July, August & September 2020
7/4/20 Manistee, MI
BTI Flasher/Fly Combo
8/13/20 Frankfort, MI
Lk. MI Salmon
Manistee, MI am trip
Julie S Rogers City, MI
Lk. Huron Sept. Steelhead
Click here for my first Salmon I caught on Oct. 1, 1968
Daily Log Entries
9/30/20 Shopping for a decent
day to fish Lk. MI for fall Steelhead. This is
predominately a surface fishery when you target the
top 30' of water. Most of the hits will come
in the top 5' to 10' off the planer boards, or
'birds" aka (surface side planers).
9/29/20 Leaving the torture test video front row and center for another day.
9/28/20 Torture test
video update show the abuse our tackle can take and
survive. This was a fun shoot where I learned
Salmon Buster™ spoon are darn near unbreakable when
we rolled a 5800 pound Ford F250 Super Duty over
9/27/20 Best report on
Lk. MI right now is the Perch fishing at Michigan
City, IN Heard 25' to 40' of water. The
Perch fleet is out in force.
Click Lk. MI
9/26/20 The China virus
limited my days on the water. Yesterday's
observations were based on 4 times off the dock in
August. This is not a large sample size, but I
used some of the info gleaned off our message board
to come up with averages.
9/24/20 Reporting on
what I saw and heard during my few times off the
dock this year about the state of our King Salmon
fishery leaves a lot to be desired. If you had
5 Kings out of any central Lk. MI port on the MI
side? ...you were at the top of the heap.
9/23/20 Video torture test is in the can awaiting editing. Knew my meat heads would survive, but not sure about our Salmon Buster™ spoons. Pleasantly amazed when a SB 4.0 passed the test. Used a Super Duty F250 weighing 5800 pounds with tire pressure at 65 pounds as our test vehicle to drive over the tackle. Click spoon abuse
9/22/20 Summer 2020 is
officially in the history books with today being the
1st day of fall. This summer had plenty of
heat and rain for my garden. Surprising thing:
as warm as it was, Lk. MI never had a consistent
Click Lk. Huron Steelhead
yesterday by swapping out old fluorescent tube
lights to LEDs. Instant on, no annoying hum
and 50% cheaper to operate makes this a no brainer.
9/20/20 Good day to take off. Have an awesome idea for a new video shoot I hope to complete today. Check back tomorrow to see what's planned.
9/19/20 Found some ball
head plastic pins that can replace toothpicks.
Size is a firm fit in the mag meat heads.
While not water tested, know these pins will work.
This is small upgrade to our product line to make it
easier to use.
Click for these pins
9/18/20 Possible 1st frost of this fall and the seasons are changing. Need to think long and hard about what I saw on my few days on the water about sport fleet averages. I'll try to piece this together & share it with you Monday. Just don't have a easy answer yet.
9/17/20 For me it's time
to put away the attractors and get ready for fall
Lk. MI Steelhead. Hopefully we'll have a few
days this fall to deal with these rockets.
While this fishery will never compete against the
hunting season, for me it's a personal favorite.
9/16/20 Last evening's
wind took out Consumer Power electrical lines
someplace. This is a reoccurring theme for
those of us who live in rural America. We are
under served with no internet unless you pay thru
the nose for satellite.
9/15/20 Next 5 days will
be devoted to painting 12" Mamba flashers while it's
still warm enough to do so. Not my favorite
thing to do, but I'll soldier thru it. Now is
the time for this job. Production painting
when it's winter means all the warm air get's sucked
out to the shop by the exhaust fan to clear paint
9/14/20 Last Friday
morning, Wayne J and I cleared the pier heads in
Manistee, MI just as daylight was approaching.
There were 10-12 boat working the waters within a
mile of the harbor. We made a long pass to the
S, then to the N and seen nary a fish caught.
We were hoping for a hero for anybody to net a fish.
This didn't happen.
9/13/20 Tomorrow a fish report from last Friday's video shoot from Manistee, MI.
Video shoot was in prefect conditions with gin clear
water N of Manistee, MI in front of Orchard Beach
State Park. E wind kept the inshore water calm
enough to get precise SOG (speed of ground) readings
from the GPS. Video speeds were from 1.5, 1.8,
2.0 and 2.2 mph. All prime attractor speeds
for deep 100' down fishing.
9/11/20 Video day on Lk. MI. Going to try to finish what I started last Saturday. Focus is on speed and various turn rates of meat heads. Hope it's flat enough to do this.
9/10/20 King Salmon eggs
are less than 0.300 of an inch in diameter (0.283"
to be exact). In 4 to 5 years these eggs can
produce Kings that are 38", or longer. 38"
Kings are usually around 25 pounds (approx).
One small Salmon egg will increase 126 times from
it's original size. Based on yearly growth
it's over 25 times.
Click egg diameter
9/9/20 Cool, wet and
rainy today that's more representative of
mid-October weather. This is only a preview of
what's to come as fall weather systems advance.
9/8/20 Posted a pic of
potential new XG-colors for 2021. There's been
quite and improvement in the spectrum of glow colors
in the past few years. Downside is the cost
that's at least triple the price of normal
Click P21 glow colors
9/7/20 Have a great
Labor Day 2020! The unofficial end of summer
is here and it came to fast for your truly.
This summer flew by for my solo tackle manufacturing
operation. I feel a sense of pride being able
to keep up and maintain fast shipping.
9/6/20 One of my
shortest Lk. MI trips out of Manistee, MI ever.
In 3 hours, from the time I left home, till the boat
was back in the barn. This included gassing up
the boat, launching, going out to 200' of water and
putting the boat back in the pole barn.
9/5/20 Hoping it lays down enough to fish this afternoon to shoot underwater video. It has to be fairly calm to make quality vids. There's a large band of water 54° to 52° down 50' to 70' at Big Point Sable at 5pm. This is an attractive comfort zone for staging Salmon. How long this temp lasts could be fleeting. After today, wind and rain are going to make it difficult to get on the pond for the remainder of next week.
9/4/20 Have a safe and
great Labor Day Weekend. We all need time off
from the daily grind, including myself.
Several tasks need to be completed as work continues
9/3/20 As this season
winds down need to set the wheels in motion for next
year. Have a window to paint thru mid-October.
Entire Mamba collection must be painted. This
a time consuming job. Painted spoons will be
9/2/20 My skills on
catching cold water Salmon in the top 30' are still
non-existent is the not-so-good news from yesterday
morning. Part of this is my fault. Just
don't have it in me to do harbor patrol and combat
fish among other boats.
9/1/20 1st day of September. Taking the day off for "on the water" color tests for P21 for 2021. Testing is a experiment with control factors in fair head to head match-ups. This not production fishing. The outcome is far more important than the fish count.
8/31/20 Central Lk. MI
rolled over with cold water to the top 30'.
Yesterday's Manistee tournament was a struggle for
many of the contestants with the temp break being
10' down. These are tough conditions to target
high spooky King Salmon.
8/30/20 Too windy to
fish out of Manistee, MI yesterday. Lumpy
early this morning, then the wind is supposed to lay
down by this evening.
8/29/20 Taking this weekend off for personal projects that will be explained in due time. Been burning the candle at both ends for new concepts in colors for 2021. Wind looks favorable tomorrow afternoon for a new Manistee fish report Monday.
Looks like I survived our busiest month's of season
solo. Solo is not of my choosing born out of
measures to avoid the China virus entering my
8/27/20 We're entering the season of wind when days afloat on the Great Lakes are going to be scarce. Now, instead of looking for a string days with comfortable seas, we're looking for 1/2 day windows when fishing is enjoyable. Still have several things on my check list with the 2020 Salmon season left to do. If, and when Lk. MI cooperates?
8/26/20 Have an
interesting photo of the King's innards we caught 2
days ago that I'll share with you soon. This
hen was full of eggs and her stomach shrunk to the
non-feeding mode to swallow baitfish. This
stomach processed 100s of pounds of bait.
8/25/20 Adversity and
how well we handle it, defines us. Yesterday
was full of a lot of grief when Wayne J and I had
the auto pilot blow a hose and the boat did a fast
spinning 360. Running over our planer board's
tag lines and stitching 2 wire divers into the
rigger cables. OK, that's enough of the not so
Click 8/24/20 King
8/24/20 Taking today off for personal business. Will be working on orders this afternoon and shipping tomorrow.
8/23/20 Posted a
photo of Wayne J's 13.5 Master Angler sized Coho
Salmon. This fish hit a 10" BTI XG Froggie
Combo (flasher/2 fly meat rig™) down about 80' over
150' of water. This fatso Coho looked like it
swallowed a football.
Click 13.5 lb. Coho
8/22/20 Think we all
need to remind ourselves, when we're not over fish
it's going to be a slow grind. Don't blame
yourself, or look for flaws in your program when
there's a total lack of fish in the area you fished.
In my 12 hours with lines in the water last week,
only seen a few fish landed by other boats in spite
of being in eye-shot of several.
8/21/20 Featured pic of
the day shows regular and side scan images of large
schools of bait. Side scan helps pin point
which side of the boat where the bait is the
thickest. Today's sonar is capable beyond my
wildest dreams when I began in 1968. Ran the
side scan 455kz to see if we were missing marks.
Click dual sonars marking bait
8/20/20 Either I suck at
fishing, or the fishing sucked. Probably a
little of both. NE wind the pervious night
rolled over colder waters near shore. During
the course of the morning surface temp went from 66°
to 61°. Thermocline was high, like 20'-25'
down. So, these conditions were far from
ideal. Never the less, enjoyed being on the
8/19/20 Too windy to fish effectively yesterday. Lumpy seas are not fun in any sized boat. No fishing, no problem? ...just take the morning off today.
8/18/20 Going to take
today off for you know what. Will not be
shipping orders until Wednesday afternoon.
Fishing is like what I said yesterday, at all
central LK. MI ports. Put your time in & you
should end up decent when you drive over the right
pocket of fish.
8/17/20 Hope to have
some new fishing reports soon. Spent my
weekend catching up on orders and tests for next
year. Reel-fact: will have some exciting new
8/16/20 Test, tests, and
more tests for new colors next season. This
takes hours to time the glow duration and hue.
That's what I did most of last night (1am thru 4am).
8/15/20 Haven't had to
deal with the water flea issues until last my last
fishing trip. They were thick. Making
the use of my braid rigger rods setup for deep
fishing a problem. Clogging the guides that
made reeling in a fish difficult.
8/14/20 Agony and
ecstasy is what Great Lakes Salmon fishing is about.
Agony is hauling on Kings over 20 pounds that are
auditioning for a starring role on Wicked Tuna.
8/13/20 Things are going fine on my fishing trip with Wayne J aka Take Five. Catching Kings and Coho 100' to 120' down in an undisclosed (for now) location. 10" BTI Frog and Firedot meat combos are doing all the damage. Things are looking up! All will be explained in due time. Man, it sure feels reel good to be on the big pond again!
8/11/20 Going to take a few days off this week to do you know what. We will not be processing, or shipping orders until this Thursday. P21 is underway and needs more time in research and development. Stay tuned to see what I'm up to. Fishing report soon.
8/10/20 Spoke with
Leland MI's Capt. Jim Munoz yesterday afternoon.
He shared there are some Salmon on the S end of
South Manitou Island and on the N end of North
Manitou Island. 8-10 Kings from the top boats
fishing these areas.
8/9/20 Looking forward
to fishing LK. MI this week. Lot's left to do
as I pack up my dog and pony show to ports unknown.
Not totally sure where I'm going, but close enough
to Manistee to scoot home to take care of orders
every 2 days. Arcadia N is a hint.
8/8/20 Planning a
successful fishing trip eats up a lot of time.
Making sure you have all the gear and tackle needed
for out of town ports means a list. My "to-do"
is partially completed, as I look forward to being
on Lk. MI multiple days this coming week.
8/7/20 Just about ready
to fish Lk. MI this coming week. Truck, camper
and boat are geared up for some extended days in row
King chasing. Looking at the right time frame
when the weather looks to be favorable.
Several out of town ports are being considered.
8/5/20 Being an
optimist, and Kings being scarce? ...this is could
be due to the cold spring and the fish just aren't
here in huge numbers yet. Do know, as of last
weekend, charter boats were targeting Lake Trout.
Lakers are a excellent charter fish, because LTs are
a bunch easier for customers to land.
Compared to reeling-in Kings.
8/4/20 Best news that
came in from last weekend was Steve T's 31 pound
King Lk. MI out of the Port of Arcadia, MI.
Steve's been getting a King, or 2 before going down
on the deck in 100' of water picking on the Lake
Click 31 lb. King
8/3/20 Yet to hear an
encouraging fish report as of last Friday from
Ludington, or Manistee. Seems the better King
Salmon reports are coming from Arcadia, MI N.
8/2/20 Posted a photo of
work in progress installing a 2nd auto bilge pump.
2 years ago an auto switch malfunction.
Flooding the motor well and ruined the starter.
This happened when I got a dock at Solbergs Marina.
Now known as Pier 1 Marina. We had an all
night gulley washer measured in inches of rain.
Click work in progress
8/1/20 Used to be 20
some years ago, the best weeks for Salmon fishing
(both Coho and Kings) was the last week of
August/1st week of September. This has
7/31/20 A new Consent
Decree is being negotiated with the tribal fishermen
over treaty rights. What little I've heard is
not good. We'll have to wait and see how this
7/30/20 As you drive N
on US31 from Manistee, MI a little ways, you'll see
signs from tackle stores saying they have bait.
So, much for the false shortage rumors.
7/29/20 This is the time
of the season when I get panicked fishermen
desperately looking for reel-bait. This shows
a major lack of planning and that can't be fixed.
7/28/20 Trying to come up with
a plan for an out of town event. Been to the
U.P. ports of Manistique (Lk. MI 2016), Munising
(Lk. Superior 2017) & Ludington a few times in 2018.
7/27/20 End of our 90°
weather for a while ...I hope. July at my
place has had at least 10 days over 90. Some
summers we rarely see these hot muggy temps.
With heat, comes wind from the S and that can make
Lk. MI very uncomfortable to fish.
7/26/20 Sometimes the
outcome of a fishing trip is how big the grins are.
Chris G chose to fish Lake Trout a few days ago when
he took his son and nephew. They got into a
few late afternoon LTs out of the port of Manistee,
Click youngsters with big grins
7/25/20 Phone land line is down. This effectively shuts me down, because our credit card terminal runs on a land line for billing. Guess, I'll just enjoy this weekend off.
7/24/20 It's amazing how
resilient the USA is. Even with the China
plague we're still moving along. This the time
of the season most have waited for to search for Mr.
King Salmon with a capital "K". We're in what
I consider prime time thru the last week of Aug.
7/22/20 You wait for
time to go fish the big water. You wait for
decent weather with tolerable seas. You wait
for a bite. Waiting is part of our sport.
7/21/20 It's pushing
5am. Just finished an all-nighter to get
process and ship orders. Night shift would be
lonely, if it wasn't for my poodle-lab who thinks
he's an employee.
7/20/20 Ludington's big
tournament week came to a close yesterday. Day
2 of the Bud Pro/Am was cancelled due to bad
weather. Pro winner took home 10 grand.
Am was 4k.
7/19/20 Lk. MI was not
in the fleet's favor yesterday. Wind from the
S ranged from 17 to 25 knots at Big Point Sable
between Ludington and Manistee, MI. Today
looks a little better, but not by much.
Tomorrow the weather is predicted to bring us some
relief from the 90° temps and 90% humidity.
Low last night at my place was 80°.
7/18/20 Mentioned 30# 7
strand wire line yesterday. Mistake most make
is they use reels too small for wire divers.
By smaller reels mean the size of Diawa 47Hs or 47
LCs. You need the next size up. I have
the older metal frame Okuma 45D Catalinas that are
being sold now under the Cabelas name. Best
drag I've found is on the Diawa SG57 LCs.
This week went by in a hurry with visions of big
Kings coming to the net. For this to happen
you need good tackle. The Triple Fish mono we
sell out performs other mono at 3 times the price.
Our 45# test copper is the fleet standard.
7/16/20 We're only a few
days away from "prime time" for adult Kings.
Manistee, MI seems to have more Kings then 2019.
How many more? ...time will tell us that.
7/15/20 How you feel
about wearing a mask depends on your household and
when you were born. Let's step back to the
1950s when Polio reared it's head every summer.
Killing 1000s and debilitating more. Parent's
worst nightmare was their children getting infected.
7/14/20 Everyone likes a
reel-success story. Here's Mike K's exact
7/13/20 Need to postpone
today's update. Do have a good one from Lk.
Ontario courtesy of Mike K. waiting in the wings
with some great photos.
7/12/20 MI Gov. Whitmer, by executive order, now mandates masks must be worn, or face a fine when in public places. Such as a grocery stores. This should have been done a long time ago, as far as I'm concerned. Other people have no right to infect me, or my wife with their breath. Kudos to President Trump for finally wearing a mask in public!
7/11/20 Lost 3 hours
yesterday when UPS A-holes deactivated my account
for no good reason. My last UPS bill was paid
on 6/20/20. Feeble reason that gave me was my
account was not being used. Which is a big
7/10/20 Long string of
days in the 90° range ends today for Manistee, MI.
More heat is on the way next week too. Just
not quite as hot. Been working the nightshift
in the tackle shop to avoid the 90% humidity and
7/9/20 Hindsight is
always 20/20. Looking back and seeing how to
do things more efficiently haunts me from my 4th of
July dealing with Mr. Nasty. Should have
pulled the only 2 lines (riggers 1 and 2) and went
to dead stop. Rather than keeping the boat
going at 2 mph to keep the big King from getting
into the rigger wires.
7/8/20 China virus is
effecting every corner of the business world,
including mine. During our busy times of the
season, usually have a couple-three people helping
with orders in house. Can't take a chance on
the virus coming into my home with my shop being
attached to my house. So, I'm the lone
stranger trying to do the work of 3.
7/7/20 Part 2 of my 4th
of July trip with Wayne J continues with catching
another much more manageable King pushing 15 lbs.
around 7am on a diver towing White Lightening 10"
BTI flasher with our Pearl Glo Trolling Fly.
Click for Pearl Glo Fly Proof
7/6/20 Bad Boy King
begins the 4th of July morning fishing report.
Setup in 0 dark thirty in 55' two miles S of
Manistee, MI. Port 3 rigger was sent down 50'
with the 4.65 White Lightening Salmon Buster™ spoon
just above the thermocline at 2.5 mph.
7/5/20 Full report tomorrow that's encouraging for the central Lk. MI ports of Ludington, Manistee and Frankfort. From what I seen on the 4th, things are looking up.
7/4/20 Went fishing on Lk. MI out of Manistee and enjoyed the time off and company of Wayne J. aka Take Five. Did tolerable, full fishing report soon.
7/3/20 Have an enjoyable 4th of July Weekend and stay safe. Updates are taking a mini vacation till Monday. We all need time off for the reel important things in life, like fishing!
7/2/20 Fresh hot off the
press: Manistee, MI fishing report from Wayne J. aka
"Take Five." He started early yesterday
morning. Had lines in by 5:30am and took 3
fish before whitecaps chased him back to port around
Click Take 5's catch
7/1/20 Hope for the best
and prepare for the worst. It's entirely
possible there will be no reliable vaccine for the
China virus. Some viruses like HIV still don't
have a cure.
Continued below back to the year 2000:
For complete results of all fishing trips, fishing reports & general info