July, August and September 2022

Grn Frog Rip Teezer
Aug. Manistee, MI

LED Green Crinkle
Leland, MI

LED Salmon Buster
9/2/22 Arcadia, MI King

LED Fly Demo
Green & Blue


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

Archived Daily Log 
(Dating back to the year 2000)

9/30/22  The MDNR has instituted a new policy for deer hunting.  Now you have to report deer harvest/kill within 72 hours, or be in violation when penalties will cost you.  It's the DNR's game.  So, if you're going to play, it's by their rules.  Click MDNR harvest page
                DNR leverage comes in when a number is issued when you take your deer in for processing.  Here's a video link to get an app for your phone: YouTube video

9/29/22  Steelhead is a fish we haven't heard much about this year, at least from my sources.  The MDNR skipped a year to harvest eggs at the Little Manistee River Weir when covid hit us in the spring of 2020 (If my memory serves me correctly).
              With October being almost here, Lk. MI has usually has a terrific Steelie fishery.  This a reel favorite of mine when Steelhead rise to the occasion to grab the top prize of MI's most stunning Trout specie, bar none.  MDNR latest fish report mentioned juvi Kings being caught off Manistee, MI, but nothing about Mr. or Mrs. Steel.

9/28/22  4 day rainathon ends today.  That's the good news.  Bad news is we might get a hard freeze tonight that foretells of the next 7 months of temps below 32°.
              Part 1 on the oil change in my 15 hp. kicker that should be done soon.  The Suzuki has a warning light alert on oil changes that mark 100 hours.  This means possibly 3 years before this task rolls around.  If I did this every day? ...might be a hour job when I don't have to figure out what needs to be done for shroud disassembly.

9/27/22  Recent rains and more on the way is going to draw adult Kings into feeder streams.  Pine Creek should have some fish in it.  Need to do a short road trip to confirm.
              High water will draw Steelhead into the river too.  I'm sure there's plenty of Steelhead waiting to be caught on Lk. MI for the late season anglers.  Might try for one more trip, as soon when the oil change in the kicker motor is done.

9/26/22  Iffy internet connection from rain effecting my Hughes Net satellite again.  Took me 4 tries to get these few lines posted.  Indoor work making tackle is the task at hand.  Just about sold out of our LED spoons and that's a good thing.  In the future machining more for 2023 is another job in the not too distant future.
               This week I'll be finishing up painting 12" Mambas and if there's time left over, our Rip Teezers need attention too.  XG Black Mamba strips are almost out.

9/25/22  Cool, wet dreary fall weekend limiting all outdoor projects such as, stacking wood for the winter.  In MI we're always getting ready for either summer, or winter.
              Still have to change the oil in my 15 hp. kicker.  All the things I like about my Suzuki 4 stroke? ...this is not one of them.  To change the oil filter both sides of lower shroud must be removed to gain access to the filter cap.
              So, pole barn projects out of the rain will be my focus for the next few days.

9/23/22  As if on cue, the temp dropped to 33° this morning.  Fall is definitely here.  Maple trees are beginning to change color and drop leaves.
               Left a lot on the table this year.  Unfinished business, because I never had the chance to do night patrol with our new LED spoons.  The few times I was out, temp was not agreeable to fish late.  For whatever reason? ...adult Kings key on the "glow in the dark baits."  Will make a concerted effect in 2023 for an all nighter.  Know this is unplowed ground.  Know I have the lures to make this work when the right conditions exist.

9/22/22  1st day of official fall 2022, as we bid goodbye to summer.  Fall is when we build tackle for next year.  This when we can do things at a leisurely pace for 2023.
               Busy installing a EV charger.  Consumer Power is offering rebates up to $500 for accepted brands.  I chose the Charger Point brand that's due to arrive by 10/3/22.  Then, jump thru the hoops to get 400-500 bucks off our electric bill.
              Purchasing a EV is a 6 month wait, or get on a list to even order one.  It will be interesting to see big oil's criminal tactics being taken down several notches.

9/21/22  Money can't buy experience of 20 years as a fulltime charter skipper and 18 years as a river guide.  Seeing in the 1st person what works and what don't from 1000s of hours on the water stands proudly behind all the tackle we make make.
              Motivation to rush into production our LED tackle was years in the making.  I knew going in was going to be a tremendous weapon in our arsenals.  This was a no brainer that came from decades on the water.  Cross platform fishing on all 5 of our Great Lakes for Trout, Salmon and Walleye is the journey brought me to where I'm at today.

9/20/22  Carrying yesterday's chat about lures carry their own light source.  Not the type you charge with a light.  1st spoon I seen was an ET spoon in the mid-1980s out of Harbor Beach, MI.  This spoon had double split rings with a piece of mono strung between both rings with plastic tubes to hold a small cyalume stick on the bottom of the spoon.  Did OK with this spoon, but nothing great.  Filed it away in my bag of charter tricks.
              Transposed this idea to some mag streaks and did extreme well on mid-day suspended Lk. Trout in the 1990s out of Manistee, MI.  Lakers ate this lit spoon like candy as long as they were up off the bottom.   To be continued tomorrow.....

9/19/22  My association with lures that carry their own light source began in the late 1970s, or early 1980s.  1st was a large J-Plug styled bait called the Dandy Glo made by Jim Bedford who was also an outdoor writer.  Bedford is probably better known for his river tactics with in-line spinners for Steelhead.  Jim wrote several articles covering Steelies.
             The Dandy Glo used a full sized cyalume stick.  This plug was larger than a #5 J-Plug.  I caught fish on it, but the glow stick was only good for about 8 hours.
              Next, in the early 1980s was the Northport Nailer J-Plug that unscrewed from the tail where you inserted a smaller cyalume glow stick.  Size was probably a #4 J-Plug.  I did better on Nailer plug.  But once again the chemical stick lasted for about 8 hours.
             To be continued tomorrow on the motivation that led to our LED tackle.

9/18/22  Received an email from kayak angler, CBull titled, "Quick Limit on EPB" which stands for E Platte Bay 17 miles N of Frankfort, MI that shared,

"2 hours and your new flashing green and ghost buster spoon, got it done on East Platte Bay. Broke off the Ghost Buster, now trying the SUV." Click Chuck's limit

            It's good for me to see verification from fishin' folks having success!

9/17/22  Installing a level 2 EV charger that's been an ongoing process.  Delivery time on the model we chose is a good 2 weeks.  Home model level 2 chargers give us about 30 miles for every hours on the charger.  Learned that the last 20% of charge is the slowest when current draw is limited by the vehicle. This is to protect the battery.
             EVs make up less than 6% of auto sales in the US.  Not too many years from now EV's market share will grow exponentially.  More public level 1 chargers are being installed every day.  EVs are great local grocery getters.  Towing heavy loads is a not.

9/16/22  Today's featured photo is from Chuck B, or Cbull with a nice catch of Coho Salmon from E Platte Bay (about 15-17 miles N of Frankfort, MI).  This is same area I caught my 1st MI Coho on 10/1/1968.  So, I'm very familiar with this awesome fishery.
              The park service had their panties in a knot, because the Platte River changed direction and made a deeper channel from boat navigation.  The feds use to hire a drag line bucket & dig a channel for the fishermen, but that is no more. Click Chuck's Coho
              Chuck is dedicated kayak angler and works extra hard for his fish.  His kayak is entirely human powered and that's a lot of work to travel miles and troll too.  The good thing about E Platte Bay is that it's sheltered from most wind, except from the NW.

9/15/22  MI is increasing the Lk. MI King Salmon plant to 1 million fish up from 650k.  This not the big deal, as you might think.  It wasn't all that many years ago Manistee, MI's yearly stocking rate was around 650k in this port alone.
              There's is nobody that want to see the MDNR succeed as much as I do and the readers of this website.  Common sense says this year's Alewife die-off was there not enough Salmon to eat the bait.  So, now we get only a partial number that we used to get. Then, there's a big question of how many of the stocked fish survive?  Recent history shows the number that become 4 year old King is abysmal. 

9/14/22  The MDNR is raising the King Salmon plant in Lk. MI by 54%.  According to their numbers 4.5 million naturally reproduced are in LK. MI.  This number is arbitrary, because there's no way to prove it right, or wrong.   This 4.5 mil covers 4 year classes on Kings.
               Let's say there 1 mil 4 year adult fish.  Cut that number in half among the other states on WI, IL and IN to 500,000 for MI.  There are over 22 major MI ports that all have a fair amount of fishing activity.  22 divided in 500k is
22,727 adult Kings per port.
              The MDNR math means 22k adults run the Port of Manistee, MI.  OK, the combined sport and charter fleet catch half.  So, 5-10k extra fish should be captured at the Little Manistee Harvest Weir yet the DNR stopped publishing numbers with a little over 1k Kings the last time actual numbers were made available.
             This 4.5 mil is a ridiculous voodoo math number to test how stupid we are to believe it and I'm not buying any of it! Click for MDNR phony baloney number

9/12-13/22  Rain and storms are predicted for this morning. This means no internet until the weather clears.  Using time to change the oil and house projects.  EV charging station we're trying to install has big time major issues. 
             Running underground wires requires entrance ramp to my house to be re-decked with 4/5" pressure treated boards.  Stock is very short at both Lowes and Home Depot.  There's none in Manistee.  Rounding up the lumber has been a nightmare from hell.  Be glad when the EV charging port and new ramp project is done.
              Skipped forward few days due to possible weather internet outages.

9/9/22  Giving up on the 2022 season and prepping boats for the winter layover.  Never quit this early before, but time for home projects before the snow flies is the concern.
            This will allow for me to handle maintenance like oil and gear lube changes to have my boats all spiffy and ready for next year.  Time spent now will mean rewards when the 2023 season kicks off.  Glad to say goodbye to 2022 and looking forward to 2023. 
            There's tackle production for next season that needs to be addressed too.

9/8/22  Yesterday morning  spoke with Capt. Jack Duffy, a mainstay of the Leland charter fleet.  I inquired about the King fishing (which can be great off the Manitou Islands).  He said, there were a few 15-20 fish days, but those were few and far between. 
             My impression of our conversation? ...sounds a lot like central Lk. MI ports.  Fish were caught, but a longs ways from a banner year.  Duffy is a former State Record holder in Brown Trout.  So, without a doubt, Capt. Jack knows how to fish and helped me get dialed in on Kings in the early 1980s off Frankfort, MI.

9/7/22  Having tackle carry it's own light source is a dream that came true for me this year.  Our LED spoons came out late this season.  However, productivity is never late!
            Tools to help you catch fish is my job as a cutting edge tackle manufacturer is proven in today's featured photo.  My 2022 results have been pitiful.
            Do know when the bite was tough, our LED spoons chased the skunk away. When tackle comes thru in the off days, you know it's a wise purchase.  Click LED spoon King

9/6/22  3 days off from the daily grind felt wonderful.  Time off to pursue home projects before winter sets in without neglecting 2023 tackle production is a juggling act.
            Plan was to fish a day, or 2 this week, but chores are making the chances slim.  2022 has been a lackluster season for me.  Not finding fish under the boat has been the reason.  Salmon and Trout are relatively easy to catch, but you have to be around them.
           3-4 hour trips weeks apart is not enough to put a program together.  Then, it turns into luck which has been in short supply.  Tomorrow?  ...better days are coming.

9/3,4 & 5/22  Like many of you, I'm taking the weekend off.  Looking at this Tuesday to splash the boat to see what scraps are left.  Unlike Charles Dickens 13th novel, I do not have "Great Expectations."  Still fun to get afloat for a few hours no matter the outcome.

9/2/22  Weather for Labor Day Weekend looks good after Saturday with showers predicted.  Sunday-Monday the marine forecast is favorable with seas 2' or less.  Even better, Tuesday after the holiday might be in the 1' realm.
            This the un-official end of summer 2022.  So, have a safe and great holiday weekend.  Go and enjoy yourself, because you deserve it!

9/1/22  Made it thru another hectic season.  July-August rush is done and over with. I'm happy to see it come and happy to see it go.  I have one of the best jobs in the world, 
dealing with like minded fishermen that's a sheer joy. 
             Now, to focus on re-stocking tackle we're low on for next year that's well underway.  It's called being prepared.  Been painting Mambas the last 2 days.
            My experience chasing Kings this year?  Well, ...I'm still chasing.  Looking at some weather windows after the Labor Day Weekend.  Need to spiffy up my boat first.  Still a semi-mess from changing the batteries from a battery fail in Frankfort, MI.

8/31/22   Celebrating the end of August with some time off.

8/30/22  As the 2022 season winds down, it's time to restock several items.  Painting Black Mambas are 1st on the list.  XG Green Rip Teezers are second.
              Last year Salmon fishing held up well thru the second week of September.  This year?  I hazard to make a guess and leave this to history to tell the reel-story.
              Long term wind and wave forecast looked tolerable for the upcoming Labor Day Weekend that says summer is pretty much over.  Now, to get ready for winter.

8/29/22   Frankfort, MI tournament was not easy for most boats.  Even the winning pro boat only managed 8 of 10 allotted on day one.  No 30 pounders were caught.  The winning 3 fish totaled 75 lbs.  Results do not show how good Frankfort can be.
               Take this with a grain of salt, because my limited test outings were lack luster this season.  Hardly ever seen a pod of bait with good marks around it.  Difficult to test lures when there's no fish around them to form a viable rating.
               Don't know about climate change.  Except when it comes to Lk. MI.  This lake no longer gets a lot of warm water to drive the Kings deeper.  Salmon down around 100' are a bunch more easy to catch.  Deep fish prolong the bite thru-out most of the day.

8/27-28/22 Tommy's First photo shows the joy and fascination of 7 year old with his 1st good fish from the Great Lakes.  There's more to this than meets the eye.  It's my contention this same feeling of elation lives inside all fishermen of any age.  We just don't show it as much, but it's still there.  Click happy Tommy pic
                Day 1 tournament results from Frankfort, MI were less than inspiring.  Most boats struggled and didn't not catch their allotted numbers.
                The thing that weird to me about the 2022 season?   In spite of plenty of hot days in the 90s, the thermocline has yet to materialize deep (80'-100' down).  From what I've heard, early August was good, but it's tailed off as this month wears on.

8/26/22  Guest update from South Haven, MI:

Hi John, Thursday night I took my nieces 7 yr. Old son Tommy out on his 1st big lake fishing adventure. He reeled in this 8 lbs laker on a 300 copper. Click Tommy's 1st
             He had to look at his fish every 10 minutes in the cooler to make sure it was still there!!  We now have a future big lake fisherman. I love taking out the kids.  GrandC

8/25/22  Personal day.  EV charging outlet install and trip to the eye doc.

8/26/22  Guest update from South Haven, MI:

Hi John, Thursday night I took my nieces 7 yr. Old son Tommy out on his first big lake fishing adventure. He reeled in this 8 lbs laker on a 300 copper.
             He had to look at his fish every 10 minutes in the cooler to make sure it was still there!!  We now have a future big lake fisherman. I love taking out the kids.  GrandC

8/25/22  Personal day.  EV charging outlet install and trip to the eye doc.

8/24/22  Had to replace both batteries on my 1979 22'Sea Ray.  Only one was bad, but on a 2 battery tandem system, the bad battery will draw down the good one.
              Service life was about 5 years on both batteries.  I keep them trickle charged all winter long.  So, 5 years of no battery issues is plenty good for me.
              Did a short, 5pm to 7:15 wander-about out of Manistee to test the electrical system to make sure all was good to go.  Seen a fair amount of boats fishing and maybe only 2 fish caught.  Surface was 73° and the break to 54° to 51° was down about 55'.
             Had several unfulfilled orders sitting on the work table.  OCD kicked in and decided to quit early rather then wait around for the low light bite.

8/23/22  Getting ready to install a charging outlet for a yet to purchase EV.  Big oil has shot themselves in the foot over the out of control gas prices.  A large part of our gas comes from our country that's turned into a world based product to hike prices.  We, the tax paying public provide the market and a lot of infrastructure for mega oil crooks that have no mercy on tax paying US citizens.

8/22/22  This morning my retired UPS driver Capt. Kirk caught a King well over 29lbs. while on harbor patrol out of  Ludington, MI. Click Kirk's 29 lb. King Salmon
               Kirk's jumbo King hit a Gold Crushed (GOC) 4.0 Salmon Buster spoon.  Kirk is a early-late season specialist with an awesome shallow water program.
               Results of this past weekend's Manistee tournament.  Looks like this was a weigh your best 3 fish out of a 2 day event.  Winning boat had 77 lbs. in 3 Kings including a 29 pounder.  No over 30s were weighed in.

8/21/22  It's one thing to see others catching fish with our tackle.  It's a reel story for me to see it in person.  Craig C's tip posted last week about the Krystal LED Salmon Buster on a full lead core was what saved his morning.  I'm not too broke to pay attention.
              In 4 hours of trolling, said spoon was the only bait that produced action.  This made all the hard work that went into tooling-up the LED spoon fixture worth while.
              Steve B and I felt elation went the winkie-blinkie multicolored spoon went off.  Even better when even a 7 lb. fish graced us with his presence. Click LED spoon
             Admittedly, Frankfort was a tough go if you measure your trips in pounds of fish.  I don't.  Personal world/boat firsts mean more to me, because that only happens once!

8/20/22  Fishing report for Frankfort, MI this past Wednesday evening and Thursday morning is a tough one.  Cold water ran in and the temp break was like 10' down.  This scattered the bait and the Salmon left the building.
              Only action we had in our two 3 hour sets was on a full lead core towing our new LED Krystal multicolored 4.65 spoon.  Lost a biggie Wednesday evening that took about a good 100 yards of line on long blazing run.  Click LED Krystal spoon
             Know of some good fishermen that pulled double skunks in their am and pm trips.  So, last Wednesday does not reflect on how good Frankfort can be.
             Thursday morning the same LED spoon saved our bacon with a 7 lb. Coho.  Know of no port on the Great Lakes when the water can change as quick as in Frankfort. 
             Frankfort's Point Betsie is a huge lump of land that sticks way-out into Lk. MI that seems to funnel water movements.  When we were leaving due to building seas, the temp moved back down and fish marks on the sonar were encouraging.

8/19/22  Back in about 2001 had a person call about an upcoming Flint Steelheaders tournament looking for info.  At the time deckhands were hard to come by.  Sight unseen asked him to crew for me.  He said, "you'll just take off the street out of the blue?"  I said, "if you're smart enough to find this website I know you're not stupid." Click Steve B
              This started a long term friendship with Steve B. I nicknamed, Roscoe.  He crewed for me several more times and was great to have a board.  His customer chat skills were off the chart.  Plus, he handled the back of the boat like a seasoned pro.
              This is who I took the day off with.  We rehashed old times out of the Port of Frankfort, MI Wednesday evening and Thursday morning.  To be continued tomorrow....

8/18/22  Looking forward to taking the day off.  Be back tomorrow after a recharge.

8/17/22  Home page of this website is looking pretty impressive with Kings caught on our ground breaking tackle.  Many of our items are unique designs found only at our web based tackle store.  This is not run of the mill stuff sold anywhere else.
              Turning my attention to the almost 32 pounder caught on our XG Frog strip, it's a numbers game, or a lot of luck to take Kings over 30 lbs.  Anomalies do occur, just hope you're on the water to take advantage of the opportunity when the stars lineup.
              Major fail in my shipping department when a windows update rendered some of our label printers useless.  Can still ship USPS.  No UPS orders shipped until Monday.

8/16/22  Here's another recent fishing report from Sheboygan, WI by Capt. Steve B:

"Just wanted to pass on that I won big king for the Sheboygan derby that just wrapped up yesterday. Just shy of 32 pounds. Came on a wire diver , I was running a meat rig with the XG Green Frog strip and scented it with the Alaskan herring scent I just got from you .
               Quite the chaotic scene getting it to the net. We were fishing the 2 day super. Saturday, day 1….brutal rough conditions. That fish came just as I was ready to call it . We had about 9 fish in the box…all kings, nothing big though. That big one helped. Tourney format was weigh 5 each day." Capt. Steve B.  Click 31.98 lb. Rip Teezer King

8/15/22  Here's a Manistee fishing report from last Friday about our LED spoons:

"My time on the water has been limited. Fished on 4 hours on vacation and managed 1 #20 king. Went back on the 5th with my Dad and put 6 in the boats with 4 between 20 and 26.
              Got my brother and nephew out this Friday and your multi colored led clear spoon on a full core saved the morning. Click LED Krystal crushed ice spoon
               Boated 2 #20 kings on that spoon. The first in low light and the second in full sun. The second fish inhaled the entire spoon, so no pic. Went 3/5 that morning with the temp break around 38' at 46° & the surface at 70°."  Capt. Craig C.

8/13-14/22  Rain took out my sat system internet over most of the weekend.  Doing Monday's update a little early to save time for making and shipping tackle.

8/12/22  If you look closely at top photo on the left border, you'll see a decent King with it's mouth nailed shut from the double trebles.  This is good deal, takes some of the fight away by slowing down the water flowing over the gills.  Click yap nailed shut
             Kind of like a rear naked choke used in MMA.  Kings that are hooked in the corner of the jaw always scoot sideways with a tendency to get into the bird, or diver rods.
             Fish in the pic was welded and broke a treble during hook removal.  No problem have lots of hooks to donate to the cause.

8/11/22  Rest came hard for me last night.  After I finished up with the fishing trip worked nonstop until 5am getting orders out the door.  My tank is on empty.  Taking today off.  It's a toss up between what I like most, fishing, or making tackle.  Tackle might be leading.  Because there's no variables to deal with.  Fishing is all variables.

8/10/22  Had a get out of jail card good for yesterday evening.  Fished way S of Manistee, MI from Guerney Creek to N of Big Point Sable.  Surface temp was 74°.  Temp break was down 50'-55'.  We had 4 nibbles, 3 stuck & 2 big guy Kings made it to the net.
              Fish marks were sparse between 140' to 250'.  Yes, there were some fish there, but very scattered.  2 hits 100' down on the 12" Froggy Combo and 2 diver bites on the 10" BTI Frog combo.  All were loaded with Rip Teezers.  Figure the diver was 60' down. 
             Weird, only 2 depths where we got hits and no sunset action.  Early evening was probably best.  Hours fished were 5:30pm thru 9pm.  So, Mark and I did not set the world on fire.  But any fish is better than no fish.  Especially, when they're around 20 lbs.
              Lk. MI behaved itself quite nicely with waves 1' or less.  It was a gorgeous evening with a beautiful red crimson sunset.  Click Rip Teezer fatality  

8/9/22  Big deal for yours truly.  Finally, have fiber optic cables running in front of my place in Manistee, MI.  Phone lines are from 1953 with the insulation rotting off.  Satellite internet is problematic in the snow and rain.  Wading up to your crotch in deep snow to clean off the TV and internet sat dishes for reception could be a thing of the past.
            Rural customers have the least connectivity and poor utilities.  But that's a price I gladly pay to have my closest neighbor way-way down the road.  Privacy is golden. 

8/8/22   Update is from 9pm last evening.  This morning's predicted thunderstorms will take out my Hughes Net satellite internet.  Heavy rains will cause long outages.  Snow not so much.  So, I'm in a mad rush to get all orders out the door before losing the net.
             No internet means I cannot make shipping labels.  Was hoping for fresh fish reports to be today's topic.  That's going to have to wait, because most likely won't have net connection for most of today.

8/6/22  Have a great weekend.  Catch-up on painting Mambas is my task at hand.  Doing this early and late out of the heat of the day. There's a fair amount of work that goes into these and that's why other manufacturers neglect this fish catch pattern.
            Hopefully, I'll have some fish reports for you Monday when the dust clears.  Trying to put together a window when I can take a few days off to get on the water.  As always, orders come first and the wind must cooperate.

8/5/22  NOAA has their surface temp charts back up and working.  New improved version is now in color.  This chart comes into it's own during early and late season fishing when everything depends on temp gradients.  Click Manistee surface temp
            Doll babied up the popular Great Lakes Info page where every kind of wind and wave data is available.  Added a weather banner at the bottom for Manistee weather.
I rely on this page to plan what days to fish. Click Great Lakes page

8/4/22  Manistee, MI fishing report from Rick K. was decent.  Rick is part of 3 boat group that camps at Instalaunch.  He said from slightly N of the harbor (16s) in 150' to 250' of water down to Guerney Creek (10s) average was 3 to 6 fish per boat.  Also, he shared the fish size was improving with a 24 lb. King holding the top spot among the 3 boats.
            These 3 boats were getting action 85' to 100' down on a attractor program.  Our XG Green Frog and XG Blue Bubble combos were working.  Area fished is about where you'd expect the Kings to be at this time of the year.

8/3/22  Early morning thunderstorm took out my Hughes Net satellite internet.  When I get a stable net connection daily updates will resume.

8/2/22  Looking back to my beginning in 1968 to evolution of electronics, boats and tackle is nothing short of astounding best describes my past 54 years.  Never in wildest dreams when I caught my 1st Salmon 10/1/68 my future was already written. 
             Making a living from Great Lakes fishing since 1983 was totally unforeseen when I got hooked on Salmon fishing.  Know now, this is what I was cut out to do.

8/1/22  World debut of our new 2022 LED BTI 10" Flashers.  Installed 8 of our best selling 10 inchers at my webstore.  Plus, there's an option for you to choose what color LED you prefer for our industry leading tackle.  Installed 3 new spoons in popular patterns too.
            You can bet your bottom dollar I'll have at least 2 LED BTI Froggies with XG Frog Rip Teezers in my spread the next time off the dock.  This is a no brainer!
            Really put the hours in getting this shopping cart page done over the weekend. Looking forward to a more restful day to filling and shipping orders.  This the stage of the season when every day counts during prime time big Kings.  Click new LED tackle

7/31/22  2.7 volts DC is what the multi-meter read on a new fresh lit Lithium powered LED light.  Have one stuck on for a week that came in at 2.5 volts DC.  Lastly, have a LED blue that's been constantly on for almost 3 weeks that came in at 2.3 volts DC.
              Battery life I'm sure varies.  But the 3 week light is pushing an incredible 500 hours.  Questions abound when it comes to the electrical field.  I won't insult your intelligence and spread BS positive ions that are an un-based p-poor marketing ploy.
             Do know this LED technology needs to be dialed in.  Is there a point when too many LEDs becomes to much?  What's the right balance to draw fish in your spread?  Over time these answers will be learned, as our Great Lakes Salmon tackle continues to evolve.

7/30/22  Web work adding new tackle selections is the task at hand.  Deadline for new LED tackle debut is scheduled for this coming Monday.  Lots to do.
               One thing I haven't explored is the LED's mini-electrical field.  Multi-meter should be able to measure the micro volts in-house.

7/29/22  When you look at the big picture the hours of recreation on the Great lakes is mind boggling in some of the most beautiful scenery in our USA.  In the quest for fish, it's easy to overlook the grand scheme of things when it comes to fishing.
               Will be adding more selections to our LED Salmon Buster™ spoons over the weekend in proven fish catching patterns.  One thing in the charter business I hardly ever did was run a mixed attractor spoon program to require different speeds for max efficiency.  Top 50' usually spoons at 2.5 to 3 mph. 
               Subtract a mile an hour for an attractor/meat program.  My big deal is waiting for mid-August and doing an all night fish off the pier heads with LED spoons.  Pier anglers cast spoons and catch Kings all night.  Know boat trolling can do it too!

7/28/22  Eye doctor day.  Everything comes to a halt once my eyes are dilated to get a shot in the eyeball for Macular Degeneration..  Takes about 8 hours before I can see comfortably.  As of last evening all orders were done and shipped.

7/27/22   Just haven't had the time to come up with anything worthwhile fishing-wise.  Do know this weekend is tournament time in Manistee and that should serve as a good gauge on what's going on.  More 90s later next week I'm not looking forward to.
               Rain will probably knockout my internet for this morning.  In a super rush all nighter to make sure all orders are shipped ASAP while I still have a connection.

7/26/22  140 XG Frog Rip Teezers were born yesterday and are awaiting adoption to their new fishing home.  These new babies require no special care.  Just peg them in a meat head and wait for Mr. Froggie to play fetch with big Kings.  No muss, no fuss, know of one Rip Teezer that produced 12 Kings and still looks like new. Click Teezer selections
              Don't know if I'm lucky, or that good, to nail the design and scent to replace frozen bait.  After trying them? ...near a 100% never go back to frozen bait hassles.

7/25/22  Early 5am start to inject plastisol (soft plastic) to make our game changing 2 color Rip Teezers.  About sold out in several colors.  Good cool day to do it.

7/24/22  Designing our new LED Salmon Buster™ light transitioning thru the spoon was at the top of the list.  No metal spoon can even come close. Click 4 in 1 LED spoons
              So, that gives us a leg up over the metal LED spoons.  Have to trust my gut that's served me well since I went in the tackle business in 2004.  Plus, temper that with 54 years on all 5 of our beautiful Great Lakes since 1968.  That's a helluva statement!
              Tomorrow, reel work begins making Rip Teezers that are almost out of stock.  Enjoy the process, because it's new and mixing colors for the plastisol is challenge.  Hey, I'm always up for a challenge and the self-satisfaction when it turns out mint!

7/23/22  Have a great Saturday and Sunday.  My time is spoken for with our new LED spoons that are in high demand.  Started on this project back in May and finally making headway into production.  Starting a brand new line tackle at this time of the year has been exciting, but eating up tons of time. Click new LED spoon photo
              Upgraded to a 4 in 1 photo of our jaw dropping new 2022 LED spoons.  That way you're not buying a pig in a poke and know exactly what these spoons look like.

7/22/22  Tying up a couple of loose ends before the weekend.  Sent a assortment of X-Glow Rip Teezers to Bud, owner of Tangled Tackle here in Manistee, MI.
              Lifetime of the LED lights?  We've had blue one that was stuck on, blinking for 7 days and counting.  This light has been blinking for a 180 hours plus. 
              When time allows, will be replacing the easily removed pop rivets with small machine screws and Nyloc nuts.  This will make the spoons completely re-buildable, customizable, and add many years of service.

7/21/22  Today is the world debut of our LED Salmon Buster™ spoons.  Have 3 selections based on light transitioning.  Krystal is clear with LED multi colors, X-Glo has a green LED and SUV (super UV) carries a blue LED.  Click to purchase 3 LED spoons
               Featured Photo unlit does not do these spoons justice.  Need to capture the flashing LEDs when time allows.  Regular price will be 14.95 each.   Special is all 3 for 39.95.  This is a bargain considering the machine work and cost involved.
              Having tackle that carries it's own light source is reel 21st century tech.  We'll be shipping LED spoons the first part of next week, or sooner.

7/20/22  Guest update from Capt. S and Top 40 Charters:

"Hey John,  A quick update while I have service: This strip has now caught 12 fish since Thursday. Not a single rip, mark, or tear on it. I love these strips!  
We've got a couple hours left to fish before the wind hits. Looks like we'll be stuck on shore for a least a day."  Capt. Steve  Click for Rip Teezer after 12 fish

7/19/22  Burning the candles at both ends to debut our LED Salmon Buster spoons before the end of this week.  Struck out yesterday with the wrong drill press for the job.  Have another one and hope this one has enough travel and can chuck a small 3/32" drill.
              High 80s yesterday is bound to keep the sea fleas happy and add to their numbers.  This is bait fish food and eventually will dissipate.  In the mean time, the crud that accumulates on any line going vertical in the water, like divers and rigger rods to going to be "a pain in the you know what."  30lb. mono for riggers is a must.  Wire divers the fleas just slide down to the end (swivel) in a big wad.  Copper rods are not effected.

7/18/22  Yesterday ordered  all the necessary parts and pieces to complete our new line LED spoons for 2022.  There will be 3 selections with light transitioning properties in blue, green and multi colored LEDs added to the 4.65 Salmon Buster™ spoons.  Perfect size and timing for returning adult bruiser Kings soon to arrive at all major ports.
               Our clear Lexan spoons have a reel-advantage when it comes to light being able to be reflected thru all sides of the spoon's action in the water.  This is a big deal!
               Last weekend's  tournament: the Ludington Offshore Classic was a tough go for most of the boats.  Only a few caught their allotted number of fish to weigh-in.  Big Kings were a no show with weights being down from past events.  This is a well established tourney with high turn out in the both the pro and amateur boats.

7/17/22  Gearing up to mitigate the dreaded fish hook water fleas.  This means all 30lb. test mono and bead chain swivels.  Bead chain swivels guarantee the fleas will not clog up the Sampo ball bearing swivel on the nose of all our flashers.  If the ball bearing swivel stops? ...the line twist from all rotators will massively kink your line.  Then, when a fish whacks it? ...you and your tackle will soon part ways. Click bead chain swivel
              Sea fleas were mostly concentrated in dense schools from the surface to 30' down.  Suspect the fleas were chowing on plankton created from decaying dead Alewives.
              Beginning the think our Rip Teezers might be my best innovation.  No longer do I have to chase bait, mess with freezer storage, or worry about brine.

7/16/22  Fished out of my home Port of Manistee, MI from 6pm thru 10pm last evening. 
2 Kings, largest was around 20 that came 105' down on the Froggie BTI combo.  For the amount of fish we marked, didn't expect too much.  Click Rip Teezer 20lb. King
               Tested the new Alaskan Herring oil we sell with great success.  Why? ...the big guy King shook the rod, no hookup.  Less then 5 minutes later, after a sampling taste, he came back & crushed the rod with the scented Rip Teezer! Click Frog/Teezer Combo
              Most important info is don't even plan on fished anything less than 30lb. mono if you're coming to Manistee.  Sea fleas jam up 20 mono and all super braid lines.

7/15/22  Well deserved day-off I hope for yours truly.  Did a 18 hour marathon in the shop yesterday and you have to know when it's time for a break.  Hottie LED flies will not ship until this coming Monday.  What stock we had is gone and have workers making more.
               Prime time for Kings is here.  Only info I have is yesterday there were KIngs in Manistee, MI's harbor due to a lot of cold water that moved in.  Heard the sea fleas were awful in Leland, MI.  You can circumvent this issue by going to 30 pound test mono.  Super braid lines just get clogged up to the point you cannot reel in a fish.

7/14/22  Yesterday morning got a wakeup call around 8am from Capt. Bob Smith from Mariah Charters in Leland, MI.  8am is perfectly OK, but I worked in the shop until 4am.
              Bob was excited with our new LED trolling flies.  His exact words: "we can't keep 'em in the water."  Winner, winner, chicken dinner!  Another of our industry leading designs hit a home run.  Knew the LED flies would work without any shadow of doubt with the right fly material.  Wanted semi clear to let the light shine thru. Click Leland Laker
             The part of my job I like best? ....is when I can be creative and use my over 50 years of experience on the Great Lakes to move the bar higher! Click bloody LED fly

7/13/22  Fairport, MI in the UP is one of those out of the way Lk. MI places I want fish someday.  Fairport is a hidden gem port W of Manistique that usually gets a good run of adult Kings weeks before the rest of the ports catch-up.  Posted many photos from this UP port of Kings in the high 20s and a few 30 pounders before the mid point in July.
              There's not much in the way of amenities for the Lk. MI fleet with no marina.  Just a chute and a launch.  There is a campground close by for the trailer boat fleet which I'm part of.  Mobile trailer boats offer many options when it come to places to fish. 

7/12/22  WI's KD derby has a huge number of boats competing for the biggest fish.  There's prizes for daily big fish too.  Derbies don't depend on how many, it's focuses on just the largest caught.  Back some years ago our tackle took the KD big fish overall.  Quite a feat considering we do not have a large footprint sales-wise in WI.
              Tooling to machine spoons for the LED lights is just about done.  In about a week we will be offering a limited selection of LED 4.65 Salmon Buster spoons.

7/11/22  When I began Lk. MI Salmon fishing in 1968, this developing fishery was already a year old.  Only 2 ports, Manistee and Frankfort had Coho plants and were busy beyond words.  There were no ground rules in tackle.  No right, or wrong. Just a herd of fishermen willing to spend what it takes on lures to catch these fish.  It was a gold rush bonanza for any and all tackle stores in the above mentioned ports.
              Think that's why I'm always looking to push the envelope tackle-wise.  There are no rules when it comes to tackle.  Only the products that works will gain favor.  That's why I see LED tackle moving the fleet forward in the 21st century.

7/9 & 10/22  Going to keep the video here thru Monday.  Adding a brand new concept to our line of tackle keeps me inspired.  21st century tech is here now!

7/8/22  Video update showing our new LED tackle at work:  Click for this video

7/7/22  Fans of trolling flies rejoice!  Finally, there's a fly that carries it's own light source to make it deadly in full sun to after sunset.  If one picture is work a 1000 words, there's a 4000 word pic for you to feast your eyes on showing regular and "in the dark" conditions.
            Our LED (light emitting destruction) Green Crinkle and LED Blue SUV flies are truly game changers.  This is a giant step forward in trolling fly tech I'm proud to bring to you.  Should have our new LED Flies installed in our webstore soon.  Click LED Flies
            Boat is back home after a trip to the boat doctor.  Operation was a success and the prognosis is for a full recovery. Just in-time to water test our new LED lineup!

7/6/22  Boat goes into the shop today at 9am.  Know the raw water pump in the outdrive needs replacing.  Done this job more then once before.  But don't have the time with our new LED lineup taking up massive amounts of time. 
             To add insult to injury on the same trip when the motor got hot, my 912 Powerwinch's electric motor took a puke when Chris G and I loaded the boat.
             912's are the most powerful 12 volt boat winch on the market with a 4000 lb. single line pull.  My 1979 22' Sea Ray loads hard on bunks not rollers.  Bunks are better than rollers that will leave dents in fiberglass hulls over time.
             Being busy is good.  Designing a complete line of new 21st century tech is even better.  Tested the LED lights for days and days that stayed working much to my surprise. Standby for new photos of this tackle ...maybe later today.

7/5/22  The 4th of July is known for awesome fireworks like what happens on your boat when an over 20 pound King comes to the net.  These are massively huge fish akin to hooking-up with a runaway freight train.  That's what today's featured photo shows!
            There's not many states in our USA that present the opportunity for world class freshwater fish that the Great Lakes does.  This is a blessing! Click over 20lb. King
            Seen the peaks and valleys in our King Salmon fishery and we're definitely on the  upswing after some pretty lean years.  This is exciting, as we get closer to primetime.

7/4/22  Ludington, MI port report from 7/2/22 from Capt. Chris G:

"Fished Ludington last evening.  Went 5-6 in that 170-ish water. 250'-350' copper took fish.  Dipseys and rigger took some too.  Pulled a strip teaser on a mag dipsy 180' out on setting 2 and had a hard rip of a 24 lb King: Click 24lb. Frog/Rip Teezer combo
            This will make you feel good.  Same one we used last fall.  And it’s the same strip. Thank you so much. We had a riot had one 22, 24, 18 and 15.  Not many people had fish last night and if they did? ...the fish they had were small."

7/3/22  Are flashing LED lights a novelty, or a serious fishing catching tool?  My answer is both, because these 200 hour Lithium battery LED mini lights just hit the market recently. 
            Water tested on a 4.65 Salmon Buster spoon and proven to catch.  This just scratches the surface.  Easy add to trolling flies and meat rigs with the 2 spilt rings with the line threaded thru.  Know our meat heads will turn the additional weight of the mini light.  Suspect other brands will not.  But that's their problem, not mine.
             Have a jig being made to make LED 4.65 Salmon Buster spoons that's about a week out.  This is 21st century low-light tech that does not rely on duration of charged up glow.  Have a short video of our spoons proving this works that will be posted soon.

7/2/22  Guest update:  "John. A quick note with some news to share with you. We fished today out of Frankfort.  Fishing was slow for adult fish (we landed one fish (about 16 pounds) but we hooked and released a dozen or more juvenile king salmon.  The real surprise was the number of dead and dying Alewives.  Literally countless acres of fresh dead and dying smaller (mostly 3 to 4 inches, but some over 6 inches) alewives about a mile off shore in 62f surface temp water.  Attached are photos that captures a tiny tiny sliver of what we trolled through."  Capt. Allen I. Click for size of Allen's bait

7/1/22  1am extra early update: Thunderstorms in the distance predict I will soon have no internet again.  I'm on the waiting list for Elon Musk's new  Starlink satellite system to rid myself of the unstable Hughes Net sat system that only works in perfect conditions.
                Have a safe and wonderful 4th of July Holiday Weekend.

Continued below back to the year 2000:

2022 Results
January, February & March
April, May & June
July, August & September
October, November & December

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