October, November & December 2019
10/10/19 Arcadia Lk.
10/20/19 Manistee Lk.
Lk. MI Steelhead
Lk. MI Steelhead
12/31/19 Out with the
old and in with the new. Future holds good
things for the Great Lake Salmon fleet. WI has
kicked their King stocking levels up a lot. MI
has raised their King/Chinook planting efforts too,
but on a smaller scale.
12/30/19 Looking forward
to putting 2019 in the rear view. Know 2020
stands to be a good chance for better fishing
results. At least I hope so.
12/29/19 Posted a photo
of John J took on his boat in August of 2006.
Pretty sure these are the 1st Kings caught on our
prototype Super Mag Heads that would go into
production. JJ and I took our (then) 6 King
limit in around 2 hours aboard his boat, the "Megan
Ann" a 23' Four Winns. Don't think we ever got
4 lines in the water.
12/28/19 Have a great
weekend as 2019 is almost in the history books.
2019 was not a banner year for yours truly. It
started off terrible with the loss of my longtime
friend John J last March. John Johnson had a
lot on the ball in the smarts department. He
had an innate ability to quickly solve problems I
came to rely on.
12/27/19 New record high temp for Manistee, MI is 55° happened yesterday.
Old record was 51°. More mild winter weather
is in our future and that's a good thing!
12/26/19 In the process
of installing a water separating fuel filter in my
16' Grumman tin boat. After seeing the water
in this same kind of filter in my 22' Sea Ray, this
is a wise move to keep the grief meter at zero for
2020. Best part about these filters?
...assemblies cost is under 30 bucks and 2 bolts to
Click water separating filter
12/25/19 Hope Santa was good to you and is throughout 2020, Merry Christmas.
12/24/19 Merry Christmas to all!
12/23/19 Wow, yesterday,
it touched 48° at my place in Manistee County, MI.
Great time to move forward with my detailed
preseason project list for 2020.
12/22/19 While official
winter is only a day old, it's been winter in
Manistee since the beginning of November.
Today is the first time we'll have above freezing
(32°) for a full day in a long time. Looks
like our January thaw has came early.
12/21/19 My favorite Day
in December. Being the 1st day of winter
2019-2020. We have to get thru winter before
we can open water fish again. Tomorrow there
will be one less day of the winter to deal with and
that's good news!
12/20/19 2019 was the
first year I can remember when my boat's fish
production fell below 1 fish and hour (lines in the
water). This was my fault by never targeting
Lake Trout in the early season. Kept looking
for non-existent Browns in April. Never even
caught one in 3 trips. Kings in May were in
extremely short supply, like next to none.
12/19/19 The 2020 roll
out of our new Smart A.I. Salmon Buster™ Spoons that
we've been working on all of the 2019 season has
been accomplished. In traditional spoondom
there's never been anything that's even remotely
close to our A.I. spoons. New is good.
New and proven to catch fish is even better!
Click for today's photo
12/18/19 Just going to coast today on autopilot before archiving the 2020 Smart Spoon video. Click for this video
12/17/19 Most difficult
thing with the video about our Smart Salmon Buster™
spoon was doing it in one continuous scene.
This is what you see? ..is what you get with no
video hanky-panky edits to enhance our 2020 spoons.
Keeping everything reel honest and then, proving it
to you is very important to me.
12/15/19 Listing the
ports my trailer boat has visited to today's chat.
E Chicago, IN, Burns Ditch, IN. MI ports of:
New Buffalo, Pentwater, Ludington, Manistee,
Onekama, Arcadia, Frankfort, Leland, Manistique,
Rogers City, E Grand Traverse Bay. Lk Ontario
out of Wilson NY and Munising on Lk. Superior.
That's 16 wonderful and different ports.
12/14/19 Finished the
tune-up on my 1979 22' Sea Ray trailer boat.
Had to install the spark plug wires twice.
Purchased a set of 10.5mm thinking thicker would be
12/13/19 Think in 2019
the central Lk. MI ports Manistee & Ludington hit
the bottom of the barrel as far a King Salmon
fishing goes. Frankfort did fare a bit better.
tackle for 2020 will come to an end today with our
delivery of Super Snubbers™. We were out of
green snubbers and low on black. Keeping all
items in stock is an ongoing process that takes up a
lot of time.
12/11/19 Been thinking
about my best fishing trips in 2019. 1st was
Rogers City, MI on Lk. Huron. Had a huge
amount of local support and the chance to meet
Julie, the MDNR creel census taker I've spoken with,
almost since the inception of this website back in
the early i2ks. Kings we caught there
were a tremendous bonus. Fishing off Lk.
Huron's Adams Point and the Ocqueoc River were
always on my check list.
factor behind tuning-up my 1979 Sea Ray boat's
motor? ...it was becoming harder and harder to
start. Water in the fuel played a part in
12/9/19 Today's featured
photo is the contents of the water separating fuel
filter I recently changed. My boat was made in
later 1970s about the time corn based ethanol was
being developed that grew into a government mandate.
Water in the gas was a bigger problem back than.
Ethanol mixes with water, gas does not.
12/8/19 Boat maintenance day. All tune-up items, dist. cap, rotor, plugs, plug wires and water separating fuel filter are on the list. Know the pole barn will be chilly, but I want this job out of the way. 2020 season that has begun as early as March 12th for me out of Manistee is about 100 and some days out. Click water separating fuel filter
12/7/19 Pearl Harbor
Day. It's plainly clear the WI DNR does not
share the MI DNR's fish stocking austerity program
that has knee capped MI fishermen.
Click WI fish plants
12/6/19 If today's
update about the bright outlook from Wisconsin DNR
Fisheries don't open your eyes to the lackluster
performance of the Dexter regime at the Michigan DNR
Fisheries Division, nothing will!
Click WI DNR stocking projections to 2022
12/5/19 Posted a photo
of an old vs. new distributor cap. Old cap is
still decent and the motor ran fine. Not much
wear from electrical arc buildup. Old cap can
be put right by lightly scraping the contact
terminals. I opted for new and know I'll get
2-3 years of service from a new cap and rotor.
old vs. new dist. cap
12/4/19 Posted a photo
of the spark plug firing order on pre-LS GM V8s.
In the process of doing a tune-up on my 1979
Mercruiser 350 GM small block.
firing order pic
12/3/19 Been dealing
with Murphy's law. Main computer's power
supply was touch and go after all the electrical
issues we've dealt with since Thanksgiving.
Backup computer's power supply is acting up too.
Don't know if this is from existing on home
generated Generac electrical system. Back on
the grid as of 5pm today. Think I narrowed it
down to the backup battery system both boxes run on.
Everything is fine now.
12/2/19 Still on generator power. Yesterday's ice, then wet snow storm has several trees down. Internet has been sketchy at best. Cyber Monday sale is going good and thanks to all that have purchased our tackle. Orders are running a day, or two behind due the recent storm and an unreliable internet connection. No credit cards will billed until we see a clear window to ship. Click for 20% at www.michiganangler.com
12/1/19 Second major snowfall event of the season. On backup Generac power again. Was forced into buying this home generator system, because the "Green Acres" substand utilities we have in rural Manistee County. No internet or TV. Satellite dishes are covered with wet heavy snow delaying this morning's chat.
11/30/19 Working on our webstore today to make sure the spoon pages are working as intended. Trying to figure out the best way to display the new 2020 A.I. spoon selections. Call them A.I. because the clear holographic lure tape turns itself on and off like an artificial intelligent blinking head light. This ice chip Mylar is the most expensive we've ever purchased. Looking at shooting a video to better explain this if time allows.
11/29/19 From today Black Friday thru Cyber Monday a special discount of 20% applies to all webstore items. Enter the code: 2020 during the checkout to receive 20% off all orders over $50. Orders might take us a day or 2 longer to ship. So, please don't expect same day shipping, but we'll try. This is a new untested promo code. Any ordering issues contact me ASAP.
Thanksgiving to all! I'm sure my Thanksgiving
will be a lot better than my neighbors unless they
have a generator. Been on home powered Generac
system since 4am this morning. Consumers says
the juice will come back on at 5am tomorrow morning.
11/27/19 Today's temps
in the mid 40s is a good day for boat maintenance.
Distributor cap, rotor and new spark plug wires are
on the menu. Click
spark plug firing order
11/26/19 Usual set for
summer Kings on my boat is a 6 rod spread.
This is a lot smaller then the charter boat I
skippered from 1983 thru 2003. Look at the
Great Lakes Salmon fleet. Most of the boats
are under 25' long and do not run 12 rods, or more.
11/25/19 Know it's not
very exciting looking at the pic of restocking black
Dipsy diver rings. Also, know what they're
capable is. 2 to 1 diver ratio dialed one for
11/24/19 Accomplished a
lot this past week. We'll be shipping out our
first large order of 2020 X-Glow Magnum meat heads
soon. Super Snubbers™ are well on their way to
being restocked for the new season. 3D printed
diver rings are moving along nicely too.
myself with the 3D printing software to make black
diver rings that are currently out of stock.
Out of stock is good, because it shows fishermen are
buying them. Never intended to make a lot of
money on the 3D diver rings. Saw this as a way
to recoup the pricy 3k investment in the 3D printer.
11/22/19 Truth in
advertizing is a bunch of BS most of the time.
Case in point? Look at Big Mac shown on TV.
Then, unwrap one that looks like it was put together
by a blind monkey and ran over by a herd of
11/21/19 Longtime friend
and my former UPS driver, Ludington's Capn. Kirk
shot a decent Mason County, MI 8 pt buck.
Showing he's not only a good early and late Lk. MI
specialist, he's pretty darn good at deer hunting.
11/20/19 The sage of day
3 of purchasing restocking inventory for 2020
continues. Now, it's the back and forth
chasing your tail emails trying to fix what's out of
11/19/19 There's a lot
of moving pieces and parts in my tackle
manufacturing business. By parts, mean
suppliers that provide us with with components to
complete tackle. Most of these suppliers do
not do retail sales to the public. If they
did? ...they'd go broke.
11/18/19 Quest to
restock for the 2020 season continues with snubbers
and diver rings. Sold out of green Super
Snubbers™ and black 3D printed diver rings.
11/17/19 Clean and
organize the work areas in our tackle building shop
is front row and center for today. Gearing up
for 2020 meat head production is the reason.
11/16/19 Our 2020 season
begins for reel this week. New stock of meat
heads will be in-house soon. By count, heads
are our biggest seller, because they're purchased 2
to 4 at a time. Several meat rig manufacturers
use our heads too.
opening day for deer. The bill to legalize
deer baiting is awaiting the MI governor to sign it.
So, for now baiting is still illegal.
11/14/19 Just a thought,
about the onset winter beginning a good month ahead
of normal. It sure would be nice, if spring
2020 came a month ahead of time. Breaking for the
good in early March. Instead of later April
like it has over the past 5 years.
11/13/19 Lake effect
piled up a good foot of snow at my place in Manistee
County, MI yesterday. Some parts of Leelanau
County W of Traverse City, MI got of 30 inches.
So, a foot of the white stuff is tolerable with the
11/12/19 2019 season is
in the history books for me. Now, it's time to
make plans for the 2020 season. Looking at
DeTour, MI either in early May, or the 3rd week of
June for Atlantic Salmon. The DeTour Passage
is in fairly sheltered waters unless there's a big
blow from the S. My research shows there is a
marina and a campground S of town.
11/11/19 Veterans Day.
A perfect time to thank Wayne J for fishing with me
in 2019. Life has taken a toll on my former
boat mates and it was nice to have Wayne aboard.
Plus, Wayne is a Vietnam era Air Force vet that flew
on a B52.
11/10/19 Weather for the first part of next week is exactly what I don't want. 2020 heads are in production and will need to be picked up. This means a trip to S of St. Joe down US31 where lake effect snow can and will make driving treacherous. So, it's batten down the hatches and get ready for winter with more snow and low temps in the low 10s.
11/9/19 A big thanks to
Wayne J, we have close up photos of Sally the one
eyed Salmon. I never noticed her jaw had been
ripped off. It was getting dark and we had
another fish on. The torn off jaw caused a
flap to cover and blind her left eye.
11/8/19 Abruptly, it's
turned into full winter in Manistee, MI.
There's been no slow transition into snow and icy
roads. Not much on the horizon that says
improving weather is on the way next week.
Only colder and more snow is in our near future.
11/7/19 Technical difficulties with snow and ice on my satellite internet connection prevented my normal early morning chat. Be back tomorrow with a big thank you to Wayne J for being my fishing partner last season.
11/6/19 Shut our poll
down about your best method to catch adult Salmon
around 5pm yesterday. Spoons came in 1st, meat
was 2nd (combined whole & strips) and flasher/fly
was a close 3rd. Biggest trend I've seen since
2003 is how J-Plugs have fell out of favor even
though, plugs are deadly in August.
Click for 2003-2019 poll
pulled the plug on the 2019 season by removing the
boat plug. Predicted temps for the next 7 to
10 days is going to be 10° to 15° below normal.
Took down and stored the electronics in my house to
eliminate electrical vampires.
11/4/19 Last halfway
decent day this week before we switch into winter.
New time is difficult for me to adjust to.
Being an early riser, what used to be 4am is now
11/3/19 Changed up the
poll slightly to differentiate cut bait, or strips
compared to whole bait. Will post the results
tomorrow once a 100 plus votes are cast.
11/2/19 Installed our
annual poll that began back in 2003 about your best
method to catch adult Salmon. For me it was
whole bait with spoons a close second. Once an
adequate sample has been gained results will be
published on the Poll Page
11/1/19 A preview of
winter has descended on Manistee, MI. Snow and
cool weather is predicted to last thru all of next
week. Next Thursday will be the 1st time we
don't reach above the 32° freezing mark. Did
get out the snow shovel yesterday to clear about an
inch of the white stuff off my entry ways.
Kicker is official winter is about 2 months away.
95% of my winterizing projects were done before this
cold snap set in.
afternoon, fished out of my home port of Manistee,
MI from about 1pm thru 6pm with Wayne J, aka soon to
be Santa Claus. This trip was about looking
for bait as much as it was about trying to catch
fish. Did see some bait, but not a lot in the
90' to 110' depths. We trolled from
Guerney Creek towards Big Point Sable.
10/30/19 Web transition
to a secure server, there are issues with this I'm
still working thru. Went to secure even though
there are no passwords involved to view this site.
Walleye inline planer boards to suit Lk. MI surface
trolling had to relocated the rear tow hole by
moving to the back of the board. This helps
eliminate some of the water drag when the board
trips as you wind in the board.
10/28/19 Posted a
comparison photos of Walleye vs. Salmon & Trout
setups. The first and last month of my Lk. MI
season is mostly taking fish off the surface.
Spent about an hour changing our Yellow Boards into
boards the fish can trip. Rather than the
awkward process fighting the board back to the boat
10/27/19 Working on tomorrow's update about inline planer boards. Inlines setup for Walleye slow trolling do not work for Salmon and Trout. Fighting the board all the way back to the boat is an obnoxious way to fish. Then, removing the board to continue the fish fight is an unneeded process. This way might be OK for copper and lead core lines, but not surface rods, on mono, towing spoons that take violent hits. Standby for photo "how to."
10/26/19 Have a great
weekend! Came to the conclusion is takes a lot
longer to get ready for winter then it does spring.
Boats, camper and underground water lines need to be
winterized. Heating with wood, the chimney
needs to be cleaned, and 12 face cords are to be
stacked. Snow plow must be in tip top shape to
deal with the white stuff. Good news is most
of this has done long before the weather turns into
inventory demand on meat heads ranks X-Glow green
number 1. SUV (Super UV/daylight blue glow) as
2 and Pearl as number 3.
10/24/19 Manistee, MI's
1st Street Public Launch is down to only one dock as
the 2019 season is coming to an end. Recent
gale force winds and high water has pushed a lot of
debris into Lk. MI (mostly trees). Seen this
stuff piled up on the S 1st Street and N 5th Avenue
beaches with the web cams Manistee kindly provides.
Click for beach cams
10/23/19 Ordering heads
for the 2020 season today. Did meat head
inventory twice as a double check. This is an
arduous spreadsheet process that I dread.
10/22/19 Ludington, MI's
Capn. Kirk caught a coupe of Steelhead this past
Sunday. One of the hens was extra plump that
showed no signs of a food shortage. Capn. Kirk
is as good as it gets, for early and late season
fishing when the majority of the fleet is not
10/21/19 Yesterday's Lk.
MI fishing trip did not go as planned. Wayne J
and I were greeted by sloppy W seas in the 2'-3'
range off the Manistee's First Street Beach.
Making a N-S troll direction out of the question for
shooting quality video.
10/20/19 Fishing today. Either Manistee Lk, or Lk. MI.
10/19/19 Worked on
charging action cam batteries. Li-ion
batteries discharge over time & must be care for.
Hoping for a good video shoot on late season Lk. MI
10/18/19 Weekend edition. Plan 1 is tom fish Lk. MI on Sunday. If the lake cooperates? Plan 2 is to do a few laps around the S end of Manistee Lk where the Little Manistee Rivers enters this body of water. Included in Plan 2 is to get drone video of the mouth of the river to add to the footage shot at the LMR Harvest Weir.
afternoon spend a couple-three hours transitioning
my boat back to fish the top 30' of water.
Wire divers, copper rods, meat tackle, and braid
rigger rods have been stowed. Remembered to
back off the drags to preserve reel serviceability.
10/16/19 Ordering meat
heads for the 2020 season is front row and center.
This means rough note counts transferred into Excel
spreadsheets. There's is a lot to keep track
10/15/19 Coldest night of fall 2019 at my place in Manistee County, MI. This morning it was 32°. Been waiting for a NW blow to bring cold water to central LK. MI. Today's gale warning let's me shift focus back to Lk. MI. Previously, it was all warm water. 60° & above on the surface. Here's today's weather warning the spells out was constitutes a gale:
10/14/19 CYA we all know
what that means. This is what's happening at
the Little Manistee River Harvest Weir when the MDNR
says they keep the weir open for early and late
arriving Kings. These fish are not counted in
the total captured.
10/13/19 The Little
Manistee River is scheduled to receive 78k more
Chinooks/King Salmon for 2020. So, the
previous 150k level jumps to 228k.
Click 2020 King stocking info
10/12/19 Doing research
for voice-overs for the recent drone video of the
Little Manistee River Harvest Weir. There's
5-6 minutes that need narration
another specie off the list our Salmon Buster™
spoons we've caught. Took a decent Northern
Pike of the Gold Bullet SB 4.0 50' back with a 6 oz.
Bomb weight down about 10' over 20' of water.
This fish hit like a ton of bricks & put up a dandy
10/10/19 Too nice a day
is predicted not to go fishing. Hope to find
some Perch willing to bite. Just need a day
off with some rods in the water.
10/9/19 October weather
in Manistee has been a blessing thus far.
Current temps around 70° are going to be in short
supply soon. Postponed editing the drone
footage to take advantage of completing several "get
ready for winter" projects.
10/8/19 Today's top
photo show the tech that goes into capturing drone
video. A drone as a mobile flying platform
with a bird's eye view. This adds depth to
video that not seen in on a flat plane, or a the
ground point of vision.
Click video tech stuff
10/7/19 Today I hope I'm
wrong. Oh, do I hope I'm wrong. My
Friday afternoon trip to the Little Manistee River
Weir was a huge disappointment ...to say the least!
10/6/19 A wet September
has filled the rivers and streams in Manistee with a
lot of run off. This year was the highest
water level on Pine Creek since I began taking
photos of the same gravel bar going back to 2007.
High stained water made it a lot harder to get a
reel-count on the Kings that were spawning. My
unscientific observation is there were slightly
fewer fish then witnessed last year.
Click Pine Creek photos &
10/4/19 Today's chat is postponed for Salmon watching road trips today.
10/3/19 Posted a pic of
the 1998 16' Grumman Aluminum with a 40 hp Johnson
Outboard purchased off Craig's List for $4500.
This boat will allow more days on the water.
Especially, during the fall with Lk. MI's winds are
10/2/19 Lost day due to rain. Working on replacing underground cable from the house to sat dish. Rain, rain, go away and come again another day.
10/1/19 Opening day for
bow season in MI. This is the year the MDNR
banned baiting deer in most circumstances in an
effort to curtail CWD. See this as a smoke
screen that will do not much to stop this disease,
but will stop hunting.
bait info video
Continued below back to the year 2000:
For complete results of all fishing trips, fishing reports & general info