2022 January, February and March

Hauling Wood
Cold Winter

Merc Trim/Tilt
Wiring Mess

Scruffy Healing
Feb. 2, 2022

Manistee Boat Launch
March 20, 2022


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

Archived Daily Log 
(Dating back to the year 2000)

3/31/22  You'd need to be a April Fool to walk out on the iced over launch dock in Manistee, MI in today's featured pic.  Spray & splash makes this dock unsafe.
              Lack of springtime temperatures have my want to start my 54th season on the Great Lakes on hold.  All 53 have been a blessing and I'm sure 54 will be too.
             Good, bad, or indifferent it's the challenge that keeps it fascinating.  Nothing stays the same due to the infinite amount of variables.   Click ice dock

3/30/22  Every time I can see an afternoon to ready my boat, we get smacked with a bunch of orders.  Which I guess is supposed to be a good thing.
              Looking back, glad I did not sell my tackle manufacturing operation in 2013.  This allowed for time to develop Salmon Buster™ Spoons in 2014 and Rip Teezers in 2020. 
              I'm into concept and design.  Not managing a large workforce. That's why I've stayed small without dealer network.  Stocking tackle stores is a big job way-beyond my wants, or needs.  Transitioning from a charter skipper into tackle manufacturing is the best thing I've ever done.  Turning out better than I could have hoped for.

3/29/22  In 2013 made a big mistake not knowing how to handle the crackpots and people that didn't have a down payment on a free lunch putting my tackle business up for sale.  Know now, the 1st thing is to run a credit and a background checks. 
              That way I'm not wasting my time.  One of the difficulties with my tackle business it appears abstract   Because a potential buyer don't see all my inventory that covers 2 walls in my 40' by 50' polebarn.  Not to mention the 5 injection molding tools. Along with several trademarks and patent pending.
               If I had my druthers? ...I'd prefer to keep it.  But I cannot turn back time, or change the fact I'm looking at turning 75 years old this November.
               To do this right, it has to be a good fit for the new owner that must be at least semi tech savvy to run www.michiganangler.com.  Thinking of splitting the sale up into meat heads, flashers, spoons and Rip Teezers.  Unless, I can find someone who wants it all.  Will be doing a web page showing my massive inventory to make my point soon.

3/28/22  Flasher day is on tap.  Stock of 10 and 12 inchers is running low and needs to be replenished.  Making flashers is no big deal and it's actually enjoyable. 
              Best done when the Detroit Tigers are on TV playing.  You can listen to baseball and get a good idea of what's going on without watching every move.
              Baseball and fishing have a lot in common.  Lots of slow time, then all hell breaks loose.  Baseball you can fail 2 out of 3 times, as a hitter and make it into the hall of fame.  If you fail 3 times at catching fish on the Great Lakes you make it into the hall of shame.

3/27/22  With a high today in the low 20s does not lend to jumping on your boat and hitting Lk. MI.  Mr. Winter escaped from the ICU and brought his buddy Mr. S. Flake to remind us the calendar is not in charge of the weather.
              My sat dish was a mess yesterday that slows load time.  Ice build up on the dish part and snow covering the eye meant a trip to do clean up.  Painful part is a 1/2 mile away there's a fiber optic ATT cable capable of high speed broadband.
             I have Hughes Net sat service, advertized as high speed internet. Yeah right, 1.3 mbps on downloading data from the net is ...what it is at 70 bucks for 20 gigs a month.
My Manistee snowometer now reads a combined 76" (72 + 4) total for this winter.

3/26/22 Snow day.  Wet heavy clinging snow has my sat dish struggling.

3/25/22  It was encouraging to see the MDNR mentioning Brown Trout were being caught off Ludington, MI.  This is big time fun in the spring.  Plus, spring Browns make great table fare.  Manistee, MI just needs a few days of E wind for S of the harbor for water clarity. 
              N of the harbor is all sand and don't cloud up like the 2 major clay banks S of the harbor.  Seen a hard W blow turn the S into chocolate milk.  Both directions are good depending on the wind.  Small creeks N and S can attract Smelt runs at times.
              My boat projects are stalled with more orders then we can comfortably handle.  There's only so much in my tank and orders always come first.
              Looks like toward the middle of next week weather will improve as Mr. Winter just wants to pay us another visit.  Not to worry, his days are numbered.

3/24/22  Touched on inflation yesterday that leads to an unseen erosion of your money.  In 2005 sold our Leader Lockers for 29.95.  Adjusted for inflation this popular item should retail for 43.51.  I did raise the price to 39.95 that's 3 bucks less then what I would have made in 2005.  Cost to have the Plano boxes and inserts in-stock is a lot.
               Nobody in business want to raise price points.  But if you don't? ...it amounts to not being able to stay in business.  Click for inflation calculator
               MDNR website said Browns were being caught in Ludington.  No word on the action in Manistee yet.  Should get some reports soon.

3/23/22  Inflation is the worst it's been in a long time.  Is Pres. Biden responsible?  Oh, hell yeah!  Along with Bush II, Obama, Trump, with all Rs and Ds in Washington.  All as in the whole group ...has spent money we don't have to driving us into a debtor nation.
              Price of gas is bad.  Not nearly as bad as when I paid 5.50 a gallon in Lake City, MI when the Katrina stuff was going down.  The alternative of walking home made 5.50 a gallon less painful and I didn't wear out a pair of shoes hoofing 50 some miles.

3/22/22  Big Manistee River is now under a new daily limit of 1 Steelhead per day from Tippy Dam down to the railroad bridge by Instalaunch campground.  This will have an effect on those guiding the big river.  How much? ...probably not too much with catch and release being the norm for thriving Bass fishing public.  Click MDNR Steelhead regs
              1 fish a day for the Big Manistee River went into effect March 15 thru May 15th that will protect the spawning fish on the gravel from getting beat up.
              Before I quit guiding on the Manistee in 2003, seen nose to tail, 5 fly guide boats on the gravel run below Matson's Campground down for Rainbow Bend access site.

3/21/22  Today's featured photo says a lot about Lk. MI having a green-grayish tint.  This kind of water you'd better like fishing a whole lot more than catching.
               Setup on this pic is just S of Manistee, MI's pier heads from Merkey Road bluff that's evaluated maybe 80' to100' above Lk. MI.  This water needs some time to let the silt settle out before S is the direction to fish.  N could be a wiser choice with clearer water.  6' to 8' of visibility worked best for me.  If you can see the bottom in 10' in gin clear water don't expect much rodular activity. Click 3/20/22  gray-green Lk. MI

3/20/22  Spring 2022 has officially sprung.  Been waiting for improving weather that goes back to last fall ...when I was doing a mega-push to create more Rip Teezers.  Glad I did, still have plenty of strips in-stock left.  Boat work day this afternoon.
               Posted some new pic of Lk. MI and Manistee, MI's boat launch.  Ice is almost gone from the main lake.  1st Street boat launch is just about completely clear of ice.  The 2022 season is here for sure.  Click boat launch 

3/19/22  Big day tomorrow as we herald in official spring 2022.  It's been a long cold slog to get thru this, soon to pass winter.  Not much snow, but colder then wanted.
              Tomorrow's temp is supposed to be in the 50s.  Setting aside time to prepare boat.  Then, make sure all maintenance issues have been completed. 
               My goal is to get a maiden voyage in before April.  Not much faith in close, on the beach fish.  20' to 30' depths likely to produce LTs with the slim possibility of a few Kings.  They were here late fall & maybe a few stuck around.

3/18/22  Good day for some R and R.  Warm weather really kick started tackle sales.  Finally caught up and there's no backlog as of the morning.
              1st spring training day for the Detroit Tigers after the lockout at 1pm today.  America's pass time is a team sport.  Think any sport where they give you a club is cool.
              Good news for those of us that are not fans of clock yoyo that will eliminate this poor idea.  A bill in Washington is being passed to keep us on DST year-around.

3/17/22  St. Patrick's Day luck is not needed in S Lk. MI right now.  The Coho have showed up and are averaging about 20" this early in the season.  Spring Coho are easy to catch once located, because all they want to do is eat.  This is how March Coho go from a 20" (2-3 lbs.) fish now, to a 8 to 10 pounder 5 months later August.
              62° at my place yesterday was our warmest day of 2022 thus far.  Last time we seen 60s was back on December 16, 2021.  Thought to myself today when I took the dogs out for exercise how happy I was to see dirt in the yard.  We've been snow covered going back to late December.  Just think? ...the best is yet to come.

3/16/22  Posted a photo of Manistee, MI's boat launch at the end of 1st Street.  Ramp is in good shape with shore ice build up.  Still "just a few days" away from the early birds getting their boats wet.  Until the ice is gone, it's shore-side for the wise.
             Need about 2 days to have my boat ready.  Improving weather has my time spoken for with more orders than we can handle comfortably. Click 3.14.22 launch

3/15/22  Today's featured photo is from yesterday showing the floatie ice off Manistee, MI's 5th Avenue beach courtesy of Wayne J.  Looks like the lake is going to need about 5 warm days to rid itself of the floating ice chunks.  Click 3/14/22 Lk. MI ice
               Ice like this will jam up the harbor making any idea of fishing a reel dumb one.  Even if you could get out? ...the ice closes up the harbor & you're up ____ Creek without a paddle.  Been out early before dodging the ice and it's no fun.  Lures snag the ice making fishing a exercise in futility. Like I said yesterday, "just days away" from the 2022 season.

3/14/22  It was glorious yesterday watching the snow melt.  Thermometer hit 42°.  26° more then it was on Saturday.  Weather for this week looks good.
               First the 2022 season was months away.  Then, it was weeks.  Now, it's just days away before the Lk. MI season is upon us.  This week should open up the Manistee's harbor.  City of Manistee always installs a few docks as soon as there's open water.

3/13/22  Yesterday brought back memories of when I used to guide on the Big Manistee River.  16° for the high meant everything was going to be a losing fight with the ice.  Steering and shift linkage would ice up.  Worst part was dealing the ice in the rod guides all day.  This was a never ending battle from start to finish.  River guiding was a hard job with mediocre pay for the amount of effort.  Glad I'm not doing this anymore.
              Today winter's grip  is starting to slip with at least 20 more degrees in our favor.  This week is a heck of a lot warmer then anything we've seen all this year.  Next trip into town will stop by the 1st Street launch to check on conditions.

3/12/22 Spring forward 1 hour tonight to adjust to Daylight Saving Time.  I'll probably forget and posted this to remind myself.  Changing the batteries in your smoke alarms is another good idea.  Backing up important computer flies is always a good task.

3/11/22  Looks like beginning this Sunday we're on track for warmer temps to relieve cabin fever.  This winter is wearing thin.   Not so much for snow (only plowed twice), but the continuation of the cold that seldom breaks average daily highs.
               50° to close 60° is what the Weather Underground is predicting.  This will get me off my duff to finish the trim/tilt replacement job done and over with.  Rods/reels are set to go.  Have plenty of proven Salmon Buster spoons that want to get wet.

3/10/22  Taking fish photos is right up my alley.  Celebrating a few moments of victory should not be over looked.  Taking pics in low light enhances the pic immensely.  Fill flash needs to be used.  Even cell phone cameras have this option by providing contrasting sky with your subject matter.   Take several for the right shot and you'll have pictures you can be proud of.  Work with the person holding the fish so the whole fish can be captured.
             Looks like good news next week that will be covered tomorrow.

3/9/22  It's clear to me there's not enough fishing rods in the Russian Federation.  If there were? ....this country wouldn't be picking fights with it neighbors.  David and Goliath struggles just don't look good on the world stage.
            This is a perfect example of how absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Having all the power concentrated at the top never comes with a good ending.
            Gas prices have jumped a good dollar a gallon since the Russians amassed their invasion force on the Ukrainian border.  This price hike effects us all.  Charter boats get about a 1 mile a gallon and pay about a dollar more on the water. 
            Let's hope this war comes to an end soon.  Next issue is at question is the US public's tolerance level of civilians being targeted before we take military action.

3/8/22  Boat tag registration for my tin boat arrived about 3 weeks after doing the easy online form.  Registration decals are blue for 2022.  Doing this online saves wear and tear on your vehicle.  This is even easier than mailing the form back in.
            Making no progress towards spring-like weather.  Last weekend, yes it was in the 50s, but with lots of rain that then froze, turning my yard into a slippery ice skating rink.
            Add in 6 inches of wet snow yesterday that was not appreciated.
My Manistee snowometer now reads a combined 72" (66 + 6) total for this winter.

3/7/22  Next weekend on Sunday, March 13, 2022, 2:00:00 am clocks are turned forward 1 hour.  Spring forward is the easy way to remember this.  We'll be on Daylight Saving Time.  We fall back 1 hour on Sunday, November 6th to standard time.  Posted this early, because the leap forward 1 hour is the one I have a hard time remembering.

3/5/22  Posted a screen shot of my video editor.  Minus cutting up scenes, everything is there.  Overlays for narration, titles, captions and added images to the timeline makes this a complicated job if you're fussy like me to what the end result is.
             I figure about an hour for every minute of video if you want to have something to be proud of.  You have to like this stuff, or you're overwhelmed.  Timing is most important to the final product.  I have all the tools major film makers have.  Being able to produce a HD video and share it with you is amazing compared to pre-internet days.
             Patience is imperative to this whole process. Click editor timeline

3/4/22  Mr. Winter is losing his grip and is almost on life support with predicted weekend temps in the 50° range.  Hopefully, he'll be in the ICU soon.
             Going to use this weekend to get my 1997 Sea Ray ready for the 2022 season.  Have a few mechanicals left.  Then, fine tune the tackle with some new 2022 spoons.
            Have a good 1/2 an hour of Lk. MI video from 8/19/21.  Including some in the dark action with savvy fisherman, Chris G.  Need to condense down to 10 minutes, or less.

3/3/22  Warm weekend on the way.  Possible 50° on Sunday will help with boat projects.  Soldering and shrink wrapping all bare wires in the trim/trim sensors is a must.  New gasket on the drain plug screw didn't go in as planned with a shred hanging out.  Probably didn't clean enough of the old gasket away.  Need to replace the trim/tilt gauge too.
            I have 6 rods already in good shape with new 15 lb. test mono for shoreline trolling in 7' to 12' of water.  Tight to the beach fishing has sucked for me the past 2-3 years.  Know now to pull out deeper in the 20' to 30' depths if shallow don't work.
           Going out on a limb and predicting the new Silver Bullet Blue Salmon Buster spoon in the 4.0 size will be a winner on bright sunny days. Click SB Blue Salmon Buster

My Manistee snowometer now reads a combined 66" (60 + 6) total for this winter

3/2/22  4 days in a row when we broke the freezing mark in Manistee, MI.  44° at my place yesterday felt warmer with little to no wind.
            2022 fishing licenses are now available online from the MDNR website.  Purchased mine with great expectations for the coming season.  Buying online is easy-pezzy no hassle what-so-ever.  Having a PDF sent to you means you'll never lose access to do reprints.  Your 2021 license expires on 3/31/22.
Click Online MI Fish Licenses

3/1/22  March is coming in like Lamb Chops, a popular sock puppet that dates back to the 1950s when it debuted on the Capt. Kangaroo Show.  Click Lamb Chops
            High today in the mid 30s with clouds and sun is a far cry from what we endured during January and February.  Weather is moderating for sure.  Today will be the 3rd day in a row above freezing at my place.  Not by much, but it's is a step in the right direction.
            Question is how will March play out so we can get our boats out of storage?

2/28/22  Posted a March calendar of what to expect for daily high temps, as we creep ever closer to Spring 2022 on the 20th of this month.  We won't hit the 40° average daytime high until the middle of March.  Know 40 don't sound like much until you look back at the single digit highs and below zero lows. Click March average temp calendar
              Scruffy is going top the vet today for a checkup on his left rear leg hock that was blown away by the Pine Creek Dog shooter with a 5.56 bullet.  There's enough of the  rear casing left to get a ballistic match on the gun that was used by the felon.

2/27/22  WI commercial fishing is pushing to harvest Lk. MI  Lake Trout.  If you run a charter boat you're probably be against nets taking LTs, instead of your customers.
               Flip the coin over and maybe, just maybe netting LTs will provide a better forage base and improve Salmon fishing on both sides of the Lk. MI.  Lakers eat vast quantities of Alewives 24/7 365 days a year.  According to what I've read, Lakers prefer Alewives over other types of bait from DNR studies.  Click for netting article
              Economics says most are not going to invest large in a big water boat just to fish Lake Trout.  Tough call and we'll have to wait and see if netters get their way.

2/26/22  It's entirely feasible I could be on Lk. MI within the next 4 weeks.  Manistee, MI's once phenomenal early Brown Trout fishery is dust in the wind.  Now, it's Lake Trout and if the weather plays nice ...some March/April Kings.
              Looks like we have another week of winter.  Long range forecast looks favorable with temps in the 40s for next weekend.  Hope this holds true.

2/25/22  Today's featured photo is the wiring issues in the Mercruiser Trim/Tilt sensor job.  Discovered bare wires that need sorting out on both sensors.  Tilt sensor can turn the tilt feature off.  Need to be careful with this one.  Click wiring issues
               I purchased a 500 page Seloc Mercruiser repair manual back when I bought my 1979 Sea Ray many years ago.  This book has everything under the sun for DIY home fix-it Merc outdrive projects.  Do know when I do get lucky with home fixes I feel victory over the previously unknown.

2/24/22  March 1st looks like it's coming in as a lamb with a predicted high of 36°.  We're reaching the time of the year when a string of days will be above freezing.
              Granted, all of us who live in MI know winter is getting a bit long in the tooth.  This winter has tipped to many days being below average in Manistee, MI.  Know this from how much wood we've burned.  Normal heating season is around 11 face cords.  This year we've burned about 12 and there's a still good month on wood is still left.
              9° this morning has my Mercruiser outdrive trim/tilt project on hold.  Did test the trim wires and got no circuit.  So, something is messed up.  Wiring is not my strong suit.

2/23/22  Postponed until a backlog of orders are cleared up.  Sales always pickup toward the end of the month and that's a good thing. 

2/22/22  5 deuces update.  Not much today.  Ice storm with snow will make it touch and go with my sat dish internet system.  Fiber optic cables capable of carrying high speed broadband are 1/2 mile W of where I live.  Rural means limited net access and you pay thru the nose for it.  I get 20 gigs for 75 bucks a month during the hours of 8am thru 2am.  There's 50 gigs more from 2am thru 8am ...if you want work during the graveyard shift.

2/21/22  Presidents Day and the last week of February moves us ever closer to the 2022 big water season.  This month has flew by for yours truly.
              In a few days we'll find out what major river Steelhead fisheries are going to take the hit to 1 fish per day, per license.  In 2019 the MDNR planted almost 250k Rainbows in the Manistee River.  Fish ranged in size from 7 inches to 3.6 which was fall plant.  With this massive amount of Rainbows going into the Manistee River it should be wall to wall fish, if there was a good big lake survival rate? 
              Know there's plenty of food, mostly worms being washed to the Manistee River from the drop-back hens caught when I was guiding.  Seen Steelhead packed full of small worms, like baby night crawlers.  Hens would would gorge on tiny Sucker 1/16" eggs in April too.  Never caught a spawned-out drop-back buck.  Males are the love 'me and leave 'em type and scoot back to the big pond in hurry.  Hens would hang around well into May.

2/20/22  MDNR does not have a separate classification for Steelhead.  Their  planting records just say Rainbow Trout.  Based on that, the MDNR plants Rainbows from March thru May according to their fish stocking date base.  Click MDNR database
              With the cut to 1 fish during the primetime spawn this tells us the DNR is trying to improve natural reproduction.  Cut to 1 fish will hurt the river guides.  That goes without saying.  1 fish vs. the 3 big lake fisherman can take just don't seem fair.
              Then, throw in WI, who I believe has a 5 Rainbow limit and a 1 fish limit really gets out kilter.  WI has never went along any limits for their open water fleet.
              Please keep in mind, Bass fishermen release just about everything they catch. Bass fishing by far, is the largest thriving no-kill fishery in the USA

2/19/22  Certain yet to be announced on 3/1/22 Steelhead regulations will drop the daily limit to one fish. MDNR has 4 color coded rivers and stream.  This is what they wrote:

"A new daily possession limit of one rainbow trout (steelhead) has been put into effect on some Type 3 and Type 4 streams and will be effective from March 15 to May 15, inclusive. This regulation will go into effect March 15, 2022."

Type 3 and 4 streams covers the Betsie, Pere Marquette, Big and Little Manistee Rivers.  So, we'll have to wait see how this plays out.  More on this tomorrow.....

2/18/22  March 31st is when your boat registration and fishing licenses expires.  Rather than using the mail re-upped my tin boat MI registration (MC numbers) to doing it online last month.  New stickers haven't arrived yet.  So, do this well in advance of the 31st.
              New online 2022 MI fishing licenses don't go on-sale until March 1.
              Not sitting the MI Secretary of State office with the take a number, then sit on a hard chair waiting for the line gets to you is something I don't miss-a-at-all!

2/17/22  Waiting on my trademark to go thru.  Then, I'll list our Rip Teezers on Amazon.  The learning curve was a mountain to climb with fully in-house manufacturing.  Learning the mix ratio, proper heat and cure time took months to perfect.  Adding our strips to a major outlet has to be a benefit to a new owner.
               Learned from my last experience selling my business where people want to use leverage to get a giveaway price.  This won't happen again, as any potential buyer will be well vetted before negotiations begin.  I do not want to sell, but my age is a factor to be reckoned with.  Schemers, con artists, and crooks need not apply.

2/16/22  There's no penalty for being over prepared.  Having everything ready for a project keeps the flow going.  No stopping to waste time digging up parts and tools.
               Been looking forward to today's warmer temps to get going on the trim/tilt sensor replacement project for a good week.  Moving forward to the 2022 season is the motivation.  Can't go, unless you're ready right?  Click project tools & parts
               After being cooped up for months working with tools is a pure joy.  This when and where the curtain of our new big water trolling season is beginning to go up.

2/15/22  Supposed to hit just about the mid-40° mark tomorrow.  Then, cool off and have another plus 40° on this coming Sunday.  This will allow continuation of the trim/tilt project.  Merc outdrive needs new lower end lube too.  This can be hand-pumped in after being warmed to room temp in the house.  Putting the lube in hot water lower is another way to lower the viscosity and make it a lot easier to pump up thru the drive
              There's a reel-possibility might be able to get both projects completed soon. Moving forward to get ready for the 2022 season is no longer a distant dream and something I must be ready for.  Lost my early fishing last season with strip production learning curve.  This won't happen 2 years in a row.  More on this tomorrow...

2/14/22  Valentine's Day is the when you show your spouse they're the love of your life.  This was always a good day to take my wife of 50 some years and counting out to dinner.  She likes a break from the kitchen and being waiting on.  Omicron has that on hold.  We're not ready to feel safe in a crowed dining room ...yet.  So, I'll do dinner for her today.  She more than deserves it for supporting all my efforts since 1967.

2/13/22  Some laws are beyond common sense and reasonable toleration.  The way I read today's link: it's now against the law to kill a wolf even if the big bad wolf is attacking your livestock, or dogs.  Click for this article
              This law just went to effect with the Biden admin putting wolves back on the endangered species list.  I see the need to keep wolves in areas where they're least likely to cause harm.  Mr. Wolf attacks my dogs, Mr .357 will have a say in the final outcome.
              Of course I don't have to worry about this for now with no wolf sightings in Manistee, but in case it does, just saying...

2/12/22  Loosening threads when doing mechanical stuff is a chore.  Not breaking screws, nuts, or bolts is vitally important, because of the grief to re-thread.
              Worst is Philips head screws that are stuck.  Went thru this with changing the trim/tilt sensors repair job.  Here's what works for me: spray with PB Blaster, turn to tighten a tiny bit.  PB Blaster is the best penetrating oil I've used. Click PB Blaster
             Tightening first a tiny bit can sometimes help. Then, to loosen, any movement is good, even if it's only 1/16 of a turn.  Just use this 1/16th of turn and go back and forth a tiny bit.  Go in and out until it frees up with a lot with patience.  Once you get a 1/2 turn and it's frees up, keep with the in and out going until the screw finally comes out.
             1979 when my boat was made by Sea Ray is a lot of time for the aluminum to oxidize in the gimbal.  Consider this a victory and one more side with 2 screws to go.
    My Manistee snowometer now reads a combined 60" (51 + 9) total for this winter.

2/11/22  MDNR's free fishing weekend is coming up next weekend on Feb. 19-20.  Cold spell should have good ice, or open water Steelhead are your options.
               Please check the ice above all else.  We lost Terry Weber, originator of the MI Stinger trolling spoon back in 2016 when he went thru the ice.  I considered Terry a friend that dates back to the 1980s when I first met him at a sport show.  Terry and his family are excellent people to deal with and miss not seeing Terry on the docks.
            Tomorrow?  a tip that will save you a lot of grief on mechanical jobs.

2/10/22  Been running a $10,000 reward ad in our local shoppers guide for the trigger happy criminal that blew a hole in my dog's leg.  Have a report on deer being shot and left laying for no good reason in the same general area.  So, this is a person bent on killing things with his 5.56 that's most likely an AR.  I'm careful not to call this an assault weapon, because just about any gun can fall into this category when used illegally.
             I'm not letting this go.  Will be posting signs all along Pine Creek Road corridor once the weather break toward spring.  Somebody knows who did this and so will I eventually and put this person in the big house with Bubba. Click reward ad

2/9/22  eBay has a new policy I don't like.  Prior, once your item sold, your money went directly into your PayPal account.  Now, it's a 2-3 day wait while they hold your money before depositing the dough in your bank account.  Essentially, forcing the sellers to ship product without any payment, if they want to ship in a timely manner.  Leaving well enough alone is never good for big tech while they figure out more ways to make money on your money with the interest they earn.

2/8/22  Post pandemic sounds good.  One of these days covid will be behind us.  Nothing in my life has effected my lifestyle since this virus came on the scene that's entering the 3rd year now.  Hoping by summer we'll have a new hire to help getting orders out the door every morning.  It's tough to be the Lone Ranger in an operation when we'd have 2-3 helpers every morning.  This can't come soon enough with the rebound we had with our King fishery last season.  Will this continue? ....2022 season will tell us that in October.

2/7/22  We have a lot to look forward to.  Weather will be moderating soon with official spring only 5 weeks away.  Manistee will be interesting this spring.  If history hold true? ...when you have fall and late fall juvenile Kings, they tend hang around and make a good showing in May.  Sometimes earlier, if the weather breaks faster.
            Having things to look forward to makes life worth living.  Can't imagine going thru life without making time for fun.  Rewarding one's self with playtime is a must.

2/5/22  Good weekend to take off and go as digitally free as possible.  Just need a break from computers.  This machine will be turned off until tomorrow evening.  Then, I'll deal with orders and what else needs to be done.

2/4/22  -7° at my place at 5am this morning ties in nicely with an article I found online about the way-too smart people are going to do a study on the Great Lakes ice cover.  This 20 some years after Lk. Huron Kings crashed when this lake's alewife population vanished.  This led to long skinny starving Kings with big heads that were pitiful to look at.  Guess late is better then never to find answers.  Click for ice study

2/3/22  One of the greatest tools on the internet is YouTube.  This is a visual learning guide to everything you need to know.  Just type in the search box and rummage thru the the many videos directed at your project.  Then, you can do it like a pro.
            Looked up replacing the trim/tilt sending units and found a easy workaround on how to run the wires without pulling the gimbal housing that would be a major job.
            Granted I'll have to drill a hole thru the transom after drilling a 3/8" hole in the gimbal to run the wires that's a heck of a lot easier.  Click video quick fix

2/2/22  Groundhog Day brings use that much closer to spring.  Personally, don't believe the folklore about an early spring if it's cloudy and Mr. G. Hog don't see his shadow.    With a high today in the low 20s any self respecting Groundhog would never venture outside.
              42 yesterday at my place in Manistee County, MI made for a productive day.  Lots accomplished with orders, chimney cleaning and even found a little time to begin the trim/tilt indictor project.  Some of the screws came out.  Have 2 that are stuck & don't want to snap them off.  Will soak in penetrating juice for while. Click tilt sending unit

2/1/22  February is coming in like a lamb.  Maybe 40° today and that's a bunch warmer then we've seen in a long time in Manistee, MI.
             Good news abounds with ONLY 7 weeks of winter until the 1st official day of spring 2022.  A month from now the early birds will be pounding the Coho in south end of Lk. MI.  So, the kickoff to our new season is right around the corner.
             Chimney cleaning day.  Heating with wood it's a necessity to clean the chimney twice a during winter.  Hope to find time for the new trim indicator project too.

1/31/22  Goodbye January 2022 and glad to see you go.  We're about to complete the longest and darkest month of winter.  Good news is we're about at the 1/2 mark of winter.
               Getting thru this month is like the uneasy feeling I get going over the Big Mac Bridge, as we climb to the highest part.  Then, as soon as we start the downhill part?
...the uneasy feeling vanishes into just another part of the trip.

1/30/22  Pulled an all-nighter to finish cutting lure tape for the time being.  Wanted to wrap this up before the warm spell when we break freezing.  This will allow for boat project of the trim/tilt indicators.  Downstairs vee-berth needs straightening up too.
              Planning a party to say goodbye to this January.  The snow and especially the cold will soon be in the rearview.  Lots to look forward to.  March arrives in only 60 days!

1/29/22  Ice coverage on the Great Lakes is way ahead of the past few years.  Lk. Huron lost is Alewife population after being froze over.  Heaven forbid that happens to Lk. MI.  I'm sure there were over contributing factors in the early i2ks that caused this to occur on Lk. Huron.  Iced over cuts down on the solar power that kick starts the food chain.   That's why it's always red flag to me. Click Great Lakes ice coverage

1/28/22  River fishing for Steelhead is where you'll gain new respect for MI's most colorful spring fish.  These fish are bad news in tight quarters.  You'll navigate Mr. Steelhead thru logjams and stickups.  Once the water gets over 40° you'll be doing aerial combat with a foe that uses every bit of current to battle you for every inch of line you gain.
              Don't have a boat suitable for river fishing?  No problem, there's plenty of guides on all of our major rivers.  On large rivers like the St. Joe, Muskegon and Manistee, make sure the boat is in enclosed and heated.  The wind can make the outing miserable dealing with harsh conditions, not the fish.  For as hard as a guide works for his money, you won't feel short changed at the end of the trip.  Don't expect limits, do expect a good time!

1/27/22  Big news is the warm up predicted for next week.  This will allow me to move forward with project to fix the trim indicators and have my dashboard gauge tell me if the outdrive is up, or down.  90% of the time this is not an issue and can go without.
               In a rush to get the boat off, or on the dock everything must be stowed for road travel.  Rods, nets and antenna all need attention.  Always keep in mind, there's other fishing folks that could be waiting for the on, or off.  So, it's called let's get a move on and occasionally I forget to lower the drive.  Starting the motor with the drive up is hard on the u-joints.  Have a gauge glance at will fix this. 
               Boats rigged to fish big water are highly complex with just the regular onboard boat instrumentation.  Add in all the auxiliary electronics and that a pile of stuff.  Keeping it all working during our short windows to fish is important.

1/26/22  Everything we do timing is an important part of all endeavors. That's why I decided to wait to post a new video from last August with our Rip Teazers in action.  The first day it supposed to hit 50° in Manistee, MI, this new video will be available.
               My struggles last season was finding the time to get off the dock.  Flying solo with no shop help took it's toll.  Work most of the morning (4am till noon) that's a full shift. Then, have enough energy in the tank to hit the pond was in short supply.
              Tad nippy yesterday when I plowed snow.  Like 12° for a daytime high.  Dreaded face masks I hate came into good use in Eskimo weather.
    My Manistee snowometer now reads a combined 51" (45 + 6) total for this winter.

1/25/22  Looks like a snow day.  Looks like the plow truck will be in action cleaning up Lk. MI snow that's been piling up over the past few of days.   Need to haul wood too. 
               Warmest day predicted is February 1st when we get to a balmy 32°.  32° sounds good after the barrage of single digits and low teens.  Tomorrow ...timing?
    My Manistee snowometer now reads a combined 45" (37 + 8) total for this winter.

1/24/22  Extra busy in the shop and that's a good thing.  One of the upsides to my job is I get to work with remarkable software that runs my 3D printer and potter/cutter that makes die cut lure tape.  Both machines are almost hypnotizing to watch in action.
              Another thing of interest is this January did not come with a thaw.  It's cold and staying that way until the end of the month.  Not much snow for this month.  Only plowed once since it turned cold back in November.  Looking forward in a huge way to turn the page on the calendar to February.  Soon, we'll have amusing Mr. Groundhog Day folk lore about how much longer this winter is going to last is on the way.

1/23/22  Sunday is supposed to be a day of rest.  That's not how my tackle business operates.  Today's task at hand to cut enough lure tape to finish a 1000 meat heads.  Don't mind this a bit.  Had plenty of days off and finally orders have picked up.
               Have a few other small jobs, being shipping meat heads and spoons to our metalizing company that does a top notch job.

1/22/22  Last January was a lot warmer then this year.  The amount of wood that I burn confirms this.  This January is when we struggle to reach average temps.  Nothing on the above average temperatures with a lot of single digits and few below zeros.
              Scruffy's gunshot wound is closing at a slow rate.  There's one problem area that continues to drain and not close up.  We put him back on antibiotics to keep infection at bay.  Looks like the new skin is filling in with hair too. Click gunshot 6 weeks later

1/21/22  Still had a hint of daylight at 6pm.  Close to a 1/2 an hour more light then we had on the 1st day of winter back in December.  We gaining about 2 minutes a day.
              Boat project for change the trim/tilt sensors is on hold until we get some 30° plus temperatures.  Forecast has no warmer weather predicted for good week.
              Had to re-engineer how to run the wires, or pull the gimbal bearing and that's a major job way beyond my skill set.  Planning projects leads to a successful outcome.

1/20/22  Vacation is over, as orders have started trickling in.  While time off allows for personal/boat projects it does not sell tackle.  Our inventory is in good shape, because I do not rely on China as a major parts supplier.  Besides, Scruffy likes going to the shop a whole lot more than I do.  He makes all jobs fun with his wagging tail.
              His rehab is doing good.  Careful not to overwork him during daily backyard play sessions.  Signs are for a strong 80% usage (maybe more) of the leg he was shot in.
              We're 1/3 into winter and that's good news.  Soon it will be Groundhog Day and before you know it, the 1st day of spring 2022 arrives on March 20th.

1/19/22  Most of the time when my boat is put up for winter layover, it's 100% ready on day one of the new season.  Not so this year.  That's alright, cause gives me small projects that can be done when the weather permits.
              Ordered all the supplies for the Merc outdrive gear lube change.  Ordered the premium Mercruiser gear lube for a few bucks more than generic.  eBay prices beat Amazon for a change.  Ordered new trim/tilt sensors for the outdrive.  This was the only thing missing in working order on my 1979 22" Sea Ray.  Never installed these sensors before, but I'm sure can figure it out with my volt-ohm meter.
             Even easier, found a YouTube video with step by step instructions.

1/18/22  Drained the lube in my Merc outdrive.  The gear lube came out clean, not contaminated from water intrusion that would have turned it milky.  This is a simple job anyone can do with a large slotted screwdriver.  Don't remove the top drain plug until the bottom one is out.  This will keep your hands a little less messy.
           This is a must: you'll need new Mercruiser drain plug gaskets for the drain plugs, or you're risking leakage that could turn into big repair bills.  Click to see clean lube
           Gaskets can be purchased can be purchased reasonable on eBay, or Amazon.

1/17/22  If tackle sales got any slower, my clocks would be running backwards.  When it's cold? ...this holds back tackle sales.  Difficult to envision open water fishing.  In fact, it's been downright frigid in Manistee, MI.  1 night last week it was 13 below at my place.
              Last fall concentrated on 2022 Rip Teazer production and boat maintenance was neglected.  Today I'm draining the gear lube in my Mercruiser outdrive.  I'll leave it drain for a long time.  Cold gear lube is very thick.  More so when it's below 50°.

1/16/22  There's better days ahead when we peek over the horizon.  This sickness that ails our country will pass someday.  There 10 million people in MI.  1.75 million have been infected, close to 20%.  Numbers are approximate, but very close.  With 62% of MI being vaccinated this virus should be on the way out when warming spring weather gets us outside again.  Boat fishing is one of the safest things you can do, if all aboard take the necessary precautions.

1/15/22  Almost the mid point in January.  Soon we'll be on the downhill side of longest-darkest month of winter.  Guess we call call this the staging month for the 2022 season.
              Everyone is a critic nowadays.  Try not to be, but the recent MDNR email about lake assessments had a whole lot of words that said nothing.  It boiled down to their research vessel schedule and not much else.   If you click the photo links at the bottom of the page it makes a little more sense with zero hard data.  Click for this article

1/14/22  Recent cold weather built ice to a safe thickness on many lakes in MI.  Today's featured photo of courtesy of Chris G and son with a nice catch of Crappies and a few Pike.  Hardwater fishing provides outdoor recreation and great eating when the stars lineup.  See a fish fry in Chris's future.  Click Chris and son's ice catch
               In the mid 1960s dealt with the draft when the M16s first came out.  This is when you realize the US government owns your ass.  Vietnam war was to stop communism that was a phony excuse that cost too many lives.  Now we sell Kentucky Fried Chicken & Coke to this country buy their goods with us losing
58,220 service men.

1/13/22  Scruffy's wound has closed up about 4 weeks after he was shot with a 5.56.  Know he wasn't shot with a long rifle 22 caliber that would have never blew out an 1 1/4" and 2" hole.  5.56s are usually chambered for AR16 semi auto rifles.
               Need to do more research on the ARs.  Longtime bud, Wayne J qualified as a marksman in the Air Force with some of the original ARs.  Before this rifle was then designed by committee and tuned into a substandard weapon.  Click AR/M16 story
               Early in the Vietnam was we lost a lot of our soldiers from this weapon being prone to jamming.  The truth is we lost 2 major conflicts (Vietnam & Afghanistan) with ARs, or M16s  Know this might ruffle some feathers, but the truth is the truth.
              The jamming problem has been long since cured, but a 40 to 90 grain bullet has inherent trajectory issues.  Especially, in cold weather when the 5.56 caliber is known to become unstable.  This probably saved my dog's life. Click AR 16 facts

1/12/22  The curtain on the 2022 fishing season is slowly rising.  Evidenced by new 2022 catalogs from my suppliers.  Saturday and Sunday mornings on the cable outdoor TV shows are a lot more focused on fishing.  Instead of nonstop hunting shows.
              While we're months ways from the open water season, it is on the way.  2022 offers brand new opportunities for us all.  A great New Years resolution is to fish more.

1/11/21  Brrrrr ...Nanook cold snap has hit most of our country.  Single digit high temps will surely make us appreciate this spring and summer more.
              In my dog search travels last month, of course had to check out the Pine Creek Bridge on Huff Road.  Was amazed to see no signs of the October spawning Kings.  This stream had been cleaned by Mother Nature with nary a Salmon carcass in sight.  Was hoping to see some late season spawning Coho, or early Steelhead, but none we visible.
             This is the same suspected area where a blood lusting criminal tried to kill my dog.  Learned back in deer season somebody shot a couple of deer and just left them lay in about the same place.  There is a local sicko that needs to be put away, before he turns his gun on people.  Killing things needlessly is about as bad as it gets!

1/10/22  Orders are starting to pick up.  Actually had to work and make flashers during the past weekend.  Flasher production took a backseat last fall with making Rip Teazers job 1.  Glad I did, because it's way-too cold to work in the polebarn now.
              Going back to work after the layover slow times between the holidays means I can no longer be lazier than a pet coon.  But it was nice while it lasted.
             Ending the year is full of mundane office stuff.  Like filing 4th quarter sales and excise tax and getting info ready for our CPA to file all taxes for 2021.
    My Manistee snowometer now reads a combined 37" (36 + 1) total for this winter.

1/9/22  This is the time of the year for special orders.  If you have a special request you want to bring into being, now is the time.  Please not in season when we're busy.  Just make sure your special project adds up to more than a 100 bucks and we're good to go.
             I'm in a tough place with this covid crap, because my house is attached to my shop.  Bringing in extra help like I used to, is out of the question.  Couple that with Omicron that seems to have more vaccination break thru.  Add in my age where 75% of deaths are people over 65 makes this nothing to fool with.
             Dogs and deer can get infected with covid just like us.  Almost  makes me believe this was a designer weapons-grade virus that got free from lack of containment.

1/8/22  1st week of 2022 is in the bag.  The 1st 3 weeks of winter are done and over with.  January is our longest darkest month we have to deal with in this new year.  For me, January always drags.  Once we hit February my clock speeds up.  Good news is by the end of this month we'll have a 30 minutes more daylight, then last month.

1/7/22  1° this morning at my place in Manistee County, MI.  Last winter's low was 6°.  So, this year's Mr. Winter seems like it has more muscle.
             Scruffy's gunshot is almost closed.  New skin growth has repaired 95% of the initial blown out area.  He eating well.  My guess he has about 80% function in his left rear leg.  Trying to keep his strenuous activity on the down low.  Easier said than done, because he lives to play ball and Frisbee.  Click pic of gunshot healing
             Need to keep on eye on his wound.  As soon as it's healed over we need to discontinue is meds.  2 trips to the vet, meds and X-Rays totals up to around a grand.  That's cheap and money well spent on my best shop buddy.

1/6/22  Snow day.  More snow is predicted too.  Total for this storm could be over 20".
Plowing snow to keep my drive open is front and center.  We have drifts of 2' or better.  So, it's going be long process moving snow.  One I'm not looking forward to.
    My Manistee snowometer now reads a combined 36" (24 + 12) total for this winter.

1/5/22  Weather man has called for 8" to 18" of snow over the next  days.  Depending on how the lake effect bands setup.  Need to put this website on pause until this storm clears out by Friday.  Satellite internet sucks in bad weather.  Waddling thru crotch deep snow is no fun what-so-ever to knock the snow off the dish.
            May I suggest our Tips and Trick section along with You Tube videos.  Could use this break to finish the editing on a new King video shot last summer with Chris G.

1/4/22  Our line of tackle is well traveled around this planet.  Far away places I can only dream about visiting.  Answered a tackle question from customer in British Columbia, Canada with a good review yesterday that read:

"I was just curious if your mamba salmon busters are any different from the regular salmon busters in terms of size and shape? I have had great success with your 4.0 salmon busters out here on the west coast of British Columbia. I am just finalizing my restocking order for 2022. The Mamba patterns are hard to ignore!"
Taylor B.

Know Mamba spoons are deadly and probably should give them more water time aboard my boat.  What holds me back is the time/work that goes into making them.  1st you have to make the stencil, install and center stencil.  Then, hang with a large pinch style paper clip before the air brush blows a speck of paint.  Click Blk Mamba spoon at work Lk. O

1/3/22  Last week showing the sun setting on 2021 turnabout is fair play by seeing the sun rising over Manistee, MI.  Scenery like this has to be experienced.
             2022 season, while some months away has arrived.  Planning fishing trips is part of the fun and gives us something to look forward to.  Click Manistee sunrise
             My season is a little over 2 months away.  If I can make the early S Lk. MI Cohofest that begins in early March.  Have time to trailer maintenance to repack the wheel bearings.  This is a must every few years to eliminate roadside breakdowns.
    My Manistee snowometer reads a combined 24" (23 + 1) total for winter 2021/2022.

1/2/22  Starting off 2022 right by taking the day off.  Works for me!

1/1/22  Happiest of many more New Years to all!

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2022 Results
January, February & March


2021 Results
January, February & March

April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November, & December

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