July, August and September 2021

47.8 lb King
New MI State Record

8/19/21 Manistee, MI
Strip Teazer King mid-20s

XG Green Frog
Strip Teazer King

XG-Frog 12" Combo
9/19/21 Burns Ditch, IN

Click here for my first Salmon I caught on Oct. 1, 1968

Archived Daily Log 
(Dating back to the year 2000)

9/30/21  Plans to fish Lk. MI yesterday fell thru.  My wife, former 1st mate and fishing partner since 1965 wasn't feeling good.  She would have soldiered on, but you don't stay married for 50 some years by putting your spouse in an uncomfortable place.
              All was not lost.  Stayed home and made King Kryptonite Strip Teazers that we were almost out of.  Still have 5, or 6 selections that need attention.
              September has fell by as "you know what" approaches.  Goal is to get all loose ends tied up before the snow flies.

9/29/21  If the wind and sea forecast hold true? ...going to fish Lk. MI out of my home port of Manistee, MI this afternoon.  Late season fishing is always a good indicator of bait and how many juvenile Kings are lurking about.  Can only comment on my used-to-be times for Lk. MI.  September that was a mixed bag.  First week, or two of October central Lk. MI was hot for Steelhead as these fish were staging before going up river.
              Mindset behind today's trip? ...there's not that many good days left of 70° daytime highs and been hitting hard on strip production.  A day off sounds reel-good!

9/28/21  Today's featured photo is something we all like to see.  That being the next generation of young anglers being brought into the sport of Salmon fishing.  Chris G's son is tight on a decent Big Manistee River King above the High Bridge launch. 
               Plus, his son hooked up on the fish by his lonesome floating bobbers with skein.  Capturing special moments in time like this with 2 intense fishermen makes this photo all that more special and a great reason to own a camera. Click for this pic
                River fishing for Salmon is another world compared to big lake fishing.  You do have a captive audience.  But the Salmon are not aggressive like on Lk. MI.  If you can deal with the crowds? ...river fishing is a fine fun way to extend your season.

9/27/21  To be in any business, you have to be a self starter.  Been trying to rebuild inventory of our Strip Teazers.  We got hit pretty hard with strip orders in late August. Several selections that are low like the XG Green Frog that must be replaced.
               I'm in a race against time to beat the coming cold weather.  Because all the equipment and supplies are in my pole barn.  This was the best place for a number of reasons.  Safety is number one that keeps the fumes out of my shop.  Pole barn is wide open and airy.  Have a large window fan blowing over where the material is heated.
               Another reason is we installed two dedicated electrical circuits on 12 gauge wire to handle the power load.  Put up a lot of LED lights for a nice bright work area too.
               I rather be a self starter hooking up my lake boat, but that's not in the cards until there's enough strips made to make it into next spring.
               New injection machine has been a work in progress.  Eating up large chucks of time.  This is a new design and there's bound to be kinks that need to be sorted.

9/24/21  The sun has set on summer 2021 earlier this week, as we transition into fall. 
48° at 4pm yesterday here in Manistee, MI confirms this fact. Click 2021 sunset
              My view of the Salmon season comes from a narrow lens from limited time on the water.  Do know this year was an improvement over past lackluster seasons. 
Increased across the board tackle sales were up is one of the indicators.  Keeping me onshore making tackle and shipping orders.  My tackle business always comes first!
                Have a great weekend, because you more than deserve it!

9/23/21  CBull was kind enough to share his success with us from last weekend.  He caught his 5 Coho limit last Saturday out of a kayak from E Platte Bay in Benzie County, MI.  This was no small feat that required a lot of work on his part dealing with getting up and down the Platte River gravel bar mouth.  Click Cbull's 5 Coho limit
              This is a task.  Been there, done that in the 1960s thru the 1970s.  The feds used to dredge the mouth.  Keeping a channel open with a crane dragline bucket.  They have since discontinued this.  So, you're on your own if you want to fish there.

9/22/21  Want to revisit John Z's 9/19/21 trip out of Burns Ditch in Portage, IN.  The hottie was the XG- Frog in a combo deal.  He ordered more and I sent him a bonus froggy spoons to try.  The 4.65 XG-Frog Salmon Buster took the biggie in his 5 Salmon catch.
              My point is? ...it's hard enough to find one color that's working.  Proving the same pattern in combos and spoons can work as a team.  That's why I strive to have all our meat rigs™, flashers, spoons and Teazers in the same colors. Click Frog Combo King
           This is further reinforced with the 8/19/21 photo of a 10" Frog combo with a XG-Frog Strip Teazer that has not been posted before.  Click for this combo with ST

9/21/21  World debut of a new line of tackle, as we expand our soft plastic lineup.  We have floating 4 eggs clusters and single eggs in the 8mm size.  Floating soft plastic is the most expensive there is to purchase in raw form.  Click new Salmon Eggs
              For river and stream use, neutral buoyancy/floating just a few inches off the bottom is where you want your offering.  That way, a fish don't have to move to eat it.  All they have to do, is just have to open their mouth.  Then, it's game on.
             This product was a no-brainer for us to start up.  We already have all the colorants and machines that can make eggs.  Expense was the outlay for egg molds.
             Not sure on pricing until we do a cost breakdown.  Waiting on packaging that should be in-house before the end of this week.

9/20/21  John Z. who fishes out of Portage, IN had a decent catch of 5 Salmon out of Burns Ditch, IN.  Frog pattern was the big deal in Meat Rig™ comb.  A Froggie 4.65 Salmon Buster spoon took the biggest fish of the day.  Know these had to be warm water Kings that are touchy biters.  Click King that got busted by a Frog Salmon Buster
              Lots on my plate tomorrow as we introduce new tackle pointed towards river and stream fishermen.  Know this will be a hit with the public and get hit by fish.

9/17/21  New injection machine arrived yesterday afternoon.  Spent about a hour un-boxing and initial setup.  Goal is to test this machine next week.  Then, start on 2022 production of Strip Teasers with a completion date by the end of this month.
                 Have a great weekend and make some time for yourself!

9/20/21  John Z. who fishes out of Portage, IN had a decent catch of 5 Salmon out of Burns Ditch, IN.  Frog pattern was the big deal in Meat Rig™ comb.  A Froggie 4.65 Salmon Buster spoon took the biggest fish of the day.  Know these had to be warm water Kings that are touchy biters.  Click King that got busted by a Frog Salmon Buster
              Lots on my plate tomorrow as we introduce new tackle pointed towards river and stream fishermen.  Know this will be a hit with the public and get hit by fish.

9/17/21  New injection machine arrived yesterday afternoon.  Spent about a hour un-boxing and initial setup.  Goal is to test this machine next week.  Then, start on 2022 production of Strip Teasers with a completion date by the end of this month.
                 Have a great weekend and make some time for yourself!

9/16/21  Just in a holding pattern waiting on new injection machine.  UPS scheduled it for yesterday, then delayed it until today.  Click Hotrunner Injection machine
               Issue is it's still sitting in Maumee, OH and hasn't moved since 2 days ago. It's critical that I'm here in case the box is damaged I can refuse delivery.  Probably tomorrow this expensive shipment will arrive.  Pricey heat controllers is what I'm worried about most.  These controllers run $300 to $500 a unit and there's 2 of them.
               Have plans to shoot an un-boxing/setup YouTube video.  Then, a 1st ever comparison video shoot between a Jacob's vs. Hotrunner brand in action.

9/15/21  X, Y and Z axis are terms I learned thru 3D printing and is a term often used in machining.  Easy way to explain this is that Y is up and down.  Click X,Y,Z axis cube
               X is E and W.  Z is N and S.  Injection machine I already have does not have the Z axis which has to do with mold origination.  This presents issues with our molds when it comes to 2 color Strip Teazers like our 2 tone Green Double Glo laminates.
               New machine has Z axis that should make better color blend lines.  Said "should," because I won't know until I test the new machine this weekend.

9/14/21  Today's topic will take place tomorrow when I end up with 2 soft plastic injection machines.  The 1st one I ordered back in December of 2020 that scheduled for delivery tomorrow.  Kept getting excuses and downright lies and figured I was my scammed out of my 5k.  Well, too make a long story short this December machine will soon be here.
              Now, I have over 11k in 2 injection machines that means I will be selling one of them.  So far, we've made close to 10k strips and there was no way hand injectors were going to work.  Yes, could have been done by hand, but I'm not a glutton for punishment.
              Keeping in mind, we're working with a 350° liquid that's dangerous from the get-go.  Machines make this job a lot safer and there's no price too high for safety. 

9/13/21  Have 3 new products I'm working on.  2 are close to completion and the last one is a ways off.  Now begins the water testing phase on the first 2.
              Developing/creating new tackle is the fun part of my job.  Still have plenty of time before it turns cold.  So, I'm in good shape for some much needed water time.

9/11/21  20th anniversary of the attack on NY's twin towers.  We lost close to 3000 people from lunatics that had no respect for human life.  This set in motion a chain of events that changed our country forever.

9/10/21  Today's focus is on prep for the 2022 season.  Made close to 200 XG King Kryptonite Strip Teazers a few days ago.  Click for this glow in the dark pic
               Tweaked the glow pigment content by adding 15% more strontium aluminate powder.  These are not easy to inject, because it's a fairly thick/viscous liquid.
               From start to finish it takes about 3 hours to do 200 strips.  Most of the time is devoted to mixing and bringing the saltwater grade soft plastic up the temp.  Shooting the molds is the fast part that begins the scenting process.  We let the strips air dry to complete the cure process for several days.  This aids the strips to draw in more scent.
              This time last year we were still in the strip developmental stage.  One of my rewards in the tackle business is accomplishing goals with cutting edge performance.
              Do know in low light conditions our XG strips surpass herring.  Why? ...it's all about the fish seeing a target to channel their aggression, 'nough said!

9/9/21  My report on Pier 31 Marina where I spent the month of August was a tough go. Only made it off the dock 5 times with 4 of those plagued by nasty seas for my 22' boat.
             2 of these trips were cut short due to uncomfortable conditions with sea sick passengers.  Keeping people that have motion sickness on the water just makes things worse.  Some might see this as a fiasco in marina experiences.
             I see this as the want to go being curtailed with my tackle business and that comes 1st.  Knew finding time was going to be difficult with Salmon fishing being on the upswing after some pretty pitiful seasons, anything could be considered an improvement.

9/8/21  Spent part of last weekend preparing to make more Strip Teazers.  Some colors are almost sold out.  Need to have a good supply on-hand before winter shuts down any thought of injecting strips when it's too cold in my pole barn.
             Pulled my boat from Pier 31 Marina Labor Day afternoon.  Predicted thunderstorm storms hurried this along and glad I did.  Yesterday's thunderstorms were severe with 1" hail and hard rain at my place.  Did wash the boat to spiffy-up my vintage 1979 22' Sea Ray.  Algae always grows on boat bottoms that can turn into a crust if not power washed.
             Tomorrow my report on Pier 31 that's undergoing major construction.

9/7/21  Today's featured photo of a large adult male Coho is from kayak fisherman, Cbull who was trolling off the mouth of the Platte River recently.  Click for this pic
             This completely natural river is located in Benzie County, MI N of Frankfort, MI in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore.  Coho were 1st planted here in 1966.
             Departed US Senator, Phil Hart in the 1960s was instrumental into keeping this section of Lk. MI shoreline that runs up to & beyond Empire, MI in it's natural pristine state.  All homes & cottages were bought by the National Forest Service and removed.
             To fish out of the Platte River is a chore where you have to walk your boat over a gravel bar to gain access to Lk. MI.  The feds used to dredge this river mouth during the Coho season that has been discontinued.  This is where I learned how to fish Salmon that goes way back to 1968.

9/4/21  Have a great and safe Labor Day Weekend, because you deserve it.  Judging by the traffic, Manistee, MI is going to be busy with lots of people.

9/3/21  Labor Day Weekend is almost here.  This season has flew by for us.  Salmon fishing was better and that ties directly into increased tackle sales.  Know Manistee boats are still catching some Coho and a few Kings that's an uptick over the past few years.
            Made it to my boat at Pier 31 Marina around 5pm yesterday to squeeze in a evening trip.  If confession is good for the soul? ...just plain ran out of gas and didn't have it in me.  This was after a full day in the shop and my energy tank was on empty.
            Needed to check on the boat and load up some new gear that I'll still get a chance to use before I close out my 2021 Salmon season.  October Lk. MI Steelhead is still a ways away.  With more Steelhead this year this should be big time fun.

9/2/21  Taking today off to try to fish Lk. MI this afternoon.  Word from yesterday morning is some Coho showed up S of Manistee, MI with a few Kings. 
             Hope this holds up, but doubt it will.  N & NE wind is moving the temp up higher.  Fishing reports that are more then a day old should be considered ancient history.
            Oh, well, perish the thought of any fishing.  More orders just came in ...that will take the rest of the day to finish up.  Then, ship tomorrow.  Work always come first!

9/1/21  Just completed the 2 busiest months of the season.  July and August account for almost 50% of what we sell in the other 10 months. 
             Good to have this in the rear view as we move into September.  This year Salmon fishing in MI did improve for the boats that were dialed in.  This only comes from time on the water.  Don't know what's left in Lk. MI, but plan on finding out soon.

8/31/21  Last fishing report that came in was none to encouraging.  Part of this is boats on trolling motor spot-lock in and around the entrance of the harbor vertically jigging with not much to show for their efforts.  This a relative new thing that going to eat up a lot of valuable real estate in areas normally trolled.  Especially, the hole at Manistee's S pier.
              Wrote an article in 2016 about "Do I stay, or do I go."  This piece covers a lot of ground with reel-facts.  The bottom line of this article is, you don't know, unless you go.  That sums up the way I feel when faced with slow fishing reports.  Click for this article

8/30/21  Last time I was out, the Strip Teazers with Re-Scent fish attractant got bit.  One's without? ...didn't.  I'd have juiced all with scent, but didn't find the bottle until after a few lines were all ready in the drink.   Click round ball pin in meat head
              The round plastic pins many of you might have received as free sample with your purchase of scent are so-so.  Haven't lost a strip, but noticed on the big King we took broke the pin on the far side of the head.  So, the jury is still out on these pins.

8/29/21  Looking forward to this coming week with less heat and oppressive humidity.  Been working 3rd shift (midnight till 5am) in the shop when it cools down.  Forecast beginning Monday is highs in the 70s and nights in the 50s with a heck of a lot drier air.
            Going to try my hardest to fish Lk. MI this week that used to be the best week for numbers when I chartered 1983-2003.  A lot has changed since.  Who knows? ...maybe with the uptick in Salmon numbers this year, a return to the past is OK with me.

8/28/21  Severe thunderstorms rolled thru last night and knocked out our power.  Not to fear, Generac is here.  So, we have juice till Consumers Power fixes the lines.
              Found out this morning our ATT landline is down too.  This has us dead in the water not being able to process credit cards.  Just going to enjoy a day off! 
              Spring Kings vs. August adults is a complex issue.  Spring Salmon tend to bite all day long, if you're in the right area.  Adults, as they enter the river spawner phase get reel-touchy in full sun/daylight conditions.  Especially, if temp is high in the water column.  Kings a 100' down, or better are not so touchy with a lot of the light being filtered out.
             That's why I like evenings better then mornings.  Unless, you can get a early zero dark-30 start that brings up safety issues running a boat in total darkness on plane.
             Evenings are generally less crowded and if you stay out well after the sun goes down, the trip back in is a lot more to my liking with less traffic headed to the piers.

8/27/21  According to the manufacturer in China who makes the long duration glow colorants used in our STs is supposed to last 15 years.  There's no alternate countries to purchase good high-quality glow pigments.  China has the world market cornered on rare-earth elements.   There's 17 of these metals.  Promethium is one of the luminous rare-earth metals named for the Greek God Prometheus. Click rare-earth info
              This is what makes our glow Strip Teazers magnets for low-light Kings.

8/26/21  Learning how durable our Strip Teazers are is an ongoing process.  Found out this spring, prototypes left in the meat head survived last winter with no problem.
              This is a flexible thermoset soft plastic that returns to it's original shape even after being bent over for long period of time.  Click for example
              It's my job to provide you with the best info about my tackle.  This is an ongoing procedure with a product that's less then a year old.
              Tomorrow ...how many years does the glow last in Strip Teazers?

8/25/21 Taking a personal day to keep up with orders.  Intended chat about storing and care of Strip Teazers will wait until tomorrow when I have time to take some pictures.

8/24/21  Delivered a good selection of Strip Teazers to Brian at the Frankfort Tackle Box yesterday.  This is the coming weekend of the Benzy Frenzy Tournament.
              Herring strip providers look like they took this year off by not carrying, or restocking their tackle outlets.  This only further damages their market share.
              The State of MI put in place a long time ago hurdles about importing bait during the VHS warm water outbreaks in the early i2ks.  WI has no issues with herring from the west coast where all the major bait suppliers are.  WI already admitted they had VHS. While MI just across the pond says otherwise.  Guess both sides of Lk. MI are not connected.  This is just another example of how backward the MDNR is.

8/23/21  I don't consider myself good at many things with the exception of taking fish pictures.  This is played out again in today's featured photo of Chris G's mid 20s King.  In my opinion this is a gorgeous picture close to sunset.  Capturing a back-lit photo from the setting sun required fill flash to light-up the subject matter. Click for this pic
             If you ever question yourself about why you like Great Lakes Salmon fishing? 
The sun illuminating the big King's fins with the sunset on the horizon is truly awe-inspiring.
I feel really sorry for those who've yet to experience what's going in Chris's photo.
             Tip: To those of you using my strips, remember to pull the line to recharge the Strip Teazer.  You get about a 1/2 hour of intense glow, until it dims somewhat and glows for hours.  This is exactly what we did for our 2nd King.  This made a believer out of Chris, who has my strips, but not oodles of confidence to use them.  That has changed since!
             Feel like we left some fish behind last Thursday, because at dark, we were well past the better marks and bait that were N of us.  300' of copper fish took a lot of line. Bingo, this fish was out close to 600' & it took a longtime to get Mr. King in the boat.        

8/22/21  Last week the central Lk. MI fleet had smooth sailing with calm seas for the most part.  This coming week? ...not so much, but most days will be OK.
               Live and learn best sums up what I saw on Friday, 8/13/21 with 72° warm unproductive inshore water down to 100' devoid of plankton, bait and very few marks.  Never seen anything like this before in my many decades of fishing the Great lakes.
               Things improved a lot when, as mentioned in my 8/19/21 update, the water was moving and the temp came up to 60' and the Kings were back.
               Good news is the fish we caught on 8/19/21 were still silver and not mature ready to the run the river dark adults.  Unlike past years, this week should be decent.

8/21/21  Mentioned few weeks ago about the resurgence of sales of our 10" BTI flasher.  Our BTIs came out in 2006 and were copied by a flood of bad imitations. 
               15 years later, after the junk knockoffs failed, our BTIs are still going strong. Mark T. a longtime friend of this site was kind enough to send in today's featured story:

"John,  Chrome and Gold BTIs still tearing it up.  We don't have a ton of kings, but meat is getting it done.  BTIs in chrome with meat best, 4-6 king bites a day.  Big coho eating them too. Won the ladies tourney last weekend.  Big king not shown because it hit during pic time (which I knew was coming]) haja.  Mark"  St. Joe, MI  Click for this pic

8/20/21  Fished with Chris G. last evening out of the Port of Manistee, MI and had a splendiferous time on a calm table top Lk. MI.  Chris is a gem to fish with.  I stayed out of his way & let him handle setting the boat up.  Didn't want to get in the way of perfection.
              Took a dandy King in the mid 20s on a 300' copper with a BTI 10" Froggy combo with a Double Grn. Glo Strip Teazer. Click Chris G's goody King
               Hit a smaller teener on a rigger down 65' over 125' of water about a 1/2 hour later on the same combo.  I'm a long ways from dialed in and was thrilled to see a couple of Kings go in the box on a perfect evening to enjoy great company on a placid Lk. MI.

8/19/21  Salmon bite off Manistee, MI tightened up for us on Tuesday evening.  Setup out deep, 250' of water after not seeing much on the drop off. Click Tues. LT on ST
              Took a Laker 100' down just after we started.  Trolled our way into 200' to 150' and didn't see that much to push it to dark.  Pulled lines well before sunset.
              Having great sonar, a Raymarine C127 for about 10 years, I know what we should be seeing to get into fish.  When it's not there? ...time to head for the dock.
              Had a trusted report from Ludington from the same evening that said about the same thing.  Good news is the temp has came up and the water is moving.

8/18/21  Latest word on no commercial herring strips?  Frankfort can be added to this list.  So, right about now, I'm looking a whole lot smarter then I am.
               Knew last year when whole herring dried up, the crowd  that made their own, would forced to buy strips.  Further depressing the over the counter supply.
               Didn't make soft plastic Strip Teazers herring replacement strips out of sheer genius.  I did it out of survival.  Our meat heads need something to go in them.  Rest is history with a lot of hard work and dedication.

8/17/21  Restocked Tangled Tackle with our Strip Teazers in the same colors they sold out on.  So, there is an alternative to herring strips available.
              Today's featured photo is courtesy of Capt. Steve S from Top 40 charters in MI's UP.  He fishes out of Manistique, Fairport, Escanaba, and WI waters.
              The XG Green Frog 12" combo has been one of his go-to rigs since early July.  So, he's racking up the fish and miles on the froggy.  XG-Frog in the 10" combo was used in the 2020 tests for our Strip Teazers.  Click 8/14/21 Froggy King

8/16/21  According to last night's report, herring strips are not available in Manistee, MI.  Sold out is what I'm hearing.  Tangled Tackle is out of my strips too.  Will try to restock them today, or tomorrow when time allows.
              Been chasing a blind alley with the snelled-in wire 2 treble hook setups.  Hooks, ridged, hanging straight back kills the slow kick, roll, spin of our meat heads.  Seen this the last time I was out on Friday the 13th.  Have one more idea to try.
              The few fish reports I'm privy to, keep saying deep 100' down Salmon out of Manistee with straight out and N over plus 200' of water producing best.

8/15/21  Faced with a choice of keeping up with orders, or going fishing.  Orders come first.  Have a mess on the boat that needs fixing later today.
               Finally, the central Lk. MI fleet got a break from choppy seas and have smooth waters until the middle of this week.  Hope the stars lineup and I can fish again soon.
                Report on the stainless steel wired 2 treble hook setups tomorrow.

8/14/21  The saga of my August 2021 Salmon quest continues to be a bust.  Made it out yesterday morning for a few hours, 8am-10am (lines in the water).  Had a newbie to big water waves aboard that got a seasick/motion sickness.  So, I'm up to 4 1/2 hrs. for Aug.
               Fished S of Manistee, Guerney Creek to the 8s, which is about 4 miles N of Big Point Sable in 150' to 225' of water.  Temp broke at 100' going from 71-72° to 50°, then falling off into the 40° range by 105'.  So, down-temp did not provide much to work with.
               In a close to 4 mile troll, maybe to the outside, marked 5 fish in temp.  This barren stretch water didn't even have a biomass to promote sea fleas to draw baitfish.  Braid rigger rods down 100' and more came in clean as a whistle with nary a flea.
               Boats that fished straight out and to the N fared better.  Charter catches that I did see looked like 6-10 fish with not many 4 year old Kings.  There were Coho in this mix.
              Good news is the number of 2 and 3 year Kings taken that is our future fishery.

8/13/21  Starting my weekend early by taking today off after orders are done.

8/12/21  This August has been not kind to the central Lk. MI fleet in search of Kings due to many thunderstorms rolling thru.  Some of these thunder-boomers been severe with many power outages from downed trees across MI's lower peninsula.
              Good news is on the way according to the weatherman.  Next chance for storms/rain is better then a week away.  Stable weather means calmer seas.
               I certainly hope so.  My total sum of water time on Lk. MI this August is 3 hours in sloppy-miserable conditions for my trailer boat that were not fun.   

8/11/21  Unsettled weather with recent rain and thunderstorms is not what we need.  Big water fishermen are at the mercy of mother nature that has played true.  Like many of you I'm look at a window with decent seas under 2' to shoot video.
              One thing to note, I learned as a charter skipper, lightening tends to move the bait and fish.  Seen my evening honey hole dry up for the morning trip in just a few hours.
              Weather forecasts from www.windfinder.com have been way off.  Normally, this site is spot on when it comes to Great Lakes wind and wave conditions.
              Rain/thunderstorms has interfered with my sat internet too.  Making it difficult to publish this website and run the webstore to process/ship orders.

8/10/21  Days of wind from the S has driven the thermocline deeper off my home port of Manistee, MI.  Latest report I heard was 120'.  Probably time to shift to the larger 12" flashers that do hold a slight edge over my 10" BTI flashers when you're going down below 120'.  Please keep in mind, the thermocline can change within a few hours.
              Today's featured photo is from Mike R and Team Fishigan of our 12" Krystal Killer flasher that worked best in the middle of the day.  Click Krysal Killer at work
              This past Saturday in a morning and short evening fish they took 14 Salmon.  Their biggest King was over 23 lbs.  There were some Coho in the mix as well.

8/9/21  It's about time we had some positive Lk. MI news with the a new record for Chinooks/Kings.  This fish had to be 6-7 years old.  Dating back to when the MDNR chopped the King plants with their failed, there is no bait theory.
            MDNR's Jay Wesley was there to verify the specie for the King record.  Then, he started spewing about what a great predator/prey relationship in Lk. MI.
            When history looks back on the Dexter-Wesley MDNR regime it won't be kind.  They managed to cut the Lk. MI Salmon fleet by about half from what I've seen.
            You don't grow Kings pushing 50 pounds when there's no bait, as we've been led to believe by false information by leaders who should be in the unemployment line.

8/8/21  Yesterday, a new state record Chinook/King Salmon by was caught by novice angler, Louie Martinez aboard Icebreaker Charters.  This fish weighed in at 47.86 lbs. and was 47.5" long.  Louie's King broke the 4 decade old record by better then a pound.
             Charter boat was skippered by Capt. Bobby Sullivan who was fishing the Big Point Sable area about 5-6 miles N of Ludington.  Click new 47lb. record King

8/7/21  Observations from my abbreviated fishing trip last Tuesday was a high thermocline and cold water (41 degrees) to 100' down.  This does not promote plankton growth for the bait fish and scatters the fish big time.  In 7 miles of trolling never marked any defined pods of bait in 70' to 250' of water. Never seen a net down around us.
             New double trebles with the wire splint turned just fine.  Was worried about the added weight preventing a good roll/kick/spin.  Release we did miss was a single hook meat rig™.  This was a 50/50 test.  Unfortunately, the release didn't happen on a 2 treble rig.

8/6/21  Back on 4/23/21 Mike D. purchased Black Mamba Glo, Green Glo, and XG-Frog Strip Teazers when they first came out.  I've known Mike since he chartered by boat out of Manistee in May back in the late 1990s.  He's a gem to fish with, may I add.  He finally had a chance to put our strips to good use.  He's his exact words:

Hi John:  Just wanted to let you know on well the strip teasers work. Tues. eve I took out my niece’s 5 year old son and husband. We got 4 lakers and a big coho all on the your flashers and meat rigs with the strip teasers. I think they hit on all of the 3 kinds I got.
            The 5 year old was so excited and he will now be a lifetime Great Lakes fisherman. It sure is rewarding taking out the young kids and catching fish for them too!
Have a great summer."  Mike D. GrandC2  Click for Mike's next gen fisherman

8/5/21  2 days ago my fishing partner was Steve "Roscoe" B.  First met Steve in the early i2ks, possibly 1999.  This was a bonus for me, because you don't find fishermen like him very often.  Steve's passion for fishing means: he could just as happy on a river bank with a cane-pole and a can of worms.  Add on, he's top quality skipper on a big lake boat too.
            It was a joy to spend at least a morning with him catching up recent events in both of our lives.  Never lost touch with him, talking at least once, or twice a year.
            Steve's won several Flint Steelheaders tournament with his expertise fishing meat.  Steve even put a workforce together to make meat rigs back in 2005 that put out quality tackle.  Steve has been a huge positive in my life!  Click Steve "Roscoe" B.
            I nicknamed him Roscoe, because it was easy to remember back when he crewed for on my charter boat.  Keeping track of customers names aboard was a hard enough.

8/4/21  Yesterday, fished Lk. MI out of Manistee, MI from 6am until 9am in miserable and sloppy 3' SW seas.  My 22' 1979 Sea Ray trailer boat has a hard cut deep v hull that's dreadful to troll out of in anything over 2' waves.  There was no way to shoot video. 
             Action cam stabilization over compensates into slo-mo up and down.  This not even close to fun to watch.  Unless, you're up for bad case of motion sickness.
            We did miss a release 90' down over 140' of water (Froggie w/Grn. Glo ST).  54° temp was 25' down that tapered off to 41° at 100'.  That's a wide playground for the fish.
            Even the smell of a skunk is mellowed by being on shore since May wasn't that bad.  Pulled the plug on this outing, cause fishing is supposed fun, not extreme sports.
            The bright spot? ...is I had the opportunity for fish with Steve B.  Have a lot of history with him that goes back to the early i2ks.  Including Steve crewing for me when I was still in the charter business.  Steve's story will be expanded tomorrow...

8/3/21  Day off, be back tomorrow.  Orders that come in today will not be billed until we ship, probably Wednesday afternoon.

8/2/21  Long time friend of this website, Kevin D was, or is in MI's UP to fish Stannard Rock in Lk. Superior.  Forecast wasn't favorable for the 40 mile ride.  So, he fished inshore and caught a well marked Atlantic Salmon as a bonus. Click Kevin's Lk. S Atlantic
             Kevin's weapon of choice was our old standby Gold Crushed Orange Salmon Buster 4.0.  This popular pattern many consider their most effective spoon in the top 30'.
             Taking tomorrow off.  There's Kings off my home port of Manistee, MI and I'm must attend my 53rd family reunion that began in way-back in 1968!

8/1/21  Big deal month of big Kings is upon us.  Even a skunk for me wouldn't smell that bad, seeing I've been shore bound pretty much all season.  Hopefully, that will change this week.  Feeling the surge of a waves is a lot better than staring computer screen.
            Had 3 people call me about a back pea, or something with chartreuse spots flasher.  Don't have clue what it is, but know this is going viral as the end all, be all to make you a hero with a magic bullet.  This is a marketing ploy the way I see it, that comes around every season.  Best colors are proven over time, not on Facebook.

7/31/21  There's been a rediscovery of our BTI 10" flashers.  They rank 3rd in sales behind heads, then strips.  After I came out with the 10" version in 2005, there were many copies by other manufacturers that failed horribly.  Click 7/29/12 BTI Steelhead
               Reason? ...some of these dummies downsized the geometry from the 12" model. I found out that didn't work and had to reform the bends to get it to spin and kick right. Our highly versatile 10 inchers are deadly for flies, or 2 fly meat rigs™.  No brag, just fact!

7/30/21  Since I originated snelled double trebles for meat rigs in 2003, it's well beyond time to address a fatal flaw this happens occasionally.  Double trebles help by sticking marginally hooked fish and can take away, if the line is not hard and fast to the fish.
               Predator fish swallow their prey head first.  That requires turning their food head first (never seen a baitfish in any fish's stomach that wasn't head first).
               When this turn happens on a double treble meat rig™, if the front hook is not buried deep, it can get tangled and extricate the rear treble ...that was firmly planted.
               Hopefully, my latest brainstorm with a snelled-in wire separator, this problem will be in the rear view.  Testing will determine, if this is a fix? Click wire snelled trebles
              One thing I noticed is the treble hook position can be dialed-in/turned to where you have hook point every 60 degrees, instead of 120 with regular mono snelled hooks.

7/29/21  Never made it off the dock and glad I didn't.  Was at the boat at 8pm to straighten up the dock lines and there dark skies that made it seem like the sun already went down.  Storms did roll thru Manistee, MI last night.  Fri. evening is my next window.
              Will be recruiting boats next to me at Pier 31 Marina to test out the wire double snelled trebles.  Know this setup will cut down on misses.  Reel important nowadays!

7/26/21  Everything is on warp speed.  Have dock at Pier 31 thru Labor Day.  Lot's to do.
Boat has only fished once this year.  Getting ready for Kings means all rods with 30 lb. test for the riggers/attractor program and some with 20 lb. test for spoons.
              Tested a new way to use rubber bands, so, when a fish hits, the band breaks clean of the line.  Have an idea for the double trebles on meat rigs™ to keep them from tangling together that causes lost fish.  I'll keep you informed.
              Important: order early and be prepared to wait for flashers.  We're about out of the tail swivel assemblies.  These snaps have been on order for a month.  Short on laser glow tape for flashers too.  This have been on order since the 6th.  Normally, WTP ships 100' rolls of 6" lure tape in a few days.  When I'm out?  I'll enjoy the time and fish more!

7/24/21  Weekend off from updates.  Way too busy to keep my head above water filling and shipping orders.  Glad primetime Kings only comes once a year!

7/23/21  Report from Manistee, MI's charter fleet yesterday morning says things are improving.  Charters averaged 5-6 Kings per boat for the most part.  This is good, because charter customers can lose about 50% of what's hooked up. 
              That's OK.  If customers knew what they were doing? ...there'd be no reason to hire a charter skipper.  This is 1st hand info from a captain to be named tomorrow.
              Manistee's pro fleet added a good number of Lake Trout and an occasional Steelhead to make up some pretty decent boxes.
              With the wind coming around from the S, this weekend should offer good fishing at all central Lk. MI ports.  Normally, don't report charter catches.  It's not that being licensed puts charters head and shoulder about the sports fleet.  It's from the time on the water is where charter boats gain a big advantage.

7/22/21  They're not giving away Kings for free out of my home port of Manistee, MI according to probably the best home town charter skipper I know, by saying, "it's been tough lately."  He needed some tackle and that's how this conversation came about.
               This shows how well Chris G did last Sunday with his weekend warrior approach.  Going in with little info, 4 fish is a good effort from a new generation Salmon fisherman.  Fished with Chris a few years back and he's most excellent to spend time with.

7/21/21  Today's Manistee, MI fishing report is courtesy of Chris G. who fished Manistee last Sunday morning.  Here's his exact words:

"Fished Sunday morning early. Bite dried up about 930. We went 4-7. Boated a 9 lb steelhead and 21 lb King.  Other two kings were 10-12. 300 copper with mag spoons took most. Flasher fly took 1. Was a great morning to get out. First time out this year... Had two first timers on the boat. Had a blast. Lots of boats were out." Click 21lb King

7/20/21  Fishing report from 2 trusted sources in Rogers City, MI said the King fishing picked up last week.  This is great news for a N Lk. Huron port.
              MDNR rated the King fishing at the UP's Fairport, MI as excellent.  That's where most of the photos in the left border are coming from.  You don't see the MDNR rate a port as excellent very often.  So, this is more good news from N Lk. MI.
              Know they are catching some Kings at central Lk. MI ports.  So, this is on a upswing too.  Just don't have any exact info from this area due to my workload.

7/19/21  Question on how many fish you can catch on one of our Strip Teazers is in the process of being answered.  Here's the latest news from Capt. Steve, T40 charters:

"29 lbs. If you look really, really closely, you can see the strip in there. This fish completely inhaled it. That strip has taken at least 20 fish this year and still looks brand new."
                        Click for this 7/18/21 29 pounder and Green Glo ST 

7/18/21  A well deserved R and R day for yours truly.

7/17/21  Time for a customer testimonial today and that's about it.  Rushing to get my ducks in a row for August fishing.  Here's what Capt. Steve form Top 40 charter out of the UP's Port of Fairport, MI had to share: 

"Wire dipsy out of Fairport. I don't think I've told you yet how much I appreciate the completely hassle-free experience of using these strips. Really impressed with them." 
                                           Click Green Glo Strip Teazer

7/16/21  Finally, after 8 months our 2021 order of close to 20k meat heads is in-house.  Placed the order last December only to find out our usual supplier was out of business.
               Had to find a new injection molding company to run production.  This brought up a series of Covid related delays that dragged on for many months.
               Our meat heads are practically indestructible and last forever.  Proved this in a video when I drove my truck over them.  Featuring a no muss, no fuss rolling kick action.
               My years in the trenches as a charter skipper taught me about junk tackle that don't last.  That's why our meat heads became the gold standard 2005.

7/15/21  The dictionary says: an entrepreneur is a person who organizes and operates a business or businesses, taking on greater than normal financial risks in order to do so.
               My dictionary says: enter-manure.  This is when I get in deep ___ and exhaust every way not to do something.  Then, come up with a spot on design to move forward. 
               All of my projects take many months before final production.  What pushes me is the 100s of hours invested, I'm in so deep ...tuning back is not an option.
               We've entered the prime time calendar for adult King Salmon.  This is the fish that drives people to spend large on big water boats to fish the Great Lakes.

7/14/21  Want to know the best form of advertizing? ...it's word of mouth. Success always spreads thru the fleet.  Got smacked last Sunday with orders for our Strip Teazers from fishermen that are catching fish with them telling their friends.
              I've yet to hear of any of our strips being hurt by the fish and now we're talking about MI and NY Kings over 20 pounds.  Even been selling some strips to Alaska.
             The west coast including AK is closing in on 20% of our business.  If tackle catches fish and performs at a high level there's no need to waste money in advertizing.

7/13/21  One of the many benefits with our 2021 Strip Teazer herring replacement strips is it will drive down the cost of frozen herring strips.  Strip manufacturers were getting pretty cheeky with their prices that went thru the roof.  Know herring strip companies have to make a living, but the raw product on the dock is worth just pennies.
              When I broke a fine tuned meat program to the Lk. MI fleet in 2003 Rhys Davis strips were 6 for around 3 bucks.  Cheaper if you purchased a case.  50 cents per strip ballooned to over 2 bucks per strip last time I bought frozen herring in 2019.

7/12/21  Salt and pepper and our Green Glo Strip Teazer have a lot in common.  Being both go with almost everything.  Chose the Green Glo for our test strips in August of 2020.
              During the 80s and 90s green glo squids were the fleet standard.  So, it was natural for me to gravitate the prototypes in this direction. Click 7/9/21 Grn. Glo ST
              Green Glo is the cornerstone of our herring replacement strips and proved in low light our soft plastic strips kicked butt and out produced frozen herring!
                       Tomorrow a hidden benefit about our strips.

7/11/21  In a few days, the 15th of July is what I consider the beginning of adult King Salmon season.  This is when attractor programs come into their own.  Adult Kings are being caught now and that will only get better.  From the reports I've seen, there's more juvenile Kings mixed in.  Now, I need a way to conjure up a way to get on the water.
              Project 2021, that tuned into our Strip Teazers is a time eater that has kept me chained to the shop.  In a way, this is a good thing business-wise.  Gradually, inventory is getting ahead of demand and that means time off during prime time.

7/10/21  Going off the reservation today with a public service announcement about getting your Covid 19 vaccination.  Giving credit where credit is due, VP Pence's task force did a helluva job funding the right companies to make the vaccines.
               Phizer, Moderna and J&J all made a mostly trouble free vaccine compared to the rest of the world that lags behind what the USA accomplished.
               Pres. Biden has done a good job too getting vaccines in arms.  You have a right not to get vaccinated. But YOU do not have the right to spread this awful sickness!!

7/9/21  Good news from Capt. Bob Smith who runs Mariah Charters out of Leland, MI.  Bob shared, "they're starting to hit a few Kings off the 1st bank." 
            Leland has 2 major drop offs.  1st one is a couple of miles due W of port.  Then, the bottom comes up and plateaus and drops off again a few miles E off North Manitou Island.  His report is a step up from the past few years and it's a couple weeks early.

7/8/21  Our ReScent fish attractant baitfish oil will be restocked today.  Have a faucet system now.  First batch was done with a funnel and a jug that was messy. 
            My biggest concern is accidental spills during shipment.  That's why we shrink wrap the flip-top caps and ship in a zip lock sealed cello bag.
            ReScent is a thick viscous 100% pure baitfish oil.  One 4 oz jar will last you many seasons.  Trolled strips for miles and could still pickup a hint of this powerful attractant.
            Added 8 more 110 outlets for teazer production.  Injection machine uses 4, air compressor 1, preheat pots use 4, with a fan that uses one.  Been doing this with extension cords and power strips to get by.  Upgrading workbench electrical is a must.

7/7/21  Longtime friend of this website, WI's Steve B. had 5 hits on his wire diver towing our Black Mamba Glo Strip Teazer.  Good news is after being punished 5 times, the strip came out unharmed.  This is testament to the durability built in from last year's tests.
            Steve added, "Great product, the roll is awesome!  I'll be ordering more!
            Here's what I know so far about our Strip Teazers: Black Mamba Glo is the number 1 seller.  Green Glo, King Kryptonite, Mountain Dew Glo, Super Smurf, Blue Glo Smurf and Chartreuse Glo have all proven their worth and caught this season.
            If you'd like to share your results with STs? ...I'm just an email away.  Maybe your info can help others with a starting point.  Fish gods do repay favors.

7/6/21  Options and beyond is in my head about our Strip Teazer soft plastic herring replacement.  The season when adult Kings are highly prone to an attractor program is a short one.  All be it may, attractor programs can catch throughout the season.
            Having color combinations that work during full sun to low light is going to be a learning experience.  Colors in solid and 2 tone has to be a plus.  Then, throw in the many different colors in extended X-Glow, the cream will rise to the top.
           With our strips there is no funky "B" side with a pale unnatural flesh side like there is with traditional frozen herring strips.  Both sides of our ST's are on point.

7/5/21  Salmon Buster™ spoons are the best I've ever used for Steelhead going back to 1968, when I first started fishing the Great Lakes.  OK, you can count I'm a little biased, because we know these spoons are my creation.
             Reason Salmon Buster's are the best might surprise you?  ...I've caught Steelhead over the years on probably over 30 brands and various sizes of spoons. 
            The big advantage to the SB's is their light weight.  When Steelhead they turn in rocket ships with violent head shaking, grabbing air, they cannot use the weight of the spoon to shake, rattle and roll free.  When silver bullets bite a SB, they stay stuck!

7/4/21  4th of July Holiday photo is courtesy of Capt. Steve from Top 40 Charters in MI's UP (Fairport) of a 13 LB. Steelhead taken on one of spoons. Click 13lb Steelie
            This stunning fish hit a Salmon Buster™ 4.0 in the Crushed Fluorescent Orange Gold Mamba (model CFO-G).  There's a lot of detail work in all mamba spoons.  Steve purchased this spoon 5 years ago and it's still on the job looking brand new.  How many spoons do you have that have held up this good for 5-6 years?  Click CFO-G spoon
            Along with catchabilty, the way our spoons hold up is part of the reason Salmon Buster™ spoon rank number 3 in webstore sales.  Ahead of our flashers and meat rigs™.

7/3/21  Last year about this time learned there was no whole herring available in Manistee, MI.  No, nota, none to be had.  If there was whole herring available in 2020? 
...never would have came up with our soft plastic Strip Teazers as herring replacements.
            The inception/idea of our strips started last July that's still evolving.  Every batch we inject improves, as experienced is gained working with soft plastics.
             My biggest concern is when the fleet finds out, ...in low light our X-Glow strips out produce traditional herring, we won't be able to keep up with demand.

7/2/21  Have a safe and great 4th of July Independence Day holiday weekend.  Forecast is about as good and it's going to get.  Lk. MI is supposed to play nice too.
             Taking this coming Tuesday thru Thursday to enjoy summertime and will not be shipping any orders till next Friday.  Days off before crunch time that's almost here.

7/1/21  Michigan DNR sends out weekly fishing reports if you sign up.  This is a broad view of all areas in our great State of Michigan.  One thing I appreciate, these are not all rosy chamber of commerce reports with embellished "pie-in-the-sky" numbers.
            When a port has slow fishing? ...this is not hidden. Click for MI fish report

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2021 Results
January, February & March

April, May & June
July, August & September

2020 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September

October, November & December

2019 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

2018 Results
January, February & March
April, May, & June

July, August & September
October, November & December

2017 Results
January, February & March
April, June & June
July, August, & September
October, November & December

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


For complete results of all fishing trips, fishing reports & general info
and a peek into my archived log for the past seasons, 
click the below link:

Past Results