January, February & March 2017

New 2017 Spoons
Salmon Busters™
green & blue glow!

3/16/ 17 Striped Bass
Lk. Smith, Alabama

3/21/17 Portage, IN
Early season Coho!
Photo by "the Greek"

4/2/17 St. Joe, MI
Nice Spring Coho!!
Photo by Peter D

Archived Daily Log

3/31/17  T.G.I.F!  Heavy work week for me with the Lk. MI fleet starting up.  Yes, there will be a 2017 season and it's here now!!

3/30/17  Plan was to go fishing yesterday afternoon.  This fine idea got overruled with orders and trying to keep tackle in stock.  What goes out the door, must be replaced.  It's a reel good thing ...I like my job almost, as much, as I do going fishing!
              New plan is to reclaim this lost fishing trip soon, if the weather cooperates.

3/29/17  Yesterday, Mike M was kind enough to call in a fish report from East Chicago, IN and answered the question my hanging question about bait.  He shared the some of the Coho he cleaned, had 5"  Alewives in the them.  Plus, while not a lot, did mark some bait on  his way to limiting out.  So, this is good news for all of us!

3/28/17  Mustering up the courage to try the early season shoreline fishing off my home Port of Manistee, MI after the last 2 disappointing seasons.  Weeds, root systems and gunk in the water has made this once EZ limits of Brown Trout a tough nut to crack.
              Know there are 2 docks in at the 1st Street Public Launch and plenty of off-colored water around the harbor.  So far, the grapevine has been amazingly quiet about catching.  Guess I just have to go and find out for myself what I'm up against.

3/27/17  March-April southern Lk. MI is the opening curtain for the 2017 season.  It's mostly jack Coho in the 2 to 3 pound range in March.  By later April these fish will gain more weight depending on the amount of bait available to around 4 lbs. Click Coho catch
               While I've heard the Coho bite is fantastic, yet to hear about how much bait S. Lk. MI fishermen are marking.  This is the important part. Click XGB Smurf Coho SB 4.0

3/26/17  According to my early season contacts in southern LK. MI, the Coho bite is the best it's been in several years.  Time will tell if this holds up.  Click 3/21/17 Coho catch

3/25/17  Have a great weekend!

3/24/17  Before leaving to fish southern waters, last fall, put antifreeze thru the main and trolling motors.  50/50 mix of antifreeze should kill any organisms.  Know it's a poison, because it can kill pets.  There's no way I could forgive myself for transporting mussels, or any invasive specie to previously uncontaminated water.
              Do know there's several places outside the Great Lakes watershed that host zebra mussels.  Zebras are in northern Alabama's Wheeler Reservoir on the Tennessee river.

3/23/17  Results from the 2016 Salmon Ambassador program came out today.  Several interesting facts backed up by data that is beyond reproach.
               Ratio of naturally reproduced vs. planted is only semi correct.  Skewed by the reduced King Salmon plants.  Click for this port by port info

3/22/17  Committed long distant plans are fraught with issues.  Knowing what I know now, would have delayed my Striper trip to Alabama.  We got hit with a severe cold front with nighttime temps down to 20 degrees and days in the low 40s to high 30s.
              Southern impoundment fish get tough when there's a loss of water temp.  This meant big live bait to pry a bite from fish more interested in spawning than eating.
              Stripers are fascinating to me.  These fish are beautiful & share the same radiant blue-purplish hues that our King Salmon have.  Cameras struggle to capture a true likeness.
              I look at my first venture into the realm of southern Striped Bass as a winner from the amount of knowledge gained.  Click 2-3 lb. sucker used as Striper bait

3/21/17  Beginning this Friday afternoon east wind will prevail for a good 5 days off the Port of Manistee, MI.  This is in my window for my first Lk. MI trip trip of 2017.
               E wind should push any weeds/debris away from the our shoreline.   Been fighting junk in the water for the past 2 seasons that makes shoreline trolling off Manistee an exercise in futility.  I will not fight this junk in the water (looks like root systems) fouling lures.  Never seen these weeds/roots until about to 2 years ago. 

3/20/17  First day of spring 2017 is making it's grand entrance in Manistee, MI. 
Daytime highs temps are looking decent at 32-50 degree range for the next 7 days.
               Still suffering F-250 travel lag from the 14 hour trip home from Alabama.  Never pushed it hard, averaging 56 mph for the almost 800 mile trip with my boat in tow.
               Learned staying my pickup camper is tolerable for 3-4 days.  After that, you become keenly aware of how small it is.  This is part of the reason I came home early.
               By cutting my vacation short I have a few days in the bank for a possible trip to southern Lk. MI for early season Coho and Browns.  Next week, this window opens.

3/19/17  Arrived home from Alabama at 4am this morning.  We were fishing close to Cullman, AL that's a distant 780 miles from my home in Manistee, MI.  Learning a bunch that will be shared with you in the future.

3/18/17  There's no place like home and that's the reason I'm cutting my vacation short to head my home in Manistee, MI today.  www.michiganangler.com  has reopened.

3/17/17  Happy St. Patrick's  Day!  Striper fishing in Alabama is awesome!!  Being able to do this on a working/fishing vacation is plain wonderful. 
                Looking at turning 71 this year.  Some might say events like this go on a bucket list. I say the stuff I want to do? ...ain't gonna fit in any bucket!!  There too many ways and places to fish that can be accomplished in any 1 lifetime. Click 3/16/17  'bama Striper

3/16/17  Progress!  Finally found  a net connection!!

3/12/17  Nasty and cold as Mr. Winter has revisited Manistee, MI.  There's only 8 days to the official start of spring 2017.  My long awaited vacation begins today.  This place I'm going is so secret the fish ...don't know about it yet!
              Daily updates depend on what I can find for a internet connection.  So, if I miss a day or two with an entirely new reel-story, you know why.

3/11/17  Spring forward 1 hour tonight.  It's time to play clock yoyo game again.  DST, Daylight Saving Time officially begins at 2am on 3/12/17.  Finished shipping our last tackle order at 10am for about 2 weeks and it felt good.  Knowing everything is handled first, before going vacation is spelled: r e l i e f!  test

3/10/17  Just about ready to head out to parts unknown.  Stay tuned for further info about my long overdue secret vacation that begins Sunday.  Click my vacation home
              If I miss a few daily updates, that's because I'm without an internet connection.  You'll know more when I do. I'm absolutely sure, you'll find this new reel-story fascinating!
              Webstore will be closing at midnight tonight and reopen on, or before 3/24/27.  This way there will be no backlog of orders I do not want to deal with. 
              It's demanding enough dealing with day to day transactions to ship quickly on the  same day.  Let alone, being behind the 8-ball playing catch up.

3/9/17  Have a great day!  Rushing to clear up all duties before going on vacation for the best part of 2 weeks.  Last vacation was in 2014 when I went south for the winter and absolutely hated it.  4 months of warm weather did not compensate me with a feeling of being productive.  The good that that came from Florida in the 2013-2014 winter was to lay the ground work for my Salmon Buster™ spoons.

3/8/17  Came to the conclusion there a good amount of redneck way back in my DNA.  How else can you explain I'm actually looking forward to living on top of my pickup truck?
             Over the years I'm had several types of RVs.  First one was a regular high profile pickup camper.  Wind resistance was horrible and it was top heavy.  No such problems with the low profile crank-up one purchased last September.
             My vacation begins in 4 days.  Will be closing my web based tackle store in 2 days, or on Friday.  Reopening is scheduled for 3/24/17.  Work will continue at my shop. 
                    Plan on fishing new ports I have never visited before.

3/7/17  The early season Coho are biting in East Chicago, IN.  These are good sized Silvers for this early in the season.  Today's photo is courtesy of Capt. John Warren's catch on 3/5/17 with number to prove it!  Click King Seeker's limit catch
              A million bucks is being offered as a prize to anyone who can come up with an idea to stop Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes.  Good luck with this one.  The solution does not exist while the Chicago Canal is still connected to Lk. MI. Click for details

3/6/17  Another step closer to my vacation that begins on 3/12/17.  Camper is on the pickup.  Today's focus is to make sure the boat is ready to fish with all tackle shipshape.  Then, as this week progresses loading the camper with food & personal items.
            Webstore will be closing this Friday, or Saturday morning.  Reopening is scheduled for 3/24/17 (approx).  Still lots to do before leaving.  Click camper & boat

3/5/17  Big deal today!  Boat will see daylight for the first time in the 2017.  Need to re-shuffle things around in my storage building to install slide-in pickup camper.
            This crank-up camper is bare essentials to get by.  With little wind resistance mileage is OK at 12-14 miles a gallon without the boat.  With the boat in tow, not so good, but tolerable with today's cheap prices for gas.  Click truck and camper
             Had to go to an extended hitch for more camper clearance to boat trailer.  In my opinion, for me, this is a perfect rig for traveling that beats staying in pricy motels. 
             Found this camper on Craig's List.  It was in pristine condition for 25 cents on the dollar compared to new.  Store RVs inside and they'll will stay like-new for a long time!

3/4/17  Have a great weekend.  Mine will be devoted to boat prep.  Stuff like putting the batteries back in and the massive job of making sure all tackle needed is aboard.  This is a be prepared for anything trip for me with many different rods and line types.  Such as copper, lead core, mono and braid rods for my riggers.
  Down to 7 days and counting till I escape into the reel world for ...a very reel vacation!

3/3/17  Today is the world/galactic debut of new 2017 Salmon Buster™ you can have fun with.  These are serious high quality works of art with excellent UV properties.
             New Alewife pattern was spurred on by the success of the BBS selection.  It's a no brainer to have reel-alewife spoons in the lineup too! Click for 4 new 2017 spoons
            The "Bite Me" and "Kissy Face" are bound to become fleet favorites in today's landscape.  Individual photos of all the new reel-image spoons have been added to the webstore  and are available by
Clicking Here to Purchase

3/2/17   Yesterday, Manistee, MI was nasty with falling temps, high winds and about 5 inches of snow.  So, according to the old proverb: "March comes in  like a lion, goes out like a lamb," ...we should be in for some decent weather at the end of this month.
              Know we won't have to wait that long.  Beginning this coming Saturday we're in for a long stretch with daytime temps about freezing.  This Sunday and Monday they're calling for 50° to 55°.  Then, mild temps in the 40s for the rest of next week. 
             Ideal conditions to get loaded up and ready for travel on the following Sunday, March 12, 2017.  Tackle store will be closing on 3/10/17 and will reopen upon my return. 
            How long I'll be gone depends on how much fun we'll be having.  So, don't look for this to be a quick turn around.  Been looking forward to this vacation this since last fall

3/1/17  Hello March 2017.  Official spring is less then 3 weeks away.  While this winter in Manistee has been mild, it's nice to turn the page and look forward to warmer weather.
             This cannot be stressed enough: ...we all need breaks and time off from our chosen professions/line of work.  That's why my spring vacation is less then 2 weeks out.
             Posted a pic of my emergency roadside repair tool box.  Spare bearings, a complete hub/brake disc, jack, wood lagging and tire changing tools are in there. 
             Hope I never have to use it, cuz finding parts on the road in a timely manner is impossible.  This is just roadside travel insurance.  Click for trailer tools & box
             Here's helpful hint from my fishing bud, John J.  Lightly touch hubs when you stop for gas, or at a rest area.  If it's hot to the touch? ...you have a problem in progress!

2/28/17  The You Tube spoon video that graced this page yesterday was shot in the fall of 2014 with printed 3D prototypes.  The location was close to the beach in 10' of water. 
               Learned light bouncing off the bottom in shallow water made the movie better from a previous shoot.  For me? ...it's totally amazing to use this state of the art technology and share it with you! Click for this spoon comparison movie
               Biggest lesson gained  is most metal spoons rode tail heavy in a weird looking unnatural 30-45 degree tilted angle downwards at the slower speeds of 1.8 to 2.2 mph.
               My vacation starts in about 10 days and the webstore will be closing on, or about 3/10/17.  How long we'll be shut down has yet to be determined.

2/27/17  Rerun of a video update that ran 2 years ago.  When shot this movie, had no idea it would be such a revealing underwater action: Click spoon comparison movie

2/26/17  2 weeks from today, will be heading south for my the inaugural wetting of the lines ceremony for 2017.  Been looking forward to this event since last fall.
               Learning a new port and areas to fish is what keep my interest on point.  Let's face it, There's have nothing to prove out of my home port of Manistee, MI.  Demonstrated time and time again, when there's fish around my boat, we'll catch 'em!
               And done so, with new and innovative methods going back to 2003 when I showed the Lk. MI fleet what a dedicated meat program is capable of. 
              Now, I've shifted gears to my new Lexan™ Salmon Buster™ spoons with action and movement no metal spoon can match. No brag, just fact!  Click here for proof
              If anyone thinks these are special accomplishments? ...guess again.  I don't see it that way.  I see this as a survivalist's guide on how to make it in the fishing business!

2/25/17  Have a great weekend!  My plan is to button-up all loose ends before leaving in a couple of weeks for the 2017 season kickoff.
               Long range weather for Manistee, MI breaks to mostly 50s and 60s around March 20th.  This is a good 20° above the norm.  If long range projections can be believed?
               By the end of next week hope to have my boat completely ready to fish.

2/24/17  Boat trailer is ready and passed all system checks.  It's important to mention all my tires were about 10 lbs. low on air pressure.  This hurts gas mileage and low air pressure builds heat, causing tires to blowout.  When greasing your hubs, if you see milky grease seeping out?  This is sign you have bad wheel bearing seals that's allowing water entry.
              If you're towing you boat a long ways? ...tape the speed sensor wheels on transducers.  Spun these off before.  So, I know first hand this happens.
              In your rush to the lake, do not overlook boat trailer maintenance.  This will save you a lot of grief.  Rather than broken down, on the side of the road, with cars zooming by.
                 Click: my secret trick not to overlook what needs to be done!

2/23/17  Fishing as a business in our Great Lakes States you can charter/guide, or become a tackle manufacturer.  I've been both.  Making me qualified to share with you my
observations since I went into charter/guide business in 1983. 
              Then, in 2004 I shifted gears, gave up the charter end and became a tackle manufacturer.  If anyone thinks the fishing business in general is a bed of roses? ...guess again.  Huge swings in Lk. MI fish availability are the gas pedal in this industry.
              Future topics will focus on what learned in the fishing business.

2/23/17  Fishing as a business in our Great Lakes States you can charter/guide, or become a tackle manufacturer.  I've been both.  Making me qualified to share with you my
observations since I went into charter/guide business in 1983. 
              Then, in 2004 I shifted gears, gave up the charter end and became a tackle manufacturer.  If anyone thinks the fishing business in general is a bed of roses? ...guess again.  Huge swings in Lk. MI fish availability are the gas pedal in this industry.
              Future topics will focus on what learned in the fishing business.

2/22/17  Record warm temperatures is today's big story.  This February free spring preview will taper off some towards the weekend.  Good news is predicted daytime high temps will the 37° to 48° range for Manistee, MI everyday next week too!
               Should have my boat trailer in top-notch road readiness by the end of today.  Trailer boats offer many different places to fish and that's the reason I have one.  Mine has been to Leland, MI several times.  Along with the MI ports of New Buffalo, Ludington, Traverse City (E Bay), Pentwater, Frankfort, Onekama, Arcadia.  Made it to Wilson, NY in 2015.  Last July's trip to MI UP Port of Manistique was another goodie too.
               Guess you can see why I'm a stickler for boat trailer prep.  It's a lot easier to grease the wheel bearings at home, compared to having fix-it issues on the road.
               Please take this to heart, never-ever buy a cut-rate trailer tires.  You're just asking for trouble when you risk an expensive boat riding on cheapie China specials!!!!!

2/21/17  Tentative departure date of my 1st big water adventure is March 12, 2017.  Hope to piggy-back 2 big time out of town events together.
               Just about done with mounting the service/tool box on my boat trailer.  Box will have all the necessary parts, tools and jack for emergency roadside repairs. 
               There's no excuse for not being prepared for equipment failure. Especially, when you're more than 25 miles away from home. Click boat trailer mounted service box
               I live only 11-12 miles from the home port's Manistee boat launch.  This situation totally changes for out town long distance trips.
               Manistee, MI to Wilson, NY is a 1000 mile round trip.  Manistique in MI's UP was about 500 miles there and back. 

2/20/17  Happy Monday! 4 weeks from today is the official start of spring.  This warm weather has me thinking a lot about the almost here, 2017 season.  Plans are in the works for my first big lake trip barely 3 weeks away.  Stay tuned, it's a goodie!
               Best thing I like about fishing? ...as soon as I step on the boat, life's wearisome issues seems to melt away.  Not to resurface until my boat is on the trailer, headed home.
              For me, it's an ultimate escape that provides a reset to life's ups and downs.  Especially, adrenalin rush when we hear the words, "fish-on" that sets everything right!

2/19/17  Have a great Sunday. 

2/18/17  Hit 50° in Manistee, MI yesterday.  More of the same is in store for us today. 
Mr. O. M. Winter is being nice to us and is on vacation thru most of next week!
               Was in Traverse City, MI yesterday afternoon.  Lk. MI's West Traverse Bay is completely open water with no ice.  I have no doubt boats will be on the prowl today.
              Cease the moment and take advantage of this warm spell that going to last for the best part of a week.  I will be working on my boat trailer later today after shipping orders.  Presidents Day is this  Monday and that means next USPS ship date is Tuesday. 

2/17/17  Temps in the mid 40s this weekend opens up a lot of opportunities.  My days will be dedicated getting my boat trailer in super-ready long haul mode. 
              Trouble free towing means tire air pressures must be up to snuff.  Both for safety and fuel mileage.  Wheel bearings will get a light tap of grease, careful not to over-pressure that can take out bearing seals.  Checking torque on the wheel lugs will not be overlooked.  Surge brake fluid will get checked and topped off too.  Then, mount a tool box on the boat trailer to carry tools/parts necessary for tire changes and wheel bearing swaps.
             No matter how much you plan, breakdowns are always a possibility.  Being prepared for any eventuality saves times and days that will be spent on the water.

2/16/17  MDNR's free fishing weekend is this Saturday and Sunday.  Reel good news for Steelhead river fishermen with the forecast highs in the 40s for my neck of the woods.  Ice fishermen? ...please use extra caution to make sure the ice is safe.
               Any orders received after 5am will not be shipped today.  Bookkeeper has a hold on the special accountant's file in QuickBooks to resolve things I do not fully understand.  That's why I have a hired accountant to keep the books on the up and up.

2/15/17  Started on the part 2 video editing process that I hope to debut soon.  Did see a more light would have helped when we finished up after 10 pm.  Thinking about upgrading the hard top halogens to LED lights.  LEDs seems not overly costly.
               Lack of sufficient lighting makes netting a big King in the dark, an almost impossible task.  Discovered this in the 8/10/16 Salmon video.  Video is a valuable multi use tool when tweaks become obvious to eliminate difficulties.  Click in the dark net job?
               Big warm up on the way.  Suspect we'll lose all of our snow cover by next week.

2/14/17  Valentine's Day update:  Best thing about posting videos for a daily topic?  It's reel action that cannot be faked unless you have a super huge budget for CGI (computer generated graphics).  Like in the Star Wars, or Avatar movies.
               Posted a pic of my 2 year old lab for my Valentine's Day sweetheart.  This is the only dog I had that never has a stinky "dog odor" ...even when wet. Click for Kit-Kat

2/13/17  Today is a wonderful time to see a fish caught from last weekend.  Rick M was kind enough to grab a short video about landing a Lewis Smith Striped Bass in Alabama.  His fish hit the hot, "all areas producing" ...4.65 GhostBuster Salmon Buster™ spoon. 
              Rick is semi new to trolling and I recommended Slide Divers should be added to his arsenal.  Reel-facts on this fish? ...it hit the Slide Diver on a 50' lead length about 25' down.  Click here for short video from last Saturday

2/12/17  Have a great Sunday!

2/11/17  If you haven't read my new article, or watched my new Salmon fishing video, here's a link to do so: Click for article & 720P HD video
               While there's still a week of official winter left, was surprised to hear certain parts of Crystal Lk. (Benzie County, MI) and parts of Traverse Bay (TC MI) have not froze over.  So, we are having a mild winter.  Let's hope it stays that way!
               Predicted above freezing temps for today, means work in the pole barn to install my boat trailer's storage box for long distance trips.
              Trying to muster up the effort to complete the Part II video.  Editing video is intense and very time consuming to make a finished product I can be proud of.  Making a movie out of a passive "run all the time" cam requires many cuts to transitions scenes.

2/10/17  Lots to do this weekend to get ready for my 1st trip that's only 4 weeks away.  Pulling a trailer long distance means being prepared for any eventuality.  Blowing a tire, or losing a wheel bearing is catastrophic when you're 100s of miles away from home. 
              Having replacement spare tire/parts on hand to quick fix on the side of the road.  Being stranded with a boat loaded with thousands of dollars worth of gear says dropping your trailer/boat it to go chase parts is very risky and time consuming.
               Especially, if you're in an rough urban area where roadside pirates abound.  My solution is to install a storage box on the trailer with everything needed to for worst case scenarios.  I will carry a spare hub/tire, mini air compressor, bearings, a jack & tools to fix.

2/9/17   First off, many thanks to all that took the time to read my new article and video.  I'm honored every time you visit this website. Click for article & 720P HD video
             After careful review on my part, my new written article and video leaves no stone unturned when it comes to covering the reel-facts behind any fishing trip. 
             This is far beyond anything print media can do.  Showing, when used correctly what a valuable tool the internet can be for fisher men and women.
              The webstore based tackle store where my tackle is sold will be closed for at least a week in March and May.  My tackle store: www.michiganangler.com
     This allows for fishing events I live for.  Looking forward to fun times in about month!  

2/8/17  Going to take today off from web work after a marathon session to finish the video and polish/rewrites on the new article. Click for article & 720P HD video

2/7/17  Today is the intergalactic roll out of my new article, Do I Stay, or Do I go?  Part 1 of the action packed video from 8/10/16  is done ...finally!!  Click for good stuff!
             Be sure to scroll to the very bottom of the article for 720P, which is the highest resolution YouTube lets me post.  Use the YouTube settings/gear for 720P HD option.
             Will be starting on video part 2 very soon and conclusion of this trip soon after my eyes and head recuperates.  The best has been saved for last in an awesome Part 2 finale!
             It's a reel-thrill for me being able to share crystal clear 720P video of what exactly happens on onboard my boat with you ...I kid you not!!

2/6/17  Almost done with part 1 of video from last August.  The action shows with several Kings boated and more to come.  Counted 30 scene edits to show the only best parts.
             Need to do more voice-over narration, video overlays, adjust sound volume and install a few text subtitles.  Then, if all goes OK? ...post it on YouTube tonight.
             One thing that's kind of amazing is how the last computer I built can handle and edit multiple 4 gig video files pieced together without a stumble.
                     Starting on part 2 as soon and part 1 is on YouTube.

2/5/17  Message board members can get a sneak peek at my new, unreleased article about the evening King-fest last August 10, 2016.  Click to join board
             In retrospect this trip revealed how concerned I was on balancing my time knowing getting home at past midnight and full workload in the morning do not mix.
             Decided to scrap all the video editing and begin anew.  There's close to good 10 hours of raw footage, when the hat cam and hardtop cam are added together.
             Only solution I see it to break this video up in 2 parts to do justice to the action the fish gods bestowed upon us.  This is the best way to tell this awesome reel tale!
             Want to make this my best movie to date.  To have a top notch end product and tell this story, I will be going in deep cover and not updating this website till it's done

2/4/17  Capturing onboard action makes great TV.  Video allows adjustments that needs to be addressed.  It's not overly expensive, if you go the eBay route like I have.
             GoPro Hero 3 Black Edition was once a 400 buck camera.  Now, on eBay this 3 year old camera is in the neighborhood of 150 for the bare cam, or 200 for one with lot of accessories.  These cams are built to take a beating and are very robust.  There's a variety of different mounting system to accommodate any situation.
              Just do not buy any cam that has scratched, or beat-up ...indicating a hard fall.  There's no moving parts inside these cameras.  So, they will last for a long time.
              You'll need to upgrade to an extended battery (about 15 bucks) for a 3 to 4 hour shoot.  64GB Micro SD will hold about 5 hours of video.  You can add an external mic for under 20 bucks and a lens cover for less then 5.  The case was less than 20.
             The piggy back accessory LED light was $15 on sale at Amazon.  Making the point this amazing technology is at least semi-affordable.  Click my GoPro outfit

2/3/17  Video for 8/10/16 is giving me fits.  There's so much good footage, cutting any of it to fit in the allowed 30 minute HD YouTube policy is difficult. 
             Footage at the end is in total darkness and is slightly degraded.  Light provided by the hardtop work lights is just barely adequate.
             Video in all light conditions is a learn, as you go process for me.  Did manage to upgrade to a 600 lumens piggyback lighting system for my GoPros.  Click GoPro light
                    Will explain this a little better in tomorrow's topic.

2/2/17  Ground Hog Day.  Cloudy and cold today for Manistee, MI that probably won't cast a shadow for any resident rodents.  Sign of an early spring? ...think we all hope so!
             This year's 17 for 2017 Spoon Deal is close to selling out and never be duplicated again.  Thanks to all that purchased these ground breaking fish catchers.
             This is an absolute must.  I have to take a few days off and devote many hours to editing the 8/10/16 video shoot.  There's a good 4 hours or raw video footage that needs to condensed.  Superimposing titles, scene transitions and voice-over narration takes a lot of time to make a fishing movie to my standards.  I only get one chance to do this right.
             Do have a written companion 8/10/16 article in the final stages of proofreading.  This new work will not debut until the new video is posted on YouTube.

2/1/17  According to Wikipedia tomorrow's Groundhog Day celebration goes back to 1841.  Lore says if Mr. Hog does not see it's shadow, we'll have an early spring.  Bright and sunny means 6 more weeks of winter says Mr. Boss G. Hog.
            No matter the outcome, official spring begins in 48 days on Monday, March 20, 2017.  Winter has been decent up till now, but there's still a lot of days on the calendar.

1/31/17  Goodbye January 2017 and I'm happy to see it go.  January is my busiest month in the tackle business.  Machined, or in the process of completing 15k meat heads, both mag and super mag.  Ordering stock with all the bits, pieces and support parts to keep my tackle shop running consumes almost as much time as final assembly.
              Been making rigs, flashers and spoons since last October.  Utilizing the offseason months to push production is the carrot and stick with me being the donkey.  Knowing this, frees up time for fishing trips ...is an incentive like no other!

1/30/17  In 6 weeks I will be on big water fishing ...depending on weather.  The Chicago Lk. MI fleet can, or will be starting in 4 weeks.  If there's no ice to contend with.
              Will it be a grand and glorious season? ...don't know.  Do know it will be big fun finding out what the fish have in store for us.  This year marks my 49th year on the Great Lakes, and the 17th year anniversary of this website.

1/29/17  Days are gradually getting longer with about 7 weeks of official winter left.  Thus far, this winter has been moderate.  The 2017 big water season is getting closer everyday.  Once we hit February, the onset of the season picks up steam.
              I'm optimistic about what's in store for Lk. MI is a big way.  Certain ports, with bait, had a lot of smaller Kings.  Let's hope these fish survive and grow up.
              Know there's been a lot of things said about the baitfish-alewife population that I'm not qualified to judge.  Do know the biggest King (28 lbs.) to come into my boat since 2004 last year.  Jumbos don't grow this large unless there is a good food source!

1/28/17  Flasher production is on the front burner now that I'm caught up with meat heads and spoons.  This is all part of the creation process in making fishing tackle.  There's nothing boring about making tackle that catches fish for me.
               At times my mind will wander when making tackle to the fun stuff.  I daydream about what, when and how many fish will chomp down on what I have in my paws. 

1/27/17  Giving credit where credit is due promotes long time fishing friends.  In my case, John J who's fished with me since about 2001.  Todd B. and his son Dylan have been aboard for the last 10 years.  Any good catches I had are direct results from those onboard.
              It's foolish for anyone to think a heavy box happened without help.  Having long term fishing fishing friends is cherished by me.  It's just easier to accomplish a goal when you have trusted buds making you look good.  This is a blessing never to forget!

1/26/17  Yesterday was spent chasing the bits, piece and parts to make tackle.  Ordering supplies is my least favorite thing about being a tackle manufacturer.
               Came up with the bright idea to add a storage box to the front of my boat trailer to store spare hub, bearings, grease gun, jack, tools and wood lagging to support a jack in case the bad stuff happens ...like losing a tire.  This is called being prepared for a 1000 miles round trip from Manistee, Mi to Wilson, NY.  Like I did back in May of 2015.
               Since I bought a slider in camper for my truck, storage space is at a premium.  Camper makes it very doable for quick hitter getaway trips for load and go!

1/25/17  Big water fishing is not logical.  For instance, we've all heard, "match the hatch."  This turned out to be a fairy tale on my July trip to MI's UP back last July. 
               There were massive schools of Alewives in the 2 to 3 inch sizes.  Logic says my smaller 4.0 Salmon Buster™ spoons would be the hot ticket ...wrong! Click 7/20/16 box
               All the big adult Kings wanted the larger 4.65 Busters.  So much for the "match the hatch" theory.  Using logic delayed us getting on the right program.  Trial and error put us onto a pretty decent box of Kings and Steelhead.
Click for proven spoons  
               A lot of this year's spoon deal came from what was learned on this trip. Taking the experimentation out of the equation for you ...about what's proven to work!

1/24/17  Need to defer today's chat until later, maybe tomorrow.  Got hit with a pile of orders last night.  Busy making tackle don't leave time for much else.  This is a good thing!

1/23/17  As mentioned yesterday, getting out of your comfort zone leads to better things.  During my UP trip last July got a firm grip on how to fish my larger 4.65 spoons. 
              We were dealing with Kings up high (top 40') in the warm side of temp in the low 60s to high 50s.  Oh, contraire to my bread and butter program of Kings in 38 to 50 degree water in a highly tuned meat program did not work on these fish.
              Never seen juveniles mixed in with adult Kings up in warm 60 degree water.  But that's where the bait was, and so were the fish!
              This is major part the reason behind this year's spoon deal.  A variety of deadly spoons proven to work in all conditions. Click 17 spoons for 2017 reel-deal  
                              Tomorrow? ...no rules, & does size matter?

1/22/17  1st month of official winter is done.  With January on the way out, this extended warm spell has allowed me to catch up on painted spoons.  These were in short supply.
               My job is all about time management and planning.  Having time freed up allows for out of town fishing events that I'm looking forward to. 
              Going to new areas presents reel-knowledge to be filed away for future reference.  Getting out of your comfort zone always leads to better things!

1/21/17  Best part of 50 degrees for Manistee, MI today!  This is exactly what we need to stave off a complete freeze over in Lk. MI.  Open water provides more sunlight penetration that keeps the whole food chain going.
               My season begins in about 7 weeks when I head to the S end of Lk. MI for the early season Coho fishery down by Chicago.  Lots to do so I can take a few days off!

1/20/17  Happy Friday!  Above freezing temps for the most part continue in Manistee, MI. 
               Today's featured pic is good news from the N end of Lk. MI at Escanaba.  Seems there's a lot of Alewives around according to ice fishermen.  The girth shows a fat healthy Alewife ready to provide a meal for Salmon & Trout. Click for this photo

1/19/17  It goes without saying anything to do with ice fishing is going to be very questionable with this extended warm up.  Be very-very careful!
               Should have the new die cuts of the reel-minnow image in-hand by Friday, according to the tracking number.  Will be shipping the in-demand BBS spoons next week.

1/18/17  The new 2017 Blue Back Shiner (BBS) reel-image Salmon Buster™ spoons are in the process of being restocked.  I will have a limited supply available for shipping by the first part of next week.  Click to purchase these new BBS spoons
               Time expenditure on my new article is a lot.  Putting thoughts down in print is only one part of this effort.  Working with the 13 photos in this new work requires captions to tie things together is another part of the time invested.  Formatting is the fun part any article, but it's time consuming.  Getting to chose the layout is what I like best!
              Here's where the internet pays dividends when compared to paper magazine print articles.  Having info at your finger tips with a click can't be beat!

1/17/17  Putting the finishing touches on a 3000 word written article about the dilemma we all face when it comes to where to fish.  There will be a companion video that provides verification.  I like to provide proof for my articles.  This way you know it's not BS.
         Past the hump in January.  Once January is over, the 2017 season speeds up a lot.

1/16/17  This week's major January thaw is very good news.  This extended warm spell will probably melt most of the snow cover.  There's maybe 6" of snow in Manistee, MI now.
               Low on several items that require airbrushing.  Warm weather helps with the heating bill.  Because the exhaust fan sucks all the paint fumes/heat out of the shop.
               Best part of this warming trend it will help hold back some of the ice cover on Lk. MI.  We want open water for oxygen content and sun penetration to help the food chain.

1/15/17  Have a great Sunday.  A warming trend is on the way!

1/14/17  Lots going on this weekend for the looming 2017 season.  Fishing show at Novi, MI and the Sea Grant Workshop in Ludington, MI are major events.
              Did the spring sport show circuit from 1983 thru 2008 that take a major commitment in time, energy, and money.  Something I no longer have the desire to do.
              Getting a booth at a 4 day sport show is not cheap.  I'd estimate it would be the best part of 2 grand for 20' of floor space.  More if it's a prime corner 2 aisle setup.
              Then, add another 300, or more for electric and a phone line to run a credit card machine.   Add in motel, help, travel expenses, and you're over 4k before you enter into the black.  Like I said, doing shows requires a big outlay of dough.

1/13/17  Friday the 13th could be reason to skip today's chat.  After 13 days, finally over the year 2016 that was stuck in my mind when I write checks, or fill out forms.
               This is a good thing, because it signals the time to move forward with great anticipation for the 2017 season.  Last year turned out better then expected.  Let's hope 2017 does the same, as we look towards the future!

1/12/17  Looks like a welcomed January thaw for Manistee, MI beginning this coming Monday.  Busy restocking Salmon Buster™ spoons.  75% of my spoon business are orders from repeat customers that have purchased my SBs before.

1/11/17  Ludington Regional Fishery Workshop will happen this Saturday.  Registration to attend for the event is closed according to their webpage.  Last year there were videos posted online of the MDNR/Sea Grant presentations.  If this happens again, links will be posted to this all important information.
               About 60 days to my first fishing event of 2017.  In the mean time, building inventory will be job 1.  So, I can take a week off in mid-March.  Time off is a good thing.  Time off to go fishing is even better.

1/10/17  Added October, November and December 2016 to the past results archive.  Now there's 17 seasons with daily copies of my Captain's Log.  I prefer log over blog which sounds like a creature from a B movie.  Besides, my January 2000 log predates the word blog by 3 years.  So, I've earned the right to call it what I want.  Click all Past Results
              Past results are valuable resource for me when I need research from years gone by.  Verifying information is another plus from my log. Click Oct, Nov & Dec 2016

1/9/17  Almost a third thru January.  Our darkest and longest month of winter.  Once we get thru January, the rest of the winter is a piece of cake.
            Still sorting out my mental notes from my July trip to Manistique in MI's UP to the most northernmost part of Lk. MI.  It took me a while to catch on to the program. 
            In fact, it was more like fishing Lk. Huron in the 1980s, when being hot on speed was the reel deal (2.5-3.0 mph).  Click 7/19/16 MI UP King Salmon
            Do know, it pays to be versatile and not get locked into any one certain program.  Wasted the best part of a morning before the key to the lock was found.
            In retrospect, this trip set the plate for the rest of my summer fishing trips with the discovery of the effectiveness of blue-green glow Ghostbuster pattern
            Plan on going back to this port in 2017, but as little earlier before tournament boats practice fish for an end of July event.  If you wrongfully think like I did? ...the UP didn't have a lot of big water boats, guess again.  Because it was more crowded than Manistee.

1/8/17  The new 2017 BBS, or Blue Back Shiner has sold out. Trying to get more reel-photo die cuts to make more.  In the dead of winter? ...this is reely-amazing!

1/7/17  Have a great weekend!

1/6/17  Many things in the tackle business are befuddling.  I've yet to figure out why most other spoon manufacturers use chrome plated steel split rings. 
             Then, in such a teeny-tiny size that inhibits slow speed action.  Not to mention, most do not use nose split rings.  So, you have to fumble around trying to run snap swivel thru a very small hole in spoon when it's dark. Click rusty steel split rings
              I lay no claim to the sharpest tool in the shed, but know common sense things like stainless steel never rusts and holds up better over the long haul.
              For just a few pennies more stainless steel split rings makes a better spoon and that's what I use all Salmon Buster™ spoons.  Along with good sized nose split rings for your snap swivels.  Also, size matters and that's only one of the reasons my split rings are larger.

1/5/17  Introduced a lot of new tackle over the many seasons since the year 2000.  Never has there been an offseason response/demand for the reel minnow spoon.  This Salmon Buster™ spoon features a live image of a Blue Back Herring, a cousin to our Great Lakes Alewives.  This spoon was recently tested on Lewis Smith Lake in Alabama and caught stripers.  Adhesive on the vinyl image held up well during the testing phase.
             As things stand, until I can get more herring die cuts, this is a limited time offer.
These new 2017 Salmon Buster™ spoons are available now by: Clicking Here

1/4/17  My season starts in about 70 days with a trip S to East Chicago, IN on, or about 3/15/17.  Tried to squeeze this in last year.  Too busy in the shop prevented this.
             Great thing about the "offseason" is that it allows reflection on the past.  One of the best parts is the planning the new reel stories to happen in the future. 
            Admittedly, I'm a lot more geeked up about chasing big water fish than many of you.  Please keep in mind, I work with fishing tackle everyday.  So, it's easy for me to stay on point about fishing 24/7!

1/3/17  First reel work day of the new 2017 season.  Right now this year is an unwritten book full of blank pages.  It will be interesting to see how it plays out.
             2016 was the year of the Ghostbuster pattern for me.  This was not planned.  This hot lure selection was born out of sheer desperation.  We were running out of daylight and needed fish in the worst way to top off a decent box on 7/1916 on my trip to MI's UP.
          Now, I have a proven "go to" weapon that will serve me well in the future!

1/2/17  First day of 2017 greeted Manistee, MI with temps in the low 40 degree range.  We've got about 7-8 weeks of hard winter on the horizon before weather turns toward spring.  Figure total fall-winter snowfall at my place in Manistee is around 40" thus far.
             Days are are finally getting longer.  Hoping for a moderate winter and Lk. MI does not freeze completely over.  Time will tell the reel story as we march to the future.

1/1/17  Happy New Year

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2017 Results
January, February & March

2016 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

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