will firm up the ground making it easier to move stuff in and out of my pole barn.  If will get a bunch of rain next week? ...it will be a muddy mess from the melt.  So, today the batteries go in my boat to get it completely ready.
             Reconnoitered the reel-facts on the bite in S Lk. MI.  Burns Ditch is hot right now. Hammond Marina, IN is the closest access point,  S end fishing will last for the next 3 to 4 weeks.  Once the water there hits 50 degrees? ...these fish scatter and leave.

3/2/16  Yesterday, March came roaring in like full fledged lion.  We had a good 6 inches of snow, stout winds, and temps in the teens to low 20s.  Nastiest day we had in 3 weeks.
             Lk. MI is alive and well in the S end down by Chicago, IL.  Limits of Coho, Browns and Lakers have been reported by website member, Frank from Calumet Marine.  Reports like this make it very hard for me to stay at home!
             Pastrick Marina in E Chicago, IN is 243 miles from Manistee.  That's a 4 1/2 hour trip in light traffic.  Research says, 1 day Lk. MI Indiana licenses are $9.
             One week from today is supposed to be in 50s for Manistee.  There's a lot of rain predicted for next week too (1-2" in 3 days).  Kinda in limbo for a while.

3/1/16   There's reel-possibility I could be fishing Lk. MI out at the Port of Manistee, MI soon.  Warm-up starts later this week building towards the 60s next week. 
              Batteries are going in the boat this weekend.  Prepping the boat was done last fall.  All my planer board rods have new 15# test mono installed.  Began looking at the wind and wave forecast that can be accessed from my Great Lakes Info Page
              Main body of Lk. MI is 38-39 degrees.  Done OK 38° water on the beach before. 40s is better.  My history says, 36° water is struggle.  I'll take what I can get.
              Last season my 1st trip was on 4/1/15 and there was floating ice to avoid. 
              Goal is to stop staring into a computer monitor.  Snagging the bottom, dealing with wind-burn, or getting skunked ...beats anything to do with a computer by miles.

2/29/16  Leap year day when an extra day is added to February.  This past weekend's warm spell with temps in the mid 50s foretells the 2016 season is approaching soon. 
              Scuttlebutt says, the harbor in Manistee, MI is open.  My season is on hold until the City of Manistee puts in a few launch docks for the early season fishermen.  The second full week in March the weather looks to the break towards spring.
              Folk lore says March comes in like a lion, it goes out as a lamb.  Don't know about the lion part stuff to describe our current weather.   Maybe, more like a big mean yard cat, cause we had a 30 degree drop in temp in just a few hours last evening.  Snow and colder is predicted for tomorrow, March 1st.

2/28/16  Today's feature boat motor pic is out of necessity.  This pic to make sure, I order the correct enclosed cooling system for my rig and avoid restocking fees.  I can send the URL (Uniform Resources Locator), or web address of the pic to the supplier.
              Hopefully, the next time you see this motor, it will have a full loop enclosed cooling system.  Pricey upgrades like this are possible, because there no boat payments. 
              Paid under 5k cash for my boat in 2008.  This has allowed for new outdrives, new boat trailer and brand new 350GM V8.  Last year's upgrade was new 2014 15 Hp. 4 stroke Suzuki with fuel injection.  Previous season was the 12" Raymarine C125 sonar/GPS.
             I can't even imagine what I'd have to pay for a new 22' rig that comparable to my 1979 22" Sea Ray hardtop with the same equipment. Click boat motor photo
             Refurbishing old boats requires a lot of knowledge.  So, you know exactly to fix it and do it right this 1st time.  This means zero grief & a wonderful boat you can be proud of!

2/27/16  Spring is only 22 days away!  Looking at installing a freshwater cooling system for my 1979 Sea Ray 22 footer.  This trailer boat is a honey for 2 to 3 people with a fully enclosed cabin.  Drawback with the GM V8 is raw water cooling system that puts the motor block in danger of freezing during cold spells. 
               My time to fish is early & late season when we're not busy in the shop making tackle.  Closed cooling system that uses antifreeze will extend my days on the water.  Bonus is? ....all you have to do is drain the heat exchanger to winterize and back-flush the raw water pump in the outdrive.

2/26/16  We all need something to look forward to.  Breaking up the monotony of ho-hum everyday life requires fun stuff in the future. 
              Planning special fishing events is what I call, fun stuff.  I'm big on the idea of returning to S Lk. Huron to fish out of Lexington, or Port Sanilac, MI this April.  It's a 4 hour drive from my place in Manistee, MI to get to Port Huron, then some miles N to Lexington.
              This is about the same as if I traveled to Chicago, IL to fish out of E Chicago, IN for spring Coho.  Plus, the idea of big city Chi-town traffic is a huge turn off.
               The glory of trailer boats is mobility and that opens up many opportunities!

2/25/16  Manistee, MI forecast for this weekend is mid to high 40s.  Next week looks mild too.  Too early to tell if the weather has fully broke towards spring.
               During the course of a season I will speak with many different fishermen looking to improve on their catch rate.  As soon as I hear the words "we always" know I'm dealing with an angler stuck in a self defeating rut.  There's no such thing as always.
              Many like to tell me a stories about their favorite lure.  Preconceived notions like this stifle creativity that could lead to bigger and better things.  As a charter operator had 3 to 4 hot combinations that were a constant work in flux searching for the next best thing.  Best setups only exist for brief parts of the season.  Then, it's time to move on.
              Guess the point I'm trying to make ...is above all to remain open minded. 
By doing so, you'll open the lid on your fish box often to put more fish in it!

2/24/16  In the not too distant future, will be installing a poll with the options where you can chose where you'd like to see me fish this spring.  Manistee's Lk MI Brown Tout is a given.  This can happen anytime when the seas are favorable.
                                       April Voting Choices
1. S Lk. Huron for the early season mixed bag of Coho, Lakers and the occasional King. 
2. S Lk. MI out of E Chicago, IN for early season Coho. 
3. Inland waters Crystal Lake in Benzie County for Rainbows & Lake Trout
4. Muskegon's early season Brown fishery. 
5. Manistee's early season ice-out shoreline Brown Trout. 
6. Torch Lake for landlocked Atlantic Salmon and Lakers

2/23/16  The 2016 fishing season is undiscovered territory.  Soon, we'll all be on a journey full of promise and the looming agony of defeat.  Anyone one who says they win at fishing all the the time is a big fat liar.  Defeat is what puts the frosting victory's cake!
               I'm like a kid in the candy store with all the varied choices we have within a couple of hours from where I live in Manistee, MI ...without Lk. MI entering the picture.
              Development of my own unique high-action spoons has opened many horizons.
              There's Benzie County's Crystal Lake with Rainbows and Lake Trout.  Look to return to this lake in the 1st part of my season.  Do know this body of water is gin clear. 
              Back when I trolled in Antrim County's Lk. Charlevoix in the 1970s learned light line trolled along the dropoff worked better.  I'll probably tip down to 8-10# test leaders for Crystal Lk. for the surface rods all pulling Salmon Buster™ spoons.  Another way is use my standard 15# mono Lk. MI leaders? ...is by trolling the onshore wind.  Wave noise and ripples always makes for a more productive sneaky approach.
              Torch Lake just N of Traverse City has Atlantic Salmon.  On Torch Lk. in 2011 an IGFA world record 26 lb. fish on 6 lb. test line was caught.  Look to fish Torch in April too.
              Both of these inland lake fisheries, info is hard to come by.  Locals are keeping pretty hush-hush.  Look for to change when I get a reliable spoon program working.
              Haven't even touched on Glenn Lk. in Leelanau County.  When it's blowing too hard on Lk MI inland lakes are a viable alternative for the trailer boat fleet.

2/22/16  More spring like weather yesterday for Manistee, MI with temps in the mid 40s.  Most of the snow has left.  6 inches is about all that remains where the ground is not bare.  Opened up the road to the polebarn to get ready for the first trip of 2016.
              Not sure if Manistee's harbor is free from ice and need to check on that today.  First boats out generally see the best shoreline Brown Trout fishing.  In part, because whatever resident holdover fish we have ...are not picked over.
              The City of Manistee is good at getting at least a few docks in at the First Street boat launch as soon as Lk. MI is clear enough to fish.  Earliest I ever fished Lk. MI out of Manistee was around the middle March.  There's a reel possibility this could happen again.

2/21/16  Glimpses of spring with temps in the mid 40s yesterday.  We are losing snow fast at here in Manistee, MI.  Bare spots are beginning to show in the backyard.  Good to see actual ground again.  Snow drifts that had my boat blocked in the pole barn are going away.
               If it's an early spring?  ...being ready is all I can think about.  Looking forward to to our early season fishery is an understatement.  Have proven Salmon Buster™ spoons to kick off the year with.  At this time last year it was all trial and error.  That's the fun part!

2/20/16  Had to retrieve a few S Divers for a photo shoot of the new glow rings.  That meant I had to visit my boat and it felt good to stand on the back deck!
               Yesterday's mid 50s were not hard to take after it was -1 at my place in Manistee, MI Thursday morning.  We have about 9-10 inches of snow on the ground.  Look for that to diminish with more above freezing temps predicted for this coming week.

2/19/16  T.G.I.F.  Good to see many of my loyal 2015 customers reordering Salmon Buster™ spoons for 2016.  Thus far, spoon reorders amount to 75% of my gross sales for this year.  Fishermen only go back for more when their tackle is catching fish!

2/18/16  Outdoorama in Novi,  MI starts next week on February 25th and runs thru February 29th, 2016.  Did not see any seminars scheduled on Salmon/Trout fishing, but there were many on Walleyes, Bass, and Lk. St. Clair Muskies.
Flint Steelheaders Boat, Fishing & Outdoor Show happens on March 11 thru the 13th, 2016 at the Expo Center in Birch Run, MI.  All proceeds from this show are reinvested in our fisheries.  This is made possible by the all volunteers and chapter members.
              Next and last big spring fishing show will be at the Devos Center in Grand Rapids, MI March 17th thru the 20th, 2016.
              After 25 years on the show circuit, I no longer have the desire do them.  Shows require a lot of effort, expense, and time away from home that wears on you. 

2/17/16  Single largest expense for the trailer boat fleet is the cost of fuel.  This year's low gas prices are predicted to carry over in to the summer. 
              Boats are just not a fuel efficient way to travel.  Estimate my 1979 22' Sea Ray with a 350 GM V8 gets around 4, maybe 5 miles a gallon at a 2700 rpms. 
              I have a 19 pitch 21" stainless steel prop that pushes my rig at 25-26 mph according the GPS "speed over ground reading" (SOG) in fairly calm seas.  This is a big improvement over the 1.5 miles per gallon my charter boat with twin V8s got.
              Never been cheap on boat gas.  Moving your boat away from high traffic areas is a lot better than playing bumper boats straight out of port.  Which is always congested at my home port of Manistee, MI.
              The BP station S of Manistee on US 31 has what they call rec gas.  This means no ethanol.  Rec gas priced a little higher than regular 10% ethanol we put in our vehicles.
              Big lie is the higher price of rec gas, because it contains no government mandated ethanol made mostly from corn, it should be cheaper.  A 56 pound bushel of corn makes 2.77 gallons of unsustainable ethanol.

2/16/16  5 of the next 6 days for Manistee, MI are going to be above freezing.  3 of these days will be in the 40s.  This will be a welcome break after last week's chilly temps.
              Data for ice cover on the Great Lakes is in our favor compared to 2014 & 2015.
Currently there's only 30% ice cover.  At this time of the year in 2015 61% of the Great Lakes had ice cover.  2014 had 80% during this same time period.
              Ice cover cannot help the basic building block of plankton growth.  This is the first link in the food chain that makes everything else happen.

2/15/16  Interesting week for Manistee, MI weather-wise.  This coming Thursday average daytime high temps break freezing and go to 33°.  About 3 weeks later on March 14, 2016 we reach the 40° threshold.  Then, by the end of March on the 31st, average daytime high climbs to 48 degrees.  It looks like we gain 8° every 3 weeks, or so ...from here-on-out.
              No doubt, we will see warmer and colder days before official Spring 2016 arrives on 3/20/16.  That's a short 35 days from now, or 7 weeks precisely.

2/14/16  My Valentine's Day sweetheart is my 7 month old female Lab, Kit Kat.  She's a true, richly colored Chocolate Lab with a gorgeous glistening coat. 
              Kat is a smartie for a baby girl.  Her vocabulary includes; no, leave it, sit, down, stay, outside, come (most of the time) and fetch.  My favorite trick Kat does happens every morning when she proudly struts, with her tail wagging, when she brings me my slippers.
               Kat never has been disciplined.  Beating on a dog with newspaper, fly swatter, or a worse; a hand is cruel and abusive.  Young dogs respond to food.  Food is their entire universe.  I use mini dog treats and always have some in my pocket.  I reward good behavior with a treat.  Positive reinforcement doesn't confuse your K9 companion.
               Don't believe in full-fledged training sessions.  Training is part of everyday when she seems especially alert and ready to accept commands. Click my Kit Kat
               Biggest part about training dogs is repetition with plenty of patience.
               For 10,000 years dogs have been part of human history and mine since I was a kid.  Dog owners know about he unconditional love and devotion these wonderful animals give.  So, today, my love and Valentine's Day is dedicated to my best girl friend, Kat!

2/13/16  No information is better than misinformation.  Misinformation wastes your valuable water time and leads to frustration.  So, just because you read it on the internet, doesn't make it necessarily true.  Webmasters like myself, have to vet their content.  All journalists have a responsibility to the truth, whether in hard print, or on the net.
               Recently, I was sent a link from a website selling bead chain keel sinkers making an outlandish claim 1/2 oz sinkers with a 100' line would get to 25' deep. 
              Total BS that doesn't even make sense.  I fish on the beach in April.  Sometimes, due to traffic my shore-side lines get pushed up into very shallow water, less than 5' deep.
              Rarely, do I ever see a rod tap bottom, even in very shallow water with a 1/2 oz bead chain keel weight towing one of my spoons.  Same goes for metal spoons, back in my chartering days.  Hitting bottom on the beach in April is a no-no, because that's when lures get fouled with grass, roots and leaves!  Click keel weights
              Misleading statistics call into the question the experience level of the person coming up with these numbers.  Casting a dark shadow on the motivation that led to why this mistruth was ever published in the first place?
              Was it to sell, or inform?  Well, they missed it on both counts, because their weights are pictured with just 2 balls exposed, instead of the better 4-5 ball ones I sell.

2/12/16  Mid winter reminder to charge boat batteries is a good topic for today that will save you money.  Removing boat batteries and keeping them in a warm place prevents the lead plates inside from sulfating.  Sulfating is what ruins batteries.  Making them worthless and a costly trip to the auto store for replacement.
              Removing boat batteries based on safety alone is a good idea.  No electric fires can occur if there's no juice onboard to start them.  Then, there's the issues of power vampires that suck juice 24/7 that makes dead batteries.  Things like boat radios/stereos, autopilots, etc. are power suckers. Click 2/11/16 charging batteries
             If you have a dual battery system like I do, both batteries must be good.  A poor low voltage battery will draw juice from the good one, making 2 dead batteries.  Know the newer battery isolator switches can prevent this draw, but mine is 1980s vintage.

2/11/16  February 13th and 14th is the MDNR's free fishing weekend.  This is a chance to share your passion with a non fisherman.  Ice fishing is the first thing that comes to mind. 
              River fishing for Steelhead is a great choice too.  Good numbers from the fall run and new fish trickling in before the onset of big run that's about 3 weeks away.  Early March, depending on weather is always a safe bet for MI Steelhead.
              Free fishing weekends were always a easy to book when I was running charters.

2/10/16  Good day to press the pause button on this website and look forward at what need to be done.  Job 1 for 2016 is to improve on underwater video.  There's a bunch of stuff to be learned in the mostly undiscovered dark depths of abyss. 
              The only way you can improve on how a fish attacks a lure, is to see them do it.  There has to be an answer why I seen many Kings go after a meat rigs™ and none of them get the hook.  Click action cams ready for 2016

2/9/16  Confidence toll charge comes with a very high price.  It's the hours that goes into fine tuning your spread finding out what the fish will hit.  That's why being able to coordinate/transpose colors from flashers, to meat rigs, to spoons ...makes sense!
            Going out on a limb with a 2016 prediction.  I predict you'll see my SSB spoons in a 2016 fish box like today's featured photo.  Click for this 2 in 1 pic
            SSB 10" BTI was my best flasher in June, July & August.  It worked with flies & SSB Meat Rigs™.  Super Silver Bullet has the most active holographic effects on this planet.

2/8/16  Sweet 16 Deal has been a huge hit and look to close out this offer soon.  Unlike others in the tackle business, I've outlined a roadmap for your success.  My new 2016 8 page article, 4Ts is a complete program featuring bead chain keel weights and plain Dou-Lock snaps for stealthy, trouble free presentation. Click 2016 4Ts article
             There's 4 ways to purchase the Sweet 16 Deal.  You can purchase 8 of my best in 2015 and 8 new 2016, or doubles of the 2016 tested colors.
Click Sweet 16 Deals
             Both of the afore mentioned deals have sub-options to include Duo-Lock snaps and bead chain keel weights.  I highly recommend purchasing the snaps and bead chain weights.  There's 49 dollars in bonus tackle when you buy the complete package.
             Thinking back to the more early days of our fishery, wished there was an offer like this.  I can only imagine the countless hours of trial and error saved.
             If you take to heart the info in the new "how to" articles with associated videos the only reason you're not catching? ...is there's just no fish in your area!

2/7/16  Super Bowl Sunday is when thoughts turn towards the upcoming fishing season in earnest.  By now, everyone one is looking towards spring that's only 6 weeks away. 
             2016 marks my 48th Great Lakes season and that's a helluva long time.  Do know my enthusiasm has not waned and only gets stronger with each passing year.
             What will 2016 bring?  Impossible to predict, but it will be interesting finding out!

2/6/16  Every job has tasks that must be done everyday.  Fun stuff is side projects that improve on previous items.  In my case, it's my new hat cam mount that means hand free video.  New mount sits higher and is better balanced then the old mount. 
            Plus, there's more camera protection.  Mount and camera is about 5 ounces.  This requires a tight fitting head band to keep the cam from slipping down.
            Have the over the counter headbands from Sony and GoPro.  Both are extremely uncomfortable and were designed by the Spanish Inquisition as a torture device.
                 2016 hat cam is ready and waiting for the 1st trip of 2016! 

2/5/16  Just about done with proof reading and clearing up the muddy text in my new 2016 4Ts article.  This was a massive task to put in words how to use spoons on the surface.
             During the course of a 7 month April thru October big water season, emphasis on surface tactics is about half.  Having information like this at your finger tips via the web is an amazing a reel-story. Click 4Ts surface fishing article
             Mystifying part? ...is why fish on top have a special attack mode for the bright fluorescent colors of red and orange.  These colors do not exist in their normal diet. 
Guess some things in fishing are not meant to be explained and this is one of them.

2/4/16  Finished the cam lens mod and re-focus  Reassembly was a major issue when a piece of the LCD frame got pinched.  Turning a 10 minute job into a hour.  Extra work was worth it and saved scrapping the camera.  Tasks like this are easy after you do the 1st one.  This is lens swap was a FIOY (figure it out yourself) project.
            Made a new 3D printed housing/mount for my hat cam.  This is a full enclosure that provides better protection from moisture.  Had to do a small trim job on the new mount.  Opened the front to uncover the mic.  Click new hat cam mount
            A good sound track is a must.  Hearing the interaction onboard is what I'm after.  Top quality audio adds to the overall viewing experience. 

2/3/16  Changing the lens in my Sony Action cam should be finished today.  Have to re-focus the new lens that requires glue to hold the new lens in a fixed position. 
             Don't know how I talk myself into techie stuff like this.  The truth is, I'm in way-over my head.  There's risk of ruining the cam without extreme care.
             New lens does not fish-eye, curve, or bend the horizon. This low light cam mod is an effort to get better underwater fish video.  Click cam mod in progress

2/2/16  Good day to sit back, take a break, & make plans for the 2016 season.  Looking at a April return to Lk. Huron, as an alternative to a W blow at my home port of Manistee, MI. 
             W wind is a offshore wind for lower Lk. Huron ports like, Lexington, MI.  Early season Lk. Huron catches have been on par with Lk. MI, if not better.
             Planning for future events is what keeps me going.  Can't fathom people with nothing to look forward to.  That's not life, that's just existing
                 Have you made your plans for the 2016 big water season yet?

2/1/16  February is the shortest month of the year and seem to fly by compared to January.  Tomorrow is Groundhog Day when we turn to an animal predict the weather. 
             For just a day, scientific meteorology surrenders to a large rodent that lives in a dirt cave.  Folk lore folly takes over to predict just how much winter is left.
             Mr. G. Hog will not see his shadow tomorrow in Manistee, MI according to the forecast.  Supposed sign of an early spring.  I sure hope the Mr. Woody Chuck is right.

1/31/16  Goodbye January 2016 and thanks for the 42 degrees at my place yesterday.  To the outside my season begins in 8 weeks.  My first trip in 2015 was delayed by ice.  First trip out there was a lot of areas of floating skim ice and mini icebergs.
               We couldn't fish the beach N.  That area had just too much ice.  So, we went S. It's a dangerous situation, if the offshore ice gets pushed in a closes the harbor off. 
               With less ice on Lk. MI this year, mid March, only 6 weeks away ...my season could start.  I have a full tank of confidence, because there's a year under my belt learning what my spoons can do.  Plus, notes from most productive 2015 colors is a big help!
               Best part of 2016 ...the more I learn about improving the expertise to fish my spoons? ...you'll be the first to know.  It's going to be a fun season that's on it's way!

1/30/16  Added some new photos to dress up some of the pages in my new article.
A complete program to target surface fish in the top 10' of the water column.  Plain, or clean snaps and bead chain keel weights is a fully tested ...winning combination.
              Fish after fish showed their preference to snaps and bead chain sinkers from April thru October 2015.  In fact, the first time this system was used it caught on 4/1/15.
              There's always a better common-sense way waiting to be discovered.  This is what makes fishing the Great Lakes fun and exciting.  The same spark that went off inside me in 1968 when caught my 1st Salmon is still there to this day.  Rekindled every time a rod goes off.  Just don't say, "fish-on" much any more.  I use the magical phrase, "there's one!"
         It's kind of funny how just 2 words can make your fishing buds move so fast!!

1/29/16  Today's topic is my thoughts from a rambling mind.  You look at TV ad from McDonald's Big Mac and you see a standing tall, very scrumptious burger.  OK, buy one, open the box and the Big Mac looks like it was thrown together by the people who built the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  Suddenly, this burger is 100% bun and burger size shrinks to 75%.
              The point I'm trying to make is we're all being lied to everyday by unscrupulous people pushing product.  Then, you get to somebody like me telling you the reel-truth and designing a total program to fish my spoons, as I have at: Click Top Tier Tactics you
run into the risk of your efforts falling on deaf ears, or does it?

1/28/16  2016 marks 12 years I've been making tackle.  This year might be the most challenging due to the low number of Lk. MI Kings in 2015. 
              Late season 2015 lots of small/skipper Kings and less Lk. MI ice are promising signs this fishery could possibly be on the rebound. 
              My 2016 Salmon Buster spoon additions are loaded with new shades of gold, red, and orange.  All top notch Steelhead, Coho and Brown Trout colors.
              Go back 20 years to 1996.  This my best year in the charter business on Lk. MI.  1996 Steelhead were available in astonishing numbers.  By then, the Lk. MI fleet had a good 10 years of experience pulling these sea-run Rainbow Trout off the surface to 40' down.
              You can discover what we used back then and still use to this day to target surface fish in my new mega article: Click Top Tier Trolling Tactics
              While 2016 Kings could be iffy, focusing Steelhead off the surface is not!

1/27/16  Sweet 16 deal is a limited time offer just like the Dirty Dozen offered last December that sold out in a week.  There's close to a 50 dollar price reduction when spoons, bonus hooks, bead chain keel weights and snaps are purchased.
              You'll notice the red, gold, and orange colors in my latest spoon offer.  There's one anomaly that stands out is the new 2016 Purple Kevorkian-Ice in the top row.  
             Purple is a great color to run on the surface when it's an overcast day.  Purple in any variant is a excellent choice to Salmon too. Click Sweet 16 pic
             Added an option to S16 for those that already have a lot of the 2015 colors.  This option is where you can double up on the top 8 and get 16 of the new 2016 colors.

1/26/16  It's an honor introduce my 8 part mega article on surface fishing tactics.  This is a massive 7000 word knowledge base with 2 videos. Click Top Tier Trolling Tactics
              New for 2016 is the total package to target surface fish called the, "Sweet 16."
There 8 new 2016 selections.  All proven colors from last season, or from my history vault of proven winners relied on when I was running charters (1983-2003).
             Info in my 4T article goes hand-in-hand with the Sweet 16.  This a total system that ensures your time on the water is more productive. Click Sweet 16 Deal

1/25/16  Hard at work finishing up my new article Top Tier Trolling Tactics.  There's 8 pages in this work covering everything I know about catching fish in the top 10' of water.
              It's a massive task to proof-read this 7000 word info bank that will be done very soon.  Hope to debut this tomorrow.  Along with a new Sweet 16 spoon deal.
              Today's featured photo is the new 2016 CFO.  The letters stands for Crushed Fluorescent Orange that's a ultra deadly Steelhead color from way back!
              It took 3 weeks to get this exclusive color match that's not a stock colorant.  Comes in a silver and gold version.  Click 2016 CFO Salmon Buster™ spoon

1/24/16  Have to pass on today's chat.  Too much to accomplish before the official debut of new tackle for 2016.  8 part article targeting surface fish is nearing completion.

1/23/16  Had more than one person ask, "where's the 1st mate of the month?"
I discontinued this after 15 years when it was brought to my attention, word censors would not permit this website to be viewed at public schools.
              Hell week is just about over for me.  Building new spoon inventory is coming to an end.  For 2016, there's 3 new base colors that made 12 new selections you'll soon see the merit of.  2015 was a test and tweak year, because Salmon Buster™ spoons were brand new.  This year is take what was learned in 2015, and refine my fish catching lineup.
             In the very near future, after some minor re-write hope to debut my 8 part article with 2 videos that covers all the bases when it comes to surface trolling.
             2 of the new colors are dedicated towards surface Coho, Browns and mainly Steelhead.  High fish are there for the taking once you understand the basics.

1/22/16  It's quite a luxury to access my history vault on colors that produce, then make baits to my high standards.  My vast history vault contains all the colors that I made a living from as a fulltime charter operator & guide from 1983 thru 2003.
              There's a lot of bizarre stuff fish bite on when it comes to spoon colors.  I, nor anyone else can explain why fish gravitate to certain colors.  It's a fascinating mystery that's better left unexplained!  Tomorrow? ...a sneak peek at new 2016 tackle

1/21/16  I'm all in on Steelhead colors for my Salmon Buster™ spoons in 2016.  With an uncertain future for Lk. MI Kings this is a wise move.  2015 season adult Steelhead showed decent growth rates in the 8 to 10 pound range.  This is about the long term norm.
              For some reason unbeknownst to me and the rest of the world, these wandering open-water Rainbow Trout have a fondness for bright red and orange colors.  While several colors can and will catch Steelhead, hues of red and orange seem to work best.
              Expanding on the 2015 HRP color toward the 2016 Hot Cherry series no-brainer.  Fluorescent Hot Cherry will come in 4 variations of fish catching gold and silver that are scheduled to debut on, or before Super Bowl Sunday.
              My 2016 season now is about 8 weeks out ...depending on when the weather breaks.  Going into 2016 going to be exciting and fun!

1/20/16  First full day of 2016 spoons production amounted to 300 and some.  Goal is to have a 1000 new and replacement spoons in-stock by Friday.  Factoring in rebuilding the entire sold-out HRP spoon inventory, figure we'll be in good shape and meet Friday's target.
              On the front burner is a new video to showcase the razzle-dazzle light show Salmon Buster™ spoons put on.  Regular still photos do not do them justice!

1/19/16  Today's featured pic clearly shows the fiber optic glow edge in the new 2016 Hot Cherry series.  This translucent spoon is highly fluorescent too.  Check out the lens quality and the overall fit and finish on my 2016 spoons by clicking here.
              New spoons are in-house and 2016 production shifts into high gear today.  Lots of work to accomplish in the next few weeks.  There's several new colors and patterns in the works.  Hope to be able to reveal all the new tackle by Super Bowl Sunday. 

1/18/16  If all goes according to plan, my 2016 order for spoons will be in-house by this evening.  Then, get reel busy making 2016 spoons.  There's 2 brand new colors yet to be revealed.  Know you'll see the merit on this expansion of the Salmon Buster™ spoon lineup.
               Be sure to check back tomorrow to see some of the new fish catching creations planned for this year.  The hot new colors are spin-offs proven in 2015.
     Lots of good stuff on the horizon as the 2016 big lake season gets closer everyday!

1/17/16  2015 was the inaugural year for the Salmon Buster™ spoons.  2016 is an evolutionary year for my ground-breaking, patent pending spoons.
              Clear, X-Glow, and HRP base colors all sold out in 2015 and were reordered last month to replenish stock for 2016.  Should have this new stock in-house very soon.
              Today's pic shows how the spoons come out of the mold.  The part joining the 4 spoons together is known as the tree.  The tree provides a path for the Lexan™ plastic to flow, ...at over 600 psi.  This intense psi pressure makes the heat that melts the plastic, as it's compressed into the injection mold.  Click new spoons on a tree

1/16/16  Semi debut today, but wait until the finished new fiber optic glo edge red spoons are done for the reel-reveal.  This fantastic new color is a translucent fluorescent that plays off any available light source to reach it's full potential. Click 2016 hot cherry spoon
               Mindset behind this color is a spin off from the HRP colors that sold out last season.  So, why not make your best selling product even better?
           I am very proud to bring you tackle that is reel 21st century technology!

1/15/16  It's well within reason, in 8 weeks could be fishing for early season Lk. MI Coho out of East Chicago, IN.  Trying to plan my 2016 special events schedule and there's one intriguing fishery I've yet to tackle.  Canada's Port of Erieau, in Ontario has a fascinating N shore Lk. Erie Walleye fishery with Steelhead mixed in according to what I've heard.
              News from Manistee, MI? ...it's turned into hard winter this week with lots of lake effect snow.  After bare ground starting show a week ago, now it's way above your knees, if you have to trudge thru it.  Like I did the other night to broom the snow off my TV & internet satellite dishes.  Weather had been mild, guess it had to turn into winter after all.

1/14/16  Built another new computer in 2015 to make video editing go faster.  It takes a lot of resources to speed up this process.  1080i HD can take up gigs of space for caching into workable video files to edit, cut and render movies together. 
               I have a lot of raw media files (HD videos) and decided to make these into Blu-Ray discs.  So, I had to add a blu-ray burner and that's when I snapped today's pic.
               Tech sheet on my new box includes: an Intel I7 4970 quad core CPU.  Video card is a Geforce GT 740.  This Windows 7 machine has a 240 gig SSD boot drive, 750 watt power supply, 32 gigs of ram, DVD drive, Blu-Ray drive, & a 2T storage drive for video files. 
               Great feature is the 5 front mounted 2.0 and three 3.0 USB ports.  It has card reader for opening action cams/camera media sticks & thumb drives.
               All components mentioned are in moderately priced category.  Not the newest cutting edge stuff that costs an arm and a leg. Click computer interior
               There's maybe a grand in this top notch system that does everything except sit up & beg at warp speed.  Over the counter price would be maybe, twice what I have in it.  
               Contrary to popular belief, building your own computer is easy.  It's mount stuff, then plug it in.  Just be careful fitting the CPU into the mother board.  BIOS does all the work installing the operating system when you turn it on for the 1st time!

1/13/15  Working on an underwater video from footage shot a couple of years ago.  This video was taken with my rigger cam at depths of 155' to 100' down. This movie shows Kings moving in and out of the spread trying to attack the flasher/meat rig combo. 
             This video will dispel the myth fish don't swim down to investigate the baits.  Location was on Lk. MI.  S of the Port of Pentwater, MI, by Little Point Sable.
              To make this video viable, it has be a 720i HD video.  Viewing it any smaller resolution the fish just don't show up well.  There's very little light to provide exposure for the quality camera frames once you get deeper than 60' down.
              For 2016 I have a special lens mod for night vision for my Sony AS-10s.  This requires disassembling the cam.  Then, refocusing the image.  Know it's a very technical mod and will need luck on my side for this to work out.  Potential benefit in additional low light exposure that adds clarity makes this risk ...one worth taking.
             AS-10s have a narrow aqua-dynamic profile when compared the more square-ish GoPro White edition I tried.  Click my rigger cams

1/12/16  Today's pic show the fiber optic glow edge on my Salmon Buster™ spoons.  This photo was shot on macro with no editing to alter the original visual content.  Photo was snapped on my desk.  It's more noticeable in full sun. Click fiber optic spoon 
              My spoons glow in the daylight.  This is a feature no metal spoon is capable of.  You know, ...if I don't point advantages like this out?  Nobody else is going to do it for me. 

1/11/16  There's a lot of whys in fishing that defy answers.  Especially, perplexing is Steelhead having strong preferences to hit fluorescent reds and oranges. 
              There's no color in nature's fish world that can come close to explaining why Steelhead are driven to attack these vivid fluorescent colors. Click HRP 1
              Gold HRP and the all red HRP 1 were my best Steelhead colors last season.  Ludington late season Lk. MI troller, Capt. Kirk said his best was the Gold HRP too.
              Knew when I introduced my spoons about this time last year hot red had to be part of the lineup.  In the later 1980s and 1990s there was Bomber 15 Long A in flaming hot red that took a lot of Steelhead in June-July.  Problem with the 15 Long A was the screw eyes that fastened the hooks onto the bait often got ripped out.

1/10/16  Just finished what seemed like the longest week of the year.  Good news is there's only 3 weeks in January left.  Cleaned my shop, finished videos, and new 6 part article is ready to go.  I've ran out of work until my new 2016 tackle is in-house.

1/9/16  Entered into the proof reading and minor rewrites for the yet to debut 4T article.
Not counting the intro page, there 6 other topic focused pages amounting to 6000 words and 2 new HD videos  Just stuck in limbo until my 2016 tackle arrives.

1/8/16  T.G.I.F.  Making the future happen requires a lot behind the scenes preparation.  Every time, I think ...I'm done? ...another great "must do" idea gets added on.

1/7/16  The back-story on yesterday's video about visit the hatchery is one of those neglected projects that finally was completed.  Ran across the footage while I was editing other videos between the recent holidays when there was time available.
              That's 2 new videos since 2016 began and 2 more will be revealed very soon.

1/6/16  Let's go with another video update for today.  MDNR Hatchery Manager, Phil S rolled out the red carpet for my visit with a complete tour of the Platte River Fish Hatchery back a few years ago. Capt. Phil runs the Off Call II charter boat out of Onekama, MI too.  We do have good people working for our fishery and Phil is topnotch.  I was there a when the DNR was micro tagging the King/Chinook Salmon plant a few years ago.  This fish rearing facility is located N of Honor, MI on US31.  It's place ...I'm always in awe of!  Click here for this video

1/5/15  Cost effective grabs my attention.  Going back to April 2015 pulled a mixed program with 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoons, and my old standby 11 series floater Rapalas. This stickbait has done right by me going back the late 1960s.
             In April 2015 Raps never caught a fish for me, but old habits die hard. 
             Here's the setup: port board, 3 lure spread, with Raps on the outside and inside.  Middle had a Salmon Buster 4.0 and that's what took fish.  Seen this more than once too!
             Now, let's look at cost.  Size 11 Rapalas are 10 bucks, or more.  Plus, this a fragile balsa wood bait that gets busted up in the net from big Browns.  My Salmon Buster™ spoons are unbreakable Lexan™.  Cost 2 to 4 bucks less and a lot more durable!

1/4/16  1st reel-week of the New Year.  Time to move forward in a big way.  Have a new 6 part "soup to nuts" article that covers surface trolling with my Salmon Buster™ spoons.  After seeing how complex, but easy way to fish, each topic needed their own page.
              This work has 2 companion videos.  One on Brown Trout and another that covers surface Steelhead,  So, I've been extra busy for the last 2-3 weeks.
             What I just discussed will debut when my new tackle arrives.  Get prepared for a flood of proven timely fishing tips and tricks very soon!

1/3/16  We're on the cusp of a new Great Lakes fishing season.  Have several goodies waiting in the wings.  Just waiting for the right time to announce them.
             Been doing a lot of video editing lately.  The prefect video shot to show what we do needs a drone to capture it.  Seeing a boat trolling 8 surface lines off boards with an overhead camera would sure put things in perspective!

1/2/16  January's Great Lakes climate is the longest, darkest month of winter.  Good news is in about 90 days the early season shoreline fishery for Browns begins.  2015 April action included Steelhead and Lakers.  2015 was a empty blank slate for my new spoons.  This year I have established colors/patterns proven to work.  This is a big deal for me!

1/1/16  To start 2016 off right, let's begin with a brand new fishing video.
To view this video of a diver King, off Manistee, MI in early Sept. 2015. Click Here

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2016 Results
January, February & March

2015 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September

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